PF2 is NOT 5e


Prerelease Discussion


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Here are the key statements in regards to 5e by the staff:

"This thing is far less 5e-inspired than people are assuming based on the first day of information we've dropped and the use of some similar terminology." ... "While it's reasonable to assume that developments in other games have gone into some of our thinking with this new edition, it'd be wrong to assume that we're explicitly trying to make the game more like 5e, or like any other game. What we're trying to do is make the very best version of Pathfinder that we can." - Erik Mona (link)

"The fact of the matter is that [Pathfinder 2 and D&D 5E] are branches of the same tree to some degree; the design goals that they had with D&D 5th Edition were "4th didn't really work, how do we take the basic 3.5 rules, or really going back to 1st Edition, and evolve those into today", and they had a set - I assume - of design goals. We're doing the same thing in the sense of we had Pathfinder, which is an off-branch of 3.5, and now we want to make Pathfinder the best version of Pathfinder, and so there's going to be some things that are similar but in no way is there an intent to make this 5.1. Quite frankly, we're so busy playing Pathfinder, which we enjoy, that we're not experts at 5th edition. We wouldn't dream of making "an even better versions of 5E!"; that's not the goal. The goal is to make a better version of Pathfinder, and it may be that some of the solutions we come up with are similar to some of the solutions that they came up with, and frankly some of the solutions that they came up with are very similar to Pathfinder in the first place!" - Erik Mona (Know Direction Interview)

"Some people ask is this a versions of 4E or 5E. It's neither of those, it's a version of Pathfinder. Still crunchy, still expansion-heavy. The things our fans love, like more options and more stuff they can dig deep into. 5E is a little simpler, a little more loose, a different play style than Pathfinder. We want to maintain a similar play style while smoothing down some of the rough edges." - Logan Bonner (Know Direction Interview)

So can we please stop claiming that it is?


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That does not mean there is some things in 5e PF 2e should not steal. Heck 5e stole PF archtypes.

Shadow Lodge

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Let's be fair, though. PF archetypes were just a natural evolution of 3.5's Alternate Class Features. Which themselves were a variant on 2e's alternative class packages that I don't know the name for.


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Orthos wrote:
Let's be fair, though. PF archetypes were just a natural evolution of 3.5's Alternate Class Features. Which themselves were a variant on 2e's alternative class packages that I don't know the name for.

Kits!


Orthos wrote:
Let's be fair, though. PF archetypes were just a natural evolution of 3.5's Alternate Class Features. Which themselves were a variant on 2e's alternative class packages that I don't know the name for.

I liked those more than archetypes as they were modular. I especially miss them on classes that don't have things like rage powers or revelations.


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PF2 may not be 5e

But most of the mechanics they have unvieled to date are fuctionally the same.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

PF2 may not be 5e

But most of the mechanics they have unvieled to date are fuctionally the same.

And yet, here are the developers flat out saying it's not true.

The closest I've even seen is upcasting, and even that's not the same.


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necromental wrote:


I liked those more than archetypes as they were modular. I especially miss them on classes that don't have things like rage powers or revelations.

PF2 archetypes do look to be modular to a significant degree - moreso than ACFs, actually, maybe more like VMCs that don't need to be tied to existing classes if I'm understanding it right - which I think will be especially good for a sort of "make-your-own-class" game for lots of options out the gate. Seifer mentioned being able to create a functional Magus with what's in the playtest rules, which maybe means you can swap out some class feats to make the equivalent of a magus or eldritch scoundrel or even mystic theurge right out the gate.

(Done right, this could mean that while it would still take a while to fill out totally gonzo, super-specific stuff, PF2 could actually quickly fill a number of basic holes that PF1 never quite did, or that took a while to. In principle multiclassing could do much of this, but there are a number of issues with 3e-style multiclassing that make it ill-suited for bearing the weight of doing this on its own.)

Volkard Abendroth wrote:

PF2 may not be 5e

But most of the mechanics they have unvieled to date are fuctionally the same.

Many of the solutions are going to be convergent because 1) they're trying to solve some of the problems inherent to the 3e chassis without straying too far from some of its assumptions, and 2) successful solutions to things often get copied when they present a suitable idea, which is a good thing. (Pathfinder, and its parent the OGL, depend upon this!)

