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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This would be my wish list for available actions:

1.) If classes are going to have unique reactions options, can we please give casters the option to dispel or dampen an offensive spell? Dispel is nearly useless in combat now and I'd love to have that wizard who is able to deflect a bolt or throw up a shield effect to help out an ally. Consider being able to drop the save DC by 1-2 or drop their ranged touch attacks by 1-2 as a very thematic reaction. Maybe limit it to casters within 30ft or something like that? Perhaps you could even spend a normal action to bolster the potential reaction's effect and have cumulative effects of multiple spell casters working together in unison. Maybe you can make a caster level/concentration check for the ability to bolster the reaction mechanical impact. Perhaps there could be a cantrip that has the dampening ability to drop DCs, whereas you wait to higher levels to get a proper dispel magic spell.

2.) Please don't make a number of current free actions into actual actions. The podcast playtest seemed like there was an action to make a knowledge/seek check. Please don't do that. Its already hard enough to have PCs invest in knowledge to learn about enemies at my table. You'll just promote a smash now ask later mentality if it becomes mechanically weaker to spend actions doing some of these free actions.

3.) Just give us DEX to hit and damage as 1 feat. You already have something similar in Starfinder, where DEX to hit/damage is limited to sub optimal weapons. I'm fine with that, just don't hide it behind a 3 feat tax chain.

4.) Please give us a reasonable mechanical way of building a two weapon fighter. Its so iconic but so awful to do right now.


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QuidEst wrote:
You might even be able to do something cool like remove the limited amount of singing per day.

Obligatory Monty Python reference: If they do that, they need to make bards an exception to the guideline that eating intelligent beings is an evil act. ;)


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Rysky wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:

From the blog post:

"There are, of course, some exceptions. A few things don't take an action at all, like talking or dropping a weapon."

That seems to be saying there are VERY FEW things that take no actions, so I would not expect an ability with limited uses per day measured in rounds to be one of them.

That is an assumption you are having.

If we don't make assumptions based on the few scraps of data we have and post feedback based upon those assumptions, there is literally no point is having the playtest open for comment at this point.

Even if the assumptions are off, having feedback on players concerns and anticipations still provides something for the developers to work with (or ignore if primary systems are already set in stone, even if those systems are massively unpopular).

Liberty's Edge

Red Griffyn wrote:
2.) Please don't make a number of current free actions into actual actions. The podcast playtest seemed like there was an action to make a knowledge/seek check.

Not quite: the GM mentioned that knowledge checks and seek checks are two different things, and that a seek check was an action, but he didn't say that a knowledge check was an action. It looks like the seek check is just the same as using your action in PF1 to make a Perception check to notice something, you're just not limited to only using Perception in PF2.


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JRutterbush wrote:
It's already been stated that readying an action is one action, then taking that readied action is a reaction.

Oh, that would be different than in Unchained. Where was that stated?


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Jodokai wrote:
Something else I wanted to bring up: Unless you own every 1e book, and have played every AP, module, and PFS scenario that's ever been released for 3.5 and PF 1e, complaining about them not supporting 1e sounds like whining to me. You haven't done what's already there, why does it matter if there's nothing new?

As I've already stated: if I dislike 2e, I already own most 1e material that I have an interest in.

I'll happily spend the next decade playing through all the AP's I've never had time for. My wife will be happy I'm no longer spending too much money on new rulebooks.

If I enjoy 2e, I'll purchase and use it.


Quote:
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.

That actually sounds like quite a lot of exceptions...

Quote:
Not only does this boost your Armor Class; it also allows you to take a special reaction if you are hit by an attack.

Okay, so there are whole categories of reactions that are associated with different equipment...

Quote:
[Y]ou 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 know, this doesn't actually sound any less complicated.

I'm relatively new to Pathfinder and PFS (almost a year now, not able to play very frequently), so maybe I just haven't run into the right context. But while the 1e action system sounds quite complicated when you lay it all out, I find it reduces well to "move plus do a thing, which might also be moving, with a few exceptions". For 2e, I'll have to remember how many actions every thing takes, any class/ancestry/item abilities that modify that number because I'm sure there will be ones that do, and all the available special-case reactions associated with my classes and items and maybe ancestry. That doesn't sound easier.

I'm not necessarily saying this sounds completely unfun. I'll try not to make up my mind too completely until the playtest PDFs are at least available. But it really doesn't sound like things will be any simpler.


