Pathfinder 2 - Spiritual Successor to D&D 4th Edition


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As more and more information is released, I see more and more of the concepts and mechanics that made my group play and enjoy 4e D&D for so long. I thought it might have just been me, but now I am seeing a growing consensus of people that also see the similarities, based upon a number of posts across the Paizo forums, the Pathfinder subreddit, and especially among 4e fans on EN World. Further, Pathfinder 2 (so far) seems to have dropped a number of the most derided elements of original 4e, the same ones dropped by 4e Essentials late in the edition's life cycle (martial encounter and daily powers, class homogeneity, etc.). It occurs to me that, had WotC committed to providing a follow-up to 4th Edition instead of or alongside 5e, it would have looked very similar to what Paizo has been previewing for PF2. I'm not saying that Paizo is trying to copy or evolve 4e in any way, but I am suggesting that PF2, intentionally or unintentionally, will be very appealing to those fans that still miss 4th Edition.

I think Charlaquin on EN World said it best: "And can I just say, I am loving seeing other 4e fans tentatively saying how much PF2 is reminding us of what we loved in 4e. Can you just imagine how delightfully ironic it would be if Pathfinder 2e became the refuge for 4e fans burnt by 5e?"

So what do you think? Do you think there is a chance that PF2 is the spiritual successor to D&D 4th Edition that 4e fans have been waiting for?


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4e wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as everyone says. I started there and can now see where it falls short, but I still enjoyed the experience.

The thing for those who dislike 4e to remember is that it was still designed. What they went for wasn't always great but they tried. There is bound to be some overlap with any number of overlap with a series that has such an intertwined lineage.

I think it will be its own thing. Not just a continuation of other things, but something truly designed by Paizo. Getting out from under the shadow of Dungeons and Dragons and becoming its own thing. Whatever similarities is merely convergent evolution.

As someone who started in 4e, though, I certainly welcome 4e fans aboard.


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Our group is going to start a 4e campaign for the first time soon. The system looks neat. No one want to run a PF 1e campaign and a lot of us don't like playing 5e.


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Which elements of new pathfinder do you believe are similar to 4e?

So far it doesn't seem that magic is (there's vancian magic). There are not encounter/daily/at will powers. Class Homogeinity is not a goal (pretty much the opposite). It has itterative attacks.

I'm not saying there are not things that resemble it. Just that I don't see them in what has been excerpted so far. It's closer to 5e than to 4e, I'd say.


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the ruleset of dnd 4e was not bad persay... though what they did to the FR was a big turn off... and not just to me.

that is all I will say.

Edit: do not reply to my post, even more so if you think it may cause bickering


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Steelfiredragon wrote:
Edit: do not reply to my post, even more so if you think it may cause bickering

I do what I want!

Anyway, I just wanted to say I hope you have a nice day.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Class Homogeinity is not a goal (pretty much the opposite). It has itterative attacks.

I'm not saying there are not things that resemble it. Just that I don't see them in what has been excerpted so far. It's closer to 5e than to 4e, I'd say.

Quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same especially if you swap out the word power for feat.


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I liked playing 4e very much, I did not like running it at all.

A lot of what I like about PF2 feels like stuff I liked about 13th Age though, which is definitely 4e inspired.


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There are a number of similarities from a 4e fan perspective, though I'd like to see more in context and in play to see if the feel carries through. However, a few examples just from the proficiency preview alone that bring back that nostalgia are the universal automatic bonus progression, skill trainings,and even the skill names (Thievery, Arcana, Athletics, Acrobatics, etc.) The 4e Thief of Legend (I believe it was called) could literally steal the armor off of a guard just as teased in the blog.

As another example, Erik Mona had hinted that the feats and spells (and presumably items, based upon more recent Paizo products) will be using a much more modernized and standardized presentation format. In addition, it looks like PF2 has gone all in on keywords (Hampered 1, Enfeebled 2, Agile, Force, Sweep, Deadly, etc.). If you've seen the 4e PHB, you know that the powers for each class were categorized by level under each class and relied heavily on keywords. One of the PF2 developer comments have already revealed that "Class Feats" will be categorized by level at the end of each class section. All PF2 would be missing is color-coded boxes to present the info, and I suspect it will have them if the Beginner Box and Starfinder are anything to go by. It's things like that that bring back the 4e memories, and it's 4th's sleek presentation, elegant math, and intuitive progression system that were more core to what 4e was than the At-Will/Encounter/Daily/Utility system (in fact, AEDU was largely abandoned by the end of the edition and I'd argue that the presence of AEDU would not be important for a theoretical 4th Edition part 2).


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MadScientistWorking wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Class Homogeinity is not a goal (pretty much the opposite). It has itterative attacks.

I'm not saying there are not things that resemble it. Just that I don't see them in what has been excerpted so far. It's closer to 5e than to 4e, I'd say.

Quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same especially if you swap out the word power for feat.

Pretty much... no?

I don't see anything in PF2 so far that suggests that if you pick "fighter", your "role" is to "tank", or that fighters will have built-in mechanics to "draw aggro".

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to build a perfectly viable archer fighter for example.


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4E actually had a ton of ideas that were each individually great in a vacuum. It just failed to gel as a whole, due to decisions made elsewhere, like how they built classes, the slogging nature of the interminable combats, the rigorously exact and mandatory nature of magic items where handing out X items of Y type Z times per level was a science that if not followed would break the system's math, and so on. I feel that if PF2 can rescue a lot of of the individual great concepts from 4E, shine them up and integrate them into a core evolved from PF1, it could really be the perfect merger of the potential of PF1 and 4E.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
4e wasn't great

The problem is Paizo built Pathfinder on the backbone of rejecting 4th ed and everything it came with. You're going to expect to see a strong anti-4th ed sentiment from those who've been here since the 3.5e days.

If Pathfinder 2nd ed turns out to hew much closer to 4th ed than it does 3.5e the big question will be: Is enough of the 3.5e fan base finally willing to move away from the ruleset and embrace a new game? And if they're not, is there enough new fans that Paizo afford to abandon it's old fans and still maintain a successful ruleset?

That said: I think it's way too early to say PF2 is D&D 4th ed with better marketing.

There are some initial indications and rhetoric that suggests the game is moving further towards 4th ed and further away from 3.5e. But how far is yet to be determined (and won't really be known until at least the playtest rules are out, if not the final rules in 2019).


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Fuzzypaws wrote:
4E actually had a ton of ideas that were each individually great in a vacuum. It just failed to gel as a whole, due to decisions made elsewhere, like how they built classes, the slogging nature of the interminable combats, the rigorously exact and mandatory nature of magic items where handing out X items of Y type Z times per level was a science that if not followed would break the system's math, and so on. I feel that if PF2 can rescue a lot of of the individual great concepts from 4E, shine them up and integrate them into a core evolved from PF1, it could really be the perfect merger of the potential of PF1 and 4E.

This was the feedback that 4e fans were providing WotC during the D&D Next playtest, but for better or worse (perhaps understandably), WotC wanted to distance itself from anything resembling 4e as much as possible. It's good to see that PF2 won't have that same approach.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Class Homogeinity is not a goal (pretty much the opposite). It has itterative attacks.

I'm not saying there are not things that resemble it. Just that I don't see them in what has been excerpted so far. It's closer to 5e than to 4e, I'd say.

Quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same especially if you swap out the word power for feat.

Pretty much... no?

I don't see anything in PF2 so far that suggests that if you pick "fighter", your "role" is to "tank", or that fighters will have built-in mechanics to "draw aggro".

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to build a perfectly viable archer fighter for example.

Nope because only a really pedantic pendant would actively argue that you couldn't make an archer fighter. You had a fighter tank, fighter support, and the boring hits stuff fighter. The class design was narrower but far more tighter. In theory the fighter class from 5E were supposed to work as all three but they didn't really have the same oomph and missed the point of them.


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As long as it does not have floating, treadmill DCs, which make the campaign world UNSTABLE and LACK VERISIMILITUDE, it will be fine. Both 4E and 5E (to a certain extent) suffer from this, making in-game stats have unstable values in interacting with the world.

As having concrete DC tables will also automatically fix NPC stat bonuses scaling differently (exceptions exist though; I'm looking at you, CR based proficiency bonus!), then all my biggest deal breakers will be exterminated.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Class Homogeinity is not a goal (pretty much the opposite). It has itterative attacks.

I'm not saying there are not things that resemble it. Just that I don't see them in what has been excerpted so far. It's closer to 5e than to 4e, I'd say.

Quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same especially if you swap out the word power for feat.

Pretty much... no?

I don't see anything in PF2 so far that suggests that if you pick "fighter", your "role" is to "tank", or that fighters will have built-in mechanics to "draw aggro".

I'm pretty sure I'll be able to build a perfectly viable archer fighter for example.

I agree with MadScientistWorking to an extent. The class progression structure revealed so far is very reminiscent of how 4e handled options and growth as characters leveled up. Even the fact that Fighters are granted a special AoO reaction to reflect their better control of the battlefield as a base ability seems like a 4e-style approach. Sudden Charge could have been a 4e At-Will Power for Fighters. The "Roles" information was more high-level information for how new players (perhaps coming from a WoW mindset) might approach 4e in a similar manner. The terminology wasn't critical to the edition itself and wouldn't have to be present in PF2 for a 4e player to feel, for example, that a cleric might make a good Healer or a wizard a good controller.


