The Book: Layout , Graphic Design & Tone / Language


General Discussion


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There's been loads of feedback on this stuff already but it does seem to get lumped together, when really I think these are seperate issues.

1) Layout: This is just where things are located, how they're referenced & organised.
I agree with the majority; it's proper rough right now.
Location of powers, organisation of feats, lack of feat effect summary in the feat summary table.
I'm not really worried about this at all. It's a playtest document, with all the problems I expect. I'm confident Paizo know how to organise a rulebook come the final.

2) Graphic Design: I actually think this is a big step forward, even in it's rough state. It's finally incorporating some of the Beginner's Box presentation.
The way you go to a class & everything is there at a glance - you can see what's for level 1 & what's for later.
Much better than the 'giant wall of text' paradigm of PF1 CRB.
Action icons work really well in practice - I don't mean that these particular icons are especially great vs any of the other possible alternatives but that action icons generally work great.
Again, I have a lot of confidence in Paizo about this.

3) Tone/Language: This is my biggest worry for the book & in fact for the whole PF2 project.
A huge amount of people have remarked how dry, technical & clunky the book is right now.
The excess of traits & keywords is a huge problem. It's a manual that feels like it prioritises machine-readability so much that it actively obstructs human-readability.
The final version of this book will be the 1st & for many, only point of contact with the game for the next 10 years to come - it MUST be instantly inspiring & readable.
I kind of feel like after a decade of putting up with all the inherited jank of 3.5, the designers are trying to pin down & pre-empt all the possible future stesses on the chassis, at any cost.
Right now all the scaffold is showing on this game.
I just think that a good system (and I think this IS a good system, at it's core) WILL fail if it's presentation is so far off what is comfortable for the ordinary punter.

TLDR:
Layout - They'll sort it by final
Graphic Design - Good & will get better
Tone/ Language - Pretty worried


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think the layout could be SIGNIFICANTLY better. There is SO MUCH duplicate text. I know there is a better way to lay out the classes. Instead of saying the same thing thing for General feats you can save a but load of space. Put the gist of what the ability does before all the classes. Then in the classes simply state see page such and such.

Duplicate feats not having the same traits. For example Sudden Charge (Not sure about any others):
Barbarian: Barbarian
Fighter: Attack, Fighter, Move, Open
So does the Barbarian version not have the Attack, Move, Open traits? This seems like a mistake.
I really feel the powers and spells should be in the same chapter but separated. And better distinction on what is what i.e. bard, cleric, paladin powers.

I really would like to see a similar thing in the Starfinder Core. The bottom of the pages tel what section you are in. If I am in the Fighter is should read Fighter at the bottom. Or Runes it will read runes at the bottom. I use that in the Starfinder Core ALOT and like.

I agree I like the Action icons and it seems to make everything simple. I personally like the traits. Idk how many times looking things up in 1st edition weren't always the clearest in this. Or it was buried somewhere in the text and tring to figure it out on the fly was a pain. Like the fighter AoO, anytime anything uses the MOVE trait it provokes. Well I use this ability, does it have the MOVE trait, why yes it does. I then get a AoO if I so wish. This is REALY HELPFUL with Snares. I find the readability for the ability and entries of things with the traits to be super easy to read and I really think it should stay.


I agree with the above posters. The overall design seems fine. The text is clear, no huge walls of text and the information is easy to find once you know where to look.

The general organization on the other hand, needs improvement (though the current organization is expected, since this is a playtest document). I have the same opinion as Micheal Smith, that the quantity of duplicate text is unecessarily huge. Specially now that feats occupy much more space than in PF1, duplicated feats and rules occupy a large portion of the book. As I have stated in other threads, a consolidation of feats in a single feats chapter, separated by category (Class-restricted feats, general feats, skill feats, metamagic feats, weapon style feats, you get the idea) could help a lot.

I agree that powers and spells should be on the same chapter (called Magic!), but should be on different lists. Also, noting the class(es)/list a spell/power belongs to is something I miss A LOT when perusing the spells chapter.

