Player Core 2 request-Overhaul the Swashbuckler


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Calliope5431 wrote:
Quote:


Investigator feats are more exploration oriented IMO.

I GMed a game with an Investigator player and the investigator looks like an "oficial metagaming" class due their abilities to get info.

The issue is that the game is about exploration AND combat.

Investigator has the smallest number of feats in the game besides oracle and thaumaturge. Which is already an inauspicious start. And around 70% of them are devoted to, er, investigating.

It'd be like if 70% of wizard feats were dedicated to discovering Mordenkainen's boson, or if 70% of cleric feats were devoted to winning theological debates on heresy. Sure, it'd be vaguely cool, but combat does happen, and the investigator class resolutely pretends that it doesn't.

Devise a Strategem is an interesting combat mechanic. Needs way more feat support, but it does make for some interesting interactions. The investigator in my game decided to obtain an animal companion so if he fails the hit roll with the Devise a Stratagem, he sends in the animal if he doesn't have the option to strike a different target.

Still doesn't hit hard enough for the feat cost.

Might be better if it worked more like Hunt Prey where once you set the Stratagem Target, it works against that target for free every round for at least one attack.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Quote:


Investigator feats are more exploration oriented IMO.

I GMed a game with an Investigator player and the investigator looks like an "oficial metagaming" class due their abilities to get info.

The issue is that the game is about exploration AND combat.

Investigator has the smallest number of feats in the game besides oracle and thaumaturge. Which is already an inauspicious start. And around 70% of them are devoted to, er, investigating.

It'd be like if 70% of wizard feats were dedicated to discovering Mordenkainen's boson, or if 70% of cleric feats were devoted to winning theological debates on heresy. Sure, it'd be vaguely cool, but combat does happen, and the investigator class resolutely pretends that it doesn't.

Devise a Strategem is an interesting combat mechanic. Needs way more feat support, but it does make for some interesting interactions. The investigator in my game decided to obtain an animal companion so if he fails the hit roll with the Devise a Stratagem, he sends in the animal if he doesn't have the option to strike a different target.

Still doesn't hit hard enough for the feat cost.

Might be better if it worked more like Hunt Prey where once you set the Stratagem Target, it works against that target for free every round for at least one attack.

True!

But it's appallingly bad as-is, yes.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Quote:


Investigator feats are more exploration oriented IMO.

I GMed a game with an Investigator player and the investigator looks like an "oficial metagaming" class due their abilities to get info.

The issue is that the game is about exploration AND combat.

Investigator has the smallest number of feats in the game besides oracle and thaumaturge. Which is already an inauspicious start. And around 70% of them are devoted to, er, investigating.

It'd be like if 70% of wizard feats were dedicated to discovering Mordenkainen's boson, or if 70% of cleric feats were devoted to winning theological debates on heresy. Sure, it'd be vaguely cool, but combat does happen, and the investigator class resolutely pretends that it doesn't.

Devise a Strategem is an interesting combat mechanic. Needs way more feat support, but it does make for some interesting interactions. The investigator in my game decided to obtain an animal companion so if he fails the hit roll with the Devise a Stratagem, he sends in the animal if he doesn't have the option to strike a different target.

Still doesn't hit hard enough for the feat cost.

Might be better if it worked more like Hunt Prey where once you set the Stratagem Target, it works against that target for free every round for at least one attack.

Devise is weird because in theory it should be a free action in a decent number of fights (especially fights against major villains) but it's a bit unclear how much of a subject of a lead they have to be to make it a free action.


Calliope5431 wrote:
Corabee Cori wrote:
Considering how valuable Slowed 1 is seen, having an enemy decide not to attack me and have to move around me to go attack someone else, that still feels like a benefit.

The issue is "the monster expends an action on movement" and "slowed" (literally not having an action at all) are very different things. A monster moving means your PC has to move as well - something which is especially painful for a swashbuckler.

Ignoring adamantine bricks like swashbucklers and monks just isn't that hard.

That's not to say that swashbuckler is a terrible class and people should feel bad about playing one. Just that I've experienced and seen issues with it, and it'd be nice to see some of them patched.

I don't think I ever found having to move to be painful. It was quite often the plan anyway.


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Guntermench wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Corabee Cori wrote:
Considering how valuable Slowed 1 is seen, having an enemy decide not to attack me and have to move around me to go attack someone else, that still feels like a benefit.

