Demon Slayer

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Edge93 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Critical specializations on anything that isn't a sword probably isn't worth investing into.

It's kind of funny that you say this considering that a lot of people (Myself included) think that the Sword crit effect is easily the least interesting. There are just so many other ways to get flat-footed on a foe and most of the other crit effects do something useful or interesting. I've only seen a few of them come up but honestly that's mostly because I keep forgetting about it because I'm not used to the new rule. It's been cool when it has come up though.

Not a very strong case, but it's more true that swords inexorably improve hit chance with no action cost. The stats are there.

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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.

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EberronHoward wrote:
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.

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To be fair, tying your shoelaces would probably be an activity and take two actions to complete, not worth the action cost in a fight so you're better off not wearing shoes.

Clearly halflings are OP because of this.

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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

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Paladin_Knight_marshmallow wrote:
I feel like this edition now parallels 5e too much, with your choice being made early level and the rest of it is just padding and waiting.

it feels almost diametrically opposite to 5th Ed, for me, in many, many ways.

I think that is intentional.

The Playtest, so far, feels more like a cross between 3rd and 4th Ed, with some entirely revolutionary concepts, to me.

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?

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The war of good vs good is over, it was hard fought, but in the end neither of us will be here.

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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.

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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.

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Just saying, Pokemon had two games.

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Ephialtes wrote:
Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:
Yeah, if it came down to choosing between P2 and 5e, it would be 5e. And I don't like 5e.

I always wonder why those, who critisize the lack of char options in PF2 are swooning over 5e, one of the most simplified and dumped down systems without any character individualization at all, where feats are just a rare option for attribute enhancements. Why not Conan 2D20 with its talent trees or other Systems with enhanced character or simply staying with PF1 which already has more supporting material than 5e will ever have?

Please enlighten me why 5e character developement has more options for customization than PF2, I am very curious.

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.

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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.

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Fighter with rogue dedication going Dread Striker -> double slice.

Max bluff, hope for the best. Having a 15-20 crit chance is the best you'll get on an appropriate challenge.

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Rangers actually got to skip PBS thanks to their combat style. They only took it if they were dedicated archers and not switch hitters.

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When we did the math threads earlier in the play test (first month) we discovered this and mapped out the damage distribution.

You have found the cap.

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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.

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Zaister wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
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.
3rd level item basically means "this item is of appropriate power for a character from level 3 on, but not before". Just as your level 3 class ability may remain useful later in the game, so can a level 3 item remain useful. The class ability might even scale to your higher level, just like the ring you mentioned scales, as you can use it for higher level weapons when these become level-appropriate for you.

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.

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TriOmegaZero wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
It just feels arbitrary in a fantasy game.
Just like spell levels, amirite?
Honestly kinda.
Should we get rid of character levels too?

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.

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The item levels made sense in Starfinder, because I could understand things like levels of security on a computer system, or levels of complexity/power on a digitally developed laser blaster.

It just feels arbitrary in a fantasy game.

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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.

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Gorbacz wrote:

No, I'm merely picking up a discussion on something you posted. What were you expecting, that everybody will nod and move along? This is a discussion forum, not a blog with comments turned off.

You still can fix your mistake and edit that part away. C'mon, I'm trying to help you. Give me something to work with.

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.

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Oh look Gorbacz is trying to ruin another thread....

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master_marshmallow wrote:
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.

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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:

  • Create a new edition of Pathfinder that's much simpler to learn and play—a core system that's easy to grasp but expandable—while remaining true to the spirit of what makes Pathfinder great: customization, flexibility of story, and rules that reward those who take the time to master them.

    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.

  • Ensure that the new version of the game allows us to tell the same stories and share in the same worlds as the previous edition, but also makes room for new stories and new worlds wherever possible.
    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.
    There are some innovations brought in, like the action economy. I've said from the beginning however, that using action taxes to 'balance' the action economy defeats its purpose and artifically re-creates the old action system so it doesn't play differently. There's some good stuff in there that open up the options, but in execution I'd say PF1 with the Unchained action economy is still the superior experience.
    Retraining and downtime along with the background stuff being core is a good thing, I want more of the evolution that came from the later releases in PF1 to be absorbed into PF2, fulfilling and expanding on the class niches to grant more freedom and customization.