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MR. H wrote:
Our group is going to start a 4e campaign for the first time soon. The system looks neat. No one want to run a PF 1e campaign and a lot of us don't like playing 5e.

Incorporate all 3 PHBs into your game (PHB1, PHB2 and PHB3). PHB1 and PHB2 will give you the same races and classes as Pathfinder. PHB3 will get you psionic rules and skill powers (what Pathfinder 2nd ed seems to be calling skill powers).

You'd probably be better off not including the Power books for your first campaign. Although if you're really missing cleric domains Divine Power will get you those as well.

They're all available here.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Which elements of new pathfinder do you believe are similar to 4e?
  • Significantly inflated starting HP.
  • Automatic scaling bonus to all skills, attack rolls and saves.
  • Extremely similar class progression between different classes.
  • As you level up you get +X[W] to your at-will attacks (in 4th ed this was an inherent ability. In Pathfinder 2nd ed they're hiding them behind weapon enhancement bonuses that everyone is assumed to get because WBL and all that).
  • Skill Powers seem to be getting included under the name of Skill Feats.
  • Weapon qualities seem to be getting close to 4th ed weapons. All we need is to be shown a Brutal 2 weapon quality that would be "reroll 1 and 2s" and it will be exactly like 4th ed weapon qualities.
  • An apparent focus on "big damn heroes" as opposed to "ordinary scrubs put into amazing situations".

As I said, it's way too early to be calling Pathfinder 2nd ed the return of D&D 4th ed. But there are some early indicators that this is the direction Pathfinder 2nd ed is headed. Now how far do they go down that road? No-one outside of Paizo knows at this point. That said, I will not be surprised if the playtest comes out and we see some sort of functional equivalent to 4th ed's Paragon Paths.


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Lucas Yew wrote:

As long as it does not have floating, treadmill DCs, which make the campaign world UNSTABLE and LACK VERISIMILITUDE, it will be fine. Both 4E and 5E (to a certain extent) suffer from this, making in-game stats have unstable values in interacting with the world.

As having concrete DC tables will also automatically fix NPC stat bonuses scaling differently (exceptions exist though; I'm looking at you, CR based proficiency bonus!), then all my biggest deal breakers will be exterminated.

Good news for you: Mark has explicitly said, "An oak tree is just an oak tree", even at high levels. In other words, it won't get harder to climb a tree as you level up, or harder to do other basic things fixed in the world, which means you can actually get better over time.

I do obviously expect contested / opposed skill checks against NPCs to get harder, and of course there will be "special surfaces" that are harder to climb than a tree, but it sounds like they have a good overall design philosophy as far as skill check difficulty.


Lucas Yew wrote:

As long as it does not have floating, treadmill DCs, which make the campaign world UNSTABLE and LACK VERISIMILITUDE, it will be fine. Both 4E and 5E (to a certain extent) suffer from this, making in-game stats have unstable values in interacting with the world.

As having concrete DC tables will also automatically fix NPC stat bonuses scaling differently (exceptions exist though; I'm looking at you, CR based proficiency bonus!), then all my biggest deal breakers will be exterminated.

Good news: Mark Seifter has spoken up on this exact issue. Bad news for you: Pathfinder 1st ed, D&D 3.5e and D&D 3.0 all work exactly like D&D 4th ed. They just disguised the treadmill better.


MadScientistWorking wrote:


Nope because only a really pedantic pendant would actively argue that you couldn't make an archer fighter. You had a fighter tank, fighter support, and the boring hits stuff fighter. The class design was narrower but far more tighter.

So the class was not constructed under the same way than the PF class is going to be constructed, got it.

That makes "quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same" pretty much unacurate, doesn't it? The 4e classes were constructed starting by it's role. Fighter was built to fill the tank role, and thus had stuff that allowed him to be a tank. If fighter was built to be a striker, the class would be totally different, with different mechanics (instead of "mark" it will have some sort of extra damage, like quarry or sneak attack for rangers and rogues). Pathfinder does not build the classes like that. It's not even close to "quite literally almost exactly". And that's before we talk about AEDU, which was dropped later but started as part of the design goal.


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Lucas Yew wrote:
As long as it does not have floating, treadmill DCs, which make the campaign world UNSTABLE and LACK VERISIMILITUDE, it will be fine. Both 4E and 5E (to a certain extent) suffer from this, making in-game stats have unstable values in interacting with the world.

Sure 4e had a giant table that laid out Easy, Medium, and Hard DCs for each level (that scaled at the same rate as your automatic bonus progression), but the paragraphs surrounding that table explained that climbing a "Medium-challenge" wall at level one was supposed to be for normal stone walls, while a "Medium-challenge" wall at 21st level might be a wall of sheer ice on one of the layers of Hell.

I suspect Pathfinder 2 will have a similar paradigm where the Adventure Paths (for example) are expecting the PCs to make skill checks against appropriate DCs for their level. I mean, that's the way the Adventure Paths work now. The checks in Wrath of the Righteous or Strange Aeons or Giantslayer get harder and harder in each subsequent volume of the Adventure Path, just like the "treadmill" you reference. I do admit the unbounded nature of PF1 skills allow you to pour additional resources into any given skill to get ahead of this treadmill, but you'd be hard pressed to get ahead of the DCs for every single check an AP might call for at higher levels. And with the tighter math of PF2, it looks like it will be much closer to the 4e model.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:


Nope because only a really pedantic pendant would actively argue that you couldn't make an archer fighter. You had a fighter tank, fighter support, and the boring hits stuff fighter. The class design was narrower but far more tighter.

So the class was not constructed under the same way than the PF class is going to be constructed, got it.

That makes "quite literally the class design is almost exactly the same" pretty much unacurate, doesn't it? The 4e classes were constructed starting by it's role. Fighter was built to fill the tank role, and thus had stuff that allowed him to be a tank. If fighter was built to be a striker, the class would be totally different, with different mechanics (instead of "mark" it will have some sort of extra damage, like quarry or sneak attack for rangers and rogues). Pathfinder does not build the classes like that. It's not even close to "quite literally almost exactly". And that's before we talk about AEDU, which was dropped later but started as part of the design goal.

Classes getting a central gimmick that their entire class is built around is pretty much Pathfinder in a nutshell. Some of those gimmicks are ridiculously crappy like the Fighter but still they are all built around a gimmick.


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I suppose it depends on what parts of 4e we are talking about.

There are talking points in PF2 that resemble those in 4e. For example, the call for easier play, more homogenous class system, the Christmas tree problem, and more parity between martials and casters. Some of those are also talking points in 5e, and I don't think 4e and 5e are similar.

What I mean is: all those games might have some design goals that are the same (streamlining, for example), but they execute that goal very differently.

I think PF2 will offer much more customization for characters than 4e or 5e, by far. It'll be probably more complex than those two games (not that I think "complex" is a good thing, but it is what it is). The Vancian Magic system will be very different than 4e, and probably closer to 5e (and to the experimental Unchained magic systems). Action economy will be different too.

I do see similarities in what John Lynch mentioned:
Inflated HP at first lvl (also shared by 5e)
Automatic bonus progression (Also shared by 5e)
class gain things at same levels (also shared by 5e)

The rest (Weapon qualities, skill feats/unlocks, [W] damage, and focus on big heroes, are not shared by 5e, but I also don't think they are a core part of what make 4e the game it was.Skill Powers did not appear into the game until much later, and was mostly an optional rule, for example.

There is, however, something that I do feel it's really important and that 4e and PF2 share. A clear focus on working out the math, in clearing the terminology, etc. Let's say, an approach closer to engineering than literature.


The biggest thing that 4E had that was vastly different (for me) was that everything was encounter based - at will and encounter powers, the occasional daily. Lots of stuff being refreshed between encounters - there wasn't the long attrition aspect to the game (that it being combat focused made spells, fighting powers and such all to feel fairly samey).

That aspect I do not see at all in PF2, and that was what drove me from 4E.


MadScientistWorking wrote:


Classes getting a central gimmick that their entire class is built around is pretty much Pathfinder in a nutshell. Some of those gimmicks are ridiculously crappy like the Fighter but still they are all built around a gimmick.

Yes, classes get class skills. That's pretty much obvious.

However, those class skills, so far, are not centered around the idea that the class have to fill some generic role, sharing stuff with other classes in that role. Fighters had a mark because they were tanks. Paladins had a mark, because they were tanks. Swordmages had a mark, because they were tanks. Barbarians did not have a mark, because they weren't tanks. Even if they are pretty much the same kind of "Frontliner melee that bashes people"

In PF, magus get their mimic: spell combat. But that gimmic is not trying to fill a niche in the 4 role system. It's a stuff that make the magus unique, just like hunters have their pets or inquisitors have their judgements. Then you build your magus to fill the role you want. Can be a controller, with witch hair, cold metamagic and entangling people, or do a ton of burst damage with shocking grasp, or tank in front line with high AC and spells like mirror image, or play the skirmish game with Blade Dash, Forceful hook and Dimensional door.

So yes, both 4e and PF have in common that they design their classes. Pretty much like every RPG. HOW they design them, and the goal of such design, it's a different stuff.


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Pathfinder started out as an effort to preserve 3.5 because 4e went too far into too many different directions.

