Creating a Character is Neither Fun nor Fast


Creating a Character


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In order to create a character I have to follow the ABCs of character creation. This should be easy!

Ancestry: well, but which one of these compliments the build I want to make?

Backgrounds: Uh, skip for now

Class! Ah here we go, what do I want to be?

Hmm...

Lets start by reading the class descriptions and looking at a handful of their powers ImeanFeats.

Two hours later

So, uh, I'm not sure what the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is--when it comes down to play--beyond some flavor style. And Fighter and Ranger have a 30% Feat overlap.

*Scratches head*

Fox it, I'll build a fighter, those are easy!

Seven feats...
Complimenting seven different fighting styles...
THIRTY EIGHT different melee weapons...
TWENTY FOUR different weapon properties...

HOLY MOTHER OF GORUM WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO.

In order to make the most basic of choices about what weapon I want to use I have to compare 38 choices that offer a selection of 24 different keywords, all of which I have to understand before I can even begin to evaluate them.

And this is one class.

If I want to do a Cleradin I need to evaluate the gods (and still pick a weapon and armor).

If I want to do a Scorczard I need to evaluate the different bloodline/specializations and then pick spells.

If your goal was to streamline character generation you've failed miserably. You pigeon holed the classes more, making things less flexible for those folks that want to break the mold a little bit, but did nothing to fix the Analysis Paralysis when it comes to picking weapons.

Because of the way Fighter feats work (and Ranger) I actually have to pick a weapon before I can pick feats because what weapon I'm using will drive which feats are available to me (or vice versa: pick a style, then a weapon that matches it, but the weapon table does not easily allow a player to say "ok, I'm doing a TWF build, I need agile weapons, lets see...uh...Greatsword--wait, no that's versatile not agile--uh...Hatchet, Light Pick, Sap--but that's non-leathal only--uh...and Whips"). Only after that can I get around to doing my stats (will I be doing a STR build or a DEX build? Who knows!)

At least with Sorcerers and Wizards you can say "I'll pick spells later" and get back to doing attributes.

ABC?

More like CFAB (Class, Feats, Attributes, Background).


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It is nearly impossible to build a character that is not playable. This is quite a difference from D&D 3.x and Pathfinder 1. So the short answer is to just pick something that sounds cool and start having fun.

I think that the complaint about all of the new terminology and having to look things up is valid. I also had to flip around the book quite a bit in order to understand what was going on.

So try doing as the rulebook says. Start with the concept for the character you want to play before looking at a single rule.


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breithauptclan wrote:
It is nearly impossible to build a character that is not playable. This is quite a difference from D&D 3.x and Pathfinder 1. So the short answer is to just pick something that sounds cool and start having fun.

Which is what I tried to tell one of the other players at my table and he couldn't do it.

I mean, yeah, I was able to build a character after a while, but I didn't have anything I wanted to make. I pretty much went "I'm doing this, because I want to see the result" but my overall feelings from character gen are that it wasn't fun or fast.

Could someone build a character in 10 minutes? Probably. Would it work? Probably. But no one's actually going to do it that way.


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It does seem to get faster after the first 3 or 4 characters.


It is easier when you go in with a concept in mind. Like going into the Fighter example in the OP - if I went into that knowing I wanted to make a medium-armoured swashbuckler kind of character (and I've no idea how well that concept works with the class' armour-related feats, I can't recall at the moment); then I'd already know that I want to use Dex as my key ability score, that I'd want an agile weapon and I'd skim-read the feats to decide whether to go single-handed, sword-and-buckler, or sword-and-dagger. Cuts out most of the flipping back-and-forth before I've even started.

(I say "sword" there, but obviously I mean a rapier - unless there's something more akin to the swords you see HEMA people using with a buckler and I just missed it)

Silver Crusade

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breithauptclan wrote:
It is nearly impossible to build a character that is not playable.

I think that partly depends on your definition of "playable".

Its very, very easy to make a sub optimal character. Play a martial sort and have your attack stat be only a 16. Suddenly, all of the carefully balanced math works against you and not for you. The whole "A +1 is worth more than in PF1" argument becomes very significantly LESS true (that argument relies upon a +1 increasing your crit chances, ie it relies on you needing to roll a 10 or less to hit WITHOUT the +1).


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breithauptclan wrote:
So try doing as the rulebook says. Start with the concept for the character you want to play before looking at a single rule.

I can't. My point is slightly different than Draco18s, but I do take his point. There is a lot of page flipping, and I have rage quit Hero Lab Online's demo a couple of times because of their red lit text that tells me that I really need to do something, and then neglects to point the way to the correct tab. Now part of this is because it is a new game, and with practice it'll get faster. However, it isn't really any faster than PF1 character creation (assuming you are just using one or two books). So on the whole I agree with Draco18s. Fracturing how you assign attributes is a bit of a pain in the butt. Better it be all in one place. I don't think any of the posters above this post would have much trouble figuring out that fighters need high scores in their physical stats, so why bother forcing the issue of class-based attributes? It's already baked in.

However, the real reason I can't make my concept is because I want to make a clumsy human tank of a fighter who accidentally crushes people's hands when he shakes them, and knocks things over with his big hammer (you would never want him over to your china shop), but by the non-optional rules (the rules the PFS uses, and what most people will use by default because it doesn't say "optional" in it's title) humans are at least average at everything, and with all the bonus attribute points he will accrue over the course of his career I will have to work really hard to not increase his Dexterity from there.

Now I know there is a line or two of text that says take all the minuses to ability scores you want, but not so many that your character sucks because we ain't givin' you jack in return. The inference being that you should not ruin other people's gaming experience with your crappy character, loser. I'm gonna call that bit of the rules for what it is--poor design on the part of the design team, followed by an excuse to deflect the problem onto the selfish player who is obviously playing the game wrong, the idiot.

Paizo, know that I love you guys and gals and own a sizable chunk of your product line so I only say this out of a wish for the best game possible. That, and while I am a human who in real life does not personally have any ability scores lower than 24, there are some humans who are confined to wheelchairs, or who are impulsive, or shy, or who get winded going upstairs who might play the game, and suddenly not find themselves, or their friends, or people they read about in books, or see on the big screen represented in your game, which is odd considering how much time you lads and lasses spent explaining that 'gaming is for all' (except jerks, which means I might be in trouble) on pages 5-6. I know that I like playing characters unlike myself (perfection is a burden, really). It is kind of the whole point of role-playing isn't it? To take on the role of someone you are not. It's great that everyone can be mechanically above average (like the kids from Lake Wobegon), but really in the long run how much fun is that?

How about instead of straight 10s to start we make it: 12, four 10s, and an 8? Or maybe: 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8. And/or maybe only allow for 3 attribute increases at the levels you get them. It increases the variability and means you have to use some small amount of thought when you build your character. Do you want to play someone really smart, pretty smart or dumb. I mean dwarves can be curmudgeonly so why not humans (supposedly the most versatile race)?

Now, I understand that this is just the Playtest and we don't have a ton of options like in a game that has been around for a decade, or so, but this seems like an easy enough fix. A +1 here or there is not a lot considering the amount of sway that the d20 is going to have.

On that note I would be interested in seeing the statistical break down on the new dice mechanics.

Min-Max Tangent:
And before anyone brings up min-maxing, or how people who do it are jerks and shouldn't be allowed to play the game--in the rough, I agree with you. If a character's whole point is to be able to hit AC 153 by 5th level and that's it no real story, or personality or anything else just AC 153, well that seems pretty wasteful to me, but what are you gonna do? He's got an AC of 153.

Really, really focused min-maxers will have characters with Charisma scores so low that people will get the creeps just thinking about them, or be wizard-types who are so weak that they can't tie, let alone wear their own boots without someone's help or their legs snapping off at the knee, and therefore these characters are possibly unplayable in the game. Low stats have consequences too, that's part of the game and as baked in like key ability scores. I though have, like many people, have a 1st edition paladin who's Wisdom score I minimized in order to maximize my fun. In the real world you usually have to minimize both your Wisdom score and your sobriety for the same effect. She's still playable even if she does tend to leap before looking. If at some point her low wisdom get her killed that's on me, but I'll have fun until then.


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Quote:
There is a lot of page flipping, and I have rage quit Hero Lab Online's demo a couple of times because of their red lit text that tells me that I really need to do something, and then neglects to point the way to the correct tab.

Part of this I can see being fixable (e.g. why does counterspell point me at a paragraph that tells me to look at another page in a completely unrelated section of the book?) but some of it is fundamental (e.g. doing attributes in char gen: its split over 3+ places, one of which is a footnote).

Add on to that that "correctly" assigning my stats (that is, "oh I am playing a Fighter, I should put points into strength") results in only a handful of stat arrangements. Anything else is just plain stupid and unoptimized (in a game where the balance cusp expects optimized characters), so I end up spending an hour arriving at a spread I could have googled. Not because someone min-maxed it, but because its the only arrangement possible!

All in all it ends up being "hard for new players to pick up and play" as well as "frustrating old players." Could you follow the rules and end up with a playable character at the end by doing things in order? Maybe. But maybe that's not what people want. Maybe they want to scan the options and see what jumps out as exciting (that's how I ended up with a tengu witch).


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breithauptclan wrote:
It is nearly impossible to build a character that is not playable.

It is also quite possible not to be able to build the character you want to play. While this is not unique to PF2, I personally have not been satisfied with my attempts using PF2. The areas of the rules that give me the most trouble are:

Ancestries, Backgrounds, Classes, and Signature Skills. I'm still undecided about Feats.

Scarab Sages

I have built a few characters now, and I agree that the process of making a character is slower, but it is much faster to plan a character's progression to 20 in my opinion.


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Segovax wrote:
I have built a few characters now, and I agree that the process of making a character is slower, but it is much faster to plan a character's progression to 20 in my opinion.

It's slightly faster because you have so few options. You can't use General Feats or Ancestry Feats for Class skills, so you're extremely limited in what feats you can put where.

However, I have found that figuring out equipment for say a 5th level character, building from scratch, is a bit of a nightmare. Trying to figure out costs for Expert armor, weaspons, the difference, between a magic weapon and a potency rune, the fact that you can't enchant shields, and then the subsequent modifiers takes hours the first time.

Liberty's Edge

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I strongly disagree with this. I have my own issues with the system (which I've gone over several times), but think character creation is a standout success. My playtest group were able to make characters in something like an hour a piece (and will probably go quicker in the future), and with a lot less hassle than in PF1.

There was some definite fiddliness in terms of items available for the level 4 characters, but even that was probably less than the equivalent in PF1.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
There was some definite fiddliness in terms of items available for the level 4 characters, but even that was probably less than the equivalent in PF1.