  • Forge a more balanced play environment where every character has a chance to contribute to the adventure in a meaningful way by allowing characters to thrive in their defined role. Encourage characters to play to their strengths, while working with others to bolster their place in the group.

    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].

  • Make Pathfinder a game that's open and welcoming to all, no matter their background or experience.

    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.

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    I think the method for measuring balance is more important than the balance itself.

    One of my players made the joke already that someone at Paizo snapped their fingers to create perfect balance and half their customers dissipated.

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    Cyouni wrote:
    Baelor the Bard wrote:
    Cyouni wrote:
    Now I feel like making a dual-ax-wielding, ranged-heavy Barbarian, just to prove that it's playable without being useless (as people keep saying will happen as soon as you aren't optimal).
    Lol I don't think it would be bad necessarily. Unfortunately though as Barbarian is right now it has no ranged or two-weapon options so I feel like the multi-classing you would have to do in order to pull that off would mean you wouldn't have a whole like of actual Barbarian options in your build.

    Eh, I think people are vastly overestimating how much Double Slice and other fighter things are required to make a two-weapon character. I'm aware saying this is basically complete heresy on these boards, but you can just use the off-hand weapon as an agile one, so you can just start with d8s on the first attack and follow up with agile d6s. Is it slightly worse than Double Slice? Yes. Does it function? Yes. (If you were committed to multiclassing, dipping Ranger for Twin Takedown would be the only one I'd do.)

    Using the hatchet as a ranged weapon (mediocre though the range may be, I committed to an axe barbarian) and getting returning on it is decent for ranged things. Bonus - since rage applies to melee weapons, it still works on thrown axes. Alternately, if it's for the level 12 playtest, you can use Spirit's Wrath as your "range".

    Stat line of 16/16/14/10/10/12 at first level would be mostly acceptable. None of this is optimal, but it's all totally workable, and I'm pretty sure it would function fine in an actual game. It's certainly stronger than my last character was.

    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.

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    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.

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    I am.

    I want enemy/ PC parallelism, it would fix the math, but require a complete rewrite of the entire game where giving some classes a little boost here and there might be substantially less work.

    Which is kinda where I'm at with this, why advocate for the game I want when the devs have a different path in mind?

    Jason says it's not built for organized play, but I want to know what aspects of this aren't directly influenced by it here. It's been a criticism of Paizo for literally years that they care about the PFS crowd more than home games, and despite what they're telling us here, they aren't showing it in their actions or their products.

    I doubt Jason will come back here for the conversation, and I have no idea what I'm supposed to look forward to next week. My players have given up on the play test as of yesterday. They do seem interested in what I'm working on as an aside tho.

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    Dire Ursus wrote:
    master_marshmallow wrote:

    You'll never get better tactics than using PF1's RAE with the vast variety of characters and viable combat styles, along with the lack of superfluous action taxes that eat away over half your turn just to hold your weapon correctly and use a class feature.

    The new action economy has a good framework, but they're micro-managing too much and the game doesn't play well. My players got sick of me telling them "no you can't do that" over and over and over and over again when they're just trying to move, use class feature, and attack.

    Character creation is difficult because you have 4 different boxes of feats to track and you get no freedom with them. That means you have to read all four sections and figure out what the best combos are, instead of picking one feat that you want for 1st level, plus maybe a bonus feat that your class gives you.

    Character creation is the longest process of this play test.

    We took less than an hour to create our characters in the first adventure. It's usually sat at around 2 hours for each chapter thereafter. What is your group getting hung up on?

    At first it was about realizing which Skill feats we wanted, but could not qualify for with signature skills, but it got much harder to do builds once we started looking at how to do items and how to distribute wealth.

