Thoughts on the direction PF2e should take


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3e/3.5e thrived by encouraging player agency. The DM was relegated to a much more minor role than in AD&D, while players (especially casters) got tons of shiny and powerful options that allowed them to significantly influence the narrative.
Later on, WotC stepped back away from that paradigm, reducing player agency and bringing control back into the hands of the DM in 5e.
PF2e seems to be going the same direction, and my main question is why follow the market leader? That segment of the market is already cornered, it will be difficult to compete with D&D at the same thing they are doing.
Instead, in my opinion, it could be more productive to go the other route - give players more power. Shiny, cool toys. Options that make you go "wow!" instead of options that make you yawn. Things like that.
That can be a niche very different and separate from D&D 5e while being a fun game that, in my opinion, many people could appreciate.


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A) Stop forcing people to color inside the lines. I'm finding this compartmentization of options to be frustrating and annoying. If everything is a Feat, just make them all feats. Seriously. Drop this. Now you get an ancestry feat, now you a skill feat, now you get a class feat, now you can have a general feat.

seriously Fk that.

You get a feat
select from General, Skill, Ancestry or Class.

(oh but they want to make sure you have a well rounded character. DON'T tell me how to make my character, sure as hell don't FORCE me to make my character to your standard. If I want to make a Fighter with a ton of Skill Feats let me do it. If I want a Dwarf to go all out on Ancestry Feats let me do it. If my character ends up gimped from my choices that's my problem.)

B) Make the redundancies general. This is the Druid name for the feat that gives you a bonus to will saves, this is the same feat but with a different name for Clerics, here it is again for Wizards but with a different name again.

Just make it a General Feat

Some of this stuff shouldn't be class specific at all. Why can't rogues be good at two weapon fighting? Why do only wizards and sorcerers get Metamagic (except for Reach which all casters seem to get, except bards for some reason). Why is Power attack Fighter only? Barbarians and Paladins don't know how to hit people hard for some reason?


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Grey, I think you are making many salient points.

Dark Archive

I agree with Grey on this one


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Greylurker wrote:

A) Stop forcing people to color inside the lines. I'm finding this compartmentization of options to be frustrating and annoying. If everything is a Feat, just make them all feats. Seriously. Drop this. Now you get an ancestry feat, now you a skill feat, now you get a class feat, now you can have a general feat.

seriously Fk that.

You get a feat
select from General, Skill, Ancestry or Class.

(oh but they want to make sure you have a well rounded character. DON'T tell me how to make my character, sure as hell don't FORCE me to make my character to your standard. If I want to make a Fighter with a ton of Skill Feats let me do it. If I want a Dwarf to go all out on Ancestry Feats let me do it. If my character ends up gimped from my choices that's my problem.)

B) Make the redundancies general. This is the Druid name for the feat that gives you a bonus to will saves, this is the same feat but with a different name for Clerics, here it is again for Wizards but with a different name again.

Just make it a General Feat

Some of this stuff shouldn't be class specific at all. Why can't rogues be good at two weapon fighting? Why do only wizards and sorcerers get Metamagic (except for Reach which all casters seem to get, except bards for some reason). Why is Power attack Fighter only? Barbarians and Paladins don't know how to hit people hard for some reason?

My problem isn't as much with options being compartmentalized as with most of them being boring.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Hopefully this thread doesn't go down the tubes.

Anyway, I guess my personal hope for the direction is kind of twofold. First, and probably most importantly, culling all the fat. Pathfinder has hundreds of feats, but too many of them are either hyperspecific (Bull-Catcher style comes to mind) or a minor +1/+2 bonus (or both). If you get rid of all of those you have a very solid core of pretty good feats (maybe some are a bit situational, but still functional), and all the hyperspecific and +1/+2 feats could be combined into feats worth taking or that are more interesting and memorable. This also works with class options and archetypes to a certain extent, but those are a bit more restrained typically (and there's way fewer of them). Currently I think it went way too far in this direction where it cut the fat, the meat, and part of the bone out when restructuring everything. So instead of Pathfinder but leaner and meaner you have a skeleton that individual steaks are being stapled to.

