The system is far from being so unbalanced as the OP says. Is a very good system, with a solid math fundation. However, the OP is not alone on thinking that casters where overnerfed. Quite a good number of people thinks similar, just on a lesser scale. I hope that on the GMG could be some options to return some power to casters. I don't think they are unplayable (that seems an exageration on my experience) but while they can contribute to a team, they feel lackluster to me right now.
I agree that knowing the ST of the enemies seems too required to use spells. Of course knowing details of the enemy must be a great help, but should not be required to do anything on changeling encounters.
On the other hand, is true that Level+3 encounters should be quite less usual on PF2 than on PF1. That's a good thing, magic has too many cons on those situations.
Edit: on general, the required information to use magic is excessive. Do you think that enemy was level +1? Too bad, it is level +3, you wasted your spell with Incapacitation. You used a spell of the wrong ST? Now you need a little miracle to do anything useful. Do you like thematic casters (enchanters, one-element-focused, necromancers, etc...)? too bad, you need varied spells to be useful on hard situations.
I don't have access to the books right now to consult, but...Incapacitate makes that this 55-60% miss on the BETTER situation and using the highest slots is a critical success on the ST, not a success. That normally means no effect. That's harsh.
While I get what you mean, targeting the low save, using all possible debuffs and using the higher spell slot, and then get around 40-45%of success, seems to me like is a 55-60% of losing the higher spell slot AND 1-2 turns of preparation. That can hurt. Is clearly a gamble, but Incapacitate robs the reawrd.
And that is one of the main reasons of the change on the maths of the game, and a good thing. But with the current low chance of landing such a spell on PF2, is really necessary also Incapacitate? Seems like overkill to me.
Yeah, I can agree with that. I think they really are are some reality to affirm they are underpowered, but is not something that really worries me.
Some post ago I said that Blood Money is an example of a spell where the rarity system works great.
On the end, I suppose the problem is one of different game style. I strongly disagree with this sentence here:
Finally, I honestly believe that many of those attitude problem will go down if people where "RPG players" and don't divide themselves on "Player" and "DM". DMs playing more and players doing more DM would help much on this kind of discussion.
One of my players (I'm usually the DM on PF2 currently) wants to try how middle level plays, so a new campaign with him as DM is about to begin. The idea is something similar to Dragon Quest video-games, so an evil overlord, many monster, not much intrigue. And many of those games have a wise old man on the character roster, so I decided to do a wise, old, and caring Dwarf Wizard. As a caring and compassionate person, I decided Abjurer.
As the rules are, there is no "work out a deal". On a deal both sides participate and have some power on the final result, here all the decision power falls on one side, the DM. I find funny all the talk about having the confidence on the DM to use rarity system well, while players that want uncommon things are presented as whiners. Where is the confidence on the player?
And currently, some characters concepts are so full of uncommon as to barely be playable, like Divination Wizard.
Edit: I find specially problematic the alignment spells case. It seems arbitrary to make some alignment spells the main route to do damage on the Divine casters (looking at Divine lance) and then made so many others uncommon. Either all should be usual spells, or all should be uncommon and take other mechanics as the damage dealing side of Divine spells. The current state made little sense to me.
My problem with rare/uncommon is that, ironically, seems way too common. I would have just used it for strange, unique spells like Blood Money, or some specific ones. Not putting an axe on the ability to get some very iconic spells like Protection. I find that the quantity of "mama, may I?" is too high.
Player losing the right to roll on some important actions done by the character...
I really dislike the concept of secret rolls. I'm liking PF2 far more than I expected, but this is one of the few areas I profundly dislike, and near all those dislikes are connected to the same; the loss of player control/agency that put even more pressure on the DM. When I GM (half the time, currently more on PF2)I do near all roll open. I'm of the opinion that the DM is just one more player on the table, the narrative should be as even as possible.
One posibility is use the Mana system, but just say that your highest slots are limited to the same quantity that the normal slots. You can still "spam" spells, but not the most potent ones, and the complexity added is not high. Also, seems easy to justify; you have still not mastered enough the higher spells you can cast, so you are limited to how many you can use.
This all can be combined with the current classes. Seems interesting to say that Wizards and the other prepared casters change to "Arcanist prepared", while Sorcerer and other spontaneous change to this "point system".
Our sneak peek of the Pathfinder 2E Gamemastery Guide is tomorrow at 4 p.m. Pacific! Have any questions?
I would love to see on this book..
Finally, I know is not for this book, but, is there any idea when will be the non-Good champions? I would really need them for some campaigns.
There are abusive DM. There are abusive players. And there are great players, and great DM. But life is not black and white, there are all kind of grey players and grey DM. Saying "a good DM would not do that" surely is true, but...what about grey DM that is totally against houserules, and have the NO always prepared? That kind of rules would empower that grey DM, approaching it to a bad DM.
A DM has control over the setting, the NPCs, the story...there is one thing the DM can not directly control, and that is the PCs. But that kind of thing, specially for things that previously it was not needed, invades the only thing the players have some control; their characters. "You can give them easily" is still a way for the DM to have extra control over the characters.
When I am the DM (as I said before, more or less half the time)I think about the rules like they where the law physics of the setting. Of course, I have to rule things on the fly, but the less I need to do it, the better. So all this "return power to the DM" on PF2 is one of the parts I like LESS on the game (with the on my opinion overnerf on magic). The laws of reality should not include "ask that person". I find it inelegant.
On the other side, I don't want to seem like a Nayseyer of PF2, I'm liking the system on 90%, and I truly believe that is an improvement from PF1. Is just that those few things I don't like I REALLY don't like.
There may be thing I don't like on PF2 and others I need still be sold, but I think it can be said with safety that is a better game.
+1 to all this. Trust is important on both ways.Just want to make a little note; my personal problem is that some spells that where quite usual and iconic, like Protection, now suddenly are behind a wall. If this has been used for Blood-Money-kind spell, I would be the first to applaud the rule change. But change some very usual spells from "near all casters, at least PC, and many times nPC, use them" to "default, you can not have it", leaves a bad taste on my mouth.
DMs are not divided on Good DM / bad DM. There is a glorious grey scale. And while I'm quite sure I would play quite happily as Max Astro and other people defending current rarity as a DM, the "grey DM" will see the rarity system as a way to say "NO" to many request, and be totally sure the rules are with him, because that is the way they see rarity.
I don't want to be misunderstood; I'm not agaisn't rarity, just versus some of it's examples. I'm not specially happy with it, but not annoyed.
I suppose part of the problem some people have with this is that it may not be seen as a negotation between player and DM, but as a request. On a negotation both parts have some power, while on this case, the final decission on the matter is 100% on the DM side. I can see why some can be not happy with this.
For the record, I'm 50/50 player/DM.
On fact, the one shining example of why I'm not very happy with Rarity is not even a Divination spell. Is Protection. I totally get that something must have been done with that spell, but with the "+1 to Saving Throws, +3 versus control" I think the broken part of the spell is taken care of. Why suddenly one of the most ubiquitous divine spells besides Heal is uncommon?
I like rarity for items, my problems is with spells. No direct way to get them on the rules, and with the very high number of iconic spells that suddenly are rare, I see three problems.
Resume: I would have liked far more rarity if it haven't axed so many iconic spells, or at least where a good on rules way to get them.
The Bless spell have an area of 5 foot emanation, but later it says;
"Once per turn, starting the turn after you cast
How exactly that works? the radius increase is permanent for the spell duration, or reset each turn? If you concentrate to increase the radius one turn, not a second one, and again concentrate on a third turn, what is the radius of the spell?
Criticism is totally necessary. If a new edition of something you like goes on a direction you don't like, is logic to complain about it.
On general I'm liking 2Ed, but there are things I dislike, and others I have to made a decision still. But I can get why people can come and say "I don't like this change" when something they liked changed. Is NOT a totally unrelated thing to the one they liked, is on theory an evolution and improvement. And while I agree than on general there IS an improvement, I can easily see the reason to complain about some magic changes.
I find harder to understand the people that seems to believe that only positive feedback can be said. Some people have been quite rude to others that just said their opinion on quite polite manners. I even dare to say that developers appreciate to hear different opinions more than an echo chambers of praises.
I'm liking many things on the game. There are others that I don't like, but I can live with them (like the art of the Bestiary). But there is one thing that I MUST houserule from minute one.
That one thing is Goblins getting bonus to CHARISMA.
I'm not a big fan of goblins as core ancestry, there are many others I would have liked more, but the goblin as core is one of those "I can live with that" things. But bonus to Charisma is a resounding NO to me. The question then is...what other attribute to give to them? I find the more thematic to be Constitution, but that would break the rule of 1 mental bonus + 1 physical bonus. The other option could be Intelligence, as I can see the goblins being quite smart on their peculiar way.
If Pathfinder 1 classes are eventually trickled back into second edition, which do you hope return first?
I too feel a bit worried that class feats try to do too much, and the lack of weapon choices on many classes is something I don't like. I'm really a "swordsman" if I'm exactly as good with longswords as I am with axes (just an example).
On my opinion, Bards are perfect as Occult casters...on the mechanical side, the kind of spells that they get are just appropriate. But on the setting side, I just don't think the change is really thematic.
As an example, I'm working on a setting for PF2 where the separation of the 4 types of magic is important. On that setting, Arcane resembles greatly a science; analyze the reality, mathematical as vital to understand and use the magic...while Occult is the magic you get from "things" out there. And Bards are really not appropriate on Occult like that thematically, even if is just the correct kind of spells they use.
Tangential: My group use Golarion, sometimes. 80% of the times we use homebrew settings, so I REALLY hope that the Golarion lore is not invasive enough to be a problem. I would much prefer a neutral Core books, but that ship has sailed.
I think you would like Milani. Is a shame she is not on the core 20.
Matthew Downie example is totally right, and certainly a serious problem for PF1. Saving throws is another glaring case.
That's true. But there is a great difference between "assure succes on a 2 versus same level", and "the best you can arrive is to succes on a 9 versus same level, and that with total optimization".
If the core of the monk is "Martial Artist", what class is the "Mystical Warrior" then? I don't think it will be Paladin, it has to many restrictions, and seems a role too important to not be on Core. I can only think on Bard or Sorcerer. But Bard can be too much generalist to that. Sorcerer is a possibility now that there is not BAB, but is a deep change to the class.