Agreed. I personally would like to see NO trap options intentionally in the system, but I think once a game gets enough options you'll get them unintentionally.
Which strikes me as a consequence of higher-level design decisions about where to put the complexity.
A set of well-defined character classes, each of which has flavourful and thematically apt abilities (be they archetypes or feats or however you want to represent unique distinguishing abilities), is a reasonably finite set of things to test, and if you add another class, you are adding one class and one class progression's set of additional things to test. (Leaving out multi-classing, which is an abomination.)
Implementing that complexity in abilities that can be mixed and matched, otoh, gives you a number of combinations that is multiplied by the total number of abilities every time you add a new one, which fairly rapidly becomes something where it's impossible to playtest every possible combination for traps or game-breakers within the lifespan of the universe, let alone a plausible release cycle.
My feeling is that PF1 tends far more toward the second option than I would like, and I fear that PF2 has pulled back from it enough.
(And yeah, that does cut back on flexibility some. But as I think I have said before, give me forty solid iconics and I'll be happy with a game where those are the only characters I can play.)
I wish people would stop using that sort of shorthand for finding high-level play complex; the arithmetic may be long and fiddly, but it's arithmetic, not calculus or anything more abstruse than that. When the group I currently GM for get together, the average number of maths/sciency doctorates per person is about 1.5; and while I am well aware that makes us statistical outliers (y'know, because of having a grounding in statistics), I still appreciate the game being fun for that set of people as well as for newcomers.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I am simultaneously looking forward to the bestiary and dreading it.
Likewise; I fear it's going to have much more restatting PF1e monsters, and much less new content, than I would ideally wish for, because given even a moderately robust conversion system, I'd want maybe a dozen examples at most and apart from that the only existing monsters I'd value entries for are ones that were very low on flavour text in the PF1e bestiaries, like dragons.
It seems to me that "reward system mastery" and "avoid trap options" should not be mutually exclusive goals. A system with a baseline of everyone's character being competent and capable enough to succeed at whatever challenges the game offers them, but with options opening to be better than that, might be difficult but I don't believe it is entirely impossible.
My personal preference would be for design around a greater increase in complexity as the level goes up, rather than complexity in the initial build. In other words, give new players a chance to get a handle on that scale of complexity as the game progresses (it will always be a sight easier to implement E6 for those that favour a simpler game than to build working house-rules for high-end complexity). It does not feel to me like PF2.0 is going in the directions I would favour for this, but I am willing to wait and see.
Things I am unambiguously looking forward to:
1) significant reduction in attacks of opportunity.
2) cool flavourful unique monster abilities.
It may be worth noting that there are a non-trivial number of people for whom graphical interfaces are awkward and non-intuitive and who work and think much better in text.
That sounds a lot more combat-focused than the games I tend to run, which I can quite see making a difference; if your focus is social intrigue, I see no reason for those two characters not to be equally capable. Then again, if a magic-user/thief with AC like that is in frontline combat at all, it would seem to me that something's gone off the rails on a tactical level.
I love playing competent logistical support. One of my life goals is to take a character from 1 to 20 without ever doing a single point of damage directly.
Maybe forming nations and caring about borders and lines on maps is a specifically human oddity that all the other sentient races of Golarion look at funny and go along with only a bit and reluctantly.
I'm sure I remember something to the effect that dragons, for example, see the world as divided up into their individual territories and generally could not care less about how the talking monkeys organise.
I dislike this, compared to earlier D&D cosmologies, on a practical level because you can only kind of squeeze the equivalent of three of the paraelemental planes in there and there's no room for the quasi-elemental planes at all. (I also miss the outer planes from the Great Wheel that did not make it into Paizo's cosmology.)
I dislike it on an aesthetic level because it reduces most planar travel to essentially extremely long-distance teleporting. I far prefer thinking of Shadow and Faerie as adjacent to the Material Plane on opposite sides in one extra spatial dimension beyond the Material's three, the Ether adjacent in a second which leads to the Elemental planes, and Astral and the Outer Planes in a third.
