Pathfinder Playtest is actually MORE complicated than PF1E


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

I mean conceptually.

A surprisingly low number of things in this game are automatic, passive, or obvious. You can't just look at a number to know if you're good at a skill, you have to reference specific feats. A lot of your character doesn't do anything at all unless you either make a choice or take an action. Your ancestry is nothing without feats. Your class is largely nothing without feats. 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. This is exactly what I hated about D&D 4E and it feels like Paizo is riding that train. Why?

How can this game be marketed as a "simpler, more new-player-friendly" version of the game when it's anything but simple? Go beyond a certain level and it feels like you need notecards just to keep track of everything. This, more than anything, is why I think many people are questioning the design goals of PF2E. If the goal is to make it more approachable, it's really failing so far.

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


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

I was going to say that you did also have to do that in PF1e on occasion, but then I remembered that usually that took the form of remembering how all your bonuses were calculated, particularly when a miffed GM asked to see your math after having an attack roll 10 higher than it should be according to him.

I guess it's trading out one mess of memorization for another, though at least the old one was a mess you didn't have to remember while in the middle of a game.


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

I was going to say that you did also have to do that in PF1e on occasion, but then I remembered that usually that took the form of remembering how all your bonuses were calculated, particularly when a miffed GM asked to see your math after having an attack roll 10 higher than it should be according to him.

I guess it's trading out one mess of memorization for another, though at least the old one was a mess you didn't have to remember while in the middle of a game.

Exactly. In PF1 you pause to look up a spell, or figure out a combat maneuver ruling, that sort of thing.

Now everything requires a lookup. You're flippign to the spells section for class features, flipping to the feats section to make a skill check, and so on. It's beyond obnoxious.


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Agree with this - it really doesn't help that the rulebook is so disjointed. Without the searchable pdf I'd have given up a month ago.

Grand Lodge

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Every playtest session I have witnessed takes twice as long to do anything as a PF1 table would have. Some of that I had just chalked up to it being new, and people not knowing the rules as well. This actually explains a lot of what I had been feeling too. Way more cross-referencing, way less passive bonuses, etc. leads to a slower moving and more complicated game.


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My playtest pregen was over 3 pages long. Compare to some other games where a character sheet can be effective on only an index card.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm going to give a different perspective. For myself, as a GM, I was having to reference things I don't normally have to, so from rules familiarity viewpoint, definitely much more to look up and reference.

However, this August, I started taking a group of my newer RPG friends through Rise of the Runelords. They started playing in 4E and now are all 5E players. The transition to PF1 was extremely difficult for them. However, they didn't have nearly as much difficulty creating characters or playing them in the PF2 playtest sessions I have run. It was much easier for them to transition to PF2. Much.

That said, compared to 5E, they are still finding PF2 PT to be more complex.


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Quote:
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.

Some things being tied to actions are problematic. Chief among these for me are the Point Out action and adjusting your grip on a weapon.Those should absolutely be free actions. Other actions like "jumping onto a thing" don't bother me as much as they are cinematic and can lead to interesting tactical choices.

Quote:
A surprisingly low number of things in this game are automatic, passive, or obvious. You can't just look at a number to know if you're good at a skill, you have to reference specific feats.

I dunno, I really like what they did with Arcana giving Detect Magic and Intimidation giving you stuff like Battle Cry.

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

I can sympathize but we are advancing in levels through this playtest pretty quickly and making new characters almost every week. I do think this issue will be ameliorated somewhat by slower advancement and consistently using the same characters week after week.


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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.


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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.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Agree with this - it really doesn't help that the rulebook is so disjointed. Without the searchable pdf I'd have given up a month ago.

SO much this. Everytime I open the PDF I wish one of the online sites would add a playtest section to dump it in. JUST having spells listed by type and level with a description would be awesome as would having abilities done the same but in a DIFFERENT section and not tossed into the same pile.


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I disagree. There are so many things in PF1 with completely bespoke functions. Different things might operate on different numbers or different actions (which can only be traded down except for swift actions, remember). Often, spells and effects would reference a different effect, as well.

By contrasts, everything uses the same numbers. If you know how this one thing works, you know how most things work. Actions are completely interchangeable, as well. And now there is a standardization of effects and powers, making referencing them easier.

