Imho 2E nailed "encounter powers"


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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WatersLethe wrote:


2. Being rechargeable under clearly defined in-world means, with real time consequences rather than arbitrary "encounter" limits.

Just as a minor correction, so did 4e encounter powers. They recharged on a 5-minute rest.

The big thing that PF2 does better is tie the mechanic to a resource pool, which creates a level of abstraction that makes the abilities feel a little easier to justify ('I'm out of energy' being a more sensible statement than 'I'm out of Flame Spirals').

Quote:
and made gish characters feel extremely weird.

I also really have to disagree here. Powers were a great way to make gishes feel a lot more cohesive in general. The swordmage swinging a sword and summoning forth spectral blazing swords that mimicked their attacks is significantly more flavorful than quickening your favorite buff, walking forward and using the attack action. 3.5 Gishes were generally really disjointed because nothing ever actually combined their mechanics, they just cast regular spells and then made regular attacks.

Unique powers and class features are a great way to make battlemages actually feel like battlemages and not just half a wizard stapled onto a fighter, which was a consistent problem across D&D until 4e and Pathfinder.

MerlinCross wrote:
1) Nova. Every Fight.

If the powers are regularly rechargeable and generally assumed to be available, is it really novaing?

A well optimized full attacking fighter can drop most enemies in a round or two, but nobody would really call that "going nova" either.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Paksennarion was a soldier before she became a paladin. She almost certainly learned first aid.

I just want to point out that she also was incredibly unusual for a paladin in her setting. There was a whole school dedicated to finding and grooming paladin candidates, and she was considered unusual there.

The point being, she's not the best example for the argument, though I consider Paksennarion to be one of the best examples of paladins in general.


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Now I really hope focus spells can be countered that way. :D


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Cydeth wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Paksennarion was a soldier before she became a paladin. She almost certainly learned first aid.

I just want to point out that she also was incredibly unusual for a paladin in her setting. There was a whole school dedicated to finding and grooming paladin candidates, and she was considered unusual there.

The point being, she's not the best example for the argument, though I consider Paksennarion to be one of the best examples of paladins in general.

That's fair enough, I suppose. Though I wonder if that school found candidates among the general population who had no prior combat experience. I don't remember if that was mentioned in the books.

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Ed Reppert wrote:
That's fair enough, I suppose. Though I wonder if that school found candidates among the general population who had no prior combat experience. I don't remember if that was mentioned in the books.

As I recall (and I could be mistaken!) what was unusual for Paksennarion was that she was a line soldier, and had hints of healing power before even encountering the people who trained paladins. Most of the students were the children of nobles who were training to be knights of Gird as well as potential paladins.

Interestingly enough, it was the druid (whose name escapes my memory) who pointed out to Paks that once the gods chose to empower those who became known as paladins much like she was, but slowly things changed to where they followed the processes that the churches had developed. Yet every so often they decided to empower people the old way.

Anyway, enough of the derail. Paladins can come either way, and it's all up to the PC's backstory whether they wanted to learn first aid or not.


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Ed Reppert wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Paksennarion was a soldier before she became a paladin. She almost certainly learned first aid.

I just want to point out that she also was incredibly unusual for a paladin in her setting. There was a whole school dedicated to finding and grooming paladin candidates, and she was considered unusual there.

The point being, she's not the best example for the argument, though I consider Paksennarion to be one of the best examples of paladins in general.

That's fair enough, I suppose. Though I wonder if that school found candidates among the general population who had no prior combat experience. I don't remember if that was mentioned in the books.

The candidates (for Paladins of Gird, anyway) typically came up through the grange system (i.e. local church branches), and thus were all well trained in combat by the time they got there.

That said, they were also quite clear about the fact that you couldn't really use their equivalent of lay-on-hands without some amount of medical knowledge to direct it, so presumably they taught their Paladins some first-aid ;-)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Just that enough were to make it an issue.

Name 10. Since the 4e Compendium shows that there are well over 1,000 individual powers, the exercise should be easy. As a counterpoint, here are over a dozen powers from the Pathfinder Playtest that I might describe as "too flowery":

Dragon Totem Breath
Come and Get Me
Predator's Pounce
Quaking Stomp
Dirge of Doom
Storm Retribution
Verdant Metamorphosis
Revealing Stab
Felling Strike
Incredible Follow-up
Tiger Slash
Whirling Throw
Tangled Forest Stance
Blade of Justice
Stalker's Shot
Sense the Unseen
Twist the Knife
Cognitive Loophole
Glutton's Jaws
Ancestral Surge
Call of the Grave

If I threw "Tide of Iron" in there, it would not be out of place. And not all of those powers, not even some of the martial ones, are "At-will" but rather limited to once per minute or other frequency.

