Arcane Trickster is Dead; Long Live Arcane Trickster


Second Edition

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Haven't really seen anyone talking about this, so I thought I'd start a thread.

One of the #MyPathfinderSpoiler cards is a Rogue 4 feat called Magical Trickster that allows sneak attacking with spells. This makes it highly unlikely that Arcane Trickster is coming back as its own thing.

On the other hand, it makes it fairly likely that Ranged Legerdemain might be a core Rogue feat and it means that a Druid/Rogue multiclass can sneak attack with Druid spells starting at 8th level (or a Rogue/Druid can at 4th level), something that Arcane Trickster couldn't do.

Overall I think this is a positive change; what about you guys? What other prestige classes do you think would be well served by just becoming class feats?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really should finish that Arcane Trickster vigilante archetype I have jotted down somewhere...

As to your question, I can't see enough separate ground between the Dragon Disciple and sorcerer bloodline feats. Shadowdance could make for an interesting set of monk class feats. An assasin's death attack could be something parceled out to various classes.


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We need a heckin Sacred Slayer now. Sneak Attack with Harm.

Real talk though, I like seeing this. I've always (tentatively) ruled you could do this normally, but I know the Sneak Attack as written doesn't necessarily allow it so I appreciate this.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd be surprised if whatever form shadowdance took wasn't available to Rogues; they were the main class dipping shadowdancer in 1e, after all. I can see how it has something of a monk style, though.

You know what just occurred to me would be awesome? Horizon Walker as a set of high-level Ranger feats.

I also hope there is a high-level Rogue feat that duplicates the Arcane Trickster capstone, so that sneak attacking with fireballs can come back. Thematically that was really awesome.


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I'd be quite happy to see prestige classes that are tied to a mechanical concept rather than a theme of being prestigious go the way of the dodo. An Arcane Trickster is just a Rogue with spells, a Mystic Theurge is just a wizard who is also a cleric (or perhaps a cleric who is also a wizard). Neither of these things need to be gated behind a prestige class, and doing so just means that the people who want to play this concept have to spend many levels playing a different concept first.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'd be quite happy to see prestige classes that are tied to a mechanical concept rather than a theme of being prestigious go the way of the dodo. An Arcane Trickster is just a Rogue with spells, a Mystic Theurge is just a wizard who is also a cleric (or perhaps a cleric who is also a wizard). Neither of these things need to be gated behind a prestige class, and doing so just means that the people who want to play this concept have to spend many levels playing a different concept first.

Agreed, and I think it's very likely that you'll get your wish, considering Paizo was already moving pretty hard away from those with PF1, and that many seem unnecessary with the new multi-classing rules. Some of these prestige classes were really based around one key mechanic, which in many cases could just be turned into a class feat. Magical Trickster being a good example. Assasin could be replaced with a couple of Rogue feats, like one for making people hard to rez and maybe a capstone for the insta-kill. And Eldrich Knight has no purpose now, considering it was mostly just to allow you to level in two classes at once.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
I'd be quite happy to see prestige classes that are tied to a mechanical concept rather than a theme of being prestigious go the way of the dodo. An Arcane Trickster is just a Rogue with spells, a Mystic Theurge is just a wizard who is also a cleric (or perhaps a cleric who is also a wizard). Neither of these things need to be gated behind a prestige class, and doing so just means that the people who want to play this concept have to spend many levels playing a different concept first.

Bard would be an excellent (if old) example of this happening in a good way.


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Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.


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Sneak attack is a very powerful damage enhancer which is usually limited to low-damage weapons.
Applying it to spells raises your damage, so yes, it's a feat. That's your benefit. Otherwise you can do your regular sneak attack with weapons, and you'll probably do better damage than most spells anyways.


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avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

There is certainly a case to be made that some abilities are too strong to not feat tax, or too complicated. One could make a case that this falls into the former. A rogue who uses a multi target attack spell from stealth like Scorching Ray could sneak attack a lot of targets at once, for example.

But there are definitely examples of this I get frustrated with. Combat maneuvers against larger size categories is my example right now. Big monsters are already hard to do it against, and I'd rather tell a player "you can try but it will be hard" than arbitrarily tell them no. Especially because combat maneuvers as written in the playtest simply weren't that strong.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

I'd love to avoid using the term "feat tax" unnecessarily when the benefit very clearly outweighs the cost here. Adding damage dice to spells is pretty powerful.

In a game where almost everything is a feat, using "feat tax" like we did in PF1 with good reason is a little hyperbolic IMO


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Also, during the panel about the design philosophy of pf2, all the devs stated that archetypes in part were a move away from prestige classes, but prestige classes may not be out of the question.

