Peerless Under Heaven's Reap the Field feels mathematically iffy


Exemplar Class Discussion


First off, I love the Exemplar. Love the concept, love the over-the-top feat names, love the iconic. Love it. There's some stuff that I think would be cool that isn't currently supported, but I assume that's coming later.

The thing I wanted to ask about/call attention to is Reap the Field, the Transcend action associated with Peerless Under Heaven. While there's lots of things that muddy the waters (such as the free movement), it seems like it's the case that unless you are very likely to hit the second target, using this ability is typically a loss of expected damage compared to striking again with the strike action - often a pretty substantial loss. Making the second attack at the same MAP does not compensate for the drawback when you miss, unless you are hitting on a 6. You also must attack two different targets, which usually isn't desirable. You get to change where your spark is allocated, but every transcend action lets you do that.

I get that not every Transcend ability is or should be universally applicable, but most offensive transcend abilities seem to be designed around the idea that in situations where a not-so-numbers-inclined player would think that it's right to use the ability, it is right to use the ability. Reap the Field is only truly advantageous in a limited range of situations, mostly ones where you're willing to risk losing all of your damage for the turn in exchange for the movement.

The transcend ability doesn't seem to be offset by the other effects of Peerless Under Heaven, which doesn't seem especially remarkable compared to the alternatives.

I don't think that this ability is a critical flaw with the class or anything, but as long as it's the playtest window, I figured I'd might as well get it out there.

Again, think the class looks great overall, this one option just jumped out as mathematically questionable.


At the end of the day it's another variation of "move and strike with one action" but it comes with a fairly significant downside. Given that a) it's only up to half your speed, which means often the other enemy needs to be VERY close, and that b) as Joyd's noted, missing the second strike ends up making everything feel terrible...

Yeah this one doesn't feel great. To me, a Transcend action should be something that has an obvious benefit. This one doesn't. There are so many other ways in this game to get a bonus attack at the same MAP, or just reducing your MAP penalty to make it less significant, that this action being a core element of a character would feel very underwhelming at the least.

Scarab Sages

Joyd wrote:

First off, I love the Exemplar. Love the concept, love the over-the-top feat names, love the iconic. Love it. There's some stuff that I think would be cool that isn't currently supported, but I assume that's coming later.

The thing I wanted to ask about/call attention to is Reap the Field, the Transcend action associated with Peerless Under Heaven. While there's lots of things that muddy the waters (such as the free movement), it seems like it's the case that unless you are very likely to hit the second target, using this ability is typically a loss of expected damage compared to striking again with the strike action - often a pretty substantial loss. Making the second attack at the same MAP does not compensate for the drawback when you miss, unless you are hitting on a 6. You also must attack two different targets, which usually isn't desirable. You get to change where your spark is allocated, but every transcend action lets you do that.

I get that not every Transcend ability is or should be universally applicable, but most offensive transcend abilities seem to be designed around the idea that in situations where a not-so-numbers-inclined player would think that it's right to use the ability, it is right to use the ability. Reap the Field is only truly advantageous in a limited range of situations, mostly ones where you're willing to risk losing all of your damage for the turn in exchange for the movement.

The transcend ability doesn't seem to be offset by the other effects of Peerless Under Heaven, which doesn't seem especially remarkable compared to the alternatives.

I don't think that this ability is a critical flaw with the class or anything, but as long as it's the playtest window, I figured I'd might as well get it out there.

Again, think the class looks great overall, this one option just jumped out as mathematically questionable.

Agreed. My personal suggestion given the flavor of the epithet would be to give it an icon Immanence effect that made you equivalent (or even just closer to) Fighter proficiency while Weapon Ikon was active. (Maybe make part of transferring your spark to your Weapon Ikon be a "declare a target, gain +2 circumstance bonus to strikes against that target while your spark is invested in your weapon? That way it would still have a reason to encourage swapping as targets change) Putting the strength of the route into an Immanance effect would make up for the numerically lacking ability, plus if your accuracy was higher it would make it a bit more reasonable of a gamble than it would be at standard martial proficiency.

As-is, I suppose Fighters are just on a higher plane than Heaven, whatever that is.


Honestly, just remove the penalty for missing the second attack.

I don't think it's out of line at all in that case power wise, since you're required to attack a different target. I don't see an issue with it since it's a level 7 ability and can't be used every turn (and is conditional on the first hit).

