Character Building First Impressions


Pathfinder Society Playtest

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Haven't had a chance to play yet but I've been experimenting with character building and...I gotta say, it's not nearly as streamlined as I'd hoped for:

The Good:

Everything that you've adapted from Starfinder is fantastic and I love it. Having two ACs, bulk listing next to items, Resolve Points. Love it. Starfinder is and continues to be an improved version of Pathfinder already. If you just used that system entirely with some tweaks, this version would be great.

The Bad

Where things fall down from a character building perspective is the new systems that the designers seem to think they need to improve on the improvements that they already improved. Feat bloat and Trait bloat was pretty bad in PFv1, making EVERYTHING into a feat won't improve that situation. Furthermore adding another mechanic for us to track (TEML) doesn't feel like streamlining, if anything we're doing a lot more math now just to calculate skill points than we were before. I may feel differently once I play a scenario or two but I have to say, from a character building perspective this does not FEEL easier.

Grand Lodge *****

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I had no problem hand-building characters for PF1 or Starfinder. Heck, I've even been writing tools to build Starfinder characters

As presented in the playtest rulebook, I just can't get a character built under the new system. Too much isn't explained clearly, too much jumping between pages.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Arutema wrote:

I had no problem hand-building characters for PF1 or Starfinder. Heck, I've even been writing tools to build Starfinder characters

As presented in the playtest rulebook, I just can't get a character built under the new system. Too much isn't explained clearly, too much jumping between pages.

Yeah, I noticed that too, the lay out of the Playtest simply isn't very intuitive.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

For the playtest, the GMs, technically, are supposed to be explaining character creation for each session. However, the chapters seem to be in order of creation steps.

The TEML system was fine in the playtest scenarios that I played. I like the whole PF2 system in general. Since this thread is on character creation, I won't derail.

I have a hypothesis on the "everything is a feat" system that is not backed up by any discussions with designers: the feat system makes it simpler to add new content. The bloat is intended (to sell products) and designed on the front end with the inevitable bloat in mind.

E.g. You don't need a designer to design a new class from the ground up, you now just need a handful of archetype feat options and ta-da you have a cavelier (or potentially a magus, psychic, bloodrager).

Scarab Sages *** Venture-Agent, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

I think the structure will take some getting used to. As will the changes in some of the mechanics. For example, not everyone can do an Attack of Opportunity. That said, there seem to be reaction options for every class.

I built a Bard as my first character. The Bard picks up Counter Performance as one of his first compositions. That reaction gives the Bard the chance to counter spells with a auditory or visual effect. I think this will open up the tactical element of the game.

That said, the Counter Performance ability is listed with the spells. That's not inherently obvious, but at least there's a page reference in the Bard description of First Compositions.

I chose the Muse - Polymath - and spent a few minutes looking for the Versatile Performance feat it grants in the feat chapter. It's not there. It's a class feat two pages deeper in the Bard description - no page reference under the muses.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:


I have a hypothesis on the "everything is a feat" system that is not backed up by any discussions with designers: the feat system makes it simpler to add new content. The bloat is intended (to sell products) and designed on the front end with the inevitable bloat in mind.

E.g. You don't need a designer to design a new class from the ground up, you now just need a handful of archetype feat options and ta-da you have a cavelier (or potentially a magus, psychic, bloodrager).

Without hearing something official from a designer, that theory rings really true to me. The ease of designing and balancing a base class is now just a few feats and background options wide.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
JohannVonUlm wrote:
I think the structure will take some getting used to. As will the changes in some of the mechanics. For example, not everyone can do an Attack of Opportunity. That said, there seem to be reaction options for every class.

I mean, again, I haven't had a chance to play and I'm sure this is all just internalizing my fan boy fear of newness so I'm trying to reserve judgement.

But based on this slice alone I'm not in love with it so far. Doomsday Dawn, the Module, however looks pretty damned good so at least there is something to play.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was on the fence with what I had seen on the blogs, but after I played my first Playtest scenario, I was feeling pretty good (about most of the core basics).

Something everyone should keep in mind is that the options are limited in the Playtest. Expect more choices in feats in the final product.

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:

I was on the fence with what I had seen on the blogs, but after I played my first Playtest scenario, I was feeling pretty good (about most of the core basics).

Something everyone should keep in mind is that the options are limited in the Playtest. Expect more choices in feats in the final product.

Agreed, it is a Beta Slice, after all.

***** Venture-Captain, New Hampshire aka D_GENNEXT

So when it comes to proficiencies (both skill and weapon); if I have an ancestry feat or a background that gets me trained in something and then my class makes me trained+ in the same thing, do they stack? Does one supersede the other? I've found where the ability bumps do not stack from the same round of choices, but how does it work for proficiency levels?

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... more importantly; can I use my free class proficiencies to bump something that my class gives me as trained+ for free? What is the benefit of Signature Skills?
I'll freely admit that I have not had access to the CRB material long enough so I may have overlooked these things, but looking in the places that I'd expect to find them did not turn up much.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Gaining Trained from two sources does not stack to make it Expert.

Proficiency advances in different ways: as you advance in a class or take higher level feats.

Grand Lodge ****

So far, I see no ‘translators’ (a role I use my low skill PCs to help out',or skill monkeys. You have at best starting out maybe five or six skills and that’s it.

The more I read on the crit mechanic the more deadly I think the high level critters will be killing parties

***** Venture-Captain, New Hampshire aka D_GENNEXT

So far, I'm thinking that separating skills and returning them back to a pool of ranks per level is a better option.
The Signature Skill list for each class can still work; have it function like the former class skill list. Placing a rank in a Sig. Skill makes it trained, provides the class bonus and any Sig. Skill that you do not have a rank in you can still use and attain a "Trained Only" result.
I'm not overly fond of the auto advancement of skill; especially ones that I'm not trained in the use of and that my character never or hardly ever uses.

That said; I'm liking most everything else thus far. I'm still digging through the rules though.

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Haven't had a chance to dig into a character creation yet, but as far as the Playtest went this past weekend there was *too much* activity *just trying to explain basic systems* during a five-hour slot to allow for character creation.

If we had done character creation(at least at my tables), it would have been an entire block of character creation and no exposure to rules and mechanics.

If I made a gross conceptual error trying to teach and learn the system and help my players do so with the pregens that were provided, apologies.

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