Lingering Thoughts


General Discussion

Silver Crusade

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Since this has been wrapped up for the most part I wanted to leave my final thoughts, both on the game and the process itself.

I was part of the original Beta Playtest back in the day and so I was more than thrilled that this would share that legacy as the most playtested tabletop game available.

However my excitement was mitigated by the fact that it seems there was only a brief window in which we could have our voices heard. Even these message boards are apparently getting shut down soon, despite the fact that there is still 6-7 months from the hopeful release. This wouldn't be so bad if they had been upfront about the actual time frame we had to work on it. Ending it on the 31st of December felt rushed to me. That could have been the plan all along I suppose, but then it should have been a fairly simple task of letting everyone know what that time frame looked like when it all started.

My group wasn't able to get all the way through the Doomsday Dawn because we thought there was time to get it done. That wasn't the case unfortunately. Then we at least figured that the surveys/message boards would be left open as folks would continue to play it, but again that is also over and cut off.

Overall it feels like we were given this thing to work on and try out and then it was yanked out of our hands partway through. Not a great feeling in general, and even worse for someone who is passionate about Pathfinder and Paizo who wants to make sure we get the best version of the game.

As for the specifics of the game that I still have concerns on, there are only a few that merit this kind of post. There are certainly more but this is already more verbose than I would like.

Goblin PCs- Not only are they the best Paladins since Aasimars, but stat for stat I would say they are some of the most powerful characters period. This in my mind is thematically wrong in two ways. First, goblins have never been this powerful, nor should they be when compared to other goblins in the world. Second, no matter how many society specials were released with not-hated goblins, you cannot wipe away a literal decade of literature that shows how goblins are these nasty little creatures with a penchant for fire and explosives and death. I get it that they are Paizo's mascot, but Kobolds or so many other monsters could have filled that spot both for the quirkiness AND the decade of story that doesn't need to be rewritten.

Making it "easy"- Identify magic items, repairing a shield, "free hand" to cast, and others. In some cases the words "made it easier" were used exactly and I just have to wonder why. I've seen PC's spend several in game days working on the most inane stuff, yet an hour (10 minutes with feat) to identify an item is too much? Expecting someone to actually have a free hand when using magic is too much? Expecting someone to have to take time to repair something that had been literally beaten to pieces is too much? I feel like we are heading towards "easy mode" more and more, especially with hero points on top.

Spellcasting- I'm going through a home game right now and I am hopeful that the increased damage dice will do it, but I still feel like there was too much push to close the gap. Though the word gap is quite an unfortunate one because it wasn't a gap as much as they were simply different ways of getting the same job done. Magic eventually ran out, sword swinging arm does not. Etc etc. I'm concerned that Golarion is heading towards the realm of low fantasy which is really bizarre coming from the past 10 years of play.

All in all I hope that we aren't simply left with silence once these boards are archived. I would also love to see some more number crunchy data. Jason for example has mentioned that surveys are a lot different from the message boards or facebook groups or whatever the case may be. Is there a chance we could see some of that data? Even a graph or pie chart would suffice. I'm not saying that folks who say things like that are misleading, only that generalizations aren't really helpful and it would be nice to see where our fellow adventurers sit on the matter.


Wait, what makes you think these boards are being shut down? Did I miss an announcement?

Silver Crusade

It's Jason's post in the "Last day for surveys" thread.

"This is your reminder that TODAY, December 31st is your last day to submit Pathfinder Playtest feedback to us via the surveys. The surveys will close at midnight PST. You can find links to all of the surveys on the Pathfinder Playtest Page.

In addition, these boards will be archived soon as well."


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't think there is any chance of Pathfinder 2e being anything like low fantasy.

Even a no-spellcasters game wouldn't be low fantasy, since things like Catfall exist and since the math allows a level 15 character to defeat an almost unlimited number of level 5 monsters.

