Session 0 Crashed and Burned.


General Discussion

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It has taken me a while to digest a lot of PF2 and my wife has taken some time off work. We went out for dinner, came back and decided to roll of a PF2 character. I knew it might take a bit of time so we set aside the rest of the evening to have some background music playing on youtube (Faith No More+ others). She had tried reading the PF2 materials a couple of days after it came out but was struggling. I put more effort into it and between reading more and paying attention to the forums thought I had figured it out.

After discussing the options we settled on a non spellcaster. Its winter over here, the PCs are in another room that is cold and I figured the 1st 173 odd pages would be enough to generate a PC.

So initially things went well. The step by step thing to the new boosts and flaws was easy to follow. All scores start at 10 and off you go.

The backgrounds were also well done and different enough from 5E. And her eyes lit up when she learnt you got 4 more boosts at level 5,10,15.

Compared to 5E you can get an 18 very easily (5E you have to roll), but we treated an 18 as the new 16. She also liked the multiclass feats concepts and was kind of wanting a MC Rogue/Wizard but it was not required.

Then we got to the races erm ancestry. A few things different here but it was ot to hard to understand although some of the racial options were a bit underwhelming. Quite interesting that 25' is the new movement standard with Elves being the only ones to get 30' movement and they can get that to 35 easily enough.The racial feat was left blank and we cheesed the stats around a bit to get 18 dex, 14 con, 14 intelligence, 12,12, 10 IIRC. The stat thing was actually fun, the racial feat not so much but so far so good. She also liked the art (I don't), but being in black and white (printer) was not a problem but she loved the Gnome Druid and that as another combo she wanted to try.

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.

"This is soul destroying"

"I would rather play 2E" (AD&D she is not an OSR fan but will play it).

"Pathfinder (1E) is easier than this"

"Now I see why they did that in 5E".

"Now I see why you like Basic" (as in B.X and OSR clones of B/X)

"How much do you really want to run this?"

Note we can play complex games- she like Pathfinder 1, 3.5 and she likes Star Wars Saga. She was also one of the ones who put together the uber 3.5 bard that gave the entire party +8 to +16 on attacks and damage.

After 2 hours she basically gave up. I think we are going to do some more reading,print out the entire PDF. I knew more than her, I think I could have completed the character and then in an actual game muddled our way through spells and the combat rules.

Recommended watch this- Don't Just Hire Your Fans
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VtTMluhSmk

Put simply when your rules are actively driving people away you might have a problem. I more or less grok the system to attempt to muddle my way through a game but its not easy or fun. I think I could bang out a Rogue or Fighter in an hour or two.

This is actually worse than 4E as we actually tried the game and got to level 7 (xp to 8 but did not level up) before we thought this is a waste of time.

Suggestion either pre generated characters or a "default" fighter or whatever and people who grok it better can fiddle with the moving parts. Default racial option/build would be nice as well and dump ancestry as a term and use races like every other D&D/Pathfinder.


My first session was awesome.

I generated characters for 3 of my players, the final player made their own.

Also, your wife sounds like a charming lady.


Malthraz wrote:

My first session was awesome.

I generated characters for 3 of my players, the final player made their own.

Also, your wife sounds like a charming lady.

That is what I did for 4E- made the PCs for the players as I had DDI.

Your idea may not be a bad. Make the characters for the players and get them playing.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I think the big takeaway from this is... this isn't the game for you or your wife.

Most of my players currently think PF2 is too simple, rigid and streamlined for them. They have the exactly opposite issue: there's no real intricacies or complexities to the system.

I think you can rejoyce because simple, low crunch games have been the most popular for a decade now, and they still are. 5E is a game with minimal mechanical engagement for the player.
You can solve your issues by turning to one of the dozen quality games that actively and aggressively pursue mechanical clarity and the reduction of moving parts.

Games like PF2, D&D 4E and such are probably aimed at the audience that is interested in mechanically engaging, complex games. Not every game is necessarily for everybody. I can't play 5E or Basic anymore because they bore me, but I'll never ask for them to change because I realize they're made for someone else.


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It definitely takes longer to make a character right now, but doesnt it always for your first time? It really is a different ruleset. Having to right in nukbers for ever variable (as some amount of orof is added to EVERY skill and atttribute) does add timr though, as does huntimg through the spell section for all powers.

Organization of the rules is my major critique.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Visanideth wrote:

I think the big takeaway from this is... this isn't the game for you or your wife.

Most of my players currently think PF2 is too simple, rigid and streamlined for them. They have the exactly opposite issue: there's no real intricacies or complexities to the system.

I think you can rejoyce because simple, low crunch games have been the most popular for a decade now, and they still are. 5E is a game with minimal mechanical engagement for the player.
You can solve your issues by turning to one of the dozen quality games that actively and aggressively pursue mechanical clarity and the reduction of moving parts.

Games like PF2, D&D 4E and such are probably aimed at the audience that is interested in mechanically engaging, complex games. Not every game is necessarily for everybody. I can't play 5E or Basic anymore because they bore me, but I'll never ask for them to change because I realise they're made for someone else.

That may actually happen. We handled the complexity of 3.0, 3.5 and SWSE fine though, 4E's complexity was not the reason we stopped playing that.

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Complex moving parts are fine, complex fiddly math not so much.


It might also be an issue with the rogue class. It's the only class to get a skill feat at level 1 and the class with the most trained skills.

An INT 10 fighter has three skills and no skill feats. Way less to decide and cross reference.

Getting a good idea what the skills do is probably needed for any character, though. Unless you want to stick to the signature skills.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I think the big takeaway from this is... this isn't the game for you or your wife.

Most of my players currently think PF2 is too simple, rigid and streamlined for them. They have the exactly opposite issue: there's no real intricacies or complexities to the system.

I think you can rejoyce because simple, low crunch games have been the most popular for a decade now, and they still are. 5E is a game with minimal mechanical engagement for the player.
You can solve your issues by turning to one of the dozen quality games that actively and aggressively pursue mechanical clarity and the reduction of moving parts.

Games like PF2, D&D 4E and such are probably aimed at the audience that is interested in mechanically engaging, complex games. Not every game is necessarily for everybody. I can't play 5E or Basic anymore because they bore me, but I'll never ask for them to change because I realise they're made for someone else.

That may actually happen. We handled the complexity of 3.0, 3.5 and SWSE fine though, 4E's complexity was not the reason we stopped playing that.

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Complex moving parts are fine, complex fiddly math not so much.

Yes, I am hoping PF2 can fill that niche between 3rd and 5th Ed, but they seem to be going in a different, much more granular, and busy direction.

Complexity is not the issue, it just seems clunky and a bit sterile.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I think the big takeaway from this is... this isn't the game for you or your wife.

Most of my players currently think PF2 is too simple, rigid and streamlined for them. They have the exactly opposite issue: there's no real intricacies or complexities to the system.

I think you can rejoyce because simple, low crunch games have been the most popular for a decade now, and they still are. 5E is a game with minimal mechanical engagement for the player.
You can solve your issues by turning to one of the dozen quality games that actively and aggressively pursue mechanical clarity and the reduction of moving parts.

Games like PF2, D&D 4E and such are probably aimed at the audience that is interested in mechanically engaging, complex games. Not every game is necessarily for everybody. I can't play 5E or Basic anymore because they bore me, but I'll never ask for them to change because I realise they're made for someone else.

That may actually happen. We handled the complexity of 3.0, 3.5 and SWSE fine though, 4E's complexity was not the reason we stopped playing that.

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Complex moving parts are fine, complex fiddly math not so much.

Yes, I am hoping PF2 can fill that niche between 3rd and 5th Ed, but they seem to be going in a different, much more granular, and busy direction.

Complexity is not the issue, it just seems clunky and a bit sterile.

I think we are on the same page here. If you clone 5E and ripped out the classes and made feats non optional and had different class structure that is roughly what I want.

Layer on some concepts from PF2 and AD&D 2E options that is something useful/fun.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Zardnaar wrote:

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Don't we all?

While the market has a huge offer of functional, quality games starting from 5E and going down the mechanical engagement scale, there's basically nothing north of that. We all want a game with 3.X's or 4E's offer of options, mechanical widgets and tactical engagement and better math, but nobody is really focusing on providing that.

It's not easy.

Slapping a few houserules on OD&D's engine and calling it an OSR game is easy. Writing something with the mechanical complexity of Pathfinder and making the math work... is another thing.


Blave wrote:

It might also be an issue with the rogue class. It's the only class to get a skill feat at level 1 and the class with the most trained skills.

An INT 10 fighter has three skills and no skill feats. Way less to decide and cross reference.

Getting a good idea what the skills do is probably needed for any character, though. Unless you want to stick to the signature skills.

I did notice that. Hopefully they will narrow the gap to something like 4/6 or 6/10. Not X2 or X3 over other classes.


Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Don't we all?

While the market has a huge offer of functional, quality games starting from 5E and going down the mechanical engagement scale, there's basically nothing north of that. We all want a game with 3.X's or 4E's offer of options, mechanical widgets and tactical engagement and better math, but nobody is really focusing on providing that.

It's not easy.

Slapping a few houserules on OD&D's engine and calling it an OSR game is easy. Writing something with the mechanical complexity of Pathfinder and making the math work... is another thing.

Yeah I have been working on a homebrew system currently using the 5E round structure (option B is 4E), but best way of describing it is Advanced B/X with microfeats. Some 3.5 feats have been merged (Great foritude, iron will, lightning reflexes), others removed (natural spell) while some 4E feats were ported in as is (power attack).

I also stapled on parts of 5E I liked but removed short rest mechanics as I don't think they play nice with daily resources and forcing the expected 2 short rests ting is a pain.

Even with 4E you could strip out the classes, plug in whatever and tweak the skill system and I don;'t think thats a bad thing either.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zardnaar wrote:


I think we are on the same page here. If you clone 5E and ripped out the classes and made feats non optional and had different class structure that is roughly what I want.

Layer on some concepts from PF2 and AD&D 2E options that is something useful/fun.

For what it's worth, I'm part of a project that fundamentally follows the premise of taking the kind of mechanical engagement the 3.x/4E generation pursued (huge number of classes, rich character options, strong options for customizing actions) while completely removing the number threadmill.

In a way we were relieved to see PF2 doubled down on scaling, growing numbers because it makes it go in a different direction. We believe in horizontal growth more than vertical growth, so to say.

PF2 seems to double down on the "pick this to become +1 good at thing" ethos of 3.X, which may or may not be your thing.


Zardnaar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:

I think the big takeaway from this is... this isn't the game for you or your wife.

Most of my players currently think PF2 is too simple, rigid and streamlined for them. They have the exactly opposite issue: there's no real intricacies or complexities to the system.