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Jodokai wrote:
Joana wrote:
So ... in Pf2, you could conceivably take a 5-foot- guarded step, attack, and then move up to your speed? Interesting....
I don't know if this have been covered, I've skipped a few pages, but it sounds like most AoO are going away, so why would you bother?

We have no evidence that it is going away though, just people jumping to stupid conclusions.

And even if their fears turn out to be true it was still a stupid and groundless thing to guess at given our current lack of information.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There is one thing about this new system that is giving me an inordinate amount of joy. When the time comes, and Pathfinder Second Edition is here, I will dance happily on the grave of the 5-ft.step.

The 5-ft.-step is the one rule I hate the most. Not because I wouldn't like it, I'm actually OK with the rule, but it's the one rule that players will never remember or understand (maybe except some system masters, but even many of those). I've been playing this game system for 18 years now on a regular basis, sometimes up to four times a week, and nary a session goes by without some player trying to take a 5-ft.-step when they can't anymore, or asking if they can still take one. I believe I have explained this rule more often than all the other rules combined, and come the next session, they are certain to try or ask again.

It is futile.

Players. Will. Not. Remember.

I'm so happy about the new guarded step action. You can always take it, provided you have an action remaining, regardless of what you've already done on your turn, or what you might still be going to do. (Well, yeah, unless you are prevented from moving by some effect, of course, you know.)

Simple and easy.

Hallelujah.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

If we don't make assumptions based on the few scraps of data we have and post feedback based upon those assumptions, there is literally no point is having the playtest open for comment at this point.

Even if the assumptions are off, having feedback on players concerns and anticipations still provides something for the developers to work with (or ignore if primary systems are already set in stone, even if those systems are massively unpopular).

At some point editing expediency will require that feedback is not incorporated so that a document can go to press.

I'm highly sceptical that our initial responses are weighted as much as the actual playtest feedback. While I feel as strongly about what I like and dislike as many on these forums, I suspect that little will change with the ruleset until after the PDF drops in August.

Waiting is hard! It is too bad we didn't get the full playtest details when the announcement was made. In my view this communication strategy carries more risks than the potential benefits.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had zero problem keeping the action types straight. However, it'll be nice for those who never seemed to get it after the 100th explanation. =P
I really like the reaction thing. Like Starfinder and 5E D&D.
And 10 years is an excellent run for an edition. I still think of PF as the new game. Hard to believe it's almost a decade now. I'm really excited to see the changes. I just hope the rules don't cater to the whiners ("Rogues are underpowered. Waaaah!" It's not a video game, people).


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Zaister wrote:

There is one thing about this new system that is giving me an inordinate amount of joy. When the time comes, and Pathfinder Second Edition is here, I will dance happily on the grave of the 5-ft.step.

The 5-ft.-step is the one rule I hate the most. Not because I wouldn't like it, I'm actually OK with the rule, but it's the one rule that players will never remember or understand (maybe except some system masters, but even many of those). I've been playing this game system for 18 years now on a regular basis, sometimes up to four times a week, and nary a session goes by without some player trying to take a 5-ft.-step when they can't anymore, or asking if they can still take one. I believe I have explained this rule more often than all the other rules combined, and come the next session, they are certain to try or ask again.

It is futile.

Players. Will. Not. Remember.

I'm so happy about the new guarded step action. You can always take it, provided you have an action remaining, regardless of what you've already done on your turn, or what you might still be going to do. (Well, yeah, unless you are prevented from moving by some effect, of course, you know.)

Simple and easy.
Y
Hallelujah.

What is hard to remember about 5 ft. Step rules?

It is the last thing I could think of that players would forget or not grasp.

Liberty's Edge

Zaister wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
It's already been stated that readying an action is one action, then taking that readied action is a reaction.
Oh, that would be different than in Unchained. Where was that stated?

It was mentioned in the podcast as a potential source for something to use a reaction for.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

What is hard to remember about 5 ft. Step rules?

It is the last thing I could think of that players would forget or not grasp.

Mostly the difference between "taking a move action" and "moving". (For example, "Is standing up from prone a move? Or just a move action?", and so on.)

I know it's easy. It's easy when you get it. But most players don't. Or simply won't.


My thoughts:

1) Simplifying all of the different actions down to just "Actions" sounds good. I like the idea of dumping a move for another attack, or vice versa. This adds flexibility.

