Why are the basic rules on Playing the game burried near the end of the rulebook?


General Discussion


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Shouldn't they be before character creation? I know that building a character is the exciting thing, but don't you have to know what the various actions and they like are to have a decent understanding of what many of the various feats and class features are actually doing for you.

This is what I found when reading through the rules, I was having a rough time wrapping my head around the avalanche of information, particularly the walls upon walls of different feat options for each class/skill. Actually stopping and reading the Rules of Playing the Game section made it much easier to read the rest of it.

Silver Crusade

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I think long-term, the beginning of the book could do with an example of actual play. The Starfinder CRB did something similar and I think it helped a fair bit.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Shouldn't they be before character creation? I know that building a character is the exciting thing, but don't you have to know what the various actions and they like are to have a decent understanding of what many of the various feats and class features are actually doing for you.

This is what I found when reading through the rules, I was having a rough time wrapping my head around the avalanche of information, particularly the walls upon walls of different feat options for each class/skill. Actually stopping and reading the Rules of Playing the Game section made it much easier to read the rest of it.

Most books are structured this way. Pathfinder 1E, D&D 5E Player's Handbook.

I assume there's a reason the industry does it this way. I think it's to make it exciting, "Here's what you can be" as opposed to drowning you in rules right when you start.


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Joshua James Jordan wrote:
I assume there's a reason the industry does it this way. I think it's to make it exciting, "Here's what you can be" as opposed to drowning you in rules right when you start.

The reason so many game books are set up this way is precisely this: so that when a new player gets to sit down and make their first go of playing the game, the book helps that process be as brief and concise as possible.

So the book is, ideally, set up to get you basic familiarity with how to have your character try things (not the ins-and-outs of the rules for resolving those attempts, because presumably the person running the game or someone else playing can cover that as needed during a session), and then to get you a character on a sheet so you can learn the rest while you play.

When books are set up so that all the rules of the game are before the character building section, it presents an appearance that you are supposed to know all of those earlier chapters before you build your first character and play your first session, which looks like a huge barrier to entry and no one wants that.


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I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Joshua James Jordan wrote:
I assume there's a reason the industry does it this way. I think it's to make it exciting, "Here's what you can be" as opposed to drowning you in rules right when you start.

The reason so many game books are set up this way is precisely this: so that when a new player gets to sit down and make their first go of playing the game, the book helps that process be as brief and concise as possible.

So the book is, ideally, set up to get you basic familiarity with how to have your character try things (not the ins-and-outs of the rules for resolving those attempts, because presumably the person running the game or someone else playing can cover that as needed during a session), and then to get you a character on a sheet so you can learn the rest while you play.

When books are set up so that all the rules of the game are before the character building section, it presents an appearance that you are supposed to know all of those earlier chapters before you build your first character and play your first session, which looks like a huge barrier to entry and no one wants that.

For me getting frustrated because you're trying to build a character and the various class features/feats keep referencing types of actions and key words that you have no idea what they mean and have to jump to the back of the book/pdf to figure out is a bigger barrier to entry for a new player.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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GreyWolfLord wrote:

I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.

Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

As an aside, there will be an example of play in Chapter 1 of the final version of the game. It was cut for space in the playtest (which was one of the pieces I really wanted to keep).


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.

Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

As an aside, there will be an example of play in Chapter 1 of the final version of the game. It was cut for space in the playtest (which was one of the pieces I really wanted to keep).

the biggest problem is that those pages referred you to other pages, and before long you were down the rabbit hole. there are also too many things named "feats".


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

It certainly explains the basics, but it doesn't help with the avalanche of jargon and the need to parse everything you read extremely carefully to work out what it really means. As the playtest is naturally being done by experienced PF1 / 3e players, we have a natural tendency to assume that X means roughly what it has meant for the last decade, and all too often that's not the case. And it's just confusing and annoying.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Interesting.

We are constantly trying to strive and find a balance in the early parts of a game rulebook to provide just enough information to get started, without drowning you in too many details. We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

Finally, as for calling things feats, we have decided to use that term to help new players understand "feat means I get to pick a new rule to add to my character", much as it did in the past. This was simpler than explaining rage powers, rogue talents, ki powers, etc, all of which were trying to do the same thing (roughly). It made the process of understanding how a character works flow much more smoothly between play (a class feat always means the same thing, but the list you chose from changes with each character, same with ancestry feats, and the like).

Just some musings...


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I believe that bolding or somehow letting the reader know that this word is a key word, with a quick comment at the beginning on where to find the key word descriptions would help.

