All About Actions

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

One of the most important aspects of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is combat. Monsters and villains are a very real threat that adventurers have to deal with on a daily basis, and quiet negotiation is rarely the answer. When talking fails, swords are drawn and combat is joined. In Pathfinder First Edition, combat could become rather bogged down just by the weight of options available. Time and time again, we heard new players talk about the complexity of the action system, how it made the game slow down as players looked to eke the most out of their turns.

Basically, the previous system was a barrier, and so it should come as no surprise that we are looking at ways that we can simplify it to make the game run more smoothly and intuitively. The hard part was making sure that the versatility of the old system was still present, while cleaning up the overall experience. We want your turn in combat to be exciting and full of interesting choices. We want you to be elated by coming up with just the right combination of actions to win the day. We just don't want those choices to be hedged in by a number of complex categories.

Seven Types

Before I explain the new way of doing things, it might be good to look back to find some perspective. The previous edition of Pathfinder featured seven distinct action types: free, full-round, immediate, move, standard, swift, and a nebulously defined “other” category. These helped to curb what a character could do and encouraged varied tactics to get the most out of your round. In particular, the immediate action was of interest because it was something you could do outside your turn.

This approach has served us well over the years, but we have long looked for better ways to accomplish some of the same goals with a more intuitive system.

Three Actions

It's your turn. You get to take three actions. That's it. You want to move three times? Done. Instead you want to move once, draw your sword, and attack? No problem. How about attack three times? Go ahead (but you'll take an increasing penalty for each additional attack). With only a few notable exceptions, most things in the game now take one action to accomplish. Opening a door, drawing a weapon, reloading a crossbow, moving up to your speed, raising your shield, taking a guarded step, swinging your greataxe—all of these and much more take just one action to perform.

There are, of course, some exceptions. A few things don't take an action at all, like talking or dropping a weapon. Conversely, most of the spells in the game take two actions to cast, although some can be cast quickly, such as a heal spell that targets yourself. Many of the classes can teach you specific activities that take two more actions to perform. The fighter, for example, has a feat that you can select called Sudden Charge, which costs two actions but lets you to move twice your speed and attack once, allowing fighters to get right into the fray!

One Reaction

One aspect of Pathfinder First Edition that was important to us was the ability to occasionally, if the circumstances were right, act outside your turn. While this was most often a simple attack of opportunity, we saw this as a way to add a whole new dimension to the game.

So now, all characters get one reaction they can take when the conditions are right.

Reactions always come with a trigger that must occur before the reaction can be taken. Let's say you're playing a paladin with a shield and you have spent an action to defend yourself with that shield. Not only does this boost your Armor Class; it also allows you to take a special reaction if you are hit by an attack. This shield block reduces the damage taken by an amount up to the shield's hardness!

Not everybody will have a reaction they can use during combat, but you can always ready an action that allows you prepare a special action that you can take later if the conditions you specify are met. You might ready an action to attack the first orc that walks around the corner, allowing you to make a strike if that happens before your next turn.

Finally, some monsters have reactions they can take as well. While some have simple reactions that allow them to attack those who drop their guard while adjacent to them, others have wildly different abilities. An earth elemental, for example, can spend its reaction after being hit to crumble into a pile of rocks, burrowing down into the ground for safety.

The New System in Practice

The three-action-and-a-reaction system really has done a lot for gameplay around the office. Turns are quite a bit more dynamic. The breadth of options now compete with each other, not based upon what action type they are, but instead on their merits in the current combat situation. Concentrating on a spell might be vital, but not if you need to move away, draw a potion, and drink it. Maybe you could wait to drink it until your next turn to keep the spell going, or maybe you could not move and hope the monster does not eat you.

Most importantly, taking your turn in Pathfinder is now filled with a wide variety of possibilities, allowing you to get the most out of your time in the spotlight, while still keeping the game moving and engaging.

Well, that about wraps up our in-depth look at the new action system for Pathfinder. Come back on Friday for a blog post looking into all of the spoilers from the first part of the Glass Cannon Network's podcast of their playtest of the game. In addition, if you want to see the game yourself, and maybe even get a chance to play, stop by Gary Con this weekend, where we will be running a number of Pathfinder charity games, raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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If you (as the GM) have planned out a more complicated scene where the players give you more details about their interactions, the rules have you covered. You'd jump out of a more generic exploration and into a specific interaction with the scene, using the results of successful Perception (or relevant skill) checks to kickstart it!


AlicornSage, describing your actions and assigning a skill check to it after is play style, the rules have little to no impact on that. You only have a problem if your players don't share your play style.


Lavielav wrote:
Derklord wrote:
I think letting the "The sky is falling! This is the. Worst. Possible. Thing!" crowd cry themselves dry now might reduce the amount of useless whining we'll get once the actual playtest comes out.

man, this is golden. i love you, you're absolutely right. make it sound bad, and BAM, when it comes out "hey, this is actually better than what we imagined"

The Leveling up blog did that for me, already. :)


dragonhunterq wrote:
AlicornSage, describing your actions and assigning a skill check to it after is play style, the rules have little to no impact on that. You only have a problem if your players don't share your play style.

