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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 302 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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I think the general answer to your question is: Yes. But I disagree with the framing of the question, as I would rather say that the rituals are devices and goals that need to be worked towards and earned by the player characters. The end result still stays the same though.


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mcintma wrote:
Kind of. Sound is a thing, Rog can get Invis pretty easily too and is better than Wiz by far if so, at hi levels See Invis is super common on monsters (etc.)

"Of course, the subject is not magically silenced, and certain other conditions can render the recipient detectable (such as swimming in water or stepping in a puddle). If a check is required, a stationary invisible creature has a +40 bonus on its Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +20 if the creature is moving."

This stealth bonus eclipses most rogue builds for a solid number of levels, so yeah the sound part is in most cases negated by this bonus. And rogues getting wands or whatever to get invisibility only illustrates the problem further, in my opinion. You needed to get the caster's tool to keep up, so that does not minimise the discrepancy between martial characters and casters.


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Andarr wrote:

I seriously wish people would stop saying things like "the caster invalidated the rest of the party".

That statement is just blatantly false, and comes from either theorycrafting or poor DM'ing. But it was taken at face value and now look at wizards.

I guess I'm a poor GM then: Invisibility makes any character sneak better or at least on par with any rogue. Shape Stone/Wood creates breakthroughs in walls or doors better than any Fighter or Barbarian could ever punch through. Save or Suck spells can end encounters quicker than any martial ever could etc.

So I don't see how the previous statement is false.


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As a GM, I like the idea of Rarity, but I have to admit I haven't looked at the execution yet. This makes homebrewing, switching settings up and adding new elements much easier in my opinion, as you can introduce new elements and have them be exclusive to a region or have them be earned by the characters.

This turns brewing up and handing out spells as rewards also a compelling option for a GM, as it can clearly be tied to the events and narrative of that campaign. You could even design spells that become uncommon after a certain amount of time as they spread within that region, like for example bringing back Rune Magic in New Thassilon.

But I guess there is a strong divide here between players who don't like to be restricted and GMs, who probably have more of an eye on narrative and story implications.


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NemoNoName wrote:
NOTE2: I know this is a lot asking, but it would be great if some of the designers of the game could explain their reasoning for this much restrictiveness and weak sauce of the system.

Ah yes, I think calling it weak sauce will certainly encourage and incentivise the designers to respond to your comments and questions.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
The_Hanged_Man wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Oh, and the minion trait is chock full of logical holes and means that nobody would fear powerful necromancers anymore, since only 3 of their undead could do anything at a time. Gone are the days of skeletal armies for heroes to battle. Just 3 at a time, and they're always slow and oblivious.
You do realize that monsters don’t need to follow the same build rules as PCs right? The rules exist for PCs to facilitate flow and reasonable balance at the table. Sauron the necromancer can still control all of his ringwraiths just fine.

No, that's unreasonable. If the NPC can do it, the PC should be able to just as well, and vice versa. Otherwise it's unfair to one side.

And you may have missed this, but I'm against separate build rules for monsters, so...

Not this again... I've just looked the Great Wyrm Red Dragon up and I'd like you to point me to the parts in the rules where player characters get 39 natural armour, frightful presence, Manipulate Flames and Melt Stone.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Transporting a building from one location to another or determining the number of casts needed to build structures, to name a couple.

I think most people don't care how many people it takes to build a house or whatever, which is why there were more abstractions being used for this in the kingdom-building rules.

sherlock1701 wrote:

It was always used in every game I've played in without issues, across several groups in the past 8 years.

And no, it doesn't allow for easier judgement calls. Without any correlation between Bulk and reality, you have no way of knowing what hte Bulk of something should reasonably be. In reality a longsword was similar in size and slightly heavier (2 lb vs 2.5 lb) than a falchion, yet here a falchion has twice as much Bulk as a longsword. Then consider than an unconscious person has about 8 bulk. They're really only 16-20 lb?

Mind you, I rewrote the equipment tables for PF1 to use more realistic weights and item names (not to mention making the terrible weapons useful), but this seems rather difficult for PF2 (for the weights, obviously names are easy enough).

I'm sorry, but again I think less than 1% of this player base cares about the rather pedantic difference of 1/2 lb. being falsely represented by bulk. Most people will probably just ask themselves: "Is it about as heavy or unwieldy as X from the chart?" If, yes then it's about the same as on the chart. That's good enough for most people who don't take the time to rewrite all of the item tables for realism because most people don't care that much about realism. If it doesn't break the verisimilitude of the world then most people won't care.

sherlock1701 wrote:
It means I sometimes have no idea how something will work before I attempt it. I am not a fan of uncertainty. Or in 5e as a specific case, there are not very solid rules on crafting magic items, and whether you can do so at all is entirely up to the GM (let alone buying them)

Yes, the crafting rules of 5e are lacking, to say the least, because magic items aren't integrated well into 5e. But we are playing a game of rolling dice to determine outcomes, so not liking uncertainty in your games feels rather bizarre to me.


