I can't seem to play a character with less than 30 movement speed. Help!


Advice


So, I've been having a bit of an internal crisis with the importance of movement speed to my characters that it really hurts my character creation verisimilitude, but done so due to a sense of "required" optimization.

In other words, if I'm not playing an Elf or a Half-Elf, or some other ancestry/class that gives 30 movement speed from the get-go, I just won't play it. Before anyone says that I haven't given it a fair shake, I have. I played a Mountain Stance Dwarf Monk. Levels 1 and 2 made me stupidly slow, even when building to account for it. 20 movement speed is no fun, because I'm wasting 2 actions just to get into the thick of things. Combined with spending actions to enter a stance just to be able to wade into melee without getting slaughtered, you're not doing anything for a good round or round and a half, while everyone else is already in the thick of things fighting. Yes, there is Flurry of Blows, but that's really all I get, and when you're throwing D8 damage dice around while having a weak AC (because no armor, and proficiency only does so much) and only like 22-32 HP, it's very easy to be dropped before you get to do anything.

By 3rd level, I hit 35 movement thanks to fast movement and fleet, but with the meager feats and offensive options, I'm really not doing much. I literally had to pay a bunch of stuff just to hit that mobility compared to an ancestry and build combination that doesn't really have to, and could work with some other awesome stuff, like taking Fighter dedication for some interesting Fighter feats that work well with unarmed fighting styles. Of course, couldn't because no Dexterity to make it happen, which is a major bummer.

Whereas when I played my Elf Wizard, he had 35 movement from the get-go, reaching 40 feet by 3rd level. The freedom of movement (pardon the pun) from that compared to the Monk I played was so contrasting and powerful that I felt completely unchained from moving so slow, and it made being able to set up spells/cantrips in a single round more viable than ever. Yes, a Monk can eventually outpace me, but that takes way too long of dealing with janky movement speed that I'd get burned out before I'd actually enjoy taking advantage of it. In fact, just two levels of that and I basically decided "Nah, I don't like this, and this patch-all from class features screwed up any chance of me enjoying a true martial master build."

This is even more difficult when trying to make a character with Heavy Armor. I need the AC, but also need the mobility to get into the fight and slaughter enemies. Combined with the not-so-desirable ability array from ancestries like Elf or Half-Elf, and next thing you know you're stuck being Slowy McSlowerton again, wasting actions on just getting in there instead of doing things like Striking, Intimidation, Feint, etc. While also having something as crucial as a Constitution penalty to deal with. (It wasn't so bad on my Wizard, but smart play, building choice, and tactics was the only reason it wasn't a complete disaster.)

Combined with areas being made larger to accommodate an increased group size (and increased challenges), and it just seems that having low(er) movement speed is just not viable.

Does anyone with a normal-sized party feel like they have this issue? If so, how did you deal with the problem? Am I just an outlier who just feels like having to spend more than one movement action per turn is just a waste of a round?


If you don't want to play an elf/1/2-elf try-

Use deep backgrounds and take Homeland: Another Ancestry’s Settlement for the 1st level Adopted Ancestry feat instead of a skill feat for the background. Between Nimble Elf and Fleet, you can get +10 speed on any ancestry.

Nimble Hooves adds 5 speed and is a 1st level tiefling feat so a human tiefling could get it and fleet for a 35 speed at 1st.

Scout's Speed/Swashbuckler's Speed adds 10 speed with archetype feats if you wait till 6-8th.


Deep Backgrounds would be interesting if I can get GM permission. If I had good enough flavor it'd probably be allowed, but it's still by no means a guarantee.

Tiefling is a nice bit of fresh air that lets me play other ancestries as a result. (I do laugh at the fact that you can't stack movement speeds like that, though.) Granted, it's not something I want to play constantly, it's better than playing Elves or so all the time, so there is that.

