Is it too late to go back to the drawing board?


General Discussion

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Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Palidian wrote:


With all due respect, Ms. Stevens, the people who take days off work, rent hotel rooms, and fly out of state for a tabletop gaming convention will always be excited about a tabletop game.

With all due respect to you, that's simply not the case.

Palidian wrote:


Lots of people on these forums have been expressing concern about the market demand for PF 2e and where exactly the new edition will fit into the rpg world. And thus far, the standard response from Paizo staff has been "The people at GenCon loved it!"

That's actually not completely accurate. While it is true that the general reception of actual play of the new system at Gen Con was largely positive, that has ALSO been the case at the GAMA Trade Show, the Origins Game Fair, and UK Games Expo. Which is to say "everywhere people have actually played the rules, the response has been generally favorable."

So it's not just Gen Con, even if that's the convention we were all at and up to our eyeballs in when the books dropped.

Palidian wrote:


Which is a rather worrying response because it tells players:

- Negative criticism isn't being taken seriously, but positive praise is

Absolutely not the case. Numerous changes are already in the works due to "negative criticism." Honestly I think I take issue with the idea of "negative criticism" in the first place. ALL criticism is, to a degree, negative. The entire purpose of releasing a playtest document is to gather as much criticism as possible and bang the thing into a shape that will please its players. There's no purpose in releasing a draft of an unfinished game if the only goal is to hear a chorus of praise and atta-boys. We WANT criticism, and that criticism is what is going to help Pathfinder 2 be a better game a year from now that it is today.

Heck, based on some of the changes we intend to release on Monday (and that Jason just talked about on the weekly Friday live Q&A), it's going to be a better game in THREE DAYS than it is right now. :)

Palidian wrote:


- Only those with actual game time will be listened to, even though not being excited enough to play is a VERY valid criticism

While it IS true that actual play playtest survey results are a far more useful tool to fine-tune the game system and we'll be relying heavily on that feedback to knock the final game into shape, it's ALSO true that "I just can't get into it because the writing or the art or the layout or whatever" IS helpful criticism. If people aren't excited enough to try out the game in the first place, that's something we've got to know, and it's something we've got to do something about.

Plenty of suggestions in this thread point in directions I think would address this well. I think the team erred on the side of "moar content" to allow for a more robust playtest of the mechanics than adding a pass or two to jazz up the writing and make it a more intriguing and enticing read. That may have been a mistake, in hindsight, and comments on this issue in this thread and elsewhere have given us much to consider along these lines.

Palidian wrote:


- Paizo is under the impression that GenCon is a good representation of most current and future customers

It's certainly a factor being a huge gathering of some of our most dedicated players and an increasingly huge gathering of potential future customers, but it's only part of the story.

Palidian wrote:


- Because of how much staff have stressed that "people REALLY loved it", it gives the impression that the praise Paizo has received is ALREADY drowning out complaints and concerns

Please trust me when I say that you are massively inflating the sense of self confidence most people in professional gaming have. The negative stuff always stings 10 times worse than the positive stuff soothes. It's part and parcel to being a creative person, and developing skills to cope with it without completely losing your mind is a necessity to someone working professionally in the tabletop RPG field. We can handle the criticism, and will always do our best to put emotional reactions aside and try to get to the heart of the _whys_ behind the commentary, even if we would prefer that it sometimes not be stated so rudely.

Palidian wrote:


On top of this, thus far Paizo staff have only really taken to the forums to defend their product, rather than to acknowledge widespread complaints (and occasionally break up fights). Which is EVEN MORE concerning because it sends the message that Paizo either fights back against criticism, or does not listen to it. If some Paizo staff would weigh in on issues that large numbers of players are having (resonance, caster/martial disparity, difficulty parsing information in CRB, etc.) then it would help show that the company is listening.

Well, our Director of Game Design was just live on the internet for over an hour discussing reactions to the playtest, giving some context for some of the decisions that went into several of the most controversial parts of the new rules, and revealing areas where we're already considering (or have flat out already decided) to make changes based on negative feedback.

It's going to be happening live on our Twitch channel every single Friday until the end of this thing, so I suspect if mea culpas and "yeah, you're right, we messed that one ups" are something you're hoping to collect, you'll have a giant trove of them by the end of the year.

Ideally, you'll also have a much better, much more intriguing, and much more playtested version of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

You might say it's why we're doing this in the first place. :)


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
I really hope that the bulk of the new ideas and style of handling things found in the playtest rules survives all of the distaste that people have which seems to boil down to either A) treating anything new/different as inherently bad (i.e. complaints that say "put it back to how PF1 did it" instead of "I don't like this particular new way, try a different one") or B) hyperbolic doom-saying along the lines of equating a thing not currently explicitly present/allowed by the playtest rules with that thing being deliberately made impossible in the final version of PF2 (i.e. "arrow slits are impossible according to the new cover rules")

I don't agree with that assertion, many are providing valid concerns, well-founded problems.

There isn't tons of dramatic, hyperbolic codswallop being thrown around, it's surprisingly staid.

We all have our own confirmation bias, I guess. I would say the opposite. There are many valid concerns, but there is also a lot of "sky is falling" noise, hyperbole and melodramatism. That means either mine, or yours, or probably both perceptions are coloured by own glasses.

