Misspent Complexity


Prerelease Discussion


Looking over what has been released this edition, I don't think its any less complicated than 1e and while that's not automatically a bad thing, I do think where that complexity is in the game, is starting to look like an issue. One example I can cite is the "Mearlsiean" obsession with large dice pools over static modifiers. Another might be the odd way that they handle heightened spells as a prepared caster, and spell lineages for spontaneous casters. Capping ability scores is another headscratcher, especially in the face of such rapid growth of level based proficiency. What I fear most is that the design team is simply shifting complexity around for its own sake, in an attempt to both imitate 5e and subvert expectations rather than for the sake of the game.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

The stat limitations are necessary to make the math work out the way they want. Also, they aren't actually super complex. It's pretty basic math, really.

I also really don't think rolling high numbers of dice is any more complex than adding the 8 different static modifiers you do on each attack in PF1, and it makes balancing high damage die weapons with low ones vastly easier since damage die matters.

Heightened Spells and how they interact with Spontaneous and Prepared Casters do have some complexity, but I think we need to see how they work in play before you call it misplaced.

Meanwhile, almost everything else has gotten simpler (or, to be more precise, simpler to learn). Certainly leveling and how it works is an order of magnitude simpler than it was previously.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It seems to me that the game is easier to learn because they are streamlining a lot of the processes. For example, the proficiency system is exactly the same for everything. Determining the DCs is the same for everything.

However, I still think that it will takes a fair amount of time to master the system. I think this is a good thing, because it indicates that there is a lot of depth in the game design. This is the main reason I like Pathfinder.

I prefer the emphasis on dice rolling, because 2d6+32 is not as exciting 4d12+12. They do similar damage, but the outcome of the latter is far more dependent on chance.

Having flatter maths makes the system better because it allows for a lot more meaningful choice when building a character and making tactical decisions in combat. I am not sure how they are handling abilities scores, but I think only a +2 from items is a very good improvement.

The heightened spell aspect makes sense from a game balance perspective, but it is certainly a departure from the old way of doing it.

So, I like all (almost all?) of the changes so far. I think that they are streamlining a lot of things, but there will still be a lot of depth because, well, it's Pathfinder.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's too early for me to judge whether there is increased complexity or whether it pays off. I agree that large dice pools are kind of annoying (they use them in Starfinder) because some people at at the table aren't good at adding quickly (and, the more dice you roll, the closer you're statistically likely to just end up with an average result anyway).


The one thing I agree with so far is the way heightened spells are being handled, but i am willing to give it a chance. It does not feel as intuitive as other forms of upcasting.


The larger dice pools is a bit annoying(Yet at the same time they are removing base pools, example Weapons).

As for the complexity, maybe? All the numbers are getting just shuffled around or paired up or split up or removed and given back or removed or renamed and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh....

Gonna need to see everything working at once and probably in front of me to make an actual call.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Easier for players to make a character.

Easier for masters to prepare a game.

If everything else is a wash complexity-wise, this is still a shift worth making.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:

The stat limitations are necessary to make the math work out the way they want. Also, they aren't actually super complex. It's pretty basic math, really.

I think that flatter math can actually limit design space in a d20 type system if it's not handled well. In the case of 5e, it's tight bounded accuracy and expected damage values make magic items that break these expectations very powerful and very rare, designers have limited design space in these areas, conversely, monsters stay far more viable for longer across character levels in 5e, so complexity across characters was "spent" on encounter design space. In 2e, there is de facto bounded accuracy, but the range is much wider across levels yet it is much narrower when comparing characters of the same level. Monsterw unfortunately will not scale nearly as well with loves. My fear is that the system was designed in such a way that it eschews the complexity of mechanically distinct characters but doesn't reap any benefits elsewhere.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

I also really don't think rolling high numbers of dice is any more complex than adding the 8 different static modifiers you do on each attack in PF1, and it makes balancing high damage die weapons with low ones vastly easier since damage die matters.

I disagree, static modifiers are much easier to predict, especially when compounding it across rounds. If I had +12 last round unless anything has changed I have +12 this roll as well. I'd argue that weapons are even harder to balance now. Consider that in the case of a battleaxe and a dagger the dagger is inherently weaker than the battleaxe, so a dagger needs to have other factors to make it at all attractive to take, the problem starts with magic weapons, a battleaxe gets more out of being +1 than a dagger, an extra d8 is worth more than an extra d4, so now we need an ability that scales with enhancement bonuses for the dagger to compete, you factor that over each weapon and now you start to see where that can be hairy.


IDK, im seeing more of a marriage between 3E and 4E in the design myself. I think keeping ability scores at all is unnecessary complexity, but I know why they are doing it. I cant knock the entire system until I rock it.


Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

The stat limitations are necessary to make the math work out the way they want. Also, they aren't actually super complex. It's pretty basic math, really.

I think that flatter math can actually limit design space in a d20 type system if it's not handled well. In the case of 5e, it's tight bounded accuracy and expected damage values make magic items that break these expectations very powerful and very rare, designers have limited design space in these areas, conversely, monsters stay far more viable for longer across character levels in 5e, so complexity across characters was "spent" on encounter design space. In 2e, there is de facto bounded accuracy, but the range is much wider across levels yet it is much narrower when comparing characters of the same level. Monsterw unfortunately will not scale nearly as well with loves. My fear is that the system was designed in such a way that it eschews the complexity of mechanically distinct characters but doesn't reap any benefits elsewhere.

I believe that someone did the math and characters can differ by up to 18 points of modifier at the most extreme end. That's almost a full d20 of difference. You really can't get less flat math.


I'm in the same boat. I can't see anything resembling the streamlining or newbie friendliness Paizo seems to think will be the selling points. In fact, I'd venture to say that PF2 looks like it will be quite a bit more complicated than its predecessor in most respects.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
rainzax wrote:

Easier for players to make a character.

Easier for masters to prepare a game.

If everything else is a wash complexity-wise, this is still a shift worth making.

If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated. I don't think I've seen anything about adventure preparation yet, but the suggestion that each monster will have its own unique catalogue of actions and reactions doesn't bode well...


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
The stat limitations are necessary to make the math work out the way they want. Also, they aren't actually super complex. It's pretty basic math, really.

I see this stated a lot, but I have yet to see an example or specific reason why this is true.

I'm a bit more math inclined than the average person, so all it would take for me to understand where Paizo is coming from is an example of where exceptional stats break the game. (I might still suggest that they fix the other side of the issue, but at least I would understand.)

Contrary to the assertion of many people on these forums, I never had an issue with a guy with a 30+ in a stat in 3.P. Yes, they were good at those things, but they generally had worse stats otherwise.

