Halfway to Doomsday

Monday, October 1, 2018

Hey there everybody. As of today, we're just about halfway through the spotlight period of the Doomsday Dawn adventure, and while we still have many months to go before the end of the playtest period, we've learned a lot in the past two months!

First and foremost, thank you for your participation! We could not do this without you. Your feedback has been vital in telling us where the game needs work, and we're looking forward to seeing what you uncover in the last parts of the adventure. I'd also like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you haven't played up through Part 3 of Doomsday Dawn, you have nothing to fear. The surveys for all of the previous parts are still open, and there's still much more for us to learn from your input.

What Are Our Goals?

In the past few months, the design team has been on just about every different news and interview forum out there. We've talked about the changes we've made and why we made them. We've talked about where we wanted to go and why we wanted to take the game there; but in all the rush, we've realized that the one place where we haven't categorically stated our goals is right here, in this blog. So without further delay, here are our primary goals for the playtest.

  1. Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.
  2. Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.
  3. Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).
  4. Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.
  5. Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

There are plenty of other things that are important to us as we work to create a new edition of Pathfinder, but these points are some of our strongest motivators. I think it's important to note that these are guidelines and not necessarily listed in order of importance. Furthermore, a guideline might be more important in some parts of the game than it is in others. When making something this challenging, it's very useful to give yourself guiding principles, while also understanding that you're never going to be 100% perfect. In any case, for those of you who were interested in why the game has changed in the ways that it has, we hope that laying out our goals for the process can help you understand our decisions.

MORE Surveys

The surveys never end here at Paizo, and this week is no exception. We have been incredibly pleased by the results from the Doomsday Dawn surveys as well as the more general surveys we launched two weeks ago looking at ancestries, backgrounds, and classes. Today we'd like to open up two more general surveys.

The first is focused on the general rules for playing the Pathfinder RPG. This survey is a large one, going over a wide range of topics and touching on nearly every chapter in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. Set aside about an hour for this survey if you can, and make sure to go all the way to the end if you want your results to count.

Rules Survey | Open Rules Survey

The second survey takes a look at the monsters in the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary. We want to see what you thought about the stats in that PDF and how they were presented.

Bestiary Survey | Open Bestiary Survey

Well, that about does it for this week. Make sure to stop back in here next week for Update 1.4 and the start of Part 5 of the Doomsday Dawn playtest!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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9 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:
Baelor the Bard wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Now I feel like making a dual-ax-wielding, ranged-heavy Barbarian, just to prove that it's playable without being useless (as people keep saying will happen as soon as you aren't optimal).
Lol I don't think it would be bad necessarily. Unfortunately though as Barbarian is right now it has no ranged or two-weapon options so I feel like the multi-classing you would have to do in order to pull that off would mean you wouldn't have a whole like of actual Barbarian options in your build.

Eh, I think people are vastly overestimating how much Double Slice and other fighter things are required to make a two-weapon character. I'm aware saying this is basically complete heresy on these boards, but you can just use the off-hand weapon as an agile one, so you can just start with d8s on the first attack and follow up with agile d6s. Is it slightly worse than Double Slice? Yes. Does it function? Yes. (If you were committed to multiclassing, dipping Ranger for Twin Takedown would be the only one I'd do.)

Using the hatchet as a ranged weapon (mediocre though the range may be, I committed to an axe barbarian) and getting returning on it is decent for ranged things. Bonus - since rage applies to melee weapons, it still works on thrown axes. Alternately, if it's for the level 12 playtest, you can use Spirit's Wrath as your "range".

Stat line of 16/16/14/10/10/12 at first level would be mostly acceptable. None of this is optimal, but it's all totally workable, and I'm pretty sure it would function fine in an actual game. It's certainly stronger than my last character was.

I can attest from experience that this build will not be playable. Barbarians don't get proficiency increases until level 13, so you'll be swinging at level +3 until 5th, then level +4, and the math of the game is such that you literally cannot land critical hits save for landing a nat 20.

And given the lower damage dice of your weapons, you won't feel like your character is contributing because you will be failing at your attempts more than you succeed, this is shown both in practice and in theory.

You really need to have the highest stat possible, and I mean need by its textbook definition. I've tried such builds myself a few times over, and they failed to perform in every scenario I attempted (lvl 1, 4, and 12).

When the game has such tight math behind it, the freedom of choice we think we have really is just there to pad out the length of the book.

Sovereign Court

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N N 959 wrote:
Don't juxtaposed orthogonal choices. I shouldn't be choosing between Wild Empathy or a Full Grown Companion. I should be choosing whether Wild Empathy gets a bonus on vermin or magical beats or Animals. I should be choosing whether a...

I feel like this is what I'd want more than what we got for all classes. Like Bards should have gotten Versatile Performance and chosen one performance at first and then choose others later on. They should start with Inspire Courage, and choose other performances as they level. At the moment it feels like I'm choosing between my favorite children.

You've absolutely hit the nail on the head here.

Sovereign Court

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Anguish wrote:
Neume wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

<snip> As it stands now, i'll not be playing 2.0, but 1.0.

The playtest is not second edition. In my opinion, this it the thing people misunderstand the most. The playtest was specifically designed to test a number of concepts. Those concepts may be bad and may get reverted back to 1ed or they may get updated to something else. But we're testing these ideas, NOT testing 2ed.

Sorry friend , we (the disenfranchised) are not clueless. If a person is vegetarian and their favorite vegetarian restaurant introduces "a new menu we're working on, but not all the details are decided", and the menu is full of meat, and then the test menu gets some alterations, which are all changes to which animal the meat comes from, that person is well-informed that it's time to plan to eat elsewhere. Not-meat isn't on the menu.

To be really, really clear, I've chosen this analogy because I adore meat.

PF2 isn't wrong or bad or even a mistake. It's just not what I want to eat.

But to imagine that somehow we can't tell from the playtest and the adjustments since, and from posts by devs (and lack of specific posts), we aren't equipped to tell what the end-result is going to look like... isn't realistic, I think.

But the devs themselves have said they don't for sure know what the final game is going to look like. Which is why the Playtest isn't 2ed. If you look, they never refer to the Playtest as 2ed. 1ed was wildly different from its playtest. The devs have repeatedly said, we're testing things they were pretty sure would have to be cut or changed. By giving feedback (like on Resonance) about how those things make us happy or sad the team will be able to develop the final game in a data driven direction.

I say this to say, walking away will just ensure the game looks nothing like you want. Giving your opinion will at the very least give the team a data point of feedback to build from - even if the overarching design goal is contradictory. Because maybe a LOT of people give feedback about a design goal being contradictory to what they want the game to be.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

On a different topic (but something also mentioned in this blog post), I enjoy giving feedback via surveys, but some of the questions are frustrating. Several times I wanted to pick an option that was not available or to be able to choose "n/a" when it was something I didn't feel strongly about, and not all of the questions allow that.


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The Archive wrote:
Quote:
Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.

