How much should AD&D influence Pathfinder 2.0?


Prerelease Discussion


The basic foundation of modern D&D and Pathfinder is AD&D. The very foundations of the game, the ability scores, races, most of the classes, items, spells, etc. were all laid out. More importantly, the concepts of Dungeon Master, Player Characters, Monsters, and more were largely established. Every edition since then has evolved these ideas and incorporated some new material, but much of it remains. Subtle, shifts can have a major effect on how the game feels, and what the play experience is like.

Many aspects of AD&D proved to be detrimental, and have been slowly minimized or removed steadily over the years. The main characteristic that has been removed from the game is: restrictions on characters. AD&D was filled with sever restrictions based on character sex, ability scores, race, class, and even social status. If you were allowed to even have a specific combination, there were often hard level caps that prevented a character from progressing. I don't think anyone is really considering a return to those type of restrictions.

Ability Scores
While I don't see any push for altering the basic six ability scores, I do think the dice based methods of character generation should be retired from the game. The idea of basing each ability score on random rolls of the six sided die is over. A character should not have his relative power level to the other PCs, and game world, based on a single set of rolls. Starting ability scores should be point buy, array, or something like that.

Also, without a change to the math of the game, ability scores need to start lower and scale less. A 20 in an ability score is just unbalancing at low levels, and maxing out ability scores is disruptive in almost all levels level play. Likewise dumping stats generally preclude characters from some broad aspects of adventuring successfully. For example, dumping Charisma makes it difficult to participate in social situations, and dumping Intelligence makes it difficult to participate in non combat situations without access to magic.

Character Races
Elf, Dwarf, Half Elf, Half Orc, Halfling, Gnome, and of course Human. These have been the character races for decades. This is one of the most classic aspects of the game, and while numerous additional player races have been added later on, the races originally included for character creation, have remained almost identical in most versions of the game. Pathfinder actually streamlined things by rolling all the sub races (mostly different types of elves) back into the generic race.

As an "old school" gamer the original races are fairly important to me. However, times have changed, and I suspect that "animalfolk" or "Dragonperson" or whatever probably would be more popular. Part construct, outsider, undead, humanoid, etc. makes more sense then having halflings and gnomes on the short list.

Character Classes
Similarly to races, classes have largely changed little since the days of AD&D. While a few names have been changed, most of the classes remain very similar to their AD&D origins. The notable exceptions are the Assassin class being largely removed from core material and the Sorcerer getting included. Many classes took short trips throughout the different editions, (including the introduction of Unearthed Arcana), but largely remain core/supplemental overall.

Again, these things are important to me for nostalgic reasons, however, I don't think it represents modern gaming very well. Classes like druid and paladin are very specific, and seem more like subclasses of cleric or something. Rangers are an odd mix of abilities, as are monks. I love these classes, but there are probably better options for the list of core classes. Classes like inquisitors, cavilers, oracles and witches might make more sense?

I think this is also a great time to take a hard look at how the classes fall into different categories (full BAB, full casters, etc) and the idea of subclasses. Also, how things like archetypes apply. For example, if you look at classes like Rangers, Paladins, Cavaliers, and Inquisitors, are those classes abilities divided up in a sensible way? Similarly, comparing the non-magic-using classes, are Barbarians, Fighters, Rogues, and Monks abilities appropriate and the logical choice for base classes?

Finally, is there still a place for the concept of prestige classes?

Is the game balanced at level 1 and 20, and should it be?
Another important aspect of the game that has been evolving, but to me is still unresolved is how each class evolves from level 1-20. AD&D was generally intended for level 1-10 play, with built-in class power imbalances. Fighters were supposed to carry the magic users through the low levels, then follow their lead. Also, classes were intended to level at different rates relative to each other.

AD&D generally provided advancement beyond 10th level for casters, but most of the other classes exist in a level 1-10 world. Subsequent editions generally adopted a level 1-20 game, but gave almost no new abilities to theses classes for later levels, just higher modifiers for low level features. Pathfinder 2 has a great opportunity to define what high level non-casters can do. These will likely feel like a departure from classic AD&D, but I think it is necessary for non-magic-using classes to stay relevant in high level play. With that said, high level magic is just game breakingly powerful, and needs limits to bring it in line with current CR guidelines.

