I've seen people have fun in widely varied systems - Palladium (Rifts, their superhero game, TMNT), Paranoia, Gurps, Call of Chtulu... I don't think a common factor is balance. None of those are "balanced" unlike say 4th edition was.
It's important to note about what balance means to such a system such as Call of Cthulhu, Runequest the BRP line of games in General, GURPS and such, vs Pathfinder "Imbalance"
Yes, Those games are unbalanced in the sense that there exist common and identifiable mechanics which the player, regardless of effort may never truly be able to overcome. Many monsters in CoC will easily annihilate another player, let alone weapons in general. Similarly, Magic is by far a stronger option for players to take in these games.
However, that those games are unbalanced from that angle does NOT mean that those same options are the most versatile in the game or that there exists no sort of consequences for their use.
To even begin to look into casting spells, a player first has to read a mythos tome and take some SAN loss and a loss of maximim san via the increase of the Mythos skill. Then you need to be powerful enough to actually cast the spell. Then you must gather any sort of materials or sacrifice that the spell requires. Then the spell's casting time can vary from as little as a single round to hundreds of years.
After all this you still must sacrifice sanity with each casting of the spell, which is incredibly difficult to recover. Sure you can literally summon gods and travel near infinite distances across the cold vaccum of space, but just because you can doesn't mean you should.
Runequest is similar. Magic isn't trained or research and can only be increased by very specific tasks such as religious communions on your cults holy days, defeating a spirit in combat or overcoming a spell cast on you of a more powerful caliber than you are. Same principle. If you choose to pursue it, then you'll have a blast. But you won't be mechanically crippled if you don't choose to pursue that past.
It doesn't matter whether I choose to specialize my character in the fields of magic or martial arts. I have a world of options available to me whether I play a boring swordsman or a growing wizard. None of this silly "I stand still and full attack" business that at least 1e did all but make mandatory in the ruling descriptions.
These games don't have as much crunch as PF does over the years(*though I would still argue are more crunchy where it counts*), but the crunch that they do have is rarely ever punishing, useless or a straight up trap option. Because these games focus on strictly reinforcing action, agency and not "you get a +1 on your next attack"
"if you choose this other one then it becomes a +2 and then after that a +3. Awesome choices!"
It's not called Mathfinder or often described as a great character creation game for nothing. Pathfinder has a lot of crunch, but a lot of it is of questionable value. It's all numbers, numbers numbers. Even the more socially oriented traits still try their darnest to emphasize that +1.
Mind you, I still love the game for what it is even if it drives me bonkers sometimes.
TLDR; At least one of the games in question is imbalanced from power perspective but is built in such a way that a character can and will still be somewhat of a decently and versatile competent user of some more common skills with positive reinforcement while still being distinct enough on their own as a concept.
The fighter doesn't represent these warriors though. It represents shallow archetypes of them. The fighter's problem hasn't been fighting things and that the various combat feats and fighting styles keep getting brought out as the solution to the fighter's identity problem is baffling.
It's even more confusing since unfortunately that's the route Paizo seems to have reinforced in the playtest so far. Again, all of the Fighter's class features are dedicated towards fighting. His extra feats are all dedicated to combat. There is next to no definition for a Fighter as is now or even in most of PF1 unless the only depth you sought to try and improve upon or replicate was combat related. The fighter's bonus feats in PF1 weren't a catch all after all, they were required to be combat feats and nothing else.
Warriors of past and present are not dumb, unintelligent or uncharismatic. They can serve as diplomats without needing to resort to intimidate. They CAN and have solved detailed problems that required extensive study in the fields of medicine and logistics, despite what the playtest rulebook seems to think.
The Pathfinder fighter embodies none of these things RAW and 2nd edition doesn't seem to be helping in trying to define the fighter as anything other than a wargaming miniature pidgeonholed into an RPG.
FFG's Genesys system(can't remember if SW or WHFRP 3rd used a similar mechanic) has a mechanic where characters develop tolerace to their healing or restorative consumables over the day. They become less effective and eventually stop workin. Though I don't think its tied to the equivalent CON stat so much as it is a baseline for every character getting about 6 or so uses with diminishing returns. Gotta see if i can read the PDF sometime.
