Has player agency taken a hit?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Yes, I'm just saying that you should be comparing wizard damage to archer damage, not melee fighter damage. Do fighter archers do as much damage as melee fighters?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
whew wrote:
Yes, I'm just saying that you should be comparing wizard damage to archer damage, not melee fighter damage. Do fighter archers do as much damage as melee fighters?

It's also a comparison in terms of optimal melee damage. Do you know how many of these monsters knock you about, eat your insides, poison you, give you diseases, have passive damage auras, grab you, frighten you, or knock you on your ass? Then there's the whole smack you around bit and movement dropping your damage.

It's hard out there for melee.


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whew wrote:

You're fighting a large creature in a doorway or a 10x10 corridor. Are 4 fighters going to do more damage than 2 fighters and 2 wizards?

A pirate ship attacks and there are a few rounds at range before the ships connect. Is a fighter still going to do more damage than a wizard?

The enemy flies and has a ranged attack. Is a fighter still better? (This one may have a different answer at high levels when the fighter can fly.)

Underwater? The fighter is probably better at swimming, but is he still just as much better at damage?

In conclusion: how much does a max-strength fighter's damage decrease when using a ranged weapon? Does he still do more damage than a wizard?

As a GM who relies a great deal on printed modules, I would say this is not the comparison I care about. What I care about is what is actually going on in the adventure. I can say with certainty that the scenarios in which the spellcasters shine relative to fighters in Plaguestone are few. And I'm really just being diplomatic by saying "few." The new adventure path includes nothing that makes me think spellcasters are going to do any better.

Spellcasters start to get interesting at 5th level. Fireball can be "best" in some cases (e.g., when the foes are all bunched up and not breaking the ranks of the front-liners). Chain Lightning is insanely powerful in circumstances that actually will come up (e.g., when the foes are all over the place). However, spellcasters at levels 1-4 are terrible in comparison in almost every scenario, unless you build them for weapon-based combat.

I don't think spellcasters need a boost at higher level, necessarily, but at the early levels, I think a wizard should get about 6 spell slots, bump to 8 at 2nd level, then don't increase the number of spell slots at odd levels until 9th level, so it goes 6/0/0 at 1st, 8/0/0 at 2nd, 3/5/0 at 3rd, 3/7/0 at 4th, 3/3/4 at 5th, 3/3/6 at 6th, 3/3/3/3 at 7th, 3/3/3/5 at 8th, 3/3/3/3/2 at 9th. Something like that. Or just given them a bonus of 5 + spellcasting attribute bonus 1st level spells and leave it at that. That would work, too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Temperans wrote:

A Fighter with all his Legendary skills in combat doesn't even need to grab combat spells, which frees him up to grab the utility spells that people claim is a casters bread and butter.

Yeah it's a couple of levels behind, can you imagine if fighters MC Wizard also got the spells at the same time as a single class Wizard, while the Wizard MC Fighter still has to wait until level 12 to get expert in martial weapons and nothing else?

And yes I do see spells as kind of worthless in the grand scheme of things. After all for 1 class feat you can get 1 proficiency increase to armor or weapon up to expert and nothing else or 1 proficiency increase to spellcasting up to master, 2-3 new lv appropriate spell levels with 1 spell slot each, and 2 spells known of your highest spell lv for every new spell lv.

And there lies the problem, no one can increase martial proficiency because it infringes on the martial, but anyone can infringe on the casters because why not.

*************
AoE evocation spells are valid at best if the GM let's you hit 2-3+ creatures. Otherwise you are spending 2-3 actions and 1 of your highest spell slots to deal less damage then the Fighter. And if the GM is throwing 2-3+ creatures at the party it's more than likely the Fighter can take care of them without any problem or expending any resource.

Proficiencies is the limiting factor for Martial ability. But not for casting where it is the number of spells you can cast each day that matters the most.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Neo2151 wrote:

We're seeing a lot of topics pop up with concerns about proficiency scaling issues for anyone trying to step even a little bit outside of what the class provides (Bards and Medium Armor, Wizards and a Martial Weapon, even things built into the class, such as a Dragon Sorcerer's prof with their claw attacks).

