Can Someone Explain What's Going On?


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I agree with Edge that blasting spells are excellent right now. I'm with Merlin that buffs and especially debuffs need to be improved (give us some real save or suck spells Paizo, this coming from a former Bad Touch Cleric player). I'm aware you want get away from this kind of thing. Just I miss the Madness Domain Cleric, truly was an awesome and fun character to play! But this isn't just about my preference, there are many others on these forums who feel the same way.


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As an add on to my previous post. I apologize if I’m a downer but with the playtest effectively over and now knowing that a significant chunk of it is null and void I feel that this entire playtest forum has run its course. Most old threads have played their part in what is to come and probably most new threads will be meaningless speculation that will have little, if any, effect on the final product unless Paizo says otherwise. Needless to say my post count will likely substantially drop for the foreseeable future. (And there was much rejoicing). That’s all folks.


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One way or another, Paizo is kinda screwed... No matter how much they say they don't intend to compete with 5e, there's just no way of avoiding that. Tabletop RPG is still a niche hobby and PF and D&D cover pretty much the same niche within that niche... But when it comes to popularity and brand recognition, PF just isn't on the same weight category as D&D. Paizo had an unique opportunity 10 years ago and made good use of it... But that was a once in a lifetime occurence, and WotC is unlikely to commit the same mistakes again.

PF2 may very well be Pathfinder's dying gasp. While Paizo is likely to keep their most loyal customers and even see a rise in sales when PF2 hits the shelves, long-term, I think it's unlikely that Paizo will be able to reverse the decrease in sales. PF will probably never again come even close to its old popularity... Unless WotC really screws up hard. And I just don't see that happening.

Paizo may have to resign themselves to having a much smaller busisness in a few years.


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Raylyeh wrote:

Well this has kind of turned into 2 separate threads. But I do have something to say to both.

For the PF1.5 vs PF2 one. While making PF1.5 would make many of the current player base somewhat happy the fact is that it wouldn’t noticeably increase the player base. Creating PF2 is pretty much Paizo’s only option to try and attract new players. Will it work? At this point who knows especially since as of a few days ago almost half of the playtest was thrown out the window. It’s a shot in the dark but for better or worse this is what Paizo has to do. Plus, honestly the 3.0 system has been around for almost 20 years and has run its course. I don’t know about any of you but I’m a little burnt out. There’s a reason that my group plays about 4 games with other systems for every one of PF.

To the spell thing. Edge you know that I completely agree with you. But with the changes announced a few days ago talking about the playtest spells and their viability is pretty mute now. None of us know exactly what they will be like except a pretty open ended “power boost”. We obviously don’t think that it was necessary but the majority did and that ship looks like it has sailed. Also, it’s been made clear from this thread and past posts that MerlinCross may never be happy with anything, ever. Trying to sway him or have meaningful discourse is, as far as I can tell, an effort in futility. No offense MerlinCross I just call it like I see it.

It's a little odd that someone who deleted the playtest pdf because he had no use for them still finds so much time to complain about them. Shrug city man.


thejeff wrote:
heretic wrote:
The thing is I imagine that to most of us still playing Pathfinder they already have a better system than 5e. What they don’t have are better sales. I am very dubious that anything Paizo does will mean they can eclipse 5e the way they did 4e. I am hoping they can though make a system that improves their sales and brings most of us who prefer PF along for the ride!

I'm dubious as well. D&D is the 800lb gorilla in this business. The only time they're not dominant is when they really screw up. 5e was not a screw up.

Paizo going to have to be leaner and find a niche they can sustain themselves in.

Would that niche support multiple products every month? What's the effect on Paizo of a slower release schedule? There's going to have to be less 'filler' products, niche items in the PF2/Golarion niche, if that's how they have to go. Elves of Golarion, sure; Pirates of the Inner Sea, maybe; Castles of the Inner Sea, I think you can forget. Without a highly successful PF2, the amount Paizo produce would almost have to go down.


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heretic wrote:

The thing is I imagine that to most of us still playing Pathfinder they already have a better system than 5e. What they don’t have are better sales. I am very dubious that anything Paizo does will mean they can eclipse 5e the way they did 4e. I am hoping they can though make a system that improves their sales and brings most of us who prefer PF along for the ride!

Of course. The goal isn't to eclipse 5e. That is almost certainly not happening.

