gwynfrid: I've been every bit as enthusiastic in praising them when they get things right. And up until this point, they got far more right than wrong.
In this case, it's a mix of elements. Poor initial design choice, poor history of working with this topic in PF1E, and lack of any concrete details for a future fix in PF2E leave me sitting there going "...This is actually bad enough to make me look up your competition and see if they want me."
And the more I read up on 5E, the more I like it. This blog post to promote PF2E literally sent me to the competitor they're trying to respond to.
Paizo can still win me back, but I want more than very vague 'maybe' thoughts about it. I want more than 'potential' (and I agree with Mark's statements that this PF2E Paladin, as described so far, has more potential to be adapted for other alignments than the PF1E one did). I need meaningful details on how they'll fix this gap in design space.
Okay, so I've had the chance to sleep on it and see lots of good replies. Let me get into them.
Seriously, somebody at Paizo just cancel RickDias' order and put him out of his misery (and our's).
If my pointing out a huge design-space flaw is 'your misery', too bad.
CorvusMask: I don't think they're doing it to me on a personal level.
I do think they're making a huge mistake here, locking out a pretty interesting playstyle behind a single alignment and offering no real equivalent to it for the other 8 alignments. Their competitor offers equivalents and did so in a pretty strong, interesting way. I'm deeply surprised Pathfinder has consistently been so cautious about this and now doubled down on it.
Mark: I appreciate the response. Based on what you had to say, and some of Wei Ji's remarks, I went ahead and read the rest of the design article.
Let me start with the good part. You're right that this class as described looks to be more adaptable for future use. I can easily agree to that; the partial details we have here are enough for me to agree with this part of your statement.
That said? I'm even more upset now. This is worse than I thought it was initially, Pathfinder 2E appears to be locking the 'tank' playstyle behind Lawful Good, or at least giving Lawful Good (and only LG at this time) access to the most dedicated form of it. This is even more upsetting from a game design level.
You've indicated there's definitely a 'maybe chance' here for adapting it to other alignments. There are three problems with this.
First, it's a 'maybe.' I understand you can't lock Paizo down to definite promises at this point in the process. It nonetheless sucks from a customer standpoint.
Second, there's no timetable for when this 'maybe' might happen. Would it take years for these adaptations to come out? The Core Rulebook Playtest really was the best possible time to try this out and see if the game collapses in upon itself or not. There's no way you'll get this volume of feedback later on for trying the idea.
Third, Paizo's history with this particular topic is... kind of lacking. It's clearly on your radar. The Martial Artist archetype (PF1E Monk) and Grey Paladin archetype (PF1E Paladin) show you're aware of the desire for this sort of expansion. It's just that those archetypes are really bad, and not fun to play. Without clear details, it's hard to take Paizo at their word that this might be fixed in the future.
Now... I do appreciate the personal reply. I also think that on the whole, PF2E has done a lot of good design choices. I just feel this one is an egregiously bad decision and I don't have much faith in Paizo's ability to fix it later. You're locking down a variety of playstyle elements (the 'martial plus healing plus expressive Charisma' thing I mentioned, plus the tanking aspects others have mentioned) to LG only, and that's overly cautious. Please reconsider this.
Hmmm... I can't really get behind the tone of the rest of your post,
That's okay. You shouldn't get behind the tone of my posts.
I am pretty hurt and angry right now. I am posting from 'hurt and angry and surprised in very bad ways and I feel like I stupidly wasted my money supporting Paizo in this endeavor.'
Very little of what I'm doing right now is according-to-Hoyle for proper debate. I'm simply well beyond caring, even as I fully acknowledge it's not quite good form.
Sure, I'll play along. Let me offer a thought for one of the alignments.
Neutral Good: This alignment is primarily concerned with Good, with benefit for others (whether this be charity, protection, emotional support, community-building, redeeming evil, or any other form of either providing benefit or reducing harm). It is not especially beholden to lawful entities, though may try to cooperate with them if it is practical to do so and expect that entity to help others or reduce harm.
Notably, a person of Neutral Good alignment tends to wind up on this path through a fairly thorough social philosophy... or the distinct lack thereof. In the former case, the individual may express clear reasons for why they make decisions based primarily on how much good that choice will result in.
