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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
151 to 200 of 759 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I would like to see Paizo opt for more diversity in their naming conventions. 'Race Traits' and 'Racial traits' caused a lot of confusion, and I would expect to see a lot more if there are Feats, Ancestry Feats, Class Feats & Background Feats.

As someone else mentioned a precedent of 'how many actions does that action cost?' will be similarly confusing.

A distinct name for each of those things (i.e. Feats, Lineage, Talents & Traits respectively, as an off the cuff example) being used to refer to these lists individually would be nice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
Tallow wrote:
Diffan wrote:

"How about attack three times? Go ahead (but you'll take an increasing penalty for each additional attack)."

So....more punitive things for Martial characters...

*yawn* Why are weapon-based classes simply hated so much by PF?

Not sure how this is punitive. This is the exact same penalties that iterative attacks get right now. As a matter of fact, you get up to level 11 iteratives at level 1 now.
"Paizo hates martials" is really the silliest take from this. Everyone gets iterative attacks is a great thing.

*sigh* penalties on iterative attacks is a dumb thing, was a dumb thing, and apparently continues to be a dumb thing.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Could someone explain why iterative penalties are a dumb thing?

The penalty serves as an inherent reason to do more than just full attack. More than anything, Martials need better things to do and this is one step in the right direction.

Whether or not -5 and -10 are appropriate is another matter, but there may be feats/class features that reduce the penalties if you're attacking in a certain way, such as cleaving.


I'm open to this change to the action economy. I can think of a few fun ideas at using a pool general action for different combinations of action, or 2 or all of them to augment a single action in different ways.

I have a question, for the design team amd everyone else. Is there still a need to apply growing penalties to additional attacks? I would think the cost of an action to attack would be enough, and it would allow martial characters to shine where they would be most useful: attacking the enemy.

In my home campaign, I did away with penalties on interative attacks, and it didn't seem to unbalance things. Combat was a bit faster as well, as characters only had to worry about one bonus number, and they hit more often. (Penalties to 2-weapon fighting and Rapid Shot still applied)

Anyone else feel the same way?

EDIT: Ah, I didn't see that others also expressed the same feelings as me before I posted. Nice to know I'm not the only one.


Kain Gallant wrote:

I'm open to this change to the action economy. I can think of a few fun ideas at using a pool general action for different combinations of action, or 2 or all of them to augment a single action in different ways.

I have a question, for the design team amd everyone else. Is there still a need to apply growing penalties to additional attacks? I would think the cost of an action to attack would be enough, and it would allow martial characters to shine where they would be most useful: attacking the enemy.

In my home campaign, I did away with penalties on interative attacks, and it didn't seem to unbalance things. Combat was a bit faster as well, as characters only had to worry about one bonus number, and they hit more often. (Penalties to 2-weapon fighting and Rapid Shot still applied)

Anyone else feel the same way?

I do. Especially if 'minion' type monsters are going to have such a joke AC that the iterative attacks are going to hit anyway. It just seems a strange design approach- creating a symptom to treat a symptom.

The three actions seem more than limiting enough on martial characters- they need to get there, ready shields and who knows what else. Smacking them with a penalty just seems excessive, and mostly serves to bog down the flow of things.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Nomenclature question. So in Pathfinder to date I might refer to a character's choice to cast a spell, move, or drop something as "actions" since those are actions that a character is taking in the non-game-mechanical sense.

But now, casting a spell (generally) takes 2 actions, moving costs 1, and dropping something is a non-action (even though your character is acting). Since "that action costs 2 actions" sounds awkward" (sort of in the grand tradition of "we have to go up a level before we go down to the next level"), what do I call that category of "things that a character elects to do" just as a class?

Or am I just going to have to get used to "that action costs 2 actions"?

Personally they should just name this the way they seem to be trying and make it easy to understand. They are action points. You get three points on your turn to spend. then you can have a list of actions and they cost x points to do..

"How many actions is action y again?"


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Fewer action types and greater flexibility are both steps in the right direction.


In what I've heard of the podcast so far, Erik Mona's character casts acid splash. (Which, by the way, doesn't have an attack roll but allows for a save!)