Paizo staff has mentioned something to the effect that they're so focused on Pathfinder that they're barely aware of what other editions are doing, and to be perfectly blunt I hope that's just something they're saying to assague some of the attitudes you see on these forums - the designers should be playing 5e and 4e and 13th Age and Dungeon World and a bunch of weird OSR heartbreakers and also games that aren't D&Dish at all. Being derivative, ironically, usually comes from having too few outside influences.

That said, the most obvious single source of the rules changes looks to be Pathfinder Unchained - which isn't too surprising, since it reflects much of the thinking about how they'd like to reform the system had they the opportunity to do so.


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bookrat wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

PF2 may not be 5e

But most of the mechanics they have unvieled to date are fuctionally the same.

And yet, here are the developers flat out saying it's not true.

The closest I've even seen is upcasting, and even that's not the same.

Skill proficiency decided by class

No more BAB or skill points all rolls are character level + mod

Non-scaling spells -use overcasting

No more swift/move/standard actions


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5E is a really good game.

Is it the best in its genre? No. But it's very popular for a good reason.

We shouldn't kneejerk to "ew, that sounds like 5E, gross!" We should acknowledge that there's a lot of reasons that people recommend 5E to TTRPG newbies. We certainly don't want a "dumbed down" PF2 in the same way 5E is dumbed down in terms of character creation, but that doesn't mean there's nothing from 5E that we should look to and say "hey, that's really working, let's do something like that."

I just don't want to see this board get biased against solid game mechanics just because they bear a resemblance to 5E.

Shadow Lodge

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I think it's more of a "if I wanted 5e I'd play 5e" thing. I and many others like that there are distinct differences and lack of similarities between the two systems. Thus the fewer similarities, the better.

Some things yes will inevitably be similar, just from the fact that they're both TTRPGs produced in the same era. That's just unavoidable fact.

But the more similar things show up in PF that are near- or exact copies of something in 5e, the more people are potentially likely to respond "Why don't I just play 5e instead?".


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:

PF2 may not be 5e

But most of the mechanics they have unvieled to date are fuctionally the same.

And yet, here are the developers flat out saying it's not true.

The closest I've even seen is upcasting, and even that's not the same.

Skill proficiency decided by class

No more BAB or skill points all rolls are character level + mod

Non-scaling spells -use overcasting

No more swift/move/standard actions

Skill proficiency is not decided by class, at least not entirely. We've been told you get to pick skills. Perception is no longer a skill, so you might be thinking of that.

5e uses a slower-scaling proficiency modifier so that leveling does less. I don't think we've had a proper reveal on how skills work, but I could be wrong.

Sure. Getting rid of auto-scaling isn't exactly surprising, though.

"No swift/move/standard" is a huge stretch to say it's like 5e. It's just something that's different from PF1. PF2 uses three actions, while 5e is using an action and a move. Those play out pretty differently.

They've also revealed iteratives, variable cost spells, a different crit system, spell crits, archetypes, and three types of feats.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:

Skill proficiency decided by class

No more BAB or skill points all rolls are character level + mod

Non-scaling spells -use overcasting

No more swift/move/standard actions

None of those make the game like 5e. The first one is just like Class Skills decided by class. You get to spend resources into them. The second one has said by the devs that does not work that way, and you spend things to increase your skills. The third one has not been fully revealed yet, and is pretty probable that uses undercasting, like Starfinder and Psychic spells. And the last one, they replaced swift-move-standard by a 3 action turn, which is nothing like 5e.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Skill proficiency decided by class

In 5e, which skills you have proficiency in is given by your background, sometimes your race, and a set of options included by your class - ironically class is the least determinative.

(That said, you might actually be accidentally right that they use the same methods here, since I haven't heard them claim that PF2 involves your skill proficiencies being directly determined by your class, and I don't see why it couldn't relate to the above, either.)

Quote:

No more BAB or skill points all rolls are character level + mod

Non-scaling spells -use overcasting

Yes, those are in 5e.