In the latter case, the individual may be consistently kind and considerate of others but either lacks the intelligence or the education to have a strong 'social philosophy.' For example, a child that has not studied politics (and currently has no understanding of the benefits and drawbacks to various social structures) but is still truly kind to people might be considered Neutral Good.
Neutral Good is willing to tell the town guards about a problem if they have a reasonable belief the guards will react in a way that promotes Good. However, if they feel the guards will either ignore the problem or condone it, or would be unable to effectively deal with the problem (for example, the problem definitely would kill the average guard) then a Neutral Good individual is willing to simply ignore the rules in order to do what they feel will result in the most Good in the situation.
Though... Paizo never promised you Alignment free Paladins.
You're right, they didn't.
I trusted them to continue being willing to try interesting new ideas and then walk back if they present a problem. This is the idea of a playtest.
They had, up until this point, shown lots of good game design decisions. Enough good decisions that I, in hindsight naively and stupidly, trusted them to continue guiding the game in directions I supported. I am now currently pondering how much ill-will I wish to generate with Paizo's financial dept. and my card issuer to get my money back because this is one hell of a point for Paizo to start dropping the ball this badly.
To use language we both understand: I didn't want them to take Street Fighter's Ryu away from you. I wanted them to either let me pick Ryu with a different costume... or failing that, let me pick Ken or Sakura or Sagat; 'mostly the same basic features, but expressed differently and with different finer details.'
Right now I'm not getting either of those options. If making Paladin non-LG-only would have chased you off, then I expected a compromise solution wherein a similar but distinct class was made available. Failing that, I wanted clear plans up front on how they would accomplish this later on and a timetable for doing so. I got none of this.
As far as making everyone happy goes, here's where I'd be willing to compromise: Make a class with the following features.
Do it in a blend reasonably close to what the Paladin has and I will be totally satisfied. You can call it the Crusader or the Zealot or the Cobra Kai Never Dies or whatever, it doesn't have to be called 'Paladin.' Doesn't even have to be mechanically identical to Paladin. Just has to be 'melee primary, with some modest access to healing and buffs to do nice things for their teammates from time to time' and I'm totally happy with it.
Problem is Paizo has a very poor history with actually providing this. I don't trust them to make good on it now, not when every previous attempt at it has been so low-quality and not fun to play.
I want a specific, clear commitment to a real take on this idea before I'll be satisfied. I want details and timelines. Vague assurances on this particular topic are worth very little from Paizo because they have consistently shown throughout the last several years that they're aware players want this sort of thing but their attempts have all been really lacking in the end. I don't use Martial Artist on Monk, nor Grey Paladin on Paladin.
I'm not trying to banish the Shining White Knight Atop A Charger from Pathfinder. I'm trying to get Martial Primary plus Some Healing And Buffing on a Charisma-driven class without being tied to Lawful Good. PF1E doesn't have any good options for this (I won't say 'no options at all', because it does have them, they just suck).
All told, I'm very upset by this decision and it has gutted my interest in PF2E. Which is a shame, because up until now they had been making some interesting changes which I supported. I trusted Paizo enough to drop the $60 or so for the special playtest book. And right now, I feel like an idiot for doing so.
I am strongly considering getting my money back from my card issuer (no ethical concerns here; the product hasn't shipped yet, it's months out from shipping and I have no doubt they'll be able to sell 'my' copy to someone else at full price). "Paizo might block you from future purchases anyway if you do that", one might note. I'm too angry to care right now.
Ryan Freire wrote:
In the face of this i kind of hope you find another game that fits your requirements,
Tempting. I hear WotC apparently wants my money now.
I was hoping the developers at Paizo would be bold enough to try some new design space on opening up this play-style to other alignments. I was hoping feedback over the last few weeks would help them mold the product in that direction.
It did not happen.
Which is thunderingly, completely useless for PFS play! I can't 'sidebar' anything in PFS! It's PFS Rules or nothing in this regard!
Nox Aeterna wrote:
If it is so important to you. Make them any alignment when you are Gming the game or just find a GM that agrees with that view. This thread seems to have some.
Problem: Not an option in PFS play. In other words, you're basically telling me to stay away from an entire major play venue.
Apparently eventually other classes might come to fill the gaps of the other alignments, which if made right, would actually be a great boon to the system with each concept having its own champion.
