I was testing a "Batman" build, and I figured if a fighter can't make the starknife work, no one can.
It was the lvl 12 playtest, so we had higher + weapons, and I built fighter with rogue dedication for attack bonus.
Remember, it cost me actions to trigger sneak attack, and requires a crit to trigger deadly, just to get comparable damage.
The bonuses I got were in that I got to swing with more than a 5% crit chance twice, and relied on combining a single die of sneak attack with a single die of deadly for an extra 2d6 damage on a crit with star knives. My turns went Feint -> Double Slice. Doing this effectively used all my feats. The paladin with no feat investment did comparable damage by just swinging a d12 weapon, and I could never compare to a crit.
I'm fairly certain the biggest problem is potency scaling to +5, which creates a great amount of information entropy which is what caused so many fights to drag on, because monsters can't have reliably defined HP pools to accommodate for the variability, and in practice the game leans to the bigger dice being more important than most abilities, save for something like finesse which changes a major function of how the weapon is used 100% of the time, rather than smaller traits which only affect niche scenarios.
Imo, d4 and d12 weapons shouldn't even exist if the potency damage scales as high as it does, otherwise the design end of things becomes too difficult to balance on the DM's side of the screen. I'd feel forced to arbitrarily adjust enemy HP based on the weapons used to accommodate for pacing issues caused by the discrepancy. My own playtest left me with a sour taste for the system as it is written because I relied on crits to match average damage of those using d12 weapons. Felt like a bug in the design, not a feature.
Not a very strong case, but it's more true that swords inexorably improve hit chance with no action cost. The stats are there.
I have a couple players who don't want to buy or carry around buckets of dice.
The math scaling up with weapons that deal different dice creates so much mathematical dissonance that you really get no real choices.
Critical specializations on anything that isn't a sword probably isn't worth investing into.
For D&D, I prefer smaller handfuls of dice, with smaller ranges. There's just so much information entropy that running the game becomes daunting, honestly it felt like playing a different game completely and not a tabletop RPG.
In the spirit of constructive criticism, how would you suggest Paizo allow more customization or special tricks while fulfilling the design goals Paizo set out?
Redefine class niche to be mechanical game engine niches that feel different when you play them, and require different approaches to strategy rather than using the Golarion setting as an excuse to shoehorn players into a small number of roles.
Reduce arbitrary restrictions to meet level gating quotas, give a large list of class features to serve as feats that scale up with class proficiency (the thing that sets your class's DC), and include lists that go up with your proficiency rather than in level groups.
Then change multiclassing to scale up certain degrees by improving your secondary class's "Class DC" which would also open up the class feats of that group. Makes things become more open, and free, but still intuitively organized.
Dammit I solved this three months ago.
Most/ all martial classes oughta have a unique combat option that adds a secondary ability to hit/damage. It costs an action, and thus eats into your ability to make more attacks and do more damage.
You can do this and leave the Bestiary numbers exactly where they are, as it is actually perfectly balanced against them.
Stuff that used to be covered by feats are now class features, combat stuff being the most contentious.
Given that most classes only progress one weapon group anyway, I'd recommend going back to WEAPONFINDER and giving the combat oriented feats as mere upgrades to proficiency with the weapon group. Fighters inherently get them all, and their feats can be dedicated to stances and tactical maneuvers. Et all
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I'm unfamiliar with 4th edition, but what I understand is that it also had very limited choices in favor of more robust expansions on the core idea they forced on the class.
Rangers getting 8+combat styles is long gone, seemingly to enshrine the fighter as the guy who can fight using any style.
I don't see the roots of 3.x in this system much at all, could you elaborate?
Mathematically, you calculate the 'weight' value of an attack based on it's chance to hit with a factor based on it's chance to crit.
Given the ratio of crits, you really need to talk about true optimization, which means considering the best possible combination of weapons. Swords are bar none the best, rapier + short sword seems good, but longsword + short sword are comparable if not the defacto best configuration. Sawtooth sabers factor in as well. It comes from the +5 to hit on secondary attacks which isn't beaten by any other feat, and the fact that you'll have a chance to inflict the flat footed condition on a crit which opens the crit range up for secondary attacks, and tertiary once agile grace comes online.
