Cantrips trump alchemists in combat?


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Gaterie wrote:
Megistone wrote:
Or maybe you should actually read posts, instead of just scanning them to extrapolate one sentence you can use for your constant attacks (if not straight insults).

And What would I have discovered? Should I really quote every post explaining that since the PC should find some uncommon items, they should automatically find the exact uncommon items they want or the DM is a bad DM? Should I really explain how "finding only a few uncommon and rare items - but exactly those you want" is the same as "no rarity rules"?

Until now, I though it was simple to understand: each time someone says "you can use this uncommon stuff to be efficient", his argument is invalid because some PCs will get the appropriate uncommon item and others will get an elven curve blade, some useless mithril or a force bolt scroll. It seems the effect of rarity in game are very hard to understand to some people.

I think the answer can be summed up quickly by this post.


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Oh hey I'm in that link!


Personally I think it's fine in a casual play environment where GM fiat is a thing. If it becomes a problem then I feel it's more of a GM problem than a rules problem. Where it becomes more a problem for me is organized play. But if they introduce some sort of system where you can spend Fame or some other resource to unlock uncommon items, then objection withdrawn. There just needs to be some sort of way to obtain them.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
I think the alchemist class really is more of a "hard mode" class than others. I don't think it's as bad as people say. But it's kinda like a Solarian vs. an Operative. One of those classes is almost impossible not to make a strong character in. The other can be strong (my Solarian mostly solo'd the final boss of Dead Suns) but it takes a lot more to get it running.

That's pretty much my take too. It's like a PF1 design paradigm class that somehow got into PF2.

With most classes in PF2, it's hard to make a bad character. I mean, you can, but you sort of have to work at it. Most of the math you need comes from the class features, and class feats give you more options for how to apply that math. But the alchemist is more like a PF1 class where the designers threw out dozens of options (both in what formulas you learn, and in what feats you take), and if you could find just the right combination you'd be awesome, and if not you'd suck.

If I were to make guesses about the process leading up to the alchemist being what it is, it is that the playtest alchemist was heavily tied into the Resonance system, which was scrapped. That lead to a lot of effort going into replacing it, which didn't leave enough time to properly playtest the post-Resonance alchemist.

I would also argue that the homogenization of spell lists is a problem for the alchemist design. In PF1, it was basically a spellcaster, except the spells were flavored as potions. So if you wanted a potion that made you bigger, that was just the same as an enlarge person spell, and you were limited in how many potions you could make per day just like a spellcaster was. But in PF2, spellcasting has been homogenized into exactly four spell lists that are not exactly class-specific anymore. The design structure doesn't really allow for a partial spellcaster with their own spell list, so they need to use another system, and balancing a whole new system for buffing and such is really hard.


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Gaterie wrote:
Megistone wrote:
Or maybe you should actually read posts, instead of just scanning them to extrapolate one sentence you can use for your constant attacks (if not straight insults).

And What would I have discovered? Should I really quote every post explaining that since the PC should find some uncommon items, they should automatically find the exact uncommon items they want or the DM is a bad DM? Should I really explain how "finding only a few uncommon and rare items - but exactly those you want" is the same as "no rarity rules"?

Until now, I though it was simple to understand: each time someone says "you can use this uncommon stuff to be efficient", his argument is invalid because some PCs will get the appropriate uncommon item and others will get an elven curve blade, some useless mithril or a force bolt scroll. It seems the effect of rarity in game are very hard to understand to some people.

You've got nothing to explain, and a lot to understand. Cyouni's link is the answer to your questions; but you aren't really looking for one, so arguing is pointless if not to dismantle your claims to the benefit of whoever may read the thread.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
I would also argue that the homogenization of spell lists is a problem for the alchemist design. In PF1, it was basically a spellcaster, except the spells were flavored as potions. So if you wanted a potion that made you bigger, that was just the same as an enlarge person spell, and you were limited in how many potions you could make per day just like a spellcaster was. But in PF2, spellcasting has been homogenized into exactly four spell lists that are not exactly class-specific anymore. The design structure doesn't really allow for a partial spellcaster with their own spell list, so they need to use another system, and balancing a whole new system for buffing and such is really hard.

You would think that, then something like Red Mantis Assassin comes along that casts Divine spells, from the transmutation and illusion schools in Arcane spell list, plus some other specific spells which include a occult only spell...

