Deadmanwalking's Problems With The Final Version Of PF2


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Liberty's Edge

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So, I've been posting around the forums in what I feel is a fairly positive fashion for the most part since the game came out almost two weeks ago. This is largely due to the fact that I very much like the game and think it's super neat.

But I have noted a few actual, serious, problems. Most of them are pretty minor in the grand scheme, and I think some are typos rather than matters of intent but they are very real. So I'm going to enumerate them here, in hopes that doing so gets them some attention from the folks at Paizo.

I don't know how necessary that is, nor whether it will achieve anything, but it seems like something I should at least put in a good faith effort on. Also, these things have just been bothering me, and collating them like this makes me feel better. :)

So without further ado, here they are:

1. Proficiency Scaling.

This is debatably two related problems, the first (the one I think is an error) is that Sorcerers do not get to Expert with Unarmed (despite some Bloodlines giving Focus Spells entirely based on unarmed attacks) when they do with Simple Weapons, and Warpriests likewise do not get to Expert in Martial Weapons (despite getting Proficiency in them). These seem like errors because they are the only two times when a Class provides a weapon and encourages the character to use it then pulls the rug out from under them by not increasing Proficiency. That's a trap option, and bad game design policy.

Speaking of which, the second issue appears intentional, but remains a huge problem. Probably the biggest one in the game. You can get Proficiency with Armor or Weapons as a General Feat, but can never increase it that way. Now, deciding that General Feats should not allow you to cross class boundaries by getting good with, say, a Greatsword or Full Plate as a Wizard would seem reasonable to me on its own. The problem is that in that case, the Feats shouldn't exist in the first place. By existing, they allow the Wizard to do precisely that with General Feats, and it works fine...right up until 11th or 13th level when it suddenly becomes mechanically terrible. Which, again, makes this a trap option, and bad game design policy, since some new players will use this option, and then experience mechanical inferiority without really understanding why.

Both of these issues are especially glaring because they're so at odds with the otherwise extremely new player friendly and relatively trap free nature of the rest of the rules.

2. Alchemist Bulk.

At the moment, the default Alchemist's gear is 5.6 Bulk (the 4.6 Alchemist's Kit plus the 1 Bulk Formula Book). That's without any actual alchemical items, mind you. That's absurd for an entirely non-Str based class, and appears to be for no particularly good reason thematically (Formula and Spell Books could easily be L Bulk, while the Alchemist's Tools could be 1 Bulk). It's punitive and odd.

Notably, it makes the PFS Alchemist pregen actively not rules legal since while he is listed with 4.7 Bulk, the math on his gear actually adds up to 6.6 Bulk at a minimum. He has Str 10. This leads me to believe this is another typo situation (if the Book were L and his Tools were 1, his Bulk actually would equal out to 4.7), but it's sure one in need of correction.

3. Alignment Traits.

The Alignment Traits have some issues. According to the Traits, you simply cannot cast an Alignment spell or use an Alignment item unless your Alignment already matches it. That removes the possibility of being corrupted by the use of Evil magic and the like, but works, I suppose.

But the Traits don't seem to have been used in a manner which is consistent with that rule. Firstly, Demonic and Angelic Sorcerer Focus Spells have Alignment Tags, meaning many of those Sorcerers are flatly mechanically forbidden from using their own Focus Spells. So that seems like an error of some sort.

Secondly, Celestial Armor is weirdly asymmetric with Holy and the other alignment weapon runes. Celestial Armor imposes penalties if used by non-Good creatures, while Holy only imposes penalties on the actively Evil (ditto Unholy only hitting Good people with a penalty and so on). Now, all of these overrule the standard Trait prohibition on using such a thing at all (as specific overrides general), but doing so in two inconsistent ways is, well, inconsistent. It's also a bit odd that Neutral creatures can, at the moment, carry around one each of Holy, Unholy, Axiomatic, and Anarchic weapons, and benefit from all of them whenever they like at no penalty, when there is no other way for a Neutral character to deal Alignment damage. So that's weird and seems kinda unintended.

Aside from those three things, I've also noted various typos (such as the Monk's Ki Powers not specifying they use Wisdom, or the Faerie Dragon's Perception mod being nearly twice what it likely should be), but nothing that actually effects the game's function in any notable way.


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I'm of the mind that those general feats which offer proficiency shouldn't exist, with the following caveat:

If you're angling for something which you can't unlock before level 6 (for example), getting training in that thing at level 3 with the general feat before you'd get it it at level 6 with the archetype seems reasonable since you'd just retrain your 3rd level general feat whenever it's convenient. Or even just "I don't want to take the archetype right away. For example a ranger who wants to become a Red Mantis Assassin could take the general feat for sawtooth sabre proficiency at level 1 if human, then if their level 2 feat was set aside for something else, they could take the red mantis assassin dedication (which presumably has some kind of "Sawtooth sabres are martial weapons for you" language) at level 4 and experience no loss of proficiency.

I'm pretty sure stuff like that is what those feats are for.


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Yeah, the proficiency for the armors feats really should scale together with the character, because in the end these armors just say the amount of dex you need to have.

Heavy armor however, I think that would need to be treated differently, maybe being a higher level feat or taking one more general feat to scale.


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To point 1.

Critical to the general training feats being worth while and not trap-like will be how non-class archetypes handle proficiency.

If many of them require Training in a specific weapon or armor (an only training), but allow you to advance later with level restricted feats, then the general feats will be valuable ways for characters to get access to archetypes that are outside their traditional class build.

