My Pathfinder 2e Litmus test


Prerelease Discussion


So, it's been announced. And although it's claimed to be "evolutionary", much of the messages that have come out appear to be more revolutionary than evolutionary.

Regardless, the playtest will be out in August, and the standard I'll be judging it against will be:

Does the new system provide a framework that allows me, as a player, to create a character with the same capabilities as a character I could create in the existing system?

Does the system provide clear and meaningful advancement to a PC as it advances in levels?

Does the new system provide a framework that allows me, as a GM, to create a world with the same internal consistency that I can create in the existing system?

When it comes to a new system, I care a lot more about the crunch than the flavour. I do not doubt Paizo's creative team's ability to come up with fantastic flavour, regardless of the ruleset. However, if a ruleset invalidates a certain playstyle, character type, or world, no amount of splatbooks will be able to fix it.

Ideally, I'd like to see more avenues opened up, but I'd be happy with the status quo.


By necessity any change is going to open some doors and shut some others.

“There can be change as long as it doesn’t change anything “?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The answer to 1 will probably be no. Or at least, some types of character you can create in Pf1 will no longer be possible, because a new system will always have fewer options than one with lots of splatbooks.

The answer to 2 will probably be yes.

I'm guessing the answer to 3 will be no; I suspect they're going to prioritise ease of use over logical consistency.


Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like the rules to be consistent with the world, but in practice, no one cares about the inner workings behind the screen of the gm, my players surely don't. So it becomes complexity for the sake of my own peace of mind. And that is not enough of a reason to have an uber complicated system to make something as simple as a dumb monster that would last 3 turns at max alive.


I'm not too concerned with stuff that can be handled with a splatbook. Every class that's been printed in Pathfinder splatbooks has not required the framework defined by the Pathfinder core rulebook to change.


Mekkis wrote:

Does the new system provide a framework that allows me, as a player, to create a character with the same capabilities as a character I could create in the existing system?

Given some of the stupidly overpowered builds that are possible in 1E PF, is this actually a good goal?

Mekkis wrote:

Does the system provide clear and meaningful advancement to a PC as it advances in levels?

This one is a good goal. A character should get better as they level up... and I get the impression from the D&D 5e groups that I watch that D&D doesn't really meet this goal.

From what I've read about 2E PF though is that characters DO advance.

Mekkis wrote:

Does the new system provide a framework that allows me, as a GM, to create a world with the same internal consistency that I can create in the existing system?

This is definitely important.

Mekkis wrote:

When it comes to a new system, I care a lot more about the crunch than the flavour.

I do too. My group mostly uses homebrew stuffs anyhow, so what Paizo is providing is the rules framework to make play possible. I'd like to see better (or at least clearer and better organized) rules about many things. One thing that came up recently is "how much cargo can a cart carry?" and the answer from the CRB was... "Maybe". And the follow up question of "can we (and the cart) outrun the bandits trying to pillage said cart?" was also "Maybe".

The research went something like this:

Carts?:

P.163 CRB, Cart: This two-wheeled vehicle can be drawn by a single
horse (or other beast of burden). It comes with a harness.

Okay... the ships have cargo capacity listed in descriptions, carts do not. It's stated that a cart is 200 lbs?

P 169 CRB, A character can generally push or drag along the
ground as much as five times his maximum load.
Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad
circumstances can reduce them by half or more.

Is a wheeled vehicle favorable conditions?

P 177 of Bestiary 1; Horse has 16 strength.

P 171 of CRB; 16 strength is 76-153-230 lbs load. and the previous page mentions that Large Quadrupeds have 3x that.. so um... wait is this where multiplying is adding or not? If it's true multiplication, that's 5*3, possibly with an additional doubling, for 15-30x that so.. 1,140 pounds for a light load..

..okay now I've completely forgotten what I was doing. Forget it, let's just fight the stupid bandits.

It doesn't seem like this should be one of those weird, exotic questions.. it would be nice to see a more thorough set of rules for this.

For anybody curious as to what happened, we actually did end up fighting the bandits as the DM got tired of the cart-cargo question and had a roadblock appear around the next bend suddenly. He had planned the bandit encounter as a simple random encounter on the road, but when we started asking about the possibility of using our superior mobility to escape, he liked the idea of turning it into a chase, and was ultimately disappointed when the rules fell rather flat.

After the session was over, I looked into it on d20pfsrd and discovered that Ultimate Combat has some sort of rules for cargo capacity and such... shouldn't really need a splatbook to cover a simple question like that, specially since the cart and horse are both listed in the CRB.

(the idea of running was inspired by an episode of Dragons and Things we'd all seen recently)


This is a good litmus test.

Regarding 1), it wont be possible right away. You wont be ablw to build gunslingers until gunslinger class book is out, for example. Same with mediums, psychics, and witches If what you expwct, tho, is that the core classes im pf2 have the same degree of flexibility than pf1 had, that might or might not happen, but it is possible. Also, character CONCEPTS might be possible without a class. For example, maybe you can build a good fighter/mage that fills the same «sword and spells» niche than magus, but with different skills and ability

Grand Lodge

1) Provide lots of options -- depth and complexity = good

2) Don't go so far astray from PF that PF2 is completely alien -- like a completely different system

3) Give more control and prerogative back to the DM -- DM freedom is more conducive to storytelling and game atmosphere

4) Don't dumb-down the game trying to simplify everything


Kerrilyn wrote:
Mekkis wrote:

Does the new system provide a framework that allows me, as a player, to create a character with the same capabilities as a character I could create in the existing system?

Given some of the stupidly overpowered builds that are possible in 1E PF, is this actually a good goal?

Definitely.

The 1e Pathfinder framework incorporates Touch AC, which enables low-BAB classes such as wizards to have a means to make attack rolls against many creatures as the challenge rating increases.

This is an illustration of a framework enabling a wizard to perform certain types of pinpoint targeting.

The fact that a splatbook then creates a full-BAB fighter-style class that hits touch AC is not a problem with the framework - it's what happens when a published option abuses the framework.

I want the framework. Later options are free to use and abuse it. If the abuse is too blatant, I can drop those options in my games.

If the framework is broken, it's a problem no splatbooks can fix.


W E Ray wrote:

1) Provide lots of options -- depth and complexity = good

2) Don't go so far astray from PF that PF2 is completely alien -- like a completely different system

3) Give more control and prerogative back to the DM -- DM freedom is more conducive to storytelling and game atmosphere

I think your 3) contradicts your 2)


Mekkis wrote:
So, it's been announced. And although it's claimed to be "evolutionary", much of the messages that have come out appear to be more revolutionary than evolutionary.

Evolution means "change." Is the edition changing? Yes? Then it's evolutionary.


evolution implies natural change as opposed to revolution which means a forcible overthrow in favor of a new system. the OP is right


Hythlodeus wrote:
evolution implies natural change as opposed to revolution which means a forcible overthrow in favor of a new system. the OP is right

Evolution is both natural and forced. It applies to both. Changes, development, growth are all a part of system evolution.

Revolution is the overthrow and uprising by another. PF1 was revolutionary to D&D. It overtook the gaming industry and threw out the old with the new.

PF2 is just an evolving of the company in the same way that SF was. Whether you like it or not is irrespective to whether it is changing.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / My Pathfinder 2e Litmus test All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion