Session 0 Crashed and Burned.


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Tamago wrote:
Red Rabbit wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:


And then we got to the actual Rogue. And this is where things fell apart. Put simply there is a lot of moving parts in PF2. She had to go and read the class feats, then the feat section and the skill section, then cross reference everything if required. One could actually see the enthusiasm die. Note she is an ex 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder player, currently she likes 5E but will play OSR games if that is what I want to play. Some comments.
I read your post a few times now, but I can't get my head around this: there are 4 class feats (Bludgeoner, Nimble Dodge, Trap Finder and You're next), roughly a half page of text. You need to pick one of them, and you can always retrain them later, so it's not like you need to plan your character for the next ten levels if you don't enjoy doing that. And then there is a skill feat, where I would just go with "what skill sounds cool? - and then go through the 2 or so skill feats for that skill and level 1 (and again: if you picked the wrong skill, just retrain). It is orders of magnitudes more easy to build a PF2 character than it is to build a PF1 character, where you had to decide on at least one feat at level 1 (out of a list of how many? 50 or so?).

My group struggled with this sort of thing too. I think it's less about picking one of the four class feats, it's that just about everything is so rules-dense that you need to go look up stuff all the time if you don't already know the system. Take Sneak Attack, for example:

sneak attack wrote:

You deal additional damage to flat-footed creatures (see page 322). If you Strike a flat-footed creature with an agile or finesse melee weapon, an agile or finesse unarmed attack, or a ranged attack, you deal 1d6 extra precision damage. For a ranged attack with a thrown weapon, that weapon must also be agile or finesse. As your rogue levels increase, so does the number of damage dice of your sneak attack. Increase the number of dice by one at 5th, 11th, and 17th

...

This lol. We got the 4 class feats you can pick at level 1, it was all the referencing.


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mach1.9pants wrote:
Thankfully Paizo has already mentioned the poor way this rulebook is set out and rules are explained. Hopefully that'll make the less rules learning keen players out. I struggled making my first pc, and I've been following pretty closely

+1 they know about it.

Its a bit of a mystery to me. The trend in gaming overall is less complexity and then they make something more complex than Pathfinder.

More puzzling a lot of it is complexity for complexities sake.


thflame wrote:
Moro wrote:
But your suggestion doesn't assume that every character that wants to effectively dual wield is a filthy, optimizing munchkin who should be punished.

Personally, my biggest issue is that attacking with two weapons doesn't yield any more attacks than attacking with one weapon. That just makes sense and feels like a requirement for any dual wielding mechanics.

Heck, 5e allows you to make an attack with your off hand weapon as a Bonus Action. It kinda sucks there, but at least you get ONE extra attack for having split your character wealth between two weapons.

EDIT: Even though I feel like you were being morbidly facetious with your comment, I DO get the feeling that a lot of Paizo's new rules for PF2 appear to have a "Powergamers Not Welcome" theme.

The problem is that Paizo is "burning own the crops to kill the weeds", if I may invent a metaphor.

I was totally being facetious, and the fact that I get the same feeling is why.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Just ran my group thru Session 0 last night (link), and our Rogue was very nearly brought to tears as well. It took them 4 hours to finish creating their character, and a good 2-3 hours for everyone else.

Mind you, the biggest issue we ran into was ability score generation. That ground everything to such a halt and was so incomprehensible that I'm flat-out shocked that your group enjoyed it! O_o;


Laithoron wrote:

Just ran my group thru Session 0 last night (link), and our Rogue was very nearly brought to tears as well. It took them 4 hours to finish creating their character, and a good 2-3 hours for everyone else.

Mind you, the biggest issue we ran into was ability score generation. That ground everything to such a halt and was so incomprehensible that I'm flat-out shocked that your group enjoyed it! O_o;

That was the fun part of the night lol. We were familiar with back grounds from 5E, it was only 2 pages and my wife (with me) followed the step by step guide in the PF2 printout. Also we did not have to cross reference it much. Also helps that over the years I have used a lot of stat generation methods. For example Method 5 1E UA, 4d6 drop the lowest, 2d6+6, 3d6, 5d4, 6d4 drop the lowest, point buy, stat array, roll+ substitution (roll stats, -2+1 as you prefer) etc.

We both have the next 10 days or so off work so going to have another crack at it. Printing more material and probably going to write a 2 page cheat cheat which summarizes some of the new rules and puts them all in one place. I bought a cheat sheet for 5E off the DMGuild so will probably copy that template. I'll probably build her a Rogue or the Gnome Druid she wanted.

Dark Archive

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.


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Shroud wrote:
I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

Its the cross referncing. For ewxample we're doing Session 0.1 now and the wife is looking at bards and druids. She has to go read cantrips and figure out what they do, then she wants to find out what a level 10 spell is, then she is trying to figure out why Bards don;t seem to get a level 10 spell (maybe they do she is still looking).

She has not tread the action economy section yet, she has to go and find out what expert, mater, legendary+ signature stuff is etc.