Frankly. With the PF2 system as it is currently, telling the same stories is just not possible.

Heroes are just simply at a lower power level and magic just does not operate well outside of combat. Heroes are comparably incompetent and the magic that could be used to fuel plots cannot be used in the same ways anymore.
The changes in math when it comes to level differences just does not let the same encounters happen to similar appeal. And the flow of encounters per day cannot be even close to the same thanks to numerous factors.
PCs really just don't have good escape options anymore with both Dimension Door and Teleport nerfed which causes inherently more risk.
While partially a product of only being a playtest (and partially due to how multiclassing and archetypes work), PCs are nowhere close to being as flexible in concept.
Honestly, any encounter that had PC-classed enemies I just think will not work anymore. Partially due to the PF2 classes and math for PCs, and partially due to PF2 monsters design.

Like... regardless of I think of PF2 as is, I can only think of perhaps one or two PF1 games out of many that would have been at all similar using PF2. And that's including APs. The same stories just cannot be told.

Yeah, I can't imagine playing anything compelling or interesting in this edition. Worse, it wouldn't work at all for my setting. I think I'll be sticking with PF1 in the coming years-what I'm hearing from Jason is sadly just not a game that interests me.


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Just a thought: Will there be a survey specifically for spells? Because I saw that spells have yet to be address in a survey and I know of a few people who have some significant opinions with regards to that topic.

Sovereign Court

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Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
You have currently pegged everything at costing a feat

Hmm.. I have seen this, or something like it, in quite a few places. Its interesting because I think we are using the term feat for these options because they are selected and applied to your character in a shared way.

What they do not share is an equal value. A class feat is better than a skill feat. An ancestry feat is not meant to be the same value as the others. I see a lot of comparison between the categories and that alone might be the biggest problem with using the word "feat" for all of them. Useful to learn the system, but the baggage from existing users applying to word to mean "a rule with a specified amount of power and utility" is a barrier to overcome.

Except humans can choose a class or a general feat as an ancestry feat, which kind of implies they are equal. Or else humans can get stronger ancestry feats than anyone else.

The feat choice that Humans can make is limited to level 1. Meaning, my level 17 Ancestry Feat Choice can be a level 1 Bard Class Feat or a General Feat. This is an intended bonus to being a Human. It seems to be a clear exception that is meant to be a balance to the options and abilities other Ancestries get.


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My gosh. That rules survey took forever. Great questions though.


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So either all of the human feats are more powerfuk then othrr ancestry (in which case elf feats on a human is a trap) or the human 1st level class power feat is overpowered (doubtful) and choosing any other human ancestry feat is a trap or ancestors feats and class feats are of equal power.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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This is why I had strong feelings against the removal of Smite Evil. This conflicts with the design goals #2 and #4. People in Golarion know paladins can smite evil. It's not just a game mechanic -- it is a significant part of the lore behind paladins. Removing the ability or making it an optional ability unavailable until higher levels creates a notable dissonance. The removal of this iconic class ability also takes away the class's big narrative moment. Declaring a smite evil is the big exciting moment for a player.

Regardless, I'm happy you shared these design goals. I know you and the rest of the design team are working hard to make this game amazing! Look forward to future blogs.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Okay, I've a question and a thought.

My question: Is using the modified rules for early chapters of the Playtest going to be useful? The reason I ask is I'm in the process of setting up a new tabletop group. My Skype group meets every three-to-four weeks so we've not yet finished the first Chapter anyway (what I'm going to do with them is after finishing Chapter 1, skip to the next chapter with the OP when they're level 9). And I've already incorporated some changes in that group (such as skill changes).

And now for the thought:

Ancestry Feats as existing are a bland and uninteresting system where players have to buy into abilities they would get initially for choosing a Race in Pathfinder 1. You have lost out on some fantastic potential here.

What I would recommend doing is creating a baseline for each Ancestry and allow them to have their Core Heritage abilities - at least insofar that they are balanced with each other. Ancestry Feats would then be used to expand upon racial abilities and make them more potent or even allow other abilities that you dream up of.

Consider for a moment 1st Edition Pathfinder Racial Feats - you have a Halfling and can then choose a Feat at any point for one of a half dozen feats expanding on the essence of being a Halfling. The same works for Half-Orcs and other races - these Racial Feats are what could have been the core of what Ancestry Feats were. Instead, we're forced to "buy into" racial abilities that were core abilities originally... and doesn't allow for anything "fun" like with those 1st Edition Racial Feats.

So what I'd do is revamp the Ancestries. Allow each Ancestry to have a core set of abilities that makes them more powerful.. and then have the Ancestry Feats be things to expand on those core abilities. You already have the foundation for this existing in the original Pathfinder rules, so it wouldn't even be that much extra effort to implement. And no doubt if you keep Ancestry the way it is, someone is going to create an alternative system doing something very much like this, but it'll end up being unbalanced.

Also, you could allow for Human Regional Ancestry Feats - Varisians could have a couple different abilities compared to the Keleshites which differ from Kellids who differ from Shoanti and so forth. You could even just do an initial system giving just two Regional Ancestry Feats and expand further on this when you do the inevitable Ancestry Books expanding on the rules (as I can see the current rules allow for such things as the Complete Bards Handbook, Complete Fighters Handbook, Complete Elves Handbook, and so forth similar to 2nd edition AD&D). This would expand on Human Ancestry abilities and not leave humans out in the cold.


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Very minor typo in the Rules survey. In the actions section, question 1 "The Playtest gives you three actions one your turn and one action per round..." Clearly that bolded bit should be Reaction not action.

Edit
Also in the treasure section, question 3 has the option " They start with too much treasure or treasure of too low a level" I think that should be too little treasure.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Baelor the Bard wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
Now I feel like making a dual-ax-wielding, ranged-heavy Barbarian, just to prove that it's playable without being useless (as people keep saying will happen as soon as you aren't optimal).
Lol I don't think it would be bad necessarily. Unfortunately though as Barbarian is right now it has no ranged or two-weapon options so I feel like the multi-classing you would have to do in order to pull that off would mean you wouldn't have a whole like of actual Barbarian options in your build.

Eh, I think people are vastly overestimating how much Double Slice and other fighter things are required to make a two-weapon character. I'm aware saying this is basically complete heresy on these boards, but you can just use the off-hand weapon as an agile one, so you can just start with d8s on the first attack and follow up with agile d6s. Is it slightly worse than Double Slice? Yes. Does it function? Yes. (If you were committed to multiclassing, dipping Ranger for Twin Takedown would be the only one I'd do.)

Using the hatchet as a ranged weapon (mediocre though the range may be, I committed to an axe barbarian) and getting returning on it is decent for ranged things. Bonus - since rage applies to melee weapons, it still works on thrown axes. Alternately, if it's for the level 12 playtest, you can use Spirit's Wrath as your "range".

Stat line of 16/16/14/10/10/12 at first level would be mostly acceptable. None of this is optimal, but it's all totally workable, and I'm pretty sure it would function fine in an actual game. It's certainly stronger than my last character was.

