I think this forum would be more friendlier in tone if we started sharing playtesting stories; actual session being run and how the rules played out.
That's what the designers want to hear and we should leave the design mechanics up to them. No point stating what we think should be changed which will lead us into fiery arguments, proven or otherwise.
In that way, I think everyone would benefit in this forum with a little lighter, matured and enjoyable postings with maximum effectiveness in changing PRPG.
In the near future, Jason will be returning from Gen Con UK and the Pathfinder Beta playtest will become his primary focus for next several months. As we prepare for that, I think it's important that everyone have an understanding of what we mean when we talk about "playtest feedback."
It's actually pretty straightforward—"playtest" is a compound verb made up of two smaller verbs, and both of those verbs are equally important to us. We've published a set of rules, and we want you to TEST them by PLAYING with them.
We're really not terribly interested in having people read the rules and then just imagine how things might play out. We already have talented folks on our payroll who are fully capable of doing that. What we need are people to put the rules into play in actual game situations, and tell us—good and bad—what happens.
I can promise you, when Jason's going through the playtest forums, reports of people actually playing sessions using the Pathfinder RPG rules will have a far greater chance of making an impact on the finished game than the people who are merely theorizing about potential rules applications.
Now, don't get me wrong, it's perfectly fine to theorize—that's where the TEST part of playtesting comes in. If you think a particular rule is problematic, set up a scenario to exercises that rule—ideally, a somewhat "realistic" scenario that one might find in a published adventure—and try it out with some friends. But please do it by actually PLAYING—and then, at the appropriate time, tell us about your playing and your testing in the playtest feedback forums.
If you've been playing this since the beginning, then the release of the beta has more to do with convenience than any major innovations, and I totally understand how that can be frustrating. For me, the adventure of PRPG is just getting started. I can't wait to really start playing it.
Sounds like I just jumped into PRPG at the right time.
I haven't been following the Alpha stages and just got myself the Beta. SO I'm happy to know that I can run it without the PHB.