My personal opinion on pf2


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I have purchased nearly every core book and most of the player companions for pf1. I have played pf1 since it came out. I understand that there are serious balance issues with pf1 and a barrier to entry for new players.

I am currently contemplating picking a different game than pf2.

My list of issues with pf2:

1) I dislike a system where creatures are built arbitrarily different from pcs. Level 0 creatures should not have +6 to hit, when their stats should not allow them to. This "feature" breaks my immersion with the system. Why even have statistics, if bonuses are arbitrarily assigned.

2) I think critical effects being tied to hit chance couples the game too closely to 50% success rates. In pf1, you could easily have a 95% chance to hit with a 5% chance to critical. In pf2, you can't get to 75% because this would skew criticals too much. I personally dislike a game based on 50% success rate.

3) The feats assigned to classes are currently mostly uninteresting. If you are going to go this fashion, take a page from video games and make them meaningful.

4) Spellcasting has been overly nerfed. Spellcasting is weaker than starfinder, which nerfed spells significantly. A friend commented that this makes pf2 not high fantasy.

5) Certain mechanics are "whacked". Heavy armor penalties are too high. Shields get destroyed too easily. Longbows should not have the volley rule. Range weapons were overly nerfed when the new action economy and lack of range feats levels the disparity from range to melee.


nicholas storm wrote:

I have purchased nearly every core book and most of the player companions for pf1. I have played pf1 since it came out. I understand that there are serious balance issues with pf1 and a barrier to entry for new players.

I am currently contemplating picking a different game than pf2.

My list of issues with pf2:

1) I dislike a system where creatures are built arbitrarily different from pcs. Level 0 creatures should not have +6 to hit, when their stats should not allow them to. This "feature" breaks my immersion with the system. Why even have statistics, if bonuses are arbitrarily assigned.

2) I think critical effects being tied to hit chance couples the game too closely to 50% success rates. In pf1, you could easily have a 95% chance to hit with a 5% chance to critical. In pf2, you can't get to 75% because this would skew criticals too much. I personally dislike a game based on 50% success rate.

3) The feats assigned to classes are currently mostly uninteresting. If you are going to go this fashion, take a page from video games and make them meaningful.

4) Spellcasting has been overly nerfed. Spellcasting is weaker than starfinder, which nerfed spells significantly. A friend commented that this makes pf2 not high fantasy.

5) Certain mechanics are "whacked". Heavy armor penalties are too high. Shields get destroyed too easily. Longbows should not have the volley rule. Range weapons were overly nerfed when the new action economy and lack of range feats levels the disparity from range to melee.

I agree with you.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Every two weeks Paizo is coming out with updates and changes. This is what the play test is all about.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think it's safe to say that they'll not be able to create a game that every PF1 player will migrate to. Heck, I know people who still play 4E and AD&D. Play what you enjoy most and are comfortable with.

I am with Githzilla, though. Just give feedback on what you like and dislike along with the rest of us, and see if they trend in a direction that's to your liking. In just this short time since the PT release, I've seen some notable updates that have improved the game already, and there's still plenty of time for additional improvement.

Personally, I don't need Creatures to follow the same rules as players (granted, I started with basic D&D) as long as they are level appropriate and interesting (which, conversely, I don't think is always true in both cases). All the resizing weapons, trying to find ways to make a kobold (at it's size and strength) still a viable foe, etc., just got taxing to me. Life was simpler when I could just see Kobold with AC, HPs, Attacks, and Damage without having to justify EVERY SINGLE FIELD. It doesn't have to be that hard, just fun to play (and GM).

For the rest, I am in a wait and see mode (criticals are one I am okay with as long as that delicate balance with the +10 rule is maintained, for example).

Unlike you, though, I am more encouraged than discouraged, so here's hoping they can find improvements to continue to keep me interested while moving in a direction you'll enjoy.


Of 1 and 3, I definitely agree. Of 4, a little (I was furious in PF1 when casters enjoyed free scaling on low level spells while noncasters struggled with iterative attack penalties; of now, as scaling is more about additional weapon dice, well...) The others, I need more evaluation.


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My fear is that lack of revenue will force them to release the game before it should be.

With the state of the current playtest, the only thing that we might buy are the adventure paths. And since the new APs would be difficult to use with pf1, we would use a different gaming system.


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I know they may not care if I play pf2 or not. However, I do have over $1000 worth of books from paizo, so I represent the type of customer they need to stay in business.


nicholas storm wrote:

My fear is that lack of revenue will force them to release the game before it should be.

With the state of the current playtest, the only thing that we might buy are the adventure paths. And since the new APs would be difficult to use with pf1, we would use a different gaming system.

That’s an interesting point. I would have to think that Paizo would have accounted for revenue drop during this transition phase as part of their 2e business plan.


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nicholas storm wrote:

My fear is that lack of revenue will force them to release the game before it should be.

They won't have a lack of revenue from me before PF2. :)


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You know all the PF1 monsters basically had cheated statistics so that they could reach benchmark numbers, right? HD to reach certain HP numbers was a favourite trick.


The rush of people who will in all likelyhood attempt to get their hands on the remaining 1st edition print lines before 2e officially launches should probably keep Paizo steady enough.

Grand Lodge

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All this conversation reminds me when WOTC released 4e...
Déjà vu anyone?


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luy wrote:

All this conversation reminds me when WOTC released 4e...

Déjà vu anyone?

Yeah, it does. I was feeling the same thing when 4e launched - this system/game isn't D&D in feel or play, and it's not all that fun either.

I'll note 2 things:
1. I personally, and many others, moved to PF
2. 4e was a financial disaster.

If PF2 is going to be a financial success, what with 5e out there, it needs to keep the PF1 player base. While I agree that there can be a significant re-balancing done, they have gone way to far IMO.


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ParcelRod wrote:
The rush of people who will in all likelyhood attempt to get their hands on the remaining 1st edition print lines before 2e officially launches should probably keep Paizo steady enough.

You’re joking, right? I really hope you’re joking.


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luy wrote:

All this conversation reminds me when WOTC released 4e...

Déjà vu anyone?

Yes, it's an irritating cycle. You always have two extremes, the blind hatred/I hate everything, and the blind love/I defend everything.


pad300 wrote:
luy wrote:

All this conversation reminds me when WOTC released 4e...

Déjà vu anyone?

Yeah, it does. I was feeling the same thing when 4e launched - this system/game isn't D&D in feel or play, and it's not all that fun either.

I'll note 2 things:
1. I personally, and many others, moved to PF
2. 4e was a financial disaster.

If PF2 is going to be a financial success, what with 5e out there, it needs to keep the PF1 player base. While I agree that there can be a significant re-balancing done, they have gone way to far IMO.

The best guess I got when I asked about selling points for PF2 is that players of D&D 5e were the primary target. If so then while keeping as much as possible of the PF1 player base is still good, writing some of it off is expected.


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nicholas storm wrote:
1) I dislike a system where creatures are built arbitrarily different from pcs. Level 0 creatures should not have +6 to hit, when their stats should not allow them to. This "feature" breaks my immersion with the system. Why even have statistics, if bonuses are arbitrarily assigned.

Creatures are different from PCs. Of course the rules for them ought to be different. I would find a system that treated monsters as just another sort of PC to be immersion breaking.


Gorbacz wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:

I know they may not care if I play pf2 or not. However, I do have over $1000 worth of books from paizo, so I represent the type of customer they need to stay in business.

I have over 2000 USD worth of Paizo stuff. Sorry, I win. They need me more. Well, but I guess Steve Geddes beats me, so they'll end up with needing him the most.

That's where (read: nowhere) does ever the "I've spend XXX on your stuff so you gotta listen to me" argument go.

Aside from an argument of if paizo should care if I play or not:

I wonder if a tight math system that controls power creep will entice the playerbase to spend money every month like some of us did in pf1 buying every player companion.


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Red Harvester wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
1) I dislike a system where creatures are built arbitrarily different from pcs. Level 0 creatures should not have +6 to hit, when their stats should not allow them to. This "feature" breaks my immersion with the system. Why even have statistics, if bonuses are arbitrarily assigned.
Creatures are different from PCs. Of course the rules for them ought to be different. I would find a system that treated monsters as just another sort of PC to be immersion breaking.

Doesn't make sense to me that level 0 creatures should have a higher to hit chance than any non-optimized level 1 fighter pc


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avr wrote:


The best guess I got when I asked about selling points for PF2 is that players of D&D 5e were the primary target. If so then while keeping as much as possible of the PF1 player base is still good, writing some of it off is expected.

The problem with targetting players of D&D 5e is that... they're playing D&D5e.

For PF2 to succeed in attracting them, it needs to offer a clear advantage over 5e to entice them to switch.


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Red Harvester wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
1) I dislike a system where creatures are built arbitrarily different from pcs. Level 0 creatures should not have +6 to hit, when their stats should not allow them to. This "feature" breaks my immersion with the system. Why even have statistics, if bonuses are arbitrarily assigned.
Creatures are different from PCs. Of course the rules for them ought to be different. I would find a system that treated monsters as just another sort of PC to be immersion breaking.

Plus, the dirty secret is that the monsters were typically reverse-engineered by the designers to hit key target numbers by adding feats or arbitrary racial traits, or adding feats that didn’t do anything substantive if they reached said target numbers. (Ever wonder why the Tempest Behemoth had a lower natural Armor than the Thunder Behemoth that was -4 CR lower? Or why the Tempest Behemoth has a racial ability bonus to flying, but the Thalassic Behemoth doesn’t have one to swim? Or why certain creatures just took Great Fortitude or Lightning reflexes out of the blue instead of more boosts to their attack bonus?)


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PF2 appeals to a different player base, the same player base that D&D 5E appeals to. Beer and pretzel guys, the guys that can't spend a few hours reading the rules or looking at character options. This is not the same player based we have in PF1.

The only thing I disagree with:
The only thing I disagree with is that I'm glad ranged weapons have been reduced in power. In PF1, it was very optimal to make archer or gunslinger characters. Too optimal. They had feats that melee characters should have had, not the other way around. It's risky entering melee, there should be a payoff. Sorry, too many PF1 games have been ruined by archers basically soloing encounters.

I'll end up playing PF2, I like Paizo as a company and I love the stories they write. But if there is a company that continues PF1 and cleans stuff up, I'll end up supporting that as well, maybe more.


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Richard Crawford wrote:

The problem with targetting players of D&D 5e is that... they're playing D&D5e.

For PF2 to succeed in attracting them, it needs to offer a clear advantage over 5e to entice them to switch.

Obviously they'll be trying to create a game which has that clear advantage, most IMO likely in the form of having regular stuff published for it. 5e has very little published for it and seems to rely on the D&D name, promos via licensing the name to others and simplicity. There's very few adventures, little rules support (what do 5e skills do? How would you run a game in a slightly different genre?) and that's where PF2 could start winning people over. You'd lose some of the simplicity in the process, but there's no pleasing absolutely everybody.

The Exchange

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I’ve been playing 3/3.5/Pathfinder since the 3rd Edition came out. I started with 1st Ed aged 6. I guess this makes me old! Played my first Playtest chapter today. Initial impressions -

I liked:

* the three action economy. No more swift/move/standard is a huge improvement

* New skills list. More than enough.

* AOO isn’t automatic. This frees up the “board” a lot.

* AC increases as level increases. Your BAB does, why shouldn’t your ability not to get hit?

Things to work out:

* the transition from exploratory to encounter mode is not clear. Not surprise round!

* Resonance wasn’t well understood when I was playing

* spell points seems like the wrong name for this counter

Overall, really enjoyed it and it still felt like Pathfinder to me.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The way I see it, Paizo isn't targeting 5e players as a primary audience for PF2. Paizo is targeting all those new people that are coming into the hobby thanks to Critical Role, Dragons and Stuff and the general resurgence of RPGs, which are (about time!) finally getting a rise thanks to the "nerdy is new normal" zeitgeist we've seen building up since Game of Thrones became a household name. Pen and paper RPGs are on the rise and Paizo wants to have a bit out of that rise.

