Can you playtest without the adventure path?


Prerelease Discussion

Liberty's Edge

If I ran PF 2 I'd want to make my own setting. Is playtesting and feedback only possible through the playtest adventure path? Or could a GM get just the playtest rules and just run a campaign of their own and still provide feedback?

How characters work is all well and good, but I'd like to see if the system will support adventure building, campaign development, and world creation as well.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

At the very least, there's a free-form period at the end. So, you could collect your feedback and submit it all then, even if they don't have some way to submit feedback during the first part.

Liberty's Edge

QuidEst wrote:
At the very least, there's a free-form period at the end. So, you could collect your feedback and submit it all then, even if they don't have some way to submit feedback during the first part.

If I can't give much feedback I'm better off just waiting and looking at the finished rules in a year and a quarter (since my playtesting as a GM not using the rules for Golarion would not be taken into consideration anyway). If, however, the rules are meant to be used beyond just the adventure paths then my feedback would be usable (and hopefully useful).

I find it a bit odd that the playtest has a published adventure but only a PDF only for monsters. Seems monsters need playtesting quite a bit as well. I always thought of PF as the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary but maybe that is changing for the playtest.

Paizo Employee Designer

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I mean you can't really fully playtest the game without accessing the monster pdf too, but making it pdf only allows us to work on it past the point where the playtest CRB is over to the printer.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Charlie D. wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
At the very least, there's a free-form period at the end. So, you could collect your feedback and submit it all then, even if they don't have some way to submit feedback during the first part.

If I can't give much feedback I'm better off just waiting and looking at the finished rules in a year and a quarter (since my playtesting as a GM not using the rules for Golarion would not be taken into consideration anyway). If, however, the rules are meant to be used beyond just the adventure paths then my feedback would be usable (and hopefully useful).

I find it a bit odd that the playtest has a published adventure but only a PDF only for monsters. Seems monsters need playtesting quite a bit as well. I always thought of PF as the Core Rulebook and the Bestiary but maybe that is changing for the playtest.

I'm just giving the worst case assessment, yeah. It'll probably be easier than that to give feedback for a custom game.


Charlie D. wrote:
Is playtesting and feedback only possible through the playtest adventure path? Or could a GM get just the playtest rules and just run a campaign of their own and still provide feedback?

You should not be tied to a specific setting or adventure, but they might ask you questions about the setting when they gather feedback since some parts of their setting are included in the rules.

I think they would be crazy to reject your feedback.


Well, my group usually plays every other Sunday, but most of us have the off Sundays available. So what we're going to do is continue running our regular Starfinder game on schedule, and then do the playtest game on the off Sundays in between, just with me + 4 players instead of me + 6 players. Consider something like that for your group?

Even if you want to use the PF2 rules for all your gaming, you can do your custom world on weeks 1 and 3 of the month, and the playtest module on weeks 2 and 4 of the month for a change of pace.


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

My sense is that the easy answer is, yes. Though, obviously having the a baseline for playtesting helps the verisimilitude of the feedback itself.

I would think it just means if you want your feedback to provide as much help as possible, you will need to spend a bit more time providing the parameters that you worked with. I would also not expect your feedback to be focused on moreseo than the feedback that is based on the parameters of the playtest proper.


Mark, if we are playing something besides Doomsday Dawn will we still be eligible to respond to the surveys?

Paizo Employee Designer

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RumpinRufus wrote:
Mark, if we are playing something besides Doomsday Dawn will we still be eligible to respond to the surveys?

I mean not the Doomsday Dawn-specific surveys, but for anything else, of course! That said, it would be even better if you could do both, as Doomsday Dawn is built to specifically test certain parts of play that we want to stress test and there is much power in getting lots of data with many of the variables controlled, but also home adventures are great because it adds variety.

Shadow Lodge

Thanks Mark!

I'd like to get my group involved in the playtest but it might be easier to muster sufficient enthusiasm if there is some flexibility in what we run and/or how many sessions we are investing in it.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Weirdo wrote:

Thanks Mark!

I'd like to get my group involved in the playtest but it might be easier to muster sufficient enthusiasm if there is some flexibility in what we run and/or how many sessions we are investing in it.

If they want to just dip their toes more than commit to a big old adventure, we also recommend the playtest PFS scenarios, or even the 1-hour quests. Doomsday Dawn is also modular and pretty different for each chapter, so you can maybe skim the playtest goals for each chapter and see if any fit your group without playing all chapters.

Shadow Lodge

I will definitely keep that in mind! Running a chapter or two sounds feasible. I've also been limited for prep time recently, so it wouldn't be unthinkable to put our current homebrew campaign on hold and run something pre-published for a change - but I really appreciate having the options available for more casual playtesting.

Paizo Employee Designer

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We want to give you guys all the options possible to playtest as much or as little as you want, on whatever content you want! But anyone who contributes feedback to the pre-written adventures will be doing us an additional favor for adding more data with the controlled variables.


Mark, I have another question if you don't mind.

Could you please tell us roughly how often the surveys are anticipated to be due? Every week? Two?

If that can't be answered, do you know when more details about the structure of the playtest will be released so we can start pitching and planning?

Paizo Employee Designer

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That information hasn't really been finalized. We'll probably let you guys know with a logistics blog or the like after it's set in stone!


I understand completely and I'll be looking forward to that logistics blog!


Mr Seifter, if you’re allowed to tell us, roughly how long do you think it would it take for a group who is accustomed to Paizo APs to play through Doomsday Dawn?

My group is only able to play every other weekend for 5-6 hours. I’m a bit concerned about whether or not we’ll be able to make enough progress to be able to provide meaningful feedback.


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

My group has even less available time -- possibly as little as 4 hours once a month. We would have to suspend other ongoing campaigns to get any more time in.

Paizo Employee Designer

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ElSilverWind wrote:

Mr Seifter, if you’re allowed to tell us, roughly how long do you think it would it take for a group who is accustomed to Paizo APs to play through Doomsday Dawn?

My group is only able to play every other weekend for 5-6 hours. I’m a bit concerned about whether or not we’ll be able to make enough progress to be able to provide meaningful feedback.

Well we've announced that it's a 96-pager. AP volumes are comparable but have more backmatter, so probably longer than a single volume of an AP would take in terms of pages. But there's some caveats: if you're anything like my group, you probably add a bunch of extras to an AP volume based on what the PCs find interesting, but Doomsday Dawn is more episodic and self-contained, so that's less likely to happen. If you play twice a month for 6 hours, that's 12 hours a month, which seems like it could be enough time. Really depends on group speed. I mean my group is really slow and takes years to finish an AP, but I've heard of some groups that finish a full volume in a month with once a week four hour sessions and thus keep pace with our publication schedule. I believe the people who say their group does that, but it's hard to fathom for me because we're so slow.

So basically, the main thing I've learned over the years is that every group is different and I can't really predict how fast you will go. Did that help at all?


Mark Seifter wrote:
ElSilverWind wrote:

Mr Seifter, if you’re allowed to tell us, roughly how long do you think it would it take for a group who is accustomed to Paizo APs to play through Doomsday Dawn?

My group is only able to play every other weekend for 5-6 hours. I’m a bit concerned about whether or not we’ll be able to make enough progress to be able to provide meaningful feedback.

Well we've announced that it's a 96-pager. AP volumes are comparable but have more backmatter, so probably longer than a single volume of an AP would take in terms of pages. But there's some caveats: if you're anything like my group, you probably add a bunch of extras to an AP volume based on what the PCs find interesting, but Doomsday Dawn is more episodic and self-contained, so that's less likely to happen. If you play twice a month for 6 hours, that's 12 hours a month, which seems like it could be enough time. Really depends on group speed. I mean my group is really slow and takes years to finish an AP, but I've heard of some groups that finish a full volume in a month with once a week four hour sessions and thus keep pace with our publication schedule. I believe the people who say their group does that, but it's hard to fathom for me because we're so slow.

So basically, the main thing I've learned over the years is that every group is different and I can't really predict how fast you will go. Did that help at all?

Yes absolutely! From the sound of it, as long as it is not too much more content than a volume of an AP, my players should be able to handle it. : )

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for all the replies. Mark, thanks for the quick answers. I have the information I need to make a decision now. I'm glad that a variety of approaches works for helping with playtesting.


It will be in Golarion and ranging from 1to 20 right?


SteelGuts wrote:
It will be in Golarion and ranging from 1to 20 right?

Yes, but it's not like an entire campaign, since that wouldn't fit in a single hundred page book. Nor would most groups have any chance of doing that in ~5 months. It seems more like 7 discrete scenarios, each designed to test a specific aspect of the rules that needs the most playtesting, with the intent being you rebuild between scenarios.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yeah, I'm thinking of it not as an AP but as the equivalent of several short, loosely linked PFS scenarios of different tiers bundled together.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Fuzzypaws wrote:
SteelGuts wrote:
It will be in Golarion and ranging from 1to 20 right?
Yes, but it's not like an entire campaign, since that wouldn't fit in a single hundred page book. Nor would most groups have any chance of doing that in ~5 months. It seems more like 7 discrete scenarios, each designed to test a specific aspect of the rules that needs the most playtesting, with the intent being you rebuild between scenarios.

Correct. Doomsday Dawn presents 7 connected adventures, each of which is set at a specific character level. We aren't playtesting the mechanics of handing out XP and advancing characters from 1st to 20th level in this particular adventure, but instead are targeting specific areas of concern with the way the rules work and play, using these 7 adventures (ranging from the first for 1st level characters up to the last for 17th level characters) as a method to generate a more organized format for playtest feedback.

But as Mark said above, this isn't the SOLE method you can playtest. We also want to know the results of and hear back from folks who use the playtest rules for ANY sort of game, be it a conversion of an older adventure for whatever system, a one shot adventure of your design, or an entire campaign you've decided to run.

