How much effect did D&D 4E have on the development of PF 2E anyway?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.


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Someone else made the comment about integrating new releases into DDI. I never had a complaint with it, even when it went online only.


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Insight wrote:
Someone else made the comment about integrating new releases into DDI. I never had a complaint with it, even when it went online only.

Sorry about that - I've editted my post. I got confused. :o


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.

Yeah, me too. I can see why people like it, but to me the pencils, the flipping through books and the grubby, overly-erased sheets of paper is part of what makes the hobby.


Insight wrote:
Someone else made the comment about integrating new releases into DDI. I never had a complaint with it, even when it went online only.

I think the problem wasn't so much technical, but financial?

Like I think Steve commented, with DDI early on you could buy a month, get all current content then skate for a year and resub to get everything new.

There's got to be a pricing model that's not nearly as expensive as buying all the books twice (Herolab), but that still funds both the tool and the publishing. Not sure what it is though.

I like paging through the books and doing at least some of the work on paper, but PF at least is too complex for to handle that way. I resort to searching the online resources just to find out what books I need to look in and at that point I might as well just use them or use a tool.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.

I feel as though folks that play online do so as an admitted concession to being unable (for various reasons) to do so live.

And whereas the the technology will definitely continue to improve, it will never completely replace the social and kinesthetic elements that Steve Geddes mentions above.

In my group, 3 of our 4 new players started with online play, and finally made "the jump" to live. Not that they quit online play altogether, but they definitely express a preference for live play, often including that they had "wanted to for a long time" priorly.

I'm not too worried.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

4E's fundamental problems were threefold:

My recollection from the time was that there were some non-rules issues at play too.

The marketting campaign was not well received and the pulling of the Dungeon and Dragon magazine licenses from Paizo was equally unpopular (to an admittedly more limited section of the fanbase).

However, a hugely significant event at the time was the pulling of 3.5 PDFs - many, many people cited that as being a reason they'd never support WotC. It's kind of faded in people's minds I think, but that was a big deal ten years ago.


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Steve Geddes wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

4E's fundamental problems were threefold:

My recollection from the time was that there were some non-rules issues at play too.

The marketting campaign was not well received and the pulling of the Dungeon and Dragon magazine licenses from Paizo was equally unpopular (to an admittedly more limited section of the fanbase).

However, a hugely significant event at the time was the pulling of 3.5 PDFs - many, many people cited that as being a reason they'd never support WotC. It's kind of faded in people's minds I think, but that was a big deal ten years ago.

They did set themselves up with a perfect storm to try to fly into.

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It's called hubris I believe.


Warning: the following is hearsay from what other people have talked about online. If someone wants to show me this is false, I will gladly delete it.

There also was the disaster that the lead programmer for their online tabletop software committed suicide. 4e was clearly designed to play well in a 'click your power and choose your target on a grid' sort of system, and as I understand it WotC expected to launch a Roll20 style online platform easily 3 years before any of the current players were up and running.

I think they expected 4e to be popular for people playing with laptops, with everyone's characters linked together through a subscription-based service.

Instead, you had to play the game with minis and doing the math in your head, and it was doable, but not what the system was intended for. When the programmer died, I think that whole team lost their drive and it was scrapped.

Grand Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.

I wouldn't worry about it too much. I don't know how old you are, but for us grognards, we managed to survive the transition from hair metal to grunge, to what ever the hell there is now. We managed to go from rotary telephones to strictly touch-tone, to flip phones and now "smarter than we are" phones. Our television has gone from a dial you have to get up to change to voice activated and knows our preferences and picks shows for us. Our console games have gone from Pong to virtual reality. Our manual hand-crank window cars are now remote entry and remote start. They'll even call the police for you if your ever in an accident. Plastic has largely replaced paper money. And thank god, no one wears leisure suits or parachute pants anymore. I think we'll survive the slow, but inevitable death of paper print for the convenience and cost savings of digital content, even if they have to drag us kicking and screaming.


Steve Geddes wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.
Yeah, me too. I can see why people like it, but to me the pencils, the flipping through books and the grubby, overly-erased sheets of paper is part of what makes the hobby.

Absolutely!

I have enough screens in my life and creating the visuals in my head is a big part of why I love pen & paper:-)


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rainzax wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.
I feel as though folks that play online do so as an admitted concession to being unable (for various reasons) to do so live.