My printer is also out of ink the 270 odd pages I did print killed it and I am reading the PDF more.

Its also very dry to read (hard, boring etc) its like reading the 3.5 Spell Compendium or 4E PHB again. Sometimes I translate stuff into 5E terms for her like the level 20 stuff is capstone abilities like 5E but you can pick what you want such as level 10 spell or use your wild shape to shapechange (and then she has to go read wild shape and shapechange).

If you are used to it from late Pathfinder books in general or Starfinder it might be easier but we stopped playing Pathfinder in 2012 (as DM) last played 2014 (as player).We also did not go that deep down the warren of splat books mostly just using the core book+ advanced player guide and Ultimate Magic/Combat so maybe missed some evolution there in later PF books IDK.

Ultimate Campaign and Skull and Shackles/Kingmaker was the last time I paid much attention to Pathfinder. And I barely read Ultimate Campaign being honest.

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.


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Shroud wrote:
I read the book cover to cover.

Did that and it took over a week to do so. SO, so, so , so many kewords/conditions/references to different sections made even looking up a single spell list something you couldn't make an inmate do because it'd be 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

Shroud wrote:
Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class.

It takes longer than that to figure out what your 1st level spells + cantrips do, let alone skills, spell point powers, ect.

Shroud wrote:
Where is the confusion?

For me, the constent need to jump to another section of the book and finding that THAT section made you jump to another section and then finding that you have to do that again... It's super tiring.

Shroud wrote:
I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

Munchkin? Who can figure out something munchkin? It's hard enough to JUST figure out what your starting options are. I can understand if you are NOT trying to have any informed choices and just picking things by name to do it quickly, but if you want to know what you're doing... Not so much.


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Shroud wrote:
I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

It takes hours if you haven't sat down and read the book from cover to cover several times and read a bunch of forum posts assessing character options, and if you are approaching char gen from a pretty standard RPG mindset of "If I make a bad choice, I will be haunted and mocked by it every time I look at my character sheet until the day I retire this character, so I better know exactly what I am selecting". Given how PF1 works, this isn't exactly unreasonable.

Lets look at the rogue's class feats, shall we, just to illustrate my point. We are making a first level character with the assumption that they will be used in a longer campaign. These are our options: Bludgeoner, Nimble Dodge, Trap Finder and You're Next. We will examine the first one, Bludgeoner, and try to figure out how valuable it is. Yes, I am only doing one of four, I have neither the energy nor the SAN to do any more.

spoilered for length:

Question one - what the hell does Slowed 1 for a turn mean - index on page 427 says slowed (the condition) is on page 324. Page 324 says it means the target loses one action on their next turn. The tactical utility of this is highly dependent on how much the target cares about their third action (not much for melee monsters next to the rogue, a lot for casters who also have weapons).

Next, are strikes things our rogue will be usually making so they can get sneak attack- here I will assume for the moment that the intro section of the book isn't lying, strikes are things that get made a lot by rogues, and we aren't in a PF1 Standard Attack Action situation (if we were less trusting of the book's writers, we would need to read a lot more rules to verify this).

Ok, next question, does Enhancement just mean a rider on an attack or is there some special quirk to that keyword. The blurb on the rogue page says it is just a rider. Just to double check, Appendix:Glossary agrees with this. Hey, not doing too bad so far. A bit of cross referencing, but no landmines yet...hold that thought.

Next up, what is the finesse/agile trait, and how significant is it that we can skip needing it on maces and clubs. Off to the equipment chapter, where we get to look through the entire weapon selection to compare maces/clubs versus agile/finesse weapons. Oh, but we still can't finesse them, so that needs to be factored in too. And a lot of these weapons have other keywords, which we also need to read. What fun! ***5 minutes go by*** Oh hey, there are no maces or clubs worth taking that aren't already agile or finessable. This 5 minute diversion was completely pointless. Why can't all weapons be sneak attacked with again?

Now for the fun bit - by using a mace or a club, we are forgoing using another type of weapon, and this means there is an opportunity cost - I am assuming that upgraded weapon costs will prevent golf-bagging because I can't be bothered assuming otherwise. Setting aside the stats of the weapons themselves, this means we need to read all the rogue feats across the levels we care about to understand what we are getting in to. Lets assume we will probably be playing this rogue for 8 levels at a minimum, and restrict our concerns to this level range. We also need to concern ourselves with other feats that interact meaningfully with bludgeoner, so lets cover them too.

There is nothing else at first level that restricts weapon choice so...at second level, footpad's focus gives the critical specialization effect on a flat-footed crit for most roguish weapons...Jesus Christ right down the rabbit hole we go, time to open up a 3rd PDF reader window...ok, another couple of minutes gone, this can stack with bludgeoner and may or may not be taken alongside it. The combo of slowed 1 and 10ft knockback seem pretty decent to finish an attack routine with, but knockback is counterproductive on the first strike of a 3 attack routine (which is more likely to happen thanks to iterative penalties and the crit system) so yay for even more cognitive load and a need for assessing situational optional tactical actions that may or may not be benefits in a game we picked up an hour ago. And I haven't even brought up the other possible crit specializations from using non-club/mace weapons.