I think you can rejoyce because simple, low crunch games have been the most popular for a decade now, and they still are. 5E is a game with minimal mechanical engagement for the player.
You can solve your issues by turning to one of the dozen quality games that actively and aggressively pursue mechanical clarity and the reduction of moving parts.

Games like PF2, D&D 4E and such are probably aimed at the audience that is interested in mechanically engaging, complex games. Not every game is necessarily for everybody. I can't play 5E or Basic anymore because they bore me, but I'll never ask for them to change because I realise they're made for someone else.

That may actually happen. We handled the complexity of 3.0, 3.5 and SWSE fine though, 4E's complexity was not the reason we stopped playing that.

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Complex moving parts are fine, complex fiddly math not so much.

Yes, I am hoping PF2 can fill that niche between 3rd and 5th Ed, but they seem to be going in a different, much more granular, and busy direction.

Complexity is not the issue, it just seems clunky and a bit sterile.

I think we are on the same page here. If you clone 5E and ripped out the classes and made feats non optional and had different class structure that is roughly what I want.

Layer on some concepts from PF2 and AD&D 2E options that is something useful/fun.

Yeah, I've been on the same page with you, going back over 10 years, you would know me from my usernames on the old WotC forums, and Enworld, though I no longer visit Enworld as the same pro-4th Ed warring gang from the burning days of the WotC forums and its closure in 2015 have come to roost there. 6 years later and the same handful of folks are posting prolifically in attempts to undermine 5th Ed while shilling 4th Ed and other RPGs, it's dull, sick and obnoxious.

As for something between 3rd Ed and 5th Ed, I tend to lean my 3rd Ed games in a slight 5th Ed direction, and vice versa, here are my Standard 5th Ed House-Rules (bring some 3rd Ed love back; 5th Ed needs help, for me, and 3rd Ed/PF1 is the secret sauce to bring it alive. I have also added some stuff to the Fighter, Expertise is +1-1/2 times proficiency bonus, addressed the glaring omissions from the weapons table, fixed those feats, and other goodies):

"Using Ability Scores

Proficiency Bonus
Characters, monsters, and non-player characters have a proficiency bonus determined by Hit Dice.

Skills
At 1st-level you start with one additional Language, Skill, or Tool proficiency of your choice, or you gain Expertise in one skill you are proficient in from your race, class, or background. See Expertise under section 3: Classes.

Strength
Attack Rolls and Damage
You add your Strength modifier to your attack roll when attacking with a melee weapon such as a mace, a battleaxe, or a javelin, and your damage roll with a melee weapon or ranged weapon that lacks the loading property.

Dexterity
Attack Rolls
You add your Dexterity modifier to your attack roll when attacking with a ranged weapon, such as a sling or a longbow. You can also add your Dexterity modifier to your attack roll when attacking with a melee weapon that has the finesse property, such as a dagger or a rapier.

Intelligence
Languages and Tools
You start with an additional number of Languages and/or Tool proficiencies equal to your Intelligence modifier.
If your Intelligence score later increases, you gain an additional number of Languages and/or Tool proficiencies equal to any modifier increase.

Charisma
Magic Item Attunement
You can attune a number of magical items equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.

Saving Throws
Rolling 1 or 20
If the d20 roll for a saving throw is a 20, the save succeeds regardless of any modifiers or the save DC.
If the d20 roll for a saving throw is a 1, the save fails regardless of any modifiers or the save DC.

Combat

Ranged Attacks
Shooting or Throwing into a Melee
If you make a ranged attack against a target that is within 5 feet of at least one of your allies, you have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Melee Attacks
Opportunity Attacks
Spellcasting. You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see casts a spell that does not require a melee or ranged attack roll within your reach. If this attack deals damage, the target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw vs. DC 10 or half the damage dealt, whichever number is higher, or the magic fails.

Grapple
Proficient Strength check contested by proficient Strength or Dexterity check.

Shove
Proficient Strength check contested by proficient Strength or Dexterity check.

Damage and Healing
Damage Rolls
When attacking with a melee weapon or ranged weapon that lacks the loading (or reload) property, you add your Strength modifier to the damage.

Minimum Damage
A hit always deals at least 1 point of damage, regardless of any modifiers.

Critical Hits
If the attack involves other damage dice, such as from the rogue's Sneak Attack feature, you do not roll those dice twice as well.

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.

Knocking a Creature Out
You must declare this intent before your attack, and you have disadvantage on the attack roll.

9: Spellcasting

Cantrips
You can cast a number of cantrips equal to 6 + your spellcasting modifier, and regain the ability to do so when you finish a short or long rest."


Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Don't we all?

While the market has a huge offer of functional, quality games starting from 5E and going down the mechanical engagement scale, there's basically nothing north of that. We all want a game with 3.X's or 4E's offer of options, mechanical widgets and tactical engagement and better math, but nobody is really focusing on providing that.

It's not easy.

Slapping a few houserules on OD&D's engine and calling it an OSR game is easy. Writing something with the mechanical complexity of Pathfinder and making the math work... is another thing.

Yeah I have been working on a homebrew system currently using the 5E round structure (option B is 4E), but best way of describing it is Advanced B/X with microfeats. Some 3.5 feats have been merged (Great foritude, iron will, lightning reflexes), others removed (natural spell) while some 4E feats were ported in as is (power attack).

I also stapled on parts of 5E I liked but removed short rest mechanics as I don't think they play nice with daily resources and forcing the expected 2 short rests ting is a pain.

Even with 4E you could strip out the classes, plug in whatever and tweak the skill system and I don;'t think thats a bad thing either.

As much as I love 4E, I think the biggest weakness is the number threadmill. In fact, one of the things that got us started on our project was the question "Can you build a game that feels like D&D while moving away from the d20+x formula?".

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zardnaar wrote:
Malthraz wrote:

My first session was awesome.

I generated characters for 3 of my players, the final player made their own.

Also, your wife sounds like a charming lady.

That is what I did for 4E- made the PCs for the players as I had DDI.

Your idea may not be a bad. Make the characters for the players and get them playing.

The recently-released pregenerated characters (found HERE) might also be a good way to have a first session or two just to get the rules without messing around with character creation. That way, when you sit down to create characters of your own for the first time you have some more context.

I definitely agree that opening up the book and just creating a character, without knowing the system in advance, is pretty confusing right now. (Erik Mona was posting to this effect yesterday, too, so I know this is very much on Paizo's radar!)

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.
Zardnaar wrote:

That may actually happen. We handled the complexity of 3.0, 3.5 and SWSE fine though, 4E's complexity was not the reason we stopped playing that.

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Complex moving parts are fine, complex fiddly math not so much.

I'm curious to hear more about what specifically tripped yall up. Was it just the learning curve? You say that you've played 3.X and PF1, but those seem a lot *more* difficult—is the difference just learning a fiddly new system for the first time?

As a 1st level Rogue, when you get to the class part, you need to pick: 1 class feat (out of 4, listed right there) and 1 skill feat. What about those two selections was so enthusiasm-killing? How might that problem be addressed?

For the second quotation, what "complex fiddly math" was involved in character creation that was un-fun?

I recently had a session-0 with three players, all of whom have some PF1 experience but not too much. I have my own thoughts on the "speedbumps" in the character creation process (which does seem like it could be improved for new players, for sure!), arising from their experiences and feedback, and will be writing those up in my playtest thread when I start one to organize my thoughts.

(E.g., I think one of the biggest problems right now is equipment/gear selection. You've gone through and made all of these choices and then ... here's 150sp and a long list of adventuring gear. Who wants to go through and think about lamps and rope at that point? Nobody! it's just un-fun. My players took one look at that and said, "can we just skip this and get to playing?" So we did. It would be a huge help to list a few premade adventuring bundles/kits so a new player can pick a weapon, pick an armor, and grab a kit and go. They can worry about a la carte shopping later, if they want to. But right now it's a major speedbump for a new player trying to create a character.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:


I think we are on the same page here. If you clone 5E and ripped out the classes and made feats non optional and had different class structure that is roughly what I want.

Layer on some concepts from PF2 and AD&D 2E options that is something useful/fun.

For what it's worth, I'm part of a project that fundamentally follows the premise of taking the kind of mechanical engagement the 3.x/4E generation pursued (huge number of classes, rich character options, strong options for customizing actions) while completely removing the number threadmill.

In a way we were relieved to see PF2 doubled down on scaling, growing numbers because it makes it go in a different direction. We believe in horizontal growth more than vertical growth, so to say.

PF2 seems to double down on the "pick this to become +1 good at thing" ethos of 3.X, which may or may not be your thing.

At the time it was fine these days na. Make the bonus +2, and put in less of them t prevent lots of stacking.

For example I am making an Elf and they get the racial proficiency of modern D&D and +2 to hit with them. AD&D gave them +1 but the long sword is not an uber weapon and has not been a good weapon for a long time now (alright in 4E?). Same deal with shortsword and longbow. Since I am not using anything like the -5/+10 part of 5E sharpshooter feat I prevent that abuse there. If you want to be accurate with some swords and bows be an elf or pick something else. At least that is what I want anyway.

Not 1E D&D Faerie iire was also a +2 bonus and I would change 5E bless spell to a flat +2 as well instead of a d4 although that is more due to how good bless is in the 5E context maybe tweaked the way saves scaled and the -5/+10 feats and concentration are more responsible than the 1d4 itself.

Functionally Xanathars Guide to Everything brought back encounter powers as well. Its worded more like "once you use this ability you can't use it again for 1 minute". I don't think AEDU was the problem in 4E making every class universally use it and replace the yea olde D&Disms was the real culprit IMHO.

People are still trying to fix things from bad decisions made 20 years ago 3.5, PF, 4E, 5E have all hada go but conceptually AD&D and B/X fixed it 30 odd years ago it was in the 2E to 3.0 transition they broke things (saving throws for example). I eman AD&D is a hot mess, 5E for example uses BA which is not that fundamentally differnt to B/X where a level 20 fighter got +13 to hit, +11 in 5E.


Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Don't we all?

While the market has a huge offer of functional, quality games starting from 5E and going down the mechanical engagement scale, there's basically nothing north of that. We all want a game with 3.X's or 4E's offer of options, mechanical widgets and tactical engagement and better math, but nobody is really focusing on providing that.

It's not easy.

Slapping a few houserules on OD&D's engine and calling it an OSR game is easy. Writing something with the mechanical complexity of Pathfinder and making the math work... is another thing.

Yeah I have been working on a homebrew system currently using the 5E round structure (option B is 4E), but best way of describing it is Advanced B/X with microfeats. Some 3.5 feats have been merged (Great foritude, iron will, lightning reflexes), others removed (natural spell) while some 4E feats were ported in as is (power attack).

I also stapled on parts of 5E I liked but removed short rest mechanics as I don't think they play nice with daily resources and forcing the expected 2 short rests ting is a pain.