It sounds like acid splash requires 2 actions to cast, specifically because it has a verbal component and a somatic component. Each COMPONENT of casting the spell cost one action. I thought that was interesting.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Dandy Lion wrote:

Could someone explain why iterative penalties are a dumb thing?

The penalty serves as an inherent reason to do more than just full attack. More than anything, Martials need better things to do and this is one step in the right direction.

Moving and taking defensive actions (like using a shield) already provide a lot of reason to do more than just full attack. In fact, the list of what counts as an 'action' leaves little room for actually attacking once you get there. Penalties on top just seems excessive. If you can actually get into position, you should be allowed to go for it without being penalized further.


25 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it would be helpful if, as a group, we stop lambasting people for being disappointed 2E is being released. No, their 1E books won't disappear, but there is definitely something to be said for active support. It is entirely reasonable for them to be disappointed, and mockery is mean-spirited and counter-productive.

I also think it would be helpful if, as a group, we refrain from referring to 2E as a "scam" or "cash grab." We will probably never know how much of the timing of 2E is for competitive reasons, but I see no reason to be cynical or assume that there isn't a genuine desire to improve the game.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Hythlodeus wrote:
croc64 wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:

wait, the 'reaction' is class based and not, say, roleplay based? I can't really decide WHAT my reaction is but have to select from a list of reactions available for the class I play? Do I understand that correctly? (might be the language barrier, who knows?)

I'm sorry, but if that's the case, that is extremely limiting, I don't see much fun in that

Language barrier, in this instance, reaction is not referring to common English. It is a term used to define actions you can take outside of your turn in combat, think attacks of opportunity. It doesn’t mean “dude calls you green, what do you do”, it means “rogue, you invested in a class feat for this, your enemy tries to drink a potion, so you want to use your reaction to attempt to steal it out of his hands?” Hope that helps clarify.

Oh THAT I got. And I stand by my first reaction that this reaction system is limiting. So let's say I play that rogue, I see that enemy drink that potion and all I can do as reaction is a steal attempt? Where are the choices? Maybe I want to shoot at the bottle, maybe I want to take advantage of the fact the enemy is occupied to retreat or attack. If I'm limited to only one possible reaction or a short list of possible reactions that is the same for every other rogue, what makes my rogue stand out? Limiting the roleplay aspect of a roleplaying game is never a good idea, even more so if I seemingly still have unlimited choices of ACTIONS I can take. "My three actions: retreat, taunt, juggle... no wait, attack, move, write a poem...no wait, paint a portait of my enemy, crush it, and hear the lamentation of his woman..."

It's not limiting roleplay though? Currently, your options to respond to an enemy chugging a potion in front of you is to attack, and that's assuming you haven't used your AoO for the round. None of this limits roleplay, and if you think it does, then this isn't a new problem for you. Combat has to have rules, and Pathfinder has *always* been a crunchier, rules focused system. Reactions are not actions, they occur (typically) outside of your turn, they themselves break the standard rules. Each round is 6 seconds, and everyone's turns go off simultaneously, and surprisingly, when you can take three actions and a reaction, there has to be rules on it. You're right, you'll need to pick feats/talents to expand your reaction options, but the new system doesn't restrict roleplay anymore than the old ones do, and they also don't limit roleplay? You can't just break the fundamental rules in the Pathfinder style of combat in the name of roleplay. I don't just get to cast shocking grasp for my turn, and then do it again on their turn as a reaction to them attacking me. If you wan't a game like that, you need to look to other systems, where that is the goal.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This sounds awesome. Looking forward to seeing the details spelled out in the playtest document!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Dandy Lion wrote:

Could someone explain why iterative penalties are a dumb thing?

The penalty serves as an inherent reason to do more than just full attack. More than anything, Martials need better things to do and this is one step in the right direction.

Whether or not -5 and -10 are appropriate is another matter, but there may be feats/class features that reduce the penalties if you're attacking in a certain way, such as cleaving.

Going by 3.5/PF, the AC of the monster doesnt change. So what happens is your lesser attacks get to a point where the modifier is practically meaningless.