The biggest offenders of having a 30+ in a stat were casters, because they get enough spells to do practically anything, but having their DCs a few points lower isn't going to fix this. (They should REALLY be forced to specialize in a particular area of magic or get way fewer spells.)

All of this limitation is at the cost of customization.

My theory is that Paizo wants PF2 characters to follow a sort of 5e like bounded accuracy where a character of X level has a potential range of Y results for a given check. This also allows characters of virtually any build to be able to do most anything, which makes characters not special at all.

For instance, if I want to be "the worlds strongest fighter" that isn't going to happen in PF2, because almost every single STR based fighter is going to have an 18 in STR, based on how character creation works.

I much prefer the idea that you can absolutely dominate a particular area of the game, but that you have to pay for that level of dominance by taking a back seat in other areas. Those other areas should also matter for that character, meaning that dump stats should hurt. Requiring all stats to have a meaningful benefit for all characters should have been a priority for PF2.

I like the idea that level factors into your general proficiency, but it's currently way too much and that added area of effectiveness could have been more creatively addressed with larger stat variances and greater weight on skill proficiency levels.

But that's just my opinion.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Crayon wrote:


If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated.

Really? Its as easy as ABC.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:


Contrary to the assertion of many people on these forums, I never had an issue with a guy with a 30+ in a stat in 3.P. Yes, they were good at those things, but they generally had worse stats otherwise.

The biggest offenders of having a 30+ in a stat were casters, because they get enough spells to do practically anything, but having their DCs a few points lower isn't going to fix this. (They should REALLY be forced to specialize in a particular area of magic or get way fewer spells.)

The problem with exceedingly high stats combined with the other modifiers is not with characters being good, it was the fact that they fall so far outside the pale of other PCs in the same party that a challenge to one was a death knell for others; the PC with the +27 Fort save had no chance to be threatened by poisons or death effects, and the things that stood a hope of challenging him would only be saveable on a natural 20 to his fellow PC who had a +8 fort save. Same thing with attack rolls, damage rolls, and other saving throws. It wasn’t just skill checks where one individual could shine, it was elements that came into play practically every hour of the game.

Quote:

All of this limitation is at the cost of customization.

My theory is that Paizo wants PF2 characters to follow a sort of 5e like bounded accuracy where a character of X level has a potential range of Y results for a given check. This also allows characters of virtually any build to be able to do most anything, which makes characters not special at all.

For instance, if I want to be "the worlds strongest fighter" that isn't going to happen in PF2, because almost every single STR based fighter is going to have an 18 in STR, based on how character creation works.

I much prefer the idea that you can absolutely dominate a particular area of the game, but that you have to pay for that level of dominance by taking a back seat in other areas. Those other areas should also matter for that character, meaning that dump stats should hurt. Requiring all stats to have a meaningful benefit for all characters should have been a priority for PF2.

I really have to disagree that customization suffers. Just from the sliver of things we saw from the printed pages at the Paizocon banquet, customization of characters practically drips off the page. While I don’t know how I’ll feel yet about the new skill bonus paradigm, I can’t say it was because there was anything inherent about the design that locked me out of any character concept. Even if it was ‘world’s strongest fighter,’ there are attribute bonuses, magic items that boost strength, special gated effects behind skill masteries, and other items we may not have even seen yet that qualify.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Planpanther wrote:
Crayon wrote:


If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated.

Really? Its as easy as ABC.

While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
I think that flatter math can actually limit design space in a d20 type system if it's not handled well.

This is absolutely true. I just don't think it makes the game more complex (or that Paizo will handle it poorly, for that matter).

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
In the case of 5e, it's tight bounded accuracy and expected damage values make magic items that break these expectations very powerful and very rare, designers have limited design space in these areas, conversely, monsters stay far more viable for longer across character levels in 5e, so complexity across characters was "spent" on encounter design space.

This is true. I don't really disagree with this analysis.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
In 2e, there is de facto bounded accuracy, but the range is much wider across levels yet it is much narrower when comparing characters of the same level. Monsterw unfortunately will not scale nearly as well with loves. My fear is that the system was designed in such a way that it eschews the complexity of mechanically distinct characters but doesn't reap any benefits elsewhere.

It isn't narrower than 5E in comparing characters of the same level, though it's certainly narrower than in PF1 in that regard. They do still have up to an 18 point swing between characters of the same level (in skills, some other thing might have a slightly higher or lower divergence), though, along with an increased suite of potential abilities (in the form of Feats) which has greatly increased customizability within the numerical range available.

You're quite correct that monsters won't scale well, however by making a system where PCs will be within a fairly narrow variance at any individual level, and making the leveling process relatively simple in and of itself (+1 to everything), they enable GM monster creation to be much easier, and also make leveling monsters themselves much easier.

I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks significantly. I also don't think this is a 'complexity' argument per se. It's definitely a game quality argument, but not one about this aspect of the game having gotten more complicated.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
I disagree, static modifiers are much easier to predict, especially when compounding it across rounds. If I had +12 last round unless anything has changed I have +12 this roll as well.

Yeah, but if seven of those modifiers are conditional, and a lot of people thus don't have them written down, and you just leveled so three of them just changed...

I'm not really even exaggerating here. This is an issue.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
I'd argue that weapons are even harder to balance now. Consider that in the case of a battleaxe and a dagger the dagger is inherently weaker than the battleaxe, so a dagger needs to have other factors to make it at all attractive to take, the problem starts with magic weapons, a battleaxe gets more out of being +1 than a dagger, an extra d8 is worth more than an extra d4, so now we need an ability that scales with enhancement bonuses for the dagger to compete, you factor that over each weapon and now you start to see where that can be hairy.

If you don't have the weapons scale this way then damage die rapidly becomes nearly completely irrelevant, as it was in PF1. That's less than ideal from both a thematic and mechanical perspective.

That's a huge issue and one that's worth a bit of complexity. Especially because this is entirely designer facing complexity, not something players or GMs need to concern themselves with at all.

I'm perfectly happy to let the folks at Paizo make their own job as complicated as they want to in order to give us a better game. I wouldn't dream of demanding it of them, but if they volunteer I'm not gonna argue with them.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
I see this stated a lot, but I have yet to see an example or specific reason why this is true.

Okay. Well, I'll give you a couple.

thflame wrote:
I'm a bit more math inclined than the average person, so all it would take for me to understand where Paizo is coming from is an example of where exceptional stats break the game. (I might still suggest that they fix the other side of the issue, but at least I would understand.)

Okay, I'll give you one from PF1:

Two players both decide to make a high Diplomacy character. It is their goal to be good at Diplomacy for their level. One plays a Bard, takes Charisma to 18 (and buys a +2 Headband), and puts ranks in the skill at every level.

By 10th level, he has a + 18 Diplomacy. Objectively, this is a decent Diplomacy score, so you'd think he achieved his goal.

But then say another player plays a Summoner, takes a Trait to make Diplomacy a Class Skill (and get +1 to it), maxes Charisma to 20, puts level up points into it, buys Skill Focus, and gets the Skilled Evolution, as well as having a +4 Headband, and buys a custom item for +5 Diplomacy.

By 10th level, he has a +41 Diplomacy.

Rolls that second guy makes on a 1 are impossible for the first to even attempt, and this isn't even a very extreme example. Two players both put resources into being good at Diplomacy and yet that kind of gap is not only possible in PF1, it's possible accidentally.

This is bad. It means that not only can one person who focuses on Diplomacy be better than the other, they can be so much better they aren't even really playing the same game any more.

Nobody minds if the Cha 20 guy who maxed Diplomacy is much better than the Cha 8 guy who never put a rank in it. It's differences like the one above that are an issue (and I can do them for any skill).

thflame wrote:

Contrary to the assertion of many people on these forums, I never had an issue with a guy with a 30+ in a stat in 3.P. Yes, they were good at those things, but they generally had worse stats otherwise.

The biggest offenders of having a 30+ in a stat were casters, because they get enough spells to do practically anything, but having their DCs a few points lower isn't going to fix this. (They should REALLY be forced to specialize in a particular area of magic or get way fewer spells.)

All of this limitation is at the cost of customization.

The stat limitations are a pure side effect of limiting the range between characters of the same level. It's relevant, but not the main point.

thflame wrote:
My theory is that Paizo wants PF2 characters to follow a sort of 5e like bounded accuracy where a character of X level has a potential range of Y results for a given check. This also allows characters of virtually any build to be able to do most anything, which makes characters not special at all.

The difference between +17 and +35 remains pretty significant. I'd say the +35 guy is 'special'.

thflame wrote:
For instance, if I want to be "the worlds strongest fighter" that isn't going to happen in PF2, because almost every single STR based fighter is going to have an 18 in STR, based on how character creation works.

Actually, given that Athletics almost certainly covers actual feats of strengths, maxing out that and investing all your Skill Feats into that stuff probably makes you a lot stronger in-universe than most other Str 18 people. You just don't get huge extra damage from it, or not mostly anyway.

thflame wrote:
I much prefer the idea that you can absolutely dominate a particular area of the game, but that you have to pay for that level of dominance by taking a back seat in other areas. Those other areas should also matter for that character, meaning that dump stats should hurt. Requiring all stats to have a meaningful benefit for all characters should have been a priority for PF2.

'Absolutely dominating' an area of the game is only fun for everyone else if nobody else invested heavily in that thing. And guess what? If nobody does that you still easily can.

thflame wrote:

I like the idea that level factors into your general proficiency, but it's currently way too much and that added area of effectiveness could have been more creatively addressed with larger stat variances and greater weight on skill proficiency levels.

But that's just my opinion.

Keeping characters of the same level within the same range of scores is a really good idea that solves a huge number of the problems with PF1. I'm willing to put up with a lot for it, and dropping the 'max stat' from 36 to 24 isn't actually that much of a sacrifice all things considered.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

At character creation you actually only need to make...I think 3 choices that aren't things you had to pick already in PF1.

You pick one Ancestry Feat, then one Background, then one Class Feat. That's pretty much it.

In exchange, you have a much less complex Ability Generation system and don't have to pick a general Feat. So your Abilities are simpler and you make three choices from short lists rather than one from a list 100s of choices long.

I think that's significantly easier, personally.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Okay, I'll give you one from PF1:

Two players both decide to make a high Diplomacy character. It is their goal to be good at Diplomacy for their level. One plays a Bard, takes Charisma to 18 (and buys a +2 Headband), and puts ranks in the skill at every level.

By 10th level, he has a + 18 Diplomacy. Objectively, this is a decent Diplomacy score, so you'd think he achieved his goal.

Well, your math is off. The bard should have a +28. Also, most Bards are going to have a +6 CHA item at level 20, so that brings him to +30, which I would say is a decent Diplomacy Score for a bard wanting to be the "diplomancer".

Quote:

But then say another player plays a Summoner, takes a Trait to make Diplomacy a Class Skill (and get +1 to it), maxes Charisma to 20, puts level up points into it, buys Skill Focus, and gets the Skilled Evolution, as well as having a +4 Headband, and buys a custom item for +5 Diplomacy.

By 10th level, he has a +41 Diplomacy.

Sure, and he took a trait, 2 feats, bought a custom magic item (that the Bard could easily afford if he wanted it) and burned 4 of his 5 level up points in CHA. He went ham and got an amazing score, as he should.

Quote:
Rolls that second guy makes on a 1 are impossible for the first to even attempt, and this isn't even a very extreme example. Two players both put resources into being good at Diplomacy and yet that kind of gap is not only possible in PF1, it's possible accidentally.

Nope. The bard get's a 48 on a nat 20 and the summoner gets a +42 on a nat 1. I would also disagree that this can happen "by accident". When you buy a Skill Bonus item and take 2 feats(that are widely considered bad) to improve that skill, it's no accident that you are trying to maximize your effectiveness.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
Well, your math is off.

Not to be snarky, but no, that's your reading comprehension. I said 'By 10th level'. 20th is way crazier.

thflame wrote:
The bard should have a +28. Also, most Bards are going to have a +6 CHA item at level 20, so that brings him to +30, which I would say is a decent Diplomacy Score for a bard wanting to be the "diplomancer".

Again, see above regarding being 10th level.

thflame wrote:
Sure, and he took a trait, 2 feats, bought a custom magic item (that the Bard could easily afford if he wanted it) and burned 4 of his 5 level up points in CHA. He went ham and got an amazing score, as he should.

Except that this is no fun for the Bard, who also invested.

Also, and just as importantly, he could readily run into the guy who actually optimized their Diplomacy and has +62 (yes at 10th level) and outclasses him as much as he outclasses the Bard.

There's just no standard for what 'the best' actually means.

thflame wrote:
Nope. The bard get's a 48 on a nat 20 and the summoner gets a +42 on a nat 1. I would also disagree that this can happen "by accident". When you buy a Skill Bonus item and take 2 feats(that are widely considered bad) to improve that skill, it's no accident that you are trying to maximize your effectiveness.

Again, please see above regarding both those examples being 10th level, not 20th.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
thflame wrote:
Well, your math is off.

Not to be snarky, but no, that's your reading comprehension. I said 'By 10th level'. 20th is way crazier.

thflame wrote:
The bard should have a +28. Also, most Bards are going to have a +6 CHA item at level 20, so that brings him to +30, which I would say is a decent Diplomacy Score for a bard wanting to be the "diplomancer".

