Questions From a Noob


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


All righty now. Got some questions about the rules, spells, char build, and game play.I'm pretty dang new to PF2. So far, I'm only playing PFS, but the questions are for more than just PFS since I figure my home groups will eventually want to switch to PF2 if it works as well as we hope.In no particular order:
01) A caster can only use the 'Sustain' action on a single spell at a time. Correct? I'm hearing different opinions on this.
02) It is difficult to be a primarily 'buff' caster like in PF1 since most of the buff spells have to be sustained. Correct?
03) Can usually run all over the battlefield since most opponents do not have a reaction to make attacks of opportunity from moving through threatened squares. Correct? Seems like that will make it difficult to protect the squishy casters.
04) All the 'performance' and 'craft' skills have been combined. So if you have a +8 in performance, you are just as good at singing as playing the harp. Correct? Similar for the climb, fly, and swim combined to athletics.
05) Conversely, the general knowledge skills have been expanded almost infinitely, since you there is a Lore for everything individually. Correct?
06) The monster knowledge skills are now covered by arcana, nature, occultism, and religion. Sometimes the GM may let you use a lore skill if you can give a reason it should apply. Correct?
07) I don't have a good handle on the 'Society' skill. For what is it actually used?
08) What is the difference between low-, standard-, and high-grade magic items?
09) The special material versions of weapons and armor are better (and more necessary) than PF1 but also more expensive to purchase (in terms of the cash you get). Correct?
10) PF2 does not have quite the same things as item slots. However, if an item says "worn gloves" then you can't have another in use that also says "worn gloves" So effectively, it is an item slot. Correct?

That's what I can think of so far. I'm sure I will have more later.


1) correct.
2) imo most of the best buffs are regular spells, especially the long term ones. The issue is rather that a lot of buffs are short lived, and thus resource intensive.
3) that is definitely a thing, and casters better be careful :)
4) -I should not speak too much about performance, so yes-
5) yes. You could have a Lore (Vampires) as much as a Lore (undeads) - the more specific Lores tend to have lower DCs, but that's up to your GM.
6) correct. See above.
7) uses and tradition of various cultures, creatures living in organised societies, manners, formality, legal process...
8) you're thinking special materials. The grade of materials determines what power of enchantment can be grafted on them... the math reason is a bit complex but in essence, you'll find upgrading a special material item to be a little more difficult than usual.
9) yep. This is because special material weakness / resistance bypass scales with the enemy, not with you, so a simple plain level 2 silver dagger would still deal +20 damage to a lv20 creature and cost about 30 golds. The way to balance this is to put a ceiling on what other powers it can have - unless you pay an extra to raise it.
10) pretty much.

Sovereign Court

1 Actually you can use the Sustain action multiple times a round, just only once per spell.

10 So long as it makes sense you could have multiple magic items in the same ‘slot’. Ie only one pair of boots, but possibly a couple of belts etc.

Liberty's Edge

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1. Yes, this is correct.
2. Not exactly. As Ediwir notes, it has more to do with buff durations than it does with Sustain. And Bards are excellent buff casters even so.
3. This is sort of true. A PC who focuses on it can still serve as a wall between PC casters and enemies pretty well...they just need to actually focus on it. Without such a person, yes, this is correct.
4. Mostly correct. There are Skill Feats to give you a bonus on a specific Craft or Perform subcategory.
5. This is fairly accurate, though 'infinite' is an exaggeration.
6. This is partially correct, as it's actually five knowledge Skills. Society has subsumed what used to be Knowledge (Local) in PF1, importantly including its uses to identify Humanoids (as shown on p. 506 on the 'Creature Identification Table'). Humanoids are the only creature type it's used for by default...but are also very probably the most common creature type encountered in many games.
7. As Ediwir notes, Society is used for a lot of stuff. It's probably best thought of as a combination of History, Nobility, and Local from PF1, and covers pretty much everything those three did, plus all uses of Linguistics other than speaking more languages (Forgery is Society based, for example).
8. Most magic items don't have Grades, just special materials. For special materials it determines how powerful a magic item you can make out of them.
9. Not really, no. It's more accurate to say that almost all of the former 'Big Six' items have been pared down to a 'Big 2' a weapon (if you use one) and magic armor (which also provides Save bonuses). The percentage of wealth they take up is maybe a tad higher than weapons and armor alone in PF1, but definitely less than the whole Big 6.
10. Pretty much, but it only limits based on logic, not 'number of slots'. You can wear 10 rings easily, or a hat and a helmet if you can justify it, and so on.


Ellias Aubec wrote:
1 Actually you can use the Sustain action multiple times a round, just only once per spell.

As I recall, you can sustain a single spell multiple times in a single turn....it just usually does nothing. exceptions like flaming sphere or spiritual weapon exist though.