I won't get into the casters vs martials debate since that's a whole thing (I will say "fighters can swing their sword all day" does not address the concerns people typically have, though), but Paizo has said they are ramping up magic from where it was in the playtest. Critically, monsters are going to have worse weak saves and many buff spells will have longer durations.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

the forums in general are not being shutdown, just the playtest forums will be shuffled off hang out with all the other playtest forums.

As far as the timeline for the playtest, I always saw that as being pretty clearly set up from the beginning.

Silver Crusade

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MMCJawa wrote:
As far as the timeline for the playtest, I always saw that as being pretty clearly set up from the beginning.

E.g., in the "Playtesting the Game" blog that was released right before the playtest rules and explained the playtest process pretty clearly.

Blog wrote:

Playtest Schedule

The playtest officially gets under way on August 2, 2018, and runs through the end of the year, closing on December 31, 2018. During that time, we will be focusing on various parts of the Doomsday Dawn adventure, making our way toward the dramatic conclusion in mid-November. Check out the following schedule so you can plan your games accordingly.

Doomsday Dawn, Part 1: 1st-level characters, playtest begins 8/2/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 2: 4th-level characters, playtest begins 8/27/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 3: 7th-level characters, playtest begins 9/10/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 4: 9th-level characters, playtest begins 9/24/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 5: 12th-level characters, playtest begins 10/8/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 6: 14th-level characters, playtest begins 10/22/18
Doomsday Dawn, Part 7: 17th-level characters, playtest begins 11/5/18

I'm pretty sure the pathfinderplaytest.com website also clearly announced the schedule, but the site seems to have been updated to reflect the closing of the playtest so I can't check how it looked when the playtest was first released.


Darth Bass wrote:
However my excitement was mitigated by the fact that it seems there was only a brief window in which we could have our voices heard. Even these message boards are apparently getting shut down soon, despite the fact that there is still 6-7 months from the hopeful release. This wouldn't be so bad if they had been upfront about the actual time frame we had to work on it. Ending it on the 31st of December felt rushed to me. That could have been the plan all along I suppose, but then it should have been a fairly simple task of letting everyone know what that time frame looked like when it all started.

The Paizo developers have only a brief window left remaining themselves to make changes in Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Jason Bulmahn said last night in Know Direction 191 – Playtest Retrospective with Jason Bulmahn that Pathfinder 2nd Edition rules are 90% finished and they are in a hurry to get the rest done. Some things, such as updating the iconic characters, have to wait until the rules are set in concrete. Then they have to organize, typeset, and print the new rulebooks. And write a new adventure path with those rules.

Once they can no longer change the rules, why would we need this Playtest subforum? Instead, we will be talking in a new preview forum about the final version of the rules. Jason Bulmahn said that once the rules are done, he will be talking about them.

And we fans had 5 months: August, September, October, November, and December. That is a lot. This subforum being still open is a free gift.

Darth Bass wrote:
Making it "easy"- Identify magic items, repairing a shield, "free hand" to cast, and others. In some cases the words "made it easier" were used exactly and I just have to wonder why. I've seen PC's spend several in game days working on the most inane stuff, yet an hour (10 minutes with feat) to identify an item is too much? Expecting someone to actually have a free hand when using magic is too much? Expecting someone to have to take time to repair something that had been literally beaten to pieces is too much? I feel like we are heading towards "easy mode" more and more, especially with hero points on top.

I have qualms about some of those issues. I found that my players spent too much time with Interact actions because they liked using skills. Free hands for skills required putting shield and weapons away and pulling out tools, I am fine with that. It clears up details, balances opportunities, and adds flavor. But the Interact action said "an object" singular, so that means three Interact actions. And two actions when surprised by enemies to drop the tools and draw the sword and shield again. Many decided to avoid using skills because of the risk of being caught empty-handed. That reduces the variety and fun in the game.

