Did PF1 get too big?


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I've heard this comment so many times, and everytime I point out that only the Core Rulebook is required -- all the others are optional.

However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

Probably, because players bring in all those books?

I, personally, don't have an issue with it. I use PDF files and load all the books I need into a PDF reader.

I found that having references to so many books actually helped -- because that let me navigate to the exact page(s) I needed in those books without even having to worry about setting bookmarks and doing further navigation within those books.

Hero Lab greatly reduces player needs to reference the Core Rulebook, especially by printing spell descriptions.

I'm heart broken that it is so hard to find players today. I think PF1 is the best RPG ever created.

Is PF2 being developed to address this problem? Less books, more adventure?


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Yeah, I hear you. I think the same, personally, I love having the option of all the sourcebooks and companions, it gives so much flavour, but then I loved all the FR stuff from 3.x as well. I think give PF2 the same time and success that PF1 had, and it will end up being just as big.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My answer to this has changed with the announcement of 2nd edition. For about a year I took a break from Pathfinder after playing consistently since the beginning because it just kept getting bigger. Now that 2nd edition is on the visible horizon I can look at 1st edition as being complete. I won't have to worry about what new books are coming to make it more complicated. So it's not too big anymore.

I look forward to playing 1st edition again, but I am also looking forward to seeing what 2nd edition will look like.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

Wait, what? Why do more books make the game harder to GM? The to this day strognest class is in the CRB, as are almost all of the strongest and most 'problematic' spells (detect magic, invisibility, haste, fly/overland flight, teleport, simulacrum, magic jar).

More options means more chances to build interesting casters without relying on full casting, and since those are the most difficult to create stuff for, more books result in making a GM's job easier!

As a GM (running my first campaign right now), why should I care whether the PCs feats, spells etc. come from a single book or twenty different ones? I read every spell/feat/etc. that a PC picks, which I'd still do even for a CRB only campaign (as even spells that I think I know can have minutae that don't memorize).


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Derklord wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

Wait, what? Why do more books make the game harder to GM? The to this day strognest class is in the CRB, as are almost all of the strongest and most 'problematic' spells (detect magic, invisibility, haste, fly/overland flight, teleport, simulacrum, magic jar).

More options means more chances to build interesting casters without relying on full casting, and since those are the most difficult to create stuff for, more books result in making a GM's job easier!

As a GM (running my first campaign right now), why should I care whether the PCs feats, spells etc. come from a single book or twenty different ones? I read every spell/feat/etc. that a PC picks, which I'd still do even for a CRB only campaign (as even spells that I think I know can have minutae that don't memorize).

Right! I feel the same way and I'm glad to hear you say that.

Congratulations on starting your first campaign, and I wish you the best!


Githzilla wrote:

My answer to this has changed with the announcement of 2nd edition. For about a year I took a break from Pathfinder after playing consistently since the beginning because it just kept getting bigger. Now that 2nd edition is on the visible horizon I can look at 1st edition as being complete. I won't have to worry about what new books are coming to make it more complicated. So it's not too big anymore.

I look forward to playing 1st edition again, but I am also looking forward to seeing what 2nd edition will look like.

Everything you say here rings true to me. I do hope 1st edition lives on forever, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2nd edition becomes and playing that on occasion, too.

With all the investiment I've got in 1st edition and I love it so much, I hope someone will always play it with me regularly.


Whilst many of the broken features (typically spells) are in CRB, many of the improvements (archetypes, unrogue, fighter options, 6-level caster classes, etc etc) are in other books, along with many other broken features (eg Wayang Spellhunter). So to get the best of the game you need to dig through quite a lot of other material, some of which is broken, redundant (many archetypes, all the essentially-identical +2 Initiative traits) or just rubbish (prone shooter).

And then if you want to run a remotely recent AP you'll run into a bunch of monsters and spells and NPCs with rules from later books. They're on the PRD but you still need to include them.

So yes, you could play with just the CRB but you'll be missing a lot of the game. Or you can play with more books but spend too much time sifting through the cruft.

So yes, it is too big. OTOH, that doesn't necessitate dumping the whole lot and replacing it with what amounts to a completely different game.

What would be nice is to take Archives of Nethys and just go through it with a red pen and delete or fix all the broken, redundant or duplicate material. That way you'd have PF1e the way it should be.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

I've heard this comment so many times, and everytime I point out that only the Core Rulebook is required -- all the others are optional.

However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

The only way PF1 is hard on the GM is if he's too timid to firmly say "No" when it's necessary to maintain the cohesiveness of his campaign.
Quote:
I think PF1 is the best RPG ever created.
Me, too. (Say, that's a hash-tag, isn't it?)
Quote:
Is PF2 being developed to address this problem? Less books, more adventure?

We need to be honest with ourselves: Paizo is doing this for the money, because PF1 is no longer the uncontested hottness that it used to be. They're deliberately obsolescing their old system in the (IMO vain) hope that sales of the rebooted system will surpass that of the to-be-obsolesced material. --But the niches are all filled now; wherever they go, there's going to be tough competition, and the current Pathfinder player-base doesn't really owe the company any loyalty if they kill the game they've stuck with in preference to what else is out there, and they're as likely as not to just keep playing PF1 and buy from those entities that continue to publish Pathfinder-compatible d20 works.

The part of 5e that everybody likes, Advantage and Disadvantage, you can easily add to PF1 just by including extra dice that generate those results (the ones from the Fantasy Flight "Star Wars" RPGs are pretty cool, assuming you want something fancy rather than rolling an extra d6 with 1-2 being disadvantage and 5-6 be advantage).

Dark Archive

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As someone who doesn't have time to look at other systems, I continually find it odd that the answer to there's too much to review, is to give me a different book with a completely new rules set.


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I think PF1 is too big for the homebrewing GM (as was D&D 3.5 at the end), but for those that run published adventures, it's just fine.

If you're a homebrewer, the hard part is designing encounters to challenge the PCs because the CR's are all out of whack when the broken things start to trickle in.

GMing published stuff - like the Adventure Paths - is much easier (as it's usually more of a controlled environment).

For the player (or at least the type of player I am), PF1 is fantastic, and for me it's the best fantasy RPG I've ever played.

Frankly, I'm looking forward to PF1's product end, but I will still keep playing it - I still have so much more to explore in the system.

Since I'm not interested in PF2, I will miss getting my subscriptions package every month, but I won't miss the #$%^!&* popcorn. :)

Dark Archive

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For the Homebrewing GM the key really is to only allow things that make sense for the campaign at hand.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

IMO, PF1 isn't "too big." It's more that, after 10 years* of development, the system is reaching the point of diminishing returns for expansion and/or modification.

At some point, any game company that wants to keep publishing system content (profitably) has to come out with a new edition. 8-10 years is actually a fairly long run, when you get down to it.

*- from the PF1 playtest to the PF2 playtest


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:

I've heard this comment so many times, and everytime I point out that only the Core Rulebook is required -- all the others are optional.

However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

Probably, because players bring in all those books?

I, personally, don't have an issue with it. I use PDF files and load all the books I need into a PDF reader.

I found that having references to so many books actually helped -- because that let me navigate to the exact page(s) I needed in those books without even having to worry about setting bookmarks and doing further navigation within those books.

Hero Lab greatly reduces player needs to reference the Core Rulebook, especially by printing spell descriptions.

I'm heart broken that it is so hard to find players today. I think PF1 is the best RPG ever created.

Is PF2 being developed to address this problem? Less books, more adventure?

I do find that PF got far too bloated. However, it's not realistic to keep those options out of the games unless you have really good players. :(

For starters, there's a lot of concepts missing from the core rules, or a lot of very weak options for certain somewhat niche options. The monk, for instance; I feel sorry for anyone playing a core monk. You could be a powerful monk (or brawler) if you're Unchained (not core), a brawler (not core), using certain non-core archetypes, feats, items, etc. If you don't let in non-core options, you've decided that monks are nothing more than a class with good defenses but that provides poorly-designed offense tradeoffs.

Second, all of these options end up in the SRD. It doesn't matter if you only have the core book physically present in the game. Even if you only allow core classes, you're still going to have players wanting to play a fighter with this ridiculous feat and that great weapon and this mind-boggling archetypes, etc, with all the rules available on their smartphone, or printed out.