Also, it seems we need a different organization of chapters. I think a proper combat chapter is needed, together with a more thorough explanation on things that were left out (on purpose or not), but frequently come into play (surprise rounds, coup-de-grace, attacking objects are just some I can think right now).

A more optimized organization could leave more space for the gamemastery chapter.

Finally, I think that while generally I really like the abilites of the classes, I agree the tone and language is WAY TOO MUCH technical, often to a fault. This seemed to me specially true in the Exploration chapter, where were it to be taken literally, it almost makes the game feel like a boardgame and not a RPG. Also, on the skills chapter, while I like the organization as I said before (the individual uses of each skill are really easy to find) we seriously need more flavor and examples of DCs and proficiency gates for each skill. This helps the GM a LOT.


@Micheal Smith - I tried to reply to you some days ago but the website problems ate my response. Hopefully I have better luck this time !

I agree with you the sub-chapter markers from the Starfinder CRB are definitely worth bringing over.

It's not that I'm opposed to the traits & the little box is a good way of presenting them. It's just that there are too many overall in my opinion & some of them are used to tag extra rules onto a statblock, which means that if you don't lookup/ know by heart what they mean, then the statblock doesn't give you all the info you need to use it (I'm using statblock here to mean feats, items etc).
I don't mind traits that provide a hook for other rules to reference but not keen on ones that add extra rules to the statblock.

@Pedro Sampaio - I agree with most of what you say too. I get what they're trying to do with the exploration mode - they're trying to tell a GM who only has the CRB & no experience how they can run the non-combat parts of the game. And it's probably better than previous attempts at teaching them this. It just feels a little too rigid & codified.
I think they got it right on downtime mode- a more conversational tone & not trying to pin too much down. It feels they want a more defined structure for exploration mode so that tactical decisions can carry over into encounter mode in a balanced way - I'm not quite sure that really matters but time will tell.


It's all very oomph lacking, needs more juice. The +Level deal is killing me.


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graeme mcdougall wrote:

1) Layout: This is just where things are located, how they're referenced & organised.
I agree with the majority; it's proper rough right now.
Location of powers, organisation of feats, lack of feat effect summary in the feat summary table.
I'm not really worried about this at all. It's a playtest document, with all the problems I expect. I'm confident Paizo know how to organise a rulebook come the final.

This bit actually has me the most concerned - some of the changes seem easy enough to make, but I'm not sure how we get a guarantee that they'll change in the way that many of us might want them to. (after all, I'm not sure how to determine which layout changes were oversight and which were intentional)

e.g., Erik Mona specifically said that they're changing rarity indicator from color to something else. But I'm eager to hear confirmation that other large-scale layout changes will also occur, such as separating powers and spells, sorting arcane spells by school, indication which list a spell is part of, etc...


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Not only as a partially sighted/vision impaired (RP & CME) person/thing, but in general, I find all icons/symbols irritating and cheap, in RPGs, just axe them, guys.

That 2 and 3 action arrow dorky thingy, at a glance...not happening...


Just received the physical playtest rule book, and these are some things I like about it:

-- The font size -- just right.

-- The edge index for the different sections -- great idea! -- please keep this.

-- The large format paperback -- I find this much more comfortable to hold than a hardcover, and of course easier to read than a smaller paperback would be with tiny print -- so please keep this as one of the available formats when PF2 official is printed.

Thanks!

Liberty's Edge

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Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not only as a partially sighted/vision impaired (RP & CME) person/thing, but in general, I find all icons/symbols irritating and cheap, in RPGs, just axe them, guys.

That 2 and 3 action arrow dorky thingy, at a glance...not happening...

Coulnd’t agree more!

The icons are not good. I am praying they are eliminated and replaced with words again


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Marc Radle wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not only as a partially sighted/vision impaired (RP & CME) person/thing, but in general, I find all icons/symbols irritating and cheap, in RPGs, just axe them, guys.

That 2 and 3 action arrow dorky thingy, at a glance...not happening...