Add on top of that the clear formatting how each action functions rather than buying it in a paragraph. PF2, while not perfect, is much simpler than PF1. I just don't see what you are talking about, my dude.


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graystone wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Agree with this - it really doesn't help that the rulebook is so disjointed. Without the searchable pdf I'd have given up a month ago.
SO much this. Everytime I open the PDF I wish one of the online sites would add a playtest section to dump it in. JUST having spells listed by type and level with a description would be awesome as would having abilities done the same but in a DIFFERENT section and not tossed into the same pile.

I found this on reddit...

Spell Finder


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LadyWurm wrote:


I mean conceptually.

Your premise, if I understand it, is that making more active choices in how your character is built makes them harder to understand and remember. I'm not sure I accept that premise-- one could make a case that it is easier to remember an ability you chose than an ability you didn't.

Quote:
A surprisingly low number of things in this game are automatic, passive, or obvious. You can't just look at a number to know if you're good at a skill, you have to reference specific feats.

Not really? Numerical bonuses still indicate how good you are. You may need to look at whether you bubbled the "T" next to the skill to determine if you can do a specific task. But that's not harder than what you had before-- in PF1, you often had to ask a player "are you trainined in X" and there was a decent chance if they weren't they didn't even have it on their sheet. Looking for the absence of something is harder than looking to see if a bubble is filled in.

Skill feats don't really tell you if you are good at a skill so much as add new things you can do with the skill. I could take Battlefield Medic on an 8 wisdom goblin and I won't be very good at medicine, for example.

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

Was that so different from PF1? Spells required taking an action. Rage and rage powers required an action. Flurry of blows required an action. Sneak attack required an action. Ki powers, stunning fist, etc. The only characters that seemed especially passive were certain brands of Fighters, if they avoided stuff like Cleave and Combat Maneuvers in favor of stuff like Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. Heck, even the most ubiquitous combat feat of PF1, Power Attack, required you deciding if you were going to use it every round and adjusting your math on that basis.

Quote:
Your ancestry is nothing without feats.

Substitute "ancestry" with "race" and "feats" for "traits" and you have PF1. All of the racial traits of PF1 were optional as well, and you had to make all of those choices at level 1, unless you just opt to take the default package. PF1 may not hand you a default package, but having you choose only 1 feature at level 1 rather than 6 or 7 is definitely simpler. (I'd argue TOO simple-- we need another ancestry feat at 1st level.)

Quote:
Your class is largely nothing without feats.

This was also true about man of the PF1 core classes, if you broaden the term "feats" to encompass the conceptual overlap with rage powers, rogue talents, etc. The Fighter, rogue, barbarian, wizard, cleric, and sorcerer all had very similar looking class progression tables, with roughly the same number of static class features vs "bonus feat" choice at even levels. Some classes, like the alchemist, seem to have gotten more default features.

Even most of the other classes still had a bunch of choices to make. Rangers picked combat style feats, favored enemies, a hunter's bond, and favored terrains pretty regularly. Monks had bonus feats and were kind of worthless until they gained more customization. The bard at least got more bardic performances by default, but had to pick Versatile Performances and I'm not sure they felt simpler than they do now. The Paladin was a more robust package sans choices, despite picking mercies. And the druid got rather a lot of stuff sans feats too, but I'd laugh hysterically if anyone suggested the PF1 druid was a simple class.

Quote:
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.

Well, some stuff in PF1 that was a free action before takes an action now, but I dunno if that's actually making the game more complex. "Drawing a weapon is an action" is simpler than "drawing a weapon is a move action unless you have a BAB of +1 in which case you can do it as part of another move action." "A step is an action" is simpler than "a five foot step isn't an action and allows you to still take a move action but not to actually move." It might be more frustrating for some folks, but that's not the same as more complicated.

I definitely don't feel like there's more stuff altering my rolls though-- PF2 looooved giving out "+2 bonuses but only against X," which I'm sad to see are still around in PF2 but don't seem as common. And PF1 also had a much broader array of things altering my rolls, from Power Attack, to higher ground, to flat-footed being different from flanking, to there being many more bonus and penalty types.

