Ah lads, it's not all that bad, now


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm just asking for a flamewar, but it's a point I think is worth putting out: most TTRPG fans I play with are extremely excited for PF2, including ones who were negative about PF1. The way some of you on the forums go on, you'd think Paizo were on a kamikaze mission into a volcano at night with no fuel left in the tank, but PF2 has some pretty innovative and revolutionary ideas that modernise the D20 system in a good way! Here's a few things the two DND 5e groups (about a total of 7 others) I play with who honest-to-Iomedae avoided Pathfinder until a few months ago had to say about PF2- and yes, they've played PF1, since I bullied them into it!

-UTEML is extremely welcomed by them, especially in its current state. They like the higher numbers at higher levels, because it gives a sense of genuine power, which is something PF's always been about. Previous versions (Level-4 specifically) didn't get them so jazzed, but 1.7's numbers certainly did!

-Classes have a stronger identity than they ever did in either PF1 or 5e. Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak. Rangers are hunters, whether they track animals or do mercenary bounty work. Bards CAN be musical fools, or they can be mysterious esoterics of forbidden knowledge. Sorcerers are wild cards with potent power in their veins. It /feels/ right, and plays that way too. And the class feat diversity allows you to build and specialize a story character, not just a combat flowchart. I know some tweaks in classes would be optimal, but I'd personally take a PF2 Paladin over a 5e one any day.

-The Magic Traditions are much better and flavourful than spell lists for each class. The lack of level 6 casters and the presence of level 10 spells was also praised.

-Weapon Runes were seen as a fantastic idea to keep martials on level with casters.

-The three action system and the flow of combat was quick, fun, and easy to use.

Overall, they're pretty positive about everything so far- and as someone who's been GM'ing for nearly 2 years now every weekend, often multiple times a week, I think PF2 is a vast improvement over PF1. Sure, there's nostalgia, and sure, there's a lot of options we won't have at launch; but frankly, the game has all the good parts of PF and none of the drag and clunk inherent to a 3.5 clone on steroids. I should add, the players above are not my only players- the group of PF regulars I've been doing the 2 years of GM'ing for weren't keen on Doomsday Dawn, but the second I threw them into the Kingmaker conversion I made for them, they immediately and utterly preferred it to 1e. Likewise, the 5e groups weren't ALL positive about PF2, but their complaints were ones that were shrugged out of the game regardless, like resonance and signature skills.

The TL;DR is you lads need to remember that it's a remake of a 10 year old game; it won't be the exact same as the original, but frankly, it runs better and smoother, and while being sad it's moving on is understandable, nothing can stay the same forever- and if PF needs to change to attract a modern audience in the Streaming generation of TTRPG, I'd reckon PF2 is doing a stellar job at it!


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I mean it basically happens that way. The asking for the flamewar. While I'm not trying to stoke the fires myself, my own experiences during the playtest paint a different game. One I'm not interested in picking up, I'm just here to see the discussions. Maybe see what the fully finished book looks like but I stress this; I see no reason to switch.

-Classes have a stronger identity, only if you pick them. You're given half an identity and told to fill in the rest. Some like this, others don't. I'm in the don't.

- I prefer spell lists myself. Or at the very least, some spells being class restricted. I feel having some spells locked to some classes helps create a sense of difference in what each class does/can do/feels.

- Weapon Runes...., okay I like this. I usually play with ABP so thinking how to port runes back but this isn't a bad idea. Kinda dislike you are fully required to have runes due to the damage.

- Three actions, where 2 of them matter. Which was usually walk up and swing, or double swing. My groups didn't see much use for the third action and when they did it felt more like a 'swift' action than a full fledged extra action.

It's a remake of a 10 year old game. But at the same time, I see and have played with nothing that makes me think "I should switch over". I also see nothing in this that makes it more likely to attract Streaming gen.

Now these are my experiences and thoughts, they don't devalue yours or anyones. Or makes it so yours didn't happen. But PF1 works for me, PF2 seems to try and fix things I've never had a problem with, and I'll have to relearn a system with those new fixed issues in. And if my group has to jump to a new system, we're going to Shadowrun just for something fully new.

Lantern Lodge

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PF2 paladin over 5e paladin? Lol 5e paladin’s are practically gods in both the defense and offensive department.

I beg to differ about innovation. Almost all the mechanics in PF2 are derived from previous mainstream systems (d&d 4e and Star Wars Saga being the prime ones). In those cases pretty much all the problems (players on treadmill, arbitrary monster/npc/skill DC, etc) transfered over. The three “innovative” ideas are the three action system, skill proficient naming structures, and +10/-10 crit. All of these are a source of major problems in the system.

The three action requires single attacks to deal more damage to scale with hp. So far they have weapon runes to do this which not only makes a high magic setting mandatory, it also makes monster damage scaling for no in-world reason. Also presents issues for disarm balancing. Math around iterative attacks gets wonky as less AC means you’re prone to more attacks and more crits.

Naming skills legendary - untrained makes little sense in a d20 system where your number denotes how proficient you are. It would be much simpler to just use the normally trained / untrained. Maybe it could work for feat gating but there is talk of also gating uses of the skill behind what rank you are. So a legendary can attempt checks a trained couldn’t despite the possibility of them being the same numerical bonus. So now DMs have to come up with a DC for a skill and remember if a player can even attempt it in the first place. Or try and arbitrate for instances that aren’t defined. The skill system also suffers from a built in treadmill requiring the DM to change the narrative to match DC or have no grounding for static DC. Also, it’s strange that only a fighter can become legendary with a weapon, there are no legendary users of light armor, armor proficiency is baked into class features.

The +10/-10 crit system requires the math to be tight across the board or else the game becomes swing central. It is probably the main problem on the system as it affects other things (such as no legendary light armor users because math). If you pit players against level -4 it’s laughable and level +4 practically unwinnable. This transfers over to skills as well. It makes the verisimilitude in the world fall apart. Some of this is a legacy issue from PF1 but the +10/-10 excacerbates it.

