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Nathanael Love wrote:

Just remember all these good things you are saying about 5th edition in 2016 when 6th edition is about to come out. I don't want to go back to WoTC/ D&D because of the way their business model works.

You like the lack of bloat? Be prepared when PHII, PHIII, PH IV, and 15 splat books take that away in the next year-two.

I think the general argument is not that 5e's strength stems from it having less books out, but that many find the base rules less "clunky." As all future 5e supplements will be running off the same core rules just like all past and future Pathfinder supplements run off the same core rules, it seems safe to say that the people who like 5e for its streamlined nature will continue to like it and people who find it "dumbed down" will continue to hate it.

Personally, I just want to roll some dice and play Elf Pretend but whatever.


My incoherent thoughts:

Combine feats and build in upgrades. Combine Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Get Improved Two Weapon Fighting automatically at Level 6 if you took Two Weapon Fighting earlier. Basically, make it easier to climb the Feat Tree so people can take those quirky little Feats that no one ever uses and make a unique character without handicapping your character.

'Iconic' class abilities gained at Level 2 should be moved to Level 1. eg: Paladin's Lay On Hands, Ranger's Two Weapon Fighting or Archery Feat, etc. Maybe give Fighter Weapon Focus and another free Feat of his choice to compensate.

Make saves dependent on all stats, not just Wisdom, Dexterity, and Constitution.

Give the Rogue a full BAB and maybe a DEX to damage ability for light weapons. That way, he can hit and do damage reliably and still not outshine the huge Half-Orc Fighter with a two-hander unless he sneak attacks.

Coherently define what the limits are on a high level Caster's power and find a way to make high levels playable without making Wizard and Friends not fun to play.

Do not attempt to balance one class's in-combat utility with another class's out of combat utility. If one class is useless out of combat, and one is useless in combat, then there are two players who are guaranteed not to be having fun at a given time.

Improve the Iconics. These guys are the face of the game and are the demo characters used for beginners. They should be simple and good. I'm not arguing to CharOp/Min-Max them, but let's be honest, some of them could use some work. For example, Valeros's Two-Weapon Fighting is both more complicated and ineffective than if he just specialized in a Greatsword and went to town Power Attacking so I'd argue he's not that beginner friendly a character. Don't get me started on poor Harsk...


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Scythia wrote:


There are over 200 languages on the Earth right now. A few are "dead" languages, but many are still in use. In most fantasy games, extra languages are spoken by other races. True, some might be regional dialects. Let's assume 10% are dead languages that represent ancient civilizations, and another 10% are just regional human dialects. That leaves around 180 different races or racial subgroups that could be expected to exist on Earth if looked at from a typical gaming rules perspective.

How is world building to accommodate a vast variety of races difficult?

You seem to be conflating the common normal person use of the term race with the common fantasy/sci fi nerd use of the word race. I would argue that there is a difference between a world with one sapient species with racial differences determined by language and melanin levels than one with 200 different sapient species and that it takes a bit more effort to explain why the people in the neighboring township are raccoon people than it is explaining why they have a different skin color or language. Given a landmass of finite space and natural resources, and assuming that a certain population level is needed to maintain population growth and avoid extinction at the hands of marauding Orcs or Humans, and you've basically got a rough cap on how much crap you can fit in. Granted, this can be alleviated somewhat by making sure there isn't too much "sandbox overlap," (eg: if Dwarves live underground and Elves live in the forest, then there is not going to be as much competition for land and resources between them as there would be if they both shared a habitat,) but the point remains. Plus there's the problem of gameplay design. The three races from the Starter Box fill broad, distinct niches. Elves are nimble but fragile and make for good Wizards and Rogues. Dwarves are slow but sturdy and make good Fighters and Clerics. Humans are jacks of all trades. The more races you have, the more likely it is they start stepping on each other's toes, causing them to lose what made them special in the first place and the less room there is for nuance and depth to be added to the races available and the more likely they are to be one-trick ponies. At any rate, I'd hardly call the classics heterogeneous. I mean, even Tolkien went as far as to classify three distinct types of Hobbit and I'm pretty sure there are more kinds of Elf out there than ethnicities in the former Yugoslavia.

Sorry, I'm rambling. I'll shut up now.


Some things you could base it on:

Alice in Wonderland: The quintessential shorthand for bat-guano insanity in western literary culture. Who wouldn't be down with taking a quest from the carpenter to take down that oyster stealing walrus?

Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles: Expansion to the Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion taking place in the realm of the Daedric Prince of Madness. Rain flaming dogs, give out random quests to steal an ordinary fork, whatever.

Those Xaositect Guys From Planescape: For those inclined to write checks their INT score can't cash. :P


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Excaliburproxy wrote:
wakedown wrote:

There's three main things I'm liking in 5E that I think could greatly benefit a Pathfinder 2E for me.

