The problem with archetypes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I don't think the you can let feats impact the math as much as the OP wants without growing the space between the optimization floor and ceiling. If that basic math progression isn't built into the starting class, then that means a player can stack all those increases to their advantage while the player next to them doesn't, and suddenly we are back in PF1.

Also, I'll note that while a wizard with fighter feats will never be as good at swinging their sword three times in a row as a fighter, they still have all those spells and can use Bespell Weapon to get a nice little damage boost. True Strike before attacking is about a +5 to hit. The arcane list lacks heroism, so they aren't going to be as good at buffing themselves as a bard or cleric would be, but they have a lot of debuffs that can bend the math in their favor as well. Making an enemy flat-footed or frightened 2 gives the wizard the same odds of hitting as most martials at baseline. Yes, the actual martial in your party will also be able to benefit from those conditions, but making your teammates better is not a mark against a character.

If you're not interested in using spells in conjunction with attacking once per turn, you should probably start with a martial or ask your DM about retraining into one.


thenobledrake wrote:
Zapp wrote:
So all this talk about a carefully calibrated game doesn't sound entirely plausible to me...
Yeah, because the calibration being to a different goal than what you expect is completely implausible.

It would be plausible to say that the proficiency of the casters is delayed because of the four levels of success, obviously it does not make sense knowing the spells that have an attack have the same delay. But it would make sense with most spells.

So what exactly is the design goal behind these decisions? Please elucidate me.

Do you think that when people see what they believe to be inconsistencies in a system they should question whether that system has been finely calibrated?

Your answer. It does not add any possibility of the reason, it only makes an attack on a possible ignorance of the person who raised the possible issue.


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I'm not attacking Zapp's ignorance, I'm inidicating Zapp's arrogance, there's a difference.

In this specific case, Zapp mentioned a cantrip that performs better than other cantrips do when it's (not unlikely to occur) prime conditions are met. This isn't the only point of balance that Zapp has expressed issues with over various posts on this forum.

Zapp concludes from this information that the game is not as "carefully calibrated" as advertised, and does not express this conclusion as a personal opinion but rather expresses it as indisputable fact or at least the only plausible opinion to hold.

And rather than me say "Yes, electric arc is better performing under particular circumstances, but it's still within the band of results the system calibration expects" to which Zapp would likely just respond along the lines of "No." or his oft-used "it is if you actually play the official APs." I've elected to just point out the real issue - that Zapp's not even open to the idea of other people having different opinions (which is really clear if you look at how often Zapp has used that 'official AP' line as if the only explanation for the difference of opinion is the other person not having actually played/read the same material.)


Draco18s wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
My daughter teased that I am a compulsive multiclasser. In one D&D game beside her I played a cleric 10/wizard 1/arcane archer 2. In a Iron Kingdoms game, I had a cleric 6/rogue 2/ranger 2. I was aiming for Exemplar prestige class, but the game ended before I reached it. My 1st Pathfinder character in a demo game never leveled up, but my 2nd Pathfinder character was a ranger 5/monk 3. I retired him when I took over as GM, but he made a cameo appearance and had added wizard to his classes.
Oh please. I have someone in my group who's fewest number of classes for any character he's built above, oh, about 8th level has been four. I once saw him build a character with SIX different classes. We teased him about it a couple weeks ago, too.

I will point this out to my daughter this Friday during our PF2 Ironfang Invasion game session. She joined the campaign when we switched to Roll20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, despite living 3 time zones away. She plays a tailed goblin Dexterity-based liberator champion with a velociraptor animal companion and who worships the foreign god Grandmother Spider. She has her own quirks in building characters.


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Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
I feel like some people are missing the fact that on the martial side, you get magic weapons that give bonuses to-hit. Casters don't get that. It is only proficiency for them. I encourage you to consider the bonus difference at each level of casting and martial proficiencies and include the bonus from fundamental runes.

On the other hand, the enemies can't pick up a shield and an armor and take cover to increase their saves.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Leomund "Leo" Velinznrarikovich wrote:
I feel like some people are missing the fact that on the martial side, you get magic weapons that give bonuses to-hit. Casters don't get that. It is only proficiency for them. I encourage you to consider the bonus difference at each level of casting and martial proficiencies and include the bonus from fundamental runes.
On the other hand, the enemies can't pick up a shield and an armor and take cover to increase their saves.

All the enemy has to do is get his +3 to item bonus to saves from armor. Like everyone is supposed to do in this edition.

********************

Also the fact they gave casters Legendary and a partial effect does not removes the fact that the scalling is wonky.

They could had made all casters Masters, and only Legendary in some schools/effects. They could had added item bonuses to Spell Attack and DC. And they certainly could had not added partial effects.

I honestly see partial effects as pity points. Spending your whole round expending a limited resource to get nothing feels bad. And when you are failing to do so half the time because of the game math its even worse.


Partial effects are fine. PF1 swinged too much on whether that spell hit or not. Spell hit you win the fight right there. Spell missed you wasted a round. I don’t think you’ll get much support that the four degrees hasn’t been a good thing for the game. Anyways most of your suggestions add complexity for little gain. Minmaxers here just aren’t the major audience and has been shown in repeated discussions about the results of their surveys are quite a minority. If anything I wish the game was a bit simpler and that some rules exceptions were just removed. (Like for example the new witch cantrip which boosts checks but not to crit success, there is no point for them to have to restrict that)

It’s fairly clear that they want players to stay at a comparable power level regardless of the path used to get there. So everyone when theorycrafting Magus and gishes needs to take care that these three paths are balanced and fair:

1. Martial archetyping into magic
2. Caster archetyping into martial
3. Magus.

All the Magus suggestions have given them master/master and really not taken enough away. They basically need to lose 9th level casting or lose any class features that give them bonuses of any type. I don’t think they’ll do the second since that restricts design space so it’s either lose spells or they like Warpriest will not have master in weapons.


CorvusMask wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

My daughter teased that I am a compulsive multiclasser. ...

I told my daughter that Val Baine, NPC bloodrager party member in my Iron Gods campaign, kept to a single class for all 17 levels. She asked, "And how many archetypes does she have?" Val had two PF1 archetypes, one which I homebrewed to make Val an effective assistant to all the PCs and enhance their glory rather than hers. My wife wanted to play a dwarven gadgeteer in that campaign, and Pathfinder lacks that class, so we cobbled the character concept together via Gunslinger with the gnomish Experimental Gunsmith archetype, multiclassing two rogue levels, and a lot of technologist feats.

Besides my confusion of Val becoming bloodrager instead of alchemist, I just want to say that as someone who is way more used to seeing characters like "I took one level in lore oracle, but my oracle isn't actually oracle, they completely ignore that class except for initiative bonus" that I'm not really sold on by glory of mix and match.

Like, I don't really think its case of you not being "able" to tell those stories with different type of multiclassing, just that you are telling them in different manner :p

The full story about Val Baine's class can be found at Iron Gods among Scientists, comment #8. In summary,

(1) After the first foray into the dungeon, the three-member party of dwarf gunslinger, half-elf magus, and strix skald (barbarian/bard hybrid) realized they needed a melee martial character to complete their ranks. I offered a town guard or an apprentice cleric, but they chose Val Baine for story reasons.
(2) Val Baine was supposed to be a 13-year-old girl, the adopted daughter of the town wizard, Khonnir Baine, whom the party was supposed to rescue. Her only skills were in innkeeping and she would offer the party members free room and board in her father's tavern. However, when the gunslinger took the Local Ties campaign trait to become the smithing assistant to Khonnir, I altered the timeline to fit her in. This aged Val to 17 years old. I had already roleplayed this older version of Val as an apprentice wizard who studied under her father and already knew a few arcane cantrips. She still ran the Foundry Tavern in her father's absence.
(3) The cantrips were a slight mistake. Khonnr Baine was human rogue 1/wizard (arcane bomber) 5. The Arcane Bomber archetype gives up cantrips in exchange for alchemist bomber abilities. Hence, Khonnir knew no cantrips to teach his daughter. I suspect this is why CorvusMask thought Val was likely to become an alchemist.
(4) The players knew that Val had been born in a Kellid barbarian tribe and suggested that Val could be a barbarian with the Savage Technologist archetype.
(5) Thus, I wanted to compromise on a wizard/barbarian. Bloodrager, a barbarian/sorcerer hybrid class, was close enough. Val spent her first three levels studying her spellbook every morning, thinking she was a wizard with some barbarian skills. At 4th level, she learned her arcane spellcasting came from her bloodline rather than her arcane studies. I also gave her Primalist archetype for more versatility and tried adapting the Savage Technologist archetype to bloodrager (Savage Spellslinger). Her bloodline was Air Elemental with the goal of her flying alongside the strix skald at 8th level.

I find it interesting to imagine Val Baine built under PF2 rules. She was a compromise designed to fit an existing story and the need to keep her from becoming a gloryseeking GMPC, so compromises to fit PF2 rules are par for the game.

Start with barbarian class. Steal the Eldritch Trickster Racket for rogue from the [i]PF2 Advanced Class Guide[/url] and use that to replace her barbarian Instinct. If I were building this Val Baine from scratch, I would chose Wizard archetype via Eldritch Trickster to provide her arcane cantrips. If I wanted to copy Val Baine as she was in my campaign, I would chose Sorcerer archetype with Elemental Air bloodline. She could take the Basic Bloodline Spell archetype feat at 4th level, Basic Blood Potency at 6th level, and Advanced Blood Potency at 12th level to select the sorcerer feat 6 Advanced Bloodline and gain flying via Elemental Motion 3rd-level focus spell. That is a hefty feat tax. I think the Sorcerer archetype needs a feat to grant the advanced bloodline spell without requiring Basic Blood Potency, preferably earlier than 12th level (I also want this for the rogue/sorcerer in my Ironfang Invasion campaign).

In PF1 Val had gained Bluff as a class skill via the Unpredictable trait. The party needed to maintain a deception to avoid the notice of the Technic League, but no player wanted to spend the time. Thus, that became Val's job. She also needed to craft in several different subcategories--alchemy, armor, bows, clockwork, mechanical, tools, and weapons--to serve as a smithing assistant. Both become easier in PF2. All she would need would be training (and later Expert) in Crafting and Deception, and the Alchemical Crafting feat.

CorvusMask is right. I wouldn't need PF1's version of multiclassing to tell the same story about Val Baine.

Some readers might wonder why I wouldn't use the freeform NPC rules to create Val Baine as I want. An NPC party member levels up with the party. This means that character needs a class in order to gain class levels. Otherwise, I would have to redesign the character via the creature design rules at every level. Furthermore, not having the same restrictions as the player characters would feel unfair.


Talking about my Iron Gods campaign and the weakness of the magus at 1st level led to thoughts of the magus discussion in this thread. The magus in Iron Gods was terrible at melee at low levels because the player had used an Intelligence build. In PF1 a magus with a Strength build is fine at melee at 1st level and a magus with a Dexterity build is fine once he gains Dervish Dance at 3rd level.

