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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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I mean, has anybody here played through all of the 19 completed PFRPG APs to date? I think I'm up to 7, and that feels like a lot of Pathfinder honestly. I feel like the "no more APs for me to play" is more of a theoretical concern than a practical one.

I posted an up to date status on my group's efforts in the AP. It won't take as long as you'd expect (as a group we've completed most of them. games have been played multiple times or are in play that replaying older ones outside of Rise of the Runelords and maybe Legacy of Fire is no longer viable).

Steve Geddes wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Every single damned mechanic they've posted to date reeks of either 4E or 5E.
Initiative keying off different skills? Which one is that from?

The infrastructure was in place (because 4th ed uses an extremely similar design to Pathfinder 2nd edition when it comes to a universal bonus based on level), 4th ed just never pulled the trigger on it.

Sevrenloreat1 wrote:
By the time they're in place, combat is over? How does that make any sense at all?

It makes sense if you have more than one buff running at a time and you choose buffs that don't let you cast them on all allies with one action.


Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I personally never run the adventure paths my games all come from the top of my head. I do read a lot of fantasy I suggest it heavily for the improvement of your dnd/PF games. If I don't like PF2 it will not slow me down. PF1 till something better comes out. that said PF2 is looking awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, or (GNU) Terry Pratchett fantasy? Because those two are very distinctly different flavors of fantasy.

Thats true XD lol I do like the Pratchett but I don't usually run games in that fashion. but yeah I've read both.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, John, I must admit I envy that your group is able to meet what appears to be weekly for games and either has their acts seriously together or meets for more than four hours a session. Because I am just now finishing up Rise of the Runelords... over five years after starting it.

Admittedly my group is all Skype-based, we use Roll20, and only meet every three weeks or so for games... but that's more often than my tabletop group (which had the Reign of Winter game fizzle out and their own Runelords group having not met in half a year despite the fact it's just a husband-wife group at this point and I repeatedly offer to run it over Skype so we don't need travel an hour to get together. *sigh*

To be honest... the Skype-based Runelords game will be my second campaign to actually end properly rather than fizzle out or the like. The first was my second attempt to run Night Below for 2nd ed. AD&D (the first attempt dying after one player basically pissed all over the game and drove me from GMing for over six months with her b~%!@##+ and powergaming).


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I personally never run the adventure paths my games all come from the top of my head. I do read a lot of fantasy I suggest it heavily for the improvement of your dnd/PF games. If I don't like PF2 it will not slow me down. PF1 till something better comes out. that said PF2 is looking awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, or (GNU) Terry Pratchett fantasy? Because those two are very distinctly different flavors of fantasy.
Thats true XD lol I do like the Pratchett but I don't usually run games in that fashion. but yeah I've read both.

I'm in the process of reading the Discworld books myself (currently on The Light Fantastic), and while I wouldn't have Discworld-inspired games be my go-to, I would be lying if I said it wouldn't be a blast for regular one-offs


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Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I personally never run the adventure paths my games all come from the top of my head. I do read a lot of fantasy I suggest it heavily for the improvement of your dnd/PF games. If I don't like PF2 it will not slow me down. PF1 till something better comes out. that said PF2 is looking awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, or (GNU) Terry Pratchett fantasy? Because those two are very distinctly different flavors of fantasy.
Thats true XD lol I do like the Pratchett but I don't usually run games in that fashion. but yeah I've read both.
I'm in the process of reading the Discworld books myself (currently on The Light Fantastic), and while I wouldn't have Discworld-inspired games be my go-to, I would be lying if I said it wouldn't be a blast for regular one-offs

Rincewind is like my second or third favorite character for sure. Death being my first.

Dark Archive

John Lynch 106 wrote:

We exclusively play the Paizo adventure paths.

...

Any additional barriers will be just more reasons to stop playing tabletops altogether.

Why exactly do you exclusively play Paizo APs? That's a pretty major "additional barrier" that you have self-imposed. Plenty of other companies put out adventures just as good as anything Paizo does. And if it's getting harder to get together frequently, it would seem to me that shorter adventures would be something you would want to take a look at, rather than insisting on full-length campaigns. Changing things up can also make people more interested...Paizo APs are for the most part good, but if that was ALL I ever played, I'd definitely be sick to death of them.


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Shadow Kosh wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

We exclusively play the Paizo adventure paths.

...

Any additional barriers will be just more reasons to stop playing tabletops altogether.

Why exactly do you exclusively play Paizo APs? That's a pretty major "additional barrier" that you have self-imposed. Plenty of other companies put out adventures just as good as anything Paizo does. And if it's getting harder to get together frequently, it would seem to me that shorter adventures would be something you would want to take a look at, rather than insisting on full-length campaigns. Changing things up can also make people more interested...Paizo APs are for the most part good, but if that was ALL I ever played, I'd definitely be sick to death of them.

one is always better off broadening their horizons not limiting them.

Dark Archive

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
one is always better off broadening their horizons not limiting them.

Honestly, I prefer to insert one-shots in an entirely different system whenever I'm involved in a lengthy campaign. I think that system fatigue is definitely a real thing (as is fatigue of similar types of adventures...I wonder if either of those is as least partially a factor for John Lynch 106's group.)

Dark Archive

My weekly roll20 group took about a year to complete RotR and in about 8 months we got to 4th book of Crimson Throne <_< And we nowadays play multiple aps at same time, so if that continues I guess we might have decent chance of completing all of them eventually.


Having run all the AP wouldn't you understand the underlying structure of such things to write your own? Half the GM 's in my group including myself write up our own adventure paths.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
There are quite a few modules and some 20+ Adventure Paths that you undoubtedly haven't gone completely through by now.

Replying again because you appear to have missed it: we've played almost all of them.** spoiler omitted **

By the end of the year Strange Aeons will be completed and War of the Crown will be a descent chunk of the way through if not finished. Ironfang Invasion and Ruins of Azlant would likely be completed by the end of next year.

While there's certainly Rise of the Runelords and Return of the Runelords. There isn't as much of the Adventure Paths left as you might expect. As for third party APs, we've never been particularly attracted to them. We might go to them. Maybe. Or we might go to a different game altogether. I don't like the chances of either of those options though.
{. . .}

Whoa . . . you people are hard-core. How do you manage to get time to do all that?

Maybe in the future spend some of that time making 1st Edition APs?


It sounds to me like John Lynch's gaming "group" consists of 12+ people, who run different APs at the same time, so not every "member" is involved in each AP. And possibly playing each week for 8+ hours (probably on weekends). Now, those are assumptions made by me from the comments he's made (he said that he hadn't been involved in all of the APs). That way I can easily see how they can chew through plenty of the APs, as a collective group, in a much shorter timeframe than most other groups.
So I also hope that he can appreciate that that situation is quite a bit outside the situation of most other gaming groups, where it's much more common to have 1 GM running 1 AP for 4-6 players at a time, all the way through (or until the group decides to switch to something new), maybe only meeting for 4 hours per gaming session, with each session being held anywhere from once a week to once a month.
So the material put out should last most groups many years of playing and complaining about the lack of material for his and his group's specific situation might be unfair.


@GentleGiant: Pretty close (also keep in mind we've been playing Pathfinder since it launched in 2009 so there was a lot more time spent playing them when we were younger). While I personally haven't played every single AP, there are sufficient people in the group who have played each of them that me getting to play any older ones I'm not already involved in is quite unlikely at this point.

As for writing our own: it's certainly something we've dabbled in over the years. Most campaigns peter out within a handful of levels though due to the work and time commitment to writing and running them.


I game weekly, at least 4h per session, sometimes more. We finish one AP per year, roughly


It is an odd situation.

If nothing else it makes me feel pretty proud of myself for making up my own games.

Hmm Here is a thought Since PF2 is still going to get its own APs and I would guess that all of the same monsters will eventually make it into pf2 that are in pf1 it might be possible to use the stories and setup for the pf2 in pf1 and just plug in the new monsters. you might have to alter some skill check dc's a little here and their but at least the story part will still be their for you.


