Will the organized play for PF2 be designed around 20 levels?


Pathfinder Society Playtest

Grand Lodge

Same as the title...will the new organized play for PF2 be designed around playing all the way to 20? Or will we be stuck only being able to play up to level 12 without going to extreme measures again?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just throwing it out, designing PFS for 20 levels means it will be harder to find a table for your character, unless they stretch out the tiers (and it doesn't sound that fun to play a 1st-level character at the same table that someone else has a 6th-level character.)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think 5 tiers of 4 levels is really that difficult to imagine, nor would it stretch things so thin that you can't find tables.

I always hated the fact that PFS only covers just over half the game, and utterly rules out playing some build concepts which don't fully come online til either the end of PFS play, or sometimes even after it.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Major reasons why PFS wouldn’t divert limited resources to fully support high-level play:

1) Investment of resources vs interest: It’s been stated by campaign leadership that the vast majority of reported campaign play is in the lower levels with a significant drop-off once you hit seeker-level play. It takes more effort to build a higher level scenario that’s balanced...and would only see play by a very limited subset of players.

2) High level encounters can take longer: This is a PF1-specific observation as we haven’t seen the PF2 system in action yet, but with the swingy, rocket tag nature of high-level play, one group’s ROFLstomp is another group’s dragged out near-TPK. Yes, you can see this at low levels, but at high levels there are so many abilities, spells and counters that things can slow down to a crawl...but when you have the requisite 3-4 encounters in a game store where time may be at a premium, it can be problematical.

Silver Crusade

Good question. I'm also skeptical that "normal" PFS play will extend to the full 20 levels. But since Paizo is aiming to have every PF2 Adventure Path cover the full 1–20 range (James Jacobs said that in one of the threads on here), it should be easier to find high-level material to sanction.

EDIT: Found it:

James Jacobs wrote:

One of my number one goals for Adventure Paths in the next edition is to have each of them go from 1st to 20th level. We'll see if we can pull that off in a few years, I guess!

(As a preview, the next one, Return of the Runelords, will go to 20th level too!)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And that all APs being one to twenty, every single one, is a mistake I think.

Grand Lodge

I'd bet the drop off in seeker level play might also have something to do with how little of it is available for play.

I would love more access to higher level play in PFS...right now the only time I even see seeker level stuff is at major cons, and I almost never get to go to those.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Not much is developed for high level play because the demand isn’t there. This thread is from 2014 is relevant because it shows PFS uses reporting to help determine what they develop. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the same same pyramid of PFS-specific scenario availability — lots of low tier, decent amount of mid-tier, some high-tier and very limited Seeker-level support supplemented by sanctioned mods/APs.

Also, I’m flagging this to be moved to the PFS playtest forum so it might get a little more discussion by PFS peeps.


Sammy T wrote:

Major reasons why PFS wouldn’t divert limited resources to fully support high-level play:

1) Investment of resources vs interest: It’s been stated by campaign leadership that the vast majority of reported campaign play is in the lower levels with a significant drop-off once you hit seeker-level play. It takes more effort to build a higher level scenario that’s balanced...and would only see play by a very limited subset of players.

It'd be cool. There are some social benefits of supporting lower levels, though:

* It brings in new players
* It encourages mixing and meeting new friends

Those two are incredibly important to any organization. That said, there are a few ways you could boost those upper tiers!

* Add "awesome level rewards" at the dropoff tier.
* Occasionally reward people with a character at a level at the beginning of that tier. You'd need to do this enough to help balance the dropoff.

And of course, you also need enough GMs to support every tier. The GM is the bottleneck. It isn't only a case of having those adventures, it's having players who've invested time, and it's having those GMs--while still having enough activity for players in other tiers.

Tricky.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In the sticky thread about tiers, I had suggested single level development for scenarios at higher levels, like the old mods/Game day mods have. You would have a level lower and a level higher be able to play in that scenario (so a level range of three, 13th level becomes 12,13,14).

This would have a single set of stat blocks for the scenario, and would tighten up the range of characters in higher tiered play. Something that might be a concern with the PF2 metrics.

Scarab Sages 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

1) it's a fallacy that PFS ends at 12.

2) high level play (up to 15) has seen consistent support from season 7 on.

3) I wouldn't expect much higher than 9 till season 2, and higher than 12 might require season 3. But I would expect a seeker style adventure per season from 3 on.

⦵⦵⦵

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Well there are two reasons you do not see all that much high level stuff.

1. If you look at the character demographic you will find a descending line or curve starting at 1 and going down to 11 with a spike at 12 where a number of characters are semi-retired. I have not seen Paizo's numbers, but it is that way with World of Warcraft when they show them. It was that way with Living Greyhawk when I was a campaign admin. So my first statement is an assumption based on similar systems of which I have had data...so I would be really surprised if it was different.

What Paizo should do here is release in proportion to the character base here. They are always going to have to tend to the low side, but that does not mean that they should ignore the high side.

2. It is really hard to develop for organized play high level play. You have to develop for a random table of 6 classes. Do I write a scenario with the assumption that a cleric or wizard is there or their equivalents? If I do the scenario will probably be a TPK for tables that do not have one or both. Or do I write it for the lowest common denominator 6 bards. 6 bards at 17th level may not be that bad, has any lived that long? I am being harsh on bards, but the point is you could end up with a really unbalanced party in Organized play. If I write for the worst party a high level wizard or cleric could solo the scenario.

Starfinder has done a lot to balance unbalanced parties with item levels. From what I have read PF2 has item levels too. As long as other classes damage output can stay in the ball park of a wizard unbalanced parties are not as much of a problem. Stamina in SF and hit dice in 5e also help with the problem of healing inbetween combats. Anything that narrows the gap between a balanced and an unbalanced party makes high level play in an organized play setting more feasable.

--Chris

3/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't think PFS regular play should go above level 12 (Assuming that some of the insanity from PF1 remains at high levels), but I also feel it should be possible to hit level 20 with PFS character without researching and cross referencing 12 different modules and a super special event that wasn't intended to get you to level 20 to kick into level 20. I have a character who'd I'd love to play once a year or so into the 15+ but I've already played the one mission that gets to 20, so I can never get there, and that's a huge damper.

I still think our FOCUS should be on 1-12, but the absence of the higher stuff is certainly a stinker for me.

Paizo Employee

1 person marked this as a favorite.
ProfessorC wrote:

[...] Do I write a scenario with the assumption that a cleric or wizard is there or their equivalents? If I do the scenario will probably be a TPK for tables that do not have one or both. Or do I write it for the lowest common denominator 6 bards. 6 bards at 17th level may not be that bad, has any lived that long? I am being harsh on bards, but the point is you could end up with a really unbalanced party in Organized play. If I write for the worst party a high level wizard or cleric could solo the scenario.[...]

Tangential to the conversation, but I would say that 6 bards is probably the best possible choice if all 6 characters are going to be the same class; there's enough variance in even in the CRB-only bard options to cover all the party roles and you can divvy out which performances each bard will be performing to optimize buffing and extend your adventuring day pretty easily.

More on topic, I expect that at least for the first few seasons of the new edition the product schedule for scenarios is going to look very similar to how it currently looks (excluding season 10's heavier focus on higher tier scenarios), probably weighted slightly more towards the lower tiers. Ramping support for higher levels will probably depend on the success and growth of the new edition.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.

This question is one the org play team has on it's radar, but we cannot say yes or no until we see the playtest in action and get closer to locking in P2. So while discussion is encouraged, we won't have an answer for some time yet.

2/5

The reason to support level 20 play is that things seem really slow in PF2. As in, stuff my level 1 characters could be in PF1, you only seem to be able to do at level 7+.

I hope they do support play up to level 20 one day, but in the 1st season of PF2, I hope they build up a good base of scenarios for levels 1-7 and provide only minimal support for levels 8-12 for now.

For example, in season 1 of PFS, it made no sense at all to make a retirement arc that early.

The other question is how often is the super high level stuff played? I've played various seeker arcs (12-15) at conventions and very very few people get there or want to get there. Past level 12, as long as there is module/AP support, that might be the best. For 2-3 years.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Considering how long it took to get another Seeker arc, I think it was released at just the right time. At least there was something for that level for the five years it took to get back to it. Certainly, there doesn't need to be one every year at first, but having something for the most dedicated players is better than nothing.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason S wrote:

The reason to support level 20 play is that things seem really slow in PF2. As in, stuff my level 1 characters could be in PF1, you only seem to be able to do at level 7+.

Conversely, there's tons of stuff a level 1 PF2 character can do that a PF1 character can't do until high levels, or without numerous feats and magic items. Druids can wildshape at 1st level, rangers can have a full progression animal companion at 1st level, fighters can move double their move speed and make two attacks in a single turn at 1st level, clerics can cast a buff spell, move, and attack in a single turn at 1st level, alchemists can instantly prepare healing or buffing elixirs (or bombs), activate them, and attack or move all in a single turn at first level, etc. It's probably a bit premature to make any assumptions about the pacing of character advancement in PF2 given that characters start out with a lot more functionality and options, alongside the entire math framework of the game being completely different.

