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Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Minion rule is definitely a case where immersion is intentionally being ignored in favor of game balance.

How okay you are with that is definitely going to depend on where the line for your immersion was in the first place. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a solution that satisfies both immersion and balance. The PF1e paradigm of "characters with minions get twice as many turns" was clearly broken, but there's no way to fall short of that without giving minions less than a full turn and thus harming immersion.

Liberty's Edge

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MaxAstro wrote:

The Minion rule is definitely a case where immersion is intentionally being ignored in favor of game balance.

How okay you are with that is definitely going to depend on where the line for your immersion was in the first place. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a solution that satisfies both immersion and balance. The PF1e paradigm of "characters with minions get twice as many turns" was clearly broken, but there's no way to fall short of that without giving minions less than a full turn and thus harming immersion.

What I'm hoping for as a happy medium is actually a relatively low level Feat to up the minion to three actions when commanded. That's a good sweet spot between realism (it reflects the creature becoming fully trained) and game balance (since you're investing to get it, and only getting to five actions, three of which are from the less powerful half of the duo) if done properly, IMO.

Shadow Lodge

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I love the standardized skill DC's on page 234. Not scaling with level, easy to remember round numbers. Even the page number is easy to remember.

On the chapter 4 full-page art... I'm pretty sure Valeros is checking out Merisiel's ass. It's a bit of an awkward lean otherwise.


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graystone wrote:
If I joined a game to be a ranger with a animal companion and the dm accepted me as one, it's hard to call time out mid game and say: 'yeah, these animal companion rulings have sucked, so I want to refocus my character...'. Secondly, I made a character that I wanted: the fact that I can remake it into a character I DIDN'T want isn't a huge benefit IMO.

If you joined a game and were accepted as a ranger with an animal companion, you should have already had this discussion about rules and animal companion philosophy. That's session 0 basics.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm fine with the Minion rule. You still end up with "more" and you can take up more than one square for the tactical aspects of the game too. /shrug


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GM OfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
If I joined a game to be a ranger with a animal companion and the dm accepted me as one, it's hard to call time out mid game and say: 'yeah, these animal companion rulings have sucked, so I want to refocus my character...'. Secondly, I made a character that I wanted: the fact that I can remake it into a character I DIDN'T want isn't a huge benefit IMO.
If you joined a game and were accepted as a ranger with an animal companion, you should have already had this discussion about rules and animal companion philosophy. That's session 0 basics.

There should be a general accepted understanding for how core mechanics work that the DM should make known that they may change. Also not all games begin with a session 0.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The retraining could be justified by your character and his animal companion finding out in character that they really don't get along, so he dismisses the animal companion and focuses his talents elsewhere.

As for the companion's relative lack of actions, getting the animal companion to avoid doing things that it might otherwise naturally do (such as attack your allies) is an important first step in training the companion.


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I like the minion rule because this way one player don't take like 20 minutes to do their turn with the amount of crap that they summon.

And if/when Summoner comes back it will not be stupidly overpowered.


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Unicore: I went into this in my previous posts. DM fiat rules and/or 'table variance' rules basically means that I'm not using them normally unless I get a chance to play with a DM again and I think the DM will [or has with someone else] run the rule well.

GM OfAnything wrote:
If you joined a game and were accepted as a ranger with an animal companion, you should have already had this discussion about rules and animal companion philosophy. That's session 0 basics.

You're talking about this as if it's quick and easy to go into all the ins and out of 'defend yourself' in back and forth posts while you and other players are all sending normal character building posts. With play by post, session 0 isn't a bunch of people sitting around a table that can easily ask a complicated question and get an instant reply. it's the whole party sending posts back and forth with the dm.

Will they attack, flee or stay still? What if the foes are bigger? Smaller? Outnumber the AC? What if character is close? What if contact with the foe is dangerous [fire elemental]? What if the target is a common prey animal for it [wolf vs deer]? What if it has a buff or debuff? What if you can talk to it? Does it ignore spoken commands because you didn't spend the action to command [speaking isn't even an action]? Will it Seek, or just stand there? Does it use reaction/readied action [normally they can't be commanded to do so]? And this is just scratching the surface...

