Class Feats are my group's biggest problem with PF2e


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I've been uncharacteristically quiet of late because my group hasn't playtested, although at this point it's looking like they won't playtest at all.

When they started looking at the rules the chorus of "This is 4th ed" began which was expected. I was able to refute many of the points, notably scaling DCs. Thanks to the work I'd already done I could confidently say that classes who invest vs don't invest will have suitably different bonuses in their skills. I did concede a 16th level wizard isn't in danger of drowning in a calm pond, and then pointed out that the even in PF1e this hasn't happened ever. I then got "being a 20 year scientist can't magically swim" which I pointed out a 20 year scientist would be low level.

Monster math was mentioned and I reassured them it would be toned down so optimized experts don't have a 50/50 chance of success.

The biggest issue I couldn't counter was class feats. Having feats locked behind class and level is presenting a significant barrier that I can't overcome at this point. A lot of them feel like they shouldn't have a level requirement do so merely to bulk out the class options at that level. Power Attack (.and other feats) being limited to 1 class is also terrible from their perspective.

Current sentiments are:
* Character Creation feels like paint by numbers. Everything is too locked down and it feels like 4th Ed's builds are back.
* We might as well play D&D 5th edition. Sure it might not be any better, but at least we get to call spell's by their proper name (e.g. Bigby's Grasping Hand)
* We could always try writing our own adventures for PF1e.
* If I wanted a 4th ed-esque game I'd play Starfinder. At least then I get occasional cool weapons and can go around shooting things in space.

There may be some more opportunities to try to playtest PF2e and I'll keep advocating it. But at this point I can't get them past character creation.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

I've been uncharacteristically quiet of late because my group hasn't playtested, although at this point it's looking like they won't playtest at all.

When they started looking at the rules the chorus of "This is 4th ed" began which was expected. I was able to refute many of the points, notably scaling DCs. Thanks to the work I'd already done I could confidently say that classes who invest vs don't invest will have suitably different bonuses in their skills. I did concede a 16th level wizard isn't in danger of drowning in a calm pond, and then pointed out that the even in PF1e this hasn't happened ever. I then got "being a 20 year scientist can't magically swim" which I pointed out a 20 year scientist would be low level.

Monster math was mentioned and I reassured them it would be toned down so optimized experts don't have a 50/50 chance of success.

The biggest issue I couldn't counter was class feats. Having feats locked behind class and level is presenting a significant barrier that I can't overcome at this point. A lot of them feel like they shouldn't have a level requirement do so merely to bulk out the class options at that level. Power Attack (.and other feats) being limited to 1 class is also terrible from their perspective.

Current sentiments are:
* Character Creation feels like paint by numbers. Everything is too locked down and it feels like 4th Ed's builds are back.
* We might as well play D&D 5th edition. Sure it might not be any better, but at least we get to call spell's by their proper name (e.g. Bigby's Grasping Hand)
* We could always try writing our own adventures for PF1e.
* If I wanted a 4th ed-esque game I'd play Starfinder. At least then I get occasional cool weapons and can go around shooting things in space.

There may be some more opportunities to try to playtest PF2e and I'll keep advocating it. But at this point I can't get them past character creation.

It's a sensitive issue that will present problems if it's balanced too much on either direction. On one hand, having a very small selection of feats at level 1 makes character creation much faster (Though I don't know why this is considered a pro, it's not like you gotta roll characters midgame anymore) and it's quite easy even for total newbies. On the other hand, it also means that there isn't a lot to pick from to customize your character until you level up, even if some of the higher level feats would be perfectly fine at level 1. On First Edition, you'd have to comb through lists of 1000+ feats and traits, which was daunting for newbies but also awesome for experienced players.

For the playtest they really leaned on the "easy" direction for this. Siloing not only by class, but also level, makes leveling up kinda like picking betwen A, B or C. What I would propose is wideing the feat levels a bit: Combine level 1 through 6 feats into one pool, and the same for higher level ones so that you end up with 4 groups: low level, mid level, high level and capstone. Going from 4 to like 15~ feats at any one time is probably an acceptable level that might still offer good customization.

As for class siloing, I think "General Feats" are in need of a rework. They fall into a really odd place right now, just covering "what's left behind" of skill, race and class feats. Some generic combat stuff could go into these while also allowing PCs to get them more often (Ideally one at level 1).


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ChibiNyan wrote:
On First Edition, you'd have to comb through lists of 1000+ feats and traits, which was daunting for newbies but also awesome for experienced players.

This is not a symptom of how the rules are structured, but how they was published. D&D 4th ed had the exact same solution to "minimising character options at each level" by having the equivalent of class feats restricted to specific levels and specific classes*. By the end of it's publishing cycle (which only lasted a few years) D&D 4th ed had hundreds (if not thousands) of powers per class. The reason for this is the rate at which content was produced. While Paizo are unlikely to publish at the rate that 4e was, but they're certainly not going to publish at the rate of D&D 5th ed so sooner or later this problem will reemerge. It's based entirely on the rate things are published rather than the rules (PF1e CRB-only doesn't have the problem you state, because it's only 1 book's worth of content. 5th ed doesn't have it because it's the equivalent of 2-3 books at best worth of content).

As for widening the levels. That would help substantially. As would loosening class restrictions.

