Improving Armor proficiency


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I see there are feats to get the trained proficiency in armor but there does not seem to be a way to improve that proficiency aside from what your class normally allows. The only potential exception would be the normal skill proficiency improvements that you get but I think that might be stretching the rules.

Does anyone see how to improve the armor proficiency of a character outside of class?


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Champion, Hellknight, and Hellknight Signifer dedications get you to expert with a feat.


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Paradozen wrote:
Champion, Hellknight, and Hellknight Signifer dedications get you to expert with a feat.

The Knight Reclaimant archetype also has a feat that gives you expert in heavy armor.


Future Archetypes could also go to Expert, possibly in just Light/Medium unlike ones Paradozen mentioned (which also grant Heavy),
but if non-Heavy Expert Proficiency is offered by Archetype (say Rogue Multiclass servicing low DEX/high STR Ruffian niche)
I would expect further benefits because unlike Expert Heavy, Expert Light/Medium don't really offer better AC in big picture.

Outside of Heavy Armor, Unarmored/Light/Medium have same AC cap for given Proficiency (assuming hitting DEX cap).
And with 4x stat boost at Level 1/5/10/15/20, even just 12 starting DEX is only 1 below the UA/L/M AC cap at Level 15.
Everybody gets Expert Unarmored, so Expert Light/Medium isn't really about AC advantage as much as stats and unique armors/runes,
with Trained Light/Medium/Heavy serving as transitional or temporary "training wheels" until you fill out DEX more.
Anything above Expert seems to be reserved for actual base Classes to distinguish them, so don't worry about competing there.

So I don't think there is reason to worry too much about this just for vanilla AC value: the math takes care of itself w/ +Level,
unless you are aiming for unique armors/runes or specific low DEX build in favor of other 2ndary stats (e.g. STR/CHA).
The mentioned Archetypes certainly do yield AC advantage with Expert Heavy, but even without them,
just Trained Heavy is reasonably competitive with Expert Unarmored/Light/Medium (same AC cap) in terms of vanilla AC.
(even if Expert Unarmored may eventually pull ahead by 1 when you get 20 DEX (+5 cap), Heavy still has Fortification Runes)

It seems in 2E it's completely normal for characters to use different types of armor at different points in their "career",
even max DEX archer fighters probably preferring Heavy Armor once they meet the STR req for it (or possibly even if they don't),
so don't feel like you need to Expert Light/Medium at high levels, as I said the AC cap is same as Unarmored.


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PrimalWyld wrote:
The only potential exception would be the normal skill proficiency improvements that you get but I think that might be stretching the rules.

That would not just be stretching the rules, it would be breaking them.


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It seems like a design error that it's expected for you to retrain out of the armor proficiency feat. Hopefully they'll add some way for characters to increase to expert (simply having an expert armor proficiency feat, which requires an armor proficiency feat, but also having such a feat in rogue, and whatever else gives armor prof).

Imagine wearing plate for 10 levels, and suddenly you're an expert in medium (war priest).

Sure, the cleric could just go champion, but then why have the armor prof feat in the first place?


Bast L. wrote:
Imagine wearing plate for 10 levels, and suddenly you're an expert in medium (war priest).

I don't have any problem imagining that. It is appropriate for somebody either getting more Dextrous in general, or specifically regarding combat defensiveness in more DEX-orientated armor (Medium or Light). I think there is just tendency to view characters defined by their gear/build, and expect to only get better at that schtick. Of course your AC never drops, in fact always advances, it is just question of what is relatively best at any given level. I don't have a problem with that changing at different points in somebody's career, even when it is getting better at "lesser" (more dextrous) armor.


Till expert could be ok, allowing those who doesn’t want to invest in dex to have a -1 armor compared to their master proficiency in light/medium.

But expert must be the cap.

The only classes allowed to go further with heavy armors are champions and fighters.


Ventnor wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Champion, Hellknight, and Hellknight Signifer dedications get you to expert with a feat.
The Knight Reclaimant archetype also has a feat that gives you expert in heavy armor.

