Is it time for Pathfinder 2nd edition?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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No one can agree on what should go in a new edition so how can we ever get one.

Paizo products (dungeon magazine in particulat) were extremely successful during the golden age of 3rd ed, They were quality products and imaginative.

Wizards have appealed to older players and now Wizards are flying again.

Pathfinder alienates their original fans with a new edition at their peril.

Games Workshop are going through their fourth ed phase now with Age of Suckmar and it is turnin into a car crash.

Liberty's Edge

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Medriev wrote:
Frankly, nothing would make me stop buying PF products quicker than an announcement of a new edition.

Frankly, nothing would make me stop playing Pathfinder quicker than...every other Pathfinder player moving to a new edition.

Because it's hard to play an RPG with no other players.

This is pretty much the reason I don't play AD&D 1e much any more. ;-)

Liberty's Edge

knightnday wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
Oh no, using a computer to manage information. In 2016. How horrible.

There's difference between using a computer because it's handy and using one because it's necessary.

But I suppose if you enjoy complexity for complexity's sake...

Then we'd play Rolemaster! Or Villains and Vigilantes or ...

I'm down. Especially for V&V. ;-)

Liberty's Edge

houstonderek wrote:


Funny, what this describes is Pathfinder to a T. Paizo even hired new people to design for their 3.5 clone. Seems to me, judging from most gamers I know, people buy all sorts of recycled stuff.

I just can't see the same amount of gamers buying the same product again imo. Not without any of the flaws fixed. Espcially with 5E that did try to fix flaws. If a gamer dislikes caster/martial disparity, dislikes how long combats take at higher levels. The new core does nothing to fix that why would they switch.

A unchanged rehash I think is going to be a hard sell. I'm not saying it won't sell. But given that Paizo gives it away for free. All you need is one person buying a core rulebook. The rest of a gaming group take from the free SRD. Even backwards compiability is not that important anymore. As more often than not it's "Paizo only no 3pp" from many tables.

Liberty's Edge

Norman Osborne wrote:
Duiker wrote:
$750,000 per year is a quarter the average revenue of a single McDonalds location. I can't possibly conceive of classifying a national publisher with that level of revenue as "in the game" for any meaningful definition of the game.
RPGs aren't fast food. Frankly, I doubt many RPG companies (including Paizo) can even remotely compete with a single McDonald's location.

They can't compete with a good console video game release. I'm just guessing, but it would probably take Paizo ten years (or more) to make what GTA V made in its first week ($800 million).

Liberty's Edge

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memorax wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


Funny, what this describes is Pathfinder to a T. Paizo even hired new people to design for their 3.5 clone. Seems to me, judging from most gamers I know, people buy all sorts of recycled stuff.

I just can't see the same amount of gamers buying the same product again imo. Not without any of the flaws fixed. Espcially with 5E that did try to fix flaws. If a gamer dislikes caster/martial disparity, dislikes how long combats take at higher levels. The new core does nothing to fix that why would they switch.

A unchanged rehash I think is going to be a hard sell. I'm not saying it won't sell. But given that Paizo gives it away for free. All you need is one person buying a core rulebook. The rest of a gaming group take from the free SRD.

Again, everyone bought Pathfinder, which did nothing to fix any of 3x's problems. People spent a billion dollars to see a Star Wars movie that was basically the same movie from '77 with some better graphics and slightly different plot. I think you underestimate the current generation's love affair with recycled material.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Funny thing with Pathfinder's "bloat."

It's incremental.

Do we have options and rules for junk I have zero interest in?

Yeah, we do. I have almost zero use for Catfolk on any level, there are two core deities I find so uninteresting that they may as well not exist, prestige classes I think are utterly pointless, base classes I can't fathom ever using, feats piling upon feats piling upon feats that I have no patience with.

But you know what?

Options for the people buying your hobby products are an inherently good thing, no matter what one guy says on a messageboard about how he doesn't like them.

Organized play (the only place where keeping up with everything is anything even CLOSE to mandatory) is a niche part of a niche market, generally participated in by die-hards anyway.I stay out of PFS precisely because I have no patience with theorycrafting and point-buying my character to a razor's edge just to not be a paperweight.

I still manage to play plenty of Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

Norman Osborne wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I think the fuss is largely due to brand power. It's a good game if you want something quick and simple - but it's also selling well (far more than the other games you cite) plus is still the most recognisable RPG, despite Pathfinder's commercial success over the last five years.

Does not a brand actually have a finite life? Like about 30-50 years-ish? I heard that D&D might have some problems because of the life of the brand.