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MongrelHorde wrote:

I noticed this as well, and if a player brought it up I would allow it.

This "cheeze" is the spice of life that made me love Pathfinder 1 over other editions, so it warms my heart to know there are nuggets of this in Second.

I agree, especially if the picture you are selling with this isn't a person playing the fiddle, but instead being a brute on a war drum or something along those lines, because here the flavour fits the mechanics.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

No, it's definitely worse. How do you determine the bulk for something not on the table? What's the bulk of a building? How does that interact with the support of its foundation? How are we supposed to calculate volumes from specific gravity with only Bulk as a guideline? These are all things that come up frequently at my tables.

I'm not sure that I've ever heard before needing the weight of a house or its foundation, but I'm quite sure PF1 didn't provide weights for houses or foundations either. Now I'm rather interested to hear in what context these things came up frequently in your campaigns because at this point I'm not sure I was playing the same game as you.

sherlock1701 wrote:

On top of that, how can it possibly be harder to carry one falchion than 19 hatchets? What about the fact that a longbow is just as hard to carry as an un-worn suit of studded leather strapped to your back? 9 daggers have no mass until you throw a 10th one into the pile. None of this makes sense.

It's called making abstractions and I'm glad Paizo went this way because I find this rather intuitive and allows for easier judgement calls at the table, as it is less granular than having to google weights of whatever wasn't listed in the books. Simplifying this whole weight and encumbrance thing was also necessary so that people would actually use it, as I'm willing to bet that less than 10% of all games would never look at this again after character creation.

sherlock1701 wrote:

No, lack of rules often leads to 'you can't do that', or getting a very lackluster/unsatisfying ruling. Codified rules as they are in PF1 are excellent, and provide mechanical context for doing just about anything at any time.

I think this explains why you are in opposition to most people on the boards here because most more narrative-focused, rules-light systems, like let's say Fate, actively encourage the GMs to say yes. If that isn't your experience than I think that differs from most other people here, which why many people are wishing to put back more power in the hands of the GM, as most of us have realised since the days of 3.X that the GM/player relationship isn't an adversarial one, but a collaborative one and that saying yes leads to more fun for everyone. I think the whole idea of "Yes and..." has spread a lot and has changed ttrpgs significantly.


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BryonD wrote:

Shrug. I don't think that is at all accurate.

I seem to find that the "natural progression" theme is just a red herring constantly thrown up to focus the conversation on hypotheticals and avoid discussing the issues with the real game that does exist.

WotC has demonstrated that you can produce a game that fragments your base AND you can produce a game that pulls your base together. So, clearly, it is not unavoidable.

But, in the end, it seems we are in agreement that "alienating a chunk of prior fanbase" happened [I certainly do and you are labeling it "inevitable"] and I presume you agree that avoiding would be preferable.

Yes, I think it was inevitable and there are people who didn't enjoy the release of 5e (a minority obviously). 5es biggest success wasn't to pull together the base, but to expand it massively.

Also, I don't get the red herring part, but I see plenty of people here discussing and critiquing the game, while a couple of people derail discussions with the same talking points of what they perceive to be "the issues with the real game", without contributing anything of substance.


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I might be wrong, but I think they are included in the Gamemastery Guide.


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BryonD wrote:
But all that aside, I'm comfortable sitting on the limb labeled "alienating a chunk of prior fanbase is not good".

I think this was inevitable. I doubt there is a way Paizo could have done a new edition without alienating some people. From reading the boards, I get the feeling that the "I wanted a natural progression/evolution" people, feel alienated right now, as they wanted what PF was to 3.5 from the new edition. This would have raised a lot of questions though for why even release a new edition and in the process alienating people who were looking for a change and not more of the same.


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I think this was already in RotRl, but it's been quite some time since I've played that. I think it was overshadowed by the more destructive tendencies of the Goblins, liking Fire, hating horses, etc.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Yes, this thread is dangerously close to provoking edition warfare. But money is tight, so I want to know if it is worth it.

Why not ask this instead from the get go? Because I don't think the other question will provide you a good answer, especially since you didn't provide any criterea for what you mean with "better". I think PF2 is "better" because it is much easier to run. Another person might find PF1 "better" because of all the choices available.

Defining what you are looking for and what you mean with "better" will raise the chances that you'll get usable and meaningful feedback. If you don't, it will probably devolve into why rarities are a plight, or something like that.


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crognus wrote:

The spell casting tradition of DND comes from Jack Vance's Dying Earth fiction series. Gary Gygax was a huge fan. The mechanics of the magic system in Dying Earth has since been named "Vancian Magic". As per the wikipedia article on Dying Earth:

"Magic in the Dying Earth is performed by memorizing syllables, and the human brain can only accommodate a certain amount at once. When a spell is used, the syllables vanish from the caster's mind."

In essence, the act of casting the spell steals memories from your brain, and you must re-memorize them.

That's all well and good, but the setting never takes that step to establish that connection. You might as well say that depleting resources is very Dark Sun and thus Golarion emulates that.