Personally I think high requirement archetypes are the way to go, because they're very thematic, and could serve as an effective way to move away from traditional multiclassing.

Old school multiclassing always frustrated me.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

There is certainly a case to be made that some abilities are too strong to not feat tax, or too complicated. One could make a case that this falls into the former. A rogue who uses a multi target attack spell from stealth like Scorching Ray could sneak attack a lot of targets at once, for example.

But there are definitely examples of this I get frustrated with. Combat maneuvers against larger size categories is my example right now. Big monsters are already hard to do it against, and I'd rather tell a player "you can try but it will be hard" than arbitrarily tell them no. Especially because combat maneuvers as written in the playtest simply weren't that strong.

In the past I would have definitely agreed on the combat maneuvers thing, but with size modifiers gonna I'm less inclined toward such. Especially since Trip and Disarm go against Reflex and a lot of large enemies might not be ace at that.

I do understand why you wouldn't want that though.


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CobaltCrusader wrote:
avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

I'd love to avoid using the term "feat tax" unnecessarily when the benefit very clearly outweighs the cost here. Adding damage dice to spells is pretty powerful.

In a game where almost everything is a feat, using "feat tax" like we did in PF1 with good reason is a little hyperbolic IMO

There are at least two kinds of Feat tax, maybe three.

The first is a Feat you don't want, but you have to take to meet the requirements of the Feat you actually want.

The second kind is a Feat you have to take, because it's massively better than any other option; it feels somehow mandatory, i.e. the options available don't provide players with an interesting choice.

The third kind of Feat tax is when the Feat allows you to do something you thought you could already do, or you used to be able to do before the Feat existed.

This all said, I think I agree that this particular case isn't a Feat tax. Though it is close to qualifying for my third definition, as it was possible to sneak attack with some spells in PF1. ... I guess it depends on how much you expected PF2 to be like PF1.


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Edge93 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

There is certainly a case to be made that some abilities are too strong to not feat tax, or too complicated. One could make a case that this falls into the former. A rogue who uses a multi target attack spell from stealth like Scorching Ray could sneak attack a lot of targets at once, for example.

But there are definitely examples of this I get frustrated with. Combat maneuvers against larger size categories is my example right now. Big monsters are already hard to do it against, and I'd rather tell a player "you can try but it will be hard" than arbitrarily tell them no. Especially because combat maneuvers as written in the playtest simply weren't that strong.

In the past I would have definitely agreed on the combat maneuvers thing, but with size modifiers gonna I'm less inclined toward such. Especially since Trip and Disarm go against Reflex and a lot of large enemies might not be ace at that.

I do understand why you wouldn't want that though.

Narratively, I don't see why tripping a giant enemy should be harder than punching it for meaningful damage, and mechanically unless combat maneuvers have been souped from the playtest they aren't strong enough to warrant the balance concern.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The wording in the Playtest was definitely a little unclear, since sneak attack just required you to use a "ranged attack". Hopefully the wording in the final version will make it clear that spell attacks and ranged attacks are different things, or specify "ranged weapon attack" on sneak attack.


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MaxAstro wrote:
The wording in the Playtest was definitely a little unclear, since sneak attack just required you to use a "ranged attack". Hopefully the wording in the final version will make it clear that spell attacks and ranged attacks are different things, or specify "ranged weapon attack" on sneak attack.

Well, being able to sneak attack with Snowball in PF1 was one thing, but being able to sneak attack with Fireball required the AT prestige class.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Required the AT capstone, even.

However, the Magical Trickster feat in PF2e makes it clear that you are at least not intended to be able to sneak attack with spells at all without that feat.

And indeed, the wording of sneak attack in the Playtest definitely makes it impossible to sneak attack with melee touch spells, unlike PF1e, whatever your interpretation of "ranged attack" is.

On another note, I thought of another thing I like about this feat: It is clearly a feat meant for multiclass Rogues. That somewhat answers the question of what gishes might look like, since it's entirely possible for other classes to get feats intended for multiclass characters. For example, Fighters could have a feat with the trigger "you cast a spell" that adds magical damage to their next strike, or some such.


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Can't say I'm too impressed with that magical sneak attack feat, though. Rogue's sneak attack damage in the playtest was significantly reduced, likely to account for multiple attacks per round. Enemy HP was also vastly increased, with most things having no less than 2X their original health compared to PF1. Spells are still mostly once per round, so they don't get this benefit.

