From reading through them, I'm liking all the classes except for Investigator. They all have very flavorful features that differentiate them from other similar classes, but the Investigator just feels like a Rogue with maybe the Ranger and Alchemist Dedications and a couple extra Class Feats at each level.
I actually kinda prefer the vancian system because it means characters with potentially long lists of available spells like Druids, Clerics, or Wizards, do not require the player to be checking the whole list all the time, which to me seems easier on new players and players who aren't that invested in the system.
It will depend a lot on the campaign and the kind of story that's being told. Usually, if I notice my players express interest in downtime activities (either them discussing those options, or saying privately or publicly they're planning to make use of them), I will try to provide them with opportunities to put those in use, or talk to them before they invest in character options if I can't find a way to make the story I've got planned fit their expectations.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
In Pathfinder 1e we got 3 years before alternative races appeared as player options in a hardcover.
You mean there were 3 years between the CRB and Bestiary 1? D: 'Cause Aasimar, Drow, Duergar, Goblins, Kobolds, Merfolk, Svirfneblin and Tengu character options all appear in Bestiary 1, and I think it was more like 2 months.
Sooo I was thinking about getting rid of Ability Scores entirely, instead just using the Ability Modifiers. All the Feats I've seen in the CRB use even Ability values as prerequisites, and I haven't seen anything that interacts with Ability Scores yet. Maaaaybe it's gonna be a bit less comfortable when applying boosts among several levels, but given we get an even number of Ability Boosts, I was thinking to just require a player to spend 2 if they want to increase an Ability above +4.
What do you guys think?
Hmm jokes aside, I don't see how "socially interact in this social game" is a bad rule.
That said, there is a rule.
Core Rulebook, page 488 wrote:
Unless you decide otherwise, the players can choose from any common options they qualify for, plus any uncommon options granted by their character choices - primarily their ancestry and class.
Bill Dunn wrote:
This. Theorycrafting in 1E meant you're pretty much assuming that the character survives and that a theoretical GM allows you to make the choices you're making. Theorycrafting in 2E is pretty much the same. You're your own theoretical GM. Go nuts.
In 1E it was pretty common in the games I played and ran to limit access to any Player Companion or 3rd party material pending GM approval, mostly because it was pretty hard to keep up with the amount of crunch Paizo put out.
I see the rarity system pretty much as an extension of this. It's not that you can't have it, it's just that you have to actually talk with another human being to see if their narrative would benefit from your character having that particular mechanic, and whether it would make sense inside their world for your character to do something in particular to learn that spell/feat.
I usually like to encourage interaction between GM and players at every point of character advancement in the games I run. Don't bring me a progression checklist at lvl 1, let's just sit down every once in a while and see where your character is going and let's see if I can give you ideas or accomodate the story to be a bit more what you're trying to tell with your character.
Thanks! And oh, I actually like those designs a lot better than the cards for PF1. I mean, I like goblins as much as any other fellow, but the cards seemed kind of too childish and colorful and could provoke some dissonance with the game themes.
DnD 3.5, PF1 and 13th Age are too complicated for a lot of my friends that I want to play with. DnD 4 and 5 are too boring for me. Dungeon World is pretty good at scratching the dungeon delving part of my brain, but doesn't really work well for most of the weirdness DnD-inspired games offer past 3rd Edition. What I've seen of PF2 makes me think the intention is to be somewhere in the middle of the first two groups while also trying out a couple new and clever mechanics neither of those games cover.
My money is also pretty tight though, so I'm probably going to run a couple games with Archives of Nethys before making a commitment.
Yeah, I kiiiinda feel that when a character moves more than 30 feet away form the support characters it's a good idea for the GM to give notice, especially during the learning curve and if there're no miniatures present. But I mostly agree with Mark that the most complications are probably coming from not knowing the game and playing at level 5. PF2 seems to give a lot of options at level 5, and people used to playing D&D 5E or similarly light games might find it a bit overwhelming. I'm personally planning to make cards out of all the Feats and Spells my players pick so they have handy reference before them at all times, at least until they're proficient with the system, but I suppose they wouldn't want to use material that Paizo isn't selling in a demo game either.
Oh, it totally might be that the lack of miniatures was contributing to what I perceived as a bit of discomfort on the players' side. It'll be very interesting to see the next sessions and how this evolves.
It was a pretty awesome game! I loved the fact Jason went with mind's eye for this, as the possibility of running games without miniatures is something I'm pretty interested in. I did feel the players weren't completely comfortable with the ruleset. I suppose it's a combination of a new system and its general complexity. Looking forward to the future games and seeing how fast they get comfy.
I'd like to see an Alignment system that works through Traits that can be gained or lost. Not everyone is Evil, Good, Chaotic, or Lawful. Someone who's commited their life to either could gain the Trait and be affected by spells or other effects that reference the Trait, but most people probably really shouldn't. It's the way I'm using Alignment, anyway.
I would not want to think of the games I run or play as statistics exams. Actually, I think a better metaphore for what you're describing would be that one guy coming to a book club meeting having not only read the book but also two author biographies and several literary analysis papers on it. If it's not a book club full of like-minded people they're probably not going to have a good time.
I prefer to separate system (sets of mechanics that make it up and their interaction) mastery from content (different content build upon and using the game's systems) knowledge. I'd rather a game rewarded a player who spent time reading on its system and knows how a certain mechanic interact with another one (say, a certain power with a certain weakness), than a player who spent time studying the content and looking for exploits and trap choices. But in either case, even when actual system mastery is concerned, while dealing with a collaborative narrative construction game, I don't feel that a hugely pronounced reward such as usually seen in D&D and PF1 is really necessary. It feels to me like a throwback to D&D's wargame beginnings. This is the way I feel though, so if you have a group of like-minded people who like spending the extra 40 hours to read through the biographies and literary analyses, go nuts. I'll stick to just talking about what parts of the book I enjoyed.
Now, from game design stand point, trap decisions and exploits are not near ideal when you're working on the content for your game. A certain amount of imbalance is inevitable in complex games with multiple systems and lots of content, but it's definitely a part of the designer's job to try and minimize its impact. It is both good to lower the barrier of entrance, and actually provide a bigger decision space for the players (a trap decision or obviously OP decision do little except reducing this space).
Hmm I think that Fail Forward is not a matter of disclosing the DCs or of smoke and mirrors (I do believe some smoke and mirrors may be appropriate at some times, but that's beyond this topic). I think that Fail Forward is best used when the check it's being applied to does not completely describe the player's intention for the action his character is taking.
In the lock example, FF is a good technique if the players' intention isn't "open this door", but "open this door before somebody comes by". That way, the failure of the roll is technically applied to the player's intention, just not to the part that wouldn't be all that interesting. But reading the exact player intentions can be quite hard, and it will depend on a player by player basis. It's the GM's task to know when FF would work without causing too much ludonarrative dissonance, and it certainly does not work for every player or group.
I think it will certainly depend on how Rarity is used in the expansion books. Most of the games I've ever played or ran have already had the implicit rule of "talk to your GM before making a character", and I usually prefer to dedicate a whole session to it so that my players know what everyone else is doing, can help each other out, and can tie their characters together.
But some players do either get really hyped up for the game or just prefer to begin picking out stuff beforehand, so Rarity might end up replacing our general rule of "if you're picking something from outside the Core/Ultimate books, definitely ask first" to keep them in check even if a little bit.
To negotiate his fee? Maybe even not to pay him at all if they're able to convince him that helping them out is in his best interests? Maybe even just to convince him to work for a group of ragtag mercenaries that're probably gonna be dead or long gone in a few weeks and leave him stranded with an item he's got no other buyers for? I dunno, that's why the 'probably' is there.
I usually use common sense when determining what can and what cannot be readily bought. In the case of Sandpoint, a lot of very specific but cheap items for example are probably not available right away, but the merchants can order them in from Magnimar in a week or two. Some merchants could ask for a part of the cost up front, sometimes depending on their relationship with the character. So, even though they are "available", they are not actually always "readily available". I know it's not RAW, but I feel like it creates a slightly more complex market for the players to consider when getting their characters ready for adventures and exploration.
Up to this point, all martial characters in my games had agency mostly through their characters' backgrounds and skills. A fighter can be an exceptionally skilled blacksmith. Or be able to see details of a fight or a person's martial training even an investigator couldn't without a good roll. He might be the only one capable of wielding the only pointy thing that was made to kill that big bad evil monster that is about to eat everything alive. And these are just off the top of my head.
