Taunt is Bad


Guardian Class Discussion

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Trip.H wrote:

Holy crap dude.

I opposed the use of Performance *because* it will comparatively lag due to being a mis-match with Guardian as a STR class. Hence the repeated approval of how Thaum did it's off-class feature, and disapproval of others like Pistolero (and noting that there's other Gunslinger options that don't add another attribute dependency).

If you can't connect those dots, and instead spin my words and squint *that* hard to try to see mal intent that's not there, I strongly suggest you step away and reset.

My dude, I have told you now on several different occasions that I'd want to give the Guardian auto-scaling proficiency so that they'd be consistently ahead in accuracy over the DC-based Taunt. I even mathematically demonstrated to you that making the ability a Charisma skill action would still have it be far more accurate than a class DC-based save, and explained to you at length that the Bard having more Charisma is not going to make them a better tank via Taunt than the Guardian. As now several people have pointed out to you, a class using a non-key attribute for a skill check that's baked into their kit is completely unproblematic, even when that skill proficiency doesn't auto-scale. If your only plan of attack here is to repeat weaksauce arguments that have been debunked numerous times already, you might as well not even bother.


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Trip.H wrote:
TheWayofPie wrote:

Pistolero doesn’t lag that bad. It really isn’t a big deal to have a secondary stat for a subclass. Needing Cha is the least of a swashbuckler’s concerns.

Skills especially scale incredibly fast and become way more accurate than Strikes or DCs.

Yup, their numbers can be higher. And consequently, the benefits/reward are balanced with the consideration of that higher number.

When players have the ability to opt-in to a subclass with an extra attribute or skill catch, that's great.

It's not great if that were to be the baseline required by the class.

Pistoleiro should never have gotten into this discussion in the first place. It is not a melee martial, so it has much less pressure on his own survival than a guardian or a swashbuckler.

Precisely because it is a ranged character, the gunslinger can risk draining its Con to invest in another attribute without suffering great risks.

Putting the guardian under pressure from MAD will only further weaken a class that is already having survival problems and will end up being even more fragile.

I'm personally not against there also being a performance-based taunt skill (because I think performance is a very underused skill), but for the guardian, who I honestly don't think should even have taunt as a basic skill in my opinion, there are several other different ways of getting the attention of enemies, and being restricted to a single one of them that in the end works as a MMORPG tanking skill does not seem to be the best way out for this character, however the worst thing now is to make him depend on performance to this so let him still be able to use his class DC based in Str or Con here without forcing him to become an armor swashbuckler which is even less worse.


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YuriP wrote:

Pistoleiro should never have gotten into this discussion in the first place. It is not a melee martial, so it has much less pressure on his own survival than a guardian or a swashbuckler.

Precisely because it is a ranged character, the gunslinger can risk draining its Con to invest in another attribute without suffering great risks.

Putting the guardian under pressure from MAD will only further weaken a class that is already having survival problems and will end up being even more fragile.

I'm personally not against there also being a performance-based taunt skill (because I think performance is a very underused skill), but for the guardian, who I honestly don't think should even have taunt as a basic skill in my opinion, there are several other different ways of getting the attention of enemies, and being restricted to a single one of them that in the end works as a MMORPG tanking skill does not seem to be the best way out for this character, however the worst thing now is to make him depend on performance to this so let him still be able to use his class DC based in Str or Con here without forcing him to become an armor swashbuckler which is even less worse.

Hard agree. It was just a top-of-mind example of an option that introduces an off-KAS dependency that I have seen a number of players regret / complain about, with it often being revealed via discussion that the CHA actions specifically feel worthless (and how common it is for players to not pump a secondary attribute + skill).


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New Threat Technique

When you Taunt, you can also Demoralize as part of the same action. If the target of your Taunt does not include you as a target, they are no longer immune to your Demoralize.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Broken Khree wrote:

I think the problem with Taunt is that you are only politely asking the enemy to hit you. Make Taunt only a -2 penalty, no saves. But if the enemy does not attack you, you get a reactive strike against it.

At the table there is a big difference between "please hit me" and "I dare you to hit the wizard". The enemy now has a dilemma, attack the guardian with very high AC or attack the low AC wizard and eat a reactive strike.

That’s just Paladin with extra steps. It’s nice, but we already have Paladin.


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It’s why I’m leaning towards Taunt being a variety of debuffs the Guardián can place on an enemy, in exchange for the +2 attack vs. the Guardian.

So the Guardian is more than just a tank (which is done via Intercepts and Maneuvers) but an aggravator via debuffs that are separate from MAP and (more often) Will-based (unlike solely relying on Athletics).


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Trip.H wrote:
TheWayofPie wrote:

Pistolero doesn’t lag that bad. It really isn’t a big deal to have a secondary stat for a subclass. Needing Cha is the least of a swashbuckler’s concerns.

Skills especially scale incredibly fast and become way more accurate than Strikes or DCs.

Yup, their numbers can be higher. And consequently, the benefits/reward are balanced with the consideration of that higher number.

When players have the ability to opt-in to a subclass with an extra attribute or skill catch, that's great.

It's not great if that were to be the baseline required by the class.

Agreed. Secondary stats should be opt in.


YuriP wrote:

Pistoleiro should never have gotten into this discussion in the first place. It is not a melee martial, so it has much less pressure on his own survival than a guardian or a swashbuckler.

Precisely because it is a ranged character, the gunslinger can risk draining its Con to invest in another attribute without suffering great risks.

Putting the guardian under pressure from MAD will only further weaken a class that is already having survival problems and will end up being even more fragile.

I'm personally not against there also being a performance-based taunt skill (because I think performance is a very underused skill), but for the guardian, who I honestly don't think should even have taunt as a basic skill in my opinion, there are several other different ways of getting the attention of enemies, and being restricted to a single one of them that in the end works as a MMORPG tanking skill does not seem to be the best way out for this character, however the worst thing now is to make him depend on performance to this so let him still be able to use his class DC based in Str or Con here without forcing him to become an armor swashbuckler which is even less worse.

In a prior direct reply to you, which I know you've read, it was mathematically demonstrated that turning Taunt from a class DC-based save into a skill check would be a massive buff to its reliability across the board, and so even if using a stat you'd only increase with your four-at-a-time attribute boosts, i.e. the minimal investment you can put. The narrative that the Guardian or any other class suffers from using a fourth attribute is a myth.


