Pathfinder a la Mode

Friday, March 23, 2018

No, we are not putting a scoop of ice cream on top of every copy of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, but we are adding flavor to the different parts of the game. You've probably heard a lot about it in the blogs and podcasts, but today we are dishing out a big scoop of news on the different modes of play in the next evolution of Pathfinder!

Every moment in the game can be categorized into encounter mode, exploration more, or downtime mode. The modes of play are governed by the needs of the adventure, and the transition between them is ultimately up to the Game Master to decide. You might be traveling through the woods, following the trail of the bandit queen, which would be exploration mode, only to have the group thrust into encounter mode as a combat breaks out with a pack of bloodthirsty wolves. Later, after defeating the bandit queen, you might take your treasure back to town and take a week off, entering downtime mode to craft a better suit of armor with your newfound wealth.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Encounter Mode

Without a doubt, this is the most talked about part of the game up to this point. Combat takes place exclusively in encounter mode, when characters, villains, and monsters are locked in a life-or-death struggle, wielding blades, claws, and spells to win the day. As we've mentioned elsewhere, encounter mode functions much like it did in Pathfinder First Edition, with each round of play taking 6 seconds of game time. You roll initiative at the start, putting all of the combatants in order; each one takes a turn in initiative order, and then you cycle through the combatants repeatedly until one side is victorious.

The changes we made to this system are intended to make play a little easier to learn, while also giving you a wider array of choices as to how you can take your turn. To start with, each character gets 3 actions on their turn. While everyone has access to a list of basic actions, like stride (which lets you move your speed), step (which lets you move just 5 feet, but without provoking any reactions), and strike (which lets you make an attack), all characters have special actions that they can take, derived from their ancestry, class, feat, and gear choices.

For example, if you're playing a barbarian, you can take a feat called Raging Courage that allows you to spend actions to shake off being afraid, letting you get back into the fight. If you're playing a fighter, you instead pick a feat called Intimidating Strike, which lets you spend 2 actions to make an attack against a foe. If it hits, your enemy is frightened and flat-footed until the end of your next turn! (Just don't use it on that barbarian.)

In addition to the 3 actions on your turn, you also get 1 reaction to use anytime before the start of your next turn. The fighter blog on Monday mentioned the reaction attack of opportunity, which allows you to take a free swing at foes that try to move around you or attempt to cast spells adjacent to you, but fighters are not the only class to have fun things to do with their reactions. The druid can gain a feat called Storm Retribution. If you are a druid of the storm order and a foe critically hits you, this feat allows you to unleash a powerful tempest on them in return, dealing 3d12 damage and possibly pushing them away. Wizards, meanwhile, can get the ability to counterspell with their reaction, canceling out enemy magic before it can even take effect.

The choices you make when building your character greatly influence what you can do during combat. You can build a simpler character with a narrow field of powerful choices, just as easily as a more complex character with a vast array of options in a fight. As with the other modes of play, it's all up to you!

Exploration Mode

If you are not in a combat, chances are you are in exploration mode. This free-form part of the game allows characters to take actions as needed to accomplish tasks, investigate problems, and interact with other characters and the world around them. Travelling from place to place, talking to a merchant lord, and swimming across a river to a mysterious island are all part of exploration mode. Exploration mode is measured in minutes and hours, depending on the task at hand and the flow of the game.

Skills and skill feats govern a lot of what you can do in this part of the game, along with your roleplaying and character backstory (as related to your background). These options are available to all characters, and while some get more options than others (like rogues), you can always focus on a few ways in which you can shine.

Let's say you really want your sorcerer to be in tune with nature. Not only could you put some of your proficiencies into the Nature skill, giving you knowledge of the natural world, including plants and beasts, but you could take skill feats that let you use Nature to heal people or even train an animal, which can then help you on your journey. These opportunities are not unique to any particular character. Anyone with the right proficiencies can select them.

For long periods of exploration, characters focus on one task at a time so it's easy for the GM to determine what rolls they make and how they're set up for any challenges they face. This lets the game move quickly through long journeys, then resume a more fine-grained pace when the party finds something to investigate or encounters monsters or hazards.

What you do in exploration mode can also influence how you enter combat. As you go on your adventures, the Game Master will periodically ask you what you are doing, how you are traveling, and what precautions you are taking as you venture into the unknown. These choices influence what you roll when it's time to roll initiative. For most characters it will be a Perception check, indicating how alert you were to the danger. If instead you were trying to hide, you might roll Stealth, possibly allowing you to start the combat unseen. If the fight is breaking out in the middle of a crowded tavern, you might roll Diplomacy or Intimidation to get the upper hand, using charm or a brutish manner to give you an edge. The GM makes the final determination of what everyone rolls for initiative, and might allow you to choose between multiple choices (one of which is typically Perception) if several options would make sense.

