I'm starting to think pathfinder 2.0 should happen


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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phantom1592 wrote:

I hate talk about bloat. There is no Bloat. Bloat is not the problem. Those are OPTIONS for people who want them. Starting over with a new system doesn't erase bloat... it just starts the clock over again.

They will not 'fix' the Core Rulebook with a 2.0. They are STILL errating the CRB now... it's ever evolving. The moment 2.0 comes out there would just be a whole new list of things that people hate that need to be clarified, codified, or redone...

I personally do not want to start over with the base what? 7 classes??? We waited almost 10 years to get a swashbuckler base class... and the psychic magic, and all the other cool stuff... why would I want to reset the clock and buy all new again??

I think they can keep doing things like unchained with redone versions of classes giving us MORE choices... but to just disqualify the entire Advanced/Ultimate line?? Yeah, I don't see that solving any problems.

I cannot favorite this post enough. I don't want to rebuy all the same material again.


phantom1592 wrote:
I think they can keep doing things like unchained with redone versions of classes giving us MORE choices... but to just disqualify the entire Advanced/Ultimate line?? Yeah, I don't see that solving any problems.

I hope the ultimate path towards Pathfinder 2.0 is just successively unchaining everything, and then eventually making unchained the standard, then poof Pathfinder 2.0 is already here.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, where did the OP go?


Gregg Helmberger wrote:


....
People say they just want the basics cleaned up. What does that mean? A new CRB? A new APG? UM and UC? Campaign setting material? Bestiaries, to bring them in line with the new rules? Once you've done that, what's the difference between that and a new edition as far as the money you've spent? And it's not like they aren't putting out updated setting books (Cheliax and Andoran for sure, and I don't even pay attention to that line anymore so there may be more for all I know), so subscribers and completists have already bought the same material twice. It's not like there's no precedent.

Personally... I'd like them to create a "new edition" without a core rule book... compartmentalize and re-release everything in condensed form, with clear titles for what everything is for new players.

So rather than "CRB", "APG", etc... we get separate book lines like "rules"(consisting of the standard/core rules as book 1, then additional/obscure rules for book 2, then every book after consisting of "optional" rules systems), "x class", "Feats", "Magic", "spells", "x Race", etc... that way Pathfinder can eventually be more friendly to those who are unfamiliar with its roots, while still allowing older fans to use 1st edition.


M1k31 wrote:
Gregg Helmberger wrote:


....
People say they just want the basics cleaned up. What does that mean? A new CRB? A new APG? UM and UC? Campaign setting material? Bestiaries, to bring them in line with the new rules? Once you've done that, what's the difference between that and a new edition as far as the money you've spent? And it's not like they aren't putting out updated setting books (Cheliax and Andoran for sure, and I don't even pay attention to that line anymore so there may be more for all I know), so subscribers and completists have already bought the same material twice. It's not like there's no precedent.

Personally... I'd like them to create a "new edition" without a core rule book... compartmentalize and re-release everything in condensed form, with clear titles for what everything is for new players.

So rather than "CRB", "APG", etc... we get separate book lines like "rules"(consisting of the standard/core rules as book 1, then additional/obscure rules for book 2, then every book after consisting of "optional" rules systems), "x class", "Feats", "Magic", "spells", "x Race", etc... that way Pathfinder can eventually be more friendly to those who are unfamiliar with its roots, while still allowing older fans to use 1st edition.

Kind of like computer game expansions?

I like it on principle the problem I see is having to buy a series of books to get started and then dragging them around with you.


Gregg Helmberger wrote:
Insisting on backwards compatibility is insisting nothing of significance change. That's why we're still dealing with the martial/caster disparity (and for the record I like Vancian magic in D&D, there's just got to be a better way to implement it than we've got).

False. You can keep backwards compatibility while helping with the disparity between martials and casters. 3.5e to PF added in class features to various classes without breaking backwards compatibility, there's no reason why revised versions of classes couldn't do the same.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I don't think "Vancian Magic is weird and obscure" is the problem so much as "it's arguably a causal factor as to why casters can be so wildly unbalanced compared to the entire rest of the game"

I agree, that's definitely the mechanical issue that many have with the Vancian system. It's also the much more common criticism on these boards. I'm just pointing out that there is also a group of Pathfinder players who don't love the system for aesthetic reasons. As an anecdote, some members of my group don't really have a mechanical issue with Vancian magic but don't care for the aesthetic because they want more freedom to emulate other concepts of magic they see in the fantasy genre. Both are reasons someone might want a new edition that adds another major magic system as an option.

I also think that while the Vancian system lends itself to gameplay balance problems, a much better version could be created that kept the feel and threw out only the bathwater. There would be, however, sacred cows in that bathwater.

Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I'm sorry you feel that way, but all of the examples you put out, one was space opera, and the others all came into being after Dungeons and Dragons narrowly escaped extinction as a brand. And among them, Harry Potter has got to be the most overrated example of either film or literature. The value of Vancian casting is that it echoes the casting of magic as aspecial thing as opposed to another way of exhausting power points. I also simply don't feel that video games no matter how they're dressed up echo the classic feel of magic. Vancian magic echoes the need for preparation and preciseness of wielding the arcane. I do have a fondness for noun-verb magic but every game that does it succesfully, does so by useing magic that is far below the power level of D+D style magic, which is why I have had major issues with Paizo's own take on noun/verb magic, Words of Power.

You're describing the things you like or don't. I personally don't care for Harry Potter either, but what I like doesn't really matter. I'm glad what you like is present in the system. Maybe I've not been clear enough. I'm not saying Vancian magic should be removed, nor would it be realistic to ever expect that. I'm saying there are many many other aesthetics for fantasy magic and, more broadly, supernatural abilities that the Vancian system doesn't represent well. That's why I brought up the examples I did. You liking what you like and appreciating that is in Pathfinder is not a good reason for people who like other aesthetics to not have a viable option. As seen by the popularity of Spheres of Power, many people would appreciate it Paizo also supplied an additional officially supported magic system that offered more aesthetic flexibility. It might also solve some people's complaints about the mechanical drawbacks of the Vancian system.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Hey, where did the OP go?

Probably to grab a lawn chair and a packet of popcorn.


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Pandora's wrote:
Both are reasons someone might want a new edition that adds another major magic system as an option.

But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Gregg Helmberger wrote:
But when your revenue starts contracting because you're moving fewer units (and ask any FLGS if that's what's happening to Pathfinder) then you DO have to make a change. No market stays static, and companies either adapt or die.

It's a little out of date now (I think it was February/March 2016) but this issue was discussed when one of the ICv2 reports came out reporting best selling RPGs for a quarter.

The point was made that although Pathfinder may have lost market share, there was good evidence its sales and number of players was still increasing in absolute terms. This was the "rising tide lifts all boats" scenario and, if true, it provides a counter argument to the idea that PF should respond to 5E at all.

I'd bet a substantial amount of money that paizo don't care whether 5E outsells them, as long as they're selling enough Pathfinder books to keep the lights on, pay employee wages and hopefully make a little profit to do new things.If 5E brings more people to the hobby (and there's reasonable evidence it's doing that) PF can benefit, even if some pathfinder players drift away. They've been drifting away since the CRB was released, but there's new people joining all the time.

I personally think the D&D genre is currently in a great place where players tired of PF's complexity can move to 5E and people who tire of 5E's lack of splat books can shift to PF. No doubt many will support both.


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Pandora's wrote:
You're describing the things you like or don't. I personally don't care for Harry Potter either, but what I like doesn't really matter. I'm glad what you like is present in the system. Maybe I've not been clear enough. I'm not saying Vancian magic should be removed, nor would it be realistic to ever expect that. I'm saying there are many many other aesthetics for fantasy magic and, more broadly, supernatural abilities that the Vancian system doesn't represent well. That's why I brought up the examples I did. You liking what you like and appreciating that is in Pathfinder is not a good reason for people who like other aesthetics to not have a viable option. As seen by the popularity of Spheres of Power, many people would appreciate it Paizo also supplied an additional officially supported magic system that offered more aesthetic flexibility. It might also solve some people's complaints about the mechanical drawbacks of the Vancian system.

So lets get to the meat of the issue, What serious drawbacks do you see to the Vancian system, aside from the fact that it doesn't represent Harry Potter well enough?


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
You're describing the things you like or don't. I personally don't care for Harry Potter either, but what I like doesn't really matter. I'm glad what you like is present in the system. Maybe I've not been clear enough. I'm not saying Vancian magic should be removed, nor would it be realistic to ever expect that. I'm saying there are many many other aesthetics for fantasy magic and, more broadly, supernatural abilities that the Vancian system doesn't represent well. That's why I brought up the examples I did. You liking what you like and appreciating that is in Pathfinder is not a good reason for people who like other aesthetics to not have a viable option. As seen by the popularity of Spheres of Power, many people would appreciate it Paizo also supplied an additional officially supported magic system that offered more aesthetic flexibility. It might also solve some people's complaints about the mechanical drawbacks of the Vancian system.
So lets get to the meat of the issue, What serious drawbacks do you see to the Vancian system, aside from the fact that it doesn't represent Harry Potter well enough?

So what are the defining aspects of the vancian casting system?

- Codified levels for spells

- spell slots determining which spells you can cast each day

Does this mean Sorcerers are not true Vancian casters since they use spells known and spells per day instead of slots like a wizard or cleric?

i actually enjoy Sorcerers more than Wizards because of that though. the spell slot system isnt fun to me, its an annoyance. the limits of available spell slots at early levels also feels like magic isnt the main thing about the character but rather a supplement to crummy performance on a 1/2 chassis. But if a campaign is skipping the first few levels then i am all onboard with going wizard because of the ridiculous options it opens up.

Mechanically i dont have any experience with Spheres of Power but i have run a few Kineticists and i really enjoy what they did with that system. Thematically it doesnt work with everything, there is no plane of illusion (Unless they make a dream kineticist at some point maybe) no plane of conjuration or abjuration either but for a basic or "raw" magic user i think the Kineticist is great for it. I would certainly jump at a class based of "kineticist casting" with a wider range of magic effects. but what the kinticist got right was that you always have a useful thing you can do with your defining ability. you may have maxed out burn but that still leaves you with both a useful ability and thanks to specilizations and gathering power, you could still create "big effects" instead of falling back to you light crossbow and cantrips like a wizard would or sacrificing spell slots for lower level spells.

What i have heard about Spheres of Power though sounds very tempting, you know a basic power and as you level you learn new ways to manipulate and add to it. something else that i would probably prefer of wizard asting.

That being said, to me, the only drawback is the slot system for the oldest types of D&D casting which as i mentioned above, the Sorcerer takes care of.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
So lets get to the meat of the issue, What serious drawbacks do you see to the Vancian system, aside from the fact that it doesn't represent Harry Potter well enough?

The fact it doesn't represent ANYTHING at all outside of itself? It doesn't even function like the magic from Vances books, the very thing it's named after.

Outside of D&D and D&D clones, nothing functions like "Vancian" magic. It's pretty horrible for a game that pretends that you can play out your fantasy fantasies in to not be able to actually act like any of those fantasies.


Zolanoteph wrote:
I'm left with a lot of questions. As an optional system, will the DM let me variant multiclass? Will he let me use the unchained Rage rules? I don't know, that's another optional system.

Options are good. Are you or the GM confused by the options? Then stick to the basics.

Zolanoteph wrote:
I think a lot of these new rule designs have been a lot of fun, but they need to be organized and codified to streamline the game. I think there should be one summoner that works, one barbarian that works, one rogue that works.

OK, I just decided you're going to play with the unchained summoner, barbarian, and rogue. Problem solved.

Like I said, options are good. Some people like the core and initial options, and some people like the better and more balanced current options. You can't please everyone so that's why having all of the options is better.

Liberty's Edge

Milo v3 wrote:


False. You can keep backwards compatibility while helping with the disparity between martials and casters. 3.5e to PF added in class features to various classes without breaking backwards compatibility, there's no reason why revised versions of classes couldn't do the same.

There is a point though where a rpg can't stay backwards compitable and move forward though in terms of mechanics. I'm not saying it's not possible. Yet after a certain point it becomes impossible imo. As I said one can't please everyone. If the impossible goal is to please everyone they really should not waste their time. Look at Shadowrun three editions and they still had not fixed the Rigger and Decker problem. It took a new edition fourth and onwards to make both viable at the table. If they kept it backwards compitable that issue would either have never been resolved. Or yet another subsystem on top of another subsystem.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
phantom1592 wrote:
I think they can keep doing things like unchained with redone versions of classes giving us MORE choices... but to just disqualify the entire Advanced/Ultimate line?? Yeah, I don't see that solving any problems.
I hope the ultimate path towards Pathfinder 2.0 is just successively unchaining everything, and then eventually making unchained the standard, then poof Pathfinder 2.0 is already here.

I was hoping that Pathfinder Unchained 2 was released next year but now I doubt it


Rub-Eta wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
Both are reasons someone might want a new edition that adds another major magic system as an option.
But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?

Magic Unchained would be great, perhaps instead of Pathfinder Unchained 2 something like Magic Unchained, Combat Unchained would be the next thing, just like the Ultimate line, I can only hope for.

Dark Archive

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Imo, Paizo has three possible methods of competing with WotC in sales:

1) Keep selling the same product. Pathfinder has issues but it has a good reputation and room for growth. This is the safest method, but as more and more books and options are released many people will likely say Pathfinder has become "bloated" and move to simpler systems, such as 5e.

2) Update Pathfinder to a new system, hoping to be the next "Big New Thing" on the block to attract new players while fixing issues with their current system to attract the vets. This is a risky move too because people don't like purchasing what they perceive to be the same stuff all over again which may alienate a significant portion of their current base.

