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SuperBidi wrote:

We disagree on RAW, not on RAI.

The sentence: "You can't use magic items." implies that you can use normal items. The implication comes from english, and as such is part of RAW.
The same way the sentence "The dragon can’t use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds." implies that the dragon can use Breath Weapon after that. The RAW reading of this sentence contains the implication and no one states that, per RAW, we don't know if the dragon can breath again after 1d4 rounds.
You're trying to defend a specific way of reading english that would be RAW. But English is not a programming language and as such carries a lot of implications. Ignoring the implications makes your reading wrong, not better.

This rule is unclear. Per RAW, as it comes from the way it's written. That's why people start speaking about the intent, because we can't determine the rule directly from the way it's written and stating that the rule is clear is nearly insulting. We should stop the discussion about RAW and English, as it's a rabbit hole, and quite an obvious one.

Given that PF2 is very much a permissive set of rules that only allow for actions covered by said rules, your reading it as an implication simply doesn't make sense. In point of fact, PF2, as written, cannot imply things that don't have bespoke mechanical interactions because it doesn't give us any means by which to resolve an implied rule. Furthermore, I doubt you could find any other 'implied rules' without torturing the meaning of what is written as you are attempting to do here.

Your reading of RAW is wishful at best and malicious at worst.


Ventnor wrote:
Is this a complaint about PF2 in particular, or every D&D and D&D-derived game ever made?

Vancian casting and rigid spells have always been an issue for D&D but PF1 and 3.x gave a lot more freedom in how you could modify spells than PF2 does. It also helps that the baseline for what magic could do was significantly higher and that new content was released quickly so that the meta for spells actually got shaken up once in a while.

Older editions also gave us Psionics, spell points, fatigue based casting and other such systems in their splatbooks. That PF2 went with the most vanilla version of D&D casting is disappointing.


Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:

You shouldn't. You should take the framework that they gave you, add in pieces you like, discard pieces you don't like, and then play the game the way you want it. If you want Wordcasting back, or whatever, then convert it and put it back.

It's not that difficult, and it works a LOT better than Paizo trying to spread themselves way too thin by testing and developing for every variation of every blade of grass in every meadow. I *PROMISE* that Paizo isn't going to go to your homegame and take back their books just because you changed some stuff. Scouts honor.

What makes you think I don't already do that? I'm asking because I want to see what Paizo's excellent developers can do without being slaves to balance.


Keirine, Human Rogue wrote:

I'm a little confused... why don't you just do it? Just look at your GM and say, "Hey, I want my fireball to affect a larger area, is it okay if I trade out X damage dice to add Y to the radius, and add an action to the cast time?"

I mean, it isn't like every single corner case needs to be hard-coded into the game. The game is a framework. Make up stuff that works for your table. Why do you want Paizo to develop stuff for your table, they have better things to do.

By that logic why should I ask them to design a game for me at all? I have a mind, a pen, paper, and dice why shouldn't I just figure things out from there?

I'm mainly just asking for options that existed in PF1 that have been cut from PF2.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
Norade wrote:
Would it be that hard to balance a Wizard who's made their fireball do less damage but over a larger area? Or the wizard that wants to fire a single big magic missile instead of a massive spam of them? Or for a sorcerer to put just a little more oomph into a big spell, by using an extra action or lower-level spell slot, when the chips are down?

To me, yes.

The more the limits, the better the balance.
This is a concept which goes with everything ( I can think of the difference between video games with more or less RPG component, to say one ).

More customizaion ( in the way you proposed it ) leads, inevitably, to more powercreep.

Leaving apart spells for now, just thinking about of the CRB classes and dedications balance compared to the current one should properly do the thing.

Is balance so important that it's worth sacrificing customizability to achieve it? I've never thought so but I'm also more and more becoming a fan of older games and more character-driven games. I think it's way cooler for a character to spend a resource, declare something about a scene to be true, and advance the story that way than to crit by happening to roll a large enough number.


Why does every wizard on Golarion cast the exact same fireball, minus a very few meta magic effects? Do they all just copy ancient notes without innovation? Does magic just dictate that you can only evoke exactly x fire at between y and z distances and it takes tremendous effort to change that?

It seems lame that magic is so rigid and inflexible when that's just not what one sees in fiction. Would it be that hard to balance a Wizard who's made their fireball do less damage but over a larger area? Or the wizard that wants to fire a single big magic missile instead of a massive spam of them? Or for a sorcerer to put just a little more oomph into a big spell, by using an extra action or lower-level spell slot, when the chips are down?


RexAliquid wrote:
Norade wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Others are and they're available for them.
Two years post-launch
You keep saying that, but where would you have put them?

In the core book alongside other contemporary technologies as high-cost one-shot burst damage weapons that take rounds and multiple skill checks to reload. Something a dedicated character might own a few of but at a cost in gold and skill investment that makes a real choice to build a character around.


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Cydeth wrote:

I generally don't like guns in fantasy games. There are exceptions (I prefer to play pirate games with guns and cannons, for instance, and I am working on a Victoriana-style adventure which includes repeating rifles and revolvers), but in general I really dislike it without specific buy-in. If firearms were ubiquitous in Pathfinder, I never would have bought the game to begin with. It wouldn't be the game I wanted to play, so I simply... would have discarded it entirely.

I suspect that's a good part of why things are separated the way they are in Golarian. Things are generally modular, so you can bring in the aspects you want more easily while excluding things that aren't part of the base assumption.

Now, my own attitude toward gunslingers and the like has softened a little, I allowed a gunslinger in my Night of Gray Death campaign that just started, but I generally dislike them in games of the sort. I think that the adventure lends itself to a feel that makes guns feel more acceptable to me, but that could just be internal quibbling.

Anyway, yeah. If Paizo ever goes all-in on guns everywhere in-setting, I'll probably stop buying anything set in Golarion.