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I wouldn't be surprised if there's still going to be a larger PF1 segment remaining (at least for several years) that will adapt PF2 APs to PF1, basically making conversion documents (notes on encounters, skill challenges, haunts etc.) and posting them here. So anyone wanting to run the newer APs with PF1 rules wouldn't need to do the conversion themselves. Community based extras like that has always been a staple of the Pathfinder crowd. You can find high resolution, custom made maps of pretty much all the APs, for e.g. VTT games, custom made handouts etc.
And since the overall tone is going to be the same, I see no reason why PF2 APs can't be played with PF1 rules.


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GentleGiant wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if there's still going to be a larger PF1 segment remaining (at least for several years) that will adapt PF2 APs to PF1, basically making conversion documents (notes on encounters, skill challenges, haunts etc.) and posting them here. So anyone wanting to run the newer APs with PF1 rules wouldn't need to do the conversion themselves. Community based extras like that has always been a staple of the Pathfinder crowd. You can find high resolution, custom made maps of pretty much all the APs, for e.g. VTT games, custom made handouts etc.

And since the overall tone is going to be the same, I see no reason why PF2 APs can't be played with PF1 rules.

I don’t know - it looks like the tone of high level play is liable to change quite a bit with the ‘legendary’ tier, and if every AP has those levels baked in, that section of the AP is going to be rather hard to translate. It would show up in the assumptions and structure of what the challenges are in the AP. So it very well could be nowhere near as simple as just translating.


Arssanguinus wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if there's still going to be a larger PF1 segment remaining (at least for several years) that will adapt PF2 APs to PF1, basically making conversion documents (notes on encounters, skill challenges, haunts etc.) and posting them here. So anyone wanting to run the newer APs with PF1 rules wouldn't need to do the conversion themselves. Community based extras like that has always been a staple of the Pathfinder crowd. You can find high resolution, custom made maps of pretty much all the APs, for e.g. VTT games, custom made handouts etc.

And since the overall tone is going to be the same, I see no reason why PF2 APs can't be played with PF1 rules.
I don’t know - it looks like the tone of high level play is liable to change quite a bit with the ‘legendary’ tier, and if every AP has those levels baked in, that section of the AP is going to be rather hard to translate. It would show up in the assumptions and structure of what the challenges are in the AP. So it very well could be nowhere near as simple as just translating.

Hmm its a good point. I guess we won't really know until we see everything. It might just be one of those you can't please everyone situations which is sad but it happens.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wizards can get the ability to counterspell... that sounds like counterspelling is going to be a wizard class feat, which would be pretty meh. What about the other casters?


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Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Wizards can get the ability to counterspell... that sounds like counterspelling is going to be a wizard class feat, which would be pretty meh. What about the other casters?

You have to wait your turn to get your ice cream.


Arssanguinus wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

I wouldn't be surprised if there's still going to be a larger PF1 segment remaining (at least for several years) that will adapt PF2 APs to PF1, basically making conversion documents (notes on encounters, skill challenges, haunts etc.) and posting them here. So anyone wanting to run the newer APs with PF1 rules wouldn't need to do the conversion themselves. Community based extras like that has always been a staple of the Pathfinder crowd. You can find high resolution, custom made maps of pretty much all the APs, for e.g. VTT games, custom made handouts etc.

And since the overall tone is going to be the same, I see no reason why PF2 APs can't be played with PF1 rules.
I don’t know - it looks like the tone of high level play is liable to change quite a bit with the ‘legendary’ tier, and if every AP has those levels baked in, that section of the AP is going to be rather hard to translate. It would show up in the assumptions and structure of what the challenges are in the AP. So it very well could be nowhere near as simple as just translating.

Definitely a possibility that it's not going to be a 1:1 conversion. Staple monsters might be more portable, but NPCs could require more work. That's where people's personal touch comes into play and there are some quite knowledgeable rules people around. It's a guess from me, of course, but we'll have to see the full rules to see what's possible, what requires more work to convert and what's not possible.

The main point was that there are probably still people who are going to be running PF2 APs with PF1 rules and some of them are likely to share their conversion notes.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I personally never run the adventure paths my games all come from the top of my head. I do read a lot of fantasy I suggest it heavily for the improvement of your dnd/PF games. If I don't like PF2 it will not slow me down. PF1 till something better comes out. that said PF2 is looking awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, or (GNU) Terry Pratchett fantasy? Because those two are very distinctly different flavors of fantasy.