Oh I forgot resonance which was innovative but so bad it got scrapped. I actually think the drive to be innovative is hurting PF2. As keeping these in place is hurting the system and I can only wonder if other devs tried the same thing but ultimately left them out because they don’t work well in a d20 system.

A good thing is transferring weapon runes but this has been a houserule at many tables. But it’s good to see a system adopt that from the get go.


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UTEML has the issue of thereby making it so people who aren't trained in a skill a complete liability at the endgame. No training in Athletics or Acrobatics equates to auto-crits on maneuvers compared to potentially missing regular attacks. Sounds silly there, among other places.

Classes might have a stronger identity, but also remember that it makes them less dynamic as there is less customization to work with. This can be remedied some with splatbooks and hardcover releases, but truthfully, the classes as they stand are very shoehorn-y, and the "paths" each class has is a prime example of that.

I do like some changes to the spellcasting, but not the others, most notably Divine spellcasting getting the shaft. Also, a lot of people whom played PF1 will tell you that the 6-level spellcasting classes were some of the best (as well as most well-rounded and strongest) classes ever created by Paizo, and will fight you tooth and nail over that. Different strokes and stuff.

Weapon Runes are a very contentious thing on the forums. From my experience, it gravely shifts the value of magic weapons from "neat but not required" to "not having this means you lose this encounter." This makes backup weapons worthless, and it promotes the same paradigm of PF1, where you get one weapon, sink everything into that weapon, and that's it. Plus, RNG like that means a creature or PC can do damage anywhere from 20 to 80 per attack. That big of a swing in damage is pretty unhealthy, and greatly outweighs anything a single D20 can do, which is both unfair, and honestly not very exciting. Yes, math suggests the average being most likely, but outliers can and do exist, and I have seen them in gameplay numerous times a session.

I will say the bare bones are there, but we need more sinews and flesh to make it work and pass for humanity.


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Yeah, I agree with the OP pretty, well, my own experiences and opinions on the Playtest are much the same.


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The mechanics dont fit my groups preferences, so we are unlikely to adopt PF2. My issues have been covered by other posters. Not all that bad, but not particularly great either.

Liberty's Edge

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It continues to amuse me when people act like it is even REMOTELY reasonable to judge 2E based on the Playtest Materials.

They even explicit stated that the reason most of the content that DID get released, is so they could test the most experimental and innovative design changes they'd been mulling over.

I would bet my hat that at LEAST 50% of the PF2 Core Book Content is going to DRASTICALLY different than what we were testing the last several months. To assume you even have the slightest inkling of how it is going to play at the game table based on the PT is not only arrogant, it's ignorant of the facts that "The Golem" has already come out on several occasions to note that some of the biggest features are either getting scrapped, SERIOUSLY changed, or replaced with something that makes more sense.

The PF2 we see in August will likely bear a resemblance to the PT materials, but not more than they do share it with PF1st Ed.

Exo-Guardians

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I wish I had more marshmallows, I could make s’mores off the impending flame war/ hate fest about yo happen. Anyway, I like the system and will be looking forward to August.

Carry on.


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My thing with it is, if you were a big fan of PF1 and basically wanted PF2 to be that with some more rough edges filed off and a few basic problems fixed and addressed then you will be sorely disappointed.

That was where I ultimately fell, and I learned about myself as a gamer and table top player. Pathfinder 2 is unlikely to be a game I play, unless they radically change things from the how they were in the play test. But I also understand they can't please everyone, and I still have PF1 to play to my heart's content.

While I don't care for PF2 personally, I hope for Paizo's sake it sells well to keep the lights on.


Claxon wrote:

My thing with it is, if you were a big fan of PF1 and basically wanted PF2 to be that with some more rough edges filed off and a few basic problems fixed and addressed then you will be sorely disappointed.

That was where I ultimately fell, and I learned about myself as a gamer and table top player. Pathfinder 2 is unlikely to be a game I play, unless they radically change things from the how they were in the play test. But I also understand they can't please everyone, and I still have PF1 to play to my heart's content.

While I don't care for PF2 personally, I hope for Paizo's sake it sells well to keep the lights on.

Yeah, I can understand that. I am a fan of PF1, but what I wanted to see from 2e was a LOT more than just some filing and tidying. And that's what the PPT gave me so I' a pretty happy camper. I would have been disappointed if the new edition were TOO much like PF1, but that's just my stance as yours is yours.


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Themetricsystem wrote:

It continues to amuse me when people act like it is even REMOTELY reasonable to judge 2E based on the Playtest Materials.

They even explicit stated that the reason most of the content that DID get released, is so they could test the most experimental and innovative design changes they'd been mulling over.

I would bet my hat that at LEAST 50% of the PF2 Core Book Content is going to DRASTICALLY different than what we were testing the last several months. To assume you even have the slightest inkling of how it is going to play at the game table based on the PT is not only arrogant, it's ignorant of the facts that "The Golem" has already come out on several occasions to note that some of the biggest features are either getting scrapped, SERIOUSLY changed, or replaced with something that makes more sense.

The PF2 we see in August will likely bear a resemblance to the PT materials, but not more than they do share it with PF1st Ed.

A building with a poor foundation is one less likely to sell for the money the owner is asking simply because there will need to be work done to make the building respectable, which has a cost. In this case, time and hard work, which is something that people don't (always) want to do, and has been a design goal of PF2 to achieve; less time consuming preparation.

Saying the PF2 playtest is not something to judge the future product off of is a disingenuous argument because it is paradoxical. If the PF2 playtest isn't applicable to the final product, then testing isn't likely to be helpful or useful simply because the merits of the playtest aren't applicable to the elements of the final product. Apples to oranges and all that. Similarly, if the argument is the inverse, then you defeat your own point by saying the PF2 playtest doesn't affect the final product, since in this case the feedback does play a part in its development, and therefore will still have playtest elements involved.

I do appreciate we're optimistic about the release, but I'd prefer not using paradoxical Schrodinger arguments as a means of stemming optimism.


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I am certainly looking forward to the final release. I may not ultimately play it too often if they don't fix the customization bottleneck in a way I find interesting, though.

I am kind of in a situation where I have not had a "main" system for a few years now. And really, Pathfinder was the last "main' system that I ever had. I was hoping that the new Pathfinder would be deep enough that I could get lost in it for a while, but as it stands, it may just be another game in my fantasy game rotation (along with stuff like 5e, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Song of Swords, Warhammer Fantasy 4e, Iron Kingdoms etc. etc.)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Same for my group (and I am an avid supporter of PF1. Up until Starfinder came out it was the only fantasy system that I would run) everyone loved all the broad stroke mechanical foundations the playtest laid out. We didn't like specifics (choosing skills feats in the long gap between Master and Legendary felt like a slog for my wife's rogue) but as more content is produced that will become less of an issue for us (there being less than exciting skill feats because less of a problem with every exciting skill feat printed afterall, same for stuff like low level Paladin options.)

As a GM who homebrewed nearly 75% of the setting content for his games, I am incredibly glad for the simplified GM tools PF2 is set to have. If I can stat up a high level monster as fast as I can in Starfinder (though hopefully a bit less wonky) then I've gained 30 minutes to work on descriptions, fun environments, npc voices etc for every creature higher than level 8.


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I tell my wife that I join in on flamewars in these forums. My wife tells me, "No, Erin, what you call a flamewar, other people call a polite discussion about a disagreement." Let's continue with the polite discussion!

Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
They like the higher numbers at higher levels, because it gives a sense of genuine power, which is something PF's always been about."

Yes, the characters in PF2 gain power faster with level than the characters in PF1. Since Zimeye's players view Pathfinder as about feeling the power, that is to their good. To my players, Pathfinder has been about customizing characters. The power in PF2 is not as customizable as the power in PF1.

Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Classes have a stronger identity than they ever did in either PF1 or 5e. Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak. Rangers are hunters, whether they track animals or do mercenary bounty work. Bards CAN be musical fools, or they can be mysterious esoterics of forbidden knowledge. Sorcerers are wild cards with potent power in their veins."

I don't see how that makes identity stronger. Consider my wife's characters (I was the GM and had no PF2 characters).

- Her goblin mindquake-survivor paladin of Alseta in The Lost Star was a hospice knight. His day job was orderly in a hospice where the clerics were fond of him but paid him little respect. He wanted to guide goblins to becoming civilized folk, for Alseta is the goddess of transitions.
- Her human nomad barbarian in In Pale Mountain's Shadow was a mountain climber. Her tribe lived in the mountains, guided by Mountain Lore and Superstition, and she relied on both codes of conduct in her missions.
- Her elf noble bard in Affair at Sombrefell Hall was a patron of the arts and an occult detective in Ustalav. She heard that her cousins were seeking out a professor who had mysteriously gone on a rest cure, and decided that she would sponsor the soothing medicine and rest, and check out this mystery in case it was sinister.

Compare this to Pathfinder 1st Edition.
- Her dwarf gunslinger in Iron Gods was a skymetal smith. She had helped save the town when its blazing smelting torch went out and then she had to find the ultimate cause, learning more about alien technology at every locale.
- Her human ninja in Jade Regent was serving her clan. She had traveled to another continent, found the lost heir of the royal family her clan once served, and swore to guard that heir on the return trip to restore that family and the fortunes of her clan.
- Her halfling sorcerer in The Serpent's Skull was a lab experiment. Fused with eldritch substances, her aberrant bloodline let her fight for survival in the most unlikely of places, which was fine with her because she never had a peaceful home.
- Her halfling cavalier in an unnamed campaign was a hero. Transported to a distant colony because he was penniless, he banded with fellow transportees to battle crime and find hope in this new land.
- Her lyrakein bard in Rise of the Runelords was Desna's servant. She was officially on vacation in Golarion to avoid trouble between the gods, but unofficially she had to guide an unruly group of adventurers to the right place at the right time to save the world, while relaxing as a vacationer should.

I don't see the difference, except the PF2 Ancestry-Background-Class descriptions are more amusing. I consider this good, because it means my wife can have the same fun in PF2 as in PF1.

Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
The three action system and the flow of combat was quick, fun, and easy to use.

I agree with Zimeye there. In contrast, when Paizo moved up to exploration mode for PF2, they failed at quick, at fun, and at easy to use.

Liberty's Edge

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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

A building with a poor foundation is one less likely to sell for the money the owner is asking simply because there will need to be work done to make the building respectable, which has a cost. In this case, time and hard work, which is something that people don't (always) want to do, and has been a design goal of PF2 to achieve; less time consuming preparation.

I think my point sailed past your side and missed your AC so I guess I should reroll.

They were testing new crazy concrete mix prototypes with the Playtest so they could find the problems, flaws, and discontinuity therein. We got to see a TON of stuff, much of which fluctuated week to week that was for just that purpose, to test that "mix."

The insights that can be gained from an organized test of different components that need work is universally helpful to inform the final product. I personally, am glad that we got to beat the life and undeath out of Resonance with the PT because I sure wouldn't have been happy to see it printed this August.

I have no idea what you mean when you say "respectable" when it comes to game design, that's a personal preference kind of thing that I wouldn't even attempt TAC attacks against.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
If the PF2 playtest isn't applicable to the final product, then testing isn't likely to be helpful or useful simply because the merits of the playtest aren't applicable to the elements of the final product.

I think maybe this is another misinterpretation, likely my own fault.

I was essentially noting that it gives me the giggles when assumptions are made to the effect of "it works like this in the PT and it's wrong and will kill my enjoyment... because..."

The PT surveys, results, forum feedback, and their own internal games, theorycrafting, and spreadsheets are all tools they're going to use to reshape the Core Rules for PF2. These are all HUGE contributions, probably even TOO much information to be of good use in fact.

It is all going to hammer towards making a fun game, that is the main goal I am confident of that. Their degree of success however will remain to be seen, but I've learned to trust the Golem and his creative decisions over the last decade.

In all, the PT Rules that were provided only represent about 1/2 -2/3 of the total NET sum of what the final PF2 Rules will entail. I have NO DOUBT that there will be systems that were in the PT that will disappear overnight, some that will be reprinted (Almost) as-is, and even more that will still be present but significantly changed, and this applies even to the "preview" content JB and the rest of the Dev team have shown us/leaked.

This however is all from my own personal perspective. I know there are few other gamers out there who are far less patient, understanding, forgiving, or easy to please than I personally am.

Spoiler:
That being said, I will be devastated if Dinosaur Fort doesn't make it into the CRB.


I mean, I just started lurking in the Starfinder forums as we're going to start playing that soon and it's interesting to me how many things in Starfinder are familiar to me from the playtest and how the community has just adapted to them even if they could have been better (in some cases the PF playtest *has* a better version of the rule.)

So I figure everything is going to be fine.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, I just started lurking in the Starfinder forums as we're going to start playing that soon and it's interesting to me how many things in Starfinder are familiar to me from the playtest and how the community has just adapted to them even if they could have been better (in some cases the PF playtest *has* a better version of the rule.)

So I figure everything is going to be fine.

the complete lack of "+level to everything" in SF is certainly a great start.


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Unless the final product is very different from the playtest, (more like PF1) then I will likely pass.

I REALLY like customization and having your choices matter. PF2 doesn't have this. And no, I'm not comparing all of PF1's splatbooks with the playtest book. The playtest, even you look at it as a stripped down demo version of the game, has WAY too little customization. To e fair, the issue is actually the things that AREN'T customizable anymore, by design.

As far as choices mattering, 90% of your power growth is from +1/level that everyone gets, regardless of their choices. The new untrained changes help a bit, but it is still an issue. About half of your character's features are predetermined when you pick your class and race, and the other half are "meh".

I get why it's like this: If you could completely customize your character, you may not fill your appropriate roll as dictated by Paizo, and you might make choices that make your character too weak to contribute. But honestly, screw that. I'd rather play an unoptimized character build, where every choice I made was because i thought it fit the character, than play a cookie cutter build thrown at me, with a couple of feat choices that 90% of the players are going to make because they are no-brainers.

I like in 3.P that you can play a class with a stereotypical job and completely build your character for another purpose and still have a useful character that is interesting. PF2 doesn't do this.

I'm also not too keen on some of the design choices. Why are paladins the king of armor? That feels like fighter territory. As mentioned earlier, design choices like this make certain builds non-viable or, at least, extremely wasteful. (light/no armor paladin) Sorcerers don't feel like "sources" of magic. They literally feel like a cheap blank slate mage. So long as you are okay with utilizing the outdated Vancian magic system, the other casters are all better at their jobs than the respective bloodline sorcerer.

While the 3 action economy is easier to understand than 3.P's mixed action economy, I find that a lot of things just don't fit well into the new system. I feel like a lot of turns are going to go by where a player spends all of their actions just setting themselves up to do something cool the next turn, only to have that opportunity pass. Why do I have to burn actions fumbling with handedness of weapons? That's not fun.

+/-10 crit system is really cool, but it basically requires bounded accuracy to function well, and bounded accuracy goes hand in hand with limited choices. (Not to mention that 5e does it better.)

If I could sum up what I think the problem is with PF2 in one phrase, I'd say that it is a prime example of "one size fits all, doesn't". Too many systems and subsystems sound good on paper, but fall flat in general implementation.

Besides, I have been working on a home system that I'm pretty close to testing. No classes. Customization is king. Everything is a trade-off.


thflame wrote:
Besides, I have been working on a home system that I'm pretty close to testing. No classes. Customization is king. Everything is a trade-off.

Do you have any plans of showing any of this off online in the near or even distant future?


BryonD wrote:
]the complete lack of "+level to everything" in SF is certainly a great start.

I mean, except BAB, skills, stamina, HP, DCs, and saves the lack of auto-advancement is great!~

I mean, an operative with 10 Int is world class in 10 skills, whereas people here threw a fit for months because high level people used to be barely competent at untrained tasks.


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Yeah, I'm pretty excited, as long as they follow through on some of the promise of the new ideas. Skills having more epic high-level abilities associated with them (feats as in "actions of incredible skill" as well as the game mechanic feats) would be a good one. But every single design goal was, I think, a good one, and even if they didn't quite pull it off in some cases, that's just a matter of numbers tweaks.

I wouldn't touch 3.x/D20/PF with a ten-foot pole, at this point. Too much work to try to make an extremely broken engine work properly. There are better options for my time. Fantasy Craft, maybe, or, if PF2E continues on the way it seems to be going, that'll definitely be my fantasy game of choice.


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anyone who ever says " its not all that bad" is asking for it... not sure waht that it is though... might be a wining lotto ticket or a free doughnut... but not a free car from the price is right.

I dont see a reason to jump on PF2 either.
( the following is not a flame or an attack)
I knew months before Hwalsh left that he was going to leave over what became of the PAladin and a few days after wards I knew that I could get what I wanted out of the paladin and still not like and that I was not going to get pf2 either.( and no that is not because he said so, I knew that because of something I was saying but not posting on both accounts say foreshadowing or something) though I think he did say he was going to look at the end product.. could be wrong though.

cant speak for anyone other than me on whether or not that if the dont purchase pf2 rulebook if they'll support PAizo on any of the pf2 series books like the pf2 setting book.

the last I forsee myself getting will be the campaign setting book and not much else.

on many game forums they say the same things
you can play in any setting with any ruleset
( kind of interesting idea to play in golarion under the dark eye ruleset...)

if PF2 floats your boat than I'm happy for you, jsut know that as it stands now it isnt floating mine. wait and see the end product.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
I would bet my hat that at LEAST 50% of the PF2 Core Book Content is going to DRASTICALLY different than what we were testing the last several months.

So you're saying PF2 won't get any real public playtesting before release?

That's worrying.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I want to chime in here. I'm a big Pathfinder fan. I was excited by the announcement of the Pathfinder playtest. I preordered the rulebook and the adventure.

From everything I (thought) I heard this was going to be a Beta testing, with an actual adventure. Plus it was meant to answer one of my favorite mysteries, the countdown clock.

From the teaser blog posts it was apparent the system wouldn't be backwards compatible. Certainly not my preference but still pretty stoked.

Then I got the rulebook and the adventure. And it becomes obvious it's not a Beta test, rather it is what I'd consider a 'focus test' where a whole assorted number of 'brainstormed ideas' are put out for testing with a view to refining it further. The adventure wasn't what I would call a 'proper adventure' but rather a selection of (sometimes extreme) set pieces. Not something my players would enjoy.

Then the rulebook itself was dense, complex, subject to weekly updates, and there wasn't a player aid of "If you play PF1 here are the quickstart rules". I couldn't bring myself to learn a thick crunchy system well enough to teach 80% of my players (1 of the 5 read the rulebook) and then run an adventure that went against my preferred ethos of RPGs.

I will be honest: the adventure/rulebook purchase was the RPG purchase I am most disappointed in in my entire collection. I'm not angry or bitter, but I think was a disconnect between what I thought I'd get and what I got.

And from my lurking on these boards I don't think I am the only one. Is the system all that bad? No. Will it be a success, I can't tell. But I think there were mismatches between the teaser blogs and what was actually released.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My issue with any edition change is cost - I've played DnD since 1978 & still going strong but I stopped with 3.5 due to the mounting costs & having to re-learn a system because they threw the baby out with the bath water.

I subscribe to PF APs because they are a) generally well written b) easy to convert if it needs any at all c) reasonably priced. Being time poor due to work commitments this helps in my GM'ing role of 2 campaigns.

What I say to anyone playing any RPG is if your not having fun then why are you playing? Tabletop gaming is not computer gaming and is therefore extremely flexible in the outcomes that can be achieved.
I really wish game designers would actually remember this and not cater to make a tabletop game a computer game.

A rule I've always ascribed to with any RPG system I've played is if the 'rules' are not working for your group don't use them.

I know my group will not be using PF2 unless it is somehow/what compatible with PF1/3.5 - if not then we shall be keeping the baby in the bath.


I really like the bonus system regarding magic weapons. For every plus you get an extra weapon die. I find this fantastic :)


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I like the system. I don't like bits of it, but I like it.

The system can't possibly cater to everyone. I don't think easy backwards compatibility was ever going to be an option for a new edition of anything based on 3.5, 3.5 is just broken at its core. Conversion is certainly still possible, it's just going to take a lot of effort - efforts that I'm sure others will be putting out as they convert their copies of older AP's to the new system.

My take is that if you accept the fundamental goals of the new system, then it's worth paying attention to it. If you don't agree with the goals of the new system, there's not much that can be done to make the game appealing to you without making it incredibly unappealing to those Paizo is trying to reach, and you probably shouldn't expect the system to change in a way you'd prefer.

I like the goals of the new system because they address my problems with PF1, the problems that made me leave that system and go to 5e even though 5e isn't as crunchy as I'd like it to be. How martials play in particular is extremely satisfying, and the action system is incredibly fun and allows for each turn to feel satisfying. I know some people don't seem to quite "get" the system and seem disapointed that you can't do a standard Strike 3 times per turn, but I love that there's a reason to use your third action to do something like move, or if not that then to do something interesting other than a basic Strike. I love that mobility in general isn't a massive loss of damage.

I like how multiclassing works, even if I think certain dedications need rebalancing and that there should be more than one kind of dedication that can give you access to a particular class's feats.

My biggest complaints about PF2 had almost everything to do with the actual formatting of the PDF. The "ABC" system is cute, but by having players pick ancestry first it makes the entire process way more complex and confusing. Class has been picked first for ages, it should be assumed as the default first step because it is the most important decision that has the most influence on how a player will actually play the game and because it gives much easier guidance on how to create your character thanks to its level chart. Being able to have a checklist of things you need to do to create your character right there is so important to keep players from getting lost in such a crunchy system.

Finding information was hell, and it reminded me of the worst experiences playing PF1 and just not wanting to constantly look up the rule for how many times a player needs to wipe before their ass is clean, and how you can't ignore the rule because it's baked in the assumptions of feats and other subsystems so just deciding the player successfully wiped their ass might actually break the entire balance of the game. While PF2 does away with the complicated rules for intimidation and grappling and combat maneuvers in general and better yet makes it reasonable for non-specialists to try those things (being able to tell a player "yes you can do that" without them having taken a feat chain is so, so nice), it's laid out like hot ass so it's very easy to be blindsided with the fact that poison actually a page-long subsystem now. If you didn't read up on how it works beforehand you're going to have to stop everything while you sit and quietly read and try to parse out what the rules are.

Oh, that's if you can find the rules for it, because it's actually called "Afflictions" now and poison is just a subtype of it, so you 100% need to use the index instead of the chapter headers in your PDF reader. Weapons are under equipment, but how to upgrade equipment is under Treasure. Oh, snares are under treasure too for some reason.

The playtest 100% should have had alternative options to a PDF. ePUB at the least, a full-blown Paizo-maintained wiki would have been ideal. Multiple times I had players argue over rules and get confused because they were using the official PDF to look up a rule instead of the fan-made updated PDF on Reddit, forcing me as the GM to stop the game as I go to look up the rule myself to see which version being read is correct.

A wiki would have solved that, and there was something of a wiki that was fan-made that unfortunately didn't stay updated or accurate. A wiki lets me quickly search for a specific rule and get it immediately. A wiki lets me see commentary from Paizo in the sidebar explaining the intent of a rule or why something was changed. A wiki doesn't have to be super constrained in its formatting. A wiki can post a game term as a link, or let you hover over a term to get a quick definition. A wiki can be much more screen reader friendly, it can display properly on mobile devices, it can be always up-to-date with the latest changes, it's just so much more appropriate for a playtest that I wonder why they even bothered making a PDF or printed books given the sheer extent of the errata they'd be putting out. I think most people who bought the physical book would have been fine waiting a year to get the final version that won't be hopelessly outdated within two weeks because the Paladin and Alchemist had massive overhauls.