Compare it to something like Double Shot on Fighter... or hell even Double Slice, where you just get two attacks with minimal penalty (oh no, the Fighter has the accuracy of everyone else).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I dont like mathematical trap feats. Agree with OP that this is very circumstantial. I wonder if they should just swap the level 6 feat motionless cutter here. I dont think that feat is particularly strong, but sort of fills the aoe niche that many of these Dominion epithets are covering.


Tbf that feat is also kinda underwhelming since it's a big risk for just 1 extra attack.


It's not a mathematical trap: on average, it's better to use it than not (when you have a second target in range, of course).
The problem is that it's a risky bet for a not-so-strong prize.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I agree the feat isnt super strong, but i like it better than the original transcend ability. I might consider using it against a bunch of mooks.

The original transcend is pretty terrible. As OP states, you really need a high chance to hit for it be better than just two strikes. And even then, it only hits two targets.


Megistone wrote:

It's not a mathematical trap: on average, it's better to use it than not (when you have a second target in range, of course).

The problem is that it's a risky bet for a not-so-strong prize.

Actually, thinking about it, I'm pretty sure this is always a trap to use.

If your hit rate is x, using it gives you a 2(x-.5) increase to your total damage that turn (expected value)

The problem is that attacking a second time has an expected value of x-.25 damage. You need to have a hit rate of 75% just to break even (and it's slightly higher for an agile weapon). Plus the general benefit that focusing a single enemy is better than splitting damage.

That is to say, you have to be able to hit on a 6.


Yes, thinking about it again, you are correct: numbers-wise, it's usually a trap, a disadvantageous bet. The only good thing is that it lets you move for free, basically.


What damage do you apply to each creature?

A. Both targets take the damage you would have rolled from your first attack.

B. Both targets take the damage you roll for your second attack; or

C. Roll damage separately for each target.


Doing some pretty rudimentary calculations (this one assumes you "lock in" to Reap the Field before making the first attack, which is incorrect), Reap the Field becomes even with 2 Strikes when fighting APL-2 enemies and gets better the higher you boost your accuracy/the lower you debuff enemy AC.

EDIT: Did some more math

Assuming both attacks hit on a 6+, Reap is roughly even with 2 Strikes on a non-agile weapon. Any better accuracy and Reap starts outpacing it fairly hard, so if you have a buffed to-hit vs mobs of weaker enemies, you can massively increase your output relative to just two Strikes.

Also, on only an 8+ or higher, Reap is outperformed by a single Strike.


RexAliquid wrote:

What damage do you apply to each creature?

A. Both targets take the damage you would have rolled from your first attack.

B. Both targets take the damage you roll for your second attack; or

C. Roll damage separately for each target.

Pretty sure it's C - not that it matters for these calculations because the average damage is the same.

Scarab Sages

Falgaia wrote:
Agreed. My personal suggestion given the flavor of the epithet would be to give it an icon Immanence effect that made you equivalent (or even just closer to) Fighter proficiency while Weapon Ikon was active. (Maybe make part of transferring your spark to your Weapon Ikon be a "declare a target, gain +2 circumstance bonus to strikes against that target while your spark is invested in your weapon? That way it would still have a reason to encourage swapping as targets change) Putting the strength of the route into an Immanance effect would make up for the numerically lacking ability, plus if your accuracy was higher it would make it a bit more reasonable of a gamble than it would be at standard martial proficiency.

Thinking back on the idea of balancing a bad transcend option with a stronger Immanence, I thought up another idea that would probably be less controversial than an option that gives effective Fighter accuracy.

Instead of Peerless giving you your weapon crit spec, have it give you your Greivous Rune weapon crit specs. There are already several martial classes that give free bonus runes (Swashbuckler gives Keen after all) so there is precedent for a passive like this; additionally, having the Cooler Crits innately feels like something that would fit the flavor of the option incredibly well while making it feel less like the vanilla martial option.


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And the transcend could be. 'make a strike, apply your crit spec even if it's not a critical hit' which fits the theme of the Epithet anyways.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
War of Immortals Play Test wrote:

Transcend—Reap the Field [one-action] (transcendence) Requirements

Your previous action was a successful Strike, and you
have not yet rolled damage; Effect Time seems to lag as
you blur across the battlefield, deciding the fate of many
in a moment. Do not roll damage for your Strike. Stride up
to half your speed and make an attack against a different
foe, using the same multiple attack penalty. If your second
attack is a success, you deal damage to both creatures; if it
is a miss, you deal damage to neither creature.

Seems pretty clear that you roll damage once and apply it to both targets, or nothing on a miss.

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