Weapon of Choice


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


During playtesting of 2nd edition I excited to hear that Goblins were made an official Ancestry. So I immediately came up with a cool concept for a escaped slave Goblin Rogue named 4-Oh who used the chains he used to be bound in as a weapon (a spiked chain). I Fell in love with the idea and was very excited to make this character, but when I searched the Playtest rules I discovered that my concept was impossible(unless I wanted to suck until I gained the feets necessary to use the weapon effectively)

I ended up making different character.

I always assumed that this was just an oversight in the Playtest rules.

Currently I am running my Players through Rise of the Runelords in first edition, but we are about to get to the end. I have been considering running 2nd edition so I have been reading the rules, and it turns out that(unless I have missed something important) that it is still impossible (unless I wanted to suck...) to make a 1st level Goblin Rogue with proficiency in Spiked Chain.

Maybe if I did the math proficiency isn't that important or something? I don't know.

I feel that the lack of a first level General feet really hurts your ability to make the character you want.

The Weapon you choose says a lot about your character. I don't expect it to not cost me something, but the cost shouldn't be sucking at your weapon for a few levels.

I think what I will do if I choose to switch to 2nd edition, is allow my players to use whatever weapon they want, but with the stats of a similar weapon they can use.
Until, they finally get the feat for the weapon. Although I am unsure if a Rogue would ever be good with a Spike Chain.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

A spiked chain has finesse, in PF2 so its not a terrible weapon for a Rogue. You can Sneak Attack with it.

Probably what you want to do to make it work mechanically is create a custom background which says you "can treat the spiked chain as a simple weapon for proficiency purposes". Which will mean your desired Rogue could use it with no problems. There are other 2 handed 1d8 finesse weapons so its not far away from the balance point of the weapons. But that is a highly unusual background, its more normally done as an ancestry feat.

The option to get it at first level exists if you take one of the Human ancestry ways of taking a General Feat at first level. General Training or Versatile Heritage Weapon Proficiency. But then you aren't a Goblin. Maybe just opening up this heritage to the character would be enough.


Gortle wrote:
Probably what you want to do to make it work mechanically is create a custom background which says you "can treat the spiked chain as a simple weapon for proficiency purposes". Which will mean your desired Rogue could use it with no problems. There are other 2 handed 1d8 finesse weapons so its not far away from the balance point of the weapons. But that is a highly unusual background, its more normally done as an ancestry feat.

This is a great idea. Use background to add a weapon proficiency seems like it would work. Although it would be kind of breaking the rules a little. I would allow it for a player that had a good concept, but I wish the rules made it easier.

I have been looking and it seems like the only viable way to do it is with the Mauler Archetype.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As someone who quite often makes characters with signature weapons of a sort, I can understand the frustration. That being said, there is actually little stopping you from using a Spiked Chain. Iirc, you do not take a penalty for being Untrained in something, you simply don't gain a Proficiency Bonus. So your Goblin isn't going to be bad with said weapon, they are just unlikely to hit as regularly than, say, a Fighter, lacking the level +2 from being Trained.

The biggest hurdle here is the Rarity. Being Uncommon, your GM may restrict you access to it. In which case, might I suggest using an simple Chain as an Improvised Weapon? You'll take a penalty, sure, but then you can dip into the Weapon Improviser Archetype and potentially come out better for it. GM usually determines what damage and Traits an Improvised Weapon has, but Finesse seems appropriate imo.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

Otherwise, I agree with Karlgamer, you have to wait one level to grab the proficiency through Mauler. As Ly'ualdre says, you can use it without being proficient, which means a -3 to hit at level 1. It's harsh, but still roughly playable until you hit level 2 and get the proficiency.

Overall, it's just one level of suffering, not that much. Tell your GM that they have to be nice with you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

Otherwise, I agree with Karlgamer, you have to wait one level to grab the proficiency through Mauler. As Ly'ualdre says, you can use it without being proficient, which means a -3 to hit at level 1. It's harsh, but still roughly playable until you hit level 2 and get the proficiency.

Overall, it's just one level of suffering, not that much. Tell your GM that they have to be nice with you.