So I don't think +2d6 on a spell at mid level is going to be worth anything at all, specially if compared to a shortbow. Can see it being good only if it hits several targets at once.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
avr wrote:

Feat-taxing the ability to sneak attack with spells is IMO one of Pathfinders bad old habits being given a new lease of life. Feat taxes aren't fun. At the least I'd hope the feat which does this has some other use as well.

On the other hand there's a prestige class, the envoy of balance for which the interesting elements could easily be made into feats, messing around with positive and negative channeling and aligned spells in general.

There is certainly a case to be made that some abilities are too strong to not feat tax, or too complicated. One could make a case that this falls into the former. A rogue who uses a multi target attack spell from stealth like Scorching Ray could sneak attack a lot of targets at once, for example.

But there are definitely examples of this I get frustrated with. Combat maneuvers against larger size categories is my example right now. Big monsters are already hard to do it against, and I'd rather tell a player "you can try but it will be hard" than arbitrarily tell them no. Especially because combat maneuvers as written in the playtest simply weren't that strong.

In the past I would have definitely agreed on the combat maneuvers thing, but with size modifiers gonna I'm less inclined toward such. Especially since Trip and Disarm go against Reflex and a lot of large enemies might not be ace at that.

I do understand why you wouldn't want that though.

Narratively, I don't see why tripping a giant enemy should be harder than punching it for meaningful damage, and mechanically unless combat maneuvers have been souped from the playtest they aren't strong enough to warrant the balance concern.

Well, narratively, it's very hard for a human-sized combatant to trip a giant. Punching them is comparatively easy, as is cutting at their legs, or crushing their knees, or running through their leading arm after they've tried to club you into pulp. Tripping them... it's a big boy/girl, Morgan. And they're really strong, so grappling is in the same boat. Disarm? Against their huge weapons held in their huge hands? Et cetera.

You know, hunter/gatherers drove mammoths into spiked pits and finished them off with long spears and arrows.

It's not hard to hurt a big creature, but executing all manners of interesting flourishes with them can turn out to be... unwieldy.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

Can't say I'm too impressed with that magical sneak attack feat, though. Rogue's sneak attack damage in the playtest was significantly reduced, likely to account for multiple attacks per round. Enemy HP was also vastly increased, with most things having no less than 2X their original health compared to PF1. Spells are still mostly once per round, so they don't get this benefit.

So I don't think +2d6 on a spell at mid level is going to be worth anything at all, specially if compared to a shortbow. Can see it being good only if it hits several targets at once.

Important feature in PF2 is that all precision damage is multi-ed on a crit, so that 2d6 can become 4d6. Action economy is a reason it got gimped, but the fact that Sneak Attack damage can crit is a large boon for a sniper-type Rogue. I believe Jason also said that they tuned the monster health down a bit in the live version since they got a little out of hand at high levels.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Sneak attack is also much, much more reliable, to the extent that rogues can count on it for basically every attack, and rogues no longer have a BaB penalty so it's just free damage.

Really, PF2e Rogue resembles Slayer in some ways, what with slower sneak attack progression and full BaB (effectively), and Slayer was a great class.

Plus spell damage went up in the first place, so adding even more damage on top basically for free is pretty good.


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MaxAstro wrote:

Sneak attack is also much, much more reliable, to the extent that rogues can count on it for basically every attack, and rogues no longer have a BaB penalty so it's just free damage.

Really, PF2e Rogue resembles Slayer in some ways, what with slower sneak attack progression and full BaB (effectively), and Slayer was a great class.

Plus spell damage went up in the first place, so adding even more damage on top basically for free is pretty good.

Yeah, it appears all the things that made Slayer awesome got split up and put back into it's parent class's. Which I am quite fond of


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

On another note, on the theme of "multiclass feats for other classes": Something I just thought of that would be an awesome Fighter feat would be "requirement: you cast a spell this turn; benefit: you can use abilities with the Press trait this turn, even if you lack a multiattack penalty".

I think that's a big advantage of putting multiclass feats into the base class; it allows the base class to really play with its core mechanics in interesting ways.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I think that's a big advantage of putting multiclass feats into the base class; it allows the base class to really play with its core mechanics in interesting ways.

It also opens up these concepts to characters with a way to do these things without multi-classing; a gnome can get a cantrip as a racial, for example, so they can use Magical Trickster without ever bothering to dip into a spellcasting class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes, I was thinking exactly that, too. Or a Rogue (or Fighter with my hypothetical feat above) could use scrolls via Trick Magic Item.


Now my only hope is they make a similar mechanic for spell DC's so we can have a version of the beguiler back!