I can testify to this not being completely true. Simply put, I have a very difficult time getting into roleplaying a character if I have to act - if I do my rp by typing out dialogue it all comes together much easier for me. I found live play to be fine for PFS and simple dungeon romps where I'm not invested in much other than the numbers on the sheet, but for a serious campaign where I put real effort into the character I'm always going to do better on roll20.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.

My experience of technological progress from my last campaign:

(a) I like checking rules through Google. I can type what I'm looking for a lot quicker than I can look something up in an index.
(b) I like having PCs and NPCs on paper. That way I can see everything at once, and annotate anything I want.
(c) I don't like it when other players have their characters on their phones. Staring at your phone during a game conveys an impression of disengagement, like yawning and looking at your watch.

Is this a sign of me being old, I wonder?


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TOZ wrote:
Everyone knows the devs are just machines that print rules.

Really? They're not oracles pulling imperfect versions of the true rules from Plato's Cave?


Arachnofiend wrote:
rainzax wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.
I feel as though folks that play online do so as an admitted concession to being unable (for various reasons) to do so live.
I can testify to this not being completely true. Simply put, I have a very difficult time getting into roleplaying a character if I have to act - if I do my rp by typing out dialogue it all comes together much easier for me. I found live play to be fine for PFS and simple dungeon romps where I'm not invested in much other than the numbers on the sheet, but for a serious campaign where I put real effort into the character I'm always going to do better on roll20.

Oh yeah. The immediacy of live playing can make it harder because you have to think on your feat. Online play often gives you a bit more of a time lag to properly think out what your character would say or do. Partly because typing itself just takes more time. Something like Play by Post gives you even more. There's also the embarrassment aspect. Sometimes I can feel a bit self-conscious when really getting into character. But the anonymity of online play can make it easier. I only play Pathfinder in person (although we use virtual table-top software and a projector for maps and movement, and spreadsheet based character sheets), but I have had some really good experiences with roleplaying on a MUSH. And can certainly understand a preference for online play. There's certainly room for both.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm sort of concerned that I'm going to be left behind when this hobby goes overly digital, to be honest.

My experience of technological progress from my last campaign:

(a) I like checking rules through Google. I can type what I'm looking for a lot quicker than I can look something up in an index.
(b) I like having PCs and NPCs on paper. That way I can see everything at once, and annotate anything I want.
(c) I don't like it when other players have their characters on their phones. Staring at your phone during a game conveys an impression of disengagement, like yawning and looking at your watch.

Is this a sign of me being old, I wonder?

Online rule lookups are great. I much prefer using D20PFSRD.com, the Archives of Nethys and Combat Manager for rule lookups than using the books. I find books good for initial reads, but for general use I prefer online.

I can certainly understand not wanting electronic devises at the table. They can be sources of distraction when people are reading articles or playing mobile games and the like. And that can feel rather disrepectful. It really comes down to an evaluation of whether more is gained or lost through their use. For me and my group, I think laptops are a net positive, even with the troubles they bring. Honestly, I'm not sure I could effectively play PF1 with a paper sheet these days. It's just so complex, having auto-adding of all the various bonuses from everywhere is an absolute life-saver. I did do it for a while though. Even then, I still forget more conditional or temporary modifiers all the time. This is totally me. They're even more important for GMing than playing. Combat manager is great for initiative order as well as tracking damage, conditions and the like, and rule lookups.


Doktor Weasel wrote:
Honestly, I'm not sure I could effectively play PF1 with a paper sheet these days. It's just so complex, having auto-adding of all the various bonuses from everywhere is an absolute life-saver.

If I felt like that I'd want to switch to another system.


Insight wrote:

Oh it is definitely 5e at the top with a chasm between it and the others and has been since release. The 5e PHB reached top 3 status on Amazon’s book chart (overall books, not just gaming books) and is still number 65 overall, so even in 2019 it has many, many multiples of sales of any “competitors” (5e supplements such as Xanathar’s and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist similarly perform well in the overall book category).

Pathfinder was number 3 as recently as Spring of 2018, prior to the Playtest, so the announcement of the Playtest probably did have a large effect on PF’s fall off the list. However, Paizo did release a number of PF products during 2018, so the decline was not simply due to a curtailed release schedule. Probably, Paizo anticipated an eventual decline and started working on PF2 ahead of the curve, so to speak. Looks like PF 2 will be just in time for them jump back into it, at least for a little while (depending on reception.

