Is there any info out yet how many skills made the cut?


Second Edition

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The playtest saw quize a reduction in skills. And with podcasts underway iam wondering if there is any info already on which / how many skills amde the final cut?

Silver Crusade

I'm 99% sure they've confirmed that no skills were added or taken away for the final as compared to the playtest.

One way to research: skim through all the notes/discussions linked in my "What Do We Know?" thread and see if it's mentioned.


Did anyone complain about the reduction in skills beyond Thievery? And while there were folks who complained about Disable Device being lumped in with Sleight of Hand, I'd bet the vast majority of people either were in favor or didn't care. Though I don't remember if there was a survey question on skill consolidation specifically.


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I complain about all Craft skills being combined into one. Probably a few other things there I don't like as much... The new skill list is VERY small.

Isn't perform also silly like this?

Also the reduction of knowledges makes monster identification really awkward.


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ChibiNyan wrote:

I complain about all Craft skills being combined into one. Probably a few other things there I don't like as much... The new skill list is VERY small.

Isn't perform also silly like this?

Also the reduction of knowledges makes monster identification really awkward.

I suspect you're in the minority on this, as well, though Craft and Perform are legit examples. I just don't think many especially Want to need separate investment to play a tuba than a piano, or to craft an earn instead of a basket.

Monster knowledge just requires making it apparent what goes where, which admittedly the playtest failed to do but has been acknowledged as an issue they were fixing by the design team. There's only a small category of monsters that can't be thematically matched to at least one skill, like oozes. And frankly oozes being in Dungeoneering was kind of arbitrary to begin with.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I also didn't hear about any skills getting added or removed.

I felt the playtest struck a good balance, particularly making perception automatic. Having skill feats that let you tweak your skillset is a boon, too, and gives back some of the customization aspects of a high resolution skill list.


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I liked the Craft skills being combined with the "I am especially good at one kind of thing" being a craft skill feat.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm extremely happy to not need to seriously hurt my character's effectiveness to do light opera (Act, Sing, and Comedy).

Craft and Perform are already weak skills. Letting them be more general is taking away a needless fetter on them.

In answer to the initial question, though, we haven't had any indication of the skills being changed up. It'd be surprising to me if they got a lot of strong feedback on that from the playtest, and without strong feedback on it, they're likely going to go with their initial plan.

Liberty's Edge

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All evidence we have suggests the Skill list is unchanged from the playtest. We know for a fact that Acrobatics, Athletics, Intimidate, Deception, Diplomacy, Society, Medicine, and Religion are in from the Oblivion Oath streams, as well as knowing that Perception and Lores still work pretty much the same.

Given that, I don't even know what skills they could've changed and have it make sense. I think we can assume the list will remain the same.

I'm quite pleased with this since I think the PF2 Skill List is both manageable and well thought out.


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Offloading some of the nuance and specifics of skills onto skill feats is honestly pretty great. I still think the name "Thievery" is iffy, but as it stands, we have a solid list when paired with skill feats.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Did anyone complain about the reduction in skills beyond Thievery? And while there were folks who complained about Disable Device being lumped in with Sleight of Hand, I'd bet the vast majority of people either were in favor or didn't care. Though I don't remember if there was a survey question on skill consolidation specifically.

I did. I admit it puts me into the minority.

The pattern we saw during the playtest, and during the post-playtest play still going on, is that there isn't a lot of separation between characters. They're all equally good at all skills. This is a mix of the +Level approach, the small number of skills, and that players don't find a lot of value in the Feats, so they load up on skill training. This strategy generally means the party can make the skill rolls required of the adventures even if the individual characters cannot consistently hit the target numbers. I guess that's a long way of saying that taken as a whole I've not been happy with the skill system.

Oddly enough, I'm surprised PF2 has an Acrobatics skill. To me, Acrobatics would be better as a feature offered to an Expert or Master level in Athletics.

I also admit that I didn't understand the Lore skill at the beginning. I don't mind its function now. I still don't care for the name.

Anyways, most of my troubles related back to wanting to run games that don't fit with Paizo's conceptions of character/party make up. One of my friends has to remind me from time to time that Paizo assumes there will be just four characters. I tend to envision adventures for 8-12. At that game table, there also tends to be 5-8 players.

Liberty's Edge

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I think your experience is unusual, partially because of the number of characters, but equally because people are actually taking Skill Training as a Feat. I literally never saw that taken in Doomsday Dawn, and my players like Skills quite a bit.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To be fair, now that trained now gets you from +0 to +lvl, skill training feat now is a lot more attractive.

