Just played the playtest, and there's one aspect I'm unhappy with- movement.
The "normal" battlemat is about 150 feet long by 90 feet wide, in game terms. You can go the entire width of the map in one round, and the length in less than two. This the normal walking speed, not using sprinting or some other special case.
There's a number of issues caused by this. One is that ranged attacks aren't terribly useful, since their melee targets will catch them almost immediately. It also makes the concept of mounted combat silly. Reaction attacks, straight-line rules, and other hindrances are limited, so field control isn't really a possibility for most characters and monsters.
The scale is fine, having people move 15 feet in one second, while in combat, while in armor, while on a battlefield is not only unworkable in game terms, it's unrealistic in real life. For me, at least, it made the battles uninteresting.
I did like a number of the other ideas, but that one is a dealbreaker for me. Sorry.
Most races only move 20 or 25 feet per round so should only be moving 60-75 feet rather then 90. Elves are the only core race to get 30 and I think they have an ancestry feat for an extra 5 feat so they will be really jetting around the map. Do we know if heavy armour or high bulk slows speed down?
An elf with a bow should do a pretty good job kiting a melee character. The melee character would want sudden charge just to get a shot in.
I don't see much interest in any of the alternatives to this system. Yes chacracters can cross the map in a turn (not actually, since base movement is 25 ft per action not 30 ft, but let's pretend), but what can they do in that turn? Not a whole lot. And even that movement is only assuming base movement unmodified by armor.
But I can't help but see that most of these issues aren't really issues. Ranged attacks are only subject to Opportunity Attacks by a limited number of foes. Mounted combat has never been all that interesting, and has mostly has been either abused for optimization, or not very interesting as a tactical option. And as for reactions, far fewer things will have Opportunity Attacks in PF2e (and for things like straight line charges, we know they won't work the same way in PF2e, so IDK why that's a thing to worry about).
But for things that work like PF1e, assuming that they still work the same way in PF2e, I don't see much issue. Yeah, maybe divine Grace doesn't work the same as PF1e, but it will still fulfill the same mechanical and thematic role that it did before. And I don;t think that's necessarily a bad thing,
|The Raven Black|
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I am glad the PF2E has, in general, reduced Stride speeds (25 being new base) but I wish it had gone further. From a playability point of view, as the OP mentioned, large movement speeds require large spaces to show off the advantage (if the room is only a 30x30 space, your extra 10ft of speed doesn't mean as much as in a 50x50 space) which for those of us who like to model that in real world physical space it can be unwieldy. Secondly I'm a firm believer that a more restricted movement will increase the tactical variety of the game.
As a more general complaint, I really hate that the minimum unit of tactical measurement in the DnDs is 5ft. It makes designing spaces really hard (like to have a decent amount of room for obstacles, interactbles items and just space to fit all the actors spaces have to be all out whack size wise.) It also makes things like the very often mentioned "jump 20ft in the air!" It sounds impressive in real world terms. In combat space terms it's like "jee whiz 4 whole spaces!"
I anticipated this. It's why I keep saying moving twice should count as jogging and moving three times in a round should count as running, corresponding to the 2x jog and 3x run in previous editions. Those are options that come with a cost, at least in terms of how long you can do it if nothing else. Ideally though, full 3x run or 4x sprint should make you a bit vulnerable and disadvantage your actions until the end of your next turn.
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1- We were playing base move as 30 in the playtest, so I'm glad we were playing it wrong.
2- The fact that you can use a ranged weapon in melee (which is pretty much true) doesn't change the fact that they got rid of ranged fighting. Ranged combat lasts one turn, tops.
-3 Fuzzypaws: that's the way to do it, IMHO. You're not moving for two seconds, then fighting for two seconds, then something else for two seconds, you're really just doing one thing which totals 6 seconds. You can simultaneously move and fight, but you can't simultaneously move and...move. There's already a penalty for attacking twice, why not moving twice? Now that I think about it, why not have a penalty for doing anything twice? Is there something about trying to stab somebody a second time that makes it harder than casting two different spells?
Let's say that it was -5 feet for your 2nd move and -10 feet on your third, each minimum 5 feet. Combine that with mid-encumberance: speed of 20/15, +5 for unencumbered people, -5 for heavily encumbered people (which only makes much of a difference if you're not using the encumberance rules). Now we're down to 45 feet for a triple move.
I think the second fight in the demo I played would have been much more challenging.
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It definitely seems like they're aiming for 2E combat to be more mobile than 1E combat.
By necessity this makes ranged combatants weaker as what ranged fighters really want is for their targets to be very slow, if moving at all.
Now, a very very common complaint of 1E combat was that it was far too static so... I think this might be a case where there's no solution to your complaint maybe. 2E does seem to be shifting the balance of power towards melee martials as compared to 1E.
I think if your group can put down some battlefield control though then the spellcasters and ranged attackers of the party will be able to do what they used to though.
Now with reactions in 2E, hopefully the full playtest has more interesting crowd control options (including some for ranged combatants) that lead to more strategic combat. Druids, alchemists, rogues, et al could all have interesting and unique ways to manage opponents' movement in combat with single actions (that will no longer consume "full attack") and reactions.
I've played in two playtest events (a two-hour demo type event, and House of Ekmundi longer scenario). While the lack of AoO did seem to allow a touch-more tactical repositioning that 1e, it still settled down to non-moving just bash-it-out in many cases. Partially because in most cases the PCs outnumbered the opponents, in which case the greater mobility helps the PCs immensely initially and then doesn't matter.
The two-hour playtest felt worse than the longer scenario in regards to the OPs concern, mainly because the range/LoS involved for when combat was triggered. But a demo needs simple mechanics and for players to not need to know the system ahead of time. The longer scenario saw our ranged character highly effective, almost too much so.
I think the base 25 movement should work, though I would be interested in trying a 20' base (so 25' for elf and 15 for encumbered/armored) to see how it feels. Going any shorter would definitely make movement less tactical/less willing to re-maneuver instead of attack.
Thing that bugs me about what I've heard about movement may no longer be true, I'll have to see about that when the playtest document comes out or should they create a blog regarding movement, is that everytime a new type of movement or an obstacle pops up, your current move action ends, and you have to start a new move action to navigate further.
So I have 25' move, but its 10' to difficult terrain, that move action ends, then I move in difficult terrain as a second move action, but if that's only 5' I've just used up 25' of movement for 5' of distance, and then start up a 3rd action to continue moving after the difficult terrain.
I've also heard going around corners triggers a new move action as well.
If this is true... boo hiss! I say, "Boo! Hiss!"
@Tallow, neither playtest event I was in had that situation come up, but that was due to the scenario not the rules. I agree that what interaction between strides (to cover ground) and jump (to leap the obstacle) as described in the GCP playtest podcast seemed extremely odd. And it has bad implications for chase/kiting style mobile play. I think difficult terrain would still work they way we're used to from pf1, but jumping or climbing would interupt/waste movement remaining on the stride.
Jumping, climbing etc had better not require separate actions. If I have 40 ft of movement and can climb at half speed (20 ft), then I'd better be able to move 20 ft up to the base of a tree and then get 10 ft up that tree in a single move. If I can't, that will earn my wrath even harder and faster than did the cowardly design of the Class That Shall Not Be Named.