Hey, remember the days of Bleeding Attack and friends. Those were the days, huh. Just "when you hit something that is flanking or flat footed, you get one thing".

Next, are poisons worthwhile using on weapons. We need to know this because another feat choice deals with poisons...oh, what fun, bludgeoning weapon can't take injury poison ever unless they are versatile P or S, and contact poisons can't be put on weapons...unless you use the Poison Weapon rogue feat, which costs an action in combat. The only bludgeoning weapon that can deal P damage doesn't have finesse, so poison and bludgeoner are basically incompatable for a rogue. Now we get to assess the value of injury poisons on sharp weapons without the Poison Weapon feat versus the value of injury and contact poisons with the Poison Weapon feat (which involves spending actions, and the tradeoff of action based injury/contact poisons vs previously prepared weapons with injury poisons), versus the value of Bludgeoner on a finessable bludgeoning weapon, and critical specializations may or may not be involved somehow. This is assuming I didn't miss anything about poisoning weapons beforehand - the text about applying poisons to a weapon was a bit vague. Oh, look, I just failed an intelligence roll to understand the significance of the decision point that lies behind this entire paragraph. I get to not waste 3d10 sanity and the next hour of my life figuring this thing out. Moving on...

Unbalancing Blow - affects the critical specializations feat, and thus affects the other rider that can be comboed with the bludgeoner rider, not even bothering to assess it's value because boredom, moving on.

Twisted Knee - comboes with things that combo with things that combo with one of the four things we may pick this level. Skip.

Improved Poison Weapon - ditto, skip. Ok, that is the last one. I think we are done here.


Ok, we have looked at how bludgeoner interacts with other feats and only come out 3d6 sanity shorter. I think that is it. We now have a really, really vague idea of how valuable bludgeoner is. The only things I skipped were a mathematical analysis of how much the slowed 1 rider really matters in a game where critical rates are unpredictable, an analysis the impact of using a sap or a light mace over something like a short sword or rapier (which involves the magic rules), and probably some other stuff, and I skipped them because I really cannot be bothered despite the fact that having a rough intuitive grasp of this stuff is really, really important for not screwing up a character.

I will leave the analysis of every other character decision made at first level (including decisions about future character options to be taken) to the audience.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thflame wrote:

EDIT: Even though I feel like you were being morbidly facetious with your comment, I DO get the feeling that a lot of Paizo's new rules for PF2 appear to have a "Powergamers Not Welcome" theme.

The problem is that Paizo is "burning own the crops to kill the weeds", if I may invent a metaphor.

Yeah, that's a pretty similar train of thought to what I've said in another thread, which is that they balanced the fun right out of the game.


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I feel like the level of analysis being made at level 1 is less important with retraining being part of the default rules. By the time you've gotten to the character class, you should have read that heritage feats can't be retrained and that most other feats can be. I don't think most people will remember that their first time through. You really only need to consider what the feat does when you get it, unless you expect something will prevent retraining at your table.

There's still plenty of referencing to be done. Skill feat choice for the rogue probably takes longer, as you need to know what skills to do, how those are enhanced by feats, and what support your role, or can be supported by your other abilities. You also need to work out how stealth works since you're a rogue. Sort of a pain in the butt.


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Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

(and note that I separate proficiency modifier from level)

The current way it's stated is dreadfully abstruse.

EDIT: The same presentation of this information on page 292 is visually better, but still problematic.


Visanideth wrote:
Noodlemancer wrote:
Where can I find your system? The description piqued my curiosity.
Not yet released. I'll pm the details as this isn't the proper avenue for promotion.

I found this new "system" curious too. Could you send me one too, please?

----

P.S. How do you even use the "PM" function here anyway? By commercial e-Mail?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The layout is a problem but I think any GM should read the book (of any RPG) and then help the players through. It took me an afternoon to read cover to cover (no I didn't read every single character option, but I did read ever mechanical bit so when a player read "adds x to y" in an ability I could tell them what x and y were." With this prep time none of my players took more than an hour to make their level 1 characters, even though I hadn't read any spells or many abilities.


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Malk_Content wrote:
The layout is a problem but I think any GM should read the book (of any RPG) and then help the players through. It took me an afternoon to read cover to cover (no I didn't read every single character option, but I did read ever mechanical bit so when a player read "adds x to y" in an ability I could tell them what x and y were." With this prep time none of my players took more than an hour to make their level 1 characters, even though I hadn't read any spells or many abilities.

Maybe I'm just really smart or pick up things quickly?

I created two test characters before even trying to play the game. They took me about an hour to create each.

Then, I taught four players how to create their characters. Alone, I probably could have made them quicker, but altogether character creation did take a couple hours (but we made 4 characters in that time, not just one).