Rules design can hinder particular styles of play. Doesn't mean they will, but they can. They can also encourage certain styles of play.

That is my concern here, that paizo will focus so strongly on one style that it becomes difficult or even pointless to use 2e for other styles.

Liberty's Edge

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What about familiars and companions? Do they get their own actions or use the PCs?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
AlicornSage, describing your actions and assigning a skill check to it after is play style, the rules have little to no impact on that. You only have a problem if your players don't share your play style.

Rules design can hinder particular styles of play. Doesn't mean they will, but they can. They can also encourage certain styles of play.

That is my concern here, that paizo will focus so strongly on one style that it becomes difficult or even pointless to use 2e for other styles.

You're already at the point where you consider a tactical wargame ruleset as a fully-fledged narrative RPG ruleset. You shouldn't have much trouble with PF2, regardless of how it looks like in the end.


Combat is just one part of the system, and the part I care least about how they change it. D20 was always a hybrid, but early on, the tactical combat always played second fiddle in the design, as "playing the story" was the primary focus. Just look through the 3.x dmg. I.E. telling the gm to customize a class for individual players is hardly the stuff of design worried about game balance and tactical wargaming.

If paizo not only makes combat the primary focus, but also seriously drops any priority on the rest of the system and it's focus on narrativistic and simulationist underpinnings, then that will literally remove any reason for me to play it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

Combat is just one part of the system, and the part I care least about how they change it. D20 was always a hybrid, but early on, the tactical combat always played second fiddle in the design, as "playing the story" was the primary focus. Just look through the 3.x dmg. I.E. telling the gm to customize a class for individual players is hardly the stuff of design worried about game balance and tactical wargaming.

If paizo not only makes combat the primary focus, but also seriously drops any priority on the rest of the system and it's focus on narrativistic and simulationist underpinnings, then that will literally remove any reason for me to play it.

No, D&D since 3.0ed is an almost purely tactical minis and grid based wargame. It's obvious when you play some games where rules are integrated with narrative to a higher degree. Heck, there are dozens of RPGs out there which were written as a counterpoint to the gamist paradigm of D&D.

We've been through this before and I won't change your mind on this, but you won't change mine. If I prefer to play a game where rules don't get in the way of the story, I play 10 Candles. If I want to play a game that has a light ruleset that meshes with storytelling and narrative, I play Tales from the Loop. If I want to flex my wargaming skills and have some light roleplaying sprinkled on the top of that, I play D&D 3+ ed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah D&D and Pathfinder are what I call tactical RPGs. There is a reason combat takes up the vast majority of the rules space in those games.

There aren’t any rules for role playing at all. Nothing about gaining experience for speaking in character, or crafting a satisfying story arc or feeling emotions.

These aren’t bugs they’re features, however I recommend trying games powered by the Apocalypse, or Fiasco if you want games that are role playing focused.


For the sake of others,

To quote Gary Gygax, one of the people who made the game,

"Players can play the rules without playing the game."

This therefore means that Gygax was making a distinction that went beyond what the rules said, because if players were just playing what the rules said they were not playing the game Gygax intended to be played with those rules.

Take a moment and reread that a few times and really digest that. The idea that a game exists that can use rules, but that simply using those rules is not playing the game.

Rules can exist for reasons other than how to play.

Starting with a counter-example, Chess is a game defined by it's mechanics. It is intended that your choices be based entirely on those mechanics, and factors such as the materials used to create the pieces and what those pieces look like are not factors intended to be considered in playing the game.

DnD was designed for the reverse. A game where the rules are not intended to be the basis for making choices. A game where the flavor, story, and narrative are the things intended to be the basis of all choices.

Some folks reach this point and think that one should play freeform. That "should" comes entirely from their failure to see how the rules can be useful if they are not used to make choices.

But the rules can have plenty of uses other than the basis for making choices. Most prominantly are two aspects, communication and reducing the negative feelings of gm bias.

Communication. Consider for a moment that a player describes their character as "very strong." Well, just how strong do they mean? Do they mean Arnold Schwartzenagger strong? Or as strong as the Hulk? Somewhere in betwedn? Once you get that figured out, the mage casts a spell to make him stronger, but how much stronger? Well, with d20 you simply have a number scale that everyone can read and understand just how strong a character is, then the spell can simply modify that number. Suddenly communication just got easier by utilizing a few numbers.

GM Bias Mitigation. When the gm decides whether you win or lose, it can be hard for them to remain free from bias, and can even be subconciously and unknowingly biased. And regardless of how little bias there is, players can still feel like there is more bias than might actually be the case. This can ruin the game. But if we use dice, then that removes the gm bias from the situation. Some might debate that, bug it doesn't really matter, cause it stills feels like it is the dice, chance, or luck and not the gm, which does a lot to keep nehative feelings down, which in turn helps maintain the fun.

