Play test session feedback - Thauma / fighter tanks spider and lives


Thaumaturge Class


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Finally got a chance to build and test a thaumaturge. We fought a pair of giant tarantulas at level 6.

Thaum 6
Human/Aasimar
Str 18 Dex 14 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 18
Wearing +1 scalemail
Rocking a +1 striking longsword in one hand and my amulet in the other.
Took the wand as my second implement but it never came up in combat.
Fighter dedication at 2 and dueling parry at 4
Rule of 3 at 6

Rest of the party is a Animal Barb, Archer Ranger and Caster Cleric.

Round one Barb and Ranger square off against spider one while cleric and I square off on spider two. I succeed at find flaws so I get my antithesis for free. I stride up to the spider and strike. +15 to hit and dealing 2d8+13 I felt pretty solid. And as the fight went on I only got more accurate because of rule of three. Amulet is a great implement, used that reaction every round. The cleric added a bit of damage, and the Ranger swapped to spider 2 in round 4 after the barb killed spider 1 in round 3. Leaving me to finish off the spider in the middle of round 4. I did about 2/3 of the damage to it, maybe 1/2. Walked away with 25 hit points when all was said and done.

Conclusion.
The fight was largely satisfying. The amulet is great and between the antithesis and empowerment I felt like I did a lot of damage. Rule of 3 was really cool too. Building the character was less satisfying. I felt really MAD and ended up starting with a 16 in cha and 16 in str. I’ve never started with less than an 18 in my attack stat, I don’t like the idea of being behind for 10 of 20 levels, thankfully 6 wasn’t one of them. I felt forced to invest my skill increases only in Recall skills, not leaving me a lot of interesting skill feat choices. I got lucky that the spiders were a nature check (one I boosted to expert). I feel like the thaum needs additional skill increases even if they are restricted to the recall skills. And maybe something to ease the MAD problem, cha instead of str on attack rolls? Less dependence on cha so that it’s feasible to start with a 14? I don’t even like the solutions I’m throwing out I just don’t know what the fix would be.


They need more skill increases than they get but probably fewer than rogue?


Lanathar wrote:
They need more skill increases than they get but probably fewer than rogue?

The answer, I think, is to have very specific increases. For instance, at certain levels the Thaumaturge can increase one or two skills to expert, then to master. It could mirror the Monk's saving throw progression, but earlier and more often.


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Like level 3 and 7 would give you 2 skill increases but 1 has to go to your 4 RK skills. That would help. Although, maybe they'll just make esoteric lore a core feature. Then you don't need to worry too much about increasing everything.


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aobst128 wrote:
Like level 3 and 7 would give you 2 skill increases but 1 has to go to your 4 RK skills. That would help. Although, maybe they'll just make esoteric lore a core feature. Then you don't need to worry too much about increasing everything.

Yeah. Swashbucklers gain Skill Feats tied to their Panache skills, I can't see why the Thaumaturge couldn't gain extra skill upgrades.


They do don’t they? But it is only either two or three across the entire life of the class. Which is not enough


Lanathar wrote:
They need more skill increases than they get but probably fewer than rogue?

Personally, my favorite solution is making FF work like combat assessment where it uses the same skill every time, regardless of creature type, specifically seeks out weaknesses, and uses a standard DC of the creatures levels. It gets around being spread too far without having to give the thaum a ton of free skills. If we want to keep the Cha KAS, we can still have the Cha substitution or make FF use a cha based skill; though I would like to see Cha play a bigger role in general, like perhaps Cha to hit your EA target, or special Cha based actions akin to divine disharmony

Imo, the thaum should still get some extra increases, limited to one of the magic skills, and I think to keep with the three theme, it should 3 increases, not 2. 2 boosts is kinda awkward, 3 lets you hit legendary in on of the traditions, and 3 boosts is just really good on theme


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That is one reason I'm personally pusshing for Esoteric Lore to be a class skill. and zero in on being a Monster Lore only type-rather than the loremaster lore type (which can lore anything at the lore discounted DC)
And then let it it scale in class as well.

So it becomes a self growing lore using charisma vs any and all monsters. but thats it. Non monster IDing can be normal skills

That'll let it be one specific skill, and one that is self contained. They can build in rules for it to allow the player to roll-not the GM in secret. 'cause its a pain for the GM and it sucks, as a player, to be told you crit failed and can no longer try it.

I'd still keep the knowledge class skills you start trained in. but if it stays purely charisma, I'd probably kick up the skill by one or two... but at least with the above set up you can customize over time.


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If it's a skill that's based off your KAS, has built-in progression, doesn't work like other skills of the same type, and is used for only one thing... Why not just use class proficiency/class DC? Why fiddle with such a narrow skill at all?