Also why? From a narrative stand point, what does the penalty represent? Do monsters get better at saves the more they resist a caster? Nope. Do casters get worse attack rolls after an initial spell requires a touch attack? Nope. Its exceedingly punitive to weapon-based classes for zero reason. Not to mention the extra book keeping, because a lot of people roll all at once to save time and now you must color code which dice go with which modufier. Its needless and dumb because it lacks narrative, is extra punitive to a subset of characters, requires more unnecessary book keeping, and consumes time.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Not a fan of reactions being class specific.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
bugleyman wrote:

I think it would be helpful if, as a group, we stop lambasting people for being disappointed 2E is being released. No, their 1E books won't disappear, but there is definitely something to be said for active support. It is entirely reasonable for them to be disappointed, and mockery is mean-spirited and counter-productive.

I also think it would be helpful if, as a group, we refrain from referring to 2E as a "scam" or "cash grab." We will probably never know how much of the timing of 2E is for competitive reasons, but I see no reason to be cynical or assume that there isn't a genuine desire to improve the game.

"What makes a bugleyman turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?" ;)


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm tentatively interested in the idea of class-specific reactions. It has a lot of potential for Cool and Powerful Stuff unique to individual classes. Maybe only Fighters (and possibly Paladins?) can take a classic AoO, but maybe a Barbarian can hit you when you successfully attack her instead. Maybe a Monk can trip you when you try to move away. I like variety and class identity, but we'll have to see the specifics of what everyone can do for their reactions before judging the system.


Cyrad wrote:

I really, really, really dislike the progressive penalties for multiple attacks. Each attack having a different bonus is what bogs down combat the most with multiple attacks.

I'd prefer a uniform penalty across all attacks. It's much faster and easier to roll a handful of dice and apply the same number to each die.

...And makes more sense. You're concentrating more on trying to land one blow with a bunch of shots rather than losing your concentration.

Something I'd actually like to see is combat fatigue. Characters start to get tired in combat and need to rest. I guess the whole abstract HP terminology covers this (I've seen multiple threads on this subject) but still, I think it would be at the very least interesting to have a more concrete way of determining a character's health and stamina (like in Starfinder) to show that they are physically becoming strained. Something in the form of penalties becoming more prevalent once you drop below half HP.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Spacecaptain Pillbug Lebowski wrote:
"What makes a bugleyman turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?" ;)

LOL. Just my thoughts after reading through several hundred posts.

Obviously I haven't been around much (I gave up on 1E years ago, and the whole "no politics" thing basically removed any reason for my coming here). But as someone who wanted a 2E long before the idea was remotely popular, now that the shoe is on the other foot I feel for people who like 1E and don't want things to change.

That and I've seen enough edition wars to know that things rarely end well when reason takes a back seat to emotion.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Nomenclature question. So in Pathfinder to date I might refer to a character's choice to cast a spell, move, or drop something as "actions" since those are actions that a character is taking in the non-game-mechanical sense.

But now, casting a spell (generally) takes 2 actions, moving costs 1, and dropping something is a non-action (even though your character is acting). Since "that action costs 2 actions" sounds awkward" (sort of in the grand tradition of "we have to go up a level before we go down to the next level"), what do I call that category of "things that a character elects to do" just as a class?

Or am I just going to have to get used to "that action costs 2 actions"?

What we have to get used to is how we break down actions. Listening to the Podcast it is a bit more clear. Casting a spell itself is not an action really. The action is what you are doing to cast the spell. The reason most spells cost two actions is because you are making a Verbal and a Somatic action for the casting. 1 action for the verbal component and 1 action for the somatic.

I'm actually all for this as it makes sense as to why some spells can be done quicker and others slower. If it only has a verbal component for example, it only costs one action.


Invictus Novo wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Nomenclature question. So in Pathfinder to date I might refer to a character's choice to cast a spell, move, or drop something as "actions" since those are actions that a character is taking in the non-game-mechanical sense.

But now, casting a spell (generally) takes 2 actions, moving costs 1, and dropping something is a non-action (even though your character is acting). Since "that action costs 2 actions" sounds awkward" (sort of in the grand tradition of "we have to go up a level before we go down to the next level"), what do I call that category of "things that a character elects to do" just as a class?

Or am I just going to have to get used to "that action costs 2 actions"?

What we have to get used to is how we break down actions. Listening to the Podcast it is a bit more clear. Casting a spell itself is not an action really. The action is what you are doing to cast the spell. The reason most spells cost two actions is because you are making a Verbal and a Somatic action for the casting. 1 action for the verbal component and 1 action for the somatic.