Being Untrained no longer provides a penalty. That was in the Playtest. Being Untrained simply means you gain a +0 from Proficiency, instead of the Level + X you get from Trained and above. So, there isn't any punishment really for using a Spiked Chain Untrained.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Ly'ualdre wrote:
Being Untrained no longer provides a penalty. That was in the Playtest. Being Untrained simply means you gain a +0 from Proficiency, instead of the Level + X you get from Trained and above. So, there isn't any punishment really for using a Spiked Chain Untrained.

If everyone has +3 to hit because they are Trained and you don't, is everyone at an advantage or are you at a disadvantage?


If your GM is using Ancestry Paragon alternate rule, you can get this concept off the ground at 1st level and without using your 2nd level class feat!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Karlgamer wrote:
I have been looking and it seems like the only viable way to do it is with the Mauler Archetype.

Yes, so summarising other comments, asking the GM to treat it as an Improvised Weapon at level 1 means its only a penalty of 2 over other attacks, then get take it as an actual Spiked Chain at level 2 via Mauler Dedication will probably be fine. 14 Strength required though. Just as long as its not one of those games which takes forever to go up levels. A penalty of 2 is pretty serious.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

...

Investigators have proficiency with the Spiked Chain, but since it is uncommon I don't see how they automatically get access.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gisher wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

...
Investigators have proficiency with the Spiked Chain, but since it is uncommon I don't see how they automatically get access.

Uncommon is not an issue per se, unless your GM doesn't allow any Uncommon thing in the game or if you play PFS. I feel the OP issue is not with access but with proficiency.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

GM Perspective: If my player was this invested in the concept, I would most certainly allow them to acquire the weapon and I would also bend over backwards to enable it as early as possible.

If their plan was to get proficiency normally at level 2, I'd let them play through level 1 as though they already had proficiency just to make sure they're having fun.

If they wanted to spend a resource like a background or ancestry feat to get access, I would help make a balanced custom option for them.

I'd also take their desire into account when implementing free archetype and ancestry paragon rules.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The reason it is so hard to get proficiency with the Spiked Chain is that it is kinda really strong for a rogue:

  • It's a d8 finesse weapon, which is better than any weapon the class offers, and
  • It's a Flail, which grants a superb critical specialization effect.
You could argue that its two-handed nature is a drawback, but a lot of rogue builds don't dual-wield anyway, so why not use both hands?

There are a few d8 finesse weapons available, but typically through a limited racial option rather than just 'pick anything' (except for humans, for whom 'pick anything' kinda is the racial option).

The Poi is the only option for a baseline rogue to get the 'knocked prone on a crit', but that is also uncommon and inflicts damage that is both weak and nonlethal (still a really good weapon option, though).

I'd say there's a few questions to ask yourself:

  • 1) If I can do this, can anyone?
  • 2) If anyone can, is there a decent reason they wouldn't?
  • 3) If not, did my idea just a cookie-cutter build?

The Exchange

Ly'ualdre wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

Otherwise, I agree with Karlgamer, you have to wait one level to grab the proficiency through Mauler. As Ly'ualdre says, you can use it without being proficient, which means a -3 to hit at level 1. It's harsh, but still roughly playable until you hit level 2 and get the proficiency.

Overall, it's just one level of suffering, not that much. Tell your GM that they have to be nice with you.

Being Untrained no longer provides a penalty. That was in the Playtest. Being Untrained simply means you gain a +0 from Proficiency, instead of the Level + X you get from Trained and above. So, there isn't any punishment really for using a Spiked Chain Untrained.

You are -3 to hit compared to others at level 1 (-5 compared to a fighter). THAT is the punishment

The posters on this board are very clear that every +/- 1 makes a big difference. In other words, yes it sucks to use the chain untrained. Where the fighter might hit on a 10, trained on a 12, you would hit on a 15


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Hsui wrote:
Ly'ualdre wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

Otherwise, I agree with Karlgamer, you have to wait one level to grab the proficiency through Mauler. As Ly'ualdre says, you can use it without being proficient, which means a -3 to hit at level 1. It's harsh, but still roughly playable until you hit level 2 and get the proficiency.