MaxAstro wrote:

On another note, on the theme of "multiclass feats for other classes": Something I just thought of that would be an awesome Fighter feat would be "requirement: you cast a spell this turn; benefit: you can use abilities with the Press trait this turn, even if you lack a multiattack penalty".

I think that's a big advantage of putting multiclass feats into the base class; it allows the base class to really play with its core mechanics in interesting ways.

This could be pretty powerful in some circumstances and would totally be worth a feat. People would just cast the 1 action magic missile to get 2 Strikes without any MAP using that spoiled ability.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I was really pleased to see that "spoiler." Arcane Trickster is my favorite archetype (in the literary sense) to play.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Narratively, I don't see why tripping a giant enemy should be harder than punching it for meaningful damage, and mechanically unless combat maneuvers have been souped from the playtest they aren't strong enough to warrant the balance concern.

What's the objection? Likelihood of success or the consequences of success?


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I'm gonna preface this by saying I don't mean to come off as aggressive or insulting or anything and I apologize if I do. I don't mean any ill will by it, but I'm worried it may come off as a bit much and I'm not sure how to rewrite it without obscuring my meaning, and I have some strong opinions on this.

Roswynn wrote:


Well, narratively, it's very hard for a human-sized combatant to trip a giant. Punching them is comparatively easy,

I said punching them formeaningful damage. The bigger the creature gets, the smaller the weapon gets by comparison. A dagger or even a longsword is going to eventually become a needle in comparison to a creature. A dagger simply isn't a long enough blade to sink far enough into a gargantuan creature to inflict anything beyond superficial cuts.

The only way to really cause meaningful harm would be to strike a creature's softest targets-- eyes, throat, groin. And the first two would carry crippling debuffs that simply aren't dealt by normal strikes-- blinding or preventing a creature from using verbal actions.

Inflicting that damage with a fist or bludgeoning weapon isn't especially more plausible.

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or crushing their knees,

Crushing their knees... which are capable of supporting the weight of the creature? That requires an absurd amount of striking force. Knees are durable. What is actually easier is striking a creature in the back of the knee to make their leg buckle. Try standing up and pushing the on the back of your knee with your hand. Feel how easy it is to make it bend? It is really easy to collapse the leg this way.

Plus... if you crushed the creature's kneecap, it is going to most likely fall over anyway.

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as is cutting at their legs

Again, if you start severing tendons a creature is going to probably fall over anyway, or if you stab it in the leg and make it jerk off balance in pain. Certainly any of these options can be capitalized on. You can in fact flavoring a turn that is strike >trip> strike as slicing a creature's tendon to "trip" it and then striking it again while it is down. Heck, even if you open with the trip combat and hit points are such an abstraction anyway it makes as much sense as anything else.

I've done a fair amount of grappling in my time, both of people and dogs, and leverage takes you surprisingly far. Mass matters an awful lot, but then again it matters for striking as well.

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running through their leading arm after they've tried to club you into pulp.

Which is a damn good way to make something drop what they are holding.

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Tripping them... it's a big boy/girl, Morgan. And they're really strong, so grappling is in the same boat. Disarm? Against their huge weapons held in their huge hands? Et cetera.

Again, the bigger and stronger the creature, the harder it would actually be to hurt the darned thing. This is without even getting into things like increasing natural armor bonuses. A high level huge+ creature can bounce arrows off its hide all day. When we start talking about the heroes that can drive arrows, blades, or hammers through the plate armor of a bulette, we are talking about people applying superhuman levels of force to their strikes. Why it is weirder for a monk who can penetrate the bullete's armor with their fists to be able to grapple with the bugger?

Quote:

You know, hunter/gatherers drove mammoths into spiked pits and finished them off with long spears and arrows.

It's not hard to hurt a big creature, but executing all manners of interesting flourishes with them can turn out to be... unwieldy.

Yes, early humanoids used techniques like this to gradually wear a helpless creature down, or chased them using humanity's superior long distance stamina until the mammoth dropped of exhaustion. What they didn't do was go out with 3 of their buddies and kill a mammoth that could fight back in 18 seconds with spears.

That is something a party of four 6th level characters can do as a normal challenge. Four 10th levels characters would consistently polish off a mammoth each with a spear. A level 12 character with a spear would need 4 mammoths to even pose a the facade of a challenge.

High level characters are superhuman, and have to be to fight the things they fight. I mean, hey, a spear at least has the whole edged weapon, make enemies bleed thing going for it. Now imagine a woman strong enough to kill a mammoth with a baseball bat or a sledge hammer. Because that is how strong a 10th level barbarian is. Even saying it is a magic hammer... That's a very strong lady. I have zero qualms with her being able to knock a mammoth off balance given the proper leverage, or even grapple the thing.

PF2 is acknowledging these are superhumans in many ways, and I'm frustrated that it is still chaining them to "realism" in ways like this that aren't even internally consistent. That said, I am glad that if we are going to have these limitations there is a skill feat to let you bypass them. But for my own games? If a player of mine wants to try some badass stunts on something 2 sizes bigger than them instead of just continuing the Strike over and over? I am never going to tell them they need Titan Wrestler.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

As usual I feel my standing rule of "if you can give me a clever explanation for how you are attempting something that normally requires a feat, I will let you attempt it at a -4 penalty" applies, smoothing out the immersion in such situations while keeping feats meaningful. :)


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Yes, early humanoids used techniques like this to gradually wear a helpless creature down, or chased them using humanity's superior long distance stamina until the mammoth dropped of exhaustion. What they didn't do was go out with 3 of their buddies and kill a mammoth that could fight back in 18 seconds with spears.

That is something a party of four 6th level characters can do as a normal challenge. Four 10th levels characters would consistently polish off a mammoth each with a spear. A level 12 character with a spear would need 4 mammoths to even pose a the facade of a challenge.

High level characters are superhuman, and have to be to fight the things they fight. I mean, hey, a spear at least has the whole edged weapon, make enemies bleed thing going for it. Now imagine a woman strong enough to kill a mammoth with a baseball bat or a sledge hammer. Because that is how strong a 10th level barbarian is. Even saying it is a magic hammer... That's a very strong lady. I have zero qualms with her being able to knock a mammoth off balance given the proper leverage, or even grapple the thing.

Hell, the 10th level barbarian with even minimal unarmed combat ability can just punch the mammoth death. No spear or baseball bat required.

Being able to wrestle mammoths doesn't make any sense, but neither does beating them up with your bare hands, but somehow we arbitrarily decide that after a certain size maneuver attacks just stop working.

Like with many things, I'd rather see bigger penalties than arbitrary limits. With feats to remove or lessen the size penalties, if you'd like.


Shisumo wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Narratively, I don't see why tripping a giant enemy should be harder than punching it for meaningful damage, and mechanically unless combat maneuvers have been souped from the playtest they aren't strong enough to warrant the balance concern.
What's the objection? Likelihood of success or the consequences of success?

Both. Likelihood of success was problematic because it interacted with multiple attack penalties, so a player who misses a strike or two and then wants to try something else is probably going to fail. In fact, they were quite likely to critically fail, and unlike a strike maneuvers actually had critical failure conditions like knocking yourself prone. Disarm in particular was extremely hard to pull off, requiring a crit success to actually do. Restraining a target with a grapple also required a crit succcess, but at least a normal success inflicted grabbed.

Consequences of success were problematic because the changes to the status quo weren't much more significant than things which could be done at higher chance of failure with little to no risk. Tripping and grapple make an enemy flatfooted, but so does using an action to sneak, feint, create a diversion, or flank. Demoralize inflicted a similar penalty that actually stacks with the above, unlike the combat maneuvers, and that is without getting into how absurdly good crit demoralize was in the playtest and will continue to be with the right skill feat. None of these options interacts with multiple attack penalties.

Heck, tripping a creature and then striking it makes you less likely to hit than just striking it, because the -5 outweighs the flatfooted penalty. That is counter-intuitive as heck.

My house rule was to make combat maneuvers not interact with multiple attack penalties. It makes a few feats obsolete, but players and monsters still tend to shove, trip and grapple only in particularly helpful contexts, and the critical failure conditions still carries some risk to that reward anyway. Needing a free hand also acts as a pretty meaningful restraint. I'm hoping we see some buff along these lines in the final version.


thejeff wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Yes, early humanoids used techniques like this to gradually wear a helpless creature down, or chased them using humanity's superior long distance stamina until the mammoth dropped of exhaustion. What they didn't do was go out with 3 of their buddies and kill a mammoth that could fight back in 18 seconds with spears.

That is something a party of four 6th level characters can do as a normal challenge. Four 10th levels characters would consistently polish off a mammoth each with a spear. A level 12 character with a spear would need 4 mammoths to even pose a the facade of a challenge.

High level characters are superhuman, and have to be to fight the things they fight. I mean, hey, a spear at least has the whole edged weapon, make enemies bleed thing going for it. Now imagine a woman strong enough to kill a mammoth with a baseball bat or a sledge hammer. Because that is how strong a 10th level barbarian is. Even saying it is a magic hammer... That's a very strong lady. I have zero qualms with her being able to knock a mammoth off balance given the proper leverage, or even grapple the thing.