Again, see above regarding being 10th level.

thflame wrote:
Sure, and he took a trait, 2 feats, bought a custom magic item (that the Bard could easily afford if he wanted it) and burned 4 of his 5 level up points in CHA. He went ham and got an amazing score, as he should.

Except that this is no fun for the Bard, who also invested.

thflame wrote:
Nope. The bard get's a 48 on a nat 20 and the summoner gets a +42 on a nat 1. I would also disagree that this can happen "by accident". When you buy a Skill Bonus item and take 2 feats(that are widely considered bad) to improve that skill, it's no accident that you are trying to maximize your effectiveness.
Again, please see above regarding both those examples being 10th level, not 20th.

Yeah, then your math for the Summoner is off, because there is no way to have a +41 at level 10.

Summoner gets Diplomacy as a class skill via trait(+4)
10 ranks (+10)
Skill Focus (+3)
CHA +6 (18 + 2 levels + 2 headband = 22, +4 isn't available until next level RAI. Even if the GM allowed it, the bard would be stupid not to buy the +4 headband)
+5 magic item
Skilled evolution applies to the Eidolon, not the summoner.

That's 28 to the Bard's 19, again, with a feat, a trait, and a magic item that the bard could easily afford if he wanted it.

Regardless, there are a TON of factors that lead to the summoner having a better Diplomacy score than the bard. Attribute score is not one of them.

The point is that the design space of Attributes in PF2 is heavily limited. The absolute maximum difference in PF2 is 8 (-1) to 24 (+7), but the average difference is going to be closer to 18 (+4), 24 (+7).

In PF1, we have a stat variance of 5 (-3) to 36 (+13), with an average closer to 10 (+0) to 30 (+10).

I'm not saying PF1 is the best ever and shouldn't be changed at all. In fact, I think Tomes and Manuals should probably go away, along with +6 enhancement items.

What I am saying is that having an 18 as the maximum possible starting stat in PF, while making it easily obtainable, will lead to most players opting for an 18 at level 1, making an 18 not special at all. At least in PF1 you had to sacrifice for an 18.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
thflame wrote:
Yeah, then your math for the Summoner is off, because there is no way to have a +41 at level 10.

Nope!

A Synthesist can get Skilled on themselves easily. Also, there's a Feat to get an Evolution on yourself even for non-synthesists. Plus the inherent Class Ability they get to do that at 10th. Really, there are so many ways to do that it beggars description.

The +41 comes from the following:

+8 Cha +10 Level +1 Trait +3 Class +8 Skilled Evolution +6 Skill Focus +5 Item = +41.

A +62 (which I edited in higher up as an example) is harder and involves multiclassing, but it's still doable at level 10.

thflame wrote:
Regardless, there are a TON of factors that lead to the summoner having a better Diplomacy score than the bard. Attribute score is not one of them.

Oh, but it is. It's not the largest, but it's among them. And in order to prune things down to the point where there's only an 18 point gap between best and worst (which is what's needed to make this work) you need to, well, make there only be an 18 point gap.

At the moment Ability Score is actually 8 points of that gap. Skill Proficiency is 5. And Item is another 5.

If you want to argue that one of those things should have more and another less, then by all means, but limiting the total of the three to 18 points is needed because of the issue presented by the Bard/Summoner comparison.

thflame wrote:
What I am saying is that having an 18 as the maximum possible starting stat in PF, while making it easily obtainable, will lead to most players opting for an 18 at level 1, making an 18 not special at all. At least in PF1 you had to sacrifice for an 18.

An 18? No you didn't. A 20 you needed to sacrifice for (and made SAD characters overpowered), but an 18 was pretty accessible.

And I have no problem with players having a single 18 in their Class's primary stat (which is all the PF2 rules allow).


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think what's disappointing thflame is that a 20th level fighter isn't actually much stronger than a level 1 fighter.

In Pathfinder 1.0, you knew you were high level because you had enough carrying capacity to push or drag the International Space Station, or because your wizard was smarter than God. In 2.0, you'll be capable of epic feats of might and magic and magical might and mighty magic . . . but your stats won't reflect it. And it does seem sort of strange that a high level character who's legendary in Athletics can take a skill feat to lift and throw a mountain or whatever, but because of how the stat system works she won't actually have a higher STR mod than the STR based ranger in the party with no such mountain chucking prowess.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
I think what's disappointing thflame is that a 20th level fighter isn't actually much stronger than a level 1 fighter.

Oh, absolutely. I'm just pointing out the reason they did it and the limitations on fixing the issue without invalidating them.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
In Pathfinder 1.0, you knew you were high level because you had enough carrying capacity to push or drag the International Space Station, or because your wizard was smarter than God. In 2.0, you'll be capable of epic feats of might and magic and magical might and mighty magic . . . but your stats won't reflect it.

A 24 is still really impressive. It's way higher than normal people ever get, and with a +7 rating, a very impressive score.

There's also a matter of what you're comparing things to. The Grim Reaper (a level 21 scary monster shown at PaizoCon) only has one score higher than +8. A +7 is thus pretty impressive compared to that monster.

Now, what stats other monsters will have, who knows, but if scores higher than +7 are mostly reserved for things with stats PCs can't even hit in PF1, then it becomes much more impressive.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
And it does seem sort of strange that a high level character who's legendary in Athletics can take a skill feat to lift and throw a mountain or whatever, but because of how the stat system works she won't actually have a higher STR mod than the STR based ranger in the party with no such mountain chucking prowess.

This is admittedly a bit odd at first, but having played games with this sort of dynamic before, you get used to it and it works fine.


Character creation aside (have to see how that pans out), PF2 does seem more streamlined, but not particularly less complicated, so far, quite a lot going on, feats, proficiency, bonuses, weapon qualities, 4-tiers of success, big numbers, but D&D/PF is a complicated game, in general. I very much look forward to seeing more excerpts, stats, what it will look like on paper.


Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
One example I can cite is the "Mearlsiean" obsession with large dice pools over static modifiers.

Die pools instead of static modifiers add more variance. For example if my attack roll is 1d20+1d10 instead of 1d20+5 it means I can hit ac 26-30 without a natural 20 and I can miss ac 5. So I can see a certain design it could be useful (aka orcs can still threaten you at high levels).

Now you are propably talking about +5 greataxes doing 5d12 damage? That's easy to translate to 1d12+26 damage (or 3d20+1 damage :P).

The general thing is swingy dice rolls are kind of part of the fun of dnd, though I do understand that some people (including my past self) are annoyed by that swinginess and are glad that the high levels minimize this short of thing.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


thflame wrote:
Regardless, there are a TON of factors that lead to the summoner having a better Diplomacy score than the bard. Attribute score is not one of them.

