Jadrenka the Mother

Requielle's page

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The dealbreaker for me is something I know isn't even on the table for reconsideration... I want NPCs and PCs to be built using basically the same rules. This thing where level 1 NPC goblins are functionally a completely different creature than any level 1 PC goblin? So much nope.

Yes, I've played games that didn't have that cohesive world rules thing... but then D&D3.0 came out and my group has never looked back. We have a long tradition of characters crossing back and forth between PC and NPC in games, and I'm just not willing to toss that storytelling option into the dustbin for a new edition of anything.

Tied to that is the "the rules work this way for this group of X people and differently for the entire rest of the known universe" stuff that we ran into in this playtest. My group gave up partway through Sombrefell Hall out of sheer frustration so maybe some of that got addressed in later updates, but the different rules for dying/initiative/resonance just grated on everyone. That thing where NPCs/monsters get the same ability as PCs under a different name (trip/knockdown, grapple/grab), but with auto-success instead of needing to roll fooled no-one and annoyed the hell out of everyone.

I personally (not speaking for the group in this paragraph) have some other things that really don't work for me as a player or a GM, but some of those could probably be houseruled into functionality if needed. But the non-cohesive worldbuilding is a hill I'll metaphorically die on.


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One of these options is significantly less fiddly than the other.

How to track wand use - D&D3.X/PF1E:

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

___________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________

How to track wand use - PF2EPlaytest:

Total Character Focus Points: [] [] [] [] []

Wand of Magic Stuff:
-- Charges - [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []
-- Daily Focus-Free Use? [] -- Daily Focus Activated? []


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Yes, GMs have the authority - in home campaigns - to allow retraining of anything. I can allow my players to retrain into being a party of sentient russian nesting dolls, if that works for us.

That said, it is likely that PFS won't have GM discretion, because they can't and maintain a consistent play experience. So testing RAW is of significant value for Paizo and for the players who participate in PFS.

Also said, we aren't playtesting Hurká's GM discretion, or his houserules. If the RAW need to be handwaved away in order to have a good gaming experience, Paizo should probably know that.


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Evilgm wrote:
It's not bad that there's now a reason for a Wizard to actually use a sword if they want to be Gandalf

Which is great if you like Gandalf wizards. Not being sarcastic, that's perfect if that is the campaign world you want to create and the stories you want to tell.

I guess that's where it's breaking down for me. I don't mind an occasional Gandalf mucking about. But I don't want a campaign world full of them. I need space for the Raistlins, too.

And as I keep saying, YMMV.


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Playtest Rulebook Pg. 318 wrote:

RETRAINING Retraining offers a way to alter some of your character options, which can be helpful when you want to grow your character in a new direction or simply change decisions that weren’t as interesting or effective as you expected. The three things you can retrain are feats (except heritage feats), skill proficiencies and increases, and selectable class features (like wizard schools or sorcerer spells known).

You cannot retrain your ancestry, background, or class.

Emphasis mine. Can't retrain class levels PF2 (was allowed in PF1). No matter what your player does, that character is locked into being and advancing as a cleric.

The closest you could get would likely be to make a new character that is a wizard, and spend a feat or two on cleric dedication stuff to simulate his prior devotion.


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Alyran wrote:
Requielle wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Detect Poison is a lv2 Uncommon spell.

It seems like there should be a Medicine use to determine it, however, at least after it started affecting someone. It feels off.

I am surprised that Detect Poison is an uncommon spell. I have seldom seen anyone prepare that spell even when it was freely available, so I am at a loss as to why any barriers would be put up to anyone using that spell.

It didn't happen in my games, but I've heard rumor that in some games people had the cantrip and used it constantly, in a very meta-game way, to detect poison on all. the. things. Instead of just on things that might be suspected to be poisonous or on someone who is showing symptoms of being poisoned.

Think of it as the detect evil of inanimate objects.

I have a friend that would do exactly that. Same with detect magic and the one time he was a paladin (maybe inquisitor?), he'd detect evil literally everything. The changes to these 3 spells makes me so happy.

We had that problem with detect evil, too. Until we pointed out that your average person doesn't have spellcraft, and they probably don't trust someone wandering around constantly casting some mysterious spell. Who knows what it could be? Maybe you are mind-controlling them all!

And those that have spellcraft? Oh, they are just offended. Feel free to offend the local priest. I'm sure he won't hold it against you when you need his help.


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@ shroudb

Playtest Rulebook Pg. 294 wrote:
When most creatures reach 0 Hit Points, they die, unless the attack was nonlethal, in which case they are knocked out for a significant amount of time (usually 1 minute or more). ... Villains, powerful monsters, enemies with healers or regeneration, and any other NPCs at the GM’s discretion are knocked out like a PC as well.

That's what I'm referencing. The default setting for the world. I dislike nebulous concepts like "villain" or "powerful" or "with healers (does that include having someone trained in Medicine?)" changing the basic reality of the game world. I like there to be universal rules for how things die, because that makes the game world immersive *for me*.

NPC #1: Wow! Gertrude didn't actually die when that adventurer stabbed her through the heart! She must be a villain! Or maybe she's extra powerful? Wait! I know! The Powers That Be have blessed her with their discretion!
NPC #2: Nah. She's nothing special. We brought Melvin along this time, and he has a box of band-aids.

It is totally fine with me that this rule is OK with you, and it works great in your games. Can you be OK with me just not liking it, even though I can handwave it away with my super GM powers in my home games?

Edit: Typos.


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@ shroudb

I know I can run my table in my home game differently (and I would).

The point is not that the rule can or can't be ignored, it's that a default setting of the world is incredibly non-immersive because <reasons> and it doesn't need to be.

I don't want to (by default) take over the role of Powers That Be and decide that this guy, and that guy, and that other guy over there are exceptions to the rule. And these 4 folks have a perma-exception to the rules, too. And later, on Tuesday, because it's more narratively interesting, another few folks are going to be exceptions. But, by and large, things just die. Except when they don't.

As I note over and over in my posts, YMMV. There are going to be tables where this doesn't even register as a thing. With me *and with the people I regularly play with* this rule destroys immersion. It already destroyed immersion in the very first session of the very first part of Doomsday Dawn, when I was running RAW because playtest. My players HATED this new dying rule for NPCs with the fury of a thousand suns, even though it was in their favor.

The more stuff I have to houserule in order to just get a playable game, the less likely I am to purchase that game. This doesn't bother you - and that's good feedback for Paizo. This bothers me - and that also is good feedback for Paizo.


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Snowblind wrote:
Requielle wrote:

...

Why would any NPC 'kill' a downed opponent? How would they know that these folks are the 4-6 beings in the entire universe who can be brought back from 'death' with normal healing spells? Obviously, in your playthrough, *they saw it happen*. So, duh. Kill the thrice-cursed-freaks-who-defy-the-will-of-Pharasma and all that.
...
I can't be bothered finding the rules text right now, but the "0hp=dead" thing is basically a GM shortcut that they are encouraged to not use for things like major NPCs, or for any creatures that have healing backup. Going off this, any intelligent NPC would have to be aware that stabbing things until they fall over may not finish them off permanently.

OK - so let's be generous and say that 1% of all the things in existence (from mayflies to dragons) are 'important enough' to whatever powers that be to not die instantly. That's still 99% of the things out there that don't get back up. And an intelligent creature is not very intelligent if they waste their actions in combat whacking dead things that almost never get back up. Totally fine if (as happened above) they see someone cheat-death-OMG-kill-it-again-and-keep-killing-it.

It's just messy. It's very contrived. It's very inconsistent. And again - YMMV.


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It is *a* fix. I am certain it isn't the *only* fix. There's always the option to look back at the source of the problem and try to address it there.

I've said previously that this feels (to me) like pushing the solution to a GM-made problem onto the player via restrictions. The problem is the fact that wands of CLW are both widely commercially available and the most efficient source of 'healing in exchange for gold'. The problem is not one the player created, but they are being penalized for reacting in an intelligent and strategic way to the world presented to them by the GM.

The OP referenced addressing the efficiency side of that equation. One could also adjust the availability side of that equation in some way. One could also look at the mechanics by (for example) not making wands the equivalent of 50-dose potions that can be drained a as much or as little as desired at once. Our group has discussed houseruling in wands that have charges per day (like mini-staves) into PF1E - similar to the eternal wands from late D&D3.5 materials.


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Things you don't want to see when people discuss your new game mechanics...

* "pretty useless as is"
* "marginally better than you think (though still terrible)"
* "a corner case where it actually has some utility"

There are a lot of feats that are being discussed with this level of excitement. And I'm really not seeing discussions about how difficult it is to pick a feat at a certain level because there are so many attractive options.


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There are whole threads of mathematical analysis (fallen down the listing by now, but still there) making this exact point. I don't know why the only possible solution to CLW spam is to add on fiddly new mechanics - but here we are. It seems like a 'treat the symptom, not the cause' sort of thing.


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I agree overall. I have just one point - which honestly doesn't apply to your particular playthrough, but would in a general sense.

Why would any NPC 'kill' a downed opponent? How would they know that these folks are the 4-6 beings in the entire universe who can be brought back from 'death' with normal healing spells? Obviously, in your playthrough, *they saw it happen*. So, duh. Kill the thrice-cursed-freaks-who-defy-the-will-of-Pharasma and all that.

I really prefer the distributed healing setup for parties. It's the default we've run with on almost every PF1E campaign we've run. I think we had a healing battery cleric once? And they got replaced, because they were just boring - all hail the chirurgeon alchemist. The perceived need for a full-bore cleric to make a viable party is not one of the attractive features of PF2E.


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If I move to PF2E, hero points will be houseruled into nonexistence in any game I run. Part of my evaluation of PF2E will be "is this a system that is balanced without needing that get-out-of-pharasma's-boneyard-free card?" - and if it is not, that will be a strike against it. It's not a dealbreaker for me - it's just a slight negative - if hero points are an intrinsic part of the game balance.


