A First Look at Pathfinder Second Edition

Monday, June 24, 2019

The Second Edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is set to launch on August 1st, and in anticipation, we thought it was time to take a look at the game and give you a sense of what you can expect from the new version of the rules! Starting with this blog and continuing every week until release, we are going to be looking at different aspects of the game, from a broad overview to some of the finer details of character generation and adventure design. Taken together, these blogs should give you a head-start on learning the game and bringing it to your table!

Illustration by Setiawan Lie

What is Pathfinder all about?

At its heart, Pathfinder Second Edition is the same type of game as first edition. You take on the role of a sword & sorcery adventurer of your own design, going on daring adventures for a chance at fame and fortune. One player takes on the role of Game Master, helping to adjudicate the actions of player characters, nonplayer characters, and monsters, weaving all of them together to form a compelling story—one that everyone at the table helped to create!

Of course, as a game, Pathfinder is a lot more than just telling stories. It is a system of rules that defines how the world works, and for Second Edition we wanted to make sure that this game “engine” was easy to understand and interpret, both for players and Game Masters! And while we made sure that creating and advancing your character was a clean and intuitive as it could be, we also ensured that the game allowed your choices—your vision for your character—to truly matter. The decisions you make in Pathfinder define your character, expressed not just in the story but in the rules as well.

Core Mechanic

Pathfinder is a narrative roleplaying game, meaning that you describe what your character is attempting to do while the Game Master describes how the story and world unfolds around you. Whenever there is doubt or uncertainty in actions, you will be called upon to make a check, which requires you to roll a d20 and add a modifier based on your character’s proficiency at that particular challenge. These checks come in many forms, from swinging a sword to climbing a cliff to dodging a roaring fireball. The result of your check, as interpreted by the GM, determines whether or not you succeed at your task, and might even decide whether or not your character survives!

In Pathfinder Second Edition, proficiency determines nearly every important statistic used by your character during play. How skilled are you with a longbow? How good are you at Stealth? What is your aptitude for casting illusion magic? All of these statistics, and many more, are defined by your proficiency in the statistic.

Proficiency is gained through the choices you make in building your character. If you are untrained, you get no bonus at all, but you can still add a modifier from a relevant ability score to represent your raw talent. If you are trained, you add your level plus 2, along with any other relevant modifiers. If you are an expert, you add 4 instead. Masters add 6, and characters with legendary proficiency add 8. This basic formula applies to nearly everything in Pathfinder Second Edition, making it easy for you to see where you stand and understand what your chances are at overcoming the challenges the game puts in front of you.

Facing Danger

The world of Pathfinder is a dangerous place. Vampires lurk in forgotten tombs, trolls prowl in the mountains, and deadly dragons await atop mounds of priceless treasure. These threats—and many more—await your character as they explore the story, and more often than not, such encounters will end with a thrilling combat.

Combat in Pathfinder is much more structured than the freeform narrative play of the rest of the game. During combat, participants take turns, during which the number of things that can be accomplished is limited. On your turn, your character will get to take three actions. Many of these will be what are called basic actions, like moving, drawing a weapon, opening a door, or making an attack. Some might be special actions that only your character can take, based on the choices you made during character creation. Casting spells, performing amazing martial stunts, or utilizing special class features like rage are all examples of special actions.

Just because your turn is over does not mean that you do not have an opportunity to participate in the combat. Some characters can take special reactions that allow them to interrupt the flow of play on other characters’ turns. You might dodge an incoming attack, block with your shield, or even attempt to counter an enemy’s spell. Each character can only take one reaction between turns though, so you have to make it count!

Combat continues until one side is defeated, gives up, or retreats, but these deadly encounters are just one way that you might resolve conflict. You might use skills or magic to sneak past foes, or you could try to talk your way out of a fight, relying on guile and charm to win the day. Ultimately, the way you approach danger in Pathfinder is up to you, and your chance at success depends on the choices you make for your character!

Illustration by Michele Esposito

Illustration by Alexander Nanitchkov

Illustration by Andrea Tentori Montalto

Creating Your Story

Pathfinder Second Edition empowers you to tell your own story, no matter what side of the table you occupy. Players have a wide variety of choices in making their character, giving them the tools to bring their idea to life. Your choice of ancestry, background, and class define the major parts of your character, but they are just the beginning. Your choice of skills, feats, and gear say a lot about the player character you are portraying and as you gain power, the new choices you get to make speak to your hero’s journey. You can come up with a plan for your character’s growth, or you can let their adventures influence your decisions. It’s up to you!

Taking on the role of Game Master brings a whole different kind of flexibility to your role at the table. As GM, you get to shape the overall narrative, defining the actions of villains, monsters, and all of the nonplayer characters that make up the world. You provide the adversaries that the PCs must face if they hope to succeed, and your narrative forms the backdrop that allows the characters to grow and triumph. Pathfinder provides a wide range of tools to help you in this vital task, from guidelines on how to build balanced encounters to narrative advice, and guidance on how to create a welcoming play environment. Within the pages of the Core Rulebook you will also find a wealth of treasure to award to your PCs when they succeed and a bunch of devious traps to guard the treasure. Most importantly, the Bestiary contains over 400 monsters waiting to face off against your PCs, from shambling undead to fiendish demons.

Illustration by Will O'Brien

What's Next

In the coming weeks, we are going to be looking at various aspects of Pathfinder Second Edition to give you a better idea about how each part of the game works. Next week, we are going to go over the steps you take when making and leveling up a character, but make sure to come back every week as we take a deep look at the new combat system, explore creating your own adventures, and provide a bunch of tips and tricks for using Pathfinder to tell your stories!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Second Edition
51 to 100 of 205 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Not sure what kind of in-depth spoilers people are expecting out of a "First Look" post.

Kobolds are adorable in all their forms, and I prefer them as tiny dragon themed scalies over the old rat-dog weaksauce.

Weapon proficiency level absolutely must be class dependent, since it's very much the main thing martials get. If a player of mine was dead set on their Fighter multiclass getting Legendary, spending the majority of their feats on Fighter stuff, I would give them the option of switching their primary class to Fighter or go on an epic 20th level quest to obtain a divine boon that grants them that last proficiency boost. Something like that anyway.

Paladins being masters of heavy armor still boggles my mind. As long as I've played, Fighters, with their armor mastery, were the go-to heavy armor masters, followed by Cavaliers and dwarf Clerics. I think it has to do with the fact that a paladin could afford to take a bit of damage since they had lay on hands, and would instead opt for armor that lets them get into the fray faster.

Also, KOBOLD PLUSHIE SQUAD!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Malk_Content wrote:
I'm not sure why people get hung up on Champs being the "best" heavy armour users.

What does being a champion of a god have to do with achieving the pinnacle of knowing how to wear heavy armor? If there were no gods, people just wouldn't be able to figure out how to wear heavy armor very effectively? A devout Gorum-worshipping fighter who devotes all his efforts to mastering heavy armor can never be legendary in it, but a NG champion of Nethys can. That's...bizarre.

Silver Crusade

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I'm not sure why people get hung up on Champs being the "best" heavy armour users.
What does being a champion of a god have to do with achieving the pinnacle of knowing how to wear heavy armor? If there were no gods, people just wouldn't be able to figure out how to wear heavy armor very effectively? A devout Gorum-worshipping fighter who devotes all his efforts to mastering heavy armor can never be legendary in it, but a NG champion of Nethys can. That's...bizarre.

I think it went a little something like:

"We need a class with legendary proficiency in heavy armor, which one can do that?"

"Must be either fighter, or paladin. No other class in legacy Pathfinder got heavy armor and shield."

"Yeah, but it can't be fighter, he has to get legendary weapon proficiency, and he can't get both."

"Paladin it is, then."


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
scary harpy wrote:
Malckuss76 wrote:
A little more sparse than I would have liked. However, I'm glad they have started and know the ball will get rolling.

It's a lot more sparse that I would have liked.

I'm almost desperate for spoilers.

I start threads thinking someone must have heard something I didn't.

No such luck. :(

Speaking of spoilers did you see the 100 spoilers that were released at Paizocon? Also, there have been images of pages of the books posted online. Also, there have been a number of live play sessions that have yielded a ton of info.

I don't have specific links, but you can find threads for all of those in this forum.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Elorebaen wrote:
scary harpy wrote:
Malckuss76 wrote:
A little more sparse than I would have liked. However, I'm glad they have started and know the ball will get rolling.

It's a lot more sparse that I would have liked.

I'm almost desperate for spoilers.

I start threads thinking someone must have heard something I didn't.

No such luck. :(

Speaking of spoilers did you see the 100 spoilers that were released at Paizocon? Also, there have been images of pages of the books posted online. Also, there have been a number of live play sessions that have yielded a ton of info.

I don't have specific links, but you can find threads for all of those in this forum.

yeah, saw them.


20 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Those of you commenting that this post is too light and too directed at new players: please notice that at least one person in this thread didn't know the new proficiency rules until this post, and that has been known for quite a while.

Not everyone is on the bleeding edge of spoilers, and Paizo needs to get everyone on the same page for future previews. :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Franz Lunzer wrote:
"Yeah, but it can't be fighter, he has to get legendary weapon proficiency, and he can't get both."

As an aside, I kinda wish they did. With their whole core premise being comparatively mundane masters of martial combat, the fighter being the best at weapons and armor (and maybe also having a bumped up will save progression) would have been really fitting.

Not saying I think the PF2 fighter needs a buff, just that it would have been very thematic.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like the. depiction of the Calisttrian. .


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

need to get some Kobold Deep Cuts off the production line stat... must update to the new stylized kobolds as soon as possible


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Squiggit wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
"Yeah, but it can't be fighter, he has to get legendary weapon proficiency, and he can't get both."

As an aside, I kinda wish they did. With their whole core premise being comparatively mundane masters of martial combat, the fighter being the best at weapons and armor (and maybe also having a bumped up will save progression) would have been really fitting.

Not saying I think the PF2 fighter needs a buff, just that it would have been very thematic.

It also could have been a choice between the two.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

^ Hmm... Almost like different class paths? You know, the thing that all the other classes got (except Monk) but not the Fighter?

<shrug>


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:
"Yeah, but it can't be fighter, he has to get legendary weapon proficiency, and he can't get both."

As an aside, I kinda wish they did. With their whole core premise being comparatively mundane masters of martial combat, the fighter being the best at weapons and armor (and maybe also having a bumped up will save progression) would have been really fitting.

Not saying I think the PF2 fighter needs a buff, just that it would have been very thematic.

It also could have been a choice between the two.

I'd be down with a choice, and I'd be amazed if there weren't at some point an "armor master" fighter class archetype that trades legendary weapons for legendary armor.

I don't think any one class should have both legendary weapons and legendary armor, though - that doesn't leave much room for that class to have much in the way of any other class features and sounds rather boring.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I'm not sure why people get hung up on Champs being the "best" heavy armour users.
What does being a champion of a god have to do with achieving the pinnacle of knowing how to wear heavy armor? If there were no gods, people just wouldn't be able to figure out how to wear heavy armor very effectively? A devout Gorum-worshipping fighter who devotes all his efforts to mastering heavy armor can never be legendary in it, but a NG champion of Nethys can. That's...bizarre.

I mean if you flavour it as "I know how to wear armour better" then yeah it is going to sound stupid. But as they now get Legend in all armour the bonus quite happily describes a level of divine protection, such a god might grant a devout follower they've invested energy in.

