Has player agency taken a hit?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Temperans wrote:

(Classes didn't have so much bias for combat roles before, but meh some people will talk about all this bad feat taxes and math fixes, while applauding feat taxes and math fixes)

* btw I'm talking in general not necessarily about people in this thread.

Depended on the class, and depended on what era you're talking about. Things would open up quite a bit as time went on but in the initial launch of PF1 it basically was "Clerics and Druids can build for whatever the f%~# they want, martials stand still and attack".

Compare the debuff potential of a Core Fighter in PF1 vs. that of a Core Fighter in PF2 and you'll see what I mean.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

PF1 like its predecessors was a hodgepodge of options. Like 3.0 and 3.5, those options were quite open to players, much to the chagrin of GMs.

PF2 is far more structured in a modular way. But it does swing back to the GM's control side. Thereby lessening the variety available to players.

This results in the classes going back to straightjackets, though more flexible ones.

And Multiclassing is not here to change the basics of your class, but to add a different spice.

The biggest change IMO comes from having to definitely make your mind about the concept for your character before beginning to create it. No class retraining means your character is stuck in their class with all its package of flavor and abilities.

Choose well.


Baby Samurai wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Players should also get some degree of reward for system mastery. I think Paizo does as well, that's why they changed the system. When WoTC built the foundation for 3.5, optimization wasn't really a thing and WotC didn't anticipate the problems that would arise.
3.0 had plenty, haste abuse, crunching crit ranges (15-20, maybe even lower), and you have some really funky splat action (Arms & Equipment Guide is classic).

Apologies for responding to this a page late, as it may now feel off topic.

I mean that when WotC was designing 3.0, they probably didn't have a true sense of what optimizers/system mastery was going to be able to do with the system. With 3.5 it'd be interesting to know when/if WotC started worrying about it.


The Raven Black wrote:

PF1 like its predecessors was a hodgepodge of options. Like 3.0 and 3.5, those options were quite open to players, much to the chagrin of GMs.

PF2 is far more structured in a modular way. But it does swing back to the GM's control side. Thereby lessening the variety available to players.

This results in the classes going back to straightjackets, though more flexible ones.

And Multiclassing is not here to change the basics of your class, but to add a different spice.

The biggest change IMO comes from having to definitely make your mind about the concept for your character before beginning to create it. No class retraining means your character is stuck in their class with all its package of flavor and abilities.

Choose well.

I get your point about not being able to retrain class but how common was it for someone to pick one class at the start and multiclass and then stick with the multiclass without having carefully thought it out in advance

I don’t think many people did something like start off as a rogue and then find a spell book from a defeated enemy and then pick up wizard levels from that point . Those wanting to play a wizard / rogue often planned it that way from the start

I have run two APs through to book 4 before life got in the way. Not extensive but no character ever swapped class focus part way through.

Or was that not what you were trying to say?


Arachnofiend wrote:
Temperans wrote:

(Classes didn't have so much bias for combat roles before, but meh some people will talk about all this bad feat taxes and math fixes, while applauding feat taxes and math fixes)

* btw I'm talking in general not necessarily about people in this thread.

Depended on the class, and depended on what era you're talking about. Things would open up quite a bit as time went on but in the initial launch of PF1 it basically was "Clerics and Druids can build for whatever the f!*~ they want, martials stand still and attack".

Compare the debuff potential of a Core Fighter in PF1 vs. that of a Core Fighter in PF2 and you'll see what I mean.

Why do we care about debuffs if the math shows just doing as much damage as possible is usually the way to go?

You can do debuff fighter in both systems. Both systems(and community) will say you're probably not playing it right but you CAN do it.

Always gotta go for the big numbers, that's what we've been taught and told.


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If a third strike at -10 is universally a better choice than inflicting Frightened on an enemy then that's a damning criticism of the system. I suspect that isn't actually true, though.


MerlinCross wrote:

Why do we care about debuffs if the math shows just doing as much damage as possible is usually the way to go?

You can do debuff fighter in both systems. Both systems(and community) will say you're probably not playing it right but you CAN do it.

Always gotta go for the big numbers, that's what we've been taught and told.

In PF2, the action cost for debuffing is much less: characters can do a debuff instead of taking a third attack at -10 or for free with a crit.


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Lanathar wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

PF1 like its predecessors was a hodgepodge of options. Like 3.0 and 3.5, those options were quite open to players, much to the chagrin of GMs.

PF2 is far more structured in a modular way. But it does swing back to the GM's control side. Thereby lessening the variety available to players.

This results in the classes going back to straightjackets, though more flexible ones.

And Multiclassing is not here to change the basics of your class, but to add a different spice.

The biggest change IMO comes from having to definitely make your mind about the concept for your character before beginning to create it. No class retraining means your character is stuck in their class with all its package of flavor and abilities.

Choose well.

I get your point about not being able to retrain class but how common was it for someone to pick one class at the start and multiclass and then stick with the multiclass without having carefully thought it out in advance

I don’t think many people did something like start off as a rogue and then find a spell book from a defeated enemy and then pick up wizard levels from that point . Those wanting to play a wizard / rogue often planned it that way from the start

I have run two APs through to book 4 before life got in the way. Not extensive but no character ever swapped class focus part way through.

Or was that not what you were trying to say?

Well... I do it. Like all the time. I don't like to plan ahead. I have an idea at the begining of play, but I'm not married to stick with a single concept. My thieves find religion, my clerics will turn to assassins, my criminals turn to paladins. (Right now I'm about to play an angelic sorceress that might multiclass into cleric, but what happens in the campaign could change that)

On another related issue. I tend to pick off-the-wall choices, like going full melee with a sorcerer ( in core-only third edition!). I don't care if something is not standard or underpowered sometimes I even go for underpowered on purpose.And that's the thing. I need to trust that if I pick a proficiency it will keep working and do its job. I play at the limit of what is not-viable; I cannot afford to further fall behind. If monsters suddenly start hitting way harder or become harder to hit I will become an outright liability to the party and I won't be tolerated at the table anymore.


Yun E. Bears wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

PF1 like its predecessors was a hodgepodge of options. Like 3.0 and 3.5, those options were quite open to players, much to the chagrin of GMs.

PF2 is far more structured in a modular way. But it does swing back to the GM's control side. Thereby lessening the variety available to players.

This results in the classes going back to straightjackets, though more flexible ones.

And Multiclassing is not here to change the basics of your class, but to add a different spice.

The biggest change IMO comes from having to definitely make your mind about the concept for your character before beginning to create it. No class retraining means your character is stuck in their class with all its package of flavor and abilities.

Choose well.

I get your point about not being able to retrain class but how common was it for someone to pick one class at the start and multiclass and then stick with the multiclass without having carefully thought it out in advance

I don’t think many people did something like start off as a rogue and then find a spell book from a defeated enemy and then pick up wizard levels from that point . Those wanting to play a wizard / rogue often planned it that way from the start

I have run two APs through to book 4 before life got in the way. Not extensive but no character ever swapped class focus part way through.

Or was that not what you were trying to say?

Well... I do it. Like all the time. I don't like to plan ahead. I have an idea at the begining of play, but I'm not married to stick with a single concept. My thieves find religion, my clerics will turn to assassins, my criminals turn to paladins. (Right now I'm about to play an angelic sorceress that might multiclass into cleric, but what happens in the campaign could change that)

On another related issue. I tend to pick off-the-wall choices, like going full melee with a sorcerer ( in core-only third edition!). I don't care if something is not standard...

I do applaud you as that is how the game would be played in an ideal world where you stumble upon a monastery and get trained or get swayed by a priest you meet. But most people, at least in PF1, are too focused on feat trees or improving class abilities

Arguably the new system lets you do this by picking up dedications on the way. You just can't ever leave your original class


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
And yes, I stand by it. If you feel that Fullplate is and I quote what's been said here, dunno by whom though "obsolete" on account of being -1AC behind, then that sounds and feels powergamey.

The AC penalty is noticeable because the character would presumably also go out of the armor during downtime, and the penalty hinders survival. A character wanting to survive is not powergamey.


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Temperans wrote:

(Classes didn't have so much bias for combat roles before, but meh some people will talk about all this bad feat taxes and math fixes, while applauding feat taxes and math fixes)

* btw I'm talking in general not necessarily about people in this thread.

Nothing could be further from the truth, if a class didn't have 9th level casting it was almost certainly built towards combat. Almost every class that had 6th level casting would also have a mechanic to greatly help in combat and then you had the summoner built for combat in a roundabout way.

Not being built for direct combat was rare.


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Doompatrol wrote:
Temperans wrote:

(Classes didn't have so much bias for combat roles before, but meh some people will talk about all this bad feat taxes and math fixes, while applauding feat taxes and math fixes)

* btw I'm talking in general not necessarily about people in this thread.

Nothing could be further from the truth, if a class didn't have 9th level casting it was almost certainly built towards combat. Almost every class that had 6th level casting would also have a mechanic to greatly help in combat and then you had the summoner built for combat in a roundabout way.

Not being built for direct combat was rare.

I didnt say that they weren't combat focused, at least that was not my intention. My point is that classes weren't straight jacketed into 1-2 combat styles/roles and forced to multiclass to access a different style.


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whew wrote:
In PF2, the action cost for debuffing is much less: characters can do a debuff instead of taking a third attack at -10 or for free with a crit.
Arachnofiend wrote:
If a third strike at -10 is universally a better choice than inflicting Frightened on an enemy then that's a damning criticism of the system. I suspect that isn't actually true, though.

You Can. Will you want to is left to be mathed out. Especially later on when new splat books come out and there might be ways to over come that -10.

I mean for the sake of all the PF gods, we have people mathing out DPR already, to decimal points.

It's why I hang my head at times when talking about PF1. It's not Agency or the choice, it's the Math that makes people do stuff. And far too often it seems. Did it make sense to take this trait for my character? NO but it gives me the Math I wanted. Story be sod off, I need Fey Foundling on Paladin. We'd be here all day if I kept giving examples but I think people get it.

I might not like the changes but right now might actually be the best time to try PF2 as the math isn't figure out just yet. Or maybe it is but it hasn't been broadcast to the wider community just yet.


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N N 959 wrote:


I mean that when WotC was designing 3.0, they probably didn't have a true sense of what optimizers/system mastery was going to be able to do with the system. With 3.5 it'd be interesting to know when/if WotC started worrying about it.

I don't wan to really take this into a huge thread - but 3.0 fixed a ton of issues with the system that was 2 with splatbooks. The muchkinland (as always) didn't really come into play until the rule books grew out of control - but to be honest you could say the same thing about every edition except pathfinder - IMO the biggest issue pathfinder had going against it was the refusal for the dev team to rule on anything not directly a rulebook. The only really unbalanced system the devs introduced was mythic.

The problem of course is when you have 1300 class combinations (yes - there are that many in PF1 when you count archtypes) you are bound to have interactions that spiral away from your core design.


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Lanathar wrote:
Yun E. Bears wrote:
Lanathar wrote:


I get your point about not being able to retrain class but how common was it for someone to pick one class at the start and multiclass and then stick with the multiclass without having carefully thought it out in advance

I don’t think many people did something like start off as a rogue and then find a spell book from a defeated enemy and then pick up wizard levels from that point . Those wanting to play a wizard / rogue often planned it that way from the start

I have run two APs through to book 4 before life got in the way. Not extensive but no character ever swapped class focus part way through.

Or was that not what you were trying to say?

Well... I do it. Like all the time. I don't like to plan ahead. I have an idea at the begining of play, but I'm not married to stick with a single concept. My thieves find religion, my clerics will turn to assassins, my criminals turn to paladins. (Right now I'm about to play an angelic sorceress that might multiclass into cleric, but what happens in the campaign could change that)

On another related issue. I tend to pick off-the-wall choices, like going full melee with a sorcerer ( in core-only third edition!). I don't

I do applaud you as that is how the game would be played in an ideal world where you stumble upon a monastery and get trained or get swayed by a priest you meet. But most people, at least in PF1, are too focused on feat trees or improving class abilities

Arguably the new system lets you do this by picking up dedications on the way. You just can't ever leave your original class

Which is something I don't really find that desirable. Unless my first class is sorcerer, I can see it being sticky since it is a part of you, it doesn't gels well with me. I don't want my ex assassin to just keep getting better at killing people. Or my ex-thief to keep getting better at stealing, or my former cleric with a crisis of faith to keep getting better at channeling divine magic.

Should I stay longterm with PF2 it'll be despite and not because of this.

Also, you didn't really address this part:

Yun E. Bears wrote:


On another related issue. I tend to pick off-the-wall choices, like going full melee with a sorcerer ( in core-only third edition!). I don't care if something is not standard or underpowered sometimes I even go for underpowered on purpose. And that's the thing. I need to trust that if I pick a proficiency it will keep working and do its job. I play at the limit of what is not-viable; I cannot afford to further fall behind. If monsters suddenly start hitting way harder or become harder to hit I will become an outright liability to the party and I won't be tolerated at the table anymore.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would much rather the answer to a character fundamentally changing who they are result in effectively retraining their class and rebuilding that character as if their new class was always their starting point. A war priest who has the multi-class archetype for fighter transitions to the opposite or maybe a champion. As long as I can square the fiction I am fine with this.

From where I stand your class is not just indicative of a particular skill set. It represents who you are, who you see yourself as, how you address the world. This does not change easily. Being a fighter requires dedication, daily practice, and a commitment to honing your martial skills. Abandoning that path and mentality means that you are no longer in your core a fighter. You have given it up. It should be a big deal. Your entire life up to that point has all been in dedication to skill at arms. I think transitioning from one class to another is the best way to handle what should be a big story moment.

Dark Archive

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I don’t think something such as class should be changed on a whim or even could be. If someone actually spent years ( or months of harrowing life experiences) trying to perfect a set of skills, I don’t think all that training would just vanish and could be traded in for another equally consuming set of skills. Sure, anyone’s viewpoint could be completely changed from circumstances, but those circumstances are more likely to color that person’s intrinsic world view, which would be covered by that person taking a multiclassing dedication. If someone wanted to rid himself or herself of all that knowledge, that experience, I would take that as a complete mind wipe and an effective character reset from level 1.


james014Aura wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
And yes, I stand by it. If you feel that Fullplate is and I quote what's been said here, dunno by whom though "obsolete" on account of being -1AC behind, then that sounds and feels powergamey.
The AC penalty is noticeable because the character would presumably also go out of the armor during downtime, and the penalty hinders survival. A character wanting to survive is not powergamey.

Well, that goes for everyone who choses heavy armor, that's sort of always been the case.

But that also goes for every armor except unarmored to a degree. There's a lot of variables with that though. Are they built for high dex or medium, etc. A high dex ranger focused on archery might stick to light armor and lose less than a ranger focused around medium armor and dual wielding with str.

I feel that it's another topic if we wanna go into the risks of using medium/heavy armor over unarmored/light. The latter will of course be better if caught off guard because they pump dex, the former focuses on str so they depend on the armor more.

What penalty do you mean? As long as you meet it's STR check, you negate penalties and 5ft of movement penalty.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:


What penalty do you mean? As long as you meet it's STR check, you negate penalties and 5ft of movement penalty.

They are talking about the "penalty" of having to take off their armour when asleep and not having a high dex as being necessary to survive.

Munchkinism.

So, what we have found out so far

- AC ends up being higher until 13 then -1 after expert, -2 after 20 dex at 15. But you still gain access to other ability investment. (same and -1 for full plate, at 13 and 15 respectively)

- Armour proficiency allows for multiple types of specific magical armour and strength checks can even be lowered if you get yourself special metal armour.

- Wizards can always cast mage armor, which overrides their armour when it comes to bonuses and allows them to play a high dex wizard if they want to.

So, Roleplayers are fine they have their option and while it is very slightly sub optimal as long as you aren't a dex ranged class it isn't that bad.

The minmaxers/powergamers are irritated because they aren't retaining bigger bonuses and want more ways to push the math.

The consistency warriors are hung up on proficiency changing in things you aren't using. (but not that we are playing a system with exp and learning how to fight with heavy armour instantly on a level up?)

Even the monk is more capable of being an effective heavy armoured fighter in PF2e. So we are left with druids of both editions getting the short end of the stick and rangers/rogues not being great choices for heavy armour (although not awful either since pumping int is likely less useful and str was already on the table)


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:


What penalty do you mean? As long as you meet it's STR check, you negate penalties and 5ft of movement penalty.

They are talking about the "penalty" of having to take off their armour when asleep and not having a high dex as being necessary to survive.

Munchkinism.

So, what we have found out so far

- AC ends up being higher until 13 then -1 after expert, -2 after 20 dex at 15. But you still gain access to other ability investment. (same and -1 for full plate, at 13 and 15 respectively)

- Armour proficiency allows for multiple types of specific magical armour and strength checks can even be lowered if you get yourself special metal armour.

- Wizards can always cast mage armor, which overrides their armour when it comes to bonuses and allows them to play a high dex wizard if they want to.

So, Roleplayers are fine they have their option and while it is very slightly sub optimal as long as you aren't a dex ranged class it isn't that bad.

The minmaxers/powergamers are irritated because they aren't retaining bigger bonuses and want more ways to push the math.

The consistency warriors are hung up on proficiency changing in things you aren't using. (but not that we are playing a system with exp and learning how to fight with heavy armour instantly on a level up?)

Even the monk is more capable of being an effective heavy armoured fighter in PF2e. So we are left with druids of both editions getting the short end of the stick and rangers/rogues not being great choices for heavy armour (although not awful either since pumping int is likely less useful and str was already on the table)

I think baseline, not considering runes and magic items, the armor for a caster depends on your build and aesthetics.

