log in or register to remove this ad

 

PF2E Martials > Casters

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
If you have a martial that stays at range, that just means the monsters are that much more likely to target you instead.

And it's a natural instinct for many GMs to play the monsters "smart" which in this case means "avoiding the hard target", the Champion.

If so, your party might be imbalanced in the area of sharing incoming damage.

I strongly believe every martial must take on the very essential task of: soaking (or negating*) damage.
*) it's almost impossible to build a character that doesn't take damage. The monsters are simply too dangerous.

If the fourth character is a squishie I can definitely understand your pain - not only do you compare your defense with the best defender of the game, you don't get much help in the most important task either: causing damage. After all, when all monsters are dead, you don't need a high AC...


Champions and ranged fighters have both considerably lower DPS than you do. Your allies need to, at a minimum, realize it is in their interest to keep you standing to output your impressive DPS even though it means inconveniencing themselves.

In contrast, the five-man party I'm GMing feature one barbarian, one fighter, one ranger - all melee warriors. The barbarian might take a bit more damage than the other two, but is also doing huge amounts of damage herself. If she's at risk of going down, she can rely on two allies to step up.

And of course, the impressive healing power of the Cleric. (Only the fifth character, a Wizard, feels like it is playing in junior league)

My suggestion would be to have the archer character understand the necessity to stay close to enemies and divert some of the damage you're currently soaking onto his or her own body.

After all, in a game with "free" healing, taking damage is not a problem. Only taking too much damage in too short time is.

Bottom line is: it might not be entirely your fault your character is taking so much damage...!

Regards
Our party consists of the following:
1. Dragon Instinct Barbarian
2. Gymnast Swashbuckler
3. Storm Druid
4. Lesson of Fate Witch

I thought the barbarian would be more tanky with higher hit points, but he seems to be more like a rogue using rage for big damage instead of sneak attack. He really takes a beating. The Swashbuckler takes a beating as well. The class doing the best is the druid who can do a lot of things. She combines electric arc with her bow, sometimes has the animal companion attack, heals, and casts her focus spell dealing a lot of aggregate damage and heals damage. Witch adds damage with cantrips and boosts with nudge fate.

We're running The Show Must Go On. A lot of tough encounters in that module early on. I noted the difference with our other party. Barbarian seems to be taking damage more like a rogue than a champion or a fighter.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Campbell

Legend
Seeing what happens when monsters get a hold of a Rogue I would say Barbarians still have a slight edge on them. They are definitely a defensive tier below Champions, Monks, and Fighters though. On my Dragon Instinct Barbarian (that I use in PFS) I have learned that I really need to coordinate with the rest of the front line. I also do a decent amount of lock down work with Trip and Grapple where appropriate (I use a Bastard Sword). I started with a high Charisma instead of stacking Constitution so I utilize Demoralize and Feint quite often.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Our party consists of the following:
1. Dragon Instinct Barbarian
2. Gymnast Swashbuckler
3. Storm Druid
4. Lesson of Fate Witch
Since you mostly just continued your summary of your party's dynamics, I gotta ask: what do you say to my hypothesis? I'm not saying the Barbarian's AC is great. I'm suggesting you worry a lot about your individual but never mention the responsibility of your mates.

It seems your party has only one frontliner (=a character built to want to enter melee), which in my experience isn't enough when running a Paizo AP at default difficulty.

What I'm suggesting is that it's less about your character's particulars (AC and such) and more about you being too alone up front. No class will do well under those circumstances, not even the Champion (I know, I've had ghouls kill a Paladin in my first PF2 campaign)

So what is your thoughts on this?


PS. And where did the Champion go? (I trust you weren't comparing an actual Barbarian to a theoretical Champion)
 


Campbell

Legend
It isn't strictly necessary, but life is a lot easier if you have some kind of highly annoying melee combatant with strong defenses. Champions are a step ahead here, but certain flavors of fighter and monk will do just fine.
 




Campbell

Legend
You should get striking weapons and/or runes around level 4.

In the right circumstances summoned creatures can be effective, but they are fragile compared to your party members. Generally they will be used to draw fire or for special effects. A giant rat carries disease for instance.

It's not going to be effective for the Druid though. Sustaining a summon spell requires 1 action just like commanding an animal companion. If the Druid were to do both they would not get to cast a spell or cantrip.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
It isn't strictly necessary, but life is a lot easier if you have some kind of highly annoying melee combatant with strong defenses. Champions are a step ahead here, but certain flavors of fighter and monk will do just fine.
I would say:

It isn't strictly necessary, but life is a lot easier if you have some kind of highly annoying melee combatant with strong offenses.

In my opinion you can't "tank" in PF2. Monsters are simply too dangerous. This game is all about killing the monsters before they kill you, so while you need a modicum of defense, you should only strive for enough defense - enough to kill the monsters before your own hit points (including combat heals) run out. Once you have "enough" defense, you should focus on getting as much offense*, and that basically means having powerful melee warriors.
*) This is actually true in any game. The difference to 5E is that by ruthlessly maximizing offense there, you can easily break that game, while here you will want to do it just to cope... ;)

In this game, spellcasters (other than the battle-medic) are a luxury (when playing at the default difficulty level, as exemplified both by the official encounter building guidelines as well as by official APs)
 
Last edited:

CapnZapp

Legend
Are the summon spells a good option for combat?
In our experience, they don't quite cut it. As pre-summoned scouts, diversions or sacrificial pawns, sure. But in pitched battle, having one character spend a spell slot and two actions just to summon something that often dies in a single blow, no.

(Note: I'm not saying they aren't fun. The question was if the option was good for combat, and my answer is that as the encounter's difficulty gets harder, there's less space for options that aren't top performers.)

Tldr: In 5E summons can be brokenly good. Not so here.
 
Last edited:

CapnZapp

Legend
Is there a level where you will typically get striking weapons?
Yes.

In general, you can expect to have found a particular item (or have enough cash to buy it) when you reach that item's level.

Since the Striking rune is level 4, the answer is "at about level 4". One member might have a Striking rune at level 3, and by level 5 every PC that wants one (or three) can have it.

And by the way, this is much less of a loose recommendation in PF2 than it is something of a hard rule. The price of items increase so exponentially that you almost never can afford to purchase an item even a single level above your level. At the same time, items below your level quickly become vendor trash. So you basically exist in a micro-cosmos where you find a single striking rune as loot when slightly above your own level and then more once you reach the item's level.

This is particularly consistent in official APs. My players find over and over again that if they had just held off til next level, they would have found exactly the item they just spent all their gold on!
 
Last edited:

Kaodi

Adventurer
So you do not think that a champion optimized to be survivable and make the party survivable too, like a dwarven redeemer champion, is the best use of the champion chassis, Zapp?
 


Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Since you mostly just continued your summary of your party's dynamics, I gotta ask: what do you say to my hypothesis? I'm not saying the Barbarian's AC is great. I'm suggesting you worry a lot about your individual but never mention the responsibility of your mates.

It seems your party has only one frontliner (=a character built to want to enter melee), which in my experience isn't enough when running a Paizo AP at default difficulty.

What I'm suggesting is that it's less about your character's particulars (AC and such) and more about you being too alone up front. No class will do well under those circumstances, not even the Champion (I know, I've had ghouls kill a Paladin in my first PF2 campaign)

So what is your thoughts on this?


PS. And where did the Champion go? (I trust you weren't comparing an actual Barbarian to a theoretical Champion)
The champion, archer, and rogue dynamic is part of another group.

I think that group damage soaking is necessary in these hard encounters. It has been in Age of Ashes as well even with a champion. If the swashbuckler was not there to absorb damage, we would have much more trouble. The witch and druid have no wish to enter combat and avoid it. So the swashbuckler and barbarian will have to share the damage. Hopefully they will be up to the task with the druid and witch both capable of healing.

I'm currently testing the druid healer who does more damage versus a cleric who has more abundant healing to see who adds more to the group. This is a four person group versus a six person group in Age of Ashes. So far the druid is proving her worth and on a round by round basis is doing more damage than a cleric. I'm going to start an excel sheet and measure the druid damage and healing contribution over time. It seems killing things faster would balance out versus healing, but we shall see.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Are the summon spells a good option for combat?
I have not tried a focused summoner yet. No, they do not appear to be a good option on paper. But summons often aren't great until more monster books are released. Even in the PF1 core rulebook, summons often weren't great. I think one of the best summons I've seen so far is the Lillend Azata which has some nifty party support abilities. It would take a fairly high level summon to keep one going.

I figure in PF2 the summoner class will eventually make summoning viable as a method of attack. But at the moment it is mostly subpar.
 


GrahamWills

Adventurer
Are the summon spells a good option for combat?
They are not great for pure combat; they just don't do enough pure damage. But they have enough "utility reasons" in combat for me to keep them around on my cleric's spell list, and they get constant use. Generally they get used if my cleric cannot close easily to the opponent, as "true strike + weapon attack" is generally a better option.

Here are some cases I've used them:
  • Against a flying invisible enemy. I had see invisible up so could see the enemy, and could direct my summon to attack it
  • Against an enemy 500' feet away. My summons had dim door at-will, and the one mile heightened version once/day, so that closed the gap way better than I could
  • Insta bard -- chorals get to inspire courage as a single action, and they have a dinky ranged attack to go with it, so summoning them to increase party damage 10% and add a minor attack isn't a bad option for one action a round (plus one in the first round). If the fight looks likely to be 3+ rounds, and you have a decent sized party it's value for actions, doing the math: Increasing damage by 10% for each person increases total damage by 50%, so inspire courage is about the same as half a person, so worth 1.5 actions. So the first turn it's not as good as other actions, and the second turn makes up, third turn it's definitely worth it.
Like a lot of cleric spells, it's situationally useful -- enough to keep on the list -- but I wouldn't build a character on it!
 

dave2008

Legend
Increasing damage by 10% for each person increases total damage by 50%, so inspire courage is about the same as half a person, so worth 1.5 actions.
It has been a while, but I don't think that is how math works. Increasing the damage of each person 10% will only increase the total damage by 10%, not 50%. Or are you suggesting it increases your damage by 50%?
 

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top