The issue is "the monster expends an action on movement" and "slowed" (literally not having an action at all) are very different things. A monster moving means your PC has to move as well - something which is especially painful for a swashbuckler.

Ignoring adamantine bricks like swashbucklers and monks just isn't that hard.

That's not to say that swashbuckler is a terrible class and people should feel bad about playing one. Just that I've experienced and seen issues with it, and it'd be nice to see some of them patched.

I don't think I ever found having to move to be painful. It was quite often the plan anyway.

Precisely. "Walking past the swashbuckler on the way to the nice juicy wizard" isn't exactly rocket science


aobst128 wrote:
Any word on if investigator is getting the remaster treatment?

All of the Advanced Player's Guide classes (as well as the Core Rulebook classes that weren't in Player Core 1) are going to be in Player Core 2. They haven't announced any specific changes to investigator yet, though.


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It really seems like, even more than the fighter, the Swashbuckler should be *the* reactive strike class. Like you're the quick, agile, unpredictable fighter so you should be able to make quick lunges to stab people who leave an opening in as many contexts as that's reasonable.

So rather than making it a 6th level feat like other Martials get, make it a basic part of the chassis and let us build on it since the Swashbuckler making a bunch of reactive strikes with a rapier is probably less unbalancing than when the fighter or giant barbarian does it.

Give the Swashbuckler something like Nimble Strike as a reaction (possibly with a movement trigger that you can Nimble Roll towards), and something like panache for riposte on a miss wouldn't be unreasonable.


Opportune Riposte works very well in mook fights, not so well in boss fights. That is my experience with it.

It's not as good as an AoO when set up with trip. And not even close to as good as Opportune Backstab.

It's not useless, but more useful in larger groups against multiple attackers that attack the swash.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

Opportune Riposte works very well in mook fights, not so well in boss fights. That is my experience with it.

It's not as good as an AoO when set up with trip. And not even close to as good as Opportune Backstab.

It's not useless, but more useful in larger groups against multiple attackers that attack the swash.

It honestly would be fine if it triggered on any miss. It's just too conditional now


Calliope5431 wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Corabee Cori wrote:
Considering how valuable Slowed 1 is seen, having an enemy decide not to attack me and have to move around me to go attack someone else, that still feels like a benefit.

The issue is "the monster expends an action on movement" and "slowed" (literally not having an action at all) are very different things. A monster moving means your PC has to move as well - something which is especially painful for a swashbuckler.

Ignoring adamantine bricks like swashbucklers and monks just isn't that hard.

That's not to say that swashbuckler is a terrible class and people should feel bad about playing one. Just that I've experienced and seen issues with it, and it'd be nice to see some of them patched.

I don't think I ever found having to move to be painful. It was quite often the plan anyway.
Precisely. "Walking past the swashbuckler on the way to the nice juicy wizard" isn't exactly rocket science

.

I meant as someone that played a handful of Swashbucklers for a bit over three years at no point did I find moving to be painful.

With the speed boost I could generally follow easily. If they didn't move away I'd generally get a Riposte off. Frequently I'd be the one tumbling through enemies to go get the nice juicy enemy wizard though, that's what I'd meant by moving being the plan.


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Calliope5431 wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

Opportune Riposte works very well in mook fights, not so well in boss fights. That is my experience with it.

It's not as good as an AoO when set up with trip. And not even close to as good as Opportune Backstab.

It's not useless, but more useful in larger groups against multiple attackers that attack the swash.

It honestly would be fine if it triggered on any miss. It's just too conditional now

It is odd it requires a level 18 feat with additional requirements to activate on a miss. Needs improvement.


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Guntermench wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Calliope5431 wrote:
Corabee Cori wrote:
Considering how valuable Slowed 1 is seen, having an enemy decide not to attack me and have to move around me to go attack someone else, that still feels like a benefit.

The issue is "the monster expends an action on movement" and "slowed" (literally not having an action at all) are very different things. A monster moving means your PC has to move as well - something which is especially painful for a swashbuckler.

Ignoring adamantine bricks like swashbucklers and monks just isn't that hard.

That's not to say that swashbuckler is a terrible class and people should feel bad about playing one. Just that I've experienced and seen issues with it, and it'd be nice to see some of them patched.