Hell, the 10th level barbarian with even minimal unarmed combat ability can just punch the mammoth death. No spear or baseball bat required.

Being able to wrestle mammoths doesn't make any sense, but neither does beating them up with your bare hands, but somehow we arbitrarily decide that after a certain size maneuver attacks just stop working.

Like with many things, I'd rather see bigger penalties than arbitrary limits. With feats to remove or lessen the size penalties, if you'd like.

Again, unless the combat maneuvers got a significant buff, I don't see the need for the penalties, and I think there are more narratively sound penalties to apply than size. Like having more than 2 legs, or no legs in the case of trip.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Yes, early humanoids used techniques like this to gradually wear a helpless creature down, or chased them using humanity's superior long distance stamina until the mammoth dropped of exhaustion. What they didn't do was go out with 3 of their buddies and kill a mammoth that could fight back in 18 seconds with spears.

That is something a party of four 6th level characters can do as a normal challenge. Four 10th levels characters would consistently polish off a mammoth each with a spear. A level 12 character with a spear would need 4 mammoths to even pose a the facade of a challenge.

High level characters are superhuman, and have to be to fight the things they fight. I mean, hey, a spear at least has the whole edged weapon, make enemies bleed thing going for it. Now imagine a woman strong enough to kill a mammoth with a baseball bat or a sledge hammer. Because that is how strong a 10th level barbarian is. Even saying it is a magic hammer... That's a very strong lady. I have zero qualms with her being able to knock a mammoth off balance given the proper leverage, or even grapple the thing.

Hell, the 10th level barbarian with even minimal unarmed combat ability can just punch the mammoth death. No spear or baseball bat required.

Being able to wrestle mammoths doesn't make any sense, but neither does beating them up with your bare hands, but somehow we arbitrarily decide that after a certain size maneuver attacks just stop working.

Like with many things, I'd rather see bigger penalties than arbitrary limits. With feats to remove or lessen the size penalties, if you'd like.

Again, unless the combat maneuvers got a significant buff, I don't see the need for the penalties, and I think there are more narratively sound penalties to apply than size. Like having more than 2 legs, or no legs in the case of trip.

I'd rather have penalties than flat bans. I could live without the penalties. I'm thinking more in terms of suspension of disbelief than mechanical effectiveness. It should be harder, but given the other ridiculous things PF characters can do making it impossible is weird.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

Can't say I'm too impressed with that magical sneak attack feat, though. Rogue's sneak attack damage in the playtest was significantly reduced, likely to account for multiple attacks per round. Enemy HP was also vastly increased, with most things having no less than 2X their original health compared to PF1. Spells are still mostly once per round, so they don't get this benefit.

So I don't think +2d6 on a spell at mid level is going to be worth anything at all, specially if compared to a shortbow. Can see it being good only if it hits several targets at once.

That low number of sneak attack dice was the main real drawback I saw of the playtest rogue, who otherwise are a pretty awesome class. I think it might be more aimed to balance with multiple damage dice from magical weapons than just multiple attacks, you got those in PF1 too, although only at higher level. I do think there is room for a few more sneak dice, but probably not as much as in PF1.


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CobaltCrusader wrote:


Personally I think high requirement archetypes are the way to go

Hopefully not too high requirement. As said upthread one of the most frustrating things about prestige classes was that they often enabled a concept, which meant you spent a significant chunk of the game not actually being able to play the character you were planning on playing.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Can't say I'm too impressed with that magical sneak attack feat, though. Rogue's sneak attack damage in the playtest was significantly reduced, likely to account for multiple attacks per round. Enemy HP was also vastly increased, with most things having no less than 2X their original health compared to PF1. Spells are still mostly once per round, so they don't get this benefit.

So I don't think +2d6 on a spell at mid level is going to be worth anything at all, specially if compared to a shortbow. Can see it being good only if it hits several targets at once.

That low number of sneak attack dice was the main real drawback I saw of the playtest rogue, who otherwise are a pretty awesome class. I think it might be more aimed to balance with multiple damage dice from magical weapons than just multiple attacks, you got those in PF1 too, although only at higher level. I do think there is room for a few more sneak dice, but probably not as much as in PF1.

It’s a combination of critical sneak and high accuracy. First edition sneak attack was balanced on the idea that a rogue will hit at most twice per round maybe if he’s very lucky without power attack. Second edition assumes you have a fair shot at three and already have a decent base damage.