I've also noticed that since every class is so heavily tied to it's class feat options, you really can't adopt a playstyle that wasn't built specifically for the class. If you want to TWF as a Barbarian, for instance, you just can't as the feats that make it happen aren't available to you (yes, you can "technically" TWF with regular MAP attacks and two different weapons, but we aaaall know that's not what anyone means by TWF ;P ).

There is certainly a lot of new and interesting things with the new edition that are improvements over the old, but I'm getting the feeling that Classes specifically are essentially so rigid that you either play the way the rulebook tells you or you struggle to keep up, by design.

That seems anathema to D&D-esque gameplay.

How do others feel?

This is my biggest issue with the system on a personal level now that we have the final rules. Fighting style and weapon choice is a lot more rigidly attached to class in PF2 due to the shift from general combat feats to class-based combat feats, and it's already lead to stumbling blocks for me while trying to put together a few older characters to see how they'd feel in the new system.

There's a lot I like in PF2, but given the way I play and create characters, this is actually a big enough issue that I'm stuck either substantially house-ruling PF2's feat systems (to have general combat feats again) or trying to make the elements I do like (such as ancestries, heritages, and backgrounds) work for PF1. I've not yet decided which path I like better—I'd prefer not to have to make the choice at all!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Neo2151 wrote:
I've also noticed that since every class is so heavily tied to it's class feat options, you really can't adopt a playstyle that wasn't built specifically for the class. If you want to TWF as a Barbarian, for instance, you just can't as the feats that make it happen aren't available to you (yes, you can "technically" TWF with regular MAP attacks and two different weapons, but we aaaall know that's not what anyone means by TWF ;P ).

TL;DR all of the rest of this thread.

There is more of an opportunity cost for moving outside your PC's class "playstyle" options (or even attempting to be "good" at multiple "playstyle" options within your PC's class*). Also, there are doubtless more options that will be released in later books.

However, a TWF barbarian is possible with two feats: Ranger Dedication and Basic Hunter's Trick (Twin Takedown). Granted, there are limitations: Twin Takedown can only be used against an opponent designated as prey (which requires an action; although once designated, it doesn't require additional actions until switching to a different target) and Twin Takedown has the Flourish trait (so the two attacks for one action can only be used once per turn).

* such as druids that want to have both an animal companion and Wild Shape


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As an addendum to the TWF barbarian, one possible character would be a human with Unconventional Weaponry (Orc Necksplitter) or human/half-orc with Orc Weapon Familiarity (advanced orc weapons are martial weapons) to dual-wield a pair of orc necksplitters.


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Dragonchess Player wrote:
However, a TWF barbarian is possible with two feats: Ranger Dedication and Basic Hunter's Trick (Twin Takedown).

My contention to this argument is simply, it proves my initial point right.

You aren't TWF as a Barbarian - you're TWF as a Barbarian/Ranger, because you had to step outside of your class (Barb) in order to pick up the combat style you wanted to play with (TWF), and it even took twice the investment to do it.
Continuing to look at Barbarian for a sec, the quintessential Barbarian is probably Conan, a character who commonly used a sword and shield in his stories. Yet the Barbarian class doesn't have Shield feats, so you can't even play the barbarian without MCing.

Having had more time to consider it, I think my issue boils down to the idea that "combat style" shouldn't be tied so specifically to classes, but should be more general.
Class Feats should focus on what class-specific gameplay you'd like to do, but in reality much of that gets sacrificed because class feats are used up on how you do combat.

Getting back to Ranger - If you want to play a Ranger that really feels like a Ranger (ie: tracking, animal interaction, knowledge of terrain and enemies, stealth, etc) you can absolutely do it, but you won't have feats left over to be any good at any combat style. If you want to be any good at a combat style, you have to sacrifice what makes the Ranger the Ranger.


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Solution:

5 (6)levels of proficiency.

Untrained, Novice, journeyman, expert, master, legendary.

In addition to the bonus, you get access to related feats. IE:

Melee skill at journeyman grants you:
+4 to melee attacks, and access to combat feats up to level 8.

Nature skill would grant yo access to ranger feats, stealth would grant access to rogue feats etc.

Just a concept, but it the direction I am heading.


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Neo2151 wrote:
Continuing to look at Barbarian for a sec, the quintessential Barbarian is probably Conan, a character who commonly used a sword and shield in his stories. Yet the Barbarian class doesn't have Shield feats, so you can't even play the barbarian without MCing.