Problem: Paizo has a very bad track history with making such variants really, really bad and boring and not fun. They need to be forthcoming with clear, specific, interesting details on such 'champions of alignment' variations if they want me to calm down.
Would you be willing to tell those players to shove off? To go away? They've been here supporting Paizo as long as any other players.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes.
And yes some more.
Literally the 'other side' of this is saying I must play a very specific alignment in order to have access to a fairly broad, interesting play-style. The reasoning for it, reasoning you presented, was decisions made by someone decades ago ('respect Gygax tradition' or something to that effect).
I'd like to think it's okay for a game to evolve decades later. To at least try and see if we can expand and have a new kind of fun.
A kind of fun that 5E tried and it didn't spontaneously combust in a blaze of anti-high-fantasy.
If someone is saying we shouldn't try something like this, that I should only be allowed access to that playstyle if I tailor it around a fairly specific personality set, then I will in fact take that confrontational option you've offered me re: tell them off.
I don't like people trying to limit my fun because Gygax.
Didn't even bother reading the rest of the post once you confirmed this class and playstyle is LG-only. There was some 'if' language in there about possibly revisiting this at a later time, but given the efforts so far in PF1E (such as the breathtakingly un-fun 'Grey Paladin')... I do not hold high hopes.
This has seriously damaged my interest in your product and I am considering revoking my preorder for the playtest or at least downgrading it to one of the less fancy editions. I'll think about it some this evening.
Feel free to try to talk me out of it.
Edit: I see preorders locked. So it's 'cancel and get nothing or stay on your current preorder.' And since said orders are now locked into 'pending', I may take the matter up with my card issuer to seek a refund.
I am strongly leaning toward 'cancel and get nothing.' I am very disappointed in this decision; why would you lock a major play-style like this to only 1 of the alignments? It's not like it's an obscure blend.
the first being a player that seems to constantly want to violate their codes (forgetting happens, as do unfortunate situations, but a player should have a fairly good idea of acceptable behaviors).
I've seen this a few times. It's rather annoying when it happens.
The second is that the GM asks constantly even when the player is acting in good faith or clearly not trying to violate their codes - in other words, the GM is constantly looking for a reason to strip the player's character of powers
The game rules can only go so far in catching bully GMs. I've seen GMs go out of their way to shame a male player for not playing a 'manly class' (the guy was playing a Bard). Or throw in nonstop sexism in every adventure with every NPC just piling all kinds of awful remarks on female characters.
I'm very sympathetic to the problems that can arise from my proposal, as I've seen both really awful players and outright cruel GMs. However, I truly do feel that it's a better use of developer time and rulebook space to 'soft rule' these, to lay down expectations, than to try explicitly policing it with the 'gradual fall' rules proposed in this thread.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Certain classes go beyond being just a bunch of powers tagged together, which is a great thing.
Any well written character goes beyond being just a bunch of powers tagged together. I could say the EXACT SAME THING about any well written Wizard, Sorcerer, Ranger, Monk, whatever.
Here's the thing. What I just described is a playstyle that ought to be open to a far wider range of concepts than 'LG only.' It doesn't have to be called a Paladin, but I damn well want the playstyle I described to be more widely available.
Im honestly quite glad the devs are not only keeping alignment restrictions (snip) paladin (snip)
Would like a citation on the alignment restriction being retained for 2E Paladins. First I've heard of this.
Playing a paladin means something,
So does playing a Fighter, Sorcerer, Bard, Cleric, Warpriest, Skald, Magus, etc.
Your elitism is showing. You might want to tend to that.
Nox Aeterna wrote:
Remind me not to share a table with you. You seem to hate fun.
Why in the world a fairly intuitive playstyle like 'martial focus with modest amounts of healing and buffing functionality, tied to Charisma' needs to be LG only, why letting that be Any Alignment is controversial, is beyond me.
First off, I explicitly reject your contract-like language; I don't 'understand' or 'agree to' a damn thing by posting in this thread.
That said: Just wanted to point out that Rule 6 is nonsense. It's entirely possible to critique the setting/canon/lore as having some sort of mistake or serious oversight. Whether that's true or not in this particular case is highly debatable, but we can certainly take swipes at aspects of Golarion if we damn well feel like it.
Doing so might even reveal flaws that someone ends up feeling are necessary to address in the setting's lore.
Not saying that's specifically the case on the topic of undead and alignment, but telling us we can't point out potential issues in the lore is silly and I hope nobody is actually going to abide by such a restriction.
I'll show myself out of this thread.
Lots of interesting thoughts here. I'd like to chime in on some of them!
Gradual Falling: Hypothetically, this is a better solution than 'binary fall.' It requires a lot of extra design time that I'd rather the developers spend on making the rest of the game better. I feel like there's a superior solution to this, as a result.
Therefore I propose a social/cultural solution: Let's shift the solution to the player/GM side rather than the game system side of things. Let's take some of the 'character knows their code better than the player' sentiments in this thread, and include them in the rulebooks.
A little blurb about how GMs need to warn/advise players about anathema/falling behavior and discuss it, to see why the player's doing it, would go much further than several pages on gradual fall rules.
Imagine something like this at the end of the Anathema rule: "If a PC undertakes actions that would violate their Anathema, the GM must pause play to discuss this with that player and request an explanation for why the PC is doing that. It may be they have a legitimate reason that is consistent with their faith; if so, no 'fall' occurs. If they don't, the GM should explain what the issue is and give the player a chance to retract that action. Excessive incidents requiring the GM to pause the game in this way are grounds for, at GM discretion, waiver of Anathema protections and the PC may fall without further consultation."
PFS Organized Play could set their own standards for what 'excessive' is.
Regarding Abuse of Shelyn's Rules of Surrender: This is a non-issue for most practical purposes. A murderer shows up, surrenders to Shelyn, and... in the best case scenario? Congratulations, they're now basically a prisoner of a Shelynite temple. They can't leave, and are now surrounded by people whose values are the very opposite of the murderer's.
I imagine being trapped in a temple with a lot of people who love art and healing and beauty and niceness and singing and all that fuzzy-goodness stuff would basically be a living hell for such individuals. "And with this stroke of the brush, I shall express the vivid warmth of the forest and the mountains on a summer eveni--" "OH MY GOD SHUT UP SCREW THIS I'M OUTTA HERE"
And that's best-case; chances are the Shelynites aren't going to be stupid. They can do, as others said, the obvious thing and go call the local guard to arrange a hand-over of said 'asylum seeker.'
Mark said up-thread that Perform and Diplomacy (and I think Medicine) are already whatever the equivalent of Class Skills are for Clerics.
I was using broad examples. If those specific cases don't apply, awesome; the idea overall should still hold true. "If a deity has two or three major concepts, let their cleric pick the representative skill they gain instead of requiring just one if their built-in skill list doesn't handle it."
Ser Guii de Facien wrote:
"Ummm. Please tell me that my Goddess still loves my singing, and not just boring building stuff?"
Forgive me if someone has already beaten me to this idea, don't have time to check every post. If they haven't, let me propose this: What about letting Clerics choose from one of two skills that fit their deity?
Imagine Shelyn granting Crafting or Perform.
Sarenrae granting Heal or Diplomacy.
So on and so forth.
Not both, but pick one. This would let followers pick which aspect of the deity they favor more...
Nice preview overall, and I remain excited to try out the new edition. However, one note: We were asked if we're eager to try certain character ideas/builds out.
...We... don't really... have enough info to do a 'build.' Nowhere near enough. What I have in my head now are vague concepts; "Holy-magic-themed Sorc." "Sword and Magic wielding wandering scholar." "Polearm fighter who is fairly intelligent." I just don't have enough insight on PF2E to make builds for them, so they remain broad ideas.
I'd want a bit more info on the game system before I can share 'builds.'
First off, I'm stunned I agree with HWalsh about something.
That said... I don't understand the commotion. It looks like this is vastly simplifying ability score generation and baking in fair and equal stats as the default assumption. Why are either of these problems? I lost so much freaking time testing various permutations of ability score math in PFS builds to get the exact combination I wanted. Streamlining it is a good thing.
Ignore handringing by Martial characters. Critical failures NEED to count for meele & ranged attack rolls in Pathfinder 2E!
People who believe that critical fumble rules are somehow "realistic" should really avoid getting into knife fights.
First, everyone should avoid getting into knife fights. They're pretty terrifying. (That said, I understand you were making a somewhat different point entirely)
Second, I agree with the overwhelming majority here: This is a bad idea and they've already said everything I would about why it's bad.
