Improving Armor proficiency


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Those both still sound like "because this is how it works" not "this is _why_ it is designed like this".

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
Styrix wrote:
Megistone wrote:
So, if you have a concrete reason to explain why after level 11 or 13 the balance has to change, please disclose it. So far, the answers to my question have been variations of: 'that's the way it is', or 'roll another class instead'.
It seems like this has yet to be answered sufficiently.

Because it is not the balance that is changing. Level 11-13 is the arbitrary point (based upon developer analysis) where all CLASS features make a jump in proficiency level, because of the nature of proficiency bonuses equalling a +2. General feats are not class features. Proficiencies given as a part of class identity have an obligation to keep up at a certain level.

SO why can I pick these things as a general feat option if they will fall behind eventually? Because the General options are about preparing your character to invest further, through class feats, into better options that will be gated by trained proficiency.

Which better options? I am honestly interested because I do not see them at the moment.


Styrix wrote:
Those both still sound like "because this is how it works" not "this is _why_ it is designed like this".

Hmm... no.

Not at all.

It seems more that you are having hard time to figure out why they decided to do that way.

It is not even armor or weapon, but both. So it was not an error of them, but a deliberately choice.

Other than pointing out their reasons, and discuss them, there is nothing else we can do.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
K1 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Styrix wrote:
Megistone wrote:
So, if you have a concrete reason to explain why after level 11 or 13 the balance has to change, please disclose it. So far, the answers to my question have been variations of: 'that's the way it is', or 'roll another class instead'.
It seems like this has yet to be answered sufficiently.

Because it is not the balance that is changing. Level 11-13 is the arbitrary point (based upon developer analysis) where all CLASS features make a jump in proficiency level, because of the nature of proficiency bonuses equalling a +2. General feats are not class features. Proficiencies given as a part of class identity have an obligation to keep up at a certain level.

SO why can I pick these things as a general feat option if they will fall behind eventually? Because the General options are about preparing your character to invest further, through class feats, into better options that will be gated by trained proficiency.

We also have to remember that it is part of how retraining works.

The fact you can benefit from a specific general feat till lvl 13/14 means that the feat is great.

You can then untrain it in order to take something better, and maybe achieve a better proficiency by investing into some dedications.

Like the fleet feat, or nimble elf, which can be powerful at the beginning, but maybe not so good lategame.

Or on the other hand, toughness.
Which slightly good at the beginning, but way more interesting middle/endgame.

Same goes with ancestry and class feats.

I do not think the game was designed under the assumption of Retraining being an obligatory step for some builds.

I believe it is here for people who regret a given choice. I do not think the devs aimed as a design goal for people to regret a given choice.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
K1 wrote:
Styrix wrote:
Those both still sound like "because this is how it works" not "this is _why_ it is designed like this".

Hmm... no.

Not at all.

It seems more that you are having hard time to figure out why they decided to do that way.

It is not even armor or weapon, but both. So it was not an error of them, but a deliberately choice.

Other than pointing out their reasons, and discuss them, there is nothing else we can do.

What are those reasons then? I would honestly be interested in understanding and discussing them.

Would it have to do with requiring more powerful types of feats (ie a bigger investment) for higher proficiencies?


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thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
...unjustified penalties.
Not receiving a bonus that exists is not receiving a penalty.

It's equivalent: the rest of your group goes up and you don't. Monsters are scaling up faster than you do. Even if the number hasn't changed, you will find yourself worse at fighting, or defending, in comparison.

thenobledrake wrote:

On the earlier topic of unarmed attack proficiency scaling and how that relates to being trained in a weapon and that being fine at high levels: The ol' "I absolutely must use a spear" wizard will likely invest in potency runes for said spear, bringing the total attack modifier for it up to the same value (or even better) as the character's unarmed attack modifier.

So now - unless we are going to claim that even with scaling proficiency errata'd in unarmed strikes are non-functional without every character investing in getting item bonuses to them - we have definitely proven that being limited to trained rank only is not that big of a deal.

Is a high level fighter competent enough with a non-magical weapon? They can probably still hit quite reliably, but their damage will be really low.

This is to say, that a character that uses punches as their main melee option will absolutely need item bonuses to be functional. An adventure where said character will not have their preferred weapons or handwraps at their disposal will have to take that fact into account and employ easier enemies than usual.