I guess, what I'm trying to say, is that I hope that PF2 creates a much more robust system for magic in the setting of Golarion because I found that part always a bit bland. Splitting the Spell lists is a good first step, now I hope we see more archetypes and ways to differentiate the different schools and forms of magic. Having an archetype for Runelords or rather Rune Mage would be great for example, because so far, a Runelord is just a powerful Wizard, while they could be so much more.


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crognus wrote:
[i]"An associated mechanic is one which has a connection to the game world. A dissociated mechanic is one which is disconnected from the game world.

This is interesting, as the whole spell slot system essentially has no narrative rooted in the setting, especially the Arcane traditions in PF1 terms, or am I missing something?

For a Cleric, I could see the justification of a Gods just saying "Hey, you've had enough for one day, slow down", but for other cases, that doesn't really fit. Have we accepted that running out of spells is necessary disconnected mechanic to balance spells and limit resources?


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I don't know what to expect from non-lethal damage in PF2, as it never came up during my Playtest experience, but I would be glad if they got rid of having to track non-lethal damage, as it created two health pools, which was unnecessarily confusing and complicated. Non-lethal damage as a player was generally only relevant if you wanted a monster or NPC to survive after an encounter, which can be easily handled by a GM in the situation without having the need of tracking two different health bars.


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I think QuidEst hits the nail on the head: There are some fundamental paradigms that give D&D, and by proxy Pathfinder, a distinct feeling and most of these that you listed fall under these paradigms, in my opinion.

I certainly can't speak for the devs, but one of the stated goals was to make Pathfinder simpler, while still giving it the feeling of Pathfinder, and if you start removing all or most of these, than you might as well be playing Fate or CoC or whatever else you might want to throw into this category, because they are quintessential mechanics of PF. And while I'm not a fan of all these mechanics, I recognise that they are too interwoven with the fabric of the game or the setting. For example, I dislike alignment, but removing it from the game would raise a whole lot of questions on Golarion, which was another no-go, as isn't supposed to change greatly from 1st edition to PF2.


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I'm generally excited for PF2. I quit GMing PF around 2 to 3 years ago, as I found preparing for sessions just too cumbersome and tedious. So I've switched with my group of friends to a leaner system, that's easier on me as the GM, but still allows for a lot of customisation for the players.

Anyway, in that same time span I've joined an online group with rotating games and so we ended up playing some of the Playtest when it dropped. And while the Playtest wasn't always fun (having whole turns of no one hitting anything and new rules every two weeks, just to name a couple), at least I was liking the direction we are going in. The new action economy, streamlining classes, to allow more adaptability and modality between classes, and independent monster rules (Hooray!) simplified the system, while the degrees of success added a welcomed layer of complexity.

Overall since my experience with the Playtest, I actually could see myself GMing Pathfinder again, and that makes me really happy, as I want to return to Golarion for some more adventures and I always love to bring back PCs with previous campaigns and do callbacks to these campaigns.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Crayon wrote:
They weren't.

I strongly disagree. Perhaps traits weren't significant choices, but they were nonetheless meaningful since they could fundamentally change what sorts of things your character would/was able to do.

I mean if traits weren't meaningful choices in PF1, then feats weren't really either. "Student of Philosophy" is liable to change a character's focus a lot more than "Weapon Focus".

I think giving this trait as an example is a bit fallacious, because for every "Student of Philosophy" you can find a dozen traits that read "become proficient with skill X" or "gain +1-3 to Y". So I'd argue that 90% of the traits aren't as impactful as your example. You could still say that those 90% are meaningful, but I guess I have a different idea of what that term means in this context.

To me meaningful customisation means that the choices reflect part of a character's flavour or help to show a character's progression and development. That doesn't mean the choices have to be flavourful, but they have to be at least impactful enough to create a noticeable difference between your character and a similar character that made a couple different choices. So to me that eliminates most Traits from PF1 and most Skill Feats from PF2.


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Unicore wrote:
Rangers as the absolute best at perception is interesting, but it is a narrow line to walk with the rogue being the iconic master of traps. That is part of why the snares/traps ranger felt like a bad direction for the ranger to jump into for the playtest, because it was pushing it much closer to something that "feels" like it is the rogue's domain. Someone much earlier in the thread pointed out that maybe the "Leadership" role could be a unique ranger niche, with a focus on improving the rest of the party's ability...

I could get behind that premise: A tactician who uses their information gathering to enhance the capabilities of their companions. It is certainely a niche that is still unoccupied at this point and is a feature that I could see other classes wanting to multiclass into, depending on the narrative a character is going for.


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
An sadly, they have chosen to nerf everything into a bland, joyless mush, where everyone sucks, no one is powerful and altering the math wont change that feeling of classes being this stodgy concrete you are dragging around.

Hm, I guess we playtested different games, because I enjoyed myself mostly and don't share your experience. Also changing the math will have an effect on success rates, which should have an impact on how you feel about how well a character performs. But I guess you have already decided for yourself how the changes will play out, even without having seen them.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like the fighter is the best at weapons, the monk is the best at mobility and action economy, the rogue is the best at skills, the barbarian is the best at raw power, the Paladin is the best at defense... what should the ranger do best? What does the ranger even do?