The Eternal Keeper wrote:
I am not fond of this. A polearm whose thrusting or slashing head you manage to get past has another striking surface worth noting: The entire rest of the polearm. It's a long bar of hard-wood. Kind of like a staff or a baseball bat, just with some weight distribution quirks. Hit someone with it and they're going to have a bad day.
Getting past the main striking end of a polearm remains a good idea, but let's not act like the shaft is an unwieldy weapon to use.
I'm... cautious about this. The good part is it's unusual, it's different. I like unusual and different.
What I'm worried about is this basically being yet more incentive for some players to make unbelievably disruptive PCs. It has been my experience that groups are slow to show such players the door. It has also been my experience that in PFS play they won't be shown the door.
That's honestly the sole major point I have in objecting to this. If there's a way to deal with this one problem, then I'm basically okay with Goblin PCs.
Probably a bit late to this one, but... my top five, with an obvious theme:
Arcane Healer (Bard): I like the idea of making Bards even more 'constructive' like this. Got it on an Argent Dramaturge oriented Bard a while back and loved it.
Hexcrafter (Magus): Solely because it let me add a bit of healing to the class. That was all I wanted, and Hexcrafter delivered!
Hospitaler (Paladin): ...Yup, you guessed it; I like healing.
Dawnflower Dervish (Bard): Sarenrae-themed content is always fun for me.
Eldritch Scion (Magus): I like Cha-driven classes in general. This one came up a bit short in power, giving up too much for too little in return, but the idea of a Cha-driven melee/arcane hybrid was neat.
Sorry, going to cheat and add one more. Lore Warden (Fighter): Didn't like the execution, did like the idea; want to see more 'smart Fighter' support in general.
I just wanted to chime in on boons, specifically race/ancestry boons... please, no. Don't make these. If a race is too strong for organized play, then ban it outright; don't make it a rare thing people can get. If it's too good for wide distribution, then it's too good to be divvying out to haves and have-nots.
If a race is likely going to be popular for certain character concepts, then make extra sure it won't wind up being too strong. EDIT: And be willing to walk it back post-release if you have to. (End edit, resume original post) I was very disappointed the Aasimar was PFS-banned without some boon I had no chance to obtain as a new-ish player, because it would have perfectly fit a few of my character ideas. Didn't want it for the power; I would have gladly played a toned down Aasimar. I wanted it for the flavor.
Finding out "Nope, not allowed to do that idea because others ran it into the ground and we weren't willing to issue a balance patch to it... instead, we locked it behind a rare boon so SOME people, but NOT YOU, are allowed to have this specific kind of fun" did a lot to damage my interest in PFS1. I'm mostly sitting out to see how PFS2 turns out, accordingly.
For me it's definitely the amount of character ideas that you can make; like Helvellyn I don't like how deep you have to dig to get some ideas working, but you CAN do it and this matters to me.
The system has let me create a holy-themed arcane blaster with angel wings and strong diplomatic skills, plus a bit of healing and buffing, who can win fights with non-lethal damage if desired... and it's all lore-supported too!
It also lets me make an agile and intelligent scimitar fighter who (wait, don't tune me out just yet, I promise this has a plot twist) can mix melee and magic well... but in return for trading off a bit of firepower, this character can also do diplomacy and stage acting while accompanied by a cute yet useful familiar.
Heck, it even supports 'singing at evil to hinder it and help allies do better' thanks to the Argent Dramaturge (love the art for that class, by the way).
All very flashy, colorful, expressive ideas. I'm delighted I was able to make them! Hopefully PF2E will support porting them over mostly intact.
Something I want to see fixed? Weapon weights. Things like 12 pound halberds and so on make me go "WHAT?!" My arms try to imagine wielding a 12 pound polearm and I cringe.
Pathfinder 1E's weapon weights are about 1.5x to 2.0x higher than the real things. A typical 'heavy polearm' is 6-8 pounds, and is quite bulky as it is.
With the wider availability of information on medieval weaponry today, I'd love to see this fixed!
One thing that has always bothered me about Pathfinder melee weapons is they often cannot do damage types they by all rights ought to be able to do. There are lots of weapons that are clearly better at one type, but can do the other kinds.
Accordingly, I would like to propose that in PF2E melee weapons can do multiple damage types... just at less damage for some. I offer the following examples of this premise, plus an explanation of what benefits it offers the game.
