Reasons why I no longer trust Paizo to produce 2E


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Shisumo wrote:


Mark Seifter spent some time tonight on the Twitch stream...

I can't find it, could you please share a link?


There is a summary of the stream in the magic items section of the playtest forums.

At least a couple of the issues brought up in the last few posts were dealt with. For instance, apparently survey results implicate that tying damage to level, rather than weapon, was very unpopular. They also acknowledge that the survey shows alchemist (and ranger) as the two least popular classes, and with the former definitely needing fixing.


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MMCJawa wrote:

There is a summary of the stream in the magic items section of the playtest forums.

At least a couple of the issues brought up in the last few posts were dealt with. For instance, apparently survey results implicate that tying damage to level, rather than weapon, was very unpopular. They also acknowledge that the survey shows alchemist (and ranger) as the two least popular classes, and with the former definitely needing fixing.

Thanks! I was watching but preparing for a session while doing so... Didn't give it my full attention.

Here's the forum link for the interested: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42bnm?Paizo-stream-Resonance-Focus-Items-and-C lass

Here's the Twitch link for the interested: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/321823057


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LordVanya wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Note that it's possible they have heard and are working on these things, but just not saying anything. In that case, a *bit* more transparency here would probably go a long way.
Personally, I don't think it's a lack of transparency as much as splintered communication. The developers make regular blog posts and occasionally post on the forum, but they're also interacting with fans on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They don't seem to have an official mode of communication that covers all the bases. I've seen questions answered on Twitter or Twitch that went unanswered despite being asked on the forums. Alternatively, I've seen answers by developers buried in forum threads. It would be helpful if they collated their responses and shared them formally so it's not detective work.

It might behoove them to do a q&a blog post from time to time featuring the most debated topics from all their ongoing discussions.

Though, I get the impression the staff is spread kinda thin as is.

You could see the splintered communication in full force on yesterday's Twitch Stream. Mark is on screen talking about the survey results and upcoming rules changes. Meanwhile, Jason and Logan are in the chat answering questions. It's great to see that level of developer interaction with the fanbase! That's a really good thing. But, again, who am I suppose to be paying attention to? It requires some detective work and then leaves fans who missed the Twitch stream/chat not knowing about some important things that are in the work.

Sidenote: For all the talk about them ignoring the forums one of the big upcoming changes - Focus - is coming out of a suggestion in a thread.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
LordVanya wrote:
The Once and Future Kai wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
Note that it's possible they have heard and are working on these things, but just not saying anything. In that case, a *bit* more transparency here would probably go a long way.
Personally, I don't think it's a lack of transparency as much as splintered communication. The developers make regular blog posts and occasionally post on the forum, but they're also interacting with fans on Twitch, Facebook, Twitter, etc. They don't seem to have an official mode of communication that covers all the bases. I've seen questions answered on Twitter or Twitch that went unanswered despite being asked on the forums. Alternatively, I've seen answers by developers buried in forum threads. It would be helpful if they collated their responses and shared them formally so it's not detective work.

It might behoove them to do a q&a blog post from time to time featuring the most debated topics from all their ongoing discussions.

Though, I get the impression the staff is spread kinda thin as is.

You could see the splintered communication in full force on yesterday's Twitch Stream. Mark is on screen talking about the survey results and upcoming rules changes. Meanwhile, Jason and Logan are in the chat answering questions. It's great to see that level of developer interaction with the fanbase! That's a really good thing. But, again, who am I suppose to be paying attention to? It requires some detective work and then leaves fans who missed the Twitch stream/chat not knowing about some important things that are in the work.

Sidenote: For all the talk about them ignoring the forums one of the big upcoming changes - Focus - is coming out of a suggestion in a thread.

This is a really good point about the information coming out of the Paizo camp. It's often very splintered and we're never really sure whom to listen to or where that information might come from. For instance, I saw a YouTube video from a smaller blog in which they talked to Mark Seifter for maybe ten minutes. Is what he says there something official? If I didn't stumble across it (I can't even remember the name of the blog, because again I literally just stumbled across it randomly), how else would I have gotten this information?

Surely, many people's perceptions of the inadequacy of the information provided is because of this, rather than the actual lack of Paizo folks doing interviews, posting replies on the forum, etc. It's very hard to dig through these forums even. On Blizzard's site, they mark blue responses on the forums; here... not so much. Devs MIGHT have replied, but if you didn't already know about it, good luck!

Another good angle would be consolidating the many, many sources of information. Twitch, forums, blogs, twitter, a youtube channel, Jason's musings youtube, random bloggers' posts, etc etc. There's so many sources and there's no overlap or gathering. Should Twitter tell us everytime there's an update to Jason's musings or a random blogger posting their interview? Absolutely. And the youtube pages, twitch pages, etc, should link back out as much as possible. Good information is great and all, but if it's inaccessible or hidden, it's worthless. Or worse... It could cause people to be turned off by the many barriers being put up in front of them.