Third, the core magic options have a lot of balance problems, which creates the argument "I could break the game with a 9th-level wizard using only core spells, so why not allow this cheesy spell that is less powerful"? (I also reserve some ire for the basic sorcerer bloodline and wizard options. I like that some options let you dish out a few spell-like abilities, because I think wizards that don't run out of spells or other magical things to do at 1st-level... but apparently I'm a weirdo. I am the only player I know who would play a fire wizard who has a few extra bolts of fire. Everyone else picks some less useful or less offense-based options, like being able to teleport 5 feet a few times per day. Unfortunately expanded choices include the ability to make bad choices.)

I ran 4e until fairly recently, and the same thing occurred, even though 4e didn't have an SRD. What it did have was a Character Builder. My players used the offline because because the online one sucked. Players insisted they couldn't build a character without the CB (which was false, as anytime I built a PC I just used a character sheet) and, of course, unless I policed every character sheet every session, I couldn't keep out the stupidly balanced Dragon Magazine stuff. They certainly couldn't access all of the options without the Character Builder.

Just like when I visit the Paizo forum, I often had no idea what people were talking about in 4e. People are playing this obscure class with that obscure feat with this unplaytested item, etc. Even with all the stuff available (either through an SRD or a Character Builder) there was just too much stuff for the GM to keep track of.

In 3rd Edition, except near the end, bloat tended to increase the power level, and often introduced really bad concepts like the Complete Warrior's "samurai" (which only had one or two samurai-themed abilities, but really seemed to exist solely to make dual-wielding with low Dex viable). In Pathfinder, I believe it's the same, with fewer poor flavor options, although there's a lot of new base classes that are weaker than the originals. In 4e, there were loads of new feats, but they were generally weaker than the base, and most of the new classes were not just weaker than the core classes, but often significantly weaker. Unfortunately if you let in everything, the well-designed core classes saw a power boost, which (unlike the newer, often stupider base classes) they didn't need.


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I was chatting online with a GM who says that because Paizo kept releasing books in rapid succession he quit playing.

But, he says now that publishing rule books for PF1 has stopped, he is more attracted to PF1 than ever -- so he's coming back.

Makes total sense to me.

PF1 could be at the start of a major resurgence, ironically.

Yes, seems like it would be nice if Paizo could make one final pass on the PF1 rule books and cleanup the issues people are reporting.

But just by the fact that Paizo has stopped -- might start everything.


Mudfoot wrote:

Whilst many of the broken features (typically spells) are in CRB, many of the improvements (archetypes, unrogue, fighter options, 6-level caster classes, etc etc) are in other books, along with many other broken features (eg Wayang Spellhunter). So to get the best of the game you need to dig through quite a lot of other material, some of which is broken, redundant (many archetypes, all the essentially-identical +2 Initiative traits) or just rubbish (prone shooter).

And then if you want to run a remotely recent AP you'll run into a bunch of monsters and spells and NPCs with rules from later books. They're on the PRD but you still need to include them.

So yes, you could play with just the CRB but you'll be missing a lot of the game. Or you can play with more books but spend too much time sifting through the cruft.

So yes, it is too big. OTOH, that doesn't necessitate dumping the whole lot and replacing it with what amounts to a completely different game.

What would be nice is to take Archives of Nethys and just go through it with a red pen and delete or fix all the broken, redundant or duplicate material. That way you'd have PF1e the way it should be.

Dark Archive

I'm optimistic on any resurgence. If 2E was just redoing 1E to be a consistent rule set that would have been amazing. If all the options were retweaked and silly redundant classes just never see the light of day. We'll just have to house rule some of that.


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I love love love the options PF1 offers, as well as DnD 3.5, most of which can be engineered to work with PF1. My group is going to stick with PF1 despite the end of the product line so I'm really glad they put out as much as they did.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I don't think 1st edition was too big. However, it did inherit a certain degree of clunkiness from 3.5 D&D that makes it difficult to teach the rules to new gamers.

In 2008, the market had room for a game that resembled D&D but represented an alternative for those who didn't like 4th edition. In 2018, the market has opened the floodgates to a new slew of incoming gamers, and making the game easier to teach is now a bigger priority.

I don't think the release of 2nd edition is an indictment of flaws in 1st edition. It's more a reflection that the 1st edition material brought in a lot of new innovations that can be added to the core chassis and that the areas of demand in the industry have changed over the past 10 years.


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Ive never once had difficulty teaching the rules to a degree that they could be played to new players. Not people 40+ not people 12-18. I think that's a fallacy more based in "these people aren't actually that interested in the game" than the game being difficult to teach.


Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
I was chatting online with a GM who says that because Paizo kept releasing books in rapid succession he quit playing.

When we play our GM tells us which books are allowed (right now: CRB and AGP) and those are the ones we use. No problem.

We use Herolab where you can check (and buy:-) the books in play.

Do people feel that they they have to use every book published? And isn't it the GM's prerogative to make those descisions in your games?

Maybe attitudes have changed since I started playing back in '83. We always play with the "GM's word is law".


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The problem is not simply that PF1e is "too big." The problem is that Paizo broke PF1e, and the current "bigness" of PF1e is one dimension of the damage that Paizo has inflicted on PF1e.

1) The volume of PF1e material is not the core problem. The core problem is Paizo's lack of oversight and discipline when it came to releasing this additional material. Too many options, in particular archetypes and feats, were produced that allowed for very high powered builds that trivialized content and made other players feel that their characters were unable to contribute to party success. While the Organized Play Team struggled mightily to control this problem with their Additional Resources and Campaign Clarifications, they were only partly successful.

2) Paizo never really finished PF1e. The CRB is basically a cut and paste of the D&D3.5 OGL material. However, there are a number of significant D&D 3.5 rules which are not in the OGL but which can be found in the 3.5 DMG and the Rules of the Game series, neither of which is OGL material. So as a result, you can find unanswered FAQ requests on mounts, light and vision, and other topics that have languished for years on the forums without any response from Paizo. If Paizo seriously want to finish or update PF1e, there has been plenty of opportunity for them to do so.

The Exchange

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From the GM's perspective there's three ways of playing the game, and two ways to look at the question. The three ways of playing are:
A) GM-controlled (approving PC material, designing your own encounters)
B) GM setting PC choice availability and running published adventures
C) A "RAW" campaign (PCs can use almost anything and GM runs published adventures) such as PFS

1. Did PF1 have too much material for the PCs to use?
A) Nope. Only allow what you are comfortable with.
B) Nope. Only allow what you are comfortable with.
C) Could be. Two sub-parts: later material can sometimes trivialize encounters in earlier adventures for which there was no direct counter when the adventure was published. Also, if you're the kind of person who doesn't have time to keep up with everything it can be frustrating not to know what the players are capable of, or how it might affect the flow of the game.

2. Did PF1 have too much material for the GM to read and use?
A) Nope. Only use what you are comfortable with.
B) Could be. Every new book and every new creature added prep time to understand how abilities work. But you can fudge as necessary.
C) Probably. As a long-time PFS GM I know that later scenarios often include material from many books. Humanoid NPCs have feats from several books interacting in specific ways. Which often requires multiple readings to get correct. I can pick up a scenario from the first three seasons, skim for 3-5 minutes, and run it cold. I can't do that with any of the last 3 seasons.

Summary: The more power you give your GM to arbitrarily say "yes," "no," or "houserule!" the less disruptive additional material is.
Though from a player perspective it can be a bit frustrating to know that material exists that the GM isn't allowing you to use


Maybe not too big, but too unwieldy. There wasn't a system to add new systems, if that makes sense, so things can/did get difficult. Dozens of different things to add/remember and the odd ways they interact. Plus spells that do things like warp metal, which basically adds a whole new status to the game. Then you throw in the fact that you have a lot of unneeded choices (is there a good reason I can play an 18th level Cleric with no ranks in knowledge religion?) so you can have a lot of silly stuff.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

I've always found the "bloat" argument bogus.

First up, a GM basically only needs to actually know/have read the rules that apply to his players' current PCs. Sure, if someone decides to play a vigilante and you're not familiar with it, yeah, you should read up and learn the chassis a bit to ensure that it's being played correctly. But unless that PC gets retired/killed, your learning investment lasts the campaign. You don't even need to read every option for those classes, just the ones the PCs pick.

