Pathfinder Playtest: Return to the Crypt

Friday, March 9, 2018

As part of our announcement for Pathfinder Second Edition, we recorded a game session with the hilarious crew from the Glass Cannon Network. They were kind enough to invite us to their studio in New York, where Erik Mona and I playtested the game with them, converting the first ever Pathfinder Module, Crypt of the Everflame, to the new rules.

Because this was a live session, and because I was converting this adventure "on the fly," I thought it might be useful to all the listeners out there to include a companion blog post that explores some of the spoilers from the recording and corrects a few of the mistakes that we made during play.

Note that the following commentary includes spoilers, so if you have not listened to the podcast, you should probably go and download it from the Glass Cannon Network site right now (or from wherever you subscribe to podcasts). Entries include an approximate time stamp to let you know at what point they happen during the session.

Commentary for Part 1

This commentary refers to the first part of the podcast.

  • (03:00) I should note that the new version of Pathfinder has been in design now for well over two years. The first playtest of the core mechanics was only a few months into the design process, back in 2016.
  • (04:00) Obligatory Princess Bride reference.
  • (04:40) The only preparation for this adventure was to pull together existing monster statistics that correspond to those in the adventure. So, if the adventure featured wolves, the document I had with me had the new wolf stat block. Nothing else was converted—not the traps, random skill challenges, or monsters—without a corresponding converted stat block.
  • (06:00) This is the actual beginning of the module, starting with player and character introductions and the reveal of the adventure they are about to undertake. For ease of reference, the players and their characters listed here:

    Pherise (Matthew Capodicasa), Elf Rogue
    Mamolo Blunch (Skid Maher), Goblin Alchemist
    Keith Slashmaster (Troy Lavallee), Human Fighter
    Grellun the Green (Erik Mona), Human Wizard,
    Emmerich Kant (Joe O'Brien), Human Paladin
    Sifferus Sufferas the Vociferous (Grant Berger), Human Cleric

  • (31:40) The first skill check in the game is a Society check. This skill covers knowledge about towns, people, their customs, and their history. The information they are looking for here is relatively common knowledge, and the number they needed to roll (the Difficulty Class) is only a 10. Keith (Troy) fumbled the check and got false information, which was quickly debunked by the others.
  • (35:30) The party leaves town, entering exploration mode as they venture into the Fangwood.
  • (39:00) Erik, playing Grellun, just starts reading the spell descriptions from his character folio. Of note, when he reads off acid splash, he mentions "somatic" and "verbal," which does not seem to be much of a spoiler, but those are actually the names of the two actions you must spend to cast the spell!
  • (39:50) To keep the adventure moving along, in the hope to make this only a few hours long in total, there are a number of minor encounters that get skipped. During the journey, for example, I left out the encounter with the wolves, as it is ultimately unnecessary to the overall plot. Of course, the game still ran extremely long, due in large part to the fact that we were just having too much fun.
  • (40:10) Here we have the first fight of the game, against a trio of bloodthirsty orcs.
  • (43:50) That's right, Perception is no longer a skill. Your class gives you an initial proficiency in Perception and might possibly increase it over time.
  • (47:30) A note on attacking more than once in a round. If he had attacked with all three of his actions, the third attack would have been at an even larger penalty.
  • (54:10) Most of the maneuvers—grabbing, disarming, tumbling, and tripping—are now associated with the Acrobatics or Athletics skills.
  • (59:00) As the fight rages on, it quickly becomes apparent to some of the characters that these orcs are not real. Created by illusion magic, they vanish the moment they are struck. These phantom foes are created using a new spell called illusory creature. Created by a hidden wizard, these orcs are bit more difficult to hit than ordinary foes, basing their statistics on the caster. The fact that they are a spell also explains why they have only two actions each turn and hit for so little damage (all of which is halved once the illusion is revealed).
  • (1:05:30) The developers made me change that back. Neon green dice once again roll just as well as any other color of dice.
  • (1:07:20) Nimble Dodge has seen a lot of play in office playtests and has saved the lives of countless rogues.
  • (1:11:40) The characters in this playtest have decent bonuses to attack, but that is of little help when everyone is rolling lower than 10. No amount of redesign can account for fickle dice.
  • (1:16:00) A note on flanking. I made a small error here. Flanking does not grant you a +2 bonus to hit. Instead, it now makes the target flat-footed to your attacks, causing it to take a –2 penalty to its AC. It's the same result, but the distinction is relevant.

Commentary for Part 2

  • (02:30) I call that a skill unlock, which is an old term for what we now call a skill feat, which characters get starting at 2nd level.
  • (05:00) Small mistake here. The three-action casting of heal does indeed target everyone in the group, but it heals only an amount equal to the caster's spellcasting ability modifier at this level (which should be only 4).
  • (07:10) I probably should have waited until he rolled to announce the result.
  • (11:10) The Survival skill can be used to navigate in the wild, make a shelter, and find food. In this case, instead of making shelter, the skill was used to simply find a good, defensible place to camp.
  • (14:10) Remnants of the wolf encounter that I decided to skip to keep things moving.
  • (19:00) Okay, I admit, my description of the body may have been a bit too detailed, but it is important for the tone shift that happens at this point in the adventure. Things are starting to get serious.
  • (21:10) This really does begin to show the relationship between proficiencies and crafting that will undoubtedly be the topic of a future blog post. Suffice it to say, the higher your proficiency, the higher the quality of the items that you can craft.
  • (23:50) For clarity, there is a pair of puncture wounds on the upper torso and another on the lower torso. The punctures are about an inch in diameter, with the pair about 12 inches apart.
  • (24:20) The only way the illusion is detected is if it is lower-level than the detection spell. If it is of the same level, it is unnoticed.
  • (36:10) In converting this particular hazard, I treated the various results on the table as the failure, critical failure, success, and critical success results of the new effect. The DC was changed to 15. I modified the damage a little, but the only other significant change was to remove the ability damage from the critical failure effect, replacing it with a condition to represent a sprained ankle.
  • (46:10) If this were during combat, when time was short, I could have called for an Athletics skill check to move the horse carcass, instead of just looking at their Strength scores and figuring out how much spare bulk they had to move it around.
  • (51:50) Repeated the mistake here with heal again. It should have been only 4 points restored.
  • (55:10) The skeletons here are not very powerful undead, but in large numbers like this, they can be deadly. Most problematic, they have resistance 5 to weapon damage, but they still have a weakness to bludgeoning, which can cancel out that protection.
  • (1:01:20) Skeletons also have resistance 5 against fire damage.
  • (1:05:25) Claws are agile weapons, which is why the skeletons use them as their second attack, reducing the penalty on the attack roll to –4.
  • (1:09:00) The Shield Block reaction is very powerful, preventing damage by forcing the foe to beat its way through your protection. It does mean that warriors tend to go through shields with some frequency.
  • (1:11:00) The shield spell is also a cantrip, meaning that you can cast it as often as you like.
  • (1:13:30) Explaining the confusion, there was an earlier draft of acid splash that hit multiple targets. That is no longer the case.
  • (1:16:10) Troy just cannot roll above a 5 in this fight.
  • (1:19:00) I finally realized that I was doing the heal spell wrong, and then promptly missed the part where the skeletons should get a save against the effect. Fortunately, it didn't matter much; they were all pretty damaged at this point.
  • (1:21:45) Sweeping the leg is probably an Athletics skill check...
  • (1:24:50) There are two doors leading out of the room: one to the east, one to the west. The scream came from the west. Somewhere in the dungeon, a tortured soul calls out for help.

That wraps up this look at the first part of the playtest podcast with the Glass Cannon Network. Stop by on Monday when we will be investigating how you level up using the new rules!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I really hope sub-10 stats aren't handled the way they are in Starfinder. I liked being able to play characters with those sort of flaws without getting a bunch of peer pressure about "the intentionally crippled character ruining the party's efficiency".

(I have Thoughts about the way it feels like Starfinder is forcing me into optimization, and the carefully managed and focused numbers making character design feel tightly constrained. I'm a bit worried about getting that feeling here. But that's a much longer post, and one that calls for more sleep first.)

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

I really hope sub-10 stats aren't handled the way they are in Starfinder. I liked being able to play characters with those sort of flaws without getting a bunch of peer pressure about "the intentionally crippled character ruining the party's efficiency".

(I have Thoughts about the way it feels like Starfinder is forcing me into optimization, and the carefully managed and focused numbers making character design feel tightly constrained. I'm a bit worried about getting that feeling here. But that's a much longer post, and one that calls for more sleep first.)

Ditto.

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Still not loving the penalty for second and third attacks. The penalties have potential to render these attacks meaningless. I’m still in favour of no penalty, especially if the -5 penalty is then further modified by other factors, like agile weapons. Why not let agile weapons simply employ dex for attacks and damage by default, then Skeletons, for example, would need to decide between a weapon for strength at lower attack and higher damage or agile claws at higher attack and lower damage.

I’ll be keen to see how agile weapons work in the final playtest, a reduction of -1 to the penalty is great at low levels and amounts to naught at higher levels when your static bonuses are usually much higher.

On a different note the changes to magic have me intrigued, in a good way, and the new skills seem better; smoother and more streamlined.

I too hope we don’t get a oversimplified system like 5e. I like my characters to feel like they improve as they level up and I like a little more complexity in the system (where it makes sense).

On a personal note I think detect magic should work on illusions of an equal level or lower. It feels like a penalty otherwise. My detect magic can not see through you illusion because you are just as powerful as me? Hmm? Leaves room for a feat/skill etc that increases the effective level of the illusion to obscure you illusions from casters just as powerful as you. I know it’s loosely implied and opposed check, or check could be used at equal levels but that has an inbuilt complication since the PCs will now be clued in to the fact that there’s an illusion there.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:

I really hope sub-10 stats aren't handled the way they are in Starfinder. I liked being able to play characters with those sort of flaws without getting a bunch of peer pressure about "the intentionally crippled character ruining the party's efficiency".

(I have Thoughts about the way it feels like Starfinder is forcing me into optimization, and the carefully managed and focused numbers making character design feel tightly constrained. I'm a bit worried about getting that feeling here. But that's a much longer post, and one that calls for more sleep first.)

I really like the way star finder does stats, both the generation and the leveling up every 5th level. I like that it encourages you to spread points among stats more.

I do come from a long background of players reducing stats below ten just to get that extra 3 points to raise their primary stat, the getting a little annoyed when they’re in situations where the 7 becomes a problem. It’s a pet peeve so I’m probably in a category of one here.

Also... where is the miniatures blog? I miss my little plastic children.


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Kalindlara wrote:

I really hope sub-10 stats aren't handled the way they are in Starfinder. I liked being able to play characters with those sort of flaws without getting a bunch of peer pressure about "the intentionally crippled character ruining the party's efficiency".

I don't see how that character reduce the party's efficiency.

Player A picks 10 in STR, 18 DEX , 10 CON 12 INT and 12 WIS, with 10 in Cha.

Player B picks 10 in STR, 18 DEX, 10 CON 12 INT and 12 WIS, with a 7 in Cha.

Player B has exactly the same combat efficiency in everything, except he is shy, or ugly, or whatever is the reason why you wanted to play with a 7 in charisma.

Now, of course, player B could put those 3 points from carisma into CON, having more hit points. THen he will be BETTER than player A at "party's efficiency", because what he dumps is in no way as good as what he gets from relocating those points. Which is the real reason why soooo many builds include CHA 7, it's not because there is a giant fan base of shy people and everybody wants to roleplay them. It's because you can get extra hp by trading out a really minor penalty.

In fact, I feel that the "peer pressure" is the other way around. If you happen to build, let's say, a fighter who "wastes" points in Charisma, the "peer pressure" will tell you to dump charisma and raise strength, because you are "ruining the party efficiency with your intentionally crippled fighter".

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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Meadow lark wrote:

it does not sound too bad, can I make one request!

DON'T SCREW THIS UP!!! I have real concerns that you are going to make this like 5E. The simplifying of things is good, the action economy has promise.

I like the removal of initiative and the use of other skills for initiative but it does seem clunky ie the GM will need to spend time asking everyone what they are doing this will be both good and bad.

I would like something like the crypt released as a proper PF2 module in the playtest so people can give it a proper workout.