Listen, I obviously can't easily discredit all of your critiques against 4e (vis a vis PF 2), but this one in particular is low-hanging fruit.

And I admit, although I see so many similarities between 4e and PF2 to be exuberant (try to tell me that PF2 multi-classing doesn't resemble more than a passing similarity to 4e multi-classing), if I limited my comparison to just the 4e PHB1 and first year 4e releases, I might not find them that equivalent. But once I take into account 4e's evolution through to Essentials, where 4e eventually got away from the AEDU framework, divorced martial classes from the daily and encounter structure, further differentiated true spell-casting from other pools of focus-like points, evolved the way skills and skill actions worked (including, yes, ensuring that a tree is just a tree), and improved so many other things that appear to have also materialized in Pathfinder 2e, PF2 may as well be D&D 4.5.

I don't see what is so bad about that, other than some people do have a psychological interest in ensuring as few parallels as possible are drawn between the two. But to be honest, the more people try to demonstrate that the two are fairly differentiated, the more things I remember that I hadn't even considered, leading my conviction to increase even more that PF2 is a pretty good follow on to D&D 4.

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Insight wrote:
Name 10. Since the 4e Compendium shows that there are well over 1,000 individual powers, the exercise should be easy.

Sure. In fact, here are ten just from the Fighter (and I could've added a few more here from Fighter, but you asked for 10).

Tide of Iron
Steel Serpent Strike
Thicket of Blades
Anvil of Doom
Chains of Sorrow
Talon of the Roc
Serpent Dance Strike
Exorcism of Steel
Mountain Breaking Blow
Indomitable Battle Strike

In most of these cases the name doesn't even describe what the power does very well. It's just poetic and flowery.

Insight wrote:
As a counterpoint, here are over a dozen powers from the Pathfinder Playtest that I might describe as "too flowery":

Okay, I'll organize these by type and explain why these are not quite the same thing.

The following are Monk Feats, which are a bit of an exception to this whole problem for many people (indeed, people generally think Monk Feats should have some of this flavor):

Tiger Slash
Whirling Throw
Tangled Forest Stance

The following are directly descriptive, not flowery:

Dragon Totem Breath
Revealing Stab
Felling Strike
Incredible Follow-up
Stalker's Shot
Sense the Unseen
Twist the Knife
Cognitive Loophole

In all cases, they do almost literally what the Feat name says they do (Cognitive Loophole lets you find cognitive loopholes in spells, Sense The Unseen lets you sense the unseen, Twist The Knife has you literally twist the weapon you're using in the wound, Dragon Totem Breath directly gives you a breath weapon, Felling Strike literally knocks people over, and so on).

The following are actually Spells or magical effects (which nobody objects to having flowery names):

Dirge of Doom
Storm Retribution
Verdant Metamorphosis
Blade of Justice
Glutton's Jaws
Ancestral Surge
Call of the Grave

That leaves the following:

Come and Get Me
Predator's Pounce
Quaking Stomp

Which I do not find especially flowery, now that you mention it, though I suppose it's a matter of definition. They're certainly not directly descriptive, I'll grant you, but none of them seem even close to on par with 'Indomitable Battle Strike' or 'Exorcism of Steel' for floweriness (note: Indomitable Battle Strike does not make you resistant to things, Exorcism of Steel does not actually exorcise anything).

Insight wrote:
If I threw "Tide of Iron" in there, it would not be out of place. And not all of those powers, not even some of the martial ones, are "At-will" but rather limited to once per minute or other frequency.

It would be very out of place as a non-magical Fighter Feat, which was rather my point. It'd be fine as a Spell (including a Spell Point/Focus Spells effect...maybe one for Gorum), and might be okay as a certain kind of Monk Feat, but would be quite a bit off thematically from the other Fighter Feats.

Insight wrote:
Listen, I obviously can't easily discredit all of your critiques against 4e (vis a vis PF 2), but this one in particular is low-hanging fruit.