That said, 5e isn't just "tabletop players" the way this hobby was in the past. It's massively expanded the playerbase. Some of those people are going to find they like the hobby but are limited by 5e, and that's the market PF2 can aim to expand into. Along with bringing along as many existing PF1 players as possible, which isn't all of them, because every past system version change has shown that some people are simply happy with what they already have and a new system doesn't interest them.

And that's fine. There is a very healthy business that can be made while being a fraction of the size of 5e. The entire hobby combined when PF1 launched was smaller than 5e alone is now, I'd wager.


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dmerceless wrote:

The problem I see currently with atracting new players for PF2 is that Paizo is really trying to keep some legacy stuff for the old players, which isn't bad, but some of this stuff really turn down new players from trying the system.

I pitched the Playtest for a lot of people, and one really big example of that was keeping the old Vancian casting. I had multiple people that instantly lost all interest and said something similar to "The system seems cool but I'm sticking to 5e" when I mentioned that they needed to prepare each casting of their spells instead of a list of avaliable spells for the day.

There is more than one example of this almost impossible situation for Paizo where there is one aspect of the game that will either disappoint old players if they change it or turn down new players from trying the game if they don't. Pure Vanciang Casting has been the biggest one from my experience, by far, but there were other ones like numbers getting absurdly high at high levels. I know all the reasons for it to be that way and I'm not a fan of bounded accuracy, but a +35 to hit kind of scares newcomers, specially those who com from 5e.

Frankly, as an existing player and PF1 fan... I hope they get rid of Vancian casting too. It's a PITA. It's why some people just don't play classes that have to interact with it despite wanting to.

It's also part of the problem of caster/martial disparity. The best casters are a huge bookkeeping and planning hassle to play. If you get it right, you have tremendous power. If you get it wrong, you have a bunch of useless spell slots.

The playtest kept the effort and got rid of the "amazingly awesome stuff you can do" for doing it well, which just kinda sucks. I think 5e has shown the upside of doing away with this system entirely in favor of something less cumbersome to play.


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Tridus wrote:
dmerceless wrote:

The problem I see currently with atracting new players for PF2 is that Paizo is really trying to keep some legacy stuff for the old players, which isn't bad, but some of this stuff really turn down new players from trying the system.

I pitched the Playtest for a lot of people, and one really big example of that was keeping the old Vancian casting. I had multiple people that instantly lost all interest and said something similar to "The system seems cool but I'm sticking to 5e" when I mentioned that they needed to prepare each casting of their spells instead of a list of avaliable spells for the day.

There is more than one example of this almost impossible situation for Paizo where there is one aspect of the game that will either disappoint old players if they change it or turn down new players from trying the game if they don't. Pure Vanciang Casting has been the biggest one from my experience, by far, but there were other ones like numbers getting absurdly high at high levels. I know all the reasons for it to be that way and I'm not a fan of bounded accuracy, but a +35 to hit kind of scares newcomers, specially those who com from 5e.

Frankly, as an existing player and PF1 fan... I hope they get rid of Vancian casting too. It's a PITA. It's why some people just don't play classes that have to interact with it despite wanting to.

It's also part of the problem of caster/martial disparity. The best casters are a huge bookkeeping and planning hassle to play. If you get it right, you have tremendous power. If you get it wrong, you have a bunch of useless spell slots.

The playtest kept the effort and got rid of the "amazingly awesome stuff you can do" for doing it well, which just kinda sucks. I think 5e has shown the upside of doing away with this system entirely in favor of something less cumbersome to play.

I DMed playtest adventures for at least 20 people, and had a total of 0 Wizards. It was not because they didn't like the concept of Wizards, it was because none of them wanted to deal with this hassle, and they all played Sorcerers instead. Paizo said Wizards were powerful but boring from the survey results, and that's probably one of the biggest reasons.


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For all this discussion about wanting PF1.5 and saying that the 2E can't compete with D&D5e, I want to say that one of my players actually flat out told me that if they had to choose between PF1, 5E, and the current Playtest, they'd pick the Playtest without a doubt.

With all the complaints about things in the Playtest, it has already solved a ton of nagging issues my group had with PF1 and has been received fairly well. And rather than seeing blasts spells dominating, buffs/debuffs, save or suck, and terrain effects have had a great impact on battles so far.

Exo-Guardians

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Charon Onozuka wrote:

For all this discussion about wanting PF1.5 and saying that the 2E can't compete with D&D5e, I want to say that one of my players actually flat out told me that if they had to choose between PF1, 5E, and the current Playtest, they'd pick the Playtest without a doubt.

