HidaOWin's page

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Lantern Lodge

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One of the characters mentioned having an item that gave +1 to diplomacy, nice to see them still there.

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It makes sense, if you got Master through multiclassing easily you'd likely have nearly the same attack as a Fighter as a Wizard with the Fighter Multiclass for the majority of the campaign.

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<Attack> Proficiency is a top tier feature in PF2, I think they will avoid it being a class feat and instead be a class feature mostly. Multiclass feats will probably get you limited slower access to it, but through specific feats instead. The design intention seems to be feats give you options in combat, not increasing numeric bonuses. This is good as it means a GM could if they wished, hand out a feat as a reward and the game won't break through escalation of numbers.

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When the Ranger used Assurance he seemed to be treated as if he rolled a 10, but only got to add level and training as as a 7th level character he got 23, 10 + 7 + 4 for expert? + maybe something else?

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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Champions already can do it. This was exactly what happened in the Oblivion Oath episode. Karinna did some stuff with dead bodies, focus point back. Boom. Also, how is this a slippery slope? Clerics and Champions get their focus back because these specific activities are synonymous with praying and their powers come from a god. All that is flavor justification, but the real reason they can regain focus this way is because the rules say so. If the rules don't say the wizard can multi-task when they refocus, then the wizard can't multi-task.

If you want to ask why the rules shouldn't let the wizard get it back that way, then you can refer back to wizards having to study their spellbook to get magic, rather than show devotion to a god.

Druids are a weird edge case because "getting magic from nature" has never felt nearly as well defined. But I'd hazard a guess that if druids DO get this, it will be order specific. So a druid of the animal order might refocus while tending to or playing with their animal companion. The leaf order might be able to refocus by gathering herbs. And a druid of the wild order would refocus by being a ruff boi. None of them can just do "nature stuff" and call it a day.

Well, first i’ll point out that i mentioned the discussion can devolve if the mechanic isn’t understood in its full context; this is kinda proving that.

All i was pointing out was the slippery slope of combining actions during 10 min rests. A Champion or a Cleric refocusing via prayer; cool. A Wizard refocusing by reading his book or something; cool. A Cleric refocusing while using treat wounds or a Wizard refocusing while identifying recently obtained magical loot; kinda cheesing.

Interestingly enough, you even quoted all of the comments that lead to this as well so i’m Not sure where the hang up is. Fluff wise refocus can be done any way the player imagines; combining refocus with another task is cheesy slip and slide. Until we have the full restrictions on how...

Life is full of kinda cheesing things.

"You need to take two trips in your car today, one to pick up milk, one to meet your brother at the bus stop"

"Cool, I'll grab the milk at the shop beside the bus stop and just make one trip"

"I feel you are kinda cheesing things by doing that..."

If its expressly within the purview of both things, I think little synergies are fine and make players feel smart for thinking of them.

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Gentlemen and ladies, it’s been an honour.

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Jason will never crack, but what about his co-workers? Anyone there look like a squealer?

Jason wrote out the cards on his own and I think printed and cut them on his own, but who helped Jason collate and distribute the cards?

Were there any cards left over?

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Also, they will innately spend more time explaining the changes they made, rather than the changes they didn’t make.
They might mention in passing why they kept levels or d20s. But they are unlikely to explain why they didn’t make it a solo game, or kept character sheets or the concept of combat. Some questions might occur to people but probably don’t get asked enough to be worth explaining everything.

Again, check their streams and interviews, many of the Paizocon panels deliver some insights.

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Was just looking at Grapple in the PF2 Playtest book. Making a target up to two sizes larger than you flat footed and immobile isn't a bad deal, but I was wondering.
A classic visual in fantasy is the warrior or rogue climbing up a huge adversary to deliver a blow to a vulnerable spot or hang on while the beast takes the skies. I've also had many a player ask how can they do it when taking on a flying adversary or something really large and I can usually fudge something but it'd be nice to have something official to do it with.

But how about if instead of grappling the monster to immobilise it, you could grapple on to the monster to hang on to it.