I think the answer for the Playtest is/was: Multiple attacks, at least initially. I don't think that's enough as a concept for a class or satisfying as a design. The ranger lacks indeed a solid identity in the playtest in my mind, but I also think that going back to "nature stuff" as a default isn't the solution. Too often the ranger felt like a weird choice for adventures, as the ranger's flavor is at odds with the narrative, which is especially clear during urban campaigns. And while the same is true for the druid, I found it at least easier to incorporate that conflict of interest into campaigns, as druids are more idialistic about nature and nature is more integrated into their design.

This leaves the question what other specialties should the ranger have beside multi-attacking effectively and I would like to see them pushed into the direction of a scout of some sorts. Give the ranger more skills and abilities to gather information about the environment and their target, to set up ambushes and traps, which also would require making traps more interesting and effective. So a more militaristic and tactical, but less opportunistic rogue of sorts would be fine for me.


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tivadar27 wrote:

1. I've yet to hear them talk about survey quality (which is a separate thing from talking about survey results).

2. They've mentioned initial formatting being a problem, but to my knowledge haven't indicated what they plan to do about it outside of general "make it better".
3. There's been no talk of deadline and how on/off track they think they are with respect to it.
4. I can't attest to dev responses on the boards more recently, as I've been away. I will say the *only* response this thread got was one from Jason when it was essentially clickbait because I used the wrong words...

1. They are game designers, so I'm not even sure that they've designed the surveys themselves. They could have outsourced that part, because talking about survey quality is difficult as a layman and overall I don't think they want to discuss those topics, because it don't see any benefit for the game designers going into detail about survey design.

2. That's probably all they can do about it at the moment. I highly doubt that we will hear any further about that topic until we get closer to the actual release, because I'm quite sure Paizo won't release a revamped Playtest. They acknowledged the problem and will try to fix it with the release of PF2, so I don't know what else you expect here.

3. Why would Paizo discuss or reveal deadlines to their customers? That's rather ridiculous. That's stuff we don't need to worry about as playtesters. Do we need to know by what date the final draft needs to be at the printer, etc? I wouldn't say so.

4. If you think the topic is important than just open a new dedicated thread for archery, in this case. I honestly didn't find that discussion all that enlightening, but if someone feels differently about it, than feel free to address it. But I'm quite certain that that topic has been broached a couple of times.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Say you take a level 15 Fighter and swap out his normal weapon and armor with +1 versions, does this character have a hope of meaningfully contributing, do they become a liability to the party?

I'd say a fighter could still contribute, but the damage loss would be rather considerable.

Keep in mind this, you can apply this sentence to the Playtest and to 1st edition Pathfinder. In the first case it's the loss of the additional dice that hurts, in the second case it's the fact that pretty much every single Damage Reduction would apply to your attacks.

I actually think the Playtest Fighter wins out in this scenario, because at least they could switch to another tactic depending on the situation, like soaking up some damage or trying some combat manoeuver, because at least they won't be punished with AoOs for trying.


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Leafar Cathal wrote:
While it was easy enough at the beginning, the high-level play almost drove me insane with so many stuff to keep track on. I was GMing for 5 experienced players, so there was so many ways to break narrative that most of my job was to work around the adventure path to keep it interesting while nerfing/baning some stuff. For each 4 hour session, I had to spend 6~8 hours preparing myself while praying they wouldn't teleport somewhere I haven't read and familiarized before. Eventually, the challenges offered by the books were just trivial for them. That's how I learned that CR is most of the time broken at high levels. I could see an APL 13 group trivialize a CR17 encounter. The rocket tag effect was just unappealing.

Oh man, I feel you on that one. Even though I was running APs, I would still have to invest quite alot of time in preparing the adventures. I was often only feeling comfortable when I had prepared an hour for every hour we would be playing and at this point I just don't have that amount of time anymore. I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only in that boat.

I had the same experience with high-level encounters, which the balancing often seems impossible to get right, because either the fight ends in the most anticlimatic way possible, with the worst case being the BBEG literally dying within 1 round (yes, this actually happened twice when I was running APs), or the fights becoming immensely tedious, because I had to overbuff the BBEG up to a point where a single fight would last more than an hour.

I understand that many players here are soured by the fact that some of their favourite shiny toys are being taken away or being nerfed, which many seem to attribute to a need for balance, but I'm not sure that that's actually the case. Rather I think many of these changes are more aimed toward making the game more managable from a GMs perspective, because the original Pathfinder is a pain in the butt to run, which is why fewer and fewer people are getting into the game. I have never had a problem finding players, even for the most obscure of games, but if no one is willing to GM a system, than that system has a bleak outlook.

Obviously PF1 wasn't perfect (which as many pointed out, wasn't the point they were making), but to those calling for an updated Pathfinder, instead of an overhauled Pathfinder, I'd have to ask the question: Let's say Pathfinder gets a bunch of the Unchained modifications and some popular stuff, like removing the tax feats, how would that solve any of the high-level encounter and balancing problems, because those are in my opinion inherently part of the 3.X chassis. Also, what options are there to make an updated version anymore pleasant to run for GMs?


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Mathmuse wrote:

When I ran Rise of the Runelords (3.5 version adapted to Pathfinder rules), after the party gained control of the ancient library of the Therassic wizard monks in Fortress of the Stone Giants, I told the wizard that he had gained access to all the spells in the Core Rulebook but not the more modern spells in the Advanced Player's Guide. He still had to study them and scribe them into his own spellbook, but the library contained a collection of ancient spellbooks.

I gave access, because that wizard's prior sources of new spells were the spellbooks of the necromancers the party defeated. Those were biased toward evil spells and I did not want the wizard switching over to evil spells simply because those were the only high-level spells he had access to.

As the Playtest Rulebook spells out, rarity is a matter of access. The PCs gain access by earning it. Because they earned it, it would be unfair for the GM to deny it. The Rise of the Runelords PCs will have access to the ancient spells.

I don't see your example here standing in conflict with what I described. Granting the players these uncommon and rare spells from the Runelords, after having defeated them is not problematic to me, but where would the PCs have gotten them before that?


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Rob Godfrey wrote:
By being a new edition in the same setting ,that setting still has to work, and right now it doesn't. The Rune Lords for instance (without massive fiat) would be a complete joke, and if you do use fiat you state clearly that PCs are deliberately made to suck, which is how the you are terrible at everything maths feels tbh, like a punishment for playing.

Runelords could and should have access to a bunch of uncommon and rare spells and rituals, which the PCs wouldn't have access to. I think that falls perfectly in line with the setting and the narrative that they are enormously powerful and ancient wizards and casters, which have cast through long forgotten Rune Magic.

If you consider that a massive fiat, than I think we should agree to disagree on the topic, but I don't see that scenario as a problem.


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Skyth wrote:
The biggest issue is that PF2 is not being marketed as an entirely different game. It's being marketed as a replacement for PF1. Thus it is understandable that people are upset that they can't still do the same thing. It feels like something got taken away from them.

So far I haven't seen PF2 being marketed as anything, as it doesn't exist yet. The Playtest hasn't been marketed all that much either in my opinion (understandably), but from the interviews I have watched and read I felt that the devs rather clearly announced it as a new edition, instead of the "next step", so maybe you are projecting your expectations onto the sparse marketing?


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Tezmick wrote:
I’m not sure if this is aimed at me but the fact is certain topics and what some players consider to be problems have been addressed while others haven’t, I do all the surveys and want to believe it’s going to help, but there are others who are wondering why some issues have been publicly addressed while others have not, I don’t want to hover I was merely saying why I think some people are unhappy no need to get prickly

I think the most obvious answer to why some topics get more attention than others is that some topics are widely considered to be problematic (like resonance), while others might only be problematic to some (like spells seem to be for some hardcore PF1 acolytes).

If you only form your opinion on what is considered to be consensus about the Playtest by reading the boards, than you might think the system is terrible, but from my experience outside these boards, people have been rather content with the Playtest. We obviously don't have the data like Paizo does, but the boards might consider some topics as problematic that rest of the players doesn't. In my groups, no one has complained about spells being to weak, at least yet.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

I disagree. It's a lot easier to build from the ground up, knowing where everything is coming from. It takes an extra 5 or 10 minutes, but it's definitely worth it, and it's a lot more satisfying.

Maybe they could release both monster design systems so that people can use the one they like.

5 to 10 minutes extra from what? If we assume PF2 will get a system similar to the one from Starfinder, than I could build monsters and encounters with 15 to 20 minutes, pretty much for any level. If you can do the same for Pathfinder within 30 minutes, than that's truly impressive, especially once you reach the higher levels, but I'd be willing to bet that you are within a minority who are able to do so.

So I'd say to most people it's easier to have a simplified quick-build system, even if you might be able to create encounters on the fly in Pathfinder.


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magnuskn wrote:
Then you realize that the entire campaign is advancing at a snails pace because you only get one or two combats done each session. And then you start being happy for fast-paced combat.

I find this to be a perfectly acceptable amount of combats for a 3 to 4 hour session, but I might be in a minority on this. I have to say after not having run or played PF for a year, it was quite the change of pace going back to multiple encounters in a row.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
I don't understand the bullet sponge argument personally. I like longer combats. I felt one of the weaker parts of the 1st edition system is that if you have a boss character take on players there's a very high likelihood that the boss character would get owned in 1 round.

Because too often longer fights in RPGs aren't well designed or are harder to manage, so they become stale and boring. I agree with you that having a 2-round bossfight is very much anti-climatic, but the same goes for fights that last 6 to 8 rounds where every faction of the fight does the same thing over and over.

