Favoured Enemy seems kind of lame now


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Arakasius wrote:
I don’t mind them doing that, as long as it takes a while. The terrain switch takes an hour. There is nothing broken with that.

Honestly, they should wrap Terrain Master and Favored Terrain into the same feat. I'd advocate something similar for FE, but it a different enough category that something a little more specific is needed.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

FWIW, Favored Enemy guarantees you can use Perfect Shot or - with a source of haste - Impossible Flurry on the first round of combat against your favored enemies.

Considering those are the two highest-damage martial abilities in the game, that's at least meaningful even if it is a high level example.

Favored Enemy is definitely not an amazing feat, but I don't think it's terrible compared to other 4th level feats.

And they definitely couldn't have brought back anything resembling the original FE. At best, it would have been a +1 circumstance bonus, and I don't think that would feel very rewarding.


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Agreed, and IMHO it's more narratively substantial (action economy) than some number boost.
Although this seems to fit the pattern of alot of complaints, wanting flashy power and not liking subtle action economy stuff.
Well the game is balanced as such, and messing with direct power is no longer the playbook,
so subtly enabling more action combos or efficiences in certain situations is the name of game now.


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MaxAstro wrote:
FWIW, Favored Enemy guarantees you can use Perfect Shot or - with a source of haste - Impossible Flurry on the first round of combat against your favored enemies.

Perfect Shot is an 18th level feat. At 19th level, you automatically get to designate your Prey as a free action at the start of your turn.

Impossible Volley also is lvl 18 and doesn't require you have a Hunted Prey, so it's not necessary. And once again, one level later, FE is completely worthless.

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Considering those are the two highest-damage martial abilities in the game, that's at least meaningful even if it is a high level example.

Perfect Shot only works with a crossbow, so you get no benefit from melee or bows. Impossible Volley isn't the maximum damage you can do, it's context dependent and it does not require FE.

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Favored Enemy is definitely not an amazing feat, but I don't think it's terrible compared to other 4th level feats.

It's a horrible feat. The fact that some other feat might not seem valuable doesn't make this one acceptable. I know people want to try and defend stuff, but Paizo has laid some eggs in this version, and FE is absolutely one of them.

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At best, it would have been a +1 circumstance bonus, and I don't think that would feel very rewarding.

That would be a LOT more rewarding than what it does. This is feat is a dud. It happens. The crime isn't that Paizo laid an egg, the crime is defending it and refusing to acknowledge it.

As PossibleCabbage said, the best part of this feat is not feeling like you are missing out for skipping it.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
I was talking conceptually rather than saying all conversions were exact. Beasts are something that would be an Animal (or occasionally a Humanoid, I suppose) but have significant innate magic...which makes them something else entirely.

With that logic , beasts is a very broad category then


It is broad, and actually being "magic" isn't necessary,
Cockatrices to Centaurs to Kraken to Warg to Manticore to Sphinx are all Beasts.
I mean, in real Earth setting all these would be "magical" as in supernatural, but not strictly game-term "magic".


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N N 959 wrote:
I've been thinking about how to make FE actually worth it. I think the answer is to just give it to the Ranger for free. Keep it out of the Dedication to stop poaching.

If there's going to be any poaching anywhere, it should be in the ranger class.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
In the Playtest, that was so far from the truth, it's not even funny. The Paladin in our group put out double the damage I put out, if not triple. There's no way a Ranger is on par with a Fighter given the action economy cost of Hunt Prey and the fact that a Fighter gets Attacks of Opportunity. I am not that familiar with a Barbarian, but the unlimited Rage is a decided advantage over a Ranger's prey-only advantage.

In the playtest, this was true (and I commented on it at the time). It isn't any more. Rangers have gotten miles better in straight combat.

You can easily grab Skirmish Strike and basically counteract the action cost of Hunt Prey, and that combined with Twin Takedown and two-weapon fighting and the Flurry Edge can give you a +0/-2/-4 attack routine, on turns which you also move and use Hunt Prey on. On turns you don't need to Hunt Prey, the routine becomes +0/-2/-4/-4. And can do all that with an Animal Companion, if you give up a single -4 attack and want to do it that way (and animal companions are often a serious DPR enhancer).

Do they equal Fighter DPR? It depends on level, I believe. Are they very good at what they do? Absolutely. For example, this analysis doesn't include a melee Ranger, but shows archery Rangers as very on par with other archers.

N N 959 wrote:
This statement also completely misses the point of Favored Enemy.

No, I understand the point of it. I was saying that making it too powerful when Rangers are already really on par in combat would be potentially unbalancing.


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-4 on your 3rd iterative is nothing to sneeze at. Most people are looking at -10. So -4 is a gigantic boon.

Liberty's Edge

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At 17th, it goes to -2. Which is just silly.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:

Impossible Volley also is lvl 18 and doesn't require you have a Hunted Prey, so it's not necessary. And once again, one level later, FE is completely worthless.

...

Impossible Volley isn't the maximum damage you can do, it's context dependent and it does not require FE.

This would all be true if I were talking about Impossible Volley, but you'll note I said Impossible Flurry.

I blame Paizo for similar feat names.

Impossibly Flurry is six attacks at -2; as far as I can tell, that is bar-none the strongest martial attack routine in the game.

N N 959 wrote:
The crime isn't that Paizo laid an egg, the crime is defending it and refusing to acknowledge it.

See, NN, this is exactly why people get mad at you, make fun of you, and/or refuse to take you seriously. You have come down from on high and declared the irrefutable opinion that the feat is bad, and anyone who can't see that clearly obvious fact is wrong and a criminal.

And this despite the fact that your previous argument was that balance is impossible to prove.

You can't have it both ways - either there is no such thing as balance, OR the feat is objectively bad. Pick one.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


No, I understand the point of it. I was saying that making it too powerful when Rangers are already really on par in combat would be potentially unbalancing.

So your argument is that, if the Ranger takes a specific Hunter's Edge, with two specific feats, it's on par with other martials therefore Favoured Enemy can't be made more powerful?

Doesn't that mean the Ranger isn't up to par with other martials?


