True Love Locket

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Mathmuse wrote:

I have long had Pathfinder 1st Edition houserules about quick Diplomacy checks and informative Knowledge checks. My players and I like campaigns where the PCs can negotiate and plan rather than simply fight. We continued these houserules into the playtest. I was ambivalent about it at first, since it does alter the impact of the PF2 changes, but I did not want to taint the survey data by having my players report that diplomacy and knowledge checks no longer worked properly.

Then my wife, a beloved cunning vixen, made demands for better roleplaying. She wanted to play a paladin of Alseta rather than any of the gods included in the playtest, because that fit her goblin mind-quake-survivor paladin's backstory better, so I created proper anathema for Alseta (paladins of Alseta are not going to fit into kick-down-the-door dungeon delves, because they respect doors too much). And she roleplayed it well. Her human mountain-nomad barbarian wanted better climbing rules, so she got them, too. I had told her that her job was to stress-test the system, and she not only is doing so, but she sees the stress points in advance and starts fixing them before breaking them.

Seriously, she is doing a wonderful job displaying how the PF2 background system that fix a lot of customization bottleneck complaints discussed in the playtest forum. This is good data.

Then its seems from our 2 points of data (Plenty to draw conclusions! Plenty!) that many of our house rules seem to originate from the rules constraining roleplay in some way. Have most of your changes been adjusting or adding class feats? or more systematic. Out of curiosity, what were some of the changes to the climbing rules you implemented?

It has come to my attention that throughout the entirety of the playtest, I have unconsciously ignored giving feedback on the things I have house-ruled. In other words, if I saw something I thought could be improved, I never discussed it if I was able to come up with satisfactory house rules to make it work better at my table. I wanted to put that feed back out here, but more importantly, I figured that others may have made the same mistake.

I thought this thread may be helpful to not only get that feedback out there, but to get a sense for what rules are most commonly changed.

Changes to Classes

Druid And Ranger
One of my players wanted to be an animal companion focused Ranger but felt like they would have few feats left to themselves. I agreed and we are currently trying out removing the Full Grown Companion and Specialized Companion feats, and having the Animal Companion and Incredible Companion feats instead scale with level, giving the benefits of the removed feats at the appropriate level. I opted to do the same with the druid, though that hasn't been tested. So far, it hasn't seemed to have upset the balance, but my table is happy with it so far. If turns out that is too strong, I may ever so slightly reduce the strength of the animal companion, or just fold the first two feats together.

I am very happy with the 1.6 paladin changes. I previously brought up things I thought needed changing in ways that could have been worded... in a less emotionally charged manner. I feel it would be unfair to complain about a thing, have it be fixed to my liking, then say nothing before having more criticisms.

1.6 fixed everything I had mentioned, but there were a few significant changes I omitted because of the reasons mentioned at the beginning of the post. The biggest change is allowing deity-less paladins, both because I like the flavor better and to allow re-creation of some of my players favorite 1st edition characters. Also, to help re-create an old character, I added an improved version of divine health at level 8 that allows failures against disease to be treated as successes. It seems that the design decision was to move away from full immunities for PCs in most cases, so this seemed like an appropriate way to allow the character to be made without defying the design direction of 2e. With how infrequent diseases have been, it still seems weak to me compared to the other feats at that level, but the paladin player was still quite thrilled.

It has mostly been tweaking class stuff here and there that I feel most comfortable houseruleing, but I am interested to see what the rest of you have changed.

It has bothered me too, but sometimes I also like it. the way they are being done now clearly makes them more powerful, and having extremely powerful magic weapons changes the the feel of the world, where very powerful people user weapons that are very powerful in their own right. It's not inherently better or worse than the stories where potent magic weapons are helpful tools that add some power to people who mostly get by on their own power.

I think my ideal would be automatic damage progression that lags behind what a magic weapon expected for the level could do so that getting a whole extra damage die still feels like a significant upgrade, but that , for a higher level character, I could still look at the sheet and think, "yeah, they are powerful even without a weapon" even if they realistically wont frequently be disarmed and it wouldn't ever really matter.

It also opens up the option to create feats to completely close that gap. It would allow players who want that to have it, but likely wouldn't be all that powerful, since you are spending a feat to do the same damage as someone with a magic weapon.

Maybe this change makes disarming through athletics weaker, but just bump up what the skill is capable of if that is a problem, either baseline or with a feat.

Cyouni wrote:
Kazk wrote:

I'd say it would depend on the kind of diversity one is looking for.

At an unoptimized level, this would allow for for all kinds of interesting characters, but certainly also make it easy to make a character that cant hold their own in combat. Still, the sheer number of combinations, is staggering, even if you rued out the worst 90%.

This statement is basically PF1 in a nutshell. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.

I lean towards that style, as I like combining stuff to make unique characters and like use some system knowledge to be effective so I can still contribute while spending half my feats on flavor. When I dm, my players help each other out with making character and avoid overshadowing each other.

I am sympathetic to tables where that is a problem though, and would like to see 2e make the best design tradeoffs that end up with the most fun for everyone.

Whether I mean total fun or average fun, that is a philosophical question I haven't really answered :P

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I agree with point 2 and parts of 3, but I think general feats are pretty important for a few reasons. They are in the perfect position to develop the aspects of a character not covered by class, especially weird ones that don't fit nicely into skill feats.

Feats like toughness and armor proficiency are pretty boring by themselves, but they make a heavily armored melee wizard/Fighter less dangerously fragile. For non cross-class characters, things like breath control and ride can help stretch a character to be capable of more than what is defined by their class, which is even more important in this edition, since classes have stronger niche protection.

And yeah, a decent number of them are kind of boring, but there are lots of great feats from 1e that wouldn't quite fit as skill feats or class feats, like drunkards recovery, the possessed hand feat line, brilliant planner, and elongated cranium. If these sort of feats had to directly compete with skill feats or class feats, then they couldn't exist without being trap options unless you find some crazy synergy that makes them more powerful than intended. That was the situation for a lot of neat feats in 1e and general feats avoids this.

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In terms of combat power, I am fine with with general feats being weaker than class feats, as this prevents any crazy interactions where a general feat wildly influences the power of a given class. I am doubly ok with it if Class feats become stronger, such as through automatic scaling)

Plus, by segregating combat power and general feats, it opens up general feats to go towards developing aspects of the character that aren't about their class capabilities. Technically, some of these are small improvements to combat (Proficencies, HP, Speed), but these look more like ways to stretch your characters capabilities outside of what one's class is capable of. Or even help to make glueing together different class combinations more cleanly.)

In less words, I like comparatively weak general feats. It leaves them in a position to be able to express more character ideas without throwing balance out of whack. If characters still feel too weak, buff up class or skill feats instead.

This makes me so happy to see. It has sometimes been easy to forget that this is just the playtest of just the CRB, and that there will be more options, but that players can still build effective characters that go against type.

I am kind of inspired to go a "Wrong" direction with a class and see how far I can go with it. If it ends up being a weak character, it might at least grant some insight into how the system could be changed to accomodate characters like this. Heck, it might not even requre system changes, just more feats and class branches.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Speaking to balance: PF2e has attempted to maintain strict balance at the cost of character diversity, I think a lot of us agree with that

I'm not sure the "character diversity" question is well-defined. Since a lot of the complaints seem to be about how certain concepts or combat styles are restricted to classes- twfers are rangers or fighters, paladins and fighters in light armor need not apply, area control is only available to those classes with easy AoO access, Clerics of Erastil cannot get archery feats, etc.

So I don't know if the lack of "Archer Paladins" is *more* diversity (since it underlines how the Paladin is different from the ranger and fighter) or *less* because there's one kind of Paladin people played a lot in PF1 that is not currently available.

Like if PF2 were completely classless, and people could select feats from any class's list, would that be more character diversity or less?

I'd say it would depend on the kind of diversity one is looking for.

At an unoptimized level, this would allow for for all kinds of interesting characters, but certainly also make it easy to make a character that cant hold their own in combat. Still, the sheer number of combinations, is staggering, even if you rued out the worst 90%.

If we are talking about optimized characters though, I cant help but think there would be less diversity. to make the toughest character possible, grab the defensive feats that synergize the best. With classes (assuming good balance) you could make a barbarian built around HP and temp HP from rage, and a paladin decked out in heavy armor and self healing, and they could be tougher in different scenarios. I don't know if the current balance supports that, but it hopefully illustrates the point.

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MerlinCross wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Malthraz wrote:

I think balance is important in so far as unbalanced game system can be very hard to run for the GM, and not fun for people playing characters that get eclipsed by the super characters.

...insert the usual "some of us love playing sidekicks and want that option available" rant here..

I mean. I don't mind. Really depends on the character. I'm playing second fiddle now to 2-3 characters depending on instances. I still like my character as she still gets skill checks often enough, I'm not fully worthless in combat, and when battle ends 2 of those characters can't do much to patch up or get around some issues.

THAT said, I do agree that being overshadowed is an issue and being blown out of the water is a problem. My first character for this group was basically replaced when someone switched to Sorcerer and got a few wands to the point I was basically just an Adept. Meh.


The issue comes in, from what I've seen, when you get different players and expectations at the same table.

Hope that wasn't too ranty.

I feel like this is starting to get to the heart of the problem. Balance (usually) requires tradeoffs. Due to all sorts of factors one table may have more fun with a more balanced game. Another table may not enjoy the game as much because of the tradeoffs that had to be made to achieve a higher level of balance.

Just to complicate things even more, there is the fact that there are lots of different things that could be called balance.
*equal contributions to combat
*Each class having at least one thing it can do best
*no class being strictly worse than another
*no class being strictly worse than another given certain common conditions
*not so out of whack that the player that only finds fun is creating strong characters can have fun alongside the player that just wants to not be completely overshadowed.
*few bad/trap options
*the classes all contribute in the specific kinds of campaigns that the GM runs.

To complicate things more the variations in the kinds of challenges/encounters/situations/whatever that the GM uses, and in what proportion they are used changes what options/tactics could be strong or weak.

If the question this thread was asking was "What kind of balance is important to your table?" the question is fairly easy for me to answer. In trying to answer it, the above factors started coming up and it became more difficult.

Because of the level of system mastery I have, the time I have to to work on campaigns, and how my players get along and how my more experienced players help my less experienced players make the cool character concepts they want, its ok that some classes can overshadow others because it never happens anyway and I can use my system knowledge to help even weaker characters contribute because I enjoy designing situations like that and have the time.

I am curious to see not just what people think about how much balance matters, but what the conditions are at their table(s) that have contributed to that stance. It may be appropriate to create a separate thread for that though.

Ascalaphus wrote:

You talk a lot about streamlining, but I think the PDT is trying to achieve several not-the-same things at the same time, and I like some of them more than others.


Put the GM more in charge of DC As mentioned in the Stephen Radney-MacFarland quote in my opening post. He says players often rules-lawyered skill DCs based on those examples.

Here's where I disagree. This isn't streamlining,

In conclusion: I think objective skill DCs do not sabotage "the goal of streamlining by eliminating examples" because I don't think that was precisely the goal. I do think it's a mitigation of the aggressive switch towards making all DC GM-arbitrary, and I want that.

This method of taking static DCs and the GM adjusting the DC up or down using circumstance is something I think needs to be added into the book (along with the static DC's themselves, obviously.) This process obviously takes a little more effort that having a bigger example table and pulling straight from it, but it has an additional benefit beyond just making players more engaged wit the scene.

It returns to the GM some of the control that the new, non-stacking bonuses seem to have taken. Different feats grant circumstance bonuses, meaning they don't stack with circumstance bonuses from well, the circumstances. Letting the GM have control over the DC avoids this issue while.

A solution that solves a problem is good, but things like this that solve multiple problems at once are even better.

John Mechalas wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:

So yeah, correct math does usually = fun for everyone at the table, unless you're the kinda player that just likes to end encounters by themselves without your team helping at all.


And not needing to roll at all just kills the fun in my group... +40 perception is boring.

Gorbacz wrote:
But PF1 is not going anywhere away, you can still have your +37 Diplomancer or archerdin.

There's a lot of ground between +40 bonuses and PF2's mathematics. Wouldn't it be nice to have a system where you could get meaningful differences between players without the unbounded high end of PF1 and the artificial floor of PF2?

I don't understand the aversion to having meaningful differences between players, each with complimentary strengths that cover individuals' weaknesses. That's how real teams work.

Lowering the numerical gap between specialized and non-specialized character and between optimized and non-optimized characters, that solves the problem that Gorbacz was talking about. (designing challenges for parties where one character completely overshadows another), but makes creating a competently specialized-character more difficult.

And I think Paizo was aware of that becoming a problem, as the way class and skill feats are designed, they seem to be designed to allow a character to grow in capabilities without "doing exactly what another party member does, but more and better" unless you both take the same feats. I feel that, if the skill and class feats, especially the higher level skill feats had more oomph, that could address everyones problems.

Well, everyone's problems but the balance teams. I could see making class and skill feats a bigger portion of a characters power throwing the balance of things all ot of whack in a bad way.

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Thanks everyone! I think I will probably have an NPC or tag along to help with the party, and I will control them as npcs, but perhaps not altogether that bright, or at least not take initiative in decision-making, and just note that I did so within the survey.

Either way, I will try and take good notes so I can have more insightful things to add to the forum discussion once I have analyzed the sessions.

PossibleCabbage wrote:

What's interesting to me is that in PF2 a high level rogue can Mind Blank, turn invisible, and phase through doors or walls; and nobody seems to be complaining about that (most people seem to think the rogue is in a good place now).

It would be nice if other non-magic people got as dramatic, and thematic, effects with high level feats, honestly.

I wonder if part of that is due to the rogue having the option to not do unbelievable things. Going throw walls and whatnot is really cool to me, and I am for sure making a rogue that can do that eventually, but if somebody doesn't think that is appropriate, they can still grab the feat on the same level that lets them prevent enemies from using reactions.

and now that I think about it, barbarians can smash the earth around them, get big, grow wings and/or breath fire, and I don't see as many complaints about that.