Quote:
No more swift/move/standard actions

5e calls those bonus actions, movement which aren't technically called an action but you get your movement each turn, and just regular actions. There are some marginal differences that effect how to optimally play the action economy, but 3e, 4e, PF1, and 5e all have extremely similar systems on this front, with PF2 being the odd one out.


bookrat wrote:
4th didn't really work

Funny thing is our group is about to try 4e for the first time. It's about as dead as PF 1e or 3.5, so we figure we might as well give it a shot now.


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People say many things, not all of them are true. Especially when they are pitching their "new amazing version" of something. Experience taught me that.

Look at facts, not words.


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Fact - Pathfinder is a set of "House Rules" for playing Dungeons & Dragons

Fact - Dungeons & Dragons is a set of "House Rules" for playing controlled sessions of "Make Believe"

Fact - Make Believe is a set of House Rules created by children to pretend to be anything other than children


Or children other than themselves.


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Terquem wrote:

Fact - Pathfinder is a set of "House Rules" for playing Dungeons & Dragons

Fact - Dungeons & Dragons is a set of "House Rules" for playing controlled sessions of "Make Believe"

Fact - Make Believe is a set of House Rules created by children to pretend to be anything other than children

I mean, you're technically not wrong. (The best kind of not being wrong)


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
That does not mean there is some things in 5e PF 2e should not steal. Heck 5e stole PF archtypes.

Seconded and why not. The only difference is that they should be honest about borrowing and being inspired by 5E. It kind of hard to try and deny when it looks and plays like something from 5E.

It's like Lucas in the Star Wars prequels when they first came out and trying to hide the fact that lesser known Senator Palpatine is the NOT the Emperor in the original trilogy. He tried yet no amount of "nudge, nudge wink, wink it's not the Emperor" worked.


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Terquem wrote:

Fact - Pathfinder is a set of "House Rules" for playing Dungeons & Dragons

Fact - Dungeons & Dragons is a set of "House Rules" for playing controlled sessions of "Make Believe"
Fact - Make Believe is a set of House Rules created by children to pretend to be anything other than children

No, Dungeons & Dragons is a set of "House Rules" for playing controlled sessions of "Little Wars", an H. G. Wells game.

Gary Gygax wrote:
Consequently, Little Wars influenced my development of both the Chainmail miniatures rules and the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game.


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Fact - Little Wars is a set of House Rules for shooting tin soldiers with cork firing cannons!


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Terquem wrote:
Fact - Little Wars is a set of House Rules for shooting tin soldiers with cork firing cannons!

Or toothpicks


DarkPhoenixx wrote:

People say many things, not all of them are true. Especially when they are pitching their "new amazing version" of something. Experience taught me that.

Look at facts, not words.

This is true. What some people have said sounds VERY much like what 5e does mechanically. If everything they've said is correct, it is VERY hard to think of it just as coincidence, and more like things were taken...BUT....

I haven't actually seen the rules. I have a suspicion of what they might be, but I don't know what they actually are or what they will look like.

I absolutely HOPE PF2e is NOT 5e or even anything like 5e. There is a reason I play PF and it's NOT because it shares things with 5e.

I can see some differences between what they've said and 5e thus far, but there may be some similarities.

I know 5e is popular. I think it's because WotC were smart and made it pretty simple to learn and play. This is probably what made 1e and 2e so popular (and AD&D with 25 million gamers, I think 5e is now the second most popular RPG ever right after AD&D currently, maybe not with 25 million but far more than we've had in the hobby for decades, at least since 1995, I wouldn't be surprised it they hit the 10 million gamer mark).

Even if it is popular, I personally cannot stand it. I HOPE PF 2e is NOT 5e. If I thought it WAS...I would probably drop the game instantly. It is a good way to lose me and probably many who have chosen to play PF over the past few years.

I think, even with what some have said about PF thus far, and some striking similarities, that (or maybe it's more like hope) that it is VERY much it's own game and in nowise like 5e. I am waiting to the playtest to see what that is like, and even after that to see what changes occur and what 2e actually turns up like (not even the designers know what 2e will be at this point, I think it depends on feedback).

If feedback directs them to make it 5e...well...that will be life and I probably will be out.

If feedback makes it something I enjoy, then I'm completely in.