After that, I can now basically make new characters in 5 to 15 minutes. It depends on which character and their complexities, but in some ways it's like learning a new skill. Once you have the ideas down, you know what things do and character creation moves much more quickly.

I don't think it would be so hard to create a character that one would give up or take that long, but if a person tends to do that, it seems that the general idea is to make them play a Paladin or some other character that has fewer choices than one that has more choices (such as the Rogue, though with the Rogue it's more of a choice of what skills NOT to have as you can get most of them to a degree).


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The Rot Grub wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

(and note that I separate proficiency modifier from level)

The current way it's stated is dreadfully abstruse.

EDIT: The same presentation of this information on page 292 is visually better, but still problematic.

So its not just me then?


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The Rot Grub wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

Because that sounds almost exactly like how much work was put into calculating the result of a roll in Pathfinder 1e, and this new edition is supposed to be SOOOOO much simpler so as not to frighten off new players...


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Zardnaar wrote:
Shroud wrote:
I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

Its the cross referncing. For ewxample we're doing Session 0.1 now and the wife is looking at bards and druids. She has to go read cantrips and figure out what they do, then she wants to find out what a level 10 spell is, then she is trying to figure out why Bards don;t seem to get a level 10 spell (maybe they do she is still looking).

She has not tread the action economy section yet, she has to go and find out what expert, mater, legendary+ signature stuff is etc.

My printer is also out of ink the 270 odd pages I did print killed it and I am reading the PDF more.

Its also very dry to read (hard, boring etc) its like reading the 3.5 Spell Compendium or 4E PHB again. Sometimes I translate stuff into 5E terms for her like the level 20 stuff is capstone abilities like 5E but you can pick what you want such as level 10 spell or use your wild shape to shapechange (and then she has to go read wild shape and shapechange).

If you are used to it from late Pathfinder books in general or Starfinder it might be easier but we stopped playing Pathfinder in 2012 (as DM) last played 2014 (as player).We also did not go that deep down the warren of splat books mostly just using the core book+ advanced player guide and Ultimate Magic/Combat so maybe missed some evolution there in later PF books IDK.

Ultimate Campaign and Skull and Shackles/Kingmaker was the last time I paid much attention to Pathfinder. And I barely read Ultimate Campaign being honest.

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

For what it's worth I'm in the same situation. My players and I have been trying to get through the book and it's just so dry. This is the first Rulebook I've come across where I actually dislike pouring through it, and I've been a GM for over 20 years.

Just about all of my players have run out of fuel on this book. Most aren't bothering to read it anymore, hoping the other members in the group figure it out. We're still going to give it a go, hoping the actual game is so fun that it'll inspire us to keep going.

We all love the customization and options, but none of us like the actual book's wording. It reads like it's written by an engineer. And it bothers me that, as best I can tell, there are no Surveys for the book's wording, layout, or character creation. That's fine for people like me who will go to the forums, but there are plenty who will just move on, and it seems like a missed opportunity.

Or maybe they're happy with the way the book is written and laid out, and as some have suggested, the game isn't meant for people like our group. Which I can totally accept; I don't need every game to be changed just for me. But I hope that's not the case, because the underlying game seems to have some really fun material.


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Moro wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

Because that sounds almost exactly like how much work was put into calculating the result of a roll in Pathfinder 1e, and this new edition is supposed to be SOOOOO much simpler so as not to frighten off new players...

Perception is...Holy Perception, Batman!

"Perception modifier = Wisdom modifier + Perception proficiency modifier + circumstance bonus +
conditional bonus + item bonus + circumstance penalty + conditional penalty + item penalty + untyped penalties"


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Izmo wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Shroud wrote:
I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

Its the cross referncing. For ewxample we're doing Session 0.1 now and the wife is looking at bards and druids. She has to go read cantrips and figure out what they do, then she wants to find out what a level 10 spell is, then she is trying to figure out why Bards don;t seem to get a level 10 spell (maybe they do she is still looking).

She has not tread the action economy section yet, she has to go and find out what expert, mater, legendary+ signature stuff is etc.

My printer is also out of ink the 270 odd pages I did print killed it and I am reading the PDF more.

Its also very dry to read (hard, boring etc) its like reading the 3.5 Spell Compendium or 4E PHB again. Sometimes I translate stuff into 5E terms for her like the level 20 stuff is capstone abilities like 5E but you can pick what you want such as level 10 spell or use your wild shape to shapechange (and then she has to go read wild shape and shapechange).

If you are used to it from late Pathfinder books in general or Starfinder it might be easier but we stopped playing Pathfinder in 2012 (as DM) last played 2014 (as player).We also did not go that deep down the warren of splat books mostly just using the core book+ advanced player guide and Ultimate Magic/Combat so maybe missed some evolution there in later PF books IDK.

Ultimate Campaign and Skull and Shackles/Kingmaker was the last time I paid much attention to Pathfinder. And I barely read Ultimate Campaign being honest.