Again, sure, with some classes like clerics or druids, ever-growing spell lists can be a bit tricky, but you can always allow the first cast of something you've never heard and ask the player not to use a particular spell if it's exceptionally offensive to you.

Heck, GMs are people trained to pick up a complicated monster statblock and just run it with a mostly cursory glance-over. Other than NPC statblocks that might have some unfamiliar feats you might want to read, bloat's... not really a thing. I mean, unless the GM just wants to only ever learn once and never again. Which is of course a legitimate playstyle... just one I don't "get".

Dark Archive

I don't think that PF1 is too big, but making a character can can keep up with your teammates can be difficult unless you own multiple books. Well, unless you cheat and add abilities from books that you don't own.


When a fantasy RPG finds a fourth and fifth way to do magic, that's your tip-off that it's mining the last niches and will soon think about rebooting.

Quote:
I don't think that PF1 is too big, but making a character can can keep up with your teammates can be difficult unless you own multiple books. Well, unless you cheat and add abilities from books that you don't own.

That's only cheating in PFS. (Most home-game GMs are sensible enough to stomp a heavy boot on the more ridiculous nonsense that Paizo has released.)


Derklord wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
However, a number of people have said that PF1 is too hard to GM.

Wait, what? Why do more books make the game harder to GM? The to this day strognest class is in the CRB, as are almost all of the strongest and most 'problematic' spells (detect magic, invisibility, haste, fly/overland flight, teleport, simulacrum, magic jar).

More options means more chances to build interesting casters without relying on full casting, and since those are the most difficult to create stuff for, more books result in making a GM's job easier!

As a GM (running my first campaign right now), why should I care whether the PCs feats, spells etc. come from a single book or twenty different ones? I read every spell/feat/etc. that a PC picks, which I'd still do even for a CRB only campaign (as even spells that I think I know can have minutae that don't memorize).

The difficulty is not how strong the options are, it is the sheer quantity of rules interactions the DM must be aware of and understand.

A DM restricting content is reducing the volume of material he has to familiar with to a more comfortable level while also setting the flavor of the campaign. E.g. this campaign does not have psychic magic, guns or gloomblades.


Generally the amount of content a dm needs to be familiar with for a campaign is independent of what content is allowed: each character gets 10 or whatever feats, has 12 or whatever item slots (unless you have something like martial flexibility going on), and so many known spells. Unless you are so restrictive that your players start ending up with the same classes and feats.

However, the amount your knowledge from other campaigns that is going to be relevant for a new campaign is obviously highly dependent on how much content is allowed. And that is a big deal.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
The difficulty is not how strong the options are, it is the sheer quantity of rules interactions the DM must be aware of and understand.

It's still only the rule interactions that the PCs pick, isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand or enver experienced what you mean, could you give some examples?

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
A DM restricting content is reducing the volume of material he has to familiar with to a more comfortable level while also setting the flavor of the campaign. E.g. this campaign does not have psychic magic, guns or gloomblades.

You can restrict material by something other than book, though. For instance, my current campaign is set in 9th century Scotland (the PCs are viking raiders), so there are no firearms in that setting. Yet, other stuff from UC is still allowed. I've even disallowed stuff from the CRB (e.g. non-human races, and crafting feats) because of campaign flavor.

As GM, I can always ban things that I don't like, even selectively - I have the power to veto anything a player picks, and as long as I don't abuse that power, my players are fine with that. I'd much rather have to disallow stuff I dont like (or dont think fits the campaign) than not have those options in the first place. I'd want firearms in a pirate campaign, for instance.


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Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Did PF1 get too big?

No.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Oh yes it did.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Oh yes it did.

Not for me. I bought/used the products which interested me and ignored those that didn't.

Why would you object to a company offering you more choice for a product you, presumably, enjoy?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tsukiyo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Oh yes it did.

Not for me. I bought/used the products which interested me and ignored those that didn't.

Why would you object to a company offering you more choice for a product you, presumably, enjoy?

Because I live in the cyber future of the year 2018, where people don't buy books since the entire rules content is available online and you can carry the entire PF ruleset in your pocket. Which makes the good old XX century "just use the books you have" argument moot. My players will come at me with whatever they'll dig up on d20pfsrd/AoN, they do't need to buy the books themselves.

