Earlier today a thread on death and dying was locked because passions ran too high. I got home too late to add to the thread before it got locked. I wanted to add my two coppers to the conversation.
Monsters being more deadly to dying PC's was initially thought of as a PF2 playtest idea where each monster was assigned a DC death save for unconscious characters. Presumably, goblin DC's were easy. A Red Dragon or Balor would be very difficult. I have no idea what happened to this idea.
Do I feel that it is unfair for a monster to go after helpless PC's. Yes, in most instances I do. I do feel that there are obvious exceptions to this rule that I will outline below. I do not think these should be common exceptions but your game may vary
1) The monster is incredibly evil and foul. Demons delight in causing misery and pain. Ghouls hunger for flesh, Red Dragons would probably eat you in heart beat just to show its dominance and inspire fear in its opponents. The Rancor monster in Return of the Jedi ate the poor Gamorian Guard after it had killed it. Monster do attempt to intimidate players in order to cause them to panic and flee. Certain monsters would revel in this.
2) A monster notices that the PC's heal grievous wounds through magic, potions, innate ability and such. Let me ask you this. If a troll or a vampire regenerates, you will probably focus on finishing it off instead of letting it slowly come back to life. IF PC's just pop up like moles in a whack a mole arcade game, a monster will be within its rights to then attempt multiple attacks on said PC until the person is dead, dead, dead!
3) The PC exhibits such an overwhelming power or ability that the monster feels it has to KILL that individual and make sure they are DEAD! Kill the wizard first is a common symptom of this as monsters will try to avoid martials to kill a weak controller or healer making the combat more painful than it used to be. This can also be the case for martials such as paladins or clerics channeling radiant or good damage vs undead and fiends.
Now there is one simple rule that Paizo can institute to avoid this unfortunate situation. PC's as a general rule DO NOT awaken from unconsciousness during combat regardless of the amount of healing they receive or the results of the death save. The best a PC can hope for is to stabilize during combat so they don't bleed out. If a PC cannot return during combat a monster will have no incentive to attack said character and this could even benefit a character if they cast a spell that would allow them to feign death or if they were hit by a paralyze attack that would knock them prone.
Now could there be exceptions to my proposed change? Of course! PC's by definition are the exception to the rule. Maybe a primal or divine spell exists called resurgence that allowed the PC to function with hit points equal to their constitution score. Or perhaps allow a PC to spend one or two hero points to awaken from unconsciousness to help their companions. Hero fiction has plenty of examples of PC's fighting on in the face of death or defying death to protect their loved ones. Conan is saved by Belit's spirit in the stories and by Valeria's in the Conan movie. Boromir fights heroically to defend the hobbits even though it costs him his life. Obi-Wan sacrifices his life in his duel with Vader. Just be careful about these options for monsters will become aware of them and do their utmost to stop them.
Its funny but my group insisted on using our old house rule that critically fumbling an attack causes the combatant to lose an action. Why did they insist upon this? To keep me as a DM from crit fishing with monsters. The playtest goblins have raised a lot of ire, especially with short bows. After one player got knocked out on a lucky crit for 19 points of damage they were more than happy to reinstitute that rule. It didn't bother them much since martials had shields and the rogue took a main gauche and used the parry action each round as a third action to buff AC.
No. Rebalance monsters, spells or encounters to provide the required results. I have an issue with this for a few reasons.
1) Adding free healing is a problem. We got resonance because the designers felt that cheap, reliable out of combat healing was an issue. I disagree. But free healing is not a solution.
2) Look to monster attacks & defenses. If it takes a lot of resources to get through a few encounters which runs the 15 minute workday that means a few things.
I don't feel that allowing people to allowing people meta healing out of consideration for combat is a good thing because it will lead to less choices of healing during combat since people can just rest up afterwards. More offensive and utility spells being utilized causing people to only spec out for sheer DPR (why bother tanking or taking a shield when you can heal up to full after each fight? It gives great weapon wielders, dwarves and barbarians too much of an advantage since they only need to endure a fight to refresh each time.
Captain Morgan wrote:
No, a 10 wisdom cleric is at a huge disadvantage in PF2 as Wisdom effects your save dc's and effects of spells such as heal, spiritual weapon,etc. If you don't think monster saves are out of line try casting burning hands at goblins. Try using spells against the manticore in the second test adventure that requires saves. The manticore easily makes them. I could pick apart monsters at each level that have outrageous saves. The designers have even acknowledged this in response to the various TPK threads that the monsters are overpowered compared to their level.
It does matter if the basement floor has been raised if casters are weaker overall. Who cares if you raise the floor for people making 10 Wisdom clerics? Would you be pleased if fighters lost damage capabilities as long as people could create 10 strength fighters that could effectively hit as often & for as much damage as 18 strength fighters?