To make a long story short, I only have 2 players + myself(GM) to playtest and I want to help PF2 be the best it can, but I was unsure how to handle my small group size. Is it to run Doomsday dawn with 2 character per player? to Run doomsday dawn with 2 characters and fiddle with encounters? Is it to homebrew something that is suited to a small party?

Obviously, Paizo has stated that the most important feedback is the Doomsday Dawn feedback. I could do as the monster manual says and adjust the encounters until the XP values are appropriate for the party size, but with a party this small, I worry about warping the playtest so much that it no longer tests the system as it was intended, especially for encounters with 1 big enemy.

Is the best way to go about this to have each player make two characters? it would fix the party's power, but also warp the play experience to play two characters at once.

Between heavily altering DD to fit 2 players, having players juggle 2 characters in a system they are trying to learn, and running something other than DD, does anyone (Paizo employees or players) have any idea what would be best?

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Would it be possible to accommodate both more realistic martials and more ridiculous martials if the way to be one or the either was to just pick different options at high level that are all powerful but vary wildly in flashiness?

Putting balance aside, consider if rangers had high level feats like the ability to shoot accurately over a few miles with a bit of time to focus, but at the same tier was something like an additional reduction to hunted targets (1,2, removed completely, something). The first option would be flashy and cool and could be used creatively to deliver messages or pick of officers in a battlefield. The second option is mechanically powerful and would lead to much higher damage output, and isn't anything even impossible, its just uncanny accuracy with consecutive shots.

I know these are't necessarily well designed feats, but I wanted to illustrate an example of at least an attempt to accommodate both playstyles.

Hmmmmm. This is thought provoking. I have been hoping to see crazier effects from high level feats. This could be a good way of estimating what such high level feats could be capable of.

Of course, if spellcasters do indeed become exponentially more powerful, comparing the capabilities granted by a feat vs a spell that casters would receive could achieve the same effect, adjusting for the expendable nature of the spell of course).

And would 2e's magic weapons help with the power of martial classes? adding damage dice instead of a +1 seems to be a large improvement. Or is this boost in damage just meant to counteract the comparative lack of flat bonuses that 1e had?

Dasrak wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I actually do find that curious - I find 1st-level PF1 play to be incredibly uninteresting. Martials have one attack and are incredibly dependent on luck to not die thanks to HP being very close to damage, casters have very few spells and get stuck with crossbows very quickly, most options to differentiate you don't really exist...

I'd like to hear why you think PF2 level-1 play is less varied and interesting than PF1 level-1 play.

The answer is magic. Literally, drop lots of magical loot on your party. Low-level consumables are cheap and won't even come close to breaking the WBL bank. Potions and alchemical items work for martials, and scrolls and wands an help keep casters engaged and not just shooting crossbow bolts.

I am stealing this idea! Or, I am stealing it for one campaign and not for another and comparing how it goes.

I think one could make the argument that it is still a problem that level 1 or 2 characters don't have much to do. On the other hand. being able to give out more consumables to solve problems like that is the exact sort of system mastery I want to obtain for 2e someday. It's not like I don't use my knowledge of PF1e to smooth out the rough parts of that system.

ErichAD wrote:

The problem is that mechanical PvP balance doesn't make it easier to have ridiculously cool things. Pathfinder's balance error wasn't in making one class more powerful than another, but in making the abilities of several character archetypes subsets of the abilities of caster classes.

Removing all the big scene setting abilities in favor of low impact abilities just means the game is less exciting. It would be much better to improve the effect of abilities if used in conjunction with archetypes more suited to that ability. Divination spells that let you see through invisibility, but would let someone with master perception mastery have true seeing, or a spell that would turn you into a giant boar, but would be better used on the barbarian who is better trained in animalistic combat.

As is, we have spells that just do less rather than using the opportunity to engage more players in the benefits.

Huh, spells that scale with the targets skills. That sounds like a really good idea. It seems like it would bump up the power of spells in a way that lets other party members feel good because its a combination of the caster's power and their own character power that allows it to happen.

And on a personal level, I can deal with imbalance, but I understand the complaints of some classes having much less power over the narrative than others is a reasonable complaint.

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20 hours of testing in a week as a teacher/PhD student?! Legendary Playtester Skill Feat, maybe? :)

For the PROs and CONs, was anything surprising?
Put another way, How did your expectations about how the game would feel compare to how playing it actually felt?

Honestly, I think there are aspects of the system that could let it have ridiculously cool things without necessarily having to scrap balance.

1.Skill feats, both how many a character gets and how they allow characters to explicitly do things outside the scope of what is physically possible in our world, without forcing the DM to stop and think about how much harder one impossible task is vs another.

2.The fact that there is little combat power to be gained from general and skill feats (so far) means that the vast majority of a character's combat power will be coming from class features class feats, and items. There are aspects to this to this that I dislike, but does make balancing combat easier.