3) Stop trying to compete on one front and expand the business. D&D has entrenched themselves as the Fantasy TTRPG and nothing Paizo does will compete with the decades of exposure and brand recognition they have, so why settle for competing on their terms? By expanding their market with a new game they increase their player base, have the freedom to test out new ideas without threatening existing IPs, and can make a name for themselves in an area their biggest competitor doesn't have such a large advantage. Starfinder is a step in what I consider to be the right direction here.


One of the things I would like to see in a possible Unchained line is that it address how to apply the variants presented in a streamlined way to AP and modules.


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Rub-Eta wrote:
But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?

Nope. In fact, throwing them out won't happen. In my first post, I talked about why Paizo is in a hard place with their current magic system. They could add a new one, but it would have to be a really concerted effort to keep it supported. Another Words of Power won't help any. Because I don't think Paizo is really interested in going there, I said that in my mind Pathfinder 2.0 started with Spheres of Power, because 3rd party publishers are now tackling major sacred cows that Paizo can't or won't. They're making the major changes that a new edition could bring. If they're already doing it and the product is good, why bother having a new edition?

I focus on the magic system because it is the system that causes the most contention on the boards and therefore would be the best candidate for an update in a new edition.


Pandora's wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?

Nope. In fact, throwing them out won't happen. In my first post, I talked about why Paizo is in a hard place with their current magic system. They could add a new one, but it would have to be a really concerted effort to keep it supported. Another Words of Power won't help any. Because I don't think Paizo is really interested in going there, I said that in my mind Pathfinder 2.0 started with Spheres of Power, because 3rd party publishers are now tackling major sacred cows that Paizo can't or won't. They're making the major changes that a new edition could bring. If they're already doing it and the product is good, why bother having a new edition?

I focus on the magic system because it is the system that causes the most contention on the boards and therefore would be the best candidate for an update in a new edition.

Support after release is definitely a big concern, your example of words of power was spot on


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Pandora's wrote:
Both are reasons someone might want a new edition that adds another major magic system as an option.
Rub-Eta wrote:
But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?

... I keep seeing this argument, but it's not inherent in the concept of a new edition.

That said, seeing as Paizo likes to ret-con* their own rules even while they're current and in print, I suspect that, should Pathfinder ever update to 2.0, it feels like something that Paizo would do. So I understand the concern.

That said, having something like the pocket Core Rulebook or Pocket Beastiary didn't invalidate the big versions of either, and having a a "new" edition that simply collates, compiles, and presents things better would not invalidate the current books.

That said, I do feel like anything that Paizo does in that regard will lead to greater changes than some would enjoy.

Personally, I find it a bit of a bear - the PRD is amazing, but it's also a mess, because you have to sort through so many books to get what amounts to basic information. Beyond that, there are so many fiddly elements that never existed in prior editions that many current players find "obvious" while many older ones find baffling - and some that are the reverse of that very situation. These are known issues, and come up often.

Then you have classes that are, frankly, outside of the bounds of reasonable - either in relative "over" power or "under" power or both at the same time. These are not bad classes (per se), but they make things more "swingy" and often lead developers to be uncomfortable in how to handle the perceived issues of them - and these are considered "core" classes.

If Paizo published a new "edition" of the game, it seems to me that many issues for new players could be handled by a new Core book, that is a better organized and clarified version (removing many of the current incongruities and repetitious entries, applying many FAQs and errata (or both) into the text itself, and otherwise having mostly the current one with a different class selection (and probably the removal or alteration of certain problematic spells or abilities - either because they are "too powerful" or "not powerful enough" or "otherwise just cause problems" for many games).

It would be a time when Paizo could take care of many of the issues they currently have and problems they've known about since the beginning.

That said... I don't think it'll work out that way. I suspect that they will decide to go in a different direction.

That would make me sad, except that different direction looks like Starfinder, soooooooooo... AWESOME~! :D

*:
I say "ret-con" because many of the "FAQrattas" (as they're colloquially called) are actually different mechanics entirely from how they were presented in the previous edition, are presented as "always having been true", and yet the very edition it markedly differs from is the edition Pathfinder was originally sold as a continuation of - and at the time, there was no indication of these changes, and most people that did discuss such things were pretty clear in how it differed. I love Paizo and respect the Dev team - past and present - immensely, but this is something they've generally dropped the ball on and in so-doing, pushed me away, as a customer. Some people are happy with the changes, though; so that's nice.

EDIT: Ah! I was ninja'd. Leaving this, though.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
Captain Yesterday Smurf wrote:
What makes you so sure there's such a split of the fan base.