    The alchemist never actually finished his character, we decided to wing it and start playing because we had all been sitting there for an extra hour waiting for him to get done.

    Then there's the problems that come from needing to constantly flip back and forth in the book to reference what all your abilities could do and it makes it much harder than having say, the domain powers' descriptions actually listed with the cleric to compare the options, instead we have to sift through all the spells to find them, or turn the page back and forth over and over again.

    Then there's the reading that comes into figuring out which feats exist to fulfill a concept, and I have had players flat out turn a 180 on a build after realizing their concept is not possible in the book as written because of how restrictive it is.

    I think Ancestry feats need to go, I don;t like how they stagnate an complicate the character creation process, and it feels like I'm forced to take them because the devs want to make sure I take them lest they be wasted ink, which they feel like when I compare them to being able to just take the feats I want in PF1.

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    You'll never get better tactics than using PF1's RAE with the vast variety of characters and viable combat styles, along with the lack of superfluous action taxes that eat away over half your turn just to hold your weapon correctly and use a class feature.

    The new action economy has a good framework, but they're micro-managing too much and the game doesn't play well. My players got sick of me telling them "no you can't do that" over and over and over and over again when they're just trying to move, use class feature, and attack.

    Character creation is difficult because you have 4 different boxes of feats to track and you get no freedom with them. That means you have to read all four sections and figure out what the best combos are, instead of picking one feat that you want for 1st level, plus maybe a bonus feat that your class gives you.

    Character creation is the longest process of this play test.

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    I'm not gonna call myself the core fan base. I will say that the pieces fit when viewing most aspects of the game in the light of organized play. It certainly plays that way.

    But again, it seems our opinions on what makes the game work at its best must be vastly different.

    I'd like to have some sort of goal or knowledge about what the team is working on to know what to test/play next.

    It's not impossible that the few of us here who like the OP are a minority compared to the survey results.

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    We can state the problems with proficiency to be summed up as:

    1) the game's bounded math requiring similar/ homogenous results on the d20 roll doesn't lend itself well to a class based system, unless you get more abilities to modulate that die roll (5e's solution)

    2) keeping the rules for Nat 1 and 20 negate the +/-10 system in so much as the binding in the d20's roll should not be necessary

    3) proficiency itself is not a baseline assumption of the game's chassis, rather it is seemingly distributed at random for the classes at levels that otherwise would be 'dead' which leads to several builds lacking in capacity to participate in the critical system.

    Proficiency was sold to us as being a mechanic which improves you, but it doesn't. It's assumed in the game's math, which results in a game where anyone not playing with those assumptions baked into their character creation process will fail more than they succeed. This more than likely is what's causing my non cookie cutter builds to feel weak by comparison. I truly believe the baseline assumptions of the game should not include proficiency at all, and instead use 0 as the baseline, that way getting +1 and above actually does improve you. I also think the math should be loosened up so individual characters (and classes generally) can modulate their rolls modifiers with active choices that affect their capacity to roll well. The rogue is actually in pretty good shape in this regard as Dread Striker guarantees +3 okk a success and +4 on a crit (which falls exactly into the range I described when I did my math thread) I whole heartedly believe more actions like this which toggle the hit/crit ratio will fix the game more than forcing a rewrite of the entire book.

    Mathematically, if a class like the paladin got a smite ish ability which added CHA to hit and damage, then taxing an action to use it would reduce the value of that bonus because it eats into your ability to roll multiple attacks. It's a tactic which makes your primary attack worth more, and it makes it worth focusing on. It's also mathematically balanced around making the crit range equal to landing a second hit, and that creates a situation where your total damage potential is less than swinging three times, but more consistent. That consistency is what makes the game feel right when you invest in a character's abilities.

    I was under the impression in the blog era that the crit system was meant to be triggered often, so martial builds would be seeing it a lot more and have cool things happen, analogous to spells. Given how HP scales up on enemies, my concerns about encounter design have been more or less confirmed. The math doesn't work.

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    Freendrix wrote:
    master_marshmallow wrote:

    One of my players went to GenCon and it was asked upon the devs how they came to the decisions on how to make the new edition, and they flat out said it was from PFS surveys.

    This is an edition designed for and around PFS, it's not only evident in how the rules are written, but in how they are executed where cookie-cutter builds are not just expected, but mandated with the illusion of choice for other things which are not functional at the table.

    I encourage you to play OpenLegend to see what real "illusion of choice" is.

    I'd rather not, and I'm not sure Paizo appreciates edition waring and telling people to go play other people's games on their forums.

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    One of my players went to GenCon and it was asked upon the devs how they came to the decisions on how to make the new edition, and they flat out said it was from PFS surveys.

    This is an edition designed for and around PFS, it's not only evident in how the rules are written, but in how they are executed where cookie-cutter builds are not just expected, but mandated with the illusion of choice for other things which are not functional at the table.

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    This came up in my game where the players were bottle necked in a path and the lead PC went down, the other players didn't know if they could stand over the body in the same square.

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    Given the changes to things like classes such as the ranger and rogue in 1.3, it would seem the area where I'm focused in is not the area where the game is being focused. I see the changes here and from them I can derive that there is a conflict in what my input would be compared to what I infer the design goals to be.

    Considering the biggest changes I've seen in 1.3 are around those specific issues as well as the skill table changes, I'm not sure I'd want to fight for another change to it if it's going to be wasted effort.

    If I continue to play test, I'll want more knowledge on what the focus area really is and on what issues Paizo cares most about addressing.

    Mark has a great track record, and Stephen too on Facebook (which I also frequent) of at least dropping in with 'noted.'

    I'm just not sure I'm the one that does matter here. It's no one's fault, I'm not upset, but it may just be time to find my own path. I've been reading the 3.5 SRD a lot lately.

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    It may not matter to anyone here, but I also really want a portrait character sheet, and being able to have a single sheet of paper for a functional character sheet is kinda important to me. I don't like multi page character sheets.

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    Ranishe wrote:
    Now, when I see bards playing (of which I've seen 3 now) I notice that the DCs for their performances always go up, no matter whether they're using a lower level class feat or not.
    Considering that things like inspire heroics is always a percentage increase in should this be handled otherwise? If the dc did not scale, bards would end up reliably providing greater and greater percent effectiveness increases as the game progressed. I can see this being a problem when that means scaling the effect such that a party with a bard is 50 - 60% more powerful than the one without.

    The fact that it both costs a Spell Point (a very limited resource in PF2) and requires a difficult DC check at all levels makes it not scale with you. It would make more sense to me if it either:

    a) used a flat DC which is harder to hit at the level you gain the ability, meaning you get only an additional +1 a set % of the time, which then probabilisticly improves as you level so that when you reach higher levels you succeed at it more to show your progress


    b) didn't require a perform check at all and instead automatically improved itself either upon gaining higher proficiency or reaching some level threshold as certain feats scale in this edition.

    That would remove the coin flip scenario and actually create an effect that made you feel like you got better at it as you leveled up, but the fact that it costs a limited resource and still includes a 50-50 shot of not really being that substantial given said resource, it just doesn't feel right from a gamism perspective.

    Instead of making Hunt Target a more universally applicable ability regardless of combat style choice, the combat styles you get access to is specially tailored for the class and forces it or nothing else to be functional at the table, hence my statement that I cannot customize my character
    I still don't quite understand this. Are you saying that the ranger combat styles are so effective in their synergy with hunt target that a ranger would be (relatively) ineffectively built if not making use of them? Is that different from the ranger's combat styles in 1e other than the fact that we have 3 to work with in 2e vs however many in 1e?

