[Spoiler] Remastered Dislikes


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Phase bolt as a whole might be the big winner of the remastery. I had hoped to test that out with an eldritch trickster rogue who also would use scorching ray in the first round when they won initiative, but the GM disappeared and that is now a legacy build.

Scrolls generally are a big winner of the remastery. It will be much easier for players to see that even rank -2 spells targeting the right saves or doing the right damage type will be better than your cantrips for doing clean up damage. Especially as they can hit a lot more targets.


SuperBidi wrote:
gesalt wrote:
Now that there aren't any damage cantrips worth casting early on

Honestly, Shortbow is nowhere close to strong. You need to wait for level 11 for 2 shots with a Shortbow to get beyond a ranged Ignition.

The Bow is nice as a third action but not as a replacement for cantrips.

I find it lovely how well the bow VS cantrip decision is not solvable in a mathy way.

With damage cantrips being universally 2-actions, it leaves it to always be an open question.

Are 2 Map bow shots better than a cantrip right now? Maybe I want to help dmg, but am not worried about it surviving much longer, so a 1-thwip+ Shield. Maybe I want a hail mary crit rider from a cantrip.

IMO, the shortbow's 1-action damage, plus access to any special arrows / poisons, makes it extremely appealing for any caster that's increasing DEX.

The Swap action only made it an even better idea to keep one runed and on-hand, IMO.


SuperBidi wrote:
Trip.H wrote:

I find it lovely how well the bow VS cantrip decision is not solvable in a mathy way.

With damage cantrips being universally 2-actions, it leaves it to always be an open question.

Are 2 Map bow shots better than a cantrip right now?

Do you listen (well, read)?

Cantrips deal more damage than 2 bow shots. It's very easy to solve mathematically. The bow is a third action, it doesn't replace cantrips.

Standard cantrip damage is 2d4 + (1d4 every 2 L) only on a fail, and half on save. In general, it's a bit easier to land a shot than get a fail, but also easier to do dmg via save roll than to land a shot.

at L4 weapons get Striking

The cantrip will deal 2d4 + 1d4 at 2 actions.

A shortbow will deal 2d6 at 1 action.

-----

L5 the cantrips jump to next spell R, doing 4d4 while the 1-action bow is still 2d6.

-----

I don't think it's accurate to just say that cantrips simply deal more dmg than 2 bow shots, like, at all.

1d4 + INT(4) is way better than 1d6, but again, 1 action v 2 actions. The closer one gets to the next Striking, the better cantrips get, and the sooner after getting that Striking, the better the bow favors. And again, special arrows, poisons, ect all are possibilities.

Single enemy encounters are very common, and every big guy + lieutenant encounter soon will loose that 2nd target.

-----

More to the point, my statement about bow V cantrip was referencing considerations outside of simply dealing the highest damage number, which is WHY the 1-action bow can never be disregarded.

Being able to ____ + thwip is always going to leave room for choosing the bow when cantrips are locked into 2-action damage. Even something like offering a flank for the martial can be way more dmg than the 2nd cantrip action.

You will not always have the luxury of spending 2-actions on damage, but 1-action is a lot easier to squeeze in.

It's silly to box and discard the idea of a bow as only a 3rd action always behind cantrips. That kind of "solved" though process is antithetical to the concept of having fun w/ tactical play.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Well, maybe you should watch it again as Mark never said Electric Arc was overpowered, he just said that Electric Arc was stronger than the other cantrips and why.

Let's lay out the facts, shall we?

  • Mark explicitly states that Electric Arc was stronger than the other damage cantrips, in a game that emphasizes balance.
  • Electric Arc was significantly nerfed post-remaster, losing an average of 2.25 damage per use at 1st rank.

    It is therefore rather evident that premaster EA is overpowered, and even post-remaster EA stands out as one of the best damage cantrips around, despite its significant nerf. You can finagle with semantics as much as you like; the fact remains that Paizo clearly saw EA as an outlier to nerf, not the standard around which to buff every other alternative. Pretending otherwise is to fight a battle you've already long lost.