The size of the martial/caster disparity thread index, the popularity of magic systems in other games (and Spheres for that matter) that buck all of the Vancian design ideas, and personal anecdotes from people who wouldn't ever care enough to be on these boards but have tried things both ways and preferred Spheres. That's not to say there's not many who prefer Vancian as well; just rebuffing the idea that only super-experienced gamers who frequent these boards notice problems caused by Vancian casting and wouldn't prefer an alternative.

Vancian casting isn't bad, but it is very complex, very hard to balance, and does not mesh well with very many people's experience of what magic in fantasy should look like. I don't want to turn this thread into another C/D disparity thread, but this is something Vancian fans don't seem to get: Vancian spellcasting is *weird.* It doesn't mirror anything in our real world experience (like physical energy mirrors a mana bar, for example). It's strange that the most popular fantasy RPG line has such a niche system that so many people feel hinders tropy character concepts.

For each person that loudly claims that Pathfinder's Vancian system is dead, there's are hundreds who are using that system quite happily without bothering to proclaim so on this soapbox.

Prove it. Go on, show us the numbers. Give us the data that you used come to this conclusion or admit that you don't know what your talking about.


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tresson wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
Captain Yesterday Smurf wrote:
What makes you so sure there's such a split of the fan base.

The size of the martial/caster disparity thread index, the popularity of magic systems in other games (and Spheres for that matter) that buck all of the Vancian design ideas, and personal anecdotes from people who wouldn't ever care enough to be on these boards but have tried things both ways and preferred Spheres. That's not to say there's not many who prefer Vancian as well; just rebuffing the idea that only super-experienced gamers who frequent these boards notice problems caused by Vancian casting and wouldn't prefer an alternative.

Vancian casting isn't bad, but it is very complex, very hard to balance, and does not mesh well with very many people's experience of what magic in fantasy should look like. I don't want to turn this thread into another C/D disparity thread, but this is something Vancian fans don't seem to get: Vancian spellcasting is *weird.* It doesn't mirror anything in our real world experience (like physical energy mirrors a mana bar, for example). It's strange that the most popular fantasy RPG line has such a niche system that so many people feel hinders tropy character concepts.

For each person that loudly claims that Pathfinder's Vancian system is dead, there's are hundreds who are using that system quite happily without bothering to proclaim so on this soapbox.
Prove it. Go on, show us the numbers. Give us the data that you used come to this conclusion or admit that you don't know what your talking about.

The vocal minority on the internet is not representative of the company as a whole, you want numbers? Paizo isn't dead, and people are still biting their products. There's your numbers.


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Pandora's wrote:
Rub-Eta wrote:
But why do we need to throw out all the old books for this when they may as well just release 'Magic Unchained'?

Nope. In fact, throwing them out won't happen. In my first post, I talked about why Paizo is in a hard place with their current magic system. They could add a new one, but it would have to be a really concerted effort to keep it supported. Another Words of Power won't help any. Because I don't think Paizo is really interested in going there, I said that in my mind Pathfinder 2.0 started with Spheres of Power, because 3rd party publishers are now tackling major sacred cows that Paizo can't or won't. They're making the major changes that a new edition could bring. If they're already doing it and the product is good, why bother having a new edition?

I focus on the magic system because it is the system that causes the most contention on the boards and therefore would be the best candidate for an update in a new edition.

Contention on the boards, and contention in actual play are not the same thing. I am one of the first to admit that magic can cause problems, and in theory it can be a large part of problems at tables, but in actual practice it is not nearly as problematic at most tables.

Using the boards as some standard for how things really are can be a bad idea. I've been called a powergamer more than once, but at a table I scale the character's power to whatever won't overshadow a party and/or having the GM throwing books at me.

The boards are the perception. The table is the reality.

I think an alternate magic system that is an option would be better than a forced one or an entire new edition. It's not worth the risk to lose a lot of people. WoTC was in a position to survive even if D&D failed. Paizo is not in that position with Pathfinder, at least not until they start pushing video games, movies, or some other method to give their bank account a cushion to offset any risk.

Liberty's Edge

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master_marshmallow wrote:
The vocal minority on the internet is not representative of the company as a whole, you want numbers? Paizo isn't dead, and people are still biting their products. There's your numbers.

Neither side knows the numbers really except for Paizo. Just because fans keep buying product does not mean they are happy with every aspect of the rpg. I dislike the Vancian system. I'm still buying their books as a whole I enjoy most of the system. Not to mention most gamers are completists imo they will buy everything. As for biting products. Eh I have heard of weirder stuff happening in the hobby.


If you don't like:
1) Martial/Caster disparity: don't play a single-classed fighter
or at level 17+
2) Vancian Casting: play a spontaneous caster

No new edition needed!