It's one of the problems that high-level 5e combat has, because even though you hit the boss all the time, the fight doesn't become more interesting just because it lasts longer. To achieve that you'd have to integrate more moving parts and additional challenges to the combat, instead of just whacking at the BBEG.


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dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I find this critique of the playtest befuddling, because in my experience many combats have become much more dynamic than in PF1, which can often be boiled down to: Full-Attacks once all the pieces are in place.


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Lyee wrote:
I think so, yes, especially after today's heritage update if they get it right.

Will we even get a update today, considering offices are closed?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yeah, 3rd Ed was a great game, until the inevitable M:tG attitude became fully embraced (characters are decks, neat!). This game died, in many ways, about 20-years ago, the attitude/approach, started to suck.

Could you elaborate on that part, because I don't understand on what you mean or are trying to convey here.


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Rysky wrote:

I'm pretty sure this was it, a problem of perception, people didn't like the tier of "Untrained" not being a negative/too close in + to "Trained".

I'm curious if the name was Beginner/Novice instead would the same perceived issue exist?

Yeah, I don't think there is a right or wrong here, but rather preferences.

For what it's worth, the newcomer to Pathfinder in my Playtest didn't bat an eye to untrained being represented as a malus, so I guess we might be overthinking this one.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
It reduces complexity since sometimes you won’t add anything - sometimes skipping a step is inherently simpler (provides its easy to remember when). I think it’s conceptually neater - you start at nought and add an amount based on the training you’ve received.

You skip a step during character creation in exchange for higher numbers, which can create unease for some people and potentially slow down pace. I don't see many benefits in that and the little "reduction of complexity" you might achieve doesn't overturn the potential downsides in my opinion. Keep in mind, I don't mind having bigger numbers in the game, but I do know people who do, so I would appreciate if the game doesn't inflate them even further (Challenges would range into the 50s around level , if I'm not mistaken).


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Steve Geddes wrote:

Why not start untrained at +0 and scale everything else upwards accordingly? It seems to me untrained should be “default” which should equate to unmodified.

There must be a good reason, since it adds unnecessary complexity. I can’t understand it though. Any easy answers?

Scaling everything upwards doesn't reduce complexity though, it just inflates the numbers even further, which is a common complaint about P(M)athfinder, especially during higher levels. Also, I think it fits narratively rather nicely that untrained means feels negative, just as name suggests.


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The Archive wrote:
Late reply, but generally the instances I was thinking of apply to NPC magic-use in APs. Though, in addition to that, the change in capabilities, whether magic-based or class-based or skill-based, would definitely cause translation issues. And, of course, there's the toted example of "why should I be scared of Karzoug now?" But, beyond that:

Thank you for providing a couple of examples, sadly I haven't played or run any of these, so I'll have to answer based only on the information that you've given.

Honestly I don't see any, or at worst only minor, problems with these examples, because I (and I'd also say my players) have always accepted that the game, especially magic, isn't always symmetrical. With that I mean that the NPCs, monsters and enemies, and by an extend the GM, has tools at their disposal that the PCs and the players don't get.

Why be scared of Karozug? Because he is a milenia old wizard, who uses a school of magic that has been long lost and mostly forgotten. With his Rune Magic he could have Rituals and rare spells that not many people have access to and I like that the new rarity system of spells actually reflects that narrative better than ever before. It doesn't necessarily mean players don't have access to those tools, they just have to work hard for those to get them. It also means there is now room for campaign specific spells, which I'm kinda excited about, because why would everyyone around Golarion have the same magic and why would it manifest everywhere in the same way? It doesn't and shouldn't, that's why we got Rune Magic and Occult Magic from PF1. You could also introduce new flavours of Magic to make a region feel more exotic, like Tian Xia for example.

The dragon example is another one where I'd say narrative trumps the rules for me: Why wouldn't a hundreds (I don't know the actual age of dragon) of years old dragon have more potent abilities and spells, than a regular wizard? This still feels consistent and coherent and thus doesn't break the verisimilitude of the setting, nor of magic in general.

But I can see that people can have a problem with these scenarios, if the value the rules and RAW much stronger than me, but I mostly prefer if the GM has some wiggle room for the narrative's and story's sake. That's why I also enjoy that the Playtest puts more decisions straight up in the hands of the GM, because a system can hardly micro-manage people through the rules, so it has to put some trust in the person running it.


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pogie wrote:

Their boards, their rules, fine. But it seems disingenuous to put out a play test, which many have paid for, ask for input and then actively shut down some of the discourse on the product you claim to want feedback on.

I think it would be great if board users could decide what topics are worthwhile of discussion and not have an active topic closed because of reasons.

I'd generally agree with this statement, but most of these threads are just repeating talking points that have been made dozens, if not more, times and than ending in circular arguments. Just look at the last couple of posts about AoOs in the 4e thread, which is neither helpful nor productive, so I don't mind shutting that kind of "discussion" down.