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting.

Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

I loved the page references when you made them. But they are not included in every instance they should be.

For example, there are several feats or skill usages that refer to Leap, but that is not given a page reference, and I had to do a CTRL+F "Leap" in the PDF to find out that was listed in some of the way further back pages.

More Page References. Whenever there is a keyword being used, and it isn't immediately defined, give me a page reference.

Scarab Sages

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Dilvias wrote:
I believe that bolding or somehow letting the reader know that this word is a key word, with a quick comment at the beginning on where to find the key word descriptions would help.

Yes, bolding keywords would be fantastic. It immediately lets you know its a special word and has special meaning.


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Do you find the Index of the book helpful for finding information?


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

Too often it felt like

GAME MECHANIC X
In this game we use X which is really important. If you want to know more, please visit pg. 234.
Meanwhile, while you're away, we drop meaningful information in a block of text that no one ever will read, because they are to busy scrolling to another chapter of the book.

Scarab Sages

GM OfAnything wrote:
Do you find the Index of the book helpful for finding information?

Sure, but giving me page references in-line is much more efficient, user friendly, and useful.


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Jason Bulmahn: I concur with ikarinokami's assessment. Just making it through those few pages meant looking at dozens of other pages [and sometime having to go to additional pages from the listed page to understand that page], then once you finished the page flipping continues for most anything else in the character creation. Spells, feats, powers, keywords, conditions... And the feats and spells/powers ALL together in a single bin made sifting through for primal spells or skill feats or ect very frustrating.

It took me over a week to make it through the whole PDF and feel 1/2 way confident that I understand the basics. I still haven't made a character as I went to make a alchemist and I can't even pick my starting formulas because I have to pick common ones and I can't tell which those are as I'm color blind... :P


Tallow wrote:
GM OfAnything wrote:
Do you find the Index of the book helpful for finding information?
Sure, but giving me page references in-line is much more efficient, user friendly, and useful.

Yeah, I liked the page references in that intro section especially. It gives a simple introduction to the basics and can serve as a sort of table of contents for the more detailed explanation of what it touches on.


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I'm going to toss this out there for any dev's reading.

The +1 per level math needs to be made obvious.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.

Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

As an aside, there will be an example of play in Chapter 1 of the final version of the game. It was cut for space in the playtest (which was one of the pieces I really wanted to keep).

Sorry for not answering earlier, had some chores I had to do with work.

The answer is yes.

The Proficiency Modifier section is not long enough. It covers a very basic idea of it, but does not specify all the things it is included towards (which is basically, almost everything). Hence, People got confused about what that meant for their saves, their combat abilities, and other items.

The Ability Modifier is clear enough, but we had a strong discussion (some would say it was an argument) at the table about what exactly was modified by those abilities (skills it is clear cut, however, someone was under the impression it was like PF1e where you got extra spells, and other things from INT or WIS or CHA, where I said it never says anything like that in the text).

Part of this was made easier to clear up when using the Character sheets created for the Playtest, but without those, I probably would have lost a player or two.

This is especially relevant on which ability modifiers go to which saves, Attacks, and other things beyond the skill section themselves. The paragraph on Saving throws doesn't specify about the various proficiency modifier relating to them and that each save actually also uses a proficiency modifier.

So, there were discussions on this at the table during character creation.

Finally, Hitpoints were unclear to people (and I think it still is to many, it may also be a reason why you have some which find most of the combats in the first scenario of Doomsday dawn rather easy, while others get TPK'd) on how many you get. I still question whether I did it right (even though I'm pretty sure I did) as I am heavily questioned on it by one of my players (I interpreted that you get Racial HP + Class HP + CON modifier = 1st level HP...others have interpreted that you either get racial or class HP but not both which created another heavy discussion/argument at the table).

I think that if the section on the proficiency modifier was expanded (specifically that section) and the areas which it was directly applicable to expanded upon as well, that would go a great ways towards clearing up much of the confusion.

OR, an alternative way, as I found the character creation rules to be outstanding for the most part (I mean, I am VERY impressed, once you get it down, it's actually really easy...I've helped 4 people make up characters and made 2 practice ones and at this point I probably could make a Playtest character in less than 15 minutes, for some classes less than 5 minutes) is to include the addition of these and how the numerical bonuses work and what they should be adding in the character creation itself...

Ala...sort of like how you did it for the Ability score creation, but for all the rest of the stats of the character as well (aka...HP, to hit, AC, saves...etc).