As long as their closest competitor is named after an SUV, Dungeons & Dragons never has to worry about their brand name recognition being exceeded.

Considering that most people don't know a game called "Pathfinder" exists, but almost all of them have at least heard of "Dungeons and Dragons" pretty much proves your point. The name "Dungeons and Dragons" is worth more than all of the other TTRPGs combined in cache and recognition by a LONG shot.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It did fix 3.5 tho, the artwork is way better and more relatable, the character classes are more diverse and have way more options and feats, and the bestiaries are the best released for any edition.

Seems like improvement to me. :-)

Liberty's Edge

houstonderek wrote:


Again, everyone bought Pathfinder, which did nothing to fix any of 3x's problems. People spent a billion dollars to see a Star Wars movie that was basically the same movie from '77 with some better graphics and slightly different plot. I think you underestimate the current generation's love affair with recycled material.

The did because Wotc dropped 3.5. For fear of no longer being able to purchase 3.5. material. Paizo fills that niche quite nicely. I see no reason as a gamer to buy the same book again with new art and little to no changes. When I already have one. When I can get it for the SRD. I'm trying to look at this objectively. You keep looking at as if everyone will act like you do. Even then if Wotc had kept with 4E. Now with a edition that fixes the flaws. Paizo has to step it up a notch. Not rely on the same product and expect the same sales.

And using Star Wars. Really. The fans will go watch Star Wars en masse or any new thing about Star Wars because it's Star Wars. Pathfinder and rpgs are nowhere near as popular as something like Star Wars or Star Trek. I get what your saying but it's not the best example.

Liberty's Edge

No it did not fix the flaws of 3.5. It added some new minor houserules. The flaws of the 3.5. rpg engine are still there. Caster/martial disparity. High level gameplay still slows the game down. The CR system that really does not take into account what even a non-optimized party can do. It works and I have fun with it. Overall none of the flaws were really addressed in any significant way imo.

Liberty's Edge

captain yesterday wrote:

It did fix 3.5 tho, the artwork is way better and more relatable, the character classes are more diverse and have way more options and feats, and the bestiaries are the best released for any edition.

Seems like improvement to me. :-)

Pathfinder hasn't quite reached the level of insanity 3x at the end achieved. The sheer volume of 3x materials just published by WotC is ridiculous. Trust me, there are more base classes, spells, feats, prestige classes, etc, in 3.x than Pathfinder. And WAR is horrible. I'd rather look at Lockwood paintings in my books, to be honest.

Mechanically, Pathfinder and 3x are identical. Shortening the skill list and CMB are quite minor as innovations go.

Paizo, like someone stated above, didn't "win" because they innovated anything, they "won" because someone (or a bunch of someones) at WotC screwed the pooch. Period. We'll see if 5e is just a placeholder to get to the 50th anniversary, or if it will help WotC get back some of their mojo, but Pathfinder is just the continuation of the edition published in 2000. It is 3x with different expanded base classes. The exact same disparities, lack of balance, and slog-fest high level combat. Same one or two encounters a session since combats take so long. Same "the powerful wizard is 23 because leveling is so fast, he can't even grow a proper beard yet" mechanics. Same problems with economy action.

Nothing changed, Paizo fans are just more fanatic than the average, it seems.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It had more classes, but they weren't as diverse.

Liberty's Edge

captain yesterday wrote:
It had more classes, but they weren't as diverse.

What "diversity" does Pathfinder have? The witch? Samurai? Ninjas? Gunslinger? Magus? Nothing new in any of them, nothing that hasn't been done before.

Oracle? Summoner? Inquisitor? Pfft.

Pathfinder turned a few cliches into base classes. Whoop-de-doo.

Liberty's Edge

memorax wrote:
houstonderek wrote:


Again, everyone bought Pathfinder, which did nothing to fix any of 3x's problems. People spent a billion dollars to see a Star Wars movie that was basically the same movie from '77 with some better graphics and slightly different plot. I think you underestimate the current generation's love affair with recycled material.

The did because Wotc dropped 3.5. For fear of no longer being able to purchase 3.5. material. Paizo fills that niche quite nicely. I see no reason as a gamer to buy the same book again with new art and little to no changes. When I already have one. When I can get it for the SRD. I'm trying to look at this objectively. You keep looking at as if everyone will act like you do. Even then if Wotc had kept with 4E. Now with a edition that fixes the flaws. Paizo has to step it up a notch. Not rely on the same product and expect the same sales.