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Teridax wrote:
In a prior direct reply to you, which I know you've read, it was mathematically demonstrated that turning Taunt from a class DC-based save into a skill check would be a massive buff to its reliability across the board, and so even if using a stat you'd only increase with your four-at-a-time attribute boosts, i.e. the minimal investment you can put. The narrative that the Guardian or any other class suffers from using a fourth attribute is a myth.

If an ability has a higher % chance of success, the power of that success will differ compared to an ability with a lower % chance of success.

Devs do not balance things without looking at the numbers like that.

I do not understand why you seem eager to write plenty of text on tangential details, but have repeatedly ignored that rather significant snag.

Moreover, there's plenty of ways to increase the final number of a Class DC ability if that is desired. Such as keying of Potency runes, a Gate Attenuator type item, or even just writing out a static +_ into the G's progression.


Trip.H wrote:

If an ability has a higher % chance of success, the power of that success will differ compared to an ability with a lower % chance of success.

Devs do not balance things without looking at the numbers like that.

I do not understand why you seem eager to write plenty of text on tangential details, but have repeatedly ignored that rather significant snag.

This you?

Trip.H wrote:

With a self-sabotaging and confident remark or gesture, you lower your guard to draw the violent attention of foes. You choose if the Taunt has either the visual or the auditory trait. When you perform this action, you gain a -2 circumstance penalty to all defenses and saves against your target(s). This persists until you perform a successful skill check or attack roll against that foe, until they fail a save against your hostility, or until encounter mode ends.

You may direct your taunt to goad a single foe within 60 feet, or attempt to aggravate a group, invoking a Will save against all foes in a 5 ft burst within 30ft.

Repeated Taunts against the same target within the same turn have no effect. The outcome of the single target version is always the fail effect.
This effects lingers upon each foe until they perform a successful skill check or attack roll against you, until you fail a hostile save from them, or until encounter mode ends.

Critical Success: The creature is unaffected.
Success: For any hostile action or attack roll, the creature is considered to have a -1 circumstance penalty to the result against any of your allies.
Failure: As success, but the penalty is -2.
Critical Failure: As success, but the penalty is -3

Emphasis added. Looks like you seem pretty comfortable with making Taunt uber-reliable on top of massively stronger. Do you reckon the devs would consider that balanced? I don't think I'm the one ignoring significant snags here when you are not only repeating disinformation, but also proposing a version of Taunt that is nowhere near balanced.

Trip.H wrote:
Moreover, there's plenty of ways to increase the final number of a Class DC ability if that is desired. Such as keying of Potency runes, a Gate Attenuator type item, or even just writing out a static +_ into the G's progression.

Yes, let's invent a whole new subsystem to make this class DC more reliable instead of, you know, just making it a check. That's much more economical. /s


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Teridax wrote:

Holy crap this is amazing.

You actually think this is some kind of gotcha.

For you to repeatedly accuse me of engaging dishonestly, willfully lying, and "repeating disinformation" is now at the point of being funny.

There needs to be a point at which you stop and re-evaluate if you might have misread or misinterpreted something, because you are the only one going crazy about this, and have clearly taken whatever this is too far.

- - - - - - - -

Yes, I, like many others here, think the baseline Taunt could be buffed, and proposed my own variant.

That version prioritizes being economical in word count while adding an entirely new motivation for both sides to attack. The single vs AoE option is designed to both help the G land key Taunts with consistency, and to help level the comparatively unbalanced action cost when vs many foes (and add more reason to Shove, ect).

This version even adds a new downside.

Once the Guardian Taunts, they cannot "take it back" or wait for their exposed defense to time out, they must hit the foe. Missing at a key moment could be quite dangerous, and dramatic.

Adding trade-offs like that is a great way to increase the reward/benefits while keeping the ability balanced.

I am quite happy with that implementation of the idea, and think it would be quite a fun upgrade compared to the base Taunt of the playtest.

- - - - - - -

For you to pull that out and waive it around as some kind of shameful albatross, while you are advocating to turn the "Simple Tank" STR class into a STR/CHA hybrid is *immensely* funny.


Trip.H wrote:

Holy crap this is amazing.

You actually think this is some kind of gotcha.

For you to repeatedly accuse me of engaging dishonestly, willfully lying, and "repeating disinformation" is now at the point of being funny.

There needs to be a point at which you stop and re-evaluate if you might have misread or misinterpreted something, because you are the only one going crazy about this, and have clearly taken whatever this is too far.

This entire rant is completely devoid of substance. Nothing you're saying here relates to the contents of what you've said and how your purported design philosophy clearly does not cohere with what you're proposing, nor does it address how you've been caught repeatedly engaging in acts of blatant lying and hypocrisy. Accusing me of "going crazy" when it is clear you are deliberately spreading falsehoods to push whichever broken version of Taunt you personally prefer is gaslighting, plain and simple.

Trip.H wrote:

Yes, I, like many others here, think the baseline Taunt could be buffed, and proposed my own variant.

That version prioritizes being economical in word count while adding an entirely new motivation for both sides to attack. The single vs AoE option is designed to both help the G land key Taunts with consistency, and to help level the comparatively unbalanced action cost when vs many foes (and add more reason to Shove, ect).

Your variant doubles Taunt's range, makes it AoE from level 1, and incurs an auto-fail against single targets. You are in no position to claim expertise in the devs' balance philosophy when this is what you are proposing, and you are certainly in no position to criticize the reliability or power of a skill check when your proposal forces a failure with no save, on top of a slew of other massive buffs.

Trip.H wrote:

This version even adds a new downside.

Once the Guardian Taunts, they cannot "take it back" or wait for their exposed defense to time out, they must hit the foe. Missing at a key moment could be quite dangerous, and dramatic.

Please explain how your Taunt is going to miss when it literally forces the result of a failed save against single targets.

Trip.H wrote:
Adding trade-offs like that is a great way to increase the reward/benefits while keeping the ability balanced.

Your version buffs every single aspect of Taunt, including aspects that do not need to be buffed, and completely eliminates the risk of using it against a single target. It even softens the self-debuff by having it no longer stack with off-guard. Your version has no tradeoffs whatsoever compared to the current version of Taunt.

Trip.H wrote:
For you to pull that out and waive it around as some kind of shameful albatross, while you are advocating to turn the "Simple Tank" STR class into a STR/CHA hybrid is *immensely* funny.

