Pathfinder Playtest is actually MORE complicated than PF1E


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Brother Fen wrote:
Welcome to the reality that tabletop RPGs are NOT simple games. So trying to make one that is "simple" is impossible.

There are plenty of simple tabletop RPGs. Lasers & Feelings, for example.

The simple ones don't generally have much strategic depth, but that's not necessarily what people play RPGs for.


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Lausth wrote:
It gets better once you get used to it.

For you, maybe, not for me.

I have been playing with (around) this system (PF2), and I do not find familiarity makes it any more enjoyable.


I feel the need to stand up for the kineticist. Sure, it has flaws (like how hard it is to hit with physical blasts at late levels), and being underpowered compared to trad casters, but the rules arent too complicated (just dense). I'd love it if they released the kineticist early in 2nd ed, or made the sorcerer like the kineticist.

Edit: i lovecit when companies experiment with mechanics. I hate vancian and spell slot based casting and love alternatives like psionics, tome of magic, magic of incarnum and warlocks/dragon shamans.


I know the system is hard to understand for new players. At least it's what my novice player told me when I ran Lost Star. There are a bunch of hard to comprehend mechanics (actions, the list of available actions and skills, proficiencies, resonance, spell points, multiple attack penalty...) before getting used to it and finally play correctly. It took me 2 months to understand how the basic mechanics of the game work, and I'm still feeling fuzzy on the details and am not sure about the most high level mechanics, like vision and terrain rules. At the end of our Lost Star session, they somewhat understood how multiple attack penalty and the action system worked, the players using them understood their own character's mechanics, but they had a hard time understanding how everyone else's characters worked - some not understanding others' play style at all.

The complexity of the rules stayed the same, in my mind, but now we have more rules to learn. That's what makes the Playtest more complicated than PF1 for me.

Dark Archive

If i gave the impression that i dont like the kineticist then i am sorry. I do like the kineticist. Its attack bonus problems is for sure there but there are ways around it.

What i was trying to say is how i understand ops problem with complicated text.


Matthew Downie wrote:
Brother Fen wrote:
Welcome to the reality that tabletop RPGs are NOT simple games. So trying to make one that is "simple" is impossible.

There are plenty of simple tabletop RPGs. Lasers & Feelings, for example.

The simple ones don't generally have much strategic depth, but that's not necessarily what people play RPGs for.

Love Lasers and Feelings, my group plays 1-page RPGs whenever we don't have enough to run a 'real' session.

To be fair to Brother Fen, I think he was refering to D20 fantasy D&D-style games subset, although that was absoloutely not clear. Even then, Dungeon World and others have simplified the forumla a whole lot.

Simple is definitely possible. But it's not always desirable. I personally really do not want something like Fate where there are no pre-written spells, and it's up to GM/Player judgement for 90% of what your character can do. Building within restrictions can nourish creativity, build a shared language, establish narrative and setting consistency, etc.

I find PF2 to actually be 'about right' on the complexity scale right now. Some bumps to clear out, certainly, and lots of bugbears unrelated to complexity/simplicity.


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Almarane wrote:
I know the system is hard to understand for new players. At least it's what my novice player told me when I ran Lost Star.

Fantastic, so, by implication...


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I personally felt the Playtest was pretty straightforward. At worst it was on par with PF1E for in-play complexity.

I've got many issues with the playtest as it stands but in-play complexity is not one of them.

Grand Lodge

Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I agree with everyone stating it's just new.

I don't; convenient, but not the case.

PF2 is dry, byzantine, and has no Wow-factor, for me.

When I first got a hold of the 3.0 PHB back in August 2000, I did not feel/think this way, nor when I got the 4th Ed PHB in August 2008, nor when I got the 5th Ed PHB in August 2014, and they were all new at the time.

Just curious Vic, were these the playtest versions or the final versions?

Dark Archive

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Telefax wrote:

I feel the need to stand up for the kineticist. Sure, it has flaws (like how hard it is to hit with physical blasts at late levels), and being underpowered compared to trad casters, but the rules arent too complicated (just dense). I'd love it if they released the kineticist early in 2nd ed, or made the sorcerer like the kineticist.

Edit: i lovecit when companies experiment with mechanics. I hate vancian and spell slot based casting and love alternatives like psionics, tome of magic, magic of incarnum and warlocks/dragon shamans.

This is a 2e forum. I dont want to turn this thread to a 1e kineticist thread but as a player who played kineticist class for 3 years now. I dont think kineticist is underpowered. You can reach to +28 to hit and do more than 100 damage in a round with a kineticist telekinetic blast without accepting burn while flying while having the ability to turn invisible with more than 200 hp and some stupid fort save while having at will breath of life and some other stupid stuff at level 12. Your hit can go higher than +28 to. I can accept that reaching that point requires wierd things and some system mastery but kineticist isnt underpowered. I feel like i should give mark his credit where its due. Your class is a funny one and i like it.

