Tridus's page

Organized Play Member. 588 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.

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graystone wrote:
IMO, it has nothing to do with the how wide the gap is: You're ALWAYS going to have one big enough to cause an issue if you try and it'll just get worse as more options come out.

No you won't. You will always have a gap, because if people can make choices some people will make better ones than others. It is in no way set in stone that said gap will be big enough to cause issues. It was just that wain PF1 and it's ancestors because those systems had wild power disparity between options, or even classes.

Hell, we had a guy in the PF1 game I'm in remake a character because his first one was just ineffective in our group. His new, far more effective one? A ranged Slayer with the "standard archery feats everybody has to take to make archery work". Not exactly some broken or OP build. That's how ineffective his first character was. Same guy, no particular attempt to break the game. Wild disparity.

There's all kinds of room to close that up without them being equal. It's not that big a deal if one character is better than another so long as both feel useful and contribute to the group. It is a problem when one character so totally eclipses another that there's a question as to why the second one is even there.

(The d20 system is riddled with those kinds of issues, which is why we need all these social conventions about trying to match power levels to each other in a party.)

quote]If people ignore the social contract and knowingly make characters that don't fit in with the rest of the group, it isn't a game issue...

If the game requires a social contract or it fundamentally breaks because people use the same rules and come up with characters that can't form a functional group due to one being a sword waving guy and the other being a demigod... then that is absolutely a game issue. It's a failure of the game to make such a situation even happen as a standard outcome of following the rules normally.

Maybe you should try 'twinking' out a normally bad/sub-optimal character to make it workable so you can work on na wierd build AND not put out other people as the total power level isn't blown.

That still requires knowing what everyone else is doing, because if he does that and the rest of the table shows up with the most OP things they can make, he's now the one on the wrong end of it. Which isn't better.

You know what I never needed to ask in the playtest? "Hey, are you guys using totally broken builds or low power ones, so I can make something to try and line up?"

That I never had to do that is a huge positive.

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heretic wrote:

Look folks.

You are missing the point.

You can have different flavours of pulp adventures, you can have different flavours of super hero adventures.

When you do pulp superhero stories ala old school superman/batman and the afore mentioned Doc Savage you are dealing with something outwith traditional heroic fantasy even relatively high fantasy.

High jinks and craziness are all par for the course. Being homo superior by level 1 or 6 or 20 isn't.

Anyway as I keep saying we'll see what the final product is like but the fundamental break with tradition that the +1 per level to every thing for every member of the adventurer super species with addition of the UTMEL to differentiate between the supers who have left base humanity so far behind is noticeable and deeply felt.

No, we get the point. We disagree with it. Those are not the same thing.

Right now I'm playing a Cleric who can literally walk on air, conjure enough food for 324 people a day with only a single level's spell slots, banish relatively strong demons to their own plane by uttering a few magic words, imprison a champion of a big bad wielding an artifact sword into my scimitar (true story, was great), bring the dead back to life, and call down literal Miracles. I can do all those things at more or less the same time in one day, and still have enough power left over to wield fire and lightning, heal impossibly grievous injuries, cure nearly any disease, engage in diplomacy with nearly anyone successfully, sing a pretty great aria...

I mean, this isn't an exhaustive list. This is stuff on my spell list from two game sessions ago and a couple of skills that are jacked right up (although I haven't had to feed an entire town lately). And that's not even a particularly powerful character, I built a healer because they're fun. :)

So I mean, if you're trying to say that +1 somehow breaks tradition because PCs aren't world altering forces at high level... my not so optimized Cleric wants to say hi. And so does the God King Wizard who actually did try to become as powerful as possible, because that guy is beyond superhero.

And since they changed it so untrained doesn't get that +1 anymore, my Cleric even gets to keep his comic ineptitude at Stealth!

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graystone wrote:
What needs to happen is everyone has to be on the same page. If you're playing a casual game, you know you're a jerk if you hyperspecilize. If you know you're playing a tooth and nail epic fight for the universe, you as much a jerk for bringing in a casual character. If you build a character to actually fit your group, it's not an issue.

In order to know that you're going into a tooth and nail epic fight for the universe and that you shouldn't bring in a "casual character", you need to know that much about the game, and also need enough system mastery to know what a "casual character" is, and how to avoid it.

Anyone relatively new to the game or with low system mastery is incapable of doing that. And that's where the whole mess gets going and the DM has a bunch of extra work to do.

The system mastery power gap in PF1 is massive. It's so huge that it necessitates groups figuring out this stuff in advance, sometimes with players who have no understanding of what the problem even is or what they're supposed to do about it.

It seems to me that a better solution is to reduce the size of the system mastery power gap so that groups don't have to do this, because there's no lack of systems where it isn't necessary but there are still differences between character power. They simply don't allow one person to build Superman while another builds "Varkon the mall cop" and expect them to be in the same group battling the same foes.

The playtest did go a long way to alleviating that.

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Deadmanwalking wrote:

I really and sincerely do not understand why a 10th level Wizard having a minimum AC of 22 or so is more immersion breaking than them having the 100+ HP they often do in PF2. I am honestly befuddled.

I mean...all the complaints about the lack of realism/explanation for the AC bonus apply even more to increasing hit points, so objecting to one and not the other makes absolutely no sense to me.

I mean, even in PF1 with a Raging Power Attacking 1st level Barbarian critting them for around 57 damage on average, most 10th level Wizards I've seen would survive that. That's a full on greataxe to the face kinda situation, and they're basically fine (indeed, even absent magic, they'll be fine in less than a week). I find them learning to dodge better a lot more plausible than them gaining that level of physical durability ever was.

Seriously, when people can block greataxe blows with their face, other minor feats of superhuman physical prowess seem par for the course.

Because if you go there, you're also going to have to explain why ANYONE can block greataxe blows with their face. Human skulls do not become more durable by training with swords, so there's no logical explanation for why Fighters are more likely to survive a direct headshot from a greataxe than Wizards are. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Which of course, it doesn't have to. HP are an abstraction. Always have been. They have always represented more than how many direct greataxe hits to the face you can take without dying.

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I mean, are we talking Fighter feats? Sure. Playtest Fighter feats are generally pretty cool. Lots of them do interesting things. I found more than one I might want to have at some levels. They're an improvement over a lot of feats from PF1 for Fighters.

But that isn't true for all classes. Cleric feats are... not that. So much so that it often makes sense to dump them into getting Paladin feats instead. Because yes, you can make the case that Channel Life is better than all the Cleric feats it costs to get.

Skill feats were all over the map, general feats were largely uninteresting even if they are good (the "add +1 to a thing" feat did exist, it just bumped your proficiency in a save, and Fleet with it's +5 movement was certainly useful but not what I'd call inspired).

I kind of feel like you two are talking past each other simply because you're talking about something so broad that you can both be right at the same time depending on what specific subset you're looking at. :)

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I think it's important that something resembling it exists. That is: Wizards/Clerics have access to a wide variety of spells, can only use so many at one time, and have to generally speaking decide that when preparing for the day, barring scroll/staff usage.

It's been an iconic part of the game for a very, very long time, and by losing it entirely I think you're losing something. That said, there is no requirement that it work exactly the same way, and something like the often discussed arcanist casting (where you pick a set of spells but don't have to assign them to individual slots during prep, so you can cast two Create Food spells without specifically preparing two of them) would make the classes generally more accessable and less prone to being so swingy power wise, without taking away from the setting.

Mostly it just solves stuff like "oh I only prepared one Restoration today and two people got crippling effects, so I guess we're done adventuring for the day despite having all these free slots".

(I also don't think this is the same conversation as the mechanics discussion in the other thread.)

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:

Those are fair points.

Personally I have a lot of faith in Paizo, and I also strongly feel that the success or failure of PF2e is going to be in the Adventure Paths, which have always been the flagship product. I don't think what PF2e looks like even matters that much as long as Paizo continues to be the only company regularly publishing quality prebuilt adventures.

But I also don't play PFS, so I can't speak to the trepidation there; I can understand worrying about that, though.

This is a topic of discussion a group of us has, if the AP's or adventures are good to excellent but the main system is less than that, will people buy the AP's or adventures? Is there or has there been any example of this from the past? And does it apply today?