I do in fact agree that it's immensely funny, as it showcases the degree of hypocrisy you are employing in this discussion, as well as the sheer delusion with which you are defending your broken brew with a straight face. You visibly have not playtested this class, nor have you exercised any serious thought over how to improve it in a way that would actually work in-game. By contrast, my version would not meaningfully change the Guardian's attribute distribution (they will be picking a fourth attribute regardless, and they will almost certainly be picking Charisma under the current setup), and would buff Taunt in a way that would in fact genuinely benefit the Guardian while maintaining a level of risk and interesting choices. It's not too late to try out the playtest Guardian and inform yourself properly.


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Okay, I think I'm going to step away after this. I'm fine, but there's no benefit to anyone here, I think I've gotten my point across to quite possibly every reader but one.

You really, really need to understand that you are not processing the actual information for what it is, and have become so distorted in your processing of it that you're not reading straight.

Trip.H > This version even adds a new downside.
> Once the Guardian Taunts, they cannot "take it back" or wait for their exposed defense to time out, they must hit the foe. Missing at a key moment could be quite dangerous, and dramatic.

T > Please explain how your Taunt is going to miss when it literally forces the result of a failed save against single targets.

If you actually comprehended my variant Taunt, you would know that it's not the Taunt that would miss (it's not an attack that even can miss, it's a save...) it is that the G making a Taunt instantly takes a -2 circ defense penalty VS the Taunted foe. If the G fails to hit the foe, that lowered defense is still there.

Like that ally-protection debuff placed on the foe (with potentially no save), the self-exposure has no timeout duration. Instead, the Guardian must hit the foe to remove their exposed defenses. Hence, "can't take it back." Which does add some bits of "Challenge" into the idea of the Taunt, and again, the "-2 for a -2" helps keep it balanced.

In that thread, I openly discussed many other variants as to possible things that would tempt the G to attack or would trigger in place of the self-exposure + cleanse on hit. Such as tempting the G with a pop of bonus damage, ect.

Teridax, you are not reading straight. Get sleep or something, idk, I'm not your keeper.


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Hey, could you two put your egos in check and stop or take it elsewhere? This is a playtest forum and these rile up enough atrong opinions that we don't need a fight going on between X number of threads.


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Here's my rant: If another Tank class is CHA based(even secondarily if it's mandatory) I'll consider Guardian a failure.

Taunt shouldn't be mental so that even Mindless enemies can be affected by it.


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Gobhaggo wrote:

Here's my rant: If another Tank class is CHA based(even secondarily if it's mandatory) I'll consider Guardian a failure.

Taunt shouldn't be mental so that even Mindless enemies can be affected by it.

Similarly, I'd find it a failure if the 2 legendary armor classes both required Cha for a secondary stat.


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Taunt is just plain bad and there is no fixing it period end of story.
Taunt goes against everything a Guardian stands for protecting members of your party. The Taunt ability weakens the guardians AC why would you ever want to do that?

Replace the deeply flayed taunt with Bodyguard and Defensive switch at level 1. At level 10 and 15 give the guardian another ward.

at first level change mitigate harm to give the guardian damage resistance 2 + his level vs. someone who attacks his ward.

Ferocious Vengeance: Someone who attacks the guardians ward takes 2 points of additional damage from the guardian this scales 2 additional points at 6th, 11th and 17th levels.

Replace the group taunt with 8th level knockdown and add improved knock down as a feat choice at 12th.

I think these changes would make the guardian more playable class.

Ferocious Vengeance:


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

That just makes G a knockdown specialist. I like the direction of taunt but dont think the name is fitting for what it does. I also dont care for the -2 to Guardian defenses (in another thread I discuss why that part makes no sense to me Taunt-Brings-up-why-a-GM-Chooses-a-Target).
it is a ranged ability for a mostly slow moving tank class that helps allies in a way that stacks with pretty much everything else in established gamplay routines from other classes. It doesnt need to make creatures attack the guardian or stop enemies outright. It is 1 action that applies a penalty to hit allies on everything except crit fail.
It does need more chassis and feat support. Furious vengeance is the direction that should go and be further build on so the guardian can do damage when they are in their niche of protecting allies and punishing enemies that attack them.


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I have conceptual problems with Taunt and how it will accept by many GMs too. Basically I can imagine 3 situations:

1. A GM interprets Taunt as a taunt and make the enemy's target the guardian. The Taunt's numeric effects not relevant here just the will save result (or not) in order to GM make the creature to focus into guardian.
2. A GM will choose the enemy's target agnatically based in the numbers (meta-game) or trying to justify based in the enemy's observation (if the creature has enough knowledge and time to observe the targets)
3. A GM will don't care about Taunt and will choose the enemy's target based in its own will (the GM) basically making the Taunt to act like a buff/debuff.

Note that in every case some problem happens:

  • In the first case the Taunt will work like a Taunt but the additional effects will go against the guardian making it an easier target that as only benefit get a small dmg bonus from Ferocious Vengeance or an OK resistance from Mitigate Harm if the enemy critical hits. Also the debuff becomes useless once that if GM is ruling in this way the enemy always will attack you.
  • In the second case Taunt will work as taunt only if the hit rate after the Taunt calculations points that for that enemy attack the guardian will be the best probability otherwise will act as a debuff only.
  • In the third case Taunt could even being never used as a taunt only has a buff/debuff applied to the enemy.

    I could imagine all these situations happening in many different tables including with players complaining that the creature is still attacking the guardian allies when the GM ignores the Taunt or trying or maybe breaking some of the table lore with players trying to do things like to prevent an assassination using Taunt to provoke the enemy assassin before it was able to kill its target or complaining that the GM is using its privilege to see the players numbers to select the target.

    In the end I agree that's a bad mechanic that no mater it will be implemented it will cause issues and may not work as planned.


  • Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    YuriP wrote:

    I have conceptual problems with Taunt and how it will accept by many GMs too. Basically I can imagine 3 situations:

    1. A GM interprets Taunt as a taunt and make the enemy's target the guardian. The Taunt's numeric effects not relevant here just the will save result (or not) in order to GM make the creature to focus into guardian.
    2. A GM will choose the enemy's target agnatically based in the numbers (meta-game) or trying to justify based in the enemy's observation (if the creature has enough knowledge and time to observe the targets)
    3. A GM will don't care about Taunt and will choose the enemy's target based in its own will (the GM) basically making the Taunt to act like a buff/debuff.

    Note that in every case some problem happens:

  • In the first case the Taunt will work like a Taunt but the additional effects will go against the guardian making it an easier target that as only benefit get a small dmg bonus from Ferocious Vengeance or an OK resistance from Mitigate Harm if the enemy critical hits. Also the debuff becomes useless once that if GM is ruling in this way the enemy always will attack you.
  • In the second case Taunt will work as taunt only if the hit rate after the Taunt calculations points that for that enemy attack the guardian will be the best probability otherwise will act as a debuff only.
  • In the third case Taunt could even being never used as a taunt only has a buff/debuff applied to the enemy.