2) What is this about only fighters being able to perform opportunity attacks without investing feats? This is dumb. Don't do this. There is a ton of stuff in 3.P that is locked behind feats/class abilities that really shouldn't be. If it sounds feasible for the character to do, they should be allowed to do it (or at least try). Requiring specific class features/feats to do stuff like opportunity attacks feels anti-simulationist. Let my Wizard thwack someone with their staff if they try to drink a potion next to him(assuming my Wizard isn't preoccupied concentrating on a spell.)

3) When it comes to Sword and Board and Two Weapon Fighters, their standard attack action should encompass BOTH hands. Having to burn an action on readying a shield is nonsense, especially if you have formal training (maybe you have to use an action for your shield unless you are proficient?) especially if you have done any HEMA. Your shield and sword work together to attack and close off angles simultaneously.

The same goes for TWF. If my character isn't getting any real mechanical advantage out of attacking with 2 weapons, why bother?

How I would handle S&B and TWF:

While using 2 weapons/weapon and a shield, you have 3 attack options:

a) Single attack.
b) Dual attack.
c) Attack and Block.

Single Attack lets you attack at no penalty with one hand, but you gain no benefit from your other weapon/shield, as ONE Action. Requires no feats or special training. (Essentially, this is just a standard attack. You just happen to be holding another weapon/shield.)

Dual attack gives you a slight penalty (-2?) but you may attack with each weapon (or attack with your weapon and bash with your shield) as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

Attack and Block gives you a slight penalty in your attack (-2?) and your offhand weapon/shield gives you a bonus to AC as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

As it stands, I an cautiously optimistic. I am looking forward to the playtest.


thflame wrote:

My thoughts:

1) Simplifying all of the different actions down to just "Actions" sounds good. I like the idea of dumping a move for another attack, or vice versa. This adds flexibility.

2) What is this about only fighters being able to perform opportunity attacks without investing feats? This is dumb. Don't do this. There is a ton of stuff in 3.P that is locked behind feats/class abilities that really shouldn't be. If it sounds feasible for the character to do, they should be allowed to do it (or at least try). Requiring specific class features/feats to do stuff like opportunity attacks feels anti-simulationist. Let my Wizard thwack someone with their staff if they try to drink a potion next to him(assuming my Wizard isn't preoccupied concentrating on a spell.)

3) When it comes to Sword and Board and Two Weapon Fighters, their standard attack action should encompass BOTH hands. Having to burn an action on readying a shield is nonsense, especially if you have formal training (maybe you have to use an action for your shield unless you are proficient?) especially if you have done any HEMA. Your shield and sword work together to attack and close off angles simultaneously.

The same goes for TWF. If my character isn't getting any real mechanical advantage out of attacking with 2 weapons, why bother?

How I would handle S&B and TWF:

While using 2 weapons/weapon and a shield, you have 3 attack options:

a) Single attack.
b) Dual attack.
c) Attack and Block.

Single Attack lets you attack at no penalty with one hand, but you gain no benefit from your other weapon/shield, as ONE Action. Requires no feats or special training. (Essentially, this is just a standard attack. You just happen to be holding another weapon/shield.)

Dual attack gives you a slight penalty (-2?) but you may attack with each weapon (or attack with your weapon and bash with your shield) as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

Attack and Block gives you a slight penalty in your...

Come to think of it, the AoO was specifically refered to as the ability to attack someone when they leave an adjacent square.

That kind of attack is one of the few things in PF that makes no sense. In a real battle people don't turn their backs to you and expose themselves when they turn away, they back away with their weapon or shield raised to you, so that _might_ be what they're going for.


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I am another player in love with the Unchained RAE. Seeing this change in PF2 from the get go will be an immensely good thing in my opinion. My current games haven't been using it because I didn't want to add the complexity of having to double check against something else for some of players who struggle with some things as is. But when I have played with it in use, it has been great.

As for Attacks of Opportunity now a learned instead of base Reaction from the sound of things.. I think this will still work. At the very least, you can attack twice or move/attack then ready an action to hit if your opponent drops their guard. So it is a tactical decision to either focus on your own actions or to focus on that of your opponent.

Archers vs Melee Disparity: Archers already have the advantage of standing still to get many attacks while melee has to get in close. So that isn't a new issue. In my experience with the RAE it is alleviated by more dynamic turns. The real issue will be in balancing the feat/ability choices that play into ranged attacks.