Do you have a reason for this strong dislike? I'm not baiting, just genuinely curious as to why so many people dislike them as much as they do.


thejeff wrote:
Others are and they're available for them.

Two years post-launch, on basically one class.

Quote:
I don't think it has anything to do with "inaccuracy". Fantasy RPG worlds are generally a kitchen sink pile of weirdness anyway, so pushing to require firearms be ubiquitous based on "historical accuracy" seems weird to me. They're available, but walled off mechanically so those who don't like them can avoid them.

By all means, do that. I'm asking that they be made a core item that people are free to ignore rather than an add-on that people need to wait to use.

Quote:
My problem with guns from a "realism" standpoint is that guns change the world and they did so long before they advanced enough to be useful for heroic adventurers. If you were emulating reality, you might have plate armor and rapiers and guns, but the guns would be mostly confined to cannon and slow firing arquebuses or the like. That makes the guns things that transform warfare long before they'd be effective for adventuring. You'd run into bandits or other humanoid enemies attacking you with a volley, rather than being able to use them yourself.

Those would likely be at least mid-level foes as guns, and more to the point a good supply of gunpowder should be a rare resource on par with a magic item; incidentally, I also feel the same way about plate armor.

Quote:
Unless of course you ignore historical accuracy with guns the way Paizo has, but then there's no reason that everyone hasn't traded in their swords and bows for guns and that gives a very different feel than I want in my fantasy.

Building up the industry needed to have firearms be that common takes a long time. That won't change too much if guns are just better than they should be.

As for your idea that either guns are NPC-only items or ahistorically good, I don't think that needs to be entirely true. I'd just have PC guns be well-made prototypes that their owners tinker with to make them more accurate. Keep the very long reload times and high lethality and make guns the equivalent of a mid-level spell like Scorching Ray. You fire your shot and either drop your weapon, fix your bayonet, or take cover for a while and try a series of skill checks to see how quickly you can reload. Even enemies might volley once with muskets hoping for a few lucky hits and then drop them for polearms or bows, or else they'd have to fire smaller volleys and exchange empty guns for loaded ones to keep up a once every few rounds rate of fire.

In any case as long as guns are rare outside of armories they shouldn't overwhelm the flavor of a more traditional fantasy game.


Leon Aquilla wrote:

PF2 is already a phone book, so no matter what you're a fan of, something's going to wind up getting cut. Firearms for Pathfinder 2e especially represented a problem because they struck against touch AC which was always a lot lower than normal AC. Then PF2e abolished touch AC -- so now you've got to figure out how you're going to balance firearms. I don't think they had the answer to that question when PF2 core was released 3 years ago.

I think it's fair to say your question is more "Why are firearms considered uncommon/rare", in which case yes it's a thematic choice on the part of the writers. If you disagree with it, well, that's what Guns & Gears is for.

Of course, one book shouldn't seek to contain everything a game will ever need but it would be nice if an entire type of weapon wasn't always on the cutting room floor with an edition change. Firearms aren't just rare, they don't seem to be considered a core of the game by any major developer even when the lore has shown them to exist as fairly common items in some corners of its world. If the same happened with full-plate or druids people would be up in arms even though druids as portrayed in fantasy likely never existed and plate armor was of the same level of hard to obtain as firearms.

I also don't buy that it took two years of development for the game to get the niche and class-restricted firearms that we did wind up with but I find most post-CRB content to be a bit lacking in terms of delivering what the fluff promises. YYMV on that issue.


Given that a default game of PF2 has a roughly 16th century level of technology*, it seems odd that firearms are generally excluded from the core rules. There was never a time when the knight in full harness astride a stead existed in a world without gunpowder or firearms. Is the distaste some people have for them simply a byproduct of early genre pieces and early fantasy RPGs excluding firearms or is there some other cause of this distaste? Moreover, should we simply accept that firearms are too 'spicy' for core rules or should we seek to correct the inaccuracy and include them fully and from the start of whatever the next big fantasy game/new edition is?

*Judging by the designs of plate armor available as well as the existence of the rapier and some of the polearms listed.


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GM OfAnything wrote:
I can only imagine that the designers had their reasons for doing it the way they did.

They very likely wanted to make both halves fully useable in campaigns where one or the other didn't fit the tone. There's no real harm in this but they were, as they have been in many things post-CRB, extremely cautious and left a lot of design space unused trying to color within the existing lines.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

The assumption of PF2 broadly is that if something is not for everybody or every game, it's better to mark it uncommon so GMs can say "yes" or "no" when asked, rather than expecting the GM to comb through every conceivable option to preemptively ban they ones they don't want to deal with.

When you play with completely random strangers as your GM this can get inconvenient, but for a GM "marking something like guns uncommon, and giving nobody access by default except for the gun class" is the easiest way to do it.

But top level choices, that you make at first level, are the easiest ones to do pre-clearance on anyway. I don't know about other people, but I make way more first level characters (and sketches of later level plans) than I ever get to play anyway.

That seems pretty at odds with Golarion's grab-bag theme park-style world where wuxia rubs shoulders with steampunk and fur-wearing barbarians.

Plus, the classic plate we picture knights wearing never existed in a time when firearms hadn't been invented. The fact that people have a shaky grasp of history and let that color their idea of high fantasy is something we should work to fix, not something to be expected and catered to.


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Gaulin wrote:
Yeah that's not a priority for 2e. Things like alchemist immortality don't exist short of getting the sun orchid elixir. Like it or not, 2e is 'gamier' than 1e. Best to appreciate it for what it is

You can have the rules be gamier, I have little issue with that concept. What I have an issue with is the lore not mentioning the massive change. One thing 4e did well was to explain the change to how magic works with an in-universe explanation.


HumbleGamer wrote:

I don't really know.

