Should I get PF2?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Read on a post that PF2 is a more watered down version of PF1. This concerns me a bit as I went to pathfinder for its more complex rules system. IMO the more rulings you have the more diverse and thematic the gameplay can be.

So with this known should I really get second edition? I don’t have a massive collection of pathfinder books just the core, bestiary 1 GM guide and advanced players guide. I would have collected more but my group really wanted to play D&D because it was simpler so I complied. I finally had to step away from the group as the menial rule system just did not sit with me well. As I said before I enjoy having lots of rulings.

Thanks for any insight anyone can give me.


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I think you should check it out. The rules will be posted on Archive of Nethys on August 1st so you can look at them before you decide.

To me it looks like a good balance between PF1 crunchiness and 5e ease of play but YMMV.

A lot of my players have switched to 5e which means I haven't actually had enough to run a PF1 game in a year, hopefully PF2 will appeal to enough folks that I can run a game again (I think I already have enough signed on). IMO 5e is fine as a player if a bit constraining but it doesn't excite me enough to make me want to GM it.

Liberty's Edge

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It depends on what you mean by 'simplified'. The core mechanic (ie: 'What do I roll for this?') is somewhat simplified, as are actions per turn (you get three actions and a Reaction) but there's still plenty of individual complexity in character options, and plenty of things like conditions.

So what do you like about 'complex rules systems'? Depending on what it is, PF2 may or may not maintain it.

Bardarok is also quite correct that you can check out Archive of Nethys and look the game over before purchasing it.

Silver Crusade

I definitely intend to, the 3-action system alone had me really intrigued from the get-go. The numbers got scaled back but they're still there, and there are still rules but from all that we have seen they're more intended to feel natural/flow more for ease of play and adjudication. And like Bardarok said, feels like a good balance between PF1 and 5e.


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PF2 isn't as math complex as PF1, which I think is a good thing. Only a few of my players enjoyed wrangling up all the floating modifiers and tracking all the different numbers to get them as high as possible.

It's more meaty than 5e though. I love the new action economy and the new monster designs. "Everything is a feat" is kind of confusing but I find that players have more available to them to customize their characters than 5e.

Also: Can't go wrong with supporting Pazio. Pazio pumps out quality adventure content, character options and other goodness monthly. I really hope finalized PF2 wins over some of the ol' PF1 grognards and all of the people burned by the Playtest.

So... Yeah, check it out when it's out.


Would it be possible to still convert pathfinder 2e characters into starfinder?


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Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

PF2 is going to be a great game, from everything we've seen. I'd call it a clearly better game than PF1 in basically every way, but of course tastes will differ and that's fine. (For reference, I quite enjoy build complexity and lots of player options and find 5e to be pretty dull—to each their own—so you & I may have similar perspectives there.)

The recent designer blogs (character creation, modes of play, etc.) are a good place to get a little intro.

And if you're hesitating, just check out the rules for free on Archives of Nethys, as folks have said, or grab the PDF for $15.

On release, should be easy to play a little bit in an online PFS game or oneshot or something.

In other words, no need to decide now!


Vornesoul wrote:

PF2 isn't as math complex as PF1, which I think is a good thing. Only a few of my players enjoyed wrangling up all the floating modifiers and tracking all the different numbers to get them as high as possible.

It's more meaty than 5e though. I love the new action economy and the new monster designs. "Everything is a feat" is kind of confusing but I find that players have more available to them to customize their characters than 5e.

Also: Can't go wrong with supporting Pazio. Pazio pumps out quality adventure content, character options and other goodness monthly. I really hope finalized PF2 wins over some of the ol' PF1 grognards and all of the people burned by the Playtest.

So... Yeah, check it out when it's out.

The removal of all the random modifiers is a huge deal. Looking back the confusion over this is what killed my reign of winter game after getting to book 4


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It's still highly customizable, though through different avenues now. It's also not a game of "GM just makes up the rule", it is HIGHLY codified.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The premise that PF2 is somehow a watered down PF1 is flat out wrong.

It's an improvement over PF1 in many ways, built by people who love and still play PF1.

There will be AT LEAST as many different ways to build a character, and building a variety of different concepts is still the foundational cornerstone of the system.

