my future here


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Update 1.3 has been largely disappointing for me. It's becoming increasingly difficult to call for optimism in this play test when the issues that are presented in the game are not really seeming to be addressed yet.

Resonance I was willing to hold off on, because I understand that it requires a large overhaul of most of the game's engine given that it was an integral mechanic to the game's math and assumptions about character creation.

Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20. This probably comes from the crit system with it seeming to indicate that the devs want you to always have a chance to both critically succeed and critically fail (and for some reason keeping the nat 1 and 20 rules don't suffice for this). Thus the game's engine requires you to have such values recorded on your sheet for the game to give you the experience that the devs want you to have. Bards for instance, must always have a chance for their performances which cost resources to not work. Doesn't matter how much you invest into it, etc.

This means the actionable tasks that players engage in are not getting changed, except in a few places where it becomes more difficult, not less. As you progress in levels, the tasks you are expected to get better at don't get easier, because their difficulty is set at a rate, not a flat number. Again, bards are the easiest example off the top of my head.

Then there's the healing issue. In place of amping up the roles for secondary healers, we get more skill usage for medicine, which more or less mandates it on all characters. The rate that it scales at is also fixed, rather than a fixed DC, or using the amount of damage healed as the DC or what have you. The solutions here are not intuitive and don't make the game easier to run.

Then there's the class feat paradigm where we see the ranger showcase exactly the design mentality that myself and others have been campaigning against here. I posted a whole thread with a mathematical analysis to show why Double Slice needed to stay in the game as it was and the other styles and game mechanics should be using it as the baseline for how to design feats. I praised it and was incredibly optimistic about that feat because compared to all the other combat oriented style feats it's the only one that made me feel like my character was better for taking it instead of worse. With the way that the ranger and rogue were redesigned it is clear now that paizo has no intentions of a baseline combat system and would rather each class be forced into a specific weapon niche and a specific style niche. Rogues can't ever sneak attack with a weapon that has damage dice over a d8? Well, those 4d6 you get by 20th level aren't going to make you better than a fighter using the stock mechanics and a d12 weapon, because math. And that's the best you're ever going to get. The lower damage dice weapons have been shown to really be completely false options and it doesn't help to make the game more restrictive than it already was. I cannot customize my character.

I had really high hopes for this system, since it included so many of my own house rules and incorporated the better aspects of the splat releases that dealt with running the game, exploration and downtime are great pillars to build the game around, despite most of the book being dedicated to the combat simulator. But those pillars are not enough to make me keep wanting to play a game that is designed to make sure I can't succeed. I keep getting increasingly dissapointed in my play test results at the table and I just re-ran part 1 with a different assortment of players and it was not fun for them. The flaws of the system which affect us are the very things that Paizo does not seem to want to budge on (save for Resonance) and I'm sick of telling my players "just wait two more weeks and maybe they'll do something about it," only to be met with disappointment. Before the 1.3 update, this thread would have been called "Marshmallow's Positivity Thread" and I planned to break down all the improvements I saw from each update and point out that all the changes were for the better of the game and to open up more options to the players while also making the baseline success rate of the system more accessible. Now I think I'm more interested in finding a different system to invest my time into learning. Hopefully there is still going to be a crowd for supporting PF1 to get advice and suggestions from, but I have my suspicions that those forums and community will die off once this edition gets rolling.

I'm really sad to say that I think I'm finally ready to throw in the towel on this edition, I'm just not the kind of player that Paizo wants money from. I want more freedom, and the ability to tell the stories I want with the kinds of characters that can succeed in those stories. Good luck to everyone that is still here, and to the posters who care enough to follow my input, thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone in my opinions about what makes the game great.

Stay gold.


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The playtest process is not for everyone but I hope you will revisit this when it reaches final. Best of luck.


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Data Lore wrote:
The playtest process is not for everyone but I hope you will revisit this when it reaches final. Best of luck.

Can't agree more... Hope when we finish this the game will be more pleasant to you and your group!


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Data Lore wrote:
The playtest process is not for everyone but I hope you will revisit this when it reaches final. Best of luck.

I used to volunteer as a playtester for board games, yet I am growing weary of the Pathfinder 2nd Edition playtest myself. The biweekly updates are encouraging, but also discouraging when the update makes fixes for minor problems while ignoring some major problems. It is difficult to tell the difference between Paizo delaying a fix because they need more time to get it right and Paizo deciding to not fix a problem.

Yes, I hope that the final result for Pathfinder 2nd Edition will be popular and lure master_marshmallow into playing it. But I fear that master_marshmallow will ask, "Did they fix Problem X?" and hear, "No, but we all houserule it anyway."

master_marshmallow wrote:
I cannot customize my character.

Could master_marshmallow please elaborate on why this customization is not possible? If it is that he wanted to combine two abilities that were open-to-all feats in PF1 but separated by class in PF2, perhaps Paizo has balance reasons to keep them apart. If it is that he wants to build a character that should be possible--for example, based on a historic figure that could be built in PF1--then Paizo has a problem.


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Mathmuse wrote:
Yes, I hope that the final result for Pathfinder 2nd Edition will be popular and lure master_marshmallow into playing it. But I fear that master_marshmallow will ask, "Did they fix Problem X?" and hear, "No, but we all houserule it anyway."

That is already where I am at, with +Level (not in playtest games).


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I am a cynical person, and even though I seriously believe Resonance destroys the game, I am not at the point of saying PF2 is doomed. I'll wait around and see what happens.

Scarab Sages

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For myself I am both trying To help the dev by adding idea but also nurturing myself with the really good houserule that people far more talented than me post here. It Will improve my GM skill in a lot of way.

So ironically the game being disapointing is a good thing for me in some way because it make a lot of people coming with interresting Fixes that can be used somewhere.

See you next year anyway.

Smurf.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Update 1.3 has been largely disappointing for me. It's becoming increasingly difficult to call for optimism in this play test when the issues that are presented in the game are not really seeming to be addressed yet.

Let me say why I think that you got at least a couple points wrong.

master_marshmallow wrote:

Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20. This probably comes from the crit system with it seeming to indicate that the devs want you to always have a chance to both critically succeed and critically fail (and for some reason keeping the nat 1 and 20 rules don't suffice for this). Thus the game's engine requires you to have such values recorded on your sheet for the game to give you the experience that the devs want you to have. Bards for instance, must always have a chance for their performances which cost resources to not work. Doesn't matter how much you invest into it, etc.

This means the actionable tasks that players engage in are not getting changed, except in a few places where it becomes more difficult, not less. As you progress in levels, the tasks you are expected to get better at don't get easier, because their difficulty is set at a rate, not a flat number. Again, bards are the easiest example off the top of my head.

All you are writing on this matter seems to forget the fact that you are trying your skill against level-appropriate challenges. Of course you need to keep investing, just to keep your chances of success! Against the same challenges, you definitely get better.

If we forget skills for a moment and talk about combat instead, what you are saying is: since I'm levelling up and investing in combat feats, I expect that level-appropriate fights become easier and easier. It doesn't work like that, and for good reason.

master_marshmallow wrote:

Then there's the healing issue. In place of amping up the roles for secondary healers, we get more skill usage for medicine, which more or less mandates it on all characters. The rate that it scales at is also fixed, rather than a fixed DC, or using the amount of damage healed as the DC or what have you. The solutions here are not intuitive and don't make the game easier to run.

No need to have every PC specialized in medicine, as the effects don't stack; having a backup only helps in case of critical failure.

Anyway, for it getting more difficult as you level up, I think we just need to make it clear that you can attempt a lower-level healing: a level 10 medica healing bruises from a commoner should definitely be able to take the lower DC (and heal less HP, accordingly).


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My group threw in the towel on the playtest. We will revisit it once released, and most of us are likely to keep up with the updates and forums. We may even dip back in and run specific scenarios, but running Doomsday Dawn had turned into a slog people dreaded instead of a fun time with friends. That could be due to how this playtest is structured (we have opinions in that regard), or it could be that our group is just a bad match for playtesting.

I am still hopeful for a 2E I can embrace, but I am worried because of what I see as the underlying design - which became more apparent as we progressed through the campaign and as updates came out. I don't think the things that are turning me away are the ones on the radar for update. At this point, it looks like less work to houserule PF1E's shortcomings than to houserule the underlying philosophy of PF2E.

We start Reign of Winter next week, instead of Doomsday Dawn.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Update 1.3 has been largely disappointing for me. It's becoming increasingly difficult to call for optimism in this play test when the issues that are presented in the game are not really seeming to be addressed yet.

I hear you, and though I'm a bit more optimistic than you, I too have this feeling that maybe it would be better to keep going with Pathfinder, instead of switching to PF2 and just add The action economy from Unchained ...

But, a lot can happen during the next couple of months, so maybe it won't be so bad.


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Megistone wrote:
If we forget skills for a moment and talk about combat instead, what you are saying is: since I'm levelling up and investing in combat feats, I expect that level-appropriate fights become easier and easier. It doesn't work like that, and for good reason.

Investing resources in becoming better at combat shouldn't make you better at combat? That's a bold idea.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I'm not willing to throw in the towel myself, I will say that in its current state PF2 has no chance of convincing me to convert from PF1.

I think the big one that master_marshmellow touches on is that players aren't allowed to be masters. By master I don't mean that they have a little checkbox on their character sheet that says master level proficiency, I mean that they are so skilled that they virtually always succeed at level-appropriate tasks of that type. A master at fighting will virtually always hit on his first attack of the round, a master at stealth will virtually always succeed at stealth, and a master of intimidation will virtually always cow those before him. This is not to be discouraged but embraced. If a player builds such a character then that's the experience they're looking for and it should be supported.


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I want to say that I think you need to be patient.

1.3 had a slew of great updates, and they put this out after only a little over a month of solid feedback.

I agree with you on certain fronts such as the inability to be a "master" at a skill, the lack of "cool" value from Proficiency outside the small bonuses, and the sectioned off combat feats.

However, all of the above things I have issue with are not game breaking or game halting changes.

The dying rules and out of combat healing were absolute musts and high priority (even though they weren't for me, they directly impact the amount of feedback they can get on the system).

The Ranger, Rogue, and Alchemist changes were implemented for the same reason, people were avoiding trying the "Class restricted" feat system at all because standard concepts just didn't work. How can we really say the "Class only" feat system doesn't feel good, when it wasn't fully available in the first place?

Overall, at the very least, Paizo has proven to me over the last few updates that they are extremely receptive to valid feedback.

So even though I haven't seen them address a few things that have me concerned, I am extremely hopeful that they will forge this game with good intent.

Keep voicing opinions. Keep reporting feedback. They clearly are listening and the game is moving 100% in the right direction (at least IMO) every update release.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20.

I think this is my biggest problem from the update. A majority of the DC's have been increased (some increasing by upwards of 9 or 10) for all parts of Doomsday Dawn and I'm not liking what I'm seeing for my players. Like why in The Mirrored Moon are the perception checks now harder than ultimate difficulty for 9th level? The normal check DC before the changes matches perfectly up to hard difficulty, why the change?


Byeeee.

Some won't like the ruleset, that is just the way of things. There are people it'll push away, and others like me that it has drawn in. I hated 3.P and refused to play them, I played a lot of 5e finding it decent but in need of depth and tweaking. Now, I'm looking at P2 and seeing a ruleset that requires less work than 5e. Just yank out +lvl(which a dev told me is a no-brainer variant rule for gritty realism at some point, so it'll even be official at some point), make a couple other minor tweaks like making extra damage dice based on level instead of potency and I'm basically there. Tweak Treat Wounds, Wounded Condition, and Hero Points for more "gritty realism". Add in a couple of other tweaks of varying lower importance and I'm good to go.

For those that really don't like P2 but liked P1. Keep playing P1 then and either wait till P2 grows on you, or another company produces a product you want. Because, if you were playing P1 over 5e still, I'm guessing you aren't switching to a Wizards product for white a while, and I'm also guessing the 5e successor won't be to your liking either. But, coming from the perspective of a 5e player that disliked P1, I'm switching to P2.


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Scythia wrote:
Megistone wrote:
If we forget skills for a moment and talk about combat instead, what you are saying is: since I'm levelling up and investing in combat feats, I expect that level-appropriate fights become easier and easier. It doesn't work like that, and for good reason.
Investing resources in becoming better at combat shouldn't make you better at combat? That's a bold idea.

Maybe I wasn't clear.

No, it doesn't make you better at combat against level-appropriate enemies: you just keep the pace.
If it didn't work this way, an "invested in combat" level 20 fighter would slaughter balors like nothing, because else, what did they invest for?
To me, it would be extremely boring.


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I am very happy with the Playtest, as are my players. The simple fact of getting to play around with new rules is refreshing and also seeing Paizo tweak things here and there is interesting.

The final game will be improved as a result, but more importantly, I am sure that when 2e does role out officially a lot of the more controversial decisions will be smoothed out. We will decide then if we play it or not.

The best part of it: it's not costing us anything!

So if you are not enjoying the playtest process, do yourself a favor and step away.

Liberty's Edge

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I agree that the Skill DCs table looks troublesome. Mark Seifter has noted that they are currently looking into item availability, including mundane skill items being a more universal thing, which has the potential to fix this.

I mean, mathematically, that actually has the potential to fix the Medium DCs almost entirely for their intended purpose, and will hopefully make characters feel more competent and able to achieve things outside their areas of specialty (as long as they're Trained and have an appropriate item). This necessitates items, of course, but that's not unworkable if it's designed to be logistically supportable.

This has little to do with your other issues of course, but it seems worth noting.


Look, I'll try to go with an example.
Take a level 1 rogue, a level 1 fighter and an orc.
The rogue tries to sneak by the orc: 60% of success.
The fighter does what he does best: dueling with the orc, for the same 60% of success.

Now we get to level 10.
The fighter has invested in combat, is a master with their magical weapon, and besides slaughtering any number of orcs unlucky enought to meet them, they can duel against a fearsome level 10 enemy with a 60% chance of winning.
The rogue also invested in their skills and is now a master stealther, with appropriate equipment for the tasks they are up for. They can dance unseen around lowly orcs all day; against a level 10 enemy, instead, the chances of sneaking by are still 60%.

Now give me a good reason: why the rogue should have more than 60% chance to "improve", while the fighter shouldn't. Or should the fighter, too?

Sovereign Court

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Update 1.3 has actually encouraged me. Resonance I still don't really like, but the rest seems pretty good. I'm a bit bothered by the DC for Medicine used to Treat Wounds--yes, you get healing of hp in proportion to the healer's level so that's an argument for having the chance of success/the DC track the healer's level, but I do think the healer should be able to spend down the DC by trying to heal less damage, say (trying a simpler healing, will heal fewer hp but it'll be easier to succeed)--but otherwise I pretty much like all of this update.

In fact, I haven't disliked any of the three updates, and it feels to me like things are moving fast enough that we can get something pretty sweet out of the end of this process.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AwkwardCrying wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20.
I think this is my biggest problem from the update. A majority of the DC's have been increased (some increasing by upwards of 9 or 10) for all parts of Doomsday Dawn and I'm not liking what I'm seeing for my players. Like why in The Mirrored Moon are the perception checks now harder than ultimate difficulty for 9th level? The normal check DC before the changes matches perfectly up to hard difficulty, why the change?

Did you miss the part where they updated that if you're doing a skill check with no consequences for failure and everyone can attempt (such as perception checks) you should raise the DC by 4 so that there is still a chance that the PCs miss it.


If the only concern for some is chance of success in higher levels then it should be really easy to put in houserules in PF2 to achieve the same kind of high chance of success for optimized characters that could be done in PF1. (I have one such proposed house rule where all bonuses are allowed to stack)

Aside from organized play programs, RPGs are meant to be houseruled.


Well OP, this is just the playtest, who knows what the final product will look like.

I ofc spoke my mind about what i think of this edition with the others i play with, overall the consensus was "We might just not be the target audience."

There are fast updates, i keep my hopes up many changes will make the game atleast passable by release, but if not, PF1 remains the same and that brings me peace of mind.


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Megistone wrote:
Now give me a good reason: why the rogue should have more than 60% chance to "improve", while the fighter shouldn't. Or should the fighter, too?

I think Proficiency should govern some of the outcomes outside of the success rate, which might be how others feel as well or at least that's what I've seen expressed.

Such as how the new Improved Evasion works for Reflex saves (changes to the 4 tiers of success).

So when a Fighter reaches Master level proficiency in a weapon, he does minimum damage on a swing on a Failure (and then delete "Sure Strike" from the game).

At least that'd be my take on it. Don't fudge the numbers (I agree 60% at same level encounters should stay that way) but elevate the moments that you excel and reduce the penalties for failure since you've got the mastery/proficiency investment to merit that.


Zman0 wrote:
Just yank out +lvl(which a dev told me is a no-brainer variant rule for gritty realism at some point, so it'll even be official at some point), make a couple other minor tweaks like making extra damage dice based on level instead of potency and I'm basically there.

Yeah, those are both easily house-ruled, which is nice.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Megistone wrote:
Now give me a good reason: why the rogue should have more than 60% chance to "improve", while the fighter shouldn't. Or should the fighter, too?

I think Proficiency should govern some of the outcomes outside of the success rate, which might be how others feel as well or at least that's what I've seen expressed.

Such as how the new Improved Evasion works for Reflex saves (changes to the 4 tiers of success).

So when a Fighter reaches Master level proficiency in a weapon, he does minimum damage on a swing on a Failure (and then delete "Sure Strike" from the game).

At least that'd be my take on it. Don't fudge the numbers (I agree 60% at same level encounters should stay that way) but elevate the moments that you excel and reduce the penalties for failure since you've got the mastery/proficiency investment to merit that.

That actually sounds like a really neat idea. Let's you really help specialists feel special without ripping out the game's math engine. I'm not sure how well it would work for Strike checks, but it might work well for skills. There are already various skill feats that accomplish this, but they feel unexciting as skill feats and might be better as a natural part of proficiency.


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Megistone wrote:
Scythia wrote:
Megistone wrote:
If we forget skills for a moment and talk about combat instead, what you are saying is: since I'm levelling up and investing in combat feats, I expect that level-appropriate fights become easier and easier. It doesn't work like that, and for good reason.
Investing resources in becoming better at combat shouldn't make you better at combat? That's a bold idea.

Maybe I wasn't clear.

No, it doesn't make you better at combat against level-appropriate enemies: you just keep the pace.
If it didn't work this way, an "invested in combat" level 20 fighter would slaughter balors like nothing, because else, what did they invest for?
To me, it would be extremely boring.

The problem is, if a Fighter who invests everything into combat stays the same relative to the enemies, that means a Fighter who doesn't invest solely in combat will get weaker every level.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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Cleaned up a number of snarky posts that were just unnecessary. I don't care what "side" you feel that you are on, as to the direction of this game, but baiting and trolling are just not acceptable.

