Running the Game

Friday, July 20, 2018

As the Pathfinder Playtest begins, Game Masters will need to quickly get up to speed with the new rules. The Game Mastering chapter of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is here to help you out! It covers the responsibilities of a GM, gives advice on running sessions, and teaches you how to adjudicate the rules of the game. Because this is a playtest, there aren't details about creating your own campaign or adventures, but rest assured, this information will appear in the Pathfinder Second Edition rulebook!

Running Modes of Play

A large section of the Game Mastering chapter runs through the special concerns of running the three modes of play: encounters, exploration, and downtime. The specific rules governing those modes appear in the Playing the Game chapter, so this chapter instead talks about how to set the pace of the game as you GM. Exploration and downtime get the most focus here, since most the rules for running encounters are addressed in Playing the Game. The section on exploration goes over exploration tactics characters might adopt, and gives advice on what to do when players want to choose tactics that aren't included in the default options. It also addresses how to begin and end encounters, including some advice on how to use the new initiative rules of the playtest. The section on downtime shows you how to play out a single downtime day at the table, and how to cover long periods of downtime quickly and keep them interesting. It also talks about buying and selling items and retraining abilities.

Difficulty Classes

Setting DCs is one of your major tasks as GM, and the rulebook covers how to create two different types of DCs: those that are appropriate for a certain level and those that are static challenges in the world. This first category is great when you need the DC of an obstacle created by an enemy of a certain level but don't have all their statistics, when you set the DC to Craft an item of a particular level, and so on. Levels and categories of difficulty are given in a table so you can pick a DC quickly. The level is based on your opposition's level, and the category depends on the particular situation. Here's a portion of that table.

LevelTrivialLowHighSevereExtreme
0 910121417
11012141518
21113151619

Static challenges are everything from climbing a tree to identifying a minor noble. These tasks don't really get more difficult if the PCs are higher level, but can still be expressed in terms of level and difficulty category. The guidelines explain how to select a level and category of difficulty. For instance, climbing a rope that's hanging in mid-air is a level 1 task, so it's normally a high DC (14), but it might have a low DC (12) if you can brace yourself against a wall while climbing through a narrow area, and maybe even a trivial DC (10) if you can brace against two walls. Because static DCs don't increase as the PCs advance in levels, eventually low-level static tasks will become nearly automatic for them. We give guidelines here for GMs crafting their own adventures, but it's ultimately up to them what level and DC tasks are. (In published adventures, this information is still provided.)

As you can see, the rules for DCs intentionally put far more choice in your hands as the GM. Rather than having a long list of DCs and modifiers pre-defined, we wanted to let the GM assess the particulars of any given situation and then use some simple tools to set the DC, rather than needing to calculate a DC based on rules that aren't always exactly suitable to the challenge facing the players.

This section also speaks to some particular categories of skill DCs for crafting, gathering Information, performing for an audience, practicing a trade with Lore, recalling knowledge with skills like Arcana or Lore, or training an animal.

Rewards

This section contains some rules not directly related to Doomsday Dawn, but that we want people to take a look at and use if they create their own campaigns during the playtest. One thing that shows up is rules on awarding Experience Points. This includes XP awards for accomplishments, so that you'll have guidance for when the group pulls off important tasks that aren't encounters or hazards. As noted previously, it normally takes 1,000 XP to level up, but there are also options for varying the players' advancement speed by having a new level every 800 XP or 1,200 XP. If you're playtesting your own campaign, you might want to have characters level up every 800 XP so you get a chance to playtest more levels of the game!

Environment and Hazards

The last section of the Game Mastering chapter briefly summarizes environments and the rules for hazards (such as traps, environmental dangers, and haunts). These are covered in more detail in the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary. They'll be in the final version of Pathfinder Second Edition's core rulebook, but the Playtest Rulebook didn't have quite enough space for the whole thing!

Are you looking forward to GMing playtest games? What changes are you hoping to see? Are you going to run Doomsday Dawn, or try some of your own adventures too? Sound off in the comments!

Logan Bonner
Designer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Liking the Lvl based DC chart.


The Difficulty Class chart feels a little weird, but I can see the benefit. Instead of tables in each skill entry with specific conditions that all add or subtract 2 from the DC, you just have one chart that you move around on.

I'm looking forward to how these rules work with the PFS Playtest adventures.


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man, by the time you guys get to revealing the Human (the only non-revealed aspect that I wanna see), I'll already have the playtest book and won't need the preview.


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So it's the scaling DCs of 4e...but with a static DC table too. One based on a "how difficult is this?" back of the envelope question rather than a "let's add up all these modifiers and see what comes out" approach.

Honestly, that's so elegant I wonder why 4e never thought to use it.


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Pretty bland blog but I guess after bard they didn't want to get everyone all riled up before the weekend.

I guess table of DCs makes sense. Some GMs will abuse it and say "you're lvl 12 adventurers so everything is a lvl 12 DC" but some GMs are bad at GMing.


Moving around on the table makes Assurance more powerful than I thought. After all, though you just get a flat result... if you can adjust what the difficulty itself is, then it feels like you can combine the two to get a similar result as in 1e.


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I like to think the following: Players create characters, GMs create campaigns.

So what I expect is support to create and run campaigns, I would like if the system makes gamemastering easier: reduced preparation time, less bookkeeping, consistent and intuitive rules, smaller stat blocks, quicker customization, etc.

Having said that, this blog could have used more examples.


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JakBlitz wrote:
Liking the Lvl based DC chart.

I'm in the exact opposite camp. A chart of DCs with specific examples for each skill is a far better. I don't want to have to try and assign arbitrary levels to things like climbing as a GM, and I don't want to have to try and read my GM's mind to figure out how hard they think a free-hanging rope climb is based on their gym class experience or whatever.

The problems with static level based DC charts have been enumerated many times since they were presented in 4e. I'm not looking forward to having those arguments again for more months or years.

For example: I can't tell what Paizo thinks a task being "trivial" means, and it doesn't jive at all with my own personal definition. A 1st level trivial task in this setup is failed by a trained specialist of the same level (+4) 25% of the time, and an average attempt from an untrained character (-2) fails 55% of the time. This is almost certainly going to translate to comedy of errors gameplay at the table, with party members regularly failing the easiest possible tasks the system defines.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't understand. So instead of DCs you will say "This is a level 3 hard dc"? And I look up what a level 3 hard dc is and as a gm decide if they lower it to easy or trivial with special actions?

Or does it flat out say "If you do x then it's easy."?

For some reason I am having a real hard time with this.


Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

man, by the time you guys get to revealing the Human (the only non-revealed aspect that I wanna see), I'll already have the playtest book and won't need the preview.

I’m pretty sure they would have previewed the human by now if they were planning to preview it at all. All the other ancestries came out in quick succession, apart from humans, half-elves, and half-orcs. Clearly they’re doing something different with the Human (and part-Human) Ancestry that they don’t want to spoil.


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I'm planning on running Doomsday Dawn, largely because I don't know the scope and/or particulars of time and mechanical focus that paizo is looking for out of the playtest.

I'm intrigued to see more of what kinds of tasks/skill uses are given what level.

Dark Archive

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Does this section contain specific rules for groups performing the same check? Like a party trying to stealth perhaps? ::hopeful::


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I bet the half-ancestries use the same mechanic as multi-class characters, and those will be previewed close together.


Not very exciting, but good articles nonetheless.
I just want to know the playtest's final boss, but I guess I'll have to wait :P
The downtime rules are going to get my attention. I've never thought much about using these kinds of rules in my games. I'll check that out.

Quadratic W wrote:

So it's the scaling DCs of 4e...but with a static DC table too. One based on a "how difficult is this?" back of the envelope question rather than a "let's add up all these modifiers and see what comes out" approach.

Honestly, that's so elegant I wonder why 4e never thought to use it.

WotC's 4e was worse than 4e :P

But enough talk about editions! Now we fight like men! And ladies, ladies who dress like men! For Gilgamesh, it's morphing time!

(I hope anyone gets it).

P.S.: Why this avatar image popped up here, it's a mystery.


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John Ryan 783 wrote:

I don't understand. So instead of DCs you will say "This is a level 3 hard dc"? And I look up what a level 3 hard dc is and as a gm decide if they lower it to easy or trivial with special actions?

Or does it flat out say "If you do x then it's easy."?

For some reason I am having a real hard time with this.

The chart is just a guideline. So, if you’re creating your own content and you’ve got a level 2 antagonist who sets up a highly dangerous trap for the party, you can use the chart to figure out that a high difficulty DC for 2nd level is 15, so that might be a good DC to use for spotting the trap. Alternatively, if your players attempt something you weren’t expecting, you can use the chart to help you improvise a DC based on how difficult you imagine the task being for characters of the party’s level. Specific tasks will still have specific DCs as normal, the chart is just a tool to make setting DCs for custom or improvised content easier.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules


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Aratrok wrote:

For example: I can't tell what Paizo thinks a task being "trivial" means, and it doesn't jive at all with my own personal definition. A 1st level trivial task in this setup is failed by a trained specialist of the same level (+4) 25% of the time, and an average attempt from an untrained character (-2) fails 55% of the time. This is almost certainly going to translate to comedy of errors gameplay at the table, with party members regularly failing the easiest possible tasks the system defines.

If I'm reading things correctly, this also means that Trained Assurance only applies to 3 possible tasks; level 0 trivial and low, and level 1 trivial.


Bardarok wrote:
Pretty bland blog but I guess after bard they didn't want to get everyone all riled up before the weekend.

The Playtest blogs follow a rather consistent "more ...controversial stuff on Monday, more lowkey stuff on Friday" schedule.

(Mondays usually being class previews, which we're on the tail end of, with only Druid left.)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Charlaquin wrote:
Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:

man, by the time you guys get to revealing the Human (the only non-revealed aspect that I wanna see), I'll already have the playtest book and won't need the preview.

I’m pretty sure they would have previewed the human by now if they were planning to preview it at all. All the other ancestries came out in quick succession, apart from humans, half-elves, and half-orcs. Clearly they’re doing something different with the Human (and part-Human) Ancestry that they don’t want to spoil.

Actually I think posters must have correctly guessed it already and whatever ruckus it would raise has already happened. So it does not need a defusing blog post anymore


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The DC table looks interesting, though I hope there are a large amount of static challenge DCs included so that players have some degree of consistency in their tasks (and can set their expectations based on their current skills).

Otherwise, doesn't seem to be too much info here.
As for GMing the playtest, I might try to assemble my old group back together (fell apart due to general life stuff) and see if they're willing to try Doomsday Dawn if I run it for them.


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RiverMesa wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Pretty bland blog but I guess after bard they didn't want to get everyone all riled up before the weekend.

The Playtest blogs follow a rather consistent "more ...controversial stuff on Monday, more lowkey stuff on Friday" schedule.

(Mondays usually being class previews, which we're on the tail end of, with only Druid left.)

I think with the stuff from Paizocon, we've basically covered the Druid.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RiverMesa wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Pretty bland blog but I guess after bard they didn't want to get everyone all riled up before the weekend.

The Playtest blogs follow a rather consistent "more ...controversial stuff on Monday, more lowkey stuff on Friday" schedule.

(Mondays usually being class previews, which we're on the tail end of, with only Druid left.)

My bet is on multiclassing : likely contentious, while Druid has already been mostly uncovered and discussed

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why are we on Website Feedback ?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I hope Humans, half-elves, and half-orcs will get previewed before the playtest drops.


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I am disappointed that a huge portion of the playtest content won't exist in a professionally printed form... I'd have bought it.

I like having a two-axis chart for determining DCs on the fly. Especially so when you're writing an adventure that hinges on a given challenge being extremely difficult, but don't know what level the heroes will be when they meet it. However, in order for such a system to be useful we'll still need a fairly sizable list of example tasks and their actual DCs. Without frame of reference it will be hard to adjudicate what 'level' and 'category' a given task belongs in.

On the other hand, I don't like the thought of having tasks defined by both their 'level' and 'category' instead of just by DC (which takes very little line space to note). For example I want "Climb Ladder (DC 9)" not "Climb Ladder (Trivial Level 0 Task).
Although a table of 'Trivial Level 0 Tasks' that included "Climb Ladder" would be acceptable so long as the DC is still being noted (DC 9) in practice for ease of use. I don't want to reference a table for a task described in a module!


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I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.


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>i-it's n-not a treadmill


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RiverMesa wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Pretty bland blog but I guess after bard they didn't want to get everyone all riled up before the weekend.

The Playtest blogs follow a rather consistent "more ...controversial stuff on Monday, more lowkey stuff on Friday" schedule.

(Mondays usually being class previews, which we're on the tail end of, with only Druid left.)

True but this seems bland compared to other Friday blogs even. Archetypes was a Friday blog, the new rarity system was a Friday blog both were more interesting. But I am really just getting impatient for the play test itself. It's a fine blog. A very fine blog indeed.

If they skip druid because they previewed it at paizocon it's just multi classing and humans left right? Assuming that the Monday before release they will be pretty busy.


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tivadar27 wrote:

I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.

I suspect that the reason they're not having a lot of custom campaign stuff in the playtest's rulebook is the same reason they really don't want people using things like houserules and homebrew in the playtest: They want solid, consistent data. Their pre-printed content is designed to test specific mechanics at specific times so they can get regulated, consistent data on how it does or does not work.


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Bardarok wrote:


If they skip druid because they previewed it at paizocon it's just multi classing and humans left right? Assuming that the Monday before release they will be pretty busy.

There’s still a spell lists blog to be shown as well, according to the Bard blog.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Quadratic W wrote:

So it's the scaling DCs of 4e...but with a static DC table too. One based on a "how difficult is this?" back of the envelope question rather than a "let's add up all these modifiers and see what comes out" approach.

Honestly, that's so elegant I wonder why 4e never thought to use it.

I’m completely in agreement with spirit of your assertions, and am saying this joking, but, if I have to hear the word “elegant” or worse “inelegant” used to describe this or any other game system again, I’m going to have to let some additional air into my head. Let’s go out on a limb and try out similiar adjectives like sublime, graceful, efficient, tidy, streamlined, effective, or refined - just to see how it feels for a bit. :D


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Maveric28 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

The collectors edition was made for people who like collecting things. It's in the name.


I hope the gm section also gives guidelines for when to apply which mastery level...
and yeah I agree that this is a rather bland blog


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Maveric28 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

[sarcasm]Yeah, how dare Paizo finance other futute projects! Who wants other futute projects? Ugh. Core books only for me, please![/sarcasm]

In all seriousness though, yeah, I just couldn’t justify paying for the playtest rules when they’re going to be free in PDF form, and outdated once the finalized rules release.


Shinigami02 wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:

I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.

I suspect that the reason they're not having a lot of custom campaign stuff in the playtest's rulebook is the same reason they really don't want people using things like houserules and homebrew in the playtest: They want solid, consistent data. Their pre-printed content is designed to test specific mechanics at specific times so they can get regulated, consistent data on how it does or does not work.

It's not hard to include rules for building encounters (and enemies) and encourage people to do this in custom adventures (perhaps limit it to Golarion) and avoid house-rules altogether. There will be rules for this in the final version, they've said so, but they're not testing them...


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Shinigami02 wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:

I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.

I suspect that the reason they're not having a lot of custom campaign stuff in the playtest's rulebook is the same reason they really don't want people using things like houserules and homebrew in the playtest: They want solid, consistent data. Their pre-printed content is designed to test specific mechanics at specific times so they can get regulated, consistent data on how it does or does not work.

Pretty much. Playtest needs trustful data. This is not the kind of thing that goes on there.

Maveric28 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

I personally think all playtest print products are basically "collector's stuff". Just for bragging rights.

I save my money for the big release ^^


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I justified it as Pathfinder Unchained II if I don't like the final product.


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That DC chart is a lot like what Numenera does, but far more complex, and I really don't get why.

Like, for example, why are all the DC jumps from 1 to 2 (as in, Level 1 Trivial to Level 2 Trivial) just +1, but not all the jumps from 0 to 1? Wouldn't it be much easier to just set the level 0 DCs, and then go "Every level the challenge is above 0 add +1 to the relevant DC"?

Other than that the blog's pretty meh, which is as expected on a Friday. Though it is interesting to note that the default Slow/Fast XP presented here is -/+ 20% XP required to level up, while the old system was -/+ 33%.


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Aramar wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

For example: I can't tell what Paizo thinks a task being "trivial" means, and it doesn't jive at all with my own personal definition. A 1st level trivial task in this setup is failed by a trained specialist of the same level (+4) 25% of the time, and an average attempt from an untrained character (-2) fails 55% of the time. This is almost certainly going to translate to comedy of errors gameplay at the table, with party members regularly failing the easiest possible tasks the system defines.

If I'm reading things correctly, this also means that Trained Assurance only applies to 3 possible tasks; level 0 trivial and low, and level 1 trivial.

Hm. Based on this progression (if it stays the same all throughout), you'll hit DC 30 (Legendary assurance) at lvl 14 extreme, and at lvl 20 the only thing you'd be 'assured' at are trivial things. I like assurance as a concept, but I'm not sure how I feel about these DCs.


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Charlaquin wrote:
Bardarok wrote:


If they skip druid because they previewed it at paizocon it's just multi classing and humans left right? Assuming that the Monday before release they will be pretty busy.
There’s still a spell lists blog to be shown as well, according to the Bard blog.

Okay so spell lists, Multi-classing, and Human/half-humans. I assume Multi-classing will be Monday because that's likely to be a spicy discussion.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Aratrok wrote:
For example: I can't tell what Paizo thinks a task being "trivial" means, and it doesn't jive at all with my own personal definition.

The playtest rules thoroughly define each category. Trivial basically means if this is the DC and the whole party can try it and only one person needs to succeed, it would be incredibly unlikely that no one succeeds. For instance, even an untrained 1st-level character with 10 in the stat, likely the worst you have, is 50/50 at the level 1 trivial (a trivial task of a level is actually roughly defined as "Something a totally uninvested character of that level would be at about a coin flip to do"). Even if an entire party of four was built that way with no one invested at all, it's still only a 1 in 16 chance they don't have someone make it. Trivial DCs are relevant enough to be on the chart because someone probably will fail it if everybody has to roll it and all who fail experience some interesting result of failure.


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SilverliteSword wrote:
Aramar wrote:
Aratrok wrote:

For example: I can't tell what Paizo thinks a task being "trivial" means, and it doesn't jive at all with my own personal definition. A 1st level trivial task in this setup is failed by a trained specialist of the same level (+4) 25% of the time, and an average attempt from an untrained character (-2) fails 55% of the time. This is almost certainly going to translate to comedy of errors gameplay at the table, with party members regularly failing the easiest possible tasks the system defines.

If I'm reading things correctly, this also means that Trained Assurance only applies to 3 possible tasks; level 0 trivial and low, and level 1 trivial.
Hm. Based on this progression (if it stays the same all throughout), you'll hit DC 30 (Legendary assurance) at lvl 14 extreme, and at lvl 20 the only thing you'd be 'assured' at are trivial things. I like assurance as a concept, but I'm not sure how I feel about these DCs.