A second edition of Pathfinder is still going to be trying to solve the same problems 4e was intended to solve-- so it would be foolish not to at least look at the ways that 4e tried to solve them. With 4e and 5e on the table already, Pathfinder 2 has the opportunity to learn from what both games did right and what they did wrong.


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To be clear, 5e does not have universal automatic bonus progression, where everything about your character, from skills to saves to AC (whether trained or untrained) progresses at a flat rate based upon your level. 5e proficiency is similar, but is a scaling “Trained” bonus more analogous to 4e’s +5 “Trained” bonus or PF2’s “Ranks.” The underlying background for 5e has no universal automatic progression, as that would not be compatible with the flat bounded accuracy.

Also, several 4e classes ended up with 100s of powers to choose from. That is some pretty good customization that the initial PF2 class options probably won’t match at first.


gustavo iglesias wrote:


However, those class skills, so far, are not centered around the idea that the class have to fill some generic role, sharing stuff with other classes in that role. Fighters had a mark because they were tanks. Paladins had a mark, because they were tanks. Swordmages had a mark, because they were tanks. Barbarians did not have a mark, because they weren't tanks. Even if they are pretty much the same kind of "Frontliner melee that bashes people"

Actually, 4E had their own version of hybrid classes and eventually Barbarians gained the ability to mark. Also, most classes had access to marks because what distinguished defenders from other classes was the mark trigger. Only reason why I remember that is because it was a surprisingly common ability and took me all of five seconds to find a non defender class that had it is an at will power.


Insight wrote:
Also, several 4e classes ended up with 100s of powers to choose from. That is some pretty good customization that the initial PF2 class options probably won’t match at first.

That's a lot of options for powers, yes. Customization... it depends. In PF you can make a fighter archer, for example. That alone changes a fighter way more than chosing a power with 2[w] and push1 instead of a power with 1[w] and slide 2.


MadScientistWorking wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


However, those class skills, so far, are not centered around the idea that the class have to fill some generic role, sharing stuff with other classes in that role. Fighters had a mark because they were tanks. Paladins had a mark, because they were tanks. Swordmages had a mark, because they were tanks. Barbarians did not have a mark, because they weren't tanks. Even if they are pretty much the same kind of "Frontliner melee that bashes people"

Actually, 4E had their own version of hybrid classes and eventually Barbarians gained the ability to mark. Also, most classes had access to marks because what distinguished defenders from other classes was the mark trigger. Only reason why I remember that is because it was a surprisingly common ability and took me all of five seconds to find a non defender class that had it is an at will power.

Might be. I stopped playing 4e right before PH3 I think. I don't remember barbarins having any mark when I GMed 4e, but you are right anyways, what I meant was not that fighters/paladins/swordmages had the ability to mark, but that they had the ability to punish said marked character, and that imposed penalties to marked characters so they had to focus aggro on them.


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PF2 isn't a spiritual successor to 4E, it's a mashup of 4E and 5E attempting to distance itself as far from PF1 as possible.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

That's a lot of options for powers, yes. Customization... it depends. In PF you can make a fighter archer, for example. That alone changes a fighter way more than chosing a power with 2[w] and push1 instead of a power with 1[w] and slide 2.

True, but I was comparing more PF2 and it’s Sudden Charges, etc. 4e Fighters could have had an At-Will power that said shift twice your speed and make a basic attack. By the end, the powers were far less homogenous, such as a stance that made all squares you threaten difficult terrain, or an attack that made the enemy shaken on hit, or obviously the atwills that could disarm, knock prone, grapple, or yes slide/push on a hit in addition to the normal damage (without the power you could do the maneuver or the damage, but not both). And it looks like cleave, power attack, deadly aim, etc will be among the fighter options early on, just like the initial batch of 4e fighter at-wills.

Many of the above are already PF feats/options, but it’s the presentation, keywords, and interaction with the action economy and progression system that will determine how closely these character options resemble the 4e system for 4e fans, especially if players get to select new “powers” at every level as it appears they do.

Finally, there were an infinite number of ways to build and customize an archer in 4e, even if none of them used the fighter class (whose powers were admittedly very melee focused). But the simple archer ranger, non-Essentials version (as one example) is thematically the same in play as a PF fighter archer.

Silver Crusade

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Class homogeneity in 4e is superficial. A 4e fighter and ranger play completely differently, for example. As an aside, despite sharing a class name, 4e fighters are very different from PF fighters (a PF archer fighter is closer to a 4e archer ranger).

Based on the limited information we have, there's some similarities between PF2 and 4e, but I expect there will be a lot of differences.


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Bloodrealm wrote:
PF2 isn't a spiritual successor to 4E, it's a mashup of 4E and 5E attempting to distance itself as far from PF1 as possible.

Everything I have seen so far indicates that PF2 is still going to be closer to PF1 than either D&D 4e or 5e.