Oh, but it is. It's not the largest, but it's among them. And in order to prune things down to the point where there's only an 18 point gap between best and worst (which is what's needed to make this work) you need to, well, make there only be an 18 point gap.

At the moment Ability Score is actually 8 points of that gap. Skill Proficiency is 5. And Item is another 5.

If you want to argue that one of those things should have more and another less, then by all means, but limiting the total of the three to 18 points is needed because of the issue presented by the Bard/Summoner comparison.

Though I agree with you main point that high abilities imbalance stuff. For example a typical high level 34 20 20 18 10 8 spread, I dont get why you choose the example with the diplomacy skill, between a summoner and a bard.

I could see paizo halving the class level bonus and then giving +20 to all abilities, but then you would propably end up with crazy pc's where even a 20th level wizard would have a 28 strenght.
If you don't do this you end up with big variances in whatever abilities effect, which is kinda cool to see, but propably doesn't play out very well game wize.

So I get why paizo did this, but I still kinda lament the loss of godlike 30+ ability scores.


John John wrote:

Die pools instead of static modifiers add more variance. For example if my attack roll is 1d20+1d10 instead of 1d20+5 it means I can hit ac 26-30 without a natural 20 and I can miss ac 5. So I can see a certain design it could be useful (aka orcs can still threaten you at high levels).

Now you are propably talking about +5 greataxes doing 5d12 damage? That's easy to translate to 1d12+26 damage (or 3d20+1 damage :P).

The general thing is swingy dice rolls are kind of part of the fun of dnd, though I do understand that some people (including my past self) are annoyed by that swinginess and are glad that the high levels minimize this short of thing.

Variance is necessary to a point; I don't think most people would respond well to completely deterministic outcomes. Larger dice pools are actually more likely to give results closer to their average than smaller dice pools with fixed modifiers, but they have more variance in what results they can produce. This means that in practice there isn't much difference between 5d12 and 1d12+26 with respect to outcomes, super high and super low results are very marginal. You are correct, it is very easy to translate a dice pool to an average modifier plus a single die, but since that's the case why use a dice pool at all? Its not any quicker to add up than a single dice plus modifier, and save for the extreme end results, a dice pool produces about the same results. So the extreme end results are what the determining factor is. (I know I'm just retreading ground here but bear with me.)

My concern is that extreme end results have a poor track record with regards to player enjoyment. You need only take a look at all the different gripes that the firearms rules for 1e produces and how controversial critical failure and critical hit charts are.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
John John wrote:
If you don't do this you end up with big variances in whatever abilities effect, which is kinda cool to see, but propably doesn't play out very well game wize

This is the same reason why I am against dice pools and why I am confused about their inclusion.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:

I think what's disappointing thflame is that a 20th level fighter isn't actually much stronger than a level 1 fighter.

In Pathfinder 1.0, you knew you were high level because you had enough carrying capacity to push or drag the International Space Station, or because your wizard was smarter than God. In 2.0, you'll be capable of epic feats of might and magic and magical might and mighty magic . . . but your stats won't reflect it. And it does seem sort of strange that a high level character who's legendary in Athletics can take a skill feat to lift and throw a mountain or whatever, but because of how the stat system works she won't actually have a higher STR mod than the STR based ranger in the party with no such mountain chucking prowess.

I wish they would just stake the heart of ability scores once and for all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
I think what's disappointing thflame is that a 20th level fighter isn't actually much stronger than a level 1 fighter.

Oh, absolutely. I'm just pointing out the reason they did it and the limitations on fixing the issue without invalidating them.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
In Pathfinder 1.0, you knew you were high level because you had enough carrying capacity to push or drag the International Space Station, or because your wizard was smarter than God. In 2.0, you'll be capable of epic feats of might and magic and magical might and mighty magic . . . but your stats won't reflect it.

A 24 is still really impressive. It's way higher than normal people ever get, and with a +7 rating, a very impressive score.

There's also a matter of what you're comparing things to. The Grim Reaper (a level 21 scary monster shown at PaizoCon) only has one score higher than +8. A +7 is thus pretty impressive compared to that monster.

Now, what stats other monsters will have, who knows, but if scores higher than +7 are mostly reserved for things with stats PCs can't even hit in PF1, then it becomes much more impressive.

Asmodeus' Advocate wrote:
And it does seem sort of strange that a high level character who's legendary in Athletics can take a skill feat to lift and throw a mountain or whatever, but because of how the stat system works she won't actually have a higher STR mod than the STR based ranger in the party with no such mountain chucking prowess.
This is admittedly a bit odd at first, but having played games with this sort of dynamic before, you get used to it and it works fine.

I'd also like to add that in the inherent strength score of a PF1 character only changes by 5 over the course of 20 levels. The rest of that comes from magic items or high level spells. If Deadman is right, we are still getting +4. While I can see how some people psychologically don't distinguish between their character's final stats and what they are sans magic, there are a lot that do.

In exchange, our characters are growing more than they used to in other areas. Skills feats sound like one way, but the easiest to point to is level to AC. A 20th level barbarian is now waaaay better than a 1st barbarian at dodging and blocking attacks. In PF2, this will mostly be through an inherent improvement in skill, where in PF1 it was entirely from equipment. A naked 20th level character was no better at avoiding hits than a naked 1st level character. Unless they were dex based or a monk or something.

I'm also sad to hear the stats are capping lower than we thought, but the lack of scaling is a secondary concern to the fact that it means odd ability scores probably still exist. At least, for me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

At character creation you actually only need to make...I think 3 choices that aren't things you had to pick already in PF1.

You pick one Ancestry Feat, then one Background, then one Class Feat. That's pretty much it.

In exchange, you have a much less complex Ability Generation system and don't have to pick a general Feat. So your Abilities are simpler and you make three choices from short lists rather than one from a list 100s of choices long.

I think that's significantly easier, personally.

Like I said before, I don't see this as a major problem personally, but I see this as being an issue for some people. Although I would also add that martials look to be more complex...weapon choice seems to matter as they are more different from each other in this edition, so that will be something else to consider in more detail perhaps.

As for short lists? maybe for the core rulebook and the next couple of releases. But you know all of these pool of feats are going to be a lot bigger a few years out, unless Paizo is drastically changing there option publication scheme.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
It isn't narrower than 5E in comparing characters of the same level, though it's certainly narrower than in PF1 in that regard. They do still have up to an 18 point swing between characters of the same level (in skills, some other thing might have a slightly higher or lower divergence), though, along with an increased suite of potential abilities (in the form of Feats) which has greatly increased customizability within the numerical range available.

Yes! Sorry, I was talking about narrower in comparison to PF1.

I don't think that 18 is likely when comparing two characters of the same level, nor even attainable given the default assumptions of the game (Stats cannot be lower than 8, and proficiency levels are gated by level and class).