Now, I'm not saying the RAW are there to support much of this stuff, but it's never been an issue in my games.
I don't wanna be a bother, but I think that the Player Companion: Blood of Shadows pdf was not added to My Downloads when the order shipped. I've got a week off and physical books usually take a while to arrive this deep south, so I'd really appreciate it if you looked into this! Thank you so much in advance!
We've just finished Burnt Offerings with a group that went from 6 to 3 (mayhaps 4) players 'cause of real life catching up with most of them. I've been running the adventure pretty much by the book for now, but the Skinsaw Murders seems like it needs a bit of help.
One of the characters is planning on settling down in Sandpoint. He is going to purchase the Glassworks in order to more readily study the ruins below. By the time Ameiko is recovered from her kidnapping and ready to put her family's business in order, a group of Sczarni smugglers will already be back to using the caverns below the Glassworks. They will have a connection to Jubrayl, and will serve mostly to establish him as a lawless jackass when the party either goes to the Sheriff or tries to arrest him themselves. He will also have a certain tattoo on his neck that he received in a certain casino.
I'm planning to push the Scarnetti red herring a bit further with the first murder, and have them go to interrogate Jubrayl after any attempt to get information out of the nobles fails, only to find him dead. I will be spreading some clues between the two murder scenes so that they don't arrive at the conclusion that it was an undead creature all that fast.
Furthermore, I have a slightly different thing in mind for Aldern. Right now, none of the characters still in the game really qualify to be his obsession. He initially was obsessed with the aasimar Paladin, but the Paladin was slain by Tsuto. After thinking a while, I'm going to stick with his obsession, mixing some of the Lust and Envy notes, but it will come from a slightly different place - the need Vorel has for an actual host for his vile spirit. The dead Paladin's player is still in the game, so this will also strike some personal notes along the way.
I'm also going to use some of the ideas in this thread about Xanesha infiltrating the nobles of Magnimar. Sounds really fun, and I'll post something about it as soon as it's developed a bit.
I actually only read info on Erastil in Rivers Run Red and always thought his preference of men was awesome 'cause it led to a lot of possible rich character development.
Given I haven't read mostly any of the old books and the rest of the "corrected" tidbits seem awesome, I'd really love to have them all in one place so I can pick and choose for my group. Thanks!
What I really meant though, is that a character of the Paladin class doesn't have to conceptualize him or herself as a Paladin. They might have their powers coming from a god. Maybe it is because they were raised in a temple and taught to adhere to that god's teachings. Maybe they were marked at birth and visited by celestial beings throughout their lives. Maybe they had a vision at a moment of personal crisis. Maybe they found a burning bush atop a hill. But be it as it may be, I'd be far more ready to accept that their code of conduct comes from a personal connection to said deity. They know in their heart that they've been given their gifts to fight the good fight and to work in their patron's name. They shouldn't have to identify themselves as a "class" to know that.
Regarding a Paladin's code of conduct, I always had the feeling that it came from the person's connection with their patron god and not inherently from an order or any other mortal establishment. So, they would probably know in their heart what is wrong and what is right.
Under the "Paladin A teaches B" logic the whole thing seems to break down to me 'cause Paladin A wouldn't knowingly break the code since they were taught a different code.
In the games I run, we usually use character classes simply as mechanical and perhaps narrative archetypes. Sure, they carry some narrative weight, but they are far from definitive, and characters cannot really recognize individual classes just the same as they cannot know a character possesses a particular Feat or a number of ranks in a Skill.
Purely numeric Feats give me mixed feelings. On one hand, Pathfinder and most other d20 systems seem to focus on the strategy elements most common in the wargame predecessors of RPGs. As such, much of the problem-solving involves minimizing of risk, which is a pretty usual thing in tabletop games with the element of randomness. But on the other hand, for many players (myself included) it feels just so much satisfying to take a Feat that lets me do something I couldn't do before. Like some of the halfling racial Feats... I'm always really tempted to play one just because being able to "bring luck" to my party and retroactively purchase marginally useful junk is so much fun.