Rahadoum could work in a setting where religion and Gods are left up to faith, but in Golarion it sticks out like a sore thumb, and one that would be better off amputated at that.
I have a strong desire to run a campaign in which Rahadoum turns out to have been intentionally helped along by agreement between the gods in order to create a location where, for example, outsider representatives of LG and LE deities could meet to negotiate a temporary alliance against some specific CE threat, without having to worry about that upsetting or demoralising any of the faithful of the LG deity in question.
One minor irritation I have, though it makes sense in terms of what Paizo can plausibly afford, is that their fantasy names appear to go through a rather limited localisation check. If I were still living in Ireland, running a game with characters whose name ends in "fek" or a major ethnicity whose name ends in "s#*&e" would be a non-starter because of those being local pronunciations of common obscenities.
(Huh. This interface doesn't censor "Keleshite" as a whole word.)
As a person who is actually from Ireland, lack of a fantasy Ireland in Golarion is something I am relieved by, because the overwhelming majority of fantasy Irelands are excruciatingly bad.
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
One minor thing I dislike is not getting a lot more on the Harbingers of Fate, and what they were expecting to happen and trying to bring about. I would have loved a Harbingers of Fate AP but that seems less likely with every passing year.
I'm one of "those people". The grim fate of all souls, whether good or evil, is a very repulsive feature of the setting.
An afterlife that works like a physical process, at that level, rather than being solely morality-based is a major plus for me in terms of suspension of disbelief. The fundamental underlying principles of the universe being something like entropy rather than something like justice is a scale I find works better.
I definitely do not want to return to days of rolling ability scores, that often resulted in bitterness when one of the guys rolled up an "elven hero" and the rest were playing farmboys with pitchforks.
My players would likely rise in revolt if there is not an option for getting exactly that result, because making characters of that sort of different level of capacity work well together is a large part of the fun for us.
Captain Morgan wrote:
That certainly seems like good grounds to build on, but in and of itself does not guarantee the kind of dramatic qualitative shifts I would favour for level extension. Not unless some of these feats do specifically paradigm-shifting things, on a par with the way first getting flight or teleportation shifts the possibilities for a party.
Oh yes. And I do value that the range of stories we have about these characters covers some involve that aspect of their identity prominently and some to which it is less central. Thank you for that.
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
I recall an encounter in the Age of Worms where the main opponent had a number of Liches as minions and that our party effectively dealt with the Liches in a round or two before focusing on the boss du jour.
What I mostly look for in a level-progression-based RPG is the feel of the scope of possibilities changing dramatically over time, and both being terrified of hobgoblins at level 1 and being able to treat liches as bugs on your windshield by the last quarter or so of the level progression feel important to that. I am still hoping that with time we will see PF2 make something akin to epic work - preferably not a mythic-equivalent, I specifically want something after the end of rather than parallel to the standard level progression. (I still miss the I part of BECMI, which was my first introduction to level-based gaming.)
It also seems to me that it will always be easier to play E6 (or E10 or E15 or whatever fits your preferences) within a game that extends to higher levels, than to bolt home-made attempts at epic onto a game that is designed with a lower cap on powers and abilities.
Lucas Yew wrote:
I'd like to see Imperial Dragons in 2E rules as fast as I can. Then Kaiju, that's what's on the top of my surface desires as of now...
If the PF2 Bestiary format supports dragon entries with more room for flavour text, then seeing the Primal and Outer and Esoteric and Planar Dragons get that would be right at the top of my list.
A class I have been thinking about recently that would be fun to port over is the 3/3.5 Jester, a master of improvised weapons, the man who always wins the bar fight (that isn't the monk). Someone who can play out the "Faceless Knight" Lancelot stories where he bludgeoned a man in full plate with a chair leg. I want a guy who can walk into Copper Tree, pick up LITERALLY ANYTHING, and then go and fend off a horde of goblins with it, maybe even a hobgoblin or 5.