    I think this underlines another fundamental issue I see in the design space, we're specifically comparing the rulebook exclusively to the CRB for PF1 in this context, but the ranger in PF1 from the APG on had a plethora of combat styles they could freely choose from which was supplemental to the class build (which honestly I felt should be incorporated to all martial classes). Given the ranger's expanded options by the end of PF1, I would think it better to consider the identity of the class in its fully expanded and evolved role at the end of PF1 rather than trying to recreate a replica of PF1's classes juxatopsed onto the rules architecture of PF2. Standardizing martially oriented classes into being able to choose from a list of Combat Styles ripped from the expanded ranger role would have been ideal for me personally. As presented, the ranger cannot do all the things it could in the previous edition, like the ever so famous switch-hitter build given the lack of support for taking general combat feats and the action taxes involved in switching and using weapons.

    I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the +/-10 crit system is meant to be a game mechanic tailored to the fighter class specifically, with the intention being that fighters have the most access to it and thus fighters are the only class in the game who gain access to the critical specialization effects of more than one weapon group (or single weapon in certain classes).

    I expect it's rather as others surmise: a way to handle save or die spells more reasonably. It allows something like sleep to potentially be encounter ending on a target, but not be all or nothing like comperable spells in 1e. In addition we also have more spells that have an effect on failure, leading to spells having near certainty of accomplishing at least


    I think it's pretty evident that spells were intended to focus on the bottom of the four tiered success system for their more relevant texts to the players and that critical success was meant more for the attack/critical hit engine of the game.

    I don't hate the proficiency system of having +/-10 be the relevant modifiers should they appear on the die roll, but the Thanos esk perfectly balanced 50-55% success rate being balanced off fully optimized characters will lead to this edition not really having that much of a variety in the characters that will end up getting played.

    I don't think binding tha math around a different number system like +1/2 level or +1/3 level will change much, unless the ability for your rolls to give you more of a success/failure rate is also there.

    I like having nat 1 and 20 auto crits because it means you can have much more variety in the middle without having to worry about always balancing the d20 roll around that coin-flip rate. Given that the rate is based off full optimization, I think that for proficiency to really showcase its relevance, we need to have the base DC/AC ranges to always be based on the Trained proficiency (+0) and the other relevant numbers to be based on the average for any given stat at that particular level.

    For example, at level 5 the range for any given stat is from 8 to 19, or a -1 to +4. The average is 1.5, so a DC for a simple task ought to be around 16-17. (Compared to 1.3's 18 DC for medium difficulty) Experts at this level will see marginal success rates over trained, but untrained is going to hope for a higher roll.

    At level 10, this changes to the range being 8 to 20, or an average of 2. So the bounded DC should be 22 (compared to 24 in 1.3's update).

    If proficiency is not assumed in the math considering DCs and ACs then proficiency will actually matter, and as that average increases the DCs will scale to represent that.

    It would hypothetically make the proficiency mechanics actually functional as they are sold to us in that they make your character better for investing into them, rather than by mandating them to be perfectly balanced at 50-55% efficiency.

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    Jason Bulmahn wrote:

    Cleaned up a number of snarky posts that were just unnecessary. I don't care what "side" you feel that you are on, as to the direction of this game, but baiting and trolling are just not acceptable.

    We realize that the playtest process might not be for everyone and that some of the directions we are taking the game might not be for every group. We hope, that through this process, we will get to a game that most will enjoy. If you find yourself not being one of those, while unfortunate, I would still like to thank you for providing your input to the process.

    I try and give the best input I can from a perspective that looks at what makes the game functional in all its best ways. I'm a big fan of GNS theory, and when writing my own materials (of which I have a lot accumulated over the years) I hold it as sacrament above all other philosophies, and I hold them all equal. So when I evaluate things from the book, I look at it from this perspective, but also with the caveat of knowing there are other systems which attempt to tackle the same problems and compare what I perceive to be the better of the options.

    For instance, given the bounded math of the PF2 proficiency system, it functions very similarly to the 5e system, only with inflated numbers to represent 20 levels. I actually think PF2's system is superior in that regard for the instances where there are flat DCs with respect to the simlationist perspective. It functions better. However, given the tightness of the math where success and failure fall into that coin flip scenario, I think (and supposed during the Blog era) that re-roll mechanics would become necessary in order to achieve if not more guaranteed levels of success, at least the illusion that it could be.