With all the complaints about things in the Playtest, it has already solved a ton of nagging issues my group had with PF1 and has been received fairly well. And rather than seeing blasts spells dominating, buffs/debuffs, save or suck, and terrain effects have had a great impact on battles so far.

After one, I repeat here, ONE, session I got my entire group of players to convert over to PF2, we’re actually considering putting the extra effort in to convert Kingmaker over to second edition, just based on the playtest so far, I can say that so far the Playtest has brought Pathfinder back to life in my area in a way no 1.5 revision ever could have.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MER-c wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:

For all this discussion about wanting PF1.5 and saying that the 2E can't compete with D&D5e, I want to say that one of my players actually flat out told me that if they had to choose between PF1, 5E, and the current Playtest, they'd pick the Playtest without a doubt.

With all the complaints about things in the Playtest, it has already solved a ton of nagging issues my group had with PF1 and has been received fairly well. And rather than seeing blasts spells dominating, buffs/debuffs, save or suck, and terrain effects have had a great impact on battles so far.

After one, I repeat here, ONE, session I got my entire group of players to convert over to PF2, we’re actually considering putting the extra effort in to convert Kingmaker over to second edition, just based on the playtest so far, I can say that so far the Playtest has brought Pathfinder back to life in my area in a way no 1.5 revision ever could have.

I have a similar story, we have started up our own converted Dragon's Demand game. Also not just from the players who enjoy the game but on the GMing side of things I find 2e much more fun to run in general.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I think a big part of my testing of 2E will be getting out of the 1E mindset, playing the new game with its own meta and understanding that the same assumptions will NOT apply. Much like when I came to 3.5 and had to realize that it doesn't play out like some of the video games I was playing despite sharing similar elements.

So much this.

I'm now definitely an ardent supporter of PF2e, but that's only because I've come to understand (I think, at least) what the devs are trying to accomplish.

When I first read the playtest document I had a lot of "what the crap is this?" going on. I basically had to sit back and tell myself "Okay, no, look at this as it own game instead of coming at with a PF1e mindset" and then a lot of stuff clicked into place and started making sense about the system.

Like, first read: "What? These feats are all crap, none of them even give you any numerical bonuses."

Second read: "Ohhh, basically NO feat gives numerical bonuses, I can take ANY of these feats just because I want to! That's awesome!"


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MaxAstro wrote:

"

Second read: "Ohhh, basically NO feat gives numerical bonuses, I can take ANY of these feats just because I want to! That's awesome!"

SO MUCH THIS. That is one of my FAVORITE things in PF2!


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MER-c wrote:
After one, I repeat here, ONE, session I got my entire group of players to convert over to PF2

LOL I had the exact opposite reaction from my group. 1 session and the calls to switch to another, actually fun, game started and only got stronger the more we played it. After a bit, I was the only one that endured the playtest any longer. At the moment, I don't think even offers of cash to play would get them to return to the playtest as/is. They happily went back to 'normal' pathfinder, so for them at least the game is alive and well and in no need of having life breathed back into it.

I think this might be a skew in the playtest. I know a lot of people that gave up pretty quickly in the playtest and aren't represented in the survey results. People that just wanted the 'sharp' edges files off instead of a whole new game. Add to that, Paizo not only has to make a game that's good but one that feels like pathfinder. For myself, I'll say the playtest struggles in both the feel and rules parts so the final product will have to be a drastic change for me to adopt it as my pathfinder gaming system and I have a feeling that such a drastic change would disenfranchise those that currently like where the playtest is at. I can't help but think no matter what they do, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people when the game comes out. I know I'm sitting down with a physical book at the store and skimming the rules before I put down money on it.

Paizo Employee Customer Service & Community Manager

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Removed a bunch of posts and replies. Everyone has different preferences for the game and throwing around stereotypes as insults doesn't help discussion. If you want your text back to repost in a kinder tone or if you had a reply removed, please email community at paizo.com.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Pathfinder 1 was already easy enough to make into your own "Pathfinder 1.5" that creating a whole new "Pathfinder 1.5" wouldn't generate anything that people haven't already done for themselves.

That's actually not true at all, because I've tried many times in fact to do that with the PF1 system. We have a list of house rules that stretch a mile long at this point, and some things are literally unfixable.

The big one is immobility (with regard to static combat since moving anywhere wastes your full-attack action, which pretty much wastes your turn). _Everything_ in the system is balanced for that mechanic and simply can't be changed or house ruled without breaking everything. We tried a "everybody has pounce", where you can always move and full-attack, and it was game-breaking, even with HP totals doubled and tripled across the board. Anything with a crazy amount of appendages (ala dragons/eidolons) were beyond broken.