    Unicore wrote:

    Also, the lore changes were not just name changes and especially not “filing serial numbers off.” Where just names could be changed, it was because underlying lore already had been changed so much that the name already was the only thing that connected something back to D&D lore and not either a deeper underlying, open lore, or IP that Paizo had been developing for decades.

    Even when Paizo had spent decades developing lore of their own, if it was just too tied to distinctly D&D lore, they took that element out of the game, they did not just change its name, even as that caused some players outrage. Their dedication to not “just filing off the serial numbers” really deserves better than to have people keep calling the remastery project that.

    I don’t mean to sound hostile, and I understand why “filing the serial numbers off” might not sound like a particularly negative thing to many people, American IP law is confusing, convoluted and complicated. I don’t especially like most aspects of it myself. But Paizo is, and always has been incredibly respectful of it in their growth out of D&D lore and language so directly tied to theft is just really not the right way to talk about the remaster project.

    I'm not sure we're actually disagreeing here, mainly as you appear to have jumped on the part of my quote that talked about "filing off some serial numbers" and completely ignored the rest of my post, which I'll share here for easy comparison:

    Teridax wrote:
    Goal #1: Remove and change OGL content. This is arguably the reason the remaster kicked off in the first place. I'm not Paizo staff, but I can surmise that this goal was high-priority (it defined the remaster's short production timeline and forced it to happen on top of existing projects), and moderate in scope (Paizo needed to communicate with their legal team and pore through a lot of names, but ultimately mainly just needed to file off some serial numbers and change a few bits of lore).

    Note how the paragraph also talks about changing lore as well. In practice, we have not yet received the bulk of this, and most of the post-remaster changes have come through mentions of erasure -- drow are no longer a thing, for instance. I certainly agree that Paizo put a lot of work into their setting since long before the remaster, and I'm not impugning that in any way, but seeing how they literally released a list of name changes for the remaster, a lot of the work really did come down to filing the serial numbers off of identifiable OGL content like Burning Hands or Attack of Opportunity. It is not insulting to point out this necessity, and Paizo renaming their content is A Good Thing, so there is no point in tone policing a reply simply because it did not exalt quite as much fawning praise as you wanted it to.


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    Perpdepog wrote:
    WWHsmackdown wrote:
    I'm happy my range of cantrips choices has expanded instead of defaulting to EA.
    Same. Well I tried grabbing as many as I could anyway, I really like collecting cantrips for some reason, but I like that a few have more synergies with the rest of my party, Frostbite being my go-to example.

    Scatter scree is probably my favourite combo damage and utility spell at low levels... two squares of difficult terrain might not seem like a lot. But if the party has two characters who can do it and are happy to use it purely to set up movement traps it can be quite debilitating. My second AV party used it as a key tactic when they defeated the bloodsiphon at level 1 (it is a level 4 creature), also while fighting a bunch of enemies on the third floor while a level lower than they should have been because they keep going down the second they find a viable path...


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    Electric arc was hit in the same way that the majority of cantrips were, removing damage mod to replace it with one extra dice, if EA was overpowered I would've expected it to see a unique nerf and not the same nerf cantrips got in general


    SuperBidi wrote:
    Trip.H wrote:

    I find it lovely how well the bow VS cantrip decision is not solvable in a mathy way.

    With damage cantrips being universally 2-actions, it leaves it to always be an open question.

    Are 2 Map bow shots better than a cantrip right now?

    Do you listen (well, read)?

    Cantrips deal more damage than 2 bow shots. It's very easy to solve mathematically. The bow is a third action, it doesn't replace cantrips.

    2 shots with a shortbow beats ranged ignition at levels 2 (+1 weapon) and 4-6 (striking) and, if you bother to keep it fully upgraded, levels 8 (1st damage rune) and 10-20 (everything else). Given the prevalence of high reflex saves at these early levels as well, it also performs adequately against electric arc and falls off without further investment just in time to switch over to EA full time as high reflex saves start to become rarer. Add the benefit of being able to use it as single action filler.

