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


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Athaleon wrote:
Starfinder has sci-fi competitors in Shadowrun, 40k, and of course Star Wars.

Unless Shadowrun has released a space supplement where you get to explore the entire galaxy and meet alien races, it is placed very oddly on that list. Its genre is cyberpunk. On Earth.


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Numenera seems to me to be a pretty obvious direct Starfinder competitor too. (Albeit without the spaceship focus).


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Zardnaar wrote:


THere are other mundane thigns fighters can do that are still useful in the D&D context. %E and AD&D 2E ones for example with great saves (something 5E fails at).

I agree, the 5th Ed Fighter should get a bonus to Saving throws (+1/2 level to all) at 5th-level or something (the paladin and ranger get Extra attack /and/ 2nd-level spells).

I agree there is a way to integrate epic/mythic play into Legendary without fighters feeling overtly magical.


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Zardnaar wrote:


They tried wuxia stuff in 4E, crashed and burned. Supernatural abilities can be put on archetypes, sub classes, or high level feats just make them magical, psionic, blessed by the gods or something else that makes sense in the D&D context. No damage on a miss or come and get it type rubbish. Yes fighters can have nice things, bbut make it work in the D&D context. Even something basic like +10 on all saves is a big FU to casters who can't just save or suck them.

I have to disagree here; in 4E, Fighters are 100% mundane (barring literally a couple "you slam your hammer really hard and the ground trembles" moves over literally hundreds) and they're generally regarded as the best rendition of the class in polls even by people that dislike the edition.

Fighters in 4E are not magical by any stretch, the Champion archetype in 5e is much closer to the ideal of the Magical Warrior.


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In general people who ask for Fighters and mundanes that stand up to casters imagine them dodging lighting bolts, parrying dragon breaths with their shields, breaking out from mind control spells with ease and performing great feats of strength and agility.

My personal suggestion is that the high level fighter is a guy who's really good at using magic items (your Fire Tongue sword in the hands of a druid is just a blade that adds some fire damage, but the Fighter can do plenty of things with it).


Visanideth wrote:

I have to disagree here; in 4E, Fighters are 100% mundane (barring literally a couple "you slam your hammer really hard and the ground trembles" moves over literally hundreds) and they're generally regarded as the best rendition of the class in polls even by people that dislike the edition.

Fighters in 4E are not magical by any stretch, the Champion archetype in 5e is much closer to the ideal of the Magical Warrior.

Not really, the Martial power source is described as being magic, but not in the sense of fireball-type magic, which makes sense in the 4th Ed Multiverse (especially pre-Essentials).


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I have to disagree here; in 4E, Fighters are 100% mundane (barring literally a couple "you slam your hammer really hard and the ground trembles" moves over literally hundreds) and they're generally regarded as the best rendition of the class in polls even by people that dislike the edition.

Fighters in 4E are not magical by any stretch, the Champion archetype in 5e is much closer to the ideal of the Magical Warrior.

Not really, the Martial power source is described as being magic, but not in the sense of fireball-type magic, which makes sense in the 4th Ed Multiverse (especially pre-Essentials).

Uhm, no?

All we have on the matter is this line in Martial Power:

"All legendary warriors develop martial power to such an extent that their abilities are the equal of magical abilities."

and the Martial Power Source description in the PHB:

"Martial powers are not magic in the traditional sense, although some martial powers stand well beyond the capabilities of ordinary mortals. Martial characters use their own strength and willpower to vanquish their enemies."

Both are pretty explicit about exploits not being magic.


Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I have to disagree here; in 4E, Fighters are 100% mundane (barring literally a couple "you slam your hammer really hard and the ground trembles" moves over literally hundreds) and they're generally regarded as the best rendition of the class in polls even by people that dislike the edition.

Fighters in 4E are not magical by any stretch, the Champion archetype in 5e is much closer to the ideal of the Magical Warrior.

Not really, the Martial power source is described as being magic, but not in the sense of fireball-type magic, which makes sense in the 4th Ed Multiverse (especially pre-Essentials).

Uhm, no?

All we have on the matter is this line in Martial Power:

"All legendary warriors develop martial power to such an extent that their abilities are the equal of magical abilities."

and the Martial Power Source description in the PHB:

"Martial powers are not magic in the traditional sense, although some martial powers stand well beyond the capabilities of ordinary mortals. Martial characters use their own strength and willpower to vanquish their enemies."

Both are pretty explicit about exploits not being magic.

Exactly "not magic in the traditional sense", meaning, traditionally magic, such as flying, throwing fireballs, turning invisible, etc, but it's a different kind of magic, like Blade magic in ToB (the lore is pretty cool).

That's part of how everything fits together so cleanly in 4th Ed, you have Arcane magic/power, Divine magic, Martial magic, Primal magic, Psionic magic, Shadow magic, etc.


magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, as I said, Paladins are normally the class where I want to throw up my hands in frustration at how they outclass the others. :) The full casters I've seen in my groups are pretty tame in comparison.

That doesn't look like it'll be an issue with PF2 though. No smite, no CHA to saves. There's a few smite-lite options through class feats, but none seem to compare with the raw power of PF1 smite.


Not a fan of the PF Paladin so far. It might be OK power wise (I am judging it on its own merits nt vs the PF or 5E Paladin), the main problem with it it doesn;t feel very Paladin.

No Aura, smite has been tweaked ( I don't consider smite to be 100% required though), no mount, no spells. Its just missing to many abilities I consider iconic to the Paladin although its gets some of them and its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).


