"The Options Are Limited And Generic"


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The playtest has one core rulebook.

This limits what can be included, no matter Paizo's plans for P2E. Instead of the entire first edition, the playtest rulebook can be compared to what P1E's core rulebook offered. Measured by this standard, some omissions and shortages can seem less critical.

Some examples from things I've seen:


  • The playtest has weak archetype support. In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as an archetype. They came in a later book, and became one of P1E's most popular features despite this late start.
  • Backgrounds are bland and pretty limited. In P1E's core rulebook, the counterpart of traits did not exist yet. These were also introduced later on, and became fundamental to character expression.
  • The options are generic and unimaginative. The P1E core rulebook alone was also pretty stock in its options. 7 races, no alternate traits, every member of *race* was the same. 11 classes, no archetyping, very standard, boilerplate concepts like cleric or barbarian. No traits to mechanicalise your identity, class skills only came from class, so on and so forth etc.

Remembering P1E's humble beginning, as well as the grand scope it reached, can help in assessing P2E's beginning.


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Artificial 20 wrote:

The playtest has one core rulebook.

This limits what can be included, no matter Paizo's plans for P2E. Instead of the entire first edition, the playtest rulebook can be compared to what P1E's core rulebook offered. Measured by this standard, some omissions and shortages can seem less critical.

Some examples from things I've seen:


  • The playtest has weak archetype support. In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as an archetype. They came in a later book, and became one of P1E's most popular features despite this late start.
  • Backgrounds are bland and pretty limited. In P1E's core rulebook, the counterpart of traits did not exist yet. These were also introduced later on, and became fundamental to character expression.
  • The options are generic and unimaginative. The P1E core rulebook alone was also pretty stock in its options. 7 races, no alternate traits, every member of *race* was the same. 11 classes, no archetyping, very standard, boilerplate concepts like cleric or barbarian. No traits to mechanicalise your identity, class skills only came from class, so on and so forth etc.

Remembering P1E's humble beginning, as well as the grand scope it reached, can help in assessing P2E's beginning.

So I thought this exact thing so many times reading over the threads. I really struggle to understand how people are actually bringing this up as a criticism.


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The problem isn't the generic nature of the options given alone. It's that, with the aggressive siloing of those options into neat little boxes, characters tend to feel far more generic than PF1's core options alone.

In PF1, I could make an entire party of four Bards straight from the core rulebook and they'd mostly feel distinct from one another right from level 1, before even sitting down to play. Without archetypes this wouldn't be a good idea due to the Performance overlap, but it could be done. I can't really do that in PF2 - they're restricted to a small set of very similar weapons, the large pool of known skills and shorter list of skills means they're going to have a pretty large overlap even before Bardic Lore and Versatile Performance are taken into account. There's Ancestries and Spells, but (not having had a chance to play yet) the Occult list doesn't feel like it has enough variety to make up for the fact that everyone's going to have a longsword, rapier, or their race's ancestral weapons plus a short bow.

There's also something about Signature Skills that. . . feels restrictive. It's not as bad as it feels, but you end up looking at it and getting the initial impression that "This is all the class is good for."


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It could be because while you can understand that this is a crb playtest, it's still shocking to go from the options we have now (30+ classes, hundreds of feats, dozens of archetypes, tens of prestige classes) to choices where you will take 20 percent of the total options available (10 total cleric feats in the first tier?) and only the core classes plus alchemist.

As to PF1's beginnings- people didn't expect new ideas there because it was sold explicitly as "don't like that change over there? Here's a lesser change where we didn't take anything away and just added a bit more to what you already liked."

Even so- as they are essentially the same "book" (core rule book), it's worth remembering that PF2 will have 1 more base class and no prestige classes- PF1 had 10 prestige classes in core, so PF2 on publication needs to have at least 9 non-multuiclass archetypes to claim to have a similar level of character choices.


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Chris Kenney wrote:

The problem isn't the generic nature of the options given alone. It's that, with the aggressive siloing of those options into neat little boxes, characters tend to feel far more generic than PF1's core options alone.

In PF1, I could make an entire party of four Bards straight from the core rulebook and they'd mostly feel distinct from one another right from level 1, before even sitting down to play. Without archetypes this wouldn't be a good idea due to the Performance overlap, but it could be done. I can't really do that in PF2 - they're restricted to a small set of very similar weapons, the large pool of known skills and shorter list of skills means they're going to have a pretty large overlap even before Bardic Lore and Versatile Performance are taken into account. There's Ancestries and Spells, but (not having had a chance to play yet) the Occult list doesn't feel like it has enough variety to make up for the fact that everyone's going to have a longsword, rapier, or their race's ancestral weapons plus a short bow.

There's also something about Signature Skills that. . . feels restrictive. It's not as bad as it feels, but you end up looking at it and getting the initial impression that "This is all the class is good for."

Respectfully, I disagree.

That's like complaining that other classes didn't have access to rogue tricks in 1e, or barbarian rage powers. Or feats further down in feat chains, or with stat requirements. Actual options in core were really quite limited, I invite you to go back and take a look.

I'd argue that 2e is far more customizable , with actual options for choice between class features at various levels, not just being given a class feature and that's it. You're given a choice with what kind of bard/sorcerer/etc you want to be, not just given a class feature that literally every character that shares your class in the world has for your entire level progression.

To address some of your criticism, what is stopping you from taking the weapon proficiency feat if you wanted to use a different weapon? Is that not customization? That option is not silo'd away, as you would put it.

I'd also love to see 4 meaningfully different bards from core at first level that are actually mechanically viable.


