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Level Up (A5E) Issue with maneuvers

As it is written right now, you cannot replace a maneuver you know with one of a higher degree when you learn a new one. It must be the same degree.
This means that any class that doesn't learn a new maneuver the level they gain access to a higher degree has to wait additional levels until they do learn a new maneuver to be able to actually use the higher degree.

For example, the preview of the Adept class has them learn their fourth maneuver at 7th level, when their highest degree is 2nd. When they then gain access to 3rd degree maneuvers at 8th level... they cannot actually have any 3rd degree maneuvers, cause you can't replace a maneuver with one of a higher degree, and it takes until 11th level for them to actually be able to gain and use a 3rd degree maneuver.

This is a huge delay and cannot possibly be intentional... right? Like, why give the player the theoretical ability to use 3rd degree maneuvers, without actually being able to have any until three levels later? Feels like a taunt.

My suggestion for fixing this is to allow replacement of maneuvers to upgrade their degree, but set a limit for how many maneuvers of which degree a character can know at any one time, to avoid people stacking too many high-degree maneuvers.
 

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Faolyn

Hero
Yeah, that sounds like a bad typo, not what they actually intended to happen. It should just read that at each level, they can switch out an existing maneuver for a new one of any degree they can use if they wish, so that at 8th level, they can switch out one of their 2nd degree maneuvers for a 3rd degree.
 

Mike Myler

Level Up is LIVE on Kickstarter and FUNDED!
Intentional, but I get how it looks awry without knowing about some of the moving parts at work.

The degrees of maneuvers you know are fixed—you get so many 1st degree maneuvers, so many 2nd degree maneuvers, and so on, and you decide how that progression plays out. Maybe it ends up looking like a Vancian magic tree, maybe it doesn't (it depends very much on your tactics) but because there are no exertion slots this can't work the same way as spells do (which is good, these are unique things for martial characters to enjoy so they ought to feel different all the way through).

Adepts gain access to 3rd degree combat maneuvers at 8th level (like fighters and marshals do), and if they want to immediately get a 3rd degree maneuver they can use their Ability Score Increase to take the Martial Scholar feat, in which case the maneuvers they choose can both be 3rd degree. The degree access for adepts can also have an impact when multiclassing.
 
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So... you're forced to take a specific feat if you want to actually get access to the maneuvers you're supposed to have at that level.
I seriously dislike that. How come some classes it lines up, and others, due to the way the numbers work out, have to wait far longer? I would not play a martial at a table which didn't houserule that. It just feels like an unfair disadvantage.
 

Mike Myler

Level Up is LIVE on Kickstarter and FUNDED!
Adepts have 35 Focus Features to choose from (gaining one at every level after 2nd) most of which relate to combat, so it's worth keeping in mind that adepts are effectively already getting something equivalent to a combat maneuver at nearly every level.
At the same time we didn't want to stop anyone who really wants to beat that combat maneuver drum from being able to do it as well as other martial classes, so the option is there for people interested in taking it.
If I were to house rule it (maybe for a Mortal Kombat style game?), I would allow the adept to learn an additional combat maneuver instead of taking a Focus Feature. For the core rules we do want to focus ;) on the themes of the class, so it leans into those more than combat maneuvers.
 

Faolyn

Hero
Honestly, I think making adepts wait is not a good idea, and I really think most people aren't even going to pay attention to the "of equal level" rule at all (and as a DM, I'm almost certainly not going to enforce it). I mean, what if I wanted to switch it a 2nd degree maneuver for a 1st degree one I liked better?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Honestly, I think making adepts wait is not a good idea, and I really think most people aren't even going to pay attention to the "of equal level" rule at all (and as a DM, I'm almost certainly not going to enforce it). I mean, what if I wanted to switch it a 2nd degree maneuver for a 1st degree one I liked better?
At -my- table?

I'd homebrew a 2nd degree version that does the same thing and a little more.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Intentional, but I get how it looks awry without knowing about some of the moving parts at work.

The degrees of maneuvers you know are fixed—you get so many 1st degree maneuvers, so many 2nd degree maneuvers, and so on, and you decide how that progression plays out. Maybe it ends up looking like a Vancian magic tree, maybe it doesn't (it depends very much on your tactics) but because there are no exertion slots this can't work the same way as spells do (which is good, these are unique things for martial characters to enjoy so they ought to feel different all the way through).

