Incapacitation trait rules: a solution in search of a problem?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

Gonna have to agree with Rysky on this one. If one part of the player base wants to be the "special children" that get everything they want and the designers design specifically for them instead of the wider player base...

Yeah, the game is better off without entitled people like that.

Not liking the game's direction is fine. Saying you wish the devs had gone a different direction is fine. Saying you wish the devs would listen to you and ignore everyone else is toxic.

Seems like an easy distinction to me.

It's toxic to want a game that's tailored to my specific tastes? Isn't that what everyone wants?

Like almost all things that are toxic (literally and metaphorically) it is a matter of how much rather than what. Almost everyone has hundreds of things that aren't to their taste. And letting that be known when you 3ncounter those things in passing or when you first try them isn't toxic.

Hanging around something you know you dont like, that you know isn't going to change (starting development on pf3 would be catastrophic for paizo right now) in order to show how much you dislike it for several months? That is toxic, and not just to the thing or community you dislike, but to yourself as well.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
It's toxic to want a game that's tailored to my specific tastes? Isn't that what everyone wants?

It's fairly toxic to keep arguing that your tastes are objectively better than other people's. Something you've done a fair bit, what with calling PF2 objectively bad a number of times.

It's also fairly toxic to strongly argue that the creators of the game are incompetent just because you disagree with them on design goals, something else you've done a fair bit.

It's certainly at least verging on toxic to be on a forum purely to run down and insult a game everyone else is there to enjoy just so that next edition (10 years from now) might be more like what you're looking for. And you've stated outright that this is your reason for still being here.

That's all pretty unpleasant behavior when examined, really.

Wanting a game that's more like what you're looking for isn't toxic at all, but there's desires and then there's what you do about them. And what you've been doing about this one falls pretty easily under the banner of 'toxic'.

If that's not your intent, I suggest you change your behavior accordingly.


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On the topic of incapacitation, in an attempt to get things back on topic, I think the main issue lies with things that have the incapacitation trait not being selective enough.

I wish that Incapacitation applied to individual tier of critical success/critical failure, I.E. Phantasmal Killer.

I think it's reasonable to expect Stunning Fist to apply Stunned 1 on a boss on a Failure/CF, but never Stunned 3 on a Critical Failure.

If the CF effect had the "Incapacitation" trait, but the Failure did not, that would be fine.

I personally wish Incapacitation trait specifically made only the worst tier off-limits as opposed to all of the tiers being dropped a tier.

Especially considering these creatures are going to have higher saves anyways, so getting a success/failure for an ability should feel like you did something of worth.

In the above case, the Monk has to stay toe to toe with the enemy for two attacks, which can be a risk in itself.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:


It's toxic to want a game that's tailored to my specific tastes? Isn't that what everyone wants?

Apart from everything that DMW said....

No, but sometimes you need to realize the horrible truth that your tastes:

a) aren't universal
b) aren't even remotely close to universal in economic terms

I guess the success of 5e and decline of PF1 pretty clearly show that "dig dozens of hours into a system in order to master it and auto-win things thanks to optimization" subset of customer base isn't big enough to hit the commercial targets for a company like Paizo these days.

Just like Advanced Squad Leader has its small and dedicated fanbase that won't keep a medium-sized company afloat (MMP is like 10 people), so won't CharOp people keep the mouths at Paizo fed while everybody else goes 5e because it's a game that doesn't expect you to dig around for that Savage Ornithologist/Landsknecht combo so that you can argue whether it's better than a 10-sourcebook kitsune one-shot-snuggle-to-death-with-a-scarf build.

And unless something dramatic changes and people who joined the hobby since it began to go mainstream 5 years ago will quit it en masse, reducing the apple pie to the 10 years ago mostly hardcore invested gamers playerbase, there will only be more and more incentive for companies to focus on games that take less investment to have fun with.

I'm not saying we won't be seeing a super-complicated rewards-investment game by Paizo at some point, when there will be an incentive to go after the "ASL" people now that the mainstream is covered, but I'd bet decades, not years, for something like this to happen.

And let's be honest - any non-OSR D&D is rules heavy, complicated and requires some investment when stacked next to Dungeon World or FATE.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Rysky wrote:

One person said they should have focused on the "most invested" (meaning not most invested in then normal sense but in this sense the extreme optimizers and theorcrafyters) players instead of everyone else, which prompted the next person to say that getting rid of said small audience because they're reducing the fun of the larger audience (which the original statement is pretty explicit about doing) would be a good thing.

Definitely not how I would have worded it but I can certainly understand it. What makes a player more invested over another? What makes you [general] more invested than me?

Players who are willing to dig into the rules and interactions and put a lot of time and effort into mastering them are more invested, as they have put a lot more time into the game.

Players who spend less time on building and more time playing may have put the same time into the game.

The Exchange

Midnightoker wrote:

On the topic of incapacitation, in an attempt to get things back on topic, I think the main issue lies with things that have the incapacitation trait not being selective enough.

I wish that Incapacitation applied to individual tier of critical success/critical failure, I.E. Phantasmal Killer.

I think it's reasonable to expect Stunning Fist to apply Stunned 1 on a boss on a Failure/CF, but never Stunned 3 on a Critical Failure.

If the CF effect had the "Incapacitation" trait, but the Failure did not, that would be fine.

I personally wish Incapacitation trait specifically made only the worst tier off-limits as opposed to all of the tiers being dropped a tier.

Especially considering these creatures are going to have higher saves anyways, so getting a success/failure for an ability should feel like you did something of worth.

In the above case, the Monk has to stay toe to toe with the enemy for two attacks, which can be a risk in itself.

If Stunning Fist was a stance, I could see it but since it's a rider on Flurry of Blows which is only one action and you get it so early at level it would be pretty powerful against low fort/debuffed enemies. A monk could dart in, stun, and then dart out without spending any resources.


Yeah, stunning fist isn't incapacitation because getting stunned once is a big deal (I mean, it is, but it doesn't singlehandedly end a fight). It's incapacitation because stunlocking would be too easy otherwise.


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Henro wrote:
I really appreciate that the same monster can be a boss or a sub-boss or a minion based on level context. Feels far less restrictive than arbitrarily designating monsters to certain roles. It also makes the GM toolkit more versatile.

I think the proposal was that a GM could apply the boss tag as they see fit for the narrative, not that it's inherent to a specific monster. That would solve some 4e problems I think.


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Midnightoker wrote:
On the topic of incapacitation, in an attempt to get things back on topic, I think the main issue lies with things that have the incapacitation trait not being selective enough.

This is my issue too. If it meant that you can't instantly kill/ko/ect, for the whole fight, a boss I'd be fine with it but it covers affects that are single round ones too. With the superior saves a 'boss' has, "stunlocking" is unlikely at best.

Henro wrote:
Yeah, stunning fist isn't incapacitation because getting stunned once is a big deal

It covers that too. Cloak of colors stuns on a crit failure for a single round when the foes melee's the target... after "stunlocked" for a single round, the foe can target someone else, cast spells, back up for ranged attacks, ect. It's STILL incapacitation for single round stun. That's why I agree with Midnightoker, it'd not selective enough: anything that does that effect falls under it no matter mitigating factors like the duration or chance of it happening [like only crit fail].


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
BellyBeard wrote:
Henro wrote:
I really appreciate that the same monster can be a boss or a sub-boss or a minion based on level context. Feels far less restrictive than arbitrarily designating monsters to certain roles. It also makes the GM toolkit more versatile.
I think the proposal was that a GM could apply the boss tag as they see fit for the narrative, not that it's inherent to a specific monster. That would solve some 4e problems I think.

That's still a problem for me when I fight a boss ogre and the 4 levels later fight it as a henchman and its rules have changed.


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Eoni wrote:
If Stunning Fist was a stance, I could see it but since it's a rider on Flurry of Blows which is only one action and you get it so early at level it would be pretty powerful against low fort/debuffed enemies. A monk could dart in, stun, and then dart out without spending any resources.

It's an ability that someone took a Feat to be able to do though.

You can't stun lock a boss with the proposed change, you can simply inflict a Stun 1 on a failed save. They would still receive this affect on a CF so the only change is making the Class Feat functional against a higher level boss in the event of a Failure.

And in the event of a higher level boss, they will, by default, have at least +1 more to their save than you will to your DC from proficiency.

And while you say "you could target someone with low saves that way", I would say "And?"

Isn't the intent of having a bad save to encourage the targeting of the save?

Let's use an example of an enemy above level but not favored:

Doppleganger is a level 3 enemy

It has a +5 to Fortitude saves (lowest possible for a level 3 creature)

that means a level 2 Monk with Stunning Fist and maxed Key ability has an 18 DC to beat for them to stun the Doppleganger.

This requires several things though, it requires an attack to hit and deal damage, a monk to use FoB (flourish), and for the Doppleganger to fail or critically fail the save.

The to-hit for the Monk in this case is likely +8, which means they have a 50% chance on both attacks to hit the Doppleganger.

The Doppleganger then has a 60% chance to fail the save and become Stunned 1 (and they can never be Stunned 3).

The Doppleganger, can technically, be in changed form during this assault and attempt to strike the target, so not totally at their mercy (and many monsters will have reactions like this).

Even in the case of the Doppleganger getting hit by one of the attacks and then also failing his save (roughly 45%) meaning the Doppleganger still has a 55% chance to avoid being Stunned 1.

45% chance of Stunned 1 is certainly no where close to "Stun Locking", nor can multiple Stunned 1's stack (so no one else can Stun Lock)

***And this is one of the MOST abusive cases for Stunning Fist, since Dopplegangers are literally 1 level above the scenario, low in Fort saves, and not really meant to be used in a "straight fight" kinda way

I gotta say, I don't really see an issue.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I dont think 'uses flurry' should even be a consideration. Every monk every turn is going to use flurry anyway if they can.


Malk_Content wrote:
I dont think 'uses flurry' should even be a consideration. Every monk every turn is going to use flurry anyway if they can.

My point was that they specifically have to be part of the Flurry attacks, and therefor, are subject to the "once per round" clause.

It also mandates that both attacks be on the same target, which in the case of a Stunning Fist, means diminishing returns (you can't Stun 1 twice).

While it may be an all day ability, the limitations are not negligible.

The Exchange

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I'm not arguing against you, Midnightoker, just stating why I think they did that. Just looking at the way it's set up, it feels like if only the crit failure was Incapacitation then it becomes akin to a one action stun cantrip


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Eoni wrote:
I'm not arguing against you, Midnightoker, just stating why I think they did that. Just looking at the way it's set up, it feels like if only the crit failure was Incapacitation then it becomes akin to a one action stun cantrip

A one action stun cantrip that has a less than 50% chance success rate against a best case scenario opponent?

And it cost a Feat to do it.

Let's compare this to an actual cantrip against a higher level opponent:

Daze:

Quote:
You cloud the target's mind and daze it with a mental jolt. The jolt deals mental damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier; the target must attempt a basic Will save. If the target critically fails the save, it is also stunned 1.

Things Daze has over SF+FoB:

- 60ft range (effectively safe distance)

- Automatic Damage heightening

- Against Will Save (arguably the best save)

- No investment cost (minimal if Spontaneous)

- Does not require the spell to deal damage to trigger save (resistances matter here)

- No Incapacitation trait (CF means Stunned 1 regardless and double damage)

- Not subject to MAP

Things SF+FoB requires:

- Melee attacks, must be adjacent

- Both attacks on the same target, one of which must hit

- A Fortitude save (arguably the worst save)

Both:

- Effectively one per round

- Single target

- Contain riders

- Can trigger Stunned 1 on a CF

SF+FoB has over Daze:

- Allows two rolls to trigger rider

- Lower action cost (this mostly only allows more mobility though due to MAP)

And that's a Cantrip. This ability is what a Monk is going to be using pretty much as their go to combat ability for the Level 2 Class Feat (a reasonably significant investment).

I will also point out that in my original calculation, I had not accounted for the fact that the second attack would be at a -4 due to MAP:

So the actual percentage of successfully stunning a Doppleganger would have been:

50%/30% on the two attacks and then still a 60% chance on the failing of the save which is roughly: 39% chance to Stun 1 the Doppleganger

Silver Crusade

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

I don’t really see Martials having to hit people with their attacks for their rider effects to proc to be a bad thing. It’s a buff to their main thing rather than a thing unto itself.


I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.


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While my original post was more about the rules mechanics of the Incap rule (namely meaning that since higher-level creatures already have higher saves doesn't this mitigate the risk of such creatures routinely and easily failing saves vs. particularly debilitating effects) I must say that I also do agree with some of the points that have been raised about the game-play experience that this rule (and others like it) engender.

Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

Hadn't really thought about it in those terms; and is does rub me strongly the wrong way.

Another interesting point I see being made a lot is about "taking down the boss too easily" or "but then the boss would just die." I'm just curious what the survival percentages of your bosses are in your games?

What I mean is, the PCs are victorious like what 99% of the time? I mean Paralysis spell or not; that monster (that boss) isn't making it out of the encounter alive is it?

I mean let's assume that in a typical adventure or dungeon that the PCs need to overcome a minimum of 10 combats/encounters. If the party has even a 10% chance of failing or losing those encounters the odds that they will make it all the way through those encounters is only 35%.

Clearly our party's in PF2 are not getting wiped or otherwise losing battles at this rate.

So then how often do the PCs actually lose a battle or get taken out or what have you. What's an acceptable "failure" rate? Is there one?

In order to give the party an 80%+ chance of successfully navigating 10 encounters in a row the odds of party failure on any single encounter has to be a measly 1%.

So given that; basically KNOWING that you are going to win anyways I don't understand how/why it's more fun to beat on a creature's HP for 5 rounds.

Put another way; it's the final fight of the big adventure. The big bad boss villain moves up to the party and smack the fighter. The two-handed pick wielding fighter goes next and amazing crits with his first attack (nat 20!) and second attack (nat 20!); they roll extremely well and the BBEG is dead!

Was that encounter, by your definition, lame?

Should/Would you as the DM somehow fudge that encounter and secretly give the BBEG more HP because it's "cooler" if the PCs get beat up a bunch?

I just don't understand what kind of game experience it is that you are hoping to have in this game.... you just want to roll dice and pretend that they matter?


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AsmodeusDM wrote:


Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

Isn't that basically the same as the same elven king having more hitpoints than an ogre because he's a L15 wizard vs a 4hd bozo?


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Cyouni wrote:
I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.

Which is why I wish it were limited specifically to the CF effect.

Stunned 1 against a higher level opponent is not only going to be difficult to pull off with just a Failure it's also not that fair to someone that invested a Class Feat to be able to do it.

I mean 39% against a best case scenario opponent to produced Stunned 1 is certainly reasonable. Against pretty much any other +1 level opponent besides the Doppleganger, the numbers for Stunned 1 get much worse much faster (better ACs and saves).

A Hyaenodon for instance is a 45%/25% with a 35% chance for the creature to fail the save (19 AC, +10 Fort) for a roughly: 14.4% chance of Stunned 1 with the proposed change

I mean, that's less than 10% off of the natural 1 scenario (pretty much the only way the creature CFs and suffers any effects of SF)

It almost seemed like they were considering this across the board considering spells like Phantasmal Killer, which is effectively exactly how this works (they apply Incapacitation specifically to the CF effect itself).

Silver Crusade

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

“Higher level creatures have better stats” as is the case now... has always been the case. Since forever.


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Cyouni wrote:
I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.

blinded 1 [fail]/stun 1 [crit fail] is enough for cloak of colors to be hit with it...

Sunburst, Eclipse Burst, Darkened Eyes, Power Word Blind, Dazzling Flash, Glitterdust aren't [1 rd blind to perm blind] while Vibrant Pattern and Blindness [1 min and perm blind] are with NO reason I can see for the difference. Scattershot IMO.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
AsmodeusDM wrote:
What I mean is, the PCs are victorious like what 99% of the time? I mean Paralysis spell or not; that monster (that boss) isn't making it out of the encounter alive is it?

As I understand, the play at the table is what is negatively impacted. If the caster paralyzes the boss, the fight is essentially over. If that happened on the first turn, before someone else even got to their first turn, they feel bad and come away with a negative play experience.

The GM didn't have as much fun because boss monsters have interesting or unique abilities that they never got to use, and the only people who feel great are the person who cast the spell and the people who didn't want to spend an hour of table time fighting the encounter.

I've been in a party where the wizard petrified a Linnorn before my turn came up. The GM was really annoyed with that one, because they spent a while studying that creature's statblock and it only got one turn. But its not a problem wholly unique to spellcasters. I've also been in fights where a gunslinger/paladin smite-crits a boss and one shots it, or a brawler with six attacks one rounds a boss.

Its okay to end a fight in one round if you're using hit point damage apparently. (Though, this isn't likly to be a problem in PF2, as best I understand the HP and damage scaling.)

As a GM I've had monsters banished, dismissed, paralyzed or whatever. Its annoying, but it makes the player happy, and I know I'll have more monsters later. That tends to be my take on the subject.

Its actually the Hold Person/Coup de Grace combo that we used a few times in a game then decided to stop because it didn't feel good in play after the first time.

So, the short of it, narratively, mechanically I don't think there's any issues with ending the fight quickly, but the play experience of it can be bad for some of the people present and the game should try to reduce the number of times a player feels bad just for existing.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
AsmodeusDM wrote:


Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

Isn't that basically the same as the same elven king having more hitpoints than an ogre because he's a L15 wizard vs a 4hd bozo?

No; because it's not like the wizard gains or loses hit points relative to your level.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.

blinded 1 [fail]/stun 1 [crit fail] is enough for cloak of colors to be hit with it...

Sunburst, Eclipse Burst, Darkened Eyes, Power Word Blind, Dazzling Flash, Glitterdust aren't [1 rd blind to perm blind] while Vibrant Pattern and Blindness [1 min and perm blind] are with NO reason I can see for the difference. Scattershot IMO.

That part I can definitely agree on.


AsmodeusDM wrote:
Fighter with two crits instant kills the boss

Sorry I couldn't quote properly, the post was too long. You scenario involves a fighter specifically built for crits getting the 1 in 400 chance of nat 20-ing twice in a row on a boss, and that also being enough to drop them (don't actually know if that could happen or not at high levels, I've heard HP scales faster than damage though. But certainly possible at lower levels). That is being compared to the 1 in 20 chance of a boss crit failing against SoS (or the higher chances of a mere failure, against the stronger debuffs). So not really same order of magnitude for chances of it happening. However, that said, that scenario would be just as unfun for other players who didn't even get to act after their epic journey to reach this evildoer. Luckily the chances are much lower.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
AsmodeusDM wrote:
Tarik Blackhands wrote:
AsmodeusDM wrote:


Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

Isn't that basically the same as the same elven king having more hitpoints than an ogre because he's a L15 wizard vs a 4hd bozo?
No; because it's not like the wizard gains or loses hit points relative to your level.

he kinda does, just not in the way you posit.

As you get higher level you deal more damage.

With Incapacitation their saves are better if they’re higher level than you. Which has always been true.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.

blinded 1 [fail]/stun 1 [crit fail] is enough for cloak of colors to be hit with it...

Sunburst, Eclipse Burst, Darkened Eyes, Power Word Blind, Dazzling Flash, Glitterdust aren't [1 rd blind to perm blind] while Vibrant Pattern and Blindness [1 min and perm blind] are with NO reason I can see for the difference. Scattershot IMO.

That's blinded/stunned 1 round, to be fair, and it can keep happening each round. Glitterdust only blinds 1 round on critical failure. So really, what it does is turn Cloak of Colors into Glitterdust, for the purposes of the fight.

Glancing at the others:
Sunburst - crit fail
Darkened Eyes - crit fail
Power Word Blind - has incapacitation built in
Dazzling Flash - can be removed with an action, being more equivalent to Stun/Slow


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AsmodeusDM wrote:
Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

The game actually has a good way to represent this. Creatures can be different levels depending on the roles you challenge them in. The frail, infirm elven king could easily be under level 4 in a fight and yet a level 15 social threat because his lifelong skills were about navigating political landscapes and managing his kingdom instead of fighting.

If he happens to be a level 15 threat in a knife fight my guess is either magic is at play or he isn't frail and infirm. Or the DM isn't taking advantage of the systems in place for them.


Midnightoker wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I do think part of the reason Stunning Fist has Incapacitation is to avoid Stunned 3.

Which is why I wish it were limited specifically to the CF effect.

Stunned 1 against a higher level opponent is not only going to be difficult to pull off with just a Failure it's also not that fair to someone that invested a Class Feat to be able to do it.

I mean 39% against a best case scenario opponent to produced Stunned 1 is certainly reasonable. Against pretty much any other +1 level opponent besides the Doppleganger, the numbers for Stunned 1 get much worse much faster (better ACs and saves).

A Hyaenodon for instance is a 45%/25% with a 35% chance for the creature to fail the save (19 AC, +10 Fort) for a roughly: 14.4% chance of Stunned 1 with the proposed change

I mean, that's less than 10% off of the natural 1 scenario (pretty much the only way the creature CFs and suffers any effects of SF)

It almost seemed like they were considering this across the board considering spells like Phantasmal Killer, which is effectively exactly how this works (they apply Incapacitation specifically to the CF effect itself).

Sorry, are you arguing that Stunning Fist is too weak? Because that's buckwild. I can get the complaints about a spell suffering from the Incapacitation trait, as you're burning a spell slot and actions, plus potentially a spell known, for a decent chance of nothing happening. And you've got to be using your top end resource for it

But Stunning Fist is a free rider on something you were already going to be doing. It isn't even hard to proc, because you only need to land one of the two blows. It is absurdly good without shutting down bosses because you will frequently fight things below your level where it works plenty. Dangerous things at that. Our monk was being carried off by a roc and landed a stunning fist and the thing crit failed. Even a basic failure would have been devastating to a creature that needs to spend an action to fly and an action to grip.


Where did I say it was weak?

Also it isn’t “free”, it’s a Class feat at level 2.

I said contextually changing incapacitation, even in the case of the worst enemy save possible doesn’t amount to a large change in value or makes it “OP” in the slightest. It literally only affects creatures above level, which are already more likely to save (and have your attacks miss).

The math and examples I gave is pretty consistent with what I’m saying and one little tidbit of anecdotal evidence from a campaign isn’t really gonna be enough substance for me.

The changes in the example you just gave don’t make much of a difference and I fail to see how it changes the discussion. The only difference is the creature would have a small percentage (at most) more likelihood to be stunned 1, and in your ultra specific situation it still doesn’t make the Roc “stun locked”, nor does it restrict the Roc from flying and gripping....

Liberty's Edge

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AsmodeusDM wrote:
Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

A high level Elven King was always more likely to Save vs. such a poison than an Ogre. That's what having level tied to Saves means and always has.

That said, in PF2, the King doesn't need to be high level, at least not in terms of non-Will Saves and combat. You can have people who are different 'levels' in Skill checks (or other relevant stuff, like a social character with the Diplomacy and Will Save of a 15th level character and the combat prowess of a 2nd level one) and combat. So only a warrior king who's a bigger threat than the Ogre in a fight will ever be more resistant to poisons.

AsmodeusDM wrote:
What I mean is, the PCs are victorious like what 99% of the time? I mean Paralysis spell or not; that monster (that boss) isn't making it out of the encounter alive is it?

No, they aren't. But everyone likes to feel like they mattered in achieving that result. I mean, if Joe has a whole backstory around needing to kill the boss, but Dave beats him on initiative and takes the boss out before he gets a turn...that's deeply unsatisfying on a dramatic level for Joe's player.

AsmodeusDM wrote:

Put another way; it's the final fight of the big adventure. The big bad boss villain moves up to the party and smack the fighter. The two-handed pick wielding fighter goes next and amazing crits with his first attack (nat 20!) and second attack (nat 20!); they roll extremely well and the BBEG is dead!

Was that encounter, by your definition, lame?

Should/Would you as the DM somehow fudge that encounter and secretly give the BBEG more HP because it's "cooler" if the PCs get beat up a bunch?

That encounter was an example of extraordinary luck. Having such a thing happen around 1 in 400 times (the odds of rolling two twenties in a row) is fine. And indeed, a GM who does so is a bad GM.

But having it happen 1 in 2 times or more is very different from it happening 1 in 400.

Also, two crits kill basically nothing in PF2, so that precise scenario is not gonna happen much in PF2, either.

AsmodeusDM wrote:
I just don't understand what kind of game experience it is that you are hoping to have in this game.... you just want to roll dice and pretend that they matter?

No, they want them to actually matter, and, indeed, they do in most PF2 fights.

Kasoh wrote:
Its okay to end a fight in one round if you're using hit point damage apparently. (Though, this isn't likly to be a problem in PF2, as best I understand the HP and damage scaling.)

It's not okay, it's just that, as you note, PF2 fixes that a different way.


Midnightoker wrote:
Where did I say it was weak?

You're going on about making a change that buffs it and how the current rules aren't fair to people who took the feat. That sure sounds like you're arguing it should be stronger.

Quote:
Also it isn’t “free”, it’s a Class feat at level 2.

It is, for my money, the single best level 2 class feat in the game. (Well, I at least can't think of a better one off the top of my head.) And unlike a non-signature spell in the repertoire it automatically scales with your level. And it probably forces a save on the majority of combat rounds for your entire career-- any time you land one of your flurry hits.

Quote:
I said contextually changing incapacitation, even in the case of the worst enemy save possible doesn’t amount to a large change in value or makes it “OP” in the slightest. It literally only affects creatures above level, which are already more likely to save (and have your attacks miss).

The feat is already OP. Arguing that it should have any sort of buff, even a small one, is wild to me.

Quote:
The math and examples I gave is pretty consistent with what I’m saying and one little tidbit of anecdotal evidence from a campaign isn’t really gonna be enough substance for me.

OK, how is this for data then. Book 4 of the AP I'm running has 39 combat encounters by my count. Of these, 3 have creatures of a higher level than you. Does this feat actually need a buff for those 3 encounters when it worked just fine in the other 36? Actually, two of those three encounters feature lower level minions you can stun, too.


Random mildly-relevant anecdote: the very first time a monster took its turn in my first PF2 (non-playtest) campaign, I rolled 3 natural 20s for the three attacks it made scoring 2 critical hits and a normal hit against a 1st level cleric. That knocked the cleric out, but he did not die.


I just totaled up another book 4. 38 encounters, and only 14 of them feature higher level enemies than the party, and most of those still feature a lower level enemy the monk could target. Stunning Fist has a good chance to cost enemies actions in the vast majority of pre-published encounters at no additional action cost to a monk. That's amazing for 2nd level feat.

This is also relevant to a caster to a much lesser extent. If they can identify the level of a creature (which is something that might work on a Recall Knowledge, but expect table variance on that one) then you don't necessarily need a highest level slot. But this is a much finer line to walk than the auto-heighten might of Stunning Fist.


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Cyouni wrote:
That's blinded/stunned 1 round, to be fair, and it can keep happening each round.

To be fair, that's like telling the boss to 'stop hitting themselves' as it requires the boss to melee attack one person to the exclusion of anyone else and to the exclusion of any other kind of attack... So your scenario works fine in a 10x10 room with only 1 PC and a boss with only melee weapons and no spells... or of course it can happen otherwise if the boss is mindless. We can assume players are going to try to flank and use other tactics, why assume a boss is going to go out of their way to not use them? Now if the party can manage to engineer a situation where the boss HAS to hit the person with the spell, I'd day good for them and not to bad it needs incapacitation added.


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AsmodeusDM wrote:
Namely, that is certainly breaking all manner of verisimilitude through its existence. An ogre is unlikely to fall victim to my deadly poison because it's a big hulking creature 9' tall with a high constitution and the endurance of a giant; but then the same deadly poison doesn't work against the frail elven king who is aged and infirm.....because he's higher level than the poison?

The Incapacitation trait as written can definitely work in a simulationist rule system; provided the Level mechanic works like the physics of the in-game universe, as a sort of "spiritual mass" or something similar, for instance. Like mortals being unable to even scratch a proper god, just on a micro scale.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
That's blinded/stunned 1 round, to be fair, and it can keep happening each round.
To be fair, that's like telling the boss to 'stop hitting themselves' as it requires the boss to melee attack one person to the exclusion of anyone else and to the exclusion of any other kind of attack... So your scenario works fine in a 10x10 room with only 1 PC and a boss with only melee weapons and no spells... or of course it can happen otherwise if the boss is mindless. We can assume players are going to try to flank and use other tactics, why assume a boss is going to go out of their way to not use them? Now if the party can manage to engineer a situation where the boss HAS to hit the person with the spell, I'd day good for them and not to bad it needs incapacitation added.

Figure out who the biggest threat to the boss is. Cast that on them. Or a Champion.

The point is that it forces the boss to completely exclude a person, for fear of wasting their turn. And when the boss's actions are such high value, getting it to waste actions like that is ridiculously strong.

Also note that color spray is incapacitation, and it does much the same thing.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
The feat is already OP. Arguing that it should have any sort of buff, even a small one, is wild to me.

It isn't. It requires both strikes to be on the same target, requires melee range, can only be used once per round, costs a Class Feat to do, and grants diminishing returns with multiple failures or multiple critical failures.

If Stunned 1 was a game ender, sure, but it isn't.

It's a great feat, but it's not OP.

Captain Morgan wrote:


OK, how is this for data then. Book 4 of the AP I'm running has 39 combat encounters by my count. Of these, 3 have creatures of a higher level than you. Does this feat actually need a buff for those 3 encounters when it worked just fine in the other 36? Actually, two of those three encounters feature lower level minions you can stun, too.

You literally just pointed out that changing the rules for Incapacitation (which only tangentially affects Stunning Fist) has little to no affect on the overall health of the Feat, the game, or really anything other than providing more reasonable outcomes for Feats.

If it only affects 3 creatures in your whole book with this change, that just furthers the numbers argument as less than 10% of overall encounters are even being altered due to Incapacitation.

But, let me provide some more math for literal percentage increases for a single reduced action on enemies.

I want you to remember two things:

- It's still better to use SF against lower level targets, because you do not get diminishing returns on Stun 1 (doesn't stack, but LL opponents can still get a Stun 3 on CF)

- This only is a tangential reflection of what changing Incapacitation Trait to downgrade only the CF/CS tiers to Success

Monsters range from the following numbers for AC and Fort saves at CR 3:

+5 - +12 on Saves
17AC to 20AC

A Monk, with Maxed Key ability level 2 is pulling a DC 18 and +8 respectively.

Let's examine how the change to Incapacitation would affect this Monk Feat (probably one of the bigger value changes to an ability)

For good measure, let's just assume the monk has Agile on his strikes (though stances change this), to give him the best possible bonuses:

let's examine the worst case of +5/17AC there is only 1 out of all the monsters and it's a Tiefling Adept, it and Doppleganger are by FAR the best targets for this, and thematically I think that's fitting:

17AC gives the Monk a 60% chance to hit on the first strike, and a 40% chance on the second strike.

The save at +5 is a 60% chance of failure on the save. That equates to a 45.6% chance to trigger a Stunned 1 on the Tiefling Adept.

Let's compare this to currently with Incapacitation:

7.6% chance to trigger Stunned 1

for a total change of 38% more likely to trigger Stunned 1 against this target.

Now, let's compare this to (one of) the worst case scenario targets, the Ankhrav which has 20 AC and +12 to Fortitude

That's a 45% chance to the first hit, and a 25% on the second strike with a 25% chance of failure on the save

that's a 14.68% chance of triggering Stunned 1

Compared to 2.9% chance of triggering Stunned 1

So that means that this increases the odds of the Success metric, absolutely, but only against higher level opponents.

Against a CR+2, the numbers get MUCH worse, because Proficiency bonus hits the Monk on 3 fronts (both attacks and the save)

But even in the most egregious cases, this only increases the odds of Stunned 1, and to creatures that likely should be more vulnerable based on the save (they have bad Fortitude).

I don't think we're going to convince each other. You have adopted a notion that Stunning Fist is super broken OP, and a tangential change that affects less than 10% of the overall creatures a PC might fight is somehow going to critically affect the game.

Incapacitation is inconsistent and overly punishing. It doesn't make sense that it's applied so inconsistently to some spells and not to others and that it can even apply to specific tiers of success of spells.

"Incapaciation Trait - Treat Critical Successes of attacks or Critical Failures for saves against this ability as Successes and Failures"

It's short, easy to remember, and fair to most of the spells that are getting slapped with this.

I'm never going to have a problem with a PC landing a punch, having the creature fail a save, and having the enemy receive Stunned 1 at most.

My boss is going to be just fine. It's already extremely difficult to even do. There's no way to "stun lock" them, and multiple PCs attempting to stack different affects on the same creature (unlikely all of them land anyways) is called teamwork. There's tactics a monster can employ, as a GM, I do not at all feel "unequipped" to deal with something like that.

To each their own. I might just house rule it if my casters feel gimped.


Cyouni wrote:

Figure out who the biggest threat to the boss is. Cast that on them. Or a Champion.

The point is that it forces the boss to completely exclude a person, for fear of wasting their turn. And when the boss's actions are such high value, getting it to waste actions like that is ridiculously strong.

But people have been saying that it's incapacitation because it's a one shot kill/KO for the boss. It's NOT THAT. Spells SHOULD alter what a foe does. Turning the PC invisible or flying can do the same and THEY aren't incapacitation. That spell literally only has to waste the foes turn 1 round and that's if it fails the save. Having to exclude a target in no way should be a factor: that's all Sanctuary does and it's doesn't have the trait.

Cyouni wrote:
Also note that color spray is incapacitation, and it does much the same thing.

It's stunned [1rd] AND blind [1 min] so no, it's not the same. For all we know, they spun the wheel on it having blind and it turned up incapacitation for that reason...

EDIT: for reference, caps not 'yelling' but for emphasis as bolding is a pain in the behind on this device. :P


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Figure out who the biggest threat to the boss is. Cast that on them. Or a Champion.

The point is that it forces the boss to completely exclude a person, for fear of wasting their turn. And when the boss's actions are such high value, getting it to waste actions like that is ridiculously strong.

But people have been saying that it's incapacitation because it's a one shot kill/KO for the boss. It's NOT THAT. Spells SHOULD alter what a foe does. Turning the PC invisible or flying can do the same and THEY aren't incapacitation. That spell literally only has to waste the foes turn 1 round and that's if it fails the save. Having to exclude a target in no way should be a factor: that's all Sanctuary does and it's doesn't have the trait.

Cyouni wrote:
Also note that color spray is incapacitation, and it does much the same thing.

It's stunned [1rd] AND blind [1 min] so no, it's not the same. For all we know, they spun the wheel on it having blind and it turned up incapacitation for that reason...

EDIT: for reference, caps not 'yelling' but for emphasis as bolding is a pain in the behind on this device. :P

You're taking crit fails as the standard for spells. Look at Fail - where both cloak of colours and colour spray are functionally the same in blinding for 1 round. Realistically, both are about the same level of functionality, and I'd be perfectly willing to spend all the castings of Cloak of Colours to completely shut something down, if it doesn't ever have to proceed above 5th level.

If you're making the comparison to Sanctuary, Sanctuary doesn't let you actually make attacks while it's up. That's a major balancing factor in this.

I'm actually curious as a side note: how many things can still see through invisibility automatically at higher levels?

(I'm the weirdo who specifically types in every tag using a phone keyboard, and finds that normal, haha.)


Cyouni wrote:
I'd be perfectly willing to spend all the castings of Cloak of Colours to completely shut something down, if it doesn't ever have to proceed above 5th level

With a total duration of 1 min and only 1 spell per round, it's not likely to have this be possible: you'd need a 100% melee foe that have an awful save [it only needs 1 save/rd] that allows is nice enough to only attack people you've already cast on and avoids ones you haven't... Switching to casting or ranged or evading/defending or doing combat maneuvers for a few rounds all shuts down this... Only hulk smash foes that mindlessly hit a targets would actually be shut down. As a bonus this also kills an entire level of spells to try so you'd better hope it's actually the boss...

Sanctuary: sure you can't attack... so put it on a bard and it can run around buffing and healing while it flanks... And since 'hostile action' is Dm fiat, they might be able to aid others attacks/maneuvers/ect too.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I'd be perfectly willing to spend all the castings of Cloak of Colours to completely shut something down, if it doesn't ever have to proceed above 5th level

With a total duration of 1 min and only 1 spell per round, it's not likely to have this be possible: you'd need a 100% melee foe that have an awful save [it only needs 1 save/rd] that allows is nice enough to only attack people you've already cast on and avoids ones you haven't... Switching to casting or ranged or evading/defending or doing combat maneuvers for a few rounds all shuts down this... Only hulk smash foes that mindlessly hit a targets would actually be shut down. As a bonus this also kills an entire level of spells to try so you'd better hope it's actually the boss...

Sanctuary: sure you can't attack... so put it on a bard and it can run around buffing and healing while it flanks... And since 'hostile action' is Dm fiat, they might be able to aid others attacks/maneuvers/ect too.

Eh, even 1 for each person in melee is plenty. That forces the boss to run away from them constantly (and likely take an AoO of some type given all the martial classes can grab one), and forcing a boss into that pattern for 7+ rounds is insanely good. Also noting that the ones that this tactic would utterly destroy (those focused on melee) are the ones that generally have the worst Will saves.

I'm pretty sure every single GM would count Aiding attack rolls as hostile actions. Sanctuary is realistically worse than invisibility for that goal, to be honest.


I feel that the best solution would have been to take this problem in consideration from the start and have special cases baked in spells like a few already have.
Power word kill doesn't require the incapacitate trait because restrictions based on the spell level are already baked in (you will instantly kill a 14th level creature but against a 16th level creature many pure damage spell would have a better outcome in average (implosion for instance even if you can argue it does a bit less on a successful save on the first round of sustain).

Take for instance baleful polymorph. There could have been the following addendum:
Failure: A creature of level 10 or more need only one action to end the spell but only can try once each turn (so at least on a successful second save it would be slowed 1 and not stunned)
Crit Fail: A creature of level 10 or more keep its mind and can spend all its actions on its turn concentrating on its original form, it can attempt a Will save to end the effect immediately.

Heightened(+1): Increase the level required to suffer the lesser outcome by 2.

That could probably be done as an errata but would require a bit of work to remove incapacitate from every single spell.
The result would be to have spells power reduced a bit more thoughtfully so that incapacitate effects are a bit worse than normal spells on high level targets but not almost useless as they are right now (high level targets having often more than 50% chances to crit success their save and failing only on nat 1)

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