And, I really don't get what you are trying to prove. That the game doesn't fall apart if characters miss a proficiency progression step? It doesn't, but it becomes harder if you don't tone down their opposition too.
Or maybe your point is just that characters making slightly unusual choices should suffer, because yes.

Unicore wrote:
Being adequate at using weapons and armor at high levels (because lets be honest, Expert isn't all that great in the first place), is design space reserved for some level of class specialization.

But literally everyone becomes expert. The general feats don't, and shouldn't, give anything more than expanding your choices: you can be as good with a thing as you are with another. But they are also the only feats (I think) that basically expire later on.

You say that the developers wanted to reserve design space... why in the higher levels only? I don't know, maybe it's true, but for sure this is a very inelegant way to get that result.


Megistone wrote:
It's equivalent

False. And I don't see you phrasing everyone except Fighters being "penalized" on their attack rolls, nor everyone but champions being "penalized" on their AC, so I'm pretty sure you know the difference between a bonus that you happen not to get and a penalty.

Megistone wrote:
And, I really don't get what you are trying to prove.

It's simple, and in two parts.

Megistone wrote:
That the game doesn't fall apart if characters miss a proficiency progression step?

Part one is this. The game works fine if you take armor proficiency or weapon proficiency, even at high levels. Your numbers will be "good enough" according to the game.

Megistone wrote:
...suffer...

Part two is that language like this is entirely out of place. People are decrying PF2 options that work and provide options that have never worked as well as they do now in prior version of PF/D&D as though they are genuinely bad, breaking the game, ruining their fun, stealing their dog, and poisoning their lunch money.

And that doesn't help anyone.

Megistone wrote:
But they are also the only feats (I think) that basically expire later on.

These feats don't actually expire... not like Canny Acumen can, at least (which I'll admit can be temporary expiration since the feat upgrades itself at 17th level. The point stands that you can take it at low level, have your class features actually make the benefit of it redundant in mid levels, and then only at significantly high level have the feat do anything again).


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Megistone wrote:

You can survive a constant -1 penalty of course, but the main reasons because you are fine starting with a 16 in your main stat are that it's a -1 only for half of your carreer, and that you have a +1 somewhere else to compensate.

A -2 is much worse, expecially if you get it in exchange for nothing just because you are levelling up. Is your PC completely gimped? Well, no, but you lag behind noticeably.

@Bandw2: I would have appreciated if the developers had clearly stated something like: "You are not supposed to step out of your class' proficiencies, unless you take dedications. The general feats for proficiency aren't meant to let a character reliably use a particular weapon or armor, and they exist only as a relatively low price option to match the requirements for dedications that may or may not exist in the future".

At that point, I would have published those general feats only when (and if) they would turn out to be useful, but at least we would have known the intention behind them.
But missing this, or any other design of mechanical reason for the general feats not scaling, I will keep hoping that it's a mistake and that it can be rectified soon.

yeah, just to throw it out there, ancestry feats to get weapon proficiencies tend to be really good.

also the wizard with 16 dex is -2 from just any class that starts out with light armor prof. a thief rogue likely has 4dex+1 armor at level 1. fighters and the like probably don't start with heavy armor due to price, but will get some pretty quickly being 3 higher.

wizards have -2 AC from what is easily acquirable by most classes if they focus on improving their AC with just dex.

if they get light armor prof at level 3 it gets to 3 from dex 2 from armor and they're fine for like 10 more levels.

so if 16 dex is probably likely for most wizards, why not 12 dex and light armor prof? it's +3 either way, but i have more HP, i'm more likely to go first in combat and better saves in general...


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Styrix wrote:
Megistone wrote:
So, if you have a concrete reason to explain why after level 11 or 13 the balance has to change, please disclose it. So far, the answers to my question have been variations of: 'that's the way it is', or 'roll another class instead'.
It seems like this has yet to be answered sufficiently.

that's because no one here speaking in the forums currently has information that could be sufficient for you.

not only that but if we did, what would that change? you'd potentially know why it is this way, but you'd still apparently be in a position you didn't think was fair.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
It's equivalent
False. And I don't see you phrasing everyone except Fighters being "penalized" on their attack rolls, nor everyone but champions being "penalized" on their AC, so I'm pretty sure you know the difference between a bonus that you happen not to get and a penalty.

It's not the same.