Shield Block is a general feat. A human Barbarian can take it at first level.


Eh I'm sure they will print some two weapon feats for other classes later on.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Eh I'm sure they will print some two weapon feats for other classes later on.

This is the flaw with class specific powers (and it was a pretty big flaw in D&D 4e so its disappointing the devs didnt learn their mistake from last time). But for now that ship has sailed.


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I don't doubt that the Barbarian will eventually get shield feats (shoving people with your shield seems appropriate), but the CRB really didn't need to be bigger.


It is already a lethal weapon if used as a bludgeon.


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The barbarian can pick up a shield and use it, though. Everybody can. And can invest in shield block if that seems opportune.


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Also Conan the barbarian is not a barbarian in d&d terms, at least not in the 3.5+ era. Conan if you look at his exploits from the material is very much a rogue. The tribal parts of barbarian have nothing to do with Conan and neither do the berserker parts. As is said you can easily make a barbarian with shield focus but it’s never been the focus of any modern d&d system to make Conan. He just has too much rogue (the stealthiness, the thievery and the charisma) in him.


Yeah Conan is a high str rogue (one of the reasons I pushed for rogue to have a str option in fact. )

Liberty's Edge

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In PF2, Conan is a Fighter with a Rogue multiclass (in PF1, he was a Slayer). He's not really a Barbarian, but he is a warrior even more than he is a thief, and his primary weapon of choice was always longer swords wielded two-handed (something that doesn't work with Rogue mechanically, and isn't supported well by Ranger). A Ruffian Rogue can do a decent Conan impersonation aside from weapon choice, though.


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Yeah I think it worked better in 3.5 D&D I feel like I had a rogue orc that used a two hander and made it work pretty well. Wasn't really much of a rogue more like a thug.


Saying Conan was a Rogue is like saying Elminster is a Cleric.
Spending some of his career doing a thing doesn't make him specifically that thing. ;)


I mean I agree he was a multi-class. He did spend a lot of time doing rogue stuff however. You could make a rogue give him a high str and as long as your high level no one has to know your not a rogue. It's the perfect cover really. Conan was not only just a rogue but a genius as well!


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Conan was a bunch of different things at different times in his life.

Class systems don't represent that particularly well unless you are limiting the character to a single snapshot.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah I think it worked better in 3.5 D&D

Definitely; 3rd Ed multi-classing actually captures the Conan deal very well: start as Barbarian, then some Fighter levels, then a few rogue levels, some more fighter levels what-have-you.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Colonel Kurtz wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah I think it worked better in 3.5 D&D
Definitely; 3rd Ed multi-classing actually captures the Conan deal very well: start as Barbarian, then some Fighter levels, then a few rogue levels, some more fighter levels what-have-you.

Not really, Conan is a competent character.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Colonel Kurtz wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah I think it worked better in 3.5 D&D
Definitely; 3rd Ed multi-classing actually captures the Conan deal very well: start as Barbarian, then some Fighter levels, then a few rogue levels, some more fighter levels what-have-you.
Not really, Conan is a competent character.

If you have enough levels under your belt you are always gonna seem competent to lower level challenges.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Colonel Kurtz wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah I think it worked better in 3.5 D&D
Definitely; 3rd Ed multi-classing actually captures the Conan deal very well: start as Barbarian, then some Fighter levels, then a few rogue levels, some more fighter levels what-have-you.
Not really, Conan is a competent character.
If you have enough levels under your belt you are always gonna seem competent to lower level challenges.

Yep, you can multi-class Barbarian, Fighter, and Rogue and be more than competent. Being not brokenly powerful or completely homogenous with all other "builds" does not equal incompetence.

And apparently, technically, according to many, if you are not a full caster in PF1, you are always incompetent, comparatively.

Dark Archive

WormysQueue wrote:
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.

To be honest, that is one of the problems I have with 2nd edition, that I hope will be solved over time with additional archetypes.

Just recently I was trying to rebuild an NPC from an AP with 2nd edition rules. Aubrin the Green (from Ironfang Invasion) is, at the start of the campaign, a ranger 3/cleric of Cayden Caillean 3. From the background given, it is pretty clear that she started out as a ranger and only became a cleric later on. And assuming that this is the direction she will going for in the future, I would probably add cleric levels when leveling her up. So she could end up as a ranger 3/cleric 17 eventually.

And I can't as easily trace back that progress with a 2nd edition character and again would be much better off with starting out as cleric and adding in the ranger dedication at some later point of the character's life.

No problem if I prefer a mechanical view over a narrative view on that character. Only that this has never been the way I approached it. To me, the narrative shapes the character not the other way round. Here, narrative clashes with the mechanics.

This said, I really like 2nd ed. class design, so this is not a slight against the system. I'm just saying that, depending on your approach, there are limitations built in the system that you didn't have in PF 1 (Core Rules). And while I understand that those limitations might serve well to reach a better-balanced system and make the classes a bit more distinct, I still dislike having to change my narrative because if my character starts out as a ranger, even with multiclassing I'll never be able to play him like the character I was going for with Aubrin the Green. (better: "ending up" because like Yun E. Bears, I don't necessarily plan my characters' careers before I start playing them)

I think I might have found a very simple solution for this. The character could just have the hunter background to illustrate the ranger-ness; I don't really know of the character, but ranger does not seem to be defining for the character, and cleric seems to be the true calling. Instead of the usual host of clerical skills, you could focus on those that are important to rangers, or particularly this Aubrin the Green. It's not a perfect solution, but I think it is far more suiting than retraining class, which I find to be as core to characters as ancestry (upbringing, not the species).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it must be the formatting. The fractional math of PF 1 made casters with the bad progression for attacks much worse than they are now. Also just because it is class option does it mean you are going to excel at it. For example the clawed strikes of the sorcerer does not mean they are supposed to be by the side of the Champion, Fighter, or Barbarian when melee combat erupts. It is not meant to replace all other options. Also by the logic being used about trap feats all of the Martial feats in PF1 could be considered trap feats because the caster would not be able to consistently hit a level appropriate target with their plus 10 base attack bonus at level 20. Also the trained feats for armor and may allow future access to Architypes as another poster has speculated. Finally spells are a locked class feature. By using the argument that there should not be locked class feats/features spells should also not be locked and open to any class/character that meets the level or stat requirements.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Narxiso wrote:
I think I might have found a very simple solution for this. The character could just have the hunter background to illustrate the ranger-ness; I don't really know of the character, but ranger does not seem to be defining for the character, and cleric seems to be the true calling.

Oh, if you're just looking at the NPC as a stat block, you can absolutely build it with PF 2 rules, that's true. Only problem being, that from her background, it is absolutely clear that she started out as a pure ranger and it was the course of events that turned her into a cleric. And if I try to simulate that with PF2 rules (ranger with cleric dedication), I end up with a very different character from what I was going for. Because in PF 1, Aubrin has everything every other level 3 cleric would have, and I'll never get that in PF 2.

And that bothers me from a narrative standpoint.

edit: And now that I've written all that, it seems that I didn't understand your argument before re-reading it. Might be that you're right, I'll have to experiment with that.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There are many areas where Pathfinder 2 is much better. Particularly when it comes to things like a Fighter who is good at social stuff without having to multi-class or casters who can hold their own in melee. Multi-class casters are much more potent and you can largely pick up just the stuff you want so you can multi-class a fighter with a champion and get Retributive Strike without the spell casting baggage.


As far as NPCs and monsters go, PF2 is not designed to recreate the full narrative of their lives. So trying to build them that way is always going to feel off/flat/wrong. The implicit design of PF 2 for NPCs is "tell the story" then create the stat block that allows it to happen at the table, even if it isn't technically mechanically possible. What abilities are necessary to define the character now? give them those.

As far as PCs go, the full change of heart narrative in play with a party is pretty difficult to pull off and keep close to balanced with the rest of the group. In PF1, it had the illusion of working, but still probably would have been better off with a structure for training down out of levels at a certain point. Things like reaching the pinnacle of your profession as a wizard probably shouldn't be stopped because you spent a few years fighting and stealing for your life on the streets.

Pathfinder APs do tend to present situations where a character might want to completely change their identity, and rules for retraining full class identity without falling behind the rest of the party would be a cool addition to the GMG, but the idea that a character who has a profession change mid carreer is better off stuck as a level 10 fighter/level 10 wizard than a fighter turned MC wizard, turned wizard turned MC fighter turned Wizard is a much worse narrative transition, just as it is a terrible mechanical one.


I don't think the problem is silo'd classes, but you can fix the problem a little bit by carving out about 3 feats-worth of stuff from each class and then letting the player choose a single-class dedication to get it back or a multi-class dedication to get something else (at 1st level). I think that really blew the doors off of the limitations.

On a related front, I also recommend every race having a stereotypical set of boons and flaws for every attribute, but letting players play against type. That is, in Step A, choose +2 to any two attributes or choose +2 to any three if you take a -2 to one.

This is how the start of my house rules read (not putting them all because house rules are so subjective and it's a huge wall of text):

When creating a character, start with 10 in each attribute. You will increase your attributes as you go through the ABCD’s (Ancestry, Background, Class, Dedication).

In the Ancestry step, increase two attributes by +2. If you wish, you can increase a third attribute by +2 and decrease a fourth attribute by -2. Thus, you can have either two boons to two different attributes (+2, +2) or a flaw in one attribute and three boons to three different attributes (+2, +2, +2, -2). Each ancestry has a set of typical attribute boons and flaws, but you are free to play against type.

In the Background step, increase one of the two attributes associated with your background by +2 and increase any second attribute by +2. If you wish, you can increase a third attribute by +2 if you decrease a fourth attribute by -2. Thus, you can have either two boons to two different attributes (+2, +2) or a flaw in one attribute and three boons to three different attributes (+2, +2, +2, -2).

In the Class step, increase your key attribute by +2. You are free to increase a second attribute by +2 if you decrease a third attribute by -2. Thus, you can have either one boon in your key attribute (+2) or a flaw in one attribute and two boons in two different attributes, one of which is your key attribute (+2, +2, -2).

In the Dedication step, add up the total number of flaws you have taken. Your total number of flaws can be anywhere from zero to three. Increase five different attributes by +2 minus the total number of flaws. For example, if you took one -2 flaw, you can increase four different attributes by +2. If you took a flaw at each of the three steps, you can only increase two different attributes by +2.

Dark Archive

WormysQueue wrote:
Narxiso wrote:
...
edit: And now that I've written all that, it seems that I didn't understand your argument before re-reading it. Might be that you're right, I'll have to experiment with that.

Sorry, it wasn’t much of an argument so much as a random thought. I just remembered your comment from a few days ago, had a eureka moment, and thought it might work out for you in the current rule set. I don’t know the character though, so I’m not sure what aspects of the ranger really made Auburn the Green stand out, but it sounds like cleric is the character’s true calling.


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totoro wrote:
[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.

You're right. We don't come to the forums to roleplay.

But at the rate it seems on the forums, I question if most people here wouldn't be happier with a skirmish war game instead. Or one of those board games that simulate a tabletop game.

I make choices based off some math. The community seems more than willing to just take the accepted answer because of math going into the decimals.

And if a person is that willing to give up their own choices, I can only question what sort of actual in character agency they'll have, never mind their player one. They've already given that one up.

Shadow Lodge

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MerlinCross wrote:
totoro wrote:
The simplest way to put it might be: You don't come to the forums to roleplay.
You're right. We don't come to the forums to roleplay.

<_<

>_>


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I definitely don't do no role play on the Forums no sir re


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DOOM would find that most uncouth.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Narxiso wrote:
so I’m not sure what aspects of the ranger really made Auburn the Green stand out, but it sounds like cleric is the character’s true calling.

Her role in the campaign is mostly that of an advisor, font of regional knowledge and healer, so the ranger aspect is more background than anything else. She is focused on archery a bit, so I still might give her ranger dedication to underline that part of her character, but from a narrative standpoint, cleric with hunter background works actually pretty well, and if I hadn't been so focused on multi-classing, I might have seen this myself.

So thanks for the suggestion.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
You're right. We don't come to the forums to roleplay.

You might not. Others do. When I came to these boards the Pathfinder system wasn't even a thing. And while I had to accept the change, I still prefer those parts of the forum where it's not about rules but about roleplaying, setting and adventures. Oh, and there is the PbP community, another major appeal of the Paizo boards.

On the other hand, I don't care about numbercrunching at all, and that in a thread that is about player agency (according to its title) numbercrunching is so prevalent is more than mildly irritating to me.