Some people will, for sure. Some others will buy and then convert the mechanics to a system they like more. But on the general market, if the system itself is unpopular, content for it tends to not resonate that well. It turns into a problem where even if the AP itself is good, people who don't know that see the system name on the cover and immediately move on. That makes APs a much tougher sell.

Hopefully the system is popular because it makes the whole question moot.n

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Bluenose wrote:
Megistone wrote:

I don't get why a wizard becoming better at attacking (even physically) is ok, but a wizard becoming better at defending is absolutely not.

The only explanation I can think of is: because it used to be so.
Why does every character become more skilled with their weapons when their BAB increases, including the ones they aren't even proficient in? Why does the spellcaster who never casts a single necromancy spell turn out to be able to cast them perfectly when there's an 8th level one they like? Why does killing goblins make you better at opening locks because you level up and that's where you put your skill point(s)? It's all a great mystery.

The assumption was that during downtime you were practicing whatever you put your skill points into/researching the spells you'd learn/practicing the new feat you got/etc, which handwaved all that away.

Which is fine, and can still do that. There just has never been a justification for "your ability to hit goes up but your ability to avoid being hit doesn't" except "because game mechanics." Which means game mechanics can absolutely change that so they do both improve.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Starfox wrote:
As it is the sorcerer isn't really a viable class. Hopefully, we'll see the sorcerer go through a lot of evolution, including adding multiple beefed-up bloodlines.


I'm a bit skeptical about how well it the divine bloodlines function as written, and to a lesser extent the aberrant bloodline. But the primal and arcane spell lists are great, and any class with access to it is perfectly viable. Having great charisma also makes them amazing with Demoralize as a third action.

Yeah. My wife played a Silver Dragon Sorcerer in Mirroed Moon and loved it, while she was a useful member of the party too. That's pretty good for "not a viable class".

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pjrogers wrote:
Tridus wrote:
You don't try to balance class power by making the OOC game mechanics obtuse and complicated to use to their full potential. That simply gets you a wide disparity...
I guess I don't see how selecting one's spells at the start of the day as prepared casters do is "obtuse and complicated." It seems fairly simple and straightforward to me.

I think people have described their feelings on that in the other thread. :)

And for those who'd refer not play prepared/Vancian casters, there are numerous spontaneous caster options - oracles, sorcerers, etc.

Those aren't really the same as they move the issue to level up instead, and leave you without the same versatility. I like picking spells, I don't like "well I took X and Y because I thought we were doing one thing, but now we're doing something else so 2/3 of my highest level spell slots don't exist today." With how much magic was nerfed in the playtest, the power level loss caused by that simply hurts too much to make vancian casting tenible for me.

I can handle it more easily in PF1 simply because with so many more spells per day (and generally stronger spells, and less need to heighten things to make them effective, and longer durations, and scaling...), getting one or two wrong simply doesn't hurt as much.

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pjrogers wrote:
Helmic wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Five months and was there not a single question on whether we should keep or remove Vancian style prepared casting?
I think of all my criticisms of PF2, this was the biggest. I think it had a knock on effect that made every casting class feel subpar.
Personally, I'm very happy they're keeping Vancian casting for prepared spell casters (one of the very few things in what we know about PF2e that I am happy about). For me, it's a fundamental part of D&D writ large.

Except for the most popular version of D&D ever released, by a huge margin?

This next bit is not a criticism of the folks I'm quoting but a more general observation. I find it odd/interesting that there is both concern about the alleged "caster-martial gap" (something that I don't think is all that real) and also unhappiness about Vancian casting which would seem to be a limit on caster effectiveness.

It's not a limit on caster effectiveness. If anything, it enables the disparity in the first place, because it makes caster power so widely variable.

The power spread between a vancian caster played by someone who gets their spell selection perfect and one who doesn't is huge. It's effectively impossible to balance against martials who aren't doing it, because which point do you balance for? If you make a near perfect vancian caster balanced, anyone falling well below that on a given day's spells will be at a severe disadvantage relative to the party. This is where the playtest came closer to, and it made magic feel awful for people who simply didn't get those perfect spell selections.

If you make a suboptimal spell selection what you balance for, then the perfect one becomes far more powerful than everyone else and you have the very problem we've had in the past.

You don't try to balance class power by making the OOC game mechanics obtuse and complicated to use to their full potential. That simply gets you a wide disparity between people playing the same class.

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Man, I hope they don't use Twitch as the primary means of getting information out. The last thing I need is an hour long video to cover something that can be done in 2 minutes of reading.

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Matthew Downie wrote:
Repeatedly trying to escape from ropes seems like the sort of thing that would occur in gameplay often enough that it would be good if the rules could handle it. Something along the lines of "natural 20 counts as a +5/+10 bonus rather than auto-success, a certain number of failures / critical failures in a given hour / day fatigues you".

This would make more sense in general. Instead of auto-success, treat it as +10. If that's enough to make it a success, then it is. If not, then you simply can't do it. That'd also push anything that was already a success into crit success territory, so it's working on that front too.

That's fairly elegant, and provides an easily understandable situation of "no, even a nat 20 doesn't let you succeed on a DC 50 check with your +3 modifier" without any DM fiat required.

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Mathmuse wrote:
Tridus wrote:

Vancian asks the same question, but instead asks them to do it by going systematically through every slot and picking exactly what they want to do with it, at every level. Metamagic? Figure it out in advance. Think you might need a second one of something? Better decide with no idea what's actually happening tomorrow. These three slots are special and can only hold certain spells from some other list? Gotta track that.

Playing requires the full list, all the time. My current PF1 level 18 Cleric has such a list: it was more than a page long in Notepad++ before I transferred it into Hero Lab (trying to do it manually with pencil and paper just wastes so much table time everytime I need to change the list that I long ago abandoned that).

One trick experienced players learned was to leave some slots unprepared. Then, if the party had a need for a particular specialized spell, the wizard could take 15 minutes to prepare that spell in the empty slot and then cast it.

Yeah, I do that. The other caster in that group (a Mystic Theurge) does it a lot more because they have so many spell slots. There was a stretch where they missed several sessions and I was playing both characters at once. Let me tell you, playing two high level Vancian casters and having three spell lists was not a fun experience. It was just exhausting to keep track of that much stuff.

Leaving slots empty isn't an option for Clerics in the playtest as there's no way to fill them later, and I missed it. Of course, with half the slots we had in PF1, it's also somewhat more expensive to leave a slot empty.

The last time I played a prepared caster as a PC (I GM mostly these days) was a D&D 3.5 cleric. That cleric had no channeling but could spontaneously convert prepared spells into a Cure X Wounds spell of the same level. Thus, I decided how often I would need to cast a Cure spell and filled those slots with specialized spells. As I healed people during the day, I gradually lost the specialized spells. I worried in which order I should lose them, since I would be embarrassed to throw away a spell right before a hazard where I needed that spell, but that was my only worry.

Yep, I do that too, although I also have so many spells now that if a couple of them wind up being not needed, it's not a disaster to my effectiveness. I have lots more I can use.

The playtest really exacerbated that aspect, as with half my spell slots gone, any badly chosen one (especially the higher level ones) was severely painful and specialized stuff was hard to take on the off chance it might be useful. You just don't have the resources.

Honestly, the playtest soured me badly on Vancian casting because of this. It's the first D&D style system I've ever played in (since 1990 or so) where I enjoyed Fighter more than the caster classes. That has never happened before. So, kudos for making a fun Fighter, but damn.

I had asked yesterday about using spell points to recall spells. However, today's posts seem to be about the problem of predicting which spells would be needed. What if Pathfinder 2nd Edition developed a system to overwrite prepared spells? The wizard had prepared Fireball, but the party needs Water Breathing, so he pulls out his spellbook, gestures for 5 minutes, and rewrites the spell slot containing Fireball as Water Breathing? Technically, that is very slow spontaneity, but it should be enough to make the wizard feel different from the sorcerer, especially since it puts the spellbook front and center. What do you think about that?

I think someone mentioned Quick Preparation already does that for Wizards. Would help if Clerics and Druids also got that, I think. It's certainly a helpful option for those narrative and restorative spells that come up surprisingly in an adventure and this option helps avoid the "oh we need X and can't get it, we're camping for the day" problem.

If it's costing spell points, it should probably be more of an in combat thing: I need it right now, so I spend 2 spell points and can cast it directly out of my spellbook/prayer/etc.

Of course, you might want that option even in an arcanist casting world, but with how limited the playtest is casting wise, it feels desperately needed.

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dmerceless wrote:
This is the overnerfing part almost everyone was complaining about. I didn't mention it that much because it is already being fixed, but I still think removing /caster level scaling was a good move, they just need to buff other things. Personally, I'm not sure if increasing spell slots is necessary, I'm most inclined on buffing the effectiveness of each spell and increasing versatility in how to cast them as solutions.

With how many spells require heightening to be effective as you level? Yes, more slots are seriously needed.

Right now we have so few spells that most casters don't feel like the pure casters of old. They feel like hybrid classes.

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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I have never found wizards confusing to play. I have been playing them since 1st edition. The people who talk about how confusing it is to play a wizard... I don't know what it is they don't get.

I mean, I don't "get" people that find a command line interface confusing to use, but I recognize that the vast majority of people do. Get immersed in something long enough and it's pretty hard to see it from the outside with fresh eyes.

That said, "confusing" probably isn't the right word. It's not that confusing to explain, it's just overly complicated, especially as you get to higher level. "Obtuse" is the word I'd go with.

Fundamentally, Arcanist style casting asks a caster every day to answer the question "what do you want to be able to do today?" They answer that by picking the X spells they want to have access to from some list (the spellbook, Cleric list, whatever), and that's it. When playing, all you need is your list of "I have these X spells today, and I have the following slots left."

Vancian asks the same question, but instead asks them to do it by going systematically through every slot and picking exactly what they want to do with it, at every level. Metamagic? Figure it out in advance. Think you might need a second one of something? Better decide with no idea what's actually happening tomorrow. These three slots are special and can only hold certain spells from some other list? Gotta track that.

Playing requires the full list, all the time. My current PF1 level 18 Cleric has such a list: it was more than a page long in Notepad++ before I transferred it into Hero Lab (trying to do it manually with pencil and paper just wastes so much table time everytime I need to change the list that I long ago abandoned that).

One of these is much more cumbsome, tedious, and unwieldly to handle than the other. The tradeoff for putting up with all that was that you could do almost anything with the right spells, thus we have this silly situation where people complain about casters being too powerful but they're so annoying to use that lots of people just flat out won't play them despite the power.

That all made lots of sense, once. But we've seen from experience that game design has improved since then and we can make a better system.

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graystone wrote:
Tridus wrote:
"Thievery" doesn't cover all of its uses either:

Which does it miss?

Pick pocket? check
Shoplifting? Check
Bypass security? Check
Open a lock? Check

To me, it covers all 4 actions. Please point out where it fails as I don't see it.

Literally any use that isn't "theft", as evidenced by the first two pages of this thread. That's the whole problem.

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Jeven wrote:
Raylyeh wrote:
Yes, thievery has obvious negative connotations that all of its uses don’t deserve but it gets across what it does pretty well.

The point is that Thievery is but one use for the skill set.

In practice, if you look at all of the APs and modules, the skill is almost never used for anything approximating theft.

Rather, it is a standard dungeoneering skill used to circumvent or manipulate the mechanisms of a site (locks, traps, machines, etc.) -- and the site itself is usually the lair of a villian or monster and/or a long abandoned ruin.

Sure, NPC thieves use this skill for their profession, but adventurers generally use it for something else entirely.
So a name that captures the Indiana Jones and Lara Croft and MacGyver type skill use would be better.

"Dungeoneering". I like it!

Raylyeh wrote:
My point is that after over 100 posts no one in this thread has come up with an alternative that covers all of thievery’s uses satisfactorily without being even more problematic in their own way.

"Thievery" doesn't cover all of its uses either: all the non-thievery related ones are excluded. So it's not like we need a flawless replacement when the thing being replaced is itself flawed.

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BryonD wrote:

I am 100% onboard with a *BETTER* solution. But it is a complete non sequitur to jump from "there must be a narrative REASON for the math" to "the items we have are boring". Fine. Give me a better solution.

Right now I have a GREAT game that certainly has areas where improvement is called for an would be welcome. But the same 'ole same 'ole logically fallacy keep coming around that just because *SOME* change is welcome it must be true that *ANY* change is an improvement.

+1 Rings are boring. They are a boring thing in a great game. Number pointlessly dropping out of the air are a bad game. That is WAY worse than a great game with some boring blips.

Lets work on actual improvement.

"You level up, so in addition to the other stuff you spontaneously already get better at, you now also get better at dodging" seems like an improvement to me?

That's how everything else already worked, and it eliminates the need for the AC boosting rings and such entirely.

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Ediwir wrote:
(As for the ‘contributing to the discussion’ bit, try this out - I can follow your maths fairly easily, but what is your design intent? What does your game gain from the calculation? Why is it important that level progress depends on monster kills? If something else is involved, isn’t that just the GM deciding he wants players to level early because of the story? If these are avoided, what does the story gain from the players being a lower level than expected? Would you change the encounters because of it? Why?)

That's why I stopped using XP as a DM the moment I was reading the Fate Core rulebook and was introduced to milestone levelling. What a revelation.

There was always this inherent problem around my campaigns because they are with an RP heavy group and involve lots of talking. If the PCs get sidetracked and I spend two sessions creating a side quest on the fly because of what they decided to do... how much XP is that worth? I have absolutely no idea.

If they do that several times and outlevel stuff, is it okay that all their random investigating made them better at fighting for some reason and makes encounters much easier? If they don't do it next time and I expect them to, are things now too difficult for them? How do I set the XP for these things so the PCs don't feel like I'm punishing them for choosing one path over the other?

It's so much easier to simply say "they'll level up at this plot point" in my notes, ditch the math entirely, and tell them that there are no XP numbers and thus there is no difference in how they go about doing things or much side exploration they want to do.

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MMCJawa wrote:

Before the PF2E announcement, I was generally in the camp of folks who wanted a 1.5 style minor revision. Since the playtest I have come to see the merits of a greater revision.


Well, say prior to the playtest, if you polled a ton of folks who were actively playing PF at the time (or only recently went away from the game), some of those folks would say no to ANY revision, but I think most of them would see the merit of a 1.5. However, if you were to ask them WHAT A 1.5 REVISION actually entails, I don't think you would get absolutely any agreement.

Just look at the topics endlessly debated in PF 1E

Caster-Martial Discrepancy
Setting versus Setting neutral
Vancian vs other systems
Role of GM
High Level Play


some people may only see revisions to a couple or even none of those things as necessary. Some people may agree there are problems with these specific areas, but then have WIDELY different ideas of how to fix them or what degree of change is needed. Caster-Martial discrepancy is a great one to point out. I think most folks acknowledge an issue here, but some don't find it significant, and some consider it a plus. Other folks find it a major problem and want to nerf spell casters, while other folks find it a problem and think it requires a major buff to martials. Any decision you make on how to address these changes is going to alienate some core group of the existing audience, while at the same time losing the folks who want NO CHANGES IN ANYTHING.

So really, any revision at all is going to cause problems with your existing customer base. You might as well go for broke and do a more substantial edition change, and hope that any loss of existing consumers is made up by bringing back former players and attracting new players, either from 5E or folks who are completely new to the game.

Exactly this. Fundamentally, if you put ten people from ten different gaming groups in a room and ask what a hypothetical PF 1.5 should look like and what the top things to change/leave alone are, you will get ten different answers. Take one of them and use it, you have at least one other one that will say "you changed something that didn't need changing and broke the system!", and just lost a sale.

The obvious example is magic and caster/martial disparity. You hear that complaint a lot about how unfairly disadvantaged martials are. Yet, when the playtest dropped a nuclear nerfbomb on the casters... no martial players in my group went "yay!"

That's because no casters in my group are breaking the game or totally hoarding the spotlight. We're actually both playing largely support casters, favoring buffs, debuffs, heals, walls, and things like that. Most of that stuff has the effect of "make the martials better able to do their job", and nerfing my ability to buff the Fighter didn't make the Fighter happier. (Fighters themselves being really cool in the playtest did, though!)

