I'm with you. I am not a fan of PF1 and I had really, really high hopes for PF2. I *like* Paizo, and I want to support them. I'll give the game a shot again when it's done, but I gave up playtesting. The game as it stands, is not something I want to play. Too many fiddly bits that don't add enough to the experience to justify their burden (if you see what I mean).
On the other hand, since 5e was brought up, I'd like to point out that I playtested every playtest packet for *that* game and the game we wound up with is very different than any of the packets, so there's certainly still plenty of hope for the final PF2 game.
(On the *other* other hand, I enjoyed all of the Next playtests more than I have the PF2 playtest. In fact, there were some bits in the Next playtest that I liked *better* than I do some bits of the final game, but that's another story...)
I think that when people with RL martial arts experience express dissatisfaction with the Fighter, it's generally because the game mechanics often make it impossible to perform certain acts that are not only *possible* IRL, but *essential* to be a competent combatant IRL.
It's not because we want the game to be "realistic" per se (in fact it's usually someone's erroneous notion of what is "realistic" that causes the class to have the constraints upon them in the first place).
Personally, I'd like the Fighter to be able to do slightly *more* than is "realistic" (within reason), but we are often saddled with ones that can do *less* than real people can do.
Take how often D&D makes it either impossible (or at least take special training (feats)) to be able to Hit Someone with Your Shield. Hitting someone with a shield is not "special training" it's *basic competency*. (Yes, I know PF2 is designed with this basic competency. It's something I like about it).
Anyway, on the main subject: I think the reason behind the design choices tends to be that the Fighter is designed to be simple, and anything that makes them more *interesting* usually also makes them more complicated.
Yeah, this one was good and very important. I think that the Playtest document was pretty poorly presented. I've always assumed that they would do a much, much better job for the final product, but I admit that *I* don't know what would make it better, I just know that I don't like it the way it is.
I think most of your ideas would work pretty well. Some of 'em are a bit to fiddly, but those could easily be toned down. Good work, overall.
Regarding bulk, I think the main mistake they made was in trying to make most objects fit the one-bulk model, which didn't give them quite enough of a way to differentiate. If they halved the scale (for example), making 5 lights add up to 1 bulk (and consequently more objects wind up as 2 bulk) and then, you know, being more consistent on what they feel is bulky...
I dunno, maybe you're right. Maybe bulk is just a bad idea. I like what they were trying to do with it, though.
Isn't that still really odd in the narrative? I've got six patients. One is very skilled. I can't seem to treat him, so I can't treat ANYBODY. Time to get my assistant to give it a go?
I'm super supportive of interesting mechanics for non-magical items and actions before moving on to magic. So, I really like treat wounds as a concept.
However, I think it's weird that RAW Treat Wounds - you only roll once for a group of six people. And if you fail, they're ALL Bolstered against your future attempts.
I get that this is a time-saver, but it'll be frustrating as heck when it happens. I assume that the first house-rule that absolutely *everyone* will use will be to roll for each patient individually.
Treating Wounds and Recovery Saves should use the same DC, which should either be a flat DC, or be based on the Monster that wounded you. (If you go with the Monster, then that DC should be listed on the Monster - it would then be relatively simple for the DM to tell you when you get dropped that you are Wounded, and that the DC is X (both for recovery saves, and for medics to treat you later.))
It was one of the things that drew me to the playtest, actually. I grow tired of players playing fast-and-loose with that sort of thing. It gets to the point that it feels like items teleport in and out of their hands. I've certainly had players describe themselves climbing a cliff or swimming, and then suddenly they've got their hands full of weapons, and then they get something out of a backpack and then they've got a shield's bonus to AC, etc, etc.
I figured that the very easy to learn PF2 action economy would help with it. Unfortunately, what is happening instead is that I *constantly* have to remind them that they've taken too many actions. At least in 5e, for example, if they draw one too many weapons, they've just taken an extra "free" action - it seems like no big deal, and I don't have to be overly strict. I can remind them of it, or let them get away with it, depending on what I feel will be best for the game at that instant.
I feel that letting them get away with taking extra ACTIONS is a bridge too far, so I have to be strict. So I find myself having to say "No!" to my players more often than I think is best for the game. I prefer a "yes, but" or a "yes, and" approach to GMing.
I'm probably coming off as a big softy here, and I don't mean any of the above too severely. It's not a BIG problem, and I believe that players need to be reigned in occasionally, sure. I also don't think the game needs to worry itself too much about bad players to be a good game.
It's just... I worry that this is a problem that could grow, or never resolve itself. My point of the thread is that I wonder if, once we all get past the learning curve of the game, these problems will remain. Or worse, they will become bigger issues than the small issues they are now.
Clearly, I really *want* to like PF2.
Gwaihir Scout wrote:
I read that as "Goblin Snog" for some reason and spit my coffee. Hilarious and Terrifying INDEED!
If demoralise and feint aren't attack actions, that *does* make them an attractive third action. Makes you wonder a bit if it wouldn't be more fun to have grabbing or shoving not count against MAP as well, though I suppose that might be OP.
I really don't like MAP, but I'm not sure how they'd balance the game if a three attacks all had the same chance to hit. Especially at early levels.
That is a great illustration of the oddities of Hit Points. It's always odd that a reduction in HP is called "Damage" and an increase is called "Healing" even though both of those things are not always true.
I would argue that in a system where the story can say that (for example), you were struck by an AXE and then were bandaged back to full HP... it means that being at full Hit points does not necessarily mean that you are uninjured. It just means that you can fight on.
When PF2 was announced, the things that drew me to it most were the Three Action economy and, to a lesser extent, the Four Levels of Success.
I'm a game retailer, and I've taught hundreds (maybe over a thousand) people to play RPGs. I've been playtesting PF2 with two groups of six.
I'm getting concerned that the drawbacks (there are always drawbacks to nearly everything) to my two favourite things in PF2 will eventually become unbearable. Allow me to illustrate:
1: Three Action Economy.
The way I see it, some of what makes the three-action economy worthwhile is: It's easy to grasp - you don't need to keep track of lots of action types if everything is an action; It easily puts a cap on what you can accomplish in a round - with every action being equal, it enforces things like drawing/stowing items, readying shields, and manipulating objects; It puts movement under the same scale as well - you can swap movement and actions simply.
Trouble is, in practice... several undesirable things occur. Warning: I'm going to nit-pick here. You may think these things are not *that* bad, and I'd agree - I'm just worried that they will start to become bigger issues over time.
First of all, I play with a wide variety of players re: system mastery, from people who understand rules minutia to people who will never learn the rules ever. Something that happens a lot with both types is, when things are desperate, they want to accomplish more than the rules allow them to.
Every session, multiple times, with nearly every player, I've got to remind them that they can't just draw their weapon for free (for example), it's an action. You can't just get extra actions. It would be unfair to the other players who are sticking to three.
I really like that the three-action economy forces players to pay attention to what's in their hands, but I'm finding that I am *constantly* having to crush what people think they can accomplish on their turn. "No, you can't cast a spell and drink a potion - you had a hammer in that hand. You've got to put it away, get the potion out, and THEN drink it. That's like, a ton of extra actions."
I'm not doing a very good job of explaining, but my point is: It's making me feel like a "strict" game master - constantly telling my players "no" in a way that has been frustrating them.
I think it's precisely *because* they've got three actions, which seems like a lot, that they wind up at four or five without thinking about it. (Maybe I will further give examples in the discussion if you're not following me. Like I said, I'm not sure I'm explaining it well.)
The other problem is on the opposite end:
I find that as a GM, I often have no idea what to do with the monster's third action. Players do this too, sometimes. Sometimes there's a pause, where myself or the player takes some time trying to decide what to do with the third action, eventually deciding just to roll another attack, which usually misses anyway.
This step takes *time* out of the game, only to feel useless. This constant disappointment and time-consuming pause can't be good for the game.
2: The Four-Levels of success
The four levels of success seem like a great idea too. The best result of it, IMO, is how it solves the problem of save-or-suck, both for the recipient, and for the deliverer. I can't stand it when I take the time to cast a spell, for example, only to have the target make its save, and the spell does nothing. The higher the level, the worse that feels. On the other side, having spells end an encounter because of one bad save roll isn't desirable either. This solves that.
Some nice things can happen with skill checks under this system too.
In practice, though there's a few problems:
Not everything *has* a Crit or Fumble effect, so a *lot* of time, it's a wash, even after the calculation is made to discover that you've hit +/- 10. I would argue that the math is not hard, but it IS disappointing to discover that you've critted or fumbled only to find that it's the same result as a normal success or failure. If nothing interesting is happening, then why are we bothering?
This +/-10 system has also forced them to balance the math in such a way that it barely comes up - You rarely crit on a 17 or fumble on a 3 anyhow, so again, why are we bothering?
I guess what I'm asking is: Is it worth it? (This thread is vague musings, so I'm not saying I have an answer. I'd like to hear your thoughts.)
In conclusion: I'm starting to question if the things that originally drew me to the playtest will be, long-term, actually good things for the game.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Stairs for example, and obstacles that involve climbing.This is where bariaurs handle it better, as being half-goat, they are much nimbler (those mountain goats can get in crazy places, no human can).
Climbing WALLS, I can see as a problem. I think people need to stop imagining a centaur as a clumsy horse-human. If you make your fantasy centaur a competently agile slim, medium-sized (no more than seven feet tall say) creature, they should have no problem with stairs.
Like it was noted, horses can take stairs, so why would a horse with a human brain have trouble? A little practice would do it. PCs can do all sorts of things that it would take a RL person a lot of practice.
If you goat 'em up a bit, even walls become less of an issue.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I think for PF2/Golarion, they could have included a more interesting race, fresh, something new for a core race, not necessarily new to the game/world. Maybe a quadruped?
I've never quite understood why PF and D&D seem resistant to the idea of the Centaur. They don't have to be silly, nor do they have to be overpowered. First of all, you don't even have to make them so big that other PCs can ride them, (maybe halflings, goblins, and gnomes, but not medium guys).
I see them as like Game of Thrones Dothraki with the horse-part built-in. Main features would probably still be an enhanced carrying capacity, movement rate, and something that makes using spears awesome for once.
I think a happy medium would be for UTEML to be -3/0/+1/+2/+4. By the time you get to Legendary, I think you really should get an extra bump WITHOUT the DCs going up (any more than they already have by that point)... just so you can feel awesome.
I'm also still in the camp that thinks the DCs need to generally drop. I'm fine with a truly maxed-out character (with it all: items, max ability, max proficiency, etc) just barely auto-succeeding, and everything else working itself out from there.
When I first started playtesting, I was really in love with the four-tiered-success rules. The more I play, the more I realise that it's a real problem. Enough that I think that it's not going to work long-term. This sounds like a way to solve it, at first, but the big drawback to the system you propose here is that we will *always* need to look up the result-matrix for every check. There's no way I can memorise that. At least with Xdc +/-10 we only have to remember what the *results* are, not also the # the result occurs at and then do the math to see if it occurs.
But it's true that not every type of check *deserves* a crit success/crit fail result, and certainly not always on +/-10. I'm not sure what the best way to tackle this is going to be. (But I don't think the current system is going to work out long-term).
Grave Knight wrote:
Okay, so basically you have four turns to be revived the first time you get dying, two turns the second and third time you get dying, and you're dead the fourth time you gain dying. So basically good luck surviving low levels.
How often do you usually get dropped in the same fight?
I agree. It's particularly egregious when a monster ignores an active threat to kill a downed PC. In the game, it's not something that usually provokes an attack of opportunity, but in real life, to ignore a foe that's up so you can kill one that's down would probably end in your death.
They don't just have to be "vicious", they have to be suicidal. (Personally, I might actually have a monster attack a downed PC in the very rare case that these two things are true. Usually only mindless undead or creatures like that - and even THEN, most of 'em should have basic survival instincts.)
