Wading Through Chaff: Edna's Quick Guide to Pathfinder 2e Ancestries, General Feats, and Skill Feats


Advice


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It is not much (given how small the guide is), but I thought it would be nice to write and present a quick guide to a bite-sized portion of the game that all players have to interface with sooner or later. Here it is.

If anyone would like to leave comments and diverging opinions, they can do so in the document.


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These are typically nice to have around, but I'm curious. Isn't it a bit too early to tell what's a really good feat and what's not?


Opinions and assessments have to start somewhere, as far as I see it, and I have been going through the book for a while.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting!

One thought: I'd be inclined to rate Natural Ambition as gold (the top rating). Given the power level of class feats, even first level class feats, it's an amazing choice.

Moreover, Natural Ambition often saves you from having to spend a higher level class feat on a prerequisite allowing you to effectively get a higher level class feat in exchange for an ancestry feat. (E.g., if you're building a Monk, you almost certainly want a style feat at first level, but will also want to take one of the Ki powers since they're prerequisites for the much cooler Ki powers that follow. But that requires giving up some cool higher level class feat in order to pick one of the first level Ki powers. With Natural Ambition you'll get to choose that cool higher level class feat instead.)

It's hard for any other ancestry feat to compete with that!


I do not think Natural Ambition is particularly gold. There are quite a few class builds that are not particularly interested in having an extra 1st-level class feat.

A fair few reach fighters are not especially interested in another 1st-level class feat, for example, and the same goes for champions.

It is certainly not the same degree of benefit as, for example, flickmace for champions or one-handed-weapon fighters.


You are sleeping on some halfling racial feats. Distracting shadows/ceaseless shadows are 5 star for stealth builds. Unfettered Halfling is one of the best feats for any high dex/str build. The crit effect on escape/saving throw is nice but changing opponents failures into crit failures ( which causes them to either fall and land prone or give you a free grab, your choice) and making monsters with grab have to make athletics checks instead of automatically grabbing is amazing.

Also Breath Control is surprisingly good. Lets you hold your breath for 25 times as long which is nice for swimming but the +1 circumstance bonus to inhaled threats and evasion against them is relevant.

Edit: Sorry, High Fort build for unfettered, grapple is vs fort not ref.


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I'm prone to calling Natural Ambition a top tier ancestry feat, as well.

Looking at 1st level class feats, I don't find many classes that wouldn't want to double up. Alchemist bombers want Far Lobber and Quick Bomber. Barbarians are going to be likely to take Sudden Charge, but Raging Intimidation is also very strong, giving the Barb a much-needed 3rd action. Champion has to choose between the 1st tier Domain or buffing their reaction; why make that choice? Clerics are, like Barbarians likely to take a certain 1st level feat, this time Healing Hands. But, like Champs, they might also want a Domain spell. Fighter has a series of feats that all open up the combat style a character will be, but Exacting Strike and Sudden Charge are both waiting there to complement them. Monk will open with their stance, but that leaves off Ki Rush and Ki Strike off the build. Ranger will take either Twin Takedown for 2-Weapon Fighting or Hunted Shot for Bows, but Monster Hunter is great for opening round damage and Animal Companions are always welcomed. Sorcs are likely to take Dangerous Sorcery to buff their blasting. Wizards could load up on 1st level feats by complementing their thesis. Both spell casters would love to add a Familiar or another Metamagic or one of their other 1st level feats.

All in all, I can only find a limited number of classes that'd not want an extra 1st level feat. Bard, Druid, and Rogue seem to have limited options. Bard and Druid also get gifted the feat for their Muse/Order and can take the feat of their choice immediately. They've got no use for a THIRD 1st level class feat.

That said, we should consider the future with regards to Natural Ambition. If more class feats are printed for existing classes (and we can assume that there will be), then Natural Ambition can only get more powerful and important.

A final point would be that growth in PF2 isn't vertical, but horizontal. That is, build concepts don't have to really struggle to get more powerful as you level; that just happens. Instead, builds get more capabilities as they level and grow. This means that equipping an extra potential action is pretty significant.


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Greg.Everham wrote:
I'm prone to calling Natural Ambition a top tier ancestry feat, as well.

I think Sky Blue is a fair rating. I had the opposite opinion on 1st and 2nd level Barbarian Feats.

I think some classes REAALLLY want those class feats (Alchemist) and others are pretty meh. I think Rogue is pretty meh, Sorc, Wizard, and Barbarian are the ones I remember thinking I should Multi class with these classes because their early feats felt underwhelming.

Also, you only get benefit from Sudden Charge if you needed that extra Stride increment.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll agree on the "Natural Ambition is good and will get better over time" point, but on top of that I think you've missed a few neat options.

Vivacious Conduit pretty dramatically increases the rate at which a gnome recovers hit points.

Hefty Hauler is a skill feat many low STR characters are in the market for. Athletics is a skill worth training in for almost anyone (if only because Climb and Swim checks are a thing), and 7 bulk is a lot more than 5.