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Traits and archetypes might not have existed in the PF1 core rulebook, but feats did, and they gave you a lot more choice than PF2 seems to be doing. You got to decide what your character's fighting style was going to be. The PF2 classes seem to want to decide that for you. And while the fighter feats aren't necessarily any worse than their PF1 counterparts, you're having to wait about ten levels later to get some of them, like Whirlwind Attack or Improved Critical or Armor Training.

Skills were also in the core rulebook, and we can see how what we can do with them has been reduced. We thought Skill Feats were going to unlock cool new abilities, but a lot of them just let you do basic things that anybody trained in the skill used to be able to do.

And that's only in terms of comparison to PF1, not in terms of what we were told that PF2 was trying to accomplish. We were told that legendary feats were going to help martials keep up with casters at higher levels, but now that we have them, we're finding a lot of them are underwhelming. That's a balance problem that will last the entire life of the game if it doesn't get fixed now.


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Triune wrote:
To address some of your criticism, what is stopping you from taking the weapon proficiency feat if you wanted to use a different weapon?

Because Weapon Proficiency is a General Feat, and you don't get any of those until 3rd level? (Unless you're a human who burns his ancestry feat on it.)


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The Narration wrote:
Triune wrote:
To address some of your criticism, what is stopping you from taking the weapon proficiency feat if you wanted to use a different weapon?
Because Weapon Proficiency is a General Feat, and you don't get any of those until 3rd level? (Unless you're a human who burns his ancestry feat on it.)

You could always use a weapon and just take the untrained penalty. You also get access to more weapon options that originally stated.

However, I didn't catch that in the playtest, I think that's definitely an issue. A general feat at first level would definitely be a good idea, no reason to delay that bit of customization till 3rd level.


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Artificial 20 wrote:
In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as [things]

First and foremost, this is actually a horrible argument. Part of the last 10 years of development has been Paizo growing, learning, and developing their own style. Just because Archetypes, Traits (or Backgrounds as they've become), and other such things weren't "in the [notably just shy of carbon copy of 3.5] Core Rulebook" doesn't mean it's just alright for them to be lacking now when those (or at least the customization they give) are obviously a critical part of Pathfinder's brand identity.

And as for the thing about there not being any way to get cross-class class skills in Core... honestly that wouldn't be a problem now if Signature Skills were only as significant as class skills were in PF1e. In PF1e if a skill's not a class skill, you're missing out on, like, 3 points of a bonus that can still be quite massive if you focus on it. Now however, if a skill is not one of your Signature Skills... you are flat barred from half of it's progression, and flat barred from any use at Master level or higher. It's kinda like if in PF1e you could never put more than, say, 10 ranks in a non-class skill and had a hard DC cap of, say, DC 20 (spitballed from DC 10 + max number of ranks you could put in) you could even attempt. I just bet if something like that had happened in the PF1e core rulebook there would've been quite the stink, and that's basically the equivalent of what we have now so yes, there's a stink about it now.


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The Narration wrote:
Traits and archetypes might not have existed in the PF1 core rulebook, but feats did, and they gave you a lot more choice than PF2 seems to be doing. You got to decide what your character's fighting style was going to be. The PF2 classes seem to want to decide that for you. And while the fighter feats aren't necessarily any worse than their PF1 counterparts, you're having to wait about ten levels later to get some of them, like Whirlwind Attack or Improved Critical or Armor Training.

How are class feats not deciding what your fighting style is going to be?

I'd also hardly call improved critical or armor training fighting styles. They're just straight number buffs that don't in any way change how your character actually plays. That's really what the vast majority of options were in core, paint on a shell that really just works the exact same way as every other shell when you look at it honestly. It seems 2e makes an actual effort to make things work somewhat differently. That is actual choice, not the illusion of it.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as [things]

First and foremost, this is actually a horrible argument. Part of the last 10 years of development has been Paizo growing, learning, and developing their own style. Just because Archetypes, Traits (or Backgrounds as they've become), and other such things weren't "in the [notably just shy of carbon copy of 3.5] Core Rulebook" doesn't mean it's just alright for them to be lacking now when those (or at least the customization they give) are obviously a critical part of Pathfinder's brand identity.

And as for the thing about there not being any way to get cross-class class skills in Core... honestly that wouldn't be a problem now if Signature Skills were only as significant as class skills were in PF1e. In PF1e if a skill's not a class skill, you're missing out on, like, 3 points of a bonus that can still be quite massive if you focus on it. Now however, if a skill is not one of your Signature Skills... you are flat barred from half of it's progression, and flat barred from any use at Master level or higher. It's kinda like if in PF1e you could never put more than, say, 10 ranks in a non-class skill and had a hard DC cap of, say, DC 20 (spitballed from DC 10 + max number of ranks you could put in) you could even attempt. I just bet if something like that had happened in the PF1e core rulebook there would've been quite the stink, and that's basically the equivalent of what we have now so yes, there's a stink about it now.

Fighter has 10 intelligence, knowledge is not a class skill, he has absolutely no mechanical reason to pump intelligence and if he does, he will gimp himself.

Wizard has 18 intelligence, knowledge is a class skill for him. He starts seven points ahead in the skill, a huge amount. As he levels he pumps intelligence, because of course he does. By the time you hit level ten or so, he is likely another 4 points ahead of the fighter, giving him 11 more effective ranks in the skill than the fighter. He knows things the fighter can only dream of. The fighter is so far behind it's comical. He can take skill focus and waste a feat, and still be very very far behind.

You forgot stat boosts to skills and how important they are. In first edition it's the same thing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I actually would be perfectly fine with archetypes and prestige "classes" being put off until the next book, if it gave more room for class feats.

Mostly the big issue is that the way combat options and class feats are set up, you don't have any sort of general combat options that any martial character can take. Each individual class has to have various equivalent feats, which then have to compete with more unique flavorful options for that character. So basic concepts like an archer ranger don't have a whole lot of options compared to PF 1E core rulebook.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as [things]

First and foremost, this is actually a horrible argument. Part of the last 10 years of development has been Paizo growing, learning, and developing their own style. Just because Archetypes, Traits (or Backgrounds as they've become), and other such things weren't "in the [notably just shy of carbon copy of 3.5] Core Rulebook" doesn't mean it's just alright for them to be lacking now when those (or at least the customization they give) are obviously a critical part of Pathfinder's brand identity.

And as for the thing about there not being any way to get cross-class class skills in Core... honestly that wouldn't be a problem now if Signature Skills were only as significant as class skills were in PF1e. In PF1e if a skill's not a class skill, you're missing out on, like, 3 points of a bonus that can still be quite massive if you focus on it. Now however, if a skill is not one of your Signature Skills... you are flat barred from half of it's progression, and flat barred from any use at Master level or higher. It's kinda like if in PF1e you could never put more than, say, 10 ranks in a non-class skill and had a hard DC cap of, say, DC 20 (spitballed from DC 10 + max number of ranks you could put in) you could even attempt. I just bet if something like that had happened in the PF1e core rulebook there would've been quite the stink, and that's basically the equivalent of what we have now so yes, there's a stink about it now.

Please do not misunderstand my position.

I am not saying these excellent features from P1E should be forgotten. I am saying that, at present, Paizo remains invested in physical print. As such, there is a fuzzy size limit to how much can be fit inside just one book. Anything that is currently missing but wanted would likely come at the cost of something else currently there. They may intend to do things with these concepts that will be widely loved, but they cannot serve all of the courses at once. Absence does not imply abandonment, essentially.

I also mean to give no rebuke, let alone a universal one.

These boards exist specifically to analyse, and constructively criticise the playtest materials. That I wish not to discourage. I agree, speaking personally, that there should be some feat to add at least one Signature Skill over the course of your 20 levels. I would do something like this:

---

Extraordinary Talent (FEAT 10)

Prerequisites: Expert in selected skill, 16+ ability in selected skill's associated ability.

Select one skill not included in your signature skills. This skill is now a signature skill for you.

Special: If you later gain the selected skill for this feat as a signature skill, you may freely retrain this feat to select another skill you meet the prerequisites for.

---

This takes up very little space. I am disappointed by the omission of its like from the playtest.


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It is almost like Paizo forgot what has made it great and kicked it to the the curb.


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Triune wrote:


How are class feats not deciding what your fighting style is going to be?

If you're a fighter, you have a decent amount of options in that regard. Fighter class feats seem to be supporting quite a few fighting styles. (Although I'd argue that a fighter that wants archery or finesse weapons is facing an uphill battle, because having high Dex isn't supported by the class features that only apply to heavy armor.) If you're any other class? Your class feats are much more limited in terms of what fighting styles they'll support. In PF1 you could use your regular feats to get whatever Combat Feats suited you, but combat feats aren't General Feats in PF2, they're strictly class feats. Your class has predetermined your fighting style.

Triune wrote:
I'd also hardly call improved critical or armor training fighting styles. They're just straight number buffs that don't in any way change how your character actually plays.

They're not fighting styles. But they're abilities that the PF2 fighter gives you exactly ten levels later than you got them in PF1.

Armor Training relieved you of the penalties of wearing armor somewhat. At 7th level you got to reduce the ACP and increase the max Dex by 2 had no speed penalty in heavy armor. (By 1 and medium at 3rd level.) At 17th level, the PF2 fighter gets Armor Mastery and gets to reduce the speed penalty of heavy armor by half. And it only grants master proficiency in heavy armor. If you're a Dex fighter with lighter armor, you don't get the benefit. And increase proficiency doesn't reduce ACP at all.

So it's an ability that you get ten levels later, does less and only applies if you wear a specific kind of armor that will basically cripple high-Dex or mobility builds. It's basically telling you, "don't bother making a Dex fighter, we want all fighters to be slow and clumsy."

Unlike Armor Mastery, Savage Critical is a choice, but since there are only two 18th level fighter feats and the other one is only for ranged combat, so the choice is kind of made for you. It does roughly the same thing as Improved Critical in PF1: let you crit on a 19. Only Improved Critical was an 8th level feat, not 18th. And yes, crits have changed a bit, but with the +/-10 system anything that adds +1 to an attack increases your odds of a crit, so is it really that big a deal that it's work getting at a level where people are throwing around 9th level spells?

Midnight Anarch wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
In PF1, I could make an entire party of four Bards straight from the core rulebook and they'd mostly feel distinct from one another right from level 1, before even sitting down to play.
So you're comparing the whole of PF1 to the core playtest version of PF2? Does that seem like an intelligent comparison to you?

He said "straight from the core rulebook." As in, not using stuff from the other ten years' worth of books.

Personally, I'm a little skeptical, because I didn't think that the core PF1 Bard gave a lot of options to pick class features the way that the PF1 Barbarian did with rage powers or the Rogue did with rogue tricks or the Fighter and Ranger did with bonus feats. But it's also a spellcaster (a full spellcaster in PF2), so it's getting a whole host of new options in terms of picking spells that martials don't get.


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So folks should just wait for 5-6 yesrs for the options they want?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
So folks should just wait for 5-6 yesrs for the options they want?

Like the people who wanted a Mesmerist or a Warlock knockoff (Kineticist) did.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
So folks should just wait for 5-6 yesrs for the options they want?

And somehow we are supposed to be happy about that, and it's also not supposed to hurt PF2's player base if we go somewhere else.


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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
So folks should just wait for 5-6 yesrs for the options they want?

If you're lucky and PF2 is still around then


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I don't expect PF2 to have all the options PF1 had. I do expect that it would have options on par with what the PF1 core book had. More importantly, tho, I expect that after all the hype about Skill Feats and Legendary abilities, that they would actually be something cool, not things that we could already do without a feat or at much lower levels in PF1.

If they're really trying to address the caster/martial disparity, then the martials need cooler stuff. And more skills.


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The Narration wrote:
Triune wrote:


How are class feats not deciding what your fighting style is going to be?

If you're a fighter, you have a decent amount of options in that regard. Fighter class feats seem to be supporting quite a few fighting styles. (Although I'd argue that a fighter that wants archery or finesse weapons is facing an uphill battle, because having high Dex isn't supported by the class features that only apply to heavy armor.) If you're any other class? Your class feats are much more limited in terms of what fighting styles they'll support. In PF1 you could use your regular feats to get whatever Combat Feats suited you, but combat feats aren't General Feats in PF2, they're strictly class feats. Your class has predetermined your fighting style.

Triune wrote:
I'd also hardly call improved critical or armor training fighting styles. They're just straight number buffs that don't in any way change how your character actually plays.

They're not fighting styles. But they're abilities that the PF2 fighter gives you exactly ten levels later than you got them in PF1.

Armor Training relieved you of the penalties of wearing armor somewhat. At 7th level you got to reduce the ACP and increase the max Dex by 2 had no speed penalty in heavy armor. (By 1 and medium at 3rd level.) At 17th level, the PF2 fighter gets Armor Mastery and gets to reduce the speed penalty of heavy armor by half. And it only grants master proficiency in heavy armor. If you're a Dex fighter with lighter armor, you don't get the benefit. And increase proficiency doesn't reduce ACP at all.

So it's an ability that you get ten levels later, does less and only applies if you wear a specific kind of armor that will basically cripple high-Dex or mobility builds. It's basically telling you, "don't bother making a Dex fighter, we want all fighters to be slow and clumsy."

Unlike Armor Mastery, Savage Critical is a choice, but since there are only two 18th level fighter feats and the other one is only for ranged...

Sure, you could get whatever combat feats suit you, but did those feats enable new fighting styles? Pretty much no, they were numerical bonuses. I mean, you bring up a dex fighter from core? Ever tried to build one? They're garbage on fire. Good luck doing any damage ever past the first few levels.

Like I stated earlier, its not choice, but the illusion of it

And yes, there are abilities that don't have 1-1 correspondence in 2.0 to 1.0. Some things you'll get later, some won't be as powerful. This has nothing to do with options. It's just complaints about change because they're change.

Fun fact about armor training for fighters in light armor, it doesn't incentivise being in light armor at all. In fact it does precisely the opposite, making medium and then heavy armor far, far better for dex based fighters than light. It essentially makes light armor a nonviable option, because it adds so very little to it. It narrowed your field, not expanded it.

But just because an ability isn't universally useful for every build doesn't mean those builds are not options. Do you realize how many examples of that exact thing you're complaining about I could point to in 1.0? There's not enough space in the forums.


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Orville Redenbacher wrote:
So folks should just wait for 5-6 yesrs for the options they want?

So the alternative is to publish 10 years worth of content in the core book?

There are going to be less options in 2e than 1e, by sheer logical fact. It cannot possibly be anything else. If you were expecting otherwise you're going to be disappointed.


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Chris Kenney wrote:

The problem isn't the generic nature of the options given alone. It's that, with the aggressive siloing of those options into neat little boxes, characters tend to feel far more generic than PF1's core options alone.

In PF1, I could make an entire party of four Bards straight from the core rulebook and they'd mostly feel distinct from one another right from level 1, before even sitting down to play. Without archetypes this wouldn't be a good idea due to the Performance overlap, but it could be done. I can't really do that in PF2 - they're restricted to a small set of very similar weapons, the large pool of known skills and shorter list of skills means they're going to have a pretty large overlap even before Bardic Lore and Versatile Performance are taken into account. There's Ancestries and Spells, but (not having had a chance to play yet) the Occult list doesn't feel like it has enough variety to make up for the fact that everyone's going to have a longsword, rapier, or their race's ancestral weapons plus a short bow.

There's also something about Signature Skills that. . . feels restrictive. It's not as bad as it feels, but you end up looking at it and getting the initial impression that "This is all the class is good for."

I feel like you're excercising Trumpian levels of willfull disregard for relevant details here. Bards in PF2 have exactly the same weapon proficiencies here that they did in the PF1 core rulebook. A PF1 core rulebook bard gets to chose their race, their skills, their spells, and a 1st level feat. In PF2, a 1st level bard gets to chose, let's see... Their race (ancestry), their skills, their spells, their muse, and an ancestry feat. They actually get an additional choice to make over PF1 bards. Now, yes, the pool of feats they are choosing from is narrower than in PF1, but I think that using that single 1st level general feat as justification for "I can make PF bard and they'll all be different and all the PF2 bards will be the same." PF2 bards, as you already pointed out, can snap up a racial weapon proficiency if they want more options. They can all chose different spells. They can pick different muses. Many cantrips are also significantly more useful than they were in 1st ed, giving them more valid at-will options.


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Triune wrote:
Sure, you could get whatever combat feats suit you, but did those feats enable new fighting styles? Pretty much no, they were numerical bonuses.

Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Rend, Two-Weapon Feint, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Pinpoint Targeting, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Cleave, Great Cleave, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses.

That's just from the core book. All enabling new fighting styles rather than adding numerical bonuses.

Triune wrote:
Fun fact about armor training for fighters in light armor, it doesn't incentivise being in light armor at all. In fact it does precisely the opposite, making medium and then heavy armor far, far better for dex based fighters than light. It essentially makes light armor a nonviable option, because it adds so very little to it. It narrowed your field, not expanded it.

Unless your Dex got even higher so you could benefit from the increased Max Dex of light armor. It was possible to get up to Dex 30 in PF1 if you tried. That's enough Dex for a mithril chain shirt plus Armor Training.

Alternately, Armor Training could make medium and heavy armors viable even for high-Dex characters or those who didn't want their speed and physical skills penalized. Win-win. Anyone could benefit. Even a Dex 10 Dwarf probably appreciated not having a penalty on Climb checks.

PF2 Armor Expertise and Armor Mastery doesn't do any of that. It doesn't reduce the penalties and limitations of armor at all. It just adds a small bump to AC and partially reduces the speed penalty, but only for one type of armor of the three that Fighters are proficient in. It's only helpful for a specific subset of Fighters, it does less than the equivalent PF1 Fighter ability, and it comes 10 levels later.

Triune wrote:
It's just complaints about change because they're change.

You think I don't want change? I am eager for change. Pretty much everything that bothers me about Pathfinder is a legacy issue from 3E that they were stuck with.

The problem is that they're not fixing a lot of those problems. We're still stuck with per-day abilities and dependence on looting and iterative attacks and static damage without a magic weapon (and that last one got worse because proficiency doesn't even improve damage!). Martials are still getting less skills than casters and having their selection restricted. And if their idea of legendary feats for martials is to give them abilities that they had ten levels earlier in PF1, then we are definitely going to still have balance problems between casters and non-casters.


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It is a valid complain that with all that Paizo has published in the 10 or so years that it has been around and has access to is that all we are given is what is in the playtest book.


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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
It is a valid complain that with all that Paizo has published in the 10 or so years that it has been around and has access to is that all we are given is what is in the playtest book.

In terms of quantity, there's a hard limit to what they can fit in a single book. Lots of classes and options aren't going to make the cut. I don't have a problem with that. I do wish the options we were getting had a lot more oomph and weren't so rigidly divided by class.


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I dont disagree but the fact that all we get from what and in existence and the developers had access to is what is in the playtest is sad.


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All three of the mechanics you've mentioned are ones I've never used so I'm not bothered at all by their exclusion - if anything, the inclusion of Background as a sort of pseudo-Trait is something of a pet peeve.

My own issue with PF2, so far as character generation goes, is that I don't actually WANT any of the Feats presented in the book. Sure one can just tick a box and then ignore the effects in play which works fine on one level, but the game still feels claustrophobic, as if it were trying to force certain styles of play.

This seems to be a common problem with games that cite 'balance' as a design priority. Perhaps because they need to fit everything to the arbitrary baseline they've set with varying degrees of heavy-handedness?


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Triune wrote:
There are going to be less options in 2e than 1e, by sheer logical fact. It cannot possibly be anything else.

Well, you could make a backwards-compatible system that allows old classes and feats to be selected, like PF1 was.


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Craimyon, I'm coming to the same conclusion with the feats. None of them really catch my interest so far.


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The playtest rulebook is incredibly lacking in options and what we get tremendously generic though. The classes are also incredibly pidgeonholed. Here's just three things I tried to make, but couldnt:

- A barbarian specialising in Thrown weapons. But it turns out Rage no longer applies to them, and I don't get Quick Draw and the Barbarian gets nothing to aid ranged combat, at all.
- A bow ranger. Yes, a bloody bow using ranger. You get absolutely no feat support until 18th level (Impossible Volley), and while Distracting Shot favors the Bow, all the other feats are equally useful to both bow and crossbow. Oh, but there's two feats (Crossbow Ace, Running Reload) that favor the Crossbow over the Bow. Guess I know what direction the devs want me to go....
- A rogue that uses a spear as their main weapon. Just...just that. To try and make a sort of tribal hunter. But...nope. Sneak Attack doesn't work with Spears, nor does Finesse Striker. So....my two first level class features, completely useless because I dared pick a spear.

I could make all three of these in PF1 Core out of the box, and while the first one might've been sub-par, I could actually, y'know, make it in the first place.

I could probably make them in PF2 if I wanted to as well...by multiclassing the first two into Fighter for the relevant feats. Can't do anything about the third though, I'm stuck there.

But if you still have doubts, just look at all the stuff that used to be general feats anyone could take, but are now class locked. Fighter is the worst offender, but Metamagic feats are another good example.


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Wow! I have a halfling rogue in 1.0 that uses a spear all the time to keep big things away. I'm sad that as it stands right now this is not doable. Same with the archer.


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I think Paizo tried to raise the floor and lower the ceiling on character power, and a lot of character concepts got lost in the change. I know about half of my character concepts from PF1 are gone in PF2. This is a terrible design choice by Paizo.

Of my character concepts that survived, I have a generic cleric, an "archer", and a bard (ignoring the fact that I can't play a tiefling yet, but that's not a fair criticism at this point).

Paizo was so worried about people making bad or OP characters that they won't let anyone make characters outside of their small, preconceived boxes of what they think characters should be.

In short, I'd rather play a game that let me break the system both ways to make any character I want than one that straight-jackets me into playing a trope.


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The Narration wrote:
Triune wrote:
Sure, you could get whatever combat feats suit you, but did those feats enable new fighting styles? Pretty much no, they were numerical bonuses.

Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Rend, Two-Weapon Feint, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Pinpoint Targeting, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Cleave, Great Cleave, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses.

That's just from the core book. All enabling new fighting styles rather than adding numerical bonuses.

Triune wrote:
Fun fact about armor training for fighters in light armor, it doesn't incentivise being in light armor at all. In fact it does precisely the opposite, making medium and then heavy armor far, far better for dex based fighters than light. It essentially makes light armor a nonviable option, because it adds so very little to it. It narrowed your field, not expanded it.

Unless your Dex got even higher so you could benefit from the increased Max Dex of light armor. It was possible to get up to Dex 30 in PF1 if you tried. That's enough Dex for a mithril chain shirt plus Armor Training.

Alternately, Armor Training could make medium and heavy armors viable even for high-Dex characters or those who didn't want their speed and physical skills penalized. Win-win. Anyone could benefit. Even a Dex 10 Dwarf probably appreciated not having a penalty on Climb checks.

PF2 Armor Expertise and Armor Mastery doesn't do any of that. It doesn't reduce the penalties and limitations of armor at all. It just adds a small bump to AC and partially reduces the speed penalty, but only for one type of armor of the three that Fighters are proficient in. It's only helpful for a specific subset of Fighters, it does less than the equivalent PF1 Fighter ability, and it comes 10 levels later.

Triune wrote:
It's just complaints about change because
...

The majority of the options you presented are straight numerical bonuses, present in 2e already, or so bad as to be laughable non-options. I'm utterly unconvinced. I mean great cleave? Come on now.

I don't think you've run the math on armor training. A mithral breastplate will always be superior to a mithral chain shirt when you have armor training. You don't have to fully utilize your dex bonus, just look at the total armor class a piece of armor gives you. And it could do it without ACP or speed penalty. That's one of the huge problems with 1E. Plenty of options that are illusory because they're strictly subpar. They're space wasters. If you used light armor as a core dex fighter, you were gimping yourself for no benefit, plain and simple. The same exact thing you're complaining about in 2E.

The point remains, you're not complaining about lack of options. You're just complaining that things changed.


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Triune wrote:
The Narration wrote:
Triune wrote:
Sure, you could get whatever combat feats suit you, but did those feats enable new fighting styles? Pretty much no, they were numerical bonuses.

Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Rend, Two-Weapon Feint, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Pinpoint Targeting, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Improved Feint, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes, Stand Still, Quick Draw, Rapid Reload, Cleave, Great Cleave, Dazzling Display, Shatter Defenses.

That's just from the core book. All enabling new fighting styles rather than adding numerical bonuses.

Triune wrote:
Fun fact about armor training for fighters in light armor, it doesn't incentivise being in light armor at all. In fact it does precisely the opposite, making medium and then heavy armor far, far better for dex based fighters than light. It essentially makes light armor a nonviable option, because it adds so very little to it. It narrowed your field, not expanded it.

Unless your Dex got even higher so you could benefit from the increased Max Dex of light armor. It was possible to get up to Dex 30 in PF1 if you tried. That's enough Dex for a mithril chain shirt plus Armor Training.

Alternately, Armor Training could make medium and heavy armors viable even for high-Dex characters or those who didn't want their speed and physical skills penalized. Win-win. Anyone could benefit. Even a Dex 10 Dwarf probably appreciated not having a penalty on Climb checks.

PF2 Armor Expertise and Armor Mastery doesn't do any of that. It doesn't reduce the penalties and limitations of armor at all. It just adds a small bump to AC and partially reduces the speed penalty, but only for one type of armor of the three that Fighters are proficient in. It's only helpful for a specific subset of Fighters, it does less than the equivalent PF1 Fighter ability, and it comes 10 levels later.

Triune wrote:
It's just
...

Thing is, a lot of players don't particularly care whether how powerful their characters are - we'd much rather run a subpar character that we want to play than a perfectly balanced one that we just sort of settled for.

One of the reasons I've been so vocal during pre-playtest about simplification is that, if something doesn't have mechanics associated with it, you don't have to try and balance it, which leaves more space for players to imagine things as they please.

Rules provide form and structure to the game which is important to an extent, but there's also a point where they constrain creativity and in a TTRPG where the whole point is to have fun by using our imaginations, it seems folly to impose restrictions for something as ephemeral as 'balance'. YMMV


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
In P1E's core rulebook, there was no such thing as [things]
First and foremost, this is actually a horrible argument. Part of the last 10 years of development has been Paizo growing, learning, and developing their own style. Just because Archetypes, Traits (or Backgrounds as they've become), and other such things weren't "in the [notably just shy of carbon copy of 3.5] Core Rulebook" doesn't mean it's just alright for them to be lacking now

But Archetypes use pages. Traits use pages. Classes use pages. Cramming all of that into PF1 CRB would be impossible, unless you leave something else out.

Which is the point of the argument you think it's horrible: it's not easy to put so much flexibility in a single book, because of space. You can put backgrounds as a substitution for traits... but you can't give the players the 20 pages of traits that PF1 has accumulated through the years. So the ability to customize your character through a background/trait is there, just that the amount of options is less, because you only have 1 book instead of 30.


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Crayon wrote:

Thing is, a lot of players don't particularly care whether how powerful their characters are - we'd much rather run a subpar character that we want to play than a perfectly balanced one that we just sort of settled for.

One of the reasons I've been so vocal during pre-playtest about simplification is that, if something doesn't have mechanics associated with it, you don't have to try and balance it, which leaves more space for players to imagine things as they please.

Rules provide form and structure to the game which is important to an extent, but there's also a point where they constrain creativity and in a TTRPG where the whole point is to have fun by using our imaginations, it seems folly to impose restrictions for something as ephemeral as 'balance'. YMMV

Please see the vast, vast, vast amount of forum threads that complain about balance for reference that you might be in the minority.

Oh, and I call bull that you don't care about balance. I find it unlikely that you'd play a first level commoner in a party of 10th level wizards in a combat heavy campaign. Balance is actually pretty integral to most people's fun, even if they want to act above it all and don't want to admit it.

Pathfinder is a crunch heavy system. D&D based systems always are. If you were looking for this game to be fate accelerated, you're gonna be sorely disappointed.


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thflame wrote:
I have a generic cleric,

is his name Eric?

thflame wrote:


In short, I'd rather play a game that let me break the system both ways to make any character I want than one that straight-jackets me into playing a trope.

truth right here


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Triune wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
And as for the thing about there not being any way to get cross-class class skills in Core... honestly that wouldn't be a problem now if Signature Skills were only as significant as class skills were in PF1e. In PF1e if a skill's not a class skill, you're missing out on, like, 3 points of a bonus that can still be quite massive if you focus on it. Now however, if a skill is not one of your Signature Skills... you are flat barred from half of it's progression, and flat barred from any use at Master level or higher. It's kinda like if in PF1e you could never put more than, say, 10 ranks in a non-class skill and had a hard DC cap of, say, DC 20 (spitballed from DC 10 + max number of ranks you could put in) you could even attempt. I just bet if something like that had happened in the PF1e core rulebook there would've been quite the stink, and that's basically the equivalent of what we have now so yes, there's a stink about it now.

Fighter has 10 intelligence, knowledge is not a class skill, he has absolutely no mechanical reason to pump intelligence and if he does, he will gimp himself.

Wizard has 18 intelligence, knowledge is a class skill for him. He starts seven points ahead in the skill, a huge amount. As he levels he pumps intelligence, because of course he does. By the time you hit level ten or so, he is likely another 4 points ahead of the fighter, giving him 11 more effective ranks in the skill than the fighter. He knows things the fighter can only dream of. The fighter is so far behind it's comical. He can take skill focus and waste a feat, and still be very very far behind.

You forgot stat boosts to skills and how important they are. In first edition it's the same thing.

1) I never said the Fighter's going to beat the Wizard at knowledge, but the Fighter can still be perfectly adequate at Knowledge if they want to.

2) In a Core-only game, there is a very good reason for a fighter to have more than 10 Int, given that using literally any combat maneuver worth a dang is going to require Combat Expertise (prerequisite of Int 13). There's also having more than 2 skills.

3) Assuming 10 Int for a character who (as I specifically stated in the post) is focusing on an Int skill as part of their concept is straight up nonsensical. More likely at least 12, likely 14 (if not at level 1 at least at level 4 after that first stat boost.) And it's not like a Fighter has any other use for headband anyways, so picking up an int headband isn't unreasonable. That puts the Fighter at 20 Int at higher levels. The fighter also has more than enough feats to spend one on Skill Focus.

4) And all of that is with the worst combination. Archers (Fighter or Ranger) with Acrobatics (Tumbling is great for getting away from melee,) Clerics with Perception (or maybe Intimidate, Cleric of a scary God using that Cha you have anyways for Channeling,) Sorcerers with Diplomacy, Druids or Rangers with Sense Motive, or Monks with Survival are much better examples.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I'm sorry, but I have to ask because this is the iveactuallylostcountofhowtimesithasbeen"factually"implied time I've seen it. But why are the vast majority of posts going on here where someone with a valid concern about a mechanic is trying to pin it as a fact that this mechanic is set in stone and will forever be non replaceable? And then when someone brings up a valid option to replace or correct what seems wrong, they're immediately ignored and taken completely out of context if they aren't ignored? I'm seriously confused and lost to where Paizo made it concrete that this exactly to the T what PF2 is going to be.


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There are many unknowns, however, all people have to go by is what is written so far. I am not entirely sure or confident that Paizo will be listening to the play testers if the receive criticisms that they do not like.


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KyleS wrote:
I'm sorry, but I have to ask because this is the iveactuallylostcountofhowtimesithasbeen"factually"implied time I've seen it. But why are the vast majority of posts going on here where someone with a valid concern about a mechanic is trying to pin it as a fact that this mechanic is set in stone and will forever be non replaceable? And then when someone brings up a valid option to replace or correct what seems wrong, they're immediately ignored and taken completely out of context if they aren't ignored? I'm seriously confused and lost to where Paizo made it concrete that this exactly to the T what PF2 is going to be.

Well for one, for the next year or so it is practically if not literally set in stone. As for beyond that, for one: we don't know what alternatives (if any, our personal issues might be too personal to get more than a momentary glance if that much) might actually wind up being used, and there is a very real possibility that if replacements aren't playtested they might even wind up worse than the one that got playtested and found unsatisfactory.

And as for other people's suggestions... for the next year if we use any of them it immediately drops the validity of our feedback tremendously, because we weren't doing it by the book.


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
There are many unknowns, however, all people have to go by is what is written so far. I am not entirely sure or confident that Paizo will be listening to the play testers if the receive criticisms that they do not like.

Criticism they will ignore: "I hate it, it's stupid, you're stupid, I hate it so everybody should hate it because if they don't hate it then they're stupid because I hate it.

Criticism they actively want to see: "Ancestry feats are a tough sell for me because while they sound intriguing, being limited to only one makes it seem as if they won't have any major effect to being pertinent. Being able to choose more at first level makes more sense and seems like a way to get away from the feeling that you're being limited and will be able to make a character you want to play. As of now, they seem more restrictive and somewhat redundant to what they seem to be trying to accomplish."

Scarab Sages

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Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
It is a valid complain that with all that Paizo has published in the 10 or so years that it has been around and has access to is that all we are given is what is in the playtest book.

I use to play a cleric=rogue with TWF style with maces. Can't do it now, however I can in 5E with neither = or =.

Scarab Sages

should be no minuses or pluses.


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Having only the core is irrelevant. Saga Edition's core alone gave you several different options for building each class, as I elaborated on here, especially when you had multiclassing. The class feats in the PF playtest are just badly designed.


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KyleS wrote:
But why are the vast majority of posts going on here where someone with a valid concern about a mechanic is trying to pin it as a fact that this mechanic is set in stone and will forever be non replaceable?

... they'd have to rewrite the whole book to get me to play it. I think it's awful, almost all of it awful. And they aren't going to do that, so....

I just hope they keep the PF1 stuff for sale, but as it's all digital and probably costs them nothing to serve up I guess they will. And maybe some third party company will produce stuff for PF1 still. I've not been at all impressed with the existing third party stuff though so I don't really hold out much hope there.


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The nature of complaints I see popping up a lot here boil down to "This class can't do whatever I want it to do." I mean, seriously? That's kind of the entire point of a class-based system. Different classes play differently. One of my biggest complaints of PF1 was that it got to the point where I felt like my class wasn't actually doing enough to distinguish my character. They had a couple unique gimmicks, sure, but a witch I made didn't feel fundamentally distinct enough from an Enchanter or a Fey Sorcerer. When someone comes out and says "I want X class to be able to do whatever I want," I have to wonder to myself why they're even playing Pathfinder instead of a system that uses build points to create characters, or maybe an STG.


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martinaj wrote:
The nature of complaints I see popping up a lot here boil down to "This class can't do whatever I want it to do." I mean, seriously? That's kind of the entire point of a class-based system. Different classes play differently. One of my biggest complaints of PF1 was that it got to the point where I felt like my class wasn't actually doing enough to distinguish my character. They had a couple unique gimmicks, sure, but a witch I made didn't feel fundamentally distinct enough from an Enchanter or a Fey Sorcerer. When someone comes out and says "I want X class to be able to do whatever I want," I have to wonder to myself why they're even playing Pathfinder instead of a system that uses build points to create characters, or maybe an STG.

This is such a blatant misinterpretation of people's arguments that I can only assume it is willful and in bad faith.

Please, go make a light armor fighter. Or a ranger with a two hander. Or a rogue with a spear.

These are not "I want to do whatever I want" requests. These are "why does a master of weapons and armor not get any bonuses to 2/3 of the armor choices as options when that used to be a thing they could do?" Or "why can I not take a general combat feat to use a two hander better?" Or "why can I not sneak attack with a weapon that has been used in sneak attacks for all of history?"

These are basic, basic things. SO MANY complaints would be resolved if there were just more general feats, and class feats were used specifically for things that make a class special and unique (animal companions, channeling energy, etc.).


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Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Fluff wrote:
KyleS wrote:
But why are the vast majority of posts going on here where someone with a valid concern about a mechanic is trying to pin it as a fact that this mechanic is set in stone and will forever be non replaceable?

... they'd have to rewrite the whole book to get me to play it. I think it's awful, almost all of it awful. And they aren't going to do that, so....

They're going to rewrite book. Take the multi-classing for example.

Multiclassing and Archetypes wrote:
Multiclass archetypes are one of the more experimental parts of the Pathfinder Playtest. So much so that there are only four of them in the book, one for cleric, one for fighter, one for rogue, and one for wizard.

It continues on with feat examples, and then adds this at the end:

"Multiclassing and Archtypes wrote:
Well, that about covers the rules for multiclassing in the Pathfinder Playtest. If these archetypes work, you can expect to see one for each class in the final version of the game, giving you the flexibility to build characters that draw on more than one class to make their concept click. We hope you'll give these a try during the playtest and let us know what you think!

They openly said that it was experimental, hence why there's only 4, and that there isn't a whole to them. If you seriously believe that the PF2 CRB will only include these 4 and nothing else, and they will be exactly as written, it makes me wonder how someone can act so naive. So when they finish up with key phrases as "in the playtest" and "if they work", they're openly asking for if they work, do they not work, and if they don't work, what could make them work. I've already seen great commentary involved about how the multi-classing can be improved, even with ideas that completely re-write it. I can't wait for Gen Con to be over because I'm eagerly awaiting how they respond to us.

Your response of "they aren't going to do that" significantly implies that you're ignoring that the lack of designer communication in the first 48 hours of the playtest being revealed is due to a very large convention in where they're paying more attention to those playing the game as opposed to people who are condemning it because they don't like how they can't do something that took 10 years to fully develop. You're taking this fact, that has been stated by Vic (who's feedback guidelines you've completely misconstrued out of context so much it's insane by the way) when he said they're busy with Gen Con, and twisting it to fit your version of "This is going to be the worst product ever out there, so why even try?"

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