On mobile so forgive the format of this:
Primary attack: 15% crit range, yields secondary attacks at either 15% or 25% crit range, which in turn yields tertiary attacks with 5-10% crit chance, and guaranteed flat damage on all but a Nat 1. Longswords have the biggest base damage, rapier compares with deadly (unclear on if it's d8s or d6s), and sawtooth sabers give flat damage boosts which amplify thanks to better hit percentage.
Given said ratio, combining agile grace and certain strike on tertiary attacks gives you the best DPR in the game. There's a case I believe for the falchion, but it has worse crit chance overall with 3 actions.
The importance of the ability to crit more than once in a round more reliably cannot be overstated.
EDIT: Doubling Rings become available before you even get magic weapons, so the cost of magic weapons is a non factor for dpr consideration.
My group stopped testing, as they didn't want to keep doing all the work of fighting with me over which rules were and weren't functional. I personally refused to implicate house rules as it would ruin the test, and my players refused to play without some concessions.
I'm actually slightly optimistic about 1.6, since Jason says it's a big one and includes changes to more classes and feats. That's something to look forward to.
For me, the core essence and philosophy of PF2 is very far removed from what we had with the 3.x engine, in that there is so much less freedom in builds and player choices. There are a lot of choices, but it feels like they're all there to make sure you take skill feats, ancestry feats, etc instead of producing feats that are actually worth taking. They talked about this a bit when they talked about feats not being equal.
I also am not a fan of defined roles, and this goes to things like multiclassing taking away feats from your functional character progression all the way to the choice you made at first level telling you what weapon group you're stuck using for the entire character, and that choice is limited by your class's mechanics.
I never played 4e, because none of the groups I play with would ever go back to it. But what I understand about it is that it also had codified roles for the classes and took a lot of conceptual creativity away from the player in favor of more robust expansions on their defined mechanics. Rangers are stuck with archery, wizards always do blasting, etc. It's fine, but it's not what brought me to PF1, which was having a strongly refined and cleaned up iteration of 3.5. I see the parallelism, and I'm not gonna say it's the worst thing ever (it isn't) but it's not what I want from PF2.
I won't get into the math, y'all can find our threads where we figured out the respective formulae to figure out which choices were traps and which weren't. Just for good measure, I actually made characters to test the theory and was sad with the results lining up with the theory.
There's also a serious drought of crunchy discussion on the boards as of late, since so many updates have been fairly small in scope, with respect to having more content to test as opposed to merely updating or fixing common issues. Most of the updates were improvements, but some of them drove me further away from this playtest than pulled me in.
I'm not emotionally attached to Golarion at all, but I do appreciate that this edition may facilitate much better integration of the setting into the game itself, and it might make the APs much more appealing to someone like me if I don't have to learn a bunch of new optional rules that only apply to that campaign, etc. This change might be what Paizo needs in order to publish the stories they want, with more robust stories that can span longer into the level progression. It's of of my favorite parts of DMing to write around the narrative power gaps that leveling up provides, but I get that it's daunting when you need to write a new full campaign every year that has to account for high level play.
It certainly seems to me that PF2's quality will definitely be defined by how much more they feel they can explore and accomplish with their narrative.
See, that's an exact quote from Jason, you won't see the thread anymore though because he shut the thread down.
I imagine what currently exists is there too give the game's mechanics and interface its basic architecture, and the more flavorful and concept fulfilling options will be fleshed out once the devs can finally get the hang on how design parallelism works with respect to each mechanic. They're still toying with how things are formatted and such.
It is a system that rewards narration and it plays hard on Narrativism in GNS.That means it's on the players to be creative and explain in better detail how their character is solving problems. This is encouraged with their hero point system, Inspiration. It encourages role playing.
I've found when playing it, tackling the problem with the same mentality of 3.x, and following the steps is the best way to explain it to my DM, it's how I get my points at least. I guess whether you agree or disagree with that tells us something about your play style.
Seems good, though I am a fan of the half - race stuff being the human niche for racial variants.