There's like 6 items of level 2 (not including wands of 1st level spells) and you effectively get 3 of them to start with (300 silver can afford just about all of them).

PF1 I could spend 6000gp in a hurry and generally end up with decent items for any character (eg one of my go-to items was the Boots of Striding and Springing; a little pricy at 4th but the point remains that there were easily 4 or 5 items per slot available at the <4000gp cost threshold). PF2? I gave up and bought 2 1st level wands because nothing else fit my class.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, items for a starting higher level characters are a total mess. I just don't get how the entire system is supposed to hold up to any scrutiny. Is the higher level character supposed to start definitely weaker than the characters who have played naturally to the point where he enters the campaign? Because that is what the entry reads like.


magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, items for a starting higher level characters are a total mess. I just don't get how the entire system is supposed to hold up to any scrutiny. Is the higher level character supposed to start definitely weaker than the characters who have played naturally to the point where he enters the campaign? Because that is what the entry reads like.

In talking with my GM the suggested loot rewards doesn't mean that those items will be useful to the party in any way (GM: "you find a +2 set of full plate" Party: "No one wears heavy armor, we sell it for the first offer we get").

Scarab Sages

N N 959 wrote:
It's slightly faster because you have so few options. You can't use General Feats or Ancestry Feats for Class skills, so you're extremely limited in what feats you can put where.

I completely disagree. I don't see the specific feat categories as limiting at all, it is a guide for newer players and a correction for the power creep from Pathfinder. There were hundreds and in some cases thousands of options in principle, but in practice you saw the same couple dozen options recycled over and over. Now when moving forward, the categories being given at different levels will result in less pseudo-choices from certain must have feats only being able to be taken with certain slots. And the downtime retraining options will result in hyper specific options being taken outside of APs revolving around the applicable uses.

And yes, there are less options in the playtest book than the 10 year Pathfinder catalog, but that is an entirely unrealistic expectations. Core book to core book, the playtest has way more areas and options to customize your character. Comparing this single books the the entire Paizo catalog isn't even an apples to oranges comparison, it is an apples to grocery store comparison.

I actually plan to run a little experiment with the character build times. My partner has never played a tabletop game before and I am going to have them try building a character using the core book from each version and see which option they are more satisfied with.

Liberty's Edge

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Draco18s wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
There was some definite fiddliness in terms of items available for the level 4 characters, but even that was probably less than the equivalent in PF1.

There's like 6 items of level 2 (not including wands of 1st level spells) and you effectively get 3 of them to start with (300 silver can afford just about all of them).

PF1 I could spend 6000gp in a hurry and generally end up with decent items for any character (eg one of my go-to items was the Boots of Striding and Springing; a little pricy at 4th but the point remains that there were easily 4 or 5 items per slot available at the <4000gp cost threshold). PF2? I gave up and bought 2 1st level wands because nothing else fit my class.

My group wound up doing the same, which is part of what I meant by fiddliness. But we were talking about ease of use, and how well the core system works. The actual list of level 2 items isn't great, but picking two level 2 items is much easier and quicker than spending tons of gold, and the idea of picking two level 2 items is totally reasonable.

The only problem, which seems like it would inevitably get fixed over time, is lack of options.

magnuskn wrote:
Yeah, items for a starting higher level characters are a total mess. I just don't get how the entire system is supposed to hold up to any scrutiny. Is the higher level character supposed to start definitely weaker than the characters who have played naturally to the point where he enters the campaign? Because that is what the entry reads like.

My impression was that the higher level character items are intended to reflect a character who has just reached that level (indeed, the rules say as much explicitly, and note that if the PCs are mid way through a level you should adjust the gear up accordingly), and that GMs are not usually supposed to give out gear of a level higher than the PCs are (or to do so very rarely, anyhow).

Thus, a PC who has just hit 4th level, is probably not gonna have 4th level items (or not without pooling resources anyway). Those are items you generally acquire over the course of being 4th level.

Meanwhile, the 'party treasure by level' chart seems to be measuring their treasure at the end of that level, and is thus self evidently higher. It also involves some pooling of resources towards high level items, but clever players can do that with the per person awards as well (the party pooled cash to buy the Monk a set of 4th level Handwraps, in exchange for which he donated his level 2 and 3 items to the party, which let the Fighter get +1 Heavy Armor in my Doomsday Dawn game).

This is nevertheless confusing and should be clarified, but I think I'm right on what the different charts are intended to represent.


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My group hates it.

We hate the compartmentalization of it all. Every character will have X - Ancestry Feats, X- Class Feats, X- General Feats and X- skill feats. Just give us a Feat every level and let us pick from any of the pools we have access to; Ancestry, Class, General and Skill

We hate the level gating of abilities, especially so many idiotic tiers of levels. I'd rather have feat chains or stat and skill prerequisites. If something really needs to be kept back till high level just do what PF1 did Talents/Advanced Talents. These ones you can have anytime, these ones only unlock after level 10. We don't need a new list of talents at every damn level. That's what 4E did and we HATED it.

Also many things that should be general are locked behind classes.

It feels like someone created a check list of what they consider a "Balanced Character" to be and then designed a system to Force players to obey it.

It feels frustrating and very confining to us.

The Game system works great, we like that.

but if Character creation isn't significantly changed We are going to be hard-pass and just steal some of the system bits for PF1.


character creation is faster, however the book layout reminds me of shadowrun, and that is not a compliment. it's just not good.

but once you get it, it's actually a lot faster than PF1.

Calling everything a feat, was a terrible decision, it just makes every confusing.

I like that classes are more defined now, however, I do agree that the classes themselves should be way more flexible. having said, I do see the benefits as a designer in gating classes, as it becomes much easier to write adventures, and much harder for power gamers to break the system at lower levels.


For stat calculations I think it would help to provide summaries of how each stat is calculated in list format, in addition to the prose description of the calculation.

E.g.,

Armor Class:
Base = 10
+ Dexterity Modifier (up to armor's Dex mod cap)
+ Proficiency Modifier with that armor
+ the armor's item bonus to AC
+ any other bonuses that always apply
minus any penalties that always apply

BTW, what are some examples of "other bonuses and penalties that always apply"? It might be good to provide some examples when this phrase first comes up.


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I agree with the title of this thread and here's my issues.

- Ancestry,it's boring and the featsdon't add much to the character. When im picking ancestory feats i feel im picking the feat im the most indifferent about instead of the one thats the coolest.

- Skill feats, again boring. Much rather unlock a bunch of abilities on when reaching master and legendary in a skill then sift through a bunch of items in a dollar bin.

- SPELL LIST FORMAT. This has caused all of my rage quits in character creation. For example first character, cleric. They have domains just like in pf1, are they listed in cleric section?
Yes.
Are the powers description listed in the cleric section?
No, they're in the spell description section
Ok do they have their own section away from the spells?
Nope, they're mixed in alphabetically with all the spells and spell abilities.
By all spells you mean all the divine spells right?
Nope they're mixed in with the arcane, occult and primal spells along with the spell abilities of the bard, druid, sorcerer and wizard. The section is over 70 pages.
I have to go through 70+ pages to look up the domain powers to decide which one's i prefer, are the page numbers listed for the powers?
Nope, its more of an easter-egg hunt then a choice
Would you recommend picking the first domain that seems decent to avoid pulling out all of my hair due too tedium?
Yes, so i settled for the healing domain. Now pick your spells
I need a break...
Tried to make a level 5 bard and sorcerer after that and indifference-quit once it got to spell selection and i was forced to root around in that trash bin


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The 7th level cleric I built for chapter 3 took me almost 5 hours.

And I'm not including the time I spent double checking my math or doing statistical comparisons between two different weapon setups.

Liberty's Edge

I will say that spells and how they are organized are a legitimate problem, and a bad one (Alchemical Items are even worse). I just consider that a separate problem from character creation per se.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of my players said the creation process was dry but couldn't nail down why.

One of my players took 5+ hours to create their 4th level character for Pt 2 of DD. The other three players were in the 45-90 minute range. This was their 1st or 2nd character made for PF2, doesn't seem too bad for me.

I have created several 1st level characters, takes me about 15 minutes. As of now I don't think there are very meaningful choices which speeds things up.

I do not like powers being mixed in with spells. There doesn't seem to be a reason that powers shouldn't be in their class section as I don't see them being shared between classes. Although that's hard to tell as powers just say power#, and not what has access to it.

Backgrounds still feel meaningless to me.

I do not like the items as listed for higher level characters. Its extremely arbitrary as to what makes the list and what doesn't. The price ranges within the same level are baffling as is the limitation on heavy armor (as if it doesn't have enough problems)

EDIT: Looking up where spell points are for each class has been annoying. If you're keeping the opening stat sidebar for each class, just put it there.


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Seannoss wrote:
One of my players took 5+ hours to create their 4th level character for Pt 2 of DD. The other three players were in the 45-90 minute range. This was their 1st or 2nd character made for PF2, doesn't seem too bad for me.

Took me almost 5 hours to do my 7th level character for Ch3.† And I'm an experienced table top player, having played 3.5, PF1, 4E, 5E, Shadowrun 4, SR5, WOD Mage, WOD Mortal, Dogs in the Vineyard, and GURPS.

The only time I can think I've spent FIVE HOURS making a character was in GURPS.

†3 hours base, where I knew what I was building, and pretty much ran through things from start to finish. Later I revisited some decisions and went in a slightly different direction, adding about an hour. The final hour was in miscellaneous minor changes after that (eg realizing that I'd put a 7th level skill feat in a 6th level slot and having to shuffle things around).


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The feedback from my group has been consistently, through multiple rounds of character creation for the playtest, that it is slow and irritating.

PF1E character creation could be slow (if you allowed all those additional published Paizo books and/or any 3rd party materials) because of the massive array of options - and it could be frustrating to be presented with so many. But it also could be fun to explore so many ideas, and there were online tools that let you limit your choices so you didn't have to wade through all of them while deciding.

If it had just been the first round of characters that was slow, I'd write it off to the unfamiliarity of the new system. But we're multiple characters in, and everyone is still crabby.


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Requielle wrote:
If it had just been the first round of characters that was slow, I'd write it off to the unfamiliarity of the new system. But we're multiple characters in, and everyone is still crabby.

I think it largely comes down to so many options feeling bland. On the one hand, sure, you could throw a dart and pick one and be done in 20 minutes, but it would be uninteresting.

Instead we examine all the options looking for the one or two that make us go "yeah, that sounds awesome!" only for that to not be there.

Make me wish I got MORE feats, Paizo, always be making me itch and wish I had room for just one more. Not because they're weak and I need it to feel like a fully functioning human being, but because I want BOTH because they're AWESOME.