Swashbucklers do run into the same issue as the Monk, which is that I have to wait to get those benefits, or do some silly gimmick that makes me constrained in playstyle. It's not a big deal if I wanted to try those classes out, but I'd still much rather have the speed regardless of class choice, especially with spellcasters where the movement speed of each action is very damn important.

Liberty's Edge

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Have you tried something between the two extremes?

25 foot movement is standard, literally the most common and easy amount of movement to have, but it sounds like you haven't tried it, and avoiding 20 foot movement is much less restrictive to character concepts in general than needing a 30 foot movement is.

Horizon Hunters

How far out is your GM starting you? I've never had this probably with positioning even with the slower ancestries.

Also, Half-Elf doesn't get the native movement boost or "not-so-desirable ability array" either.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Have you tried something between the two extremes?

25 foot movement is standard, literally the most common and easy amount of movement to have, but it sounds like you haven't tried it, and avoiding 20 foot movement is much less restrictive to character concepts in general than needing a 30 foot movement is.

Not really.

The only opportunity would have been with a Half-elf Champion who took the Cavern Elf Heritage for the Darkvision (another problem of mine is requiring Darkvision at all times, but that's for another thread), but since I made the character at a higher level (a replacement for the Dwarf Monk who died at the end of Plaguestone due to bad saving throws), he was able to circumvent the movement problem that I would've encountered. He's actually the fastest PC in the party despite wearing heavy armor, and with a reach weapon with Lunge means that he can get in places that force enemies to either stay and fight or retreat and get punished for it.

Silver Crusade

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An easy option is to play a mounted character. Beastmaster is readily available if you want the maximum flexibility (small character on pony until medium animals come online with a mature companion). Or, depending on character, ranger or druid (either as main class or as archetype) for considerable value in addition to the animal.

Or just buy a mount. Assurance with nature is cheap and better than ride. At mid levels it dies a lot but also is cheap to replace.

Phantom steed works well too.


You can also play something with the travel domain. Agile feet domain power gives +5 movement for the round, and you can stride when casting. I'm similarly slow movement adverse to the point where I'm avoiding heavy armor byt having that power has been really helpful when speed was the difference between spending a whole other round getting to targets.

Sovereign Court

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Play a healer. With a bow. Cernunnos and Erastil are good deities. Tell the rest of the party that if they run out of range for your heals that that's on them.

If you need two moves just to get into the thick of things, I think your group may have picked up a habit of doing too much of the enemy's work for them. Get a ranged weapon, perhaps a long-range cantrip like Ray of Frost, and pepper enemies with it on the first round instead of closing in. Let enemies spend all that movement while you get ready to receive them. Then when they're close, go do your thing.

One of the most common tactical mistakes for any gaming group is not agreeing where to meet the enemy. when one character is hanging back (needs to go into stance, doesn't have the speed, needs to cast a buff, is setting up a defensive position) and another one runs to meet the enemy, then you're not playing as a team.

That needs a player discussion to solve.

"Hey guys, I'm playing a dwarven monk. I have a speed of 20, so if you run to meet the enemy at 30ft, I won't be there in the first round of combat. Don't do that please."


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Well, the thing that you have figured correctly is that in this edition speed is extra brutal in regard to action economy, both for offensive and defensive action, especially if you are not constantly fighting in close quarter environments.

In our group we have a speed 20 sword and board Fighter (also Dwarven) and a speed 30 Barbarian (Half-Elf) using Sudden Charge. And the difference of being able to move 60 feet in total using all 3 actions or moving 60 feet and still being able to attack twice is just hillarious. Especially at outdoor maps the Barbarian seems to be all over the place, left, right and center, easily striking and flanking at leisure, while the Fighter is slowly crawling around the battlefield like some personified creeping doom, often only being able to strike due to Lunge.

However and as already stated above this is also a group issue. After a couple of play sessions the Barbarian has clearly realized that if he outpaces the group by a large margin there is a huge chance that he will be caught out of position and cut down early (e.g. never outrun your healer). So it usually is the Dwarven Fighter who is setting the pace, which does make a lot of sense as he is also acting as the party tank.