Which feat is that? I can't seem to find anything indicating that, but maybe I'm missing something obvious.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Pounce wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Champion, Hellknight, and Hellknight Signifer dedications get you to expert with a feat.
The Knight Reclaimant archetype also has a feat that gives you expert in heavy armor.
Which feat is that? I can't seem to find anything indicating that, but maybe I'm missing something obvious.

I think he meant the Knight in Shining Armor feat from Knight Vigilant.


Here's my suggestion:

The Paizo team has stated that there will be feats and even whole archetypes that are specific to a given adventure or adventure path. This is part of PF2 design.

It is NOT against "the rules" to talk with your GM about the kind of character you want to make and work with your DM to create an archetype to get you what you need using existing archetypes as a model. You guys can suss out whats balanced for your character/party/campaign and so on. This will not only get you the mechanical bits you want but will also better tie you into the story.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Quandary wrote:
Bast L. wrote:
Imagine wearing plate for 10 levels, and suddenly you're an expert in medium (war priest).
I don't have any problem imagining that. It is appropriate for somebody either getting more Dextrous in general, or specifically regarding combat defensiveness in more DEX-orientated armor (Medium or Light). I think there is just tendency to view characters defined by their gear/build, and expect to only get better at that schtick. Of course your AC never drops, in fact always advances, it is just question of what is relatively best at any given level. I don't have a problem with that changing at different points in somebody's career, even when it is getting better at "lesser" (more dextrous) armor.

If you're wearing heavy armor, its probably because you want to wear heavy armor. Or don't want to put points in Dex. Becoming better at wearing an armor you've never used to the point it surpasses the armor you are actively wearing and should be getting better at using is dumb.


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Kasoh wrote:
Becoming better at wearing an armor you've never used to the point it surpasses the armor you are actively wearing and should be getting better at using is dumb.

In order for medium armor to "surpass" heavy armor for a character that is embracing the use of heavy armor (by which I mean is not investing in Dexterity), the proficiency level with medium armor needs to become 2 ranks higher than that for heavy.

Otherwise you've just got a character that can have the same AC in full plate or in a breast plate, and is probably choosing to stick with the full plate for the bulwark feature.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Becoming better at wearing an armor you've never used to the point it surpasses the armor you are actively wearing and should be getting better at using is dumb.

In order for medium armor to "surpass" heavy armor for a character that is embracing the use of heavy armor (by which I mean is not investing in Dexterity), the proficiency level with medium armor needs to become 2 ranks higher than that for heavy.

Otherwise you've just got a character that can have the same AC in full plate or in a breast plate, and is probably choosing to stick with the full plate for the bulwark feature.

If we assume most characters won't intentionally have lower AC, then they put one attribute increase in dex at 10th, since they know the AC penalty for wearing full plate is coming (and who says they weren't wearing half-plate the whole time, with a +1 dex bonus?). So really, it just comes back to: the feat loses its utility at 13th level.

Really, all of the proficiency increases should be for the armors and weapons you're trained in. Unfortunately, since the ancestries and champion dedication have those as feats, I doubt this sensible fix will come anytime soon.

Similarly, rogue dedication gives light armor, which you throw away at 13th level as a wizard. At least you can have 20 dex at 15th, so it's not much loss.


It seems very disingenuous to me to talk about a character that is deliberately built toward eventually using medium armor as if it were one that is trying to stick to heavy armor.

Plain and simple, if you are paying the costs to make medium armor better but then you also spend the cost to use heavy armor instead, that's a you thing, not a the game thing.


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What's disingenuous? Using half-plate? Or deciding that since you have to switch to medium to keep up, you'll take a dex boost?


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If you set up your stats so that medium armor would eventually be better for you - i.e. you aren't sticking at zero dex investment - it's disingenuous to say you're trying to use heavy armor to get your AC instead.

As is phrasing "you can have the same AC if you switch to medium armor if you get higher proficiency with it and boost dex" as "you have to switch to medium to keep up." You don't have to do that any more than you have to spend a feat on using armor your class isn't normally known for using - it's an option, not a requirement.