The first characters are always going to take a while ESPECIALLY for classes that require spells. Man the spells section is so incredibly tedious right now.

But if you go in with a concept in mind I've found it to be quite speedy. My first character concept was a monk that I wanted to use a lot of Ki points.

Went pretty fast as that locked me into a pretty clear set of class feats. I had to switch up my concept of a strong mystic monk though as that left my Dex and AC too darn low so I switched to a finesse mystic monk.

My second character was a fourth level backline sorceror that I wanted to use occult spells. Well that defined my bloodline and for class feats I picked things that extended the range of my spells.

Man picking spells takes a long time.

Funnily enough both of those concepts (and classes) are pretty gear light so I guess I should be making a gear heavy class next. Maybe a fighter or a paladin.


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Azih wrote:
Funnily enough both of those concepts (and classes) are pretty gear light so I guess I should be making a gear heavy class next. Maybe a fighter or a paladin.

Have fun. Gear selection is actively more painful than spell selection.

Oh you get two level 3 items? Well f~!$ you, there are only six that exist (that aren't consumables), and two of them are wands and one's a staff.


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Draco18s wrote:
Azih wrote:
Funnily enough both of those concepts (and classes) are pretty gear light so I guess I should be making a gear heavy class next. Maybe a fighter or a paladin.

Have fun. Gear selection is actively more painful than spell selection.

Oh you get two level 3 items? Well f!%~ you, there are only six that exist (that aren't consumables), and two of them are wands and one's a staff.

↑↑↑

/sets table 11-2 on fire


Draco18s wrote:
Azih wrote:
Funnily enough both of those concepts (and classes) are pretty gear light so I guess I should be making a gear heavy class next. Maybe a fighter or a paladin.

Have fun. Gear selection is actively more painful than spell selection.

Oh you get two level 3 items? Well f+&+ you, there are only six that exist (that aren't consumables), and two of them are wands and one's a staff.

Haha.. I spit out my Horchata I laughed so hard at this.

I think those items are set up to include mundane items as well.. so like expert items. Not sure, but its seems to me to be a problem with the play test that should be sorted out at game release


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Goldenfoxx wrote:

Haha.. I spit out my Horchata I laughed so hard at this.

I think those items are set up to include mundane items as well.. so like expert items. Not sure, but its seems to me to be a problem with the play test that should be sorted out at game release

Even so, the options are few and useless to two thirds of characters. It sucks.


I wound up taking lower-level items with the choices, because I didn’t like any of the upper-level choices.

In all, it took me about 5 hours to make my level 7 alchemist, but to be fair, it’s because I re-spec’ed him once to give him more of a martial boost just in case he runs out of alchemy.

I ended up with a level 4 rune in my level 6 slot, two +1 weapons in my level 5 slots, a bag of,holding in my level 4 slot (yay for errata!), a +1 magic armor, and a brooch of shielding just ‘cause - and a metric crap ton of mundane and expert equipment because I now had the space...


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That's about how my cleric ended up.
Including the re-spec into fighter archetype.
A fourth level item in my 5th slot and a common item in my 3rd level slot (its at least Expert, so...yay?).

Also runs and +1 weapons and "what slot does this take" vaguery.


What I don't get is how most of this differs from PF1. Do you think PF1 had the same issues? If you do, you should ignore the rest of this post.

Draco18s wrote:
Lets start by reading the class descriptions and looking at a handful of their powers ImeanFeats.

How would you say class feats differ from Rogue Talents, Rage Powers, etc from PF1? I haven't played 4e, so I don't know much about 4e powers, but I've yet to find a really compelling difference between PF1 choosable class features and PF2 choosable class features.

Draco18s wrote:
So, uh, I'm not sure what the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is--when it comes down to play

Flavor and how they cast spells, same as PF1.

Draco18s wrote:
And Fighter and Ranger have a 30% Feat overlap.

Ranger Combat Style feats from PF1 has a what, 100%?, overlap with Combat feats a fighter could take.

Draco18s wrote:

Fox it, I'll build a fighter, those are easy!

Seven feats...
Complimenting seven different fighting styles...
THIRTY EIGHT different melee weapons...
TWENTY FOUR different weapon properties...

When were those easy? I just counted 44 (I'm sure I'm off, there's so many) Combat feats that a Fighter could take at level 1 (that were not redundant, so I didn't count armor proficiency, etc) in the core rulebook alone. I shudder to think what the number is now.

There are 15 weapon properties in PF1. 9 lower than PF2 is certainly a chunk, but hardly an insane difference.

So from what I'm seeing, most stuff is the same or easier in PF2 compared to PF1. You reduce it any more than it already has been and you get even more people screaming that PF2 is too dumbed down. If you think PF1 had all the same issues or worse, that's fair enough. If not, I think your position is comically silly.


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Pandora's wrote:

What I don't get is how most of this differs from PF1. Do you think PF1 had the same issues? If you do, you should ignore the rest of this post.

Draco18s wrote:
Lets start by reading the class descriptions and looking at a handful of their powers ImeanFeats.
How would you say class feats differ from Rogue Talents, Rage Powers, etc from PF1? I haven't played 4e, so I don't know much about 4e powers, but I've yet to find a really compelling difference between PF1 choosable class features and PF2 choosable class features.

PF1 doesn't have choosable class features. You get X and it does X there is no Y about it.

Quote:
Draco18s wrote:
So, uh, I'm not sure what the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is--when it comes down to play
Flavor and how they cast spells, same as PF1.

That's not what I meant and you know it. A pure flavor difference isn't worth creating a new class for and the spont/prep style of casting doesn't feel impactful any more. Sorcerers used to have to think hard about which one or spells they would know, but they'd be able to cast it six times. A wizard made his four choices ahead of time.

I never liked prepared spellcasters, but with the number of spells that PF2 sorcerers get to know and get to cast every day, that distinction is gone ("Hmm yes lets see, I can cast TWO spells per day out of my TWO spells known that I pick from this list...or I can prepare TWO spells per day that I pick from this list, hmm...").

Draco18s wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
And Fighter and Ranger have a 30% Feat overlap.

Ranger Combat Style feats from PF1 has a what, 100%?, overlap with Combat feats a fighter could take.

Draco18s wrote:

Fox it, I'll build a fighter, those are easy!

Seven feats...
Complimenting seven different fighting styles...
THIRTY EIGHT different melee weapons...
TWENTY FOUR different weapon properties...

When were those easy? I just counted 44 (I'm sure I'm off, there's so many) Combat feats that a Fighter could take at level 1 (that were not redundant, so I didn't count armor proficiency, etc) in the core rulebook alone.

Ok, let me clarify:

The fighter in PF1 gets a huge list of Cool Stuff and can pretty much pick a weapon and then look for feats that accompany its style. Sword and Board, TWF, THF, ranged, or something more exotic. Weapon traits were uncommon enough as to be irrelevant unless you picked "something more exotic."

Sure, some of the feats were sorta feat taxes or always-required (Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization) but there were still a lot of Cool Things in there.

What I see in PF2 is seven feats all of which force me into a specific combat style and one class feature is "every day you can choose another feat that you know today." (Yes it kicks in at 9th, but there's still the possibility of being a Human and getting a second first level feat, or picking a 1st level feat at second level).

Why in god's name would I ever want two of these? There is no circumstance under which I would ever be able to use Combat Grab and Double Slice in the same fight effectively. One requires that I hold two weapons and one requires that one of my hands is empty.

And then there's the feats themselves.

- Power Attack is garbage after about 4th level
- Reactive Shield is pretty meh if I'm going to be raising a shield on my third action anyway
- Point Blank Shot is a feat tax
- Furious Focus is a feat that lets you not take MAP on your third attack if your second one misses.
- Double Slice would be good...if THF wasn't flat better
- Combat Grab looks neat until you see the Press trait...and realize that Flat Footed comes from all kinds of sources and if the enemy moves out of your reach the effect ends (and you can't even keep them from doing that because of Step).
- Sudden Charge is mostly OK. Its failings are that its situational. Great when it comes up which will be once a fight. Classic 4E Encounter power except that the "once per fight" is built into how often you can realistically find it beneficial instead of 4E's "oh you did that one already, put it away please."

And my excitement over feats dwindles the more I read them, the more I see them in play, and the more of them that I see. Lets see...8th level feat... Felling Strike, when you are wielding a two handed melee weapon and your opponent is flying, you hit them with a melee strike and they fall out of the sky. Man that sounds really cool. Wait, what's this?

Quote:

The fall is gradual

enough that if it causes the target to hit the ground, the
target takes no damage from the fall.

What utter b*%~%~@+!

Not only did I somehow find a way to ATTACK A FLYING CREATURE 120 FEET IN THE AIR WITH A MELEE ATTACK I get no functional benefit from my 2 actions other than "now its on the ground AND I (probably) AM NOT."

If this feat let me throw my weapon at the target, which causes them to fall out of the sky, and deal falling damage then I'd be like "hell yeah, that's freaking amazing! I want to build THAT GUY." Heck, give me an either/or on that one. Either the attack hits at range or it deals falling damage and it'd still be cool. Situational as hell, but cool.

But no. For 2 actions while flying I can politely ask my foe to be on the ground for a bit while we sort this whole thing out.

Quote:

Positioning Assault

Enhancement: Choose a square that is adjacent to both you
and your target. Your target either must move so that its
space is in that square and still adjacent to you or take
additional damage equal to your Strength modifier. The
target chooses between these effects.

Me: "Move here or take 5 extra damage"

Monster: "How much damage was that? 5? That's it? Better than standing between you and your ally/on that trap. I'll take it, its like...2% of my total..."


Draco18s wrote:
PF1 doesn't have choosable class features. You get X and it does X there is no Y about it.

Rogue Talents, Rage Powers, Magus Arcana, Oracle Revelations, Slayer Talents, Witch Hexes, Wizard Arcane Discoveries, Alchemist Discoveries, etc etc etc. These are abilities you gain only from your class, hence class features. Don't be obtuse.

Draco18s wrote:
That's not what I meant and you know it. A pure flavor difference isn't worth creating a new class for and the spont/prep style of casting doesn't feel impactful any more.

I absolutely don't know it. The only reason you gave is that you feel it doesn't matter anymore. Well, that's a nice opinion. It doesn't negate the fact that sorcerer and wizard are differentiated the same way as before, unless you consider the PF1 sorcerer's one extra slot per level as the One True Difference between the classes.

Draco18s wrote:
The fighter in PF1 gets a huge list of Cool Stuff and can pretty much pick a weapon and then look for feats that accompany its style. Sword and Board, TWF, THF, ranged, or something more exotic.
Draco18s wrote:
Because of the way Fighter feats work (and Ranger) I actually have to pick a weapon before I can pick feats because what weapon I'm using will drive which feats are available to me

So the thing you think is great in PF1 is something to complain about in PF2?