Second I guess would be redoing Unchained, but with more classes and adding more options. PF1e has a decade of design already made, and there's piles of stuff that are great and piles of stuff that just didn't work. Consolidate all the stuff that was great and made the classes memorable and fun to play (Advanced Armor/Weapon Training for example) into the core rule set as a starting ground, make a few mechanical adjustments to how the game runs (like the HP changes, three actions, etc), rebalance numbers and spells, and tighten up rules text and I'd be super jazzed with the system as a whole.


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Alchemaic wrote:

Hopefully this thread doesn't go down the tubes.

Anyway, I guess my personal hope for the direction is kind of twofold. First, and probably most importantly, culling all the fat. Pathfinder has hundreds of feats, but too many of them are either hyperspecific (Bull-Catcher style comes to mind) or a minor +1/+2 bonus (or both). If you get rid of all of those you have a very solid core of pretty good feats (maybe some are a bit situational, but still functional), and all the hyperspecific and +1/+2 feats could be combined into feats worth taking or that are more interesting and memorable. This also works with class options and archetypes to a certain extent, but those are a bit more restrained typically (and there's way fewer of them). Currently I think it went way too far in this direction where it cut the fat, the meat, and part of the bone out when restructuring everything. So instead of Pathfinder but leaner and meaner you have a skeleton that individual steaks are being stapled to.

Second I guess would be redoing Unchained, but with more classes and adding more options. PF1e has a decade of design already made, and there's piles of stuff that are great and piles of stuff that just didn't work. Consolidate all the stuff that was great and made the classes memorable and fun to play (Advanced Armor/Weapon Training for example) into the core rule set as a starting ground, make a few mechanical adjustments to how the game runs (like the HP changes, three actions, etc), rebalance numbers and spells, and tighten up rules text and I'd be super jazzed with the system as a whole.

I don't think just culling the fat would be enough. The niche I am suggesting in the OP is going even higher power than Pathfinder currently is - giving all the power to the players, and then some. That would be radically different from D&D 5e, would be the logical culmination of the paradigms of 3.5e, and would get players excited.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The problem with giving players more agency is that it exacerbates the rift between super-invested system mastery people and casual gamers. If you want to expand your customer base, you don't want that.


Noodlemancer wrote:

3e/3.5e thrived by encouraging player agency. The DM was relegated to a much more minor role than in AD&D, while players (especially casters) got tons of shiny and powerful options that allowed them to significantly influence the narrative.

Later on, WotC stepped back away from that paradigm, reducing player agency and bringing control back into the hands of the DM in 5e.
PF2e seems to be going the same direction, and my main question is why follow the market leader? That segment of the market is already cornered, it will be difficult to compete with D&D at the same thing they are doing.
Instead, in my opinion, it could be more productive to go the other route - give players more power. Shiny, cool toys. Options that make you go "wow!" instead of options that make you yawn. Things like that.
That can be a niche very different and separate from D&D 5e while being a fun game that, in my opinion, many people could appreciate.

There are plenty of story games out there that can give you more agency in the campaign world than 3ed. Games where you can spend a resource to say "This exists in the world, GM!", or where you can just write "I am a [blank]" instead of collecting a dozen feats and items to become that. But all that agency is built into the game.

3ed and PF1 wasn't designed for players to go roughshod over combats and make travel and investigation challenges insignificant. It's simply been counter-balanced by an arms race of equally broken NPCs, monsters, and spells. It's fine if you like that style of play, but players having lots of character options isn't synonymous with having more agency.


Noodlemancer wrote:
PF2e seems to be going the same direction, and my main question is why follow the market leader?

PF2 does not seem to be going the direction of 5th Ed, to me, it would seem in some cases it is trying so hard to appear not like 5th Ed, that it is a detriment. Of course they should not make a game like 5th Ed, but there are many ways to make a great game based on the 3rd Ed/d20 system, and I'm not sure about the current avenue they are taking.

5th Ed is like 3rd Ed Lite.