Even with 4E you could strip out the classes, plug in whatever and tweak the skill system and I don;'t think thats a bad thing either.

As much as I love 4E, I think the biggest weakness is the number threadmill. In fact, one of the things that got us started on our project was the question "Can you build a game that feels like D&D while moving away from the d20+x formula?".

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:

It doesn't drastically bother me to much I want something with more complexity than 5E, but without the math problems of 3.X and 4E.

Don't we all?

While the market has a huge offer of functional, quality games starting from 5E and going down the mechanical engagement scale, there's basically nothing north of that. We all want a game with 3.X's or 4E's offer of options, mechanical widgets and tactical engagement and better math, but nobody is really focusing on providing that.

It's not easy.

Slapping a few houserules on OD&D's engine and calling it an OSR game is easy. Writing something with the mechanical complexity of Pathfinder and making the math work... is another thing.

Yeah I have been working on a homebrew system currently using the 5E round structure (option B is 4E), but best way of describing it is Advanced B/X with microfeats. Some 3.5 feats have been merged (Great foritude, iron will, lightning reflexes), others removed (natural spell) while some 4E feats were ported in as is (power attack).

I also stapled on parts of 5E I liked but removed short rest mechanics as I don't think they play nice with daily resources and forcing the expected 2 short rests ting is a pain.

Even with 4E you could strip out the classes, plug in whatever and tweak the skill system and I don;'t think thats a bad thing either.

As much as I love 4E, I think the biggest weakness is the number threadmill. In fact, one of the things that got us started on our project was the question "Can you build a game that feels like D&D while moving away from the d20+x formula?".
We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions, worked out great.

I think that is a good idea at least on THACO/BAB/proficiency numbers. Not on scaling defences though, 5E prof system only some of them scale.

I would probably add it to saves but have the saves modified by class as well and you can pick feats that boost them further so saves would actually scale faster than DCs. Spell casters still have damage dealing spells, utility, summons etc to fall back on.
Not a fan of 5E saves, int saves mostly don't matter and spell DCs scale at a rate saves don't so you fall further and further behind.

Beats me how to fix the 5E save system conceptually IDK if modern designers have managed any better than AD&D in terms of saves and multiclassing. Best idea I can come up with is narrow the gap between a good and bad save to 3 or 4 points, no more than 5.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.


Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.

Right on, a non-d20 D&D itch-scratching system, colour me intrigued, not Badd!


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.

Right on, a non-d20 D&D itch-scratching system, colour me intrigued, not Badd!

FOr me it goes into the good game maybe not D&D thing.

There are other fantasy RPGs out there and things like the D6 system which avoid some of the problems D&D has. But then you're not playing D&D.


Zardnaar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.

Right on, a non-d20 D&D itch-scratching system, colour me intrigued, not Badd!

FOr me it goes into the good game maybe not D&D thing.

There are other fantasy RPGs out there and things like the D6 system which avoid some of the problems D&D has. But then you're not playing D&D.

Well, we clearly don't have the rights to D&D and it would be vanity to try and say "You should play this instead!".

But it's a fantasy RPG that is class and level based, that works around the notion of having a strong focus on combat and task-solving, and that is based on the principle that the rules are there to simulate the "physics" of the action rather than informing the narrative (which is up to the players and DMs).

And all of that makes it similar to D&D. We want to scratch the same itch, not be the same thing. But this isn't the time and place for self-promotion.


Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.

Right on, a non-d20 D&D itch-scratching system, colour me intrigued, not Badd!

FOr me it goes into the good game maybe not D&D thing.

There are other fantasy RPGs out there and things like the D6 system which avoid some of the problems D&D has. But then you're not playing D&D.

Well, we clearly don't have the rights to D&D and it would be vanity to try and say "You should play this instead!".

But it's a fantasy RPG that is class and level based, that works around the notion of having a strong focus on combat and task-solving, and that is based on the principle that the rules are there to simulate the "physics" of the action rather than informing the narrative (which is up to the players and DMs).

And all of that makes it similar to D&D. We want to scratch the same itch, not be the same thing. But this isn't the time and place for self-promotion.

Fair enough, actually sounds decent but I usually stick to D&D and switch systems if we want variety, currently playing 5E but had a lot of that over the last 4 years looking at my clones and PF2 for a bit of variety again. Star Wars (D6, SWSE) if we want to do something not D&D.


Visanideth wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Visanideth wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

We removed the +1/2 level treadmill from 4th Ed after about 5 sessions (and used the Inherent Bonus rule from the DMG2), worked out great.

We started with that, but once we decided to actually create a commercial game, we ended up removing the d20 altogether.

Our engine is now a radically different beast from the D20 engine, and honestly we've landed with something that (ideally) scratches the D&D itch but looks nothing like it.

Right on, a non-d20 D&D itch-scratching system, colour me intrigued, not Badd!

FOr me it goes into the good game maybe not D&D thing.

There are other fantasy RPGs out there and things like the D6 system which avoid some of the problems D&D has. But then you're not playing D&D.

Well, we clearly don't have the rights to D&D and it would be vanity to try and say "You should play this instead!".

But it's a fantasy RPG that is class and level based, that works around the notion of having a strong focus on combat and task-solving, and that is based on the principle that the rules are there to simulate the "physics" of the action rather than informing the narrative (which is up to the players and DMs).

And all of that makes it similar to D&D. We want to scratch the same itch, not be the same thing. But this isn't the time and place for self-promotion.

Where can I find your system? The description piqued my curiosity.