I personally plan on taking it quite a bit, especially given many of the skill feats I saw in the playtest I'm house ruling to roll up into a base use of the skill. This could change if skill feats are significantly improved though.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I think your experience is unusual, partially because of the number of characters, but equally because people are actually taking Skill Training as a Feat. I literally never saw that taken in Doomsday Dawn, and my players like Skills quite a bit.

I think it became much more clear over the past year to me, to everyone, that yes I do look for different things and that my needs and Paizo's direction are diverging. And, more obvious these last couple of months, these changes are causing stress at the game table in the form of changing group dynamics.

Game #1 participated in the playtest. The players started out with enthusiasm, but didn't collectively end up there. As this game has multiple DMs, we have had to come to grips with the differences in our approaches and the effects changing systems has on those DMs.

At this point, Game #1 is basically in a holding pattern. The active DM is using the PF2 playtest rules. But, In the gap between now and PF2's release other DMs are sort of taking the opportunity to look around at other games. I can't predict if we'll come back together as a group with 5 DMs (and 3 non-DM players) running from the same world (as it has been), or if the table will be 5 DMs running their own worlds potentially using different systems.

I honestly cannot read the table and make a good prediction. I would have said the table went with PF2 because the primary DM really likes Golarion, but in the last week he has started to show an interest in D&D 5e. He's considering remaining active in Pathfinder organized play, but that perhaps 5e is a better fit for the available time the DMs have and the inexperience of the non-DM players. I didn't see that coming.

Anyways, yes, my needs are not typical. I hope the masses get what they want. I'm probably being cast adrift from Paizo, which is kind of okay. It is kind of freeing. In terms of Game #1, I might not even have to use PF1 any more. Not that PF1 is bad. It just hasn't always been a good fit either.

Game #2 is much easier. They're not changing; life goes on.


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WatersLethe wrote:
This could change if skill feats are significantly improved though.

And herein is the big "if".

The whole system is contingent on how Skill Feats are done, from both sides of the fence.

Those that do not like the implementation, are hanging their hats on "hopefully Skill Feats change enough to make this make sense" and the side that likes the changes always points to "Skill Feats should fix most of the issues you have".

Now that's all well and good, but not Playtesting something that is contingent for a lot of people to like an entire system is a scary thought.

I'll be totally honest, if Skill Feats didn't get a significant overhaul across the board, I'm going to look at other systems at least to make sure I'm sound with my choice.

So little changed in regards to Skills from what I can see in the streams, that I'm worried.

Did some individual problematic feats get changed? Sure, but those items were particularly hinged on other systems/ideas (mainly healing without spells is what I'm thinking of here).

I think any amount of handwaving in regards to concerns about the skill system because "skill feats will fix the problem" is unfair. Skill Feats certainly could, but there is so much more than a "buff them a bit" that needs to happen:

- Realistically, Class Feats and Archetype Feats that affect skills need to be changed so they can be taken by Skill Feats. They alluded to this in the case of the Pirate, but not really to what extent it applies or what that really means

- Skill Feats need to scale to be actually valuable.

- Skill Feats need to augment the ability to do a task in a lot of places, not restrict it (Mark has implied picking pockets will now work this way)

- Skills need more opportunities for increases at the lower stages or costs that are relative (advancing Trained->Expert being cheaper than Expert -> Master) otherwise the spreads are going to be slim or pidgeon-holed from level 1.

That's just off the top of my head.

And while there does seem to be some movement in regards to all of these from what we've heard, that's a lot of work to make all those changes.

Work that I would appreciate exceptionally. However, the wider the spread, the more cracks things can fall through.

Not every Skill Feat was likely thoroughly tested. Not every Skill "wall" was reached. Inevitably, something is going to get missed or left by the way side in light of the methodology for advancing skills in this system (when all of it is contingent on Skill Feats, it means those need to exist for concepts to be actualized).

A full reveal isn't expected, but given how little we know on Skill Feats and how much we are all hinging our satisfaction on them being "done right", I think threads like this deserve a fair amount of discussion and concern.

We're talking print media here, not something they can just push a patch release out on week 1 and resolve. If Skill Feats do not resolve the issues with Skills and Skill Proficiency, the system will not be satisfactory for a lot of people.

And while some may not care, Skills are probably the number 1 system I wanted revised from PF1 (3.5 actually did it the best IMO, which while complicated offered Skill Tricks, Class Proficiency levels, wider spreads, "no skill left behind" approach", without generalizing the value of being proficient).

Anyone that's completely confident everything is going to be fine in regards to Skill Feats and the marriage of Proficiency to Skills through Skill Feats is operating on blind faith. We do not have near enough evidence to state things like "Skill Feats will resolve this" because we just don't know that to be true yet.