I agree with you though, that numbercrunching, when taken to the extreme, can hurt player agency pretty bad.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It funny, I tend to skim over number talk because everyone has a different level of acceptability with different numbers, and numbers are one of the easiest things to adjust.

The crunch-talk I dial in for is which options work together to suit which roleplay requirements. So when someone says "I can't play a gish wizard" I take notice, but if the argument is "Because I am +/-X accuracy" I breathe a sight of relief.


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I'm curious what folks who want their wizards to have expert all armors and/or expert all weapons are willing to give up for it?

The Cleric is a good outline of design expectation. Warpriest gives up legendary spell casting (which can't be recovered with any feats), and delays spell proficiency by 4 levels each rank. They also have to wait until level 2 to allocate a class feat for a focus pool.

This grants them light and medium armor at level 1, which encourages more stat arrangements, but offers no direct defensive increase (General feats can duplicate). They later gain light and medium expert at 13 (MC Champion can duplicate).

Then they are Trained in Martial (can duplicate with 1 general feat, never improving without MC-Fighter), Expert in one weapon, and Mastery of Fortitude saves (duplicate with 1 general feat).

It seems like a lot of stuff that Warpriests gain by giving up some spell casting proficiency and delaying it on all levels. However, everything that a warpriest gains can be duplicated with 1 general feat, 2 or 5 class feats (MC devotions), and one extra class feat for a domain spell.

That being said, it's probably too big of a difference for anything that doesn't have a core expectation around that class. Cleric has always been assumed martially/defensively capable since D&D's origins and only recently seen caster only/clothy specialties in 4ed, 5ed and to a lesser degree a few archetypes in P1.

I would fully expect it to cost more than general feats (likely costing spell casting prowess) to acquire martial weapon expertise and/or armor expertise. Only Class/Ancestry feats allow this, likely due to deeply rooted cultural reasons of the ancestry or frequent class imagery/focus.


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Jedi Maester wrote:

I think part of the issue is that with this specific situation, the issue could have easily and quickly been fixed. Then a specific archetype for this situation wouldn't be needed. I personally like the idea of having more options in the core book so that more unique options can be presented later.

And if you want something specific, I was building a wizard who takes rogue dedication at 2nd level. I like the idea of the character wearing leather (light armor.) This is for no other reason than looks. I think it looks cooler and it makes me happy. The rogue dedication gives me this, which is awesome. But then I noticed at level 13, I get expert in robes and not my leather armor I was so happy to wear.

As some have said, I can just wear the leather anyways because I want to. But knowing that I have expert in unarmored will bother me. As a player, I want to be the best I can be (within role-play concept) I can for the party. I want to help as much as possible so that hopefully we stop what ever terrible evil is coming. I'd like to do that in the leather armor, but I'll always know I would be a little more helpful in robes. Which, if life and death is on the line, matters for my character.

I guess for some people,...

This is EXACTLY the problem. You spend resources to get access to something, and then it becomes sub-optimal at a point down the line and you don't get to do the thing you bought into anymore if you want to be the best character you can be.

This is so easily resolved by making bought proficiency increase at the same time as class proficiency.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:

This is EXACTLY the problem. You spend resources to get access to something, and then it becomes sub-optimal at a point down the line and you don't get to do the thing you bought into anymore if you want to be the best character you can be.

This is so easily resolved by making bought proficiency increase at the same time as class proficiency.

Excluding magical properties that are limited to certain types of armor, armor is NOT an improvement over other types of armor or none at all. Armor training/feats are thematic, and from a game mechanic sense, are there for more STAT options. This in no way changes your maximum AC except when you chose to wear armor with worse proficiency.

Wearing leather armor starts being sub-optimal when your Dex goes to 20 or higher. If you are a rogue with a 22 or 24 Dexterity, should you go back to wearing nothing at all? You get more AC that way, but miss out on Runes. Your investment didn't become sub-optimal upon reaching a new level, you grew out of it naturally because your STATS improved beyond the armor.

If having 1 less AC via class improvement than a feat choice gave you is "not playing to your character's fullest potential", or "sub-optimal", then I feel like it's a mechanical issue, not a story/background issue. If wearing a certain type of armor matters to you for your PC, then talk to your GM. I'm sure they will be reasonable and allow you to have exactly the same AC as unarmored.