3. As for Out of combat power, or utility, or narrative power, or however you want to call it, the fact that certain class features (mostly rogue) and many skill feats defy our world's physics without magic, this opens up space to address the gap in materials and casters have outside of combat, which seems to be where much of the disparity comes from.

What would it take to make the game feel awesome? I don't mean this in a dismissive way. In fact, I ask because I have mostly seen lots of insightful points made and great design skills on the fourms, and I think hearing about what would excite such people could be valuble.

I'll start with something I'd think is exciting. I'd want to see something like the Fighter and Ranger's Impossible volley but with no area limit. Just blot out the sun. Or The ranger being shoot somebody over a mountain, Huang Zhong style.

Balanced? No clue, haven't thought about it. Exciting? Heck yeah!

Chaotic_Blues wrote:

To tell the truth I wish they'd use the Half-Elf/Orc as a starting point for all of the Ancestries. The core concept that they used there is a good starting point. Say something like this.

Hill Dwarf- One of the more common Dwarven cultures for non dwarves to meet. At level One you have the choice of any three of the fallowing Ancestry feats: Ancestral Hatred, Ancient's Blood, Hardy, Mountain Roots, Stone Cutting, or Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf)

Other Dwarven sub-types would start with a different flavor text, and options for Ancestry feats. If an Ancestry justifies a strong feat, then an additional Flaw, or drawback could be added. This is only an example. But I think it may be more interesting, and appealing, then what's currently written.

I would be very excited for something like this. If it cant be fit into the CRB, I be surprised if something like this didn't come with a later sourcebook.

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Hythlodeus wrote:
Kazk wrote:

Substituting it would probably have less drastic of an impact, unless the new thing interacted with the games other systems in a strange way.

that's basically the reason I asked. If I theoretically substitute the current system with old system of ranks, it probably wouldn't change anythinig for a char with ranks in Athletics for the aforementioned Athletics vs. Reflex check and a Char without ranks in Athletics would be considerably worth, as it should be.

But outside of skill checks what would be affected? Is the ALP for skills too integral to the system to take it out without starting from scratch or is it something that might potentially be dropped between today and the finished product?

Hmmm. One effect that I would really like about doing that is preventing automatic increases to skills that one does not want the character to be good in. For example one of my favorite characters was a total high level boss, but had 1 rank in perform(comedy) to show that they actively spent some time trying to be funny. They had a high charisma, but were still able to tell awful jokes on a bad roll, something very endearing to me.

Mechanically, it is an exception to the +level to everything rule, and add one more system to the game. That means I dont think Paizo probably will, but I do think(or at least hope) that skills will become more granular. Perhaps a change to how proficency bonuses work?

I love me some verisimilitude, and the current way crafting is set up. There is using the Specialty Crafting feat, but that is just a +2. Not much difference, even factoring in crit fail/success.

On the other hand, making someone who can craft all the things sounds fun. I would like to see the craft skill be de-generalized, but it could be fun to see a feat that let you craft other things. There are a lot of knobs to turn in terms of balance. # of other craft areas. crafting at a -X penalty, or at Y less proficiency level.

It sounds like it would shake out to be similar to 5e's bounded accuracy with 1 (very big) exception. Feats and abilities that give +1 or +2 or whatever would become very, very strong. The bonus they give would be a much larger proportion of your total result as you level.

It would similarly increase the importance of proficiency and magic items for the same reasons.

This is in addition to the effects of bounded accuracy, which would reduce the threat of stronger enemies but increase the threat of weaker enemies.

Substituting it would probably have less drastic of an impact, unless the new thing interacted with the games other systems in a strange way.

EDIT: I misread and didn't see that you said skills, not everything. One thing that would break is cases wherea skill check gets compared to a non-skill check. (e.g. Athletics vs reflex to disarm)

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Joe Hex wrote:
A consequence of Signature Skills, is who can be a primary-caster in rituals. Everything we heard about rituals leading up to the release, is how they can be for any class. But it turns out most of the base skills required for rituals are those baked into the casting classes's signature skills. There are so many cool character concepts for characters like martials who learn to fight, so they can explore and get their hands on these rituals. A character like that should not have to rely on getting a caster to lead the ritual for them.

I hadn't considered that. If a fighter is willing to invest the feats into the proper skills, I see no reason not to let them try out rituals. It adds a cool mystical vibe to ritual magic that makes it feel powerful and special. And the rituals tend to be difficult enough that a caster who doesnt focus on rituals would at least still feel helpful as a secondary caster.

It certainly has more than its share of rough edged, but once it is refined a bit, I think it will be very helpful in terms helping new players.

As somebody who has been playing pathfinder for many years, I didn't think too much about how important this is, but if it makes the difference between being a successful game and a company-destroying financial flop, being beginner friendly suddenly seems much more important than things like pickpocket being a stupid feat.

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Translucent Wolf wrote:
Tithron wrote:
... I get really bummed when something new comes out and the existing fanbase starts a pool on how long it is till the publisher goes broke. ...
I suppose you have a point. After all, gambling is not mentioned a single time in the playtest.

and if it was, I'd be afraid it would take a feat to do instead of just being able to gamble, like pickpocketing.

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Azalah wrote:

I'm certainly not a fan of the whole Ancestry mechanic in general. I feel like it's an overly complex replacement for something that should be relatively simple.

Also don't like that Barbarians STILL don't have an unarmored option. C'mon, I can't be the only one that likes bare-chested barbarian hunks.

Certainly not alone on that one! I'd like to see some unarmored proficency + some feats that benefit unarmored barbarians in more interesting ways. (intimidation? seduction?)

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The Shaman wrote:

I have a question: how big of a deal are signature skills? On its own, you only get +2 from being legendary over being expert. Some of the feats require master or legendary level, but I'm not sold on how key this is for a combat- or spell-focused character.

I wouldn't say no to a feat that allows you to get an extra signature skill, though. Granted, my first priority would be to push for ways for martials to get extra damage from proficiency as well (i.e. master/legendary increasing weapon dice or just getting a flat damage bonus).

Edit: As for paladins and deities, well, I'm generally a fan of divine classes having to have a divine patron by default. My interpretation is that they wanted to have deity-specific codes by default, rather than having a generic "one size fits all" code and then having to clarify it when aspects of the code seem to clash with the deity's dogma.

I was initially going to say that the feats that it locks players out of are the most cool/powerful/interesting feats related to a given skill, but I am starting to think the dislike for signature skills (my own included) is because it's a restriction on skills that didn't exist before, and skills are an important part of giving characters of the same race and class personality, let alone mechanical differences.

in PF1e, class didn't restrict what skill related feats you could take. Sure there were skill unlocks, but even then you could at least get one.

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Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:
Witch of Miracles wrote:
...I feel like --on a larger scale -- the two significant changes are really proficiency and class feature acquisition/progression rates, ...
And these two things are the main problem. The proficiency system completely changes the feel of the game. It removes the flexibility of the old skill system and leads to really weird effects.

I'm not so sure that the strangeness is from the proficiency so much as it it the +level to all skills system. Flesh out the old skill unlock system and give it to everybody, and they are pretty similar. I do think it needs changes though.

For example, I had a high level character known to sometimes tell bad jokes, despite their natural charm. Now with +level to all checks, they would be incapable of telling anything other than a really good joke! its a little jarring. I would like to see some kind of change. Something like making skills more granular, or at least avoiding automatic +level to everything for things the character has no right to be good at.

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There is a lot to go through in one post, but one thing I certainly agree with is having more general feats that martials can use to differentiate themselves in terms of combat styles, and maybe allow the use of class feats to get them, since general feats are less common now.

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a mount specialization might be the way to go. it would still take some investment on the players part, but it would still be an option. heck, maybe a specialization is too costly. A general feat that lets you add the mount ability to creatures of proper size/intellect/demeanor.

oh dang! I didn't realize that about sorcerers. I would like to see that changes expecially since it makes crossclassing as a sorc very painful. As Secret Wizard said, though, I think this is problem is fairly fixable.

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On one hand, I imagine that this will be less of a problem once more feats become available.

On the other hand. I am not happy with how signature skills work at all. They seem to exist to hold the place of class skills, but the difference between access to the most interesting uses of a skill including the associated ways to customize use of that skill, and a +3 bonus seem very different.

Its Levels all over again! Although I don't play Pathfinder Society, that does sound like it wouldn't be all that clear for everyone who does. maybe culture? I am not sure. I feel like society fits best, but those other things also named society are much less able to change.

Even still, I think it could do a better job of bringing up those same ideas as suggestions. For absolutely new players who are new to roleplaying, or even any kind of creative character making/writing, it is certainly a good start.

For some though, I can see these suggestions sticking a little too well and leading a player to use cliches where it could have guided them to something more interesting. Its not a huge problem, but anything that can be improved that doesn't have far-reaching consequences for other systems probably deserves some more polish before release.

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Fifthed? Now I want to go home and pick appart all the fluff like a dog with a new stuffed toy.

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Oh man! someone beat me to making this post! Actually, thank you for doing so.

I am also very disappointed with the current design of the paladin. Most of my complaints come from the paladin being build around retributive strike, but I didn't even think about how it puts the paladin in a reactive position. That is one more reason I dislike it now though. I have a few smaller gripes about other aspects of the class, but retributive strike seems to be the core of the problem.