One thing is when your class grants you an higher proficiency than the others do. Another thing is seeing that the others progress and you don't, because of a choice you made (and paid a feat to make it work) that is not even strictly mechanically better in some other way. Your numbers don't go down, that's true, but they do if compared to the rest of your team, to your opponents, and to what your own baseline is.
This is so clear to me that I'm starting to believe that I can't express the concept well enough. So, really, this is the last time I try to.

thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
And, I really don't get what you are trying to prove.

It's simple, and in two parts.

Megistone wrote:
That the game doesn't fall apart if characters miss a proficiency progression step?
Part one is this. The game works fine if you take armor proficiency or weapon proficiency, even at high levels. Your numbers will be "good enough" according to the game.

Same as above.

thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
...suffer...

Part two is that language like this is entirely out of place. People are decrying PF2 options that work and provide options that have never worked as well as they do now in prior version of PF/D&D as though they are genuinely bad, breaking the game, ruining their fun, stealing their dog, and poisoning their lunch money.

And that doesn't help anyone.

Strong choice of a word I made there, but that's how I feel if I try to step aside my class' restrictions. If the price to pay for a bard who is devoted to Desna and likes to throw their starknife at the enemy are two class feats or a -2 to hit and damage for half their carreer, then thank you, I guess they'll just keep their shortbow.

I'm not the one who decryes PF2, for the very large part, but this is one piece of the game that makes me mad. And by the way this was a thing that did work in PF1, since proficiency was binary: take the feat, use the weapon as long as you want.
I mean, the developers did their best to make the math work flawlessly, to balance most options against each other, to have every class to perform as they are intended, to make sure that each weapon is interesting, and much more... and then the most obvious option for a common, simple character customization has a trap built in. The perfectionist in me suffers, and screams for a fix.


I am flaberghasted, to be honest.

In PF1 this "did work" because the wizard takes the feat and uses the spear... with their 1/2 BAB bonus and no spare ability score increases to boost Strength with or spare feats to pick up attack bonuses with so by level 12 their easily 8-10 points behind other more-dedicated classes in attack modifier.

And in PF 2 this wizard is made to "suffer" because their spear use is a whopping 2 points behind someone else.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:

I am flaberghasted, to be honest.

In PF1 this "did work" because the wizard takes the feat and uses the spear... with their 1/2 BAB bonus and no spare ability score increases to boost Strength with or spare feats to pick up attack bonuses with so by level 12 their easily 8-10 points behind other more-dedicated classes in attack modifier.

And in PF 2 this wizard is made to "suffer" because their spear use is a whopping 2 points behind someone else.

It did work because their melee bonus with spear was the same as staff. I would assume their spell selection would reflect their focus on the spear — Greater Heroism, Greater Magic Weapon and other spells used to fill in the gap. Sorcerers did it.

In PF2, even if they are equally selfish using their Magic only to aid their own melee they will not be doing as well.

The rules are clear. You need more than just the proficiency feats in order to go beyond Trained proficiency with weapons and armor that are not part of your class or archetype.

Personally, I wish this wasn’t true. Perhaps in the future it will not be.


BretI wrote:
It did work because their melee bonus with spear was the same as staff.

It "did work" because they sucked at weapon use no matter what they picked and had to rely on boosting their attacks with spells in order to have a reasonable chance of landing an attack.

And now it "doesn't work" because they can actually hit, even with just training, even if they don't boost their attacks with spells - but they still have some options to boost their attacks with spells so they hit more regularly and have higher critical chance, but they don't get every bonus the game offers elsewhere.

...where is logic? Anybody seen them? I miss that dude.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
BretI wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

I am flaberghasted, to be honest.

In PF1 this "did work" because the wizard takes the feat and uses the spear... with their 1/2 BAB bonus and no spare ability score increases to boost Strength with or spare feats to pick up attack bonuses with so by level 12 their easily 8-10 points behind other more-dedicated classes in attack modifier.

And in PF 2 this wizard is made to "suffer" because their spear use is a whopping 2 points behind someone else.

It did work because their melee bonus with spear was the same as staff. I would assume their spell selection would reflect their focus on the spear — Greater Heroism, Greater Magic Weapon and other spells used to fill in the gap. Sorcerers did it.

In PF2, even if they are equally selfish using their Magic only to aid their own melee they will not be doing as well.

The rules are clear. You need more than just the proficiency feats in order to go beyond Trained proficiency with weapons and armor that are not part of your class or archetype.

Personally, I wish this wasn’t true. Perhaps in the future it will not be.

lets be honest a wizard who wants to go melee, isn't carrying around a spear, they're picking up Emblem of Greed. who the hell wants to be like 5 to-hit and a ton of damage behind, when you can jsut run up to an downed enemy, take their weapon and BOOM fire glaive with like your HD in BAB or better.

people be crazy if people think melee wizard is just going to buff themself and call it a day.

and if this sounds personal it's because i've been running a melee wizard in the pf1e campaign i'm playing in.

before then, it was mostly polymorph spells with a lot of attacks in them or combining truestrike and poisons.

a wizard with a spear(in 1e), is a wizard who likely isn't using their spear but for AoO.


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The wizard with a spear is just an example. The bard with a starknife is another, but there are many more I could make.
In PF1, the general feat let you use a different weapon with the same skill you used the others; in PF2 it does... only for a while.


Megistone wrote:

The wizard with a spear is just an example. The bard with a starknife is another, but there are many more I could make.

In PF1, the general feat let you use a different weapon with the same skill you used the others; in PF2 it does... only for a while.

And don't forget you may need multiple feats to get the weapon you want.

Here's a proposal for a general feat:
<name something>
Skill Feat
Pick a simple weapon you have access to. Add it to your class list of weapon proficiencies. Then, pick 2 simple or 1 martial weapon on your class proficiency list and remove them.
From now on, you are treated as if you had the new weapon on your class list for all purposes, and as if you did not have the weapons you chose to remove.
You may also pick a martial weapon to add to your list, but then you have to select 4 simple or 2 martial weapons to remove. You must also have access to the martial weapon you selected.
You may not gain access to advanced weapons with this feat, unless they are treated as simple or martial for you (ex. due to Ancestry feat).


But the comparison makes no sense because it is, in most cases "use a weapon with almost no skill at all because of the other details involved in the equation of how good you are with a weapon" being compared to "use a weapon with sufficient skill given all the other details involved, even though that's slightly less skill than making a different choice would result in."


2 less is 'slightly less' in PF2? Really? Less chances to hit, 2 less damage from weapon specialization (or 4 if you would get greater), and in some cases no critical specialization that you would get with other weapons. Let's see how 'slight' it is. I'll guess we are around 25-30% less damage output.

But even if it really was slight, there wouldn't still be a valid reason to have that, besides 'because someone decided so'. Which, in a game with so much effort on offering a large variety of character builds with equally valid options is, at the very least, enough to ask for an explanation.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Megistone wrote:

The wizard with a spear is just an example. The bard with a starknife is another, but there are many more I could make.

In PF1, the general feat let you use a different weapon with the same skill you used the others; in PF2 it does... only for a while.

right, but if you noticed none of the option i listed as taking required a feat to use or were weapons. giving a weapon to a wizard regardless of proficiency just was super in effective unless you were like true striking a con poison at someone or something.

a wizard with proficiency in pf1e is likely 4-6 behind at level 2 or so due to strength and bab, and it only gets worse as you level. my melee wizard was where we rolled for stats and i got really lucky with my rolls and so he had decent physical stats and 18 int.

being only at a -2 still means you can use it in combat, being at like -8 or so, not so much.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bandw2 wrote:
Megistone wrote:

The wizard with a spear is just an example. The bard with a starknife is another, but there are many more I could make.

In PF1, the general feat let you use a different weapon with the same skill you used the others; in PF2 it does... only for a while.

right, but if you noticed none of the option i listed as taking required a feat to use or were weapons. giving a weapon to a wizard regardless of proficiency just was super in effective unless you were like true striking a con poison at someone or something.

a wizard with proficiency in pf1e is likely 4-6 behind at level 2 or so due to strength and bab, and it only gets worse as you level. my melee wizard was where we rolled for stats and i got really lucky with my rolls and so he had decent physical stats and 18 int.

being only at a -2 still means you can use it in combat, being at like -8 or so, not so much.

That wizards have better to hit in PF2 isn't really relevant. That's not the problem.

The issue is that the tiered proficiency of PF2 climbs for everyone at a certain level, varying on class. Expert becomes the new baseline. But if you opted into an armor (hey, original topic) or weapon that wasn't part of the original package, you either have to invest twice as much (including a potential multiclass) or enjoy substandard stats.

And maybe some people would be fine with taking that hit so they could have their flavor, but it can really hurt enjoyment knowing that you would be mechanically better if you just got back in your lane and didn't aspire to be different.


Megistone wrote:
2 less is 'slightly less' in PF2? Really?

Yes. If 2 less were an insurmountable obstacle, the game wouldn't have Fighters start 2 points ahead of everyone else, and wouldn't have various built-in ways in which one character option is 2 (or even 4) points off from other character options.

Megistone wrote:
there wouldn't still be a valid reason to have that, besides 'because someone decided so'. Which, in a game with so much effort on offering a large variety of character builds with equally valid options is, at the very least, enough to ask for an explanation.

The explanation is that this is a class-based game, so anything that is a feature of one or more classes can't be too freely given to other classes.

Since using weapons (and armor, but we've gotten away from that part of the discussion) is a part of class identity, giving weapon options out has to be limited in some way.

The ways provided, and their limits, are a general feat with no strings attached that only provides the barest of functionality - it's enough to be a viable part of a character, but not even approaching optimal. And a multi-class dedication feat for the class that's identity matches the thing desired to do, which has strings attached in the form of requirements to meet and role-playing implications.

So you have the equally valid, while not equally optimal, options to be a wizard that happens to have picked up some extra weapon training, or a wizard/fighter - and you even get to decide how deep you want to go on that fighter part, unlike some prior multi-classing systems that this sort of game has had.


BretI wrote:

The rules are clear. You need more than just the proficiency feats in order to go beyond Trained proficiency with weapons and armor that are not part of your class or archetype.

Personally, I wish this wasn’t true. Perhaps in the future it will not be.

What are some of reasons you wish it wasn't true?


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Kasoh wrote:


The issue is that the tiered proficiency of PF2 climbs for everyone at a certain level, varying on class. Expert becomes the new baseline. But if you opted into an armor (hey, original topic) or weapon that wasn't part of the original package, you either have to invest twice as much (including a potential multiclass) or enjoy substandard stats.

the situation is no different for a wizard with 2 lower strength, if you're making this investment you likely have the strength to pull it off, if you're going armor, you likely don't have the dex to keep your AC up anyway.

i've gone over this, but most of the time, you're already enjoying having substandard stats in the categories these feats overcome.

Kasoh wrote:
And maybe some people would be fine with taking that hit so they could have their flavor, but it can really hurt enjoyment knowing that you would be mechanically better if you just got back in your lane and didn't aspire to be different.

there are always mechanically better options if you do any sort of character, so you always have to deal with this, there just isn't a large sign saying "you're not an expert".


thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
2 less is 'slightly less' in PF2? Really?
Yes. If 2 less were an insurmountable obstacle, the game wouldn't have Fighters start 2 points ahead of everyone else, and wouldn't have various built-in ways in which one character option is 2 (or even 4) points off from other character options.

I wouldn't say that fighters hit 'slightly' better than other martials, the difference is rather big. But whatever.

thenobledrake wrote:
Megistone wrote:
there wouldn't still be a valid reason to have that, besides 'because someone decided so'. Which, in a game with so much effort on offering a large variety of character builds with equally valid options is, at the very least, enough to ask for an explanation.

The explanation is that this is a class-based game, so anything that is a feature of one or more classes can't be too freely given to other classes.

Since using weapons (and armor, but we've gotten away from that part of the discussion) is a part of class identity, giving weapon options out has to be limited in some way.

The ways provided, and their limits, are a general feat with no strings attached that only provides the barest of functionality - it's enough to be a viable part of a character, but not even approaching optimal. And a multi-class dedication feat for the class that's identity matches the thing desired to do, which has strings attached in the form of requirements to meet and role-playing implications.

So you have the equally valid, while not equally optimal, options to be a wizard that happens to have picked up some extra weapon training, or a wizard/fighter - and you even get to decide how deep you want to go on that fighter part, unlike some prior multi-classing systems that this sort of game has had.

This is a valid point of view, and that's why in a previous post I said that I would appreciate if Paizo clearly stated that this is their intention, and that the proficiency general feats are not meant to be used on their own, being instead just a way to match the requirements for potential future archtypes.

Still, I wouldn't have printed them until they were needed, because offering options that fall apart at some point in the future goes against the elegant design that almost everything else in the game follows.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Styrix wrote:
BretI wrote:

The rules are clear. You need more than just the proficiency feats in order to go beyond Trained proficiency with weapons and armor that are not part of your class or archetype.

Personally, I wish this wasn’t true. Perhaps in the future it will not be.

What are some of reasons you wish it wasn't true?

It limits viable character concepts.

I tend to play a variety of characters of different races. In home games, I will often let others pick what classes they are playing and then create a character that either has good synergy with at least one of the other characters or fills in a perceived hole in the group capabilities.

I like going outside the normal bounds of a character, and want options for doing so. Class archetypes (and in the future other archetypes) provide some of that, but even if it gives the correct mechanical effect not all archetypes fit all character concepts. Having more than one way to achieve a particular mechanical effect allows you to choose the method that best fits the character concept.


Why does Paizo need to clearly state that this is their intention? They've made it clear enough by it being clearly the case - as I got the "valid point of view" from reading what Paizo published, not from pulling it out of my nether-regions.

And the idea that the proficiency general feats aren't meant to be used on their own is absolute nonsense. The feats work just fine on their own - someone not thinking they are "worth it" doesn't mean that they genuinely aren't: if that were how things worked, the cleric class wouldn't even be in the book because I know of plenty of people with no interest in ever playing one.

The options provided do not "fall apart" just because they don't match your expectations that are built from being overly focused on a single piece of a larger puzzle.

I kind of agree with one tiny bit here though: the game would be just fine without any option to blur the lines of a character's class identity.

What's different is that I think it's nice that Paizo included the option for people that want it, and in more than one way even, rather than choosing to be upset at what boils down to "that's how class-based games have to be, or they wouldn't be class-based."

Liberty's Edge

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I think choosing a specific unusual weapon or armor and investing in it to actually make it as efficient as those usual to your class is worthwhile. What I would really dislike would be to have to give up on such an unusual choice after a certain level because there would be no way to invest in it and further improve it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
I think choosing a specific unusual weapon or armor and investing in it to actually make it as efficient as those usual to your class is worthwhile. What I would really dislike would be to have to give up on such an unusual choice after a certain level because there would be no way to invest in it and further improve it.

Well, there are options, they're just expensive, and you don't have to give up either.


I don't think that Paizo's intention is clear on this matter.
The general feats printed as they are could easily be a piece of the game that wasn't reviewed after they changed another: if I remember correctly, the 'pure casters' didn't get expert with weapons during the playtest. The errata on unarmed proficiency and the resulting broken mutagenist is proof that things like this can happen.

The other doubt I have is that if the developers didn't want characters using equipment that is not baseline for their class, why would they allow them to be on par with the others up to level 10? What is the reason to give the option, but limit it this way?
If they wanted general feats to only give a modicum of skill with weapons and armors, they could have printed them differently. For example, making them add your level to related rolls, even though you remained untrained; then at level 11, maybe, grant fully trained proficiency.
Now THAT would have been a clear sign of their intentions.

Lastly, I really can't get behind your defense of rules as they are. Letting characters be fully competent when they make a flavor choice that is already sub-optimal (because it requires resources that could go elsewhere) would only be good for the game, allowing for a larger variety of builds. So, what is it?


thenobledrake wrote:

Why does Paizo need to clearly state that this is their intention? They've made it clear enough by it being clearly the case - as I got the "valid point of view" from reading what Paizo published, not from pulling it out of my nether-regions.

And the idea that the proficiency general feats aren't meant to be used on their own is absolute nonsense. The feats work just fine on their own - someone not thinking they are "worth it" doesn't mean that they genuinely aren't: if that were how things worked, the cleric class wouldn't even be in the book because I know of plenty of people with no interest in ever playing one.

The options provided do not "fall apart" just because they don't match your expectations that are built from being overly focused on a single piece of a larger puzzle.

I kind of agree with one tiny bit here though: the game would be just fine without any option to blur the lines of a character's class identity.

What's different is that I think it's nice that Paizo included the option for people that want it, and in more than one way even, rather than choosing to be upset at what boils down to "that's how class-based games have to be, or they wouldn't be class-based."

There's also the fact that if someone starts with plate, their dex won't be capped for the medium armor, putting them on par with the medium armor if not 1 ac lower than before. If I recall, expert unarmored only wins over trained heavy at around level 15 when you can get min-maxed Dex, and expert medium is pretty much on par with trained heavy.

If it was master unarmored/medium, that'd be another story.
It's kind of interesting and concerning how much fuss is made over this when the biggest difference between Expert unarmored/medium and trained heavy is at most +2AC.

Personally I paid the feats because it fit my vision of a caster in full plate.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:


It's kind of interesting and concerning how much fuss is made over this when the biggest difference between Expert unarmored/medium and trained heavy is at most +2AC.

A difference of 2 AC also changes how often you are Crit hit.

In the big fights, you are already getting hit more than 50% of the time. Increasing their Crit range will cause you to take much more damage and potentially some Crit specials.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
It's kind of interesting and concerning how much fuss is made over this when the biggest difference between Expert unarmored/medium and trained heavy is at most +2AC.

My largest objection is that it doesn't make sense that if you use Heavy Armor that you become an expert in Medium armor, that you might not have ever used or not used in a very long time.


Kasoh wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
It's kind of interesting and concerning how much fuss is made over this when the biggest difference between Expert unarmored/medium and trained heavy is at most +2AC.
My largest objection is that it doesn't make sense that if you use Heavy Armor that you become an expert in Medium armor, that you might not have ever used or not used in a very long time.

This is a complaint against a class based proficiency system as opposed to a purely experience based proficiency system. Both types of games exist, but PF2 is built around class defining your proficiencies, with a little bit of early flexibility enabled through general feats. This prevents you from having to keep track of what skills/weapons/armor you have been using, as well as focusing all of your character's development into over-specializations that plague experience based proficiency systems.

Personally, I think PF2 has done an exceptional job of threading the needle of giving you options, but emphasizing class in defining what a character is. Part of how this is accomplished is by letting you invest class feats in abilities and proficiencies that fall outside of your initial class decision. Class feats are the right place for advanced character flexibility to develop. Personally, I am fine with the General feats existing for the most basic level of proficiency, as that is necessary for a lot of interesting archetype and MC builds, but if the early General feats make it feel like there are too many trap options, another feasible house rule would be to not allow those early general feat proficiency grabs.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Megistone wrote:
I don't think that Paizo's intention is clear on this matter.

I think it is pretty clear. Right now expert in weapons and armor are locked behind the highest level feat in the archetypes that grant them.

Allowing general feats to replicate that would render those archetypes (or at least the proficiency feats in them) relatively pointless and would only create a new problem.

As it is support for spear wielding wizards (or whatever) clearly exists. As noted, you can take the general feat, which works fine for low to mid-level campaigns, or you can pursue an archetype if you wish to progress beyond. Retraining feats are even built into the system to facilitate more flexibility.

At this point, fixing the general armor and weapon feats just seems like a solution in search of a problem to me.


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The_Hanged_Man wrote:
Megistone wrote:
I don't think that Paizo's intention is clear on this matter.

I think it is pretty clear. Right now expert in weapons and armor are locked behind the highest level feat in the archetypes that grant them.

Allowing general feats to replicate that would render those archetypes (or at least the proficiency feats in them) relatively pointless and would only create a new problem.

I'm unconvinced. The two general feats and the fighter dedication one were probably there before they decided to grant expert proficiency to every class, and it could well be that they weren't reviewed.

Now, the developers could easily just leave everything as it is, but not fixing two broken feats because then you would have to fix another one isn't how I would handle this thing.

The_Hanged_Man wrote:

As it is support for spear wielding wizards (or whatever) clearly exists. As noted, you can take the general feat, which works fine for low to mid-level campaigns, or you can pursue an archetype if you wish to progress beyond. Retraining feats are even built into the system to facilitate more flexibility.

At this point, fixing the general armor and weapon feats just seems like a solution in search of a problem to me.

Maybe you don't have this problem, but some players will. And solving it wouldn't do any harm to your playstyle.

This is being contrary for the sake of it.


These feats are not broken. Them not doing what you want them to do does not prove them broken.

And it has nothing to do with "harm to your playstyle." It is harm to a class-based game to make the lines between different class identities less defined.

A multi-class arrangement can't give you as good of treats within the class identity you are adding on to your original class as are given to that class. That means the multi-class feats can't make you as good with weapons as any weapon-use-focused class is. So no multi-class feats going to master proficiency or better.

A general option that doesn't include any class flavor can't give you as good of treats within a class identity as adding that class to your character would do. That means no getting expert proficiency in things that belong to another class's identity without strings attached. So no general feats going to expert proficiency.

because this is how class-based games stay class-based.

It's okay to not like this aspect of class-based game design. But it is "being contrary for the sake of it" to call this aspect of class-based game design "broken" because you don't like it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Megistone wrote:
The_Hanged_Man wrote:
Megistone wrote:
I don't think that Paizo's intention is clear on this matter.

I think it is pretty clear. Right now expert in weapons and armor are locked behind the highest level feat in the archetypes that grant them.

Allowing general feats to replicate that would render those archetypes (or at least the proficiency feats in them) relatively pointless and would only create a new problem.

I'm unconvinced. The two general feats and the fighter dedication one were probably there before they decided to grant expert proficiency to every class, and it could well be that they weren't reviewed.

Now, the developers could easily just leave everything as it is, but not fixing two broken feats because then you would have to fix another one isn't how I would handle this thing.

Yes, they potentially could have overlooked that in the Core Rulebook, but there are already supplements that continue the same philosophy of expert proficiency in archetypes (Hell Knight & Knight Vigilant in Lost Omens CG). I suspect the ship has sailed at this point as I expect future archetypes to continue support expert in weapon and armor proficiency and I don't think they would undermine that by making a general feat that does the same thing.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

for a little bit of history on the subject, i believe back in the playtest, you had weapons/armor give you an item bonus of 1-5, they removed that and instead everyone gets expert at level 13 or so.

so the question is, did these feats need to be upped to also fit into this change to attack items...


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thenobledrake wrote:

These feats are not broken. Them not doing what you want them to do does not prove them broken.

And it has nothing to do with "harm to your playstyle." It is harm to a class-based game to make the lines between different class identities less defined.

A multi-class arrangement can't give you as good of treats within the class identity you are adding on to your original class as are given to that class. That means the multi-class feats can't make you as good with weapons as any weapon-use-focused class is. So no multi-class feats going to master proficiency or better.

A general option that doesn't include any class flavor can't give you as good of treats within a class identity as adding that class to your character would do. That means no getting expert proficiency in things that belong to another class's identity without strings attached. So no general feats going to expert proficiency.

because this is how class-based games stay class-based.

It's okay to not like this aspect of class-based game design. But it is "being contrary for the sake of it" to call this aspect of class-based game design "broken" because you don't like it.

I don't see how 'using a different weapon of comparable power for flavor and *maybe* some synergy with other abilities' is something that makes a character step on other classes' toes.

And I find rather strange that this aspect of class-based design is only enforced since level 11.

Bandw2 wrote:

for a little bit of history on the subject, i believe back in the playtest, you had weapons/armor give you an item bonus of 1-5, they removed that and instead everyone gets expert at level 13 or so.

so the question is, did these feats need to be upped to also fit into this change to attack items...

This is an interesting point of view, and I would love to have an informed answer.


Except you don’t get a general feat until lvl 3,or through ancestry, which can already grant different levels of proficiency. By itself, the wizard is offset from picking up training in armor or a new weapon for a few levels.

Again, the developers decided to open up “trained” as a category because it is a hard stop between, “this idea is possible, or not” not “this idea is growing sub par without class investment. “

I do understand wondering about the decision to boost all non-skill class proficiencies to expert at a certain point, but that is still happening as a class feature, not a general character development. There are just no character classes that are not proficient in certain things at this point, making it feel more like a general thing than a class thing.


Megistone wrote:
I don't see how 'using a different weapon of comparable power for flavor and *maybe* some synergy with other abilities' is something that makes a character step on other classes' toes.

What weapons a character is capable of using is part of class identity.

Just like which spell list(s) a class has access to.

That's the entire reason why classes have different default weapon proficiencies and why different spell lists exist instead of just letting every class pick whatever they want.

Megistone wrote:
And I find rather strange that this aspect of class-based design is only enforced since level 11.

It is enforced throughout, actually - you have to buy the use of an out-of-class weapon with a feat, after all.

Also, keep in mind that the game's general proficiency scale starts compressed into untrained through expert at low levels, so classes that eventually get master proficiency with weapons and those that only rise to expert proficiency start out the same - so it's not a special circumstance of the weapon proficiency feat that something the same to start becomes different later.

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