Another one I've wanted fixed (which have been addressed in other systems) are reshuffling things like flight and teleport later into the play curve (or weakening their effects). But again, that's incredibly hard to "tack on" when the entire system is designed around the expectation of you having certain abilities at certain levels.

Another one we've tried is nerfing all save-or-dies to "save-every-round". That's worked _somewhat_, but it's also thrown balance way out of whack, and spell levels often make no sense with the nerfed variants. Dropping the spell level could work for PCs, but not for monsters, so CRs make even less sense afterward.

It's issues like that across the board. There's just way too many deep ingrained mechanical issues wrong with the system. There was a desperate need for a true successor to PF1 that keeps the crunch while redesigning the core brokenness of 3E/PF1. Heck, redesigning and rebalancing the system to fix the move/full-attack problem alone while keeping literally everything else the same would have been worth it for me to throw my money at the new system.

I had a deep craving for a PF 1.5, and was mega-disappointed by the reality of this release since it threw the baby out with the bath water. I've found myself seeking out other systems that fill that "midweight crunchy, yet not overly simplified" niche (maybe Savage Worlds?), because I don't see a way forward with Pathfinder 2.0, and PF1 has just been broken for too long. It exists where D&D 2E was when PF1 came out.

Shadow Lodge

Go4TheEyesBoo wrote:
That's actually not true at all, because I've tried many times in fact to do that with the PF1 system. We have a list of house rules that stretch a mile long at this point, and some things are literally unfixable.

You might check out this.


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MER-c wrote:
Charon Onozuka wrote:

For all this discussion about wanting PF1.5 and saying that the 2E can't compete with D&D5e, I want to say that one of my players actually flat out told me that if they had to choose between PF1, 5E, and the current Playtest, they'd pick the Playtest without a doubt.

With all the complaints about things in the Playtest, it has already solved a ton of nagging issues my group had with PF1 and has been received fairly well. And rather than seeing blasts spells dominating, buffs/debuffs, save or suck, and terrain effects have had a great impact on battles so far.

After one, I repeat here, ONE, session I got my entire group of players to convert over to PF2, we’re actually considering putting the extra effort in to convert Kingmaker over to second edition, just based on the playtest so far, I can say that so far the Playtest has brought Pathfinder back to life in my area in a way no 1.5 revision ever could have.

Your example highlights one of the important things I have taken away from the play-test.

1) Talk to people and find out how and why there can be such disparity in experiences.
a) Is it play style alone ?
b) Some using rules as written and some house ruling things?
(Yes I know you are supposed to use the rules as written in a play test as that is the info you want but among the 20+ GM's I have talked to about 1/2 changed some basic thing.)
c) Was it class choices picked by group?
d) was it just a poor dice night/week/month?
e) adventure not to groups liking?
f) What type of game they like to play? Rules light/med/heavy/GM dominated etc
g) Online play vs in person?
h) org play style vs home play style?
I am sure there are more but that is what I came up with while sitting here.

Frankly as others have said my experience and observations as well as quite a few people I know around the world differ drastically from what other posters have said their experiences have been.

MD


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One of the deleted posts, wanted to bring it back since after checking with the community team it was collateral damage.

This hits home more personally because my wife always had this problem with systems like PF1 where the gap between high system mastery and low system mastery is about the size of Olympus Mons.

Usually what would happen is she would tell me her concept and I'd translate it into a character that mechanically worked well as best I could.

The playtest was a funny thing. She came to our group late, made one character, and absolutely adored it. She was more involved than usual in creation (rather than doing most of it for her, I talked her through it and offered some advice), got to make more choices on her own for flavor, and the end result was a perfectly capable character that was a valued party member. There is still some room to make better or worse choices, but there seems to be a lot less "here's 50 options and 3 are great, 5 are okay, and 41 are traps that you'll regret later when you're incapable of being functional in half the encounters."

On that end, the playtest was a total success for her. If asked to pick a system for the next game, she may very well pick it.

Quote:

graystone wrote:

"I think this might be a skew in the playtest. I know a lot of people that gave up pretty quickly in the playtest and aren't represented in the survey results. People that just wanted the 'sharp' edges files off instead of a whole new game."

We had another player like this in the playtest, who hated it and left. They, unlike my wife, would be much happier playing PF1. At this point in the process, self-selection bias is real. Which is fine, because which people quit and which people loved it (and why) is itself useful information.


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I think up to this point and changes that will be coming for the official release (ie. Spells being buffed etc) are tremendous. It's come a long way since August. I've been particularly impressed with the way in which Paizo implements feedback from the community. This is just the beginning of the journey Paizonians, there shall be many more changes when the game is released, constant erratas like in PF1 which will keep improving the game. Here's to 2019, the year of Pathfinder 2E.


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I'm not a fan of framing changes as corpses as that by itself implies that the "right" thing to do is to not make changes. "Better" goals are then whatever makes the least number of changes, because it's apparently murdering fewer people.

I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone that used to play Pathfinder. I liked the core conceit of a crunchy system with lots of customization and depth, but absolutely hated the rules themselves for their core structural issues. It's an old, old game at its roots, and one that's been subjected to nearly two decades of criticism outlining exactly why nothing short of a new system can fix its issues.

When 5e came around, I switched. I really didn't like how there didn't seem to be the option to get as in-depth as in Pathfinder, but functional rules were more important. Arcanist-style casting for everyone was more important. Combat that wasn't just stationary full attacks was more important. Martials that weren't automatically s#$$ were more important.

PF2 is straight up my alley. It brings me back from 5e and gives me something that works, that is easier to teach than PF1, has balance (even the playtest's chaotic state is eons better than at any point in PF1), there's even more choices and those choices actually make one character feel different from another because their tactics during play will actually vary rather than dressing up their +2 as something else.

So I don't really see changes to PF1 as anyone "dying" or at all a bad thing. If anything, I see the insistence that PF2 be PF1 as the core problem. Every single thing that "must" come over from PF1 so that people won't get mad about changes is a lost opportunity to significantly improve the game and make something new. Vanician casting is probably one of the more obvious holdovers that seem only to exist so that PF1 players can't say that PF2 "dumbed down" magic.

Hell, that balance itself is seen as some big boogeyman killing sacred cows is just... alien to me. I don't need casters to feel omnipresent and omnipotent in comparison to martials to have fun. I want my caster to actually face danger, to have the same limited tools as martials to escape death and so actually feel tension rather than pointing and clicking a big bad and ending the encounter right there.

The often specific examples about how some particular ability like Divine Grace in PF2 is totally nerfed in relation to PF1 just seems like nonsense to me. This isn't PF1, and the Paladin's utility is no longer tied up in a passive resistance to things happening to them. It is OK if a class isn't 1:1 with some other system a large chunk of players probably haven't played in years. Oh no, a passive number boost got nerfed!

PF1.5 already exists and it's still not something I want to play. It's still got the same core issues the game had ten years ago, which it in turn inherited from a system that had the same problems for almost as long at that point. PF2 isn't going to upstage 5e like PF1 upstaged 4e because 5e was wildly successful while 4e faced a lot of backlash, PF1's success had everything to do with its timing. PF2 does not need to be more popular than 5e to be successful, not anymore than any other RPG company needs to beat D&D to be considered successful. PF2's looks like it's aiming for a sizable niche of players who had criticisms of PF1 and maybe had moved on to 5e, or 5e players who are looking for a more "advanced" system that doesn't implode upon closer inspection or require houseruling on the scale of Kirthfinder or Spheres of Power to begin to address its issues.

Iunno, I don't take the disapproval of invested PF1 players as particularly worrying unless they're being given undue consideration for a game many have said they're not going to play regardless. Most PF1 players probably aren't fans of a lot of incredibly successful RPG's, 5e included. The game will do as fine as any game can in the face of 5e, and I think its success will hinge on Paizo's willingness to actually make some "corpses" to create a solid foundation for future expansions. PF2 will not be straightforwardly backwards compatible with PF1 regardless, now is not the time to be conservative with changes.


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Helmic wrote:
I'm not a fan of framing changes as corpses as that by itself implies that the "right" thing to do is to not make changes. "Better" goals are then whatever makes the least number of changes, because it's apparently murdering fewer people.

I guess Helmic is referring to my metaphor from Monday: "It is not the only harsh principle--Built from the Ground Up loves a cold-blooded rigor, and Simplicity slayed many beloved old rule-sets because they are too complicated--but Balance seemed to leave the most dead bodies in its path." I guess I got too colorful with the color red. In retrospect, I was angry at several annoying aspects of Pathfinder 2nd Edition that have a justification only in Balance.

Helmic wrote:
Hell, that balance itself is seen as some big boogeyman killing sacred cows is just... alien to me. I don't need casters to feel omnipresent and omnipotent in comparison to martials to have fun. I want my caster to actually face danger, to have the same limited tools as martials to escape depth and so actually feel tension rather than pointing and clicking a big bad and ending the encounter right there.

Oh, that is nowhere near the problem I have with Balance. I wasn't thinking about power balance between casters and martials.

Let me give an example of a weird rule in PF2: creating ability scores. A 1st-level character's ability scores are created by starting with 10s in all scores. Then the ancestry boosts give +2 to some scores and maybe an ancestry flaw gives a -2. Next, the player selects a background, which gives +2 to one of two fixed ability scores and +2 to another ability score of the player's choice. Third, the player choses a class, which gives a +2 to the class's key ability score. Fourth, the player applies +2 to four distinct ability scores of the player's choice.

This results in 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 in some order for ancestries without a flaw and 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 in some order for ancestries with a flaw. Sometimes we might have 18, 14, 14, 12, 10, 10 instead. Those are the only stats I have seen at 1st level. My wife hates this aspect of PF2. She said, "All the characters are alike." She would love to use 16, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10 for variety, but she said PF2 demands the 18 too much. The playtest scenarios are deadly.

The value of an ability score is not linear. 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 is more powerful than 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10, though both sets of stats sum to 78. A point buy offers a reward for not grabbing high stats. PF2 does not.

And, annoyingly, the ABC character creation asks for the Con modifier and the Int modifier before those stats are created. Thus, we leave blanks and have to backtrack to those steps later.

This isn't simple and it did not copy PF1. It is Built from the Ground Up, but that does not explain the complexity. Nor do I see any Putting Fun Up Front. However, it does reflect Balance. The designers don't want min-maxed stats that a point buy can create, where a player creates a character with 20 in one stat by putting 8s in several other stats. Min-max is unbalancing.

I like the simplicity of ABC (Ancestry, Background, Class) character creation. But I call the final four ability score boosts step D, because they are not provided by Ancestry, Background, nor Class. And for most of my players, selecting the Background is not a playful exercise in imagining the character's origins. Nope, they conduct a boring search for a background with its ability score bonus in the right place and a feat that fits the class. Only my wife treats Background as an important part of the character's personhood.

Thus, I imagine that Paizo designers first thought, "Hey, a three-step process, Ancestry, Background, and Class, could make character creation a snap. All the ability scores are created, a few feats that fit the character concept are picked up along the way, and then the player ponders another moment to select trained skills, class feat, and gear. That will be fast and simple." And then another idea sprang up, saying, "If we layer the ability score boost like a pyramid, with a base of 4 distinct boost, a second layer of our familiar racial (ancestry) boosts, a third layer of background boosts, and a final capping class boost, then the character will have many different ability scores and only one 18. That will be balanced." And the system ceased to be simple.


Helmic wrote:
Iunno, I don't take the disapproval of invested PF1 players as particularly worrying unless they're being given undue consideration for a game many have said they're not going to play regardless. Most PF1 players probably aren't fans of a lot of incredibly successful RPG's, 5e included. The game will do as fine as any game can in the face of 5e, and I think its success will hinge on Paizo's willingness to actually make some "corpses" to create a solid foundation for future expansions. PF2 will not be straightforwardly backwards compatible with PF1 regardless, now is not the time to be conservative with changes.

What always sticks out to me is the group that I grew up playing with. I don't think it's an uncommon story. We all met over a game of core 3rd edition D&D. When 3.5 was announced, it was met with complete disdain and no one got any of the books, except for me. Once our group slowly switched over, and it was then proclaimed by them to be "the greatest way to roleplay."

4th edition happened, and I knew better than to approach them with the game (though I ran it with other groups).

When Pathfinder was announced, there was a lot more scoffing while my group continued to play with a million and a half prestige classes and strange spell interactions. Until I once more bought the books and ran Pathfinder. From then on, it was the greatest revolution in gaming!

Now, the Playtest has hit, and as usual my group is scoffing (though I now live thousands of miles away from them). There's always going to be people worried about changing mechanics without seeing it as a whole. That's not to disregard any of the constructive posts here (some of you are absolute masters of applied roleplaying math, and I applaud you), but I will say that you're on the money with a large subsection of people unwilling to change anyway.

And the good news is, your books don't burn away when a new edition comes out! (I... still have a group I play 4e with. I don't get it, but they love it. To each their own.)


