Our group is also bowing out of the playtest - and reasons why


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I understand some people have a hard time accepting others may have different point of views, but blaming the unhappy customer in the end is not going to help their cause except for perhaps momentary emotional relief


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Slyme wrote:

I also work in a game store, we ordered 6 sets of the playtest books, we initially had pre-orders for 3 of the sets.

One of those pre-orders got returned the day after they picked them up due to the customer not liking what they saw.

That left us with 4 sets to sell, in a store with a very active, and very spendy group of PF1 players, an even larger active group of 5E players, and plenty of assorted other RPG and board game players.

Guess how many sets we have sitting on the shelf right now...all 4 (minus some of the map packs, which sold because people can always use maps).

The physical books lose value every time an update is put out. I wouldn't count on ever selling them at this point. I was at a gaming con recently and someone tried to auction theirs off in the charity auction, with zero interest.

There's simply no reason to spend money on something that you know will be obsolete in less than a year and which loses usefulness every time the rules get updated. (Which in a playtest, will be frequently.)


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Belisar wrote:

If the OP filled out some surveys with his complaints, kudos to him.

If he just wants to make a big exit show without contributing his critique to the propper recipients as well, his points are irrelevant and just show some butthurt and cheap gestures.
Same is valid for all those annoying "group is out" posts, who whine about PF2 but refuse to give some official feedback. You know, you can reach the devs best if you contribute to the surveys. You want to change anything for the better? Go for the surveys.
The playtest and the surveys are here to change PF2 for the better, but you have to contribute.

I think I'll actually reply to this one.

Yes, I've filled out the surveys. I was also the person who organized and tablulated the 3 likes / 3 hates thread that appeared a couple of weeks ago. And I brought to light the mirror image issue in Somberfell Hall with the final boss battle - that was the thread wherein I provided enough data that the devs were able to reconstruct the battle and draw meaningful results from it. And going back to earlier posts, I've had the privilege of having devs respond constructively to questions and comments I've raised. We've been good playtesters.

So I think I've earned my way to explain why we felt continuing the playtest wasn't going to provide any additional meaningful results on our part. If you feel that providing some respectful, final feedback on the forums is a form of grandstanding, that is certainly your prerogative. But you should probably do a little self-reflection why my critique of this game system upsets you so much that you feel the need to call me out for some hidden agenda.

To reiterate - we all genuinely hope 2e succeeds in whatever form it finally takes. Even if we don't like the final ruleset, we intend to continue to support the Golarion setting in some way or another. Although my personal interactions with the staff at Paizo are limited, I don't want to see anything bad happen to them or their company. Like many on these forums our concern is for Paizo's welfare above all else. It's kinda like when you're a parent and you see your teen about to do something risky and you tell him/her "are you SURE you know what you're doing?" and they reply "Yeah. I got this, dad". And you're still not convinced because you've spent so long with them, watching them grow. That's us.

of course, Imagine Paizo's predicament... having tens of thousands of "parents" all giving them conflicting advice and worrying themselves in the process. Yikes. lol.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tridus wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
I think the important thing to consider is that this forum probably isn't a representative cross section of the game buying public. Hell, forums in generally are pretty much dying off, as discussion spaces have moved into sites like facebook and Reddit.

This is true. Those other sites aren't a representative cross section either. Nor are the surveys.

The issue with a voluntary playtest like this is self selection bias. You aren't testing against the game buying public, you're testing against the group that will play in a playtest and then submit feedback. That group will skew certain ways naturally, and the people who have been with Paizo a long time and are most invested in Pathfinder are going to be over represented because they're the most invested in being involved.

The thing is... while that might not be a huge group market wise, it's also your core audience. Losing them costs you your most diehard fans, and those are the ones that evangelize and push the game on their friends to try out. They're worth more than someone who plays PFS once a year at the local con and otherwise doesn't know the game exists.

In my own playtest group, we had 7 people and currently have 5. I know that two are submitting surveys, I know one is not, and I'm not sure about the other two. The thing there is that the split of who is and who isn't doing surveys itself skews the survey results because one type of personality is more represented in the results than the other.

Quote:
There was basically NO POSSIBLE WAY a new edition could go forward without alienating some existing set of Pathfinder players. We just don't know how significant that set is.
Absolutely. We have no way to draw informed conclusions.

Statistically, there are ways to control for this in the surveys, since not only will they have a general "sense" of responses but they will also have data on the number of surveys. If the general "done with playtest because I don't like the current version of PF2" is something of an issue, than they should be able to tell by the drop off of the surveys and the correlation of positive ratings with the number of respondants. It's also why there are less open ended questions and more rating on a scale, because those are far easier to do stats on to control for bias and sample size issues.

I was going to do a huge post on this last week, as I get teaching surveys every week, and a lot of what I observe in there is relevant for this discussion, but sadly I ran out of time and forgot (and I have a practical to go set up now, so it's not happening this morning either!)

Dark Archive

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I'm giving a lot of feedback. I'm actually feeling the same way as the OP. We haven't given up on the playtest... but I just posted the first message along those lines. Second edition does not feel fun; in almost the exact same way that 4th edition did not feel fun. They were answering a lot of complaints about first edition... the redic class combinations, poor multi-classing, and the disperarity between min-maxed characters and "newer player" characters being so huge that it almost felt like you were playing the same game. I appreciate the way they tried to do things, and I actually like the CONCEPT of where they went with it.... make a simplistic system where "a bonus type is a bonus type", make everything an action, make feats.

The problem? At the end of the day... it's not fun. At all. Somehow I lost the diversity of actions that was made to be part of my character. Far from being an "expert" of a skill, the lack of specialization made it feel like I don't even care which skill I take above "trained". The characters feel cookie-cutter, and (I play on d20pfsrd) I have very few macros because I just don't use a ton of different actions. Combats are slow slug-fests of repeated attacks with everyone having no hp and not being able to chew through those hp very fast.

And while the SurveyMonkey surveys try to do something, they don't really let us express ANY of this. And never will. I've filled out the surveys. They've done a few good changes to address the most major problems. But it's not changing the fact that this new game doesn't feel as fun as Pathfinder 1st; or even some of the "even more broken" other game systems I've played.

I've personally been on the other side of the fence a lot; telling people complaining about the terribleness of magic that in 1st edition it was "flat over the top" like the damage ratios. But for that, things in 1st felt fun. And exciting. And I really want that here, I'm just worried there may be a fundemental flaw in this system that isn't being addressed, and won't be unless more people post like the OP.

Love paizo, believe they will find some way to fix this.


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Gorbacz wrote:
But that's exactly how the PF2 monster design paradigm works. You won't be able to tear the monster down and say that it has 12 hit dice, therefore it has +12 BAB and +12 to good saves. It's just not how it works. You're trying to reverse engineer and backtrack a bottom-up process of making the monster, except it wasn't designed bottoms-up. It was designed to fill target numbers with substance, and while I'm all for adjusting these numbers if necessary, I'm very happy to see monster design uncoupled from PC design. It makes designing monsters and adjusting existing ones so much easier.

I disagree. It's a lot easier to build from the ground up, knowing where everything is coming from. It takes an extra 5 or 10 minutes, but it's definitely worth it, and it's a lot more satisfying.

Maybe they could release both monster design systems so that people can use the one they like.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I'm replying to a bunch of stuff in no particular order.

Vic Ferrari wrote:
This sounds a bit dismissive and unpersuasive.

In the 10+ years we've interacted here, I've never know Steve to be dismissive of anyone.

Steve Geddes wrote:

My impression is that the number of people posting in the PF2 forums is pretty small (compared to the PF1 playtests). I have lots of theories about that (mainly based on my middleage preconceptions) but this impression leads me to think that most people exposed to PF2 are not going to have gone through the playtest.

Personally, it feels to me that the participation of current fans is a significant distinguishing factor between the PF1 and PF2 playtests. (eg there's lots of "I don't play PF1 but have come back to try this playtest" posts now - I don't think there was the same significant cohort of people playing other systems when Paizo developed PF from 3.5).

PF1 playtest was a completely different. We had all the people that didn't want to change editions that Paizo was trying to directly cater to. PF2 is explicitly leaving the current edition behind. If PF2 were a tweak of PF1, I think we'd have a similar dynamic to the last playtest.

Frames Janco wrote:

I think it has more to do with some players making a point to come to every thread and sowing dissent in emotive posts when it is clear the devs have already heard it.

This isn't some conspiracy - they're just game developers. Give constructive feedback and your posts will stay. Playing devil's advocate for the sake of it is not productive.

There's a lot of this going on on both sides. Sure, we don't have a "my group is quitting the playtest" thread without some people chiming in to agree and give their reasoning. There's also a contingent that shows up to those threads to dismiss the OP with comments such as "playtesting isn't for everyone," "the playtest is designed to be fun," and "I hope you filled out a survey" (with an implied "because what you say in your post doesn't matter"). A reasonable person will agree that this isn't one-sided. A constructive "I'm quitting and here's why" post is valid feedback.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Skeld (on the off chance you felt dismissed) my apologies. When I replied to you, I didn't mean to imply you were wrong, merely that I have a different perspective.

I didn't feel the least bit dismissed by you, Steve. Don't sweat it. You should know by now that I'm usually right anyway. ;)

-Skeld


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Zi Mishkal wrote:
Stuff

Oh, hey wow. I actually owe you an apology for my earlier comments; I didn't recognize your username.

You put a lot of work into that like/dislike thread and I am genuinely sad to see you go.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:

I disagree. It's a lot easier to build from the ground up, knowing where everything is coming from. It takes an extra 5 or 10 minutes, but it's definitely worth it, and it's a lot more satisfying.

