Playtest Retrospective Summary


Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest General Discussion

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Liberty's Edge

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Found here. Obviously this post/thread will miss a lot of nuance so check it out if you want more of those.

-Discussion of upcoming events and Humble Bundle offerings (including an upcoming Lost Omens Lore bundle).
-Lyz Lidell is not there, so Oracle and Witch stuff is a bit less in depth (Oracle, in particular, seems to get a very short discussion).
-After going through the Classes they rapidly just started talking about the APG in general.

Investigator:

-Logan was sick and rushed for the initial Class design stuff. That seemed relevant to me.
-They note that the two main complaints with Investigator were that Int didn't do enough and that Study Suspect was disappointing. They will do things about these, though what exactly is up in the air.
-Investigator will probably depart further from the PF1 version, as our surveys support that we're collectively cool with that.
-The narrative Investigator stuff was well received and will thus continue.
-There will be more combat options in the Feats for the finished version, but they wanted to test the non-combat ones.
-Investigator was mostly well liked...except for the problems noted above.
-Combat options using Int are likely. Sometimes using it for Skills or Perception is possible, but probably only in specific circumstances.

Oracle:

-Oracle's Curse had very erratic ratings in terms of power level, and was generally considered too weak. The downsides were too severe, the upsides were not sufficient, and the Revelation spells need to be better chosen.
-Overcharging knocking you unconscious seems unpleasant, so it's probably being replaced. The current forerunner for replacement is that you get no more Focus Spells if you overcharge, and that may or may not stick.
-Curses with an 'always there' flavor are being looked at.
-Curses will probably continue to be thematically linked to Mysteries. There may be choices, but them being linked was a well liked feature.
-The Mystery list is not finalized.

Swashbuckler:

-They weren't sure how to do the Swashbuckler, but went with the final Panache version.
-Just about everyone loved the Swashbuckler. They picked 5 stars more than any other option, something unique among PF2 Classes. It was way more popular than the other three.
-There were a variety of tweaks suggested, and they'll be doing those even given the high ratings, and will be expanding the number of Feats.
-They will continue to have Good Reflex and Will.
-They will likely receive more Retorts.
-Feats giving new ways to gain Panache are very possible.

Witch:

-Witch got the most discussion, a lot about the which Spell Lists they should have. Various options on that are being considered.
-Everyone thought Witch was a mechanically effective full caster, just maybe not the effective full caster they wanted.
-Most people think Hexes should be cantrips. So that seems pretty likely, though they're concerned about complexity. They can't have them actually compete directly with spell slots for various reasons.
-Familiars will receive more abilities in the APG.
-Lessons 'building your own Patron' was divisive and they're looking to tie things together more.
-Familiars dying is widely considered too bad, even though it's more lenient than in PF1. Therefore they will make it less bad.

Ancestries:

-Bestiary options tend to lean into Ancestry options more than PCs can.
-Catfolk will receive the Bestiary Catfolk's 'Cat's Luck' (presumably as an Ancestry Feat) or giving it to the whole party at a higher level. Ron Lundeen wrote a good Catfolk entry in general.
-Ratfolk will get a better swarming ability than the Bestiary version and can invest a Feat into Cheek Pouches.
-Changelings, Aasimar, Tieflings, Duskwalkers, and Dhampirs are 'Versatile Heritages' available to any Ancestry. I think the terminology is the only new info there. Half Elves and Half Orcs aren't Versatile for setting rather than mechanical reasons.
-Kobolds were done by John Compton, and have options to grovel and cringe. There is no Medium sized option for them.
-Most of these are Uncommon, with a discussion about the fact that GMs should allow them when appropriate.
-James Case did the Tengu stuff which is very heavy on the mythology of the Tengu. they can look like a human with a big nose.

Archetypes:

-Investigators will not get in-Class Feats for Animal Companions, but there is an Animal Companion enabling Archetype in the APG.
-A discussion of the APG product solicitation (including it noting Cavalier and Vigilante as Archetypes) is mentioned.
-Cavalier will be thematically similar to the playtest archetype. Vigilante will provide you with a secret identity stuff, and thus you can just add it on any Class.
-Cavalier and Vigilante are the only Classes being converted to Archetypes in this book. They will be careful doing this going forward.
-Many new generic Archetypes, a lot which you will recognize as either a Prestige Class or something basic (Eldritch Archer, Pirate, Archaeologist, and Assassin get mentioned...not sure if all those are in for sure).
-Familiar Master makes you good with Familiars and gives you one if you don't have one.
-Archer is an example Archetype that makes you good with bows. Other combat styles are also available. At least one gets you armor.
-There is a Dandy Archetype. It has a lot of Skill Feats and is apparently neat.
-The Diva Archetype is mentioned.

Corebook Classes:

-Alchemist poison options.
-There will be three Evil Champion Causes. No Neutral Champion Causes as of yet, as they haven't gotten any compelling pitches. There will also be plenty of options for Good Champions as well.
-Zen Archer is a Feat chain, which makes it pretty flexible. There's another Monk option but Logan took a drink rather than discuss it (probably Drunken Master).
-Mastermind Racket (probably a Racket, anyway) for Rogue will probably poach some Investigator stuff.
-Focus Spell using Ranger is available.
-Shadow, Psychopomp, Nymph, and Genie Bloodlines will be available for the Sorcerer.

Other:

-Mark describes his playtest game. It sounds fun and like the Life Oracle was quite powerful as a healer at level 10-12.
-Sword Canes will be like other swords but more concealable.
-Rituals include Reincarnate, Simulacrum, Create Demiplane, a location bound Unseen Servant, and a bunch of other new things.
-Necromancy spells will be expanded in this book. Many spells will be thematic to Oracle or Witch (though not exclusive to them).
-Some example spells include Vomit Swarm, Animate Rope, Aqueous Orb, Summons for Lawful and Chaotic, a 'summon' spell for in-combat Animate Dead (found in Necromancy).
-More Animal Companion and Familiar stuff will be in the book. New Animal Companions definitely included.
-New gear including the Sword Cane, along with new alchemical items and magic items. Magic items are not finalized.
-Cool Wands and Potions that do stuff other than just the basics will be in the book.
-Rare and Unique Backgrounds will be in this book. Artifacts and Relics (which scale with the PC) will be in the GMG instead.
-New Backgrounds include basic stuff like Bandit and Servant, but also stuff like Rootworker, Bookkeeper, and Outrider.
-'Structure Items' to create structures exist.
-There will be no support for summoning huge numbers of individual minions.

Liberty's Edge

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So, that mostly all sounds pretty good.

I'm still pretty concerned about Oracle and how that will shake out thematically (it sounds to me like the mechanical side will be fine), but have little to complain about otherwise.


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Thank you for the run down/summary.

Carry on,

--C.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Kinda nervous about the best parts of the playtest oracle and witch getting written into more generic features to play it safe, since that's where a lot of the feedback was pointed and seems to be echoed a bit here.

Ultimately I hope that they look at how well received the Swashbuckler was and don't just see that as a win for the class, but as an indication that the community is looking for more classes that can meaningfully leverage action economy and approach combat in slightly different ways and keep that in mind going forward. Don't be afraid to let their classes do weird things and such.

I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:
Kinda nervous about the best parts of the playtest oracle and witch getting written into more generic features to play it safe, since that's where a lot of the feedback was pointed and seems to be echoed a bit here.

If I gave the impression that's what they're doing (and looking back, I can see how I might've) I did so by accident. That's not what I got the impression they were doing at all.

Based on what they said, Oracle is 100% keeping their escalating Curse in a similar structure to the current one, the upsides are just getting powered up and the downsides powered down, with the Focus Spells being made more universally applicable (and a certain amount of baseline Curse maybe becoming automatic for flavor). The issues I mention above are with power level, rather than the structure. The structure itself is very much staying.

And Hexes are, if anything, getting more experimental (going from Focus Spells to Cantrips) rather than less, while Lessons are more 'up in the air' than settled one way or the other.

Squiggit wrote:
Ultimately I hope that they look at how well received the Swashbuckler was and don't just see that as a win for the class, but as an indication that the community is looking for more classes that can meaningfully leverage action economy and approach combat in slightly different ways and keep that in mind going forward. Don't be afraid to let their classes do weird things and such.

Here I agree entirely. The experimental stuff has mostly been well received and they should clearly keep doing that.

Squiggit wrote:
I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.

This may have been a contributing factor, but really I think it has more to do with the math. Panache is a good feature mathematically with a version that works on higher level enemies (ie: skipping finishers and just holding on to your Panache once you have it), while Study Suspect is an absolutely godawful feature mathematically (as compared to equivalent options like Sneak Attack) with no way to leverage it vs. high level foes at all.

Panache is indisputably also cooler, but I think a 'boring' combat feature that actually put them on par with Rogues in DPR would've eliminated most of the complaints about Investigators in combat.

Which is not to say they shouldn't go for something cool in the final version of Investigator, just that I think the substance of the feature's effectiveness is much more relevant than how neat it is conceptually.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks DMW! Looks like a lot of things people were missing will be back here.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The Bucketslasher is indeed an awesome class and an excellent chassis for "mobile glitzy ha-ha combatant". So happy that Paizo kicked the ball out of the park with this one, as it was perhaps the most problematic martial archetype in PF1, save for the super-late and somewhat awkward (if fun) Vigilante.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Witch having hexes as cantrips makes or breaks the class for me. At least a few anyway, as a bard. I worry that numbers are so tight, that small bonuses matter so much, that my favourite all day classes will be no more.


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Thanks for the run down. I never read over the swashbuckler class myself (mostly because I don't care), but the few things I did read about it made me think, "cool, people like it" and was happy to not worry about it.

Looks like good news about the witch and investigator (even if investigator is a class that I'll probably never want to play, but I did end up reading over the class and engaging in a bit of discussion). Only read oracle because I saw things on the forums about the escalating curse and had to go see just how bad things were myself.

Wish that the witch iconic was a tengu (I think its more appropriate than oracle), but that's got some bias to it. I mean, come on, "they can look like a human with a big nose."


Captain Morgan wrote:
Thanks DMW! Looks like a lot of things people were missing will be back here.

Indeed . Of particular note is things like the Archer archetype. I specifically mention a back and forth about not being able to suitably weapon specialise as certain classes with archery on a Druid coming up !

Also this expansion of options could easily create a class feat bottleneck that has been mentioned but in home games it is the easiest thing in the world to homebrew. For example if you want a “super hero” game then you give free feats in the vigilante pathway

Giving rangers a way to get spells back will also please many

The handful of archetypes and pathways all look really compelling or something people wanted. I note the dandy, archaeologist (I have pathfinder playing friends who are real life archaeologists) and the one that gives universal animal companion access

If I were to nitpick at all then the absence of neutral champions would be it as they should be far more relevant to players than evil ones. But equally I can also see the lack of compelling pitches for them. I think LN is probably one they could do quite easily as it is not too dissimilar from a Hell knight in many ways. But they will want all 3 together and fierce dedication to the other two neutral alignments does seem tricky conceptually

I mean look at how most people pick CN as alignment and see it as “I can just do what I want”. How do you make a “Champion” of that kind of thinking (not that that is correct anyway). Incidentally I remember seeing a YouTube video discussing alignments that suggested anyone playing CN “properly” wouldn’t be with their adventuring party by the end of the session. So a champion of this presents a problem
(All that said that also easily applies to CE...)


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I know this is unlikely to happen but I kinda hope that they make the Swashbuckler's extra damage from panache work with weapons that aren't agile/finesse. Mainly because I want to be able to play a Dragoon (no, not the mounted warrior, I'm talking about those crazy gymnast knights from a certain franchise that wield pole-arms and like to dive bomb their foes). Also, in general I find it weird that they are proficient with all weapons but they can't capitalize off of most of them.


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Well Swashbuckler not having much use for 2-handed/non-finesse (unless going Str build) was a thing in PF1 as well so it's not much of a problem; they just need to add a few more options eventually.

Also Dragoon will probably be an archetype at some point. It fits the new Swashbuckler and it was a Fighter archetype last edition. So I do wonder how will they pull it off.

Everything else that has been said sounds very interesting. I do have a slight concern with Vigilante given how different the class and optional rule were. *Fingers cross it's not just "get renown and a secret identity"*


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Temperans wrote:

Well Swashbuckler not having much use for 2-handed/non-finesse (unless going Str build) was a thing in PF1 as well so it's not much of a problem; they just need to add a few more options eventually.

Also Dragoon will probably be an archetype at some point. It fits the new Swashbuckler and it was a Fighter archetype last edition. So I do wonder how will they pull it off.

Everything else that has been said sounds very interesting. I do have a slight concern with Vigilante given how different the class and optional rule were. *Fingers cross it's not just "get renown and a secret identity"*

With the niche exception of Devoted Muse using a Glaive with Bladed Brush (which incidentally is one of the PCs in my current game)


Devoted Muse is a lot more like a dancer/performer than a gymnast, they do lots of flourishes and bluffs but not many jumps.

Btw I see no problem with a direct copy of Bladed Brush being a Swashbuckler and/or Devoted Muse feat (use a glaive as a Finesse weapon and can treated it as a 1-handed weapon for abilities).


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My overall impression of the classes, post playtest:

Investigator: The playtest investigator was really messy, but I'm not too worried about where the APG version. The issues with the investigator seems to have been correctly identified, and I'm happy they're taking the class in new directions compared to 1E. The out of combat stuff was my favorite part of the class so I'm happy they're focusing on that while hopefully making the class more interesting in combat as well. I feel like study suspect needs to be seriously reworked/replaced to make it more much interesting and also more powerful. If we only get the latter I still think the class is fine, but not as fun as it could be. Overall I'm hopeful.

Oracle: Not worried about this one. I think that the core of this class was really good, though the execution on the various mysteries left something to be desired. With the way this class is set up, I think it could end up getting some tasty carrots after a slight rework.

Swashbuckler: This class has the best chassis out of any martial class in 2E IMO. The core mechanic of panache seeps into every part of how it's played and just makes for a blast at the table. I think there are plenty of minor tweaks to make it play even better, but I feel like they almost nailed the landing on the first try here. There are some feats that feel a little lackluster and retorts probably need some more love for the final release, but I'm looking forward to see where this class goes in the end.

Witch: This is the one I'm worried about. They seem reluctant to add more complexity to the class, and out of all the classes Witch is the one that most desperately needs it IMO. It seemed to me that most people who wanted to keep Witch as a pick-a-list caster wanted them to also get divine, so I'm a bit worried nobody will get what they want in the end.


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Henro wrote:
Witch: This is the one I'm worried about. They seem reluctant to add more complexity to the class, and out of all the classes Witch is the one that most desperately needs it IMO. It seemed to me that most people who wanted to keep Witch as a pick-a-list caster wanted them to also get divine, so I'm a bit worried nobody will get what they want in the end.

Good points.


A minor sidenote, but I'm really worried about the context of mentioning Animate Rope. I really can't understand why it would be a Necromancy spell.


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NemoNoName wrote:
A minor sidenote, but I'm really worried about the context of mentioning Animate Rope. I really can't understand why it would be a Necromancy spell.

Animate rope is mentioned next to aqueous orb and chaotic/lawful summon spells. I don't think the implication is that those are all necromancy spells.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Henro wrote:


Witch: This is the one I'm worried about. They seem reluctant to add more complexity to the class, and out of all the classes Witch is the one that most desperately needs it IMO. It seemed to me that most people who wanted to keep Witch as a pick-a-list caster wanted them to also get divine, so I'm a bit worried nobody will get what they want in the end.

That's fair. I think part of it is that it's hard to really figure out what to do with the Witch.

The class' most defining features in PF1 are its weird spell list, at-will powers and to a lesser extent its emphasis on the familiar.

PF2 is a game that standardized spell lists, gives every caster at-will powers and stripped down familiars. Plus a lot of its most popular abilities don't really fit the game's design paradigm.

Plus full casters don't get a ton of class features anyways.

I think the flexibility provided by Patrons is a nice step forward, but it'd be cool to see a little bit more in there.


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Squiggit wrote:

Plus full casters don't get a ton of class features anyways.

I think the flexibility provided by Patrons is a nice step forward, but it'd be cool to see a little bit more in there.

Sort of what made me suggest leaning heavily into the other features the class had and moving away from being a full spell caster. Buff up those hexes, have a mix of at-will and focus-type and then have patrons grant specific spells and a slot or two to cast them with.

If a witch spends all of their feats on Lessons, they could end up being roughly equivalent to a full caster, but at the expense of other tasty feats. I figure the "intended" build would be somewhere between full-caster and no-caster in that regard, working out to being roughly a "half-caster" from PF1 (not that this means that the witch doesn't have high level spells, but that they'd be more along the lines of "knowing two 7ths, one 8th, and being able to cast one of those once a day" and those known spells are very thematic ones; say Insanity, Symbol of Weakness, and Irresistible Dance (yer all crazy! DANCE, DANCE!)).

Liberty's Edge

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NemoNoName wrote:
A minor sidenote, but I'm really worried about the context of mentioning Animate Rope. I really can't understand why it would be a Necromancy spell.

The 'summon undead' one is Necromancy. None of the others were stated to be (and indeed, seem very unlikely to be). I rather thought that was clear in context, but perhaps I should've been clearer in my wording.

Squiggit wrote:
Henro wrote:


Witch: This is the one I'm worried about. They seem reluctant to add more complexity to the class, and out of all the classes Witch is the one that most desperately needs it IMO. It seemed to me that most people who wanted to keep Witch as a pick-a-list caster wanted them to also get divine, so I'm a bit worried nobody will get what they want in the end.

That's fair. I think part of it is that it's hard to really figure out what to do with the Witch.

The class' most defining features in PF1 are its weird spell list, at-will powers and to a lesser extent its emphasis on the familiar.

I think that using Lessons to pick up specific spells from other lists plus Hex cantrips giving them an 'inverse Bard' at-will debuff role are enough to maintain most of what made the Witch conceptually cool in PF1 and provide a unique but not overpowered mechanical role in PF2.

I certainly hope that's the route they go down, anyway.


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Squiggit re: Witches

Something like this happened to the Warlock class during the transition from 3ed to 4ed D&D. The 3ed Warlock class was well-received because of its non-Vancian, at-will magic chassis. It was so popular, it inspired the 4ed designers to give every spellcaster at-will spells. So the class couldn't depend on its mechanical uniqueness anymore, because every other class had stolen its unique feature! To compensate, the 4ed Warlock leaned in heavily to its thematic sources (Fey, Infernal, and Lovecraft Warlock), and it was well-received, despite being a mechanically-inferior option. Perhaps the PF2 Witch should lean on its thematic hooks (patrons or familiars) to make it different from a Wizard.

Squiggit wrote:
I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.