/Personally/: I don't think Dex is a good stat for a wizard anymore, it applies to AC, 3 Skills(Acrobatics, Thievery and Sneak) and ranged/finesse +Hit.
Wizard/sorc/cleric(cloistered) can focus on ranged via spells with their casting stat now, they don't really need dex but if they go for the dex, they need 20 to outdo a full-plated caster. I for one, value stat boosts more than General Feats, which for a caster are limited. I'm not counting General; Skill feats because they get a separate feat for that so it's not a big loss. STR on the other hand gives good Athletics which brings a lot of utility both in combat and movement out of combat, you can swim and climb well, even kick down doors and shove people. A wizard with STR and INT is decent at range with spells and cantrips, and "okay" in melee because his staff/club/dagger ends up with 17+STR(at 13th) to hit baseline before self buffs.

I like gish/magus/eldritch knights, so I'd rather have 18STR and pay up to 3 general feats and be "okay" at melee and decent at buffing and ranged combat via spells, than pump DEX to 20 and have ranged combat as my only choice because using crossbow as a joke, and getting a finesse weapons costs a feat, but won't apply DEX to damage.

But it's a choice. Up to 3 feats for the extreme case of wizard if I wanted full plate and 18 or 16 str depending on variables.
At level 13th, you can use a ton of spells to supplement a melee lifestyle too. Mirror images, enlarge, blur, haste, true strike.

A level 1 wizard can do 2d8 with his staff thanks to magic weapon lasting ten rounds. I dunno if it's amazing and lifechanging, but it doesn't seem the worst option out there compared to 1d4-1d8 rogues.


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At 13th level, you get tired. Tired of shlepping around heavy armor, but the practice of doing so has left your body stronger for the effort.

On a whim, you shed your husk, don lighter encumbers, and find yourself able to move with a greater vitality.

The experience primes you to seek new training in feats you never thought you'd be able to accomplish.

You remark, with only the joyous cynicism that age and experience can bring, "what was I thinking all this time!?"


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Narxiso wrote:
I don’t think something such as class should be changed on a whim or even could be. If someone actually spent years ( or months of harrowing life experiences) trying to perfect a set of skills, I don’t think all that training would just vanish and could be traded in for another equally consuming set of skills. Sure, anyone’s viewpoint could be completely changed from circumstances, but those circumstances are more likely to color that person’s intrinsic world view, which would be covered by that person taking a multiclassing dedication. If someone wanted to rid himself or herself of all that knowledge, that experience, I would take that as a complete mind wipe and an effective character reset from level 1.

Ok and the Ex-Rogue part? You know you gave up stealing, you gave up that life altogether, and yet... somehow... You're Still getting better at it, Despite You ACTIVELY Trying to steer clear of it... Yeah, that makes sense...

Will those skills still be there when you first give it up? Yeah, yeah, they will, But they Shouldn't Be Getting Better. Then down the line, Down the Levels, They should be Atrophying if Anything, unless you've For some reason Despite wanting to give up that life, have decided its a good idea to keep those skills. Aka the Class Swap, the class Retrain... Because you turned your life around, You did it... Now you're this Other thing...

Kinda like if I suddenly started spending less time gaming because I wanted to get in shape, and then I started feeling good with exercise, it empowered me, and I kinda stopped being a gamer and became a gymrat... Would it take time? Absolutely, should it be Possible? DEFINITELY


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
totoro wrote:
I think it would be far superior game design to simply figure out how much X is worth and then charge the player the requisite number of feats necessary to match the value of X at every level.

That sort of design would then have to be rolled out over most proficiencies and would turn away a lot of players/gms with its bean counting nature. Mind you I do not lament the loss of skill ranks, so make of that what you will :P.

The reason I don't care if a RPer has a -2AC (at most) is because unless you are optimising it isn't that big of a deal, it opens up new armour types (regarding specific magical items and materials) and we KNOW we are getting new archetypes, feats and other options.

A general feat is a nice easily accessible option for a RP dip where someone just wants to wear something or wield an item. Something else giving scaling proficiency is a healthier design imo.

Fair enough, but it isn't any different than the bean counting that is done for ancestry weapon familiarity, but instead of taking an ancestry feat at 13th level to get auto-scaling, you would push it forward to where it matters.

I think a well-designed game allows players to make roleplay or customization choices that do not gimp their characters. I'm sure there is no "perfect" system, but -2 AC seems like an unnecessary hit for a choice that doesn't result in any other substantive advantage. You can make armor from any material you want and, at least in my experience, the fact a character could wear lots of different kinds of armor generally didn't matter much with armor choice. I don't see there being a significant deviation from that with the current ruleset.


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CyberMephit wrote:
totoro wrote:
I think it would be far superior game design to simply figure out how much X is worth and then charge the player the requisite number of feats necessary to match the value of X at every level.

That would become GUPRS then. I don't think that game is free from balance problems.