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What has me most hopeful about everything I have seen so far is the level of rigor and attention to detail I am seeing in PF2 design. There also seems to be a willingness to take some risks and address the same fundamental issues 4th Edition tried to address, even if the solutions are different. I'm not sure how I feel about Resonance yet, but it sure is better than praying away the impact of magic items.

For me, the biggest turn off when it came to 5th Edition was the embrace of sentiment and feeling over actual play and doing the hard design work. I was also not pleased by the embrace of "natural language" and ambiguity over clear presentation and rules text.

I am ecstatic that the rigorous approach to game design I miss from 4th Edition might not be gone forever as I once feared. I was beginning to think that there was no one left to carry on the torch.

I do not expect PF2 to end up looking like 4th Edition. I am just hopeful that technical excellence, tight math, designing with purpose, and creative risk taking do not have to be verboten forever.


Insight wrote:
One of the PF2 developer comments have already revealed that "Class Feats" will be categorized by level at the end of each class section.

This system predates 4E by a year via Star Wars: Roleplaying Game - Saga Edition. Unlike 4E, Saga Edition actually did fix a lot of 3.X's problems while keeping the basic concepts (it's still recognizably the same system, even though they made). Admitedly this was the era just before 4E where WotC was testing 4E mechanics in other products, like late 3.5, and there are some mechanics that would latter be used in 4E ("Healing Surge" is present, but in a much better designed way. It's called "second wind" and once per day by default for heroic characters in a system where the only other source of healing is the medicine skill and rest.), but (also like late 3.5) they were better executed.

Sorting the "class feats" by level does concern me though. Saga Edition had no level prerequisites, and any core class ability (with one exception) could be obtained by level 5. It made the (correct) choice of giving higher level characters more varied abilities instead of increasingly powerful ones: Level 1 Noble can throw out a buff and shoot back, Noble 3 can buff and improve some gear, and Noble 3/Soldier 4/Officer 1 can buff even better, debuff, improve gear, while dishing out damage (especially on a ship).


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FaerieGodfather wrote:
Bloodrealm wrote:
PF2 isn't a spiritual successor to 4E, it's a mashup of 4E and 5E attempting to distance itself as far from PF1 as possible.
Everything I have seen so far indicates that PF2 is still going to be closer to PF1 than either D&D 4e or 5e.

Funny, everything I've seen suggests that PF2 is trying hard to be a remake of 5e rather than an update to PF1.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:


Might be. I stopped playing 4e right before PH3 I think. I don't remember barbarins having any mark when I GMed 4e, but you are right anyways, what I meant was not that fighters/paladins/swordmages had the ability to mark, but that they had the ability to punish said marked character, and that imposed penalties to marked characters so they had to focus aggro on them.

Good options to actually tank are something I'd love to see in PF2. In PF1 it requires a couple specific builds with a decent amount of investment, I'd like it to be a lot easier to pull off this time, but not necessarily tied to or forced on specific classes.


^ what Shadrayl said.

Defending one's team should not depend on the GM's whim (especially since there are an abundance of intelligent adversaries who should be able to ID the squishy targets) but also should not be the theme/obligation of a class


^ Speaking of tanking, I remember 4E's two major tanking methods (marking, and the Defender's Aura). I personally believe the latter is more easy and intuitive to use, and would be happy to see a dedicated tanking ability working like that one...


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


Might be. I stopped playing 4e right before PH3 I think. I don't remember barbarins having any mark when I GMed 4e, but you are right anyways, what I meant was not that fighters/paladins/swordmages had the ability to mark, but that they had the ability to punish said marked character, and that imposed penalties to marked characters so they had to focus aggro on them.
Good options to actually tank are something I'd love to see in PF2. In PF1 it requires a couple specific builds with a decent amount of investment, I'd like it to be a lot easier to pull off this time, but not necessarily tied to or forced on specific classes.

AOO rules and good positioning where the way to do it in PF1E. It was elegant and not "forced" (HEY USE THIS FOR AGGRO). You got free potshots on enemies that tried to get to the back-line of your party because they would need to pass near you to get that far.


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FaerieGodfather wrote:

Pathfinder started out as an effort to preserve 3.5 third party publishers because 4e Game System License went too far into too many different directions that screwed over the publisher ecosystem that had built up around D&D 3.5.

FTFY

FaerieGodfather wrote:


A second edition of Pathfinder is still going to be trying to solve the same problems 4e was intended to solve-- so it would be foolish not to at least look at the ways that 4e tried to solve them. With 4e and 5e on the table already, Pathfinder 2 has the opportunity to learn from what both games did right and what they did wrong.

Absolutely correct.

I always thought D&D4e was an interesting system. My main problem with it was that is just wasn't D&D to me. If you'd called it the Warcraft RPG or something I think there wouldn't have been nearly as much backlash over it. So, I played Pathfinder since that was more D&D to me than 4e was.