Sovereign Court

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Ravingdork wrote:
They should have divorced rarity from potentially-problem causing things. How difficult would it have been to make rarity tags ONLY apply to things that were harder to get a hold of in the context of campaign world, then to have another separate tag that made it clear "these are items that could potentially disrupt the campaign narrative or otherwise cause problems" for everyone to see? Such a tag could also say "abilities, items, and spells with this tag are always Uncommon, if not rarer" or something to that effect in its definition.

Yeah mixing these up was a poor choice. Actually I count four reasons for rarity:

1) Belongs to specific culture/faction, routinely accessed by them but tricky to get hold of for others.

2) Is even more rare than that, like lost artifacts or a unique spell a wizard came up with and taught to some apprentices.

3) It's potentially disruptive and intended as opt-in for GMs.

4) It's related to a specific class or class path, such as sorcerer bloodline spells. There's actually no way anyone else gets it.


Megistone wrote:
You've got nothing to explain, and a lot to understand. Cyouni's link is the answer to your questions; but you aren't really looking for one, so arguing is pointless if not to dismantle your claims to the benefit of whoever may read the thread.

The quote actually proves his point. "we state that a player might get access to uncommon items": Note the word "might", not the player should or will get it.

Gaterie said "Could you please show us the rule allowing to trade patience and/or xp for uncommon items?": there isn't one. As given by Jason Bulmahn , it'd "might".

Then it devolved into an argument that all DM's that use that "might" instead of just giving the players anything they want are horrible DM's. Vlorax said "I can only assume they play with terrible antagonistic GM's or PFS where things are more rigid?" and "If somebody wants to be able to learn a thing or archetype that's uncommon or *gasp* rare! The GM either allows it straight up at creation or will add it as a side quest/activity in the current campaign."

It boils down to our saying you shouldn't sit down at a table and assume you're going to start playing with an alchemist crossbow and others saying you should expect the DM to blindly ignore the rarity system [or they are a horrible/bad/awful DM] and Cyouni's link falls on our side of the argument: Might also means might not so it's not ASSUMED that you'll get access to an uncommon/rare element just because you ask for it as a player.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Folks, in both the places that discuss the rarity system, we state that a player might get access to uncommon items if they GM deems it appropriate or if the player puts some effort into its acquisition (including, but not limited to taking a feat or other feature that grants access). That is the rule.

I bolded a certain important part for those that can't seem to read it.


Such needless antagonism in this thread!


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Cyouni wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Folks, in both the places that discuss the rarity system, we state that a player might get access to uncommon items if they GM deems it appropriate or if the player puts some effort into its acquisition (including, but not limited to taking a feat or other feature that grants access). That is the rule.
I bolded a certain important part for those that can't seem to read it.

'the player might get access to uncommon items if they GM #1 [deems it appropriate] or #2 [if the player puts some effort into its acquisition (including, but not limited to taking a feat or other feature that grants access).]'

I bolded a certain important part for those that can't seem to read it. Your bolded section doesn't trump mine in ANY way. NONE of it allows the expectation of getting an alchemist crossbow at 1st level because you, as a player, asked the dm for it. NONE.


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Because PF2 is a lot less hard-lock on the GM than PF1, and actually gives the GM room to say no, instead of "everything is available to literally everyone, and you should be able to throw this in your GM's face and demand you be allowed to get it because it exists"?

What a surprise.


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Cyouni wrote:

Because PF2 is a lot less hard-lock on the GM than PF1, and actually gives the GM room to say no, instead of "everything is available to literally everyone, and you should be able to throw this in your GM's face and demand you be allowed to get it because it exists"?

What a surprise.

SO you agree with me and Gaterie that uncommon+ elements shouldn't be assumed by the player as available at 1st level? Cool, nothing more to debate then. I'm not sure what you last few posts have been about then.


graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Because PF2 is a lot less hard-lock on the GM than PF1, and actually gives the GM room to say no, instead of "everything is available to literally everyone, and you should be able to throw this in your GM's face and demand you be allowed to get it because it exists"?

What a surprise.

SO you agree with me and Gaterie that uncommon+ elements shouldn't be assumed by the player as available at 1st level? Cool, nothing more to debate then. I'm not sure what you last few posts have been about then.

No, Gaterie has been arguing that you can get uncommon elements, it's just you have literally 0 influence over them. You may want to reread.


Cyouni wrote:
graystone wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

Because PF2 is a lot less hard-lock on the GM than PF1, and actually gives the GM room to say no, instead of "everything is available to literally everyone, and you should be able to throw this in your GM's face and demand you be allowed to get it because it exists"?

What a surprise.

SO you agree with me and Gaterie that uncommon+ elements shouldn't be assumed by the player as available at 1st level? Cool, nothing more to debate then. I'm not sure what you last few posts have been about then.
No, Gaterie has been arguing that you can get uncommon elements, it's just you have literally 0 influence over them. You may want to reread.

LOL YOU might want to reread IMO. He's been arguing that you can't say your character gets something in the game without the DM OKing it.

Gaterie wrote:
Could you please show us the rule allowing to trade patience and/or xp for uncommon items?

Right from Jason Bulmahn's quote, it's not a rule but a "might" that you get access to uncommon+ things.

Gaterie wrote:
Oh. So according to you, PCs should get any item/spell/etc they want - otherwise the GM is a bad GM.

Once again, he's stating that PLAYERS don't get uncommon+ things JUST because that ask for them.

You may have missed it but he was arguing against Vlorax's stance that your DM is a bad one if they don't give you every uncommon thing you ask for in the game. I'm not sure where you picked up that players don't have an input: they can ASK, it's just that doing so doesn't obligate the DM to say YES. Can you point out a quote where Gaterie SAYS players have "0 influence"? IMO, he's only been arguing that players shouldn't just get uncommon by asking and shouldn't assume uncommon+ things will be available JUST because they want them. He's against the stance that the DM is bad unless they always give in to the players whim for uncommon+ things.

Really, you keep insulting me with a brushoff of 'you haven't read things' but it just seem more and more that I'm not the one not comprehending the posts: I even went back, looked over posts and quoted them so you can stop with that line of comments unless your intent is to be a dick.


I'll just leave this here.

Gaterie wrote:


Until now, I though it was simple to understand: each time someone says "you can use this uncommon stuff to be efficient", his argument is invalid because some PCs will get the appropriate uncommon item and others will get an elven curve blade, some useless mithril or a force bolt scroll. It seems the effect of rarity in game are very hard to understand to some people.


Cyouni wrote:

I'll just leave this here.

Gaterie wrote:


Until now, I though it was simple to understand: each time someone says "you can use this uncommon stuff to be efficient", his argument is invalid because some PCs will get the appropriate uncommon item and others will get an elven curve blade, some useless mithril or a force bolt scroll. It seems the effect of rarity in game are very hard to understand to some people.

And? He's saying 'but you can JUST get an alchemist crossbow' isn't an answer to an alchemist being efficient as we CAN'T assume the alchemist in question will get one. He's saying the EXACT same thing as Jason Bulmahn: the DM MIGHT allow uncommon items. Because of that, you can't base an argument on the assumption that they are in fact available at will as Vlorax suggested. Here's a quote where he makes it clear that a player SHOULD expect to get uncommon+ things and if they don't, the DM's a bad DM.

Vlorax wrote:
Megistone wrote:
Gaterie wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Vlorax wrote:


It seems a lot of people have issues with using ranged weapons that aren't bombs when it's a pretty viable way to play it.

Well, yeah. People who want to play a bomber alchemist probably do so wanting to use bombs, not slings.

Quote:
There's also the Alchemical Crossbow which adds bomb damage to bolts and can have runes added to it as it's a weapon.
Definitely a cool weapon, but also uncommon so not something you can rely on having at all.
Well, you can't play a fireball wizard at level 1 either. Sometimes you just need a bit of patience and XP.

Could you please show us the rule allowing to trade patience and/or xp for uncommon items?

Tell your GM that your character is looking for a way to acquire those items. It's in the rules, and it won't even cost you xp.

If you play with bad GMs, it's not the game's fault.

Right! I've never had a GM say "no you can't have access to this thing you want that doesn't effect game balance, because I say so".

But it gets brought up by certain posters here as an issue often, I can only assume they play with terrible antagonistic GM's or PFS where things are more rigid? I play with a solid table of friends and we don't care at all about PFS it's not even a consideration.