    I could imagine all these situations happening in many different tables including with players complaining that the creature is still attacking the guardian allies when the GM ignores the Taunt or trying or maybe breaking some of the table lore with players trying to do things like to prevent an assassination using Taunt to provoke the enemy assassin before it was able to kill its target or complaining that the GM is using its privilege to see the players numbers to select the target.

    In the end I agree that's a bad mechanic that no mater it will be implemented it will cause issues...

  • Thats a good way to put it. The ability is a debuff and not a taunt.


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    While the desire to avoid yet another tank that uses Charisma is valid, the problem we have right now is that even with Taunt as written, the Guardian will be using Charisma anyway, simply because that is currently their strongest choice as a fourth attribute. To elaborate, here is a breakdown of each option:

    Dexterity

  • Your Strikes are terrible, so unless you're going for an Intercept Strike-centric build where you do nothing but hang in the back line and facetank hits (which, from experience, was mediocre), you will have little reason to use these.
  • Bulwark already covers your Dex saves.
  • The Guardian wants to be focused, so Stealth isn't terribly useful in combat, and makes no great use of Thievery. The Guardian also wants to body-block enemies when they can, rather than move through, so Acrobatics isn't super-useful either.

    Intelligence

  • There is strictly nothing in your kit that benefits meaningfully from Recall Knowledge checks or supports their use.
  • The Guardian has no real feat support outside of a few Athletics maneuvers, and so wouldn't make terribly good use of more trained skills.

    Charisma

  • Demoralize is an enemy debuff you can throw out even when hanging in the back line for that Intercept Strike playstyle, and a -1/-2 to all checks and DCs is generally far more effective than an anemic ranged Strike.
  • Bon Mot is similarly an enemy debuff you can throw out from a range. Because Taunt is a Will save, you will want to Bon Mot before Taunting.

    So unless anyone opposing Charisma on the Guardian has any bright ideas on how to change this, the Guardian is going to be a class that will be using Charisma and relying on Charisma-based skills in combat, whether you like it or not.

    Personally, I do think there is room for a compromise that may make more people happy: a few users mentioned elsewhere that they'd like to see Guardian subclasses that focused on different core parts of their kit, and I think that's something that could be worth developing. Off the top my head, I can think of three possible subclasses:

  • The "silent bodyguard" subclass that wants to actively intercept hits. Give Intercept Strike significant buffs to make it closer to Intercept Foe, and react to Tumble Through any number of creatures at high Speed to place yourself in-between your ally and a hostile action, making yourself the new target. You'd use Dex as your fourth score, which also means you could go for an unarmored Bodyguard if you wanted to.
  • An area control Guardian whose key ability would be something a bit like Hampering Sweeps. Perhaps you'd have some kind of slowing aura at close range, or would be really good at Athletics maneuvers against multiple creatures at once, or both, and you'd be able to Grapple creatures who try to move away from you as a reaction, or otherwise react to disrupt their movement.
  • The Taunt-focused Guardian who'd supplement their Taunting power with Charisma.

    So, effectively, a Dex-focused Guardian, a Strength-focused Guardian (who'd probably still pick Charisma as a fourth score), and a Charisma-focused Guardian, all of whom would play radically differently from one another.


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    Teridax wrote:


    Charisma
  • Demoralize is an enemy debuff you can throw out even when hanging in the back line for that Intercept Strike playstyle, and a -1/-2 to all checks and DCs is generally far more effective than an anemic ranged Strike.
  • Bon Mot is similarly an enemy debuff you can throw out from a range. Because Taunt is a Will save, you will want to Bon Mot before Taunting.

    So unless anyone opposing Charisma on the Guardian has any bright ideas on how to change this,

  • Taunt

    You can use your class DC to Demoralize if is higher.
    If the enemy takes a hostile action against one of your allies, then are no longer immune to your Demoralize.


    I think Taunt being ranged action/debuff is pretty important for the Guardian.

    While uncommon, there have been fights where one or all foes want to avoid melee and stay at ranged.

    If the Guardian lacked the ability to impose that "hit me or else you'll whiff 10% more!" effect at a distance, they would *really* struggle in such fights.

    In particular, when a GM runs ghosts with enough self-preservation to float out of melee, (or any flying creature with a ranged attack, really) things will get un-fun for the Guardian fast.

    And if the "1 action ranged effect" version of Taunt were to be replaced with anything like a passive mark system, that could leave the Guardian without anything.

    I do think it is rather essential that the Guardian is able to throw their "come fight me!" ability at a distance. And honestly, 30ft is *very* tight for that function. 30ft tends to be long enough for most indoor situations, but even some undergound cisterns, caverns, ect would have enough room to make 30ft max (no range increment) a bit of a show-stopper.

    That's part of the reason why I really think Guardian should remain STR only for the sake of Dedication flexibility.

    Maybe someone wants to plug that hole with some spellcasting, or even something like Archer/Ranger for a more focused selection.

    Especially if a player wants to build STR/DEX, they are really going to want to have all those attribute points to keep those Strikes as close to par as they can.

    One important quirk of the Guardian only having 2 stances native to it is that opens up seeking stances from Dedications.

    I think Guardian more than most classes will lend itself to taking Dedications for another "main attack" option (especially the fragile ones). Similar to the Alch, having lagging attack prof in the main class means that the lagging of Dedications is less of a downgrade, and the great defenses of the main class have a much better chance of being worth the trade of a permanently lagging "main attack" that's gained via a Dedication. And on top of all that, Guardian being a class that lacks options to invest in their offense via Feats, ect, only further supports the idea of getting one's main attack elsewhere.

    I do know Alchemist quite well, and that really does not seem like a bad pick for someone that wants "an Alchemist, but tanky", especially for those Mutagenist aspirants. Even just parking Siphons and Injectors onto weapons is a meaningful plus.

    Magus or Psychic might a interesting picks as well.

    An animal companion (or even a familiar, I suppose) would also be an odd complication due to it being an ally that's a valid target for Guardian protection.

    Kinda funny to think about the Guardian turning the Summoner's 2-body problem into a way to freely reduce damage to their own health pool via blocking for their other body, lol. (Even if they have the best chance of making that Dedication work, I'm not optimistic on that one.)