I don't think I ever found having to move to be painful. It was quite often the plan anyway.
Precisely. "Walking past the swashbuckler on the way to the nice juicy wizard" isn't exactly rocket science

.

I meant as someone that played a handful of Swashbucklers for a bit over three years at no point did I find moving to be painful.

With the speed boost I could generally follow easily. If they didn't move away I'd generally get a Riposte off. Frequently I'd be the one tumbling through enemies to go get the nice juicy enemy wizard though, that's what I'd meant by moving being the plan.

Yeah my swashbuckler experience is generally that moving is a luxury that swashbuckler can't always afford. Because you have to generate panache every round and thus you only get one shot to do that if you also have to move and stab.

Tumbling lets you double dip if positioning is favorable but it's not guaranteed. And anyway, if you're moving you don't have the actions to parry like was mentioned above.

Basically - swashbuckler is NOT a premium tank. The tricks mentioned above to boost its ac require actions that don't always exist. It can't block attacks against allies like a champion can with reactions or a fighter can with Shield Warden. It has lower AC than someone in plate due to light armor, and moreover unlike monk or paladin it doesn't have armor proficiency that scales to legendary or armor specialization. It absolutely doesn't have the actions to burn raising a shield like a fighter, barbarian, or champion might.

Compare a monk with Crane Stance and Crane Flutter to a swashbuckler with Goading Feint, Dueling Parry, and Opportune Riposte and you'll see what I mean. Monks have Crane Stance giving them +1 to AC scaling to +3 on a reaction. They have fast scaling unarmored defense that goes all the way to legendary proficiency. They have solid movement and flurry of blows means they pretty much can always get off two attacks per round, and STILL have an action left over to raise a shield or use a multiclass bard composition spell or move AGAIN if needed. Crane Flutter triggers on a miss, not a critical miss.

The swashbuckler meanwhile struggles to cram in panache generation (via Goading Feint), movement, Dueling Parry, and finisher. They're gating the finisher damage behind two rolls - one to generate panache and one to hit with the finisher. They're only getting one attack usually. They have lower AC than the monk, especially if the monk uses Crane Flutter, and Opportune Riposte triggers only on a critical miss rather than just a normal miss like Flutter.

And monk is one of the lower tier martials. Compare to a fighter or a champion and the disparity only grows.


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MEATSHED wrote:
Devise is weird because in theory it should be a free action in a decent number of fights (especially fights against major villains) but it's a bit unclear how much of a subject of a lead they have to be to make it a free action.

My group found that it was easier to just treat Devise as being a free action at all times. It's obviously not a balance concern given how frequently you'd have it if the Investigator was actually harassing the GM about changing their lead every time the plot changes.


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I'd love if DaS got more love. I feel like it should really lean into the strategic angle by having lots of support for riders and extra effects that you can layer on. Then you'd have the gamefeel of setting up this one, perfect moment that really just wrecks your enemy's day and leaves them easy pickings for the rest of your party as opposed to how it feels now, where you're stabbing them in the kidneys--or equivalent--slightly harder than the rogue does, but without the possibility of doing it multiple times a round.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
The investigator is number one because their offensive schtick is worse off than the swashbuckler and their feats are terrible.

In a way, yeah, but the swashbuckler is a better martial than the investigator, though I think that's kind of the point though. Investigators kinda fall in the "half martial" category in that they play like martials but have their shtick focused somewhere else (in this case, skills and skills feats). The swashbuckler IS a better martial, but it is way more clunky to play than in investigator and the extra utility in the latter certainly helps. A swash is a bad martial, while an investigator is just a bad rogue.

The bare minimum Paizo needs to do to fix the investigator is...
* Devise a Stratagem is a free action, period.
* Pursue a Lead is a one-action activity.
* Methodologies should be way more involved and allow you to use Int to whatever they do if they aren't Int-based already (For example, Forensic Medicine would allow you to use Int when to RK and treat wounds with Medicine, Interrogation allow you to use Int when Making an Impression, etc).

In the best possible scenario, an investigator should be a pure skill-based and utility martial. A one-action Pursue a Lead would make investigators the most "accurate" skill monkey in the game, and their turns in combat should revolve around mostly using skill actions or other utility actions they may have. Did you use DaS and you know you are going to fail the Strike? Good, replace it with a skill action. After all, DaS is a free action now. Investigator feats should also improve or give you brand new skill actions to use.

This is IMO easier to fix than the swash, that requires to tweak its subclasses and most of its features. The investigator mostly needs some tweaks and new feats.


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exequiel759 wrote:
* Devise a Stratagem is a free action, period.

On a lore level, I like Devise a Stratagem to be an action. It seems like it should take some time to ponder things. But if it costs an action, it needs to have a much bigger payoff than getting to use Int to hit and getting a version of sneak attack off – maybe something like the rogue's debilitations, although that's more of a high-level thing. At lower levels, maybe something as simple as allowing a reroll of the d20 rolled as part of devising a stratagem if you follow through after a bad roll ("Plan 2"*). Alternately, make something like Known Weaknesses baseline, or take a page out of the Gunslinger's book and allow combining Devise with a number of different preparatory actions, such as reloading, or Step/Stride, or things like that.

* "Not plan B. Plan 2. Plan B implies we only have 26." –Scott Summers


The thing is, most investigators wouldn't want to reload at all since they would not be using ranged weapons (and if they were they would be smart and use a bow /s). Step/Stride is kinda...not as flavorful? The only option that would make sense would be skill actions, but it's not like "skill actions" is a term in the game, so it would either be relegated to something very specific like RK (which would make investigators into a more dollar store rogue, specifically a mastermind rogue) or something related to your methodology (which would require you to remake all methodologies pretty much because it's not like you can do much with Crafting if you take alchemical sciencies or Diplomacy if you have interrogation unless you also have Bon Mot, which also isn't as useful if you don't have casters in the party or you make dedicated Intimidation build).


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As a long-time investigator player, I can accept the benefits of DaS so far, but the most serious problem with investigators is that there is no "plan B" (Except alchemical science methodology). DaS is not a problem at all if the investigator has a special high-yield "plan B" according to his methodology and becomes a primarily ancillary class with a primary logic of action.

So the feat list(no action, no reaction list and I think investigator's feat list is the worst list in PF2) and methodology need to be rewritten to do this.

DaS is a very good single action with a good fit(Eldritch Archer and undead slayer), it provides stability that other classes can't provide.


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Having played an Investigator in Outlaws, I think what I'd like is for Investigators to be able to open a case in combat. Maybe make Purse a Lead 3 actions like Mark for Death? It'd still have 10min cooldown but you can actually use half your abilities on the very obvious suspect and still normally DaS on mobs.

Reload DaS sounds like a cool lvl 1 feat Investigator sure needs more of them. Stride DaS? Draw DaS? Possibilities are endless!


please my intrusion into this discussion. i am new to PF2e. My char (first character) is a swashbuckling goblin... kind of a cross between Stich and Capt Jack. when i think Swash i think Princess Bride and pirates. the thought that swashes should be massive damage like a fighter is non-sense. its about long fights, lots of insults, showing off and wearing down the opponent to exhaustion. when in a group it would be nice if actions conducted with panache would give negatives to the opponent. small insulative damage with a group assisting negative. My favorite move is to stay out of range insulting and come in after everyone has beat the monster down and get the finishing kill for under 20 damage.

in short please allow panache more effects that limit the monster. not more damage...

but that is my version of fun... thank you for your time


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I mean...I certainly wouldn't like to be playing in the same table as someone that's playing a martial "to stay out of range insulting and come in after everyone has beat the monster down and get the finishing kill for under 20 damage"


Also that isn't exactly a daring and flashy gameplan, which is what most people want from swashbucklers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Bringing up panache again, because I wanted to clarify something. People are discussing panache in at least two different ways, and I want to more firmly identify them.

1) Panache is something the swashbuckler almost always has in combat, similar to barbarian rage. In that case, panache gives useful constant bonuses and enables some flashy abilities.

2) Panache is something only gained situationally, and potentially consumed when used. In that case, panache gives powerful bonuses and any damaging effect that consumes it deals high damage.

I'm not saying either approach is better, and I have no idea which one will be in Player Core 2 (or maybe it's a third one I didn't think of). I just wanted to explicitly point out that there's more than one way to handle panache.

Now here's an idea: Did anyone think of giving focus spells to swashbucklers? And would that help? Mechanically, monks can learn focus spells for extra-powerful stances, or for flashy attacks/techniques. Some of what the swashbucklers in stories do borders on the supernatural; could those be handled as focus spells?


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Arbalester wrote:
Now here's an idea: Did anyone think of giving focus spells to swashbucklers? And would that help? Mechanically, monks can learn focus spells for extra-powerful stances, or for flashy attacks/techniques. Some of what the swashbucklers in stories do borders on the supernatural; could those be handled as focus spells?

I don't think that giving swashbucklers focus spells is really going to be the answer to anything. People are currently able to turn feats into focus spells. They just are. Having that in your own class rather than via archetype gives you some efficiency boosts, but it's not a major improvement in overall ability, especially if it's not actively plugging into existing class mechanics (like the monk and magus get).

Past that... it's a matter of theming. I just don't feel like the swashbuckler has the same sort of magic theming that the monk does. Like, monk inspirations actually involve doing some outright magical things. Swashbucklers seem more about pulling off impossible stunts, while acting like it's not magic at all. To me, that says that they shouldn't be getting focus spells inherently. Give them that boost in some other way.


Focus spells don't fit the swashbuckler IMO. They make sense in monks because they are mystical warriors, or in the case of champions or rangers because they used to have spells since pretty much forever.

Swashbuckler in PF1e was closer to what the gunslinger is (in both PF1e and PF2e); an hyper-specialized fighter. It wouldn't make sense for swashbucklers to have spells because they are a very mundane martial for the most part, a very flamboyant mundane martial but a mundane martial nonetheless.

I also think panache works vastly different based on your style. I played a gymnast and a fencer (they were literally the same character btw, I started at gymanst but after a few levels I ask my GM to retrain my whole character). As a gymnast I used panache very sparingly. You can get panache and use a finisher on the same turn if you don't want a -5, so you either had to use once every other turn or rely on the passive precise strike bonus to damage and not use it finishers that much. Since I retrained into a fencer all my turns are pretty much like this: generate panache either feinting or with tumble through (I didn't have a good Dex before) > finisher > dueling parry. I not only deal way more damage than I used to but the class is overall more "smooth" to play.

I also played in the same table as a battledancer and he pretty much had all the problems I had as a gymnast with his swash.


exequiel759 wrote:
Focus spells don't fit the swashbuckler IMO. They make sense in monks because they are mystical warriors, or in the case of champions or rangers because they used to have spells since pretty much forever.

I agree that focus spells wouldn't feel right for a Swashbuckler, but I think it would be cool to have a martial class with some kind of resource management that's kind of like focus points but non-magical, and the Swashbuckler would be as good a place as any for that sort of thing. As I recall, both the swashbuckler and gunslinger in PF1 had a resource they could use to trigger various special abilities (panache and grit, respectively).


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the Unstable trait on the inventor was an attempt at this. Unstable abilities certainly seem to be on par with focus spells.


unstable check are too high for anyone to attempt third or forth unstable action per fight

while there are many way to recover focus point in fight

this may force most inventor to get a support focus spell instead of using their own support unstable ability


AnimatedPaper wrote:
I think the Unstable trait on the inventor was an attempt at this. Unstable abilities certainly seem to be on par with focus spells.

Perhaps, but Unstable is kind of unreliable. I was thinking more along the lines of Tome of Battle-style maneuvers or 4e-style encounter powers, where the martial has some abilities that just work, but are balanced by frequency of use.

For example, Disarm is a really weak action, because if you could keep disarming your foe with just a skill action, that would lead to degenerate situations where you just keep disarming and they have to keep picking up their weapons, and that's kind of silly. But if you had a 1/encounter ability that was something like "Disarming strike" that let you make either an attack roll or an Athletics check against your opponent's Reflex DC and on a success they drop their weapon, that'd be a Cool Thing without being degenerate.


As a side note, disarm is a lot better with the remaster. The penalty to attack rolls on a successful check lasts indefinitely now until the target spends an action to regrip their weapon.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I think the Unstable trait on the inventor was an attempt at this. Unstable abilities certainly seem to be on par with focus spells.

Perhaps, but Unstable is kind of unreliable. I was thinking more along the lines of Tome of Battle-style maneuvers or 4e-style encounter powers, where the martial has some abilities that just work, but are balanced by frequency of use.