I am hopeful though.


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WatersLethe wrote:
To be fair, now that trained now gets you from +0 to +lvl, skill training feat now is a lot more attractive.

I'm certain that will figure into people's thinking about their choices.

The situation at the table is usually related to time pressure. The newer players face analysis paralysis with most of the Feats. They say there are too many Feats with elaborate or obscure conditions on them and skill training offers a constant bonus and more carefree play. They don't have to hold up play to spend a couple of minutes reading their abilities.

At least that's my interpretation of what they say.

I have myself, as part of the playtest, been asked to make many characters. We use Hero Lab Online. It usually takes me about 2 hours to make a character, most of it spent parsing the nuances of Feats. I can see where they're coming from. As much as skill rolls are called for, as challenging as DCs can be, as simple as the Skill Training Feat is to understand... it has a lot of appeal.

Liberty's Edge

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If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.


Btw as those skills dont exist any longer (even in playtest): How is it handled when someone needs to ride a beast, steer a ship, fly around obstacles, ...? not over skills or if over skills over which ones?


Deadmanwalking wrote:

If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.

I wouldn't say their choice is permanent. Any of the DMs would let them rejigger their character.

These players don't invest in games, so they cannot work on characters outside of the play sessions.

These players usually just want a character made so they can play them. They're not into extensive crafting, nor having lots of options once play begins.

The time pressure comes from the notion that it would be nice to have to have finished a character in the four-hour session set aside for character generation, and if they finish more quickly they can play something that night.


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To follow up on my previous message, some of these uninvested players actually prefer we make characters for them. When this happens, we have to keep them simple. Complex Feats are ignored Feats. Characters with spells are no good. Characters with Reactions are no good. These are very casual players. They're fun to play with, but they do not have an interest in the underlying system.


Trying to get back to skills as I fear I've taken things off-topic trying to explain my observations...

I suspect some of the players at my table will be interested in other Skill Feats so long as the bonuses are generally applicable and offer some obvious improvement. Feats that deliver a meaningless bonus only during an eclipse will get ignored.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.

I wouldn't say their choice is permanent. Any of the DMs would let them rejigger their character.

These players don't invest in games, so they cannot work on characters outside of the play sessions.

These players usually just want a character made so they can play them. They're not into extensive crafting, nor having lots of options once play begins.

The time pressure comes from the notion that it would be nice to have to have finished a character in the four-hour session set aside for character generation, and if they finish more quickly they can play something that night.

I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.


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Malk_Content wrote:
I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.

Yeh, exactly. We know their tastes. We usually premake a Barbarian, an Archer, and a Healbot. Sometimes that doesn't scratch the itch and they want to consider some adjustments or try something new. Then we can't pull out an rename an old character.

This then leads to the 60-something person who spends most of their time caring for an elderly parent just making quick choices for things that seem unrelated to their conception. They made the big decisions of Race, Class, Abilities, Armor, Weapon, Skills, and just want Feats to go away.


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Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.

Yeh, exactly. We know their tastes. We usually premake a Barbarian, an Archer, and a Healbot. Sometimes that doesn't scratch the itch and they want to consider some adjustments or try something new. Then we can't pull out an rename an old character.

This then leads to the 60-something person who spends most of their time caring for an elderly parent just making quick choices for things that seem unrelated to their conception. They made the big decisions of Race, Class, Abilities, Armor, Weapon, Skills, and just want Feats to go away.

DnD 5e or even a Powered by the Apocolypse game might be better for those folks. Of course as long as everyone is still having fun that is what is important.


KageNoRyu wrote:
Btw as those skills dont exist any longer (even in playtest): How is it handled when someone needs to ride a beast, steer a ship, fly around obstacles, ...? not over skills or if over skills over which ones?

Anybody can ride a horse, but there is a Skill Feat Ride that makes you a better rider.

Sail should be a Lore (Sailor), as a lot of other skills, since you can try untrained, not a problem there

Fly aroud obstacles should be a Acrobatics check, but can see a little of variance between tables

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.

Yeh, exactly. We know their tastes. We usually premake a Barbarian, an Archer, and a Healbot. Sometimes that doesn't scratch the itch and they want to consider some adjustments or try something new. Then we can't pull out an rename an old character.

This then leads to the 60-something person who spends most of their time caring for an elderly parent just making quick choices for things that seem unrelated to their conception. They made the big decisions of Race, Class, Abilities, Armor, Weapon, Skills, and just want Feats to go away.