Basically since the release of 5e the top two had stayed steady, D&D 5e in first, PF in second. The other consistent performer has been FFG's Star Wars games, but that's regularly been overtaken by the "Hot New" release for that quarter. Sometimes that hot new game has retained a place lower in the chart - see Starfinder - but it's often disappeared.

One thing to note is that a Hot New item might not be all that new, but it might be something that's suddenly got attention from Geek & Sundry or another big RPG streaming group. Star Trek Adventures got into the chart soon after G&S started their Shield of Tomorrow game, and I don't think it's a coincidence that they've currently got a V:tM game on Twitch/Youtube and V:tM is back in the IcV2 chart again. D&D has several, of course.


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Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
Kyrone wrote:
I kinda want to see the group that claim that Pathfinder 2 copied 4e have a debate with the group that says that it copied 5e...
It actually copied 6e, via time-travel.
Specifically, they time travelled back to Ancient Egypt to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons 6e.

I think you mean "Dungeons and Dragons 6bce" ;)


Bluenose wrote:
Basically since the release of 5e the top two had stayed steady, D&D 5e in first, PF in second.

That’s not entirely accurate. Pathfinder fell out of the #2 slot after the Spring of 2017 numbers and has not returned to that sales position yet.


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dirtypool wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Basically since the release of 5e the top two had stayed steady, D&D 5e in first, PF in second.
That’s not entirely accurate. Pathfinder fell out of the #2 slot after the Spring of 2017 numbers and has not returned to that sales position yet.

Quite true. I should have added that it had remained that way until the PF2 announcement.


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Bluenose wrote:
Quite true. I should have added that it had remained that way until the PF2 announcement.

The argument that PF1 dropped out of the number 2 slot because of the announcement of PF2 is purely a post hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy. Starfinder dethroned PF1 before the PF2 announcement and held the number 2 slot until Fall 2018 where it was dethroned by L5R

The PF2 announcement happened on March 6th 2018, the publish date of the ICv2 Fall 2017 sales figures that showed PF2 falling out of the number 2 slot was March 9th 2018. The sales period where Starfinder overtook Pathfinder was in Fall of 2017 before any PF2 announcement was made.

PF2's announcement is likely what caused PF1 to drop out of the top 5 entirely in the Fall 2018 period.

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dirtypool wrote:
Bluenose wrote:
Quite true. I should have added that it had remained that way until the PF2 announcement.

The argument that PF1 dropped out of the number 2 slot because of the announcement of PF2 is purely a post hoc ergo proctor hoc fallacy. Starfinder dethroned PF1 before the PF2 announcement and held the number 2 slot until Fall 2018 where it was dethroned by L5R

The PF2 announcement happened on March 6th 2018, the publish date of the ICv2 Fall 2017 sales figures that showed PF2 falling out of the number 2 slot was March 9th 2018. The sales period where Starfinder overtook Pathfinder was in Fall of 2017 before any PF2 announcement was made.

PF2's announcement is likely what caused PF1 to drop out of the top 5 entirely in the Fall 2018 period.

Well, it was kinda expected that Starfinder would knock PF1e out of the slot, as there was going to be a lot of overlap between their audience and most of them only have enough money to focus on one system during that early hardback pocketbook crunch.

I fully expect SF to drop quite a bit over the next couple months, even with the new hardback coming next month, because PF2e is an expensive proposition at launch. Unlike SF (which was close enough to PF1e you could re-use some accessories) you need pretty much everything new for it. Even the PDFs went up in price (although still reasonable).

Sovereign Court

For those of you upset by the similarity in bull-rushing an opponent between 4E and P2, I ask you this: P1 included the ability to bull-rush a target, so P2 needed to find some way for characters to do the same thing. I don't have the book yet, but I'm sure there is some way for a P2 character that doesn't have this feat to do it as well, possibly suffering an AoO and not doing damage at the same time, but those are the benefits of taking the feat. Should P2 have excluded the ability to bull-rush a target just because it was a power in 4E? A lot of P2 players would have cried out "How does my Fighter bull-rush someone? We need to create a feat that improves the standard ability, he's a Fighter after all!" What angered a lot of people about 4E in no opinion was that you couldn't do a lot of things by the rules unless you had the right powers (but I may just be misremembering 4E, I didn't play it much and that was years ago now).


