Almost everything in the new fighter preview is a red flag.


Prerelease Discussion

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Granted, limited info and all that, but almost everything in the fighter preview worries me, in many cases because it seems representative of bad design philosophy Paizo has been exhibiting--and been criticized for--for years: gateway feats to doing things everyone should be able to do, insensitivity to theme and player fantasy, situational feats of which optimal usage requires annoying math on the fly, situational feats that are really trap options, balancing archery over melee. (Not every case, though: I do like the look of battlefield surveyor, Sudden Charge, and the shield stuff.) Let's look.

1. Only fighters, characters who spend a feat, and some creatures can make AoOs for basic things.
So it sounds like the norm is that you usually can't do whatever you want without provoking, unless you're up against certain opponents. I predict the lack of restriction will make combat less tactical, and remembering who in a given fight can make AoO's and who can't will be a headache for everyone.

2. Proficiency expands to all simple and martial weapons at 19th level.
Notoriously, P1E effectively requires fighters to commit to a single type of weapon. The downside of this is that it helps funnel players into narrow and restrictive builds, and pressures GMs into tailoring the magic items they hand out to the character. The upside is that it lets players build an identification with a certain kind of weapon or style into the fantasy of their character. Amazingly, Paizo has figured out how to retain the downside without the upside. You spend your whole career with a chosen weapon group, until the very end when your decision no longer matters.

3. New Power Attack.
Nobody I know likes trading multiple attacks for a single, better attack. It's usually unfun. More importantly, it usually requires annoying arithmetic, and making players do annoying arithmetic in combat is both inherently unfun and bad for the flow of the game. The sole justification for the original Power Attack is that it was at least pretty much always a good idea, so you didn't have to do the annoying arithmetic. New Power Attack will either have this problem too, in which case what's the point, or it will require annoying arithmetic.

(Here, you might think: "Come on, Ludovicus, Paizo is smarter than that. New Power Attack has the clear function of concentrating damage in a single hit, which will be usually good if your opponents have DR but usually bad otherwise." As far as I can see, this is the best-case scenario. But if the only point of New Power Attack is to make you better at overcoming DR, then it should just be replaced with a simpler feat, like Penetrating Strike, that does this directly, without bringing in annoying arithmetic.)

4. Quick Reversal.
Okay. Here's a feat that:

(a) only comes into play in a situation you try to avoid,
(b) even in that situation, only applies in marginal cases (where it's for some reason a better idea to use your second and/or third attacks to keep attacking rather than take a guarded step to get out of the flank, say),
(c) in all probability, only makes a mathematical difference the player is unlikely to care about (another inaccurate attack that doesn't even let me focus fire)?
(d) heavily overlaps with another feat that is functionally and thematically very similar (I bet the players who want to take both this and Whirlwind Strike will be super rare).

As everyone knows, Pathfinder 1e is FULL of feats like this one seems to be: basically trap options that do something unexciting but mildly useful in certain edge cases. I totally get why these feats exist in Pathfinder: we all love new splatbooks, but we all hate power creep, so making the new splatbooks mostly full of trap options was an ingenious way for Paizo to satisfy both of these desires at once. But Starfinder is also full of feats like this (if you don't believe me, check the math for its versions of Improved Critical and Power Attack), which leads me to believe that someone at Paizo actually thinks they're good design. This mystifies me.

5. Debilitating Shot and Double Shot.
Unlike New Power Attack and Quick Reversal, both of these feats look promising: fun, widely applicable, and reasonably strong. Naturally, they're just for archers. Thanks, Paizo.

6. "The goal here is to give you a variety of tools to deal with the situations and encounters you are bound to face. [...] It all comes down to the type of fighter you want to play."
These sentences bookend a paragraph that mentions two feats. Ostensibly, one of these is a feat that helps you spread your damage out among multiple opponents, only it's just for ranged attacks. The other is a feat that helps you spread your damage out among multiple opponents, only it's just for melee. If the goal is to encourage fighters to switch fighting styles on the fly--which is a great idea!--the design here does exactly the opposite. A system that requires you to take separate feats that serve the same basic function when using a ranged or melee weapon does not encourage you to switch between these styles on the fly. It encourages you to pick one of these styles and commit to it.

---

Again, I know it's super early and I could be totally wrong about this. But lots of the other things Paizo has chosen to show us about P2E raise the same worry: it looks like they're doubling down on their widely-acknowledged bad habits when they should be using the new edition to fix them.


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1. Agree. I keep saying this, but I'd at least like all martials to get AoO. I'm okay with nonmartials like wizards and druids having to take a feat for it.

2. I'm still hoping that you at least get multiple weapon groups - like, say, a Fighter gets to pick long blades, axes, polearms, bows and rope-chain weapons at 1st level. I'm not happy to see the term "martial weapons" back, but I'm hoping as implemented it's just a designation for the weapons in each group you can only properly use with proficiency, ie the "non-simple" weapons. In this context, the 19th level ability would make sense - instead of 5 weapon groups, you get ALL weapon groups. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

3. New Power Attack is way less arithmetic than the old version, and also more flavorful in representing the wind up to a mighty swing. I'm really not sure where you're coming from.

4. Quick Reversal would come up way more than you seem to think. Unless players (or enemy soldiers) are advancing in tight formation like a phalanx, characters get flanked. It happens, and it happens in almost every combat. This sort of feat encourages the Fighter to get out in front of the weaker members of the party and draw enemy attention away from them.

5. There are also going to be dozens of other fighter feats we haven't seen yet. I'm sure (or at least hoping) the melee options will be just as good as the archer options on balance.

6. This I can totally agree with. I'd like to see more feats that are usable with multiple weapon types or at multiple combat ranges. This will definitely be feedback I provide on the surveys if it's too separated in the document we end up getting.


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1. Personally, I find AoOs tend to obstruct any tactical aspects of the games combat system rather than facilitate it. The 'tactics' related to employing them are fairly 1-dimensional and are IMO one of the worst things about PF1 really anything that encourages players to 'pass' their turn ought to be discouraged.

2. Not my experience with Fighters. Sure that happened with other Martial classes, but with all the bonus fears available to Fighters in PF1 I always tried to makes sure they were at least comfortable with a nice assortment of weapons

3. The PF1 version's arithmetic was far more annoying IMO. I know you could do the math before and write the PA stats on your character sheet, but the new version still seems easier and with the new action economy I think most characters will be getting more attacks anyway.

4. Being flanked is undesirable, but sometimes unavoidable. Particularly in dungeon-like environs were movement may be limited. Also could be great for pole arms wield ears if Reach works anything like it used to.


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1. PF1, nobody moved. My players had to be reminded of how to do things without provoking all the time. I think allowing movement leads to tactics, and Fighter being unique in locking things down is good.

2. Sounds like a very mild not-as-much-as-we’d-like improvement. Before, Fighter had to pick a single weapon because of feats. Now you get a single category. It’s better than before, but still limited.

3. New Power Attack has less annoying math, and you trade an attack at -10 for it. It’s no longer mandatory, and is aimed more at a certain style.

4. ... hold on. You were upset about giving up your -10 attack, and you think your -5 isn’t worth bothering with? I suspect this is for dervish builds- scimitar rewards you both for hitting the same enemy (better accuracy) and for attacking different ones (more damage). It also seems good for AC builds, punishing anyone who tries to get an accuracy bonus. That said, I can see your side on this one. It’s too circumstantial for me. I’ll probably playtest it to see if it needs fixing.

5. ... Yeah. Archery. Can’t argue there. :/

6. Eh... I’m okay with Fighter needing to spend a feat to get something in a secondary category. If you want to be painfully over-specialized, you’ll eventually get down to weaker feats in your category. I don’t expect feats to enable multiple styles at once.


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According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack. Even though, mathematically it's still better to roll your damage die twice plus your STR twice, rather than just rolling your damage die twice and adding your STR once.
It would seem the desire to enforce critical hits is a factor here, which leads me to believe that AC is going to be scaled in such a way that a -5 penalty to attack is detrimental to tactical decision making. Or Power Attack is designed to be awful.

So, the concept of being able to move and attack twice, giving more agency and capability to the fighter's player has been removed thus negating the point of the new action system, if you still are going to have a turn of move + attack once.

So fighters are literally worse off, comparatively speaking unless they get to also make two attacks which assumes they are already in front of the enemy's face (the equivalent of mandating full round attacks in PF1 to be effective).

This is poor design.

Paizo Employee Designer

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master_marshmallow wrote:
According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack.

What I said in that thread, if you mean the post that was about accuracy, is that a normal non-Power Attack (+0/-5/-10) tends not to be as good as a Power Attack (+0 for more damage/-5) but unless your damage is very low either of them are better than PF1 Power Attack for I think 4 was the example so (-4/-9/-14 for +12 damage).


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It seems to me that a lot of the negative opinions are assuming PF1 rules and math apply to the new rules, when we know it really doesn't.

What I see here is an effort to make the fighter a unique martial with his own niche, the lack of which is one reason fighters aren't a particularly loved class in the current rules. The other martials all have their unique twist, something special that sets them apart and makes the different, while the fighter is mostly just 'generic.'

Until we have the full rules we can't really tell how well they succeeded or not, but that they are making the attempt is a good sign in my opinion. AoO being special to fighters, special bonuses to initiative since the are the 'fighter' and options that can give them a variety of tactical choices as well as just numeric bonuses all seem like positive developments to me.

Of course their will end up being mathematically weaker options (traps if you like) since it is almost impossible to have variety and equality and the meta of how the game develops (as well as the meta of individual campaigns) will make some options strong and some weak even if they are mathematically equal but in general from what I see the design seems fairly strong.

I'm not sure how in love I am with a whole new system from the ground up rather than a refinement of what we currently have, but judging what they are doing on it's own merits, I don't see anything that shows a fundamental flaw in their design (doubtless their will be individual flaws, playtest will hopefully fix quite a few of those.)


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master_marshmallow wrote:

According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack. Even though, mathematically it's still better to roll your damage die twice plus your STR twice, rather than just rolling your damage die twice and adding your STR once.

It would seem the desire to enforce critical hits is a factor here, which leads me to believe that AC is going to be scaled in such a way that a -5 penalty to attack is detrimental to tactical decision making. Or Power Attack is designed to be awful.

So, the concept of being able to move and attack twice, giving more agency and capability to the fighter's player has been removed thus negating the point of the new action system, if you still are going to have a turn of move + attack once.

So fighters are literally worse off, comparatively speaking unless they get to also make two attacks which assumes they are already in front of the enemy's face (the equivalent of mandating full round attacks in PF1 to be effective).

This is poor design.

I’m glad to not be the only one seeing this.


1) Agree. All classes should get AoO (at least the martial ones), and others (like wizards and sorcerers) should have equally good reactions, to say the least.

2) I really don't think that Paizo will restrict the fighter options. I guess he will be at least expert with all simple and martial weapons and choose one or a few weapon groups (axes, light blades, polearm, and so on) to increase proficiency. Also, I expect that this bigger proficiency applies to every simple and martial weapons at 19th level.

3) To me, everything that removes a dice roll (like the sad falling damage) makes the game less RPG and more boring (and also makes me sad). In contrast, everything that adds a dice roll (like the new Power Attack) makes the game more FUN! Also, the short/brief mechanics and math explained showed that the feat is a little better than the old one, even in a "full attack", so: nice done, Paizo!

However, I'd complain about the design option to encourage/stimulate builds with lesser attack rolls per round. But I'm really betting that there will be options to build fighters (and other martial PCs) that can use lighter/smaller weapons and strikes a lot of attacks per round, specially those mastering two-weapon style. Is that true, Mark?

4) Looks nice, fun and seems that encourages the party to think about their tactics/tactical positioning. Everything in Pathfinder (and in RL) is situational. Even fireballs are not always useful.

5) Agree. Still, we can't say a lot more about things that we haven't seen yet. Let's wait until august.

6) I REALLY WANT fighters to be multiple-style-masters and be able to switch between weapons/combat styles during an encounter.
Also, want them to be a lot more mobile than in 1st edition, regardless of his weapon/combat style choice.

7) You forgot to complain about the "raise a shield action" to receive the shield AC bonus. Maybe it's just not fully explained (I really hope!)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bruno Mares wrote:


3) To me, everything that removes a dice roll (like the sad falling damage) makes the game less RPG and more boring (and also makes me sad). In contrast, everything that adds a dice roll (like the new Power Attack) makes the game more FUN! Also, the short/brief mechanics and math explained showed that the feat is a little better than the old one, even in a "full attack", so: nice done, Paizo!

However, I'd complain about the design option to encourage/stimulate builds with lesser attack rolls per round. But I'm really betting that there will be options to build fighters (and other martial PCs) that can use lighter/smaller weapons and strikes a lot of attacks per round, specially those mastering two-weapon style. Is that true, Mark?

Yes! You can make a character with lots of smaller but fairly accurate attacks (agile based), or a character with fewer enormous attacks (Power Attack), or something in between. I really like my agile build especially whenever I can get some haste, but I mostly just think it's cool that we can finally have something different but also cool for the lighter weapons to do that works out to good damage in a different way than the heavy ones do.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack. Even though, mathematically it's still better to roll your damage die twice plus your STR twice, rather than just rolling your damage die twice and adding your STR once.

It would seem the desire to enforce critical hits is a factor here, which leads me to believe that AC is going to be scaled in such a way that a -5 penalty to attack is detrimental to tactical decision making. Or Power Attack is designed to be awful.

So, the concept of being able to move and attack twice, giving more agency and capability to the fighter's player has been removed thus negating the point of the new action system, if you still are going to have a turn of move + attack once.

So fighters are literally worse off, comparatively speaking unless they get to also make two attacks which assumes they are already in front of the enemy's face (the equivalent of mandating full round attacks in PF1 to be effective).

This is poor design.

... The hell? It's an optional feat. The option to move and attack twice or use any other combination of actions hasn't been removed. Taking the feat isn't mandatory, nor does it even sound advisable for a lot of builds.

If this qualifies as bad design, given how little we know about combat, numbers, and feats on the whole, I hate to hear what you think of the original power attack.

--So good it's considered mandatory
--Makes math harder on the fly
--Numbers change based on level so not everyone follows the same rules
--Numbers change based on the hands used for the weapon
--Ensures the damage from full attacking always blows away more mobile based attack patterns.

I really don't understand why people are freaked out about the new Power Attack occupying a different design space in a different game.

Liberty's Edge

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My preference towards AoO is that they are really annoying when everyone has them, so only a few classes should automatically get them. Fighter, sure. I think Rogues and maybe Monks should also get them. Rogues because they're supposed to be annoying and Monks because they're fast. Rangers against their Favoured Enemies? I just think it adds way too much pain if everything on the board has them. For monsters the same philosophy could apply: If the monster is supposed to be particularly fast or tenacious they should get them.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:


3) To me, everything that removes a dice roll (like the sad falling damage) makes the game less RPG and more boring (and also makes me sad). In contrast, everything that adds a dice roll (like the new Power Attack) makes the game more FUN! Also, the short/brief mechanics and math explained showed that the feat is a little better than the old one, even in a "full attack", so: nice done, Paizo!

However, I'd complain about the design option to encourage/stimulate builds with lesser attack rolls per round. But I'm really betting that there will be options to build fighters (and other martial PCs) that can use lighter/smaller weapons and strikes a lot of attacks per round, specially those mastering two-weapon style. Is that true, Mark?

Yes! You can make a character with lots of smaller but fairly accurate attacks (agile based), or a character with fewer enormous attacks (Power Attack), or something in between. I really like my agile build especially whenever I can get some haste, but I mostly just think it's cool that we can finally have something different but also cool for the lighter weapons to do that works out to good damage in a different way than the heavy ones do.

Can you say if agile/smaller weapons builds will do the same/similar amount of damage or if will they have advantages in AC and other, different benefits?


He already said his agile build did lot of damage but less than 2h weapon VS resistant enemies (damage resist, I suppose)


Any player should have all the common attacks they do written down within a couple of sessions.


this does not look like it boads well for my favorite types of characters....


More, lower damage attacks usually don't hold up in the later stages of the game due to increasingly common occurrence of DR. Maybe that won't be true in the new system, but that's one of the bigger reasons why 2H weapons win out in the long run.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
I really don't understand why people are freaked out about the new Power Attack occupying a different design space in a different game.

The very idea that it is a different game from PF1 seems to be an issue across multiple areas for some.

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack.
What I said in that thread, if you mean the post that was about accuracy, is that a normal non-Power Attack (+0/-5/-10) tends not to be as good as a Power Attack (+0 for more damage/-5) but unless your damage is very low either of them are better than PF1 Power Attack for I think 4 was the example so (-4/-9/-14 for +12 damage).

I posted the same observation in the blog thread yesterday - great to see my musings verified!


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Drakhan Valane wrote:
My preference towards AoO is that they are really annoying when everyone has them, so only a few classes should automatically get them.

It seem pretty clear most all characters WILL have them. They just won't necessarily all work the same way. Paladins will be able to make attack against enemy that Crits their ally, for example. That would be an AoO in P1E. To me that sounds great, the variety of interrupts/reactions/AoOs will be large from the very first book. I assume general access Feats will include a good amount of these, with classes getting early access or fully unique stuff too. Monster AoOs/reactions can even be things besides "one melee attack", but stuff that better ties into their theme. The entire system is set up on simple yet supple base action economy which classes/monsters/feats will extend and modify. Different character will have different approaches, even within the same class. The modular action system is base of balancing this, but everybody will be trying to "break rules" in own way.

Of course there are people who are fixated on mechanics above else, and SPECIFIC mechanics above all else. OK. Any new system dynamic would upset those assumptions, who can be surprised by that? That is the point of a new system, to change the dynamics of the game in a way that simple tweak or update cannot. Because if the rules WEREN'T going to significantly mess with things at deep level, Paizo would be better off making product update that was more directly compatible with existing P1E material. If they just wanted to tweak Power Attack curve, or add ability to existing Fighters, that's what they SHOULD have done. That's not what they're doing. Anybody with any semblance of rules knowledge should be able to recognize structural shifts in game. Should be able to comprehend what Paizo is talking about when they say "enabling more levers" for balance and variation. That is what counts in designing new system. Not measuring how one widget exactly lines up next to widget from old machine that you choose to directly compare it to. Now it can be fun to some to hyper-focus on 1 specific widget. It's so pure and absolute. But that is missing forest for trees re: overall game design.


Ludovicus wrote:

Granted, limited info and all that, but almost everything in the fighter preview worries me, in many cases because it seems representative of bad design philosophy Paizo has been exhibiting--and been criticized for--for years: gateway feats to doing things everyone should be able to do, insensitivity to theme and player fantasy, situational feats of which optimal usage requires annoying math on the fly, situational feats that are really trap options, balancing archery over melee. (Not every case, though: I do like the look of battlefield surveyor, Sudden Charge, and the shield stuff.) Let's look.

1. Only fighters, characters who spend a feat, and some creatures can make AoOs for basic things.
So it sounds like the norm is that you usually can't do whatever you want without provoking, unless you're up against certain opponents. I predict the lack of restriction will make combat less tactical, and remembering who in a given fight can make AoO's and who can't will be a headache for everyone.

2. Proficiency expands to all simple and martial weapons at 19th level.
Notoriously, P1E effectively requires fighters to commit to a single type of weapon. The downside of this is that it helps funnel players into narrow and restrictive builds, and pressures GMs into tailoring the magic items they hand out to the character. The upside is that it lets players build an identification with a certain kind of weapon or style into the fantasy of their character. Amazingly, Paizo has figured out how to retain the downside without the upside. You spend your whole career with a chosen weapon group, until the very end when your decision no longer matters.

3. New Power Attack.
Nobody I know likes trading multiple attacks for a single, better attack. It's usually unfun. More importantly, it usually requires annoying arithmetic, and making players do annoying arithmetic in combat is both inherently unfun and bad for the flow of the game. The sole justification for the original Power Attack is that it was...

1. I think this is a decent change of pace. People wanted more mobile combat, now they have it. Sure, some enemies should be punishing of it, but now it's optional and can be measured based on the type of enemy involved. If people don't like it, they can just handwave it back and enjoy their even slower, even more restrictive combats. But by this point, they might as well go back to PF1 and not deal with two incohesive systems simultaneously.

2. This argument only holds water if you follow the proficiency rules in PF1. Proficiencies are completely different in this version by comparison. In the older edition, proficiency determined whether you were able to wield a weapon (or shield or armor) or not. Instead, they amplified it to affect more things, and to determine what sorts of capabilities you can expect from using those weapons, armor, shields, as well as skills and other abilities. The goal behind this change was to make mundanes have more quadratic scaling, similar to spellcasters (though they aren't exactly exclusive to spellcasters, which only shifts the C/MD to be less bad, and doesn't do much to outright solve it). While it's not clear whether this change properly accomplishes this goal, from a design standpoint, this would be an almost necessary change to have happen if the goal is "Mundanes need better things to do besides the same two actions over and over again."