Lots of the build complexity (e.g. the stuff that makes it take a long time to get a character built to be effective) was simply moved to more interesting, active complexity. Combat is going to be so much more dynamic, and experienced players are going to get more mileage out of the same characters simply by knowing how to make sound tactical decisions. When to block, when to delay, when to use which combat feat etc.

I recommend taking a hard, fresh look at the system when it launches without listening to outside opinions. It will either suit you or it won't.


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Also: Multiclassing doesn't suck anymore


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

There's no reason to commit now. As others have said, you can check out the archives of nethys on launch day, or ask again in a month after some people have had some more play experience.


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tikiwaka wrote:

Read on a post that PF2 is a more watered down version of PF1. This concerns me a bit as I went to pathfinder for its more complex rules system. IMO the more rulings you have the more diverse and thematic the gameplay can be.

So with this known should I really get second edition? I don’t have a massive collection of pathfinder books just the core, bestiary 1 GM guide and advanced players guide. I would have collected more but my group really wanted to play D&D because it was simpler so I complied. I finally had to step away from the group as the menial rule system just did not sit with me well. As I said before I enjoy having lots of rulings.

Thanks for any insight anyone can give me.

What PF 2e does have:

* Simpler rules to PF1e. Not really controversial. They’ve made stuff easier in this ruleset. Still more complex then D&D 5e, but nowhere near to the degree that PF 1e is.
* A choice at every level. D&D 5e makes sure most classes get something at most levels. But the choices can be quite few depending on your class. PF 2e makes sure you get one or more choices to make per level. Not all of them might be meaningful, but the meaningful ones do appear to outnumber 5e quite easily.
* PF2e will actually get ongoing support with meaningful character options printed regularly. August has the rules. Next month you get a supplement with 3 new races, 10 heritages for the core races and 100 racial feats plus 10 archetypes. January will get a book called Gods & Magic, so the usual domains, feats and spells. Basically ongoing support for PCs compared with 5e’s “a few options in adventure books” (although Paizo has those as well).
* $15 for the core rules. At least worth checking out.

I dunno how much i’ll Play 2e, but $15 is a low cost to checking it out.


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It doesn't have Combat Manuever Bonus/Defense anymore. If you had taken offense at this mechanic, then that's good news! If this is the sort of complexity that you want then... my condolences?


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"I went to pathfinder for its more complex rules system. IMO the more rulings you have the more diverse and thematic the gameplay can be. So with this known should I really get second edition?"

Based on what you prize, I'd unhesitatingly answer: yes.

From what I've read, PF2 is no less complex than 1st edition in my opinion, the potential of character customizability has been increased, combat is more tactical in practice than in PF1, and yet the speed of combat is now much more consistent at all levels.

For some great analyses of the game, I'd read a series of recent posts on Reddit by Ediwir, which can be seen for now at https://www.reddit.com/user/Ediwir/posts/. He does a great job briefly looking at the components of the game.


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Thanks for everyone for all this information. It seems like it’s going to fit my needs and hopefully get my friends to jump into pathfinder as well. So looks like I’ll be picking this up. Thank you for all your insight.


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The framework for 2e is really great. Not as many options, but due to the nature of character building, you're not as limited on what you can build (and still make a functional character). There are a lot of things in pf1 that are a baaad idea, a lot of traps. But due to less math and more flexibility there are a lot less bad ideas.

I personally feel like in pf1 you make a build that works and then develop a story off of that. In pf2, I feel more able to think of a character concept and the framework of the game can support what I can think of better and still have a viable character, even though there are less options.


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tikiwaka wrote:
Thanks for everyone for all this information. It seems like it’s going to fit my needs and hopefully get my friends to jump into pathfinder as well. So looks like I’ll be picking this up. Thank you for all your insight.

welcome aboard the hype train - choo choo!


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think you should. I like the range in PF2 as well as the depth of character choices Pathfinder 2 has. I like the 3 action economy as well as the to hit roll mattering as far as 10 plus is critical hit and minus 10 critical miss. The proficiency system has more depth than 5e as far levels 2/4/6/8. So, I think you may enjoy it. As others mentioned the PDF can be safe way to check it out. The good news is not too much longer and it is out.