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Helpful ideas to highlight Paizo's community engagement:

1. Ye olde "blues" trick - highlight dev posts here in the forums, and mark threads that have a dev response on the main menu.

2. Put up a stickied thread that links to videos/blogs/interviews/tweets. Make it 'official Paizo' posting only (so the links don't get drowned in comments). Just an ongoing listing of where people can go to see stuff.

And, *poof*, big chunk of problem solved. And hey, all those outside sources will appreciate the extra traffic and chance to show off their content to people who might not otherwise have come to visit.


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Ikos wrote:
... The proof will be in the pudding, not in feelings, angry board postings, or analogous anecdotes.

Wouldn't everyone involved like to avoid bad pudding?

If all we are supposed to do is wait quietly at the table until someone serves the pudding, *why have a playtest at all*? If the community narrative is meaningless, why solicit it?


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Greg.Everham wrote:
<lots of stuff, including a detailed example of a level 1 vs level 10 fighter>

With the +1/level, that level 1 fighter would also lose to a level 10 wizard, for the same reasons. Which I bring up because it circles around to a point that was made on Magnuskn's magic thread - it's a fundamental design choice that affects the type of stories you can tell with your system.

Without +1/level, your wizards can be Raistlin (grew in magic power, was never a combatant because he was always frail). A low-level melee combatant or several was always a threat he avoided *or dealt with via magic*.

With +1/level your wizards are all movie-Gandalf, smiting the hordes with their magic sword, as needed. Capable of doing physical feats that lesser men only dream of - just not quite as well as Aragorn and Legolas do them.

It does strange things to the game world, too. If an area is full of high-level acrobatics or athletics or survival challenges (for example) that are of appropriate DC for a 15th-level party - what wild animals could possibly live there? I mean, I get that there is obviously something there for the party to fight, but *what does that thing eat, when there aren't any adventurers showing up with swords and ketchup*? It makes the ecology of the game world odd, because you wind up with video-game-style zones where everything is just tougher and the wolves from zone A are completely different than the wolves in zone Q. Yes, I know I *can* work around this - but it's work I don't want to have to do to make my game world immersive. I don't want to jump through the hoops to make my level 0 arctic bunnies able to live in an area with DC-15th-level ice sheets and blizzards.


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David knott 242 wrote:
Ediwir wrote:

Detect Poison is a lv2 Uncommon spell.

It seems like there should be a Medicine use to determine it, however, at least after it started affecting someone. It feels off.

I am surprised that Detect Poison is an uncommon spell. I have seldom seen anyone prepare that spell even when it was freely available, so I am at a loss as to why any barriers would be put up to anyone using that spell.

It didn't happen in my games, but I've heard rumor that in some games people had the cantrip and used it constantly, in a very meta-game way, to detect poison on all. the. things. Instead of just on things that might be suspected to be poisonous or on someone who is showing symptoms of being poisoned.

Think of it as the detect evil of inanimate objects.


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How about we agree to disagree, N N 959?

You obviously want more standardization and tables and such for knowledge checks, for reasons that seem clear and obvious and convincing to you.

I always found the PF1E DCX+5 rule to be really workable for reasons that are clear and obvious and convincing to me. I really don't want a table outlining that I must tell my players about the monster's cold vulnerability at X+5, and can't mention its spell-like abilities until X+15 as the base rules.

On the other hand, let me toss out there (not for the first time) that if PF2E adventures are going to use the 4 degrees of success rule for knowledge checks, *they need that bad info people get on critical failures included in the same tables as the good info they get on success*. Holy crap, expecting any kind of consistency when you are relying on the GM to make up misleading info on the fly is just going to fail horribly.


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Draven Torakhan wrote:

I'm hoping to get an answer from a dev, or some clear-cut page in the rules for this, speculation is good, but I'm really wanting a clearly-defined answer.

Some spells, such as Magic Fang in this particular case, are listed as Willing Ally for Target. To the point, does that also include yourself, or must it be an ally (i.e.; another character)? I'm looking at giving the druid a try here, and going the Wild path. Wild Claws gives me, well, claws, and if Magic Fang can be cast on myself, that'd be kind of awesome.. but no one else in my group has natural/unarmed attacks right now; so it'd be a waste to prep that spell if I can't make use of it.

I don't have an answer from the PF2E Playtest, but I do have an answer from PF1E.

PF1E CRB FAQ wrote:

Ally: Do you count as your own ally?

You count as your own ally unless otherwise stated or if doing so would make no sense or be impossible. Thus, "your allies" almost always means the same as "you and your allies."

So, not an official answer, but possibly a starting point if you don't get an official answer.


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N N 959 wrote:
Requielle wrote:
<snipped a whole lot of stuff about how wrong I am> .

I don't play "oppositionally." I play in PFS where the average GM doesn't want to kill PCs. I may play with a different GM every time I sit at the table. The GM and I may be completely unfamiliar with each other. How I want to fight, the information I want to use, is not going to be the same as the GM. There are at least three other players at the table, maybe five. It is totally unreasonable to expect the GM to consistently and reliably know what is going to be useful for every different player in every different context given every different build and multi-classed build. The only advantage of that clause is that the player can then point out, "Hey, X is not useful to me." To wit, Paizo got rid of the "useful" criteria and changed it to "best-known" which is totally under GM discretion and in no way requires anything useful.

It has noting to do with trust, it has to do with the fact that the GM and player are two different people and the GM is not a mind reader. The rules shouldn't require one. The rules shouldn't require the GM to consider every possible tactic the players can use and what might be valuable in any of those situations.

Quote:
I want tools, not restrictions.

A player knowledge check is not, nor should be a GM tool. It is a player tool. It represents an aspect of the PC and is a form of agency for the player, it should not be for the GM to decide what my PC knows. That should be decided by the rules. What a PC knows should be dictated by the rules, not the GM. There's no substantive advantage for GMs to be making that call and there is a whole lot of reasons the GM should not make that call.

Your response comes across as a GM who wants total agency over the game and doesn't want to give up any control over the players. You're trying to make this about "trust" and it has nothing to do with trust. It has to do with consistency and giving players the agency, not the GMs....

But you are not arguing that PFS play needs these restrictions... you are arguing that the entire game needs to be locked down to organized play level.

You want to say that PFS scenarios need those tables? I'm right there with you. I've run D&D as a convention judge before, and I value any tool that makes it easier to give players in an official campaign a consistent experience. If that tool also makes it easier for the GM to prepare and run the module, that's even better.

But I don't want or need to run my home game like I just met my players 27 seconds ago when they sat down at my table. PFS rules should be a subset of the main rules, they should not be the rules.

Edit to add: It is abundantly clear you really don't believe my games run the way I say they do. You seem to think I'm all into GM control. My players have more control over the stories than I do. I'm just there to set the stage.


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FireclawDrake wrote:
Scythia wrote:
I'm all for metric, but Celsius is rubbish. The vaunted benchmarks Celsius is based on are of highly questionable practicality, and the fact that what is a 100 degree difference (0-100 in Celsius is nearly a 200 degree difference (32-220) in Fahrenheit shows that Fahrenheit allows for nearly double the precision in describing changes in temperature.
Do you guys not have decimal points in the US?

Decimal points are too metric.


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N N 959 wrote:
<snipped a whole lot of stuff about how wrong I am>

By my definition of gameplay, you play oppositionally. You don't trust your GM to play fair, and you want rules to constrain their ability to do that. If my players don't trust me to respect them enough to care about what they consider important and run the game in an evenhanded way, then they are with the wrong GM.

I've had the incredibly painful experience of having to ask a player to leave because they just could not accept that I wasn't secretly out to screw them over at some point. I tried for months to make it work, and the constant adversarial mistrust destroyed all my enjoyment in running games.

I've also played in games where the GM is on one team and the players are on another. I just don't do that anymore. It's not fun. If I have to have rules armor to shield me from expected GM malfeasance, I need to go play video games or something and not be at that table.

I am totally fine with you not believing any of this - because you don't seem to. Your belief doesn't actually change my reality. I'm going to keep having fun cooperative gaming experiences with my group via PF1E or PF2E - whichever works better for us. And I'm going to continue to advocate for not turning the PF2E system into a GM straitjacket *because that won't be fun for me or my group*. I want tools, not restrictions. YMMV.

PS - I will note that some people love oppositional gameplay. They find the arms race thrilling and fun. They aren't playing it wrong, they are just not playing the way I do.


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thistledown wrote:

I've only played it, not read it, but was also frustrated by some things. Other siege scenarios (Way of the Kirin, etc.) scatter things around you can use to prepare with - this has nothing. We made due the best we could.

And then they went to incorporeal undead that could just float through the work we'd done :(

There were actually several items for the party to find. However, those were the *only* items for the party to find, which was just terribad design. Like, if you want to give someone silver knives and lamp oil and garlic (which are the items I remember), you mix them in with a bunch of other stuff to find.

    As written:
    PC Sven:
    I search the pantry. <rolls perception>
    GM: You find a dozen cloves of garlic.
    PC Sven: In the entire pantry, in all the bins and boxes and shelves, I find just twelve cloves of garlic? Really? All these people eat is garlic?

    Better written:
    PC Sven:
    I search the pantry. <rolls perception>
    GM: You find a half-full barrel of apples, several of bags of flour, two hams, a sealed jar pickled herring, a bin of potatoes and another bin of onions, a garlic braid, a cask of mead, several wheels of cheese, a crate of raisins, and a large sack of unshelled walnuts.
    PC Sven: Well, I guess we won't starve. I wonder if they'd mind if we had some of that ham for dinner. I am so tired of trail rations.
    <several hours later, when fighting vampires>
    PC Sven: Wait! Wasn't there some garlic somewhere? In the pantry? GET THE GARLIC!