Hopefully I hit upon what caused snags in our group and thus what I think could be expanded upon and explained more clearly...with a bigger focus (I'd say it may even need one or two pages of explanation to make it clear) on the proficiency modifiers and EVERYTHING that you add it to, or someway to make it clearer.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting.

We are constantly trying to strive and find a balance in the early parts of a game rulebook to provide just enough information to get started, without drowning you in too many details. We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

While pages 7-10 do a decent job of explaining much of the basics, when combined with the rest of the 'overview' portion of the book, it feels like a lot of information gets repeated in the same balanced format, so it's a lot of reading for no or minimal new information.

Interestingly, there is some vital information in thus section which is only in this section and should perhaps be elsewhere as well, such as how to calculate to-hit bonuses.

I'm not a new player, so I look for a lot of specific information, which made the page references kinda frustrating. Especially when multiple page jumps can be involved, like a line about traits on page 8 referring me to page 10 for more info, which then points me to page 414 for a list.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

Too often it felt like

GAME MECHANIC X
In this game we use X which is really important. If you want to know more, please visit pg. 234.
Meanwhile, while you're away, we drop meaningful information in a block of text that no one ever will read, because they are to busy scrolling to another chapter of the book.

I agree, there was a TON of jumping around looking for how mechanics interact or which feat a player is going to take next.

Might, dare I say, need a Feat Finder built in.


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GM OfAnything wrote:
Do you find the Index of the book helpful for finding information?

I do! But I've been playing these games long enough that I generally know what term I'm looking for in the index before I head there. I can see where a new player might not, and could get stuck poring through the index before finding exactly what they were looking for.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The absolute worst is that class powers are put into the spell section. A player built the basics of his Wizard for our playtest on Saturday and since I don't have my books yet, he had to flip back and forth about nine times 100 pages in the PDF to even know what his school powers even do. It works better on two monitors, but you can't assume that really many people have that set-up.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Following the blog articles as they came out was a really good way of introducing them, because each article would focus on a single concept. I find the book harder to process, because the subjects all blur into one another. The degree of cross-referencing is part of that. I often feel like the parts of the answer to any question are scattered across the book and it's up to me to put them together. So I feel like the rulebook could learn a lot from those articles in how to fully explore one concept as a unit.

Rather than seeing the rules spilt between the introduction and the later 'playing the game' section, I think it's better to separate them by purpose. The introduction is just that: it's there to introduce the game to players who are new to RPGs, new to Pathfinder or new to second edition. The later sections are for fully specifying the game. Once somebody has been introduced, they shouldn't need to refer to the introduction again. This means some information will be duplicated, and that's fine.

Opinion in this thread seems to be split between those who liked all the page references in the introduction, and those who felt they detracted from the ability to concentrate on it by dragging you to other pages with much more details. I'm in the latter camp, but I can appreciate that people like to have a clue where they can find more information when the introduction isn't enough. As a compromise, how about taking the page numbers out of the text and concentrating them in a sidebar in the introduction saying:

WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To find out more about...
Ancestries - p22
Armor Class - p16
Backgrounds - p38
... etc


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There's just a bunch of things right off that rely on you knowing what condition levels are, and what critical specialization is and how +X type things stack and whatnot. Then there's all the class specific cantrips and powers that require feats but aren't explained in the feat itself. I think the intent is good, moving things all into one place is a good way to go, but it does break up the reading quite a bit.

It'll work fine when you can just click the term and open a new tab, or when people familiarize themselves with the unfamiliar mechanics, but in a PDF it can be pretty frustrating.


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If I hadn't read all the blogs, I suspect I'd feel very lost. I don't have the physical book, but hacking back and forth through 400 pages of PDF to find things is a real drag. The artwork, tinted paper and so on do make it look nicer, but they also bloat it out to 35MB which slows the PDF reader down considerably.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mudfoot wrote:
they also bloat it out to 35MB which slows the PDF reader down considerably.

You can now download a minimalist version that has all of that extra stuff removed. Look for the "screen reader accessible" pdf version on the download page.


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sadie wrote:


WANT TO KNOW MORE?
To find out more about...
Ancestries - p22
Armor Class - p16
Backgrounds - p38
... etc

While I seriously love this idea I cannot help but read this with the voice-over the Starship Troopers announcer in my head.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting.

We are constantly trying to strive and find a balance in the early parts of a game rulebook to provide just enough information to get started, without drowning you in too many details. We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

Do you feel that the page references made it seem like you needed to read more? We added them as a courtesy for those who were curious.