And using Star Wars. Really. The fans will go watch Star Wars en masse or any new thing about Star Wars because it's Star Wars. Pathfinder and rpgs are nowhere near as popular as something like Star Wars or Star Trek. I get what your saying but it's not the best example.

Scale is irrelevant. Right now, Pathfinder is the "Star Wars" of the RPG world.

My point wasn't that TTRPGs are as popular as movies. They aren't. They aren't as popular as the TV show Survivor, even. My point was that people will buy recycled stuff happily, in any genre or medium. The 2000's pop culture, so far, has just been recycling things from the previous two generations. Almost every movie is a sequel or a remake any more, new music is mostly dumbing down older music, even the biggest video game releases are mostly sequels.

Pathfinder is a 3x retro-clone. It was published so Paizo could keep publishing APs. It innovated nothing, fixed nothing, and that's fine. People liked 3x, it pretty much saved the hobby from even more obscurity and irrelevance, and it was a fun game. Nothing wrong with what Paizo is doing, but they aren't doing anything new and improved.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Works for me.

What did 3.5 have?
Scout (cliche, better as an archetype)
Samurai (cliche)
Ninja (cliche)
Favored Soul (like an Oracle, with a silly name)
Marshal (what the f%$$ is a marshal)
Warlock (cliche, and stupid to boot)

The list goes on...

Personally, I much prefer pathfinder. :-)

Liberty's Edge

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3.5. or Pathfinder. i never get the complaints about the new material. Yes some of the stuff in 3.5. was not that balanced. So is some of the material in Pathfinder. Try playing a Gunslinger in any APs where one fights giants or similar creatures. The Gunslingers never miss a target because of the guns targeting Touch AC.

Liberty's Edge

Why would I play a class built around a weapon? It's one of the dumbest base classes in Pathfinder. The Summoner keeps it from being the dumbest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Because it's cliche.

Liberty's Edge

houstonderek wrote:


Scale is irrelevant. Right now, Pathfinder is the "Star Wars" of the RPG world.

I won't say that PF is the SW of the rpg world. It's popular but D&D is the brand name. You mention rpgs and when asked which is a favorite fantasy rpg. It's D&D. Like it or hate it. Only those who really dislike Wotc and what they did to D&D will say Pathfinder. Right now 5E even with it's lackluster release schedule. Has more of a focus. It fixed the flaws of previous editions. It did not innovate but anything that fixes caster/martial disparity is what some of the fanbase wanted and Wotc delivered.

houstonderek wrote:


My point wasn't that TTRPGs are as popular as movies. They aren't. They aren't as popular as the TV show Survivor, even. My point was that people will buy recycled stuff happily, in any genre or medium. The 2000's pop culture, so far, has just been recycling things from the previous two generations. Almost every movie is a sequel or a remake any more, new music is mostly dumbing down older music, even the biggest video game releases are mostly sequels.

Your right but when it comes to rpgs. I think more and more the fans want editions that offer something new and innovate. While also maintaining backwards compiabilty. Which I personally think is impossible. Yes people will buy, watch recycled material. Yet they will also be more picky and discriminating. They want more of the same just not exactly 100%. So they can justify buying, watching, reading, eating the same thing.

houstonderek wrote:


Pathfinder is a 3x retro-clone. It was published so Paizo could keep publishing APs. It innovated nothing, fixed nothing, and that's fine. People liked 3x, it pretty much saved the hobby from even more obscurity and irrelevance, and it was a fun game. Nothing wrong with what Paizo is doing, but they aren't doing anything new and improved.

It's funny that you say that because I think some in the hobby. Wanted more of the same. Yet expected some kind of innovation later on. I fully expected them to not do much in terms of innovation. They have added some new material. But it's nothing at least for me that says innovation. But that's okay because that's what I bought into when I switched from 4E to PF.

Liberty's Edge

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I actually prefer some of the names from 3.5. Blackguard sound so much better than anti-Paladin. What your evil arch nemesis aunt of the Paladin or something.


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houstonderek wrote:
Nothing changed, Paizo fans are just more fanatic than the average, it seems.

Well, maybe? But I wager if you go to the Denver Broncos site, the Ford Mustang Site, the Justin Bieber site or wherever and engage the fans with less than complementary terms you may run into some negative responses. People come to the Paizo site, express that they think X is stupid or that they didn't like the game and isn't X better, and then express surprise that the fans are fanatical about defending it?

I mean, this isn't exactly a mystery is it? :)

As for the rest .. who cares? I mean, really? It's 2016. If you like Tunnels and Trolls, if you like 1E, if you like AD&D, if you like whatever there are places out there for you and even games being played. Maybe just over the internet but there are games going on for all this stuff.