It's a bit moot to complain about that now, sure, but that has been what I've seen most non-Paizo forum places complaining about, the formatting. If we can get a good wiki, if we can get ePUB's, if we can get a final book that's laid out well and that uses a thesaurus once in a while so that we don't have synonyms like circumstantial and conditional being used to describe two very different things that need distinction, then I think the game will be OK.


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All of those options are in Pathfinder already. Just changing the skin and wording won't make it better. It's just an excuse to sell new books and for players to get something shiny and new...

..Until D&D 6e comes along and the whole dance starts all over because PF2 is too bloated!

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My group and I played some of the playtest and most of us didn't really like any of it. We felt there were a couple good ideas in there, but they were completely overshadowed by the things we absolutely hated. As a result of that overwhelmingly negative experience, I've lost all my enthusiasm for PF2. When it comes out, I plan to buy a PDF of the CRB (assuming Paizo keeps it at $10) just out of curiosity, but I'm otherwise cancelling my non-AP subs and sticking with PF1.

-Skeld


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Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

But more generally, I think there's such a thing as too much identity. The fighter is especially guilty of this, since its shtick being "Hit things hard" means no one else can ever be as good at combat. But you can also point to things like light armor paladins fighters not being supported, since there's no way to get legendary proficiency in it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
PFRPGrognard wrote:

All of those options are in Pathfinder already. Just changing the skin and wording won't make it better. It's just an excuse to sell new books and for players to get something shiny and new...

..Until D&D 6e comes along and the whole dance starts all over because PF2 is too bloated!

Lmao I think you're the only one in the history of this forum that thinks that the playtest is just "changing the skin and wording" of PF1. Have you even played the playtest?


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RazarTuk wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

But more generally, I think there's such a thing as too much identity. The fighter is especially guilty of this, since its shtick being "Hit things hard" means no one else can ever be as good at combat. But you can also point to things like light armor paladins fighters not being supported, since there's no way to get legendary proficiency in it.

Citations from the Playtest Rulebook:

Page 104, Introductory Paragraph: "You are a champion of justice, a holy servant of a good and lawful deity who takes up the mantle of a restrictive code to provide certainty and hope to the innocent." That gives the holy knight part.

Page 106, Roleplaying a Paladin: "Have a strong sense of justice and are incredibly frustrated when political corruption leads to a miscarriage of justice." Justice helps protect the weak.

Page 107, Code of Conduct: "• You must not use actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn’t force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and potential to attempt to protect an innocent." Okay, that is legalistically wordy and reminds me of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, but it says that the paladin should try to protect the innocent.

I see that the emphasis is on innocent rather than weak: the paladin is under no obligation to protect weak evildoers. Someone who breaks into people's houses while they are out and steals their money might be weak and needy, but the paladin can still treat them as criminals and deliver them to the authorities for trial. My wife's goblin mindquake-survivor paladin was one of the weak himself, able to survive combat only through his holy healing gifts, but he put himself into danger.

Likewise, a paladin does not have to protect the innocent directly. He could be in battle against demons at the Worldwound, where no innocents live, and still fulfill his holy duties. He could be adventuring in ancient ruins to stop an evil cult, likewise with no innocents in the area. There is some flexibility in the identity of the paladin.

I agree with RazarTuk that Retributive Strike is a terrible way to protect the weak. My wife's paladin was able to use Retributive Strike only once during The Lost Star, because positioning seldom worked out well.


Mathmuse wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

Page 107, Code of Conduct: "• You must not use actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn’t force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and potential to attempt to protect an innocent." Okay, that is legalistically wordy and reminds me of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, but it says that the paladin should try to protect the innocent.

I agree with RazarTuk that Retributive Strike is a terrible way to protect the weak. My wife's paladin was able to use Retributive Strike only once during The Lost Star, because positioning seldom worked out well.

In other words, strategizing to actually use Retributive Strike would be against the paladin's code, because it necessarily involves allowing an innocent to come to harm through your inaction.

To be fair, I'm one of the last people who would interpret a paladin's code that legalistically. I was even a major proponent of not falling in lose-lose situations long before Paizo made that official in 2e. But it's still hilariously easy to argue that planning on using a class feature could cause you to fall.


RazarTuk wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Derry L. Zimeye wrote:
Paladins are holy knights who defend the weak.

[citation needed]

I continue to point out that Retributive Strike is a horrible ability for a guardian to have, since it only works if they failed at being a guardian and let their allies get hurt.

Page 107, Code of Conduct: "• You must not use actions that you know will harm an innocent, or through inaction cause an innocent immediate harm when you knew your action could reasonably prevent it. This tenet doesn’t force you to take action against possible harm to innocents or to sacrifice your life and potential to attempt to protect an innocent." Okay, that is legalistically wordy and reminds me of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, but it says that the paladin should try to protect the innocent.

I agree with RazarTuk that Retributive Strike is a terrible way to protect the weak. My wife's paladin was able to use Retributive Strike only once during The Lost Star, because positioning seldom worked out well.

In other words, strategizing to actually use Retributive Strike would be against the paladin's code, because it necessarily involves allowing an innocent to come to harm through your inaction.

To be fair, I'm one of the last people who would interpret a paladin's code that legalistically. I was even a major proponent of not falling in lose-lose situations long before Paizo made that official in 2e. But it's still hilariously easy to argue that planning on using a class feature could cause you to fall.

Here's a thing about Retributive Strike though, at least for sword and board paladins.

They attack your allies, you defend the ally and hit the enemy.

So they should attack you instead.

Shield block. With Shield Ally and a sturdy shield you can take 4 dents and have serious hardness.

So either they attack your ally to lessened effect and get hurt or they attack you to even lesser effect.

Either way, is bad for enemy.

Yes this is only in play for shield paladins but if you're all about protecting your allies that's probably the way to go anyway.