1. Minimize away-from-the-table effort

This is likely the most controversial one and it's one that I've changed my stance on somewhat over the past decade. Pathfinder offers a ton of options currently. When a character hits 3rd level, there is a lot of research you can do to make decisions about choosing your next feat. Certainly, if you're building an archer character (a halfling paladin archer was mentioned in the thread above), odds are pretty high that this feat is going to be Precise Shot or Rapid Shot at this point. In this case, it's not like you're going to spend hours looking at tons of options. But for a lot of characters, this may mean spending 3-4 hours pouring over Ultimate Magic, Ultimate Combat, Advanced Player's Guide, Advanced Class Guide, Advanced Race Guide, and much more (maybe the feat's going to be Pageant of Peacock from the Dragonslayer's Handbook).

A lot of players love this about Pathfinder. When you're at home by yourself and you're bored, you can invest hundreds of hours going through your books, PDFs, the SRD or HeroLab and "play" Pathfinder - the metagame away from the table. You could be playing with how certain traits, feats and class combinations interact or keep going through spell lists looking for something new.

Other gamers view this differently. Completely differently. They are willing to spend 5 hours a week at a table going through an adventure, but don't want to spend another 2-5 hours at home leveling up their character and looking through rules. They'd rather take those 2-5 hours and go surfing, golfing, volunteering, coaching their kid's soccer game, what-have-you. 5E at this stage is really great for hitting the sweet spot for these gamers as there is not a subtle push for them to invest a lot of non-adventuring hours sorting through the game's details. Perhaps this is totally different in 5 years, it

...

I think I can help translate.

People like having options. They do not like having options that are deliberately designed as inferior for the sole purpose of being traps. Imagine you went to a fancy French restaurant with your date. It has all sorts of delicious entrees, but not knowing French, you just pointed to a random item on the menu, Le Merde Magnifique. Immediately after you order it, the waiter takes the biggest dump you've ever seen right on the table, insults you for not knowing French, and slaps you on the face, leaving you wondering why in God's name they put the Magnificent Turd on the menu at all. Obviously some choices should go better together than others. Point Blank Shot and Rapid Shot for Archers, Power Attack and Cleave for Melee fighters, red wine with steak, white wine with fish, that sort of thing. But placing a "trap option" in order to take a crap all over the uninitiated is unnecessary at best and malicious at worst.

Make sense?


I believe there is a difference between playing a unique and fun character and playing the most obscure and outlandish combination possible. To me, an elven archer or halfling thief that has a clearly defined personality, background, and goal is far preferable than playing an anthropomorphic talking cat with a gun that just goes around sticking out like a sore thumb. An interesting character is defined by who they are, not what they are. That strength and charisma build shaved dwarf sounds like a really cool and interesting character even though there are thousands of dwarves and thousands of rogues out there. I personally would not allow a Kitsune or a Tengu or most non-core races in a campaign I was running because I feel like it leads to the "twenty fat men in a phone booth" effect where the entire planet is crammed with rat people, cat people, gnat people, dog people, and hog people, and as such it feels less like a coherent setting with unique peoples and civilizations and more like a fantasy menagerie. Furthermore, it would cause pretty much every single RP interaction to begin with "Holy **** a talking bird!" which I imagine would get old after a while.


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Marcus Robert Hosler wrote:
Why are spells the issue? Perhaps it's the spell-less ki-less plebeian classes that are the issue.

Here's the way I see it:

Fantasy RPGs are about exploration, social interaction, and combat. If there are spells which allow you to see everything, go everywhere, and kill and/or dominate the minds of everyone, there really isn't much game left. It's like if in a game of football, the quarterback suddenly pulled out a gun and shot the entire defensive line then waltzed right down to the touchdown line and then defended himself by saying that if everyone else had a gun it would've been fair. That might be true if everyone just started shooting at each other, but there wouldn't be passing, formations, plays, and other stuff that makes football football. In the same way an AK would make the actual football in football basically irrelevant because you could just murder everybody, certain spells make dungeons and dragons irrelevant in Dunge-err... excuse me, Pathfinder, because you can just teleport in the dungeon, magically divine where all the traps are and plane-shift the dragon to the elemental plane of gelato.


It seems to me that the game design problem, on paper at least, can be understood in scientific terms. Martial characters are Newtonian. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, if at level X Axe Dwarf learns how swing his axe twice as hard, he does twice as much damage. The input matches the output. High level magical characters are not. For example, if at level X Casty Elf can wiggle her ears and stick out her tongue to cast nuclear holocaust the input does not match the output. In theory of course, spell components exist to counterbalance this, but I would argue that a 25,000 GP diamond is a disproportionately small price to pay for being able to punch reality in the gonads. This isn't to say Wizards shouldn't be able to do crazy stuff, (I mean, the BBEG has to be able to blow up the world or something somehow,) but maybe they could make the components to cast Wish an Elder Dragon heart dipped in the blood of the Shoggath at the Heart of the World or something else that you'd actually have to go on an epic quest for and couldn't reasonably be acquired by any suitably rich jerk with a God complex.