Draco18s wrote:
Sure, some of the feats were sorta feat taxes or always-required

Hahahaha, really now? Combat Expertise, which gated an enormous amount of useful Combat feats was a pure tax for nearly everyone.

If you wanted to use a ranged weapon effectively, you needed, minimally, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, and Deadly Aim. Many-Shot, Clustered Shots, and Improved Precise Shot were considered mandatory for a serious build.
If you wanted to use sword and shield, well, good luck to you. You needed Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Double Slice, Improved Shield Bash, Shield Slam, and Shield Master, just for the basics.
Both of those are ignoring your *four* Weapon Focus/Weapon Specialization feats btw.
I agree with you that Point-Blank is a a tax in PF2. There's just far fewer of them. Pretending that Fighters didn't have their first 10 feats chosen for them just to make their fighting style viable is rose-tinted delusion.

Draco18s wrote:

Me: "Move here or take 5 extra damage"

Monster: "How much damage was that? 5? That's it? Better than standing between you and your ally/on that trap. I'll take it, its like...2% of my total..."

That 5 extra damage is more than Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization would give you on that same attack, and you sure didn't seem to have a problem with those. You also conveniently left out that the enemy is automatically flat-footed even if you miss with that attack.

There are a bunch of legitimate complaints about PF2, but yours aren't them. You act like these are new problems (for those who see them as problems, of course) when PF1 is demonstrably worse on nearly every one of your complaints. I'm not going to convince you, but I hope that others reading your thread will see how silly your complaints are in context and ignore them.


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Pandora's wrote:
Hexes, etc

Alright, I was hasty on that one, I'll give you that. But just because I can make the same complaint (90% of the options are garbage) doesn't excuse the fact that in PF2 all the options are garbage.

Quote:
So the thing you think is great in PF1 is something to complain about in PF2?

That's not how it works. In PF2 you have exactly 1 option if you decide to go TWF at first level. At second you have 0. At 4th you have 1. At 6th, 0 options. At 8th, 0 options. At 10th, arguably 2 (one has a prereq in the chain the other is a general boost to agile weapons).

What about sword and board?
First, 1 feat. 2nd, 0 feats. 4th 0. 6th, 2. 8th, 1. 10th, 1.

There's a smattering of "it doesn't matter what style you are" sprinkled in there, but they're very few. 1: 1, 2: 1, 4: 2, 6: 2, 8: 1, 10: 3. However it should be noted that while these feats don't have prereqs (Slippery Shooter doesn't have a prereq, but is uncounted because it only applies to ranged strikes), they're among the least interesting (become Expert in Fort saves), or in some cases actively worse than not having a feat at all (here's looking at you, Revealing Stab: yes, let's disarm ourselves in order to reduce an enemy's concealment by a step...until they remove the weapon from their gut and hit you with it).

At no point do I have any decent choices. And this applies to a lot of classes. Sorcerer actively gets 5 fewer feats than a fighter and 2 fewer than all other full casters because of their bloodline. In exchange they get two powers that are utter trash. And their feat options aren't exactly stellar, either ("divine bloodline? how would you like a 1/day channel? Yea yea a cleric gets five to seven a day, shut up and take what you're offered").

Again, this isn't about having too many or two few choices, but being presented with a false choice. The number of feats available (if you count how many are there in print) is probably the right number. The problem is that most don't apply to my character and I'm making a choice between which one is less mediocre.

With weapons and the large number of options, they're presented as equal (but aren't) and the comparison process is not "do I want a d6 with agile or a d8?" but "do I want a d10 with Forceful and Sweep or a d8 with Charge, deadly d8, and Reach?" In order to compare them I have know:
- What all five of those traits do
- How all five of those traits interact (or don't) with my feats
- How each set of traits compares with each other (do I want bonus damage on iterative attacks or bonus damage on crits? Is "d8 deadly d8" better or worse than "d6 fatal d10"?)
- Does the one set of traits better enough that I change my ancestry to get access to racial weapons?

In the end you wind up doing statistical analysis and simulations and spend 4 hours to arrive at the following:
1. Two weapon fighting is a trap (d10 an d12 weapons are better attacking twice than a d8/d6 using Double Slice and Double Slice is the only viable way to TWF)
2. The Fatal trait is a trap (most of your damage is from the regular die size, so the size boost on a crit isn't worth the lower base size)
3. Deadly isn't worth the mental effort (its worth ~0.22 damage on your first attack and zero the rest of the time)

So in the end all I should just compare the die sizes.

Compare and contrast. Most weapons had NO special text. Very few had more than 1 trait, none had more than 3. The one that says "see text" is a scabbard and all it really says is "if you have this one feat, go see that feat for other options."

Trip, Disarm, and Finesse only matter if I want to go that route and spend the feats. They might be nice to have, but hardly deal breakers. So in the end all I have to do is compare the die sizes except it didn't take four g#+ d&+n hours of statistical verification.

Quote:
That 5 extra damage is more than Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization would give you on that same attack, and you sure didn't seem to have a problem with those. You also conveniently left out that the enemy is automatically flat-footed even if you miss with that attack.

It's an 8th level feat. Go compare it to Boulder Roll (a dwarf 5th level feat). Damage is automatic (and greater) while movement is forced on a failed save (even if the space would be dangerous). Sure its a 2-action feat instead of a 1-action, and Boulder Roll doesn't feather a successful strike. But I'd argue that Boulder Roll probably should only be a 1 action (and no strike, but should gain the attack trait so that the DC isn't penalized by armor check).


