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Paizo Employee Designer

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MaxAstro wrote:

The monster changes were far and away the best thing the Playtest produced. Not just that nearly every monster was interesting and unique, but that it completely changed how I think about monsters.

Instead of "what are this guys stats and abilities, what spell likes does he know?", I now think of terms of "what does this monster do in combat? How is fighting him different from fighting another monster? What makes him unique and memorable?"

I've started backporting that thinking into my PF1e games and the results have been very well received with my players. They recently encountered a drowning devil, and one of the tweaks I made to him was to give him the ability to reshape the area of his control water spell-like as a move action. The result was that while the PCs were fighting his minions he was constantly altering the battlefield with walls and pathways of water, which made for some very exciting terrain.

This is all to say, keep it up with the amazing monster design. :)

That is exactly what we were going for with the monsters! It's about making the monster encounter unique and interesting, an integral part of the story. In some ways, the monster's flavor can help with this even if the abilities don't carry their weight, but it helps to have both; for instance,I had never realized how similar owlbear and tiger were statwise in PF1 until I was looking at it for PF2 (tiger has pounce, some numbers are close but not the same, that's mostly the difference).

One of the most fascinating questions in any shift, though, is about what sorts of changes excite people vs don't care or upsetting for changing something from the way it was before. We found out that the fanbase as a whole was actually much more liberal with monster mechanics changes than the general Paizo office itself as a whole (always dangerous to take a group of disparate and creative people as a whole, on either side, but doing that here since we surveyed the office too), which is not what I expected. It shows that whoever says the fanbase as a whole is not open to change is wrong; it just has to be the sorts of change you guys like or that makes sense to you.


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Honestly, it was looking at the monsters in the playtest that really won me over. I've been on 5e for a while and even did some small dev work for some third parties and while I understood their monsters pretty well, they particularly struck me with blandness. I can really see that removing the attacks of opportunity left open the design space for some really cool abilities that changed the mechanical texture in ways that really help break up combat monotony

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Happy to hear it!


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I hate to bring negativity into this positive thread, but my playtest experience wasn't nearly so positive, same goes for the rest of my group. And it's probably good to keep some perspective that not everything is positive and there is a lot of room for improvement. I came into it cautiously optimistic, but left feeling very wary about the direction. Some of this was simply the torture test and "lets throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" nature of the playtest that was not at all well communicated before hand. The expectation was that this like previous playtests. That it was what PF2 was going to be, with some minor tweaks. And some of the experimental ideas like Resonance (ugh!), extreme nerfs to magic, paper-thin ancestries and absurdly tight math that makes extreme optimization necessary for basic competence all left terrible tastes in my mouth, and even left some of my group feeling betrayed (several felt that resonance and the extreme magic nerfs showed a hostility to the magical nature of the game that is their main draw). Those are apparently all being undone at least to some extent, but they do make me wary about the direction of the game. If it was thought that something worth testing, then presumably it's the general direction that Paizo wants lower power level for players and less magic in the game in general. These aren't goals I like. The really rough nature of the playtest also led to a negative experience, especially with expectations that we'd be basically previewing the game. Part 2 was particularly ugly. And we broke down in frustration of the whole playtest experience during the first encounter of part 7. We had tried to tough it out to make our voices heard, but eventually frustrations boiled over and we had to call a stop.

Other aspects of the playtest version that grated, we haven't been told anything about if they're changing. So it's entirely possible that what we hated will be enshrined as the new normal. This includes overly restrictive classes, the armor and reaction focus of the paladin/champion, the Minion trait and summoned creatures, animal companions and familiars being stripped down and weak (familiars in particular read like an afterthought, not an actual class feature) and customization bottlenecks where it seems class feats are needed for core abilities instead of customization. The overall impression of what Paizo is going for seems to be an extreme focus on removing any possibility of PCs getting too powerful and more tightly tying classes to particular concepts. This leaves me feeling everything is unimpressive and weak and that classes lose their flexibility, which was one of the great points of PF1, and what I thought class feats were supposed to encourage, but in practice don't. The radio silence about these features just increases my unease.

This isn't to say it was all bad. There are some good points of the Playtest version. The three action system obviously at the top. It opens up play quite a bit so it's not just Move, Attack, next round full attack. It removes a lot of choke-points, I remember running into this a lot with my Inquisitor in PF1 where everything required a swift action, so instead of getting my core abilities up in one round took like 3, by which time things were usually over. Reactions are in danger of creating a new choke-point though, which is part of why I hate the playtest Paladin (that and it doesn't feel at all like a Paladin). The lack of universal AoOs combined with the three action system also opens the game up to a more mobile and tactical style instead of moving into position and whacking away. The increase in unique monster abilities also makes them feel interesting and different. Some of the auto-grab and trip abilities might be too much though. The streamlining of many rules also makes things play faster. My general impression was combats go quicker in real time but longer in combat rounds, which is exactly as I want it. In PF1 we often have 2-3 round combats last an hour or two. A 4-6 round combat lasting 30-60 minutes as the new norm would be much preferred. I like the idea of the +/- 10 crits, but I'm still unconvinced by how it works in practice, the math is changing so I don't even have a frame of refference. But the idea that a more competent person wouldn't just succeed more, but have better results is good. And even though I dislike a lot of what's been done with magic, the fact that save DCs aren't dependent on the spell level is a good change. Even alchemists, I like the style of this implementation, I just feel like it's way too weak and the existing alchemical items are bad, fixing the playtest's math should go a long way to helping that, also improve splash damage.