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    I really like the taunt mechanic as is. I like that is a bit of a gamble, but that the debuff to yourself makes it work even when the gamble part doesn't work in your favor.

    I think the much bigger issue is the illusion that any tank class is supposed to absorb 50% or more of attacks made against the party and stay on their feet through their own power. I like that neither taunt nor intercept strike are supposed to be every single round activities, but are rather more like either/or abilities. The only thing I wonder is if the class shouldn't just be a "must carry a shield class" instead of trying to enable a 2 hander, since the taunt/intercept strike mechanic works much, much better as a tricycle with shield block as an alternate reaction to pair with the taunt, than reactive shield does, which is only, at best counteracting the taunt.


    Unicore wrote:
    I really like the taunt mechanic as is. I like that is a bit of a gamble, but that the debuff to yourself makes it work even when the gamble part doesn't work in your favor.

    I don't think Taunt compares favorably to other mark/debuff style actions from other classes. When you think about the actual reward tied to these abilities, the Feat support, ect, Taunt's -2 +2 seems... rather limited.

    Mark Prey, Exploit Vulnerability, ect all are "once per enemy." And even then, I still see many players express dissatisfaction with them due to how much of an Action tax / restriction that is varies based on the number of foes in a fight.

    The first thing that I think of that *does* compare to Taunt is Devise a Stratagem, which... yeah, is not a compliment. Considering that even when it is a free action, it's not generally though of as especially powerful, that's a rather large red flag that Taunt might need something.

    There's an infinite numbers of ways that it could be changed. As I worry a lot about the "only for 1 turn" nature being rather limiting, I'm more inclined to suggest things like the effect decaying by 1 each turn, but can be reapplied to stack up to a cap, ect.

    The "1 turn effect, but very big" version of the concept is a totally fine preference, and a small tweak of pumping the ally protection by 1 more each save degree could get it up to that ideal.

    However, the less often Taunt is in play, the less reward the Guardian gets from the ability, and from investing Feats into it.

    Others, even DaS, are active as often as the PCs can afford to, which is an important balance factor.

    If Taunt is *intended* to be a failsafe/not often invoked ability, that's even more onus to up the impact. If it's intended to be a "most turns" affair, then I really think they need to consider playing with the duration to make that more feasible an action demand.

    - - - - - - -

    Unicore wrote:
    I think the much bigger issue is the illusion that any tank class is supposed to absorb 50% or more of attacks made against the party and stay on their feet through their own power. I like that neither taunt nor intercept strike are supposed to be every single round activities, but are rather more like either/or abilities. The only thing I wonder is if the class shouldn't just be a "must carry a shield class" instead of trying to enable a 2 hander, since the taunt/intercept strike mechanic works much, much better as a tricycle with shield block as an alternate reaction to pair with the taunt, than reactive shield does, which is only, at best counteracting the taunt.

    I do really wonder how many hits Paizo is expecting the Guardian to be able to actually endure. I worry that they might be overestimating the rather small amount of resistance the class has. And I wonder if the devs are expecting the Guardian to get Temp HP from an outside source, so as not to "waste" any that would come from the class itself.

    Really have no idea why they thought it was appropriate for Guardian to be a 10HP class, *especially* without CON being the KAS. Even the nature of "when at less than half your HP" type triggers supports having a larger HP pool.

    I have to agree that going Guardian sans-shield seems... rather dangerous. Especially when their only evergreen action compression is a Raise + Taunt...


    I'm not a terribly big fan of the notion that the Guardian needs to pick a dedication just to have a worthwhile action on their turn besides Taunting. Classes ought to feel self-sufficient as a baseline, and if a class feels like they have nothing interesting to do, that is a problem that ought to be addressed directly within their own kit. Similarly, I find it strange to want to limit what the Guardian can do with different ability scores on the off-chance that they pick a spellcaster dedication, as that I think gets way too close to "truncated Champion" territory that this class already skirts.

    Mellored wrote:

    Taunt

    You can use your class DC to Demoralize if is higher.
    If the enemy takes a hostile action against one of your allies, then are no longer immune to your Demoralize.

    I imagine you mean class DC-10, given how Demoralize is a skill check and not a saving throw. I do think Demoralize works well on a Guardian, though I don't think this would work all that well for a number of reasons: again, skill proficiency ranks increase at a far faster rate than class DCs, and your Demoralizes would actually be less accurate than if you'd just used Charisma as a fourth attribute, even when using your key attribute. Thus, uptime aside, other classes would be able to Demoralize far better than you (and unlike Taunt, they don't need to be tanky to make good use of it). Another crucial difference is that Taunt specifically dulls an enemy's hostile actions, whereas Demoralize weakens everything: this isn't an inherently good or bad thing, it just means the proposal would change the ability's function quite significantly from its current intended purpose.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Trip.H wrote:

    Unicore wrote:I think the much bigger issue is the illusion that any tank class is supposed to absorb 50% or more of attacks made against the party and stay on their feet through their own power. I like that neither taunt nor intercept strike are supposed to be every single round activities, but are rather more like either/or abilities. The only thing I wonder is if the class shouldn't just be a "must carry a shield class" instead of trying to enable a 2 hander, since the taunt/intercept strike mechanic works much, much better as a tricycle with shield block as an alternate reaction to pair with the taunt, than reactive shield does, which is only, at best counteracting the taunt.

    I do really wonder how many hits Paizo is expecting the Guardian to be able to actually endure. I worry that they might be overestimating the rather small amount of resistance the class has. And I wonder if the devs are expecting the Guardian to get Temp HP from an outside source, so as not to "waste" any that would come from the class itself.

    Really have no idea why they thought it was appropriate for Guardian to be a 10HP class, *especially* without CON being the KAS. Even the nature of "when at less than half your HP" type triggers supports having a larger HP pool.

    I have to agree that going Guardian sans-shield seems... rather dangerous. Especially when their only evergreen action compression is a Raise + Taunt...

    This was something that I was thinking about too. If they are expected to use their reaction every turn they can to take damage guaranteed and taunt and stay front line its going to add up real fast. In a way the class health is ticking down each turn from the reaction on top of any actual attacks that hit them normally.

    One thought about Kas being con is that it would lower the accuracy and damage of the class even more under other martials. If they used Con as Kas then i would like to see what kind of abilities they get that utilizes it. Right? a class built around con should have abilites built around it as well.


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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    The class is absolutely not designed to taunt and intercept attacks every round. Maybe that can be addressed in the class narrative, talking about switching between tactics based upon how hard the enemy hits and who they are targeting.