But of course, in using the dice, you really want the dice to take your character's capabilities and the task's difficulty into consideration. Well, if we measure capabilities and difficulties with numbers, then the dice can indeed take them into account, favoring easy tasks and more capable characters.

And just from these considerations alone, we have a situation where we play a game based on characters and choosing what they do in a narrative fashion, but yet are using numbers and dice in a somewhat compldx and simulationist fashion, without using them as the basis for making our choices in the game. They are serving a purpose even though they do not dictate the actions. This is opposite of chess.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Funny you mention Gygax, because this is what the man himself had to say about 3ed (SOURCE):

"Harvey: As a game designer, what do you think of the WotC D20 mechanics? I’ve played 3rd Edition D&D since it came out, and I’ve picked up the new D20 Call of Cthulhu and the espionage game Spycraft, as well. (I was a fan of the original CoC and the TSR espionage game Top Secret years ago…) Personally, I consider D20 an amazing accomplishment. What’s your opinion?

Gary: No question that the D20 system is well written and very tight considering all of the mass of detail contained therein. That makes it a bear to design for, nearly impossible to vary from the massive framework of the system. The D20 OGL is a very clever move too, as it provides support for the core system, brings in more players to it, and expands the fantasy base into other fantasy environments as well as into whole new genres.

After 30 years of role-playing gaming, however, I find that the system is too rules oriented for my personal taste, too centered on combat as well, so I will play it, but I do not enjoy DM’ing it–although I still love to DM for original D&D or AD&D."


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

For the sake of others,

To quote Gary Gygax, one of the people who made the game,

He didn’t make 3.5.

There’s a pretty significant difference between the way rules written in the 1970s were intended to be used compared with the way rules written thirty years later were. We know a lot more now.


Combat has so many rules because it is both contentious and consequential. If combat was not consequential, there would be no stakes, no engagement, boredom. If combat was not contentious, it is boring because all conflict has already been resolved and you have no agency.

The combat rules are roleplaying. It is a bit of egg and chicken here. Which came first, people focusing a lot of attention on combat or combat rules that put lot of emphasis on combat. It is as if, those areas of DnD that have little rules to them, because those areas were given either little contentiousness or little consequentiality.

I liked the verbal rules in ultimate intrigue, because they asserted a bit of both for fighting words.


@ Steve

I know Gygax didn't design 3.x, but those who did were people who people who understood the distinction the quote is refering to and designed it to be played the way Gygax played because they played that way too.

@Gorbacz

What is your point here? It does not counter anything I said at all. My entire point is about the rules having a use beyond acting as the basis for making all your choices. Nothing in your post contradicts that or even touches on that point at all. So what is the point you are trying to make with your post?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

@ Steve

I know Gygax didn't design 3.x, but those who did were people who people who understood the distinction the quote is refering to and designed it to be played the way Gygax played because they played that way too.

I don’t think this is correct at all. 3.0 had different design goals than OD&D and plays very differently.

They hadn’t really articulated the concept of design goals back when gygax was writing his rules.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

What is your point here? It does not counter anything I said at all. My entire point is about the rules having a use beyond acting as the basis for making all your choices. Nothing in your post contradicts that or even touches on that point at all. So what is the point you are trying to make with your post?

You haven't addressed my points (about D&D 3/3.5/PF being a tactical wargame compared to less wargame-y RPGs), instead you went on with Gygaxian design philosophy which has little bearing on 3/3.5/PF. Which I have addressed by showing you that Gygax himself considered 3ed too much combat oriented and complex. And he was right about that, the game has drastically evolved over the years, there's a reason why grognards decried 3/4ed and stuck with OSR and retroclones ... and also why many of them returned when the noticeably less wargame-y 5e rolled around.


It is my opinion that a key design goal of every edition of D&D/Pathfinder has been

"to sell the game"

and it just turned out that over time, people with better skills and talents for accomplishing that one specific goal got involved in the process.


So, about these action things that the thread is supposedly about instead of it being about the history of edition wars...

I really like the design space that Reactions opens up. It will better codify a lot of miscellaneous feats like some of the teamwork feats, counterspells, Step Up, etc. It also means that you can't stack a bunch of them together since you'll only have one Reaction available each round.


Steve Geddes wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

@ Steve

I know Gygax didn't design 3.x, but those who did were people who people who understood the distinction the quote is refering to and designed it to be played the way Gygax played because they played that way too.

I don’t think this is correct at all. 3.0 had different design goals than OD&D and plays very differently.

They hadn’t really articulated the concept of design goals back when gygax was writing his rules.

That doesn't mean much. Not articulating one's goals doesn't change the fact that one has specific reasons for designing things in a particular way, which can sometimes be understood after the fact by studying that which was designed and logically refered to as the design goals.


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Gorbacz wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

What is your point here? It does not counter anything I said at all. My entire point is about the rules having a use beyond acting as the basis for making all your choices. Nothing in your post contradicts that or even touches on that point at all. So what is the point you are trying to make with your post?