I think it is fairly important that at every level classes are roughly equal in power, and no type of class or character should need to pay dues, or expect to dominate any stage of the game.

Who is in charge, the Player or the GM?
In AD&D the GM was the source of almost all aspects of the game. Beyond a few, mostly combat related actions, most players could not know what would be required for most tasks. Over the years, the share of the game that was shifted from "GM only" to player control is drastic. For example, a rogue player knows the DC of a standard lock and can tell the GM his total modifier, or what type of lock his total could pick. I think it is time to give a little more control of some aspects of the game back to the GM. This is especially true for how crafting is handled.

Alignment
Alignment is another aspect of AD&D that seems a little archaic, however, I think it is best to keep that for a separate thread.[/b]

How important are these original classes and races to you? I would rather keep discussion in more general terms rather then detailed breakdowns of classes. Although if you think something is relevant to the evolution of the game, then it is always welcome.

How much should the game include material outside the world of Gygax, such as guns, Steampunk, Wuxia, or MMORPG or other video game elements?

Liberty's Edge

The more I read and the more I think about and express for what I want in a game, the more it becomes obvious to me that my tastes in gaming won’t be met by a new edition of Pathfinder. Rather, the campaigns I want to run would be perfectly suited to use AD&D or some other similar OSR game as the engine.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Being a gnome and halfling player across all the editions, I would be very disappointed if they were not kept in the top tier of player races. One of the first turn offs for me in 4th edition was the inclusion of the tiefling and dragonfolk and the exclusion of gnomes from the original playable races. Some don’t like the short folk because of stereotypes that generated from sources like Dragonlance where all halfling, aka kinder, were mischievous cleptomaniacs and all gnomes were scatterbrained tinkerers. I do not play all my half-orcs as brutish dullards, why should I play gnomes and halfling the same way every time?

Please keep them!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Regarding who is in charge, I so miss the days of a little mystery and power in the DM.

From 3rd edition on it seemed like I got more, how is that happening or can he do that or the rules say...

I have done it myself as a player and I do love more codification of rules and streamlined play. However, I often pine for the days when a DM made a call and it was not instantly challenged from multiples sides. Sure I want to DM fairly, but even I make mistakes or have to play the hand dealt me in a published adventure. Maybe it does not all make sense, but just put it down as “magic” is how they did that and no I am not going to reveal all of my secrets behind the screen here.

I think it is important to be fair to players and make sure first and foremost that everyone is having fun. That includes the DM and when every rule is spelled out with exacting detail and reviewed by rules lawyers at every turn, it becomes less fun to run a game.

So I hope the balance is there a little more than it currently is between a set of rules that everyone clearly understands and the right of the DM to ad lib from time to time for the sake of the game.


Good history lesson there and agree on most of the points.
Ability score get a bit out of hand in PF1, with people doing whatever they can to start with "20" on their god stat. Thankfully new non-random stat allocation systems have been developed since that are more balanced.

Biggest change from AD&D to Pathfinder, however, seems to be the storytelling/roleplaying aspect. Adventure modules from back then feel extremely different, more so than rulebooks. Though I guess that doesn't affect the new edition.


HangarFlying wrote:
The more I read and the more I think about and express for what I want in a game, the more it becomes obvious to me that my tastes in gaming won’t be met by a new edition of Pathfinder. Rather, the campaigns I want to run would be perfectly suited to use AD&D or some other similar OSR game as the engine.

Could you be more specific? What about AD&D appeals to you?

I'm very nostalgic for most of AD&D flavor, if not the actual mechanics. I recently concluded that I also enjoy a somewhat more gritty game, and the "flying christmas tree" superhero like game of high levels is something I only want to dabble in rarely.


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Tradition is funny. You really don't have an 18 Strength in Pathfinder, you have a +4 Strength. Sure, the encumbrance table references the score and some feats have odd numbered score perquisites, but 99% of the time it is the +4 that matters, not the 18.