Coulnd’t agree more!

The icons are not good. I am praying they are eliminated and replaced with words again

They don't news to reinvent the Wheel on ícone. It's a one-action activity? Use "1" instead of anexo ícone. Two-actions? Use "2". Three-action, "3". It's a free-action, use "0". A reaction, use an "R".

Numbers (and a Letter) carries meaning, are easy to be understand, anos easy to differentiate from each other.


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Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not only as a partially sighted/vision impaired (RP & CME) person/thing, but in general, I find all icons/symbols irritating and cheap, in RPGs, just axe them, guys.

That 2 and 3 action arrow dorky thingy, at a glance...not happening...

Coulnd’t agree more!

The icons are not good. I am praying they are eliminated and replaced with words again

They don't news to reinvent the Wheel on ícone. It's a one-action activity? Use "1" instead of anexo ícone. Two-actions? Use "2". Three-action, "3". It's a free-action, use "0". A reaction, use an "R".

Numbers (and a Letter) carries meaning, are easy to be understand, anos easy to differentiate from each other.

I like this idea.

Scarab Sages

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The icons are great, and make things easy to understand. Everyone processes information differently. Some people, like me, find the icons much more intuitive and easy to understand than numbers.


^ Agreed!

--C.


Aramar wrote:

This bit actually has me the most concerned - some of the changes seem easy enough to make, but I'm not sure how we get a guarantee that they'll change in the way that many of us might want them to. (after all, I'm not sure how to determine which layout changes were oversight and which were intentional)

e.g., Erik Mona specifically said that they're changing rarity indicator from color to something else. But I'm eager to hear confirmation that other large-scale layout changes will also occur, such as separating powers and spells, sorting arcane spells by school, indication which list a spell is part of, etc...

I look at it like this - this book has evolved from what was probably just a document with a few long lists of feats, spells, etc in it. Where we are now is really just a stage on the road to a fully polished book. The devs are getting loads of feedback about layout & I've read many a well-laid out Paizo book, so I'd be surprised if they didn't come up with something pretty useable by the end.


Fallyrion Dunegrién wrote:
Marc Radle wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Not only as a partially sighted/vision impaired (RP & CME) person/thing, but in general, I find all icons/symbols irritating and cheap, in RPGs, just axe them, guys.

That 2 and 3 action arrow dorky thingy, at a glance...not happening...

Coulnd’t agree more!

The icons are not good. I am praying they are eliminated and replaced with words again

They don't news to reinvent the Wheel on ícone. It's a one-action activity? Use "1" instead of anexo ícone. Two-actions? Use "2". Three-action, "3". It's a free-action, use "0". A reaction, use an "R".

Numbers (and a Letter) carries meaning, are easy to be understand, anos easy to differentiate from each other.

Totally, I would prefer something like:

Action (1)
Actions (2)
Actions (3)

or

1 Action.
2 Actions.
3 Actions.

or

A1, A2, or A3.

or

1A, 2A, or 3A.

Pit Fiend

Attack of Opportunity (reaction)
Disruptive In addition to its normal triggers, the pit fiend’s Attack of Opportunity can also be used when a creature within the pit fiend’s reach uses an action with the concentrate trait. Furthermore, the pit fiend doesn’t take the normal –2 penalty when it makes an Attack of Opportunity.

Jaws (1 action) +35 (melee, reach 10 feet), Damage 4d8 + 18 piercing plus pit fiend venom
Claw (1 action) +35 (melee, agile, reach 10 feet), Damage 3d6 + 18 slashing
Tail (1 action) +35 (melee, reach 10 feet), Damage 3d8 + 18 bludgeoning plus Improved Grab
Wing (1 action) +35 (melee, reach 15 feet), Damage 3d6 + 18 slashing
Constrict (1 action) 20 bludgeoning
Wingover (1 action) The pit fiend Flies and makes a wing Strike at any point during its movement.
Improved Grab (free action) A pit fiend can use Improved Grab with its tail Strike

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