This is actually not my critique. I care very little about it to be honest. I just understand those who do, and think it's a reasonable critique to have under the circumstances.

And it's a critique of presentation. Of perception. It was seen as true by a large percentage of the fanbase, and helped 4E to not sell as well. Was it 100% accurate at all times? No. But it was true enough that I can see why people felt it was jarring and understand what they objected to.

Given it's lack of success using this strategy, I think the fact that Paizo is not making the same aesthetic choice with PF2 is a good thing from a business perspective (as well as being less jarring).

Insight wrote:
And I admit, although I see so many similarities between 4e and PF2 to be exuberant (try to tell me that PF2 multi-classing doesn't resemble more than a passing similarity to 4e multi-classing), if I limited my comparison to just the 4e PHB1 and first year 4e releases, I might not find them that equivalent. But once I take into account 4e's evolution through to Essentials, where 4e eventually got away from the AEDU framework, divorced martial classes from the daily and encounter structure, further differentiated true spell-casting from other pools of focus-like points, evolved the way skills and skill actions worked (including, yes, ensuring that a tree is just a tree), and improved so many other things that appear to have also materialized in Pathfinder 2e, PF2 may as well be D&D 4.5.

I disagree with the last bit (it's got as much PF1 and 5E in it as 4E, IMO), but there's certainly a lot of similarities between what you describe later versions of 4E as being like (I never got into 4E beyond the first few books and can't comment) and PF2 in terms of structure.

But the aesthetic and thematic differences remain significant, and significantly more appealing to the general fanbase, and one of those is what I was talking about here.

Insight wrote:
I don't see what is so bad about that, other than some people do have a psychological interest in ensuring as few parallels as possible are drawn between the two. But to be honest, the more people try to demonstrate that the two are fairly differentiated, the more things I remember that I hadn't even considered, leading my conviction to increase even more that PF2 is a pretty good follow on to D&D 4.

A lot of people really dislike 4E. Drawing parallels is thus more likely to harm sales of PF2 than help them, and I advise against doing it too much in public spaces if you want the game to succeed (as I certainly do).

I'm perfectly willing to agree there are some structural and functional similarities, but the packaging and in-universe justifications are much better in PF2 than they were in early 4E, and those things matter quite a bit.

The out of combat stuff is also quite a bit more developed (again, at least as compared to early 4E), which also matters quite a bit.


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Meraki wrote:

Anime is a medium, not a genre.

What people usually are referencing when they say something is "anime" in a game context is a particular subgenre of shounen anime/manga. Yes, it's often used as shorthand......

Thank you, I couldn't think of the word at the time (dysnomia can be a pain : \ ).

It's often used as a shorthand pejorative, sometimes by people who do not know or fully understand that anime is more than the sum of one of its genres, and that's generally the issue.

Squiggit wrote:

If the powers are regularly rechargeable and generally assumed to be available, is it really novaing?

A well optimized full attacking fighter can drop most enemies in a round or two, but nobody would really call that "going nova" either.

Whether or not it's considered nova, isn't the principal that it would result in the same sort of turn loop that often makes encounters feel stale? Not saying I necessarily agree that that would be the case, but I think that's the issue at the heart of nova-ing.

That full-attack loop was one of the main criticisms of Pathfinder I've seen.


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Obviously, I don't see 4e as much of a bomb as you do DMW. While it no doubt spawned a major competitor in a scenario that probably could have been prevented, it was still ahead of Pathfinder (per ICv2) for most of its run, and even when PF took the lead (Q2 2011-5e release), D&D still ranked second. Currently, PF 1 isn't even on the list (https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/42620/top-5-roleplaying-games-fall- 2018). I don't think a return to second place would be seen as a failure for PF2.

I do appreciate your thorough response, and all I would add is that we haven't even started with PF2, and I'm sure that there are numerous more powers to come.

But sometimes these statements about 4e are so divorced from reality that they are very difficult to engage with. It is like Mr. John Lynch's "True in theory, not in practice" response to my experience with 4e encounter tactics. Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "...2 of my last 3 characters (all high level) didn't even have any encounter *attack* powers and for the one that did, none of them were standard actions (and thus weren't competing against my other options anyways). Even if someone did build a character that had a clear encounter power hierarchy, where you could "work your way down" based on the damage level of the attacks (exceedingly rare as is), how would that be any different than a PF/3.5 fighter, especially one that had a feat that said your first attack deals 3x damage, your subsequent attack deals 2x damage, and all subsequent attacks deal normal damage. At any rate, the 4e/PF2 fighter still has objectively more options and tactics available than PF/3.5 (regardless of how much I may be overestimating the level of tactics required for *any system*).