I am going to houserule that Interact can handle more than one object, but I will need to carefully invent a rule about how much can be handled. And add another houserule that lets someone both open a door and step through the door in the same action, because that is what I do in real life.

As for the 1 hour, reduced to 10 minutes by a Rules Update, to identify a magic item, Paizo ignores that the players might want to be able to identify the magic items as their opponents use them. "That drow elf hit me with his sword and I took electrical damage. I bet it is a shocking blade!" "Okay, I will give you a +2 circumstance bonus to identify the item, but it will still take 10 minutes!" That's ridiculous. I can understand an hour to figure out the command activation for a wand, since that might vary by which wizard made the wand, but putting on a Cloak of Elvenkind and needing 10 minutes to realize that the cloak camouflages you automatically just like a Cloak of Elvenkind? Maybe "identify" is the wrong word for the lengthy identification. "Learn to activate" might be more appropriate.

Silver Crusade

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Yes they gave a time line for when they were focusing on those specific parts, but they also said that they would continue to take prior parts' surveys and they never stated that the ENTIRE testing period would end after that.

Which is my point.

Silver Crusade

Darth Bass wrote:

Yes they gave a time line for when they were focusing on those specific parts, but they also said that they would continue to take prior parts' surveys and they never stated that the ENTIRE testing period would end after that.

Which is my point.

Again:

Quote:
The playtest . . . runs through the end of the year, closing on December 31, 2018.

I understand the frustration of not having realized that the playtest was closing. That doesn't sound like fun!

But in this case, Paizo was always quite clear that the playtest would end at the end of the year. If your group missed that, I know it sucks but you can't reasonably blame Paizo for your mistake there. The timeline and the close of the playtest and the surveys were broadly and repeatedly advertised.

Silver Crusade

Joe M. wrote:
Darth Bass wrote:

Yes they gave a time line for when they were focusing on those specific parts, but they also said that they would continue to take prior parts' surveys and they never stated that the ENTIRE testing period would end after that.

Which is my point.

Again:

Quote:
The playtest . . . runs through the end of the year, closing on December 31, 2018.

I understand the frustration of not having realized that the playtest was closing. That doesn't sound like fun!

But in this case, Paizo was always quite clear that the playtest would end at the end of the year. If your group missed that, I know it sucks but you can't reasonably blame Paizo for your mistake there. The timeline and the close of the playtest and the surveys were broadly and repeatedly advertised.

That is only a part of my post.

Silver Crusade

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Only part of my post, and the BLOG is not good enough in my opinion. Not everyone is a blog person, myself included. My point being, which still stands, is they could have very easily made it clear on the playtest page that everyone was required to go to get the materials in the first place.

Besides, that isn't my only or even biggest gripe. Nor is that limited to Doomsday dawn specifically, but playtesting in general that doesn't have to do with Society which is still going strong.

I thank Mathmuse for offering some words in regards to the other parts of my post instead of just rushing to try and correct me.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Darth Bass wrote:
I thank Mathmuse for offering some words in regards to the other parts of my post instead of just rushing to try and correct me.

What am I, chopped liver? :P


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Harry Potter.
Yuck.


I only have a slight nitpick on the goblin thing. Now it is no secret that I’m in the pro goblins as PCs camp. I generally think that goblins got PF appropriate ability mods but I do agree that the fact it makes them very solid paladins is odd and probably unintentional. However it may be something that can’t be helped.

The idea that goblins in general have the best ability mods I find very debatable (though I really don’t want to start one). Their mods are toned down from PF1, that +4 dex was nasty, and they are the only ancestry with a wisdom penalty which means in general that they will have the lowest perceptions and now that that determines your initiative in most circumstances as well the wisdom penalty hurts a lot. That’s just my 2 cents.

Silver Crusade

MaxAstro wrote:
Darth Bass wrote:
I thank Mathmuse for offering some words in regards to the other parts of my post instead of just rushing to try and correct me.
What am I, chopped liver? :P

Oh dang. My most unfortunae bad. You are far more valuable than chopped liver!

