Pathfinder 2 has the right design philosophy to be great.


Prerelease Discussion

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So I read the Jason Bulmahn interview today and it made a lot of things click for me.

(it can be found here: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2018/04/20/top-of-the-table- the-pathfinder-playtest-interview.aspx?PostPageIndex=1)

This passage in particular is something that I love, but is clearly the source of a lot of consternation on the forums:

"If you have to spend a great deal of time creating a character or reading a manual, that’s a time investment that you have to sink in before the fun can begin. I want to get out of the way and let people have fun as quickly as possible. With a pen-and-paper role-playing game, there’s obviously some things you have to learn and some things you have to do, but I want to minimize that by explaining some base concepts to you to get you going as quickly as possible. "

1st level characters shouldn't be loaded down with options. 1st level play for new players should be about learning the rules, learning your character, and learning how your character fits narratively and mechanically into your party and the campaign setting. Front-loaded racial templates and classes make this a lot more difficult than more loose ancestry trees that have a more limited set of base mechanics, and a lot of room to grow through feat selection later. This lets first level play be more like a game tutorial for learning who your character is, and that feels unnecessary for you, because your character concept is advanced to the point that requires more abilities than first level characters get, then that character is probably not first level anyway.

The game doesn't lose complexity or nuance by delaying build progression over the course of 20 playable levels. I'd argue that much of 1st edition's higher level complexity remained far more theoretical for players than experiential, and a huge part of that was that creating higher level characters always got pretty messy with WBL, access to spells, and the ability to completely ignore early game spell selection and create characters more specialized on the remaining tasks of the campaign.
I hope that if the developers are serious about making low level entry campaigns accessible to new players, they devote some resources to balancing campaigns and modules that are designed to start at higher level play and continue just as far narratively as campaigns that start at lower levels. A really easy way to do this would be for a graduated experience point progression chart. Level 1 to 20 campaigns could run at 750xp per level, while a campaign designed to start at level 5 and run to level 10, but tell a complex story could go 1,500xp per level and dole out more treasure over that time to meet the expected attrition of consumable resources.

Overall, I am very happy with what I am seeing and I think that there is a frame work being developed here that will let pathfinder modules, Adventure paths and PFS scenarios, exploit the gaming system uniquely, for different kinds of play.


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I mean, I do understand this. But I think lv1 characters are played very often by very experienced players as well, probably more often than newbies play them (Hardcore get in multiple campaigns). Don't want them to be super boring when levels 1-6 are still gonna be like 70% of all Pathfinder played ever.

Consider APs where all begin at 1, or PFS. Doesn't matter if you promote starting at higher than 1 if all your products make you start at 1 anyways. It is a level that will be played by all, probably for a good while. I hope it's fun or you can at least level up faster...

EDIT: Being able to start APs at lebel 3 with some modifications on the first book, however, could be a good solution! Same for PFS. 5E kinda allows this and everyone can be happy.


Yes


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ChibiNyan wrote:

I mean, I do understand this. But I think lv1 characters are played very often by very experienced players as well, probably more often than newbies play them (Hardcore get in multiple campaigns). Don't want them to be super boring when levels 1-6 are still gonna be like 70% of all Pathfinder played ever.

Exactly!!! Why should levels 1-6 be the only levels usually played? Lets break away from that dynamic. Lets have an entire adventure path where the characters start at level 5 or 6 and are grizzled war veterans returned from war to a new war at home. Lets let APs be able to decide to stretch the XP over the course of as many encounters as is necessary to tell their story in full.

It seems like the convention of starting campaigns at level one is primarily a tradition centered on the idea that level one is the beginning of a character's story, but this isn't really true (or else no character would start with a background), and doesn't need to be canonized. If the developers produced great material that let you start at higher levels, balanced your equipment and gave you access to specialized backgrounds that only made sense for higher level characters, I think a lot of people would really enjoy adventures written to utilize that feature.


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Unicore wrote:


Exactly!!! Why should levels 1-6 be the only levels usually played? Lets break away from that dynamic. Lets have an entire adventure path where the characters start at level 5 or 6 and are grizzled war veterans returned from war to a new war at home. Lets let APs be able to decide to stretch the XP over the course of as many encounters as is necessary to tell their story in full.

It seems like the convention of starting campaigns at level one is primarily a tradition centered on the idea that level one is the beginning of a character's story, but this isn't really true (or else no character would start with a background), and doesn't need to be canonized. If the developers produced great material that let you start at higher levels, balanced your equipment and gave you access to specialized backgrounds that only made sense for higher level characters, I think a lot of people would really enjoy adventures written to utilize that feature.

Would be all in favor! I hope they can figure it out. It shouldn't be that hard either. Not expecting the launch AP to have anything like this, but for sure the second one would be lovely with this feature.


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The danger to me is that by focusing on the new players too much, They will make veterans like me rather keep playing PF1 than jump to this.

Honestly, the changes they made till now due to lack of full rules and numbers aren't enough for me to decide on this. But based on this forums feedback until this point about some systems and how they propose to listen, if half makes into the game I wouldn't touch it with a 100ft pole.


I'm fine with this approach. I don't see level 1 characters as being boring by being a bit more focused - I'm sure there will be enough dials & switches to play with for the more advanced players.
Additionally, for more harcore players who play more often, they'll blow through levels 1-3 pretty quickly I'd imagine.
I've got no doubt they've got a lot of great ideas, the question is how well it will all gel in the end. To be honest, I suspect it will take a couple of years after release of the CRB (not the Playtest) before we really know.


Seems similar to the 5th Ed design ethos for early level characters, less front-loading, features are spread out over early levels.

Discourages dipping a bit, not as much as intended/it should, the worst culprit is usually the clunky, tacked-on warlock class.

I have detested that class since its debut in Complete Arcane, when I think of a warlock, I do not picture an edgy guy in leather, shooting laser beams from his hands.


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Unicore wrote:
So I read the Jason Bulmahn interview today (...) "If you have to spend a great deal of time creating a character or reading a manual, that’s a time investment that you have to sink in before the fun can begin. I want to get out of the way and let people have fun as quickly as possible."

This is understandable, but there is a catch: The less time / energy / money people invest, the less committed they feel about what they got. Sure, you can hope the campaign will be fun from the first session, but if it's not, it's very tempting to just drop the character and move on - to another character, another campaign or even another game system.

Quote:
1st level characters shouldn't be loaded down with options.

Many options is much less of a problem if some simple, effective options are easily available. If a PF1 newbie wants to play a martial of some sort, you can tell them "pick up a greatsword and Power Attack". It's not perfect in all situations, but good enough for now - and the newbie doesn't have to care about the bazillion of other options.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

To me some of the key components of Pathfinder are the near-endless customization and the zero->hero->deity power span.

I like level 1-20 campaigns, though I feel levels 1&2 are currently often uninteresting; and somewhere around the low-teens rocket tag begins to dominate too much, and the LFQW issue causes other problems.

Nothing we've heard to date, appears to have changed the QW aspect; the proficiency blog (and some of the magic item adding damage dice reveals) have the potential to upgrade scaling of the LF.

The HP and dying rules address some of the issues with low level play, however the "smearing" of some core class/ancestry features across a broader swath of levels appears to prolong the low-level period of the game. Solving high-level play issues, by spreading low-level play into mid-level, and mid-level to high isn't what I'm hoping for.

I agree that character creation can be(and should be) streamlined without losing what's intrinsic to Pathfinder, however, I'm not sure if that design principle is what we're seeing applied here.


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I feel like, at this point, most people are drawn to Pathfinder by the content of their adventures, adventure paths, modules and Scenarios. If that content continues to be produced at a high level, they will keep the vast majority of their current fan base. A lot of those great stories, especially the higher-level APs were having to work around the limitations of a broken high-level system where parties could be expected to do things like spam wishes and miracles. Not all of them succeeded, and some great writing has been obfuscated by unplayable mechanics.

Aren't the developers focusing on their existing fan-base if they fix the higher level game play issues and create content that allows advanced players to play advanced games? I am excited that the play test will include higher level adventures out of the gate and I hope enough people play them to provide useful feedback there.


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Unicore wrote:
I feel like, at this point, most people are drawn to Pathfinder by the content of their adventures, adventure paths, modules and Scenarios.

Absolutely this but *also* huge amounts of character customisation. And all the comments from the devs seem to indicate they're aware of these things (plus being a 'tactical rpg') as being the core strengths of the system.

I'm optimistic they can make the game easier to get into without sacrificing these strong points.


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Unicore wrote:

I feel like, at this point, most people are drawn to Pathfinder by the content of their adventures, adventure paths, modules and Scenarios.

not sure if true for most people, but it is true for me


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Unicore wrote:

I feel like, at this point, most people are drawn to Pathfinder by the content of their adventures, adventure paths, modules and Scenarios. If that content continues to be produced at a high level, they will keep the vast majority of their current fan base. A lot of those great stories, especially the higher-level APs were having to work around the limitations of a broken high-level system where parties could be expected to do things like spam wishes and miracles. Not all of them succeeded, and some great writing has been obfuscated by unplayable mechanics.

Aren't the developers focusing on their existing fan-base if they fix the higher level game play issues and create content that allows advanced players to play advanced games? I am excited that the play test will include higher level adventures out of the gate and I hope enough people play them to provide useful feedback there.

The reason that high level is not played as much is two-fold:

One is what you say, that the game gets out of control. But I think this is the lesser reason.

Second is that it takes years of gameplay to even reach those high levels. Having consistent groups that can play so much for such a long time is a very rare commodity. Most AP groups that start likely don't make it past book 1 or 2. So the high level problem is kinda moot since they never each it. However, there's a lot to do in low levels of PF1 (unless you're a sorcerer).


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Well if it didnt take a PHd in metaphysics, a mayor in law science and a pact with the devil to not die of old age before a skirmish is done, to play high level pathfinder I would see myself even starting campaigns at mid levels instead of at peasant level. However seems PF2e is trying to make level 1 more relevant in at least being survivable with decent hp and some emblematic class identity mechanic at play already.

This is in fact what I'm looking forward the most in PF2e, a clear, concise and intuitive system, yet with depth. I want to run those high levels and if they are clean I'll have player levelling faster too, ending campaigns in near 20 rather than between 11-15.

What I would not like is what sometimes I get a whiff off in the blog posts, if depth and customisation is sacrificed for ease of access (perhaps because of their sometimes atrocious writing style, with many cool abilities even though it's the same as before! many exclamation marks! so exciting! though newer ones have improved, for example the recent spells one was refreshingly good).

EDIT: On blog posts, sometimes it feels they are written for an audience that isnt...us? As if it were for non roleplayers looking into it for the first time, or a rather younger age category. Both are fine, and healthy for the hobby, but I think the bigger audience at the moment and those keeping up with the blog are the current PF1 engaged players.


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I am not a fan of first level - I really, really hope they don't spread that 1st level feel over several levels.


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I'm not happy with 1st level characters being so striped down all we get is ability score bumps, speed, size, any special vision and a single racial power/feat. I'd be ok with that if the other racial traits were moved to the background part of a character. But if the idea is just taking away options for ease of play, that's not what I want from Pathfinder and based on prior comments from the devs I thought they got that.

As for starting at higher level: It doesn't work so well when +level to everything means you lose access to low level enemies. It also doesn't work if you want to start out without magic items. It also doesn't work if you don't want "level 1" wizards throwing around fireballs because you had to start at level 5 due to how sparse level 1 is.

+2 to a handful of skills is hardly the most complex character. I don't get stripping back races in the name of simplicity. Play a human if you want simple. They're very effective in PF, but also quite simple.


ChibiNyan wrote:


The reason that high level is not played as much is two-fold:
One is what you say, that the game gets out of control. But I think this is the lesser reason.

Second is that it takes years of gameplay to even reach those high levels. Having consistent groups that can play so much for such a long time is a very rare commodity. Most AP groups that start likely don't make it past book 1 or 2. So the high level problem is kinda moot since they never each it. However, there's a lot to do in low levels of PF1 (unless you're a sorcerer).

I agree that it can take years of game play to reach higher levels, but does it need to?

I get that APs are wildly popular even though very few tables make it all the way through them, because of the richness of playing in an immersive campaign that feels like it could last a character's life time. Paizo has done a great job of tapping that market/practically defining that market, and should keep doing it. but with flexible xp tracks, they could also have campaigns run just as deep and full of encounters and story that start at level 3 or 5 or 10, so really adopting a yes/and approach.

For example: If mythic issues are well balanced and tested from the get go, Wrath of the Righteous could easily have been a campaign who's first 6 levels were its own, completely self contained adventure. WBL is a mess that I am interested to see how they are fixing, but APs could include a section on jumping in at each major break with a list of new backgrounds and magical equipment that characters can decide to "have purchased"/found for less than buying outright, and each book could easily be its own unique entry point to the campaign, perhaps with online support for extending books out over slower xp progression with side quests and other "bonus" content.


Unicore wrote:
they could also have campaigns run just as deep and full of encounters and story that start at level 3 or 5 or 10

I think the reason they wouldn't is that would mean they'd sell 1, 2 or 3 less parts of an AP. That means upping the schedule to make up the loss and having to come up with more idea's per year in less time.


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This honestly feels like a slap in the face. Oh yeah you guys who essentially made our company, that decided you didn't want to go with 4e's simplification. Nah we aren't interested in you, instead we are going to dumb down the game for toddlers.