I'm by no means saying I hate PF2 or "This game is bad and you should feel bad!" "This is just like 4th edition!" or anything like that. I like Paizo, I like Pathfinder. I want both to be successful. I've played Pathfindre for about 10 years now and I want PF2 to be a game I'll love playing for another 10 or so until PF3 comes and makes it even better. I just have no clue if that's going to be the case, and the playtest enhanced concerns instead of alleviating them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

One thing we can definitely do with this thread until rules start showing up in the preview blogs is review the rules revealed in the Twitch PF2 game being streamed live every Thursday starting April 4th. It will give us a good look and something to talk about until the CRB is released.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
The expectation was that this like previous playtests. That it was what PF2 was going to be, with some minor tweaks.

I mean that's not what a test is... I have to blame the early release / beta access key industry for this, where companies release a mostly finished product to create hype and call it a test (reserving the chance to make last minute changes).

That's not a beta test.

I've been doing that stuff - not as a player, as a behind-the-scene person, and actual beta tests are messy. The playtest was messy. They're also pretty stressful, and (unfortunately) they involve a good amount of people managment, because your testers WILL complain about stuff they expect to work smoothly despite how much you tell them it won't.
(seriously, I've had people manually overwrite files from a beta client so that they could join rated games on regular servers and then complain to me when their game crashed midgame AS EXPECTED causing a point loss >.>)
That's the expectation I went in with, and -you can ask the Discord channels- I still to this day rant about mandatory item bonus and Cleric's channel-centricity, and have no intention of slowing down until I find a satisfactory release version or houserule the heck out of it :P So yes, a lot of parts of the rules have been unsatisfactory to me, but that's the thing - it's actually easy to rewrite a page of rules before release, and if they asked me to give it a read and yell back, I expect that there's a chance it'll happen.

That's not an issue in communication, that's an issue in the video game industry. Nothing to do with paizo.


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I by no means intend this as a rebuttal to the above poster's opinions. We've all got a ton of them, they're not all going to be the same, and having different opinions doesn't invalidate anyone else's (with some not-game-related exceptions).

I think what they were going for was avoiding the "one-best-option" trap that you eventually get stuck in.

Part of that is making ever class feel about as powerful, which creates some cognative dissonance when a reality-shaping wizard is no more or less effective in combat than a man with a bow. In years past in other settings, I've long argued agaist trying to "balance" classes in RPGs. The different specializationd should make each shine in its own area. I can live with their efforts (it was better than 4e's effort).

Some things in PF1, however, were so good that you had to have them, going so far as to sacrifice a class level to get it.

Familiars were one of those things.

The new familiars are flexible enough to keep the trope, keep the creativity, and still have some utility.

The Minion trait, I didn't get to test, but it has been around in SF with the Mechanic. It's not my favorite--and SF justified it in game world--but it's not so bad. The goal being to not break the action economy with a pet class. But you can still get 2 first (no penalty) attacks in a round.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ediwir is right about some of the ways testing works in early release / open beta.

Ultimately, the real secret is, as excited as we all are about the release, chances are, there's going to be something in it somewhere we each don't like (something different for everyone). That includes me, even! I mean, I adore PF1, but there's a variety of things my group houserules to make it work its gonzo-fun just right for us (we benefit from having a designer in the group who could address a few of them in Unchained, but still). So far it seems to be a shorter list for PF2, but it'll happen. For instance, my group isn't crazy about not adding level to untrained skills, even though that's what most playtesters wanted; I wouldn't be shocked if the group wanted to houserule that some day (for now we're running PF2 as written to find last-minute glitches).

You're going to see me around here very excited, and ultimately, I think the final product is worthy of that excitement. But even so, there will be things we all want to houserule. That's one of the strengths of tabletop RPGs. And one of the particular strengths of PF2 is how much easier it is for even an inexperienced group to apply and adjust houserules to change things and not run into tons of unexpected side effects. That's part of why, despite the crazy hours on the launch books, I'm so excited for the book where we can really get into teaching you guys how to do that part (and excited that we can do that early, not midway through like Unchained). An edition where all of you guys can be designers modifying to fit what your group wants (or shaking it up every campaign to fit a particular vision) is just so awesome to me! (not to mention it should make it more inviting for people to dip their toes into creating awesome third party products)

Liberty's Edge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I hate to bring negativity into this positive thread, but my playtest experience wasn't nearly so positive, same goes for the rest of my group. And it's probably good to keep some perspective that not everything is positive and there is a lot of room for improvement.

For the record, and I think this is important, my previous statements of how good the playtest was were in regards to it as a playtest, in terms of Paizo's willingness to respond to feedback and change things most particularly. I think it was an excellently structured test for the most part which will result in a better final game, and am pleased to have been a part of it.

As a game, I suspect I had almost as many issues with it as Doktor Weasel did, and my players had fun, but almost certainly not as much as if we were playing another game. I just also feel that basically all of the changes have been for the better and solved many of my personal issues already, and are likely to solve more by the time the final game is out. So I'm much more optimistic in regards to the final game than he seems to be. Indeed, I have every expectation that the final game will be wonderful.

But I will never use the playtest rulebook to run a game again, and would basically never play a game using it. Certainly not in preference to PF1. So I feel there's a worthwhile distinction to make there between approval of the playtest as a playtest and how much the actual playtest rules appeal in and of themselves.
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And I definitely expect to House Rule the final version of PF2. I house rule almost every game I play beyond a certain complexity level. I just also suspect that such House Ruling will be much less extensive than that I did in PF1.


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Ediwir wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
The expectation was that this like previous playtests. That it was what PF2 was going to be, with some minor tweaks.

I mean that's not what a test is... I have to blame the early release / beta access key industry for this, where companies release a mostly finished product to create hype and call it a test (reserving the chance to make last minute changes).

That's not a beta test.

Whether that's a true test or not isn't the point. The point is that is how Paizo playtests have been historically. What is presented is generally fairly close to the final version. From what I understand now, the Playtest included a lot of experimental things that were apparently never even expected to survive, just generate data. That's quite a bit different than what happened historically, and it wasn't adequately communicated.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I hate to bring negativity into this positive thread, but my playtest experience wasn't nearly so positive, same goes for the rest of my group. And it's probably good to keep some perspective that not everything is positive and there is a lot of room for improvement.
For the record, and I think this is important, my previous statements of how good the playtest was were in regards to it as a playtest, in terms of Paizo's willingness to respond to feedback and change things most particularly. I think it was an excellently structured test for the most part which will result in a better final game, and am pleased to have been a part of it.

The test itself was rather well done, with the exception of expectation management as I've mentioned before and a few other issues. It was very comprehensive with the surveys and the scenarios designed to stress certain aspects. It wasn't particularly fun in many regards, particularly with the badly balanced math making PCs underpowered. But it's good that was discovered and apparently fixed. I do think that the time-frame from test to final version is way too short, especially if the final is dramatically different than the playtest, there should be a second round of testing. Probably not as strict and formalized, but more along the lines of previous Pathfinder playtests. Otherwise, the changes are untested and are likely to go either too far or not far enough. I'm sorry to say that Paizo has a strong history of dramatic over-correction, so I'm wary.

Quote:

As a game, I suspect I had almost as many issues with it as Doktor Weasel did, and my players had fun, but almost certainly not as much as if we were playing another game. I just also feel that basically all of the changes have been for the better and solved many of my personal issues already, and are likely to solve more by the time the final game is out. So I'm much more optimistic in regards to the final game than he seems to be. Indeed, I have every expectation that the final game will be wonderful.

But I will never use the playtest rulebook to run a game again, and would basically never play a game using it. Certainly not in preference to PF1. So I feel there's a worthwhile distinction to make there between approval of the playtest as a playtest and how much the actual playtest rules appeal in and of themselves.

I'm actually the most positive and optimistic member of our group in regards to PF2 and the playtest. Also the only one active here. Yeah, it wasn't a great experience, and we certainly won't ever use the Playtest rules for anything again. There was some fun at parts, but overall, not so much. A lot of the pessimism is coming from what is assumed to be designer intent. Like I said, several of my group's players actually feel betrayed by the playtest, because they see Resonance and the massively over-nerfed magic as an indication of hostility to the highly magical feel that they like. Even if dialed back, it would mean that the designers are actively trying to do something that is completely opposed to the entire reason the play the game. I think they're taking it too personal and over-reacting to a ham-handed attempt at balance, but I do think it's valid to look at the direction of where the playtest rules are going and take that as an indication of designer intent.

The updates also give an indication of designer intent, and have been problematic. The Heritage update created a lot of problems which haven't been addressed. The heritages create all sorts of bad incentives and don't feel like natural outgrowths of the ancestries but rather something tacked-on. The 1.6 class updates seem to double down on class siloing, in particular the Champion as reactionary. They also made class paths mutually exclusive, cutting off more options for customization. The Focus Test was possibly even worse than resonance, and the fact that this was their option for improving things again makes me somewhat skeptical of their choices.

My personal impression of some of the design intent based on what they decided to put into the playtest and updates includes: 1) Dramatic lowering of power-levels and a focus on preventing PCs being too powerful. Probably the biggest priority I see. 2) Coming down hard on anything that might potentially increase action-economy, such as animal companions and summoning. 3) Putting classes into strictly defined roles and preventing them from working outside of them, because that infringes on other classes role. 4) Making Ancestries not character definign. 5) When in doubt, nerf. Hard. And I dislike all of these goals. Particularly because implementation is so extreme. Sure some of the extreme nature might be because it was a test and they are probably going to let up a bit from the playtest version, but this is still the direction as far as I can tell. This is one thing that they've been bad about communicating, and the radio-silence on changes outside of a few points isn't encouraging. Priority 1 is what got us Resonance, the sorry state of magic in the playtest and the punishingly tight math. That's being improved somewhat, but how much? The fact that this seems to be a priority makes me think they're going to give back as little as they can get away with. Resonance is gone, but are the items going to be nerfed in exchange? The Focus test implies that yes, they feel without resonance restrictions, magic items should be much less useful, like a potion of Invisibility lasting only 1d4 rounds. They said spells are being improved, but how much and in what ways? Are they giving back any slots? Are they removing the need to heighten which effectively shrinks your useful slots even more? Probably not. I could go on, but this is already long and would probably just derail the thread into discussion of individual rules points. The playtest makes me suspect Paizo wants to take PF2 in a direction that I fundamentally dislike. Am I wrong with this interpretation of intent? Very possible. I sure hope so. But there hasn't been anything to tell me otherwise. There's been radio silence other than a few changes like resonance and vague assurances that things will be better with no explanation of how. Well the playtest experience did sadly reduce trust.

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And I definitely expect to House Rule the final version of PF2. I house rule almost every game I play beyond a certain complexity level. I just also suspect that such House Ruling will be much less extensive than that I did in PF1.

I'm hoping to have to house rule as little as possible. Every house rule is a point that can conflict with other rules. Any Paizo material is not going to be written for our house-rules. So the more changes we make to the exiting rules, the more we'll have to make to future material to work well. And if a game requires house-rules, then we'll probably not bother because we can play something that doesn't need so many.


