Armored Wizards and Mental Blinders


Rules Discussion

Exo-Guardians

So despite poring over the 2e CRB in detail for the last two months, i somehow failed to notice until yesterday that *arcane spell failure chance from armor doesn't exist in PF2*! Literally the only thing stopping Wizards (and Sorcerers) from armoring up is lack of proficiency-- a problem easily solved with a single feat.

I feel like a moron for not realizing this sooner, particularly since i've been intentionally trying to read and interpret the PF2 rules "as they are" rather than through the lens of PF1. Clearly i failed in this case, and it makes me wonder-- how many other things have I missed thanks to "mental blinders" or subconscious assumptions formed by years of playing PF1?

Has anybody else had similar experiences? Any tips on keeping an open mind/avoiding false assumptions? Apparently it's harder than i thought!


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Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.

Shadow Lodge

Saros Palanthios wrote:
So despite poring over the 2e CRB in detail for the last two months, i somehow failed to notice until yesterday that *arcane spell failure chance from armor doesn't exist in PF2*! Literally the only thing stopping Wizards (and Sorcerers) from armoring up is lack of proficiency-- a problem easily solved with a single feat.
Things to keep in mind:

  • A 'single feat' is half the general feats you get in the first half of your career and 1/5th of your general feats in your 20 level career.
  • Proficiency from feats generally don't ever increase from 'trained'.
  • The better Light armors have penalties if you don't have at least a 12 strength.
  • The better light armors only grant a +2 bonus.


Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.

You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

But yea. You can start with 14 Str, 12+ Con, 10+ Wis, 10 Dex, 18+ Int, 14+ Cha. Then grab Champion Dedication at 2, and Diverse Armor Expert at 14 (and probably Champion's Reaction, cause it's just good).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Also, thats still at 13th level as well.

Most games might not even go that far.


Mellored wrote:
Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.
You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

And by the time you can both afford heavy armor and realistically wear it as a Wizard, will have (you can realistically have without significant investment 16 Dex at level 1).

Not even touching a Wizard in heavy armor needs STR or take massive movement penalties, which sort of makes the investment in Dex look way more appetizing.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.
You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

And by the time you can both afford heavy armor and realistically wear it as a Wizard, will have (you can realistically have without significant investment 16 Dex at level 1).

Not even touching a Wizard in heavy armor needs STR or take massive movement penalties, which sort of makes the investment in Dex look way more appetizing.

you 'can' have 3 general feats by level 3 to get heavy armor training.

you can gain 1 from heritage and 1 from ancestry feat, and then the normal one you get at 3rd.

thus start with medium armor prof and get heavy at 3rd... of course this would basically demand you start with 16 strength, so you'll probably have an unusually strong wizard as well. so you'd probably want to have 16 int to not be too focused.

i did a lot of calculating and focusing on dex seems to be just as bad as focusing on strength so likely you'd instead want con or wisdom at 16 for init(to run to safety) or HP(to just live) + saves. dex just improved AC and reflex save. imho, the best starting wizard stats are 18 int, 14 wisdom and con, and 12 dex. using a shield and mage armor to make the difference when threatened.

when focusing on heavy armor, you probably want plate for the +3 reflex, so the best stat array is 16 str and int, 14 con and 12 wisdom. you'd need to wait til level 5 to have the 18 str to wear it properly, but still the full plate probably keeps you from putting even 1 point in it otherwise(bulwark replaces your reflex save).


Bandw2 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.
You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

And by the time you can both afford heavy armor and realistically wear it as a Wizard, will have (you can realistically have without significant investment 16 Dex at level 1).

Not even touching a Wizard in heavy armor needs STR or take massive movement penalties, which sort of makes the investment in Dex look way more appetizing.

you 'can' have 3 general feats by level 3 to get heavy armor training.

you can gain 1 from heritage and 1 from ancestry feat, and then the normal one you get at 3rd.

thus start with medium armor prof and get heavy at 3rd... of course this would basically demand you start with 16 strength, so you'll probably have an unusually strong wizard as well.

It’s expensive no matter how you build it. Stats remain an issue for a STR based Wizard and you can’t really afford Full Plate at level 3 unless it simultaneously counts as your magic item or you spend all your money on it.

And even with the fast track, it progressively gets worse where unarmed only gets better, and you still have to eat the movement penalty so if you’re talking one to one you need fleet to truly be even.

There might be stronger incentives to doing it eventually, but at best it’s a creative choice now with limited and confused combat options (probably better off MCD into Champion).