Makes sense to me because humans seem to be the only race that can cross breed, unlike other races. Though some people don't like that and want half elf/ dwarf characters and the like.
Racial plane touched races were the weirdest thing in PF1 because they existed, but only changed your size and age maturity and nothing else. That's something that definitely could be looked at.
Any character can wield any weapon somewhat effectively so long as they are trained with it, and most of their class features are tied to the mechanics of the game rather than flavor options. Longswords upgrading dice two handed is their power attack, light weapons using DEX universally is their Weapon Finesse, etc.
Getting rid of feats however makes the game a lot more theatre of the mind and forces players and DMs to use colorful language rather than mechanical options on the character sheet to invoke this.
I sorta agree.
I pushed for the current change to Ancestry, and I'm glad to see it. I do think more heritage options like this would benefit the game, but not necessarily in core.
However, I do like the idea of looking at stuff like the Drow noble (and the feat chain to create it in PF1) to give us a baseline for what power scale the ancestry feats could be giving.
The racial feat chains from PF1 could easily be incorporated here, with base humans getting less options, but more versatility in getting generic options more often.
Look at concepts like the racial combat styles available to dwarves and elves, or even the chain of aasimar feats you have here.
That's where Ancestry feats should end up.
Good stuff, +1.
Ignoring the parts of PF1 that functioned better than PF2 is not going to make a better game.
PF2 is quite the ambitious project, because unlike PF1 there is no backward compatibility with 10+ years of products, this is an important factor in making sure that all the holes in this edition are patched up.
Honestly, pathfinder 1.5 would probably sell better, but would more than likely inherit more problems than it solves. You also basically got it when you bought Unchained. I used the Unchained RAE from day 1 and even publicly shared my house rules to clean it up and make the already printed materials actually compatible with it.
Mathematical comparisons to PF1 I'll agree are not helpful, because PF2 is using a whole new numerical architecture. Whenever I make math posts, I keep that in mind. It's about function more than fashion in that respect.
Breadth of option comparisons to PF1 seem to be where the contention is. It's not about being able to do x damage by y level, but rather about having the choice of doing q damage, r damage, or p damage at y level, but the game decides only certain classes get access to r, p, or q. Gaining access to this requires feat taxing in the new multiclass system which sacrifices class identity and functionality. That's a valid complaint, and the comparison to PF1 implies that it should not be impossible to fix for PF2.
Resource management is the underlying killer of the new edition. PF1 dumped new resources to manage on you all the time, instead of interrupting the ones from the core chassis of the game. They're trying to find a way to incorporate those superfluous resources into the main game for all characters and that's mostly where the disruption in the game's functionally is coming from.
That and the new rules directly working against each other stifling creativity on part of the players. The iconic characters don't even do what they intend well because of all the conflict. Bounded math ultimately negates the +/- 10 crit system for instance. The hidden design paradigms of the game which we uncovered in the math make posters like me feel duped by what Paizo was trying to sell us when they announced the game however many months ago.
Potency scales too high for the damage to work, even between d6 and d12 weapons.
Deadly is the attempt to fix this, but given how little crit chance you actually have it's not very useful.
People can like fistfulls of dice, but when I play tested with starknife throwing, it became clear how useless my 'optimized crit fighter' was compared to a paladin just swinging a d12 weapon.
It didn't feel fun to need crits just to compare to the other guy's average hit. I multiclassed rogue, and built up Dread Striker for crit chance. Double Slice and a +3 to hit still didn't help.
The math just doesn't work. At least in PF1 magic weapons could be a bit lower in + and still be effective weapons.
I do like that idea with just pumping up a high quality gauntlet and using the Doubling Rings to get your golfbag build to be effective, but said golf bag is going to have a lot of the same weapons in it because of how punishing the math is. Additionally, every class but the fighter only increases their weapon proficiency with a single weapon group, so no switch hitting and no changing your style when you find cool loot.
So, in meeting a design goal of telling the same stories, would it be fair to say that the last few power levels could be chopped off, and then you could level up faster, making something like RotRL play from 1-20, while retaining the same power balance?