    I think a PF2 tank that directs 30 to 40% of the incoming damage onto themselves, with the understanding that the rest of the party will cover their healing needs to compensate is a pretty reasonable definition of a tank for this game, and I think the Guardian can do this out of the box fairly well.

    I just can't see them doing that with a 2-handed weapon (at least not only carrying a 2-handed weapon) because the shield is pretty crucial to being able to take the damage. CON as a KAS would be a bad idea because this is a class that has to do damage too, so either you have a martial warrior attacking with CON, which is a bad idea, or you have a requirement to build a 16 STR 18 Character, so you have almost no other attributes, and your damage and accuracy suffer badly, all to really just milk an extra HP a level? I strongly suspect the class will get 12 HP in the final publication and has just been held back so they can test how much difficulty players have keeping their feet with the existing class feats and features, and so that they can have an easy win at the end of the playtest.

    At the same time, the class seems to be reminding you "you are going to be unconscious and dying a lot," by giving you die hard as a built in class feature. Adding in some more "Heroic Recovery" type feats for action compression when you have to stand back up will help make this expectation clearer. The Tough Cookie feat is a pretty wild feat to sell the "you will take a lot of damage" element of the class, but I wonder if the once a day limit will mean no one takes it.


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    a d12 makes more sense.

    I put a 2 handed guardian into an encounter for my current game but the party didn't get that far this weekend.
    I gave it a retribution axe chose the furious vengeance threat technique and armor break.
    The fight has one NPC attempting to escape so the guardian foe is an escort that stays to fight the party after their charge gets away (with some support from a caster foe that also stays.)


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    Gobhaggo wrote:
    Basically the title. I think the increased to-hit and save DC is wayyyy too punishing the Guardian, and you're more likely to crit-fail any spells or rider effects that could literaly cripple the Guardian

    The tradeoff aside, I see no reason why Taunt needs to allow a saving throw. After all, you're not forcing the target to attack you; you're just getting in its face and nettling it a bit. Why not let that be a thing Guardians are just able to do?


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Ludovicus wrote:
    Gobhaggo wrote:
    Basically the title. I think the increased to-hit and save DC is wayyyy too punishing the Guardian, and you're more likely to crit-fail any spells or rider effects that could literaly cripple the Guardian
    The tradeoff aside, I see no reason why Taunt needs to allow a saving throw. After all, you're not forcing the target to attack you; you're just getting in its face and nettling it a bit. Why not let that be a thing Guardians are just able to do?

    As is they almost just do. Its just to what degree.


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    So taunt is in my opinion one of the least effective actions you can take to protect your allies.

    Grappling or tripping an enemy will most of the time do more to disrupt their ability to attack your allies than taunt whilst also making them more vulnerable.

    demoralising an enemy will often give just as big a penalty to attacking allies as taunting but also make the enemy worse at attacking you and will make them take more damage.

    Moving adjacent to an ally or enemy so you can intercept will likely more effective way of protecting your allies than taunting whilst also setting up strikes, trips and disarms.

    Sometimes even striking them will be more effective if you have a reasonable chance of defeating them.

    So taunting for the most part seems an option of last resort (because there are some many better options available) and possibly shouldn't be a cornerstone of the class.


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    One interesting quirk about switching Guardian to CON would be to enable their strikes to lag by just a single attribute point when given normal martial weapon progression.

    So your Tank class is still designed to have "worse accuracy," but only in the most technical sense.

    That would also open up the option to leave STR rather low, for those who really want to go nuts with strange builds.


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    Con as a key attribute would lower your Strike damage as well as their accuracy, and at 17th level forces you to make the uncomfortable decision between either worse Taunts or even worse Strikes than now, and so permanently. Buffing the Guardian's HP to 12 per level I can get behind; making them Con-based not so much, not without buffs to their Strikes.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    siegfriedliner wrote:

    So taunt is in my opinion one of the least effective actions you can take to protect your allies.

    Grappling or tripping an enemy will most of the time do more to disrupt their ability to attack your allies than taunt whilst also making them more vulnerable.

    demoralising an enemy will often give just as big a penalty to attacking allies as taunting but also make the enemy worse at attacking you and will make them take more damage.

    Moving adjacent to an ally or enemy so you can intercept will likely more effective way of protecting your allies than taunting whilst also setting up strikes, trips and disarms.

    Sometimes even striking them will be more effective if you have a reasonable chance of defeating them.

    So taunting for the most part seems an option of last resort (because there are some many better options available) and possibly shouldn't be a cornerstone of the class.

    There are 2-3 benefits of taunt over demoralize. One is that it is going to be more accurate, since it has a success effect.

    Two is that it is repeatable against the same foe.

    Then there is better range with the feat choice. I do agree that it is a third action more than a main action. I don’t consider it to be the cornerstone of the class even though it gets more discussion.

    The only type of guardian that I would expect to use it every turn are shielded taunt guardians who have better defenses to make use of it.

    Polearm guardians have an easier time positioning for intercept strike and eventually a better reactive strike with that feat choice in comparison.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I think the ideal replacement for Taunt would be an ability that encourages enemies from attacking you, or discourages them from attacking other people, that doesn't worsen your AC and that doesn't act as "aggro" or mind control.

    Reactions, controlling terrain, demoralizing, auras that make you a good strategic target, these are things I would prefer.


    Another way to make the enemy want to attack you, as well as make you engage with the enemy.

    Taunt, 1 action
    The target takes a -1 to attack rolls and DC against creatures that are not you.
    In addition, you gain an extra reaction which can only be triggered by your targets actions, such as Intercept Strike when they attack an ally or Shield Block if they attack you.

    Verdant Wheel

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    What if the Guardian got to use Reactive Strike only against someone they have Taunted.

    Like a proper troll.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Mellored wrote:

    Another way to make the enemy want to attack you, as well as make you engage with the enemy.

    Taunt, 1 action
    The target takes a -1 to attack rolls and DC against creatures that are not you.
    In addition, you gain an extra reaction which can only be triggered by your targets actions, such as Intercept Strike when they attack an ally or Shield Block if they attack you.

    This is okay, but I think maybe the answer is to get rid of the concept that the Guardian needs to Taunt.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I would just change the name remove the ac/dc penalty and leave it as a debuff effect at range. Guardain does needs something they can do from a distance since intercept strike incentivizes them to position themselves a certain way and they dont have great mobility in heavy armor.