Don't blame low stats for not being able to cast the highest level spells. You could easily hand wave the rule in PF1 and it would work fine since the lower save dc's make the high level spells far less lethal. The high stat requirements for casters are to promote diversity so you don't have a full party of 18 Dex, 18 Con individuals because it would be best to put stat bumps in stats that directly affect survivability if save dc's or bonus spells are not a consideration
1) Still does not invalidate my point about spell progression. Granted it won't be much of an issue since games tend not to last to 20th. On flip side you have to wait four levels to gain your character concept
2)Its still a block on maxing out your main stat. So far in the playtest its much more crippling to be a caster without an 18 in your primary stat for saves than a fighter without an 18 strength since the fighter gets weapon mastery MUCH faster than casters gaining save DC mastery
3) Glad we agree
4) Glad we agree
5) Glad we agree
6) Glad we agree
7) You definitely seem to be in the minority opinion of sorcerers here. The majority of posts I have read about the sorcerer have a great deal of antipathy towards the class as it is presently listed.
8) Paralyzed for 1 round on a failed save? Slowed 1 on a success which will just be a throw away action for most monsters? The spell is beyond nerfed and you would be foolish to take it with how monster saves are set up in this game.
9) Fireball is completely NERFED! Maybe you are unfamiliar with PF1 but let me give you an example. In PF1 Fireball starts at 5D6 and scales up to 10D6 without requiring you to use a 5th level slot. If you choose to use metamagic feat to empower it by preparing it as a 5th level slot you gain 5D6 additional damage. So now in PF2 I lost 5D6 damage for using a 5th level slot. Its a huge nerf.
10) I disagree with you assessment here. You should GAIN more spell slots if spells are being nerfed this hard in this edition. The only way to lose spell slots is if spells GAIN in power. I am not sure if you are familiar with D&D Basic but look at the power of the sleep spell there and compare it to the sleep spell in each successive edition of D&D and Pathfinder. The spell has been completely nerfed in power as most spells have been. Consequently, magic users have GAINED more spell slots and crafting scrolls, potions, wands, etc. has become easier with each successive edition of the game as each edition has weakened the power of spells.
The PF2 playtest book is very disjointed and difficult to understand. You have to page flip a lot to learn how to use powers and skills. Complaints about not knowing about improved bull rush pale compared to trying to find out what page various skill actions such as bluff, intimidate, sneak, bull rush, disarm and other combat actions are. Some are located in skill, section, some in the combat section, others in spell sections. Its all over the place.
Look at how unclear the rules are about how much damage a shield absorbs before taking a dent. Its a core concept of shield use and a whole thread is dedicated to it and no one can give a definitive answer. Even a dev hasn't responded with the answer because they probably collectively do not know.
Captain Morgan wrote:
Your points about casters being balanced are not solid. I will offer my reasoning on a point by point basis.
1) Multi-classing: This you are mostly correct on. However, not every caster wants to multiclass so I don't feel this is a win-win. Additionally, since you cannot reach the apex of 9th level spells it technically does harm your spell progression at its apex.
2)That part is mostly true unless you are playing a dwarven sorcerer or a goblin cleric.
3) With the tight math you actually cripple yourself a great deal as a caster if you refuse to pump your primary stat since your save dc's fall behind. With the playtest monsters I have seen most easily make saves and its very hard to get them to crit fail with main caster stats pumped to 18 at first level and only getting another increase at 10th.
4) Cantrips are terrible in this edition too. They take two actions, have incredibly short range and do feeble damage. When you still shoot once with your crossbow then cast a cantrip in a round you are NOT solving the crossbow toting wizard issue.
5) Powers are not upgraded from PF1 equivalents. Angelic halo is a joke. Magic dart from the evocation school is still the wimpy 1d4 from PF1.
6) Channel Energy is much stronger than PF1. You are correct here.
7) Yes, spontaneous casters get same spell progression but sorcerers have to learn a new spell at each level and cannot cast a weaker spell in a higher level slot. Its a net negative for that class. I would much rather have spell acquisition at a higher level and spell scaling than this mess
8)Yeah but those spells have been nerfed so hard and the monsters saves are so buffed that this is meaningless. Take paralyze. If a monster fails its save its paralyzed for 1 round. 3 on a crit save. Completely useless spell. Sleep has the same issues.
9) Most monsters I have seen have the exact same immunities in game. Demons & Devils have same resistances/immunties as before. They have just been scaled down since spell damage has been nerfed so heavily.
10) oh yeah, you forgot to add less spells per level and resonnance restrictions on item usage
Fighting Fantasy! LOL..I loved those gamebooks. I still have Warlock of Firetop Mountain on my bookshelf. Those along with the Lone Wolf gamebooks were my gateway to D&D. Fond memories!
That is a big mistake and Paizo should know better. WOTC tried to do the same thing with 4E and all it did was homogenize every tier of play. While it seemed fun for the first 3 levels, combat grew rather dull around 7th+. 4E has the ignoble distinction of being the only edition where my players complained that the balors hit them for too little damage and demanded that I raised the damage to make the balors a worthy threat. Its very sad when your players complain about you not hurting them enough to make the combat seem worthwhile
I do not understand how power attack is a poor feat choice at level 1. If the dex fighter swings twice, her attack is +6/+2. Against a goblin she needs to roll a 10/12 respectively for 1D6+1 damager per hit. With power attack she only needed one roll at +10 for 2D6+1. Her strength is so low that the second attack is practically meaningless at this level and she can crit on 18-20 with the power attack attack for 4D6+1. Where as the second attack can only crit on a natural 20. I still think power attack is a valid choice for this build at level 1. It may need to be retrained later but that is much further down the road
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
There's definitely a healing problem. Jason mentioned it on the Twitch stream on Friday but sounded to me like he was leaning towards healers healing more. That's not necessarily what I - as someone who loves playing healers - wants. I'd much rather have reliable out of combat healing available independent of class (my personal preference is one hour healing rituals but rests, better first aid, or item spam are functional) and more dynamic in combat healing options (more healing spells cast as reactions would help).
That was not the issue for my group. They were suffering such damage in combat that the cleric and druid were relegated to healing as often as possible. The druid didn't bother with his acid splash and burning hands spells were not effective against the goblins due to very high saves for a level zero mob.
The raise shield did not work. One hit seemed to go right through the shield and damage it. The second hit would have destroyed the shield and the character did not take a back up because she would have been too encumbered
The other factor was that without AOO's the monsters eaily ganged up on the PC's for flanks and there was not much that the PC's could do about it. Mobs are incredibly deadly as the globins rose to +8 to hit and therefore the second attack by them was feasable at +3.
I appreciate the feedback so far. I guess suboptimal means different things to different people. I did not think that the Dex fighter would have had such problems because the bonus to hit was the same and she had a very high ac and very good mobility at 30 feet. These things did not matter since the monsters had a very high to hit roll.
When I say optimal I mean that the characters had enough stats to effect to hit rolls. The druid never had a chance to use offensive spells because the healing was needed too much. The offensive spells were viewed (correctly IMHO) as being ineffective in taking the monsters down as their reflex saves were crazy good! (+5 for a level zero monster is unbelievably high!). The fighter had +6 to hit but did almost no damage outside of power attack making a finesse fighter a very bad option. The shield defense did not make up for the lack of offense because it could only absorb weak damage and was ruined after 2 hits. She wasn't strong enough to carry multiple shields without ruining her speed factor and that was the main reason she took an elf as our previous adventure in the pre-generated module really pointed to a high negative for the fighter in heavy armor.
I have to say it was very dissapointing all in all. It pointed out alot of flaws in PF2 to me. Mainly that you have to create totally optimized characters (Str fighters, not dex) and even then they work out with moderate, not great results. I was not a fan of first level characters in PF1 gaining a +15 to spot checks. I am also not in favor of optimal characters barely getting by and suboptimal characters greatly dragging down the group. There needs to be a middle ground somewhere and so far PF2 does not support that
Main takeaways from the campaign so far
1) No one except the monk felt truly heroic. Most felt like they were barely getting by as optimized characters instead of feeling like they should be dominating trash mobs like goblins
2) Not gaining a caster feat at first level really hurt casters, especially the cleric as he took emblem instead of healing hands. All casters chose to be human as lack of a class feat at first level felt too rough. The wizard probably could have skipped it but oh well
3) The monster math is very overpowered. Goblins hit too easily with a +6 and thanks to the new AOO rules they went for flanks every time creating a +8 to hit. Monster reflex saves were crazy with a +5 to save it virtually guaranteed that a monster could not crit fail a reflex save unless it rolled a 1. Very poor designs for both monster offense and defense.
4) The encounters had to be too easy. Normal and easy encounters were no challenge and the party felt bored. When the encounters were bumped up they became TOO challenging and the party became frustrated with heal bot action and getting hammered. There never seemed to be a just right feel for the combats.
5) Afterwards everyone commented that next time we should start at third level and that way we can avoid the 10 minute work day syndrome. Only the monk really seemed to enjoy his character. Everyone else was clearly unimpressed.
6) The poor healing and healbot is definitely an issue but I think this is a combo of poor spells and inflated monster stats for attack and defense. If the goblins were brought down to +3 to hit and +2 on reflex saves then the combats would have been much smoother and the heal bot mode would not be needed. I could not imagine what it would be in a party not allowed to channel positive energy. Ouch
In other threads I noticed a lot of complaints about TPK's and the absolute need for clerics as healers. I didn't see the issues in the first published module as my players made it through with 2 players being knocked out but no deaths. So I figured to run a party through a low level campaign set in the Dragon Lance world. I had the party as evil aligned PC's but left the choice to channel positive as well as negative. I just didn't want the healing domain to skew results. My group came up with the following
Human monk strength based with dragon style and stunning fist
The monk player really liked dragon style. He got hit around 45% but crushed low level threats like goblins and skeletons with dragon style. He did not use stunning fist as often as he thought and would probably retrain it out next level
The fighter hit often but did weak damage without power attack. Her strength was only +1 mod so many times weak monsters like goblins would still be standing after a hit. The agile did not make as much of an impact as we thought it would since it made her +2 to hit, +4 with flank and so second attacks missed often due to poor rolls and she ended up power attacking often.
The cleric and druid suffered from the identical problem of having to heal so often that it took up the majority of their time in combat. They really disliked having to spend so much time healing.
The wizard player didn't complain but stuck to electric spark so he could hit two creatures. He was not happy as even poor rolls of 5 or 6 by goblins making saves allowed them to avoid critical failures on his reflex save rolls. Burning hands was a joke as on average it did 3 points of damage since the goblins easily made saves most of the time
People have made comparisons between PF 2E and 4e. I feel that Paizo is in the midst of alienating its core player base with this more gamey design and unlike D&D is not backed by a huge corporation with deep pockets. If 2E falls on its face it could take a Paizo down with it.
I agree and this is very sad. Its like PF developers completely misunderstood their customer base. It was made up of people who largely rejected 4E. So what does Paizo do? Create a game that largely mimics 4E with the super tight math, feats every level, nerfed casters and monsters on steroids. Its been a very disappointing playtest so far
That is the true spirit of PF1. Character optimization. PF2 fails by that standard. PF2 requires optimization to be average. If you optimize in PF2 you tend to get average results not spectacular results. If you choose not to optimize you fall behind the curve rather quickly and that is a big failure of PF2 playtest so far
I disagree with your premise. If you make magic volatile and dangerous you end up stripping martials of the limited access to magic that they have. IF magic is tainted and dangerous to use, how do you account of the ubiquitous of it in the game world? Would every martial be at risk for wielding a magic sword or wearing enchanted armor? For example in REH lore magic is alien and dangerous. Conan never uses enchanted swords and they are not required to battle monstrosities. Some are just too powerful to overcome and Conan usually ends up thwarting a long drawn out ritual spell BEFORE it takes effect. Are players going to be happy grinding out levels with no advancement to gear besides finding a legendary sword giving a +3 to hit? Are they really going to be happy if healing magic works less than 100% of the time and that you may end up harming rather than healing due to a poor result? If they do, then maybe more players are using the combat healer feat than I thought. No one in my playtest group has taken it because they feel the DC's are too high and they will likely hurt rather than help someone due to the critical fumble rule.
Also if magic is volatile and dangerous, it has to be way more POWERFUL that it is in either PF1 or PF2. The allure of such alien and dangerous magic is that it gives you a definite edge. Why risk your sanity and your soul bargaining with supernatural or alien creatures for scraps of eldritch power if you can barely equal a martial swinging a longsword and one swinging a greatsword completely dwarfs your power. The risk/reward factor of such a system has to be high for PC's to be enticed. NPC's are different because they are GM controlled and don't need a reason beyond GM storytelling for accessing such a dangerous system.
Be careful what you wish for. By trying to make magic more unreliable and dangerous you create problems for the game. Just look at the various threads on resonance and healing to get a glimpse of what this can of worms entails.
I agree with you 100%. The main benefits of PF2 is action economy for martials, bulk and also the downtime rules for crafting. They work really well. Class creation and growth, spells outside of healing, ancestry feats, resonance, skills and non-weapon/non-armor magic items all perform poorly in the playtest and are extremely unappealing to me. I am also mixed on monster lethality. I do like that monsters hit more often but I feel that their initiatives and saving throws are way too high as is their armor class. I stopped playing PF1 because rolling 2dD6+45 was not appealing to me. I was more excited about rolling 4D12+13 since it would make my greatsword swing matter much more. But the pigeon holing and weak class features of most classes do not really appeal to me. I want heroic characters and PF2 makes me feel like an average Joe
Tiona Daughtry wrote:
Now let me say, I've played lots of variations off of D&d, and really got into the older pathfinder. However, I've noticed a strong bias in recent years, across the board, and definitely affecting this playtest version, toward 'absolute balance', and I'm going to illustrate why that's a problem. Perhaps as background, I should point out that I personally have been dealing with a host of mental and physical difficulties all my life, and one of the things I have always loved about rpgs is that you can take a character with pretty significant drawbacks, and really make them shine, with a little work. The problem I see right now is that this game and others are trying to basically demand that all player characters be on essentially the same level playing field. It does not really allow for what I consider 'exceptional' characters, because no one is really 'unbalanced' enough to show that even characters with significant drawbacks are valuable in the right situation. I resent the ableist viewpoint that you shouldn't go to 'extremes' with a character. It's a personal shot against people like me who have limitations but find ways to adapt to them. It is, therefore, a significant disappointment that the game industry in general is making it very difficult, if not impossible, to play characters that could be very fun to play, but require more delicate 'work' to put in. What I've seen of this makes it really, really hard to get into the game, because it's all a participation medal situation, rather than a challenge to be overcome with strategy and teamwork. It's too easy, too fair. And that's largely where it's going to lose players like my group. Because it simply isn't enough of a challenge to be fun. Sorry. I simply can't enjoy or support limiting players from expressing their uniqueness with characters that have such extremes.
I agree with this post by the OP. If you look at the PF2 mechanics. They roughly boil down to a 50% chance if hitting an opponent of equal level based upon character optimization. The math is too tight and the stat generation system means you will be average at the vast majority of skills you try. PF2 does not seem to be an epic level fantasy game. It seems to be a grind
You are correct. I absolutely do not want additional mechanics to track beside hit points to rule on characters ability to live and interact in the game world. Your replies to my suggestions are not solid and I will discuss them in turn.