If I were to guess, I'd say the same thing preventing them from releasing more errata :d

I mean, when you deliver a brand new version of the game it's not a priority to explain those changes ( though they might do that time by time with the release of new books. I don't see that very impactful as a player ).

I'm the opposite. I value lore and how a system presents itself more highly than the rules it uses to do so. I'd love it if Paizo were to style Pathfinder after how Battletech has handled things over the years in spite of having had multiple rights holders over that span.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Norade wrote:

What is the in-universe explanation for buffs not stacking? Did Paizo ever publish lore explaining why spells that worked in PF1 no longer have the same effects and why buffs that used to stack don't work anymore or did they just handwave it and expect us to not ask questions?

Obviously out of the universe the reason is a new version of the game with a different set balance requirements came out, but I'm a sucker for such changes being explained in the lore.

Well, because when you deliver a game what matters the most is balance, rules and so on.

How does this prevent them from updating the lore to explain changes that, were the world real, would greatly impact the lives of all Golarions?


What is the in-universe explanation for buffs not stacking? Did Paizo ever publish lore explaining why spells that worked in PF1 no longer have the same effects and why buffs that used to stack don't work anymore or did they just handwave it and expect us to not ask questions?

Obviously out of the universe the reason is a new version of the game with a different set balance requirements came out, but I'm a sucker for such changes being explained in the lore.


Loreguard wrote:

Ok, slotless caster that isn't limited to Cantrips.

Cantrips, we already have regular cantrips, and we have focus cantrips (although they may have flavors/hex/composition/etc). We might have a new variation on cantrips that have AMPs coming.

But what if there was a Stance type spells.
you start the casting by Entering the stance potentially spending an action, choosing the stance spell.

The spell defines the entrance and completion requirements. Some parts of the spell might likely have to be decided at entering the stance. Most stances will require paying an action to sustain the casting. The stances include spells (cantrips) that can be cast in lieu of sustaining to maintain the stance. Casting these specified cantrips, either take the place of sustaining the spell, or empower the spell, making its eventual unleashing more powerful on its completion.

Any round following a round that a stance spell has been started, where the stance has been maintained, the spell may be completed, by paying the spells completion cost. It produces the effect defined in the spell. In addition to heightening of spells based on spell level the caster is capable of casting, commitment of certain other actions and spellcasting can increase the effect of the spell via Empowerment as defined in the spell.

So a Primal caster might start combat entering a Flame Strike stance. It takes 1 action and has to choose either a Melee or Ranged version of their spell. To sustain their casting they have to spend an action sustaining the casting it, or cast a primal cantrip with a fire trait. If the spell takes two or more actions it counts as being empowered that round. After starting the stance, and casting a couple produce flames for a couple rounds, they cast another produce flame and then complete their stance spell choosing a target per the completion requirements (and the target having to be ranged or melee according to their original choice).

There might be some Stance Focus powers that might be bought with a...

This stance idea could do some very interesting things. You could make spells that require you to have gone from one stance into another stance to cast. So you might have the option to move and enter a stance in round one and then either use that stance to unleash a spell or transfer into another stance, use a cantrip or focus spell and then go for a powerful effect on turn three. If you add a higher level feat that allows entering a stance and casting a spell to be bundled you could allow them access to these nastier spells on round two instead of three.

You could build something pretty cool if you had a class that had, as an example 5 stances with a few spells per stance, and then 10 combination spells that each requires moving from one stance into another. You have flexibility but changing stances is a cost and you need to think carefully about when changing stances is better than just using another effect.


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siegfriedliner wrote:

Too modes of doing a spotless caster to me are the first exhaustion (fort save based) basically casting a spell requires you to make a Fort save against a dc based on the spell level or become fatigued and can't cast anymore. With feats and class features for managing fatigue and scaling penalty for casting more spells after the first.

The second is have a spellcaster based on a gather power mechanic that limits what spells you can cast depending on how many actions you take.

Both are probably to big a departure to ever fit in 2e but I think both would be pretty cool.

You could have a caster combine those ideas, the gather power action uses a skill check to determine results with the DC made lower for each action used. You'd essentially gain temporary spell levels in a pool that are used up by casting spells. So a 5th level character might gain 5 spell levels on a critical success, 4 on success, 3 on failure, and 2 plus stupified 1 on a crit fail.

The tricky part would be making it so that you don't end up in a two-round loop of gathering energy and casting your highest level spell, repeating until enemies are finished as that is too slow for easy fights and over-tuned in longer combats. You could make feats that let you start each battle with a set number of spell levels in your pool to solve needing to charge for a round in easy fights and have the DC scale with each check to stop longer battles from being trivialized.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Norade wrote:
Alfa/Polaris wrote:

So...are you going to engage with the suggestions that were offered to you or are you just here to complain until the cows come home?

Since the somewhat interesting premise of this thread has devolved into trying to satisfy you when you're mostly incompatible with the system tries to do, I mean.

I have engaged with them and found them wanting. I've yet to see anything else proposed that even attempts to meet my needs. I'm going to be a tough sell but the right build could do it. I basically want a 3.x/PF1 style smite paladin or a battle cleric that actually feels like a martial and not a speed bump that heals people and swings as a 3rd action.

Champions are extremely tough in PF2. The champion paladin one of the better champion damage dealers. With a 2-handed d12 weapon and Ranged Reprisal, their Champion Reaction ability is pretty wide. I had fun playing it. Feels powerful in PF2.

If I wanted to add some alphastrike ability, I guess you could take Cleric Archetype and get the channel smite feats focusing on the ability to alphastrike with Channel Smite using most of your slots for alphastriking. Though I prefer to boost AC and attack rolls with Protection and Heroism.

I like my champion paladin. Very powerful feeling. I based my paladin on Claymore Theresa/Clare combination except with a shield and bastard sword. She kicks ass.