I can attest from experience that this build will not be playable. Barbarians don't get proficiency increases until level 13, so you'll be swinging at level +3 until 5th, then level +4, and the math of the game is such that you literally cannot land critical hits save for landing a nat 20.

And given the lower damage dice of your weapons, you won't feel...

I played a 14/16/14/10/8/16 Goblin Paladin/Rogue with an expert dogslicer through the level 4, and it was more than fine, playing out significantly better than I expected. This is better than that by a good margin.

The actual base concept of the build was so bad that the GM mentioned it in passing as my "terrible palarogue" a little while ago.


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There's definitely a disconnect between the idea of class and mechanical niche going on with the designers right now. To me class choice is about aesthetic, how I want to look and feel in the world, which is different then what role I want to fill in the party.

In pf1 there were enough general feats and combat feats available that you could get almost any class to fulfill any role your party needed.

In the entirely non scientific archetype survey that was posted back on the preview blog boards the most popular archetypes completely changed the nature of the base class.

That's what I want out of Pathfinder, not rigidly defined classes who seem to get a lot less a lot later than their earlier versions.


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I'm afraid that - to me - the playtest doesn't feel like Pathfinder. When I first saw that your tagline for it was 'join the evolution' I thought: yes, they've got it; the game needs a few tweaks here and there to improve it, maybe the action economy from Unchained plus the combat stamina rules (not to be confused with the Starfinder stamina rules) to give the martials better options, cut down on feat bloat and feat taxes... essentially, PF1 needed streamlining.

The Playtest is in essence a complete rewrite. Feats being locked behind class barriers is the most glaring example. Equipment being locked behind "item levels". The introduction of "spell points" (that have nothing to do with spells?). Resonance. Even the terminology is off-putting ("bolstered" and "operate activation action" both spring to mind - and I really, REALLY wish they didn't).

This isn't an evolution. It's a completely different game. Some of it is excellent (action economy; critical success/failure). Some of it is...well, I've said my piece on the other threads so I won't sidetrack this one. But it's not Pathfinder.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, when you get down to it... Pathfinder was in fact just an evolution of DND 3.5 (I often hear it called DND 3.75). Given how many people play in the World of Golarion... Pathfinder isn't just a gaming system. It's a world setting. And I've actually enjoyed what we've seen to date with the game and also see future potential for it.

Essentially, Pathfinder 2 is returning to a foundation that allows future products similar to the Complete Handbooks found in 2nd Edition AD&D.

Also, let's consider AD&D and its transition to DND 3.0 - this was a huge transition. We had point-builds. We had a base stat of 12 being a +1 to rolls and the like, compared to AD&D where a 12 was worth nothing except for maybe Charisma, and Strength no longer having percentages for an 18 for Fighters and their sub-classes. We had skills now! Anyone could do Rogue abilities! It was a HUGE change.

And yet people continued to play and they enjoyed the new system. I did. My friends did. We didn't see a problem with it. Hell, D&D 4.0 was a huge change from 3.0, enough so that a number of us refused to play it... and D&D 5.0 was another huge leap that utilized elements from Pathfinder and the d20 system while being something unique in and of itself.

So seriously, how does Pathfinder rewriting the rules and moving away from d20 alter the very nature and history of evolution of Dungeons and Dragons as a whole?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
A lof the flexibility you seem to be looking for were some of the things causing us the biggest rules problems in the previous editions.

Customization and power go hand-in-hand. If you give players more options, they can combine them in new and novel ways. It doesn't matter if that's feats, multiclassing, or magic items; give a sufficiently-determined player a big enough toolbox and they will break your game. But that's not necessarily a problem; Pathfinder is not a competitive game, it's a roleplaying game. Having more options to explore is interesting, and given the choice between concept space to explore and balance, I feel balance is by far the less important of the two.

At the end of the day, overpowered stuff is going to pop up no matter how careful you are. Some of the most broken stuff in PF1 were single-class humans with one archetype and some choice feats. That's not to say you give up on balance; it's plain to see you've done a lot of work on that front. But don't foreclose interesting possibilities out of fear of imbalance.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
A lof the flexibility you seem to be looking for were some of the things causing us the biggest rules problems in the previous editions. Traits, multiclassing and alternate racial traits were being used to customize... but they were also the source of some of our biggest power imbalances that seriously skewed the game. They were the features that frequently allowed players to cherry pick their power level.

I'd like to address several of these individually:

Traits: I feel the issue is more one of the content than the rules system itself. Traits were ostensibly supposed to be worth half a feat. In practice, many traits were as strong if not stronger than the best feats out there. Nor was this a case of power creep; Magical Lineage was there from the beginning, and it easily ranks among the most powerful feats in the game. More would join it in the years to come, and in today's Pathfinder finding two extremely strong traits for your character is reasonably easy.

With backgrounds tied in with the skill feat system, I don't feel that's as much of an issue. If you end up getting a huge wealth of overpowered skill feats to pick from, that's going to be a problem regardless of how the background system works.

Multiclassing: I don't feel multiclassing was inherently a problem. Certainly there were overpowered multiclass builds out there, but there were also innumerable overpowered single-class builds. Multiclassing was a tradeoff; perhaps a bit too generous in some cases or a bit too stingy in others, but it was an interesting tradeoff and allowed for combinations that would not have otherwise been possible. Some of my favorite multiclass combos are actually on the underpowered side of things, but had unique playstyles and ability combinations you just couldn't get from single-class builds.

Alternate Racial Traits: I feel you're exaggerating the problem here. Humans with no alternate racial feats remain one of the most popular and powerful options in PF1 to this day. With that said, I do agree it got to be a bit excessive after the Advanced Race Guide. Today you can pretty much swap out everything and everything to tweak your race down to the last detail, and that's a bit much. Still, the current setup in PF2 feels barren. Certainly it would be possible to have a middle ground?


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Other games have come out that removed entire subsystems in the name of balance. In one example the very first supplement had one of the most powerful builds in the game that got errata'd within months. So balance is a function of how often you publish and how rigorously you test. That game company published a large volume with what seemed like minimal testing.

Ultimately the people I play with self selected out of that game in favour of Pathfinder 1e. As Jason has said it's likely to happen again unless Paizo do a massive overhaul of how PF2e works.


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@Tangent101 - I agree with you that D&D 3.0 was a complete revolution from what had gone before (and an unbelievably well-done and successful one).

I also agree entirely that D&D 4e was a complete revolution from what had gone before (and an unbelievably badly-done one, in my view).

A complete rewrite of the rules isn't necessarily good. It isn't necessarily bad. But it does risk changing the 'feel' of the game. And (speaking, I emphasise, only for myself) the playtest version doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

There are folk who said D&D 3.0 changed the feel of the game. One of the reasons it was as successful as it was is that it addressed shortcomings of the old game.

So we have to consider: Does Pathfinder 2 address shortcomings of Pathfinder and DND 3.5? In some ways it does. For instance, having three actions and a reaction provides a means of lessening confusion over the Move Action, Standard Action, Full Action, Swift/Immediate Action, and Free Actions of D&D 3.0.

It also seems to be trying to address the disparity between martial classes and spellcasters while simultaneously providing low-level casters with abilities that extend their own usefulness... and also lessens the squishiness of Level 1 characters (seriously, I usually start my games at level 2 to avoid that squishiness and give players some added versatility).

There are areas where it fell flat. For instance, Resonance doesn't work well and Paizo knows this and is trying to find another method. But what I've seen I've actually enjoyed.

Oh, there is one added benefit of a more significant rule change - it requires people to learn the rules rather than assume things are the same as the old rules. For instance, I was a long-time 3.5 GM. When I shifted to Pathfinder I kept using rules and spell descriptions I assumed hadn't changed... and only when players pointed out I was doing something wrong did I double-check and realize things had changed from 3.5.

So. Will this still "feel" like Pathfinder? There are some fundamental aspects to Pathfinder 2 that are akin to Pathfinder 1 and DND 3.0 - for instance, the stat system and existing class concepts. In other ways it is changing... but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Besides. It's a playtest and both Paizo and we playtesters are still getting a feel for things... and things are changing. Paizo is listening to us.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The Archive wrote:
Like... regardless of I think of PF2 as is, I can only think of perhaps one or two PF1 games out of many that would have been at all similar using PF2. And that's including APs. The same stories just cannot be told.

Can you name an example of a Pathfinder AP story that cannot be told with the Pathfinder Playtest rules?

NB: It's incorrect to refer to the ruleset that we are currently testing as "PF2". It's a playtest ruleset that the final Pathfinder second edition rules will differ from a lot.

Scarab Sages

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I think you miss a bit the diversity objective.

I am fine with abilities class locked as long as there is a way for other classes to have a weaker version or a slightly different version in other classes.

Like a Fighter dual weapon being somewhat different from a ranger or Barbarian dual weapon.

I am not fine with chain class feat that lock you in one path after your initial selection at level 1 or 2.
Since every time you can select a class feat there is also the "next feat in the chain" that become avalaible. You are almost forced to take it every time (because starting again with low level feat to take another path feels underwhelming).

It's not true for each class on the same scale but some are really focused like this (Looking at you Paladin. There are only 3 Paladin build that seems workable. I may be wrong though)

Overall I still like playing the Playtest.

Dark Archive

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Paizo blog wrote:
Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable...

I just have to comment on this design goal; I took part in the first playtest 10 years ago, and I even bought the Beta rules after GenCon 2008. I've been very happy with PF1, and we have in fact converted all of our D&D campaigns (some of which began way back in early 1990s) to Pathfinder.

Yet I was really excited to hear about PF2 playtest and pre-ordered Doomsday dawn plus the rulebook at my FLGS. However, when I downloaded the rules I was shocked; I tried several times to create both new characters and also to convert a couple of my high-level PCs to see how they'd look in PF2. I'm not going to go over details; either I've already pointed out what I like and dislike on other threads, or others have done so better than I could. Let's just say that I couldn't finish any of the PCs, either to due being unsure how certain mechanics work (shields, resonance and magical items, for example) or because the rules didn't include options for what I tried to create (for example, my 16th level greatsword-wielding fighter). In a lot of cases the rules were contradictory (shields) or just obscure (exploration rules, stealth, resonance and IMO most magic items). Eventually I had to admit that I just couldn't wrap my mind around how a lot of the rules work per RAW, no matter how much I tried or wanted to. I canceled my pre-order on the rulebook.

Summa summarum, if I can't figure out what "operate activation operation" does, or how classical "simple" magic items (such as cloak of elvenkind) work, this edition might not be for me. So far I haven't seen too many mechanical aspects being simpler or easier to grasp than in PF1, on the contrary! But I'll take a look at the final product and probably buy the books anyway; I just have a feeling I won't be running or playing PF2.


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Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

And if by 'life-saving surgery' you mean 'being fed to man-eating tigers'... then no, I don't want life-saving surgery (see how easy this is?).

More seriously: that may be your experience with PF1 (in which case I'm amazed you've stuck with it so long, given the number of other game systems out there).

It certainly bears no resemblance to any game of PF1 I've ever played in.

Silver Crusade

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Zaister wrote:
The Archive wrote:
Like... regardless of I think of PF2 as is, I can only think of perhaps one or two PF1 games out of many that would have been at all similar using PF2. And that's including APs. The same stories just cannot be told.

Can you name an example of a Pathfinder AP story that cannot be told with the Pathfinder Playtest rules?

NB: It's incorrect to refer to the ruleset that we are currently testing as "PF2". It's a playtest ruleset that the final Pathfinder second edition rules will differ from a lot.

I had a heroic necromancer named Hollow Graves.

He had a skeleton buddy that wore heavy armour.

I no longer can cast animate dead.

I cannot play Hollow Graves.

Silver Crusade

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

And if by 'life-saving surgery' you mean 'being fed to man-eating tigers'... then no, I don't want life-saving surgery (see how easy this is?).

More seriously: that may be your experience with PF1 (in which case I'm amazed you've stuck with it so long, given the number of other game systems out there).

It certainly bears no resemblance to any game of PF1 I've ever played in.

I've stuck with Pathfinder because APs and setting materials. My ruleset of choice is Ars Magica. But Paizo does the best GM-support stuff, putting even WotC to shame, so I'm kind of fine with the system even if it's an unbalanced mess of trap options and hostility to anybody who doesn't spend a large chunk of their life poring over character optimization guides. I don't, and I'd rather not have to do that just because it's necessary to keep player A from blowing up the game with tonight's new feat-spell-item combo AND to keep player B from kneecapping themselves because they want to play something that looks cool in theory but is a stillborn mess if you try to do it under Pathfinder rules.

But I'd be damn if I won't welcome a leaner, less wonky ruleset AND have Paizo's hot vanilla fudge adventure/setting support.


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I appreciate the statement of goals. I feel most of them are not being met right now, but at least it gives a target to shoot for, and more context for critique.

Quote:
Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—

Mixed success and failure. The new structure definitely lends itself more to expansion. The core chassis is more unified and consistent, once you learn it.

Learning it is a problem. The book is dry, jumping constantly back and forth for references multiple times per page is infuriating, and half my players would have found the rules impenetrable if not for me and a fellow GM assisting. If they didn't already have experience with Pathfinder and Starfinder, they wouldn't have made headway at all and my Playtest wouldn't even be happening. Many things that should be intuitive are not, like how all of my players to the last assumed trained gave you a bonus instead of being +0. It's definitely not easy to grasp, especially if like my players you didn't follow the pre-release blogs.

Quote:
while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story,

It's certainly more flexible and customizable than 5E, as it should be. I would consider this THE primary goal you need to shoot for.