You should watch or listen to the Know Direction podcast from Thursday. Erik Mona and Logan Bonner provide a ton of information about the design philosophy. Erik explains clearly that this will not be "just like 5e" and also explains why some things may seem similar to 5e, even though their design process didn't involve any comparison to what 5e did.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cat-thulhu wrote:
I know it’s loosely implied and opposed check, or check could be used at equal levels but that has an inbuilt complication since the PCs will now be clued in to the fact that there’s an illusion there.

The GM could always roll in secret the same way he does for traps and such things


Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
They use skills for initiative?

I think that is kind of a neat way of doing it so long as your players don't spend all their out of combat time primed for best initiative.

also means that Ambush by sneaky monsters is going to put the group on the defensive more often than not.

do we know if there is such thing as a Surprise round still?

The Exchange

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JRutterbush wrote:
I'll see Vancian magic die one of these days.

I don't remember where I read it, I think it was one of the designers on D&D 5e in an interview or something, but somebody once pointed out that Vancian magic is pretty essential to what makes D&D, well, D&D. Nobody else has a system of magic like that.

Of course, Pathfinder isn't D&D, and isn't necessarily beholden to those same traditions, but it is in the D&D genealogy, and as such I think Vancian magic feels "right" for it. Plus, removing it would require rebuilding the magic system from the ground up in order to keep it even remotely balanced with martial classes.

Not that I necessarily love Vancian magic, it took me over 20 years to finally accept it, namely after I actually read the first two books in the Dying Earth series. While D&D and Pathfinder never really explained it in a meaningful way, Vance's description, that spells are essentially so complex that you have to do all the maths first, then basically just keep the solution to the formula in your head until you cast it, makes a lot of sense to me.

Actually, having a better description, narratively, of how magic works might be a step in the right direction. Even in the 5e days of "Vancian magic is as D&D as classes and levels" it still hasn't been explained in a way that people who haven't read a lesser-known author can easily grok.

Liberty's Edge

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owenstreetpress wrote:
Nobody else has a system of magic like that.

That doesn't make it a good system.


"should note that the new version of Pathfinder has been in design now for well over two years. The first playtest of the core mechanics was only a few months into the design process, back in 2016."

So the audio I listened to was from 2016? I'm confused by this statement

Liberty's Edge

bonebrah wrote:

"should note that the new version of Pathfinder has been in design now for well over two years. The first playtest of the core mechanics was only a few months into the design process, back in 2016."

So the audio I listened to was from 2016? I'm confused by this statement

The Glass Cannon podcast wasn't first playtest, just the first one we heard.


bonebrah wrote:

"should note that the new version of Pathfinder has been in design now for well over two years. The first playtest of the core mechanics was only a few months into the design process, back in 2016."

So the audio I listened to was from 2016? I'm confused by this statement

Internal Paizo staff play tests happened in 2016.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
JRutterbush wrote:
bonebrah wrote:

"should note that the new version of Pathfinder has been in design now for well over two years. The first playtest of the core mechanics was only a few months into the design process, back in 2016."

So the audio I listened to was from 2016? I'm confused by this statement

The Glass Cannon podcast wasn't first playtest, just the first one we heard.

It was the first *external* playtest.


So, does flanking ONLY reduce target AC by -2, or is Dexterity also removed? If not, I already hear my Rogue's odds of hitting plummeting...


why would flanking remove Dex from AC? It never did anything like that in PF1e and Rogues could still hit well enough.

Liberty's Edge

Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
So, does flanking ONLY reduce target AC by -2, or is Dexterity also removed? If not, I already hear my Rogue's odds of hitting plummeting...

Don't worry, your Rogue is no longer a 3/4 BAB class, they get the same level bonus to attacks as a Fighter, just with their own set of weapons.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've only listened to the first half of the podcast. Do we have any indication if sneak-attack dice are still a thing? I missed them in Starfinder.


Shinigami02 wrote:
why would flanking remove Dex from AC? It never did anything like that in PF1e and Rogues could still hit well enough.

Apologies, I meant Flatfooted, and they stated that Flanking now applies the Flatfooted condition. Also, lol, Rogues ever hitting anything... I always *plinked* off the impervious adamantine walls that were the enemies.


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Joana wrote:
I've only listened to the first half of the podcast. Do we have any indication if sneak-attack dice are still a thing? I missed them in Starfinder.

It is and it doubles on a crit.


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
why would flanking remove Dex from AC? It never did anything like that in PF1e and Rogues could still hit well enough.
Apologies, I meant Flatfooted, and they stated that Flanking now applies the Flatfooted condition. Also, lol, Rogues ever hitting anything... I always *plinked* off the impervious adamantine walls that were the enemies.

There is no "flat-footed AC" anymore from what I heard. Being unaware gives you a penalty to AC, but it's not about your DEX... or something like that.


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Will admit to being a little concerned about the +Level modifier to Skills. Particularly as it would seem to aggrevate existing problems related to DC numbers and the ability to perform essential tasks at different levels.

Would almost prefer an AD&D style proficiency system where the numbers are a bit flatter.


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
why would flanking remove Dex from AC? It never did anything like that in PF1e and Rogues could still hit well enough.
Apologies, I meant Flatfooted, and they stated that Flanking now applies the Flatfooted condition. Also, lol, Rogues ever hitting anything... I always *plinked* off the impervious adamantine walls that were the enemies.

Ah, hadn't heard that part. Had heard that Flat Footed is now -2 to AC, same as it is in Starfinder though.

That said, you and I have had very different experiences. I played a Rogue from 1 to 17, converting to Unchained when it came out around level 11, and outside of when I was being stupid (trying to wield a katana I was not proficient with, it made sense for the character at the time but was a stupid move) never had issues with hitting. And that was with TWF penalties at that for about half the game. I had issues with setting up sneak attack sometimes (almost got me killed once trying to get flanking) and Saves were my bane, but I could generally hit well enough even with a weapon that was grossly under-enchanted for what level we were.


That narrow a band of difference for skill bonuses has me a bit concerned.


Arssanguinus wrote:
That narrow a band of difference for skill bonuses has me a bit concerned.

Presumably there will also be feats and class features that increase your modifiers like there were in PF1? Like barring skill focus, traits, and class features the only difference in one player's perception score and another's is going to be the differences between their WisMods.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
why would flanking remove Dex from AC? It never did anything like that in PF1e and Rogues could still hit well enough.
Apologies, I meant Flatfooted, and they stated that Flanking now applies the Flatfooted condition. Also, lol, Rogues ever hitting anything... I always *plinked* off the impervious adamantine walls that were the enemies.

Ah, hadn't heard that part. Had heard that Flat Footed is now -2 to AC, same as it is in Starfinder though.

That said, you and I have had very different experiences. I played a Rogue from 1 to 17, converting to Unchained when it came out around level 11, and outside of when I was being stupid (trying to wield a katana I was not proficient with, it made sense for the character at the time but was a stupid move) never had issues with hitting. And that was with TWF penalties at that for about half the game. I had issues with setting up sneak attack sometimes (almost got me killed once trying to get flanking) and Saves were my bane, but I could generally hit well enough even with a weapon that was grossly under-enchanted for what level we were.

Sounds like a dream. I also went TWF. And looking back, I feel like my GMs just don't know how to read CR charts. Or ignore them. Or were just plain out to get me. Only time I ever got items was when I was able to sponge enough gold to buy or have it made, so I was stupidly under equipped for my level while the casters and martials would creep into +3s via drops.


It sounds like the math will be tightened up, making the differences more significant in action. They are aiming for giving specialists an edge while not making them the only ones capable.


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Shouldn't the lack of widespread AOO make flanking ridiculously easy? This is why flanking was kinda removed in 5e.

AOOs for movement came together with the current flank rules to avoid the "Conga Line" issue.


owenstreetpress wrote:
I don't remember where I read it, I think it was one of the designers on D&D 5e in an interview or something, but somebody once pointed out that Vancian magic is pretty essential to what makes D&D, well, D&D. Nobody else has a system of magic like that.

...which makes it all the stranger that they eventually decided to do away with it in 5e.

_
glass.

The Exchange

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glass wrote:
...which makes it all the stranger that they eventually decided to do away with it in 5e.

They certainly modified it, in that some classes still prepare certain spells each day but have more flexibility in what spells they choose to cast, but I think it's still Vancian at it's core. But even just that extra flexibility plays out differently, and I don't think it actually helps in the martial vs. caster "arms race." They have given more martial classes more tools, but I know that even my paladin can't do squat without her weapon, while the sorcerer in the group is a weapon. All he has to do is polymorph and the rest of us can pretty much take a smoke break.

"JRutterbush" wrote:
That doesn't make it a good system.

I'm not sure if it is or isn't a good system, or if having it is good or bad for martial and caster balance. What I do know is that it is a core part of the D&D genealogy, just like levels, classes, or hit points, all of which have been around since 1974 and aren't likely to go away. They might change some to reflect changing player attitudes or styles of play, but they're part of what makes D&D, and Pathfinder, D&D and Pathfinder.

I'm just saying don't get your hopes up.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like The pathfinder magic System. More restraint in spell design is needed. The starfinder version is an improvement from what I can tell so far. That said removing the need to memorise your lower level spells would be a step up, lower level spells should be less complex and easier to use. Spontaneous magic is more flexible but needs limitations on spells know . I think more restraint is the answer.


loving the changes! 2nd edition, here I come!


Cat-thulhu wrote:
I like The pathfinder magic System. More restraint in spell design is needed. The starfinder version is an improvement from what I can tell so far. That said removing the need to memorise your lower level spells would be a step up, lower level spells should be less complex and easier to use. Spontaneous magic is more flexible but needs limitations on spells know . I think more restraint is the answer.

Removing the memorize spell drawback would be difficult I guess. At least if they want some classes to still exist.

As example there: Sorcerer and wizard. The main differnece was just that. Wizards need spell books to memorize spells. Sorcerers don't but have a limited spell choice (which spells they have learned and can use).

Also for SF: I think it was never mentioned if there will be more than 6 spell levels in the future (aka full casters when compared to PF) or not?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:

Shouldn't the lack of widespread AOO make flanking ridiculously easy? This is why flanking was kinda removed in 5e.

AOOs for movement came together with the current flank rules to avoid the "Conga Line" issue.

With the freedom of movement that three actions gives you will probably see people who are flanked moving out of those positions more easily. Like being able to hit twice and then back off.

If they do it right battlefield control will be more than just standing near an enemy with a spear. You'll have to make actual choices around keeping an enemy in place.


Paris Crenshaw wrote:
You should watch or listen to the Know Direction podcast from Thursday. Erik Mona and Logan Bonner provide a ton of information about the design philosophy. Erik explains clearly that this will not be "just like 5e" and also explains why some things may seem similar to 5e, even though their design process didn't involve any comparison to what 5e did.
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
You should watch or listen to the Know Direction podcast from Thursday. Erik Mona and Logan Bonner provide a ton of information about the design philosophy. Erik explains clearly that this will not be "just like 5e" and also explains why some things may seem similar to 5e, even though their design process didn't involve any comparison to what 5e did.

I listened to this - you can find it HERE and follow up with a thread that breaks down some of the reveals HERE

Was quite informative on specific rules and general design goals. Erik Mona's enthusiasm both as a publisher and as a player using the new rules is infectious. I'm more and more interested in seeing the new ruleset - I'm obviously impatient for the release of the almost two score base classes for PF2, but am excited by what I am hearing so far.

I'm sure I won't like everything, but hopefully, overall it will be a much more dynamic game, in combat and out, with the same level of complexity in terms of subsystems (magic items -intriguing stuff being teased; spells, ancestries, campaign/downtime etc) and player agency in choosing those options. Also, Erik is obviously a very clever individual as he hates the ubiquity of CLW wands and making players identify magic items.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Personally I am a big fan of CLW wands and "cure" wands in general.

Grand Lodge

Does anyone have an idea on how hit points and death currently stand? I like the way Pathfinder can keep you on the edge of your chair, especially if you are playing a base D 6 character or have a low constitution. Starfinder went to far IMHO, characters get a much larger “pool” of hit point/ stamina and due to resolve points fear/ excitement for me is lessened in Society play since my chance of death is close to nil if I have saved my resolve. thoughts? (Btw, I like Starfinder in many ways.)


Health is bigger. The playtest alchemist had 15hp with CON 10. Fighter had like 18 I think.

There is no resolve, and no stamina.

Grand Lodge

A bigger base would be fine, I bet tier one monsters would have a higher base too.


Depends on the monster. I suppose "disposable monsters" like goblins and kobolds will die by droves (and have numbers to balance out). But yes, even something like a CR1 wolf or whatever probably will have a higher base. Lvl 1 in regular pathfinder is too swingy. A single hit from a weapon can took a character out.


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5e/Arcanist style casting is the best thing that ever happened to Vancian casting.


PCs HP point are derived from class and ancestry in P2e. For example a human fighter in the podcast (i think) had d10 for class + 8 for being human and 1 for con for a total of 19.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Exactly how low are starting stats in PF2E?

The Exchange

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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
5e/Arcanist style casting is the best thing that ever happened to Vancian casting.

I really enjoy it, playing a wizard is really fun in 5e.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
Exactly how low are starting stats in PF2E?

Seelah and Valeros both have Str 18 in the Know Direction podcast.


Baronjett wrote:
Does anyone have an idea on how hit points and death currently stand? I like the way Pathfinder can keep you on the edge of your chair, especially if you are playing a base D 6 character or have a low constitution. Starfinder went to far IMHO, characters get a much larger “pool” of hit point/ stamina and due to resolve points fear/ excitement for me is lessened in Society play since my chance of death is close to nil if I have saved my resolve. thoughts? (Btw, I like Starfinder in many ways.)

A player at the garycon playtest said that death seemed to work like a stacking condition. The player got picked back up before they could learn anymore unfortunately.


Malk_Content wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Shouldn't the lack of widespread AOO make flanking ridiculously easy? This is why flanking was kinda removed in 5e.

AOOs for movement came together with the current flank rules to avoid the "Conga Line" issue.

With the freedom of movement that three actions gives you will probably see people who are flanked moving out of those positions more easily. Like being able to hit twice and then back off.

If they do it right battlefield control will be more than just standing near an enemy with a spear. You'll have to make actual choices around keeping an enemy in place.

Yes, they will move so that they are now in the back of the conga line, passing next to every enemy in it (If you're martial). Have seen this happen in no-AOO 3E. This would be suicidal with the rule. So it depends on which you like more.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Shouldn't the lack of widespread AOO make flanking ridiculously easy? This is why flanking was kinda removed in 5e.

AOOs for movement came together with the current flank rules to avoid the "Conga Line" issue.

With the freedom of movement that three actions gives you will probably see people who are flanked moving out of those positions more easily. Like being able to hit twice and then back off.

If they do it right battlefield control will be more than just standing near an enemy with a spear. You'll have to make actual choices around keeping an enemy in place.

Yes, they will move so that they are now in the back of the conga line, passing next to every enemy in it (If you're martial). Have seen this happen in no-AOO 3E. This would be suicidal with the rule. So it depends on which you like more.

Anything that goes against getting into position and then stand still wailing on each other is an improvement in my books. Likelihood is there will be reactions to prevent movement if you want, or spells like Entangle will be more useful.

Shadow Lodge

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I’m a little concerned about HP and death. If it’s anything like starfinder then players just have too many effective HPs, and as others above have said death is very unlikely, so the fear of death is almost non-existent. I’ll obviously wait to see how it’s handled but I really hope we don’t see too many HP (hp or stamina) like the starfinder system. Don’t mind more at first level since it is a little swingy as Gustavo said above.


Cat-thulhu wrote:
I’m a little concerned about HP and death. If it’s anything like starfinder then players just have too many effective HPs, and as others above have said death is very unlikely, so the fear of death is almost non-existent. I’ll obviously wait to see how it’s handled but I really hope we don’t see too many HP (hp or stamina) like the starfinder system. Don’t mind more at first level since it is a little swingy as Gustavo said above.

Well we know stamina and resolve aren't in I think. So I think after level 1 hp will increase party much as is (obviously this could still change). As for death... All we have is a garycon player saying death it's a stacking condition (like the unchained poison and disease rules perhaps?) But they were healed before they could learn more. Given that it was a level 1 game it sounds like picking people up right after they fall will be a non issue, maybe? Beyond that who knows... Other then paizo devs I guess.

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