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Helpful ideas to highlight Paizo's community engagement:

1. Ye olde "blues" trick - highlight dev posts here in the forums, and mark threads that have a dev response on the main menu.

2. Put up a stickied thread that links to videos/blogs/interviews/tweets. Make it 'official Paizo' posting only (so the links don't get drowned in comments). Just an ongoing listing of where people can go to see stuff.

And, *poof*, big chunk of problem solved. And hey, all those outside sources will appreciate the extra traffic and chance to show off their content to people who might not otherwise have come to visit.


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Lord Norin wrote:
With the exception of today's podcast I have watched each Q and A session and in general not been impressed with the transparency with which you guys answer questions about what is working and what you guys are considering tweaking, and in no instance have I heard mention of the absolutely atrocious nerf job to spells been mentioned, yes some spells needed serious revisions.. but others like Unseen Servant and Mage Hand... these needed no changes and you nerfed than anyway...

There was one mention that I've heard. It was one of the Friday Twitch streams. I believe it was the August 31st stream with Logan Bonner. He made a brief off-hand mention of complaints people have had and said "I see a lot of people who comment on, they feel that spells got nerfed too much. So that's a concern." But that was the only mention of the issue I've heard at all. And that was about a month and a half ago. I wish they would talk a bit more about this.

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

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I wanted to expand on the OP point 3 about confirmation bias, and over reliance on data (surveys) and being more dismissive of anecdotes (forum posts) because they're not data.

Jeff Bezos regularly uses anecdotes to dig into problems at Amazon, and regularly speaks about this in interviews, and internally at the company.

"I am actually a big fan of anecdotes in business," says Bezos.

"It's very interesting because we have tons of metrics. We have weekly business reviews with these metric decks," he says. "We know so many things about customers and whether we are delivering on time, whether the packages have too much air in them and [are] wasteful of packaging and so we have so many metrics that we monitor."

But, "the thing I have noticed is that when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right. There is something wrong with the way that you are measuring it," says Bezos.

"You do need the data, but then you need to check that data with your intuition and your instincts. And you need to teach that to all the senior executives and junior executives, too"

I'd say this as equally applies to game designers as it does to business executives. This isn't to say that every anecdote is going to be right, since there's clearly examples of multiple sides of any different issue, but to dismiss the ones out of hand which disagree with survey data because they're "not data" is throwing out valuable information about something not being represented in the data.


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JoelF847 wrote:

I wanted to expand on the OP point 3 about confirmation bias, and over reliance on data (surveys) and being more dismissive of anecdotes (forum posts) because they're not data.

Jeff Bezos regularly uses anecdotes to dig into problems at Amazon, and regularly speaks about this in interviews, and internally at the company.

"I am actually a big fan of anecdotes in business," says Bezos.

"It's very interesting because we have tons of metrics. We have weekly business reviews with these metric decks," he says. "We know so many things about customers and whether we are delivering on time, whether the packages have too much air in them and [are] wasteful of packaging and so we have so many metrics that we monitor."

But, "the thing I have noticed is that when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right. There is something wrong with the way that you are measuring it," says Bezos.

"You do need the data, but then you need to check that data with your intuition and your instincts. And you need to teach that to all the senior executives and junior executives, too"

I'd say this as equally applies to game designers as it does to business executives. This isn't to say that every anecdote is going to be right, since there's clearly examples of multiple sides of any different issue, but to dismiss the ones out of hand which disagree with survey data because they're "not data" is throwing out valuable information about something not being represented in the data.

That was something even mentioned by Mark in the Twitch stream (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/321823057) around 23:20 - sometimes even if there's a high approval rating, there may be fatal flaws, and if you present that to them, they'll definitely take that into account.

So I'm pretty sure the developers are aware of that.

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

Cyouni wrote:
JoelF847 wrote:

I wanted to expand on the OP point 3 about confirmation bias, and over reliance on data (surveys) and being more dismissive of anecdotes (forum posts) because they're not data.

Jeff Bezos regularly uses anecdotes to dig into problems at Amazon, and regularly speaks about this in interviews, and internally at the company.

"I am actually a big fan of anecdotes in business," says Bezos.

"It's very interesting because we have tons of metrics. We have weekly business reviews with these metric decks," he says. "We know so many things about customers and whether we are delivering on time, whether the packages have too much air in them and [are] wasteful of packaging and so we have so many metrics that we monitor."

But, "the thing I have noticed is that when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right. There is something wrong with the way that you are measuring it," says Bezos.

"You do need the data, but then you need to check that data with your intuition and your instincts. And you need to teach that to all the senior executives and junior executives, too"

I'd say this as equally applies to game designers as it does to business executives. This isn't to say that every anecdote is going to be right, since there's clearly examples of multiple sides of any different issue, but to dismiss the ones out of hand which disagree with survey data because they're "not data" is throwing out valuable information about something not being represented in the data.

That was something even mentioned by Mark in the Twitch stream (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/321823057) around 23:20 - sometimes even if there's a high approval rating, there may be fatal flaws, and if you present that to them, they'll definitely take that into account.

So I'm pretty sure the developers are aware of that.

That's great to hear


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Wow.

To the Paizo crew...

I trust you to do the best you can for 2e. I've enjoyed the Pathfinder game, and the gamers I play with seem to appreciate the changes as well..3 of whom run their own games.

Will the game please everyone?

Nah. This thread reminds me of the flame war that has erupted on social media about the direction of the Star Wars franchise.

The difference?

Gamers are free to alter the rules to suit their styles and games. There are a few things (like the flat treatment of armor) that I wish Paizo would do something about, but if they don't, I can always house rule something...and so can you.

Keep up the good work.

Looking forward to completion.


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Cyouni wrote:

That was something even mentioned by Mark in the Twitch stream (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/321823057) around 23:20 - sometimes even if there's a high approval rating, there may be fatal flaws, and if you present that to them, they'll definitely take that into account.

So I'm pretty sure the developers are aware of that.

His commentary in this stream about this was great, and really encouraging to me. He really seems to have taken to heart the points brought up in this thread. I'm not sure if it's because of this thread, or he was already thinking of this. But It was good to hear that they're not just going to be ignoring criticism that doesn't match up with the majority of poll responses.


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I agree that unless one is full time looking into this it is impossible to keep track of all that Paizo is saying on the playtest.

Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded. Currently they are not doing that. But it might be that I am missing important messages. Stuff on blogs/streams/interviews need to be linked to a "Pazio Blog" on the site.


Haldrick wrote:

I agree that unless one is full time looking into this it is impossible to keep track of all that Paizo is saying on the playtest.

Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded. Currently they are not doing that. But it might be that I am missing important messages. Stuff on blogs/streams/interviews need to be linked to a "Pazio Blog" on the site.

You could wait till it is finished and see what the final product looks like but you'll have to accept that you won't have your input in it. alternatively you can probably just follow the bi-weekly updates they do that should help you. last one was 1.4


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Haldrick wrote:
Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded.

I mean, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that with a couple of years of splatbooks PF2 is going to be a very different game than it is right after release, and a lot of this is going to solve problems people have with flexibility and power level (think of how much PF1 changed with the APG, ARG, and Ultimate Combat/Magic). So if you've got some PF1 stuff to finish up (we have a few APs on the agenda still) that should carry you for a while.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Haldrick wrote:
Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded.
I mean, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that with a couple of years of splatbooks PF2 is going to be a very different game than it is right after release, and a lot of this is going to solve problems people have with flexibility and power level (think of how much PF1 changed with the APG, ARG, and Ultimate Combat/Magic). So if you've got some PF1 stuff to finish up (we have a few APs on the agenda still) that should carry you for a while.

but even without those splat books, PF1 was a system that basically worked. the CRB was easy to read and made sense most of the time.

With the current pace of updates to PF2 and the very tiny steps towards a playable game coupled with a very strict deadline, I simply cannot see a finished product down the line that's a fun and working system. the best we can hope for at the moment is a system that not sucks in every regard and even that is doubtful, with the changes in every update being only marginally better than what unreadable mess of the playtest document was.


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I think confusing a playtest with a final release is a big mistake. Structurally you cannot make huge sweeping changes during a playtest because it would require you to change a huge number of things in the playtest rulebook and reading through the update documents is hard enough as is. If you were to fundamentally change a big system like "resonance" (which will be changed for the final release) then you would have to rewrite the entry for literally every magic item in the book (this is why we're testing the alternative system with a canned adventure.)

But when it comes to actually finishing up the book the number of people who need to be kept in the loop changes from "thousands" to "dozens" so big changes are easy.


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The new system is bad and the timeline of 1 year is nonsense when its really 8 months unless they extend the release. I cant get my group get characters down because the system is so watered down.


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Gallyck wrote:
The new system is bad and the timeline of 1 year is nonsense when its really 8 months unless they extend the release. I cant get my group get characters down because the system is so watered down.

try starting at level 4:

-your ancestry has some small pool of unique abilities now
-you get a small selection of class abilities and means to make your character/build less cookiecutter
-you get your first general feat to start branching out (or specializing)
-you can actually interact with the archetype/multiclass system at all
-your skills are now stat+4 (see: 1 rank+3 class bonus from PF1)
-enemies now have room to downscale, so you can now actually fight things at the new "intended" monster CR of APL-2 rather than APL+0 so the game isn't quite such a meatgrinder it comes off as from players/GMs previous experiences in balancing

it's like you're really playing a level 1 PF1 character/adventure now!


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AndIMustMask wrote:
it's like you're really playing a level 1 PF1 character/adventure now!

I think you just hit the nail on the head right there.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think some of this comes down to their idea of 'making high level playable' that I've seen mentioned by developers a few times. The problem is, I think high level is already playable. It's low level PF1 that is almost unplayable, because the power level is too low. And now they're trying to make the whole game feel that way.

I would be much happier if level 1 in PF2 had the feel of level 6 in PF1, and then everything scaled up from there.

And if the developers have already decided that the power level needs to be lowered, that may be too integral to the system to change, no matter how many of us ask for a higher powered game instead.


You must be talking about an entirely different Pathfinder level 1, because there realistically isn't much in 1E unless you compare 9 years of material to a Playtest book that's shorter than the CRB.

What's the difference between a level 1 paladin and fighter? Or any two swashbucklers? How do two martials play differently - what differentiates a sword-and-shield character from a greatsword-user in play besides damage and AC?

Moreover, what can two level 1 characters do differently in skills in PF1? They may have different skill totals, but in the end they're going to do the exact same things with them.

What is different about two CRB elves?


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Hythlodeus wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Haldrick wrote:
Personally I am inclined to stay with 1st edition, but am open to be persuaded.
I mean, the biggest thing to keep in mind is that with a couple of years of splatbooks PF2 is going to be a very different game than it is right after release, and a lot of this is going to solve problems people have with flexibility and power level (think of how much PF1 changed with the APG, ARG, and Ultimate Combat/Magic). So if you've got some PF1 stuff to finish up (we have a few APs on the agenda still) that should carry you for a while.

but even without those splat books, PF1 was a system that basically worked. the CRB was easy to read and made sense most of the time.

With the current pace of updates to PF2 and the very tiny steps towards a playable game coupled with a very strict deadline, I simply cannot see a finished product down the line that's a fun and working system. the best we can hope for at the moment is a system that not sucks in every regard and even that is doubtful, with the changes in every update being only marginally better than what unreadable mess of the playtest document was.

Me and my group feel just the opposite, PF1 to us was only playable with a lot of archetypes and a bunch of content backing it up. The core was just... Well bad, we would rather stick with 3.5 core+completes. While PF2 the new action economy, the way feats are made and the progression just feels better. I just wish the level 1-4 or so were made more interesting, i mean in PF1 those levels were also a bit boring in my opinion but in PF2 since the choices seem to matter more and since low level characters have like 2 choices... It feels awful even to PF1 standards.


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Redelia wrote:
I think some of this comes down to their idea of 'making high level playable' that I've seen mentioned by developers a few times. The problem is, I think high level is already playable. It's low level PF1 that is almost unplayable, because the power level is too low. And now they're trying to make the whole game feel that way.

Yeah I feel the same way. I play in high power games just fine, although nobody sets out to break them. It's level 1-3 that are miserable because low level casters can't do a damn thing. A level 1 Wizard is actually a crossbowman. :P

That's not really a feeling I want recreated across the entire game.

Grand Lodge

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Lord Norin wrote:
Not only does the game not feel like Pathfinder 1E (Epic Magic, the Joy of theory crafting) but it is not fun to play... My group voted to end our playtest after episode 3 - Nobody was having any fun and voted to play 5E.

To Jason and the design team,

While you will read commentary like above and see it get some “likes” do not fret. There are also plenty of people who are really enjoying the Playtest rules, see the changes you are working on, and are very excited about what the final version will look like. We are eager to play it. In my experience from conducting and observing dozens of demos at events both major (Gen Con, Origins) and local (cons, GameDays) as well as all four OP scenarios and Doomsday, plus general conversations and chats both live and digital, local, and national, the general response has been VERY positive and encouraging. If there are people out there having no fun, then we are some of those who are having ALL the fun. In addition to some of the Playtest concepts being adapted to existing ongoing 1E campaigns, many have said they will be switching their campaigns over to 2E immediately upon release.

That is not the say the system is perfect. We see some of the changes that are being made and expect many of the others will follow suit in time. I/we just wanted to provide you with some anecdotal positive feedback in this sea of negative.

Good Luck and keep up the hard work. It is certainly appreciated.


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There are some aspects I really like, but overall it seems like quite a bit of the initial/core design was done in isolation, by a few. Some revolutionary stuff, but they stated putting out the most extreme mechanics/concepts, to stress-test, and they have fallbacks.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
AndIMustMask wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
The new system is bad and the timeline of 1 year is nonsense when its really 8 months unless they extend the release. I cant get my group get characters down because the system is so watered down.

try starting at level 4:

-your ancestry has some small pool of unique abilities now
-you get a small selection of class abilities and means to make your character/build less cookiecutter
-you get your first general feat to start branching out (or specializing)
-you can actually interact with the archetype/multiclass system at all
-your skills are now stat+4 (see: 1 rank+3 class bonus from PF1)
-enemies now have room to downscale, so you can now actually fight things at the new "intended" monster CR of APL-2 rather than APL+0 so the game isn't quite such a meatgrinder it comes off as from players/GMs previous experiences in balancing

it's like you're really playing a level 1 PF1 character/adventure now!

Almost all of your points are not applied to level 1 PF1 characters...

Seriously, try making a core rulebook level 1 PF1 character and tell me how amazing and varied they are... Every 2h gets power attack... Every archer gets point blank shot... Wow so much variance.