Read all the fantasy from as many diverse sources as possible. You will find something to learn every time.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Every single damned mechanic they've posted to date reeks of either 4E or 5E.

But still you do not say how.

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
If I had even the smallest desire to play either of those games, I would not be here.

And this is why, obviously. Those of us who have "the smallest desire", and in fact have played both (in my case 4e extensively, 5e less so) are much better able to judge, and are not seeing much in the way of similarity.

ISTM that the 4e you imagine is not actually all that similar to the 4e that is actually printed in the books, and that some of us have actually played?

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Initiative keying off different skills? Which one is that from?
The infrastructure was in place (because 4th ed uses an extremely similar design to Pathfinder 2nd edition when it comes to a universal bonus based on level), 4th ed just never pulled the trigger on it.

Case in point, this is factually wrong. 4e does not have a universal bonus based on level. It adds half level to pretty much everything, but the other things it adds are not unified, so the total bonuses will be different.

Not that that really matters in the case of initiative bonuses, since initiatives are pretty much only ever compared with other initiatives. But at that point you are saying "4e could of done this thing but didn't, so it is totally the same as 4e", by which standard it is totally the same as every single RPG that has skills expressed as bonuses to a die role. Hardly compelling.

_
glass.


Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Wizards can get the ability to counterspell... that sounds like counterspelling is going to be a wizard class feat, which would be pretty meh. What about the other casters?

I assume they that every caster can counterspell, but have to declare a ready action or something like that.


glass wrote:
]Case in point, this is factually wrong. 4e does not have a universal bonus based on level. It adds half level to pretty much everything, but the other things it adds are not unified, so the total bonuses will be different..

That's not right. In fact with magical implements giving enhancement bonuses it was much more unified. But it's also not on topic.


glass wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Every single damned mechanic they've posted to date reeks of either 4E or 5E.
But still you do not say how. =

To agree with @glass here and provide a counterexample: the action economy is nothing like 4e or 5e, or at least, it's as close to those as it is original Pathfinder.

Yes, Pathfinder 2e has some similarities to 5e and 4e, and hopefully it's adopted the portions of those systems that worked. I love 5e's simplicity with numbers, enjoy the way it does proficiency bonuses, but I hate the flatness of decisions (they're all made at first level) and the fact that they removed the strategic element (no flanking). Pathfinder 2e seems to be striving to emulate the first thing mentioned, not doing the second, but have also avoided the third and the fourth. A mixed bag, all-in-all.

See, I used specific examples. If you want to contribute to a useful dialogue, I suggest you do the same thing yourself, otherwise you're just ranting and not being helpful at all.


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glass wrote:

Those of us who have "the smallest desire", and in fact have played both (in my case 4e extensively, 5e less so) are much better able to judge, and are not seeing much in the way of similarity.

I'm one who has played 5e extensively, 4e less so (only a few sessions).

PF2 is looking nothing like 5e, at all. I mean, the closest we get is that they both have a static bonus (5e 1-6, PF2 1-20), but then PF2 goes on to give a ton of other bonuses. And PF2 might use upcasting, which 5e also used, but that's an extremely broad category to use, like saying a miata and a tank are identical because they're both vehicles.

Hell, I even started a thread on it two weeks back.


Leyren wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Wizards can get the ability to counterspell... that sounds like counterspelling is going to be a wizard class feat, which would be pretty meh. What about the other casters?
I assume they that every caster can counterspell, but have to declare a ready action or something like that.

Doubtful. That's how old counterspelling worked, and no one does it that way. That said, the arcanist, one of the most recently released arcane casters, has a rather powerful, semi-useful version of counterspelling that uses a immediate action, a point from your arcane reservoir, and a spell slot higher than (and eventually equal to) the spell, and it was far more viable/fun/no one gets mad at you for wasting your action if it fails/doesnt pay off. Was a cool system, made my GM crazy lol


Steve Geddes wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Can I ask you to share any thoughts you had on (to use your example) the fact “stride” is also en English noun? Does that mean you’d never use it in that way in flavour text and so forth?
I can guarantee it'll be less trouble than "move", even if it's not perfect.
I don’t have a problem with move. I prefer the rules be written in loose English than strictly codified legalese. It sounds like Logan and the others have put some thought into trying to achieve “casual precision”, which is pretty clever.

Example of when this is a problem:

Quote:

Take 5-Foot Step

You can move 5 feet in any round when you don't perform any other kind of movement.

Any other kind of movement? Can I teleport? Stand from prone? Hit someone with a sword?

(Please don't try to answer this question here. I'm just giving an example of something that causes endless forum debates.)


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

Yeah, I appreciate it’s a problem for many. Just not for me. If they tidy that up through legalistic language and precise definitions, I probably won’t read it and hence won’t play it. That was my feedback - I wasn’t suggesting nobody cares about it.

My query to mark was because it sounds like they are adopting an approach where they can both use ordinary English phrasing but also avoid some of the common ambiguities. Pretty clever if they can achieve that, I’m keen to know more.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Hello Jason (and everyone else reading this thread)!

While we’re all discussing our own varieties of ice cream, those of us in the Play-by-Post community are trying to discuss how to deal with exporation mode-based initiative.

As you may know, it has become a convention of PBP that the GM generally rolls initiative for everyone, monsters and PCs, all at once. We do this because Play-by-Post is slow. No one wants to waste a day where everyone rolls initiative and nothing else is happening, so having the GM roll initiative means that parties can leap immediately into action. So in general, initiative rolls often looks like this spoiler:

Who Goes First?:

Initiative, Ariana: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
Initiative, Dunia: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Initiative, Eadie: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Initiative, Fendel: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Initiative, Quenly+Dragon: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
Initiative, Rufeo+Ki’ala: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Initiative, General Boneapart: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Initiative, ‘Grey’ Troop of Ghasts: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Initiative, ‘Green’ Troop of Ghasts: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

GMs compile preset text blocks of dice macros at the beginning of the game that we can cut and paste for PC rolls, and then add the monster rolls, and go.

With the exploration-based system, initiative is no longer a constant for any given player, so we’re going to have to adapt! We’re looking at the possibility of having players roll their own intiative again as a natural part of describing what they are doing in exploration mode.

GM Mjolbeard wrote:

As for the question of how to deal with initiative, maybe when the party enters "Exploration" mode, they could announce what actions they're taking and either pre-roll their own initiative in case an encounter does arise, or they could post the relevant skill and bonus they're using.

For example, your party enters Exploration mode, and your rogue decides to stealthily scout ahead. She might conclude her post with a stealth roll to represent her initiative, or end it with an OOC "Using Stealth +x bonus".

If the GM never triggers an encounter, the roll goes unused. If the GM does, well... there is that initiative roll, already there for the GM to use when combat does start! This will be interesting to playtest and see how it works in practice. I suspect what we’ll find is that many parties will have players who always use perception, or always use stealth, but different types of encounters will break that dynamic apart.

I am really looking forward to getting a chance to playtest all of this in PbP and see how it works in or games.

Is it August yet?

Hmm
VC, Play-by-Post


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Edna Mode wrote:
(Fingers and toes crossed) Really hoping that hint means Monday's blog will be about the rogue.

I was going to say that I would object if there was no Edna Mode, and so I come to the comments, and I find that Edna Mode is already here.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
glass wrote:
]Case in point, this is factually wrong. 4e does not have a universal bonus based on level. It adds half level to pretty much everything, but the other things it adds are not unified, so the total bonuses will be different..
That's not right. In fact with magical implements giving enhancement bonuses it was much more unified. But it's also not on topic.

It is more unified that 3.5, but that is a) a pretty low bar, and b) not your claim. You said that it has a unified bonus, and it doesn't.

Case in point, weapons and implements both have enhancement bonuses, but weapons also have proficiency bonuses - weapon attack bonuses are generally higher than implement attack bonuses.

Bu what do I know, I only play 4e weekly. Clearly your knowledge as someone who hate the very idea of the system is going to be superior.

As for its topicality, if it is on topic to make comparisons with 4e or 5e, it is on topic to point out when they are inaccurate.

_
glass.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Leyren wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Wizards can get the ability to counterspell... that sounds like counterspelling is going to be a wizard class feat, which would be pretty meh. What about the other casters?
I assume they that every caster can counterspell, but have to declare a ready action or something like that.
Doubtful. That's how old counterspelling worked, and no one does it that way. That said, the arcanist, one of the most recently released arcane casters, has a rather powerful, semi-useful version of counterspelling that uses a immediate action, a point from your arcane reservoir, and a spell slot higher than (and eventually equal to) the spell, and it was far more viable/fun/no one gets mad at you for wasting your action if it fails/doesnt pay off. Was a cool system, made my GM crazy lol

I've got an Arcanist in my adaptation of War of the Burning Sky who uses this. It's been an interesting time for me, as some of the primary antagonist also specialize in counterspelling. (all the counter-counterspelling!)

I do hope other classes retain the ability to counterspell, though I would also assume that it was still as a readied action.


glass wrote:
weapons and implements both have enhancement bonuses, but weapons also have proficiency bonuses

And armor in PF2 is likely to have an armor class bonus that weapons don't have. But hey, maybe you're right. Maybe armor won't have any sort of bonus and it will be pure flavour or it will have DR in which case yes, the bonus will be more unified than 4e. We'll have to wait and see.

As for topicality, I'm making an effort not to derail the thread further than I have.


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Well I was generally in favor of 2nd edition... until I found out we won't be getting icecream. ;_;


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Shadow Kosh wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:

We exclusively play the Paizo adventure paths.

...

Any additional barriers will be just more reasons to stop playing tabletops altogether.

Why exactly do you exclusively play Paizo APs? That's a pretty major "additional barrier" that you have self-imposed. Plenty of other companies put out adventures just as good as anything Paizo does. And if it's getting harder to get together frequently, it would seem to me that shorter adventures would be something you would want to take a look at, rather than insisting on full-length campaigns. Changing things up can also make people more interested...Paizo APs are for the most part good, but if that was ALL I ever played, I'd definitely be sick to death of them.

I have not played the APs half as extensively, I've only played through probably 4-5 (TPKs) APs. I have a LOT more to play through (currently trying to go through Giantslayer).

I have played a majority of the Modules.

Outside of the Official Paizo APs we have Rappun Athuk, Rise of the Drow, and the Lost Lands.

I'm not sure how they might work, but if one wants even more, there are literally seasons of Pathfinder Society Scenarios, each one I think is supposed to play through one session of gaming. I picked up a few seasons a little while ago, and each one appears to have 20+ sessions.

With 9 seasons I suppose that could in theory be up to 180+ sessions, which is also quite a bit of play as well.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Friendly Rogue wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I personally never run the adventure paths my games all come from the top of my head. I do read a lot of fantasy I suggest it heavily for the improvement of your dnd/PF games. If I don't like PF2 it will not slow me down. PF1 till something better comes out. that said PF2 is looking awesome.
J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy, or (GNU) Terry Pratchett fantasy? Because those two are very distinctly different flavors of fantasy.
Thats true XD lol I do like the Pratchett but I don't usually run games in that fashion. but yeah I've read both.
I'm in the process of reading the Discworld books myself (currently on The Light Fantastic), and while I wouldn't have Discworld-inspired games be my go-to, I would be lying if I said it wouldn't be a blast for regular one-offs
Rincewind is like my second or third favorite character for sure. Death being my first.

Love Rincewind. Currently working on a cosplay! <3

I actually injected a bit of Rincewind in my last character, taking an ability that gave her an AC bonus while running away. :3
I would love to play in a Discworld-inspired game.


I think their is a disc world rpg out their.

Liberty's Edge

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Arikiel wrote:
Well I was generally in favor of 2nd edition... until I found out we won't be getting icecream. ;_;

It always has been and always will be the players' responsibility to supply the ice cream. :)

Liberty's Edge

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Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:
[3] This one's a long shot, but...Venetian spellcasting replaced with spell points, similar to, no exactly the way psionics works in ultimate psionics.

I think you mean the abomination that is Vancian Magic.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
You raise a valid point. It appears to be all about proficiency with one gateway feat with no regard for spellcasting... But we don't know enough to be certain

Thank you, this was like sweet music to my ears! I'm sure you're not the only one who has said so in all the posts about "whats coming for Pathfinder 2," but you're the first I saw that said "but we don't know enough to be certain yet," as opposed to the posters who're Woe is meing!

And not that you can't Woe is me, I don't like how this is shaping up, freedom of speech of course. It was just nice to see those words.

AS for me? I like the sound of this, it makes it clear cut what form of game we're in, and downtime allowing the creation of chars is a great addition. I lamented how my PCs built a few chars because I encouraged them to take feats/domains that would give them an unarmed weapon, assuming I'd run sessions where they lost their items and had to deal with it. But in four years that has happened once, and purely because I wanted the feats to be useable. So at level 5 I let them change stuff out, as a real world player reward type thing.


Charlatan wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
You raise a valid point. It appears to be all about proficiency with one gateway feat with no regard for spellcasting... But we don't know enough to be certain

Thank you, this was like sweet music to my ears! I'm sure you're not the only one who has said so in all the posts about "whats coming for Pathfinder 2," but you're the first I saw that said "but we don't know enough to be certain yet," as opposed to the posters who're Woe is meing!

And not that you can't Woe is me, I don't like how this is shaping up, freedom of speech of course. It was just nice to see those words.

AS for me? I like the sound of this, it makes it clear cut what form of game we're in, and downtime allowing the creation of chars is a great addition. I lamented how my PCs built a few chars because I encouraged them to take feats/domains that would give them an unarmed weapon, assuming I'd run sessions where they lost their items and had to deal with it. But in four years that has happened once, and purely because I wanted the feats to be useable. So at level 5 I let them change stuff out, as a real world player reward type thing.

HEY HEY hey pretty much all i've said since these threads has started is we don't have enough information!


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Storm's Retribution sounds like a spell. It seems to operate like a spell (doesn't deal weapon damage). Has a damage + affect format (much like most non-striker 4th ed powers), but it is gained in a way that appears to not be from the Vancian method (it's called out as a feat). Storm's Retribution, based on the information we have (which I acknowledge is quite incomplete) sounds a lot like a 4th ed power.

I'll give you a chance to go through Pathfinder so you can tally up the sheer number of abilities that would similarly qualify. Have fun.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
I think their is a disc world rpg out their.

GURPS Discworld. It's got Death playing a guitar on the cover, or at least the 2nd edition has.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I don't find the hinted druid counterstrike ability any more "4e like" than holy aura is.

The "4e-isms" I'm much more concerned about are "free skill advancement even if it would make no sense to have them," and "NPCs inhabit a completely different rules space than PCs."

To be more on topic, I'm fine with the three modes. Really it's just codifying how a lot of groups seem to play anyway. Also glad it's easier for nonmagical characters to create magic items.


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
This sounds promising, and like the sort of thing I've always strived for in my own campaign houserules writeups. I'm looking forward to seeing more. :)

Do you "strive for it" or do you "stride for it"? ;)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Smite Makes Right wrote:
Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:
[3] This one's a long shot, but...Venetian spellcasting replaced with spell points, similar to, no exactly the way psionics works in ultimate psionics.
I think you mean the abomination that is Vancian Magic.

I saw one of the best and most interesting depictions of Vancian Magic in the second Amber series. Spells are something you cast ahead of time but you leave out key words and gestures. Those anchors prevent the spell from being cast but do decay over time which is why you need to "re-memorize" spells. And the hero used Vancian spells to bury his opponent first with a pile of roses, and then a pile of cow manure. It was most amusing. ^_^

If you don't like Vancian magic, just play a Sorcerer. ;)


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Tangent101 wrote:
Smite Makes Right wrote:
Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:
[3] This one's a long shot, but...Venetian spellcasting replaced with spell points, similar to, no exactly the way psionics works in ultimate psionics.
I think you mean the abomination that is Vancian Magic.

I saw one of the best and most interesting depictions of Vancian Magic in the second Amber series. Spells are something you cast ahead of time but you leave out key words and gestures. Those anchors prevent the spell from being cast but do decay over time which is why you need to "re-memorize" spells. And the hero used Vancian spells to bury his opponent first with a pile of roses, and then a pile of cow manure. It was most amusing. ^_^

If you don't like Vancian magic, just play a Sorcerer. ;)

That's a bit of a lazy solution for the problem that Vancian Magic is quite simply awful, and we need to start moving away from it. The Spell Point system, if it was expanded upon, could work really well.


So, when't the next blogpost?

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