Sure, I could be an arse and say "this a core + APG game only" but that kind of defeats the concept of Pathfinder, whose major selling point is gabzillion of options compared to a largely sparse 5e and the ability to build that ghoran Urban Druid with platypus animal companion, which I sadly still can't do in the current iteration of D&D.

And I do enjoy Pathfinder, but it's becoming more and more absorbing and tiring. Being aware of the entire catalogue of options (so that you can halt players from either exploiting some unintentional combo or from shooting themselves in the foot by picking some crippling option) gets tiring. Designing adventures/encounters while having in mind every spell a prepared caster might pull out of their rear is tiring. Watching my players get consumed by decision paralysis every time they level up and are faced with the wall of feats/spells to choose from is disheartening. Having to deal with the massive power level difference between a seasoned min-maxer and a casual player who wants to play a Rogue and roll some dice is a challenge.

I got my degree 10 years ago, I have two jobs, a charity side job, a family and RPGs aren't my only hobby. Pathfinder is becoming increasingly burdensome to the point of feeling like a job with an exceptionally poor ROI.

And why won't I ditch PF for D&D? Well, one thing is that platypus, the other is the fact that Paizo's adventures and campaigns blow everything else on the market away. So far, wrestling with the baroque system is still a price I'm willing to pay in order to be able to smoothly run outstanding gems of adventure design such as Rasputin Must Die! or Seven Days to the Grave. But this got more and more cumbersome as the game got bigger and bigger.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it's a just question of how "big" PF1e got. The manner in which it got "big" is equally important. While Paizo did save D&D3.5 and introduce some really neat concepts such as archetypes, it also did at least two things which badly damaged PF1e.

1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten. It remained basically a cut and paste of the D&D3.5 OGL material that had been hurriedly thrown together in reaction to the emergence of D&D4 and the restrictions WOTC placed on it. As a result, there are still unanswered FAQ requests about lighting, mounts in combat, and other issues that should have been resolved years ago.

2) There was insufficient attention to the impact of all the new material, both in major rule books such as the "Ultimate ..." series and all the various "splat" books. More effort should have spent on trying understand how this material interacted with and effected existing rules and options.

Personally, I wish the PF2e design team had spent the last two years working on these two issues, rather than putting together a game in which I have little interest.


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Gorbacz wrote:


the ability to build that ghoran Urban Druid with platypus animal companion, which I sadly still can't do in the current iteration of D&D.

So, you enjoy having niche esoteric options for yourself but complain that the system has too much content? Hmmm, okay then.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
pjrogers wrote:
1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten.

Seeing as how it's on its sixth printing with errata and revisions within that's just not true.


Gorbacz wrote:
Having to deal with the massive power level difference between a seasoned min-maxer and a casual player who wants to play a Rogue and roll some dice is a challenge.

How does that have anything to do with the number of books? What you describe exists in CRB only games as well, probably even more so (no unchained Rogue, none of the good rogue talents, while casters have almost all the super-powerful spells).

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tsukiyo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:


the ability to build that ghoran Urban Druid with platypus animal companion, which I sadly still can't do in the current iteration of D&D.
So, you enjoy having niche esoteric options for yourself but complain that the system has too much content? Hmmm, okay then.

Yes, because you can strike a balance between the two. I can totally imagine a system which has more options than 5E but less than PF1.

In fact, PF2 will make this far easier, because a lot of PF1 options were fixes of legacy 3.5 design.

For example, the Witch class exists mostly because a Cleric/Wizard mutliclass doesn't really work in PF1. The Ankou Shadow Slayer archetype is pretty much what the Shadowdancer PrC was supposed to be in the first place. Archetypes exist because PrCs were a clunky way of customising your character. Etc. etc. etc.

Of course the fact that designers would sometimes re-tread the same conceptual ground several times over didn't help, but I hope that Paizo will be more stringent in controlling the quality of supplemental material this time round.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten.
Seeing as how it's on its sixth printing with errata and revisions within that's just not true.

I will amend my statement, it was never substantially revised. Yes, there was some errata and many FAQ requests did receive responses. However, it never received the major revision/rewrite that it badly needed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Derklord wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Having to deal with the massive power level difference between a seasoned min-maxer and a casual player who wants to play a Rogue and roll some dice is a challenge.
How does that have anything to do with the number of books? What you describe exists in CRB only games as well, probably even more so (no unchained Rogue, none of the good rogue talents, while casters have almost all the super-powerful spells).

Sure the imbalance was in the CRB, but several wackier PF1 combos were made possible only once the bloat balooned, same as it was with 3.5.

Now, I gotta give Paizo the credit for keeping things tame and not having us endure Divine Metamagic + nightsicks + Persistent Spell + buffs levels of abuse, but you still had to be on watch out for emergency force spheres, blood monies or smokey Slayers.


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blahpers wrote:
Mark the Wise and Powerful wrote:
Did PF1 get too big?
No.

The answer is entirely subjective.

It got too big for some people, but not others.

The Exchange

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pjrogers wrote:
Rysky wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten.
Seeing as how it's on its sixth printing with errata and revisions within that's just not true.
I will amend my statement, it was never substantially revised. Yes, there was some errata and many FAQ requests did receive responses. However, it never received the major revision/rewrite that it badly needed.

We call that major revision “Pathfinder 2.”


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Derklord wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
The difficulty is not how strong the options are, it is the sheer quantity of rules interactions the DM must be aware of and understand.
It's still only the rule interactions that the PCs pick, isn't it? Maybe I just don't understand or enver experienced what you mean, could you give some examples?

Without knowledge of the entire system, it is impossible for a DM to restrict rules interactions that would be damaging to his campaign while allowing unfettered access to the rest of the rules.

Quote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
A DM restricting content is reducing the volume of material he has to familiar with to a more comfortable level while also setting the flavor of the campaign. E.g. this campaign does not have psychic magic, guns or gloomblades.

You can restrict material by something other than book, though. For instance, my current campaign is set in 9th century Scotland (the PCs are viking raiders), so there are no firearms in that setting. Yet, other stuff from UC is still allowed. I've even disallowed stuff from the CRB (e.g. non-human races, and crafting feats) because of campaign flavor.

As GM, I can always ban things that I don't like, even selectively - I have the power to veto anything a player picks, and as long as I don't abuse that power, my players are fine with that. I'd much rather have to disallow stuff I dont like (or dont think fits the campaign) than not have those options in the first place. I'd want firearms in a pirate campaign, for instance.

To restrict content by means other than whitelisting, e.g. only these specific books or only these specific races/classes/archetypes/feats, requires the GM to be familiar with the entire body of the works.

The easiest mechanism for a new DM, who is not familiar with the entire body of works available, is to restrict access to the portion he is familiar with and understands. This is usually per book, expanding player access as the DM acquires and reads more books.


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Belafon wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Rysky wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten.
Seeing as how it's on its sixth printing with errata and revisions within that's just not true.
I will amend my statement, it was never substantially revised. Yes, there was some errata and many FAQ requests did receive responses. However, it never received the major revision/rewrite that it badly needed.
We call that major revision “Pathfinder 2.”

Pathfinder 2 is not a rules revision, it is a complete scrapping of the existing system and replacement with an entirely new system.

It's like claiming South Side Story is just a revision of Romeo and Juliet.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Belafon wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Rysky wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
1) The CRB was NEVER revised or rewritten.
Seeing as how it's on its sixth printing with errata and revisions within that's just not true.
I will amend my statement, it was never substantially revised. Yes, there was some errata and many FAQ requests did receive responses. However, it never received the major revision/rewrite that it badly needed.
We call that major revision “Pathfinder 2.”

Pathfinder 2 is not a rules revision, it is a complete scrapping of the existing system and replacement with an entirely new system.

It's like claiming South Side Story is just a revision of Romeo and Juliet.

West Side Story?

And isn't it? What definition of "major revision" are we going with?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
It's like claiming South Side Story is just a revision of Romeo and Juliet.

West Side Story?

And isn't it? What definition of "major revision" are we going with?

I'd say that West Side Story can be seen as an adaptation of or a work based upon Romeo and Juliet. I think the West Side Story is to Romeo and Juliet as PF2e is to PF1e comparison is not all that far off the mark. And I know which of both these pairings will stand the strength of time.


It's, as always, a point of view thing. If your table's sole purpose is maximizing your effectiveness competively, and you have less money/resources available to you than you competition, then, yes, it is too big. The same goes if you are expected for some silly reason to be fluent with all possible combinations of action/ abilities ( usually also a competition thing) and you don't want to have to keep up. Many tables are not so competitive. The biggest part of all this is that we all want and expect something different out of the game. No duh.

The differences can be interesting and minor to some, and just as much be deal-breakingly severe to others.


Gorbacz wrote:
Tsukiyo wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Oh yes it did.

Not for me. I bought/used the products which interested me and ignored those that didn't.

Why would you object to a company offering you more choice for a product you, presumably, enjoy?

Because I live in the cyber future of the year 2018, where people don't buy books since the entire rules content is available online and you can carry the entire PF ruleset in your pocket. Which makes the good old XX century "just use the books you have" argument moot. My players will come at me with whatever they'll dig up on d20pfsrd/AoN, they do't need to buy the books themselves.

Sure, I could be an arse and say "this a core + APG game only" but that kind of defeats the concept of Pathfinder, whose major selling point is gabzillion of options compared to a largely sparse 5e and the ability to build that ghoran Urban Druid with platypus animal companion, which I sadly still can't do in the current iteration of D&D.

And I do enjoy Pathfinder, but it's becoming more and more absorbing and tiring. Being aware of the entire catalogue of options (so that you can halt players from either exploiting some unintentional combo or from shooting themselves in the foot by picking some crippling option) gets tiring. Designing adventures/encounters while having in mind every spell a prepared caster might pull out of their rear is tiring. Watching my players get consumed by decision paralysis every time they level up and are faced with the wall of feats/spells to choose from is disheartening. Having to deal with the massive power level difference between a seasoned min-maxer and a casual player who wants to play a Rogue and roll some dice is a challenge.

I got my degree 10 years ago, I have two jobs, a charity side job, a family and RPGs aren't my only hobby. Pathfinder is becoming increasingly burdensome to the point of feeling like a job with an exceptionally poor ROI.

And why won't I ditch PF for D&D? Well, one thing is that platypus, the other is...

Pathfinder's problem is that there are too many options, but you refuse to limit said options because Pathfinder's major selling point is that it has lots of options?

I guess I can't argue with that. : /

Suffice it to say that you have the tools you need to solve your problem; whether you do so or just flip the table and do the next thing until it, too, has "too many options" is up to you.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I think it did - particularly with fiddly bits of some of the classes. Too many options scattered across too many sources. While that may not be much of a problem in a homegrown game where a GM can exert a lot of control, it gets to be a drag on some APs and in PFS.


Volkard Abendroth wrote:
Without knowledge of the entire system, it is impossible for a DM to restrict rules interactions that would be damaging to his campaign while allowing unfettered access to the rest of the rules.

I'm not trying to be stubborn here, but do you have some examples where just patching things when they occur (i.e. vetoing a player's pick) wouldn't suffice?

Volkard Abendroth wrote:
To restrict content by means other than whitelisting, e.g. only these specific books or only these specific races/classes/archetypes/feats, requires the GM to be familiar with the entire body of the works.

Does it? When you don't know there are firearm rules, and someone want to play a pistolero in your viking campaign, you can still say "please, no firearms in my campaign". Unless you don't look over your player's characters before starting the campaign - is that a common thing?

I actually do allow only stuff from a limited number of books (relatively speaking, it's still over 60 books), but mostly because I don't like all that regional s!&%. If a player wants to use stuff from an unallowed book, I look at the book and decide than.

Bill Dunn wrote:
I think it did - particularly with fiddly bits of some of the classes. Too many options scattered across too many sources. While that may not be much of a problem in a homegrown game where a GM can exert a lot of control, it gets to be a drag on some APs and in PFS.

I actually made a spreadsheet with class options (rage powers, rogue talents, etc.) for many classes, mostly copied from AoN, for filtering and sorting purposes. Without my spreadsheets, or at least d20pfsrd/AoN, I'd be totally lost.

Don't you need to have a book or print-out of every material you use in PFS, though?

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