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While the classes in PF2 may, perhaps, have clearer mechanical roles in the game, their identities seem far weaker to the point I find it actually difficult to describe them to people who haven't read the playtest document and even then there are a few classes it's hard to wrap your head around (Monk, any non-cleric spellcaster)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Crayon wrote:
While the classes in PF2 may, perhaps, have clearer mechanical roles in the game, their identities seem far weaker to the point I find it actually difficult to describe them to people who haven't read the playtest document and even then there are a few classes it's hard to wrap your head around (Monk, any non-cleric spellcaster)

Really? Because looking at the PF2 CRB classes versus the PF1 CRB classes they get many of the same hard coded abilities (or an analogous one) as the old versions. I keep hearing the watered down, stripped out arguements against PF2 classes, but when I brought up in another topic that the PF2 Fighter has all the same core class elements as the PF1 Fighter (just converted to the new framework) things went quiet.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Crayon wrote:
While the classes in PF2 may, perhaps, have clearer mechanical roles in the game, their identities seem far weaker to the point I find it actually difficult to describe them to people who haven't read the playtest document and even then there are a few classes it's hard to wrap your head around (Monk, any non-cleric spellcaster)

Do you mind listing the differences from the PF1 core rulebook vs the Playtest rulebook that makes you think so? I'm not convinced that's true. Why is Monk or other non-cleric spellcaster's roles "hard to wrap your head around"?


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Malk_Content wrote:
Really? Because looking at the PF2 CRB classes versus the PF1 CRB classes they get many of the same hard coded abilities (or an analogous one) as the old versions. I keep hearing the watered down, stripped out arguements against PF2 classes, but when I brought up in another topic that the PF2 Fighter has all the same core class elements as the PF1 Fighter (just converted to the new framework) things went quiet.

If you equate identity to game-mechanics, maybe. In terms of theme, however, how does Fighter, for example, differ from say a Barbarian or Ranger? Or a Sorcerer from a Wizard? Or a Druid from a nature-themed Cleric?

Dire Ursus wrote:
Do you mind listing the differences from the PF1 core rulebook vs the Playtest rulebook that makes you think so? I'm not convinced that's true. Why is Monk or other non-cleric spellcaster's roles "hard to wrap your head around"?

I already have. The classes don't seem to have any identity beyond, maybe maybe lending itself to a particular combat role. Given the difficulty of describing something that doesn't exist (from my perspective), I'd argue that burden of proof is on you.

What do you think a Wizard's identity is in PF2?


Crayon wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Really? Because looking at the PF2 CRB classes versus the PF1 CRB classes they get many of the same hard coded abilities (or an analogous one) as the old versions. I keep hearing the watered down, stripped out arguements against PF2 classes, but when I brought up in another topic that the PF2 Fighter has all the same core class elements as the PF1 Fighter (just converted to the new framework) things went quiet.

If you equate identity to game-mechanics, maybe. In terms of theme, however, how does Fighter, for example, differ from say a Barbarian or Ranger? Or a Sorcerer from a Wizard? Or a Druid from a nature-themed Cleric?

Dire Ursus wrote:
Do you mind listing the differences from the PF1 core rulebook vs the Playtest rulebook that makes you think so? I'm not convinced that's true. Why is Monk or other non-cleric spellcaster's roles "hard to wrap your head around"?

I already have. The classes don't seem to have any identity beyond, maybe maybe lending itself to a particular combat role. Given the difficulty of describing something that doesn't exist (from my perspective), I'd argue that burden of proof is on you.

What do you think a Wizard's identity is in PF2?

How is any of that different from PF1? Because from what I've read, the same thing applies to both (and I don't agree with it in either case).


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Crayon wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Really? Because looking at the PF2 CRB classes versus the PF1 CRB classes they get many of the same hard coded abilities (or an analogous one) as the old versions. I keep hearing the watered down, stripped out arguements against PF2 classes, but when I brought up in another topic that the PF2 Fighter has all the same core class elements as the PF1 Fighter (just converted to the new framework) things went quiet.

If you equate identity to game-mechanics, maybe. In terms of theme, however, how does Fighter, for example, differ from say a Barbarian or Ranger? Or a Sorcerer from a Wizard? Or a Druid from a nature-themed Cleric?

Dire Ursus wrote:
Do you mind listing the differences from the PF1 core rulebook vs the Playtest rulebook that makes you think so? I'm not convinced that's true. Why is Monk or other non-cleric spellcaster's roles "hard to wrap your head around"?

I already have. The classes don't seem to have any identity beyond, maybe maybe lending itself to a particular combat role. Given the difficulty of describing something that doesn't exist (from my perspective), I'd argue that burden of proof is on you.

What do you think a Wizard's identity is in PF2?

A sorceror derives his powers from the legacy of his blood, a wizard from deep arcane study. Exactly the same as how it was in PF1. A Fighter trains dilligently to achieve a unrivaled level of martial expertise, while a barbarian taps into an inner rage to perform terrifying feats of strength. The ranger is admitedly in a weird spot, but it was in every edition of dnd I've ever played anyway being basically a half class.

How does PF2 lack these themes. Both have about the same amount of fluff. The mechanics the reinforce these themes are both present and PF2 gives ways to deepen those themes for every class within their feat trees which is more than can be said for PF1 (cough cleric).


Crayon wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Really? Because looking at the PF2 CRB classes versus the PF1 CRB classes they get many of the same hard coded abilities (or an analogous one) as the old versions. I keep hearing the watered down, stripped out arguements against PF2 classes, but when I brought up in another topic that the PF2 Fighter has all the same core class elements as the PF1 Fighter (just converted to the new framework) things went quiet.

If you equate identity to game-mechanics, maybe. In terms of theme, however, how does Fighter, for example, differ from say a Barbarian or Ranger? Or a Sorcerer from a Wizard? Or a Druid from a nature-themed Cleric?

Fighter, learned/schooled/classical warrior. Barbarian, rage-filled/emotionally driven warrior, possibly some supernatural influence. Ranger, focused hunter and tracker, swift warrior with nature skills.

Sorcerer, scion of magical bloodline, channels innate magic for powerful spells. Wizard, learned scholar of arcane arts, figures out how to use magic instead of being born with it.

Druid, servant of nature, channels elements and aspects of nature as well as being closely attuned to some aspect of nature. Nature Cleric, servant of a deity of whom nature is their domain, respects nature but draws divine and holy/profane powers from a deity rather than primal and elemental powers from nature.

Those are flavor/identity/role distinctions between the classes from off the top of my head without referencing that all paint notably different pictures of each class compared to similar ones.


Crayon wrote:

Dire Ursus wrote:
Do you mind listing the differences from the PF1 core rulebook vs the Playtest rulebook that makes you think so? I'm not convinced that's true. Why is Monk or other non-cleric spellcaster's roles "hard to wrap your head around"?

I already have. The classes don't seem to have any identity beyond, maybe maybe lending itself to a particular combat role. Given the difficulty of describing something that doesn't exist (from my perspective), I'd argue that burden of proof is on you.

What do you think a Wizard's identity is in PF2?

I'd start by maybe, you know, looking at the rolelaying prompts/flavor at the start of each class' section.

This is also a Playtest issue, not a PF2 issue, as the final book is already said to have a LOT more flavor text for things like this. The Playtest book was knowingly made somewhat dry out of necessity, but even then it gets a sense of identity across. Much more shall the CRB.


Tectorman wrote:
thflame wrote:
Besides, I have been working on a home system that I'm pretty close to testing. No classes. Customization is king. Everything is a trade-off.
Do you have any plans of showing any of this off online in the near or even distant future?

If my group really likes the system, I'll share it somewhere.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Locotomo wrote:
I really like the bonus system regarding magic weapons. For every plus you get an extra weapon die. I find this fantastic :)

to me it made magic weapons matter way to much, to the extent that they became almost all that mattered, especially given how bad spells were (which is apparently being fixed) it was get the biggest stick you can and hit things, plus have a healer...who probably shoots things. Class feats (how I hate having combat feats class locked, with the Ranger getting a terrible DW feat compared to the Fighter for instance) didn't help, as most of them fell fairly flat in actually mattering, compared to the power of whatever potency rune your character was carting about.


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Edge93 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
If you equate identity to game-mechanics, maybe. In terms of theme, however, how does Fighter, for example, differ from say a Barbarian or Ranger? Or a Sorcerer from a Wizard? Or a Druid from a nature-themed Cleric?

Fighter, learned/schooled/classical warrior. Barbarian, rage-filled/emotionally driven warrior, possibly some supernatural influence. Ranger, focused hunter and tracker, swift warrior with nature skills.

Sorcerer, scion of magical bloodline, channels innate magic for powerful spells. Wizard, learned scholar of arcane arts, figures out how to use magic instead of being born with it.

Druid, servant of nature, channels elements and aspects of nature as well as being closely attuned to some aspect of nature. Nature Cleric, servant of a deity of whom nature is their domain, respects nature but draws divine and holy/profane powers from a deity rather than primal and elemental powers from nature.

Those are flavor/identity/role distinctions between the classes from off the top of my head without referencing that all paint notably different pictures of each class compared to similar ones.

These examples are worded like what Edge93 called in his next post, "the rolelaying prompts/flavor at the start of each class' section." Crayon's question was about game mechanics rather than flavor text. I like examining how the game elements provide that flavor.

The PF2 fighter is presented as the trained warrior because his bonus to attacks is from expert proficiency, and Paizo hopes that proficiency will feel like trained expertise. He has lots of proficiencies in weapons and armor. In contract, the PF2 fighter was granted armor training, weapon training, and combat feats to represent training.

Barbarians have rage. Rage is represented as a primal state in both PF1 and PF2 by making concentration difficult and by inducing fatigue. PF1 also boosted two physical stats, making it feel more physical. PF2 rage merely boosts combat and hit points, which can backfire and make it feel like a combat stance. The duration of rage differs in PF1 and PF2, but both forms of duration reinforce that fatiguing nature of rage.

PF1 emphasized a ranger's bond with the wilderness through specializing in prey (favored enemy) and terrain (favored terrain) and animal companions and generalizing in survival skills. The overspecialization proved awkward and archetypes provided more flexible alternatives. The ranger's mystic wilderness bond was also the source for the ranger's belated Wisdom-based spellcasting. PF2 dropped the bond with the wilderness, narrowed the ranger down to a dedicated game hunter, based Hunt Target on the flexible alternatives to favored enemy, and dropped the spellcasting. Alas, dedicated game hunter is not a strong identity for an adventurer, and Paizo did not expand the PF2 ranger into dedicated monster hunter like the PF1 Inquisitor or Slayer.

Wizard is a learned scholar of arcane magic, but the roleplaying games treat learning as a downtime activity, so the daily flavor has to be provided through symbols. The wizard's symbols are the spellbook and the spell component pouch. The wizard has to study the spellbook every morning to be able to cast spells. The earliest editions of D&D called this "memorizing spells" to emphasize the studying, but that terminology proved counterintuitive so they had to drop it. This has not changed between PF1 and PF2.

Sorcerer is supposed to have inner magic, so he can always cast his spells until he exhausts some inner resource (the same spell slots that limit the wizard's spellcasting, but used differently). For added flavor, the inner magic is flavored to come from a bloodline, and the sorcerer gains additional bloodline powers. This likewise did not differ between PF1 and PF2. However, the PF2 sorcerer can draw from other branches of magic than the wizard's arcane magic.

Druid is the nature-based spellcaster. PF2 managed to better sort the spells, so that primal magic stands out as nature magic. In PF1 the animal companion and the shapechanging were the druid's direct links to nature; however, in PF2 the druid gains only one of these.

Cleric is the divine-based spellcaster. In PF1 the divine flavor was often overwhelmed by the common spell list, especially the healing, so that all good gods felt like a generic god of buffing and healing. PF2 added anathema, a demanding emphasis on the specific god's tenets, to reinforce the cleric's role as a divine servant.

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