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4e was a boardgame, not a role playing game. Every time I played it I felt like I was raiding on World of Warcraft. That Marking was utterly nonsense roleplay wise. There was no roleplay at all, and the system was very immersion breaking.

I mean I play Pathfinder, not Vampire or Warhammer, so I get it, I like a good designed game, with lots of options and rules. And sometimes that can be immersion breaking, because you are not afraid to be stabbed after only three levels in Pathfinder.

But 4e was in my opinion way over the top on this matter.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:


Might be. I stopped playing 4e right before PH3 I think. I don't remember barbarins having any mark when I GMed 4e, but you are right anyways, what I meant was not that fighters/paladins/swordmages had the ability to mark, but that they had the ability to punish said marked character, and that imposed penalties to marked characters so they had to focus aggro on them.
Good options to actually tank are something I'd love to see in PF2. In PF1 it requires a couple specific builds with a decent amount of investment, I'd like it to be a lot easier to pull off this time, but not necessarily tied to or forced on specific classes.
AOO rules and good positioning where the way to do it in PF1E. It was elegant and not "forced" (HEY USE THIS FOR AGGRO). You got free potshots on enemies that tried to get to the back-line of your party because they would need to pass near you to get that far.

Most of the time it's way too easy to be outmaneuvered if you rely on only AoOs. It works really poorly if you don't build specifically to maximize AoOs. It also still ends up really reliant on GM soft balling. YMMV, I suppose, but I think a lot of people share my experience.

I'm hoping it's easier to specialize in this time around.

Edit: just as an example, stuff like Stand Still being baked right into AoOs would be a huge benefit.


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SteelGuts wrote:
4e was a boardgame, not a role playing game. Every time I played it I felt like I was raiding on World of Warcraft. That Marking was utterly nonsense roleplay wise. There was no roleplay at all, and the system was very immersion breaking.

Speaking as a non-fan of 4E: This is categorically false. It is indeed a roleplaying game. Heck, it has about as much support for noncombat abilities and stuff as 3E did. Which is to say: not much. That was one of my biggest gripes with it: not enough static powers or at-wills related to out-of-combat stuff, which was a missed opportunity.

The rules don't ever force or rule roleplaying, and it was indeed a roleplaying game. Says so right on it. You had a character who leveled up, adventured, and participated in fantasy stories. It may not be your cup of tea, but the whole "board game" thing was and still is absolute nonsense. It was scarcely more dependent on the map and minis than its predecessor. It has as many rules that had to do with roleplaying as 3E: none.

If you want to argue 4E's flaws, argue the flaws themselves. Don't try repeating the same tired statements proven to be patently false over and over. And again, I say this as someone who didn't care for 4E.

PF2 looks like they're taking some of the concepts from 4E and running with them in a far better execution.


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Lady Firebird wrote:
SteelGuts wrote:
4e was a boardgame, not a role playing game. Every time I played it I felt like I was raiding on World of Warcraft. That Marking was utterly nonsense roleplay wise. There was no roleplay at all, and the system was very immersion breaking.

Speaking as a non-fan of 4E: This is categorically false. It is indeed a roleplaying game. Heck, it has about as much support for noncombat abilities and stuff as 3E did. Which is to say: not much. That was one of my biggest gripes with it: not enough static powers or at-wills related to out-of-combat stuff, which was a missed opportunity.

The rules don't ever force or rule roleplaying, and it was indeed a roleplaying game. Says so right on it. You had a character who leveled up, adventured, and participated in fantasy stories. It may not be your cup of tea, but the whole "board game" thing was and still is absolute nonsense. It was scarcely more dependent on the map and minis than its predecessor. It has as many rules that had to do with roleplaying as 3E: none.

If you want to argue 4E's flaws, argue the flaws themselves. Don't try repeating the same tired statements proven to be patently false over and over. And again, I say this as someone who didn't care for 4E.

PF2 looks like they're taking some of the concepts from 4E and running with them in a far better execution.

I don’t know, game systems are important for immersion and roleplay. How much they encourage you to roleplay, what possibility you have if you think outside fhe boxes and your sheet. In 5e I will totally try to climb on the dragon to strike him from his back. In Pathfinder I may try depending on my character and the DM. In 4e thoughts like that never happened at my table. Because the rules and what you can do were so specifically described that it killed the good ideas.


As someone who played about 2 maybe 3 demos of it before I opted out of it, I'm sorry Lady Firebird, I'm siding with Steelguts.

Now it might have just been because they were demos and wanted to get to the action as much as possible, but those sessions didn't feel like a role playing game. With the odd stat sheet I was handed, the little power cards I needed to tap or turn over, written guidelines on what the classes should focus on building if taken beyond the demo; I had no idea what this was. Well at the time. Now I know what DnD 4e felt like. It felt like Decent.