Like all fighters and paladins might qualify for hell knight or grey maiden as default, but a ranger or barbarian might need to drop one class feat to cross over, while a wizard will either have to drop 3 general feats or multi-class over and then complete the MC archetype before qualifying for a second archetype. From the playtest and the discussions about those non-class based archetypes in the pre-playtest discussions, I think this is very likely the intention.

If it is the case that archetype feats just give you the proficiencies, and don't require them, then pretty much everything about the general feat proficiencies is a trap.


I would like to see more general feats to keep these proficiencies scaling up to master. The existing feat gets you trained; I'd like to see Weapon Expertise and Armor Expertise feats which brings all weapon or armor proficiencies gained through general feats up to expert when your class gives you expert proficiency in any weapon or armor; and Weapon Mastery/Armor Mastery feats that do the above for master proficiency.

No one should get legendary from anything other than their class, though.

Weapon/armor proficiency being designed for out-of-class archetypes which advances these proficiencies also seems reasonable, though. But that doesn't solve the issue with sorcerers, bestial alchemists and warpriests not getting their class-granted proficiency up. Is that a mistake? I've heard debates about whether that's intentional or not but no developer answer yet.


As for alignment traits, having the player declare "Bob the sorcerer is feeling evil" (and thus for the time being Bob's alignment is one of the evil ones) solves that. Now, undoubtedly, Bob's player will claim he is over it after the spell is cast (and Bob is back in his previous alignment), but part of being the GM is to notice that Bob has been doing a lot of evil but not a lot of nonevil lately...


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regarding sorcerer unarmed focus spells: I think the easiest solution is to make them use spell attack for attack. That way the sorcerer could be good with those abilities but not expert boxers.


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On Arcane Mark, the Eponymous Mark was surprised that alignment tags had the "only people of this alignment" language in the glossary, and sent an e-mail to himself to remind him to talk about that with other developers.

So this is most likely going to receive attention.

It seems reasonable to me to have them work via "the spell itself is evil, you don't have to be evil to cast it, but a habit of doing evil things because they are expedient probably will make you evil." But that also doesn't really jive with the sorcerer bloodlines where your demon magic is evil because demons are, but you aren't necessarily.


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Mechagamera wrote:

As for alignment traits, having the player declare "Bob the sorcerer is feeling evil" (and thus for the time being Bob's alignment is one of the evil ones) solves that. Now, undoubtedly, Bob's player will claim he is over it after the spell is cast (and Bob is back in his previous alignment), but part of being the GM is to notice that Bob has been doing a lot of evil but not a lot of nonevil lately...

You can't temporarily change your alignment, though.

A much easier house rule would simply be to ignore alignment restrictions on spells if the character isn't directly receiving them from a deity. If they use it too much, they might migrate towards the spell's alignment, but not if their other actions make up for it.

Using evil powers will slowly corrupt you to evil, but if you're aware of that corruption and do your best to avoid using that power for evil purposes and perform a lot of good deeds, you stave off the corruption of evil. That sounds completely reasonable.


Yes, the Proficiency thing is weird and clunky; it would be nice if any class could get Expertise in any amour or weapon, without jumping though too many hoops.

Liberty's Edge

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Unicore wrote:

To point 1.

Critical to the general training feats being worth while and not trap-like will be how non-class archetypes handle proficiency.

If many of them require Training in a specific weapon or armor (an only training), but allow you to advance later with level restricted feats, then the general feats will be valuable ways for characters to get access to archetypes that are outside their traditional class build.

I'd be fine with this as a solution. It's a pretty good one really. This still remains a problem until such an Archetype (and hopefully a fairly flavor light one) becomes available.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

On Arcane Mark, the Eponymous Mark was surprised that alignment tags had the "only people of this alignment" language in the glossary, and sent an e-mail to himself to remind him to talk about that with other developers.

So this is most likely going to receive attention.

That's excellent to hear. :)


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Frogliacci wrote:

I would like to see more general feats to keep these proficiencies scaling up to master. The existing feat gets you trained; I'd like to see Weapon Expertise and Armor Expertise feats which brings all weapon or armor proficiencies gained through general feats up to expert when your class gives you expert proficiency in any weapon or armor; and Weapon Mastery/Armor Mastery feats that do the above for master proficiency.

No one should get legendary from anything other than their class, though.

Weapon/armor proficiency being designed for out-of-class archetypes which advances these proficiencies also seems reasonable, though. But that doesn't solve the issue with sorcerers, bestial alchemists and warpriests not getting their class-granted proficiency up. Is that a mistake? I've heard debates about whether that's intentional or not but no developer answer yet.

Getting Master weapons and armor from something other than your class would actually be terrible design with the way PF2 is set up. Part of the edge of Martials over Casters in weapons and armor is that they get Master while casters only get to Expert. Casters being able to get Master would arguably impinge on Martial territory just as much as Martials being able to get Legendary in spells (and possibly to be able to get full spell progression) would impinge on Caster territory.


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I'm listening to Arcane Mark right now. The unarmed examples are confirmed as errors. The sorcerer thing he specifically talked about, noting that the class specific character sheet includes unarmed scaling at the same rate as simple. He wasn't asked about the cleric, but I just looked and confirmed that the cleric sheet says doesn't say they get expert in martial weapons. Could still be a mistake-- there's a typo in the wizard's weapon expertise so we know they aren't 100%. But they definitely just forgot to update the unarmed language in the rulebook itself.

In light of the character specific resources being more up to date than the CRB, I'd guess that the Fumbus sheet is correct and the listed bulk values are meant to be as you hypothesize.

He also said he is sure there are going to be armor archetypes coming down the pipeline. Their goal is make them more interesting than just granting expert+ proficiency though. He believes the people who want their character in full plate are seeing it as an important part of their character, not just trying to min-max for one more AC. That doesn't directly address your complaint about general feats. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion that the feats shouldn't exist, but I can't articulate why yet.

Someone pointed out the Aligment trait thing to Mark, and it took him by surprise. He wrote an email on the spot to follow up on it with the other designers. He isn't sure if it is an error or if there's a consideration he overlooked, but it definitely seems off to him. He mentioned it makes the Paladin code not allowing the casting of an evil spell pointless as a the Paladin would be physically incapable of casting them in the first place.

Liberty's Edge

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Edge93 wrote:
Getting Master weapons and armor from something other than your class would actually be terrible design with the way PF2 is set up. Part of the edge of Martials over Casters in weapons and armor is that they get Master while casters only get to Expert. Casters being able to get Master would arguably impinge on Martial territory just as much as Martials being able to get Legendary in spells (and possibly to be able to get full spell progression) would impinge on Caster territory.

This is a pretty fair point. I could see it on a Class Archetype that drops casting Proficiency and has other tangible costs, but just allowing it with General Feats is a bad call.

But everyone gets Expert and can get it in more stuff with Feats alone. The question becomes what kind of Feats should be needed, and that's a bit more ambiguous.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
I'm listening to Arcane Mark right now. The unarmed examples are confirmed as errors. The sorcerer thing he specifically talked about, noting that the class specific character sheet includes unarmed scaling at the same rate as simple. He wasn't asked about the cleric, but I just looked and confirmed that the cleric sheet says doesn't say they get expert in martial weapons. Could still be a mistake-- there's a typo in the wizard's weapon expertise so we know they aren't 100%. But they definitely just forgot to update the unarmed language in the rulebook itself.

Excellent to hear. I'm very pleased that the Sorcerer stuff, at least, is just a typo. I suspected as much, but confirmation is good.

Captain Morgan wrote:
In light of the character specific resources being more up to date than the CRB, I'd guess that the Fumbus sheet is correct and the listed bulk values are meant to be as you hypothesize.

I sincerely hope this is the case.

Captain Morgan wrote:
He also said he is sure there are going to be armor archetypes coming down the pipeline. Their goal is make them more interesting than just granting expert+ proficiency though. He believes the people who want their character in full plate are seeing it as an important part of their character, not just trying to min-max for one more AC. That doesn't directly address your complaint about general feats. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion that the feats shouldn't exist, but I can't articulate why yet.

It's not so much that they shouldn't exist, it's that either they shouldn't exist or there should be some way to scale up that makes use of having the General Feats (as Unicore suggests above). Otherwise they're a trap option long term.

Armor Archetypes are good and solve the problem of PCs getting heavy armor if they like, but if they involve purely Class Feats ala Champion Dedication they don't really solve the issue of there being trap options in the corebook.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Someone pointed out the Aligment trait thing to Mark, and it took him by surprise. He wrote an email on the spot to follow up on it with the other designers. He isn't sure if it is an error or if there's a consideration he overlooked, but it definitely seems off to him. He mentioned it makes the Paladin code not allowing the casting of an evil spell pointless as a the Paladin would be physically incapable of casting them in the first place.

This was mentioned previously. I'm wonderfully pleased to hear it. :)


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I maintain what I said in the other thread - if a General feat is added that grants class scaling in a choice of weapon or armor, it can't come online before 15th level. Doing otherwise would invalidate the ancestry feats and seems counter to Paizo's apparent intent to make various ancestries top tier with their ancestral weapons.

However, doing it as an archetype that has the existing General feat as a prereq makes a lot of sense to me.

Other than that, as usual I agree with everything Deadmanwalking said. :P

Especially the alchemist bulk, really hope that gets fixed.


For the armor point, on the extreme scenario, a wizard in fullplate, the only way a wizard loses AC in Trained Fullplate is if he gets 20 Dex before 13th for Expert Unarmored, which means he needs to start with 18 Dex at level 1 and pay 4 ability points worth that could be diverted elsewhere. For a single point of AC.

It's a bit like Cloistered Cleric vs Warpriest. Do you want to build Casting stat and Dex, or Casting stat and Str(others). Personally as a gish player, I'm leaning towards Str but I can understand people still liking Dex. I hope the archetypes make this more interesting, but luckily the loss of one AC isn't that bad, and you gotta pay either way, up to 3 general feats or starting with 18 dex and putting 4 ability points worth into dex if you want to outdo fullplate.

Dark Archive

I disagree with how OP thinks scaling proficiency should work with weapons and armor. First, I’ll start with the weapons. My weapons have been balanced based on keeping everyone’s damage relatively close in proximity: (I’ll use rogues and barbarians to keep it as simple as possible) rogue sneak attacks are about equal to a barbarian’s great sword attack. This is seen by how rogues gain an extra die every time a striking rune comes into play as per wealth by level. Rogues and barbarians also have the same proficiency scaling; of course their damages are skewed every once in a while due to class features, but they’re close. On the other hand, there are spell casters, who already put out comparable damage to rogues and barbarians or put their magics to use in other way, like battlefield control; in any case, the casters’ magic puts them on about an even playing field as martials with those specific class-given features. In another case, this edition has increased competency not only in simple weapons but in sustainability of casters as well through the use of cantrips, which work in concert with spell casters’ spell casting and other features to keep them at around the same competency as martials with their full plate, great axe proficiency (at least most of them).

Now, for the armor proficiency scaling. I believe that they shouldn’t be changed at all. Armor, as it is now, is awesome in that it allows everyone to have the same basic competency without large gaps. Armor, as it stands, allows characters to choose either strength or dexterity and be perfectly viable. If anything, the game puts limits on unarmored and light armor far more so than heavy armor with superficial dex caps and the necessity of runes to compete at higher levels, but I like that the game is balanced for that. Anyways, heavy armor proficiency even without the automatic bump still makes it as good as other armors available. For instance, a wizard can completely dump dex and become decked out in full plate, which grants a higher AC than or equal AC to any other class until level 11 besides champions (which is equal until 7). At level 11, that same caster would be equal to an AC optimized unarmored dexterity focused caster (starting 16 dexterity for 16 AC with mage armor [since all casters get their casting stat boosted at level one and no other stat option], 18 dexterity at level 5 for 22 AC with mage armor, 19 dexterity at level 13 for 33 AC with mage armor); at level 5 a wizard in full plate is rocking a 23 AC (24 with a level appropriate rune) with an uninvested +3 to reflex saves; at 13 that wizard in full plate is rocking a 33 (with investment in level appropriate runes) and that same +3 uninvested reflex (+4 with level appropriate runes). And all it takes to move back to the head of the pack of AC is invest one more feat at level 14. And as a special bonus, you don’t have to invest in strength after hitting 18, which can be done at 5, while the dexterity focused character must use every boost until level 15 to get a lower AC. As a special, special bonus, every melee weapon (those complaining about the great sword) uses strength for damage and attack.

Honestly, the only classes I see suffering from this are those that get master in non-heavy armor, but up until then, they can be perfectly fine.

Also, how is it okay that those classes that can spend forever in the back compete so well with those that have to engage in melee to take full advantage of their feats. That’s one of my biggest concerns, and even then, it is only minor.

Spoiler:
I’m sorry if this isn’t too coherent. I’ve been having trouble sleeping recently and I’m kind of tired.

Liberty's Edge

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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
For the armor point, on the extreme scenario, a wizard in fullplate, the only way a wizard loses AC in Trained Fullplate is if he gets 20 Dex before 13th for Expert Unarmored, which means he needs to start with 18 Dex at level 1 and pay 4 ability points worth that could be diverted elsewhere. For a single point of AC.

It's less that their AC will be bad than the fact that they're investing 3 Feats for very negligible benefits. And that's even more true of many other Classes, and with fewer Feats invested (ie: a Wizard who invests in Medium Armor winds up flat out worse...and spent 2 Feats to be worse...spending a third to catch back up for a little is no fun at all, and a Barbarian who buys Heavy Armor Proficiency and uses it eventually falls 3 AC behind her companion in Medium Armor).

Liberty's Edge

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Narxiso wrote:
I disagree with how OP thinks scaling proficiency should work with weapons and armor.

I'm not sure you do? At least not on weapons. My issue is that non-scaling Proficiencies are a trap long-term. I'd be equally fine with making them able to scale in some fashion or getting rid of them entirely.

I am in no way arguing that Wizards should be able to get Master in weapons or anything like that.

As for armor, it's actually two Class Feats to get Expert in armor. Which is fine with me, my issue is that you have to pay that first Class Feat even if you've got three General Feats invested in armor, making the General Feats completely superfluous at that point.


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Thanks for this, DMW. These are some that have been bugging me as well.

Quote:
the first (the one I think is an error) is that Sorcerers do not get to Expert with Unarmed (despite some Bloodlines giving Focus Spells entirely based on unarmed attacks) when they do with Simple Weapons, and Warpriests likewise do not get to Expert in Martial Weapons (despite getting Proficiency in them). These seem like errors because they are the only two times when a Class provides a weapon and encourages the character to use it then pulls the rug out from under them by not increasing Proficiency

This kind of thing is a big problem. But "the only two times" isn't quite right. I'm aware of at least two other such issues, both also having to do with unarmed attacks:

(1) Fighters can't apply their weapon mastery to unarmed attacks (as I explain here, for folks who don't see why that is). This both seems off, thematically, and also has the weird result that they start Expert in unarmed, it doesn't increase ... and then it leaps to Legendary at level 19

(2) Champions whose deities favor unarmed attacks are out of luck: their unarmed damage doesn't benefit from Deific Weapon and they can never raise their proficiency beyond Trained


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

My preferred take would be to change the requirement for fighter Dedication to 16 Strength or Dexterity and remove the armor and weapon proficiency feats from play. In general it is not a space I like general feats sitting in.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
For the armor point, on the extreme scenario, a wizard in fullplate, the only way a wizard loses AC in Trained Fullplate is if he gets 20 Dex before 13th for Expert Unarmored, which means he needs to start with 18 Dex at level 1 and pay 4 ability points worth that could be diverted elsewhere. For a single point of AC.
It's less that their AC will be bad than the fact that they're investing 3 Feats for very negligible benefits. And that's even more true of many other Classes, and with fewer Feats invested (ie: a Wizard who invests in Medium Armor winds up flat out worse...and spent 2 Feats to be worse...spending a third to catch back up for a little is no fun at all, and a Barbarian who buys Heavy Armor Proficiency and uses it eventually falls 3 AC behind her companion in Medium Armor).

I wouldn't say it's negligible, but it depends on personal preference. In my case, I don't find Dex on a wizard attractive, but Str appeals to me, especially with all the self-buffs for a magus playstyle. In this case, I need to invest up to 18, alternatively 14/16 depending on armor and material. There's variety. With unarmored, there's not, you either pump your Dex or you're pretty dead. The cost is a bit of a personal preference. To get Dex to 20 by 13th, you need to have 18 at level one, that also means that you use 4 ability points to get it from 18 to 20, which an Str wizard can spend on alternative ability scores, such as Cha for social aspects, Wis for perception and will, Con for hp and fortitude. It really depends what you value more. Since we get 10 skill feats as wizard, and general feat options outside skills are lackluster, 3 general feats have low value to me.

The heavy armor gained from 3rd allows me to spread out my stats more, open up special resources and specific magic armors, as well as make you "okay" in melee. A Dex wizard can only use a crossbow with his dex, offensively. And his AC is only higher at 20 dex, so you gotta make a personal choice: 4 ability points and lack of armors/materials/melee options, or 3 general feats with versatility included in armor, materials, melee. Fullplate even comes with +3 reflex save, kind of giving free 16Dex in that one regard.

Gonna have to agree on that trap feats trope. The biggest trap is thinking that Dex is the only viable alternative ability score on a caster and that 1AC difference makes an armor obsolete.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm listening to Arcane Mark right now. The unarmed examples are confirmed as errors. The sorcerer thing he specifically talked about, noting that the class specific character sheet includes unarmed scaling at the same rate as simple. He wasn't asked about the cleric, but I just looked and confirmed that the cleric sheet says doesn't say they get expert in martial weapons. Could still be a mistake-- there's a typo in the wizard's weapon expertise so we know they aren't 100%. But they definitely just forgot to update the unarmed language in the rulebook itself.

In light of the character specific resources being more up to date than the CRB, I'd guess that the Fumbus sheet is correct and the listed bulk values are meant to be as you hypothesize.

He also said he is sure there are going to be armor archetypes coming down the pipeline. Their goal is make them more interesting than just granting expert+ proficiency though. He believes the people who want their character in full plate are seeing it as an important part of their character, not just trying to min-max for one more AC. That doesn't directly address your complaint about general feats. I'm not sure I agree with your conclusion that the feats shouldn't exist, but I can't articulate why yet.

Someone pointed out the Aligment trait thing to Mark, and it took him by surprise. He wrote an email on the spot to follow up on it with the other designers. He isn't sure if it is an error or if there's a consideration he overlooked, but it definitely seems off to him. He mentioned it makes the Paladin code not allowing the casting of an evil spell pointless as a the Paladin would be physically incapable of casting them in the first place.

What are these class specific character sheets of which you speak? Where are they?


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The thing about weapons that's frustrating is that because of the way scaling works, it's only one feat for a Wizard to be perfectly on-par (for their class) with whatever weapon they want for 13 levels. Or 5 levels for a rogue.

Saying it's unbalanced for some class to be able to use whatever weapon feels weird to me because, apparently, it is balanced for potentially a fairly significant chunk of the campaign for some classes.

That's why it feels more like an error or problem than a feature to me.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

DMW, thanks for writing this up. Now I have the perfect link when people ask me what I think of PF2.

"I love it, buuuuut here's what I'd change. <paste>"

I really wanted to make a Ruffian Rogue that used Unarmed Attacks, but it is just impossible to get your unarmed attacks to keep up with rogue weapon proficiencies (well, on any class but Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, and Monk?), even with the Monk MCA.
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

The General proficiency feats pulling the rug out from under you is certainly the most egregious issue, though.

Liberty's Edge

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tqomins wrote:
Thanks for this, DMW. These are some that have been bugging me as well.

You're quite welcome. Like I said, if nothing else it helped me feel better. :)

tqomins wrote:

This kind of thing is a big problem. But "the only two times" isn't quite right. I'm aware of at least two other such issues, both also having to do with unarmed attacks:

(1) Fighters can't apply their weapon mastery to unarmed attacks (as I explain here, for folks who don't see why that is). This both seems off, thematically, and also has the weird result that they start Expert in unarmed, it doesn't increase ... and then it leaps to Legendary at level 19

I wouldn't put this in the same category, simply because nothing in the Fighter Class even suggests you should attack unarmed. The fact that you jump from Expert to Legendary is weird, but it's not a trap option since prior to that attacking unarmed is not actually encouraged in any way, making it much less of a trap.

tqomins wrote:
(2) Champions whose deities favor unarmed attacks are out of luck: their unarmed damage doesn't benefit from Deific Weapon and they can never raise their proficiency beyond Trained

Right. I spaced this one. It's definitely a third example of the issue, and again likely an oversight rather than anything else.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm listening to Arcane Mark right now. The unarmed examples are confirmed as errors. The sorcerer thing he specifically talked about, noting that the class specific character sheet includes unarmed scaling at the same rate as simple. He wasn't asked about the cleric, but I just looked and confirmed that the cleric sheet says doesn't say they get expert in martial weapons. Could still be a mistake-- there's a typo in the wizard's weapon expertise so we know they aren't 100%. But they definitely just forgot to update the unarmed language in the rulebook itself.

I really want this to be true, but I'm skeptical. The Alchemist character sheet gives Unarmed Attacks at the same rate as Simple Weapons, but the Mutagenist Research Field explicitly gives this benefit. So there clearly is more than a typo going on there.

"Lanathar wrote:


What are these class specific character sheets of which you speak? Where are they?

The Character Sheet Pack is the product name.

Liberty's Edge

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Xethik wrote:

DMW, thanks for writing this up. Now I have the perfect link when people ask me what I think of PF2.

"I love it, buuuuut here's what I'd change. <paste>"

I'm glad it's helpful to you. :)

Xethik wrote:
I really wanted to make a Ruffian Rogue that used Unarmed Attacks, but it is just impossible to get your unarmed attacks to keep up with rogue weapon proficiencies (well, on any class but Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, and Monk?), even with the Monk MCA.

This seems like something an archetype really can fix, and I hope we get one that does so soon (maybe Student of Perfection?)

Xethik wrote:
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

Nobody gets them as a separate category but Fighters (everyone else only gets them counting as martial weapons via Ancestry stuff), and Fighters have a Class Feat to up them to be on par with all their other weapons. So that works out, IMO.

Xethik wrote:
The General proficiency feats pulling the rug out from under you is certainly the most egregious issue, though.

Definitely. It's a weird gap in the game's accessibility to new players and all the more annoying for being so unique in that respect.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Xethik wrote:
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

Nobody gets them as a separate category but Fighters (everyone else only gets them counting as martial weapons via Ancestry stuff), and Fighters have a Class Feat to up them to be on par with all their other weapons. So that works out, IMO.

Right, but that is for one weapon group, correct?

Still, you're not wrong that at least they have a way of catching up. It just feels like a trap without the feat unless your DM drops an advanced weapon that has a higher fundamental rune on it, or something along those lines. But then you can always transfer, so...


Xethik wrote:

DMW, thanks for writing this up. Now I have the perfect link when people ask me what I think of PF2.

"I love it, buuuuut here's what I'd change. <paste>"

I really wanted to make a Ruffian Rogue that used Unarmed Attacks, but it is just impossible to get your unarmed attacks to keep up with rogue weapon proficiencies (well, on any class but Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, and Monk?), even with the Monk MCA.
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

The General proficiency feats pulling the rug out from under you is certainly the most egregious issue, though.

I kind of know your pain on the unarmed stuff, luckily I got my head stuck on spiked fists and will see how well that works with all the fear related rogue feats.


Xethik wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

I'm listening to Arcane Mark right now. The unarmed examples are confirmed as errors. The sorcerer thing he specifically talked about, noting that the class specific character sheet includes unarmed scaling at the same rate as simple. He wasn't asked about the cleric, but I just looked and confirmed that the cleric sheet says doesn't say they get expert in martial weapons. Could still be a mistake-- there's a typo in the wizard's weapon expertise so we know they aren't 100%. But they definitely just forgot to update the unarmed language in the rulebook itself.

I really want this to be true, but I'm skeptical. The Alchemist character sheet gives Unarmed Attacks at the same rate as Simple Weapons, but the Mutagenist Research Field explicitly gives this benefit. So there clearly is more than a typo going on there.

"Lanathar wrote:


What are these class specific character sheets of which you speak? Where are they?
The Character Sheet Pack is the product name.

Well as mentioned the warpriest doesn't grant martial weapon expertise, so there's definitely some inconsistencies. Whether those inconsistencies are the result of mistakes, typos, or intentional design choices remains unclear.

But we can pretty safely conclude the Sorcerer gets unarmed proficency to keep up with their weapon proficiency based on Mark's words.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I wouldn't put this in the same category, simply because nothing in the Fighter Class even suggests you should attack unarmed. The fact that you jump from Expert to Legendary is weird, but it's not a trap option since prior to that attacking unarmed is not actually encouraged in any way, making it much less of a trap.

That's fair. This one is a bit different.

I'm generally just a little annoyed with unarmed attacks being all over the place like they are. Seems a better design would be to handle them like unarmored defense—they scale along with whatever else your class gives you. That would be better for all the same reasons the change to armor proficiencies from the playtest was a very good move: simpler all around, enables more concepts, doesn't have a real downside, prevents all these weird quirks.

The monk has more than enough to make it the premiere martial artist—you don't need to make unarmed strike completely useless for most characters, and a trap for several, out of some fear that otherwise you'd step on the Monk's toes. Monks aren't threatened. (If nothing else, they're still the only one with powerful fist, much less the other stuff they get.)

But that's a bit of a tangent to a more general frustration, so I'll leave it there.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Xethik wrote:

DMW, thanks for writing this up. Now I have the perfect link when people ask me what I think of PF2.

"I love it, buuuuut here's what I'd change. <paste>"

I really wanted to make a Ruffian Rogue that used Unarmed Attacks, but it is just impossible to get your unarmed attacks to keep up with rogue weapon proficiencies (well, on any class but Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, and Monk?), even with the Monk MCA.
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

The General proficiency feats pulling the rug out from under you is certainly the most egregious issue, though.

I kind of know your pain on the unarmed stuff, luckily I got my head stuck on spiked fists and will see how well that works with all the fear related rogue feats.

Yeaaaah, spiked gauntlets seem like a good way to go. I was considering grabbing Monk style feats which of course only work with truly unarmed.


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tqomins wrote:

The monk has more than enough to make it the premiere martial artist—you don't need to make unarmed strike completely useless for most characters, and a trap for several, out of some fear that otherwise you'd step on the Monk's toes. Monks aren't threatened. (If nothing else, they're still the only one with powerful fist, much less the other stuff they get.)

But that's a bit of a tangent to a more general frustration, so I'll leave it there.

I posted something about this in a different thread, but I'll revisit it here. The problem you identify is probably one of the harder tasks in designing a game that has "balance" as a cornerstone. There are a lot of degrees/steps/stages that can exist between something that is a threat and something that is irrelevant. Paizo has no way to know the exact point that those who want to play a Monk are going to feel less enjoyment because the Brawler is a thing. At some point, options/versatility in builds start to create overlap and the sum is a net negative rather than a positive.

Look at Volley with regards to archery Rangers (because it all has to come back to Rangers at some point) and Fighters. Paizo is using that label to create space between archery Fighters and Rangers. What if we give Point Blank Shot to the Ranger? Will that create a net negative or a positive for total player enjoyment? I can't answer that for anyone but myself...and truthfully, my opinion might change depending on my in-game experiences i.e. which class I enjoy playing more.

There's no easy/obviously correct answer from where I sit.


Xethik wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Xethik wrote:

DMW, thanks for writing this up. Now I have the perfect link when people ask me what I think of PF2.

"I love it, buuuuut here's what I'd change. <paste>"

I really wanted to make a Ruffian Rogue that used Unarmed Attacks, but it is just impossible to get your unarmed attacks to keep up with rogue weapon proficiencies (well, on any class but Alchemist, Barbarian, Druid, and Monk?), even with the Monk MCA.
Related, I feel like Advanced Weapons at (Martial - 1) proficiency, even for the Fighter, is a bit of a trap. Gnome Flickmace might be close? But even then, I think it isn't worth the -2 to hit, especially when you can gain access with some General + Ancestry feats.

The General proficiency feats pulling the rug out from under you is certainly the most egregious issue, though.

I kind of know your pain on the unarmed stuff, luckily I got my head stuck on spiked fists and will see how well that works with all the fear related rogue feats.
Yeaaaah, spiked gauntlets seem like a good way to go. I was considering grabbing Monk style feats which of course only work with truly unarmed.

I'm considering dipping into fighter for those "free-hand" feats such as Snagging Strike and the one that is a Strike and a Grab in one.


Unicore wrote:

To point 1.

Critical to the general training feats being worth while and not trap-like will be how non-class archetypes handle proficiency.

If many of them require Training in a specific weapon or armor (an only training), but allow you to advance later with level restricted feats, then the general feats will be valuable ways for characters to get access to archetypes that are outside their traditional class build.

Like all fighters and paladins might qualify for hell knight or grey maiden as default, but a ranger or barbarian might need to drop one class feat to cross over, while a wizard will either have to drop 3 general feats or multi-class over and then complete the MC archetype before qualifying for a second archetype. From the playtest and the discussions about those non-class based archetypes in the pre-playtest discussions, I think this is very likely the intention.

If it is the case that archetype feats just give you the proficiencies, and don't require them, then pretty much everything about the general feat proficiencies is a trap.

Also with point 1 for war priests they get expert in simple weapons and their gods favored weapons. The trained in martial basically gives them access to higher damage/higher utility weapons at the expense of accuracy. In general most war priests probably should be sticking with their gods favored weapon because it is either already a martial weapon or they have a simple weapon with an amplified damage dice.


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The thing that's slightly baffled me is why sorcerers don't get master proficiency in any of their saves. Every other class does and I still can't puzzle out whether it was a mistake not giving them, say, master proficiency in will or if sorcs are just supposed to suck at their saves.


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So one reason I am much more interested in "armor archetypes" than "whatever armor/weapons you gain training in, they scale with your class's armor/weapon progression" is that anything which allows the Wizard to get expert in a type of armor at 13th, would let the monk get expert at 1st, master at 13th, and legendary at 17th; and "monks who wear armor" is a weird flavor and needs more grounding than "I kept taking a feat with almost no thematic hooks" or "I took the champion dedication and now all my armor proficiencies will go to legendary".

Plus letting monks get mastery in heavy armor through any means sort of encroaches in Champion territory. I mean Monks start with expert unarmored and champions don't get expert in armor until 7th.


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I would also concur that alchemist encumbrance needs a serious look at. Looking at the pregen sheets and the kit listed in the class section none of the bulk numbers add up. Even still with them coming in weirdly lower than they should be it still puts a non str pumping class basically right at their encumbrance cap before even making any of their daily potions.

Unless they intend all alchemists to have the laborer background clearly there is something weird going on.

Also if you take the Chirugeons they are even in worse trouble as to do their job they apparently need a healing kit on top of their alchemy kit so thats yet another 1 bulk. Short of giving them a donkey as a starting animal companion some redo of some of these items weight needs to happen or give heavy lifter to alchemists as a bonus feat.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
"monks who wear armor" is a weird flavor

It is, but I don't think the game should be playing flavor police.


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Squiggit wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
"monks who wear armor" is a weird flavor
It is, but I don't think the game should be playing flavor police.

Mechanics and thematics which work together in concert to reinforce one another is vastly preferable to pure mechanics though.

By all means have an armored monk, just do so with an archetype instead.


Edge93 wrote:
Frogliacci wrote:

I would like to see more general feats to keep these proficiencies scaling up to master. The existing feat gets you trained; I'd like to see Weapon Expertise and Armor Expertise feats which brings all weapon or armor proficiencies gained through general feats up to expert when your class gives you expert proficiency in any weapon or armor; and Weapon Mastery/Armor Mastery feats that do the above for master proficiency.

No one should get legendary from anything other than their class, though.

Weapon/armor proficiency being designed for out-of-class archetypes which advances these proficiencies also seems reasonable, though. But that doesn't solve the issue with sorcerers, bestial alchemists and warpriests not getting their class-granted proficiency up. Is that a mistake? I've heard debates about whether that's intentional or not but no developer answer yet.

Getting Master weapons and armor from something other than your class would actually be terrible design with the way PF2 is set up. Part of the edge of Martials over Casters in weapons and armor is that they get Master while casters only get to Expert. Casters being able to get Master would arguably impinge on Martial territory just as much as Martials being able to get Legendary in spells (and possibly to be able to get full spell progression) would impinge on Caster territory.

I actually suggested that feats to allow characters to advance their out-of-class proficiencies when their class improves their in-class proficiency. If a caster never gets master in any weapon/armor, they don't qualify for that feat.

I'm just suggesting an alternative to have non-class proficiencies automatically scale.


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In general I also like the game. I think sometimes we focus on what we don't like more than what we do, and I have to say I like a lot more than I dislike. The sorcerer unarmed prof was glaring and I'm not a fan of goodberry taking an hour to cast. To tell the truth I haven't run a game yet. This Saturday will be the first time playing.


Dragorine wrote:
In general I also like the game. I think sometimes we focus on what we don't like more than what we do, and I have to say I like a lot more than I dislike. The sorcerer unarmed prof was glaring and I'm not a fan of goodberry taking an hour to cast. To tell the truth I haven't run a game yet. This Saturday will be the first time playing.

+1'ed because I agree. I really dig this game so far. I'm getting ready to play my first session soonish, and I enjoy the ways characters work so much now that I'm facing choice paralysis for what to build for the first time in a long time.

I've also got confidence that quite a few of the rough spots in the system will be ironed out over the coming months by errata or future books that shed light on many of the current design choices. PF1E's core book went through six printings, after all.


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I respect DMW's opinion from his contributions to the playtest and so I'm happy to see that his criticisms of final PF2 look "fixable" and are not rooted in the base design. I'm really liking PF2.


I dont think there is an issue with Cleric weapon proficiencies. They get Expert proficiency in their Deity's favored weapon, after all.

There should probably be a high level general feat to grant Expert proficiency in a weapon group in which you are trained and a similar feat for Armor. The problem is, it should come LATE. Why? Stuff like the fighter Expert weapon prof and the Champ armor prof use up class feats. Who in their right mind would use a Class feat when they can sacrifice a general feat at the same level?

If the general expert proficiency feat comes later, at least those that took the archetype can benefit from that feat for a few levels before they train out of it.


MaxAstro wrote:

I maintain what I said in the other thread - if a General feat is added that grants class scaling in a choice of weapon or armor, it can't come online before 15th level. Doing otherwise would invalidate the ancestry feats and seems counter to Paizo's apparent intent to make various ancestries top tier with their ancestral weapons.

However, doing it as an archetype that has the existing General feat as a prereq makes a lot of sense to me.

Other than that, as usual I agree with everything Deadmanwalking said. :P

Especially the alchemist bulk, really hope that gets fixed.

The racial feat chain would still grant weapon critical specialization bonuses that the general feats wouldn't.

Still, you raise a good point: lv. 15 is when you would get your first general feat post-lv.11 (which is when casters get their weapon expertise in whatever trash the gods have bestowed upon them).

Perhaps, there could be a level 11 feat that lets you get expert proficiency in any one martial weapon with which you were already trained in?
Then the racial weapon builds can retrain their 11th level feat when they hit 11 but their war-axe wizard won't suddenly be doing more damage (in terms of expected value) with a club when level 11 comes around. Maybe you could have a level 15 feat that grants proficiency with ALL martial weapons with the 1st and 11th level feat as prerequisites?

This touches on @Data Lore's point on the timing of feats, some what.


No matter what, the general feat should not come online before the archetype/class feat.

That means the champ gets Expert armor at 14, so a general shouldn't give it until like 19. I can see maybe at like 15 since it only applies to one armor type. If allowed at 15, I would require expert in the previous armor type.

The fighter gets expert weapons at 12. I wouldn't grant any form of expert weapons general feat until 15.

Remember, they are burning a mid/high level CLASS feat and making an archetype choice.

No way anything should get expert prior that with a general feat and beat out a multiclass archetype character to it. Even if its for a single weapon.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

I maintain what I said in the other thread - if a General feat is added that grants class scaling in a choice of weapon or armor, it can't come online before 15th level. Doing otherwise would invalidate the ancestry feats and seems counter to Paizo's apparent intent to make various ancestries top tier with their ancestral weapons.

However, doing it as an archetype that has the existing General feat as a prereq makes a lot of sense to me.

Other than that, as usual I agree with everything Deadmanwalking said. :P

Especially the alchemist bulk, really hope that gets fixed.

The racial feat chain would still grant weapon critical specialization bonuses that the general feats wouldn't.

Still, you raise a good point: lv. 15 is when you would get your first general feat post-lv.11 (which is when casters get their weapon expertise in whatever trash the gods have bestowed upon them).

Perhaps, there could be a level 11 feat that lets you get expert proficiency in any one martial weapon with which you were already trained in?
Then the racial weapon builds can retrain their 11th level feat when they hit 11 but their war-axe wizard won't suddenly be doing more damage (in terms of expected value) with a club when level 11 comes around. Maybe you could have a level 15 feat that grants proficiency with ALL martial weapons with the 1st and 11th level feat as prerequisites?

This touches on @Data Lore's point on the timing of feats, some what.

Don't humans already get this as a feat, more or less? They have an ancestry feat option to become trained, and eventually expert, in an advanced weapon.

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