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
AoOs made Fighters tanks? How? How was a Fighter, or anybody thanks to AoO, able to stop enemies from moving away or force them to attack the AoO-er instead of squishies in the second line?
Aoo is a danger that deters enemy from leaving threatened area
The psychological impact of potential AoO is a detriment to 3rd Ed/PF1 play, I find.
I have only ever found it beneficial and interesting.
Right on, how have they been beneficial and interesting, in your experience?
Entails interesting tactical choice related to positioning
Yes, but interesting how, what its so interesting that is occurring? Taking 5-steps to gain flanking and counting squares to avoid AoO never seems very interesting and dynamic to me. Seems to stifle movement.
A tactical choice is not required to be dynamic in order to be tactically interesting

You still haven't provided any response to how AoOs make combat tactically more interesting...


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Azmodael wrote:
1. Reduction of choice

With the latest update, you can multiclass into any other class (I'd say some of these multiclasses need some reworks, like Ranger and Barbarian) and I'd say the playtest offers overall many more choices than 4ed or PF1 Core.

Azmodael wrote:
2. Class role homogenization

I don't understand what you are trying to say here. First you complain that classes get locked into niches and then you call it "homogenization". Those two statements seem to be diametrically opposed in my opinion. Also since when are AoOs essential or necessary for tanking? I'd say using the Paladin as an example would have supported your claim much better.

Azmodael wrote:
3. Over-reliance on magical gear

I don't think I have ever played a system more reliant on magic items than PF1, where you NEED your +X to saving throws to keep pace with DCs, +Y to weapons to get through reductions and +Z to attributes to boost your main stats, so calling that out in 4e feels kinda ironic.

Azmodael wrote:

4. Reduction of availability, scope and power of status effects

5. Reduction of power for utility spells

I'll address those together, but before you again make contradicting claims when you say "reduction of availability" and then complain about martials now being able to inflict these effects.

I'm truly baffled by those two points though, because they are being brought up all the time, so this is more of a question to the people who feel this way: Up until the Playtest dropped people were complaining that the martial/caster disparity was too wide, especially during higher levels. The Playtest obviously tries to address that disparity, but apperantly not to satisfying degree for some people. So how would you guys like a revamped casting system to look like?

Azmodael wrote:
6. No backward compatibility

I think the Playtest lets you play quite many character concepts and designs from the previous edition and even a couple that I wouldn't have fought of previously, but I guess some people on the boards have a different perception on that.

Azmodael wrote:
7. Sluggish combat

We are in playtesting and while I agree with you on this point, there is still enough time for Paizo to work on the math, so I'm fairly optimistic that some of the math gets some fine-tuning until the release.


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Richard Crawford wrote:
If they're not of the same general power level, they shouldn't be called the same thing.

Going by that logic Power Attack and all the other staple feats from PF1 should have been in a different category from feats like Monkey Lunge and Dodge (or whatever other crappy feat you can think of).


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The Archive wrote:
In the blog post thread, I mentioned that I didn't think most of the games I had played of PF1 wouldn't be translatable to PF2. I even went so far as to suggest that PF1 APs will not translate. Which, to at least some extent is hyperbole, but I do stand by it.

Could you maybe provide an example of that? Because the only things that I can think of that I would need to run those APs are the subsystems for the different APs, but those were obviously often released in tandem with the AP itself.

The Archive wrote:
But, really what I don't get is this dismissal of "I can't play my PF1 character in PF2" in regards to the second design goal. I mean, sure, no, you're not going to be able to play the exact same character. But, is it not a problem that a close-enough version of core archetypes isn't available? Or that the version you get just isn't as good? Or heck, just can't be made thanks to combat styles being class locked?

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Saying I can't play X, Y or Z and then choosing examples that have been released at best 2 or 3 years ago feels not only disingenuous, but also misses the point that the systems wants you to allow to tell a wide range of stories and narratives, instead of focusing on the number of builds (which there are still quite a few in my opinion).


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Ssalarn wrote:
This has very consistently been my experience. New players or casual gamers who had previously dropped Pathfinder because of its density and complexity have been greatly enjoying the new system, while some of the more experienced players and those who have been using the PF1 framework since D&D 3E can get frustrated by the changes.

I've had a very similar experience with my newcomers, but I (8 years of Pathfinder-Gming experience, but little playing experience) and the veteran players (all with several years of experience, but all of us have moved away from the system for different reasons) felt pretty much the same way as the newcomers. Our group felt that buidling characters and getting into the game is much easier and more straight forward than in PF1, which is a huge upside to me, because I could invite people as guest players into a PF2 game without them feeling overwhelmed or alienated.

Ssalarn wrote:
I've noticed that how people conceptualize their characters can greatly affect build time as well; if the character concept is "I want to play a elven hunter who was outcast from her people and now wanders the world making her living as a hired soldier" players seem to be able to put their characters together very quickly and intuitively. If the concept is "I want to deal the absolute maximum amount of combat damage possible while swinging a giant hammer" it can take quite a bit longer. I suspect that if you build from broad character concept following the same flow as the book (Ancestry, Background, Class, Details) it goes a lot quicker, while if you're used to a fairly common style of character building in PF1 where you pick a cool feat or mechanic and then try to form a character around optimizing that mechanic, it will take a lot longer due to how everything is laid out.

