Captain Morgan's First Impressions


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I feel like I've still barely scratched the surface of this book, but I've got thoughts guys. Mostly good ones. I keep noticing a feat or spell that existed in the playtest and I took for granted as remaining the same, only to notice their is a subtle but awesome improvement. Sometimes it is as simple as moving a high level feat to a lower level. Other times it is from a tweak to the general rules from the playtest I don't immediately notice. So many goodies.

First off, skill feats. They are significantly improved. Some could still use some more improvement and some skills still feel under-served. So I have decided to keep my re-writes in play for the time being, with some exceptions where the final CRB solution was better than my own, like Assurance. if nothing else, there are some things like Object Reading that will probably get printed by Paizo eventually but serve as fun design space to explore in the meantime.

Next up is class feats. Good gosh guys, there are so many good class feats. I'm not sure they have fixed the customization bottleneck of the playtest, but part of that is that I just want all the class feats. Especially the higher level feats-- there are so very many good options. And while I really like the idea of giving players more class feats, be it through auto-scaling feats or more extensive class paths or just class feats at odd levels as well, I have also noticed that this takes character building into overly confusing territory for some of my players. It might be LESS confusing if these were built in assumptions that are written into the book, but Paizo might have known what they were doing with setting this as a baseline.

I find the Ranger a particularly interesting case study. First off, lots of improvements to their core chassis for combat between stronger edges and not being forced to pick a weapon group. There are a few duds in their class feats that feel like they should have been made a scaling benefit of a previous feat (Monster Warden) or are a glorified skill feat (Swift Tracker). But even these feats are appealing to certain players-- one of mine really wanted Swift Tracker for example. I gave it to her as a Ranger exclusive benefit of Experienced Tracker, but she would have been perfectly willing to pay the skill feat for it, and frankly she would have still been fine as a combatant. Meanwhile, some feats that fit these criteria in the playtest are now strong enough to warrant a class feat. Snare Specialist, for example, now lets you make free snares each day the way an alchemist makes free items. That feat alone made Snares viable, IMO.

There are some interesting oddities in feat prerequisites. For example, Sudden Leap no longer requires Sudden Charge. Lightning Snares is basically an improved version of Quick Snares, but it doesn't require Quick Snares. (It does require Snare Specialist and master crafting.) I think this means some feats are meant to be retrained if you can replace them with their top end version. That's a very interesting design space, especially when you consider any given specialty for a class seems to have at least one feat per level dedicated to it. If you pay your best feat towards your specialty, you can use your lower level feats to get lesser benefits towards other things. That seems like it has potential that would have been worth further exploration. For example, what if you when you got Incredible Companion, you could retrain Mature Animal Companion? I'm very intrigued by this idea, and would like feedback before trying it out with my players.

The new armor paradigm takes some getting used too-- in general, if you have high strength and decent dex your choice of armor feels like it is mostly a flavor decision. But you can still get some pretty sweet benefits without it feeling punishing or locked into any particular class.

There are more errors in the book than I'd like-- I guess I just had unrealistic expectations for a first printing with this many revisions, though. Usually I can suss out the intent based on other rules or developers commentary, and I'm sure most of this will get fixed eventually.

I like that they added Jousting to lances. Still not sure how I feel about the lance not giving you reach while mounted, but I'm gonna try running it as written for now. It seems like the lance having deadly and extra damage on a charge makes it a decent trade-off for only doing a d6, compared to most d8 one handed weapons, even if it loses reach. I guess having the reach would make it the default option for mounted combat like PF1, which they probably want to avoid, and it matter less than the playtest given weapon specialization replacing some damage dice. Still trying to make heads or tails of the Horse support benefit, because it makes no sense as written, but I'm assuming it was intended to work like the playtest for now. Alternatively, it might have been intended to do quadruple the jousting charge damage, but that seems excessive.

I'm not sure how striking an unattended object works-- usually their AC is so low most characters would crit them on a strike, but I don't think you should be able to crit a wall for example.

Finally, I want to say I love all the language and steps to make the game more inclusive. The playtest did a lot on this front, and the final CRB does even more.

I love this book and am gonna have to buckle down and read it cover to cover.


