PF2 Mechanical Sophistication vs. Ease of Play


Prerelease Discussion


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With the opening date for PF2's public playtest rapidly approaching, I feel that we've seen enough of the game at this point to feel justified in starting a thread regarding my personal concerns about the version of the game that will appear in the playtest document.

Specifically, based on the previews we've seen up to this point, it would appear that PF2 amps up the degree of mechanical complexity well beyond the median seen in the game's first edition. Since a lot of the people I GM for don't really know the rules and have no interest in learning them, this constitutes a problem for us.

Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

Liberty's Edge

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Sure.

Character creation is actually quite a bit simpler, IMO. The Ability generation method is simpler, the math is more consistent rather than being filled with weird corner cases, and the Feat choices are all from specific shorter lists rather than one giant list including all the Metamagic Feats right alongside Power Attack.

As for simplicity in play, I feel that's generally been simplified as well, with all spells working similarly on a mechanical level, Feats usually giving a very specific effect no more complex than their PF1 version, and again the math being more consistent and thus simpler in use.

Some specific things seem finicky (Resonance on items with charges, maybe some GM-facing stuff with conditions and action types), but the net result is still lower complexity than PF1, IMO.


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Crayon wrote:

With the opening date for PF2's public playtest rapidly approaching, I feel that we've seen enough of the game at this point to feel justified in starting a thread regarding my personal concerns about the version of the game that will appear in the playtest document.

Specifically, based on the previews we've seen up to this point, it would appear that PF2 amps up the degree of mechanical complexity well beyond the median seen in the game's first edition. Since a lot of the people I GM for don't really know the rules and have no interest in learning them, this constitutes a problem for us.

Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

Character creation is about as easy as it gets, it puts PF1 to shame. Leveling up has issues in level spikes and inconsistencies, IMO, but can be tweaked within a usable manner without being too confusing.

The fear I have is gameplay, which is the most important aspect of it. The skeleton is easy and nice to have, but that's about it. Certain combat options are shoehorny, such as a Paladin always being the best-armored character, a Wizard always being the best at spellcasting, and so on. Just with the Ranger preview, it promotes "full attacks" with the Hunt Target feature, which we were trying to get rid of in this edition. (Same was said for AoOs, but we made that Fighter-only instead.)

And Resonance...oh boy, Resonance...

Resonance mechanics are wonky and worryful on paper, using magic items is goofy and sometimes broken, not to mention confusing, has redundant wording, and down right contradictory in being "simplified" or "streamlined." Some of these things can be fixed with playtesting, but as a whole, I have a feeling this will be the backbreaker with a lot of converted and/or new players.

Spells can be confusing too, especially how upcasting works with certain spells, if at all, combined with the "four tiers of success," can slow down a game considerably. Not to mention people confusing spell points with spell slots...However, between this or dominating the game with Save/Suck spells, this is the lesser of two evils.

While this game has some good going for it, I don't think it will offset all the bad it currently has, even with playtesting (since all of these mechanics are set in stone).

Sovereign Court

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just with the Ranger preview, it promotes "full attacks" with the Hunt Target feature, which we were trying to get rid of in this edition. (Same was said for AoOs, but we made that Fighter-only instead.)

I’m not sure where the notion that there is a goal to get rid of full attacks came from. Sometimes standing still and full attacking is the best choice, sometimes it isn’t. PF2 is much less punishing when you don’t full attack.


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For the most part I'm actually fairly confident the system will be fairly easy to pick up (as rules dense RPGs go anywyay). I haven't seen anything that would cause me any more concerns than opening 3e CRB the first time did (wait, what happened to THAC0?!).

Most of the mechanics seem like they are fairly consistent and logical which will make picking them up easy. Most of them seem like they will flow in play too and the technical aspects will fall into the background until you need to know much the same as they do now (I mean how often in PF1 do you actually say "I cast a spell with a somatic and material component" - you just note how long it takes and whether you provoke)

The redundant and clumsy wording (activation activate action or whatever it is) is probably my biggest concern here.


