PF2 so far. The good, the bad, and the ugly


General Discussion


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My group (consisting of 2 very experienced players and 2 moderately experienced casual players) just finished our first 2 sessions of the playtest and here are our thoughts so far.

General Character Creation:
* I like the race, background, and class all contributing to your attributes and skills. The current method makes sure that all character's will have good attributes, nothing OP, nothing awful. Also feels like it gives backgrounds a bit of weight and depth.
* Some of the races feels really underwhelming compared to others (I'm looking at your dwarves). Elfs can get the best speed and an at-will cantrip or weapon proficiencies in some of the best weapons in the game. Dwarves can get a +1 against derro and durgar. Most campaigns I never see a single one of those things!
* While the races include the optional feats right there, the backgrounds don't even give a page number. This made finding an ideal background take much longer, as they had to check what each bonus feat did, then go back to the backgrounds, then look up the next mysterious feat. The backgrounds added about 1/2 an hour for the first two players. The third and fourth just picked ones and took whatever it happened to come with.
* All the looking up of definitions, skills, feats, and rules made character creation take about 2 hours per character. Even then, every player had at least one misunderstood rule. Again, none of them are noobs. The current character creation don't come off as "user friendly". If paizo wants to appeal to new players, this is going to have to be addressed. I think just adding one line of definition for the feats, spells, and conditions (when they are mentioned in the character creation), instead of making them look it up elsewhere would fix most of that problem.

Classes:
Alchemist: Our support player, not really wanting to just run a heal-bot cleric, rolled up an alchemist. After three fights we could see the writing on the wall and he re-rolled a cleric.
* Damage and accuracy was consistently lower than the barbarian. Looking at the progression of bombs vs the progression of weapons, it looks like this will always be the case.
* It takes resonance for anyone else to use elixirs already created with resonance. Beyond first level, this is going to make alchemist healing, just not viable.
* Poisons and mutagens look bad, but we didn't have a chance to try them.
*At the very least I would make poison DC (created with resonance) = class DC. Make the first unmodified bomb per round, created with quick alchemy, cost no resonance. Make consuming alchemical buffs and heals not cost additional resonance and increase the dice healed to d8s. Make mutagens have no onset time.

Cleric: Feels like the only viable healer.

Ranger: Feels lackluster. With no spells and most nature related class features being the weak option, they just feel like a pen and paper version of a WoW hunter.
* Two early crossbow only feats, despite the fact that crossbows are still not very good and one longbow only feat at level 18. Looks like it's dual wielding hunters only, or play something else (my players opted for a rogue and barbarian after reading over rangers).
* Pets need some better autonomy. At the very least, keep attempting basic strikes against the target you assigned them to attack 6 seconds ago! Also they should at least defend themselves and you if you can't take actions (like when you are knocked out or asleep). Seriously, the thought of your guard wolf sitting idly by as it's master gets beaten to death seems like more of a joke than a serious ruling. (Timmy falls in a greased pit and yells for lassie to go for help. Lassie takes two move actions away from the pit then stops and stares blankly at the wall for the next 12 hours).
* Snares are awful. One player, while reading the rangers said, "They cost GOLD, and take ten minutes each, and only cover a five foot square? I'd have to lay a whole mine field to guard the camp for the night!" They need, at the very least, to have a trigger area of a 5x5 square, a 10x10 square, or up to a 20 foot line, even if they only effect the first creature to trigger them. And the price for the simple snares should be close to zero. A very basic snare to entangle or make a loud noise should just cost some fishing line and anything that's loud when dropped.

Skills:
*Lore. WTF is this thing? My players have no idea what kind of lore they should take and I have no idea what I should suggest. I understand that Profession seems to be rolled into lore, but what kind of goofball lores are we expected to take and under what situations are they going to be relevant? This was why I didn't like profession in PF1. It was usually useless expect in say Skull and Shackles where everyone needed profession: sailor. I would really like a list or guidelines for this thing. Is evil outsider lore legit? Does it have to be demons only? Does it have to be quasits only? Who knows?
*Medicine. Does medicine work for anything other than bleeding, poison, and disease? How about any kind of continuous damage? In first aid I was taught how to treat acid burns, regular burns, and frostbite. Surely we aren't assuming that a trained combat medic is less educated than your average 14 year old boy scout. Also, did anyone else notice that at first level your chance of critically failing a DC20 heal check is about the same chance of being successful? This contributed to the alchemist re-rolling as a cleric that can actually heal as advertised.

Feats:
*More general feats please.
*PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE add a one line description of what the feat does one the feat index, like in PF1. Without that help it makes finding good feats for your character much harder. I even had a hard time after I read a feat that looked good, but had a hard time re-finding it for a player who might want it, because it had a name that was similar to several other feats. Selecting feats currently feels like a chore, when it used to be to most fun part of building your character.

Equipment:
* Longbows: -2 to hit under 50ft range. Really? Can rangers at least get some kind of exemption from this, seeing as how it's there most iconic weapon in lore. Robin hood? Not using a crossbow. Legolas? No crossbows. Aragorn? Nope, no crossbow. Drizzt? Still no crossbows.
*Clumsy seems to be REALLY bad, unless we aren't reading it right. A breastplate gives the save AC as chain mail, but also includes a -4 to all Reflex saves. Seriously? Well, I guess breastplates and full plate are going to be a thing of legend now.

Spells:
* I like it improvement of cantrips from mostly worthless to at least initially being decent. Helps make up for the loss of spells per day and other overall weakening of most spells. I would like to see cantrips damage increased to be closer to an actual weapons, past level 4. A Ray of Frost doing 4d8+int sounds good, until you realize that a fighter will be doing 6d12+str at the same level and will be hitting more often and usually with secondary effects.
*PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE add a one line description of what the spells do to the alphabetical spell list. By the time we got here in character creation my two caster's were so tired of looking stuff up, that they just grabbed the same spells they would have grabbed in PF1 and hoped for the best.

Magic Items:
* I really don't mind resonance. I sometimes bugs me when players will use a bunch of disposable magic items to over-buff before what should be a tough fight or cure light wounds wand to take away any tension from being injured.
* I really like the merging of armor and resistance cloaks. Feels like the streamlining that I really want to see from PF2.
* I really hate magic weapons. Not only does it feel non-heroic when you notice that most of your melee damage is from your magic sword and not from you, it has some negative mechanical effects too. First, due to limits of resonance and gold, you aren't likely to have backup weapons. In PF1 (any all other RPGs) I always have a backup weapon or two in case you get swallowed or disarmed or have to fight something that is resistant to your favorite weapon. Not only this, but the players are going to quickly notice that NPCs don't abide by this rule. A gnoll captain gets 2d8 from his scimitar, but when defeated, it drops down to only 1d8 in your hands. I recall in AD&D how an NPC elf's damage was 1d10 or by weapon, while an elf PC could only punch for 1d3 damage. Players notice when the game is rigged against them and generally don't enjoy it. The solution seems extremely simple; everyone adds +1 dice every 4 levels (When you are scheduled to get the next tier of weapon anyway). I'd also apply this to cantrips (instead of their normal progression), because a 6d12+str damage sword swing that takes one action is still better than a 6d8 Ray of Frost that takes 2 actions and doesn't get any bonus to hit. Magic would still apply bonuses to hit and secondary effects (such as holy and flaming), so they would still be desirable over non-magic, but wouldn't be the foundation of the martial character's damage.

Other:
* Hero Points: None of us are really fans of hero points, but a get out of death card is certainly handy these days.
* RNG. While it might just be 1st level blues, I get the impression its not. With skills, attacks, and spells appearing to work about 50% of the time, at all levels, bad luck looks like it can be pretty dangerous. In a couple of fights where the monsters rolled poorly, the players just demolished them. Then in the next fight, against CR 0 centipedes, they got unlucky and someone ended up losing their full HP in damage from a single poison bite. Not a huge deal, but I recall reading back in college that the most addictive % of success (to keep gamblers gambling or gamers gaming) was 70%.

Doomsday Dawn:
* Seems like the enemies have lots of poison and high hit rates. Skeletons +6 to hit, goblin +6, centipede +6, quasit +7. The best to hit bonus in my player's party is +5. From the ooze, centipedes, and quasits they had to make saves about 10 times, each with about a 50% chance of success. They got lucky and only got poisoned twice (inflicted 15/17 HP to the cleric and 12/15 HP to the wizard).
* I thought we were going to NOT have magic items by the bucket full anymore? Still a couple minor magic items, 4 scrolls/potions, a wand that I can't really see anyone using, and a +1 ghost touch dagger. Of course, since runes are basically just magic stickers that can be pealed off and pasted on other things, the barbarian now has an axe that does 2d12+7 damage (w' rage), while the rogue is still doing 1d6+4.

I want to like PF2, but in it's current state, we'll probably just stay with PF1. Some issues with bland customization, but I'm less worried about that as additional books always add lots of options. I'll cut this up and put each topic on it's own page, but since issues touch on more than one topic at a time, I wanted it all together.


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Couple points: Point Blank Shot removes the Volley penalty, it's a level one.... wait for it.... fighter feat. I'm SURE that something like this will be available for rangers in the end too, but for now that's what we got >< Seems insane for a ranger to archetype fighter so he can use his longbow better LOL

.

As for Breast plate, if you read the description of clumsy closely you will see that it's not so bad after all:

Rulebook wrote:
This armor’s Dexterity modifier cap also applies to Reflex saves and to all Dexterity-based skill and ability checks that don’t have the attack trait.

So it's not applying a penalty, it's just capping how much reflex can add to reflex/dex checks (NOT attacks). Not nearly so bad.

.

+1,000 for One Line Descriptions of things. I'm sure that the formatting is (understandably, but regrettably) pretty low on their priority list for the playtest, but it's still worth bringing up


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One thing I would like to mention about poisons and diseases: They are not a walk in the park anymore, they're impactful when you fail and they're often hard to heal, specially if you fail a second time, having low DC's seems a reasonable trade off when some diseases/poisons require 2 saves to heal and start later down the track.

Longbows will probably be changed, but in one of the streams this issue was touched upon and Paizo's approach was to make it more realistic, given longbows are really HUGE bows and those we're used to see are often short ones, but they were willing to remove the penalty and make the shortbows Agile as a trade off.

I'm surprised you didn't mention how bad the ancestry system is currently. Having to buy back your own race over several levels, having to suffer a lot just because of mixed ancestry or adopted ones and a lot more issues, specially with physical traits that should be common for members of the same species like sharp teeth, good hearing, etc.

Overall I agree with a lot of what's been said here. Specially regarding magic weapons.


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Ancestry is definitely something I both love and hate. The idea is great, but the implementation is terrible. For example, a dwarf should start with all his core racial abilities, and his Ancestry feats should be choices that either improve or give you additional racial traits. Having to earn your basic genetic package is just silly.


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I also agree on the point of the magic weapons and the example you gave with the Gnoll Captain. There should not be a different set of rules for the PCs and NPCs. Like you said, players will notice when the rules are stacked against them to create an artificial gameplay balance.

One of the better ideas was the advancement of AC by level. Now you don't have to give NPC enemies a billion gold worth of defensive items if you want them to have an AC that doesn't let the players get guaranteed hits. In the PF1 monster manuals, it was also blatantly obvious that the designers were just plugging Natural Armor as an arbitrary number to get the AC they wanted (which you can't do with humanoid NPCs).

Magic weapons should follow the same principle. Just giving the old +1 to attack and damage should be good enough, since attack bonuses are now very difficult to come by and the price no longer exponentially increases for putting on both plusses and other abilities. Linking the bonus damage to proficiency is probably a much better solution, since there already seems to be a common complaint that proficiency as it is now matters too little.


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Lightning Raven wrote:

Longbows will probably be changed, but in one of the streams this issue was touched upon and Paizo's approach was to make it more realistic, given longbows are really HUGE bows and those we're used to see are often short ones, but they were willing to remove the penalty and make the shortbows Agile as a trade off.

Unless they assume you can only fire in a parabolic arc, there's no size of bow which makes it more difficult to hit targets that are closer. That's not realistic at all.


Scythia wrote:
Unless they assume you can only fire in a parabolic arc, there's no size of bow which makes it more difficult to hit targets that are closer. That's not realistic at all.

You can only fire in a parabolic arc, though some arcs are flatter than others. That's unrelated to the size of the bow, and so is difficulty hitting at 50'. A volley penalty for long bows and short bows getting agile sounds reasonable and realisticish to me.


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avr wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Unless they assume you can only fire in a parabolic arc, there's no size of bow which makes it more difficult to hit targets that are closer. That's not realistic at all.
You can only fire in a parabolic arc, though some arcs are flatter than others. That's unrelated to the size of the bow, and so is difficulty hitting at 50'. A volley penalty for long bows and short bows getting agile sounds reasonable and realisticish to me.

In a technical sense, sure, but I was referring to firing at a literal upward angel, something like 45 degrees or higher, like an archery squad would fire on a distant marching army. In a practical sense between an archer and a target 30 feet away there isn't much of a parabolic arc.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
* I really hate magic weapons. Not only does it feel non-heroic when you notice that most of your melee damage is from your magic sword and not from you, it has some negative mechanical effects too.

Great post, and yes, I really detest extra weapon damage dice coming from magic (and to hit from item quality/magic bonus), if it is integral/expected, it should be tied to Trained proficiency and character level, something like:

Level
2-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: +4/5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: +5/6 x weapon damage dice


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Having owned several different bows in the past, including crossbows, a compound bow, and a traditional single piece bow that was about 5 feet long (you know, a longbow), the thought that it's easier to hit beyond fifty feet is absurd. Just straight up absurd. Yes, all bows fire in an arc (so do bullets), but when it's that close the arc is so small that you don't even bother taking it into account. It's when the target is 150 feet back and you have to aim several feet above the target, that's when things get hard. This is simple a curse being placed on longbows for being too good.

*Also, while I haven't had a chance to see it in action yet, the multi-classing looks really good overall. It seems like a very fair way to build-an-archetype to get abilities you normally wouldn't. I'd like to see all the main classes get an archetype.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
* I really hate magic weapons. Not only does it feel non-heroic when you notice that most of your melee damage is from your magic sword and not from you, it has some negative mechanical effects too.

Great post, and yes, I really detest extra weapon damage dice coming from magic (and to hit from item quality/magic bonus), if it is integral/expected, it should be tied to Trained proficiency and character level, something like:

Level
2-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: +4/5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: +5/6 x weapon damage dice

I agree that its not good to have this absurd reliance on magic weapons, but they may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with this one.

If you tie it to level alone, then we are even further down the homogenization railroad and martial characters seem even less well.. good at being martial in comparison to their allies? I don't know, both options feel bad to me.

If you tie it to proficiency then you create a severe problem for any class that isn't fighter.. because you can't just choose to increase proficiency in weapons. It effectively down-grades barbarian, paladin, rogue or any future class that wants to use a weapon pretty immensely.

Previously the bulk of damage came from a concordance of feats, items, ability scores, class features, etc... so there were lots of character building resources that went into increasing damage output. This new simplification that puts it all into one source, means that the source has to be universally accessible, and I think since a magic item at least has some opportunity cost associated with it, they felt this was the only way.... because a feat tree, for example, would also feel mandatory and kinda bad.

Realistically, I think that the attribution of proficiencies being unlocked might be necessary, but then the optimization mindset will make it very hard to see why not to always take these weapon proficiencies (over armor or a saving throw or a skill) and we again lose identity for martial classes since they all need to invest in this thing...