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First off: I rarely read such long posts on forum, but I kind of had to made an exception for our captain here :P

This ia a good feedback which hypes me even more, or rather gets the hype back on track after a devastating friday (nothing pnp related)

It's good to hear about the many option and I also think that it is indeed interesting to be able to get advanced feats without havin specific predecessor feats, certainly emphazises the importance of retraining and downtime

I will probably have not much chance to look at it thursday and even friday, but I am really looking forward to the weekend

Thanks for this review


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Strong agreement on class feats - there are so many awesome ones that I want more feats per level. But then I realize that's a good thing, because competing strong options is how you make compelling choices.


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It helps that baseline functionality is so good. You don't NEED any of these feats, and mixing and matching them doesn't seem to cripple your character.

I think my least favorite set up for class feats is probably the champion. Their early selection is sparse, and later levels so many of the feats are tied to your righteous ally choice. They don't feel nearly as flexible because of it. I built one as a leadership cohort and it just wasn't as satisfying as I'd like. I agonized a little over my righteous ally and then most of my other choices felt locked in. They are currently my top pick for "give them the class path feats for free." If for no other reason than the path is so clear.

Seisho wrote:

First off: I rarely read such long posts on forum, but I kind of had to made an exception for our captain here :P

This ia a good feedback which hypes me even more, or rather gets the hype back on track after a devastating friday (nothing pnp related)

It's good to hear about the many option and I also think that it is indeed interesting to be able to get advanced feats without havin specific predecessor feats, certainly emphazises the importance of retraining and downtime

I will probably have not much chance to look at it thursday and even friday, but I am really looking forward to the weekend

Thanks for this review

Aw, shucks. Thank you so much!


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I too am a bit disappointed with the first printing regarding errors and typos.
To a degree that I am tempted to cancel my second CRB preorder and just let my players trash the first one I buy like the heinous book ruining scum that they are, buying a second one after the 2nd or 3rd revision (hoping it sells enough to get one tbh)


Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm not sure how striking an unattended object works-- usually their AC is so low most characters would crit them on a strike, but I don't think you should be able to crit a wall for example.

First of all thank you for your detailed first impression!

I still don't have my books, but I would say depends on the object, as most of them will not be classified it depends on the DM to decide whether they have a weak spot, and thus can be critted, and if that weak spot is easy to hit.


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vestris wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm not sure how striking an unattended object works-- usually their AC is so low most characters would crit them on a strike, but I don't think you should be able to crit a wall for example.

First of all thank you for your detailed first impression!

I still don't have my books, but I would say depends on the object, as most of them will not be classified it depends on the DM to decide whether they have a weak spot, and thus can be critted, and if that weak spot is easy to hit.

Your thinking mirrors my own. An object with 10 AC, like the wall from House of Imaginary Walls? No weak spot, no crit. A Scythe trap with AC 21, with vital components to smash but a harder hit to land? You can absolutely crit that.

But I think it would be nice to have that spelled out and I haven't found it yet if it is.


Captain Morgan wrote:


Your thinking mirrors my own. An object with 10 AC, like the wall from House of Imaginary Walls? No weak spot, no crit. A Scythe trap with AC 21, with vital components to smash but a harder hit to land? You can absolutely crit that.

But I think it would be nice to have that spelled out and I haven't found it yet if it is.

Do the items have hardness to make it viable to ignore crits?

I could imagine a wall having both very high HP and a lot of hardness, but I am not sure if they went as granular as hp/inch with this edition. (doesn't bother me as I can make that stuff up)

Maybe the GMG will tackle it?


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Your thinking mirrors my own. An object with 10 AC, like the wall from House of Imaginary Walls? No weak spot, no crit. A Scythe trap with AC 21, with vital components to smash but a harder hit to land? You can absolutely crit that.

But I think it would be nice to have that spelled out and I haven't found it yet if it is.

Do the items have hardness to make it viable to ignore crits?

I could imagine a wall having both very high HP and a lot of hardness, but I am not sure if they went as granular as hp/inch with this edition. (doesn't bother me as I can make that stuff up)

Maybe the GMG will tackle it?

Well, the hazards seem to have hardness, yes. So even if you crit one it is unlikely you will one shot it.

