Massive spoiler dump from UK Games Expo


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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So I just noticed under the Nature skill that the Handle an Animal action is gone, and Command an Animal is still around. I can't make out the text well enough to know what it says, but ditching Handle an Animal was almost certainly a good call. That stuff was way too complicated.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Tbh we don't have the full details on minion trait and pets - near the end of the playtest, most pets would take an action even if not commanded to do so. It could be a general rule for summons and an extra line under animal companions, and just leave Familiars as the slow ones you dislike.

Or you could be right. Dunno. We'll see.

But that ability to act without being commanded is limited to a single action that can only be stride and strike, is either Animal Order Druid only or only works while using Hunt Target and takes a feat (although it's a feat you're going to take anyway for animal companions, because as Captain Morgan said previously, Animal Companions are now just a feat chain instead of a creature). That's still pretty bad. Yeah, maybe there's some unrevealed bit that counters some of the suckage of the minion trait. But based on what we've seen, I'm not holding my breath. Or maybe one of the optional rules in the GMG will be Non-useless companions. At the very least, the ability to have one action without a command should be the default of minion trait. And then get abilities for them to have two actions if you don't command them. And probably up their actions to 3 if they are being commanded. Then the fact that their stats are bad can compensate for the action economy.

I dunno, I actually think it's a good thing for pet-users to have to use an action to command/control their pet. Especially since we're on the 3 action economy.


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To a point. I think they should be able to 'reserve' one of their actions so the companion/minion can perform ongoing actions. (Like chase, harry or hunt)

Maybe conditions- the companions get 'tasked' which let's its use its actions without being ordered to follow an ongoing command.

Meanwhile, the PC gets 'overseer' (not entirely thrilled with the word) which automatically sets their actions to 2, to represent their divided focus on what the companion is doing.

That way the companion doesn't need to stop or retreat once given a straightforward task within its capability (and there would be a list of qualifying ongoing tasks)


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Voss wrote:

To a point. I think they should be able to 'reserve' one of their actions so the companion/minion can perform ongoing actions. (Like chase, harry or hunt)

Maybe conditions- the companions get 'tasked' which let's its use its actions without being ordered to follow an ongoing command.

Meanwhile, the PC gets 'overseer' (not entirely thrilled with the word) which automatically sets their actions to 2, to represent their divided focus on what the companion is doing.

That way the companion doesn't need to stop or retreat once given a straightforward task within its capability (and there would be a list of qualifying ongoing tasks)

I have adopted a similar method for my home game: If the animal companion is given a general task, it gains a third action so long as it uses all of its actions to accomplish that task.

It is mostly just a quick fix, though, as it's subject to GM discretion as to what tasks can be used in such a way, so it would make a poor general rule. Attempting to implement this as a general rule, I've found, has made it too finicky, usually creating roughly as many problems as it solves. But it is fine as a patchwork for some of the issues we've had with the minion trait.

It was implemented due to a discussion my player and I had when we decided to convert to using a PF2 Playtest chassis for our game that resulted in us asking the question "why is the character's animal companion 30% slower at top speed than literally all other members of its species?", and this fix has worked adequately for solving that particular problem.


Lunatic Barghest wrote:


It was implemented due to a discussion my player and I had when we decided to convert to using a PF2 Playtest chassis for our game that resulted in us asking the question "why is the character's animal companion 30% slower at top speed than literally all other members of its species?", and this fix has worked adequately for solving that particular problem.

That does alleviate the questionable issues ACs have with basic commands like "keep up" or "wail on it", I think something more complex like "this direct path" should only let it have 2 actions, since it's on the basic side of intellect, so traversing a maze would make it take more time than a human. I think this idea. Make a short list of umbrella tasks that if the AC is doing, it can gain a 3rd action if it's like the first two, or involved with the first two (like running up and THEN hitting the thing).


