Why this trait, but not that trait? A Discussion on Skill Attacks.


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Posting this here so as to not derail an otherwise positive Remaster thread.

gesalt wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I love that the Remaster now clarifies that you DO get to apply the Agile trait to combat maneuvers (disarm, grapple, reposition, shove, trip) when you use your free hand to perform them.
Can you point out where so I can be mad about the agile trait applying but finesse not applying despite both being defined as affecting attack rolls?

That's a very good point, gesalt. That is rather unintuitive.

Why should one trait apply, but not the other? Where is the logic in that?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Corabee Cori wrote:
Which does make Agile Maneuvers a bit pointless.

It's still perfectly fine if you don't have fists. XD


Because Shove with DEX doesn't make a lot of sense. How quick your footwork is really isn't going to make much difference when trying to bodily move someone else.

I could see allowing finesse to work for Disarm. But Grapple, Trip, and Shove should generally stay Strength based.


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...because if just having a finesse weapon was enough to let you get dex to maneuvers, then there'd be precious little reason left to go Strength, especially at higher levels.

That's it. It's trying to retain a bit of balance, and keep the "strength or dex" question at least a little interesting.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:

...because if just having a finesse weapon was enough to let you get dex to maneuvers, then there'd be precious little reason left to go Strength, especially at higher levels.

That's it. It's trying to retain a bit of balance, and keep the "strength or dex" question at least a little interesting.

While you're likely correct about this motivation, melee dex builds are generally worse than strength ones even without maneuvers. I know everyone is worried about dex to damage but PF2 armor and initiative changes make the advantages of dex pretty slight. For dexterity to be a better stat you basically need to have no medium+ armor proficiency or be leaning into range attacks.

Also, maneuvers still key off athletics, which requires proficiency bumps to stay competitive in combat. But then you're still worse at the other uses of athletics. (Admittedly Assurance is good for a lot of those, like jumping, climbing, and swimming.) I also just think it is weird that Swashbucklers have a harder time disarming folks and rogues aren't good at tripping people outside of Assurance shenanigans.


breithauptclan wrote:

Because Shove with DEX doesn't make a lot of sense. How quick your footwork is really isn't going to make much difference when trying to bodily move someone else.

I could see allowing finesse to work for Disarm. But Grapple, Trip, and Shove should generally stay Strength based.

How is making somebody stumble with a tricky move and then using their own weight to send them stumbling backward hard to imagine?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:

...because if just having a finesse weapon was enough to let you get dex to maneuvers, then there'd be precious little reason left to go Strength, especially at higher levels.

That's it. It's trying to retain a bit of balance, and keep the "strength or dex" question at least a little interesting.

I mean, during the couple months that this was how the game worked strength builds were still generally better, so I'm not sure how much of a real fear that is.

As for 'keeping the question interesting' ... if that's the concern then they've clearly failed at it with the status quo. Almost nobody is choosing to play a finesse character without class features specifically to augment its weaknesses.

Even if it were necessary, I question the wisdom of balancing Dex builds by making them... more boring and limited. "You have less stuff you can do" is not very satisfying design.

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:

Posting this here so as to not derail an otherwise positive Remaster thread.

gesalt wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I love that the Remaster now clarifies that you DO get to apply the Agile trait to combat maneuvers (disarm, grapple, reposition, shove, trip) when you use your free hand to perform them.
Can you point out where so I can be mad about the agile trait applying but finesse not applying despite both being defined as affecting attack rolls?

That's a very good point, gesalt. That is rather unintuitive.

Why should one trait apply, but not the other? Where is the logic in that?

Because Finesse mentions attack rolls whereas Agile mentions MAP and attacks ?

Same logic as before.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Why should one trait apply, but not the other? Where is the logic in that?

Because Finesse mentions attack rolls whereas Agile mentions MAP and attacks ?

Same logic as before.

They both reference weapons, which unarmed attacks such as fists, are not.


Ravingdork wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Why should one trait apply, but not the other? Where is the logic in that?

Because Finesse mentions attack rolls whereas Agile mentions MAP and attacks ?

Same logic as before.

They both reference weapons, which unarmed attacks such as fists, are not.

by that Logic Monk dexterity based stances are useless because they are all unarmed attacks


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like arguing the logic is somewhat missing the point, because the mechanics of finesse as they are was an intentional decision by the designers. They very clearly and explicitly went out of their way to disable the interaction the OP wants. There doesn't need to be a logic beyond 'that's what they wanted' because that's all there is to it.

The language they chose to use to define this was separating 'attacks' and 'attack rolls' and altering the CRB to remove language that referenced combat maneuvers as attack rolls, so finesse wouldn't qualify.

But even that doesn't really matter because what's important is Paizo didn't want this to work so it doesn't.


One can always just say 'things are as they are'

But that way you won't ever get anywhere

So, while I can Accept a 'thats what paizo wanted'

I still want to know why they wanted it, why multiple stances, weapons and builds are (in a way) MAD and why it's from the developers Point of view a good Idea

Until I got clear answers I am going to ask questions and Rule this Rule 'bs' in my tables

Liberty's Edge

Tactical Drongo wrote:

One can always just say 'things are as they are'

But that way you won't ever get anywhere

So, while I can Accept a 'thats what paizo wanted'

I still want to know why they wanted it, why multiple stances, weapons and builds are (in a way) MAD and why it's from the developers Point of view a good Idea

Until I got clear answers I am going to ask questions and Rule this Rule 'bs' in my tables

My guess : so that DEX would not be as much of a King of stats as it was in PF1.

Also it is in line with the general trend in the original PF2 design of not allowing a stat to replace another.

And the wide stat boosts we have in PF2 were clearly designed to make MAD builds much more viable.


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Squiggit wrote:
I mean, during the couple months that this was how the game worked strength builds were still generally better, so I'm not sure how much of a real fear that is.

I think it's not exactly that.

For example, if you build a Finesse Fighter, you'll go for a sword and board or 2-weapon fighting one and the damage dice will roughly be the same than if you were Strength based (exactly the same if you grab a Dueling Sword). You'll still need a bit of Strength as you don't have Dex to damage and with 16 Strength you can grab a heavy armor (certainly at level 5 as there's low incentive before that). Dexterity increases 3 skills instead of one. It gives you better Reflex saves. And it's used for ranged attacks. But obviously it costs you more attribute boosts to have maxed Dexterity and high Strength than just maxed Strength.

So, are you really worse than a sword and boar or 2-weapon fighting Strength-based Fighter? In my opinion, it's a wash.

I play Age of Ashes with a Finesse Paladin. She's slightly worse than a Strength-based one because I chose to go for Rogue Dedication before Dual-Weapon Warrior for roleplay reasons. But once she'll grabbed Double Slice, she'll be largely as good.

I think the choice of forbidding Dex to maneuvers is actually niche protection, not really a balance issue. And I understand why: Strength-based martials are currently slightly better than Dex-based martials, but in my opinion you don't need much to reverse the tendency. And if the tendency gets reversed, Dex would become a god stat.

There's also the issue of casters. If having high Dex means being good at maneuvers, it means that casters would be good at maneuvers. That is really not normal to me.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents on the question.


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Niche protection seems often like a weird reasoning to me, especially If the niche is something as wide as 'use your Body efficiently'
And maneuvers mostly boil down to that skill

And casters....Well, they could have some Options in a Punch but with their squishyness probably won't go for it in their own

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