Elan

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Pathfinder is no longer for me. I'm sorry. I'm out. I wanted to love it but I just don't.

I bought the hardcover pre-order, because they emphasized that it would ONLY be available thru pre-order and if you didn't order early, you WOULD NOT GET ONE. I knew it would only be good for a year, but I still bought one because I love how Paizo came along and rescued my group when D&D 4E came along and (just my group's opinion) "ruined the game." So I bought it mostly out of optimism and gratitude. Now of course my beautiful hardcover is stuffed with about 50 pages of addendums and corrections, and more yet come! ugh... Why did I do this again?

Well... my regular gaming group (about 9 people when everyone shows up) sat down with the monster that Paizo spit out at us and we tried to play 2E. And we tried to love it... we really, really tried. It was an exercise in futility. The rulebook was so badly written, so badly organized, that my players complained frequently about not being able to find needed information. The rule changes seemed arbitrary in many cases, with little or no explanation as to why they were being changed, or what the "fix" was attempting to actually fix. It was rather like watching a train wreck but really trying to enjoy it, but being unable to really enjoy it because, after all, you are in fact inside of a train wreck.

By the 2nd chapter of Doomsday Dawn, we were done. My group had lost interest, I lost two players to frustration, and the remaining ones were only going thru the motions out of loyalty to me. Then a new player commented that a lot of these changes felt like the new edition of D&D. I asked him to clarify, and he cited several new 2E rule instances that seemed to mirror D&D 5E. I checked out D&D 5E for the first time online, and found myself agreeing with my player: it indeed did feel like PF was trying to take several aspects of WotC's 5E and incorporate them into a new PF version. Some of the similarities were just too uncanny to be coincidence.

So... we switched. After 10+ years of riding the Mathfinder train, we are now happily back to our first love. We are now playing D&D 5E and we truly love it... the fluidity, the relatively open concept, the lack of excessive math and number crunching to make effective characters. Not to mention that it's been out for about 3 years now so any wrinkles have more or less been removed already. We love how combat seems to move so much faster now! Where we used to be able to maybe get 2 or 3 encounters run in an evening with Mathfinder, now we can successfully conclude 3 to 4 times as many encounters in the same amount of time! And yet the game doesn't feel diluted or overly simplistic. It's the right level of simplistic.

Anyway I don't want to go into a huge essay on why I love D&D, or what specific issues I have with the new PF rules... here in the messageboards you will easily find dozens of others who make the exact same complaints that I would make. My point is that unfortunately, Pathfinder has lost me. I enjoyed the ride up till now (even though rules bloat and excessive math made high level adventures nightmarish at best). But now due to this overly complicated next version, Pathfinder has lost me as a customer and my entire game group as well. I don't think they'll miss us... there is always balance for such things, and no doubt some other group will step up to buy the products that we will now forsake. I'm just sad that we ended our journey with Pathfinder in a train wreck.


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I'm concerned that races... er, I mean "Ancestries", are limited to just ONE ancestry feat at first level. It seems to me that most dwarves, elves, halflings, etc. are probably just going to put them on the weapon familiarity feat 90% of the time. (Unless they are playing a straight wizard or sorcerer who doesn't care about weapon damage). Which of course means that all the other ancestry feats won't see much use... things that used to give the other Races in previous editions their particular "flavor", like elves' immunity to sleep spells, or gnomes speaking to squirrels, or dwarves' affinity to unusual stonework. These things which were MOSTLY useful at lower levels will now no longer see the light of day until HIGHER levels.

Discussion? Am I wrong about this?


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I'm concerned that races... er, I mean "Ancestries", are limited to just ONE ancestry feat at first level. It seems to me that most dwarves, elves, halflings, etc. are probably just going to put them on the weapon familiarity feat 90% of the time. (Unless they are playing a straight wizard or sorcerer who doesn't care about weapon damage). Which of course means that all the other ancestry feats won't see much use... things that used to give the other Races in previous editions their particular "flavor", like elves' immunity to sleep spells, or gnomes speaking to squirrels, or dwarves' affinity to unusual stonework. These things which were MOSTLY useful at lower levels will now no longer see the light of day until HIGHER levels.

Discussion? Am I wrong about this?