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Ikos wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
it's kind of funny that we get another thread of someone voicing their complaints on something, and the first reply is "well why are you even here then?"
That question is actually at the crux of the matter. If someone has already decided that the playtest is not enjoyable, that they’ve lost all confidence in the developers, and that they’ve aired their concerns multiple times, but feel absolutely ignored, it seems quite natural to wonder, if one truly believes those things, why the continued dramatics? Either the issue is as dire as described (and pointless) or one of those variables is not entirely the case.

You've conflated a lot of things there. Someone doesn't have to sign up for the all-you-can-dislike buffet to decide that the playtest is not enjoyable.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:


Step 1) Pick Rogue
Step 2) Pick up Bow.

I think I made an Archer Rogue...

well no you didn't because now you're taking a -4 penalty to firing into melee, and your BAB isn't very good. Also you can't sneak attack since it's very hard to make people flat footed.

It's like putting a Bow on a Paladin doesn't instantly make them a Bow Paladin then huh?

Unless it doesn't work both ways. And if it does, why can't I instantly become a Bow Rogue with just a bow, it's just a bow right?

Archery in both systems is JUST giving a class a bow right?

BRB, Making Bow Sorcerer in both systems. Totally works.

Bowbarian! Bowchemist! The possibilities are endless!


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N N 959 wrote:
Requielle wrote:
N N 959 wrote:

... There's a saying in the world of industrial engineering and quality control:

It's not the people, it's the process. ...

Which would be great to keep in mind as a guiding principle if we were doing engineering and quality control instead of cooperative interactive storytelling.
This is a first and foremost a game. Games are facilitated by the rules. The interactive story telling is a facet of this game. But the interactive part is facilitated by the the players ability to make decisions. Decisions are meaningful when you have information. In the absence of information, a decision is meaningless. The reduces the "interactive" part to simply rolling dice.

I suspect you and I play in a fundamentally different manner. I find that having a range of viable interpretations for a rule allows for different flavors of games, and different expressions of group creativity. Everyone in our group GMs at times - we have the range from heavy tactical with strong rules emphasis to story-focused with rules flexibility. That whole spectrum is covered by the current 1E rules (and by other rules systems that came before).

I don't want a game system that tells me what specific item of information I give at each level of successful check. I want the ability to answer the question posed by my player... "What is it? And can I kill it with fire?" in a way that respects that knowing if it can be killed with fire might be the type of useful information *that character focused on while learning about things that populate dungeons*. And with the same level of skill check I want to be able to answer a different character who wants to know "What is that? And is it poisonous?" - because that's useful to them.

At the end of the day, I only want to play with people in a setting that is cooperative. I don't want an oppositional arms race where it's the GM vs. the players. I am not saying your games are that way - but I am saying that if someone in one of our games told me that I needed a chart of what I had to tell them on a knowledge check, I would think they were seeing me as the opponent and not a fellow-traveler creating a story with them.


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N N 959 wrote:

... There's a saying in the world of industrial engineering and quality control:

It's not the people, it's the process. ...

Which would be great to keep in mind as a guiding principle if we were doing engineering and quality control instead of cooperative interactive storytelling.


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Data Lore wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
One of the playtest goals is to be able to tell the same kind of stories. To do that you need to be able to have the same kinds of characters.
Making the connection between same kinds of stories and direct analogues between character builds is a loooooong stretch.

I respectfully disagree. I understand that going from a bazillion splat books and a shelf full of hardcovers to a single core book is going to limit options - BUT comparing base book to base book is illustrative. Because presumably those base builds from the original CRB are part of the common shared history of Golarion. Like, where did those bow paladins of Erastil all go?

I get why so many games do the "big cataclysmic event" storylines to explain their next evolution - because it may not wipe the slate clean, but it smudges it enough that you can change the world and mechanics and just narratively handwave away the changes. But if there isn't going to be a cataclysm, if wizards are going to go to bed one night in 1st edition and wake up the next day in 2nd edition and barely notice the change (to paraphrase one of the Paizo folks), then it's reasonable for the players to expect that the base stuff from the original CRB will be there in a pretty familiar form. Because if it isn't, they may as well just sign on for a trope-filled cataclysm story, because it's just going to be jarring.

To look at it from another angle - the adventure paths that form the history of Golarion need to be mechanically possible in future Golarion, because they happened (somehow). And for a lot of players, that means that the first characters they created for an early AP or module need to be represented as options in the 2E CRB.


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* No stakes. None to be found in the house, none to be bought/crafted in the rulebook, and no rules for breaking those chairs into emergency stakes.
- Had to wing it so the players could stake some vampires.

* Ghouls break into the house, conveniently just happen to notice that the place is haunted mere seconds after arriving, and also just happen to know the right chant to summon up said poltergeist in 6-seconds or less.
- Handwave, impromptu tragic backstory involving the poltergeist and the professor's great-grandfather and that chandelier that the BBEG found out about and prepared for.

* Tables are nailed to the floor because <reasons, and not just because they would make excellent barricades and we can't have that, can we?>.
- Handwave, same tragic story except great-grandpa nailed those tables down because of the poltergeist and later generations didn't want to ruin the floors by pulling them up.