Silver Crusade

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Raylyeh wrote:

I only have a slight nitpick on the goblin thing. Now it is no secret that I’m in the pro goblins as PCs camp. I generally think that goblins got PF appropriate ability mods but I do agree that the fact it makes them very solid paladins is odd and probably unintentional. However it may be something that can’t be helped.

The idea that goblins in general have the best ability mods I find very debatable (though I really don’t want to start one). Their mods are toned down from PF1, that +4 dex was nasty, and they are the only ancestry with a wisdom penalty which means in general that they will have the lowest perceptions and now that that determines your initiative in most circumstances as well the wisdom penalty hurts a lot. That’s just my 2 cents.

It's not JUST ability mods. It's not just their ability mods that make them powerful, but some of their racial stuff as well. I have seen goblins at higher level and the combinations are brutal. The most powerful combat due I saw were a Goblin Paladin and Goblin Rogue and oh boy... the carnage I witness compared to others was enough to make me cringe without the quirky "goblinness" on top of it. That just ended up making it worse.

Another concern is that almost every single Goblin at the table so far have used their characters as an excuse to derail the table. And this is on society where as GMs are not allowed to exclude anything. Foreshadowing for the future? I sincerely hope not.

Liberty's Edge

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Darth Bass wrote:
Another concern is that almost every single Goblin at the table so far have used their characters as an excuse to derail the table. And this is on society where as GMs are not allowed to exclude anything. Foreshadowing for the future? I sincerely hope not.

I too fear the dreaded return of the Kender-kind type Characters being availible in the CRB but I hope that the Ancestry Section for them in the book does a good enough job of discouraging Goblin PCs from falling to their... lesser instincts....


I played a 17th level goblin rogue and someone else in my group played a 12th level goblin wizard in DD. Both of our characters were quite good but in my opinion the character’s ancestry had little to do with that. Both characters would be a bit different but the effectiveness wouldn’t have changed noticeably if we had chosen a different ancestry. Goblin ancestry feats are for the most part pretty solid and I think a good example of how ancestry feats should look. I admit many of the other ancestries didn’t get the same treatment. Elven feats are pretty OP across the board, gnomes have probably the best ancestry feat period but it’s gated at 9th level with the rest being meh as examples.

People being disruptive at the table is always a hassle but that is a player problem not a game mechanic. The GM should put their foot down and tell said player that being a goblin is no excuse for their actions. It runs somewhat parallel to the CN=Chaotic Stupid problem I see on occasion. Goblins don’t have an intelligence penalty so they should not be played like they do. To me it was always pretty apparent that goblins’ problems were largely due to their culture. If integrated into “normal” society they could easily adapt. That’s my take anyway.

I’d also like to add that I’ve seen people play gnomes just as disruptively “because they’re eccentric” but no one complains about that.


Raylyeh wrote:

I only have a slight nitpick on the goblin thing. Now it is no secret that I’m in the pro goblins as PCs camp. I generally think that goblins got PF appropriate ability mods but I do agree that the fact it makes them very solid paladins is odd and probably unintentional. However it may be something that can’t be helped.

The idea that goblins in general have the best ability mods I find very debatable (though I really don’t want to start one). Their mods are toned down from PF1, that +4 dex was nasty, and they are the only ancestry with a wisdom penalty which means in general that they will have the lowest perceptions and now that that determines your initiative in most circumstances as well the wisdom penalty hurts a lot. That’s just my 2 cents.

Yeah, don't even talk to me about Goblins and Stealth in PF1...

+4 Dex (So +2 Mod)
+4 racial bonus
+4 size bonus for being small.

Seems legit...

As if Stealth couldn't already be blown up to insane levels in PF1. XD


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh yeah. I built a goblin cohort for my players in one campaign. "His stealth roll is WHAT?!" was a common refrain.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's pretty unfortunate for Paizo that the Goblin Slayer anime/manga is pretty popular right now.