David knott 242 wrote:

As for the companion's relative lack of actions, getting the animal companion to avoid doing things that it might otherwise naturally do (such as attack your allies) is an important first step in training the companion.

It's an act of futility to try to make it make sense. For instance, why do I have to walk slower [2 action to stride and 1 to command] to get my companion to follow me? After the first follow command, I shouldn't have to stop repeatedly and spend 1/3rd my time reminding it what I already told it. Memory of a goldfish...


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(Side thing, memory worse than a goldfish, goldfish can remember stuff for up to 1 year. Mind of a goldfish might be better.)


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Temperans wrote:
(Side thing, memory worse than a goldfish, goldfish can remember stuff for up to 1 year. Mind of a goldfish might be better.)

Oh, I understand but I was using it as the 'folk lore' 3 second memory span which seemed appropriate.


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graystone wrote:
Temperans wrote:
(Side thing, memory worse than a goldfish, goldfish can remember stuff for up to 1 year. Mind of a goldfish might be better.)
Oh, I understand but I was using it as the 'folk lore' 3 second memory span which seemed appropriate.

I know in saying animals have worse memory even than the non folk lore goldfish. It's why I did it as an aside.


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I think the "tactical" advantage of the AC is minimized a lot in this edition compared to before.

First off, some of the ACs used to be really good, comparable to full martial party members or even stronger in some instances. I'm glad this is gone and they are pretty weaksauce now. They are a pet, after all, a class feature and not your entire character.

Being weaker is compounded a lot by the tight math. Having -2 attack and AC relative to the other characters/enemies was barely noticeable before. Now it goes a long way and you have to use the pet more carefully to get the most benefit. Their low health is specially good at balancing this aspect.

Lack of reactions or AOO ability from the companion reduces some of their utility in controlling the battlefield. Having more "bodies" could be a real advantage, but now weak creatures are just speedbumps. However, flanking is still very valuable and lack of enemy AOOs might make it particularly easy to get the pet into advantageous position.

Keeping the pet strong now costs a bunch of feats and leaves you with a pretty bland main PC whereas before the power boost was pretty much "free" (Boon Companion for Ranger was the main tax) and the PC didn't even need the AC to remain competitive.

I think it would have been at least worthwhile to check if those nerfs were sufficient to balance the old action economy advantage (Except it always costs an action to give/swap a command), and it'll be interesting to try this out once we get the full rules. The Orders/Trick system would be mandatory, of course, full tactical control can make them significantly better both in and out of combat without helping the "realism" issue we got here.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
QuidEst wrote:
I’ve already got my houserule in mind. If unordered, an animal companion will typically growl and posture, making it obvious that it’s readying an action to attack anyone who moves or stays adjacent. (I will be granting it a reaction for this.) If it’s taking ranged damage, it will instead find cover. If the master is down unconscious or dead, they’ll get free control of their animal companion during the fight to keep them an active participant.

This is pretty much how I'll handle it if the rule language is unchanged from the playtest (I'm not sure if it was actually confirmed if animal companions are minions, but I don't see it in these screenshots). I wouldn't do it as a reaction for turn predictability, but that's about it.

I'll probably skip the "free control" part with an unconscious/dead PC, though, unless it's an intelligent minion. Some Lassie-style "go for help" or protecting the unconscious body could work.

I definitely think it's advantageous to have some good guidelines for appropriate GM adjudication, though, and I'm surprised there are people that don't see them as important.


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graystone wrote:
You're talking about this as if it's quick and easy to go into all the ins and out of 'defend yourself' in back and forth posts while you and other players are all sending normal character building posts. With play by post, session 0 isn't a bunch of people sitting around a table that can easily ask a complicated question and get an instant reply. it's the whole party sending posts back and forth with the dm.

You are making this much more complicated than it needs to be.

Quote:
Will they attack, flee or stay still? What if the foes are bigger? Smaller? Outnumber the AC? What if character is close? What if contact with the foe is dangerous [fire elemental]? What if the target is a common prey animal for it [wolf vs deer]? What if it has a buff or debuff? What if you can talk to it? Does it ignore spoken commands because you didn't spend the action to command [speaking isn't even an action]? Will it Seek, or just stand there? Does it use reaction/readied action [normally they can't be commanded to do so]? And this is just scratching the surface...

See, this is the wrong way to go about it. A complicated series of "what if"s is just going to give your GM a headache and they'll probably realize you aren't the kind of player they want to deal with playing a companion class.

A more GM-friendly approach in PBP session 0 is to outline your companion philosophy and expectations and ask them what theirs is. Go over some of the common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes.


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I once had a DM who hated animal companions and did his best to inconvenience you in any way possible when using it. Had that DM once.


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GM OfAnything wrote:
A more GM-friendly approach in PBP session 0 is to outline your companion philosophy and expectations and ask them what theirs is. Go over some of the common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes.

I did this and you said I did it wrong and DM's would hate me for it... :P

How do I pose "common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes" when I can't ask 'if' type questions? What you suggest boils down to 'if a companion is in this situation, what can I expect' and that is a series of 'what if' questions.

Secondly, it's quicker/easier to put all your questions at once bout a subject in a post instead of expecting a long back and forth about game "philosophy" in a play by post. If they want to answer them all they will and if they answer in a general way they will. i generally find DM like get hash out rules issues pre-game and don't mind questions to iron things out. If that's too much for them, then maybe it's not the game/DM for me. It should be expected when a rule is basically 'ask your DM'.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I once had a DM who hated animal companions and did his best to inconvenience you in any way possible when using it. Had that DM once.

Been there, done that. 'your companion is scared of the monster, so it flees in the only direction you haven't disarmed traps in yet... *BAM*'.


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graystone wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
A more GM-friendly approach in PBP session 0 is to outline your companion philosophy and expectations and ask them what theirs is. Go over some of the common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes.

I did this and you said I did it wrong and DM's would hate me for it... :P

How do I pose "common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes" when I can't ask 'if' type questions? What you suggest boils down to 'if a companion is in this situation, what can I expect' and that is a series of 'what if' questions.

Secondly, it's quicker/easier to put all your questions at once bout a subject in a post instead of expecting a long back and forth about game "philosophy" in a play by post. If they want to answer them all they will and if they answer in a general way they will. i generally find DM like get hash out rules issues pre-game and don't mind questions to iron things out. If that's too much for them, then maybe it's not the game/DM for me. It should be expected when a rule is basically 'ask your DM'.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I once had a DM who hated animal companions and did his best to inconvenience you in any way possible when using it. Had that DM once.
Been there, done that. 'your companion is scared of the monster, so it flees in the only direction you haven't disarmed traps in yet... *BAM*'.

Holy cow that's mean. Did you kick the GM in the shin? Oh right you play online only. Maybe learn to be a hacker to digitally kick him in the shin? At the very least I feel like a random direction roll should of been involved.

In all fairness I think I did do something similar to a player who had to run because of a fear effect but I did roll randomly and it was away from the monster he did set off a trap 2 rounds of running later. However I didn't just decide an animal companion runs and dies just because.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
A more GM-friendly approach in PBP session 0 is to outline your companion philosophy and expectations and ask them what theirs is. Go over some of the common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes.

I did this and you said I did it wrong and DM's would hate me for it... :P

How do I pose "common situations and highlight the factors that may impact what actions the companions takes" when I can't ask 'if' type questions? What you suggest boils down to 'if a companion is in this situation, what can I expect' and that is a series of 'what if' questions.

Secondly, it's quicker/easier to put all your questions at once bout a subject in a post instead of expecting a long back and forth about game "philosophy" in a play by post. If they want to answer them all they will and if they answer in a general way they will. i generally find DM like get hash out rules issues pre-game and don't mind questions to iron things out. If that's too much for them, then maybe it's not the game/DM for me. It should be expected when a rule is basically 'ask your DM'.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I once had a DM who hated animal companions and did his best to inconvenience you in any way possible when using it. Had that DM once.
Been there, done that. 'your companion is scared of the monster, so it flees in the only direction you haven't disarmed traps in yet... *BAM*'.
Holy cow that's mean.

It was actually a boar with the half-celestial template for story reasons, we just used a bull icon. But yeah it was poor form, that GM clearly had some beef.


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graystone wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I once had a DM who hated animal companions and did his best to inconvenience you in any way possible when using it. Had that DM once.
Been there, done that. 'your companion is scared of the monster, so it flees in the only direction you haven't disarmed traps in yet... *BAM*'.

