Things I'm looking forward to in a new edition;


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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shadram wrote:

I'm mostly a GM, so am very much looking forward to easy-to-run monsters with more fun and interesting options in combat. I'm also keen to start mixing in some more complex hazards into combat to see how that changes things.

As a player, I'm mostly looking forward to being able to build a cleric that has interesting options beyond which god to worship and which domains to take at first level.

Yes I have lost track of the amount of times I tried to make a cleric flavoured to a deity and ended up with either a bad multiclass or a completely different class because there were not enough options for variation with a cleric. This was most common for stealthy types such as calistria or norgorber that always end up inquisitors or cult leader war priest

There are other examples like when I wanted a kurgess worshipper and martial flexibility was too tempting to simulate multiple types of athletic ability

New class features and the new multiclass method should make things a lot easier. Like stepping Into wizard for a nethys cleric or ranger for an drastic one for example


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Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
This is more or less just a repeat of your previous couple points but again I don't really get this one. A new player is less likely to make a broken character under the naive assumption the designers presented reasonable options for them to take and the game is less likely to collapse under heavy optimization, but that's not "little reward for system mastery"... that's just a system that's better balanced.
This is a big one for me. "System mastery" should never be a thing. New groups shouldn't go to a book, pick stuff that looks cool and fun, only to find out that they made such a suboptimal choice the game is breaking around them. The idea of min-maxing every last +1 and that the game SHOULD have trap choices is, to me, so adversarial, and so antithetical to what I enjoy when playing with the rules, that if it disappeared entirely tomorrow the RPG world would be better for it.

I strongly disagree. If a player is unwilling to even read the book through once and study their class a little bit, they should produce a notably to significantly less effective character than someone who actually takes the time to learn the game they're playing.

If players prioritizing RP and fluff over mechanics and gameplay went away tomorrow, the RPG world would be better for it.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

I strongly disagree. If a player is unwilling to even read the book through once and study their class a little bit, they should produce a notably to significantly less effective character than someone who actually takes the time to learn the game they're playing.

If players prioritizing RP and fluff over mechanics and gameplay went away tomorrow, the RPG world would be better for it.

If this element is as important to you as this post would indicate, I don't think Pathfinder 2nd edition is going to be the game for you. Unless you have very serious issues with PF1e, I wouldn't even bother looking at the Core Rules and instead simply keep on playing the edition your playing.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
If players prioritizing RP and fluff over mechanics and gameplay went away tomorrow, the RPG world would be better for it.

Eww, gross. What is an RPG without RP? Well, just G I guess, but I'll take flawed, suboptimal but flavourful characters over best-in-class builds any day. I would not GM for a player with this mindset.

For me, character options as you level should be about fun new things your character can do, not which +1 is best. Sure, there can be some "mastery" around finding abilities that combo well together, kinda like deck building in a card game, but a hodgepodge of different options - the swiss army knife character - is fun to play and should be at least viable too.


shadram wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
If players prioritizing RP and fluff over mechanics and gameplay went away tomorrow, the RPG world would be better for it.

Eww, gross. What is an RPG with RP? Well, just G I guess, but I'll take flawed, suboptimal but flavourful characters over best-in-class builds any day. I would not GM for a player with this mindset.

For me, character options as you level should be about fun new things your character can do, not which +1 is best. Sure, there can be some "mastery" around finding abilities that combo well together, kinda like deck building in a card game, but a hodgepodge of different options - the swiss army knife character - is fun to play and should be at least viable too.

That paragraph was mainly a jab at the last clause of the post that I was replying to, not really my opinion. I would prefer people pay a little more attention to the G in RPG though. It is the main word of the acronym.

I'm mainly frustrated that pathfinder went from being really the best tabletop I've found for me to being something markedly less enjoyable, in the pursuit of acquiring a different playerbase. It's a bit of a betrayal.

I know some might say 'you can still find a game of 1e', but it's going to become harder, and at least one of my current groups, that I've been with over 2 years, wants to switch. It puts me in a position of choosing between leaving a group I like or playing a game I dislike, which is a pretty crappy dilemma. I also have little confidence now in PF3E, whenever that comes out.


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I'll be realistic. All the members of my group know what they're doing and have a good amount of experience. Some of them don't spend as much time as me doing research as to what feats work better than others, and don't spend time carefully planning out every inch of their build.

Because of that, their characters are worse, because they don't specifically plan around avoiding the trap options, or specifically pick the must-have requirements. They pick stuff that looks generally decent (and most of the time it is), with an eye towards their character goals. But sometimes this leads to a daring champion with Whirlwind Attack competing with a blasting aerokineticist who's been carefully perfected, and being completely and utterly outclassed in every way.

So I'm glad PF2 makes the knee-deep hours of research less of a requirement to play the game.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
shadram wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
If players prioritizing RP and fluff over mechanics and gameplay went away tomorrow, the RPG world would be better for it.
I'm mainly frustrated that pathfinder went from being really the best tabletop I've found for me to being something markedly less enjoyable, in the pursuit of acquiring a different playerbase. It's a bit of a betrayal.
I know some might say 'you can still find a game of 1e', but it's going to become harder, and at least one of my current groups, that I've been with over 2 years, wants to switch. It puts me in a position of choosing between leaving a group I like or playing a game I dislike, which is a pretty crappy dilemma. I also have little confidence now in PF3E, whenever that comes out.

I've got to address this mindset. It is not a betrayal at all. That some groups want to change shows that PF2 was the right move for at least some of their fans. Time will tell whether or not that is the case for the majority of their existing fans or not, but with the focus of their marketing in the last year being on US and not outside new potential players it is clear where their intentions are.

It might be bad for you personally (just how my friends group moving on from whatever my favourite X was for Y new thing was personally bad for me, but not a betrayal and I love those people so will continue to participate with them) but it is not a general disregarding of the PF1 community.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
This is more or less just a repeat of your previous couple points but again I don't really get this one. A new player is less likely to make a broken character under the naive assumption the designers presented reasonable options for them to take and the game is less likely to collapse under heavy optimization, but that's not "little reward for system mastery"... that's just a system that's better balanced.
This is a big one for me. "System mastery" should never be a thing. New groups shouldn't go to a book, pick stuff that looks cool and fun, only to find out that they made such a suboptimal choice the game is breaking around them. The idea of min-maxing every last +1 and that the game SHOULD have trap choices is, to me, so adversarial, and so antithetical to what I enjoy when playing with the rules, that if it disappeared entirely tomorrow the RPG world would be better for it.
I strongly disagree. If a player is unwilling to even read the book through once and study their class a little bit, they should produce a notably to significantly less effective character than someone who actually takes the time to learn the game they're playing.

I’ll agree that system mastery should be rewarding. So far i find what was shown in the PT and previews to be rewarding for those willing to dig and understand the system better; it just doesn’t translate the same way it does in 1e to ludicrously high numbers. To be fair to 1e though, there will still be times i want to play it for those ludicrously high numbers, but for now my group is fine with placing it aside for now.


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I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.


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RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

Going to have to agree with this.

System mastery should be apparent when two different players play copies of the same character. This lets people learn and improve in play, rather than receive punishment for their ineptitude over the course of a ~1 to 2 year long campaign.

Letting people who have tons of free time tease out niche rules elements that function by RAW (then argue with the GM to let them into the game) absolutely stomp on less invested players is just asking for the less invested players to find a new system.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:

That paragraph was mainly a jab at the last clause of the post that I was replying to, not really my opinion. I would prefer people pay a little more attention to the G in RPG though. It is the main word of the acronym.

I'm mainly frustrated that pathfinder went from being really the best tabletop I've found for me to being something markedly less enjoyable, in the pursuit of acquiring a different playerbase. It's a bit of a betrayal.

Here's the thing:

Do you only play with people who entirely agree with you on this and don't mind their characters being vastly less powerful than yours because you know the system better (or have more powerful characters because they know it better)?

Because if so you're in a very unusual situation. Most people play with RPG groups where some people may prefer to focus on the mechanical and others on the thematic, and where some people are newer than others and less experienced. PF1 has problems when played with such a group, as it becomes almost impossible for the GM to properly calibrate opposition if there are divergent power levels among PCs.

And PF2 really helps with that. It in no way eliminates mechanical optimization making your character more effective than less optimized characters. It can't. The system is of a high enough complexity that some combinations, which can be found and analyzed with sufficient system knowledge, will inevitably be superior. All they've done is narrowed the gap sufficiently that less optimized and hyper optimized PCs can at least fight the same enemies and have that actually work.

So it's not that PF2 doesn't want to cater to those that like mechanical depth and the 'game as a game', but groups that all feel that way collectively can enjoy PF2 as easily as PF1 (there's plenty of complexity and optimization stuff there), and PF2 is better for allowing mixed groups to not feel bad.

Now, if what you really want is to be so powerful compared to the other PCs on every mechanical level because you know the rules better that you're more effective than all of them put together, then yes, PF2 will not cater to that. But also, that sucks for the people who are mechanically inferior and is not a gaming preference I think Paizo, or anyone else, should cater to.


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WatersLethe wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

Going to have to agree with this.

System mastery should be apparent when two different players play copies of the same character. This lets people learn and improve in play, rather than receive punishment for their ineptitude over the course of a ~1 to 2 year long campaign.

Letting people who have tons of free time tease out niche rules elements that function by RAW (then argue with the GM to let them into the game) absolutely stomp on less invested players is just asking for the less invested players to find a new system.

I agree with this. I cringe when I hear of loopholes that allow for hundreds of d6 damage - usually from something like shrinking a tree and throwing it or something. And it is often these people who complain loudest about the change

I recall a real life example of the similar character point. A relatively new player had an 18 strength sword and board fighter with power attack and cleave. As they were playing in a mine I guested with a miner who had a pick and shield with the same feats (I think) and 16 strength . Better positioning (and a bit better dice luck) allowed me to better utilise cleave and massively out kill the new guy who was a little put out. But I my system mastery there was easily learnable compared to manipulating rules loopholes


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I think system mastery is great and someone who's good with the system should be able to handle it better, but that's also kind of a given just based on how learning rules works.

At the same time, system mastery being valuable shouldn't come at the expense of a new player being allowed to play the thing they want to play.

System mastery should be about knowing how to combine things in new and interesting ways to produce fun results, not realizing that half the ideas you had when you first started playing are actually unworkable garbage or that by combining a couple abilities across a handful of books you could flip system math on its head and build yourself a win button.

Unfortunately PF1 system mastery was defined by those qualities and oftentimes more about memorization than any sort of cleverness or adept handling of rules and options.


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Squiggit wrote:
Unfortunately PF1 system mastery was defined by those qualities and oftentimes more about memorization than any sort of cleverness or adept handling of rules and options.

Or even worse - just following the color-coded guides online to build the optimal set of statistics and then try to find a way to justify why your character was a clone of so many others.


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Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2. With very few exceptions, everything he sees as a downgrade I see as a major improvement over PF1 (I hasten to say I've been playing PF1 for years, still love it nearly as much as I did when I started, and still consider it vastly superior to any other version of the game published so far). Clearly a big difference in play style and preferences across the board.

There are many things I look forward to in the new edition, but the biggest ones are:
- As a GM, a much easier time prepping for high-level play for my group.
- As a player, a much easier time creating and up-leveling characters.
- A much easier time teaching the game to complete newbies.


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gwynfrid wrote:
Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2.

PF2 is more of a mixed bag for me: pro's and con's. For instance I agree with him on bulk and have some issues with minions.


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graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2.
PF2 is more of a mixed bag for me: pro's and con's. For instance I agree with him on bulk and have some issues with minions.

Do you think that’s partly from not having played it much as PF1? (Or does PF1 not have weaknesses to you?)

I’m wondering if those PF1 things you consider cons don’t seem as bad now because you’ve worked out how to accept them in game and have seen how little they come up (or whatever workaround you have). As opposed to PF2 where it’s all a bit abstract at the moment and everything in that context can seem of equal weight.


graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2.
PF2 is more of a mixed bag for me: pro's and con's. For instance I agree with him on bulk and have some issues with minions.

If we go back to sherlock's twenty items I think those two are among the minor ones. As for me, I'm much in favor of the bulk system (not really worse than pounds for realism, and much less fiddly), but I think it wasn't very well implemented in the playtest. I'm fine with downgrading minions relative to PF1 but the playtest was a bit too restrictive in that respect. For both, I'll wait to see the released book before passing judgment.


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graystone wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Others have said something similar, but I find it interesting how completely I disagree with sherlock1701's issues with PF2.
PF2 is more of a mixed bag for me: pro's and con's. For instance I agree with him on bulk and have some issues with minions.

Yeah, same here. I agree with much of the list given (and have stated so repeatedly to the point where I apparently gained a reputation as a PF2 doomsayer) and have other concerns besides (reactive Champions, pigeonholed into arbitrary roles based on specific alignment), some points I disagree with though. There are some good strong aspects to the system. Three action economy for one. I'm in the camp of liking the lack of universal attacks of opportunity. Along with the three action system, fewer AoOs helps make combat more mobile and dynamic. My experience with the playtest is that combat goes quicker in real time terms and longer in round terms, which is the best of both worlds. (I rarely see round 3 or beyond in PF1, but it will take well over an hour to get there). Monsters have cool abilities. Some broken stuff got reigned in, but on the other hand some things I think were reigned in way too much (summons, animal companions and especially familiars are pretty bad, and magic at least in the playtest was nerfed an order of magnitude more than needed). Cutting down on the number of bonus types was a good thing, but again, at least in the playtest it felt like they cut them down too much. The feat-based nature can enable stronger flexibility and increase options, but it can also restrict them if not done right. The playtest had flaws in this regard like how the rogue lacked two-weapon abilities and the way paladins were forced into heavy armor. I'm also concerned about potentially not having enough class feats to both customize a character and have their basic competency, with many feats being basically required. Runes for weapons and armor are great, but I think this is one place where PF2 went a bit backwards from the playtest. The item qualities were cool, and the separation between Potency and Property runes was nice. The promised ease of house-ruling without destroying balance, and guidelines for such being included in the GMG are also encouraging. That way, a lot of the things I see as flaws could potentially be fixed.

