Facing!


Prerelease Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

Really, guys, I hope you bring back facing as a thing.

It makes movement on the tactical mat much more interesting.

It makes maneuverability in aerial combat a thing again. I hate the idea that a flying creature is limited in its turning radius during a turn, but can fly away at a 180° angle with no penalty from one turn to the next.

It makes using a shield a tactical decision, because that shield doesn't protect you from attacks from just any angle.

Lack of facing in PF1.0 is a big problem for some of us. And it doesn't have to be overly complex to add realms of complexity to a fight.


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Nope! Please don't. it's a needless complication, and I say that as someone who loves the current complexity of PF and dreading the term "simpler and more streamlined".


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Please no. Combat is nicely abstracted, facing _is_ overly complex and doesn't gel well with that at all.

Combat (and descriptions of combat) can vary between 'swing and miss' and Princess Bride style purple prose dueling, depending on table taste. Square or hexgrid facing grinds the gears of both of those options and a lot in between. Not to mention not using squares or hexgrids...


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Facing is not only tedious to play out in just about any scenario, but it is also remarkably unrealistic. In the span of 6 seconds, someone in a fight can easily survey 360 degrees and be aware of what is going on around them.


I would not add it to a new core rules set.
I would add it to a tabletop combat expansion.

I'm not one to talk about other games on Paizo's forums but I really adored D&D 4e combat and I'm down with miniature use. I don't however want to force people who don't want to use such things to have to use them as part of core.


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Would make Play By Post even more of a nightmare.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:
Facing is not only tedious to play out in just about any scenario, but it is also remarkably unrealistic. In the span of 6 seconds, someone in a fight can easily survey 360 degrees and be aware of what is going on around them.

Although I easily understand this point concerning combattants on foot, I think it starts to fall apart when you get on horseback and completely falls apart when you start flying. Galloping in to strike your foe on one turn, then galloping away with a 180° change in direction on the next turn doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing. Even more so when flying, since there currently is such a think as maneuverability classes and such.

One thing that PF2.0 will hopefully deal with is the disparity between different modes of movement. Hopefully they will no longer hide logical combat options like ride-by attack and fly-by attack behind feats, but make them part of standard combat options.

Especially for flying creatures, and somewhat for mounted combat, facing still feels like it's important.


No facing please. Needlessly complex and only slows combat even more that it already is.


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Wheldrake wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Facing is not only tedious to play out in just about any scenario, but it is also remarkably unrealistic. In the span of 6 seconds, someone in a fight can easily survey 360 degrees and be aware of what is going on around them.

Although I easily understand this point concerning combattants on foot, I think it starts to fall apart when you get on horseback and completely falls apart when you start flying. Galloping in to strike your foe on one turn, then galloping away with a 180° change in direction on the next turn doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing. Even more so when flying, since there currently is such a think as maneuverability classes and such.

One thing that PF2.0 will hopefully deal with is the disparity between different modes of movement. Hopefully they will no longer hide logical combat options like ride-by attack and fly-by attack behind feats, but make them part of standard combat options.

Especially for flying creatures, and somewhat for mounted combat, facing still feels like it's important.

You know what, I can actually agree with that. Mounted movement and Flying (especially) were always a bit wonky. And it could make exceptionally large creatures interesting if they had facing rules. However, this is stuff that exists largely situationally. The core assumption should be a combatant on foot.


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Some things belong in the realm of houserules and optionals. This is one of those things, in regards to PF.


Facing definitely doesn't make the game easier to play or learn, and that seems to be a primary goal.

This is something that does not need to be in the game.


In a 6 second round you shouldn't have to commit the direction in which you're facing for all that time. It doesn't make sense.

You could have a system where for example, if a character makes and acrobatics check and moves to the opposite side of an opponent it can get some sort of flanking-like advantage because they outmaneuvered their opponent and briefly got into their backside, but that's all.

Besides it only exacerbates issues with action economy, when one side of a combat has more individuals on it than the other.


Wheldrake wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Facing is not only tedious to play out in just about any scenario, but it is also remarkably unrealistic. In the span of 6 seconds, someone in a fight can easily survey 360 degrees and be aware of what is going on around them.

Galloping in to strike your foe on one turn, then galloping away with a 180° change in direction on the next turn doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing. Even more so when flying, since there currently is such a think as maneuverability classes and such.

Especially for flying creatures, and somewhat for mounted combat, facing still feels like it's important.

Then play it as such. If you don't like the way that rule works, then play it how you think it should go. The rules should always take a back seat to the story, lest rules-lawyer-syndrome instantly appears.


Kargush wrote:
Some things belong in the realm of houserules and optionals. This is one of those things, in regards to PF.

Exactly. Each group has its own preferences and houserules. A lot of people aren't going to like this or that houserule, but your group might, and you're only trying to please your group and no-one else.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

No, please. No facing. That's a whole different level of confusion


On reflection for flying something like 'memory of direction' between turns may be all that is required rather than facing.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Or facing could be an optional stance ability -- you would gain benefits and drawbacks from fully focusing your attention in a single direction.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Add me to the “No Facing” camp. Not the kind of miniatures battle complexity I’m looking for.


I strongly prefer the rules making miniatures less necessary, rather than more.


Wheldrake wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Facing is not only tedious to play out in just about any scenario, but it is also remarkably unrealistic. In the span of 6 seconds, someone in a fight can easily survey 360 degrees and be aware of what is going on around them.

Although I easily understand this point concerning combattants on foot, I think it starts to fall apart when you get on horseback and completely falls apart when you start flying. Galloping in to strike your foe on one turn, then galloping away with a 180° change in direction on the next turn doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing. Even more so when flying, since there currently is such a think as maneuverability classes and such.