Quote:
How can this game be marketed as a "simpler, more new-player-friendly" version of the game when it's anything but simple? Go beyond a certain level and it feels like you need notecards just to keep track of everything.

Again, is that any different from PF1? If you print out a list of all the special abilities and items a mid-level character has, it is gonna be 5-6 pages long. And that is without touching spells.

Quote:
If the goal is to make it more approachable, it's really failing so far.

Eh. My group has been able to build characters pretty easily without needing to use online tools or hero lab, which definitely hadn't felt like the case in PF1 in a long time. (With the exception of spells, those are a pain to choose.)

There's also been a drastic reduction in certain resource pool tracking, like rage rounds or a lot of the daily use powers. And the math of the game definitely feels simpler and more transparent.

Grand Lodge

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I think that this is extremely concerning, especially as the PF1 comparison isn't limited to the core rulebook.

If it's this unwieldy now, how will it be when thirty splatbooks are out?

Dark Archive

PF2 is similar to occult. It will take sometime to get used to. I dont think it will be hard to remember things after you got used to it.

I started this game with the kineticist. I do understand your pain. It will get better in time.


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Lausth wrote:

PF2 is similar to occult. It will take sometime to get used to. I dont think it will be hard to remember things after you got used to it.

I started this game with the kineticist. I do understand your pain. It will get better in time.

It will only get better if Paizo improve the game though. Right now, I don't think PF2 is in a good place, and that's a very popular consensus. Adapting is one thing, accepting is another. This is a "this need to change" not a "oh we'll just get used to this".

Dark Archive

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LadyWurm wrote:
Lausth wrote:

PF2 is similar to occult. It will take sometime to get used to. I dont think it will be hard to remember things after you got used to it.

I started this game with the kineticist. I do understand your pain. It will get better in time.

It will only get better if Paizo improve the game though. Right now, I don't think PF2 is in a good place, and that's a very popular consensus. Adapting is one thing, accepting is another. This is a "this need to change" not a "oh we'll just get used to this".

A lot of things in the playtest book can change in release. Pazio is just trying to gather some data from us so they can make a great game.

If they found out that majority of the players dont like the current way of writing things than they will change it.

EDIT: I dont like somethings in the playtest to but if i were to try to make a great game, my playtest book would look like this one.

Grand Lodge

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Albatoonoe wrote:

I disagree. There are so many things in PF1 with completely bespoke functions. Different things might operate on different numbers or different actions (which can only be traded down except for swift actions, remember). Often, spells and effects would reference a different effect, as well.

By contrasts, everything uses the same numbers. If you know how this one thing works, you know how most things work. Actions are completely interchangeable, as well. And now there is a standardization of effects and powers, making referencing them easier.

Add on top of that the clear formatting how each action functions rather than buying it in a paragraph. PF2, while not perfect, is much simpler than PF1. I just don't see what you are talking about, my dude.

As other have pointed out, part of the issue with PF2E is that it's just new. But when a single combat in 2E takes well over an hour, even at low levels, that's an issue. In PF1E, low level combats would take maybe 20 to 30 minutes, tops.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I was able to create a new 1st level fighter at a Con for my very first PFS game in almost no time, maybe 30 minutes. Now this was way back when you only had the core book so I didn't have to worry about 30 books worth of bloat... I mean options. I tried creating a 1st level fighter in 2E and it took way longer, maybe 2 hours because of constant page turning and trying to find how things worked. I also missed several things because they weren't clearly called out.

So far, PF2E seems to be a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DarkKnight27 wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

I disagree. There are so many things in PF1 with completely bespoke functions. Different things might operate on different numbers or different actions (which can only be traded down except for swift actions, remember). Often, spells and effects would reference a different effect, as well.

By contrasts, everything uses the same numbers. If you know how this one thing works, you know how most things work. Actions are completely interchangeable, as well. And now there is a standardization of effects and powers, making referencing them easier.

Add on top of that the clear formatting how each action functions rather than buying it in a paragraph. PF2, while not perfect, is much simpler than PF1. I just don't see what you are talking about, my dude.

As other have pointed out, part of the issue with PF2E is that it's just new. But when a single combat in 2E takes well over an hour, even at low levels, that's an issue. In PF1E, low level combats would take maybe 20 to 30 minutes, tops.

