A better solution would have been to tie your melee defense, to your melee skill, and relegate armor to reducing damage when you ARE struck.
Furthermore, differentiating armor(taking less damage) from defense(avoiding blows) would have seriously opened up the play space, and made monks and rogues much more mechanically distinct from fighters and barbarians.
Evil wizard throwing disintegrate rays everywhere? Get the dodgy rogue or mink out there!
Slow moving stone giant got you down? Bust out a sledge hammer that has a negative modifier to hit, but does a LOT more damage.
Also, a system like this would create an i game reason for iconic movie tropes like throwing away your shield when you are tired, or a bars throwing on full plate for special occasions like when you are about to face an army of enemies, and like it or not, SOME hits are getting through.
The many threads on this topic really drive home for me how close Paizo was to perfection this edition, and how they botched it at the last second.
The core elements for a classes system are basically all here in PF2.
Add an extra level of proficiency, so there are 5, roll all level requirements for feats into proficiency requirements, I.E. a level 4 fighter feat would simply becomes "expert proficiency in melee" while a level 7 fighter feat would require "master" etc. etc.
Roll all the combat oriented feats into "melee"
Provide some templates for classic classes, but let advanced players pick and choose what they want as they go.
- replace +1/level with 5e's prof chart
Actually at this point I should probably just make my own game....
I would love to see a TTRPG lean into a paper rock scissors style of balance, wherein depending on the conditions, and the threats faced, a character could punch significantly above there level.
For example, I feel that a magic user should have no problem mind controlling a pure fighter many levels above him.
By the same token, if a fighter got the drop on a wizard many levels higher, where that wizard was not prepared for the encounter, was gagged, prevented from holding his focus, etc. then that wizard would be in deep trouble.
Another example would be creating a distinction between hard to hit opponents, vs hard to damage ones. Had vitality/wnds been made core, with crits going to wnds, and armor providing DR for wnd dmg only, you could give fighters a reason to drop the greatsword and pull a brace of daggers, or toss his shield in favor of a 2 handed grip on his sword.
This type of balance encourages tactics, and outside the box thinking.3.pf had some of that, and I would have loved to see that expanded, rather than removed.
Frozen Yakman wrote:
Torn between removing feat siloing because it's a mind boggling bad idea or adding multiclassing into the game because I don't see how they could ship a D&D style game without multiclassing.
I think the rules are robust enough that with just a tiny tweak we can ditch classes entirely! (still present "classes", but they are just pre-canned advancement charts for those who would rather not play classless.)
Replace level requirements on feats with proficiency level requirements, and bam, super slick classless system. Infinite variety.
Original d20 SW, I had a GREAT time running that game!
AC was replaced with Defense, and armor only provided DR, which only applied when you were critically hit.
I added a house-rule that ranged attacks always did wound damage unless you were in cover(or were a jedi;)
If I were going to add that system to PF2, I would require spending an action to dive, take evasive action, etc. unless you had a shield or were in cover.
Pathfinder was always just a way to keep 3.x alive, and I was certain everyone felt that way.
This new edition offers some cool bits and bobs to be sure, but the class gating, item focus, magic nerfing, and excessive lawyering of the rules really rub me the wrong way. It's like they filled in all the little cracks you could get lost in, and all that's left is a video game, except I have to do the math.
I think a better solution is to give everyone 1/2 level base, add a 5th proficiency level, and have each level of proficiency give a +2.
ie a 6th level expert would get +9, while a 6th level novice would get +5
You could make a completely modular classless system and I think that would be a great variant rule for experience groups but it is too much for most new players and really shouldn't be the default option.
I would still present the standard classes, built using a classless system behind the scenes, for new players.
Back of the book gives the whole deal.
Also streamlines things like feats instead of needing to reprint everything.
I would also merge turn undead with the monks stunning fist/ki powers, and add additional feats to designate energy type (force, pos/neg, fire, etc.)
I am working on basically this.
Take the multi-class archetype feats, tweak them a bit, add a few more, and presto, classless system.
Add an additional proficiency level so that you have 5 (6 if you count untrained) and 5 feats to expand abilities (like spell access)
In that system, the wizard casting class progression is replaced with 10 feats:
Well the great thing about goblins is there are always a bunch of them, so ONE is bound to roll that 20...
Also in Vitality/wnds systems ac (called defense) is much lower, as armor adds to DR, not AC.
I envision a L15 fighter with an Def(AC) of around 19 (10+half bab+dex)
Plus there are combat maneuvers, dog pile on the fighter, grapple him, hold him helpless, and stab, stab, stab, until something gets through...
Admittedly, for this sort of system to really work, a lot of things need tuning, but that can be said of any new system
There is a type of "balance" that is clearly lost on paizo.
Balance between TYPES/MOODS OF PLAYERS.
The relative simplicity of martial classes exists to allow more casual gamers ACCESS to the game. The trade off of playing a caster vs a martial class is that PLAYING a caster is more complicated, and requires keeping track of more things.
I generally prefer more complicated characters to play, but once in a while I just want to smash stuff, and not have to think about managing resources, enhancing spells, crafting items etc.
Casters SHOULD be more powerful, because they require a greater investment of time and energy to play.
At least that is how I have always viewed it.
I 100% acknowledge the tangential nature of my post, though I do think system changes along these lines would have constituted a more interesting direction than the one taken, and would have been much better received by my simulationist ilk at least. Whether or not we make up the bulk of the player base or not remains to be seen, though I have a hunch my kind will end up old(er) and bitter(er) throwing dice at our keyboards, and excoriating the kids for just not getting how they wrong they are...
gustavo iglesias wrote:
As someone who has tried this in a lot of different ways during the last 20 years, I am confident telling you it is not worth the effort.
I had great success running a Fallout themed game (using omega world D20 rules from an old issue of dragon) with my own homebrew variant of vitality/wnds system, with 3 tiers of "hits" Def(AC), def +5, def +10
I am 100% on board with armor as DR!
Differentiating between being hard to hit, and hard to wound opens up all kinds of possibilities.
Fighting a big slow ogre? Two handed axes that have a negative modifier to hit, but do extra dmg, are the right call.
Likewise firing off a volley of arrows without taking your time to aim.
Fighting a fast moving foe? might be better to sling that axe and go for the quicker, more accurate (but weaker) short sword, or to spend a action to aim to make sure your arrow actually finds it's mark.
Same goes for the armor you choose to wear:
Going up against a horde of goblins? SOME of those little buggers WILL hit you, so best to bring the full plate.
Fighting a giant with a club that can crush steel as easily as bone? maybe leave the full plate at home, and try and be as nimble as possible!
1 - Action economy
1 - proficiency for combat skill (bring back BAB, if only just for bonus, not multi attack)
I would have loved to have seen an edition that embraced wounds/vigor, and armor as DR as core.
It would have doubled down on the "dnd for grown-ups" thing that (imo) drew so many of us to PF after the 4e debacle.
The ability to differentiate fast but squishy opponents, from slow but tough targets would have really opened up the design space, while simultaneously addressing some of the "bounded accuracy" concepts that seem to be all the rage.
Goblin lucks out and crits your level 15 character? say hello to wnd(essentially CON) dmg!
Could someone explain to me how pf 2e is in any way LESS complicated that PF 1?
In PF 1, you pick a race, and a little blurb give you all the info you need on what playing as that race does
In PF2, picking you race, literally the first thing you do, requires you to pour over a big list of racial abilities, and try to decide what will be most useful to you, when you ostensibly have yet to PLAY THE GAME.
In PF 1, aside from casters, most of your classes abilities are neatly summarized right on the class table. You can see what you will get, and its name gives you an idea what it does.
In PF2, the class table just points you to a long list of options to pour over for each and every level, making it hard to get a feel for a class at a glance.
In PF1, if you wanted to multi class, you just took levels in the class you wanted levels in.
In PF2, if you want to multi class, you need to again pour over a list of possible options, which are essentially copies of abilities printed elsewhere in the book.
In PF1, combat feats, and metamagic feats are just that, feats, that only need to be printed once.
I definitely see a few cool concepts thrown into this edition, but the changes made to basic things like bab, class abilities, races, multi-classing etc. are just mind boggling.
As grognard, I can say with certainty that this edition, as presented, does not appeal to my people.
... Which is not to say it without elements worth pilfering (Actions, proficiency [with tweaks to increase the bonus spread], and the new take on bardic music come to mind)
The fact that 5e is crushing it, only makes it more baffling that paizo would seemingly try so hard to emulate 4e...
I absolutely agree, though I would roll the "ready shield" action, into a "fight defensively" action.
I also feel that the multi-attack penalty rules might be more complicated than they are worth (maybe just drop them and deal with more lethal melee?)...
My problem with the class (and race) choices, is that they seem to remove flavor from classes (and races) and force you to buy it back. This also has the effect of making the classes difficult to groc at first glance, which is not great for new players, or just daydreaming about builds)
A better route would have to just present the core path, and present options to swap class features later (ya know, like Paizo has done a MILLION times)
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:
I actually like the proficiency system for SKILLS (Just skills) Though I would have gone with like, half level, rather than FULL LEVEL, which just seams like a weird kind of one upsmanship over 5e's proficiency system...
And with real multi-classing, and maybe a feat the problems with signature skills are largely overcome.
I also like the way that skills have found their way into combat as a way to buff spells, or enhance other abilities.
I would also probably roll a lot of the skill feats back into the skill itself...
The biggest problem with the prof. system as iI see it, is that it has essentially done away with the middle road combat classes, which is probably why bard got full spell progression (which also doesn't sit well with me [bard = jack of all trades, master of NONE, imo])
Is anyone else having trouble maintaining group morale now that the playtest has appeared? (Also, I am recruiting)
The action system is like the one bit I like in this edition! In fact as other have mentioned, I would love to see activities (spells) that take more that three actions to cast, requiring planning over multiple rounds!
My biggest complaint is the lack of true multi classing, and the way that the classes have had nearly all their abilities pushed off into feats or powers, which means I can no longer just look at a class progression chart and get a feel for what the class can do.
planning weird or interesting builds via multi classing is, as far as I am concerned, the big advantage that tabletop rpgs have over video games, and the reason I have stuck with pathfinder (and dabbled with 5e).
Removing that core feature makes this edition a non-starter for me :(
To be fair, it is no where near as bad as 4e, and I really do think it can be salvaged, if not by paizo, then by a bit of home brewing (bringing back bab, a few missing spells, and re-organizing the class feats back into the generic categories they belong in (combat, meta magic, etc.)
The updates to exploration mode seem fine, downtime rules are interesting, action economy is pretty nifty etc.
It's weird, I kinda feel like if you mixed the good parts of 2e with the good parts of 5e you'd end up with something pretty slick.
Amanda Plageman wrote:
I would say this edition is more dnd 4.5, than 5.5...
I don't understand why people think there is LESS bloat in this system, the metamagic feats are duplicated between wizard and sorcerer, the familiar rules are duplicated between alchemist, wizard, druid, and sorcerer.
They also applied curious nerfs in many places, like removing feather fall from the bard spell list (occult, I know), and getting rid of cats grace, bulls strength, etc. (they clearly have a thing against stat buffs).
All the generic combat feats, are now fighter specific, which is weird for the other martials...
Overall it reads like 4e, but less awfull
This really feels like they un-did the majority of the things that made pathfinder a compelling alternative to 4e.
So far I think 5e definitely has an edge over 2e, but they make some wonky choices as well.
I really think this edition can be saved by going back to BAB, keeping the proficiency system for skills, and bringing back real multi classing.
The core mechanics are pretty solid, and no where NEAR as inconsistent and weird as 5e for things like combat maneuvers(trip grapple, etc).
Races also seem off, removing a lot of the quirky weirdness that made playing a non-human interesting, and adding needless complexity to the choice of what race to play (how long are people going to need to pour over the ancestry feats before they make up their mind?)
Also this book is organized very strangely, like how all the alchemical items are just lumped together in the same section, making it difficult to get a feel for all the elixers, bombs, mutagens, etc.
Also, needing to list the insane number of feats for each class in the class section just makes everything seem much more complicated than it needs to. (one of my big gripes with 4e).
And yeah, the way you build your stats just feels too formulaic, and really discourages playing against type.
Rogar Valertis wrote:
1. I concur, that is why I think ditching BAB was a bad idea. Especially in a system where beating ac by 10 means crit. If they went with vigor/wounds(unlikely, I know), and added bab to melee defense(ac) then a caster becomes VERY vulnerable to melee, and requires protection from physical threats.
2. I wasn't trying to imply that balance was not important at all, just that it needn't be a top concern, sorry if that wasn't clear on that point.
3. Limitations are great! The system as presented doesn't offer as many! as even the designers pointed out, the archetype multi-classing system allows you to avoid sacrificing your classes core abilities, while dipping into another class. In classic multi-classing, your have to sacrifice core class progression, you have to make trade offs, you have to balance how MAD your build will be, etc.
The right solution might be to ditch proficiency for melee and magic, and return to good ol'e fashioned bab, and caster level.
Leave proficiency for skills to cut the book keeping, as it shines there.
I know this isn't going to happen, but another solution is to make Vigor/wounds a core mechanic, rather than an option, and add bab to melee defense.
Then if a fighter gets within striking distance of your uber-caster, they will soon be a dead caster.
I don't see that as a problem.
In a world where Magic is a thing, why wouldn't everyone want some?
In terms of maintaining a semblance of balance, casting restrictions while wearing armor can cover that ground, as well as tying melee ability to AC, particularly in a system that generates a crit when you beat ac by 10. This would expose casters to serious pain, requiring more martial characters to protect them.
Plus, I mean not everyone always wants to deal with the complexities of playing a caster.
Pure melee builds are great for beginners, or people who just want to hit stuff.
That is another great thing about this type of gaming, everyone can play the way they want, and it is up to the DM to ensure that everyone is having fun, has a role to play etc.
Let's not forget that this is a COOPERATIVE game, and it is about more than just who's character is the most powerful.
That is why I feel like balance needs to take a back seat to letting people build the kinds of character they want to build.
My big issue with multi classing in PF2e so far, is that while on a certain level it may technically offer more choices than 5e, you are a still a (class) + Feats.
I don't want to play a fighter who has some wizard abilities, I want to play a fighter 2/wizard 3, rogue 2/ blade dancer 5.
Digging into the classes, and there abilities, and planning fun, weird builds that take a while to come online has always been one of my favorite parts of table top role-playing.
If you are still the class you started as, you are not multi-classing, you are just poaching some abilities.
If this rule stays as is, I will be left with no option but to home brew something with my fellow grognards, at least until some other company comes along to eat Paizo's lunch, the way Paizo ate WotC's after the 4e debacle.
I really hope that Paizo fixes this before the final version, I am rooting for them.
And that is why every group I have ever gamed with HATED those goody two shoes Paladins! Seriously though, the way 5e handled paladins was pretty perfect, doubling down on the whole "intense dedication to a set of principles" thing, while opening up what precisely those principles were.
But from an abilities perspective, Paladin have always been essentially fighter/clerics, and the pathfinder rules presented so far really make it seem like a fighter who "multiclasses" into cleric, will be nearly indistinguishable, conceptually, from a straight paladin.
As others have pointed out, Pathfinder has become home to those who prefer a more "crunchy" system, rather than the more simplified, first timer friendly direction that WotC has been going.
By and large I feel that Paizo has really been knocking it out of the park with this new addition, but in some areas it feel like they are hedging their bets on "casuals".
And while I feel that making space for less experienced players is a great thing, I am seeing the potential here for a system that is truly capable of satisfying all levels of experience.
Present "Advancement paths" that mirror the traditional classes, but build them using a classless system under the hood, that will enable more experienced players to really open things up and build exactly what they want.
The pieces are all there, and I am really hoping Paizo can live up to that potential, if not in core, then in a supplement down the line.
Seems clear (to me) that the bold move here would be to ditch classes in favor of this new archetype/feat based system, then present the "classic" classes simply as templates that less experienced gamers can follow to play a more traditional class.
Meanwhile experienced players can build their perfect custom classless characters in any way they want.
You can also use this to simplify things a lot with regard to the hybrid classes (Paladin, Ranger, Bard)
I mean what is a Paladin really other than a more martial Cleric, who is just a more martial Priest?
I am liking this approach more and more as a class building system, rather than a multi-class system.
I had forgotten that re-training was intended to be a core part of this edition, and that does alleviate my concerns to some extent, depending on how those rules pan out, and if they extend to class levels.
"work with your GM" is a bit of a cop out when it comes to discussing the merits and flaws of a rules system, particularly as part of a playtest.
As others have pointed out, this isn't really multi-classing in the classic sense, and is so far really the only change I take any major issue with, at least in the context of how the rest of pathfinder 2e as revealed so far.
On it's own it is an interesting system, and if layered over a single "Adventurer" class, or the npc classes of old (warrior, expert, adept) would represent a really interesting shift away from classic dnd, and into something much more versatile, and customizable.
As things are shaping up, it feels like paizo is trying to have it both ways, push the envelope, but not TOO far, and for my dollar I would have preferred they pick a side, rather than try to split the difference.
Still excited to see the rulebook, as they have already proven that at the very least PF 2e will have lots of great ideas to steal from for my home-brew system.
At this rate, why not just ditch classes entirely?
Class features are already feats, BAB/casting progression are already standardized, why essentially reprint each class as an archetype, when you can just use a single base class, and grab the class features you like as you go, to the extent that you want them?
The problem I see with this approach, is that if my fighter does decide to dabble into wizard, he will not be able to switch gears and just focus on casting for the rest of his career.