my future here


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We can state the problems with proficiency to be summed up as:

1) the game's bounded math requiring similar/ homogenous results on the d20 roll doesn't lend itself well to a class based system, unless you get more abilities to modulate that die roll (5e's solution)

2) keeping the rules for Nat 1 and 20 negate the +/-10 system in so much as the binding in the d20's roll should not be necessary

3) proficiency itself is not a baseline assumption of the game's chassis, rather it is seemingly distributed at random for the classes at levels that otherwise would be 'dead' which leads to several builds lacking in capacity to participate in the critical system.

Proficiency was sold to us as being a mechanic which improves you, but it doesn't. It's assumed in the game's math, which results in a game where anyone not playing with those assumptions baked into their character creation process will fail more than they succeed. This more than likely is what's causing my non cookie cutter builds to feel weak by comparison. I truly believe the baseline assumptions of the game should not include proficiency at all, and instead use 0 as the baseline, that way getting +1 and above actually does improve you. I also think the math should be loosened up so individual characters (and classes generally) can modulate their rolls modifiers with active choices that affect their capacity to roll well. The rogue is actually in pretty good shape in this regard as Dread Striker guarantees +3 okk a success and +4 on a crit (which falls exactly into the range I described when I did my math thread) I whole heartedly believe more actions like this which toggle the hit/crit ratio will fix the game more than forcing a rewrite of the entire book.

Mathematically, if a class like the paladin got a smite ish ability which added CHA to hit and damage, then taxing an action to use it would reduce the value of that bonus because it eats into your ability to roll multiple attacks. It's a tactic which makes your primary attack worth more, and it makes it worth focusing on. It's also mathematically balanced around making the crit range equal to landing a second hit, and that creates a situation where your total damage potential is less than swinging three times, but more consistent. That consistency is what makes the game feel right when you invest in a character's abilities.

I was under the impression in the blog era that the crit system was meant to be triggered often, so martial builds would be seeing it a lot more and have cool things happen, analogous to spells. Given how HP scales up on enemies, my concerns about encounter design have been more or less confirmed. The math doesn't work.


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@master_marshmallow: I brought my changes up to my homebrew in a separate thread a couple days ago:
New Critical system

Basically it bases critical ranges on proficiency, killing 2 birds with one stone. Curious if you have thoughts on it.

EDIT: Note that it doesn't deal with the non-uniform proficiency increases or them being baked into the math, but those are easier to change naturally with a change to the critical system.


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So far as critical success/failures go, it almost seems like a move away from d20 to something with a bellcurve like 3d6 might work better. Obviously 10 would be less useful as the margin used as it would rarely see use, but it seems like something could be managed. Possibly the margin could be based on your proficiency or something of that nature?


Crayon wrote:
So far as critical success/failures go, it almost seems like a move away from d20 to something with a bellcurve like 3d6 might work better. Obviously 10 would be less useful as the margin used as it would rarely see use, but it seems like something could be managed. Possibly the margin could be based on your proficiency or something of that nature?

I don't want to move to 3d6 for PF2e, but one good Crit system I've seen for 3d6 is in HERO. It's a 'roll low' system, so it'd need some reworking to work in a 'roll high' system, but basically the way it worked is if you roll 1/2 of what you need or lower, you crit. So if you need a 10- to hit, on a 5- you crit, which generally works out to roughly 5-10% crits in most cases, but scales based on your attack vs their defense. I also house ruled it that for odd target numbers, you round up, but if you get the crit number exactly, at least one die has to be a 1, which somewhat smooths out the sawtooth pattern on the ratio of crits to hits as your target number increases.


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Requielle wrote:


I moved from D&D3.5E to PF1E after buying, reviewing, and rejecting D&D4E. I know what it feels like to go from "shelf full of options" to "just core books". And I know what makes a new system worth that downgrade for me. I've been doing this since D&D came in boxes (yes, I'm old), so this isn't my first system change. I took one look at Paizo's revamp of the sorcerer (for example) in the 1E CRB and wanted to try that character. I haven't seen a single playtest character option yet that I want to explore that way.

My group moved to 4e when in first came out, and I strongly disliked it on the grounds of homogeneity. Once more material was released and every class had more options and more differentiation, 4e became my favorite system outside PF1 (Avenger class especially).

In my view and experience, PF2 playtest is already better than 4e as first released. I fully expect that it will improve over time after release, which gives me every reason to believe that it will be among my favorite systems as it matures.