If somebody wants to be able to learn a thing or archetype that's uncommon or *gasp* rare! The GM either allows it straight up at creation or will add it as a side quest/activity in the current campaign.

With no ingame method for gaining access to the alchemist crossbow [other than the actual module], it's DM fiat if you can get one and that's all Gaterie and I have been saying: the game doesn't assume that players get uncommon items because they want them but that players will get uncommon items when the DM wants them to or they took the game elements in game that allow access [like being from saga lands so you can take Runescarred Dedication]. No amount of in game effort overrides the DM if they don't want the element especially if there is no ingame method to get it [like alchemist crossbow] or they don't qualify for the ingame method [from Broken Lands and looking for Runescarred Dedication].

Sovereign Court

evil homer wrote:
Gloom wrote:


The issues that I've seen is that a Bomber alchemist can really burn through all of their prepared bombs in the day and then they're resolved back to shooting a crossbow. Which is what they tried to get away from in the first place.

This is my observation as well. The bomb burn rate on the alchemist in my game very fast. He gets through about 2 encounters and it’s back to his sling.

I think the alchemist as a class requires the GM to bake in some down time so they can build a stash of bombs.

This far the acid bombs with persistent damage have certainly been the most effective. For reference the PCs in my game are about 25% of through third level. In the Battlemarket/howl of the carrion Kong/ legacy of fire.

What about this idea: the Alchemist is slightly magical. Using Quick Alchemy, the Alchemist can magically create a duplicate of a bomb he already has in his other hand that he created with his Infused reagents that morning. He can then throw this duplicate bomb and he thus doesn't use up his actual bombs. This effectively turns Quick Alchemy into a "duplicate bomb (or elixir or mutagen) cantrip". As long as you made one during your daily prep, you have as many more as you need that day.


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graystone wrote:
With no ingame method for gaining access to the alchemist crossbow [other than the actual module], it's DM fiat if you can get one and that's all Gaterie and I have been saying: the game doesn't assume that players get uncommon items because they want them but that players will get uncommon items when the DM wants them to or they took the game elements in game that allow access [like being from saga lands so you can take Runescarred Dedication]. No amount of in game effort overrides the DM if they don't want the element especially if there is no ingame method to get it [like alchemist crossbow] or they don't qualify for the ingame method [from Broken Lands and looking for Runescarred Dedication].

I have bolded a part. Yes, that's intended, and good for the game.

Players shouldn't insist on having things that the GM doesn't want in their game. It's not different from a PF1 game when the player wants to play a gunslinger, and the GM says no.
Why? Because the spell/item/ancestry/whatever could be inapproprate for the setting, or because the GM thinks that they aren't able to handle it, at the risk of breaking the campaign.

That said, in all the other cases, the PC should be able to acquire the uncommon thing with some investment.
When a player says that their cleric wants to learn Raise Dead, if the GM has got no problems with resurrection existing in their setting, they should probably let the character do some research to find someone who can teach them the spell, or to discover the location of a scroll or tome explaining the spell so they can retrieve/buy/steal it, or let them contact their god to ask for that power - that will be granted if they succeed on some holy mission.
Giving uncommon things as "random loot" is possible, but not the only way. When another player wants a katana to fight with, the katana may just pop up in their next loot stash; but other reasonable ways to obtain it are: travel to Tian Xia; find out about an old shop in Magnimar that sells oriental-style weapons; rescue a blacksmith who has been enslaved from the orcs, who knows who to craft that kind of stuff - and will gladly make one out of gratitude, or teach the technique to a trained PC.

There are infinite possibilities that will work. But if the player feels entitled to have access to everything, always, or if the GM only says no and doesn't offer ways to obtain what the character is reasonably looking for, no ruleset will help.

EDIT:
I'll add a quote from the CRB:

Quote:

Beyond that baseline, you can grant access as freely as you want; some GMs open up all uncommon and rare options universally. If you’re not sure, just look over any uncommon or rare elements before you include them as rewards or otherwise allow a player to acquire them.

By the rules, the GM can allow free access to everything they feel appropriate for the campaign.

If they don't want to, but you still want the thing, that's something to talk about. It's much better to have a rarity system to highlight potential problems before they become such.

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