For example, Disarm is a really weak action, because if you could keep disarming your foe with just a skill action, that would lead to degenerate situations where you just keep disarming and they have to keep picking up their weapons, and that's kind of silly. But if you had a 1/encounter ability that was something like "Disarming strike" that let you make either an attack roll or an Athletics check against your opponent's Reflex DC and on a success they drop their weapon, that'd be a Cool Thing without being degenerate.

Right, but why not just make them focus spells at that point? Attach some kind of non magical trait if it helps, but you have a working point based format with established power levels ready to be used, why not just use that?

To be candid, I had assumed when focus spells were initially pitched to us that this was in fact their intent. And that the choice to use "focus point" instead of "spell point" was a semantic choice to have a power point that could be magical or nonmagical, depending on the class. That didn't turn out to be the case, of course, but it's why I have the view I do. Unless you're going to make a departure from the cost to cast, like Inventors and Kineticists (and Swashbucklers to a certain extent with Panache) do, I think just using that established system makes the most sense.

Edit: I'll admit that the biggest reason to not do as I suggest would be that a class would be able to use what is intended to be a completely non-magical effect to cast overtly magical spells, since a focus point is a focus point no matter where it comes from, so some kind of limiter on what you could spend your class points on, or doing away with the cost like psychics can do, would need to be added.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I think the Unstable trait on the inventor was an attempt at this. Unstable abilities certainly seem to be on par with focus spells.

Perhaps, but Unstable is kind of unreliable. I was thinking more along the lines of Tome of Battle-style maneuvers or 4e-style encounter powers, where the martial has some abilities that just work, but are balanced by frequency of use.

For example, Disarm is a really weak action, because if you could keep disarming your foe with just a skill action, that would lead to degenerate situations where you just keep disarming and they have to keep picking up their weapons, and that's kind of silly. But if you had a 1/encounter ability that was something like "Disarming strike" that let you make either an attack roll or an Athletics check against your opponent's Reflex DC and on a success they drop their weapon, that'd be a Cool Thing without being degenerate.

Right, but why not just make them focus spells at that point? Attach some kind of non magical trait if it helps, but you have a working point based format with established power levels ready to be used, why not just use that?

To be candid, I had assumed when focus spells were initially pitched to us that this was in fact their intent. And that the choice to use "focus point" instead of "spell point" was a semantic choice to have a power point that could be magical or nonmagical, depending on the class. That didn't turn out to be the case, of course, but it's why I have the view I do. Unless you're going to make a departure from the cost to cast, like Inventors and Kineticists (and Swashbucklers to a certain extent with Panache) do, I think just using that established system makes the most sense.

Edit: I'll admit that the biggest reason to not do as I suggest would be that a class would be able to use what is intended to be a completely non-magical effect to cast overtly magical spells, since a focus point is a focus point no matter where it...

Call them Effort Points or something, and then give them the Focus trait, perhaps? Abilities with Effort Points can be paid for by either Focus or Effort, but Focus abilities can't be paid for with Effort.


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There's nothing inherently magical about "focus." No reason classes couldn't gain non-magical maneuvers and abilities that use focus points, too.

Liberty's Edge

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That's a drum I've been beating since the original PF2 Playtest: Focus as an overall concept outside of what does exist in PF2 as printed has absolutely nothing to do with magic or supernatural forces whatsoever, instead it is a way to describe singular concentration or effort being applied to a single task/thing/thought.

Focus could have easily taken on ALL of the mechanical space that Hero Points have minus the "save my life" function and had been encoded into rests, it could have been provided with a handful of generic uses such as rerolls, gaining a static (or perhaps even scaling ala training) Circumstance bonus to a roll when used in advance, and EVERY Class could have been given one or more ways to spend their Focus in unique ways that befit their Class, or more likely, their Sub-Class role they choose at 1st level.

The way it was rolled out makes me think that at some point there was a luminary on the team that pushed for something like this but it didn't grab the attention of the team as a whole and instead, the idea was cannibalized into being used only in SOME circumstances such as we see it for Spellcasters and the Monk as well to give a unified new resource silo that sits outside of Spell Slots and... well, the pure martials were just left out to dry.