Gorbacz wrote:

I believe Paizo will be happy to issue such licenses as long as a trustworthy and agreeable partners presents themselves. Which will likely mean a continuation of some previous arrangements and maybe some new ones.

Then I will clarify. Will there be a period in Russian? The first edition was published in Russian, how about the second? And when?


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This was already answered by Paizo.

Glenn Elliott wrote:

Our existing translation partners all have the option of continuing with Second Edition. In the unlikely event that any of them decline, we will seek out a new partner in that language.

We're also always open to discussing translations of Paizo products into new languages - we're currently in 10 languages counting English, but we'd love to have more! Our current partners are:

Chinese - Chengdu Starfish (formerly known as Guokr)
French - Black Book Editions
German - Ulisses Spiele
Hebrew - Monkey Time
Italian - Giochi Uniti
Japanese - Arclight
Portuguese - New Order Editora
Russian - Hobby World
Spanish - Devir

Each of these partners determines its own schedule for publication. We don't have a grand "worldwide release" that we coordinate with everyone, because it may not make sense in every market. So if you have questions about when a particular language will be available, I recommend that you contact our partners directly through their customer service contacts. Contacting them directly lets them know that you're interested, which is better coming directly from you than coming in aggregate from me. Though I'm happy to answer questions when I can!


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Doktor Weasel wrote:

1)Dramatic lowering of power-levels and a focus on preventing PCs being too powerful. Probably the biggest priority I see.

2) Coming down hard on anything that might potentially increase action-economy, such as animal companions and summoning.
3) Putting classes into strictly defined roles and preventing them from working outside of them, because that infringes on other classes role.
4) Making Ancestries not character definign.
5) When in doubt, nerf. Hard. And I dislike all of these goals.

I am very excited for Second Edition, but as a playtester I share this sentiment that those 5 things were done with the full intent and malice that people vilify them for. I know PF2 is pretty much already finished, but if those 5 are going to be the "Core Values" again, it's not gonna be pretty.

I agree with people here that the playtest rulebook should never be used again, in big part because of those issues. I'm optimstic for PF2 because people have made their wishes known and I expect this will translate into:

1) PCs being able to do crazy things, though I'm fine with they not being OP, as long as they are satisfying and interesting. (Not +1 to reflex saves with a shield or something)

2) Summons and Pets being fun to play. Some picks in PF1 could get too powerful, but it's because they had insane stats - They can just have low power level, but please keep their actions. Weak animal companions are pretty balanced even with full action economy. (See Pilo)

3) Make classes be able to use their abilities properly with different weapon/armor choices. Am looking at you, Paladin/Champion!

4) Ancestries having more front-loaded abilities so they can tell each other apart at level 1.

5) Abilities and items that people want to pick! Shifting through feats/items/spells to find the "least garbage" one to pick was quite the thought experiment. One of the goals was to make items not be worthless and ignored like in PF1, after all.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
The expectation was that this like previous playtests. That it was what PF2 was going to be, with some minor tweaks.

I mean that's not what a test is... I have to blame the early release / beta access key industry for this, where companies release a mostly finished product to create hype and call it a test (reserving the chance to make last minute changes).

That's not a beta test.
Whether that's a true test or not isn't the point. The point is that is how Paizo playtests have been historically. What is presented is generally fairly close to the final version. From what I understand now, the Playtest included a lot of experimental things that were apparently never even expected to survive, just generate data. That's quite a bit different than what happened historically, and it wasn't adequately communicated.

Looking at the Occult Adventures and (to a lesser degree) Advanced Class Guide playtests, I'm going to disagree pretty heavily on that.


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Imma just go ahead and say that I had the impression point 4 was completely opposite and that paizo wanted ancestries to be MORE defining. It was also very clear that they dropped the ball so hard it made a dent in the floor, but they've been pretty vocal about the intent to address that, so hey.

As for houserules... I'm fairly sure it's impossible for me to houserule P2 as much as I houseruled P1. You don't hit 54.4Mb in .txt and .rtf files by being conservative. But I have a few houserules already in place for the playtest rules and several spreadsheets ready (most focused on Cleric and armour, with my own ABP featured as a simplified version) and waiting for the final values so I can figure out if I need to houserule a few key points.
I'll keep y'all posted.

Liberty's Edge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
My personal impression of some of the design intent based on what they decided to put into the playtest and updates includes: 1) Dramatic lowering of power-levels and a focus on preventing PCs being too powerful. Probably the biggest priority I see.

I'd actually strongly disagree with this. The priority, as I understand it, is to narrow the gap between the most powerful characters and the least powerful ones. This is an extraordinarily important in making a healthy game, as it allows GMs and adventure writers to properly calibrate challenges for the game as a whole rather than necessarily doing so only for their specific group. It's also extraordinarily important in individual parties to allow players of varying optimization levels to actually all meaningfully contribute to the game. Having some characters vastly more powerful than others just creates several really unpleasant effects in games, and is absolutely something to be avoided.

Doing this inevitably does involve reducing the power level of a few of the more powerful options, but it's nowhere near as simple as 'lowering power levels', and indeed involves significantly raising the power levels of many options that were weaker in PF1. Rogues and Fighters are actually way more powerful in PF2 than they ever were in PF1, for example. As, frankly, are non-spellcasters and non-spell options in general.

