Another group out


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Our group - after last nights session - decided to bow out of the playtest.

Relevant comments for the devs:

Because every monster has the same attacks/saves/hit points roughly they all feel the same - they all have small blurbs of special but roughly feel the same in how they play (GM was saying this).

Don't like the 'must bring a cleric' - even with treat wounds. (everyone)

Casting feels lackluster and worthless (everyone).

Combat feels like 'get into position and whack' (everyone).

Monsters sometimes get things like shortbows that do 2d6 even though they aren't magical - 'just because' - it feels wrong. (GM)

Feats all feel like they don't do anything worthwhile (everyone).

Why am I rolling the dice for all your abilities? (GM)

Watching you try to help him in the quicksand almost killed him - seems like it's safer to never ask for help (GM).

There is no guidance for what kind of false information to hand out (GM)

Whats the DC to dispel an item? (everyone - we still don't know)

Don't fire into melee - I don't want to have to look that up in the book (GM)

I don't have the kit to do that because I forgot to get it (everyone at least once).

Does that bonus stack? I dunno lets just say it does we've already spent too much time looking stuff up tonight (multiple times - GM).

We'll fill out the surveys for what we were able to accomplish - but we only play for 3 hours a week and as each combat was taking up the entire night - we didn't get very far. Going back to PF1. Personal notes:

I don't mind a lethal system (I like OSRIC for instance) but lethal systems I've played in all had easy character creation rules - and a character would fit on an index card to start.

My comments on the playtest forum will end with this thread - I'll check things out on the flip side - we just don't have the desire to play this system any more - as it wasn't fun for us. Ciao!


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Thank you for sharing this with the community.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Completely agree with every item on that list.

One thing I would note:

Ckorik wrote:


Don't like the 'must bring a cleric' - even with treat wounds. (everyone)
Casting feels lackluster and worthless (everyone).
Combat feels like 'get into position and whack' (everyone).

Is that these problems are all intertwined. Everyone can move around freely and there's no real way to control space or the flow of combat, nor are casters aren't allowed any real battlefield control or disruption role. This turns battles into giant slugfests as each side tries to out-attrition the other, which makes combat healing a critical party role. And the cleric is the only class that's good at combat healing.


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Just make sure you fill out the survey too.


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Every time a playtest group gives up, it seems to be for very similar reasons, among which are:

- Monsters are pure killing-machines and their stats make no sense

- PCs don't feel heroic for their actions

- Combat takes too long and gets boring very fast

- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

- Magic is underwhelming and casters are worthless

- The game is too complicated and that complexity doesn't come with additional depth of play

Clearly, with so many different people coming out to say their farewell and listing these issues in their feedback, something needs to be done to address them if 2nd edition is ever going to be successful.


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Okay, the ratios do not seem to be fortunate for the future of PF2.

As that cool dude, that dies way too early in Aliens ("...guess, she don't like the cornbread, neither..."):

"...I got a bad feeling on this one..."

"...it's okay, when we get back...I'll call your folks..."


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wonder whether these threads would best be placed here in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion or in one of the Playtest Feedback threads? After all, saying that the current state of the playtest rules is so bad that you can't continue with the playtest is definitely valid feedback. Fewer people would see it elsewhere, admittedly -- but that may not be a horrible thing.

I must admit that one of the factors that led me not to want to playtest Doomsday Dawn (besides the lack of time to get through the whole thing) was the reports that certain parts of it are meant to be likely TPKs. I suspect that the PFS playtest scenarios would be more compatible with my group's playstyle.


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Sounds like useful feedback. I agree with most of it, although we are still playing. The best party seems to be a Cleric and a whole people of people with weapons.

Ckorik wrote:
Why am I rolling the dice for all your abilities? (GM)

Exactly why we ignore this rule in every game I'm in. Making the DM do six sets of rolls while the players sit and watch is not an improvement.

Silver Crusade

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Vic Ferrari wrote:

Okay, the ratios do not seem to be fortunate for the future of PF2.

As that cool dude, that dies way too early in Aliens ("...guess, she don't like the cornbread, neither..."):

"...I got a bad feeling on this one..."

"...it's okay, when we get back...I'll call your folks..."

What ratios?


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David knott 242 wrote:
I must admit that one of the factors that led me not to want to playtest Doomsday Dawn (besides the lack of time to get through the whole thing) was the reports that certain parts of it are meant to be likely TPKs.

Having played the first four chapters, here's my thoughts on likely TPK death points:

Chapter 1:

Drakus, the boss, has a very high chance to crit on the first turn due to the target likely being flat-footed against him. He deals enough damage to completely drop an average PC from full to dying on a crit, which can quickly start a snowball. Generally speaking he goes down pretty easily if he can't remove PC's immediately, though.

Chapter 2:

The Manticore is very dangerous, and most parties will have no way of fighting back and must simply weather its ranged assaults until it runs out of ammunition and enters melee. If you lack a cleric, or you ran out of healing resources earlier in the day, this encounter could be deadly. If you have a fresh cleric, though, you can outlast the Manticore quite easily.

Chapter 3:

Honestly the easiest chapter by far. So long as you actually have well-built clerics you can just spam your way through the encounters with the heal spell. The only catch is the restoration spell's 10 minute casting time. You're almost certain to waste at least one casting of restoration due to be interrupted while casting it, so make sure you carry duplicates.

Chapter 4:

The Sea Serpent. If your GM plays this encounter intelligently, it will TPK you. I nerfed it by removing almost all of its special abilities, and having the encounter take place in a location that was advantageous to the PC's, and making it so the creature never attacked the same target twice in a row. It was still the most difficult encounter the entire chapter by a substantial margin.

My party didn't encounter the Rocs, but I hear they're even worse.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

Okay, the ratios do not seem to be fortunate for the future of PF2.

As that cool dude, that dies way too early in Aliens ("...guess, she don't like the cornbread, neither..."):

"...I got a bad feeling on this one..."

"...it's okay, when we get back...I'll call your folks..."

What ratios?

Not weight, or air-speed velocity.

Dark Archive

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Sorting out which of these issues are Doomsday Dawn specific (a purposeful meatgrinder meant to produce data) and which are systemic to the rule set is important. The chapters being primarily a stress test shapes the experience. The content needed an explicit warning that, like any hazardous test site, things sometimes blow up and people leave unhappy with the results.


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Ikos wrote:
Sorting out which of these issues are Doomsday Dawn specific (a purposeful meatgrinder meant to produce data) and which are systemic to the rule set is important. The chapters being primarily a stress test shapes the experience. The content needed an explicit warning that, like any hazardous test site, things sometimes blow up and people leave unhappy with the results.

If you are sacrificing people enjoying your new game to better collect data, man that is a very dangerous way to run a playtest.


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Well, I am also pretty much done at this point. I already mentioned in my big thread about arcane spellcasters that it was my last hail mary and since Jason saw fit to shut it down (like so many threads seem to have been shut down lately), I am pretty sure by this point that nothing substantial will change. Since I somehow managed to make the most successful thread on the entire playtest forum (it had almost double as much posts as the next biggest thread after it, including every single developer blog post discussion, which is kind of amazing), at least I had an impact on the overall discussion.

I'm staying with Pathfinder 1E. As I've said before, that actually will put some money into Paizo's coffers in the short term, since I'll get all the hardcovers I'm still missing. I've already by now stocked up on the softcover books I find interesting. Too bad the Technology Guide and the Magnimar book are out of print and just not available at sane prices anymore.

I don't know. I just don't see how they'll pull a game I'm interested in out of the mess they got right now and it doesn't seem that they are really interested in changing it, either. I wish the developers the best of luck, but I think they are making a gigantic misstep.


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dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I see this feedback constantly. Wasn't this the point of the three action system?

I'm under the impression that the whole point of the three action system is to open up combat. Not make combat the same as it's always been minus spells.


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Garretmander wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I see this feedback constantly. Wasn't this the point of the three action system?

I'm under the impression that the whole point of the three action system is to open up combat. Not make combat the same as it's always been minus spells.

I haven't experienced this in my groups but, due to my wargaming roots, I've always pushed my players to use terrain and tactics to their fullest. I have seen it mentioned a lot as a frustration here. There's a lot of potential for strategic synergy in the three action economy but something's getting definitely lost somewhere.


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Garretmander wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I see this feedback constantly. Wasn't this the point of the three action system?

I'm under the impression that the whole point of the three action system is to open up combat. Not make combat the same as it's always been minus spells.

It seems to be an actual flaw in the three action economy, now that it is under actual increased scrutiny by a multitude of players. I know people were complaining about the old "move into melee and full attack until dead" system, but if the replacement is just the same but it takes longer to resolve every single combat (which means that even more playtime each session is dedicated to this, a problem for players who want more roleplaying in their Pathfinder), then the new system is actually inferior, IMO.

Then again, as I've grown older and play sessions have grown shorter due to RL commitments, I've increasingly begun to judge a system by how much content I can squeeze out of a single play session. Because there is always more content to consume, but not enough actual playtime to do it.

A system which actively makes each AP last even longer than the 1 1/2 years already invested for each one (which has been by and large my experience over the last ten years) is actively detrimental to my own goals. If combat would go much faster than it did in previous editions than it would make sense, but so far I don't see that happening, either.


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With my best ability of not trying to come off as rude or attacking them, how well versed was your GM with the rules?

Most of the "I don't want to look it up" rules I know myself with just one read through of the book, or at least the knowledge of where to find them fast should I need to confirm them.

The monsters feeling bland I can kind of understand, but I would hope they all have enough special abilities to make use of to make the combat more interesting.
The high level ones (not appearing in Doomsday Dawn) have some great stuff like the ancient dragons etc.


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I'd presume Ckorik is the GM of the group and everything I've seen from him over the last years says that he is an experienced GM.

Scarab Sages

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I disagree with some point but I am on Phone so it is not easy to write.

My group never had cleric and did things without much troubles. No one though it is mandatory to have one.

Secret roll are usefull when you want to avoid the "I rolled High so my info is 100% safe". Once the players all rolled knowledge. Only one got a false information but they didn't know it. I used it also for perception check when searching hidden stuff.

They don't think fighting is static. Quite the reverse in fact. Fighting being dynamic is one of the first good thing they pointed out.

So far they liked the bestiary.

About the book search : new system = You don't remember things Well.
PF1 needs a lot more book tracking at start. We Forget it because we played for years but PF2 is really easier for people that weren't "infected" by PF1. (I'm not saying that in a bad way but my english knowledge is lacking to accurately explain that)


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dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I find this critique of the playtest befuddling, because in my experience many combats have become much more dynamic than in PF1, which can often be boiled down to: Full-Attacks once all the pieces are in place.


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If Paizo were going to ignore feedback that isn't contained in surveys (I don't think they are, but that is the implied undertone of all these comments), they would be idiots. I filled out the surveys for the sections my group completed. And you know what? The questions Paizo asked didn't address several of the issues that pushed my group to drop the playtest.

"Did you fill out the survey?", while a glorious attempt to push responsibility onto the players who are unhappy, actually makes Paizo *more* responsible if they don't get the data they need to iron out the issues with PF2E. Because it makes Paizo responsible for guessing in advance what all the right questions will be.

The folks posting and giving feedback aren't the enemy. They are players and customers that care, that have enjoyed Paizo's products to date, and are offering information to help Paizo make a successful new edition. That includes both kinds of feedback - people posting what they like and how successful the new rules are, and folks posting about what doesn't work and is unappealing.

Silver Crusade

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The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they have a solid way of assessing which sentiments are popular across the entire spectrum of playtest avenues and which ones aren't.


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Gorbacz wrote:

The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they have a solid way of assessing which sentiments are popular across the entire spectrum of playtest avenues and which ones aren't.

That is, certainly, one possibility. There are others.


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The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they are unwilling to change some very specific things about the game, no matter how unpopular


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Reading what OP said REALLY, REALLY gave me the impression that nobody in the group bothered to read and learn the system and are dismissing it because they don't know this new set of rules like they do with their other systems with, probably, years of experience.

About combat being just "walk in and whack" is exactly what Pathfinder 1e is. You just walk in and "never" move around, unless you want to be whacked in the face.

Monster rules behaving differently is ultimately a matter of preference, even though I don't think it's the perfect answer, it DOES allow a great deal of control on the GM's part to create balanced encounters using clear rules, if Paizo's baseline is too much or too little, the system allows minor changes to be simple and predictable.

The impression I've got was that the GM and players weren't actually interested in the system and made the minimum effort to play.

Things are nowhere near perfect right now, but at least give it an honest and open-minded try, they're making pathfinder SECOND edition not Pathfinder 1.5, thus different thinking is necessary and what's strong and weak will have a different measure than before... After all, just by the fact that you can make multiple attacks from the start is already a big change (previously achieved by dual wielding).

Silver Crusade

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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they are unwilling to change some very specific things about the game, no matter how unpopular

You're assuming that every avenue shares the sentiments displayed here. They don't. If you say that "Rogues and Fighters are weak and irrelevant compared to full casters" here, you'll get pretty much nods of agreement. If you state that on the 24k+ people Pathfinder Facebook group, you'll be immediately swamped with disagreement that runs the entire spectrum, from "well Fighter can swing his sword all day, Wizard can't" to "maybe, but it's the GMs job to fix that" and "who cares as long as everybody has fun?".


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D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they are unwilling to change some very specific things about the game, no matter how unpopular

This. Bolded part is mine.

Dark Archive

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Apparently the inability for a small company to handle tens of thousands of users on their website simultaneously in the wake of a hotly-anticipated release counts as a "misstep" now?


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dnoisette wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they are unwilling to change some very specific things about the game, no matter how unpopular
This. Bolded part is mine.

I might remind you that your play experience is not representative of everyone. The only reason I didn't end up with a group of pure casters for Sombrefell Hall is the fact that one person specifically asked about how caster-y the rest of the party was (and another last minute swerved into Fighter for Point-Blank Shot). Based on results, they don't seem to think casters have major problems.

Can they be strengthened without destroying the game foundations again? Probably. Are they so weak that they're unusable? I don't believe so, but we'll see how the one mystic theurge fares.


Cyouni wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
D@rK-SePHiRoTH- wrote:
The fact that insofar Paizo didn't address some of the critique which was frequent on the boards (eg. the "it isn't PF1" one, the "monsters should be built like PCs" or the "casters are too weak" one and of course the "wrought treadmill, verily" one) while tackled other comments that were frequent (ancestries, out-of-combat healing, signature skills, untrained being too low) tells me that they are unwilling to change some very specific things about the game, no matter how unpopular
This. Bolded part is mine.

I might remind you that your play experience is not representative of everyone. The only reason I didn't end up with a group of pure casters for Sombrefell Hall is the fact that one person specifically asked about how caster-y the rest of the party was (and another last minute swerved into Fighter for Point-Blank Shot). Based on results, they don't seem to think casters have major problems.

Can they be strengthened without destroying the game foundations again? Probably. Are they so weak that they're unusable? I don't believe so, but we'll see how the one mystic theurge fares.

Of course.

Time will tell.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
dnoisette wrote:
- The attack routine is always the same, because there's only one that works : get into melee>strike with melee weapon x2, rinse and repeat

I see this feedback constantly. Wasn't this the point of the three action system?

I'm under the impression that the whole point of the three action system is to open up combat. Not make combat the same as it's always been minus spells.

I haven't experienced this in my groups but, due to my wargaming roots, I've always pushed my players to use terrain and tactics to their fullest. I have seen it mentioned a lot as a frustration here. There's a lot of potential for strategic synergy in the three action economy but something's getting definitely lost somewhere.

My wife' climbing-expert barbarian is effectively using terrain in In Pale Mountain's Shadow, so such combat is possible. Raging Athlete seems to be the true strength of the barbarian class.

Spoiler for In Pale Mountain's Shadow:
Her barbarian lacked a good ranged attack against the manticore, but she climbed up to where the manticore thought its flying would give it an advantage. Wanting to conserve its tail spikes, it engaged her in melee atop a rock wall (I copied the terrain from the picture at the beginning of the chapter), so the barbarian got a few melee hits in while the archers had clear shots, too.

Currently (we had to stop the game session in mid-combat), she is taunting a water elemental by running around the cavern walls just out of its reach unless it climbs up on a rock. And when it climbs up, it is slowed. It loses one attack for the climb action and one attack for being slowed. It is too stupid (Int -2) to realize her trick.

magnuskn wrote:
It seems to be an actual flaw in the three action economy, now that it is under actual increased scrutiny by a multitude of players. I know people were complaining about the old "move into melee and full attack until dead" system, but if the replacement is just the same but it takes longer to resolve every single combat (which means that even more playtime each session is dedicated to this, a problem for players who want more roleplaying in their Pathfinder), then the new system is actually inferior, IMO.
Lightning Raven wrote:
About combat being just "walk in and whack" is exactly what Pathfinder 1e is. You just walk in and "never" move around, unless you want to be whacked in the face.

I think that since the three-action system from Pathfinder Unchained and Pathfinder 2nd Edition was designed to mimic the gameplay of the 1st Edition move-and-standard or full-action system, it copied the potential for its flaws. Then three minor design errors in Pathfinder 2nd Edition brought out that potential.

1) The +1/level to proficiency turbocharged proficiency and the other perks of leveling up--class abilities, feats, and spells--were nerfed to compensate for the power of proficiency. Weapon attacks, which depend almost exclusively on proficiency, were not nerfed.

2) The weapon enchantments doubling, tripling, and otherwise multiplying weapon damage made weapon attacks the most powerful mechanic in the game.

3) Feat design tends to sacrifice actions for effects. Thus, a three-action turn often becomes with one big activity supported by another action, such as drawing a weapon and Power Attacking with the weapon. The game mechanic of filling hands with weapons and maybe a shield limits what else those hands can do.

For example, of the four 1st-level barbarian feats, Moment of Clarity and Sudden Charge consume two actions. The other two, Acute Vision and Raging Intimidate, are passive and enhance or open up other actions rather than determining actions themselves. Of the seven 1st-level fighter feats, Double Slice, Power Attack, and Sudden Charge take two actions and Combat Grab and Furious Focus are a press action designed for a 2nd attack followed by a 3rd attack. That leaves only two feats, Point-Blank Shot and Reactive Shield, designed for flexibility in the three-action turn.

Paizo could have designed more feats that do not shrink their new action economy. For example:

[[A]] Reckless Charge Feat 1
Barbarian, Rage
While you are raging, you Stride and stop adjacent to a target. If the Stride ended with moving 10 feet in a straight line toward the target, then your next Strike against the target this turn gains a +1 circumstance bonus to its attack roll. If it was 20 feet in a straight line, it gains a +2 circumstance bonus instead. After the Stride, you gain a -1 circumstance penalty to AC until the beginning of your next turn. You can use Reckless Charge with Burrowing, Climbing, Flying, or Swimming instead of Striding if you have the corresponding movement type.

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