    Phase bolt and needle darts outperform a bow from 1-4 and are beaten 5-6, 8 and 10-20 like the rest. Obviously they can't be comboed with a spell or save cantrip which lessens their overall value.

    Old electric arc, in hitting two targets, even at a low point like level 4, sat at 148% of bow x2's damage in a high ref environment. That's pretty good and even better against moderate or low reflex enemies. New electric arc clocks in at ~120%. It needs moderate saves to get back to that 150%. For me, in that high reflex early game, it's just not good enough.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Karneios wrote:
    Electric arc was hit in the same way that the majority of cantrips were, removing damage mod to replace it with one extra dice, if EA was overpowered I would've expected it to see a unique nerf and not the same nerf cantrips got in general

    Most other cantrips got some kind of buff to make up for losing ability mods. Longer range, 3d4 damage, bleed damage, extra damage in melee, etc. I think electric arc and maybe daze are the only ones which that were straight nerfed. (And Daze is peculiar because they added language which indicates they may have meant to buff it.)


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    Teridax wrote:
    SuperBidi wrote:
    Well, maybe you should watch it again as Mark never said Electric Arc was overpowered, he just said that Electric Arc was stronger than the other cantrips and why.

    Let's lay out the facts, shall we?

  • Mark explicitly states that Electric Arc was stronger than the other damage cantrips, in a game that emphasizes balance.
  • On the other hand, Mark Seifter also said that the pre-errata remaster Wounded rules were the correct ones and had been all along. So I'm not sure his opinions on game balance and gameplay are necessarily something to be treated as sacred.

    Electric Arc being stronger than other cantrips does not mean it is too strong. It could be (and is) that the other cantrips are too weak. In particular, I think the designers overvalue effects that happen on critical hits/critical save failures, such as Ray of Frost's speed penalty.


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    gesalt wrote:
    New electric arc clocks in at ~120%. It needs moderate saves to get back to that 150%. For me, in that high reflex early game, it's just not good enough.

    According to Exocist's chart, median AC is exactly equal to high AC for each and every level. Median Ref is 2 points higher than moderate reflex at level -1, 1 point higher at levels 1 and 2 and 1 point lower at level 10-11. For the other levels, median reflex saves are moderate saves exactly. So "high reflex early game" is an overstatement. It's still closer to moderate than to high (level -1 enemies are hardly a danger).

    Against Moderate saves and high AC, 2 Bow shots deal on average over the course of the 20 levels 9.8% more damage than single target Electric Arc against a same level opponents. I take a secondary target over 10% extra damage every day. Against a level +2/3 opponent, Electric Arc beats the bow significantly.

    For Needle Darts, you forgot to count the Shadow Signet which helps a lot during 2-digit levels (even if it's hard to determine exactly what will be its impact, but it puts Needle Darts very close to the bow).

    And all of that considers a fully runed bow at exactly the level you get the new rune with all the elemental runes on it, too. It is very much environment dependent (especially the elemental runes). Also, a bow costs more than a cantrip (in terms of character options and money).

    Still, I don't say the bow is bad or whatever. It's a nice third action and there are situations where the bow will beat the cantrips. I just dislike when it is raised above its actual role.


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    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    On the other hand, Mark Seifter also said that the pre-errata remaster Wounded rules were the correct ones and had been all along. So I'm not sure his opinions on game balance and gameplay are necessarily something to be treated as sacred.

    You mean the rules that got confused because Paizo's own developers disagreed on which ones to use? At least one current senior developer endorsed the pre-errata version, so if we're going to be conducting purity tests based on a rule with several valid iterations, might as well start ruling out current staff and their expertise as well.

    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    Electric Arc being stronger than other cantrips does not mean it is too strong. It could be (and is) that the other cantrips are too weak. In particular, I think the designers overvalue effects that happen on critical hits/critical save failures, such as Ray of Frost's speed penalty.

    It could also be that unicorns are real and all birds are all just advanced spy robots, but believing either notion requires quite a few leaps in logic in absence of evidence. Similarly, Pathfinder 2e is a game that puts a major emphasis on balance, and whose remaster -- which reworked several cantrips -- very much did not buff damage cantrips to the level of pre-remaster EA. To claim that Paizo's staff somehow collectively failed to notice a significant weakness in nearly all damage cantrips across several years of design and playtesting, and that you know better than all of them on this matter, requires strong evidence.


    SuperBidi wrote:

    According to Exocist's chart, median AC is exactly equal to high AC for each and every level. Median Ref is 2 points higher than moderate reflex at level -1, 1 point higher at levels 1 and 2 and 1 point lower at level 10-11. For the other levels, median reflex saves are moderate saves exactly. So "high reflex early game" is an overstatement. It's still closer to moderate than to high (level -1 enemies are hardly a danger).

    Against Moderate saves and high AC, 2 Bow shots deal on average over the course of the 20 levels 9.8% more damage than single target Electric Arc against a same level opponents. I take a secondary target over 10% extra damage every day. Against a level +2/3 opponent, Electric Arc beats the bow significantly.

    For Needle Darts, you forgot to count the Shadow Signet which helps a lot during 2-digit levels (even if it's hard to determine exactly what will be its impact, but it puts Needle Darts very close to the bow).

    And all of that considers a fully runed bow at exactly the level you get the new rune with all the elemental runes on it, too. It is very much environment dependent (especially the elemental runes). Also, a bow costs more than a cantrip (in terms of character options and money).

    Still, I don't say the bow is bad or whatever. It's a nice third action and there are situations where the bow will beat the cantrips. I just dislike when it is raised above its actual role.

    Generally speaking, in this case I'm only concerned with the early game, when the cantrip nerf hurts. Like I originally said, I don't think the bow's worth keeping up-to-date with level 8 and beyond upgrades. My intention there was only to demonstrate a weapon outscaling basic cantrips. I did forget about shadow signet though thank you.

    I'm not concerned about +2 or +3 creatures either. After all, who's using cantrips against those? We have spell slots for that. The bow might be useful filler there, but that's all it is.

    For high reflex saves though, sure the median is higher than moderate, but that's not all that useful here I think? Just means there's moderate and high values in that level of creature without lows or extremes to weight it down. Over 50% of all printed stat blocks from -1 to 4 have reflex as their highest save.

    Though I am still only thinking of on-level opponents here instead of level-x fodder. Definitely a mistake on my part. I imagine that, high reflex or not, once there's a level difference you just EA everything in sight anyway. Oh well.


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    gesalt wrote:

    Generally speaking, in this case I'm only concerned with the early game, when the cantrip nerf hurts. Like I originally said, I don't think the bow's worth keeping up-to-date with level 8 and beyond upgrades. My intention there was only to demonstrate a weapon outscaling basic cantrips. I did forget about shadow signet though thank you.

    I'm not concerned about +2 or +3 creatures either. After all, who's using cantrips against those? We have spell slots for that. The bow might be useful filler there, but that's all it is.

    For high reflex saves though, sure the median is...

    If it's really for the low levels, then I'd not choose a bow but a Heavy Crossbow with Potency Crystals. At low level, fights are extremely short (especially if you put bosses aside), rarely more than a couple of rounds. As such, you are not penalyzed by the reload (you will only shoot once). And with a Potency Crystal, the Heavy Crossbow packs a real punch unlike the bow. Also, it doesn't cost much, neither in character option nor in money.

    Comparing a sequence of 3 bow shots with Potency Crystal and 1 Crossbow shot with Potency Crystal + Electric Arc, you'll deal respectively 20%, 26% and 48% extra damage during the 3 first levels. In my opinion, in the extremely fast low level fights, it will be much more interesting than a bow could be.


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    Staffan Johansson wrote:
    On the other hand, Mark Seifter also said that the pre-errata remaster Wounded rules were the correct ones and had been all along. So I'm not sure his opinions on game balance and gameplay are necessarily something to be treated as sacred.

    There is a fairly large possibility that paizo changing the death and dying rules in the remaster with the first errata came more from a desire not to poison the launch, since the discourse had gotten louder and more widespread in the two weeks leading up to the launch of the remaster rather than dying down. And realistically the remaster is already a tough sell, costly for paizo and people are trained to avoid drama in the ttrpg sphere post WotC's repeated failures throughout this year.

    That is an aside though, I don't see why that discredits Mark Seifter's statements when there are no statements to the contry from the current team?

    Nor do I think him commenting on why it was above the curve of other cantrips is being seen as a point of argument for either side of this discussion.


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    I find the discussion about cantrip balancing interesting and insightful.

    Intending to facilitate more targeted discussion, may I kindly suggest outsourcing it to a dedicated thread? For instance, something like "Cantrip Balancing after Remaster (vs. Cantrip / vs. Weapons)"?

    (Update: Spawned new thread: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43wqd?Offensive-Cantrip-Balancing-in-Remaster)

    I consider it an important topic - particularly for adventures with long adventuring days and scarce resources - so I'd like it to get the attention it IMHO deserves, while on the same hand allowing other aspects to be found easier in the thread at hand.


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    Teridax wrote:
    SuperBidi wrote:
    But EA has never been anywhere close to overpowered. There are not many top tier builds where it takes a significant role. And it's mostly because other cantrips were uselessly weak that EA took such a role, it was the only competitive attack cantrip in the game.

    Mark Seifter, one of PF2e's co-creators, explicitly said Electric Arc was overpowered, and in the link I shared explained why the cantrip was left in that state (there was a switch midway through development to spellcasting mod to damage across all cantrips).

    ...

    Thanks for that link! Both because the video is really interesting and because it showed me how to link to a specific moment within a YouTube video. :)


    why is chilling darkness still limited to just divine list while searing light are still on both divine and primal list

    it really doesn't make sense

    Shadow Lodge

    The fact 2e is receiving errata to make it more like 2.5e is one of my big ones.


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    Dragonborn3 wrote:
    The fact the older edition is receiving errata to make it more like 2e is one of my big ones.

    They're issuing errata for PF1 books? This is the first I've heard of it.


    What? They are? Where?


    GameDesignerDM wrote:
    What? They are? Where?

    Yeah, I went looking for this and I couldn't even find non-PF2 errata on the website.

    Shadow Lodge

    Yeah, yeah, you know what I meant. Remaster might as well be a new edition at this point, but I'll edit to make it clear.


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    It's hardly a new edition at all - the changes were relatively minor in the grand scale of things.


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    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Yeah, less than 2% of things changed.

    But man, what a difference that 2% makes!


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    Yeah, from what I've seen relatively little actually changed in the remaster aside from obvious "get away from the OGL" stuff. If you set aside "all the things that needed to change to make a clean break from the OGL" you're left with basically a normal errata pass.

    Going back and issuing errata to the other books is necessary because of things like "what kind of damage does arcane cascade do now?"


    Pathfinder LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

    If you click help on the right side of the menu at the top of the page, you get 1st edition faqs.


    Dragonborn3 wrote:
    The fact 2e is receiving errata to make it more like 2.5e is one of my big ones.

    The errata has been largely focused on compatibility. Legacy 2e is essentially finished apart from the handful of adventures left. There's no reason to use the Remaster compatibility errata unless you want to.


    Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    PossibleCabbage wrote:

    Yeah, from what I've seen relatively little actually changed in the remaster aside from obvious "get away from the OGL" stuff. If you set aside "all the things that needed to change to make a clean break from the OGL" you're left with basically a normal errata pass.

    Going back and issuing errata to the other books is necessary because of things like "what kind of damage does arcane cascade do now?"

    We're discovering little changes with big impacts every day.

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