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The Raven Black wrote:

I like GM-set DCs. Players beware

Having bought the collector edition of the playtest book, I am highly disappointed that it will be missing a significant part of the rules

Which is exactly why I DIDN'T purchase the "collectors edition." As a playtest, the book will be completely obsolete within a year. After all, how many of you are still using the Pathfinder Beta that came out back in 2008? So I just didn't/don't see any point to a "collector's edition" other than money-grubbing to finance other future projects.


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Overall, I like it... I'm a big fan of "Bard: the Musical," and this teaser seems to make the classic "Elan-Bard" work better. If you want a bard that walks into a dungeon and sings at things, this is definitely the way to go. Kudos!

However... I was hoping for the Bard becoming a gateway to the long-awaited Rogue-Sorcerer gish. At present Bards are great for caster-rogues IF you like the performance aspect. But there seems to be no option for a classic AD&D-themed Rogue/Wizard who amplifies his stealth, thievery and subterfuge with spellcasting. So unless you want a bard who sings, dances, or tells jokes to activate his powers, there is still no avenue for creating a spell-using thief. It's my only critique so far. I know PF didn't have it before, but as an old Grognard, I've been hoping for a class that would enable creating this character concept for some time. (Before you all start suggesting it, obviously multiclass rogue/sorcerers don't work very well, as multiclass sorcerers lack any real spellcasting power, and multiclass rogues give up far too many skill points). So unless PF2 includes some really kick-ass multiclassing options, this desired concept is still un-achievable.

So... to sum up. Want a singing Bard who uses some aspect of music or artsy-performance to do his thing? This is it. You want a rogue-y caster who uses magic to do his sneaking and stealing without singing or dancing his way into your hearts? ... This ain't it.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Bailey Allen wrote:
I noticed there was no Infernal bloodline listed. At first I thought it was because all the various evil outsiders were being rolled under on banner as is the case for Celestial but it definitely specifies an Demonic bloodline from the Abyss. Is this one that just didnt make the cut or is their more going on beyond the machinations of our tiny mortal minds?
Blog wrote:
The number of bloodlines in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is fairly small, since we want to see how people react to the new style of the class with just a subset of the bloodlines.
Devil is definitely one that would show up on an expanded list.

Instead of "Devil" bloodline, may I suggest "Diabolic" instead? It broadens the scope slightly and might keep the Bible-thumpers off your back. Just a suggestion...


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Maybe it's just that the blog is not explaining everything but I'm relatively unimpressed by this first impression of the Ranger.

In my campaigns, people use Rangers as wilderness-skilled hunters and scouts, focusing on either archery or two-weapons for their combat factors. I don't really see anything here that says they'll be good at archery. Well yes, they get to eliminate the first range penalty, which sounds good on the surface... but realistically, how many fights does your party get into that take place between 100 and 200 feet away? In my experience, not many. So that's a class feature that won't help the bow-using ranger much at all. (though I will admit it makes axe and spear throwing much more effective). Do they still get bonus archery feats or anything like they used to? Or are they just dumbed down fighters with less feats?

I like the Hunt Target feature, overall. It might serve as well as favored enemy, but less restrictive for Rangers who chose poorly initially. You didn't mention how long it takes to "designate target" ... is it an action, a full round, a minute, what? The time involved will determine whether this is really useful or not.

Weapon Mastery at 13th level is meh, at best. Many campaigns don't make it that far, 4th thru 11th level being the sweet spot in my experience. And an additional +1 or +2 at level 13 seems like far too little, far too late. I guess the playtest will tell us for sure.

Trackless Step is practically useless... it's a cute class feature and fits the flavor, but you rarely see a party of just rangers, and even if the monsters can't track the ranger, they can easily track his clumsier friends.

Nature's Edge seems like a nice addition. I like that one very much, though 9th level seems like a late addition at a point where flat-footed bonuses don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, unless you're talking about sneak attacks.

The Ranger feats shown seem lackluster. Monster Hunter needs a CRITICAL success to get any bonus at all?? And although Scout's Warning SOUNDS nice, a +1 bonus to your party's initiative is not nearly as nice a bonus as a +4 bonus to just yourself, but they both cost the same: One feat.

Snares are interesting but seem really costly for what they do. Will the ranger spend his hard earned gold on a chance to slow down a creature that enters one specific square (which his teammates might need to avoid, btw, so might hurt them instead)? Or will he instead use his gold on potions or other equipment that is more likely to help him more effectively than in trusting your foes to step exactly into that one specific space on the board? Let's not even talk about the Freezing Snare, which costs 500 gold, and possibly the additional cost of three vials of liquid ice, on the off chance you can get something to step directly into that one specific square. Seems more more likely to be used by NPCs or enemies against the party, than the other way around.

