Remove +Level Number inflation


General Discussion

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Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
pjrogers wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I believe that Paizo has access to a much better bird's eye of view of what people see as problems with the ruleset than you and your immediate surroundings.

Check out the signups for upcoming PBP Retrocon.

There are lots of hybrid, multiclass, etc. characters that are a mix of martial and caster. There are some pure casters but not the overwhelming number that one would expect if the "Martial vs. Caster" gap existed in the manner which folks claim.

The caster/martial disparity does not mean there are overwhelmingly more casters being played than martials. It merely claims that the gap in power and versatility between the two groups of classes is bigger than it should be.

People do play martials because:

1. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but don't mind it
2. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but play Fighters/Rogues/Swashbucklers despite the fact that they are second fiddle to caster classes because they love the flavour of the class
3. Are unaware of the issue at all

I've have had all three at my table.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are quite a lot of people who fall into these three categories. But that does not mean that the game as a whole won't benefit from the issue being addressed, because if you fix martial-caster disparity, the above three types of people will keep on playing martials (since the changes don't affect them). You lose nothing (OK, except the "why does this game have to be balanced, I liked my overpowered Wizard a lot!" folks, but good riddance to those) and you gain all those people who were put off by the disparity.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

By the way, where did the OP go?


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Gorbacz wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
I believe that Paizo has access to a much better bird's eye of view of what people see as problems with the ruleset than you and your immediate surroundings.

Check out the signups for upcoming PBP Retrocon.

There are lots of hybrid, multiclass, etc. characters that are a mix of martial and caster. There are some pure casters but not the overwhelming number that one would expect if the "Martial vs. Caster" gap existed in the manner which folks claim.

The caster/martial disparity does not mean there are overwhelmingly more casters being played than martials. It merely claims that the gap in power and versatility between the two groups of classes is bigger than it should be.

People do play martials because:

1. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but don't mind it
2. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but play Fighters/Rogues/Swashbucklers despite the fact that they are second fiddle to caster classes because they love the flavour of the class
3. Are unaware of the issue at all

4. Their GM is aware of the problem and is working hard to keep it under control.

I'm one of those GMs. I make sure martials have access to the right magic items, I restrict access to certain spells and to spells in general, and especially, I tweak encounters to make sure they can't be killed by a couple of well-placed spells and that the casters don't have an obvious way to make themselves invulnerable (there's only so many times one can pull the "there's so much wind you can't fly" card, though).

For me, one of the big benefits of PF2 is that I won't have to do that work anymore.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This will be last contribution to this exchange as I suspect there is not a lot of actual dialogue going on here, and we have moved a ways from the OP.

Gorbacz wrote:
The caster/martial disparity does not mean there are overwhelmingly more casters being played than martials. It merely claims that the gap in power and versatility between the two groups of classes is bigger than it should be.

Two thoughts:

1) If there are NOT significantly more casters than martials (and mind you I'm using this false binary only for purposes of discussion), this at least suggests that people creating and playing characters don't see the alleged "gap" as an issue.

2) The use of "should" indicates that this is a normative argument not anything that can firmly proved or disproved one way or another. Based on my experiences in face-to-face and online play, I have not seen a "gap" that is "bigger than it should be." Other folks mileage may vary.

Gorbacz wrote:

People do play martials because:

1. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but don't mind it
2. They're aware of the martial-caster gap, but play Fighters/Rogues/Swashbucklers despite the fact that they are second fiddle to caster classes because they love the flavour of the class
3. Are unaware of the issue at all

I've have had all three at my table.

In fact, I'm pretty sure that there are quite a lot of people who fall into these three categories.

The phrase "at my table" here suggests a very narrow evidentiary base for the claims made before and after it.


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About the casters vs martials. I do and have played casters for 30+ years because I love the idea of them. The mystic who knows more than anyone else, and when the guano hits the fan, he can throw down. Gandalf, Raistlin, Merlin. I love those characters.
I never once sat down and parsed damage output between my character and the fighter to see how fair it was.


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At the risk of completely derailing this thread, I will mention that C/MD DOES exist(in 3.P), and I find it extremely weird that people actually debate this seriously.