My real-life dog did basically this with the monster being a stand-up display and the trap corridor being the road with cars and then half the town. Luckily without a BAM. She would 100% do it again.

Maybe that AC had her problem solving pattern. :)


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I appreciate the (new) Minion rules. They provide a balanced rules' structure, from which various situations can be adjudicated. That is a huge help for DMs. I do not think it breaks verisimilitude anymore than any of the other hundred/thousand game constructs that the rules present so that there is a game, and it runs reasonably well.

Tis, obvious from this thread, that mileage may vary. Thankfully, it is an RPG, and are able to tweak to our hearts content, or choose to live with it, for the greater good.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Verisimilitude breaks for me when the system cannot approximate real life at low levels in even an abstract way.

AC rules do this. Your AC Guard Dog can't do anything to stop an intruder. Once you've finally routed those bandits, your wolf physically cannot chase down the fleeing dwarf. Don't think about using a horse to help you hunt deer, it'll get away every time. Hell don't even think about using a horse to help you round up the stampeding ox herd, they'll out pace you in six seconds. Large swathes of applications of animal human pairings just straight up break.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kyrone wrote:

I like the minion rule because this way one player don't take like 20 minutes to do their turn with the amount of crap that they summon.

And if/when Summoner comes back it will not be stupidly overpowered.

Only if you assume that the minions have to be controlled by that player. Simply put, any other player should be able to be delegated some of the minions to determine the specifics of their actions within the direction originally provided by the summoner or companion.

In that sense minions are a party resource, not entirely/completely a specific character's. it solves a lot of the play imbalance, and simply means minion rules have to provide understandable 'tricks' or orders that minions can operate under, and the resolving player simply acts according to those specifications.

A guard with five guard dogs should be able to use a single action to sic the group of dogs onto the players. The dogs would take down their foe. Once a dog has taken down its foe, I'll grant, designating a new foe might require an action by the guard, but this example of for instance trained guard dogs, should not require an action for the dog to continue its attack every round. If the 'Guard' is a PC they should be able to do the same, vs. an attacking band of attackers.

Most animal companions should be capable of behaving at least as competent as a trained animal, whom should be able to behave at least as above. Now, if a character who has an animal companion they want to more closely control, it is fine for that to eat up a greater portion of their own actions to give the animal more specific directions/instructions. Basically taking their own actions to take control over the animal's actions outside of simpler trained patterns.

Guess what, if your (trained/companion) animal doesn't have the Attack trick, you can't use a simple command to trigger it to attack. If it doesn't have the more advanced version of Attack trick that allows it to attack 'strange' creatures such as oozes and elementals, you can't use the trick to target such a foe. There choices are limited by their training.

Again, adjudicating the specifics of their actions and making the die rolls for the minion doesn't have to be done by the summoning/companion player. If there is a play time issue, or an issue with the player putting too much of their own 'interest' into the actions of their 'less intelligent' minions, assign the action resolution to someone else who will do a more neutral job of resolving it.

Liberty's Edge

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Malk_Content wrote:

Verisimilitude breaks for me when the system cannot approximate real life at low levels in even an abstract way.

AC rules do this. Your AC Guard Dog can't do anything to stop an intruder. Once you've finally routed those bandits, your wolf physically cannot chase down the fleeing dwarf. Don't think about using a horse to help you hunt deer, it'll get away every time. Hell don't even think about using a horse to help you round up the stampeding ox herd, they'll out pace you in six seconds. Large swathes of applications of animal human pairings just straight up break.

We in no way know if any of this is true. It's certainly an issue if it is, I'd agree, but it's not a sure thing that any of these problems exist by any means.


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Can I ask something?

I'm 99% sure we know for a fact familiars have the minion trait. The shots by dmercer include that information, if I'm not very wrong.

That said, what information are we basing our AC discussion off? B/c I might have missed something and if that's true I beg to be enlightened, but, even though ACs were minions in the playtest, we don't really know if they're staying minions in the final edition.

I could be wrong though.

(Aaand ninjaed by DMW, more or less).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Roswynn wrote:

Can I ask something?