Play a champion ( even without being elf or take the fleet feat)

1) allies will be next to you, so you won't need too much speed

2) use a reach weapon ( or a thrown weapon like the spear, if you wanna use the shield) to help yourself be more close to enemies

3) as a paladin, you can step ( ranged reprisal) if you are 5feet away from the triggering enemy reach.

4) given your decent charisma, consider also to use "trick magic item" In order to get a lvl 2 wand with longstrider ( you have to decide if to be trained in nature or arcana)

6) make a good use of dedications with flourish actions, meant to save you actions:

Ex:

- Monk dedication can give you flurry which gives you 2 attacks for 1 action
- fighter dedication will give you lounge, allowing you to merge step and strike in a single action
- staff acrobat dedication will give you 1 double trip for just 1 action, as well as a defensive stance for a free +2 AC
- everstand stance will give you a chance to raise your shield with your second attack.

And so on.

Ps: not also that moving too far from enemies with a stride could sometimes being you too far away from allies too, not to say it might trigger AoO.

Same goes with a party with a sudden charge character and a 20 feet speed one. If the former goes far instead of waiting, it would probably die focused by all enemies, which may lead to a tk.


Yeah as others have indicated, a lot really depends on the rest of the party makeup. Playing a 20 speed character in a party full of 30+ speed characters will likely be painful for everyone. Either you fall way behind the rest of the party, or the party throws away that speed boost.

BUT, I feel like speed is not nearly as big a deal in 2e as it was in 1e. Very few enemies, relatively speaking, have AoO's for instance. That means its a lot easier to position yourself around the enemy since you can literally walk right past them. The flip side of that is having too much speed doesn't really help either. My 30 speed Barbarian with Sudden Charge for instance quickly learned that just because he can move 60 feet and attack in a round doesn't mean he should. Especially when the casters were moving at 25.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

As a general rule, the person who closes into melee range might get the first hit in, but the one who got charged gets the second, third and fourth. Every action you spend moving to a melee opponent is at least one action they don't need to spend on their turn.

My rule of thumb (that granted I came up with because of this thread and hasn't been battle-tested yet) would be to make sure you have 1.5 to 2 actions' worth of useful things to do once you've finished moving. So Stride-Stride-Flurry would be a good use of a turn because Flurry is 2 actions in one. Or Stride-Stride-Strike in the case of a Fighter who considers threatening an AoO to count for that half-action in my rule of thumb.

So then the question becomes what should you do if you don't have the movement to close into melee and still be useful. In that case, you still have options. Obviously getting into stance is probably your number one priority, but after that, you can still move to a more advantageous (one that might reduce your risk of getting flanked, or that blocks the path to your casters) or enticing (close enough that the enemy will want to close into melee) location. You could get yourself a crossbow, sling or cantrip to punish an enemy that's not getting into range (It doesn't need to kill them, just do enough that they move in to stop you getting free damage). And if you have nothing else to do, readying a Strike on the first enemy that gets into range can be a better use of two actions than Stride-Strike, since you would still get the first hit but also make the enemy spend the movement.

And lastly, as others have pointed out, this only works if you can get the long-legs to cooperate. If they charge in right off the bat, then yeah there's little you can do to make the enemy come to you instead of you to it. However, if you can convince them to force the enemy to make the first move, they can still use their superior speed to outflank the enemy once they're closer in, while getting support from their slower companion


I usually take Ki Rush on Mountain Style dwarves to solve this problem- you generally only need to close a lot of distance once or twice per combat. Just train out of it once you get enough movement from your class features.

More than "not fast enough" I've found that "characters who are significantly faster than everybody else in the party" are liable to get killed if they rush into combat before anybody else can get there.


@Pauljathome: The problem with the Beastmaster dedication is the whole "training in Nature" thing. It might work for a Cleric or Monk, but that's all, and it does require further training and investment to make it function in the higher levels. And buying basic animals means enemies can just target it and gimp my movement, or hit it with some AoE nuke and it just dies by happenstance. It's basically the same reasoning why I think Familiars are junk.