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Matthew Downie wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The prospect of a new edition is inevitably going to bring back the conflict between the "I hate the way my Fighter/Rogue was made to look obsolete by a Wizard/Druid/Magus" crowd and the "I like playing an awesome caster who can do anything" crowd.
Is just me or seems like both issues could have been solved by giving martials more toys? High level martials would play like mythological heroes and casters would still be awesome.
Yes, but that brings out another group: "This isn't realistic! I wanted Tolkienesque fantasy, not this anime nonsense!"

I agree. But, Tolkienesque principals being applied to rpgs breeds a very different game than either D&D or Pathfinder.

Throughout the whole series, Frodo, who was a great hero, had tactics that consisted of "run away."

Aragorn, a fantastic example of a "martial" character, would likely loose to Gandalf, Sarumon, and Sauron, all of whom are casters. His in-combat abilities consisted of swing a sword or move in and then swing a sword. Gandalf on the other hand, could summon eagles, create fire, create a barrier of light, deflect arrows, magically disarm someone, call lightning, and even come back from the dead.

Unless martials are given some sort of option besides "use weapon" they will be unable to ever compete with a caster. If you believe that fighters should be mundane that's fine, however you can't then also expect that because fighter is mundane every other class has to be balanced against the fighter. That makes for a game that is baseline low fantasy, as supposed to one that starts as high fantasy and then can easily be toned down by a canny GM.


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Zecrin wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The prospect of a new edition is inevitably going to bring back the conflict between the "I hate the way my Fighter/Rogue was made to look obsolete by a Wizard/Druid/Magus" crowd and the "I like playing an awesome caster who can do anything" crowd.
Is just me or seems like both issues could have been solved by giving martials more toys? High level martials would play like mythological heroes and casters would still be awesome.
Yes, but that brings out another group: "This isn't realistic! I wanted Tolkienesque fantasy, not this anime nonsense!"

I agree. But, Tolkienesque principals being applied to rpgs breeds a very different game than either D&D or Pathfinder.

Throughout the whole series, Frodo, who was a great hero, had tactics that consisted of "run away."

Aragorn, a fantastic example of a "martial" character, would likely loose to Gandalf, Sarumon, and Sauron, all of whom are casters. His in-combat abilities consisted of swing a sword or move in and then swing a sword. Gandalf on the other hand, could summon eagles, create fire, create a barrier of light, deflect arrows, magically disarm someone, call lightning, and even come back from the dead.

Unless martials are given some sort of option besides "use weapon" they will be unable to ever compete with a caster. If you believe that fighters should be mundane that's fine, however you can't then also expect that because fighter is mundane every other class has to be balanced against the fighter. That makes for a game that is baseline low fantasy, as supposed to one that starts as high fantasy and then can easily be toned down by a canny GM.

Yes, it's pretty telling when people say they want more Tolkien in their RPG. Middle Earth had a handful of casters, and pretty much all of them feature pretty heavily in the big events that happen there. Meanwhile martials get to accompany them and stand guard if they're lucky.

Liberty's Edge

Zardnaar wrote:

Not a fan of the PF Paladin so far. It might be OK power wise (I am judging it on its own merits nt vs the PF or 5E Paladin), the main problem with it it doesn;t feel very Paladin.

No Aura, smite has been tweaked ( I don't consider smite to be 100% required though), no mount, no spells. Its just missing to many abilities I consider iconic to the Paladin although its gets some of them and its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).

There are auras and you have the choice to gain a steed (but you get the option of shield or weapon, too). Spells can be easily gained via Cleric multiclassing.


Moro wrote:
Yes, it's pretty telling when people say they want more Tolkien in their RPG. Middle Earth had a handful of casters, and pretty much all of them feature pretty heavily in the big events that happen there. Meanwhile martials get to accompany them and stand guard if...

Casters are often big NPCs and/or major antagonists in fantasy literature (Conan, Elric, Lankhmar etc).

Though, in 1st and 2nd Age Middle-Earth, martial characters were pretty badass, Elven warriors taking on Balrogs, chopping the feet of gods, and the Men of 2nd Age were capable of amazing feats. 3rd Age is when the power, might and magic of the world has greatly diminished.

Dark Archive

Zardnaar wrote:

Not a fan of the PF Paladin so far. It might be OK power wise (I am judging it on its own merits nt vs the PF or 5E Paladin), the main problem with it it doesn;t feel very Paladin.

No Aura, smite has been tweaked ( I don't consider smite to be 100% required though), no mount, no spells. Its just missing to many abilities I consider iconic to the Paladin although its gets some of them and its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).

Aura of Justice, Courage, Faith, Life, Righteousness, Vengeance, Warding Aura, Anchoring Aura, and Righteous Ally: Righteous Steed cover the auras and mount. Spells are a loss, but available Powers cover for some of the most memorable ones (Litanies and Paladin's Sacrifice). The class is very different and significantly less oppressive, but most of their features still exist in some form.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, as I said, Paladins are normally the class where I want to throw up my hands in frustration at how they outclass the others. :) The full casters I've seen in my groups are pretty tame in comparison.
That doesn't look like it'll be an issue with PF2 though. No smite, no CHA to saves. There's a few smite-lite options through class feats, but none seem to compare with the raw power of PF1 smite.

Well, I wasn't asking for a nerf for Paladins, neither. They pay for their power with a lot of roleplaying restrictions.


LuniasM wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Not a fan of the PF Paladin so far. It might be OK power wise (I am judging it on its own merits nt vs the PF or 5E Paladin), the main problem with it it doesn;t feel very Paladin.

No Aura, smite has been tweaked ( I don't consider smite to be 100% required though), no mount, no spells. Its just missing to many abilities I consider iconic to the Paladin although its gets some of them and its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).