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Mathmuse wrote:

This results in 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 in some order for ancestries without a flaw and 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 in some order for ancestries with a flaw. Sometimes we might have 18, 14, 14, 12, 10, 10 instead. Those are the only stats I have seen at 1st level. My wife hates this aspect of PF2. She said, "All the characters are alike." She would love to use 16, 16, 14, 12, 10, 10 for variety, but she said PF2 demands the 18 too much. The playtest scenarios are deadly.

The value of an ability score is not linear. 18, 16, 12, 12, 10, 10 is more powerful than 16, 14, 14, 12, 12, 10, though both sets of stats sum to 78. A point buy offers a reward for not grabbing high stats. PF2 does not.

Yeah we saw a lot of this in our group too. There's so much ridigity in the system that the end result almost always looks the same.

Quote:
I like the simplicity of ABC (Ancestry, Background, Class) character creation. But I call the final four ability score boosts step D, because they are not provided by Ancestry, Background, nor Class. And for most of my players, selecting the Background is not a playful exercise in imagining the character's origins. Nope, they conduct a boring search for a background with its ability score bonus in the right place and a feat that fits the class. Only my wife treats Background as an important part of the character's personhood.

Agreed. I wanted to treat a background as a character creation concept thing, but then they throw stats into it and it becomes very restrictive again.

Stat wise, we saw very little variety at the table, and basically none amongst the people playing Humans. I don't think that's a desireable outcome of the system, because if what they really want is "everybody looks the same", they could just print a stat array and save everyone a lot of time.

If the goal is to have stat variety, the system needs to not discourage it so heavily.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mathmuse wrote:
..character generation stuff

I don't really understand your problem with con and int being generated after? On the first pages that walk you through character creation step 5 is finalize ability scores, and step 6 is apply your class which says total up your hitpoints and skill proficiencies and such. Also I can see what you mean by saying getting an 18 is better than the other arrays but I also think that's true in 1e point buy. I only ever see people getting an 18 in their main stat every time. And in 2e it's a lot easier to get a stat to 18 later in the game because of the way the ability score items work, and how fast your other ability scores go up every 5 levels.


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Dire Ursus wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
..character generation stuff
I don't really understand your problem with con and int being generated after? On the first pages that walk you through character creation step 5 is finalize ability scores, and step 6 is apply your class which says total up your hitpoints and skill proficiencies and such. Also I can see what you mean by saying getting an 18 is better than the other arrays but I also think that's true in 1e point buy. I only ever see people getting an 18 in their main stat every time. And in 2e it's a lot easier to get a stat to 18 later in the game because of the way the ability score items work, and how fast your other ability scores go up every 5 levels.

I talked my characters through character creation for The Lost Star chapter of Doomsday Dawn. We reached the bonus languages from Ancestry and I had to tell them to skip that step. We reached the hit points from Ancestry and I had to tell them to write a note because we would use them later. We reached the hit points from Class and I told them, sorry, even later because we need the Constitution score to complete the hit points. The skipping made clear that ABC character creation did not work as advertised.

Usually, when I create character characters in Pathfinder 1st Edition, I roll stats. So 18s are rare, usually a 16 promoted with a racial +2. When I create a PC-like NPC, I use point buy and an 18 is too expensive. I go for a 17 and bump it up at 4th level. Or I design the character to work with lower stats by good feat selection.

But mostly I am bothered by an four-step ability score creation process that almost always gives the same result. For a human, that process could be replaced by: Put 18 in your Class's key ability score and distribute 16, 12, 12, 10, and 10 among the other ability scores.


Mathmuse wrote:
Dire Ursus wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
..character generation stuff
I don't really understand your problem with con and int being generated after? On the first pages that walk you through character creation step 5 is finalize ability scores, and step 6 is apply your class which says total up your hitpoints and skill proficiencies and such. Also I can see what you mean by saying getting an 18 is better than the other arrays but I also think that's true in 1e point buy. I only ever see people getting an 18 in their main stat every time. And in 2e it's a lot easier to get a stat to 18 later in the game because of the way the ability score items work, and how fast your other ability scores go up every 5 levels.

I talked my characters through character creation for The Lost Star chapter of Doomsday Dawn. We reached the bonus languages from Ancestry and I had to tell them to skip that step. We reached the hit points from Ancestry and I had to tell them to write a note because we would use them later. We reached the hit points from Class and I told them, sorry, even later because we need the Constitution score to complete the hit points. The skipping made clear that ABC character creation did not work as advertised.

Usually, when I create character characters in Pathfinder 1st Edition, I roll stats. So 18s are rare, usually a 16 promoted with a racial +2. When I create a PC-like NPC, I use point buy and an 18 is too expensive. I go for a 17 and bump it up at 4th level. Or I design the character to work with lower stats by good feat selection.

