Cutting down on rules repetitiveness


General Discussion


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I've been reading the Core Rulebook now; I haven't even gotten through the entirety of the Alchemist class, and I'm getting sick to my stomach of all the same repeated stuff over and over again throughout the book. I end up skimming through stuff half the time because I eyeball certain entries for key words that might be different from the same repeated text, and I could potentially miss important rules because of having to wash through all of the same rules phrases over and over and over again.

There are numerous entries that say when and where you get attribute boosts, when you get feats, etc. and I'm not even through two chapters worth of information! On top of that, this sort of stuff is already covered in the general rules, I don't need numerous entries in different places of identical formatting telling me something that the general rules already conveyed once (or twice, within the same entry!) before. I understand that they want to make sure I have the basic mechanics down, but this is almost too hand-hold-ey for my tastes, and there is tons of pagespace they can save by cutting down the same numerous repetitions of rules phrases that were already once covered in the generic rules. In fact, it would make more sense and be more intuitive if a subject that wasn't identical was clarified in the relevant description as being different, and expanding on how that difference is.

I also remember that one of the design goals of PF2 was to cut down on referencing entries XYZ for all of the spells and abilities that existed that call for identical mechanics; wouldn't this be a similar issue that should be addressed under the same flagstaff of "Not having to reference the same rule over and over again?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am having similar issues.

The worst about repeated text I feel are Ability Boosts and Ancestry Feats in each class and the Basic/Expert/Master <insert class name> Spellcasting from the multiclassing rules.

I like that they show them on the table, but really am not so fond of the same repeated text in every class entry.


I have to agree. I naturally skim when I'm reading, and even though I'm trying *really* hard not to skim through the rules, I keep finding my eyes glaze over when I read for the 5th time that you gain General feats at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter, or that you can use Religion to Identify Magic (you can study an area you know has magic.....) and it's the exact same text as Arcana, Nature, and Occultism. It's making it way harder to find anything that might be different, and it's cutting out tons of space that could have, you know, actual content in it.

Here's an idea for formatting a lot of the repetitive skill uses (looking at you, money-makers and Magic knowledges):

Skill Use Name
Description of ability

You may use your *skill names listed*, **, or ** skill bonus for this Activity. The GM may decide that certain skills may have slightly limited or different aspects depending on the situation.

There you go. Now I'm not zoning out reading through skill descriptions, and you guys can rename 'Class Feats' into 'Class Powers' without worrying about the extra letter.


The problem comes from the people who skip those sections to just read the one class or the one spell, trust me it happens. shudders...


KuniUjito wrote:
The problem comes from the people who skip those sections to just read the one class or the one spell, trust me it happens. shudders...

That still makes no sense to me; people who are reading the classes or spells might want to understand the basic class rules before actually reading the classes themselves, before they make misinformed guesses. After all, it's a whole new edition, class rules and multiclassing and all that fun stuff has changed existentially.

Even if they don't, and then begin reading them, realizing something is up, the initial response should be "Well, what does every class get starting out?" And not "Wow, this class sucks, I'm not going to play this game because I read a class and don't like it. In fact, I'm going to complain on the boards about it!" that I think such hasty people might make.

I mean, we could cut down on so much page space here that we might actually be able to make an actual Orc ancestry to go along with the Elf ancestry and the Human Half-Elf/Half-Orc sources will actually have more support as a result.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
KuniUjito wrote:
The problem comes from the people who skip those sections to just read the one class or the one spell, trust me it happens. shudders...

Not sure why the rules should cater to people who can't be bothered to read them. "Oh, you didn't know you could do this because you didn't read where it says you can? Maybe you should try READING, then."

Also agree that there's plenty of redundancy that could be fixed. Could collapse Basic Dogma/Maneuver/Trickery/Arcana/Whatever into

Basic Outside Training wrote:

(or whatever the writers come up with)

Prereq: any Multiclass Dedication feat
When you take this feat, chose a class for which you possess the Multiclass Dedication feat. You gain a level 1 or 2 feat belonging to that class.
Special: You can select this feat more than once. It's effects do not stack. Each time you select this feat, it applies to a different class.

and Advanced Dogma/Maneuver/Trickery/Arcana/Whatever into

Advanced Outside Training wrote:

Prereq: Basic Outside Training

When you take this feat, chose a class for which you possess Basic Outside Training. Gain one feat from that class. For the purposes of meeting its prerequisites, your level in the selected class is equal to half your level.
Special: You can select this feat more than once. Each time you select it, you gain a new feat from the selected class.

HOLD UP: why is Advanced Dogma "equal to your actual level" when the other three are "equal to half your level"? Is this a typo or intentional? This is an example of why the rampant redundancy is bad: I'm desensitized from reading the same text over and over that almost missed an exception.

So add to Advanced Outside Training:
Quote:

Special: If the selected class is Cleric, your level in that class is instead equal to your actual level.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I fully agree with this. The example that stood out to me the most was each time a new type of feat was introduced, you get this 2 paragraph block:

"Some of the feats in this section are marked with symbols that denote how you can use them during play. Full rules for actions, activities, free actions, and reactions can be found on page 296.
Ancestry feats list a number on the same line as the feat’s name, indicating the minimum level your character must be to select the feat. In most cases, ancestry feats are labeled with “Feat 1,” meaning that your character can select the feat at 1st level or anytime you gain an
ancestry feat thereafter. Ancestry feats also sometimes list prerequisites—these are additional requirements that your character must fulfill before she can select that feat."

Just explain feats once, and then you don't need to repeat this over and over. I wish it was just this one example, but this is littered throughout the book unfortunately.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I also want to note the contrary situation with powers. Now each of the powers belongs to only one class. However they all are moved to Spell Descriptions chapter, making it harder to read. It is the same as if all class feat desctiptions were moved to the Feats chapter. Very inconvenient if those things are not common for many classes.

The designers seem just not to follow the design rules they made.
I have to point out similar issue with polymorph spells. Most of them are ...form spells that share the rules with only numbers changing. Those rules could be generallized in the Polymorph section in spell traits, but the best solution is to combine all those spells into one (or three to distinguish utility form and arcane list form) as it was done for summon monster, heal and all other spells.

For the initial atribute/feat/etc. topic , I really miss a convenience table which would show those things everybody get. This can also include spells slots table it is totally the same for all casters. It would be a lot easier for class entries describing only differences from this general table.


Noxobar wrote:
I also want to note the contrary situation with powers. Now each of the powers belongs to only one class. However they all are moved to Spell Descriptions chapter, making it harder to read. It is the same as if all class feat desctiptions were moved to the Feats chapter. Very inconvenient if those things are not common for many classes.

I think this speaks to their future design intentions. They printed powers separate from the (currently, only) class that gives them because they intend to allow multiple classes to get them in the future. They explicitly didn't do this for class feats because class feats aren't really "feats" as we've come to know them (feats in 3.PF were, with very few exceptions, not class-gated), they're really class features.

Scarab Sages

houser2112 wrote:
They printed powers separate from the (currently, only) class that gives them because they intend to allow multiple classes to get them in the future.

Well, the archetypes also allow multiple classes to get access to feats of particular class. Nothing different. By the way, there are even the same class feats that belong to different classes. So it would be logical to have them separated too.

But usually a particular class feat and particular power is referred to some base class. For me it seems to be more convenient to have both collected inside class description. But I am also OK with separation. I just do not like it when they are presented differently.

houser2112 wrote:
They explicitly didn't do this for class feats because class feats aren't really "feats" as we've come to know them (feats in 3.PF were, with very few exceptions, not class-gated), they're really class features.

The class feats are feats by the rules, so as ancestry feats, general feats and so on. They all are treated the same but having different traits. "3.PF" has nothing to do with it, this is a different game.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Can we PLEASE just make all Powers LITERALLY Spells? Pretty please?

Simply make them Uncommon or Rare Spells that are granted by a Class Ability, and that way we can just keep everything simple instead of having to differentiate between Spells and Powers, it's pointless, hell most Powers use SPELL Points to function anyhow.


Noxobar wrote:
houser2112 wrote:
They printed powers separate from the (currently, only) class that gives them because they intend to allow multiple classes to get them in the future.
Well, the archetypes also allow multiple classes to get access to feats of particular class. Nothing different. By the way, there are even the same class feats that belong to different classes. So it would be logical to have them separated too.

Archetypes require a dedication feat to qualify for, which explicitly points you to the class. Archetypes "break the rules" for class feats. There has to be a reason they chose to reprint certain feats for each class they intend to get them rather than put them in one place, when page space was something they explicitly said is a concern (and is further supported by keywording as heavily as they have done).

Noxobar wrote:
houser2112 wrote:
They explicitly didn't do this for class feats because class feats aren't really "feats" as we've come to know them (feats in 3.PF were, with very few exceptions, not class-gated), they're really class features.
The class feats are feats by the rules, so as ancestry feats, general feats and so on. They all are treated the same but having different traits. "3.PF" has nothing to do with it, this is a different game.

Is it a different game, really? They're calling it Pathfinder 2, and they're not going to keep supporting Pathfinder 1, so comparisons are valid. So, despite being called "feats", class feats function like class features, because many of the things class feats do were features in 3.PF. They even said this was a consideration with class design, touting the benefits of modularity over the old hard-coded class features.

Scarab Sages

houser2112 wrote:


Is it a different game, really?

Well, the rules are different, so yes, it is.

houser2112 wrote:

They're calling it Pathfinder 2, and they're not going to keep supporting Pathfinder 1, so comparisons are valid.

You can compare, but you shouldn't base your conclusions on the old rules, because you have new ones. Many terms are more ore less redefined.

houser2112 wrote:
So, despite being called "feats", class feats function like class features, because many of the things class feats do were features in 3.PF. They even said this was a consideration with class design, touting the benefits of modularity over the old hard-coded class features.

Class feats function like feats work now: you choose them from a specific list when your class tells you to do so. Note that in previous edition it was not your class that gave you feat in general, as I remember. Now gaining a feat is explicitly a class feature.

Class features are fixed as they were before.
Note that even archetypes do not change them as before, they just give you access to new class feats.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Cutting down on rules repetitiveness All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion