Mathematics and table play


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


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I've been thinking a lot about game balance and average damage and "to hit" percentages and all that stuff lately. I play two classes that have "accuracy problems": Alchemist and Warpriest. In both cases, I don't really see what the problem is. Let me explain.

I've played an Alchemist Bomber to 9th Level, an Alchemist Mutagenist to 6th, and a Warpriest to 10th. So, in all three cases, I've been in levels where I'm -1 to hit compared to a non-Fighter/non-Gunslinger Martial.

(My Alchemists use Quicksilver & Bestial. My Warpriest will usually have Bless or Heroism up.)

I've never noticed my guys hitting less than the other players. I think it's because when I miss... the odds are, they would've missed as well.

A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy. And against an on-level foe, the only one I care about is the one where I miss.

(Don't get me wrong: I love getting a critical hit on something, particularly with a sticky Bomb. But I've never been quite able to get over my D&D background. I keep expecting Criticals to only happen on a natural 20. When I get one on a 19 or 18, it's awesome, but it's still not something that I find myself expecting.)

So, out of 20 numbers, there's 1 where I miss and the other guys wouldn't have. I find I can't get myself too worked up about it. I might hit the "magic" number five times in a fight. I might hit it zero. It's impossible to predict, so I just tend to ignore it. I hit, or I don't hit.

I imagine it might contribute to why folks still have fun with Barbarians despite the fact that Fighters are undeniably better at hitting things. Even with their advantage, in any given fight the Barbarian might hit just as often. Maybe even more often if the Fighter is having a bad night, dice wise. And when they do hit, they hit a ton, to use the baseball parlance.

Over time the Fighter will likely output more damage... but that can be a hard thing to "see". I imagine you'd have to actually track your output over multiple fights and maybe even multiple sessions. I wonder if anyone does that? It really doesn't appeal to me, but there's definitely multiple ways to have fun in these games.

Anyways, that's enough rambling for now.


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ottdmk wrote:

I've been thinking a lot about game balance and average damage and "to hit" percentages and all that stuff lately. I play two classes that have "accuracy problems": Alchemist and Warpriest. In both cases, I don't really see what the problem is. Let me explain.

I've played an Alchemist Bomber to 9th Level, an Alchemist Mutagenist to 6th, and a Warpriest to 10th. So, in all three cases, I've been in levels where I'm -1 to hit compared to a non-Fighter/non-Gunslinger Martial.

(My Alchemists use Quicksilver & Bestial. My Warpriest will usually have Bless or Heroism up.)

I've never noticed my guys hitting less than the other players. I think it's because when I miss... the odds are, they would've missed as well.

A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy. And against an on-level foe, the only one I care about is the one where I miss.

(Don't get me wrong: I love getting a critical hit on something, particularly with a sticky Bomb. But I've never been quite able to get over my D&D background. I keep expecting Criticals to only happen on a natural 20. When I get one on a 19 or 18, it's awesome, but it's still not something that I find myself expecting.)

So, out of 20 numbers, there's 1 where I miss and the other guys wouldn't have. I find I can't get myself too worked up about it. I might hit the "magic" number five times in a fight. I might hit it zero. It's impossible to predict, so I just tend to ignore it. I hit, or I don't hit.

I imagine it might contribute to why folks still have fun with Barbarians despite the fact that Fighters are undeniably better at hitting things. Even with their advantage, in any given fight the Barbarian might hit just as often. Maybe even more often if the Fighter is having a bad night, dice wise. And when they do hit, they hit a ton, to use the baseball parlance.

Over time the Fighter will likely output more damage... but that can be a hard thing to "see". I imagine you'd have to actually track your...

Having played 2 groups from 1st to 18th level (one of which is still going) with a Bard, that provides +1 to Attacks, Damage, AC, Saves, etc. scaling to +2 or +3 as we need, and those bonuses saving us from hits or criticals (or providing hits or criticals for our party) are practically countless. Even if we want to discount buffs, there are plenty of debuffs, like Frightened, Sickened, etc. that have made the difference as well, saving hits, failing enemy saves, the list goes on. It might not "feel" different when it's only a +1, but when you know the numbers, and know that you missed due to denying tactics (such as Flanking, or avoiding Lesser Cover), it's noticeable. I could even say that I notice that +1 or -1 making the difference more than it not making the difference, either because I'm wondering how I didn't hit, or because I compare what numbers hit or don't hit the enemy to determine an AC value, and subtract the attack bonus I have from the AC to see what I need to roll on the dice to hit on average.