1) Yes, making casters more powerful is a solid option. If you read the boards, a lot of caster players are complaining that their spells have been nerfed so badly that they cannot make meaningful contributions in combat. This causes the battles to linger on and increases the chances of monsters hitting and depleting hit points. Its just another version of the 15 minute workday where the casters burn all their spells and the martials are damaged so much that the party has to constantly rest. Placing the band aid of stamina will not solve this issue. The issue is party efficiency. IF the party cannot deal with multiple encounters because caster spells are too OP that is a problem. If they cannot deal with multiple encounters because caster spells are too weak that is also a problem
2) Improving defenses only draws out combats when both sides have access to the same defenses. If you notice, most humanoid monsters do not have access to shields in the playtest. Goblins, orcs, ogres, gnolls & kobolds don't carry them when they should. Shields are lifesavers in PF2, especially for monsters who don't care about a shield being destroyed after taking two hits. Shields would prolong combats by giving these monsters DR but they are not put in monster stats. Most monsters don't use swords, except for more militaristic ones such as hobgoblins. Hobgoblins also use shields so a hobgoblin using stride, strike, raise shield or strike, parry, raise shield as options once in a while is not the be all end of combat. Parry would mostly be used by PC's as a third action option so combat would not be grinding on and on as likely its a PC action and not a monster one.
3) Temp hit points are much better than stamina if they are used correctly. Create a spell or better yet a feat that buffs recipients with temp hit points and call it Fortifying magic. Whenever a caster provides himself or an ally with a beneficial spell he bestows 1D6 temporary hit points per spell level on the target(s). Once a recipient has temporary hit points they are bolstered against additional temporary hit points equal to or less than their current temporary hit point total. Temporary hit points are exhausted when used or at the end of the encounter and cannot be regained with healing magic or any effect that restores hit points.
4) Martials have to allow casters to play in the combat sandbox too, especially if they want to play in other sandboxes of social, exploration and downtime activity. They cannot exclusively hog combat and then demand to have equality in all other fields. If you want extreme balance in other areas you have to give up dominance in combat. Its really not a complicated issue to understand
I have to agree with you OP. I love Conan but Paizo doesn't even include an unarmored barbarian option so you can BE Conan (also the stat caps do not help as Conan is able to best multiple frost giants as well as a giant ape in single combat. I mean, come on! Even 5E has an unarmored barbarian option
But yeah I am sad to see that high fantasy is gone from PF2 and that means my enthusiasm has diminished for it quite a bit also, which is very sad
Catching enemies flat footed is actually quite easy in PF2 even at low levels. For example you can flat foot someone through
I am sure there are probably more ways but that is the list I can think of off the top of my head
No! I absolutely do not want another pool of sub hit points that I have to track. PF2 characters start with more hit points than any RPG except for D&D 4E and they will end up with more hit points of any RPG at the high levels. Its absurd that people are complaining they are too fragile. If this is a big issue, other areas of the game need to be tweaked. For example
1) Raise the effectivenesss of heavy armor and limit the benefits of dexterity so there is less incentive to use this as a high stat for characters on the front lines
2) Add the parry weapon feature to more weapons such as swords. Swords are great for parrying in real life because they are much easier to control than axes, maces or flails for example. To give meele characters, especially two handed characters more options to use an action to parry the less those characters will take hits in combat and less resources needed.
3) Revisit spell nerfs - This is a serious issue as weakened spells prolong combat and prolonged combat run the risk of more resources being wasted because the monsters hang around longer to inflict more damage.
4) Look at resonance and see if it needs to be scrapped: If a serious need for additional non magical healing is needed then resonance is not doing its job properly and we might as well scrap it and return to the PF1 band aid of the wand of cure light wounds (now wand of heal) with 50 charges
5) Create spells that either offer damage reduction or grant a decent amount of temp hit points. Allow these spells to last untill the temps are gone or a certain amount of DR has been absorbed. Do not allow these spells to stack with themselves.
6) Revisit the monster encounter guidelines to make the combats less threatening on average while still allowing the PC's to accumulate experience at a decent rate so it doesn't feel like MMO grinding
I don't know. PF2 seems eerily representative of D&D 4E. I really don't think the designers are really focused on their customers and instead are trying to give people something they don't want and thus the negativity.
At first I was super enthused! I bought the collector edition, map pack and adventure and another player in my group printed three copies of the playtest for the group. I could not wait for each blog to come out each week and looked to YouTube for Black Dragon and other pod casts reviewing each blog post. I could not wait!
Then I got some later blogs that dampened my enthusiasm and the rule book came. So I have some MAJOR issues with PF2 so far.
1) Spell nerfs - Power, scaling and number usable per day. Now fights take much longer and MORE rather then less resources are wasted in fights. (hit points, spells, consumables. I consider them resources)
2) Forcing general PF1 feats into certain class silos (Power Attack being a prime example. Ranger missing out on archery feats that fighters get being anoter prime example)
3) Very weak ancestory choices making you feel incomplete as a member of your race. Perhaps by level 10 my PF2 elf will feel like a PF1 elf.