Dire Ursus wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
The new system is bad and the timeline of 1 year is nonsense when its really 8 months unless they extend the release. I cant get my group get characters down because the system is so watered down.

try starting at level 4:

-your ancestry has some small pool of unique abilities now
-you get a small selection of class abilities and means to make your character/build less cookiecutter
-you get your first general feat to start branching out (or specializing)
-you can actually interact with the archetype/multiclass system at all
-your skills are now stat+4 (see: 1 rank+3 class bonus from PF1)
-enemies now have room to downscale, so you can now actually fight things at the new "intended" monster CR of APL-2 rather than APL+0 so the game isn't quite such a meatgrinder it comes off as from players/GMs previous experiences in balancing

it's like you're really playing a level 1 PF1 character/adventure now!

Almost all of your points are not applied to level 1 PF1 characters...

Seriously, try making a core rulebook level 1 PF1 character and tell me how amazing and varied they are... Every 2h gets power attack... Every archer gets point blank shot... Wow so much variance.

2hand fighters can go combat reflexes for Reach builds. Archers go Point Blank because its a good option, true enough.


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I am probably going to be stepping 'in it' when I say this but...

To the people who feel that 1e was perfect...

It wasn't. Not even close, and getting farther from with every new release.

I love Pathfinder. My group and I have been playing it for years, but the shear weight of the materials available was making the system too difficult to manage. Fundamentally, the problem was balance oriented. A lot of the material outside the core books seemed thrown together with little thought to game balance. I found myself approving a few books only, and even then barring a whole lot of material because it was OP'ed for the level. And even then, the barrage of player requests about this, that or other feat or power was non stop.

I might be the only one who has had this experience, but I doubt it.

My experience with 2e is limited, but from what I van tell going through and making my own material up to run levels between the playtest material, is this new system has some built in checks to help balance that and I think its way overdue.

Its not the same. It takes a bit of getting used to. It has some rough edges and it needs more material.

But I think it will rock.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marvin the Marvellous wrote:

I am probably going to be stepping 'in it' when I say this but...

To the people who feel that 1e was perfect...

It wasn't. Not even close, and getting farther from with every new release.

I love Pathfinder. My group and I have been playing it for years, but the shear weight of the materials available was making the system too difficult to manage. Fundamentally, the problem was balance oriented. A lot of the material outside the core books seemed thrown together with little thought to game balance. I found myself approving a few books only, and even then barring a whole lot of material because it was OP'ed for the level. And even then, the barrage of player requests about this, that or other feat or power was non stop.

I might be the only one who has had this experience, but I doubt it.

My experience with 2e is limited, but from what I van tell going through and making my own material up to run levels between the playtest material, is this new system has some built in checks to help balance that and I think its way overdue.

Its not the same. It takes a bit of getting used to. It has some rough edges and it needs more material.

But I think it will rock.

I agree with this wholeheartedly. For those that want Unchained pt 2 and will not ever play PF2 then all I can say is there is a crap ton of material in 1e. I'm sure there's no way that you will run out in the next 10 years.


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Marvin the Marvellous wrote:


To the people who feel that 1e was perfect...

*sigh*

No one said it was perfect.

Some of us would just rather see it improved upon instead of going the route Paizo has with the PT.
An improved version of P1 could still be interesting for those who generally liked the way 3.x worked, it would be usable for certain ongoing campaigns and wouldn't need radical changes to existing campaign settings to make the fluff work.

Grand Lodge

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I know that most folks here came from 3.5 and PF1E was a breeze to get into. I didn't. That's why I'd like to share my 2 cents.

Pathfinder was my first step into roleplaying and GM experience. I didn't know much and some friends recommended Pathfinder to have a "true" D&D Experience, since 4E was far away from it or so I heard. And that's what I did. I brought the Core Rulebook and I was at the same time thrilled and overwhelmed. If I'm suppose to be the GM and know all the rules, how the heck would I remember that many feats and spells? The skills dcs? Of course, GM screen does help, but I didn't want to book flip every time a new rule come up.

That kept me away from GMing Pathfinder until I felt comfortable to do so (1 year or so after buying the book), so I started to attend events as GM and eventually I got experienced and confident enough to get people together and start one of the adventure paths. While it was easy enough at the beginning, the high-level play almost drove me insane with so many stuff to keep track on. I was GMing for 5 experienced players, so there was so many ways to break narrative that most of my job was to work around the adventure path to keep it interesting while nerfing/baning some stuff. For each 4 hour session, I had to spend 6~8 hours preparing myself while praying they wouldn't teleport somewhere I haven't read and familiarized before. Eventually, the challenges offered by the books were just trivial for them. That's how I learned that CR is most of the time broken at high levels. I could see an APL 13 group trivialize a CR17 encounter. The rocket tag effect was just unappealing. I don't even want to start talking about planar binding and summons breaking the action economy. And that's the Core only.

Years later, I decided to start a second group with newbies. Some of them had 5e experience, but none of them had Pathfinder experience. We created the characters together, I explained to them how feats worked, how the unchained version of rogue was way better, how much mandatory some feats are (one of them wanted to play a Legolas-like Elf Archer and didn't understand the penalty at firing into someone engaged in melee with a friend) and even though we managed to create and set up everything, it took us 6 hours to do so. At the end of the day I was exhausted and we didn't spend any time actually playing the game.