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Ediwir wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Can't say I'm too impressed with that magical sneak attack feat, though. Rogue's sneak attack damage in the playtest was significantly reduced, likely to account for multiple attacks per round. Enemy HP was also vastly increased, with most things having no less than 2X their original health compared to PF1. Spells are still mostly once per round, so they don't get this benefit.

So I don't think +2d6 on a spell at mid level is going to be worth anything at all, specially if compared to a shortbow. Can see it being good only if it hits several targets at once.

That low number of sneak attack dice was the main real drawback I saw of the playtest rogue, who otherwise are a pretty awesome class. I think it might be more aimed to balance with multiple damage dice from magical weapons than just multiple attacks, you got those in PF1 too, although only at higher level. I do think there is room for a few more sneak dice, but probably not as much as in PF1.
It’s a combination of critical sneak and high accuracy. First edition sneak attack was balanced on the idea that a rogue will hit at most twice per round maybe if he’s very lucky without power attack. Second edition assumes you have a fair shot at three and already have a decent base damage.

This can also give them a chance to give out options for additional sneak attack w/o having to worry about Rogue balance as much. Picture an Assassin Prestiege Archetype giving access up to 3d6 sneak attack. This allows a Fighter, Wizard, and Rogue to all have equal access to this Archetype feat and come out feeling unique. If Rogues retained 10d6 sneak attack they might have to limit Rogues access to it which would feel clunky.


Well, all these new fancy advantage the Rogue gets to shore up the lack of sneak attack don't really extend to spells, is what I was saying...
Gonna be spending 2 actions to fire off an inferior ability score/proficiency for damage they could probably exceed with a leveled shortbow.

Might have synergy with certain spells, but I don't think Cantrip sneak attacks are the way to go.
It's thematic, but damage spells is not why I would be multiclassing the rogue in the first place.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I don't see how +2d6 damage sneak spells is a weak feat. For a multiclass rogue/wizard who already has more limited spell slots and levels it makes their damage spells hit as though their were heightening them to the next level. Super nice, especially when compared to the other lvl 8 Rogue feats to choose from.

Like if I removed Sneak from it, would I take a feat on my spellcaster that stated "+2d6 (scaling to +4d6) damage on spells that deal damage against flatfooted creatures." Absolutely yes! Its a damage amp in a game with very few damage amps.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

Well, all these new fancy advantage the Rogue gets to shore up the lack of sneak attack don't really extend to spells, is what I was saying...

Gonna be spending 2 actions to fire off an inferior ability score/proficiency for damage they could probably exceed with a leveled shortbow.

Might have synergy with certain spells, but I don't think Cantrip sneak attacks are the way to go.
It's thematic, but damage spells is not why I would be multiclassing the rogue in the first place.

True, with a possible exception to telekinetic throw (what if you use T.T. on an ‘unattended’ alchemist fire?).


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Captain Morgan wrote:


I'm gonna preface this by saying I don't mean to come off as aggressive or insulting or anything and I apologize if I do. I don't mean any ill will by it, but I'm worried it may come off as a bit much and I'm not sure how to rewrite it without obscuring my meaning, and I have some strong opinions on this.

Roswynn wrote:


Well, narratively, it's very hard for a human-sized combatant to trip a giant. Punching them is comparatively easy,

I said punching them formeaningful damage. The bigger the creature gets, the smaller the weapon gets by comparison. A dagger or even a longsword is going to eventually become a needle in comparison to a creature. A dagger simply isn't a long enough blade to sink far enough into a gargantuan creature to inflict anything beyond superficial cuts.

The only way to really cause meaningful harm would be to strike a creature's softest targets-- eyes, throat, groin. And the first two would carry crippling debuffs that simply aren't dealt by normal strikes-- blinding or preventing a creature from using verbal actions.

Inflicting that damage with a fist or bludgeoning weapon isn't especially more plausible.

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or crushing their knees,

Crushing their knees... which are capable of supporting the weight of the creature? That requires an absurd amount of striking force. Knees are durable. What is actually easier is striking a creature in the back of the knee to make their leg buckle. Try standing up and pushing the on the back of your knee with your hand. Feel how easy it is to make it bend? It is really easy to collapse the leg this way.

Plus... if you crushed the creature's kneecap, it is going to most likely fall over anyway.

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as is cutting at their legs
Again, if you start severing tendons a creature is going to probably fall over anyway, or if you stab it in the leg and make it jerk off balance in pain. Certainly any of these options can be capitalized on. You can in fact flavoring a turn that is strike...

Wow, you've really thought a lot about it. Good. I agree with most of your points.