EDIT:I know you meant casters but nah it isnt underpowered.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
I feel the need to stand up for Occult Adventures.

You might be misunderstanding me. There are some real gems in the book and things I like. I'm not saying the book sucked. What I'm saying is it wasn't the easiest to digest or understand or retain for me. As I mentioned, there are several of the classes that even after using a few times I'm still confused about things and that don't happen with other classes from other books.

Compare it to ACG once: ACG was MUCH more poorly done with it being unusable to start off with at launch because 1/2 of it was errors. It was objectively a worse book but IMO was easier to read, understand and use. IMO, it's easier to fix some rule elements that aren't working than it is to fix how the book presents info and how easy the book is to use.


Aristophanes wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I agree with everyone stating it's just new.

I don't; convenient, but not the case.

PF2 is dry, byzantine, and has no Wow-factor, for me.

When I first got a hold of the 3.0 PHB back in August 2000, I did not feel/think this way, nor when I got the 4th Ed PHB in August 2008, nor when I got the 5th Ed PHB in August 2014, and they were all new at the time.

Just curious Vic, were these the playtest versions or the final versions?

Both.


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Yeah I tend to disagree with the OP and those people coming directly after them saying that the second edition is slower. Like some others have mentioned, the gameplay that emerges from the "simplicity" of some aspects of Pathfinder 1e actually creates a bit of a mess when you try to use it in practice. I really think that if you feel this way about the playtest, just give it some time and try passing as much of that character-specific information over to the person who created the character and hold them to the expectation that they should know their character as well as you know your dungeon and have quickly done their cross-referencing of traits in advance (because really, it's not that hard). RPG rulebooks are huge catalogues of information, there's going to be some flipping around when you squeeze a game like this into print media instead of using something digital (which, while we're on the subject, definitely check out http://pf2.espigabb.com/#! and use it at your table with one assigned player who keeps it open and stands ready to search anything).

Grand Lodge

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

What experience did you have with 3.0/3.5 D&D when you made that PF1e Fighter?

PF2E is a much bigger change from 1e to 2e than the change was from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder.

I went to GenCon the year 3.0 came out. I created my very first 3.0 character the night before the first game. It took about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. It took me 2 and a half hours to create a dwarven fighter in PF2E and I missed several things and had to go back and fix things.

Playing 3.0 at first level: I move, I swing, I hit or miss, maybe roll damage, my turn is pretty much done. PF2E, every character has 3 actions, maybe it's a Strike, maybe it's a move and a Strike, maybe it's something else. It's a lot more complicated and not nearly as simple as D&D 5E.

PF was an expansion of the 3.5 rule system, sure. That made it pretty easy for those of us who came from 3.5 to get into it. But it was also pretty simple just in and of itself. PF didn't become overly complicated until they got about 15 books into the system. That bloat killed Pathfinder. With the way the rules are structured in 2E so far, it seems like we'll quickly have the same bloat and complications on top of this already complicated rules system.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I'm an experienced GM and Player and I've never seen a high level combat against CR relevant foes take anything less than 40 minutes.

I've often seen it last five minutes...usually when hyperoptimized casters unloaded on foes (even CR relevant ones) and obliterated them. It's not very interesting combat but it is fast.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I'm an experienced GM and Player and I've never seen a high level combat against CR relevant foes take anything less than 40 minutes.
I've often seen it last five minutes...usually when hyperoptimized casters unloaded on foes (even CR relevant ones) and obliterated them. It's not very interesting combat but it is fast.

"CR Relevant" is a sliding scale based on player experience.


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The PF2 playtest book is very disjointed and difficult to understand. You have to page flip a lot to learn how to use powers and skills. Complaints about not knowing about improved bull rush pale compared to trying to find out what page various skill actions such as bluff, intimidate, sneak, bull rush, disarm and other combat actions are. Some are located in skill, section, some in the combat section, others in spell sections. Its all over the place.

Look at how unclear the rules are about how much damage a shield absorbs before taking a dent. Its a core concept of shield use and a whole thread is dedicated to it and no one can give a definitive answer. Even a dev hasn't responded with the answer because they probably collectively do not know.

Grand Lodge

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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I agree with everyone stating it's just new.

I don't; convenient, but not the case.

PF2 is dry, byzantine, and has no Wow-factor, for me.

When I first got a hold of the 3.0 PHB back in August 2000, I did not feel/think this way, nor when I got the 4th Ed PHB in August 2008, nor when I got the 5th Ed PHB in August 2014, and they were all new at the time.