But it'll be easiest to report on Doomsday Dawn, and easiest for us to process that feedback.

(And yes, it's set in Golarion, as are all of our Pathfinder products.)


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's been mentioned that we'll have about two weeks for each segment of Doomsday Dawn in the playtest. Is there going to be maybe an extra week at the start to allow GMs time to read the adventure 1st?

Personally, I plan on running playtests for several different groups if possible, but I like to read adventures at least 3 times before I run them, in order to really do it justice.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

It's been mentioned that we'll have about two weeks for each segment of Doomsday Dawn in the playtest. Is there going to be maybe an extra week at the start to allow GMs time to read the adventure 1st?

Personally, I plan on running playtests for several different groups if possible, but I like to read adventures at least 3 times before I run them, in order to really do it justice.

Ah, I didn't remember the two week thing had been mentioned, and that was what I was dancing around before. It's not a hard limit by any means; it's sort of Jason's best guess for a good pacing to give most weekly groups time to run it and then we all (by which I mean the designers as well as all of you) talk about how that chapter went in particular as a group, but if your group marches to the beat of a different drummer (either faster or slower), you will absolutely still be able to do your thing and send in your survey results, you just might be off-synch with our most direct discussion focus or videos.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

It's been mentioned that we'll have about two weeks for each segment of Doomsday Dawn in the playtest. Is there going to be maybe an extra week at the start to allow GMs time to read the adventure 1st?

Personally, I plan on running playtests for several different groups if possible, but I like to read adventures at least 3 times before I run them, in order to really do it justice.

Ah, I didn't remember the two week thing had been mentioned, and that was what I was dancing around before. It's not a hard limit by any means; it's sort of Jason's best guess for a good pacing to give most weekly groups time to run it and then we all (by which I mean the designers as well as all of you) talk about how that chapter went in particular as a group, but if your group marches to the beat of a different drummer (either faster or slower), you will absolutely still be able to do your thing and send in your survey results, you just might be off-synch with our most direct discussion focus or videos.

Thanks for the clarification, Mark! I was wondering if it was going to be a "pencils down!" situation. Now it sounds like that won't be the case, which is likely to make my scheduling much easier!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

It's been mentioned that we'll have about two weeks for each segment of Doomsday Dawn in the playtest. Is there going to be maybe an extra week at the start to allow GMs time to read the adventure 1st?

Personally, I plan on running playtests for several different groups if possible, but I like to read adventures at least 3 times before I run them, in order to really do it justice.

Ah, I didn't remember the two week thing had been mentioned, and that was what I was dancing around before. It's not a hard limit by any means; it's sort of Jason's best guess for a good pacing to give most weekly groups time to run it and then we all (by which I mean the designers as well as all of you) talk about how that chapter went in particular as a group, but if your group marches to the beat of a different drummer (either faster or slower), you will absolutely still be able to do your thing and send in your survey results, you just might be off-synch with our most direct discussion focus or videos.
Thanks for the clarification, Mark! I was wondering if it was going to be a "pencils down!" situation. Now it sounds like that won't be the case, which is likely to make my scheduling much easier!

Not in any way a pencils down situation. Now, if your group can manage to do some of them in the windows, we're hoping we can make it sort of a cool shared experience situation where it's even more fun because of the feeling of doing something simultaneously with so many other people, but if not, no problem! You will still have the same ability to participate in surveys and other feedback as the groups that do :)


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I don't expect to have any players to run a play test. Is ease of understanding the rules and building characters still useful feedback?

I might get lucky and get into a PBP, but I don't feel experienced enough to run one, especially with new rules. Or maybe that's still useful feed back

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I've vaguely considered (depending on player availability) building several PCs and running them through the playtest sequences. It wouldn't be the first time I've done something like that.


Thanks for the clarifications guys. Do you know if there will be a Character Sheet for PF2 test on Roll 20 for the playtest?

We play mostly on Roll 20 these days, life and geography and time zone making it difficult to be at the same table with the main group. Otherwise we will probably try something on our own but it will be more difficult.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SteelGuts wrote:
Thanks for the clarifications guys. Do you know if there will be a Character Sheet for PF2 test on Roll 20 for the playtest?

I think it was Vic Wertz who said that what their partners do is up to the partners.

So you'd have to ask the Roll20 folks if they're going to have a character sheet available.

Edit

Here
He was talking about Herolab offering PF2, but it's probably relevant

Vic Wertz wrote:
Their license is ongoing. What they choose to implement (and when and how) is largely up to them, and any announcements they make will be on their own timeline. (This goes for all of our digital game aid partners.)

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
I've vaguely considered (depending on player availability) building several PCs and running them through the playtest sequences. It wouldn't be the first time I've done something like that.

Same here. My home group consists of me, my brother and his wife and three kids, and while I might run them through the playtest adventure just for fun, there's no way we will do that in any tempo that would lend to the actual playtest (my kids are super creative when it comes to not doing what's written in any official adventure :D). So I'll probably just run the adventure for some of the other mes.

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