Liberty's Edge

Hey there Captain - can you expound on what you mean by ‘the language and steps to make the game more inclusive’?


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Marc Radle wrote:
Hey there Captain - can you expound on what you mean by ‘the language and steps to make the game more inclusive’?

There are two full pages dedicated to being considerate of others, basically. It includes suggestions for classic devices like X cards or Lines and Veils, the Pathfinder baseline for expectations of objectionable content, talking about what limits people have ahead of time, etc. There also little touches like pronouns being included on your character sheet that I really appreciate.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Hey there Captain - can you expound on what you mean by ‘the language and steps to make the game more inclusive’?
There are two full pages dedicated to being considerate of others, basically. It includes suggestions for classic devices like X cards or Lines and Veils, the Pathfinder baseline for expectations of objectionable content, talking about what limits people have ahead of time, etc. There also little touches like pronouns being included on your character sheet that I really appreciate.

There is also a sidebar on this topic in the section on enchantment spells.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I too am a bit disappointed with the first printing regarding errors and typos.

To a degree that I am tempted to cancel my second CRB preorder and just let my players trash the first one I buy like the heinous book ruining scum that they are, buying a second one after the 2nd or 3rd revision (hoping it sells enough to get one tbh)

Me too. Just canceled my 2nd (backup) CRB from Amazon. I will order a future printing with errata.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Technotrooper wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I too am a bit disappointed with the first printing regarding errors and typos.

To a degree that I am tempted to cancel my second CRB preorder and just let my players trash the first one I buy like the heinous book ruining scum that they are, buying a second one after the 2nd or 3rd revision (hoping it sells enough to get one tbh)
Me too. Just canceled my 2nd (backup) CRB from Amazon. I will order a future printing with errata.

I’ve only had the book for a week or so. But FWIW, given the size of the book, I’ve run into surprisingly few mistakes so far. The error/page ratio seems no worse than most Paizo products. And certainly better than books like the Advanced Class Guide.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Porridge wrote:
Technotrooper wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I too am a bit disappointed with the first printing regarding errors and typos.

To a degree that I am tempted to cancel my second CRB preorder and just let my players trash the first one I buy like the heinous book ruining scum that they are, buying a second one after the 2nd or 3rd revision (hoping it sells enough to get one tbh)
Me too. Just canceled my 2nd (backup) CRB from Amazon. I will order a future printing with errata.
I’ve only had the book for a week or so. But FWIW, given the size of the book, I’ve run into surprisingly few mistakes so far. The error/page ratio seems no worse than most Paizo products. And certainly better than books like the Advanced Class Guide.

The editors did an enormous job, and this is undoubtedly true. However, with a project of this size, there's always going to be a few. Always. Even if word by word you have a 99.9% accuracy, they will add up in 1000 pages, usually more than we've seen so far. For me, making sure I have a special edition is important, and I also want another of the regular edition because it has my name on the cover.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Porridge wrote:
Technotrooper wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

I too am a bit disappointed with the first printing regarding errors and typos.

To a degree that I am tempted to cancel my second CRB preorder and just let my players trash the first one I buy like the heinous book ruining scum that they are, buying a second one after the 2nd or 3rd revision (hoping it sells enough to get one tbh)
Me too. Just canceled my 2nd (backup) CRB from Amazon. I will order a future printing with errata.
I’ve only had the book for a week or so. But FWIW, given the size of the book, I’ve run into surprisingly few mistakes so far. The error/page ratio seems no worse than most Paizo products. And certainly better than books like the Advanced Class Guide.
The editors did an enormous job, and this is undoubtedly true. However, with a project of this size, there's always going to be a few. Always. Even if word by word you have a 99.9% accuracy, they will add up in 1000 pages, usually more than we've seen so far. For me, making sure I have a special edition is important, and I also want another of the regular edition because it has my name on the cover.

Do a quick Google and see how many misprinted coins/bills occur for US currency, despite the many layers of controls that are sure to exist. Errors are inevitable but mostly irrelevant. Having a first print has a lot of value to me even if it has a double-printed "the" on line 6 of page 455...

Let's face it, of the relatively few errors noted thus far, very few appear to have any real impact on one's ability to understand the meaning. For the rest, Paizo will publish errata shortly. Much ado about nothing imo.


