Not enough Class Feat slots?


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I realize this is probably different from class to class based on what's available, but I've got a Ranger bug lately, so I've been looking at what that class can do, and I can't help but feel like you only get enough Class Feats to support 1 avenue of play-style.
Wanna be an archer? Whether you go bow or crossbow, you're gonna use up most of your feats. Ditto TWF. Same for an Animal Companion.
It'd be really fun to pick up some of the more thematic feats like Terrain Master, Camouflage, Sense the Unseen, etc. but... just not enough room for them.

Yes, this is a bit of an optimization argument, but still...
It feels like if you want to be really good at one thing it'll eat up the vast majority of your feat slots leaving veeery little left for other things.


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I hate to break the news to you, but this is working as intended.


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I agree with Claxon.

That said, it wouldn't surprise me if "pseudo-gestalt", one class feat every level, ended up being a popular house rule.


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I could understand if the "combat styles" were what Class Feats were for, but they're also used for the flavorful RP stuff that used to come baked into the class chassis.
Whereas now the class chassis offers you (almost) nothing but proficiency upgrades and feats have to cover twice the ground they did before - except you still only get one every other level.

And again, maybe it's just because I've got Ranger goggles on (I just took a look at Alchemist and they have significantly less feat options per level to choose from, at least at a cursory glance) but when Exploration options have to compete with Combat options, that feels rough.


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I don't feel this way...
You used Ranger as an example, you can make a pretty competent Archer/Pet Ranger. Dual-wielding is more heavy on feats but also doable with a companion. Human's Natural Ambition helps a lot on these.

As an example: Archer/Pet Ranger
L1 Animal Companion
L1 Hunted Shot (Natural Ambition)
L2 Quick Draw
L4 Far Shot (pretty minor, tbh)
L6 Mature Animal Companion
L8 Deadly Aim (also not super necessary)
L10 Incredible Companion
L12 Distracting Shot
L14 ... dunno, something you missed from past levels or multiclass
L16 Specialized Companion
L18 Greater Distracting Shot
L20 Have Fun

By my time spent theorycrafting I feel you can focus totally on one field and get some extras or be very competent in two fields. Actually looks very fair in my opinion.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Currently my house rule is +1 class feat every odd level, all multiclass feats can be taken a level earlier than written.

It feels SO good.


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Neo2151 wrote:

I could understand if the "combat styles" were what Class Feats were for, but they're also used for the flavorful RP stuff that used to come baked into the class chassis.

Whereas now the class chassis offers you (almost) nothing but proficiency upgrades and feats have to cover twice the ground they did before - except you still only get one every other level.

And again, maybe it's just because I've got Ranger goggles on (I just took a look at Alchemist and they have significantly less feat options per level to choose from, at least at a cursory glance) but when Exploration options have to compete with Combat options, that feels rough.

Yeah, they made things real hard choices about what you want to excel at instead of giving you everything for free.

Yes characters are less powerful in PF2 and have a smaller suite of abilities at their command.

This is all intentional.

This is part and parcel to why I haven't committed to switching to PF2. I plan to play a one shot or maybe a short scenario to see how I feel about it, but I definitely feel "downgraded" in comparison to PF1.


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I had this concern too. I'm still not certain if it's an issue or not, but it's a possible one. Mostly because class feats are pulling double duty for customization and class abilities.

Thankfully, I'm pretty sure it was confirmed that the GMG will include class feats at every level as an official optional rule. Yeah, you can house rule it now, but sometimes having it printed is what helps convince a GM to allow it. My main concern with a class feat every level is that it will kind of encourage everyone to multiclass all the time, because you'll often find it where you've taken all the good looking class feats, so you might as well multiclass. As more class feats are released though, this will probably become less of an issue, but the ease of multiclassing will make it very attractive. Whether that's a pro or con depends on the individual. I personally want a sweet spot of multiclassing being very doable, but not so easy that it's the default for everyone to have multiple multiclass dedications.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:

I had this concern too. I'm still not certain if it's an issue or not, but it's a possible one. Mostly because class feats are pulling double duty for customization and class abilities.

Thankfully, I'm pretty sure it was confirmed that the GMG will include class feats at every level as an official optional rule. Yeah, you can house rule it now, but sometimes having it printed is what helps convince a GM to allow it. My main concern with a class feat every level is that it will kind of encourage everyone to multiclass all the time, because you'll often find it where you've taken all the good looking class feats, so you might as well multiclass. As more class feats are released though, this will probably become less of an issue, but the ease of multiclassing will make it very attractive. Whether that's a pro or con depends on the individual. I personally want a sweet spot of multiclassing being very doable, but not so easy that it's the default for everyone to have multiple multiclass dedications.

That's kinda debatable and probably more based on Build.

A Feat each level more than likely just means 2 feats from each Rung. And I can't picture there not being at least 2 winners each Feat Level Rung. Double backing for a weaker feat at a higher level seems a bad move unless you're using it to unlock something else later on.

Meanwhile people who have a good build picked out can multiclass a lot easier and probably get close to the old hybrid classes.


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Claxon wrote:

Yeah, they made things real hard choices about what you want to excel at instead of giving you everything for free.

Yes characters are less powerful in PF2 and have a smaller suite of abilities at their command.

This is all intentional.

This is part and parcel to why I haven't committed to switching to PF2. I plan to play a one shot or maybe a short scenario to see how I feel about it, but I definitely feel "downgraded" in comparison to PF1.

But is it really a downgrade? I don't recall being given an option to casually Jump over a hundred feet in the air, trip the largest monsters in the game, fall from orbit without a scratch, run full speed through a gap about the size of your head as if you were a Pillar Man, survive all extremes of temperature without food and water with no harm, steal the literal armor off the back of a man, scowl at someone so hard they literally die...all things without magic, just with pure physical/mental skill. Like, one feat and going Legendary in Athletics is all it takes to get either a full climb or swim speed equal to your speed (your Monk is a damn speedboat at this point).