Tholomyes wrote:
Crayon wrote:
So far as critical success/failures go, it almost seems like a move away from d20 to something with a bellcurve like 3d6 might work better. Obviously 10 would be less useful as the margin used as it would rarely see use, but it seems like something could be managed. Possibly the margin could be based on your proficiency or something of that nature?
I don't want to move to 3d6 for PF2e, but one good Crit system I've seen for 3d6 is in HERO. It's a 'roll low' system, so it'd need some reworking to work in a 'roll high' system, but basically the way it worked is if you roll 1/2 of what you need or lower, you crit. So if you need a 10- to hit, on a 5- you crit, which generally works out to roughly 5-10% crits in most cases, but scales based on your attack vs their defense. I also house ruled it that for odd target numbers, you round up, but if you get the crit number exactly, at least one die has to be a 1, which somewhat smooths out the sawtooth pattern on the ratio of crits to hits as your target number increases.

Yeah, that still sounds like too frequent crits - though I suppose it might be OK if you reduce the consequences of a critical hit to something like, say, damage is automatically boosted to the statistical average if you rolled below that might be OK.

.
Really though, I was thinking of something more akin to GURPS..

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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magnuskn wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

One of my players went to GenCon and it was asked upon the devs how they came to the decisions on how to make the new edition, and they flat out said it was from PFS surveys.

This is an edition designed for and around PFS, it's not only evident in how the rules are written, but in how they are executed where cookie-cutter builds are not just expected, but mandated with the illusion of choice for other things which are not functional at the table.

Okay, that has to be the most damning thing I've heard so far about PF2E. It seems to be actively an design which does not cater to me, but rather to a setting which prescribes things not needed for home groups. The sacrifices to get their desired ruleset for conventions actively work against the other half of their customer base.

So... I just want to clear one thing up. This theory, that we designed the game for PFS, is categorically false. We are trying to make Pathfinder the best game it can be. We want it to work for PFS as well, but the quality of the game is priority 1.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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My biggest concern along the lines presented in this thread are that PF2 seems a radical departure from the core concept of the PF1 design concept: creating the next edition based on 3.5 which players were looking for when WOTC instead created 4E which was a radical departure. PF2 feels very much like the same type of departure which 4E and 5E are, and seems like it's trying to be more similar to those editions rather than as an extension and natural evolution of 3.5 to PF to PF2. I completely agree with the basic premise that PF1 has some issues and after 10 years it's a good time to address them, but PF2 feels far too much like throwing the baby out with the bathwater and not keeping enough of PF1 which people have liked for 10 years.


master_marshmallow wrote:

One of my players went to GenCon and it was asked upon the devs how they came to the decisions on how to make the new edition, and they flat out said it was from PFS surveys.

This is an edition designed for and around PFS, it's not only evident in how the rules are written, but in how they are executed where cookie-cutter builds are not just expected, but mandated with the illusion of choice for other things which are not functional at the table.

That has got to be the biggest similarity. Because that is exactly what 4th ed was designed around (i.e. organised play). Makes sense they would reuse so many of the same solutions


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So... I just want to clear one thing up. This theory, that we designed the game for PFS, is categorically false. We are trying to make Pathfinder the best game it can be. We want it to work for PFS as well, but the quality of the game is priority 1.

This makes it worse. If designing for PFS, at least the degree of homogeneity and restriction would be understood if not agreed with. Saying it makes it a better quality game is a pretty bad misread of what much of your core fan base wants.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
So... I just want to clear one thing up. This theory, that we designed the game for PFS, is categorically false. We are trying to make Pathfinder the best game it can be. We want it to work for PFS as well, but the quality of the game is priority 1.

Thank you for chiming in & speaking to that assumption.


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I'm not gonna call myself the core fan base. I will say that the pieces fit when viewing most aspects of the game in the light of organized play. It certainly plays that way.

But again, it seems our opinions on what makes the game work at its best must be vastly different.

I'd like to have some sort of goal or knowledge about what the team is working on to know what to test/play next.

It's not impossible that the few of us here who like the OP are a minority compared to the survey results.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

One of my players went to GenCon and it was asked upon the devs how they came to the decisions on how to make the new edition, and they flat out said it was from PFS surveys.

This is an edition designed for and around PFS, it's not only evident in how the rules are written, but in how they are executed where cookie-cutter builds are not just expected, but mandated with the illusion of choice for other things which are not functional at the table.

Okay, that has to be the most damning thing I've heard so far about PF2E. It seems to be actively an design which does not cater to me, but rather to a setting which prescribes things not needed for home groups. The sacrifices to get their desired ruleset for conventions actively work against the other half of their customer base.
So... I just want to clear one thing up. This theory, that we designed the game for PFS, is categorically false. We are trying to make Pathfinder the best game it can be. We want it to work for PFS as well, but the quality of the game is priority 1.

how much has PFS informed or influenced the design of PF2e?

Because it doesn't have to be designed for PFS in order for it to be substantially influenced by it (and at that point there is no difference between being heavily influenced by PFS and being designed for PFS).


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JoelF847 wrote:
PF2 seems a radical departure from the core concept of the PF1 design concept

That's my fundamental issue. While there are a lot of specific mechanical changes than aren't stylistically different from PF1 (for instance the 3-action economy) and a lot that aren't critically different (proficiency as a concept), and some that are clear improvements (at-will damage cantrips that aren't utterly, completely meaningless beyond 1st-level), the overall package in the playtest just isn't PF1 at all.

So much of the general has been stolen to become the specific. For instance two-weapon-fighting becoming class-locked.

So much of the variety has been bound. For instance the relatively tiny number of bonuses that can be stacked to get a task complete, denying an important PF1 means of teamwork.

So much of the "advanced" playstyle has been removed. For instance, basically the entire magic system being gutted five different ways, leaving every fight effectively just a grind through hitpoints as the (almost) sole method of ending a fight.

We've lost the ability to create a character that takes a class as a chassis, adapts out bits and parts from many different sources, works together with three others who have done similar, and can contribute meaningfully in ways other than "do damage". The heart of 3.x/PF isn't present in PF2, which - for me - makes it "Yet Another Game System", and I truly don't know why Paizo would assume I'll play it.

I can't say that I have found our playtest sessions fun, while I admit to liking a bunch of specific mechanical changes.

In my humble opinion, many of the class-locked feats should revert to general feats, with class-specific versions added that work differently/better than the generic ones. The attempt to constrain bonus-stacking to very, very tiny ranges should be relaxed significantly, to allow players who can handle tracking bonus stacking to do so, even if perhaps not allowing it to be quite as vast as PF1. And the evisceration of magic - the other means of changing the course of a battle should be reversed, even if not fully.

Those are my thoughts on the feel of the playtest after well over a month to learn it, play it, and think about it.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
how much has PFS informed or influenced the design of PF2e?

Come on. Jason's not known for weasel-words.

He's telling us that if a rule design makes for a better PFS experience but degrades non-PFS play, non-PFS play outweighs the needs of PFS.

I'm prepared to trust him on that.


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Anguish wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
how much has PFS informed or influenced the design of PF2e?

Come on. Jason's not known for weasel-words.

He's telling us that if a rule design makes for a better PFS experience but degrades non-PFS play, non-PFS play outweighs the needs of PFS.

I'm prepared to trust him on that.

That’s not what he said. I think in trying to explain what he said you misinterpreted something along the way.


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Anguish wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
how much has PFS informed or influenced the design of PF2e?

Come on. Jason's not known for weasel-words.

He's telling us that if a rule design makes for a better PFS experience but degrades non-PFS play, non-PFS play outweighs the needs of PFS.

I'm prepared to trust him on that.

I'm not accusing him of weasel words. I'm making sure there is no misunderstanding. Jason has also said (before the playtest was revealed) that people shouldn't worry and that skill ranks would exist and we would still assign them to skills and people worrying that skills weren't going to work the same as PF1e had nothing to worry about.

That statement was widely misunderstood and there was substantial disappointment when skills were revealed.

I said that Paizo shouldn't have a DC by level table and listed all the reasons against them. Mark Seifter came into the thread and said he completely understood my points and that Paizo agreed with them. I misunderstood that to mean we wouldn't get a DC by level chart. I was disappointed when I saw said chart and had to go back and check whether Mark had lied or if I had misunserstood (I misunderstood. There was no wrong doing on Mark's part).

I'm seeking to make sure there are no similar misunderstandings this time. I expect PFS does comprise a good portion of the feedback they drew upon when it came to designing PF2e. It's too large of a data set to not draw upon it when you secretly design a new game.


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Anguish wrote:
For instance two-weapon-fighting becoming class-locked.

Yeah, I find it ironic that so many feats that previously were general are now class-locked, which I think was meant to encourage characters to "stay in their lane" but then I see many posts about how a lot of players now feel essentially a "need" to multi-class... so if class-gating feats encourages more multi-classing, that's not really confining drivers to their lanes.


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I don't understand the negativism and the blame-like comparison to D&D 4th Edition.

Pathfinder 1st Edition has some legacy problems from its underyling design.
* Odd attribute scores barely more useful than the even scores below them,
* Complicated turn structure of standard, move, swift, and five-foot-step actions that can slow down combat,
* A lengthy system of assigning skill ranks,
* Character design trade-offs that encourage min-maxed builds,
* Base Attack Bonus greatly exceeding Armor Class at high levels,
* Caster versatility greatly exceeding martial versatility at high levels,
* Necessity of magical healing to avoid a short adventuring day.

It has some great features, too, most especially, the ability to create characters that feel like individuals, yet who can pull their weight in fantastic adventures.

The biggest market for Paizo is new tabletop roleplayers. Many of these potential customers balk at the wall of crunch needed to create a Pathfinder 1st Edition character. I have walked people through character creation, but that is at a rare setting, such as a game store table, where I have the opportunity to meet new players. We want new players to start games without experienced players.

If Pathfinder 2nd Edition is going to be an improvement over Pathfinder 1st Edition, then the Paizo designers need to dig down to its foundation. They have done so. And building up from the foundations again, while trying for the simplicity that the future game needs, lends itself to a streamlined style. D&D 4th Edition streamlined one way, D&D 5th Edition streamlined another way, and Pathfinder 2nd Edition streamlines in a third way. It does not mean that people are repeating the same mistakes. The alternative to a streamlined style is a series of surface corrections, band-aids over the flaws, that years of development provided for D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder 1st Edition.

A style that works for Pathfinder Society can be a style what works for six-module adventure paths and multi-year homebrew campaigns. A style that does not work for Pathfinder Society would be a marketing mistake, and issues that trouble PFS also strain the homebrew campaigns. The Paizo developers need to learn from the Pathfinder Society games, too.

Development is hard work.


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Mathmuse wrote:

The biggest market for Paizo is new tabletop roleplayers. Many of these potential customers balk at the wall of crunch needed to create a Pathfinder 1st Edition character. I have walked people through character creation, but that is at a rare setting, such as a game store table, where I have the opportunity to meet new players. We want new players to start games without experienced players.

I keep hearing people talk about how PF2 character creation takes hours per character. I didn't have that experience when my group made characters, but that's because I made several characters to test it out when I first got the book. In other words, the only reason my group didn't have the problem is because I was there as an experienced person to assist. The same situation you're saying they want to avoid.


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Scythia wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

The biggest market for Paizo is new tabletop roleplayers. Many of these potential customers balk at the wall of crunch needed to create a Pathfinder 1st Edition character. I have walked people through character creation, but that is at a rare setting, such as a game store table, where I have the opportunity to meet new players. We want new players to start games without experienced players.

I keep hearing people talk about how PF2 character creation takes hours per character. I didn't have that experience when my group made characters, but that's because I made several characters to test it out when I first got the book. In other words, the only reason my group didn't have the problem is because I was there as an experienced person to assist. The same situation you're saying they want to avoid.

I have to agree. Just processing the book enough to understand your options is... painful. THEN you move towards making a PC: for instance, JUST figuring out your cleric domain is more of a 'wall of crunch' than I ever had in the current pathfinder as it's a wall of crunch hidden in a wall of crunch along with other walls of crunch... :P


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Scythia wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:

The biggest market for Paizo is new tabletop roleplayers. Many of these potential customers balk at the wall of crunch needed to create a Pathfinder 1st Edition character. I have walked people through character creation, but that is at a rare setting, such as a game store table, where I have the opportunity to meet new players. We want new players to start games without experienced players.

I keep hearing people talk about how PF2 character creation takes hours per character. I didn't have that experience when my group made characters, but that's because I made several characters to test it out when I first got the book. In other words, the only reason my group didn't have the problem is because I was there as an experienced person to assist. The same situation you're saying they want to avoid.

I repeat, development is hard. The playtest rules have failed on fast character creation.

I could train myself to build characters quickly. I would memorize some options and build the obvious characters. I suspect that some of the developers who said they can build characters in 15 minutes have done so. That is not want I want out of character creation myself. I like to start with a character concept, perhaps based on a character from a fantasy novel or perhaps based on the setting of a new adventure path, and see how close I can come under the rules.

I have seen others frozen in analysis paralysis of the playtest character creation out of fear of suboptimal options, because the feats of the playtest are hard to judge. That flaw is not in the character creation but in the feat presentation. The class-locked feats that Anguish complains about in comment #114 have not made feat selection easier.

I fear that Paizo will have to go back to the drawing board, there.

The best speed-up in character creation I have seen so far is Shisumo's thread, Equipment Kits for PF2, Converted. Paizo had neglected how complicated mundane adventuring gear for a character is.


Most of the problems I have with building a character in 2E are due to layout, problems I wouldn't have in a properly laid-out SRD or possibly an actual book. To some degree, it's also a fault of the fact that I'm using a PDF in a scenario where I feel a book is better-suited.