So a skill feat like this would be appreciated

Involuntary Mount
Skill Feat 4
Prerequisite: One Handed Climber
You gain access to the following action
Scale Foe <Attack> <1 action>
Requirements You must have one hand free. Your target must be at least two sizes larger than you.
You attempt to scale your foe. Scaling requires you to roll an Athletics check against the opponents Reflex DC. This is considered a Grapple.
Success: Your opponent is flat footed until the end of your next turn unless you move or your opponent Escapes using Acrobatics or Breaks the Grapple with Athletics. While your foe is scaled when they move you move along with them ignoring restrictions.
Critical Success: Your next attack this turn ignores the MAP.
Failure: You fail to scale your opponent. If you were already scaling your opponent you fall off ending the scale.
Critical Failure: As above and your opponent can grab you as if they succeeded at a Grapple action or make you fall prone.

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Dekalinder wrote:

No multiclass gives armor proficiency aside from champion. No multiclass gives weapon proficiency aside from fighter. No multiclass at all gives higher proficiency than what you get in your primary class.

Means, multiclassing fighter does not makes you any better at hitting that what your primary class allows.

I came out from hiding just to say that a multiclass system that doesn't allow you to trade spell proficiency for more weapon proficiency or weapon proficiency for armor proficiency is not an actual multiclass system for me.

Yes multiclassing is a very dear argument for me.

I'll go back to my cave now, bye.

a) As you first acknowledged and then oddly ignored, you do get an improvement in proficiency from the 12th level Fighter multiclass feat.

b) It's not inconceivable that there are class feats to improve proficiency that you can take with multiclass dedications.
c) If you want to be a Wizard that gives up significant amounts of casting to be more like a Fighter, I'd suggest instead being a Fighter and multiclass as a Wizard.
d) You are undervaluing weapon and armour proficiency as a class feature. These aren't small bonuses, they are the largest and most applicable bonuses in the game for their respective class and incredibly important. Legendary proficiency in your gear of choice is probably equivalent to 9th level spells in power during play, hell we aren't even sure if all classes get legendary proficiency in a single relevant weapon, Monks might top out in Master in unarmed.

We will have a fuller picture when the game is actually out. ATM we are missing some key pieces of information.

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DataLoreRPG wrote:

Dunno, dont think an rpg should all but require cards to keep stuff straight. 5E did a great job with conditions. They are few, meaningful and easy to manage. Other medium crunch d20 games (Shadow of the Demon Lord, 13th Age, etc) also succeed here.

It may simply be that PF2 just isnt for me and thats ok. No game is for everyone. But, I really hope that the end product is less finnicky than the playtest since I like the rest of the system and think Paizo APs are top notch. By lessening the number of conditions and simplifying how to adjudicate them in play, more players like myself would buy in.

I just cant see myself playing a game with timers going on multiple pcs and npcs, where im busilly tracking what stage of what effect each combatant is in and how that confers what level of what condition at what point for how many rounds. Determining whether or not x effect stacks with y effect, etc. That just sounds like work to me and its not work I want to do.

I understand your point, but you could also argue “why should I need a character sheet to track all my characters stats, can’t it just be simple enough that I can remember everything, just 1 or 2 numbers?”

Similarly we could argue about the necessity of dice, maps or pencils to playing a game. Ultimately games should make use of the props that make the game work as well as possible and you should play the games that suit your preferences.

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Once we see the revised condition list for PF2, I'm sure we'll have a set of condition cards in no time which will summarise all that information for any player.

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1) Let anyone pick whatever class they want. Then if they pick Sorcerer let them take any dedication feat they want, if they pick another class they get Sorcerer dedication feats for free. This way you get a wide range of build diversity at the table but you also hang on to your games theme.
2)Let them pick whatever bloodline they like, you don't want everyone stuck with the same bloodline spells.

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One very cool thing about this system is you can run a pseudo gestalt home game by going “Everyone gets a bonus dedication feat every second level”

I think the main thing casters lose out on when multiclassing into martial will be the bonus accuracy and damage that a primary martial get with higher proficiencies. Given the new crit system I think accuracy cannot be underestimated in this edition.

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I have screenshots of most of the stat block of the Young White Dragon that might be Level 5 monster.

We have all the level 10 Adult and level 15 Ancient White Dragons.

Young White: AC 23, HP 115 Bite and Claw are both at +17

Adult (10): AC 29, HP 215 Bite and Claw are both at +23

Ancient (15): AC 36, HP 330 Bite and Claw are both at +31

Lots of interesting action use and attack options in the stat block.

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Thrash looks great as your third action attack on a turn once you've got your opponent in headlock, you've got a poor chance of hitting with that third punch but your deathlock noogie should do some damage.

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In the Treerazor statblock they have his Blackaxe which is a +4 greater corrosive major striking great axe that grants a +4 item bonus to attack rolls, deals an extra 2d6 damage to plants and has the properties of adamantine.

That implies the +4 item bonus is not directly linked to the +4 part of the weapon.

In his stat block
Melee: Blackaxe +47 (acid, chaotic, evil, magical, reach 15 feet, sweep)
Damage: 4d12 + 15 slashing plus 1d6 acid, 1d6 chaotic and 1d6 evil and 2d6 slashing vs plants.
Melee: Jaws +45 (agile, chaotic, evil, magical, reach 15 feet)
Damage: 4d10 + 18 slashing + 2d6 chaotic and 2d6 evil.

It’s the best other information we have.

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The Future of Pathfinder Panel:

Everyone volunteered some spoilers

First World Guide: Has a bunch of backrgorunds and archetypes. One of those archetypes is the Hellknight Arminger. It’s an archetype that lets you enter another Hellknights Archetype before you get the dedication. Has an access entry, if you satisfy the clause it becomes common rather than the default uncommon. Anyone in the old Cheliax region is entitled to take the archetype at second level.

Fall of Plaguestone: First stand along adventure. Is about how your group came together. You start in a wagon with a half deaf one eared elf named Cookie, heading to Plaguestone, a rural village known for its turnips. Can become a turnip cop. Adventure will get you access to rewards you can’t get otherwise. Have to play the adventure to get the reward, this ties into the rarity system.

In the games mastering chapter, has content about creating a safe welcoming game for everyone. Simple social contract advise for base Pathfinder like no torture, have adult conversation about boundaries.

Bestiary: Axiomites are a type of Aeon.

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I know some people have noticed the smaller physiques in Pathfinder 2, but the Pathfinder Society brought in mandatory testing for a reason and if physiques are smaller now that pretty much paints a clear picture of what was going on behind the scenes with potions of Bulls Strength.

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QuidEst wrote:

I don’t think “crit on AC+9” is good for the game. It’s appreciably slower to check that. Not that it’s long, but hearing “I got a 25” now requires knowing if that’s from the dude with the war razor or not and adjusting crit-AC accordingly.

In general, weapon properties should only require work from the person using them. Have a different MAP from agile? You can write that down in your attack listing. Crit on AC+9? That puts work on the person hit since they’re the one checking against their AC.

I understand the argument but I can’t think of another way to do a weapon that delivers critical hits more often, crits on a roll of a 19 are probably mostly irrelevant but for secondary attacks and +1 to hit is overpowered. 9 higher than AC is also fairly similar math to 10 higher.

I do wonder if ACs should be public knowledge at the table, so when you are putting out your props you have a label for AC. I do wonder if it cuts down on some of the more pointless GM-Player back and forths.

“32 to hit!”
“Nope.”
“Wait you have +2 to hit from Bard Song”
“34 to hit!”
“Still a miss”
“Wait, +2 from the flank!”
“Sigh...thats a hit”

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Sajan has lost a lot of muscle mass, probably from becoming a dex based monk rather than a strength based one.
His hips are now identical girth to his upper chest which indicates he's a lot leaner even covered up. Traps looking much smaller as well, guess PFS put in mandatory drug testing.

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HidaOWin wrote:

War Razor

Uncommon simple melee weapon
1d4 S
Agile, finesse, deadly d8, dangerous

New quality: Dangerous: attacks with this weapon deliver a critical hit when it exceeds the targets AC by 9.

Hmm maybe strip out Agile and I think that ends up about right. Makes it a better weapon for a single accurate attack. I like the design space of some weapons really amping up on a crit, but being inferior on multiple attacks, particularly in the dagger space where they struggle to find uses despite being iconic.

War Razor
Uncommon simple melee weapon
1d4 S
Finesse, deadly d8, dangerous

New quality: Dangerous: attacks with this weapon deliver a critical hit when it exceeds the targets AC by 9.