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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?).


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Rather than put a description of every class creation in each class, perhaps there should be a central location that has the creation rules for all classes.

I also think the rule mechanic descriptions are unfriendly. When I was looking through the feats, combat medic mentions bolstered. I had to do a search to figure out what that means. I couldn't figure out how to calculate the DC for spellcasters - I ended up asking on the boards to get an answer. There definately needs more examples of these things.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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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 levels.

OK, I need to know what Flat footed is. Fortunately they give a page reference. Let me go look at page 322...

OK, it gives a -2 circumstance penalty to AC. Do I need to look up what a circumstance penalty is? And there's no info here on how someone gets to be flat-footed. Do I need to look for that? If so, where?

Back to the Sneak Attack: "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."

OK, so now I need to know what agile and finesse are. There's no page number, so I need to check the index. But those terms aren't there. So now I need to search the book to find it. Eventually, I find them in the weapon chapter.

The agile property references a "multiple attack penalty". What's that? *goes and looks that up...*

OK, great. Now I need to know what "precision damage" is...

Whew, halfway through the first ability!

etc., etc....

This was very frustrating for my players. I'm sure once you have a good handle on the system, it will go faster, but it was excruciatingly time consuming for the first character. Especially since the way the book is written, it's sometimes difficult to tell what is a rules element and what is simply English.

One of my players said, "This feels like a choose-your-own-adventure book. The kind where you have five bookmarks to keep track of where you came from so you don't miss something."


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Zardnaar wrote:
This is actually worse than 4E as we actually tried the game and got to level 7 (xp to 8 but did not level up) before we thought this is a waste of time.

Yeah the process of learning the game is really bad.

Too much has changed from PF1. And it's not an easy read.

I have new players and basically, I just walking them through the game, and then walked them through character creation. Reading the book is just too much.

If you wanted to try PF2, you could try that.


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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

Ok.. I get that. And also what Jason S said:

Jason S wrote:


Yeah the process of learning the game is really bad.
Too much has changed from PF1. And it's not an easy read.

, and that should be made easier where possible. From the top of my head:

* they could explain some of the rules before presenting the class, e.g. in the form of a gameplay example (for example "bolstered", iterative attacks, spell DCs). I am pretty sure that will be done in the final product
* a leaflet for old PF1 players ("what's different in PF2")
* they already have the "key terms" sections. Agile and finesse should be explained here, at least something like "Agile and finesse are weapon qualities, please read page xyz."
* some flavour text: "If you catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from your attack, you can strike a vital spot for extra damage." - so people can extrapolate from that

I would still insist that all the steps you described are easier than reading all the feats from A to W (like "Weapon Finesse") and then decide which one to take, unless you happen to have played PF1 for a few years. And there are 432 pages in the PF2 rulebook, which is ~150 less than in the old CRB, so I am optimistic this all can be done. So as a message to the OP: I hear you, I understand in part what you are saying, maybe give it a second try now or wait until the rules are polished for a better reading experience.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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To give a further example, let's compare the old PF1 sneak attack ability with the new PF2 one and see how many game terms you need to know to understand them:

First Edition wrote:

If a rogue can catch an opponent when he is unable to defend himself effectively from her attack, she can strike a vital spot for extra damage.

The rogue's attack deals extra damage anytime her target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the rogue flanks her target. This extra damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every two rogue levels thereafter. Should the rogue score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this extra damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or an unarmed strike), a rogue can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. She cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The rogue must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A rogue cannot sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

That's 9 game terms you need to know in a 201-word description. Compare that to Pathfinder 2:

Second Edition 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 levels.

The Pathfinder 2 entry is only 84 words long, but still has 9 game terms you need to know. The density of the game terms is much higher, which makes it harder to just read the entry and know what it's talking about.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wonder how much of the problem was down to relying on the PDF and not a print version? I hosted session 0 over the weekend and all four of my players had a hard copy of the rulebook. We spent about three hours creating characters, and I noticed that they all kept the book open to the class section relevant to them, but kept a finger on the spells chapter so they could flip to it easily when referencing things.

For those that have to rely on the PDF, are you aware of the ability of PDF readers to open the same document in multiple windows, thus allowing you to have two or more chapters open at once? It's not ideal, but better than relying on just one file.


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the weirdest part is that even experienced players still need to re-check all those terms, as they may have changed their individual rules/effects in the edition change (much like stealth/sneak attack changes did back in the 3.5e->PF1e).


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It seems like this playtest suffers from a more-pronounced version of what the Strategy Guide tried to solve with the PF1 Core Rulebook:
- You walk in to the game with a character concept, or hope that a concept will come to you from perusing the rules.
- You are overwhelmed by the number of choices you can make, and have no idea how to proceed to make your concept come to life via the bits of rules.

The Strategy Guide helped players going into PF1 who had that character concept, or had no concept, to make their character come to life via the bits of rules.

But with PF1 this problem was smaller. PF1 gave you 11 discrete classes, and you could look at the artwork and introductory text of each class: simple enough. But you would be unsure which choices to make at first level for your feat, your cleric domains, your sorcerer bloodlines, etc. But those class options in PF1 were at least presented in a way that they conveyed a concept, and you could see what road to go down by the name of the Heal Domain or the Draconic Bloodline, etc. The table of ~200 feats was intimidating; however, the person introducing you to the game could give you a list of 3-5 options and you could go with it.

The PF2 playtest presents you with long lists of fiddly bits, and gives no suggestions on how to use them to build a concept. You have a big pile of Legos with no instruction booklet. And when you try to read the fiddly bits, it isn't immediately clear what the significance of certain keywords is, how they further a character build or concept. And while all this is happening, you encounter keywords you don't understand which make you feel like you are swimming without a rudder, and that you missed a tutorial somewhere.

The PF2 core book could really benefit from giving suggested combinations of feats that flesh out some classic fantasy tropes. It could also explain some of the keywords and rules while doing so. Also, it wouldn't hurt to call out departures from PF1. For example, the paladin class could mention being a tank who protects others, and point to the class feat that gives her an Attack of Opportunity and say that this would make her one of the few characters that can use a reaction to use a melee Strike against an enemy. Or it could say the feat removing the Manipulate trait from Lay on Hands means you don't provoke reactions.

There also should be a section that gives an overview of how PF2 departs from PF1, for veteran PF1 players to understand what has changed. For example, that enemies are no longer flat-footed at the start of combat, and how most characters do not have Attacks of Opportunity. And a glossary of some keywords at the beginning that discusses their significance to building characters (Manipulate trait means they provoke Attacks of Opportunity, for example, and what Tamago mentions above about how what agile and finesse weapons are for the Rogue class section).

The PF2 core system is great, but its presentation is a chasm for new players that Strategy Guide-like content could help to bridge.


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The Rot Grub wrote:
And when you try to read the fiddly bits, it isn't immediately clear what the significance of certain keywords is, how they further a character build or concept.

Fantastic post, and yes, they have gone a bit gung-ho with keywords (monster's alphabetised list is painful) and micro-action terms (Basic interact action, Operate activation action, etc).

That and the colours and symbols (the 2 and 3 action arrow deal is hard to tell apart at a glance, for me), just too much, maybe I am getting too old.


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Tamago wrote:

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.

I think you hit the nail on the head.

PF2 has TOO many game terms.

This coupled with the fact that virtually every action in the game is hard wired mechanically, and there isn't room for simplification via extrapolation. EVERYTHING is a game term to some extent, and almost everything has MORE game term traits explaining how it works. It's such a slog that it FEELS much harder to play than PF1 and I know it shouldn't be.

This is sad, seeing as we lost a TON of customization (and I don't count picking stuff that was free previously as "customization") and the rules are now HARDER to understand. In it's current state, I have to agree with the OP's wife. Why would I play this over PF1?


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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.


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thflame wrote:
Tamago wrote:

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.

I think you hit the nail on the head.

PF2 has TOO many game terms.

This coupled with the fact that virtually every action in the game is hard wired mechanically, and there isn't room for simplification via extrapolation. EVERYTHING is a game term to some extent, and almost everything has MORE game term traits explaining how it works. It's such a slog that it FEELS much harder to play than PF1 and I know it shouldn't be.

This is sad, seeing as we lost a TON of customization (and I don't count picking stuff that was free previously as "customization") and the rules are now HARDER to understand. In it's current state, I have to agree with the OP's wife. Why would I play this over PF1?

Stares intently at Paladin Class Feat "Guarded Touch"


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.

Me too, please?


Seems like this might be like going into a board game for the first time without reading all the rules first and giving up?

I had a much easier time making my first character but that was because I was prepared for there being many different buckets from which to pick 'feats' and that foreknowledge helped me compartmentalize each feat picking step. I didn't keep getting surprised by yet another different part of the book I had to go through and stalling as a result.

Could it be that in the other games your wife had an experienced GM to guide her through the process but with pf2e the GM (i.e: you) was inexperienced as well?

Just throwing out thoughts here, don't mean to be disparaging in any way!

Character Creation should be one of the most fun parts of any RPG and it's too bad your experiences were negative.

Scarab Sages

I actually didn't really have a problem creating a character. Granted, I hate needing to update all my numbers every level (I hate it in PF1 as well, for what it's worth), but overall it's pretty simple. Sometimes when you read RPG rules, you need to just assume that something works, and you'll figure out the rule when it comes up. You don't, for example, need to know what the Thrown property is, or Ranged, or Flat-Footed, etc., until they come up in the game, at which point you can use the rules reference for those effects. It makes your life a lot easier. And if you don't understand what an ability does at first? That's okay. You just tuck that info away, report it to Paizo, and see how it gets handled during the playtest. I do know that I wouldn't spend even close to 3 hours creating a character. I'd just go through the motions, pick a class I thought I would like, choose some neat-sounding feats, and play.

I see this happening a lot, and it seems like people need to just dive in and play more instead of trying so hard to get the game "right". Paizo can learn a lot from both things, but piqueing your group's interest is probably easier with the former than the latter.


There was a saying about 3.5:
The great thing about 3.5 is that there is a rule for everything. The bad thing about 3.5 is that there is a rule for everything. I fear that we be saying the same thing about PF2 in regards to traits. If you look at the sahuagin in the bestiary, there is a litany of traits listed on the entry including the word sahuagin!?!

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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I wonder if part of the problem is that the Feats are missing the short description line at the top.

first edition wrote:

Double Slice (Combat)

Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power.
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.
Normal: You normally add only half of your Strength modifier to damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in your off-hand.
second edition wrote:

[Two Action Icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1

Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).

The 1st edition version has a few important things that help readability:

1) It has a summary sentence at the top: "Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power." That lets you quickly know if this is something that fits your character concept without needing to parse all the rules about it.
2) The Benefit section is much shorter and isn't chock-full of game terms that require looking up three different page references in order to know what the feat does.
3) There's a "normal" section that tells you right away what rule this feat is breaking (so you know if it's something that would affect your character).

The 2nd edition version would be easier for a new player if it included some of these things. For example:

[two action icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1
You attack with two weapons at the same time, combining your blows into a single, powerful assault.
Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).
Normal: Each Strike increases your multiple attack penalty, and the damage is not combined.


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The biggest thing my players were frustrated with was a lack of descriptions in the tables for feats and spells. Having to flip back and forth for each feat and spell took forever for players that hadn't read the whole book before and hadn't played similar classes before. My wife, for example was playing a cleric and had to jump back and forth for every spell in her list to make her spell list and understand what they did.

A blurb is helpful for readability and speed.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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


Tamago wrote:

I wonder if part of the problem is that the Feats are missing the short description line at the top.

first edition wrote:

Double Slice (Combat)

Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power.
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.
Normal: You normally add only half of your Strength modifier to damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in your off-hand.
second edition wrote:

[Two Action Icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1

Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).

The 1st edition version has a few important things that help readability:

1) It has a summary sentence at the top: "Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power." That lets you quickly know if this is something that fits your character concept without needing to parse all the rules about it.
2) The Benefit section is much shorter and isn't chock-full of game terms that require looking up three different page references in order to know what the feat does.
3) There's a "normal" section that tells you right away what rule this feat is breaking (so you know if it's something that would affect your character).

The 2nd edition version would be easier for a new player if it included some of these things. For example:

[two action icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1
You attack with two weapons at the same time, combining your blows into a single, powerful assault.
Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).
Normal: Each Strike increases your multiple attack penalty, and the damage is not combined.

Not only this, but Double Slice, as mechanically described in PF2, doesn't make thematic sense.

Let's assume that your flavor text

Quote:
You attack with two weapons at the same time, combining your blows into a single, powerful assault.

is what the designers envision (which I believe is a fair assumption).

Why does "attack[ing] with two weapons at the same time" take as much time as attacking with a single weapon twice? (They have the same action cost and the Quick and Slow conditions imply "actions" are a measure of time in your turn.)

Why does hitting something with two separate weapons simultaneously avoid DR? Are they stabbing the exact same spot, or does DR work as a sort of magic force shield that reacts to all damage sustained at a single point in time?

Double Slice would make more sense if it allowed a character to attack with each weapon as part of one action at a penalty.

Granted, this would take tweaking to be balanced, but it a whole lot easier to remember what an ability does when it's effects are intuitive.


thflame wrote:
Tamago wrote:

I wonder if part of the problem is that the Feats are missing the short description line at the top.

first edition wrote:

Double Slice (Combat)

Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power.
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.
Normal: You normally add only half of your Strength modifier to damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in your off-hand.
second edition wrote:

[Two Action Icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1

Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).

The 1st edition version has a few important things that help readability:

1) It has a summary sentence at the top: "Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power." That lets you quickly know if this is something that fits your character concept without needing to parse all the rules about it.
2) The Benefit section is much shorter and isn't chock-full of game terms that require looking up three different page references in order to know what the feat does.
3) There's a "normal" section that tells you right away what rule this feat is breaking (so you know if it's something that would affect your character).

The 2nd edition version would be easier for a new player if it included some of these things. For example:

[two action icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1
You attack with two weapons at the same time, combining

...

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


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I have never in my 30 years of playing DnD given the rulebook to a new player and said, “Make a character.” One always learned from an experienced player.

The rulebook has always been a reference book, first. Now I do think there needs to be a way to bring in the new player, but making a reference book, into something like the Beginner Box, while a nice idea, is one goal too many methinks.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Tamago wrote:

I wonder if part of the problem is that the Feats are missing the short description line at the top.

first edition wrote:

Double Slice (Combat)

Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power.
Prerequisite: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: Add your Strength bonus to damage rolls made with your off-hand weapon.
Normal: You normally add only half of your Strength modifier to damage rolls made with a weapon wielded in your off-hand.
second edition wrote:

[Two Action Icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1

Traits: Fighter
Requirements: You are wielding two melee weapons, each in a different hand.
Make one Strike (see page 308) with each of your two melee weapons, each at your current multiple attack penalty. The second Strike takes a –2 circumstance penalty if it’s made with a weapon that doesn’t have the agile trait (see page 182). If both attacks hit, combine the attacks’ damage, and then add any other applicable enhancements from both weapons. For purposes of resistances and weaknesses, this is considered a single Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty (see page 305).

The 1st edition version has a few important things that help readability:

1) It has a summary sentence at the top: "Your off-hand weapon while dual-wielding strikes with greater power." That lets you quickly know if this is something that fits your character concept without needing to parse all the rules about it.
2) The Benefit section is much shorter and isn't chock-full of game terms that require looking up three different page references in order to know what the feat does.
3) There's a "normal" section that tells you right away what rule this feat is breaking (so you know if it's something that would affect your character).

The 2nd edition version would be easier for a new player if it included some of these things. For example:

[two action icon]DOUBLE SLICE FEAT 1
You attack with two weapons at the same time, combining your blows into a single,...

I find the "Normal" field to be incredibly useful in PF1 and it would be even better in PF2. Something like Paladin Guarded Touch is extremely hard to figure out what it doees form the technical explanation, but if it said something like:

"Normal: Lay on hands provokes reactions and requires a free hand to use."

It would make a lot more sense. Maybe it doens't have to be "normal", but somehting that explains in practical terms what's actually going on.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

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