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First off thanks CM, always appreciated.

Secondly, that's amazing news on the Ranger. I was hoping very much for a Snare build being possible and well suited to the Ranger! A Battlefield Control Martial is going to be exceptionally fun.

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Glad to hear Skill Feats got bumped and super curious about the "upgrade" aspect you mention. Hopefully get my book today or tomorrow!


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Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.


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Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.

Umm, armor in 5e isn't just flavor, there's basically one optimal type of armor in 5e for any given character.


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rooneg wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.
Umm, armor in 5e isn't just flavor, there's basically one optimal type of armor in 5e for any given character.

Which I believe is the same as PF 2E. Have high Dex, go light armor. Moderate dex, medium armor, no dex = heavy armour. All 3 styles add up to the ~ same AC (+6 for PF 2e I think, AC 17/18 for 5ed). Basically, whichever way you go, you have the same AC. Proficiency will be the difference.

In 3rd edition, you could get AC 18 with full plate but the best unarmored could get was 15 with DX 20. So there is a big difference.

The same is true regarding TAC. Just like 5 edition.


Kerobelis wrote:
rooneg wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.
Umm, armor in 5e isn't just flavor, there's basically one optimal type of armor in 5e for any given character.

Which I believe is the same as PF 2E. Have high Dex, go light armor. Moderate dex, medium armor, no dex = heavy armour. All 3 styles add up to the ~ same AC (+6 for PF 2e I think, AC 17/18 for 5ed). Basically, whichever way you go, you have the same AC. Proficiency will be the difference.

In 3rd edition, you could get AC 18 with full plate but the best unarmored could get was 15 with DX 20. So there is a big difference.

The same is true regarding TAC. Just like 5 edition.

Total, though in 5th Ed you can get an AC 1 point higher than all the others with heavy armour (plate, very expensive):

Light (best): 12+ 5 = 17
Medium (best): 15 + 2 =17
Heavy (best): 18


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Kerobelis wrote:
rooneg wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.
Umm, armor in 5e isn't just flavor, there's basically one optimal type of armor in 5e for any given character.

Which I believe is the same as PF 2E. Have high Dex, go light armor. Moderate dex, medium armor, no dex = heavy armour. All 3 styles add up to the ~ same AC (+6 for PF 2e I think, AC 17/18 for 5ed). Basically, whichever way you go, you have the same AC. Proficiency will be the difference.

In 3rd edition, you could get AC 18 with full plate but the best unarmored could get was 15 with DX 20. So there is a big difference.

The same is true regarding TAC. Just like 5 edition.

Don't forget the positive armor traits like resistance to slashing/piercing/bludgeoning. Those will have a big impact on the flavor and mechanics of your armor choice.


WatersLethe wrote:


Don't forget the positive armor traits like resistance to slashing/piercing/bludgeoning. Those will have a big impact on the flavor and mechanics of your armor choice.

I do like that. I use and like the Weapon (B,S,P) vs. Armour type rules from 2nd Ed AD&D.


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Kerobelis wrote:
rooneg wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

Third, the fact that Armor choice is now a flavor decision is amazing. To me, equipment has always been one of the stronger essences of flavor, so knowing that the Armor Specialization and balance Paizo has put in has created this feel is exciting!

Yeah, this seems another page they took from 5th Ed D&D; I also dig spellcasting modifier added to spell attacks (dropping TAC in the process), amongst other bits.
Umm, armor in 5e isn't just flavor, there's basically one optimal type of armor in 5e for any given character.

Which I believe is the same as PF 2E. Have high Dex, go light armor. Moderate dex, medium armor, no dex = heavy armour. All 3 styles add up to the ~ same AC (+6 for PF 2e I think, AC 17/18 for 5ed). Basically, whichever way you go, you have the same AC. Proficiency will be the difference.

In 3rd edition, you could get AC 18 with full plate but the best unarmored could get was 15 with DX 20. So there is a big difference.

The same is true regarding TAC. Just like 5 edition.

Yes, but in 5e you don't get into this position where you have multiple possible armor types for a given character that end up with the same AC/Stealth Disadvantage result. If you're a character with DEX 14 who wants to wear medium armor you either pick a Breastplate if you care about Stealth or Half Plate if you don't. There's no reason (other than money) to ever wear Scale or a Chain Shirt. If you're a heavy armor character you never have a reason to prefer Splint to Plate. If you have a flavor preference for Splint you will always end up with a lower AC.


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Yes, the infamous ‘Chain Shirt’ will no longer be the king of light armor. One of the dreaded realizations of 3.5 was if you wore light armor there was really no reason to get anything other than the Chain Shirt.


rooneg wrote:


Yes, but in 5e you don't get into this position where you have multiple possible armor types for a given character that end up with the same AC/Stealth Disadvantage result. If you're a character with DEX 14 who wants to wear medium armor you either pick a Breastplate if you care about Stealth or Half Plate if you don't. There's no reason (other than money) to ever wear Scale or a Chain Shirt. If you're a heavy armor character you never have a reason to prefer Splint to Plate. If you have a flavor preference for Splint you will always end up with a lower AC.

I don't have the 2e PF book yet, so you are saying every armor choice could be an optimal choice?


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Yes, the infamous ‘Chain Shirt’ will no longer be the king of light armor. One of the dreaded realizations of 3.5 was if you wore light armor there was really no reason to get anything other than the Chain Shirt.

Well, a Mithril Chain Shirt if you wanted to cut down on pesky ACP and Max Dex.

Plus a Mithril Chain Shirt was extremely cheap, basically any level 2 could afford it and it was the best light armor until you found something magic.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Yes, the infamous ‘Chain Shirt’ will no longer be the king of light armor. One of the dreaded realizations of 3.5 was if you wore light armor there was really no reason to get anything other than the Chain Shirt.

Well, a Mithril Chain Shirt if you wanted to cut down on pesky ACP and Max Dex.

Plus a Mithril Chain Shirt was extremely cheap, basically any level 2 could afford it and it was the best light armor until you found something magic.

Mithril Chain Shirt, the evil and better looking twin to the infamous Chain Shirt. May they rust in the shop for all eternity. . . Until i need to use one that is.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mithral waffle irons are where it's at these days boys


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WatersLethe wrote:
Mithral waffle irons are where it's at these days boys

You butter believe I'm going to syrup some trouble with a mithril waffle iron (should it just be called a waffle mithril?)


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Midnightoker wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
Mithral waffle irons are where it's at these days boys
You butter believe I'm going to syrup some trouble with a mithril waffle iron (should it just be called a waffle mithril?)

I believe all the cool kids now just say 'wathril'

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Kerobelis wrote:
rooneg wrote:


Yes, but in 5e you don't get into this position where you have multiple possible armor types for a given character that end up with the same AC/Stealth Disadvantage result. If you're a character with DEX 14 who wants to wear medium armor you either pick a Breastplate if you care about Stealth or Half Plate if you don't. There's no reason (other than money) to ever wear Scale or a Chain Shirt. If you're a heavy armor character you never have a reason to prefer Splint to Plate. If you have a flavor preference for Splint you will always end up with a lower AC.

I don't have the 2e PF book yet, so you are saying every armor choice could be an optimal choice?

Not who you're responding to, but yes, that's very much the case. Any of the classes that get armor proficiency upgrades will see those upgrades apply to all the lower armor categories; for example, the champion's Legendary Armor upgrade applies to heavy, medium, light, and even unarmored defense, so if your champion multiclassed e.g. monk or rogue and went Dex heavy, then light or unarmored can be just as optimal for them as heavy armor would be on a low-Dex, high-STR build. Since armors all have a Strength rating that eliminates armor check penalties, there's even some interesting middle ground where one Champion with a 14 STR who prioritized CHA over DEX might choose to wear chainmail because the flexible quality means that the check penalty doesn't apply to Acrobatics or Athletics and thus isn't a concern, while another champion with a 14 STR who prioritized DEX over CHA and multiclassed rogue will probably want to stick with scale mail so that their Strength bonus eliminates the check penalty entirely and allows them to make Thievery checks in armor unhindered.

There will probably always be an optimal armor choice for your character, but there will never be one armor that is universally the best for a given class or category.


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Kerobelis wrote:
rooneg wrote:


Yes, but in 5e you don't get into this position where you have multiple possible armor types for a given character that end up with the same AC/Stealth Disadvantage result. If you're a character with DEX 14 who wants to wear medium armor you either pick a Breastplate if you care about Stealth or Half Plate if you don't. There's no reason (other than money) to ever wear Scale or a Chain Shirt. If you're a heavy armor character you never have a reason to prefer Splint to Plate. If you have a flavor preference for Splint you will always end up with a lower AC.

I don't have the 2e PF book yet, so you are saying every armor choice could be an optimal choice?

Correct. The key is that strength lets you ignore ACP and shave 5 feet off of speed reductions, which is all of it for medium armor. Dex caps are also balanced so that literally any light or medium armor combo can't allow more than +5 before runes. Heavy armor caps at +6 with item and Dex bonus. Dwarves have a feat which let's them ignore ALL speed reduction regardless of strengths and also lets them ignore speed reduction from other affects.

So if you have both good strength and dexterity, you can pretty much wear any armor and be optimal. If your strength or dexterity is lower you'll be funneled towards one end or another, but even then there is usually some give and take. The 8 strength 18 dex Halflings in my game could wear armor and take a small ACP or have one less AC with no ACP.


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Michael Sayre wrote:

Not who you're responding to, but yes, that's very much the case. Any of the classes that get armor proficiency upgrades will see those upgrades apply to all the lower armor categories; for example, the champion's Legendary Armor upgrade applies to heavy, medium, light, and even unarmored defense, so if your champion multiclassed e.g. monk or rogue and went Dex heavy, then light or unarmored can be just as optimal for them as heavy armor would be on a low-Dex, high-STR build. Since armors all have a Strength rating that eliminates armor check penalties, there's even some interesting middle ground where one Champion with a 14 STR who prioritized CHA over DEX might choose to wear chainmail because the flexible quality means that the check penalty doesn't apply to Acrobatics or Athletics and thus isn't a concern, while another champion with a 14 STR who prioritized DEX over CHA and multiclassed rogue will probably want to stick with scale mail so that their Strength bonus eliminates the check penalty entirely and allows them to make Thievery checks in armor unhindered.

There will probably always be an optimal armor choice for your character, but there will never be one armor that is universally the best for a given class or category.

I love that you guys did this. I hated that every guy out there used a longsword, longbow and breastplate and nothing else. It was so boring, but since all P1 used to be "spend all resources to keep up or die" you couldn't NOT use the "best" option.


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I'm just gonna chip in that I absolutely love how Alchemists work now. The ultra a la carte approach to their profession and making crafting something you'd actually be bothered to do is a hoot.

Crafting in general got a facelift, the Alchemist is just the main beneficiary AND also can be a little thematically cleaner than it used to be.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I got my books a few days ago and my feelings are mixed. The layout is terrific, the feat system being the same across many features (i.e. Class feats, skill feats, heritage feats, etc.) is cool, many things I'd houseruled from PF1 came through in PF2, and it looks more solid overall than I'd dared hope. I didn't notice any egregious errors that bothered me, and I'm a stickler for grammar.

That said, I REALLY don't like the art. My first read through of the Bestiary was very disappointing, I just wasn't inspired by any of the representations. It seems they went away from WR's more whimsical art style to a more realistic style that smacks of 5e. I miss the unique feel of PF1.

I also don't love the character sheet. 4 pages?! Sure, you don't necessarily need the 4th page for every character, but that's intimidating. I'm a veteran of RPG's and I really struggled with my first character, especially with the feats section on page 2(?)- I just didn't feel confident I was doing it right.

Anyway, these are just initial impressions, as the title prompts, but at this point I'm gonna take the ideas I like from PF2 and stick with PF1. Maybe after a few chances to play I'll be more converted.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The character sheets are pretty... they could definitely be better.

If you check out the comments on the blog post that unveiled the character sheets, quite a few people are working on custom versions, some of which look a lot better.


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Wildebob wrote:
It seems they went away from WR's more whimsical art style to a more realistic style that smacks of 5e.

Seems more mixed to me- while angels, dragons, and a decent chunk of other critters seem to be a bit less pop-art...

The new kobold look is vastly more whimsical.

So're the troll and hydra, really. The Giant Stag beetle looks like something a plucky heroine should be riding around on. The Faerie Dragon looks like it's taking a break from the set of The Dark Crystal.

And so forth.


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Wildebob wrote:

I got my books a few days ago and my feelings are mixed. The layout is terrific, the feat system being the same across many features (i.e. Class feats, skill feats, heritage feats, etc.) is cool, many things I'd houseruled from PF1 came through in PF2, and it looks more solid overall than I'd dared hope. I didn't notice any egregious errors that bothered me, and I'm a stickler for grammar.

That said, I REALLY don't like the art. My first read through of the Bestiary was very disappointing, I just wasn't inspired by any of the representations. It seems they went away from WR's more whimsical art style to a more realistic style that smacks of 5e. I miss the unique feel of PF1.

I also don't love the character sheet. 4 pages?! Sure, you don't necessarily need the 4th page for every character, but that's intimidating. I'm a veteran of RPG's and I really struggled with my first character, especially with the feats section on page 2(?)- I just didn't feel confident I was doing it right.

Anyway, these are just initial impressions, as the title prompts, but at this point I'm gonna take the ideas I like from PF2 and stick with PF1. Maybe after a few chances to play I'll be more converted.

That page with the feats is pretty important, IMO. It gives you a complete checklist for every class in the game but the rogue.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Wildebob wrote:

I got my books a few days ago and my feelings are mixed. The layout is terrific, the feat system being the same across many features (i.e. Class feats, skill feats, heritage feats, etc.) is cool, many things I'd houseruled from PF1 came through in PF2, and it looks more solid overall than I'd dared hope. I didn't notice any egregious errors that bothered me, and I'm a stickler for grammar.

That said, I REALLY don't like the art. My first read through of the Bestiary was very disappointing, I just wasn't inspired by any of the representations. It seems they went away from WR's more whimsical art style to a more realistic style that smacks of 5e. I miss the unique feel of PF1.

I also don't love the character sheet. 4 pages?! Sure, you don't necessarily need the 4th page for every character, but that's intimidating. I'm a veteran of RPG's and I really struggled with my first character, especially with the feats section on page 2(?)- I just didn't feel confident I was doing it right.

Anyway, these are just initial impressions, as the title prompts, but at this point I'm gonna take the ideas I like from PF2 and stick with PF1. Maybe after a few chances to play I'll be more converted.

That page with the feats is pretty important, IMO. It gives you a complete checklist for every class in the game but the rogue.

Does this PF version screw over the rogue again?


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Does this PF version screw over the rogue again?

Well, Rogues do get twice as many Skill Feats and Skill Increases when compared to all other classes (one of each per level), so that alone is a massive boon for them.


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Lord Fyre wrote:


Does this PF version screw over the rogue again?

Spells that tended to obsolete skills/rogues, like Knock, were nerfed and/or otherwise adjusted to fix that. And rogues have many skills and skill feats, as mentioned.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
Not who you're responding to, but yes, that's very much the case. Any of the classes that get armor proficiency upgrades will see those upgrades apply to all the lower armor categories;

So if I'm a class with lower armour proficiencies (say Barbarian) and take the Armor Proficiency feat or multiclass into a to increase the proficiency upward (get Heavy armour), when I become Expert with my Light and Medium, what will happen to my Heavy Armour? Will it stay at Trained or also increase to Expert?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Lord Fyre wrote:


Does this PF version screw over the rogue again?

Only if by "screw over" you mean "Give the exact same attack bonus and damage progression as every other martial class besides the fighter (not including sneak attack damage)" and "gave twice as many skill feats and skill increases as any other class in the game while simultaneously reining in spells so that they no longer make skill proficiency obsolete."

Rogues are pretty badass, and their ability to debilitate foes, or eventually just straight up remove an enemy from combat if they beat them in initiative, is fairly impressive.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Michael Sayre wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


Does this PF version screw over the rogue again?
Only if by "screw over" you mean "Give the exact same attack bonus and damage progression as every other martial class besides the fighter (not including sneak attack damage)" and "gave twice as many skill feats and skill increases as any other class in the game

No, that is not what I meant, and you know it.