Finally, as for calling things feats, we have decided to use that term to help new players understand "feat means I get to pick a new rule to add to my character", much as it did in the past. This was simpler than explaining rage powers, rogue talents, ki powers, etc, all of which were trying to do the same thing (roughly). It made the process of understanding how a character works flow much more smoothly between play (a class feat always means the same thing, but the list you chose from changes with each character, same with ancestry feats, and the like).

Just some musings...

i mean, you straight up cant build an alchemist character without following those references (and are oddly far apart in the book, i'm honestly surprised alchemical items aren't found in the gear/items/services section of the book, rather than the treasure section way in the back). it doesn't help that these references are squashed down at the bottom of a page in the class entry proper. with this being the first class a new reader (be they an experienced PF1e player or new to TTRPGs entirely) is exposed to of the whole system, this is a very bad first impression.

I think the equipment section paragraph (on page 186) should also point to the actual formula list (page 360) if it's going to remain that far away (as currently it doesn't, which means you need to jump all the way back to the class entry to find it), and the pointers for both of these sections should be in one clearly-labelled place in the alchemist's class entry ("for information on formulas, see page X, for the list of formulas and their effects, see page Y" that kind of thing).

Actually, having a small sidebar for each class with the relevant page references all in one place rather than having them sprinkled through the mix of mechanical and flavor text would save a lot of headache i think (especially for casters).

edit: clarity


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I have to admit, the burden of flipping back and forth to read the alchemist has kept me from reading it. The heavy reliance on consumables/resonance means non of my players will play it anyway.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Finally, as for calling things feats, we have decided to use that term to help new players understand "feat means I get to pick a new rule to add to my character", much as it did in the past. This was simpler than explaining rage powers, rogue talents, ki powers, etc, all of which were trying to do the same thing (roughly). It made the process of understanding how a character works flow much more smoothly between play (a class feat always means the same thing, but the list you chose from changes with each character, same with ancestry feats, and the like).

I think you are on the right track, but too many feats, whether they are ancestry feats, class feats, skill feats, etc. is too much. Perhaps using something that divides them along those lines without calling them feats, but also not getting more specific names divided along the lines of each race or class (like rage powers and rogues talents - as you are concerned about) is a better middle ground.

So, for example, you could call all of the ancestry feats something like Ancestral Gifts or Ancestry Talents, class feats could be Class Techniques or Class Talents, and general feats and skill feats could remain as Skill Feats and/or General Feats or maybe become something like Skill Aptitudes, Skill Secrets, Knacks, or General Arts if you wanted to keep using the word "feat" with class or ancestry. That way, when we talk with our players we can say feat, talent, technique, or whatever other word you might choose to use and the players would know they are all different from each other, but are equivalent in power and/or design space, while each of those comes from a different place of origin during the character creation process and at different steps of progression when leveling up.

I confess, I think I would like referring to my class feats as something like, "The Secret Arts of the Paladin", or the "Secret Arts of the Druid".

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Finally, as for calling things feats, we have decided to use that term to help new players understand "feat means I get to pick a new rule to add to my character", much as it did in the past. This was simpler than explaining rage powers, rogue talents, ki powers, etc, all of which were trying to do the same thing (roughly). It made the process of understanding how a character works flow much more smoothly between play (a class feat always means the same thing, but the list you chose from changes with each character, same with ancestry feats, and the like).

Was this decision weighed against the potential confusion for new players trying to parse through all the different types of options named Feats? Especially when some Feats can be used to pick up Feats outside their designation?

Edit: ninjaed by Thundarr, I was reading and didn't refresh before I posted,


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

I keep seeing this barrier to entry claim. Is there actual focus group data from real players here? Because to me, the biggest barrier to entry is if the book assumes I know the jargon and dives into the middle, using terms and keywords before they are defined.

This has been a problem with d&d since 1st edition.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Mechalas wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

I keep seeing this barrier to entry claim. Is there actual focus group data from real players here? Because to me, the biggest barrier to entry is if the book assumes I know the jargon and dives into the middle, using terms and keywords before they are defined.

This has been a problem with d&d since 1st edition.

I agree that using jargon before it's properly explained is a major flaw of the playtest. (And DnD 3.5, and PF1e).

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to open with a set of pregen characters and examples of play that explain proficiency levels and bonuses, actions, ability scores and modifiers, skill checks, and attack rolls before you have to understand those concepts to build your own character.


Arutema wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
We want you to be able to make informed decisions, but you do not need to know every interaction before doing so. This helps lower the barrier to entry.

I keep seeing this barrier to entry claim. Is there actual focus group data from real players here? Because to me, the biggest barrier to entry is if the book assumes I know the jargon and dives into the middle, using terms and keywords before they are defined.

This has been a problem with d&d since 1st edition.

I agree that using jargon before it's properly explained is a major flaw of the playtest. (And DnD 3.5, and PF1e).

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to open with a set of pregen characters and examples of play that explain proficiency levels and bonuses, actions, ability scores and modifiers, skill checks, and attack rolls before you have to understand those concepts to build your own character.

that sounds something like the mutants and masterminds intro chapter (which was great at breaking down what did what, and what means someone could use to bring their character idea into the mechanical plane)


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I think new players would benefit from having a very broad-brush approach to how a roleplaying game works before (or as the earliest section of) the "Basic Concepts" section.

You start by explaining the basic interaction in every scene of the game: the GM describes a scene that has opportunities for the players to make decisions. The player tells the GM what they want to do, and the GM decides whether it's trivial, impossible or the outcome is uncertain. If it's trivial ("I walk across the ballroom to the drinks table and help myself), it happens; it's it's impossible, it doesn't; if it's uncertain, the GM asks for more information or one of you rolls dice to see how successful the action is. The GM describes the outcome, and we start again at the top.

Then you have some of the basic mechanics stuff from the "Playing the Game" chapter, and probably an example of play.

The type of scenes (and therefore decisions being made) depend on the mode of play (so you can talk about that now). In the most high stakes scenes, decisions usually occur in a set order and take turns, and how much you can achieve on your turn depends on actions (so you can talk about that now). Then you say some actions, particularly common ones, have specific terms attached to them, like attack rolls or AC, and specific effects, which can be measured by things like hit points (and go into the key terms etc sections).

And there are probably examples of play in there too.

I think (a) this would make the whole process more transparent to new players, and (b) be more exciting to actually read, both of which would help bring new people into the hobby and keep them there.

Grand Lodge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.

Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

As an aside, there will be an example of play in Chapter 1 of the final version of the game. It was cut for space in the playtest (which was one of the pieces I really wanted to keep).

Yes, I did find it useful, and I referred back to it several times while building my first couple of characters. After that I haven't really looked at it.

Page flip IS a major issue, and I will go on with others stating that a way needs to be found to reduce it, and indexes aren't always the right answer. Location economy is often a better answer.

For example: Powers descriptions are currently located scattered throughout the Spells section of the book. However, the majority of them are unique, except in the case of Domain Powers being shared by Clerics and Paladins. By placing the Powers in the Class area you could reduce page flip and allow the players to better evaluate those powers for their characters. In the case of Paladins, referring back to the Cleric section on Domain Powers would not be thought unusual.

Key words being bolded to make things more obvious would be useful. As would page numbers on tables that list items, spells, feats, etc. Page numbers greatly speed up referencing, rather than the digging through the section that currently prevails.

I think a sample play Intro would be great. Especially if it shows specific mechanics in play, (Shield use and destruction for example). This will let players new and old get a better feel for how the game is supposed to go.

BTW, thanks for jumping in the thread and asking for feedback.


I think the rest of you posters are nuts..... in every D&D/Pathfinder book I’ve read and used to build characters, I have had to do multiple page flips to find all the info I need to make my character, 5th edition was the worst. While I agree that a new player trying to figure this out without help would go cross eyed from all the page flipping, most new players are going to be with a group of experienced players who can help.

I think adding all the first level formulas in a table with their page number to the Alchemist class section, would make picking them easier as most will just flip to the page of the item they like the sound of just from reading the name, such as bottled lightning, soon as I saw that it was one of the first items I wanted to look up.

The whole point of a new system is to learn the Jargon, I agree that key words should be bolder so as to indicate importance, I also agree that more Pg references are needed when those key words pop up, I realize it would take up more space, but put a footnote section at the bottom of each page, with all the bolded words mentioned in the current page and the pg number their info can be found on.

Lastly the middle ground you all want for feats to be renamed is nonexistent and renaming the different categories each with a different adjective is the same as having rage powers, rogue talents, etc., The way to look at it is, everything is a feat and it’s separated by its noun, CLASS feat, SKILL feat, ANCESTRY feat. I for one have no problem looking at the class table and going ok I get one Ancestry and one Class (for martials) feat. Plus a free Skill feat for my background and a second Skill feat if I’m a rogue. Also the character sheet helps immensely in determining what feat you get at what level. If you are having a hard time figuring out what you get go look at your character sheet and check the feat category for a line that has your current level on it.


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I'm starting to think there needs to be a 20-page tutorial at the beginning of the book to introduce the game's systems. Unlike 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th edition of D&D, PF2 (even more than 4th Edition) requires understanding keywords and the interactions of various systems and an overall view of the whole package. Right now, when you go into the class sections you need that knowledge to understand the class powers. You lose the forest for the trees. And sometimes the class powers could use flavor text so you know what's actually going on.

Dark Archive

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Creating a character before reading most of the book seems like an exercise in frustration, I'm suprised so many do it that way. Then again, this is the first core rulebook I've actually had to read in order to play a game...in previous games there was always someone around to define the basics and online resources to quickly search for the rest.

For those calling for bold keywords, did you notice game terms are already called out by being Capitalized?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ouranou wrote:
Creating a character before reading most of the book seems like an exercise in frustration, I'm suprised so many do it that way.

It's how the rulebook's laid out, with character creation steps quite early on, asking you to understand concepts that won't be properly explained for 4 more chapters.

Which is why I think it could benefit by bumping those explanations up to before character building.

Grand Lodge

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Ouranou wrote:

Creating a character before reading most of the book seems like an exercise in frustration, I'm suprised so many do it that way. Then again, this is the first core rulebook I've actually had to read in order to play a game...in previous games there was always someone around to define the basics and online resources to quickly search for the rest.

For those calling for bold keywords, did you notice game terms are already called out by being Capitalized?

Yes, I DID notice the bold Keywords. I also noticed that they were inconsistent in doing so. Calling it out here in the forums so that they can correct it is not a bad thing. It is kinda what the whole playtest is about.

Not mentioning things that we feel could be done better is how the game will come out poorly. We have become part of the editing staff. It is now our job to help them create the best game we can with the mechanics they have given us.

If we spot something that can be done better, we should point it out, and that is what I did.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
GreyWolfLord wrote:

I think there are some very basic ideas about the core PF2e Playtest game that NEED to be put at the very front. Things like training (trained, expert, master, legendary) and other things so that people creating their characters actually understand about when they are writing down the various things on their character sheets.

We had this difficulty in the middle of character creation with at least two of our players, with one of them getting excessively frustrated (to put it lightly).

It doesn't need to be long, as the basic idea can probably be covered in a page or two, but it needs to be there so they don't get frustrated at trying to understand what exactly all this lingo about trained and expert means and what numbers that indicates they put on their books.

It's there, but it needs to be highlighted more so that people read it and see it rather than just glossing over it right before they make their characters.

Quick question, did you feel like the information in pages 7 through 10 failed to give the basics?

As an aside, there will be an example of play in Chapter 1 of the final version of the game. It was cut for space in the playtest (which was one of the pieces I really wanted to keep).

These two things would make a huge difference for me. The actual feeling of the playtest is missing from the book in my opinion. This was the final draw for me. I really felt that it was viseral when you were playing the game. I feel that the GM was well instructed in ways to make the numbers and mechanics behind the game fall into the background and make the actual story telling shine. It was really a revelation. I feel this is missing from the book. An example of play in the beginning of the book would help with that.

The second problem I had was that I missed the key to the whole system in the information in pages 7-10. I might have made an assumption about the term Proficiency since it is a common term. Without that very important piece of information, nothing else made sense. When I tried to make a character, I couldn't understand how to apply skills. I simply didn't understand where the numbers came from. Once I understood Proficiency everything else made sense.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Finally, as for calling things feats, we have decided to use that term to help new players understand "feat means I get to pick a new rule to add to my character", much as it did in the past.

Maybe it's just me, but I never liked the way 3.X/PFRPG used the word "feat", because this usage is different from the common meaning in English. The word "feat" generally refers to a specific instance of a difficult/impressive achievement, rather than the ability to perform the achievement. For example, if a person were to lift an automobile over their head, one might say, "Wow, what an incredible feat of strength!" The word "feat" would refer to this individual action, rather than the great strength required to lift cars in general.

So I feel it's more confusing to new players when a game term is a common English word, but its meaning is different from the common one. When I first read the 3.0 rulebook and learned about "feats", my first thought was, "How is this a feat? This is actually the ability to perform feats." But again, maybe it's just me.

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