This'll be for my playtest results when I manage them.
Though these won't be PFS specific. No groups near me. So mostly online or post by post.
We'll see how many I get in!
edit:For context. I play mostly post by post, or One Shots that I manage to find. I do not have a constant group. (so the recall knowledge stuff has been weird in general even prior to this playtest).
I also tend to play Alchemists, Gap Filler, tool kit style characters. Mostly ranged. Less melee-skirmishers when I have.
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Played a One Shot.
Level 2 (half elf w/ nimble elf for 30ft movement)
Stat Spread: 10 16 10 12 12 18
Class Feats: Esoteric Lore; Scroll Thaumaturgy.
Weapon: Hand Crossbow.
AMulet states it must be worn or held in its paragraph. Chalice stats holding to use the Drink action. Wand and Weapon's actions both state held to usue them.
The latnern says 'hold" but is that held in the hand? The others are more direct about what they require due to the nature of their items. Lanterns however, are items that can be tied off on staves, shield sconces (maybe), on belts and such.
Do I have to hold it? can i tie it off on my belt/bag, shield sconce, etc? My GM threw me a bone and let it work fine like a normal lantern tied to my belt. But how and if you must hold an implement is ahuge detail. I think they should be called out more how they're used/worn/carried/elsewhere pockets etc
My GM let me tie the implement to my belt though. As its a L item and thats a common thing in a lot of games. Idk if its legal norm. Its usage in battle was effectively none so I guess it doesn't actually matter much with exception of possibly having to use an Action to put it away at the start of a fight? As implement Empowerment can be done with just a free hand.
I feel like I wish it had a combat effect. Since its the only one w/out a combat benefit-but can still cause issues if its in your hand at that moment.
-------------------Non combat stuff: -------------------
Early on, I had some good use out of Esoteric Lore. I could try for the surprise monsters and for the obscure name of a family from a town over. I do not know if the GM used the lowered lore DC or not. They felt pretty weird about that lore bein so broad. So part way through I started to use it only on Monster ID stuff.
The Lantern was pretty fantastic group buff. Several times it pushed things in just the right direction to get over a hill. Though often forgot it buffed Recall Knowledge because the monsters were rarely in the area-because I was a ranged user.
I really felt the low amount of skills. I wasn't the "magic guy" but I had all those trained magicskills. But I also did not have enough to do much else. i did however eek out having Stealth, Survival (bckgrd), thievery. I did thievery fairly well but there was no in class synergy with skills I had.
I hope there is like a book implement that helps with skills "Dummy's guide" style Which was actually my character's story. he was writing dummy's guide to the world and was working on the monsters sections.
Having high peprception was pretty great, and having a latnern bonus to trap finding was pretty good.
I went down to a crit pretty fast on a miniboss like thing. I did have 10con due to how hard it was to get stats rolling with the Charisma being high for Find Flaw. After that I basically played like a coward haha.
Action Economy was a bit odd for me.
Implement Empowerment: I didn't use this at first because I had to hold a lantern, a crossbow (hand) and reload. Once I did start to use it (see note about lantern implement)
I crit failed a find flaw. Which as it prevents me from using eso anti. but its a recall knowledge so I don't think I coudl retry it. As typically you cannot keep trying RKs. So. I felt pretty rough on that one. Maybe we were wrong and I could just retry the next round? but i don't remember seeing a note about retrying.
I did end up useful enough vs minions and also doing the enviromental challenge while they fought.
I ended up taking Assurance to use with Esoteric Lore to work for Find Flaw. I continued to roll low on it often. (and in game the was some confusion on if Assurance's profiency bonus was "level+trained'2) or "Level+trained+stat (charisma)" as well as some specific vs general of Find Flaw and Assurance.
I used assurance most of the time as it continued to fail for me otherwise. Bad luck rolling never above a 10 in that game for most things.
The biggest take away I have for Find Flaw is that the GM themselves got annoyed having to roll secret Recall Knowledge checks. Part way through they just told me "Either you roll, or just tell me Assurance-I got that memorized now". So I ended up rolling recall knowledge checks for Find Flaw specifically.
It makes sense most turns were "find flaw, esoteric, attack" or "reload, find flaws, (attack or esoteric depending on result)" I do really love that EsoAnti works until it dies or I change.