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    Bluemagetim wrote:
    I would just change the name remove the ac/dc penalty and leave it as a debuff effect at range. Guardain does needs something they can do from a distance since intercept strike incentivizes them to position themselves a certain way and they dont have great mobility in heavy armor.

    This is an excellent idea, particularly if they provide some feat support for this version of Taunt.


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    I've read the thread and it seems like Taunt is a bit awkward and none of the fixes seem amazing.

    My take is that Taunt is meant to fill the role of a way to interact with enemies outside of your immediate reach who are threatening your allies, so what if instead of doing that by trying to force enemies to change targets we instead shout a warning to our allies? Rather than Taunting you spend an action so you're ready to give a Vigilant Warning to your allies about action(s) taken by your targeted foe. Your make a check, as with current taunt, and grant your allies the option of taking a bonus to AC, bonus to a single save, or temporary HP. You lose the upside of sometimes redirecting the attack entirely and gain flexibility to defend your charges from different kinds of threats.

    It's more what I'd picture a defender in a fantasy setting doing and can be flavored as a shouted warning, a distracting jibe, or any other action that can plausibly be credited with giving your team an extra fraction of a second to defend themselves. It also leaves you without any bonus defense and could still incentivize the enemy to hit you without needing to lower your defense to do so.


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    @RPG-Geek: I’m totally with you in the sense that providing allies with more protection/defense is what a “Guardian” should do.

    The only problem is, in this Playtest, “calling out” stuff to allies is more the Commander’s schtick.

    Not to mention that the Commander has a bunch of feats that seem more suited to the Commander.


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    HeHateMe wrote:
    I don't like the whole idea behind Taunt: making yourself vulnerable to entice enemies to hit you instead of your allies. That's not a good or fun approach. A better approach would be to replaced Taunt with a mechanic that PUNISHES the enemy for attacking anyone other than you. That's the way to be an effective tank.

    I agree.


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I did a playtest at level 6. warhammer and shield guardian with
    unkind shove, Shielding Taunt, flying tackle with powerful leap and titan wrestler, and intercept foe.
    This encounter stressed taunt as it was used almost every turn. Intercept strike didnt happen at all given the circumstance.

    the level 6 team consisted of a Faiths Flamekeeper witch. Twisting Tree Magus. Storm Druid.

    Encounter was a Young Horned Dragon and 4 elite Kobold Scouts. 120 xp for a party of 6 a severe encounter. Boss and lackeys. The difficulty was less than it should have been due to some dumb moves on my part and not utilizing the lackeys to their fullest.

    Fight took place outside with a 20ft higher elevation the dragon started on and a 10 foot wide straight stair going up to that elevation. Higher elevation runs parallel to the stairs as well.
    During the fight the kobolds put down their traps at the stairs and ran up to high ground to fire down with crossbows.

    Guardian did the following throughout the fight.
    Round 1 -
    G Actions -stride and flying tackle on a kobold at the bottom of the stairs that just set its trap. trap triggered but guardian crit saved.
    Done to G - Horned dragon breath weapon fort saved took half damage 22. magus next to him took full damage.

    Round 2 -
    G Actions - stride(ascending stairs to get in taunt range Shielding taunt horned dragon (Dragon succeeded) stride further up the stairs.
    Done to G - Dragon cuts off G from rest of the party on stairs. Horn hit doing 16 and Jaws hit doing 23. 4 crit miss from 2 kolbolds with crossbows. (should have applied shield block for 8 less)

    Round 3 -
    G Actions - Flying tackle cause thats the only way he can use trip with a warhammer and shield drawn. Succeed on with a 16. Then shielding taunted with dragon succeeding on the save. That trip succeeding set this turn up for the party to get some hits in form the other side of the dragon.
    Done to G - 2 more crit misses on G from Kolbolds.2 action heal from witch for 12 hp. looking back I accidentally gave the dragon 4 actions this round getting up using draconic frenzy on G and then flying back to high ground. G got hit, normal miss, and crit miss from draconic frenzy for a total of 17 damage (3 slashing resisted and should have shield blocked for 8 less). two hits from kobold for 5 damage and 7, same two kobolds missed with second attacks.

    Round 4 -
    G Actions - Crit a kobold for 28 killing it. Shielding taunt on dragon(succeeded on save) and stride.
    Done to G - Dragon casts entangling flora from higher elevation on the stairs. Druid throws 2 action heal on G for 16hp. (This is the turn I should have had the kobolds up here assist in recovery for the persistent damage)

    Round 5 -
    G Actions - Guardian crit fails on flora save and is immobilized. Atheltics to escape succeeds. Strides 2 times into kobold trap(success on save treated as basic save taking 2 damage)
    Done to G - kobold runs shoots and crit fails. Witch uses life boost on G familiar gives 5 temp hp. Dragon goes after druid this round with draconic fury wrecks with a crit then miss miss. persistent damage has been ticking since the turn dragon was knocked prone and dragon has failed on its saves to end them. Druid fireballs this round (dragon rolled a 4 on the save failing by 2)

    Round 6 -
    G Actions - life boost heals for 6hp. G goes for a flying tackle landing side by side with the druid failing on the trip. Uses shielding taunt to end his turn(dragon crit succeeds on save)
    Done to G - This round dragon uses breath attack a second time almost killing the party. G takes 31 damage. Persistent damage kills the dragon at the end of its turn.

    Lots of things I didnt list from the fight from the other characters in the party or when creatures attacked anyone but the Guardian.
    I treated taunt as mostly an aggro pull for the dragon. I didnt play the dragon optimally by simply ignoring the guardian and going for the two casters right off the bat. I let the guardian take the heat while taunting and that was what this fight really tested.
    Would have been smarter for the dragon to flay back to the kobolds and let them assist it in recovering from the persistent damage too.
    I completely forgot to shield block the whole fight but looking back it would have reduced damage by a total of .
    Magus and druid carried the damage for the fight as expected.

    What the guardian did well - He didnt die even though he taunted the dragon every round with shielding taunt. Came close to dying it but stayed up. Likely this is because he didnt get to take any extra damage from intercept strike since he was cut off from the party most of the fight coupled with the ranged 2 actions heals that came his way.
    Got in a trip on the dragon with flying tackle, that round made the fight go the parties way.

    lesson from this odd test where the G couldn't use either intercept? Maybe the guardian has the survivability to either taunt or intercept strikes but not both. This test did rely on taunt actually getting the dragon to attack the guardian. if I played it differently the guardian would have went for the casters and would not have been in taunt range unless the guardian spend his whole turn moving back to the casters. That is probably what the dragon would have done if I played it smarter and it probably would have TKPed the party if the druid downed first then the magus. If I had the dragon react to taunt the way I think it really would work the dragon would have completely ignored the guardian and gone for the casters, -1 is the best the guardian is getting a +2 level foe and thats not a good enough reason to stop attacking real threats that do damage. Not to mention even if the guardian makes themselves an easier target to hit than normal they still are not really a threat so why bother. To be fair the guardian should never let themselves get cut off from those they need to intercept strikes for.