That's kind of what I've always wanted a Brawler to be.
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm hoping there won't be a lot of class bloat. Especially classes with incredibly narrow focuses. Some of these being suggested seem way too narrow to me to justify a base class. I want classes to be broad concepts that fit a lot of different, smaller concepts inside of them. Archetypes do a good job for more niche roles.
If they're distinct enough to be archetypes, to my mind they are distinct enough to be separate classes.
If ever there was an AP that worked as a Bolivian Army Ending WotR was it.
I was kind of hoping for some canonical outcome for Alderpash, though if that were going to turn up at all Return of the Runelords would have been the place for it.
Please don't do this. The sandboxy sidequests that do not tie on to the main plot are among the things that make Kingmaker Kingmaker in a good way.
All of Paizo's APs have a solid main story. Not so many of them are focused as much as Kingmaker on that shape of giving you a slice of world.
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
This is kind of excluding the middle ground of those of us who play with visuals for the tactical layout only, for which a small whiteboard, some pawns and spare dice suffice. (One of the things I like about not being an undergrad any more is not playing in contexts where bottlecaps were the primary representations, so there was a direct linear relation between how late in a session it was and how many entities you could represent via how much people had had to drink.)
Great book, with some very lovely stuff in. The cosmological information gives me vague thoughts about how to do a well-beyond-Epic campaign in the PF multiverse, though it would likely not remain the recognisable PF multiverse for long; the mention of twamni felt reminiscent of the scale at which Nobilis works.
Was it just me, or did it seem implied that the ultimate truth Tabris realised and then lost is
it's all a role-playing game
I have always wanted to run a planar game where both the proteans and the slaad keep appearing. But never at the same time. And never acknowledging the existence of each other. So when, for example, the players ask the proteans about the slaad, the answer can be condensed to just "I don't know what you are talking about. You are delusional/funny. We are the embodiment/caretakers of chaos/Maelstorm." Then the protean leaves, they open the next door, and it's frog surprise time again.
Bonus points if every time the slaad show up they sing "The Michigan Rag".
Does it outright say anywhere Karzoug created them? I always assumed so, along with the inverted giants (giants turned INSIDE-OUT yet still alive) and runeslave giants. He seems to have a thing for giants and he's an evil transmuter so making horrible mutant monsters seems par for the course.
IIRC WotR talks about Alderpash creating the inverted giants as a response to the existence of the rune giants, which would have been a good bit before Karzoug's time.
I have a feeling I read something somewhere to the effect that, except for the combinations given specific Bestiary entries, any combination of humanoids will give a Mongrelman, but I can't find a reference for it now.
Joey Virtue wrote:
So what are your thoughts on this?
I think it's very unlikely to happen, and that it would not be to my taste at all if it did; starting from the beginning is a great deal of the fun for me. Though I don't myself feel 1st and 2nd as particularly distinct; as a DM my general approach is "be generous before 7th, take a neutral approach between 7th and 15th, and be brutal above 15th" and that seems to fit well with how the curve of the mechanics fits the story-shape of APs. As a player, which I am less often, those early levels are vital for getting a character to settle for me; their first serious fight, first encounters with key elements of an adventurers' life, are usually formative on their personalities.
Also, I believe the plan is that every PF2 AP will go to 20th (which makes me very happy), so that specific issue no longer needs fixing.
I imagine there will be at least some demand for level 13+ content after three different APs that conclude after 12th level. Three-part APs seems like it would be perfect for that.
So, for those of us who like being able to take characters through one story all through their career, and assuming that SF AP volumes stay the same length, would nine-part APs.
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I am really hoping it won't be Mengkare, because the trope of "Utopian experiment turns out to actually be horribly evil" is massively overdone, and pernicious besides. As Kingmaker players may have learned from a certain particularly irritating NPC in the second volume, there is no better way of stopping power being used for positive ends than to foster a culture of instinctive distrust of anyone trying.
I loved Grigori, he was a wonderful way of not only vexing PCs in ways that needed them to think outside the box, but making them really think through what they were doing and why.