Gish and swift action characters: Will obviously be designed differently in this edition. Already, it will take less work to make a Magus style character with the base Wizard class. So a Magus class if added down the line will have unique features that play off the current system.

Fighters having easier access to things than others is a good thing in my opinion.

Looking forward to seeing the action system in action.


I'm excited to see how the new action economy winds up affecting how gish builds in P2e operate. The Bard and Magus are two of my favorite classes in P1e, and the fact that being able to attack and cast a spell in the same round is virtually inherent now is music to my ears. I'm just curious as to if/how arcane armor failure chance will come into play with potential martial caster builds until a magus-esque class gets introduced into P2e.


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thflame wrote:

My thoughts:

3) When it comes to Sword and Board and Two Weapon Fighters, their standard attack action should encompass BOTH hands. Having to burn an action on readying a shield is nonsense, especially if you have formal training (maybe you have to use an action for your shield unless you are proficient?) especially if you have done any HEMA. Your shield and sword work together to attack and close off angles simultaneously.

The same goes for TWF. If my character isn't getting any real mechanical advantage out of attacking with 2 weapons, why bother?

How I would handle S&B and TWF:

While using 2 weapons/weapon and a shield, you have 3 attack options:

a) Single attack.
b) Dual attack.
c) Attack and Block.

Single Attack lets you attack at no penalty with one hand, but you gain no benefit from your other weapon/shield, as ONE Action. Requires no feats or special training. (Essentially, this is just a standard attack. You just happen to be holding another weapon/shield.)

Dual attack gives you a slight penalty (-2?) but you may attack with each weapon (or attack with your weapon and bash with your shield) as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

Attack and Block gives you a slight penalty in your...

I think this concept is going to be easy to portray in this system. A shield isn't a passive defensive item. It is something actively use to block and shield yourself with. So option c) is one action to attack, one to defend, and the third action for movement or whatever. Option a) is essentially just attacking multiple times. The character is focusing on offense instead of offense and defense in that action. Option b) really comes down to how they handle two weapon fighting in the system.

Two weapon fighting is something that is hard to handle well in RPG systems. Holding two weapons doesn't give you more actions in real life. You already have a second hand. The second hand, empty or with a weapon, gives more options that can be in tandem with your main weapon. Locking weapons, double strikes, grappling, feints... ect. So rather than see something like extra attacks as previous D&D systems have done, I would rather see a series off hand actions to represent using your second hand more fully.


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SenahBirdR wrote:
thflame wrote:

My thoughts:

3) When it comes to Sword and Board and Two Weapon Fighters, their standard attack action should encompass BOTH hands. Having to burn an action on readying a shield is nonsense, especially if you have formal training (maybe you have to use an action for your shield unless you are proficient?) especially if you have done any HEMA. Your shield and sword work together to attack and close off angles simultaneously.

The same goes for TWF. If my character isn't getting any real mechanical advantage out of attacking with 2 weapons, why bother?

How I would handle S&B and TWF:

While using 2 weapons/weapon and a shield, you have 3 attack options:

a) Single attack.
b) Dual attack.
c) Attack and Block.

Single Attack lets you attack at no penalty with one hand, but you gain no benefit from your other weapon/shield, as ONE Action. Requires no feats or special training. (Essentially, this is just a standard attack. You just happen to be holding another weapon/shield.)

Dual attack gives you a slight penalty (-2?) but you may attack with each weapon (or attack with your weapon and bash with your shield) as ONE Action. Requires a Feat or Special Training.

Attack and Block gives you a slight penalty in your...

I think this concept is going to be easy to portray in this system. A shield isn't a passive defensive item. It is something actively use to block and shield yourself with. So option c) is one action to attack, one to defend, and the third action for movement or whatever. Option a) is essentially just attacking multiple times. The character is focusing on offense instead of offense and defense in that action. Option b) really comes down to how they handle two weapon fighting in the system.

Two weapon fighting is something that is hard to handle well in RPG systems. Holding two weapons doesn't give you more actions in real life. You already have a second hand. The second hand, empty or with a weapon, gives more options that can be in...

I would actually love to see an expansion of the shield mechanic to also include something like a parrying dagger. Rapier and dagger two-weapon fighting has gone under-represented (in general) for far too long, and reactions like this is just begging for the inclusion of a parrying dagger mechanic!


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Greylurker wrote:

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.

That's makes no since, actions are doing something in a space of time, I can talk and wiggle my fingers at the same time, why would a verbal and a somatic require separate actions?


Notsonoble wrote:
Greylurker wrote:

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.

That's makes no since, actions are doing something in a space of time, I can talk and wiggle my fingers at the same time, why would a verbal and a somatic require separate actions?

I think a solid justification for it would be that, because you have to focus on two different components, which I would like to think is more complex than just saying "bippity boppity boop" and snapping your fingers, you have to dedicate more time to making sure both components aren't done hastily and would actually result in a spell being cast successfully.


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:

Come to think of it, the AoO was specifically refered to as the ability to attack someone when they leave an adjacent square.

That kind of attack is one of the few things in PF that makes no sense. In a real battle people don't turn their backs to you and expose themselves when they turn away, they back away with their weapon or shield raised to you, so that _might_ be what they're going for.

I was thinking more of the idea that somebody tries to do something next to you that leaves them open to being smacked so you get to smack them. Anything where your character could reasonably assert, "I'm not just going to stand there and let them do this" should probably provoke an attack (or something else.)

As far as running away provoking, I have a personal house rule that makes the first step of movement never provoke. This makes movement based AoOs only apply when someone tries to run past you, which I think is the intention of the rule anyway.


The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Jodokai wrote:
Joana wrote:
So ... in Pf2, you could conceivably take a 5-foot- guarded step, attack, and then move up to your speed? Interesting....
I don't know if this have been covered, I've skipped a few pages, but it sounds like most AoO are going away, so why would you bother?

We have no evidence that it is going away though, just people jumping to stupid conclusions.

And even if their fears turn out to be true it was still a stupid and groundless thing to guess at given our current lack of information.

I pointed out to you already that we have the podcast, this article AND dev confirmation in this thread of this.

Paizo Employee Designer

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It's cool to see all the different ideas, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get a riposte whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!

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I like the idea of a wide variety of reactions! Especially with both trigger and action options.

My witch killer slayer would definitely have the magic-hating reaction.

I'm still marveling a bit at how these might make combat more interesting. In PF1e, I hardly ever use AoOs. Three or four PCs get into melee with the BBEG and the five-foot shuffle begins. It's usually not worth triggering three or four attacks to do much else. My BBEG is more likely to provoke if just the fighter is guaranteed an AoO, and even better if I can make him choose between using his shield and making an extra attack. And other characters are more likely to have their reactions go off if they trigger on different actions. Overall, every has more options and gets more use out of those options.


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I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
another might be so skilled at combat that they get a riposte whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more!

You've just sold me. That's what I needed to hear.

Really appreciate you all taking the time to come out and provide answers to our shouted speculation.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pappy wrote:

I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.

Nobody's making anybody run in circles, they're all doing that themselves.


JRutterbush wrote:
Pappy wrote:

I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.

Nobody's making anybody run in circles, they're all doing that themselves.

I agree with you. It is a perfectly understandable response. Wouldn't you agree that discussing the actual rules of the playtest be more productive?

Of course that assumes that we have said rules over which to obsess.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Jodokai wrote:
Something else I wanted to bring up: Unless you own every 1e book, and have played every AP, module, and PFS scenario that's ever been released for 3.5 and PF 1e, complaining about them not supporting 1e sounds like whining to me. You haven't done what's already there, why does it matter if there's nothing new?

As I've already stated: if I dislike 2e, I already own most 1e material that I have an interest in.

I'll happily spend the next decade playing through all the AP's I've never had time for. My wife will be happy I'm no longer spending too much money on new rulebooks.

If I enjoy 2e, I'll purchase and use it.

That's too reasonable. This is the Internet. You have to choose: irrationally hate it or irrationally love it, before it even comes out


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different ideas, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get an attack whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!

I'm really glad you are part of this, Mark. Your posts are always great


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pappy wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Pappy wrote:

I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.

Nobody's making anybody run in circles, they're all doing that themselves.

I agree with you. It is a perfectly understandable response. Wouldn't you agree that discussing the actual rules of the playtest be more productive?

Of course that assumes that we have said rules over which to obsess.

I think we would all rather have the rules in hand now, but given that the only other options are giving us a vague heads up with nothing or just dropping it on us like a load of bricks in August... The slow roll out of information is better.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Renraku wrote:
Pappy wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Pappy wrote:

I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.

Nobody's making anybody run in circles, they're all doing that themselves.

I agree with you. It is a perfectly understandable response. Wouldn't you agree that discussing the actual rules of the playtest be more productive?

Of course that assumes that we have said rules over which to obsess.

I think we would all rather have the rules in hand now, but given that the only other options are giving us a vague heads up with nothing or just dropping it on us like a load of bricks in August... The slow roll out of information is better.

Not to mention, with the slow roll out approach, it enables them to gauge opinions on separate mechanics one at a time so they can take it into consideration accordingly


You may very well be right that a teaser communication strategy is better than a big data dump. I'm simply not a fan of this strategy when we are dealing with a product that is intended to be tested by a large (and very passionate) customer base.


Friendly Rogue wrote:
Renraku wrote:
Pappy wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Pappy wrote:

I'm not sure that having us run in circles speculating what your design may or may not include is a great use of the goodwill of your customers.

Nobody's making anybody run in circles, they're all doing that themselves.

I agree with you. It is a perfectly understandable response. Wouldn't you agree that discussing the actual rules of the playtest be more productive?

Of course that assumes that we have said rules over which to obsess.

I think we would all rather have the rules in hand now, but given that the only other options are giving us a vague heads up with nothing or just dropping it on us like a load of bricks in August... The slow roll out of information is better.
Not to mention, with the slow roll out approach, it enables them to gauge opinions on separate mechanics one at a time so they can take it into consideration accordingly

A valid point for sure. I think that the opinions that you mention on seperate mechanics will be so much better formed if the mechanics are evaluated as part of a total system rather than in isolation.


Jason, I'd like to know if PF2 will be more "theater of mind"-friendly or if the focus will stay on tactical rules.

I love the action economy and everything i've read so far… Smart, practical and fun. AND this comes from a PF1 kinda hater (but still supporting for the quality which is exceptional) and Starfinder enthusiast xD

I would only like to know if the game will be more open ended for us non-tactical GMs.

Cheers!


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Pappy wrote:
A valid point for sure. I think that the opinions that you mention on separate mechanics will be so much better formed if the mechanics are evaluated as part of a total system rather than in isolation.

The cynical part of me might think that this is deliberate so they get the "I like <this> interpretation of the mechanic" but "do not like <that> interpretation of the mechanic" that you wouldn't get if the mechanic was completely defined.

Heh, like I said the cynical part of me.

-- david


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think one thing to keep in mind is that actions and turns are nebulously simultaneous. Turns, rounds, actions, initiative, ect are all abstractions to provide structure to the chaos. Narratively each character isn't spending 6 seconds doing something, then waiting around 6 seconds time the number of other characters to do something.

Hopefully in PF2 this is better emphasized and actions can be simultaneous or sequential as the needs of the moment require. Think of the three actions as how much concentration is required. When spell casting you don't do the chant then the gestures, you do them both at the same time but it takes two actions because they are both complex procedures requiring focus.I think this is a better way to translate the structure of the rules into the narration of the action.

I already house ruled this into games that I have run, original 3.x action economy or RAE. Yes, this effectively eliminates Shot on the Run and such but it feels more natural for less experienced players when describing what they want to do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pappy wrote:
You may very well be right that a teaser communication strategy is better than a big data dump. I'm simply not a fan of this strategy when we are dealing with a product that is intended to be tested by a large (and very passionate) customer base.

I don't disagree with you, but given that the actual testing isn't opening till august. The largest issue with the slow roll out till testing is the passionate player base needing to be patient... something, admittedly, I am not good at.

Consider the roll out a necessary evil =/

I don't like it either, but I get that it needs to be a thing.


Nathanael Love wrote:
Jodokai wrote:
Something else I wanted to bring up: Unless you own every 1e book, and have played every AP, module, and PFS scenario that's ever been released for 3.5 and PF 1e, complaining about them not supporting 1e sounds like whining to me. You haven't done what's already there, why does it matter if there's nothing new?

Because if all the PFS tables switch to PF2 you don't get to play them?

If at GenCon 2019 (or 2020) the Paizo room is all PF2 tables, then PF1 players are excluded from GenCon, for instance.

People are still playing 2nd edition D&D and that's been out of print going on 20 years, so those are some pretty big "ifs" to get wrapped up about.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different ideas, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get a riposte whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!

what about spellcasters possibly having "counterspell" reactions?

Paizo Employee Designer

21 people marked this as a favorite.
Renraku wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different ideas, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get a riposte whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!
what about spellcasters possibly having "counterspell" reactions?