Is that how it's suppose to work? Spend a really good amount of time just trying to teach the system to new people that watched Stranger Things and want to try the game? It may have worked in the past, but to be honest, it doesn't work at all with younger audience. I'm 27 right now and I can't find people at my age eager to join Pathfinder from zero. It just takes too much to learn, the ceiling is too high and teaching it can be painful. It drives people who just want to play the avarage-wizard sterotype away. For years, I wished for a new Core Rulebook mixing the contents of Strategy Guide and the Core Rulebook, to make it more appealing.

That's why I'm all for a second edition and I really like I'm seeing. Tt might be "too restrictive" for some, but I welcome those changes from a player and GM perspective. The Game is easier to just jump and enjoy, the three actions work as a charm, bonus are easier to track. They still have to address some spells and conditions, but I trust Paizo is doing their best to deliver the best game they can. Starfinder is the perfect example of a high quality material they can give us.

Pathfinder 1E creates a wonderful experience. You can really do anything and everything. The more you know, more you'll enjoy theorycraft and building unique characters, but it fails horribly to bring new people to the hobby who just want to tell stories about elves and dwarves. It's just too much. Mixing experienced players with newbies is the recipe of disaster. You might not remember how it was to learn Pathfinder because it just feels natural now, but trust me, it is painful. It drives people away. I took it as a personal challenge back then, but I wouldn't do it again.


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Cyouni wrote:

You must be talking about an entirely different Pathfinder level 1, because there realistically isn't much in 1E unless you compare 9 years of material to a Playtest book that's shorter than the CRB.

What's the difference between a level 1 paladin and fighter?

Depends on the build, but Saves, stats and stat priority (one can probably be a face) number of feats, general survivability.

Cyouni wrote:


Or any two swashbucklers?

Rapier vs dervish dancer vs dagger/starknife thrown builds

Cyouni wrote:


How do two martials play differently - what differentiates a sword-and-shield character from a greatsword-user in play besides damage and AC?

The sword and shield character requires a higher dex which by necessity lowers their strength. They're feat heavy but the sword and shield character is going to survive tougher adventures than the greatsword user.

cyouni wrote:


Moreover, what can two level 1 characters do differently in skills in PF1? They may have different skill totals, but in the end they're going to do the exact same things with them.

And they're going to have variance in which skills they have available or choose to use. A level 1 taking a class skill which is a primary stat is going to have no real difficulty making a dc 15 check, someone who throws a rank into a non class skill with a +1 stat modifier is going to struggle. Thats not doing the exact same things with a skill.

Cyouni wrote:


What is different about two CRB elves?

Depends on how they're built. Elves can be strong rogues, or wizards, or ranged fighters. CRB elves vary based on stat allocation.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd like to add on to what Leafar just said:

On a lark I decided to play the "roll a random character" game from one of the threads on the forum.

It was only after I'd finished that I realized I'd just built a 1st level wizard in 45 minutes mostly in my head for a system that I didn't have any appreciable system mastery for, and it was a character that I was actually excited to play some day.

That's huge.

My system mastery of Pathfinder 1e is massive, and I could certainly build a level 1 wizard mostly in my head... oh wait archetypes. Okay, I could certainly build a level 1 wizard in 45 minutes or so... oh wait traits. Okay, maybe an hour. But that's after ten years of system mastery.

I've personally had the experience of watching new player's eyes glaze over when I try to explain character creation to them. My policy now is to always bring a pregen for new players. And that's less fun.

The way the playtest rulebook is laid out, the character creation rules don't seem intuitive and they are hard to cross reference, and that's bad. But once you actually understand them, they are incredibly approachable compared to PF1e.


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MaxAstro wrote:
The way the playtest rulebook is laid out, the character creation rules don't seem intuitive and they are hard to cross reference, and that's bad. But once you actually understand them, they are incredibly approachable compared to PF1e.

That's where I disagree, PF1 is more approachable and easier to learn than the Playtest (character creation included); I feel the Playtest CRB is one of the most daunting, complex versions of D&D/PF to date. I am not saying PF1 is simple, but it's less byzantine and laborious than the Playtest. If I wanted to get someone with 0 experience into the game, I would use Basic D&D, 2nd Ed AD&D, or 5th Ed. 3rd Ed/PF1, 4th Ed, and the Playtest are all rather heavy systems.


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The Once and Future Kai wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think the thing is, though, that "fun" is a holistic quality not an atomic one. We want to see if the game itself is fun, or if a specific way of playing it is fun, but we can't answer "is it fun" by drilling down and looking at specific isolated mechanics, since "fun" comes from the interplay of those mechanics.

Exactly. For instance, character creation may not be "fun" but is that because of the books layout? Which has nothing to do with mechanics. Or is it because the specific character options are poorly designed? Or is it because the character sheet is awful? Or is it because some players like learning new systems and think that's "fun", but other people do not like to learn new systems and do not think that's "fun". Or is it based on the class or ancestry? Or the player's skill level?

Not that having "fun" isn't important but polling that doesn't provide actionable data. It's like asking, "Is something wrong with the country?" You'd probably find out that a lot of people think something is wrong with the country but that doesn't provide any actionable data on how to rectify that. More specific questions built around data points, not opinions, can tease out commonalities that the respondents were not even aware of.

I just want to chime in about how much I love this post. I agree on a lot of points:

  • Survey writing is difficult
  • It's hard to notice what you aren't asking
  • Actionable data is important

and I think they tie into the issue of forum feedback:

  • Forum posts provide answers to unasked questions but
  • Forum posts are often not play-informed and
  • Often not constructive

I worry that Paizo might be best served by recognizing how ambitious some of this is, and spend more time getting player feedback, asking questions and taking answers, delaying release. It's really easy to ask vague questions with the assumption that they give more information than they do. The forums could be a great place to get an idea of what questions to ask and to ask long-form response questions and watch the discussion unfold.

A new edition is a great opportunity and I think it would serve Paizo to really take the chance to include the community in the final stages of development. I think Paizo timed all this for a reason, and I don't know what those reasons are exactly, but I think it's worth considering tapping the break and taking the amazing opportunity they have here to bring d20 into the contemporary age while keeping true to Pathfinder's identity. I don't think that can be done without heavy, constructive, and highly facilitated community involvement in the discussion. Paizo has the opportunity to channel so much passion and experience from the community, but that will take time. I honestly believe it would lead to the best product, though, and the best returns in the long run.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I've actually enjoyed several elements of the Playtest. For instance, the system of Three Actions and One Reaction is a fantastic system. Allowing anyone, from 1st level to 20th, to get three attacks in one round is interesting and in my opinion works well. Heck, during the Playtest I had monsters choose to attack for all three Actions and manage to hit with the final attack, or even hit all three times.

One of the problems I've had with Pathfinder is its similarity to 3.5 and 3.0 D&D. You see, I knew the 3.5 rules quite well. So I assumed certain rules and got things wrong because Pathfinder changed it for specific reasons. Pathfinder 2 is in many ways a different gaming system. This forces us to learn new rules... and not just "assume" things because "well, it's just D&D 3.75"

Pathfinder 2 is Pathfinder. It's not D&D. And I'm enjoying how it's turning out. Are there problems? Yes. But you know something? That's what the Playtest is about - finding the problems and trying to work around them (hopefully). :)


Tangent101 wrote:
I've actually enjoyed several elements of the Playtest. For instance, the system of Three Actions and One Reaction is a fantastic system. Allowing anyone, from 1st level to 20th, to get three attacks in one round is interesting and in my opinion works well. Heck, during the Playtest I had monsters choose to attack for all three Actions and manage to hit with the final attack, or even hit all three times.

That is definitely one of my favourite changes, but it's not really new, as we have had the Unchained RAE, for years. I really like Reactions (I have ported some over to 3rd Ed/PF1 and 5th Ed), and would like to see more of them for different character types. The Grim Reaper one is really cool.

I would also like Legendary to open up some truly epic shenanigans for non-casters.


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TwilightKnight wrote:

To Jason and the design team,

While you will read commentary like above and see it get some “likes” do not fret. There are also plenty of people who are really enjoying the Playtest rules, see the changes you are working on, and are very excited about what the final version will look like.

The good news is that it sounds like they are getting positive affirmation that they are on the right track thanks to the survey data. As long as people keep responding to those, I think they will keep dialing in to the majority of fans. I know my group personally seem pretty happy with the stuff so far, and the parts that do have really rough edges seem to be getting filed off. In my part, just looking at the resonance test tells me that I have a feeling I'm going to like the direction of the alchemist much better - if they would just lower those bomb cutoffs by about one level, because they are about one level too high for where the infused bombs were....


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Leafar Cathal wrote:
While it was easy enough at the beginning, the high-level play almost drove me insane with so many stuff to keep track on. I was GMing for 5 experienced players, so there was so many ways to break narrative that most of my job was to work around the adventure path to keep it interesting while nerfing/baning some stuff. For each 4 hour session, I had to spend 6~8 hours preparing myself while praying they wouldn't teleport somewhere I haven't read and familiarized before. Eventually, the challenges offered by the books were just trivial for them. That's how I learned that CR is most of the time broken at high levels. I could see an APL 13 group trivialize a CR17 encounter. The rocket tag effect was just unappealing.

Oh man, I feel you on that one. Even though I was running APs, I would still have to invest quite alot of time in preparing the adventures. I was often only feeling comfortable when I had prepared an hour for every hour we would be playing and at this point I just don't have that amount of time anymore. I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only in that boat.

I had the same experience with high-level encounters, which the balancing often seems impossible to get right, because either the fight ends in the most anticlimatic way possible, with the worst case being the BBEG literally dying within 1 round (yes, this actually happened twice when I was running APs), or the fights becoming immensely tedious, because I had to overbuff the BBEG up to a point where a single fight would last more than an hour.

I understand that many players here are soured by the fact that some of their favourite shiny toys are being taken away or being nerfed, which many seem to attribute to a need for balance, but I'm not sure that that's actually the case. Rather I think many of these changes are more aimed toward making the game more managable from a GMs perspective, because the original Pathfinder is a pain in the butt to run, which is why fewer and fewer people are getting into the game. I have never had a problem finding players, even for the most obscure of games, but if no one is willing to GM a system, than that system has a bleak outlook.

Obviously PF1 wasn't perfect (which as many pointed out, wasn't the point they were making), but to those calling for an updated Pathfinder, instead of an overhauled Pathfinder, I'd have to ask the question: Let's say Pathfinder gets a bunch of the Unchained modifications and some popular stuff, like removing the tax feats, how would that solve any of the high-level encounter and balancing problems, because those are in my opinion inherently part of the 3.X chassis. Also, what options are there to make an updated version anymore pleasant to run for GMs?

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed a Post

I want to remind all participants in the conversation that it is acceptable to disagree, express your opinions, and feel the way you do, but never allow your disagreement to result in blanket statements or assumptions about any group of players, especially in ways which insult the character or intelligence of those with differing opinions. This falls under the distinction of personal attack, and is never acceptable.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
AndIMustMask wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
The new system is bad and the timeline of 1 year is nonsense when its really 8 months unless they extend the release. I cant get my group get characters down because the system is so watered down.

try starting at level 4:

-your ancestry has some small pool of unique abilities now
-you get a small selection of class abilities and means to make your character/build less cookiecutter
-you get your first general feat to start branching out (or specializing)
-you can actually interact with the archetype/multiclass system at all
-your skills are now stat+4 (see: 1 rank+3 class bonus from PF1)
-enemies now have room to downscale, so you can now actually fight things at the new "intended" monster CR of APL-2 rather than APL+0 so the game isn't quite such a meatgrinder it comes off as from players/GMs previous experiences in balancing

it's like you're really playing a level 1 PF1 character/adventure now!

Almost all of your points are not applied to level 1 PF1 characters...

Seriously, try making a core rulebook level 1 PF1 character and tell me how amazing and varied they are... Every 2h gets power attack... Every archer gets point blank shot... Wow so much variance.

I consider that slightly preferable to some 2handers getting nothing and some archers getting nothing.


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ErichAD wrote:


I consider that slightly preferable to some 2handers getting nothing and some archers getting nothing.

Well PF1 characters weren't functional in combat without feats. Right now you can play an sorcerer archer level 1 with just being an elf and a ancestry feat, you will be no ranger, fighter or rogue. But you will do a lot better without the silly rules that 2e does away with...

Grand Lodge

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Vic Ferrari wrote:


If I wanted to get someone with 0 experience into the game, I would use Basic D&D, 2nd Ed AD&D, or 5th Ed.

Let's face it: introducing someone to 5e will just make them to stay there. Unless someone really enjoy more complexity (which, in my experience, most don't), people will stick with 5e. It's the trend. People are talking about 5e, streaming 5e, podcasting 5e, it's the best seller fantasy RPG. It has D&D in it's name.

Tabletop RPG isn't a niche anymore. Either you make it easier for people to get on (and GM it) or your product will disappear.

Silver Crusade

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Dire Ursus wrote:
Every archer gets point blank shot... Wow so much variance.

I agree that all Core Archers get Point blank shot.

But my Cleric of Erastil Archer is quite different than my shapeshifting druid archer who is, in turn, different from my Ranger Archer. I found the Core Fighter too boring to ever make a fighter archer but he'd be different too :-).

I can make more different viable Archers in PF1 than I can in PF2 Playtest.


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Leafar Cathal wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:


If I wanted to get someone with 0 experience into the game, I would use Basic D&D, 2nd Ed AD&D, or 5th Ed.

Let's face it: introducing someone to 5e will just make them to stay there. Unless someone really enjoy more complexity (which, in my experience, most don't), people will stick with 5e. It's the trend. People are talking about 5e, streaming 5e, podcasting 5e, it's the best seller fantasy RPG. It has D&D in it's name.

Tabletop RPG isn't a niche anymore. Either you make it easier for people to get on (and GM it) or your product will disappear.

Yes, which is all the more surprising they would go with such a fiddly, micro-laden system. I was hoping for more streamlining.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
pauljathome wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Every archer gets point blank shot... Wow so much variance.

I agree that all Core Archers get Point blank shot.

But my Cleric of Erastil Archer is quite different than my shapeshifting druid archer who is, in turn, different from my Ranger Archer. I found the Core Fighter too boring to ever make a fighter archer but he'd be different too :-).

I can make more different viable Archers in PF1 than I can in PF2 Playtest.

I would agree if you replace "viable" with "optimal".

However, my impression of PF2e is that any character with a Dex of 16+ who picks up a bow they are trained in is viable as an archer. That seems to be an intentional conceit of the system.

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