Aura of Justice, Courage, Faith, Life, Righteousness, Vengeance, Warding Aura, Anchoring Aura, and Righteous Ally: Righteous Steed cover the auras and mount. Spells are a loss, but available Powers cover for some of the most memorable ones (Litanies and Paladin's Sacrifice). The class is very different and significantly less oppressive, but most of their features still exist in some form.

I was mostly looking at lower level stuff so may have missed a few and some I consider close enough.

Yeah you kind of grow into a bit of that but a few you get a lot earlier in other D&Ds. In AD&D you can't level dip but get a lot of that early on, 5E by level 6 or so, 3.0 a bit to front loaded, PF a bit over the top.

Powerwise it doesn't look to bad on its own merits in PF2, maybe lacking compared with PF1 and 5E.


magnuskn wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, as I said, Paladins are normally the class where I want to throw up my hands in frustration at how they outclass the others. :) The full casters I've seen in my groups are pretty tame in comparison.
That doesn't look like it'll be an issue with PF2 though. No smite, no CHA to saves. There's a few smite-lite options through class feats, but none seem to compare with the raw power of PF1 smite.
Well, I wasn't asking for a nerf for Paladins, neither. They pay for their power with a lot of roleplaying restrictions.

Not that many now, in AD&D yes.

The Exchange

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Moro wrote:

Yes, it's pretty telling when people say they want more Tolkien in their RPG. Middle Earth had a handful of casters, and pretty much all of them feature pretty heavily in the big events that happen there. Meanwhile martials get to accompany them and stand guard if if they're lucky.

And now that last sentence makes me doubt that you've ever read Tolkien at all.


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Zecrin wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
edduardco wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
The prospect of a new edition is inevitably going to bring back the conflict between the "I hate the way my Fighter/Rogue was made to look obsolete by a Wizard/Druid/Magus" crowd and the "I like playing an awesome caster who can do anything" crowd.
Is just me or seems like both issues could have been solved by giving martials more toys? High level martials would play like mythological heroes and casters would still be awesome.
Yes, but that brings out another group: "This isn't realistic! I wanted Tolkienesque fantasy, not this anime nonsense!"

I agree. But, Tolkienesque principals being applied to rpgs breeds a very different game than either D&D or Pathfinder.

Throughout the whole series, Frodo, who was a great hero, had tactics that consisted of "run away."

Aragorn, a fantastic example of a "martial" character, would likely loose to Gandalf, Sarumon, and Sauron, all of whom are casters. His in-combat abilities consisted of swing a sword or move in and then swing a sword. Gandalf on the other hand, could summon eagles, create fire, create a barrier of light, deflect arrows, magically disarm someone, call lightning, and even come back from the dead.

Unless martials are given some sort of option besides "use weapon" they will be unable to ever compete with a caster. If you believe that fighters should be mundane that's fine, however you can't then also expect that because fighter is mundane every other class has to be balanced against the fighter. That makes for a game that is baseline low fantasy, as supposed to one that starts as high fantasy and then can easily be toned down by a canny GM.

I think most of the low fantasy guys like myself agree that the fantasy can't be super,super low.

Okay, so the fighter surviving a direct hit with a fireball spell or shrugging off multiple axe wounds and an arrow that critically hit him is a hair zainy, because mundaine characters have to be a wee bit over the top compared to real life. Otherwise this game would be unplayable mechanically. No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character as a peadant farmer with a limp. I'm the first guy to laugh at the idea of perfect "realism" in this kind of game.

But a moderate degree of realism is very important to me. If a guy is teleporting or flying ot leaping over buildings he'd better be a caster.


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Zolanoteph wrote:
No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character

Sounds like a lot of CoC characters I played. When they were lucky and survived. And didn't get insane.


magnuskn wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Starfinder has sci-fi competitors in Shadowrun, 40k, and of course Star Wars.
Unless Shadowrun has released a space supplement where you get to explore the entire galaxy and meet alien races, it is placed very oddly on that list. Its genre is cyberpunk. On Earth.

I'm aware of that. It ticks all the other boxes of future, fantasy, guns, and hacking that a lot of people look for in sci-fi, along with the magic and fantasy elements blended in, hence its place on the list.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character
Sounds like a lot of CoC characters I played. When they were lucky and survived. And didn't get insane.

The whole point of CoC is to merely stave off inevitable insanity and death for as long as possible.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character
Sounds like a lot of CoC characters I played. When they were lucky and survived. And didn't get insane.
The whole point of CoC is to merely stave off inevitable insanity and death for as long as possible.

I know, right? who wants to play that? no one wants that! [/sarcasm]

that said, CoC obviously isn't PF or D&D 3.x. Different system for a different game with a different feel. That's why it should have been so important to keep the feel of PF1 with the new edition even though mechanics changed. After playtesting I'm not sure that's the case


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Hythlodeus wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Zolanoteph wrote:
No one wants to have their character get shot once, spend three months recovering and retire the character
Sounds like a lot of CoC characters I played. When they were lucky and survived. And didn't get insane.
The whole point of CoC is to merely stave off inevitable insanity and death for as long as possible.

I know, right? who wants to play that? no one wants that! [/sarcasm]

that said, CoC obviously isn't PF or D&D 3.x. Different system for a different game with a different feel. That's why it should have been so important to keep the feel of PF1 with the new edition even though mechanics changed. After playtesting I'm not sure that's the case

I totally agree, D&D and CoC are on petty much opposite ends of the RPG spectrum, and that is on purpose and a good thing, just like I still like TSR Marvel Superheroes for the sort of rules/vibe/play it brings, really captures the genre for me.

I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.

What does PF1 have that’s missing from the playtest? (Other than more options, I guess).

I’m late to the party and haven’t played it, but (to me) it feels the same from what I’ve read. The mechanical steps of creating a PC are obviously quite different, but it still seems like I’m best off trying to “build” a PC by choosing synergistic options, rather than letting it develop organically through gameplay. That’s always seemed the key “feel” of PF1 to me.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.
What does PF1 have that’s missing from the playtest? (Other than more options, I guess).

Not sure, and what PF2 has that PF1 does not. I am not concerned about tons of options at this point, I would be fine with just focusing on the core 4 classes at first.


Zardnaar wrote:
its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).

Presumably only if you're selective about the 'olde D&Disms', as I'm sure you're aware of the major one it throws out.


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Hard to say. You'll probably get very different answers to that depending who you ask. Judging by this forum alone there are dozens of different styles of play and preferences. which is a good thing, I guess, on paper. It's when one game style dominates the discussion and pushes it's agenda into the mechanics when it comes problematic for me.

On of the reasons I gave up on 4E very early was the feel of the game not being right. It felt like a board game or a video game, less like what D&D was before. During Lost Star I sometimes, not always, had a very similar experience, that got a little better once I decided to drop Exploration Mode as written. But something felt 'off', something didn't felt right. Like Vic, I can't really put my finger on it yet. It will be interesting to see how this will play out on higher levels, but I suspect (and suspecting is all I can do without having played at higher levels) that the video game/4E feel will creep back or the feeling of 'something is wrong here'will become worse due to the skill system and how it interacts with the specialization aspect of the characters.

For the same reasons I let my players roll their stats and get randomness in the game, which is out of their control, while others on the board love point buy because everyone starts with the same inherent set of capabilities. It all comes down to styles and preferances.

The skill system might suit one style of play better, but takes away the options of other play styles.

(Resonance is also a suspect atm, we will see)

And then there are the Ancestries which are just a shell of what they were in previous editions and just become what they once were at high levels. I mean, that's a major difference in feel right there, I guess, but it is also something that I guess will be fixed or at least could easily be fixed.


Hythlodeus wrote:

Hard to say. You'll probably get very different answers to that depending who you ask. Judging by this forum alone there are dozens of different styles of play and preferences. which is a good thing, I guess, on paper. It's when one game style dominates the discussion and pushes it's agenda into the mechanics when it comes problematic for me.

On of the reasons I gave up on 4E very early was the feel of the game not being right. It felt like a board game or a video game, less like what D&D was before. During Lost Star I sometimes, not always, had a very similar experience, that got a little better once I decided to drop Exploration Mode as written. But something felt 'off', something didn't felt right. Like Vic, I can't really put my finger on it yet. It will be interesting to see how this will play out on higher levels, but I suspect (and suspecting is all I can do without having played at higher levels) that the video game/4E feel will creep back or the feeling of 'something is wrong here'will become worse due to the skill system and how it interacts with the specialization aspect of the characters.

For the same reasons I let my players roll their stats and get randomness in the game, which is out of their control, while others on the board love point buy because everyone starts with the same inherent set of capabilities. It all comes down to styles and preferances.

The skill system might suit one style of play better, but takes away the options of other play styles.

(Resonance is also a suspect atm, we will see)

And then there are the Ancestries which are just a shell of what they were in previous editions and just become what they once were at high levels. I mean, that's a major difference in feel right there, I guess, but it is also something that I guess will be fixed or at least could easily be fixed.

Broadly speaking there are around 3 playstyles IMHO of D&D although all of them on a casual level are similar in a a lot of ways. They are.

4E Tactical
3.x Options
Casual D&D (1E, basic 2E, 5E, casual 3E)

And variants

fantasy Vietnam (hard core B/X and 1E, Tomb of Horrors and gotcha DMing)

Build your own (advanced 2E, settings+ dials for low magic, low tech, high tech, high maigic etc).

Casual D&D is the main one and is the common thread. Adventures like X1 Isle of Dread, The Night Below, Savage Tide, Rise of the Runelords, and Princes of the Apocalypse would be "casual D&D".


Hythlodeus wrote:

Hard to say. You'll probably get very different answers to that depending who you ask. Judging by this forum alone there are dozens of different styles of play and preferences. which is a good thing, I guess, on paper. It's when one game style dominates the discussion and pushes it's agenda into the mechanics when it comes problematic for me.

On of the reasons I gave up on 4E very early was the feel of the game not being right. It felt like a board game or a video game, less like what D&D was before. During Lost Star I sometimes, not always, had a very similar experience, that got a little better once I decided to drop Exploration Mode as written. But something felt 'off', something didn't felt right. Like Vic, I can't really put my finger on it yet. It will be interesting to see how this will play out on higher levels, but I suspect (and suspecting is all I can do without having played at higher levels) that the video game/4E feel will creep back or the feeling of 'something is wrong here'will become worse due to the skill system and how it interacts with the specialization aspect of the characters.

For the same reasons I let my players roll their stats and get randomness in the game, which is out of their control, while others on the board love point buy because everyone starts with the same inherent set of capabilities. It all comes down to styles and preferances.

The skill system might suit one style of play better, but takes away the options of other play styles.

(Resonance is also a suspect atm, we will see)

And then there are the Ancestries which are just a shell of what they were in previous editions and just become what they once were at high levels. I mean, that's a major difference in feel right there, I guess, but it is also something that I guess will be fixed or at least could easily be fixed.