It looks like an Automaton Champion of Casandalee could make for a pretty interesting base to work from.


Alfa/Polaris wrote:

So...are you going to engage with the suggestions that were offered to you or are you just here to complain until the cows come home?

Since the somewhat interesting premise of this thread has devolved into trying to satisfy you when you're mostly incompatible with the system tries to do, I mean.

I have engaged with them and found them wanting. I've yet to see anything else proposed that even attempts to meet my needs. I'm going to be a tough sell but the right build could do it. I basically want a 3.x/PF1 style smite paladin or a battle cleric that actually feels like a martial and not a speed bump that heals people and swings as a 3rd action.


Squiggit wrote:

Wackiness is a good framing. Pathfinder 2 (and honestly, even 1 to a large extent) tends to play characters fairly straight, which makes any concept that relies on something a little out there either untenable or come online at a much higher level.

But I mean even on a more basic level... most anime characters and a big chunk of modern video game characters and characters in other forms of similar media can both fight well and have some sort of magic powers (or something adjacent to it). It's kind of just the standard in a lot of media.

Pathfinder 2 has one class that really fits that entire archetype of characters, so they pretty much don't exist as supportable PF2 concepts.

This is sad because those exact concepts were the best part of PF1 and where Paizo really hit their stride in making new classes. Half casters are amazing and PF2 just can't or won't support them.

Quote:
Kind of like how in PF1 the whole concept of a mobile combatant was nearly nonexistent because of full-attacking rules. Or how in both games slotted spellcasting makes emulating pretty much any fictional magic user almost impossible to satisfyingly pull off.

I'll give you mobile combat but you could work around spell slots with spell points or psychic classes, or the casting system from the Wheel of Time 3.x game.


The Raven Black wrote:
You realize that 3.5/PF1 has 17 years worth of content vs PF2's 2 years, right ?

Yes, I also realize that Pazo is releasing content at a glacial pace by comparison to those years. 3.0, the fairest comparable we can make, had 16 rulebooks (they didn't really do PF2 style adventure guides), 56 companion magazines, and 11 adventures. This is compared to PF2 which has 8 rules-heavy books and 11 rules-light adventure guides alongside 37 adventures or adventure paths. It's fair to say that even an apples to apples comparison has PF2 behind D&D 3.0 on the actual rules content.

I'd also argue that D&D 3.0 was more experimental in what it tried to cover with its Epic Level Handbook, Manual of the Planes, and Stronghold Builder's Guidebook releasing early into its lifecycle alongside proto Savage Species content published in Dragon. With Savage Species itself only missing our cutoff date by a mere 2 months.


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The Raven Black wrote:
I guess we will agree to disagree. Not saving someone's life when it costs nothing is Evil IMO.

Does the character know this? From their perspective they see a single emaciated beggar, they may see them every day and have no reason to believe that this day sees them any worse off than the last. They may have given them bread and other support for a while, witnessed no improvement and decided to cut support for a lost cause. None of these acts are evil.

EDIT: Is a person who gives 9 times but doesn't give the 10th time evil? If there's a row of beggars is it evil to give to one and not all? Is it evil if you give to only the most pathetic beggars and not the ones that look healthy? Is it evil if you only give to the ones you feel have a chance and ignore the lost causes? Where do we draw the line at how much charity a person has to give to stay good?


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Norade wrote:

My thing isn't that I want power*, what I really want are options and detailed specificity in character design.

That 3.x/PF1 style of character building was wildly all over the place in terms of which bits made a variable character. What I want is that with the top 20% at each end brought in towards the middle. Yes, that means you can still build a fairly useless character, but it also means you can build your character and not just your spin on an archetype. That's what keeps pushing me away from PF2.

Pf2 keeps drawing me in with its slick 3-action system and being a modern fantasy RPG with familiar design elements AND build options, but it loses me when I try to make a character feel like it's mine. There just isn't room for that and a lot of my favoured archetypes aren't even supported yet and may never be supported. PF2 is so close to what I want that what I see as its flaws become even more repulsive than 5e's many issues and complete upfront lack of customization.

*I will acknowledge that a higher base level of power can help represent certain characters better than PF2 can, but that isn't my main desire.

I wasn't actually trying to suggest that your thing was power. Power is easy - you just run a game where the enemies are relatively straightforward and also a level or two on the low side.

I was speaking mostly to the audience there. Many here perceive me as merely wanting a more powerful character and simply hating on PF2's tight balance for that reason. I'm merely a pessimist caught in a loop of being drawn to PF2 and then repulsed by its details.

Quote:
My point was about PF2's attitude towards system mastery. It's allowed, and even encouraged, but the payoff at the end - where you look at what you have wrought by means of your system mastery - is limited.

I like using system mastery to make oddities that take tragically underpowered ideas good enough to play at a table that's playing low twos and threes on the old 3.x tier list. PF2 doesn't offer this ability partly because even the Artificer isn't that bad but mainly because its options are all so heavily gated behind rules that state, in essence, "This class, and only this class, can do X within these specific limitations." I want to make a user of X that doesn't also do the Y & Z associated with that class but that can do B from one class and F from another.

Quote:
I suppose that another aspect is that for all its magic, this is a heroic game, rather than a superheroic one. It does pretty well at representing things like Conan, LotR, or Thundercats. It does poorly at representing the worlds where people have specific unique weird powers that they can use at will and that grow slowly over time (like, say, One Piece). It's also one where a fair number of the classes are very specifically themed. Summoners, Magii, and...

Yes, every class in PF2 grows sideways but not vertically. This isn't generally how heroes in fiction tend to grow. This is why I suggested that PF2 was, to my mind and standards, bad at faithfully recreating many fantasy characters.

I want to play Yasseriel, Hammer of the Commons, Bane of Unbelievers who has a smite, heavy armour, and a charisma focus. Not the version that has to be built on a Warpriest, Champion, Magus, or Barbarian. I want to make Nameless, a chimeric experiment unnamed and unwanted who nonetheless wishes to be a hero. I want to make Hungry Harry, the troll that jammed on a ring of sustenance and free of the curse of hunger gets to learn and grow and see if a troll can be more than just eating and killing. PF2 doesn't do a good job of allowing for outsider characters built from monsters or characters with extremely narrow focuses.

I simply can't overcome that as when I try to build a character I feel more boxed in by what I can't do than thrilled at the possibilities that PF2 offers. I struggle to see it as a system giving me things instead of a system that has stripped many options and sold me back other options as a class or ancestry feat. If there were a class that just did one cool thing, without tap dancing around action restrictions, that could be my door in but I haven't found that yet.


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The Raven Black wrote:
The second does not share their bread so that they can feed ducks who do not need it.

Yet we're not given any insight as to why. They could hold a belief that their bread is too stale to give to another human. They could be so burnt out as to not have the mental fortitude needed to acknowledge the homeless person. They may simply not believe in charity at a personal level instead preferring to invest in changes at a policy level.

Without knowing why they pass them by this is a neutral act.

Quote:
And the third one beats or even kills the starving man : "begins to treat him as cruelly as the first or second Evil characters would have done."

I acknowledged that in my point:

"This becomes evil if in the future they do as the first example would but stays potentially good if they merely ignore that one begar while preaching to others that have yet to reject them."

So beating them is always 100% evil. Preaching, being rebuffed, and ignoring them for those who do take your help and follow your rules can be good if the intent behind it is good.


Sanityfaerie wrote:
Norade wrote:
I like systems where mastery matters.

This, I think, is the heart of the issue and you're never going to be satisfied, because this is a matter of fundamental disagreement.

I am a character optimizer myself. I enjoy recreational system mastery. One of the things that has most impressed me about PF2 is how they handled it. 5e handles CharOppers by hating us indiscriminately and taking away all our toys, and then when we ask where all they toys went, they tell us that we are bad and wrong little children, and we don't deserve toys. Given the ways in which 5e was a reaction to 4e... that's understandable, though I personally don't enjoy it much.

PF2 offers lots and lots of toys... and then has everything very tightly budgeted so that you can't do anything too overwhelming with them. Like, if you know exactly what your'e doing, and you put real effort into it, you can eke out... maybe a 10% or 20% efficiency bonus. (Not real numbers - that's just my gut reaction of how it feels to me). I get to play that part of the game, and I get to gain real advantages by playing that part of the game well, but the advantages I gain are still limited enough that no matter what I do I'm not going to utterly marginalize the player to my left who walked in only knowing that they wanted to play a dwarf with an axe.

This was entirely intentional. I know that because I've dipped my feet into game design enough to know that this kind of effect, at this kind of scale, is really hard to pull off well. It's not the kind of thing that happens by mistake, and it's not the kind of thing that's going to change. Now, personally, I think it's awesome. I'm honestly very impressed by it. If you don't like it, though? I think it's a "deal with it and move on" moment, really. A design choice that's been given this level of investment simply isn't going to go away.

My thing isn't that I want power*, what I really want are options and detailed specificity in character design.

That 3.x/PF1 style of character building was wildly all over the place in terms of which bits made a variable character. What I want is that with the top 20% at each end brought in towards the middle. Yes, that means you can still build a fairly useless character, but it also means you can build your character and not just your spin on an archetype. That's what keeps pushing me away from PF2.

Pf2 keeps drawing me in with its slick 3-action system and being a modern fantasy RPG with familiar design elements AND build options, but it loses me when I try to make a character feel like it's mine. There just isn't room for that and a lot of my favoured archetypes aren't even supported yet and may never be supported. PF2 is so close to what I want that what I see as its flaws become even more repulsive than 5e's many issues and complete upfront lack of customization.

*I will acknowledge that a higher base level of power can help represent certain characters better than PF2 can, but that isn't my main desire.


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At the risk of being moderated again, I'm once again going to quote KC's example of people dealing with a starving homeless person. This isn't to call out KC and I don't wish KC to respond if they feel it would harm their mental health, I merely think it's a good example to use to show my own thoughts on the matter.

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The first Evil character sees a starving man on the side of the road. She goes out of her way to harm the man in some way--robbing him, killing him, cheating him, mocking him. She didn't have to do this. She is not starving to death herself. This is unambiguously evil.

I think we can all agree that this is evil.

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The second Evil character sees a starving man on the roadside. She happens to be carrying a sack full of loaves of bread. She is well-fed, and she's taking these loaves to go and feed the ducks, even though the ducks are also well-fed. She refuses to help the man, even though it would cost her literally nothing. Perhaps she thinks poor people deserve to starve, or perhaps she just doesn't want to be bothered. This is evil, albeit more passively so--and not just because she's feeding ducks bread (don't do that). She is allowing a man to die in front of her despite having the means to save him easily and casually within her grasp.

This is closer to neutral as this person could have any number of reasons for not sharing their bread. Furthermore, if this is evil most of us are evil for not doing things within our power to fight evil.

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The third Evil character sees a starving man on the roadside. She has only one loaf of bread, but she goes and shares it with him, feeling compassion for his plight. She talks to the man and comforts him, reassuring him that one day, her (evil or amoral) deity's blessings will shine upon him, as they have her. The man reacts with disgust--he's a follower of a goodly god. Upon seeing his reaction, and hearing his faith, the Evil character immediately loses all sympathy, and begins to treat him as cruelly as the first or second Evil characters would have done.

This one could be arguably a good act. Yes, this character worships a god which the person in need thinks is evil, however, without having a guide to every diety as we do, the character in question may think that this god is actually good. After all, from their perspective, they've been granted strength and asked only to do what they already saw as a moral thing to do.