3. This is a personal taste issue. Some players may like rolling a billion dice, but others may not like the headache associated with those rolls. What dice have which modifiers, and what if certain modifiers or abilities only apply to certain attacks, how do you determine which rolls those things affect? I'm sure everyone has been at a table with a player or four that can't add their modifiers correctly simply because they're rolling so much dice and apply the wrong modifiers to the wrong dice, etc. Adding more dice to roll at once only exacerbates that issue, and not everyone associated with this hobby is an extreme math nerd who is amazing at algebraic calculations and allocations. Even so, a big point of the change to Power Attack is to make it no longer a "de facto" feat like it was in PF1, where everyone who wanted to melee took it (or some other similar feat, like Piranha Strike). Cutting out de facto options and making character customization both more modular and less railroad-y was the biggest point of this change, and I think it handled it adequately, even if the end result is "No more PF1 Power Attack." I would hope they extend this to other "de facto" options, like Combat Expertise, Point Blank/Rapid/Precise Shot, etc. But I can't realistically expect that until more information is given.

4. If I remember correctly, this is something that doesn't have to be taken, or is a core part of the Fighter features. While this is perhaps the only legitimate red flag I've come across so far, the fact of the matter is that, like most other trap options, you notate it for future reference, and move on. Sure, it's a problem, but you can't expect Paizo to be on-the-ball and create the absolute perfect game. The person who was most likely to do that was Gary Gygax, the founder of this gaming genre, and he's not able to do that anymore (rest his soul). Of course, if people do find themselves in this situation often, then I don't see how having this ability is such a bad thing.

5. Ranged has always been better than melee since the dawn of time. I wouldn't set the expectation of Paizo so high for them to reinvent the wheel (even though, ironically, this edition is basically trying to do just that by breaking the mold it was born from). Literally, the only good thing melees are in PF1 are for obstruction/congestion of enemies, which can be easily accomplished with battlefield control spells and abilities. And while I would agree that I wish melees would get more useful things, the fact of the matter is that range is quadratically superior to melee due to raw real world physics. Why risk blowing yourself up with a match and wick when you can just remote-control a detonation with much less detection and and much more safety? You can't put the blame on Paizo for this one, just blame real life like most people would and move on.

6. There has been zero mention of what melee can do that ranged people can't outside of abilities like Sudden Charge, which is really pointless when a ranged character doesn't have to use that ability to get even more attacks (and therefore more damage) in, and also has space for utility options/abilities to use that may require actions. Do I wish there were more things they could've shared with us that actually did stuff besides split damage (which, assuming no change as to how damage functions in PF1 is applied to PF2, is actually usually worse than simply making attacks on the same enemy repeatedly)? Absolutely. Are they ready to share those things? Probably not. Will they ever share those things? Maybe. Is it likely? Who knows.


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Not for me it isn't. I quite like everything I saw; my only complaint thus far is not having access to the rules right now. And that's mostly because I want to play with the full rules and push the boundaries, especially as far as what martials can do.


Captain Morgan wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

According to Mark in the Power Attack math thread, it seems it's almost always better to rely on your primary attack rather than your secondary attack at -5 in conjunction with your primary attack. Even though, mathematically it's still better to roll your damage die twice plus your STR twice, rather than just rolling your damage die twice and adding your STR once.

It would seem the desire to enforce critical hits is a factor here, which leads me to believe that AC is going to be scaled in such a way that a -5 penalty to attack is detrimental to tactical decision making. Or Power Attack is designed to be awful.

So, the concept of being able to move and attack twice, giving more agency and capability to the fighter's player has been removed thus negating the point of the new action system, if you still are going to have a turn of move + attack once.

So fighters are literally worse off, comparatively speaking unless they get to also make two attacks which assumes they are already in front of the enemy's face (the equivalent of mandating full round attacks in PF1 to be effective).

This is poor design.

... The hell? It's an optional feat. The option to move and attack twice or use any other combination of actions hasn't been removed. Taking the feat isn't mandatory, nor does it even sound advisable for a lot of builds.

If this qualifies as bad design, given how little we know about combat, numbers, and feats on the whole, I hate to hear what you think of the original power attack.

--So good it's considered mandatory
--Makes math harder on the fly
--Numbers change based on level so not everyone follows the same rules
--Numbers change based on the hands used for the weapon
--Ensures the damage from full attacking always blows away more mobile based attack patterns.

I really don't understand why people are freaked out about the new Power Attack occupying a different design space in a different game.

Because it's now a trap option that wastes paper.

If it's not viable for anyone to take, then why would anyone take it? It's like getting rules bloat in the core rule book.

It ruins the economics of the game's design, it wastes two actions to use and is demonstrably worse than just making two attacks in all cases save for critical hits.

Plus there's the whole variance thing where we don;t have consistent enough numbers to know how to design encounters around damage if both Power attack and +x weapons are just adding extra dice to the equation without anything else going on to adjust for the inevitable swingyness that the law of averages forces upon us.

Math says it's bad, therefor it's probably not good. Fistfulls of dice are not always the best way to design a game around unless you can account for the margins of variance they create.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Because it's now a trap option that wastes paper.

If it's not viable for anyone to take, then why would anyone take it? It's like getting rules bloat in the core rule book.

It ruins the economics of the game's design, it wastes two actions to use and is demonstrably worse than just making two attacks in all cases save for critical hits.

Plus there's the whole variance thing where we don;t have consistent enough numbers to know how to design encounters around damage if both Power attack and +x weapons are just adding extra dice to the equation without anything else going on to adjust for the inevitable swingyness that the law of averages forces upon us.

Math says it's bad, therefor it's probably not good. Fistfulls of dice are not always the best way to design a game around unless you can account for the margins of variance they create.

You're making a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions that not only run contrary to the math done by the community based on the limited information we have, but also run contrary to the math done by those that have all the information.


Evilgm wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Because it's now a trap option that wastes paper.

If it's not viable for anyone to take, then why would anyone take it? It's like getting rules bloat in the core rule book.

It ruins the economics of the game's design, it wastes two actions to use and is demonstrably worse than just making two attacks in all cases save for critical hits.

Plus there's the whole variance thing where we don;t have consistent enough numbers to know how to design encounters around damage if both Power attack and +x weapons are just adding extra dice to the equation without anything else going on to adjust for the inevitable swingyness that the law of averages forces upon us.

Math says it's bad, therefor it's probably not good. Fistfulls of dice are not always the best way to design a game around unless you can account for the margins of variance they create.

You're making a lot of unsubstantiated assumptions that not only run contrary to the math done by the community based on the limited information we have, but also run contrary to the math done by those that have all the information.

The math that the forum has done assumes I'm correct because they are using consistent average damage.

They have proven nothing.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
They have proven nothing.

I've noticed you use those words a lot when someone says something counter to what you said (usually with evidence to back it up). Seems like you're usually the one with something to prove and not a whole lot of argument to back it — like here, where all the math and all the inside info directly refutes your claims.


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Lady Firebird wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
They have proven nothing.
I've noticed you use those words a lot when someone says something counter to what you said (usually with evidence to back it up). Seems like you're usually the one with something to prove and not a whole lot of argument to back it — like here, where all the math and all the inside info directly refutes your claims.

I would agree with most of the concerns MM is having, but I agree with you the MM isn't appreciating the bell-curve nature of dice pool results.

EDIT-

Just for clarity here: take 6d8 for example. (I chose this number because it is a "large" pool so it should simulate MM's concerns well, if they exist.)

6d8 the mean roll is 27. With a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 48. Which sounds super swingy when you look at the surface. However, because of the bell-curve nature of dice pools; ~75% of rolls will result between 21 and 33 and results above 40 or below 14 occurring ~1% of the time (combined.)


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Math counts for predicting damage outcomes, not the enjoyment players derive from playing.

That's why things are playtested instead of simulated with formulas.


Average damage is not the same as static damage.

It is a useful predictor of performance over time so far as those things are valuable, but it is completely different in play.

If somebody shows me "Look at this, by the math these two characters wind up doing similar damage amounts, which one do you want to play?" I'll pick the one with the most dice every single....

No, wait. I'd take a character with Measured Response because the thought of a character so Lawful that the dice are always average if I want them to be amuses me to no end.

But other than that single case, dice are more fun than static modifiers.

And then there is BigDTBone's point, which is more concrete than mine and also something well worth keeping in mind.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
They have proven nothing.
I've noticed you use those words a lot when someone says something counter to what you said (usually with evidence to back it up). Seems like you're usually the one with something to prove and not a whole lot of argument to back it — like here, where all the math and all the inside info directly refutes your claims.

I would agree with most of the concerns MM is having, but I agree with you the MM isn't appreciating the bell-curve nature of dice pool results.

EDIT-

Just for clarity here: take 6d8 for example. (I chose this number because it is a "large" pool so it should simulate MM's concerns well, if they exist.)

6d8 the mean roll is 27. With a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 48. Which sounds super swingy when you look at the surface. However, because of the bell-curve nature of dice pools; ~75% of rolls will result between 21 and 33 and results above 40 or below 14 occurring ~1% of the time (combined.)

I myself am not a big fan of big dice pools, despite playing and working with White Wolf/Onyx Path for many years. But I do like that the bell curve gives you a pretty good estimation of how things will go. For a relevant of example of something that doesn't, we need look no further than the 1d20.


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Rubber Ducky guy wrote:

Math counts for predicting damage outcomes, not the enjoyment players derive from playing.

That's why things are playtested instead of simulated with formulas.

Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.

Additionally, we have had 18 years to playtest the hell out of the system. We are pretty good at understanding how changes to rules will impact the game prima facie at this point. Formula or no.


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QuidEst wrote:
1. PF1, nobody moved. My players had to be reminded of how to do things without provoking all the time. I think allowing movement leads to tactics, and Fighter being unique in locking things down is good.

Yeah. I *really* like that. I love that it's unique to fighters and sets them above the curve right at the gate.

Quote:
5. ... Yeah. Archery. Can’t argue there. :/

Was it specifically archery only, or ranged weapons only? Wouldn't be as bad if it was available to slingers, crossbowmen, knife throwers, etc...