So, in many ways, this is a side effect more than a goal, and not a universal effect at all, even then. The playtest also had math which resulted in PCs having low odds of success on many things, but that was actively a mistake in part (the original table and monsters had a math error), and has been corrected in any case. It was not a goal.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
2) Coming down hard on anything that might potentially increase action-economy, such as animal companions and summoning.

This is not quite how I'd phrase this. There's certainly an intent to reduce action economy enhancers, yes. This intent is because action economy is probably the most powerful single advantage one can have in most RPGs (both versions of Pathfinder included), and many people do not enjoy animal companions or summoning, and having those be much more powerful than other options is non-fun for many of those people in addition to causing the aforementioned problems when some characters are vastly more powerful than others.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
3) Putting classes into strictly defined roles and preventing them from working outside of them, because that infringes on other classes role.

I don't think this is a goal at all. Or no more than it was in PF1 anyway. Classes in PF1 are actually tightly mechanically restrictive compared to many games if examined in a vacuum, at least as tightly as PF2 stuff in many cases (there are a few exceptions, like the weird armor proficiency thing, but they're rare). We're just so used to their restrictions, and Archetypes give so many ways around them, that we don't think about and examine them any more.

Now, some Classes have switched roles to a degree that some people may not find fun (Paladin/Champion being reactive, for example), and that could and probably should be fixed, but that's the Class changing, not necessarily being more restricted than many PF1 Classes were.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
4) Making Ancestries not character definign.

Huh? I think Ancestry is at least as character defining as Race ever was. The free Ability bonus makes some better at things they don't have a penalty in, but that was always workable, and the Ancestry Feats seem to me to actually make Ancestry more meaningful if anything. Certainly not less, anyway.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
5) When in doubt, nerf. Hard.

Again, all evidence points to this being a side effect. They thought PF1 was overpowered at the high end (especially in terms of magic)...and based on people's general opinions most people agreed with that. When adjusting things downward, from a testing perspective, it's much better to take such a thing too far than to take things not far enough. If you err on the side of taking them too far, then you can roll back and adjust, but if you don't take them far enough you'll never know how far you should've taken them.

In short, this is a pretty common part of testing methodology rather than necessarily an end goal. It's another one that they've said they're fixing in the final version, too.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
And I dislike all of these goals.

I dislike 4 out of 5 of those goals. Most of them quite strongly. I also, however, strongly disagree that the playtest indicates any of them as Paizo's actual goals. I understand how it could feel that way, but none of the commentary or changes indicate any of those four I disagree with are their actual goals for anything.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Huh? I think Ancestry is at least as character defining as Race ever was. The free Ability bonus makes some better at things they don't have a penalty in, but that was always workable, and the Ancestry Feats seem to me to actually make Ancestry more meaningful if anything. Certainly not less, anyway.

Agree with your post except this part. The Ability score modifiers are almost irrelevant since pretty much any race can end up with the same stats as another race, as compared to previous RPGs. This is fine by me, since it lets you try combinations impossible before, but it does make them more "samey" (Only thing that matters is where you want to dump stat).

Ancestry feats, in theory, should make them a bigger choice, if it wasn't for the fact that once you have all the ancestry feats you've just caught up with the PF1 equivalent of the race. The "race-specific" feats in PF1 are way more impressive.

Darkvision and speed differences are still a thing, but they are less of a gap than they were before.

Their ability scores are less relevant, their in-built abilities take much longer to become notable, the speed/senses difference are less polarizing, size is completely irrelevant...

I'd be shocked to find one thing that a playtest ancestry impacts more than in PF1 before level 10+. At least they're even in Lore, right? Oh wait, they put a bunch of exotic subraces (Svirfneblin!!) in there with no guidance or accuracy.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:


The point is that is how Paizo playtests have been historically. What is presented is generally fairly close to the final version. From what I understand now, the Playtest included a lot of experimental things that were apparently never even expected to survive, just generate data. That's quite a bit different than what happened historically, and it wasn't adequately communicated.

Did you participate in, or keep an eye on the PF1 playtest ten years ago? I didn't test, but I had a friend who was working through the material and shared it with me consistently. There were a lot of experimental things that never made it into the PF1 core. In fact I'd say the PF1 and PF2 playtests behaved pretty similarly - the chief difference being that this one was better structured as a test - so the feedback from testers should be aligned better toward what they wanted to learn about these potential mechanics.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:

One of the most fascinating questions in any shift, though, is about what sorts of changes excite people vs don't care or upsetting for changing something from the way it was before. We found out that the fanbase as a whole was actually much more liberal with monster mechanics changes than the general Paizo office itself as a whole (always dangerous to take a group of disparate and creative people as a whole, on either side, but doing that here since we surveyed the office too), which is not what I expected. It shows that whoever says the fanbase as a whole is not open to change is wrong; it just has to be the sorts of change you guys like or that makes sense to you.

You know what RPGers love more than anything ?

It is telling stories about the memorable moments they played or GMed at the table.

Anything that helps the game be more memorable will be welcome with open arms :-)


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Yeah, the comments on nerfing PCs/weakening their abilities seem off. With the skill feats and hitting Legendary, you're seeing characters able to land from space with little harm, literally scare someone to death via intimidation, then go ham swimming across the planet like they were Heracles. On top of that, the dice increases for enhanced weaponry get to insane levels for singular attacks.

Casters may have gone down a bit (though they too can take skill feats), but closing the gap isn't a bad thing. And I seem to recall some of the things being addressed for the main game is a general improvement/powering up of casters.

If both martials and casters can be badass gods by level 20, I can dig it.


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Mewzard wrote:

Yeah, the comments on nerfing PCs/weakening their abilities seem off. With the skill feats and hitting Legendary, you're seeing characters able to land from space with little harm, literally scare someone to death via intimidation, then go ham swimming across the planet like they were Heracles. On top of that, the dice increases for enhanced weaponry get to insane levels for singular attacks.

Casters may have gone down a bit (though they too can take skill feats), but closing the gap isn't a bad thing. And I seem to recall some of the things being addressed for the main game is a general improvement/powering up of casters.

If both martials and casters can be badass gods by level 20, I can dig it.

One thing I noticed about casters and skill feats is that a lot of things that used to be "baseline" are now skill feats - mostly in regards to what you can do to magic things up. So casters (who already are normally the best with their casting skill) likely level it up and tend to take the magic-oriented skill feats to "do magic better" and perform other associated magic-related deeds like identification or spell managment.

This might be a form of feat taxing, but I don't mind it - being good at magic is hard and it does mean you won't be good at climbing or swimming. Neeeerd.


Ediwir wrote:

One thing I noticed about casters and skill feats is that a lot of things that used to be "baseline" are now skill feats - mostly in regards to what you can do to magic things up. So casters (who already are normally the best with their casting skill) likely level it up and tend to take the magic-oriented skill feats to "do magic better" and perform other associated magic-related deeds like identification or spell managment.

This might be a form of feat taxing, but I don't mind it - being good at magic is hard and it does mean you won't be good at climbing or swimming. Neeeerd.

Meanwhile, the Fighter can leap 30 feat in the air towards a mountain and casually climb to the top, lol.


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My impressions are the same as Deadmanwalking's, for the most part.

And considering I have a group of players that runs the gamut from "I found a combo that lets me reliably deal 200 damage to ranged touch AC in one round as a 9th level character" to "My paladin/cavalier/gunslinger is going to take a level of alchemist because I like potions!", I'd have to say that narrowing the range between most optimized and least optimized characters is the single most important design goal of PF2e for me.

...I'm not kidding about either of those example, by the way, they both happened...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

So Gabe's character in the Oblivion Oath live stream is an Iruxi! They are going to be showing a custom ancestry, and the name for Lizardfolk is now Iruxi. Should be cool!


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MaxAstro wrote:

My impressions are the same as Deadmanwalking's, for the most part.

And considering I have a group of players that runs the gamut from "I found a combo that lets me reliably deal 200 damage to ranged touch AC in one round as a 9th level character" to "My paladin/cavalier/gunslinger is going to take a level of alchemist because I like potions!", I'd have to say that narrowing the range between most optimized and least optimized characters is the single most important design goal of PF2e for me.

...I'm not kidding about either of those example, by the way, they both happened...

I also have a group of players that varies from "leopard Agathiel with dread wings armour for a ton of pounce attacks" to "slayer 5/shadowdancer 9 focusing on a single sneak attack each round", so narrowing the cap is quite important for me as well.


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Cyouni wrote:
"slayer 5/shadowdancer 9"

Now while 9 levels is probably a waste, a slayer 5 shadowdancer 3 is absolutely insane if only for the Shadow Companion, which is one of the strongest abilities in the entire game.

Especially with a Full BAB base class. If he dipped for 3 SD and went back to slayer, he would have been extremely powerful (especially if he went Stygian Slayer).

Shadow Companion is legit overpowered and scales way too strongly outside of the prestige (since all of its stats are based on character level).

So to add to that point, not everything is about builds, it's about how you play the build.

There's not much you can do for people that don't know how to perform within the confines of the class, and it's my experience that those people rarely care that much about being that impactful, it's mostly about building on their narrative. It can be frustrating to balance encounters as a GM because of that, but I usually like to give those players a little more leeway (since they're often comic relief or driving narratives well on the positive side).

You can help builds, but you can't change playstyles.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Shadow companions are honestly not a problem. Either they get shredded by enemies with magic weapons or the party fighters outpace the Str damage before the shadow can kill anything.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Shadow companions are honestly not a problem. Either they get shredded by enemies with magic weapons or the party fighters outpace the Str damage before the shadow can kill anything.

An incorporeal creature that can fly and has effectively the same hitpoints as a d10 class that also has full BAB with a strength drain attacks that scales as you level your D10 full BAB class is strong.

At the level you get the shadow it has a full attack touch attack for two strength drains and the same effective hit points as you that can literally run from the fight through the ground when it gets too low.

Agree to disagree. At level 8 when it comes online not every creature even has a way to damage them. It's also a fantastic guaranteed flank, an amazing scout, and just generally an amazing ability.

The value on it is unbeatable.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

It doesn’t get iteratives on its touch attack and the Str damage never goes up. It’s not a problem. Every party I’ve seen with a shadow dancer has killed the enemy before the shadow could do more than one touch.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
It doesn’t get iteratives on its touch attack and the Str damage never goes up. It’s not a problem. Every party I’ve seen with a shadow dancer has killed the enemy before the shadow could do more than one touch.

Why wouldn't it get iteratives? It's a primary attack not a special attack, the special only says that its touch does strength damage, and has no action listed.

It can use its touch as a primary just fine.

Even if it doesn't get the iterative, it's still extremely good.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

The greater shadow has a BAB of +6 and only one touch attack. It’s a standard action supernatural ability that cannot be used as part of a full attack. You get a CR 3 creature with improved HP, attacks, and saves. Useful in some tough situations and a great resource against dumb animals that can’t harm it. But it’s not overpowered.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
The greater shadow has a BAB of +6 and only one touch attack. It’s a standard action supernatural ability that cannot be used as part of a full attack. You get a CR 3 creature with improved HP, attacks, and saves.