4) Absurdly extreme penalties to weak starting skills makes even heroic characters feel meh untill around level 6.
5) Weapon traits being very underwhelming, especially for swords
It really seems like the PF2 developers lost touch with PF1 roots and instead of just streamlining the system and reining in the excesses of the splat books they decided it was time to throw out the baby with the bath water and start anew. It will take alot for me to come back and spend hard earned money like I did in anticipation of the playtest launch and that money was optional spend as I could have easily just reviewed the free downloads but I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I was grateful for Paizo saving D&D from the horrors of 4E. Now that 5E is a great game, Paizo will have to do much better if they want to see my money
My small selection of points of praise for PF2
1) Cleric healing is amazing! Finally, I don't have to waste multiple heal spells to revive a companion thanks to channel divinity. Now when the fighter stink eyes me when I tell him I took spells besides cure x wounds (now all packaged under heal) I just reply " I don't tell you which weapon to use buster. Step of "
2) The critical hit chance for monsters is significantly better in PF2
3) The crafting system is really good! Now if you really want to take a
I agree completely. We are not playing a PVP video game where all the classes have to be 100% balanced against each other. All the classes need to have a valid point of contribution and you should need a representative of the core concepts of the major four (i.e. fighter, mage, cleric, rogue) to succeed. An all martial or all caster class while fun at times to get a different feel should not be as optimal as a mixed group of martials and casters. RPG's are cooperative games and you should require the talents of a variety of people to succeed at the group's goal.
I see the failure in this already with the nerfing of caster spells which has already brought significant defects in PF2 to the forefront. Battles are longer and more involved. The chances for multiple resources to be expended in a single encounter has increased, not decreased. The view of the cleric as a NEEDED healer instead of an option healer has generated a lot of feedback on the boards as have complaints of the resonance mechanic in general use. In most cases so far in PF2 battles I have run, either as part of the playtest or my own scenarios, the likelihood of the 15 minute work day has gone up, not down even though PC's have more hit points and access to crafting far sooner than PF1 for the vast majority of magic items. A lot more testing and reworking needs to be done to get PF2 to where it should be
Also the divine sorcerer is not bad at all once you get to fourth level. The resilient concentration feat allows you to grant resistance against one type of damage per spell affecting allies. Cast bless to grant resistance to slashing damage of dragon's claws and a +1 to hit. Follow up with protection circle from your spell points and then chose the piercing bite of same dragon. It all adds up and the party will appreciate the resistance as it goes up on round two and three. The only thing the diving sorcerer lacks is some offensive power since they don't wear armor, they cannot melee as well as clerics and I feel that plays a prominent role in the cleric's types of spells. Even that is not much of a big deal if you take harm as their other scaling spell. The divine sorcerer does require more forethought than the cleric but she holds up pretty well in my opinion and my party was glad to have her. Just take some crafting feats. With an 18 charisma my 8th level sorcerer had 8 resonance left after investing in items. Its plenty to keep up with the healing as long as the DM is fair about downtime activities
I completely agree with your statement Magnuskun. This has been the first cleric since 4E that I really enjoyed playing and the reason for it is that the cleric heals work really well. They are strong enough that I don't feel the need to use every spell I have for healing. That is so boring. I have no interest in being a heal bot and won't be inclined to play a cleric if channel is knocked down the way some people are wanting in this thread. If you want other healers to be potent then buff THEM up. Don't drag my cleric down. It felt good to heal my friend for 60 points of damage on a good 4th level heal channel roll instead of burning three cure serious wounds like in PF1.Why is it when someone does something well everyone else cries for nerfs? Its so annoying. Why not just propose different solutions for your other characters? Few people play healers outright. Look at the druid. You get great attack spells, protection spells and flavor spells as well as heals plus you get wildshape. Sorcerers get spontaneous heals so they can use every spell they got for heals as long as they take heal as an upcast. Plus with how easy it is to make potions and scrolls in PF2 there is no excuse for everyone being unable to contribute to healing in the group if they want to. Is everyone an optimal healer? No. Does the cleric have wildshape? Nope. Occult, primal or arcane spells that do aoe damage, persistant damage or control effects? Not to the same degree as other classes. Clerics don't even come close. Want more healing? Invest in scrolls or potions via crafting feat training. You get four scrolls or potions in a batch. A wand gives you 10 charges. There is plenty you can do to hold your own in healing. A cleric is an optimal choice. It is not a mandatory choice. Suck it up martials. You have more hitpoints in this edition than any edition of D&D or pathfinder. Maybe your playstyle is the problem instead of the PF2 cleric and you might need to adjust
Huge difference between special forces soldiers and regular enlisted. Special forces would be an prestige class, now called archetype I think. And that mathematician would have a lot more training in various fields of academia. All of those skills are grouped into broad categories by the PF2 skill section and even then they would know a lot more than the average Joe fighter since Medicine would relate to magical theory, especially Necromancy in this edition. Religion, Occult & Arcana too. Also since most wizards are not highly trusted they may have to gain their knowledge surreptitiously so Deception, Stealth and Thievery would be highly prized along with Intimidation, especially with the nerfs to usefulness of spells in PF2 it stands to reason that wizards and other casters would invest heavily. Lastly, the smarter you are the more likely you are to have a broad range of skills as you pick up things more quickly than others so the only reason to nerf skills for casters is the reason in general which is caster envy. Its so sad that PF2 has erroneously decided that this is the best avenue for their game. I don't see it ending well if they continue down this path.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
I agree with your post 100%. The magic nerfs are just outright cruel and in most cases unnecessary. To completely make blast spells inferior in both damage and utility is just wrong. ( check out the first map for the scenario. There are only a few rooms that make blast spells even viable. In most of those rooms you have to put your wizard in harms way to even get a chance of them working as intended.)
Main issues I have with magic nerfs in game.
1) Weak damage giving few if any reason to take a first level spell over a cantrip.
2) Very limited range for casting. Most spells have ranges of 60 or 120 feet. Most monsters will be on a caster in one round since the VAST MAJORITY of spells require two actions, your third action will be to get within 60 to 120 feet of a monster. That means you will be attacked very easily in this edition. It also means that certain monsters like the manticore from the second adventure have a distinct advantage over a caster since they can plink them with spikes while out of range of most spells that matter.
3) The reliance of action casting : There is no way that cantrips and the majority of first level spells outside of sleep and color spray should be two action casting. The spells do not do enough damage or have a great enough effect to warrant the two action restriction. Maybe the higher level spells should require this but I would prefer an action economy to the lame upcasting. For example, fireball cast with one action is 6D6, two actions is 7D6 & 3 actions is 8D6. The caster should choose how much effort to pump into a spell. Every spell level used to upcast it would bump each choice by 2D6.
4) Saving throws really need to be reworked. Especially reflex saves. If monster defenses work so that they make their save 50% of the time there is little room for a critical failure. This is very important for blasting spells as critical failures were given as a reason for nerfing spells auto leveling to keep up with monster threats. Again I point to the Manticore in the second adventure. It is two levels higher than the PC's so it was unlikely to fail a critical threat unless it rolled a 1 on reflex saves. That really should not be the intention of monster design, especially for hit point bloat in PF2.
5) The fun and wonderment is gone from magic in the game : I completely understand the OP's distate for the harm done to simnple spells like Prestidigitation and Unseen Servant. To the poster on the other thread complaining that wizards were putting scullery maids out of business, I can only say get a life. I mean seriously, are you really at home washing your clothes by the river scrubbing them on rocks for hours on end? Or are you most likely putting them in the washer with soap and then a dryer with fabric softener? Magic is designed to make people's lives easier and more enjoyable. Stop trying to strip FUN out of the game.
6) Magic items and magic item creation: Magic item creation is just dumb in PF2. Not only can everyone except the barbiarian become a legendary crafter. It takes no time at all to design and craft magic items with the right feats. Why institute a rule like resonance when you make potions & scrolls (4 crafted per batch success) and wands so easy to make? It seems like alot of doublespeak to me. Also, totally nerfing unique and fun magic items like the Holy Avenger, Flame Tongue and Frost Brand swords is not the way to make magic items more unique and enjoyable. Very bad job there Paizo
That is so true. Wish does not even deserve the title of 10th level spell. There is nothing special or magical about magic anymore. The martials have won and no we are stuck in their grimy world cleaning our own clothes by hand because spells like Prestidigitation were too OP.
Your second statement is very true and eerily mimics the problem with D&D 4E. To hit rolls become paramount as do defenses. Thus they become feat taxes that don't really enhance play but just keep you at the current threshold as monsters attacks and defenses will probably be calculated to accommodate these feat choice. Thus feat taxes for everyone! Its extremely apparent for spellcasters since monsters don't seem to have a bad save category any more and the differences between their good and bad saves is 1 or 2 points on average
First off I will say that most of the time I completely disagree with your posts 99% Dead Man Walking. However, in this instance you are correct. With a great stat you barely succeed in PF2 tasks regardless of what that task is (i.e. combat, skill challenge, saving throws, etc. ) This is a HUGE problem because the stats are set up that the majority of your roles are average unless you are hyperspecialized in one area or you main stat bleeds over into multiple areas such as dexterity or wisdom affecting class features, saves and skill checks. This creates very unfun sessions where an athletics or acrobatics check is easy for some characters and almost impossible for others. Heck, my sorceress had to save the druid in our party from the quicksand trap because the fighters had high negatives from armor check penalties that minimized their athletics rolls. Both she and the fighter ended up with a +1 to roll and she rolled high enough to succeed which lead to the odd result of a thin wisp of an elf pulling her friend out of quicksand when the body builder was helpless. Not my idea of each player playing to his strength.