Its not an easy fix IMHO.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
All the looking up of definitions, skills, feats, and rules made character creation take about 2 hours per character. Even then, every player had at least one misunderstood rule. Again, none of them are noobs. The current character creation don't come off as "user friendly". If paizo wants to appeal to new players, this is going to have to be addressed. I think just adding one line of definition for the feats, spells, and conditions (when they are mentioned in the character creation), instead of making them look it up elsewhere would fix most of that problem.

Wholly agreed. Character creation was a minefield for my group.

Quote:
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE add a one line description of what the feat does one the feat index, like in PF1. Without that help it makes finding good feats for your character much harder. I even had a hard time after I read a feat that looked good, but had a hard time re-finding it for a player who might want it, because it had a name that was similar to several other feats. Selecting feats currently feels like a chore, when it used to be to most fun part of building your character.

I actually gave up when it came to feats and straight up used an online SRD where I could click on hyperlinks. Saved my hide.

And honestly? That's what I recommend everyone use (that and a character sheet that mercifully does the math for you because GOD).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I guess I'll go against the grain and say character creation was pretty smooth for my group. This possibly could be because I had the book and read through everything I deemed important before actually having our first session. So whenever there was a question I could usually easily answer it from memory rather than having to look through the book, or if it wasn't something I remembered I at least had an idea of where to find the answer.


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The only reason character creation went okay for my group is that my roommate who works at a printshop made nice spiral bound printouts of the book for everyone. Even so, it took 3 hours per noncaster and 5 hours per caster on average.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
Stuff

Yes to everything. Except resonance, unless it changes significantly.

Why would they make feats for crossbow rangers but not archer rangers? This kind of decision making just blows my mind. Unfortunately it permeates the entire product.


Dire Ursus wrote:
I guess I'll go against the grain and say character creation was pretty smooth for my group. This possibly could be because I had the book and read through everything I deemed important before actually having our first session. So whenever there was a question I could usually easily answer it from memory rather than having to look through the book, or if it wasn't something I remembered I at least had an idea of where to find the answer.

I'm there with you. I read through, learned the layout, and was able to guide my players pretty well. The only slowdown we had was only having one book to pass around. I do however have the benefit of a job that allows me ample reading time.


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avr wrote:
A volley penalty for long bows and short bows getting agile sounds reasonable and realisticish to me.

FWIW, this was a typo on my part. I meant to write 'No volley penalty...'


Scythia wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I guess I'll go against the grain and say character creation was pretty smooth for my group. This possibly could be because I had the book and read through everything I deemed important before actually having our first session. So whenever there was a question I could usually easily answer it from memory rather than having to look through the book, or if it wasn't something I remembered I at least had an idea of where to find the answer.
I'm there with you. I read through, learned the layout, and was able to guide my players pretty well. The only slowdown we had was only having one book to pass around. I do however have the benefit of a job that allows me ample reading time.

I took maybe an hour for my Monk, maybe?

But at the same time if I make a Monk again it would go faster. It would probably take less time for a Fighter or Rogue but longer for a spell caster(Picking up all the spells and rethinking stats).

I don't know if the character creation rules are easier or if it's because some of use are used to it and how easy it is to learn and ... practice I suppose?

Like I can probably make most a character in PF1 in about 30 minutes depending on what I pick, what game I'm in, etc. Can probably get to that point in PF2 if I practice it and as the rules are organized better(Cough or SRDs and web pages with hyperlinks)


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Lord_Malkov wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
* I really hate magic weapons. Not only does it feel non-heroic when you notice that most of your melee damage is from your magic sword and not from you, it has some negative mechanical effects too.

Great post, and yes, I really detest extra weapon damage dice coming from magic (and to hit from item quality/magic bonus), if it is integral/expected, it should be tied to Trained proficiency and character level, something like:

Level
2-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: +4/5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: +5/6 x weapon damage dice

I agree that its not good to have this absurd reliance on magic weapons, but they may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with this one.

If you tie it to level alone, then we are even further down the homogenization railroad and martial characters seem even less well.. good at being martial in comparison to their allies? I don't know, both options feel bad to me.

If you tie it to proficiency then you create a severe problem for any class that isn't fighter.. because you can't just choose to increase proficiency in weapons. It effectively down-grades barbarian, paladin, rogue or any future class that wants to use a weapon pretty immensely.

I agree, except for the last part, as all you need is "Trained" proficiency to gain the above bonuses (would apply to monk unarmed strikes, etc), Expert, Master, and Legendary are just gravy (extra +1 and unlock things).

It was just an idea I threw out there, I am still not thrilled with the whole structure. I have a feeling the reaction they are receiving over PF2 is not quite what they thought they would receive. I do not want to hear about tables at events with the designers hanging around, talk about affected.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
Ranger: Feels lackluster. With no spells and most nature related class features being the weak option, they just feel like a pen and paper version of a WoW hunter.

I agree with most of what you said, but I really like the clean skeleton of the ranger class in PF2. I always thought that the core ranger in PF1 and D&D should have been more of a clean non-spell casting woodland guerrilla like Robin Hood and his Merry Men or Legolas from Tolkien, and less of a fighter and druid multi-class. I would be fine with spell casting class feats giving access to spell casting, which wouldn’t surprise me if that was a current end plan, but I’m glad that it isn’t a default class feature. A druid archetype would probably give a similar result, and seems to be needed to give characters access to Primal spell casting the way that Cleric and Wizard Archetypes give access to Divine and Arcane spell casting.


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Nice post, clearly written.

I'm 100% with you on the magic weapons point: that magic weapons are the only way meaningful to increase damage dice really rubs me the wrong way. It makes the weapon feel too important compared to its owner imho.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My first level 1 character by hand took about an hour. Though I had played pre-gens a couple of times at Gen Con so had some experience.

I then bought Hero Lab Online and I created a 4th level cleric in probably 20 minutes. I highly recommend HLO, it sped up creation dramatically.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
Having owned several different bows in the past, including crossbows, a compound bow, and a traditional single piece bow that was about 5 feet long (you know, a longbow), the thought that it's easier to hit beyond fifty feet is absurd. Just straight up absurd.

I'm no archer, but I can see where the idea comes from. Not as a literal volley, but the concept that it's easier to bring a smaller bow to bear on a mobile target that's close, because you can anticipate movements easier. Beyond a certain range, that movement becomes negligible compared to the range itself.

I've seen similar ideas expressed in many games, but usually in the context of using modern ranged weapons in melee (where a pistol could still be useful, but a rifle mostly useless).

But like I said, my practical experience in this is pretty much non-existent.


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I think you're bang on about character creation. It took me nearly *4* hours and had to be split up into two sessions. I had never looked at PF2 before (but have played PF and a lot of D&D before), but I had an experienced DM (who has run PF2 before) helping me and one other person make characters. Having to flip back and forth hundreds of pages to see what backgrounds did, then go find what the feat it references does, then go look up "wait, does Assurance do what it sounds like?" was a huge time sink.

You don't realize how valuable the SRD is until you don't have it. Even more physical books would help this, as PDFs are clunky to use. Book layout could also help with that, but I think it's something that will naturally get easier as time goes on.

One line descriptions are an absolute must!

Lore was just confusing. I had no real idea what to do with it. A list of examples would really help.

Medicine felt useless. Which was extra annoying when we stopped to rest because we needed to recover HP in downtime and just sleeping for the night does that, but active medical treatment does not? I certainly wouldn't invest much into that again as it is right now.

Cantrips just felt weak to me. It's better than doing nothing, but it felt like using a pea shooter and was so far behind everyone else that it was really just a filler turn when I either couldn't, or didn't want to use one of my extremely limited spell slots. They were pretty unsatisfying.


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Lord_Malkov wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
* I really hate magic weapons. Not only does it feel non-heroic when you notice that most of your melee damage is from your magic sword and not from you, it has some negative mechanical effects too.

Great post, and yes, I really detest extra weapon damage dice coming from magic (and to hit from item quality/magic bonus), if it is integral/expected, it should be tied to Trained proficiency and character level, something like:

Level
2-4: +1/2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: +2/3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: +3/4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: +4/5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: +5/6 x weapon damage dice

I agree that its not good to have this absurd reliance on magic weapons, but they may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with this one.

If you tie it to level alone, then we are even further down the homogenization railroad and martial characters seem even less well.. good at being martial in comparison to their allies? I don't know, both options feel bad to me.

If you tie it to proficiency then you create a severe problem for any class that isn't fighter.. because you can't just choose to increase proficiency in weapons. It effectively down-grades barbarian, paladin, rogue or any future class that wants to use a weapon pretty immensely.

Previously the bulk of damage came from a concordance of feats, items, ability scores, class features, etc... so there were lots of character building resources that went into increasing damage output. This new simplification that puts it all into one source, means that the source has to be universally accessible, and I think since a magic item at least has some opportunity cost associated with it, they felt this was the only way.... because a feat tree, for example, would also feel mandatory and kinda bad.

Realistically, I think that the attribution of proficiencies being unlocked might be necessary, but then the optimization mindset will make it very hard to see why not to always take...

The problem is that the character's damage is supposed to be homogenized, but just through the quality if equipment rather than the quality of character. After finishing the first dungeon, it's even worst than I initially feared, because now it's going to be the duty of the GM to make sure that all the martial characters have exactly the right quality of weapon at the right time. At the end of the first dungeon the player's get a +1 ghost touch dagger, which they instantly had transferred to a great axe. Now the barbarian is doing triple the damage of anyone else because they got a weapon that they aren't scheduled to get until level 4 or 5.

At least if it's a trait of the character then they'll all get it when they are supposed to and not too soon or too late.


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WhiteMagus2000 wrote:

The problem is that the character's damage is supposed to be homogenized, but just through the quality if equipment rather than the quality of character. After finishing the first dungeon, it's even worst than I initially feared, because now it's going to be the duty of the GM to make sure that all the martial characters have exactly the right quality of weapon at the right time. At the end of the first dungeon the player's get a +1 ghost touch dagger, which they instantly had transferred to a great axe. Now the barbarian is doing triple the damage of anyone else because they got a weapon that they aren't scheduled to get until level 4 or 5.

At least if it's a trait of the character then they'll all get it when they are supposed to and not too soon or too late.

Yeah, and what if your character gets disarmed or is temporally without his/her +4 weapon, and uses a non-magical backup, losing 4 extra weapon damage dice on a hit is way too brutal, should not feel like your high-level fighter is a schmuck without his/her magic weapon.


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Lord_Malkov wrote:

I agree that its not good to have this absurd reliance on magic weapons, but they may have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with this one.

If you tie it to level alone, then we are even further down the homogenization railroad and martial characters seem even less well.. good at being martial in comparison to their allies? I don't know, both options feel bad to me.

If you tie it to proficiency then you create a severe problem for any class that isn't fighter.. because you can't just choose to increase proficiency in weapons. It effectively down-grades barbarian, paladin, rogue or any future class that wants to use a weapon pretty immensely.

While I somewhat agree with your points, I feel this in particular is wrong because it is taking the current playtest rules as final. There is a really easy way to resolve that problem, in my opinion.

First, make the bonus damage dice be determined by Proficiency alone. After that, while Fighter will be the undisputed master of, well, fighting, you could give the other martial classes somewhat parity of damage by using the good old class abilities!

Remember, every single martial class used to have things that would give them better damage in certain circumstances. Barbarians and Rogues had (and still have, if in a different incarnation) Rage and Sneak Attack respectively, Paladins had Smite Evil, Rangers had Favored Enemy and etc. All they have to do is fine-tune the damage with the frequency it can be employed.

But allowing Fighters to still keep the best, uncircumstatial bonus to damage should probably be a feature, not a bug.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
At the end of the first dungeon the player's get a +1 ghost touch dagger, which they instantly had transferred to a great axe. Now the barbarian is doing triple the damage of anyone else because they got a weapon that they aren't scheduled to get until level 4 or 5.

Are you talking about The Lost Star. Can't you only get that Dagger after finishing the mission anyways? You're not supposed to be using it until the next chapter with those characters.


Aiken Frost wrote:

While I somewhat agree with your points, I feel this in particular is wrong because it is taking the current playtest rules as final. There is a really easy way to resolve that problem, in my opinion.

First, make the bonus damage dice be determined by Proficiency alone. After that, while Fighter will be the undisputed master of, well, fighting, you could give the other martial classes somewhat parity of damage by using the good old class abilities!

Remember, every single martial class used to have things that would give them better damage in certain circumstances. Barbarians and Rogues had (and still have, if in a different incarnation) Rage and Sneak Attack respectively, Paladins had Smite Evil, Rangers had Favored Enemy and etc. All they have to do is fine-tune the damage with the frequency it can be employed.

But allowing Fighters to still keep the best, uncircumstatial bonus to damage should probably be a feature, not a bug.

You'd want to add extra feats to gain additional weapon proficiencies, once that TEML is much more meaningful for weapons, and maybe even grant a slight damage boost for using a magic weapon as well.


I asked this question before on a blog but I want to see if any of you know do you why in the playtest bestiary that the jabberwock and grim reaper are listed as unique creatures when in first edition they are a race or species of monsters?


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Nick O'Connell wrote:
I asked this question before on a blog but I want to see if any of you know do you why in the playtest bestiary that the jabberwock and grim reaper are listed as unique creatures when in first edition they are a race or species of monsters?

Poachers.


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While I don't know if it'll ever happen, or if it would work, I'd like to see the flat bonuses removed from magic. Make Flat bonuses part of the quality of the weapon and let magic bonuses be interesting. It would hopefully let people make the choice of flat bonuses or higher specialized bonuses.


Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I asked this question before on a blog but I want to see if any of you know do you why in the playtest bestiary that the jabberwock and grim reaper are listed as unique creatures when in first edition they are a race or species of monsters?
Poachers.

:) but really I’d prefer that they stay the same in that regard.


Nick O'Connell wrote:
I asked this question before on a blog but I want to see if any of you know do you why in the playtest bestiary that the jabberwock and grim reaper are listed as unique creatures when in first edition they are a race or species of monsters?

In first edition they are both explicitly monsters with one original entity and a bunch of a lesser version serving as "race or species", iirc.

Liberty's Edge

Staffan Johansson wrote:
WhiteMagus2000 wrote:
...the thought that it's easier to hit beyond fifty feet is absurd...
...but the concept that it's easier to bring a smaller bow to bear on a mobile target that's close, because...a pistol could still be useful, but a rifle mostly useless...

Good points. Drawn bows are harder to aim and require more expertise than either a crossbow or civilian firearms. In addition, drawn bows are extraordinary vulnerable to melee combatant interference (and breakage). You grow into a short bow, then a long bow, while almost anyone can hit something with a crossbow. That's why the church outlawed crossbows (except v infidels), and it was only the English longbow trained-from-birth tradition that yielded longbowmen (in Europe). I would rather see a to-hit penalty and higher damage for drawn bows, and ability to attack wielded weapons (sunder vs wood or string), than 'volley'.

...and on all the rest, mostly agree as well. (BTW - Dex Mod Limit and Clumsy are real problems at high levels, when you've added +4 to your Dex, and have no way to adjust that armor statistic).


Previloc wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
(BTW - Dex Mod Limit and Clumsy are real problems at high levels, when you've added +4 to your Dex, and have no way to adjust that armor statistic).

Wear different armor.

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