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I'm pretty sure everybody is saying Rangers are already on par without FE.
So with FE, with either Flurry or Precision Hunter's Edge, takes them above VS that enemy.
Outwit is the less directly combat powerful Hunter's Edge, but FE is also attractive to an Outwit Ranger,
letting them immediately gain attack and AC bonuses and use Outwit skill bonuses as well as using Feats requiring Hunted target,
which should all be compelling benefits for anybody who wanted to take Outwit in the first place.


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Honestly I think Outwit is just kinda bad in general. Not only is it less combat relevant than the other two, but it's circumstance bonuses which means it conflicts with other forums of buffings. The buff to recall knowledge has obvious synergy with monster hunter, but monster hunter itself is pretty bad.

Obviously if you're in a heavily anti-combat campaign it has its advantages, but that's not really the norm for pathfinder and otherwise I feel like it has trouble being nearly as valuable as the stack-with-anything bonuses of the other edges.


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Nope. Not seeing it.

Note i'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't see how.

I feel that if one combination of feat options is good, then other feat options should be just as good. Otherwise, why have them as options?

If the Skirmish Strike and Twin Takedown combo mentioned above would be too powerful if Favoured Enemy were stronger, then surely that combo is even more overpowered when combined with Disrupt Prey, a feat which is usable regardless of what your enemy type is.

Liberty's Edge

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Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
So your argument is that, if the Ranger takes a specific Hunter's Edge, with two specific feats, it's on par with other martials therefore Favoured Enemy can't be made more powerful?

The build I suggested is one of many good Ranger builds on par with other martials. My point was that they're on par in general, the build was merely one example of how they could achieve such parity.

But yes, my argument is that since they're just as good as other martials, things that make them too much more powerful than that, even in a specific area, can be unbalancing. Now, IMO, Favored Enemy could be a bit more powerful than it is now and still be fine, but it could never be anywhere close to as powerful as it was in PF1.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
Doesn't that mean the Ranger isn't up to par with other martials?

No. It does not.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
In the playtest, this was true (and I commented on it at the time). It isn't any more. Rangers have gotten miles better in straight combat.

That's actually false. Ranger's haven't gotten better in "straight" combat. They've gotten better at using Hunt Prey. In fact, they are worse in "straight" combat because now the double-action attacks are only useful against the Prey.

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You can easily grab Skirmish Strike and basically counteract the action cost of Hunt Prey, and that combined with Twin Takedown and two-weapon fighting and the Flurry Edge can give you a +0/-2/-4 attack routine, on turns which you also move and use Hunt Prey on.

I'm afraid that's incorrect. Skirmish Strike and Twin Takedown both have the Flourish label, so you can't use both in the same round.

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On turns you don't need to Hunt Prey, the routine becomes +0/-2/-4/-4.

Sure, if your target is chained to the ground and can't move and you've committed to Two-Weapon Fightng with an Agile weapon. That's a very specific build. A Ranger going bow or crossbow or sword and board or two-handed isn't doing any of those numbers. So it's a little disingenuous to say "Ranger" when you're talking about one specific combat path.

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And can do all that with an Animal Companion, if you give up a single -4 attack and want to do it that way (and animal companions are often a serious DPR enhancer).

Yes, the companion can add some combat edge, but it's also crit bait. A bear has 8 hit points at 1st level? What's its Armor Class?

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Do they equal Fighter DPR? It depends on level, I believe.

Belief isn't an actually compelling argument.. In actual game play, I "believe" the the Ranger's DPR is far lower than what you believe. That's based on playing the Ranger in the Playtest and being intimately familiar with the action cost of having to constantly reapply Hunt Target, or chase our Prey around, or passing up opportune shots because it's not your prey.

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Are they very good at what they do? Absolutely. For example, this analysis doesn't include a melee Ranger, but shows archery Rangers as very on par with other archers.

I'm sorry, but that doesn't prove anything about actual game play. That "expected" damage is based on a ton of assumptions and shortcuts which probably isn't even positively correlated with actual outcomes. If a spreadsheet was a competent analysis tool for RPGs, they wouldn't have had to so drastically change the Ranger to begin with.

DMW wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
This statement also completely misses the point of Favored Enemy.
No, I understand the point of it. I was saying that making it too powerful when Rangers are already really on par in combat would be potentially unbalancing.

Favored Enemy was specifically intended to "unbalance" the Ranger in a specific context. But that context, by virtue of how narrow the application, has a negligible net effect on the overall efficacy on the class i.e. not statistically significant, but perceptually powerful.


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Quandary wrote:
I'm pretty sure everybody is saying Rangers are already on par without FE.

I wasn't aware that "everybody" has said anything on the Ranger. We're 19 days into the new game and now it's a fact that the Ranger is "on par" with the Fighter? Based on what actual data?

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Outwit is the less directly combat powerful Hunter's Edge, but FE is also attractive to an Outwit Ranger,

letting them immediately gain attack and AC bonuses and use Outwit skill bonuses as well as using Feats requiring Hunted target,
which should all be compelling benefits for anybody who wanted to take Outwit in the first place.

Not really. You're forgetting that the sum total of categories that this applies to is ....one. It will never improve or get better. In fact, at 19th level you will need to retrain it.

If I'm an Outwit Ranger, At 4th level, I'm taking something to leverage Outwit, or dramatically improve my combat. That free Hunt Target buys you one action in the first round, presuming:

1. You haven't already got a pre-Init Prey;

2. One of the creatures fits your category;

3. You can see the creature.

4. Identifying that creature is your best tactic at the start of combat.

And if all those criteria are met, you basically get back one action in the first round. What do you think the odds of all those coming together is in any actual encounter? Now try and sell a get-one-free-action-on-the-first-round-of-combat feat to someone at 4th level and attach a probability of it working. What do you think the minimum probability would have to before someone would take it given their other choices at 4th level and below? Because you're not comparing it to just 4th level, but 2nd and 1st level feats that you had to pass up.


Flavor wise, FE seems to be a feat that is meant to be retrained to change the enemy type. Take some downtime to study the local fauna/flora to get a benefit.