I figure the reason for resonance is that the devs want to make Cthulhu without having a bunch of posters tell them that 1 wizard, 1 summoned demon, and 40K worth of magic bombs can deal with It*. Good luck doing that with 8 magic bombs (by the way, whatever your feelings on resonance, thank [sarcastically or genuinely] a regular beastmass thread participant for their part in making it happen). The goal seems to be to make PC's focus on one or two big items, and from what I have seen, it looks like as soon as PC's do that, the pain of resonance goes away. Honestly, the biggest problem with it is that it would be more elegant if it took more resonance points for higher level magic items. That way you would consistently push PC's into 1 or 2 magic items instead of continuing to support higher level PC's carting around duffel bags full of them.

* I didn't pick Cthulhu randomly. Find the thread and you can practically feel the annoyance radiating out of it.


Given that there have been 5 responses (not including this one) and none touch even tangentially on the points I was trying to raise, I think it's best that we allow this thread to die while I review the language in the OP and try to discern what the source of the confusion is.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It would probably help if you gave an example of a "character on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale" along with a brief description of why it meets that definition.


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I feel like one of the issues is that PF1 really hid a lot of it's complexity under the hood (e.g. the difference between an "attack action" which is a standard action and a standard action used to make an attack.) As a result of this, some interactions of rules were really pretty difficult to understand, like "can I charge and vital strike" or "can a magus combine a glaive wielded with bladed brush and spell combat".

Putting a lot more of that complexity on the front end is going to avoid a lot of the unnecessary confusion when people try to figure out how this works a little deeper.


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Crayon wrote:
Given that there have been 5 responses (not including this one) and none touch even tangentially on the points I was trying to raise, I think it's best that we allow this thread to die while I review the language in the OP and try to discern what the source of the confusion is.

Well you've asked the impossible: we'd have to somehow know what your group would think of as "the lower end of PF1's complexity scale" and then compare it to the unknowns of character creation in the playtest with little points of reference. I have a feeling what I think of as low complexity might not be what your groups thinks of.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just with the Ranger preview, it promotes "full attacks" with the Hunt Target feature, which we were trying to get rid of in this edition. (Same was said for AoOs, but we made that Fighter-only instead.)
I’m not sure where the notion that there is a goal to get rid of full attacks came from. Sometimes standing still and full attacking is the best choice, sometimes it isn’t. PF2 is much less punishing when you don’t full attack.

Combat was stated to be more dynamic and interactive in PF2, compared to PF1's "I sit there and full attack" every round. Ranger's Hunt Target promotes that PF1 paradigm (since it only benefits from making numerous attacks), which goes against their design goal of "more interactive combat".


If you want a character on the lower end of complex for this edition you could probably just make some sort of skillmonkey who takes assurance for everything. If I'm reading you right.


Also, as someone coming from 5e PF2 actually strikes me as simpler than PF1 in a lot of ways. Everything is standardised and modular, and a lot of it seems fairly consistent. 5e was frustratingly opaque about where it was balanced for things like class design, while Pathfinder 1 I didn't really want to try and run because of not immediately getting a lot of the basics. PF2 has struck me so far with "Oh, alright then. I can probably get away with winging some of that stuff."

I'll admit that some of my opinions are coming from the perspective of a DM who likes to be able to understand why the rules work. Some of the seams and patterns strike me as readily apparent in PF2, while in other games like PF1 and Shadowrun 5 (for some insane reason I ended up learning much of the SR5 rulebook off by heart, but I have absolutely no intention of running it) I have absolutely no idea what I'm looking at and what exact role said rules apply in the larger scheme. Actions, conditions, class design, etc. all strikes me as relatively clear.

Personally I'm hoping it comes out like the sort of game I've been looking for. Streamlined with simple building block, but complex, flexible and fluid through modularity and a large number of combinations, bounded in such a way where players can build whatever sort of character without their concept proving invalid. PF1 had some of those good points for me, but with some 3.X relics. Sorry, getting late and I'm rambling a bit.


Crayon wrote:
Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

Character generation is pretty dang close to Starfinder's generation. There's a video illustrating Pathfinder 2 character generation here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=4LI7Wo5Jtms

It shouldn't be too hard to rough out a few default feat picks for classes, and I'm sure many will be generated shortly after we get the books. Feat selection seems to be a combination between kineticist and vigilante feat selection, where you have a utility level then a combat level alternating back and forth.