* How, exactly, does the professor lock himself up every night to protect everyone - if he can free himself in the morning without help, his evil alter-ego can free himself at night.
- I gave up and just whimpered sadly in my GM chair.


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The stated goal of making high-level play a thing - with the dream of possibly having epic-level play added in as an optional sourcebook at some point - is a big draw for wanting PF2E to succeed.

Back in the bad old days of unbalanced D&D3.0, we ran an epic level campaign. And despite all the flaws and gaps, it was a blast. We still treasure the lessons we learned - don't leave bored fighters alone in a room for hours with a cursed altar while all the smart folks research things; diplomatic relations are distinctly frostier if you turn the lead negotiator's bonded mount into a chicken; and there is more than one way out of an exploding space station full of angry drow.


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Claxon wrote:

I get the sense that you and your group only very loosely use the APs then. Because I feel most of them are pretty on the rails, and thought they lack explicit direction like "All this should happen in one day" I feel it's usually pretty clear.

I feel your way is fine if it works for you, but if your using the APs losely and more for inspiration it seems obvious that it's never going to fit your group well. I feel like you might more like a Gazetteer style publication that says "These are things that are happening in the world around your character, feel free to get involved". But that's definitely a different kind of adventure style. In such a thing you can never really effectively manage a party's resources. So it doesn't matter how you treat healing or anything else, you could never plan for it anyways.

And please don't take this as a criticism of your play style, it's just not something anyone outside of your group could really write.

No, we usually manage to do whatever the main point of the AP is, and experience most/all of the listed encounters - but a) we frequently interact in unexpected ways, and b) we often meander off and do things that are not officially planned for while on the main path (which often means coming up with some bonus fluff content on the fly).

For example, during a recent AP there was an encounter with a particular type of ghost. I don't think the expected way to solve it involved one of the characters going in and trying to hug the ghost to comfort it, and yet that was apparently the plan. During the playtest, there was an encounter that gave the options of A. fight or B. avoid - my party went for C. flirt outrageously with the bad guys (and had the rolls to back it up). The unexpected AP choice was easier to adjudicate on the fly than the unexpected playtest choice.

PF1E (and several game systems before this) supported our playstyle well. *Paizo's APs fit us well* - which is why we've been buying them. You may not see how, but I trust you can take our word for it that they do, that is where my feedback and perception comes from.


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I trust that Paizo is making their best effort to put out a solid game - and that they have a pretty clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. That doesn't mean I'm not worried (in a general sense) that this edition seems to be shaping up to be a fundamentally different game than PF1E was.

Some of that worry is admittedly rather selfish. I thought Paizo did a wonderful job of refining the 3.5 chassis. I remember reading through the CRB and just going "Yes! That is so much better!" over and over. I was honestly hoping for that experience again. There are certainly some ideas in the playtest that we've already stolen and houseruled into our Reign of Winter campaign - and several more that we are looking at to see if we can figure out how to make them work. But the overall system isn't fitting well with how me or my friends play - it feels restricting and controlling rather than creative.

Maybe the gaming world has moved on and I'm just TTRPGing the Get Off My Lawn AP. If the overall game design is already decided and not likely to change and that publish date is set in stone ... well, I'd probably rather be all wrong in my critiques and see Paizo succeed despite my misgivings, than to be right and have Paizo forge on ahead into a brick wall.


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Claxon wrote:

I again strongly disagree.

I think the writers of APs should be giving this kind of guidance.
"This challenges are written to all take place in the same day, you should encourage your party to continue on assuming they meet the average party dynamic (healer, skill support, magic support, martial). If you don't meet this you can adjust the difficulty of monster by increasing or decreasing by...."
You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the various situations that arise.
Of course, then you get players complaining about railroading. But honestly every AP requires railroading, you just need to worry about having the illusion of choice adequately maintained."

You're correct that we can't plan for every permutation, but we can advise GMs on how to deal with the...

That sort of thing may work well with some groups. I can tell you absolutely that my group would be so full of nope. I (personally) intensely dislike adventures-on-rails.

That doesn't mean your game is bad. Or mine is. But it does mean locking down the APs to the point that there is a menu of expected encounters in a particular order per game day isn't a neutral option. It's a fundamental game philosophy decision that will define who wants to play the game.

I referenced it earlier in another thread, but maybe a restatement is in order. My group does not play the Pathfinder APs for Paizo's stories. They play to enjoy *their character stories* with the APs as the gorgeous backdrops. That doesn't devalue what Paizo does for us, and we've been loyal customers for years because they produce wonderful stuff for us to use in *our stories*.

That doesn't mean my way is the one true way to TTRPG. But it means I'm an old bat who knows what she likes, and I already know I'm not even vaguely interested in railroad games (even well-disguised ones).


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MaxAstro wrote:

Actually Tridus just hit on something I hadn't thought of before.

Even if Paizo has been convinced that a major core system needs a systematic overhaul, I doubt they would make that change during the playtest because such a change would invalidate the entirely of the rest of the playtest.

If Paizo has been convinced that a major core system needs a systematic overhaul, *why would they continue to collect data on a system they will no longer be implementing*? What would be the point of 'valid playtest data' on something that is destined for the scrapbin?

It is far more reasonable to assume that the continued inclusion of something in the playtest means that either a) it's still a planned feature of the upcoming edition, or that b) they know there's an issue but haven't got an alternative option ready to deploy. And I only lean towards b) if they've said something to that effect.


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Claxon wrote:
… Build the game around entering every encounter at mostly full (90%+) health, but reduced resources for every successive fight. …

Great idea, and gets to the heart of the issue - but almost impossible to do. The reason healing is such an issue is that PF2E (in particular) is extra deadly with those bonus dice on crits. So nobody wants to go into combat at half or 3/4 health (which *did* happen often in my PF1E games).

The problem is that whoever is writing the adventure never knows which combats to expect the party to start with full resources/health, and which will come along when the party is partly drained. No group goes through an adventure at the same pace or in the same order. You can't assume that every group will reach 'Encounter 13c. Irate Bats on a Rampage' with the same amount of HP and remaining combat and healing capability.

Starting every encounter with full-or-close-to-full resources is a very video-game expectation and feel. It takes almost no time in a modern video game to recoup everyone's health and magic resource, and so video game designers can balance for full-strength parties. TTRPGs don't have and shouldn't have that assumption. Probably reasonable to have boss fights balanced around 90% capability if you design the game to allow the party to decide when and on what terms they meet that challenge, but all the rest? They should be balanced (somehow) around parties that are injured and with limited remaining resources.


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Gorbacz wrote:

The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they have a solid way of assessing which sentiments are popular across the entire spectrum of playtest avenues and which ones aren't.

That is, certainly, one possibility. There are others.


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If Paizo were going to ignore feedback that isn't contained in surveys (I don't think they are, but that is the implied undertone of all these comments), they would be idiots. I filled out the surveys for the sections my group completed. And you know what? The questions Paizo asked didn't address several of the issues that pushed my group to drop the playtest.

"Did you fill out the survey?", while a glorious attempt to push responsibility onto the players who are unhappy, actually makes Paizo *more* responsible if they don't get the data they need to iron out the issues with PF2E. Because it makes Paizo responsible for guessing in advance what all the right questions will be.

The folks posting and giving feedback aren't the enemy. They are players and customers that care, that have enjoyed Paizo's products to date, and are offering information to help Paizo make a successful new edition. That includes both kinds of feedback - people posting what they like and how successful the new rules are, and folks posting about what doesn't work and is unappealing.


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shroudb wrote:
If something is an obvious use of the skill, then there's no need to take page count and bloat the system even more, just use the basic rules for it.

Well, detect poison was a cantrip, back in the good ol' PF1E days - so it wasn't unreasonable to assume you could find out that way. And then a heal check as a standard action against the poison's save DC to treat it. And hey, diagnose disease was a 1st-level spell. Heal check vs disease save DC and 10 minutes to treat.

All that means the ability to identify and treat both conditions was commonly available from level 1 in the previous edition. There isn't a magical way to identify those afflictions at level 1 anymore, and that is a fundamental change to the assumptions of what a beginning level party can do.

I dislike answers with 'probably' in them - those are great for telling me how *you* would manage a situation, and are actually pretty close to how I *did* manage the situation. But that doesn't mean I ran that part of DD according to the rules, because I still have no idea how (officially) non-magical identification of poison and disease work.

Obvious to you isn't obvious to everyone else... would the DC for the check to identify a poison be the same as to treat it? Or higher, because once identified you are more likely to know what to do, thus lowering the treat DC? Or lower, because figuring out someone has been bitten by a rattlesnake is a whole lot simpler than figuring out what to do about it?


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oholoko wrote:
And now he is a 9th level caster with uniquely occult spells

I am really curious about that - in the sense of wondering if this means they won't be bringing back the psychic (full-progression spontaneous occult caster in PF1E) in a later supplement. Then again, I suppose the occult sorcerer is also (currently! in 2E!) a spontaneous full-progression occult caster, so they don't have a hard and fast rule about doubling up those mechanics.


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Halfway through Affair at Sombrefell Hall - group voted discontinue, and move on to doing the Reign of Winter AP. As I posted when this came up earlier, I don't know if it's that we're a bad match for playtesting or if it's the structure of the playtest.

This feels more like an alpha (throw the extreme variants of the rules out there, see what sticks, update frequently) than a beta (base rules are set, and we're polishing the finer points). I was part of an alpha test for a TTRPG expansion years ago (that never made it out of alpha because it just never gelled) and this feels a lot like that play experience. It wasn't what I expected with a testing schedule and a publish date already set.


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OK, I apparently did miss it. Going to have to go back and reread that to see if I was supposed to tell them "You have X number of days to get there and take possession of the item" right off the bat. Because that's the only way that makes sense. I guess I just skipped right over that bit of info that the NPCs had to share.

/waves at her table of players... oops!

