The Pathfinder Playtest is Closed!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Over the past 5 months, we've been thrilled to work with all of you to make the new version of Pathfinder the best game it can be. It hasn't been easy. The Doomsday Dawn adventure turned out to be an excellent way for us to gather data about the forward edge of the game, testing and tuning the numbers that make the game tick, but it was also quite a challenge for many (and I'm not just talking about the deadliness of Part 5).

It was an adventure unlike any we've published before. It was a test, and it’s tricky to make any test fun, but we’re excited to see that many of you had a great time with it, in spite of its challenges. Whether or not your group made it all the way to the end, we want to thank you for running through this gauntlet. The information we gleaned from our forums and the surveys has proven to be invaluable in helping us improve the game, and we have your hard work and dedication to thank for that.

For the past few months, we've been hard at work making refinements to the game, and that work is far from over here in the new year. The rest of the design team and I are going to be a little quiet over the next couple of months as we finalize parts of the game and get it ready to go to the printer. Once that hard work is done, you can expect us to start showing off the final version of the game. We can't wait to show you how it turned out!

So, from all of us here on the design team, and indeed everyone at Paizo, thank you!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Voss wrote:

How would the sorcerer be half monster? They do the same things the same way another PC would.

They're really just clerics, druids, bards or wizards with the class abilities stripped out. So they're more like half PCs, but with a choice of who to be a poor clone of at first level.

Yeah... because they totally don't have bloodlines and class feats that are analogous to Domains/arcane schools/ other class feats...

I like how they get some Wizardy feats that other classes besides Wizard don't, letting them apply some Wizard tricks to other spell lists. Counterspell, Reflect Spell, Quicken Spell, Effortless Concentration, things like that.


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Bloodlines are abjectly terrible, and most sorcerer feats are best traded away for multiclass features.


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Voss wrote:
Bloodlines are abjectly terrible, and most sorcerer feats are best traded away for multiclass features.

In terms of the concept of the class the bloodlines makes them half-monsters, but I do think most players would like to see bloodlines being a more important part of the sorcerer and getting buffed. I am not sure I agree with the rest of your post, even taking the advanced bloodlines might be worth it just for the extra SP alone. And other than that there are some really cool feats.


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Starfox wrote:

I find those two concepts quite different. Tactically, there are similarities, but conceptually the sorcerer is a half-monster using something related to monster powers, while the wizard is a magical engineer. Not the same at all in my mind.

[This isn't directly about Vancian casting, its about sorcerer and wizard as concepts.]

Voss wrote:

How would the sorcerer be half monster? They do the same things the same way another PC would.

They're really just clerics, druids, bards or wizards with the class abilities stripped out. So they're more like half PCs, but with a choice of who to be a poor clone of at first level.

I don't thinks "half" monster was ever the goal; though in-humanoid ancestry is a large part of it, but it's more like... probably somewhere around 1 part per million or so. Enough that you can draw some power from it, but not necessarily enough to be obvious at a glance. Though, of course, particular instances can modify that, because flavor is infinitely flexible, and PF1e at least had a great many races with strong hints of particular ancestries.

That aside, while mechanically they can be seen a bit as a "poor clone" of the other casting classes, that has nothing to do with the concept and more to do with Sorcerers maybe being a bit undertuned at the moment. And in my opinion they are undertuned, and maybe a bit overly pointed towards Arcane (though that can hopefully be fixed with more content, but the bloodlines really should be fixed now so they don't become a precedent towards sadness.)


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Quote:
The rest of the design team and I are going to be a little quiet over the next couple of months

Posting for the first time to echo others here: DO NOT DO THIS. Don't rob the open playtest of any point by closing communication between you and your consumers when it matters most.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Omnizoa wrote:
Quote:
The rest of the design team and I are going to be a little quiet over the next couple of months
Posting for the first time to echo others here: DO NOT DO THIS. Don't rob the open playtest of any point by closing communication between you and your consumers when it matters most.

Why does it matter most?

Shadow Lodge

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I'd think it would be better to focus on the feedback gained rather than split focus between evaluating and applying that feedback and gaining more feedback.

Liberty's Edge

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Additionally, based on the surveys and various similar things, website forum feedback isn't actually a very accurate gauge of how people actually feel about a specific change. People who object to or dislike something are much more motivated to post (and post multiple times) than those who like it, so to actually accept additional feedback, they'd need new surveys of some sort.

Creating new surveys takes valuable time away from actually making the game and making it work, and are not likely to be super useful if done absent the full context of new rules, so then they'd have to do a new playtest rulebook...

Really, our feedback is done. We've had our say and it's basically logistically impossible for us to collectively say much on any new stuff.

We can still point out individual issues remaining in the existing playtest rules (and, indeed, should definitely do so), but any communication they have with us from now on is basically just them telling us what's going on. This isn't based on them not caring, it's based on there not being a good way for us to collectively and accurately tell them what we want from this point forward...but it's true anyway.


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Pretty sure they've got a mountain of info by now.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I wonder if they've thought about running a Seifter Bot that just randomly posts cute and wholesome things on threads.


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Starfox wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
two options, one of which is rated 7 out of 10 by everybody is inferior to another where half the reasons are 1 and half are 10s.
I believe this is incorrect. The TV series that a lot of people rate high enough to actually watch will beat the TV series a few people love and others hate every time. Something that a few people love might become classic and stay in the circuit for years, but it will never be the #1.

The reason the all-7s loses to the half-1s, half-10s is because no one loves it. No one is going to champion the [card, ability, mechanic, class, book, feature, whatever]. They might find out decent, but just average. They aren't going to argue about it online, they aren't going to work very hard getting more, they aren't going to recommend it.

Mark Rosewater has spent 20+ years designing Magic the Gathering. Magic had made mistakes, sure, but I think I can be pretty confident that when Mark says, "if no one's excited, it's a failure," that there's some merit to the statement.