To be fair, when the Swashbuckler spends an action to make a skill check, they're still doing something in-game that can benefit other people: demoralizing, distracting, or tripping a foe. It's something you can visually roleplay in a variety of ways. Study Suspect is entirely internal RP, which is hard to portray in-game and be different each time.


EberronHoward wrote:

Squiggit re: Witches

Something like this happened to the Warlock class during the transition from 3ed to 4ed D&D. The 3ed Warlock class was well-received because of its non-Vancian, at-will magic chassis. It was so popular, it inspired the 4ed designers to give every spellcaster at-will spells. So the class couldn't depend on its mechanical uniqueness anymore, because every other class had stolen its unique feature! To compensate, the 4ed Warlock leaned in heavily to its thematic sources (Fey, Infernal, and Lovecraft Warlock), and it was well-received, despite being a mechanically-inferior option. Perhaps the PF2 Witch should lean on its thematic hooks (patrons or familiars) to make it different from a Wizard.

Squiggit wrote:
I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.
To be fair, when the Swashbuckler spends an action to make a skill check, they're still doing something in-game that can benefit other people: demoralizing, distracting, or tripping a foe. It's something you can visually roleplay in a variety of ways. Study Suspect is entirely internal RP, which is hard to portray in-game and be different each time.

At will scaling ranged damage cantrips also eats heavily into the Kineticist space

Indeed elemental sorcerer is very close in mechanics to a Kineticist with spells that allow “blasts” in various forms such as cone and radius blast

The only gap is in thematic / concept

So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Lanathar wrote:


So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment

Not sure that's actually true. More at-will damage options definitely creates more overlap, but Kineticists not being true spellcasters still gives them some pretty obvious design space to explore.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:
Lanathar wrote:


So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment
Not sure that's actually true. More at-will damage options definitely creates more overlap, but Kineticists not being true spellcasters still gives them some pretty obvious design space to explore.

Yeah, a Class with, say, Focus Spells and Cantrips and no actual spells is a really separate thing from any existing Class. And one obvious way to create a Kineticist (making Burn more like the PF2 Oracle's Curse and what's used for Focus Spells also seems a likely option).


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Lanathar wrote:


So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment
Not sure that's actually true. More at-will damage options definitely creates more overlap, but Kineticists not being true spellcasters still gives them some pretty obvious design space to explore.
Yeah, a Class with, say, Focus Spells and Cantrips and no actual spells is a really separate thing from any existing Class. And one obvious way to create a Kineticist (making Burn more like the PF2 Oracle's Curse and what's used for Focus Spells also seems a likely option).

Kineticists could have the basic focus pool, then Burn when they need more focus points.

Or Burn could be for the bigger abilities, like Flourish is, though I'd prefer a mechanic more like Press or Panache.
A Kineticists at-will abilities should likely mirror Cantrips (though perhaps using an actual attack roll), with feats adding options/breadth/AoEs. The PF1 chassis seems very conducive to coming over in PF2, though I think figuring out the rate of power usage will be awkward. The class can't rely too much on getting 10-minute lulls nor be allowed to peak every battle or nova after every lull.
Maybe something similar to a Barbarian's breath weapon, or heck, even the Rage mechanic in some ways w/ different Instincts for each element.
Hmm...


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Thank you for this summary!


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Quote:
a location bound Unseen Servant

Well this ought to make some people particularly happy.

Quote:
-Focus Spell using Ranger is available.

*Angelic choir music*


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Yep, I’m one of the people made particularly happy by the location-bound Unseen Servant. X)

Liberty's Edge

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rainzax wrote:
Thank you for this summary!

You're quite welcome. Always happy to be of assistance. :)

Midnightoker wrote:
Quote:
a location bound Unseen Servant
Well this ought to make some people particularly happy.

Yep. I believe they specifically credited the forums with the idea for that one, and it sounds super neat.

Midnightoker wrote:
Quote:
-Focus Spell using Ranger is available.
*Angelic choir music*

Yeah, I always thought that was a shoo-in, but it's nice to have it confirmed. It sounds like it's a set of Feats similar to what Monks get in structure. Which sounds fine to me depending on the Focus Spells in question.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Based on what they said, Oracle is 100% keeping their escalating Curse in a similar structure to the current one

This doesn't make me happy: even with a re-balance, I fear it'll look like Mutagens and I think those offer too little for the penalties they give IMO.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
burn

Bringing burn over to PF2? I'm out...

PS: Thanks for the summary. ;)

Liberty's Edge

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graystone wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Based on what they said, Oracle is 100% keeping their escalating Curse in a similar structure to the current one
This doesn't make me happy: even with a re-balance, I fear it'll look like Mutagens and I think those offer too little for the penalties they give IMO.

I'm not overjoyed by it either, but they've acknowledged the current version as not powerful enough, which shows they're taking it in the right direction, anyway.

graystone wrote:
Bringing burn over to PF2? I'm out...

Well, it's just speculation at the moment...

graystone wrote:
PS: Thanks for the summary. ;)

You're quite welcome. I'm always happy to be of assistance.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Well, it's just speculation at the moment...

Yeah, that's why I'm out on that issue: no reason to get a rant on over it if we aren't sure it's even a thing yet.


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And she will go on a rant about it! don't think she won't! I think it could be done in a way that works but not the way they had it. I have a few ideas but I'll save them for when we know something about the kineticist.


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What would people think about a Witch that had "at will" Hexes (Cantrips) but fewer spells per day?

Like, maximum 2 slots per level per day (1 at odd levels, 2 at even levels), plus 1E-style strong Hexes that "competed for resources (spell slots)"?

And that the Witch was balanced around this inverse dynamic?


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honestly the bard chassis for spells, adjusted for prepared casting, should be fine. Hexes really shouldn't occupy spell slots, that would make them well spells and not hexes.

(everything being called a spell can be so confusing at times)


Temperans wrote:

honestly the bard chassis for spells, adjusted for prepared casting, should be fine. Hexes really shouldn't occupy spell slots, that would make them well spells and not hexes.

(everything being called a spell can be so confusing at times)

This could well be a reason they ended up in the focus section rather than like bard compositions for the playtest

And unfortunately the focus system is not set up for “at Will” use. I was going to say “all day” use but that wasn’t exactly accurate


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rainzax wrote:
What would people think about a Witch that had "at will" Hexes (Cantrips) but fewer spells per day?

Honestly, I would've been fine if it had no slots other than hex/cantrips, as long as those at-will abilities did something productive.

Someone made an interesting point about design space and the kineticist and I see a cool parallel. The kineticist was sort of an at-will blaster/damage class. The witch was sort of an at-will arcane buff/debuff class. Two sides of the same coin. So... make it that way.


Anguish wrote:
rainzax wrote:
What would people think about a Witch that had "at will" Hexes (Cantrips) but fewer spells per day?

Honestly, I would've been fine if it had no slots other than hex/cantrips, as long as those at-will abilities did something productive.

Someone made an interesting point about design space and the kineticist and I see a cool parallel. The kineticist was sort of an at-will blaster/damage class. The witch was sort of an at-will arcane buff/debuff class. Two sides of the same coin. So... make it that way.

As interesting as that would be that is far too big a move from both 1E and the playtest

But if they had hex cantrips and hex focus powers only that could be interesting. But will not happen now


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thanks for summary DMW!

Liberty's Edge

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I think the chances of Witch being a full caster with spell slots are 100% at this point. Any alternatives to that, while hypothetically interesting, simply aren't gonna happen.

It being a 3 spell per level caster with jacked up cantrips ala the Bard is the most likely route for them to go down at the moment, and one I'd be very pleased with.

Elorebaen wrote:
Thanks for summary DMW!

You're quite welcome. I'm always happy to be of assistance. :)


Deadmanwalking wrote:
and one I'd be very pleased with.

Oh me too. I just know that the idea's been tossed out there, whether or not Paizo's seen it, and its what I'd most like to see (but if the witch is like the bard, I'd be happy as its what I expected the witch might look like back during the original playtest).


Your suggestion about a different type of casting might be what is looked at for the Occultist (and as mentioned, Kineticist)


Thank you for this write up and the discussion it is generating.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Lanathar wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:

Squiggit re: Witches

Something like this happened to the Warlock class during the transition from 3ed to 4ed D&D. The 3ed Warlock class was well-received because of its non-Vancian, at-will magic chassis. It was so popular, it inspired the 4ed designers to give every spellcaster at-will spells. So the class couldn't depend on its mechanical uniqueness anymore, because every other class had stolen its unique feature! To compensate, the 4ed Warlock leaned in heavily to its thematic sources (Fey, Infernal, and Lovecraft Warlock), and it was well-received, despite being a mechanically-inferior option. Perhaps the PF2 Witch should lean on its thematic hooks (patrons or familiars) to make it different from a Wizard.

Squiggit wrote:
I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.
To be fair, when the Swashbuckler spends an action to make a skill check, they're still doing something in-game that can benefit other people: demoralizing, distracting, or tripping a foe. It's something you can visually roleplay in a variety of ways. Study Suspect is entirely internal RP, which is hard to portray in-game and be different each time.

At will scaling ranged damage cantrips also eats heavily into the Kineticist space

Indeed elemental sorcerer is very close in mechanics to a Kineticist with spells that allow “blasts” in various forms such as cone and radius blast

The only gap is in thematic / concept

So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment

So I'm starting to get curious. You've been told several times that the sorcerer does not suffice for fans of the PF1 kineticist, specifically because of the spell slots it uses. In my opinion, one shared by many, is that any class that has spell slots is not a kineticist by definition. Almost any other aspect of the class can change; that must stay. Also in my opinion (though how many share this one I have not clue) a champion or monk comes closer to satisfying than the sorcerer.

My curiosity is this: what makes the class for you? Is it the elemental casting only, and the other details are fine from your perspective? As you may guess, the elemental theme is somewhat incidental to me (and honestly was kind of a weird addition to an already weird book), but if that's what you'd see as the big draw then I can somewhat better understand.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Lanathar wrote:


So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment
Not sure that's actually true. More at-will damage options definitely creates more overlap, but Kineticists not being true spellcasters still gives them some pretty obvious design space to explore.
Yeah, a Class with, say, Focus Spells and Cantrips and no actual spells is a really separate thing from any existing Class. And one obvious way to create a Kineticist (making Burn more like the PF2 Oracle's Curse and what's used for Focus Spells also seems a likely option).

Totally agree. I'm curious what the final form of the curses wind up looking like, because now that you mention it making burn a "curse" would be a really straightforward way to go about it. That getting knocked out was specifically identified as "not fun" may save us that battle when they do draw up Burn 2.0


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
AnimatedPaper wrote:
In my opinion, one shared by many, is that any class that has spell slots is not a kineticist by definition.

Fully agreed.

With the exception of possibly cantrip spell slots, but those hardly count, and as you and Deadmanwalking mention it's a natural way to approach the kineticist.


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WatersLethe wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
In my opinion, one shared by many, is that any class that has spell slots is not a kineticist by definition.

Fully agreed.

With the exception of possibly cantrip spell slots, but those hardly count, and as you and Deadmanwalking mention it's a natural way to approach the kineticist.

We have the oracle that has Definitely Not Focus Spells, so the kineticist having Definitely Not Cantrips is totally valid.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
EberronHoward wrote:

Squiggit re: Witches

Something like this happened to the Warlock class during the transition from 3ed to 4ed D&D. The 3ed Warlock class was well-received because of its non-Vancian, at-will magic chassis. It was so popular, it inspired the 4ed designers to give every spellcaster at-will spells. So the class couldn't depend on its mechanical uniqueness anymore, because every other class had stolen its unique feature! To compensate, the 4ed Warlock leaned in heavily to its thematic sources (Fey, Infernal, and Lovecraft Warlock), and it was well-received, despite being a mechanically-inferior option. Perhaps the PF2 Witch should lean on its thematic hooks (patrons or familiars) to make it different from a Wizard.

Squiggit wrote:
I think that's why the Investigator's combat mechanic was so much less well received than the Swashbuckler's, even though fundamentally they're actually kind of similar (spend an action, roll a skill check, get a buff that you unleash with one big attack, that kinda thing). The Investigator just doesn't really get to interact with or play around with their feature at all, so the end result is a mechanic that feels restrictive and safe rather than dynamic and fresh.
To be fair, when the Swashbuckler spends an action to make a skill check, they're still doing something in-game that can benefit other people: demoralizing, distracting, or tripping a foe. It's something you can visually roleplay in a variety of ways. Study Suspect is entirely internal RP, which is hard to portray in-game and be different each time.

At will scaling ranged damage cantrips also eats heavily into the Kineticist space

Indeed elemental sorcerer is very close in mechanics to a Kineticist with spells that allow “blasts” in various forms such as cone and radius blast

The only gap is in thematic / concept

So that is going to be interesting as there really is no obvious design space at the moment

So I'm starting to get...

I don’t think the question about what makes a kineticist should be aimed at me but at those for whom a master of controlling a specific element with at will elemental blasts and a series of other elemental ranged options “does not suffice”

To me the class is someone who is a master at controlling a particular element and that is already achieved largely by a current class. And the introduction of some new element tied feats and focus spells could also achieve that

But I am clearly “wrong” here and there is a vocal and passionate group of fans of the 1E Kineticist who are keen to tell me as much but without saying why.

I understand that in 1E there wasn’t a good master of the elements until the class came along. But the elemental bloodline sorcerer appears much better at it than the core 1E one.

*

It is worth noting that a fair portion of Kineticists from 1E simply cannot exist in 2E:

- elemental overflow was a maths balancer in the most part and they no longer exist

- it also contained a size boost to stats (which was always odd to me as elemental overflow did not change the size of the character so why a size boost. Again another maths fix). So that is gone

- maximise and empower are gone and won’t be coming back (mark seifter provided an explanation but I can’t remember it)

- and then almost every Kineticist fan wants burn gone from what I have seen. Non stop complaints about it. But this seemed to be because it’s design didn’t match what it was supposed to be (it was required to power you up at a certain number of points but then you avoided trying to take it at all costs)

Remove all of that and you are mainly left with at Will elemental blasts that you can manipulate .
My point was this can be replicated by cantrips and then spells like flaming hands and fire ball that change your “blast” to cone and burst shapes

Now I thought was clear that the difference then just becomes one of concept . In this case that they are called “spells” which 1E Kineticist fans are strongly opposed to. But now spell failure is not a thing there is very little mechanical difference as it stands.

What I was saying is if you had some very specific “spells” picked out from the primal list and called them “kinetic powers” and presented them to someone who didn’t know anything about the game they potentially would not be able to tell that it is just a sorcerer. But that is just an opinion

So it would need something very different from 1E to justify its own class . So the 1E Kineticist fans are at risk of not being happy anyway

That said coming up with something more useful to replace overflow rather than a necessary maths boost should in theory be an instant win-win. And then making burn something that had a negative effect in exchange for something strong like it was always supposed to be would make things interesting

*

As a final point paizo are being very specific about the sources of magic in this edition. 4 lists etc. So where is the 2E Kineticist pulling this power from? And if it is the primal list why would it only be some parts of the list . It is an odd one because the source always seemed odd in 1E (wasn’t it ethereal plane or astral plane?)

Now don’t get me wrong - I fully expect Kineticist to exist in 2E not least because the creator is now one of the main designers and, as is evident whenever I (or anyone) tries to query the class, it has a hardcore passionate fanbase - probably more than any other class I have ever seen

It just seems like there are parts that don’t jive with the new system and that the class might need to be quite different. Which could be really cool if done well


The kineticist drew power from the planes in general: Aether was either ethereal, elements were from their corresponding element, wood was from first world, and void was from space/negative plane.

Also, Kineticist has 2 parts to it even of people always seem to forget: 1) Blasting and 2) Utility.

People who say that Sorcerer is fine as a replacement only see Kineticist as a blaster, ignoring all the Utility that Kineticist got. But even in PF1 you could argue for going 1 over the other. However, when it comes to Utility, specially thematic utility, the Kineticist straight up wins. Wild talents were a mix of everything from bonus feats, at will spells and interesting passives: Their appeal came from not being limited by spell slots.

In theory, PF2e would had been the perfect system for Kineticist given how feats are effectively the same as talents. But in reality, it is impossible to convert the Kineticist directly or well because PF2 just doesnt give enough feats/power. A PF1 Kineticist just counting Infusions and Talents would have 20 choices/abilities. Even if infusions are made into pseudo spellcasting, to keep the power ratio something will have to give, or the entire thing will just fall apart.

*************
All of that ofcourse if they dont find a way to solve the problem that I'm not thinking of.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Lanathar wrote:

I don’t think the question about what makes a kineticist should be aimed at me but at those for whom a master of controlling a specific element with at will elemental blasts and a series of other elemental ranged options “does not suffice”

To me the class is someone who is a master at controlling a particular element and that is already achieved largely by a current class. And the introduction of some new element tied feats and focus spells could also achieve that

But I am clearly “wrong” here and there is a vocal and passionate group of fans of the 1E Kineticist who are keen to tell me as much but without saying why.

I understand that in 1E there wasn’t a good master of the elements until the class came along. But the elemental bloodline sorcerer appears much better at it than the core 1E one.

Right, okay. I'm glad you said all this, because now I understand why it seems like the explanations aren't connecting with you. You DO see the primary draw as filling a need for a elemental blaster, and for many I'm sure that was the appeal. But for myself, I couldn't care less about elementalism.

Truly.

That matters not one whit.

If that was all I needed, then yes, sorcerers would be great! I played a playtest witch that also kind of rocked at it. Almost literally, given that his patron was a Shaitan. But what I really want is a caster without spell slots. The mechanics of the kineticist are what appealed to me, not the specific flavor.

I do agree with you that a lot of the math fixers won't be coming back. But that just means that other class features can be added instead. The playtest gave me several ideas on what the devs see as good class abilities. Perhaps there could be something panache-like as a different way of doing elemental overflow. The idea of burn as a curse that DMW mentioned intrigues me. Elemental defense can be stances, I think. There's also the example of the solarian from starfinder; maybe kineticists will have something similar to solar attunement.

And while I hope that the eventual version of the witch does interesting things with cantrips, and that the devs have taken that feedback on board Makes me think that they will, an actual class dedicated to cantrips and the manipulation thereof is a design space that has only been touched on by the bard so far. There's plenty of room to explore there still.

Edit: Also, the only "wrong" thing with your suggestion is that you are trying to appeal to people that aren't looking for what you're selling. I do get what you mean about spells can work perfectly fine as replacements for utility powers. But that was never the point. In fact, it was the reverse; utility powers were supposed to be vaguely balanced replacements for spells.

Please don't feel like your suggestions are unappreciated. You're just trying to solve a different issue than some of the rest of us.

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