The issue with this approach is that the value of X to a specific character is not constant and depends on whether the character (or even someone in the party) also has Y or Z. It is possible to balance costs of a specific set of abilities in one book (to an extent), but every next book would require a re-balancing of everything published so far to take into account the new synergies. If this is not done then the same kind of universally good and universally bad option groups will eventually surface.

A complexity of balancing a set of options grows exponentially with the number of options in the set, so properly designing 1000 universal feats takes much more time than 10 classes with 100 feats each.

I can point to a number of feats within PF2 that prove the game designers think a feat is worth a constant amount. The simplest example is probably the ancestry weapon expertise feats. They let you auto-scale a bunch of martial weapons with your class weapons. If a dwarf wizard with an auto-scaling battle axe doesn't break the game, I don't see why a halfling cleric with an auto-scaling rapier would.

(And the main problem with GURPS is not balance; it's that it isn't very fun to play and power scaling is awful, IMO, of course.)


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MerlinCross wrote:
whew wrote:
In PF2, the action cost for debuffing is much less: characters can do a debuff instead of taking a third attack at -10 or for free with a crit.
Arachnofiend wrote:
If a third strike at -10 is universally a better choice than inflicting Frightened on an enemy then that's a damning criticism of the system. I suspect that isn't actually true, though.

You Can. Will you want to is left to be mathed out. Especially later on when new splat books come out and there might be ways to over come that -10.

I mean for the sake of all the PF gods, we have people mathing out DPR already, to decimal points.

It's why I hang my head at times when talking about PF1. It's not Agency or the choice, it's the Math that makes people do stuff. And far too often it seems. Did it make sense to take this trait for my character? NO but it gives me the Math I wanted. Story be sod off, I need Fey Foundling on Paladin. We'd be here all day if I kept giving examples but I think people get it.

I might not like the changes but right now might actually be the best time to try PF2 as the math isn't figure out just yet. Or maybe it is but it hasn't been broadcast to the wider community just yet.

I can only speak for myself, but the math and attempts to break the system are precisely why I'm here. At some point, I am going to gather up all my toys, write up my houserules, and not come back for a while. That doesn't mean we do math when making player choices. It just means I want the game designed to maximize choice with minimum punishment for "roleplaying" choices. I'm sure the game designers would tell you that requires some math. The simplest way to put it might be: You don't come to the forums to roleplay.


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Campbell wrote:

I would much rather the answer to a character fundamentally changing who they are result in effectively retraining their class and rebuilding that character as if their new class was always their starting point. A war priest who has the multi-class archetype for fighter transitions to the opposite or maybe a champion. As long as I can square the fiction I am fine with this.

From where I stand your class is not just indicative of a particular skill set. It represents who you are, who you see yourself as, how you address the world. This does not change easily. Being a fighter requires dedication, daily practice, and a commitment to honing your martial skills. Abandoning that path and mentality means that you are no longer in your core a fighter. You have given it up. It should be a big deal. Your entire life up to that point has all been in dedication to skill at arms. I think transitioning from one class to another is the best way to handle what should be a big story moment.

That is precisely what happened in my game. War priest retrained as a fighter with a cleric dedication. It was easy, as is all character creation in this version, and nobody had any real reason to notice. I tend to let my players make whatever choices they want, but a good rule might be to take a dedication if you want to retrain to a new class (and retrain to the class in which you took the dedication).


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I too think that any class should be able to reach at least Expertise proficiency in any armour or weapon, without jumping through too many hoops, certainly not multiclassing.

Dark Archive

Dracala wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
I don’t think something such as class should be changed on a whim or even could be. If someone actually spent years ( or months of harrowing life experiences) trying to perfect a set of skills, I don’t think all that training would just vanish and could be traded in for another equally consuming set of skills. Sure, anyone’s viewpoint could be completely changed from circumstances, but those circumstances are more likely to color that person’s intrinsic world view, which would be covered by that person taking a multiclassing dedication. If someone wanted to rid himself or herself of all that knowledge, that experience, I would take that as a complete mind wipe and an effective character reset from level 1.

Ok and the Ex-Rogue part? You know you gave up stealing, you gave up that life altogether, and yet... somehow... You're Still getting better at it, Despite You ACTIVELY Trying to steer clear of it... Yeah, that makes sense...

Will those skills still be there when you first give it up? Yeah, yeah, they will, But they Shouldn't Be Getting Better. Then down the line, Down the Levels, They should be Atrophying if Anything, unless you've For some reason Despite wanting to give up that life, have decided its a good idea to keep those skills. Aka the Class Swap, the class Retrain... Because you turned your life around, You did it... Now you're this Other thing...