The idea of producing average-is-good products is how you get Bud Lite: a perfectly average, perfectly bland beer, that anyone will drink. No one particularly likes it, but no one hates it either. But that's why the company has to spend millions of dollars on advertising in order to sell (and their adverts portray their customer base as a faceless mob of virtual clones raining down violence on anyone who thinks differently (Christ, that's pretty dark when you think about it!)).

That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.


For what it’s worth, it was posted on youtube last week were they talked about dumping resonance all together as well as a few other things. Hope that helps, it was the pathfinder friday twitch post.

Dont have the exact post but I’m sure it would be easy to find.


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Draco18s wrote:
That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.

I admit I haven't read the playtest but have read a few of Paizo's preview blogs.

My first impression was that it was all very dry and heavy with abstract jargon.

Although that's fine for a technical manual, mathematics textbook or behind-the-scenes coding for a computer game, that cold, clinical feel is something of a turn-off for an RPG which is essentially a game of the imagination.

Can someone who has read the playtest tell me if my impression is correct?

Of course, it's only a playtest, so aside from fixing rules issues perhaps they will fluff it up in a way that makes it more fun to read and inspiring.

In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it (beyond those enthusiastic enough to playtest it), reading it shouldn't be chore.


Jeven wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.

I admit I haven't read the playtest but have read a few of Paizo's preview blogs.

My first impression was that it was all very dry and heavy with abstract jargon.

Although that's fine for a technical manual, mathematics textbook or behind-the-scenes coding for a computer game, that cold, clinical feel is something of a turn-off for an RPG which is essentially a game of the imagination.

Can someone who has read the playtest tell me if my impression is correct?

Of course, it's only a playtest, so aside from fixing rules issues perhaps they will fluff it up in a way that makes it more fun to read and inspiring.

In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it, reading it shouldn't be chore.

Yes, the book was pretty dull. Also, Jason has already confirmed in the last Playtest stream that one of the biggest changes they will make in the final book is adding a lot more flavor text.


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Jeven wrote:


In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it (beyond those enthusiastic enough to playtest it), reading it shouldn't be chore.

(The comparison is two options with the following poll ratings:

A: [6,6,6,6,6,6,6,6]
B: [0,0,9,9,0,9,9,0]

Which is better? 0 to 9 range so I can use single digits)

B is better because the people that don't like it will go find something else and the people who do, will die for it. With the all-6s, no one plays it because the people who rate B a 9 are playing B. The people who rate B a 0 are playing something else that's not shown.

Either way, no one's using option A. It isn't bad, it just isn't great. B is great (for some people). Option C (with unknown ratings) is sucking up the rest.

But it doesn't matter what A and B are here. It could be paladin and sorcerer. It could be fey bloodline and imperial. It could be pathfinder 1 and pathfinder 2.

The point is, a divisive-B is better than moderate-A.

I'm worried that PF2 is being developed as a collection of A-type mechanics and options: balance all the things. They aren't all mediocre presently, but it seems like that's the goal.

(And remember, this doesn't say anything about how the parts sum into the whole either: having all-zero options and all-nine options together does not make a [0,9] mix when combined. Removing bum options is fine, and having options that are widely loved are fine, the point is that when presented with two equal options and one had a mixed opinion and the other is universally meh, you keep the one with that's mixed: because at least someone loves it).


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Draco18s wrote:

The comparison is two options with the following poll ratings:

A: [6,6,6,6,6,6,6,6]
B: [0,0,9,9,0,9,9,0]

Quite right.

A game that some people love and others hate still has a passionate audience.
A game that everyone finds mediocre ... well, one's free time is limited, and there are lots of other games/pastimes to choose from ...

A gaming company plays by entertainment industry rules. It competes with every other entertainment for our attention.


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Jeven wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.

I admit I haven't read the playtest but have read a few of Paizo's preview blogs.

My first impression was that it was all very dry and heavy with abstract jargon.

Although that's fine for a technical manual, mathematics textbook or behind-the-scenes coding for a computer game, that cold, clinical feel is something of a turn-off for an RPG which is essentially a game of the imagination.

Can someone who has read the playtest tell me if my impression is correct?

Of course, it's only a playtest, so aside from fixing rules issues perhaps they will fluff it up in a way that makes it more fun to read and inspiring.

In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it (beyond those enthusiastic enough to playtest it), reading it shouldn't be chore.

The Paizo blog playtest previews were much more exciting than the Playtest Rulebook. The previews gave a little teaser and some hype, and the teaser looked interesting but could not be judged without the other mechanics relevant to it. The rulebook gave an ability or feat and then told us to look elsewhere for the other mechanics relevant to it. I am fluent in abstract jargon, but I cannot get excited over half a description.

For example, the Lingering Composition bard feat on page 66 said:

LINGERING COMPOSITION FEAT 1
Bard
By adding a flourish, you can make your compositions last longer. You
learn the lingering composition composition power (see page 235), which you can
cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

The Playtest Rulebook is a technical manual. I think that Paizo deliberately wrote it in a technical, minimalist style because they expected to be changing the rules and did not want any redundancy. They issued six rules updates, some with major changes, during the playtest. In addition, they tried to write the rules with less ambiguity, which made them sound more technical. In addition again, they grouped all 42 Conditions together in a big table. I think Pathfinder 2nd Edition has fewer conditions than Pathfinder 1st Edition, but consolidating the list made it seem like more.

As for the Doomsday Dawn scenarios, we are reciting the mantra, "It is just a playtest, it is just a playtest, it was not meant to be fun." My players and I did fit fun into our Doomsday Dawn games, but they were written as tests first and given a roleplaying whitewash second.

Draco18s wrote:
Mark Rosewater has spent 20+ years designing Magic the Gathering. Magic had made mistakes, sure, but I think I can be pretty confident that when Mark says, "if no one's excited, it's a failure," that there's some merit to the statement.

I used to read Mark Rosewater's articles weekly. I stopped visiting the Magic: the Gathering site when I moved out of Maryland away from my regular Magic opponents. He sometimes wrote about design in general rather than Magic: the Gathering, so I should go look for new articles on that. Thanks for the reminder.