Downtime Mode

Up to this point, we haven't talked much about the downtime mode of play, where time passes quickly, allowing characters to retrain, work at a profession, craft items, and more. Downtime mode is always measured in days, allowing you to accomplish large tasks quickly in terms of time at the table.

Just as with exploration mode, how you interact during downtime mode is mostly up to you and the choices you make with your character. If you are playing a bard with expert proficiency in Performance, you might spend your downtime putting on shows in local taverns and for nearby nobles, earning money to help fund your next adventure. With a few days and a decent roll, you could easily afford an extra potion or two.

Let's say instead you are playing a dwarven fighter who wants to make his own weapons. With the Craft skill, you can make weapons of a quality up to your proficiency. Better yet, if you pick up the Magical Crafter skill feat, your dwarven fighter could even make magic weapons! This feat is available to anyone who is an expert crafter, making the creation of magic items available to all. I should note that some items, like scrolls and wands, do require you to be able to cast certain spells to create them, though.

Finally, we have made retraining a core part of the game, allowing you to trade out a feat, skill, or even class choice for another equal option. Retraining occurs during downtime, and can take as little as a week, giving you the flexibility to go on your next adventures with the right tools to succeed.

Well, that's the scoop on this blog. I wish I could tell you a bit about the Monday blog, but it succeeded at its Stealth check. You'll just have to stop by then to find out what it is!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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thflame wrote:

Question:

Since Skill Checks appear to be an action and attacks appear to be an action, what's the benefit of Intimidating Strike vs Attack + Intimidate?

Well, from the looks of it you automatically frighten a hit enemy and I assume a Fighter may have a better time hitting something than having success on an Intimidate Check (specially if you weren't specializing in Intimidate to begin with). Also states that you make the target flat-footed until your next turn, which is great for your non-flanking Rogue friend (and everyone in general) and may be a thing that doesn't happen on a normal Intimidate.

Overall seems a way stronger option than Attack+Intimidate as two actions. And even if Intimidate (as a skill) does flat-foot the target; this special action allows you to not have any points in Intimidate and still have better chances of frightening the target, since it uses your chances to hit to activate, which are usually great on your first attack as a Fighter.

(All of this assuming that the very short explanation we got in the example is all that there is to it. probably not. XD)


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Darius Alazario wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Glad to see magic item crafting (sans spell batteries) shift to the role of craftsmen rather than mages.
I mean we don't know that yet because well the last edition you could do that too. It was such a crappy feat.
The Magical Crafter skill feat is the feat to make magic items. It is the feat for spellcasters. It is the feat for fighters.

You will need to take Magical Crafter for each type of magic item?

I really hope crafting has been seriously reworked so it doesn't take weeks or months to craft a high level magic item.

I hope for the opposite, though it'd be easy to houserule. High-level magic items are, by all accounts, going to be much more powerful as befits their stature. These things should be forged over time and great labors. The One Ring shouldn't be forged in a single night.

This, entirely.

I hope crafting the better, higher end items take a lot of time and investment, potentially some quests to gain the right items. Give them flavor, history, meaning.. and a story. Definitely not just ok, I spend 1 day of downtime to create my +4 Sword of Demonslaying. Where's the excitement behind that? Not just having it but telling people how you came to have it.

Yes, definitely. Not every campaign must be to save the world or kingdom. Maybe you must venture across distant realms of untold dangers to acquire the precious starmetal you need to forge the most powerful sword seen in this age of the world. They've already shown that magic items are gonna be a lot more impactful than just a "+5 sword" as opposed to a "+4 sword." These things can shake the very pillars of creation. More than a single night, except as some really high-level epic feat that becomes legend, seems in order for me.

Plus, it's great adventure fodder for everyone. "You need this, I need this, let's take a long and perilous journey to acquire these items." Which then makes generous use of both encounter mode and downtime mode.


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I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.


Lady Firebird wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Glad to see magic item crafting (sans spell batteries) shift to the role of craftsmen rather than mages.
I mean we don't know that yet because well the last edition you could do that too. It was such a crappy feat.
The Magical Crafter skill feat is the feat to make magic items. It is the feat for spellcasters. It is the feat for fighters.

You will need to take Magical Crafter for each type of magic item?

I really hope crafting has been seriously reworked so it doesn't take weeks or months to craft a high level magic item.

I hope for the opposite, though it'd be easy to houserule. High-level magic items are, by all accounts, going to be much more powerful as befits their stature. These things should be forged over time and great labors. The One Ring shouldn't be forged in a single night.

Probably not a single night.

A single week on the other hand? Totally makes sense to me.

EDIT: I will note that I'm referring to the crafting, not accumulating the ingredients. Quest away if that is your desire.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, something like exploration mode would be nice in some dungeon crawls. The practice of rushing through rooms while your minute buffs are up kinda annoys me in the current iteration of Pathfinder, but it becomes very standard after you get to level ten and above.


Mark Seifter wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Glad to see magic item crafting (sans spell batteries) shift to the role of craftsmen rather than mages.
I mean we don't know that yet because well the last edition you could do that too. It was such a crappy feat.
The Magical Crafter skill feat is the feat to make magic items. It is the feat for spellcasters. It is the feat for fighters.

Thank you for elaborating.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
However, the barbarian one feels really weak unless it can deal with effects besides just fear.

Stuff like this is going to be extremely meta-dependent; it could be that fear effects are suddenly much more dangerous in 2E where compulsions are significantly nerfed. Using Spheres of Might as an example, adding that 3rd party supplement to the game changes CMD from an almost irrelevant stat for most encounters to being nearly as valuable as will just because there is so much scary stuff you can do with combat maneuvers and they're so much more readily available.


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People saying how Intimidating Strike doesn't require Intimidate.. I don't think that's actually how it's going to work. They didn't give us a whole feat writeup. I'm thinking it at the very least requires Intimidate Proficiency, then inflicts whatever level of fear your Intimidate proficiency allows. So if you only go up to shaken, the feat also causes shaken. If your Master at Intimidate can cause Panic, so does the feat.

Heck, it may even require you to use Intimidate as your attack roll. We don't know anything yet, really. I do like the flavor of it though!


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Gorbacz wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
A semantic quibble
Of course, you're fine with a level 14 Wizard on the 4th level of the dungeon casting a 4th level spell despite having 4 negative levels from energy drain. :)

Level with me for a second. Was that a spell used to level the floor and run away so he could level up?

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Looking great. I look forward to seeing downtime activities in particular.

It looks like we will be getting new rules for item crafting as well, which is good. I also like that it seems we will have more specific rules on how to handle a wider variety of downtime activities. This could help keep actual down time from happening at the table.

I really like how counterspell is a reaction. I also like seeing a wide variety of reactions other than attack of opportunity, which will make for more dynamic combats. As much as I like AoO, I like seeing other actions that could be just as effective and cool to do in combat.

Exploration and the skills has me really interested in how that mode works.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.

I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".


I want to echo the notion that adding "mode" to it will add some meta game-y feel to it all. I'm also not sure that the goal has been achieved if the goal was to be less confusing. Just calling combat "combat" seemed to work fine enough. "Encounter mode" sounds like it can be anything. You can "encounter" an old man walking down the road to buy pastries.

But, in practice both combat and not-combat will likely just be like it always has, with the mayor change that what it's called in the book is different. What I am more concerned about is "downtime mode". More specifically how much of it is hardcoded into the game. At most we use downtime as a timeskip. Other than that our games tend to not have "downtime", being a continuous narrative. There's no "between adventures". As has become the custom with these previews there's not enough to go on to be sure about anything, but I can't help but be skeptical of the implication of sizeable portions of the core rules be something that I'd just skip (those of you that wanted to throw that one at me, beat ya to it).


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".

Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).

Dark Archive

Steve Geddes wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".
Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).

While, in an overall sense I am totally in on this. I am not too familiar with these rules in practice. One thing I would not want to see is it generating too many new points of failure but instead points of potential delay. That is, if you fail a stage it isn't the destruction of the item and loss of all the materials but simply loss of what is invested in that specific stage at most and the requirement of trying again, and waiting for the opportunity to do so. Or maybe it decreases the effectiveness of the magic item some while other critical successes improve it.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I didn't think about this before, but I really like the new initiative system. The ability of a character to use virtually any skill (if the GM allows) to start an encounter has a lot of flexibility. My players who always want to try to bluff or intimidate the bad guys to gain an advantage now have more options at their disposal.


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If there are different druid orders, can they have different taboos? Like maybe one that isn't forbidden from metal armour (or, Brigh willing, one that restricts itself from another creature's skin and strives towards the perfect natural material for armour, meteoric and native metals)?


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Edna Mode wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I notice the skill is called "Nature" rather than "Knowledge: Nature". Does it still key off of Intelligence or is it wisdom now (and therefore a more appropriate skill for Druids to have)?
Maybe Nature's still Intelligence-based for everyone else, but the wild empathy ability now also allows classes with it (wild empathy) to use it (the Nature skill) with Wisdom instead?

Why does it need to key off of anything? You'll notice they were particular in not mentioning ability bonus when talking about proficiency. My guess is that if you're trying to know something about a creature, you'll roll and Intelligence based Nature check, and if you're trying to do Herbalism (or Tracking?), you'll roll a Wisdom based one...


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Darius Alazario wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".
Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).
While, in an overall sense I am totally in on this. I am not too familiar with these rules in practice. One thing I would not want to see is it generating too many new points of failure but instead points of potential delay. That is, if you fail a stage it isn't the destruction of the item and loss of all the materials but simply loss of what is invested in that specific stage at most and the requirement of trying again, and waiting for the opportunity to do so. Or maybe it decreases the effectiveness of the magic item some while other critical successes improve it.

Notably, the unchained item crafting rules had the same 4 levels of success, but instead of +-10, it was based on the the 4 possible results of having 2 participants pass/fail 2 tasks. And since magic item crafting was multiple checks throughout the process, even a critical failure was merely a set back many times (with some exceptions). interesting Events were my favourite part of Unchained Item crafting, and inspired our group to make customized events(Homemade grapnel gloves? Theres a bit of a mistake and the rope is spewing wildly with little sign of stopping! Get someone to help remove the rope and figure out what's actually going wrong).


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I'm not really feeling the "mode" terminology; if it is in the book I'll probably just nod and move through it. I don't need anything special to call these time periods and adding mode to them seems needless to me.

I'll also echo those that have remarked that these blog posts are very light on information. The tease thing isn't helping expectations (at least for me) and just fuels endless speculation threads and fights. More concrete data might help with some people's fears and worries or cement other's desire for the new edition, or even ward off the "It sounds like a rehash of X edition".


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darius Alazario wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".
Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).
While, in an overall sense I am totally in on this. I am not too familiar with these rules in practice. One thing I would not want to see is it generating too many new points of failure but instead points of potential delay. That is, if you fail a stage it isn't the destruction of the item and loss of all the materials but simply loss of what is invested in that specific stage at most and the requirement of trying again, and waiting for the opportunity to do so. Or maybe it decreases the effectiveness of the magic item some while other critical successes improve it.

Yeah, the four steps would need to be thoughtfully defined. Critical failure shouldn't be 'go back to scratch, all that gold is wasted'. Similarly, critical success shouldn't be 'your item is a whole new level of awesomeness'. Even at a minimal impact level, it would definitely add a frisson of excitement to the process (at least for players like mine).

Paizo Employee Designer

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MusicAddict wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".
Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).
While, in an overall sense I am totally in on this. I am not too familiar with these rules in practice. One thing I would not want to see is it generating too many new points of failure but instead points of potential delay. That is, if you fail a stage it isn't the destruction of the item and loss of all the materials but simply loss of what is invested in that specific stage at most and the requirement of trying again, and waiting for the opportunity to do so. Or maybe it decreases the effectiveness of the magic item some while other critical successes improve it.
Notably, the unchained item crafting rules had the same 4 levels of success, but instead of +-10, it was based on the the 4 possible results of having 2 participants pass/fail 2 tasks. And since magic item crafting was multiple checks throughout the process, even a critical failure was merely a set back many times (with some exceptions). interesting Events were my favourite part of Unchained Item crafting, and inspired our group to make customized events(Homemade grapnel gloves? Theres a bit of a mistake and the rope is spewing wildly with little sign of stopping! Get someone to help remove the rope and figure out what's actually going wrong).

Glad you guys enjoyed! That system was I think my lengthiest addition to Pathfinder Unchained (my first Pathfinder book ever as a designer).

Contributor

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Interested to see how (or if!) things like spell durations interact with changes in mode! I'm super on board with not tracking minutes or rounds as we're walking around a dungeon, but am curious how that fits into broader verisimilitude and world building type stuff.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
knightnday wrote:
More concrete data might help with some people's fears and worries or cement other's desire for the new edition, or even ward off the "It sounds like a rehash of X edition".

Sadly, I don't think so. Vic Wertz specifically posted that he thought it would be a bad idea (for everyone) for Pathfinder to try to compete with 5E. Even such an explicit statement didn't stop people in that thread speaking as if PF2 is trying to out-5E 5E.

These things are annoying for those of us who are already hooked in to getting the playtest document. Their function is marketting though. They want to make sure that by May everyone who might be interested in buying a hardcopy book has heard of it and that by August everyone who might be interested in participating knows how to download the PDF.

They don't want to give too much information and turn off potential playtesters plus trigger too many 'doom and gloom' predictions of apocalypse (granted some are inevitable) nor do they want to give too little (and have some potential playtesters tune them out). It's a fine line to walk, imo and unfortunately we've all got different things we'd like more of and different things we'd like less of. (I have no interest in seeing monster statblocks prior to August, for example. I'm betting that's not the case for a large cohort of potential playtesters).

I think it's worth remembering that these blogs are not to show us the game really. They're to get us interested in the playtest.

The playtest is to show us the game.

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
MusicAddict wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I really hope the magic crafting system is inspired by the dynamic crafting mechanics. It can actually make making a magic item an interesting activity instead of just a roll(that is likely skipped if you can take 10 on it) with nothing else happening.
I was fond of that system as well. It's definitely an improvement over "ok, roll a die (and/or just autosucceed)".
Perhaps the critical success/failure rules can feed into it (if succeeding by more than ten grants some kind of minor boon, there’s no way my players are going to take ten - they are gamblers, through and through).
While, in an overall sense I am totally in on this. I am not too familiar with these rules in practice. One thing I would not want to see is it generating too many new points of failure but instead points of potential delay. That is, if you fail a stage it isn't the destruction of the item and loss of all the materials but simply loss of what is invested in that specific stage at most and the requirement of trying again, and waiting for the opportunity to do so. Or maybe it decreases the effectiveness of the magic item some while other critical successes improve it.
Notably, the unchained item crafting rules had the same 4 levels of success, but instead of +-10, it was based on the the 4 possible results of having 2 participants pass/fail 2 tasks. And since magic item crafting was multiple checks throughout the process, even a critical failure was merely a set back many times (with some exceptions). interesting Events were my favourite part of Unchained Item crafting, and inspired our group to make customized events(Homemade grapnel gloves? Theres a bit of a mistake and the rope is spewing wildly with little sign of stopping! Get someone to help remove the rope and figure out what's actually going wrong).
Glad you guys enjoyed! That system was I think my lengthiest...

Thank you for this contribution. It most certainly looks to add a lot more story and heart into magic items, bringing them away from just being another number on the sheet. Hopefully you bring this, or something like it, into the new edition. :)


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Lady Firebird wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Glad to see magic item crafting (sans spell batteries) shift to the role of craftsmen rather than mages.
I mean we don't know that yet because well the last edition you could do that too. It was such a crappy feat.
The Magical Crafter skill feat is the feat to make magic items. It is the feat for spellcasters. It is the feat for fighters.

You will need to take Magical Crafter for each type of magic item?

I really hope crafting has been seriously reworked so it doesn't take weeks or months to craft a high level magic item.

I hope for the opposite, though it'd be easy to houserule. High-level magic items are, by all accounts, going to be much more powerful as befits their stature. These things should be forged over time and great labors. The One Ring shouldn't be forged in a single night.

This, entirely.

I hope crafting the better, higher end items take a lot of time and investment, potentially some quests to gain the right items. Give them flavor, history, meaning.. and a story. Definitely not just ok, I spend 1 day of downtime to create my +4 Sword of Demonslaying. Where's the excitement behind that? Not just having it but telling people how you came to have it.

Yes, definitely. Not every campaign must be to save the world or kingdom. Maybe you must venture across distant realms of untold dangers to acquire the precious starmetal you need to forge the most powerful sword seen in this age of the world. They've already shown that magic items are gonna be a lot more impactful than just a "+5 sword" as opposed to a "+4 sword." These things can shake the very pillars of creation. More than a single night, except as some really high-level epic feat that becomes legend, seems in order for me.

Plus, it's great adventure fodder for everyone. "You need this, I need this, let's take a long and...

But a lot of campaigns have time counter on them, most AP that I remember are like that, so in all those cases crafters are screwed. Also, if the GM have to pause everything because the crafter needs to go in a quest to craft a single magic item, it will also requires the agreement of the other players, and just for one magic item. Will the GM need to pause all the setting until four or five quest are completed because the other players want their own magic item crafted? And even more, is no just one in a life time item, a dedicated crater will want to make various items and improve them too. And finally, now the GM will need to come up with all of those crafting quests and insert them in the history, seems like a lot of extra work for the GM. And again, inserting crafting quests inside an AP will be quite difficult.

Quest crafting is just no fair for crafters or the GM, it only makes sense for artifacts because they are plot devices.

EDIT: And the word fodder remind me of grinding in videogames, I despise grinding in videogames, certainly is not something I want in Pathfinder.


While I'm happy that retraining is being made a baseline rule of the game, taking "As little as a week" gives me concerns about those rules ever being particularly usable.

I understand that having characters swap around class feats day to day is something you're probably trying to avoid, but in most of the games I've played having a solid week of downtime is a rarity, if it ever occurs at all.


Isle Of The Deep wrote:

While I'm happy that retraining is being made a baseline rule of the game, taking "As little as a week" gives me concerns about those rules ever being particularly usable.

I understand that having characters swap around class feats day to day is something you're probably trying to avoid, but in most of the games I've played having a solid week of downtime is a rarity, if it ever occurs at all.

This tends to suggest that you're going from level 1 to 20 over the course of a month or two... which I don't think is the typical assumption for a campaign. I think it's fine to assume that characters have blocks of days where they're not doing anything particularly strenuous. Even long overland journeys could be considered "downtime".

If your campaign does have an extremely abbreviated timeline, I'm sure reducing the amount of time it takes to retrain/craft by an order of magnitude makes sense.


Blocks of days does not necessarily guarantee reasonable access to contiguous weeks.


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I don't think most (any) Paizo published adventures are on really strict timers, mostly loose ones to create urgency so as to encourage the PCs not to dawdle overlong. So, assuming GMs basically follow the same idea, in practice this would work out where a crafter could craft a few magic items, and a character could retrain a couple of feats, but one wouldn't generally have enough time to kit out the entire rebellion with magic swords or retrain their entire character unless the GM is feeling really generous.


Are there rules for what happens if downtime is interrupted and characters need to finish a task later? For crafting it seems simple enough (pick up where you left off) but what about retraining? Do you just pick right back up where you left off? If you need to leave practice on a new technique and use the old one for several days or even weeks do you forget some of what you had learned?

Edit:cleared up last sentence


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Steve Geddes wrote:
knightnday wrote:
More concrete data might help with some people's fears and worries or cement other's desire for the new edition, or even ward off the "It sounds like a rehash of X edition".

Sadly, I don't think so. Vic Wertz specifically posted that he thought it would be a bad idea (for everyone) for Pathfinder to try to compete with 5E. Even such an explicit statement didn't stop people in that thread speaking as if PF2 is trying to out-5E 5E.

These things are annoying for those of us who are already hooked in to getting the playtest document. Their function is marketting though. They want to make sure that by May everyone who might be interested in buying a hardcopy book has heard of it and that by August everyone who might be interested in participating knows how to download the PDF.

They don't want to give too much information and turn off potential playtesters plus trigger too many 'doom and gloom' predictions of apocalypse (granted some are inevitable) nor do they want to give too little (and have some potential playtesters tune them out). It's a fine line to walk, imo and unfortunately we've all got different things we'd like more of and different things we'd like less of. (I have no interest in seeing monster statblocks prior to August, for example. I'm betting that's not the case for a large cohort of potential playtesters).

I think it's worth remembering that these blogs are not to show us the game really. They're to get us interested in the playtest.

The playtest is to show us the game.

Which is good and I can understand the marketing. I just have this image of the next four months being teaser of teaser trailers rather than substance.

An example: I am interested in Deadpool 2. If I spend 4 months trying to figure out whose elbow a two second shot might be and what is going on, I will be far less interested and likely annoyed trying to patch it all together like some intricate jigsaw puzzle.

So yes, it is a fine line and we are early on. I hope the substance will begin to shine through soon, though. I've gotten more data from Mark's comments on playtesting than from the blogs.

Scarab Sages

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Steve Geddes wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Use of the word mode just lets of have sentences that make sense. When in the middle of running text we might say, "while exploring", but we also like having the ability to say "During encounter mode, you can..." . Its not really worth delving into on this thread (and seriously.. I do not want to derail things), but we are trying to take a little bit of a lighter hand with hard-coded grammar constructions for our rules so that the text is a bit easier to read and parse.

I’ve been a smidge worried PF2 is going to read either like a law book or a computer manual.

Games which aren’t written in plain English always sit on my shelf. No matter how cunning the game design, if the rules don’t make me read them, I’m never going to play it.

Unfortunately "plain english" is a horrific language for rules, full of implications, shortcuts. euphemisms, inconsistencies and ambiguities. A step to something more structured is better for the game, even if it's harder to adjust to.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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A good downtime system is what I really like. I hope there's rules for spell research!


Mark Seifter wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I also hope it's easy enough to hand-waive away and focus on exploring the world (as in we focus more on what's happening in-character) rather than playing the game (focusing on what abilities we have to get the most advantage out of the current non-combat encounter).
One of the biggest points of separating the modes is to allow exploration mode in particular to explicitly be about exploring the world and not a round-by-round accounting of every action people take.

The big fear here is that as soon as you enter exploring mode you have to erase any active buffs that are not hour/level.

Dark Archive

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Dαedαlus wrote:
That said.. there’s just... not a ton here. There’s almost no new information here, and most of the new feats kind of yell TRAP to me. Like... spending a reaction to deal damage to an enemy that’s right next to you... and just crit you?

To be fair, the first attack is the most likely to crit. If you can push an enemy away with that reaction then they have to give up an action of their own just to close the distance so they can attack you again, and if their attack wasn't the first act of their turn they will have to decide between moving back up or committing to some other action. The damage is icing, it seems to me the push is what you'd really be hoping for.


Steve Geddes wrote:


I think it's worth remembering that these blogs are not to show us the game really. They're to get us interested in the playtest.

On the other hand, if people find what they see to be distasteful, or even vaguely similar to a system they ran to Paizo to get away from, there is every possibility they will jump ship now.

Why continue purchasing PF1 rules if you decide to move over to, say, d20 Modern.

People who get too upset or disgusted by what they see may very well not stick around long enough for Paizo to put the full rules out.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Use of the word mode just lets of have sentences that make sense.

Jason Bulmahn, everybody! :)


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Encounter Mode

Exploration Mode

Downtime Mode

Party Mode

Family Mode

School Mode

Wedding Mode

Divorce Mode

Dark Archive

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knightnday wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
knightnday wrote:
More concrete data might help with some people's fears and worries or cement other's desire for the new edition, or even ward off the "It sounds like a rehash of X edition".

Sadly, I don't think so. Vic Wertz specifically posted that he thought it would be a bad idea (for everyone) for Pathfinder to try to compete with 5E. Even such an explicit statement didn't stop people in that thread speaking as if PF2 is trying to out-5E 5E.

These things are annoying for those of us who are already hooked in to getting the playtest document. Their function is marketting though. They want to make sure that by May everyone who might be interested in buying a hardcopy book has heard of it and that by August everyone who might be interested in participating knows how to download the PDF.

They don't want to give too much information and turn off potential playtesters plus trigger too many 'doom and gloom' predictions of apocalypse (granted some are inevitable) nor do they want to give too little (and have some potential playtesters tune them out). It's a fine line to walk, imo and unfortunately we've all got different things we'd like more of and different things we'd like less of. (I have no interest in seeing monster statblocks prior to August, for example. I'm betting that's not the case for a large cohort of potential playtesters).

I think it's worth remembering that these blogs are not to show us the game really. They're to get us interested in the playtest.

The playtest is to show us the game.

Which is good and I can understand the marketing. I just have this image of the next four months being teaser of teaser trailers rather than substance.

An example: I am interested in Deadpool 2. If I spend 4 months trying to figure out whose elbow a two second shot might be and what is going on, I will be far less interested and likely annoyed trying to patch it all together like some intricate jigsaw puzzle.

So yes, it is a fine line and we are...

Don't forget, these are blogs to give a little insight into a product that is going into public playtesting, not even actual release. You're probably not going to see a lot of substance, that is what the playtest is for. They're just here to keep us interested, and whet our appetite for more.


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I figure there is also the matter that the actual playtest rules are not completed yet. So until you send the book to the printers you don't want to give specific detail that could potentially change before the playtest comes out. So we're sure that it's going to have Fighters and Skills and Proficiencies, but the specific text of a feat could change slightly after a single internal playtest game highlights an ambiguity, unintended consequence, math glitch, or whatever.

So it's best to describe approximately what the feat is supposed to do than give rules text for it, because the text is liable to change before august but the intent is not.


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It's also possible that the team is using our debates for free brainstorming and market research


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
It's also possible that the team is using our debates for free brainstorming and market research

I mean, in the context of developing a new game system that said debaters are going to be playing, that isn't necessarily a bad thing


Didn't say it was


tivadar27 wrote:
Edna Mode wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
I notice the skill is called "Nature" rather than "Knowledge: Nature". Does it still key off of Intelligence or is it wisdom now (and therefore a more appropriate skill for Druids to have)?
Maybe Nature's still Intelligence-based for everyone else, but the wild empathy ability now also allows classes with it (wild empathy) to use it (the Nature skill) with Wisdom instead?
Why does it need to key off of anything? You'll notice they were particular in not mentioning ability bonus when talking about proficiency. My guess is that if you're trying to know something about a creature, you'll roll and Intelligence based Nature check, and if you're trying to do Herbalism (or Tracking?), you'll roll a Wisdom based one...

I'd really dig this. It actually fits in with allowing broader applications of skills and proficiencies, as well as making abilities more useful overall. Strength + Nature could be when you're trying to force a shelter into place, or Constitution + Nature to endure a march through brambles (in a way that wouldn't call for a full Fortitude save) and the like. I really like this sort of "stat + skill but either can vary depending on the action" setup in a lot of games, and it fits really well here.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Erik Mona wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Use of the word mode just lets of have sentences that make sense.

Jason Bulmahn, everybody! :)

Thanks boss.

This is what I get for trying to stay on top of board posts while in meetings trying to solve entirely unrelated issues.


Lady Firebird wrote:
I'd really dig this. It actually fits in with allowing broader applications of skills and proficiencies, as well as making abilities more useful overall. Strength + Nature could be when you're trying to force a shelter into place, or Constitution + Nature to endure a march through brambles (in a way that wouldn't call for a full Fortitude save) and the like. I really like this sort of "stat + skill but either can vary depending on the action" setup in a lot of games, and it fits really well here.

Indeed, I had not previously considered this but this is a real potential benefit to making "how much have you invested in a skill" a lot less granular. Instead of tracking specific ranks, you can now very easily handle an intimidate role based on charisma versus one based on strength simply by considering your level, your statmods, and your proficiency level.

Even if this is not in the official rules, I want to try stuff like "I want to intimidate them with my intelligence!" out in a game to see how it works.

Dark Archive

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
I'd really dig this. It actually fits in with allowing broader applications of skills and proficiencies, as well as making abilities more useful overall. Strength + Nature could be when you're trying to force a shelter into place, or Constitution + Nature to endure a march through brambles (in a way that wouldn't call for a full Fortitude save) and the like. I really like this sort of "stat + skill but either can vary depending on the action" setup in a lot of games, and it fits really well here.

Indeed, I had not previously considered this but this is a real potential benefit to making "how much have you invested in a skill" a lot less granular. Instead of tracking specific ranks, you can now very easily handle an intimidate role based on charisma versus one based on strength simply by considering your level, your statmods, and your proficiency level.

Even if this is not in the official rules, I want to try stuff like "I want to intimidate them with my intelligence!" out in a game to see how it works.

I've also generally been rather fond of a flexible skill system where, if a rationale can be made for it, you can substitute in a different stat for a skill. It's pretty easy to argue why a large, muscular, brute of a half-orc with little charisma could be quite intimidating and use Str instead of Cha for that roll. On the other hand, it might be harder to explain how you make a better omelette using that same Strength score.


I'm hoping for some long term down time down time options. I'm talking months or weeks, not days.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Thanks boss.

This is what I get for trying to stay on top of board posts while in meetings trying to solve entirely unrelated issues.

Multitasking is a harsh-mistress.


I just have one concern about the "modes". I'm dubious of any system that involves the GM announcing if something is still a threat.

If the last enemy teleports away, intending to flee and not return, I assume "encounter mode" ends and this is made clear to the players.

What if they teleported away, cast a couple buffs and heals, then teleport back?

What if the last enemy goes invisible, PCs botch their Spellcraft checks, and players assume they teleported away?

What if an enemy surrenders but then would try to attack a PC?

What if an enemy hides in the treetops to stalk the PCs and attack if there's a good opening, and all PCs fail Perception checks to
spot them?

What if there's a tavern brawl at the next table over, and one PC joins in while the rest try to ignore it?

I like giving players the choice of letting their guards down or continuing to act as if enemies might be present/dangerous, without me being expected to use game terminology that could give away that kind of thing. And I'm worried the different modes might interfere with those gray areas.

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