But mostly I am bothered by an four-step ability score creation process that almost always gives the same result. For a human, that process could be replaced by: Put 18 in your Class's key ability score and distribute 16, 12, 12, 10, and 10 among the other ability scores.

Well in Point Buy a lot of stat arrays will look similar too for the most part (some arrays are better suited for some classes than others). While 18 is extremely good for most characters I am not sure I actually agree that it's the only viable starting array (at least not for all characters), most AP's don't let characters go all the way to level 20, so level 15 might be the last stat increase you get, thus maximizing your ability scores for that has some merit. So any skill that starts with 16 can go to 20 at level 15. If you go for the 18 16 14 12 10 8 or 18 16 12 12 10 8, that is limited to two stats. Going 16 16 16 12 10 8 can let you have 3 stats ending at 20 instead.

Another aspect is that not everyone wants to min-max their character and while I agree that 18 is often the best way to go, having 16 in your main stat is not making your character useless, just a bit less optimized.

There is optional rules for rolling ability scores, and you could easily just house-rule another way that further punishes characters for going for an 18 in their primary stat (by having you only increase 1 point at a time after 16 and changing the number of increases instead or you can simply use point-buy if you would rather like that)


Yeah, I enjoy the ability score generation immensely because it makes getting that 18 much less punishing, not to mention it lets you keep more stats up where in 1E you'd usually put everything into your main stat or two and then only use magic items to boost the others.

As for needing an 18, the CRB is supposed to be looser on expecting optimization so that should help.

As to backgrounds, I really haven't had that issue. With one boost being of your choice and the other being chosen from two different stats, it's rare to have the background you want and not get a boost to your main stat and a secondary or tertiary.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think the disconnect here might be with Mathmuse's comment about usually rolling stats.

My group has used point buy for a decade, and I can count the number of characters that didn't start with an 18 in something on one hand.


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Edge93 wrote:

Yeah, I enjoy the ability score generation immensely because it makes getting that 18 much less punishing, not to mention it lets you keep more stats up where in 1E you'd usually put everything into your main stat or two and then only use magic items to boost the others.

As for needing an 18, the CRB is supposed to be looser on expecting optimization so that should help.

As to backgrounds, I really haven't had that issue. With one boost being of your choice and the other being chosen from two different stats, it's rare to have the background you want and not get a boost to your main stat and a secondary or tertiary.

I have considered that the problem with the 18 is Doomsday Dawn rather than Pathfinder 2nd Edition. The playtest scenarios were grueling and require optimized characters. I am easier on the party members in a regular campaign.

In fact, I routinely adapt Paizo adventure paths to the player's charactere concepts. If someone designed a heavy-damage two-handed fighter (a character in my Jade Regent game), then I throw more big monsters at the party to be damaged. If someone designed a technological gadgeteer (a character in my Iron Gods game), I throw technology at the party. If someone raises a stat, I find ways to let that stat shine. If someone lowers a stat, I find an embarrassing situation to display that, too.

However, just like PF1 modules assume that the PCs have level-appropriate magic weapons and armor, the PF2 modules will assume that every character has maximized their key ability score, because it is easy. And thus, it becomes mandatory.

Max Astro wrote:

I think the disconnect here might be with Mathmuse's comment about usually rolling stats.

My group has used point buy for a decade, and I can count the number of characters that didn't start with an 18 in something on one hand.

That is insightful. I am accustomed to PCs having weaknesses and inadequate strengths because the ability-score dice do not always cooperate. Thus, I expect the d20 game system to let me adapt the challenges to the stats as rolled. PF2 does not feel as flexible. In theory, I could rewrite the monsters; in practice, I would rather spend my time customizing the setting to the PCs' interests.


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Just a thought on system mastery in PF1e as it currently exists and PF2e in whatever form it will eventually exist. PF2e has two advantages:

1) It's only one book right now. However, unless Paizo significantly changes its business plan, expect to see multiple PF2e "Advanced ...," "Ultimate ....", etc. spilling out the front door. As these additional works appear, there will exist more and more of a system mastery gap between experienced and neophyte players.

2) As has been noted, PF1e in its current state does suffer the "juryrigged" condition. A cleaned up, clarified, and better organized PF1.5e could significantly reduce the system mastery gap, particularly if it were linked to a new and improved set of introductory rules designed to ease new players into the system.

Helmic wrote:
PF1.5 already exists...

Where and in what form?

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