I think that one niche where Paizo can get people excited about Pathfinder 2nd Edition is 15th to 20th level play. One goal of the tight math was to enable better games at that level. Unfortunately, since everone concluded years ago that high-level characters are broken and make encounters boring, just talking about it won't excite customers. I think when Paizo starts their pre-August previews, they should show videos of game sessions from 20th-level games and show off awesome player character power in a smoothly running scenario.


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Mathmuse wrote:

LINGERING COMPOSITION FEAT 1

Bard
By adding a flourish, you can make your compositions last longer. You
learn the lingering composition composition power (see page 235), which you can
cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

That's a very self-indulgent example of a rule. Basically Jargon Item 1 makes Jargon Item 2 longer. You learn Jargon Item 3 which you can use with Jargon Item 4 increasing Jargon Item 4 by 2.

For the lay person, trying to visualize this is hard. Who knows what the bard is doing or trying to accomplish in-game. Esoteric mathematical stuff in his head, I guess.

By comparison, although PF1 and various iterations of D&D had their jargon, they used natural language and you could get the gist of most things by just reading it without understanding all of the underlying rules.


Jeven wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

LINGERING COMPOSITION FEAT 1

Bard
By adding a flourish, you can make your compositions last longer. You
learn the lingering composition composition power (see page 235), which you can
cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

That's a very self-indulgent example of a rule. Basically Jargon Item 1 makes Jargon Item 2 longer. You learn Jargon Item 3 which you can use with Jargon Item 4 increasing Jargon Item 4 by 2.

For the lay person, trying to visualize this is hard. Who knows what the bard is doing or trying to accomplish in-game. Esoteric mathematical stuff in his head, I guess.

Lingering Composition in PF2 is fairly simple. A bard song takes an action to sing and lasts one round. Lingering composition adds a Performance check at the beginning, which costs a Spell Point (the bard has about 6 Spell Points to spend). On a successful performance, the bard song lasts 2 rounds, so the bard does not have to sing again the next turn. On a critical success it lasts 3 rounds. The chance of a success is about 50%.

The technical description makes it sound more complicated.


Mathmuse wrote:
I think that Paizo deliberately wrote it in a technical, minimalist style because they expected to be changing the rules and did not want any redundancy.

That's an excellent point - I hadn't thought of that and sincerely hope that's the case. The initial read-through and presentation of the rules were a huge turn-off for for me. In all honesty I still don't get how Dispel Magic works despite countless page-chases through the book. It took quite some time for me to see through the technical presentation to actually appreciate the rules for themselves, and then found myself solidly behind almost everything (well, not resonance...) If Paizo can present 1E in so understandable a manner, with all of its complexities, I imagine the final 2E rule book with its more streamlined systems will be at least as good.


Jeven wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
That's not what Pathfinder is or should be. Pathfinder is supposed to be the indie small-brew to WotC's mass-market D&D.

I admit I haven't read the playtest but have read a few of Paizo's preview blogs.

My first impression was that it was all very dry and heavy with abstract jargon.

Although that's fine for a technical manual, mathematics textbook or behind-the-scenes coding for a computer game, that cold, clinical feel is something of a turn-off for an RPG which is essentially a game of the imagination.

Can someone who has read the playtest tell me if my impression is correct?

Of course, it's only a playtest, so aside from fixing rules issues perhaps they will fluff it up in a way that makes it more fun to read and inspiring.

In other words, 7 score, well-built rules but dull, 10 score, well-built rules and exciting. So, if you want people to buy it (beyond those enthusiastic enough to playtest it), reading it shouldn't be chore.

Don't take the playtest book as the example of Paizo's work regarding lore. You should look at Starfinder books. They're really good regarding setting. Every part of the book, each instance of lore it's put in there offer plenty of plothooks, character ideas and overall information on the setting. To me, their only mistake was creating The Gap, it was just a lazy cop out to sever the link between Golarion(Pathfinder) and Starfinder.


The Presentation Survey asked numerous questions about things being too dry and technical, and if more flavor and descriptive text was needed. In the Paizo Friday twitch video right before Christmas it was said these things would definitely be added for the final release.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

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Mathmuse wrote:
Jeven wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

LINGERING COMPOSITION FEAT 1

Bard
By adding a flourish, you can make your compositions last longer. You
learn the lingering composition composition power (see page 235), which you can
cast at a cost of 1 Spell Point. Increase your Spell Point pool by 2.

That's a very self-indulgent example of a rule. Basically Jargon Item 1 makes Jargon Item 2 longer. You learn Jargon Item 3 which you can use with Jargon Item 4 increasing Jargon Item 4 by 2.

For the lay person, trying to visualize this is hard. Who knows what the bard is doing or trying to accomplish in-game. Esoteric mathematical stuff in his head, I guess.

Lingering Composition in PF2 is fairly simple. A bard song takes an action to sing and lasts one round. Lingering composition adds a Performance check at the beginning, which costs a Spell Point (the bard has about 6 Spell Points to spend). On a successful performance, the bard song lasts 2 rounds, so the bard does not have to sing again the next turn. On a critical success it lasts 3 rounds. The chance of a success is about 50%.

The technical description makes it sound more complicated.

Yes, THIS was the problem with the syntax in the playtest book. They seemed to come up with the weirdest, most complicated and ALSO dry way of describing a mechanic. A huge part of the problem is how much jargon (much of it new, so no one has it memorized) that they codified into the rules, as described above. It's like stereo instructions written for sound engineers rather than your average home user. Moreover, it's like stereo instructions the stereo's engineers wrote for themselves, but didn't actually intend anyone else to be able to understand.

A lot of the text addressing conditions especially had this problem. It's a lot easier to understand, "For the effect's duration, you will be at a -2 penalty to all rolls, then an additional -2 each round you fail your saving throw," than "you suffer from uncomfortable 1, which then proceeds to uncomfortable 2 on a failed save, and then to worse stages of uncomfortable thereafter" even if they mean the same thing.

I found much of the playtest document nearly incomprehensible, and in addition to being a freelance gaming editor, I am professionally a research editor used to wading through complex statistical expressions.

Adding flavor text will NOT fix the playtest document's problem. If your (hypothetical) Thundering Strike ability starts with "Your mighty hammer makes a deafening KABOOM! when you strike the ground," and THEN follow it with incomprehensible jargon-laden stereo instructions, that doesn't change the fact that it's incomprehensible stereo instructions. It's just incomprehensible stereo instructions that ALSO waste verbiage and layout space on (often) unnecessary fluff.

Generally speaking, Paizo's writers have almost always done a good job of writing mechanics clearly without being overly complicated, and their editing cycle catches the things that slip through. I can only hope that the playtest document was just "raw footage" as it were, without a lot of actual text review, and the finished document will be up to their usual high standard.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Given all the feedback I've seen floating around about how the Playtest rulebook felt very dry and technical to read (which I agree with), I'd be surprised if the final version WASN'T much less so. Personally, I'm crossing my fingers that they cut down on all the capitalized keywords and cross-referencing.


Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
In all honesty I still don't get how Dispel Magic works despite countless page-chases through the book.

I'm pretty sure you can sum it up in a few steps.

1. Find the effective spell level of what you're attempting to dispel. If there is no level, it is equivalent to level/2, rounded up, max 10.
2. If dispel magic's level is higher, it succeeds automatically.
3. Otherwise, roll spell attack vs DC of effect. Take a -5 penalty for each level lower the dispel magic is, and it auto fails if it's 4 or more levels lower.

This is actually just a summary of all counteract checks.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
The technical description makes it sound more complicated.

Yes, THIS was the problem with the syntax in the playtest book. They seemed to come up with the weirdest, most complicated and ALSO dry way of describing a mechanic. A huge part of the problem is how much jargon (much of it new, so no one has it memorized) that they codified into the rules, as described above. It's like stereo instructions written for sound engineers rather than your average home user. Moreover, it's like stereo instructions the stereo's engineers wrote for themselves, but didn't actually intend anyone else to be able to understand.

A lot of the text addressing conditions especially had this problem. It's a lot easier to understand, "For the effect's duration, you will be at a -2 penalty to all rolls, then an additional -2 each round you fail your saving throw," than "you suffer from uncomfortable 1, which then proceeds to uncomfortable 2 on a failed save, and then to worse stages of uncomfortable thereafter" even if they mean the same thing.

I suspect that Paizo was testing out some one-size-fits-all jargon in order to see whether it did fit all. Nope, it failed.

For example, "power" is the new name for a spell-like ability. Most PF1 limited-uses-per-day spell-like abilities were converted into powers that cost spell points. That is a universal system designed to simplify gameplay, since the player will track one set of spell points rather than individual uses of several different abilities. But they needed a jargon phrase, "spell points," in order to unify these powers. Note that "spell" and "point" are used a lot in the rules, so they capitalize "Spell Point" to prevent confusion rather than switching to a non-ambiguous phrase. So we see two design decisions here: (1) unify uses-per-day to simply gameplay at the cost of using more jargon, and (2) make a weak choice for the jargon and stick with it.

Let me provide the other half of Lingering Composition so that I can use it as a detailed example. Don't expect to understand it on the first reading, but I will explain.

LINGERING COMPOSITION POWER 1
Enchantment, Power
Casting [[Free Action]] Verbal Casting
Trigger You finish casting a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round.
You attempt to add a flourish to your composition to extend
its benefits. Attempt a Performance check. The DC is usually a
high-difficulty DC of a level equal to the highest-level target of
your composition, but the GM can assign a different DC based on
the circumstances. The effect depends on the result of your check.
Success The composition lasts 2 rounds.
Critical Success The composition lasts 3 rounds.
Failure The composition lasts 1 round.

A power uses the same format as a spell; hence, they put the Lingering Composition power into the Spells chapter. But a bard gains Lingering Composition as a feat, so the Paizo developers had to create a separate feat with the same name that said that the bard gains the Lingering Composition power and 2 more spell points. And for some mysterious reason, they decided that the cost of the power should be mentioned in the feat rather than in the power. Thus, both halves of Lingering Composition, feat and power, must be read to use it. Trying the one-size-fits-all for Lingering Composition ripped it into two pieces.

Worse, Lingering Composition does not fit the standard power template. It modifies bard songs (called compositions in PF2), yet ordinarily a power is stand-alone effect. Therefore, Paizo made it a free action triggered by finishing casting a composition (yes, bard songs are cast rather than performed, because they are magic, but the bard can play a musical instrument to satisfy the Somatic Component of the casting), so that it could be written as a stand-alone power. That added a line to the power about the trigger. Furthermore, one of Paizo's universal ideas was that the number of actions to cast a spell would be the number of casting components in the spell; for example, a spell with Verbal Casting and Somatic Casting would take two actions to cast. Lingering Composition has Verbal Casting and takes zero actions to cast.

The Performance check in Lingering Composition is flavorful. It makes Lingering Composition seem more like a song than a spellcasting, and it would make Lingering Composition become more powerful as the bard gained more skill in performance. Nevertheless, the designers decided that the +1 to all proficiencies per level was too much improvement (it often is), so they made the DC scale along with the level to slow down the improvement. Unfortunately, "the high-difficulty DC of a level" was set to keep pace with the expected improvement of a skill, so DC rose almost exactly as much as the Performance bonus. The end result is a lot of words to say, "Make a Performance check, but have a 50% chance of success regardless of your Performance skill." That is a plain case of shooting oneself in the foot.

Finally, the last three lines are another universal system: the four degrees of success.

The funny side is that Lingering Composition in PF2 is based on Lingering Performance in PF1, which did need some repairs.

Lingering Performance (General feat from the Advanced Player’s Guide. Copyright 2010)
The effects of your bardic performance carry on, even after you have stopped performing.
Prerequisite: Bardic performance class feature.
Benefit: The bonuses and penalties from your bardic performance continue for 2 rounds after you cease performing. Any other requirement, such as range or specific conditions, must still be met for the effect to continue. If you begin a new bardic performance during this time, the effects of the previous performance immediately cease.

PF1 bards are limited to 2 + 2*level + Cha rounds of bardic performance a day, which runs short at low levels. Lingering Performance could double the amount of bardic performance. The Inspire Courage song was nothing but bonuses, so Lingering Performance worked great with it.

However, the skald (barbarian/bard hybrid) in my Iron Gods campaign had Raging Song, "A raging song counts as the bard’s bardic performance special ability for any effect that affects bardic performances." The Inspired Rage song gave a barbarian-like rage to allies who accepted it, with a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, -1 penalty to AC, rage powers, and not being able to concentrate. The magus in the party had to reject the song in order to cast his spells. Until we noticed that the non-numerical effects disappeared during the lingering part of Lingering Performance. The magus could accept the song for one round, gain everything including not spellcasting, and then the skald stopped and started the song again. The magus rejected the second song, kept the +2 morale bonus for two more rounds, but could cast spells again.

That kind of rules shenanigans is common in PF1, but the designers want to avoid such complexities on PF2.

Powers cost spell points, so if a new Lingering Composition is not forced into the power template, then it cannot cost spell points by default.

ALTERNATIVE LINGERING COMPOSITION FEAT 1
Bard
You attempt to add a flourish to your composition to extend its benefits. Increase your spell point pool by 2 spell points. Whenever you cast a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round, you may make a Performance check DC 20. You may spend 2 spell points to reroll.
Success The composition lasts 2 rounds.
Critical Success The composition lasts 3 rounds.
Failure The composition lasts 1 round.
Critical Failure The composition lasts 1 round and you cannot reroll.

DeathQuaker wrote:
I found much of the playtest document nearly incomprehensible, and in addition to being a freelance gaming editor, I am professionally a research editor used to wading through complex statistical expressions.

I used to write technical documentation for non-technical people myself. My office had hired a professional technical writer, but we discovered her skills more valuable for talking to customers about faulty software and writing up clear bug reports. My main job was ensuring that we used the correct statistics in the software, but putting complex statistical expressions into the documents would have perplexed the customers.

DeathQuaker wrote:

Adding flavor text will NOT fix the playtest document's problem. If your (hypothetical) Thundering Strike ability starts with "Your mighty hammer makes a deafening KABOOM! when you strike the ground," and THEN follow it with incomprehensible jargon-laden stereo instructions, that doesn't change the fact that it's incomprehensible stereo instructions. It's just incomprehensible stereo instructions that ALSO waste verbiage and layout space on (often) unnecessary fluff.

Generally speaking, Paizo's writers have almost always done a good job of writing mechanics clearly without being overly complicated, and their editing cycle catches the things that slip through. I can only hope that the playtest document was just "raw footage" as it were, without a lot of actual text review, and the finished document will be up to their usual high standard.

The Paizo people are smart enough to recognize the failure of one-size-fits-all. What what will they replace the jargon with?


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Mathmuse wrote:
Unfortunately, "the high-difficulty DC of a level" was set to keep pace with the expected improvement of a skill, so DC rose almost exactly as much as the Performance bonus. The end result is a lot of words to say, "Make a Performance check, but have a 50% chance of success regardless of your Performance skill."

The use of this meme is starting to get ridiculous. My 14th-level bard can make the high-DC check on a 4. An average level one bard makes the check on an 11. The theoretical "worst bard" would make it on a 14 at level 1, and assuming they made the exact same investments as me, would make it on a 6 at level 14. Without those investments, worst-bard would have to roll a 17 (+14 vs DC 31).


Cyouni wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Unfortunately, "the high-difficulty DC of a level" was set to keep pace with the expected improvement of a skill, so DC rose almost exactly as much as the Performance bonus. The end result is a lot of words to say, "Make a Performance check, but have a 50% chance of success regardless of your Performance skill."
The use of this meme is starting to get ridiculous. My 14th-level bard can make the high-DC check on a 4. An average level one bard makes the check on an 11. The theoretical "worst bard" would make it on a 14 at level 1, and assuming they made the exact same investments as me, would make it on a 6 at level 14. Without those investments, worst-bard would have to roll a 17 (+14 vs DC 31).

Thank you for this.

In fact, on the specific example of Lingering Composition, it goes even further at highest levels. At 20th level the DC is 39 and a Bard can get +37. AKA 95% chance.

Granted that's with a feat that gives +2, but pretty much anyone can get a skill in their key stat up to +35 (20 level, 7 stat, 3 legendary, 5 item) by 20th, so 85% success.

To be 50% against High DC at 20th level, you need a +28 (makes it on 11). With +20 from level automatic, that means your Stat mod, proficiency modifier, and item bonus all together have to equal 8. That is FAR from specialized. A +5 in the stat and a +3 item (That's a level 9 or 10 item IIRC, easy to get at 20th) and only being trained does it, a +4 stat and +4 item and trained does it, a +4 in the stat, +3 item, and expert does it, etc.

Specialization just keeps up with the treadmill my a**...


Cyouni wrote:
Sir NotAppearingInThisFilm wrote:
In all honesty I still don't get how Dispel Magic works despite countless page-chases through the book.

I'm pretty sure you can sum it up in a few steps.

1. Find the effective spell level of what you're attempting to dispel. If there is no level, it is equivalent to level/2, rounded up, max 10.
2. If dispel magic's level is higher, it succeeds automatically.
3. Otherwise, roll spell attack vs DC of effect. Take a -5 penalty for each level lower the dispel magic is, and it auto fails if it's 4 or more levels lower.

This is actually just a summary of all counteract checks.

Yeah, this is pretty much right.