*PF2e is a modest improvement on this by having some class feats distributed to multiple classes. But even then Paizo have expressed a hesitation to do this too often, instead favouring class specific options to get the same solution.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Play testing is not for everyone. Does your group currently play and enjoy 1st edition? If so, you probably can just ignore the playtest and keep playing 1st. Then in a about a year you can check it out again to see what the final product looks like.

Has your group played through all the available content for 1st edition? My thought on the playtest is - if it doesn't fit for my group I have tons of material for 1st edition we can still play.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
* Character Creation feels like paint by numbers. Everything is too locked down and it feels like 4th Ed's builds are back.

This has started to change as the Developers respond to feedback from the playtests. Signature Skills were removed as of yesterday and multiclass dedications for all classes are imminent. I suspect that we'll see more flexibility as more playtest rule updates are released...though I personally hope some class locked feats (like Attack of Opportunity) remain where they are.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
* We might as well play D&D 5th edition.

I had one player who had this reaction. The others loved the core rules but wanted to see some secondary rules revised.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
* We could always try writing our own adventures for PF1e.

Not a bad idea.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
* If I wanted a 4th ed-esque game I'd play Starfinder. At least then I get occasional cool weapons and can go around shooting things in space.

I don't know about the comparison to Fourth Edition...but Starfinder is definitely a fun system. Plus, Dreamscarred Press will have the Starfinder Psionics Guide out in a few months.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
There may be some more opportunities to try to playtest PF2e and I'll keep advocating it.

If you're interested in influencing the final shape Pathfinder Second Edition takes by interacting in the playtest but your group isn't... I'd recommend joining up with another group for some playtest sessions. I've run sessions for three different groups so far, some of which included players who were new to TTRPG.


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My thing is how are class feats any different from what we already got in P1E? The only difference is more choice and them being called feats. That's it. Look at how easy this 2E character becomes a first edition character simply by changing name of "class feats".

"Monk

1st lvl
Flurry of Blows, Graceful Expertise, Powerful Fist, Style Path

STYLE PATH
The Monk chooses from one of the styles below. From the mystical Ki arts, the weapon masters of the Shaolin or the Crane masters of Kun Lun. The Monk can pick an additional style at 2nd lvl and every 2 levels thereafter.

The Monk can pick advanced styles at 6th level or higher if he meets the prerequisites."

I don't have to go into full detail but I think you can see my point. It's the same thing. Just because it's called something different doesn't mean it isn't the same.

The only thing I would say is that the current problem is that a lot of the classes have are choices like "combat ability" or utility/theme option. Forcing characters to choose between these is a bad idea as it makes it seem like you're forced to choose between playing your class and being combat effective. I hope the feats and bundled a little differently to allow a choice between combat at 1st lvl and then utility at 2nd and then combat at 4th and so on. That way you're never forced to choose between combat and playing your class.


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Githzilla wrote:
Play testing is not for everyone. Does your group currently play and enjoy 1st edition?

Yes and no. We gave Occult Adventures a chance for an entire campaign. The dislike for Kineticist, Psychic and Mesmerist is quite high. Occultist has been mostly well received. We haven't even considered looking at the Shifter or Vigilante to be honest and likely won't. So not great in terms of liking current PF1e content.

Githzilla wrote:
If so, you probably can just ignore the playtest and keep playing 1st. Then in a about a year you can check it out again to see what the final product looks like.

That's the current likely outcome. However doing so limits our ability to provide feedback, hence why I'd still like to participate. This thread is to provide as much feedback as I reasonably can given our current level of participation (surveys are no good given we haven't run the playtest material). "This is why my group won't consider playtesting PF2e" is about as detailed as I can provide at this point.

Githzilla wrote:
Has your group played through all the available content for 1st edition?

Essentially yes. Current ongoing campaigns:

* Carrion Crown, Curse of the Crimson Throne: Played multiple times.
* Second Darkness, Legacy of Fire, Jade Regent, Skulls & Shackles, Shattered Star, Reign of Winter, Wrath of the Righteous, Mummy's Mask, Iron Gods, Giantslayer, Hell's Rebels: Finished with no reasonable chance of rerunning this content.
* Council of Thieves, Kingmaker, Serpent's Skull: Currently abandoned and unlikely to be finished (played to book 4, book 6 and book 6).
* Rise of the Runelords: Currently in Book 4 and ongoing. Likely to finish next year.
* Strange Aeons: Currently in Book 6. Will finish this year.
* Ruins of Azlant, Ironfang Invasion: Currently ongoing. Will finish in the next year or two.
* War for the Crown: Currently in Book 2. Will likely be close to finishing by the end of next year.

That leaves us with Return of the Runelords and the last AP for PF1e.

So not so much content remaining for PF1e for us unless we start homebrewing.

Dark Archive

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Rameth wrote:
My thing is how are class feats any different from what we already got in P1E? The only difference is more choice and them being called feats. That's it.

The problem a lot of us have is that second edition's class feats are bound to those classes. While a tiny percentage of first edition's feats had class features as prerequisites, the overwhelming majority of feats weren't so exclusive. It's really not the same thing.


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perception check wrote:
Rameth wrote:
My thing is how are class feats any different from what we already got in P1E? The only difference is more choice and them being called feats. That's it.
The problem a lot of us have is that second edition's class feats are bound to those classes. While a tiny percentage of first edition's feats had class features as prerequisites, the overwhelming majority of feats weren't so exclusive. It's really not the same thing.

Another way to put Ramesh's point is this: PF2 gives you a choice between A, B or C (actually it's more like 4 to 6 options) for class feats, compared to PF1 where the majority of core classes had no options at all beyond level 1: so, PF2 really offers more, not less choices.

Now, maybe the actual objection is one of these:
1) PF2 has a very limited set of general feats compared to PF1's hundreds of feats. The comparison, however, is unfair, because on one side you have 10+ years worth of published content, while on the other you have a limited playtest document. The correct comparison should be core rulebook vs core rulebook. I expect the PF2 CRB will include a larger number of general feats, as well as class feats.

Or 2) Some feats that were general feats in PF1 are now class feats (Power Attack), therefore gated by class and level. This is true. However, it's possible that this gets opened up a bit in the final CRB (with more chances of this happening if people playtest and report unhappiness with this state of affairs). Besides, Power Attack was really a mandatory feat in PF1, and it was tiresome - an option that really wasn't one.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Having feats locked behind class and level is presenting a significant barrier that I can't overcome at this point. A lot of them feel like they shouldn't have a level requirement do so merely to bulk out the class options at that level. Power Attack (.and other feats) being limited to 1 class is also terrible from their perspective.

Could you explain this a bit more? It doesn't sound like playing the game is going to be affected by these choices, just your choices for building characters. Is choosing 1 feat out of 3 options, instead of choosing 1 feat out of 6, a deal-breaker?


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
I suspect that we'll see more flexibility as more playtest rule updates are released...

I'm hopeful of this as well, which is why I'm speaking up now about it rather than at the end.

The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Starfinder is definitely a fun system.

It's fun in the way that Savage Worlds or FATE could be fun. It doesn't scratch the itch my group has when it comes to gaming (3.0, 3.5 and PF1e did scratch that itch).

John Lynch 106 wrote:
If you're interested in influencing the final shape Pathfinder Second Edition takes by interacting in the playtest but your group isn't... I'd recommend joining up with another group for some playtest sessions.

Alas there doesn't seem to be any mid-week gaming that occurs through PFS in my area and gaming on the weekend isn't going to happen. Hopefully as further iterations are released my group might be more open to giving it a try.

Rameth wrote:
My thing is how are class feats any different from what we already got in P1E? The only difference is more choice and them being called feats. That's it.

This would have been true had Paizo stuck with making rogue talents, rage powers and the like class feats and siphoning a whole bunch of options from the various archetypes to flesh out classes like the fighter. This didn't happen. Instead we got things like Power Attack and Cleave locked behind class feats and removed from the general pool of feats.

Rameth wrote:
I don't have to go into full detail but I think you can see my point. It's the same thing. Just because it's called something different doesn't mean it isn't the same.

See above as to why this isn't true.

gwynfrid wrote:

Now, maybe the actual objection is one of these:

1) PF2 has a very limited set of general feats compared to PF1's hundreds of feats.

Nope. Not the complaint.

gwynfrid wrote:
Some feats that were general feats in PF1 are now class feats (Power Attack), therefore gated by class and level.

Replace "some" with "many/most" and you'll be on the mark with this.

gwynfrid wrote:
However, it's possible that this gets opened up a bit in the final CRB

Hence this thread.

gwynfrid wrote:
(with more chances of this happening if people playtest and report unhappiness with this state of affairs).

Playtesting an adventure isn't going to really fix "making characters is boring and nowhere near as fun for reasons X, Y and Z".

gwynfrid wrote:
Besides, Power Attack was really a mandatory feat in PF1, and it was tiresome - an option that really wasn't one.

Vital Strike was a trap choice and except in very narrow circumstances the same is true for PF2e and renaming the feat from Vital Strike to Power Attack hasn't changed anything.

EberronHoward wrote:
Could you explain this a bit more? It doesn't sound like playing the game is going to be affected by these choices, just your choices for building characters. Is choosing 1 feat out of 3 options, instead of choosing 1 feat out of 6, a deal-breaker?

Clerics could be battle clerics pretty easily. They could choose:

* Heavy Armor Proficiency or Combat Casting (level 1)
* Power Attack (level 3)
* Furious Focus (level 5)

These options exist in PF2e, they're just not options available to the cleric either at all or at these levels. Instead you've got "Cleric feats" you have to take and that's that. Now I've built a battle cleric using the existing rules. It is possible. You can also try a different ways to achieve it. But ultimately you are choosing the cleric feats from the cleric class and only at the appropriate levels which is a substantially less freeform character then PF1e.

Thoughts that most will likely not be interested in:
PF2e has also deployed a very 4th ed approach to the whole affair. Locking certain powers behind the fighter class and giving clerics the option of being a "battle cleric" or a "laser cleric" with their own cleric-specific powers is exactly how 4th ed functioned. It didn't take long for my group to spot this and it is a strong criticism they have against the system.

It isn't bad because it's like 4th ed. It's bad. 4th ed also happened to be bad in the same way as well. And the comparisons are continuing despite my best efforts to refute them. Because this is one I simply cannot refute. It is true.


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The level gating of Class feats is my biggest issue. Ideally I would like to see them go back to how Rogue and Alchemist talents were handled in PF1 with a large pool of Basic feats available right away, then Advanced one unlocking at around at around 10th level or so.

I've got other issues with the whole of Character design but as I said the Class feats is my biggest issue


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gwynfrid wrote:
I expect the PF2 CRB will include a larger number of general feats, as well as class feats.

This might be the case but we can only evaluate the game on what we're given. It might seem "unfair" to compare the playtest to all of pathfinder classic but it's as "unfair" to expect people's reactions to the playtest be based on the final product of the game and what it MIGHT have.


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Class feats really need to be bounded in larger level groups, new feats every 6th level instead of every 2nd would be a much better idea. More feats to start with, more potential interesting combinations and less incentive for designers to balance around you keeping up with your level instead of going wide with lower level abilities.

In general, the way classes are designed isn't very appealing to me, very few set features and lots of floaty semi-customizable options. Might as well drop classes and make them feat-chains/trees just like multiclassing and archetypes. Let me truly pick openly which option I want. (And maybe don't lock dualwielding... or what they're trying to pass off as it anyway.. to two classes)


John Lynch 106 wrote:
So not so much content remaining for PF1e for us unless we start homebrewing.

This isn't a negative unless you want it to be one. Running your own game is completely doable and always has been. I may be a little biased here because when I started playing D&D at age 10-11 there was no way I would have been able to afford modules, even if I could somehow have imported them - they weren't on store shelves in NZ at the time.

There are advantages to going with a game which is still alive and supported. You're more likely to be able to usefully talk to others about it for one thing. Right now though I'm thinking PF2 needs a lot of seasoning before it will be a good game, and it needs more than an update to signature skills for more playtesting of the current rules to be something that will produce new data.

Scarab Sages

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You lost me at

John Lynch 106 wrote:

because my group hasn't playtested, although at this point it's looking like they won't playtest at all.

You got to play the game, or your opinion is greatly devalued, you can read the book till your blue in the face, trust me I did, I nearly memorized it, but then I played it, and that's when I started understanding the design. I think this is true of PF2 more than any other version of D&D to date.


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My main issue is the existence of 2nd-level Class Feats, when you only get one at level 1 and 3. What the heck, Paizo?


Centuros wrote:
My main issue is the existence of 2nd-level Class Feats, when you only get one at level 1 and 3. What the heck, Paizo?

You don't have to choose a class feat of that level when you get it, you're just usually going to because they're new. So like when the Monk gets a Class Feat at 1st and 2nd he essentially gets 2 first level class feats cause his new ones don't come around until lvl 4.


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Luceon wrote:
your opinion is greatly devalued

Understood. But the game as it currently stands is presenting too great a barrier to get my players to playtest. If the game keeps class feats in the final product in their current incarnation, my current feedback is that my group won't play it.

Now whether or not Paizo puts any value on my group as continued customers is up to Paizo (we purchase all of the APs, one of us purchases all of the hardcovers, campaign settings, flipmats and far more minis then they should. Another one of us also has a subscription to some content, the rest of us haven't purchased anything else in quite some time). But this feedback, as devalued as it is, is likely all the additional feedback I will be able to provide. So I have done so.

avr wrote:
This isn't a negative unless you want it to be one.

I love Paizo's adventure paths. They are the biggest reason I play Pathfinder. I have heaps of campaign ideas for Forgotten Realms, Eberron and Dark Sun. Not so many ideas for Golarion. I'm going to try to re-immerse myself in Golarion lore and hopefully get inspired. But this is definitely a negative.

avr wrote:
There are advantages to going with a game which is still alive and supported

To be honest if D&D 5e is a strong contender for our group then there's a strong motivation to remain with PF1e. Even if we parsed PF1e content back to Ultimate Combat-era mechanics PF1e would probably still have more content. Unfortunately I am more than ready to move on from PF1e. I am hoping it's PF2e I get to move to.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:

Clerics could be battle clerics pretty easily. They could choose:

* Heavy Armor Proficiency or Combat Casting (level 1)
* Power Attack (level 3)
* Furious Focus (level 5)
These options exist in PF2e, they're just not options available to the cleric either at all or at these levels. Instead you've got "Cleric feats" you have to take and that's that.

I actually very much like the way PF2 does this type of build with Archetypes, whether simply taking Fighter Dedication and then using your class feats for fighter feats or building a Battle Cleric archetype or maybe be Paladin Dedication once it is available.


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Luceon wrote:
This is new direction, it is radical and will take growing pains, my only point is that you won't know till you experience the game as it's played, that's when you'll know.

As it currently stands my group isn't going to even try it without radical changes. PF2e can be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but without actually being willing to play it we won't know.

Out of a group with 8 or so players only a couple of us purchased the D&D 5th edition PHB. Most of us were willing to download the PF2e playtest and read it. Not enough of us are willing to playtest it. A big reason (but not by any stretch the only reason) for this is class feats. If they were radically different I reckon I could get a PF2e one-shot done with them. Their current stance is "We already played a game structured like this. We're not interested in playing another game with the same structure" and unfortunately I can't say "you're wrong".

Luceon wrote:
Here is my suggestion, you play it, before you play with your group, I am GM'ing a Wednesday night game on Fantasy Grounds Seattle Time Zone 4 PM. Your welcome to come play, private message me for the game info.

That's a really kind offer. I'm going to decline (I live in Australia and currently don't have the environment to do online gaming), but thanks for the offer all the same.


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I'm genuinely curious how much things are going to open up once (and this is coming in an update) we get dedications for every class.


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StratoNexus wrote:
I actually very much like the way PF2 does this type of build with Archetypes, whether simply taking Fighter Dedication and then using your class feats for fighter feats or building a Battle Cleric archetype or maybe be Paladin Dedication once it is available.

I actually love how multiclassing works in PF2e. I've yet to try to recreate a PF1e character and failed due to how it's structured. But it's also not great in terms of convincing my players that they're not being pigeon holed into a couple of builds by saying "just multiclass into fighter". Archetypes do provide design space for greater character choices, but again this is "archetype specific feats" rather than a feat anyone can choose. And with the restrictions on archetypes you're going from "A Paizo approved cleric build" to "A Paizo approved cleric build or a single archetype of your choice". It's not really selling the idea of a flexible system.


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Luceon wrote:
You lost me at
John Lynch 106 wrote:

because my group hasn't playtested, although at this point it's looking like they won't playtest at all.

You got to play the game, or your opinion is greatly devalued, you can read the book till your blue in the face, trust me I did, I nearly memorized it, but then I played it, and that's when I started understanding the design. I think this is true of PF2 more than any other version of D&D to date.

Okay, let me throw in the opinion of one of my players, my wife who just finished The Lost Star with her goblin paladin. (I'm the GM, so I have not played a playtest player character.) She glanced ahead at the 2nd-level paladin feats and said, "These don't fit my character." The backstory of her paladin is that a young goblin garbage-picker was taken in by a hospice after a mind-quake (he had been picking through Necerion's garbage). He adopted the ideals of the clerics and became a Hospice Knight paladin.

Of the five 2nd-level paladin feats, four swear to kill things: Dragonslayer Oath, Fiendslayer Oath, Shining Oath, and Vengeful Oath. The fifth, Divine Grace, is personal protection, which she says sounds too selfish for her paladin. She will go back to the two remaining 1st-level feats and pick Warded Touch.

The two paladins I have seen in long-running games were protectors of the weak. They would stand in front in heavy armor because that protected those in the rear. The Pathfinder Playtest class feats have few offerings for such a theme, such as Hospice Knight, but those feats are a fairly thin thread. It is almost as if the class feats were an archetype or a bardic muse rather than independent choices. If PF2 had a large list of general feats, like PF1, that could be chosen in place of a class feat, my wife would be a lot happier about her character's choices.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
I suspect that we'll see more flexibility as more playtest rule updates are released...

I'm hopeful of this as well, which is why I'm speaking up now about it rather than at the end.

The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Starfinder is definitely a fun system.
It's fun in the way that Savage Worlds or FATE could be fun. It doesn't scratch the itch my group has when it comes to gaming (3.0, 3.5 and PF1e did scratch that itch).

Funnily enough, Savage Worlds had a big impact on 4th Ed design, some (or all) of the designers were really into that game.

As for the Feat deal, I am not so thrilled with everything and its mother being called a Feat.

Overall, I agree, PF2 feels rather rigid, sterile, and for me, a tad byzantine.


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OK, I think I understand your group's objection. I'm wondering if this is just about fighter feats, though. When you say "most/many" feats are now gated behind class, what feats are you after? Among the 100s of PF1 feats, only a minority could have made it into the playtest, whether as class feats, general feats or skill feats.

Clearly, with the structure as given, your group isn't going to be happy. You seem to run out of options in terms of readily available material to play. I think, if the issue is focused on fighter-type feats, a solution could be to houserule all fighter feats as general feats, or, in a more extreme version, as class feats available to all classes. This would remove the fighter itself as a class, but that trade-off may be worth it.


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gwynfrid wrote:
I'm wondering if this is just about fighter feats, though.

It's not. It's simply the most prominent example.

gwynfrid wrote:
Among the 100s of PF1 feats, only a minority could have made it into the playtest, whether as class feats, general feats or skill feats.

I have never said otherwise. I haven't complained about the lack of Weapon Focus or Step Up or anything like that. What I have done is given examples of feats that were class agnostic in PF1e and shown how they're now gated behind class in PF2e. Yes, all of my examples have been fighter related, but I could comb through the entirety of the playtest and list out every single feat that has a PF1e equivalent if that would be helpful. I'm not sure how it would be though.

gwynfrid wrote:
This would remove the fighter itself as a class, but that trade-off may be worth it.

We quite like the fighter class. Had Paizo looked to the various archetypes and pulled from those a bunch of class feats for the fighter and left general feats as class agonistic this complaint would not exist. They chose not to.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
I'm wondering if this is just about fighter feats, though.

It's not. It's simply the most prominent example.

gwynfrid wrote:
Among the 100s of PF1 feats, only a minority could have made it into the playtest, whether as class feats, general feats or skill feats.

I have never said otherwise. I haven't complained about the lack of Weapon Focus or Step Up or anything like that. What I have done is given examples of feats that were class agnostic in PF1e and shown how they're now gated behind class in PF2e. Yes, all of my examples have been fighter related, but I could comb through the entirety of the playtest and list out every single feat that has a PF1e equivalent if that would be helpful. I'm not sure how it would be though.

gwynfrid wrote:
This would remove the fighter itself as a class, but that trade-off may be worth it.
We quite like the fighter class. Had Paizo looked to the various archetypes and pulled from those a bunch of class feats for the fighter and left general feats as class agonistic this complaint would not exist. They chose not to.

Yep, by 2018 the Fighter was more than a pile of combat feats available to everyone else. They could easily make a full class without power attack, point-blank shot or TWF on their list (As long as he can still get them from somewhere). In fact, most of the other fighter feats already in the playtest are just fine for them.

A non-fighter example: Metamagic.

Scarab Sages

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My main problem is that :

- Some option feel very weaks.

- Some class are like "pick one path and stick with it until the end" (Paladin choosing sword or shield or mount) and then you just take "The next feat in the chain" which kills build diversity. You don't really have a choice because doing otherwhise would be super unoptimized. And this game is already hell for optimized character so...

- Some feats scale and some need you to invest in the "next feat in the chain" to keep being relevant.

- Ancestry feats.

Some idea to fix that :

- Pick between 3 and 5 Ancestries Feats at level 1 (whatever would be balanced) and make them auto scale with level.

=> Make more sense that your natural abilities that you already (And always) had increase in place of suddenly appears from nowhere.

- Remove all Ancestries Feats gaigned by leveling. Chose Class Feats instead.

=> Allow to poursuit one "main path" while still grabbing a little of others things => More build diversity.
(Maybe broken with Multiclassing though)

- Change the feats chains that are just "You gain one more dice on the habilitie you already have + ultra minor side effect". Make them just one skill that auto scale with level.
(Side note : That may reduce the build diversity unless you have a ton of these kind of feats)

=> Skill you pick must be impactfull. Like giving you a new action or reaction and not just "+x to thing you already have"

That would need a lot of work though. And invent many new class feats to chose from (like a reaction to trip opponent for the monk under some circonstances or whatever else).


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I guess I see the Archetype system as actually more flexible overall, while removing the strangeness of the Fighter just being the king of feats.

In 1e, you had very limited options if you wanted to pick up a class feature from another class. Multi-classing was very mixed in its results and if the class feature you wanted was even mid-level (say 10), you were talking about a huge reduction in capabilities. And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.

So the only class features effectively available are essentially fighter feats and the shared metamagic feats, given that the fighter is mostly just a collection of combat feats.

Which leads us to the problem of very large pools of options (in this case feats). As 1e added feats to the general pool, the number of optimizations you could make to your class increased. There's this general sense that splat books cause power creep, but that's also a side effect of having more options. Individually a lot of the feats may not be that much better than the core feats, but combined they can make for a much better character mechanically.

Silo-ing combat feats into classes means that problem is largely avoided. 2e is trying to thread the needle where you have access to a large number of features (more so than 1e overall), but while acknowledging that increased options mean increased potential for unbalance. And, personally, I think they've done a decent job of it.


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SuperSheep wrote:
And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.

I think for a lot of us, this has never been a real issue. I can say that in all my years of playing pathfinder, I don't ever recall getting a character high enough to care about a capstone. And even if you do, you are at the end of most content made for the game and have nowhere else to go and USE the capstone. So for me, losing a capstone is less of a problem than a random grammatical error as an issue to be fixed.

SuperSheep wrote:
Silo-ing combat feats into classes means that problem is largely avoided.

For me, it was never a problem. If anything, it was an issue with feats being LESS powerful/useful than existing one and not any issue with new powerful combo's. And that is one of the issues with PE2: small numbers of silo'd feats isn't better when you can only find 1 or 2 that you have any interest in or they only one you like is in a different silo. I silo is bad enough when it's filled with all good options but when it isn't, it's even less fun.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
graystone wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.

I think for a lot of us, this has never been a real issue. I can say that in all my years of playing pathfinder, I don't ever recall getting a character high enough to care about a capstone. And even if you do, you are at the end of most content made for the game and have nowhere else to go and USE the capstone. So for me, losing a capstone is less of a problem than a random grammatical error as an issue to be fixed.

SuperSheep wrote:
Silo-ing combat feats into classes means that problem is largely avoided.
For me, it was never a problem. If anything, it was an issue with feats being LESS powerful/useful than existing one and not any issue with new powerful combo's. And that is one of the issues with PE2: small numbers of silo'd feats isn't better when you can only find 1 or 2 that you have any interest in or they only one you like is in a different silo. I silo is bad enough when it's filled with all good options but when it isn't, it's even less fun.

I think that's:

a) a problem with individual feats; and
b) a natural thing that something that appeals to you may not appeal to someone else and vice versa.

Admittedly I don't play 5 different Paladins or 3 different Wizards. If I play multiple characters they tend to be in different classes (or different systems) and so it's not a problem for me.

So if there's only one feat I really like at a given level, that's fine because I'm probably not going to play another "whatever" before I play all the other classes that are available.

Now I come from GURPS originally rather than D&D, so the idea that everything is universally and generically available is baseline for me. But that's never what D&D has been. And making something that was really just a series of small template (i.e. everything is an archetype) has some merit, but also feels so alien to what D&D/PF is that its probably a non-starter. That said, GURPS wasn't balanced at all and it didn't even really try. It only ever supported low-fantasy.

So siloing isn't my favored starting point, but I recognized that a class-based system is going to start there, by definition. It's just a matter of what systems are siloed and which ones aren't, with the understanding that most of the systems are going to be at least partially siloed.

If there was no heritage to restrain Pathfinder, they could move to a class-less system where everything was part of a feat-tree with level- and feat-based prerequisites. But that's not what we have, nor is it an option that they've indicated they would entertain.

And while I understand that your issue hasn't been feat interaction, it has been an issue with d20. And it's one of the reason that new feats tend to be more lackluster -- there's a fear of unbalanced interaction which creates a downward pressure on power levels.

So as long as I can pick up a class feat that I want with Dedications, I'm probably good. There's literally very little not available to us anymore, except if what we really want is a combination of 4 or more classes, at which point you've just hit the biggest problem with class-based systems which isn't going away anytime soon.


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I just want to touch on capstones: not all of PF1's capstones are at level 20.

  • The extra stat boost from mighty rage isn't as big for most barbarians st the free rage cycle starting at 17th,
  • which is also the Cleric's and wizard's only milestone and the Druid's and psychic's main one (9th level spells in all cases).
  • Paladin level 20 is arguably worse if you think you can eliminate an evil outsider here and now.
  • Improved quarry at ranger 19 will almost certainly see more use than master hunter.
  • At least when I look at cavalier, I build more for master tactician at 17th than supreme charge at 20.
  • Witches get their first grand hex at level 18


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graystone wrote:
SuperSheep wrote:
And any multi-classing in 1e means that your capstone abilities are just gone.
I think for a lot of us, this has never been a real issue. I can say that in all my years of playing pathfinder, I don't ever recall getting a character high enough to care about a capstone. And even if you do, you are at the end of most content made for the game and have nowhere else to go and USE the capstone. So for me, losing a capstone is less of a problem than a random grammatical error as an issue to be fixed.

The lack of 20+ play made capstone abilities more like an RP option (someday I will retire from adventuring and be amazing in this way!) than an actual game mechanic to care about when creating a character or deciding whether to multiclass. If there are plans to introduce epic-level play into PF2E, they might be trying to get ahead of that issue. And if that's the plan, I'd like to see a solution so that multiclassing remains a viable and attractive choice for some players, while keeping capstone abilities as something to actually look forward to.

FWIW, I don't like the new multiclass mechanics at all. My players insist on calling it 'dabbling' rather than multiclassing. I can't disagree - you aren't actually a real wizard if you take the wizard dedication, you are just a <class> that dabbles in magic. And yes, they are actually playtesting the new multiclass mechanics (so, not just reading the book and rejecting the option).


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Multiclassing gives you a second class which you're less focused on than the original, but potentially 8th level spells seems like more than dabbling to me. I actually like the multiclass via feats.

Capstones, yeah, whatever. In PF1 or PF2.


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Requielle wrote:
My players insist on calling it 'dabbling' rather than multiclassing. I can't disagree - you aren't actually a real wizard if you take the wizard dedication, you are just a <class> that dabbles in magic.

Interesting. The old system felt like dabbling for non-martials to me (martials, at least, got BAB progression) while this new system seems a lot more natural. Does this mean that you're not a real Cavalier in the playtest, just a dabbler, if you take the archetype because it's not a class?


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Requielle wrote:
My players insist on calling it 'dabbling' rather than multiclassing. I can't disagree - you aren't actually a real wizard if you take the wizard dedication, you are just a <class> that dabbles in magic.
Interesting. The old system felt like dabbling for non-martials to me (martials, at least, got BAB progression) while this new system seems a lot more natural. Does this mean that you're not a real Cavalier in the playtest, just a dabbler, if you take the archetype because it's not a class?

People haven't taken the 'prestige class' archetypes yet - so no feedback there. They've taken the 'multiclass' archetypes - one of my clerics for Part 3 has the wizard dedication, for example.

And maybe it's trying to apply one bandaid to all the problems again, like resonance. Paizo is trying to replace 3 things (mix & match multiclassing, prestige classes, and class-specific archetypes) with one new thing (general archetypes).


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It might be better to consider class feats to be class options. TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers and in 2E there is double slice available only to fighters/rangers. This might help to scale back the emotion. Grouping the class “feats”/options could be a help as leveling is not quick. Also, it seems like some “feats” could be pooled into general groupings (martial/spell casting) - why shouldn’t power attack be available to all martial classes? Or eschew materials to all spell casters (actually this might already be the case - I haven’t researched spell casters in 2e).

Then we are left with the general feats and skill feats which have flaws. There are few general feats and the skill feats don’t always add up. For example bonded animal is a second level skill feat that requires expert in nature which can’t happen until level 3 making bonded animal effectively a level 4 skill feat. Which is OK except that I think the designers want you to have bonded animals at lower levels where they are more effective/fun. My thoughts are that the weaknesses in these feats is the root cause of the unhappiness. The focus was getting the class feats/options just right which made the general/skill feats suffer in comparison.

My experience is that there are things to like and to dislike. If the dislikes outweigh the likes, wait and play something else. Starfinder has a nice stamina/hit point system and home brews can be fun. In one home brew that we played, our party accidentally unleashed a zombie apocalypse and destroyed the entire world. It was fun.


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don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers

TWF is available to anyone with a Dex 15.


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don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers

How is this in any way true?


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The Sideromancer wrote:

I just want to touch on capstones: not all of PF1's capstones are at level 20.

  • The extra stat boost from mighty rage isn't as big for most barbarians st the free rage cycle starting at 17th,
  • which is also the Cleric's and wizard's only milestone and the Druid's and psychic's main one (9th level spells in all cases).
  • Paladin level 20 is arguably worse if you think you can eliminate an evil outsider here and now.
  • Improved quarry at ranger 19 will almost certainly see more use than master hunter.
  • At least when I look at cavalier, I build more for master tactician at 17th than supreme charge at 20.
  • Witches get their first grand hex at level 18

Still doesn't matter.

If capstones (as class defining abilities) don't come in the 7-9th level range, they might as well not exist for ~75% of games/characters (at least).