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So the problem is, you're still ignoring the possibility of someone using half plate, and you're ignoring the main idea here: heavy armor proficiency loses its primary benefit of granting you a +1 AC at 13th level. Yes, you have to pay something, a +1 dex boost, to get the greater AC (though that's again assuming you weren't wearing half-plate, which is not entirely unreasonable for someone like an elf cleric with under 16 str), but this becomes necessary, if you want to keep the best AC you can get (which makes sense, for a war priest).

To be sure, you could ignore that AC, and enjoy the increased bulk and speed penalty of heavy armor, but I think if we're talking about being disingenuous, suggesting someone would do so may be an example.

It's a design flaw to have deprecating armor and weapon feats, and to require that war priests get champion dedication if they want to have better defense after level 13. If it's unbalanced for it to increase, was it unbalanced that they had +1 AC for the first 12 levels? If it's not, shouldn't it increase?


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I think ideally, I'd just nix diverse armor expert and the like, then include a level 15 general feat that improves any armor you are trained (or better) in to the proficiency granted by your class instead. (or a level 11 one, to prevent any dead air at 13, and 14) Maybe make those dedication feats give armor specialization or something instead.


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Bast L. wrote:
So the problem is, you're still ignoring the possibility of someone using half plate...

No, I'm ignoring the nonsensical hypothetical situation of a player of a class that doesn't normally have heavy armor proficiency taking a 12 Dexterity, looking at the armor chart in the equipment chapter, and knowing that their class will eventually get higher rank in proficiency with medium armor and saying "clearly, heavy armor proficiency is a feat for me."

Might as well be complaining that the weapon proficiency feat doesn't do anything for the fighter class - not every feat is for every character, and some feats (armor proficiency, for example) are for very specific characters. It's not "i spent a feat to improve my character's defense." It's "I spent a feat to mitigate the effect of my choice to otherwise have terrible defense."


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

idk it does feel strange to say you're building for medium armor at 13 and then complain the feat no longer is useful to you...

you specifically changed up your build at level 10 to facilitate the feat becoming useless. he's obviously making effort to get better at lighter armor for several levels so when 13th rolls around, it's not a surprise, it's a planned change of equipment for your character.

it's not like he's suddenly better at medium armor, he's had too much dexterity for his armor for 3 levels...

I would change the feats to be like this

Armor Proficiency- feat 1
You become trained in light and medium armor. if you were already trained in light armor, you become trained in medium and heavy armor. if you are trained in all 3, raise your armor proficiency for medium and heavy armor to the level your class provides at your current level to light armor.
Special, you can select this feat more than once. each time you increase your proficiency in armor as described above.


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If they're building for Medium armor at level 13 only because their proficiencies won't support the option that they'd wanted to pursue instead (Heavy armor), that's a choice under duress and it's not disingenuous to call it that. Calling it disingenuous is like saying the one-armed lady in Jigsaw had the equally valid choice to not cut her arm off and die in the trap instead and therefore shouldn't complain.

I mean, yes, it is totally nonsensical for a player to look at the proficiencies their class grants, see that those proficiencies neither include whichever category of armor they want to use instead nor include proficiency improvements thereof, see a feat that does grant proficiency in that category of armor (but only to trained and no further), and expect to get to use that feat only to have to eventually build in the imagination-curbing, mandated direction the class originally required. Not the player's expectations but how the game dangles that false choice in the first place (alternatively, how it fails to simply let that false choice be a genuine one instead).

Again, how did the elegant simplicity of "everyone and their grandmother is allowed to just use a shield, period" make it into this game?


Tectorman wrote:
If they're building for Medium armor at level 13 only because their proficiencies won't support the option that they'd wanted to pursue instead (Heavy armor), that's a choice under duress and it's not disingenuous to call it that.

If you build for heavy armor usage and not medium armor usage, trained proficiency is better or at least just as good for you as medium will be unless your class gets master proficiency in medium armor.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
If they're building for Medium armor at level 13 only because their proficiencies won't support the option that they'd wanted to pursue instead (Heavy armor), that's a choice under duress and it's not disingenuous to call it that.
If you build for heavy armor usage and not medium armor usage, trained proficiency is better or at least just as good for you as medium will be unless your class gets master proficiency in medium armor.