I ran it as a race against an unknown deadline, with the PCs having to weigh the risks that come with pushing for speed against the risk of being too cautious and being beaten to the goal - without being able to exactly quantify that risk.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Ronnam wrote:
Requielle wrote:

The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.

QFT. There's nothing more dispiriting than crit failing an Aid or Assist, so players rapidly stopped even trying. Sometimes a crit fumble is funny, but not for Aid or Assist. It just feels dreadful.
Conversely, not having them will lead to 1st Edition’s issue of just do piling Aid Anothers on a Main to effectively bypass all challenges with little issue.

Under Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules, Aid gives a +2 circumstance bonus and circumstance bonuses don't stack. Piling on Aid bonuses can no longer happen.

Having multiple people take an Aid action does increase the chance of a critical success (+4 circumstance bonus), but it will never go past +4.

I didn't play PFS, so I can't speak as to whether this was a problem in Society play - but it didn't happen around our table. Probably because none of us as GMs allowed multiple people to aid a single check. Maybe we misunderstood the rule, but I think we always assumed that it didn't stack. Then again, we usually only allowed one other PC to attempt to help, so we didn't get the 'everybody tries to help until you get the +2, so why not just always give a free +2' situation.

  • PC Sven: I'm going to chat with the constable to see if he'll let us search the crime scene! <rolls diplomacy>
  • PC Harold: I'm going to compliment his obviously well-trained horse! <rolls to aid another>
  • PC Wanda: I'm going to flirt with the strong, handsome lawman! <rolls to aid another>
  • PC Dagmar: I'm going to mention that we helped defend that caravan, so we're totally trustworthy! <rolls to aid another>
  • GM: The constable is distracted and confused because everyone is talking to him at once - and also vaguely annoyed because everyone is talking to him at once.


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    Tridus wrote:
    ... Frankly, I think adding crit failure conditions to so many things is a major mistake of the system. It goes against the goal of having more players able to participate in skill checks by putting a severe punishment on those crit failures and makes them far too likely, which just forces you to have the best person do it alone to avoid someone else totally botching it up. ...

    This. The worst thing to hear at a table of players is "don't help me!". And I started hearing it more and more often as Doomsday Dawn went on. The risk that your helper critically fails is just not one that most people want to take after a while. So nearly every skill check turned into solo time, instead of group time.

    That is where this particular subsystem fails at the most basic function of the overall game - cooperative gameplay. If, at the end of the day, the rules punish players for working together towards the goals of the story, it's counterproductive.


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    PF1E's Spiritual Weapon text wrote:

    The weapon that you get is often a force replica of your deity’s own personal weapon. A cleric without a deity gets a weapon based on his alignment. A neutral cleric without a deity can create a spiritual weapon of any alignment, provided he is acting at least generally in accord with that alignment at the time. The weapons associated with each alignment are as follows:

  • chaos (battleaxe)
  • evil (light flail)
  • good (warhammer)
  • law (longsword)
  • Obviously, that's not officially how it works in 2E, but it's at least consistent with how it supposedly has been working in Golarion to date.


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    I honestly liked the "most DC 10 things can be done untrained" rule in PF1E, combined with the ability to take 10 when not stressed. It left out a few specialized things that required training to even attempt (Spellcraft, anyone?) - but populated the game world with NPCs that could manage daily life.

    They could track their lost cow through the mud (survival). They could identify a chicken (knowledge: nature) or a goblin (knowledge: local) or a wandering cleric of Erastil (knowledge: religion). They could prepare a basic meal (profession: cook) or mend a tear in their shirt (profession: tailor). They could sing, dance, and tell jokes (perform). They could ask a fair price for a sack of potatoes (appraise). And they could do these things consistently, day after day, without having a tragic failure 5% of the time or an equally-surprising epiphany 5% of the time.


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    Did I miss where I was supposed to tell my party when they got to the dungeon how much time they had left? Because my group flew blind all the way through. They finished in time to avoid having to encounter the other party, but just barely.

    They found out (as players) when the adventure was over and we walked through the time structure of the adventure (my players are also GMs, so we dissected each adventure this way afterwards so everyone got to see behind the screen a bit). I don't think they ever found out (as characters) how close they cut it on managing to avoid that encounter, so they probably all just assumed they were amazing. They seemed like the sort of PCs who would just give themselves all the credit.


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    As our group advanced through Doomsday Dawn, our opinions of some of the mechanics changed, too. For example, my players initially liked the +1/level to everything and the 4-degrees of success - but were very much not a fan of those mechanics as time went on. Ditto for the bonus dice for magic weapons... initially very appealing, later not so much.

    I noted a while ago that *if* they stick with the 4-degrees of success, *everything* needs it. Trying to keep track of which ones do and don't have critical options is a time sink, and (as you noted) a potential disappointment when that critical die roll is unexceptional.

    At the low end of play the 3-action economy felt very liberating. I am not sure if that will hold up in high-end play, or if it will instead feel very limiting to still only have 3 actions. If the flow of combat feels the same at level 15 as it did at level 1, will that be satisfying? I don't know.

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