An incorporeal flying stealthy creature with the HP and higher BAB and saves than a Greater Shadow (CR 8) that can always flank and attack move into the floor and out of the floor at the cost of a 3 level dip where you also get hide in plain sight and (improved) evasion as a bonus.

I stand by my feelings. It presents more than you're letting on because you're assuming a single target fight where the fighter is just wrecking face. On split enemies or two or three strong targets it has more than enough opportunities to kill targets with the slayer. And let's not pretend the STR damage doesn't provide penalties.

This thread isn't about this though.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Str damage doesn’t provide penalties when the target doesn’t get to attack. Again, it’s useful. It isn’t the greatest gift. (I’m actually taking my slayer through shadow dancer as well.)


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Midnightoker wrote:

... So to add to that point, not everything is about builds, it's about how you play the build.

There's not much you can do for people that don't know how to perform within the confines of the class, and it's my experience that those people rarely care that much about being that impactful, it's mostly about building on their narrative. It can be frustrating to balance encounters as a GM because of that, but I usually like to give those players a little more leeway (since they're often comic relief or driving narratives well on the positive side).

You can help builds, but you can't change playstyles.

Preach it!

I have two stories about that. In my Iron Gods campaign, the fighter took Leadership and gained a wizard cohort. I am fairly sure that he found the wizard build on the Internet, a Samsaran with Mystic Past Lives optimized as a magic item crafter. And in the first combat the samsaran wizard pulled out a dagger and joined his fighter leader in melee combat.

The fighter's player had never played Pathfinder nor any other roleplaying game before my campaign. And the party of fighter, magus, gunslinger, skald, and bloodrager had previously had no vulnerable characters that needed to stay out of melee. Even the dwarf gunslinger slung a pickaxe. Thus, the player had never seen the standard ways to play a low-Con wizard. The wizard soon learned to attack with spells rather than a dagger, but he never learned to protect himself.

The second story is from these Paizo forums. Darksol the Painbringer had begun a thread in October 2017 called, "How can Ranged Combat even be feasible?. He said that it required too many feats to make it work. Two hundred comments about how longbow archery works just fine, he clarified that he was playing a Rapid-Shot Crossbow Ace and needed Crossbow Mastery to load his heavy crossbow as a free action. As Chess Pwn said in comment #314, "See, this is where you're missing the point, thrown and crossbows AREN'T meant to fill the same role as the bow." I said the same thing, but Chess Pwn said it better.

I hope that Pathfinder 2nd Edition gives a good description of each subclass so that the players can judge whether they will like a playstyle supported by the subclass. For example, Storm Order for druid in the playtest gave the description, "You carry nature’s fury within you, channeling it to terrifying effect and riding the winds and storms." That was not enough warning for the same player who had sent a Samarsan wizard into melee. He created a Storm druid for The Lost Star first chapter of the Doomsday Dawn playtest. In his hands, the druid functioned okay as a melee character, hitting with his scimitar.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
"slayer 5/shadowdancer 9"

Now while 9 levels is probably a waste, a slayer 5 shadowdancer 3 is absolutely insane if only for the Shadow Companion, which is one of the strongest abilities in the entire game.

Especially with a Full BAB base class. If he dipped for 3 SD and went back to slayer, he would have been extremely powerful (especially if he went Stygian Slayer).

Shadow Companion is legit overpowered and scales way too strongly outside of the prestige (since all of its stats are based on character level).

So to add to that point, not everything is about builds, it's about how you play the build.

There's not much you can do for people that don't know how to perform within the confines of the class, and it's my experience that those people rarely care that much about being that impactful, it's mostly about building on their narrative. It can be frustrating to balance encounters as a GM because of that, but I usually like to give those players a little more leeway (since they're often comic relief or driving narratives well on the positive side).

You can help builds, but you can't change playstyles.

Yeah, the problem with it was less "slayer 5/shadowdancer 9" and more the "building around a single sneak attack each round with 1d6 sneak dice". (As I recall, it was also with like 8 Str and thrown +3 called starknife with no Deadly Aim, so it was something like 1d4+2+1d6 each round. Spectacularly ineffective.)

You can actually do quite a bit with slayer 5/shadowdancer 9, just not the way he was doing it. It's never going to be the greatest thing, but it'll keep up.


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About the comments with the combo dealing 200 damage per round vs touch AC... I say this all the time. But, I'd say, 90% of the time when a player comes up with something insane, they're stacking something that doesn't stack, or misusing an ability.
I had a friend who was GMing a game. He was frustrated because it had gotten out of control. He invited me to come sit in. He had players doing all this insane stuff. Stomping all over his encounters. I casually walked behind them glanced at their sheets as they played.
I called him the next day. "Your group's monk can't possibly have a 52 AC at level 10. He's stacking 3 of the same bonus type."
"Your wizard cannot possibly be doing 300 damage with his fireball every round. He's using an ability that can only be used once per day every round."
And so on, down his list of players. They were all angry and I wasn't invited back.

1st edition isn't nearly as broken as a lot of people think it is. It wasn't perfect, to be sure. But many "awesome" combos were actually illegal.


Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

About the comments with the combo dealing 200 damage per round vs touch AC... I say this all the time. But, I'd say, 90% of the time when a player comes up with something insane, they're stacking something that doesn't stack, or misusing an ability.