Sovereign Court

Debelinho wrote:
Ellias Aubec wrote:
1 Actually you can use the Sustain action multiple times a round, just only once per spell.
As I recall, you can sustain a single spell multiple times in a single turn....it just usually does nothing. exceptions like flaming sphere or spiritual weapon exist though.

Things like Flaming Sphere are the reason I would never allow someone to Sustain the same spell more than once per round.


Debelinho wrote:
Ellias Aubec wrote:
1 Actually you can use the Sustain action multiple times a round, just only once per spell.
As I recall, you can sustain a single spell multiple times in a single turn....it just usually does nothing. exceptions like flaming sphere or spiritual weapon exist though.

Mark just clarified this in the Flaming Sphere thread (link upon request, I'm lazy, "google it" :-P). An errata is going in the next time around that you can only sustain an individual spell once per round "unless the spell specifically encourages you to do so more than once like spiritual weapon." I'm assuming/hoping we get better wording than that, as Spiritual Weapon's wording doesn't seem very different from Flaming Sphere, but we at least know the intent is that most spells are once per round, each being an action.


1) We have 3 votes that you can use it more than once and 3 votes that you can not. Anyone know where the rule is located? I still can't find it. However, my search-fu is weak.

2) Ok, thanks. I will spend some time looking over the buff spell details. Almost all the ones I had looked at last weekend seemed to require the "sustain action" to keep them going.

3) I was afraid of that. I don't recall anyone in my local area that is building for this. Seems like I am going to need to make sure my squishy-casters are not so squishy as they used to be.

4) Well that just seems wrong to me. Just because a person learns how to create one thing shouldn't mean they know how to create everything. Just because you can play a flute does not make you an excellent stage actor. But oh well, that's the rules.

5), 6) & 7) Hmm... Sounds like if I'm not in a campaign that concentrates on a specific type of opponent, We should try to make sure there is someone in the group that has a decent Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion, and Society. If there is a specific type of creature or location, we could have one PC take that specific Lore. Other than that, The Lore skill has spread out through so many subsets, that it sounds like kind of a waste. (Mechanics wise, char development wise I will probably still take it.) It is also making Bardic Lore seem even more useful. Even though you can't get the proficiency level as high, it covers all of them. If you concentrate on a few items, feats, and spells just for that; it should cover your needs pretty well.

8) & 9) Ah ha. So a low- and high- grade cold-iron war hammer will behave the same for a 3rd level barbarian. (Well the high grade is slightly less breakable, but that probably doesn't come up too much.) The difference is that the low. However, once that barbarian gets to  higher level, he probably won't want the low-grade because it is too difficult to get the bonuses he wants on it. Correct?

This will take some thought, once I make martial PC. (I'm starting with a caster.) Does it seem better to have a steel magic weapon. then just a  low-grade version of each material for when you need it? Sounds like the vulnerability to the material would be more important than the magic bonuses. And I don't think anyone will be able to afford magic versions of all the material types.

What about the material types for the armor? How much of a difference does that make?

10) I will look at the book again when I get home. I thought it said that if the entry lists 'worn' and the item type, you couldn't have another of the same type. Maybe not very many of them list the item type.


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Mark's Post Regarding Sustain

1) To clarify, it's effectively RAW that a single spell, especially Flaming Sphere, can be sustained only once per turn (though probably not spiritual weapon). I think pretty much everyone here agrees you can use the Sustain action multiple times in a turn, so long as it's on different spells. And the sustain action itself sustains exactly one spell, not multiple.

The way you asked this question initially made it sound, at least to me, if you were asking if using the sustain action would, for one action, allow you to sustain multiple spells...


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Ah no. What I tried to do was:
Round 1, cast spell 1.
Round 2, sustain spell 1 and cast spell 2.
Round 3, sustain spell 1, sustain spell 2, then still have a action to move or something.

There is disagreement in my area on if this is allowed. Some are sure you can only sustain a single spell in a round.


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Ahh sorry, I believe everyone here (in this thread) is suggesting you can do exactly what you've said above. And Mark's post actually helps clarify that (by specifying that you can sustain a given spell only once a round it implies that you can sustain different spells). You can check with others, but I don't think anyone was voting against that :), they may have just not understood what you were asking.


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The Sustain a Spell activity doesn't have the Flourish trait and nothing within the text of the activity places any limits on it. Mark's linked post even specifically mentions certain spells being able to be sustained multiple times (which would be impossible regardless if Sustain was limited)

Do you have anything to support the idea it's limited to once per round?


Squiggit wrote:

The Sustain a Spell activity doesn't have the Flourish trait and nothing within the text of the activity places any limits on it. Mark's linked post even specifically mentions certain spells being able to be sustained multiple times (which would be impossible regardless if Sustain was limited)

Do you have anything to support the idea it's limited to once per round?

I've edited my post, I think you *may* be responding to me? My original wording was "I don't believe anyone is saying you can't do what you want", but the beginning and end of the sentence were split up a bit, so may have sounded like "you can't do what you want".


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I was responding generally/to the OP, I think you and I are on the same page here!


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Others have already chimed in with answers, so I'll just comment a little on some points:

ElterAgo wrote:
03) Can usually run all over the battlefield since most opponents do not have a reaction to make attacks of opportunity from moving through threatened squares. Correct? Seems like that will make it difficult to protect the squishy casters.

Attack of Opportunity (and similar abilities, like the monk feat Stand Still) are no longer automatic things, but I wouldn't call them rare. On monsters, most "guardian"-type monsters have an ability along those lines. In addition, those that do have attacks of opportunity tend to hit like a motherfrelling truck, and since it uses the full attack bonus they are very likely to hit.

Quote:
04) All the 'performance' and 'craft' skills have been combined. So if you have a +8 in performance, you are just as good at singing as playing the harp. Correct? Similar for the climb, fly, and swim combined to athletics.

Essentially correct. If you want to be a specialist in a field, there are skill feats you can take that give a bonus to a particular kind of crafting/performance.

Gear is also a soft limit. You might have Virtuosic Performer: Strings and a Virtuoso lute for a total of +2 when playing the lute as opposed to acting. For crafting, you need to have tools to craft things, and carrying around multiple sets of tools is prohibitive.

Crafting also has some other limitations. The first is that certain types of items are gated behind skill feats: alchemical items, magic items, and snares. The second is that everything beyond the common items in the equipment chapter needs a formula, so while you may be a Master craftsman you might not know how to make every item in the book.

Quote:
05) Conversely, the general knowledge skills have been expanded almost infinitely, since you there is a Lore for everything individually. Correct?

Yes and no. The big knowledge skills are Arcana, Nature, Occultism, Religion, and Society, with some slack being picked up by other skills (e.g. Crafting to recognize a particular maker's mark, or Medicine to figure out what caused a wound). If you have these, you should be good for most knowledge stuff.

In addition, you have Lores, which fill the twin roles of narrower knowledge skills (which usually get lower DCs) and profession skills. So normally Recalling Knowledge about a Vampire Count is DC 22 on a Religion check, but if you have Undead Lore it might be DC 20 and if you have Vampire Lore it might be DC 17. Lores can also have some cross-contamination - Barovia Lore might give you insight both into Strahd's unique abilities (which would normally be Religion) as well as who lives where (which would normally be Society).

Some Lores are more knowledge-based, and others are more professional in nature, and others are a mix of both. I think it would be hard to work a job with Barovia Lore, for example, but it would have lots of useful information (as long as you stay in Barovia, of course). On the other hand, Cooking Lore would be great for making a buck, but recognizing different dishes and foods would not be a common task for an adventurer (though it could come up).

Also, note that you get one Lore skill Trained for free as part of your background. There's also a skill feat you can take that gives you another Lore skill, which will automatically improve to the appropriate proficiency level at levels 3, 7, and 15.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As a funny anecdote to lore my groups inventory is sorted into categories of Not Alcohol, Alcohol But Don't Drink and Alcohol You Can Drink.


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I mean, I myself thought the question was intended for "if I have two separate ongoing spells, I must sustain them separately as each sustain counts for only one", which I answered positively.

All the rest went straight over my head.


Squiggit wrote:

...

Do you have anything to support the idea it's limited to once per round?

I don't. Just that a couple of GM's are sure it is limited. I don't know where they got that.

Sovereign Court

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ElterAgo wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

...

Do you have anything to support the idea it's limited to once per round?
I don't. Just that a couple of GM's are sure it is limited. I don't know where they got that.

Probably from 5e. The rule there says:

If a spell must be maintained with concentration, that fact appears in its Duration entry, and the spell specifies how long you can concentrate on it. You can end concentration at any time (no action required).

Normal activity, such as moving and attacking, doesn't interfere with concentration. The following factors can break concentration:

Casting another spell that requires concentration. You lose concentration on a spell if you cast another spell that requires concentration. You can't concentrate on two spells at once.

Taking damage. Whenever you take damage while you are concentrating on a spell, you must make a Constitution saving throw to maintain your concentration. The DC equals 10 or half the damage you take, whichever number is higher. If you take damage from multiple sources, such as an arrow and a dragon's breath, you make a separate saving throw for each source of damage.

Being incapacitated or killed. You lose concentration on a spell if you are incapacitated or if you die.


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Agreed, @Samurai. I think we come into a game with a lot of assumptions about rules based on previous games we've played. For PF2, that's PF1 most of the time, but it can also be 5e in some cases. For thinking sustaining (e.g. concentration) can only be done for one spell, that seems to be likely the case.

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