And PF2 just lost us...


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Basically I brought my kids into role playing after a long hiatus from it myself (old AD&D player) with the pathfinder beginner box.

We played through the entirety of Rise of the Runelords, started Kingmaker, and the finished with Wrath of the Righteous where my son “broke” the system and we stopped PF1.

My kids have learnt and played D&D 5e, Iron Kingdoms RPG, fantasy flights Star Wars RPG, Cypher system, and even a couple of OSR games.

We are currently on book 5 of Curse of the Crimson Throne, which I convert on the fly to D&D5e.

My kids were excited to play in the Playtest and see if we could come back to their first game, pathfinder.

My daughter and I sat down last night with a printed character sheet and she decided to make a paladin.

It went well at first, taking her through the various ability bits, the choosing feats for ancestry (elf). Despite the annoyances of jumping back and forth for the feats and overview, then off to spells to learn lay on hands (rather than be written in the class), working out the weapon property options for righteous ally, we were going well until we got to one of the class feat choices, which stated something along the lines of “lay of hands loses the manipulate trait”.

She looked at me and asked “what the hell does that even mean?”. No idea, probably something related to attacks of opportunity was my guess. I wasn’t even sure where to go looking.

She lost interest immediately.

We spent nearly an hour trying to do this, jumping around to look things up, using the PDF (our books haven’t arrived).

We discussed the whole thing with my son, and he basically rolled his eyes. This is the one who breaks the game with clever, essentially min maxing, so he loves systems and he said “sounds like too much work for the fun after”.

We are bowing out. Good luck Paizo, we love your APs and will keep playing them for years to come, but PF is not for us.


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I can see that, I find the Rulebook not much fun to read, and too much like hard work (very cluttered and granular).


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I feel like this is an issue with how these books are laid out. If you read through them from start to finish you see referenced hundreds of things that you don't know what they mean yet until you get to the crunchy bits at the end.

When it comes to introducing less experienced players, it's best to read through the book first so you can explain what the spells do and what manipulate means when you're working through the class chapter. I feel like every book like this needs to be read through at least twice, once just passing over everything you don't understand yet and subsequently for comprehension.

For the record "Manipulate" means "you use your hands to do this" so a Paladin cannot normally lay on hands while holding something (or two somethings) in both hands, so the feat means you can lay on hands with your hands full. Pathfinder 1st edition had some rules bugaboos with "what you're doing with your hands" mattering, so we're trying to make these things unambiguous now.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jim Sharples wrote:
I wasn’t even sure where to go looking.

Appendix 1: Traits at the back of the book. It's actually easier to find it using a PDF than a book because you can just search the text for "manipulate."


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The good news is that there is literally an overabundance of low crunch, low engagement games out there. D&D being first and foremost. There's literally so much choice it makes your head spin.

Now, if you want crunch-heavy high fantasy... you're kind of out of luck. It's a good thing PF2 went that way, because we didn't need yet another fast! simple! easy! game. So while I'm sorry you're not going to be able to enjoy this, I also feel it's kind of inevitable. Not every game is for everyone, and your preference is actually incredibly popular and extremely well served.


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I think it is a good point being made here.

Essentially, why are we getting these lingo-esque words mixed into our abilities. It makes reading the book really confusing.

(Actually the poster above me said it better. The book isn't fun to read.)


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I strongly agree the rulebook is not pleasant to read. If I am looking up something after I understand the game, this organization is good, even great. However,while I'm trying to learn the game? It's complete suffering. Having to flip to the spells section and back to compare my wizard school powers or cleric domain powers is just unenjoyable. Is it more consistent to have them with the spells? Honestly, yes. But is it better for a first read? Hell no.

In general, the rulebook has a lot of things not-where-they're-relevant, but instead has them in a database of all the things of that kind, and you're constantly told to refer to that database. It's very logical but exceedingly dense and frustrating. On a first read, it violates the same design rules that make web designers try to make everything take as few clicks as possible. It's exhausting to read through even a single class, because you're sent to the far corners of the book -multiple times- to read even a single page. I do not like it very much.

Mustachioed wrote:

I think it is a good point being made here.

Essentially, why are we getting these lingo-esque words mixed into our abilities. It makes reading the book really confusing.

(Actually the poster above me said it better. The book isn't fun to read.)

Basically, clarity. When done properly, adding jargon makes intent clearer and helps close gaps between RAW and RAI. Unfortunately, when the jargon is unintuitive, the results are very offputting.

I don't feel the jargon is clear or intuitive right now. A lot of distinct keywords gloss as the same (unseen and concealed, deadly and fatal), and the keywords aren't even always identifiable as keywords because they're rarely capitalized or bolded. In fact, the first time you see a keyword, you might not even know it's a keyword -- and that's bad. Even if you don't know its meaning, it should be obvious a keyword is a keyword.


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I think the long and short of it is that things like "Core rulebooks" are like cookbooks- they are fundamentally intended as reference material, and while the normal way to read books is "from start to finish" these things are intended as reference materials.

A key difference though is that a cookbook presumes you already know something about cooking (like what an oven is and what degrees are) *and* that the recipe for chicken escabeche makes no reference to the recipe for a tres leches cake.

I think the PDF issue compounds this because these things are not naturally easy to flip around in. Since it sounds like the OP already ordered the physical book, maybe give that a pass through when it arrives.


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It basically just sounds like your children were just upset because it wasn't what they were used to. Literally nothing in what you described seemed to be any different then learning any new system ever. I had the same problem with Pathfinder when I moved from 3.5 but I stuck with it learned the new rules and loved it. Give the actual game a try. Quitting during character creation is like quitting a game before you even finish the tutorial. Unless it's REALLY bad you should play for a few hours to see how it develops and see if you actually enjoy the new and different system.


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Yes, the layout is still confusing. I hope it's better in the final product.

What I don't understand, however, is that your kids had no problem with learning the rules from the PF1 rulebook which is laid out in a similar way.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Pathfinder 1st edition had some rules bugaboos with "what you're doing with your hands" mattering, so we're trying to make these things unambiguous now.

Back when Occult Adventures came out, I noticed that the classes were a lot harder for me to read and parse. After some deliberation, I concluded that they were putting too much effort into trying to solve problems like this, to the game's detriment. Unfortunately, PF2 seems to be tripling down on this urge.

I'd rather have a system with some ambiguity that we can handle at the table, than one which becomes a tangled legal document or a restrictive mess in the name of removing ambiguity or of game balance. I have... concerns about Pathfinder Second Edition. :/


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I feel like I have minor trauma from all the "Can a magus combine x with spell combat/strike" threads in the rules forums that I think having a keyword for "you are using your hands for this" is fine. Sure a GM can just resolve this in the moment but trying to drill down to the *real* answer was genuinely befuddling.

But perhaps that's specific to my own experience. I personally found Occult Adventures to be one of the easiest books for me to parse so it might just be a "some things work better for some people" thing.


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Rameth wrote:
It basically just sounds like your children were just upset because it wasn't what they were used to. Literally nothing in what you described seemed to be any different then learning any new system ever.

It seems his children are fine with learning new systems, they just don't like this one.

Shadow Lodge

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I see similar friction in just getting player desire to play the game.

I know there's some folks who crack open an RPG and starting reading on page 1, but I think a player who's got some prior experience has some idea of "class fantasy" already in their head when they pick up a Player's Book ~ stuff like "man I love rangers" or "I can't wait to be a shining paladin" floating around already.

So they flip open to their favorite class and try to get invested into the system by starting there (some others might start with a race like elves or dwarves).

Here's where PF2e really struggles vs PF1e, 3.5e or 5e. There's too much "foreign stuff" in the way and not enough sensationalizing why your paladin will be so exciting to play.

Grab the 5e handbook and just the way the written word is presented can get you kind of psyched to play a paladin. The way they present the choice of Oaths. Reading flavor text in order like "you can cause spectral vines to spring up and reach for a creature..." just after you read your Tenets of the Ancients. And because there's not all this ugly formatting and keyword baggage, you keep reading about how you can "utter ancient words that are painful for fey and fiends to hear".

It's like damn, I'm reading about this awesome paladin I could be.

Now compare to PF2e...

The first page is fine, but let's get to what paladins can do.

Deific Weapon : "If your deity's favored weapon is uncommon, you gain access to it..." Yawn.

Retributive Strike : "You are a stalwart protector of those under your charge..." Yawn.

Champion Powers : "Divine power flows through you, and you have learned... Spell points, blah blah." Yawn.

Skill Feats / General Feats / Skill Increases / Ability Boosts / Ancestry Feats / Weapon Expertise / Armored Fortitude ... SUPER YAWN.

(this is a problem all this junk is here because now I'm getting really bored and skipping through what looks like generic baggage and miss Holy Smite since its sandwiched in all this boring stuff about proficiency in simple or martial weapons becoming expert).

OK, I'm finally onto page 108. Here's some feats. What exciting thing can I do?

Deity's Domain: You embody an aspect of your deity. Choose a domain and gain the initial domain power. Gah, I gotta flip around to another area to get excited about this. Pass, I'll flip pages later, maybe this next one...

Hospice Knight : Your long hours in hospice have taught you additional ... Yawn! My time in hospice?? Really?

Warded Touch : You can lay hands in a simple motion without any complicated gestures. THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN... wait, no.

**

The above I believe is the biggest impediment to PF2e success. Getting players excited about playing a class. I imagine if we had hidden cameras trained on would-be players, Paladin is maybe #1 for the class flipped to first so it's a decent litmus test for being the gateway vehicle for a fantasy RPG.

Try it ~ Hand someone the 3.5e, PF1e, 5e and PF2e "Paladin" section and see which one stirs their fantastic imaginations and gets them fired up to play the most.


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Yes, I find it hard to parse classes, it's like one run-on sentence, and I can't get a feel for any of them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jim Sharples wrote:

It went well at first, taking her through the various ability bits, the choosing feats for ancestry (elf). Despite the annoyances of jumping back and forth for the feats and overview, then off to spells to learn lay on hands (rather than be written in the class), working out the weapon property options for righteous ally, we were going well until we got to one of the class feat choices, which stated something along the lines of “lay of hands loses the manipulate trait”.

She looked at me and asked “what the hell does that even mean?”. No idea, probably something related to attacks of opportunity was my guess. I wasn’t even sure where to go looking.

One of the perks of a rules PDF (and I'm attempting to be helpful, not a smartass as I realize this could mistakenly be taken that way) is that you can Ctrl+F to search the document rather than randomly looking for a rule.

Unfortunately in this case, looking for "Manipulate" pulls up every spell/feat/etc with the trait, but still, I pulled together the following info in just a few minutes (including taking the time to type this).

So for some clarification on what that feat means, certain conditions have penalties or straight up won't allow actions with the Manipulate trait. For example...

* When Drowning or Suffocating, using a Manipulate action causes you to lose air faster.

* If you are Entangled or Grabbed, Manipulate actions are not automatic and require a check.

* If you are Restrained you cannot attempt a Manipulate action (which makes sense)

* Certain spell effects also seem to prevent these actions as well.

So being able to Lay on Hands under those conditions is actually kind of cool! You're captured and restrained but the Paladin needs to Lay on Hands? No problem!

At any rate, none of this solves your root point which is that there seems to be some bulk to things that could (and will) irritate some players/potential players. But hopefully this helps out anyone else confused by this issue.

Shadow Lodge

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On another note, I suspect this is why Paizo is where they are:

If you're running a game at a con, and if you hand out the pre-gen paladin, it's not as jarring. You avoid the mental tax of parsing the dull and boring copy/formatting and page flipping.

(Thus the positive feedback to date is mostly reflective of being handed a pre-gen and socializing with other games, and not "at home time" having to go from cold to absorbing a system that's standing between you and your future class fantasy)

However, if you flip open the Playtest doc to a class you're interested in - there's a lot of tedium to wade through to try to find something to get excited about, and way too much mental friction to find the "something cool" / sizzle item(s).

The Playtest Doc shows you can't make a new player work hard to find the sizzle in their steak ~ it's like making someone eat 3 bowls of broccoli first.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Yes, I find it hard to parse classes, it's like one run-on sentence, and I can't get a feel for any of them.

Something like 80% of the pre-feat class write-up is repeated for more than one class. All prepared spellcasters have the same paragraphs, all the spontaneous ones have a slightly different paragraph, and we do it again for heightening, and everybody has the same write up for skill increases, skill feats, general feats, etc.

So I think it works to just skip to the feats.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like I have minor trauma from all the "Can a magus combine x with spell combat/strike" threads in the rules forums that I think having a keyword for "you are using your hands for this" is fine. Sure a GM can just resolve this in the moment but trying to drill down to the *real* answer was genuinely befuddling.

See, this is something I wouldn't mind having FAQs or blogs to correct. A solution for dedicated groups that require explicitly official responses and rulings. But when the book is written in lawyerspeak to avoid any possible ambiguity of "Rules As Written", I personally think we lose more than we gain.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
But perhaps that's specific to my own experience. I personally found Occult Adventures to be one of the easiest books for me to parse so it might just be a "some things work better for some people" thing.

Possibly. ^_^


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If you have someone who has read everything, it's easy to walk people through the process (or learn to play), especially if they've played PFS before. That's what I plan on doing with my group. I don't want them to even touch the playtest core book.

But yeah, the books a tough read, even to make a character. Lots of flipping around and sometimes the correct page number is not referenced.

Also, it takes a long time to read, I've spent hours now and I'm only at Skills.


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Jason S wrote:
Also, it takes a long time to read, I've spent hours now and I'm only at Skills.

I don't really expect to have a good handle until at least Monday, having set aside time this weekend with a PDF. It surprised the heck out of me that people are already playing, since I didn't have much of an idea of what like 50% of the bard feats did since they reference stuff in the spells chapter.


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With Starfinder in very recent memory, I have to say I didn't have any of these complaints of lingo and confusion.

The Starfinder book made a lot of sense to me the first read through, and it was fun and exciting to read it.

This PF2 book is the exact opposite.


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Jim Sharples wrote:

Basically I brought my kids into role playing after a long hiatus from it myself (old AD&D player) with the pathfinder beginner box.

We played through the entirety of Rise of the Runelords, started Kingmaker, and the finished with Wrath of the Righteous where my son “broke” the system and we stopped PF1.

My kids have learnt and played D&D 5e, Iron Kingdoms RPG, fantasy flights Star Wars RPG, Cypher system, and even a couple of OSR games.

We are currently on book 5 of Curse of the Crimson Throne, which I convert on the fly to D&D5e.

My kids were excited to play in the Playtest and see if we could come back to their first game, pathfinder.

My daughter and I sat down last night with a printed character sheet and she decided to make a paladin.

It went well at first, taking her through the various ability bits, the choosing feats for ancestry (elf). Despite the annoyances of jumping back and forth for the feats and overview, then off to spells to learn lay on hands (rather than be written in the class), working out the weapon property options for righteous ally, we were going well until we got to one of the class feat choices, which stated something along the lines of “lay of hands loses the manipulate trait”.

She looked at me and asked “what the hell does that even mean?”. No idea, probably something related to attacks of opportunity was my guess. I wasn’t even sure where to go looking.

She lost interest immediately.

We spent nearly an hour trying to do this, jumping around to look things up, using the PDF (our books haven’t arrived).

We discussed the whole thing with my son, and he basically rolled his eyes. This is the one who breaks the game with clever, essentially min maxing, so he loves systems and he said “sounds like too much work for the fun after”.

We are bowing out. Good luck Paizo, we love your APs and will keep playing them for years to come, but PF is not for us.

Okay.

Bear with me here.

What is a "hit point?" What about that term indicates that it is the amount of damage that you can take before collapsing to the ground? If I were looking at it from a fresh perspective, I might think it was something related to a sports game, where I got points for making a strike. Maybe it's how many points I inflict when I make a successful attack.

If we're talking about your ability to take strikes, why not call it "Health" or "Sturdiness?"

No. We call them "hit points" because that's the jargon that Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax came up with in the 1970s.

And every game has jargon. I remember back in 4th grade when I was reading through the 1E D&D Dungeon Master's Guide, and I read about the "Elemental Plane of Fire" and thought, "they made an airplane OUT OF FIRE? Awesome!"

But when I was a little older and my reading comprehension was a little better, I figured it out in context (and by reading the appendix).

I have no idea as to whether or not your daughter would enjoy Pathfinder 2E, but dropping it because of jargon in the playtest seems a little silly and arbitrary. The playtest is not a finished product, by definition, so it's not entirely surprising that it's hard to parse certain segments.

I would suggest perhaps revisiting it when it's out of playtest, and a more cohesive index can be expected to be available.


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Thank you for sharing your experience and that of your children despite people's o jextion to their experience.


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See, what I feel like I just read at the top of this thread was "Beta playtest book has layout problems. Not playing Pathfinder anymore."


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

To be fair, this is a playtest document and is far from a finished and polished product like the PF Beginning Box.

Still, there is value in the general feedback.

Wayfinders

Mustachioed wrote:

With Starfinder in very recent memory, I have to say I didn't have any of these complaints of lingo and confusion.

The Starfinder book made a lot of sense to me the first read through, and it was fun and exciting to read it.

This PF2 book is the exact opposite.

Exactly this. I wasnt sure how to describe the problem many of my friends were having with the new book but this is the kind of thing I've heard from all of them. "So much jargon." "Hard to read." And I wanted a comparison but couldn't come up with one.

But yeah, we all easily read and enjoyed SF. We liked PF2 gameplay at the table. And the PF2 book is jargon and full of new vocab and not just new rules.


I'm still trying to decide if every list of things should be separated as wide as possible (skill feats in the skill they affect, for example). Or just one huge alphabetical (200+ pages) of "stuff". Want to know what magic missile does, it's under M. Want to know what undead's bane does? It's under U.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Removed a post and a reply that quoted it. Edition wars are not welcome here, and part of that means not criticizing people because they like something you don't.

Shadow Lodge

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I'll elaborate further on my above comments - where I sit today is all the campaigns I'm involved in are still running under non-PF-3.5e or PF rules. Nothing in 5e yet.

Ultimately when we sit down with any of these systems, it's because we are looking for a fantasy roleplaying game, which means a bunch of people who are planning to sit at a table and pretend they're really haughty elves or holier-than-thou paladins or feytouched sorcerers.

My impression is when the kinds of players I know get their hands on a fantasy roleplaying game, they flip to the race or class of the kinds of characters they like to play. For particular folks I'm thinking of (waving at them) - that means flipping to bard, ranger and paladin chapters.

If I were to give a player 5 minutes to flip through:
1) the PF2e Playtest Paladin (pg 104-111)
2) the 5e Paladin (pg 82-88)
3) the PF1e Paladin (pg 60-64)

I feel like PF2e is sorely lacking on what I'd refer to as marketing "fantastical inspiration" that motivates a prospective player to immediately starting rolling up a character.

This has nothing to do with the underlying mechanics of the system (and the fact that a PF2e paladin who dedicates to cleric or fighter paths could be more interesting than their counterparts in other systems, for example).

Consider a prospective player who is weighing their judgement and enthusiasm of a system solely to fulfill their paladin fantasy based on the Playtest pgs 104-111. There's not enough focused on marketing to them, seeding them with ideas and luring them into the PF2e universe to begin play. There's very little that stokes your imagination within the class section and leaves you staring at your buddy saying "Daaaaamn, dude wait 'til you see what I'm gonna make!"

This is because PF2e spends way too much space on pages on very bland concepts. For paladin, this is:

a) (proficient) access to deific weapon
b) a retributive strike if an ally is hit
c) general education about champion powers/spell points
d) getting some feats, and some skill feats
e) a righteous ally (finally something a little interesting..)
f) some general feats
g) some skill increases
h) some ability boosts
i) some ancestry stuff
j) expertise with a weapon
k) some fortitude with armor
l) holy smite (yay! something interesting *at 9th level*)
m) aura of justice (sounds cool, but not too exciting to read)
n) armory mastery
... {list goes on} ...

There's a lot of weeds in the way for someone to find and pick 1 or 2 flowers ~ Your imagination is really not stoked by 2 full pages of "class features".

OK, finally page 108 and some feats to read. I'm sure I'll get something exciting at level 1... what cool choice do I get??

a) domain access (that I need to flip to read)
b) some hospice training
c) lay on hands being less hand gestures

There's not a ton here for fantasy imaginations. I'm not lured into something sensational about being a paladin with these level 1 feats.

So keep reading.

d) divine grace for +2 when I save
e) when i retributive strike vs dragons, bonus..
f) same, with fiends
g) same, with undead

The kicker here is I'm 5 full pages into a paladin section and there's been very little to get imaginative juices flowing.

Now the 5e comparison...

Here's where 5e has learned some tricks to employ in a modern TTRPG which is that a class section has to carry a marketing workload to entice a future budding roleplayer.

Whether you like the underlying crunch of 5e or not, your chronological 5-page journey into the paladin class has:
a) Divine senses, with imagination stoking copy ~ "like a noxious odor", "rings like a heavenly bell"
b) Lay on hands (most folks don't get excited by this)
c) Picking a fighting style, defensive? dueling? great weapon fighting? protection?
d) Spellcasting
e) Divine smiting
f) Divine oaths that "bind the paladin forever, who up to this time was in a preparatory stage..."
g,h,i,j) ... { more ho hum stuff ommitted }
k) Oath of Devotion .. bunch of imaginative, flavorful stuff
l) Oath of Ancients .. bunch of imaginative, flavorful stuff
m) Oath of Vengeance .. bunch of imaginative, flavorful stuff

What 5e has done is its figured out how to make what really is not a ton of choice seem like a "sensational possibility". It's done it really with just tricks on copy choice and how it lays out the content.

PF2e could have within its copy similar "placebo choice" that stokes the imagination to the possibilities that await. Something like "At 2nd level, you'll pick what kind of paladin you want to be with your dedication feat choosing from combat mastery like archery or defensive shield-wielding to focusing more on your medical prowess". And then possibly listing 4 common choices here on how to fulfill those (many which possibly follow the path of a Fighter dedication and some follow up feat choices).

Some of us get how this works. But many folks will not just because of how it was laid out, and that is one of the biggest threats to PF2e success.

Thus this specifically, is my Playtest feedback:

The Playtest doc needs to recognize it must sell fringe players of gaming groups on their favorite styles of class fantasy, hyping them to get to the table in order to test out novel, theatrical abilities (like 5e's spectral grasping hands for an Oath of Ancient's paladin that I gave earlier).

This is particularly salient for Paizo as thats been a bullet fired across their bow countless times - "Finding something cool to do with your characters is like finding a needle in a haystack and better done with build guides". Some of us like that hunt, but there's those folks who just want to sit down and be a hot-headed dragonblooded sorcerer for an evening, with the enabling rulebook sending them with purpose in the direction they didn't know they wanted to go until they read the copy that led them there.


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But, this is a playtest document. This isn't a polished book. This is about testing rules and such. It isn't about hyping the player up, that isn't what playtesting is for.

Silver Crusade

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The "Flipping around" complaint is valid. Too many rules refer to other rules that are pages away. Maybe this happens more than I perceive in other books, but it doesn't seem that way to me.

Creating my first character took about an hour on account of this, when I sense it ought to have taken half that time. Admittedly, I did this from my phone, which makes the scrolling problem as bad as possible, but it would be nice to not have the problem at all.


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After fighting with the character creation, we have decided to move on. Only wish I hadn't ordered the physical books.


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I tend to agree that I think far too much effort is going into trying to balance things for PFS play and dealing with the various min/max rule lawyers out there. I have seen PF and SF both start down this rabbit hole in recent years. It stems from players and GMs not remembering rule one or not slapping down characters who want to make some build that makes no sense and is vastly overpowered to "win" the game. This causes the rule books to be far more of a legal document trying to cover every base. It is how we get people arguing about what holding something means.


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Mandetiger wrote:
After fighting with the character creation, we have decided to move on.

It's exhausting just thinking about it.

Shadow Lodge

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HWalsh wrote:
But, this is a playtest document. This isn't a polished book. This is about testing rules and such. It isn't about hyping the player up, that isn't what playtesting is for.

You're saying a product company wouldn't want to get my gaming group's players interested/hyped about creating their characters?

We live in a world with a plethora of early access and playtest material for fantasy gaming. In order to even have a shot at being playtested (and thus evolve & shake out to be ultimately successful), a game needs something to motivate a player to spend their evening with their game vs copious alternatives.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Remember that the very first feedback survey is going to be about character creation.

It would be helpful to come back and give as full feedback as you can about what didn't work for you.


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Witch of Miracles wrote:

I strongly agree the rulebook is not pleasant to read. If I am looking up something after I understand the game, this organization is good, even great. However,while I'm trying to learn the game? It's complete suffering. Having to flip to the spells section and back to compare my wizard school powers or cleric domain powers is just unenjoyable. Is it more consistent to have them with the spells? Honestly, yes. But is it better for a first read? Hell no.

In general, the rulebook has a lot of things not-where-they're-relevant, but instead has them in a database of all the things of that kind, and you're constantly told to refer to that database. It's very logical but exceedingly dense and frustrating. On a first read, it violates the same design rules that make web designers try to make everything take as few clicks as possible. It's exhausting to read through even a single class, because you're sent to the far corners of the book -multiple times- to read even a single page. I do not like it very much.

This. I started making a character last night, but never finished. Many of the ancestral feats feels super weak while some feel pretty sweet, but at least they tell you what each one does. Okay whatever, I'll go with an elf. On to the backgrounds. Whats this one do? Whats that one do? No idea. Gotta look one up, digging it out from among the general feats. It certainly feels like having to jump some hurdles to even begin playing the game. I'll do it; I don't mind reading all that things before playing the game, but for casual players, this could be a big "Don't bother playing" sign.

I think at least giving a brief summary of what each feat or class feature does, within the class, background, etc. would help a lot with this.
Also don't call everything feats. As a veteran of 3.x & PF, I understand and it only feels cumbersome, but to newer players it could be really confusing. I suggest calling optional ancestral and background features "traits" and calling optional class features "talents" would keep things easier to understand, even if a trait just gives you a general feat (like with humans).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yea. It's a playtest. So the devs are looking to see what works great, and what is clunky. So, saying you're quitting the game forever because the first week of a year-long playtest didn't strike your fancy... Did you never eat your wife's cooking again after the first time she made a recipe she was trying out?
Give your feedback and see how the product develops.


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Ched Greyfell wrote:

Yea. It's a playtest. So the devs are looking to see what works great, and what is clunky. So, saying you're quitting the game forever because the first day of a year-long playtest didn't strike your fancy... Did you never eat your wife's cooking again after the first time she made a recipe she was trying out?

Give your feedback and see how the product develops.

Fixed it.


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Jim Sharples wrote:
we spent nearly an hour trying to do this, jumping around to look things up, using the PDF (our books haven’t arrived).

Sucks to hear you couldn't have a good time with your kids. I used search in my pdf viewer to find what you were looking for.

Page 417

Manipulate: you must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use this type of action. Creatures without a suitable appendage can not perform this type of action.

Examples of manipulate actions are picking a lock or playing an instrument.

Based on the above, haven't read the paladin section yet, the ability your daughter tried to get meant she didn't have to touch people to use lay on hands on them.


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I get the feeling that Paizo might regret asking for the first scenario feedback by 27 August. It'll take us until October to translate the rulebook into English.

I need Ibuprofen.


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Took me about an hour to make my first Paladin in PF2.

That is about the same amount of time it has ever taken me to make a character in any system the first time. I guess just different strokes and all that.


HWalsh wrote:

Took me about an hour to make my first Paladin in PF2.

That is about the same amount of time it has ever taken me to make a character in any system the first time. I guess just different strokes and all that.

My experience, too.

Ditto to this being a playtest document and not a polished consumer product. I think they could've included more page references, but CTRL+F in the PDF solved every instance where I wanted to know what a word meant.


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Yeah, I have to agree that the playtest handbook really, really, really needs to focus on making a lot of their terms and jargon a lot more understandable and easier to read, as whilst I didn't particularly have any trouble with making sense of everything, I have to admit that it wasn't exactly the easiest of rulebooks for me to see how everything connections to each other.

Seriously. Formatting is like, my biggest issue so far.


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I've already made three characters and can't wait to make more. Took me maybe an hour on the first, but the second and third were only about 20 minutes at most.


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The ancestral feats seem to be so underwhelming. I get disappointed looking at them. Guess I should try other races?

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