It is a huge limit on the character concepts that can be done with a paladin. It is powerful, but narrow, so trying to make a paladin that doesn't use it will be weak. The paladin's ability to smite, Aura of Justice, and most of the benefits of the oaths are tied to it. It is also a way to use your reaction to get more strikes in. A paladin who doesn't use Retributive Strike is a weak paladin.

Any paladin who's fighting style/tactics that don't revolve around being a bodyguard has so much of their power invested into Retributive Strike that playing anything else would be incredibly weak. A lone paladin, or a paladin that focuses on ranged weapons, or even just a paladin that charges into battle, eager to smite evil wont be getting much use out of what seems to be the CORE feature of the class.

Honestly there is a lot I really like about the ability, but I don't think that justifies defining it as an ability all paladins have that is core to how they face evil in combat.

1. For a character that it doesn't conflict with, it creates interesting gameplay choices mid-combat. you can spend more actions using your defensive abilities and healing and whatnot, while having a good chance to get to still hit stuff because you can use your reaction to strike. you can try and predict whether it would be better to start adjacent to an enemy or stand next to an ally who may get melee'd.

2. It mechanically encourages enemies to focus on the paladin, which gives it this cool, bravely self-sacrificing vibe, which is perfect for paladins.

3. It is mechanically different than anything I see coming from the other martial classes, both in its trigger and its effect, and giving the martials unique abilities like this seem like a great way to differentiate them in a way that gives them something to think about during combat.

I have some other complaints about the paladin, but retributive strike being central to all paladins is my biggest complaint. It makes the class less expressive than 1e core-only paladins, which is terrible! Generally, I find 2e to be more expressive in terms of characters one can make with it, at least compared to just the 1e CRB. So the fact that there seem to be many FEWER ways to play a paladin in 2e strikes me as a sign that it could use some major changes.

I am especially looking forward to hearing the perspectives of players who have been playing with versions older than 3.0. I started with 3, then 3.5 and moved to pathfinder after trying 4e, and I get the feeling that a lot of pathfinder players my age will be coming from a similar perspective. I have also played some 5e and liked it, but in a very different way.

Additionally, I hope to see players coming from only 5e who are newer to tabletop games in general.

I wouldn't want to see 2e released in its current state, but I am very excited and hopeful for what it might become in the next half a year or so, and the bigger and more diverse the player feedback the better!

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
The negativity is why me and my group won’t be participating in the playtest.
I may back away from the forums, but I will likely still be playtesting with my group and at local gamedays. I don't have to respond to the garbage to give my feedback. (Note the word 'have' rather than 'want'.)

This is a good point. I was going on about people being negative and deciding not to contribute, but I wasn't even considering the fact that it could get in the way of others being able to freely share.

I wouldn't be opposed to seeing some positivity focused posts like this becoming a regular thing throughout the playtest!

As for my own bit of positivity, I love how many things still scale when multiclassing! There are so many multiclass combinations that are, if not strong, functional at the very least. What would a bard/cleric look like? I don't know, but I bet I could make one and still contribute to my party, and I don't know if I could do that in 1e. I couldn't. Maybe someone else could, but not me.

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Joe M. wrote:

I'm generally concerned about how class choice locks you into specific play styles. Want a Paladin who *doesn't* go for heavy armor and a shield? Congrats, you're wasting a big chunk of your class features. (This one inspired by my desire to create a spear-wielding fighter and trying to think about how each martial class would handle it.)

Especially since you can't swap out core class features with archetypes, and can't multiclass away from or retrain out of your initial class choice, the spine of your character is completely fixed, and has built in some pretty specific choices. And this is everywhere! Key ability score, signature skills, class features. It feels pretty restrictive coming from PF1.

I am glad someone else noticed this as well. Specific to the Paladin, the design seems very restrictive, such that the range of paladins one could make is much much less than what would have been possible with the 1e handbook. Many of my friends complaints have come from comparing what 2e has now (a fraction of a book) to all the options available in 1e. However, I can't defend the paladin class in the same way.

The core of 2e generally seems very capable of expressing unique character ideas, more so than 1e, but that makes the paladin example all the more glaring. An archery focused paladin, or a skirmisher, or switch hitter or a more supportive paladin all function using the 1e core rulebook. With 2e, designing the paladin around retributive strike seems to not only not allow these options, but prevent future books from allowing such options unless we get the ability to trade out core features of a class. That could be neat, but I would rather not have to rely on that for 90% of my paladin character concepts.

Lucid Blue wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Personally, I love what you call "dissociated mechanics" since I always ask players to "tell a story about how they did that" when something is suggested as possible by the mechanics without any clear idea how it works, and I get some of the best improv moments from this.

Huh. Different philosophies I guess. So would you be opposed to just letting players erase any damage after each combat? Or assuming that they always have enough food and water, even in locales that don't have food and water?

If not, is the objection purely math/balance related rather than in-world-fiction related?