I suppose the beauty is in the eye of the beholder
/multiclass into a paladin of Milani, Groetus and Shelyn.

turns out: it's not. i've checked, it's just blood and goo.

also, how are you multiclassing into your current class? dedication feats specifically bar that option :p


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally, I won't be happy until the nerf to Prestidigitation is reversed. Rabble rabble!

But, seriously, please reverse the nerf to Prestidigitation. It's a mechanically inconsequential spell which provides player character comforts. Don't nerf fun, because somebody is worried that washerwomen might go out of business on Golarion.


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magnuskn wrote:

Personally, I won't be happy until the nerf to Prestidigitation is reversed. Rabble rabble!

But, seriously, please reverse the nerf to Prestidigitation. It's a mechanically inconsequential spell which provides player character comforts. Don't nerf fun, because somebody is worried that washerwomen might go out of business on Golarion.

this is my biggest thing. 1000%.


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And once again, Paizo demonstrates how communicative they can be.

I never would've given Pathfinder a shot, except I came here to these forums 9 or 10 years ago and was so impressed at the amount of interaction from the company that I decided to pick up the CRB.

I'll admit I was hoping for something drastically different from the playtest we received, but I'll never outright dismiss anything these people put out, simply because they never seem to outright dismiss any reasonable concerns that are brought up here.

That, and their creativity provides me with so much material to steal for my home games I just can't stay away. Finally finished reading through all of Doomsday Dawn. Excellent as usual.


Erik Mona wrote:

Well, our Director of Game Design was just live on the internet for over an hour discussing reactions to the playtest, giving some context for some of the decisions that went into several of the most controversial parts of the new rules, and revealing areas where we're already considering (or have flat out already decided) to make changes based on negative feedback.

It's going to be happening live on our Twitch channel every single Friday until the end of this thing, so I suspect if mea culpas and "yeah, you're right, we messed that one ups" are something you're hoping to collect, you'll have a giant trove of them by the end of the year.

Is there a general time for the streams happening? I've looked around and can't find a schedule, probably just not looking gin the right place. Listing times on the main Twitch channel page would be helpful. I thought I heard it was on Fridays, but just didn't know when.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Fridays at 4:00 PM Pacific time.

There's more playtest content coming to the channel, but we're always on on Fridays.


Erik Mona wrote:

Fridays at 4:00 PM Pacific time.

There's more playtest content coming to the channel, but we're always on on Fridays.

i had no ideas y'all streamed on twitch--looks like i've got a video archive to binge on.


Erik Mona wrote:

Fridays at 4:00 PM Pacific time.

There's more playtest content coming to the channel, but we're always on on Fridays.

Ok, cool. Thanks. I'll keep that in mind for next time, and let the rest of my group know. They don't follow the forums and such, so I've been the guy informing them of Playtest stuff.

I missed today's because I was caught flat-footed by a nap. Those suckers are sneaky.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Clickbaity titles are not the way to get our attention.

Posting up thoughts with concerns, feedback, and criticism that are tempered with understanding of the game and respect for fellow posters have a better chance.

But ultimately, we are still in data collection mode right now. We've been all over these boards, answering in places where it is needed and flagging things for change in others. Our twitch just revealed the first round of those due out on Monday. It will be far from that last.

As for scrapping 3 years of work and starting over. Well, anything is possible, but we are not seeing anything so dire as this point. That said.. this is why we playtest.

I figured you guys might be holding off on saying much to not influence initial reactions. I think you only got active in the previews after a week or two. I was a bit critical at the time of what looked like radio-silence, but soon after you showed up and my concerns were put to rest. Good to see that this seems to be happening in the test as well. Your explanatory posts go a long way to help address concerns and let us know that we are being heard.

So Monday is going to have the first round of rules changes? Interesting. I assumed that it would just be errata to fix typos as opposed to any real changes. So for the playtest, I assume we should be implementing the changes as soon as they happen to give the best feedback? I suspect you answered this in the stream but I haven't watched it yet, going to start after I finish this post.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
even if we would prefer that it sometimes not be stated so rudely

Looking back at one or two of my most recent posts, I do regret some of the confrontational stances I've been taking. It's easy to get caught up in the anonymity of a forum, and seeing a play-by-play response from one of the higher ups rather brought me back down to earth.

However that is not to say that I don't stand by what I said, merely how I said it.

Reading through the Pathfinder Playtest, I gradually realized that almost everything that made me fall in love with the game had been drastically changed, or removed.

I love watching players come up with creative and wild characters that clash with fantasy tropes or go against the grain of their classes, and I love that pathfinder essentially says, "there's a rule for that!". And so I was very disappointed to see that each class comes with a blurb encouraging players to make cliche characters, and encouraging their party members to interact with them in cliche ways (barbarian was especially disconcerting as it encouraged teammates to insult them behind their back)

I love that no matter what kind of character you wanted to build, there was a way to build them, whether it be feats, spells, skills, or archetypes. And so I was heartbroken to see that the majority of content is now class-locked; forcing players to either play to their class, or pick a class before creating a character.

To be frank, I am conflicted, because I want to see this game continue to thrive, however I do not know if much of the game I love will survive this playtest. I want to help make a difference by submitting feedback, but I know that most of the changes I would suggest are untenable.

And honestly? I want to be upset. Upset because I don't believe there is a game I will enjoy coming. Upset because I feel powerless as a consumer. Upset at seeing Paizo charge people $30+ for the privilege of helping them finish a product, just to charge them $30+ again when it's finished. And upset that a company I go to for tabletop RPGs is tasking the community with creating a tabletop RPG for them.

I have some opinions when it comes to Paizo, Mr. Mona, and the playtest rather served as a tipping point for me. I regret and apologize for any combative posts, and since I doubt very much that I will be purchasing any Pathfinder 2.0 content, I will abstain from any further posts about it.

Even though it didn't help me much, thank you for taking the time to reply.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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::shrug::

Don't leave on my account. I wasn't even really talking about you when I mentioned rude feedback.

And the only reason we charge for the books is because it costs more to print a 430-page book at a print shop, and WAAAAY more people wanted print versions when we did this 10 years ago than we could have imagined.

So we imagined bigger this time, and I'm certain they will also soon be completely sold out.

We're giving the game away for free. You don't have to pay for anything.

So if you're done with the game for good, I say "fair enough" and thank you for your feedback. If not, you're welcome to stick around and see how we're doing in the year between now and the final release of the rules in 2019.

(Which won't be free.) ;)

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I suspect some of the disconnect between Gencon feedback and forum feedback may have to do with having pregens available at Gencon.

A pregen that explains all her possible actions clearly on a couple pieces of paper is a major shortcut around the cumbersome character creation process from the playtest book which involves a lot of flipping between chapters to find out what spell, power, or action X does. Thus, on the forums we see a lot of negative feedback about character building and options, and relatively little so far on actual play experiences.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Don't leave on my account.

My reply was more to you, not really about you.

Erik Mona wrote:
So we imagined bigger this time, and I'm certain they will also soon be completely sold out.

I simply wouldn't feel right charging someone for something unfinished, regardless of whether they wanted to pay for it. Sets an uncomfortable precedent.

Erik Mona wrote:
So if you're done with the game for good, I say "fair enough" and thank you for your feedback. If not, you're welcome to stick around and see how we're doing in the year between now and the final release of the rules in 2019.

I'll be sticking around for many of the same reasons that I dislike the playtest. Paizo offers a product that I enjoy greatly and I cannot get anywhere else. And I will never be done with the game for good; someone like you should know that. It is very likely, however, that I am done with the game you're selling.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

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Palidian wrote:


Erik Mona wrote:
So we imagined bigger this time, and I'm certain they will also soon be completely sold out.

I simply wouldn't feel right charging someone for something unfinished, regardless of whether they wanted to pay for it. Sets an uncomfortable precedent.

Fair enough, but that precedent was set in 2008, and has subsequently been followed by Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Flight, and others.

But I get what you're saying. Glad you'll be sticking around, even if you hop off the purchase train. I like the challenge of trying to win you over eventually. :)


Making some major changes? Possible. Changing the essential design philosophy? Unlikely. I mean, if they were going to do that, wouldn't that require them to write a 2.5 E Playtest, so that they can gauge reaction to the rewrite? That seems like a lot of lost momentum.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

And the only reason we charge for the books is because it costs more to print a 430-page book at a print shop, and WAAAAY more people wanted print versions when we did this 10 years ago than we could have imagined.

So we imagined bigger this time, and I'm certain they will also soon be completely sold out.

I was sooo disappointed I never got a copy of the PF1 Beta (even though it's pretty much irrelevant now).

I'm really glad you also gave us the option for print this time around and found a print-to-demand option (and doubly so there's a collector's edition). I appreciate that must have made the crunch period for the development/editting team so much worse and the outcome is greatly appreciated - sorry that the result was added staff stress.

Thanks for that.


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Thanks to Paizo for both offering the rules for free, AND for giving us the option to get it in a print product at a very affordable cost.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

But I get what you're saying. Glad you'll be sticking around, even if you hop off the purchase train. I like the challenge of trying to win you over eventually. :)

I mean, let my players make a smart barbarian and you'll have my attention. Let my players make a gnome fighter who specializes in tavern brawls and doesn't actually own a weapon and you'll have my interest. Let my players play a game with less emphasis on resource management/tracked abilities and more emphasis on mold-breaking, creativity, and individuality and you'll have my money.

Vic Wertz wrote:
Take RPG Superstar—it takes a lot of work to run that. Early on, the return we were getting out of it—the expansion of our writing talent pool—was high enough that we had several of our top people working on it. But over the years, it provided less and less return for our time invested, and eventually, we decided it was on the wrong side of that equation, so we needed to stop doing it.

Bring back RPG Superstar or at least apologize to the community for referring to aspiring writers and dedicated fans as "a return on an investment" in what is essentially the only explanation as to why you no longer host what was once one of the very few ways to gain traction in the RPG writing community at large...then you'll have my respect, Mr. Mona.

Find Mr. Wertz's original posting here.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Clickbaity titles are not the way to get our attention.

I get a chuckle out of this reply, as I had mentioned, the one post I did make that had a more click-baity title was the one responded to... and this post has seen plenty of attention as well :). No offense intended, I realize some of this is just human nature, but the fact is, it's called click-bait for a reason, though I have tried to avoid it.

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Posting up thoughts with concerns, feedback, and criticism that are tempered with understanding of the game and respect for fellow posters have a better chance.

But ultimately, we are still in data collection mode right now. We've been all over these boards, answering in places where it is needed and flagging things for change in others. Our twitch just revealed the first round of those due out on Monday. It will be far from that last.

It's wonderful to hear this. I'm looking forward to seeing the corrections! Just saw the twitch stream where a few were mentioned. Also glad that you're closely looking at signature skills!

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
As for scrapping 3 years of work and starting over. Well, anything is possible, but we are not seeing anything so dire as this point. That said.. this is why we playtest.

Please don't... I have a lot of concerns about 2e, and probably express some of my criticism more vocally, but the fact remains that at its core, the gameplay itself for 2e is very enjoyable. I just want to make sure that there's enough character diversity that I can enjoy it through multiple playthroughs having many different experiences.


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actually Mr. Mona (i keep thinking of the cat from persona 5, which is a good laugh)--or Mr. Bulmahn, whichever is fine--can I possibly make a small request of one of you? can you sneak over and find whatever design guidelines are for pf2 and just sorta sneak in one more step? just add "once something is done, look over it and ask 'is this fun or interesting?'"

Silver Crusade

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Erik Mona wrote:
Palidian wrote:


Lots of people on these forums have been expressing concern about the market demand for PF 2e and where exactly the new edition will fit into the rpg world. And thus far, the standard response from Paizo staff has been "The people at GenCon loved it!"

That's actually not completely accurate. While it is true that the general reception of actual play of the new system at Gen Con was largely positive, that has ALSO been the case at the GAMA Trade Show, the Origins Game Fair, and UK Games Expo. Which is to say "everywhere people have actually played the rules, the response has been generally favorable."

So it's not just Gen Con, even if that's the convention we were all at and up to our eyeballs in when the books dropped.

Thanks, as always, for the thoughtful engagement on the forums. This bit shook loose something I'd been pondering. Had my first playtest session this week (running for three players, who have a little but not too much PF1 experience). All four of us *loved* the basic engine of the game. Very excited with how it played.

But the parts that have had me worried and feeling a little dissatisfied when reading the rules and putting together characters have all had to do, not with the basic game engine, but with the current character options. (Mostly how class locks in so much that you can't make "against-type" characters, and "type" can be pretty restrictive—e.g., Paladins use heavy armor and shields, period.)

It occurs to me that these dissatisfactions wouldn't necessarily be surfaced at conventions, where folks are playing with pregenerated characters and can't see the full system. So you'd get a lot more of our "oh wow we love this game engine" and not the other part. This may explain some of the apparent disconnect between con reactions and some of the negative feedback now that the game's out.

(Similar with the preview blogs, which showed a lot of things to be excited about but couldn't give the perspective to see how limiting the classes might feel.)

The great thing here, I'd think, is that character options are probably much easier to change than the engine. So if that's in good shape the game's on a great track already!

So I'm looking forward to hearing more from the design team and everyone else responding to playtest feedback going forward. (I haven't had the chance to catch today's Twitch stream yet but will soon.)


gustavo iglesias wrote:

It is not too late, but it is not very useful. The people who don't like the current changes, probably won't like different changes, unless it is a 3.76 version of the current 3.75 engine, and that is something Paizo has already discarded. At the very least, they should let us playtest a few adventures and give the survey a fair shot. Then they can decide if they scrap this revolutionary change to start a different revolution, or keep this revolutionary change.

What is gone forever is the option to keep the status quo. Revolution is coming, be it one way or another, I feel.

I disagree, I very much like the concept of the class feats and the 3 actions and stuff like that. Its all the crappy limitations put into the system that I loathe. Trying to make the game break proof is making it garbage. Certain things cost actions that shouldnt, like using shields or riding horses, certain things cost continuous actions that shouldnt, like commanding undead every round, and certain things are just unnecessary, like reach being reduced while mounted or multiclassing being hard enforced to be undippable.

Ive said before the reason I dont go back to 3.5 is because Pathfinder allows so much creativity in its systems, so I was looking forward to PF2 opening up the system even more to allow concepts to be doable (like what SoP and SoM did for PF1) and instead what were getting is a hardline "play out way or not at all" system that I rejected PFS for and am rejecting this system for.


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First of all, I'm not even someone who's particularly into 2E but the complaints about player involved playtest being "making the players design a game for them for free" is a terrible argument. Its a mutually beneficial arrangement. Enthusiastic rules crunchers get an opportunity to offer advice on things that bother them, everyone gets more of a preview than most people get from a game, and Paizo gets a larger (if less useful per capita) pool of playtesters than any company could afford to pay for.

As for the cost, i said it to people who whined about the l5r CCG and i'll say it here. Nerd hobbies are a luxury item, on top of which they're a niche luxury item that i'd be pretty stunned if they offered a ROI much higher than running the average grocery store and likely much lower. (roughly 8% last i heard as an industry standard for grocery stores). These hobbies are going to cost you money, there are plenty of free systems out there, and is blatantly obvious that they're free because they're much worse systems.


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A lot of the very basic parts of the system are fine, but it's the details that are just completely awful. Class design and what high level skills actually let you do being the big ones. To start nearly all the talents that exist need to be scrapped. The Vigilante didn't make you select 10 different levels of a talent to remain competent at it, so I'm not sure why the Fighter has to.


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I think I'm still floored that there are people upset that they offered a printed book for sale - as if that was a MUST. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything when they're offering all the PDF's for free and heck, if you wanted, you could print that out yourself to make a "book" if you don't want to pay Paizo for it. I just don't understand getting upset because they're offering an optional service of ordering a printing for you and charging for it since they get charged for that service. And it isn't as if it came out of nowhere... people specifically asked for it and it was popular, and so they did it and now people are mad, offended even, that they're doing what was asked for them.

All in all I Love the system, I Love that we get to playtest the system, I Love that we get to provide our feedback.

It's not perfect, it's still in the working stages and I plan to make sure I put in as much detail as possible to help out, but it's a very fun system to run and play for me and my group so far. I know that not all the things I think could be altered will be in the final run and I'm okay with that - they've to consider an entire world full of gamers and not just my table.

I also find it funny that people continue to argue that there's not enough "options" but this isn't even the final release, it's a playtest. It's a sample of all the potential and not meant to be every possible option ever - quite the opposite, it's a framework to make sure that they can spend the next ten years (give or take) easily adding in more options for people that will add flavor, expand possibilities, and extend the horizons of their game.


MidknightDiamond wrote:
I think I'm still floored that there are people upset that they offered a printed book for sale - as if that was a MUST. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything when they're offering all the PDF's for free and heck, if you wanted, you could print that out yourself to make a "book" if you don't want to pay Paizo for it. I just don't understand getting upset because they're offering an optional service of ordering a printing for you and charging for it since they get charged for that service. And it isn't as if it came out of nowhere... people specifically asked for it and it was popular, and so they did it and now people are mad, offended even, that they're doing what was asked for them.

I don't get this either. I don't feel like paying for a playtest, but I didn't have to. People who wanted a physical book and were ok with paying could do so, but the rest of us can use PDFs. Seems reasonable to me. Physical books cost physical money. They're probably spending a decent amount of money running the playtest as it is. They'll probably get it back and more from the sales of the final book, but this part costs them.

MidknightDiamond wrote:

All in all I Love the system, I Love that we get to playtest the system, I Love that we get to provide our feedback.

It's not perfect, it's still in the working stages and I plan to make sure I put in as much detail as possible to help out, but it's a very fun system to run and play for me and my group so far. I know that not all the things I think could be altered will be in the final run and I'm okay with that - they've to consider an entire world full of gamers and not just my table.

I also find it funny that people continue to argue that there's not enough "options" but this isn't even the final release, it's a playtest. It's a sample of all the potential and not meant to be every possible option ever - quite the opposite, it's a framework to make sure that they can spend the next ten years (give or take) easily adding in more options for people that will add flavor, expand possibilities, and extend the horizons of their game.

The core of the system is pretty solid. I'll be doing my first playtest session in about 10 hours, and I'm looking forward to it. There are some rough edges, and problematic design choices. I am one of the people complaining about reduced options (particularly the class gating) but I think Paizo has demonstrated a willingness to change things based on our feedback. The stream earlier was rather nice in this regard. They're releasing the first update document on Monday and will be dong more as we go. That is reassuring that they're not just going to take all the data, go away for a few months and then put out the final book untested. It'll be changed and tested as we go. They're also giving a good look at some of the most common criticisms.


Ryan Freire wrote:
These hobbies are going to cost you money, there are plenty of free systems out there, and is blatantly obvious that they're free because they're much worse systems.

Erm...you realise that Pathfinder 1e is free, right?

(Also the various retroclones of old school versions of the game, which do have enough to recommend them besides nostalgia that I have difficulty saying they're "much worse" than modern systems. Just a different style of game.)


Doktor Weasel wrote:
MidknightDiamond wrote:
I think I'm still floored that there are people upset that they offered a printed book for sale - as if that was a MUST. No one is forcing anyone to buy anything when they're offering all the PDF's for free and heck, if you wanted, you could print that out yourself to make a "book" if you don't want to pay Paizo for it. I just don't understand getting upset because they're offering an optional service of ordering a printing for you and charging for it since they get charged for that service. And it isn't as if it came out of nowhere... people specifically asked for it and it was popular, and so they did it and now people are mad, offended even, that they're doing what was asked for them.
I don't get this either. I don't feel like paying for a playtest, but I didn't have to. People who wanted a physical book and were ok with paying could do so, but the rest of us can use PDFs. Seems reasonable to me. Physical books cost physical money. They're probably spending a decent amount of money running the playtest as it is. They'll probably get it back and more from the sales of the final book, but this part costs them.

My one really-super-minor-only-kinda nit here is the fact that people are known to be oblivious. It could *feel* like Paizo is trying to pull a fast one by them by putting it up for sale prior to the PDF being available if someone's not paying attention. Granted, in 99% of the cases, I likely think this isn't what's happening. I think a good approach would have been that for anyone who clicked to buy the physical copy, have a small pop-up/notification asking them if they were aware that the PDF was being released for free on such-and-such a date. It's a bit of the "warning: this coffee may be hot" sort of thing, but it would have covered that base.

Liberty's Edge

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Erik, a request: please don't have crucial updates and explanations only on a video feed somewhere. Text is faster to process, and far easier to refer back to or point somebody else to. You can also skim it if there are parts of it that aren't relevant to what you're looking for. Having to watch video to get crucial information is just too time-consuming.


rknop wrote:
Erik, a request: please don't have crucial updates and explanations only on a video feed somewhere. Text is faster to process, and far easier to refer back to or point somebody else to. You can also skim it if there are parts of it that aren't relevant to what you're looking for. Having to watch video to get crucial information is just too time-consuming.

The twitch thing is just a weekly spoiler for said document.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
So...now that we've seen it seems like most of the locals will just be sticking with 5e or pf.

*Voice over* They didn't.

This is the story of every RPG playtest ever. The reaction of the WotC community on the official boards to the 5E playtest was so bad Hasbro killed the forums. 5E proceed to be a gigantic commercial success.

Stop dreaming about PF2 failing. It won't.

Silver Crusade

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MidknightDiamond wrote:
I also find it funny that people continue to argue that there's not enough "options" but this isn't even the final release, it's a playtest. It's a sample of all the potential and not meant to be every possible option ever - quite the opposite, it's a framework to make sure that they can spend the next ten years (give or take) easily adding in more options for people that will add flavor, expand possibilities, and extend the horizons of their game.

If this part was in response to my post, allow me to elaborate the nature of my "character options" worry.

(1) Yes, it's a playtest. And where the worry is "not *enough* options" (and it is, in places, with a pretty small number of feats to choose from at different points), your point is apt: that we should probably expect, e.g., more class feats in the final Core Rulebook and more options as the new system expands.

(2) This, along with the reasons below, are a big part of why I ended my post saying that I'm looking forward to hearing Paizo's engagement and response to playtest feedback. I'd like to know what they're hearing and what they're eyeing to change and/or build out for the Core!

(So, e.g., I was very excited to see Jason hint in a recent post that he'd like to release more multiclassing archetypes *during* the playtest—that's a major area where a raw lack of options is hurting us right now, and I'd love to see how character building feels with a full suite of multiclass options.)

(3) But my main concern is not "there aren't enough options to select right now", and your post doesn't address my main concern. What I'm worried about arises from the combination of a set list of class talents and the change away from PF1 archetypes (and multiclassing) meaning you can't customize that set list in any way. This combination has the unfortunate result of making classes very restrictive: want to play a light-armored, bow-wielding Paladin? You're out of luck: all of your set class features are built around heavy armor, a shield, and a melee weapon. Want to play a light-armored Fighter? Too bad, your light armor proficiency never advances. Want to play a Strength Rogue? Too bad, your class is built for Dexterity builds.

(4) So yes, part of the concern could be addressed by more class feats (e.g., a couple basic archery feats for each martial class). But (A) that doesn't fix the problem identified above of the straightjacket imposed by unalterable class features, and (B) there you start to run into the problem of, do you really want to reprint the same feat for every martial class? (Maybe you do, that's a layout question, but it is a question.)

(5) So really what I'm *most* interested to hear from the designers about is whether they like that inflexibility in classes (oh, just build a Fighter multiclass Cleric if you want a bow-wielding Paladin, just build a Fighter/Rogue if you want a Strength Rogue!), or if it's something they intend to address going forward.

Personally I would be pretty dissatisfied if the designers decide to keep classes with such an inflexible "spine" that locks you into some build/play styles and keeps you away from others. (This is mostly a problem for non-spellcasters, I guess—spellcasters just select different spells—but it's annoying to think that one martial class just can't use some types of weapons. I just don't see why Paladins should be locked into sword & board melee heavy armor. That doesn't make any sense to me. If I want to play a Paladin of Erastil shouldnt I be able to use my god's weapon?)


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vestris wrote:
rknop wrote:
Erik, a request: please don't have crucial updates and explanations only on a video feed somewhere. Text is faster to process, and far easier to refer back to or point somebody else to. You can also skim it if there are parts of it that aren't relevant to what you're looking for. Having to watch video to get crucial information is just too time-consuming.
The twitch thing is just a weekly spoiler for said document.

Be nice to have a brief summary or time code for the rulesy stuff, though, for those of us chomping at the bit. But really, I’m more interested in what the format of these updates is going to be. If there are a significant number of new changes even every month, iterative errata style updates would become a bit difficult to keep up with.


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i usually lurk rather than post so i'll keep this short.
2E NEEDS TO GO BACK IN THE OVEN FOR A BIT
it feels restrictive and in parts absolutely confusing. why? take for instance the concept of "signature skills" what if i want to play a monk blacksmith who sees perfection in steel? the best that character can ever be is an "expert" lauded for a short time but never truly the best of his craft. seeing the problem yet? in a game where the player is supposed to be able to craft his or her own story you've placed an arbitrary limiter on not only their physical modifiers but on how that story can be told. another good example would be this new system of ancestries and background, right out of the gate half elves and half orcs have been reduced to being feats rather than completely distinct races. who thought of this? "let's just bury these 2 guys right in the back rather than putting them in the races page" which brings me to my next gripe, THERE ARE TOO MANY DAMNED FEATS seriously, you get ancestory feats, class feats, skill feats, general feats. i get that customization was a concern but seriously, this is just a tiny bit ridiculous. i've got more to gripe about but for now i'll leave this here

Silver Crusade

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Beast Weener wrote:
vestris wrote:
rknop wrote:
Erik, a request: please don't have crucial updates and explanations only on a video feed somewhere. Text is faster to process, and far easier to refer back to or point somebody else to. You can also skim it if there are parts of it that aren't relevant to what you're looking for. Having to watch video to get crucial information is just too time-consuming.
The twitch thing is just a weekly spoiler for said document.
Be nice to have a brief summary or time code for the rulesy stuff, though, for those of us chomping at the bit. But really, I’m more interested in what the format of these updates is going to be. If there are a significant number of new changes even every month, iterative errata style updates would become a bit difficult to keep up with.

In addition to the Twitch streams, Paizo folks have mentioned forum posts, blog posts for more centralized announcements, and an errata PDF that's already in the works.

As for the Twitch videos, I agree that a time-stamped summary is helpful. I made a few of those for some of the preview Twitch streams and hope to do the same for the Playtest streams. (Alas, I'm traveling this weekend or would be going through the first one today.)


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Visanideth wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So...now that we've seen it seems like most of the locals will just be sticking with 5e or pf.

*Voice over* They didn't.

This is the story of every RPG playtest ever. The reaction of the WotC community on the official boards to the 5E playtest was so bad Hasbro killed the forums. 5E proceed to be a gigantic commercial success.

Stop dreaming about PF2 failing. It won't.

Just as it's extremely premature/inaccurate to say that it's already failed, the same is true for saying it's already succeeded... There's still every chance it will fall flat on its face, we just don't know yet.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I watched the Twitch last night...really a good chunk of that is wroth watching if you want spoilers, since not only do they list 5 (and a 6th later on) things that will be in the errata document, but during the question and answer period They also provide strong hints on future other possible changes. It's about an hour and 15 minutes, and at least a half hour if not more of that is relevant to confirmed errata and things they are considering.

For instance, they mention they are likely to address concerns with ancestry being barebones at the start, and signature skills, the latter by perhaps dropping them entirely. Also they are considering some changes to how bows work.

It's about an hour and 15 minutes, and at least a half hour if not more of that is relevant to confirmed errata and things they are considering.

Silver Crusade

MMCJawa wrote:

I watched the Twitch last night...really a good chunk of that is wroth watching if you want spoilers, since not only do they list 5 (and a 6th later on) things that will be in the errata document, but during the question and answer period They also provide strong hints on future other possible changes. It's about an hour and 15 minutes, and at least a half hour if not more of that is relevant to confirmed errata and things they are considering.

For instance, they mention they are likely to address concerns with ancestry being barebones at the start, and signature skills, the latter by perhaps dropping them entirely. Also they are considering some changes to how bows work.

It's about an hour and 15 minutes, and at least a half hour if not more of that is relevant to confirmed errata and things they are considering.

Great, thanks! Glad to hear about ancestries and sig skills, looking forward to watching the full thing.

Grand Lodge

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Visanideth wrote:
Considering 4E is the second best selling D&D edition of all times as far as core products go, I don't think that is going to scare Paizo very much.

It would scare me if I were them. D&D's brand name is strong in the RPG market...even though they lost a good bit of fans over 4e, their base was strong/large enough to sustain the losses...and when they released 5e, many fans came flocking back because D&D apparently fixed what had caused their fans to split...

Don't see it as the same at Paizo. RPG fans flocked to Paizo because of the change to 4e; that's their base. They seemingly built their base on folk resistant to drastic changes and carved out a niche for themselves...and when 5e was released some of the D&D folk went back to their first love. I'd guess most that stayed with Pathfinder were the hardcore fans and the ones who had invested a lot of time and money...and now Paizo introduces a drastic change to Pathfinder and many of these hardcore fans are disappointed...considering how Pathfinder came to be, this should not be a surprise...

This may be a move that Paizo has to make to survive...I'll be participating in the PbP playtests next week and hope all goes well...I just worry what might happen to Pathfinder if it doesn't go so well...I don't think Pathfinder can sustain a split in the fan base as well as D&D was able to...


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Otha wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Considering 4E is the second best selling D&D edition of all times as far as core products go, I don't think that is going to scare Paizo very much.

It would scare me if I were them. D&D's brand name is strong in the RPG market...even though they lost a good bit of fans over 4e, their base was strong/large enough to sustain the losses...and when they released 5e, many fans came flocking back because D&D apparently fixed what had caused their fans to split...

Don't see it as the same at Paizo. RPG fans flocked to Paizo because of the change to 4e; that's their base. They seemingly built their base on folk resistant to drastic changes and carved out a niche for themselves...and when 5e was released some of the D&D folk went back to their first love. I'd guess most that stayed with Pathfinder were the hardcore fans and the ones who had invested a lot of time and money...and now Paizo introduces a drastic change to Pathfinder and many of these hardcore fans are disappointed...considering how Pathfinder came to be, this should not be a surprise...

This may be a move that Paizo has to make to survive...I'll be participating in the PbP playtests next week and hope all goes well...I just worry what might happen to Pathfinder if it doesn't go so well...I don't think Pathfinder can sustain a split in the fan base as well as D&D was able to...

Honestly the history of 4E proves that online outrage is rarely, if ever, a good meter of judgement for the actual success of a product. Paizo's only concern is creating a product that can safely coexist with 5E, and not appeasing grognards. Grognards never have the commercial critical mass to sustain a product.

Dark Archive

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I can’t help but wonder if some of the more reactionary stances to this edition are hardwired culturally - the art of haggling (outside of the car dealership and the board room) is largely dead on this continent. Plus, we want everything, yesterday - with the push of a bottom. Compromise to satisfy both parties in this particular instance would be to find a middle ground between designers wanting to create a stable, long-term viable system that doesn’t break apart at 45 miles per hour like PF1 did and gamers who valuable the greatest amount of individual empowerment possible. This playtest is the haggle, not an existential battle for Paizo’s soul or finances.

Grand Lodge

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Visanideth wrote:
Honestly the history of 4E proves that online outrage is rarely, if ever, a good meter of judgement for the actual success of a product.

Maybe...but I bought the hardcover books for 4E and never played it once. I know my boardgame group also had an RPG night (which I did not play in) and they bought it as well...and they stopped having RPG nights not too long after. Not saying it didn't sell well, just putting out that it may not have played as well as it sold. I know there was a lot of hype for 4E when it was released...and it's a given that a new version of D&D will sell well, at least initially. Just curious, is there any breakdown/comparison of sales figures for how well it sold from its first year to the following years? Any way, there were enough people that left it for Pathfinder to be born...

Visanideth wrote:
Paizo's only concern is creating a product that can safely coexist with 5E, and not appeasing grognards.

You could very well be right as concerning RPGs as I do not know the market that well; I hope they succeed but it's a risk. Anything seen as similar to a very popular product runs the danger of paling in comparison; Coke Classic-New Coke and Hardees making changes (new hamburger recipe, frying burgers as opposed to char-broil) in the 80's are a couple off the top of my head...

Visanideth wrote:
Grognards never have the commercial critical mass to sustain a product.

I admit I don't know the RPG market well, so you could be right...but I wouldn't say never. The wargame market depended almost solely on Grognards, small as that market was. Grognards sustained Avalon Hill for many years...and GMT Games is doing pretty well with Grognards as their primary base as well...

But, as you say, the RPG market is probably different. I just don't know if Paizo can afford to lose the majority of their Grognards unless they can get at least a matching infusion of new players...


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don’t think Pathfinder has a huge pull for grognards (though such fans exist, I’m sure). The key “old school Pathfinder” crowd probably view 3.5 nostalgically. That’s not the edition typically associated with grognards.


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Otha wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Honestly the history of 4E proves that online outrage is rarely, if ever, a good meter of judgement for the actual success of a product.

Maybe...but I bought the hardcover books for 4E and never played it once. I know my boardgame group also had an RPG night (which I did not play in) and they bought it as well...and they stopped having RPG nights not too long after. Not saying it didn't sell well, just putting out that it may not have played as well as it sold. I know there was a lot of hype for 4E when it was released...and it's a given that a new version of D&D will sell well, at least initially. Just curious, is there any breakdown/comparison of sales figures for how well it sold from its first year to the following years? Any way, there were enough people that left it for Pathfinder to be born...

Visanideth wrote:
Paizo's only concern is creating a product that can safely coexist with 5E, and not appeasing grognards.

You could very well be right as concerning RPGs as I do not know the market that well; I hope they succeed but it's a risk. Anything seen as similar to a very popular product runs the danger of paling in comparison; Coke Classic-New Coke and Hardees making changes (new hamburger recipe, frying burgers as opposed to char-broil) in the 80's are a couple off the top of my head...

Visanideth wrote:
Grognards never have the commercial critical mass to sustain a product.

I admit I don't know the RPG market well, so you could be right...but I wouldn't say never. The wargame market depended almost solely on Grognards, small as that market was. Grognards sustained Avalon Hill for many years...and GMT Games is doing pretty well with Grognards as their primary base as well...

But, as you say, the RPG market is probably different. I just don't know if Paizo can afford to lose the majority of their Grognards unless they can get at least a matching infusion of new players...

Fantastic post.

As for 4th Ed sales, Zardnaar is the dude to ask, but I know that PF sales overtook it at one point, I mean, damage control (Essentials) going on in less than 2 years is not a good sign for a product.

Yes, I want PF2 to be great, fill that niche that 5th Ed, does not, but I fear I might have a New Coke in my hand.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I don’t think Pathfinder has a huge pull for grognards (though such fans exist, I’m sure). The key “old school Pathfinder” crowd probably view 3.5 nostalgically. That’s not the edition typically associated with grognards.

It's 18 years now since 3.0 came out. I think that's getting close to grognard status, even if the older crew (like me) who played OD&D when it was the current edition don't really think of it as anything but one of the new editions.

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