2nd edition woes


Prerelease Discussion

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Slim Jim wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
I don't find it all difficult to flip through books, even during the game. In fact, I find it enjoyable. I like reading the books, especially the physical copies.
Everybody likes reading when they have time to kill; they don't like it when the cadence of play comes to a screeching halt when something needs to be looked up and no one can remember what book it's in or when and where and who-said-what-in-a-FAQ (then out come the horrible electric devices).

But like I said before, this has never before been an issue in my group. Maybe your group is different, but mine would slow down quite a bit if we didn't have rule books to reference; even when people do have laptops on the table, I am always faster to find a rule than they are. And I am not very experienced, so we have to look up rules a lot.

Slim Jim wrote:
Malachandra wrote:
Besides, I am OK with them not having every possible rule in the game in a single book.
That's a straw-man fallacy, as no one has argued for "having every possible rule in the game in a single book." --We certainly don't need the stats for pit fiends in the CRB. We should have the stats for mundane gear. Basically, anything listed in Goods and Services should have an entry just as if it were a weapon. Horses, dogs, and cart-pulling donkeys are very commonly-purchased goods by low-level PCs of all classes, and deserve a few inches of space.

It's not a straw-man for two reasons. First, I am disagreeing with the singular rule you brought up. I don't think there should be rules for a guard dog in the CRB. It's not necessary. We have stats for the things that matter. As NimbleW pointed out, a guard dog can easily be adjudicated on the fly, even for a newer GM. Then you can go find the rules later. No screeching halts necessary. For things like that, I don't think you even need its stats. For a CR 1-ish dog, you can guess it's Perception score to within a point or two very easily. And we all know what a guard dog is supposed to do. Do we need stats to say "It guards your campsite and barks if anything gets too close"?

Second, from what I understand, in the engine you've described, there would be no CRB. The engine is the CRB; everything is available right there. The lack of availability seems to be one of your primary beefs with printed books, so for me to say "I don't think everything needs to be more available then it already is", speaks directly to your argument. The crux of your position is that every rule the system presents needs to be more accessible, and that this could be done by switching to an engine. I disagree.

If everything is linked on a website, so that you can see "this spell summons a Pit Fiend" and that spell has a link to the Pit Fiend, then "having every possible rule in the game in a single book (or location, aka engine)" is exactly what you are arguing.


NimbleW wrote:
And that's a guard dog, I can't even begin to fathom why you'd need any of the stats of a cart-pulling donkey.

The latter is easy: Wolves attack while setting camp, and go after the donkey first. As a GM I need its stats to fairly adjudicate how long the heroes have to save their donkey from the wolves. I've also had Bullette attack the party wagon before, good thing I had the wagon's, and it's horses' stats handy.

Regarding the former, I wouldn't buy a guard-dog from a GM that refused to let me know its relevent statistics*, just like I wouldn't buy a suit of armor if the GM refused to let me look up its statistics. But I wouldn't even ask. If I have a guard-dog, or can summon Fiendish Ravens, I'll have their stat-block in my dosier just like an Animal Companion (or else a link to the bestiary entry for the summoned being if possible).

*Out-of-character that is, and barring common-sense exceptions. My character would obviously know only as much as 'Common Knowledge' dictates in-character. Even though his dog's stat-block is right in front of me.


It's not so much that I refuse to give details, it's more that my players don't think the stats are relevant when buying an animal. They trust that Paizo, and WotC before them, designed the animal in such a way that the stat block could basically function like what people imagine a guard dog to be like. It's got good perception, mediocre combat ability, but can't pull a wagon or be ridden by the fighter. All else is just a bit nit-picky when buying a dog. "Oh, it's only got a +3 to hit? Don't think I'll buy it then"; "Don't you have an animal with +10 on perception instead of +8?"


I respect your players in-character thinking.
Yeah, I'm not into nit-picking the game during play either. But nor do I have that much trust when it comes to NPCs, I've often found that the thing I want to use doesn't even have a stat-block published for it; commonly applied templates most often, but several times I've had to 'build' a dragon because Paizo never got around to providing stat-blocks for all of the age categories.
Even it it is a template with quick-rebuild rules; I'd want everything noted in advance so that I'm not grinding the game to a halt while I recalculate half a dozen important variables.

Shadow Lodge

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Slim Jim wrote:
Beercifer wrote:
Slim Jim, I advise using a laptop or phone while engaged in play. We use Hero Labs at my table, and I use Realm Works between sessions.
When a 3rd party is making money massaging the database, it means that Paizo is forfeiting a revenue stream to middlemen. When the game increasingly becomes a PITA to play without the middleman's software, then the game developer needs to step it up a notch.

Or they can stick to the business model that has kept them in business for over 15 years...

Dark Archive

Cantriped wrote:
I've also had Bullette attack the party wagon before, good thing I had the wagon's, and it's horses' stats handy.

Indeed, it is a good thing for you that you had the information you needed to hand.

If I was to run that encounter (and it does look like fun) then there would be one dead horse per round, the wagon gets broken (but repairable) at the end of round one and smashed to pieces at the end of round three. I have zero interest in looking up wagon stats, assuming I even knew where to look.


amethal wrote:
If I was to run that encounter (and it does look like fun) then there would be one dead horse per round, the wagon gets broken (but repairable) at the end of round one and smashed to pieces at the end of round three. I have zero interest in looking up wagon stats, assuming I even knew where to look.

That is a solid quick-ruling.

The Bullette (2) weren't interested in the wagon, they were 'huungry'... and also a random encounter IIRC. The four horses and covered wagon were suprisingly difficult terrain to maneuver around, and the bullette had the horses boxed in and the road torn up from the start. So the fight kind of dragged on. But they had two melee fighters and a charismatic selective channeling cleric, so the horses survived and they made camp while the fighters collected their loot (one was an armor-craftsman).


Cantriped wrote:
NimbleW wrote:
And that's a guard dog, I can't even begin to fathom why you'd need any of the stats of a cart-pulling donkey.

The latter is easy: Wolves attack while setting camp, and go after the donkey first. As a GM I need its stats to fairly adjudicate how long the heroes have to save their donkey from the wolves. I've also had Bullette attack the party wagon before, good thing I had the wagon's, and it's horses' stats handy.

Regarding the former, I wouldn't buy a guard-dog from a GM that refused to let me know its relevent statistics*, just like I wouldn't buy a suit of armor if the GM refused to let me look up its statistics. But I wouldn't even ask. If I have a guard-dog, or can summon Fiendish Ravens, I'll have their stat-block in my dosier just like an Animal Companion (or else a link to the bestiary entry for the summoned being if possible).

*Out-of-character that is, and barring common-sense exceptions. My character would obviously know only as much as 'Common Knowledge' dictates in-character. Even though his dog's stat-block is right in front of me.

Well, if in-game animals are more similar to their real life counterparts than in past editions, the donkey may actually be able to stand up to the wolfpack (for a time, at least). But this only illustrates the point that it would be nice to have the donkey's statistics. However, I feel that this is a somewhat niche scenario, and would be fine if the donkey's stats did not appear in the playtest.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also PF2 seems to be a lot closer to the easy ability to have stats on hand for anything you need. If its anything like SF the Bestiary will have easy tables to pull up baseline stats for anything in less than 30s.

Players want a Guard Dog and there aren't stats. No worries, its a CR 0 Combatant. Done. If they get more invested I can quickly add the animal templates and maybe give it a special ability (Reaction to bite enemy who attacks "Master", Expert Assurance on Perception) upping the total creation time to 45s.

And because "monsters not playing by PC rules" was mentioned as a bad thing on the last page. They weren't doing that either in PF1. Everytime a monster has an ability something along the lines of "I'm a Monster: +2 to X" was the devs bodging the monster rules to get the mosnter where they wanted. Natural Armour being the most common culprit.


with my previous edits being eaten (took too long catching up on the thread i suppose):

i for one don't think the playtest will change much before final product, since they're advertising hardcover copies of the playtest right this very second.

on the topic of engine vs fast and loose physical books: i don't have the luxury of my players being at a physical table for us to flip trough books together at (with them being in different states, and a few in different countries entirely), and personally would love a collected repository of all the rules and stats in one place--which between d20pfsrd and roll20 add-ons is already mostly a thing, let's be honest--since my players enjoy attempting obscure or unorthodox things, and playing fast and loose just doesn't cut it. having to look up how that would actually work between a bunch of pdfs pretty much instantly kills whatever pace we'd managed to pick up.
personally i dont understand the general vibe in thread that anything that isn't physical dice and books are somehow bad and a distraction, and that electronic game aids aren't helpful or needed when you can just like flip through the dozen books you have near-memorized to totally find it faster.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
AndIMustMask wrote:
i for one don't think the playtest will change much before final product, since they're advertising hardcover copies of the playtest right this very second.

There were three versions of the playtest rules that were available: a fancy commemorative hardcover, a regular hard cover, and a soft cover.

I don't think that having three different bindings on the temporary rules means that the rules aren't temporary.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
AndIMustMask wrote:
i for one don't think the playtest will change much before final product, since they're advertising hardcover copies of the playtest right this very second.

You'll also see while that the books are listed on the site, the are marked "Unavailable", and you cannot order them. These books were printed to order and will not be printed again.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
AndIMustMask wrote:
i for one don't think the playtest will change much before final product, since they're advertising hardcover copies of the playtest right this very second.

As stated above, the hardcover books are identical to the softcover and go on sale August 2nd. It's just a different binding, not a more permanent edition.

From the FAQ:

Quote:
The print edition of the Playtest Rulebook is available in three editions: softcover, hardcover, and deluxe hardcover with foil-debossed faux-leather cover and ribbon bookmark.


AndIMustMask wrote:

with my previous edits being eaten (took too long catching up on the thread i suppose):

i for one don't think the playtest will change much before final product, since they're advertising hardcover copies of the playtest right this very second.

on the topic of engine vs fast and loose physical books: i don't have the luxury of my players being at a physical table for us to flip trough books together at (with them being in different states, and a few in different countries entirely), and personally would love a collected repository of all the rules and stats in one place--which between d20pfsrd and roll20 add-ons is already mostly a thing, let's be honest--since my players enjoy attempting obscure or unorthodox things, and playing fast and loose just doesn't cut it. having to look up how that would actually work between a bunch of pdfs pretty much instantly kills whatever pace we'd managed to pick up.
personally i dont understand the general vibe in thread that anything that isn't physical dice and books are somehow bad and a distraction, and that electronic game aids aren't helpful or needed when you can just like flip through the dozen books you have near-memorized to totally find it faster.

I'm certainly not against electronic aids such as PDF's and databases. I find them to be a distraction in game, but I just nudge my players towards keeping electronics off the table; it's not a hard rule. One of my players always has a laptop on the table, but since he doesn't let it distract him and is very engaged in the game I let him play how he wants.

The sticking point for me is that the engine idea would get rid of individual books (specifically physical copies) entirely, converting the entire system over to a database with no other way to access the material.


Malachandra wrote:
The sticking point for me is that the engine idea would get rid of individual books (specifically physical copies) entirely, converting the entire system over to a database with no other way to access the material.

I'm pretty sure Nethys will still be around, and there will still be a market for books among the types who are interested in "commemorative hardcovers".

On the flip side are the players who don't want to lug a dozen books to PFS. (And, if they went to watermarked PDFs, then they've already moved away from physical product.)


I bought the softcover Playtest books as momentos. Otherwise I'm going to switch to an all digital library for Pathfinder 2.


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

I like to use both books and PDFs side by side, depending on purpose. I keep all the PDFs on my iPad which is very handy, especially with a PDF reader that can quickly do full text searches across the entire library. During actual gaming I prefer to use the actual books for rules access while I have the adventure up on my iPad.

I have no use for the database idea. While that is certainly useful for a character generator application, It has no merit for me for running the actual game.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm the reverse of Zaister. :-) I get the physical books so I can read them and process the information, and use websites like the d20 and Archives of Nethys for quick reference in-game. (I don't really use PDFs unless that's the only format the thing comes in, which isn't uncommon for a lot of 3rd party stuff.)

A system that gets rid of physical books entirely would be one I wouldn't play. I have a hard enough time focusing on PDFs for work stuff; I wouldn't find it enjoyable to do so in my free time.


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Meraki wrote:

I'm the reverse of Zaister. :-) I get the physical books so I can read them and process the information, and use websites like the d20 and Archives of Nethys for quick reference in-game. (I don't really use PDFs unless that's the only format the thing comes in, which isn't uncommon for a lot of 3rd party stuff.)

A system that gets rid of physical books entirely would be one I wouldn't play. I have a hard enough time focusing on PDFs for work stuff; I wouldn't find it enjoyable to do so in my free time.

I'd agree with you if the physical books retained their usefulness for any length of time. With the frequency of updates, errata and other things they become far too unreliable as actual reference material before too long. A pdf gets upgraded 100% while a physical book at best has a bunch of printed up extra pages stuffed into the back filled with easy to overlook and miss info.

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