We realize that the playtest process might not be for everyone and that some of the directions we are taking the game might not be for every group. We hope, that through this process, we will get to a game that most will enjoy. If you find yourself not being one of those, while unfortunate, I would still like to thank you for providing your input to the process.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

...Is it bad that whenever Jason has to clean up posts, I can't help but imagine his avatar literally pouncing on the offending posts and devouring them? XD


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master_marshmallow wrote:

...This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20. This probably comes from the crit system with it seeming to indicate that the devs want you to always have a chance to both critically succeed and critically fail (and for some reason keeping the nat 1 and 20 rules don't suffice for this). Thus the game's engine requires you to have such values recorded on your sheet for the game to give you the experience that the devs want you to have. Bards for instance, must always have a chance for their performances which cost resources to not work. Doesn't matter how much you invest into it, etc.

This means the actionable tasks that players engage in are not getting changed, except in a few places where it becomes more difficult, not less. As you progress in levels, the tasks you are expected to get better at don't get easier, because their difficulty is set at a rate, not a flat number. Again, bards are the easiest example off the top of my head.

This is basically the biggest problem of the entire system: The crit rules need a specific value range to function, so modifiers to rolls need to be bounded heavily. This wouldn't be all bad, the system could be designed in such a way that it presents players a way to mechanically differentiate their characters via options that don't need to interact with the d20, but given the limited nature of the content provided in the playtest, it just isn't there. I think too much of the game acquiesces to the crit system to its detriment, and it's the crit system that needs to go to open up more design space.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
AwkwardCrying wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Proficiency was not exactly changed. Untrained being -4 is nice, because it means there is a larger range of values that can show up on the dice, but the DCs table doesn't seem to really match this. In fact, for some of the intermediary DCs, they're actually higher. This means more forced specialization to still have the coin flip scenario with the d20.
I think this is my biggest problem from the update. A majority of the DC's have been increased (some increasing by upwards of 9 or 10) for all parts of Doomsday Dawn and I'm not liking what I'm seeing for my players. Like why in The Mirrored Moon are the perception checks now harder than ultimate difficulty for 9th level? The normal check DC before the changes matches perfectly up to hard difficulty, why the change?
Did you miss the part where they updated that if you're doing a skill check with no consequences for failure and everyone can attempt (such as perception checks) you should raise the DC by 4 so that there is still a chance that the PCs miss it.

You do realize that makes it less than what they changed it to right?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.

The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.


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Matthew Downie wrote:


The problem is, if a Fighter who invests everything into combat stays the same relative to the enemies, that means a Fighter who doesn't invest solely in combat will get weaker every level.

This isn't really true. By nature of its chassis, the Fighter pulls ahead of the average monster on combat stats and keeps pace with specialized monsters.


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Tholomyes wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.

I am certainly of that mind myself. The 4 tier system isn't exactly what I would want in a fix to save or die spells, either, but if it's limited to saving throws, the problems it causes don't leach out system wide.


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Tholomyes wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.

Absolutely agree.

Just as an speculation, do you think the system could be better used across the board if the threshold for Critical Failure/Success was changed from 10 under/over the DC to 15, to allow for a less brutally bounded math?


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Tholomyes wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.

I very much like degrees of success for spells, but I think that +/-10 method of achieving it is flawed as it forces all those problems in game's math. In skills, it forces the feeling of playing "Three Stooges the RPG", both through math that is against you, and the fact that critical failures even exist.


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Aiken Frost wrote:
Tholomyes wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
I could see the crit system being adjusted, but not removed wholesale; it is the single biggest fix to save-or-die spells that the system has ever seen, and I have no interest in losing that.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that the 4-tier success system was entirely created for that purpose, and a lot of the issues of tuning with Skill DCs and enemy ACs seem to stem from the application of a system broader than what it was designed for. There's a certain elegance in design for having the same system work across all rolls, but I can't help but think, maybe that elegance isn't worth the downsides.

Absolutely agree.

Just as an speculation, do you think the system could be better used across the board if the threshold for Critical Failure/Success was changed from 10 under/over the DC to 15, to allow for a less brutally bounded math?

The razor's edge on which the game is balanced is certainly an issue. The idea here is that the DC of everything should be set that a reasonably optimized character gets a success on an 11 and thus a "crit" on the nat20. One single step down (success on a 12) and you find that *only* the nat20 crits. Each step up (success on a 10, 9, etc) nets you extra crit range. Because of this, there's a lot of work on the back end by the mathy guys in the design room to keep everything balanced around being VERY close to that 11. Characters that get too far ahead in the math would be crit storms. Characters that fall too far behind would be crit magnets. And so... the d20 game might as well be d2, a coin flip exercise, as everything is roughly a 50/50.

The other issue that hasn't been brought up yet is how vicious level difference is. With just 3 levels of difference between player and monster, the game turns around completely. PCs of 3 levels above the monster would have had a 50/50 against even-level creatures, but now they have an 80% chance of hitting and a pretty hefty crit chance along with it. PCs 3 levels behind a monster will get blasted worse, as the monster has an 80% chance to save Vs a spell and a 95% chance to hit on its 1st attack. It gets so far out of bounds that it has an expanded crit range on its second attack.