Unless I missed something, building for and getting expert in Medium gives you a higher AC than Building for Heavy at just trained.

Breastplate is +4 armor, +1 dex, +4 Prof.
Fullplate is +6 armor, +0 Dex, +2 Prof.

Runes and Level should wash, so Expert in Medium gives better AC than Trained in Heavy.


Kasoh wrote:


Unless I missed something, building for and getting expert in Medium gives you a higher AC than Building for Heavy at just trained.

Breastplate is +4 armor, +1 dex, +4 Prof.
Fullplate is +6 armor, +0 Dex, +2 Prof.

Runes and Level should wash, so Expert in Medium gives better AC than Trained in Heavy.

You're not missing something, you are illustrating the point I am making: if you build for medium armor as a medium armor-having class, you'll get better AC out of it and be "wasting" the feat for heavy armor profiency

However, if you build for heavy armor even though your class doesn't naturally get it, your AC will be just as good in heavy armor as it otherwise would be in medium and you get to put the points you would have put into Dex somewhere else.

Because then breastplate would be +4 armor, +0 dex, +4 prof and Full plate would be +6 armor, +0 dex, and +2 prof, both totaling 8.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Kasoh wrote:


Unless I missed something, building for and getting expert in Medium gives you a higher AC than Building for Heavy at just trained.

Breastplate is +4 armor, +1 dex, +4 Prof.
Fullplate is +6 armor, +0 Dex, +2 Prof.

Runes and Level should wash, so Expert in Medium gives better AC than Trained in Heavy.

You're not missing something, you are illustrating the point I am making: if you build for medium armor as a medium armor-having class, you'll get better AC out of it and be "wasting" the feat for heavy armor profiency

However, if you build for heavy armor even though your class doesn't naturally get it, your AC will be just as good in heavy armor as it otherwise would be in medium and you get to put the points you would have put into Dex somewhere else.

Because then breastplate would be +4 armor, +0 dex, +4 prof and Full plate would be +6 armor, +0 dex, and +2 prof, both totaling 8.

That the class is a medium armor wearing class is wholly irrelevant. First and foremost, the character is a heavy armor wearing class, as determined by the facts that A) I decided I wanted the character to be wearing heavy armor, B) the game provided a heavy armor proficiency feat to facilitate exactly that, and C) I spent a feat for it. That is the building that I'm doing for my heavy armor wearing character.

Except, the maximum potential AC I can get isn't +8 (never minding level and item bonuses) in both cases, it's +8 with the equipment I want to be using (and was a choice I was told the game would be backing by the existence of said feat) and +9 with the equipment I spent a feat to NOT be using. True, that potential is only achieved by me using an ability boost for Dex which I don't have to do, but by that logic, Lady Can't-Clap didn't have to lop off an arm in Jigsaw's trap.


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You are choosing your investments though. You can choose Heavy Armor and zero dex investment, or you can choose dex investment which makes medium armor better - and if that's a problem, it's a "I want to have my cake and eat it too" kind of problem.

Taking a feat to be proficient in heavy armor has given your character exactly what it advertised: you can wear heavy armor effectively.

What it never said was that doing so would give you even better AC than you could get with different investment choices, so that not being the case isn't anything wrong - it's just an unfounded expectation not being met.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Tectorman wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
Kasoh wrote:


Unless I missed something, building for and getting expert in Medium gives you a higher AC than Building for Heavy at just trained.

Breastplate is +4 armor, +1 dex, +4 Prof.
Fullplate is +6 armor, +0 Dex, +2 Prof.

Runes and Level should wash, so Expert in Medium gives better AC than Trained in Heavy.

You're not missing something, you are illustrating the point I am making: if you build for medium armor as a medium armor-having class, you'll get better AC out of it and be "wasting" the feat for heavy armor profiency

However, if you build for heavy armor even though your class doesn't naturally get it, your AC will be just as good in heavy armor as it otherwise would be in medium and you get to put the points you would have put into Dex somewhere else.

Because then breastplate would be +4 armor, +0 dex, +4 prof and Full plate would be +6 armor, +0 dex, and +2 prof, both totaling 8.

That the class is a medium armor wearing class is wholly irrelevant. First and foremost, the character is a heavy armor wearing class, as determined by the facts that A) I decided I wanted the character to be wearing heavy armor, B) the game provided a heavy armor proficiency feat to facilitate exactly that, and C) I spent a feat for it. That is the building that I'm doing for my heavy armor wearing character.

Except, the maximum potential AC I can get isn't +8 (never minding level and item bonuses) in both cases, it's +8 with the equipment I want to be using (and was a choice I was told the game would be backing by the existence of said feat) and +9 with the equipment I spent a feat to NOT be using. True, that potential is only achieved by me using an ability boost for Dex which I don't have to do, but by that logic, Lady Can't-Clap didn't have to lop off an arm in Jigsaw's trap.

what you're missing is the goal of wearing heavy armor and having the highest AC possible are not the same goal. It depends on which is actually more important to you.

you either make a change (in this specific situation) to continue going for the highest AC and gain +2 dex at level 10, and retrain the feat at 13th level, or you continue wearing fullplate using your ability boosts in other locations.

this is assuming you don't go champion or Hellknight, which lets you get expert in fullplate.

the point is, there are options, but none are as simple as just taking a general feat.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
your AC will be just as good in heavy armor as it otherwise would be in medium and you get to put the points you would have put into Dex somewhere else.

Except that it isn't. Medium armor gets you better AC, and the points you didn't put in Dex probably went into STR to meet the 18 STR heavy armor threshold.

thenobledrake wrote:
What it never said was that doing so would give you even better AC than you could get with different investment choices, so that not being the case isn't anything wrong - it's just an unfounded expectation not being met.

It seems counter intuitive that choosing to invest in Heavy Armor doesn't provide better AC over the medium armors.

And it also seems strange that the only way to get really better at armor is to multi class.


Kasoh wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
your AC will be just as good in heavy armor as it otherwise would be in medium and you get to put the points you would have put into Dex somewhere else.

Except that it isn't. Medium armor gets you better AC, and the points you didn't put in Dex probably went into STR to meet the 18 STR heavy armor threshold.

thenobledrake wrote:
What it never said was that doing so would give you even better AC than you could get with different investment choices, so that not being the case isn't anything wrong - it's just an unfounded expectation not being met.

It seems counter intuitive that choosing to invest in Heavy Armor doesn't provide better AC over the medium armors.

And it also seems strange that the only way to get really better at armor is to multi class.

Medium armor does not give better AC unless you boost your dexterity - a thing which there isn't any reason to do if your intention is to use heavy armor.

While it may be "counter intuitive" that investing in heavy armor doesn't guarantee a better AC, that's the case with all armor options in PF2 - with the appropriate ability score investment investment all armors are meant to be equal (excepting that heavy armor has a higher item bonus + dexterity cap combo in exchange for reduced movement speed).

Sovereign Court

So right now, in the short run, heavy armor gives most classes the highest possible AC, but in the long run, there is profit in a pivot back to whatever armor your class normally is typecast for.

Also, runes can be transferred from one armor to another.

Also, you can retrain out of heavy armor proficiency.

---

So here's the options available right now:

A) Start out with heavy armor and low Dex, boost Dex over level 5 and 10 upgrades, and by level 13 or so when your lighter armor proficiencies get better than Heavy, move runes and retrain.

B) Wait for more feats that make this easier.

C) House rules.

Option A is good if you're playing a fast campaign, option B for a slow campaign. Given the speed at which PFS scenario tiers are going up, I'm betting B will work fine for PFS and you shouldn't worry too much about it.


They are fine, and they are meant to be balanced around all the classes.

Monk and champ will be tier 1

Fighters will be tier 2

All the other combat classes will be tier 3

All spellcasters will be tier 4

You can exploit by taking a dedication which let you use a heavy armor, but you won't go past lvl 18 in terms of higher ac.

And it is good to have higher AC until you hit lvl 19. Or forever, if you are a spellcaster.

By lvl 19 you will find yourself with 1 less armor, with some advantages:

- you would have played your way till 19 with 1 more ac. So the whole game.

- no need to put points in dex. So more points to put in other stats

- 3 bonus against aoe dmg effects, if wearing a plate.

Ps: if your point instead is to appear as a plate user, I would as gm let you have that appareance regardless the armor. If it is instead because of a +1 be my guest.


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There was a very long thread about this, and after pages and pages of talking about AC math, builds and balance, no agreement was found - as always.

Please switch the perspective to weapon proficiency for a moment. I'm building a wizard wielding a spear, because I feel it's cool. It's not among the very limited list of weapons I'm proficient with, so I take the general feat that gives me all simple weapons and I think I'm good: I can use my spear as well as I can use clubs, crossbows, daggers or staves.
But... at level 11, I get better at using the other weapons, except for my spear. And I don't even have the option of taking a follow-up general feat to increase my proficiency with it to expert.
My options are:
1) Abandon my concept and switch to another weapon.
2) Keep using the spear, eating a -2 to hit (and a -2 to damage from specialization at level 13).
3) Retrain out of my weapon proficiency general feat, and retrain at least two class feats to get fighter dedication and the other feat (at 12, if I'm not mistaken) to get expert proficiency. Retrain a third class feat into a fighter one if I have another dedication going.

It's not that the spear is somehow better than the other weapons I've got: they are all simple, and thus more or less balanced among each other. And even if it was, the cost of using a spear instead of another weapon has been set to 1 general feat... until suddenly it becomes 2-3 class feats instead.

To me, this is a clear design flaw. And if I have gone off-topic speaking about weapons, it's only because it's exactly the same for armors: you have a concept in mind, spend the required feats for that, and then it falls apart for no real reason. If heavy armor is ok at level 1-12, it's also ok at 13+. It's as simple as that.


To me it is ok.

It is the same as armors.
You will be stuck with trained unless you take a dedication feat.

In terms of potency we have

Class feats ( 1st tier )
Ancestry feats ( 2nd tier )
General feata ( 3rd tier )
Skill feat ( 4th tier )

It is then simply Normal that general feats are way less performants than ancestry and class feats, whenever it comes to the same topic.

You are given different choices to wear different armors and weapons, but what you have to sacrifice is some ( not one ) high tier ( not low ) feats.

Same goes with stats, if you Plan to take a dedication.

Want to go with a 0 dex character because you won't benefit from dex by wearing a full plate and you prefer to invest them somewhere else? Say goodbye to ranger, monk, rogue and fighter dedication.

What I probably would allow, and it is strange it is not allowed by default, is to change your stats too through training.
Like physical and mental Training.

But apart from that, it is definitely not about bad customization.

The trade between stuff is real and balanced. Has Pros and Cons, and they have already been explained. The choices are rough, and they are intended to be that way.


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Wizard with a spear, or with heavy armor is not really a character concept.

Thinking, “my character is a trained caster who spends as much time as possible training with a spear.” Can be part of a character concept, but that is pretty clearly a character MCing into fighter.

It is much stranger that to do the same with armor has some awkward narrative associations, but for home brew campaigns, I suggest re-skinning a knight archetype to make sense for your world and campaign, and for strict Golarion games, understand that there was a deliberate attempt to associate the making of and training in heavy armor into a narratively limited thing.

Whether or not that fits your fiction, the developers want advanced training in heavy armor to be tied to tying your character to cause/organization that trains you in it, or choosing a class from character creation that has this feature built in.

PF2 is not a system neutral setting. Characters get such obscene levels of wealth over level that cost alone was not enough to make heavy armor a unique item of professional soldiers/knights. There has never been an easier D&D based system for a wide array of wizards in Armor. Nor as much ease in rebuilding it to work at your table.

That said, I think advanced training in heavy armor is intentionally being set aside as a class feat equivalent, not a general feat equivalent. So as you home brew, it is a good idea to balance your efforts accordingly.


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Look, I know that 'wizard with a spear' is not really a concept. But I could envision a character who fights like an hoplite, and uses arcane magic for buffs/debuffs or to take out groups of enemies with blasts: in this case, spear and medium armor would be cool I guess.
And yes, fighter dedication would be appropriate if I want a PC that is really trained with their spear and wants to put up some tricks with it.

But there are two facts to consider: first, EVERY CLASS becomes expert with a set of weapons. This means that being expert is baseline, and not a thing that requires a particular dedication by itself.
Second, the game made sure that every character can use whichever weapon and armor they feel cool with, by removing the armor check for casting, by giving shields to everyone, by better balancing weapons and making each of them more interesting. You just have to get the required feat (or feats). The problem is that this only works up to a point, and after that you have to retrain.
To me, this seems to go against the basic design principle. I shouldn't be getting a dedication just for proficiency, and this is clear because the general feats exist.

What I cannot get is: why is it ok to be equally good with an out-of-class weapon or armor up to a certain level, but not from there?
What would really change, balance-wise, if the general feats allowed scaling?

Sovereign Court

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Megistone wrote:

What I cannot get is: why is it ok to be equally good with an out-of-class weapon or armor up to a certain level, but not from there?

What would really change, balance-wise, if the general feats allowed scaling?

I think this is a good question.

To take a page from Starfinder: there they packaged aaaaaall the +2/+2 to two skills feats from Pathfinder 1 into one feat that you could take with any two skills. It freed up many pages for other things they wanted to put in the book. Instead of having a dozen specific fixes, it would be nice to have one standard solution for this in Pathfinder 2 as well.

Such as a general feat that gives you catch-up proficiency with a weapon/armor, or maybe all weapons or all armors. And then you can still have archetypes that do it more efficiently for their specific stuff, like Hellknight Armor.


I think that is my point. PF2 is a very flexible system, designed to protect narrative-mechanical niche. If you have a character idea that falls outside of existing material, it is not too difficult to homebrew. General feat proficiencies are about tinkering with baseline feasibility. They get your character to a place where the concept is possible. Archetypes are what you apply to fundamentally change a class/build into a specialized concept that falls outside of existing class boundaries. If you have a good and interesting concept, You can work with your GM to make that possible. Maybe make an archetype that can get to expert in light or medium armor around 14th level and build some interesting ways to turn a staff into a spear, for example.

Sovereign Court

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I think what the general feats should do would be to provide a generic option, that's "good enough" for almost everyone. But specialized feats for specific archetypes, would do their special thing better than the general feats.


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Getting expert proficiency around level 11/13 is just that: baseline feasibility. The math of the game assumes that.


Ascalaphus wrote:
I think what the general feats should do would be to provide a generic option, that's "good enough" for almost everyone. But specialized feats for specific archetypes, would do their special thing better than the general feats.

Mostly this.

Also, retraining is meant for stuff like this.

You could take armor proficiency through general feats because low lvl class feats are required for something else, then when close to thr passage from trained to expert, you could consider retraining, in order to get better proficiency ( now that you will have more class feats ).

General feats are general.


To do this with general feats, I would approach it this way.

Taking any single weapon ("longswords" not "martial weapons") from trained to expert would be a level 11 general feat. Easy fix. Not as good as getting Expert in all martial weapons or in all Elf weapons or whatever but certainly helps realize certain concepts.

Taking an armor type from trained to expert is a bit more problematic. It would be a level 11 general feat for me but would require expert in the previous type of armor (as part of this change, I would make the champion dedication diverse armor feat a level 12 class feat).

So, it would really be 3 general armor feats and it would be limited by when the class gains any form of armor expertise. "Heavy Armor Expert" would require Expert in Medium Armor. "Medium Armor Expert" would require Expert in Light Armor. "Light Armor Expert" would require Expert in Unarmored.

This would offer some flexibility but the wizard in full plate may still not be feasible outside of an archetype.


The whole point imho is that general feats are not intended to bypass class feats or eventually ancestry feats ( from 2 to 3 perks per weapon/weapon subgroup ).

It is a big deal to sacrifice 2 class feats ( dedication + a lvl 14 feat ), not to mention tennets and oaths.

General training shouldn't give you more proficiency than the Basic one, because it is what it's meant for.

I don't really understand the problem.

General training gives you the Basic

A dedication or ancestry allows you to dig in even further, because of heritage or specific training.

And what would be the difference?

1 more AC if you are expert ( compared to expert unarmed ).

Is it worth 2 class feats and eventually some oath/tennet? You simply have a choice.


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The problem is its yet another poorly designed trap option.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
While it may be "counter intuitive" that investing in heavy armor doesn't guarantee a better AC, that's the case with all armor options in PF2 - with the appropriate ability score investment investment all armors are meant to be equal (excepting that heavy armor has a higher item bonus + dexterity cap combo in exchange for reduced movement speed).

Its not "counter intuitive" its just counter intuitive.


Data Lore wrote:
...trap option.

I think you are using that phrase differently than I've ever seen it used before because this option neither does not do what it appears to do, nor handicaps a character for taking it.

It's just not "for" a lot of builds, but that isn't an inherent problem.

Kasoh wrote:
Its not "counter intuitive" its just counter intuitive.

You've clearly misunderstood an actual quote as a use of scare quotes.


Naw, player thinks their character is good with X armor after taking some feat. For 10 or 12 levels, they apply ability boosts in certain places and function just fine then, blammo, because they didnt carefully plot out thier pc from 1-20 by carefully reading through some behemoth rulebook then their pc kinda sucks more than it should. Its getting hit and crit more than the other players. Some other dude who is willing to pour over character build threads is dancing around and our Armor Trained hero thinks this is all garbage and he would be right.


Again - if a player takes armor proficiency for heavy armor on their character that normally gets medium armor and then doesn't boost dexterity, their AC is better for most levels of the game and the same for the rest of the levels of the game as it would be had they stuck with medium armor from their class and the same attitude towards dexterity.

It's not a trap. It works intuitively, and does what it advertises.

It also doesn't leave you so far behind on AC as to really even notice that you aren't at the highest you can possible have - you'd have to be "carefully reading through some behemoth rulebook" or "pour over character build threads" to figure that one out - because the 1 point you are missing out on will be entirely overshadowed by the d20's variance.


2 is the difference between proficiencies and 2 ac is a ton in this game. I think this proficiency system was designed for when the difference between trained and expert was only 1 in the playtest. Even then, it was a problem. Now the issue is exacerbated.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Data Lore wrote:
Naw, player thinks their character is good with X armor after taking some feat. For 10 or 12 levels, they apply ability boosts in certain places and function just fine then, blammo, because they didnt carefully plot out thier pc from 1-20 by carefully reading through some behemoth rulebook then their pc kinda sucks more than it should. Its getting hit and crit more than the other players. Some other dude who is willing to pour over character build threads is dancing around and our Armor Trained hero thinks this is all garbage and he would be right.

just ot point out, I don't think most characters will have the +5-6 from armor and dex.

a wizard, not assuming a race, would need to put dex as their 2nd highest ability score, meaning 14 for strength and 12 for con, for them to pick up light armor at level 3 to be able to get the full +5. that's very tight stat allocation.

the cleric playing in my campaign certainly doesn't, he has +2 from dex and that's it.

so a wizard going for full plate, is probably ahead of a standard wizard for quite a while by a large amount.

they would probably have to do just as much of a thorough reading to figure out that they should be maxing dex, con and wisdom pretty heavily.

Data Lore wrote:
2 is the difference between proficiencies and 2 ac is a ton in this game. I think this proficiency system was designed for when the difference between trained and expert was only 1 in the playtest. Even then, it was a problem. Now the issue is exacerbated.

sure but expert medium armor is +4expert+4armor+1dex=9

heavy is +2trained+6armor=8

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