Kinda like if I suddenly started spending less time gaming because I wanted to get in shape, and then I started feeling good with exercise, it empowered me, and I kinda stopped being a gamer and became a gymrat... Would it take time? Absolutely, should it be Possible? DEFINITELY

This does not simply seem to be a problem with this being a class-based system, but with proficiency scaling as well, which I think I’m starting to see clearly (please correct me if I’m wrong), as all trained and better skills increase no matter what you between level ups. For giving up stealing, I would think that retraining the skill thievery would fix that problem, as thievery is not a skill that rogues must take. Retraining every skill level would also count as the atrophying of those skills.

As for your metaphor, giving up your life completely (life as a gamer) and starting over as something else would be starting from level 1 once again (becoming a gym rat). However, I would say that so long as that gym rat was cognizant of his life as a gamer, with a little time and effort, s/he could be just as good at playing as he or she was before.

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Lanathar wrote:

I do applaud you as that is how the game would be played in an ideal world where you stumble upon a monastery and get trained or get swayed by a priest you meet. But most people, at least in PF1, are too focused on feat trees or improving class abilities

Arguably the new system lets you do this by picking up dedications on the way. You just can't ever leave your original class

Problem is that classes have such a strong identity now that you cannot change your character's concept midway in their life, because the class is the concept.

Your character just cannot start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors. They will have to become an Occult spellcaster extraordinary.

So if you want your character to become great at fighting, you have to start as a Martial. Luckily you will be able to Inspire Courage eventually, at 8th level or more.

Funny thing is that in PF2 everyone will need to decide from the start what their character will end up being before creating them whereas in earlier editions it was seen as pure powergaming.

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Lanathar wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

PF1 like its predecessors was a hodgepodge of options. Like 3.0 and 3.5, those options were quite open to players, much to the chagrin of GMs.

PF2 is far more structured in a modular way. But it does swing back to the GM's control side. Thereby lessening the variety available to players.

This results in the classes going back to straightjackets, though more flexible ones.

And Multiclassing is not here to change the basics of your class, but to add a different spice.

The biggest change IMO comes from having to definitely make your mind about the concept for your character before beginning to create it. No class retraining means your character is stuck in their class with all its package of flavor and abilities.

Choose well.

I get your point about not being able to retrain class but how common was it for someone to pick one class at the start and multiclass and then stick with the multiclass without having carefully thought it out in advance

I don’t think many people did something like start off as a rogue and then find a spell book from a defeated enemy and then pick up wizard levels from that point . Those wanting to play a wizard / rogue often planned it that way from the start

I have run two APs through to book 4 before life got in the way. Not extensive but no character ever swapped class focus part way through.

Or was that not what you were trying to say?

That sure is part of it. But not the only one or even the greatest one. You now have to decide when creating your character what they will be like at say 13th level. And once you make that decision, you are stuck with it.

Also playing a 50/50 hybrid is now impossible. Either you are say a Fighter with some casting abilities or a Wizard with some fighting abilities. MC cannot change the core of your class. It cannot bring you a balance of fighting and casting abilities.

If you start a Martial, you will always be one. Same if you start a caster.

It is a sad consequence of the design decisions of having strong class identities and preventing casters from stealing the thunder from martials.


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Nine out of ten, best way to reclass is to ask your GM if you can remake the character into the new class.


In 3E or PF1 you could totally start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors.

All you needed to do was to start out as Bard 1, and then take a dozen levels of Fighter.

I think to be constructive, we should not act as if people are making unreasonable demands.

Instead the question, to me, would be What do you think about multiclassing being removed from Pathfinder 2? Why do you think they removed it?


Removing + Level gives some nice perspective on Proficiency bonus, similar to 5th Ed; though instead of progressing steadily from +2 to +6 (5th Ed style), you are set at +2, +4, +6, or +8.

Looking at it that way, I think all should be able to get +4 (Expertise), in whatever.

Silver Crusade

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Zapp wrote:

In 3E or PF1 you could totally start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors.

All you needed to do was to start out as Bard 1, and then take a dozen levels of Fighter

That example, a Fighter with a few rounds of Inspire Courage, is better showcased with a Fighter that MCed into Bard than the other way around.


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Rysky wrote:
Zapp wrote:

In 3E or PF1 you could totally start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors.

All you needed to do was to start out as Bard 1, and then take a dozen levels of Fighter

That example, a Fighter with a few rounds of Inspire Courage, is better showcased with a Fighter that MCed into Bard than the other way around.

Not to mention that the example bard never got past level 1 spells.


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It's literally always better to start fighter as the other way around is just punishing yourself.


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Temperans wrote:
It's literally always better to start fighter as the other way around is just punishing yourself.

Not if you want full spellcasting and the higher level feats from a class.


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Rysky wrote:
That example, a Fighter with a few rounds of Inspire Courage, is better showcased with a Fighter that MCed into Bard than the other way around.

Lol. True :)

Point still stands, though.


If you want to be a martial with some spells, martial MC spellcaster

If you want to be a spellcaster who can flank/fire arrows somewhat competently, spellcaster MC martial

If you want to do both, but worse than either, wait for the magus to come back. I'm sure it's on the table.


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Has player agency taken a hit? I don’t believe so.

Have available options taken a hit? Undeniably, but we all knew that would happen.


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Liegence wrote:

Has player agency taken a hit? I don’t believe so.

Have available options taken a hit? Undeniably, but we all knew that would happen.

In some ways, especially with MC dedications, we actually have more/better options.

Multiclassing as a caster was hell before, especially as one who didn't have wizard level full casting. Also now that STR can negate armor penalties, rogues with medium or even heavy armors aren't unpossible, and casters no longer have to worry about spell failures.

My favorite part is access to all skills for everyone though.

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Rysky wrote:
Zapp wrote:

In 3E or PF1 you could totally start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors.

All you needed to do was to start out as Bard 1, and then take a dozen levels of Fighter

That example, a Fighter with a few rounds of Inspire Courage, is better showcased with a Fighter that MCed into Bard than the other way around.

Which comes online at level 8 in PF2 while it was available from the start in PF1, even just with the CRB.


The Raven Black wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Zapp wrote:

In 3E or PF1 you could totally start knowing how to Inspire Courage and later become a master of weapons and armors.

All you needed to do was to start out as Bard 1, and then take a dozen levels of Fighter

That example, a Fighter with a few rounds of Inspire Courage, is better showcased with a Fighter that MCed into Bard than the other way around.
Which comes online at level 8 in PF2 while it was available from the start in PF1, even just with the CRB.

What comes online at level 8? Can you not pick inspire as a Bard cantrip from Bard multiclass at level 2 (haven’t looked that closely) ?

So where does level 8 come from?

And a fighter with inspire courage did not come online from the start in PF1 unless you consider the “start” something different . Level 2 was needed - 1 in Bard and one in fighter ...

But I am clearly missing what you are saying needs waiting for level 8 for...

Liberty's Edge

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Lanathar,
No, you can't. Inspire Courage isn't available until lvl 8, when the Bard itself gets a boost. It looks like the goal for MC is to never be as good as the same level in the primary class would be at the things the primary class does.

Silver Crusade

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Inspire Competence is the 2nd level Bard Feat, 8th is the MC Inspire Courage Feat.

Bards automatically get Inspire Courage at 1st level.


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The cantrips you gain with Bard Dedication come from the Occult spell list. Inspire courage is a composition cantrip that is exclusive to the Bard. Abilities like inspire courage are class defining.

Here's the way I look at it: the first level in a class is the most formative. You do not level up from being 0 level to 1st level and pick a class. It represents years of dedication or it's who you have always been. One does not simply become a champion, fighter, wizard, or monk.

On a game design level if a game is designed with free multi-classing in mind we would not get such powerful features at 1st level. It would take several levels for the class to feel like the class. I am personally not alright with that.


Ah ok. That does seem a bigger jump than I would have expected in that particular case

I would have assumed it was a 4th level at highest but have no reasoning to base that on !


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Going to the original post: Yes, player agency has taken a big hit from 1e. There's no debating this when considering how MC'ing works. You're essentially forced to stay in your class roles and, especially for martials, the best you're doing proficiency-wise through MC'ing is expert. I'll agree that 1e essentially had *too much* diversity with the amount of dips you could do to abuse the system, but any argument that 2e hasn't limited player (character really?) diversity is effectively confirmation bias.

I think it's more interesting how it relates to 5e, which is its main competitor at this point. You get more feats in 2e than in 5e, but you're not allowed to fully multiclass... Feats give you some diversity, but only a limited amount. They effectively improve on what you're already good at doing, and don't really give you access to new things. It's seriously debatable whether there's more character diversity in 5e than in 2e.

Silver Crusade

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tivadar27 wrote:
There's no debating this

The very existence of this thread disagrees with this.

Shadow Lodge

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tivadar27 wrote:
Going to the original post: Yes, player agency has taken a big hit from 1e. There's no debating this when considering how MC'ing works.

Multiclassing is not player agency.

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