Mind you this could be for a number of reasons; The runners of the games were bad or told to do it a certain way, not enough time, the DMs made the little info stuff themselves without thinking on how it would effect the the experience of it, the fact it was a month or two out at the time, the fact Demos are just bad.

Again I only got a base look from a bad lens more than likely. But I walked away not wanting to pick the game up because of it. My local shop has a free copy of Decent to use.


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SteelGuts wrote:
I don’t know, game systems are important for immersion and roleplay. How much they encourage you to roleplay, what possibility you have if you think outside fhe boxes and your sheet. In 5e I will totally try to climb on the dragon to strike him from his back. In Pathfinder I may try depending on my character and the DM. In 4e thoughts like that never happened at my table. Because the rules and what you can do were so specifically described that it killed the good ideas.

Certainly, some games have rules that can help enforce a particular mood or style of narrative, though D&D and its derivatives have never had much that affected "roleplay." I mean, what did 3.x have for this that 4E didn't? Not a thing. There was no more support for that or for social encounters than you'd find in 4E. There's also a table in 4E that gives damage values and ideas for doing unconventional things, with suggestions on how to work that out. Like swinging on a tapestry to kick over a burning brazier on your foes or to affect the surroundings.

Literally, there was as much support for this sort of thing in 4E as in 3E or 5E. D&D has never had a ton of "roleplaying rules" in general. A lot of the time it boiled down to "roll something, adjudicate in a vague manner, or handwave it." I mean, 4E didn't have rules stating specifically that you could choose to walk around a lake instead of trying to swim through it, so does that mean you couldn't take a boat or a bridge or go around?

Now, it did laser focus on combat powers and positioning. And I found most of the powers boring, yes. "Slight variant in damage and either move a short distance or move a target a short distance" don't do much for me. They missed opportunities to add lots of at-will noncombat powers, and a few other things. Plus a few other things they did with powers and magic items and such really didn't grab me. There were a few concepts that worked well, and I would like to see what PF2 does with those. It seems like they're taking the best spirit of what those rules intended and going with it.


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MerlinCross wrote:
As someone who played about 2 maybe 3 demos of it before I opted out of it, I'm sorry Lady Firebird, I'm siding with Steelguts.

In what? That 4E wasn't a roleplaying game? That it was a board game instead? Those things are objectively false. There are no "sides" there; it's like trying to argue the Earth is flat instead of round. It's simply false, demonstrably so.

Are you siding with him that you don't like the game, or they didn't do what you wanted? That's fine. I didn't care for 4E, either. But even I, as someone who didn't like it, can see that it was indeed D&D just as much as any other edition, even if it had different focuses.

MerlinCross wrote:

Now it might have just been because they were demos and wanted to get to the action as much as possible, but those sessions didn't feel like a role playing game. With the odd stat sheet I was handed, the little power cards I needed to tap or turn over, written guidelines on what the classes should focus on building if taken beyond the demo; I had no idea what this was. Well at the time. Now I know what DnD 4e felt like. It felt like Decent.

Mind you this could be for a number of reasons; The runners of the games were bad or told to do it a certain way, not enough time, the DMs made the little info stuff themselves without thinking on how it would effect the the experience of it, the fact it was a month or two out at the time, the fact Demos are just bad.

Again I only got a base look from a bad lens more than likely. But I walked away not wanting to pick the game up because of it. My local shop has a free copy of Decent to use.

I've had D&D 3.x/PF sessions that felt no more like a roleplaying game than what you describe. It was hours on a single combat that was boring. It's part of why I don't play either system now, on top of an aging core system that has a great many flaws when it comes to portraying heroic fantasy.

And those games had just as much rules enforcing roleplaying as any edition of D&D. None. You could do roleplay-free combat just as easily in 3E as you could in 4E. Not my cup of tea, but I won't begrudge those who mostly just wanna play fantasy heroes beating up on fantasy creatures. However, I do take exception when falsehoods like "4E wasn't a roleplaying game!" are trotted out, especially as they tend to ignore that 4E had as much roleplaying support as the user's proclaimed favorite game.


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I'm just saying that in my experience it wasn't shown, or sold as a role playing game. That with all these little extras that came in the demo box it seemed it be combat first and foremost.

It's a role playing game yes. But from my end it looked like and played like a skirmish game or one of those bored games that plays like a roleplaying game. And I don't think I feel I can shake that built in stigma of it now

And again, it's probably due to first impression and bad demos along with my own head. It is a roleplaying game but to me it's this werid combat game where you can roleplay.

This is all confusing and I probably shouldn't have said anything, I'm going around in circles now.

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