So if you go ahead and listen to a group that feels overpowered casters are a problem needing fixing, you're also alienating my group where the "overpowered casters" are not a problem in the first place. Do you think that's going to make us buy the new edition, especially since if it's "1.5" we can likely adapt any APs we want to play back to 1.0?

If you keep backward compatability, you are shackled to some things that simply can't be changed. If you ditch it, people complain that you have a mostly similar revision that doesn't work with the old stuff "so you can sell us the same books again".

If someone can figure out how to make a 1.5 that doesn't alienate half the target market, that would be great. I suspect that's much harder than it initially sounds though, because while PF1 isn't perfect, it's quite good. Improving it without breaking what some people like won't be that easy.

It also doesn't give you the same option to draw in new people, or draw back people that got sick of it to go play 5e because it's got a more modern design instead. I think it's kind of a non-starter. If it turns out that's not the case, some 3pp could make it.

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I think you're in the same boat as a lot of people. Without anything new to test and not much to discuss, stuff will quickly become about rehashing the same topics over and over again, which is pointlessly frustrating for everyone.

Hope to see a lot of folks back when the PF2 CRB hits. :)

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BryonD wrote:
Right, cuz who really wants those narrative things like magic items, right? This isn't about telling a story. It is just a math exercise. As long as "the math works" who cares if it ties into what is happening, right? Oh, wait, a lot of people *DO* care.

Rings of Protection, Amulets of Natural Armor, and Cloaks of Resistence were not interesting items at all. They're just gold/slot taxes everyone pays because the game expects you to have those stats or your get crushed.

I'm perfectly okay with being able to take an interesting cloak instead of the mandatory stat booster one, because the math was fixed to not require the mandatory stat booster one anymore.

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The DM of wrote:
Nettah wrote:
I (and hopefully others including Paizo) sees the issue with all my 3 examples and why a limit is needed for a better game. If you think all my 3 examples is equally valuable or that the ring of swimming is just as good as the combination of the other 7 rings from your example, then fine you don't need any limitations on magical items in your game.

No, I don't think any of your examples showed a combination that broke the game without an item limit or were relevant to the question of the thread.

I'm legitimately looking for examples that make me think, "Oh yeah, you know if there wasn't an item limit, a player could afford to do... xyz... and that would be ridiculous." If you have an xyz that fits in this question, I would like to hear it. Otherwise, like the rest of you, I'm curious what systems the final rules use, and in the meantime I won't be using a slot or resonance limit.

Fundamentally, you've asked a question and then systematically dismissed every single answer given to you. You're not looking for discussion. You're looking for people to agree with you, by changing your criteria to be so vague that no answer can possibly actually meet it.

Because really, if you don't think having 35 rings of Counterspell active simultaneously as opposed to increasing your AC by +1 is a problem, there is no possible thing that will and continuing this discussion is a waste of time.

The idea that this is an "unattainable amount of gold" is nonsense. It's clearly attainable, unless increasing your Armor rune is unattainable. They cost the same. This is entirely expected within the standard wealth rules of the game.

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Nettah wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Honestly, even though it doesn't perfectly cover picking pockets, Security is kinda my favorite suggestion to far. It also works for actual thieves on an ironic level. "I'm a... security specialist, you might say." :P
But nothing is stopping the current master of thievery of framing it that way in game. Thievery is an OOC term for the selection of skill uses, so I don't see the reason why the name should in anyway dictate anything in-game. Security to me fails to cover Palm an Object and Steal an Object and to some extend Lockpicking as well.

That's the point, really. "Thievery" is an OOC term, but we have this entire thread devoted to "Paladins can't use it because Thievery is inherently unlawful."

That perception is exactly the reason why the name should be changed. It's strictly an OOC problem.

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dmerceless wrote:
I'm trying to understand why Paizo didn't even leave a question on the surveys about this, classic Vancian x other systems (Arcanist, most probably). I mean, is it so set in stone that they aren't willing to get feedback on this? If so... why? I'm gonna talk a little bit about my experiences with it but this one single thing has been the biggest roadblock for new people to get into PF2 from what I've seen. By pretty far, actually. Well, here are some of the reasons I think Vancian casting is bad and should be replaced by Arcanist or other more modern spellcasting system:

Can I like this like 50 times? I don't know why it didn't come up, but surely they must see how well it's worked out for that other game to abandon a system that said game itself made iconic.

Vancian casting is not a sacred cow. It absolutely can be improved and/or banished.

- As I've said, it really turns new players down from trying the game. I have commented about this in other threads, but almost every person I pitched PF2 to and didn't want to try it was because of this. And, also, from the 20 or so people that I've DMed to, this was a dealbreaker for like... half of them?

Saw something similar. The people who played spellcasters in 1e were good playing it. The people who don't didn't show a whole lot of interest in starting aside from the spontaneous casters.

- It makes prepared spellcaster's power level fluctuate very hard between adventuring days. If you prepared the correct spells you are going to contribute a lot or even auto-win the encounter (although the latter was reduced a lot in PF2). If you prepared the wrong spells you can sit down and pull your popcorn, because you aren't going to contribute at all.

So much this. I play support casters in D&D and PF1 all the time. This turned me off PF2 Clerics so much.

It's a problem in PF1 as it is, but you get so many spells and they're generally so strong that a couple of bad decisions don't cripple you past very low level. PF2 took away half the spells per day Clerics had, made the non-Heal ones much weaker, but kept the preparation limitations in place. A bad choice was utterly awful.

It strongly reinforced "skip stuff that might be interesting and might be garbage, take what you know will work" because you simply can't afford to have dead slots with so few of them. It also reinforced "focus as much as you can on Channel, because that is always awesome without fail."

It would help a lot to take some of the other, potentially wasted spells if I know I can turn them into a second cast of something else should it not come up, and would make casters in general much more player friendly to play.

- A little bit of an extension of the last point, but this makes people afraid of preparing cool and different stuff. You could prepare some castings of Bind Undead to enter the Necromancer's tower, but what if he has non-undead minions first, or his minions are already binded by him? Well, guess it's better to just prepare 3 Fireballs then. People end up just preparing their generic spells over and over again because any other thing could go to complete waste.

Yup. Exactly. It's worse than it was in PF1, both due to fewer slots making each incorrect one that much more punishing, but also becuase in PF1 a Cleric could turn an otherwise wasted slot into healing. Which while not a super awesome thing to do a lot of the time, did turn an otherwise dead slot into something that would help the party continue on for the day.

- It even hurts spontaneous casters as well. How? Because now their advantage is just not using this terrible system. If prepared casters used Arcanist-style casting, Bloodline Powers and Compositions could be a lot stronger without making Sorcerers and Bards too powerful in relation to the rest of the casters.

Agreed. This is the main reason my wife wanted to play a Sorcerer (although the dragon claws didn't hurt). Vancian casting is simply too much bookkeeping and work than she wants to put into the game.

Paizo, I'm here to sincerely ask: You don't need to just go and change the entire spellcasting system with no data, but please, at least consider letting people give feedback on this in the surveys. I've seen so much people both in the forums and IRL manifesting that they want this system gone. Even some diehard PF1 fans have said that if one thing should actually change, it's this.

At this point it seems too late for surveys in the playtest cycle, unless they plan to do a post playtest one. But yeah. They could always ask about it on FB and Twitch and see what the feedback looks like. They could look at the reaction to 5e removing it and seeing how positively that was received.

I'm not sure it even needs a survey to come to the conclusion that it's something that can be removed.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Then it makes no sense that a Paladin who is trained in Thievery never actually used Thievery in its obviously intended usage, since now you're justifying Paladins being Legendary Thieves, which is an absolutely ridiculous character concept. An Antipaladin, sure, because they don't have any moral quandaries and might actually have insidious uses for the skill, but a Paladin? What's next, Paladins being full-fledged Wizards or Alchemists? (And no, Dedication feats don't count.)

There's no reason whatsoever that a Paladin who winds up picking a lot of locks is a "ridiculous character concept" unless you're being overly judgemental on other people's character concepts for BadWrongFun. We've already shown how easy it is to get the skill on a Paladin. There's no reason whatsoever they can't train it after that to get better at it, just like any other character can train in anything, even if they aren't always using it.

