Kess’s First Power


Rules Questions and Gameplay Discussion


Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I’m setting up decks for a game and I noticed something. On Sajan’s first power he gets to add the bludgeoning trait to his unarmed combat. Kess basically has the same power but no bludgeoning. Should her unarmed combat be bludgeoning as well?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sajan is boxing and Kess is judo/karating....
Just kidding...

You could debate bludgeoning vx slashing for Sajan
Kess definitively should be bludgeoning
IMHO


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Don't know how it's in the PF RPG, but what makes sense to *me* flavor-wise:

Sajan should be able to choose between Bludgeoning (monk's most popular skill is flurry of fists) and probably also Piercing ("cobra strikes" with fingers - penetration and enemy armor weak spots should probably be no different than when using a dagger). Also, depending on lore, I suppose when he gains the Magic trait (which I assume is Ki-enhancement), his karate chops should be sufficiently upgraded to also gain Slashing.

Kess, otoh, should be able to choose between Melee with no other trait (which I see to represent pure grappling) and adding Bludgeoning (a bare-knuckle brawler style of fistfight - which is probably her predominant art depiction).

I don't expect all of the above to be reflected in PACG, for obvious brevity concerns.


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

In the RPG, unarmed strikes (punches, kicks, elbows, headbutts, etc. -- unarmed attacks are not limited to just fists) are bludgeoning by default. There are a handful of feats (which are open to everyone) to change the damage type of unarmed strike to either piercing or slashing instead.

Both monks and brawlers gain the ability to eventually treat their unarmed strikes as magic, cold iron, silver, lawful (or an alignment of your choice if you're a brawler), and adamantine as they level up. Of those, only Magic really shows up in the ACG as a trait.

So, both monks and brawlers would be dealing bludgeoning by default. Anything else would require additional investment. Because of this, I believe that Kess really should be adding Bludgeoning to her unarmed attacks as well.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Cold also appears as a trait in PACG (quite a bit, in fact).

I concur that Kess's power should add the Bludgeoning trait.


Brother Tyler wrote:
Cold also appears as a trait in PACG (quite a bit, in fact).

Cold, yes. Cold Iron, not as much.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

D'oh! I'd imagined a comma between them.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

I'll take a different approach here.

Rather than discussing the question from the flavor perspective of "does it make sense for Kess to use Bludgeoning", I'm going to instead discuss it as from the mechanical perspective of "is there a reason that Kess would be designed without using the Bludgeoning trait"?

Sajan is capable of using varied forms of combat - it's entirely likely that he'd have the ability to leverage both Slashing and Bludgeoning traits on hand by choosing between using his unarmed power or a shortsword. Kess' entire lack of weapon slots prevents her from the same opportunity.

So if there is a hypothetical monster printed that's immune to bludgeoning or greatly penalizes it (some kind of adamantium golem? I don't know the RPG) and not slashing, then Kess's lack of explicit bludgeoning trait doesn't paint her into an even more limited corner.

Perhaps it's intended that she doesn't use bludgeoning, as an intentional design choice for balance?


Yewstance wrote:
So if there is a hypothetical monster printed that's immune to bludgeoning or greatly penalizes it (some kind of adamantium golem? I don't know the RPG) and not slashing...

Common examples:

- Zombies have DR/slashing.
- Skeletons (like the Ancient Skeleton) have DR/bludgeoning.
- Rakshasa have DR/piercing.
- Demons and Fey have DR/cold iron.
- Devils and Lycanthropes have DR/silver.
- Golems have DR/adamantine.

You can see some of these reflected in the Monster cards.

Kess should probably add Bludgeoning, but not doing so isn't a big deal given the card game abstractions.


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

For those not familiar with RPG terms, DR/something means "This monster reduces all forms of physical damage except something." So, DR/slashing means "Slashing has normal effect, everything else does less damage than normal" and DR/silver means "If your weapon is made of silver it is fully effective, otherwise its damage is reduced."

In a post-Core world, I would presume that would be modeled in a card as "Vulnerable to Slashing"

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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This is intentional. Among other things, the designers wanted Kess to be able to fight things that are immune to Bludgeoning. As Mike says, "Sajan doesn’t bite people. Kess does."


Vic Wertz wrote:
This is intentional. Among other things, the designers wanted Kess to be able to fight things that are immune to Bludgeoning. As Mike says, "Sajan doesn’t bite people. Kess does."

:-D That's surprisingly funny, Vic! Also, looking from a flavour perspective, Kess' trivia text says something about improvised weapons. So for people who really want bludgeoning because she fights with her bare hands - you can pretend she just grabbed whatever comes to her hand (or what her allies hand her): broken bottle, foot of a chair, the support beam in a mine *CRRRRRAASH* Kess-"Ups, my bad!"

Lone Shark Games

Jenceslav wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
This is intentional. Among other things, the designers wanted Kess to be able to fight things that are immune to Bludgeoning. As Mike says, "Sajan doesn’t bite people. Kess does."
:-D That's surprisingly funny, Vic! Also, looking from a flavour perspective, Kess' trivia text says something about improvised weapons. So for people who really want bludgeoning because she fights with her bare hands - you can pretend she just grabbed whatever comes to her hand (or what her allies hand her): broken bottle, foot of a chair, the support beam in a mine *CRRRRRAASH* Kess-"Ups, my bad!"

"Broken bottle" was one of the first things that came up when we were talking about it. Also goblins. "Can Kess use a handy goblin as an improvised weapon? Certainly! Are Goblins bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing? Does it matter which end she uses as the handle?"

For those of you who like to peek behind the curtain: in testing, the wording on Kess' power got pretty complicated, especially on role cards, because we wanted to be able to add traits via feats (some people here might remember versions of Kess that had 4+ dependent clauses). We wanted Kess to be playable by new people without too much text-overload (befitting both the general archetype and the specific character), so we ended up leaning towards fewer words, and we think the end result feels like (we imagine) Kess. Feedback welcome.

Skizzers wrote:
In a post-Core world, I would presume that would be modeled in a card as "Vulnerable to Slashing"

Often that, sometimes "Resistant to Bludgeoning and Piercing"; it depends a little on what we're trying to model (and, honestly, what fits on the card without making people's eyes glaze over when reading the power).


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Chad Brown wrote:
[...]"Are Goblins bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing?"

According to the traits list of a card which features a goblin being swung around as a weapon; that'd be bludgeoning. :D

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