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Insight wrote:
Obviously, I don't see 4e as much of a bomb as you do DMW. While it no doubt spawned a major competitor in a scenario that probably could have been prevented, it was still ahead of Pathfinder (per ICv2) for most of its run, and even when PF took the lead (Q2 2011-5e release), D&D still ranked second. Currently, PF 1 isn't even on the list (https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/42620/top-5-roleplaying-games-fall- 2018). I don't think a return to second place would be seen as a failure for PF2.

I wasn't saying it was a bomb, just that it was less successful than other iterations of D&D, or at least received more poorly by a significant portion of the fanbase, which seems to be the case.

Insight wrote:
I do appreciate your thorough response, and all I would add is that we haven't even started with PF2, and I'm sure that there are numerous more powers to come.

Well, sure. But the corebook is where people get their first impression of the game, and this issue is proportional. One in twenty Feats having flowery names is much less of an issue than if half of them do, from the perspective of genre blurring.

Insight wrote:
But sometimes these statements about 4e are so divorced from reality that they are very difficult to engage with. It is like Mr. John Lynch's "True in theory, not in practice" response to my experience with 4e encounter tactics. Meanwhile, I'm thinking, "...2 of my last 3 characters (all high level) didn't even have any encounter *attack* powers and for the one that did, none of them were standard actions (and thus weren't competing against my other options anyways). Even if someone did build a character that had a clear encounter power hierarchy, where you could "work your way down" based on the damage level of the attacks (exceedingly rare as is), how would that be any different than a PF/3.5 fighter, especially one that had a feat that said your first attack deals 3x damage, your subsequent attack deals 2x damage, and all subsequent attacks deal normal damage. At any rate, the 4e/PF2 fighter still has objectively more options and tactics available than PF/3.5 (regardless of how much I may be overestimating the level of tactics required for *any system*).

I have little experience actually playing 4E, so I can't comment on this in any informed manner. Which is why I generally keep my commentary on 4E to how it was received (which I have more experience with) rather than how it actually functioned in play.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I have little experience actually playing 4E, so I can't comment on this in any informed manner. Which is why I generally keep my commentary on 4E to how it was received (which I have more experience with) rather than how it actually functioned in play.

Good discussion. I'll just make one more point and then bow out for now. How 4e was received on EnWorld, Penny Arcade, and the WotC forums (before they closed) was probably much different than the way 4e was received on the Paizo boards. Even at a FLGS level, the audiences became self-segregating for the most part(in many cases even before 4e released in June 2008, due to perceived disenfranchisement by WotC), and once that happened any feedback about the respective systems would have been within the confines of an echo chamber.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
A lot of people really dislike 4E. Drawing parallels is thus more likely to harm sales of PF2 than help them, and I advise against doing it too much in public spaces if you want the game to succeed (as I certainly do).

The other part of this is that in this self-selected community of Pathfinder fans, that proportion is higher. I certainly can be counted among the people who moved from 3.5 to Pathfinder at least in part because 4E didn't line up with what I was looking for. Edit: Ninja'd by Insight on the self-selection observation.

A decade on, I suspect there were things 4E did well that I would have a different opinion on now, but looking at the core ruleset seemed (and still seems) more like a collection of MMO characters with clickable powers operating on different cooldowns, which is definitely an issue in tone for a lot of tables.

Fighter abilities having the exact same mechanic (dailies, encounters, at-will) as spells just felt...wrong, and IMO still does. Why can't he swing his sword the same way a second time in a fight? He's a fighter. Why did you have to give up some of the ones you had selected as you leveled due to a cap on how many you could have?

Fair or not, it gives the impression of the classes feeling the same, because the powers chassis drove so much of the class design. On the surface, you could make the same criticism about PF2 class feats, but the key difference seems to be that the cadence of choices are the chassis, not the form of the choices. The class feats can unlock abilities that aren't even close to the limitations of the kind of pre-defined boxes as core 4E powers.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Part of the problem with "generate a narrative solution" to the 15 minute adventuring day is that before long you have trained your players to avoid classes with "low adventuring stamina."
Eh. At least in 2e, that basically translates to "don't play spellcasters." And a party with no casters is going to need all that stamina cuz they are gonna have to fight their way through things the casters could have bypassed and such.