And we see those similair themes in PF1 as well, though that divine protection was applied to their Saving Throws not AC.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
Not everyone is on the bleeding edge of spoilers, and Paizo needs to get everyone on the same page for future previews. :)

It didn't even really do that much for me. Hopefully the followups are more meaty.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So if I'm reading this right, at level 1, a Fighter can pick Expert proficiency in a weapon category of their choice, go for 18 STR, and get +8 to hit?

Sweet!

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
caps wrote:

So if I'm reading this right, at level 1, a Fighter can pick Expert proficiency in a weapon category of their choice, go for 18 STR, and get +8 to hit?

Sweet!

+9 actually, since Expert is Level + 4 and you're 1st level.

In fairness, this and Attack of Opportunity are pretty much the only advantages a 1st level Fighter has over a 1st level Champion or Barbarian or what have you.

They're very good advantages, however.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
caps wrote:

So if I'm reading this right, at level 1, a Fighter can pick Expert proficiency in a weapon category of their choice, go for 18 STR, and get +8 to hit?

Sweet!

+9 actually, since Expert is Level + 4 and you're 1st level.

In fairness, this and Attack of Opportunity are pretty much the only advantages a 1st level Fighter has over a 1st level Champion or Barbarian or what have you.

They're very good advantages, however.

Even better!

I thought the level 1 class feats for Fighter were pretty decent in the playtest.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
caps wrote:
Even better!

Yeah, Fighter and Rogue are both looking really powerful and worth playing in PF2 (in very different ways).

caps wrote:
I thought the level 1 class feats for Fighter were pretty decent in the playtest.

Sure. Barbarian and Champion Feats also looked solid, though, so I wouldn't characterize that as a Fighter advantage.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
caps wrote:

So if I'm reading this right, at level 1, a Fighter can pick Expert proficiency in a weapon category of their choice, go for 18 STR, and get +8 to hit?

Sweet!

Especially when we look at some of the revealed monster stats. A lvl 2 Zombie has AC 15 (probably low for its level so I imagine regular lvl 2s will have something close to 18) and 20hp. So punching above your weight the 18 str lvl 1 Fighter has a good chance at felling something above his level in a single crit or a couple of strikes.

+8 to hit vs AC 15 means a crit on a 17 and can easily one shot the Zombie (need a 6 on your damage dice.) If you've got the weakness proc you don't even need to crit. Even if you get neither of those hitting twice seems reasonable (on a 7 and 12.)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Really dug the first image!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Waay too late in the game, I've finally figured out what bugs me with the proficiency system. It's the auto-levelling. And not that it exists, I get why that is. As an arcane caster, I auto place points in spellcraft, etc..

Its that at some point I frequently decide that I no longer want to keep doing that. I may say (for one reason or another) that I don't want to throw any more points at skill A. It happens in real life. When I started college I was huge into american history. I threw a ton of skill points into "Knowledge: American History". Then I became a geologist. My Knowledge of American History didn't go away (ignoring for a moment the decay over time), but I threw points into Geology. Indeed, I may have respeced some points out of AH and into Geology. That's what the system is (as i understand it) missing. And it's not a small thing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

One thing I find interesting about the center and right images of people is that they both seem to be doing basically the same thing -- the difference being that they are from wildly different cultures/ethnicities, with neither of them being from the Inner Sea region as best I can tell.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Not everyone is on the bleeding edge of spoilers, and Paizo needs to get everyone on the same page for future previews. :)
It didn't even really do that much for me. Hopefully the followups are more meaty.

I'm not sure I'd equate proficiency with "bleeding edge". ;)

I know for myself, I've been seeing threads about all kinds of juicy crunch coming up in twitch, cons, interviews, ect in other places so I'd hoped for a bit of love in that department for their own site. Hopefully the next is more preview and less review. At least the pics were new. :)

PS: after taking a good at the first pic, I noticed the kobolds using a new weapon! A slingshot!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:

Waay too late in the game, I've finally figured out what bugs me with the proficiency system. It's the auto-levelling. And not that it exists, I get why that is. As an arcane caster, I auto place points in spellcraft, etc..

Its that at some point I frequently decide that I no longer want to keep doing that. I may say (for one reason or another) that I don't want to throw any more points at skill A. It happens in real life. When I started college I was huge into american history. I threw a ton of skill points into "Knowledge: American History". Then I became a geologist. My Knowledge of American History didn't go away (ignoring for a moment the decay over time), but I threw points into Geology. Indeed, I may have respeced some points out of AH and into Geology. That's what the system is (as i understand it) missing. And it's not a small thing.

Well at that point you stop investing in American History (so say you leave it at Expert) and while you still get better at it, due to generally becoming more competent (I'd say while you are probably less good on the specifics of American History, your ability to do things related to it like sourcing and critical analysis have only improved by studying other subjects) it doesn't improve relative to your general competence. Instead of investing your skill ups into that you put it into Geology instead, eventually surpassing your abandoned field of study by becoming Master at it.

If you want t represent decay and moving onto new things you could use the in built Retraining rules to shift your Expert skill from American History to Geology, representing a harder shift of focus, and thus downgrading your American History from Expert to Trained.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like the "I don't want to put more points in a skill" in PF2 is "leave it at trained or expert." So you can be trained in athletics, meaning you know how to swim, but you're not Michel Phelps so you don't go past that- you're competent but not superlative.

Unlike in PF1 your "single rank investment in swimming" actually scales to be useful later on- you're not going to swim the Braid, but you can tread water and won't drown if you fall off the boat. In PF1 skills left with 1 rank, or 3 ranks, or less than "level ranks" generally became useless later on since there aren't DCs you can hit in 10th level adventures.

I figure the whole "you continue to advance in things you are not actively studying" thing is either "your continued adventures provide context and perspective which refines your understanding" or just the general weirdness of leveling a la "I went to the dungeon and killed an ooze, so now I know how to talk to people."


Malk_Content wrote:


If you want t represent decay and moving onto new things you could use the in built Retraining rules to shift your Expert skill from American History to Geology, representing a harder shift of focus, and thus downgrading your American History from Expert to Trained.

This actually sounds encouraging. I'm not 100% in agreement with your interpretation, but I'm at like 98% :D which rounds up ;).

I'm still very much on the fence about 2e. I want to like it very much, but I'm still not sold on it. Whether to re-up on this is going to take up a lot of my free thought in July. Between the rules and deciding if I want to keep up with the wizkids minis.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Resonance is gone entirely. Non-lethal damage, and how Hero Points are awarded we have no info on.
Nonlethal actually came up in Oblivion Oath, and sounded the same as the playtest, to wit: "identical, unless it's the hit that puts you below 0".

I was hoping they put a bit more thought into it other than making Non-Lethal near impossible to use.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
thaX wrote:
I was hoping they put a bit more thought into it other than making Non-Lethal near impossible to use.

"Use nonlethal damage once they're pretty beat up so you knock them out instead of killing them" seems pretty usable, and has more basis in popular consciousness than the previous system.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:


If you want t represent decay and moving onto new things you could use the in built Retraining rules to shift your Expert skill from American History to Geology, representing a harder shift of focus, and thus downgrading your American History from Expert to Trained.

This actually sounds encouraging. I'm not 100% in agreement with your interpretation, but I'm at like 98% :D which rounds up ;).

I'm still very much on the fence about 2e. I want to like it very much, but I'm still not sold on it. Whether to re-up on this is going to take up a lot of my free thought in July. Between the rules and deciding if I want to keep up with the wizkids minis.

This is definitely one of those things that exists for game balance as a side effect of level-based systems having DC scaling in the background as a matter of necessity. I think they found a good fit between game balance and verisimilitude here, especially with the other additions like the Follow the Expert exploration tactic.

For you, I would more suggest that you look at knowledge-based skill ranks as only the things that your character is committed to continue learning, and the different proficiencies as a demonstration of the payoff of that investment. With the final version, untrained only takes your innate stats, so you won't get better with level (which was not a universally popular decision, but it sounds like will work well with your view).

TLDR Look at it as: Skills and abilities are either something you commit to improving as you level, or they stay untrained.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
thaX wrote:
I was hoping they put a bit more thought into it other than making Non-Lethal near impossible to use.

Uh...it's easy to use. Some attacks do it and you can take a -2 to deal nonlethal with those that don't.

You need to do nonlethal on all of your attacks past a certain point to make sure they stay nonlethal, but that's pretty realistic.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
thaX wrote:
I was hoping they put a bit more thought into it other than making Non-Lethal near impossible to use.
"Use nonlethal damage once they're pretty beat up so you knock them out instead of killing them" seems pretty usable, and has more basis in popular consciousness than the previous system.

I mean, it seems super easy to use to me. Pull your punches toward the end to not kill a dude. There's risk in not pulling your punches, and different classes will struggle to do it at all (is there a non-lethal fireball?). If you want to be super safe, you can always do non-lethal. In the final version of the playtest, that's just a -2 penalty for weapon attacks.

You don't have to remember substantial alternate rules for: nonlethal healing/recovery, weird nonlethal edge cases for immunity (like whips that don't do damage against armor/natural armor, which after a decade of PF1 and another of 3.x, I had to double check was just a whip thing and not innate to nonlethal damage). I think, in the playtest, only constructs and objects are just flat-out immune to nonlethal damage (so evil necromancer taskmasters can go ahead and whip that zombie when it isn't working fast enough). You don't have to remember that healing heals equal amounts of lethal and nonlethal damage, which I did not remember was a thing at all until I just looked it up. You don't have to add damage + nonlethal damage and compare them against max HP just to tell if something should be unconscious.

It's a lot easier to use in metagame ways, with less to look up and faster adjudication, which for something that didn't always come up very often is very important. It's harder for a team to have one person soften a target up with nonlethal and have everyone else continue dealing lethal until the target dropped...but with the new death and dying rules, it's much less likely that the target gets instantly killed from a hit anyway.

In other words, I think it's definitely usable, and a substantial improvement.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
RicoTheBold wrote:
You don't have to remember substantial alternate rules for: nonlethal healing/recovery, weird nonlethal edge cases for immunity (like whips that don't do damage against armor/natural armor, which after a decade of PF1 and another of 3.x, I had to double check was just a whip thing and not innate to nonlethal damage). I think, in the playtest, only constructs and objects are just flat-out immune to nonlethal damage (so evil necromancer taskmasters can go ahead and whip that zombie when it isn't working fast enough). You don't have to remember that healing heals equal amounts of lethal and nonlethal damage, which I did not remember was a thing at all until I just looked it up. You don't have to add damage + nonlethal damage and compare them against max HP just to tell if something should be unconscious.

Another note: in 1E, any extra nonlethal damage past their max HP in nonlethal becomes lethal. Hope you didn't crit on that 1st level peasant you were only trying to knock out!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:
Another note: in 1E, any extra nonlethal damage past their max HP in nonlethal becomes lethal. Hope you didn't crit on that 1st level peasant you were only trying to knock out!

Yup, I just missed that one when I skimmed the rules, and it's another thing I just straight-up would not remember to apply after years and years of running PF1. And apparently, it doesn't apply to things with regeneration, for yet another edge case.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

To me, having to have everyone deal Non-Lethal and the mage to hold up on his spells is... lacking.

Have to wait to see if there is any other way to knock out a combatant other than the hamstrung Non-Lethal damage, as it is almost to the point of being Non-Existent.

I made a new thread for discussing this...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
thaX wrote:

To me, having to have everyone deal Non-Lethal and the mage to hold up on his spells is... lacking.

Have to wait to see if there is any other way to knock out a combatant other than the hamstrung Non-Lethal damage, as it is almost to the point of being Non-Existent.

In the playtest, there were a few nonlethal spells, but more broadly there are plenty of buff/debuff/disabling spells that spellcasters can use to massively contribute to the battle. If the party strategy is to capture without kills, they're not going to have a hard time. Plus, healers can cast stabilize, and as mentioned, lethal damage is much less likely to instakill someone (who hasn't been wounded, etc.) anyway if the GM actually uses the death and dying rules for the target.