It's basically built on the premise of "make goblins monstrous again", while also pretty well highlighting some of the awesome moments of D&D in general. I would not be surprised if we get a decent number of fans of the show picking up D&D and Pathfinder because of it. I really wonder how that's going to go down.

Also, making goblins a PC race essentially removes them as an option for guilt-free monster slaying campaigns, and puts them squarely in the "bandit/ruffian" encounter category.

There's always another monster that can fill the slot, and I certainly am not one to believe that most races can't be roleplayed well in a party, but if we were going down that route I would have much preferred something less chaotic like Kobolds. Orcs would have been great too.

Silver Crusade

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Raylyeh wrote:


People being disruptive at the table is always a hassle but that is a player problem not a game mechanic. The GM should put their foot down and tell said player that being a goblin is no excuse for their actions. It runs somewhat parallel to the CN=Chaotic Stupid problem I see on occasion. Goblins don’t have an intelligence penalty so they should not be played like they do. To me it was always pretty apparent that goblins’ problems were largely due to their culture. If integrated into “normal” society they could easily adapt. That’s my take anyway.

I’d also like to add that I’ve seen people play gnomes just as disruptively “because they’re eccentric” but no one complains about that.

Sure! There will always be those folks who derail, but even gnomes don't have the written-in pyromaniac tendencies. I can put my foot down, but goblins have a canon, pre-written excuse to be obnoxious and there are players who have taken advantage. And because of that written excuse, if I push too hard, I am stifling RP. Sure that wasn't every case, and most calmed down after I asked them to, but they weren't wrong in saying that's how goblins act.

Silver Crusade

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Absolutely WatersLethe. Kobolds would have been perfect!

I also wouldn't have as much issue with Goblins if they had a written reason to integrate.

Space Goblins in starfinder make sense because they have had centuries to get their stuff together. But in Golarion, especially Doomsday Dawn, they timed it even before Rise of the Runelords. Right in the evil-goblin time line.

For example, here is a blurb about Goblins right from the first couple of pages of the Jade Regent Adventure Path.

"Goblins have lived along the Lost Coast for as long as anyone can remember, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re welcome. Viewed as pests by most and monsters by all, goblins’ reliance on the garbage of greater societies has ensured their simpering, cavorting proximity to better civilizations since the start. Goblins are naturally craven, gleefully foolish, and ever eager to visit atrocity and pain upon those they encounter, a combination that one might think would have led to their eradication by their betters long ago. But goblins are fecund and stubborn if nothing else. Much to the distress of the rest of us, goblins are here to stay."


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I admit that I’d like to see kobolds get their due in PF some day. Maybe as a core ancestry and at the very least they need a better ability mod lay out because they got beat with the nerf stick way to hard from D&D 3.5 to PF. But I’m also a fan of goblins so I’ve made my peace.


I admit that the playtest gave a pretty half assed reason for goblins going core but according to Paizo they are going to be fleshing out and fluffing up the setting and what not for the CRB and while I could be wrong I am currently assuming that they will give a more thorough reason why goblins joined society.

Yes, goblin PF1 setting lore makes the focus of their society making them all out to be psychopathic pyromaniacs but even in PF1 and just as much in PF2 their traits don’t enforce this. The closest you get is that in PF2 one of their feats gives you some fire resistance because you like fire, it doesn’t say that you burn everything you see to the ground. They are not like Kenders who I believe had kleptomania hardwired into their traits.

Ultimately I think we just agree to disagree.


I dont care about Goblins being a core race. My players encounter human, elf, dorf, etc enemies all the time and they are all core races ancestries. My issue is gobos are miles better than halflings and certainly better than gnomes by a good margin. I'd like some more parity among the small folk.