I'm 99% sure we know for a fact familiars have the minion trait. The shots by dmercer include that information, if I'm not very wrong.

That said, what information are we basing our AC discussion off? B/c I might have missed something and if that's true I beg to be enlightened, but, even though ACs were minions in the playtest, we don't really know if they're staying minions in the final edition.

I could be wrong though.

(Aaand ninjaed by DMW, more or less).

True if they are handled differently than the play test then the problem may be resolved. My comments are mostly a counter to people saying the playtest rule was fine already.


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Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Holy cow that's mean. Did you kick the GM in the shin? Oh right you play online only.

That actually happen years ago at a game store. It's one of the reasons I started to look to online games for a larger pool of DM's.

Malk_Content wrote:
AC rules do this. Your AC Guard Dog can't do anything to stop an intruder. Once you've finally routed those bandits, your wolf physically cannot chase down the fleeing dwarf. Don't think about using a horse to help you hunt deer, it'll get away every time. Hell don't even think about using a horse to help you round up the stampeding ox herd, they'll out pace you in six seconds. Large swathes of applications of animal human pairings just straight up break.

Yeah I was thinking about this last night. A human that just moves [75'] while a wolf can move [80'] so it can slowly catch up but that's all it can ever do as it can never attack. And that's JUST with targets significantly slower.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

You're excluding any other possibility before seeing the final product. I understand you're going by deduction and it may come down to one of these 3 alternatives, but that's not 100% sure.

Btw, we do know familiars have the minion trait. We do not know if and how the devs changed the minion trait after the PT. Maybe ACs are minions, I would even say that it's likely, but there's also the possibility that they're a little tougher than they used to be and that minions don't break suspension of disbelief as badly as they did in the PT.

Of course that would be very nice, maybe optimal... but perhaps let's wait to see what the actual rules are before fighting over them?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

#2 doesn't necessarily follow. It's totally possible to have significantly weaker offense than defense, given that they are built in their own fashion.

Also, I can think of a few other options (ie: animal companions having three actions, but one can only be used to move, for example), that remove a lot of the logical issues without altering game balance too much.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
#2 doesn't necessarily follow. It's totally possible to have significantly weaker offense than defense, given that they are built in their own fashion.

Isn't a model on the field controlled by a player who rarely gets hit, but also rarely hits for significant damage kind of a waste of everyone's time?

I think "fewer actions for AC+PC" is a better choice than "AC's actions don't do much."

Liberty's Edge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Isn't a model on the field controlled by a player who rarely gets hit, but also rarely hits for significant damage kind of a waste of everyone's time?

Depends on what you mean by 'don't do much'. They need to be roughly on par with other DPR enhancers, so their full round of attacks needs to be on par with the DPR of one of the PC's attacks (specifically, their second or third attack), plus the bonus DPR they could gain from equivalent Feat investment.

That's true whether they have two actions or three. And a third attack is pretty mediocre in terms of DPR (a second is better, and something they'll get more often, but still not huge). So the actual offensive numbers probably don't need to drop too much for a third action to be fine.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think "fewer actions for AC+PC" is a better choice than "AC's actions don't do much."

Depends on your goal. If that goal is realism, it's orders of magnitude worse. If the goal is speed of play, it's slightly better. So the question becomes what are your priorities, here?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There are several things that can be done to facilitate Companions place in the relative DPR stakes.

One is the use of the Deadly trait. They can have lowish normal damage outputs, but leverage Deadly for significant crit advantages. Then position their to-hit odds such that they aren't overly likely to crit on level targets. This gives them a nice advantage in fights against level -2 or so creatures (which you should see a decent amount of) but make them significantly less dangerous against single/elite/boss foes. Presumably such to-hit numbers are possible, otherwise the trained and expert weapon users should probably just put their blades down.

They already help EVERYONE on the table by being another flanker.

If speed of play is a concern we can take dice rolling out of Companions damage altogether, making them reliable low damage dealers quite easily.

They've already included one of the others, which is give companions activities that aren't straight attacks but serve as enhancers to other players. The Work Together design space is excellent for this, and I would love a feat that allows other players to benefit from it (now your Rogue is happy you spent the time to get Mr Fuzzles the bear in posistion.)