The discussion of the future PF2 magus being great at both martial combat and spellcasting ignores that the character will have only one ability score at 18 from 1st through 4th level. (Okay, shroudb suggesting Intelligence to attack was not ignoring it.) We need to consider individual builds, not assume that the magus is independent of its build.


shroudb wrote:
Exocist wrote:
Azurespark wrote:
PawnJJ wrote:
Temperans wrote:


And yes for martial Legendary is the best, Master is okay, and Expert is bad. But guess what? It works the same way for casters. Yet martials are able to get Master spellcasting, but it is physically impossible for casters to get Master in martial things.

Except it doesn't work the same way. Every caster gets Legendary spellcasting. Legendary is baseline for casters.

Only one martial gets Legendary weapons. Master is baseline for martials.

That's why Caster/Martial gives Tier-1 weapon proficiency and Martial/Caster also gives Tier-1 caster proficiency

Is the alchemist the only martial that doesn't get master weapon proficiency? Did we ever get a reason why?

They can get a (basically) permanent item bonus that is one higher than the bonus everyone else gets starting at level 11 and deal some AoE damage even on a miss.

Alchemist numbers aren’t actually that bad starting at level 8-11ish (exact level debatable) for bombers.

Also obligatory they’re a support character, not a damage dealer. They’re capable of doing many things that martials cant’t do, or do much worse than them.

that actually does nothing for the discrepancy of the lesser proficiency since the extra +1 from the mutagen is used to counterweight the -1 they get from not being able to start with 18 in their attack stat.

in short: alchemists are almost always universally -2 compared to everyone else.

which is a core issue.

i don't understand why if investigator can use his Int for Attck rolls, alchemist can't. And i hope that this is something that the (long overdue) alchemist erratta is going to address.

I'd like to point out that the investigator only gets his Int to a single attack roll per turn, by spending 2 actions per turn (One to prep and one to strike) unless they can findangle their "On the Case" ability.


So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.


I agree it is a subtler difference. I think I actually even liked it better when it was more subtle where it was 1 2 3 instead of 2 4 6 but eh w/e


TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

Expert is not 3/4 BAB its 1/2 BAB. All martial characters are getting Master which is equivalent of 3/4 BAB, while only Fighters get Legendary which is equivalent to full BAB.

Master is the base value, anything less and the attack is just a spare action if you have absolutely nothing else to do.

But you see again comes the problem of wonky tiers.

No martial class in PF1 could ever get 8th level casting while having full BAB that was just impossible, the best they could do was 4th level casting. The best a 3/4 BAB class (besides Druids and Clerics) could do was 6th level casting. And the 1/2 BAB classes were the only ones to ever get 9th level casting.

However that is not the case in PF2. Fighters who get Legendary in Weapons are able to get 8th level casting. While full casters who get Legendary casting can only ever get Expert. Using PF1 values for proficiency: Fighters are getting Full BAB and 8th level casting; While 10th level casters can only ever get 1/2 BAB.


Temperans wrote:
No martial class in PF1 could ever get 8th level casting while having full BAB that was just impossible, the best they could do was 4th level casting. The best a 3/4 BAB class (besides Druids and Clerics) could do was 6th level casting. And the 1/2 BAB classes were the only ones to ever get 9th level casting.

Actually, you could increase your BAB to full on one 6th level caster! Occultist with the Warrior panoply could get it.

That doesn't change anything you were saying; I just always found it cool that you could pull off full BAB 6th level casting in PF1.


Temperans wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

Expert is not 3/4 BAB its 1/2 BAB. All martial characters are getting Master which is equivalent of 3/4 BAB, while only Fighters get Legendary which is equivalent to full BAB.

Master is the base value, anything less and the attack is just a spare action if you have absolutely nothing else to do.

But you see again comes the problem of wonky tiers.

No martial class in PF1 could ever get 8th level casting while having full BAB that was just impossible, the best they could do was 4th level casting. The best a 3/4 BAB class (besides Druids and Clerics) could do was 6th level casting. And the 1/2 BAB classes were the only ones to ever get 9th level casting.

However that is not the case in PF2. Fighters who get Legendary in Weapons are able to get 8th level casting. While full casters who get Legendary casting can only ever get Expert. Using PF1 values for proficiency: Fighters are getting Full BAB and 8th level casting; While 10th level casters can only ever get 1/2 BAB.

In some ways it is like that like in theory master is half BAB in that it is the lower of the optons but in application its a whole lot better then 1/2 because it's only like 4 less to hit instead of 10 less. Its the difference between it being completly pointless for my wizard to fire his cross bow when out of spells to it being a actual possibility that I could do damage. so it is quite a bit better to have expert then 1/2 really.


TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

Because of the criticals rules. A few pluses in PF2 are more important to damage output.


The crit system really is over bearing in how much it limits the system. So much needs to tamed down because it would mess with the crit system.


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Darche Schneider wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Exocist wrote:
Azurespark wrote:
PawnJJ wrote:
Temperans wrote:


And yes for martial Legendary is the best, Master is okay, and Expert is bad. But guess what? It works the same way for casters. Yet martials are able to get Master spellcasting, but it is physically impossible for casters to get Master in martial things.

Except it doesn't work the same way. Every caster gets Legendary spellcasting. Legendary is baseline for casters.

Only one martial gets Legendary weapons. Master is baseline for martials.

That's why Caster/Martial gives Tier-1 weapon proficiency and Martial/Caster also gives Tier-1 caster proficiency

Is the alchemist the only martial that doesn't get master weapon proficiency? Did we ever get a reason why?

They can get a (basically) permanent item bonus that is one higher than the bonus everyone else gets starting at level 11 and deal some AoE damage even on a miss.

Alchemist numbers aren’t actually that bad starting at level 8-11ish (exact level debatable) for bombers.

Also obligatory they’re a support character, not a damage dealer. They’re capable of doing many things that martials cant’t do, or do much worse than them.

that actually does nothing for the discrepancy of the lesser proficiency since the extra +1 from the mutagen is used to counterweight the -1 they get from not being able to start with 18 in their attack stat.

in short: alchemists are almost always universally -2 compared to everyone else.

which is a core issue.

i don't understand why if investigator can use his Int for Attck rolls, alchemist can't. And i hope that this is something that the (long overdue) alchemist erratta is going to address.

I'd like to point out that the investigator only gets his Int to a single attack roll per turn, by spending 2 actions per turn (One to prep and one to strike) unless they can findangle their "On the Case" ability.

for sure. Same as Casters (usually) only "attacking" once per round with their attack spells using their casting stat.

but bombs already have restrictions in for multiattacking due to action economy issues as both draw and Quick is an action by itself, and quick bombs is a once per round ability and etc. As a limited resource you can't be chucking them at -5 and -10, especially with the crappy proficiency you have, and perpetual makes them always a 2 action activity due to the action cost of creating them.


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

I was hoping there would be a general feat at level 17 that allowed a character to increase their proficiency to one group of weapons they have expert proficiency in.

It limited by group.
Limited by late in the game.
Limited by primary stat - casters are always going to be at least 1 behind str/dex based martial builds.
Limited by the fact martial builds get access to feats that let them crit on a 19.

I don't think it would be that wonky for other classes to get it in a limited group of weapons at the opportunity cost of other level 17 general feats given they will never be as good at a martial at a martial's schtick and will have to juggle their stats (focusing a melee stat is in itself taking away from other abilities).

I do think Paizo was a little heavy handed with the Gish nerfs. Expert capping doesn't matter for a character concept that never wants to swing a weapon but it does for those that want that. Its not like Wizards/sorcs etc will ever be dedicated front liners. And if they are swinging in the front lines they aren't casting their spells in the same turn so what does it matter? They can only effectively do one at a time.

Scroll trickster means non caster classes can get a reasonable amount of extra magic utility (and more if they invest in scrolls like a caster seems to be expected to). They have to spend gold which takes away what they have for a magic weapon but equally casters have to spend gold to get the magic weapon which takes away from buying/crafting scroll consumables.

I don't see the issue balance wise. A caster is never going to be able to properly compete with a martial. Not like anyone is saying warrior priests are invalidating barbarians or rangers.

Silver Crusade

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Temperans wrote:


No martial class in PF1 could ever get 8th level casting while having full BAB that was just impossible, the best they could do was 4th level casting. The best a 3/4 BAB class (besides Druids and Clerics) could do was 6th level casting. And the 1/2 BAB classes were the only ones to ever get 9th level casting.

However that is not the case in PF2. Fighters who get Legendary in Weapons are able to get 8th level casting. While full casters who get Legendary casting can only ever get Expert. Using PF1 values for proficiency: Fighters are getting Full BAB and 8th level casting; While 10th level casters can only ever get 1/2 BAB.

I largely disagree with this analysis.

1) just to be a little pedantic, oracles and shamans were also 3/4 bab 9th level casters. Less pedantically, they could both make quite powerful Gish builds.

2) In PF1 full BAB really wasn't all that important for fighter type prowress. Druids with natural attacks were very effective, as were characters buffing via spells. Heck, my DRUID made a fairly effective archer by always just being in air elemental mode and having crazy Dex and mobility.

3) to say that in PF2 a martial has 8th level spell access is technically correct but rather misleading. They have relatively few spells and they pretty much suck at any spells requiring a to hit roll or a save. Their spells will almost entirely be utility spells.

The bottom line is that Gish characters could be quite overpowered in PF1. The 6 spell level ones tended to leave pure martials in the dust, the 9 spell level ones had nearly full spell proficiency while still being quite good martials, the really well built 9th level ones did both.

Yes, it is impossible to make a Gish that is as flexible and powerful as the often grossly overpowered monstrosities possible in PF1. That is a good thing.


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Against on-level enemies at lvl 11, on your first Strike, a wizard with expert proficiency (assuming +4 in attack stat) will have something like 35-50% chance to hit before considering magic weapons, conditions, or buffs from allies. That's not bad. Will you ever be a "true martial"? No. Of course not. That's good, though, because you're a wizard. If you wanted to be a martial-with-spells, go fighter (or whatever).

We need to stop comparing this stuff to PF1, because it is an entirely different system. Different assumptions with different goals. Hell. Even comparing to on-level enemies is a bit off because on-level enemies are intended to be a significant challenge.

If they decide to add feat support later on for boosting proficiency, cool. I guess. I just don't think it is needed.


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Cyder wrote:

I was hoping there would be a general feat at level 17 that allowed a character to increase their proficiency to one group of weapons they have expert proficiency in.

It limited by group.
Limited by late in the game.
Limited by primary stat - casters are always going to be at least 1 behind str/dex based martial builds.
Limited by the fact martial builds get access to feats that let them crit on a 19.

Limiting it by group isn't much.

Limiting it to late in the game is still a late game issue.
It is not limited by primary stat except at 20, because casters could have an equal bonus from 15-19.
It's a bit unfair to give available martial feats much weight on this one, I feel. You're handing a caster the main high-level advantage of martial classes for a single general feat. If Martials wanted to get casting, they'd need four class feats just to get an eighth level spell that still lags in proficiency.