If Pathfinder goes to 2E and people are dead set to not play it and stay with 1E, there will be games for it. I say this as someone who steadfastly helped run a version of Shadowrun two editions back for more than a decade past its expiration date.

Find what you like and play that. Arguing over what version is better of what ifs of something we cannot control takes up valuable time that could be spent working on your game or character.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Gotta agree there, Blackguard is infinitely better than Anti-Paladin.

Although now I want to make Pesto, the Anti-Paladin. :-)


houstonderek wrote:
Pathfinder is a 3x retro-clone. It was published so Paizo could keep publishing APs. It innovated nothing, fixed nothing, and that's fine. People liked 3x, it pretty much saved the hobby from even more obscurity and irrelevance, and it was a fun game. Nothing wrong with what Paizo is...

I'm not certain I'd go so far as to say they did it solely so they could keep publishing APs (though I imagine that was definitely a reason). For the most part, I sort of feel like WotC published 4th Edition because it had been 10 years and "it was time for a new edition of D&D". I still maintain 3.5 is the best iteration of the game, and WotC is well-aware of the fondness people have for it: several concepts have stuck around in minimally-changed form in 5th Edition (feats, the Sorcerer class, Attacks of Opportunity), and the general utter silence on 4th Edition's mistakes seems a good indication they realize it was a misstep (there's also the relatively short lifespan of that edition... it lasted about half as long as previous editions of the game had).

Since it was all OGL (something WotC may regret having done at this point, as Pathfinder was outselling Dungeons & Dragons until 5th Edition came along; GenCon wouldn't exist at this point without Paizo's backing, and in fact the D&D dev team isn't even going to be at this year's GenCon), it only made sense for Paizo to pick up the dropped flag of a system that a lot of people honestly loved.

It isn't to say the game is without flaws (primarily a bit too much baked-in complexity to attempt to cover most eventualities of player choices in a game), but a lot of the most glaring ones were fixed in the transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder (removal of "empty" levels, removal of the d4 hit dice for arcane casters, etc.).

I STILL maintain the worst mistake made was from 3.0 to 3.5, when they nerfed the living blazes out of Haste. ;)

Liberty's Edge

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I'd go that far, seeing as it was pretty much stated flat out by Paizo staff at the time. ;-)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules Subscriber
houstonderek wrote:
There is far less TTRPG competition in the Paizo era than the AD&D era. Less game systems, less TTRPG companies,etc.

Wait, what? There are more actively supported game systems than ever. Plus just about anything worth mentioning from the 80s is still alive and kicking. The barrier to entry for publishing, not to mention Kickstarter, means there are far more RPGs being released every year that I want to play than I can ever manage to make time for.

Sure, not that many are pumping out a dozen hardcovers a year, but we're in a golden age of role-playing games. Once you look past the D&D clones, there's a ton of cool stuff going on.

Edit: Here's a list of all the RPG systems that were played at GenCon 2015. I don't think that many existed during the life of AD&D.


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houstonderek wrote:


Pathfinder is a 3x retro-clone. It was published so Paizo could keep publishing APs. It innovated nothing, fixed nothing, and that's fine.

*Looks at how polymorph magic changed*

*Looks at how they gave fighter class features*
*Looks at how they made monks decent*
*Looks at downtime and kingdom making*
*Looks at how they made monster PC's ridiculously better*
*Looks at the improved skill system removing unnecessary skills*
*Looks at how wish exploits were reduced and removed*
*Looks at how stone wall exploits were reduced and removed*
*Looks at how arcane lock no longer renders rogues useless*
*Looks at mythic*
Etc. etc.

It's a 3.5e clone. But it did fix and innovate.

Liberty's Edge

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All you pointed out is simply a bunch of houserules that were added to different part of the rules. Nothing was done really to fix caster/martial disparity. Nothing about high level gameplay. The Devs did many things with the rpg. Innovation is not one of them IMO. Or at the very least not that much. The Cmd/Cmb mechanic is new to me at least. I like running and playing the rpg. Let's not call a old house with a fresh new coat of paint and some minor repairs a new house


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If you don't like it, don't play it memorax. No one is forcing you to!


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memorax wrote:
Nothing was done really to fix caster/martial disparity.

*Looks at how polymorph magic changed*

*Looks at how they gave fighter class features*
*Looks at how wish exploits were reduced and removed*
*Looks at how stone wall exploits were reduced and removed*
*Looks at how arcane lock no longer renders rogues useless*
*Looks at Combat Stamina*
*Looks at VCM*
*Looks at unchains various rules that weaken spellcasting*
*Looks at the many spellcasting classes that are balanced*
*Looks at Slayer*
*Looks at Paladin*

Quote:
Nothing about high level gameplay.