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Midnightoker wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.
You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

And by the time you can both afford heavy armor and realistically wear it as a Wizard, will have (you can realistically have without significant investment 16 Dex at level 1).

Not even touching a Wizard in heavy armor needs STR or take massive movement penalties, which sort of makes the investment in Dex look way more appetizing.

you 'can' have 3 general feats by level 3 to get heavy armor training.

you can gain 1 from heritage and 1 from ancestry feat, and then the normal one you get at 3rd.

thus start with medium armor prof and get heavy at 3rd... of course this would basically demand you start with 16 strength, so you'll probably have an unusually strong wizard as well.

It’s expensive no matter how you build it. Stats remain an issue for a STR based Wizard and you can’t really afford Full Plate at level 3 unless it simultaneously counts as your magic item or you spend all your money on it.

And even with the fast track, it progressively gets worse where unarmed only gets better, and you still have to eat the movement penalty so if you’re talking one to one you need fleet to truly be even.

There might be stronger incentives to doing it eventually, but at best it’s a creative choice now with limited and confused combat options (probably better off MCD into Champion).

as i showed in my edit, you'll probably only use fullplate after level 5, for the strength, so you'll be using a different armor to get +5 to AC until then, something you couldn't have gotten with dex as easily.


Midnightoker wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Strill wrote:
Armor proficiency is not solved with a single feat. At level 13, your unarmored proficiency goes up to Expert, but your proficiency in other kinds of armor does not.
You need 18 dex for unarmored expert to be as high as trained heavy.

And by the time you can both afford heavy armor and realistically wear it as a Wizard, will have (you can realistically have without significant investment 16 Dex at level 1).

Not even touching a Wizard in heavy armor needs STR or take massive movement penalties, which sort of makes the investment in Dex look way more appetizing.

You can get 16 Str at level 1 without significant investment (especially if you don't invest in Dex). And then Cast + Strike people with a greatsword.

Or Dwarf wizard with Unburdened Iron.
Then you can ignore Str and Dex, and just go Con/Wis/Int/Cha. Could be good if you want to cast + demoralize. With lots of HP, and good Will saves.

Not saying Dex wizards are bad (Reflex Saves are still a thing). But it's not required.


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Yeah, Unarmored Expert DEX build has to hard commit to DEX as #2 stat behind INT just to eventually reach AC parity with Trained Heavy at 13, and 1 AC bonus at 15, while missing out on Fortification Runes (which increase STR req, but Mithril comes into play around same level). (technically, their stat boost at 20 would be free/open since it couldn't change DEX modifier, but talk about anticlimactic to get extra STR or CHA boost at 20 after ignoring it the whole time, as opposed to STR build who only needs to hit flat STR req, and can invest in other stats at 5/10/15 depending on starting STR)

Armor needs STR, but not as much, if you start with only 14 STR (which allows alot more flexible starting stats), that is still enough for superior AC early on in Medium (or even Light) and moving into 16/18 STR armor at 5/10. Chain Flexible trait even negates Acro/Athl penalty, so if you don't meet STR req right away: no big deal, if you want to start with just 12 STR you can wear Medium Chain just fine and get it up to 16 by level 10 to wear Heavy Armor... While starting-16DEX Unarmored Expert still only reaches parity at 13.

For sure, the high DEX build has better Reflex (although Heavy Plate reduces this difference with Bulwark vs Damage Saves at least) and better Acro/Stealth/Thievery checks as well as ranged weapons if that's your side-schtick. But AC is not it's crowning glory, you are mostly playing catch up even if hard invest in DEX up to max possible. Even starting 16DEX builds aiming for Unarmored, are well off grabbing Light Armor early on: It's going to be +2 to +1 advantage until level 13, with low STR req and if you don't meet that it has no speed penalty and only -1 ACP (which Chain Shirt negates except to Stealth).

While Unarmored potentially reaches 1 AC advantage at 15, that is missing out on Fortification so it's not clear advantage IMHO... Damage spikes from Crits seem worst thing to worry about IMHO, not even considering special Crit effects. All of these ACs being below-par VS martials, so proportionately all this AC is more about Crit negation than normal hits anyways, doesn't matter whether via just AC OR AC & Fortification.

Of course if you go MCD:Champion and take Diverse Armor Expert for Expert Armor, DEX + Unarmored never comes close to catching up. For non-Humans that can be quicker to get rolling at low levels given General Armor Feats, although if that's all they want out of MCD;Champion and don't plan on Armor Expert, they could later retrain out of it, and retrain 3x General Feats into Heavy Proficiency... not needing to directly struggling thru Light/Medium/Heavy General Feat chain.

I think people just come at this with expectations cultivated over different editions of D&D, where 16 starting DEX was 'normal' and not out of the way. Whereas any significant STR was abnormal and out of the way, considering they wanted DEX anyways since armor wasn't option with ASF%. But with ASF% gone, Armor's inherent AC advantage is real and the STR req is really less than a 16 +boosted DEX build over-all, and even if starting 16STR that is no worse than 16DEX (and gets you into Heavy Plate w/ Bulwark faster, for +3 mod to Reflex vs Damage).

Even if you don't invest in STR enough to manage Heavy + Fortification Runes (which increase STR req), IMHO it's enough for Trained Heavy be equal to or close enough the same AC as DEX+Expert Unarmored, with much less total stat investment... enabling more tangential stat priorities (like CHA for Wizard, or INT for Sorceror or Cloisterd Cleric).


This argument has been has before and there’s a million cons to the heavy armor build that include:

Lower speed penalty regardless
Having worse AC literally until you get actual Heavy Armor
Multiple feat investments with a 0 cost to Dex
Dex is usable for Initiative, multiple skills, and reflex as well as armor
STR has little to no benefit for a Wizard since they can’t invest in a reasonable damage outlet with all their feats going to armor
Full plate costs money and constant investment
The investment for stats is identical for Dex and Str cost so saying things like “hard commit to Dex” is literally an exaggeration since strength absolutely mandates it
Because your mobility is much worse, you’re actually worse at defending yourself even with the AC bonus
After level 13 it’s literally a non contest and gets progressively in favor of Dex

No investment comparable ac and better movement speeds with better saves, more skill benefits, an actual outlet for initiative and much easier compatibility in ancestry (elf for int dex) makes the mountain a tall climb.

It’s not about how investing can make it decent, it’s about how not investing is comparable and allows you to invest in things Johnny heavy armor literally can’t even consider due to sunken cost in just the ability to wield the armor.

There’s no concept even if you do have better ac, you’re weaker than a regular Wizard because ac isn’t what’s saving the Wizard anyways. They can’t really invest in con, so they have no HP, and they can’t get toughness because they blew too many generals. They’re awful at maneuvers so athletics is weaker than just casting spells, melee attacks are generally not supported well for wizards with no spellstrike equivalent nor do they get even simple weapon proficiency. Dwarves can’t support the concept at all, due to stat spread, so best case race hp is 8.

I’ve not seen it done but it hardly sounds enjoyable for the levels it takes to come online (which since stats can’t be retrained means an bad start).

Anyways, feel free to start it up again, but there’s other threads that outline both sides of the argument, I’ll refrain from here.


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Midnightoker wrote:

This argument has been has before and there’s a million cons to the heavy armor build that include:

Lower speed penalty regardless

Not sure that's a big penalty for ranged casters.

Quote:
Having worse AC literally until you get actual Heavy Armor

Not true.

16 Str/0 Dex + 3 Training + 14 Chain = 17 AC
16 Dex + 3 Training + 10 Unarmored = 16 AC

At level 1, Chain armor has +1 AC
At level 5, 18 Dex, Split has +1 AC
At level 10, 19 Dex, Full Plate has +2 AC
At level 13, Expert Unarmored, it's finally tied.
At level 14, Expert Heavy (assuming champion), heavy is back to +2 AC.
At level 15, 20 Dex, Heavy is +1 if you are Champ, or -1 if you didn't.

Actually, you can start with 14 Str, and +2 Con.

Quote:
Multiple feat investments with a 0 cost to Dex

Increasing Dex is a cost you other stats.

Quote:
Dex is usable for Initiative, multiple skills, and reflex as well as armor

Str is useful for multiple skills, so is Cha.

And Dex is only sometimes initiative.
Reflex is still a win for Dex. But Bulwark means it's not a massive difference.

Quote:
STR has little to no benefit for a Wizard since they can’t invest in a reasonable damage outlet with all their feats going to armor

1 feat for +1 AC for over half the game. A second feat at level 14 to get +1 across the whole game.

Quote:
Full plate costs money and constant investment

That is a small win for unarmored.

Quote:
They’re awful at maneuvers so athletics is weaker than just casting spells

I expect armored wizards will still cast spells.

Quote:
melee attacks are generally not supported well for wizards with no spellstrike equivalent nor do they get even simple weapon proficiency.

Bespell Weapon exists.

Quote:
Dwarves can’t support the concept at all, due to stat spread, so best case race hp is 8.

Dwarves don't need Str for heavy armor. Really frees up their Stats to do whatever.


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Saros Palanthios wrote:
Has anybody else had similar experiences? Any tips on keeping an open mind/avoiding false assumptions? Apparently it's harder than i thought!

I don't think I ever would have realized monks can use shields now if other people hadn't been discussing it. It still weirds me out.


I tried to approach things similarly, but with 600+ pages of rules, it is only natural that we would want to fall back on shortcuts subconsciously just to make things easier to digest.

I just ran a trial 1-shot with my group and apparently darkvision doesn't have set ranges anymore.
And I didn't notice barbarian rage doesn't have any per day limits.


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Midnightoker wrote:

This argument has been has before and there’s a million cons to the heavy armor build that include:

Lower speed penalty regardless
Having worse AC literally until you get actual Heavy Armor
Multiple feat investments with a 0 cost to Dex
Dex is usable for Initiative, multiple skills, and reflex as well as armor
STR has little to no benefit for a Wizard since they can’t invest in a reasonable damage outlet with all their feats going to armor
Full plate costs money and constant investment
The investment for stats is identical for Dex and Str cost so saying things like “hard commit to Dex” is literally an exaggeration since strength absolutely mandates it
Because your mobility is much worse, you’re actually worse at defending yourself even with the AC bonus
After level 13 it’s literally a non contest and gets progressively in favor of Dex

in order

Spoiler:

yes you're 5 feet slower, which is potentially mitigated by higher AC
you have +3 for dex build if you hyper focus it, which means less con and wisdom which are both important for HP and init the prime utility needed for a full caster. if you instead go for armor, you can get +2 with 1 feat and +4 with 2. this is of course only something a human can reasonably do mind you.
you only need 4 boosts into strength, but need 6 to keep par with dex, and you're not getting a max bonus to AC from dex for a long time, while armor can get it earlier.
Dex is only usable if you're stealthing, perception is much better in overall use and is used generically for init, you can use it for ambushes, combat from talking, etc. you're much more likely to use perception than stealth.
Str means they can carry more, probably get a shield on them so they can prepare something else for their cantrip. not to mention they can get pretty good athletics
fullplate costs 30gp more than maintaining explorer's clothing. I'm not sure I would use mage armor for most builds.
Wrong, Strength is 4 boosts, Dex is 6.
it's worse by 5, and only when using your heavy armor, if you stop at medium, you're fine.
After 13th level, it's +1 and that's if you don't do the champion route... in which you're still ahead by 1, and have better will and fort saves.

note: this is why i think dwarves best wizards with free on int

After looking at things the best combo in my opinion, is light armor prof plus 16 dex, don't boost dex ever again, and then you more or less stay the same(2 behind most martials), the 2 other general feats that replace the armor prof would be increase perception to expert and toughness. you even 'can' increase dex still if you want and get up to par, but starting with light armor just softens out those earlier levels, and then you retrain later.


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Saros Palanthios wrote:

So despite poring over the 2e CRB in detail for the last two months, i somehow failed to notice until yesterday that *arcane spell failure chance from armor doesn't exist in PF2*! Literally the only thing stopping Wizards (and Sorcerers) from armoring up is lack of proficiency-- a problem easily solved with a single feat.

I feel like a moron for not realizing this sooner, particularly since i've been intentionally trying to read and interpret the PF2 rules "as they are" rather than through the lens of PF1. Clearly i failed in this case, and it makes me wonder-- how many other things have I missed thanks to "mental blinders" or subconscious assumptions formed by years of playing PF1?

Has anybody else had similar experiences? Any tips on keeping an open mind/avoiding false assumptions? Apparently it's harder than i thought!

Something I was pleasantly surprised by was the removal of alignment restrictions from practically all classes except Crusader. I liked Druids, but everyone always had their own biases about what "True Neutral" meant, and the demands maintaining that alignment would have on an adventurer.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Baarogue wrote:
Saros Palanthios wrote:

So despite poring over the 2e CRB in detail for the last two months, i somehow failed to notice until yesterday that *arcane spell failure chance from armor doesn't exist in PF2*! Literally the only thing stopping Wizards (and Sorcerers) from armoring up is lack of proficiency-- a problem easily solved with a single feat.

I feel like a moron for not realizing this sooner, particularly since i've been intentionally trying to read and interpret the PF2 rules "as they are" rather than through the lens of PF1. Clearly i failed in this case, and it makes me wonder-- how many other things have I missed thanks to "mental blinders" or subconscious assumptions formed by years of playing PF1?

Has anybody else had similar experiences? Any tips on keeping an open mind/avoiding false assumptions? Apparently it's harder than i thought!

