Diehard or Toughness?


Silver Crusade

(backdrop, making a Human with Versatile Heritage)

Was curious who if any had picked either of these General Feats and how well they were working out for them, especially at lower levels.

Difficult question because especially Diehard is very much depending on a lot of different factors. Do you want to create a character that is most resistant to being killed, while not giving much consideration to feat efficiency, do you play under a mercyful GM or in a rules enforcement heavy environment like PFS, does your group struggle with the challenges presented by your GM and characters are therefore downed very often, which type of character are you playing, ranged sniper or melee? etc.

For example in my 4 levels of AoA (1st volume finished) my cleric and our ranger have not been downed once, whereas our fighter (acting as the tank) and our wizard have both been downed a couple of times already.

In general feats that are always on like Fleet are often better than feats that are mostly or entirely situational. And while both Toughness and Diehard provide benefits when you need them most they only provide them in cases where you don't want to find youself in in the first place.

For both feats I think they will shine more at higher levels. Thoughness because the increase in HP for most classes equals for one additional character level around level 11 and Diehard because I imagine persistant damage will be more prominent at high level play.

Silver Crusade

I didn’t bring up Fleet since I don’t know how the map situation is going to be handled yet, otherwise it is indeed a strong contender.

“And while both Toughness and Diehard provide benefits when you need them most they only provide them in cases where you don't want to find youself in in the first place.”

I don’t want to of course but I’m not arrogant enough to assume my character (Champion, so frontliner) won’t ever get knocked out :3

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I tend to prefer Toughness to Diehard for the fact that Toughness may give you extra conscious turns (pretty rarely due to the fact that attacks of your level will normally deal 2 or 3 times what toughness gives but still an extra turn sometimes is a good thing). A few actions before falling can help you a lot.
When you fall unconscious I found that the few turns you have before dying with bad rolls are often enough for someone to stabilize you if really needed. Diehard has it's uses but usually at my tables there is someone that can spend two actions to give a potion (or cast a healing spell or do a medecine check) to my character on the next turn even in the middle of a fight.

In most general cases Toughness will get more use in play.

If you think the GM will throw Doomed and Wounded at you however, go with Diehard.

Rysky wrote:
I don’t want to of course but I’m not arrogant enough to assume my character (Champion, so frontliner) won’t ever get knocked out :3

Yeah, but as the main party healer I can tell you that I will rather think twice before healing my dying 2 or 3 friend instead of just stabilizing him because the next drop or critical drop may indeed be fatal (of course this also requires the GM not being an !&"*%" and going for the kill).

Also because of my role of dedicated party healer I have yet to see dying increase by die roll as due to the changes in initiative order when downed I can usually act before the downed character needs to make his roll. On a sidenote it will be interesting to see what my party does when I go down because currently the other members options are limited to potions.

As stated above Thoughness can provide extra rounds, which is golden, and Diehard can help you in case of induced conditions or persistent damage.

Sovereign Court

Normally, you can "afford" to get knocked down and back up once in a fight. After all, after getting up you're Wounded 1, and then if you get crit you go to Dying 3, but you're still alive.

With Diehard, you can do that a second time. That's pretty strong, if you need it.

Also the chances of actually getting crit after getting up are relatively high, because you're often close to a monster so it could attack you next turn with its first attack, which has the greatest chance of hitting.


If you get any clarity about the map situation though, I'd definitely consider Fleet. It often makes the difference between needing one or two actions to get somewhere, and that means you can also strike and raise a shield. Or step back.

I think shields, and denying enemies their full three actions, can make a bigger difference than a few more HP.

For level 1, I think Diehard is likely more impactful. Toughness gives you just 1 HP at that level, and while it does scale, it'll give you the same amount of HP if you take it at level 3 that it would if you had it the entire time. But that's assuming you're going to be taking both anyway- if it's one or the other, I'd go with Toughness.

Canny Acumen can also be very worthwhile depending on save progression. More impactful than toughness for the right character imo.

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Toughness is fantastic. My Ranger ended up with more HP than the Barbarian because of it. But I wouldn't take it until 7. 1 extra HP is not impressive. Fleet, Incredible Initiative, and Fast Recovery all provide much greater benefit to a level 1 character.