For the 2 Action model but more individually powerful, I think this is excellent design space for something like the Summoner who has a more bespoke but heavily bound entity.


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Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

This. The developers have all the math. I wouldn't mind my Ranger being noticeably weaker than the Fighter/Barb if my 3-4 feats invested AC can help even things out.


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Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.


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Mechagamera wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.

I am both shocked and intrigued by this as a class concept.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mechagamera wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.

Based on my playstyle, I'd call that class the Summoner. My Summoners tended to cast a buff at the beginning of combat and then go hide, while the eidolon did everything. The eidolon was the important part of the class, the actual PC was basically an afterthought.

My biggest fear is that when the Summoner is eventually brought over, the eidolon will be too weak to do anything.


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My guess would be that Summoners and Spiritualists, or people who have a supernatural bond with a supernatural thing will probably be able to give their Eidolon/Phantom more than 2 actions by spending more actions. Like at low levels spend 2 actions to give your eidolon 3 actions, at higher levels with a feat your eidolon always has 2 actions and you can spend 1 action to give it a 3rd.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Mechagamera wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.

I am both shocked and intrigued by this as a class concept.

I am sure it is too far out for serious consideration, but I think in a case where there are legitimate concerns on both sides of an issue and compromise is failing, sometimes you have to go pretty far out in left field to propose a solution.

It basically flips things so the "animal companion" is really the PC, and the "owner" is the class feature (who talks, carries loot, and gives Lassie belly rubs and rawhide treats, so not an unimportant class feature).

I thought about suggesting "beast races", but that doesn't fit well with existing classes. The Lassie class can have archetypes derived from rogues, barbarians, monks, and maybe even champions (reactive attacks seem pretty reasonable for this class). Actual multiclassing is the biggest hitch, maybe Timmy could be the beneficiary of the multiclass. If the Lassie class multiclasses 7 levels of any combination of other classes, Timmy gets 2 actions which he/she can spend as a member of those other classes (Timmy gets all 3 actions if the Lassie class multiclasses 13 levels of any combination of other classes). Other classes just won't be able to multiclass in levels of Lassie (I admit this is a big drawback).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Mechagamera wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Well, we know what the minion trait does, so the issue is which of these three scenarios is most desirable-

1) Animal Companions have the minion trait.
2) Animal Companions are significantly less puissant and durable than player characters; they are likely to die in fights against same level opposition.
3) Animal Companion focused PCs essentially are twice as many characters as all the other players get.

4) The expected damage and versatility increase from Animal Companions is about the same as a similar feat or feature investment.

Or if we can't believe balance is possible, then outcome 2 isn't all that bad. I don't think ANY option should be viable all the time. If the level 12 Companion user has to be careful when stumbling upon an Adult Green Dragon, thats fine! Just like how a rogue doesn't get to sneak attack all the monsters in the book, or your choice of spells might fail against a monster with particular resistances/immunities etc.

5) There could be a pet class where almost all the power is in the pet (the pet can have 3 actions, and the "owner" gets 1). I call this the Lassie/Little Timmy solution.... The "owner" is pretty much there to talk to people (and interpret Lassie's actions).

If the "owner" dies, Lassie just finds a new one, the same way a ranger finds a new animal companion.

This. I would be honestly surprised if one of the first wave of classes wasn't a pet focused class. If your class is entirely based around a pet, you can have a stronger pet and build in more features without requiring class feats. The two main pet focused classes (excusing use of familiars and such) are also classes that can do a lot of other stuff. Druids as a class are also shapechangers AND 9th level casters, while rangers are combat oriented. For classes with multiple options available, it makes sense that these options be built so that a more focused class can be better at that one option.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As a side note because it brought up fond memories, I played a "little timmy" in Mage. It had a mind/prime/life trinket that transferred the memories and powers to a new host upon the old hosts death.