I'm happy with the instalments as they are now, and I have no idea whether a biweekly release schedule for chapters half that length would be feasible as a thing generally but it would seem a huge and disruptive change to Paizo's current model, and I am very opposed to that. Monthly installments the length of the Dungeon adventures. which would effectively mean half the content in any given span of time, I would be strongly opposed to.
I think PF2.0 APs going to 20th will be fine, though in my unrealistic perfect world, 2.0 leads to a reworked version of epic and we can have the occasional AP going into those rarefied heights. I could cope with a 3-part AP from time to time if it meant a 9-part AP for the rest of that year.
If someone is evil most of their life, but sees the light and turns good before they die, what happens?
Is it explained anywhere WHY he wants to destroy everything? If so, why is it?
I don't know that wanting to destroy everything is a problem for an embodiment of the concept of destruction; it's far from clear to me whether Rovagug has enough of a choice about that for motivation to even come into the picture.
Which AP is it ?
The solution that would first occur to me is that any enemy with an Int above 5 is going to focus heavily on the more dangerous characters to the exclusion of the others, but not all player groups are good with that. Likewise, depending on the AP, tweaking so that thematic fit is necessary for success where mechanical optimisation less useful cou;d be possible. Lean into places where whatever rules the optimiser is taking advantage of are less effective; if the player has built a combat monster, lean into social interactions, for example.
(Fair warning; this is old advice, I have banned too much mechanical optimisation focus from my table entirely for some time because it does not fit with the shape of stories I want to DM and most of my groups have wanted to play.)
Didn't somebody say fairly recently that it was a conqueror worm (from Bestiary 6), or am I misremmbering?
Last I recall seeing, James Jacobs was still favouring keeping dragons special and memorably distinct in ways that preclude them being the focus of an AP that way; I am greatly looking forward to Legendary Games getting around to Rage of Wyrms, though, which was sounding like it would thoroughly scratch the dragon-focused AP itch.
Cole Deschain wrote:
I wonder what proportion of people running Hell's Vengeance did some houseruling along the lines of victorious post-WotR characters* thinking "hey, the Worldwound's closed, what would be the next best bit of Avistan to fix?" I appreciate that doing that officially would be counter to the policy of making all the APs as independent as possible, but it really seems acryingly obvious cross-connection.
*Major NPCs, anyway. Victorious post-WotR PCs seem likely to have mopped up House Thrune much more efficiently. If I ever get to run Wrath of the Righteous I would be extremely tempted to give it a Bolivian Army ending and not actually play out the final, post-campaign-goal-resolution fight.
I believe the content you are referring to was reworked as one of the sequences in the opening adventure of Curse of the Crimson Throne, so we did sort of get the opportunity to see some of that development.
Magic and magic users have ubiquitously existed for a very long time, any not very smart monsters who have worked out that walls are good defense against martial types will have gotten some idea of basic weaknesses of the magic types.
Pathfinder goblins do traditionally seem to have suicidal degrees of stupidity as part of their tactical makeup, though - I think it's in RotRL that there is mention of them tending to get distracted by arbitrary useless things mid-battle. I don't think goblins are reliably smart on the walls being good defences against martials front either; they certainly aren't on the "stopping to eat a worm or laugh at the golin next to you being killed is bad tactics" level, and they survive at all due to extreme fecundity is the impression I have.
(Also, I don't think magic counts as ubiquitous in PF. People are still growing food rather than magically creating it, travelling on ships rather than everyone teleporting, and so on.)
I believe James Jacobs has said the deep history there is very different from anything that has yet been seen in print.
Starfinder's only a few thousand years in the future, though, which does not rule out having details of the end of the universe on a much larger timescale.
If we can take the flavour text for manusuputras in the bestiary, and their existence in Golarion (there are a couple in APs at least) as evidence, there have been repeated ends and beginnings of multiverses already, so I tend to incline towards thinking that the end of Golarion's multiverse would lead to the birth of another.