My magic 8-ball says "Outcome seems likely."


Renraku wrote:
Pappy wrote:
You may very well be right that a teaser communication strategy is better than a big data dump. I'm simply not a fan of this strategy when we are dealing with a product that is intended to be tested by a large (and very passionate) customer base.

I don't disagree with you, but given that the actual testing isn't opening till august. The largest issue with the slow roll out till testing is the passionate player base needing to be patient... something, admittedly, I am not good at.

Consider the roll out a necessary evil =/

I don't like it either, but I get that it needs to be a thing.

You have touched on perhaps the biggest frustration that I have. A 5 month information drip schedule seems long to me if the edition is far enough along to have podcasts of players already playing it.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

4 months, 3 weeks, 4 days. >_>

*tries to be patient*


Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different speculation, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get an attack whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!

Let me get this straight. If I want to be able to stop a guy from drinking a potion or casting a spell right next to me, I either have to have special training to react to this situation, or I have to devote part of my turn to preparing to interrupt the action?

Are there going to be penalties to performing actions that would normally provoke an opportunity attack? (Like casting defensively)

It feels kinda video game-y to just have to stand there while someone does something utterly defenseless because I lack special training.

I don't see what is so special about swinging your sword at someone who let's their guard down.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pappy wrote:
Renraku wrote:
Pappy wrote:
You may very well be right that a teaser communication strategy is better than a big data dump. I'm simply not a fan of this strategy when we are dealing with a product that is intended to be tested by a large (and very passionate) customer base.

I don't disagree with you, but given that the actual testing isn't opening till august. The largest issue with the slow roll out till testing is the passionate player base needing to be patient... something, admittedly, I am not good at.

Consider the roll out a necessary evil =/

I don't like it either, but I get that it needs to be a thing.

You have touched on perhaps the biggest frustration that I have. A 5 month information drip schedule seems long to me if the edition is far enough along to have podcasts of players already playing it.

One podcast run by the lead developer, from rules collected in a big binder. Specifically as a marketing strategy so that people could hear an example of possible play.

It will be interesting to listen to it again in a year and a half’s time when the full game is released to see how much changed in that time :-)

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Woodoodoo wrote:
LuniasM wrote:
I've tried to teach many new players Pathfinder and it's a pretty daunting prospect in most cases, to the point that I teach my current group rules as they come up rather than trying to get them to learn everything. I'm all for a system that's easier to teach, pick up, and play.
What? Teaching people the game as the rules come up is literally the best way to teach it. Learn by playing

Weeeeeell, you see, the thing is, um...

My first experience playing / learning Pathfinder was about 5 1/2 years ago when I purchased a set of dice and hardback copy of the CRB and read it front-to-back about 3 times in the span of a week, built test characters to determine if I had done it right, and came to the first meeting of a tabletop club on campus prepared with extra blank sheets just in case anyone else forgot them. I wanted to make sure that I understood how to play and came ready and armed with the knowledge that I knew what I was doing. And that's the story of how I became GM before I was even a player.

Reading these things all the way through in an attempt to understand how they work before playing is just how I do it personally. It took a while before I figured out that was maybe not the best way to teach it. Whoops.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Renraku wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's cool to see all the different ideas, particular those in this thread who were clever enough to predict that "Attack of Opportunity" might have some extra benefits now for fighter and friends, and that someone dedicated to interrupting without that reaction could ready an action. AoOs are pretty nice at interrupting actions nowadays, and they're not the only game in town for these kind of "attack when the enemy does something particular" reactions; they're just the one that's most recognizable. A certain character might hate magic enough to attack whenever someone casts any spell, even one they thought was safe, and another might be so skilled at combat that they get a riposte whenever an opponent misses them by 10 or more! The reaction system allows characters to have all sorts of different reactions that surprise and confound their foes!
what about spellcasters possibly having "counterspell" reactions?
My magic 8-ball says "Outcome seems likely."

I wish I could Favorite this post more than once. I've been dying for a good counterspell system since the first time I played a Wizard. Definitely interested in seeing implementation, but moving it to a reaction seems like a good first step.

Dark Archive

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Throne wrote:
Gut feeling is that people who like/can tolerate Starfinder will get on with this, but people who actually enjoy Pathfinder will find themselves needing to find another game.

Lucky me, I get to genuinely enjoy both. Huzzah!

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