Unless you want to apply this across the board and tell me my Cleric can't get better at Perform at a given level up without actually using it. Because you can't apply these kinds of extra restrictions to Paladins and nobody else because reasons.

It's only a problematic word choice because people want to justify being a thief as being a Capital LG thing that Paladins should have every right to do. And they don't. It's an unrealistic standard to suggest that Robin Hood is a Paladin, because he's not, no matter what amount of piety he may seem to possess. He might be Good, but he's also a Vigilante, sparking Chaos in an otherwise Lawful land, and in the service of legitimate authority, a Paladin would have qualms with that kind of person because the Paladin isn't a lawbreaker. He wouldn't kill him unless he had to, obviously, but a Paladin should, at the very least, be on the side of bringing him to justice and instead finding a better way within the laws of the land to support those less fortunate unless he finds the authority to no longer be legitimate. But for the sake of argument, it is in this case, so if that Paladin wants to aid and abet a criminal, he should suffer the consequences of what that does to his Paladinhood.

No, it's a problematic word because of exactly what you're doing: you're so hung up on the word that you're dismissing every possible usage of the skill as "not something a Paladin would do".

You can't really suggest an alternative simply because they are two completely different skill sets by nature. The ability to set and disable traps, the ability to pick and create locks, the ability to steal and hide objects on your person, these are all things that iconic Thieves do. But you know what? I got a better name than anyone else does, and it fits with the existing concept. Roguery. There. Now it's not Evil and Paladins can justify their Robin Hood-ness via Roguery. Problem solved, everyone go home and be a family man and all that silly nonsense.

Seeing as how several alternatives have already been suggested, it's pretty clear that people can suggest them. But hey, lots of iconic Necromancers are good at Arcana, so should Paladins also be banned from that because it's clearly not Paladin like to know about arcane magic?

[quoote]The long and short of the thread is this: I won't agree to a change on the word Thievery unless we also agree to a change on the word Necromancy, a word that similarly exists with heavily evil connotations that Capital LG characters would have qualms with.

Considering how often I run into people confused by Necromancy (enslaving and animating the dead), Necromancy (negative energy/curses/etc), and Necromancy (healing)? Sure. I'd be perfectly happy splitting off the "this is always evil because the Gods have declared it so" one from the other two, where that isn't true.

Until then, you're not convincing me to let Paladins play like Rogues and Thieves, because if they wanted to play Rogues and Thieves, there's a class for that already.

Believe it or not, there are people who want to play Paladins differently than you, and they don't need your permission to have BadWrongFun.

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This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how this works. The world does not level up with you. You should not be fighting random Goblins at level 10 that have been levelled up to level 10, without some kind of narrative reason for why they're so strong. You should be fighting Giants or Demons instead. Those Goblins don't drop back to level 2 if a low level group of town guards shows up to fight them instead: they would slaughter those guards. That's why level 10 adventurers were called in.

The world largely stays the same. The range of things you can fight increases as you level. Similarly, swimming a river doesn't get harder because you levelled up. You can simply ignore easy rivers because you're better at swimming than you used to be. You can now attempt to get past harder ones that were certain death before.

It's working exactly as intended to create a strong progression where a level 10 character is far stronger than a level 5 character, which is not what 5e does at all (but 3.5 and PF1 did). Stylistically they're simply going for a different feel of game. One of them constrains power growth and the other one lets you go from "random guy" to "Superhero".

And hey, if you don't like that style of game, that's entirely legitimate. It's not for everyone. But if you don't like it because you think you need to rob the PCs of their progression by making every basic challenge they should be able to easily overcome just as powerful as they are, then you're using the system incorrectly.

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BryonD wrote:

First "trained" is a mechanical term here. I'm not onboard with it as a good narrative description of wizards. If the game "works" (still a big if right now) then those kind of meta issues are insignificant.

I've been playing various versions of TTRPGs since the 80s and it should be no surprise that I also enjoy related media. You are not describing wizards I recognize.

Someone already mentioned Gandalf, right? Arguably the most famous Wizard in the English speaking world, doesn't tend to get hit a lot?

Wizards use a lot of magic items and spells to defend themselves. And even then they AVOID getting into hand to hand combat. The is literally no narrative basis *at all* for the wizard getting better at dodging blows.

You mean other than the Wizard going "getting stabbed hurt! Maybe I'll ask the Monk for some tips and a sparring session during downtime so it doesn't happen the next time I try to cast a spell?"

The idea that there is no narrative basis for a Wizard training defense at all is frankly absurd. Unless the Wizard is literally going to stand still and allow himself to be hit every combat, he's going to be trying to dodge. If he's trying to dodge, he's going to inevitably get better at it because people improve with practice.

And that's excluding that your narrative is not the only one. Plenty of sources have hybrid Wizards who also have some martial skill to fall back on (aside from Gandalf), and they will certainly not want to get stabbed.

I think if you were to go out to the public at large and describe this, you would get odd looks. It "makes sense" only to gamers who want to rationalize free boosts to their characters.


If you asked the public at large to describe this, they wouldn't know what you are talking about, because this is too mechanically indepth for someone not familiar with gaming. Asking those who are, you're going to get lots of answers.

Besides, even in the playtest, a Wizard without magical defenses is easier to hit than a Paladin is (and bumping proficiency bonuses to +2/tier will widen that gap as the Paladin moves up to better armor prof). The gap has simply narrowed up, and it's now presumed that a level 10 Wizard has had more practice avoiding death than a level 1 Wizard, which is entirely reasonable.

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The DM of wrote:

A 700,000 sp item or 700,000 sp's of items is nonsense. It makes as much sense as a horse sized duck or 1000 duck-sized horses duking it out.

I expect a GM to challenge her players and reward them in a manner befitting everyone's expectations of fun. I don't currently have a plan to use resonance or item limits in my homebrew PF2 world. Open invitation to people who have a real example demonstrating some need for a limit system beyond resources.

Nonsense doesn't count. Investing an obscene amount of money in blocking every spell... as I mentioned, it won't block an axe. That's how that player would get challenged... but I wouldn't advise them to go that far anyway. It would be absurd.

"37 items confuses me." Don't keep 37 items then. Keep what you have a plan to manage and use effectively. That's on you, not the system to tell you not to be ridiculous.

My players have bigger goals than "upgrade my gear with every penny I have!" They want to world-influence and invest in kingdoms. Magic items are not their #1 focus like many people in the PF1 PFS world heavily distorted.

You've gotten several. You keep claiming to want examples and then dismiss every example as "nonsense because reasons", when your own argument comes down to "my players don't make this a problem therefore the entire rule system doesn't need it."

A couple of decades of experience in the core system PF1 is based on suggest pretty clearly that if given the option, lots of players will walk around looking like a veritable Christmas tree decorated with magic items. The original idea for Resonance didn't come out of nowhere: it came about because of how much of a problem this turned into.

If your players don't need a limit, great. Have fun. That is not sufficient justification to dismiss everyone elses experiences, including those of the Paizo developers, who clearly saw an issue worth trying to address with the amount of rules effort they put into trying to tackle it.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

What I'm saying is that lockpicking is a skill commonly used by characters of majorly moral ambiguities that Paladins generally don't approve of, meaning the odds of a Paladin being able to pick a lock is the same odds of a Paladin being good at sleight of hand: it will probably be taught by someone who doesn't care for the laws of the land, and is someone that a Paladin would struggle to maintain his powers with at best, or outright turn said person into the authorities or he loses powers via alignment change.

If Paladins had the authority to pick locks, they'd be fine. If they could have a legitimate means to learn how to pick locks, they'd be fine. More often than not, however, they have neither.

IIRC from playing PFS without my own character and using premades, the iconic Paladin has a backstory along the lines of "stole a Paladins helmet, that Paladin got killed because of it, felt bad, became a Paladin herself."

It's a very short reach from there to "also learned how to pick locks while learning how to steal before becoming a Paladin."

Any background involving being a criminal/troubled street child/spy/etc before becoming a Paladin would have easy justification for having learned how to pick locks prior to becoming a Paladin.