2/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Considering how long it took to get another Seeker arc, I think it was released at just the right time. At least there was something for that level for the five years it took to get back to it.

After season 0, how many players had level 12 characters? 0.1% of the player base? To me this means it was too early. The Eyes of the Ten seeker arc could have waited until season 2 and probably season 3.

The reason it took so long to get another seeker arc was because of how infrequently Eyes of the Ten was played, which was in part because of how early it was released.

2/5

Michael Sayre wrote:
Conversely, there's tons of stuff a level 1 PF2 character can do that a PF1 character can't do until high levels, or without numerous feats and magic items.

It's true, there are more options and many things that were feats in PF1 are now baked into PF2 as a character build. A Ranger with a full progression animal companion is a good example of that.

However when I look at the various classes, they can't do what they could do in PF2 as early as they could in PF1. It was like that in almost every preview. It was especially apparent for the alchemist.

I think when we look at the playtest (and we have more details), you will see it more.

I'm not complaining, I'm interested in playing the new game, I'm saying that you'll want to play your PC into higher levels I believe.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jason S wrote:


I think when we look at the playtest (and we have more details), you will see it more.

I mean, I've been playing one version or another of the playtest for months now and have tried out almost every class, so...

What kinds of "things" that a character could do in PF1 that got pushed back are you referring to? More often than not things got opened up earlier, rather than later. The only two exceptions I can think of are rogue debilitating strikes and alchemist mutagen, which changed because the classes in question received other abilities and the math framework of the game requires those shifts. Those classes still have more to do than their PF1 counterparts, they've just had purely additive abilities aligned with appropriate markers for the mathematical effects. Since PF2 focuses so much more on abilities that let you do new things over abilities that add numerical modifiers, each class pretty consistently has more things to do earlier, rather than later.
Now, if you're referring to "taking 4 different archetypes on a multiclassed character" that's not your character doing anything, that's a build, and there's no comparison between PF1 builds and PF2 builds because so much of the game has changed. You don't need to take a lot of the PF1 archetypes anymore because a lot of that mechanical weightload has been shifted to things like class feats and skill feats. You don't need to take e.g. the Acrobat archetype on a rogue, because you can just take an Acrobatics skill feat. You don't need to take Two-Handed Fighter or Two-Weapon Warrior on a fighter, because you can just take the class feats that focus on improving those fighting styles.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

Jason S wrote:
After season 0, how many players had level 12 characters? 0.1% of the player base?

Enough that there WERE tables of the most dedicated players running it. And then it was ready when others reached that level.

There were 45 scenarios out when Eyes first released. That is more than enough for a 12th level character to be ready for.

2/5

Michael Sayre wrote:

I mean, I've been playing one version or another of the playtest for months now and have tried out almost every class, so...

What kinds of "things" that a character could do in PF1 that got pushed back are you referring to?

I'm not going to go back to the alchemist post, but off the top of my head:

1) Mutagen now needs a feat and can only be taken at 5th level. It was free in PF1 at level 1.

2) Doing Int damage in bomb attack splash damage now needs a feat, Calculated Splash and can only be taken at 4th level. That was free at level 1 in PF1.

3) Creating quick bombs needs a feat. That was also free at level 1 in PF1.

4) Not splashing friendly squares needs feat, that can only be taken at 7th level. Free in PF1 at level 1 with the Bombardier archetype.

So there are at least 4 feats we now need to take that we previously had at level 1 in PF1. Considering how precious feats are in PF2 (get 4 feats by level 7), considering you can cast spells like a wizard or a cleric by spending 4 feats, that's a big deal.

But you're right, I haven't playtested and you have, it just *appears* that way from the previews. I hope you're right and I look forward to the playtest.

2/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Jason S wrote:
After season 0, how many players had level 12 characters? 0.1% of the player base?

Enough that there WERE tables of the most dedicated players running it. And then it was ready when others reached that level.

There were 45 scenarios out when Eyes first released. That is more than enough for a 12th level character to be ready for.

I've read more than once that only 1% of the player base has played the seeker arcs (Michael can correct me if I'm wrong). I imagine it was much less than 1% in season 1.

I'm glad your area is doing so well that you have plenty of seeker arc tables, but that's not the norm. Hell, it's hard to get one even at Origins. There wasn't even a table of "Unleashing the Untouchable" at this years Origins, which was very disappointing.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jason S wrote:


I'm not going to go back to the alchemist post, but off the top of my head:
1) Mutagen now needs a feat and can only be taken at 5th level. It was free in PF1 at level 1.

It's still free, it comes from a fixed class feature, not a class feat. In exchange, the alchemist can craft any elixir he knows on the fly, gaining various bonuses like movement speed increases or other effects.

Quote:


2) Doing Int damage in bomb attack splash damage now needs a feat, Calculated Splash and can only be taken at 4th level. That was free at level 1 in PF1.

The alchemist now has significantly more flexibility in the types of bombs he can have at 1st level, including be able to attack with pretty much whatever element they want. Being able to target any elemental weakness is a big step up over what a 1st level alchemist could do.

Quote:


3) Creating quick bombs needs a feat. That was also free at level 1 in PF1.

You mean creating a bomb on the fly in combat? That's part of the PF2 alchemist's Quick Alchemy class feature, which is baked into the class at 1st level and can be used to make bombs, poisons, or elixirs.

Quote:


4) Not splashing friendly squares needs feat, that can only be taken at 7th level. Free in PF1 at level 1 with the Bombardier archetype.

Well, we're not including classic-style archetypes in the playtest, and a normal alchemist would need to spend a discovery (equivalent to a class feat) on it in the current edition. So there is a difference of level (it's a 6th level feat, not 7th, but that's both pedantic and could have been a change that happened after the blog), but I personally would argue that it's offset by how much more flexible the alchemist's bombs are now.

Quote:


So there are at least 4 feats we now need to take that we previously had at level 1 in PF1. Considering how precious feats are in PF2 (get 4 feats by level 7), considering you can cast spells like a wizard or a cleric by spending 4 feats, that's a big deal.

As noted, only two of those are feats, and only one of them is coming at a cost the core alchemist got for free (which the PF2 alchemist got significantly more flexibility in his bombs to compensate for.)

Quote:


But you're right, I haven't playtested and you have, it just *appears* that way from the previews. I hope you're right and I look forward to the playtest.

It looks like there was some lingering confusion regarding what was coming from a feat and what was coming from a class feature, hopefully that's less of an issue. And you'll get the playtest in pretty short order, so it won't be long until you can draw your own conclusions! Definitely let me know what you think, I'm happy to continue this conversation when we both have a book in front of us.

Scarab Sages 5/5

not to mention, the argument that "it now costs a feat where it used to be free" isn't really a valid argument in PF2 because they don't cost standard feat slots. Every character gets new feat slots based on class for feats called class feats that essentially seems to give you an equal number of class abilities if not more. And the design space is there to offer feat lines that nearly fully negate the need for class specific archetypes.

So please, it would be nice to stop hearing, "it costs a feat now, but didn't before."
The entire paradigm of feats is different now.

2/5

Michael Sayre wrote:
It looks like there was some lingering confusion regarding what was coming from a feat and what was coming from a class feature, hopefully that's less of an issue. And you'll get the playtest in pretty short order, so it won't be long until you can draw your own conclusions! Definitely let me know what you think, I'm happy to continue this conversation when we both have a book in front of us.

OK thanks. Yep, with just a little information it's easy to make the wrong assumption.

2/5

Tallow wrote:

not to mention, the argument that "it now costs a feat where it used to be free" isn't really a valid argument in PF2 because they don't cost standard feat slots. Every character gets new feat slots based on class for feats called class feats that essentially seems to give you an equal number of class abilities if not more. And the design space is there to offer feat lines that nearly fully negate the need for class specific archetypes.

So please, it would be nice to stop hearing, "it costs a feat now, but didn't before."
The entire paradigm of feats is different now.

That's very interesting but I don't have access to the playtest and you could say it in a nicer way. All we have is speculation right now.

Scarab Sages 5/5

Jason S wrote:
Tallow wrote:

not to mention, the argument that "it now costs a feat where it used to be free" isn't really a valid argument in PF2 because they don't cost standard feat slots. Every character gets new feat slots based on class for feats called class feats that essentially seems to give you an equal number of class abilities if not more. And the design space is there to offer feat lines that nearly fully negate the need for class specific archetypes.

So please, it would be nice to stop hearing, "it costs a feat now, but didn't before."
The entire paradigm of feats is different now.

That's very interesting but I don't have access to the playtest and you could say it in a nicer way. All we have is speculation right now.

I don't have access to the playtest either. But I've been reading all the playtest blogs, and its quite clear this is how it works. You've obviously read some of the blogs, otherwise you wouldn't know that some class abilities are feats.

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society Playtest / Will the organized play for PF2 be designed around 20 levels? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Society Playtest