    My understanding of the +/- 10 system leads me to believe that it is desirable on behalf of the developers that every level of success can be accessed on any given d20 roll. That seems evident in the mathematical analysis of the ACs, DCs, and the caps for PC modifiers. I would posit that in such a system that the rules on a 20 and 1 would no longer become necessary, and that 1's and 20's showing up need not be considered OR the tight math paradigm that controls the rate of success could be standardized by some average value of all possibilities while retaining the 1 and 20 mechanics which would maintain the four tiered success system. I believe the game does not need both of these rules and that it actually is detrimental to the design process. My preference would be the latter, with more openness to a situation where the variability of PC modifiers can be opened up more to enable higher rates of success.
    One could apply a simple addition to proficiency where you gain a number of re-rolls equal to your proficiency modifier, which may perceptibly solve the issue entirely.

    I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the +/-10 crit system is meant to be a game mechanic tailored to the fighter class specifically, with the intention being that fighters have the most access to it and thus fighters are the only class in the game who gain access to the critical specialization effects of more than one weapon group (or single weapon in certain classes). My play tests showed this when I rolled a 19 on the die with an 'optimized' wizard (who was built for archery as an elf) and it still did not infer a critical success. I believe this was intentional, for better or worse, not really relevant. Having an entire game mechanic that is tied to a single class with the illusion that other classes may access it seems to be a bit misleading in the language of the game. Seems to me, at least.

    Now, when I see bards playing (of which I've seen 3 now) I notice that the DCs for their performances always go up, no matter whether they're using a lower level class feat or not. I think this is a bad direction to go into for the reasons I laid out in the OP. It may be that it is intended for the bard to not want to Inspire Heroics all the time, but the math paradigm of the game suggests that it is mandatory, so my players had we could say, colorful conflict there.

    Then we get into the feat design, which I'm actually a fan of, because I like the implication of skill feats. I like broader skills that cover a large variety of tasks with your choice in specialization dictating more of your role at the table, I like that it enables players to engage in exploration mode more which I think is a very good thing. Naturally nothing is perfect, but I think it's a strong foundation, and removing signature skills from the game I think was the correct decision for the game's overall health, I know I certainly had many more character options open up just from that change alone. However the Ancestry feat and General feat design space seems too limited and the scope feels off to me. I also am no fan of the weapon system, as math (and my play testing of a strknife wielder) has shown that lower damage dice weapons simply do not function at the table. Couple this with the way combat feats are oriented in the game and it definitely feels too narrow in the scope of what a given class is expected to wield and be successful with. These issues seem to be exacerbated by the updates rather than enhanced, given the updates to ranger and rogue as they are. Instead of making Hunt Target a more universally applicable ability regardless of combat style choice, the combat styles you get access to is specially tailored for the class and forces it or nothing else to be functional at the table, hence my statement that I cannot customize my character.

    I have plenty of suggestions on these, but I respect that you and the other developers may have a different vision for how this game is meant to be played. And I think that's where the conflict lies, because fundamentally I want a system where I can juxtapose different styles and weapon configurations on a large number of classes (if not all of them) in order to add variety not only for my players, but for the encounters I write for them.

    It may not be that big of a secret that I'm mostly a homebrew player, but I like having a sound foundation within which to home brew, and I did/do have plans to branch out on my own for publication and getting my own ideas out there. It was my hope that PF2 would be the ideal system, as laid out in the OP for how I run my games much of the framework of PF2 aligns perfectly. For instance, in the section on Running the Game I found it paralleled my own way of teaching the game to new players almost verbatim. That's good.