DnD 5e or even a Powered by the Apocolypse game might be better for those folks. Of course as long as everyone is still having fun that is what is important.

I have a very good friend who lost all interest in our game sessions because creating the characters and properly using their abilities took so much time and system mastery. He just wanted to put his PC-suit on and start adventuring. It did not help that we also spent much time rules-lawyering (because we did not want to lose our PC or even the whole party to a rule that was understood differently by a player or several and the GM).

I now see him very rarely and I miss not having him in our games because we had great fun playing together.

I hope PF2 will be amenable to this kind of players too, even though I do not have high hopes because complexity seems so much ingrained in its DnD-PF1 DNA :-(


Bardarok wrote:
DnD 5e or even a Powered by the Apocolypse game might be better for those folks. Of course as long as everyone is still having fun that is what is important.

Hence the stress. What has been a coalition of DMs under PF1 is now uncertain where it will go. When the primary DM started looking at D&D 5e, I was very surprised. I've not played D&D 5e, so I don't know if it is a good choice. Oddly enough, I was thinking of Original D&D for a couple of sessions to see how it went.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.

Yeh, exactly. We know their tastes. We usually premake a Barbarian, an Archer, and a Healbot. Sometimes that doesn't scratch the itch and they want to consider some adjustments or try something new. Then we can't pull out an rename an old character.

This then leads to the 60-something person who spends most of their time caring for an elderly parent just making quick choices for things that seem unrelated to their conception. They made the big decisions of Race, Class, Abilities, Armor, Weapon, Skills, and just want Feats to go away.

DnD 5e or even a Powered by the Apocolypse game might be better for those folks. Of course as long as everyone is still having fun that is what is important.

I have a very good friend who lost all interest in our game sessions because creating the characters and properly using their abilities took so much time and system mastery. He just wanted to put his PC-suit on and start adventuring. It did not help that we also spent much time rules-lawyering (because we did not want to lose our PC or even the whole party to a rule that was understood differently by a player or several and the GM).

I now see him very rarely and I miss not having him in our games because we had great fun playing together.

I hope PF2 will be amenable to this kind of players too, even though I do not have high hopes because complexity seems so much ingrained in its DnD-PF1 DNA :-(

I doubt PF2 will be sufficiency simple for such a player. But if I may make a suggestion: I also have friends who I like gaming with but who think of DnD 5e as complicated and Pathfinder as impossible. What I do is run one offs every other month or so with Monster of the Week (a powered by the Apocalypse game system) it's very different than PF but it scratches the itch and is much more friendly to casual TTRPG folks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I have one of those players. I just asked them what they wanted in a character, built 2-3 versions of it and asked them which they liked best.

Yeh, exactly. We know their tastes. We usually premake a Barbarian, an Archer, and a Healbot. Sometimes that doesn't scratch the itch and they want to consider some adjustments or try something new. Then we can't pull out an rename an old character.

This then leads to the 60-something person who spends most of their time caring for an elderly parent just making quick choices for things that seem unrelated to their conception. They made the big decisions of Race, Class, Abilities, Armor, Weapon, Skills, and just want Feats to go away.

DnD 5e or even a Powered by the Apocolypse game might be better for those folks. Of course as long as everyone is still having fun that is what is important.

I have a very good friend who lost all interest in our game sessions because creating the characters and properly using their abilities took so much time and system mastery. He just wanted to put his PC-suit on and start adventuring. It did not help that we also spent much time rules-lawyering (because we did not want to lose our PC or even the whole party to a rule that was understood differently by a player or several and the GM).

I now see him very rarely and I miss not having him in our games because we had great fun playing together.

I hope PF2 will be amenable to this kind of players too, even though I do not have high hopes because complexity seems so much ingrained in its DnD-PF1 DNA :-(

I doubt PF2 will be sufficiency simple for such a player. But if I may make a suggestion: I also have friends who I like gaming with but who think of DnD 5e as complicated and Pathfinder as impossible. What I do is run one offs every other month or so with Monster of the Week (a powered by the Apocalypse game system) it's very different than PF...

Thanks for the info. I will have a look at it, even though I am likely to stay PF1-2 for most of my games :-)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.

I feel like it's important to point out that, RAW, you can swap out most feats now when you level up, so it's OK to pick something for just right now and then substitute it later if it's not to your taste. A GM can of course be more liberal than this and just handwave away a character's build changing significantly from session to session. Knowing a choice isn't permanent and you can go back and change your mind later greatly reduces analysis paralysis.