As DM, you will probably get saddled with keeping track of the two to four point pools each player now uses. From what I can see, you can have a minimum of two resource pools, so you're screwed if you had players who couldn't keep track of how many rage rounds they had left.

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just with the Ranger preview, it promotes "full attacks" with the Hunt Target feature, which we were trying to get rid of in this edition. (Same was said for AoOs, but we made that Fighter-only instead.)
I’m not sure where the notion that there is a goal to get rid of full attacks came from. Sometimes standing still and full attacking is the best choice, sometimes it isn’t. PF2 is much less punishing when you don’t full attack.
Combat was stated to be more dynamic and interactive in PF2, compared to PF1's "I sit there and full attack" every round. Ranger's Hunt Target promotes that PF1 paradigm (since it only benefits from making numerous attacks), which goes against their design goal of "more interactive combat".

For a fighter, raising their shield every round makes sense. The ranger has a tougher choice. That is still dynamic. He still has options.

And just because the ranger wants to stand and deliver blows doesn’t mean the enemies do. A friendly game of Kite the Ranger can keep him from benefiting from Hunt Target.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just with the Ranger preview, it promotes "full attacks" with the Hunt Target feature, which we were trying to get rid of in this edition. (Same was said for AoOs, but we made that Fighter-only instead.)
I’m not sure where the notion that there is a goal to get rid of full attacks came from. Sometimes standing still and full attacking is the best choice, sometimes it isn’t. PF2 is much less punishing when you don’t full attack.
Combat was stated to be more dynamic and interactive in PF2, compared to PF1's "I sit there and full attack" every round. Ranger's Hunt Target promotes that PF1 paradigm (since it only benefits from making numerous attacks), which goes against their design goal of "more interactive combat".

For a fighter, raising their shield every round makes sense. The ranger has a tougher choice. That is still dynamic. He still has options.

And just because the ranger wants to stand and deliver blows doesn’t mean the enemies do. A friendly game of Kite the Ranger can keep him from benefiting from Hunt Target.

It's not like the Fighter can be the only class that uses a Shield, and those other classes actually have relevant options. Paladins may have to consider burning their weaker attack for Lay on Hands, Barbarians have to determine whether now is a good time to Rage or not (and since they actually get 1.5x Strength on two-handed attacks, it's kind of relevant), Clerics may want to spend an action to use Channel Energy on themselves, and so on. Fighters don't have any of that, and as you pointed out, the Ranger doesn't really have that either, since Hunt Target is "fire and forget," until you kill your intended enemy.

Sure, there are ways to combat it, but that's effectively saying "Hey, let's throw a bunch of flying enemies at our melee characters!" Which is both unfun and heavily imbalanced to favor those who have practically unlimited access to the Z axis of the combat grid. On top of that, all this does is reinforce the "Longbow Master Race" issue that plagued PF1 simply because it was the most optimal way to full attack without having to really rely on combat positioning (as long as you had line of effect and was far away from melee bad guys, you were in a good spot). Congratulations, every Ranger worth his salt is going to be Legolas, using Bows for days, instead of being cool and different by using something other than a weapon that's been used to death simply because it's the easiest and most powerful way to play.

That argument likewise applies to how Fighters are going to be played now in PF2. There are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to not have a shield anymore, and there are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to wield two handed weapons since they don't get increased Strength like a Barbarian does (but that requires Raging, so)...


I'm sorry, d12 damage vs d8 isn't good enough for a greatsword vs longsword? Also remember you can't use a shield if it's too dented.

Also remember these bow rangers are now more susceptible to being engaged on thanks to the higher number of movement options.


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Cyouni wrote:

I'm sorry, d12 damage vs d8 isn't good enough for a greatsword vs longsword? Also remember you can't use a shield if it's too dented.

Also remember these bow rangers are now more susceptible to being engaged on thanks to the higher number of movement options.

Not really. The difference between them is 2 points of damage per dice on average per attack. Even at a +5, an approximately 12 damage difference isn't worth losing all those hit points your Shield protects from. On top of that, 1.5x Strength is Raging Barbarians only, making two-handed weapons not as worthwhile for them. They don't have any other mechanic to restore their health (Paladins get LoH, Barbarian Rage gives "temp HP," and so on), and Rangers can just use bows because it best suits their schtick as well, so they're stuck using Shields just to be playable.

And those bowmen don't have to worry about range anyway because AoOs are a thing of the past, so the biggest drawback from ranged combat is likewise a non-issue, which gives them even less reason to use anything except a bow. On top of that, a movement action spent not attacking the bowman gives the bowman that much more of an edge when he can just pepper his enemies with arrows before they get a reliable means of hitting him. Cutting down on move actions is going to be the biggest reason why a bowman will be vastly superior to melee combat.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That argument likewise applies to how Fighters are going to be played now in PF2. There are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to not have a shield anymore, and there are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to wield two handed weapons since they don't get increased Strength like a Barbarian does (but that requires Raging, so)...

This pretty much requires there to be absolutely no worthwhile feats/abilities to support using a 2-handed weapon for fighters. Not sure I believe this to be the case in the playtest.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

I'm sorry, d12 damage vs d8 isn't good enough for a greatsword vs longsword? Also remember you can't use a shield if it's too dented.

Also remember these bow rangers are now more susceptible to being engaged on thanks to the higher number of movement options.

Not really. The difference between them is 2 points of damage per dice on average per attack. Even at a +5, an approximately 12 damage difference isn't worth losing all those hit points your Shield protects from. On top of that, 1.5x Strength is Raging Barbarians only, making two-handed weapons not as worthwhile for them. They don't have any other mechanic to restore their health (Paladins get LoH, Barbarian Rage gives "temp HP," and so on), and Rangers can just use bows because it best suits their schtick as well, so they're stuck using Shields just to be playable.

And those bowmen don't have to worry about range anyway because AoOs are a thing of the past, so the biggest drawback from ranged combat is likewise a non-issue, which gives them even less reason to use anything except a bow. On top of that, a movement action spent not attacking the bowman gives the bowman that much more of an edge when he can just pepper his enemies with arrows before they get a reliable means of hitting him. Cutting down on move actions is going to be the biggest reason why a bowman will be vastly superior to melee combat.

Plus 2 damage for every Power Attack die, not to mention any other feats, even more considering Power Attack might not be a great option for a shield fighter. Raging Barbarians don't get 1.5x unless that's been confirmed - data only shows +2 - and even if it is, that's a maximum of +4 at level 20. Shields aren't necessarily the completely optimal option given that a few Dents can take away that advantage, leaving you with simply a 1d8 weapon.

AoOs may seem to be a thing of the past, but that doesn't mean there aren't reasons that can mess them up. Case in point: grim reaper's Lurking Death.

Similarly, a 1d6 bow won't necessarily be the best option for damage, and a 1d8 longbow will have an even worse problem if you consider it has the volley trait.


Paradozen wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That argument likewise applies to how Fighters are going to be played now in PF2. There are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to not have a shield anymore, and there are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to wield two handed weapons since they don't get increased Strength like a Barbarian does (but that requires Raging, so)...
This pretty much requires there to be absolutely no worthwhile feats/abilities to support using a 2-handed weapon for fighters. Not sure I believe this to be the case in the playtest.

There wasn't in PF1 (and if there were, they sucked too much to use). I really am not seeing the design space they can implement for this, unless they want to make 1.5x Strength a General Feat or something.

@ Cyouni: Until we get the playtest data, we won't know how Power Attack scales outside of maybe two more dice (or 4 damage). We have no feats in PF1 that made two-handed fighting any good, and I'm not going to expect there to be any now since it was the melee meta, and the devs want that to change. (Then again, they wanted CLW spam gone and they introduced Resonance as a result, so I'm not sure I can trust them with implementing a valuable and fair THF option.)

We have no data on how Shields and Dents work. All we know is that they exist. Even so, Fighters are just going to stock up on Oils of Mending (in addition to healing potions and CLW wands), so that sort of thing isn't going to happen that much.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
That argument likewise applies to how Fighters are going to be played now in PF2. There are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to not have a shield anymore, and there are zero logical reasons for a Fighter to wield two handed weapons since they don't get increased Strength like a Barbarian does (but that requires Raging, so)...
This pretty much requires there to be absolutely no worthwhile feats/abilities to support using a 2-handed weapon for fighters. Not sure I believe this to be the case in the playtest.
There wasn't in PF1 (and if there were, they sucked too much to use). I really am not seeing the design space they can implement for this, unless they want to make 1.5x Strength a General Feat or something.

In PF1 we had power attack which favored 2-handed weapons. It was used quite a bit, I'd argue it was one of the most-used feats in the game. Furious Focus was also there to favor 2-handed weapons but it was more often used by characters with less than full BAB. There was also combat reflexes, which made reach weapons (a primarily 2-handed weapon feature) more worthwhile to use. We know power attack works different, we don't know (to my knowledge) about much else to make combat styles that favor 2-handed weapons. We also don't know if there is anything to support reach combat. Might be wise to wait a bit before declaring there being 0 logical reason to use anything but a shield or a bow.

Not that that isn't be the case, but I really don't think we have enough information to say that it is.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:


@ Cyouni: Until we get the playtest data, we won't know how Power Attack scales outside of maybe two more dice (or 4 damage). We have no feats in PF1 that made two-handed fighting any good, and I'm not going to expect there to be any now since it was the melee meta, and the devs want that to change. (Then again, they wanted CLW spam gone and they introduced Resonance as a result, so I'm not sure I can trust them with implementing a valuable and fair THF option.)

We have no data on how Shields and Dents work. All we know is that they exist. Even so, Fighters are just going to stock up on Oils of Mending (in addition to healing potions and CLW wands), so that sort of thing isn't going to happen that much.

Well, let's make a quick comparison. Level 20 with a +5 weapon for both, assuming just Power Attack (3 dice) and max Str mod. We'll assume the shield-user has a feat that lets them raise their shield for free so that they can get the same number of attacks off.

Greatsword: 9d12+7 = average 65.5 per hit
Shield: 6d8+7 = average 34 per hit
Shield PA: 9d8+7 = average 47.5 per hit

That's actually a larger difference than I expected, but we don't have all the math. Though I can tell shield-users trying to imitate THF is probably not going to go well.


Crayon wrote:

With the opening date for PF2's public playtest rapidly approaching, I feel that we've seen enough of the game at this point to feel justified in starting a thread regarding my personal concerns about the version of the game that will appear in the playtest document.

Specifically, based on the previews we've seen up to this point, it would appear that PF2 amps up the degree of mechanical complexity well beyond the median seen in the game's first edition. Since a lot of the people I GM for don't really know the rules and have no interest in learning them, this constitutes a problem for us.

Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

Well, I'm pretty sure the simplest side of PF1 might be gone. Fighters who can only full attack or move and attack in combat, and not even that much out of combat, seem to be going away considering even the dumbest fighters have several skill feats and more useful actions to take in combat.

As to how the middle complexity changes, I'm not sure if it has changed too much. Considering a character could reasonably be debating between casting spells (from decent-sized lists) or attacking and moving or full attacking on top of having to decide if one of their class features which took a relevant action was worth it or what their swift action might be (from a list of 2-3, some of which were spells), I'm not sure PF2 will be much different. More classes have action-consuming abilities, as well as feats, and the third attack is at a penalty large enough to make not rolling and risking a critical failure seem reasonable, and there are spells that can be taken on classes with a chance to impact in melee, but I'd guess the tradeoff is roughly the same. Maybe a tad more complex due to a 3-action/1-reaction system that means you don't have to opt-in to swift-action class features.

And the most complicated classes haven't changed much in my opinion. Wizards have fewer spell slots, clerics have fewer spell slots, both (presumably) make up for this by having class features that use spell points and cantrips that scale with level. As opposed to all those class features and cantrips just being more spells and quickened spells (and somewhat insignifacnt class features).

The math might be a bit more complicated as well, adding/subtracting 10 on the fly might be more trouble than just writing in the +/- 10 values on whatever DCs are written.


Power Attack was changed into Vital Strike, which is meh (and is still meh), meaning it's no longer de facto, or even good for two-handed weapons. Especially since we don't know how it scales.

Furious Focus was great for levels 1-6. It fell off in usefulness after that. I doubt this feat will see a return of as-is mechanics, if at all. (It might be a Barbarian only feat or something, maybe.)

Combat Reflexes had more uses outside of being usable with Reach weapons, mostly with feats like Bodyguard (which got nerfed into the ground hard), Swashbuckler mechanics, and so on. It did promote MADness though, and I don't see this making a return outside of "You may make one attack outside your turn without spending a Reaction" or something like that (putting it in as-is would be broken).

I'm still not certain this is worthwhile over burning feats for shield or bow usage. They have base benefits that are inherently valued by classes which need them (effective HP and free full attacking), so it would make more sense to invest feats into something that's already inherently nice over something that, on it's face, isn't.


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Crayon wrote:

With the opening date for PF2's public playtest rapidly approaching, I feel that we've seen enough of the game at this point to feel justified in starting a thread regarding my personal concerns about the version of the game that will appear in the playtest document.

Specifically, based on the previews we've seen up to this point, it would appear that PF2 amps up the degree of mechanical complexity well beyond the median seen in the game's first edition. Since a lot of the people I GM for don't really know the rules and have no interest in learning them, this constitutes a problem for us.

Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

If I'm reading you right.... no.

Simply because PF2 character creation (and every level) is going to heavily involve dumpster diving for one or more feats (class feats, skill feats, ancestry feats, general feats) and going through shedloads of material that are going to multiply over time. Feats by the bushel! Feats by the pound!

Plus you've got various levels of training happening at different levels in different things which also gate which feats you can take.

So if you're comparing to a fairly low complexity character like a Slayer who simply adds the next feat in the Two Weapon Fighting Feat chain every three levels and increments 4 skills by one every level, then no. A PF2 character has a *lot* more book work to do.


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Voss wrote:
aSimply because PF2 character creation (and every level) is going to heavily involve dumpster diving for one or more feats (class feats, skill feats, ancestry feats, general feats) and going through shedloads of material that are going to multiply over time. Feats by the bushel! Feats by the pound!

I strongly suspect that no matter how many feats they print, the fact that we can keep them in smaller bins on the various SRDs which will make them eminently more comprehensible.

I mean, they will never print as many Fighter feats in PF2 as they did "combat feats" in PF1. If you're an intimidating dwarf fighter, you just have to look at the intimidation skill feats, the dwarf feats, and the fighter feats. Only set we need to make sure to keep manageable are "general feats."


Crayon wrote:
Therefore, my question is: Will it be possible to create characters on the lower end of PF1's complexity scale under the new rule-set?

Was this question about whether there was an equivalent to PF1's Fighter that had no daily resources to track, and was therefore pretty simple to run, and suitable for a newbie?

(Not that PF1 was ever that easy to learn; charges, move actions, five-foot steps, full attacks, reach, attacks of opportunity, combat manoeuvres...)


I will repeat what I said in the Traps blog:

It seems a tad cluttered, and lots of keywords:

"Quietus (emotion, fear, illusion, mental, occult)"

I will echo getting a bit apprehensive about the amount to micro-actions (Operate Activation, Strike, Stride, Verbal, Somatic, Material, Interact basic, Grab Edge, etc, etc).

Also, the Trap blog has made me question the whole Expert, Master, Legendary thing, suddenly seems kind of arbitrary, also, they unlock cool things, but the number difference is tiny. Maybe it's because it is an entirely new thing for D&D/PF, no legacy or connection at all to anything previous.

Also, I am not a fan of the huge numbers (DC 50+), though the new and shiny 4-Tiers of Success system heavily leverages that, but that raises the question of slowing down game play.

I really look forward to getting a bigger picture of all of this.


Chest Rockwell wrote:

Also, I am not a fan of the huge numbers (DC 50+), though the new and shiny 4-Tiers of Success system heavily leverages that, but that raises the question of slowing down game play.

I really look forward to getting a bigger picture of all of this.

The DC 51 armageddon orb is on the upper end of what's possible, being impossible for a level 20 PC without a situational or magic item bonus and improbable without both. I get the impression that most DCs are going to be a fair bit below that, with a large number between high 20s and low 40s based on what we've seen.

EDIT:
I found this quote from Mark Seifter about the trap with the DC 51 disarm check.

Mark Seifter wrote:


A level 23 trap lives in a very interesting design space, which is actually the same design space you posit here: this is the most dangerous and powerful level of trap that you would ever throw at even a party of level 20 PCs. The same is true of level 23 monsters.

I think it's safe to say that 51 is probably near the top end by a massive margin.

We also know that even hard traps won't necessarily have higher DCs, rather being gated by prof level instead. A crude trap might be as hard to disable as a complex one, if you know what you're doing. If you don't you can't disable the complex one. For instance.


Elleth wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:

Also, I am not a fan of the huge numbers (DC 50+), though the new and shiny 4-Tiers of Success system heavily leverages that, but that raises the question of slowing down game play.

I really look forward to getting a bigger picture of all of this.

The DC 51 armageddon orb is on the upper end of what's possible, being impossible for a level 20 PC without a situational or magic item bonus and improbable without both. I get the impression that most DCs are going to be a fair bit below that, with a large number between high 20s and low 40s based on what we've seen.

EDIT:
I found this quote from Mark Seifter about the trap with the DC 51 disarm check.

Mark Seifter wrote:


A level 23 trap lives in a very interesting design space, which is actually the same design space you posit here: this is the most dangerous and powerful level of trap that you would ever throw at even a party of level 20 PCs. The same is true of level 23 monsters.

I think it's safe to say that 51 is probably near the top end by a massive margin.

We also know that even hard traps won't necessarily have higher DCs, rather being gated by prof level instead. A crude trap might be as hard to disable as a complex one, if you know what you're doing. If you don't you can't disable the complex one. For instance.

Right on, that is obviously an extreme example, but still, ACs of 35+ and attack rolls of d20+35+ seem high to me. I know in PF1 you can get ridiculous high, and that PF2 is making it less extreme between characters, but I was hoping they would tone down the numbers a bit.

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
Right on, that is obviously an extreme example, but still, ACs of 35+ and attack rolls of d20+35+ seem high to me. I know in PF1 you can get ridiculous high, and that PF2 is making it less extreme between characters, but I was hoping they would tone down the numbers a bit.

That is toned down compared to some of the possible PF1 numbers. And it's a +35 at 20th level only, it's a lot lower for most of your career.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Right on, that is obviously an extreme example, but still, ACs of 35+ and attack rolls of d20+35+ seem high to me. I know in PF1 you can get ridiculous high, and that PF2 is making it less extreme between characters, but I was hoping they would tone down the numbers a bit.
That is toned down compared to some of the possible PF1 numbers. And it's a +35 at 20th level only, it's a lot lower for most of your career.

I already mentioned PF1 numbers potentially getting ridiculous, and the character gap.

True, though, it seems most games are in the 1-10th level range, I hear; so let's take a nice level, like 7th:

Level +7, Ability Score +5, Proficiency (master) +2, +2 Item = +16.
Something around there, does that seem right?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
I already mentioned PF1 numbers potentially getting ridiculous, and the character gap.

Yeah, just striving for clarity.

Chest Rockwell wrote:

True, though, it seems most games are in the 1-10th level range, I hear; so let's take a nice level, like 7th:

Level +7, Ability Score +5, Proficiency (master) +2, +2 Item = +16.
Something around there, does that seem right?

Ability score won't hit +5 until 10th level, so more like +15, but otherwise, yeah, that's about right. Of course, that's a completely maxed bonus, the kind you'll have in something like 3 things at most (Attack, Save, and one Skill).

That's is doable on a max Con Fighter with the Athletics skill and very little else, most character will have one or two such maximized bonuses at most, and many might have none at all.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ability score won't hit +5 until 10th level

Oh, right, yeah, of course, you can raise your 18 to 19 at 5th-level, but you must wait until 10th-level to get that 20.

So, we're looking at a like a +12 to +15 sort of range for 7th-level characters?

What would be the ramifications of a houserule, where instead of + Level, it is + 1/2 Level, and critical success is DC + 5 and such?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
Oh, right, yeah, of course, you can raise your 18 to 19 at 5th-level, but you must wait until 10th-level to get that 20.

Yup.

Chest Rockwell wrote:
So, we're looking at a like a +12 to +15 sort of range for 7th-level characters?

For stuff they're good at. Stuff they aren't specialized in is more in the +5 to +10 range.

I mean, to get higher than +10, you need a Stat of 18+, Expert in the thing in question and a stat of 16+, Master and a 14+, or an Item giving a bonus. Those are pretty stringent requirements and few PCs are gonna have them for all that many things (they'll have them in at least one Save most times, probably in their primary attack, and probably a few skills based on their main stat).

Chest Rockwell wrote:
What would be the ramifications of a houserule, where instead of + Level, it is + 1/2 Level, and critical success is DC + 5 and such?

Changing what number you need to get a crit (which is, bear in mind, consistent across levels) is completely unnecessary and has huge and unfortunate math repercussions. I strongly advise against it.

Changing it to 1/2 level has almost no mechanical or mathematical impact at all as long as you do it to all NPCs and Monsters as well, though it makes magic items and the like a much bigger percentage of your bonus. Still, it works entirely fine, the only real change being that level (for PCs and NPCs alike) matters less, making hordes of low level foes a bigger threat and allowing the PCs to potentially take on slightly higher level opposition.

The big issue is that it works exactly the same the vast majority of the time and involves redoing a lot of the math. So you're doing a lot of work for what amounts to a minor aesthetic consideration.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Oh, right, yeah, of course, you can raise your 18 to 19 at 5th-level, but you must wait until 10th-level to get that 20.

Yup.

Chest Rockwell wrote:
So, we're looking at a like a +12 to +15 sort of range for 7th-level characters?

For stuff they're good at. Stuff they aren't specialized in is more in the +5 to +10 range.

I mean, to get higher than +10, you need a Stat of 18+, Expert in the thing in question and a stat of 16+, Master and a 14+, or an Item giving a bonus. Those are pretty stringent requirements and few PCs are gonna have them for all that many things (they'll have them in at least one Save most times, probably in their primary attack, and probably a few skills based on their main stat).

Chest Rockwell wrote:
What would be the ramifications of a houserule, where instead of + Level, it is + 1/2 Level, and critical success is DC + 5 and such?

Changing what number you need to get a crit (which is, bear in mind, consistent across levels) is completely unnecessary and has huge and unfortunate math repercussions. I strongly advise against it.

Changing it to 1/2 level has almost no mechanical or mathematical impact at all as long as you do it to all NPCs and Monsters as well, though it makes magic items and the like a much bigger percentage of your bonus. Still, it works entirely fine, the only real change being that level (for PCs and NPCs alike) matters less, making hordes of low level foes a bigger threat and allowing the PCs to potentially take on slightly higher level opposition.

The big issue is that it works exactly the same the vast majority of the time and involves redoing a lot of the math. So you're doing a lot of work for what amounts to a minor aesthetic consideration.

Ah, cool, right on, so, keep critical DCs at +10. Though, +1/2 Level is cool, but, obviously, adjust everything accordingly.

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
Ah, cool, right on, so, keep critical DCs at +10. Though, +1/2 Level is cool, but, obviously, adjust everything accordingly.

Yup. That'd work fine. So does removing level entirely if you want full-on bounded accuracy.

In either case you may want to adjust some static DCs as well, but it's very doable.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Ah, cool, right on, so, keep critical DCs at +10. Though, +1/2 Level is cool, but, obviously, adjust everything accordingly.

Yup. That'd work fine. So does removing level entirely if you want full-on bounded accuracy.

In either case you may want to adjust some static DCs as well, but it's very doable.

Interesting, so, the only bonuses would come from ability score, proficiency (-2 to +3), and items, so a max bonus to your d20 roll would be somewhere around +14?

Liberty's Edge

Chest Rockwell wrote:
Interesting, so, the only bonuses would come from ability score, proficiency (-2 to +3), and items, so a max bonus to your d20 roll would be somewhere around +14?

+15 with a stat-boost item, but yes. This isn't my personal favorite style of game and you'd need to work out how many low level enemies are a threat to a level X foe, but it'd work fine mechanically.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chest Rockwell wrote:
Interesting, so, the only bonuses would come from ability score, proficiency (-2 to +3), and items, so a max bonus to your d20 roll would be somewhere around +14?
+15 with a stat-boost item, but yes. This isn't my personal favorite style of game and you'd need to work out how many low level enemies are a threat to a level X foe, but it'd work fine mechanically.

Nice, thanks, I will look forward to doing some crunching and converting. I removed the +1/2 level for 4th Ed and implemented Inherent Bonuses, and it worked beautifully. For 3rd Ed/PF1, I have shifted it to a +1/2 level system (to replace BAB and class saving throw bonuses etc) and use the RAE from Unchained (the few kinks are pretty intuitive to solve).

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