This becomes evil if in the future they do as the first example would but stays potentially good if they merely ignore that one begar while preaching to others that have yet to reject them.

This example can also be flipped to the real world. A church that provides shelter but kicks people out for not following strict rules or a rehab facility doing the same. Perhaps we should offer all help unconditionally, but rarely does that actually happen. Is it evil to offer help with strings attached and to withdraw support once it's clear that your requests will not be met?


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Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Moderated out some real-world political references that border on hate speech against a religious group. I'll be keeping an eye on it and if it starts to go off rails I will be locking it for the rest of the weekend.

Can you be more specific? I had a post go and I have no idea what part of it you took objection to? It's hard to avoid doing things that will be moderated if the mods don't give details even via PMs.


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Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
Except that's not really what's happening. The objective morality they have attempted to produce and reinforce in the setting has generally been sold as following a generally moderate/left and relatively progressive bent. It's been more or less the stated goal of the creatives and of the company.

That isn't an objective standard of morality. Unless they can create a logical constant system for sorting any given action, paired with any given intent, paired with any given outcome into the boxes of lawful good, neutral good, etc. no real-world system can ever claim any kind of objective morality.

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On top of that, not everyone is really willing to engage with media that props up objectionable material as 'good actually', especially not media that actively requires personal participation and interaction with it.

Except that nobody is calling that particular action good. Evil can be done even by good people. Saints can be sinners. Morality is complex and painting it all in solid colours with no shades does a disservice to a setting that ostensibly tries to feel real.


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keftiu wrote:
Norade wrote:

My question is, why can't we have problematic things in games? Dwarves can be mostly good, if stoic, folk who have deeply flawed values when it comes to ancient foes. Given their long lives and rigid society it would also make sense for these views to change very slowly. A lot of Dwarves will have, to use modern parlance, a boomer mindset the sort of afable but racist grandparent that makes you cringe but has a generally decent sense of right and wrong.

At least that's how I use them.

The problem is when those problematic things - in this case, merciless violence against entire peoples - can be presented as Good-aligned. At present, a Dwarf Paladin of Torag could make the case that they’re entitled and obligated to slay every orc they see - and while I think anyone with sense would tell them no, the text itself arguably encourages this interpretation.

That's only a problem if the player and GM both see things the same way. In such a case, that's an issue with that group and they would likely ignore the new lore in favor of what fits their ideal world. In all other cases the GM should act to make it clear that such is not Torag's will.

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Violent hatred of orcs and drow isn’t presented as a traditionalist, regressive flaw in dwarven culture - it’s presented as a cool perk, central enough to the fantasy of being a dwarf to make it into the core rulebook and arguably sanctioned by a core Lawful Good deity.

So? One bad trait isn't enough to shift alignment. Even in a world of absolute morality I argue that it is the net vector of one's actions on the chart that determine good or evil. You are free to set your scale differently, the game gives no useful guidance on how alignment should be measured.


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My question is, why can't we have problematic things in games? Dwarves can be mostly good, if stoic, folk who have deeply flawed values when it comes to ancient foes. Given their long lives and rigid society it would also make sense for these views to change very slowly. A lot of Dwarves will have, to use modern parlance, a boomer mindset the sort of afable but racist grandparent that makes you cringe but has a generally decent sense of right and wrong.

At least that's how I use them.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Sounds like something to bring up to your GM at session zero, that you want clever plays to get unlikely advantages and a laissez faire approach to the game world.

I'm down for a hard game. It's just that games should reward creativity.

In some games, the best way to do collect a bounty might be a car bomb instead of going in guns blazing, in others it could be collecting evidence on a baddy on taking it to one of their enemies, in yet more it might be researching an enemies weakness and loading up on materials to take it down. Enemies in a cave? Light a fire at the cave mouth and smoke them out. Enemies hiding in a room? Nail the door shut and let them run out of supplies.

I don't expect the enemies to fight fair or be easy, so if I can win without risk to myself that's the best way to fight. If that's not an option I want to play the meanest mofo on the battlefield who hits hard, often, and then leaves.


We went in expecting PF1 style bombing and it just wasn't at all what we got. I don't think that the player would have enjoyed the class even if we knew how to play it well just because it wasn't what he wanted.


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BishopMcQ wrote:

Sounds like the Red Warlock in Oglaf (Realistic Goals).

That specific comic is safe, but other comics on the same site are NSFW, so no link.

Exactly, only I used that as a GM tool to stop stupid stuff like that from happening at my table.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Norade wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
It's supported. Not optimal, but it is supported.
Would your group play one using strict RAW? Could any form of RAW alchemist find a useful role at your table and not be 100% the worst choice a player could make?

We already had someone try a goblin alchemist bomber. He had quite a good time playing it. It got better when they released more bombs.

The alchemist proved surprisingly useful in the group setting. I'll explain some of the mechanical reasons why:

1. Their damage is nonmagical. That means it works against golems, doesn't activate abilities like spell turning or increased status bonuses to saves against magic, or prevented by magic immune creatures like will-o-wisps.

2. They do damage even if they miss, often in an area. Their damage adds up over the course of a fight as it hits for 5 or 7 damage on multiple targets a couple of times a round.

3. They can be good at taking advantage of weaknesses because they can mix bombs or alchemical items as needed with Quick Alchemy.

4. Certain elixirs are high value buffs like mist elixir and cheetah elixir. You can also use certain elixirs situationally against creatures with poison or disease to boost saves or hit points.

5. They have a high intelligence so it pays to invest in skills that can allow you to recall knowledge against as an alchemist is more useful if they know what they are going against.

6. Alchemist can be quite powerful, but it takes an actively interested player who wants to learn how to exploit all of his abilities. Whereas someone like a barbarian just rages and swings, an alchemist benefits far more from preparation and information.

There are so many bombs, elixirs, and alchemical formulas and tools that you really need to be able to read and remember them and apply them when useful.

Disadvantages:

1. Alchemist starts off slow because of low number of reagents. This eventually becomes a nonfactor when they get endless infusions for constructing...

That changes my view some.

I only had it at my table in a core-only game at low levels and trying to use your bombs as your main damage dealing tool at that level was less than useful and frustrated the player using the class to no end.

EDIT: I also think we may have played pre-errata. Which also changes things, but is 100% on Paizo for releasing the Alchemist in that state in the first place.


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
The game is kinda like Dark Souls or Hollow Knight or something, you have to actually play it to learn how to succeed-- you learn skills and tactics that make you more successful, rather than just aiming your character build at things and letting it rip.

I enjoy games like that, but the fun in that style of game is breaking them. Doing a skip to get an item early or cheesing a boss off a cliff.

They're dull as dishwater to play normally.


breithauptclan wrote:
I call shenanigans on that idea. You explain how that is even possible to combine together and still end up with a coherent game system.

Easily, you give players FATE tokens and allow them to make describe details of the scene for a mechanical bonus but otherwise use the base games systems. You make characters have FATE style descriptions and can use the system to draw them into adventure.

Norade wrote:
Not a problem. Sounds like you should go play something else then. Have fun with your group of skilled and knowledgeable gamers.

I would but we're scattered across the globe these days and I can't stand GMing via VTT.


Gaulin wrote:
I thought you were agreeing with sanityfaerie, wanting to fight a bunch of orcs and then a boss.

The orcs aren't a fight, they're set dressing for a proper fight and get buffed into proper enemies once the boss shows up. You kill a couple without even tossing dice, make a quip or two, and then get into rolling initiative.


Castilliano wrote:

Just moving goalposts...

A Barb 1/Wiz X is nothing like a dedicated Barbarian!
And you know this, so why say such a thing and call it good?
That PC would still be called a Wizard, albeit w/ anger issues. Meanwhile the actual Barbarian couldn't just dip Wizard to do the same.

Rage Mage. Page 72 of Complete Warrior. A Barbarian with a class-appropriate PrC could 100% pull that off with the right build.

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And those older games also cannot replicate all of the abilities of all of the Shonen, not even Exalted which is based on anime.

One example is I mapped out Gon (HunterXHunter) in PF1 and it was okay, then I mapped him out in PF2 and he blossomed.

PF1 was worse for that than 3.5, thankfully you could just port things over with very few changes.

I could recreate Jordan's storyline, characters, and world with PF2 as well or better than I could have in 3.X or PF1 (both of which I had more mastery of). I have to wonder if even the Wheel of Time RPG manages what you're asking. :-P

The Wheel of Time RPG came out pretty early into the series and didn't do well enough to get any additional material. It did a pretty good job of letting you make spells even if it wasn't developed as well and as completely as it could have been.

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I have no idea why you'd think PF2's freedom of choice makes 3.X better for stealing from PF1. Seems like a non sequitur. And PF1 made me never want to return to 3.X, and instead convert the other direction.

I took parts from both and made my own thing. It was probably more 3.5 than PF1 but the skill merger and CMB/CMD were 100% used once the system dropped and I allowed players to use either version of base classes as they desired. 3.X spells were the default and overwrote the PF1 versions, as did 3.X feats in most cases.

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In fact, in one of your first posts you'd capitulated that it was possible except for burst damage. That's not a requirement of beatsticks, though I'd argue good bursts can be achieved through Focus spells or a Magus MCD. Also there are several combat archetypes that would add some solid reliable beatsticking.

I speculated that it might work with a specific build, even then it won't do what I want entirely. What I want is a 3.X smite paladin or a melee, no I don't heal people, style of Battle Cleric from either PF1 or 3.X. They can be toned down some, but I want to be a proper divine beat stick on par with a Fighter with my buffs up and closer to a Battle Cleric in plate with them down.

I'll willingly toss divine font and my focus spells down a well to get this.


Squiggit wrote:

I don't think it does. PF2 is a game that makes PF2 characters. You can be inspired by other media, but you're not going to make your favorite character from whatever in PF2, because PF2 is built around a specific set of mechanics and concepts that don't necessarily align with most other popular fiction.

This isn't really new though. 3.5/PF1 and 5e are likewise pretty garbage at creating characters from other media.

I feel like 3.x especially could get a lot closer than PF2 can, but it's true making some things fit could be clunky. That's just going to happen unless you go full skill-based or are GURPS.


Perpdepog wrote:
Really, REALLY genre-savvy wizards probably just made an army of efreeti simulacra with enough wishes to make themselves into a god and never bothered about those worlds with those pesky adventurers in them.

The savviest was the Omnicifier, who oversaw all of this and persuaded anybody who might try this to pursue another course of action lest they be removed from reality.


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Claxon wrote:
Norade wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I generally like to plot more in "here's a problem, you're powerful adventurers, I'm sure you can come up with a solution" kind of way. So if the players find a different solution that doesn't disrupt my plans very much.
I tend to prefer to write my dungeons and stories as if every major stronghold will be tackled like a SWAT raid or Heist. I also have genre-aware enemies, wizards that lair in the middle of their tower rather than at the top as one example, because in a world with flight the top of a tower isn't safe. If the party wants to spend a session on nothing but planning and crafting items needed to pull off the raid that's a session well spent in my book.
Really genre savvy wizards just have private permanent demi-planes that they astrally project from and never leave.