Having two numbers for a thing when one would do is almost the definition of an inelegant design, but can you imagine the howls if they removed the 1-20 scale and replaced it with a -5 to +5 scale?

Nostalgia is a powerful force and generally negative. If Gary Gygax spent two seconds on a thing forty years ago, there is no reason to treat it with reverence now. Classes, levels, hit points, all of these things are serious messes that D&D (and its variants) can't escape from because of nostalgia.


I want dungeons, dragons, weapons and magic, and to roll dice. Anything else should be included if and only if the game is enriched by it. I have no need for anything to be included because of tradition.


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Ring_of_Gyges wrote:
Classes, levels, hit points, all of these things are serious messes that D&D (and its variants) can't escape from because of nostalgia.

Those seem like the most fundamental building blocks of the system. If you take them out, you're not playing a D&D game any more.

We already have plenty of role-playing games that aren't D&D. Why turn a D&D game into a not-D&D game?


Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

Tradition is funny. You really don't have an 18 Strength in Pathfinder, you have a +4 Strength. Sure, the encumbrance table references the score and some feats have odd numbered score perquisites, but 99% of the time it is the +4 that matters, not the 18.

Having two numbers for a thing when one would do is almost the definition of an inelegant design, but can you imagine the howls if they removed the 1-20 scale and replaced it with a -5 to +5 scale?

Nostalgia is a powerful force and generally negative. If Gary Gygax spent two seconds on a thing forty years ago, there is no reason to treat it with reverence now. Classes, levels, hit points, all of these things are serious messes that D&D (and its variants) can't escape from because of nostalgia.

The 3-18 stats come from the 3d6 stat allocation method. But obviously it is a bad idea to just use the ability score as is for basic rolls without the math getting out of control.

Just saying, there is a reason for it, even if it's not that relevant today.


Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

Tradition is funny. You really don't have an 18 Strength in Pathfinder, you have a +4 Strength. Sure, the encumbrance table references the score and some feats have odd numbered score perquisites, but 99% of the time it is the +4 that matters, not the 18.

...more...

I think I see your point, but I could see a value in having a separate score and modifier. I think the point buy system is fantastic. It works great for character generation, but why end it there?

Rather then use the current ability score table where 14= +2 and 16=+3, use the ability score costs table. Starting with base stats of 10, 5pts (currently a 14) gets you a +2 and 10pts gets you a +3. Players get a point to spend every even level, rather then every 4 levels. This way characters get rewarded for having more well rounded stats, rather then cranking one score into the 30's.

I think a lot of people would be upset to lose the 3d6 idea, but I think it would make for better higher level play.


Fergie wrote:
Ring_of_Gyges wrote:

Tradition is funny. You really don't have an 18 Strength in Pathfinder, you have a +4 Strength. Sure, the encumbrance table references the score and some feats have odd numbered score perquisites, but 99% of the time it is the +4 that matters, not the 18.

...more...

I think I see your point, but I could see a value in having a separate score and modifier. I think the point buy system is fantastic. It works great for character generation, but why end it there?

Rather then use the current ability score table where 14= +2 and 16=+3, use the ability score costs table. Starting with base stats of 10, 5pts (currently a 14) gets you a +2 and 10pts gets you a +3. Players get a point to spend every even level, rather then every 4 levels. This way characters get rewarded for having more well rounded stats, rather then cranking one score into the 30's.

I think a lot of people would be upset to lose the 3d6 idea, but I think it would make for better higher level play.

Indeed there is some silly discrepancy that increasing your Ability Scores is expotential at character creation but linear later. Making them slower to increase the higher it is even with items and stuff sounds pretty complicated but would balance things out.

Just plz no ALL-LINEAR like in Starfinder where your spread almost has no impact after a few levels.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This is an interesting question.
The one legacy thing that I would most like to get rid of is experience. I already do exclusively story levelling, and find that it makes gameplay much more smooth.
The one place I would most go back to legacy is to abolish point buy. I enjoy sometimes playing a weaker character, sometimes playing a stronger character. I also enjoy looking at my list of 6 rolled stats and figuring out how to make the kind of character I want from those six numbers.


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2E should not make any distinction between rolled stats/point buy/arrays. These have always been things that different tables vary on, and forcing everyone to use one method (at least in the core rules) is unnecessary.