And really, levels 1-3 are already waste of time as far as I am concerned. So what now I have to start beginning campaigns at level 10 or something?


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First you hate the art and now you're angry about how much the game has been (allegedly) dumbed down. Haven't you heard about trapping more flies with honey than with vinegar?


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But it would be better if they didn’t go the route of having every single AP be a 1-20. Allow for some that can be complete at lower levels.


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They have already said they're going to experiment with the Starfinder-style 3 issue AP in a year or two after PF2 is off the ground. So I imagine we'll have a quarter where it's a low level path, than a quarter that is a separate mid-high level path, with some ideas given for linking them together but with the stories technically being separate.

Grand Lodge

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As someone who enjoys character creation and planning as much as actually playing, I kinda hate the idea of dumbing down the process.

Just one (of many) things I have heard about PF2 that are leaving me without much hope of ever actually wanting to switch over to it.

I find myself hoping someone will take up the D&D3.x/Pathfinder mantle once Paizo completely moves away from it the way Paizo did with WotC moved away from 3.5.


graystone wrote:
I think the reason they wouldn't is that would mean they'd sell 1, 2 or 3 less parts of an AP. That means upping the schedule to make up the loss and having to come up with more idea's per year in less time.

If the XP chart was stretched to 1,250 or 1,500 per level for slower, higher level campaigns, then you could theoretically have them take up just as much material space as a level 1-20 AP. I like Fuzzy Paws idea too, I think they could make more APs that could link in theory, but don't have to. And they could keep running a traditional AP line that starts at first level.


Wultram wrote:


And really, levels 1-3 are already waste of time as far as I am concerned. So what now I have to start beginning campaigns at level 10 or something?

Are you a DM? Is there a current system sweet spot that you strongly enjoy playing? It sounds like having longer, mid to high level campaigns is exactly what you are asking for. If the total amount of interesting and challenging encounters was the same in a campaign that ran slowly from 5-10, would that be worse than a campaign that ran from 1-10 more quickly, but only half the campaign felt interesting?


Slyme wrote:

As someone who enjoys character creation and planning as much as actually playing, I kinda hate the idea of dumbing down the process.

Just one (of many) things I have heard about PF2 that are leaving me without much hope of ever actually wanting to switch over to it.

I find myself hoping someone will take up the D&D3.x/Pathfinder mantle once Paizo completely moves away from it the way Paizo did with WotC moved away from 3.5.

These are games, everyone should play the games they want to, the way they want to. That said, if you knew that many campaigns started at higher level, with lists of magic gear available for starting characters at reduced prices, would you not still be able to have just as much fun making characters for different campaigns at higher level?

My point with all of this is that character creation shouldn't just be a thought of as a level one activity. Level one is an arbitrary starting point for a character concept. Most of what I hear people complain about is that their ideal characters won't be possible at first level play. Many of these same players don't seem to ever play characters at levels higher than 10 -12.
Is the most elegant solution not to make those "sweet spots" of play have more content and have that content run longer?


Fuzzypaws wrote:
They have already said they're going to experiment with the Starfinder-style 3 issue AP in a year or two after PF2 is off the ground.

I didn't see that, where was it said ?


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Unicore wrote:
Slyme wrote:

As someone who enjoys character creation and planning as much as actually playing, I kinda hate the idea of dumbing down the process.

Just one (of many) things I have heard about PF2 that are leaving me without much hope of ever actually wanting to switch over to it.

I find myself hoping someone will take up the D&D3.x/Pathfinder mantle once Paizo completely moves away from it the way Paizo did with WotC moved away from 3.5.

These are games, everyone should play the games they want to, the way they want to. That said, if you knew that many campaigns started at higher level, with lists of magic gear available for starting characters at reduced prices, would you not still be able to have just as much fun making characters for different campaigns at higher level?

My point with all of this is that character creation shouldn't just be a thought of as a level one activity. Level one is an arbitrary starting point for a character concept. Most of what I hear people complain about is that their ideal characters won't be possible at first level play. Many of these same players don't seem to ever play characters at levels higher than 10 -12.
Is the most elegant solution not to make those "sweet spots" of play have more content and have that content run longer?

Yes, being able to play them. Paizo doesn't support them now that they release like 1 module a year and needing to start from lv1 for APs.

I have no issue with PF1 low levels, but might with PF2 low levels. The option would be to "skip" them as Mr. Buhlman recommended, but then there's no Paizo adventures to play... So it's not that easy.


Unicore wrote:
If the total amount of interesting and challenging encounters was the same in a campaign that ran slowly from 5-10, would that be worse than a campaign that ran from 1-10 more quickly, but only half the campaign felt interesting?

On the other hand, a campaign starting at 5 that got to 20 with a chapter or more to go and maybe started experimenting with epic would be awesome. I care much more about reaching 20 than about where it starts; the only real downside I can see is that starting at higher levels seems to have a risk of being harder to get into for inexperienced players.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:


On the other hand, a campaign starting at 5 that got to 20 with a chapter or more to go and maybe started experimenting with epic would be awesome. I care much more about reaching 20 than about where it starts; the only real downside I can see is that starting at higher levels seems to have a risk of being harder to get into for inexperienced players.

I agree. Inexperienced players should have fun low level adventures they can play to introduce them to the system and more experienced players can still play lower level adventures too without completely outshining the newer players, because first level play in existing pathfinder is already not very balanced and grows more imbalanced very quickly at higher levels. That is why I am arguing that a lot of the more complex character builds that I see people arguing for, melee alchemist that outshine equal level fighters, for example, are probably not first level characters.

The thing I would like to see Piazo do that is new and different is break down the idea that the game starts for every one at level 1. Experienced players should have the option to skip the tutorial without feeling like their game experience has lost something.


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I'm glad they're going to hold off a couple of years before they go with shorter length APs. Starfinder doing it for their "second" AP was a real turn off (especially when their first AP only covered levels 1-12). However I personally only play a third of the APs So by waiting until they have 4 APs under their belt before they start going with short APs it means I'll be able to wait 1 year until they stop experimenting and go back to standard-length APs (and if they alternate that's okay as well so long as there's a decent chunk of standard-length APs in between the shorter ones, thus giving something for everyone).

Unicore wrote:
My point with all of this is that character creation shouldn't just be a thought of as a level one activity. Level one is an arbitrary starting point for a character concept.

That's the philosophy D&D 5e has. I can't say I'm a fan of how they executed it. I'm willing to see how it works out in PF2e, but I'm really skeptical that 1st level characters will be something I want to play, which is sad because I enjoy playing low level characters before we start getting haste and fireball, which means I'll essentially lose out on an enjoyable low level experience in PF2e.

Grand Lodge

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As someone who plays primarily within the PFS organized play framework, starting at level 5 is not an option...and taking already weak characters at level 1 and stripping them down even more is entirely unappealing to me...it would be like making everyone in PF1 play as a commoner for their first 15 sessions until they know the rules better. It penalizes more experienced players and players who are able to grasp the rules faster.


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If PF2 is going to make low levels too simple, and allow legendary skills at levels as low as 7, I wont be able to use the system. I hope thats not the case, id like to enjoy PF2, but some things are shaping up to not match my tastes.

As someone pretty content with PF1, i'll be a bit upset if Paizo messes with the AP formula and I cant convert them easily to PF1.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
As for starting at higher level: It doesn't work so well when +level to everything means you lose access to low level enemies. It also doesn't work if you want to start out without magic items. It also doesn't work if you don't want "level 1" wizards throwing around fireballs because you had to start at level 5 due to how sparse level 1 is.

If you were starting at higher level, why would you call it 'level 1'?

I suppose you might deliberately draft a world where normal people are under level 5 and level 5 is the point where they transcend that to become adventurers that do the crazy things adventurers do.

But they're still a level 5 Wizard, it's just that level 4 and under are apprentice Wizards.


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The problem with striping back classes at level 1 and saying "just start at level 5 if you want a PF1e level 1 experience" is that it doesn't work unless you strip back all classes and delay their level 2-5 class features by 5 levels. We know 5th level wizards get 3rd level spells, so starting at level 5 for a PF1e level 1 experience doesn't work.


Unicore wrote:
Wultram wrote:


And really, levels 1-3 are already waste of time as far as I am concerned. So what now I have to start beginning campaigns at level 10 or something?
Are you a DM? Is there a current system sweet spot that you strongly enjoy playing? It sounds like having longer, mid to high level campaigns is exactly what you are asking for. If the total amount of interesting and challenging encounters was the same in a campaign that ran slowly from 5-10, would that be worse than a campaign that ran from 1-10 more quickly, but only half the campaign felt interesting?

Speaking personally as a GM I really don't enjoy Pathfinder at levels 1-4. Characters are so frail and limited without enough objects to overcome diverse challenges without either straining the party's limited spellcaster count [if a 'balanced party'] or taking ten times as long and complicating the story because skills solve challenges so much more slowly and unreliably compared to magic or failing entirely due to lack of solutions to problems.

For me Pathfinder sort of starts to warm up around level 5 and continues to pick up speed all the way through to level 17 [bare in mind back when I ran Pathfinder with less intensive houserules than I do now, I still houseruled spontaneous casters onto the same spellcasting track as prepared casters.] 18, 19 and 20 were sort of the culmination of everything, the wrapup in an epic rise from zero to Zeus, ordinary Guy to full God.

If I were to put a favorite range, I'd say 9 through 17.

Now granted, my current houserules are so extreme as to fundamentally represent another game entirely. Low levels in my games are a bit better and high levels a bit easier [and- importantly- almost all character concepts are fully supported. Concepts that would be represented as a Fighter or a Rogue or a Monk or whatnot still get to play the game even at the very high levels.]


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
The problem with striping back classes at level 1 and saying "just start at level 5 if you want a PF1e level 1 experience" is that it doesn't work unless you strip back all classes and delay their level 2-5 class features by 5 levels. We know 5th level wizards get 3rd level spells, so starting at level 5 for a PF1e level 1 experience doesn't work.

Oh, that's what you meant. You wanted to recreate a PF1 level 1 experience.

Aye, that does seem to be a problem with PF2 as presented.


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The problem with Bulman's statement, for me, is that the more modular nature of the classes and ancestries, combined with a preponderance of special actions WILL overburden players. I don't generally like to play above level 10 anyway, but even that seems like it could become unwieldy very quickly.

Hopefully, however, sanity will prevail and 'dead levels' will once more thrive and multiply!

Addendum: If one really needs the 'feel' of PF1, wouldn't the prudent course of action be to play it instead?


Crayon wrote:
Addendum: If one really needs the 'feel' of PF1, wouldn't the prudent course of action be to play it instead?

I want the feel of Pathfinder with a new revision and update to the rules that are better balanced than Pathfinder 1e. I think Paizo are up to the task (if they try) and I don't think it's too much to look for that experience when I open a rulebook that has the name "Pathfinder" on the cover.

We'll have to wait and see what we get.


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Hrm, is anyone planning on roping together some new players for the playtest? Since there is a focus on making things easy for new players, it should actually be tested with them. Also maybe get some players who've only played 5th edition and see how they work out. This is an issue I see with the nature of an open playtest, it attracts current players almost exclusively. That's great for some things, but not so much when you're looking to make it easier to learn for the new people.

I'm not sure how exactly one would go about with getting significant numbers of new players who are actually interested though.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:

Hrm, is anyone planning on roping together some new players for the playtest? Since there is a focus on making things easy for new players, it should actually be tested with them. Also maybe get some players who've only played 5th edition and see how they work out. This is an issue I see with the nature of an open playtest, it attracts current players almost exclusively. That's great for some things, but not so much when you're looking to make it easier to learn for the new people.

I'm not sure how exactly one would go about with getting significant numbers of new players who are actually interested though.

I'm going to start advertising at my local game store!


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
They have already said they're going to experiment with the Starfinder-style 3 issue AP in a year or two after PF2 is off the ground.
I didn't see that, where was it said ?

I don’t think that’s quite what they said. My recollection (I think it was Adam Daigle who posted about it) was that they’d be keeping an eye on how the 3-part APs for Starfinder go, but that the first year or two of PF2 APs are pretty much mapped out according to the traditional, six issue timetable (even if the titles aren’t all nailed down yet).

So I didn’t take it as “we’re going to do it in a couple of years” so much as “we might do it, but if we do it won’t be until a couple of years have passed” at the earliest.

Grand Lodge

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Crayon wrote:
Addendum: If one really needs the 'feel' of PF1, wouldn't the prudent course of action be to play it instead?

You mean the system Paizo is stopping work on? The one that will not get any more adventures? Or any new content whatsoever? The one where people playing PFS will simply run out of content pretty quickly, the more they play, the faster they will run out of playable content?


Arakhor wrote:
First you hate the art and now you're angry about how much the game has been (allegedly) dumbed down. Haven't you heard about trapping more flies with honey than with vinegar?

I am angry about there being a statement that pretty much explictly says their goal is to dumb it down. Of coarse they use the term simpler, but that is just sematics. And while the art was horrible that is something I can ignore, it just means wasted pages and money. This is way more serious. Also it isn't excatly proper to drag stuff from other threards.

And playing PDF is unnessary, I am sure people at paizo have their big boy and girl pants to handle some non sugar coated feedback. And yes there is a time to treat someone with silk gloves but there is also a time to backhand someone to knock some sense into them.

Now I would appriciate if you are gonna reply that you actually do something to actually discuss, instead of just complain that you don't like how I present my opinions.

Unicore wrote:
Wultram wrote:


And really, levels 1-3 are already waste of time as far as I am concerned. So what now I have to start beginning campaigns at level 10 or something?
Are you a DM? Is there a current system sweet spot that you strongly enjoy playing? It sounds like having longer, mid to high level campaigns is exactly what you are asking for. If the total amount of interesting and challenging encounters was the same in a campaign that ran slowly from 5-10, would that be worse than a campaign that ran from 1-10 more quickly, but only half the campaign felt interesting?

While I don't use that term, due to thinking it is silly one yes I run games as well as play in them.(though not GMing PF atm.)

And no the game doesn't really have a sweet spot for me. Or if I were to name one the range of levels would be so high that it would be silly to call it a spot. As to your guestions, no that is not something I desire. To use your own numbers, 5-10 that takes the same time as 1-10, means for example that there is half of progressions happening in the characters.

Now I belive to understand my statement you quoted I better give some context. I have been playing this general system since the beginning(dnd3.0 I have played earlier but I do not consider that relevant to PF1) That means that I have played a lot of low level characters or seen them played. There is really nothing new there to experience, nothing at least that holds my interest. And that is because mechanical diversity is in a very low supply at low levels, it is really just your stats and class choice and even with the latter some classes play practicly the same. But around levels 4-6 you start having enough resources for characters to have complexity that allows them to differ from each other. Another thing is that level 1 characters are incredibly weak, it never made any sense to me for them to be adventurers.(by choice at least)

------

Now on the topic at large again. PF1 isn't really that hard for beginners. If you cant figure it out yourself or more so with the help of a veteran. You simply aren't putting in the effort, not counting people with mental issues or young children. And honestly I don't care if the complexity is barrier of entry for those kinds of people. I don't want them at my table. There are so many rules light simple games out there. Go play them instead, hell I do occasionally pull one of them out. But do not take a system that is complex and deep and dumb it down so those people can participate at the expense of the people who LIKE it being complex and deep.


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Honest question.

What are people seeing that indicates character customisation is being dumbed down? To me it seems the opposite.

Feats Feats Feats! wrote:

How does gaining feats at every level shake out? Every class has special feats just for them, which you gain every other level. When your cleric hits 2nd level and gets that cleric feat, do you want to become a better healer? Learn another of your deity's domains? Turn undead away from you? Your class feats give you these options, so you're not locked into the same path as every other cleric.

On any level when you don't gain a class feat, you gain a skill feat to change the ways you can use skills, a general feat that's useful to any character regardless of class, or an ancestry feat that reflects the training or advantages of your people. Skill feats are part of the general feat category, too, so if you really want to invest in your skills, you can drop 15 feats on improving them!

This suggests you gain a feat every single level as a baseline. The P1E ceiling for feat customisation, a fighter getting a feat every level up from class and universal progression, is P2E's floor that even a cleric gets. By comparison the rogue gets a skill feat every level, instead of every 2 levels. That would be 30 feats of various kinds over 20 levels.

It seems like 2 areas are losing in number of options. 1 is skill ranks being replaced by skill feats. This seems to be a trade-off for skills being made more relevant and not casually outclassed by spells. Races also aren't starting with 5-6 options you can alternate racial trait around, which is a bummer. In return though, there's dedicated race feat slots in character progression, and racial abilities scaling.

P2E low-level characters also seem less fragile, with more HP. They'll also get better offence, since the new action economy enables 2 attacks a round at level 1 as standard. That should make low levels less swingy.


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Don't forget though PF 2e feats = PF1e racial traits, fighter talents, feats, skill unlocks, spells.

So yes, you may get 30+ feats, but in PF1e parlance it could turn out to be 10 feats, 10 class talents, some racial traits split across 20 levels instead of 1st level, skill unlocks that you have to choose from instead of auto getting thanks to a single feat and then skill ranks, and spells you have to unlock with a feat instead of simply getting it for being high level.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:


+2 to a handful of skills is hardly the most complex character. I don't get stripping back races in the name of simplicity. Play a human if you want simple. They're very effective in PF, but also quite simple.

+2 to a handful of skills is not complex, but it's not conceptually right in a game with backgrounds.

If I'm an elf with a soldier background, and I spent all my younghood training to be a soldier, I don't need to have +2 to spellcraft. This is just an artifice that has survived decades, from a time when "elf" was a class, and every single elf was a warrior-mage of sorts. That's no longer the case. There's no reason to believe every single dwarf in Golarion trains in stone cutting. Some will like brewing beer instead. Or carving wood. Or writing poems, or handling herds.

Which is why I think it's a good idea to split the things that are genetic (such as inmunity to sleep, dark vision, or being small) from those which are trained (like +2 to spellcraft, or familiarity with certain weapons)


John Lynch 106 wrote:

Don't forget though PF 2e feats = PF1e racial traits, fighter talents, feats, skill unlocks, spells.

So yes, you may get 30+ feats, but in PF1e parlance it could turn out to be 10 feats, 10 class talents, some racial traits split across 20 levels instead of 1st level, skill unlocks that you have to choose from instead of auto getting thanks to a single feat and then skill ranks, and spells you have to unlock with a feat instead of simply getting it for being high level.

I think spell selection is currently separate from feats. The exception is 10th level spells, which seem like they might literally include free Wishes. I reckon that's worth 1 feat. That aside, yes, I agree with you.

What's left is to compare numbers. Since there are limited blogs out, I hope you'll be okay with me comparing an Elf Unchained Rogue in P1E to what we generally know about an Elf Rogue in P2E.

P1E:
Elf
Unchained Rogue

P2E:
Elf/Dwarf blog
Rogue blog

In P1E, elves have 6 distinct racial traits that can be traded for at least one possible alternate trait:
>Low-light vision
>Elven immunities
>Elven magic
>Keen senses
>Weapon familiarity
>Languages

Unchained rogues have 17 class features that innately present a choice, with rogue talents every 2 levels and skill unlocks every 5 levels, and at levels 3, 11 and 19 they may select 1 weapon for finesse training's DEX-to-damage ability to apply to. The class also has 9 static class features, some of them scaling, which don't present an innate choice, but can potentially be traded by archetype, for 26 total class features:
>Finesse training (initial benefit)
>Sneak attack
>Trapfinding
>Evasion
>Danger sense
>Debilitating injury
>Uncanny dodge
>Improved uncanny dodge
>Master strike

Lastly, there's the 10 feats gained from universal progression.

Adding this together, between race, class, and universal progression, a P1E elf rogue gets 6 + 26 + 10 = 42 "features" over their 20-level life.

Looking at P2E, the blogs are obviously less complete. However, they do say "Elves can see in dim light, and have the highest speed of all the ancestries at 30 feet". That's 2 features, so elves would need at least 4 racial feat slots to break even, with 5+ to pull ahead. I believe 1 is gained at level 1, and to quote one example of such a feat, "This feat allows your elf to become trained in a skill of your choice when she prepares for each day". To me, that seems a far superior feat in both power and fun than "Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks" from P1E. Information is pretty incomplete though, of course.

For class, the blog lists the following static features for the rogue:
>Sneak attack
>Debilitating strike (at 9th level), which notes "As her level rises, she has the opportunity to expand the conditions applied with debilitating strikes and increase the number of conditions applied"
>Master strike (at 19th level)

Fewer static features, but since everyone gets a feat of some kind at every level, that's 20 feats, matching P1E's universal feats and rogue talents to begin with. Also, it says the rogue "gains skill feats at an accelerated rate (one per level instead of one every other level)", so that's 20 skill feats and 10 others for a total of 30 innate choices.

This beats the 27 innate choices enjoyed by a level 20 rogue in P1E. If we add in the 2 known static racial features and 3 class features, then we get 35 features. This falls short of the 42 features a P1E elf rogue gets, but that's all with incomplete information. To quote Mark Seifter:

Mark Seifter wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Are those skill increases going to be the only ways to increase my skill mod other than to modify their ability scores? Will I really only be able to do that 15 times?
I believe that a character who was hellbent on increasing their skills as many times as possible and sunk all possible resources into it could increase their skills a hypothetical ~50 times (aside from the fact that you might run out of useful skills to raise with some of the options before then, so more realistically more like 40 times). That is a lot of times.

According to Mark, if dedicated, we could reach 40-50 skill-improving choices in a 20-level career, which would probably involve choosing to play a rogue. Unless it's possible to trade literally everything else for more skills, chances are we'd still get a few class features, race feats and so on we couldn't trade for skills on top of that, bringing the estimated tally of features at level 20 to something around 50-60.

The above is still mostly speculation. It seems though, to me, that the number of choices is increasing. If that does turn out false, wouldn't it make best sense to use the playtest to prove it and seek a change?

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