You must not only consider high-level adventurer in the equation though - the huge creature must also be appropriately difficult for a low-level npc or weak monster to trip, disarm, grapple, etc. Hence why the normal rule that you just can't perform certain maneuvers if the opponent is just too big.

Morgan, the combat can be very abstract with hit points and armor class and so on, but the devs still try to insert some verisimilitude here and there, as a nod to realism if nothing else. I see that as a good thing.

Oh and that said, if you want to allow your pcs to do crazy cool things, I'm the last person you need to worry about - it's your game, more power to you!


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Heck, tripping a creature and then striking it makes you less likely to hit than just striking it, because the -5 outweighs the flatfooted penalty. That is counter-intuitive as heck.

That's true though (not that the rest of what you say isn't, but this jumps out as particularly relevant) - I really hope there is at least a feat to trip-and-strike, and that if there isn't yet, there will be soon.


People more familiar with the math: does this feat make a cantrip strong enough to be your primary damage source? I'm curious if you could potentially see Gnome Rogues running around with no weapon and just the magic from their ancestry.


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Roswynn wrote:
You must not only consider high-level adventurer in the equation though - the huge creature must also be appropriately difficult for a low-level npc

That's what scaling is for, isn't it? There's no feat you need to take to be able to damage giant creatures with small weapons, after all, but big scary monsters tend to have higher AC and health pools to reflect the fact that low level characters have much more trouble fighting them.

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but the devs still try to insert some verisimilitude here and there, as a nod to realism if nothing else.

That's all well and good, but I think it's easy to see why it's annoying when that 'realism' argument is essentially applied completely arbitrarily. Two equally improbably scenarios, but one of them is okay and one of them is completely beyond the pale... because reasons.

Liberty's Edge

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Arachnofiend wrote:
People more familiar with the math: does this feat make a cantrip strong enough to be your primary damage source? I'm curious if you could potentially see Gnome Rogues running around with no weapon and just the magic from their ancestry.

We don't actually know cantrip damage yet. If they're generally on par with Divine Lance, then it'll be pretty solid damage getting more solid as level rises...higher than almost any other single attack eventually (10d4+4d6+Cha=46...Barbarians probably max higher, but nobody else, and making those d4s into d6s or even d8s seems likely for some non-Divine Cantrips, IMO).

But it's also two actions, rather than one, and will not exceed the damage of two attacks, probably not even when counting the -5 or -4 penalty on the second. A third attack will definitely push 'em over.

So this tactic is probably viable, especially at high levels, but not optimal.


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Roswynn wrote:
You must not only consider high-level adventurer in the equation though - the huge creature must also be appropriately difficult for a low-level npc or weak monster to trip, disarm, grapple, etc. Hence why the normal rule that you just can't perform certain maneuvers if the opponent is just too big.

Math handles low level creatures not being able to trip high level creatures though, just as it covers low level monsters hitting the AC of high level monsters. A goblin commando will only shove a mastodon on a natural 20 and trip it on an 18 or higher. The goblin is far more likely to critically fail and knock itself prone.

Most huge+ creatures have enormous fortitude saves that insulate them pretty well from these tactics anyway. Their reflex saves don't tend to go as high, but as discussed tripping and disarming is easier to justify than grappling anyway.

Quote:
That's true though (not that the rest of what you say isn't, but this jumps out as particularly relevant) - I really hope there is at least a feat to trip-and-strike, and that if there isn't yet, there will be soon.

We at least had a few shove based class feats. But shove is even more situational than trip-- it is usually only worth doing if you can shove someone off a cliff or something, which makes it hard to justify a class feat on.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

Math handles low level creatures not being able to trip high level creatures though, just as it covers low level monsters hitting the AC of high level monsters. A goblin commando will only shove a mastodon on a natural 20 and trip it on an 18 or higher. The goblin is far more likely to critically fail and knock itself prone.

Most huge+ creatures have enormous fortitude saves that insulate them pretty well from these tactics anyway. Their reflex saves don't tend to go as high, but as discussed tripping and disarming is easier to justify than grappling anyway.

Look, it's just my opinion, but a goblin, even a commando, should never be able to shove a mastodon, or trip it, or anything. The size difference is just too huge. It would require an incredibly powerful and skilled human-sized creature to do it, and even then it would be in line with the likes of the Hulk and Thor, not Amiri or Valeros.

So if there's a feat gating this almost supernatural ability (not that adrenaline/endorphine strength could never achieve the same... but still), I'm not complaining.

At the same time, I can totally see Amiri and Valeros disembowling a mastodon, even in a single slice.

At best, what can I say - our suspension of disbelief is broken by different things?

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