As for stats having both score and modifiers, I agree that having the scores themselves is largely pointless, with a singular exception.

Ability damage applies to the score itself, not the modifier, and thus you need 2 points of ability damage/drain before the ability damage has an actual effect. If scores were ditched and only modifiers used, anything that causes ability damage would need to be carefully tweaked.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I'm all for bringing Thac0 back into the game.

...

I'm with Redelia on this. I could do perfectly well without xp, but I love rolling for stats and I I wouldn't want to see that go.

Apart from that it's more the feeling that I got from AD&D compared to Pathfinder. I don't remember that my AD&D characters felt so powerful compared to their environment than even low-level PCs in Pathfinder do. The characters felt more down-to-earth compared to their modern counterparts, the opponents felt more dangerous, so to me, it felt more like you really had to risk something to save the world

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I originally switched to Pathfinder because I felt it was "more" like AD&D than 4e was. While I enjoy other system, Pathfinder is one I keep playing because it scratches that "D&D" spot in my brain. So I guess IMO, AD&D should have a big influence on Pathfinder 2.0, because otherwise I'll likely be a lot less interested in it.

So I want 6 ability scores on a 3-18 scale. I want humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, half-elves/orcs, and gnomes. I want fighter/cleric/wizard/rogue, as well as paladin, ranger, illusionist, monk, druid. I'm okay with some variants on these - names have changed for some, specialty priests are ok for druids, illusionists have long been specialist wizards. I want hit points, and armor class, and spell levels that don't match up with character levels. I want magic items with +s. I want spells called cure light wounds and magic missile and meteor swarm. I want saving throws. I want smart dragons with breath weapons and spellcasting. I want to be able to creatively use magic to solve problems.

Dark Archive

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Good thoughts here.. one thing I'd like to say about the shift of power from the GM to the players.. I've been playing since redbox in the '80s, and switched and played all the editions. Yeah player knows what he can and can't do numbers wise, but as the GM its my world, so what's standard is not always standard in my world. Just like monsters, just because the book lists them as X and Y doesn't mean mine are that as well. This is how I keep vets in the dark and they have a great time playing. I am VERY upfront about all this to my players, and tell them if they don't like this rule we can play another game or they can run the game and I'll play. BUT they make me run, so I run the game that fits my story and my world. No one has ever complained or ever left in a huff to cry in the corner.


They should bring back percentile STR scores. Nothing better in the old days of having a Fighter with 18/94 and dismissing that foe with his puny 18/04 :)

I jest of course

In all seriousness I'd want to see both the rolling and points buy options remain. Rolling stats is fun, but by the same token its randomness can create some real character disparities within a group. If you allow low array re-rolls aren't you essentially nerfing the point of rolling?

I've always warmed to the notion that PCs are special, fated and having exceptional (or at least above average) stats reflected that. Point buying gives that flexibility, so I would like them to stay.

Reinstating that mystery surrounding the DM and their decisions would be great, but in a world of OGLs and optimisation threads think that's a wish too far.


That is pretty much exactly how I feel as well.

ryric wrote:
So I want 6 ability scores on a 3-18 scale.

Is that for character generation, or throughout the game? AD&D pretty much limited ability scores to an 18, (18/00 for strength), of perhaps a 19 if you could wrangle it from race, age, a girdle of giant strength or something. As monsters did not have ability scores, only deities had really high scores, and those topped out at 25!

How would you feel about limiting ability scores, at least a little? For example, what if scores over 18 provided less benefit, and were more difficult to achieve? Or what if magic like bulls strength or a belt of strength could not raise a score past 18? What if scores in the high 20's were only achievable when you were about 20th level?

I find one of the things that is very different from AD&D is the vast amount of magic spells, consumables and permanent magic items. At higher levels, it seems like about a third of a characters power can come from magic. I think going in that direction of less magical augmentation would help the game run more smoothly.


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Bring back potion miscibility!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Fergie wrote:

That is pretty much exactly how I feel as well.

ryric wrote:
So I want 6 ability scores on a 3-18 scale.

Is that for character generation, or throughout the game? AD&D pretty much limited ability scores to an 18, (18/00 for strength), of perhaps a 19 if you could wrangle it from race, age, a girdle of giant strength or something. As monsters did not have ability scores, only deities had really high scores, and those topped out at 25!

How would you feel about limiting ability scores, at least a little? For example, what if scores over 18 provided less benefit, and were more difficult to achieve? Or what if magic like bulls strength or a belt of strength could not raise a score past 18? What if scores in the high 20's were only achievable when you were about 20th level?

I find one of the things that is very different from AD&D is the vast amount of magic spells, consumables and permanent magic items. At higher levels, it seems like about a third of a characters power can come from magic. I think going in that direction of less magical augmentation would help the game run more smoothly.

Monsters had Int scores. You could infer some strength scores for giants from the girdle of giant strength categories. Of course, the bonuses for scores above 18 made little sense either - try finding the logic in cleric bonus spell progression past 18 Wisdom, I challenge you.

I actually don't care for current Pathfinder characters being able to start with 20s. So I'm perfectly fine if they choose to tone down the superhuman stats a bit.


I personally would rather have PF1e as the biggest influence on PF2e. After that, it would be D&D 3.5 and D&D 3e having the bigger influences.

AD&D should only influence PF2e inasmuch as AD&D influenced those three above (PF1e, 3.5, and 3e).

AD&D was good for it's time, but I think most who play PF and even others choose to play PF (or 5e, or 3.x or 4e) because they like things in those systems that AD&D did not have.


I have been playing AD&D in recent years again. I don't think Paizo is going to make an OSR game but two things deserve to be looked at IMHO.

1. The power level of spells. Greater Magic weapon for example scales, the 2E equivalent is a 4th level spell that grants a +1 bonus. A buff spell that grants a +3 bonus is level 5. I like the D&D way better IMHO.

2. The way saves scale. A high level AD&D fighter makes their saves around 75% of the time ignoring magic items. A 5E and Pathfinder fighter can fail saves around 75% of the time.


Fergie wrote:


The main characteristic that has been removed from the game is: restrictions on characters. AD&D was filled with sever restrictions based on character sex, ability scores, race, class, and even social status. If you were allowed to even have a specific combination, there were often hard level caps that prevented a character from progressing. I don't think anyone is really considering a return to those type of restrictions.

Certainly not many of those specific restrictions, but I would love to see more class-based restrictions generally. It's what gives the game flavour and choices between class meaning.

Quote:


While I don't see any push for altering the basic six ability scores, I do think the dice based methods of character generation should be retired from the game. The idea of basing each ability score on random rolls of the six sided die is over. A character should not have his relative power level to the other PCs, and game world, based on a single set of rolls. Starting ability scores should be point buy, array, or something like that.

I'm entirely opposed to this too. It feels like removing interesting challenges, and enabling the sort of optimisation-focus that I find tedious at best and actively detrimental to the game at worst.

Quote:


I think it is time to give a little more control of some aspects of the game back to the GM. This is especially true for how crafting is handled.

Entirely in agreement with you there.

Quote:


Alignment is another aspect of AD&D that seems a little archaic, however, I think it is best to keep that for a separate thread.

Some of us very much want to have archaic (and eat it).


My preference would be very little.

I've played since AD&D, and back in those days, I played a ton of other games. I essentially kept looking for a better game everywhere, and kept playing AD&D because friends did.

Once 3.0 dawned, I played it almost exclusively. Continued that with 3.5 and PF.

The more AD&D is in there, the less I will likely care for it.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Same here, AD&D was a game I only played because 'playing is better than not playing' (something I no longer believe to be true)

I played lots of different games before 3e, but almost exclusively 3e afterwards. That said, it really was showing it's age by the time of 4e. I'd like to see even less of AD&D in P2e, is what I'm saying here.

Shadow Lodge

I would be on board with slowing the increase of ability scores at high level, especially if the change simultaneously makes it more efficient to increase your secondary stats as you level. I don't mind that SAD builds exist so much as I mind the fact that it's way easier to pump your Int or Dex than it is to spread your investment among 3-4 stats.

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