What order are the ancestry feats supposed to be in? I am getting a little confused as to if it is random, by rank, by ancestry ? Or is there no order? Just so I can get my head around how to read this


MongrelHorde wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
I'm prone to calling Natural Ambition a top tier ancestry feat, as well.

I think Sky Blue is a fair rating. I had the opposite opinion on 1st and 2nd level Barbarian Feats.

I think some classes REAALLLY want those class feats (Alchemist) and others are pretty meh. I think Rogue is pretty meh, Sorc, Wizard, and Barbarian are the ones I remember thinking I should Multi class with these classes because their early feats felt underwhelming.

Also, you only get benefit from Sudden Charge if you needed that extra Stride increment.

For alchemist, only bomber really wants it.


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I am very accustomed to a certain color scale. The colors are from that color scale, and I do not think I would be able to adequately write for another scale. I try to alleviate this for readers by specifically including a number of stars.

That said, since people are confused about everything seeming to be four stars or above, I will soon be expanding this guide to cover every printed heritage, ancestry feat, and general feat thus far. That should get some lower-rated options into the mix for comparison's sake.


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Greg.Everham wrote:


All in all, I can only find a limited number of classes that'd not want an extra 1st level feat. Bard, Druid, and Rogue seem to have limited options. Bard and Druid also get gifted the feat for their Muse/Order and can take the feat of their choice immediately. They've got no use for a THIRD 1st level class feat.....

Just for posterity sake, both the Bard and Druid do not have a 1st level class feat feature (unlike most of the other class) and instead gain it through there Muse/Order. This means, in total, they only gain one 1st level class feat at level one, like the rest of the classes.

This could make Natural Ambition more attractive to these classes, as there choice of a 1st level feat is dictated by the Muse/Order. In addition there are 1st level class feats (The Reach Spell in Bard for example) which are inaccessible at 1st level, because they are not offered through a Muse/Order.

EDIT: Looking into further, as it currently stands, it would be impossible for a Bard to use that third 1st level class feat. Out of the four feats, three of them are locked behind Muse walls, meaning you would only be able to get the feat associated with your Muse and the Reach Spell. Now at level 2, you could take the Multifarious Muse to unlock it, but as it stands, you would also gain the only 1st level feat associated with that Muse because of Multifarious Muse, meaning you would still have no options for that third feat.

The Exchange

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Siro wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:


All in all, I can only find a limited number of classes that'd not want an extra 1st level feat. Bard, Druid, and Rogue seem to have limited options. Bard and Druid also get gifted the feat for their Muse/Order and can take the feat of their choice immediately. They've got no use for a THIRD 1st level class feat.....

Just for posterity sake, both the Bard and Druid do not have a 1st level class feat feature (unlike most of the other class) and instead gain it through there Muse/Order. This means, in total, they only gain one 1st level class feat at level one, like the rest of the classes.

This could make Natural Ambition more attractive to these classes, as there choice of a 1st level feat is dictated by the Muse/Order. In addition there are 1st level class feats (The Reach Spell in Bard for example) which are inaccessible at 1st level, because they are not offered through a Muse/Order.

EDIT: Looking into further, as it currently stands, it would be impossible for a Bard to use that third 1st level class feat. Out of the four feats, three of them are locked behind Muse walls, meaning you would only be able to get the feat associated with your Muse and the Reach Spell. Now at level 2, you could take the Multifarious Muse to unlock it, but as it stands, you would also gain the only 1st level feat associated with that Muse because of Multifarious Muse, meaning you would still have no options for that third feat.

Sorcerer does not get a 1st level Class feat


Fair enough, y'all. I definitely forgot some classes don't get that 1st level class feat... which makes Natural Ambition a lil better?


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rooneg wrote:
Vivacious Conduit pretty dramatically increases the rate at which a gnome recovers hit points.

I concur that this is a situationally excellent feat, particularly for gnome martials. At 20th level you can easily have 20 Con, at which point you recover 50 HP per 10 minute rest on top of whatever medicine checks would be attempted on you. This feat is one of the main reasons I'm playing a gnome barbarian currently.

Dark Archive

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MongrelHorde wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
I'm prone to calling Natural Ambition a top tier ancestry feat, as well.

I think Sky Blue is a fair rating. I had the opposite opinion on 1st and 2nd level Barbarian Feats.

I think some classes REAALLLY want those class feats (Alchemist) and others are pretty meh. I think Rogue is pretty meh, Sorc, Wizard, and Barbarian are the ones I remember thinking I should Multi class with these classes because their early feats felt underwhelming.

Also, you only get benefit from Sudden Charge if you needed that extra Stride increment.

I think Natural Ambition should also be in the top tier. It is absolutely not just meh for rogues, as trap finder and nimble dodge are great for any character. And twin feint is great for dual wielding rogues. All of the first level feats for sorcerer look good, especially widen spell and dangerous sorcery with fireball, and acute vision, raging intimidation, and sudden charge all look like great choices for a barbarian.

Shadow Lodge

Added to the 2nd Edition Guide to the Guides!

Grand Archive

I am obliged to disagree as to the value of Assurance - Athletics to trip foes. This combination only gets you a 10 + proficiency bonus... no other modifiers apply.