Simply put, the only thing that really matters in this game is level difference. Which is, I'd wager, where most people find their frustrations stem from.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Cleaned up a number of snarky posts that were just unnecessary. I don't care what "side" you feel that you are on, as to the direction of this game, but baiting and trolling are just not acceptable.

We realize that the playtest process might not be for everyone and that some of the directions we are taking the game might not be for every group. We hope, that through this process, we will get to a game that most will enjoy. If you find yourself not being one of those, while unfortunate, I would still like to thank you for providing your input to the process.

I try and give the best input I can from a perspective that looks at what makes the game functional in all its best ways. I'm a big fan of GNS theory, and when writing my own materials (of which I have a lot accumulated over the years) I hold it as sacrament above all other philosophies, and I hold them all equal. So when I evaluate things from the book, I look at it from this perspective, but also with the caveat of knowing there are other systems which attempt to tackle the same problems and compare what I perceive to be the better of the options.

For instance, given the bounded math of the PF2 proficiency system, it functions very similarly to the 5e system, only with inflated numbers to represent 20 levels. I actually think PF2's system is superior in that regard for the instances where there are flat DCs with respect to the simlationist perspective. It functions better. However, given the tightness of the math where success and failure fall into that coin flip scenario, I think (and supposed during the Blog era) that re-roll mechanics would become necessary in order to achieve if not more guaranteed levels of success, at least the illusion that it could be.

My understanding of the +/- 10 system leads me to believe that it is desirable on behalf of the developers that every level of success can be accessed on any given d20 roll. That seems evident in the mathematical analysis of the ACs, DCs, and the caps for PC modifiers. I would posit that in such a system that the rules on a 20 and 1 would no longer become necessary, and that 1's and 20's showing up need not be considered OR the tight math paradigm that controls the rate of success could be standardized by some average value of all possibilities while retaining the 1 and 20 mechanics which would maintain the four tiered success system. I believe the game does not need both of these rules and that it actually is detrimental to the design process. My preference would be the latter, with more openness to a situation where the variability of PC modifiers can be opened up more to enable higher rates of success.
One could apply a simple addition to proficiency where you gain a number of re-rolls equal to your proficiency modifier, which may perceptibly solve the issue entirely.

I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the +/-10 crit system is meant to be a game mechanic tailored to the fighter class specifically, with the intention being that fighters have the most access to it and thus fighters are the only class in the game who gain access to the critical specialization effects of more than one weapon group (or single weapon in certain classes). My play tests showed this when I rolled a 19 on the die with an 'optimized' wizard (who was built for archery as an elf) and it still did not infer a critical success. I believe this was intentional, for better or worse, not really relevant. Having an entire game mechanic that is tied to a single class with the illusion that other classes may access it seems to be a bit misleading in the language of the game. Seems to me, at least.

Now, when I see bards playing (of which I've seen 3 now) I notice that the DCs for their performances always go up, no matter whether they're using a lower level class feat or not. I think this is a bad direction to go into for the reasons I laid out in the OP. It may be that it is intended for the bard to not want to Inspire Heroics all the time, but the math paradigm of the game suggests that it is mandatory, so my players had we could say, colorful conflict there.

Then we get into the feat design, which I'm actually a fan of, because I like the implication of skill feats. I like broader skills that cover a large variety of tasks with your choice in specialization dictating more of your role at the table, I like that it enables players to engage in exploration mode more which I think is a very good thing. Naturally nothing is perfect, but I think it's a strong foundation, and removing signature skills from the game I think was the correct decision for the game's overall health, I know I certainly had many more character options open up just from that change alone. However the Ancestry feat and General feat design space seems too limited and the scope feels off to me. I also am no fan of the weapon system, as math (and my play testing of a strknife wielder) has shown that lower damage dice weapons simply do not function at the table. Couple this with the way combat feats are oriented in the game and it definitely feels too narrow in the scope of what a given class is expected to wield and be successful with. These issues seem to be exacerbated by the updates rather than enhanced, given the updates to ranger and rogue as they are. Instead of making Hunt Target a more universally applicable ability regardless of combat style choice, the combat styles you get access to is specially tailored for the class and forces it or nothing else to be functional at the table, hence my statement that I cannot customize my character.

I have plenty of suggestions on these, but I respect that you and the other developers may have a different vision for how this game is meant to be played. And I think that's where the conflict lies, because fundamentally I want a system where I can juxtapose different styles and weapon configurations on a large number of classes (if not all of them) in order to add variety not only for my players, but for the encounters I write for them.

It may not be that big of a secret that I'm mostly a homebrew player, but I like having a sound foundation within which to home brew, and I did/do have plans to branch out on my own for publication and getting my own ideas out there. It was my hope that PF2 would be the ideal system, as laid out in the OP for how I run my games much of the framework of PF2 aligns perfectly. For instance, in the section on Running the Game I found it paralleled my own way of teaching the game to new players almost verbatim. That's good.