I put a slightly more longly-worded explanation here that is fairly simple, if that one doesn't do it. (It's the 5th post on this thread) :

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs429u4?Rules-clarification-on-Dispel-Magic


Cyouni wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Unfortunately, "the high-difficulty DC of a level" was set to keep pace with the expected improvement of a skill, so DC rose almost exactly as much as the Performance bonus. The end result is a lot of words to say, "Make a Performance check, but have a 50% chance of success regardless of your Performance skill."
The use of this meme is starting to get ridiculous. My 14th-level bard can make the high-DC check on a 4. An average level one bard makes the check on an 11. The theoretical "worst bard" would make it on a 14 at level 1, and assuming they made the exact same investments as me, would make it on a 6 at level 14. Without those investments, worst-bard would have to roll a 17 (+14 vs DC 31).

Okay, at 14th level a bard can have a maestro's instrument (10th-level magic item) that gives a +3 item bonus to Performance, Cha 20 for a +5 Charisma bonus, 14th-level master proficiency for +16 proficiency bonus, and Virtuosic Performer for a +2 circumstance bonus. That sums to +26, enough to make DC 33, the high-difficulty DC for 14th level on the original table 10-2 on page 337, on a roll of 7. I must have missed a better magic item or a conditional bonus that allows success a 4. The Charisma 20 is to be expected of a bard, but the master proficiency requires 2 of the 6 skill increases received by 14th level, Virtuosic Performance is a skill feat, the maestro's instrument is expensive, and the musical instrument occupies both hands so that the bard cannot attack with a weapon. That bard is a specialist. Non-specialists don't have as many bonuses.

"An average level one bard makes the check on an 11." Yes, that is a 50% chance of success. That is my baseline.

Why is the 14th-level bard a specialist in Performance? Does he enhance the party's saving throws with Counter Performance (power 1, page 212)? Does he aid their skill checks with Inspire Competence (cantrip, page 233)? Does he perform Inspire Heroics (power 4, page 233)? Did he learn Fascinating Performance (skill feat, page 165) to fascinate people? Does he use Impressive Performance (skill feat, page 167) instead of Diplomacy? Does he awe townsfolk with public performances? Does he earn extra cash by staging a performance? Those are the only other activities that require Performance checks.

Unfortunately, Counter Performance and Inspire Heroics consume spell points, too. And Inspire Heroics has the same trigger as Lingering Composition, so it cannot be used simultaneously with Lingering Performance. Either the bard specializes in out-of-combat performancce, or he is spending spell points quickly. When he runs short, is Lingering Performance worth the spell point cost? (I wonder why Paizo decided that Lingering Performance should cost spell points. Shouldn't specialists get to use it regularly?)

Just saw Edge93's post, so let me add a little more.

Edge93 wrote:
Specialization just keeps up with the treadmill my a**...

Nope, typical investment just keeps up with the high-difficulty treadmill. Specialization can pull ahead, by an additional 45% apparently, but specialization comes at a price, like the 23,000 gp for an 18th-level Virtuoso’s instrument.


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I mean, yeah. Relatively casual investment keeping you at 50% or so for a High difficulty check OF EQUAL LEVEL TO YOU just makes sense to me. YMMV.

If relatively casual investment were to get you much higher I feel like there isn't a lot of incentive to specialize.

Actually, that's not true. That's part of the purpose of skill feats, to give you something better than more numbers for specializing. One of my favorite things about PF2.

But still, numbers to a degree are an aspect of specializing as well. And if you can get particularly high success at your level, then what does heavy specialization give you? I know there are higher difficulty brackets than High, but that's part of the point of the current skill DC progression. As High slowly becomes almost a given, the Incredible and Ultimate DCs are there to provide a new bar. You've cleared the brevious bracket, it's below you. Incredible and Ultimate exist to challenge the specialists and be near unattainable by others. And so I don't think making skill success higher across the board (Which is what would happen if casual investment gave higher results, as specialization would need to do so as well) does those challenges justice.

And I'm not saying the skill system is perfect. It has some blips. Lack of a +1-5 item for every skill for starters. But the assertion that High DC equals 50% no matter what just gets tiring.

And I know you aren't really making that assertion anymore at this point, I'm just venting a little.

BTW I've seen the "Performance's +5 item takes up your hands" argument and that is something I would like to see made possible to work around, but it's also a bit of a corner case as most skill items DON'T require hands to wield. Most skills also don't have a +2 feat either, so most skills cap at 85% on High, or 80% if there isn't a +5 item for the skill (Again, this item bit is a Playtest issue, not a system issue. A lack of content, not a base flaw)


Mathmuse wrote:
Cyouni wrote:


The use of this meme is starting to get ridiculous. My 14th-level bard can make the high-DC check on a 4. An average level one bard makes the check on an 11. The theoretical "worst bard" would make it on a 14 at level 1, and assuming they made the exact same investments as me, would make it on a 6 at level 14. Without those investments, worst-bard would have to roll a 17 (+14 vs DC 31).
Okay, at 14th level a bard can have a maestro's instrument (10th-level magic item) that gives a +3 item bonus to Performance, Cha 20 for a +5 Charisma bonus, 14th-level master proficiency for +16 proficiency bonus, and Virtuosic Performer for a +2 circumstance bonus. That sums to +26, enough to make DC 33, the high-difficulty DC for 14th level on the original table 10-2 on page 337, on a roll of 7. I must have missed a better magic item or a conditional bonus that allows success a 4. The Charisma 20 is to be expected of a bard, but the master proficiency requires 2 of the 6 skill increases received by 14th level, Virtuosic Performance is a skill feat, the maestro's instrument is expensive, and the musical instrument occupies both hands so that the bard cannot attack with a weapon. That bard is a specialist. Non-specialists don't have as many bonuses.

My particular case is a bit special, given I was one of the two that got a stat boosting item in my group. That actually helps out worst-bard even more, as he gets a +2 bonus from it.

I also have no idea why we're using the old table when the new one exists. But if we're making the same comparison on the table, then worst-bard would have to roll a 19 to pass the check, which keeps the difference the exact same. Similarly, later-optimized worst-bard would have to roll a 12 (+21 vs DC 33), and uninvested-bard would have to roll a 14 (+19). But then that also begs the question: why did you go Maestro if you're not going to touch Perform?