Longsword or Scimitar: These classically slashing weapons (1d8 or 1d6 respectively) are perfectly capable of thrusts in real life. They might not be as good at it, but there should be an option. Likewise, they can do bludgeoning damage. I would suggest the following,
Longsword / Scimitar
Polearms in general: Should be capable of staff-fighting adjacent foes. This is basic polearm combat; if someone slips past your spear-tip then the sensible things to do are either footwork backwards so you can try again, or if they're overtaking you too quickly for that to work... you hit them with the big stick already in your hands.
Accordingly, I would advise some kind of 1d4 or 1d6 bludgeoning attack against adjacent foes if Reach rules remain similar to how they were in PF1E.
What's the Benefit?: It would cut down on characters carrying a truly silly amount of weaponry. Sure, a main weapon and a backup make sense. Carrying three or four different ones to make sure all damage types are covered is a bit odd.
It would also reduce the need for Feats that permit this behavior in PF1E, when competent combatants should be learning how to do this stuff as part of their early training.
Also opens up some design space for polearm fighters that don't need armor spikes for close combat, because they'd already be doing it with what they have in-hand.
Hopefully this idea has some merit; I'd love to see martials show off various alternate ways of fighting with a weapon!
Speaking as someone who puts ranks of Use Magic Device on every one of my characters so they can lug around CLW wands to take care of the party (because most parties I've played in won't bring much healing of their own...), I'll offer my thoughts on what's so wrong with CLW Wands.
It's a damn headache in terms of bookkeeping. After a fight, I have to roll, no lie, 30-50 dice just to get the party back to proper health. "UMD... failed. UMD... failed. UMD... failed. ...UMD, success, here's 1d8+1 heal and I'll mark the charge off the wand... UMD failed natural 1, switching to second wand... UMD success, there's 1d8+1 and I'll mark a charge off THAT wand... UMD failed nat 1, switching to THIRD WAND... UMD success, there's your 1d8+1 and marking a charge off the third wand..."
This goes on for a while. It is really, really annoying to me as a player, and to the GM who has to verify all this junk.
Gets tiring real fast. I do it because it's smart play and has sometimes made the difference between TPKs or successful adventures, but it sucks. I want a better system.
okay, that's something, I admit, wouldn't happen on my tables, so I was not aware that this might be a proble at other tables. simply raising the cost for CLW wands might be the less complicated way to tackle that problem (if it is not just a theoretical problem, but something some players actually do)
It's something I've actually done. There have been numerous groups where my Sorcerer was the team's healer. How? They took max ranks in Use Magic Device and carried around a LOT of CLW Wands. Enough that even if the 'roll a nat 1 and fail, this item shuts down for the rest of the day' failure happened, they would just bust out the second.
It slowed games down a lot, but it was how the party stayed healed for lack of any other options. Nobody else was bringing much in the way of healing, and this happened across multiple groups with different players.
Count me in as mostly supporting the general idea. There are some cases, such as very narrowly defined playstyles that tie into associated lore, where I'm okay with alignment restrictions.
Here's an example that doesn't quite exist in PF1E but would make sense: If the Argent Dramaturge were to have a 'no Evil alignment' requirement, I'd be totally okay with that because it is a very, very specific play style (singing at certain types of evil to hinder it and help allies). The lore backs it, it's a very precise concept, and it makes sense.
On the other hand, restrictions for very broad ideas like Monk don't fit. I've met plenty of real-life martial artists who don't have Lawful views on most topics (and half the characters Jackie Chan plays in movies are NG or CG, flagrantly ignoring what the law says), but nonetheless keep up their training pretty well.
9 times out of 10, I want the restriction gone. Where it's maintained, it needs to be supported by both lore and being part of very narrow, theme-specific game mechanics.
There are some other factors to consider.
First, 'non-lethal' is a big thing for one of the major faiths in Golarion. Sarenrae strongly prefers it (though even she grants sometimes 'kill them dead' is the right answer). Others like Shelyn probably prefer it too. So it's actually Lore Important that the game get this right. As someone whose favorite character design revolves around "Merciful Intensified Empowered Fireball" and similar ways of non-lethally but decisively ending conflicts, it's something I want to be able to do without needing supporting mechanical choices from the entire rest of the table.
I voted 'do it like PF1', but I'm certainly open to mechanical clean-up so GMs don't have to track this extra junk. I just want to be able to do my thing (while still realizing some foes are best killed and some allies will prefer to do this; a true 'pacifist run' is impractical in this kind of game) without burdening the GM or fellow players.
However, I do feel part of this can be handled outside the game rules. It should probably be customary at the start of a new group, or a brief discussion at PFS tables, to figure out how this goes. A simple discussion on "Is anyone here playing a character with notably strong feelings about non-lethal combat, or strongly preferring lethal combat?" and working it out from there goes a long way.
Just chiming in to note that the Magus or an equivalent concept is important to me too. I liked having a character who was fairly agile, hit decently hard (not out-DPSing the Greatsword Fighter, nor should they do so), was decent durable (without out-tanking the tanks), was intelligent and could be sociable with the right traits (without out-socializing the bards), and do some long range attack magic and very limited healing without obsoleting the wizard or cleric.
Basically, I was going for a Final Fantasy style Red Mage. Very flexible, competent at all sorts of things, best at none. Hexcrafter Magus with a Dex build let me do it, and I liked that a lot. I don't need a 1 to 1 copy of the Magus, but I want the basic idea intact. Please make it happen, Paizo!
I'm becoming increasingly less fond of the color coding that is now the standard in class guides. Even generally solid guide authors sometimes make some pretty egregious mistakes in their color coding.
One of the more common traps I've come across when people offer 'color coded advice' is they will look solely at raw damage output and sometimes ignore that range is important too. I'm willing to eat a 30% drop in damage output if it means putting that damage down on someone clear across the map. Especially if they have trouble retaliating in any meaningful way from that distance.
Not saying this sort of error happens all the time, or even most of the time, but it comes up often enough that I'm wary of just 'color code-based' feedback. General descriptors like "This is a pretty good option because while its damage output is low, it's extremely accurate and hits out to ranges that most other forms of attacking don't," or "This is honestly too good, it shuts down a foe with a mix of high accuracy, long range, high damage, and a powerful debuff. At least one of these factors needs to go or there needs to be a major limitation on it, because simply improving NPC tactics isn't adequate to deal with this and it's letting my players casually destroy my encounters."
Even "I ALWAYS picks Option X on my characters because it does everything Option Y does but better, and this limiting factor tacked on at the end isn't enough to matter. Either X needs to be nerfed a bit or Y needs some improvements, or Y's niche needs to be relevant more often" is good playtest info.
Things like that are probably more useful than 'red because it does too little damage', 'orange because it's hard to hit with', etc.
Several days ago, designer Mark Seifter (I think it was him, anyway; forgive me if I've mis-remembered this) mentioned playtesting an arcane character that I understood to be (and may be wrong) themed around holy/light style magic. I wanted to ask a few questions about this and see how well PF2E supports certain character ideas that original Pathfinder allowed... but in some cases it took a while to get around to. Others were in 'day one', though.
Thus, if anyone on staff is willing to indulge some questions, I'd like to ask whether the game will 'day 1' support any of the following?
Non-lethal damage spells: I really liked my character being able to drop a big, surprisingly non-fatal Fireball on foes. The Merciful Spell feat and Sarenrae's Divine Fighting Technique feat both allowed this in various ways. Is this something I can port over on day one of PF2E? Not every encounter need to be won via non-lethal damage, but I'd certainly love for it to be a practical option.
Angel wings: The Celestial Sorcerer bloodline granted angel wings after a while. Loved it, it was great visual flavor. Unfortunately, this bloodline wound up competing with the (otherwise far superior) Solar bloodline. Solar bloodline lacked the wings, but gave your character tons of other holy-themed powers like Light-based attack spells along with decent (not great, but decent and enjoyable) healing. It even offered significant upgrades in firepower. Having to pick between the these aspects of a 'Holy sorcerer' concept was kind of disappointing, because the 'firepower and healing' part begrudgingly won out over the wings most of the time I designed characters. Will there be any way to reconcile these differences in PF2E?
Good-themed Attack spells in general: Burst of Radiance is, hands-down, my favorite spell in the game. Searing Light (technically Light-themed rather than Good-themed, but close enough!) is also easily in my 'Top 10.' Getting them onto some kind of spontaneous arcane caster was a pretty fun thing for me. Can we expect to see reasonable equivalents (they need not be the exact same spells, just the same basic idea) around, including access for non-Divine classes?