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

For what it's worth I'm in the same situation. My players and I have been...

I get that it is rules-dense and pretty technical, but it is a technical document. There are problems, yes, but this isn't a consumer product.

There have been a number of comments in this thread where people say that they or their players either didn't read the rulebook or gave up after a certain point. If you can't be bothered to read the rules (painful playtest rules that they may be), then yeah. People are going to be lost. Just like people who don't read board game rules often get confused.

3.PF has always been rules dense. Many of the problems that people seem to be hitting are because they just assume that things work like PF1. So, yeah. You have to go read the rules to the cantrips to find out what they do because they might be subtly/grossly different. Makes sense for a new system.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Izmo wrote:
We all love the customization and options, but none of us like the actual book's wording. It reads like it's written by an engineer. And it bothers me that, as best I can tell, there are no Surveys for the book's wording, layout, or character creation. That's fine for people like me who will go to the forums, but there are plenty who will just move on, and it seems like a missed opportunity.

My players said it read like a legal document. Specifically in that every other word is a special term that is defined elsewhere and doesn't necessarily mean what it says in plain English. You have to know that something is a Game Term (and in a lot of cases there isn't a clear way to tell that to start with), and then you need to either know the definition already, or go look it up.

I know that in 1st edition, people got into a lot of arguments about RAW vs RAI and whether certain things were meant to mean specific game stuff or if they were just writing flavor text or an example in plain English for people.

The playtest document kind of feels like they swung the pendulum a little too far the other direction, with everything being so precisely defined that someone who hasn't memorized a glossary has no chance of decoding what the various abilities actually do/

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber
Saedar wrote:
I get that it is rules-dense and pretty technical, but it is a technical document. There are problems, yes, but this isn't a consumer product.

The Pathfinder/1e core rulebook is pretty fun to read, despite being a technical document.

I wasn't around for the PF1 playtest. For those who were, how did reading the PF1 playtest compare to the final PF1 CRB? Was the PF1 playtest dry in comparison to the final CRB? Were there any similar kinds of complaints about having to jump around a lot to figure out how to build your character, and about it not being inspiring?

It's not clear to me if the PF2 playtest is supposed to be "here's a purely technical description of the rules for testing", or "here's a proposed draft if Pathfinder 2". The layout and some flavor text suggests to me that it's the latter. If so, then it is supposed to be a consumer product, and people having trouble being inspired to read it is a problem. If it's the former, then it would help if the designers communicated that clearly to us, as that would head off some of the comments.

(What they should have tried to put out, a technical rules specification or a draft of PF2, is a different question from what the document we have is intended to be.)


rknop wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I get that it is rules-dense and pretty technical, but it is a technical document. There are problems, yes, but this isn't a consumer product.

The Pathfinder/1e core rulebook is pretty fun to read, despite being a technical document.

I wasn't around for the PF1 playtest. For those who were, how did reading the PF1 playtest compare to the final PF1 CRB? Was the PF1 playtest dry in comparison to the final CRB? Were there any similar kinds of complaints about having to jump around a lot to figure out how to build your character, and about it not being inspiring?

It's not clear to me if the PF2 playtest is supposed to be "here's a purely technical description of the rules for testing", or "here's a proposed draft if Pathfinder 2". The layout and some flavor text suggests to me that it's the latter. If so, then it is supposed to be a consumer product, and people having trouble being inspired to read it is a problem. If it's the former, then it would help if the designers communicated that clearly to us, as that would head off some of the comments.

(What they should have tried to put out, a technical rules specification or a draft of PF2, is a different question from what the document we have is intended to be.)

I agree that they could be more clear about design goals and whether the playtest document itself is actually part of the playtest. I think Eric Mona said something to the effect of the latter, so my above post may be off-base from what Paizo actually wants/thinks.


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I would caution against reading too much into anecdotes about how a first session "crashed and burned." Or, for that matter, how a first session was "amazing."

As someone who has spent a lot more time behind the screen than in front of it, I have learned that a GM's enthusiasm -- or lack thereof -- can be contagious. In my experience, I can polish a turd (or torpedo a gem) almost without exception. Further, it's often difficult to judge a system based on a single session.


thflame wrote:
Moro wrote:
But your suggestion doesn't assume that every character that wants to effectively dual wield is a filthy, optimizing munchkin who should be punished.
Personally, my biggest issue is that attacking with two weapons doesn't yield any more attacks than attacking with one weapon. That just makes sense and feels like a requirement for any dual wielding mechanics.

It does sound like common sense, doesn't it. There is slightly more sense to it than the occasionally seen argument that the dagger wielder has an advantage over the person with a greatsword in a narrow corridor, but having two weapons doesn't inherently lead to making more attacks unless you're willing to take a lot more hits in exchange.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
bugleyman wrote:
As someone who has spent a lot more time behind the screen than in front of it, I have learned that a GM's enthusiasm -- or lack thereof -- can be contagious. In my experience, I can polish a turd (or torpedo a gem) almost without exception. Further, it's often difficult to judge a system based on a single session.

Not just the GM, but the other players at the table as well.

I eventually figured out that 4e was not really to my taste, but in the mean time I had a lot of fun playing it because I was with a group that I really enjoyed playing with, and one guy in particular was a really good evocative GM.


rknop wrote:
Saedar wrote:
I get that it is rules-dense and pretty technical, but it is a technical document. There are problems, yes, but this isn't a consumer product.

The Pathfinder/1e core rulebook is pretty fun to read, despite being a technical document.

I wasn't around for the PF1 playtest. For those who were, how did reading the PF1 playtest compare to the final PF1 CRB? Was the PF1 playtest dry in comparison to the final CRB? Were there any similar kinds of complaints about having to jump around a lot to figure out how to build your character, and about it not being inspiring?

It's not clear to me if the PF2 playtest is supposed to be "here's a purely technical description of the rules for testing", or "here's a proposed draft if Pathfinder 2". The layout and some flavor text suggests to me that it's the latter. If so, then it is supposed to be a consumer product, and people having trouble being inspired to read it is a problem. If it's the former, then it would help if the designers communicated that clearly to us, as that would head off some of the comments.

(What they should have tried to put out, a technical rules specification or a draft of PF2, is a different question from what the document we have is intended to be.)

The PF1 playtest had an alpah and beta stage IIRC, I gave away my hardcopy years ago and can't find the PDF files (different PC). It was a lot smaller initially, probably 1/4 or half the size of PF2.

We have a lot better handle on things now, between the forums and another 4-6 hours of reading I think we have manage to grok it better. A big problem was learning all the keywords and cross referencing so you need to figure out some of the basics 1st to work out how some of the class feats work, double slice is a good example of that.

5E playtest was also easier, I do have some of the packets left over. They were a lot smaller, B/W text only not to densely type in. It also had a smaller amount of material I think my 1st one (packet two) only had 6 classes to level 5, no feats etc so it built on that. The game did not really take shape until the final 2 packets it was mostly concept testing.It was a lot easier to print out as you only needed to print a few pages and B/W text only was easier on the ink. Half a ream of paper later (a few mistakes made with double sided printing) and I had to buy a new toner cartridge as well I more or less printed the whole document now (we used the classes + PDF for session 0).

I might make pregenerated characters for the PCs and/or make a cheat cheat summarising the guts of the system with page numbers to refer to. 2-3 hours of session zero and 2-3 hours since then reading stuff each day.


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I wouldn't make a big deal out of the technical language for now. I'm sure Paizo will be able to embellish the text.

And honestly, I'll take a dry, technical rulebook that leaves no room to misinterpretation over pretty prose that forces me to spend an hour a week over twitter asking the authors what they really meant with that (looking at you, 5E).


Visanideth wrote:

I wouldn't make a big deal out of the technical language for now. I'm sure Paizo will be able to embellish the text.

And honestly, I'll take a dry, technical rulebook that leaves no room to misinterpretation over pretty prose that forces me to spend an hour a week over twitter asking the authors what they really meant with that (looking at you, 5E).

I generally find 5th Ed pretty clear, sort of like a 3rd Ed Lite, but I agree, it is muddy in some areas (stealth, bonus action sequence) and there are some horrendous design decisions (welcome to the 5th Ed D&D Multiverse, where Bards and Rogues are the best wrestlers in town).


Zardnaar wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

(and note that I separate proficiency modifier from level)

The current way it's stated is dreadfully abstruse.

EDIT: The same presentation of this information on page 292 is visually better, but still problematic.

So its not just me then?

I looked at that formula and balked myself but then I looked closer and it's something we do all the time in d20 games.

die + ability + bonuses - penalty

It's just worded to be incredibly verbose and precise instead of easy to read, and I think that explains all of the p2e playtest rules.

It's fine as a playtest but it needs a lot of editing and layout to make it easier to parse. I honestly think the game hiding underneath actually is simpler and easier to play than 1e. It is unfamiliar though.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I wouldn't make a big deal out of the technical language for now. I'm sure Paizo will be able to embellish the text.

And honestly, I'll take a dry, technical rulebook that leaves no room to misinterpretation over pretty prose that forces me to spend an hour a week over twitter asking the authors what they really meant with that (looking at you, 5E).

I generally find 5th Ed pretty clear, sort of like a 3rd Ed Lite, but I agree, it is muddy in some areas (stealth, bonus action sequence) and there are some horrendous design decisions (welcome to the 5th Ed D&D Multiverse, where Bards and Rogues are the best wrestlers in town).

And healing is whack a mole, Rogue+ healer feat are one of the best healers and the best at whack a mole (at least clerics run out of healing words), and they put magical healing potions in the water supply.

And the 6-8 encounters things can be hard to pace along with short rest vs daily vs at will classes (Rogue, Warlock or monk+ wizard have fun pacing that).