Liberty's Edge

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whew wrote:

If you don't like:

1) Martial/Caster disparity: don't play a single-classed fighter
or at level 17+
2) Vancian Casting: play a spontaneous caster

No new edition needed!

Thank you for telling us both the obvious and something we already knew. While also highlighting some flaws of the rules.


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whew wrote:

If you don't like:

1) Martial/Caster disparity: don't play a single-classed fighter
or at level 17+
2) Vancian Casting: play a spontaneous caster

No new edition needed!

But what if I want to play a character who is a tremendous swordfighter, or an academic magic theorist? I don't know if suppressing character concepts is the right way to deal with castng/fighting disparity.

That wizards are capable of doing basically anything imaginable at 17+ is a problem for GMs too.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
tresson wrote:
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
Captain Yesterday Smurf wrote:
What makes you so sure there's such a split of the fan base.

The size of the martial/caster disparity thread index, the popularity of magic systems in other games (and Spheres for that matter) that buck all of the Vancian design ideas, and personal anecdotes from people who wouldn't ever care enough to be on these boards but have tried things both ways and preferred Spheres. That's not to say there's not many who prefer Vancian as well; just rebuffing the idea that only super-experienced gamers who frequent these boards notice problems caused by Vancian casting and wouldn't prefer an alternative.

Vancian casting isn't bad, but it is very complex, very hard to balance, and does not mesh well with very many people's experience of what magic in fantasy should look like. I don't want to turn this thread into another C/D disparity thread, but this is something Vancian fans don't seem to get: Vancian spellcasting is *weird.* It doesn't mirror anything in our real world experience (like physical energy mirrors a mana bar, for example). It's strange that the most popular fantasy RPG line has such a niche system that so many people feel hinders tropy character concepts.

For each person that loudly claims that Pathfinder's Vancian system is dead, there's are hundreds who are using that system quite happily without bothering to proclaim so on this soapbox.
Prove it. Go on, show us the numbers. Give us the data that you used come to this conclusion or admit that you don't know what your talking about.
The vocal minority on the internet is not representative of the company as a whole, you want numbers? Paizo isn't dead, and people are still biting their products. There's your numbers.

Good job, Captain Yesterday. You successfully tricked three people into smurfing themselves. Suckers!

EDIT: S*!%!

Silver Crusade

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But what if I want to play a character who is a tremendous swordfighter, or an academic magic theorist?

Do both. Play a Fighter and put your two skill ranks into Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft.


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That's basically tantamount to saying, "You want to play a human or an elf? Sorry, the system doesn't work with that. Just play a half-elf." :P


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Tammy doesn't play with Half-Elves.

But that's what accidents are for.


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The OP's point seems to be "I am unsure if my GM will allow me to X = game broken and bloated, therefore new edition."

This is not an argument. Not only are options... well, optional, and therefore do not in and of themselves prove the brokenness of the system, but there would be no reason whatsoever to believe that a PF 2.0 would incorporate all of the options the OP would like, into a single, streamlined core tome.

Based on the history of virtually every single gaming system ever, the limitations of print, and economic considerations, any new core 2.0 would be as limited as the original, and any options the OP regards as viable for his enjoyment would necessarily be released over the course of years, creating the same complaints of brokenness and bloat as the OP is now suffering from.


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The only thing bloated Tammy sees is this Half-Elf.

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
That's basically tantamount to saying, "You want to play a human or an elf? Sorry, the system doesn't work with that. Just play a half-elf." :P

Wasn't saying it's the only way, just a suggestion. (They did say "academic magic theorist" :3)


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No, no, it's okay the Dwarf can carry the luggage but when you need book learning call the stuck up elf.

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I wonder if Starfinder will be to Pathfinder what Star Wars Saga Edition was to 4th Edition--an experiment with new mechanics as prelude to a new edition of the core product.


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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Pandora's wrote:
You're describing the things you like or don't. I personally don't care for Harry Potter either, but what I like doesn't really matter. I'm glad what you like is present in the system. Maybe I've not been clear enough. I'm not saying Vancian magic should be removed, nor would it be realistic to ever expect that. I'm saying there are many many other aesthetics for fantasy magic and, more broadly, supernatural abilities that the Vancian system doesn't represent well. That's why I brought up the examples I did. You liking what you like and appreciating that is in Pathfinder is not a good reason for people who like other aesthetics to not have a viable option. As seen by the popularity of Spheres of Power, many people would appreciate it Paizo also supplied an additional officially supported magic system that offered more aesthetic flexibility. It might also solve some people's complaints about the mechanical drawbacks of the Vancian system.
So lets get to the meat of the issue, What serious drawbacks do you see to the Vancian system, aside from the fact that it doesn't represent Harry Potter well enough?