Though I don't at all agree that 'yet another level of spells' is a meaningful capstone.

---
And as problematic as that was in PF1, in PF2 it's worse, because most classes are barely going to hit mastery by the time the campaign wraps (skills aside, which are a completely different issue). A caster is lucky if they have the opportunity to be 'expert' in their primary ability, though that sounds a lot worse than the trivial +1 those ranks represent.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers
How is this in any way true?

Maybe Don't Wake Baby meant Dungeons & Dragons 1E rather than Pathfinder 1E. I know that many rogues (or were they still called "thieves"?) multiclassed to ranger in AD&D to gain access to two-weapon fighting.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers
TWF is available to anyone with a Dex 15.

There are several classes that can get TWF without any dex requirement too. Rangers, slayers, brawlers, vigilante [limited] and I'm sure others. So you can have a 3 dex and have multiple options for TWF in pathfinder classic.


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Mathmuse wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers
How is this in any way true?
Maybe Don't Wake Baby meant Dungeons & Dragons 1E rather than Pathfinder 1E. I know that many rogues (or were they still called "thieves"?) multiclassed to ranger in AD&D to gain access to two-weapon fighting.

1e (or even 2e) multiclassing didn't work that way (if you were non-human you took 2 or 3 classes at once and leveled simultaneously in all of them). If human, you could take one, then stop, and take another (dual-classing)

Two weapon fighting didn't exist in 1st edition. (It did in 2nd, but wasn't... entirely... class dependent).

Ranger/thief wasn't a valid multi-class or dual class option in either edition.

But yes, the class was thief.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Requielle wrote:
My players insist on calling it 'dabbling' rather than multiclassing. I can't disagree - you aren't actually a real wizard if you take the wizard dedication, you are just a <class> that dabbles in magic.
Interesting. The old system felt like dabbling for non-martials to me (martials, at least, got BAB progression) while this new system seems a lot more natural. Does this mean that you're not a real Cavalier in the playtest, just a dabbler, if you take the archetype because it's not a class?

On this subject, I feel PF2 Cavaliers aren't real ones.

Where's the teamwork feats? Where's the charges? Where's the different orders to play around with?

You want to play Cavalier in PF2? You're probably better off just going straight Paladin and selecting the Mount option. Maybe take the Fighter Dedication for some goodies maybe.


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My core problem with how things were balanced in 3e/PF 1e is that you could effectively multi-class into fighter without multi-classing into fighter. Fighters were primarily defined by their proficiency and extra feats. If your class or race already gave you access to what you wanted, then Fighter gave you very little.

Combat styles via feats puts martial classes immediately at a disadvantage from a balancing perspective. If you can take Combat feats a-la-cart, but not spells then it's not balanced.

That said, if you wanted to take combat feats and group them into fighting styles that are only available to martial classes that could work. It just makes distinguishing between martial classes about which combat styles are available, plus a smattering of smaller class features (similar to how casters tend to be pretty lean in terms of class features outside of their spells).

Though I imagine if you took combat feats and put them into fighting styles so that Power Attack was in one or two, but not all, then someone would complain about it.

As soon as combat feats enter into the general pool available to all classes, we're going to have balancing concerns again and it will limit the viable design space for classes. They've already done a pretty good job of separating out different effects so that you're not getting stacking effects from Whirlwind, Power Attack, Cleave, etc.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
We gave Occult Adventures a chance for an entire campaign. The dislike for Kineticist, Psychic and Mesmerist is quite high.

Mesmerist is a lot of fun if you want a truly chaotic evil character. With the right build, they can get their bluff modifier ridiculously high, decrease their opponents sense motive, and then get opponents to believe impossible lies. More importantly, they have an assortment of spells that lets them get their opponents to hate, work against, and kill their loved ones and each other if the lies aren't enough to make it happen without spells. It's a beautiful level of evil and chaos that's hard to achieve with other classes. Use the class with a race that is telepathic for extra fun. Some well placed lies here and there and the right spells here and there, and quickly everyone in the neighborhood destroy themselves, and then you can savor the horror felt by the survivors who have to live with what they've done. Demons have a hard time getting to that kind of evil and chaos. It's sure to make them jealous.


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Voss wrote:
Two weapon fighting didn't exist in 1st edition. (It did in 2nd, but wasn't... entirely... class dependent).

Yeah, I like that the 1st Ed AD&D ranger (still the best one, for me) is not associated with TWF, per se. That and the companion came along with 2nd Ed, and apparently has nothing to do with a certain dual-wielding ranger.


Voss wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
don't wake baby wrote:
TWF was a fighting style in 1E available only to fighters/rangers
How is this in any way true?
Maybe Don't Wake Baby meant Dungeons & Dragons 1E rather than Pathfinder 1E. I know that many rogues (or were they still called "thieves"?) multiclassed to ranger in AD&D to gain access to two-weapon fighting.

1e (or even 2e) multiclassing didn't work that way (if you were non-human you took 2 or 3 classes at once and leveled simultaneously in all of them). If human, you could take one, then stop, and take another (dual-classing)

Two weapon fighting didn't exist in 1st edition. (It did in 2nd, but wasn't... entirely... class dependent).

Ranger/thief wasn't a valid multi-class or dual class option in either edition.

But yes, the class was thief.

Their was no two weapon fighting in 1st edition D&D? huh maybe that was a house rule on my DM's part.

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