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War Razor
Uncommon simple melee weapon
1d4 S
Agile, finesse, deadly d8, dangerous

New quality: Dangerous: attacks with this weapon deliver a critical hit when it exceeds the targets AC by 9.

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I think a good Pathfinder 2 stream is a demanding setup from just a rig point of view. You want cameras on faces, camera/screen on a battlemat where its clear where characters are, you want some way to indicate conditions (possibly just condition cards, but something fancier would be nice)

It needs a fair amount of pre and post production. You want to bring across the tactical nature of the combat, without the whole thing dragging down, people not agonizing over decisions on their three actions in combat, just firing them off with perhaps a brief explanation of why they are doing it.

Pop up text on the screen of class abilities, spells and conditions would also be good.

That's all tough to organise

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dirtypool wrote:


Then what was the point about pushing up your glasses and making sure we all knew that the success of 5E wasn't about it's design but about the fact that it appealed to a different type of player who watches games get played but doesn't play them?

Because I don't like 5Es design and I think attributing its success to its design rather than it reaching a new market through streaming is incorrect. I don't judge people for watching games being played, consume whatever media you want. 5E was better suited to being watched than a more tactical game so I thought that was the reason the streamers switched to it. Hearthstone put in a lot of LOLRandom cards because they streamed better and Battle Royale games do great as they also stream well.

Quote:
Then again what was the point of wading into this conversation which, ostensibly, was about the current playtest iteration's low barrier to entry compared with 5E's low barrier to entry with a dash of sales talk thrown in? No one was arguing that the PF2 should throw the baby out with the bathwater and become a 5E clone. You invented that notion whole cloth.

Because when you are discussing how great 5E is doing, the implication is PF2 should be more like 5E. People arguing for squashing the math to be more like 5E is a similar argument and the root of it is the concept that 5Es dominance is due to its superior design to all other RPGs which I think is bunk. I think it was the right game at the right moment, which is not lightning I'd try to recapture.

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I enjoyed the Monk a lot in the playtest.
I actually try to play a Monk at least once in every iteration of D&D/Pathfinder and this was the first Monk that operated and felt unique from core content which I was really pleased by.
The highly mobile hard hitter concept was actually realised in the new three action economy and it felt good.
I also multiclassed rogue and it was handy, though my hopes are for some more tempting Class and Skill feats in the full second edition.

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dirtypool wrote:

I never said you hated the newbies, just that your language choices continually strive to make a clear distinction that THEY are separate from US.

I will be even clearer then. I don't consider the origin of RPG players relevant whatsoever. People can play whatever they want with whoever they want. I've never implied I have a problem with any type of RPG player because I don't.

Quote:


That's kind of funny since your argument has largely been that Pathfinder should avoid the pitfalls of hewing too far away from it's current state.

I'm a big fan of the current direction of the playtest and moving away from many of the current issues with Pathfinder. I literally just do not want the game to try and emulate 5Es decisions as I feel that's moving in the wrong direction.

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Gorbacz wrote:

> be a fan of D&D/Pathfinder, the most conservative RPG game design in existence which, in 2019, continues to ignore 90% of advancements in RPG design that came in since 1978
> talk about advancing and improving design

Choose one.

I enjoy aspects of Pathfinder 1e's design even if its not my favourite RPG, which is why I was such a fan of the bold steps taken in the Playtest, a genuine effort is being made to balance and improve the game. I think that should be encouraged and a retreat back towards 5E is not how I'd go.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Obvious how to do it. Not nearly so obvious what the consequences are and how the balance changes.

It should be pretty safe to do this though, since everything with a proficiency modifier is opposed by something else with one (Attack vs. AC, Skill v. Skill DC, Spell DC vs. Saves, etc.).

So the only thing that will happen with slower progression is "a wider range of levels are appropriate threats" whereas with faster progression you would have a narrower range.

Like you could add 100,000,000xLevel and it would be fine provided you only fight antagonists of your own level (anything higher would kill you instantly, and anything lower would be no threat.)

Faster progression also gives you more ability to fine tune your opposition. If at Level 9 players are stomping Level 10 baddies, you can try level 11 and it's steadily 5% harder, similarly if they are struggling you can tune it down. Wasn't as true in PF1 where CR was much less predictable an indicator of threat so its good to have bad guys who are closer to the expected danger level.