Something I was pleasantly surprised by was the removal of alignment restrictions from practically all classes except Crusader. I liked Druids, but everyone always had their own biases about what "True Neutral" meant, and the demands maintaining that alignment would have on an adventurer.

on yeah, finding out i can play a chaotic monk was a real head twister. alignment removal from classes and replacements with anathema was really good imo.


I didn't initially notice that a wizard learning a spell from a scroll doesn't use up the scroll... thus far that's the only one that's caught me off guard because I do a very good job of forcing myself to treat a new edition as if it were a game I know nothing about and double-checking everything.


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Saros Palanthios wrote:

...it makes me wonder-- how many other things have I missed thanks to "mental blinders" or subconscious assumptions formed by years of playing PF1?

Has anybody else had similar experiences? Any tips on keeping an open mind/avoiding false assumptions? Apparently it's harder than i thought!

I posted this just today.


AC isn’t what it was last edition. I would argue Fleet is a better defensive feat than any armor proficiency, because it effectively amounts to an action tax against opponents of same speed (a great deal).

AC in this edition is relatively even with attacks in terms of progression, which means that a +1 bump matters more, but also there’s no way to put yourself in “can’t be hit” territory, pretty much ever. 90% miss chance due to ac just isn’t feasible against even level -1 opponents in this edition.

You’re far better off moving or avoiding damage other ways, meaning taking advantage of your actual AC value less than you would in PF1 (where you effectively stand still the whole time and take all the attacks)

Is it an important stat? Sure. Is it at necessary and value for investment as last edition? Not even close.


Indeed movement is one of the best deal, but even a +1 armor here can make thr difference between a hit and a miss, or a hit and a crit.

So as a caster, having

+1 extra armor from heavy armor
+2 extra armor from raise shield
+x extra armor from other stuff ( bard song )

Is imho also definitely worth it

Remember also rune of fortification, which is the real deal. Definitely the best armor rune.

Finally, the flavor.

Maybe you want to wear a full plate because you want to look mighty or simply cool.


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To be clear, conceptually, I have no problems with Full Plate wizard, and doing it for flavor purposes with mechanics that make it reasonable is great.

That's exactly where it is.

It is not terrible, it is not optimal, it's just something a person can do.

To me, I think it requires you to be passionate about the idea itself, because otherwise it's not really motivating otherwise. It has a paper thin advantage in regards to AC, an attribute people should not be actively seeking to defend themselves.

In PF1, AC was THE defense. It was the primary thing preventing you from taking damage. In PF2, it's far more like a standard save in terms of value.

You don't want to be attacked, period. It doesn't matter what you bump your AC to, encounter appropriate opponents can hit you, they can crit you, they will do substantial damage.

In PF1, not only could you inflate AC to essentially invalidate attacks, they were so high crits were a non-issue too (confirmation roll rarely lands).

In PF2, even if you invest heavily (3 Gens or atleast a level 2 Class Feat, both are expensive) into AC, you can never achieve such numbers. 5% chance is 5% chance and valuable, but it's not going to make taking attacks a "good idea". Especially not for the lowest health class in the game (with the least ability to invest in Con due to the Str build armor).

Battle field control, moving, mirror image, etc. are far more effective than relying on AC. Can you combine them? of course, but you get diminishing returns, because the former defensive tactics rely on taking less attacks and the latter's value is defined by the number of attacks you avoid by taking an attack.

They are at odds.

So instead of heavily investing into Str just so I can use Full Plate, I could be an Elf, get Dex 16 with ease at level 1, take the elf Feat to move faster, have 35ft movement at level 1 and then take the general feat at level 3.

I now have a 40ft movement speed Wizard with 16 Dex and 18 Int and probably a solid Wis/Con and in two levels I'll have just as much AC as the Full Plate wearing Human Wizard that only owns Full Plate.

Now, he has to take 3 move actions (15 ft) to even catch me with the Str, so let's call it 20ft with the Str.

That means two moves for him is literally one move for me.

Is the FP Wizard dead in the water? No. He has to play completely different tactics than Mr. Speedy Elf Wizard. He has to focus ranged based spells, turn himself into a Siege engine of sorts and hope the opponent doesn't have ranged spells as well to force him off some actions.

In every other situation outside this mock, and white room nonsense, the speedy elf gets to take advantage of his movement speed every single move (a choice) where as the FP Wizard takes advantage of his AC only when he is attacked by the GM (gm's choice and conditional to being attacked).

You're no less susceptible to being dropped by a critical on a natural 20, the major threat to any Wizard since they have low hp. You only provide the edge when that 5% comes into play, which while it will happen, how often is really anyone's guess.

All of this takes into account nothing of a potential battle field, because analyzing AC on numbers is all that can be done.

The major thing I take issue with is people pretending like FP is optimal on a Wizard. It's a preference at best, and personally to me, with the lack of support for any incentives for a Wizard to have Str outside of the armor itself, is not something I would care to do, nor do I like playing "dead levels" of non-fun just to get to a build that's somewhat palatable.


Remember also of the appareance.

Unless the enemies did some research on your party or just on you, they will Hardly suspect that there is a mage under that armor.

Not braindead Monster will obviously focus spellcaster at once, in order to bring them down on the first turn if possible. Eventually, given how healing works, they will also try to terminate a downed character before swapping to other members of the team.

If they find themselves facing a group of armored creatures, it is unlikely that they will be able to understand

That there's a spellcaster

And

Who is among the members of the party.

This could be helpful to deceive what is meant to be standard reasoning.

You could also be in the middle and not backline. There are plenty of ways to trick enemies.

Eventually, if attacked, you will find yourself with a nice amount of armor. And eventually a shield block reaction.


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"The best defense against sword, hammer, axe, tooth, and claw is DISTANCE."

Love it.


K1 wrote:

Remember also of the appareance.

Unless the enemies did some research on your party or just on you, they will Hardly suspect that there is a mage under that armor.

Not braindead Monster will obviously focus spellcaster at once, in order to bring them down on the first turn if possible. Eventually, given how healing works, they will also try to terminate a downed character before swapping to other members of the team.

If they find themselves facing a group of armored creatures, it is unlikely that they will be able to understand

That there's a spellcaster

And

Who is among the members of the party.

This could be helpful to deceive what is meant to be standard reasoning.

You could also be in the middle and not backline. There are plenty of ways to trick enemies.

Eventually, if attacked, you will find yourself with a nice amount of armor. And eventually a shield block reaction.

I have no idea how you got to shield block reaction. But not important.

What is important... This only works until you fire off the first spell. Which you will because you're useless with ranged weapons due to low Dex.

And having armour isn't beneficial by itself unless it gives you a meaningfully higher AC. Which it won't - at best a point or two.


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"The best place to be in a battle is elsewhere".


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Midnightoker wrote:
You don't want to be attacked, period. It doesn't matter what you bump your AC to, encounter appropriate opponents can hit you, they can crit you, they will do substantial damage.

It better for a wizard to take a few attacks and be hurt, than have the fighter take all of the attacks and be on the ground. Wizards can't be 1-shotted by a house cats anymore. And even Champions won't be able to stand in front for too long.


NemoNoName wrote:
K1 wrote:

Remember also of the appareance.

Unless the enemies did some research on your party or just on you, they will Hardly suspect that there is a mage under that armor.

Not braindead Monster will obviously focus spellcaster at once, in order to bring them down on the first turn if possible. Eventually, given how healing works, they will also try to terminate a downed character before swapping to other members of the team.

If they find themselves facing a group of armored creatures, it is unlikely that they will be able to understand

That there's a spellcaster

And

Who is among the members of the party.

This could be helpful to deceive what is meant to be standard reasoning.

You could also be in the middle and not backline. There are plenty of ways to trick enemies.

Eventually, if attacked, you will find yourself with a nice amount of armor. And eventually a shield block reaction.

I have no idea how you got to shield block reaction. But not important.

What is important... This only works until you fire off the first spell. Which you will because you're useless with ranged weapons due to low Dex.

And having armour isn't beneficial by itself unless it gives you a meaningfully higher AC. Which it won't - at best a point or two.

You get shield block as General feat, as anybody else.

At The beginning the Monsters will scatter around the battle field. Giving you at least 2 rounds.

Which is enough.
Or to say it better. Which is 2 more rounds than any declared caster. So totally worth it.


I do think you have a point there with the cool factor of a Sauron looking baddie walking up all awesome, and you go "full plate, big stick, probably gonna fight me up close!"

And then the guy just going full magic on you as a pretty sweet twist.

But that just highlights why comparing AC, speeds, numbers in general isn't what it used to be.

I keep having to kick myself "No no no, that's true in PF1, you have to undo what was 'good' before and learn again"

The cool factor of casting in full plate is also not lost on me, and I'm sure there's a spell selection and possibly an MCD or two to give the concept some real teeth.

The fact that with no support out of the box it's already relatively palatable (I'd argue there's some longevity issues, but eh) is pretty impressive.

Divorcing builds from the value they had last edition is just so hard to do, but I'm trying to get there. Builds now are just concept enablers, and the concept itself with enough thought behind it can have real legs.

The fact that core enables so many concepts out of the box, and not just "empty combinations", but defining ones is crazy cool.

Like when we got the permutations number (I believe from Jason), at first I was like "yeah sure, but how many of those matter?"

Apparently most of them. A single Skill Feat can change the whole play style of a character (Battle Medic, Battle Cry, etc.)

A single Ancestry Feat can make a build possible (Elf Fleet, Human General Feat)

A single dedication can add oodles of flavor (Barbarian dedication on top of a Half-Orc Ruffian Rogue drips flavor and it's absolutely brilliant strong).

So full plate wizard at level 3? That guy sounds like a bad ass. But he could play totally differently from another Full Plate Wizard (heck, if you went MCD Champ over 3 gens, that alone is a wicked difference).

The layers are many and ever sweet. Paizo are the bakers of dreams.

BTW Ravingdork, I've been meaning to try to post the several characters I've made to your thread, to add to the work you've already put in, but I just haven't gotten around to it. At this point I have about 10/11 or so.

Mellored wrote:
It better for a wizard to take a few attacks and be hurt, than have the fighter take all of the attacks and be on the ground. Wizards can't be 1-shotted by a house cats anymore. And even Champions won't be able to stand in front for too long.

Certainly true, but with healing relatively plentiful, it sorta depends on the party make up.

Got a heal focused Cleric? probably good with one front liner.

Got a Warpriest Druid Wildshape front line? Certainly would help to have a Wizard who can go toe to toe with some gusto.

FP Wizard won't be ideal for a Human Fighter, Dwarf Cleric, Halfling Rogue necessarily (assuming all vanilla)

But it might be perfect for a Spiritual Barb, Lingering Composition focused Bard, and Scoundrel Rogue (allowing a lot of support and good incentives).


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Mellored wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
You don't want to be attacked, period. It doesn't matter what you bump your AC to, encounter appropriate opponents can hit you, they can crit you, they will do substantial damage.
It better for a wizard to take a few attacks and be hurt, than have the fighter take all of the attacks and be on the ground. Wizards can't be 1-shotted by a house cats anymore. And even Champions won't be able to stand in front for too long.

Depends his const.

If you are an average wizard with 14 const and 14 dex, you will have 168 hp at lvl 20.

A Drake could basically kill you in 1 round with breath and a hit, which will be probably a critical one.


K1 wrote:
Mellored wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
You don't want to be attacked, period. It doesn't matter what you bump your AC to, encounter appropriate opponents can hit you, they can crit you, they will do substantial damage.
It better for a wizard to take a few attacks and be hurt, than have the fighter take all of the attacks and be on the ground. Wizards can't be 1-shotted by a house cats anymore. And even Champions won't be able to stand in front for too long.

Depends his const.

If you are an average wizard with 14 const and 14 dex, you will have 168 hp at lvl 20.

A Drake could basically kill you in 1 round with breath and a hit, which will be probably a critical one.

To me, if you've made it to Level 20 as a Wizard with a high Str (enough to carry the FP) you should be MUCH higher than 14 (I'd say 18 minimum)

And honestly, toughness wouldn't be a bad investment.


Depends where you want to put your points.

Indeed toughness would be useful.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:

AC isn’t what it was last edition. I would argue Fleet is a better defensive feat than any armor proficiency, because it effectively amounts to an action tax against opponents of same speed (a great deal).

AC in this edition is relatively even with attacks in terms of progression, which means that a +1 bump matters more, but also there’s no way to put yourself in “can’t be hit” territory, pretty much ever. 90% miss chance due to ac just isn’t feasible against even level -1 opponents in this edition.

You’re far better off moving or avoiding damage other ways, meaning taking advantage of your actual AC value less than you would in PF1 (where you effectively stand still the whole time and take all the attacks)

Is it an important stat? Sure. Is it at necessary and value for investment as last edition? Not even close.

i actually agree, but i'd still put dwarves as the best casters stat wise, can start with 18 int, 16 in con or wisdom, 14 in dex and the other. you can use the spells fleet step and longstrider as premium defensive spells. but still light armor helps a lot when you do get attacked.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Certainly true, but with healing relatively plentiful, it sorta depends on the party make up.

Sure. I'm not saying Armor is always the best, but it is sometimes the best.

If your party is a monk, ranger, and rogue. Then being both the slowest, loudest, and squishiest is not a great idea.

But if you have a shifter druid, ranger, and bard, then +1AC is going to come in very handy.

K1 wrote:

Depends his const.

If you are an average wizard with 14 const and 14 dex, you will have 168 hp at lvl 20.

A Drake could basically kill you in 1 round with breath and a hit, which will be probably a critical one.

If you start with 14 Str, 12 Con, 10 Wis, 10 Dex, 18 Int, 14 Cha.

You can end with 18 Str, 18 Con, 12 Dex, 18 Wis, 22 Int, 18 Cha. (possibly 20 Str, 14 Cha, in order to carry a shield).

If you start with 10 Str, 12 Con, 12 Wis, 16 Dex, 18 Int, 10 Cha.
You can end with 12 Str, 18 Con, 20 Dex, 18 Wis, 22 Int, 12 Cha.

208 HP either way. And that 1 hit your took, would keep the fighter up for another round. Certainly not saying you should run into the front lines, but you can take some.

And with a fly speed of 180', 5 extra movement isn't going to change anything.

So at 20, those 2 feats gets you +3 Str, +3 Cha, -4Dex, +1 AC, -2 ref, +1 skill (religion), -5 speed.

It's a trade-off.


Yes, you can.
As you can end with 20 base char.

Depends if you want to make a muscle mage or a charismatic one


Not so much from PF1 to PF2, but I've missed a lot of little changes from PT to CRB. Like how AoOs only disrupt Manipulate actions on a crit unless you have the Disruptive stance.


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Given it looks like one of the hell knight archetypes is a plate wearing spell caster clearly it looks like there will be stuff available for those who want to try to build a tank mage. It seems doable and pretty well balanced for the feat cost to get some extra protection for a good chunk of your leveling range.

I like the fact it's not a have to but if its something you want to do it is supported pretty well.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
BTW Ravingdork, I've been meaning to try to post the several characters I've made to your thread, to add to the work you've already put in, but I just haven't gotten around to it. At this point I have about 10/11 or so.

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Mellored wrote:
You can get 16 Str at level 1 without significant investment (especially if you don't invest in Dex). And then Cast + Strike people with a greatsword.

Most spells require a free hand to cast, so no greatsword. Unless you're using one-action spells, using your second action to grasp your sword, and then your third to Strike.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
Mellored wrote:
You can get 16 Str at level 1 without significant investment (especially if you don't invest in Dex). And then Cast + Strike people with a greatsword.
Most spells require a free hand to cast, so no greatsword. Unless you're using one-action spells, using your second action to grasp your sword, and then your third to Strike.

Spells don't actually require a "free hand" so much any more.

Somatic components require you to not be restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely, but specifically say "you can use this component while holding something in your hand"

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Using both your hands to grip the same thing I think would fall under "unable to gesture freely".


There is no argument for a two-handed weapon preventing somatic components that doesn't equally apply to any two one-handed objects held by the character - so there is no reason why we shouldn't have what the rules explicitly say ("holding something in your hand") apply equally to holding something in both hands, whether it's the same object or not.


Yeah, only material components have the one hand restriction.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

clerics can make their greatsword a holy focus anyway right? I'd be hard pressed to say they can't use their greatsword as part of the somatic components.

Exo-Guardians

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CRB pg 303: "A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely."

personally i'd say that wielding a two-handed weapon is a step beyond merely "holding something in your hand". As pg 272 says, "When wielding an item, you’re not just carrying it around—you’re ready to use it." but it's definitely a gray area.

Exo-Guardians

Bandw2 wrote:
clerics can make their greatsword a holy focus anyway right? I'd be hard pressed to say they can't use their greatsword as part of the somatic components.

Focus and Somatic are two different components with different rules. A Focus component only requires "holding the focus in your hand", whereas a Somatic component requires you to "make gestures."


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Saros Palanthios wrote:

CRB pg 303: "A somatic component is a specific hand movement or gesture that generates a magical nexus. The spell gains the manipulate trait and requires you to make gestures. You can use this component while holding something in your hand, but not if you are restrained or otherwise unable to gesture freely."

personally i'd say that wielding a two-handed weapon is a step beyond merely "holding something in your hand". As pg 272 says, "When wielding an item, you’re not just carrying it around—you’re ready to use it." but it's definitely a gray area.

You forgot the first part: "You’re wielding an item any time you’re holding it in the number of hands needed to use it effectively."

If "Wielding" is an advanced and distinct form of "Holding" that explicitly counts as being unable to gesture freely, then the rules should probably say that.


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Based on the arc of the updates in the playtest in regards to Paladins and somatic components, I'm positive you can cast somatic spells while holding a weapon(s) in both hands.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Started a thread for the casting while wielding debate.

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