In reality you a comparing a game in its unfinished unrefined format to three fully developed and printed rule books.

For those of us that had playtested 5e the game was not even close to the finished product when D&D Next first came out.
I do agree it has a lot of moving parts, but calling it Byzantine when comparing it to 4e is a stretch. I love 4e, but by no means is PF2 any MORE complicated than having to remember some of the multitudes of conditions and modifiers applied to enemies and players in 4e.

Honestly, the feedback you are giving is valid and Paizo is listening to the feedback for how to build a game that some of us will want to play.
I just think people are to frequently treating it like a finished product.


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I find PF2 *much* faster to prep and *much* easier to run than PF1. This greatly reduces the burden of GMing--which is one of the primary reasons I switched our groups to 5E.


LadyWurm wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:

PF1 might look simple because we've forgotten, gotten used to, or ignored a lot of quirks. For example, the Actions in Combat table listing what is a standard action, a move action, etc, and what provokes / doesn't provoke an AoO is highly complicated; it is also incomplete and ambiguous. But we aren't worrying about it anymore, because the GMs among us have learned to work with or around it.

PF2 tries to be very precise, not to leave ambiguous situations, and consistent. This makes the rules appear heavier and nitpickier. It doesn't help that they're sometimes written with overly administrative-sounding language ("Operate Activation action" is an example).

But I'm fairly sure that after 6 months to 1 year of experience most groups won't find this more complicated than PF1.

On the contrary, I just offered PF1 and PF2 as options to a group with two new players in it, so I let the two newbies sample both. They found PF1 harder to make a character in, but PF2 much harder to play. Nothing about it "worked logically", as one of them said.

Interesting. I'd like to see this expanded on.

What in particular did they feel was hard about PF1E's character creation? Only thing I'd guess is point buy (some I'll fully admit I've used a calculator for every single time I wasn't just using 16/14/14/12/10/8.). Filling out/calculating the bonuses and feat/skill/spell selection seem like something that would be the same degree of difficulty.


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When my group (I have two - PF&5E), heard new PF was coming out there was a lot of hope in my groups talk about trying it out. As soon as that giant PDF and Tome was released it deflated pretty fast.

I am not advocating wholesale change, but i was really hoping someone at Paizo had watched this video linked below, not because i wanted them to make the game as icrpg, but because of his thoughts on why he made the changes. The ideas of improving the game make so much since.

This video really changed a lot of people in my group ideas on how to hack PF & 5E.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ1Lg1l1pHY

It may be a while until the PF group switches, and it may not even be PF2, we still have a pile of PF1 stuff to go through and there is talk of Starfinder.

thanks,

AG


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Larz wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I agree with everyone stating it's just new.

I don't; convenient, but not the case.

PF2 is dry, byzantine, and has no Wow-factor, for me.

When I first got a hold of the 3.0 PHB back in August 2000, I did not feel/think this way, nor when I got the 4th Ed PHB in August 2008, nor when I got the 5th Ed PHB in August 2014, and they were all new at the time.

In reality you a comparing a game in its unfinished unrefined format to three fully developed and printed rule books.

I already addressed this: "Okay, I didn't feel this way about any of the playtests or pre-release info, either." I have always felt some excitement leading up to a new edition (soak up all the info I can), and I am bummed out that I am not that jazzed this time.

I do not agree that 4th Ed is more byzantine than PF2, 4th Ed can become a headache with all the condition stacking, but it's not fiddly, per se.

Though, in the end, who knows, maybe the final product will knock my socks off.


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deuxhero wrote:

Interesting. I'd like to see this expanded on.

What in particular did they feel was hard about PF1E's character creation? Only thing I'd guess is point buy (some I'll fully admit I've used a calculator for every single time I wasn't just using 16/14/14/12/10/8.). Filling out/calculating the bonuses and feat/skill/spell selection seem like something that would be the same degree of difficulty.

For PF1, the stumbling blocks mostly came down to explaining the different ACs and what AC bonus applies to what, some confusion about how spells work for prepared casters, and just some general issues with making sure all the right bonuses were in all the right places (they played a cleric and a ranger).

For PF2, they decided to do the same, cleric and ranger. Character creation went a little faster. When we started playing, they couldn't figure out what makes someone good or bad at skills. The numbers didn't really tell them anything. Then they completely stumbled on the action system, and found it confusing and restrictive.

Liberty's Edge

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Starfinder Superscriber

When looking at the state of the PF2e playtest, remember that it's not comparable to the state of the D&D Next playtest when it came out. 5e had nearly a year and a half of playtest, with more than one release of the playtest document. There was a lot of time to try out things, get feedback, change them, and then get feedback on the changes. It was then almost another year before the printed books came out.