A wider range of abilities isn't mutually exclusive with regards to divergent bonuses, such abilities and customization could easily exist within a framework as divergent as PF1 is. So this is not where complexity is spent, the design space is simply there. Flatter math on the other hand is mutually exclusive to divergent bonuses, and is where the complexity is spent, in relation to PF1, Paizo has chosen to reduce complexity in this area.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
You're quite correct that monsters won't scale well, however by making a system where PCs will be within a fairly narrow variance at any individual level, and making the leveling process relatively simple in and of itself (+1 to everything), they enable GM monster creation to be much easier, and also make leveling monsters themselves much easier.

But that hasn't opened up encounter design space at all. There is no change in variance with regards to what we can expect to fight at each level, in fact, because the math is flatter, there is less variance in what we can expect to fight at each level; monster statblocks of a given CR are going to be more similar to one another.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks significantly. I also don't think this is a 'complexity' argument per se. It's definitely a game quality argument, but not one about this aspect of the game having gotten more complicated.

I think my point is that I fear that 2e is making sacrifices to complexity in areas without getting much in return, I think flatter math is by definition less complex than less flatter math.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Yeah, but if seven of those modifiers are conditional, and a lot of people thus don't have them written down, and you just leveled so three of them just changed...

I'm not really even exaggerating here. This is an issue.

Ease of math is something of a subjective issue, A lot of people find it much easier to keep track of a few dice with static modifiers. Extra dice aren't going to help your fellow players if they don't keep track of the character on their sheet. I can just as easily see a world where "Is Deadly a d10 or d8" or "Hey I'm flanking this guy and using kidney punch is that 3 extra d6's or 4? Oh wait is his back turned I think I forgot to add my Backstab dice!" becomes the norm.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's less than ideal from both a thematic and mechanical perspective.

The opposite is true actually, consider the dichotomy between a greatsword and halberd in PF1, mechanically speaking a greatsword is far superior to a halberd. If you wanted to create a character who used specifically a halberd to do damage you would be at a loss, but the loss you would be at wouldn't grow with your level, you could tolerate that loss much easier. In PF2 that loss will grow with levels so the difference would be more pronounced, and the avenue of characters who specifically use a halberd to do damage is cut off.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

That's a huge issue and one that's worth a bit of complexity. Especially because this is entirely designer facing complexity, not something players or GMs need to concern themselves with at all.

I'm perfectly happy to let the folks at Paizo make their own job as complicated as they want to in order to give us a better game. I wouldn't dream of demanding it of them, but if they volunteer I'm not gonna argue with them.

Remember that players and especially GMs are designers themselves as well. Unless PF2 is only going to be designed to run adventure paths, it has to bear in mind that GMs are going to want to create their own content to run, and it needs to be designed to support that.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
John John wrote:
Though I agree with you main point that high abilities imbalance stuff. For example a typical high level 34 20 20 18 10 8 spread, I dont get why you choose the example with the diplomacy skill, between a summoner and a bard.

It's basically totally arbitrary. I can do the same with just about any skill. I picked Diplomacy because Mark Seifter used it for a similar example a while back, and it thus seemed appropriate.

John John wrote:
I could see paizo halving the class level bonus and then giving +20 to all abilities, but then you would propably end up with crazy pc's where even a 20th level wizard would have a 28 strenght.

That would definitely be an issue, yes. :)

John John wrote:
If you don't do this you end up with big variances in whatever abilities effect, which is kinda cool to see, but propably doesn't play out very well game wize.

Yeah. Having people with a 40 in a stat in the same group as one with a 7 is fun in theory, but runs into serious issues in practice.

John John wrote:
So I get why paizo did this, but I still kinda lament the loss of godlike 30+ ability scores.

I legitimately feel like Skill Feats will soften that blow quite a lot.

MMCJawa wrote:
Like I said before, I don't see this as a major problem personally, but I see this as being an issue for some people. Although I would also add that martials look to be more complex...weapon choice seems to matter as they are more different from each other in this edition, so that will be something else to consider in more detail perhaps.

That's not a new choice, just one that matters more. Also, with Weapon Focus dead and gone, you can switch up weapons pretty readily if your starting one turns out to not be to your taste.

MMCJawa wrote:
As for short lists? maybe for the core rulebook and the next couple of releases. But you know all of these pool of feats are going to be a lot bigger a few years out, unless Paizo is drastically changing there option publication scheme.

Well, sure they'll get longer. But not by nearly as much as the Feats list did in PF1. I'm pretty sure I remember less than 5% of the published Feats, while I can remember a good quarter of the Investigator Talents if pressed.

Almost anything is shorter and easier compared to the PF1 Feat list, in terms of option paralysis.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Yes! Sorry, I was talking about narrower in comparison to PF1.

Okay, cool. Glad we clarified that. :)

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
I don't think that 18 is likely when comparing two characters of the same level, nor even attainable given the default assumptions of the game (Stats cannot be lower than 8, and proficiency levels are gated by level and class).

Actually, that's directly from Mark Seifter (well, technically he said 17 or 18). That's at 20th level, mind you.

It's actually pretty simple to figure how it works based on revealed stuff, too:

Unskilled: 20 Level -1 Ability -2 Untrained = +17
Best of the Best: 20 Level +7 Ability +3 Legendary Proficiency +5 Item = +35

It's in regards to skills, so something like Saves or Attack is usually gonna vary a tad less, but it's a legitimate difference that occurs in the system.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
A wider range of abilities isn't mutually exclusive with regards to divergent bonuses, such abilities and customization could easily exist within a framework as divergent as PF1 is. So this is not where complexity is spent, the design space is simply there. Flatter math on the other hand is mutually exclusive to divergent bonuses, and is where the complexity is spent, in relation to PF1, Paizo has chosen to reduce complexity in this area.

That's true to some degree. I'm just arguing that the characters themselves are equally varied despite lower number variance.

Also, a lot of the kind of bonuses we're talking about (ie: Skill Feats giving non-numerical advantages) are entirely irrelevant in the face of widely divergent bonuses, so I think this design space is actually increased (though not created) by having a narrower range there.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
But that hasn't opened up encounter design space at all. There is no change in variance with regards to what we can expect to fight at each level, in fact, because the math is flatter, there is less variance in what we can expect to fight at each level; monster statblocks of a given CR are going to be more similar to one another.

Well, firstly, making it easier for GMs to create monsters absolutely increases monster variability. But secondly, by giving monsters more different abilities they're making fighting them very different from each other despite more similarity in numbers.

In short, while this is true to some degree, I think they've compensated for it well, and the increase in ease of use is well worth the price of admission.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
I think my point is that I fear that 2e is making sacrifices to complexity in areas without getting much in return, I think flatter math is by definition less complex than less flatter math.