Overall, the devil is in the details, and we haven't seen enough of those to quite know how PF2 is going to shake out overall. But we do know enough to see that there are a lot of both pros and cons. And in many cases I think there was dramatic over-correction and missing of the Goldilocks zone for the playtest. But then again, PF2 isn't the playtest. What things were changed and how, is still to be determined.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you think that’s partly from not having played it much as PF1? (Or does PF1 not have weaknesses to you?)

No, I normally count my encumbrance down to the ounce even in games that don't normally track it just in case it ever becomes an issue: my issue with the implementation of bulk specifically. The immeasurable 'unwieldiness' factor, the inability to imagine how much bulk ordinary items not listed would be [which I can do with weights], the oddity of carrying limp person easier than carrying the same weight of carefully packed goods, 20 loose Sawtooth sabre held in your arms somehow as hard to hold as a single longbow, ect... I don't think it's something that will grow on me with time.

In a similar way, minion rules seem kind of wonky to me. I can understand the 2 actions from a balance perspective but the results means that the animal is much less capable than other normal creatures in several ways: For instance, a fast minion [40' speed x2 for 80'] find itself unable to catch up to a much slower elf [30'x3 for 90'] because... reasons. Then even if you have them chase a human, they can catch up but don't have an attack left to attack so all it can do is follow them until one passes out from exhaustion.

It's also unable to be commanded to an extended task needing constant supervision. I can't set it to guard my back while I read a book or pick a lock: I have to stop every 6 seconds to remind it what I wanted it to do or it just lets creatures walk by it to attack you. I can't have it hunt for instance, without trailing RIGHT behind it. I can't even have it fetch something in another room of my house that's out of sight, because after it moves and picks it up it zones out and sits there until I go get it. Without some pretty hefty additions to the minion rules, this too is something I don't think I'll grow to like.

gwynfrid wrote:
If we go back to sherlock's twenty items I think those two are among the minor ones. As for me, I'm much in favor of the bulk system (not really worse than pounds for realism, and much less fiddly), but I think it wasn't very well implemented in the playtest. I'm fine with downgrading minions relative to PF1 but the playtest was a bit too restrictive in that respect. For both, I'll wait to see the released book before passing judgment.

There seemed to be a lot of posts that boiled down to 'I just disagree with sherlock' so I wanted to let him know that not everyone completely disagreed with him. On the specifics, I don't think bulk can be saved in my eyes: I think I always dislike it when actual weight are usable and to me more understandable. For minions, it's possible they did a major overhaul and I wouldn't mind it too much but I don't see how they can fix the movement issue with as 2 actions seems pretty baked in. You'd have to give every minion a pounce and running ability and I don't think that's in the cards.


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I apparently gained a reputation as a PF2 doomsayer

Join the club! For me, it's that I generally just favorite posts I agree with but dive into the detail with things I don't so the optics look that way. ;)

Doktor Weasel wrote:
Overall, the devil is in the details, and we haven't seen enough of those to quite know how PF2 is going to shake out overall. But we do know enough to see that there are a lot of both pros and cons. And in many cases I think there was dramatic over-correction and missing of the Goldilocks zone for the playtest. But then again, PF2 isn't the playtest. What things were changed and how, is still to be determined.

I'm with you there and think we're pretty much on the same page. I'm on the fence waiting to read the final product.


What is all this business of people saying things about me?

(You really did start that doomsayer stuff early. I feel like maybe you have chilled a bit now hit passed anger and bargaining into acceptance but *shrug*)


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Do you think that’s partly from not having played it much as PF1? (Or does PF1 not have weaknesses to you?)
No....

I didn’t mean minions/bulk etcetera.

I wondered whether PF1 has pros and cons for you too and that you have found ways to accomodate the cons through play (something you can’t have done with PF2 yet). Or whether you think it isn’t a mix of pros and cons.

(Specifics don’t interest me very much, since I’m unlikely to play with anyone from the forums. I AM interested in how people form their judgements though, since I’ve found that has helped me in catering rules systems to my group of players when we try new games).


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Steve Geddes wrote:
I wondered whether PF1 has pros and cons for you too and that you have found ways to accomodate the cons through play (something you can’t have done with PF2 yet). Or whether you think it isn’t a mix of pros and cons.

Oh, PF1 had both just a different ratio: for me the pro's far outweighed the cons and most of those, like high level play, didn't really affect me in PbP [play by post] gaming online and trying my best to pick games that fit me and my playstyle.

For PF2, it's much closer to an even split for pro/con from what I know of the playtest and the spoilers: to shift the ratio in favor of liking it more, it seems I'd have to play with multiple houserules and/or optional rules and that makes it much harder to pick and choice games as the DM sets parameters of the game and looks for players: it's a rare game where players join and then participate in picking the game options. It boils down to the fewer cons the final product has, the easier it'll be to find games that mitigates them and allows me to have fun.


You've tried roll20 and stuff like that right? I know some people really like PBP but I have a hard time imagining it working out for me.


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graystone wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
I wondered whether PF1 has pros and cons for you too and that you have found ways to accomodate the cons through play (something you can’t have done with PF2 yet). Or whether you think it isn’t a mix of pros and cons.

Oh, PF1 had both just a different ratio: for me the pro's far outweighed the cons and most of those, like high level play, didn't really affect me in PbP [play by post] gaming online and trying my best to pick games that fit me and my playstyle.

For PF2, it's much closer to an even split for pro/con from what I know of the playtest and the spoilers: to shift the ratio in favor of liking it more, it seems I'd have to play with multiple houserules and/or optional rules and that makes it much harder to pick and choice games as the DM sets parameters of the game and looks for players: it's a rare game where players join and then participate in picking the game options. It boils down to the fewer cons the final product has, the easier it'll be to find games that mitigates them and allows me to have fun.

Cheers. As I said - just interested in how people form their opinions, I’m not trying to persuade anyone of anything.

We have a guy in our group who loves trying out new systems - he’s always backing kickstarters, downloading intro games and so on. But every time I suggest a new game he’s never interested. I’m curious to work out what’s going on in his head - some games he’s open to trying but oftentimes, he can’t get past some perceived negative (even if he’s fine with a similar feature in another game).

For me the mindset people have approaching a new game is the interesting bit (rather than whether they like iterative attacks, the value of “hero point” mechanics, or how abstract they want their encumbrance rules to be, etcetera, etcetera...).

Appreciate the follow up.


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graystone wrote:
It's also unable to be commanded to an extended task needing constant supervision. I can't set it to guard my back while I read a book or pick a lock: I have to stop every 6 seconds to remind it what I wanted it to do or it just lets creatures walk by it to attack you. I can't have it hunt for instance, without trailing RIGHT behind it. I can't even have it fetch something in another room of my house that's out of sight, because after it moves and picks it up it zones out and sits there until I go get it. Without some pretty hefty additions to the minion rules, this too is something I don't think I'll grow to like.

This is assuming all these actions need to happen during combat.


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Steve Geddes wrote:


We have a guy in our group who loves trying out new systems - he’s always backing kickstarters, downloading intro games and so on. But every time I suggest a new game he’s never interested. I’m curious to work out what’s going on in his head - some games he’s open to trying but oftentimes, he can’t get past some perceived negative (even if he’s fine with a similar feature in another game).

I have a player like that. My honest opinion is that the quality of the product matters less than whether or not they were the one to discover it.


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Fumarole wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's also unable to be commanded to an extended task needing constant supervision. I can't set it to guard my back while I read a book or pick a lock: I have to stop every 6 seconds to remind it what I wanted it to do or it just lets creatures walk by it to attack you. I can't have it hunt for instance, without trailing RIGHT behind it. I can't even have it fetch something in another room of my house that's out of sight, because after it moves and picks it up it zones out and sits there until I go get it. Without some pretty hefty additions to the minion rules, this too is something I don't think I'll grow to like.
This is assuming all these actions need to happen during combat.

It shouldn't matter. There's no reason an animal should start forgetting what it was doing every 6 seconds because it's in a fight. And if in universe, all animals have ADD, then that needs to apply out of combat as well.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's also unable to be commanded to an extended task needing constant supervision. I can't set it to guard my back while I read a book or pick a lock: I have to stop every 6 seconds to remind it what I wanted it to do or it just lets creatures walk by it to attack you. I can't have it hunt for instance, without trailing RIGHT behind it. I can't even have it fetch something in another room of my house that's out of sight, because after it moves and picks it up it zones out and sits there until I go get it. Without some pretty hefty additions to the minion rules, this too is something I don't think I'll grow to like.
This is assuming all these actions need to happen during combat.
It shouldn't matter. There's no reason an animal should start forgetting what it was doing every 6 seconds because it's in a fight. And if in universe, all animals have ADD, then that needs to apply out of combat as well.