I see nothing actually wrong with high level gameplay.

They have not changed the whole game. Of course they haven't. Because otherwise it wouldn't be 3.5e+. The whole point of Pathfinder was so that their old works wouldn't be rendered useless and so they could keep making material for 3.5e. They did fix things though. Maybe not as much as you would like. But there have been fixes in the system.

Liberty's Edge

The Sword wrote:
If you don't like it, don't play it memorax. No one is forcing you to!

I suppose the part about my enjoying it just went over your head. I know it's s hard concept for some to understand. One can both like and criticize something they enjoy. I'm sorry but unless a product has 50%+ it's a rehash to me. One that I enjoy running and playing but I call it as I see it.

Liberty's Edge

The did add options to the game later on but the core book is still a rehash of a rehash. With house rules. I do get the point your trying to make but the main overall rules are still the same. As for Fighters I'm simply going to disagree.


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memorax wrote:
The did add options to the game later on but the core book is still a rehash of a rehash. With house rules. I do get the point your trying to make but the main overall rules are still the same. As for Fighters I'm simply going to disagree.

Weirdly, about half of what I said was from Core.

Also, I didn't say fighters were good. I said they have done fixes for Marital/Caster disparity. Fighter's still screwed despite Combat Stamina, VCM, additional class features, balanced casters, and weakened magic. But fighter is not the only martial class (seriously, look at the slayer, able to do combat, stealth, intel gathering, and socializing), and even if the fixes aren't perfect, they still have done things to reduce the disparity.

Just because it's not As many changes as you desire, doesn't mean they haven't done fixes and changes. Yes, PF was a rehash. That's the whole point. Feature not bug.

Liberty's Edge

I guess we will have to agree to disagree. we both have different standards of what innovation is in a rpg. That's not necessarily a bad thing either.

Grand Lodge

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Silentman73 wrote:
I'm not certain I'd go so far as to say they did it solely so they could keep publishing APs (though I imagine that was definitely a reason).

At the time, that was exactly their stated reasoning for publishing PFRPG.

APs were keeping Paizo in business. Period. When WotC pulled the plug on 3.5e (after already having cancelled Dungeon and Dragon magazines), Paizo knew they were in trouble. 4e didn't have an OGL and WotC was waaay behind on releasing the license that was compatible with Paizo's business model and that let them publish the adventures they wanted to publish. Without an actively-supported game system, Paizo wouldn't last.

So they decided publish their own 3.5e books through the OGL. To paraphrase: "And while we're here publishing our own CRB(s), we'll make a few changes and adjust a couple things and file some of the rough edges off of things people commonly complain about." However, it's really important to remember the mindset at the time: backward compatibility was the main design goal because that's what people wanted; Paizo never set out to fix martial/caster disparity, or throw away Vancian magic, or fundamentally change the CR system. WotC's 4e marketing was telling gamers, "that game you're playing is bad and you should toss it in favor of this new, radically different thing we're releasing." A lot of people embraced 4e, but a lot of people also revolted. Pathfinder is what they got.

-Skeld

Liberty's Edge

I'm not buying that giving more to the Fighter would make backwards compabilty impossible. It's not so much the devs could not. They would not IMO. The Fighter in core is Ok but none of their abilities IMO seem worth the wait. They catered to fans that wanted to see little to no innovation and it shows. I may not like it. It won't make me stop playing Pathfinder. Next edition if the market research shows that at least 5 out of 10 gamers use older material them make it backwards compabilty. If not and only very few do make use of 3.5. Material why bother.

So far since PF was released I have been in one campaign where 3.5. Material was allowed. More often not it's been a polite and/or firm no way. Then being told " no 3.5. Or third party...only Pathfinder.


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memorax wrote:
So far since PF was released I have been in one campaign where 3.5. Material was allowed. More often not it's been a polite and/or firm no way. Then being told " no 3.5. Or third party...only Pathfinder.

*Shrug* Paizo's marketing for pathfinder literally is "3.5e thrives in Pathfinder", not their fault if people want to go opposite the point of the system. I know I've gotten good use out of Spell Compendium and Sandstorm.


Milo v3 wrote:
memorax wrote:
So far since PF was released I have been in one campaign where 3.5. Material was allowed. More often not it's been a polite and/or firm no way. Then being told " no 3.5. Or third party...only Pathfinder.
*Shrug* Paizo's marketing for pathfinder literally is "3.5e thrives in Pathfinder", not their fault if people want to go opposite the point of the system. I know I've gotten good use out of Spell Compendium and Sandstorm.