Planpanther wrote:
I dont care about Goblins being a core race. My players encounter human, elf, dorf, etc enemies all the time and they are all core races ancestries. My issue is gobos are miles better than halflings and certainly better than gnomes by a good margin. I'd like some more parity among the small folk.

I just don’t see this. Let’s try to break it down a bit.

Ability scores: goblins. Plus to dex, very good but this is not unique. Halflings and elves also have this. Plus charisma, good but again not unique. The only thing they have is that they are the only small ancestry with no strength penalty which is really what makes them unique and makes them generally more capable in melee focused classes. Wisdom penalty, this is also what makes them unique as they are the only ancestry with this and this is one of the worst scores to have a low score in in this edition. Halflings, plus to dex and wisdom. Arguably the best 2 ability scores in the game. Definitely the 2 that are most MAD. Enough said. Strength penalty. We are used to this so nothing new. Gnomes, same layout as PF1. A bit of an odd layout but that’s gnomes in general. Constitution is very passive but I’ve never seen someone complain about having a bonus here and between it and hit points, which I will get to next, makes them the second toughest ancestry.
Hit points: goblins and halflings have 6. No surprises there. Gnomes have standard medium hit points which is solid.
Vision: Goblins are one of the 2 ancestries with natural darkvision this is a legitimate plus over the other small races but not broken. Halflings are one of the 2 races without special vision which is a legitimate negative but oh well, again not the end all, be all. Gnomes, start with lowlight with a heritage option for darkvision. Not bad or unique.
Ancestry feats: I’m not going to cover or compare them all. I am going to generalize, sorry. Goblins have some pretty good ones but then there’s some weird situational ones that we’ll need to see how effective they are in actual non playtest play and then there’s scuttle, probably super cool if your party builds around it but useless otherwise. Halflings, these feats it’s hard to say. I personally find them a bit weak but my GM with much higher system mastery than I thinks they’re solid. Some support of this is that my before mentioned goblin rogue took the adopted general feat to take a couple halfling feats (we had a halfling cleric in the party and they were good friends) but I doubt that will be standard practice. Gnomes, just like them they are odd, you can make most of them work but still odd. And then they have the 9th level feat that makes them no longer need out of combat healing in most cases which while passive I think is pretty OP.

All in all I still don’t see goblins being noticeable better than the other small ancestries or the mediums for that matter but I’m not going to break that down.


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I'm pretty well with Rayleh here, and even more so because one plus for Halflings was overlooked that IMO makes up for their lack of LLV or DV.

They all have that Keen Eyes (Or something) trait, which IIRC ONLY Halflings can get and it reduces the DC of the Flat check to hit Concealed or Sensed (Possibly Unseen as well, I forget) to 3 and 9 respectively (From 5 and 11).

So Concealed miss chance goes from 20% to 10% and Sensed from 50% to 40%. That's actually a really nice perk IMO. So an extra point in Halfling's favor.

(Also I know the Ancestry stuff was generalized but I gotta say for sneak characters I love how Halflings can get the option to use their medium allies as cover now. The Halfling Rogue in my group loved hiding behind the Archer or another stationary combatant XD )


Thanks Edge, I’d forgotten about the keen eyes being made built in instead of a feat now. And that halfling feat you mentioned is one of the ones my goblin took. Lol.


gobo extra speed is gone?


Okay I did space base speeds. I do believe goblins still have 30 but halflings were raised to 25 which puts them at the average and I honestly can’t remember whether gnomes got an increase, they might still have a 20. I don’t have access to the patch notes at the moment.

When halflings were at 20 that was definitely an issue but that got fixed. If gnomes are still at 20 I’d also consider that problematic but I don’t personally think lowering goblin’s speed is necessary. They still don’t get as fast as elves who are kind of ridiculous right now.


Sorry just looked it up and gnomes have 25 speed now as well so I don’t have any problems on that front.


Yeah, Dwarves are the only ancestry stuck with 20ft speed.

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