To some degree, these are also problems I had in 1E when I had to use a physical copy.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I have seen others frozen in analysis paralysis of the playtest character creation out of fear of suboptimal options, because the feats of the playtest are hard to judge.

A situation that is not helped by the game being tuned towards characters with optimal stats and bonuses. Suboptimal and trap choices can give a character a very short life span (and their player, an unpleasant gaming experience).

Grand Lodge

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Mathmuse wrote:
The biggest market for Paizo is new tabletop roleplayers.

No one will never steal that demographic away from D&D. D&D is the name brand of RPGs. It is the first RPG most people ever hear of, it has 44 years of brand recognition backing it up, and 5e does a great job of introducing people to the RPG world.

I know (locally at least) a large chunk of the PF1 players in my area started off with D&D5E, then moved over to PF1 because it is a more robust system that gives you more options.

One of the biggest draws for PF1 was the fact that it was a more robust system...sure it is intimidating to new players...let them go test the waters with D&D, get bored with it, then come over to Pathfinder.


John Mechalas wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
I have seen others frozen in analysis paralysis of the playtest character creation out of fear of suboptimal options, because the feats of the playtest are hard to judge.
A situation that is not helped by the game being tuned towards characters with optimal stats and bonuses. Suboptimal and trap choices can give a character a very short life span (and their player, an unpleasant gaming experience).

I'm not so sure about that, though I do admit that opinion is buttressed quite a bit by Treat Wounds.

I just finished up our group's playthrough of Pale Mountain's Shadow, playing a Goblin Dex-based Paladin/Rogue with 14/16/14/10/8/16. Nothing about him was optimal, and the adventure is generally considered to be harder than the average, but I can't say I felt anywhere near useless. Didn't have a magic weapon, didn't have good rolls (I think one combat-related natural 20, two overall, and at least five natural 1s), but I still ended up putting him as 'very effective' in combat for the survey, and a hesitant 'somewhat effective' out of combat.

I did end up using sword-and-board more than I originally anticipated, but it still worked out, and I never went below 0 HP despite being heavily targeted. Not for lack of trying on the DM's part, as I did go under 10 quite a few times. Even spent four turns burning because I couldn't make a DC 15 flat check to save my life.

He was really not much of the best anything, but he really pulled his weight, against my expectations.

Silver Crusade

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pogie wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So... I just want to clear one thing up. This theory, that we designed the game for PFS, is categorically false. We are trying to make Pathfinder the best game it can be. We want it to work for PFS as well, but the quality of the game is priority 1.

This makes it worse. If designing for PFS, at least the degree of homogeneity and restriction would be understood if not agreed with. Saying it makes it a better quality game is a pretty bad misread of what much of your core fan base wants.

How do you know what much of core fan base wants? Do you have any empirical data on this? A poll of at least five digits of people reporting? An analysis based upon a reliable sample group? (Spoiler alert: forums, which are populated by a dwindling bunch of hyper-invested hardcore customers, don't count).

No, really, show me your methodology. Every time somebody says "it's what everybody wants!" or "the majority agrees with me" it ends up with them vanishing from the thread or replying "just look around, it's obvious that I speak for the majority" and that's getting kind of boring and I'm hoping for somebody to finally trip me over with some data.


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Mathmuse wrote:
If Pathfinder 2nd Edition is going to be an improvement over Pathfinder 1st Edition, then the Paizo designers need to dig down to its foundation. They have done so. And building up from the foundations again, while trying for the simplicity that the future game needs, lends itself to a streamlined style. D&D 4th Edition streamlined one way, D&D 5th Edition streamlined another way, and Pathfinder 2nd Edition streamlines in a third way.

All of that is sound, except I do not feel like they streamlining PF2, particularly; feels more byzantine and intimidating than 3rd, 4th and 5th Ed. This is the last iteration/version of D&D/PF, I would introduce to new players.


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JoelF847 wrote:
My biggest concern along the lines presented in this thread are that PF2 seems a radical departure from the core concept of the PF1 design concept: creating the next edition based on 3.5 which players were looking for when WOTC instead created 4E which was a radical departure. PF2 feels very much like the same type of departure which 4E and 5E are, and seems like it's trying to be more similar to those editions rather than as an extension and natural evolution of 3.5 to PF to PF2.

I agree, except for 5th Ed, 5th Ed is far closer to 3rd Ed/PF1 than 4th Ed or PF2; 5th is sort of like 3rd Ed Lite. It's also designed to easily lean in another edition's' direction; I like to crunch it up, so I port back in 3rd Ed/PF1 material/rules, etc.

Overall, again, I agree, I want a game that is more evolutionary, less revolutionary. They could really take the 3rd Ed/PF1 game in a fantastic direction (many have), so many ways to go with the d20 deal.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

I'm not gonna call myself the core fan base. I will say that the pieces fit when viewing most aspects of the game in the light of organized play. It certainly plays that way.

But again, it seems our opinions on what makes the game work at its best must be vastly different.

I'd like to have some sort of goal or knowledge about what the team is working on to know what to test/play next.

It's not impossible that the few of us here who like the OP are a minority compared to the survey results.

Yeah, pretty much that. It would be arrogant of the people who dislike the core design of the game (like me) to assume we are a majority and the same goes for the fans of the new design.

But it would be really nice to know if the core design (level bonus to everything, vast spell nerfs to bring casters down five pegs) are still up for grabs or already cast in stone.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

I'm not gonna call myself the core fan base. I will say that the pieces fit when viewing most aspects of the game in the light of organized play. It certainly plays that way.

But again, it seems our opinions on what makes the game work at its best must be vastly different.

I'd like to have some sort of goal or knowledge about what the team is working on to know what to test/play next.

It's not impossible that the few of us here who like the OP are a minority compared to the survey results.

I believe Jason mentioned on the twitch last week that resonance changes are up next (they were in the works but weren’t ready for 1.3). I doubt that’s exhaustive, but he did say they’d heard the antipathy and were planning some significant alternatives (my impression was they planned to separate limiting consumables from limiting permanent items, but I wasn’t able to pay close attention).


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Gorbacz wrote:

How do you know what much of core fan base wants? Do you have any empirical data on this? A poll of at least five digits of people reporting? An analysis based upon a reliable sample group?....ad nauseum......

Give me a break. Of course I didn’t fund a scientific study on this. The reason Pathfinder exists is because a large percentage of the D&D playerbase rejected the gamist design of 4E. The same type of design Paizo is presenting with Pathfinder 2E. It’s a logical inference that those same players will not be happy with this type of game again.


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Except I'm a player that played 3.5 didn't like 4th then played pathfinder and I am looking forward to PF2.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I don't understand the negativism and the blame-like comparison to D&D 4th Edition.

And that despite people going to great lengths through the last months to thoroughly explain why they feel that way.

Mathmuse wrote:

Pathfinder 1st Edition has some legacy problems from its underyling design.

* Odd attribute scores barely more useful than the even scores below them,
* Complicated turn structure of standard, move, swift, and five-foot-step actions that can slow down combat,
* A lengthy system of assigning skill ranks,
* Character design trade-offs that encourage min-maxed builds,
* Base Attack Bonus greatly exceeding Armor Class at high levels,
* Caster versatility greatly exceeding martial versatility at high levels,
* Necessity of magical healing to avoid a short adventuring day.

- The turn structure is, IMO, not a problem in PF1E. I know my guys are very experienced with the system by now, hence of course I am having a somewhat skewed perspective on it. But "swift action, move action, standard action, immediate action" (the latter of which is very seldomly used) is not an inherently difficult concept. The "three action economy" of PF2E is simpler, but unnecessarily so. I got about four players between my ten friends I share between two groups, who sometimes run into questions what they can do in a round, but that is always resolved in about five seconds.

- Skill ranks were totally fine in PF1E and gave characters actual options at what they wanted to be good at.

- Base attack bonus does not exceed armor class per se. A player who builds his character to have a good AC is very difficult to hit by monsters at high levels. The problem is instead that there are too many buff types for attack bonuses being readily available. Morale bonuses, luck bonuses, competence bonuses and quite a lot of unnamed bonuses all stack and make accounting what your actual attack roll is too complicated. I can't count the times players forgot to add this or that bonus to their attack (or armor class) during combat.

- Caster versatility being higher than martials should have been solved the other way around, IMO, by buffing martial versatility.

- Before update 1.3 magical healing was also completely required in PF2E. We'll see if non-magical healing being so ubiquitous survives to the final product.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Except I'm a player that played 3.5 didn't like 4th then played pathfinder and I am looking forward to PF2.

Dang. Any exceptions completely invalidates my statement. I stand corrected and withdraw my statement.

Ugh. Of course there will be exceptions and people ideas and game preferences may change. But on balance, paizo is trying to sell a game design to people who have previously rejected this type of game. Can they make it up with new players? We will see.


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pogie wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Except I'm a player that played 3.5 didn't like 4th then played pathfinder and I am looking forward to PF2.

Dang. Any exceptions completely invalidates my statement. I stand corrected and withdraw my statement.