That's not even counting stuff like the Ranger's 20th level ability to track their target pretty much anywhere, even through teleportation/planar travel if they're Legendary in Nature. Or the Rogue's 20th level ability to be so stealthy, you go so absolutely invisible that not even glitterdust, see invisibility, etc help find you.

Even casters get 10th level spells. Turning into the Avatar of your god, or a literal Kaiju. Hell, upcasting Earthquake makes it damage a quarter-mile burst up to half a mile away. That'd devastate a town.

Even ignoring 10th level spells, True Shapeshifting is an insane capstone for the Wild Shaping Druid. Bards can rock a Haste Cantrip in Allegro, Wizards can give themselves spell slots to combine two spells into one (sometimes you just want to double Disintegrate someone), I mean, the list goes on and on.

I can't really say I feel particularly downgraded here. Especially with Martials, but even with Casters.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's an example of a level 9 character with double class feats


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Neo2151 wrote:

I can't help but feel like you only get enough Class Feats to support 1 avenue of play-style.

Wanna be an archer? Whether you go bow or crossbow, you're gonna use up most of your feats. Ditto TWF. Same for an Animal Companion.
It'd be really fun to pick up some of the more thematic feats like Terrain Master, Camouflage, Sense the Unseen, etc. but... just not enough room for them.

Welcome to the PF2 Ranger.

Squigget made a nice post on this, I'll post it.

Squiggit topical post:

Squiggit wrote:

Clerics, Wizards, Sorcerers, Fighters and Barbarians were already super modular and lacking in specific core features in 1e so they handle the new system pretty well, though everyone is going to feel the way choices work in this game to some extent.

The trouble for Rangers (and Champions, Druids and Monks to varying degrees) is that they had a very specific list of class features designed to create a very specific character theme and that's kind of fundamentally at odds with PF2's class design, which empashizes modularity and one big class feature.

I think Druids come out okay, because Spells are a really effective core feature in terms of identity and their initial order choice adds good flavor. They definitely feel less than in 1e, but that was kind of necessary anyways.
Champions are in a similar spot to Rangers, but their theme was a lot more focused than the Ranger's so generally speaking I think they end up feeling flavorful (although I know some people aren't happy with the specific direction of the class, that's a separate issue I think).
Monks... were a huge mess in core and Qinggong made them modular anyways so they don't really deal with those problems in the same way.

Rangers in 1e, as already stated, were really really all over the place. Hunt is a great class feature, but it can only really encapsulate one piece of their original identity because they have so many unrelated features all kind of coming together. They're wilderness warriors, but they're also fighter-druid hybrids, but they're also martials who don't slack on skills... There's a lot going on.

I actually think that last part is really important too. 1e Rangers were arguably one of the better skill monkeys in core and 2e has completely removed 'good at skills' as a character niche (with the Rogue as a unique exception), further complicating the Ranger's new identity.

In short, the new class design paradigm kind of screws over the classes that were theme based. Paizo has essentially decided that by stripping these theme classes of their class abilities, it supports a higher variety of concepts (which I agree that it does). For example, Wild Empathy is no longer stuck on someone's Scout build.

Quote:
It feels like if you want to be really good at one thing it'll eat up the vast majority of your feat slots leaving veeery little left for other things.

Yes. I have the same experience and wrote about it in Captain Morgan's First Impressions.

To summarize, Ranger can't cover all the things they could. What I am hoping is that what is left is fun to play. And honestly, IME, a lot of the thematic stuff was of marginal value in normative play. How often did you get to track something in PF1?

One way to approach the PF2 Ranger is that this is thing is called a Ranger, but it's a completely different class than what you played in PF1. Focus on one thing you want to do well and then see what you can give up to add flavor. Then hope it turns out to be fun in actual game play. If not, retrain or start over.


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Claxon wrote:
I hate to break the news to you, but this is working as intended.

I don't know that it's "working as intended." Michael Sayre left a very informative post on the issues with the PF1 Ranger from Piazo's perspective. I interpreted his post as suggesting Paizo felt like they were giving people wanted they wanted, a class that supports more concepts. I don't think Paizo was necessarily trying to nerf the class. It just worked out that way for those of us who were playing full blooded Rangers in PF1.


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Sfyn wrote:

I don't feel this way...

You used Ranger as an example, you can make a pretty competent Archer/Pet Ranger.

I've seen a lot of these type of assertions. It really depends on a person's perspective on what "competent" means. And honestly, we won't know how "competent" a build that you suggest is in actual play until you're sitting next to an Archery Fighter and/or a Animal Druid.

Quote:
By my time spent theorycrafting I feel you can focus totally on one field and get some extras or be very competent in two fields. Actually looks very fair in my opinion.

That's easy to say when theorycrafting. I played an archery Ranger with a companion and this build isn't what I would consider competent at both. In addition, you're devoid of all the traditional Ranger abilities:

Favored Enemy x 5
Favored Terrain x 4
Wild Empathy
Swift Tracker
Camouflage
Hide in Plain Sight (Shadow Hunter)

You're also skipping some of the more powerful Ranger feats for both Animal Companions and Archers:

Master Monster Hunter (which requires Monster Hunter)
Terrain Master (which needs Favored Terrain)
Blind Fight
See the Unseen
Hunter's Aim (which is half of Improved Precise Shot)
Targeted Shot (which is the other half of IPS)
Penetrating Shot
Masterful Companion
Impossible Volley

The list goes on....

Simply asserting feats which deal with two different disciplines doesn't suddenly made the build "competent." That having been said, I do think that the some of the class feat locking might help, but that may get eroded by splat books. And maybe any build might feel a lot more viable. I don't know. But simply listing feats isn't really a compelling argument.


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I agree with the Squiggit post quoted above. If anything, I wish they'd given all the classes more stuff to bring fighters and rogues up on par with rangers, champions, druids, and monks.

I like characters having a quirky mix of active combat options and handy defensive/utility/exploration options. In 5E most of that stuff is hand-waved. In PF1 that stuff was baked in. In PF2, it competes with combat feats.

I don't think just giving extra feats at every odd level fixes the issue, because people would probably just want more combat feats.

I've been an perpetual game mechanic tinkerer since 2000, so I'm pondering how things could have gone. Maybe such abilities could have been a Fourth Pillar of character creation:

  • Ancestry
  • Background
  • Class
  • Dedication

    Right now 'general feats' can be spent mostly just on skill feats and a mix of mostly defensive or mobility options (Armor Proficiency, Shield Block, Toughness, Ride, Feather Step, etc.).

    So what if characters got a few more feats that could only be spent on similarly defensive-oriented tricks (trackless step, divine health, timeless body, the quirky fun stuff classes used to just get detect evil, divine grace, aura of courage, favored terrain, resist nature's lure, etc.), plus the initial multiclass dedication feats?

    (You'd still have to use class feats to get the higher-tier multiclass stuff, since that tends to be offensive-oriented.)

    You might also include some alchemist items here, barbarian acute senses, maybe the ability to get a basic domain ability, getting a familiar.

    None of these things would make you more powerful offensively, but would let you pick and choose a fun mix of defensive and utility powers.


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    Doktor Weasel wrote:
    Thankfully, I'm pretty sure it was confirmed that the GMG will include class feats at every level as an official optional rule.

    You know, I was scouring the General Feat list for something like this because I was really wanting it.

    But....I am getting inured to the limited feats and am eager to see if the class works as written. What I would have preferred for Paizo to do with a class like the Ranger, is separate out the combat feats from the theme feats from the animal companion feats. Maybe put Companions and Snares in the same group. Then, you pick one from Combat, Theme, and Companion/Snares.

    Still, I am finding I want to try this class out as written before any major changes are made.


    N N 959 wrote:
    Sfyn wrote:

    I don't feel this way...

    You used Ranger as an example, you can make a pretty competent Archer/Pet Ranger.
    I've seen a lot of these type of assertions. It really depends on a person's perspective on what "competent" means. And honestly, we won't know how "competent" a build that you suggest is in actual play until you're sitting next to an Archery Fighter and/or a Animal Druid.

    For 'competent at' I would say that they don't feel that the build that the player is going for doesn't work at all and they can't do the thing that they want to do - but it isn't going to outshine a different class that is designed specifically for that.

    So no, a ranger isn't going to be as good of a fighter as the fighter is. So when sitting next to an Archery Fighter, a ranger may feel a bit lacking.

    Similarly, when sitting next to an animal companion druid, the ranger's animal companion will likely feel a bit anaemic.

    That is the design space that we are working in.

    But an archery based ranger is going to feel very good at archery and dealing a lot of damage at range. The ranger will feel competent at it.

    A ranger with an animal companion will feel like the animal companion is helpful and of great benefit in combat. The ranger will feel competent at it.

    And pulling off a build that has both is probably still going to work. It may not have as much cool stuff for the ranged attacks. Maybe only one or two feats. Same with the animal companion. It may only be a full grown companion rather than a nimble or savage companion. It won't be as powerful as a ranger that specialized in one of these builds. And it won't be as powerful as a class that specializes in the same thing.

    What does a ranger specialize in? What thing or things does a ranger do better than other classes can even hope to attain to with massive investment?

    From looking at the class, it feels to me like that one thing is damaging one enemy. Singling out one target and attacking it to the exclusion of any others. And taking down that one enemy quickly.

    Other classes can do similar, but not as well as a ranger can. Other classes can do lots of damage and can focus all that damage on one enemy. But I don't see any other class with class features and feats specifically designed to give bonuses to attack and damage against a selected target.


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    WatersLethe wrote:
    Here's an example of a level 9 character with double class feats

    Looks like the extra feats went to allow some basic rogue abilities while maintaining a good sword and board build. Seems reasonable and fun. Certainly no cause for alarm. So yeah, a feat a level is preobably perfectly reasonable. If an when my group moves to PF2, I might very well suggest it, but we'll probably try to play it by the book first.

    I rather like that sheet too, it's clean and well organized (the official one seems a bit busy for my tastes).


    N N 959 wrote:
    I've seen a lot of these type of assertions. It really depends on a person's perspective on what "competent" means. And honestly, we won't know how "competent" a build that you suggest is in actual play until you're sitting next to an Archery Fighter and/or a Animal Druid.

    By competent I mean "is able to pull its weight", in this case by contributing with meaningful DPR. It is a fact that this is dependent on many factors (DM, encounters, adventure...) but PF2E is a game we can "test" with a spreadsheet.

    Quote:

    That's easy to say when theorycrafting. I played an archery Ranger with a companion and this build isn't what I would consider competent at both. In addition, you're devoid of all the traditional Ranger abilities:

    [...ranger ability list...]

    I understand you would say these are core rangers feature since we are used to have them from past editions. It is a fact my proposed build skips all "exploration feats" but this is something I find fair if you are going for a dual-focus build.

    Quote:

    You're also skipping some of the more powerful Ranger feats for both Animal Companions and Archers:

    [...feat list...]

    While your list has interesting choices, you have to give some up for a build. Giving things up is the interesting part of choice, without that there is no choice.

    On the list, my rationale:


    • - I personally don't think Hunter's Aim and Penetrating Shot are that good to archers. They are definitely very strong for crossbowmen. Sadly Targeting Shot has one of them as a prerequisite.
    • - Masterful Companion is an improvement, but if you choose an animal focused on giving the Support bonus (Bear looks like a good choice for a flurry archer) it will be an unneeded upgrade.
    • - Impossible Volley can be interesting but AoE can be covered by a teammate.
    • - Master Monster Hunter seems to me a huge investment for that +1 to one attack, once per target.
    • - Favored Terrain/Terrain Master don't look that strong and would fit better on a build with more spare feats.
    • - Blind-fight and Sense the Unseen look good. I would see no problem to get them at level 8 and 14 on my proposed build.