ANyway we are doing char gen atm spent around 8-10 ours reading the book and flipping back and forth. Things are starting to click and I think I have a spicy little pyromancer build or even 3 of them (Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, maybe alchemist).

Some of the "bad" classes I think may also be good but people are comparing them to the PF1 versions, damage has been nerfed across the board some some of those +1 damage abilities or whatever may not look exciting but they are equivalent to +2,+3 and +4 abilities in other editions.

My wife is has been devouring the book over the last 3 hours or so making some PCs. Goblin seems very good.


Zardnaar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I wouldn't make a big deal out of the technical language for now. I'm sure Paizo will be able to embellish the text.

And honestly, I'll take a dry, technical rulebook that leaves no room to misinterpretation over pretty prose that forces me to spend an hour a week over twitter asking the authors what they really meant with that (looking at you, 5E).

I generally find 5th Ed pretty clear, sort of like a 3rd Ed Lite, but I agree, it is muddy in some areas (stealth, bonus action sequence) and there are some horrendous design decisions (welcome to the 5th Ed D&D Multiverse, where Bards and Rogues are the best wrestlers in town).

And healing is whack a mole, Rogue+ healer feat are one of the best healers and the best at whack a mole (at least clerics run out of healing words), and they put magical healing potions in the water supply.

And the 6-8 encounters things can be hard to pace along with short rest vs daily vs at will classes (Rogue, Warlock or monk+ wizard have fun pacing that).

ANyway we are doing char gen atm spent around 8-10 ours reading the book and flipping back and forth. Things are starting to click and I think I have a spicy little pyromancer build or even 3 of them (Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, maybe alchemist).

Some of the "bad" classes I think may also be good but people are comparing them to the PF1 versions, damage has been nerfed across the board some some of those +1 damage abilities or whatever may not look exciting but they are equivalent to +2,+3 and +4 abilities in other editions.

My wife is has been devouring the book over the last 3 hours or so making some PCs. Goblin seems very good.

Yeah, to take care of Whack-a-Mole, I implemented the following:

Dropping to 0 Hit Points
If you regain any hit points, the unconsciousness ends, you gain 1 level of exhaustion, and you are incapacitated for 1 minute.

As for making characters with your wife for PF2, cool, I have had fun with a Human Monk, have not used in play, just building him up, level by level, a lot of choices (my guy has a longbow for anything at range, everything else he can run up and be in melee). I have focused on speed, unrestricted movement (cat fall, feather step, fleet, powerful leap, wind step, wolf stance), with a Hunter background, proficiency in all simple and martial weapons.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zardnaar wrote:
Shroud wrote:
I don't get the problem people are having. I read the book cover to cover. Character creation takes maybe 30 minutes maximum for any class. Where is the confusion? I can understand it if you are coming at it from a min-max munchkin style but if you just want to build a decent character, it's extremely quick.

Its the cross referncing. For ewxample we're doing Session 0.1 now and the wife is looking at bards and druids. She has to go read cantrips and figure out what they do, then she wants to find out what a level 10 spell is, then she is trying to figure out why Bards don;t seem to get a level 10 spell (maybe they do she is still looking).

I think this might be part of what is causing you problems - you're trying to understand the entire class, 1-20 all at once. For initial characters like this, It's best to just look at the bare minimum level 1 things that will get you started, and only when you're more familiar with everything come back to the higher level stuff.


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I personally am running into an issue where... well... I've built about a dozen different characters and they all feel like pre-gens. The system lacks personality.


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Azih wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

Also complexity look at Calculate the Result pg 291), that is potentially 10 steps to resolve something.

I was shaking my head when I read that torturous equation. Why not simply state the following?

Result of a roll = die roll + ability modifier + level + proficiency modifier + item bonuses and penalties + other bonuses and penalties?

(and note that I separate proficiency modifier from level)

The current way it's stated is dreadfully abstruse.

EDIT: The same presentation of this information on page 292 is visually better, but still problematic.

So its not just me then?

I looked at that formula and balked myself but then I looked closer and it's something we do all the time in d20 games.

die + ability + bonuses - penalty

It's just worded to be incredibly verbose and precise instead of easy to read, and I think that explains all of the p2e playtest rules.

It's fine as a playtest but it needs a lot of editing and layout to make it easier to parse. I honestly think the game hiding underneath actually is simpler and easier to play than 1e. It is unfamiliar though.

Despite hating the formula as written, I do agree with your point. What's hiding (hiding!) under the equation is a SIMPLIFICATION of the system.

All the types of bonuses in PF1 (morale, circumstantial, natural, profane, etc., etc.) are now rolled into only TWO types of bonuses that are defined by whether they're the result of a circumstance or a condition: circumstance vs. conditional. EVERY bonus and penalty is a circumstance or conditional bonus. (Well, there are item bonuses, too, but those come from an obviously different source entirely). So it's harder to mix them up.

Just look at how the Bless spell in PF1 interacts with the bard's Inspire Courage performance, for example. The Bless spell confers a competence bonus to weapon attack and damage rolls. If the cleric casts Bless, this gives a MORALE bonus to attack rolls (but NOT to damage rolls). Bless, meanwhile, gives a +1 morale bonus to saves against fear. But Inspire Courage was giving a MORALE bonus to saves against charm and fear effects. So it doesn't stack with the bonus to fear effects. Meanwhile, Bless does NOT affect saves against charm effects.

In PF2, it's much simpler:
Inspire Courage --> +1 conditional bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saves against fear
Bless --> +1 conditional bonus to attack rolls

Both are spells (and so probably give CONDITIONAL bonuses). Bonuses from different spells therefore generally do not stack. You overlap the two and you're done.

The issue for me is the presentation -- the system is actually simpler to work with.

Similarly, the keywords are manifold, but once you get past the learning curve of internalizing them, they serve as shorthand and actually make the system easier to work with (and make it easier to present more complex designs more concisely).


I have done this with 3 different groups and 2 different GM's. About 80% loathed character creation (none of us used the optional rolling, due to wanting to test the new way) the other 20% thought it was great (a couple said arguably the best out there) what surprised me about this all so far is the "love it or hate it" reactions, I have seen almost noone in the middle. Fairly or unfairly this game will be compared to 5th ed D&D so it either has to "do 5th ed better than 5th ed" or be different enough to appeal to the folks who don't like 5th.
We did abandon the pdfs completely, Things were much easier with hardcopy books. so far my main group (one of the three) has purchased 6 books between us (1 hard 5 soft) We stopped playing the playtest module becuase we didnt like the story so have been doing our own in Galt. I personally seriously hate the 3 actions thing. I vastly prefer the old action mechanics. The game feels really clunky to us (and likely will stay that way for a while until familiarity builds) there are some real diamonds in the coal pile but not sure its worth digging.


Visanideth wrote:

I wouldn't make a big deal out of the technical language for now. I'm sure Paizo will be able to embellish the text.

And honestly, I'll take a dry, technical rulebook that leaves no room to misinterpretation over pretty prose that forces me to spend an hour a week over twitter asking the authors what they really meant with that (looking at you, 5E).

A couple things here. Second point first: I would take that as well. The problem is that there are plenty of pieces that are open for misinterpretation. Criticals are one. Another is this:

"Whenever you gain a spell from your bloodline, you also gain a spell
slot of that level, which you can use to cast any sorcerer
spell, not just the spell granted by your bloodline. For
instance, at sorcerer level 3, you’d learn the 2nd-level spell
from your bloodline and gain another 2nd-level spell slot
to cast any of your sorcerer spells."

This literally just repeats the same text twice. It's not a "for instance", as they claim. There's lots of this stuff throughout, and vagueness isn't hard to come by.

Second point. Call it a playtest, but the fact is Paizo promoted this heavily and even sold collector's edition versions. I don't have any basic issue with charging, but the fact is, this *is* their opportunity to make a good first impression. And I think they bombed.


tivadar27 wrote:

A couple things here. Second point first: I would take that as well. The problem is that there are plenty of pieces that are open for misinterpretation. Criticals are one. Another is this:
"Whenever you gain a spell from your bloodline, you also gain a spell
slot of that level, which you can use to cast any sorcerer
spell, not just the spell granted by your bloodline. For
instance, at sorcerer level 3, you’d learn the 2nd-level spell
from your bloodline and gain another 2nd-level spell slot
to cast any of your sorcerer spells."

This literally just repeats the same text twice. It's not a "for instance", as they claim. There's lots of this stuff throughout, and vagueness isn't hard to come by.

Second point. Call it a playtest, but the fact is Paizo promoted this heavily and even sold collector's edition versions. I don't have any basic issue with charging, but the fact is, this *is* their opportunity to make a good first impression. And I think they bombed.

Well, it does provide a specific numerical explanation for the preceding sentence, but it is unnecessary and the way it is laid out is odd to say the least.

I'm not sure I'd call it a bomb. As some other people are saying under all the over-clarification and other issues there IS a good, solid, well thought out gaming system. We've just got the chore of finding it, bringing it out, and over the next 5 or 6 years, bringing it up to the level of content that pf1 had. The more I read and re-write and explain the system the more i see their big picture, I just wish that there had been a better effort to make PF1 content transferable... I have lots of characters that simply wont work under this system.


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@SouL: I'm calling it a bomb from a marketing perspective. The playtest should get people *excited* about the new game. While I totally agree that the core system is good (3 action system, proficiency ranks, 3 tiered success), the layout of the material, numerous issues with the classes, and other issues (including the fact that Doomsday Dawn Part 1 is a flat and boring scenario) make it really hard for me to call this a "good first impression".

Re: Sorcerer: I couldn't tell if they actually get an extra spell to cast per day... A better way to say this would have been... sorcerer level 3, you learn the 2nd level spell from your bloodline and that gives you a total of 3 spell slots."

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