I think players will, by and large, have a much easier time subduing foes without killing them than they did in PF1 (without depending on pure save-or-disabled spells).


Quote:

In Pathfinder Second Edition, proficiency determines nearly every important statistic used by your character during play. How skilled are you with a longbow? How good are you at Stealth? What is your aptitude for casting illusion magic? All of these statistics, and many more, are defined by your proficiency in the statistic.

Proficiency is gained through the choices you make in building your character. If you are untrained, you get no bonus at all, but you can still add a modifier from a relevant ability score to represent your raw talent. If you are trained, you add your level plus 2, along with any other relevant modifiers. If you are an expert, you add 4 instead. Masters add 6, and characters with legendary proficiency add 8. This basic formula applies to nearly everything in Pathfinder Second Edition, making it easy for you to see where you stand and understand what your chances are at overcoming the challenges the game puts in front of you.

So we could change the whole +1 per level to +0 per level, and then the game would basically be a range of +0 to +8 on an ability-by-ability basis. I wish I would have more clearly grok'd that during the playtest, but at the time proficiency didn't range up to +8. I guess its too late for that now for PF2, but maybe PF3.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Huh. Level +2 is just the trained bonus from 1E. Nice evolution there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
So we could change the whole +1 per level to +0 per level, and then the game would basically be a range of +0 to +8 on an ability-by-ability basis. I wish I would have more clearly grok'd that during the playtest, but at the time proficiency didn't range up to +8. I guess its too late for that now for PF2, but maybe PF3.

Good news! PF2 is actually way better than PF1 to houserule away level to rolls, if that's the kind of math you want, since you don't have to compensate for fractional bonuses.

DeadManWalking casually wrote out in a few playtest posts some fairly extensive breakdowns on what would need to be tweaked for the playtest rules, and I imagine people will write more formal guidelines on how to do so with the final rules.

They're also the kind of thing that might even be in the forthcoming gamemastery guide, which is supposed to include some advice on leveraging the better modularity of the system to fit personal preferences.

It's definitely a different style of game, but it's actually feasible to make that adjustment without having to rewrite every single level for every single class, plus a bunch of myriad other spells, equipment, etc.

Edit: Also, it would probably more like a proficiency modifier range of -1 to +15, when ability scores are factored in.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Huh. Level +2 is just the trained bonus from 1E. Nice evolution there.

That's a really interesting insight, and potentially a good argument to explain the system to PF1 players.


RicoTheBold wrote:
Good news! PF2 is actually way better than PF1 to houserule away level to rolls, if that's the kind of math you want, since you don't have to compensate for fractional bonuses.

Yes, that is cool. I'd have to scrap much of the Bestiary, but I'd do that anyways. The option would have to appear in some printed book for Hero Lab Online to make it available before the players at my Tuesday's game table will go for it. With ability scores, my range would be more like -1 to +12 as I'd block scores higher than 18 and throw away the ability improvements with leveling. Again, I'd probably end up fighting with Hero Lab Online before it would be ready for players. House rules in the age of automated gaming... ah, modern challenges.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Yes, that is cool. I'd have to scrap much of the Bestiary, but I'd do that anyways.

If you remove only level, it's actually easy to use the Bestiary. Monsters have level in the same way as PCs do, so just subtract their level from all their bonuses and you're good to go.

Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
The option would have to appear in some printed book for Hero Lab Online to make it available before the players at my Tuesday's game table will go for it.

This option seems very likely to be mentioned in the Gamemastery Guide. HeroLabs may well then include it given how easy it is to automate.

Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
With ability scores, my range would be more like -1 to +12 as I'd block scores higher than 18 and throw away the ability improvements with leveling. Again, I'd probably end up fighting with Hero Lab Online before it would be ready for players. House rules in the age of automated gaming... ah, modern challenges.

This rule seems less than ideal to me both thematically and mechanically, and would be much harder to implement.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

If we make level meaningless except for feats and class features (a weird and huge departure from PF1, but w/e) all you need to do to make the bestiary work is to subtract a monster's level (they all have them) from the appropriate values. So long as you're comfortable subtracting 2-digit numbers from larger 2-digit numbers, you're good.

All in all this is much easier than doing the same in PF1 where you would subtract level from some things, level/2 from others, level/3 from others, and everyone's AC will be much too high.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Love the artwork.

Shame I didn't get any 2nd Edition GM slots for Gen Con.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looking forward to this greatly.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:


So we could change the whole +1 per level to +0 per level, and then the game would basically be a range of +0 to +8 on an ability-by-ability basis. I wish I would have more clearly grok'd that during the playtest, but at the time proficiency didn't range up to +8. I guess its too late for that now for PF2, but maybe PF3.

I think it is safe say PF3 is not going to switch to the sort of bounded accuracy you seem to be after, nor will any basic version of Pathfinder. (That is, not counting variant rules systems that might be suggested in something like the game mastery guide or an Unchained type supplement.) That's because Pathfinder has always been about making a system to tell a certain kind of story. You're supposed to be able to tell the same stories across different editions. And a big part of the stories of Golarion/Pathfinder is level scaling.

Rise of the Runelords, the quintessential Adventure Path, mostly revolves around a single powerful (IE, high level) enemy demonstrating its dominance over a ton of less powerful monsters (IE, lower level)into an army, necessitating the intervention of equally powerful heroes. This basic pattern repeats itself in books 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6, and might be repeated in 5 somewhere I'm blanking on. But that doesn't work nearly as well in a bounded accuracy system. The weaker monsters can still pose a threat to the strong ones and potentially overwhelm them with numbers.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like as many (if not more) people would be turned away by a hypothetical "tightly bounded accuracy" in PF3 than would be attracted by it, so in any case it's best to just make the game easily modifiable to make it work how you want it to.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Huh. Level +2 is just the trained bonus from 1E. Nice evolution there.
That's a really interesting insight, and potentially a good argument to explain the system to PF1 players.

Class skills in 1E give +3 though. Or is there some other bonus I'm not aware of?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Huh. Level +2 is just the trained bonus from 1E. Nice evolution there.
That's a really interesting insight, and potentially a good argument to explain the system to PF1 players.
Class skills in 1E give +3 though. Or is there some other bonus I'm not aware of?

Level 1 + 2 = 3

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ngodrup wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Huh. Level +2 is just the trained bonus from 1E. Nice evolution there.
That's a really interesting insight, and potentially a good argument to explain the system to PF1 players.
Class skills in 1E give +3 though. Or is there some other bonus I'm not aware of?
Level 1 + 2 = 3

True.

But 1 (Skillpoint) + 3 (class skill bonus) = 4


Deadmanwalking wrote:
If you remove only level, it's actually easy to use the Bestiary. Monsters have level in the same way as PCs do, so just subtract their level from all their bonuses and you're good to go.

I agree, mostly. Usually I have to monkey with monster special abilities and scale their damage even if I don't mess with levels. Its rare that Paizo and I see eye-to-eye on monsters.

Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
With ability scores, my range would be more like -1 to +12 as I'd block scores higher than 18 and throw away the ability improvements with leveling. Again, I'd probably end up fighting with Hero Lab Online before it would be ready for players. House rules in the age of automated gaming... ah, modern challenges.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
This rule seems less than ideal to me both thematically and mechanically, and would be much harder to implement.

Mechanically, its easy, but without HLO support it would confuse players. Thematically, it works great, but then I'm not looking to emulate Paizo's superheroic theme. That might come as a shock to a random Pathfinder player joining the group, but it wouldn't be a surprise to my regular players... that is, my audience.

51 to 100 of 205 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Paizo Blog: A First Look at Pathfinder Second Edition All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.