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Just for clarities sake as I've been accused of trying to gatekeep RPGs and hating newbies, I don't care a bit who plays what game, let anyone play any game they like.

What I don't want is for any game to cargo cult 5Es design decisions in the hope it'll lead to a vastly bigger audience because I don't think it will and I don't think 5E is a terribly good RPG. 5E was the right game at the right time, but then so was Settlers of Catan which helped launch the boardgame revolution which has thankfully steadily increased the quality of boardgames to the point that Settlers is a very mediocre game in comparison to more recent offerings.

Basically I don't want retrograde steps and copying the current big game only works if you can outdo the current big game in prominence. I'd also like RPG design to keep advancing and improving.

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Gorbacz wrote:
HidaOWin wrote:
Then it caught on in streaming and exploded. Take away streaming and people would be asking about 6th ed right about now.
Who would ask? All the new people who came into the hobby and who really don't care what edition are they playing, how are the other editions, which one is superior, what are the merits of magic missile hitting automatically as an expression of Respect and Honour for True Traditions and Staying True by Real Fans as opposed to 4th ed's PHB magic missile requiring a roll to hit and thus NOT RESPECTING THE FEELINGS OF ACTUALLY TRUE FANS *cries, hyperventilates*

Without streaming making 5e super popular, they never would have done the books they are currently doing. Look at its release schedule, what other RPG in history has had its release schedule massively accelerate 3 years after release? Usually its front loaded or consistent.

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To take this back to scaling a little, the virtue of the +1 level system, means that an Ogre at 1st level is a dangerous threat, but at 7th you'll mill through a large number of them demonstrating your characters increasing power. This ties into the new critical hit system, where despite their substantial hit points, you'll reliably crit them making them faster to take down turning them into just big mooks.

Thats a virtue narrowly bounded accuracy misses out on and while some people find treadmilling "silly" it has advantages in the rules and provides valuable tangible rewards for leveling triggering that old dopamine hit.

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3rd edition D&D actually brought a ton of new gamers in and the d20 glut was a real force in early 2000s. Now that eventually crashed but Pathfinder dominated the late 2000s/early 2010s for a reason and that was appealing to that large demographic. However 5th ed hasn't crashed yet, so going after the 5e playerbase seems premature.

The reason I link the rise of 5e to streaming is that the initial 5e launch was tepid with a very small publishing schedule and a greatly reduced team (they had to delay a book nearly a year because a staff member got jury duty). It was intended to be a low key edition to keep things ticking over. Then it caught on in streaming and exploded. Take away streaming and people would be asking about 6th ed right about now.

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I'd be cautious about attributing much of 5es success to its design. Most of 5es success comes from the rise of video game streaming and the idea of watching a game played rather than playing it coming to prominence. A couple of prominent streaming groups took it on and then it exploded.
5e being lighter in design and less tactical than 3.5/Pathfinder/4e was an advantage in the role of a spectators game. Specifically intense tactical combat isn't much fun to watch unless you are very invested but its a hell of a lot of fun to play.
Personally I'm not at all a fan of 5e, but I see why it appeals to people.

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Typo in the article, the plural of Tooth Fairy is Teeth Fairy.

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90% of Monsters/NPCs live for 6-30 seconds of in game time, I think the core game making the opposition simpler to build and run is just a good thing.

The remaining 10% is fertile ground for a some sort of enchanced foes supplement, where you can custom build your more rounded NPC. However in the core, streamlined monsters/NPCs is only a boon.

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I'm a big fan of the new critical system for weapons, I think the 10 over target number makes to-hit bonuses incredibly valuable and results in crit city when you take on lower level bad guys, which feeds into player power fantasies nicely.

However I'm a little disappointed with the lack of weapons that can crit more often, weapons with some inherent attack bonus beyond the normal would clearly be overpowered but I was very interested in examining how the keen rune interacted with it. I was quite disappointed as the design of "Crit on a 19 or 20 so long as the attack hits" was quite clunky and sidestepped the 4 degrees of success rule.

Additionally once again daggers are the poor cousin of short swords, while you can throw them, they are otherwise inferior. The archetypical knife wielding class, the rogue has almost no reason to use them. Many new players would logically choose their rogue to wield daggers as it fits the class fantasy, but the lower damage becomes increasingly notable as the damage scales.