I'm actually all for this as it makes sense as to why some spells can be done quicker and others slower. If it only has a verbal component for example, it only costs one action.

I'm wondering if Material Components would add a 3rd action. It would actually be an interesting way to break up the power scale of spells within a Spell level. Fireball is V,S and M would that be 3 Actions?

Also how is this going to interact with Still and Silent metamagic (or eschew materials)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Trastone wrote:
coxey292 wrote:


You are also giving up a huge amount of damage per hit, if damage works like PF1. A two handed build currently outpaces 1 handed by extraordinary margins. So you give up an attack, massive damage, and get +2 to AC, which is not a significant amount in comparison to the losses.
With a -10 to your last attack(the third), a shield may be well worth it!!!

Also worth considering that if you miss by 10 or more you can critically fail(and that may be bad).


As someone who was always kind of sad that the actual mechanics of spellcasting, the components etc, are always ignored in favor of, "Its a standard action, its a full round action". I love the idea of the components of spells actually having meaning again other than being used as a way to make druids take a feat, and tempting every party into grappling the Wizard boss to death.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Totes here for the shield DR. Seems like a mix of regular play and Ultimate Combat rules, only smoother.

As fir the possible absence of AoO, MnM didtched AoO, and it was exciting.
Gone was the tactical movement, and with that went the battle maps. No more drawn out turns plotting routes around enemies.
Turns were faster and the play was more engaging.

Please, try not to prejudge the playtest until the rules are out. Even then you should wait until you play with them and see the results firsthand.
It might suprise you


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I am very interested in the very active and engaged way shields work. Active defensive options rather than it just being a another flavor of armor that you strap to your arm and forget about.

Scarab Sages

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I like how people are here complaining about a rules system that we have basically zero information about.

Paizo team, I'm really excited to see how you handle 2e. I like this action economy thing, and you guys seem to really understand that one of the core elements of what is enjoyable about 1e is that it is CRAZY customizable. I'm sure you guys are doing your best to ensure a high level of character customization while making the classes very distinct.

...and if you aren't, you should do that. :P

It's also worth mentioning that, with proficiency being rolled into a new, general purpose system, things like BAB may not be a thing, especially given that the purpose of BAB in 1e is to determine iterative progression. Without that, the flat proficiency bonus works well. We may very well see clerics, paladins, and even wizards hitting as accurately as fighters with the right stats, but with different abilities that allow them to do different jobs. You might wield a longsword just fine, but because the fighter gets special fighter-y things (AoOs, feats focused around specialization/weapon utility, etc.), he's better at it for cool reasons rather than just having bigger numbers (though that may be a portion of it). And that's legit.

I also imagine spells will be reworked from the ground up (we already know that Magic Missile will work more like it does in Starfinder, which is awesome!), so we don't even have a remotely good baseline for what gish, partial, and full casters can do, so I would advise against trying to theorycraft in a void; it won't end well.

The Exchange

Greylurker wrote:
Also how is this going to interact with Still and Silent metamagic (or eschew materials)

The obvious idea that comes to mind is that they simply reduce the number of actions taken to cast a spell. Got Silent Spell and a V, S spell to cast? BAM, that's only one action now!

And as Subparhiggins mentioned, I too like this idea, as it brings the complexity of spells into more mechanical terms. Especially since actually reading some of Vance's Dying Earth stories, "fire and forget" Vancian magic makes more "sense" to me, and I actually like it a lot more than I did as a youngun.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Jason, I have only one complaint. Before I get into that, know that 2.0 sounds amazing and I am on board. But, if you're opening the patient to perform surgery as you say, I feel you missed an opportunity to change the issue of static combat. Based on what I'm seeing of the 3 action system, in an optimal combat, there is no reason not to attack 3 times. We've all been conditioned as players to buy into the Gambler's Fallacy of trying for that natural 20. There is a 5% chance that any attack will cause damage, where there is a 0% chance on any other actions.

I noticed it in the Glass Cannon Playtest after Troy used his fighter's Sudden Charge, he wanted to grapple the orc to avoid the -5 of a second attack. You told him that would still apply and what went from, what I felt like, was a more exciting decision back to just attacking being the arguably 'best' option.