But I don't think the time problem is a solvable one. PF2's core idea is crunch and customization, to set it apart from 5e. Chargen is a lengthy process and not a whole lot can be done to cut down on it beyond using pregen characters or character builders. If two hour chargen times are too long, PF2's probably not the right system to be using. 5e's fantastic in this regard as its "builds" are baked into the class archetypes themselves, making it super-fast to create an entire character in a relatively crunchy system. You don't even have to pick a single feat at all if you don't want!

A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.


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Helmic wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

If people are feeling time pressure to pick Feats, I think that's a problem in its own right that should be resolved. When stuff like that crops up in my games, I generally say 'Don't worry about it now, have one picked out by next session and we're good.' and may well help them between sessions to pick out Feats they actually want. That's hardly the only solution, but some solution seems warranted.

I mean, it's not a huge deal for Skill Feats in the playtest, I'll grant you, but it can be a pretty big deal in other circumstances and seems an issue worth solving. Forcing people to make permanent character choices under time pressure just strikes me as deeply unfun and something to be avoided.

I feel like it's important to point out that, RAW, you can swap out most feats now when you level up, so it's OK to pick something for just right now and then substitute it later if it's not to your taste. A GM can of course be more liberal than this and just handwave away a character's build changing significantly from session to session. Knowing a choice isn't permanent and you can go back and change your mind later greatly reduces analysis paralysis.

But I don't think the time problem is a solvable one. PF2's core idea is crunch and customization, to set it apart from 5e. Chargen is a lengthy process and not a whole lot can be done to cut down on it beyond using pregen characters or character builders. If two hour chargen times are too long, PF2's probably not the right system to be using. 5e's fantastic in this regard as its "builds" are baked into the class archetypes themselves, making it super-fast to create an entire character in a relatively crunchy system. You don't even have to pick a single feat at all if you don't want!

A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a...

I think Deadmanwalking's point is that the problem there is not letting players take the time to make those choices, not that the choices don't take time to make. Chance's first post (that DMW was quoting where you quoted HIM) read as the players literally not being given the time to make these choices. Like, you level up mid-session essentially.

That doesn't appear to be the issue for Chance though, based on later posts. It is more that the players don't want to invest that time at all. Which is why you and several others posters are probably right to suggest 5e.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:

I think Deadmanwalking's point is that the problem there is not letting players take the time to make those choices, not that the choices don't take time to make. Chance's first post (that DMW was quoting where you quoted HIM) read as the players literally not being given the time to make these choices. Like, you level up mid-session essentially.

That doesn't appear to be the issue for Chance though, based on later posts. It is more that the players don't want to invest that time at all. Which is why you and several others posters are probably right to suggest 5e.

Yep. This. It read like a different issue than it turned out to be.

For the actual issue, I have to agree that a simpler system is probably the way to go, and 5E is certainly one way to do that (though I might go with something completely different if it were me, probably something Powered By The Apocalypse). Pathfinder in general (PF2 a bit less than PF1, but only a bit) is decently complex as gaming systems go. If a plurality of players don't find that appealing, I'd say switching to a game with vastly simpler character creation in particular is likely the way to go.

I've certainly run (or played in) games where not everyone was invested in the system, but they tend to go better if the vast majority (like everyone but one person) are happy with the system's complexity level.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Helmic wrote:
A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.

I don't think this is true at all. Making a level 1 character in PF2, if you know what class you want shouldn't take more than 10 minutes (unless spell caster, which slows down all systems.) It's literally pick 6/7 things.

I pick up on this because I think as a community we drive people away making the system seem harder than it really is. When in actual fact you can level someone super easy and fast just by saying "hey what skill do you want to get better at? Okay here are the three choices you could make for that skill?" The silos really have winnowed the choices down to such a manageable degree.

Yes you can get several chains deep of being an adopted human so you can swap your general feat for an ancestry feat to get a level 1 class feat if you really want, but that isn't needed to play the game at all.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Helmic wrote:
A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.

I don't think this is true at all. Making a level 1 character in PF2, if you know what class you want shouldn't take more than 10 minutes (unless spell caster, which slows down all systems.) It's literally pick 6/7 things.

I pick up on this because I think as a community we drive people away making the system seem harder than it really is. When in actual fact you can level someone super easy and fast just by saying "hey what skill do you want to get better at? Okay here are the three choices you could make for that skill?" The silos really have winnowed the choices down to such a manageable degree.

Yes you can get several chains deep of being an adopted human so you can swap your general feat for an ancestry feat to get a level 1 class feat if you really want, but that isn't needed to play the game at all.