Insight wrote:

As of the March 2019 ICv2 report, covering the prior fall (https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/42620/top-5-roleplaying-games-fall- 2018):

1. D&D
2. Legend of the Five Rings
3. Star Wars
4. Starfinder
5. Vampire

I wouldn’t be surprised if PF2 debuts at number 1 for this Fall, but it’ll be at least #2 for sure. We’ll also be able to see the Core Rulebook ranking on Amazon, which will be an indicator, but obviously a good chunk of sales come from Paizo’s store, which wouldn’t be included.

And if a lot of people were like me they bought from neither Amazon nor Paizo because it was quite a bit cheaper at other 3rd parties.


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It would be exceedingly foolish to not study the strengths and weaknesses of other fantasy RPG systems while building a new one. That's the kind of hubris that got us Anthem.

I see enough differences between PF2 and 4e that I am not concerned. DMW has succinctly pointed out the main issues with 4e - it was over-focused on balance and mechanical precision to the point of sucking all the character out of the system. The choice of separating flavor text from abilities alone makes a huge impact. Reading a 4e ability feels very dry. PF2 bakes the flavor into the abilities, and provides interesting things for characters and monsters to do outside of combat, and PCs feel very distinct, rather than a pile of abilities that do 1[W]+Key Ability Modifier damage.

Sovereign Court

Such as, Mrspagetti? I couldn't find anyone lower than Amazon, but if you know someone better, I'd like to know for the future. You can just message me if you don't want to post it. Thank you.


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I have heard that Book Depository is often cheaper for purchases outside the US.


Samurai wrote:
For those of you upset by the similarity in bull-rushing an opponent between 4E and P2, I ask you this: P1 included the ability to bull-rush a target, so P2 needed to find some way for characters to do the same thing. I don't have the book yet, but I'm sure there is some way for a P2 character that doesn't have this feat to do it as well, possibly suffering an AoO and not doing damage at the same time, but those are the benefits of taking the feat. Should P2 have excluded the ability to bull-rush a target just because it was a power in 4E? A lot of P2 players would have cried out "How does my Fighter bull-rush someone? We need to create a feat that improves the standard ability, he's a Fighter after all!" What angered a lot of people about 4E in no opinion was that you couldn't do a lot of things by the rules unless you had the right powers (but I may just be misremembering 4E, I didn't play it much and that was years ago now).

The Athletics skill has actions to Break, Grapple, Shove, Trip, or Disarm.

These actions have the "attack" tag and are thus subject to MAP (multiple attack penalty).

Some combination of Stride + Shove / Trip could work, unless some class has a special feat.


Joana wrote:
I have heard that Book Depository is often cheaper for purchases outside the US.

I can confirm this. At least form Argentina.

No paying for shipping, wich normally is like a 50% more in cost. And it's pretty quick and reliable, 3 weeks when I usually wait months for an international package.


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RangerWickett wrote:

Warning: the following is hearsay from what other people have talked about online. If someone wants to show me this is false, I will gladly delete it.

There also was the disaster that the lead programmer for their online tabletop software committed suicide. 4e was clearly designed to play well in a 'click your power and choose your target on a grid' sort of system, and as I understand it WotC expected to launch a Roll20 style online platform easily 3 years before any of the current players were up and running.

I think they expected 4e to be popular for people playing with laptops, with everyone's characters linked together through a subscription-based service.

Instead, you had to play the game with minis and doing the math in your head, and it was doable, but not what the system was intended for. When the programmer died, I think that whole team lost their drive and it was scrapped.

It's worse than that. He didn't just commit suicide, Joseph Batten stalked and murdered his estranged wife then committed suicide.


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Cydeth wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
Cydeth wrote:


Of all things, it was the art that nearly drove me away from PF2. I figure I'll get the first few books, then make a decision.
I wonder if your dislike of the art comes from the playtest rulebook or the recently published blogs?
It wasn't the playtest art for me, as I commission a fair amount of art and sketches are always weird. What had me unhappy were the vast majority of new iconics. I only changed my mind when I saw art from the interior of the new Bestiary and Core Rules, but if the art starts veering back toward what I've seen for the new iconics, I'm going to drop PF2.

Are they still using the rather lackluster art they previewed a few months ago?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
Cydeth wrote:


Of all things, it was the art that nearly drove me away from PF2. I figure I'll get the first few books, then make a decision.
I wonder if your dislike of the art comes from the playtest rulebook or the recently published blogs?
It wasn't the playtest art for me, as I commission a fair amount of art and sketches are always weird. What had me unhappy were the vast majority of new iconics. I only changed my mind when I saw art from the interior of the new Bestiary and Core Rules, but if the art starts veering back toward what I've seen for the new iconics, I'm going to drop PF2.
Are they still using the rather lackluster art they previewed a few months ago?

Yes. The other art in the Core Rulebook is pretty decent on the whole, but I'm going to do everything I can to ignore the iconics, I think. I consider them pretty terrible.

Edit: Let me correct myself. The vast majority of the art in both the Core Rulebook and Bestiary is very good, at least what I remember. Most of it is quite good, however, I consider about half the iconics tolerable, and the remaining half as terrible. I freely admit art is subjective, but that's my opinion.

Sovereign Court

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Joana wrote:
I have heard that Book Depository is often cheaper for purchases outside the US.

Yeah, base product prices are pretty good to begin with, but no shipping costs makes a huge difference. Buying stuff from Paizo directly often comes with shipping costs that equal or exceed the cost of shipping.

Also it's easy to just Wishlist all upcoming stuff you're interested in and you tend to get price drop alerts by the time it's actually on the market. The convenience of the site is quite high.


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Personally, I can't even draw a blank. So it's hard for me to be too critical of art that I could never reproduce if I had 100 years of practice.


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
Personally, I can't even draw a blank. So it's hard for me to be too critical of art that I could never reproduce if I had 100 years of practice.

Indeed, I won’t be too critical either. Yet if the art really turns me off, it’s really going to affect my relationship with the product. Fortunately, that hasn’t been a problem with many products - and never with a Pathfinder product yet.


While the OP pointed out the similarity of the PF2 Feat Brutish Shove, and the 4E Power Tide of Iron, I'd like to point out PF1 had Brutish Shove in it already - they just called it Pushing Assault.

Pushing Assault wrote:


Prerequisites: Str 15, Power Attack, base attack bonus +1.

Benefit: When you hit a creature your size or smaller with a two-handed weapon attack modified by the Power Attack feat, you can choose to push the target 5 feet directly away from you instead of dealing the extra damage from Power Attack. If you score a critical hit, you can instead push the target 10 feet directly away from you. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunities, and the target must end this move in a safe space it can stand in. You choose which effect to apply after the attack roll has been made, but before the damage is rolled.

Now, the requirement of a two-handed weapon is new, but the feat concept itself looks like it's just an update of a PF1 feat with a more dynamic-sounding name.

As for whether or not PF2 is drawing inspiration from 4E or not, I am firmly of the belief that any game developer should learn from the mistakes and successes of previous games. An ability that allows you to attack an opponent, do damage, then make them flat-footed and shove them away from you seems like a nice way to give fighters some actual battlefield control, especially if they can force that flat-footed opponent into the party Rogue's waiting blade(s) to take advantage of the flat-footed condition.


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I like the post from the guy who said the people who say PF2 is copying off of 4E should have a debate with the people who say PF2 is copying off of 5E.
Obviously copying off of 4E would be a terrible idea. Since, even its publishers abandoned it after only a few years.
I feel like PF2 will be... PF2.

Sovereign Court

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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

I like the post from the guy who said the people who say PF2 is copying off of 4E should have a debate with the people who say PF2 is copying off of 5E.

Obviously copying off of 4E would be a terrible idea. Since, even its publishers abandoned it after only a few years.
I feel like PF2 will be... PF2.

Yep, and I wonder how many 5E players will move over to it as well, not because 5E is bad (it isn't, it's the best edition of D&D in many years), but because Pathfinder has a lot more character customization. Most classes in 5E only get a feat every 4 levels, and most classes have several fairly dead levels. When players see just how much customization Pathfinder allows, I think for some players it will be a revelation.


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

I like the post from the guy who said the people who say PF2 is copying off of 4E should have a debate with the people who say PF2 is copying off of 5E.

Obviously copying off of 4E would be a terrible idea. Since, even its publishers abandoned it after only a few years.
I feel like PF2 will be... PF2.

Looks like they are actually having that debate in the PF2 Goblin preview on EnWorld over here: https://www.enworld.org/forum/content.php?6498-Here-s-A-Pathfinder-2E-Gobli n&page=2#comments.

IMO, the 4e people are winning the debate.


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Bill Dunn wrote:
It's worse than that. He didn't just commit suicide, Joseph Batten stalked and murdered his estranged wife then committed suicide.

As tragic as that whole episode is, it's a fairly basic management failure, because there are plenty of much more prozaic ways that a single staff member can end up leaving a software development project, and if you've set yourself up so that one person walking out cripples your ability to deliver the application on time, well, that can't really be put down to "this incredibly rare tragedy took place".


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
It's worse than that. He didn't just commit suicide, Joseph Batten stalked and murdered his estranged wife then committed suicide.
As tragic as that whole episode is, it's a fairly basic management failure, because there are plenty of much more prozaic ways that a single staff member can end up leaving a software development project, and if you've set yourself up so that one person walking out cripples your ability to deliver the application on time, well, that can't really be put down to "this incredibly rare tragedy took place".

I think if he’d simply left the company, they’d have soldiered on. It may be a bit of a management failure in the sense that he could have been killed in a car accident or died just as suddenly from some other reason. On the other hand, the way he went out was pretty shocking and it’s kind of cold to blame management for not getting the project back on track.

Sovereign Court

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I got my subscription today with the core book and bestiary. I’ve spent the day pouring over the core book and, what brought me to this thread, was the general impression I got from 2e.

In that broad, hazy state of a first impression I’d summarize 2e as a “fixed 4e” or “what 4e ought to have been, at least for me”.

The above is of course an impressionistic statement. I didn’t care for 4e and abandoned it after a few sessions when it came out, horrified by the overt treadmill and video game cool down feel it gave me. I enjoyed 3.x/PF’s “veil” of a treadmill, it’s weird mixing of simulation tendencies and software like keyword systemization.

2e has more of a 4e vibe in that the treadmill is much more overt. Feats are leveled, rather than being “veiled” in prerequisites. The huge number of feats you get have even been codified in the player character sheet. It’s convenient, but aesthetically I find that a bit too jarring.

Another 4eish element is that your AC, attacks, saving throws, skills, and so on are scaled to level. With 4e it was level divided buy two, with 2e it is just your level. This definitely hits the treadmill feel. The 10th level character will walk into a town and be around as competent as masters in a variety of skills activities. Sure there is a distinction between trained and untrained with what you can do with an action, but this framework rapidly removes the worldbuilding from a simulationist approach, such as the famous essay at the Alexandrian on “Calibrating Your Expectations”.

There are plenty of other 4e associations I could tease out, but how does it surpass 4e and give me hope that I won’t run screaming from 2e? Some of the veil is still there. Paizo’s strength is in teasing out a lot of flavor and integrating it with crunch. The simple act of mixing the flavor text with the rules text in the zillions of feats is helpful. 4e felt sterile with flavor text in italics, helping the user ignore it, and giving the game mechanic algorithm in bold and colonized formatting.

Another helpful area is the robust feat support for all the skill actions you can do in the game. The core simulation element to the 3.x/PF was the skill section, which defined a great deal of the out of combat experience, or the corner cases of combat. Having so much mechanical attention lavished on it really helps keep this area relevant, along with baking in this category of feats in the class progressions, helps to round out a concept so they aren’t just a killing machine.

Lastly, it was impressive seeing the wild mix of ancestry, heritage, background and class. A wonderful mix of crunch and flavor. I think 4e eventually added in backgrounds, but they had lost me by that point so I can’t compare, but 2e provides what looks like a very entertaining character creation process. Not one that is necessarily newbie friendly with a sheer amount of material to read through, but for a vet it looks like there is robust matrix of options to create a character concept that is mechanically alive in the world.

I feel torn. There is a lot that I like with 2e, but where it does show its 4e influence it gives me the feeling of being already exhausted with the core book. The system is very much designed to crank out another bookshelf sagging amount of core books. With 1e I had no problem gobbling up those books because the aesthetic veil was present. I felt I was exploring with each addition. This new format, where the treadmill is laid bare in many respects, sucks the mystery out in many ways. The idea of five billion leveled feats, with no “system mastery” satisfaction of doing my own analysis and filtering, feels exhausting.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't know about "no system mastery" - just in the few hours I've had the book I've picked out some probably-not-intended interactions that are pretty cool.

One of my favorites so far is that you can combine Mighty Rage with Furious Finish to do a frankly massive attack as a single action - and if you are a Giant Instinct barbarian, that attack can have an effectively 20-foot reach. Sure, you are then fatigued for ten minutes afterwards, but the next thing is to start looking for what buffs your teammates could stack on that single attack...

Another thing that's not immediately obvious is that a properly-built Champion can actually get three uses of their reaction per round, assuming you use a shield.

And that's not even touching the multiclass system, which looks like it'll have deep rewards for system mastery.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had a hard time appreciating the art from the online previews.

When I saw the physical prints at Paizocon this year, I bought three from Wayne - the hard copy looked that much better.

The jarring thing I've seen so far? The 'Bobblehead Syndrome' that all the short races seem to suffer from, as well as the uncanny valley that some of the goblin pictures are running my mind into.

That isn't the artists, but the art theme.

That being said, I'm not disappointed.

As far as 4e? I was driven away when I was told by a rep from WotC that the OGL was dead, and 'good riddance'.

Sovereign Court

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MaxAstro wrote:
I don't know about "no system mastery" - just in the few hours I've had the book I've picked out some probably-not-intended interactions that are pretty cool.

Sorry for the confusion. I wasn’t meaning that there is no system mastery. With such a huge range of effects it inevitable that some combinations will be better than others.

What I was getting at was the aesthetic presentation of the material. WIth 3.x/PF1 you would have a list of feats in alphabetical order and the constraints would be in the prerequisites. A player would need to dig into the system a bit to figure out when various feats would be available. As above, it helped veil the system a bit more.

With PF2 the feats are laid out in a 4e fashion, with pages and pages of leveled feats. It’s all very overt and it makes the game leap out at you more, at least for me.

One could say, “Wait, so it’s bad that people can more easily digest and compare information?” For myself it is on an aesthetic level. I don’t want the game yelling off the page, nor fostering a player mentality where various power combos are the leading topic of discussion at the table.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

That's fair. For me, the narrower gap between optimized character and "just grabbed whatever" character is a huge selling point of the system.

Especially since I have a player who in 1e was fond of silly builds (one of his characters ended up being a gunslinger/paladin/alchemist/cavalier and we had to talk him out of taking levels of barbarian on top of that; his current character is a hunter/bloodrager and I had to write a custom PrC to stop him from taking mystic theurge on that combo).


Samurai wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:

I like the post from the guy who said the people who say PF2 is copying off of 4E should have a debate with the people who say PF2 is copying off of 5E.

Obviously copying off of 4E would be a terrible idea. Since, even its publishers abandoned it after only a few years.
I feel like PF2 will be... PF2.
Yep, and I wonder how many 5E players will move over to it as well, not because 5E is bad (it isn't, it's the best edition of D&D in many years), but because Pathfinder has a lot more character customization. Most classes in 5E only get a feat every 4 levels, and most classes have several fairly dead levels. When players see just how much customization Pathfinder allows, I think for some players it will be a revelation.

I'm guessing very few.

It's all well and good to talk about character customization, 'depth' and so on, but in my experience most groups tend to gravitate towards simpler systems as their players increase in age and experience within the hobby.

It is debatable whether PF2 is more or less complicated than PF1, but it is definitely more complicated than D&D 5e so I just can't see many groups making the change particularly as 5e is at least as ubiquitous as Pathfinder these days if not more so...


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Crayon wrote:
It's all well and good to talk about character customization, 'depth' and so on, but in my experience most groups tend to gravitate towards simpler systems as their players increase in age and experience within the hobby.

Logically I don't think this is true for a few reasons. If the main driving force for older (and/or more experienced) players was complexity of a given system people would not have rebuked 4E and moved to Pathfinder.

If that was true people would have left PF en masse to 5E.

Finally, if that were true across time (more simpler systems being more attractive) there would be large groups of people who would play with no system and would just play out a story.

Crayon wrote:
It is debatable whether PF2 is more or less complicated than PF1, but it is definitely more complicated than D&D 5e so I just can't see many groups making the change particularly as 5e is at least as ubiquitous as Pathfinder these days if not more so...

I think anyone who took up the side that PF2 is more complicated than PF1 would lose that argument at least 99 times out of 100.

I don't have to learn how to calculate the conditional probability of an event happening to figure out my weighted average damage for an attack routine in PF2... like I did for Pathfinder 1. Nor the correct mix of multi-classes to maximize my combat feats at a given level.

But, I do agree that PF2 is more complicated than 5E.

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