    Quote:
    Simply asserting feats which deal with two different disciplines doesn't suddenly made the build "competent." That having been said, I do think that the some of the class feat locking might help, but that may get eroded by splat books. And maybe any build might feel a lot more viable. I don't know. But simply listing feats isn't really a compelling argument.

    Listing feats is no good argument, but I believed it served its purpose since you felt like answering and I can be more thorough. I feel the current edition is defined on the 'choice' thing and I am really excited about it. Having a limited pool of choices makes the choices more exciting and avoids the ability bloat some of us may find on a high level character in the past.


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    breithauptclan wrote:

    For 'competent at' I would say that they don't feel that the build that the player is going for doesn't work at all and they can't do the thing that they want to do - but it isn't going to outshine a different class that is designed specifically for that.

    So no, a ranger isn't going to be as good of a fighter as the fighter is. So when sitting next to an Archery Fighter, a ranger may feel a bit lacking.

    So if an Archer Fighter dedicates themselves with most/all of their feats going to archery, and an Archer Ranger dedicates themselves with most/all of their feats going to archery, and the Fighter comes out better...

    They're essentially identical except one is worse. The Ranger isn't bringing anything noticeably different from archery to the table - because that's how the feat game works.

    breithauptclan wrote:

    What does a ranger specialize in? What thing or things does a ranger do better than other classes can even hope to attain to with massive investment?

    From looking at the class, it feels to me like that one thing is damaging one enemy. Singling out one target and attacking it to the exclusion of any others. And taking down that one enemy quickly.

    Other classes can do similar, but not as well as a ranger can. Other classes can do lots of damage and can focus all that damage on one enemy. But I don't see any other class with class features and feats specifically designed to give bonuses to attack and damage against a selected target.

    Except you've already pointed out how the Fighter is superior in combat to the Ranger by design. One target or multiple, it doesn't matter, the Fighter is superior.

    Similarly for damage the Barbarian is superior by design. One target or many, the Barb is superior in dps by design.
    The Champion is superior in defense by design...

    What is the Ranger supposed to bring to the table that it's the best at? If it's truly attacking a specific target, then it's already failing.


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    "Feats as loot" is one of my favorite new GMing tools for PF2, FWIW.


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    Mewzard wrote:
    But is it really a downgrade?

    *nods* Yes. If you have to point to 16th or 19th level abilities, it's not impressing me as upgrade material. How about tell me what the upgrades are from levels 1 to 15? Because I spend most of my time in the 1 - 12 range so it the wonderful upgrades are all 16+, it's not sounding so good to me.

    Sfyn wrote:
    By competent I mean "is able to pull its weight", in this case by contributing with meaningful DPR. It is a fact that this is dependent on many factors (DM, encounters, adventure...) but PF2E is a game we can "test" with a spreadsheet.

    That's a big step back for someone that's used to being "competent" in more than pure damage: rangers were good at skills, good at fighting styles, good at pets... So being able to deal some damage now isn't sounding too awesome.

    Sovereign Court

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    Here's a crazy idea: What if every character got an Archetype for free? At 2nd level choose which archetype you want, and you get 1 munti-class feat at each of the listed levels. These are not in place of your own class feats, but in addition to them. If there are 2 archetype feats, you can choose 1 for free, and if you want, you can choose the other one in place of your class feat that level.

    This would give characters a lot more options, and it would restore some of the things they used to get for free back in 1E, such as a Ranger that has a Druid archetype, thus getting a slow primal spell progression. But he doesn't need to choose Druid, he could choose to multi with Fighter to get more options in combat. A Champion could multi with Cleric to restore the slow divine spell casting he once enjoyed. A Rogue could multi with a Wizard or Sorcerer to get the old arcane trickster feel. An Alchemist who wants to focus on Bestial mutagens could choose a Fighter or Monk archetype.

    In effect, you get to choose 2 classes for your characters, 1st at 1st level (their main class) and 1 at 2nd level, their archetype.

    What do you think?


    Samurai wrote:
    Here's a crazy idea: What if every character got an Archetype for free?
    WatersLethe wrote:
    Currently my house rule is +1 class feat every odd level, all multiclass feats can be taken a level earlier than written.

    Now if we can add there together... ;)


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    Rangers literally need 1 feat to be a great archer. All the feats besides hunted shot aren't necessary at all. And you can spend just one feat on an animal companion and it will be a good help with its support action (granted to attack or survive better you need 4 feats)

    Sovereign Court

    graystone wrote:
    Samurai wrote:
    Here's a crazy idea: What if every character got an Archetype for free?
    WatersLethe wrote:
    Currently my house rule is +1 class feat every odd level, all multiclass feats can be taken a level earlier than written.
    Now if we can add there together... ;)

    Well, I think getting an Archetype for free sort of is like letting 1 extra feat every other level, I wouldn't want to do both of them.


    Sfyn wrote:
    ... but PF2E is a game we can "test" with a spreadsheet.

    Not really. If a spreadsheet were sufficient, Paizo wouldn't have had to do a Playtest and WotC wouldn't have made 4th Edition.

    Quote:
    It is a fact that this is dependent on many factors (DM, encounters, adventure...

    Every factor increases the variability by an exponential. There are hundreds of factors that go into how a class plays out in the course of a game. If Paizo could use a quantum computer, then maybe they might be able to math it all out, but they don't, so they can't. Plus, it's more than the math, it's about the art.

    Quote:
    I understand you would say these are core rangers feature since we are used to have them from past editions. It is a fact my proposed build skips all "exploration feats" but this is something I find fair if you are going for a dual-focus build.

    In PF1, archery plus animal companion wasn't a "dual-focused" it was a single focused build that still got all the "exploration" feats. So you see the problem for legacy players?

    Quote:
    While your list has interesting choices, you have to give some up for a build. Giving things up is the interesting part of choice, without that there is no choice.

    Choice for the sake of choice isn't what makes this game compelling. It's purpose. Having a character that has purpose in the context of game play is what matters. To have purpose a class must be endowed with agency and efficacy: I need to be able to do things that have substantive impact. In the Playtest, the Ranger was incredibly lacking in purpose. Paizo has tried to address that by improving the class' efficacy, but the lack of agency is still questionable. We'll see how it plays out. At low levels, everyone has agency. At higher levels, we'll see how it holds up as choices are made and the opportunity costs rise.

    Quote:
    On the list, my rationale:

    I won't try and argue against your choices because I think the value of them is subjective. Only you can decide if you made the right choices for you. The question for me is whether there is some combination of choices that gives me a sense of purpose? I won't know until I play. Maybe it will be great at first and suck later or vice versa. I can't make that call for anyone but myself.

    But, I think Neo, like myself, is reacting against the loss of agency from PF1 to PF2 for the class. I don't think it's even debatable that the class can do less. The question is whether it can do enough to evoke a higher level of enjoyment (because simply matching PF1 is a net loss). I'm not going to try and tell him the class can be "competent" I'm going to hope that it is fun, whatever it is.

    Quote:
    I feel the current edition is defined on the 'choice' thing and I am really excited about it. Having a limited pool of choices makes the choices more exciting and avoids the ability bloat some of us may find on a high level character in the past.

    And I get that. It's a valid reason to get excited and want to play the class. So argue that. Trying to argue "competency" when we haven't actually played these builds feels like a stretch. Better to acknowledge the short comings rather than insist they don't exist.


    graystone wrote:
    That's a big step back for someone that's used to being "competent" in more than pure damage: rangers were good at skills, good at fighting styles, good at pets... So being able to deal some damage now isn't sounding too awesome.

    Unless I'm missing something, I'd say that a Ranger which invests heavily on a Animal Companion and Archery is able to deal a very high amount of damage from range. A bear companion granting extra d8s per hit on a character which can reliably strike 3 times per turn and consistently apply flat-footed with a very low MAP seems competitive, if not top notch. This would be following what breithauptclan said: the 2E Ranger's shtick seems to be focusing an enemy and dealing with it.

    However, you can build your ranger to be more focused on exploration, stealth, tracking and/or knowledge. Even Animal Companion feats can become "exploration feats" if you build for a different type of companion, such as a stealthy bird.

    I wouldn't see as a downgrade, but a concept shift. If you visit 5e circles you can see the conflict of the Ranger concept being seen as a watered down fighter-rogue-druid combination. The 2E Ranger is looking for its own thing: hunting. You hunt prey. You may hunt by doing a lot of single-target damage. You may hunt by being an invisible force of nature. You may hunt by being a peerless tracker. You may hunt with a loyal partner to maul/track/scout your prey. I personally like it, a lot.


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    citricking wrote:
    And you can spend just one feat on an animal companion and it will be a good help with its support action (granted to attack or survive better you need 4 feats)

    Really?... If you spend the 1st animal companion feat, you'e spending the other 3 feats unless you want to waste the that first feat: the companion doesn't scale without the feats and it becomes like taking a 1st level fighter on a 10th level quest... You're just sending them out to die. :P


    graystone wrote:
    citricking wrote:
    And you can spend just one feat on an animal companion and it will be a good help with its support action (granted to attack or survive better you need 4 feats)
    Really?... If you spend the 1st animal companion feat, you'e spending the other 3 feats unless you want to waste the that first feat: the companion doesn't scale without the feats and it becomes like taking a 1st level fighter on a 10th level quest... You're just sending them out to die. :P

    It still gets its level bonus to all its saves, AC, and hp. You really should take the other feats, but if your using something for its support action it seems fine, it will probably be unconscious a lot, but not dead too often I think.


    Neo2151 wrote:


    They're essentially identical except one is worse. The Ranger isn't bringing anything noticeably different from archery to the table - because that's how the feat game works.

    ****

    What is the Ranger supposed to bring to the table that it's the best at? If it's truly attacking a specific target, then it's already failing.

    This kind of exemplifies my concern. At best, the Ranger has some advantage in "natural" terrain. Is that enough? Does the fact that I might take Survey Wildlife suddenly launch my Ranger to class-you-most-want-to-team-with?

    In the Playtest, I definitely felt like the party would have easily succeeded without me. I tried the combo Animal/Archery thing and it was totally underwhelming. Changes have been made to the class and I've dropped the animal from the build.

    We'll see...


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    citricking wrote:
    It still gets its level bonus to all its saves, AC, and hp. You really should take the other feats, but if your using something for its support action it seems fine, it will probably be unconscious a lot, but not dead too often I think.

    OMG, that had me laughing.

    Yeah...I dropped the animal completely from my build. In PF1 all my Rangers have companions. Oh well.


    N N 959 wrote:

    But, I think Neo, like myself, is reacting against the loss of agency from PF1 to PF2 for the class. I don't think it's even debatable that the class can do less. The question is whether it can do enough to evoke a higher level of enjoyment (because simply matching PF1 is a net loss). I'm not going to try and tell him the class can be "competent" I'm going to hope that it is fun, whatever it is.

    [...]

    And I get that. It's a valid reason to get excited and want to play the class. So argue that. Trying to argue "competency" when we haven't actually played these builds feels like a stretch. Better to acknowledge the short comings rather than insist they don't exist.

    This is the thing: some of what you see as shortcomings I see as qualities. I cannot prove to you they are qualities but I can argue for them. Maybe the word choice of "competency" was bad and I apologize for it, I meant "fun".


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    Sfyn wrote:
    N N 959 wrote:

    But, I think Neo, like myself, is reacting against the loss of agency from PF1 to PF2 for the class. I don't think it's even debatable that the class can do less. The question is whether it can do enough to evoke a higher level of enjoyment (because simply matching PF1 is a net loss). I'm not going to try and tell him the class can be "competent" I'm going to hope that it is fun, whatever it is.

    [...]

    And I get that. It's a valid reason to get excited and want to play the class. So argue that. Trying to argue "competency" when we haven't actually played these builds feels like a stretch. Better to acknowledge the short comings rather than insist they don't exist.

    This is the thing: some of what you see as shortcomings I see as qualities. I cannot prove to you they are qualities but I can argue for them. Maybe the word choice of "competency" was bad and I apologize for it, I meant "fun".

    Right. You probably didn't like the PF1 Ranger...Neo and I did. I'm telling Neo that he has to change his approach and hope that he can build something that is fun. Forget what he could do in PF1...that is like another life. The problem is that both classes have the same name, so there is naturally going to be some association and resultant expectations.


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    Sfyn wrote:
    Unless I'm missing something, I'd say that a Ranger which invests heavily on a Animal Companion and Archery is able to deal a very high amount of damage from range. A bear companion granting extra d8s per hit on a character which can reliably strike 3 times per turn with a very low MAP seems competitive, if not top notch. This would be following what breithauptclan said: the 2E Ranger's shtick seems to be focusing an enemy and dealing with it.

    A heavily animal companion focused character takes feats at 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18... SO 2nd, 8th and 20 are for your heavy ranged combat/damage?

    Sfyn wrote:
    Even Animal Companion feats can become "exploration feats" if you build for a different type of companion, such as a stealthy bird.

    Can they? How are you having your bird scout and then tell you the info? "what is it lassie? Did Timmy fall down the well again?"

    Sfyn wrote:
    If you visit 5e circles

    I'll stop you right there as I could care less what happens in "5e circles".

    Sfyn wrote:
    The 2E Ranger is looking for its own thing: hunting. You hunt prey. You may hunt by doing a lot of single-target damage. You may hunt by being an invisible force of nature. You may hunt by being a peerless tracker. You may hunt with a loyal partner to maul/track/scout your prey. I personally like it, a lot.

    I don't hate it but, IMO, it leaves a LOT to be desired. It could do the things you say, but it's all different tracks that don't cross over each other when they could before: so you could be a sharpshooter OR be an animal trainer OR a tracker OR... when before there were some ANDS in there.

    citricking wrote:
    It still gets its level bonus to all its saves, AC, and hp. You really should take the other feats, but if your using something for its support action it seems fine, it will probably be unconscious a lot, but not dead too often I think.

    It doesn't get the stat bonuses or damage bonuses or proficiency ups or the ability to hit magic or it's specialty or... as it's hit and ac fall behind it get hit and crit more while it's damage stagnates... It's a dead duck...


    graystone wrote:
    Mewzard wrote:
    But is it really a downgrade?
    *nods* Yes. If you have to point to 16th or 19th level abilities, it's not impressing me as upgrade material. How about tell me what the upgrades are from levels 1 to 15? Because I spend most of my time in the 1 - 12 range so it the wonderful upgrades are all 16+, it's not sounding so good to me.

    I mean, endgame martials actually feeling like they could be godly heroes is important, but fine, some earlier stuff, let's try some stuff from Master Proficiency, starting around level 7:

    Being so skilled at stealth you can hide from all forms of senses (Tremorsense no more), so adept at surviving that you can survive on planes of existence that shouldn't be able to support you due to a lack of food and avoid the harm such planes cause, be so good at Deception that you can deceive magical means to read your mind, tell if you're lying, or detect your alignment.

    Hell, by this point, Quick Repair lets you fix an entire broke item in three actions, you can heal up to four people at a time with Ward Medic, and feed up to 16 people with Forager (double on a Crit Success).

    If you want to talk classes:

    A Fighter could take Sudden Leap for a massively high Jump (up to double their speed depending upon what DC they can beat) and strike with two actions at level 8, and at level 10 combine it with Felling Strike to down a flying foe with just one more action.

    A Monk could take Ki Blast at 6th level for up to a 60 foot cone and 4d6 damage with some knockback, which scales up every single spell level. Wild Winds Initiate gives the Monk a ranged stance that also gives a bit of ranged defense and ignores cover. Sleeper Hold at 10th level gives them an excellent option to knock a foe out right away

    If you're going into Wild Shape, I'd argue 2e's given a lot of great options for it given the wide variety you can add to your options. The Bard being able to add their level to every untrained skill at level 8 is basically like getting skill points for everything in the list, and I rather like their 4th level Metamagic feat Melodious Spell. Forget Still and Silent Spell, they might have never noticed you casted a spell if your performance check is high enough.

    Honestly, I like a lot of what 2e's got going for it.


    graystone wrote:
    A heavily animal companion focused character takes feats at 1, 4, 6, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18... SO 2nd, 8th and 20 are for your heavy ranged combat/damage?

    I expressed myself badly. Maybe not "heavily" but "reasonably". I'd skip Companion's Cry at L4, Side by Side at L12 and Masterful Companion at L18 since they don't help with shooting things, they are fit for Rangers which attack mostly with the pet. Stealthy Companion can also be skipped if your companion has no stealth synergy. Focus on keeping the pet alive and able to support you every turn.

    For an Archer Hunted Shot is necessary, Distracting Shot really great, Greater Distracting shot good to have. You still have some space to fit extras.

    graystone wrote:
    Can they? How are you having your bird scout and then tell you the info? "what is it lassie? Did Timmy fall down the well again?"

    I'd say Wild Empathy can help you with this.

    graystone wrote:
    I don't hate it but, IMO, it leaves a LOT to be desired. It could do the things you say, but it's all different tracks that don't cross over each other when they could before: so you could be a sharpshooter OR be an animal trainer OR a tracker OR... when before there were some ANDS in there.

    I can see the issues. Its less things, but more defined IMO. This will be a matter of opinion and a design philosophy 2E seems to embrace. I may be against but if homebrewing extra class feats makes you feel more complete/diverse it's the fact you can have fun that matters.


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    Sfyn wrote:


    graystone wrote:
    Can they? How are you having your bird scout and then tell you the info? "what is it lassie? Did Timmy fall down the well again?"
    I'd say Wild Empathy can help you with this.

    Funny that you mention this. This is one feat I'm going to try and fit into my build because the one or two times per level that it actually did anything at all in PF1, I enjoyed just getting the opportunity to try and make it useful. But you know what made it work? My wand of Speak with Animals. That was what made Wild Empathy a secret little gold nugget in the Ranger default class. Do you know the creative things you can do when you can speak to an animal that is your friend? Do you know the places rats and mice can get into?

    How am I going to get info from an animal with Wild Empathy? It doesn't say I can speak with animals, only says I can make a request. Do I really need to pay a feat for this?


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    Mewzard wrote:
    Being so skilled at stealth you can hide from all forms of senses (Tremorsense no more)

    Ok, a cool feat.

    Mewzard wrote:
    so adept at surviving that you can survive on planes of existence that shouldn't be able to support you due to a lack of food and avoid the harm such planes cause

    Not exactly: it's only guarantee is you can feed yourself. "A success on your check to Subsist can also reduce the damage dealt by the plane, at the GM’s discretion." Can, not does. Free food isn't too exciting IMO.

    Mewzard wrote:
    be so good at Deception that you can deceive magical means to read your mind, tell if you're lying, or detect your alignment.
    Mewzard wrote:
    Hell, by this point, Quick Repair lets you fix an entire broke item in three actions, you can heal up to four people at a time with Ward Medic, and feed up to 16 people with Forager (double on a Crit Success).

    Not bad.

    But lets get to the point here: you only get ONE of these nifty things at 7th and only for skills you increase. How many skills are getting high enough for these again? maybe 4 skills? Now how many of those awesome skill feats use the same stat? I'm seeing Dex, Int, Cha, Wis...

    Mewzard wrote:
    If you want to talk classes:

    Scratches head... How do any of these impact the ranger? I'm saying the RANGER seems a downgrade. Or are you telling me a ranger should multiclass to get an upgrade?


    N N 959 wrote:
    Sfyn wrote:


    graystone wrote:
    Can they? How are you having your bird scout and then tell you the info? "what is it lassie? Did Timmy fall down the well again?"
    I'd say Wild Empathy can help you with this.

    Funny that you mention this. This is one feat I'm going to try and fit into my build because the one or two times per level that it actually did anything at all in PF1, I enjoyed just getting the opportunity to try and make it useful. But you know what made it work? My wand of Speak with Animals. That was what made Wild Empathy a secret little gold nugget in the Ranger default class. Do you know the creative things you can do when you can speak to an animal that is your friend? Do you know the places rats and mice can get into?

    How am I going to get info from an animal with Wild Empathy? It doesn't say I can speak with animals, only says I can make a request. Do I really need to pay a feat for this?

    Yep. The ONLY thing it lets you do is improve an animals attitude towards you and make requests. That's it. "You can use Diplomacy to Make an Impression on animals and to make very simple Requests of them." That's all folks.


    N N 959 wrote:

    Funny that you mention this. This is one feat I'm going to try and fit into my build because the one or two times per level that it actually did anything at all in PF1, I enjoyed just getting the opportunity to try and make it useful. But you know what made it work? My wand of Speak with Animals. That was what made Wild Empathy a secret little gold nugget in the Ranger default class. Do you know the creative things you can do when you can speak to an animal that is your friend? Do you know the places rats and mice can get into?

    How am I going to get info from an animal with Wild Empathy? It doesn't say I can speak with animals, only says I can make a request. Do I really need to pay a feat for this?

    This gets into "what can a INT 3 animal convey as information", a nice discussion for every table. Can the bird draw a simple "map" with 3 dots representing creatures? Ask your DM, fun times.

    If its worth a feat or not... I'd say it could be baseline. Druids get it baseline tho, they may feel their toes getting stepped on. In the end, I'll take the wand.


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    Sfyn wrote:
    This gets into "what can a INT 3 animal convey as information", a nice discussion for every table. Can the bird draw a simple "map" with 3 dots representing creatures? Ask your DM, fun times.

    I feel like the inevitable "so what does speaking to plants actually accomplish" conversation is going to be rough when I do finally see a leaf druid who spends 2 feats on that.


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    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I feel like the inevitable "so what does speaking to plants actually accomplish" conversation is going to be rough when I do finally see a leaf druid who spends 2 feats on that.

    Okay....that was funny.

    You get this for free it's a lot easier to shrug it off when the GM stonewalls you on this.


    Sfyn wrote:
    I may be against but if homebrewing extra class feats makes you feel more complete/diverse it's the you can have fun that matters.

    Not in the cards for me, as I play online games: It'd mean having to trip across someone that just happens to have a game offering extra feats. I'm hoping the gamemastery guide has some good optional rules for adjusting the feat numbers as it'll be a LOT easier finding a game using such an optional rule than it will be finding a houserule.

    Sfyn wrote:
    This gets into "what can a INT 3 animal convey as information", a nice discussion for every table. Can the bird draw a simple "map" with 3 dots representing creatures? Ask your DM, fun times.

    But the INT 3 question is a separate issue from the feat as the feat is extremely limited in what you can communicate: attitude and requests are it with the feat alone. Everything else is based on the DM talk.

    PossibleCabbage wrote:
    I feel like the inevitable "so what does speaking to plants actually accomplish" conversation is going to be rough when I do finally see a leaf druid who spends 2 feats on that.

    It lifts up a sign that says "Vegans are evil! Eat cow and chicken!" while it says "I an groot". ;)


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    graystone wrote:

    Ok, a cool feat.

    Not exactly: it's only guarantee is you can feed yourself. "A success on your check to Subsist can also reduce the damage dealt by the plane, at the GM’s discretion." Can, not does. Free food isn't too exciting IMO.

    Not bad.

    But lets get to the point here: you only get ONE of these nifty things at 7th and only for skills you increase. How many skills are getting high enough for these again? maybe 4 skills? Now how many of those awesome skill feats use the same stat? I'm seeing Int, Cha, Wis...

    Scratches head... How do any of these impact the ranger? I'm saying the RANGER seems a downgrade. Or are you telling me a ranger should multiclass to get an upgrade?

    To be fair, someone keeping their Survival skill up on Proficiency with a decent wisdom will probably manage to find food more often than not. Also, the other part of the feat letting your success reduce damage of said plane is useful.

    Also yeah, only one, then two by level 9, three by level 11 (more if you're a Rogue of course). ALso yes, you are limited by what skills you've raised, but there are a lot of solid options I feel. As for stats, the fact that you need to raise four unique stats every single time you hit a stat boost means you're bound to at least have a decent mod in some of them. Also, you're bound to have at least one skill associated with a stat you're good at, like Athletics for the Fighter, Acrobatics if you're rocking a Monk, etc.

    Sorry, I misunderstood that part and thought it was a dig at 2e overall.

    Alright, Ranger. I've not done much with them in 1e, but I did notice the occasional gem.

    Warden's Step at level 10 single-handedly makes group stealth viable in natural environments, terrible group stealth can be so frustrating when you're particularly stealthy. In the same vein, Camouflage to sneak even when being observed is particularly useful. Swift Tracker letting you move towards your target as a free action if you did Survival could also be quite useful for a more melee-focused Ranger. Stealth and Survival are definitely two skills that are supported by the class.

    Not a feat, but the degree to which Flurry lowers MAP is also quite valuable. It can be hard to justify the -10/-8 with agile third attack on a lot of foes, but -6/-4 with agile? Much more viable, and the degree to which it lowers later is insane.


    Mewzard wrote:
    Also yeah, only one, then two by level 9, three by level 11 (more if you're a Rogue of course).

    For me, I'm lucky to see a game run to 12th so I'm only going to see 2 or 3 of those feat. It's great that there are cool feats like that, but it's not something special for the ranger.

    Mewzard wrote:
    Sorry, I misunderstood that part and thought it was a dig at 2e overall.

    No, not at all. Fighter has gotten loads of upgrades for instance. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

    Mewzard wrote:
    Warden's Step at level 10 single-handedly makes group stealth viable in natural environments, terrible group stealth can be so frustrating when you're particularly stealthy.

    It's not good for that though: it gives them a free action to Sneak but gives them no bonuses to do so. For a bonus, you need to follow the leader than that is a different action. What this is good at is that it allows your already stealthy party to do multiple things. For instance, now your rogue friend with Trap Finder can sneak, search for traps, and investigate all at once.

    Mewzard wrote:
    Not a feat, but the degree to which Flurry lowers MAP is also quite valuable

    Oh, they can kills things quite well so no complaints there: it's the rest that's an issue as you seem to have to mono-focus as much as possible to keep an aspect relevant and that of course comes at the detriment of any other facet of the character you want.


    graystone wrote:

    For me, I'm lucky to see a game run to 12th so I'm only going to see 2 or 3 of those feat. It's great that there are cool feats like that, but it's not something special for the ranger.

    No, not at all. Fighter has gotten loads of upgrades for instance. Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

    It's not good for that though: it gives them a free action to Sneak but gives them no bonuses to do so. For a bonus, you need to follow the leader than that is a different action. What this is good at is that it allows your already stealthy party to do multiple things. For instance, now your rogue friend with Trap Finder can sneak, search for traps, and investigate all at once.

    Oh, they can kills things quite well so no complaints there: it's the rest that's an issue as you seem to have to mono-focus as much as possible to keep an aspect relevant and that of course comes at the detriment of any other facet of the character you want.

    True, but some skill feats can let you do things that weren't possible in 1e (or required a lot of effort to get to).

    It's quite alright, it's like 2AM at this point, misunderstandings are bound to happen, lol.

    Oh, I did misread that...though that is still quite useful.

    I mean, it's really a question of how good you want to be at one thing vs how minimally good you're willing to be at several things. Do you want to be a good archer and tracker, or do you want to be THE BEST Archer or THE BEST Tracker? That sort of thing. A specialist or more of a generalist.

    In my longest running game, I wasn't the best at DPS, AC, Face skills, Combat Maneuvers, etc...but I was good enough at most things to serve the group in several aspects.

    Honestly, it depends on the group. If the group absolutely NEEDS some role filled, it might be an issue to not be optimal...but if they're managing fine in the major aspects, a secondary solid character at a few aspects could still be useful.


    If I run for players who were formally (spoiled) 1st edition players, I will strongly consider the "one class feat per level" houserule.

    If I run for anybody else, I will probably just run it out of the book...


    N N 959 wrote:
    citricking wrote:
    It still gets its level bonus to all its saves, AC, and hp. You really should take the other feats, but if your using something for its support action it seems fine, it will probably be unconscious a lot, but not dead too often I think.

    OMG, that had me laughing.

    Yeah...I dropped the animal completely from my build. In PF1 all my Rangers have companions. Oh well.

    Well f#!! you too.


    graystone wrote:


    citricking wrote:
    It still gets its level bonus to all its saves, AC, and hp. You really should take the other feats, but if your using something for its support action it seems fine, it will probably be unconscious a lot, but not dead too often I think.
    It doesn't get the stat bonuses or damage bonuses or proficiency ups or the ability to hit magic or it's specialty...

    the point was you could use it for its support only, not to attack. So it's to hit and damage being awful is okay.

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