So I was thinking about a new weapon trait, Lethal which would make weapons crit more often.
A Lethal weapon would either give you +1 to hit on an attack that successfully hit, so upgrading your attack to a crit, or if this makes wording easier, critical hit on an attack that hits by 9 over AC/TAC rather than 10. This makes crits with the weapon 5% more likely while not altering the hit rate.

The humble dagger could then become
1d4 P Agile, finesse, thrown 10ft, versatile S and lethal
This way, there is an argument to use it over a shortsword.
I know its late in the playtest, but the idea has been rattling around for a while and I wanted to throw it out there.

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Nothing in the text about that Star Spawn flying out, start making those climb rolls.

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I'd like it if they added in more functions for Hero Points (Regaining spell slots, healing), and you earned them for doing multiple encounters in a day as a carrot that encourages players to keep pushing through chains of fights, rather than taking regular nightly rests. I realise this wouldn't be to everyones taste but itd make a nice optional rule.

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I'd love to see the RPG company that isn't subsidized by another product that has infinite black on their books, frankly I don't think such a business exists.

However all of this is unhelpful speculation, it doesn't help us resolve issues in the playtest, all we can do is fill in the surveys, ask pertinent questions and supply unbiased feedback.

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This playtest has been doing a very encouraging job of looking for actionable specific feedback from players.
It's been great to see the genuine effort made by the designers to adjust the game within the framework possible in the face of responses that have ranged from insightful commentary to unreasonable demands.

Is it running at a demanding rate, absolutely. However I remain hopeful that the game will live up to the effort they are making and I think the badgering the designers is unhelpful. They are certainly more aware and invested in the available time than we are.

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I like the idea of Resonance Points rather than slots because it opens up design space where you have an additional cost on certain items other than gold.

So you could have a Staff of Fire that costs one resonance and 2000g and one with additional effects that costs two resonance and 2000g.

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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:

"they try to propose us a more "Dark Souls" game"

Except in Drak Souls you win if you're actually good, while in PF2 it's down to randomness and player ability is minimized both before combat (optimization is no longer possible) and in combat (tactics are weak and unlikely to work, positioning is less relevant, CC is ineffective etc)

It's actually the opposite of a game like Dark Souls that rewards you for good play

I'd disagree very strongly with that point about combat strategy not mattering, in PF1, I could optimise enough that I'd hit almost regardless of dice roll and could alpha down almost any problem I encounter in a turn or 2, positioning for a flank or someone spending a turn to give people a +1 to hit bonus usually wasn't worth it.

In PF2 due to such strongly bounded accuracy most of the abilities that give +X to hit are very valuable. Against equivalent level foes, +1 to hit is 5% more hits and 5% more crits on your first attack, making your opponent flat footed is 10% to both. Higher hp pools and better in combat healing on the PC side, mean fights are longer, which mean spending time adjusting the odds in your favour matter more, you're more likely to roll an attack 10-20 times than you are to make 2-5 attacks so percentage adjustments start to really become significant. I've noticed DOTs (Damage over time) effects like acid or bleeding are actually really significant tools in equivalent level fights, whereas in PF1 they were an insignificance.

It's a very different metagame in PF2, people who learned the "correct" way to play in PF1 could well be experiencing shock at the lower hit rate and large health pools of the bad guys, but its worth trying to modify your play a bit and see if the experience changes itself for you.

I definitely feel their are issues with the new system, but the core chassis feels solid and the updates have all been very positive.

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Bartram wrote:
BryonD wrote:


Speaking as an engineer and math wonk, to hell with the math. Please give me narrative builds, warts and all. If you do that good, we will be there.

As someone whose maths all day long, and whose job title includes the words "Data Analyst" I could not agree more.

I love math. I make spreadsheets for fun. I'll spend hours just tweaking the numbers on every character I make.

The game does not need to be built for people like me.

The story, the flavor must come first. Design your math to fit the flavor, not the other way around.

We want to play Heroes. Heroes do not fail 50% of all tasks they attempt.

Ok, when you say story, do you want scene editing meta currencies? Because that is one of the few ways to actually mechanise story. Otherwise I'm not sure what element of the current games design demphasises story.

Flavour driving design results in degenerate design every time, let's say you decide a fighter should be better at fighting than a rogue and a magic fighter should be better at fighting than a fighter because that makes flavour sense because he has magic, you've just put yourself into a hole where fighters are sub-optimal and rogues are dreadful. Design should incorporate flavour whenever possible but it can't determine how that game is designed or balance is inevitably sacrificed.

If the high failure rates bother you, your problem is not with the core design, its where the success chances have been set. Those can be adjusted without a total redesign, in fact I'd guess that's why 1 of the playtest scenarios has you fight a pack of underleveled adversaries and another has a very overleveled opponent, they're checking how those numbers play out.

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:

I think you have valid points especially 1 and 2.

After reading the survey Q's I was very surprised to not see a simple question, "Did you have fun in this section?"

MDC

"Fun" is not a terribly useful metric, one player might only find combats which are never challenging fun, while another player might find ones where the party TPKs fun. Fun is so variable that its almost impossible to have something that is found universally "fun". You're better off striving for a particular approach for your game and letting the audience for that game find it.

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I think some of the issues people are experiencing are due to mistaken assumptions about the playtest.

Some people wanted the playtest to be a promotional exercise. We'd all play some adventures in a new tweaked system, nothing was really going to change and the only goal was to have fun with our sneak peek.
However that's not what the playtest is, it's actually more like tedious stress testing, where we test deliberately narrow targeted elements of the system and parts of that system are regularly changed and new responses checked. This isn't fun, but its not being put together to be fun, its to stress test things so the game is a better game after the playtest. It's why they've stressed its not intended to be fun and to run the game as close to the RAW presented as possible.

Some people want to co-design the system. They'd like if any suggestion they make be implemented as a priority. They view this playtest as an opportunity to make sure the game is designed in accordance with their preferences.
This also isn't what the playtest is for, Paizo don't need 500 extra designers making suggestions which range from deeply insightful, clever ideas to half baked suggestions which fix one problem while creating a dozen more. The point of the playtest is to stress test the scenarios we are presented with and fill out surveys that accurately model our experience. Paizo are trying to get enough data that they start to discern patterns of experience and can modify the playtest to better achieve what they want.
I'm sure Paizo would like to carefully read every topic and try every idea but there isn't the time and as designers they need to trust themselves when the feedback is as expected and root for answers when it isn't.

Some people are disappointed by the lack of content.
While it's definitely got less options than a 12 year old RPG line with 100s of books I think people need to be realistic about how much can be fitted into the core book.

This is the most authentic RPG playtests I've ever seen, they have made significant changes in response to issues that have cropped up and the game has noticeably improved from version 1.0 to version 1.4
I'm very optimistic about how it's going and while I'm not sure the game will be to everyones taste, I think it's still going to be the options heavy crunchy game PF1 is at heart.

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I'd actually love if some of the weaker class feats got the general tag so you could grab them with a general feat. Some of the monk movement ones are of similar strength to a skill feat so it'd be nice to have that as an option.

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I think cantrip damage should land above a wizard using an appropriately potent runed crossbow. That might mean making a few weapons for wizards that boost cantrips or lower level spells.
If you had a Staff of Flame that added +1d6 fire damage to a fire cantrip and +3d6 fire damage to a fire spell of level 3 or lower, that’s one way to give casters an additional loot option and make the lower level damage spells a little more competitive.
It’s a fact that some players want to play blaster casters, its a common power fantasy, so putting a few tools in there to make it work well is probably a good idea.

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Have the Crossbow Ace feat let crossbows target TAC and give the crossbow Fatal d12 against Hunted Targets. Make the Crossbow Ace the one giant dangerous attack ranger as a different playstyle.

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I think running monsters specifically targeting downed PCs rather than attempt to win the fight is a good tactic if the monsters goal is to weaken the PCs at the expense of their own lives, treating themselves more as RTS units, weakening an advancing force rather than individuals with goals of their own.
I have no doubt tactics like that are effective given NPCs offensive bias, but its very much winning through the metagame in which NPCs are disposable tools to weaken then defeat the PCs. Players will develop a hostile OOC reaction to those tactics unless rules enter the metagame that punish tactics like that from NPCs.

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