Quandary wrote:
It seem pretty clear most all characters WILL have them. They just won't necessarily all work the same way. Paladins will be able to make attack against enemy that Crits their ally, for example. That would be an AoO in P1E. To me that sounds great, the variety of interrupts/reactions/AoOs will be large from the very first book.

Because Paladins are magical maybe they could have some sort of retributive aura that deals damage if a specified enemy attacks someone within 30 ft of them. And the magus could have some sort of cantrip they could place on an enemy that lets them send a fiery bolt as a ranged attack reaction if the enemy attacks someone other than the magus. Perhaps they could even a condition keyword for it like "painted" or "marked".

I've seen class-specific powers like these are sounding before. It was bad design as you ended up with lots of powers (what PF 2nd ed appears to be calling "class feats") that ultimately all did "almost" exactly the same thing but ever so slightly different to justify these class specific powers.

If these class feats turn out how they currently sound (and there's plenty of design room for them not to do so) I hope Paizo is very open to making them non-class specific feats and reworking the whole concept of class-specific feats. Otherwise we'll have the D&D 4th ed glut of class specific powers once again.


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BigDTBone wrote:


Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.

Counterpoint: Wildmagic. There for the sheer fun of it. :)

Sovereign Court

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master_marshmallow wrote:

Because it's now a trap option that wastes paper.

If it's not viable for anyone to take, then why would anyone take it? It's like getting rules bloat in the core rule book.

It ruins the economics of the game's design, it wastes two actions to use and is demonstrably worse than just making two attacks in all cases save for critical hits.

Plus there's the whole variance thing where we don;t have consistent enough numbers to know how to design encounters around damage if both Power attack and +x weapons are just adding extra dice to the equation without anything else going on to adjust for the inevitable swingyness that the law of averages forces upon us.

Math says it's bad, therefor it's probably not good. Fistfulls of dice are not always the best way to design a game around unless you can account for the margins of variance they create.

I don't like it therefor trap. Love it.

As discussed before this is going to see tons of play. Hey, I'm in a situation right now where I don't need to run away, am in no danger of being dead and want to hit something really hard without much of a concern about missing. I'll give up that -10 and 50% increase fumble chance to hit this guy REALLY hard right now.

That sounds like a total trap to me. Yep. Definitely a trap.


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BigDTBone wrote:
Rubber Ducky guy wrote:

Math counts for predicting damage outcomes, not the enjoyment players derive from playing.

That's why things are playtested instead of simulated with formulas.

Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.

Additionally, we have had 18 years to playtest the hell out of the system. We are pretty good at understanding how changes to rules will impact the game prima facie at this point. Formula or no.

Yeah, but combat is about more than how much damage you're dealing in a turn.

There's also a narrative component.

Players care how they deal their damage as much as how much is dealt


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Gah Screaming about trap options already. WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING WHAT ALL THE OPTIONS ARE! Not only can you not make everyone happy all the time but Dog knows you upset one person they just keep spamming EVERY single thread they can to complain.

And no I didn't find one thing to be a Red Flag for the record.


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Rubber Ducky guy wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:
Rubber Ducky guy wrote:

Math counts for predicting damage outcomes, not the enjoyment players derive from playing.

That's why things are playtested instead of simulated with formulas.

Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.

Additionally, we have had 18 years to playtest the hell out of the system. We are pretty good at understanding how changes to rules will impact the game prima facie at this point. Formula or no.

Yeah, but combat is about more than how much damage you're dealing in a turn.

There's also a narrative component.

Players care how they deal their damage as much as how much is dealt

DM:

Farius the magnificent spins on his right heel to face the new threat before him. The glint from his lonsword is somewhat dimmed by the stain of blood dripping from its hardened edge. Farius takes an extra moment to study his opponent as he approaches, as he thinks the extra moment of pause will allow him to land a more powerful attack. He levels his blade with his hands both grasping the hilt near his right breast and forcefully thrusts it into the creatures body. A squeal, almost deafening, is heard erupting from the foe as sinue, muscle, cartilidge, and bone are unnaturally separated.

Player:
4 damage

DM:
Ok, well actually it looks mostly unharmed, and has 53 HP remaining.

If the story and math don’t mesh then it is terrible.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

... that’s why we roll first, narrate second :3


bookrat wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.
Counterpoint: Wildmagic. There for the sheer fun of it. :)

More counterpoint: I let my players roll average whenever they want. They can choose to do 35 dmg fireballs instead of 10d6. Nobody does, because rolling dice to see if they roll a good roll is exciting for them


Rubber Ducky guy wrote:

Math counts for predicting damage outcomes, not the enjoyment players derive from playing.

That's why things are playtested instead of simulated with formulas.

Lots of people had fun playing RIFTS or WoD in spite of the rulesets being tire fires.

Things in the game aren't being "simulated" with formulas, the formulas are explicitly how things behave in the game. While playtests are valuable for getting as many eyes as possible scrutinizing the rules, and finding problems that may not be immediately apparent by inspection, some things can and should be judged primarily on the math.