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In the Playtest group I'm in, we've had a handful of ACs (our "main" DD party had an Animal Order druid, with Snappy the Bear), and I have to say, derping out and forgetting the AC feels REAL bad, there were MANY occasions where Snappy just sat there doing nothing (in the final act, we said that Snappy got his own Wish, and that he spent it so he could summon salmon whenever he wanted, that was our RP explanation for our Druid being an occasional dolt). But the main issue was, and the reason Snappy was often abandoned, was that he didn't do much even when ordered. It was worth more for our druid to just use his own full turn to wail on stuff than to have the bear just kinda "eh, eh, EH!" the baddies. So our druid got way more mileage just having the bear as a flanking buddy, then only commanding Snappy to get BACK into flanking position if the enemy moved, and otherwise attacking by himself. If Snappy had a single action per turn if left to his own devices, I don't think it would have mattered that much mechanically, but it would have felt WAY better in an RP sense. But that was our experience with ACs, and our table on a whole has a habit of sucking whenever we have to roll for our ACs. And my Sorcerer who had Summon Monster has one of his auto-heighten spells didn't have much luck either, other than getting massive utility out of a water elemental being used to ferry us across a river because none of us had great Athletics.


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I didn't had problem with the AC, Hunt target, Hunted Shot and command AC was a lot of damage right at the first turn.

The Work Together was really strong too.


nick1wasd wrote:
In the Playtest group I'm in, we've had a handful of ACs (our "main" DD party had an Animal Order druid, with Snappy the Bear), and I have to say, derping out and forgetting the AC feels REAL bad, there were MANY occasions where Snappy just sat there doing nothing (in the final act, we said that Snappy got his own Wish, and that he spent it so he could summon salmon whenever he wanted, that was our RP explanation for our Druid being an occasional dolt). But the main issue was, and the reason Snappy was often abandoned, was that he didn't do much even when ordered. It was worth more for our druid to just use his own full turn to wail on stuff than to have the bear just kinda "eh, eh, EH!" the baddies. So our druid got way more mileage just having the bear as a flanking buddy, then only commanding Snappy to get BACK into flanking position if the enemy moved, and otherwise attacking by himself. If Snappy had a single action per turn if left to his own devices, I don't think it would have mattered that much mechanically, but it would have felt WAY better in an RP sense. But that was our experience with ACs, and our table on a whole has a habit of sucking whenever we have to roll for our ACs. And my Sorcerer who had Summon Monster has one of his auto-heighten spells didn't have much luck either, other than getting massive utility out of a water elemental being used to ferry us across a river because none of us had great Athletics.

Was this all before the update where Animal Order Druid ACs DID in fact get an action each turn if left to themselves? Because that is a thing they got in the Playtest.


Edge93 wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
In the Playtest group I'm in, we've had a handful of ACs (our "main" DD party had an Animal Order druid, with Snappy the Bear), and I have to say, derping out and forgetting the AC feels REAL bad, there were MANY occasions where Snappy just sat there doing nothing (in the final act, we said that Snappy got his own Wish, and that he spent it so he could summon salmon whenever he wanted, that was our RP explanation for our Druid being an occasional dolt). But the main issue was, and the reason Snappy was often abandoned, was that he didn't do much even when ordered. It was worth more for our druid to just use his own full turn to wail on stuff than to have the bear just kinda "eh, eh, EH!" the baddies. So our druid got way more mileage just having the bear as a flanking buddy, then only commanding Snappy to get BACK into flanking position if the enemy moved, and otherwise attacking by himself. If Snappy had a single action per turn if left to his own devices, I don't think it would have mattered that much mechanically, but it would have felt WAY better in an RP sense. But that was our experience with ACs, and our table on a whole has a habit of sucking whenever we have to roll for our ACs. And my Sorcerer who had Summon Monster has one of his auto-heighten spells didn't have much luck either, other than getting massive utility out of a water elemental being used to ferry us across a river because none of us had great Athletics.
Was this all before the update where Animal Order Druid ACs DID in fact get an action each turn if left to themselves? Because that is a thing they got in the Playtest.

I think we didn't find that ruling until halfway through p7. We knew about Ranger's ACs going after marked targets, but AODs ACs I think we missed.


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nick1wasd wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
In the Playtest group I'm in, we've had a handful of ACs (our "main" DD party had an Animal Order druid, with Snappy the Bear), and I have to say, derping out and forgetting the AC feels REAL bad, there were MANY occasions where Snappy just sat there doing nothing (in the final act, we said that Snappy got his own Wish, and that he spent it so he could summon salmon whenever he wanted, that was our RP explanation for our Druid being an occasional dolt). But the main issue was, and the reason Snappy was often abandoned, was that he didn't do much even when ordered. It was worth more for our druid to just use his own full turn to wail on stuff than to have the bear just kinda "eh, eh, EH!" the baddies. So our druid got way more mileage just having the bear as a flanking buddy, then only commanding Snappy to get BACK into flanking position if the enemy moved, and otherwise attacking by himself. If Snappy had a single action per turn if left to his own devices, I don't think it would have mattered that much mechanically, but it would have felt WAY better in an RP sense. But that was our experience with ACs, and our table on a whole has a habit of sucking whenever we have to roll for our ACs. And my Sorcerer who had Summon Monster has one of his auto-heighten spells didn't have much luck either, other than getting massive utility out of a water elemental being used to ferry us across a river because none of us had great Athletics.
Was this all before the update where Animal Order Druid ACs DID in fact get an action each turn if left to themselves? Because that is a thing they got in the Playtest.
I think we didn't find that ruling until halfway through p7. We knew about Ranger's ACs going after marked targets, but AODs ACs I think we missed.

That's unfortunate. XP


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
nick1wasd wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Was this all before the update where Animal Order Druid ACs DID in fact get an action each turn if left to themselves? Because that is a thing they got in the Playtest.
I think we didn't find that ruling until halfway through p7. We knew about Ranger's ACs going after marked targets, but AODs ACs I think we missed.

I thought Animal Order Druids' ACs one action per turn was in the Playtest as published, and not part of the update. You just needed to pick up Full Grown Companion (4th level Druid Class Feat).


First World Bard wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Was this all before the update where Animal Order Druid ACs DID in fact get an action each turn if left to themselves? Because that is a thing they got in the Playtest.
I think we didn't find that ruling until halfway through p7. We knew about Ranger's ACs going after marked targets, but AODs ACs I think we missed.
I thought Animal Order Druids' ACs one action per turn was in the Playtest as published, and not part of the update. You just needed to pick up Full Grown Companion (4th level Druid Class Feat).

You're right, my bad. It was Rangers that got it in an update.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
LordVanya wrote:

As I also don't wish to take away from all the cool stuff being revealed, I'm going to make this short.

I hope that the final release has better minion rules and flavor text, because the playtest version broke the game's verisimilitude for me.

You are telling me that somehow the creature that I have a mystical bond with that is supposed to be a special member of it's species with the strength and endurance to be an adventuring companion is always slower and dumber than a random wild animal I may encounter and have to fight?

Balanced game play be damned if I have to suspend my disbelief to this extent.

Is it really that hard to imagine that a mystically bonded pair moving in perfect concert with one another would be less able to perform a large number of actions, but better able to put the actions they do take to precise and perfect use?

If you were to team up with a slower and dumber random wild animal somehow, they'd get their own turn and spend half of it fulfilling its instinctual methods of hunting... that is waiting until the enemy is busy fighting you.

Look at players when they're prevented from meta-gaming and cross-talk and don't have a standard engagement procedure. The fighter might block line of sight for the archer, or the monk might grapple the thing about to be hit with a fireball.

My take is that because the companion does exactly what you want, when you want it to, you sacrifice some of its initiative and ability to act swiftly and independently.

I wouldn't be opposed to letting the GM take control of animal companions if you wanted the full action economy, but you can't complain if the tiger moves to get into high grass first, or the ice elemental takes an extra move action to avoid the campfire.

This is well put. An attack dog might spend all its actions on tearing into a target, but it would also potentially attack a random child on the street. Your animal companion has to be trained NOT to attack, or be...

I respectfully disagree.

A mystically bonded creature should not be held to the same standards and rationalizations as a mundane trained animal.
To me it sucks the fantasy out of it to rationalize it in that way.

I get the need for a limit on minions, especially for organized play.

Still, I would have preferred it if they had given us options here.
Limited number of actions OR limited number of minions.

Despite how easy it is to house rule, some DMs out in the wild are hardheaded about adding house rules in the first place.
So having this option in the rules avoids this conflict altogether.

Whatever.
I guess I'll have to write a detailed pitch as to why we should house rule this in our home game when PF2 comes out.

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