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You keep asking for examples and keep getting them. So lets try this: Why would it be better if the game allowed someone to simultaneously use 37 magic items?

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The DM of wrote:
Tridus wrote:
As for if some limit should exist? I think so. Having someone wearing 37 small items for various activate or other effects would slow down play dramatically and likely become optimal if its doable.
Aside from haste, you don't get more than 3 actions per round. I don't see how it could slow down play. Do you have an example?

When something comes up and I start looking through four pages of activatable items to see which one I want to use now. That takes much, much longer than if I have 10 items for the day.

It will get progressively worse as splatbooks add more items, as well. Some kind of limit forces that choice at the start of the day and forces some choice in what you keep vs what you sell, as opposed to decking yourself out in 47 trinkets.

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Mathmuse wrote:

This results in 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 in some order for ancestries without a flaw and 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 in some order for ancestries with a flaw. Sometimes we might have 18, 14, 14, 12, 10, 10 instead. Those are the only stats I have seen at 1st level. My wife hates this aspect of PF2. She said, "All the characters are alike." She would love to use 16, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10 for variety, but she said PF2 demands the 18 too much. The playtest scenarios are deadly.

The value of an ability score is not linear. 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 is more powerful than 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10, though both sets of stats sum to 78. A point buy offers a reward for not grabbing high stats. PF2 does not.

Yeah we saw a lot of this in our group too. There's so much ridigity in the system that the end result almost always looks the same.

I like the simplicity of ABC (Ancestry, Background, Class) character creation. But I call the final four ability score boosts step D, because they are not provided by Ancestry, Background, nor Class. And for most of my players, selecting the Background is not a playful exercise in imagining the character's origins. Nope, they conduct a boring search for a background with its ability score bonus in the right place and a feat that fits the class. Only my wife treats Background as an important part of the character's personhood.

Agreed. I wanted to treat a background as a character creation concept thing, but then they throw stats into it and it becomes very restrictive again.

Stat wise, we saw very little variety at the table, and basically none amongst the people playing Humans. I don't think that's a desireable outcome of the system, because if what they really want is "everybody looks the same", they could just print a stat array and save everyone a lot of time.

If the goal is to have stat variety, the system needs to not discourage it so heavily.

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They were trying it in the focus playtest where Resonance was changed to simply "you can equip X magic items". Sounds like that part survives. In which case it does let you wear four rings if you want, out of your X items. X = 10 in the playtest and that seems likely to survive.

As for if some limit should exist? I think so. Having someone wearing 37 small items for various activate or other effects would slow down play dramatically and likely become optimal if its doable.

Making people make choices on which items they want to use in a given day is an interesting choice without the big six, and I think that has value still.

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One of the deleted posts, wanted to bring it back since after checking with the community team it was collateral damage.

This hits home more personally because my wife always had this problem with systems like PF1 where the gap between high system mastery and low system mastery is about the size of Olympus Mons.

Usually what would happen is she would tell me her concept and I'd translate it into a character that mechanically worked well as best I could.

The playtest was a funny thing. She came to our group late, made one character, and absolutely adored it. She was more involved than usual in creation (rather than doing most of it for her, I talked her through it and offered some advice), got to make more choices on her own for flavor, and the end result was a perfectly capable character that was a valued party member. There is still some room to make better or worse choices, but there seems to be a lot less "here's 50 options and 3 are great, 5 are okay, and 41 are traps that you'll regret later when you're incapable of being functional in half the encounters."

On that end, the playtest was a total success for her. If asked to pick a system for the next game, she may very well pick it.


graystone wrote:

"I think this might be a skew in the playtest. I know a lot of people that gave up pretty quickly in the playtest and aren't represented in the survey results. People that just wanted the 'sharp' edges files off instead of a whole new game."

We had another player like this in the playtest, who hated it and left. They, unlike my wife, would be much happier playing PF1. At this point in the process, self-selection bias is real. Which is fine, because which people quit and which people loved it (and why) is itself useful information.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Because the Paladin is using dishonorable means to get what he wants. Lockpicking, AKA Thievery, isn't really something that Paladins should learn or aspire to gain as a skill. "Oh yeah, I'm an honorable embodiment of Good and Law, but I'm not above picking a lock that obviously the person whom has locked it doesn't want me to see." Violating personal space is not something a Paladin does unless doing so is important for saving innocents. And you'd be hardpressed to find a situation where a Paladin can still be called that while employing such skills. You can compare it to outright breaking down the door all you like, but it's more honorable and fair for a Paladin to do that (especially if he has the authority) than it is for him to sleight the lock and get a dishonorable advantage on an apparent enemy or threat.

There is nothing "dishonorable" about picking a lock to get at the bad guy vs smashing down the door to get at the bad guy. It's the same door, leading to the same place in the room. One of them just leaves you with a working door afterward.

Are you suggesting that if the door is too strong for the Paladin to smash, he should just leave it closed and climb in a window instead of picking the lock? Because that's just silly.

Putting a locked set of manacles on a hostage because they are under arrest by legitimate authority or can't be trusted to be in your custody quietly or safely is certainly within a Paladin's purview to do. Can you imagine how silly and mortified that Paladin would feel if he didn't decide to cuff the serial murderer, whom after apprehending him, decides he still wants to go out and kill more innocent people? A locked set of manacles on a felon is way different than lockpicking a chest or lockbox that people probably don't want you looking in to. Apples and oranges here.

No, I was referring to the bad guy putting manacles on his hostage. The idea that "lockpicking is bad, period" means the Paladin is forbidden from unlocking the hostage.

Which, again, is silly. It makes no sense whatsoever. No God is going to say "sure I wanted you to rescue the innocents from the kidnapper, but since they were locked up, you were a very naughty person for unlocking them." Especially since smashing them off would be fine, despite the greater risk of injury to said hostages.

You seem to be really hung up on the idea that locks are sacred things that can't be picked by Lawful Good people no matter the reason but are perfectly okay with accomplishing the exact same outcome (getting past the lock) using much more violent means. Which is fine, but the idea that it's somehow "honorable" to do that doesn't hold up.

You're really suggesting a Paladin should have the right to steal things from people that don't belong to him? Let me guess, you'd call Robin Hood a Paladin now, because he steals from the rich to give to the less fortunate, which is technically the greater good? Don't be ridiculous. A felon is a felon is a felon, and if a Paladin does something like that, especially over the course of his adventuring career, his privilege as a Paladin will be called into question by his peers and his God (unless he follows the God of Lies and Deception, but seriously, that's not a valid Paladin God), even if what he does is for those less fortunate. In fact, a Paladin would have to fight against Robin Hood, not because Robin Hood is evil, but because he is a vigilante fighting against legitimate authority that a Paladin has to abide by.

If the King tells you to retrieve an item needed to incriminate the criminal activity of a Baron, is it really "stealing"? That's what I was talking about, and I specifically referred to a lawful authority hiring the Paladin to do it.

Robin Hood is clearly working against the law. A Paladin contracted by the legitimate ruler to do a covert action is not, although it could be immoral depending on what they're actually asked to do.

Really though, the original question was about picking locks. And unless we're playing Lawful Stupid, there is very little difference between a Paladin who gets past a door by smashing it and one that gets past it by picking the lock. The result is the same (minus the property damage).

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MaxAstro wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
I don't get the examples of the wizard and the monk. All characters are trained in unarmored. So they actually gained +2.

But if you are wearing armor, then you use your proficiency with the armor (which is none, for wizard or monk).

So 15th level wizard with 10 dex has an AC of 27 (10 + 15 for level + 2 for trained). If you force that wizard into a suit of padded armor, he suddenly has an AC of 11 (10 + 1 for padded armor + 0 for untrained).

While this is true, it feels just as contrived as "force a PF1 Druid into a Breastplate and they suddenly can't do anything."

They're both true, but they're both things that you have to really go out of your way to make ever come up in a typical game.

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MaxAstro wrote:
Actually the experience with that Vitalist is one of the reasons I pushed against clerics in PF2e having loads of Channel Energy as their primary class feature - I have first hand experience with what a character that does completely unstoppable healing and nothing else looks like, and it's not really fun for anyone (the player actually switched characters after admitting that while instantly healing the party's wounds every round was fun at first, it wore thin after a while).

Oh, I agree with that entirely. I'm against healbot classes too. I think we just had a different way of going about solving that problem. :)

(The afformentioned Healer Cleric doesn't do just healing. But it is pretty fun to fire off a Blessing of Fervor, Swift Prayer, and Quick Channel all in one turn. "Okay team, be more awesome and here's some HP!" Especially when the next turn is Stormbolts. :D )

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

And changing the name won't do much good because all aspects of the skill still involve gray areas and moral conundrums that characters like Paladins can't really approve or get involved with the same way that other characters can. The only way you can get away with it is by sanctioning the "good" uses of the skill into something separate from the "bad" uses of the skill, and that goes counterintuitive from a game that's meant to consolidate the number of skills that exist (even more than PF1, anyway).

I'm having a hard time with the idea that a Paladin is morally incapable of picking a lock. It's not hard to come up with a scenario where a Paladin would smash a door down to get at what's on the other side, and property damage is the only real difference between picking a lock and smashing the door down.

The idea that we'll brave all sorts of horrors and do all sorts of things to rescue people and smite bad guys but can be stopped by putting a locked set of manacles on their hostage just doesn't pass a smell test.

I mean, even lifting something could be perfectly legitimate if you're acting in an espionage role and need to break in & steal something without the bad guy knowing you're doing that. You usually won't hire a Paladin to do that, but I don't see what in the code says "I can't be hired by the legitimate ruling authority to help on a mission against evildoers if it involves gathering evidence discreetly." (Could actually make for an amusing story where a party breaks in and someone else wants to steal some stuff while they're there but the Paladin insists they only take the target item as taking anything else would be outside of their state-sanction and thus theft.)

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Unicore wrote:

That means that removing +level to proficiency to untrained skills only represents something we are asking for.

But forme this seems like a very confusing half measure with some strange implications that don’t “feel worth it” to me:

Oddly, I don't have a dog in this fight (I'm fine with this either way), but because it's an interesting discussion...

1. What is the value of having a +\- 35 point spread in bonuses between characters of the same level, doing the same task? I understand people want to be able to be bad at something but at this level of differential, the actual difference been being good at something, extremely good at something and bad at something begin to disappear into 5% probabilities if rolling a 1 or a 20. With +level removed from untrained and the spread of bonuses from proficiency increasing dramatically, it is difficult to argue that PF2 is going to have a better handle on “number bloat” than PF1. A position I used to advocate on this message board.

The "value" is to differentiate a true master at something from someone that has no idea what they're doing. When the spread between a level 5 Rogue who specializes in picking locks and a level 10 something-else-with-high-DEX that has never picked a lock is +1 in favor of the person who has never picked a lock... I dunno. That just doesn't sound right.

Number bloat is back now, but that could be adjusted by compressing the numbers back down (if it goes to 1/2 level and proficiency bonus is cut in half you shrink the numbers dramatically and reduce the bloat while still keeping a clear seperation between legendary and untrained). Although, I'm not sure "number bloat" is that bad a thing when you're not piling up lots of bonuses. If the bonus is always +28 and doesn't change, adding a d20 to 28 all the time isn't so bad. It only really got out of hand when I'd then apply five buff modifiers to it, and that's just not a thing now.

Some of this is just preference. Should a Cleric who has never tried to pick a lock in his life be able to pick a relatively easy lock after watching the Rogue do it for 12 levels? Maybe. Should that same Cleric be able to pick a lock that the Rogue himself can barely pick with only a slightly higher die roll needed? I don't think that makes much sense. So, do you enforce that with a bigger skill modifier spread or with skill gating and saying "you need to be Expert to even attempt this", bearing in mind that doing so means a higher level Trained character with magic gear who could easily meet the DC isn't even allowed to attempt it.

There is no right or wrong answer, it's just about the feel you want the game to have.

2. There is just as much weird stuff happening in terms of believable story telling as when untrained characters got +level, only now it effects characters in a life or death manner. Why should an untrained wizards AC drop by 20+ points when they put on armor at level 20 vs when they put that armor on at level 1? The same with picking up a sword or other weapon. Desperately grabbing for a weapon that you might not be trained with should not make you bumblingly incompetent at combat. By level 10, forcing a monk to wear a suit of padded armor into combat is essentially a death sentence. Should it be a little inconveniencing? Sure, should that level of inconveniencing grow exponentially by level? No. It is much easier for GMs to arbitrate what a character could not do with an untrained skill check that is numerically balanced to other proficiencies than to have to try to balance that on the fly when a character finds themself in a life or death situation, trying to understand why their bonus to attack while using a magical long sword is 15-20 points worse than using a broken dagger, or other weapon they are trained in.

It could be argued that someone who spends 5 years training with a sword and has never seen a longbow shouldn't be able to simply pick up a longbow and be more competent with it than a career longbowman who just happens to be a few levels lower, as well.

The reason why you lose more at higher level relative to lower level is because you have more skill to be interfered with. A level 1 Monk isn't very good at timing movement to dodge blows, so they don't lose as much as a level 10 Monk, who is far better at it. If padded armor should erase all that or not is a question worth asking, but if you try to put in degrees and exceptions for specific items you start making the system much more complicated for IMO not much gain.

Simplicity is easier to run at the table and explain to new players, even if it has some odd edge cases.

3. This reinforces “untrained” as a check to never be tried. This makes character aspects that have to begin at trained have less room for diversity than profiencies that can start at untrained, and replaces letting characters become competent at everything, with massively punishing players who don’t know what aspects of the game to make sure they are competent at. This is why perception had to be removed from the skill list and seems like acrobatics and athletics now should be too, or else skill use in combat is in a wonkier place than it was in PF1.

Critical failure effects were already doing that. Gathering information in the playtest was an exercise in "let the specialist do it because anybody untrained rolling has a good chance of getting misinformation". The only difference now is that it's obviously a bad idea rather than a trap disguised as something you maybe should do.

If you've never been trained in something, should you be trying it? The amount of computer problems I have to fix for friends and family that were caused by "I have no idea what I'm doing but I thought I'd..." is staggering. And that doesn't involve dangerous stabbing implements.

Overall, this is just a change that doesn’t make sense to me, but I know it has made a lot of folks happy. I would love to hear why. I am left personally thinking I will remove +level across the board from my PF2 games to avoid these issues, which is ironic because I previously saw that system as an elegant way to make level meaningful and I find leveling up to be rather bland and insignificant at many levels and for many classes without it.

In your case, I think it's easier to just add +level back to untrained, or maybe +level-2. That puts it back to where it was relative to trained while keeping everything else about it.

For me, I see the pros and cons. Mostly what I wanted was a wider gap between legendary and untrained, as that didn't really live up to the name. The +2 instead of +1 per tier seems to have largely resolved that.

I do see the upside of the previous system's advancement, as in my current PF1 campaign I'm a level 18 Cleric with a Stealth of -4. It causes problems every time the group wants to sneak somewhere because I'm guaranteed to fail, so our DM uses a group stealth house rule to let us try it anyway (the alternative is we keep splitting the party so the stealthy people can stealth, which sucks for its own reasons). I'd be able to at least attempt it under the playtest rules and if it's a below level/easy check have some chance of success.

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dmerceless wrote:

The problem I see currently with atracting new players for PF2 is that Paizo is really trying to keep some legacy stuff for the old players, which isn't bad, but some of this stuff really turn down new players from trying the system.

I pitched the Playtest for a lot of people, and one really big example of that was keeping the old Vancian casting. I had multiple people that instantly lost all interest and said something similar to "The system seems cool but I'm sticking to 5e" when I mentioned that they needed to prepare each casting of their spells instead of a list of avaliable spells for the day.

There is more than one example of this almost impossible situation for Paizo where there is one aspect of the game that will either disappoint old players if they change it or turn down new players from trying the game if they don't. Pure Vanciang Casting has been the biggest one from my experience, by far, but there were other ones like numbers getting absurdly high at high levels. I know all the reasons for it to be that way and I'm not a fan of bounded accuracy, but a +35 to hit kind of scares newcomers, specially those who com from 5e.

Frankly, as an existing player and PF1 fan... I hope they get rid of Vancian casting too. It's a PITA. It's why some people just don't play classes that have to interact with it despite wanting to.