Adepts gain access to 3rd degree combat maneuvers at 8th level (like fighters and marshals do), and if they want to immediately get a 3rd degree maneuver they can use their Ability Score Increase to take the Martial Scholar feat, in which case the maneuvers they choose can both be 3rd degree. The degree access for adepts can also have an impact when multiclassing.
I'll be honest, without you very specifically saying what you just said.... seeing it in play, I would have just assumed it was a typo, I would never believe that was "intentional".
 

Horwath

Hero
Intentional, but I get how it looks awry without knowing about some of the moving parts at work.

The degrees of maneuvers you know are fixed—you get so many 1st degree maneuvers, so many 2nd degree maneuvers, and so on, and you decide how that progression plays out. Maybe it ends up looking like a Vancian magic tree, maybe it doesn't (it depends very much on your tactics) but because there are no exertion slots this can't work the same way as spells do (which is good, these are unique things for martial characters to enjoy so they ought to feel different all the way through).

Adepts gain access to 3rd degree combat maneuvers at 8th level (like fighters and marshals do), and if they want to immediately get a 3rd degree maneuver they can use their Ability Score Increase to take the Martial Scholar feat, in which case the maneuvers they choose can both be 3rd degree. The degree access for adepts can also have an impact when multiclassing.
intentional or not, this is bad design.

and it is the same as spellcasters get their 5th level slots at 9th level, but only getting new spells known at 11th level without ability to change existing spells. It's even worse, spellcaster can at least up-cast their existing spells known.

And "fixing" this with a "feat tax" is not any better.
 

Sansang

Villager
spellcasters get their 5th level slots at 9th level, but only getting new spells known at 11th level
Are you talking about O5E or A5E? Because I double checked and, as far as I know, it's not the case in O5E, but probably I am missing something.

Intentional, but I get how it looks awry without knowing about some of the moving parts at work.
I'm sorry but if a design is not clear at first sight "without knowing about the moving parts", than it's not clear nor usable by the average user. And on top of that, even after your explaination, it looks and sounds really horrible.
 


HeroicVanguard

Explorer
It's a similar case to some Skill Feats in PF2 being 2nd Level and requiring Expert, which was in Core something that only Rogues could achieve. It's not the most intuitive, admittedly, but it's thorough and future proofing, which is good design. And it's not a "Feat tax" to "fix" anything, that's just, at current, the only way to take advantage of those numbers. Could be more in the future, could not be, but either way they are covered. "Adept gets this here, but a specialist Adept leaning into it can get it earlier, here".
 

Sansang

Villager
Skill Feats in PF2e are general and cross classes. It's fair that at start only a single class could get that specific instance of a feat because, as you said, for future classes the system is already in line to allow them for getting that feat if it's the case.

In here we are talking about a single class that, without multiclassing, can't use a feature he gets on his own at the level it gets it. This is not going to change with new material except for maybe a single new archetype/subclass that will get bonus maneuvers at said level, but I think it's not great to make the the adept and every subclass bad just because maybe in the future there will be a special subclass which will be able to use that feature at that level.
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I'm sorry but if a design is not clear at first sight "without knowing about the moving parts", than it's not clear nor usable by the average user.
A class doesn't contain the entire rules of the game. It doesn't tell you how an attack roll works, or what a hit point is, either. It doesn't give you the stats of the quarterstaff in the suggested equipment section, or tell you what AC is. At no point does it explain what these 'proficiencies' it keeps referring to are. By your logic, classes are therefore unuseable.

When you see previews which are part of a book, you have to accept that it's just a preview, and that there's more to the book. Any other expectation is unrealistic and unreasonable. You've been beating this same drum for a couple of days now. If I were them, I'd probably just stop sharing previews at this point.
 

Sansang

Villager
When you see previews which are part of a book, you have to accept that it's just a preview, and that there's more to the book. Any other expectation is unrealistic and unreasonable.
I'm sorry but I beg to disagree. A preview shows way more informations that the preview itself. It shows the concepts, the ideas and the design goals of the designers. If someone shows me a preview it means, to me, that he/she is proud of what he/she is showing to me and that bit of information is highly important.