1.) The system feels extremely gamist, for one thing. I read a lot of fantasy books, and magic is pretty much never a question of specific self-contained tricks crammed into a certain number of slots you fire and then immediately forget how to do. Gandalf sure as hell didn't need to count how many times he could set something on fire with his magic at the beginning of his day. It works as a gaming system but it feels highly artificial, particularly in its prepared version. This doesn't feel like "special magic" to me, it feels like trying (poorly) to balance phenomenal cosmic power by trapping it in a spreadsheet.

2.) The system has very limited appeal to new players in my experience (pretty much nobody at the tables I've played at has ever liked using vancian casting, particularly when they're learning the game and don't want a bunch of extra bookkeeping) while other systems of casting can be much more intuitive. On the flipside, however, Vancian casting is ridiculously exploitable for very experienced players and tends to end up being a ton of instant problem-solving apps for someone that groks the resource management involved.

3.) Vancian magic as presented in Pathfinder is presented as highly easy to learn, completely consistent in its application, and 100% safe to use. It is not generally my experience in most settings that magic is all three of those things at once. Again, the fact it's not hard to learn spells, spells pretty much always have consistent effects without x-factors like Unchained's Wild Magic added in, and magic almost never has any danger of backfiring on the caster makes it feel less like working with magical energies and more like you have a problem-solving app.

4.) Vancian magic is extremely inconsistent in its ability to represent certain themes. It's easy to build a spell list to show a dedicated pyromancer, for example, but for magic as telekinesis there is basically nothing between the cantrip mage hand and the few 4th-6th-level spells that represent moving things with your mind. There are VERY few ways for most casters to represent "pushing their limits," putting a lot of extra energy into their spells and tiring themselves out. Stopping time for a few seconds doesn't mechanically exhaust you any more than casting a spell that lets you fly for a few minutes; both burn one slot and have no other impact on you once their beneficial effect expires. The closest you can come to "I'm going to put everything I've got into this!" is judicious use of metamagic, which still doesn't have a similar feeling because it still usually has to be assembled ahead of time and just comes from a different space on your spreadsheet than a desperation attack. It's very hard to present a strain or careful rationing; either you spend the slot or you don't, and "you don't" means you're not using magic at all unless it's cantrips. In this case it's not like a magical energy thing where you can suddenly call on a mighty surge in a desperate moment, it's like a gun. You have a certain number of bullets, and your desperation move is firing your expensive ones. All the wishing in the world won't make that expensive bullet better than it was when you put it on your belt at the start of the day. As much as I dislike the Arcanist for being insanely powerful, it can at least use its reservoir to represent pumping energy into its spells in times of need, which the wizard and the cleric and the druid just can't.

Spheres addresses pretty much all of my complaints with this. If I want to make a magic style that's wild or difficult or dangerous, I can very easily build a casting tradition around it. If I want to limit certain applications of my magic to improve my proficiency with those that remain, I can. If I want to be focused around telekinetic powers that aren't a single cantrip before level 9, I can be. I can take feats or casting tradition boons that can let me strain my pool of energy or even my own body to cast some more powerful spells in a pinch, and I can use weaker but still effective magic by not spending from my pool of energy or engaging in strenuous concentration instead of a self-sustaining effect.


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Lets clarify something that I think lots of people confound, when someone on the boards say they have a problem with vancian magic what they actually want to say is that they have a problem with spell slots per level, or at least that is how a tend to perceive things based on what I have read in this kind of discussions.

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Charlie Bell wrote:
I wonder if Starfinder will be to Pathfinder what Star Wars Saga Edition was to 4th Edition--an experiment with new mechanics as prelude to a new edition of the core product.

Every time Pathfinder has come out with something new, the speculation is that it's a playtest for a new edition. Pathfinder Unchained was supposedly a secret playtest, but it's been out for at least a couple of years now.

I'm sure that the lessons they learn from Starfinder will work their way into a future edition, just as with lessons learned from Pathfinder Unchained, the Beginner's Box, and everything else.


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Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But what if I want to play a character who is a tremendous swordfighter, or an academic magic theorist?
Do both. Play a Fighter and put your two skill ranks into Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft.

I said "or" not "and". Some concepts are best represented by a fighter (or otherwise non-magical character) and some concepts are best represented by a wizard (someone whose magic comes from intense study, rather than innate talent or faith). So saying "don't play those things" is akin to "give up on those concepts" which is unfortunate, so not really a good solution.


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Yay, a new PF 2.0 thread!

I look forward to an elegant PF 2.0 that I may actually buy, should it ever come. 'Cause I have no interest in buying a stealth-edition bit-by-bit. Cobbling together an effective new edition from a bunch of books is much like house ruling an effective new edition -- which I did before PF even existed -- except that it's much more expensive, and you have that many more books to reference.

With the famousness of Paizo's APs, I suspect I am not the only gamer keeping half an eye opened for a cleaned-up ruleset to go with them.

Grand Lodge

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I read through this thread and I still don't know what Pathfinder 2.0 is defined as.

I really like the web PRD, I wish they had an offline app version of it. That would be PF2 in my eyes.

Physical books are for old, fuddy duddy nerds.


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Jader7777 wrote:
I read through this thread and I still don't know what Pathfinder 2.0 is defined as.

Just think of it as a revised version of the rules in order to simplify/streamline some issues (e.g. including advanced weapon training in the CRB version of the fighter) and attempting to address some of the outstanding problems in the game (getting rid of awful prerequisite feats, say.)

If you wanted to say "combat expertise and power attack are no longer feats, everybody just has the option to fight more carefully or to swing harder at the expense of accuracy" you would need to invalidate some things that are already printed, which would require some kind of revision.

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Charlie Bell wrote:
I wonder if Starfinder will be to Pathfinder what Star Wars Saga Edition was to 4th Edition--an experiment with new mechanics as prelude to a new edition of the core product.

I'm certainly hoping it is. If it is, I'll very likely buy it and even run StarfinderSociety (or whatever they decide to call it).


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Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Yay, a new PF 2.0 thread!

I really liked "Will There Be A New Edition" Thread 3.0 better. This new edition feels like a f#!&ing video game. I suppose non-roleplayers will like it.


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I'm still waiting for them to fix the purple monkey dishwasher disparity.

Otherwise known as the Bard-Alchemist-Ninja conundrum.

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When I think about what "backwards compatibility" means to me... it's mostly about stat blocks. Can I pick up a 1E or 3.5E or Pathfinder 3.5 product and run it pretty much as written? Can I grab a monster out of an old Monster Manual or Bestiary and drop it into my game? I don't care how many skill points a human got relative to a monkey, or how many choices a wizard had for feats or familiars, or what the rules for concealment were back then, or how (or if) the sickened condition was defined. I've got current rules for all that stuff and I can apply those rules to onto any old material I come across. I just don't want to have to re-write a bunch of stat blocks for monsters, and I guess things like traps and magic items.

I, for one, am ready for Pathfinder 2.0, in the sense that I feel like there are rules and other "core" material spread of multiple books at this point, and sometimes the newer rules don't jive well with older rules. And there are some old rules ported over from 3.5 that have never worked that well. I don't think it would be that cataclysmic for Paizo to survey all the products they have out there and pull together a "new" core rule book that consolidates many of the original and newer rules and sub-systems in one place, fixes some of the lingering problems, better defines some of the conditions, standardizes language and word-choice to make descriptions of conditions and effects more consistent, maybe punch up some of the original classes that look a little weak versus newer classes... and call it "2.0." That's really not much more than happened 3.0 to 3.5, Wizards just went with .5 to show how minimal the changes were. Maybe we even call it "Pathfinder 1.5."

Point is, most of these updates and changes wouldn't invalidate any of the old modules or APs. I could still run the same encounters, use the same monsters and their stat blocks would still be valid. It would still be backwards compatible for the folks who don't want to get rid of old mods or even want to stick with the original core rules. Having updated rules for Stealth, or having Darkness and Light work differently, or even the the action economy run a little differently, doesn't make old material unusable. You're not even changing the rules that much, so folks who don't want to update couple probably keep buying new modules and APs and keep using their original CRB to run them. That's forward AND backwards compatibility!

To calls to scrap Vancian spell-casting... sorry, I think that's pretty much hard wired into the game, like hit dice and using d20s. There are things I don't love about Vancian spell-casting, but I would never want or expect that to go away. If I really can't handle it, I'll go play a game like Ars Magica that has a totally different rule set. Otherwise I'm going to be content tinkering, playing spontaneous casters, maybe a Magic Unleashed book with optional alternative casting systems. But if scrapping the core magic system is what folks think of when they talk 2.0, then I guess what I'm in favor of really is a 1.5.

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But what if I want to play a character who is a tremendous swordfighter, or an academic magic theorist?
Do both. Play a Fighter and put your two skill ranks into Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft.
I said "or" not "and". Some concepts are best represented by a fighter (or otherwise non-magical character) and some concepts are best represented by a wizard (someone whose magic comes from intense study, rather than innate talent or faith). So saying "don't play those things" is akin to "give up on those concepts" which is unfortunate, so not really a good solution.

Sorry that I came across as saying "don't", I was trying to be humorous.

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