This is a simple oversight. I doubt they will leave a line out of the final rulebook that says "blocking terrain blocks" and one that says "line-of-sight is drawn from any corner of your space to any corner of your target's space".
Both of those can be easily inferred here, though.
Kyra can see the ogre because the top right corner of her space can reach the top right corner of the ogre's space without anything blocking it. So can the middle of her space, if they mean to work it that way.
The reason medium creatures take up a five-foot square (and large ones a ten-foot one) is both "because it's a game" and because if you don't KEEP MOVING in a fight you will quickly DIE.
Both her and the Ogre are moving around. At some point during her six-second turn (an eternity in a fight) she can lean to that top corner and fire at the ogre when he is in sight.
It's harder than a nice open shot, sure (hence the Cover) but it's totally believable.
I think they should be grounded in reality at low-levels, but can shoot for the moon (maybe literally) at high levels.
That said, I think that real people can do crazy s*** that most people think is impossible. Certainly gamers have a tendency to think that physical exploits are "unrealistic" because *they* can't do them.
When you give a competent person time to practice... amazing stuff happens.
Most of the time, knowing the exact dc doesn't even matter once the player has rolled. They'll give the GM a result that is either plenty high enough, or obviously too low. It's only when the dc is "somewhere in the teens" and they get a result of say 14, that you need to know if that's just a bit too low or just high enough.
That's why I usually get people to roll first and ask questions later. It saves time.
That's a better way of saying what I meant. Even if they keep a bit of the mechanics after fixing the most problematic bits (consumables are probably up there), they may want to come up with another way of describing it and probably even another name.
The change to signature skills is very good and shows that they're listening and finding ways to make the game better.
So as far as resonance goes, I trust that they'll replace it with something that does a better job at dealing with its design goals (maybe only to a lesser extent) and does a better job of feeling like an interesting mechanic, rather than a disappointing punishment.
Personally, I don't mind resonance (well, with a few tweaks) but it's so incredibly unpopular that I think it's obvious that it's got to go.
1: Three Actions (Though I sometimes worry it'll slow things down)
Can I add one more?
1: Having to look all over the book to find out how anything works
Can I add one more?
This kind of thing is ALL OVER the new rules. I actually really enjoy how the game plays, but this stuff is starting to drive me nuts. I had one playtester quit because of it, too.
"No wait, you can't actually do that."
... "Or that."
..... "Not that either."
It wouldn't have been a problem if he'd known what he could do. I get that there's going to be a learning curve, but we're talking about really REALLY experienced gamers. If WE are having troubles with it...
I really think that character sheets should have more room to tell you what your Feats and Features actually DO, rather than space that shows your math.
I've never quite understood why so many character sheets are designed the way they are. Generally not very good for actually playing the game.
I almost feel like there should be two different sheets - one for character *generation* (that you keep and show your GM, keeping track of how the characters were made, master designed for that purpose).
And a completely different one designed to Play the Game. Organised in the best way possible for ease of play.
You'd copy the important information from the first sheet, onto the second sheet.
Does that make sense?
Anyone notice that you could make a nice Sword-and-Board Gladiator-type and use Double Slice with a shield (heavy shield boss would be best) as your primary weapon and, say, a gladius (short sword) as your secondary attack?
Double-Slice for two actions, raise your shield? Like a Spartan out of 300?
Well, *I* think that's pretty cool.
Like someone can just say "I want to play a Dwarf Alchemist who was a Bartender" and all they need to do is assign 6 free and 1 partially free (Cha or Con) stat bonuses, 3 of which probably go to intelligence.
Yeah, that's pretty nice. (Speaking of which, that character sounds fun ! "Sir Mixalot"! (I would never actually name him this, but it's funny).
So it's not high numbers that decrease the importance of the d20 roll, it's essentially high variance in numbers at a fixed point. PF2e increases the overall bonus you get to things at a particular level, but decreases the distance you can be from the standard bonus. In other words, the d20 roll actually matters *more* in PF2e due to lower variance.
That's my conclusion, too. It matters MORE.