But, given this being the end of the second month of the play test, and the updates and errata we've gotten seem to indicate that many aspects of the game which conflicted are meant to remain in tact, it just seems your vision for what makes the game function well is different from mine. That's okay, I think you have a solid foundation for a great game here, and I've not been too vocal on any aspects of it beyond the combat simulator because that's mostly where I don't see what you see. For instance, I don't think the coin-flip paradigm of the d20 system is good for the game, and I'm not a fan of re-roll mechanics which seem to be more and more important as I keep playing and keep failing more often than I succeed. Personally, for issues like combat, I've done plenty of threads where I talk about the RoShamBo effect that implementing the Unchained Action Economy had for PF1, and that it genuinely equalized and balanced the different combat styles and I saw characters built without say, Power Attack on every build. Given the currency of the action economy now, it would seem that the ability to trade an action (and thus damage potential for crit fishing on the bottom attack) for improved crit/hit chance should be the direction the game goes in to give players the choices that enhance their primary attacks in different ways. I did a math thread where I found the sweet spot for where this should be to be around the +3 - +6 range over 20 levels, to accommodate mathematically for comparing the chance to land a crit on the primary attack to landing a standard hit on the secondary, which in all cases but rare weapon exceptions equals the same damage. For fighters who naturally have the best crit chance anyway this means they focus on making those multiple attacks where other classes like the paladin would be spending actions to enhance their attacks, but making fewer of them. It also happened to align perfectly with where secondary stat attributes land as far as leveling up goes, and I think that is relevant information.

My players are largely disheartened by how limiting the new system feels, they just don't get the same sense of freedom in character building that we got from PF1, and it feels like a completely different game with different intentions.

I know I'm not alone in wanting to have an in-depth discussion on the practical design goals of the game and the implications of what certain systems could have in comparison to others, and I felt the need to come back to this thread to not only hopefully start such a discussion, but also to thank you for taking the time to actually respond to this.

I can Imagine writing, formatting, and editing large changes to the rules takes up most of the office hours you have and thus prevents you from really reaching out here as much as we seem to think you can, and I respect that you came here to respond to me, and the others who care enough to follow my input. Not everyone can be an animal like Mark.

Again, thanks for being here.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wonder how much this would be improved if the +10/-10 was kept but the system was balanced around +1/2 level instead of +level?


I could get paladins to be any good and not like the rules and leave.
the last money Paizo would get out of me would be for the pf2 campaign guide and maybbe anything on kyonin and other kingdoms for the elves and Taldor.

Irony is as I said elsewhere. its not cast in stone yet.

after all one can play Golarion 2e like any other setting in any rule set


Quote:
Now, when I see bards playing (of which I've seen 3 now) I notice that the DCs for their performances always go up, no matter whether they're using a lower level class feat or not.

Considering that things like inspire heroics is always a percentage increase in effectiveness...how should this be handled otherwise? If the dc did not scale, bards would end up reliably providing greater and greater percent effectiveness increases as the game progressed. I can see this being a problem when that means scaling the effect such that a party with a bard is 50 - 60% more powerful than the one without.

Quote:
Instead of making Hunt Target a more universally applicable ability regardless of combat style choice, the combat styles you get access to is specially tailored for the class and forces it or nothing else to be functional at the table, hence my statement that I cannot customize my character

I still don't quite understand this. Are you saying that the ranger combat styles are so effective in their synergy with hunt target that a ranger would be (relatively) ineffectively built if not making use of them? Is that different from the ranger's combat styles in 1e other than the fact that we have 3 to work with in 2e vs however many in 1e?

Quote:
I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the +/-10 crit system is meant to be a game mechanic tailored to the fighter class specifically, with the intention being that fighters have the most access to it and thus fighters are the only class in the game who gain access to the critical specialization effects of more than one weapon group (or single weapon in certain classes).

I expect it's rather as others surmise: a way to handle save or die spells more reasonably. It allows something like sleep to potentially be encounter ending on a target, but not be all or nothing like comperable spells in 1e. In addition we also have more spells that have an effect on failure, leading to spells having near certainty of accomplishing at least something.


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I can understand where you're coming from master_marshmallow I'm pretty much where you are. After playing the first few sections of the playtest and having the group give up on the system, I just haven't had the energy to find a new group. So right now, my playtesting is limited to trying out changes in limited encounters with a single other person.

On 1.3 changes, I like them but I too agree that they aren't touching my main issues with the system. I'm in a holding pattern at the moment: I'm keeping track of the forums and updates and trying the updates in a limited way but I'm not tracking down a group and restarting the actual playtest adventures without some major updates.


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Ranishe wrote:
Quote:
Now, when I see bards playing (of which I've seen 3 now) I notice that the DCs for their performances always go up, no matter whether they're using a lower level class feat or not.
Considering that things like inspire heroics is always a percentage increase in effectiveness...how should this be handled otherwise? If the dc did not scale, bards would end up reliably providing greater and greater percent effectiveness increases as the game progressed. I can see this being a problem when that means scaling the effect such that a party with a bard is 50 - 60% more powerful than the one without.

The fact that it both costs a Spell Point (a very limited resource in PF2) and requires a difficult DC check at all levels makes it not scale with you. It would make more sense to me if it either:

a) used a flat DC which is harder to hit at the level you gain the ability, meaning you get only an additional +1 a set % of the time, which then probabilisticly improves as you level so that when you reach higher levels you succeed at it more to show your progress

or

b) didn't require a perform check at all and instead automatically improved itself either upon gaining higher proficiency or reaching some level threshold as certain feats scale in this edition.

That would remove the coin flip scenario and actually create an effect that made you feel like you got better at it as you leveled up, but the fact that it costs a limited resource and still includes a 50-50 shot of not really being that substantial given said resource, it just doesn't feel right from a gamism perspective.

Quote:
Instead of making Hunt Target a more universally applicable ability regardless of combat style choice, the combat styles you get access to is specially tailored for the class and forces it or nothing else to be functional at the table, hence my statement that I cannot customize my character
Quote:
I still don't quite understand this. Are you saying that the ranger combat styles are so effective in their synergy with hunt target that a ranger would be (relatively) ineffectively built if not making use of them? Is that different from the ranger's combat styles in 1e other than the fact that we have 3 to work with in 2e vs however many in 1e?

I think this underlines another fundamental issue I see in the design space, we're specifically comparing the rulebook exclusively to the CRB for PF1 in this context, but the ranger in PF1 from the APG on had a plethora of combat styles they could freely choose from which was supplemental to the class build (which honestly I felt should be incorporated to all martial classes). Given the ranger's expanded options by the end of PF1, I would think it better to consider the identity of the class in its fully expanded and evolved role at the end of PF1 rather than trying to recreate a replica of PF1's classes juxatopsed onto the rules architecture of PF2. Standardizing martially oriented classes into being able to choose from a list of Combat Styles ripped from the expanded ranger role would have been ideal for me personally. As presented, the ranger cannot do all the things it could in the previous edition, like the ever so famous switch-hitter build given the lack of support for taking general combat feats and the action taxes involved in switching and using weapons.

Quote:
I don't think I'm wrong when I say that the +/-10 crit system is meant to be a game mechanic tailored to the fighter class specifically, with the intention being that fighters have the most access to it and thus fighters are the only class in the game who gain access to the critical specialization effects of more than one weapon group (or single weapon in certain classes).
Quote:

I expect it's rather as others surmise: a way to handle save or die spells more reasonably. It allows something like sleep to potentially be encounter ending on a target, but not be all or nothing like comperable spells in 1e. In addition we also have more spells that have an effect on failure, leading to spells having near certainty of accomplishing at least

...

I think it's pretty evident that spells were intended to focus on the bottom of the four tiered success system for their more relevant texts to the players and that critical success was meant more for the attack/critical hit engine of the game.

I don't hate the proficiency system of having +/-10 be the relevant modifiers should they appear on the die roll, but the Thanos esk perfectly balanced 50-55% success rate being balanced off fully optimized characters will lead to this edition not really having that much of a variety in the characters that will end up getting played.

I don't think binding tha math around a different number system like +1/2 level or +1/3 level will change much, unless the ability for your rolls to give you more of a success/failure rate is also there.

I like having nat 1 and 20 auto crits because it means you can have much more variety in the middle without having to worry about always balancing the d20 roll around that coin-flip rate. Given that the rate is based off full optimization, I think that for proficiency to really showcase its relevance, we need to have the base DC/AC ranges to always be based on the Trained proficiency (+0) and the other relevant numbers to be based on the average for any given stat at that particular level.

For example, at level 5 the range for any given stat is from 8 to 19, or a -1 to +4. The average is 1.5, so a DC for a simple task ought to be around 16-17. (Compared to 1.3's 18 DC for medium difficulty) Experts at this level will see marginal success rates over trained, but untrained is going to hope for a higher roll.

At level 10, this changes to the range being 8 to 20, or an average of 2. So the bounded DC should be 22 (compared to 24 in 1.3's update).

If proficiency is not assumed in the math considering DCs and ACs then proficiency will actually matter, and as that average increases the DCs will scale to represent that.

It would hypothetically make the proficiency mechanics actually functional as they are sold to us in that they make your character better for investing into them, rather than by mandating them to be perfectly balanced at 50-55% efficiency.


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MaxAstro wrote:
I wonder how much this would be improved if the +10/-10 was kept but the system was balanced around +1/2 level instead of +level?

It would be identical, aside from it taking a +6 monster to wipe the floor with the party, and the party only being super effective vs -6 or lower monsters.

The +level is there to give the appearance of advancement without actual advancement (because everything else scales at the same rate or higher). You could swap it for 1/2 level, 1/4 level, 1/10 level, or no level adjustment and the only difference would be how much higher level creatures are a threat, and how stompable lower level creatures are. Equal level creatures would remain the same regardless.

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