I'm dead serious when I say it took my players hours to create level 1 characters for Doomsday Dawn, while I'm consistently able to help rush out level 5 martial characters in 20 minutes or less in 5e. This is with the help of character builders, mind - Roll20 has a fantastic character builder app for 5e that breaks that down into very digestible bits, while the process for PF2 is just way fiddlier even with Hero Labs.

The 6-7 big choices you make at level 1 are about the same number of big choices you make for a much higher level character in 5e, with much more opportunity to pick something bad if you just pick at random. 5e grants you significantly less customization and build variety, but in turn narrows it down to the few builds most people were going to make anyways and makes those class archetypes work very well.

Moreover, of those choices you do make in 5e, they're from a significantly shorter list. You're often chosing from a list of 2-5 options, while 5 is often the lower limit for most of the choices you're making in PF2. It's still a fantastic improvement over PF1 where I'd have groups take an entire week to make a character, but there still takes a lot of reading to understand what your choices are and make a choice.

This isn't helped by the playtest overcommiting to the cutesy "ABC's of character generation" gimmick, making players start with the least helpful choice of Ancestry instead of starting right with Class where the rest of chargen could be much more easily guided with a handy checklist of exactly what you get at each level. 5e does this as well, but at least in 5e if you decide your race isn't quite working with your class you can swap it out pretty easily; in PF1, you're going to have to redo some additional choices if you change your character's ancestry which slows things down even more. Put class first, Paizo!

Not saying that I think chargen needs to be simpler, mind. I enjoy the crunch, but it's undeniably meant to appeal to those who want something more time consuming than 5e. I think the point buy variant of PF2 is vastly superior to that of 5e and eons better than literally rolling dice for campaign-defining stats that'll follow players for months or years, but it's just undeniably more time-consuming than the way 5e goes about it and it takes time to learn in the first place.


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Those numbers seem awfully high to me, maybe it's the fault of the character builders? By hand, I can't think of any time character creation took that long, even when I was still trying to find things in the muddled playtest documents,

As fas as character generation goes... There isn't any reason to do it the listed way. If you want to start with class, do that. As long as you write down the stat mods, it doesn't matter what order you do them in. Redoing anything is just replacing a feat and scratching out +2s.

While it definitely is more time consuming than 5e (Because other than spells, there are less than 10 real choices to make over levels 1-20 in 5e and most of them are at low level), the choices are largely independent and only effect their own silo.


Character creation time goes down noticeably with practice. I ran the full Doomsday Dawn and players took a bit longer to build their lv1 characters in September than what they took building lv17 characters in December.
While we’ve been told things have been streamlined in final, I wouldn’t worry too much even if things stayed mostly the same.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'll be honest I have no idea how it would take someone hours to make a character at level 1. Unless they had no idea what they wanted to play, at which point that takes a while in every system because "not knowing what I want" is a system agnostic problem. I could see it if they were concerned about certain build working out over the course of the entire game maybe, but then I had that same trouble trying to make a character in 5e working out what they would do in the future, until I realized that multiclassing doesn't work in 5e and stopped trying.

Liberty's Edge

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I agree that PF2 character creation can become pretty quick with experience (my group had it down to about an hour per character even for high level characters, plus picking spells, by the end of Doomsday Dawn). However, it's always and definitionally longer than that of D&D5E past 1st level or so, simply because there are more choices involved.

That's by design, mind you, and a good design for the general populace of 'people who are likely to play PF2'...but it isn't ideal for someone who basically wants to not create a character at all and just get to playing. I honestly think that the best option for those people is something in the vein of a Powered By The Apocalypse game, since that's ridiculously quick and easy to create characters in even compared to 5E...but 5E's character creation is way better for such people than PF2's.

Now, I actually prefer the degree of complexity in PF2 to that in 5E by quite a bit (though I'm looking forward to a 5E Eberron game a friend of mine is running sometime soon...I like Eberron), but if we're strictly talking 'shortest chargen time' and 'shortest time to level a character', 5E wins at both of those hands down compared to PF2. It does so at the expense of making any choices at all most levels for non-casters, mind you, something I'm not a big fan of...but it does it.


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Malk_Content wrote:
I'll be honest I have no idea how it would take someone hours to make a character at level 1.

I mean, every time my group sits down for a session 0 for making characters, we always assume the session is going to be lost to the "still making my character" ether.

It's not a matter of lack of experience, or even a fault in the system. We take our time, we joke and catch up, we rummage for feats and concepts.

It's really a whole ordeal but we don't mind it.

I'm surprised so many people rush to make level 1 characters and spit them out in 30 minutes. Unless you've been holding a concept back in your head for a long time, I fail to see how you develop any kind of attachment to them.

To each their own, but a long time on creation (and leveling) is pretty common for us. Leveling is certainly faster than initial creation, but it depends on how well everyone has their build mapped out and how late in the game (it's been our experience the higher level you are, the longer character leveling takes due to choices available).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I'll be honest I have no idea how it would take someone hours to make a character at level 1.

I mean, every time my group sits down for a session 0 for making characters, we always assume the session is going to be lost to the "still making my character" ether.

It's not a matter of lack of experience, or even a fault in the system. We take our time, we joke and catch up, we rummage for feats and concepts.

It's really a whole ordeal but we don't mind it.

I'm surprised so many people rush to make level 1 characters and spit them out in 30 minutes. Unless you've been holding a concept back in your head for a long time, I fail to see how you develop any kind of attachment to them.

To each their own, but a long time on creation (and leveling) is pretty common for us. Leveling is certainly faster than initial creation, but it depends on how well everyone has their build mapped out and how late in the game (it's been our experience the higher level you are, the longer character leveling takes due to choices available).

I mean our session 0's are like that. But the actually time mechanically making characters isn't all that long. All the other stuff is system agnostic.


I think for those folks who don't like character building, pregens are a boon. We didn't rely on them for Doomsday Dawn for obvious reasons. But I had a player who couldn't find time to make a character, so I asked what she wanted to play. She wanted to world a giant sword of final fantasy proportions. So I handed her an Amiri pregen.


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If you're gonna be playing your character for YEARS you probably don't want to just come up with a random dude in 10 minutes. It isn't like super old D&D when nobody had any personality and they died every adventure.

Silver Crusade

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ChibiNyan wrote:
If you're gonna be playing your character for YEARS you probably don't want to just come up with a random dude in 10 minutes. It isn't like super old D&D when nobody had any personality and they died every adventure.

Hey, even my first white box D&D characters had personality :-). At least if they survived the first couple of sessions :-)


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ChibiNyan wrote:
If you're gonna be playing your character for YEARS you probably don't want to just come up with a random dude in 10 minutes. It isn't like super old D&D when nobody had any personality and they died every adventure.

I mean, if you're going to be playing for years that means you're going to be leveling up one level at a time, which is significantly easier than building from scratch. Having a starting point to build off doesn't preclude you from making the character your own. It really is no different than a GM using an AP. You can just use it as a springboard to make your own changes.


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When we're talking "hours to make a character" are we talking about level 1 characters, or like level 7 characters?

Since my experience was that creating a level 1 character was super-fast: Dwarf, Laborer, Monk, Str 12, Dex 16, Con 16, Wis 16, Int 10, Cha 8, class feat is tiger style, heritage is stronghearted, ancestry feat is mountain roots, trained in athletics, acrobatics, stealth, medicine, and thievery. All done except for gear.

PF1 took much longer since I had to worry about feat dependencies.


Helmic wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Helmic wrote:
A level 5 Fighter can pick Battlemaster, pick a couple maneuvers from a list, choose their gear from a very short list of A or B choices, pick a background that matches a skill they want or a skill they already have so they can pick a freebie, pick a race, and adjust their stats to fit their build and be done within 20 minutes even if they never read the class before. Don't even have to pick magic items since GP is basically just for mundane expenses, your GM will hand those to you if they think it'll be fun. A PF2 Fighter meanwhile may have not yet finished making their level 1 choices, it's just so absurdly dense with build-critical choices right out the gate with no race or class option that just builds itself for you.

I don't think this is true at all. Making a level 1 character in PF2, if you know what class you want shouldn't take more than 10 minutes (unless spell caster, which slows down all systems.) It's literally pick 6/7 things.

I pick up on this because I think as a community we drive people away making the system seem harder than it really is. When in actual fact you can level someone super easy and fast just by saying "hey what skill do you want to get better at? Okay here are the three choices you could make for that skill?" The silos really have winnowed the choices down to such a manageable degree.

Yes you can get several chains deep of being an adopted human so you can swap your general feat for an ancestry feat to get a level 1 class feat if you really want, but that isn't needed to play the game at all.

I'm dead serious when I say it took my players hours to create level 1 characters for Doomsday Dawn, while I'm consistently able to help rush out level 5 martial characters in 20 minutes or less in 5e. This is with the help of character builders, mind - Roll20 has a fantastic character builder app for 5e that breaks that down into very digestible bits, while the process for PF2 is just way fiddlier even with Hero Labs....

With Pathbuilder, a player who had literally never seen anything about 2e had a level 12 character done in < 15 minutes, minus the gear. I can do a level 1 character in 10 minutes by book, with gear.

If it takes your players hours to create level 1 characters, I'm willing to bet that less than 1/4 of that is spent on actually making the character, and more on deciding "what character do I want to play".

Paizo Employee

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Malk_Content wrote:

I don't think this is true at all. Making a level 1 character in PF2, if you know what class you want shouldn't take more than 10 minutes (unless spell caster, which slows down all systems.) It's literally pick 6/7 things.

I've seen quite a bit of variance in this. My personal experience has been that in many instances, the more familiar a player is with PF1, the longer it took them to build characters in the playtest, whereas most newer players had their characters built in about 15 minutes, excluding picking out gear (since some of that was allowed to bleed into play time and they took a couple mid-session shopping trips to grab things they hadn't thought of).

One of the factors I noticed coming into play was that the veteran PF1 players just fundamentally did not think about building characters in the same way as the newer players. The newer players adopted the "I'm a dwarven blacksmith and cleric of Torag" style of character creation very quickly and didn't have many issues; by the time they got to picking out the "fidgety" mechanics like spells and feats, their characters were already mostly done and the flavor they'd established told them which feats to pick. For the veteran players, they'd feel that they had to memorize every feat a class had available, pick the one they thought was most interesting/powerful/useful/effective, and then try to build backwards and outwards from that. I strongly suspect that building around a mechanic first rather than building towards an initial concept is a habit that the current edition of Pathfinder, with all of its prereqs, "fiddly bits", and hyper-specific archetypes, has ingrained in players but which isn't necessarily "true" to how people intuitively learn.

All that being said, PF2 is definitely more complex and a different beast entirely than 5E. For my own players I tend to pick a system based on the group's average experience in a selection that goes something like the following:

Beginning gamers (< 1 year experience with TTRPGS): D&D 5E

Intermediate gamers (1 - 2 years TTRPG experience): Cypher System

Veteran gamers (3+ years of TTRPG experience): Pathfinder

I'd consider the Pathfinder Playtest to be a step down in complexity and more towards the Intermediate gamer level, though I've had a lot of success with beginners playing it and picking it up quite quickly. It's also important to note that those recommendations change significantly depending on the group; for a group of much more casual players who just want to jump into the story and are less concerned with having a robust mechanical framework, I'd lean towards a system like 5E even if the players all had a lot of play experience. For a group like the one I used to play with on Thursday nights, where the players had very little TTRPG experience but a lot of experience with M:tG, I've jumped right in to a PF1 game with 3pp materials available and everyone had a great time.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Did anyone complain about the reduction in skills beyond Thievery? And while there were folks who complained about Disable Device being lumped in with Sleight of Hand, I'd bet the vast majority of people either were in favor or didn't care. Though I don't remember if there was a survey question on skill consolidation specifically.

I have a complaint, but its wrapped up in the fact that Perception isn't a skill anymore, but they folded Sense Motive into it. So, if you want to be an insightful social character, its tied to how high you can raise your Perception, and only a few classes get to Legendary Perception, because if they let everyone do it, everyone would and it would reduce the amount of skill feats people would have.

Perception was already the most rolled skill in the game and they made it initiative and sense motive to boot, but you also can't raise it beyond one general feat and whatever your class hands you.


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Kasoh wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Did anyone complain about the reduction in skills beyond Thievery? And while there were folks who complained about Disable Device being lumped in with Sleight of Hand, I'd bet the vast majority of people either were in favor or didn't care. Though I don't remember if there was a survey question on skill consolidation specifically.

I have a complaint, but its wrapped up in the fact that Perception isn't a skill anymore, but they folded Sense Motive into it. So, if you want to be an insightful social character, its tied to how high you can raise your Perception, and only a few classes get to Legendary Perception, because if they let everyone do it, everyone would and it would reduce the amount of skill feats people would have.

Perception was already the most rolled skill in the game and they made it initiative and sense motive to boot, but you also can't raise it beyond one general feat and whatever your class hands you.

Yeah! I actually liked how 5E added Insight and Investigation to spread things out a bit more. Was surprised the playtest rolled it into Perception, which has a very weird place in the design space already. I'm sure the skill list would have been fine with 1-3 more skills.


While I do see the problems with having sense motive attached to perception I think perception itself not being its own skill and it leveling with you was one of my favorite new features. It saves everyone some character building resources. Perception also being the default initiative could be problematic for some I suppose but I’m fine with it and the fact that other skills can be used to determine initiative situationally I think is interesting. I can also understand some complaints about only certain classes being able to raise perception over expert but the ones that get it do make sense and I don’t feel that its worth making a big deal over.

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