There's also the factor that, even though it might be a +1 or -1 now, it does scale over the levels, and it gets worse over time when gear, buffs, and optimization is taken into account. A +3 or -3 is a very significant buff or debuff. As your characters gain levels, and proficiencies adjust, and itemization begins to matter more and more, the differences in their capabilities shift dramatically. A character with Expert Perception and a mere +1 Item Bonus will be far less perceptive than a character with Master Perception and a +3 Item Bonus, with maybe a +2 Circumstance Bonus to Initiative rolls; the difference there is 4 points (6 with Initiative rolls), which is massive when the math is tight and DCs are expected to scale with the second character, and not the first one. The first character will miss out on loot/secret doors/traps the second character will more likely spot, enemies can sneak past the first character and ambush the party easier, they will often move slower on initiative than the second character, etc. And that's merely from Perception. Doing the same with Saves (by not boosting the relevant attribute/proficiency with Canny Acumen general feat), Skills, or even Attacks/DCs means the character is doubly unlikely to make those things function against the projected math; and let me tell you, some of those monster DCs for even on-level fights are beyond absurd.

Barbarians have their niche of being the largest bag of HP with solid Will Saves, amazing Fortitude Saves, and their Instinct abilities, combined with some of the most powerful weapons/damage in the game, depending on Instinct choice. They pay for it with less-than-stellar Reflex Saves and AC, the two biggest things that more than off-set whatever HP they gain compared to Fighters (which is, what, 2 HP per level?) as well as less Perception, meaning they move slower in most every fight. Great if you want to be that big oaf that brings a beat down, but takes a beat down in exchange.

But in my experience, having played a Champion, who is supposed to be the AC king, a Fighter's Evasion will trump whatever AC proficiency boost (which doesn't even kick in until 7th level, or improve until 13th and 17th level, a far weaker progression compared to Fighters) and Lay On Hands (which provokes AoOs and requires wasting actions in combat to do) I possess, simply because being able to negate hundreds of damage with a successful save turned critical with no action on my part is massive (and failing one is far more extremely painful) to survival. Being able to shrug off Will Saves slightly better (Fighters can get a comparable bonus to the save with Canny Acumen, and have a pseudo Iron Will benefit via Bravery already) isn't worth that sacrifice in survivability.


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The basic issue is that a d20 is a huge range. So "being the best in the world at something" doesn't guarantee you're going to roll better than someone who is merely average.


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In PFS I have a warpriest, they are currently level 9, way back when they were level 1 I played next to a level 2 fighter.

They went ahead of me in initiative, moved up to a monster, attacked it at +11, and then said out loud "I guess I could attack again but with such a big penalty reducing it to +6 I'm not even sure if I should bother."

I look down to my character sheet and see +6 next to my attack and feel sad.

Obviously this is an extreme example but it's one that actually happened to me.

Sovereign Court

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ottdmk wrote:

I've never noticed my guys hitting less than the other players. I think it's because when I miss... the odds are, they would've missed as well.

A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy. And against an on-level foe, the only one I care about is the one where I miss.

But it's not really a -1, much of the time.

Level 1-4: it's a -1 because you don't start with the ideal key stat.
Level 5-6: you fixed your off-key stat to 18, but the pure martial classes are now Expert and you're still Trained, so now it's -2.
Level 7-9: okay, now you're at the same as them.
Level 10-12: now you're at -1 again because they got their key stat to 20 now.
Level 13-14: now you're at -3 because they went to Master in their weapons.
Level 15-20: now you're at 20 in your attack stat too, so it's only a -2.

This is compared to a Ranger. Compared with a fighter you're further behind, but that's the fighter's thing of course; they make up for un-amazing damage by critting more. Rangers do it by having an edge against hunted prey. Barbarians by having massive damage per hit. And so on. Point being: although your attacks have some nice tricks to them, so does everyone else, so you're back to just being behind in to-hit compared to them.


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You raise multiple questions in your first post.

ottdmk wrote:
A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy.

A -1 is slightly more than 10% less damage. It's a noticeable difference in damage, but not an incredibly noticeable one especially if other variables (damage for example) vary.

ottdmk wrote:
I imagine it might contribute to why folks still have fun with Barbarians despite the fact that Fighters are undeniably better at hitting things.

That's not exactly true. Giant Barbarians, Thief Rogues and Greatsword Fighters have the same damage output per attack. And most offensive martials are behind by a few percents, so nothing that would invalidate entire classes.

The main asset of the Fighter class is that it's well rounded. Top tier damage + excellent reactions (AoO at level 1 and tons of extra reactions at some point) + good defensive abilities (Heavy Armor and Armor specialization) + some neat abilities (2 extra feats, Bravery, Incredible Initiative for free). Even if the Fighter is definitely the best class to play an offensive martial, the difference with other classes is not big enough to make them uninteresting to play. And they also have their niche (skills for the Ranger and Rogue, AoE damage for the Inventor, alpha strike and spellcasting for the Magus).

ottdmk wrote:
I've been thinking a lot about game balance and average damage and "to hit" percentages and all that stuff lately. I play two classes that have "accuracy problems": Alchemist and Warpriest. In both cases, I don't really see what the problem is. Let me explain.

Playing the "most optimized class/build" is not mandatory. PF2 is balanced so well that "unoptimized" classes are still perfectly able to hold their ground. We are far from older editions where some builds were mostly useless while others were trivializing most challenges.


Ascalaphus wrote:
ottdmk wrote:

I've never noticed my guys hitting less than the other players. I think it's because when I miss... the odds are, they would've missed as well.

A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy. And against an on-level foe, the only one I care about is the one where I miss.

But it's not really a -1, much of the time.

Level 1-4: it's a -1 because you don't start with the ideal key stat.
Level 5-6: you fixed your off-key stat to 18, but the pure martial classes are now Expert and you're still Trained, so now it's -2.
Level 7-9: okay, now you're at the same as them.
Level 10-12: now you're at -1 again because they got their key stat to 20 now.
Level 13-14: now you're at -3 because they went to Master in their weapons.
Level 15-20: now you're at 20 in your attack stat too, so it's only a -2.

This is compared to a Ranger. Compared with a fighter you're further behind, but that's the fighter's thing of course; they make up for un-amazing damage by critting more. Rangers do it by having an edge against hunted prey. Barbarians by having massive damage per hit. And so on. Point being: although your attacks have some nice tricks to them, so does everyone else, so you're back to just being behind in to-hit compared to them.

I'm kinda pressed for time, and this is the easiest post to answer, so I'm going to indulge and then take off again for a bit. :-P

It's -1 most of the time I face a penalty. My Alchemists, for example use Mutagens. All the time.

So, my Bomber was at par for levels 1, 3 & 4 because the extra +1 Item Bonus from Quicksilver compensated for the -1 from Dex 16. Levels 2, 5 & 6 he was -1 because at Level 2, people immediately bought Weapon Potency runes (even at Level 2, 35 gp is fairly cheap.) 5 & 6 Martials got Expert, but Moderate Quicksilver is still +1 Item Bonus ahead of their runes, so again -1.

The past three levels I've been at +1 due to the Mutagen. Anyways, to summarize, your numbers are off by one the whole way through.

-1: Levels 2,5,6,10,15,17,18,19 (total of 8 levels, which is why I tend to focus on the whole -1 thing.)

Even par: Levels 1,3,4,11,12 (5 levels.)

-2: Levels 13,14,16,20 (4 levels)

+1: Levels 7,8,9 (3 levels)

I was statting out a Level 16 character the other day, and I came to realize that Levels 10 & 16 might only be partial levels. It's hard to guarantee you're going to have the gold for a +2 or +3 Potency rune right at the start of those levels. Not impossible (it can be done) but you might have to play a few sessions without them.

Anyways, enjoying this discussion, and I'll be back when I have more time to reply to other posts.


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Three further problems:
-Hitting is only half the equation. The non-Fighter/GS martial classes all have damage bumps plus get Weapon Specialization. So even when your PC hits as often as they do, they don't hit as well as they do. This gap increases, much as the attack difference does.
A back-of-the-napkin estimate is that a non-martial's primary attack is worth about the same as a martial's secondary.

-Feats. The martials' feats improve their martial prowess beyond the basic attack numbers. While non-martials can take a Combat Style Archetype, so too can the martial take one that gives...

-Buffs. They're great when up, but costly to apply in immediate combats. Many also clock against things like Medicine, shield repair, etc. Note I'm not knocking buffs, but martials can get them to via archetypes, allies, or just plain gold/equipment. Yes, it's nice to bring your own, but with party synergy being so prominent in PF2, it's not like martials will necessarily be bereft.

Of course in the case of a Warpriest, there's full casting too, so one can cast as one's primary contribution and still have a secondary contribution (their primary weapon attack) as good as a martial's secondary contribution. And Alchemists get their much touted utility/adaptability (which I've yet to be sold on, but has many endorsers). It'd be pretty unbalanced if a non-martial actually could compete with a martial, and PF2 is not so unbalanced.


Until level 13, Alchemists are mostly fine. The beauty of PF2e is that you can have a to-hit stat at 16 and do quite well. The problem will arise once proficiency goes to master and above, if your character scales with it. For example, two exactly equal level 20 Monks with a -1 over the other will be virtually the same, with one of them sacrificing a bit of accuracy for another benefit that may produce numerical bonuses, such as +20HP, better perception, saves or Recall Knowledge (INT); or less direct stuff like having an extra skill that comes in handy and saves the party from a tougher situation, one extra language that makes uncovering a secret or communicating to avoid a fight more likely, etc.

That's why I think that math-wise, the alchemists are at the bottom, but this doesn't mean that they're unplayable like some critics try to make it out to be. The problem lies in the lack of good feats that enhance their action economy and gives them interesting actions to play with, which is the difference between martial characters and dabblers, they may not always have such a big advantage numbers-wise, but their feats will make all the difference in combat.

Alchemists need that.

Less focus on Quick Alchemy and more focus on Advanced Alchemy would also come a long way.


Early levels non martial classes like warpriest and alchemist are excellent because they haven't got the penalties they deserve yet.

From lvl 13 on, I think they are finally just what they are meant to be.

At first I even considered giving those class the possibility to choose STR/DEX as class stat, but having seen the progression made me change up my mind.


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I really don't think the proficiency bonus is much of a concern power-wise, but not because the bonus doesn't matter. It's because people discount the effectiveness of things that aren't so easily represented on damage charts. The versatility, RP effectiveness, support capabilities, etc of classes like Warpriest and Alchemist more than make up for their individual ineffectiveness with weapons. It's bizarre how undervalued is adaptability is to people who play this game, considering the variety of threats that it's possible to come up against.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Novem wrote:
I really don't think the proficiency bonus is much of a concern power-wise, but not because the bonus doesn't matter. It's because people discount the effectiveness of things that aren't so easily represented on damage charts. The versatility, RP effectiveness, support capabilities, etc of classes like Warpriest and Alchemist more than make up for their individual ineffectiveness with weapons. It's bizarre how undervalued is adaptability is to people who play this game, considering the variety of threats that it's possible to come up against.

Adaptability is great! But it's really a bit of a cold comfort to someone who has a specific idea in mind that doesn't involve that.

There's nothing really "bizarre" about someone having a specific playstyle/build/character in mind and not finding "no do something completely different" to be an unsatisfying answer.

No one in this thread had said that support clerics and support alchemists are bad.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
ottdmk wrote:

I've been thinking a lot about game balance and average damage and "to hit" percentages and all that stuff lately. I play two classes that have "accuracy problems": Alchemist and Warpriest. In both cases, I don't really see what the problem is. Let me explain.

I've played an Alchemist Bomber to 9th Level, an Alchemist Mutagenist to 6th, and a Warpriest to 10th. So, in all three cases, I've been in levels where I'm -1 to hit compared to a non-Fighter/non-Gunslinger Martial.

(My Alchemists use Quicksilver & Bestial. My Warpriest will usually have Bless or Heroism up.)

I've never noticed my guys hitting less than the other players. I think it's because when I miss... the odds are, they would've missed as well.