I think that would be pretty unbalanced. There's no way I'd take Hunt Prey and 2hp/level over 9th and 10th level spells and Inspire Courage/a bunch of magical healing/more 9th level spells.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

I think this is dice-feel WAY more than number crunching. As I've seen mentioned elsewhere, missing is the worst form of failure. This is difference from 1E as missing pretty much wasn't an issue, between MUCH higher success rates and far more attacks per round.

I've seen players at my table that internalize any failure and bottle up frustrations, and 2E's more even odds of success really plays an emotional trick on them. They feel like they are missing left and right and aren't being rewarded for their investments, and often they look to the Fighter and say 'if only I had that extra proficiency, I wouldn't feel this way.'

It is, in my opinion, a convenient thing to point at and blame when the real culprit is 2E math in general. The math is balanced around have a 50/50 chance to hit and wasting a non-zero amount of turns to missing, but it is one thing to say that and another to go through it. Just because it still works out and you can get through encounters that way doesn't change how people feel.

I think this dice-feel is coloring a decent amount of what people feel about gishes. We can't forget that the Magus was the class that did very little but pick up a keen scimitar and jam metamagic'd Shocking Graps out the wazzoo. How many people's preconceptions of what a gish does are colored by the nostalgia of that type of Magus critically hitting on a 15 and dealing hundreds of damage in huge bursts? That's an entirely different feeling than anything in 2E, and safe to say that isn't going to come back.


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manbearscientist wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

I think this is dice-feel WAY more than number crunching. As I've seen mentioned elsewhere, missing is the worst form of failure. This is difference from 1E as missing pretty much wasn't an issue, between MUCH higher success rates and far more attacks per round.

I've seen players at my table that internalize any failure and bottle up frustrations, and 2E's more even odds of success really plays an emotional trick on them. They feel like they are missing left and right and aren't being rewarded for their investments, and often they look to the Fighter and say 'if only I had that extra proficiency, I wouldn't feel this way.'

It is, in my opinion, a convenient thing to point at and blame when the real culprit is 2E math in general. The math is balanced around have a 50/50 chance to hit and wasting a non-zero amount of turns to missing, but it is one thing to say that and another to go through it. Just because it still works out and you can get through encounters that way doesn't change how people feel.

I think this dice-feel is coloring a decent amount of what people feel about gishes. We can't forget that the Magus was the class that did very little but pick up a keen scimitar and jam metamagic'd Shocking Graps out the wazzoo. How many people's preconceptions of what a gish does are colored by the nostalgia of that type of Magus critically hitting on a 15 and dealing hundreds of damage in huge bursts? That's an entirely different feeling than anything in 2E, and safe to say that isn't going to come back.

Ironically, the shocking grasp magus became a really boring version of fighters "I full attack"

Liberty's Edge

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

While I don’t necessarily disagree that attack proficiency levels may be a littler overvalued in comparison to other combat abilities, I think that pointing to flanking is a bit of a red herring. Yes, a Rogue who flanks effectively “catches up” with a Barbarian who isn’t flanking,, but a Barbarian who is flanking is still ahead of a Rogue who is flanking. The real issue is that I’m not sure how much that difference is worth in the context of all of each character’s other abilities.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, I think is a "Feel" thing. Most people arguing against the math simply don't like the 50/50 chances of success being the "rule" - In PF1 my characters just don't miss, ever. I'm not going to argue what is best, because everyone already has their opinions formed. I played just this weekend PF1 and PF2 back to back... and the first is very binary in everything, you are good, or you suck. In PF2 luck and in combat decisions are "a little" more important. Both have a very different feel, but I would not deem 1 strictly superior to the other... is just a matter of personal taste, not of "wonky design" or "badly designed maths" as some pedantically proclaim.


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manbearscientist wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

I think this is dice-feel WAY more than number crunching. As I've seen mentioned elsewhere, missing is the worst form of failure. This is difference from 1E as missing pretty much wasn't an issue, between MUCH higher success rates and far more attacks per round.

I've seen players at my table that internalize any failure and bottle up frustrations, and 2E's more even odds of success really plays an emotional trick on them. They feel like they are missing left and right and aren't being rewarded for their investments, and often they look to the Fighter and say 'if only I had that extra proficiency, I wouldn't feel this way.'

It is, in my opinion, a convenient thing to point at and blame when the real culprit is 2E math in general. The math is balanced around have a 50/50 chance to hit and wasting a non-zero amount of turns to missing, but it is one thing to say that and another to go through it. Just because it still works out and you can get through encounters that way doesn't change how people feel.

I think this dice-feel is coloring a decent amount of what people feel about gishes. We can't forget that the Magus was the class that did very little but pick up a keen scimitar and jam metamagic'd Shocking Graps out the wazzoo. How many people's preconceptions of what a gish does are colored by the nostalgia of that type of Magus critically hitting on a 15 and dealing hundreds of damage in huge bursts? That's an entirely different feeling than anything in 2E, and safe to say that isn't going to come back.

The biggest problem is that pf2 isn't pf1. The systems are in the same setting but nowhere near the same jump as 3e to 3.5 or 3.5 to pf1.

2E math assumes failure, assumes critical success from stronger foes and assumes that threats are threatening in themselves. If you don't like the feeling of failure i am guessing it's better to maybe stick to pf1 because pf2 won't change that.
PF2 dice matters a lot, pf1 taking 10 solves most of the skillchecks with it's crazy inflated numbers.


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Feels like Oholoko hit hit the nail on the head.

We're so used to comparing PF1 to it's predecessor, 3.5 and even 3e. And that habit doesn't translate well with 1e > 2e. They need to be considered entirely different systems in the same setting, not to each other. It's about as viable as basing how 5e dnd should be on 4e dnd.