    But, given this being the end of the second month of the play test, and the updates and errata we've gotten seem to indicate that many aspects of the game which conflicted are meant to remain in tact, it just seems your vision for what makes the game function well is different from mine. That's okay, I think you have a solid foundation for a great game here, and I've not been too vocal on any aspects of it beyond the combat simulator because that's mostly where I don't see what you see. For instance, I don't think the coin-flip paradigm of the d20 system is good for the game, and I'm not a fan of re-roll mechanics which seem to be more and more important as I keep playing and keep failing more often than I succeed. Personally, for issues like combat, I've done plenty of threads where I talk about the RoShamBo effect that implementing the Unchained Action Economy had for PF1, and that it genuinely equalized and balanced the different combat styles and I saw characters built without say, Power Attack on every build. Given the currency of the action economy now, it would seem that the ability to trade an action (and thus damage potential for crit fishing on the bottom attack) for improved crit/hit chance should be the direction the game goes in to give players the choices that enhance their primary attacks in different ways. I did a math thread where I found the sweet spot for where this should be to be around the +3 - +6 range over 20 levels, to accommodate mathematically for comparing the chance to land a crit on the primary attack to landing a standard hit on the secondary, which in all cases but rare weapon exceptions equals the same damage. For fighters who naturally have the best crit chance anyway this means they focus on making those multiple attacks where other classes like the paladin would be spending actions to enhance their attacks, but making fewer of them. It also happened to align perfectly with where secondary stat attributes land as far as leveling up goes, and I think that is relevant information.

    My players are largely disheartened by how limiting the new system feels, they just don't get the same sense of freedom in character building that we got from PF1, and it feels like a completely different game with different intentions.

    I know I'm not alone in wanting to have an in-depth discussion on the practical design goals of the game and the implications of what certain systems could have in comparison to others, and I felt the need to come back to this thread to not only hopefully start such a discussion, but also to thank you for taking the time to actually respond to this.

    I can Imagine writing, formatting, and editing large changes to the rules takes up most of the office hours you have and thus prevents you from really reaching out here as much as we seem to think you can, and I respect that you came here to respond to me, and the others who care enough to follow my input. Not everyone can be an animal like Mark.

    Again, thanks for being here.

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    Update 1.3 has been largely disappointing for me. It's becoming increasingly difficult to call for optimism in this play test when the issues that are presented in the game are not really seeming to be addressed yet.

    Resonance I was willing to hold off on, because I understand that it requires a large overhaul of most of the game's engine given that it was an integral mechanic to the game's math and assumptions about character creation.

    Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20. This probably comes from the crit system with it seeming to indicate that the devs want you to always have a chance to both critically succeed and critically fail (and for some reason keeping the nat 1 and 20 rules don't suffice for this). Thus the game's engine requires you to have such values recorded on your sheet for the game to give you the experience that the devs want you to have. Bards for instance, must always have a chance for their performances which cost resources to not work. Doesn't matter how much you invest into it, etc.

    This means the actionable tasks that players engage in are not getting changed, except in a few places where it becomes more difficult, not less. As you progress in levels, the tasks you are expected to get better at don't get easier, because their difficulty is set at a rate, not a flat number. Again, bards are the easiest example off the top of my head.

    Then there's the healing issue. In place of amping up the roles for secondary healers, we get more skill usage for medicine, which more or less mandates it on all characters. The rate that it scales at is also fixed, rather than a fixed DC, or using the amount of damage healed as the DC or what have you. The solutions here are not intuitive and don't make the game easier to run.

    Then there's the class feat paradigm where we see the ranger showcase exactly the design mentality that myself and others have been campaigning against here. I posted a whole thread with a mathematical analysis to show why Double Slice needed to stay in the game as it was and the other styles and game mechanics should be using it as the baseline for how to design feats. I praised it and was incredibly optimistic about that feat because compared to all the other combat oriented style feats it's the only one that made me feel like my character was better for taking it instead of worse. With the way that the ranger and rogue were redesigned it is clear now that paizo has no intentions of a baseline combat system and would rather each class be forced into a specific weapon niche and a specific style niche. Rogues can't ever sneak attack with a weapon that has damage dice over a d8? Well, those 4d6 you get by 20th level aren't going to make you better than a fighter using the stock mechanics and a d12 weapon, because math. And that's the best you're ever going to get. The lower damage dice weapons have been shown to really be completely false options and it doesn't help to make the game more restrictive than it already was. I cannot customize my character.