Excellent post (I very much agree about 4th Ed, and I gave it more than a fair shake: DMed it from release until early 2010 - became disillusioned); and it just occurred to me, PF2 sort of feels a bit like a Sci-Fi RPG converted to the Fantasy genre.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

Hard to say. You'll probably get very different answers to that depending who you ask. Judging by this forum alone there are dozens of different styles of play and preferences. which is a good thing, I guess, on paper. It's when one game style dominates the discussion and pushes it's agenda into the mechanics when it comes problematic for me.

On of the reasons I gave up on 4E very early was the feel of the game not being right. It felt like a board game or a video game, less like what D&D was before. During Lost Star I sometimes, not always, had a very similar experience, that got a little better once I decided to drop Exploration Mode as written. But something felt 'off', something didn't felt right. Like Vic, I can't really put my finger on it yet. It will be interesting to see how this will play out on higher levels, but I suspect (and suspecting is all I can do without having played at higher levels) that the video game/4E feel will creep back or the feeling of 'something is wrong here'will become worse due to the skill system and how it interacts with the specialization aspect of the characters.

For the same reasons I let my players roll their stats and get randomness in the game, which is out of their control, while others on the board love point buy because everyone starts with the same inherent set of capabilities. It all comes down to styles and preferances.

The skill system might suit one style of play better, but takes away the options of other play styles.

(Resonance is also a suspect atm, we will see)

And then there are the Ancestries which are just a shell of what they were in previous editions and just become what they once were at high levels. I mean, that's a major difference in feel right there, I guess, but it is also something that I guess will be fixed or at least could easily be fixed.

Cheers. I dont really have much on which to form an opinion - all I've done is build a character and it felt pretty much the same to me at this stage (I would prefer more Ancestry feats at level one but that change comes across as playing a weaker race, the feel of going from race-ancestry is the same to me, it's just that every option is low powered).

What did you think of the stat rolling option? (I always roll for stats and didnt like it at all on reading it but warmed to it once I actually tried it out).


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Bluenose wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).
Presumably only if you're selective about the 'olde D&Disms', as I'm sure you're aware of the major one it throws out.

It's been awhile. Weren't they human only? I seem to remember them needing unreasonable stat rolls as well.


Steve Geddes wrote:
What did you think of the stat rolling option? (I always roll for stats and didnt like it at all on reading it but warmed to it once I actually tried it out).

I haven't tried it, yet. For playtest purposes I decided that the group should use the new point buy system, especially since we want to compare the characters in gameplay to PF1 characters in gameplay when I run Lost Star in PF1 (which will give me an indication of how easy it is to convert PF2 material to PF) were we will use point buy for comparison's sake.

I plan to have one of the higher level groups roll the stats (and then reuse the rolls for the PF1 playthrough) but that's months away from now, since every time we have a playtest session, it means our regular CotC campaign is 'on hold'.


ErichAD wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).
Presumably only if you're selective about the 'olde D&Disms', as I'm sure you're aware of the major one it throws out.
It's been awhile. Weren't they human only? I seem to remember them needing unreasonable stat rolls as well.

Human only, 17 charisma(which could be broken via henchmen).

When we play AD&D these days I use BAB over THAC0 and no level limits and buff humans. Racial limits and alignment stick though.
If I played 5E Greyhawk I might wheel out optional rules such as racial and alignment restrictions, mostly to stay faithful to the setting. FR, Golarion, Eberron go nuts, Krynn and Greyhawk well well well here is the catch;).

I prefer LG Paladins only but its not a requirement if that makes any sense.


A sort of funny thing. At our table two of our DMs insist on LG paladins only, and as a result nobody plays them.


Zardnaar wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).
Presumably only if you're selective about the 'olde D&Disms', as I'm sure you're aware of the major one it throws out.
It's been awhile. Weren't they human only? I seem to remember them needing unreasonable stat rolls as well.

Human only, 17 charisma(which could be broken via henchmen).

Don't forget the requirement to tithe. That could be harsh.


ErichAD wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
its LG only which is kinda nice if you like ye olde D&Disms (I do BTW).
Presumably only if you're selective about the 'olde D&Disms', as I'm sure you're aware of the major one it throws out.
It's been awhile. Weren't they human only? I seem to remember them needing unreasonable stat rolls as well.

The first is the biggest change in flavour from my viewpoint. The thing is, in AD&D there were only three races that could be Clerics (apart from human-only Paladins) and those were all at least partly human (humans, half-orcs, half-elves). What that implied was that humans were the race that had a special way of relating to their gods not available to elves/dwarves/halflings. I was quite annoyed that 2e changed that, but by then I was largely playing a modified BECMI and it didn't really affect me.


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The only thing I am really twitchy on right now are a few points that I think Paizo should address sooner rather than later. I have now run 9 different playtests, no they haven't been Rose Street or Doomsday Dawn, they have been homebrew, and I have been meticulous in detail of what was done, where it was done, what creatures were involved, what happened, what players made, etc.

I have noted a number of issues that I wish Paizo would react faster on.

1. Double Slice is mechanically overpowered

This is a fact not an opinion. It is simply the most superior option at this point in time and the "downsides" of having two weapons barely exists. There is little reason to not take this if you can work it into a build. It is far superior to using a two handed weapon or Power Attack at this time.

2. Some class roles are inexplicable or inflexible.

Some classes have open roles, Fighter can be defensive, offensive, shield user, dual weapon user, great weapon user, etc. Very wide. Some other classes (Paladin comes to mind) are firmly locked into one role, and only one role.

2b. Paladin needs some help ASAP.

I can't stress this enough. There are serious problems with the class that have been identified by numerous posters. In about 1/3 of my personally run games and have been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt. We are desperately waiting on a comment.

The elephants in the room are 2 abilities:

Retributive Strike and Blade of Justice.

The first ability does not function outside of an area where a player specializes to use it, which requires around level 12-14 or requires the GM specifically manipulate the scenario so it can be used. It also locks out Paladins from using 2 of the deity's favored weapons (namely the Crossbow and the Longbow) because it cannot work with them. Furthermore the only method it currently functions with reliably is with a reach weapon, forcing Paladins who wish to use it, especially at early levels, to forgo a shield and to use specific weapons, of which only one is a favored deity weapon. It is too easy to circumvent and is too integral to the Paladin class to be ignored in this context.

The second ability mechanically is inferior to all competing options. Blade of Justice costs an action each turn it is used, and only adds +1 damage per die of damage a weapon does. Meaning when you get it, it likely only does +1 to +2 damage. The average damage variance off of Power Attack, for example, is 3.5 and can be garnered at level 1. If BoJ was a level 1 ability +1 to +2 damage might be acceptable, but as a level 6 ability it is considered by many to be a waste of time. It has situational uses, yes, but those are rare enough that many are willing to just get a Holy Weapon (which also takes advantage of those situations) or Aura of Faith which does it and then some. These abilities need to be addressed immediately if possible.

3. The Half-Elf Ancestry Human Off-Shoot is Too Good.

This is important, due to the extremely heavy (and unnecessary) penalties to heavy armor, and melee in general, getting an extra 5ft of movement is incredibly powerful. This has lead to the "default" becoming "Human Ancestry: Elf - Extra Move and Low Light" followed by "General Feat and/or General Training Ancestry Feat - Fleet" followed by "Human Ancestry: Elf Ancestry: Nimble - for 5ft more movement." This is a problem, I recommend addressing it either by removing the movement penalties on armor (really they are ridiculous and unrealistic) or by doing something to stop this level of stacking.


Zardnaar wrote:
If I played 5E Greyhawk I might wheel out optional rules such as racial and alignment restrictions, mostly to stay faithful to the setting.

I do the exact same thing, in regards to Greyhawk, race/class/alignment restrictions as per 1st Ed Unearthed Arcana.


Bluenose wrote:
The thing is, in AD&D there were only three races that could be Clerics (apart from human-only Paladins) and those were all at least partly human (humans, half-orcs, half-elves).

That's not true, only Halflings can't be Clerics as per the 1st Ed AD&D PHB, and Unearthed Arcana opened it up to Halflings.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, honestly. The way some people talk about casters, I want to hand them a doll and ask "show me where the bad caster touched you".

Luckily all the people I play with, in both groups, seem to have fun playing their characters no matter what they choose to play and appreciate the way that martials pulverize their opponents and casters add tons of useful stuff for the party.

Hell, the biggest complaints I've had at my table over the last decade have been that Paladins just outclass everyone else when we have one and, if not, that archers are OP vs melee classes. I honestly can't remember anyone saying for many years that they thought that someone with a caster class was running away with the campaign.

Have you seen an archer paladin? We had one in our Wrath of the Righteous game. He was freaking devastating. Of course that game also has Mythic which gives some big power boosts. Although he often was a bit out-damaged by the other archer in the group, a Kasatha Bow Nomad Ranger. Dual-wielding longbows. He was a machine-gun.
Yeah, as I said, Paladins are normally the class where I want to throw up my hands in frustration at how they outclass the others. :) The full casters I've seen in my groups are pretty tame in comparison.

Every single time in my 20 years GMing I've had a character actually break the table it's been a martial.

I played a late era 3.5 game where I was playing a 17th level Arcane Heirophant and the other guy was playing Fighter (and 3 other characters of various kinds at the table), and through an entire dungeon I never acted because the Fighter won initiative every time and did so much damage/attack that he one killed every creature with a single attack routine.

C/MD is as near as I can tell, entirely derived from about a dozen spells-- and then also only exists when the GM goes out of his way to make those spells always work/be more powerful/have no drawbacks, ect.

Take out Simulacrum and half the entire problem goes away.


Nathanael Love wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
magnuskn wrote:

Yeah, honestly. The way some people talk about casters, I want to hand them a doll and ask "show me where the bad caster touched you".

Luckily all the people I play with, in both groups, seem to have fun playing their characters no matter what they choose to play and appreciate the way that martials pulverize their opponents and casters add tons of useful stuff for the party.

Hell, the biggest complaints I've had at my table over the last decade have been that Paladins just outclass everyone else when we have one and, if not, that archers are OP vs melee classes. I honestly can't remember anyone saying for many years that they thought that someone with a caster class was running away with the campaign.

Have you seen an archer paladin? We had one in our Wrath of the Righteous game. He was freaking devastating. Of course that game also has Mythic which gives some big power boosts. Although he often was a bit out-damaged by the other archer in the group, a Kasatha Bow Nomad Ranger. Dual-wielding longbows. He was a machine-gun.
Yeah, as I said, Paladins are normally the class where I want to throw up my hands in frustration at how they outclass the others. :) The full casters I've seen in my groups are pretty tame in comparison.

Every single time in my 20 years GMing I've had a character actually break the table it's been a martial.

I played a late era 3.5 game where I was playing a 17th level Arcane Heirophant and the other guy was playing Fighter (and 3 other characters of various kinds at the table), and through an entire dungeon I never acted because the Fighter won initiative every time and did so much damage/attack that he one killed every creature with a single attack routine.

C/MD is as near as I can tell, entirely derived from about a dozen spells-- and then also only exists when the GM goes out of his way to make those spells always work/be more powerful/have no drawbacks, ect.

Take out...

Its mostly how you play. A power gamed martial will be better than a casual type caster or a caster who buffs his allies, heals or otherwise support them.

Generally I find people also like playing martials a lot, doesn't matter on the power levels. Saw very few Druids in 3.5 and it was the most powerful class if you knew what you were doing.

Other things like the uber cleric I think were mostly online theory builds. They required a lot of books some of which were obscure, generally had to be high level (which a lot of D&D players do not reach), and you had to know how to build them which usually meant connected to forums.

I did see some crazy 3.0 builds, 3.5 not so much mostly because we did not try to break the game as much or lacked a key book or two with the offending feat or whatever in it. Probably did not help that it was new to me and I told my players how to do it if they asked, in 3.5 I more or less let them figure it out.

Worst one was the 3.0 Elven persistent spell buffer, 3.0 Incanrtrix and 3.0 Shadow Adept. For 3.5 it was a Druid and a Bard build that granted +8 or +16 on all attacks and damage in an archer heavy party with rapid shot.

Mostly I think most people don't have the required books or forum interest to play like that. A keen+ improved crit scimitar was in the 3.0 core books though.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.
What does PF1 have that’s missing from the playtest? (Other than more options, I guess).

At least half the classes look incredibly lackluster compared to their PF1E versions. And I am talking just about the CRB versions, added options from other books aren't even included in that. I have a serious case of "Why would I want to play this class?" when looking at Alchemists, Druids, Paladins, Rangers, Sorcerers and Wizards.

Otherwise my overall feeling I get when reading through the rules is that everything was over-balanced to the point of sucking all the fun out of formerly interesting abilities, classes and spells. It feels like the devs designed the rules to be the least offensive to people who are spending their time on the messageboards railing about "unbalanced gameplay". Like I've been saying all week, in my humble opinion they balanced the fun right out of the game.

The problem is that this playtest isn't happening in a vacuum. If we never had the PF1E rules to compare the playtest rules against, things would probably be much calmer. But we have the prior ruleset and for me it has been impossible (and I've tried) to mentally detach myself from making comparisons.


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magnuskn wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.
What does PF1 have that’s missing from the playtest? (Other than more options, I guess).

At least half the classes look incredibly lackluster compared to their PF1E versions. And I am talking just about the CRB versions, added options from other books aren't even included in that. I have a serious case of "Why would I want to play this class?" when looking at Alchemists, Druids, Paladins, Rangers, Sorcerers and Wizards.

Otherwise my overall feeling I get when reading through the rules is that everything was over-balanced to the point of sucking all the fun out of formerly interesting abilities, classes and spells. It feels like the devs designed the rules to be the least offensive to people who are spending their time on the messageboards railing about "unbalanced gameplay". Like I've been saying all week, in my humble opinion they balanced the fun right out of the game.

The problem is that this playtest isn't happening in a vacuum. If we never had the PF1E rules to compare the playtest rules against, things would probably be much calmer. But we have the prior ruleset and for me it has been impossible (and I've tried) to mentally detach myself from making comparisons.

Actually, let me give this a quantified shot:

Things PF1 (core) has that PF2 doesn't:
1) General combat feats, so all fighting and casting styles are open to all classes. Gated by proficiency (expressed as BAB and caster level).
2) Traditional multiclassing, expanding on what you can do with a character's concept. PF2 multiclassing penalizes heavily most non-caster multiclasses to the point where they're inviable.
3) Better strategy with regards to selection of feats/spells that stack. An enlarged, raging barbarian isn't told that both of those "competence" bonuses don't stack).

Things PF2 has that PF1 (core) doesn't:
1) A better archetype system, overall.
2) A better action system with the 3-action breakdown.
3) A better critical system with the three degrees of success.
4) A better framework for gating abilities with Proficiency, even this goes completely unused for all but Skills, where it's only used shallowly.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
magnuskn wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
I am not sure what PF2 feels like at this point, I can't put my finger on it.
What does PF1 have that’s missing from the playtest? (Other than more options, I guess).

At least half the classes look incredibly lackluster compared to their PF1E versions. And I am talking just about the CRB versions, added options from other books aren't even included in that. I have a serious case of "Why would I want to play this class?" when looking at Alchemists, Druids, Paladins, Rangers, Sorcerers and Wizards.

Otherwise my overall feeling I get when reading through the rules is that everything was over-balanced to the point of sucking all the fun out of formerly interesting abilities, classes and spells. It feels like the devs designed the rules to be the least offensive to people who are spending their time on the messageboards railing about "unbalanced gameplay". Like I've been saying all week, in my humble opinion they balanced the fun right out of the game.

The problem is that this playtest isn't happening in a vacuum. If we never had the PF1E rules to compare the playtest rules against, things would probably be much calmer. But we have the prior ruleset and for me it has been impossible (and I've tried) to mentally detach myself from making comparisons.

I can see the first point - the lower power level of the game doesn’t bother me, but I could see why people might view a certain scope of power to be essential to PF.

With regard to the latter, do you mean that there was a certain amount of imbalance in PF1 that you miss? Or that each game is balanced to a similar degree but you don’t like the method by which that balance is achieved in the playtest?


Characters are very busy, with a lot to keep up with, I am looking at a 10th-level Monk build, and it is so fiddly, yet some very cool abilities (features/feats). It seems like it needs a bit of decluttering, but there are some gems.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
I can see the first point - the lower power level of the game doesn’t bother me, but I could see why people might view a certain scope of power to be essential to PF.

It's not only that. I would say a good part of playing a class is the anticipation of awesome stuff (and I realize that "awesome" is a really vague term).

As an example: What do have to look forward when playing a PF1E Paladin? Divine Grace? Awesome!

What do I have to look forward to when playing a PF2E Paladin? Divine Grace? Empirically way less awesome.

PF2E is the following edition from PF1E, just like PF1E was to D&D 3.5. When I was looking at the new versions of the classes in PF1E I got excited for awesome new abilities, fixes, upgrades and overall a feeling that I was playing something more exciting. I have the exact opposite feeling when looking at many of the classes in PF2E. That is a terrible feeling for a new edition to have.

Steve Geddes wrote:
With regard to the latter, do you mean that there was a certain amount of imbalance in PF1 that you miss? Or that each game is balanced to a similar degree but you don’t like the method by which that balance is achieved in the playtest?

+level to everything makes classes feel same-y and game-y. It achieves an overall -4/+4 level range to opponents, but blurs the difference between classes and creates more unrealistic, hence game-y, scenarios. Example: A naked lvl 16 goblin wizard with low strength can beat up 10 fully armored lvl 1 dwarf fighters with his bare hands and using no magic.

But what I meant by "balancing the fun right out of the game" is that about every formerly really good ability or spells seems to have been nerfed. You could call that an "imbalance" in PF1E, but I'd say that those abilities/spells were which created fun for players. I've commented in another thread that the vaunted martial/caster imbalance never played out the way many people describe at my table, but then I've been playing with mostly the same people for close to 20 years now and we've got each others number.


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magnuskn wrote:
PF2E is the following edition from PF1E, just like PF1E was to D&D 3.5. When I was looking at the new versions of the classes in PF1E I got excited for awesome new abilities, fixes, upgrades and overall a feeling that I was playing something more exciting. I have the exact opposite feeling when looking at many of the classes in PF2E. That is a terrible feeling for a new edition to have.

This is something I have felt since day 1; I was saddened at my lack of excitement for anything, some new rule, or mechanic, something, I love classes, but they have left me blah (some cool feats here or there, but the classes themselves...), as I have said before, there is no wow-factor for me to be had, so far.

Building a high-level character is a tad tedious, and not in the fun 3rd Ed/PF1 way.


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WHY KILL THE GOLDEN GOOSE?

As a retired professional game designer and game historian of some note, I find the Pathfinder Playtest has a fatal game design flaw. My background is: starting designing games in 1959, designing games at Coleco for Colecovision and the Adam and Atari and other computers, designing WarGames which was awarded the #1 game cartridge in 1984, developing the first edition of Axis and Allies, since 1968 being mentored by Gary Gygax, owning and designing games for Nova Games and Game Theory and Design, Simulations Publications (SPI), scenarios for Avalon Hill, etc.

There are many new ideas in the Pathfinder Playtest that are good ideas and have great potential so I will not comment on these ideas. Playtesting will make those good ideas great and streamline the system, removing others.

The fatal flaw is explained as digging a hole in the design to fill it with a plug. This same problem occurred with updates to GPS systems. When GPS for cars first came out you were asked to input address number, street name, city or town name, and state. That system worked great. Then some idiot designer decided you should only input address number and street name. The system would take up to 5 minutes to search every town and city in America and list a number of places based on distance to choose as your destination. The search result was tedious and time consuming, sometimes never listing the destination searched for. That GPS system was worse than a map! The next generation design was even more ridiculous. The idiot designer decided to do the same thing but show a map with circles of locations. You had to guess which circle was your destination. Then you had to press that circle and the GPS system would update your driving directions, almost always giving the wrong destination. You would have to do the same thing all over again until you found the correct driving directions. Terrible! Terrible! Terrible! Siri and the I phone have replaced GPS systems and eliminated an entire industry.

So what is the flaw in Pathfinder Playtest? In order to implement the idea of critical failures, the play test invented hero points. So dig a hole in the system and create an artificial plug.

Why is this system so bad. To understand its flaw requires a study of RPG history. Gary designed D&D. I consider hime to be one of the best game designers in history. He is on par with George Fox from England in 1801, Ann Wales Abbot in 1843, etc.

Originally D&D put the focus on the Dungeon Master (GM for Pathfinder) and the Dungeon Master needed to at least create the scenario. D&D evolved from miniatures and war games from Avalon Hill. As such there needed to be a winner. Often, if not always, the designer of the scenario wanted to not only challenge the players but to kill them off. Because D&D was such a blockbuster, eliminating some new players was no big deal. There were always other gamers new to D&D to replace them. It took years to realize that putting all the focus on the Dungeon Master (GM in Pathfinder) eventually slowed down sales and put RPG games lower in rank on game play when it could have been more popular than Milton Bradley and Parker Brothers games. This flaw emboldened the Dungeon Master to the point that he thought he was a great designer and even a God. Players fled!

I have encountered at least one of these GMs in Pathfinder edition 1. He has written numerous scenarios and plays the role of the "forgiving God." He chooses the toughest scenarios so that he can kill player characters. After he has about half of the player characters below 0 in an encounter, he allows the rest of the player characters to flee and regroup. The remaining player characters regroup after healing and attempt to free the below 0 characters that have stopped bleeding out. This encounter comes before the final encounter. Even though the the encounter includes evil intelligent or hungry monsters, they do not kill the downed characters. The remaining player characters either leave or mount a new attack against the damaged enemy to save the player characters that are tied up. In the two scenarios run by him that I played (at low level), I obtained 2 experience points and 1 prestige point. I will never run with him as GM again.

So Pathfinder Playtest moves more power to the GM and away from the players. The way society has changed, I cannot see any other result than the GMs using that power to kill even more player characters than Pathfinder 1. The number of players are dwindling as it is. Why kill the Golden Goose?

Joe Angiolillo

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