FE seems to work nice with the Outwit edge. If you get attacked by your FE and the enemy wins initiative, you still get the +1 AC thanks to FE. (this also applies after lvl 19)


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masda_gib wrote:
Flavor wise, FE seems to be a feat that is meant to be retrained to change the enemy type. Take some downtime to study the local fauna/flora to get a benefit.

If it was "meant to be retrained to change the enemy type", IMO it's be better to have you pick a type during your daily preparations instead of forcing retraining. Forcing retraining "seems kind of lame".

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
That's actually false. Ranger's haven't gotten better in "straight" combat. They've gotten better at using Hunt Prey. In fact, they are worse in "straight" combat because now the double-action attacks are only useful against the Prey.

Hunt Prey is an action you do in combat. Being better at it is being better at straight combat. It's being better in a specific manner, but so is being better at melee than ranged.

N N 959 wrote:
I'm afraid that's incorrect. Skirmish Strike and Twin Takedown both have the Flourish label, so you can't use both in the same round.

Ah! You're right. So only -0/-2 on rounds you have to both move and use Hunt Prey. Still not terrible, and saves you a Feat.

N N 959 wrote:
Sure, if your target is chained to the ground and can't move and you've committed to Two-Weapon Fightng with an Agile weapon. That's a very specific build. A Ranger going bow or crossbow or sword and board or two-handed isn't doing any of those numbers. So it's a little disingenuous to say "Ranger" when you're talking about one specific combat path.

Archers receive the same advantage, and other builds have various alternatives. I was listing one example of a good Ranger build, not saying it was the only one.

And Rangers have always been tied to specific combat styles. In most corebooks it's only two, while I count at least three solid options for a PF2 Ranger (TWF, Crossbow, Archery).

N N 959 wrote:
Yes, the companion can add some combat edge, but it's also crit bait. A bear has 8 hit points at 1st level? What's its Armor Class?

At 1st level, frontline PCs tend to have about AC 18, and a Ranger probably has about 20 HP. A Bear has 16 HP (they get 8 from Ancestry then 6+Con Mod per level) and an AC of 15, which is low, but not as low as you're implying. And goes up over the next couple of levels as Barding becomes available. It stabilizes at about two behind the PCs pretty rapidly.

Also, and this is important, every attack against your Animal Companion is an attack that wasn't against you. Which is a pretty good advantage in its own right.

N N 959 wrote:
Belief isn't an actually compelling argument.. In actual game play, I "believe" the the Ranger's DPR is far lower than what you believe. That's based on playing the Ranger in the Playtest and being intimately familiar with the action cost of having to constantly reapply Hunt Target.

I also had a Ranger in my playtest and Hunt Prey was never a problem. She had lots of others, but that was very workable. Her problems had to do with accuracy and damage comparisons between her and the Barbarian, which caused issues. Issues that have largely been solved by Flurry being a lot better.

Really, Rangers have a lot of stuff that 'adds an action' either allowing two attacks as one action, or a move as well as an action, or stuff like that to effectively compensate for Hunt Prey's action economy costs.

N N 959 wrote:
I'm sorry, but that doesn't prove anything about actual game play. That "expected" damage is based on a ton of assumptions and shortcuts which probably isn't even positively correlated with actual outcomes. If a spreadsheet was a competent analysis tool for RPGs, they wouldn't have had to so drastically change the Ranger to begin with.

So you complain when I give anecdotes or opinions, and then say math analysis isn't useful? I'm curious what kind of proof could exist that Ranger is viable since that pretty much excludes all the options for kinds of proof that could theoretically be provided.

N N 959 wrote:
Favored Enemy was specifically intended to "unbalance" the Ranger in a specific context. But that context, by virtue of how narrow the application, has a negligible net effect on the overall efficacy on the class i.e. not statistically significant, but perceptually powerful.

If two things are equally good, except for 5% of the time when one is objectively just better, the latter is better. And in a way that makes picking the former bad.

Favored Enemy can be better than other Feats when it comes up, but it can't unambiguously make Ranger better than every other Class in X situation to the degree you seem to desire, since they're already equally good outside X situation.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

But yes, my argument is that since they're just as good as other martials, things that make them too much more powerful than that, even in a specific area, can be unbalancing. Now, IMO, Favored Enemy could be a bit more powerful than it is now and still be fine, but it could never be anywhere close to as powerful as it was in PF1.

Natan Linggod 327 wrote:
Doesn't that mean the Ranger isn't up to par with other martials?
No. It does not.

There's something I'm not following with the rationale you're using here. Conventional game design mandates that theme-based classes are comparatively better in their element/dominion and thus worse out of it. That's what creates the experience of having a dominion. It would be nonsensical for Paizo to create a themed class that was on par with a non-themed class "in general."

If the Ranger is "just as good as martials" then one of two things must be true:

1. They are just as good if we somehow account for all the context-driven benefits (which nobody here truly can). Which means they are weaker outside of those situations and thus weaker "in general" circumstances.

Or,

2. They are on par without the context-driven benefits and just as good "in general." If that's true, then they are, on average, stronger than the fighter.

Here's the other problem you run into DMW, if Paizo's original design intention was to make the Ranger "on par" with the Fighter "in general", they would have made it a lot stronger in the Playtest. The Playtest essentially proves the Ranger was not intended to be on par with the Fighter. Nor have I seen any statement from Paizo that they intended to be an equal to the Fighter on average or in general.

The Fighter, as stated by Paizo, is suppose to be the best at Fighting. So either Paizo lied, or your definition of "on par" or "in general" is more than a standard deviation in scope.

Silver Crusade

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N N 959 wrote:

The Fighter, as stated by Paizo, is suppose to be the best at Fighting. So either Paizo lied, or your definition of "on par" or "in general" is more than a standard deviation in scope.

This is just sad.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
graystone wrote:
masda_gib wrote:
Flavor wise, FE seems to be a feat that is meant to be retrained to change the enemy type. Take some downtime to study the local fauna/flora to get a benefit.
If it was "meant to be retrained to change the enemy type", IMO it's be better to have you pick a type during your daily preparations instead of forcing retraining. Forcing retraining "seems kind of lame".

It doesn’t force retraining at all. You change it when you decide to.

That’s much better than announcing your picking Beast every single day until you stop dealing with beasts.

Liberty's Edge

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Their intent was pretty clearly for Ranger to be as strong 'in general' but in a very different way mechanically (by using Hunt Prey and getting bonuses against a specific target). They didn't quite manage it with Ranger in the playtest, but they did with the Barbarian, more or less, and adjusted Ranger sufficiently that I think it achieves this as well in the final game.

Fighters are the best at 'fighting' only for a very specific context of what fighting is, not in terms of general combat effectiveness.

All of which is why Rangers basically have no context determined benefits (unless you count Hunt Prey, which you really shouldn't, it's not meaningfully a 'context'), with the exception of Favored Enemy and Terrain, which are not core competencies and should be compared to other Feats (where the fact that they're context dependent should indeed grant them greater power than more general Feats), not the baseline of the Class or other Classes.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Hunt Prey is an action you do in combat. Being better at it is being better at straight combat. It's being better in a specific manner, but so is being better at melee than ranged.

The concept of "straight" means without extras. Hunt Prey is not automatic or required. The Ranger and Fighter can both attack without using their signature abilities.

The Ranger isn't better at "straight" combat. If you think Hunt Prey makes the Ranger do more damage than a Fighter, then you'd say the Ranger is better when employing its abilities. That's not "straight." So what your asserting is the Ranger is better when it gets to use Hunt Prey...provided its targeting its Prey.

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Archers receive the same advantage, and other builds have various alternatives. I was listing one example of a good Ranger build, not saying it was the only one.

No they do not. Archers do not get down to -4 because they are not using Agile weapons. Neither are crossbow users. The whole 0/-2/-4 is only available to TWF with an agile weapons on the second and third strike. That's a very specific build choice, not a universal Ranger outcome.

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And Rangers have always been tied to specific combat styles. In most corebooks it's only two, while I count at least three solid options for a PF2 Ranger (TWF, Crossbow, Archery).

That's exactly right. So when you generalize about what a Ranger is doing and you're actually talking about one specific path, it's totally misleading.

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At 1st level, frontline PCs tend to have about AC 18, and a Ranger probably has about 20 HP. A Bear has 16 HP (they get 8 from Ancestry then 6+Con Mod per level) and an AC of 15, which is low, but not as low as you're implying.

I find that last statement perplexing. I recall pages and pages of debates where you and others insisted a mere +1 benefit was monumental in PF2, but now you're implying that a companion with 4 lower AC than the PC is not a big deal?

In the Playtest scenario I ran, our first encounter, the golem was critting armored PCs on its third attack. Considering I'm getting +7 at first level, I expect the BBEG's to be getting a lot higher than that.

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I also had a Ranger in my playtest and Hunt Prey was never a problem

So then how is Favored Enemy pushing Ranger's over the top?

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Really, Rangers have a lot of stuff that 'adds an action' either allowing two attacks as one action, or a move as well as an action, or stuff like that to effectively compensate for Hunt Prey's action economy costs.

That's kind of misleading. A Ranger is only going to get the benefit of one or two of those things as they are divided up into the separate combat styles. I'm probably not taking Skirmish strike if I'm using Hunted Shot.

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So you complain when I give anecdotes or opinions, and then say math analysis isn't useful?

Not really accurate. I have no problem with anecdotes, I love anecdotes, as they are data. I think you offered the first one in this post I'm responding to. Opinions are fine. But bad math analysis is worse than not being useful, its misinformation.

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I'm curious what kind of proof could exist that Ranger is viable since that pretty much excludes all the options for kinds of proof that could theoretically be provided.

I don't know what the scientific formula for "viable" is, do you? I can't prove anything subjective. The only thing I can do is play the class and see if it is compelling. People played the PF1 Rogue for a decade before Unchained. Was it "unviable?"

You can't "prove" the Ranger is viable or playable or whatever, perhaps that's our disconnect. You can only assess how people respond to it and then Paizo has to decide if they want to address the concerns.

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If two things are equally good, except for 5% of the time when one is objectively just better, the latter is better

Scientifically it might not be. If that 5% is less than the random variability in the outcomes, then it's not statistically significant. What matters in this context is whether it has a discernible impact on the player experience. If a player chooses a feat and feels like it provides no benefit, then you have a negative reaction....you know...like some people on here had to Favored Enemy in PF1. I find it ironic that the negative reaction to the low frequency of PF1's Favored Enemy was a basis for changing it, but that same logic doesn't apply to the PF2 version?

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Favored Enemy can be better than other Feats when it comes up, but it can't unambiguously make Ranger better than every other Class in X situation to the degree you seem to desire since they're already equally good outside X situation.

To the degree that I desire? I haven't stated how good it should be, so please don't put words in my mouth.

Honestly, I'm just as happy that it's skippable feat. The Ranger is not starved for choices. My posts are about affirming the OP's observation that the feat basically sucks.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:

The concept of "straight" means "without extras." Hunt Prey is not automatic or required. The Ranger and Fighter can both attack without using their signature abilities.

The Ranger isn't better at "straight" combat. If you think Hunt Prey makes the Ranger do more damage than a Fighter, then you'd say the Ranger is better when employing its abilities. That's not "straight." So what your asserting is the Ranger is better when it gets to use Hunt Prey...provided its targeting its Prey.

This is a deeply pointless semantic distinction, IMO. That is not how I, or most others, would define 'straight combat'. For clarity, I do indeed mean that Ranger is equal to Fighter when actually using its listed class abilities.

N N 959 wrote:
No they do not. Archers do not get down to -4 because they are not using Agile weapons. Neither are crossbow users. The whole 0/-2/-4 is only available to TWF with an agile weapons on the second and third strike. That's a very specific build choice, not a universal Ranger outcome.

Sure, bow users get -0/-3/-6 instead. Still as much better than other bow users, since there are no Agile ranged weapons. My point was that they had equally good abilities, not precisely identical ones.

N N 959 wrote:
That's exactly right. So when you generalize about what a Ranger is doing and you're actually talking about one specific path, it's totally misleading.

It was an example. Any example is only of one build, definitionally. Do you have some fundamental objection to the use of examples?

N N 959 wrote:

I find that last statement perplexing. I recall pages and pages of debates where you and others insisted a mere +1 benefit was monumental in PF2, but now you're implying that a companion with 4 lower AC than the PC is not a big deal?

In the Playtest scenario I ran, our first encounter, the golem was critting armored PCs on its third attack. Considering I'm getting +7 at first level, I expect the BBEG's to be getting a lot higher than that.

Oh, it's notably worse, and they'll certainly get crit more. Though it's two lower at most levels, as I said, rather than four (I have no idea where you got 4 from). Three lower at 1st level specifically.

But it's not worthless or going to get crit all the time vs. most foes, which was your implication (plus you undersold their HP by a lot).

N N 959 wrote:
So then how is Favored Enemy pushing Ranger's over the top?

It isn't. I never said it was. It would be if it was as powerful as in PF1, or as you seem to want it to be.

N N 959 wrote:
That's kind of misleading. A Ranger is only going to get the benefit of one or two of those things as they are divided up into the separate combat styles. I'm probably not taking Skirmish strike if I'm using Hunted Shot.

My point was not that they'd stack them, but that almost every Ranger would have at least one of them. Which is sufficient to make up for Hunt Target's action economy problems.

N N 959 wrote:
Not really accurate. I have no problem with anecdotes, I love anecdotes, as they are data. I think you offered the first one in this post I'm responding to. Opinions are fine. But bad math analysis is worse than not being useful, its misinformation.

I strongly disagree with this line of logic, but sure, we can go with anecdotes.

N N 959 wrote:
I don't know what the scientific formula for "viable" is, do you? I can't prove anything subjective. The only thing I can do is play the class and see if it is compelling. People played the PF1 Rogue for a decade before Unchained. Was it "unviable?"

A lot of them were playing it not knowing how it worked or what their alternatives were, but yes, it really sucked.

Whether something is 'compelling' is subjective, whether it's viable is really much more math-based, which is why I think mathematical analysis is useful.

N N 959 wrote:
You can't "prove" the Ranger is viable or playable or whatever, perhaps that's our disconnect. You can only assess how people respond to it and then Paizo has to decide if they want to address the concerns.

You can prove it generally does as much damage as a Fighter or Barbarian. That makes it viable by the definitions most people are using and will result in most people playing.

N N 959 wrote:
Scientifically it might not be. If that 5% is less than the random variability in the outcomes, then it's not statistically significant. What matters in this context is whether it has a discernible impact on the player experience. If a player chooses a feat and feels like it provides no benefit, then you have a negative reaction....you know...like some people on here had to Favored Enemy in PF1. I find it ironic that the negative reaction to the low frequency of PF1's Favored Enemy was a basis for changing it, but that same logic doesn't apply to the PF2 version?

That logic certainly applies. I was stating a hypothetical situation if Favored Enemy was too good and had no cost, not stating how things are at the moment.

N N 959 wrote:
To the degree that I desire? I haven't stated how good it should be, so please don't put words in my mouth.

My apologies, you gave the impression of thinking that it should be more powerful.

N N 959 wrote:
Honestly, I'm just as happy that it's skippable feat. The Ranger is not starved for choices. My posts are about affirming the OP's observation that the feat basically sucks.

I think it's a bit better than that, but sure.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I don't really see why there's a limit in the creatures types that can be favored enemy.

Seriously, what is it about the ranger that:
1) invites so much redesign from edition to edition
2) is so oddly done on the first iteration (PF1 excepted)


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Bill Dunn wrote:

Seriously, what is it about the ranger that:

1) invites so much redesign from edition to edition

Yeah, the ranger identity has taken a beating over the years, seems hard to reconcile at this point.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Wow, apparently I'm such a criminal I don't even warrant a response...

@Bill Dunn: This thread is basically the answer to that question. Or any other thread NN has been part of - not so much to call out NN specifically, but just that all the Ranger opinions come out from all directions.

Literally everyone has a different opinion of what the Ranger should be, and that almost certainly goes for the devs also.


I've very much enjoyed the Ranger.

An outwit ranger would likely only ever choose beasts as their favored enemy, but getting that skill bonus to either feint or intimidate on the first round is great.


Bill Dunn wrote:

I don't really see why there's a limit in the creatures types that can be favored enemy.

Seriously, what is it about the ranger that:
1) invites so much redesign from edition to edition
2) is so oddly done on the first iteration (PF1 excepted)

From my perspective it seems the answer to your first question boils down to an issue that exists in just about every character-class-having game: the question of "why is this concept its own class, rather than a particular subset of a similar but less specific class?"

Or to phrase that differently, and the way I've heard it a lot over the years (since times when ranger was an optional class that was literally a fighter but with higher ability score requirements to "pay" for extra special abilities): Why is ranger a class, and not just a fighter with particular thematic build choices?

The second question is a lil simpler in the answer: designers are trying to build a class that gives the people that already want to play it the experience they are looking for, but also that brings some of the people that were opposed to playing that kind of character on board too.

And doing that has a severe risk of "wonk"

The Exchange

FE is really situational, if you are playing Underdark, Undead or Urban campaign, forget it.
Hope they introduce a bounty hunter, slayer,undead slayer, demonslayer, manhunter archtype. At least for me, its been rare fighting regular animals, fungi or dragons. Dragons is basically a special event in our tables, the rest is usually thrown at us if we need to move from city to another city.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is a deeply pointless semantic distinction, IMO.

You're making a generalization about Rangers, based on a specific context, as part of your argument about how/why/to what extent something should be changed. It's highly important to be clear about that context.

Quote:
Sure, bow users get -0/-3/-6 instead. Still as much better than other bow users, since there are no Agile ranged weapons. My point was that they had equally good abilities, not precisely identical ones.

Your point seemed be that getting 0/-2/-4/-4 meant the Ranger was as good as the Fighter at Fighting. Another generalization based on a specific example. And the comparison wasn't "other bow users" it was Fighters, who also have archery feats unavailable to the Ranger. What's more, the improved MAP only comes from one of the three Ranger Edges. So yes, I challenge the use of specific examples as being representative of the entire class. Especially when there isn't any actual data, just spreadsheet analysis and theorycrafting.

Quote:
It was an example. Any example is only of one build, definitionally. Do you have some fundamental objection to the use of examples?

When I perceive them to be misrepresentations, yes. Any rationale person would have an objection. Cherry picking feats and context is a common approach when people try and debate classes.

Quote:
(I have no idea where you got 4 from).

+4 Dex +2 Armor(Leather) +3 Proficiency. Did I do something wrong? Yes, I did, Leather is +1 item bonus, and 2gp. So, even if we go with an 18, that doesn't make 15 better or get crit less.

Quote:
But it's not worthless or going to get crit all the time vs. most foes, which was your implication (plus you undersold their HP by a lot).

Hyperbole. Right, I didn't include the full hit points as I was asking with the "?". 8 did seem too low. The point is the damage buff from the companion is hardly a gimme. Against bosses (an example of when you don't have to keep reapplying Hunt Prey) it is at high risk for getting critted and GMs seem obligated to just ignore the creature for fear of killing it. Plus...the Ranger has no inherent way to heal it in combat.

Again, not something that really reveals itself on a spreadsheet, but often thrown out as if it's a constant guaranteed damage.

Quote:
My apologies, you gave the impression of thinking that it should be more powerful.

I've made several abortive attempts to "fix" the feat. But as Rysky has pointed out, the paradigm for PF2 makes it problematic. I also give credence to people's objection about spikeyness, or at least I acknowledge that Paizo considers it a bug and not a feature. One solution is not to strengthen it, but keep it weak and give it out for free. This gives flavor without a statistically significant benefit. But then, you'd have people complaining about its low frequency all over again, like they did in PF1, never mind that they were getting it at no cost, or, people won't like that baked in flavor.

So yeah, skip it.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Why is ranger a class, and not just a fighter with particular thematic build choices?

TBH I feel like if the fighter had even more class options and the monk, barbarian and ranger were all rolled into it it might be better for the game.

Fighter is such a generic concept that it kind of struggles in practice to feel like it accomplishes anything. In particular because its only niche is 'combat', it makes it hard to design other combat-focused classes like the barbarian and ranger and keep them all distinct and interesting without stepping over each other . How does "class that fights well and nothing else" simultaneously not trivialize combat and still be relevant next to "class that fights well, has a couple spells and is really good at skills"?

The answer PF2 (and 4e incidentally) took was to make the Fighter really strong and really versatile and then strip away a lot of that extra stuff the Ranger had. The Ranger no longer has magic, it no longer is good at skills and a lot of its old features (like HIPS, animal companions, and other naturey abilities) are all relegated to optional features.

Incidentally, both PF2 and 4e decided to refocus the ranger instead as being really good at blendering people with 2WF or Archery.

Ultimately for me the problem, as I predicted before the game even came out, is that while having all these ala carte options is really good... they end up being really hard to juggle because feats are such a limited commodity, which is why I personally find FE problematic in its current state.

Deadmanwalking wrote:


All of which is why Rangers basically have no context determined benefits

Personally I've still had a lot of trouble with context determined features.

I had a really fun idea for an urban ranger, but trackless step, favored terrain, terrain master, camouflage, warden's step and maybe some other stuff I'm missing all only work in natural terrain, FE conspicuously omits a whole bunch of creature types and the whole monster hunter line keys specifically off nature.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
You're making a generalization about on Rangers in a specific context as part of your argument about how/why/to what extent something should be changed. It's highly important to be clear about that context.

Definitions are important, but 'straight fight' somehow meaning not counting their fundamental class abilities being used is a really strange leap to make.

My argument is not with you wanting precise definitions, it's with you defaulting to a really weird one and then acting like I'm being unreasonable for not knowing it.

N N 959 wrote:
Your point seemed be that getting 0/-2/-4/-4 meant the Ranger was as good as the Fighter at Fighting. Another generalization based on a specific example. And the comparison wasn't "other bow users" it was Fighters, who also have archery feats unavailable to the Ranger. What's more, the improved MAP only comes from one of the three Ranger Edges. So yes, I challenge the use of specific examples as being representative of the entire class. Especially when there isn't any actual data, just spreadsheet analysis and theorycrafting.

It was an example of a build that could be as good as a Fighter. And specifically one of the most common builds (a TWF build using the 1st level TWF Feat).

N N 959 wrote:
When I perceive them to be misrepresentations, yes. Any rationale person would have an objection. Cherry picking feats and context is a common approach when people try and debate classes.

One of the fundamental foundational Feats of one of the most common fighting styles is not 'cherry picking'. Trying to compare Rangers without the Feats they use to aid them in combat is not a useful exercise with any bearing on the game as it actually plays.

The same is true of other Classes, by the way.

N N 959 wrote:
+4 Dex +2 Armor(Leather) +3 Proficiency. Did I do something wrong? But yes, I can see that a 16 Dex build is going to have an 18, so maybe it's an even split between 18 and 19.

No, 18 is the absolute max for anyone outside of Heavy Armor (like basically all Rangers). All non-heavy armor + Dex combos max out at +5 now (leather, for example, is +1 to go with its max Dex Mod of +4). Heavy armor maxes out at 1 higher (for a +6 total), but I was comparing the Bear to the Ranger.

N N 959 wrote:
Even if we go with an 18, that doesn't make 15 better or get crit less.

Yes it does, because enemies are built assuming an 18, not a 19 (this is true even given the Heavy Armor note above...a 19 is unusual and intended to be special). What the game assumes as normal determines what the enemy will be designed to target.

N N 959 wrote:

Hyperbole. Right, I didn't include the full hit points as I was asking with the "?". 8 did seemed too low. The point is the damage buff from the companion is hardly a gimme. Against bosses (an example of when you don't have to keep reapplying Hunt Prey) it is at high risk for getting critted and GMs seem obligated to just ignore the creature for fear of killing it. Plus...the Ranger has no inherent way to heal it in combat.

Again, not something that really reveals itself on a spreadsheet, but often thrown out as if it's a constant guaranteed damage.

No, it's not constant or guaranteed, but it's an advantage, and not as fragile an advantage as you're implying except maybe vs main villain types. And a major villain can certainly target your animal companion and may well even crit it, but attacks from major villains are really good, and your companion eating one or more for you is an advantage, not the disadvantage you're making it out to be, IMO.

I mean, seriously, if a 1st level character is getting attacked at +11 for 2d6+4 damage (to pick a random 3rd level foe, a Gorilla to be specific)...yes, the animal companion is likely to get crit and knocked out. But any attack that crits it would have hit you, and taking 11 damage at 1st level is really bad, never mind the chance of it critting you (which is actually half the crits the bear takes) in which case the crit would probably take you out as easily as the bear.

The reason main villains work well in PF2 despite their action economy disadvantages is how good those actions are. Costing them such actions is super good mechanically.

N N 959 wrote:

I've made several abortive attempts to "fix" the feat. But as Rysky has pointed out, the paradigm for PF2 makes it problematic. I also give credence to people's objection about spikeyness, or at least I acknowledge that Paizo considers it a bug and not a feature. One solution is not to strengthen it, but keep it weak and give it out for free. But then, you'd have people complaining about its lack of low frequency all over again, like they did in PF1, never mind that they were getting it at no cost.

So yeah, skip it.

Fair enough.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
.My argument is not with you wanting precise definitions, it's with you defaulting to a really weird one and then acting like I'm being unreasonable for not knowing it.

Including the signature ability for the Ranger but not the Fighter in a "straight" fight seems flawed. That spreadsheet you referenced, doesn't it explicitly ignore damage from AoO? Kind of hard to claim the analysis is valid when the classes are not on equal footing.

Here is the disclaimer for that spreadsheet which you seem to put faith in:

citricking wrote:
So all of these comparisons didn’t involve too many feats. Mostly just ability score increases, item increases, and elemental damage runes.

Doesn't sound like he's adding the Fighter's expected damage from AoO's at all.

Quote:
And specifically one of the most common builds (a TWF build using the 1st level TWF Feat).

How has it been determined that TWF is the "most common" build? Was that in the Playtest Survey?

Quote:
One of the fundamental foundational Feats of one of the most common fighting styles is not 'cherry picking'.

Most common fighter styles? TWF wasn't even a thing in AD&D. In 3.5 and PF1, TWF is far inferior to THF and Archery fighting styles for a Ranger. In fact, I don't recall coming across any TWF Ranger in PFS. Now, one of my Rangers did TWF with Sword and Board, but I knew I was giving up DPS to do it. I just liked Shield Slamming people. Rogues make it work because of Sneak Attack. So I'm going to have to disagree with your assertion. What might be true for the TWF Ranger isn't automatically true for the class as a whole.

Quote:

Trying to compare Rangers without the Feats they use to aid them in combat is not a useful exercise with any bearing on the game as it actually plays.

The same is true of other Classes, by the way.

I would agree. So why isn't the AoO damage being included? But let's be honest, we have no idea how much info needs to be included before the math is indicative of actual game play. If Paizo did, they wouldn't have been so far off on the Ranger.

Dead, spreadsheet analysis can have fundamental flaws when used to made generalization about classes. I don't see that they've been accounted for or resolved in any of your assertions.

Quote:
and your companion eating one or more for you is an advantage, not the disadvantage you're making it out to be, IMO.

I didn't say it was a "disadvantage." I said the damage isn't guaranteed and there is no spreadsheet analysis which accounts for the fragility of the companion and its propensity to be knocked out of combat. A very real thing that affects the effectiveness of the companion.

At this point, it feels like were bickering, which isn't really a value-add.. My main issue is I think you're overselling your assertions. The math isn't robust in figuring out how these games work and it can lead to the wrong conclusions (which was on full display in the Playtest) These types of games need outcome data, something you can't reliably acquire from table top. Bad math isn't a substitute. This is exactly why Paizo did a Playtest...the math doesn't have the answers.


N N 959 wrote:
TWF wasn't even a thing in AD&D.

It was/is, and 2nd Ed made it a feature of the ranger, much to my chagrin.

2nd Ed AD&D was the beginning of the ranger losing its identity; all that Drizzt baggage got attached.


I never played 2nd Ed only 1st.


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Ad&d unearthed arcana, pg# 10 "Dark elves do not gain the combat bonuses of the surface elves with regard to sword and bow, but may fight with two weapons without penalty, provided each weapon may be easily wielded in one hand. They cannot use a shield when performing this type of combat, but may use a spiked buckler as one of their two weapons."


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I’m just glad to have the main metagamey feature detached from the base, no longer make-or-break, and limited to enemies that don’t make up entire campaigns.


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N N 959 wrote:
I never played 2nd Ed only 1st.

Ah, well, TWF is a thing in 1st Ed AD&D (there are rules for it, PCs that use it), it just isn't particular to any class.

I remember quite a few Moonglum wannabes back in the day.


graystone wrote:
Ad&d unearthed arcana, pg# 10 "Dark elves do not gain the combat bonuses of the surface elves with regard to sword and bow, but may fight with two weapons without penalty, provided each weapon may be easily wielded in one hand. They cannot use a shield when performing this type of combat, but may use a spiked buckler as one of their two weapons."

Yeah, it was also a drow deal, hence Drizzt and his dual-wielding, nothing to do with being a ranger, neither his animal companion, as that is a magic item, but both got folded into the ranger.

Liberty's Edge

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N N 959 wrote:
Including the signature ability for the Ranger but no the Fighter in a "straight" fight seems flawed. That spreadsheet you referenced? Doesn't it explicitly ignore damage from AoO'? Kind of hard to claim the analysis is valid when it's not on equal footing

AoO are not reliable without Reach, and often not even with it. They're not something you'll always get by any means. Indeed, if you lack Reach, once you've gotten one off, people can usually manage to just not provoke thereafter. Reach makes them much easier to get, I'll grant.

The core feature of the Fighter is better Proficiency than anyone else, to the tune of a universal +2 to-hit over everyone else at all levels. And that is absolutely counted.

N N 959 wrote:

Here is the disclaimer for that spreadsheet which you seem to put faith in:

Doesn't sound like he's adding the Fighter's expected damage from AoO's at all

I actually only referenced the archery section of that spreadsheet. Which should pretty obviously not be counting AoOs.

And I didn't 'put faith in it'. It was a relatively minor thing. A side note that it at least looked like the archer Ranger compared well with other archers.

N N 959 wrote:
How has it been determined that TWF is the "most common" build? Was that in the Playtest Survey?

I said one of the most common. And I don't think I need playtest surveys to back that up. Any build that has a first level Class Feats that specifically caters to it is gonna be more common than ones that don't. TWF has that, and is one of only a few fighting styles to do so, and the only such melee combat style. So a very large percentage of melee Rangers will TWF, kind of inevtably.

N N 959 wrote:
Most common fighter styles? TWF wasn't even a thing in AD&D. In 3.5 and PF1, TWF is far inferior to THF and Archery fighting styles for a Ranger. In fact, I don't recall coming across any TWF Ranger in PFS. Now, one of my Rangers did TWF with Sword and Board, but I knew I was giving up DPS to do it. I just liked Shield Slamming people. Rogues make it work because of Sneak Attack. So I'm going to have to disagree with your assertion.

In the corebook in PF1, TWF and archery were literally your only choices for combat style. Everyone had one or the other.

But I was referring to PF2, where it will be one of the most common Ranger fighting styles when using the corebook because it's one of the only ones with Feats specifically dedicated to it, and the only melee style with such support.

There are non-fighting style Feats for the Ranger who wants to use a Greatsword, mind you, but anyone who looks at the Ranger Feats involving weapon use and wants them is probably gonna either take a ranged weapon or do TWF. Which makes it pretty common.

N N 959 wrote:

I would agree. So why isn't the AoO damage being included? But let's be honest, we have no idea how much info needs to be included before the math is indicative of actual game play. If Paizo did, they wouldn't have been so far off on the Ranger.

Dead, spreadsheet analysis can have fundamental flaws when used to made generalization about classes. I don't see that they've been accounted for or resolved in any of your assertions.

I'm not primarily relying on spreadsheets. Indeed, I haven't really referenced them since you said you don't care about them, and referenced all of one before that as a side note. I cited my actual play experience with the playtest Ranger instead, which certainly had problems...but specifically ones that the final version would fix completely.

And the spreadsheet in question, once again, in regards to Rangers (which is the only way I referenced it) talks exclusively about ranged attacks, which make a lot of the problems you're citing not really apply.

N N 959 wrote:
I did say it was a "disadvantage." I said the damage isn't guaranteed and there is no spreadsheet analysis which accounts for the fragility of the companion and its propensity to be knocked out of combat. A very real thing that affects the effectiveness of the companion.

It certainly is and does. But your phrasing put the worst possible slant on it in many ways. I was simply trying to be clear about the degree to which an Animal Companion was good.

N N 959 wrote:
At this point, it feels like were bickering, which isn't really a value-add.. My main issue is I think you're overselling your assertions. The math isn't robust in figuring out how these games work and it can lead to the wrong conclusions (which was on full display in the Playtest) These types of games need outcome data, something you can't reliably acquire from table top. Bad math isn't a substitute. This is exactly why Paizo did a Playtest...the math doesn't have the answers.

You seem to be overselling them for me, frankly, and not in a way I want or support. You've repeatedly acted like I said things way more extreme than I actually did (see above regarding 'most common'). I don't think that's malicious, but you're reacting to things with the most extreme possible interpretation of my words, and sometimes a bit beyond that.

I think Rangers are fine and think the math backs that up, certainly, but I don't think that's a particularly fringe or extreme position.

And no, math doesn't have all the answers, and the playtest was very useful for that reason. But math does have some answers, and the fact that Ranger is notably and provably mathematically better than the playtest is certainly relevant.


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QuidEst wrote:
I’m just glad to have the main metagamey feature detached from the base, no longer make-or-break, and limited to enemies that don’t make up entire campaigns.

That last bit is a good point, I think the reason the categories for favored enemies are the ones they are is that they aren't going to do an AP where the majority of enemies you fight are animals, beasts, dragons, or plants/fungi. Things like undead, aberrations, giants, humans, etc. do make up the vast majority of campaigns from time to time and are thus inappropriate choices for Favored Enemy.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
You seem to be overselling them for me, frankly, and not in a way I want or support. You've repeatedly acted like I said things way more extreme than I actually did (see above regarding 'most common'). I don't think that's malicious, but you're reacting to things with the most extreme possible interpretation of my words, and sometimes a bit beyond that.

I think what we have is a bit of a feedback loop as I would submit the same complaint versus your statements. And when I say spreadsheets, I'm collectively referring to any of the assertions based strictly on numbers, so that may have been unclear.

EDIT: And I will offer a mea culpa if I misinterpreted your disposition on the various talking points.

Quote:
I think Rangers are fine and think the math backs that up, certainly, but I don't think that's a particularly fringe or extreme position

And Paizo didn't think the Ranger was fine with math to back it up before the Playtest?

I don't think anyone on here can definitively say whether the Ranger is "fine," less than one month into the changes. But I can't disapprove it either, so I'll have to play it and see.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I can definitively say that Harsk is very fine.

*chef's kiss*


Deadmanwalking wrote:
The core feature of the Fighter is better Proficiency than anyone else, to the tune of a universal +2 to-hit over everyone else at all levels.

That is a very dull and uninspired core feature/defining characteristic, an extra +2.

Liberty's Edge

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Colonel Kurtz wrote:
That is a very dull and uninspired core feature/defining characteristic, an extra +2.

Their core mechanical feature is being vastly better at accuracy than everyone else, yes. Likewise, Barbarian's is doing more damage than anyone else when they do hit, and Rangers is their Hunt Target mechanic, and Rogues' is Sneak Attack.

In all cases they're not super exciting if you just state them as a number.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

DMW, you have the patience of a saint.

As usual, I agree with basically everything you say. I'd add words in support, but I seem to be invisible to NN right now. :P

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