Overall, it's just one level of suffering, not that much. Tell your GM that they have to be nice with you.

Being Untrained no longer provides a penalty. That was in the Playtest. Being Untrained simply means you gain a +0 from Proficiency, instead of the Level + X you get from Trained and above. So, there isn't any punishment really for using a Spiked Chain Untrained.

You are -3 to hit compared to others at level 1 (-5 compared to a fighter). THAT is the punishment

The posters on this board are very clear that every +/- 1 makes a big difference. In other words, yes it sucks to use the chain untrained. Where the fighter might hit on a 10, trained on a 12, you would hit on a 15

Yeah, -3 on something you want to be important to your character is a big deal. If this were like a side hustle, -3 is manageable, but taking that penalty on your character's main weapon, and main way of interacting with combat, is going to be quite frustrating. I certainly wouldn't downplay its importance, especially as you advance in levels and that penalty grows.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Karlgamer wrote:
This is a great idea. Use background to add a weapon proficiency seems like it would work. Although it would be kind of breaking the rules a little. I would allow it for a player that had a good concept, but I wish the rules made it easier.

Technically, it wouldn't be against the rules. You're creating a custom background - Escaped Slave, or something - which needs GM approval. It's reasonable to assume that would automatically make the background Rare (since it needs GM approval) and there are plenty of examples where a rare background gets two boosts and something special (instead of a free feat).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
Gisher wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

...
Investigators have proficiency with the Spiked Chain, but since it is uncommon I don't see how they automatically get access.
Uncommon is not an issue per se, unless your GM doesn't allow any Uncommon thing in the game or if you play PFS. I feel the OP issue is not with access but with proficiency.

Oh, I was confused. I thought you meant access because you said 'access.' My mistake.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
The reason it is so hard to get proficiency with the Spiked Chain is that it is kinda really strong for a rogue

Nah. It's hard for a rogue to get proficiency because the game's proficiency system is a little janky and makes it strangely expensive to sidegrade into martial weapons you don't normally have (which is probably why Paizo's never released a class with a limited proficiency list since the CRB, because it was clearly a mistake). There's nothing really problematic about the spiked chain, or the fighting fan, or lion scythe, or main gauche, or nunchaku, or tonfa, or wakizashi or any of the other martial weapons rogues just aren't allowed to use. I mean it's in the name, martial weapons are all meant to be pretty equivalent.

D8 two handers are nothing to write home about, plus it has two maneuver traits, which are a little iffy on a non-ruffian rogue, doubly so for the disarm trait.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I tend to home-brew that Rogues get martial weapon proficiency scaling. Rogues, Wizards, and Bards are a bit of outliers when compared to other classes and appear closer to 1e design philosophies. No other pf2e class really follows designs especially not the later ones with similar niches( Witches are similar to wizards but get straight up simple weapons).

Investigators(similar to rogues get martial). That being said this would still be homebrew. (for the ruffian I still use a d8 as a limiter for non finesse weapons)


Gisher wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Gisher wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Does your Goblin have to be a Rogue? Because both Swashbuckler and Investigator gives you access to the Spiked Chain.

...
Investigators have proficiency with the Spiked Chain, but since it is uncommon I don't see how they automatically get access.
Uncommon is not an issue per se, unless your GM doesn't allow any Uncommon thing in the game or if you play PFS. I feel the OP issue is not with access but with proficiency.
Oh, I was confused. I thought you meant access because you said 'access.' My mistake.

Sorry, I meant proficiency. I didn't realize you were reacting at my poor choice of word.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Mechanically, this should probably be more of a versatile heritage instead of a background ("Unshackled?"). That way you could adapt/modify the Goblin Weapon Familiarity, Goblin Weapon Frenzy, and Goblin Weapon Expertise ancestry feats to include spiked chain and add some other appropriate choices, plus additional feat options.

Personally, I'm a little annoyed about the hoops needed to jump through for a rogue to use a starknife (and be able to increase proficiency). Just add spiked chain to the pile of "this would be a cool weapon for a rogue concept, but it seems more trouble than it's worth to pull off."

Oh, and a little tangent:

Spoiler:
Some Fatboy Slim for the thread title.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Oh, and a little tangent: Some Fatboy Slim for the thread title.

That was the reference I was making


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm just gonnna...leave this here...


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ly'ualdre wrote:
I'm just gonnna...leave this here...

I'm assuming everyone is talking about a penalty, not as in a Negative Modifier, but as in being behind the others players in terms of To Hit.

If the Rogue is forever Untrained in the Spike Chain, whereas everyone else is eventually gaining Expert and Master Proficiency, then the Rogue will unduly penalize themselves because they will miss increasingly more often as monster AC increases, as well as missing out on Crit chances since if they do hit, they'll rarely beat the AC by 10.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SaveVersus wrote:
Ly'ualdre wrote:
I'm just gonnna...leave this here...

I'm assuming everyone is talking about a penalty, not as in a Negative Modifier, but as in being behind the others players in terms of To Hit.

If the Rogue is forever Untrained in the Spike Chain, whereas everyone else is eventually gaining Expert and Master Proficiency, then the Rogue will unduly penalize themselves because they will miss increasingly more often as monster AC increases, as well as missing out on Crit chances since if they do hit, they'll rarely beat the AC by 10.

If you're still Untrained after the first few levels, never mind Crits, you'll get to the point pretty quickly where you need a nat 20 to hit. By mid-late game you'll need a nat 20 to not crit miss. You gotta get to at least Trained to get even Level to Attack.

That said, being just Trained is going to hurt too, but not nearly as much as trying to use an Untrained weapon.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The spiked chain is a weapon by design and unlikely to be used to bind a goblin slave, so I see no need to begin trained in the spiked chain at level 1. I would suggest simply following through on your character concept by using the actual prison chain as an improvised weapon at 1st level, or by using the Junk Tinker goblin feat to fashion the chain into a suitable weapon. 

Since improvised weapons are treated as simple weapons, the Ruffian rogue can sneak attack with them even if your GM rules that an improvised chain does not have the agile or finesse traits. I think the -2 item penalty for the improvised chain at level 1 fits your story, but if it's that much of a deterrent, ask your GM if you can Craft the chain into a shoddy poi using Junk Tinker (you don't have to actually call it a poi). When you get the spiked chain proficiency later, it will feel like you actually earned it.

You have several viable options to achieve your vision incredibly soon:

1 - Mauler Dedication at level 2 (upgrading to the spiked chain)
2 - Fighter Dedication at level 2 (upgrading to the spiked chain)
3 - Weapon Proficiency general feat at level 3 (upgrading to the spiked chain)
4 - Weapon Improvisor Dedication at level 2 (forget the spiked chain and just kick ass with your original chain)


I think the weapon you choose is almost as important as class or ancestry or background or appearance.

Like, lets say you wanted to become the Trident Master!!! Or Master of Katana, or any other character idea concerning weapons.

It might take a couple of levels and a few google searches to find all the right feet's to Achieve this concept, but you at least want to start your character off wielding a Trident.

That is you wouldn't want to start off obviously worse then your companions. Perhaps if there was a benefit to sucking for a while, but there isn't.

It's always better to use a weapon you don't suck at until you become proficient in the weapon you eventually want to use.

You might Scream "JUST PLAY A FIGHTER!" but I think that's not the point.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Gizmo's options seem very viable options to pursue based on your concept.

Based on your story, I'd suggest if you pick a background that is related to slave background, you can easily ask permission to have an ability to skip the improvised weapon penalty on your improvised chain weapon.

As mentioned at a 2nd or third level it is easy to imagine you getting the resources to have your chains reforged into a spiked chain weapon instead of what they were.

Although they are listed as uncommon, the option Gizmo mentioned of having the chain being converted to Poi seems very reasonable option as well. Again, asking for it's uncommon state to be unlocked seem very reasonable with your background mentioned.