You haven't addressed my points (about D&D 3/3.5/PF being a tactical wargame compared to less wargame-y RPGs), instead you went on with Gygaxian design philosophy which has little bearing on 3/3.5/PF. Which I have addressed by showing you that Gygax himself considered 3ed too much combat oriented and complex. And he was right about that, the game has drastically evolved over the years, there's a reason why grognards decried 3/4ed and stuck with OSR and retroclones ... and also why many of them returned when the noticeably less wargame-y 5e rolled around.

Well, let's fix that.

Your assertion is based on a false presupmtion. My prior point was about the falsness of that presumtion.

You presume that a set of rules will and must be intended to be treated the same way one would treat the rules in chess.

When you realize that is false, then you should realize that a rule can serve many purposes on an entirely different spectruum from the purposes that would be considered for rules intended to be played like chess.

I haven't found a copy of 10 candles, but many times others have argued that if you want to "play the story" that you should play some system that is rules light and where the rules lack simulationism.

This is precisely what tells me they don't get it. Because it is the simulationism and crunch of d20 that makes it useful to "play the story." Without that simulationism, what is the point?

I don't play fiasco or fate or any of those other "narrative focused" games because they do not serve the purposes I need and want from a system, which is, like in my prior post, communication about the world and the characters, the mechanics that give uncertain but objective results while accounting for character capabilitiss and task difficulty. You just flat out do not get that from rules light games, and especially not from those "narrative" games.

If you design a game that has that simulationism, it will be a mid to heavy weight game with a fair bit of crunch that someone like yourself would naturally assume is a tactics game, and would spawn lots of arguements about balance among folks like yourself.

People who can not see the value of the numbers and crunch to a flavor-focused game would by their nature assume such a game to be a tactics wargame of some sort, or possibly a Sims game, after all, what other possible game would need detailed stats about what a character can do?

Folks similar to yourself also make the mistake of believing that "playing the story" is about collaboratively writing a story, and therfore place importance on the things important to making a book or movie desirable to read or watch. And alsk tend to ignore the possible desire for tools that help maintain consistency (as in, if I could lift 3000 lbs one time, then I should be able to later).

And these are just the major requirements.

Further, I did say it was a hybrid, but that wargaming was second fiddle to something else.

My desire goals for a system are,
-to describe character capabilities accurately enough to give all players similar expectations regarding those capabilities
-to include resolution system that adds some uncertainty yet accounts for character capability and task difficulty
-to include presresearched benchmarks that aid credibility and allows real world experience to hold without requiring the gm to know or research them beyond looking at the system (i.e. environmental effects, how far people can jump, etc)
-to aid in maintaining consistency with minimal effort
-to remain easy to use and simple to learn

d20 does all of those. Can you really say the same about 10 candles? I know for a fact that fiasco and fate fail.

How can a system possibily acheive these goals without looking something like a tactics game, at best with simpler combat?

If you can't achieve it without looking something like a tactics game, then looking like a tactics game is not evidence to a system's design being contrary to the above requirements.

Then you must additionally consider other goals, such as protecting spotlight balance, providing inspiration for developing new characters, and the history of using wargaming rules to start (lacking anything better at the time), and why would you expect anything else but a system that looks like d20?


thflame wrote:

I'm not a fan of how shields work currently either.

What is my character doing with his shield arm during a fight, just letting it hang there limp? Your arms can work simultaneously.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=966ulgwEcyc

Not saying PF2 has to be perfectly accurate in how it portrays combat, it's just that the way shields work now feels clumsy and video-game-y.

For me, the new shield mechanics is one of the most intriguing tidbits teased thus far. I suspect that combining this with the new action economy will mean that shield users will be able to flow between using the shield from offense to defense much more effectively. Hopefully, with far fewer feat investments as well.


I still think everyone is forgetting the fact that any damage that surpasses the Hardness of the shield when you Shield Block is dealt to the shield. This means that the shield will break very quickly, possibly in just one attack. The Shield Block reaction is essentially a trap option unless you use the Shield cantrip (and that can apparently only be cast one every 10 minutes, so you're not going to fully negate more than one attack per combat with its Hardness of 4). Shield Block is essentially limited to casters with the cantrip and pack mules with backpacks full of mundane shields.
The +2 AC is far more useful than destroying your own equipment considering that you need to stack up as many raw stat numbers as you possibly can to avoid enemy criticals and avoid critically failing yourself.


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Bloodrealm wrote:

I still think everyone is forgetting the fact that any damage that surpasses the Hardness of the shield when you Shield Block is dealt to the shield. This means that the shield will break very quickly, possibly in just one attack. The Shield Block reaction is essentially a trap option unless you use the Shield cantrip (and that can apparently only be cast one every 10 minutes, so you're not going to fully negate more than one attack per combat with its Hardness of 4). Shield Block is essentially limited to casters with the cantrip and pack mules with backpacks full of mundane shields.

The +2 AC is far more useful than destroying your own equipment considering that you need to stack up as many raw stat numbers as you possibly can to avoid enemy criticals and avoid critically failing yourself.

Without knowing the hardness and HP of shields, and the average enemy damage, it's pretty impossible to say this. Since they're completely changing shield mechanics, I would expect shield hardness and HP may be up for 'rebalancing' as well.

Also, we have no idea how difficult it will be to repair shields between battles. In the current game design, mending (or a wand of the same) could patch up a shield pretty quickly.

Finally, I think they mentioned the 'dented' condition with regards to shields in the Glass Cannon podcast, though I don't remember exactly where. It sounded to me like your shield could withstand a certain number of 'dents' before being broken, which is totally different from how sundering works currently.


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Bloodrealm wrote:

I still think everyone is forgetting the fact that any damage that surpasses the Hardness of the shield when you Shield Block is dealt to the shield. This means that the shield will break very quickly, possibly in just one attack. The Shield Block reaction is essentially a trap option unless you use the Shield cantrip (and that can apparently only be cast one every 10 minutes, so you're not going to fully negate more than one attack per combat with its Hardness of 4). Shield Block is essentially limited to casters with the cantrip and pack mules with backpacks full of mundane shields.

The +2 AC is far more useful than destroying your own equipment considering that you need to stack up as many raw stat numbers as you possibly can to avoid enemy criticals and avoid critically failing yourself.

How much do shields cost relative to healing?

How much damage do enemies do relative to shield hardness?
How easy/cheap are repairs?

There are a lot of elements at play. I’d view it as an emergency option in general, though. If you’re low on health and breaking your shield for ten health keeps you alive for a critical turn, that’s a great deal. If it only damages the shield, and you can get a second block in, all the better.

An adamantine shield could be amazing at shutting down low-damage enemies, possibly blocking nasty poison riders.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

My desire goals for a system are,
-to describe character capabilities accurately enough to give all players similar expectations regarding those capabilities
-to include resolution system that adds some uncertainty yet accounts for character capability and task difficulty
-to include presresearched benchmarks that aid credibility and allows real world experience to hold without requiring the gm to know or research them beyond looking at the system (i.e. environmental effects, how far people can jump, etc)
-to aid in maintaining consistency with minimal effort
-to remain easy to use and simple to learn

d20 does all of those.

'Xcept it doesn't.

It doesn't describe character capabilities accurately enough to give all players similar expectations regarding those capabilities - because it ignores, or glosses over, many capabilities. How do you empathize in 3rd ed.? Which stat measures your physical attractiveness? You could say "it's Charisma or Will" and then you realise that the ruleset is super detailed when it comes to turning a sword swing into numbers but surprisingly sparse when it comes to comforting a child whose dog just got killed.

It doesn't include presresearched benchmarks that aid credibility and allows real world experience to hold without requiring the gm to know or research them beyond looking at the system (i.e. environmental effects, how far people can jump, etc) - because it features a Frankenstein's monster of over-simulating some situations (walking over ledges!), under-simulating others (electricity underwater!) or just plain missing the real world by a mile (falling rules!).

It doesn't aid in maintaining consistency with minimal effort, because D&D economy is madness, D&D ecology is almost as bad, and Perception rules mean that you are unable to see the sun.

Finally, it isn't easy to use and simple to learn ... unless you're a robot, autistic, or have eidetic memory. The core rules are baroque, overtly focused on minutae of simulating shifts in temperature and suffering from the simple fact that it's Monte's classes and combat, Jonathan's skills and Skip's environmental rules glued by duct tape. I'm not even bringing up rules beyond the CRB, because then you're looking at an endless sea of subsystems, options and exceptions.

Sure, most of the above are easily fixable using a pinch of common sense, some additional rulebooks and a bunch of cooperative players ... but the point stands, the rules are highly robust and servicable when it comes to combat, but the further you wander away from the grid and minis, the more wobbly things go. Heck, because the assumption is that you do the grid and minis, you suddenly find yourself in a very strange situation when you try to Mind Theatre combat and find out that large chunks of it (AoOs, short ranges) became incredibly hard to track without visual aids.

Tactical miniatures wargame with some role playing sprinkled on the top. That's what 3/4/PF is.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

They've also already mentioned that damage to objects isn't HP based but rather a series of deterioration status. So we have to throw out any assumptions on how quickly an object will break based on how PF1 notions. We know they have hardness, we know damage in excess of hardness causes a status on the item. We have no idea how severe those are, how easy they are to repair or how many something can take until it is broken.

I'm betting the Mending spell will still be there, and will do something like remove one or more of those conditions. I see it being something you have to think about, but not a recurring problem. More "My shield can only take a few more hits guys" than "Oh bugger it broke suddenly"


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I like the sound of how shields works now, and I woulnd't mind a little rework on Armours too. You know... if I want to wear a Scale Mail because I think my character looks cool on it and don't feel like a 'non optimal criminal' for not buying the Breastplate.

Paizo Employee Designer

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William Werminster wrote:
I like the sound of how shields works now, and I woulnd't mind a little rework on Armours too. You know... if I want to wear a Scale Mail because I think my character looks cool on it and don't feel like a 'non optimal criminal' for not buying the Breastplate.

My paladin in one of the playtests was in splint mail and loving it!


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Just think about how awesome it will feel if you ever find a self-repairing or even unbreakable magic shield. Pretty sure at that point you are required to play the sound effect from the Zelda series for acquiring a new item!


Will there be a Starfinder supplement which will include Pathfinder 2e style action rules as an alternative?

I'm currently running a campaign and from a quick glance, it doesn't mess up the math too much (it favors full attacks more which I've always felt were kinda weak) and seems to not be too much of an adjustment.


Bloodrealm wrote:

I still think everyone is forgetting the fact that any damage that surpasses the Hardness of the shield when you Shield Block is dealt to the shield. This means that the shield will break very quickly, possibly in just one attack. The Shield Block reaction is essentially a trap option unless you use the Shield cantrip (and that can apparently only be cast one every 10 minutes, so you're not going to fully negate more than one attack per combat with its Hardness of 4). Shield Block is essentially limited to casters with the cantrip and pack mules with backpacks full of mundane shields.

The +2 AC is far more useful than destroying your own equipment considering that you need to stack up as many raw stat numbers as you possibly can to avoid enemy criticals and avoid critically failing yourself.

Not really. It seems like damage in excess of the shield's Hardness is passed on to the character, rather than to the shield itself. If the damage is particularly excessive the shield might take a "dent," and after enough "dents" the shield will break; but we need more info on that to decide if the dents-per-shield ratio is a good number.

Shields are still less expensive than healing potions though.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
William Werminster wrote:
I like the sound of how shields works now, and I woulnd't mind a little rework on Armours too. You know... if I want to wear a Scale Mail because I think my character looks cool on it and don't feel like a 'non optimal criminal' for not buying the Breastplate.

I think armor may have modifiers like weapons have. We've seen some weapons with Agile (take a smaller penalty when attacking multiple times), Forceful (extra damage when hitting the same target twice), and Deadly (extra damage on a crit).

Having a similar suite of modifiers for armors like Padded (reduce crit damage form Bludgeoning attacks) or Agile (easier to don and doff) could differentiate them beyond Max Dex and AC bonus.


Fuzzypaws wrote:


Shields are still less expensive than healing potions though.

Fair enough, especially given the fact that you can only activate Level + Charisma mod magic item uses per day INCLUDING potions. Shields don't have that limit. I guess everyone is lugging two or three shields around with them and using up an action and reaction every single turn forever.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:


Shields are still less expensive than healing potions though.
Fair enough, especially given the fact that you can only activate Level + Charisma mod magic item uses per day INCLUDING potions. Shields don't have that limit. I guess everyone is lugging two or three shields around with them and using up an action and reaction every single turn forever.

Someone who played at Garycon mentioned that you only have to raise the shield once, and if you aren't surprised you can do it before combat. So even if you're surprised, you only have to raise the shield in your first turn.

Now, I'm still not clear from this if the one-time shield raising is just to get your passive shield bonus. If the one-time raising also gives you "shield block" as a reaction every turn thereafter without having to spend an action on your shield, great! If to get that "shield block" reaction you have to spend an action on your turn every round... not so sure about that. But we'll see.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:


Shields are still less expensive than healing potions though.
Fair enough, especially given the fact that you can only activate Level + Charisma mod magic item uses per day INCLUDING potions. Shields don't have that limit. I guess everyone is lugging two or three shields around with them and using up an action and reaction every single turn forever.

Oh, level + Cha makes sense. Yeah, that sounds a lot better.


Bloodrealm wrote:
Fair enough, especially given the fact that you can only activate Level + Charisma mod magic item uses per day INCLUDING potions.

Wow. That sounds restrictive!


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Gorbacz wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

My desire goals for a system are,
-to describe character capabilities accurately enough to give all players similar expectations regarding those capabilities
-to include resolution system that adds some uncertainty yet accounts for character capability and task difficulty
-to include presresearched benchmarks that aid credibility and allows real world experience to hold without requiring the gm to know or research them beyond looking at the system (i.e. environmental effects, how far people can jump, etc)
-to aid in maintaining consistency with minimal effort
-to remain easy to use and simple to learn

d20 does all of those.

'Xcept it doesn't.

Your assessment is not accurate, though I freely admit that d20 is far from perfect and can indeed use plenty of improvements.

I certainly know of no other system that gets anywhere near as close as d20 while remaining as easy to use and without massive amounts of additional complexity, and many more complex systems still don't do this as well or even at all.

Quote:


It doesn't describe character capabilities accurately enough to give all players similar expectations regarding those capabilities - because it ignores, or glosses over, many capabilities.

It's called prioritizing what will likely be used more often.

Quote:


How do you empathize in 3rd ed.?

Socializing of this sort is the only aspect that needs accurate mechanics even less than combat.

A character's ability to empathize does not need a descriptor, because everybody will see ig directly in how you roleplay the character.

Quote:


Which stat measures your physical attractiveness?

Why have one? Attractiveness is highly subjective, especially with multiple species involved, and it rarely comes into play with something that needs a roll.

Quote:


You could say "it's Charisma or Will" and then you realise that the ruleset is super detailed when it comes to turning a sword swing into numbers

Hybrid system, oh, and the combat is easy and simple to create compared to everything else, and being a hybrid, having some depth to the combat is desirable.

Quote:


but surprisingly sparse when it comes to comforting a child whose dog just got killed.

What part of comforting a child requires a dice roll or a more accurate description than listening to you speak in-character comforting a child?

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It doesn't include presresearched benchmarks that aid credibility and allows real world experience to hold without requiring the gm to know or research them beyond looking at the system (i.e. environmental effects, how far people can jump, etc) - because it features a Frankenstein's monster of over-simulating some situations (walking over ledges!), under-simulating others (electricity underwater!)

So a system must be perfect in order to be designed to accomplish something?

And in 3.0, the long jump in feet was your check result minus 5, which was pretty acvurate given a 5th level character with max ranks in jump woukd get results comparable to an olympic athlete. 3.x removed the "-5" in the name of simplicity. I don't agree that was needed, but given the poor writing, perhaps some people just couldn't get it.

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or just plain missing the real world by a mile (falling rules!).

Damage as whole is very abstracted (for good reason), but falling specifically, wasn't too bad, unless you are one of the idiots that thinks an olympic athlete is level 20.

No human on real world Earth is above lvl 5. Hawking was a lvl 5 (he died today btw, at 70+ years of age when he should have been dead at 23).

And guess what, real people have indeed survived falling at terminal velocity, even getting up and walking away in some cases. Certainly rare, and lucky, but it is possible.

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It doesn't aid in maintaining consistency with minimal effort, because D&D economy is madness,

Hardly a worthy sentiment. Real world economy is stupidly difficult to model, so much so that college teaches old style techniques that are known and admitted to be wrong in the very courses that teach them.

Further, economy can be vastly different in different settings.

It honestly isn't worth trying to balance the Ironman Principle against a full economy. The cost in compksxity and sucking fun out of combat is too great.

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D&D ecology is almost as bad, and Perception rules mean that you are unable to see the sun.

Ecology, like economy, is going tk be vastly different in different settings, thus pointless to try to make an ecology. Give some tools and creatures, and let the gm work out a functioning ecology that best fits their game.

Perception, like msny others, has ease of use and common sense as considerations. A gm should not make someone roll to see the sun, therefore, inability to see the sun bevause the rules aren't perfect, should not be a problem worth fixing. The rules work well enough for the situations they are expected to be used for.

Quote:

Finally, it isn't easy to use and simple to learn ... unless you're a robot, autistic, or have eidetic memory. The core rules are baroque, overtly focused on minutae of...

The rules are easy to use (depending on how you use them) and simple to learn, however, the book, was terribly written, used poor language, and was all around a terribly built book (so bad I'd rewrite the entire thing from scratch. Indeed, I basically am at the moment, as I am making my own system). I wouldn't trust the authors to write "The sky is blue." Such incredibly bad writing can make what is easy seem very confusing.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Lady Firebird wrote:
Just think about how awesome it will feel if you ever find a self-repairing or even unbreakable magic shield.

I'm really hoping something like this is semi-readily available in the system - treating many (or even most) shields as disposable is one thing, but I'm hoping I can still have an heirloom shield, or find a legendary shield, and not have to treat it like a wand.

Grand Lodge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
syll wrote:


It isn't from only the teaser, but also the podcast. Multiple times now they have said -Fighter- gets an AoO. The -Fighter- has a charge action.

It would be very easy for Jason or someone else from Paizo to allay these fears if they are misplaced and set folks (like me) at ease.

More importantly they have said, in this very article "Not everyone will have a reaction they can use during combat"

In Jason's podcast group, the fighter is the one who had a relevant reaction in that situation (Attack of Opportunity), and only the fighter is certain to have it. Without revealing too much, at least one other class can just pick it up for a feat, and everyone else could in theory gain access if they are willing to commit to that style of play (flexibility is key for the new system!). But they might not want to do that if they have a reaction or reactions they like better, since at some point, you'll have enough reactions competing for use that you won't necessarily be prioritizing getting more of them. Whether you have a reaction to take in a given situation will depend on your choices, both in character building (did you choose that reaction ability or the cool action instead?) and in play (did you decide to use a shield, for example?).

Sounds to me like there is no "charge" action any longer. If you use more than two of your actions to move, you are "basically" charging, and we no longer have to apply AC and to-hit variables.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the fighter had a "sudden charge" ability that let him use two actions to move twice and attack.

Grand Lodge

Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Joana wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

Might be nice if Paizo could provide stat block coversions, etc. where possible from each PF1 book to PF2 for a nominal price. Anything to make this easier. What if the PDF for each of these PF1 to PF2 conversion guides was something like $3 or $4?