I am hopeful that you've all already noticed this and I'm only seeing a narrow scope of what the new rules are about. Maybe there is a reaction with a shield that blocks a Nat 20 that doesn't confirm, making that hail marry third attack a lot less desirable. Or maybe there are actions that you can take that will deal guaranteed but weaker damage. Or maybe there are more mobile actions that set you or allies up a buff or debuff enemies.

I just hope there is something there that will reward the new player for not just fishing for that 20 on the weaker two attacks. And something that will make the seasoned munchkin feel like three swings aren't the only way to play optimally.


caps wrote:

Woo! The Unchained action economy was one of my favorite parts of the book! So happy to see that coming to PF2.

Quote:
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!
This is super scary. This goes back to what I was saying in the other thread about what I love about Pathfinder--the way I can combine different classes, archetypes, etc. to get the abilities that I want. It will kind of suck if my character can't do cool thing X because they don't have the right class. Yes, there are boundaries within reason, but they have to be thematically justified.

If they do tie many of these feats into classes during the playtest, perhaps we can nudge them into 'typed' feats like we have now, with fighters, paladins, rogues, and such qualifying for martial feats.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nemo_the_Lost wrote:
...Trepidatious is totally a word, Paizo forum spellchecker.

(The Paizo forum doesn't have a spellchecker... that's your browser, or more likely your OS.)


Tristram wrote:
caps wrote:

Woo! The Unchained action economy was one of my favorite parts of the book! So happy to see that coming to PF2.

Quote:
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!
This is super scary. This goes back to what I was saying in the other thread about what I love about Pathfinder--the way I can combine different classes, archetypes, etc. to get the abilities that I want. It will kind of suck if my character can't do cool thing X because they don't have the right class. Yes, there are boundaries within reason, but they have to be thematically justified.
If they do tie many of these feats into classes during the playtest, perhaps we can nudge them into 'typed' feats like we have now, with fighters, paladins, rogues, and such qualifying for martial feats.

now the thing I'm hoping for is that every class gets Bonus feats, the way the Fighter does now. Not all at the same pace (IE: Fighter every other level, wizard every 5, etc) Those Bonus Feats have to come from specific groups. Fighter, Paladin, Ranger might all have to take theirs from Combat Feats. Rogue, Bard maybe have to take them from Scoundrel Feats, Alchemist, Wizard and Sorcerer from Arcane Feats. and so on.

But I don't think anything stops a Wizard from using one of his normal feats (IE: Not Bonus Feats) to take a Combat or Scoundrel feat (or whatever the groups end up being called)

Grand Lodge

Sounds cool can't wait for more info on the new edition.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

19 people marked this as a favorite.

(I posted this in another thread last night, but it's very relevant here.)

I have to say, when Jason explained the new action economy to me, I didn't expect it to be a very significant improvement. But I was really, really wrong. This is probably my favorite change out of everything I've seen. It removes strategic limitations that I didn't realize had even been there. And it simultaneously increases the differentiation between characters, because it lets each character do very different things from one another each round. In play, it pushed the mechanics out of the way, and let me just go about the business of playing my character. Its very simplicity creates more opportunities for strategic complexity while actually speeding up play. It felt freeing, and it felt RIGHT. It just plain makes Pathfinder more fun, and I genuinely can't wait to play more of it.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JOButz wrote:

Jason, I have only one complaint. Before I get into that, know that 2.0 sounds amazing and I am on board. But, if you're opening the patient to perform surgery as you say, I feel you missed an opportunity to change the issue of static combat. Based on what I'm seeing of the 3 action system, in an optimal combat, there is no reason not to attack 3 times. We've all been conditioned as players to buy into the Gambler's Fallacy of trying for that natural 20. There is a 5% chance that any attack will cause damage, where there is a 0% chance on any other actions.

I noticed it in the Glass Cannon Playtest after Troy used his fighter's Sudden Charge, he wanted to grapple the orc to avoid the -5 of a second attack. You told him that would still apply and what went from, what I felt like, was a more exciting decision back to just attacking being the arguably 'best' option.

I am hopeful that you've all already noticed this and I'm only seeing a narrow scope of what the new rules are about. Maybe there is a reaction with a shield that blocks a Nat 20 that doesn't confirm, making that hail marry third attack a lot less desirable. Or maybe there are actions that you can take that will deal guaranteed but weaker damage. Or maybe there are more mobile actions that set you or allies up a buff or debuff enemies.

I just hope there is something there that will reward the new player for not just fishing for that 20 on the weaker two attacks. And something that will make the seasoned munchkin feel like three swings aren't the only way to play optimally.

I think this new system DOES deal with the static combat problem of 1E. In P1E the full attack was favored (Iterative attacks, special strikes, etc)... so combat was the 5-foot shuffle. Starfinder actually makes it more static... In SF to take your iterative attack you don't even get the 5'step.

P2E appears to allow... strike, full move, strike.... guarded step, strike, move ... move, Strike, Guarded Step to get away... etc. I think we'll see a much more dynamic battlefield.

Two what vic said... this allows strategic things you couldn't do before... I imagine the characters, darting in and taking single strikes at the big cave troll, and darting back... like in the tomb in Moria... Move action in... strike... move action out. The whole party could be doing that, the beast might get its one reaction, but it's going to have to choose who to move towards to strike on it's turn. It's a simple and obvious tactic that just was not possible in P1E (Best you could do is... move, strike... stand there and take a hit... strike, move.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
bugleyman wrote:
Fewer action types and greater flexibility are both steps in the right direction.

Exactly what I was thinking.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm interested how this will work with the swift-action-heavy classes. In 1E a magus can,

1. Swift Action enhance sword (or remember spell, many other options),
2. Cast and strike with shocking grasp,
3. Strike again, or move

In 2E, this seems like it would look like ...

1. Action to enhance sword (or recall spell, etc),
2-3. Two actions to cast and strike with shocking grasp.

The magus loses that second strike (or move or whatever). The Warpriest is also another Swift action-heavy class. Again, just curious how such a class is built around this without stunting their abilities too much.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
bugleyman wrote:

I think it would be helpful if, as a group, we stop lambasting people for being disappointed 2E is being released. No, their 1E books won't disappear, but there is definitely something to be said for active support. It is entirely reasonable for them to be disappointed, and mockery is mean-spirited and counter-productive.

I also think it would be helpful if, as a group, we refrain from referring to 2E as a "scam" or "cash grab." We will probably never know how much of the timing of 2E is for competitive reasons, but I see no reason to be cynical or assume that there isn't a genuine desire to improve the game.

Well said, all the way around.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:

(I posted this in another thread last night, but it's very relevant here.)

I have to say, when Jason explained the new action economy to me, I didn't expect it to be a very significant improvement. But I was really, really wrong. This is probably my favorite change out of everything I've seen. It removes strategic limitations that I didn't realize had even been there. And it simultaneously increases the differentiation between characters, because it lets each character do very different things from one another each round. In play, it pushed the mechanics out of the way, and let me just go about the business of playing my character. Its very simplicity creates more opportunities for strategic complexity while actually speeding up play. It felt freeing, and it felt RIGHT. It just plain makes Pathfinder more fun, and I genuinely can't wait to play more of it.

I like the system for a few reasons.

1) So often at the table I (as GM) get questions like "what kind of action is it to pick XXXX up?" or "Is sheathing a weapon a move or standard action?" or "I want to take out a potion and drink it...wait why can't I do that? Both standard actions? Ugh!" ---- I'll be happy to be able to just say that's an action, now you have 2 more.

2) I love the spell mechanics mattering again. The spell itself isn't exactly an action, but what you do to cast the spell. Verbal component = 1 action. Somatic component = 1 action. Not only does it makes sense mechanically, it also makes visualizing what is happening more interesting. Not to mention it helps balance spells out.

3) It creates combinations that just aren't normally possible in today's version. Cast a spell and attack. Possibly even cast a spell, attack, and grapple an opponent. Intimidate then trip them while they are shaken, and finally kick them while their down. All sorts of fun things are possible!

I have a question regarding #2 that I'd love to see if you can answer (if even vaguely as a teaser). I'm guessing that some spells may take longer, will they have a reason given other than "it just does?" I'm guessing that adding a material or focus component could be something that takes an action too, meaning a V,S,F spell would require 3 actions. Will material/focus components still be a thing?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RyanH wrote:

I'm interested how this will work with the swift-action-heavy classes. In 1E a magus can,

1. Swift Action enhance sword (or remember spell, many other options),
2. Cast and strike with shocking grasp,
3. Strike again, or move

In 2E, this seems like it would look like ...