Maybe they could release both monster design systems so that people can use the one they like.

5 to 10 minutes extra from what? If we assume PF2 will get a system similar to the one from Starfinder, than I could build monsters and encounters with 15 to 20 minutes, pretty much for any level. If you can do the same for Pathfinder within 30 minutes, than that's truly impressive, especially once you reach the higher levels, but I'd be willing to bet that you are within a minority who are able to do so.

So I'd say to most people it's easier to have a simplified quick-build system, even if you might be able to create encounters on the fly in Pathfinder.

Liberty's Edge

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Lyee wrote:

Going back to the bullet sponge thing, I think it's a real problem in the bestiary. Here's an example from a game I ran yesterday:

Treachery Demon Creature 13
HP 315; Con +7;

Let's talk about those numbers.

Let's. That sounds fun and interesting to me! Really, without sarcasm, I like discussing numbers.

Lyee wrote:
At level 13, +7 Con is already more than a PC can get. 'better than is even possible for a PC' is a recurring, annoying theme in the bestiary. It's not even the main thing of a Trechery demon, that's it's deception, disguises, innate miracle spell!. For reference, a PC can get a total of +4, realistically. 16 max start, 19 from stat ups. Maaaaybe a +5 if they pick the con-potency item over their class attribute. +7 is way out.

Amusingly, the Con +7 is almost literally meaningless. Con doesn't go into HP or Fort Saves for monsters...monsters use their other Abilities for things like carrying capacity and untrained skills, but Con has no such uses, so this stat is mechanically meaningless in 95% or more of cases (I think it's relevant to how long it can hold its breath and little else).

Also, let's compare to PF1, shall we? The Glabrezu in PF1 has Str 30, Dex 16, Con 30, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 20. Those are equally impossible for PC stats.

Lyee wrote:
So how big are his hit dice if we built him like a PC? Maybe he got a racial hit dice of 12, somehow, and then a 12-hp hit dice every level he has. 14 of the biggest hit dice possible! So what does 14*12+13*7 give us? 259. He's still got 56 hp from nowhere, even giving him very generous hit dice and with his better-than-PC-possible Con. On a guy that is not remotely about HP. We could give him Toughness 4 times, and his HP still doesn't make sense.

Ah, here we get to an interesting edition change. See, they decided that, instead of giving Demons DR, they'd inflate their HP and give them high Weaknesses (Weakness 12, in this case, to Cold Iron, Good, and Fire). Over the course of 10 hits, that's effectively 120 less HP if you actually use something it's vulnerable to. In PF1, it had 'only' 186 HP (around on par with a pretty optimal Barbarian)...but also had DR 10/Good.

The conversion seems reasonable to me, and I honestly don't think the difference there is notably on the side of PF2's version being vastly more hardcore (fighting it takes longer, but that's inherent in PF2, and not all bad).

Lyee wrote:
Even in raw combat, outside of his cool combat stuff, he has 3 natural attacks, reach, innate combat spells, grab, a special attack ability, similar AC to a PC of that level, and amazing saves (+25 fort, good luck getting that on a PC).

Here, I agree to some extent, Saves, in particular, are a tad high on monsters in general and it's a legitimate issue...though in fairness, it had SR 24 in PF1 (something else PCs were never gonna get).

Lyee wrote:
Why does he also need to be a 315 hp sponge? I feel like +6 con, 14 hit dice with 10 hit points each, for 218 hit points, would be closer to right.

That's not how HP work in PF2. And if he had reasonable HP he'd, very reasonably, have DR. That would not make the fight quicker.

Lyee wrote:
These 'the monster's not-best thing is better than the best possible thing a PC could have' problems are endemic throughout the bestiary, including hp which leads to sponges. Sure, let their specialties shine, but not everything needs that much bulk.

Here, I actually strongly agree with you. But the problem isn't HP. It's not even attack and damage (or not much anyway), it's in Skills and Saves, mostly. And it's a real issue there...though see below.

Cyouni wrote:
I'm pretty sure Mark Seifter noted at one point that some of the skills numbers are incorrectly inflated as a result of a mistake in the building chart they were using.

This is correct. 13th level monsters have been explicitly stated to have an extra +3 on all skills that they shouldn't. That's not quite enough of a change to make them not flatly better than PCs at skills, though, which is a problem in need of fixing.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
There's no maneuver because there's no AoOs to worry about

Say what now? Fewer attacks of opportunity make maneuver more likely.


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Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.


Fumarole wrote:
Quote:
There's no maneuver because there's no AoOs to worry about
Say what now? Fewer attacks of opportunity make maneuver more likely.

Think about what a dedicated trip specialist did in PF1. They Trip you, take an AoO with Greater Trip (take a second AoO with a fortuitous weapon), take a second (third) AoO with Vicious Stomp. Target is now on the floor, and takes an AoO if it attempts to stand or crawl away. If they stand, You can feel free to make your AoO a trip attempt to repeat the situation.


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Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Quote:
There's no maneuver because there's no AoOs to worry about
Say what now? Fewer attacks of opportunity make maneuver more likely.
Think about what a dedicated trip specialist did in PF1. They Trip you, take an AoO with Greater Trip (take a second AoO with a fortuitous weapon), take a second (third) AoO with Vicious Stomp. Target is now on the floor, and takes an AoO if it attempts to stand or crawl away. If they stand, You can feel free to make your AoO a trip attempt to repeat the situation.

You actually can't do that. The AoO happens before the triggering event. So the target would already be prone while trying to stand up. You can't trip someone who is already prone.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.


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12 points is about the same as 2d12, how reasonable is it to have a backup greatsword within +2 enhancement of your main?


The Sideromancer wrote:
12 points is about the same as 2d12, how reasonable is it to have a backup greatsword within +2 enhancement of your main?

If we look at the treasure tables, a +2 enhancement is about 8 levels apart. So you have an item about 8 levels behind your main one. However, since you lose the to-hit, let's try and keep it as close as possible - a master-quality weapon with +1 potency. By my math, that's about a level 9 backup weapon to the level 12 main weapon.

Is that a reasonable assumption? Possibly.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Lyee wrote:
At level 13, +7 Con is already more than a PC can get. 'better than is even possible for a PC' is a recurring, annoying theme in the bestiary. It's not even the main thing of a Trechery demon, that's it's deception, disguises, innate miracle spell!. For reference, a PC can get a total of +4, realistically. 16 max start, 19 from stat ups. Maaaaybe a +5 if they pick the con-potency item over their class attribute. +7 is way out.

Amusingly, the Con +7 is almost literally meaningless. Con doesn't go into HP or Fort Saves for monsters...monsters use their other Abilities for things like carrying capacity and untrained skills, but Con has no such uses, so this stat is mechanically meaningless in 95% or more of cases (I think it's relevant to how long it can hold its breath and little else).

Also, let's compare to PF1, shall we? The Glabrezu in PF1 has Str 30, Dex 16, Con 30, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 20. Those are equally impossible for PC stats.

How are we defining impossible in this case? Do you mean it's impossible for a PC to have those stats in their normal walking around no buffs no magic no abilities state? If so yes, it's impossible (assuming you also don't include the various tomes in those numbers). A PC in actual play though? Around level 9 (which is the earliest I'd imagine you could encounter one of those) those numbers are fairly achievable.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.

That's one creature though. You'll find some more throughout the playtest bestiary, but that doesn't make a good point. Some creatures are supposed to be large scary sacks of meat. If that turns out to be every creature in your game, that's up to bad adventure design by the book writers or the DM.


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Fumarole wrote:
Quote:
There's no maneuver because there's no AoOs to worry about
Say what now? Fewer attacks of opportunity make maneuver more likely.

But also with less tactical value. There's less battlefield control going on, less blocking for weaker characters, and so on. If you don't have a natural barrier like a doorway, stuff can just walk around you with near total impunity.

That was already an issue in 1e, but it's even worse now. Tactical combat doesn't mean anything if there's no tactics required.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:


Also, let's compare to PF1, shall we? The Glabrezu in PF1 has Str 30, Dex 16, Con 30, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 20. Those are equally impossible for PC stats.

Well while the state spread is quite impressive and indeed hard to duplicate as a PC. Each individual stat is reachable by PCs in combat. 20 starting con greater rage for 6 and belt for 4.

Yes people usually won't have that high of a con, but it's reachable by a PC wanting to have a high con.

Lantern Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think some of the issues people are experiencing are due to mistaken assumptions about the playtest.

Some people wanted the playtest to be a promotional exercise. We'd all play some adventures in a new tweaked system, nothing was really going to change and the only goal was to have fun with our sneak peek.
However that's not what the playtest is, it's actually more like tedious stress testing, where we test deliberately narrow targeted elements of the system and parts of that system are regularly changed and new responses checked. This isn't fun, but its not being put together to be fun, its to stress test things so the game is a better game after the playtest. It's why they've stressed its not intended to be fun and to run the game as close to the RAW presented as possible.

Some people want to co-design the system. They'd like if any suggestion they make be implemented as a priority. They view this playtest as an opportunity to make sure the game is designed in accordance with their preferences.
This also isn't what the playtest is for, Paizo don't need 500 extra designers making suggestions which range from deeply insightful, clever ideas to half baked suggestions which fix one problem while creating a dozen more. The point of the playtest is to stress test the scenarios we are presented with and fill out surveys that accurately model our experience. Paizo are trying to get enough data that they start to discern patterns of experience and can modify the playtest to better achieve what they want.
I'm sure Paizo would like to carefully read every topic and try every idea but there isn't the time and as designers they need to trust themselves when the feedback is as expected and root for answers when it isn't.

Some people are disappointed by the lack of content.
While it's definitely got less options than a 12 year old RPG line with 100s of books I think people need to be realistic about how much can be fitted into the core book.

This is the most authentic RPG playtests I've ever seen, they have made significant changes in response to issues that have cropped up and the game has noticeably improved from version 1.0 to version 1.4
I'm very optimistic about how it's going and while I'm not sure the game will be to everyones taste, I think it's still going to be the options heavy crunchy game PF1 is at heart.


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Belisar wrote:
Well, if someone states that he's done with playtesting due to endless frustration and that PF2 is never for them you believe they will spend time to fill out surveys with constructive critique?

They might. It is certainly possible. Either way, the surveys so far are short on open-ended questions that are likely to capture the type of feedback the original poster wanted to give.

Paizo says they read the boards and value feedback in this arena. I think the original poster, and their group, honorably participated in the playtest up until some level of tolerance. If the DM tried to force the group to keep playing they likely would have broken up, and not finished the playtest either. You've got to respect a group making a well considered and conscious decision about how to spend their free time.


MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.

It may also encourage an alchemist to use quick alchemy to create fire bombs for heavy automatic damage and a chance to shine. There is a similar story to tell for all casters with fire spells or "good" damage like from searing light. Those same weaknesses give spellcasters a lot of good room to shine.


Excaliburproxy wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.

It may also encourage an alchemist to use quick alchemy to create fire bombs for heavy automatic damage and a chance to shine. There is a similar story to tell for all casters with fire spells or "good" damage like from searing light. Those same weaknesses give spellcasters a lot of good room to shine.

Depending on who you talk to, Spellcasters don't need more room to shine.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed some posts and replies. Our forums are not the place for this kind of bickering. Instead of replying and moderators having to remove an exponentially higher number of posts, just flag it and move on please.

Liberty's Edge

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Bardarok wrote:
Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.

There are not. Not in the same sense anyway. I disagree with some of the choices made in the Bestiary other than the skills Math thing (which also applies to Perception), but they aren't basically typos like the skills.

And personally, I actually think AC is about right. It's really not great compared to PC AC. Saves are too high by a bit, and attacks are about +1 too high in general, IMO, but AC seems fine to me.

Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Thanks, I try to keep my analysis relevant. :)

MerlinCross wrote:

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.

Weakness-heavy creatures aren't all the creatures in the game. Heck, they aren't even most of them. And I think it speeds things up as opposed to having everything have DR (and certainly makes things feel different). I mean, 315 is a big number to wade through, but in many cases it's gonna be easier than wading through 200 plus Resistance 10 (and Fast Healing 10), which is what the same level Devil has.

Also, it has Weakness to Fire as well as Good, providing spell options to capitalize on said weakness, and archers can have cold iron arrows easily enough.

Alchemaic wrote:
How are we defining impossible in this case? Do you mean it's impossible for a PC to have those stats in their normal walking around no buffs no magic no abilities state? If so yes, it's impossible (assuming you also don't include the various tomes in those numbers). A PC in actual play though? Around level 9 (which is the earliest I'd imagine you could encounter one of those) those numbers are fairly achievable.

At 9th? A Barbarian can get to Str 28 or so, but only very niche super optimized builds can actually get that high on Str, and not even then on Con (for the most part anyway).

Even at 13th it's tricky. And if including magic items, the Glabrezu can have an easy 34 in both just using treasure...

The Sideromancer wrote:
12 points is about the same as 2d12, how reasonable is it to have a backup greatsword within +2 enhancement of your main?

It's honestly easier to just have your main weapon be Cold Iron or Silver and then vary which among the PCs. That way somebody hits the weakness in most fights that are reliant on this.


MerlinCross wrote:
Excaliburproxy wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Nice post DMW. I like that you try your best to stay unbiased and stick strictly to numbers. A lot of people aren't taking into consideration the new weakness system and it really does help against those high HP creatures.

Because without the weakness it's a long fight but if two people can hit the weakness it's HP basically plummets? And having Weakness encourages more "Close to melee and hack away".

I thought we wanted more choices than stand and swing as many times as possible.

It may also encourage an alchemist to use quick alchemy to create fire bombs for heavy automatic damage and a chance to shine. There is a similar story to tell for all casters with fire spells or "good" damage like from searing light. Those same weaknesses give spellcasters a lot of good room to shine.
Depending on who you talk to, Spellcasters don't need more room to shine.

I suppose that is fair, but I think Spellcasters are doing just okay and I know other people want to storm the pacific northwest for what Paizo has done to their precious spell lads.

Regardless, I am just saying that weaknesses don't necessarily only encourage hacking at stuff in melee. They also call out for a judicious allocation of daily resources.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
At 9th? A Barbarian can get to Str 28 or so, but only very niche super optimized builds can actually get that high on Str, and not even then on Con (for the most part anyway).

I don't think so. Niche optimized builds can do far better. A lv1 human can reach a str of 26 while raging. doing nothing but buying a +2 belt and putting level ups into it gets it to 30 raging str.

A niche build can get 38 str at times at lv4 with no items and with a 26 con too.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
How are we defining impossible in this case? Do you mean it's impossible for a PC to have those stats in their normal walking around no buffs no magic no abilities state? If so yes, it's impossible (assuming you also don't include the various tomes in those numbers). A PC in actual play though? Around level 9 (which is the earliest I'd imagine you could encounter one of those) those numbers are fairly achievable.

At 9th? A Barbarian can get to Str 28 or so, but only very niche super optimized builds can actually get that high on Str, and not even then on Con (for the most part anyway).

Even at 13th it's tricky. And if including magic items, the Glabrezu can have an easy 34 in both just using treasure...

Still pretty doable. 20 Str/18 Con base, with the two levels into Con for 20. Potion of Bull's Strength plus Rage gets you to 28, at which point you can either say "eh, good enough" or get another boost from Enlarge Person or Alter Self or something. Extra bonus points if it's a buddy casting the spells on you instead of a potion you're drinking. Rage brings Con to 24, plus Raging Vitality to 26, plus a Potion of Bear's Endurance for 30. That doesn't seem particularly niche or super optimized to me, just needs the right stat allocation (which is also the "optimal" allocation for a Barb), one feat, and two-three items which you can get ahold of with minimal issue if they haven't been passed out in the loot already. Maybe a bit trickier than it should be, but still achievable at 9. Or get a +4 belt of one stat or the other, a 9th level character should have enough gold for one of those plus a magic weapon and other assorted gear.

On the other hand if monster buffs come into the picture then all bets are off since they can be geared up with anything your heart desires and start the fight with as many buffs as you can think of. That's usually reserved for unique encounters though like bosses or those weird miniboss-type encounters in APs that have a bunch of lore and backstory that the PCs never find out about.


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Tridus wrote:
5e's playtest had a lot of issues early on, too. It worked out pretty well in the end.

5e's playtest was also handled very differently.

With PF2, we're getting a beta release of a complete-ish game all at once, and then getting errata/upgrade documents every few weeks, with a series of playtest scenarios designed to stress-test various aspects of the system.

But for D&D Next, the first thing Wizards released was the Caves of Chaos plus a few pregenerated 1st level characters, and the main question asked was "Does this feel like D&D?" Later releases expanded the rules, adding character generation rules for a few levels, then more levels, more classes, and so on. They tried some pretty out-there ideas, like the Sorcerer version that became more and more draconic as they cast more spells (thus gradually transforming from a caster to a fighter-ish type over the course of the day). Many of those ideas didn't pan out, but the playtest only had an early concept of them, not a finished version.

To me, these approaches show very different attitudes. D&D Next came off of 4e, which was very much a failure (at least on Wizards' scale), so their designers were very eager to find their way back to something that their audience would like. So they basically threw things at the wall and saw what stuck. Their surveys had things like "Which of these spells do you think are most iconic?", not "How many times did the PCs need to rest to complete this adventure?" PF2, on the other hand, comes from a position of relative strength. The designers have already decided what they want and are more interested in fine-tuning it.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.

There are not. Not in the same sense anyway. I disagree with some of the choices made in the Bestiary other than the skills Math thing (which also applies to Perception), but they aren't basically typos like the skills.

And personally, I actually think AC is about right. It's really not great compared to PC AC. Saves are too high by a bit, and attacks are about +1 too high in general, IMO, but AC seems fine to me.

Thanks. The 50% success rate design seems to lead to too many wasted turns in my option, though I don't think normalizing around a different point would work with the crit system.

Monsters seem to make their saves most of the time which is contributing to how under powered spellcasters feel. From the math I am looking at Reddit Link It seems that the chance of a monster succeeding on it's save is on average around 70%. They didn't differentiate between good and bad saves so maybe targeting weak save is the way to go but the average being so high is concerning.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.

There are not. Not in the same sense anyway. I disagree with some of the choices made in the Bestiary other than the skills Math thing (which also applies to Perception), but they aren't basically typos like the skills.

And personally, I actually think AC is about right. It's really not great compared to PC AC. Saves are too high by a bit, and attacks are about +1 too high in general, IMO, but AC seems fine to me.

Thanks. The 50% success rate design seems to lead to too many wasted turns in my option, though I don't think normalizing around a different point would work with the crit system.

Monsters seem to make their saves most of the time which is contributing to how under powered spellcasters feel. From the math I am looking at Reddit Link It seems that the chance of a monster succeeding on it's save is on average around 70%. They didn't differentiate between good and bad saves so maybe targeting weak save is the way to go but the average being so high is concerning.

It's even worse if you're fighting a boss level enemy.

My party fought the Sea Serpent in part 4, and the DCs for the druids spells (even with a primary wisdom stat) could be Succeeded on a 2, which means it could critically succeed on a 12.
That's a recipe for purest frustration. My players survived by turning it around with a bard's enthrall ability, could have critically succeeded by rolling a 14, luckily I rolled a 1 because I roll in the open.

I know the monster stats are somewhat borked, but an epic encounter shouldn't make the dice basically irrelevant.


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.

There are not. Not in the same sense anyway. I disagree with some of the choices made in the Bestiary other than the skills Math thing (which also applies to Perception), but they aren't basically typos like the skills.

And personally, I actually think AC is about right. It's really not great compared to PC AC. Saves are too high by a bit, and attacks are about +1 too high in general, IMO, but AC seems fine to me.

Thanks. The 50% success rate design seems to lead to too many wasted turns in my option, though I don't think normalizing around a different point would work with the crit system.

Monsters seem to make their saves most of the time which is contributing to how under powered spellcasters feel. From the math I am looking at Reddit Link It seems that the chance of a monster succeeding on it's save is on average around 70%. They didn't differentiate between good and bad saves so maybe targeting weak save is the way to go but the average being so high is concerning.

It's even worse if you're fighting a boss level enemy.

My party fought the Sea Serpent in part 4, and the DCs for the druids spells (even with a primary wisdom stat) could be Succeeded on a 2, which means it could critically succeed on a 12.
That's a recipe for purest frustration. My players survived by turning it around with a bard's enthrall ability, could have critically succeeded by rolling a 14, luckily I rolled a 1 because I roll in the open.

I know the monster stats are somewhat borked, but an epic encounter shouldn't make the dice basically...

Honestly a lot off people are really frustrated about magics general power level, but I could tolerate it much moreso if saves were not so astronomically out of wack. If you are at your highest DC value possible, the absolute worst a monster should pass on the die for its average saves is probably an 8 preferably a 10. I don't mind their good saves saving on like 2s or 3s tbh even though I'd rather see it at 5 or 6. Finally bad saves should actually be bad saving on a 11 is not a bad save, its slightly below average, I'm not really certain were this range should sit as inevitably this also moves crit fail range but I feel like 12 - 14 is probably the right area for a successful save on the monsters bad save.

+


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Skeld wrote:

Frames Janco wrote:

I think it has more to do with some players making a point to come to every thread and sowing dissent in emotive posts when it is clear the devs have already heard it.

This isn't some conspiracy - they're just game developers. Give constructive feedback and your posts will stay. Playing devil's advocate for the sake of it is not productive.

There's a lot of this going on on both sides. Sure, we don't have a "my group is quitting the playtest" thread without some people chiming in to agree and give their reasoning. There's also a contingent that shows up to those threads to dismiss the OP with comments such as "playtesting isn't for everyone," "the playtest is designed to be fun," and "I hope you filled out a survey" (with an implied "because what you say in your...

Oh don't get me wrong, I have no issue with people posting their experiences and think it is 100% a valuable contribution. I was directly responding to the insinuation that devs are actively censoring opinions they don't like - the "there is something creepy/unsettling" and "I won't say more because my posts are getting removed" kinds of posts. I don't think there is any place for those sorts of comments on the forum.

IMO all playtest discussion should be on the game itself, not on the folks at Paizo or how they run their business.

Anyway the irony is that I've derailed with a post of my own, ha. Apologies.


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Frames Janco wrote:
I was directly responding to the insinuation that devs are actively censoring opinions they don't like - the "there is something creepy/unsettling" and "I won't say more because my posts are getting removed" kinds of posts.

Just to clarify as an observer of what happened the other day.

Spoiler:
The posters in question were referring to the use of a racially charged term being banned on the forums. This term had been used in some published Paizo materials so they felt that were being unfairly targeted...but the moderator was pretty clear that, no matter what was printed in the past, it's not allowed here now.

This set off a snowballing series of posts on political correctness and censorship. Because older posts were being actively moderated new posters who joined the discussion didn't know what what was going on and the entire thing snowballed. Could have been easily avoided if the initial "don't use that term here" had been met with "oh. didn't realize, I'll use another term."


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Bardarok wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Very interesting post Deadman. Do you know if there are other mistakes in the Bestiary math similar to skills? The high saves and AC of the monsters has been rather discouraging for my players it feels like everythings defences are just a bit too high.

There are not. Not in the same sense anyway. I disagree with some of the choices made in the Bestiary other than the skills Math thing (which also applies to Perception), but they aren't basically typos like the skills.

And personally, I actually think AC is about right. It's really not great compared to PC AC. Saves are too high by a bit, and attacks are about +1 too high in general, IMO, but AC seems fine to me.

Thanks. The 50% success rate design seems to lead to too many wasted turns in my option, though I don't think normalizing around a different point would work with the crit system.

Monsters seem to make their saves most of the time which is contributing to how under powered spellcasters feel. From the math I am looking at Reddit Link It seems that the chance of a monster succeeding on it's save is on average around 70%. They didn't differentiate between good and bad saves so maybe targeting weak save is the way to go but the average being so high is concerning.

My thought for a potential solution here, offered in another thread, is to make traditionally single target spells - I am going to use Flesh to Stone as an example here, because I have been working on using its playtest iteration - into "one or two creatures" targeting spells.

Combined with situational ways to get that 70% down closer to 50% like Empowered Focus and Quickened Dread Aura (and facing level -1 or -2 monsters a reasonable amount of the time), doubling the potential targets means a broader range of successes for the spellcaster using the same power level of result that the spells have already been written for. Not always having a second target, and the face palm of two things making their coin flip, means that there are still both random and situational elements that keep the power level of spells and casters from being overly empowered by this change beyond the fun factor (which I feel could be huge, but would need testing for me or anyone to really know).

Presuming the core mechanics stay similar to how they are now, please consider endorsing that idea if it seems like a good solution to you.


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Elegant Rube Goldberg solutions are totally unnecessary. Just to nerf monsters. I think Paizo knows monsters are overtuned. They will figure it out.


I wondered what that sort of thing was about. Hopefully it's a taboo old enough for me to know about it.

Regarding the actual topic. I do wonder if that 50% miss chance, or worse on saving throws, is likely to make its way into modules with a more standard design rather than a playtest design. 50% failure rate on consumable abilities is a recipe for frustration that would just drive people toward at will abilities.

The difference between bad and good saves tends to be 1-4, though there are outliers like the Nalfeshnee with an 8 point difference. If recall knowledge checks weren't also 50/50, maybe you could make good use of the save difference. It'll be punishing for sorcerers who need to diversify their saving throw pool.

It was my impression that occult casters mostly used will saving throws and could be out of luck when it comes to exploiting weaknesses, though I haven't done an exhaustive look at the spell list.


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HidaOWin wrote:

I think some of the issues people are experiencing are due to mistaken assumptions about the playtest.

...

You expressed my same thoughts perfectly. Another thing I always think about whenever someone on this board states something like: "There's not enough choices, and classes are stuck with few playstyles" they are not comparing to the PF1e core rulebook. You really can't make a variety of builds in PF1e with the core rulebook. It's very limited. In fact I think it's way more limited than the playtest in fact.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Dire Ursus wrote:
HidaOWin wrote:

I think some of the issues people are experiencing are due to mistaken assumptions about the playtest.

...

You expressed my same thoughts perfectly. Another thing I always think about whenever someone on this board states something like: "There's not enough choices, and classes are stuck with few playstyles" they are not comparing to the PF1e core rulebook. You really can't make a variety of builds in PF1e with the core rulebook. It's very limited. In fact I think it's way more limited than the playtest in fact.

I can make a functional halfling paladin on a dog in PF1e with just the core rulebook. Not-so-much in PF2 Playtest.

The playtest has greatly increased niche protection, which is good, but it also means by definition that limitations have to be put in place in order to do so.


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It is distressing how the debate has become more and more of a perfect replay of the lead up to 4E.

It is true that we can't quantify the percent of fans who are turning away. But we do know it is enough to be causing persistent, if not growing attention.

4E fans stated over and over that the unhappy fans were not needed, would come around, and would be replaced five to one. They were wrong.

The tone of the lead up ended up being a very effective measure of the reception. And the concerns raised only became more evident over time with an impactful number of early adopters finding issues coming to the front as they played over time.

There are really good games out there. None of them are perfect. But they are really good anyway. 2E needs to be better.

A game whose mechanics put the math in front of the narrative will never get there. It just won't. I'm not trying to be unreasonable. I know it sounds unreasonable and unwilling to compromise to those who do like the game. I'm sorry. But it doesn't change anything.

I completely concede the complaints about 1E. But my current 13th level campaign is going awesome. I can manage and control the issues. If it was 2E, everybody would have +13 to everything and that would be approximately 50% of the numbers for everything, often more than 50%. You don't need to know anything about the character to put key statistics in a very close range. Then you polish to "flavor". And, yeah, the math works.

Speaking as an engineer and math wonk, to hell with the math. Please give me narrative builds, warts and all. If you do that good, we will be there.

And none of this has anything to do with my limitations based on volume of material. The 1E core alone solves my problem. 2E, as it stands, won't fix it with ten supplements. It just won't.

The heart of this system, the mechanics, is pure math without regard to anything else. The OP demonstrates that. Yes, you have a lot of room to paint on top. But I can be under the hood, why should I settle for simply decorating the surface?

You guys (Paizo) have proven your ability to lead the industry in making every mechanic be married to the ideas. I've walked away for a few weeks because I gave up hope. I poked in and here I see this thread right at the top. The only reason I poked back in is because I so truly want to love your product. I really do.

Story, not math. (And please don't tell me I can tell a story with anything. I *KNOW* that. A game where the mechanics are aligned to the story first and math second creates more fun. I bring the story, the game brings the mechanics. For the mechanics themselves, please, story, not math) Thanks

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