I'd wait on the SRD before deciding, it's only a few more weeks. That said, we've already made our decision to pass based on the playtest and previews.

Alternately, take a look at the playtest files if you can find them anywhere (I'm told Paizo pulled them from this site). Certain things have no doubt changed in the final draft, but it will give you an idea of the new core mechanics and the general direction the game is headed.


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Right now we don't know nearly enough about the system to say anything for certain. The playtest looked great before it was released, and then when we could see the rules it turned out it was absolutely terrible. The leadup to the proper launch makes it seem like many of the issues with the playtest were addressed but I'd be a damned fool to make any guarantees before I read the full rules on Archives of Nethys.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Worst case: you try it, and if it isn't your jam, you didnt really invest much into it.

I'm moving from 5e to pf2 for similar reasons. 5e is a great storytelling tool, but there is only RP reasons to spend gold. (Which is fine, but I want magic items!)

Everything being feats threw me for the first two character creations, but it dawned on me how much sense it made. Entire archetypes can just be feats you can opt into, and if something is missing from a class, add a feat!


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think it's a watered down version. I think it's different and new. Because it's new, it will naturally have less content available.

Just a few of my favorite changes:

3 Action + Reaction System: More intuitive, more versatility in combat, more room to "power up" abilities by "charging" them with more actions.

Monsters: Most monsters have unique abilities that make them more interesting than standard PF1 fare.

Items: Previewed items show some really neat and interesting effects. Wands are changed from spell sticks to "1/day w/ cool extra effect" sticks. Weapon choice is no longer the highest crit range or the most damage - they have cool abilities now.

Class Feat System: You are not forced to take lame or useless class abilities anymore. You can choose which class abilities you want via class feats.

Multiclass System: Rather than taking different levels than your core class, you can multiclass using your class feats. Effectively, the core feature of the class still levels (such as spellcasting), but you can dip into other classes' abilities.

Cantrips: Cantrips scale now; my players always wanted an "auto attack" option for their casters and this will work nicely.

It still keeps PF1's customization (and surpasses it, imo), while introducing a lot of neat features.


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It's not released yet, but, as a GM, I would recommend looking at what they plan for the GM's Guide. One of the goals was to make the game more modular. This book is reportedly supposed to give GMs the freedom to build custom content within an accessible framework. If you love tweaking your homebrew world as much as I do, that's a major selling point.

As for the core rules - less math than PF1, best Action Economy of any d20 thus far, and more versatility than the locked-in 5E career system.

Those 3 are enough for me to switch over.


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Complexity is not a virtue. Complexity, by itself, is neither positive not negative. Depth, however, is something to strive.

PF2 straightened out a lot of needlessly complex bits, like removing Touch AC and letting casters use their casting stat for spell attacks (two things that existed to justify each other in PF1).

I like what I've seen so far and it is exactly what I wanted from PF2. I suggest diving in with the Archives of Nethys when it releases.


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The biggest positive of PF2 is that is it SO MUCH easier to prep and run. This is a huge deal to me personally because I found GMing PF1 to be a chore (even though my players liked it).


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Crayon wrote:
Alternately, take a look at the playtest files if you can find them anywhere (I'm told Paizo pulled them from this site).

They just moved the playtest files.

- Original version and update 1.1

- Update 1.6


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Gisher wrote:
Crayon wrote:
Alternately, take a look at the playtest files if you can find them anywhere (I'm told Paizo pulled them from this site).

They just moved the playtest files.

- Original version and update 1.1

- Update 1.6

I still have my copies, but thanks anyway...


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Crayon wrote:
I'd wait on the SRD before deciding

I would actually recommend not doing this. I find SRDs a good way to reference information, but a bad way to learn the information. If $15 isn't too much money for you, I'd definitely recommend purchasing it.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I'd wait on the SRD before deciding
I would actually recommend not doing this. I find SRDs a good way to reference information, but a bad way to learn the information. If $15 isn't too much money for you, I'd definitely recommend purchasing it.

Completely agree that SRDs can be kind of a tough way to learn games, but if someone is on the fence about a system, a 0 dollar buyin to look at how the game works is a pretty compelling starting point.

I know a lot of purchases I've made from Paizo have started with me finding something interesting on the SRD, then going to the store to pick up the book to read me... then putting the book away and going back to the SRD because it's easier to search once you get a handle on things.


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For me $15 is about the same as $0 when it comes to checking out a Paizo game. I've always gotten at least $15 worth of entertainment from a ruleset I've purchased from them. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt up to at least $15.

Not everyone might value Paizo and their money the same way of course.


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The zero buy in is quite helpful for potential players to look into character options. But a Gm probably needs a direct source

And perhaps potential players could spread the cost of the initial pdf purchase?

But potentially listening to the various podcasts and reading the blogs will get you enough of a general feel to combine with the free content . I think it kind of depends on how well AON sets out the “gameplay” section

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel that PF2 is a streamlined version of PF1. Much of PF1's complexity and load of options in latter books came from having a system that was rigid and complicated in some critical areas. So much so that people had to design around these.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I'd wait on the SRD before deciding
I would actually recommend not doing this. I find SRDs a good way to reference information, but a bad way to learn the information. If $15 isn't too much money for you, I'd definitely recommend purchasing it.

Agreed. I was recommending perusal of the SRD to get a sense of whether or not PF2 is a system you actually want to learn which I think it should prove adequate for.

As for actually learning the rules from an SRD, it would admittedly be a challenge (at best) due to the layout if nothing else


Given your preferences and the fact that you already have a couple PF1 books, I'd say stay with PF1 - I will

On the other hand - it sounds like your group wants something simpler and PF2 might be the thing. You could buy the core rules as a pdf and see what you think.

good Gaming!


If 'you have a couple of first edition books' was a reason to not go to second edition there would be no second editions whatsoever


Seisho wrote:
If 'you have a couple of first edition books' was a reason to not go to second edition there would be no second editions whatsoever

Oh dear ...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Seisho wrote:
If 'you have a couple of first edition books' was a reason to not go to second edition there would be no second editions whatsoever

It is the reason for many people who have long and loyally stayed with Paizo, if by a "few" you mean metric tonne or so.


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I don't think you should burn the books/never look back/stop playing pf1
But the existance of old edition material is imo a bad argument to not at least try the new edition
And I am fully aware how much PF1 material there is, I got most of it in one or another form
I paid quite an ammount for it
But that is no reason for me to not buy the new edition

I know there are people who would want unlimited support for PF1 in all eternity, but that is just unrealistic - and let's be honest as much fun as it is, the system has a lot of issues and a really nasty power creep. I am glad to get rid of that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Seisho wrote:


and let's be honest as much fun as it is, the system has a lot of issues and a really nasty power creep. I am glad to get rid of that .

EDIT: replace crossed off with "delay that for awhile" and you have a truer statement.

{Is that better?}
/EDIT

The existence of enough material for a lifetime worth of play- which, let's be honest, 1st edition has, and then some, is, in my opinion a perfectly valid reason not to try 2E. Someone who has all that, is happy with it, and wants to continue playing it, is no different than someone who enjoys playing a completely different game and has no interest in trying Pathfinder.

Paizo's initial success with Pathfinder relied on this mentality when it came to Pathfinder vs. 4E D&D (thus all those posters saying 3.5 lives/thrives). It should be no surprise to anyone paying attention that Paizo has a subset of fans for whom PF1 is the only game they're interested in playing.

On a personal note, I will be doing both. I have a number of friends who are in the above described category, involved in at least 3 games I'm involved in, and those are staying PF1, and will be taking somewhere between 2-3 more years to play out (barring dissolution prior to that). I will be running PF2 for GenCon and I love what I've seen so far, both from a design philosophy and from actual gameplay. I just won't force conversion to something those friends don't have an interest in.

No one has to try Coke's newest orange flavor, despite all the hype surrounding it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, and I should also point out regarding "burning all the books"- as someone who "helped" 3.5 to "thrive", I never even once took anything out of my 3.5 books to use in Pathfinder.

I have a bookshelf full of books I haven't even looked at in over a decade.

Now, I doubt, based upon review of these forums, that my experience of this is unique.

PF2 is a remarkably different system from PF1. While setting it in the same world helps to mitigate the above experience by some degree (ie fluff, storylines, locations, etc. may still be usable), changing over to PF2 is a virtual form of burning the investment in many of those books, especially if it's so good you no longer want to play PF1- or your players don't- or your group is divided on the subject an your group looses players.

Edition changes can be hard on a fanbase.


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The question of the thread was if one should get pf2, not if one should not get pf2

I was not trying to force anyone to do anything

And I am certainly NOT appreciating people putting words in my mouth

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What a strange response to someone addressing the points you were making.

EDIT: I edited my quote above in case that was what you were objecting to.

Whether or not someone should get PF2 is the topic. The OP did not ask for only positive consent, they asked for pro and con opinions.

/EDIT

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ah, I see, you might have been missing the point of my posts. You stated that

"But the existance of old edition material is imo a bad argument to not at least try the new edition "

The entirety of my posts were designating around refuting that opinion. I think it's a stronger argument than people give it credit for, especially given the shared experience many Paizo fans have of avoiding the move to D&D 4 by supporting a more 3.5-ish game in Pathfinder.

That's all I was trying to get across.

You did not anywhere state people had to try PF2, but you did state that this argument against it was, in your opinion, a bad argument. I disagree with that assertion based on the things I've stated in this tread.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Reckless wrote:


No one has to try Coke's newest orange flavor, despite all the hype surrounding it.

Well, yes, but the argument is based on "should" one get the system, not compulsion. The rest of your post addresses that, but this statement is out of place. :)

As far as the argument goes, contentment is a perfectly good reason to stay the same. However, the person might be missing out on an even better experience (I believe this is the crux of Seisho's thought process).


Dansome wrote:
Reckless wrote:


No one has to try Coke's newest orange flavor, despite all the hype surrounding it.

Well, yes, but the argument is based on "should" one get the system, not compulsion. The rest of your post addresses that, but this statement is out of place. :)

As far as the argument goes, contentment is a perfectly good reason to stay the same. However, the person might be missing out on an even better experience (I believe this is the crux of Seisho's thought process).

You certainly understood me better then Reckless

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Agreed.

The baggage subsumed by "not saying burn all the books" had a lot to do with is as it falsifies the statements on the parts of the contented in a hyperbolic manner designed to invite argumentation.


Crayon wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Crayon wrote:
I'd wait on the SRD before deciding
I would actually recommend not doing this. I find SRDs a good way to reference information, but a bad way to learn the information. If $15 isn't too much money for you, I'd definitely recommend purchasing it.

Agreed. I was recommending perusal of the SRD to get a sense of whether or not PF2 is a system you actually want to learn which I think it should prove adequate for.

As for actually learning the rules from an SRD, it would admittedly be a challenge (at best) due to the layout if nothing else

I'm not seeing this. RPG books are reference materials, they don't need to be read in a strict order. Unless the SRD version ends up abysmally nested with no links or sidebar/top bar menus, material is more accessible, not less.

Learning rules is a matter of flowing from one topic to the next, which can easily be done on modern webpages.

And while hopefully they are not, if the final books are as badly edited and organized as the playtest, an SRD website version will be a flat out far superior way of learning the rules.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

On the OP's point: You should definitely give PF2 a look-see and invite your 5E friends to do the same.

In particular, I would invite them to look ath the Experience Build Character Blog and the Mark Seifter interview where he helps build a character, and maybe the Glass Cannon Paizocon live play and the Oblivion Oath twitch streams to see the actual game in play.

I think the videos will help show actual gameplay simplicity and the ABCs of making characters should highlight the simplicity yet numerous options on has for character creation.


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Seisho wrote:
But the existance of old edition material is imo a bad argument to not at least try the new edition

It really isn't, actually. A new edition has to sell itself to JUSTIFY abandoning an edition you know and enjoy. If PF2e hasn't sold itself to those people, then not moving forward because you own a bunch of old edition material is a perfectly valid reason to stick with the old.

Seisho wrote:
and let's be honest as much fun as it is, the system has a lot of issues and a really nasty power creep. I am glad to get rid of that.

That's a good reason to move onto a new edition. Not everyone will want to because of that reason.

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