What it gets in return is inexpressibly valuable, though: Actual consistency in what bonuses mean and the ability to actually calibrate the system properly.

That's priceless.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Ease of math is something of a subjective issue, A lot of people find it much easier to keep track of a few dice with static modifiers. Extra dice aren't going to help your fellow players if they don't keep track of the character on their sheet. I can just as easily see a world where "Is Deadly a d10 or d8" or "Hey I'm flanking this guy and using kidney punch is that 3 extra d6's or 4? Oh wait is his back turned I think I forgot to add my Backstab dice!" becomes the norm.

If you don't pay attention, sure. But in PF1, you could pay close attention to your sheet and still run into errors like this just by not being familiar with the buffs other people are using (a particularly large problem in organized play). Or using a different bonus than the one you normally use.

For example, which Inquisitor Judgments go up every 5 levels and which go up every three? Did you know the answer for every single Judgment off the top of your head? I sure didn't, and neither has anyone I've ever seen play an Inquisitor including the guy who's planning to be an accountant because that's an easy job for him.

PF2 seems to have drastically reduced that sort of thing, and that's a huge complexity and math reducer.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
The opposite is true actually, consider the dichotomy between a greatsword and halberd in PF1, mechanically speaking a greatsword is far superior to a halberd. If you wanted to create a character who used specifically a halberd to do damage you would be at a loss, but the loss you would be at wouldn't grow with your level, you could tolerate that loss much easier. In PF2 that loss will grow with levels so the difference would be more pronounced, and the avenue of characters who specifically use a halberd to do damage is cut off.

Actually, in PF1 you'd be much better off yet using a Nodachi. Or Falchion. Or two-handing a falcata. Crit range/multiplier and Reach are the only things that matter in your weapon choice in PF1 better than 90% of the time.

Damage dice actually mattering will be a welcome change.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
Remember that players and especially GMs are designers themselves as well. Unless PF2 is only going to be designed to run adventure paths, it has to bear in mind that GMs are going to want to create their own content to run, and it needs to be designed to support that.

Indeed. That's actually my whole point with monsters. But I've literally never seen a GM design a new weapon for a game, and have seen more monsters than I can shake a stick at.

I'm therefore thinking that greater weapon creation complexity and lesser monster creation complexity is a solid design choice.


I like having high stats matter.
I would still prefer, just from the flavor point of view, if they would halve the level bonus, allow higher ability scores (or made the ability bonus equal to score-10 instead), and remove the numerical bonus for proficiency (and maybe added ability score requirements for increasing proficiencies, while lowering or removing the level requirements).
This would keep the difference between unskilled and the best on the same level very close to their current design, but would reduce the difference between the best low-level character vs unskilled high-level character (which is what bugs me about the current design, even though it's mostly a theoretical situation).


Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
John John wrote:
If you don't do this you end up with big variances in whatever abilities effect, which is kinda cool to see, but propably doesn't play out very well game wize
This is the same reason why I am against dice pools and why I am confused about their inclusion.

Here I am talking about pure bonuses that actually make die roll results less variable aka the cleric always succeeds in his will save while the rogue never does.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:
John John wrote:

Die pools instead of static modifiers add more variance. For example if my attack roll is 1d20+1d10 instead of 1d20+5 it means I can hit ac 26-30 without a natural 20 and I can miss ac 5. So I can see a certain design it could be useful (aka orcs can still threaten you at high levels).

Now you are propably talking about +5 greataxes doing 5d12 damage? That's easy to translate to 1d12+26 damage (or 3d20+1 damage :P).

The general thing is swingy dice rolls are kind of part of the fun of dnd, though I do understand that some people (including my past self) are annoyed by that swinginess and are glad that the high levels minimize this short of thing.

Variance is necessary to a point; I don't think most people would respond well to completely deterministic outcomes. Larger dice pools are actually more likely to give results closer to their average than smaller dice pools with fixed modifiers, but they have more variance in what results they can produce. This means that in practice there isn't much difference between 5d12 and 1d12+26 with respect to outcomes, super high and super low results are very marginal. You are correct, it is very easy to translate a dice pool to an average modifier plus a single die, but since that's the case why use a dice pool at all? Its not any quicker to add up than a single dice plus modifier, and save for the extreme end results, a dice pool produces about the same results. So the extreme end results are what the determining factor is. (I know I'm just retreading ground here but bear with me.)

I think it just that its the most direct way to say that a +1 multiplies the base weapon damage.

Fargoth's Hiding Place wrote:


My concern is that extreme end results have a poor track record with regards to player enjoyment. You need only take a look at all the different gripes that the firearms rules for 1e produces and how controversial critical failure and critical hit charts are.

It may be pavlovian but my experience is that the possibility of extreme results actually keeps the players engaged, its a balancing act really make it too swingy and it looses its tactical interest make it not swingy enough and it becomes like chess.

Unfortunately having never actually used a gunslinger in my games I have no say on that specific point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
MMCJawa wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Crayon wrote:


If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated.

Really? Its as easy as ABC.
While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

I think option paralysis will be an issue once PF2 has 4-5 years under its belt, and that's a valid concern

Right now, picking 4 of 5 choices between pools of 15-20 things is waaaaay easier for a new player than reading 2500 feats to pick one. A character will be easier to make in PF2 than in PF1 for a good while, until PF2 number of options start to be closer to PF1


3 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Crayon wrote:


If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated.

Really? Its as easy as ABC.
While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

I think option paralysis will be an issue once PF2 has 4-5 years under its belt, and that's a valid concern

Right now, picking 4 of 5 choices between pools of 15-20 things is waaaaay easier for a new player than reading 2500 feats to pick one. A character will be easier to make in PF2 than in PF1 for a good while, until PF2 number of options start to be closer to PF1

Even after the content has caught up, I think having more distinct categories will go a long way towards making it easier to build characters. The big issue with the 2500 feats of PF1 is that for a newbie it is incredibly hard to know which of those feats is actually relevant to them.

Let's say we reach a point where there are 2500 feats spread across all categories. If I'm playing a halfling fighter with a penchant for being a party face, then I will be looking at halfling feats, fighter feats, and skill feats relating to CHA skills. That's a lot easier than having all of my feats drawn from the same 2500 pool, because each pool is a small fraction of the total. I may wind up spending a lot of time examining the interaction of feats across different categories, but it seems like a much better position to be doing it from than before.

Stuff like this is part of why it is easier to build a barbarian than a fighter in PF1, IMO.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Captain Morgan wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Crayon wrote:


If anything, character creation looks substantially more complicated.