Unfortunately, in a lot of ways and for most classes, the customization is only skin deep and a bit of a false promise, as things stand.

* A lot of class feats, ancestry feats, and even skill feats are just buying back stuff a character could just do in PF1, instead of being options for actual expansion like PF1 feats or rogue talents. This isn't true of every class or option, of course, but it is a very persistent and recurrent thread.

* A lot of feats aren't actually optional. If you're a ranged character, you pick what few feats are dribbled out to you by your class if you want to do anything. If you have a companion beast, that eats most of your feats if you want it to keep up and not die every battle. Etc

* The other side of not actually optional are items and to a lesser extent feats that give numerical bonuses. If you want to have basic competence in what you're supposed to be good at as you rise in level and the overscaled math starts getting away from you, you have to take these at every opportunity. Better not spend money on a flavorful fun item when you need that +X armor to not die and +Y weapon to actually do damage and panoply of +Z skill items to not always fail. The "big six" aren't dead, they're worse than ever.

* Options that just give a small bonus, especially a +1, don't feel good. They feel like drab, meh choices even if the math says they're good. FEEL IS IMPORTANT. It's the circus I have to keep on top of to keep my Playtest group together so it doesn't fall apart in general meh. It's what every player is going to be confronted with when building their character. My players and I literally do not care if your math homework shows that +5% chance of success is mathematically good, it doesn't feel satisfying. If you won't raise the numbers give more ABILITIES with those numbers. Give stuff you can DO, and do now and not have to wait for.

On the feat side, ancestries and classes and skills should come with more of their features baked in. Classes should have a choice between several "big options" that scale with them, and take feats for the rest. A Ranger or Druid might be able to pick an animal companion that scales relatively well with them and just need a couple feats to specialize it - but the Druid that picked Wild Shape as their "big thing" can spend a bunch of feats to still get a great companion. That's where spending a lot of feats on a thing works, when you still get your main focus without having to do so.

Also on the feat side, characters should be able to get access to basic build defining stuff without it being niche locked behind a class pay wall. TWF shouldn't be Fighter and Ranger locked, for instance. A class's feats should focus on expanding and defining what makes that class special, furthering its role. General combat moves, basic equipment proficiency, metamagic shouldn't be divided up by class. Spending class feats to dip a broader pool of combat feats and pool of metamagic feats is just fine and much preferable.

I know there are way more feats in the PF2 playtest book than the PF1 core book. It still feels like a lot less choice.

On the item side, +X items need to be completely reconcepted and need to be excised from the game's expected math. I have previously suggested that maybe a +X weapon or skill item's effect is that it let you reroll an attack or check X times per day and take the better result. That is something that is useful and awesome but not mandatory. I'm sure there's other solutions to the problem too, where you can keep plus items for legacy but not make them actual numerical bonuses required to be factored into the math.

Quote:
and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.

This is a good goal. But in practice, you aren't rewarded for system mastery, but rather punished for not having it. System mastery and optimization get your character to basic competence and a somewhat reasonable chance of success on the checks they are good at. So, failure overall.

Quote:
Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.

Mixed success and failure. For most of the small details, a change in rules does not imply a change in story, simply a different underpinning or looking at it from a different angle. That's fine. But the change to how gods work and who they accept as worshippers, and even more so the colossal restructuring and disembowelment of magic, mean that from the fantasy and magic side of Golarion and other settings run under PF1, everything is different and it's not the same setting anymore.

Quote:
Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system

Some success, most notably with the unchained action economy. I appreciate classes being based on the PF1 rogue's chassis, the best innovation to come from PF1, even if as above I want to see more stuff that doesn't cost those every other level slots. I appreciate seeing snares and alchemy in the core book even if they are completely weak atm and need to be reworked.

Quote:
(even if they aren't present in the initial book).

I know you have a finite book and need to sell more books after this one comes out. But anything you really want to integrate into the core of the game and not have GMs easily dismiss it as optional ignorable content should be in the core. We all know there's tons of those GMs. That's why getting alchemy in core is important. But there should be more exotic ancestries. Rituals should be greatly expanded and cover a much vaster spectrum of utility for less inconvenience than the few in the playtest book. If you care about firearms being represented in more games and not always banned at most tables, you should test them and get them in core. Etc

Quote:
Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role.

In some ways this is actually a BAD goal. Sure, we want every player and character to be able to contribute. But the class roles have been vastly over defined, to the point of now being straight jackets. There needs to be more flexibility here. This is one of the key things those feat pools I mentioned earlier would help with.

Quote:
Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.

So far, my players have failed roughly half their attack rolls and half their skill checks in this playtest. Trained and even untrained characters regularly beat experts and above at skill checks because the margin of competence is so very very narrow. Players can't meaningfully help each other: there is no ability to control the battlefield, any attempt to assist a check ends in either not helping or even hurting the check, there are only 2-3 types of modifiers so nothing stacks.

So, mostly failure. Characters in PF2 have niches, not strengths. No one is actually good at anything, especially not by comparison with any other character or monster of the same level. Spells aren't allowed to actually do much. The main differences between characters are whether they are squishy or not, whether they can meaningfully participate in ranged combat or not, and whether they can meaningfully extend the adventuring day for the group (healers) or not (anyone else).

Quote:
Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

Mostly successful. The inclusivity is welcomed, both by myself and my players. The language is often unnatural or dry and unexciting but that is fixable.

You've got a good core chassis, really you do. The foundation is strong and all my players see the potential. But it needs work, and that work needs time, and you need to drop your plans of releasing the finished version in just 10 or so months because it is not ready and will not be ready in that time frame. There really should be another playtest round after this one, after extensive changes, to help ensure you move closer to these goals.


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@Gorbacz - that's reasonable; but isn't the wealth of options simply a result of what I might call 'product bloat'? Seems like every.single.new.splatbook Paizo prints has new spells, new magic items, new feats... After 10 years of PF1 there's just too many options.

But that's not a failing of PF1 per se, it's just a result of the passage of time - and Paizo's marketing strategy. I don't see how PF2 will change that, except by resetting the countdown clock (sorry!). Give it a few years and there'll again be the wealth of options.

And as for trap options - I'm no expert here, having GMd rather than played, but my impression is that the forums have already identified a bunch of trap options in the playtest.


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In the survey I noted a Q about Archetypes with variable Dedication length...

I think this ties into apparent confusion over "power tier" of Class Feats, "power" defining the category IMHO...
Basically, I don't think "Universal" "Class Feats" should need to all follow Dedication system,
they just need reasonable mechanics for that level of Class Feat, w/ reasonable Pre-Reqs (e.g. Ftr/Pal/Brb/Rgr martials).
That can even be more convenient approach than jamming same Feat options into multiple classes e.g. Sudden Charge, AoO.
These should be located right next to Class Chapter along with Archetypes,
so you can easily browse/compare your options for this type of Feat and how it fits into your Class build.

The problem with Multiclass Archtypes now is the first Feat may not give you much new of what you want,
and even after 2 Feats it doesn't feel like pay-off given the opportunity cost, and it's just too imposing an approach.
(of course they can be good value if the stuff in 1st Feat is all an improvement & what you're looking for)
Dedication limits seems plausible for combo proficiency packages of Multiclass Archetypes & I guess Prestige Archetypes,
but if you don't want/need that, but just want general abilities whose plausible pre-reqs you already meet,
you shouldn't be forced to pay the Dedication feat tax & limitations just to grab a decent Archery feat (for example).

Aside from that, it is disappointing that classes like Barbarian seem to give NO heed to ranged combat,
outside magical Dragon or Spirit abilities, I mean I had a double-take when I realized Rage doesn't benefit Thrown weapons.
Thrown weapons usually kind of suck, and so not benefitting from Rage when they seem 100% Barbarian thematic, feels s*~*ty.
Not that Archery is somehow ANTI-Barbarian per se either, but Thrown Weapons benefitting from Rage was in 1st Edition!
And if +att/proficiency and +dmg is too much, let Barbs choose to bonus DMG on a crit OR NOT if they prefer accuracy boost.


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Hello Jason, I just wanted to give my feedback on these points.

Quote:

1. Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.

2. Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.

3. Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).

4. Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.

5. Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

This is a bit to unpack so please bear with me:

1. Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.

While I feel, personally, that PF2 is simpler to learn and play, the layout issues not withstanding, I am not sure that it is for the same reason that you do.

What I am seeing, unfortunately, is a lot of cookie cutter builds - The human state, for example, is that you pick a background to accommodate you and you can get the following array: 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10

or: 18, 14, 14, 12, 10, 10

Every human character I have seen has one of those two arrays.

With non-humans I have seen a lot of: 18, 18, 12, 12, 10, 8 arrays.

This was something even beginning players picked up on, namely this is the "best" potential starting array. That doesn't make things more easily customized or more flexible to the story, and it is so simple that it doesn't take time to master it.

The other thing I noticed here is that classes are locked, but I will comment on that a little further down.

To talk about system mastery, the system holds your hand in so many ways that there isn't much to master. Yes there are some synergy options, (example: If you are going two weapon fighter you clearly want a string of feats designed for two weapon fighters) but nothing so far that screams a lot of system mastery (I say this having watched hard core PF1 "rollplayers" (their own self-definition) take apart the game and try to make the most powerful thing possible and being unable to make something much more powerful than I could following a cursory read-through) on display.

2. Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.

I think you largely have accomplished this one. Note I am referring to "you" being able to tell the same stories. I, honestly, don't feel that I can tell the same stories for myself. I don't mean as a GM.

As a GM I am god, and I can do whatever I want, and I have no problem using PF2 to tell whatever story I want to tell. I feel that PF2 does this better than PF1 because in PF1 I had to make certain to cover a wide range of caveats that could stop a story in their tracks if a player decided to play a character that became problematic.

This is due to player options and power level being restrained. This, I cannot state enough, is something I fully and completely support. I felt that Power Levels in PF1 due to optimizers was downright game breaking to the point that it gave me headaches more times than I care to count.

This limiting options as a player though is a detriment... And I will get to that in a bit...

3. Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).

This feels a bit... Wonky... There are absolutely innovations I love... I love the 3 action per combat round mechanic, I absolutely love that.

I don't love the very much laser focused classes... I will get on that in a bit... I also don't love the way skill DCs seem to scale. I think that it forces a degree of optimization that makes it mandatory rather than rewarding.

So while I see what you are trying to do here, for the most part, I think it still needs a little work. Other than that, no complaints.

4. Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.

This is where I think the game is struggling right now. Currently certain classes are being "role locked" by default (*cough* Paladin *cough*) due to their class defining features (*cough* Retributive Strike *cough*) ... Sorry I seem to have gotten something caught in my throat... Forcing them into a narrow role. While other classes (*cough* Rogue *cough*) are more versatile due to changes that have been made since the playtest began.

My three favorite classes in Pathfinder are, and have always been, Paladin, Monk, and Fighter.

With Fighter I feel like I have a ton of options - I can do archery, I can do weapon and shield, I can do single weapon, I can do two weapon fighting, I can do great weapon - and all of these work. They all feel different in play and have different feat trees. I am down with this. I think the PF2 Fighter is the most solidly put together class in the game at the moment.

With Monk I feel like I also have a ton of options - Toss in multiclassing and I have quite a few more - I have so many options here that they are hard to put into words, but one I have done that was a lot of fun was a double slicing monk weapon using Monk multiclassed into Fighter that had both Flurry of Blows and Double Slice. He was an epic blender. He was fun. I also was able to do a lithe and nimble crane wing defender. Kudos.

With Paladin... Uhm... Yeah. Not so much. Because of certain class features I wasn't able to choose the role I liked from PF1 when I played Paladin. In PF1 I liked playing an aggressive Paladin, my main PFS character (and most beloved character) was Gwyn of Iomedae. He was/is a sword against evil. He used a longsword, no shield, in two hands and used Smite Evil to batter down creatures of Darkness. He didn't sit back and try to guard people, he took hits so that others didn't have to because he rushed forward toward the enemy, had a relatively low armor class, and could swift heal himself through most of the incoming damage. I can't really make him work in PF2. In PF2 I need to sit back and guard team mates. That is what the class was built on. I have options (shield, weapon, or mount) but they aren't the greatest for opening a role for me, because my main class defining ability forces me to be close to my allies and is completely subject to the whims of the GM. With three updates in we've gotten little in the way of light on any of the issues with the Paladin (the class ability that seems to be really frustrating to many, the lack of smite, the issues with heavy armor, the list goes on) but I still hold out hope.

5. Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

I am going to have a potentially unpopular opinion here, but I am not sure that you are succeeding. I have gone over that elsewhere though...

As far as breadth of experience...

I have run a whopping 30 playtest sessions - Drawing from players that ranged from: "What is a roleplaying game?" to "I have played every game made since 1977."

For players mostly used to Pathfinder 1, there seems to be a steep learning curve. The words are familiar, but the mechanics are completely different. For players who are used to lots of different systems they seem to adjust very quickly. For players used to 5e they seem to have a hard time adjusting as well.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

And if by 'life-saving surgery' you mean 'being fed to man-eating tigers'... then no, I don't want life-saving surgery (see how easy this is?).

More seriously: that may be your experience with PF1 (in which case I'm amazed you've stuck with it so long, given the number of other game systems out there).

It certainly bears no resemblance to any game of PF1 I've ever played in.

Let me actually bring out an anecdote.

I've had a player who's been with us for about 4-5 years now, since we started playing Pathfinder. In that time, some characters he's brought out, and other characters in the same campaign:
- Slayer 5/Shadowdancer 9 who focuses on single Pressure Point sneak attacks with a +3 called starknife for 1d4+2 damage and 1d6 sneak attack. This is in the same game as a cleric 8/envoy of balance 6, who did a lot of twinned selective channeling for 7d6 damage and 7d6 healing + a saved reroll, usually as a move action before casting actual cleric spells. Also in the same game as a gunslinger 5/Hellknight 9 with a Pistol of the Infinite Sky. Also in the game, a rogue 14 who wasn't spectacular combat-wise, but had good trapfinding skills.
- A summoner who had a magic item commissioned for his eidolon that could cast burning hands 3/day at CL 1, in the same game as level 6 characters. It got used twice before the character died, as I recall, from running off solo into a golem, and then retreating into a mimic.
- A daring champion cavalier of the Flame order, with absolutely no plan for anything immune to precision damage. In the same game as a solidly optimized spiritualist whose phantom could probably beat the cavalier in a fair fight, a buff-focused bard, and an aerokineticist who routinely outdamaged everyone through chucking out attacks while being a turret (and optimized chain electric blasts wreaking havoc on any enemies not immune to electricity).
- A paladin who focused on healing and insisted on being the 'tank' and doing a lot of melee fighting, who also rarely ever used Smite Evil - it wasn't even used in the final fight of the campaign, to my memory. Practically every day he'd have most of the uses of it still sitting around, while also wandering around with 14 Str with no Power Attack. (To his credit, he picked up Power Attack later, somewhere around level 9 or 11.) This was in the same game as a optimized Dex kensai magus (who also ended up with an artifact sword pretty early, though it was kind of overkill), a TWF unchained rogue with Circling Mongoose and Canny Tumble, and a generalist alchemist whose poison was pretty much a save-or-die, and usable practically infinitely.
- I think there was a nanite sorcerer 3/swashbuckler 3 who died. Same game as optimized elf archer, slumber hex witch, and optimized shield champion brawler.
- He's also not making great progress with his mystic theurge right now.

Point is, he rarely brings characters that are able to keep up with the best optimizers of the group, and are usually pretty mediocre (if not outright bad) due to some quirk or other he insists on having while also not knowing how to build it well. He also generally insists on rejecting most suggestions. To be completely fair on the full description, he also has built good characters, but they end up being one-trick ponies very often, and never have any backup plan.

That player's the person I'd probably most describe as "attracted by a cool idea, but has no idea how to build it, and builds mediocre character as a result". And it's not like he has no experience with PF, or isn't smart. He just doesn't spend nearly as much time as the optimizers working on his character, and the characters constantly suffer for it.

Silver Crusade

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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

@Gorbacz - that's reasonable; but isn't the wealth of options simply a result of what I might call 'product bloat'? Seems like every.single.new.splatbook Paizo prints has new spells, new magic items, new feats... After 10 years of PF1 there's just too many options.

But that's not a failing of PF1 per se, it's just a result of the passage of time - and Paizo's marketing strategy. I don't see how PF2 will change that, except by resetting the countdown clock (sorry!). Give it a few years and there'll again be the wealth of options.

And as for trap options - I'm no expert here, having GMd rather than played, but my impression is that the forums have already identified a bunch of trap options in the playtest.

We don't know what Paizo's business model with PF2 will be. I'm 120% sure there will be Adventure Paths, but are we sure that there will be a Player Companion book every month? If Paizo would assume a release schedule that's less hectic than PF1 and with better quality control BUT at the same time be more aggresive than the super-lax D&D 5E schedule, I'd be very happy.

These days, PF isn't the only product Paizo has. There's Starfinder and there's PFACG, to begin with. There's also the CRPG. With all eggs no longer in one basket, there's not as much pressure to make the PFRPG the bread winner that feeds the entire company.

And I too have identified trap options in PF2 and submitted them in my surveys. The difference is now we can hope for tweaks to underlying structure, as opposed to PF1's "folks, we kind of have to roll with 3.5, so there's no way we can't dodge some of it's biggest flaws".


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Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

You realise feats are in the new game right? And that Paizo is designing the new feats? And that Paizo thought Sacred Geometry was a good feat when they published it?

Nothing in the new game is going to stop Paizo from publishing another Sacred Geometry. Games that held balance as one of the most sacred goals managed to out out unbalanced garbage within months of the new game's launch.

Game designers are human. They make mistakes. If they published one or two books a year they could probably get away with things being balanced. Paizo has said nothing to indicate they are going to do that though.

Silver Crusade

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

You realise feats are in the new game right? And that Paizo is designing the new feats? And that Paizo thought Sacred Geometry was a good feat when they published it?

Nothing in the new game is going to stop Paizo from publishing another Sacred Geometry. Games that held balance as one of the most sacred goals managed to out out unbalanced garbage within months of the new game's launch.

Game designers are human. They make mistakes. If they published one or two books a year they could probably get away with things being balanced. Paizo has said nothing to indicate they are going to do that though.

Well, you'll have your doom and gloom, I'll have my optimism in Paizo slowing down the release schedule and applying more quality control. 3.5e was imbalanced like crazy squirrels, 5e is miles ahead in that department, it's not like companies don't learn.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

And if by 'life-saving surgery' you mean 'being fed to man-eating tigers'... then no, I don't want life-saving surgery (see how easy this is?).

More seriously: that may be your experience with PF1 (in which case I'm amazed you've stuck with it so long, given the number of other game systems out there).

It certainly bears no resemblance to any game of PF1 I've ever played in.

I've stuck with Pathfinder because APs and setting materials. My ruleset of choice is Ars Magica. But Paizo does the best GM-support stuff, putting even WotC to shame, so I'm kind of fine with the system even if it's an unbalanced mess of trap options and hostility to anybody who doesn't spend a large chunk of their life poring over character optimization guides. I don't, and I'd rather not have to do that just because it's necessary to keep player A from blowing up the game with tonight's new feat-spell-item combo AND to keep player B from kneecapping themselves because they want to play something that looks cool in theory but is a stillborn mess if you try to do it under Pathfinder rules.

But I'd be damn if I won't welcome a leaner, less wonky ruleset AND have Paizo's hot vanilla fudge adventure/setting support.

I've never read an optimisation guide. Nor have the rules ever been hostile towards me. Have I made bad characters? Sure. That's part if the learning experience.

I can say that the forums have been far more hostile then the rulebook though. Even chess and monopoly allow suboptimal choices.


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Gorbacz wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

You realise feats are in the new game right? And that Paizo is designing the new feats? And that Paizo thought Sacred Geometry was a good feat when they published it?

Nothing in the new game is going to stop Paizo from publishing another Sacred Geometry. Games that held balance as one of the most sacred goals managed to out out unbalanced garbage within months of the new game's launch.

Game designers are human. They make mistakes. If they published one or two books a year they could probably get away with things being balanced. Paizo has said nothing to indicate they are going to do that though.

Well, you'll have your doom and gloom, I'll have my optimism in Paizo slowing down the release schedule and applying more quality control. 3.5e was imbalanced like crazy squirrels, 5e is miles ahead in that department, it's not like companies don't learn.