@cavernshark: I've kind of stayed away from Domains since most of the good ones are Save-DC oriented, which isn't very viable unless it is derived from your main class. I do know there are a couple domains which give nice non-Save DC oriented abilities, but those are usually hard to come by with appropriate deities in regards to how the character is built. Outside of Champions, Clerics, and maybe Druids, I don't see this becoming an option. But, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one struggling with the "keeping up with the party" issues.

@Ascalaphus: We did have a player in the playtest make this exact character. It was viable for the scenario we ran, but it wasn't going to be pushing any crazy boundaries in the long run. Furthermore, with how scaling works now with weapons, being a Cleric main-class means you'll never excel past Expert training with weapons, even if you take Archer dedications. It's certainly not the worst thing leveling up, but when you're 18th level, and you're merely Expert with weapons against very strong enemies, the ineffectiveness shows. A Bard who took Fighter dedication in one of our groups to wield martial weapons didn't realize that his spellcasting (which he also uses for attacking) will by and large outscale his melee capabilities, and it's already been doing so by 7th level. Sure, he can make Attacks of Opportunity (because he took the feat), but at the higher levels that becomes less and less effective of an option as proficiencies scale and enemies are buffed to compensate.

This is a fair point about the "don't commit to the distance" problem, but I've played characters who took 2+ actions to close the same distance the rest of my party could with only 1 action, or had enough ranged options to not have to do that. This thread is more about finding a middle (or alternate) ground to achieving those goals. Playing a character that had both of these problems was no fun, and now that I've designed characters able to do one or both of these things, it's difficult for me to go back to that.

@Ubertron_X: I actually appreciate this sentiment, as players tend to just run in and kill stuff and ask questions about their decisions later. Having played a Champion and been in another group with a player taking Champion dedication plus having the reaction, it has saved us a lot by positioning ourselves correctly. Location, location, location.

@HumbleGamer: I'm basically playing this character right now. He is Half-Elf with Nimble, Fleet, and Boots of Bounding. 35 movement speed in Heavy Armor is pretty awesome, wielding a Glaive (deity's favored weapon), taking Fighter Dedication for Lunge and Attack of Opportunity gives me 15 foot reach while being able to utilize steps for my Reaction.

I didn't think to use a shield with a throwing weapon to be a viable "ranged tank." That's actually an awesome character concept to enable that doesn't necessarily require much movement, thanks! I might do this with my Tyrant Champion character I'm building now!


I see you are playing something similar to mine.

I currently play a Champion ( Paladin ) of shelyn, with glaive.
Ranged reprisal + reach allows us to cover 15 out of 15 squares.

Few considerations:

- You won't need fighter dedication for AoO ( as a champion you will get it by lvl 6 ).

- Lunge is very good, but I suggest you to check how many times you will be requiring it during your fights, since you will be close to your allies ( and eventually, you could use 1 action to step since you won't be using 3 attacks, if you don't use instead Feint/Demoralize ).

- Fighter dedication will require you to have 14 dex ( unless lvl 9 with half elf dedication ). Given how Bulwark works, it would be better not to have dex at all.

- Using a throwing weapon will require you to use dex, so even using a spear would require too much dex. On the other hand it is true that 99% of the times you will be hitting with your liberator strike with no issue ( if you are not a champion, even better ).

...

If you want to invest in dex as well as str, I suggest you to also consider the Staff Acrobat dedication. It would work very well even if you don't plan to use the bo staff ( the build shines with it )and as a champion you will be a fighting machine by lvl.

By lvl 10 you will have

- Trip and Shove on your weapon ( even if it doesn't have them )
- You will be permanent with your staff raised for +2 ac ( with bo staff ) with Whirlwind stance.
- A flourish maneuver which allows you to trip 2 enemies within your range with no MAP on the second check.
- The possibility to trip even huge and Gargantuan creatures

...