While it is true that martials still see play, that doesn't mean that C/MD does not exist. Casters tend to be harder to play than martials, so people who don't want to deal with memorizing 40 different spells their character knows, playing a martial is less daunting. At my tables, that's generally half the reason why someone opts to not play a caster. The other half of the time, they just REALLY want to play a martial character, only to realize about 10 levels into the campaign why they haven't played a martial in a while.

The litmus test for C/MD is easy. Given any "job" for an adventurer (tank, DPR, healing, crowd control, utility, jack-of-all-trades, etc.) try to build an optimized martial for that job, then try to build an optimized caster for that same job. 9/10 times, the caster will be more efficient that the martial at any given job. The only place martials REALLY stand out is single target DPR, and they really aren't that much better than casters at it.

Then there is the part where a martial has to devote 50% or more of their character building resources to become good at any of the above jobs, and most casters can do that with a few spells, while specializing in another area.

There was a great example I ran across somewhere that illustrated the point perfectly. The scenario was a party trying to sneak in to a castle without alerting the guards:

Martial: "We can all try to sneak in!"

Wizard: "Or I can cast invisibility?"

Martial: "Nah, they probably have True Seeing."

Wizard: "Okay, I can cast Dimension Door and get us in."

Martial: "Nah, they probably have Planar Lock in place."

Wizard: "Okay, how about fly?"

Martial: "Nah, if I were them, I'd have someone watching the skies for us."

Wizard: "I could cast Alter Self and make us look like guards?"

Martial: "They probably have verbal challenges to check for that."

Wizard: "How about I Dominate the garrison so that they let us in?"

Martial: "Fine. You know what? Here's the spotlight. Would it kill you to let someone else solve a problem for once?"


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thflame wrote:
Martial: "Fine. You know what? Here's the spotlight. Would it kill you to let someone else solve a problem for once?"

Next up on Angel Summoner & BMX Bandit...


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In my expirience 4E runs better without +1/2/lvl than with it.

So for me PF2 will also run better without it.

I would just like for bestiary to have parentheses for bonuses without the threadmill.

I.E. some random 6th level orc

attack: +13(+7)
damage: 1d12+5
fort: +10(+4)
ref: +8(+2)
will: +5(-1)
perception: +6(+0)
init: +9(+3)
Spell DC: 17(11)


pjrogers wrote:
1) If there are NOT significantly more casters than martials (and mind you I'm using this false binary only for purposes of discussion), this at least suggests that people creating and playing characters don't see the alleged "gap" as an issue.

I played martials, I played with a lot of people who enjoyed martials, we all saw the issue. The typical PF1 fix for this was the tier system, where the GM would specify a tier and give a list sorting all the classes by tier. You only picked classes inside that tier, had to ask for anything a tier below or above, and could right f&!* off if you tried anything further from that.

Tiers 1 and 2 were known to be disruptive, so generally a Tier 3 class/archetype (which is where you start to see the very best of the marials and some gishes, as well as the better balanced of full casters) is what a lot of groups would agree on. PF1, being the clusterf~%+ it is, still will have issues because build options can vary wildly in effectiveness and the prevalence of trap options meant newer players needed supervision from the most skilled optmizers in the group to make sure no one sunk too many resources into something that won't work.

pjrogers wrote:
2) The use of "should" indicates that this is a normative argument not anything that can firmly proved or disproved one way or another. Based on my experiences in face-to-face and online play, I have not seen a "gap" that is "bigger than it should be." Other folks mileage may vary.

The "should" is an assumption that balance is valuable and desirable. Anyone that even vaguely considers balance important in crunchy tabletop RPG's probably points to 3.5/PF1 as the go-to example of how not to go about it. Like if you're questioning the validity of the desire for balance in general, then there's not much that can be said. You'd just have a completely different priority, one that doesn't line up with the goals of PF2, and there's not much that can change about PF2 to accommodate that preference.


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I find that the existence of the C/MD in 1E is tightly connected to the 15 minute adventuring day and the assumption of the game as a series of sequential set-pieces.

The group I am currently running is 14th level. The party includes:
Barbarian
Fighter (archer)
Dwarf Cleric (very classic tank / healer)
Human War Cleric (almost never casts heals, can spont cast domain spells instead of healing)
Human Earth Sorcerer
Human Bard

The clerics and sorcerer frequently do all the earth-shaking things that are expected and they get exclamations from the martial players.
But the martial characters, particularly the barbarian, get routine huge explosive moments that get the attention of the casters.

Everyone always enjoys the achievements of others

The bard definitely underperforms the rest of the party during combat. But she is greatly valued by the party. The game is a major long arch story with a lot of mystery. In addition to basic buffs, the bard is frequently instrumental in putting the party in good positions where they have advantages before the fight starts, have allies in their larger efforts, avoid some fights altogether, etc. The player really enjoys the character and the others clearly see looking out for her once initiative is rolled to be worthwhile, and within the metaconcept of the overall game, an added fun.

Because of the tweaks and RP choices of the war cleric, that character may underperform slightly. But he certainly holds his own and has a lot of moments when he nails the character concept. So fun is had.

Now, frankly, I'm a really good DM. I get feedback all the time and it is not uncommon for a new player at the table to say something. You can call me arrogant for saying that. But, really, this point undermines my case. I pretty much completely mitigate C/MD. And the typical game is not going to be able to do that as I do. If Paizo were to use me as their benchmark, then the game would fail. 1E does not have a solution for C/MD for standard groups. 1E has no training wheels and lets you fail.

So I'm not disputing anyone else claim of C/MD. I fully concede it. But it can be overcome. And with experience every DM will get better and better at it. Lowering the upper limits of what the game can achieve will only make the game have less long term appeal.

Which also isn't to say that there isn't room for improvement. Again, 5E proves that. But you are not going to contribute to that solution by going way too far. If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Yeah, sure, expecting the DM to tell the story, run NPCs, set the mood, know the ruleset better than anyone at the table, select the music, resolve conflict, manage combat, make notes, remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again is everything so little expecting the DM to handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design is small potatoes.

I mean, after all, it doesn't matter how much skill, energy and time the game requires to run. It's 1979 and there's nothing quite similar on the market.


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Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Yeah, sure, expecting the DM to tell the story, run NPCs, set the mood, know the ruleset better than anyone at the table, select the music, resolve conflict, manage combat, make notes, remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again is everything so little expecting the DM to handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design is small potatoes.

I mean, after all, it doesn't matter how much skill, energy and time the game requires to run. It's 1979 and there's nothing quite similar on the market.

If you feel that you have described a reasonable equivalent to "If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table", then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

If you were intentionally being absurd, then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
BryonD wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Yeah, sure, expecting the DM to tell the story, run NPCs, set the mood, know the ruleset better than anyone at the table, select the music, resolve conflict, manage combat, make notes, remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again is everything so little expecting the DM to handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design is small potatoes.

I mean, after all, it doesn't matter how much skill, energy and time the game requires to run. It's 1979 and there's nothing quite similar on the market.

If you feel that you have described a reasonable equivalent to "If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table", then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

If you were intentionally being absurd, then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

I wasn't absurd. Angel Summoner/BMX Bandit happens every time you have a highly competent optimizing full caster player and a person who rolled a Rogue and doesn't optimize at all.

If it's on the GM to handle that, like it is in PF1, then the only natural consequence is that people will drift away to a game which doesn't feature such expectations from the GM becuse the ruleset isn't as prone to gaps in optimization. Hello, 5E.

And yes, I have had AS/BMB situations at my table. I'd rather not have to spend my energy and time making up for legacy errors of 3.5e design. I expect the ruleset to allow people to create PCs within a modest spectrum of differences in power level and 3.5/PF1 woefully fails at that.


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I mean "making the game easier to run for the GM" by reducing or eliminating problems which repeatedly crop up at the systematic level is a really good thing to do in a new edition.

Liberty's Edge

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A good GM familiar with the rules can fix almost any system enough to be playable...but it's a job of work. Good systems minimize this work to the extent they can manage, and allow GMs who are inexperienced or only mediocre at the rules to run good games. That's sort of what makes them good, well-designed, games.

The attitude that because a GM can theoretically fix something the system should not do so is incorrect, unpleasant, and detrimental to good game design. Which is why I'm very glad the folks at Paizo clearly do not share it.


Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
BryonD wrote:
If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table, the the DM needs to improve and you won't fix that by changing the mechanics.

Yeah, sure, expecting the DM to tell the story, run NPCs, set the mood, know the ruleset better than anyone at the table, select the music, resolve conflict, manage combat, make notes, remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again is everything so little expecting the DM to handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design is small potatoes.

I mean, after all, it doesn't matter how much skill, energy and time the game requires to run. It's 1979 and there's nothing quite similar on the market.

If you feel that you have described a reasonable equivalent to "If Angel Summoner BMX bandit is happening at your table", then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

If you were intentionally being absurd, then I don't think your assessment is going to be very helpful.

I wasn't absurd. Angel Summoner/BMX Bandit happens every time you have a highly competent optimizing full caster player and a person who rolled a Rogue and doesn't optimize at all.

If it's on the GM to handle that, like it is in PF1, then the only natural consequence is that people will drift away to a game which doesn't feature such expectations from the GM becuse the ruleset isn't as prone to gaps in optimization. Hello, 5E.

And yes, I have had AS/BMB situations at my table. I'd rather not have to spend my energy and time making up for legacy errors of 3.5e design. I expect the ruleset to allow people to create PCs within a modest spectrum of differences in power level and 3.5/PF1 woefully fails at that.

Imagine that Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit approach the drug dealers' secret headquarters while discussing their strategy as usual, and the dealers ambush them. They duck down behind a concrete barrier to hide from a hail of bullets.

BMX BANDIT: Summon some angels to save us!
ANGEL SUMMONER: I can't. I need to stand, raise my staff, and chant for 20 seconds to summon the angels. I will be dead before I finish.
BMX BANDIT: Well, that sucks.
ANGEL SUMMONER: If you distract them for 20 seconds, then I can manage it.
BMX BANDIT: Right. A few wheelies, some unexpected swerves, yes, BMX is about spectacle. I can buy you 20 seconds.
ANGEL SUMMONER: You are the only one who can save the day.

My Rise of the Rulelords game ran with a highly optimized battle oracle, a mediocre wizard, a scout bard, a support bard, and two rogues. The oracle was unstoppable once she buffed herself. She worked in a team with the rogues: they attacked at high initiative to distract and soften up the opponents while the oracle took two turns to buff herself.

As for the GM's duties:
Tell the story - I described the setting. The players created the story.
Run NPCs - Yes, I did that.
Set the mood - Not my job.
Know the ruleset better than anyone at the table - True, but my wife, who was a player, usually took the task of advising others on the rules.
Select the music - No music. One other player cooked dinner, does that count? He is a very good cook.
Resolve conflict - Resolving out-of-game disagreements was everyone's job.
Manage combat - In-game conflict, yes, I explained the results of dice rolls. Most of the work was running the hostile NPCs, which is already on this list.
Make notes - I have kept written chronicles as a player. The only notes I took as a GM were during the playtest so that I could write up the playtest session in this forum.
Remember that 3 years ago IRL time John the shy player interacted with the merchant he's now meeting again - Yeah, what's with those players forgetting such vital details? Seriously, one reason I use Paizo modules is so that most vital details are already in written form.
Handle balance and make up for deficiencies in rules design - Bwahaha, my players do that for me. They deliberately avoid messing up the game. My players are great.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

A good GM familiar with the rules can fix almost any system enough to be playable...but it's a job of work. Good systems minimize this work to the extent they can manage, and allow GMs who are inexperienced or only mediocre at the rules to run good games. That's sort of what makes them good, well-designed, games.

The attitude that because a GM can theoretically fix something the system should not do so is incorrect, unpleasant, and detrimental to good game design. Which is why I'm very glad the folks at Paizo clearly do not share it.

I cannot favorite this enough. I despise the dismissive argument of "well, the GM can fix it" for this very reason.

Remember kids, any time a GM spends making their game not dysfunctional is time they aren't spending making their game great.


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BMX Bandit serving a minor role for 20 seconds in a very contrived situation does not make for a satisfying role. It means they got to be mildly useful for not even a minute while still being way less important than Angel Summoner. And it still relies on Angel Summoner not just finding a way to do it by themselves anyways.

I fail to see why that situation is desirable, or how deliberately removing things that prevent that situation will make the game better. It seems kind of like a bit of an unproductive tangent. If you don't think C/MD needed addressing, then the rest of PF2 is very unlikely to be appealing to you in general, and I don't see how arguing about things that are foundational goals of the system is going to make things any better. Paizo found it important to address, explicitly stated that as a goal of the new edition, there's an audience that felt it needed addressing, and I doubt those who felt it wasn't that important to address will mind it that much if they were interested in PF2's other changes to begin with. It's a bit like complaining about how FATE has all these narratively-focused elements; at that point you're just arguing against a popular system's very premise, and the most you'll accomplish is decide that the system isn't for you.


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Snowblind wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

A good GM familiar with the rules can fix almost any system enough to be playable...but it's a job of work. Good systems minimize this work to the extent they can manage, and allow GMs who are inexperienced or only mediocre at the rules to run good games. That's sort of what makes them good, well-designed, games.

The attitude that because a GM can theoretically fix something the system should not do so is incorrect, unpleasant, and detrimental to good game design. Which is why I'm very glad the folks at Paizo clearly do not share it.

I cannot favorite this enough. I despise the dismissive argument of "well, the GM can fix it" for this very reason.

Remember kids, any time a GM spends making their game not dysfunctional is time they aren't spending making their game great.

"Dysfunctional" is subjective. I'm sure most of the people complaining about +level to everything find it more "dysfunctional" than 3.Ps issues, that have likely already been solved via houserules 10+ years in the making.


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How is a system with 10+ years of houserules better than anything? Isn’t that definitive proof that it’s terrible? Honestly to me the definition of a good system is one where you don’t need houserules. The entire point is in the very word SYSTEM. A uniform set of rules that people from different groups can follow so that there is minimal deviation when they meet. That is why the industry for making these games exists and if these companies work it so that the GM has little or nothing to fix the GM is more likely to run the game and more people will pay for it. I don’t know about others but one of the worst things for me when I join a new TTRPG group is having to learn a whole new set of houserules that can vary wildly.


thflame wrote:
Snowblind wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

A good GM familiar with the rules can fix almost any system enough to be playable...but it's a job of work. Good systems minimize this work to the extent they can manage, and allow GMs who are inexperienced or only mediocre at the rules to run good games. That's sort of what makes them good, well-designed, games.

The attitude that because a GM can theoretically fix something the system should not do so is incorrect, unpleasant, and detrimental to good game design. Which is why I'm very glad the folks at Paizo clearly do not share it.

I cannot favorite this enough. I despise the dismissive argument of "well, the GM can fix it" for this very reason.

Remember kids, any time a GM spends making their game not dysfunctional is time they aren't spending making their game great.

"Dysfunctional" is subjective. I'm sure most of the people complaining about +level to everything find it more "dysfunctional" than 3.Ps issues, that have likely already been solved via houserules 10+ years in the making.

Maybe. Maybe not. But that isn't the point Deadmanwalking was trying to make. The point is that burdening the GM with fixing system bugs is actively making that GM's life harder and their game worse, which is literally the exact opposite of what good game design is meant to achieve. Thus, little nuggets like "the gm should git gud" have absolutely no place in a discussion about game design.

Liberty's Edge

thflame wrote:
"Dysfunctional" is subjective. I'm sure most of the people complaining about +level to everything find it more "dysfunctional" than 3.Ps issues, that have likely already been solved via houserules 10+ years in the making.

Sure 'dysfunctional' is somewhat subjective, but that's not what either Snowblind or I are talking about in the posts you quote. We're arguing with people who say 'The GM can just fix that' about problems with a game system, not about any specific problem.

The fact that a GM can fix problems does not make them not problems.

EDIT: Ninja'd by Snowblind. Who probably said it better, too. So yeah, I'm in agreement with Snowblind here.


Raylyeh wrote:
How is a system with 10+ years of houserules better than anything? Isn’t that definitive proof that it’s terrible? Honestly to me the definition of a good system is one where you don’t need houserules. The entire point is in the very word SYSTEM. A uniform set of rules that people from different groups can follow so that there is minimal deviation when they meet. That is why the industry for making these games exists and if these companies work it so that the GM has little or nothing to fix the GM is more likely to run/pay for the game. I don’t know about others but one of the worst things for me when I join a new TTRPG group is having to learn a whole new set of houserules that can vary wildly.

No system is perfect for everyone, therefore, there will be houserules. Systems that ARE terrible don't get houserules, because nobody plays them.

Unless you plan on only playing in PFS, you are GOING to run into houserules.

My point is that if PF1 is easier to houserule into an enjoyable game than PF2, then people will continue to play PF1 with houserules.

People who are vocal about the flaws of PF2 are probably in the boat of "I'd rather houserule PF1." What helps PF1, is that we have has over 10 years of experience making and playing with houserules, and most of us don't have trouble dealing with them, because we are used to them.

Generally speaking, most houserules are fairly simple and easy to pick up quickly (because if they weren't, people would just play other games) if not near universal.


Yeah I get it. I’m the oddball that hates houserule documents. I guess I’m just lucky that most of my group generally agree and while my GM technically has a PF document only about 1 in 4 games we play is PF.

Though I would like to note that there ARE a large number of good systems that do not need any house rules whatsoever. I mostly only notice houserules for systems that have completely different mechanics between characters and usually are also math heavy. So you know, the D20 systems.


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I mean, I've been playing PF1 for over 3 years, I've implemented and tested many houserules and frankly things still aren't to my precise liking despite loving the system on the whole.

I played the Playtest for ~4 months, was happier overall with it than with PF1, and put together a single thread on houserules with which I feel PF2 is closer to ideal for me than PF1 is after 3 years.

Not to mention that PF2 Playtest out of the box is simpler and less time-consuming to prep and run (Judging by smoothnesss of running DD and ease of the homebrew campaign plans I am working on) than thoroughly-houseruled PF1.

I know people's mileage may vary, but I feel this is a pretty strong example of what is being stated here about functionality and ease of use and allowing the GM to better utilize their time.


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To put it another way, saying "We've (Insert kinda, mostly, or somewhere in between depending on the individual group's experiences) fixed it over the course of 10 years" isn't exactly a glowing endorsement of a system's merits, ESPECIALLY if you are looking to entice newcomers or people who find PF1 to still have issues, especially when compared to a system that overall would require a lot less tweaking to make work great and which typically works MUCH better at its base without said tweaking.

Even the main complaints of people who are vocally against this game are mostly fairly easy to tweak out, certainly when compared to the tweaking a lot of people have had to apply to PF1.


Helmic wrote:
BMX Bandit serving a minor role for 20 seconds in a very contrived situation does not make for a satisfying role. It means they got to be mildly useful for not even a minute while still being way less important than Angel Summoner. And it still relies on Angel Summoner not just finding a way to do it by themselves anyways.

The comedy sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look is a contrived situation to begin with, as is common for comedy sketches. Why does Angel Summoner team up with the BMX Bandit when he can handle everything alone? In the skit, Robert Webb as BMX Bandit outlines how he could handle the situation with his BMX biking skills before David Mitchell as Angel Summoner simply summons angels to solve the problem. They are never caught off guard. Perhaps the Angel Summoner is slow and needs a bodyguard whenever he cannot summon angels in advance. I tried to write it up as a funny dialog, but I am not as funny as Mitchell and Webb.

Then in the next paragraph, I gave a situation from a real game where a powerful full caster had teamed up effectively with two rogues. This was not a mere 20 seconds. This was almost every battle from 8th level to 16th level.

I also remember a Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, 3rd Edition, where the party had to stop a demon who took over a sacred site. The demon had surrounded the area with a wall of giant active tentacles. L5R characters are pretty much badass humans with few unworldly powers. My wife's shugenja character was one of the rare characters with extreme magic. She had a spell that could clear a 50-foot wide hole in the wall by purifying the area of all demonic substance, but it took six rounds to cast and was centered on her. The job of the rest of us was to give her 6 rounds of uninterrupted spellcasting in an attack zone. Being slow can be a balancing factor on a wizard.

Helmic wrote:
... If you don't think C/MD needed addressing, then the rest of PF2 is very unlikely to be appealing to you in general, and I don't see how arguing about things that are foundational goals of the system is going to make things any better.

I am unqualified to address the Caster/Martial Disparity because my players solved it for me. They did not like it, so they adjusted the power levels by their own choices. Likewise, when the Advanced Player's Guide was released, I played an alchemist. His bomb abilities were especially useful against the opponents in the campaign, mostly mobs of 1st-level mooks, while the fighter was underpowered. My alchemist began mixing up infusions to enhance the fighter in order to balance the game.

PF2 would be better without the disparity, but I know that the GM is not the sole person correcting that flaw in PF1.


I would also like to note that one of the major reasons I am leery of houserules is that for every GM I’ve met who works within the system to put things on a level playing field or reasonably fix a broken mechanic, I’ve met 3 who just makes them because they “felt like it” for one reason or another with no consideration or care of balance or the rest of the system.

I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here. I’m just pointing out something I’ve noticed in my nearly 20 years of gaming and that I think it’s more of a problem than a perk.


Raylyeh wrote:

I would also like to note that one of the major reasons I am leery of houserules is that for every GM I’ve met who works within the system to put things on a level playing field or reasonably fix a broken mechanic, I’ve met 3 who just makes them because they “felt like it” for one reason or another with no consideration or care of balance or the rest of the system.

I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here. I’m just pointing out something I’ve noticed in my nearly 20 years of gaming and that I think it’s more of a problem than a perk.

Huh, that's unfortunate. I can't really speak to that because I've only ever had 4 different GMs (And one of those was 5e while another was for a scant few sessions). But then again thinking on that I can see it.

One of those GMs (The 5e one) really didn't seem to mind homebrewing OP nonsense (I swear, I ended up with one a seriously broken 5e Sorcerer without really even trying. It got worse when I got bored and DID start trying. There was a Deck of Many Things involved and I lucked out beyond belief.) but never really did much of anything that felt like a proper challenge to the party.

Another tended to blow up the WBL and incorporate Templates and stuff and things just got nuts and again it was rarely properly challenging (I always ended up with a very broken Battle Cleric in his games).

Another didn't do a lot of houseruling and was generally conservative about such things, if he did custom stuff it was mainly done through the avenues of the rules. He didn't know the rules all that well sometimes but it wasn't often a big issue. I suppose a lot of the issues in that campaign were more that I had a much higher degree of system mastery than the other players. I was often asked to help people level up their characters because of this...

And the last one is much more knowledgeable on the rules than any of the others and keeps a careful eye on houserules for balance with the ever-present caveat that if something goes south it may be changed.

So yeah, I mean it's a small sample size of 4 GMs but there is a hefty percentage of houseruling and homebrewing without proper regulation.

For my part I do houserule a lot in PF1 but when I do it's with the goal of making things more fun for my players without screwing up the game and/or to correct areas where I find imbalance. There's been trial and error with my houserules but if something is failing I'm not gonna just leave it.

I recently drafted up a thread on my houserules for PF2 Playtest and they are pretty much universally to tweak balance or fix inconsistencies or to add depth to or make more interesting the few things I think need work while trying to avoid making any great shift in power. Some nice toys are granted to players, but when they are it's in the realm of versatility over power primarily, or in making nonviable things viable. And as ever the "Only if this works in play as it does in my head" caveat holds. XD

I mean, nothing about this too much changes your experiences or anything, I just wanted to share my own limited experience with GMs and of my own GMing style.

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