For people with system mastery, PF1 was pretty much a breeze with a few exceptions, even more so when the CWL wand became meta and picking healer was effectively shooting yourself in the foot when you could be a godlike gish along with everyone else in the party.

Personally as a rogue player, I'm fine and expecting to be behind the barbarian in attacks. He will never get close to my skill usage mastery or utility.

Sczarni

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
smrtgmp wrote:

I never claimed you should have everything that both classes get in full. I’m saying that 20 levels of feat investment should have more of an impact. It also strikes me as odd that multiclassing into fighter never makes me any better with my weapons. It just gives me access to more weapons.

A fighter/wizard can eventually increase their spell proficiency to master.

A wizard/fighter can never increase their weapon proficiency beyond that provided by the base class.

The discrepancy between the two is my problem.

"DIVERSE WEAPON EXPERT FEAT 12

ARCHETYPE
Prerequisites Fighter Dedication, expert in any kind of
weapon or unarmed attack
Your proficiency ranks for simple weapons and martial
weapons increase to expert, and your proficiency rank for
advanced weapons increases to trained."


Verzen wrote:
smrtgmp wrote:

I never claimed you should have everything that both classes get in full. I’m saying that 20 levels of feat investment should have more of an impact. It also strikes me as odd that multiclassing into fighter never makes me any better with my weapons. It just gives me access to more weapons.

A fighter/wizard can eventually increase their spell proficiency to master.

A wizard/fighter can never increase their weapon proficiency beyond that provided by the base class.

The discrepancy between the two is my problem.

"DIVERSE WEAPON EXPERT FEAT 12

ARCHETYPE
Prerequisites Fighter Dedication, expert in any kind of
weapon or unarmed attack
Your proficiency ranks for simple weapons and martial
weapons increase to expert, and your proficiency rank for
advanced weapons increases to trained."

That feat doesnt increase your proficiency better than your class.

And trained in Advanced Weapons is effectively useless. You are -4 compared to Fighter for Advanced weapons, and -6 compared to Fighter with regular weapons or Unarmed Monks. You are also -4 compared to all other martials with regular weapons.

That feat is literally just a waste. Since Martial or Advanced weapons are not worth a -2/-4 penalty to hit under most situations.

Silver Crusade

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It's not if you want to use an Advanced Weapon and not have to play a Fighter.

You not liking it doesn't make it a waste.


Rysky wrote:

It's not if you want to use an Advanced Weapon and not have to play a Fighter.

You not liking it doesn't make it a waste.

I agree it's not a waste.

If you were a martial.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

+19 (Trained+Score+11+Item) vs AC30... its hardly a waste. Is quite serviceable. Of course you cannot surpass the Figther or even the Champion/Barbarian, but you are still a full caster with a serviceable Advanced Weapon Attack


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manbearscientist wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:

So I don't get why people get so obsessed over master proficiency. It's like BAB. Almost everyone gets at least 3/4 (expert) while some martials get full (master) and fighter has a bit of an edge (like the old weapon training for legendary).

Master is cool and all, but flank for the rogue and you're mathematically swinging at the same bonus to hit as a barbarian or fighter, which is way better than the PF1 multiclass fighter wizard had.

I think this is dice-feel WAY more than number crunching. As I've seen mentioned elsewhere, missing is the worst form of failure. This is difference from 1E as missing pretty much wasn't an issue, between MUCH higher success rates and far more attacks per round.

I've seen players at my table that internalize any failure and bottle up frustrations, and 2E's more even odds of success really plays an emotional trick on them. They feel like they are missing left and right and aren't being rewarded for their investments, and often they look to the Fighter and say 'if only I had that extra proficiency, I wouldn't feel this way.'

It is, in my opinion, a convenient thing to point at and blame when the real culprit is 2E math in general. The math is balanced around have a 50/50 chance to hit and wasting a non-zero amount of turns to missing, but it is one thing to say that and another to go through it. Just because it still works out and you can get through encounters that way doesn't change how people feel.

I think it's totally valid to feel this way, and in a lot of cases I feel the same; I think players need to recognize that some classes are designed to appeal to this type of mindset better than others. The Fighter and Investigator are especially good for this type of player since you have so much more consistency and so many more assurances. On the other hand, the Barbarian exists more for people who are willing to give up a bit of that consistency for the excitement of seeing that high roll obliterate something, which is important to other types of players.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Cyder wrote:

I was hoping there would be a general feat at level 17 that allowed a character to increase their proficiency to one group of weapons they have expert proficiency in.

It limited by group.
Limited by late in the game.
Limited by primary stat - casters are always going to be at least 1 behind str/dex based martial builds.
Limited by the fact martial builds get access to feats that let them crit on a 19.

Limiting it by group isn't much.

Limiting it to late in the game is still a late game issue.
It is not limited by primary stat except at 20, because casters could have an equal bonus from 15-19.
It's a bit unfair to give available martial feats much weight on this one, I feel. You're handing a caster the main high-level advantage of martial classes for a single general feat. If Martials wanted to get casting, they'd need four class feats just to get an eighth level spell that still lags in proficiency.

I think that would be pretty unbalanced. There's no way I'd take Hunt Prey and 2hp/level over 9th and 10th level spells and Inspire Courage/a bunch of magical healing/more 9th level spells.

Martial feats give a lot of action economy fixes. Martials with the ability to crit on a 19 alone is a huge advantage given how the numbers work. I think you undervalue how powerful high level martial feats are.

The main high level of martial classes is not +2 to hit with weapons its all the combat utility. There is an opportunity cost to a caster going to 20 strength for the extra hit/damage/athletics options. It means they have to nerf survivability (they already struggle to get comparable armour). The extra HP do make a difference and neglecting con with a lower HP base is a problem if the caster wants to stand on the front line. I think you are ignoring the opportunity costs for the caster while undervaluing everything else that a martial gets. If a martial's edge is simply +2 to hit with weapons that a terrible design.