Really? Its as easy as ABC.
While I am okay with the game design so far shown, I do think option paralysis could be a bigger issue for some players. There are lots of different pools of feats to grab things from. Sure, that allows more customization, but as the game develops it's going to make locking down and selecting options more and more difficult, even compared to PF1

I think option paralysis will be an issue once PF2 has 4-5 years under its belt, and that's a valid concern

Right now, picking 4 of 5 choices between pools of 15-20 things is waaaaay easier for a new player than reading 2500 feats to pick one. A character will be easier to make in PF2 than in PF1 for a good while, until PF2 number of options start to be closer to PF1

Even after the content has caught up, I think having more distinct categories will go a long way towards making it easier to build characters. The big issue with the 2500 feats of PF1 is that for a newbie it is incredibly hard to know which of those feats is actually relevant to them.

Let's say we reach a point where there are 2500 feats spread across all categories. If I'm playing a halfling fighter with a penchant for being a party face, then I will be looking at halfling feats, fighter feats, and skill feats relating to CHA skills. That's a lot easier than having all of my feats drawn from the same 2500 pool, because each pool is a small fraction of the total. I may wind up spending a lot of time examining the interaction of feats across different categories, but it seems like a much better position to be doing it from than before.

Stuff like this is part of why it is easier to build a barbarian than a fighter in PF1, IMO.

To others you've just split up everything across 3 folders and having to double check what works and what doesn't across those folders is going to get annoying or daunting.

Especially for those that build ahead.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Even after the content has caught up, I think having more distinct categories will go a long way towards making it easier to build characters. The big issue with the 2500 feats of PF1 is that for a newbie it is incredibly hard to know which of those feats is actually relevant to them.

Let's say we reach a point where there are 2500 feats spread across all categories. If I'm playing a halfling fighter with a penchant for being a party face, then I will be looking at halfling feats, fighter feats, and skill feats relating to CHA skills. That's a lot easier than having all of my feats drawn from the same 2500 pool, because each pool is a small fraction of the total. I may wind up spending a lot of time examining the interaction of feats across different categories, but it seems like a much better position to be doing it from than before.

Stuff like this is part of why it is easier to build a barbarian than a fighter in PF1, IMO.

To others you've just split up everything across 3 folders and having to double check what works and what doesn't across those folders is going to get annoying or daunting.

Especially for those that build ahead.

But we already do that. You don't often try to put a feat into a spell slot, or get confused over the difference between a rogue talent or a teamwork feat.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Not sure about anyone else, but I've almost never browsed the whole feat list when leveling up, only to generate ideas. If I am building a character, my thought process goes like this:

1. What do I want this feat to improve?
2. Search on Archive of Nethys for feats/traits that contain relevant key words
3. pick from that small list of feats.

I imagine that having types of feats (class/ancestry/etc) and traits on feats (like the druid's 3 diciplines or the fighter's different combo feats) will go a long way to helping newer players manage complexity. You would be able to say "I want a feat to help me close out combos" or "I want to improve my animal companion" and not only will you only have to look through just your list of class feats, but you will be able to skip to just the ones that are tagged [companion].


1 person marked this as a favorite.

.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:
.

Good point.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Even after the content has caught up, I think having more distinct categories will go a long way towards making it easier to build characters. The big issue with the 2500 feats of PF1 is that for a newbie it is incredibly hard to know which of those feats is actually relevant to them.

Let's say we reach a point where there are 2500 feats spread across all categories. If I'm playing a halfling fighter with a penchant for being a party face, then I will be looking at halfling feats, fighter feats, and skill feats relating to CHA skills. That's a lot easier than having all of my feats drawn from the same 2500 pool, because each pool is a small fraction of the total. I may wind up spending a lot of time examining the interaction of feats across different categories, but it seems like a much better position to be doing it from than before.

Stuff like this is part of why it is easier to build a barbarian than a fighter in PF1, IMO.

To others you've just split up everything across 3 folders and having to double check what works and what doesn't across those folders is going to get annoying or daunting.

Especially for those that build ahead.

But we already do that. You don't often try to put a feat into a spell slot, or get confused over the difference between a rogue talent or a teamwork feat.

Maybe not, but I've personally seen Fighter players mistakenly taking non-combat Feats at even levels and have frequently heard complaints of people taking illegal Trait combinations.

In any case, I feel that it's very much a lateral move at present and will become much worse than PF1 very quickly as each class and ancestry having its own unique set of entries means that even if Paizo doesn't add any new classes or ancestries, the number of individual entries seems likely to proliferate much more quickly than it did in PF1, assuming Paizo sticks to its current business model.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Crayon wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


Even after the content has caught up, I think having more distinct categories will go a long way towards making it easier to build characters. The big issue with the 2500 feats of PF1 is that for a newbie it is incredibly hard to know which of those feats is actually relevant to them.

Let's say we reach a point where there are 2500 feats spread across all categories. If I'm playing a halfling fighter with a penchant for being a party face, then I will be looking at halfling feats, fighter feats, and skill feats relating to CHA skills. That's a lot easier than having all of my feats drawn from the same 2500 pool, because each pool is a small fraction of the total. I may wind up spending a lot of time examining the interaction of feats across different categories, but it seems like a much better position to be doing it from than before.

Stuff like this is part of why it is easier to build a barbarian than a fighter in PF1, IMO.

To others you've just split up everything across 3 folders and having to double check what works and what doesn't across those folders is going to get annoying or daunting.

Especially for those that build ahead.

But we already do that. You don't often try to put a feat into a spell slot, or get confused over the difference between a rogue talent or a teamwork feat.

Maybe not, but I've personally seen Fighter players mistakenly taking non-combat Feats at even levels and have frequently heard complaints of people taking illegal Trait combinations.

In any case, I feel that it's very much a lateral move at present and will become much worse than PF1 very quickly as each class and ancestry having its own unique set of entries means that even if Paizo doesn't add any new classes or ancestries, the number of individual entries seems likely to proliferate much more quickly than it did in PF1, assuming Paizo sticks to its current business model.

In my experience, if a fighter winds up taking an illegal noncombat feat, it is because combat feats are largely just part of the same pile of feats most of the time.

Illegal traits tend to be either someone who took two traits from the same category or who isn't paying attention to flavor requirements, like being a campaign or diety specific. The latter seems like it will be an issue regardless of the system as long as the d20pfsrd exists and we have flavor based prerequisites. For the former, the only things we have heard which are mutually exclusive are heritage feats.

Class feats will be a unified mechanic that will go pretty far, IMO. Take the Barbarian for example. It isn't just that rage powers are being folded into class feats. It is that PF1 Barbarian exclusive feats are also going to be folded in. Stuff like Extra Rage power or Raging Vitality. In PF1, I could comb the rage power list all day and never realize those feats exist. Same for feats like Accomplished Sneak Attack, or Accursed Hex. Having all that stuff grouped together is a very good thing.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Misspent Complexity All Messageboards
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion