Can Someone Explain What's Going On?


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I finally got around to taking a look at the playtest book for the new edition and 2E honestly seems... really confusing. I didn't really understand a lot of the changes I was looking at. Why are Half-Elf and Half-Orc no longer races? Why were magic items nerfed so hard, especially when martial classes were already at a disadvantage compared to casters? How do action types work in the new action system? Why are there now critical successes and failures on noncombat rolls? Admittedly, I've only skimmed the book so far, so I may understand parts of this better after I've had an in-depth read, but I'm struggling to understand the thought processes behind some of the decisions with the new edition. At first glance, a lot of it looks... well, honestly, not fun.


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Talonknife wrote:
I finally got around to taking a look at the playtest book for the new edition and 2E honestly seems... really confusing. I didn't really understand a lot of the changes I was looking at. Why are Half-Elf and Half-Orc no longer races? Why were magic items nerfed so hard, especially when martial classes were already at a disadvantage compared to casters? How do action types work in the new action system? Why are there now critical successes and failures on noncombat rolls? Admittedly, I've only skimmed the book so far, so I may understand parts of this better after I've had an in-depth read, but I'm struggling to understand the thought processes behind some of the decisions with the new edition. At first glance, a lot of it looks... well, honestly, not fun.

I would suggest you look over the older topics, nearly everything you asked about has been discussed, often more than once.


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Don't expect Pathfinder 1.5
It's a new game mate, and a playtest!


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

You may want to take a look at the preview blogs starting in March 2018 and going down in chronological order. This will tell you a lot about the design's intent and the new concepts.


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1. This is a playTEST. A large emphasis was put on generating data for the devs, to the point that they often picked the most extreme version of possible rules to see how they would impact play. The final version of 2E is guaranteed to be very different from the playtest in many ways as a result, and the devs have already started to leak tidbits of things they are working on as a result of playtest data.

2. Half-Elf & Half-Orc were always a mixture of existing races rather than a full one on their own. By moving them into heritages, it opens up possibilities for other half-races later on & for things like aasimar and tieflings to have a non-human base (which PF1 said was possible, but didn't have a good way to represent).

3. The new action system is very simple at its base. You get 3 actions + 1 reaction per turn, and free actions when appropriate. This is meant to drastically reduce the complexity of action types from PF1 (Move, Standard, Full, 1-round, Swift, Immediate, AoO, etc.) with unique rules for each. It also means less inconsistency with how action rules work (Standard can be downgraded for a 2nd Move, but Move cannot be downgraded for a 2nd Swift). Overall, my group has viewed this as feeling very "streamlined" in actual play.

4. Four degrees of success works with crits now being applied at +/-10 of the DC. Overall, this opens up possibilities of great success/failure to other parts of the system, keeps rules of different areas consistent, and really helps out save-or-die spells feeling useful without either doing nothing or ending a fight.


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Charon Onozuka wrote:

1. This is a playTEST. A large emphasis was put on generating data for the devs, to the point that they often picked the most extreme version of possible rules to see how they would impact play. The final version of 2E is guaranteed to be very different from the playtest in many ways as a result, and the devs have already started to leak tidbits of things they are working on as a result of playtest data.

This is the real takeaway. They wanted to try a bunch of stuff and get feedback on it. They didn't do a good job of articulating this outside of forum posts and some twitch streams, so if you just read the playtest rulebook you would have no idea this was the case.

What we have is not a test of Pathfinder 2, it's a test of some stuff they might want to use in Pathfinder 2... some of which (like Resonance) has already been kicked to the curb.

Talonknife wrote:
Why are Half-Elf and Half-Orc no longer races?

That was changed in an update to behave more closely to what you expect.

Quote:
Why were magic items nerfed so hard, especially when martial classes were already at a disadvantage compared to casters?

Casters were nerfed even harder, and actually fall behind martials in a lot of areas now. Magic in general was nerfed across the board in nearly every way, and magic items went along with that. It's since been said that at least some of that is being reversed, and I'm glad for that. I wasn't a fan of just how much magic was sucked out of the world.

Quote:
How do action types work in the new action system?

Everything is either an action, a reaction, or a free action. That's it. This actually works quite well.

Quote:
Why are there now critical successes and failures on noncombat rolls? Admittedly, I've only skimmed the book so far, so I may understand parts of this better after I've had an in-depth read, but I'm struggling to understand the thought processes behind some of the decisions with the new edition. At first glance, a lot of it looks... well, honestly, not fun.

Critical success can lead to some fun outcomes... but critical failures kinda suck on skills. Especially the ones that do things like "you find out false information", which is a great way to both totally derail a session as people chase a false lead for hours and also ensure only a specialist bothers to roll a skill check at all in order to avoid the horrible outcome.

But there's really no way to know how much of that makes it into the final game... except for the three action system. That was really, really popular and I'd be baffled if they don't keep it.


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Tridus wrote:
Everything is either an action, a reaction, or a free action. That's it. This actually works quite well.

I'm not a big fan of the way they did the action system. It seems too simplistic and it feels like it's going to fall apart when we start seeing things like Quickened Spell. I don't think removing action types was a good idea.

Tridus wrote:
some of which (like Resonance) has already been kicked to the curb.

I'm glad for that. I never liked attunement systems for magic items. It makes magic items feel less cool when even the ultra minor utility wondrous items get hard capped like that.

Tridus wrote:
That was changed in an update to behave more closely to what you expect.

Unfortunately, they went the opposite direction with it than what I would have liked to have seen. Half races in 1E felt more like slightly reflavored Humans with an extra racial type thrown in and they've made that even worse here. I was hoping they might finally get their own niche, but I may be waiting for 3E for that to happen.

Tridus wrote:
but critical failures kinda suck on skills. Especially the ones that do things like "you find out false information", which is a great way to both totally derail a session as people chase a false lead for hours and also ensure only a specialist bothers to roll a skill check at all in order to avoid the horrible outcome.

I'm always worried by critical failures, especially if they apply in combat. They end up punishing martials for making multiple attacks since martial moves require attack rolls that might result in them fumbling while a lot of spells don't, so martials actually become more likely to fumble as they level up and gain more attacks. I'm not sure if fumbles apply on attack rolls, but if they do, I may end up playing nothing but full casters again.

I just finished rolling up a Ranger with the new ruleset to hopefully take to my local PFS with me tomorrow. I'm not the biggest fan of the new stat system, but at least it doesn't requiring gimping a stat to have enough to pump up your main like the old point buy system did. I'm not sure how I feel about being able to do a full-round attack for three hits at level 1, though. I didn't play martials much in 1E, but that seems a little stronger than it should be.


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
Talonknife wrote:
Tridus wrote:
Everything is either an action, a reaction, or a free action. That's it. This actually works quite well.
I'm not a big fan of the way they did the action system. It seems too simplistic and it feels like it's going to fall apart when we start seeing things like Quickened Spell. I don't think removing action types was a good idea.

Most spells now require 2 actions to cast. Quicken now simply allows you to cast a spell (that takes 2 actions or more) with one less action. It's simple and intuitive.

Talonknife wrote:
I'm always worried by critical failures, especially if they apply in combat. They end up punishing martials for making multiple attacks since martial moves require attack rolls that might result in them fumbling while a lot of spells don't, so martials actually become more likely to fumble as they level up and gain more attacks. I'm not sure if fumbles apply on attack rolls, but if they do, I may end up playing nothing but full casters again.

Well, basic attacks just fail normally on a critical fail. The only difference is that a crit fail might provoke a reaction from the opponent, if they have a relevant reaction for such a case.


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Dante Doom wrote:

Don't expect Pathfinder 1.5

It's a new game mate, and a playtest!

I would have preferred Pathfinder 1.5. Something that didn't tie itself to D&D compatibility and carryovers from 3.5 and setting vagueness, but was still not more different than it had reason to be. I don't know how much it will persist in the final version, but so far 2e feels worryingly like some changes were made largely for the sake of change and making it a sufficiently new system to justify new books.

(I know that's essentially what we got with Unchained, but the difference is that Unchained was an alternate ruleset and not a new ruleset. And thus not assumed later, and there were probably fewer changes that could be made.)


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Dante Doom wrote:

Don't expect Pathfinder 1.5

It's a new game mate, and a playtest!

It might be a new game, but they've said they wanted to try and keep some things from Pathfinder 1.

So it's new but also supposed to be the successor that doesn't fully leave behind everything from PF1.

That said, anyone jumping in this late is bound to be confused as they don't have all the relevant info along with the patches/clairifactions that have come along.

Honestly, people that haven't kept up with or are just looking to try out now are probably better off waiting for the full product.

Grand Lodge

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I wish someone could explain what's going on.

In comparison to the Pathfinder Beta playtest, the designers are disseminating information everywhere except their own website. They will get on Twitch, they will speak on podcasts, they might even engage on Facebook.

But over the past two months, there has been very little feedback from the designers, either on blogs, or on the boards. The most we see is Jason Bulmahn locking threads.

For the record, this time last decade December 2008, on one day, the 20th of December, we got more posts from the designers than we have in the whole month of December 2018 - and half of November 2018.

Search results for comparison


Talonknife wrote:
Tridus wrote:
Everything is either an action, a reaction, or a free action. That's it. This actually works quite well.

I'm not a big fan of the way they did the action system. It seems too simplistic and it feels like it's going to fall apart when we start seeing things like Quickened Spell. I don't think removing action types was a good idea.

We already have Quickened Spell in the playtest as a Wizard (and maybe Sorcerer, I forget) class feat. Once per day you can remove one action from a spell that costs 2-3 actions to cast. It works fine.


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in◆⃟ wrote:
But over the past two months, there has been very little feedback from the designers, either on blogs, or on the boards. The most we see is Jason Bulmahn locking threads.

Because the playtest is winding down, they're trying to avoid contaminating the last bit of survey collection by releasing too much info on what is being worked on and/or considered at the moment. Once the survey period is fully over, they'll likely be getting back to more regular blogs and be more open discussing what is being looked at in more detail.

For the moment, silence is partially expected as they've been working quite a bit on trying to keep the playtest running smoothly, need rest, and don't want to accidently bias the data they're planning to rely on when shaping the final draft of 2E.


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in◆⃟ wrote:

I wish someone could explain what's going on.

In comparison to the Pathfinder Beta playtest, the designers are disseminating information everywhere except their own website. They will get on Twitch, they will speak on podcasts, they might even engage on Facebook.

But over the past two months, there has been very little feedback from the designers, either on blogs, or on the boards. The most we see is Jason Bulmahn locking threads.

For the record, this time last decade December 2008, on one day, the 20th of December, we got more posts from the designers than we have in the whole month of December 2018 - and half of November 2018.

Search results for comparison

I think some of that is just that messageboards in general, compared to other social media, are just a less popular forum nowadays. Certainly it FEELS like activity on the boards has declined versus where it was at 5 years ago, and anectodotally I have seen conversations drop off on other messageboards. Paizo may feel they need to devote more effort facebook and twitch versus here


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MMCJawa wrote:
Certainly it FEELS like activity on the boards has declined versus where it was at 5 years ago, and anectodotally I have seen conversations drop off on other messageboards.

Makes sense.

On the one hand, PF1 conversation just tanked abruptly because there's really no point discussion/debating rules, or speculating about future classes, features, or products in general. It's like washing your sports car every weekend by hand when you know you're trading it in two weeks from now.

On the other hand, PF2 conversation is mostly pointless because the product that was playtested isn't the product that will be sold in nine months. There's nothing much to talk about because all we've got is not-PF2.

On the gripping hand, general sales volume has got to have declined, or we wouldn't be having this PF2 revolution anyway.

Personally I think this is the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. People smarter and more informed than I are the decision-makers, but from the outside it seems to me that this should be a period of excitement. There should be some coordinated releases of goodies like minis sets. There should be a few special, exciting PF1 modules being released to suck buyers back into Golarion. There should be some web-fiction, perhaps in the form of a Pathfinder Tale spread one chapter a week to introduce people to this world. There should be capstone products introducing unique classes / items / spells. There should be a few hours each week set aside from a designer to slam through the FAQ backlog, showcasing how engaged Paizo is, supporting their products. There should be weekly nuggets of behind-the-curtain from the PF2 design team interlaced with all of that excitement, so that everyone drawn here to read about/buy whatever also has contact with the general outlines of how the future is being shaped. There should not - in my humble opinion - be the better part of a year where our attention is allowed to wander.


Anguish wrote:


Makes sense.

On the one hand, PF1 conversation just tanked abruptly because there's really no point discussion/debating rules, or speculating about future classes, features, or products in general. It's like washing your sports car every weekend by hand when you know you're trading it in two weeks from now.

On the other hand, PF2 conversation is mostly pointless because the product that was playtested isn't the product that will be sold in nine months. There's nothing much to talk about because all we've got is not-PF2.

On the gripping hand, general sales volume has got to have declined, or we wouldn't be having this PF2 revolution anyway.

Personally I think this is the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. People smarter and more informed than I are the decision-makers, but from the outside it seems to me that this should be a period of excitement. There should be some coordinated releases of goodies like minis sets. There should be a few special, exciting PF1 modules being released to suck buyers back into Golarion. There should be some web-fiction, perhaps in the form of a Pathfinder Tale spread one chapter a week to introduce people to this world. There should be capstone products introducing unique classes / items / spells. There should be a few hours each week set aside from a designer to slam through the FAQ backlog, showcasing how engaged Paizo is, supporting their products. There should be weekly nuggets of behind-the-curtain from the PF2 design team interlaced with all of that excitement, so that everyone drawn here to read about/buy whatever also has contact with the general outlines of how the future is being shaped. There should not - in my humble opinion - be the better part of a year where our attention is allowed to wander.

To be clear, when I mention the drop off in messageboard activity, I don't refer to a recent drop off due to the PF2 announcement, but a gradual trend long proceeding that. And the drop off in messageboard use I observe was in messageboards for completely different topics with non-overlapping bases. I am sure there is also a PF2 effect, but I think a 5E effect and others are even greater.


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Personally, I found the loss of the sidebar in the update a while back cut into how much I read (and thus commented) on the boards. When I'm checking in on the threads I am reading, I used to notice other potentially interesting threads in the sidebar. Now, I'm not likely to see things unless I specifically go looking for them.


MMCJawa wrote:
To be clear, when I mention the drop off in messageboard activity, I don't refer to a recent drop off due to the PF2 announcement, but a gradual trend long proceeding that. And the drop off in...

Agreed, and covered by the gripping hand.


Talonknife wrote:
I'm always worried by critical failures, especially if they apply in combat. They end up punishing martials for making multiple attacks since martial moves require attack rolls that might result in them fumbling while a lot of spells don't, so martials actually become more likely to fumble as they level up and gain more attacks. I'm not sure if fumbles apply on attack rolls, but if they do, I may end up playing nothing but full casters again.

On an attack action, critical failure is just failure. The only difference is some special attacks have an effect on failure (like still causing flat footed) that doesn't happen on critical failure, but there is no fumble table nonsense like some people had as house rules. Martials aren't punished that way.

Ironically, it's casters who deal with critical failure/critical suuccess on save problems. From one target making a critical success outright ending Sanctuary (rather than just letting them ignore it) to causing spells to outright fail to making things bolstered against them, the shoe is totally on the other foot.

Quote:
I just finished rolling up a Ranger with the new ruleset to hopefully take to my local PFS with me tomorrow. I'm not the biggest fan of the new stat system, but at least it doesn't requiring gimping a stat to have enough to pump up your main like the old point buy system did. I'm not sure how I feel about being able to do a full-round attack for three hits at level 1, though. I didn't play martials much in 1E, but that seems a little stronger than it should be.

With the third one being at -10, it's not as powerful as it sounds. Your odds of hitting something are poor, to put it kindly. This isn't PF1 where that first attack is extremely likely to land. By the third one in the playtest, you're fishing for 19+ on the dice most of the time, and if you have some other action that can boost your first two attacks, that's probably a good idea.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Personally, I found the loss of the sidebar in the update a while back cut into how much I read (and thus commented) on the boards. When I'm checking in on the threads I am reading, I used to notice other potentially interesting threads in the sidebar. Now, I'm not likely to see things unless I specifically go looking for them.

Yeah, this has been the single biggest curb to my posting as well.


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I didn't use the sidebar, but I do find the forums harder to navigate in general.

Grand Lodge

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Yeah, I miss the sidebar as well. On the other hand, I have to actually go look for new threads to post in, rather than see them on the side while browsing, so that keeps me out of a lot of negative discussions. I don't comment in the playtest forums much because I'm not playtesting and don't really care to pay any attention until the actual release.


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Talonknife wrote:
I finally got around to taking a look at the playtest book for the new edition and 2E honestly seems... really confusing. I didn't really understand a lot of the changes I was looking at. Why are Half-Elf and Half-Orc no longer races? Why were magic items nerfed so hard, especially when martial classes were already at a disadvantage compared to casters? How do action types work in the new action system? Why are there now critical successes and failures on noncombat rolls? Admittedly, I've only skimmed the book so far, so I may understand parts of this better after I've had an in-depth read, but I'm struggling to understand the thought processes behind some of the decisions with the new edition. At first glance, a lot of it looks... well, honestly, not fun.

The Playtest Rulebook is badly written as an introduction to Pathfinder 2nd Edition (PF2 for short). Paizo calls the Pathfinder 1st Edition (PF1 for short) online rulebook a Player Reference Document. In comparison, the Playtest Rulebook is a Development Reference Document. It looks like the Paizo developers took their design notes, added some introductory material, and called it a rulebook. The most notable feature is most rules are mentioned only once and not necessarily in the most obvious place. The chapters are organized by design concepts rather than a player's approach to the game. The Basic Concepts section, pages 7 through 10, is a summary that repeats important rules another time, so check there first.

The first two design principles of Pathfinder 2nd Edition are (1) Simplicity while (2) Keeping Pathfinder the Same. For example, the three-action systems is a simplification of the Pathfinder 1st Edition turn: a PF1 move action becomes 1 PF2 action, a PF1 standard action becomes 2 PF2 actions, and therefore a PF1 turn becomes 3 PF2 actions. This was first presented in Pathfinder Unchained, but it works a lot better when built into the game from the ground up.

And Built from the Ground Up is the third PF2 design principle. The designers rewrote the rules to be rigorous and complete. PF1 suffers from many rules being added in later hardcover books, squeezed into design gaps between the core rules from the Core Rulebook. And the PF1 Core Rulebook itself had some of its systems piggybacking on other systems, such as magic items requiring knowing spells to construct, and frequently shoehorning a spell in as a requirement that had little to do with the magic items. PF1 is juryrigged and PF2 is designed. The rules are clear, except for the odd organization of the rulebook.

A 4th design principle is Put the Fun up Front. This is the shyest of the design principles, usually working behind the scenes, but we can see its fingerprints in a few places. PF1 has an enormous amount of number crunching, with some feats solely about better numbers. PF2 prefers to make the numbers automatic and make the feats non-numerical and flavorful.

The 5th PF2 design principal is Balance. This is the dog in the manger, a harsh principle that feels it can override any of the other four principles. 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.

Talonknife wrote:
Why are Half-Elf and Half-Orc no longer races?

Fun up Front says that half elves and half orcs are also half humans and should embrace their human heritage more closely. Build from the Ground Up wanted a general mechanic to describe all crossbreeds rather than developing them as if they were separate races. Simplicity realizes that an additional mechanic is more complicated but is happy it shortens the Ancestry chapter.

Talonknife wrote:
Why were magic items nerfed so hard, especially when martial classes were already at a disadvantage compared to casters?

Balance rants that magic items are a major unbalancing factor and must be brought under control. It also claims that it will fix the martial/caster disparity once it finishes nerfing all of magic. Besides it buffed magic weapons enormously, making them the major source of damage at high levels with their multiple damage dice. Built from the Ground Up says that it created a pretty system of magic item creation and losing some beloved and powerful magic items in the effort was a sacrifice it was willing to make.

Talonknife wrote:
How do action types work in the new action system?

Here is a PF1 to PF2 conversion chart:

A move action becomes one action.
Most standard actions, such as spellcasting become two actions.
A standard attack action becomes one action.
A full round action becomes three actions.
A full attack action is treated as two or three separate actions.
A swift action becomes an action.
An immediate action becomes a reaction.
An attack of opportunity becomes a reaction.
A five-foot step becomes an action.
A free action becomes a free action, but these names mean different things. In PF1 free actions are at will. In PF2 free actions are triggered by the beginning of a turn, the end of a turn, or a specific event. They are still free from costing actions, but no longer at will.
Talking is no longer an action of any time.

Keeping Pathfinder the Same insisted on keeping the iterative attack penalty, -0, -5, -10, from the full attack action, so it became the Multiple Attack Penalty for separate multiple attacks on the same turn. That worked out well because the third attack was so weak that martial characters would do something else instead of a third attack. Stand still and hit is less common in PF2.

Balance said that shields should not longer passively stack with armor. Simplicity loved passive effects, but nodded in agreement because then shield and armor could both give item bonuses. Put the Fun up Front invented an active shield bonus, Raise a Shield, to keep shields important. Raise a Shield became a common third action in place of a third attack.

Talonknife wrote:
Why are there now critical successes and failures on noncombat rolls?

For fun.

I don't know that the designers where thinking, but I imagine that dropping the confirmation rolls on critical hits was suggested in the name of Simplicity. That messes up the math, because a character who hits only on a natural 20 would have 100% critical hits, so in the name of rigor and balance the characters who hit well needed another method of making critical hits. The +10/-10 system provided that.

Building from the Ground Up likes to try an idea everywhere it might work, so everything ended up with a critical failure, critical success, or both. It probably looked exciting for Put the Fun up Front.

However, it made +1 to a roll much more value, because the +1 does not increase the chance of a success ; rather, it increases the chance of a critical success. The rolls that give regular success are sandwiched between failure and critical success at an unchanging 50%.

Scythia wrote:
I would suggest you look over the older topics, nearly everything you asked about has been discussed, often more than once.

The PF2 rules in action have many surprises. Some mechanics that seem doubtful work fine. Some details that seem trivial yet become important. The playtest revealed much to both playtest players and Paizo designers. Read about the actual playtest experiences in the Playtest Feedback subforum.


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

That's a pretty cool effort of reverse-engineering of the design you've attempted here, Mathmuse. I makes a great deal of sense.

I'm going to add 2 points to your analysis:

Mathmuse wrote:

I don't know that the designers where thinking, but I imagine that dropping the confirmation rolls on critical hits was suggested in the name of Simplicity. That messes up the math, because a character who hits only on a natural 20 would have 100% critical hits, so in the name of rigor and balance the characters who hit well needed another method of making critical hits. The +10/-10 system provided that.

Building from the Ground Up likes to try an idea everywhere it might work, so everything ended up with a critical failure, critical success, or both. It probably looked exciting for Put the Fun up Front.

Simplicity removed the confirmation rolls indeed, but more importantly, it did away with CMB and CMD. Combat maneuvers are now based on skills: Deception for Feint, and Athletics for Trip, Grapple, Disarm and Shove (a simplified version of Bull Rush). This means that skills can now be used for offensive action. Then, Consistency (Simplicity's inseparable twin sister) dictates that skills must use the same critical mechanic as attack rolls.

Balance is another guiding principle behind +10/-10. In PF1, the "save-or-suck" spell category was a major obstacle to Balance at high level, as spellcasters could run their spell DC as high as possible and one-shot major encounters. The playtest's most notable spell nerfs involved restricting the harsher effects to critically failed save situations. Conversely, spells with a partial effect on a successful save now have no effect at all on a critically successful save.


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gwynfrid wrote:
The playtest's most notable spell nerfs involved restricting the harsher effects to critically failed save situations. Conversely, spells with a partial effect on a successful save now have no effect at all on a critically successful save.

Which pushes all spell casters to do the same thing. Damage spells all day.

We've gone from spell lists looking the same with colour spray and black tentacles to straight up damage spells.

With the crits in place, why take the risk you'll fail and waste a turn? Better to apply some damage than none. And I'm sure someone will do a turn by turn break down of using what spells give the most damage or are most effective.

Okay so Save or Suck spells are gone. Spell lists are still going to be as bland and repeated as ever.


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Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The playtest's most notable spell nerfs involved restricting the harsher effects to critically failed save situations. Conversely, spells with a partial effect on a successful save now have no effect at all on a critically successful save.

Which pushes all spell casters to do the same thing. Damage spells all day.

We've gone from spell lists looking the same with colour spray and black tentacles to straight up damage spells.

With the crits in place, why take the risk you'll fail and waste a turn? Better to apply some damage than none. And I'm sure someone will do a turn by turn break down of using what spells give the most damage or are most effective.

You would have a point, if damage spells had any effect on an enemy that gets a crit success on their save. But - they don't.

That said, it can be argued that the spell nerfs went too far and that playtest monsters' save bonuses are too high. The devs have actually agreed on both counts, and signalled this will change.


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Mathmuse wrote:
And Built from the Ground Up is the third PF2 design principle. The designers rewrote the rules to be rigorous and complete. PF1 suffers from many rules being added in later hardcover books, squeezed into design gaps between the core rules from the Core Rulebook. And the PF1 Core Rulebook itself had some of its systems piggybacking on other systems, such as magic items requiring knowing spells to construct, and frequently shoehorning a spell in as a requirement that had little to do with the magic items. PF1 is juryrigged and PF2 is designed. The rules are clear, except for the odd organization of the rulebook.

PF1e is "juryrigged" because Paizo chose not to ever attempt a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB. At any time over the past 10 years, Paizo could have cleaned up the PF1e rules, but it didn't do so. Even now, Paizo could apply this "Build from the Ground Up" principle to create a more evolutionary PF1.5e that I would certainly welcome in place of the PF2e mess that currently exists, and I which I suspect many others would similarly welcome.


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pjrogers wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
And Built from the Ground Up is the third PF2 design principle. The designers rewrote the rules to be rigorous and complete. PF1 suffers from many rules being added in later hardcover books, squeezed into design gaps between the core rules from the Core Rulebook. And the PF1 Core Rulebook itself had some of its systems piggybacking on other systems, such as magic items requiring knowing spells to construct, and frequently shoehorning a spell in as a requirement that had little to do with the magic items. PF1 is juryrigged and PF2 is designed. The rules are clear, except for the odd organization of the rulebook.
PF1e is "juryrigged" because Paizo chose not to ever attempt a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB. At any time over the past 10 years, Paizo could have cleaned up the PF1e rules, but it didn't do so. Even now, Paizo could apply this "Build from the Ground Up" principle to create a more evolutionary PF1.5e that I would certainly welcome in place of the PF2e mess that currently exists, and I which I suspect many others would similarly welcome.

I'd welcome that in a heartbeat.


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pjrogers wrote:


PF1e is "juryrigged" because Paizo chose not to ever attempt a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB. At any time over the past 10 years, Paizo could have cleaned up the PF1e rules, but it didn't do so. Even now, Paizo could apply this "Build from the Ground Up" principle to create a more evolutionary PF1.5e that I would certainly welcome in place of the PF2e mess that currently exists, and I which I suspect many others would similarly welcome.

I'd suspect that the things I'd want rewritten for PF1.5 and the things each individual poster would want would be vastly different. One poster's PF1.5 is another poster's PF2.


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Barathos wrote:
pjrogers wrote:


PF1e is "juryrigged" because Paizo chose not to ever attempt a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB. At any time over the past 10 years, Paizo could have cleaned up the PF1e rules, but it didn't do so. Even now, Paizo could apply this "Build from the Ground Up" principle to create a more evolutionary PF1.5e that I would certainly welcome in place of the PF2e mess that currently exists, and I which I suspect many others would similarly welcome.
I'd suspect that the things I'd want rewritten for PF1.5 and the things each individual poster would want would be vastly different. One poster's PF1.5 is another poster's PF2.

Yes and no - there are elements of PF1e that just need to clarified such as the mounted combat rules, the interaction of low-light vision and dim light, and other issues which have never really been addressed despite many FAQ requests. I think these would be more or less non-contentious.

On the other hand, I, for one, think the current combat maneuvers are too strong and would like to see them nerfed a bit. And yes, this sort of actual change to the PF1e rules, as opposed to clarifying and editing for consistency, would obviously provoke disagreement.

However, I would argue that anyone whose idea of PF1.5 is similar to the current state of PF2e is not really looking for an evolutionary revision of PF1e.


Barathos wrote:
pjrogers wrote:


PF1e is "juryrigged" because Paizo chose not to ever attempt a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB. At any time over the past 10 years, Paizo could have cleaned up the PF1e rules, but it didn't do so. Even now, Paizo could apply this "Build from the Ground Up" principle to create a more evolutionary PF1.5e that I would certainly welcome in place of the PF2e mess that currently exists, and I which I suspect many others would similarly welcome.
I'd suspect that the things I'd want rewritten for PF1.5 and the things each individual poster would want would be vastly different. One poster's PF1.5 is another poster's PF2.

And the other half of the players would be pissed about a rewrite that didn't really change anything and having to buy the books over again.

And they would because a "rigorous and complete" rewrite of the CRB would touch everything that depends on it - all the rules. Or, if it has to be strictly compatible with everything else they'd published, they couldn't fix as much as they'd want to.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:
Dante Doom wrote:

Don't expect Pathfinder 1.5

It's a new game mate, and a playtest!

I would have preferred Pathfinder 1.5. Something that didn't tie itself to D&D compatibility and carryovers from 3.5 and setting vagueness, but was still not more different than it had reason to be. I don't know how much it will persist in the final version, but so far 2e feels worryingly like some changes were made largely for the sake of change and making it a sufficiently new system to justify new books.

(I know that's essentially what we got with Unchained, but the difference is that Unchained was an alternate ruleset and not a new ruleset. And thus not assumed later, and there were probably fewer changes that could be made.)

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. Broken Wizards? Easily changed. Noob Monsters? Easily changed. Random thing you need that the book doesn't provide? Created by yourself for your own convenience. And this is largely already done with splatbooks and 3rd party products. Sure, some things like spellcaster multiclassing or prestige classes or handiness could use some major revisions to make them more appealing, but something like that was core, even in D&D 3.X, which is the real callback here.

I just think people say they want a Pathfinder 1.5 without realizing that getting a Pathfinder 1.5, much like Pathfinder 2, may introduce several changes and "new" things that may instead make them something that they don't like, and they'll just instead revert back into their own houserules. Or, it might be something they like, but have already been doing anyway, so now they just have official backing and justification for their houserules. Paizo realizes that this wouldn't generate nearly as much sales as creating something new that the public most likely wouldn't/couldn't produce themselves, because realistically most PF1 player holdovers have plenty of product and ingenuity to make their own tables and games. I don't see any purpose for Paizo to rehash one table's houserules as being an official update to the game (AKA the 1.5 people want) and spending time and manpower doing that, especially when there is little to no sales to be had that players haven't already done for themselves.

It's almost as bad as when people wanted the new Star Wars franchise, and a lot of people will agree: What was the whole point of those sequels? To make money? Sure, they might have initially, but now the public isn't too impressed with them anymore, and are less likely to buy into followups of the series. Yes, people may feel that way with Pathfinder 2, but Paizo would much rather "gamble" on creating different content than trying to rehash the same things and hope people will still buy into it. The market evolves, and Paizo has to evolve with it if they want to survive in today's economy; rehashing stuff isn't the way to go. If Paizo (or even WoTC) decided to rehash 1st Edition D&D, I'd question whether people would actually go buy it, play it, and more importantly, continue playing it after it's been bought over the years.


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The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

Shadow Lodge

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They could do exactly like Kirthfinder did, with exactly the same results.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

The moment your biggest problems with PF1e are poor interactions between dim light and low light vision or unclear rules for mounted combat while somebody else's biggest problems with PF1 are caster/martial disparity or the rocket tag nature of combat, there's simply no "tweaked PF1" that will make everybody appy. If it was to tweak only thing you think that are wonky, it will leave the other deeply unsatisfied, but if it does something fundamental (like altering the action economy or the way monsters work), you'll likely say it's no longer "tweaked PF1" but a new game you didn't ask for.

It's pretty much the same reason why WotC didn't "tweak AD&D 2ed a bit" but instead went with a new ruleset with a mostly different design paradigm, power level and focus when making D&D 3.0. It's also the reason why not everybody moved to 3.0+ and some keep playing the older versions.


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Gorbacz wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

The moment your biggest problems with PF1e are poor interactions between dim light and low light vision or unclear rules for mounted combat while somebody else's biggest problems with PF1 are caster/martial disparity or the rocket tag nature of combat, there's simply no "tweaked PF1" that will make everybody appy. If it was to tweak only thing you think that are wonky, it will leave the other deeply unsatisfied, but if it does something fundamental (like altering the action economy or the way monsters work), you'll likely say it's no longer "tweaked PF1" but a new game you didn't ask for.

It's pretty much the same reason why WotC didn't "tweak AD&D 2ed a bit" but instead went with a new ruleset with a mostly different design paradigm, power level and focus when making D&D 3.0. It's also the reason why not everybody moved to 3.0+ and some keep playing the older versions.

Interestingly though, WotC did tweak D&D 3 abit to get 3.5. And TSR tweaked AD&D a bit to get AD&D 2ed.

So, it's not necessarily a path to disaster.

The Exchange

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Gorbacz wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

The moment your biggest problems with PF1e are poor interactions between dim light and low light vision or unclear rules for mounted combat while somebody else's biggest problems with PF1 are caster/martial disparity or the rocket tag nature of combat, there's simply no "tweaked PF1" that will make everybody appy. If it was to tweak only thing you think that are wonky, it will leave the other deeply unsatisfied, but if it does something fundamental (like altering the action economy or the way monsters work), you'll likely say it's no longer "tweaked PF1" but a new game you didn't ask for.

It's pretty much the same reason why WotC didn't "tweak AD&D 2ed a bit" but instead went with a new ruleset with a mostly different design paradigm, power level and focus when making D&D 3.0. It's also the reason why not everybody moved to 3.0+ and some keep playing the older versions.

No matter how devoted one might be to the changes in the playtest vs PF1 the suggestion that there is no milage in a PF1.5 is surely a bridge too far?

From Paizo’s point of view I totally get that a new system offers a much freer hand and going down that route makes sense.

Moderated by the caveat that they cannot not afford a PF2 that has become so different that brand loyalty turns to disaffection and an unsupportable number of existing players seeking a supported system look past Paizo entirely.

So there won’t be a PF 1.5 but there could have been and everything else being equal I reckon it would have been very cool!

Simply put integrating the spirit of Unchained particularly a ‘from the ground up’ implementation of the new action economy & making a CRB that is designed to be the basis for a mechanically superior implementation of the best bits of the hard and soft covers would almost certainly have left us better off than just continuing with PF1. I do remember that converting content from most different D&D versions was pretty easy (often just done on the fly) up until 3.0.

The challenge to Jason et al is to make a new RPG that existing players will love more than the one we have now (the answer to which we will find out) and do a better job of creating it than they might have done with a reworking (which can only be speculation!)

W


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It's that last part that's going to be hard. That hypothetical rework that only exists in our heads is always going to be better than any real game.


pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

I don't think it's been said that Paizo is prevented from rehashing PF1 into PF1.5. They are more than welcome to do so if they so choose.

All I've said is that I believe it's not a very good idea, or a good and productive way to spend Paizo's employee time and money. And based on the decisions they've made so far, they're in agreement on that conclusion.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
heretic wrote:
The challenge to Jason et al is to make a new RPG that existing players will love more than the one we have now (the answer to which we will find out) and do a better job of creating it than they might have done with a reworking (which can only be speculation!)

The only challenge Jason et al have is to make a new RPG that will reverse the trend of playerbase (and sales) dwindling away. If you have X existing players left and that's not a number that rocks your boat financially, getting them to love your game more than they do now won't change squat. You need to expand.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

The moment your biggest problems with PF1e are poor interactions between dim light and low light vision or unclear rules for mounted combat while somebody else's biggest problems with PF1 are caster/martial disparity or the rocket tag nature of combat, there's simply no "tweaked PF1" that will make everybody appy. If it was to tweak only thing you think that are wonky, it will leave the other deeply unsatisfied, but if it does something fundamental (like altering the action economy or the way monsters work), you'll likely say it's no longer "tweaked PF1" but a new game you didn't ask for.

It's pretty much the same reason why WotC didn't "tweak AD&D 2ed a bit" but instead went with a new ruleset with a mostly different design paradigm, power level and focus when making D&D 3.0. It's also the reason why not everybody moved to 3.0+ and some keep playing the older versions.

Interestingly though, WotC did tweak D&D 3 abit to get 3.5. And TSR tweaked AD&D a bit to get AD&D 2ed.

So, it's not necessarily a path to disaster.

In neither case did the WotC face a direct competitor staring at them with a mean, lean, well-designed game that has better brand recognition, sound marketing and a massive player base. Every time TSR/WotC did change edition, it was unopposed by any life-threatening direct competition.

When Paizo tweaked 3.5 into 3.66, it was facing a direct competition who just did shoot itself in their foot so hard that they almost fell out of the market.

But sadly for Paizo, while you can beat good brand recognition coupled with a crap product that's marketed in a shoddy way, you just can't do the same against good brand recognition, great product and marketing that's on the verge of making RPGs a socially acceptable pastime.

The Exchange

thejeff wrote:
It's that last part that's going to be hard. That hypothetical rework that only exists in our heads is always going to be better than any real game.

True.

I have occasionally wondered about a “phantom edit” of Pathfinder. That is what books or more importantly bits of books I would use if I were to really REALLY prep for a campaign?

Which lead to thinking if I would also rewrite how lighting works, making a clear rule in stealth means being silent & hidden but not deodorised, ruling that when a new class gets a spell via an existing spell list the description is changed to reflect the appropriate casting stat etc. etc. etc.

It would have been great to see how they pro’s would have undertaken the task.

W

The Exchange

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Gorbacz wrote:
heretic wrote:
The challenge to Jason et al is to make a new RPG that existing players will love more than the one we have now (the answer to which we will find out) and do a better job of creating it than they might have done with a reworking (which can only be speculation!)

The only challenge Jason et al have is to make a new RPG that will reverse the trend of playerbase (and sales) dwindling away. If you have X existing players left and that's not a number that rocks your boat financially, getting them to love your game more than they do now won't change squat. You need to expand.

That is not really the point though.

While in theory there is a scenario that a new RPG appears from Paizo that alienates everyone but the play-test’s most energetic fans on these forums but so entrances new customers that they have improved their player numbers and sales. I am comfortable that is an extreme possibility.

The reality of the situation is that a game called something like Pathfinder 2 will need to bring over much of Pathfinder’s existing player base.

W


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

I don't think it's been said that Paizo is prevented from rehashing PF1 into PF1.5. They are more than welcome to do so if they so choose.

All I've said is that I believe it's not a very good idea, or a good and productive way to spend Paizo's employee time and money. And based on the decisions they've made so far, they're in agreement on that conclusion.

Agreed. They certainly could go off and make PF 1.5, or 3.875 if you're following all the way back to the direct ancestors. But if they're going to do that and be married to backwards compatibility, there is a lot of stuff that is immediately off the table. But fundamentally if you don't have that, I don't think you have "PF 1.5".

At this point, it's pretty limited on the design side to be based on a 20 year old system when the competition has moved on from those restrictions. That's really it. If the goal is to make a better system than 5e, it's pretty hard to do that when you can't change the fundamentals due to needing to work with PF1.


gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The playtest's most notable spell nerfs involved restricting the harsher effects to critically failed save situations. Conversely, spells with a partial effect on a successful save now have no effect at all on a critically successful save.

Which pushes all spell casters to do the same thing. Damage spells all day.

We've gone from spell lists looking the same with colour spray and black tentacles to straight up damage spells.

With the crits in place, why take the risk you'll fail and waste a turn? Better to apply some damage than none. And I'm sure someone will do a turn by turn break down of using what spells give the most damage or are most effective.

You would have a point, if damage spells had any effect on an enemy that gets a crit success on their save. But - they don't.

That said, it can be argued that the spell nerfs went too far and that playtest monsters' save bonuses are too high. The devs have actually agreed on both counts, and signalled this will change.

I've deleted my playtest PDFs cause I'm not using them anymore. But I could have sworn there was more "Deal some damage" on damage spells than "Well sucks to be you right now", like there are with Save or Suck. Even with Crit Success on the target's part.

Point is, I still expect spell books to be just as boring and samey as they are now. Just filled with blaster spells than buffs/debuffs and save/suck.

The Exchange

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Tridus wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
The above comments may or may not be accurate, but I don't think they take away from my original point. There is nothing that has prevented or does currently prevent Paizo from doing a more evolutionary PF1.5e as "Build from the Ground Up" project. PF1e's "juryrigged" state is a result of choices by Paizo, choices that I generally disagree with.

I don't think it's been said that Paizo is prevented from rehashing PF1 into PF1.5. They are more than welcome to do so if they so choose.

All I've said is that I believe it's not a very good idea, or a good and productive way to spend Paizo's employee time and money. And based on the decisions they've made so far, they're in agreement on that conclusion.

Agreed. They certainly could go off and make PF 1.5, or 3.875 if you're following all the way back to the direct ancestors. But if they're going to do that and be married to backwards compatibility, there is a lot of stuff that is immediately off the table. But fundamentally if you don't have that, I don't think you have "PF 1.5".

At this point, it's pretty limited on the design side to be based on a 20 year old system when the competition has moved on from those restrictions. That's really it. If the goal is to make a better system than 5e, it's pretty hard to do that when you can't change the fundamentals due to needing to work with PF1.

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!


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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!

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.


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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.


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MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The playtest's most notable spell nerfs involved restricting the harsher effects to critically failed save situations. Conversely, spells with a partial effect on a successful save now have no effect at all on a critically successful save.

Which pushes all spell casters to do the same thing. Damage spells all day.

We've gone from spell lists looking the same with colour spray and black tentacles to straight up damage spells.

With the crits in place, why take the risk you'll fail and waste a turn? Better to apply some damage than none. And I'm sure someone will do a turn by turn break down of using what spells give the most damage or are most effective.

You would have a point, if damage spells had any effect on an enemy that gets a crit success on their save. But - they don't.

That said, it can be argued that the spell nerfs went too far and that playtest monsters' save bonuses are too high. The devs have actually agreed on both counts, and signalled this will change.

I've deleted my playtest PDFs cause I'm not using them anymore. But I could have sworn there was more "Deal some damage" on damage spells than "Well sucks to be you right now", like there are with Save or Suck. Even with Crit Success on the target's part.

Point is, I still expect spell books to be just as boring and samey as they are now. Just filled with blaster spells than buffs/debuffs and save/suck.

My group has gotten a lot of mileage out of blasts, especially against large groups of weaker enemies (That IS kinda blasting's niche after all), but buffs and debuffs and status effects have been VERY much liked, possibly more than blasts.

We have seen buffs provide great mileage, especially things like Heroism and L5 See Invisibility and of course Foresight. Debuffs have caused us plenty of trouble from enemies, even on a successful save the minor debuffs can throw someone's plans off, and on our side we've had some battles seriously influenced by the debuffs provided by failing saves and even the minor debuffs from succeeding saves.

Hitting someone with Frightened 1 or 2 and then having others attack them works wonders, especially with flanking or buffs thrown in.

Enervation (Especially when augmented with True Strike to drastically up accuracy and crit rate) is SO STRONG. Enervated 1 can make a great difference but if they fail the save or you crit and they succeed for Enervated 2? That is NASTY. It turned a level +4 monster in the last fight of DD Part 5 into almost a complete joke. No blat spells were gonna do that for us. XD

And of course some of the big stuff like Synaptic Pulse and L6 Slow, which make multiple foes Slowed 1 for a round on a success, with MUCH worse effects on a failure, or Warp Mind which Confuses a foe for one round even on success, longer on failure, or freaking Synthesia which on a success inflicts Sluggish 3 (A MASSIVE debuff) alongside other effects for 1 round on success, longer on failure. All of those are mad strong.

So yeah, given that all spells, including blasts, fail fully on a crit success and that debuffs have useful effects even on successful saves, and the big help buffs can be, I don't think blasts really dominate currently. They're quite good to be sure, but so are a lot of other spells.

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