First Impressions


General Discussion


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So, I zipped through the book and looked up the most important topics to me, and here's what I got away with:

- Spellcasting has been nerfed with a flaming baseball bat with nails sticking out in all directions and barbed wire wrapped around all that. There's not a single spell I've looked up which did not have its duration or effect severely nerfed. Casting defensively is gone. Defensive spells are way worse than before. I'll have to do actual math to see how well spellcasters can defend themselves before saying if the nerfs were too much, but initial impressions are baaaaaad. :(

- Resting is as usual, with 8 hours of full rest being required to recover spells, resonance and abilities. Natural HP recovery is a bit better if you have a high constitution bonus. But it's far away from Starfinders method. Combined with more limited resources, that means that the 15 minute adventuring day is probably now a 10 minute adventuring day.

- Summon Monster almost only has neutral (30%) or evil (67,5%) monsters on the list. Thanks for that, much fun to play a good-aligned spellcaster who wants to summon things. The only good-aligned monster is on the 10th spell level. -.-

- Oh, did I mention that spell durations have been nerfed? Because stuff like Heroism (10 minutes) or Mirror Image (1 minute) won't last you for several fights. Okay, Heroism will, but 10 minutes is far away from 10 min/level as it was before. Again, shortening the adventuring day.

I'm not a fan of a "venture into a dungeon for 10 minute, run away" playstyle. So far it seems the devs have shifted gameplay in that direction.


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Oh, and the idea that you can use Medicine to be the groups healer is also a dud, since after using Medicine once to heal someone (regardless if it was successful or not to boot), the target is "bolstered", i.e. immune to a second application. And that only if someone took the Battle Medic skill feat, otherwise you can't use Medicine at all to heal hit points.

So, by every metric people's fear that one player needs to be ushered into being a healing battery seems to have been vindicated. I couldn't find for the love of me how a Barbarian can be a group healer, as we were told by one of the devs. At least not if you want to do more than one encounter per day, that is.

The fear of resonance being another hard cap to how long you can adventure per day has been fully vindicated, it seems. :-/


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I revise, everything seems to have been nerfed. Racial abilities are now splattered out over several levels as ancestry feats and seem nerfed in their potency as well. Due to RL stuff I won't really get into classes, but I suspect I will find more nerfs there as well.

I thought people who want to play low-powered games all went to play 5E? I'm not sure what benefit we get from a second version of that around.


Am I seeing correctly that the most spells you get per level is 3? Maybe 4 for some?


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Yep, four for specialists and sorcerers. That's still okay, given how cantrips scale. The combination of less spells and severe nerfs to the spells themselves (especially in duration) is what galls me, because it means that overall the metagame is shifting to much shorter adventuring days. Which is something I've really disliked already in the current version of the game and now it's getting exacerbated.


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magnuskn wrote:
- Summon Monster almost only has neutral (30%) or evil (67,5%) monsters on the list. Thanks for that, much fun to play a good-aligned spellcaster who wants to summon things. The only good-aligned monster is on the 10th spell level. -.-

If I had to wager, I'd say this is on purpose to stop players from using it, while leaving it an option for enemies.

Lots of summons/minions/etc slows the game down, to the point they gave the setting an unreasonable hard-on hate for Undead that mostly just stopped white necromancers from being a thing due to minions being too hard for the system to do.

Seems like their answer was not to make summoning better/easier/more streamlined, but to just take it out of the player toolbox almost entirely.


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Hargert wrote:
Am I seeing correctly that the most spells you get per level is 3? Maybe 4 for some?

Wizards have tricks to extend this with arcane focus feats to allow an extra use and chain uses, the temporary wand feat, and a familiar option (last available to lots of people).


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Edymnion wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
- Summon Monster almost only has neutral (30%) or evil (67,5%) monsters on the list. Thanks for that, much fun to play a good-aligned spellcaster who wants to summon things. The only good-aligned monster is on the 10th spell level. -.-

If I had to wager, I'd say this is on purpose to stop players from using it, while leaving it an option for enemies.

Lots of summons/minions/etc slows the game down, to the point they gave the setting an unreasonable hard-on hate for Undead that mostly just stopped white necromancers from being a thing due to minions being too hard for the system to do.

Seems like their answer was not to make summoning better/easier/more streamlined, but to just take it out of the player toolbox almost entirely.

Summons also require an action to concentrate and only get two actions, so they'll be less popular for that reason.


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Just a quick thought magnuskn, I'm thinking the idea of "nerf" really only works in virtue of the system itself. So, I suppose you are viewing the idea of "nerf" here according to PF1 (a ten year old system). Once you have a chance to play IN the system, my sense is that it will feel different.

Just thinking out loud, as it were.


I haven't even opened the books yet (working), but unless there're a lot of good-aligned creatures in the Bestiary, it might be that the summon monster tables don't have them because there simply aren't many good-aligned creatures available.


The Wizard school powers are surprisingly weak, so many two action minor buff/debuffs with 1 round durations that don't heighten into anything better.

Scarab Sages

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The lack of any options for undead mastery type necromancer makes me sad. And given how weak basic summons are, I’m wondering if summomers are even going to be viable builds anymore.


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Vigmortis wrote:
The lack of any options for undead mastery type necromancer makes me sad. And given how weak basic summons are, I’m wondering if summomers are even going to be viable builds anymore.

I think they will because other offensive options are also really weak, so summons give you staying power in a combat. Open with a summon, concentrate and cast a cantrip the rest of the combat. Spell efficient, if nothing else.


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Elorebaen wrote:

Just a quick thought magnuskn, I'm thinking the idea of "nerf" really only works in virtue of the system itself. So, I suppose you are viewing the idea of "nerf" here according to PF1 (a ten year old system). Once you have a chance to play IN the system, my sense is that it will feel different.

Just thinking out loud, as it were.

Definitely. But the lessening of the total scope of the game is not something I'm celebrating.


magnuskn wrote:
I couldn't find for the love of me how a Barbarian can be a group healer, as we were told by one of the devs. At least not if you want to do more than one encounter per day, that is.

That was eventually clarified in that the Barbarian in question had multi-classed into Cleric.

So it wasn't really that a Barbarian can be a group healer, but that a Multi-Class Cleric can be a healer. Which should have been stated outright by the dev, not presented as "any class can be a healer" like it was.


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modus0 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I couldn't find for the love of me how a Barbarian can be a group healer, as we were told by one of the devs. At least not if you want to do more than one encounter per day, that is.

That was eventually clarified in that the Barbarian in question had multi-classed into Cleric.

So it wasn't really that a Barbarian can be a group healer, but that a Multi-Class Cleric can be a healer. Which should have been stated outright by the dev, not presented as "any class can be a healer" like it was.

Thank you, that clears that up. So, "need a healbot or bust" is in 2E. Great.


I know Goblins are Paizo's bread & butter, but why on earth are they getting a Charisma boost as a standard? And they get to skip the Str penalty every Small race usually gets? Dex/Int, Dex/Con, or even Int/Con would have been preferable Boosts imho, seeing as they're agile, crafty, and known to stomach literal garbage.

Also don't like how all races mature by 20 years of age. But that's a personal quibble.

Shadow Lodge

extinct_fizz wrote:

I know Goblins are Paizo's bread & butter, but why on earth are they getting a Charisma boost as a standard? And they get to skip the Str penalty every Small race usually gets? Dex/Int, Dex/Con, or even Int/Con would have been preferable Boosts imho, seeing as they're agile, crafty, and known to stomach literal garbage.

Also don't like how all races mature by 20 years of age. But that's a personal quibble.

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Grand Lodge

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modus0 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I couldn't find for the love of me how a Barbarian can be a group healer, as we were told by one of the devs. At least not if you want to do more than one encounter per day, that is.

That was eventually clarified in that the Barbarian in question had multi-classed into Cleric.

So it wasn't really that a Barbarian can be a group healer, but that a Multi-Class Cleric can be a healer. Which should have been stated outright by the dev, not presented as "any class can be a healer" like it was.

It was established in the Multiclassing thread that the actual healing mostly came from sources outside of the Cleric class, with that mostly being a backup. The Cleric thing was not the main thing enabling the character to heal.


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Nitro~Nina wrote:
modus0 wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
I couldn't find for the love of me how a Barbarian can be a group healer, as we were told by one of the devs. At least not if you want to do more than one encounter per day, that is.

That was eventually clarified in that the Barbarian in question had multi-classed into Cleric.

So it wasn't really that a Barbarian can be a group healer, but that a Multi-Class Cleric can be a healer. Which should have been stated outright by the dev, not presented as "any class can be a healer" like it was.

It was established in the Multiclassing thread that the actual healing mostly came from sources outside of the Cleric class, with that mostly being a backup. The Cleric thing was not the main thing enabling the character to heal.

Alright, we got the rules now. What is it helping the Barbarian/Cleric heal outside of the Cleric class? Medicine? Once per day. Consumables? Runs into Resonance issues really fast. I'm not seeing anything else so far.


Cutting down spells per day is one of the parts I like; I house-ruled out bonus spells from ability scores long ago, 36 spells at 20th-level is quite enough for one day.


Vigmortis wrote:
The lack of any options for undead mastery type necromancer makes me sad. And given how weak basic summons are, I’m wondering if summomers are even going to be viable builds anymore.

All i've found to create undead is Ghoulish Cravings or a botched resurrection check. So if you tie someone up and give them ghouls fever, wait for stage 6 to kill them(assuming they survive the damage and fail the fort saves), and then cast improved command undead and if they crit fail then you could have a single ghoul of up to lvl-3 for 24 hours. Obviously not exactly fleshed out, hope this isn't all 2nd edition has for necromancers.


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Overall my initial optimism, after the Starfinder rules were more or less an evolution of Pathfinder 1E along the lines of the 3.X skeleton, has dissipated. This seems to be "Pathfinder on training wheels".


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My first impression is, console game on paper. But, I will give it a fair shake.


Starfinder Superscriber

I am glad that spell resistance (unless I'm missing it) is gone and has basically been folded into saving throws. It seems creatures that previously would have had SR have a bonus to saves against magic spells which makes perfect sense. It inherently increases the chance of a Critical Success by 5% which seems to usually function the same as SR would. Very good simplification which probably maths out the same (or similar) to SR while not feeling as bad.


Edymnion wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
- Summon Monster almost only has neutral (30%) or evil (67,5%) monsters on the list. Thanks for that, much fun to play a good-aligned spellcaster who wants to summon things. The only good-aligned monster is on the 10th spell level. -.-

If I had to wager, I'd say this is on purpose to stop players from using it, while leaving it an option for enemies.

Lots of summons/minions/etc slows the game down, to the point they gave the setting an unreasonable hard-on hate for Undead that mostly just stopped white necromancers from being a thing due to minions being too hard for the system to do.

Seems like their answer was not to make summoning better/easier/more streamlined, but to just take it out of the player toolbox almost entirely.

I just thought it was because they didn't want to make generic summon monster stats or make specific stats for a lot of good-aligned monsters in the playtest bestiary. Or are there monsters on that list that aren't in the bestiary? Haven't combed through that yet, still going through the CRB spells and equipment.
magnuskn wrote:
What is it helping the Barbarian/Cleric heal outside of the Cleric class? Medicine? Once per day. Consumables? Runs into Resonance issues really fast. I'm not seeing anything else so far.

There is also a nature skill feat for some healing as well. Your point still stands, its 1/day and heals less with less scaling. But it is a little more for the less clerically inclined.

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