Retraining rules and advanced weapon archetypes make "not being human" excessively punitive.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
To be clear, my objection is not "humans have an easier time accessing things" it's that because of this humans are able to take the dedication with a much less valuable feat (a feat 2) than others who are forced to take it as a feat 4 or a feat 8.

I don't see an issue if it's level 4 martial vs. level 2 as human martial. I do see an issue if it's level 2 as a human non-martial vs. level 8 as anything else non-martial...


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Rysky wrote:

I guess it's a question of how many Archetypes are going to require Advanced Weapon Proficiency?

From a setting standpoint Humans have been the advanced weapon master ancestry though.

Aldori? Human.

Rondelero? Human.

Followers of Achaekek (sawtooth saber) and Zon-Kuthon (spiked chain)? Mostly human.

Yeah that's because humans are the masters of f@#~ing everything in Golarion

At this point I just want to say Humans aren't allowed to use the weapons of other races at all just out of spite. If you want to wield a Necksplitter at least one of your parents had better be an orc.


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Of course, all of these minimum levels could change depending on future options that grant access to and/or trained proficiency with uncommon advanced weapons.


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Aside from the retraining restriction and class limitations with weapon proficiency, I think a big problem is the bonus class feat the human ancestry can get at first level via Natural Ambition. In my experience, the human bonus feat at 1st level was the main draw for most PC builds in 1st edition and I think that mistake has been repeated here in 2nd edition. I honestly believe that it should not have been created for 2nd edition. It is just too good.

I mean a bonus CLASS feat at 1st level is a huge deal. I am not aware of any other ancestry that offers anything on par with that when it comes to deciding on a build for your character. Sure, there are some nice feats that other ancestries can get that are pretty good, such as those that grant spells, but none are as versatile or can help as much with getting those prerequisite feats for later choices when deciding on your class build. Yeah, other ancestries can get it with Adopted Ancestry, but that is a feat tax which defeats the purpose for getting Natural Ambition via that route (and is how it should be for that concept, honestly).

Human versatility and ambition could have been illustrated with some other ability or by having Natural Ambition only grant you a bonus skill feat, rather than a class feat. The fact that it grants a bonus class feat is just too good in my opinion.


Ashanderai wrote:

I mean a bonus CLASS feat at 1st level is a huge deal.

I'm not so sure that it is, because it's restricted to 1st level Class Feats.

In the case of a Fighter/Barbarian/etc. it might be valuable if you're really wanting to grab two separate abilities, but most of them are segmented (either two separate actions, only adding versatility, or being used in two separate instances of the game).

It has value for sure, but, that value is front-loaded due to Class Feats being powered based on their level.

I mean it's not nothing, that's for sure, but it's no where near as bad as the previous edition given that you can't effectively "stack" feats (so the level 1 Human Fighter pulling a 3 feat chain off is dead).

I am also curious how strict the "Of your Class" is, because if it can't be applied to Multiclass Dedications that makes it pretty restricted.

It's good, but not as good as it was.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Ashanderai wrote:

I mean a bonus CLASS feat at 1st level is a huge deal.

I'm not so sure that it is, because it's restricted to 1st level Class Feats.

In the case of a Fighter/Barbarian/etc. it might be valuable if you're really wanting to grab two separate abilities, but most of them are segmented (either two separate actions, only adding versatility, or being used in two separate instances of the game).

It has value for sure, but, that value is front-loaded due to Class Feats being powered based on their level.

I mean it's not nothing, that's for sure, but it's no where near as bad as the previous edition given that you can't effectively "stack" feats (so the level 1 Human Fighter pulling a 3 feat chain off is dead).

I am also curious how strict the "Of your Class" is, because if it can't be applied to Multiclass Dedications that makes it pretty restricted.

It's good, but not as good as it was.

Yes, I know all that. Also, I am interpreting Natural Ambition in the strictest way possible (as in not granting multiclass dedication feats) and I still say Natural Ambition is too good. Every time I consider builds for various classes I keep coming back to what I could get with Natural Ambition and it is always a clearly better build for using it as opposed to not using it to get another 1st level class feat. Class feats, even just 1st level ones are, generally, more desirable than other feats. In every every class I have considered building so far, I can find another one of the 1st level feats that I would rather have than most level 2 feats or any other ancestry feat and I would DEFINITELY rather have one of those 1st level class feats over pretty much all the 1st level ancestry, skill, or general feats, except maybe one of those innate spell or cantrip granting feats - depending on the class build concept.


There are a couple times where I've skipped out on natural ambition in favor of something else (mostly my pre-nerf Wizard and my intentionally weirdly built ranger), but that's in large part owing to the very limited pool we have to draw upon right now.

Every time a book prints new class feats it's going to get that much harder to resist grabbing Natural Ambition, although I think Unconventional Weaponry can potentially give it a run for its money depending on your build.


You can always skip natural ambition at 1 (if you really want that flickmace, say) and then just come back around at 5th (or 3rd) and take natural ambition then. Sudden Charge doesn't get worse if you pick it up later.

Most of the characters I've built so far take a 1st level ancestry feat at 5th level, in some cases because there's no other choice (a dwarf who takes unburdened iron at 1st has no 5th level dwarf feats they *can* take). But "we need more ancestry feats badly" is a separate issue.


Squiggit wrote:
Every time a book prints new class feats it's going to get that much harder to resist grabbing Natural Ambition, although I think Unconventional Weaponry can potentially give it a run for its money depending on your build.

In that same vein though, every time a new Ancestry Feat gets printed, that's a competition for Natural Ambition.

Really all Natural Ambition did was set the bar for what constitutes a good feat. I actually like all of the Fighter Ancestry Feats and think given the right scenario they hold value, some are weaker than others, but not so much that I'd feel gimped.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

You can always skip natural ambition at 1 (if you really want that flickmace, say) and then just come back around at 5th (or 3rd) and take natural ambition then. Sudden Charge doesn't get worse if you pick it up later.

Most of the characters I've built so far take a 1st level ancestry feat at 5th level, in some cases because there's no other choice (a dwarf who takes unburdened iron at 1st has no 5th level dwarf feats they *can* take). But "we need more ancestry feats badly" is a separate issue.

I agree completely. In particular, i do that when I make a half-elf and take Elf Atavism to get that Seer Elf Heritage spellcasting or Cavern Elf for Darkvision.


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Rysky wrote:

I guess it's a question of how many Archetypes are going to require Advanced Weapon Proficiency?

From a setting standpoint Humans have been the advanced weapon master ancestry though.

Aldori? Human.

Rondelero? Human.

Followers of Achaekek (sawtooth saber) and Zon-Kuthon (spiked chain)? Mostly human.

Most followers of Achaekek and Zon-Kuthon were human. So are most clerics and wizards. And most everything else. A quirk of demography, not necessarily an indication that humans are necessarily better at being clerics and wizards than non-humans.

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Paradozen wrote:
Rysky wrote:

I guess it's a question of how many Archetypes are going to require Advanced Weapon Proficiency?

From a setting standpoint Humans have been the advanced weapon master ancestry though.

Aldori? Human.

Rondelero? Human.

Followers of Achaekek (sawtooth saber) and Zon-Kuthon (spiked chain)? Mostly human.

Most followers of Achaekek and Zon-Kuthon were human. So are most clerics and wizards. And most everything else. A quirk of demography, not necessarily an indication that humans are necessarily better at being clerics and wizards than non-humans.

I didn't say they were better.

But those two fighting schools and Gods that use Advanced Weapons have followings near solely made of humans.


Still a quirk of demographics having mostly human NPCs in print, but not in necessarily in actual gameplay (specially when taking account of all the PCs that aren't humans). But then PCs are "extraordinary members of their race" which then makes you question why is it that humans get the most benefits when going for these specific styles (or most things involving advanced options).

I agree just a few changes to retrain would make it feel less punishing for not starting human.

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Temperans wrote:
Still a quirk of demographics having mostly human NPCs in print, but not in necessarily in actual gameplay

I've been saying from a in-setting standpoint.


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Well, what is the diagetic reason that an elf who grows up in Rostland who has an interest in swordplay has a harder time getting into the Aldori club than a human does? I mean other than "prejudice".

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Well, what is the diagetic reason that an elf who grows up in Rostland who has an interest in swordplay has a harder time getting into the Aldori club than a human does? I mean other than "prejudice".

Probably the last one. The Aldori are from I've seen thus far snobs and jerks.


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Yeah I'm not buying the "because humans should have this as part of their flavor" schtick. I don't want to go back to the PF1 paradigm where certain ancestries are just optimal for certain builds, and so much of this new edition has been changed in service of making ancestries much more interchangeable, with most ancestry feats serving as sidegrades that could be useful to a variety of classes (and presumably there will be more that will further decouple ancestries from old pigeonholes).

Intentionally recreating the "you need to be human if you're doing a mechanically complicated/feat intensive build" just seems like a bad foundation on which to build a new edition. I really don't want to go back to certain ancestries just being mechanically the default or where optimization means giving up creative flexibility. That just doesn't seem to line up with the goals of PF2.

Giving a general feat at level 1 seems like it'd fix it, but I would like to hear why we don't already get a general feat at level 1, especially if archetype feats are going to be having these sorts of requirements that many class/ancestry combos will need a general feat to pull off.

The retraining rules are more obviously an obstacle here, but they're harder to fix without relying on GM intuition. If it were at my table, I could honestly just eyeball this and declare that I do not give a f~**, you're swapping out a level 2 slot class feat for another level 2 slot class feat and it's not really doing anything dastardly other than not mechanically punishing a player for having a modicum of creative freedom. But it's harder to make a general rule everyone could follow so that people aren't overcomplicating builds and making these weird retrain-heavy cheese monsters that serve to make the system as inaccessible as PF1 was and raising the optimization ceiling.

This is the sort of tiny problem that I'd like addressed early before lots of these things start to swell up into something that makes the system overly restrictive again for those caring about optimization. And "just stop caring about optimization" isn't really a satisfactory answer here.


I doubt they’ll do anything like add a General feat at level one. That’s a reprint from hell.

The reality is nothing is going to change, but a new option could be printed to potentially alleviate the issue.


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The retraining rules in the CRB are like 3 paragraphs in the downtime section.

There's no reason we couldn't expand on them to make allowances for like "retraining a lower level feat you couldn't qualify for at the time due to proficiency" as an explicit guideline.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

The retraining rules in the CRB are like 3 paragraphs in the downtime section.

There's no reason we couldn't expand on them to make allowances for like "retraining a lower level feat you couldn't qualify for at the time due to proficiency" as an explicit guideline.

I feel like that’s throwing the baby out with the bath water though. It has a lot more ramifications than simply fixing this issue since it would apply to a lot more than this scenario.

If it did happen, that’s fine, but that’s just a time tax passed on to the player that the GM then has to adjudicate.

I do like retraining for change in views, but when it becomes the solution to enabling builds that already exist I sort of cringe. If that’s what will make people happy though, it might be the least issued necessary “evil”


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Or for another benefit- class archetypes explicitly allow you to take them at first level even though you cannot take the appropriate dedication until 2nd at the earliest (so it's like a PF1 archetype that replaces your 2nd level class feature.)

What if we extended the same benefit to other archetypes- you can take the Aldori dedication at 2nd but it doesn't do anything until you're proficient with the sword.


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I do not see this as a retraining issue. Access to these archetypes is mostly just weird because of a rogue's very specific weapon proficiency setup when they are very thematic for a rogue. In some way I think you should address the Rogue problem with the Rogue class, maybe a level 1 class feat that allows them to train in an advanced finesse weapon.


I think this can be solved, for all NON-RACIAL "advanced" typed weapon use, including others than just Aldori sword. ALL BEFORE/AT LEVEL 5, LEVEL 9 OR LEVEL 13, depending on starting class.

NOTE: LEVEL 3 ADVANCED WEAPON TRAINING/ACCESS, WITH LEVEL 13 "EXPERT" PROFICIENCY PATH DETAILED AT BOTTOM OF THIS POST

Fairly easily without a class feat use, but MUCH easier/faster in some cases with a class feat use: WITH ALL NON-HUMANS

If class trained with all martial weapons (ranger, barbarian, champion, etc)

Level 1: race ancestry feat of choice (suggest race weapons feat, as "stop-gap" weapon pick, may retain)
Level 3: Adopted Ancestry general feat (picking human)
Level 5: Unconventional weaponry for weapon (ancestry feat from human list) * this is when weapon skill increases, so its perfect

If class trained with all simple weapons, shown as "rushing" to it with an uncommon martial weapon for level 5 (not 100% necessary)

Level 1: race ancestry feat of choice (suggest race weapons feat, as "stop-gap" weapon pick, may retain)
Level 2: fighter dedication (need str & dex 14+, may retain later. But for a level 2 feat on a class wanting an advanced weapon, IMHO keep it)
Level 3: Adopted Ancestry general feat (picking human)
Level 5: Unconventional weaponry for weapon (ancestry feat from human list) * this is when most classes weapon skill increases, so its perfect

You can retrain, inside RAW limits for use at later level, feats to "move" Adopted Ancestry, "move/add/replace" weapon training and "move/replace" any dedication when possible

You will end up needing to keep, although you can retrain to move them, at minimum, Adopted Ancestry (human) + Unconventional weaponry feats. 1 general & 1 Ancestry feats cost

Some classes (wizard, druid, etc) need to keep dedication or add up general feats for martial weapon training (1 or 2 general feats cost)

Total feat cost:
Min: 1 general & 1 Ancestry feats cost
Optional cost, if rushing to by level 5: 1 general & 1 Ancestry , 1 level 2+ class feats cost
Max, if aiming to get "uncommon martial weapon", to be treated as simple, at level 9: 2 general & 1 Ancestry feats cost
LEVEL 13 OPTION "EXPERT" DETAILED BELOW:

As level 1 ancestry feat: Any But IMHO I suggest race weapons feat, as "stop-gap" weapon pick until you can your desired weapon, may retain. Then,.

Fighter dedication + 1 general (or ancestry) feat (level 3 or level 5 at earliest) can give you:

Access to advanced weapon as trained with general feat as early as level 3
OR
Access to advanced weapon & have it treated as "martial" for weapon proficiency as early as level 5

Fighter dedication + Diverse Weapon Expert (level 12 at earliest) can give you:

Proficiency ranks for simple weapons and martial weapons increase to expert, and your proficiency rank for advanced weapons increases to trained.

This will allow a class not even trained in simple weapons "expert" proficiency with their advanced weapon from "Unconventional weaponry" as early as level 13

Keep RAW feat retraining rules in mind and profit, even if if its abit of a "twisted path"


aazard wrote:
I think this can be solved, for all NON-RACIAL "advanced" typed weapon use, including others than just Aldori sword.

For "NON-RACIAL" WEAPON OPTIONS:

As 1-handed "Martial weapons":
machete, pick & rapier are ideal (*Rapier is also an Elven weapon)

As 1-handed with optional 2-handed wield "Martial weapon":
The bastard sword is ideal

As 1 handed "Uncommon Martial" weapons:
mambele & urumi are ideal

As an optional 2-handed "Uncommon Martial Weapon", the Katana, Gets a nod for being:

A d6 1-handed sword with: Deadly d8, Two-Hand d10, Versatile P
*Ideal for classes that are not even trained in all simple weapons

Thats a total of 6 non-racial "advanced weapons", so far: (all others are "racial" typed so, for them, adopted ancestry & weapon feat is needed form race weapon is from PS if "advanced" its treated as martial if done this way = cheaper)

Aklys, d6 trip, throw 20ft, ranged trip, tethered (Banned from PFS play)

Aldori Dueling Sword, d8: finesse. has a dedication now

Bladed Diabolo, d4: 2-handed d4 totally blows IMHO

Bladed Hoop, a 2-handed d8 Knife with finesse/sweep, d6 "1 or 0 hands" (0 hands requires special interact action)

Fire Poi, d4 +d4 fire: agile, backswing, finesse, twin (runes dont effect fire damage dice)

Sawtooth Saber, d6: agile, finesse, twin

Keep that in mind when picking "advanced weapon" feat, if its a racial weapon > adopted ancestry + race weapon familiarity feat is the "cheapest" feat cost path to access it with any hope of it advancing along with class if you arnt a fighter

Dual Sawtooth sabers OR Dual Fire poi are the "go too" options


That's why I prefer races to just be aesthetic.

I also find awkward have to choose between darkvision and tusks ( or any other racial choice you could make only at lvl 1, like advanced weapons ), but whatever.

Howwver, slightly ot, I think that, since the slow progression in terms of new skills and feats, it would be way better with this system to start a campaign some levels ahead.

It would give more balance and the possibility to really have a character which is really different than another one of the same class.

I say "I think" Because I haven't had the possibility to try this out yet, but even by simply trying to create different characters, they really feel different when it comes to mechanics.


It is ambiguous whether "Unconventional Weaponry" works for things like Aldori Dueling Swords or Bladed Hoops.

The feat reads "Choose an uncommon simple or martial weapon with a trait corresponding to an ancestry (such as dwarf, goblin, or orc) or that is common in another culture"

There is nothing saying that Aldori Dueling Swords are common in Rostland or that bladed hoops are common anywhere, and neither is associated with an ancestry.

It's a feat that lets Paladins have access to flickmaces, but I don't think it gives anybody access to fire poi.

Liberty's Edge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
There is nothing saying that Aldori Dueling Swords are common in Rostland

LOWG p. 10 reads “A character who meets the criteria listed in the Access entry . . . gains access to the rules element.” It does not state that such a character treats the rules element as common.

CRB p. 432, regarding Regional languages reads “These languages are uncommon outside the region of their genesis.” That implies that they are common within the region of their genesis, but it also goes on to state that “A character hailing from one of the regions listed below automatically has access to that language.”

So with “uncommon outside the region” the CRB doesn’t parallel LOWG, but with “has access to” it does.

CRB p. 488, under “Different Locations” reads “If you start your campaign in a dwarven stronghold, for example, you might make all the weapons with the dwarf trait common.” That speaks in terms of altering rarity, not access, but it also doesn’t suggest that altered rarity is the default assumption.


I would imagine this could be balanced by more feats having earlier feats as prerequisites. So yeah, human fighter is an Aldori duelist at level 2, but they would be behind in having some other feat chain come on line.


I think the ultimate 'fix' is to just stop publishing archetypes that require these difficult to access proficiencies to enter and instead have them provide proficiency, maybe with slightly more rigorous requirements in other areas.

General feats are just at too much of a premium, especially for nonhumans, that this problem can't ever really go away on its own and always will require some awkward hurdle jumping.


So Pathfinder society aside all this is fixed with a decent GM and a well written background. If one of my players want to make a RMA and take the background for it but want to start as a Rogue cause they wanna be a sneaky backstabber and write me a cool backstory with lots of plot hooks that is intresting to work with I may just add the "Sawtoothsaber" to their rogue weapon list and remove rapier cause it fits. As long as GM's work with their players rules can never get in the way of a good story.

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