A -1 means that, on a d20, there are 18 numbers where the result would be the same for the other guy. And against an on-level foe, the only one I care about is the one where I miss.

(Don't get me wrong: I love getting a critical hit on something, particularly with a sticky Bomb. But I've never been quite able to get over my D&D background. I keep expecting Criticals to only happen on a natural 20. When I get one on a 19 or 18, it's awesome, but it's still not something that I find myself expecting.)

So, out of 20 numbers, there's 1 where I miss and the other guys wouldn't have. I find I can't get myself too worked up about it. I might hit the "magic" number five times in a fight. I might hit it zero. It's impossible to predict, so I just tend to ignore it. I hit, or I don't hit.

I imagine it might contribute to why folks still have fun with Barbarians despite the fact that Fighters are undeniably better at hitting things. Even with their advantage, in any given fight the Barbarian might hit just as often. Maybe even more often if the Fighter is having a bad night, dice wise. And when they do hit, they hit a ton, to use the baseball parlance.

Over time the Fighter will likely output more damage... but that can be a hard thing to "see". I imagine you'd have to

...

Nice to see someone else who has experienced the pain I have felt from low reflex saves. Reflex in PF1 was not a high value save because energy damage was so easy to mitigate in PF1. So you could get away with a low reflex save and shrug about it.

You don't have a lot of ways to mitigate energy damage. And critical fails against high level reflex save damage spells are brutal. Once you start getting hit by those level 6 plus energy damage spells as a group and one or two critically miss their reflex saves, the pain is real. Heal is great for single target recovery, but does not much for AoE healing against a round of brutal AoO reflex save spells.

A poor reflex save really starts to stand out at those higher levels. Our group found out the hard way the first time we took on a lich around level 12 or 13. Just a brutal fight with the lich able to launch a 2 action AoE spell while using a 1 action ranged physical attack.


The fighters ability to use full BAB reactions is second to none. Fighters have a good overall kit. Fighters have weak feats though. I find it much better to do archetype feats than fighter feats other than picking maybe a base fighting style.

Fighter paladin archetype is super nice. I like that one a lot.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Nice to see someone else who has experienced the pain I have felt from low reflex saves. Reflex in PF1 was not a high value save because energy damage was so easy to mitigate in PF1. So you could get away with a low reflex save and shrug about it.

You have Shadow Siphon and Scintillating Safeguard that can help low Reflex saves parties.

For Shadow Siphon to work ideally you need to be able to recognize the spell (to get its level), but it reduces all incoming damage by 50% quite easily if you cast it one level lower than the targetted spell.


SuperBidi wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Nice to see someone else who has experienced the pain I have felt from low reflex saves. Reflex in PF1 was not a high value save because energy damage was so easy to mitigate in PF1. So you could get away with a low reflex save and shrug about it.

You have Shadow Siphon and Scintillating Safeguard that can help low Reflex saves parties.

For Shadow Siphon to work ideally you need to be able to recognize the spell (to get its level), but it reduces all incoming damage by 50% quite easily if you cast it one level lower than the targetted spell.

And wastes a spell slot and a reaction for possible failure. I've tried ot use Shadow Siphon more than a few times and with the high enemy DCs, it usually doesn't work. If Shadow Siphon worked consistently, then it would be nice.

I'm not talking about fireballs. I'm talking about getting hit by multiple sunbursts at lvl 13 from Shining Children. Or deluged by dragon fire. Or smashed by Eclipse Burst or the soon to be painful Wail of the Banshee while getting hit by a Sunburst.

This is the kind of stuff I'm experiencing at level 11 plus. If your party can cast a spell, likely an enemy caster can cast a spell 2 levels higher with a higher DC than you or multiple casters with a roughly equivalent DC.

It gets quite brutal. Last encounter we fought 3 Shining Children all able to launch a sunburst right on to of their location. So that is what they did.

And Scintillating Safeguard for 10 resistance is just above worthless. One critical fail of a sunburst for 8d10 and blind is 88 damage. You have to save 3 times hoping for not critical fails. Even a regular fail for 3 sunburst is 132 damage at lvl 13.

AoE reflex damage spells from multiple creatures are brutal. Only way to survive is not be in the radius or crazy high reflex saves.


Shadow siphon is never a waste of spells imo, especially thanks to the

Quote:
treat shadow siphon's counteract level as 2 higher for this attempt.

part.

I agree on that scintillating safeguard is not that interesting given the cost though.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
AoE reflex damage spells from multiple creatures are brutal. Only way to survive is not be in the radius or crazy high reflex saves.

You do know you don't have to convince me, or do I have to remind you the conversations we had in a not so distant past where I was telling you that high level auto-TPK encounters were based on a bunch of mooks with area of effects damaging spells?

Anyway, as my previous post was stating, these reactions can help. Especially a Signature Spell Shadow Siphon in your Lich example. I agree it costs spell slots but it trivializes the encounter.

Against AoE mooks, there's nothing you can do. That's the whole point of auto-TPK encounters. The GM has to avoid such encounters, even if they are valid per the encounters guidelines.


SuperBidi wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
AoE reflex damage spells from multiple creatures are brutal. Only way to survive is not be in the radius or crazy high reflex saves.

You do know you don't have to convince me, or do I have to remind you the conversations we had in a not so distant past where I was telling you that high level auto-TPK encounters were based on a bunch of mooks with area of effects damaging spells?

Anyway, as my previous post was stating, these reactions can help. Especially a Signature Spell Shadow Siphon in your Lich example. I agree it costs spell slots but it trivializes the encounter.

Against AoE mooks, there's nothing you can do. That's the whole point of auto-TPK encounters. The GM has to avoid such encounters, even if they are valid per the encounters guidelines.

Yes. I'm aware you know these types of encounters exist. The main difference is how we both value reflex saves. I highly value reflex at higher level for these reasons, though there are some decent Will and Fort AoE attacks, the most often encountered in my experience are reflex save attacks. They can get brutal.

I play with every spell a signature spell. I went with 5E casting as a house rule.

Some stuff that helps avoid the AoE smash:

1.Scouting and ambush. Make sure they can't group you up and control the encounter.

2. High reflex save characters going in first.

3. Shadow siphon at least one which is what I did last encounter does help somewhat. I will give you that shadow siphon is a better spell for AoE than practically any other.

4. Wall spells to separate the targets so they don't have line of effect.

5. Focus fire on the target. Kill them fast before they can bypass the wall.

6. Good ranged damage. This is why I liked ranged damage. It's a consistent way to engage mobile targets with ranged capability.


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For OP:

The issue of what you're saying though is basically "I don't see much of a gap because I buff" but what you should be saying is "I am depriving my martials of buffs that would make them more effective by putting them on myself"

Also if you have them on every fight they either cost you a lot of ressources or your fights don't require in between healing, most of these buffs (except quicksilver at level 11+) only last 10 minutes, so if you have them in combat it's often cause you've lost 2 actions casting them, already putting you behind the martials.

So overall it would be MUCH better to cast heroism/quicksilver on your martials, both damage and action efficiency wise, and the fact that you're not means you're playing suboptimally, which is the whole point.

But if it makes you happy, that's okay!! I'm just saying if you want to know what the issue is, that's what the issue is.


AlastarOG wrote:


The issue of what you're saying though is basically "I don't see much of a gap because I buff" but what you should be saying is "I am depriving my martials of buffs that would make them more effective by putting them on myself"
<...>
But if it makes you happy, that's okay!! I'm just saying if you want to know what the issue is, that's what the issue is.

But the OP doesn't aim to make his martials more effective or his party damage-optimal. It's not his issue at all. He just tries for his character to not feel useless in a way he likes. And you really can't say to him 'you make your character useful in a wrong way'.


I am definitely not saying that, I am saying that the issue with these classes is they are behind martials by a lot, and bridging the gap with buffs is not a valid answer for the overall meta because those buffs would have a better impact going to martials rather than you.

If op is having fun this way, cool for him ! But the issue with these two classes having lower proficiency is still an issue.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Yes. I'm aware you know these types of encounters exist. The main difference is how we both value reflex saves. I highly value reflex at higher level for these reasons, though there are some decent Will and Fort AoE attacks, the most often encountered in my experience are reflex save attacks. They can get brutal.