But, right now, I hope PF2e is NOT 5e. I'm basing joining the playtest on that theory, even if what some have pointed out sounds eerily like some aspects taken from 5e from what I've heard tossed around on various boards and in rumors.


Aren't most of the changes straight from Pathfinder Unchained moreso than 5e? Not just that but in line with the shifts in design since before 5e came out?

Since they're trying to solve the same problems with 3.X as D&D I expected some things to be similar but it looks like they're still being crunch as heck and the decries of "they're turning it into 5e!" Is only over superficial stuff. Like Hero points vs Inspiration. Hero points were around since the APG but be certain that people will say it was stolen from 5e because apparently they have a monopoly on meta currency points.


So it seems like the primary argument against the OP is, "Paizo is lying to us in order to sell their product."

And if you're at that point already, why are you even buying their products at all? Why do you even trust them to make PF1 as a decent product?


Malwing wrote:

Aren't most of the changes straight from Pathfinder Unchained moreso than 5e? Not just that but in line with the shifts in design since before 5e came out?

Yes. By far. And also borrows more from Starfinder than from 5e.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Malwing wrote:

Aren't most of the changes straight from Pathfinder Unchained moreso than 5e? Not just that but in line with the shifts in design since before 5e came out?

Yes. By far. And also borrows more from Starfinder than from 5e.

Well, vice-versa really, since Starfinder grabbed some of its stuff from PF2 development. I don't know if that makes a difference to folks, though.


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Vic Wertz also addressed this directly:

Vic wrote:
Wizards has their space. Pathfinder has our space. Challenging them in their space would be a losing proposition... for us, for them, for gamers everywhere. Everybody loses.

Here is the post in question.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:


I know 5e is popular. I think it's because WotC were smart and made it pretty simple to learn and play. This is probably what made 1e and 2e so popular (and AD&D with 25 million gamers, I think 5e is now the second most popular RPG ever right after AD&D currently, maybe not with 25 million but far more than we've had in the hobby for decades, at least since 1995, I wouldn't be surprised it they hit the 10 million gamer mark).

Not to comment on the popularity of 5e, but the AD&D thing is a pet peeve.

It certainly wasn't "pretty simple to learn and play". Building characters was simple, since there were few options, but playing the game was a glorious mess of hacked together rules and mechanics and tables that didn't seem related to each other and were ignored half the time and misinterpreted the rest.
It was wonderful and inspired, but very much an early effort. Clunky and full of missing bits and parts that didn't fit and others that were far more complex and detailed than they had any need to be. About as far from easy to learn and play or rules light as any RPG I've ever come across.


So, 5e came out 2014. Pathfinder Unchained's product page was put out July 2014, probably deveoped long before that.

I don't think PF2 is trying to lift from 5e. The precedence for all the rule changes existed in Pathfinder between APG and Unchained. I'm willing to bet Starfinder was pitched somewhere around Iron Gods with mechanics grabbed from all this.

Conclusion: people be trippin'.


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If it helps i'm not a fan of starfinder or pathfinder unchained, but i don't hate them. I do hate 5e from a rules standpoint. Hopefully I'm misunderstanding the simularities, but i still feel underwhelmed by what little we know so far.


RumpinRufus wrote:
5E is a really good game.

I wouldn't go that far, but if you dropped "really" there, I would prolly agree. There are some nifty ideas in D&D 5E. And some bad ones.

My group (groups? It's like a group an a half) would probably be playing it if it weren't for WotC's absolutely lackluster commitment to OGL and terrible reputation. Most of us remember 4E.

I'm not adverse to Paizo using some of 5E's better systems. What's that old thing about great artists stealing?

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
No more BAB or skill points all rolls are character level + mod

D&D 5e uses a "proficiency" mod, which only goes up to +6. That's somewhat different than the +20 that PF2 is (apparently?) using.

I think it would be better to say that PF2 uses um full BAB progression for all classes rather than no BAB.

Given how the math works out in the long run, basing it around +level is actually a good idea. At least my cleric would have a decent chance of hitting something at level 15 this time around.

Fighter-types could have a flat bonus and robe-wearing types could have a flat penalty with the formerly-3/4 people in between.

You could even say that we're already using the +level thing. A 3/4 person is basically BAB = level * 3/4. Full BAB = level. etc.

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