Maybe I'm the odd duck here...

With the intent being a game that people with both of your playstyles will (hopefully) be playing, one possible solution is text somewhere that suggests possibilities while being clear that the text isn't explicitly the one way it functions. The point would be to encourage players to come up with creative answers.

I think this thread is actually a great example of how creative players can be, and the wording/descriptions of these legendary feats should try and encourage this. Enough description to get ideas flowing, but not so spelled out that it would conflict with player's ideas.

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Change is scary and I hope that a lot of the less constructive criticism fades with time, especially considering the current state that the playtest seems to be in.

By that, I mean the new systems seem really great and look like they address a lot of the issues I had with how things played out in pf1, but that these new systems bring with them a lot of new issues that I think can be ironed out while fixing to what they are meant to fix.

Negativity that drives players away is very bad for the health of the game. I am not even talking about pushing people away from pathfinder. I specifically mean that the players who are upset about the changes are a precious asset in that they have a strong feel for what things Paizo may have accidentally broke when fixing something else.

That being said, It is much more helpful to try things out and get a good feel for why it feels bad and arguing your case as well and as politely as one can with the devs. Negativity that lets fear or disappointment get in the way of testing though, is hardly useful.

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I will have to think deeper on your points in your first post, but I definitely agree that the Signature Skills system needs some change, specifically, to address the problem you pointed out: Your skilled abilities being almost wholly determined by your class.

Currently, the impact class now has on skills is really big in a bad way. Compare the difference between the +3 from a class skill in 1e vs being locked out of all the functionality that comes with being Master or Legendary in a skill.

This is especially unfortunate because being very amazing in a skill that is unrelated to the class's main functionality is one of my favorite ways to make a character more interesting.

doomman47 wrote:

Seems like a very flavorful item, may I suggest having the cl tied to the users hit die instead of having it be a flat cl that way it's not to out of hand at low levels but it scales with the user so that its still useful at higher levels.

Tying the save dc to the users wisdom stat would probably be a good alteration that would keep its effect still worth while at the late game as well.

I would also suggest making more lore to go behind the weapon such as but not limited to notable kills, how long its been in existence, a detailed description of what the weapon looks like.

I agree with this! On one hand, it is certainly powerful, but as the players level, they will have more options and tricks up their sleeve, so even if nobody wants to constantly wield it as a weapon, a free flamestrike a day is a fun flashy effect that will remain pretty useful.

Something like that as a feat that would be available with certain prerequisites. Baseline, I worry that this would add huge power to low-level characters. Now if it was based on some kind of condition rather than being always active, it would be reasonable to add a multiple of strength to DR.

ooh! ranger fighter might be a good one to investigate, especially if there is anything that can be picked up with fighter that can boost ranger's action economy in terms of getting more attacks in a round to squeeze more value out of Hunt Target.

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My only gripe about this is that Half-elves, half-orcs, and any other- halves are missing out on other potentially interesting level-1 only feats that could fit the character just as well. I see a lot of people proposing a second ancestry feat and that was my first thought as well.

However, adding in another feat at level 1, and a potentially very powerful one at that seems like it could unbalance a lot of the game.

A compromise I would be happy to see is these heritage feats allowing characters to take one of the level 1 only feats in place of their level general feat. If it is still too strong, the option to do so could be a new option in the heritage feat. Sure it delays the general feat that they will eventually get, but it seems like a good way to open up the option without being so strong that one has to take it.

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ChibiNyan wrote:
Bardarok wrote:

Certain classes hybrid classes could be replicated using just the multiclass archetype and maybe a few custom feats. Something that lets you cast spells through weapons, something that lets you perform while you rage (and/or give rage through your performance), something that lets you cast blasting spells more easily while raging.

But I think there is still a lot of design space even for classes that look like they could be done via multiclassing.

Magus in particular you could just do a wizard/figher but you could make it more interesting if it was its own class. I'm thinking similar to how a bard is a full caster which has fewer spell slots than all the others but gets bonus skills and special performance can trips, what if a magus could be a full caster who gets the same number of spells as a bard but gets better martial abilities and special spell strike cantrips, like [A] add elemental damage to your next weapon attack and at higher levels [A] your next weapon attack targets TAC instead of AC. something like that.

Multiclass-only feats would be really cool. Like a very niche Spellstrike that had the requirements of Wizard dedication + proficiency in martial weapons. Not a copy-paste of an ability the classes already get, but something that would require multiclassing to achieve and be unique to those combinations.

They actually had these in AD&D2E in the form of Multiclass kits. To get Bladesinging you needed to pick it up as an Elf Fighter/Mage.

One aspect that I like about this idea is that it could be introduced later after the community has a good idea of what multiclass combinations struggle to keep up, let alone ones that integrate the abilities of the classes together in flavorful ways that couldn't otherwise be done.

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