I also like PossibleCabage's suggestion as well. Too much of anything over a short-ish period of time should be a bad thing. The Positive energy plane is a great thing but good luck surviving on it for an extended period with no protection.
GM DarkLightHitomi wrote:
3.x does not need a grid at all. It can easily be played without one with minimal issue.
Vic isn't saying that 3.X needs a grid.
Vic is saying that the simulationist design behind 3.X inherently favors a grid over ToTM. It doesn't mean that ToTM can't be done with 3.X or that it can't be done with a degree of simplicity.
I digress though, a bit off topic this particular subject seems to be in this thread. My apologies OP.
Ed Reppert wrote:
That would be correct. The OD&D books assumed that you had both played chainmail and were thus familiar with its rules AND that you owned miniatures for it.
B/X, BECMI, AD&D all afterwards stepped into the ToTM pretty consistently until 3.X and 4e in that regard. There were some tactical elements involved mind you in each of them, but far less emphasized than their successor editions.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
It's not strictly better for everyone, though in the context of that particular line of thought I never meant to imply that it was an overall better decision for everyone as opposed to one class. I can freely admit to this being more of a specific instance of control rather than a flexible choice that others may not see as beneficial and that it has its downsides.
My overall main point though is that things such as Cleave shouldn't be feats to begin with, at least for most characters. The concepts of feats are nice on paper, but silly amounts of punitive in actual practice for some classes more than others. Feat tax rules exist I suppose but that's a band aid on a problem which frankly shouldn't continue into a new edition.
I sincerely think Fighter's status as "Guy with combat feats" needs to be reevaluated.
Combat feats in general need to be evaluated.
Why someone who dedicates their lives to the martial arts needs to take feats for things like Power Attack or Cleave is patently absurd. It's bar none one of the worst changes 3.PF made to the system. Since 4e was mentioned, at least even that system had the decency to make something as common as Cleave an at will ability.
I'll happily take more from the 4e fighter though. I'll still bat for it as the best incarnation of the class across the various editions, closely matched by AD&D2e Fighter.
Paizo seems to have shown at least a little bit of interest in this direction and I'm fairly happy about it. Not every monster needs to be completely statted out ala 4e, but as long as the option will exist and perhaps thematic abilities given as examples then I'll be happy.
If nothing else I import combat stuff from 4e all the time to spice up the monotomy that can be 3.P creature and encounter/combat design. Was one of those changes I genuinely loved from the system. Encounter design and monster creativity jumped up the roof and was very dynamic with the introduction of conditions such as bloodied but was also rather simple to set up while still generating fun results.
Though its a shame it took 3 MM printings to finally fix the math issue.
Definitely feeling uneasy about the latest blog. Not necessarily conceptually speaking as the idea sounds fine enough on paper to me. It's just so frustrating to see the fighter in particular miss out on truly becoming his own class again because of the inability to define him as anything other than "Gets the most feats".
If Feats were anything but as swappable as they are then this might actually mean something, but I have a feeling that we've simply traded one problem for another. They might not have all their feats eaten by never ending feat chains, but given their hardline dependence on feats it seems to essentially be switching the multi classing penalties from casters spell progression to the fighter's progression period, arguable worse than 3.0's dead levels IMO.
Though I will again admit that I may have simply missed certain responses or mis read the post.
Like it on the surface but not sure about the nitty gritty portion. It seems, at least in potentially the fighter's case that the advancement penalty is being shifted. 3.P asked Spellcasters to sacrifice spell progression in advanced for multi classing, whereas PF2 only asks them to give up Feats and not the core of the spell casting capability.
By comparison, the fighter in PF2 still seems to be a class that is literally defined by their feats at least as far as class progression seems to go. Going back in the thread and even to the fighter blog, both of which seem to imply a rather minimal if any investment from a would be multiclasser. A caster can multi class and advance as a caster, but a fighter by comparison essentially has to put a pause on their own development in some respect.
AOO, Proficiencies, "other buffs" and the largest selection of feats are or will in all likelyhood be available in some form through either advancement or multiclassing, with the fighter just kind of holding on to such things for a limited time. The fighter really needs more of an identity outside of "Feat Master".
In addition it seems that, at least from the Bard example that casters MC-ing into fighters get a lot of passive increases. Things that they can throw a feat or two at, mark on the sheet and basically never manage it past that. It's always on and requires no real further investment. The fighter meanwhile, will further have to juggle their available actions against a flood of new and active abilities that require constant managing to consider the use of.
Kinda seems like a step closer/regression to 3.0 fighter in that respect, let alone 3.5/PF, but I'm fully admitting that I could have just been reading this entire thing wrong or just missed some sort of detail.
My problem with Martials in DnD/PF has never been power. Martials are good at killing things from the start to the end. My issue has always been versatility.
Full attacking every round might've been optimal but was in no way fun when it becomes the default option. PF2 thankfully seems to be making great strides in giving martials more options to tackle the evolving battlefield with and in so, adding more of a tactical and dynamic element to combat.
However, I admittedly am still not satisfied with the seeming lack of narrative options for such characters as far as I know. Hopefully the playtest will have those a nice surprise. Combat is fun, but it isn't the end all be all. If I wanted to do nothing but fight as a martial type character, I'd probably just pick run an Only War campaign or something similar.
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
No, your wordy essay here is putting words in my mouth and taking things to extremes.
"No U" is basically what I'm getting out of this it seems. I digress. Lettings games their run their natural life isn't killing the RPG market, whether you want to admit it or not.
I've said it elsewhere and I'll say it again. Talk to your fellow PF1 players, hook up with a few PF2 players and get to homebrewing. You'll likely be able to get some decent PF2 content into PF1, though likely not without some difficulty but its the nature of such things.
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
This has not been my experience if we're talking personals which are oh so fun. While this may come off as no true scotsman-like and i'm fully willing to accept responsibility if it does, it sounds to me as if such a person was unlikely to be able to dedicate time to tabletop in the future if a new edition was a breaking point. It screams of either troubled time management or life events out of their own control given the options they still possess.
If a new edition is unsatisfactory to you, there are still obviously as has been explained here plenty of material left that you likely don't have. On top of that this isn't excluding material that isn't "official", such as various homebrewed or ported settings to the system from a variety of genres.
You also make the claim that the RPG market is dying and people are leaving in droves based on lengthy measurements of time and personal experience but if anything I've seen the opposite happen. The last 3 edition changes of DnD alone have had profound effects on the market and playerbase numbers in an increasing fashion.
3rd edition doesn't need much explaining. Throwing out decades worth of OD&D and 2e/OSR style rulesets and instead embracing the more game-ist simulation style of WOTC D20 system was met by and large with great acclaim for a number of reasons. OSR Grognards didn't give up Tabletop simply because of their dislike for 3e and what they perceived to be the killing of their favorite systems. They instead rolled on with exiting material, increased their homebrew, facelifted new material back to TSR style D&D and in other cases simply finally dipped into some of the emerging retro clones.
4th edition was what allowed Pathfinder to ascend. You know, that game you like a lot owes a huge thanks to an edition change. Both 4th Edition and Pathfinder sold gangbusters and brought in variety of old and new players. Granted one of these was viewed far more kindly than the other. Not to mention, close to the beginning of 4e, even more Retro clones, OSR inspired games or just D20 began to enter the fray due to the earlier introduced OGL that WOTC was now restricting. Some closer to Basic D&D. Others to AD&D. A few actually modernizing with some hyrbid OSR/3e rulesets and even one in 13th age around 2013 or so which combined 3.x with 4e in a way that legitimately impressed a lot of people to the point where the common claim was "This is what 4e should have been."
And of course lets not forget 5e, which has absolutely been bombarded in media and cultural attention once more, drawing ever more curious minds into the world of roleplaying. Most of these players will probably never leave WOTC's sphere of influence but that comes with the territory.
Going back to other RPG's again, Runequest, Call of Cthulhu, Traveller, WHFB 3e, WH40K FFG, Star wars FFG, Shadowrun...the list could go on and on. All of these games among a sea of others have returned to their respective spotlights or have actually grown from earlier editions or previous publishings. The Tabletop market isn't dying. It's Growing and very much alive.
Paizo has an opportunity to break with the pattern, at least in a symbolic way. They don't have to make a major investiment. Seems like enough people play that this could work.
As it has been stated repeatedly and with what information we do have access to, this doesn't seem to be the case. The B&N's, Mortar shops and Books a Million's I visit tend to have a greater Paizo selection than Wizard's, so PF is in front of a lot of eyeballs as it is.
This would go a long way to building good will with the RPG community and a loyal customer base that, then, might be more motivated to help Paizo accomplish its goals -- which right now is PF2.
People who aren't moving to PF2 aren't doing so because they think Paizo is being mean. They aren't moving because they have fundamental disagreements as to how the game should evolve and progress. Nothing Paizo does short of releasing a "Chained" or "Advanced" alternative ruleset to PF2, incorporating PF1 elements OR killing PF2 as it is and regrafting PF1 onto a different face is going to change their minds. This isn't a knock on them, everyone has their preferences after all.
The release of Planar adventures has more to do with the fact that it was announced last year and was likely in development some time before that than Paizo's personal outlook on PF1. Bonus in that it still provides something to add to tide them over for a bit.
Though that actually brings up a good question. Does anyone actually know of any publisher that continued to develop material for its older publication to any substantial degree after debuting a successor system? I know a few publishers(as Paizo is planning to do) keep lines in print or temporarily bring back certain lines to reprint for a limited time. New content though is something I can't recall.
All of the examples I can think of off the top of my head don't seem to have done so.
I'm certainly not going to miss PF1 from a DM perspective, but it will sting as a player to lose the races and classes I main for a while. The two DM's in our group however are both going to be looking at the playtest and one of them ordered an actual book so we'll see what happens.
This is definitely appreciated and many thanks to your efforts in creating such a sheet for preparation purposes.
The community will also be free to collaborate on conversions mind you. There's nothing stopping someone who wants to continue with PF1 from meeting up with other like minded individuals on the forums and teaming up to lessen the conversion workload and then posting the results on the forums or elsewhere for the interested parties.
People already do the same for a variety of different IP's in PF1 whether they fit the fantasy mold or not. I don't see why Edition changes would be any different in that regard.
Agreed. FFG 40k, WFRP FFG/ SW FFG/ Genesys, FATE, BRP/Call of Cthulhu ect... All show that Degrees of success to varying degrees are not an issue for a Roleplayer willing to get into the hobby and if I'm being honest at least 3 of these I personally find much easier to teach to new people than Pathfinder or 5e.
Still I can understand the concern mind you given that in most industries leaders do tend to define the acceptable and what not. So introducing new or sparsely used things might be as you say a new factor for those who main or only know the PF/DnD.
The only thing that doesn't make sense to me is why people continually try to chain Humans/muggles/martials to the realities of our world despite it being made clear over and over again with lore examples that the "Limit" of such characters is not equivalent to that of which we commonly recognize to be possible in either our worlds or some works of fiction.
The same way how Spellcasters in Pathfinder are laughably elevated by several tiers against most other Spellcasters in fiction but just being magical somehow gives them a pass, despite many of those other universes offering explanations as to how their powers work, how far their scope extends and the consequences involved in its practice/dangers. Things PF magic by and large either neglects or hand waves away as simply being universal/Magic.
Gonna go ahead and echo this as someone with personal experience in that regard. Met 2 people in a group once with that type of behavior and it was absolutely demeaning.
You had to pick a certain race with certain point buy for certain classes with certain specifications or else they would endlessly spew about how you were not getting the best out of your character and how that you were designing poorer characters and less useful to the group.
And if you picked a Martial? Oh boy, now you've gone from poorer characters to an outright liability and will now get a wall of text explaining why your fighter or rogue basically shouldn't exist because of how much better everyone else will be for picking their classes ect..
Needless to say, I didn't parley with that group for more than a few sessions.
Mark Seifter wrote:
Oh man, I'm not sure if my heart is ready for all this. I'll try to keep it prepared for sure. I don't normally like shots, but this one isn't the pointy needle type that interacts with me, so I say bring it on.
Reject My Paladin Compromise, and Then Talk About What Martial Characters Should Be Capable of Please
Oh yea for certain. That whole wall of text is something I envision for martials in general, not necessarily requiring a specialization of any sort. Just the pushing of their physical limits as far as we can go.
Reject My Paladin Compromise, and Then Talk About What Martial Characters Should Be Capable of Please
At least from a figher/monk/barb type deal:
BBEG locked up their fortress and has anti scry and fry? Just let the martial walk up to the gates and beat the gate or such senselessly until it falls, or shove their fist through those gates and tear the lock joints out like a child unwrapping presents.
High level fighter specifically should be able to weaponize just about anything. Table leg? Enemy Corpse? Still living enemy? A wooden cart? Swing em or throw em. It's all natural to ye.
Superhuman endurance. I reject the idea that superhuman abilities or talents can't duplicate or have quasi spell like effects. Sleep? Food? Water? Who needs it. High Level martials should be able to go several days while rejecting sleep and food and slightly less for rejecting any water before suffering any statistical penalties and or any of the above 3 become necessary. Endgame / high level martials should be able to march faster and for longer periods of time while taking reduced penalties if you wish as well. Intense weather or temperatures? As long as they aren't on another plane of existence, they can take a bit of it before needing to address it similar to a stripped down version of endure elements.
Need to bring the martial along underwater but didn't prepare enough water breathing? That's fine, A(n) high level / endgame martial should probably be able to hold their own breath for about 2 hours or so. Give em a bag of air and once they need it, they're good for another 2 hours.
Huge enemy? Save your silly enlarges, for we might not need it if the martial can still wrestle with an enemy about 20 ft or so tall with little issue.
Meat shielding against your enemies is probably a given so bring on the endless hordes ect...
Perfectly fine to feel this way, though as others have pointed out, you've likely yet to scratch the true surface of possibility with the existing content available. 10 years of support is a respectable amount for a tabletop RPG to go through iterating on itself without making a full break. The material isn't going anywhere and if anything else, maybe PF1e will have its own little OSR-style community where entire games may be spun off it in the coming future to extend and build upon flawed concepts without necessarily making a clean break from it.
At the end of the day however, a clean break may or may not be a great thing. The idea may sound unappealing but perhaps the execution will soften or eliminate the blow.
After all, remember that the ruleset of the game you currently love was derived from a system which itself threw away and/or reimagined 25 years of mechanics and traditions to make a clean break on a new system and most people would agree that it certainly became a much better game because of it.
Talek & Luna wrote:
Likely to do with the way Crits work in PF2. +10 AC excess or a nat 20 roll. That +2 is small only at a quick glance.
I'll go ahead an echo this dedicated Ancestries book (Ancestries of Golarion or such.) I'd rather keep the sort of afterthought type situations limited within the scope of PF2e's first outings.
Though as to the topic on hand, I'd be in for Ratfolk, non silly non crippled kobolds, Gnolls and Ghoran personally.
We were playing an Eldritch style game in 5e a couple of weeks ago. It was a group I was familiar with but hadn't been able to play with due to RL scheduling. Things have cleared up recently for now so I decided I was going to try my hand at it again and they all missed me as well so it worked out to a nice combo.
GM offered to homebrew in a quick Ratfolk but I told him I'd just go with whatever is present out of the list he was allowing. So the deal then became that he gave me a temp NPC turned PC, an Arcanist to finish off this little arc until the main story kicked up again and I could introduce my character proper(An Air Genasi Bard. College of Valor...probably should have gone swords but bleh).
I decided I was going to go down the erratic snarky type character stick given the details about this particular character and their part in the overall story. First few sessions go ok, I'm being snappy with the paladin and arguing some here and there IC about how I'm more trustworthy than the paladin because I've been nothing but right and they've made repeated wrong decisions(RNJesus in effect).
However we get to the point where we think the arc is likely to end with the attempted recover of a baby inside this weird mansion located in a demi plane. When the Paladin goes to pick up the baby, there isn't anything actually under the cover just the sheets. This does not stop the local nurse spirit from going absolutely ballistic and attacking the party...specifically the Paladin to start with. Combat starts we all take our attacks and what not and then the Wraith goes and attempts to touch the Paladin with a necrotic spell, failing horribly.
While the wraith nurse is screaming in fury and rage, a moment of inspiration struck as I proceeded to yell out:
"That's two things you can't take of lady! Your babies and your enemies!", to which combat suffered a multi minute pause and I was grated inspiration for post session.
As a fan of FFG Star wars RPG and having looked into their Recent Genesys system(which is mostly that regardless), this change excites me greatly.
Not really the biggest fan of binary success/failure systems over the years, so to see that one can make a save with potential minor/unintended consequences gets mechanically added to PF play is a big plus from me. A lot of extra flexibility for RP and effects this way.
That's usually because in many instances(At least IMO) there are somewhat clear boundaries as to what a magic user would and would not be able to do. Additionally in other cases the use of magical abilities carry with them varying levels of extreme penalties if they have softer or non existent power ceilings.
Many other worlds enforce specialization rules or outright forbid more godlike uses of power(Time travel, plane creation ect...). Pathfinder casters for the most part can dip their fingers into whatever they can get with little in the way of restriction.
The second addendum is that of consequence. Warhammer is actually a perfect example of this in regards to an unspecified power ceiling. Anytime a magic user in Fantasy or a Psyker in 40K wants to use their abilities they must either cast themselves or be receptive towards the influence of the warp.
High level users in either universe have virtually no limit as to what they can do, only what they can imagine. However everytime they open themselves up they risk serious harm to themselves, others, death or even Daemonic possession. PF Magi by comparison have little to lose when it comes to lack of concentration or a small blip. Even the optional Wild Magic Rules in unchained, bar maybe a handful are more of a nuisance than an actual consequence.
I've never really had a problem with the powers associated with Casters. Consequences of magic are a far bigger peeve in that respect to me. But in the case of this thread the other issue is assuming that "Mundane" in Golarion should be equivalent to "Mundane" in reality. There are plenty of Races in Pathfinder. There is no reason that say an Aasimar, Tiefling or Oread Fighter for example should be as Mundane as a straight up Human fighter considering the former 3 have supernatural origins and can likely call upon those backgrounds to do things others wouldn't be able to, like some of the more mythic heroes mentioned in the thread. Though by the same token I also happen to believe that it isn't too much a stretch to assume that someone capable of taking on a Balor is also far from Mundane or Average and is likely to possess or have gained some superhuman abilities regardless of Race to be able to achieve such a feat to begin with.
MR. H wrote:
Do we add narrative risk to magic.
I mean, that's more or less what it used to be prior to 3.0/5/PF and their removal of such drawbacks. Or rather than narrative it was more Mechanical in this specific instance.
Spells like Fireball or Lightning bolt could easily backfire on a Caster if not aimed properly enough.
Shout could defean you if you used it more than once every day.
Summons had a non trivial chance of turning on the caster in some situations.
The use of Haste aged your character by 5 years. Polymorph was a Self induced Save or Die roll due to the incredibly stress induced in the transformation ect...Though this is not to say magic should strictly be as harsh or resemble anything too similar to this.
The nature of Magic was more powerful but also widly volatile among other things. Closer to Dark Heresy and the nature of the Psyker in 40K as opposed to something just anyone born with the ability can handle. You would still completely outstrip martials by end game, just not as soon as you could in 3.5 systems. AD&D 2e was far from a perfect system and 3.0+ unification changes are absolutely fantastic, but the decision to amp the power of casters while basically removing most their drawbacks will never cease to confuse me.