I mean, cantrips are still pretty solid, especially when you have an impressive selection of them. 5th level pregen Ezren (debuting at GenCon) currently has a significant array of cantrips available that cover a wide array of needs. So as long as you aren't blasting through a slotted spell every round of every combat you're probably going to have a pretty solid amount of adventuring stamina and a method of triggering a lot of different weaknesses.

In PF1, a major contributor to the 15-minute adventuring day is that the design paradigm is essentially that a wizard casting a level-appropriate spell is swinging at 100% of system expectations, a martial operates all day long at 70% of system expectations, and a wizard who isn't casting a spell is sitting at 20% when compared to what the system expects a character to contribute. In a game where everyone buys into the pacing this more or less works, but you'll see a kind of degradation of the cohesiveness of this paradigm as the party finds opportunities to take extended breaks. Any time you can have the wizard at 100% without the enemies getting stronger, the system rewards you for doing that. It does mean the wizard is breaking the expected parameters of the game framework, but they're doing it in a way the game allows and arguably encourages.

With the new system pivoting towards wizards having a smaller gap in their various statistics compared to more martial classes and more effective cantrips for pacing out the day, as well as giving focus powers to a bunch of classes, casters of all stripes have a higher likelihood of almost always having at least one really effective spell per encounter. The reward for taking extended breaks is lessened, which combines with the system "punishing" you less harshly for blowing through your limited resources by giving you more effective and thematically appropriate options to contribute with. Time will tell how big an impact that has on the experience overall, but I suspect that the 15-minute adventuring day will feel like much less of a "requirement" for groups who experience it.

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Insight wrote:
Good discussion.

Agreed. :)

Insight wrote:
I'll just make one more point and then bow out for now. How 4e was received on EnWorld, Penny Arcade, and the WotC forums (before they closed) was probably much different than the way 4e was received on the Paizo boards.

That's fair, though I'll note that I didn't start frequenting the Paizo forum until years after Pathfinder came out. My experience at the time was from more generic RPG boards (I visited RPGnet a fair bit back then, for example), as well as how people I knew personally reacted to it.

This has admittedly been supplemented by the views on this forum since, but as others note from a business perspective, how Pathfinder fans feel about PF2 is pretty relevant.

Insight wrote:
Even at a FLGS level, the audiences became self-segregating for the most part(in many cases even before 4e released in June 2008, due to perceived disenfranchisement by WotC), and once that happened any feedback about the respective systems would have been within the confines of an echo chamber.

Fair enough to some degree. My friends and I did actually give 4E a try and decided it wasn't for us pretty quick (though more due to lack of non-combat options than the issues we've been discussing). We liked Pathfinder much more when we tried it.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
I mean, cantrips are still pretty solid, especially when you have an impressive selection of them. 5th level pregen Ezren (debuting at GenCon) currently has a significant array of cantrips available that cover a wide array of needs. So as long as you aren't blasting through a slotted spell every round of every combat you're probably going to have a pretty solid amount of adventuring stamina and a method of triggering a lot of different weaknesses.

Especially on enemies with weaknesses and with chances for persistent damage. During the playtest, at the end of the 4th adventure, one of the major final encounter enemies had a fire weakness and the goblin sorcerer (with the fire damage bonus ancestry option) got a critical hit with Produce Flame and that ended up doing like 80 total damage across 3 turns, and ate up some actions as the enemy tried (unsuccessfully) to put the fire out, for just 5th-level cantrip.

But my players always tend to hold some stuff in reserve for curveballs, though, and are distrustful of any indication that it's safe to go nova.


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Ok, I lied, I’m back. :) Many people have noted the poor framework (flavor and distinctiveness) of initial 4e. I actually agree that the PHB1 in particular is pretty horrendous, having not only the least imaginative powers (like many have said, it seems they were spit out of a spreadsheet), but also least powerful (almost all of the options ended up *red* on the CharOp forums, meaning unplayable). However, as 4e went along, not only did the options become much more flavorful, but also far more powerful, more impactful, and more memorable (and not just damage-wise - many powers are similar to the legendary actions available in PF 2, even at lower levels). The stilted and uniform structure so often cited isn’t representative of 4e at all at this point, as each and every rule was eventually broken from top to bottom. That is partly why I am so excited about PF 2, which seems to be starting from a similar point 4e ended at... imagine the actions and powers that will develop as *this* system evolves.