Spending a Focus Point and an Action to use "Focused Aim" could have provided two d20 rolls on a hit without the baggage of actually making two different Attacks. "Focus through the pain" could have been a Reaction to prevent your last point of HP damage and leave you standing at 1 HP after an otherwise deadly blow. So on and so forth, it's a design space that was utterly wasted as just another way to cast Spells when... the entire concept, the word itself in normal context has a net-0 association with anything even remotely mystical or magic about it at all.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Sandal Fury wrote:
There's nothing inherently magical about "focus." No reason classes couldn't gain non-magical maneuvers and abilities that use focus points, too.

Yes and no. There's nothing inherently magical about the concept of focus, as TMS more eloquently argues than me, but the way the system is written in PF2 it is explicitly magical. Like I said, I would rather they had done otherwise, or had just leaned a little further into the magical dressing and called them "mana" point instead of focus (which would allow them to retroactively apply an in game meaning to the word and make "Mana Wastes" as a name make more sense), but it's all water under the bridge now.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Sandal Fury wrote:
There's nothing inherently magical about "focus." No reason classes couldn't gain non-magical maneuvers and abilities that use focus points, too.

Yes and no. There's nothing inherently magical about the concept of focus, as TMS more eloquently argues than me, but the way the system is written in PF2 it is explicitly magical. Like I said, I would rather they had done otherwise, or had just leaned a little further into the magical dressing and called them "mana" point instead of focus (which would allow them to retroactively apply an in game meaning to the word and make "Mana Wastes" as a name make more sense), but it's all water under the bridge now.

It's literally D&D 4e encounter powers by another name. So yeah there's no reason martials shouldn't get them too. Per encounter resources are a really good idea because they aren't as dependent on whether your GM does 3 encounters per day or 13.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm fairly certain I don't have any posts saying "I hate waffles", but maybe it's somewhere in my post history.

Liberty's Edge

AnimatedPaper wrote:
I'm fairly certain I don't have any posts saying "I hate waffles", but maybe it's somewhere in my post history.

Was there some mystery moderation that took place over the weekend that stripped this of context or should I ask, like... is everything okay AP?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Just annoyed at people responding to me as if I had said something completely different than what I actually said. Gets a bit tedious.

My comment referenced a meme from several years ago about twitter, though I often think about it here:

Quote:

Twitter the only place where well articulated sentences still get misinterpreted.

You can say "I like pancakes" and somebody will say "So you hate waffles?"
No [ smurf ]. Dats a whole new sentence. Wtf is you talking about.

Probably best for me to continue taking a forum break. Stuff that I should just shrug off is more annoying than it ought to be.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think it would be fun for more classes to get focus spells as feats, but I basically assume that since swashbucklers and what not function on a superhuman level, they're already passively magical, and the entire concept of them being strictly mundane is long gone from PF2e's variant of the DND Lineage.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Calliope5431 wrote:
It's literally D&D 4e encounter powers by another name.

Closer to 4e psionics than normal encounter powers, the latter recharged on an individual level. Having a resource pool that you use to enable or upgrade certain abilities is closer to the former.

... Probably not a coincidence PF2e psychics have amps like DND4e psions did, tbh.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it would be fun for more classes to get focus spells as feats, but I basically assume that since swashbucklers and what not function on a superhuman level, they're already passively magical, and the entire concept of them being strictly mundane is long gone from PF2e's variant of the DND Lineage.

The only D&D that probably tried to be "realistic" was OD&D. At the moment in which you can withstand several injuries and heal them in the spam of in-game hours then there's no place to claim the system tries to be simulationist or accurate to how things work IRL.

Magic as a thing exists in the very fabric of the universe in most fantasy settings, and in the case of Golarion in particular magic is pretty much a science of its own (as per Secrets of Magic at least) so I would be inclined to agree that even non-mages are empowered by the magic that exists within themselves or the universe even if they don't know how to use magic. With that said, I wouldn't like focus spell to become a generic resource for all classes (though it's not like I would hate it) mostly because as someone that used to play a ton of 3.5 / PF1e the fact that I can make a good character without relying on magic or magic-adjacent features is cool to me. Back then not playing a mage was already not being optimal with your character so playing a fighter and feeling like I'm actual superhuman that can tie his shoes without taking 10 feats or using magic feels really good.