1. Action to enhance sword (or recall spell, etc),
2-3. Two actions to cast and strike with shocking grasp.

The magus loses that second strike (or move or whatever). The Warpriest is also another Swift action-heavy class. Again, just curious how such a class is built around this without stunting their abilities too much.

what if the Magus could combine the Somatic component of a spell with an attack as a single Action. Similar to how the Fighter's Sudden charge gives 2 moves and an attack for only 2 actions instead of 3.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Personally I was ready for a change, and PF2 sounds good so far from what I have read, I love the new action economy!

For those who don't like the idea of PF2.0 and thinking its like 5E, it's been four years since 5E has been introduced, using history as an indicator 6E should probably be announced this summer.


I heard about 2E through watching Taking20's youtube on it and for the most part, the new action system sounds good to me. My biggest concern is in reference to the use of shields. As I understand it, it takes one of your actions to activate your shield, if you don't activate it, then you don't get the AC bonus. The problem is that this makes shield use another variable that the GM has to keep track of every round. Nothing slows down a combat more than the GM having to check once again on a player AC.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This new action system is a clear improvement over PF1. Having many types of actions, and whole tables of things classified as one or the other type of action was really making the game hard to teach to new players. It took me quite a lot of time to master back then, with 3.5 and then PF. The difference between swift and immediate action was less than obvious to the untrained, too.

I can see why one would dislike side aspects of this (like penalties to iterative attacks, although I don't have any problem with that myself). But can't imagine how anyone could say they prefer the PF1 action structure to this. Benefits in flexibility and clarity are obvious. Well done.

As a side note, I see quite a few folks are criticizing certain aspects on the basis of very partial information, often assuming the worst (from their perspective). I think in all fairness we should wait to see in full what the deal is, before passing judgment.

Paizo Employee Designer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Invictus Novo wrote:

1) So often at the table I (as GM) get questions like "what kind of action is it to pick XXXX up?" or "Is sheathing a weapon a move or standard action?" or "I want to take out a potion and drink it...wait why can't I do that? Both standard actions? Ugh!" ---- I'll be happy to be able to just say that's an action, now you have 2 more.

...

I have a question regarding #2 that I'd love to see if you can answer (if even vaguely as a teaser). I'm guessing that some spells may take longer, will they have a reason given other than "it just does?" I'm guessing that adding a material or focus component could be something that takes an action too, meaning a V,S,F spell would require 3 actions. Will material/focus components still be a thing?

In fact, all those things use the same basic action, though the potion would be 1 to draw and 1 to drink (unless, of course, you have special actions to make any of these more efficient, like the alchemist on the Glass Cannon episode drawing multiple items with 1 action).

For spells, MOST spells cost 2 actions. You've already heard ones that take a variable number of actions on Glass Cannon, like the heal spell. A spell might cost 3 if it's really going to change up the battlefield (a certain spell cast by a glabrezu in a recent playtest I ran comes to mind). And there are some spells you largely use out of combat that take a minute or longer to cast.

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jezalane Ki Nightfalcon wrote:
My biggest concern is in reference to the use of shields. As I understand it, it takes one of your actions to activate your shield, if you don't activate it, then you don't get the AC bonus. The problem is that this makes shield use another variable that the GM has to keep track of every round. Nothing slows down a combat more than the GM having to check once again on a player AC.

From how it sounded on the Glass Cannon podcast, the shield doesn't actually add to the character's AC, but instead reduces the damage from an attack, based on the hardness of the shield. It may still have an AC effect, that didn't come up in the podcast. But having the shield "just" reduce damage, and require active use to do so, makes a lot of sense when we think about how shields actually work in real life, and I think makes them more interesting as well.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
owenstreetpress wrote:
From how it sounded on the Glass Cannon podcast, the shield doesn't actually add to the character's AC, but instead reduces the damage from an attack, based on the hardness of the shield. It may still have an AC effect, that didn't come up in the podcast. But having the shield "just" reduce damage, and require active use to do so, makes a lot of sense when we think about how shields actually work in real life, and I think makes them more interesting as well.