And lastly, I don't mind losing the spells for the ranger. Spending a feat to get access seems right, since I know a lot of players don't even bother with Ranger spells at mid- to higher-levels. But... why not do the same with Animal Companion? The blog seems to imply that Rangers still get an animal companion automatically, with the option to make them as tough as a Druid companion by spending feats. I disagree with this. Rangers should be free to select or NOT to select an animal companion, as they choose. Most players I know don't even bother with animal companions, since they tend to be fairly weak unless you get the druid-level sidekick. Until a certain dark elf started the tradition of animal sidekicks with his black panther magic item, animal companions weren't even canon for rangers. So why make them mandatory? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Anyway, I'm still excited about the new edition and can't wait to see how it plays. But this is by far my least favorite of the preview blogs.


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Okay, I posted this in the Paladin Blog thread but it was quickly buried under 700+ posts on whether Paizo was doing right or wrong by not putting non-LG Paladins in the Core.

What I want to know is this: Do Paladins in PF2 retain their detect evil ability? It wasn't mentioned at all, yet this is a class feature that's been around since the very first hardbound edition of AD&D. I don't mind if it's removed, I just want to know ... was it not mentioned in the blog because it's gone, or because it was an oversight, or because it's a selectable option, or what?

Can any designer reply to this question?


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Sorry if someone else mentioned this already... I don't have time to read 700+ posts right now.

One thing I noticed was blatantly missing from the Paladin preview: Absolutely NO MENTION of any detect Evil abilities. So... did they lose it entirely? Is it no longer usable at will? Has it been altered or changed significantly? (Not likely, or they'd have mentioned it.)

Paladins have been Detecting Evil at will since 1977 with the first AD&D Player's Handbook. So... what happened here? I don't mind that kind of change, but I'd like some acknowledgement to a change or removal of this previously inherent class ability.


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This looks very interesting... I love spellcasters and Clerics are on my list of "Top 4 Classes to Play."

My big takeaway on this preview is the whole Max 3 spells per spell level. That seems... low. But then I need to consider that all spells scale with level now... so several (like Bless and Prayer) may be redundant now. Then all Clerics will have an average of 3-7 Heals (Channels) per day (or Inflicts, whatever floats your boat). Then Domain powers, until your Spell points run out. Then the Cantrips, which are unlimited castings per day, and we're told they scale with character level too. So... maybe 3 spells per day, plus Channeling, plus Domain powers, plus Cantrips... maybe that's enough.

I guess we'll see during the playtest - because that's the entire reason that we HAVE a playtest. And as we all know from the previous playtest, umpteen years ago, if it doesn't work during the playtest, it will be adjusted before the final edition becomes finalized.


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First off, LOVE the gnome art... and I hate the halfling art. Looks like a cross between a farmer and a weasel.

*sigh* Okay, overall, not completely impressed the PF2e small PC races. Really? They ALL get Charisma bonuses? You don't think maybe Halflings could get Charisma, Gnomes Intelligence, and Goblins Wisdom or something? Right now, they all seem so similar, there isn't enough differences. If you're small you get less Strength, more Charisma and probably Dexterity, and you're as slow as a fully armored dwarf. Unless you're a goblin. For some reason, if you're a goblin you are as fast as a human, despite having legs half the size... whaaaat?

It looks like we have 3 kinds of halflings now... the kind that don't wear shoes, the kind whose hair changes colors, and the kind that used to eat babies but now they don't because now they're nice for some reason. Ugh... If all scores start the same except for these bonuses, I'd like to see those bonuses differentiate a lot more than it currently appears.

So far, I'm just not impressed with any of the small races (despite a deep love for gnomes in the past).


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I am really excited about this PF 2nd edition, and am already pumping up my players for the playtest!

One thing I hope to see available at some point is a single-class Rogue-Sorcerer type. Multiclassing has never been smooth in Pathfinder without sacrificing half your power and combat-ability, unless you like cherry-picking levels to min-max your character. With the overall success of the Magus class, I was hoping on a "ShadowMage" class somewhere along the line that would incorporate arcane mage and subterfuge. The arcane trickster is a step in the right direction, but waiting till 7th level (at least) before you can play the kind of character you want is difficult.

p.s. I know that I could always create an archetype or something which allows a nearly-customized creation, but I've always been hoping for a single-class that would combine this iconic brotherhood of rogues and thieves who use magic to pull off their sneaky-ness.