I've discussed this previously elsewhere, but I think Assurance was poorly designed. It essentially requires you to train a skill all the way up for it to stay relevant (rather than just granting some guaranteed number on the die roll for each level). This makes it a bad skill for anything you're actually specializing in... which... feels stupid.

EDIT: I think my last sentence was incorrect. It's good for skills you're naturally bad at (low ability score, no magical boosts) and don't put any resources into outside of skill ranks (which you have to put in, or it's bad again) and the assurance skill feat...


Ikos wrote:


I’m completely in agreement with spirit of your assertions, and am saying this joking, but, if I have to hear the word “elegant” or worse “inelegant” used to describe this or any other game system again, I’m going to have to let some additional air into my head. Let’s go out on a limb and try out similiar adjectives like sublime, graceful, efficient, tidy, streamlined, effective, or refined - just to see how it feels for a bit. :D

My most important adjectives for RPG systems are: cool and uncool.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Igwilly wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:

I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.

I suspect that the reason they're not having a lot of custom campaign stuff in the playtest's rulebook is the same reason they really don't want people using things like houserules and homebrew in the playtest: They want solid, consistent data. Their pre-printed content is designed to test specific mechanics at specific times so they can get regulated, consistent data on how it does or does not work.

Pretty much. Playtest needs trustful data. This is not the kind of thing that goes on there.

Maveric28 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

I personally think all playtest print products are basically "collector's stuff". Just for bragging rights.

I save my money for the big release ^^

I find it hard to read really long PDFs. Having the paper copy makes it a lot easier for me. But, there's also a reason I only got the paperback copy ^^


I'm thinking Humans and hybrids on Monday.

Paizo Employee Designer

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tivadar27 wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:

I'm highly disappointed that from a playtest/marketing point of view, PF2 seems to be focusing on running pre-generated content for GMs. It's nice to tip the hat and say "this will appear in the final version", but if it's not being playtested or even made visible during the playtest, why should I assume that that content is good?

One of the great things about PF1 was the ability to import it into any world/use it in any campaign (fantasy obviously). PF2 seems to be ignoring this at best, or have it as a non-goal at worst.

I suspect that the reason they're not having a lot of custom campaign stuff in the playtest's rulebook is the same reason they really don't want people using things like houserules and homebrew in the playtest: They want solid, consistent data. Their pre-printed content is designed to test specific mechanics at specific times so they can get regulated, consistent data on how it does or does not work.
It's not hard to include rules for building encounters (and enemies) and encourage people to do this in custom adventures (perhaps limit it to Golarion) and avoid house-rules altogether. There will be rules for this in the final version, they've said so, but they're not testing them...

There are rules for building encounters, and we highly recommend it for groups who are interested in trying out some homebrewed adventures.

But there's a huge difference in how usable the data is from a game where the GM built encounters using the monsters we built for the playtest and a game where the GM built the monsters. We are not only stress-testing the PCs, we also need to stress-test the monsters themselves for the first Bestiary, and custom monsters that wind up with an unusual power level not only dilute the monster feedback on the Bestiary monsters, they can potentially ramify into the feedback about the PCs as well, since what the PCs can do is in many respects colored by the foes they face.

Dark Archive

When will the PF playtest bestiary be coming out?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Charlaquin wrote:
Maveric28 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.

[sarcasm]Yeah, how dare Paizo finance other futute projects! Who wants other futute projects? Ugh. Core books only for me, please![/sarcasm]

In all seriousness though, yeah, I just couldn’t justify paying for the playtest rules when they’re going to be free in PDF form, and outdated once the finalized rules release.

We are making all these print products because people were vastly more interested in them than expected the first time around for Pathfinder. I understand the first time they printed a few softcovers because we can get those printed and sell them for cheaper than people could usually print their own at Kinko's, but it was assumed most people would just use the free pdf, and--surprise!--many more people wanted the print version than expected. Lesson learned for this time around.


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Ectar wrote:
When will the PF playtest bestiary be coming out?

Ohh I got this one! It's being released with everything else, presumably on August 2nd!

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