There will be some 5e players Pathfinder can win over, such as people who are fed up with PF1 and want to play a grippli Urban Druid but it's 2018 and D&D 5e still didn't get around to making that possible short of 3PP/homebrewn or people who prefer Paizo's APs and game master aids but aren't getting that out of WotC. But that's a small target. The vast majority of 5e players aren't within Paizo's reach becasue:

a) beholders, Drizzt and Mordenkainen,
b) It's the game Matt Mercer runs,
c) 5e is a genuinely solid, approachable ruleset.

The third target are PF grogs, and Paizo likely has factored in the % of them not switching over for whatever reason. And part of those folks will keep buying PF1 products, so they're not entirely lost. There will be a cohort that will burn their PDFs and declare Paizo dead in their hearts, but I suspect it's an economically insignificant group, as much as they'd hope for a contrary.

And Paizo doesn't need to "take over 5e". Paizo is a medium-sized company. WotC is a massive subsidiary of a gargantuan conglomerate. Paizo needs to roll the boat well enough to keep the bills and paychecks paid and to develop at a rate which they are comfortable with. WotC needs to hit the targets set by Lords of the Boards in order to appease the shareholders, and exists in a constant danger of somebody deciding to mothball the brand and launch a Magic: The Gathering RPG in its place.


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I agree with almost all of that. Vic Wertz explicitly stated his view that trying to directly compete with 5E would be a bad idea (for Paizo, WotC and for fans). PF2 is aiming for a different segment of the blossoming RPG market than that targeted by 5E.

I think people are reading too much into both games having one design goal of “being easy to pick up/teach”. Many wildly different games could share that goal.

(Where I disagree is that I don’t think Hasbro particularly care about D&D in itself. I think they bought WotC for Magic and provided D&D doesn’t damage that revenue stream, they’re fine. FWIW, I think the importance of Magic is the single biggest reason WotC don’t release D&D core books in PDF format).


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Matt who?


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MTG for real pays for all our other hobbys to be created and produced.

Silver Crusade

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Zaister wrote:
Matt who?

The Game Master and host of Critical Role, the live RPG session show that's something of a breakthrough phenomenon and has amassed something in the region of 100 million views since it debuted. It's credited with significantly contributing to the recent rise of popularity in PnP RPGs.

It's also likely unknown in Germany because there's no German dubbing provided ;-P


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Ah oK, I've heard "Critical Role" mentioned here and there but never bothered to look it up, because, in general, I find it boring to watch other people playing RPGs, and frankly, a waste of time I'd rather spend actually playing myself.


Zaister wrote:
Ah oK, I've heard "Critical Role" mentioned here and there but never bothered to look it up, because, in general, I find it boring to watch other people playing RPGs, and frankly, a waste of time I'd rather spend actually playing myself.

It can be entertaining depending on the group. I found "I hit it with my axe" to be some what amusing.


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Zaister wrote:
Ah oK, I've heard "Critical Role" mentioned here and there but never bothered to look it up, because, in general, I find it boring to watch other people playing RPGs, and frankly, a waste of time.

I was in this boat too until a year or so ago, when I started listening to the Glass Cannon Podcast on the way to and from work.

I rarely stick with an actual play podcast for more than half a dozen episodes. Nonetheless, I find them useful inspiration for my DMing style, even if the game itself doesn’t grab me for long.

Silver Crusade

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I've found myself adopting many of Matt's trademark GM skills, from the famous "How do you want to do this?" asked whenever a player crits/downs an opponent, to running games in a red night-robe with a glass of wine in my hand. No, really.


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Steve Geddes wrote:

I was in this boat too until a year or so ago, when I started listening to the Glass Cannon Podcast on the way to and from work.

I rarely stick with an actual play podcast for more than half a dozen episodes. Nonetheless, I find them useful inspiration for my DMing style, even if the game itself doesn’t grab me for long.

I find podcasts a difficult medium in general. They force me to do nothing but sit still and listen, which I find difficult to do. But If I do anything else while listening I notice that I keep missing stuff. Also, like audio books, it's just too slow. I do not drive, so I cannot say anything about listening while driving.


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pad300 wrote:
luy wrote:

All this conversation reminds me when WOTC released 4e...

Déjà vu anyone?

Yeah, it does. I was feeling the same thing when 4e launched - this system/game isn't D&D in feel or play, and it's not all that fun either.

I'll note 2 things:
1. I personally, and many others, moved to PF
2. 4e was a financial disaster.

If PF2 is going to be a financial success, what with 5e out there, it needs to keep the PF1 player base. While I agree that there can be a significant re-balancing done, they have gone way to far IMO.

The main difference is: D&D has a brand name. People are curious about the new edition of D&D even after an edition they didn't like, newcomers are curious about the ancestor of every RPG. Thanks to his brand name, D&D is the troll of RPGs: it is able to stand again with a new edition after any disaster.

Concerning Pathfinder, once people are gone, they are gone. They won't talk about Pathfinder (and how it is a hack of the best D&D edition) to newcomers anymore, they won't come back for a third edition. The brand recognition of Pathfinder comes from people playing it, not from the name of the game; once people leave the brand recognition disappears.


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I don't know. I still talk about old RPG's I don't play anymore. Heck I'm always looking to drop a White wolf reference. my group has even gone back to try previous editions of games just because. However I will say if you mention D&D to the general public their mind at least goes somewhere (even if its a dumb movie reference or an old misinformed news article ) but if you name drop pathfinder to non gamers its like uh the car or the movie?


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PF2 has been a potential win for D&D5e. My group has actually mentioned converting over to it. Before the playtest they were diehard Pathfinder fans.


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Zaister wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:

I was in this boat too until a year or so ago, when I started listening to the Glass Cannon Podcast on the way to and from work.

I rarely stick with an actual play podcast for more than half a dozen episodes. Nonetheless, I find them useful inspiration for my DMing style, even if the game itself doesn’t grab me for long.

I find podcasts a difficult medium in general. They force me to do nothing but sit still and listen, which I find difficult to do. But If I do anything else while listening I notice that I keep missing stuff. Also, like audio books, it's just too slow. I do not drive, so I cannot say anything about listening while driving.

Yeah, I’m with you. I couldn’t just sit and listen.

I travel a fair bit between clients, so I have several hours a week of dead time in the car.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
PF2 has been a potential win for D&D5e. My group has actually mentioned converting over to it. Before the playtest they were diehard Pathfinder fans.

Well, that seems rather weird to me.

Dont get me wrong, i didnt like PF2 playtest either, i agree with many of OPs points, but ultimately, nothing done here impacts PF1.

So chances are i will just keep playing PF1 and that is that. I dont understand how PF2 being "bad" makes PF1 any worse, that system remains the same.

Now if a company made a PF 1.5 or just new version of 3.5, that i can understand checking out and maybe switching over.


My group sees value in playing a game that's currently supported (hence why we play PF1e instead of 3.5). Of course it's only one option being considered. But it's an option that wasn't even mentioned before the playtest.


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Personally, I was looking forward to Inner Sea Diners


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Ultimate guide to Kobold mating habits! (I could really use the tips.)


Jason S wrote:
PF2 appeals to a different player base, the same player base that D&D 5E appeals to.

Absolutely not, PF2 is pretty much on the other end of the spectrum; they seem to be going so far out of their way for it not to be like 5h Ed (understandable), that it could be to its detriment.


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It more or less has to compete with D&D 5e though. Those people new to the hobby are going to go with the big name first, PF2 will need to pry them away from it to get their attention. The number of people who start roleplaying with PF2 I expect to be small, at least at first, possibly forever.

In mechanics it looks like a simplified PF1/D&D 4e mashup to me. Really, if you think that's totally different to D&D 5e you need to try more roleplaying games.


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avr wrote:
The best guess I got when I asked about selling points for PF2 is that players of D&D 5e were the primary target. If so then while keeping as much as possible of the PF1 player base is still good, writing some of it off is expected.

I am actually one of those target 5e players. I wouldn't be interested in PF2 if it was a mere clone of PF1 with some minor tweaks but stayed that bloated. And so I guess most other 5e players wouldn't probably (I know, I dislike this "most players" as well, but it is a valid assumption, that those who chose 5e over PF1 because it was too bloated wouldn't even glance at PF2 if it only was a PF1+).

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