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I would like to see more than just 6 Campaign traits... some groups are larger and also it would be nice if the players felt that they didn't have to shoehorn themselves into the ONE trait that seems Rogue-ish, or Mage-ish, etc. I'd really like to see 10 or 12 Campaign traits in each thread to give players a wider range of choices.

Adam Daigle wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Traits.
Obvs. ;)


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Age of Worms... the Diamond Lake setting at the beginning is just a great extremely well-developed background that really lent credibility to the whole starting scenario.

Also as far as the Paizo products go, my personal favorites have always been Legacy of Fire and Curse of the Crimson Throne. And I regret that they have not been converted to Pathfinder material. In my opinion, they are by FAR the best two Adventure Paths to date, but they fall short because they are still written in D&D 3.5 format.


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Here's something I learned, the hard way... I was running another adventure path and I accidentally TPK'd the party. The group was notably upset, and when we went to make new characters and pick up where we left off, the players had lost their enthusiasm. Their fire was gone, their interest waned and the game died out. I had inadvertently killed my campaign.

So after this debacle, and several months of free time, I was still kicking myself for killing my campaign and I came to the conclusion that I should have played it differently. Like most of us, I exercise my love for fantasy and action-genre with both RPG's and movies. And in most of the movies about our beloved genre, the villains don't kill the heroes... if they do, it's either a minor character, or if a main character dies it's almost never arbitrary. And that's the mistake I made. You see, in our particular campaign, the party had gotten both front-line fighters paralyzed with some bad rolls and the rest of the party was too occupied and too far away to prevent their coup-de-grace the following round while helpless. After the main muscle had succumbed, the support characters lacked the power to stand up to the remaining foes and soon fell as well. At the time, it seemed a logical choice by the villain to finish the heroes off once and for all while they lay helpless but really... in the movies, in the stories, that would never have happened. I should have gloated.

Gloating is a cinematic staple and employed correctly can prolong fights long enough for the hero to make a quick recovery and a desperate comeback. Think about it... Zod doesn't melt Superman's eyes and give him a heat-vision lobotomy while Supes is busy holding up a crumbling building... instead, Zod gloats and brags how Superman is so inferior to his own evil genius. Joker can't just slice Batman's throat while he's tied up... instead the Clown Prince of Crime has to brag about his latest zany scheme, giving Batman time to escape his bonds and turn the tables. James Bond isn't shot in the head after he's knocked unconscious... no, that isn't Evil Genius etiquette. Instead Mr. Bond has to be strapped to the mastermind's rocket/bomb/atomic-laser, watching the timer countdown while the villain gloats at having defeated his noble foe, then goes to get himself a Cappuccino while Bond disarms the bomb and gets away.

So... instead of having Xanesha blow up the heroes of Sandpoint at the top of the clocktower, have her use her spells to shock/stun/incapacitate them, and then while they lay helpless, have her brag about it... let her tantalizingly wrap one of her prey in her coils while tracing her claws lightly across his face while she teases him with disclosure of her leadership of the Brothers of Seven and how foolish the heroes were for stopping her evil plans... this may give the heroes time to stabilize, chug a potion or two, maybe even get off a healing burst or quick Cure Wounds spell and then make a heroic last stand. Or if the Skinsaw Man has his prey paralyzed and bleeding out and all seems lost... have His Lordship brag about his ascension to undead status and then exclaim how the party could never understand his pure unholy motives. A few rounds of his boasting could give the party time to recover or un-paralyze and give them a second chance to fight back.

I'm not saying that bad dice rolls don't happen, 'cuz obviously they do. But don't miss the opportunity to give the party a good fighting chance to recover from being helpless, should it happen. And don't miss the chance to let the villains gloat... it makes a much better story than "You failed your save, so I guess you're dead."


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Another question: would you consider repeated mutilation of the fallen an Evil act? Or just a morally questionable one?


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James Jacobs wrote:

Whether or not you ignore the Wealth By Level tables... it's VERY important for the GM to be familiar with why they're there anyway. Because one of the things Pathfinder assumes is that the PCs WILL have treasure of a certain amount by certain levels. If you're playing in a game where character wealth is super low, the GM should take pains to adjust encounters as appropriate.

And when a new PC joins the group, he REALLY should give that new PC wealth equal to the average possessed by the party—a situation where the average PC wealth is 500 and a newly created character would have 10,500 is blatantly unfair and disrespectful of the players who HAVE played their characters.

Agreed... I don't play often, as I've got Perpetual-DM Syndrome, but one of the last campaigns I played in we had really been struggling in an epic end-of-the-world-if-you-don't-save-the-day scenario; the PCs were the world's last hope. By 7th level we were still struggling for magic items as the ones we found were very minor stuff (never over +1) and we were on a clock so there was no downtime to craft our own. So when the DM brought in his girlfriend to play and she started her elven ranger with a +2 Brilliant Holy Composite Longbow and a couple +2 Undead Bane shortswords, there was a very real Player mutiny. Although we initially fought our way past the tears and recriminations phase, the hurt feelings were very real, and as the DM had lost the player's trust, the campaign fizzled out and died very shortly thereafter.

Moral of this story: If DM's use their power to play favorites or carry out grudge matches against specific players, they lose trust and respect from their players. I don't believe any game can survive without both of those traits.


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It's all about the Wizard, for sheer power n' versatility: "I am capable of rearranging the fundamental building blocks of the Universe in under six seconds with ample time left over to move 30 feet. I am capable of manipulating matter and energy on a subatomic level by speaking aloud. A mere flick of my finger is sufficient to alter the gravitational pull of the plant. I shelve physics texts under "Fiction" in my personal library, and I consider the Laws of Thermodynamics loose guidelines at best! In short, I am grasping the reins of the Universe's carriage, and every morning I wake up, look to the heavens and shout, "Giddy Up, Boy!" You may never grasp the complexities of what I do, but at least have the courtesy to feign something other than slack-jawed oblivion in my presence. I, sir, am a WIZARD, and I break more natural laws before breakfast than of which you are even aware!"

Fighters are also fun because nothing says good-times like more feats.

And Paladins are also fun because their moral code and perpetual LG status makes then natural born heroes and an easy plot-hook for any adventure just waiting to happen.


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Personally, I've been running this AP for my players for some time now, using the Pathfinder rules... we started using the Pathfinder Beta and when the hardcover PFRPG came out, we immediately converted to that. For conversions there must be, to fit in with the different rules and for the different feel of the world of Golarion. I set the scene in the mountains of the southern continent, near the Mwangi Expanse and Sargava. Really, you just need a volcanic region with some heavy jungle and savannah nearby. Some of the changes or modifications I've incorporated are as follows:

The churches of Cauldron play a major part in the unfolding of the story. I switched the churches of St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, Kord and Wee Jas to Iomedae, Abadar, Gorum, and Pharasma, respectively. Pharasma could also substituted for Nethys I suppose, but I amped up the mystical and creepy factors whenever the party visited there, having the halls change in dimension and layout each visit, rooms appearing when they weren't looking, and a layer of silence and gravity pervading the entire structure whenever the party was visiting. Very Boris Karloff vibe...

Spoiler:
The gnomes of Golarion are not necessarily the tinkers and engineers from D&D, so I had devised my own history of the splitting of the gnome race between gnomes and spriggans, with the spriggans being the "black humor" machinists and the architects of J'zadirune. The Vanishing was caused by a failed attempt to find a cure for the Bleaching.

Likewise, the Golarion goblins are no longer the D&D goblins you remember, and seem to lack the organization required to fill the roles presented in Chapter 2: Drakthar's Way. I suggest substituting your own version of small humanoid villain's instead... hobgoblins might work though they are medium creatures, and derro might work as well though they are really too powerful to use as written. You might just say "these goblins are different" but it's up to you.

Beholders no longer exist in Golarion, and likewise many other creatures featured in the adventure path are now the property of WotC: Umber Hulks, Kuo-toa, Slaad, etc. Just use the stat blocks provided and do some basic PF conversion: more feats, consolidated skills, figure out the CMB/CMD, etc.

Other than that, most of your work comes down to just doing some basic rules conversions, especially for the many, many monsters with Class levels, as the PC Classes seemed to receive the biggest overhaul switching from 3.5 D&D to Pathfinder RPG. It's not too complicated and much of it can be done on the fly if you have any head for numbers at all. Be especially attentive to the changes made to monks, paladins, bards and barbarians, and be ready for domain changes and add bloodlines to your sorcerers. If you need it all written down, be prepared for a major paper-chase.