This playtest, while longer than the Starfinder playtest was, is still much faster. We're told this represents 2+ years of work on the part of the design team. Now, there's a single period of several months for the playtest. A lot of work has already been done, and the playtest is a relatively short period. What's more, the printed book is scheduled to come out just under a year from now -- or just over a year from the beginning of the playtest.

D&D 5e had an additional year and a half between the beginning of the playtest and publication beyond what PF2e has. The playtest allowed for many more large scale iterations. So, when you compare the state of the PF2e document to the state of the original D&D Next playtest documents, bear in mind these differences in time. I strongly suspect that the 5e development was more playtest-driven, with a lot of development planned to happen while playtest was ongoing; in contrast, the PF2e development has gone a long way already. It's entirely reasonable to expect that the PF2e book needs to be much closer to the final version than D&D Next was to D&D 5e when it was first released.


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rknop wrote:

When looking at the state of the PF2e playtest, remember that it's not comparable to the state of the D&D Next playtest when it came out. 5e had nearly a year and a half of playtest, with more than one release of the playtest document. There was a lot of time to try out things, get feedback, change them, and then get feedback on the changes. It was then almost another year before the printed books came out.

A lot of work has already been done, and the playtest is a relatively short period.

Yeah, I still have all the 5th Ed Playtest packets, some gems I have kept that they dropped on final publication (class ability increases, Deadly Strike, additional language for Int), and I was excited from the beginning to the end.

That is what concerns me, it seems like a lot of design was done in isolation by a small group, kind of like 4th Ed (Rob & Co.), I hoped it would be more open to radical change. 4th still had some wow-factor, exciting stuff, it wasn't until after about 50 hours of play that I realised it was not for me.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The complication for new players for both pf1, and probably more for pf2 is the fear of going down the wrong path on early choices and winding up with a character you can't actually play later on. For some people that means reviewing every ancestry, every class, every archetype, and every spell list to see if your character is going to be viable.

Compared to other systems with fewer options, I expect creation time and possibly play time will take longer until people build up enough internal familiarity. One of the only ways I can think to alleviate this would be to reduce the "either or" nature of class specialization so that you could be good at more than one aspect of the class, and be more generous with changing those picks later on in a players career.

Grand Lodge

rknop wrote:

When looking at the state of the PF2e playtest, remember that it's not comparable to the state of the D&D Next playtest when it came out. 5e had nearly a year and a half of playtest, with more than one release of the playtest document. There was a lot of time to try out things, get feedback, change them, and then get feedback on the changes. It was then almost another year before the printed books came out.

This playtest, while longer than the Starfinder playtest was, is still much faster. We're told this represents 2+ years of work on the part of the design team. Now, there's a single period of several months for the playtest. A lot of work has already been done, and the playtest is a relatively short period. What's more, the printed book is scheduled to come out just under a year from now -- or just over a year from the beginning of the playtest.

D&D 5e had an additional year and a half between the beginning of the playtest and publication beyond what PF2e has. The playtest allowed for many more large scale iterations. So, when you compare the state of the PF2e document to the state of the original D&D Next playtest documents, bear in mind these differences in time. I strongly suspect that the 5e development was more playtest-driven, with a lot of development planned to happen while playtest was ongoing; in contrast, the PF2e development has gone a long way already. It's entirely reasonable to expect that the PF2e book needs to be much closer to the final version than D&D Next was to D&D 5e when it was first released.

That’s all actually a very fair point. I do remember the iterations of the game changing and I began liking each iteration more and more.

I wasn’t drawing comparing PF2 and D&D Next in a direct sense as to be the same sort of playtest. 5E was a massive undertaking and to be honest I am still a bit disappointed in 5E’s end product after that long of a playtest. But maybe that’s just me because I do like a lot of crunch.
In reality though this iteration of PF2 is not as all encompassingly bad as people are saying and is still further along than earlier iterations of D&D Next in my opinion.
Maybe it could have been more playtest heavy on Paizo’s part,
But a lot of the base ideas are quite good and won’t require that much work to fine tune.
PF2 playtest May get extended anyway according to Jason Bulmahn.


For PF1e I have honestly always relied on point buy calculators and Treantmonk styled color coded guides to build characters, especially for feats and spells. That's not simple at all but there's a pleasure to mastering the system so that some character concepts become much faster to create (any ranged character for example I now know the half dozen feats that are required and don't have to think too hard about it).

And in game, out of low levels I constantly forget all the different things I should be doing that modify attack and damge rolls. (Point Blank Shot, Power Attack type things, then you stack things like Rage, and spell buffs and everything and it becomes a lot to track off quite rapidly! TWF and natural attacks have always hurt my brain too!).