It's also part of the problem of caster/martial disparity. The best casters are a huge bookkeeping and planning hassle to play. If you get it right, you have tremendous power. If you get it wrong, you have a bunch of useless spell slots.

The playtest kept the effort and got rid of the "amazingly awesome stuff you can do" for doing it well, which just kinda sucks. I think 5e has shown the upside of doing away with this system entirely in favor of something less cumbersome to play.

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heretic wrote:

The thing is I imagine that to most of us still playing Pathfinder they already have a better system than 5e. What they don’t have are better sales. I am very dubious that anything Paizo does will mean they can eclipse 5e the way they did 4e. I am hoping they can though make a system that improves their sales and brings most of us who prefer PF along for the ride!

Of course. The goal isn't to eclipse 5e. That is almost certainly not happening.

That said, 5e isn't just "tabletop players" the way this hobby was in the past. It's massively expanded the playerbase. Some of those people are going to find they like the hobby but are limited by 5e, and that's the market PF2 can aim to expand into. Along with bringing along as many existing PF1 players as possible, which isn't all of them, because every past system version change has shown that some people are simply happy with what they already have and a new system doesn't interest them.

And that's fine. There is a very healthy business that can be made while being a fraction of the size of 5e. The entire hobby combined when PF1 launched was smaller than 5e alone is now, I'd wager.

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Happy holidays, everyone!

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Ikos wrote:
Starfox wrote:

I also have an ugly suspicion the made magic in the playtest this weak intentionally to see how big an outrage it would create - they can't really have failed to see how low save DCs were. I know suspecting a company of deliberately ruining their own product is stupid, but I find it somewhat hard to believe magic from the playtest was ever intended to float.

Whether conscious or not, it’s less ugly than prudent - bid low and settle in the middle. Overall though, the changes have shifted things back towards the center in several areas, which is what one might hope to expect from a collective and commercially viable endeavor.

I kind of wonder if there was also a certain amount of "be careful what you ask for" in it. People kept telling them that magic is too powerful and martials are too weak in comparison. So they brought out the nuclear nerfstrike and hit magic from every direction, even magic items. EVERYTHING magic was weakened except for magic weapons, which are now required deathsticks.

Now we see what a game with a lot of the magic sucked out of it looks like, to the point that even the casters feel more like hybrid classes than they do pure casters. Suddenly, "nerf the hell out of magic" doesn't sound quite so great.

Or maybe they really thought this was a good idea, I don't know. Whatever it was, I'm glad it's being changed.

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Dire Ursus wrote:
graystone wrote:

2- Resonance: I'll happily do a jig on it's grave. Now if we can just dig 2 more shallow graves for bulk and rarity I might think about buying the new game when it comes out.

I can understand Resonance being a deal breaker for people since the whole magic item system was balanced around it, but is bulk and rarity really what's stopping you from buying the game? Two things that could be house ruled out in 5 minutes?

I'm really not sure how you house rule bulk in 5 minutes, except to eliminate it and replace it with nothing. Replacing it with something else is a big endeavor.

Bulk is a huge step backwards. It's horribly imprecise, breaks any real world connection to the values (making estimation of a thing without a value far harder), and is fundamentally badly designed in ways that quickly lead to absolutely nonsensical outcomes that just defy all reason.

Weight based encumbrance isn't perfect at all, but it doesn't give me completely inane outcomes where one 100 pound dead weight is vastly harder to carry than another 100 pound dead weight because reasons, while also telling me I need to come up with an arbitrary limit on my own for how many shortswords a horse can carry as by RAW that number is somewhere between "who knows?" and "infinity".

This is not an obscure edge case where the system can be forgiven for not handling it well. "We stick loot on a transport animal" is kind of a fairly common thing to do. Just how easily bulk flat out breaks under that should be a red flag for it not working properly.

That said, if everything else is great and we're stuck with bulk? That's not a deal breaker on its own. But it's a big in the negative column. I prefer a system where I don't have to immediately houserule stuff out of the box. That's why I stopped DMing 3.5: most of my houserules were things Paizo fixed in PF for me. I'd be happy if they don't go out and break new stuff now.

(Rarity though? That's awesome and I hope they keep it.)

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The DM of wrote:
Tridus wrote:

Agreed. That is in no way clear. "Playtest" != "Experimentation". When I hear "playtest", I'm expecting a version of the system they intend to release to test. If you're doing any kind of QA, that is what you're doing. You don't test stuff you don't plan to release, go back in the lab and change everything, then release with no testing. That is in no way how professional testing works.

This was actually R&D. Which is fine, except they didn't spell that out and that's how people got the impression that we were playing PF2 when PF2 may not look anything like this.

Of course, Paizo seems to have a habit of using words outside of their actual meaning. See "inflammable" for "fire resistant" (when it actually means the opposite of that) and "bolstered" for other examples.

That's not really fair. It sounds like you're searching for reasons to complain. This is the Open playtest. They will still be testing it internally and with focus groups, but they won't be investing in the extra work it takes to share that testing with the entire world.

That's completely fair and reasonable on their part as well as professional. We've been lucky to have had so much interaction with them, so much exposure to where their minds are at this stage, and especially fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute so much through this forum. Paizo has gone out of their way to put PF2 content in our hands, so much so that I'm able to run a (so far) really fun PF2 campaign with my friends.

No, I don't have any problem with what they wanted to test. Rather, my issue is simply this idea some people on the forum have that everyone was supposed to know that's what they were doing and that it's effectively player error for thinking that what was being tested was PF2.

Paizo did not do a good job of communicating what the actual intent was here, and specifically that what was being tested was not PF2. People had the entirely reasonable expectation that it was, based on what was said and what was in the book. It was only here and on twitch that you could find out what the real intent was (trying stuff out to see what should go into PF2).

Having dealt with players who now have a bad impression of PF2 because of stuff from the playtest that won't even be in PF2 simply because this process was not explained very well, I take exception to the idea that it's somehow the testers fault for not knowing something that was in no way adequately explained in the rulebook. (I only know because I read it on the forums, which most people do not do.)

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Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Ruzza wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:

Yeah, this was never clear before the playtest started, and it wasn't really until rather late in the game (like less than a month ago) that I saw any statement clearly pointing out that the playtest is not PF2 Beta and was never meant to be. I know my entire group assumed that it was, and were therefore very dismayed to see such...

This was page four of the playtest book. The book that also said playtest on the front.

I know that when I got my hands on a copy, I stood up in front of my group before we played and explained that this wasn't going to be a normal game of Pathfinder, that it was a playtest. The rules weren't going to look anything like this when it released, so it was important to note things they liked and didn't like.

I don't understand how this wasn't clear.

I think we may have dramatically different views on play tests and alpha and beta play test definitions.


Agreed. That is in no way clear. "Playtest" != "Experimentation". When I hear "playtest", I'm expecting a version of the system they intend to release to test. If you're doing any kind of QA, that is what you're doing. You don't test stuff you don't plan to release, go back in the lab and change everything, then release with no testing. That is in no way how professional testing works.

This was actually R&D. Which is fine, except they didn't spell that out and that's how people got the impression that we were playing PF2 when PF2 may not look anything like this.

Of course, Paizo seems to have a habit of using words outside of their actual meaning. See "inflammable" for "fire resistant" (when it actually means the opposite of that) and "bolstered" for other examples.

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Plus, to me, it comes across as lazy. It's saying "we want this class to be able to protect its allies and control the battlefield, but we don't want to give it the toolbox to actually control the battlefield and win tactically... so here's a taunt."

Video games do that because they don't have AI capable of making very sound tactical decisions, and trinity class MMOs do it because the structure of the class system they're using only works if stuff focuses on the tank.

We can do better than that in a game with humans controlling everything. Retributive Strike is an attempt to go that way by saying "there are consequences to attacking someone who isn't me", although by itself it isn't really enough to get the job done.

If a Fighter wants to fill a role like a protector, they should be able to do it by physically blocking, interfering, and generally making it harder to get around them to whoever they're protecting. Not go "I yelled something and so now you're mind controlled into attacking me no matter how little sense it makes."

Unless I guess they just flat out have Suggestion as a class spell now.

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