So at 3rd level, with Expert proficiency... 10 +4 (Ex) +3 (lvl) = 17. Randomly checking all CR 3 creatures listed under 'D' I find that six out of six creatures have a Ref of +8 or higher, meaning their static checks are 18. So... the Assurance/Athletics Trip mechanism doesn't work.

Randomly also checking under 'M', there is only one CR 3 creature, and As/Ath/Trip fails against him too. So that going into 'M' was not a total waste, I checked the two CR 4 creatures there, and one would be tripped, the other would be missed.

One out of nine is a pretty bad deal. If you want to use Assurance / Athletics to try making climb rolls, okay. But don't waste your time on Trip.


Morton Mazon wrote:
at 3rd level, with Expert proficiency... 10 +4 (Ex) +3 (lvl) = 17. Randomly checking all CR 3 creatures...

So, it does not trip minor bosses. Didn't we have this discussion a thousand times before?

Get out of the white room and play the actual game ;)


Assurance (athletics) is primarily for combat maneuvering lower level enemies, not your level and higher.


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Morton Mason wrote:


One out of nine is a pretty bad deal. If you want to use Assurance / Athletics to try making climb rolls, okay. But don't waste your time on Trip.

Checking all the CR6 creatures that can be tripped shows that 11 of 36 have a Reflex save of +7 or lower. So, roughly 30% of trippable creatures at CR3 can be tripped by a level 3 Expert in Athletics using Assurance.

Much better than the 1 in 9 your sample suggested.


Garretmander wrote:
Assurance (athletics) is primarily for combat maneuvering lower level enemies, not your level and higher.

Not really, at higher levels you can autotrip enemies higher than you. The detail he missed isn’t that, but the fact that the enemies you normally face aren’t always equal to your level.

Grand Archive

No, the enemies you face aren't always going to be your level... sometimes they will be higher! That certainly happened a lot in 'Fall of Plaguestone'. The point of the post was to warn people that this is not an 'auto win' button, as the guide seemed to suggest. The guide did not advise as to opponent level.

Note 1: the random sampling method was described, so if someone sampled different sections of the Bestiary (or all of it), they could certainly get different results. Frex, a recent glance at divers Undead shows that most have low Ref, so they are mostly trippable (if they are not incorporeal).

Note 2: the Trip, Shove and Grapple actions are all 'Attack' actions. They count for the multiple action penalties same as Strikes. But... assurance ignores all penalties: so an Assurance-Athletics attempt has the same value whether it comes before or after two strikes.

Note 3: I have just randomly looked under 'G', for all creatures from CR7 to CR11... and if your PC is level 10 & pushed Athletics to Master your Assurance - Athletics fixed total is 10 +10 (level) +6 (master) = 26. The results are that you auto-trip 8 of the 24 creatures. Ediwir, could you please describe how you came to the conclusion that As/Ath is auto-hit at higher levels? (I picked level 10 because PFS tops out at 11, did you sample at level 15?)


Claims I don't have permission? I read it closer to when it was first uploaded, but wanted to go back and read it again, only I can't. Did OP make it private?


RecklessPrudence wrote:
Claims I don't have permission? I read it closer to when it was first uploaded, but wanted to go back and read it again, only I can't. Did OP make it private?

Is for me as well.


OTG_Wraith wrote:
RecklessPrudence wrote:
Claims I don't have permission? I read it closer to when it was first uploaded, but wanted to go back and read it again, only I can't. Did OP make it private?
Is for me as well.

Same here


MongrelHorde wrote:

I think Rogue is pretty meh

I fail to see how Rogue is meh, if you want a TWF build it’s immediately good because Nimble Dodge is always good. Even sans that, Trap Sense allows you to not run Perception as an exploration tactic which is not bad. But in the case of TWF, it’s exceptional.


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Rogues are the best at skills, and skills are actually good in this edition.

Not to mention that a sneak attacking rogue keeps up with other martials in terms of damage. They're not winning it, but they're doing enough to contribute that its relevant. They also get some nice debuff with the debilitating strikes.


shroudb wrote:
MongrelHorde wrote:
Greg.Everham wrote:
I'm prone to calling Natural Ambition a top tier ancestry feat, as well.

I think Sky Blue is a fair rating. I had the opposite opinion on 1st and 2nd level Barbarian Feats.

I think some classes REAALLLY want those class feats (Alchemist) and others are pretty meh. I think Rogue is pretty meh, Sorc, Wizard, and Barbarian are the ones I remember thinking I should Multi class with these classes because their early feats felt underwhelming.

Also, you only get benefit from Sudden Charge if you needed that extra Stride increment.

For alchemist, only bomber really wants it.

If you have a second class feat at the start quick bomber is useful for all alchemists. The action economy boost helps a lot and all alchemists will throw some bombs if just for debuffing.

Shadow Lodge

It looks like this went down.

@ Colette Brunel, did you mean to take this down?

The Exchange

Broken Zenith wrote:

It looks like this went down.

@ Colette Brunel, did you mean to take this down?

It has been locked for a couple of weeks now. I assumed that the author had just decided to withdraw it

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