So while it does require a bit of GM buy in, it seems like it is something a GM could be convinced to say yes to, and enabling the concept doesn't have to be unlocking a full martial weapon to a non-martial class at start.

I recall in long past, earlier versions of RPG, having a Minotaur whom one of their weapons they had available to them was the shackle and chain from their time as a slave. So I understand the nature of the concept although mine was a more martial character from the start.

I understand you comment about the Trident, but depending on the cultural ramifications, it isn't unreasonable to consider the possibility of wielding a Katana being something that might for cultural reasons might presume a higher level than 1st level. Not that it is the case at the moment. I might have the concept of wielding a sun sword, or holy avenger, but those obviously would not be something I would get to start out with at first level.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I suggested a custom background only because I assumed the OP imagined their goblin to have been free for a while, not recently freed during the pilot episode.

It would explain the reason why the goblin is so adapt at using the chain as a weapon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Just figured I'd point it out, in case anyone unnecessarily penalized themselves.

It truly is an easily remedied problem though. There are so many options to facilitate the idea that come on as early as 2nd level. As Loreguard points out, a character concept is unlikely to see fruition in the exact manner you see it right from the start. So it may take some time and a bit of investment on the part of both player and GM. Imagine, a player taking the Lich Archetype at level 1?

Granted, that example isnt the same. But wielding a Spiked Chain at level 1 at a slight disadvantage to some of your peers seems reasonable, especially for the sake of ones concept. By level 2, you have a not insignificant number of options to bring it online through Archetypes. Should an Archetype not be how you want to handle it, you can take Weapon Proficiency at level 3, gaining Trained Proficiency with not only the Spiked Chain, but every other Martial Weapon as well. Although, I'd argue the Archetype route is more sound.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Some of these examples are terrible. There's a massive difference between wielding a normal martial weapon and giving someone access to high level feats or archetypes for free.


I think the best option is just to say the character is "using a Spike chain" but with the stats of simpler weapon until you can reach the level to use it properly.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It would take some investment, but you could do a custom archetype.

And I wouldn't reskin a simple weapon until you can use a spiked chain; that's just silly. Either give it or don't.

If it proves too much of an advantage, then balance the encounters. Or balance the party with magic items; the Rogue gets items last.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The Lich example was an exaggeration to be sure. But my point was to say that, given the desire to work with a concept whose parts don't immediately allow for certain aspects of its execution, it may take time and investment to come online. Not every character concept happens right out the gate, and this is one of those instances.

That said I'd hardly suggest it's as simple just wielding a weapon. In the hands of a Rogue, a Spiked Chain has the potential to be pretty devastating. A d8 weapon that can be used to execute Sneak Attacks isn't exactly trivial. Given that every Simple Weapon that has the Agile or Finesse Traits, and can therefore be used for Sneak Attack, all do 1d4 at base. The only weapons a Rogue has that don't fit that criteria are the only 4 Martial Weapons they have training in, which are all d6s. To say nothing of the fact that the Spiked Chain is one of only 4 weapons capable of delivering a Sneak attack and dealing more than a d6 worths of base damage (the others being the Aldori Dueling Sword, Dueling Spear, and Elven Curve Blade). So I'd argue that was likely a very intentional decision on the part of Paizo; one that I feel should require a bit of investment to make work.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ly'ualdre wrote:


That said I'd hardly suggest it's as simple just wielding a weapon.

I mean, that's all it is though. A d8 two hander with the disarm and trip traits is not particularly remarkable, especially for a Dex focused character. Losing Agile or Deadly means it's only marginally better at best than the shortsword or rapier, despite costing an extra hand and a significant feat investment.

... If you don't like the idea of rogues using spiked chains that's fine, but there's no balance component here, and trying to compare it to something like getting a holy avenger or the lich archetype for free at level 1 is a misrepresentation of what's being discussed here.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Similar to how class archetypes take effect at level 1 but cost you your level 2 class feat, if a thing like "I am proficient with this weapon" is integral to your character concept, I would let people use commit a future feat for the effect at level 1.

The problem is that just being trained in a weapon is a thing that has a limited shelf life, as rogues are expected to have expert proficiencies at level 5 and master proficiences at level 13 and you're not getting that with a general feat. What you'd need is an archetype that pegs your proficiency with the spiked chain to your ordinary proficiency increases (like Aldori Duelist).

Or you could build the character with a class that gets proficiency with martial weapons. Investigator and Swashbuckler aren't bad choices here. The two main weaknesses of the rogue are the comparative squishiness compared to other frontliners and a more restrictive set of weapon choices.


Look I totally get that you shouldn't be a complete bad@$$ at a weapon right out of the gate. I just don't think you should suck at it. Three less to hit kind of sucks in my opinion.

That is why I suggested temporally giving the Spikechain the stats of a weapon a Rogue was proficient in. That seams fair.

Now I would love to hear about an archetype or a background or something that allows it... In the end isn't that kind of a patch for an oversight of the system as a whole.

I just feel that the weapon you chose is as important as the other starting characteristics.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Completely missing the fact that a Rogue can Sneak Attack with it, as it is a Finesse weapon. And I'm in no way saying that I dislike the idea of a Rogue having a Spiked Chain by any stretch. In fact, I love the OPs concept. I even gave several suggestions to make it work.

What I am saying is it'll require investment. Not every GM is going to be okay with operating outside of the rules as they are written. If whoever is running OPs game does, than that is great. But should they not, it's important to consider why the rules are how they are. Weapons are important, especially with the Trait system that 2e brought. Entire builds are optimized around weapon choice for those who enjoy min-maxing.

Regardless, there are options. Mauler works best, as it scales 2h Simple and Martial Weapons to your Class Proficiency. Requires investing in Strength a bit to pick up.

The Soulforger Archetype is less immediately useful, but potentially more creative. Invest into Wisdom a bit, which will likely be better for a Rogue than Strength, depending on your Racket. Make your Armament a Spiked Chain with the Heroic Heart Essence Power, gives you the occasional bonus. Pick up Weapon Proficiency at 3rd, which wont scale, but will at least bring you up to Trained; with that occasional bonus from the Essence power buffing your attack to +6. Plus the other powers you could pick up later. The flavor writes itself, with the chain being bound the the Goblins very soul. Heck, maybe pick up Mauler somewhere down the line to scale.


Okay, but until you get Mauler... why not say you are using a spike chain but use the stats for a Rapier.

Nothing game breaking if you use the mechanical stats for a weapon you can already use. I guess you spend 1 more gold piece?

A first level character should be able to play with whatever weapon they want without penalty. It should cost something(like a feet), but it shouldn't be impossible!

You should have to build up to being awesome with the weapons you use, but you shouldn't have to start out using a different weapon or sucking at the weapon.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The Spellshot Gunslinger gets their dedication feat at Lv 1, but they have to take the dedication feat at Lv 2, so with permission it wouldn't be much of a stretch taking Mauler at level one and gaining the dedication feat immediately.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll preface this by saying that my goal here is not to be an a#%~!@*. My suggestions and thoughts are based on how I personally conceptualize characters, which tends to be within the confines of the basic rules; considering published alternative rules and homebrew ideas as an afterthought. There is nothing more disappointing than coming up with a neat character that you've tweaked to make work, only for your GM to deny you using them because they are a stickler for the rules. My biggest piece of advice is to always consult you GM on any ideas you have outside of the written rule.

Anyways, that said:

Karlgamer wrote:
*quote omitted*

Reskinning a weapon is a viable option, if the GM allows; but I would suggest using something more in line with a Spiked Chain.

Perhaps a Poi. Maybe change the damage from Buldgeoning to Piercing; make it 2-handed; and drop the Agile, Backswing, and maybe even Nonlethal Traits, flavoring the lack of Trip and Disarm as you not being quite skilled enough yet to make use of those Traits.

I will say, I wouldn't go as far as to consider it an oversight, but I do find the lack of General Feat access at 1st level a bit annoying. I think the devs should consider creating some Background options that grant particular General Feats instead of Skill Feats. But I digress.

SaveVersus wrote:
*quote lost*

This is also viable, if the GM allows it. I don't see many people being to restrictive with this though, as you could see it as simply an alternate take on the Free Archetype rule.