Ed Reppert wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
And that also makes sense in fiction: the paladin never had to learn first aid when they had such a renewable well of magic to use.
Paksennarion was a soldier before she became a paladin. She almost certainly learned first aid. Same for Bahzell Bahnakson. I would not be surprised if that were the usual way in which people become paladins. It's one class that seems like starting from scratch would be unusual. Of course, neither of those fictional worlds is Golarion.

The stories rarely match up with the Rules/Community play. I mean any story that has Ezren in it should just feature him solving the problem himself if he's past level 10 or so. Like in the comics he gets trapped in some crypt or tomb without his spellbook. You mean to tell me a Wizard didn't have a backup scroll just for that? Who doesn't carry around 10 Stone Shape scrolls or a wand?

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.


Michael Sayre wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Part of the problem with "generate a narrative solution" to the 15 minute adventuring day is that before long you have trained your players to avoid classes with "low adventuring stamina."
Eh. At least in 2e, that basically translates to "don't play spellcasters." And a party with no casters is going to need all that stamina cuz they are gonna have to fight their way through things the casters could have bypassed and such.

I mean, cantrips are still pretty solid, especially when you have an impressive selection of them. 5th level pregen Ezren (debuting at GenCon) currently has a significant array of cantrips available that cover a wide array of needs. So as long as you aren't blasting through a slotted spell every round of every combat you're probably going to have a pretty solid amount of adventuring stamina and a method of triggering a lot of different weaknesses.

In PF1, a major contributor to the 15-minute adventuring day is that the design paradigm is essentially that a wizard casting a level-appropriate spell is swinging at 100% of system expectations, a martial operates all day long at 70% of system expectations, and a wizard who isn't casting a spell is sitting at 20% when compared to what the system expects a character to contribute. In a game where everyone buys into the pacing this more or less works, but you'll see a kind of degradation of the cohesiveness of this paradigm as the party finds opportunities to take extended breaks. Any time you can have the wizard at 100% without the enemies getting stronger, the system rewards you for doing that. It does mean the wizard is breaking the expected parameters of the game framework, but they're doing it in a way the game allows and arguably encourages.

With the new system pivoting towards wizards having a smaller gap in their various statistics compared to more martial classes and more effective cantrips for pacing out the day, as well as giving focus powers to a bunch of...

Sure, all that is true. My point wasn't that casters are going to have BAD adventuring stamina, just that they would be the worst of the bunch. Removing the limits on per day usage for things like rage or smite evil mean classes like the barbarian and paladin don't hit the same walls they used to. So spellslots, and alchemist reagents seem to be the only thing that people run out of beyond random once per day things like Battle Medic or wands. Well, that and hit points.

This doesn't mean a caster is in a bad way. And not having a caster in the party can be the difference between getting your sight restored vs fighting blind. Or the difference between having to fight your way up the wizard's tower vs fly to the top to bypass their defenses and fight the boss. Which seems like a bad trade to me, so I'd rather have some casters even if it means sometimes you run out of spells.


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MerlinCross wrote:

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.

Perhaps this is one of the flaws of a class-based system. IAC I've never liked "solutions" that don't make any logical sense. Maybe it's the engineer in me.


Ed Reppert wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.

Perhaps this is one of the flaws of a class-based system. IAC I've never liked "solutions" that don't make any logical sense. Maybe it's the engineer in me.

It is a tad..., odd when it comes to the story aspect of the game.

But the flip side would be we're 19 levels of whatever class we are + 1 level of Commoner/Villager stats.

I mean from what I understand, Ezren the iconic Wizard should be closer to Wizard 4-5 and Expert maybe 2-4 given his flashback in the comic along with other material.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I am trying to remember the name of it, it was for either AD&D or AD&D2E, but there was a mod that started out with the PC's as commoners and the DM was supposed to track their behavior and assign them classes at a certain point in the adventure. I do not remember it working very well but was an interesting concept.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ed Reppert wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.

Perhaps this is one of the flaws of a class-based system. IAC I've never liked "solutions" that don't make any logical sense. Maybe it's the engineer in me.

This is where Ancestry HP and Background works fine. You have everything you need to exist in the world without any class levels.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.

Perhaps this is one of the flaws of a class-based system. IAC I've never liked "solutions" that don't make any logical sense. Maybe it's the engineer in me.
This is where Ancestry HP and Background works fine. You have everything you need to exist in the world without any class levels.

I can't wait to try a class-less introduction. That's something I always wanted to try but never really succeeded because no system was really good with that (maybe only Chronicles of Darkness [previously "New World of Darkness"] when starting mortal before becoming supernatural)


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Malk_Content wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:

As for me, I've always kinda taken the "override" theory. I mean most characters didnt' start off as Alchemist, Fighter, Wizard, Paladin etc as Kids or teens. But at the same time we didn't start off as Commoner or Expert either, we have a full 20 levels to go.

So when your power awakens(Sorcerer), you're chosen(Paladin), something pokes you(Cleric, Oracle, Summoner), or you've just found your path(Fighter, Alchemist, Brawler, etc etc), it supersedes and overrides whatever you were before.

Perhaps this is one of the flaws of a class-based system. IAC I've never liked "solutions" that don't make any logical sense. Maybe it's the engineer in me.
This is where Ancestry HP and Background works fine. You have everything you need to exist in the world without any class levels.

This is just what I was thinking. An NPC class is just your Ancestry HP, Training in 3+Int skills plus your background stuff, stats generated as normal minus class, and being level 0 for purposes of Proficiency. Hit level 1 and you get your cool stuff, including a class ability score boost and your level 1 ancestry feat.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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I can see 0-level PCs working really well in 2nd edition. Choose ancestry and background, skip class, and go. When you hit 1,000 XP, you become 1st level.

Shadow Lodge

Especially since NPC classes don't exist anymore (?).

Liberty's Edge

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Charlie Brooks wrote:
I can see 0-level PCs working really well in 2nd edition. Choose ancestry and background, skip class, and go. When you hit 1,000 XP, you become 1st level.

You need to give them 2 or 3 (plus Int Mod) Skills trained as well, and probably Proficiency in some armor or weapons (and/or some Cantrips if going caster, for balance...maybe give everyone Simple weapons and a multiclass Feat?) but yes, this works.

Serum wrote:
Especially since NPC classes don't exist anymore (?).

They do not. There are NPC rules, certainly, but they don't work by the same mechanism as PC Classes.


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Charlie Brooks wrote:
I can see 0-level PCs working really well in 2nd edition. Choose ancestry and background, skip class, and go. When you hit 1,000 XP, you become 1st level.

And an NPC child then is just Ancestry (with the 2+INT skills) without even the Background. :)


Skedge wrote:
I am trying to remember the name of it, it was for either AD&D or AD&D2E, but there was a mod that started out with the PC's as commoners and the DM was supposed to track their behavior and assign them classes at a certain point in the adventure. I do not remember it working very well but was an interesting concept.

I'm pretty sure that would N4 - Treasure Hunt. The PCs start as galley slaves, are shipwrecked, and that's when the adventure you describe begins. There might be others like that - Dungeon Crawl Classics makes it a key part of it's design - but that one I know.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Charlie Brooks wrote:
I can see 0-level PCs working really well in 2nd edition. Choose ancestry and background, skip class, and go. When you hit 1,000 XP, you become 1st level.

I was thinking the same thing, you could start a group very easily at level 0 under the 2E rules, by stopping at various places in the creation process.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bluenose wrote:
Skedge wrote:
I am trying to remember the name of it, it was for either AD&D or AD&D2E, but there was a mod that started out with the PC's as commoners and the DM was supposed to track their behavior and assign them classes at a certain point in the adventure. I do not remember it working very well but was an interesting concept.
I'm pretty sure that would N4 - Treasure Hunt. The PCs start as galley slaves, are shipwrecked, and that's when the adventure you describe begins. There might be others like that - Dungeon Crawl Classics makes it a key part of it's design - but that one I know.

Thank you, yes N4 and N5 are the the mods I was thinking of. Both were Level 0-3


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masda_gib wrote:
Charlie Brooks wrote:
I can see 0-level PCs working really well in 2nd edition. Choose ancestry and background, skip class, and go. When you hit 1,000 XP, you become 1st level.
And an NPC child then is just Ancestry (with the 2+INT skills) without even the Background. :)

I'd do a children campaign as complete untrained slowly gaining the 2+int training, then background when they get a job...

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