Sure, but items that retain utility like this need a level of system competence to understand in order to know that making say, a 10th level character may still want to grab these even though they would have come online way sooner.
Compare that to the difference in a +2 and a +3 weapon, and it's obvious that the +3 weapon is better.
So I'm not sure how well I think the system is actually functioning.
I'm now curious about the balance levels of power in the APs, since I don't play them, don;t they usually only ever get to like 16th level tops?
Do you ever get to 9th level spells?
I like the idea of "e6 edition" where your "level" merely determines your feats (and thus character complexity) but the power balance of the game remains relatively similar.
I think however, that may be the underlying mechanism for 5e.
Depends on the system, but I think keeping one form of levels matters and making sure the rules make sense. If something like D&D 5th existed or there was a one-shots only kind of game where accuracy and such was bounded in a game that's designed around the e6 paradigm that might actually work. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's exactly what that playstyle is.
Item levels don't feel attached to the item, they feel arbitrary. I don't hear Doubling Rings and think "oh boy a 3rd level item!" I think it's an item designed to help me use two magical weapons, and it retains its usefulness far beyond 3rd level.
Though in my own setting, I have spell levels represented as a form of mathematical complexity, explaining magic as an exploitation of energy waves coming from a specific type of star and influencing matter at various energy levels (like the energy levels which determine the complexity of an atom).
I put a lot of effort into trying to make my own setting make sense, still doing some of the silly bits of math that no one would think to do.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Thanos is mostly known from the comics for the Infinity Gauntlet story, where he gets his hands on all the infinity stones and then snaps his fingers, killing half the universe.
In the film, Thanos is obsessed with being "Perfectly balanced, as all things should be."
By the end of the film, he snaps his fingers and kills half the universe-as in the book. The joke my player made was that Paizo snapped their fingers and half their customers dissipated.
Vic Ferrari wrote:
1. So far this is the most complex iteration/version of D&D/PF1, so far, to me, byzantine and a very technical read. I would not introduce a new player to this system, as is.
I do find the immense volume of keywords to cause problems, because I'm stuck constantly flipping through pages and pages to find definitions of the keywords instead of being able to understand the abilities outright.
I like the idea, but the execution needs work. It feels like it was written by a programmer, and it plays like a computer program. (That might be a goal, in case they want to do a MMO again later on with this system implemented.)
2. I am not sure about that, if that means Golarian, or in general.
I never really played the APs or modules, I use my own setting because I like having more narrative control. It is easier to have more challenges that aren't invalidated by the PCs abilities at certain levels, but part of the fun for me was including those benchmarks as being the gates to what makes certain challenges 'high level' things. My favorite big ending to a campaign had the PCs using Interplanetary Teleport to get to the moon where the Lich's lair is, and needing to use spells and items to make sure they could survive in the airless, radioactive environment. They also had to fight a Lunar Dragon who guarded the entrance to the fortress. Obviously this is impossible now.
3. I would like some examples, all I am seeing is pretty much the Unchained RAE.
Retraining from Ultimate Campaign, and the Backgrounds replacing the profession skill seem to be what they're referring to here. I think. Fighters getting martial flexibility is certainly something that wasn't core.
4. The "defined role' line seems to contradict a lot of what was previously stated.
Yeah, this is where all the Thanos jokes are coming from for me. I'd totally pay for that Coppertone skin changing purple stuff and ship it to them if Jason would be willing to wear it for his inevitable Design Musings video on game balance.
5. Again, not welcoming to new players, this seems like a game for advanced players.
For sure, I've been recruiting newbies and it's getting difficult to teach them how complicated the system is. It's daunting even for advanced players thanks to layout and clutter. I noticed in the rules survey there actually is a question on removing the 'everyone gets this' stuff from the class tables and I like that.
The tables themselves feel empty to me, because I'm used to the spreadsheet laying out exactly what resources my character has so I can look at it and read it like a graph and understand what my character class gives me.
The fact that you're calling it a 'mistake' for me to prioritize the game over the politics is blatant flaming and yet again you are the poster attempting to derail and ruin a discussion I want to have about the content of the game.