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Greylurker wrote:

A) Stop forcing people to color inside the lines. I'm finding this compartmentization of options to be frustrating and annoying. If everything is a Feat, just make them all feats. Seriously. Drop this. Now you get an ancestry feat, now you a skill feat, now you get a class feat, now you can have a general feat.

seriously Fk that.

You get a feat
select from General, Skill, Ancestry or Class.

(oh but they want to make sure you have a well rounded character. DON'T tell me how to make my character, sure as hell don't FORCE me to make my character to your standard. If I want to make a Fighter with a ton of Skill Feats let me do it. If I want a Dwarf to go all out on Ancestry Feats let me do it. If my character ends up gimped from my choices that's my problem.)

I feel PF1 tried that, and that ended up with a massive dearth in everything not-class. Getting more class features (because they're specialized) is almost always going to be more powerful than any competing options. There's a reason "Extra Class X" was taken so often in comparison with every other choice.


Cyouni wrote:
Greylurker wrote:

A) Stop forcing people to color inside the lines. I'm finding this compartmentization of options to be frustrating and annoying. If everything is a Feat, just make them all feats. Seriously. Drop this. Now you get an ancestry feat, now you a skill feat, now you get a class feat, now you can have a general feat.

seriously Fk that.

You get a feat
select from General, Skill, Ancestry or Class.

(oh but they want to make sure you have a well rounded character. DON'T tell me how to make my character, sure as hell don't FORCE me to make my character to your standard. If I want to make a Fighter with a ton of Skill Feats let me do it. If I want a Dwarf to go all out on Ancestry Feats let me do it. If my character ends up gimped from my choices that's my problem.)

I feel PF1 tried that, and that ended up with a massive dearth in everything not-class. Getting more class features (because they're specialized) is almost always going to be more powerful than any competing options. There's a reason "Extra Class X" was taken so often in comparison with every other choice.

Maybe there's a middle-ground, Class Feats could be called Talents, Ancestry Feats could be called Traits, or something, as has been suggested many times, mix it up a bit.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:

Maybe there's a middle-ground, Class Feats could be called Talents, Ancestry Feats could be called Traits, or something, as has been suggested many times, mix it up a bit.

I don't see much of a point when they're all the same thing at bottom. It might be more to your current sensibilities to have them named differently, but I look at PFs talents/exploits/tricks/discoveries and just go, "oh, these are class-specific feats." And all the racial stuff you get works out to feats in some way, etc.

It's just being more transparent about the guts of the system.


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Paizo have pointed out that the feats in each category are not the same power level. A class feat is more powerful than a skill feat for instance. If players could choose any feat at any time, they'd always go for class feats.

So the different categories exist to ensure balance, and that characters get both class and skill feats.

I'm on the fence, but can totally see that naming everything 'feats' is confusing in this regard. And a bit overwhelming perhaps. Calling them eg: class Talents, general Feats, skill Techniques, ancestry Traits etc (or whatever) might help this. Plus stop the power level comparisons that come off poorly for non-class feats.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
The problem with giving players more agency is that it exacerbates the rift between super-invested system mastery people and casual gamers. If you want to expand your customer base, you don't want that.

I can see the argument for that, but at the same time that's also going in the direction of a "No Child Left Behind/No Child Gets Ahead" problem. Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time. You get your choice of a Radio Flyer, some kind of plastic Fisher-Price thing, or the Cadillac of Kindergarten: the Big Wheel, but you're never getting rid of that third wheel, like going on a date but your date has to babysit their kid brother and HE's the one who's picking the movie and dinner location.

Ideally, I feel, system mastery shouldn't even exist as it is now. You should be able to pick any 10 feats and have a fully fleshed-out and complete character concept that works, with the only mastery needed being the knowledge of which ones fit your flavor or concept best, but that's a nearly impossibly high bar. But at the very least the kids with the training wheels should be able to keep up with the adults and look forward to the point when they too can take the training wheels off.


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I think it's good that feats of varying power are divided into different groups so that they are actually picked.

What REALLY ticks me off about this "compartmentization" is how it seems every feat is super specifically level gated so the only sweetspot to pick it is at an EXACT level you gain access to it. This makes it very easy to build a character by limiting what they get at each level up to homogenize builds, but I think that's a big detriment to the game.

There was a design philosophy in 3e/PF that you never put level requirements on anything (They did level gate a lot of things through BAB and skill points, which there was no way to get more), but otherwise most abilities were right there from lv1 waiting for a crazy build to somehow meet the requirements and grab it early.

I think they should do away with class feats being of the specific levels you gain them at go back to requiring certain skills/stats. Yes, this means the options at chargen become a lot bigger, but it also means the options at chargen become a lot bigger! (Yes, it can be both good and bad... But mostly good to me).

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

I already think it's a minefield of trap options, specially for some classes and levels (Looking at you, wizard). Most of the class feats are very weak and uninspiring, but there's also some strong ones (Quick Study!). It's very easy to notice in this edition comapred to before since there's only like 4-5 choices at any given level.

At least with more stuff you could sidestep some of them...

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

I already think it's a minefield of trap options, specially for some classes and levels (Looking at you, wizard). Most of the class feats are very weak and uninspiring, but there's also some strong ones (Quick Study!). It's very easy to notice in this edition comapred to before since there's only like 4-5 choices at any given level.

At least with more stuff you could sidestep some of them...

I'm all for playtesting to ensure that those options you choose are all on the same power level. Sure! But I don't want a game where I have to helicopter over new players to ensure that they don't cripple their PCs.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

Or the book could just be printed without trap options. For some reason you seem to be assuming that people WANT there to be bad options.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

Or the book could just be printed without trap options. For some reason you seem to be assuming that people WANT there to be bad options.

You've missed all the "I want to be able to make an interesting but sub-optimal character but the cookie cutter ruleset of PF2 won't let me" posts flying around :)


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Alchemaic wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

Or the book could just be printed without trap options. For some reason you seem to be assuming that people WANT there to be bad options.

It's basically impossible to print a book with both a lot of options and no bad options. The best you can do is just aim for printing no options that are unplayably bad, because some are just guaranteed to be worse.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

Or the book could just be printed without trap options. For some reason you seem to be assuming that people WANT there to be bad options.
You've missed all the "I want to be able to make an interesting but sub-optimal character but the cookie cutter ruleset of PF2 won't let me" posts flying around :)

I guess I must have, most of the complaints I've seen are people complaining about stuff like TWF Rogues or Dex Fighters.

Witch of Miracles wrote:
It's basically impossible to print a book with both a lot of options and no bad options. The best you can do is just aim for printing no options that are unplayably bad, because some are just guaranteed to be worse.

I feel like I said that already. Didn't I say that already? Either way, yes, I'm aware it's an impossibly high bar to print only "good" options, because even those good options will be valued differently based on the player. However, there's a difference between printing good/okay/suboptimal options and printing bad and trap options. Scrollmaster Wizards are suboptimal because you run around smacking people with rolls of paper instead of letting the lowly non-casters do the work. Trap options are trying to use firearms as a main weapon in an emerging guns setting as a non-gunslinger or gun archetype just because they target Touch AC.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

I'm not sure what I think about this particular argument. Does Paizo really have to write their game so that it is completely accessible to brand new players, or can they write a game aimed at experienced players, and collect people who are leaving the simpler systems when they get bored with them? And if every tabletop RPG needs to be simple enough to be picked up by brand new players, where are those of us who need much deeper complexity go for our game?

I will admit that I am among those who will pick a significantly less optimal option, and then build the very best I can. I find it a very fun exercise. Take a weak race, take a flavorful racial feat, and then build the best character I can with those options, hopefully ending up with something that is of reasonable power level at the end. How do I do this if the system is working to prevent me from taking any 'bad' options?

I'm speaking here from the perspective of someone who is playing Pathfinder as opposed to any other game precisely because I love the complexity and options. If you take that away, you are probably going to end up with something not for me.

Please note, I'm not threatening to stomp off. I'm not threatining to never buy anything again from Paizo if they don't do things my way. There will at least be many cool PF1 PDFs I'll be purchasing for years, and PF1 adventures to keep me busy for years. I'm just saying that if the final version is too much written in a way that takes away how I like to build characters and how I like to play, I'll stay with PF1.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They don't have to, but they obviously want to, because RPGs these days face enormous challenges in attracting new customers. The biggest challenge is the entry bar. 5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by taking in new players.

Deep complexity is good for invested, experienced players. It's no good for attracting new people. It's BAD for attracting new people, because you're being told that you can't make an effective character without system mastery. Faced with that, new people will chose 5E or just crack Descent or Gloomhaven open.

I think Paizo will be perfectly fine with people staying with 1E as long as 2E attracts new payers.


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Gorbacz wrote:
5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by ...

having the name "D&D" attached to it, for the most part


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Hythlodeus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by ...
having the name "D&D" attached to it, for the most part

Exactly. D&D will beat any competitor by virtue of being D&D if they do the same thing. The only way to compete is to be meaningfully different. And given that 5e goes for the low power level kind of games, PF2e should take the other niche and be high power level.


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Redelia wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

I'm not sure what I think about this particular argument. Does Paizo really have to write their game so that it is completely accessible to brand new players, or can they write a game aimed at experienced players, and collect people who are leaving the simpler systems when they get bored with them? And if every tabletop RPG needs to be simple enough to be picked up by brand new players, where are those of us who need much deeper complexity go for our game?

I will admit that I am among those who will pick a significantly less optimal option, and then build the very best I can. I find it a very fun exercise. Take a weak race, take a flavorful racial feat, and then build the best character I can with those options, hopefully ending up with something that is of reasonable power level at the end. How do I do this if the system is working to prevent me from taking any 'bad' options?

I'm speaking here from the perspective of someone who is playing Pathfinder as opposed to any other game precisely because I love the complexity and options. If you take that away, you are probably going to end up with something not for me.

Please note, I'm not threatening to stomp off. I'm not threatining to never buy anything again from Paizo if they don't do things my way. There will at least be many cool PF1 PDFs I'll be purchasing for years, and PF1 adventures to keep me busy for years. I'm just saying that if the final version is...

I agree with 100% of this. Perfect.

You are awesome. I couldn't explain it this well.


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Redelia wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Instead of having training wheels for new players and letting advanced players take them off, everyone has to use a tricycle all the time.

Does the book come with a free advanced player to help you out? It doesn't. The product should be playable for a group of total newbies without being a minefield of trap options.

If new people will be faced with a game that is "best played when you're advanced, else you might shoot yourself in the foot", they'll instead opt for a game that doesn't have that (say, 5E) or a board game.

I'm not sure what I think about this particular argument. Does Paizo really have to write their game so that it is completely accessible to brand new players, or can they write a game aimed at experienced players, and collect people who are leaving the simpler systems when they get bored with them? And if every tabletop RPG needs to be simple enough to be picked up by brand new players, where are those of us who need much deeper complexity go for our game?

I will admit that I am among those who will pick a significantly less optimal option, and then build the very best I can. I find it a very fun exercise. Take a weak race, take a flavorful racial feat, and then build the best character I can with those options, hopefully ending up with something that is of reasonable power level at the end. How do I do this if the system is working to prevent me from taking any 'bad' options?

I'm speaking here from the perspective of someone who is playing Pathfinder as opposed to any other game precisely because I love the complexity and options. If you take that away, you are probably going to end up with something not for me.

Please note, I'm not threatening to stomp off. I'm not threatining to never buy anything again from Paizo if they don't do things my way. There will at least be many cool PF1 PDFs I'll be purchasing for years, and PF1 adventures to keep me busy for years. I'm just saying that if the final version is...

Exactly. I avoid 5e because it embraces this simplicity. I love PF1 because of its depth and complexity - that's what I'm looking for in a game. If you take that out, I become less interested in it because there's not as much to engage on.

Maybe they could make two versions of the new edition, one more "lite" to draw in new players, and one with full complexity that they could graduate to after a couple adventures. You could do this just by limiting class options/feats/equipment in the lite version to a specific set you consider fairly balanced out and trope-friendly, then adding all the more 'out there' options in the full version.

That way, if players want a simplified game they can pick up the lite version easily, while an experienced player could play a character built with the full rules in the same group and induct the newer players by dint of "that looks cool, I want that".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:

Exactly. I avoid 5e because it embraces this simplicity. I love PF1 because of its depth and complexity - that's what I'm looking for in a game. If you take that out, I become less interested in it because there's not as much to engage on.

Maybe they could make two versions of the new edition, one more "lite" to draw in new players, and one with full complexity that they could graduate to after a couple adventures.

The "two parallel games" idea was one of contributors to TSR's downfall and Paizo already refused to go that way when people asked for expansion of Beginner's Box into a full product line. You can put out one intro product and that's it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Going through the playtest, I see as far as class feats are concerned, most classes have at least 4 or so very obvious distinct paths a player can take. That doesnt seem so bad.

Also I think some of the Siloing (is that a word?) of options is probably to leave design space open for future classes. One of the issues that Paizo ran across is that many conceptual niches seemed hard to pull off, if existing core rulebook classes were already really strong in multiple niches. I also think some of the complaints probably tie into the buzz going in on the blogs. There were a LOT of posts arguing that very few new classes would be needed after the playtest, and to me that is obviously not what happened.


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Gorbacz are you a stakeholder in Paizo or something. Every g+$$!+n post of yours is about business metrics. I for one don't care about business metrics if the product is crappy. ZOMG 5th ed has more users. Probably because even though I play pathfinder every night I still call it D&D night. Its that name recognition. Anecdotal i know but quite a few people came back to PF1 after trying 5th ed because its as deep as a puddle.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gallyck wrote:
Gorbacz are you a stakeholder in Paizo or something.

That would explain a few things.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gallyck wrote:
Gorbacz are you a stakeholder in Paizo or something. Every g!!~+&n post of yours is about business metrics. I for one don't care about business metrics if the product is crappy. ZOMG 5th ed has more users. Probably because even though I play pathfinder every night I still call it D&D night. Its that name recognition. Anecdotal i know but quite a few people came back to PF1 after trying 5th ed because its as deep as a puddle.

Paizo is owned by Lisa Stevens and Vic Wertz. It's not publicly traded, so I can't be a shareholder.

And I know about the industry much enough to be aware of the business context. Paizo is not a charity tasked with ensuring happiness and wellbeing of gamers, it's a company that's, like every enterprise, about earning your dollar, feeding your dogs, paying your employees and growing. From that perspective, the most important metric of a product is the ROI it brings.

Pathfinder might be in every way superior to sliced bread, Bee Gees and vodka, but if it doesn't sell, you're end up with your favourite company closing the product line and you wondering what exactly did just happen. Business metrics happened.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
Pathfinder might be in every way superior to sliced bread, Bee Gees and vodka, but if it doesn't sell, you're end up with your favourite company closing the product line and you wondering what exactly did just happen. Business metrics happened.

Yep, but at the same time if they don't manage to convince their existing playerbase to migrate in good numbers to the new system and can't find a niche where they can reasonably expect to attract new players over D&D 5th, then they may have thrown away their niche they had for nothing.

It's up to us to find a middle way which will please both sides.


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Or just focus on making the best product and people will come and play it. If pf2 playtest is the best after 10 years of pf1 and it's constant feedback then the feedback has fallen on deaf ears or they are too worried about biting into marketshares rather then releasing a quality, coherent system.


Hythlodeus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by ...
having the name "D&D" attached to it, for the most part

Yeah? Tell that to 4th edition! :P


bugleyman wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by ...
having the name "D&D" attached to it, for the most part
Yeah? Tell that to 4th edition! :P

4e had it rough, I'll admit.

though after my initial irrational hatred faded, I can see that there were some good points to their design (even if I still feel that it's too "bubble-wrapped" for my taste). take "minion" and "elite" monsters, for example: minions always, ALWAYS have 1 hp, and serve entirely to be easy fodder for the players to chop through with ease on their way to the real threat. they drain actions and maybe chip off a little of the party's hp, but their purpose is to die--and having a horde of minions attacking is a GREAT way to make the players feel like badasses, some real helms deep or skyward sword ganon's final battle approach stuff.
meanwhile: elites/bosses allow for dramatic, single-enemy encounters without them simply being action-economy'd to death by the party's superior numbers by giving them multiple initiatives in a given turn (I've personally re-tooled this kind of design approach for some monster-hunter-esque giant monsters in pathfinder, to great effect!)

they had very clearly stated and designed roles for each class, and gained abilities that directly contributed towards being better at that role.

it made for a pretty darn good combat-miniatures game (and i would personally use it as the system if i were to run a "trapped in an MMO" setting like Log Horizon or .Hack//), though not quite so good a role-playing game.

but, like pf2e now, it had it's pitfalls: focusing near-exclusively on combat made certain types of adventures like diplomatic, exploratory, or other utility encounters much harder to run well (boo!), and while raising the skill floor makes it very easy to get into (yay!), their choice of lowering the skill ceiling rather dramatically impacted it's mechanical depth (boo!).
I've seen a great many people on the 4chan's drawing a parallel between how class feats are now (their boringness and dubious level of theft from the pf1e's general combat feat pool aside) and 4e's Powers, and I can see where one might draw that conclusion.


bugleyman wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
5e went for a lower entry bar, which, mind you, is still higher than of any modern board game, and was able to smash Pathfinder's market position by ...
having the name "D&D" attached to it, for the most part
Yeah? Tell that to 4th edition! :P

4e sold really well, (hell I bought 4 4e books before I figured out I didn't like it) just few people stuck with it long term. But 4e is also the reason why Paizo and Pathfinder is a thing.

I just feel like the shoe has switched foots now. 5e isn't so bad and this playtest is starting to kill my motivation, mostly from the impossible formating of the stupid 2ePHB.

Dark Archive

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Greylurker wrote:

A) Stop forcing people to color inside the lines. I'm finding this compartmentization of options to be frustrating and annoying. If everything is a Feat, just make them all feats. Seriously. Drop this. Now you get an ancestry feat, now you a skill feat, now you get a class feat, now you can have a general feat.

seriously Fk that.

You get a feat
select from General, Skill, Ancestry or Class.

(oh but they want to make sure you have a well rounded character. DON'T tell me how to make my character, sure as hell don't FORCE me to make my character to your standard. If I want to make a Fighter with a ton of Skill Feats let me do it. If I want a Dwarf to go all out on Ancestry Feats let me do it. If my character ends up gimped from my choices that's my problem.)

B) Make the redundancies general. This is the Druid name for the feat that gives you a bonus to will saves, this is the same feat but with a different name for Clerics, here it is again for Wizards but with a different name again.

Just make it a General Feat

Some of this stuff shouldn't be class specific at all. Why can't rogues be good at two weapon fighting? Why do only wizards and sorcerers get Metamagic (except for Reach which all casters seem to get, except bards for some reason). Why is Power attack Fighter only? Barbarians and Paladins don't know how to hit people hard for some reason?

So much this.


AshVandal wrote:
4e sold really well, (hell I bought 4 4e books before I figured out I didn't like it) just few people stuck with it long term. But 4e is also the reason why Paizo and Pathfinder is a thing.

Which only serves to demonstrate that "brand trumps all" is a fallacy.


AndIMustMask wrote:

4e had it rough, I'll admit.

though after my initial irrational hatred faded, I can see that there were some good points to their design (even if I still feel that it's too "bubble-wrapped" for my taste). take "minion" and "elite" monsters, for example: minions always, ALWAYS have 1 hp, and serve entirely to be easy fodder for the players to chop through with ease on their way to the real threat. they drain actions and maybe chip off a little of the party's hp, but their purpose is to die--and having a horde of minions attacking is a GREAT way to make the players feel like badasses, some real helms deep or skyward sword ganon's final battle approach stuff.
meanwhile: elites/bosses allow for dramatic, single-enemy encounters without them simply being action-economy'd to death by the party's superior numbers by giving them multiple initiatives in a given turn (I've personally re-tooled this kind of design approach for some monster-hunter-esque giant monsters in pathfinder, to great effect!)

they had very clearly stated and designed roles for each class, and gained abilities that directly contributed towards being better at that role.

it made for a pretty darn good combat-miniatures game (and i would personally use it as the system if i were to run a "trapped in an MMO" setting like Log Horizon or .Hack//), though not quite so good a role-playing game.

but, like pf2e now, it had it's pitfalls: focusing near-exclusively on combat made certain types of adventures like diplomatic, exploratory, or other utility encounters much harder to run well (boo!), and while raising the skill floor makes it very easy to get into (yay!), their choice of lowering the skill ceiling...

Oh look, a cogent explanation of why the game wasn't to your liking. Thank you.

Unfortunately, many people got stuck in the "irrational hatred" phase. ;-)


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Well I think the game would be well served to get rid of the feats, and develop a mechanism that would allow players the freedom to take bold actions based on their strengths and skills, with a relatively simply mechanic that makes it easy for the DM to adjudicate.

So many of the feats in the playtest are things that my players would get simply by setting up the action in an intelligent logical manner, but now doing that is pretty much shunted aside or I'll be killing player x's big move to take the hob nobbing feat.

Advanced players shouldn't need feats to tell them how to play the game at a high level, and new players should have the freedom to play around in it and learn instead of simply checking feats off a list.

Feats tend to lead to players playing their feats instead of addressing the problem at hand.


Ahlmzhad wrote:
Feats tend to lead to players playing their feats instead of addressing the problem at hand.

Which is a problem with 4th Ed powers for me, at the same time the characters have these cool (that was the marketing buzzword for 4th Ed, oh, and "robust) at-will, encounter, and daily powers, it seems to limit characters, expressively, and even though there is an improv action table, and some claim to use it a lot, I find most players go to their cool powers rather than a less damaging, no riders improv move.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ahlmzhad wrote:
Feats tend to lead to players playing their feats instead of addressing the problem at hand.
Which is a problem with 4th Ed powers for me, at the same time the characters have these cool (that was the marketing buzzword for 4th Ed, oh, and "robust) at-will, encounter, and daily powers, it seems to limit characters, expressively, and even though there is an improv action table, and some claim to use it a lot, I find most players go to their cool powers rather than a less damaging, no riders improv move.

They were buffed in DMG2 in 4e, making them comparable to actual class abilities. (pages 62-63, terrain powers, the book suggests that players should be able to come up with their own).


Noodlemancer wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Ahlmzhad wrote:
Feats tend to lead to players playing their feats instead of addressing the problem at hand.
Which is a problem with 4th Ed powers for me, at the same time the characters have these cool (that was the marketing buzzword for 4th Ed, oh, and "robust) at-will, encounter, and daily powers, it seems to limit characters, expressively, and even though there is an improv action table, and some claim to use it a lot, I find most players go to their cool powers rather than a less damaging, no riders improv move.
They were buffed in DMG2 in 4e, making them comparable to actual class abilities. (pages 62-63, terrain powers, the book suggests that players should be able to come up with their own).

Yeah, what I really like from the DMG 2 is the Inherent Bonus variant (to replace magic item plusses), that and removing the +1/2 level treadmill, did wonders for my 4th Ed campaign at the time.


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bugleyman wrote:
AshVandal wrote:
4e sold really well, (hell I bought 4 4e books before I figured out I didn't like it) just few people stuck with it long term. But 4e is also the reason why Paizo and Pathfinder is a thing.

Which only serves to demonstrate that "brand trumps all" is a fallacy.

Brand trumps all when the game doesn't stinks. D&D 4E stinks, and even then they sold very well and only lost first postion for PF1 when the game was descontinued.

Pathfinder 2.0 is starting to smelling odd.


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
AshVandal wrote:
4e sold really well, (hell I bought 4 4e books before I figured out I didn't like it) just few people stuck with it long term. But 4e is also the reason why Paizo and Pathfinder is a thing.

Which only serves to demonstrate that "brand trumps all" is a fallacy.

Brand trumps all when the game doesn't stinks. D&D 4E stinks, and even then they sold very well and only lost first postion for PF1 when the game was descontinued.

Pathfinder 2.0 is starting to smelling odd.

Hmmm..."Brand trumps all, except when it doesn't (according to highly subjective criteria)" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

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