First Impressions: Character Creation


General Discussion

Grand Lodge

So I came into this thinking there would be some things I could translate into an ongoing game that we are already playing. My players have been more than willing to be flexible going into this and as we put together our characters these where the impressions we got:

- VERY Feat heavy, with heritage feats scattered about and not organized by level.
- "Hero Luck" still found its way into the edition, which with a d20 game has been necessary in recent games.
- We all really enjoyed the idea of a heritage progression built into each character.
- Not sure why Ancestry and Heritage kept being used interchangeably, confused us somewhat.
- We really enjoyed the Start @ 10 > Race > Background > Class > 4 "Boosts"
- Backgrounds were straight forward and a big upgrade from traits from the prior Edition.
- Players were disappointed that backgrounds did not grant an additional Signature Skill beyond Lore.
- The Lore skill seemed very broad, and not sure if this was intended or not. Required some thinking outside of the box.
- Spell points for Powers? Not to mention this was not clearly pointed out in each of the classes, and lead to a significant level of frustration.
- Confusion between multiple source pools. Magic reserve, Spell Points, and Class "point" reserves were really confusing (and hard to reference)
- Group agrees Spell Points need to just be renamed Power Points, and that Cantrips, Spells, Rituals, AND Powers be listed separately in the spell list.
- Removing the school with each spell for Wizard in the spell listing makes it very painful to look up spells to fill in the role of one's specialization.
- Like the direction this is going, but the heavy focus on feats will require friendlier tables/trees as the playtest currently is a pain to read

As of right now, I can't tell if spellcasters can get above trained in any spell, where as martial classes can get Expert/Master/Legendary weapons. I've been looking through the book now for a few days and can't find that out.

I'll try to share more as my players provide more feedback.

Liberty's Edge

The casters get expert in spells as a class feature at 12.

Grand Lodge

Thanks, I had figured as much. We are only looking at level 1 and 2 characters right now, so seeing that far down the line wasn't in the initial setup but good to know!


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My experience with character creation:

Create a character without spells or Spell Point fuelled powers? No problems there at all. Those classes even have fairly comprehensive side bars explaining the traits that are prevalent in the class's feats. Like the Fighter's "Open, Press, Stance".

Create a character with spells and Spell Point fuelled powers? Spend an ungodly amount of time flicking all over the rulebook to find the spells and powers and the rules implications of the traits you run into.

Presentation and organisation needs work in my opinion.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Paraphrasing some of the notes I made when I created my two characters for the Gen Con platest.

1) Creating a character was frustrating initially because the character creation rules do not include all of the necessary calculations needed to write your statistics on the character sheet.

2) My class kept saying that the calculation for spell DCs are located on page 291, which doesn't actually have it.

3) Many of the classes feel very samey and don't have interesting enough class features that define how they play.

4) Powers need their own section in the book.

5) All the races feel the same.

6) Significant disparities between classes despite all the classes having the same framework. Martials don't get more class features than the full spellcasters. Sorcerer and wizard get fewer proficiencies and abilities than the druid and bard, despite all of them being full spellcasters.

Sovereign Court

DicesMuse wrote:


- We all really enjoyed the idea of a heritage progression built into each character.
- Not sure why Ancestry and Heritage kept being used interchangeably, confused us somewhat.

Heritage is a kind of ancestry feat that you can only select at 1st level. You do not progress a heritage, you progress your ancestry.

When you gain an additional ancestry feat later on, you cannot select an ancestry feat with the heritage trait.

Sovereign Court

Cyrad wrote:

6) Significant disparities between classes despite all the classes having the same framework. Martials don't get more class features than the full spellcasters.

Spellcasters get 8 class feats while Martials get 10-11 class feats.

Grand Lodge

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Not sure what happened to my last post, but basically I agree with everything but the Spellcasters not having enough class feats, when in fact all the Martial Classes get a class feat starting at level 1, and will typically have 2 or 3 more than Spellcasting classes.

Gives me the impression that with the "Archetypes" and the like, Martial classes will be able to get them much sooner than spellcasting classes for this reason which I'm conflicted with how I feel about those.


Darkorin wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

6) Significant disparities between classes despite all the classes having the same framework. Martials don't get more class features than the full spellcasters.

Spellcasters get 8 class feats while Martials get 10-11 class feats.

Well, sort of, with many exceptions. Sorcerers get 6 class feats because of locked bloodline powers. Universalist Wizards get 9 class feats, the Bard gets 9 class feats because that's one of the things his muse gives him, and the Druid gets 9 class feats because that's one of the things his order gives him.

Grand Lodge

- I have to add though, I loved how rage also had anathema traits to each of the different "rage" trees.
- Animal Rage trees actually give the Barbarian valid weapons (1d10+!?!?) while denying them the use of weapons.
- I am unsure of how that plays into at higher levels with weapons gaining magical enhancements, but rage powers seem to build off of that to some extent, still need to delve more into it in future game sessions to find out.


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Just a first glance thought

Ancestory - it was advertised by Mona i think you can make the most dwarfiest dwarf that ever dwarfed with ancestory compared to race. At first glance this is a complete falsehood, the PF1 dwarf is the dwarfiest dwarf because it has all the racial abilities right away and can pick and choose through alternative traits at lvl 1, where-as a PF2 dwarf has 1 at lvl 1 and every 4 after. I guess this mechanic, more accurately to put it, makes it so not all dwarves are alike. I give this change a meh to slightly worse then before

Archetypes/multiclassing - the archetypes function like in starfinder so Im not enthused in the slightest, the only thing worse than this is resonance. Feat cost into multiclassing makes sense and im on board with it.

Grand Lodge

We are still working on the two spellcasters, but this is what we had put together for the Barbarian of our group:

BACKGROUND:

Blood Seeker Baraccus of the Ebon Blade
Mana Wastes Nomad
Half-Orc Barbarian (Silver Dragon Totem) 2
Chaotic Neutral Medium (Humanoid, Human, Orc)
Languages: Common, Orc

DEFENSE:

AC 15, TAC 13 (+3 armor, +1 Dex, -1 Raging, +2 Proficiency)
hp 36 (8 Human, 2x +12 Barbarian, 2x +2 Con); 40 While Raging
Fort (Expert) +5 (Level 2, +2 Con, +1 Proficiency)
Ref (Trained) +3 (Level 2, +1 Dex)
Will (Expert) +5 (Level 2, +2 Wis, +1 Proficiency)

OFFENSE:

Speed 25 ft.
Melee "Skyfall Reaver" expert falchion (trained) +7 (Level 2, +4 Str, +1 expert) (1d10+7, Raging, Slashing, Forceful, Arcane, Evocation, Frost, Sweeping)
Ranged javelin (trained) +3 (level 2, +1 Dex) (1d6+6, Piercing, Thrown)
Special Attacks: rage (Unlimited - Can't be fatigued, lasts 3/turns, fatigued for 1 round after rage ends; Concentration - Rage; +4 temporary hit points; +2 damage rolls; -1 AC)

TACTICS:

During Combat Baraccus starts combat with an Intimidating Glare before moving into melee, where he favors his greatsword. If forced into ranged combat, Baraccus will take aim with his Javelin's hoping to knock his target from the sky.
Base Statistics When not raging, Baraccus statistics are AC 16, touch 14; Melee “Skyfall Reever” falchion +7 (1d12+5); Ranged javelin +3 (1d6+4)

STATISTICS:

Str 18 (+4), Dex 12 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 10 (+0), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 10 (+0)
FEATS
Ancestry - Half-Orc (low-light vision,
Skill 1st (Background, General) - Assurance: Survival
Skill 1st (Class, Intimidation) - Intimdating Glare
Class 1st - Raging Intimidation (*Grants Intimidating Glare)
Class 2nd - Acute Scent (scent, 10ft, while raging only)
Skill 2nd (Class, Survival) - Forager (can always forage for self, but benefits for gaining for others)

SKILLS:

+4 Athletics (Str) Trained (Includes -2 Armor Check Penalty)
+2 Intimidation (Cha) Trained
+2 Lore (Int) Trained
+5 Perception (Wis) Expert
+4 Survival (Wis) Trained

PROFICIENCIES:

Simple Weapons Trained
Martial Weapons Trained

EQUIPMENT:

"Skyfall Reaver" expert falchion, scale mail, javelins (5), backpack, cookware, compass, rope, belt pouch, bedroll, flint and steel, torches (10), rations (5 days), tent (pup), waterskin, minor elixir of life (2); 15sp, 9cp

INVENTORY TRACKER:

Starting Wealth @ Level 1: 150sp, +1 Expert Item
-Free "Skyfall Reaver" Expert Falchion (We spent some time looking at Expert/Magical weapons)
-35sp scale mail
- 5sp javelins (5)
- 1sp backpack
- 1sp rope
- 8sp tent (pup)
-10sp cookware
-10sp compass
- 4cp belt pouch
- 1cp bedroll
- 5cp flint and steel
- 1cp torches (10)
-25cp rations (5 days)
- 5cp waterskin

By the end of it, we are not yet sure how grappling using Athletics will work, but we are really excited seeing as how "Combat Maneuver Defense" has been replaced by the Fort Save.

Also: We didn't see a single fire-arm in the rules, so that is going to be interesting as my original plan was to playtest in the arms race found within the Mana Wastes.

Working on looking at how to building encounters now, and so far enjoying what I've seen so far.


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My group did character creation last night. Overall, it was a positive experience. I will be highlighting the things that did not work out for us and offer suggestions to address that our group discussed.

People really liked the step-by-step approach to character generation. One person in particular really enjoyed the Ability Score generation, since they always felt that competing against RNG at chargen was unpleasant. Everyone LOVED Ancestries and preferred that terminology to races. Only "hmm" moment was the half-elf/orc ancestries being ancestry feats, but liked the idea that descendent ancestries could be handled in a generic, non human-only fashion. I am going to be running a half-elf pally, so I plan to post back with feedback after actually playtesting.

There was some friction with needing to use the campaign backgrounds, as they weren't consistent with people's concepts. The was mitigated somewhat by explaining the campaign traits==campaign backgrounds thing.

There was some confusion around the class advancement tables and whether the classes granted extra ancestry feats. Feedback there was to provide a general advancement table that has all of the non-class things and then keep the class tables to only class advancement.

The alphabetical lists were a little confusing and some people had trouble with needing to flip back and forth throughout the book. Suggestion was to hyperlink the PDFs.

The only things that people really hated were encumbrance and tracking rations. Not because the systems were hard to understand, but because they just don't think that kind of tracking is particularly enjoyable. Again: Will have to post back after playtesting.

Grand Lodge

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Saedar wrote:
There was some confusion around the class advancement tables and whether the classes granted extra ancestry feats. Feedback there was to provide a general advancement table that has all of the non-class things and then keep the class tables to only class advancement.

This was something we stumbled on for a moment as well, though at the very beginning of the ancestry table, and hinted in each table was that ALL classes get ancestry feast starting at level 1, and then again every 4 levels after that.

From what I can tell, each class had that referenced, with Skill/Class feats being mingled in between. After we had that clarified, we weren't sure where General Feats fit into the mix.

I do have to say though, we printed out a copy of the book ourselves and the Tabs on the edge of the book were really nice for flipping to each of the chapters. Really wished they did that in every book that was huge like this... 416 pages!


Follow-up post about the character sheet specifically...

Disclaimer: My preferred character sheet is a Google Doc with just bulleted lists, so YMMV.

God is it busy. The proficiency boxes everywhere fill up so much space that could be used for larger text fields. We found it difficult to see where things were on the sheet at a glance.

That said, people did like that the spell sheet gave plenty of room for your spells.

Maybe these issues could be handled with a first-class calculated/fillable sheet.

Missed thought on chargen:
The group really liked the broken out magic/monster knowledge skills.

Grand Lodge

Character Creation still moving through the process. We've been working with the Roll20 character sheet, which the one advertised is horrifically glitchy and Powers, Feats, Spells, and the like are broken. The full character sheet is nice, but without it being fillable I'm having to work out an alternative option for my players till things iron themselves out.

Lore is still something the players will have to get used to, some of the players are really happy with which skills were combined (Acrobatics for Tumble and Balance). There were some stumbling blocks with the feat progression.

- All players, every single one, were confused with how many Background and Ancestry feats they get. Ancestry Progression and Backgrounds need to be removed from the Class Tables and kept in it's own listing or simply listed at the beginning of the Class Chapters.


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Saedar wrote:


There was some confusion around the class advancement tables and whether the classes granted extra ancestry feats. Feedback there was to provide a general advancement table that has all of the non-class things and then keep the class tables to only class advancement.
DicesMuse wrote:


- All players, every single one, were confused with how many Background and Ancestry feats they get. Ancestry Progression and Backgrounds need to be removed from the Class Tables and kept in it's own listing or simply listed at the beginning of the Class Chapters.

In that case, may I highly suggest you encourage your players to fill out the Playtest survey if you're doing the Doomsday Dawn adventure? I agree that the tables are somewhat confusing, and while Paizo wanted to make sure that you only ever had to reference your class table when leveling up, if a general table is needed for readability, they need to know that.

Grand Lodge

Phntm888 wrote:
In that case, may I highly suggest you encourage your players to fill out the Playtest survey if you're doing the Doomsday Dawn adventure? I agree that the tables are somewhat confusing, and while Paizo wanted to make sure that you only ever had to reference your class table when leveling up, if a general table is needed for readability, they need to know that.

I'm running a homebrew game, and I am encouraging everyone to fill out the survey forms after the first game session. As a GM I wanted to see how well the monster's they had put together work out, and how well the exp/treasure tables worked out from a higher starting class level. Hoping by the end of it that they will have earned a few levels, got a chance to appreciate the coin they received and how they spent their coin.


Yes, was not as rough going as we thought, at first (though, a lot of page flipping/scrolling, etc), but quite busy, a 2nd-level monk already has a lot going on. I can see delaying archetypes.


I Also think they need to rethink the character sheet, there needs to be a way to keep track of your formula book perhaps re-tooling the spell section to have it say spells/formulas or something so that there is a clearer place to list them. At least until a proper character generator is finished.


Forseti wrote:
Create a character with spells and Spell Point fuelled powers? Spend an ungodly amount of time flicking all over the rulebook to find the spells and powers and the rules implications of the traits you run into.

Which class was this for? Because for the Sorcerer, at least, this was pretty straight-forward in the Bloodlines description - "Bloodlines give you three Powers, these Powers are fuelled by your Spell Points and are the only thing you spend those Spell Points on, all your other spells are classic Spontaneous Vancian Casting."

I realise it's probably worse for the other spellcasters but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. And it was frustrating to find out that the spell descriptions and power descriptions are all in the same part of the book, but at least they're all in alphabetical order. A bookmark, or just a finger, kept in the class' section as you flip to the spell descriptions (or, for PDF users like me, a notepad doc to jot the page numbers onto) makes things a lot easier.

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