Speaking from a personal perspective, I was able to create a new 1st level fighter at a Con for my very first PFS game in almost no time, maybe 30 minutes. Now this was way back when you only had the core book so I didn't have to worry about 30 books worth of bloat... I mean options. I tried creating a 1st level fighter in 2E and it took way longer, maybe 2 hours because of constant page turning and trying to find how things worked. I also missed several things because they weren't clearly called out.

So far, PF2E seems to be a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

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.


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Nah
High level combat takes 20 minutes IF you are an experienced player. 5 noobs (including the dm) that have to look up rules in a pdf in the middle of combat take a lot more time. And that is what's happening, we're all noobs in pf2

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Blueskier wrote:

Nah

High level combat takes 20 minutes IF you are an experienced player. 5 noobs (including the dm) that have to look up rules in a pdf in the middle of combat take a lot more time. And that is what's happening, we're all noobs in pf2

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.


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I can't really agree with this. Its simply because the system is new. I've devoured the book. I can create a lvl 1 martial character in P2E in 10 minutes. I can probably create a spellcaster in 15 min.

I can do the most important stuff for a lvl 12 character in like 20. It's gear that usually takes any more time. Against spellcaster are more time consuming but they always were.

It's just new. Get used to it and you'll do just fine.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with everyone stating it's just new. PF1 seems really simple and easy to us that have been playing it for years but I had the... "pleasure" of trying to explain it to a group of new players recently. Not very fun to say the least. Yet I ran this same group through converting over to 2e and it's been much easier going. There's a lot less little rules that you just have to say "because that's how it is".

"Wait why am I taking this -4 penalty?"

"Because you're firing into melee"

"Why can't I attack twice?"

"Because you moved more than 5ft."

"How come that guy can hit me after trying to push him?"

"Because you don't have improved bullrush."

When I first started playing 3.5 the GM barely knew the rules and didn't feel like looking everything up every 5 minutes so we just went with what was cool. Mind you this was when I was 12 y/o so I just went along with it. Took me years to figure out just how many things we were doing wrong.


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Yeah, my players had no problem picking up combat. They had a pretty easy time learning everything and actually played through the encounters rather quickly. Granted, I haven't played as much as I would've liked due to scheduling issues, but it has still gone well.


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Rameth wrote:

I can't really agree with this. Its simply because the system is new. I've devoured the book. I can create a lvl 1 martial character in P2E in 10 minutes. I can probably create a spellcaster in 15 min.

I can do the most important stuff for a lvl 12 character in like 20. It's gear that usually takes any more time. Against spellcaster are more time consuming but they always were.

It's just new. Get used to it and you'll do just fine.

Creating a character is actually fairly fast due to how anemic and simplified the game is, but actually playing it is slow, awkward, and unfun.

"It's just new" doesn't work as an excuse because we started playing 5E when it was brand new and only in playtest and we had both running and playing it just about down in literally an hour. 5E was fun from the get-go.

Weeks later, we're still struggling with PF2 and hating it constantly because the design is so clunky and even being a playtest its options and rules feel restrictive, overcomplicated or bland.


I haven't noticed slower battles, other than needing to look up new rules or spells.
And once players developed a sense of which 3-action routines suited which situations, combat sped up. Unless you're referencing rocket tag, yes, there's less of that. So yes, there are more rounds, but the rounds are more dynamic and seem no slower.

Which is to say, I disagree, but I'm the opposite of 5e's target audience.


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Lausth wrote:
PF2 is similar to occult. It will take sometime to get used to it.

If it's like occult, I don't think that's a good thing. There are still parts of occult that's hard to recall for me and several classes I'm not very proficient in after this amount of time. So if PF2 takes a similar amount of time for me, that's bad.

Bardarok wrote:
graystone wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
Agree with this - it really doesn't help that the rulebook is so disjointed. Without the searchable pdf I'd have given up a month ago.
SO much this. Everytime I open the PDF I wish one of the online sites would add a playtest section to dump it in. JUST having spells listed by type and level with a description would be awesome as would having abilities done the same but in a DIFFERENT section and not tossed into the same pile.

I found this on reddit...

Spell Finder

I'd seen that before. While it's better than the pdf, it's not really in the form I use. When I look for PF1 spells, I open up nethys, open up a spell list and in front of me I see all that lists spells by level and each individual level is alphabetized. The link you gave allows for sorting by level OR alphabetical order but not both.

So if I'm looking for arcane 0-2 level spells, I'm still sorting through a bunch of spells tossed in a pile, just a smaller pile [which isn't nothing]. It kind of works if you limit it to a single spell level and type at a time and go alphabetical order. I WILL say It does a good job of making rarity actually visible and identifiable [unlike the pdf].

Overall it IS helpful [and I thank you for posting it], but I wish it worked better for how I look for spells. DO they have one for abilities/powers? This kind of setup would work better for those IMO.


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Dire Ursus wrote:

I agree with everyone stating it's just new. PF1 seems really simple and easy to us that have been playing it for years but I had the... "pleasure" of trying to explain it to a group of new players recently. Not very fun to say the least. Yet I ran this same group through converting over to 2e and it's been much easier going. There's a lot less little rules that you just have to say "because that's how it is".

"Wait why am I taking this -4 penalty?"

"Because you're firing into melee"

"Why can't I attack twice?"

"Because you moved more than 5ft."

"How come that guy can hit me after trying to push him?"

"Because you don't have improved bullrush."

When I first started playing 3.5 the GM barely knew the rules and didn't feel like looking everything up every 5 minutes so we just went with what was cool. Mind you this was when I was 12 y/o so I just went along with it. Took me years to figure out just how many things we were doing wrong.

I dunno, I have a group I recently I introduced to pathfinder that mostly plays a homebrew game (Quest) kind of like OD&D, but with a lot more math and physics. I think all of the things you mentioned above made sense to them completely (I mean c'mon, you SHOULD be penalized for shooting into melee. It's really hard to do. It was penalized harder in Quest.)

I also can't see them going along with Bulk as a concept. It's way too imprecise. Mass and volume are important as independent measurements for a reason.

Grand Lodge

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LadyWurm wrote:
Rameth wrote:

I can't really agree with this. Its simply because the system is new. I've devoured the book. I can create a lvl 1 martial character in P2E in 10 minutes. I can probably create a spellcaster in 15 min.

I can do the most important stuff for a lvl 12 character in like 20. It's gear that usually takes any more time. Against spellcaster are more time consuming but they always were.

It's just new. Get used to it and you'll do just fine.

Creating a character is actually fairly fast due to how anemic and simplified the game is, but actually playing it is slow, awkward, and unfun.

"It's just new" doesn't work as an excuse because we started playing 5E when it was brand new and only in playtest and we had both running and playing it just about down in literally an hour. 5E was fun from the get-go.

Weeks later, we're still struggling with PF2 and hating it constantly because the design is so clunky and even being a playtest its options and rules feel restrictive, overcomplicated or bland.

I don’t know if we played the same game then when 5E was in playtest because I remember the documents being terrible to try to get through. It was impossible to try to locate a rule when you needed it and the table of contents was useless.

Building a character took us forever and so many systems were added and dropped in every rendition of the rules it was frustrating. (Skill dice anyone?)

Most importantly though the 5E playtest was awful to begin with but eventually the rules began to smooth out and the end released product was awesome. Although I would tend to disagree with your anemic statement as I find the rules of PF2 much more crunchy than the rules of 5E. My group moved away from 5E for being to generic.
I honestly feel like PF2 is off to a better start. So far in the past month and a half I have seen systems dropped and added much like in 5E.
If anything, I think feedback has been implemented much better as we have direct input from the designers on the forums and the twitch stream.
we just need to keep playing and it will smooth out as the rules are refined over the next 3 months.
Besides, Jason Bulmahn straight up said that if they need more time to get the rules right they may even extend the playtest.


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Larz wrote:

I honestly feel like PF2 is off to a better start. So far in the past month and a half I have seen systems dropped and added much like in 5E.

If anything, I think feedback has been implemented much better as we have direct input from the...

Oh, don't get me wrong! Just because I thought the initial release was plain awful doesn't mean it isn't fixable. PF2 does have a number of really good ideas under the hood. It just needs to change and drop a number or things before any of my gaming groups would consider it worth picking up.

Most notably: Resonance sucks, the ancestries feel anemic and need their feats at lower levels, there's too much unnecessary repetition of rules (mostly in the classes), the proficiency system feels boring and unrewarding, and the action system needs a lot more attention.

Many of these are major revisions, but if they happen, I would happily invest in the game.

I own a whole stack of PF1 books, after all. ^__^

Scarab Sages

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I disagree with the OP, can we please not dumb down this game anymore, there are already tons of dumb'd down RPGs. I mean I have spent the last few weeks learning this game, I guess I'm just weird, I enjoy learning games. We are playing a new version that lacks all the tools and familiarity we had before. I don't think the feats are that complicated they usually have simple rules effecting your character, and they are growing slowly through the life of your character, just like most strategy games you play, the board grows in complexity as the game goes on, but you witnessed it's evolution along the way. In the future you are not going to have to re learn a new character every few levels like in the play test. Also if you are overwhelmed by the vast complexity of this game please play a barbarian or Fighter, take feats that do not cause you to learn something new like toughness and incredible initiative, you wont even have to remember you have some of those feats. You will still be viable and powerful and wont have to reference the rules much, I'm pretty sure you can memorize the Rage power.


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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.


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In fairness to Paizo, as someone who hasn't been shy about pointing out the bits that are overcomplicated and/or unnecessary, I have to say that running monsters in PF2 is GREAT. Part of that is that it's so straightforward: it's clear what actions they can take, their abilities and weaknesses are set out up top, and because of this, they're fun to run (y'know, remember fun, that thing RPGs are supposed to be?).

Case in point: the first part of Doomsday Dawn, the ooze was disgusting. The goblins were sneaky, they dodged around the frontliners (no AoOs to worry about) and goblin scuttle meant they got in prime flanking position quickly.

When the party encountered Drakus, the frontliners tried flanking him, only to be stopped dead (almost literally) by his AoO. It was like 'ok, this guy knows how to fight!'

I'm currently throwing the Ankhrav at them, and it feels different again, a real ambush predator (they spotted the mound, but didn't know what it was). Sadly none of them are wearing very heavy armour, but the sundering bite (or whatever it's called) would be very nasty if they were!

Now if I could just roll decently on a d20 to hit...

EDIT: I think that's part of why I find the whole playtest experience so irritating - the bits of PF2 that work are excellent, but the parts that suck are SO sucky that it's jarring.


Wandering Wastrel wrote:
In fairness to Paizo, as someone who hasn't been shy about pointing out the bits that are overcomplicated and/or unnecessary, I have to say that running monsters in PF2 is GREAT. Part of that is that it's so straightforward: it's clear what actions they can take, their abilities and weaknesses are set out up top, and because of this, they're fun to run (y'know, remember fun, that thing RPGs are supposed to be?).

Monster reactions and not everything having AoO are two things I really like about PF2 (have ported over to 3rd Ed/PF1/5th Ed; 5th Ed has some, but held back).


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:
EDIT: I think that's part of why I find the whole playtest experience so irritating - the bits of PF2 that work are excellent, but the parts that suck are SO sucky that it's jarring.

THIS. So much this. It makes the game feel very patchwork.


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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.

Everything you are listing is a final product. The PF2 handbook is going to look a lot different and have a much higher budget of full color art and a more rigorous editing process.

"wow" factor is a very difficult metric to judge on an active playtest where the game rules themselves are going to be messy moving parts, making organizing them for visual effect rather difficult.

PF2 playtest is messy and has more rules included than will make the PF2 final product, as well as entire areas of the game that are not getting play tested as rigorously and thus are not in the playtest rules, whether or not that gets sorted the way I want it to, it will get sorted and the mess and the "empty" feel of the rulebook will be addressed. Writing great flavor for things that might not make the final product is not a great use of developer's resources so it makes sense that the interface is not as lively as it will be when the decisions are made and the content of the product is more secured. I am guessing that the dryness and the complexity are both things that will be greatly reduced in the actual product release.


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Unicore 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.

Everything you are listing is a final product.

Okay, I didn't feel this way about any of the playtests or pre-release info, either.


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Unicore wrote:
The PF2 handbook is going to look a lot different and have a much higher budget of full color art and a more rigorous editing process.

Not concerned about art or colour, I actually prefer black & white, and spare art.

Grand Lodge

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I disagree. While it is true initial play takes longer, but once you understand the lingo and general mechanics, I find the game to be equivalent to PF1E. Our group is enjoying most of the changes especially the tri-action system, combat maneuvers, flexibility of spells with respect to heightening or component investment, etc. All in all, we like the new system. Not better or worse than 1E, just the same. That being said, there are still some “bugs” that need to be worked out. Generally, we do not think this system is any easier to learn than 1E so if that was a design goal, we do not think it was successful.


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TwilightKnight wrote:
Generally, we do not think this system is any easier to learn than 1E so if that was a design goal, we do not think it was successful.

Yes, and that is key, I was hoping for a softening, evolutionary approach, but this seems to be the opposite.

Let's not cure the headaches by cutting off the head, again.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've found the combats to be pretty quick and easy to run so far. This will probably be even more pronounced as my group gets to the higher level chapters when comparing it to 1st edition.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This is our point too:

PF2 WILL BE MUCH BETTER than PF1 once we fix the obvious (Resonance, Dying...), if we KEEP IT SIMPLE.

E. g. Resonance or Hero Points are not necessary at all. They are just bad answers to a good issue. We will get rid of those and find a much easier way to reach the intended goal.
Once done, I am really confident PF2 will be a great improvement.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
graystone wrote:
Lausth wrote:
PF2 is similar to occult. It will take sometime to get used to it.
If it's like occult, I don't think that's a good thing. There are still parts of occult that's hard to recall for me and several classes I'm not very proficient in after this amount of time. So if PF2 takes a similar amount of time for me, that's bad.

Here, here! The occult book and classes, particularly the kineticist, is, to my mind, one of Paizo's most problematic efforts. To the degree that the PF2 is influenced by or similar to the occult book, I think that's a very bad thing.

Dark Archive

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It gets better once you get used to it.

EDIT: It gets a lot better. I am fairly positive that 2e CRB will be good once its done and released. They have a lot of things to do. So some complicated text is understandable.


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LadyWurm wrote:
Wandering Wastrel wrote:
EDIT: I think that's part of why I find the whole playtest experience so irritating - the bits of PF2 that work are excellent, but the parts that suck are SO sucky that it's jarring.
THIS. So much this. It makes the game feel very patchwork.

Glad it's not just me!


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I feel the need to stand up for Occult Adventures. Sure, there was a lot of new and dense mechanics, but they allowed for a lot of new and interesting things you could do. I still love the ability to make the Mesmerist into a heavily armoured tank, for example. I think it works well as a expansion book mid-to-late in the cycle for those who are into deep dives for their characters. I'll admit it might not be a good model for an intro book, for all that I want to be sure of the system's depth potentially beyond said intro.

Of course, all of this is reliant on the mechanical density actually producing something interesting, which I am not confident PF2 is managing.


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Welcome to the reality that tabletop RPGs are NOT simple games. So trying to make one that is "simple" is impossible. That's why the OSR are so silly. To outsiders, they're all impenetrable.


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Occult adventures had some good stuff, but the clarity of the writing was hampered in places by a failure to take out the old text & mechanics and actually replace it when it proved unclear. The kineticist was the worst example of this. Hopefully the same mistake won't be made with a new edition - the worst case scenario with resonance is that more layers of fiddly fixes get placed on top of the existing mechanic. It could happen.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
I feel the need to stand up for Occult Adventures. Sure, there was a lot of new and dense mechanics, but they allowed for a lot of new and interesting things you could do. I still love the ability to make the Mesmerist into a heavily armoured tank, for example. I think it works well as a expansion book mid-to-late in the cycle for those who are into deep dives for their characters. I'll admit it might not be a good model for an intro book, for all that I want to be sure of the system's depth potentially beyond said intro.

And to be fair, I've mellowed on Occult Adventures. Now, it's mainly the kineticist and the medium which make me crazy. I particularly dislike the kineticst because it has it own set of rules and mechanics which it shares with no other class and which doesn't seem to have any roots in D&D/Pathfinder as I understand it. I've come to appreciate the basic idea behind psychic spells, even though I think it would have implemented a little better.

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