I'm not a fan Diehard, unless you're planning to stack it with Living Monolith.

Silver Crusade

My Paladin took them both. Hey, it's PFS....ya never know.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky wrote:
I didn’t bring up Fleet since I don’t know how the map situation is going to be handled yet, otherwise it is indeed a strong contender.

Unless you almost exclusively play on extremely small and clear maps you’ll probably get the dopamine bit of actually using your feat a little more often with Fleet than either of the others. I almost exclusively GM, so my experience is a little skewed, but I feel like I’ve seen PCs have to Stride and Step, burning two actions, than I’ve seen PCs land exactly in the “Toughness zone” in terms of hit points. Diehard is even less common because in probably close to 50 sessions I’ve only ever had one PC actually die.

I don’t want to of course but I’m not arrogant enough to assume my character (Champion, so frontliner) won’t ever get knocked out :3

Frontlining makes a fairly compelling argument for Toughness.

Lay On Hands makes a good argument for Toughness.
There's a multiplicative force of AC, self-healing, & h.p. that you'd be feeding into. (Contrast this with a Barbarian whose h.p. fluctuate more wildly, so they likely need Diehard more.)

Heavy Armor makes a good argument for Fleet, as does wanting to be able to place yourself as a barrier, come to the rescue of others, and generally be useful in your role. Going from 20' to 25' is a 25% bump in mobility, which is pretty important when chasing down Goblins or crossing a battlefield, especially if you're trying to Raise a Shield too. A Reach weapon can mitigate that in smaller venues. Frankly, it's hard to overdo mobility what with difficult terrain and nearly all your other movement being based on your base speed. Get that untyped movement bonus. It's akin to an expensive magic item.

Diehard does seem more a late game factor when you can expect to fall and come up Wounded more often or have time factors pushing the party on.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Die Hard. No question.
I mean, take them both when you get the chance. But I have seen Die Hard save half a dozen PC lives.
In Strange Aeons (PF2) we were under an effect that made our dying condition happen at 1 less. So we'd be dead at Dying 3. My monk had Die Hard. And I was so glad I took it.

My players like toughness

Cannary Acuemen one of those feats where you probally grab at 3rd level then train out of it then get it back again at 17th to shore up weakest save/perception.

Fleet is probally one of strongest general feat, one other advantage of it espically if all party are slighty above enemy in speed like if enemy has speed of 25 and everyone has 30 or more the enemy will have to spend 2 actions to chase yous down in melee, as 1 action for party with stride will drop it way out of range.

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Based on gameplay, the couple of deaths my party has had is due to persistent damage. Nothing to do with the GM trying to kill them. If they drop due to a critical and end up with persistent damage, the likely hood of them dying has greatly increased.

Dark Archive

People actually make characters without Toughness?

Ouranou wrote:
People actually make characters without Toughness?


That and Fleet feel like must-haves.
If you have fewer h.p./level it's a bigger difference (and you likely have poorer saves!).
If you have more h.p./level you're likely under threat more often!
I guess for an archer I might delay getting it?

Sovereign Court

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Ouranou wrote:
People actually make characters without Toughness?

Yeah I totally do. Works fine.

Silver Crusade

I think the answer for me is, it depends. Make you constitution good enough and you really don't need either at first level. Given a choice between the two, I would pick diehard and invest in my constitution at character creation and it also helps with your fortitude saves.

in 1st Edition, I almost always picked it for my arcane casters.

I have a Champion that just hit 5th level in PFS Organized Play and didn't pick either.

My Sorcerer did not either.

My son'Fighter picked diehard and it was quite useful as he was 2 levels below us and he tended to get knocked around a bit. He is new to the game so it helped give him a bit more slack.

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A skill that prevents you getting taken down is usually better than a skill that helps you after you get taken down.

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Personally, they synergize so well that I would not take one unless I planned to take both - and if I felt tempted to take one, I would make room in my build for both.

But I would probably take Toughness first - it seems more useful at lower levels.

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