Keep in mind that a PC of any class that isn't DEX primary won't earn their full AC potential in Explorer's clothes until level 15 (with a starting 16 dex), where as a Wizard in leather armor (via general feat) will reach that potential at 5th level. That's 11 or 12 levels where your PC has more AC in leather than in unarmored thanks to that feat.

13th level comes around and now you are down 1 AC in Leather compared to Unarmored if your character/campaign hasn't retired already. Is that important? Maybe. Is it game breaking? Not likely. Did you sacrifice some mechanical advantage for story? Possibly, but only for a few end game levels. Do you have more options on what to wear into battle or what to claim from a treasure hoard? Yes, you definitely do.

I've come to think of feats outside of Class feats as more options/choices/avenues of play, yet having little battlefield consequences. Canny Acumen, Toughness and Diehard are the ones which stand out as having a noticeable impact mechanically, the others are flavorful, yet minor modifications.

Class feats are about the only way to dramatically change a PCs capability.


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T'Challa wrote:
Wearing leather armor starts being sub-optimal when your Dex goes to 20 or higher. If you are a rogue with a 22 or 24 Dexterity, should you go back to wearing nothing at all? You get more AC that way, but miss out on Runes.

Runes can be etched onto adventurer's clothing.


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T'Challa wrote:


Excluding magical properties that are limited to certain types of armor, armor is NOT an improvement over other types of armor or none at all. Armor training/feats are thematic, and from a game mechanic sense, are there for more STAT options. This in no way changes your maximum AC except when you chose to wear armor with worse proficiency.

This statement seems more like a defense of his position than an argument against it, because if armor is largely thematic, then requiring costly mechanical investments for returns that are mostly flavorful seems punitive.


While "agency" is the wrong word to use here, I understand what you mean. Pathfinder 2 has a problem I simply call "not enough slots". It's nothing revolutionary. Simply put, all classes have a set amount of "slots" for class features, or feats, to put in. In pathfinder 1, you could in some cases sacrifice normal feats for extra class abilites (extra discovery, rogue talent, barbarian stuff, etc). I was a heavy user of this on my rogues and alchemists, easily stacking on an extra 8 or 9 abilities/discoveries/talents. It was fun. Pathfinder doesn't have anything like that, unless you're a human and pick Natural Ambition, which only gives you a level 1 class feat (still useful). The Ancestry feats is actually what I like the most about Pathfinder 2, I just wish there were more of them for each race, and more evolving ones as well. Like, forge dwarf with their fire resistance, imagine if you could evolve it into breathing fire, spitting magma, fire immunity, etc. For gnomes, more magical spells as you level up. So much you could do with it. Humans actually get the worst in terms of heritages, and don't have all that many useful ancestries, but the proficiency one is still very strong in its own right.

I also take issue with the lack of pure general feats (hefty hauler, fleet, Adopted ancestry). There are some strong ones, sure, but there could also be more of them. I'm not fond of the overlap in general - general/skill feats, and would like for them to be seperated into just general feats and skill feats.


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Fumarole wrote:
T'Challa wrote:
Wearing leather armor starts being sub-optimal when your Dex goes to 20 or higher. If you are a rogue with a 22 or 24 Dexterity, should you go back to wearing nothing at all? You get more AC that way, but miss out on Runes.
Runes can be etched onto adventurer's clothing.

Sure, but that has a max DeX cap too, does it not?


Ravingdork wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
T'Challa wrote:
Wearing leather armor starts being sub-optimal when your Dex goes to 20 or higher. If you are a rogue with a 22 or 24 Dexterity, should you go back to wearing nothing at all? You get more AC that way, but miss out on Runes.
Runes can be etched onto adventurer's clothing.
Sure, but that has a max DeX cap too, does it not?

It does: +5.

It feels a bit weird to me that a full-dex character (even a Fighter) may arguably have better defenses with no armor, not even explorer clothing, on.


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Megistone wrote:


It does: +5.
It feels a bit weird to me that a full-dex character (even a Fighter) may arguably have better defenses with no armor, not even explorer clothing, on.

You can't.

Explorer's clothes with +3 potency is 8 AC.

Maximum dex is 24 with an apex item, so only +7 AC.

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