At sufficiently high levels of course that's what they did. That 7th level necromancer in his tower worked with what he had and hoped to live long enough to get a demiplane.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Well, one big problem is that you're not going to get that kind of benefit with a system like PF2, which prioritizes niche protection and role fulfillment over "This is cool." Several threads have been posited that question why a Fighter should be the only class that gets Legendary weapons, or how badly would the game be imbalanced if classes could poach abilities/proficiencies from other classes at the cost of higher level/max level feats, and while I'm in the camp that a character who invests heavily for a certain niche boost should definitely receive it, since something of at least equal or higher value has been confiscated for it, there are many whom will defend it to the last.

Classes, in general, suck. I'd rather play a skill-based system any day of the week but very few have the audience that larger games have. When you also heavily niche protect things and remove basic customization options I start to wonder why we don't just all use premade characters or go stateless and freeform if the build isn't supposed to matter.

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A major issue with PF1 was the factor that certain builds and classes could absolutely solo entire APs, whereas other builds and classes couldn't even compare to attempt said APs. The fact that there is such a big gap means you could have those kinds of adventures where the main character is superior in most every way to his compatriots, whereas this game features characters that are much more focused in scope and much less varied in overall power that you won't get those "Main Character Absolutely Beats Down BBEG By Self With Theme Song Playing" anime tropes that you seem to want.

Sure, if you wanted to. You could also mess around with weaker builds that heavily focused on doing things that were cool and corner case but not that powerful. It's a matter of what your group wanted to do and having them all on the same page.

This made APs kind of worthless and PFS either very restrictive or busted as hell, but I'm not a company trying to push a new adventure monthly and build a brand so I don't care about those issues.

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Monsters are an actual threat and aren't just a bag of hitpoints that can be taken by the PCs when initiative is rolled and won, several of which require using certain tactics to even have a chance of defeating them. That's not comparable to traditional anime tropes in the slightest, meaning this isn't really the system to implement that, despite several published options attempting to.

Yes, in PF1 combat could be trivial but it didn't have to be. You could have a party that opted to use their limitless options to make characters that actually played the game rather than racing to make pun-pun. In such cases, you could get a very powerful feeling character that has a few cool things they do and still have interesting fights.

You simply don't have that option in PF2.

-----

This system is designed from the ground up to support the main moneymaker that the company has. They didn't set out to make the best game they could, they set out to make something easy to make content for that played well enough.


But back to the topic in the OP.

Can we actually faithfully recreate anybody in PF2. They need to match abilities, feats accomplished, damage dealt for me to count them. A mockbuster style demake doesn't cut it with me.

Can a good, as in straight Champion/Fighter/Druid/Bard level, divine beat stick be built without needing to dance through restrictive action loops or completely ditch spell casting?


aobst128 wrote:
Yes bombers are supported. Although I do wish there was a bomber archetype that existed like the poisoner archetype but for bombs. Demolitionist comes close but doesn't actually give reagents for some reason. I do like bombers as they are. At this point, you can do persistent damage of any type aside from force.

So was a Fighter taking nothing but skill-boosting feats in PF1. Supported =/= playable.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
It's supported. Not optimal, but it is supported.

Would your group play one using strict RAW? Could any form of RAW alchemist find a useful role at your table and not be 100% the worst choice a player could make?


Castilliano wrote:
As for what PF2 PCs can do that 3.X can't, an example was already above: a PF2 Barbarian can make a demiplane only aided by other Barbarians.

I'll throw a level of Barbarian onto my mage and call that good enough.

Also, PF1 and 3.x also had rituals and given that the ritual to do this is rare in PF2 you could as easily do the same thing in PF1 with a willing GM.

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It started w/ what can PF2 do, and making a divine beatstick.

Which we've determined that PF2 can't do, at least not well.

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From that to PF2 can't do fictional characters well. When it was shown it can,

Except that it can't. We saw a couple of dollar story Disney knock-offs that cannot ever reach the appropriate level of power, flexibility, or replicate all the abilities of the source material. Even if we assume that level plays a factor that Natsu build at level 20 won't do what Natsu in the show is doing at their peak using PF2 RAW.

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then it's that PF2 can't do grand-scale well.

It can't. It can't replicate everything that its earlier version could do while not having a unique trick.

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PF2 can emulate Jordan.

Please show me any class in PF2 that has the casting flexibility of a channeler and the ability to create new spells on the fly using different elemental weaves? Leaving aside the time-bending factor which PF2 spell can erase an entire fortress? Can PF2 properly emulate late series Matt's luck?

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And one major benefit of PF2 is one doesn't need to use one's choices simply to keep even w/ numbers. Functional numbers are built into the chassis, and skill feats don't feel like a waste of power. If anything I feel a LOT more freedom in PF2, since I'm not pigeonholed into specific builds or feat chains.

Yes, and that's why 3.x stealing PF1s best features is superior to even PF1 because PF1 was Paizo's first attempt at taking a good thing and cutting off bits of it for 'balance' and failing at that.


breithauptclan wrote:
Because FATE is a rules-light system. One that involves a bunch of social agreement between the players to let each of the characters have their time in center stage.

You can bolt FATE onto a rules-heavy system and it still works. Explain that.

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PF2 is a rules-heavy system designed to handle things reasonably well even when strangers get together to play. Or when new players are trying to figure out how to even do role-play. Or to reign in a mildly uncooperative player deliberately trying to outshine everyone else at the table.

So PF2 is a bike with training wheels welded on. That explains my distaste for it.

I like systems where mastery matters.


Gaulin wrote:
Something that would partially help is fighting much lower level enemies. I know it's seems like a no brainer but that's really what you're describing, wading into a ton of baddies and mowing them all down. Fight a bunch of 5 or 6 levels lower than your character and you'll feel great.

Where did I ever ask for that? I explicitly said that I want boss-type enemies to be able to have the same style of power up as the characters have. Freiza and Cell aren't themselves if they can't transform.

I'm asking for a game that allows the same mechanical breadth of options as 3.x did even if some of them are toned down for balance and that could support a system that allows for bursts of power at a cost to emulate certain styles of anime.

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