Are there any classes that rely heavily on so many skills? Mastermind rogue I guess.

And then Monster Hunter ranger

After that comes swashbuckler which rely on two (but can focus on one)

And is that it? Notice that outside of swashbuckler those are two edge cases - not entire classes


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Monster Hunter ranger gets to just roll Nature for everything eventually though.


Dubious Scholar wrote:
Monster Hunter ranger gets to just roll Nature for everything eventually though.

I know - but I have an NPC Ranger with my party at the moment who is level 3 and they pretty much can’t use that feat to any real effect

So for half the game they can’t take advantage. But the big difference here is that it isn’t fundamental to their class. Hunt prey and hunted shot still works fine


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Lanathar wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
Monster Hunter ranger gets to just roll Nature for everything eventually though.

I know - but I have an NPC Ranger with my party at the moment who is level 3 and they pretty much can’t use that feat to any real effect

So for half the game they can’t take advantage. But the big difference here is that it isn’t fundamental to their class. Hunt prey and hunted shot still works fine

Right, I'm just saying they have something that eventually removes the issue of multiple recall knowledge skills being involved (plus they've got a decent bonus to the roll from Hunt Prey).


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Mutty06 wrote:
I’ve never started with less than an 18 in my attack stat, I don’t like the idea of being behind for 10 of 20 levels, thankfully 6 wasn’t one of them.

I think this right here is a huge disconnect for me with a lot of the feedback on Thaum, and I thank you for writing the thing that triggered the realization.

I often make characters that don't have max attack stat, usually opting for more int or con. It really doesn't hurt that much, and as powerful as "+1" is in 2e, in about 40 sessions I personally have only missed by 1 a handful of times. In return I get a character who starts more versatile.

Not to say my way is better, just that my way is what I find better for me.

So it makes sense that the 16 Attack stat doesn't bother me, since I was already doing it.


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John Ryan 783 wrote:
Mutty06 wrote:
I’ve never started with less than an 18 in my attack stat, I don’t like the idea of being behind for 10 of 20 levels, thankfully 6 wasn’t one of them.

I think this right here is a huge disconnect for me with a lot of the feedback on Thaum, and I thank you for writing the thing that triggered the realization.

I often make characters that don't have max attack stat, usually opting for more int or con. It really doesn't hurt that much, and as powerful as "+1" is in 2e, in about 40 sessions I personally have only missed by 1 a handful of times. In return I get a character who starts more versatile.

Not to say my way is better, just that my way is what I find better for me.

So it makes sense that the 16 Attack stat doesn't bother me, since I was already doing it.

Starting with 16 isn't the end of the world for the majority of classes, specially martial character. The only exception being the Alchemist and its lackluster playstyle and proficiency.

You trade off a little bit of accuracy and secondary bonuses for extra survivability, saves and a myriad other benefits that can make a difference in other ways (extra language, perceiving a dangerous hazard, more HP/Fortitude, etc).

Starting with 16 is only a problem if the class lacks good proficiency progression, otherwise, the trade off is reasonable. I've had several players with 16 so far and it has never been an issue.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah it's not that bad.

Though it feels a little bit of a let down since you gain so much less than you do in other systems for trading away that last +1.

Even a 16/16 doesn't give the Thaum much room to put points in other stuff.

Liberty's Edge

I would like the Thaumaturge to be viable with CHA 16 and be able to go CHA 18, high STR, high DEX or high INT depending on the preferred playstyle and still be viable as a Martial.


I’m trying to build one as a GMPC for one of my games and Dex makes thematic sense as the NPC I am changing is primarily a scholar

Are you saying you’d like a version that could be Int and Cha without a 16 in either Dex or strength ? Sounds tricky given AC - either needing the Dex or the strength to wear the armour ? But that option would definitely fit the NPC I am using better than Dex/Cha. Indeed I think I will be giving them at least Int 12 because I can’t rationalise a scholar having 10 in Intelligence and Wisdom (although maybe I can put it in wisdom instead). I guess it could explain why they go out in the field and investigate weird stuff

Although I don’t know how soon they will see combat in anger . Might not be in time for the playtest. Next game is not likely to be until next week and I’m not inclined to parachute them into the current situation

(Context: Rise of the Runelords conversion. PCs just retreated from the final fight of book 1 to restore resources. And book 2 opens with an investigation that might well mean minimal combat)

Liberty's Edge

Indeed I would like this to be possible in the final version. Maybe FF/EA could be used to inflict penalties on your opponents' to-hit as an alternative for generating a weakness. So that the Thaumaturge could get by while having less than optimal AC for a Martial.

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