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Captain Morgan wrote:
So I just noticed under the Nature skill that the Handle an Animal action is gone, and Command an Animal is still around. I can't make out the text well enough to know what it says, but ditching Handle an Animal was almost certainly a good call. That stuff was way too complicated.

I felt absolutely opposite from that.

I understand a little better the other point of view after having read an interesting blog post, and then the comments to it, about Animal Companions who have get to have an INT raised to 3.

I think I came to basically understand that although quite simple (I would argue). The concept of the tricks and the 'programming' they allow animals caused a whole lot of controversy, especially once someone got their animal companion to 3 INT and wanted to simply describe any action they wanted and have the animal preform it immediately, since the animal in theory had the capacity to understand a language at that point. I understand now how they probably didn't want that controversy in the core rules.

I think, we are now left with working with animals (and maybe any minions) basically requires a sort of Push Animal action (the control animal) action, allowing the player to specifically control it.

I have to admit, as I thought about it further, I was encouraged by some thought. This may still leave room for an Opt-in Animal Training subsystem that could come to exist that would allow animals to do things on their own without direct supervision, as long as they have been properly trained to do such things seems like it could be within the realm of potential design, since it would be an Opt-in complexity to enable things that for some people are going to really seem fundamentally necessary for being able to tell certain relatively key stories.

Lunatic Barghest wrote:
Voss wrote:

To a point. I think they should be able to 'reserve' one of their actions so the companion/minion can perform ongoing actions. (Like chase, harry or hunt)

Maybe conditions- the companions get 'tasked' which let's its use its actions without being ordered to follow an ongoing command.

Meanwhile, the PC gets 'overseer' (not entirely thrilled with the word) which automatically sets their actions to 2, to represent their divided focus on what the companion is doing.

That way the companion doesn't need to stop or retreat once given a straightforward task within its capability (and there would be a list of qualifying ongoing tasks)

I have adopted a similar method for my home game: If the animal companion is given a general task, it gains a third action so long as it uses all of its actions to accomplish that task.

It is mostly just a quick fix, though, as it's subject to GM discretion as to what tasks can be used in such a way, so it would make a poor general rule. Attempting to implement this as a general rule, I've found, has made it too finicky, usually creating roughly as many problems as it solves. But it is fine as a patchwork for some of the issues we've had with the minion trait.

It was implemented due to a discussion my player and I had when we decided to convert to using a PF2 Playtest chassis for our game that resulted in us asking the question "why is the character's animal companion 30% slower at top speed than literally all other members of its species?", and this fix has worked adequately for solving that particular problem.

Actually, this seems a pretty reasonable stopgap, to where if all three actions are part of the animal's current basic activity and it doesn't have to pay careful notice to listening for a down command or such, giving the animal three actions to move to keep up with, or return to the party seems perfectly reasonable. And I'm fine with moving and attacking being only two actions. But for instance three moves to keep up with the party should be perfectly viable action for an animal to accomplish. It doesn't fix animals needing to be controlled at all times, but at least is a reasonable. You can repeat a basic action such as a move repeatedly to get somewhere/keep up.

I hope to see in more detail exactly how animal's (not just animal companions, which should be a step above) get handled. Things such as seeing how guard dogs, or messenger birds would all be treated, in the new system.


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So looking at the Horse animal companion, it looks like the "Charge" Weapon Trait has been replaced with "Jousting." Makes sense if it only applies to lances, haha. Perhaps Jousting also includes being able to wield the weapon one handed while mounted, which was desperately needed in the playtest.

But I'm not sure exactly how it works based on the "Support Benefit" (which replaces Work Together) as that benefit already gives you a circumstance bonus to damage equal to twice the number of damage dice. It then says "if your weapon already has the Jousting Weapon trait, increase the traits damage bonus by 2 per die instead."

Perhaps Jousting doesn't provide a circumstance bonus, which means this stacks. That would double the horse/lance combo's extra damage, which would be very good indeed.

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