Lord Fyre wrote:
while simultaneously reining in spells so that they no longer make skill proficiency obsolete."

This, however, is what I was concerned about.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Lord Fyre wrote:


This, however, is what I was concerned about.

YMMV, but spells that simply allowed a caster to completely replace a skill-based character were viewed by a large swath of gamers as problematic. Now, a wizard who casts e.g. invisibility will be stealthier than he was before, but tactically it's likely a better move to cast invisibility on the rogue (assuming the goal is to sneak someone into a place) since their better Stealth facility will compliment the buff.


Michael Sayre wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


This, however, is what I was concerned about.
YMMV, but spells that simply allowed a caster to completely replace a skill-based character were viewed by a large swath of gamers as problematic. Now, a wizard who casts e.g. invisibility will be stealthier than he was before, but tactically it's likely a better move to cast invisibility on the rogue (assuming the goal is to sneak someone into a place) since their better Stealth facility will compliment the buff.

That was the case in PF1 as well. +45/65 is better than +25/45.

And I never saw a spell that could completely replace a skill. The classic example of knock invalidating disable device is silly, because a rogue can get a much higher disable device score than level+10.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
That was the case in PF1 as well. +45/65 is better than +25/45.

Sure, but in practice, you often didn't need more than the +25, making the rest superfluous. That wasn't always true of invisibility, but it was common.

sherlock1701 wrote:
And I never saw a spell that could completely replace a skill. The classic example of knock invalidating disable device is silly, because a rogue can get a much higher disable device score than level+10.

The issue with this is that you basically never need more than Level +10. Yeah, a Rogue could get it...and have it almost never provide much advantage.

There are also much worse offenders that really do sidestep and trump skills completely, like pass without trace utterly trumping Survival or discern lies bypassing both Bluff and Sense Motive completely. Or even fly trumping Climb.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:


This, however, is what I was concerned about.
YMMV, but spells that simply allowed a caster to completely replace a skill-based character were viewed by a large swath of gamers as problematic. Now, a wizard who casts e.g. invisibility will be stealthier than he was before, but tactically it's likely a better move to cast invisibility on the rogue (assuming the goal is to sneak someone into a place) since their better Stealth facility will compliment the buff.

That was the case in PF1 as well. +45/65 is better than +25/45.

And I never saw a spell that could completely replace a skill. The classic example of knock invalidating disable device is silly, because a rogue can get a much higher disable device score than level+10.

That's true in pathfinder, but in 3.5 knock pretty much unlocked devices (and even opened secret doors), no check required.

And even in pathfinder, a rogue was more than just someone that unlocks doors and disables traps, yet it felt like in mummy's mask I was obsolete in everything else besides unlocking stuff (and yes, I was playing unchained rogue). The Spiritualist was a better scout than I was because of his spirit that can peak through walls and spot stuff without risk, I wasn't able to get damage in due to low accuracy and difficulty with sneak attacking, the bard had skills, buffing, AND spell-casting, and it felt like my skills didn't match up to spells in terms of versatility, especially when invisibility or similar spells showed up.

I ended up switching to an alchemist, which handled rogue's roles just as well, if not better, on top of having "spell-casting" to vastly improve my utility and have better overall damage to boot. Now when ever there's a skill I need to solve, I can just cast "alchemical allocation", chug an elixir of the right skill, and get a +10 to that skill for an hour (or even use another spell potion or extract). And because the class naturally uses intelligence, my skills aren't really behind the rogue to begin with.

I guess in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have run a rogue when we had a bard in the party. I didn't think the two classes would compete as much as they did.


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NemoNoName wrote:
Michael Sayre wrote:
Not who you're responding to, but yes, that's very much the case. Any of the classes that get armor proficiency upgrades will see those upgrades apply to all the lower armor categories;
So if I'm a class with lower armour proficiencies (say Barbarian) and take the Armor Proficiency feat or multiclass into a to increase the proficiency upward (get Heavy armour), when I become Expert with my Light and Medium, what will happen to my Heavy Armour? Will it stay at Trained or also increase to Expert?

The class tables only advance the armor that your class made you trained with at 1st level, so they are of no help to armor proficiencies gained through dedication or other feats. However, there is a Champion multiclassing feat that can make you expert with all armor.

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