A GM might prefer using a single set of books for both PF1 and PF2. For example, I've got Bestiary 1 through 6. I'd probably rather consult those for both editions of the game and a conversion guide for each book providing just the new PF2 stat block for each monster and any other changes to each monster.

Or give PF1 owners a 50% price break or so on PDF files for books they own that have been modified and republished for PF2. Surely, for many books only some moderate editing will be needed to do the conversion -- and it should be done to support their current PF1 customers.

.....

So, after further thought, to be fair Paizo to your existing customers, convert the PF1 Adventures, Bestiaries, Ultimate, and other rule books to PF2. I am guessing that while game mechanics changed that a lot of the basic descriptions won't. CHARGE US ONLY FOR THE VALUE YOU ADD -- DON'T CHARGE US FOR THE PARTS THAT DON'T CHANGE. GIVE US A PRICE BREAK FOR THESE BOOKS WE ALREAY OWN IN PF1. BE TO US AND DON'T MAKE US BUY THE WHOLE THING OVER AGAIN. Expand the new books if you want.

Your video shows on the fly conversions, so doing some moderate editing on the PF1 books to create PF2 books should not be so hard. An advantage to doing that is that it become much easier for us to find things when running both PF1 and PF2 campaigns.

Making a PDF (to Paizo's standards) is not a quick and easy process. It still requires editing, layout, proofreading, etc., just like a real print book. One that is mostly statblocks is even more prone to errors: a +1 being read as a +7, for example.

Keep in mind that the free PDF Player's Guide for War for the Crown, not a crunch-heavy product, was supposed

...

This is insane. Nobody should expect a discount on a new physical product, not to mention a discount on new intellectual material. Nothing about PF 2e invalidates any of our PF 1e stuff.


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Wait, object HP is gone now? Hmm, that's troublesome...


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:


Which stat measures your physical attractiveness?
Why have one? Attractiveness is highly subjective, especially with multiple species involved, and it rarely comes into play with something that needs a roll.

Can't really comment on most of your stuff... but this one... there actually are mechanics in PF1e that do have mechanical impact entirely dependent on whether a creature finds you attractive (or at least that could find you attractive). In at least one case the ability grants a bonus to Diplomacy, Bluff, and your Save DC for language-dependent spells.


Shinigami02 wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:
Quote:


Which stat measures your physical attractiveness?
Why have one? Attractiveness is highly subjective, especially with multiple species involved, and it rarely comes into play with something that needs a roll.
Can't really comment on most of your stuff... but this one... there actually are mechanics in PF1e that do have mechanical impact entirely dependent on whether a creature finds you attractive (or at least that could find you attractive). In at least one case the ability grants a bonus to Diplomacy, Bluff, and your Save DC for language-dependent spells.

Perhaps, but as a heavily social thing that depends on far more than simple attractiveness, enough so that attractiveness istself is hardly important, especially compared to potential attraction.

Although not everyone will agree, but the original designers may have thought the same, or at least close enough to feel that including it was not worth the cost.

It should also be remembered that many, many people have been working on the rules since, and if I'm right, a good number of them have very different ideas about how to design rules.

Paizo for example, tends to treat the rules the same as rules in chess, hence my worry about 2e.


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TheAlicornSage wrote:
The rules are easy to use (depending on how you use them) and simple to learn, however, the book, was terribly written, used poor language, and was all around a terribly built book (so bad I'd rewrite the entire thing from scratch. Indeed, I basically am at the moment, as I am making my own system). I wouldn't trust the authors to write "The sky is blue." Such incredibly bad writing can make what is easy seem very confusing.

This is one of the most sensible opinions anyone has ever expressed about 3.x/PF, ever. Not everything is simple, but people way overestimate the d20 system's complexity just because most 3.x books (i.e., every one I've ever read) is either poorly laid out or there was some hidden gotcha that you don't notice unless you have the core rules practically memorized and/or you read the entire splatbook cover to cover. I think it's really telling how so many people hail 5e as a simple, intuitive system, when many of the core mechanics are identical and about half of the rest are very similar. It's just that WotC was aware that people needed to be able to use the PHB as a reference book to look up everything you need to know about a certain rule without having to do a cover-cover read. I don't like the system, but I do like the effort made to make the PHB usable in that way.


Yeah, but are they still limited by slots per day? That is a major element of d20 magic I'd like to see changed (obviously other changes would be required to balance it out with martials).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TheAlicornSage wrote:

Yeah, but are they still limited by slots per day? That is a major element of d20 magic I'd like to see changed (obviously other changes would be required to balance it out with martials).

Possibly? Although I agree that spell slots are kinda sucky (RPG I'm developing has magic work in kind of the opposite way of "martial" in that physical things require stamina that starts high and gets lower, while magic works on mana that you generally start low, as it is toxic, and build up if you think you'll need it.) Still unless they get less slots that previously it isn't a nerf like Aaron was complaining about.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed a post and a post quoting it. We understand that some of these changes to the game may be frustrating to some players, but that can be expressed while remaining civil.

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