If the politics is a discussion you want to have, start your own thread and we can discuss it there, I want to talk about the game, because like I said, bringing politics into it takes away from that as you are clearly demonstrating. Take the discussion elsewhere.
My last thread got derailed and sucked into a hyperbolic crapshoot while I was at work and I got home to it being closed, let's not do that again.
In the aftermath of our efforts to get the devs talking we have a new blog with the goals of the game finally being communicated clearly to us, and they are as such:
Simpler to learn is correct. I do like how easy it is to teach the d20 engine to people, and I've been praising it since the blog era. The customization is a flat out falsehood however, narrow paths that branch out into predesignated feat chains bring the very worst aspects of what came before, instead of having a list of meaningful choices I can freely choose from at each of my levels. I do feel like I'm 'rewarded' for mastering the rules, but only after doing a long mathematical analysis to realize that builds that aren't built to be optimized and using d12 weapons simply fall short. Batman does not function in this system, I've tried.
Work to incorporate the innovations of the past decade into the core engine of the game, allowing the best rules elements and discoveries we've made to have an integrated home in the new system (even if they aren't present in the initial book).
Impossible. Complete failure to meet this goal. Goblins are good guys now? How would that go over with the first encounter in RotRL? Magic is neutered, meaning the same amount of encounters per day, and the narrative significance of spellcasting are completely different. This plays like Sword & Sorcery where PF1 was High Fantasy. You can't switch genres and still expect the same stories, that's a literary axiom.
It's only balanced if you're in an environment where every player is making the absolute most powerful build possible, any deviation from that and the 'balance' falls apart against the players. My starknife fighter/rogue multiclass couldn't do anywhere near as much damage as the stock paladin with a bastard sword, even though I built for Feinting to enable me to crit more often (which I did). Defining the roles is gaslighting for something, I'm sure. While balance matters to make sure you aren't killing trees unnecessarily when you release the final product, you gotta make sure that the actual playing of the game isn't tailored to one specific gaming philosophy, like power-gaming or [whatever name you want to use for its antithesis].
I don't feel welcome. I'm Hispanic, and I've dealt with silly nonsense my whole life, like getting called names, being accused of cheating in Spanish class in school, you name it, I've dealt. I'm familiar with the idea of racism and such. What I've learned is pushing people on these things often leads to you not being invited to game anymore, because either you ruined the experience for everyone by deciding your personal needs were more important than the game, or because they genuinely thought they hurt your feelings too much and don't think you like them enough to show up to the game anymore. The language has also been used as an open license for blatant racism/sexism/bigotry/hate speech targeting a specific group of people (whom I shall not refer to, but I definitely have gamed with and do game with regularly) that Paizo seems to not care about offending. I find the need for such language harmful, though I respect and laud the goal, I think there must be a better way to communicate it other than literally telling people they don't deserve to play the game in the rulebook. This shouldn't be political, it has nothing to do with politics, and giving people a licence to interject it derails conversations and ruins the experience.
I can attest from experience that this build will not be playable. Barbarians don't get proficiency increases until level 13, so you'll be swinging at level +3 until 5th, then level +4, and the math of the game is such that you literally cannot land critical hits save for landing a nat 20.
And given the lower damage dice of your weapons, you won't feel like your character is contributing because you will be failing at your attempts more than you succeed, this is shown both in practice and in theory.
You really need to have the highest stat possible, and I mean need by its textbook definition. I've tried such builds myself a few times over, and they failed to perform in every scenario I attempted (lvl 1, 4, and 12).
When the game has such tight math behind it, the freedom of choice we think we have really is just there to pad out the length of the book.
I see this got productive. Really appreciate being accused of conspiracy theories and what not when I say that the game plays like it's intended for organized play. If you couldn't tell that I was referring to the limited options and how optimization doesn't actually destroy the encounters anymore but it's instead the assumed norm.
Hero points? Yes they can easily be dealt out for organized play. Organized play is now and will always be about rewarding out of game decisions, hence you need to buy the books to play the class/ archetype/ options.
The game as written would do fine for organized play, you can't make broken characters.
Bring back leadership so I can use my class feature.
On a serious note, this made me laugh audibly.