Celestial-themed Familiars/similar: Will these remain an option? I loved being able to pick up companions like the Silvanshee Agathion (Enlightened benevolent intelligent cat? Yes please) and the various minor Archons and Azata. Will this sort of thing still be around?
In Summary: I loved being able to design characters who were unambiguously devoted to holy/light/celestial/Good ideas and got some of the toys you'd associate with that, but their primary tools and game mechanics for getting things done weren't the traditional Cleric ability set. PF1E supports this extremely well (it took a lot of expansion content to get there, but we did indeed arrive at 'the materials to build nearly the exact character concept I had in mind'), and I'm wondering how well PF2E will support it or how much I should be ready to drop from said character concepts.
Can anyone at Paizo offer some insight on this? Mark's brief response on this a week or so back seemed encouraging, but as my initial question was lacking in details... his reply felt similarly vague to me (not that I'm upset by it; if I frame the question wrong, I'm not likely to get the answers I seek).
Thank you for your time in considering these questions!
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
I don't want to spoil it just yet, so please give us some time. I promise that we have looked into this deeply and I think we've come up with a pretty great solution.
Given the level of ire here, would it be beneficial to give us a little more info at this time? Otherwise, short of Paizo staff forbidding the conversation to go forward, I suspect we may keep going.
I appreciate that rate and flow of information has to be tightly controlled to maintain 'hype' for customers. Nonetheless, with an issue this contentious... perhaps we ought to get a little more to go on. Look at how quickly this thread basically 'caught fire.' Look at how many Paladin-fall-argument threads happen on these forums all the time. It's a very hot-button issue, and probably one of the things beyond 'core game engine behavior' that we need to know about as soon as possible so we can calibrate our expectations.
Last night, I had to rein in the urge to start making extremely snarky replies to some people in this thread who I felt are basically out to deny me something I would find fun in the game.
Even a bit of info would be much appreciated. It might result in some initial uproar, but things will probably calm down in short order after that. It's kind of like how Nintendo let us know the bizarre name of one of their game consoles (the 'Wii') early because they expected us to rage and snark for a few months and then calm down. ...And that's exactly what happened.
It was too much to hope that Paizo wouldn't jump on the new version train like every other game that has pretty much existed since the original set of RPGs way back in the day.
This quote's from yesterday or basically two days ago, but I wanted to reply to it anyway.
Basically, Paizo kind of has to do this if they want to stay relevant. I can draw a comparison between this situation and what has happened with classic fighting games (think Street Fighter, Tekken, etc.). One of the staple fighting games is Super Street Fighter II Turbo, made back in 1994. To this day, it's considered a pretty good fighting game, a good piece of insight on the genre's history, and a great way to learn fundamental skills applicable to any fighting game.
It's also not selling all that well in 2018. Admittedly this is in part because the systems it was originally on are no longer supported by the market, the arcade boards it runs on are dying off, and so on. The other part of it is that, aside from some remix/remake versions of it... most people who want a copy of 'Super Turbo' already have it. Capcom (the game's publisher) can't keep selling them copies of Super Turbo. Capcom had to move on, because their customers were already satisfied with their purchase of that game and their competitors began making fighting games that drew attention away from Capcom's products. Thus, Capcom began doing new fighting games. Some wildly different (Darkstalkers, Cyberbots, etc.), others more akin to a 'Street Fighter 2nd Edition' such as the Street Fighter Alpha series.
Paizo's situation isn't exactly the same (the CRBs apparently still move steady numbers, I'm told?), but it's not completely different either. In the ensuing decade, their competitors have made new games that pull attention away from the classic. Absent a sudden wave of new interest, and I'm not sure how you'd bring that about, the only trend Pathfinder 1.0 can have long-term is downward. Eventually its existing audience will die out. They'll get bored eventually and move on. Or they'll literally die (age, illness, hit by meteors, etc.). Sooner or later, the audience drops below the point of profitability/sustainability.
Paizo honestly needs to do a 2.0 in order to have a chance of maintaining an active audience and bringing in new people. Whether it will succeed remains to be seen, but they're doing what they have to from a business standpoint.
Super Pathfinder II Turbo (1.0) is a pretty fun game, but the reasons for making Pathfinder Alpha (2.0) are sound and I'm willing to give it a try.