Trouble with spellcasting classes and their save DCs in Pathfinder

So I’ve played a caster in several Pathfinder games with my friends over the years, but I’ve continued to have the same problem with a lot of them. Namely, because of how save DCs work and how a lot of creatures are stated, it often feels pointless to use most spells on my list because FORT and WILL mods are always so high that I’d have to hope for 1 on the die half of the time. Even DEX saves can be remarkably high on an enemy’s side so my only recourse is touch attacks or spells without DCs and even then I’ve dumped everything into my casting stat to even hope to make my save DC high enough to force a spell through.

The system is very content-dense, but so far I’ve only managed to find some small buffs like Spell Focus feats to bump up DCs. I think Arcanists have some exploits that can help too but I am currently playing a witch and my options feel rather limited. But it seems like there must be other options out there since so many people swear by casters’ abilities and I know that to be true of this system and others, especially as I’ve seen other friends power game other builds. In particular, my friend’s (current GM) previous oracle build was untouchably powerful. Is there just something that I am missing to make my caster viable? Able to land a spell on a creature with decent saves?

Mythic Black Tentacles vs. Freedom of Movement (pathfinder 1)

My group has a question about Mythic Black Tentacles vs. Freedom of Movement. For reference: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/b/black-tentacles/ https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/f/freedom-of-movement/

The important parts…

From Black Tentacles:

The tentacles can grapple creatures that are immune to grappling if that immunity is from a non-mythic source, but combat maneuver checks to grapple such creatures take a –5 penalty.

Freedom of Movement, broken down apart by me:

Point 1: All combat maneuver checks made to grapple the target automatically fail.

Point 2: The subject automatically succeeds on any combat maneuver checks and Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.

Our current thought is that if someone has FoM up and they’re hit with Mythic Black Tentacles, they can be grappled, because the text of MBT overrides Part1 from FoM.

But then, on their turn, they can automatically escape because of Point 2 from FoM.

Does anyone else have this in play? What do you do?

Thanks in advance.

Translating a draconic bloodrager from Pathfinder to 5E

I am planning a summer campaign. I have a player with whom I have played some 5e recently, but who currently plays Pathfinder and has played Shadowrun in the past.

One of the characters he has played in Pathfinder is a draconic bloodrager. He likes the character concept and wants to implement something similar in 5e and is looking for some guidance.

I am not a Pathfinder player, but I have looked at the Pathfinder SRD and I am not seeing that there is a 5E equivalent to the PF draconic bloodrager.

The draconic bloodrager seems something like a 5th Edition multi-classed berserker/eldritch knight/draconic sorceror, only a barbarian can’t cast spells while raging, which seems contrary to the PF bloodrager.

Can anyone provide me with some guidance to pass on to this player?

How do I respond to a player’s criticism that the breadth of feats available in Pathfinder 2e is by its nature restrictive?

Not sure how better to phrase the title. Let me explain.

I recently migrated a 5e campaign across to PF2e. One player has been resistant to this move. As an example, he asked how a character might perform a Feint-like action, but making the target flat-footed to an ally, rather than themselves. I referred him to Distracting Performance, which he said wasn’t what he meant, but we reached a point in the conversation where he made the following claim:

For every feat that says "you can do this thing", that inherently means "if you don’t have this feat, you can’t".

In other words, the breadth of character choices is actually restrictive.

So for instance, a character without Distracting Performance in principle has no way by which to get an enemy’s attention. This appears to be his main gripe with PF2e as a system, as he sees 5e as flexible enough that a DM can ‘just sorta make it up on the spot as necessary’.

I don’t believe that a system is superior because it’s easier to fill in gaps in the system ad-hoc. I know there’s creating actions, as a route for DMs to create new actions on the fly, but this is different to a character attempting something that’s already outlined, but behind a feat wall, so to speak. I understand his point – a character shouldn’t be blocked entirely from trying to grab a creature’s attention, just because they haven’t taken the feat.

So I think the root of my question is how to handle a character attempting an action or set of actions that’s facilitated by a particular feat (such as in the case of Distracting Performance), without having that feat, but also without drastically devaluing the feat.

RAW, is it a straight "no, the character cannot do that until they have the feat"? Or is there leeway in the system for "a character can attempt it, but the DC is then modified to hard / very hard (+2 / +5)?"

How to extend Pathfinder point buy to scores below 7?

In Pathfinder point buy, ability scores of lower than 7 (before adjustments from race) may not be bought with point buy.

What would be a balanced price for such low ability scores?

I am looking for personal experience from people who have done such an extension, or for a reasonably accepted view in the character optimization community.

Motivation for the question: How likely is to roll elite array or better with 3d6 in order?

In particular, I am not worried about players creating horrible malformed monsters with only threes and eighteens as their ability scores.

The question Is it allowed to buy ability scores lower than 7? addresses whether buying low ability scores is allowed (no), which is not the question here. The answer also argues that allowing buying such scores is a bad idea. My use case is very different – I want to have a method of measuring how good or bad ability scores are, and allowing anyone to buy them is not an issue here.

Does unarmed proficiency get downgraded in Pathfinder 2e polymorph spells (animal form etc.)?

Every polymorph spell that grants you special attacks in your battle form notes that you are trained with these attacks. They are also always unarmed attacks. Does your proficiency bonus for these attacks get a downgrade if you are usually an expert with unarmed attacks, and now you are only trained?

Arguments for:

  • "Trained" is not just proficiency in general, but the name of one of the proficiency levels in particular. The descriptions could have said "You apply your proficiency for unarmed attacks" or just nothing, because every class is at least trained with unarmed attacks.
  • Animals are not usually very educated (see also: elephants with high strength and medium athletics)
  • This could be meant to keep you from getting too powerful with these attacks or exploit monk abilities with them, as the attacks allow you to use your own attack modifier if it is higher than the (relatively high) modifier included in the spell.

Arguments against:

  • I seem to vaguely remember errata saying that yes, every class is trained in unarmed attacks. These descriptions could be a holdover from the time where that wasn’t clear.
  • There aren’t many skill downgrades in the game, and those are always described as obvious drawbacks (literally, in the case of the silvertongue elixir.) It seems strange to limit your character’s powers here and only here.
  • If you did just want to say that players don’t need to worry about proficiency penalties, should they want to use their own attack modifier, I guess that would be a concise way to say it.

Pathfinder Question; The Runesage (from Adventurers Guide)

arcane focus – could a wizard somehow have already prepped objects (like backup wands, staves, or whatever object) as backup arcane focuses? for instance, say you’re a runesage (the class I’m looking at), and it tells you to treat your floating rock similar to an arcane focus when switching the school it channels (i.e. inscribing a new rune into it). what if~ prep 4 extra shiny gems with the other schools runes on each one, having paid the costs already to have made them. and simply switch out which rune (school) you prep with each morning. ?

How to build an Elf Warpriest in Pathfinder? [closed]

Our DM wants to start a new campaign in Eberron. I want to build an Elf Warpriest since all the Asian weapons are up (only for Elves)1.

Which feats should I pick for fighting with a katana (probably with 2 Hands)?

My Warpriest will be the face of the party. I’m some kind of diplomat who’s trying to be a part of the Undying Court.

My katana should be part of my soul and I should know how to be part of aggressive negotiations.

We are starting Level 1. Max Level is something around 9.

My party will consist of a Dwarf Ranger (TWF), a Warforged Magus and a Gnome Wizard (Illusion).

Everything that is published in German is allowed. I think the “Advanced Class Guide” is the latest published material.

We already rolled our Attributes (18, 18, 17, 14, 11, 9)

Attributes example: Str 18, Dex 9 (+2=11), Con 18 (-2=16), Int 11 (+2=13), Wis 17, Cha 14

Feats example:

  1. Weapon of the Chosen
  2. Power Attack, Improved Weapon of the Chosen
  3. Greater Weapon of the Chosen
  4. Vital Strike
  5. Furious Focus
  6. Critical Focus, Devastating Strike

Instead of Power Attack and Furious Focus I thought of replacing them with Toughness and Improved Initiative.

  • Weapon: Katana
  • Armor: Kusari-Gusoku

I thought of taking the feat-path to Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Focus, but I don’t think I meet the requirements since the Warpriest does not count as a Fighter taking his normal Talents, right?

I also don’t know which Blessings I should take. I thought of Magic/Weather and Strength/War. Is it possible to use the War blessing effects on yourself?


1 I can use a different class as long as it can heal and fight, without being a real Paladin.

Pathfinder 1E – Penalties to the Power Attack and Stunning Assault Feats

The Power Attack feat allows you to choose to take a –1 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +2 bonus on all melee damage rolls.

The Stunning Assault feat, which lists Power Attack as a prerequisite, allows you to choose to take a –5 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to stun targets you hit with your melee attacks for 1 round.

Does this mean that using the two feats together requires you to take a cumulative –10 penalty to your melee attack rolls?

Pathfinder warbow concept review

This is a review request for a warbow, intended for the Pathfinder system. The purpose behind the creation of this particular item was to allow the player to quest for a magic item that was not essentially useless at higher levels, but rather gained abilities as the PC gained levels and powers. It is a single occurring item, could possibly be considered as an artifact status, even though it is intended to be available starting at a low level, slanted towards a horizon walker or similar concept. Description and capabilities are as follows:

[Insert name here] was a distinguished ranger, well known for his willingness to protect those around him when the cause was just, regardless of the consequences to himself. Many of the tales that have grown around him have reached the status of unverifiable legend, but it is certain that his bow was a feared weapon among the unjust. It is rumored that he even ventured onto the Abyss and other planes to retrieve people stolen from their land.

Sometime after he retired, he returned to his woodland home to find his wife murdered, and son missing from their house. Taking up his bow once more, he ventured forth to rescue his son. It is unknown what actually happened, but his son was returned, and […] and his bow were never seen again. Most believe that he either perished, or made a trade with an infernal being to exchange himself for his son.

Many people claim to have either seen or wielded his bow after that, but none of these have been confirmed, and few even believe that the bow existed, counting it as another fantastical tale that surrounds his legacy.

DESCRIPTION

[Insert name here] Warbow is dark wood intricately carved with arcane runes, and glows with a faint amber glow in dim light. A white leather grip is secured to the bow with three silver bands, one each at the top, middle and bottom of the grip. To successfully utilize […] Warbow to its fullest potential, a character must fulfill the following requirements:

Feats Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Far Shot*, Planar favored terrain** (Edit for clarification: The planar terrain relates only to the planar shift aspect).

Skills Craft (bowyer) 4 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks

ABILITIES TABLE

\begin{array}{c c l} \textbf{Character Level} & \textbf{Weapon Level} & \textbf{Weapon Effect} \ \hline 1^\text{st}-2^\text{nd} & 1^\text{st} & \textit{+1 adaptive war bow} \ 3^\text{rd}-4^\text{th} & 2^\text{nd} & \text{Activation ring }\textit{spell storing, minor} \ 5^\text{th}-6^\text{th} & 3^\text{rd} & \text{Enhance arrows} \ 7^\text{th}-8^\text{th} & 4^\text{th} & \text{Minor displacement (as }\textit{blur}\text{)} \ 9^\text{th}-10^\text{th} & 5^\text{th} & \textit{+1 adaptive distance* war bow} \ 11^\text{th}-12^\text{th} & 6^\text{th} & \text{Activation ring }\textit{spell storing, regular} \ 13^\text{th}-14^\text{th} & 7^\text{th} & \textit{Plane shift}\text{,** 3/day} \ 15^\text{th}-16^\text{th} & 8^\text{th} & \text{Imbue arrow} \ 17^\text{th}-18^\text{th} & 9^\text{th} & \text{Phase arrow} \ 19^\text{th}-20^\text{th} & 10^\text{th} & \text{Activation ring }\textit{spell storing, major} \ \end{array}

1: +1 adaptive: At first level, the bow gains the +1 adaptive quality. Bow is +1 to hit/damage, and Strength bonus applies as well.

2: Spell Storing (Su): At third level, activation of the first ring occurs. This ring activates and functions as a ring of spell storing, minor.

3: Enhance Arrows (Su): Each non-magical arrow fired gains +1, and one of the flaming, shock or burst attributes.

4: Minor Displacement (Su): When wielded, the weapon distorts light as a cloak of displacement, minor, resulting in 20% miss chance on attacks against the wielder.

5: Distance (Su): Every arrow fired by the bow gains the distance quality. *Note: For this to be used, wielder must have the Far Shot feat. If this is not available, this ability lies dormant until it is acquired.

6: Spell Storing (Su): Activation of the second ring occurs. This functions as a ring of spell storing, regular.

7: Plane Shift (Su): At 13 th level, the leather wrap darkens and close inspection reveals swirls. This can be used to activate and take up to 8 linked people as in the spell plane shift. If the shift is to a favored terrain, the bow grants the wielder the ability to natively survive while in possession. In addition, the accuracy is 1-10 miles from target. In other planes, normal accuracy and conditions apply. **Note: The wielder must have a plane as a favored terrain. If this is not available, the ability lies dormant until it is available.

8: Imbue Arrow (Su): The bow grants the ability to infuse any non-magical arrow with either a known or stored area of effect spell. This spell will activate on any hit. If the result of the attack is a miss, the spell is lost without activation.

9: Phase Arrow (Su): The wielder can launch an arrow 2x per day at a target known to him within range, and the arrow travels to the target in a straight path, passing through any nonmagical barrier or wall in its way. (Any magical barrier stops the arrow.) This ability negates cover, concealment, armor, and shield modifiers, but otherwise the attack is rolled normally.

10: Spell Storing (Su): Activation of the third ring occurs. This functions as a ring of spell storing, major.

Aura moderate abjuration; CL 12th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, creator must possess the arcane pool quality; Price +5 bonus.

I would like to determine if this is a logical progression, or if it is not enough in the beginning progressing to overpowered at the high end?