Mathmuse wrote:
Why is the 14th-level bard a specialist in Performance? Does he enhance the party's saving throws with Counter Performance (power 1, page 212)? Does he aid their skill checks with Inspire Competence (cantrip, page 233)? Does he perform Inspire Heroics (power 4, page 233)? Did he learn Fascinating...

Versatile Performance, Fascinating Performance, and as a result of Versatile Performance, Group Impression and Glad-Hand. He can use Inspire Competence and Counter Performance if he needs to.

And he has 9 SP (10, actually, now that I think about it), so it'll take a while to run out.


Cyouni wrote:
I also have no idea why we're using the old table when the new one exists.

Because I was originally responding to questions about the Playtest Rulebook today and speculating on the design presented by the Paizo developers in that Rulebook. Therefore, I stuck to the Rulebook and its table, rather than the improved table in Rules Update 1.3 — Release Date: 9/24/2018.

And I didn't want to explain that the old table labeled its DCs as Trivial, Low, High, Severe, and Extreme and the new table labeled its DCs as Easy, Medium, Hard, Incredible, and Ultimate. My word count was already high.

Paizo has been improving the game in response to the playtest surveys and comments. That is the best news about this playtest.

Edge93 wrote:
But still, numbers to a degree are an aspect of specializing as well. And if you can get particularly high success at your level, then what does heavy specialization give you?

I still have my expectations set by Pathfinder 1st Edition. By those standards, a proficiency called legendary with the magic items to support it, ought to be fantastic. Regularly gaining two rounds of bard song instead of one seems too mundane. Heavy specialization deserves four rounds!

LINGERING COMPOSITION, YET ANOTHER VERSION FEAT 1
Bard
You attempt to add a flourish to your composition to extend its benefits. Whenever you cast a cantrip composition with a duration of 1 round, you may make a Performance check DC 30 to lengthen the duration.
Success The composition lasts 3 rounds.
Critical Success The composition lasts 4 rounds.
Failure The composition lasts 2 rounds.
Critical Failure The composition lasts 1 round.

Edge93 wrote:
BTW I've seen the "Performance's +5 item takes up your hands" argument and that is something I would like to see made possible to work around, but it's also a bit of a corner case as most skill items DON'T require hands to wield. Most skills also don't have a +2 feat either, so most skills cap at 85% on High, or 80% if there isn't a +5 item for the skill (Again, this item bit is a Playtest issue, not a system issue. A lack of content, not a base flaw)

This relates to my singleton complaint in Hear Our Plea(s). Requiring two hands for two-handed instruments such as a flute or guitar is reasonable, but the Playtest Rulebook requires a time-consuming attack-provoking Interact action to switch to a weapon or wand or potion. And then another one to switch back. And what about one-handed instruments, such as a simple horn?

I am definitely going to make a houserule that a single Interact action can stow the musical instrument safely on a strap and draw a weapon in the same action. Thus, when the bard puts away his lute to draw his rapier, he will also have a hand free to cast spells, all in one action.

I may also test out a series of Acrobatics expert-level actions that permit handling an object while taking another action, say a DC 15 Acrobatics check lets the bard properly grab his lute from its strap and get it properly gripped in both hands in the same Somatic Casting action where he begins casting his bard song. A failed check means that he has to take a regular Interact action instead.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
Starfox wrote:

I find those two concepts quite different. Tactically, there are similarities, but conceptually the sorcerer is a half-monster using something related to monster powers, while the wizard is a magical engineer. Not the same at all in my mind.

[This isn't directly about Vancian casting, its about sorcerer and wizard as concepts.]

Voss wrote:

How would the sorcerer be half monster? They do the same things the same way another PC would.

They're really just clerics, druids, bards or wizards with the class abilities stripped out. So they're more like half PCs, but with a choice of who to be a poor clone of at first level.

I don't thinks "half" monster was ever the goal; though in-humanoid ancestry is a large part of it, but it's more like... probably somewhere around 1 part per million or so. Enough that you can draw some power from it, but not necessarily enough to be obvious at a glance. Though, of course, particular instances can modify that, because flavor is infinitely flexible, and PF1e at least had a great many races with strong hints of particular ancestries.

That aside, while mechanically they can be seen a bit as a "poor clone" of the other casting classes, that has nothing to do with the concept and more to do with Sorcerers maybe being a bit undertuned at the moment. And in my opinion they are undertuned, and maybe a bit overly pointed towards Arcane (though that can hopefully be fixed with more content, but the bloodlines really should be fixed now so they don't become a precedent towards sadness.)

Not replying specifically to the individual, but more toward the conversation ---

The Bloodlines for the Sorcerer wasn't something that was a part of the class in 3.0 of the brand's release, that came in supplements later on and PF1 incorporated it into the game wholesale to differentiate them from the Wizard. It was a good inclusion and overall the changes and additions for all the classes was for the better.

Silver Crusade

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I hope the new ruleset works out for them, but frankly, I'll just stick with the current rules.


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Thank you and to the players for your hard work!
I am sorry I could do very little during this playtest, and I also apologise for having done a superficial job (imagine I initially even ignored resonance because I forgot it was there, so I'm happy you are taking it out xD).
From what I've seen, it looks like the system needs those big changes you have already mentioned, but not much more than that! If you keep the process more or less transparent and keep people in the forums in the loop, I'm sure you will be able to put it together in a way that would satisfy the majority of us players!
I have friends who don't play Pathfinder anymore (have moved to D&D 5e) which I would love to propose the game to (they don't have the patience to playtest, unfortunately).
I believe you will be able to put together an rpg that is easy to learn AND master, without compromising too much of the depth that people expect from a Paizo game.
Keep up the good work, and may Desna smile on us all!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Manager

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William Ronald wrote:

I imagine that there is still time to get feedback in. I just ran Raiders of the Shrieking Peak on Saturday.

The org play team is still taking feedback on the Pathfinder Society playtest scenarios and you may still acquire Playtest Points for playing any of them. I expect us to close our surveys late Feb-early March, when design finishes up the rules, so that we can focus on generating scenarios for Season 1.