Yeah! Just like how it's an immutable fact of the game world that no two discrete animate beings can move at the same time, and everyone in the universe acts one after the other in initiative order, forever.


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Turns are an abstraction of battle, not simulations. Pets still give flanking bonuses, meaning they aren't just sitting there. You can narrate that pets are attacking nearby foes, it is just they don't get to change the game state without interacting the game mechanics.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
You've tried roll20 and stuff like that right?

I'm often not someplace were I can video chat and use virtual tables, so places like roll20 are out: I go to places that are pure PbP and image based maps. That way even if I'm at a mcdonalds and have my kindle, I can keep up with my games.

Vidmaster7 wrote:
I know some people really like PBP but I have a hard time imagining it working out for me.

I don't think it's for everyone but for me, real life has made it impossible for a live, home group and I live rural enough that travel to a game isn't possible often.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Appreciate the follow up.

No problem. Ask any time. ;)


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Dr. Doommaster7 wrote:
(You really did start that doomsayer stuff early. I feel like maybe you have chilled a bit now hit passed anger and bargaining into acceptance but *shrug*)

It's more what part of the PF2 progression we're talking about.

Before the playtest, I heard some worrying things about the playtest and expressed my concern: several worries came true in the playtest.

Once we were in the playtest, that's the time to give your opinions and see what you can do to steer the game towards what you like: if there is any time to post worries and concerns it's during that period. It's time for 'damage prevention'.

Once the playtest is over, things go from in flux to set in stone and you've lost your chance to make any big changes. IMO you've moved from 'damage prevention' to 'damage control'. So it's not 'chilled out' so much as much as understanding nothing we do now will alter the game that's coming out in a few weeks: I can only try to make the best of what it is.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

mastery imho implies study and people that put in more effort should be able to get more out of a system.

though i do think that games need as few traps as possible.
and that a system should be fun and playable with out requiring extensive mastery


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Fundamentally I believe that "trap options" are bad game design. I don't think there is any reason to allow a player to make choices they come to regret and can't take back.


RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.


FowlJ wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
graystone wrote:
It's also unable to be commanded to an extended task needing constant supervision. I can't set it to guard my back while I read a book or pick a lock: I have to stop every 6 seconds to remind it what I wanted it to do or it just lets creatures walk by it to attack you. I can't have it hunt for instance, without trailing RIGHT behind it. I can't even have it fetch something in another room of my house that's out of sight, because after it moves and picks it up it zones out and sits there until I go get it. Without some pretty hefty additions to the minion rules, this too is something I don't think I'll grow to like.
This is assuming all these actions need to happen during combat.
It shouldn't matter. There's no reason an animal should start forgetting what it was doing every 6 seconds because it's in a fight. And if in universe, all animals have ADD, then that needs to apply out of combat as well.
Yeah! Just like how it's an immutable fact of the game world that no two discrete animate beings can move at the same time, and everyone in the universe acts one after the other in initiative order, forever.

That's completely unrelated to the companion forgetting what it was doing every 6 seconds in combat.

Also the fact that characters forget how to do anything that takes longer than exactly 6 seconds during any fight is equally silly.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

For me, it's because this is a game I play with other people. People whose company I enjoy and whom I would like to keep playing this game with. And I believe in general that's what Paizo is going for. They're not designing an exam. They're designing a cooperative, social, story telling game.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

In that regard, PF1 was poorly balanced: Not only was system mastery well rewarded, but lack of experience was severely punished. PF2 tries to reward expertise while reducing the gap between experts and beginners. Time will tell if it was successful with that goal.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

There isnt any way a game "should" be designed. There's just games we like and games we don't. Our preferences dont define good design. Good design is determined by the (often unstated) goals of the designer.

We may hate a well designed game that is aiming for something we dont enjoy.


gwynfrid wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

So then the casual players ask the hardcore players for help. Back to the metaphor, I used to study with and help classmates all the time. You can do the same thing with character builds. Think of it like tutoring.

As long as it takes some effort to make a solid character and the cap on outcomes based on effort is high. Tutoring or studying on their own, either way the casual player learns the system better (I would expect the experienced player to talk things through and go over why to pick A vs B for a given scenario, and why C is usually a trap, to raise the quality of the game overall by educating the casual player for future events, not just say "take A"). Sure, the experienced player has to be willing, but I've always been happy enough to do that.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

As others note, this makes it sound like only those willing to invest extreme amounts of time and energy deserve to play the game or have fun.

It's quite reasonable to think people who want to get a job in a field or do well on a test should study to do so. Those are areas in which the end knowledge has a practical use and they are being judged on the quality of that knowledge. But it's a deeply weird attitude to have about a game people play to have fun.

Now, me, I enjoy that sort of research and am thus generally pretty solid at system mastery stuff (and at tests in school, for that matter)...but not everyone I play with equally enjoys that experience. Should those who don't be forced to do it anyway or just suck at everything?

I'd say no. Firstly, that's a terrible business decision, since it cuts large swaths of potential customers out of enjoying the game, and secondly it's bad for the players and the hobby in general since it reduces the number of players willing to play the game, and we need all the people in the hobby we can get.

Now, hard work should certainly still be rewarded (and is, in PF2...a player good at optimizing will create a more powerful character than one who is not)...but narrowing that gap is extremely desirable.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
So then the casual players ask the hardcore players for help. Back to the metaphor, I used to study with and help classmates all the time. You can do the same thing with character builds. Think of it like tutoring.

You can do this, and indeed I have done so often, helping out my friends.

But should you have to do this to enjoy the game to its fullest? Should what amounts to extra homework be a necessary prerequisite to enjoying the game?

Again, I'd argue that no it shouldn't, as it cuts down the numbers of both customers and players. Which is bad.

sherlock1701 wrote:
As long as it takes some effort to make a solid character and the cap on outcomes based on effort is high. Tutoring or studying on their own, either way the casual player learns the system better (I would expect the experienced player to talk things through and go over why to pick A vs B for a given scenario, and why C is usually a trap, to raise the quality of the game overall by educating the casual player for future events, not just say "take A"). Sure, the experienced player has to be willing, but I've always been happy enough to do that.

But not everyone is. Not everyone wants to either study or tutor to this degree just to play a game. And that's what RPGs are. They are a game for people to have fun with. Not a school subject you must take to acquire specific academic credentials.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

I'm glad my friends either have the options of being told by me what to play or be invalidated.

I'm glad random people I might get in a game with have the same issues.

Or I could just play a game where me outperforming everyone else at the table because I enjoy spending more time than them on research isn't a factor. One where "knowing what subtle traps not to take" isn't part of the assumed game design.


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sherlock1701 wrote:
go over why to pick A vs B for a given scenario, and why C is usually a trap

That's a good way to help someone learn a system, but C being a trap is not really an ideal state. It means any playstyle that would be associated with C is nonfunctional or, at best, requires someone to jump through a lot of hoops. What if C is a really cool weapon? Or interesting spell? Or a basic character archetype? That's not rewarding system mastery, that's making the best of a developer's failure.

If we were playing playing a strategy game or a shooter or fighting game or whatever, the argument that certain guns, factions or characters should intentionally be bad so that good players could feel better about themselves when a new player naively decides to use one you'd probably get a lot of weird looks.

The rewards of system mastery should be able to build and execute ideas more effectively and in more esoteric ways than might be readily apparent to someone with less experience, probably with an emphasis on the execution part, not... schadenfreude when you get to tell someone their idea doesn't work because the system is balanced terribly.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
RussianAlly wrote:
I feel that system mastery should be rewarding when it shows through intelligent strategical and tactical application of the systems in play to achieve unexpected and interesting results. It should not be a reward for having extra 20 hours to spend on manuals or the SRD reading build options.

And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

So then the casual players ask the hardcore players for help. Back to the metaphor, I used to study with and help classmates all the time. You can do the same thing with character builds. Think of it like tutoring.

As long as it takes some effort to make a solid character and the cap on outcomes based on effort is high. Tutoring or studying on their own, either way the casual player learns the system better (I would expect the experienced player to talk things through and go over why to pick A vs B for a given scenario, and why C is usually a trap, to raise the quality of the game overall by educating the casual player for future events, not just say "take A"). Sure, the experienced player has to be willing, but I've always been happy...

I feel that system mastery will still bear fruits in PF2 but instead of teaching people how to be more powerful / relevant in a fight, you will be teaching them how to expand their repertoire and how to make their concept come really true


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think my examples from earlier in the thread show what system mastery in PF2 can do. It showed my players combining abilities to develop powerful tactics that were more than the sum of their parts. What it wasn't was a prerequisite for their mid to high level characters to even function.


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Things I'm looking forward too

* Alchemy in the CRB [Despite being a different kind of chymist]

* Skill Feats [I'm good at X so I can do Y]

* Non-arcane sorcerers [Yay, more thematic sorcerers]

* Monsters w/ unique and awesome abilities [ Yay for monster design; where going to get zombies that feel slow and lumbering, Owlbears that strike terror in one's heart; More dinosaur-y dinosaurs; Etc.]
'
On other points;

Honestly, anyone whose enjoyment of something is predicated on the fact that it excludes other people has a pretty terrible view of gaming, and probably most things in general. Lowering a barrier to entry (an unnecessary barrier) by removing 'trap' options is the kind of thing a new edition should do; a rogue should have Trapfinding, it shouldn't be something necessary for the player to have to make that rogue mechanically sound.

Other people being bad at something isn't what makes you good at something, being good at it is what makes you good at it, and the argument that I see far to often is that 'System Mastery' should exist in such a way that punishes people who lack it instead of rewarding those who have it. As others here have said someone who knows a game well will still do better that some who doesn't in the same way that a chess grandmaster does better in chess than a novice, but the novice and the grandmaster are at least still playing the same game, with the same rules which can't be said for some of what went on in PF1.

And for anyone not swayed by the fact that games should be fun for anyone that whats to play them think of one very simple thing, when the designers don't have to account for an insane power disparity it makes it much easier (as in actually achievable) to create content, be that APs, PFS Scenarios, Modules, etc. that are fun and a challenge to most groups and most characters in most groups so that an encounter that is a TPK for one group isn't a cakewalk for another group just because they have 'System Mastery', having characters that are made to be vampire hunters should help you fight a vampire, not being really good at ramming together things that may be RAW but weere definitely not RAI. Making the game have a higher floor isn't the same as lowering the ceiling.

So I guess what I'm looking forward the the most in the new edition is a fun game, that's hopefully robust and fixes flaws that have haunted the game for too long. If that means a few people that think powergaming is the only way to play the game get their feathers ruffled I'm okay with that. Also bestiaries (gotta love a good bestiary) and an updated GMG (empowering new GM's for close to a decade).


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sherlock1701 wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:


And why not? It's just like any other subject. If I spend an extra 20 hours studying statistics, would it be unfair for me to perform markedly better on an exam than someone who did not? I certainly don't see a difference.

If you work hard, you should do well. If you dont, then you shouldn't complain.

This approach is perfectly valid on its own logic. However, it implies that the game is designed for an elite group of heavily invested players. Other players don't need to apply, unless they don't mind their PCs being vastly outclassed at the table. Your exam analogy is telling, in that perspective. You have those who pass, and those who, well, fail or drop out.

I don't agree with this philosophy. It's appropriate to reward mastery, but that reward should be moderate in scope. Otherwise the difference between hardcore and casual players becomes so large that they can't play together.

So then the casual players ask the hardcore players for help. Back to the metaphor, I used to study with and help classmates all the time. You can do the same thing with character builds. Think of it like tutoring.

Yes, of course. In my group, I've been one of the players who do that, for many years.

But this process is time-consuming, and I'd rather spend time in, you know, actual play, or looking after my own character. As the GM, I'd rather spend time thinking about the next developments I want to introduce in the campaign, rather than advising the less expert players so their PCs don't fall hopelessly behind.

So, among the things I'm looking forward to in PF2, there's the time freed from having to fix issues with the group's power balance.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gwynfrid wrote:

Yes, of course. In my group, I've been one of the players who do that, for many years.

But this process is time-consuming, and I'd rather spend time in, you know, actual play, or looking after my own character. As the GM, I'd rather spend time thinking about the next developments I want to introduce in the campaign, rather than advising the less expert players so their PCs don't fall hopelessly behind.

So, among the things I'm looking forward to in PF2, there's the time freed from having to fix issues with the group's power balance.

Yup, this is, like 50% of why I'm excited for Pathfinder 2nd Edition.

If your group is like mine you have a couple high system mastery players and several low.

Since we play as a group and care about one another having fun, letting a player create a brokenly bad character would be a failure on the part of the high mastery players. It'd be like getting ready to go out clubbing and letting your friend go with a big wad of gum on their back, or toilet paper trailing on their shoe, because it makes you look better.

So the high mastery players get to spend the time perfecting their characters then also the time helping their friends, and by that point it's just too much work.

As the frequent GM, preparing games and holding the hands of the less invested players so they don't stumble into trap options is exhausting.

And if you want to ONLY play with high system mastery players, get ready to never find a full group and also deal with clashing egos because a healthy group is one with a good mix of personality types.

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