Now, since you refer at what I said the previous days, those posts shows you exactly what I mean. At first I was alarmed because from the way the sinergy feats were designed they gave me the idea of tax feats. Then I noticed that Adept Speed is really similar to a tax feat. Now It looks like that to use a feature a PC gained said PC needs to pay a feat (a tax).

As you can see, since the first preview I did read, I've been able to see how the designers likes the concept of tax feats, because obviously the design is coherent (as it should be), and every bits of informations that I acquire seems to confirm that. I obviously would be happy to be wrong.

That's not a problem, the designers needs to design exactly the game they like with the rules they prefer, but since I'm still trying to understand if I want to invest myself in this system, I need to express my concern so that some people can explain me what I misunderstand or see from the wrong point of view.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I'm sorry but I beg to disagree. A preview shows way more informations that the preview itself. It shows the concepts, the ideas and the design goals of the designers. If someone shows me a preview it means, to me, that he/she is proud of what he/she is showing to me and that bit of information is highly important.
I fear you're going to be very disappointed with the rest of the previews we have lined up. They're literally just pages from the book, and not every other page that that page might relate to (which would pretty much be the whole book). I think you'd best brace yourself, because we're not able to meet your expectations on this. Sorry! :)
 

Sansang

Villager
I think I explained myself poorly, which happens quite often to be honest. In the same way you can understand if you like the style of writing of an author when you read some pages of a book, I think that it's understandable the way a group of designers design a rulebook by reading some pages. Obviously not everything can be clear or obvious, and with the absence of a context some things can be misunderstood, but still you can get an idea. So yeah, the preview of a few pages gives away more than just those few pages.
 

Stalker0

Legend
When you see previews which are part of a book, you have to accept that it's just a preview, and that there's more to the book.
Normally I would agree with this, except we had the designer come here and actually tell us the "rest of the story", namely that the gap is intentionally designed to allow specific feats to fill.
 

dave2008

Legend
Normally I would agree with this, except we had the designer come here and actually tell us the "rest of the story", namely that the gap is intentionally designed to allow specific feats to fill.
That is not what the designer said. If I understood correctly, they said there is no gap. The Adept has many other features the make up it is feature quotient. It would not be balanced to give it the additional feature. However, if someone wants to lean into that concept and invest into it, there is a feat for that. The cost of the feat makes providing that extra feature balanced. At least that is how I read @Mike Myler's explanation

EDIT: now is this a clunky design? Possibly, but I don't really do character design much and I don't know all the moving parts. I agree it looks clunky on paper at this point. But in the end - who knows!
 
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dave2008

Legend
I'm sorry but I beg to disagree. A preview shows way more informations that the preview itself. It shows the concepts, the ideas and the design goals of the designers. If someone shows me a preview it means, to me, that he/she is proud of what he/she is showing to me and that bit of information is highly important.

Now, since you refer at what I said the previous days, those posts shows you exactly what I mean. At first I was alarmed because from the way the sinergy feats were designed they gave me the idea of tax feats. Then I noticed that Adept Speed is really similar to a tax feat. Now It looks like that to use a feature a PC gained said PC needs to pay a feat (a tax).

As you can see, since the first preview I did read, I've been able to see how the designers likes the concept of tax feats, because obviously the design is coherent (as it should be), and every bits of informations that I acquire seems to confirm that. I obviously would be happy to be wrong.

That's not a problem, the designers needs to design exactly the game they like with the rules they prefer, but since I'm still trying to understand if I want to invest myself in this system, I need to express my concern so that some people can explain me what I misunderstand or see from the wrong point of view.
I guess the issue I have with your assessment is that you are seeing "taxes" were there aren't any IMO.
  • Synergy feats: small portion of the feats for those who want feats that build on top of each other (some actually want this). Not the standard and currently only about 25% of the feats - though I noticed there are stretch goals to add more. They are specifically noted so that you know what you are getting into. They are not "gotchas" so that you accidentally start down a chain and can't get out. And 100% not required - so not a tax.
  • Adept. It is not a feat tax as the Adpet is fully featured without taking a feat. If you want an additional feature, then you pay for it. It is not requirement to make it work (which would be a tax), is a cost you pay to get an additional feature. If there was no cost, it wouldn't be balanced.
Basically, in both cases these are options. They are not required to make your character functional and are therefore not a tax.
 

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