In PF2e I welcome the ABC-10 plus boosts style of building characters and having many small buckets of feats rather than one giant one has been *great*.

Spells are a mess though in 2e.

I play by post and email though so my in game experience is sadly limited.


Zamfield wrote:
The complication for new players for both pf1, and probably more for pf2 is the fear of going down the wrong path on early choices and winding up with a character you can't actually play later on. For some people that means reviewing every ancestry, every class, every archetype, and every spell list to see if your character is going to be viable.

That's another reason to drop these huge gated trees in favor of Saga Edition style gaining more diverse abilities instead of flat out better ones and only 2-4 talents in a chain. If a player ends up not liking say... Blast Back (Counter attack against area attacks that damages you. Theoretically nifty in a system full of them, but practically much worse when it's on the same class that can grab Evasion and make its trigger condition rare) that player only needs to retrain one talent in the downtime instead of remake their entire character.


LadyWurm wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

Interesting. I'd like to see this expanded on.

What in particular did they feel was hard about PF1E's character creation? Only thing I'd guess is point buy (some I'll fully admit I've used a calculator for every single time I wasn't just using 16/14/14/12/10/8.). Filling out/calculating the bonuses and feat/skill/spell selection seem like something that would be the same degree of difficulty.

For PF1, the stumbling blocks mostly came down to explaining the different ACs and what AC bonus applies to what, some confusion about how spells work for prepared casters, and just some general issues with making sure all the right bonuses were in all the right places (they played a cleric and a ranger).

For PF2, they decided to do the same, cleric and ranger. Character creation went a little faster. When we started playing, they couldn't figure out what makes someone good or bad at skills. The numbers didn't really tell them anything. Then they completely stumbled on the action system, and found it confusing and restrictive.

Interesting. Would not have expected touch AC (Dex+size+explicit bonuses) vs. AC (dex+size+armor+explicit bonuses) to be a confusing bit, though I could see CMD being a bit odd (especially when dealing with maneuvers that need both AC and CMD checks). Vancian magic is a bit more predictable though: Don't think anyone new to table top games would be familiar with it if they didn't play licensed video games.


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Technotrooper wrote:
I find PF2 *much* faster to prep and *much* easier to run than PF1. This greatly reduces the burden of GMing--which is one of the primary reasons I switched our groups to 5E.

That's been my experience as well. On the player side - even with the learning curve the 12 players (mix of experienced, novice, and new) that I've run playtest sessions for have taken quickly to the core rules. The secondary circle of rules has been more challenging - things like shields and resonance - but the basics are a lot more intuitive than Pathfinder First Edition.


deuxhero wrote:
That's another reason to drop these huge gated trees in favor of Saga Edition style gaining more diverse abilities instead of flat out better ones and only 2-4 talents in a chain. If a player ends up not liking say... Blast Back (Counter attack against area attacks that damages you. Theoretically nifty in a system full of them, but practically much worse when it's on the same class that can grab Evasion and make its trigger condition rare) that player only needs to retrain one talent in the downtime instead of remake their entire character.

Funny you should mention SWSE, I think it's one of the best D20 games so far and I have revisited it a lot lately (unfortunately it completely breaks down at higher levels, due to +Heroic level and BAB, I simply omit both and you gain a class attack bonus, just like Defences, all falls into place). SWSE is close to a class-less system, the combinations/permutations for character creation is huge.

SWSE and Tome of Battle were snapshots into 4th Ed design at the time, I wish it had ended up more SWSE-like, than ToB.


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Zamfield wrote:

The complication for new players for both pf1, and probably more for pf2 is the fear of going down the wrong path on early choices and winding up with a character you can't actually play later on. For some people that means reviewing every ancestry, every class, every archetype, and every spell list to see if your character is going to be viable.

Compared to other systems with fewer options, I expect creation time and possibly play time will take longer until people build up enough internal familiarity. One of the only ways I can think to alleviate this would be to reduce the "either or" nature of class specialization so that you could be good at more than one aspect of the class, and be more generous with changing those picks later on in a players career.

So far, I haven't seen too many feats with a lot of pre-requisites. There are some higher-level feats that improve upon lower-level ones, but they usually just make the lower-level ones better. The "feel-bad" pre-requisities are those that you want the second one on the feat chain and not the first, especially when the two aren't inseparable (Dodge and Mobility, for instance).


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DarkKnight27 wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

What experience did you have with 3.0/3.5 D&D when you made that PF1e Fighter?

PF2E is a much bigger change from 1e to 2e than the change was from D&D 3.5 to Pathfinder.

I went to GenCon the year 3.0 came out. I created my very first 3.0 character the night before the first game. It took about 45 minutes, maybe an hour. It took me 2 and a half hours to create a dwarven fighter in PF2E and I missed several things and had to go back and fix things.

Playing 3.0 at first level: I move, I swing, I hit or miss, maybe roll damage, my turn is pretty much done. PF2E, every character has 3 actions, maybe it's a Strike, maybe it's a move and a Strike, maybe it's something else. It's a lot more complicated and not nearly as simple as D&D 5E.

PF was an expansion of the 3.5 rule system, sure. That made it pretty easy for those of us who came from 3.5 to get into it. But it was also pretty simple just in and of itself. PF didn't become overly complicated until they got about 15 books into the system. That bloat killed Pathfinder. With the way the rules are structured in 2E so far, it seems like we'll quickly have the same bloat and complications on top of this already complicated rules system.

this is essentially one of the major reasons why my group have not enjoyed the play test, we have had several character creation sessions and working our way through doomsday, and they just are not liking it, it is a real chore to try and get them on board. We even tried going back after the first chapter and changing characters, and they just gave up, and we are back with the first set trying to finish somberhall (x2 pcs down because of Shadows) and get on with Mirrored Moon.

Dark Archive

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I don't think 2e character creation is any more difficult than 1e. The ABCDEFG style of character creation is fine.

The advancement is whacky. Basically everyone gets 8 stat points every 5 levels, or 40 additional stat points. Start with 60 (10s) and add 16 points(14?) to make a base character. This means that every character at level 20 could become a straight 18 (40 points) with one 22(16 pts). That's pretty whack.

The multiclassing is a mess. You have to "stay in" a class for 4 levels, basically. Why?

SPELLS? A complete nightmare. Why divide all the magic up into arbitrary types? Why stop at 5 or 6? Why not have mutant superpower type magic? Why not call advanced tech magic? Sigh...


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maouse33 wrote:

I don't think 2e character creation is any more difficult than 1e. The ABCDEFG style of character creation is fine.

The advancement is whacky. Basically everyone gets 8 stat points every 5 levels, or 40 additional stat points. Start with 60 (10s) and add 16 points(14?) to make a base character. This means that every character at level 20 could become a straight 18 (40 points) with one 22(16 pts). That's pretty whack.

The multiclassing is a mess. You have to "stay in" a class for 4 levels, basically. Why?

SPELLS? A complete nightmare. Why divide all the magic up into arbitrary types? Why stop at 5 or 6? Why not have mutant superpower type magic? Why not call advanced tech magic? Sigh...

Honestly those are just things that do not meet your personal taste.

What i like particularly about this edition is the fact that your turn isn't anymore 100% of the times try to do that 1 thing that your character is built to do or try to get in that position for next turn. Now you have to make more decisions and we like it a lot.

And multiclass it's quite cool. Basically you can make something like a magus/eldritch knight right of the bat.


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Echo that the playtest has been fine for my group and me. Have there been things that surprised us or did things in a way one or more of us didn't like? Sure, but that's going to be true of every system.


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The difficulty in evaulating this is that anyone who played 1e for a while now has shortcuts and knowledge that they don't have anymore. Take someone who has never made a 1e character and ask them to do it. They will struggle just like so many of us are struggling in 2e.

I made my second 2e character a couple days ago (this time at level 7) and it took over 3 hours. I can do it way, way faster in 1e, but that's because I can have websites with the class, spells, and feats open on different screens while I do it. The speed that gives me compared to flipping back and forth in the PDF is night and day.

Picking spells was especially arduous. I ended up having two copies of the PDF open. One was on the class spell list, and another was the one I'd use to flip around to read what the spells do. That's the best I can come up with and it's slow as molasses in comparison to just hitting pfsrd or aon.

The other hard part for me is items. 1e will give me a gold total and say "go spend it". 2e says I have a bunch of items at different levels and go sort it out. That's actually harder because instead of having a couple items I really care about and fitting whatever else I can in the budget, now I'm playing Tetris in terms of which items go in which item level slots to try and get a good outcome. It took me forever to figure that out in comparison to how long it would take me in 1e with a flat "here's 9000gp, spend it".

(Also ran into an issue where the item I really wanted above all others is 7th and the highest item level I had in the list I could take was 6th. So then I'm wondering if I can use a 6th and a 3rd to get a 7th, or spend some extra gold, or if I'm just SOL, because I have no idea what the value of a 6th is relative to a 7th in comparison to the gp I have available and if I'm allowed to use it to make up the shortfall. I didn't find this intuitive or easier at all. I did find it needlessly restrictive.)

maouse33 wrote:
The advancement is whacky. Basically everyone gets 8 stat points every 5 levels, or 40 additional stat points. Start with 60 (10s) and add 16 points(14?) to make a base character. This means that every character at level 20 could become a straight 18 (40 points) with one 22(16 pts). That's pretty whack.

Yeah, there winds up being no diversity in character stats at all as you level. It makes no sense. In a world where diversity of races and people is so wide, every single adventurer past a certain level is almost identical.

Their desire to prevent people from stacking up one stat has instead created a situation where stats lose all their uniqueness between characters. Not so much at level 1, but as you gain levels you really see the sameness build up.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Excaliburrover wrote:

Honestly those are just things that do not meet your personal taste.

What i like particularly about this edition is the fact that your turn isn't anymore 100% of the times try to do that 1 thing that your character is built to do or try to get in that position for next turn. Now you have to make more decisions and we like it a lot.

And multiclass it's quite cool. Basically you can make something like a magus/eldritch knight right of the bat.

Except you could also do that in PF1e right off the bat by just taking X levels of Fighter and Y levels of Wizard. Which also didn't lock you into taking ONLY Wizard/Fighter bonus levels for a set period of time. And also actually gave you faster access to prestige classes, since at minimum an Eldritch Knight prestige class would come online at level 8, with the major abilities you'd actually want showing up at level 10 while in PF1e you could get in at level 7 if you really gunned for it, or whenever you want if you decided to take more Fighter levels for one reason or another.


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Azih wrote:
For PF1e I have honestly always relied on point buy calculators and Treantmonk styled color coded guides to build characters, especially for feats and spells.

Here's the thing though: You're still going to have those in PF2e and sooner or later they'll become quite useful in working through the chafe.

Paizo has produced imbalanced stuff from day 1. While they may have improved (I don't think Starfinder had Day 0 errata, unlike the Pathfinder CRB) they will inevitably produce overpowered and underpowered stuff. D&D 4th edition which was even better balanced then Pathfinder 2e is going to be, had overpowered rubbish published within months of it's release. Unless you think Paizo are vastly superior to WotC (and have kept this superiority hidden away during PF1e's lifespan) they'll inevitably produce bad stuff as well.

This is a consequence of publishing a high volume of content (D&D 5th edition gets away with an anemic publishing cycle because it has brand recognition and a skeleton crew of an RPG team that routinely gets brought away to work on MTG) and the game lasting for more than 12 months. A new edition doesn't remove this, it just resets the clock to zero.


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PF2e already has imbalance in Core. Barbarians are strictly inferior to fighters. Brute Rogue is a Trap. Medicine skill is required in a party...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
tivadar27 wrote:
Medicine skill is required in a party...

Or a Healer, you're always gonna need healing of some sort.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Alchemaic wrote:
Excaliburrover wrote:

Honestly those are just things that do not meet your personal taste.

What i like particularly about this edition is the fact that your turn isn't anymore 100% of the times try to do that 1 thing that your character is built to do or try to get in that position for next turn. Now you have to make more decisions and we like it a lot.

And multiclass it's quite cool. Basically you can make something like a magus/eldritch knight right of the bat.

Except you could also do that in PF1e right off the bat by just taking X levels of Fighter and Y levels of Wizard. Which also didn't lock you into taking ONLY Wizard/Fighter bonus levels for a set period of time. And also actually gave you faster access to prestige classes, since at minimum an Eldritch Knight prestige class would come online at level 8, with the major abilities you'd actually want showing up at level 10 while in PF1e you could get in at level 7 if you really gunned for it, or whenever you want if you decided to take more Fighter levels for one reason or another.

Except that's a ridiculously weak trap build in PF1. You'll end up with a crappy fighter who can use crappy spells.


Excaliburrover wrote:
What i like particularly about this edition is the fact that your turn isn't anymore 100% of the times try to do that 1 thing that your character is built to do or try to get in that position for next turn. Now you have to make more decisions and we like it a lot.

Right on, I like dynamic combat, meaningful choices, why do you have to make more decisions than PF1, and what sorts of decisions come about?


Dire Ursus wrote:
Except that's a ridiculously weak trap build in PF1.

Take one level of Wizard; start with a Strength of 20, which is enough for a competent melee character. Then go straight Fighter. Buy wands.

...or go Magus.


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Rysky wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Medicine skill is required in a party...
Or a Healer, you're always gonna need healing of some sort.

I'd say 'and a healer' if that healer isn't a heal channeling cleric. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Except that's a ridiculously weak trap build in PF1.

Take one level of Wizard; start with a Strength of 20, which is enough for a competent melee character. Then go straight Fighter. Buy wands.

...or go Magus.

At that point you might as well have your spell caster buddy use his actions to cast with the wands you're buying and stay full fighter.