It felt quite odd having to do it on each individual helldog despite them being the same. But not terrible issue there.
For ranged weapons I noticed reload was real painful. I should've used shurikens via ancestry feat I guess. At high levels I would absolutely want a repeating hand crossbow. I feel like there aren't enough things in the game for one handed ranged ultimately. but thats a facet of my specific style of characters.
I very much felt the pain however when it came to multiple monsters. I could-with the right luck o the dice-hit individuals really well. But I did not have any option for multiple small things, or could I do multiple attacks well between Find Flaw/EsoAnti and how fast my allies killed smaller things. I found myself wishing I could somehow use my lanter for burning hands. Doesn't make sense but I was enraptured by that idea. I do think it would be neat to get some form of mundane magic in implements more. Maybe a class feat that gives X options depending on implement.
This does lead to another choice I had made.
I didn't get to use it as I didn't have much starting gold and I in fact forgot to buy scrolls due to last second game situation.
But I adore this class feat. Its fantastic. There was so many times in game where I feel like I wish I had XYZ option. A croll would've fit that perfectly. This'll pair fantastic with the later ones. It also makes me unequivically feel like a Thaumaturge in what I view them as. And. it makes every single scroll loot usable!
I do however wonder how I would've dealt with the action economy hand handedness of it all.
Esoteric Lore: I love loremaster lore. So I also love this one. I used it mainly for Find Flaw stuff. I feel like it won't scale enough to keep up. but I also won't have enough skill boosts to boost knowledges if I want to be able to do anything in other skill challenges.. So I feel like this should scale better than Loremaster will. Maybe similiar to some of the Class DC boosts or something. If its a solid option for Find Flaw that means I could actually make someone athletic, or stealthy theivey etc. It doesn't lock me into being "that one guy who knows a ton about occult/arcane/etc" and instead is "that guy with a lot of tricks".
I absolutely love being a ranged Tham with a crossbow. I could fluff dipping or pulling otu speciality arrows. I had alchemy arrows, holy oil, blood of a lamb sacraficed on a thriced cursed blue moon. etc. That was just an absurd amount of fun. I think I'd like a whip one too. But I dont think I'd enjoy melee one. I felt pretty fragile. but that in part would likely be my lack of melee experience.
I will 1000% want Drow Shootist as this character though. They absolutely need the action economy help of an autoxbow and the "move/shoot" or "reload/shoot" situation.
Overall I loved playing this character.The main thing I felt was completely locked and stymied by the lack of skills. In not combat stuff I felt pretty rough. It might be because I'm coming from Alchemist-who is insanely versatile and was able to do or at least Aid every skill challenge (with a skill Aid or item). but I felt like I basically could "turn off" during skill challenges instead of be involved.
I also felt like Charisma was completely random. I only boosted it for Find Flaw, scrolls and my original choice of wand (Before I figured out how to use a hand xbow).
Honestly I'm in the camp of "really wish I was INT based. I woudlnt' feel so useless without skills, and I wouldnt' have modifiers for things I don't use like intimidate cause I am ranged"
I didn't like feeling like a dumb pretty boy in the room. When I built them as a scarred guy who was trying to write Idiot's Guide to life books and got through life overcoming his weakness using tools and tokens gained or created via knowledge.
THough it was completely funny to roll a diplo check with a high static modifier due to +4charisma. Untrained but managed to talk down a situation.
I think in part I felt like I had incomplete stats due to having to have charisma but so little benefit. (I could've had 10 if find flaw didn't force replace that stat)
EDIT: kind of for myself. I feel like Forensic Analysis skill feat will be absolutely wanted. It would be a fantastic way to figure out what killed a thing and then find the flaw in that thing and figure out what it was.
Stealth I feel like is huge. the few times I got to pre-study a thing was massive in getting things rolling.
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Can't edit the original now.
But as a general note as myself and many play Post by Posts.
Recall Knowledge as an offensive option is pretty awkward with post by post. I either wait for GM response. Or. and what I tended to do most.
Post two "options" If i pass on a success take round A. if i failed and have to spend an action on EsoAnti take Round b. If i crit fail. Take round C.
and then the GM has to verify which one occurred.