For example, I remember someone on this forum who swore up and down that Powerful Sneak was a good Rogue talent. He was adamant that his experience with it (a small sample size subject to personal biases) was more valuable than the "mere whiteroom theorycraft" that stated that a -10% chance to hit for +0.167 damage per die is terrible on its own, and worse given the opportunity cost of not having a better Talent instead.

gustavo iglesias wrote:
bookrat wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.
Counterpoint: Wildmagic. There for the sheer fun of it. :)
More counterpoint: I let my players roll average whenever they want. They can choose to do 35 dmg fireballs instead of 10d6. Nobody does, because rolling dice to see if they roll a good roll is exciting for them

I've found that when it comes to important things like ability scores and HP, many people indeed prefer point-buy for the former and taking the average for the latter.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Athaleon wrote:

I've found that when it comes to important things like ability scores and HP, many people indeed prefer point-buy for the former and taking the average for the latter.

That is different. I find my players like to have an element of RNG in gameplay for sure, but things that permanently effect the competence of their characters not so much. They don't mind rolling a few ones in a combat, because that is just the way things go and won't have a long lasting (well it might, but not be definition) on what they can do tommorrow. On the other hand rolling for HP just gives them the very real chance to suck forever, especially at low levels, ability scores being even worse for that.

I also find it funny that folks commonly in favor of rolling for stats (not saying you do this) also include a bunch of caveats like free re-rolls, re rolling if total mod is less than x and roll 4 drop lowest, all of these not only looking to reduce the rng in your opted to use rng system but also, funnily enough, tend to lead to more powerful characters.


Athaleon wrote:


I've found that when it comes to important things like ability scores and HP, many people indeed prefer point-buy for the former and taking the average for the latter.

o.O

I've never met those people, where can I find them?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
Athaleon wrote:


I've found that when it comes to important things like ability scores and HP, many people indeed prefer point-buy for the former and taking the average for the latter.

o.O

I've never met those people, where can I find them?

At my table.


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My table was really hard to talk into converting from dice rolls to point buy, but once they did they liked it. Especially the player that always rolls $%^&.


Athaleon wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
bookrat wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:


Most players enjoy it when the game behaves as predicted (within a tolerance.) That is why formulas are an important part of game design.
Counterpoint: Wildmagic. There for the sheer fun of it. :)
More counterpoint: I let my players roll average whenever they want. They can choose to do 35 dmg fireballs instead of 10d6. Nobody does, because rolling dice to see if they roll a good roll is exciting for them
I've found that when it comes to important things like ability scores and HP, many people indeed prefer point-buy for the former and taking the average for the latter.

But... but I Reeeally LOVE rolling dice to get a pool of 6 scores for my abilities (I tend to use the standard method of dice rolling), but then again I'm probably an outlier X)


Mine are the same players that like rolling hand fulls of dice too btw.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
My table was really hard to talk into converting from dice rolls to point buy, but once they did they liked it. Especially the player that always rolls $%^&.

My favorite stat roll story comes from one of my first games of Pathfinder. The DM and one player considered themselves old-school and hated point-buy, because wanting control over your starting stats is a sign of modern/millennial player entitlement, or some such. Two of the players, including me, rolled up some ridiculous stat array like 18/17/16/14/14/10 or something like that. Old-school player rolls up garbage array after garbage array and the DM kept letting him reroll until he got an array that was mediocre, but still gave him bonuses overall. That player made his character a Commoner, and upon meeting the party, tried to murder us with deliberate ineptitude so that we would kill him, so that he could roll up a new character.

Malk_Content wrote:
I also find it funny that folks commonly in favor of rolling for stats (not saying you do this) also include a bunch of caveats like free re-rolls, re rolling if total mod is less than x and roll 4 drop lowest, all of these not only looking to reduce the rng in your opted to use rng system but also, funnily enough, tend to lead to more powerful characters.

3d6 in order, no rerolls, or you are the cancer that is killing tabletop RPGs.


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Malk_Content wrote:
I also find it funny that folks commonly in favor of rolling for stats (not saying you do this) also include a bunch of caveats like free re-rolls, re rolling if total mod is less than x and roll 4 drop lowest, all of these not only looking to reduce the rng in your opted to use rng system but also, funnily enough, tend to lead to more powerful characters.

I know! It's like they want the power without having the courage to admit they want power, or without having the guilt they associate with it. They want the "chance" at getting the more powerful PC without the risk associated with taking chances.

I have seen a lot of games say, "Roll, but if it's less than point buy, take the points." And at that point, what's the point?! Just say, "Grab the stats you want to create the character you want to play." That way everyone is honest, everyone gets the stats they actually want, and everyone gets to roleplay the character they actually want.

Someone wants all 18s? Fine! Go ahead! Play the super character. You'll eventually discover that characters who are good at everything always tend to be a bit boring. They also, despite their high mental stats, tend to be a bit more reckless and overconfident. Someone else wants to play with a 5 wisdom barbarian? Well, they know what they're walking into, they accept it, and they know they could be playing alongside all-18 super star over there. But either way, you'll both have a ton more fun, you'll be honest with yourselves, and you'll be guilt free.

If you're going to allow rolling, you have to allow for the possibility of lows as you do highs. That's part of the fun. Accept the risk, or use a different system. Don't lie to yourself about the lack of fun playing a lower stat character; if you don't want a character like that, it's fine, use point buy - garuanteed not to give you low stats. But if you want a powerful character, have the courage to admit it and either use a higher array or pick your stats. You'll be more honest and you'll have more fun. Just don't hide behind excuses to avoid the guilt; it's not healthy.

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