I had a friend who was GMing a game. He was frustrated because it had gotten out of control. He invited me to come sit in. He had players doing all this insane stuff. Stomping all over his encounters. I casually walked behind them glanced at their sheets as they played.
I called him the next day. "Your group's monk can't possibly have a 52 AC at level 10. He's stacking 3 of the same bonus type."
"Your wizard cannot possibly be doing 300 damage with his fireball every round. He's using an ability that can only be used once per day every round."
And so on, down his list of players. They were all angry and I wasn't invited back.

1st edition isn't nearly as broken as a lot of people think it is. It wasn't perfect, to be sure. But many "awesome" combos were actually illegal.

Yup. Worse part is that you learn a combo is invalid every day. But still there were valid op ones, that in practice no one i ever seen play uses cause they are boring xD


TBF, the 200-damage combo is in large part because the player is using a Path of War class, and he can only do it once per combat to a single target before needing to reset. It also leaves him basically empty for the rest of the fight.

OTOH, the combo the same group of players found to abuse teamwork feats to just utterly curbstomp anything that they could surround works every round, every foe, and was averaging similar amounts of damage at the same level, albeit from the entire party. "You provoke two attacks of opportunity from... everyone" is vicious when the party includes a Bloodrager and a Vigilante.

Also it's funny you mention AC 52, I'm actually playing in a campaign where I legitimately have AC 52. :P However, that's a fairly gonzo off-the-rails campaign. I have that AC because I'm a (DSP) Psion and I used True Mind Switch to steal the body of Yethazmari (yes, THAT Yethazmari), whom the GM had upgraded with both the Advanced and Invincible templates. AC 52 is pretty easy when you have 24 points of natural armor. :P


I loved psionics.


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Alenvire wrote:

So after my party did the first AP for 2nd edition we all lost all interest. It just did not feel good in our hands. I know there has been updates but I honestly lost so much interest in it that I could not keep up to date with the changes.

So, Now that the launch is announced for august 1st What is peoples current opinion of 2nd edition as we know of it and review of it. And if you would put whether you had a similar first impression and if it has changed and why, or if not I would appreciate that. My own lack of interest is making it hard to sell it to my players.

TBH the comment section is not the best place to answer your question. You’ll either get that the system is horrible and reasons their group stopped playing, though most of them have left. Or you’ll get the other end of the spectrum that everything Paizo does is fairy dust and rainbows, which is mostly what you’ll get now. There are very few honest balanced reviews. You will have to read the updates and previews yourself to get an idea if the new system is for you. Better yet, wait untill it releases, and read through CRB before you buy it. Hopefully there should be enough information by then to draw an educated conclusion.


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Well said, although I like to think there are a few more nuanced voices. For my part I'm really excited about where 2e is shaping up, but I also freely admit everything is not fairy dust and rainbows. The playtest Ranger and Alchemist were straight up bad, and I wish both Resonance and level to untrained skills had been kept.


Mark Seifter wrote:
You're going to see me around here very excited, and ultimately, I think the final product is worthy of that excitement. But even so, there will be things we all want to houserule. That's one of the strengths of tabletop RPGs. And one of the particular strengths of PF2 is how much easier it is for even an inexperienced group to apply and adjust houserules to change things and not run into tons of unexpected side effects. That's part of why, despite the crazy hours on the launch books, I'm so excited for the book where we can really get into teaching you guys how to do that part (and excited that we can do that early, not midway through like Unchained). An edition where all of you guys can be designers modifying to fit what your group wants (or shaking it up every campaign to fit a particular vision) is just so awesome to me! (not to mention it should make it more inviting for people to dip their toes into creating awesome third party products)

Okay where is this book and how do I get it.

;)

Paizo Employee Designer

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Roswynn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
You're going to see me around here very excited, and ultimately, I think the final product is worthy of that excitement. But even so, there will be things we all want to houserule. That's one of the strengths of tabletop RPGs. And one of the particular strengths of PF2 is how much easier it is for even an inexperienced group to apply and adjust houserules to change things and not run into tons of unexpected side effects. That's part of why, despite the crazy hours on the launch books, I'm so excited for the book where we can really get into teaching you guys how to do that part (and excited that we can do that early, not midway through like Unchained). An edition where all of you guys can be designers modifying to fit what your group wants (or shaking it up every campaign to fit a particular vision) is just so awesome to me! (not to mention it should make it more inviting for people to dip their toes into creating awesome third party products)

Okay where is this book and how do I get it.

;)

Not at launch, but soon! I can't reveal any details yet, and I honestly don't know when reveals are planned, but PaizoCon would typically be a good time to find out more about unannounced products (note: not sure what we will reveal at PaizoCon, just speculating).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Not at launch, but soon! I can't reveal any details yet, and I honestly don't know when reveals are planned, but PaizoCon would typically be a good time to find out more about unannounced products (note: not sure what we will reveal at PaizoCon, just speculating).

Hahah, it's fine Mark, I will certainly pay close attention to everything surrounding PaizoCon, but even just the thought that at one point we'll have a book teaching us how to modify the system... this is SO GOOD XD

Liberty's Edge

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Roswynn wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Not at launch, but soon! I can't reveal any details yet, and I honestly don't know when reveals are planned, but PaizoCon would typically be a good time to find out more about unannounced products (note: not sure what we will reveal at PaizoCon, just speculating).
Hahah, it's fine Mark, I will certainly pay close attention to everything surrounding PaizoCon, but even just the thought that at one point we'll have a book teaching us how to modify the system... this is SO GOOD XD

Evidence suggests that this will be the book with rules for creating your own monsters in it. If that's true, it's very likely indeed to be one of the first books out after the Core Rules, Bestiary, and Age of Lost Omens books.

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