5e's biggest trick to balance is to publish barely anything. Even then they still publish stuff that is overpowered and underpowered. I see no reason to believe Paizo will follow that model of balance.


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As Jason has already mentioned work is beginning on books supporting 2.0 I'm not sure how much time there is going to be by the end of the play test for Paizo to make many major changes to the rules set.

One or two changes, like tweaks to the hotly disliked resonance system may well already be in the pipeline, but I feel that time constraints alone mean what you see is, to a greater extent, going to be what you get.

I personally don't like it. There is nothing I've found in the play test that is better than 1.0. There is different, which runs the gamut of just as good to awful, but no one single thing stands out to me as better than the rules we already have.

There will need to be a lot more changes than I think Paizo can manage for this to hook me.


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Gorbacz wrote:
I'll have my optimism in Paizo slowing down the release schedule and applying more quality control.
Well, in this very thread you can find this:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We are already putting plans down for books that come after the core.

Note "books" plural.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
If "core experience of Pathfinder" is having a maxed Int Elf Conjurer Wizard with Sacred Geometry, six metamagic rods and Cauldron of Overwhelming Summons share a table with a Str 14 Dex 14 Int 16 Cha 16 jack-of-all-trades double-chained kama specialized Gnome Fighter/Rogue with maxed Appraise *and* expecting this to go down just fine, well, yeah, I suppose PF2 doesn't feel like Pathfinder.

That's hyperbolic and you know it. I - for one - have specifically said it's not about max/min for me. Do I look for synergy? Absolutely, but not abuse.

I have repeatedly pointed out that I miss the ability for a party to act as a team with stacking abilities, for instance. Does that really sound like a cheese-addict to you?

As it stands, the fundamental design here isn't about shaving off the 1% outlier abilities which allow for massive abuse. It's about pounding down the top 70% of "power", shaving off the bottom 10%, and then taking the 20% of range that's left and spreading it over 20 levels.

I get it that you like it. Actually, I get it that you lust after it. You've been every bit as vocal in your adoration of the new rules as I've been disappointed. And I have never tried to convince you that you're wrong. You're not. Please enjoy your new game. But don't try to paint me - and those like me - as unreasonable, abusive, extremist, marginal players who seek nothing but cheese.


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I haven't posted in a long time, and in truth I've only played 2e twice since I'm not into it. But I'm done, this isn't the game I want, and I hate arguing against people, it's just stressful. No more stress, I'll just stick with what I got. Heck, I don't like anything not even the action system so selling me on anything else is a no go. And, Jason's design goal don't really compel or interest me although I'm not opposed to #5. Good luck to all of you, I'm outa here.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mats Öhrman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'll have my optimism in Paizo slowing down the release schedule and applying more quality control.
Well, in this very thread you can find this:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We are already putting plans down for books that come after the core.
Note "books" plural.

... were you expecting them to only publish the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary?


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
You have currently pegged everything at costing a feat

Hmm.. I have seen this, or something like it, in quite a few places. Its interesting because I think we are using the term feat for these options because they are selected and applied to your character in a shared way.

What they do not share is an equal value. A class feat is better than a skill feat. An ancestry feat is not meant to be the same value as the others. I see a lot of comparison between the categories and that alone might be the biggest problem with using the word "feat" for all of them. Useful to learn the system, but the baggage from existing users applying to word to mean "a rule with a specified amount of power and utility" is a barrier to overcome.

Hmm..

I am not sure we have made that clear.

(Normally I would just note this to myself and move on, but I felt like sharing this musing with everyone)

This is SO much more important than than it might seem at first glance.

I have at least 2 players that are turned off by the way nomenclature is being used in such a seemingly flippant and arbitrary manner.

Personally, I cringe every time I see the word "snare" used to refer to a trap.

And beyond that, renaming everything is only going to breed confusion among players already used to previously established definitions.

In short, words matter.


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The design goals do not appear to be met as stated. I don't feel like the new rules match the setting as previously defined, no do I feel like I have much ability to customize my character. The more 'Balanced' play environment makes me feel like I have little agency as a player. System mastery means little, and everything essentially boils down to a coin flip. I used to work towards not needing the d20. Being completely beholden to it makes it feel like I'm watching the game instead of playing it.

As a DM, the rules don't feel like tools to help with my story telling. They feel like obstacles and I constantly finding myself discarding them. Right now 2E feels too much like 5E. For me, that means it's in this odd middle ground between crunch and narrative. There are too many rules to run things narratively but they aren't thorough enough to properly handle hard crunch. I'm hard pressed to figure out just what these rules do for me.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Mats Öhrman wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I'll have my optimism in Paizo slowing down the release schedule and applying more quality control.
Well, in this very thread you can find this:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We are already putting plans down for books that come after the core.
Note "books" plural.
... were you expecting them to only publish the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary?

It would probably help if the publishing cycle isn't as slow as Starfinder's. It's been over a year and the fifth book is releasing this month, with three of those being GM material.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In the Rules Survey:

Quote:


4. The Playtest puts the decision for where to set DCs in the GM's hands in most circumstances. In 1st edition, the rules explicitly defined a large number of DCs, and the adjustments for specific circumstances. Rate each statement.

However the ratings are not listed above the table. So is Far Left: "I Extremely Agree" and far right: "Extremely disagree"


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
This isn't an evolution. It's a completely different game.

Yes, that is a problem for me, the playtest feels more revolutionary, than evolutionary. A similar thing occurred with 4th Ed, to not so hot results (curing the headaches by cutting off the head).

I really want extra weapon damage dice to not be reliant on magic items, but based off proficiency and level. Same with item bonus to attack and saving throws. I am not a fan of the +Level treadmill, but that is so easily omitted or adjusted that it doesn't really matter.

Without +Level, and magic items, the scale is not unlike 5th Ed:

5th Ed: Max ability score +5, Max proficiency bonus +6 = +11.

Playtest: Max ability score +6, Max proficiency bonus +3 (Legendary), Max nonmagical Item bonus +3 = +12.


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My two cents about the dedication feats:

A lot of them will be very boring in certain combinations, like fighter+barbarian, since you wont be getting any proficiencies, which are half of what is granted by the feat. So why not grant something else instead? Such as when you grant proficiency in a skill you are already trained?

Im also not hyped over the idea of using the other class's main feature once per day. Once per day mechanics are boring and easily forgettable, the game shouldn't use them at all!

Id look into something similar to using Spell Points to activate those class abilities (such as raging, bard's song, attack of opportunity, etc). I also would be fine with having a shorter duration or some kind of short cooldown on those abilities (10 minutes? sounds fair to me). But I don't see myself picking, or even recommending, multi-class feats to anyone as they are now for anything other than flavor purposes.

On dedication feats that grant spells, it really seems unfair that most of them will only grant you cantrips for a feat. When people think about dipping into a caster for tools, they are aiming at some kind of first level spell that will fit into their character concepts, and cantrips rarely will be their focus. I would change that to grant a single first level spell as well.

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