This is really the fault of using 4E game design and Paizo had best steer away from it as it is a losing proposition. Every challenge at every level will feel the same because the system is set up to absorb high stats and with the maximum swing of +8 due to ability score plus legendary bonus every level except for the highest at 19-20 will feel like the same treadmill of I always barely just succeed, whether it be at combat, skills or saving throws unless the opponent is far below or far above the party level. This will lead to burnout and game fatigue really quickly as Paizo players will soon realize that most classes have an "optimal" build and other choices do not measure up. This is already quite clear in class builds for barbarian, paladin, ranger and sorcerer as well as ancestries and armor worn. Its an extremely disappointing result for me personally as I spent a whopping $125 to snatch up a collector's edition book, maps and adventure module. So yeah I put my money where my mouth was and Paizo rolled a critical failure on its skill check. Oh well, lesson learned.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
How does it make sense that the smartest characters in the game barely have more skills than the least likely to be intelligent? Wizards and Alchemists should have 4 or 5 skill points plus intelligence and lore skills should be packaged to be more useful and not as narrowly focused as has been presented in the playtest. Who is really going to make use of lore gladiator or lore gnoll after more than a few levels? The lore skills need to be broadened considerably
Yes and that makes perfect sense. If you don't allow a caster to have legendary in skills such as survival or athletics which tend to fall more on the martial spectrum then why should fighters be allowed signature skills in lore backgrounds when their Intelligence won't probably ever get past 14?
The magic system definitely does not feel awesome. It feels nerfed to its core. The shield fighter does feel awesome which is good. The cleric as a healer feels awesome. He does not feel awesome as a general caster. The monk seems really cool, the paladin decent and the ranger and barbarian along with the bard, wizard and sorcerer seem like burning garbage heaps. Have not tried the rogue or druid yet so no comment on them
Some martials definitely do. The fighter seems very solid. The ranger is in desperate need of bow feats at all levels. They don't even get double or triple shot like the fighter. Paladin feats at low level seem more designed about making exceptions to their code (i.e. ignoring legitimate rule by dragons, undead, etc) than giving real benefits. Two handed warriors of all stripes need some definite love and barbarians seem overly weak. I don't want to be in rage mode to climb, swim, jump or smell well. I want to be in rage mode to SMASH stuff!
I don't totally agree with the OP statement. I think fighters should get their feats earlier than others. For example, power attack may be Fighter 1, Barbarian 2, Paladin or Ranger 3 or whatever progression makes sense. Give a good choice to fighter first then delay it for others much in the same way a paladin could also gain attack of opportunity as a feat but must wait till sixth level
Am happy that Dex to damage is only available to rogues and quite frankly it should be eliminated for rogues also. There are enough stat bumps in PF2 to come away with a decent strength score. Dex to damage is not needed.
I would however, absolutely love to see Dex to damage for missile fire whether for thrown or fired ranged attacks. Bows and Crossbows need some damage boosts
I agree with your post 100%. It seems like an angry pro-martial player was put in charge of spell design and completely nerfed some spells for no apparent reason. A few examples
Mage Armor - So a PF1 spell that gave a +4 bonus to AC was so overpowered that it had to be retconned to a 6th level spell when its equivalent in medium armor is available in silver at first level?
Protection (alignment) - A downgrade of +1 to AC from +2 and loss of mental defenses and physical defenses against summoned/extra planar foes was too OP for this marginal spell?
Shield as a cantrip can't even be brought in line to a heavy shield that you could buy at 1rst level and cannot take more than one "dent" without being destroyed?
Sleep being taken out of its traditional role as a combat spell unless an enemy critically fails a save?
Complete nerfing of evocation spells when character and monster hit points are inflated compared to PF1 equivalents when these spells were stronger.
Needlesly breaking detect magic into two cantrips for detect magic and read aura when detect magic in PF1 accomplished effects of both cantrips.
Lack of ranged cleric cantrips without relying on metamagic. Only a single general purpose damage cantrip usuable against any foe.
Power Word Kill slaying a target with 55 hit points. What monster is going to have 55 hit points at that level that would require a power word? Just have a fighter stab it twice in a round and it will likely be dead if 55 hit points of damage is all thats needed to finish a foe off.
These are just a few examples off the top of my head, I can probably find more examples of unneccesary nerfs to spells if I looked through the book.
I was very disappointed that heal is not on the occult list and therefore bards cannot heal. I feel that is terrible. Bards were a good substitute for clerics on the healing front in PF1 and certain modules such as King Maker subbed a bard for a cleric. I really miss that aspect greatly. You can heal people through music or inspire them with great oratory and poetry. Please correct this oversight Paizo!
I feel the barbarian still has the problem that the PF1 barbarian had. Too many rage powers seem to function on out of combat or in combat modes for mobility. There seems to be a distinct lack of hulk smash or Conan concepts. Two fo the four barbarians are magical which is incredibly dumb. The attack feats seem to be very underwhelming. Maybe they were just afraid of stepping on the fighter's space but polymporhing into a lycanthrope with weak attacks or becoming a large Ogre are not really my concepts of being a barbarian.
Calm down martials. Yes, most rogues I know are proficient in thievery and stealth. Most fighters I know do tackle problems head on. Most people would be distrustful of you if you can create magical energies without any training on a whim. Most people do consider paladins buzzkills and clerics to be holier than thou jerks. Stereotypes do exist in fantasy worlds. When you have classes you have good and bad archtypes. Rogues tend to be sneaky. Its a function of how they interact. We are not playing Gurps. Get over it