I feel that it comes from classes. For example, you have 12 classes with Resolve, 9 classes with Juggernaut and only 7 classes with Evasion including 3 that get it at level 15.

Outside Rogues, Swashbucklers, Rangers and Gunslingers, noone is better than Expert at level 11-14.
Reflex saves seem like a major weakness to a lot of parties.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Yes. I'm aware you know these types of encounters exist. The main difference is how we both value reflex saves. I highly value reflex at higher level for these reasons, though there are some decent Will and Fort AoE attacks, the most often encountered in my experience are reflex save attacks. They can get brutal.

I feel that it comes from classes. For example, you have 12 classes with Resolve, 9 classes with Juggernaut and only 7 classes with Evasion including 3 that get it at level 15.

Outside Rogues, Swashbucklers, Rangers and Gunslingers, noone is better than Expert at level 11-14.
Reflex saves seem like a major weakness to a lot of parties.

Which is why Fighters have better damage mitigation than Champions. Simply because Evasion OP, and they have almost equivalent saves for Will via Canny Acumen and Bravery.

+2 AC at a worse progression, Lay On Hands that trigger Reactions, and a Reaction of your own (even with a feat to use it twice per turn) isn't a fair trade if you're looking for someone who is more capable of surviving an onslaught of attacks on their own.

Yes, a Fighter's Reflex Saves are equivalent to a Champion's for a majority of their adventuring career, but Evasion at 15th level makes them infinitely more durable than any Champion or Barbarian ever.


As usual most of these arguments just look at pure numbers in a square white room with no features in optimal conditions, in actual play this "meta" we all argue about almost never actually matters


DrakoVongola1 wrote:
As usual most of these arguments just look at pure numbers in a square white room with no features in optimal conditions, in actual play this "meta" we all argue about almost never actually matters

I would argue more that it is the opportunity cost that you must be aware of before choosing not to follow it.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
DrakoVongola1 wrote:
As usual most of these arguments just look at pure numbers in a square white room with no features in optimal conditions, in actual play this "meta" we all argue about almost never actually matters

Numbers don't disappear in actual play though. When our warpriest casts heroism on himself, misses a whole bunch, then nearly dies and figures he should have just played cloistered and stayed in the back row it has nothing to do with "metas" or "white rooms." It just feels s++!ty.


Squiggit wrote:
DrakoVongola1 wrote:
As usual most of these arguments just look at pure numbers in a square white room with no features in optimal conditions, in actual play this "meta" we all argue about almost never actually matters
Numbers don't disappear in actual play though. When our warpriest casts heroism on himself, misses a whole bunch, then nearly dies and figures he should have just played cloistered and stayed in the back row it has nothing to do with "metas" or "white rooms." It just feels s@$*ty.

I think the war priest expectations were to higher, or they went ahead with a not so good build ( for example, no shield, or no defensive archetypes/dedicarions is a common mistake I have seen).

Until lvl 19, a war priest only lacks 2hp/lvl, and gets the juggernaut feature by lvl 15 rather than lvl 9.

If the war priest goes down, so does the fighter, rogue, ranger, barbarian, and so on.

The provided damage is not high, indeed, but as tankyness he's par to anybody else until lvl 19 ( bastion dedication, shield block, vital beacon, battle medicine, lay on hand, domain spells, etc... It's all stuff that can help them survive).


SuperBidi wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
AoE reflex damage spells from multiple creatures are brutal. Only way to survive is not be in the radius or crazy high reflex saves.

You do know you don't have to convince me, or do I have to remind you the conversations we had in a not so distant past where I was telling you that high level auto-TPK encounters were based on a bunch of mooks with area of effects damaging spells?

Anyway, as my previous post was stating, these reactions can help. Especially a Signature Spell Shadow Siphon in your Lich example. I agree it costs spell slots but it trivializes the encounter.

Against AoE mooks, there's nothing you can do. That's the whole point of auto-TPK encounters. The GM has to avoid such encounters, even if they are valid per the encounters guidelines.

You also need to add in the fairly common -2 penalty to reflex saves for mounted characters. Plus the general vulnerability of this build to AoE.

On the other side of the ledger its a small portions of builds that neglect their dexterity score. Though I did note you were arguing for Constitution over Dexterity not so long ago.

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