Yes, 1000 times this. Spell Compendium, Magic Item Compendium, and the terrain books are among the most popular at my table.


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memorax wrote:

Next edition if the market research shows that at least 5 out of 10 gamers use older material them make it backwards compabilty. If not and only very few do make use of 3.5. Material why bother.

So far since PF was released I have been in one campaign where 3.5. Material was allowed. More often not it's been a polite and/or firm no way. Then being told " no 3.5. Or third party...only Pathfinder.

The issue next time won't be compatibility with 3.5 (or only indirectly, anyhow). The issue will be the fans who want to keep using their PF1.0 material.

Skeld is right. It's easy to forget now given so many are comfortable with only PF material, but during its design, backwards compatibility with 3.5 was a huge deal. You can't meaningfully analyse the changes from 3.5 to PF without bearing that in mind.

Liberty's Edge

I am bearing that in mind. It just seems in my experience that not many people at least in my neck of the woods wang to use or convert 3.5 material. Even with backwards compabilty as a goal they also need to offer something new and fresh. The current edition already offered backwards compabilty. Give me something new. Not necessarily a new edition. More than a rehash with better production values and art.

Spell Compendium is a good book. I'm sure it's banned from most tableland probably PFS because of some of the spells. Especially the various Orb style spells. Wish Paizo instead of wasting time on yet another Bestiary would do their own version of the terrain books from 3.5. It something that is lacking IMO.


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memorax wrote:
I am bearing that in mind.

Do you agree that the design goal of backwards compatibility with 3.5 put a severe crimp in just how "innovative" the Pathfinder designers could be? It was desirable that you could pick up a 3.5 module and run it, converting on the fly. If the mechanics of PF had diverged too much that would have been lost.

Labelling it 'a rehash' or 'a bunch of houserules' and so forth always seems to be missing the point to me. Those labels always read to me as suggesting a casual or haphazard approach. It was in fact a carefully crafted game within some quite awkward constraints.

Quote:
It just seems in my experience that not many people at least in my neck of the woods wang to use or convert 3.5 material. Even with backwards compabilty as a goal they also need to offer something new and fresh. The current edition already offered backwards compabilty. Give me something new. Not necessarily a new edition. More than a rehash with better production values and art.

I think you're conflating two things. Nowadays, when people say PF2 should be "backwards compatible", I don't think they generally mean compatible with 3.5 - they mean compatible with Pathfinder.

How much 3.5 material is in use isn't really relevant - those people want to keep using the Advanced Class Guide, Pathfinder Unchained, the Player Companions, the Adventure Paths.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
memorax wrote:
I am bearing that in mind.

Do you agree that the design goal of backwards compatibility with 3.5 put a severe crimp in just how "innovative" the Pathfinder designers could be? It was desirable that you could pick up a 3.5 module and run it, converting on the fly. If the mechanics of PF had diverged too much that would have been lost.

Labelling it 'a rehash' or 'a bunch of houserules' and so forth always seems to be missing the point to me. Those labels always read to me as suggesting a casual or haphazard approach. It was in fact a carefully crafted game within some quite awkward constraints.

Quote:
It just seems in my experience that not many people at least in my neck of the woods wang to use or convert 3.5 material. Even with backwards compabilty as a goal they also need to offer something new and fresh. The current edition already offered backwards compabilty. Give me something new. Not necessarily a new edition. More than a rehash with better production values and art.

I think you're conflating two things. Nowadays, when people say PF2 should be "backwards compatible", I don't think they generally mean compatible with 3.5 - they mean compatible with Pathfinder.

How much 3.5 material is in use isn't really relevant - those people want to keep using the Advanced Class Guide, Pathfinder Unchained, the Player Companions, the Adventure Paths.

Steve, I would agree that parts of the game are a carefully crafted makeover. From the CRB I would say that feats, races, classes, and PrCs got the amount of attention they needed. But other sections were square pegs beaten through a round hole with a sledgehammer. Spells, for example is an atrocious mess. Inconsistent terminology mostly due to verbatim legacy carryover. And I mean legacy from AD&D, not just 3.5. It is a mess. The combat chapter removed all the examples about how things work because they weren't in the SRD. So you wind up with situations where people argue that a character can't stand up from prone, 5ft shift, and cast a spell all in the same round even though that was a specific example given in the 3.5 players guide.

Liberty's Edge

Steve Geddes wrote:


Do you agree that the design goal of backwards compatibility with 3.5 put a severe crimp in just how "innovative" the Pathfinder designers could be? It was desirable that you could pick up a 3.5 module and run it, converting on the fly. If the mechanics of PF had diverged too much that would have been lost.

The could have done more if they truly wanted to and maintain backwards compatibility. They played it safe and I know why. That being said playing it safe does not lead to innovation. At least with the core. To me at least.

Steve Geddes wrote:


Labelling it 'a rehash' or 'a bunch of houserules' and so forth always seems to be missing the point to me. Those labels always read to me as suggesting a casual or haphazard approach. It was in fact a carefully crafted game within some quite awkward constraints.

It is mostly a rehash though. If your going to maintain backwards compatibility it requires little to no changes. To me at least their nothing in the core that comes across as major changes. Some of the flaws in the rpg went from major to minor but their still their imo.

I will admit the books that came after core had some innovative ideas. The core to me was anything but.

Steve Geddes wrote:


I think you're conflating two things. Nowadays, when people say PF2 should be "backwards compatible", I don't think they generally mean compatible with 3.5 - they mean compatible with Pathfinder.

How much 3.5 material is in use isn't really relevant - those people want to keep using the Advanced Class Guide, Pathfinder Unchained, the Player Companions, the Adventure Paths.

If it's possible to maintain backwards compatible and offer 50%+ new material I'm all for it. I don't want the same core that I already have with better production values and art.


memorax wrote:


The could have done more if they truly wanted to and maintain backwards compatibility. They played it safe and I know why. That being said playing it safe does not lead to innovation. At least with the core. To me at least.

Indeed. I think they were feeling the time pressure to stake a claim before 4e became established as the new "default" game.

In addition to not being particularly innovative I think the time constraint also prevented them from addressing issues with the 3.5 ruleset that needed help. Many legacy issues just got ported over directly without being touched. And, as I point out earlier, many of the clarifying examples weren't replaced even though they are badly needed. I feel like the CRB would benefit greatly from a meaningful, non-rushed, rebuild.

memorax wrote:


If it's possible to maintain backwards compatible and offer 50%+ new material I'm all for it. I don't want the same core that I already have with better production values and art.

I think at this point "backwards compatibility" should solely be defined as, "I can use the legacy stat blocks in the current game."


BigDTBone wrote:
I think at this point "backwards compatibility" should solely be defined as, "I can use the legacy stat blocks in the current game."

This.

PF2 needs new combat rules, new magic rules, new skill rules, etc. The goal should be improving the game, and using legacy stay blocks is the best way to do that. Maybe even giving quick conversion math like MM3 for 4e did - "use highest save vs spell" to meet a simplified saving throw structure, or a quick change to CMD to make maneuvers more valid. Even doing the obvious thing an dumping Caster Level means it just gets ignored in the stat block.

Now magic items might be trickier, but PF2 should give rewrites of the most popular and common magic items and not just the OGLs version.

-----

As an aside, prestige classes need to go or be completely retooled in a new edition, and magic needs to be more like 5e.


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There's several reasonable cases being made for not doing a formal "Pathfinder 2.0", but I still personally maintain that a reorganized/"cleaned up" Core Rulebook wouldn't be an awful idea. Clarification on often-misunderstood concepts (people still seem to get lost with what does or doesn't provoke an Attack of Opportunity, and arguments about what does or doesn't happen when you change your shape are ongoing; the rules are there, but aren't always easy to find), reorganization of the Combat chapter, and inclusion of classes like Magus, Gunslinger, etc as part of the core rules (which would of course necessitate including appropriate material for the use of firearms).

Since it would be such a massive book, it makes sense to me for it to be a digital product.

As an aside, to agree with hiiamtom, I'm generally of the same school of thought regarding magic: Vancian magic is one of the last holdouts of the Gygax era, which had issues not with creativity, but with often poorly thought-out systems (happens when you're a trailblazer; it wasn't Gary and Dave's fault that they had no other tabletop RPGs to compare Dungeons & Dragons to). The one spectacular change that 5th Edition has made has been a movement to a spontaneous caster system instead of the formal exclusionary preparation system that 3rd Edition had kept for Wizards, Clerics & Druids. I think a "spell slot" system makes more sense: you "know" these spells, and you have a limited amount of energy available per day to cast them, but you should choose how to use that energy based on the situation.

I always thought, in particular, something like this should have been in place for Clerics. The idea is they're praying to their god for power to deal with a threat. It never made sense that they're representatives of their god, but in their god's interests they're unable to cast a particular non-healing spell unless they had thought to prepare that specific spell at the start of their day.


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It should be remembered that early drafts of the Pathfinder Beta had more drastic changes, but reaction to feedback pushed the game to be more conservative.

I don't think any 2nd edition will be innovative enough to be worth doing, because they will still be shackled to fundamental flaws of 3.5. If you want something radically different, try 13th Age or Fantasy Age or some other game with the freedom to be different. If you want something slightly more refined, just wait for them to continue tweaking things via Unchained style books.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Steve, I would agree that parts of the game are a carefully crafted makeover. From the CRB I would say that feats, races, classes, and PrCs got the amount of attention they needed. But other sections were square pegs beaten through a round hole with a sledgehammer. Spells, for example is an atrocious mess. Inconsistent terminology mostly due to verbatim legacy carryover. And I mean legacy from AD&D, not just 3.5. It is a mess. The combat chapter removed all the examples about how things work because they weren't in the SRD. So you wind up with situations where people argue that a character can't stand up from prone, 5ft shift, and cast a spell all in the same round even though that was a specific example given in the 3.5 players guide.

My first response would be that just because there are imperfections, it doesn't follow that it wasn't done carefully. I was disputing the idea that PF was a "rehash" or "a bunch of houserules" - I think it was far more than that and done more thoughtfully, carefully and deliberately. I didn't mean to imply it was flawless or that it couldn't be improved.

I definitely think the rules could use a significant rewrite similar to the beginner box - in my view, they suffer from the implicit assumption that everyone who is reading them already knows how to play 3.5.

I don't think you're right to diagnose it as a time-pressure issue. Were you here for the playtest? They worked on the rules, then released them into an open, alpha playtest, then reworked them into the beta (which was even printed out as well as provided via PDF) and both the alpha and beta periods seemed quite extensive to me. I'm sure they didn't have unlimited time, but it certainly didn't feel to me that they were rushing it. In passing, I'd mention that the concept of the open playtest itself was an innovative approach - it's easy to forget now, given how common it's become, but it was quite exciting and new back then.

If my memory serves correctly, the mood at the time was extremely conservative - I think there was so much discussion about what should change, how compatible with 3.5 it was going to be and so forth. That's where the effort was warranted as that's where the heat in the community was.

In hindsight, I think you're probably right that there were things which were omitted which should have been in there (and that a really thorough tidying up of language should have been undertaken). No doubt neglecting that in favor of arguing endlessly over grappling, vancian casting or the other 'hot button' topics of the day was exacerbated by the culture in which it was being discussed and playtested - it was very much a way to keep playing 3.5. Nobody was approaching it from "How is this going to appear to the newcomer, who has had no experience with 3.5?"


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memorax wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


Do you agree that the design goal of backwards compatibility with 3.5 put a severe crimp in just how "innovative" the Pathfinder designers could be? It was desirable that you could pick up a 3.5 module and run it, converting on the fly. If the mechanics of PF had diverged too much that would have been lost.
The could have done more if they truly wanted to and maintain backwards compatibility.

I'd be curious to hear a concrete example here. What sort of "innovation" do you think they could have done with core which wouldn't have reduced the usability of people's 3.5 collections? (That was the burning issue of the day).

Quote:
Steve Geddes wrote:


I think you're conflating two things. Nowadays, when people say PF2 should be "backwards compatible", I don't think they generally mean compatible with 3.5 - they mean compatible with Pathfinder.

How much 3.5 material is in use isn't really relevant - those people want to keep using the Advanced Class Guide, Pathfinder Unchained, the Player Companions, the Adventure Paths.

If it's possible to maintain backwards compatible and offer 50%+ new material I'm all for it. I don't want the same core that I already have with better production values and art.

Sure, we'll each have our own lines as to what constitutes enough to warrant a new purchase (my line is every time they put out a new reprint!). I was just pointing out that "Not many people use 3.5 stuff round my way, so backwards compatibility doesn't matter" isn't really addressing the issue. Very few people are clamouring for PF2 to be compatible with 3.5, so this rebuttal isn't relevant.

Liberty's Edge

@Steve

They could have done a lot more with the Fightef class and still maintain backwards compiabity imo. Compared to the upgrade the Paladin received. It could have been so much more IMO.

If they can make a new edition that offers at least 50%+ and still be compabitable with the current edition of PF I might be interested. If not I probably won't purchase it. Reprints are also not worth the expense not unless once again it offers a decent amount of new material. At the very least it needs to include major amounts of errata.

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