    I had really high hopes for this system, since it included so many of my own house rules and incorporated the better aspects of the splat releases that dealt with running the game, exploration and downtime are great pillars to build the game around, despite most of the book being dedicated to the combat simulator. But those pillars are not enough to make me keep wanting to play a game that is designed to make sure I can't succeed. I keep getting increasingly dissapointed in my play test results at the table and I just re-ran part 1 with a different assortment of players and it was not fun for them. The flaws of the system which affect us are the very things that Paizo does not seem to want to budge on (save for Resonance) and I'm sick of telling my players "just wait two more weeks and maybe they'll do something about it," only to be met with disappointment. Before the 1.3 update, this thread would have been called "Marshmallow's Positivity Thread" and I planned to break down all the improvements I saw from each update and point out that all the changes were for the better of the game and to open up more options to the players while also making the baseline success rate of the system more accessible. Now I think I'm more interested in finding a different system to invest my time into learning. Hopefully there is still going to be a crowd for supporting PF1 to get advice and suggestions from, but I have my suspicions that those forums and community will die off once this edition gets rolling.

    I'm really sad to say that I think I'm finally ready to throw in the towel on this edition, I'm just not the kind of player that Paizo wants money from. I want more freedom, and the ability to tell the stories I want with the kinds of characters that can succeed in those stories. Good luck to everyone that is still here, and to the posters who care enough to follow my input, thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone in my opinions about what makes the game great.

    Stay gold.

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    I'd prefer TAC just get nixed entirely, and treat a failure as a touch attack. Thus a crit failure means no contact, and a regular failure is contact with no damage.

    Would clean a lot of stuff up.

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    The design place for the fighter is meant to be analogous to it's presentation in PF1, where they introduced all the critical feats for effects fighters get to activate on crits. Now fighters are designed to have close to exclusive access to critical hits with weapons and are the only class that can switch weapon groups maintaining proficiency. This allows them access to all critical specialization effects. It's not inaccessible to the other classes, but it's much more ala cart for the fighter. Later on the fighter gets a few flexibility slots for taking those really situational feats with niche application. There's also a mechanic around the fighter getting extra reactions to be able to use all his cool tactics at least once per turn. It's basically the only class that gets this. This is your PF2 fighter right now.

    Given the supplements in PF1, the fighter was intended more to have an equipment specialization class. The fighter could add any weapon quality with warrior spirit, so long as their weapon training was high enough. They could craft their own armor, and got magic armor built right into the class features. Then, they got stamina which opened them up to skip silly feat prerequisites, and gave them a pool ability to boost their combat. As if skipping feat prerequisites, and being able to boost any attack up by +5, this class feature also had an upgrade for almost every combat feat in the role playing line of feats. When combining some choice feats with a special item specifically for fighters, they could swap around like 4 combat feats, enough to grab an entire feat chain.

    All of this was enhanced by magic items, this may seem controversial, but a class that functions like a Tony Stark class and can get feats to craft runes and armor could be the ultimate martial class. The weapon and armor mastery stuff could really serve as true class feats, and the combat style identity feats could be openly accessible. That's my ideal PF2 fighter. Open feats, plus access to crafting and equipment expertise. I'll the the "weapon style archetype" feat chains as well.

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    Reactions equal to charisma!!!

    Vengeful oath through a weapon.


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    It means you publicly display that you are more virtuous than someone as justification for flaming and insulting them.

    I'm no fan of PC culture, but I accept that we adhere to it as policy on this site, but for some reason it's still acceptable to flame someone for being upset about shoddy game mechanics.

    Doesn't mean we shouldn't call attention to it, but sometimes harsh ish language may be the only appropriates way to express one's feelings without a wall of superfluous text.

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    I'm in the service industry.... I deal with this attitude all the time.

    I don't think we should be putting posters down for their choice in words. Clearly you disagree.

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