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I don't see how using focus points to measure burst capacity for martial maneuvers would be in any way "magic-adjacent." It would be taking a design concept that was, for some reason, reserved for casters, and expanding it to be a more general concept.

I would be almost all for a setup like this, with one reservation. Casters are already viewed as lacking in terms of power compared to martials, and if focus points were broadened to be useful to martials as well, I'm sure the players who favor spellcasters would be very upset at having to share one of their best toys. They would have to get something fun at the same time.


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It's not like it would be particularly difficult either. Psionic amps are separate from normal focus spells but give focus points and have a sidebar to explain their extra rules. Create a martial variant, let's call them deeds after the pf1 pool of swash powers, and add a sidebar saying that they add to your focus pool and explain their extra rules. Don't need to call it magic or a focus spell or anything else, just treat it like psi amps.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
I think it would be fun for more classes to get focus spells as feats, but I basically assume that since swashbucklers and what not function on a superhuman level, they're already passively magical, and the entire concept of them being strictly mundane is long gone from PF2e's variant of the DND Lineage.

I think we maybe shouldn't just splash spells on absolutely everything. Like, yeah, it's true - even mid-level pure-martial characters can do some pretty impossible things. That doesn't mean that handing them spells wouldn't change them thematically.

Now, I wouldn't necessarily mind seeing some of the pure-martial classes get non-spell ways to use focus points, but slapping them with spells just makes everything more samey in bad ways. Let's not do that.


Calliope5431 wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Sandal Fury wrote:
There's nothing inherently magical about "focus." No reason classes couldn't gain non-magical maneuvers and abilities that use focus points, too.

Yes and no. There's nothing inherently magical about the concept of focus, as TMS more eloquently argues than me, but the way the system is written in PF2 it is explicitly magical. Like I said, I would rather they had done otherwise, or had just leaned a little further into the magical dressing and called them "mana" point instead of focus (which would allow them to retroactively apply an in game meaning to the word and make "Mana Wastes" as a name make more sense), but it's all water under the bridge now.

It's literally D&D 4e encounter powers by another name. So yeah there's no reason martials shouldn't get them too. Per encounter resources are a really good idea because they aren't as dependent on whether your GM does 3 encounters per day or 13.

I didn't love D&D4; however, I have been persuaded that martials having focus-spell-like abilities would greatly open up the design spaces they live in. Unfortunately, the one that is arguably the most important martial (i.e., the fighter) has already received its remaster treatment. Perhaps this approach can be adapted for the currently notional (and years distant) PF3.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I think fighters can be the exception and should *not* have encounter powers on their class.

All other martials, yes. Please in fact. But I like that fighters occupy the “relatively uncomplicated gameplay” niche, and wouldn’t want them to pick those up.

Besides, there’s archetypes aplenty that they could pick up to get encounter powers if the player chooses. That I have no objection to, I just would prefer them not to be part of the baseline fighter or on any of its class feats.


AnimatedPaper wrote:

I think fighters can be the exception and should *not* have encounter powers on their class.

All other martials, yes. Please in fact. But I like that fighters occupy the “relatively uncomplicated gameplay” niche, and wouldn’t want them to pick those up.

Besides, there’s archetypes aplenty that they could pick up to get encounter powers if the player chooses. That I have no objection to, I just would prefer them not to be part of the baseline fighter or on any of its class feats.

Interesting take. Personally, I've never liked exceptionalism as goal of design. In my experience it inevitably leads to feel-bads. But fighter (and a few other obviously D&D classes) along with archetypes are my least favorite aspects of PF2. (Fortunately I do have house-rules for this sort of thing.)

Also, I don't really think Fighter falls into the "relatively uncomplicated gameplay" niche. I think it's rather the opposite. Without any signposts suggesting particular builds, a player must rely entirely on their system expertise to avoid feat traps, feat taxes, etc., etc. But YMMV.


Here’s a question … if we give martials a focus non-spell ability, what ahopens if they then grab a focus spell?


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I think things like "encounter powers" for Martials are a fine idea, but the way you recharge whatever metacurrency limits them shouldn't be "you pray or meditate for 10 minutes."

The Inventor's Unstable mechanic where it takes 10 minutes to repair the thing that overheated and started making a concerning noise is the right way to do this. If we're going to limit an ability to only be used a few times per combat we have to think about "why can you only use it a few times per combat" first.

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