It does both, increasing AC while raised and letting you take a shield block reaction.

Paizo Employee

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Logan Bonner wrote:
A spell might cost 3 if it's really going to change up the battlefield (a certain spell cast by a glabrezu in a recent playtest I ran comes to mind).

Yeah, that guy was a real a+#&#!!!


I wonder why nothing came up about high BAB characters being able to take more actions per round. It would make sense and would eventually let you get your 4 Iterative Attacks in (although requiring Epic levels for less than full BAB characters to get this).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can’t really know anything for sure until I’ve read the playtest, but I don’t understand why they keep the iterative attacks. Why not just get rid of the full attack with all its 0/-5/-10 and just let martial classes (or any class) attack, move and attack? In fact most of my issues have with PF has already been fixed by 5e:

- more flow to the game,
- fighters, rogues and monk rock.
- anyone can be a trap expert. Disable device etc. is not a class feature so rogues shine because they are rogues, not because they can handle traps.
- Anyone can have any skill as a class skill. Just pick a background that gives you that skill.
- pointless feat chains are gone.
- weapon finesse is gone because dex to attack and damage is tied to the weapon
- the spellcasting system is intuitive and sorcerers are not punished
- full casters don’t need a crossbow. Instead they have at will
- cantrips that get more power as they level ep
- Bard is now a full faster (but they made it a debuff class which I dislike immensely).
- Weak foes/monsters are still viable at higher levels.
- Multi classing is far more simple.
- Archetypes only gives you more, you don’t lose anything.

There are still some issues like cleric being generic, Beast master ranger being weak, some classes not having short rest rechargeable powers, unbalance feats, etc, the 3:e/PF/5e initiative system creating problems, bonus action system flawed, but overall they fixed almost everything.

I doubt our gaming group will start plating PF again. Time will tell, but if PF stick to iterative attacks ( 0/-5/-10), an unintuitive spellcasting system and an unintuitive character creating process, etc, we won’t leave 5e. At the same time I hope PF is not making the mistake and trying to become a Paizo version of 5e. The new initiative system seems very interesting, so maybe there is hope.

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks, one class getting a thing, does not mean no others also get that thing.

Be patient. We will give you a better picture of things, but we will need time to make it all clear.

Working on being patient. But such is the result of giving the info in incomplete nuggets like this.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Folks, one class getting a thing, does not mean no others also get that thing.

Be patient. We will give you a better picture of things, but we will need time to make it all clear.

Working on being patient. But such is the result of giving the info in incomplete nuggets like this.

If we could only deliver it in its entirety, we wouldn't be able to give you anything for quite a while, as it's not done yet. There's no perfect option at this point.

Your patience (and everyone else's) is appreciated!

As is your enthusiasm. The fact that even detractors are getting involved in the discussion means it's a discussion worth having. We would have been in big trouble if we announced the playtest and everyone was silent.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
JJMJester wrote:


Yeah, the 2nd Edition of Pathfinder is going to be a different animal than what currently players are use to doing today.

Yes, they have already said that as of 2019 they will no longer be making new material for Pathfinder 1st Edition but they will continue to sell the books as long as people are interested in buying them.

I have personally seen people discuss rules from Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 on Reddit messageboards recently, a whole community that never come over to Pathfinder or followed in the other editions of D&D. Base off some of the comments about this update, there is going to be a lot of people wanting to just stick with Pathfinder, just got to find a group and you're good. An RPG is not the same as a video game not having any future support, you have all the RAW material to craft/play in adventures for years.

Please don't take this post as being negative, just trying to shine some light your way.

Very true, I've watched it happen with 1st ed AD&D, 2nd Ed AD&D, 3.0, 3.5, 4th Ed, Pathfinder, 5th ed and now Pathfinder 2nd ed.

While I'm still on the fence on what I'll do when it hits, no matter what happens I'm disappointed because it will be another schism in the game. It will divide off another set of players from the whole.

All you have to do is look at conventions, leaving out organized play yet another system (that is not that different from what came before it, its all still based on the d20 OGL) for GM's to chose to run games for, which means less games of any one system, which means less opportunities to play the game I want to play.

151 to 200 of 759 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: All About Actions All Messageboards