Draco18s wrote:

That's not how it works. In PF2 you have exactly 1 option if you decide to go TWF at first level. At second you have 0. At 4th you have 1. At 6th, 0 options. At 8th, 0 options. At 10th, arguably 2 (one has a prereq in the chain the other is a general boost to agile weapons).

What about sword and board?
First, 1 feat. 2nd, 0 feats. 4th 0. 6th, 2. 8th, 1. 10th, 1.

I have to disagree - PF1 has one major negative problem with the majority of its fighter feats -- the requirement for not just a specific STYLE, but a specific TYPE of weapon, causing an adventurer to be locked into exactly their specialization with very little room for variety.

In PF2, if you have a two handed weapon, and a class feat made for it (power attack, let's say) then you find a magic longsword, or a magic glaive? Awesome! I can switch to using this new weapon with no loss in effectiveness.

In PF1, if I have the weapon focus, weapon specialization, improved critical, or any of the feats that dependent on the above three? Then if I find a different weapon (and I'm not talking "short sword versus glaive" I'm talking "longbow versus shortbow" or "dagger versus punching dagger") - then I have invalidated half of my feats unless I go back to my old weapon or take a few weeks to retrain, or find someone to sell the +5 glaive to so I can go buy a +3 glaive with the money. I'm all for feats that open up variety in weapon choice rather than restrict a user to EXACTLY what they initially planned for and no more. We can debate on the power level of each feat available, but PF2 in my limited experience with it is light-years ahead of 3.x and PF1's problem with hyper-specialized feats and feat-chains. D&D5 also does this pretty well with their feat system, with only one or two feats for each fighting style, but giving them broad powers with each to appeal to all users of that style (Great Weapon Mastery's and Sharpshooter's -5/+10 debacle aside).


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:

In order to create a character I have to follow the ABCs of character creation. This should be easy!

Ancestry: well, but which one of these compliments the build I want to make?

Backgrounds: Uh, skip for now

Class! Ah here we go, what do I want to be?

Hmm...

Lets start by reading the class descriptions and looking at a handful of their powers ImeanFeats.

Two hours later

So, uh, I'm not sure what the difference between a sorcerer and a wizard is--when it comes down to play--beyond some flavor style. And Fighter and Ranger have a 30% Feat overlap.

*Scratches head*

Fox it, I'll build a fighter, those are easy!

Seven feats...
Complimenting seven different fighting styles...
THIRTY EIGHT different melee weapons...
TWENTY FOUR different weapon properties...

HOLY MOTHER OF GORUM WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO.

In order to make the most basic of choices about what weapon I want to use I have to compare 38 choices that offer a selection of 24 different keywords, all of which I have to understand before I can even begin to evaluate them.

And this is one class.

If I want to do a Cleradin I need to evaluate the gods (and still pick a weapon and armor).

If I want to do a Scorczard I need to evaluate the different bloodline/specializations and then pick spells.

If your goal was to streamline character generation you've failed miserably. You pigeon holed the classes more, making things less flexible for those folks that want to break the mold a little bit, but did nothing to fix the Analysis Paralysis when it comes to picking weapons.

Because of the way Fighter feats work (and Ranger) I actually have to pick a weapon before I can pick feats because what weapon I'm using will drive which feats are available to me (or vice versa: pick a style, then a weapon that matches it, but the weapon table does not easily allow a player to say "ok, I'm doing a TWF build, I need agile weapons, lets...

God yes. I can't agree more. The organization of the rulebook is dumpster fire terrible. There are SO MANY RULES that force you to find another rule or two just to find out what the first one does!

That kind of nesting is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming. It makes me not want to play this game. This book is not written for normal people, it is a book written by programmers for programmers and as such it misses its target audience entirely.

Take Bolstered for instance, when an enemy tries to afflict you with something and you succeed on the save you are Bolstered, meaning you are immune to the effect for the rest of the day. Why would you write that? You could've just written "on a success you become immune to this effect for 24 hours" instead of creating a whole new rule! And when a friendly creature buffs you, it makes NO SENSE when you read that you are Bolstered against the effect. Bolstered is a good thing, it means strengthened. Why would you use that term when talking about a beneficial spell? It's confusing, it sounds bad, and it takes just as much space as it would to forgo making a specific rule and just list the effect wherever it appears. It provides no meaningful benefit and instead causes confusion. KILL IT WITH FIRE.


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ThatTricksyGnome wrote:
That kind of nesting is incredibly frustrating and time-consuming. It makes me not want to play this game. This book is not written for normal people, it is a book written by programmers for programmers and as such it misses its target audience entirely.

As a programmer, I resent that remark. We don't like that sort of thing either.

It's not a book written by programmers for programmers.

It's a book written by programmers for a computer in the wrong language (English). Naturally targetting the wrong audience (humans).


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Richard Crawford wrote:
It's a book written by programmers for a computer in the wrong language (English). Naturally targetting the wrong audience (humans).

Its not even really that. I'd say that it was written by programmers and then edited by a graphic designer who didn't do much more than a cursory read and just laid things out so they "looked pretty." The most they got themselves involved in the text was just so that the paragraphs fit on the page, which may have contributed to some entries being ambiguous or poorly worded because the programmer didn't proof things afterwards.

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