And we are talking about the multiclassing system and the core rulebook. So that we don't have to create new classes for every single build. So magus is a moot point.

Also I always felt like magus never really fit the aesthetic of a wizard fighter. Because usually your best bet is to use your spell slots for shocking grasp and metamagic shocking grasp. Meanwhile in the playtest a wizard spending class feats on fighter archetype is exactly what I picture for a wizard fighter. Can handle themselves with their weapons but their spell casting capabilities aren't suffering.


Dire Ursus wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Except that's a ridiculously weak trap build in PF1.

Take one level of Wizard; start with a Strength of 20, which is enough for a competent melee character. Then go straight Fighter. Buy wands.

...or go Magus.

At that point you might as well have your spell caster buddy use his actions to cast with the wands you're buying and stay full fighter.

And we are talking about the multiclassing system and the core rulebook. So that we don't have to create new classes for every single build. So magus is a moot point.

Also I always felt like magus never really fit the aesthetic of a wizard fighter. Because usually your best bet is to use your spell slots for shocking grasp and metamagic shocking grasp. Meanwhile in the playtest a wizard spending class feats on fighter archetype is exactly what I picture for a wizard fighter. Can handle themselves with their weapons but their spell casting capabilities aren't suffering.

Starting with the Unchained RAE, any caster can Magus a bit.


LadyWurm wrote:
I don't just mean in the sense of the game's bloat or how you have to constantly cross-reference different sections.

There is a lot of cross referencing but I see that as an organizational problem rather than a complexity problem. Last week, I discovered that someone had put the ruleset up online and ease of use improved dramatically after that: http://pf2playtest.opengamingnetwork.com/

LadyWurm wrote:
A surprisingly low number of things in this game are automatic, passive, or obvious.

I think that was intentional and a simplification over Pathfinder First Edition. Juggling a dozen different modifier types that may or may not be conditional/stack to obtain extremely high totals was a complication in the previous edition - it's easy to forget that because many of us have a high level of system mastery but it's much less intuitive than "decide which abilities you want at each level".

LadyWurm wrote:
You can't just look at a number to know if you're good at a skill, you have to reference specific feats.

It is a lot to reference and I think the character sheet does a poor job of providing the space/formatting for it. If the character sheet had better formatting for abilities there would be a lot less need to jump back. I've started having characters just use the spell sheet for actions/powers.

LadyWurm wrote:
A lot of your character doesn't do anything at all unless you either make a choice or take an action.

I don't see this as a problem. I want characters to be action oriented.

LadyWurm wrote:
Your ancestry is nothing without feats.

This is a valid criticism. Developers heard this loud and clear, hence Update 1.4 correcting the oversight.

LadyWurm wrote:
Your class is largely nothing without feats.

I'd rather have Players select their class abilities at each level as in the playtest than try to patchwork in archetypes as in the previous edition.

LadyWurm wrote:
So many things that were just passive or simplistic features in 1E now require an action, or alter your rolls, or have special conditions, and so on.

I agree. The action economy needs some tweaks when it comes to simple actions like dropping an item or pulling out a potion or shifting grip.

LadyWurm wrote:
This is exactly what I hated about D&D 4E and it feels like Paizo is riding that train. Why?

I liked that Fourth Edition let players select what class abilities they gained at each level. Customization is good. What I didn't like about Fourth Edition is that every class was essentially the same with slightly different abilities and that out of combat abilities were completely overshadowed. I don't think the playtest makes those mistakes - classes are mechanically diverse and out of combat options are abundant for all classes.

LadyWurm wrote:
How can this game be marketed as a "simpler, more new-player-friendly" version of the game when it's anything but simple?

I think you're overestimating the simplicity of Pathfinder First Edition. I've ran several new to TTRPG players through both and there's no doubt in my mind that the playtest is more intuitive - even in it's current playtest state.

LadyWurm wrote:
Go beyond a certain level and it feels like you need notecards just to keep track of everything.

This is a largely a failing of the character sheet, in my opinion.

LadyWurm wrote:
Also, I forsee class design being a nightmare for 3pps.

I disagree. The modular design makes homebrewing new content far more intuitive, in my opinion. I converted over my current campaign and it was much easier to homebrew new class abilities than in the previous edition.


The Once and Future Kai wrote:
LadyWurm wrote:
I don't just mean in the sense of the game's bloat or how you have to constantly cross-reference different sections.

There is a lot of cross referencing but I see that as an organizational problem rather than a complexity problem. Last week, I discovered that someone had put the ruleset up online and ease of use improved dramatically after that: http://pf2playtest.opengamingnetwork.com/

Have they included the updates yet? Last time I looked they were still on version 1.0.

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