Gish martial base get less spells but you undervalue what the lower level utility and some of the lower level non incapacitate spells do. Keep in mind that all martials can get Master prof in spells (something that warpriests are capped at so they can already be on par with a full caster class in terms of proficiency). They get about 2/3 the spells per level of all casters except specialist wizards and sorcs. They get full power cantrips. The get up to 8th level spells and that includes most of the work horse spells and can supplement spell slots with scrolls. They just lack the highest level of blasting and some incap, there are a lot of good spells below those levels, hell read all the wizard threads talking spruiking how its not all about your max level spells and that the lower level ones are good. Lower level spells can't be simultaneous great for casters and crap for martials. Given that legendary prof doesn't come online till 18th level Master prof in spell casting is still very strong against mooks. Lower level AOE's are still super good at clearing mooks as are lower level incap spells. Martials that gish can do all of that still and can instantly supplement slots with scrolls with no extra problem.


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PawnJJ wrote:
smrtgmp wrote:

Yes, I’m talking about fighter, who is supposed to be able to hit stuff reliably. Yet the fighter archetype doesn’t increase your ability to hit reliably.

If we waved a magic wand and made you level 10 slot Wish spell a reality.

Then we'd have posts in this forum titled:

The Problem with Archetypes

If someone starts wizard and puts a couple feats in fighter archetype then he will hit just as well as my ranger/barbarian does.

Archetypes shouldn't invalidate my whole class

Giving fighter multiclass archetype master to hit in martial weapons at higher levels would invalidate absolutely nothing about the ranger or barbarian as both of those classes have access to such a range of class features and feats that make their playstyles unique from a wizard/fighter.


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Cyder wrote:

Martial feats give a lot of action economy fixes. Martials with the ability to crit on a 19 alone is a huge advantage given how the numbers work. I think you undervalue how powerful high level martial feats are.

The main high level of martial classes is not +2 to hit with weapons its all the combat utility. There is an opportunity cost to a caster going to 20 strength for the extra hit/damage/athletics options. It means they have to nerf survivability (they already struggle to get comparable armour). The extra HP do make a difference and neglecting con with a lower HP base is a problem if the caster wants to stand on the front line. I think you are ignoring the opportunity costs for the caster while undervaluing everything else that a martial gets. If a martial's edge is simply +2 to hit with weapons that a terrible design.

Gish martial base get less spells but you undervalue what the lower level utility and some of the lower level non incapacitate spells do. Keep in mind that all martials can get Master prof in spells (something that warpriests are capped at so they can already be on par with a full caster class in terms of proficiency). They get about 2/3 the spells per level of all casters except specialist wizards and sorcs. They get full power cantrips. The get up to 8th level spells and that includes most of the work horse spells and can supplement spell slots with scrolls. They just lack the highest level of blasting and some incap, there are a lot of good spells below those levels, hell read all the wizard threads talking spruiking how its not all about your max level spells and that the lower level ones are good. Lower level spells can't be simultaneous great for casters and crap for martials. Given that legendary prof doesn't come online till 18th level Master prof in spell casting is still very strong against mooks. Lower level AOE's are still super good at clearing mooks as are lower level incap spells. Martials that gish can do all of that still and can instantly supplement slots with scrolls with no extra problem.

Oh, I'm not undervaluing them, don't worry! I'm saying that it's more fair to say that the martial doesn't get an 18th level feat (which is where crit on 19 comes from), because it's being used to get casting. The caster is (hypothetically with a 17th level general feat) getting a huge chunk what a martial is. I'm looking at what it takes for a martial class to get something comparable chunk of casterness.

Those 8 spell levels are definitely valuable! But I feel they don't compete with a caster at casting as well as a Cleric or Bard caster with master weapon proficiency competes with a martial class at… martialing. I could be persuaded that they're more ahead on martialing, but the hypothetical 17th level general feat is a much cheaper cost.


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shroudb wrote:
. . . and quick bombs is a once per round ability and etc. . .

I assume you mean the alchemist feat Quick Bomber.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 76 1.1 wrote:

QUICK BOMBER [ONE-ACTION]

You keep your bombs in easy-to-reach pouches from which you draw without thinking. You Interact to draw a bomb, then Strike with it.

Quick Bomber makes drawing and throwing a single action, just like Quick Draw for weapons. Nothing in the feat or in the Alchemist limits it to once per round. It is perfectly within the rules, as far as I can tell, to Quick Bomb with all three actions.

Quote:
. . . As a limited resource you can't be chucking them at -5 and -10, especially with the crappy proficiency you have . . .

My table is currently alternating between Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse. There is a bomber in each campaign and, so far, they've not been too shy about throwing twice. When they do bomb twice, it is usually a Bottled Lightning for a bit of damage and to impose the flat-footed condition. Then the follow-up bomb is at an effective -3 rather than -5.

It is true, though, that they never attempt a third bomb, but, then again, almost no one at the table bothers for a third action strike. The MAP at -10 (-8 for Agile) is pretty punishing. A third-action strike is rarely attempted [at our table] unless the situation is such low risk that there's no real harm in fishing for 19's or 20's to land a third action strike instead of, say, taking an action to Aid, Recall Knowledge, move, Raise Shield, Take Cover, or whatnot.

Quote:
. . . and perpetual makes them always a 2 action activity due to the action cost of creating them. . .

This is a gross mischaracterization.

Perpetual Infusions give the alchemists the option to choose between one and two (or four with Perpetual Breadth from the APG) different bombs that they can make without expending a resource. They are the alchemists' cantrips (that they don't get until level 7), and they're great when the situation doesn't call for bigger bombs or other activities. They're also pretty nifty for sticking some persistent damage with Calculated Splash and Sticky Bomb.

There is nothing, however, that requires bombers to only use their perpetual infusions instead of higher level bombs.


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I think the issue is that a caster who invests even all 10 class feats into being a martial will still prefer just casting electric arc at any given point instead of being in melee thanks to lower AC (that's mostly fixable with champion or sentinel + general feats or just a high dex but that takes till 15th to get 20 dex), bad saves (even outside wizard no caster gets above expert in fort or reflex both of which monsters like to force on attacks, general feats can help but don't give evasion or the equivalent), low hp (-2/4 per level adds up and is only compounded by poor defenses), -3 to hit minimum assuming 16 str/dex to start, and -2-5 damage over time thanks to weapon spec and lower strength (it's a feat to get scaling martial weapons, heck you can dip bard for it now). You can spend a lot of feats mitigating those issues but you are always playing catch up, even with all the feats you have those numbers (especially on the offensive side) are hard to change and will never catch a martial even with no feat investment. Meanwhile electric arc is just sitting there with damage based on a stat you can max, autoscaling damage with no item requirement, proficiency that scales as well if not better than a martials, deals damage on a successful save, and can even hit two people at once. Slap on the forcible energy metamagic and tell your party to invest in shock weapons and you've got a build that will work till 20th, just don't expect to have free actions.

Meanwhile for a 2-5 feats a martial can be a competent utility caster since proficiency and stats doesn't change how good true strike is or most other utility spells. They will never have as many as a caster but a caster needs to spend spell slots to keep up in combat while a martial can prep whatever spells they want and still function in combat by swinging their sword. And a martial can stop taking caster feats at any point. If they want to stop at expert they can and still get the benefits of a few low level spells and staff/scroll access. A caster who dips a bit will end up falling back on cantrips making their martial dip a waste. Really the issue is spells are a very versatile class feature that is valuable at any point so being able to dip even a little is very good (on top of spells being the main class feature of casters not named bard). Being a good martial is yes or no, there is no benefit to being kind of good at swinging a sword (especially with scaling cantrips) and martial class features are heavily protected compared to spells (1d6 sneak attack ever instead of 1 feat per 1d6 up to 4d6 which would be the spell equivalent) because martials dipping other martials for their combat fixers would skew the power level very quickly. Letting a caster have bootleg rage would be fine, letting a fighter do it would make the fighter even more dominant. Compared to letting a wizard get up to 8th level occult spells (or more arcane off sorc) is the same amount of power as a fighter getting those same spells. They are a static value that doesn't stack with other features (though some spells do certainly do *cough* true strike *cough*).

With all that said I don't really see a way around the issue with how 2e works. If anything the issue is they gave martials too much access to spell casting for relatively cheap and didn't give the casters anything to make up for that. The caster chassis is worse than the martial one in almost every way and they are lacking in impactful class features that aren't cast spells (ignoring bard) and then martials can take the main class feature of casters and be almost as good especially on the utility side. How was that ever going to be balanced?


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iNickedYerKnickers wrote:
shroudb wrote:
. . . and quick bombs is a once per round ability and etc. . .

I assume you mean the alchemist feat Quick Bomber.

Source Core Rulebook pg. 76 1.1 wrote:

QUICK BOMBER [ONE-ACTION]

You keep your bombs in easy-to-reach pouches from which you draw without thinking. You Interact to draw a bomb, then Strike with it.

Quick Bomber makes drawing and throwing a single action, just like Quick Draw for weapons. Nothing in the feat or in the Alchemist limits it to once per round. It is perfectly within the rules, as far as I can tell, to Quick Bomb with all three actions.

Quote:
. . . As a limited resource you can't be chucking them at -5 and -10, especially with the crappy proficiency you have . . .

My table is currently alternating between Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse. There is a bomber in each campaign and, so far, they've not been too shy about throwing twice. When they do bomb twice, it is usually a Bottled Lightning for a bit of damage and to impose the flat-footed condition. Then the follow-up bomb is at an effective -3 rather than -5.

It is true, though, that they never attempt a third bomb, but, then again, almost no one at the table bothers for a third action strike. The MAP at -10 (-8 for Agile) is pretty punishing. A third-action strike is rarely attempted [at our table] unless the situation is such low risk that there's no real harm in fishing for 19's or 20's to land a third action strike instead of, say, taking an action to Aid, Recall Knowledge, move, Raise Shield, Take Cover, or whatnot.

Quote:
. . . and perpetual makes them always a 2 action activity due to the action cost of creating them. . .

This is a gross mischaracterization.

Perpetual Infusions give the alchemists the option to choose between one and two (or four with Perpetual Breadth from the APG) different bombs that they can make without expending a resource. They are the alchemists' cantrips (that they don't get until level 7), and they're great when the situation...

you misseed the whole purpose of the post:

IF you use your advanced bombs, you are attacking with a limited resource at -5, actually -7 due to lower proficency, that's terrible.

so, the ONLY attack that makes sense as a 2nd attack is perpetual that doesnt actually cost you a limited resource. Perpetual being always a 2 action attack due to having to create it first on the same round.

No matter how anyone spins it, having a singular class in the whole game that DOESN'T use it's main stat as it's attack stat is simply faulty design.

if alchemists used Int for attack they would be only -1 behind the other martials instead of the -2 that they are now (+1 from mutagen, -1 from ability, -2 from proficiency)

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