It's important to note here that the reason Spellshot works in this manner, alongside other Archetypes like Elementalist and Runelord, is because they are Class Archetypes. They specifically function differently due to the fact that they tend to change or even remove abilities from the given Class that they alter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I run "free archetype" I generally let the dedication feat take effect at level 1, in large part because I'd prefer to leave "how you became a celebrity/how you got runescarred/when you studied at the houses of perfection in Jalmeray" etc. to be in a character's backstory rather than something I have to work into the plot. You just get the feat at level 1, then you don't get an archetype feat at level 2. This is no greater mental overhead, I think, because you generally have the archetype in mind at first level in a free archetype game.

So if you did that you could have Mauler right off the bat.


My group is about to finish Rise of the Runelords. They have been struggling a little with pathfinder 1st edition rules.

I don't like D&D 5th edition. It's just a little too simple for me, but I was considering switching to it anyway, until I played a short session with my wife and kids. My wife expressed her dislike for how simple it was in comparison to pathfinder.

So then I though again about 2nd edition pathfinder. I was hoping that the lack of a general feet problem would have been fixed in the actual game.

Part of this post was to see if it had been fixed somehow: Apparently, It wasn't, but there are archetypes that come close.

Part of this post was to express my belief that Weapon choice is important especially at 1st level: I 'think' most people agree with me on this.

Part of this post was to explore options that would effectively allow a player to play with the weapon they want: There seems to be a few options but none of them feel ideal.

Ly'ualdre Quote wrote:
...which tends to be within the confines of the basic rules..

I am the same way. Which is why I am struggling with this so much.

Part of this post was frankly just to complain: But in the end it isn't 2nd editions fault that I don't like it, but I really wanted to. I'm currently doing a full readthrough and I keep thinking "why wasn't it always like that?"

But it isn't 1st editions fault that my players are struggling. It is after all one of the most playtest games systems of all time. I need to
buckle down and get better at running it. I just wish that all the old adventure paths hardcopies weren't so expensive on second hand sites. :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think weapon choice is important for a level 1 character, but not having the ideal weapon at level 1 shouldn't be a deal breaker. Just like how envisioning my character as a Knight in shining armour isn't diminished by waiting to get the Plate he so covers. If anything it enhances the character to see them come into that gear on screen rather than in the backstory. He starts as the hopeful, modelling himself on the ideal imagery and eventually gets the gear that represents that.

Waiting 1 level for something cab be a role-playing opportunity and at the end of the day is only a tiny proportion of the characters arc.

So use your chain as a whip, then reforge it at level 2. Your character has changed, had adventures with a new group of People separate from their past and has found some adventure that is greater than themselves, but still that history is there changed by the light of new circumstances. Thus the weapon changes, still a representation of what it was, but reformed with new purpose.


Malk_Content wrote:
I think weapon choice is important for a level 1 character, but not having the ideal weapon at level 1 shouldn't be a deal breaker. Just like how envisioning my character as a Knight in shining armour isn't diminished by waiting to get the Plate he so covers. If anything it enhances the character to see them come into that gear on screen rather than in the backstory. He starts as the hopeful, modelling himself on the ideal imagery and eventually gets the gear that represents that.

I totally like the idea of not having the ideal weapon at first level.

Let's say that your character concept is that you become really good at playing Guitar, but you start off dirt poor.

Maybe you make your first guitar out of an old shoebox, a yardstick and a rubber band. Cool concept!

You still don't want to suck at it.

OR if you do suck at it the idea is that the hardship makes you a better performer later on.

So using a chain as a whip is a cool idea, except Rogues aren't proficient in whips.(and in many respects a whip is superior)

Just using a Chain would be an improvise weapon with a -2 penalty.

My suggestion is to use the stats for a weapon that Rogues are proficient in and allow the player to call it a Spike Chain.... or Dirt Poor Spike Chain if you will.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Depending on the weapon you're reskinning, it won't share similar qualities/traits with a spiked chain.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Weapon of Choice All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.