One thing that PF2.0 will hopefully deal with is the disparity between different modes of movement. Hopefully they will no longer hide logical combat options like ride-by attack and fly-by attack behind feats, but make them part of standard combat options.

Especially for flying creatures, and somewhat for mounted combat, facing still feels like it's important.

That's even worse. If facing applies to some creatures but not others and even more to yet other creatures, but they have the same amount of actions in the same amount of time... Ugh. The combat round just did something timey-wimey and exploded in a hail of paradox.


dragonhunterq wrote:
Nope! Please don't. it's a needless complication, and I say that as someone who loves the current complexity of PF and dreading the term "simpler and more streamlined".

Wow! You summed up my thoughts exactly.


If you want facing, make a house rule that you resolve during play. So long as you stay away from having to mess with other game modifiers you don't bump into problems with character generation or folks using automation.

Personally, I like facing in a game, though none of my current games use it. If I wanted to implement facing into a PF game, it would be very easy to do. Facing rules usually are fairly easy and quick. Its basically a tweak to the flanking rules.


I use the cardboard Pathfinder pawns to play. They have faces on both sides. If they do make this change, could I request butt-side pictures of all the Pathfinder iconics so I can glue them on to make facing clearer?


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God, please do not bring back facing.


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I had a DM who tried to houserule facing back in.

Spoiler:
It f*@$ing sucked.

Grand Lodge

Man, I feel really bad for Wheldrake (the OP).

I do agree that while facing may make sense logically that it's a real nightmare to play; I just feel bad for the guy who put out his OP and everyone is shooting it down.

. . . .

Here's what I feel would be GOOD....
PLAYTEST Facing!

Paizo can come up with a possible mechanic that includes Facing and we can see it playtest. If they actually find a way to make it work, who knows?

Remember when 2nd-Ed was going away and everyone SCREAMED at 3.0 for making Initiative only ONE roll at the beginning of combat? "You mean we're going to be STUCK with the same Initiative EVERY Round?! HELL NO! We should keep rolling Initiative EVERY Round like we've done for 25 years!"
....But as it turns out, one Initiative roll is okay.


A lot of us have already played games with facing, including Paizo. That's why it got dumped in the first place.

To bring back facing, Paizo would have to bring some serious innovation to the concept if they wanted to solve all the problems it brings. Is doing so worth the cost? Is it worth the risk if they burn resources trying to make it work instead of refining other mechanics?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Add me to the list for NO FACING.


why do people say facing is complex and hard? it is really simple to use. you are facing in x direction, so in direction y you don't get shield bonus to ac, and you are considered flank by any attack coming from direction y. is that really that hard? There also no need for 3.5 reach weapon exception, if facing is used because the map grid rotates with the way you are facing. But considering what they are doing with shields now, There seems to be no need for facing. I say make it optional rule for those that want it. But don't make it mandatory. I think after we see new action ec and the way things work, half of people complaints are wish will all be un-justified. Everyone needs to clam down, stop speculating, wait until the play test are actually release. Then test and criticize so that the dev team can make changes or adjustments. Everyone is basing everything on 1st edition pathfinder which is based on a severely broken 3.5 system. I mean look at the mounted combat and charging rules. half the feats tied to those combat options don't work as written and require GM rule every game to determine how they work, or seek a newly written feat from splat book x, or GM has to switch to unchained action economy because charge works differently there. an exception need to be written in a FAQ so we can attack angled hallway with reach weapons. We have no clue what is actually in store for the new edition. The way systems, classes and abilities, feats are going to be implemented may be completely different from current system. Stuff may sound bad, or seem like it just won't work, because everyone is basing it off of 1st ed. who know maybe facing will be in 2nd edition and it will works super smoothly and be fun.

Liberty's Edge

I'm in the "please no facing" camp. It's a roleplaying game, not a tactical combat game. Combat rules are abstract, and don't need this extreme level of precision/simulation.


As a DM I tried putting facing in the system in order to have more visually interesting combats and to buff rogues. Worst move I've ever made.


I might like to playtest facing for flying and really big creatures (like... gargantuan?).

I doubt it works, but playtest is the right place to try it, and who knows, maybe they hit a homerun and find something that is cool. If not, you can just remove it.


I can see facing for movement (only) of flying creatures and possibly fast-moving large runners that are already restricted in how they move (eg a flyer with Clumsy maneuverability can only turn 60 degrees per round as an Action).

But NO NO NO to facing in combat because it makes no sense and adds nothing to the game. I get the idea that Mr Wheldrake has never done fencing or martial arts or LARP combat or SCA. Rotation in combat is very easy and takes fractions of a second.

I will allow an exception for siege engines.


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KainPen wrote:
why do people say facing is complex and hard?

Not what I and others are saying - unnecessarily complex is the issue. I agree facing isn't hard to implement but it is quite simply not worth it. You don't gain enough (quite the opposite actually) to warrant it.


W E Ray wrote:


Remember when 2nd-Ed was going away and everyone SCREAMED at 3.0 for making Initiative only ONE roll at the beginning of combat? "You mean we're going to be STUCK with the same Initiative EVERY Round?! HELL NO! We should keep rolling Initiative EVERY Round like we've done for 25 years!"
....But as it turns out, one Initiative roll is okay.

i don't remember that. I remember a general air of relief that each combat round past the first would be bogged down slightly less.

The thing is, facing in D&D-alikes has been playtested. The effects on the abstracted combat system aren't a mystery- it adds complications for the sake of complications, but doesn't reward anyone more than the basic flanking rules do.

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