I actually like it (well enough), because I've long since stopped trying to define any of my character's personal characteristics based on their ability scores. Ability arrays used to bother me, but I've given up. It just makes it easier/faster to make characters. Of course, they've hidden how simple it is, so you spend quite some time before you discover that there is very little actual choice.
In fact, I'd go one further than you: All those add up to a combined bonus of 9 (conveniently equal to the number of "bumps" a human gets (everyone else gets 10 bumps minus 1 flaw).
So I've stopped looking at all the things my Ancestry/Background/Class gives you (bump-wise) because like you've suggested, unless you try something that works against what would be logical for any of those three (like something weird like making a Dwarf Criminal Rogue and putting nothing in Con or Dex and jacking Cha) you're going to be covered by your floating bumps.
As you say, the Dwarf Criminal Rogue is going to wind up (12, 18, 16, 10, 14, 8) something like 90% of the time (unless you want to go for that sneak-attack-with-a-mace feat for your story or want her to be more of a liar.)
As opposed to auto-critting:
It might confuse some people, but maybe we should treat 20's as 30's (or just say you get to add an additional 10). Then the result will still cap, but most often still crit.
Though I would prefer something like +5 on a 20 and -5 on a 1. It would crit and fumble a little less, but I think that's a good thing. Of course, this starts to get even more complicated, and there's already quite a lot to remember.
I'm primarily a Storyteller but I would NEVER EVER call myself a "casual" player - I play upwards of 3 days a week and have done for 30 years. I also like game design, so while I'm not a rules lawyer, I have a better understanding of the rules than 95% of anyone I've ever played with. Robin's Laws works a bit better, IMO, than the three categories in the first post. I think it's better to split this theory up into more categories with the understanding that everyone usually falls under two or three of them (with bits of others here and there) than to try to boil it down to three, and have everyone say "I'm this but not that part and a little of this but not most of it..." It just breaks down too easily.
Anecdote from the playtest tonight - my Druid cast Stabilize on the Barbarian, who made his recovery save to regain consciousness...only to take an attack of opportunity for attempting to pick up his dropped sword, which then increased his dying condition, knocked him unconscious, and effectively forced him to use a Hero point to clear it on his next turn.
Was he fighting a Fighter? Because I haven't seen anything that can make attacks of opportunity... I mean, I assume there are, but it's not a thing most creatures can do.
Confession: I have never played Pathfinder1.
I'm a ridiculously experienced GM, though. I've played at least one D&D game a week (sometimes 3 or more) for thirty years.
I am very curious about PF2 but also dubious. I expect it will be too fussy for me in the end, but we'll have to see. I like 5e, but I don't like the Skill system, or Monster design.
I'm very curious as to how this will go, as it develops.
I don't believe there are any rules. Given the current action economy, and lack of full attacks, it makes sense that the old way doesn't work. Really, the only benefit to wielding two weapons is that you can wield an agile off-hand weapon, gaining the benefits of a main weapon in one hand while reducing your attack penalty, and damage, for the off.
Where did you find any of that? I haven't seen anything about wielding two weapons at all, aside from Double-Slice and the Paired property.
While the post you quote comes off somewhat dismissive of your playtest experience, I don't think that was the intent.
I think the poster was trying (and perhaps failing) to suggest that your player's knee-jerk reaction to the paladin might not have held up, had he actually tried playing the paladin, instead of dismissing it.
I've played with a paladin in the party. I'm not sure what your player's problem with it is. I think this might be what the poster was talking about regarding Theory vs Actual Play.
Hmmm. We have multiple valid interpretations.
You have a hardness 5 shield and you block 9 points of damage:
You have a hardness 5 shield and you block 12 points of damage:
You have a hardness 5 shield and you take 20 points of damage:
So... the shield either ONLY takes the damage after it reduces it by its hardness, or it ALSO takes the damage after reducing it by its harness, or NEITHER.
Note that none of the above says anything about what happens to the shield if it's lying on the ground and you try to destroy it. (Which is almost certainly the scenario in which it takes all the remaining damage after reducing it by its hardness)... but does it also take that damage when you block with it? So both you AND the shield take the remaining damage? Seems strange.