Or you could, y'know, run a low level campaign. That works too I guess.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBgqNE3SIWc

That about covers it, IMHO.


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I say the government should give Fighter some Orcs to smash if no one else. Without the fighting, he's just an "er" as in "Er... what do I do now?" Wizard can do cantrips for birthday parties, Cleric can do mass faith-healings for Evangelicals, and Rogue can engage in subprime lending schemes, but what can Fighter do if deprived of breaking into dungeons and killing everything? Typical 1 percenter casties and skill monkeys overlooking the importance of the Orc safety net for blue collar martial classes.


Eh, I stand corrected, although given my incredible 30 seconds of Wiki research they strike me with more of a post-apocalyptic mutant freaks vibe than the "evil Spock with mustache and goatee" vibe that Duergar and Drow give off.


This is why Warhammer Fantasy RPG has the best Orcs. They are aggressive, warlike humanoid fungi. No, you cannot have Orc rape as drama, mushrooms don't have junk. No "Orc Baby Wat Do?", they don't have babies, they have spores. And they are driven by a gestalt psychic field which causes them to go on genocidal rampages called WAAAGHs once their population reaches critical mass. Yes, you can exterminate them all without feeling guilty, nobody was ever dragged before the Hague on charges of Fungicide. War with the Orcs isn't so much "Black versus White" as it is "Orange versus White." They aren't "evil," as by definition, evil requires the violation of moral principles which the Orcs are incapable of understanding as said moral principles are contrary to the psychobiological gestalt of Orcdom, which inherently drives them to WAAAGH in the same way ducks fly south for the winter. Birds fly, fish swim, Orcs WAAAGH. They are "Chaotic Neutral" in the same sense the Shoggath is in the Pathfinder Bestiary. They just don't... function like civillized species such as humans, elves, and dwarves do.*

TL;DR: Probably the best way to deal with "always chaotic evil" nonhumans is to make them actually nonhuman rather than dumber, crappier humans.

*On the note of humans, elves, and dwarves, I'd like to say the Drow and Duegar are a waste of space. There's no need for a seperate "evil" version of elves and dwarves if elves and dwarves have free will and are capable of right and wrong just as humans are. Nobody calls evil humans "dark humans," why do we need dark elves and dark dwarves?


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Cap. Darling wrote:
Ruggs wrote:

The issue exists in the fighter, but is broader than the fighter.

DnD/PF is a game which was rooted in providing a set of rules around miniatures. It has a high combat focus, which affects its design philosophy. We saw this with the recent playtest--most of the comments and discussion focused on "what does this class do in combat?" Or, "how well does this kill?"

To offer significant options and abilities outside of combat, PF released Ultimate Campaign. That is, an entirely new rules system.

So the fighter has issues with few to none noncombat abilities being baked in, but that's also inherit to the system overall. PF is slowly transforming, and including greater focus on these options, though it will likely always be a combat-oriented and focused game.

That Pathfinder is so combat-oriented, however, leads to a second issue. That is, it becomes a requirement for a class to be "combat effective" in order to be fun and contributive...if the focus of the game is combat.

This is the same as saying: if the game is about combat, then whatever I play should be able to contribute to combat.

Consequently, there is a lot of toe-stepping.

It may be that the fighter is too much of a concept, as opposed to a class, when placed within a game where combat is so primary. There needs to be a better way to express that statement, but at least I tried.

And i think you Said it well.

I even think the thing can be expanded to all 4 Classic classes. The wizard becoming the sorcerer, the witch and now the arcanist. The cleric becoming the druid, the oracle and now the warpriest. The rogue getting obsolete in his own way and the figther ending up being the option for the figthing man that isent Holy, Wild, knigthly, Nature themed, swasbucklery or any of the new themes that get there own class.

If I may rewind a bit, I think that these guys have made a pretty important point. While some on this board may deny the existence of bloat, from this new guy's perspective, it certainly appears very real. I think one way to gain perspective on Fighter is to see how his issues evolve the more stuff you add on the game. In the Beginner's Box, he's indispensable and is what you use for the construction of any number of fantasy archetypes, from the lean elf archer lady to the burly bearded dwarf axe fighter. Add in the Barbarian to the BB, and he's no longer THE "fighting man," but he's still solid. Throw in the Basic Rule Book, and he's functional but vanilla. Add in all the other crud and all semblance of order goes out the window. For example, the Ranger Trapper can sneak and disable traps as well as a Rouge and fight as well as a Fighter. In my humble opinion, in an ideal world, the base four classes would be the only "real" classes, with the others being added as Archetypes for said classes, sort of like what they did in the Dragon Age video games, only you would not have to reach a high level to make your Rogue a Bard or your Fighter a Barbarian or whatever, but instead would select your bent during character creation.

I'm sorry for rambling, am I making any sense? :/