Playtest points may be earned until July (exact date tbd). We will need to turn them off a few weeks prior to Gen Con, so that you can purchase benefits for your new characters prior to the convention. More information as to the final dates to acquire Playtest Points will be available closer to the close.


The pathfinder Bestiary 1 (second edition) is coming out in August right? Or is it delayed?


Awahoon wrote:
The pathfinder Bestiary 1 (second edition) is coming out in August right? Or is it delayed?

I don't think we ever had any confirmation on that book or when it's scheduled. I'd assume it won't be too far behind the August release date for PF2, as long as PF2 isn't delayed in general. Although I could see it being as much as a month or two behind the core book. In fact I don't think we know anything at all about the lineup of titles being launched early in the new edition. That's probably something that'd be announced in a few months as things get finalized. Maybe at Paizocon.

I am curious if they decided to go the extra-large bestiary route that was being considered. A much bigger book has the advantage of getting more creatures into play for the new edition faster, so our options wouldn't drop so much from the edition change. The downside would be increased cost which might turn off some customers, and higher workload. I'd think a decision on this is likely already made, or at least we're probably very close to when it has to be made.


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Draco18s wrote:
I believe this is incorrect. The TV series that a lot of people rate high enough to actually watch will beat the TV series a few people love and others hate every time. Something that a few people love might become classic and stay in the circuit for years, but it will never be the #1.

The person you quoted never said anything about TVs and trying to apply the realities of TV (which is a passive thing vs the active playing and devoting time to a game) with RPGs is due to a gross misunderstanding of TV.

Any television station that contains advertisements does not have consumers as their customer. The consumers are the product and the customer is the advertising company. So the more people who find a television show to be above the minimum threshold of worth devoting 30-60 minutes to, the more product that television station has to sell. So lots of 7s are far more important then a few 10s.

But RPGs require ambassadors (people who organise games in public venues), they require champions (people who run the game) and they require a minimum level of enoyment to convince people to devote 4-35 hours a month playing. The ambassadors and champions are largely not paid to champion the game or act as it's ambassador (things like Critical Role have changed that to a degree). So they need to convince people that this game is a 10 to convince them to act as the ambassadors and champions of the game. Without enough people willing to take on that mantle, no-one will play the game regardless of how wide of an appeal it might have.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Additionally, based on the surveys and various similar things, website forum feedback isn't actually a very accurate gauge of how people actually feel about a specific change.

While the surveys are a good way of gauging how players view an edition, I'll be interested to see whether or not PF2e inspires enough people to champion the game and act as ambassadors for the game. That's something (I think) surveys are ill equipped to gauge and that forums are in fact the better measuring tool. But we will wait and see.


Well said, John.

I think, though, that we would see fewer 300-post arguments if no one was passionately positive about the game. Those kinds of debates seem like they would require passion on both sides.

I certainly consider myself to be in the "passionately positive" group, at least.

Sovereign Court

Every new system will have its champions. The issue is that with RPGs any time you lose a champion, you also lose 3+ players with them. I think the key is going to be explaining the differences to the base in a way they can easily understand. Right now some of the changes are not easy to grok. Though by all means necessary, dont create a marketing plan on folks being dumb if they don't get it; lol.


The flip of that, of course, is that attracting a new champion also attracts 3+ players with them.

Liberty's Edge

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
While the surveys are a good way of gauging how players view an edition, I'll be interested to see whether or not PF2e inspires enough people to champion the game and act as ambassadors for the game. That's something (I think) surveys are ill equipped to gauge and that forums are in fact the better measuring tool. But we will wait and see.

To be clear, I don't really disagree with this. My point was in how futile trying to change the game based on forum responses would be (since it would be changing it based on weird sampling biases and anecdotes, not real data), not anything in regards to what they indicated about enthusiasm for the game.

That said, I think there's a quite respectable amount of enthusiasm given the degree to which the playtest was (as a playtest) inevitably a sometimes unpleasant grind. There are negative comments, certainly, but if they actually fix the existent issues? I think the numbers of people who are really passionate about the final game will be pretty high.

Sovereign Court

MaxAstro wrote:
The flip of that, of course, is that attracting a new champion also attracts 3+ players with them.

Sure, assuming there are champs to be had at the cost of former. This hasnt always worked out well for publishers. Which is why my advice is for Paizo not to get in their own way.


Sorry, I didn't meant to say anything about doing anything "at the cost" of former champions.

Just pointing out that attracting new champions is just as important as retaining existing ones.


Here's hoping errata for PF2 isn't on the same awful schedule as Pathfinder.

Shadow Lodge

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Here's to hoping there isn't a pressing need for errata like there was for Pathfinder.


MaxAstro wrote:

Sorry, I didn't meant to say anything about doing anything "at the cost" of former champions.

Just pointing out that attracting new champions is just as important as retaining existing ones.

In an economical sense it's better to attract new ones. After all the existing ones will probably leave one day, and new blood is always needed.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DeathQuaker wrote:


Adding flavor text will NOT fix the playtest document's problem. If your (hypothetical) Thundering Strike ability starts with "Your mighty hammer makes a deafening KABOOM! when you strike the ground," and THEN follow it with incomprehensible jargon-laden stereo instructions, that doesn't change the fact that it's incomprehensible stereo instructions. It's just incomprehensible stereo instructions that ALSO waste verbiage and layout space on (often) unnecessary fluff.

Generally speaking, Paizo's writers have almost always done a good job of writing mechanics clearly without being overly complicated, and their editing cycle catches the things that slip through. I can only hope that the playtest document was just "raw footage" as it were, without a lot of actual text review, and the finished document will be up to their usual high standard.

Just to revisit this point but it does something the overall magic and feel of the game to write it that way. Like if you were so ashamed of the "Mathfinder" label as they seemed to be in several of their decisions they certainly did a lot of reinforcement of that with their writing style.

In comparison, I was just today perusing the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay book and while I still don't know what I think of that game I was instantly hooked by the way it was written and presented and nearly purchased it despite having no income at the moment (woo government shutdowns).

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