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    Bluemagetim wrote:
    [...]

    I think your reflection on that test shows why Hampering Sweeps was put in with no save "you're just stuck with me." As you understand, the mechanical penalty of Taunt is not strong enough to change foe target selection.

    In a different permutation of the same encounter, a G would still be able to hold the dragon away from the rest of the party via H Sweeps, and I'd wager the -+to hit change of Taunt may have only changed a single hit/miss across your encounter. The loss of the compressed Raise is a bit more substantial, though.

    Considering how much worse that G would have fared without the Raise + Taunt action compression, I kinda interpret your test to provide some harsh criticism of the G's kit.

    All 3 allied PCs were spellcasters that thrive when they are left to execute their manipulate routine without foes smacking them in the face.

    The FF Life Boost Witch also deserves a special mention for being as much of a healer as a healer can be, providing Fast Healing (I think the best FH scaling in the system?), THP, and the ability to slot Heal.

    It's hard to say how much of the G's survival came from their own kit, and how much ought be credited to the rest of the party. That said, I would like to ask for your thoughts on that specific question. How much differently would another PC with Heavy Armor specialization, and that bit of dmg resistance, have fared in G's place?

    If you grafted just Taunt from the G onto a Fighter, Champion, or even Monk, would those kits have had a better tools to keep them alive under the dragon?


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    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Trip.H wrote:
    It's hard to say how much of the G's survival came from their own kit, and how much ought be credited to the rest of the party. That said, I would like to ask for your thoughts on that specific question. How much differently would another PC with Heavy Armor specialization, and that bit of dmg resistance, have fared in G's place?

    level 6 guardian in full plate sits at 27 AC. A fighter at 25.

    If both had taunt (me treating taunt the same way) and shield raised the outcome would have been the same.

    33, 28, 23

    35, 24, 15

    36, 23, 17

    I dont think the guardian when not intercepting strike is doing anything niche to guardian but if they choose to strike they are doing so at a much lower proficiency. Thats why in this test I went for flying tackles whenever possible.


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    This is incredibly petty, and a little off-topic, but I'd feel stupid making a whole other thread for it. I don't like Taunt's name. It's driving me nuts, actually.

    To be clear, I'm normally all for embracing a more "video gamey" feel. Video games are fun and flow smoothly, so they're often great to emulate. I'm not mad specifically because it's an MMO-linked word. Heck, my associations are probably more with kender than Warcraft. which isn't helping

    My problem is that I think it is better that players--especially new players--always be given clear prompts on their sheet for how to flavor their actions. Strike is easy. Feint is easy. Demoralize is easy. Exploit Vulnerability is easy. Reactive Strike is easy. Bon Mot is... well, it's a feat, so it's at least opt-in. But Taunt? Sure, Taunt makes sense to the seasoned gamers familiar with the terminology. Its mechanical meaning is immediately apparent to those gamers. But even for them, its flavor meaning remains unintuitive.

    "I Taunt the enemy warrior." Okay, so it's Charisma-based? Well, no.

    "I Taunt the snake." Okay, so you're... insulting it?

    "I Taunt the ooze." Look, when Thaumaturges pull off weird crap, at least they're explicitly magic.

    Of course I can easily reskin the ability! I can read the description and be like, "oh, okay, so it's like, I'm presenting a threat they have to address first. I'm drawing their focus. I'm provoking them. I'm luring them. I'm forcing an engagement." But that just makes me wonder why it's not called Present Threat, or Draw Focus, or Provoke, or Lure, or Force Engagement.

    Spare a thought to the player who's been handed a pregen, told what the abilities do mechanically, and expected to reflavor their Skeleton Taunt on the fly. Spare a thought to the GM whose serious tone gets derailed by players adlibbing what snake mockery should sound like.

    Again, it's petty. In fact, I'm being a little silly here. But this is the playtest, and that seems like the best time to air issues like this. I think it's an unforced error. MMOs use words like Taunt because you aren't expected to roleplay every action you take in a raid. I am expected to do so in TTRPG combat.

    Ironically, Taunt sounds more like it ought to be Charisma-based than Feint, the most important Charisma-based combat action in the game.


    Kobold Catgirl wrote:

    This is incredibly petty, and a little off-topic, but I'd feel stupid making a whole other thread for it. I don't like Taunt's name. It's driving me nuts, actually.

    To be clear, I'm normally all for embracing a more "video gamey" feel. Video games are fun and flow smoothly, so they're often great to emulate. I'm not mad specifically because it's an MMO-linked word. Heck, my associations are probably more with kender than Warcraft. which isn't helping

    My problem is that I think it is better that players--especially new players--always be given clear prompts on their sheet for how to flavor their actions. Strike is easy. Feint is easy. Demoralize is easy. Exploit Vulnerability is easy. Reactive Strike is easy. Bon Mot is... well, it's a feat, so it's at least opt-in. But Taunt? Sure, Taunt makes sense to the seasoned gamers familiar with the terminology. Its mechanical meaning is immediately apparent to those gamers. But even for them, its flavor meaning remains unintuitive.

    "I Taunt the enemy warrior." Okay, so it's Charisma-based? Well, no.

    "I Taunt the snake." Okay, so you're... insulting it?

    "I Taunt the ooze." Look, when Thaumaturges pull off weird crap, at least they're explicitly magic.

    Of course I can easily reskin the ability! I can read the description and be like, "oh, okay, so it's like, I'm presenting a threat they have to address first. I'm drawing their focus. I'm provoking them. I'm luring them. I'm forcing an engagement." But that just makes me wonder why it's not called Present Threat, or Draw Focus, or Provoke, or Lure, or Force Engagement.

    Spare a thought to the player who's been handed a pregen, told what the abilities do mechanically, and expected to reflavor their Skeleton Taunt on the fly. Spare a thought to the GM whose serious tone gets derailed by players adlibbing what snake mockery should sound like.

    Again, it's petty. In fact, I'm being a little silly here. But this is the playtest, and that seems like the best time to air issues...

    I'm with ya, it should be called "Challenge" or something like that.

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