As for the Sword and board shield, i suggest you to be good and not evil:

- Spear as main hand weapon ( it has reach and benefits from "Defic Weapon", so its damage die increase by 1 step to 1d8 ).

- Lizardfolk ancestry in order to take terrain advantage by lvl 9 ( by lvl 12 you will be taking divine wall, making all enemies around you flat footed ).

- Paladin reaction + ranged reprisal + divine ally shield + Shield of reckoning. You will be able to shield for double the amount of damage and even more if the damage comes from different types, and also you will be stepping and positioning if needed. You can choose whether to throw your weapon or step because the call it's "within your reach", so it's even better.

- Forgo the shieldblock ( maybe take it by lvl 12 ) for second ally ( you would like to enable your critical specialization, and eventually get the free extra rune )

- Take also marshal stance and the feat to enable its aura.

You will be with a +1 status +2 from flat footed +1 from clumsy ( on a critical hit ) and because so you will be able to crit even more. Remember also to invest into Grievous rune ( the clumsy condition will last 1 more round ).

You would probably go better with a support which can haste you, but it's not mandatory ( you will be tanking and dealing dmg after all ).


I do not see how being Trained in Nature is particularly onerous. Every character without an Intelligence flaw starts out trained in at least 5 skills. You can pick up an additional skill in lieu of a skill feat. If playing a Human (including one from a versatile heritage) picking up additional trained skills is trivial.

Nature is generally a skill I see quite a large number of Fighters, Barbarians, and Rogues take. It's Wisdom based so it naturally fits in with a fairly stereotypical ability score profile. It makes sense that a typical adventurer would know the lay of the land, be able to recognize local flora and fauna, and identify beasts they come across.

I would not be surprised to see a fairly typical Fighter trained in Athletics, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, and Survival. Not a given, but not out of the ordinary to see.


Campbell wrote:
I do not see how being Trained in Nature is particularly onerous. Every character without an Intelligence flaw starts out trained in at least 5 skills.

Not so. Not every background grants skills and a 8 int means less skills. With normal character creation that means it's a 3 for minimum skills not 5.

Liberty's Edge

graystone wrote:
Campbell wrote:
I do not see how being Trained in Nature is particularly onerous. Every character without an Intelligence flaw starts out trained in at least 5 skills.
Not so. Not every background grants skills and a 8 int means less skills. With normal character creation that means it's a 3 for minimum skills not 5.

Very few Backgrounds, and no Common ones, do not grant a Skill, and he specified 'without an Int flaw' so that covers Int.

The majority certainly have 5 or more, and it's vanishingly rare to not have at least 4.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
graystone wrote:
Campbell wrote:
I do not see how being Trained in Nature is particularly onerous. Every character without an Intelligence flaw starts out trained in at least 5 skills.
Not so. Not every background grants skills and a 8 int means less skills. With normal character creation that means it's a 3 for minimum skills not 5.

Very few Backgrounds, and no Common ones, do not grant a Skill, and he specified 'without an Int flaw' so that covers Int.

The majority certainly have 5 or more, and it's vanishingly rare to not have at least 4.

You can have 5 trained skills minimum, but chances are a lot of those are pre-determined for you. Which isn't necessarily bad, but if you want to have multiple character options available, the pre-selected ones won't give you the freedom to just nab Nature without having to sacrifice, say, Medicine.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Very few Backgrounds

Very few is not "every" and that was my point: his comment was factually incorrect. You can also use Deep Backgrounds where some options remove your skill gain [offhand Another Ancestry’s Settlement] or Alternative Method: Rolling Ability Scores for lower than 8 without flaws. There is more than one way that "Every character without an Intelligence flaw starts out trained in at least 5 skills" is wrong.

As such, how much of a sacrifice is very much up in the air. Even if we go by the 'normal' 5, some concepts already requires that many once you factor in several might be pre-selected for you.

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