Ugh. Of course there will be exceptions and people ideas and game preferences may change. But on balance, paizo is trying to sell a game design to people who have previously rejected this type of game. Can they make it up with new players? We will see.

What makes mine the exception? why isn't yours the exception?


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pogie wrote:
The reason Pathfinder exists is because a large percentage of the D&D playerbase rejected the gamist design of 4E. The same type of design Paizo is presenting with Pathfinder 2E. It’s a logical inference that those same players will not be happy with this type of game again.

I wonder what proportion of the fan base fits this mould. My impression (merely from participation on the boards) is that most of the regulars “back then” have moved on and been replaced by newcomers with a different path to PF1.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
pogie wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Except I'm a player that played 3.5 didn't like 4th then played pathfinder and I am looking forward to PF2.

Dang. Any exceptions completely invalidates my statement. I stand corrected and withdraw my statement.

Ugh. Of course there will be exceptions and people ideas and game preferences may change. But on balance, paizo is trying to sell a game design to people who have previously rejected this type of game. Can they make it up with new players? We will see.

What makes mine the exception? why isn't yours the exception?

Yours is the exception because my statement is backed up by the 3.5>4E>PF1 history. It’s real and it happened. If by and large PF1 players flock to 2E then I’m wrong and I’m the exception.

Silver Crusade

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pogie wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

How do you know what much of core fan base wants? Do you have any empirical data on this? A poll of at least five digits of people reporting? An analysis based upon a reliable sample group?....ad nauseum......

Give me a break. Of course I didn’t fund a scientific study on this. The reason Pathfinder exists is because a large percentage of the D&D playerbase rejected the gamist design of 4E. The same type of design Paizo is presenting with Pathfinder 2E. It’s a logical inference that those same players will not be happy with this type of game again.

Ah, damn, no data once again. *kicks tumbleweed*


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
pogie wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Except I'm a player that played 3.5 didn't like 4th then played pathfinder and I am looking forward to PF2.

Dang. Any exceptions completely invalidates my statement. I stand corrected and withdraw my statement.

Ugh. Of course there will be exceptions and people ideas and game preferences may change. But on balance, paizo is trying to sell a game design to people who have previously rejected this type of game. Can they make it up with new players? We will see.

What makes mine the exception? why isn't yours the exception?

Logical inference, which pogie laid out pretty well.

People who changed to Pathfinder overwhelmingly represent the segment of the gamer population who were unhappy with the radical changes to the 3.X skeleton which WotC did with 4E.

Hence, if Paizo tries to take PF2E into a direction which in many respects is similar to 4E, it stands to reason that logically a majority of the same gamers who already rejected that direction would also be unhappy with this second attempt to make the game they enjoy more gamist than simulationist.

Maybe there was a vast paradigm shift where a majority of those gamers suddenly changed their minds about how they want their favorite roleplaying game to be designed during the last ten years, but so far I've yet to see evidence of that. The same seven guys incessantly wagging their fingers at people who dislike the core design of PF2E does not constitute a majority of opinion, IMO.


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In the end, I think some want the 3.75 they never got.
I am still waiting, I mean, between 3rd Ed (UA)/PF variants and my own few house-rules, they take care of enough, and I dig 5th Ed, again, with some adjustments, but it would be nice for another another proper pass at 3rd Ed/PF1 (evolutionary).

3rd Ed/PF1 does not need drastic measures to whip into shape, some of the extreme design decisions in PF2 seem like an attempt to cure the headaches by cutting off the head, that is how I feel about 4th Ed in some aspects.


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I abandoned 4e because Pathfinder existed and had APs which blew the competition out of the water. If the stories are there and they stay good, they will keep my business.

Pathfinder 1 has started to lose by business recently because their mechanics actively get in the way of high level storytelling. The adventures that they write cannot keep up with what players can do and require so much GM fiat that books 4-6 become free form/GM writing their own adventure to keep up with what the players can do.

PF2 had issues with expectations being directed one direction on game play and then not living up to those expectations, but as long as the system works to tell the stories, it will keep me interested even if I would have designed the game differently (especially if my issues can easily be house ruled.)


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Vic Ferrari wrote:

In the end, I think some want the 3.75 they never got.

I am still waiting, I mean, between 3rd Ed (UA)/PF variants and my own few house-rules, they take care of enough, and I dig 5th Ed, again, with some adjustments, but it would be nice for another another proper pass at 3rd Ed/PF1 (evolutionary).

Oh, I'm getting hoised on my own petard here, no doubt. I was clamoring since about five years ago for a PF2E, but with the anticipation that it would be 3.87, not more 4E-ish. Oh, well. The law of unintended consequences and all that.

Vic Ferrari wrote:
3rd Ed/PF1 does not need drastic measures to whip into shape, some of the extreme design decisions in PF2 seem like an attempt to cure the headaches by cutting off the head, that is how I feel about 4th Ed in some aspects.

Here here.

Unicore wrote:
Pathfinder 1 has started to lose by business recently because their mechanics actively get in the way of high level storytelling. The adventures that they write cannot keep up with what players can do and require so much GM fiat that books 4-6 become free form/GM writing their own adventure to keep up with what the players can do.

Hm, I've been managing fine with just advanced templates or more opponens. Combat Manager helps a ton with that and the PC version is free.

Then again, I got a non-standard group (six players) and have had that paradigm basically since I started GM'ing 3.5/Pathfinder. And there had been early cases where I lost control of the campaign at high levels, but that was early on in my GM career and under 3.5. And Wrath of the Righteous, but the less said about mythic rules, the better.


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Unicore wrote:
...as long as the system works to tell the stories, it will keep me interested even if I would have designed the game differently (especially if my issues can easily be house ruled.)

This is pretty much where I am too.

I’ll buy PF2 no matter what (there’s not much I’m a fan of other than the three action system and the concept of the -10< >+10 tiered successes). It doesn’t really matter to me what system I play, the stories are what keep me coming here.


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A lot of negativity in this thread. Guess I might as well post my support. Just played two more games (one is a Dragon's Demand game that I ported over to 2e which was surprisingly very easy to do, the other was a Doomsday dawn game.) We had an absolute blast. I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.

What in particular about the PF2 ruleset makes it feel more strategic to you (a strategy game, now), than PF1, and why would you say that PF1 combat is way too shallow?


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.
What in particular about the PF2 ruleset makes it feel more strategic to you (a strategy game, now), than PF1, and why would you say that PF1 combat is way too shallow?

Not speaking for Ursus here but as another guy who finds PF1's combat to have the depth of a puddle I'll speak up.

Simply put there's no meaningful decision making to be had. If you're a martial you plant your feet and full attack till you or the other person is dead or you use that one maneuver/special ability you teched for with most of your features/feats(dirty trick, trip, grapple, etc). Spellcasting ultimately follows the latter paradigm only you're just picking various flavors of "threat neutralized, go mop up sword dudes" due to how poorly the math and spell mechanics were scaled. But hey, if you're a caster maybe you'll also have to throw up a support (de)buff along the way from time to time too, happy times.

I don't mind relatively brainless combat, but the most absolutely irritating part of PF1's combat is that the combat is couched in a litany of corner case rules and fiddly modifiers that make doing the simple positively teeth pulling.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.
What in particular about the PF2 ruleset makes it feel more strategic to you (a strategy game, now), than PF1, and why would you say that PF1 combat is way too shallow?

Because every single martial in PF1e plays the exact same. 5foot step full attack. In PF2e you have a lot more options during your turn, and it's not always obvious what is 100% the best.

For example: In the Doomsday Dawn game we have a goblin rogue who is focused on Intimidate. He can spend one of his actions to try to demoralize a creature. If he demoralizes them they gain frightened which lowers their rolls and DCs (including AC). He also has a feat that allows him to treat frightened creatures as flat-footed so he can sneak attack them as well. But this tactic probably won't work well against a high level monster with high Will. He primarily uses a bow from range.

Compare this to a PF1e bow rogue. You spend all of your feats on precise shot, point blank shot rapid fire all that. And then every turn you're going to just full attack over and over. Because you lose a ton of damage if you try to do anything else.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.
What in particular about the PF2 ruleset makes it feel more strategic to you (a strategy game, now), than PF1, and why would you say that PF1 combat is way too shallow?
Because every single martial in PF1e plays the exact same. 5foot step full attack. In PF2e you have a lot more options during your turn, and it's not always obvious what is 100% the best.

Ah, that is not my experience, and it would seem you are referring to tactics, not strategy.


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Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
I think our favorite part is that it actually feels like a strategy game now (we are avid wargamers). PF1e combat was way too shallow.
What in particular about the PF2 ruleset makes it feel more strategic to you (a strategy game, now), than PF1, and why would you say that PF1 combat is way too shallow?
Because every single martial in PF1e plays the exact same. 5foot step full attack. In PF2e you have a lot more options during your turn, and it's not always obvious what is 100% the best.
Ah, that is not my experience, and it would seem you are referring to tactics, not strategy.

Well that pours over into strategy too. You do feel like you need to plan stuff out. While in PF1e: "eh let's just run in and hopefully kill them in a turn or two of full attacking."

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