I agree with your assessement here. I was invited to play in a PF1 campaign recently and it's the first in a year or so that I have touched PF1, after having sworn of off it as a GM. I decided on a concept that would fit the theme and the campaign, but then you have dozens of different routes you could take and this lead me to having spent more time on building a level 3 PF1 character, than building a level 13 PF2 character. So it seems to me that it is much easier to build a character for PF2, if you have a narrative and story in mind, which more and more players in the hobby are wanting to focus on, I'd say, instead on focusing on stuff like system mastery, which might be more appealing to the people who are still playing PF1.

Ssalarn wrote:
The playtest overall has led to a significant net gain in people playing Pathfinder in my area but I can't speak to what it might look like on a broader international scale.

I think this is one of the implict goals: Making PF2 more accessible to a wider audience. It seems like this goal might split the "hardcore" base of fans though, because I get the impression that some people would just want a new Pathfinder version that is what PF1 was to 3.5.


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Gorbacz wrote:

A lot of things look "fun" on paper but aren't that "fun" in practice.

Take the classic 3.5/PF situation, where I have +15 to a skill with my Slayer, which makes me feel that the math is fun because double digits and I hit high numbers and I got rewarded for being specialised. And I'm better than the Cleric, because with her crap skill point count and ACP and whatanot she's at +5 to that skill.

BUT

it also means that the GM has a very hard time making a challenge for a group when one person is at +15 and the other are at +5. Such challenge is either impossible for them or trivial for me. If it's trivial, well, where's the challenge, if it's impossible - woe be to the party if I don't turn up for the game, or if my PC gets kidnapped by the bad guys, or if for any other reason my super-specialised ability is unavilable. Bummer.

I think this is an aspect that gets overlooked or at least not talked about enough: The math also needs to be fun for the GM. The PF1 math-discrepancy has led to quite a lot of frustration on my end as a GM and has made the game not fun on my end, especially since quite a few unexperienced players have joined our group over the years. I know quite a few GMs who had similar problems and it made designing encounters quite difficult and tedious, which led to no one running any Pathfinder games anymore in my area, even though the hobby has grown quite a bit over the last couple of years.

Gorbacz wrote:

With PF2 math, most common challenges (eg. sneaking among sleepy orcs, climbing a cliff, swimming upstream) can be attempted by the entire party, not just by one or two super-specialised PCs. Does that take away some fun out of hyperspecialisation? Sure it does. But on the other hand, it allows more challenges where the entire party can succeed, leaving them less dependant on hyper-specialist, discourages gamey character advancement ("OK we need everybody to max Perception and now we need to split Knowledges, Sense Motive, Stealth, Diplomacy etc. among us so that we have everything maxed out) and leads to fewer situations where the party is split because only the specialist stands a chance, while others are a dead weight or worse, a liability.

And woe be to a PF1 party that has turbo-optimizers mixed with people who don't powergame at all. The discrepancies in math between those quickly reach the levels where frustration arises as the former feel dragged down by the latter while the latter feel pressurised to keep up with the former.

Lowering the floor does take some empowerment out of the game, but it does that for the sake of being more a collective experience and less an evening of vignettes on how one specialist handles the situation while everybody else gets to sit and watch.

While I think the math needs some tweaking, in favour of the specialists and maybe even PCs in general, I still find the math to be much more fun as a GM, but it seems like most people on here only, or mostly, consider the player's point of view. I think that's a serious mistake or shortcoming of the discourse on the boards here, because without any GMs to run any games and campaigns there won't be any people playing.

I hope Paizo finds a happy middleground to satisfy both players and GMs, but in my experience so far I have been very happy with the tighter math that Paizo has chosen to go with. Also, I think that some players will have to accept that with the current math auto-success or even 80 to 90% success rates are gone, and I appreciate that fact.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
And I see a bunch of people say stuff like "I guess they'll never have 10 minutes to rest"...
I'm gonna take a controversial stance here: GMs who can only challenge the party by denying them healing are bad GMs.

Agreed and they could have done the same in PF1 and disrupt every Cure Light Wounds-wanding session, which at higher levels also took a considerable amount of time.


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WatersLethe wrote:

What about cashing in excess actions for more reactions? Currently the only way to be more "reactive" is to ready an action which uses 2 actions on your turn.

What if there was an opportunity to forgo one action to get a second reaction?

That shouldn't slow down play much, but would allow characters who spent resources on getting a lot of reactions to better use them.

While, yes it probably wouldn't slow down combat too much, I still think this is a bad idea, because I could see, for example Paladins, only attacking once and then using reactions thrice, because the additional attack penalties don't apply.


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My first worry wouldn't be balancing, because that doesn't sound too powerful to me, but rather pacing during combats. One of the biggest strengths of the playtest, to me, so far has been that combat moves much quicker along than in PF1. I think giving out multiple reactions could throw a monkey wrench into that pacing, by adding too many options for some classes.

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