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


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Grand Lodge

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So I was reading the Paizo Blog post, Adventure Marches On

And I noticed this

Pathfinder 2nd Edition wrote:


Brutish Shove
Feat 2
Keywords: Fighter, Press
Requirements: You are wielding a two-handed melee weapon.

Effect: Throwing your weight behind your attack, you hit your opponent hard enough to make it stumble back. Make a Strike with a two-handed melee weapon. If you hit a target that is your size or smaller, that creature is flat-footed until the end of your current turn, and you can automatically Shove it, with the same benefits as the Shove action (including the critical success effect, if your Strike was a critical hit). If you move to follow the target, your movement doesn't trigger reactions.

This strike has the following failure effect.
Failure: The target becomes flat-footed until the end of your current turn.

And I was reminded of the D&D 4E Power, Tide of Iron:

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition wrote:


Tide of Iron
At-Will
Keywords: Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Requirement: using a shield
Target: one creature
Attack: Strength vs AC
Flavor Text: After each mighty swing, you bring your shield to bear and use it to push your enemy back.
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square if it is your size, smaller than you, or one size category larger. You can shift into the space that the target occupied.

Increase damage to 2[W] + Strength modifier at 21st level.

Now obviously the maneuvers are still different. Notably:

  • - Brutish Shove requires a Two-Hander while Tide of Iron requires a Shield
  • - Brutish Shove inflicts the Flat-Footed condition, even on a Failure (but not a Critical Failure).
  • - Brutish Shove has the Press trait, meaning it cannot be the first attack you perform on your turn.

I do get what both powers are going for. They essentially take Bull Rush (a Combat Maneuver in PF 1E, a Skill Check in PF 2E, an At-Will Power in D&D 4E, and a Variant Combat Actio in D&D 5E), and then turn it into a Power (or I guess feat, cause everything's a feat in PF 2E now), allowing someone to get both the benefit of doing weapon damage along with pushing someone into a different square.

I want to be clear. I'm not against this. If anything, it makes me more excited to play PF 2E. I really liked D&D 4E.

Regardless, the honest question I have is: how much effect did D&D 4E have on the development of PF 2E?

I'll leave a note of one other, subtler difference between Brutish Shove and Tide of Iron, that I suspect makes it harder to notice that the two have similar design spaces: Brutish Shove has its flavor text baked into the effect line, while Tide of Iron just describes the mechanical effect, and separates out the flavor text into its own line (it's not even included on the D&D 4E wiki, I had to get it from my own D&D 4E PHB). I believe the design goal of doing this is to make Brutish Shove feel like the lines of a book in-universe describing the ability (similar to how many Spells in D&D-like games apart from D&D 4E describe their magical effects). D&D 4E just gives us the mechanical effect in the effect line, and does not evoke the feeling of reading a text of describing a maneuver from within a fantasy universe. It's a subtle difference, but I wonder if it will make people "accept" the maneuver better (along with making everything into Feats, and avoiding the use of the term, "Power").


I think it would be disingenuous to think that inspiration wasn't pulled from the lessons that various editions have taught us over the years.

I think you'd be hard pressed to say, "PF2 is heavily inspired by the mechanics of 4e," just as it would be difficult to say it was heavily inspired by the mechanics of 3e/3.5/etc.

I feel safe in saying that there was a broader look at what worked and didn't work in the past and what was loved enough to hammer into place with PF2.


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4e didn't invent the concept of getting a free bull rush after an attack


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Something you might be interested to know is that both 4e and the PF2e team were told to "fix 3.5e". Now you could certainly expect parallel solutions being used across two attempts to fix the same problems. However it is interesting to note that Logan Bonner, one of the lead developers on PF2e, was a designer on the 4th edition PHB, PHB2 and the lead designer on PHB3.

I can't help but wonder how much is "parallel design" vs someone simply grabbing ideas they were part of from an old project and giving them a new lease of life on a new project.

Of course we have no idea of which ideas came from Logan versus other members of the design team. And it is unlikely we will ever know. But it is interesting that both editions were given the same goal, they have at least one person working across both projects and unsurprisingly have adopted similar solutions to some of the problems.

We won't know really know how many 4th ed concepts and rules have been repurposed until the book comes out. Although a word of warning: Your going to be told your wrong by almost everyone on this forum if you continue to pursue this line of thought.

Liberty's Edge

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Both games are beginning from the same place: 3rd edition D&D, with all the myriad flaws it possessed. (I say that with love, but not a blind love.) It's not really surprising that two groups trying to address the same set of issues might come up with some of the same solutions.

It is, however, very much worth noting that PF2 is doing a lot of things the D&D4e never tried. While the basic level-based proficiency modifier concept holds true across both editions, for instance, PF2 is rejecting the binary trained/untrained model used by D&D4e and D&D5e both and instead going for a 5-grade system. Another example is how most PF2 feats are designed to grow with the character over levels, rather than be obsoleted by later choices, as was true with the 4e power system; PF2 characters gain competence horizontally as well as vertically, in ways that 4e characters never managed. Most relevant, I think, is that PF2 is not using the controller/striker/tank/healer model that 4e did; while some classes fall heavily into one of those archetypes (I'm looking at you, champion), not all of them do, and the tools are being built into the system to allow any character to claim a particular role.


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Oh s!$~ y'all Pathfinder is literally 4e


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Depends on who you ask.

At least one person on these forums is convinced that 2e is a sneaky attempt by the designers of 4e to spring their terrible ideas upon us all again even if it means financial ruin for Paizo.

A couple other people on these forums are personally offended if you so much as breathe the idea that 2e might have been in some small way inspired by 4e.

I don't have much opinion, but I'm pretty confident the answer is some where in between those options. :P


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MaxAstro wrote:
At least one person on these forums is convinced that 2e is a sneaky attempt by the designers of 4e to spring their terrible ideas upon us all again even if it means financial ruin for Paizo.

Please tell us who this person is! They’re even more extreme then me!


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MaxAstro wrote:

Depends on who you ask.

At least one person on these forums is convinced that 2e is a sneaky attempt by the designers of 4e to spring their terrible ideas upon us all again even if it means financial ruin for Paizo.

The Illuminati are obviously the real culprits behind all of this *adjusts tinfoil hat*


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zean wrote:
how much effect did D&D 4E have on the development of PF 2E?

You can see D&D4e all over Pathfinder 2nd if you look. Set HP, Focus powers are encounter powers, magic nerfed to the ground, ritual casting, feat based multiclassing, the reaction based Champion is very reminiscent of the tanking style some classes got in 4e. The split in magic lists feels reminiscent of the various power sources that powered all 4e characters. Tight math, monster design hews pretty close to 4th at least in layout.

Of course, some of these things can be found in other places, but yeah. I see it. Is it a problem? Eh. Dunno.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

To be fair most of those things are just "modern game design" rather than 4e specific. Random HP was just a terrible idea (I think every game I ever played in 3.5 we all just took average HP.) Certain playstyles (magic) not just being outright the best choice (and saying nerfed to the ground is just wrong, in many respects magic got buffed to be more reliable.) The power sources I don't really see as anything other than cosmetic, really its just a way to not have to print spell lists everytime you make a new caster (and then forever more remember to update all those lists whenever a new spell comes out.)

It might seem new if you've not ventured far outsideof Pathfinder, but design has improved drastically over the 20 year old 3.0 engine.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


The Illuminati are obviously the real culprits behind all of this *adjusts tinfoil hat*

The Illuminati are themselves just a front for the true veiled masters of the world - the lizard people... It was all part of their plot to get the world to know them by their true name - Iruxi!


CyberMephit wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:


The Illuminati are obviously the real culprits behind all of this *adjusts tinfoil hat*
The Illuminati are themselves just a front for the true veiled masters of the world - the lizard people... It was all part of their plot to get the world to know them by their true name - Iruxi!

Pfffft the Iruxi are just a cover used by the true masters because they know that Conspiracy Theorists can't help themselves but Love the crazy idea of lizard people pulling the invisible puppet strings of the world. No... They Love watching people scramble over obscure crazed theories like this... What we need to do is inform ourselves, doubt all of it, hide in plain sight, and work outside of their box. Remember, Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.


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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...


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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.

Liberty's Edge

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Kasoh wrote:
Focus powers are encounter powers

I've seen this comparison made before, but I don't especially agree with it. How easy was it in 4e to use an encounter power twice in the same encounter? Because it doesn't look like it's going to be difficult at all to use the same Focus power twice or even three times in the same encounter in PF2.


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Shisumo wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Focus powers are encounter powers
I've seen this comparison made before, but I don't especially agree with it. How easy was it in 4e to use an encounter power twice in the same encounter? Because it doesn't look like it's going to be difficult at all to use the same Focus power twice or even three times in the same encounter in PF2.

4e Essentials characters had a pool from which they could use their Encounter powers, using the same power multiple times in the same encounter if desired. Some classes prior to Essentials also used this model, primarily most of the classes in PHB3, which similarly had pools of points to use their Encounter powers that they could recharge during a short period of rest.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Certainly the designers *must* have drawn some inspiration from 4E. They would be physically incapable of doing otherwise, given that humans in creative fields are constantly influenced by the things they've experienced.

I tend to believe them when they say they started PF2 from the ground up and certain aspects parallel evolved into similarity with 4E. It would have been more of a concern if they had forcibly steered away from 4E out of a desire to be different, which would have undoubtedly caused an over-correction.

Many of the fundamental concepts of 4E were good, but they tended to err on the side of grinding down snags and outliers that give a game character, rather than PF2's approach of allowing inelegance if it encourages fun and is acceptable to the players. Charisma's relative weakness is an example of this difference of mindset; it's not elegantly symmetrical with the other ability scores, but cramming something untested into it to make it pleasing from a design standpoint was too risky.


WatersLethe wrote:
I tend to believe them when they say they started PF2 from the ground up and certain aspects parallel evolved into similarity with 4E.

Parallel evolution? Or simply repurposing mechanics they'd already become quite familiar with having designed material for them in the past?

Alas we'll never know ;)


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I tend to believe them when they say they started PF2 from the ground up and certain aspects parallel evolved into similarity with 4E.

Parallel evolution? Or simply repurposing mechanics they'd already become quite familiar with having designed material for them in the past?

Alas we'll never know ;)

You could ask them. They’re all pretty approachable.

I think it’s been so long since any of them did any 4E design work, it’s far more likely to be the former. Especially given the team-based, iterative design approach they took with PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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Steve Geddes wrote:

You could ask them. They’re all pretty approachable.

I think it’s been so long since any of them did any 4E design work, it’s far more likely to be the former. Especially given the team-based, iterative design approach they took with PF2.

Now Steve, that sounds like common sense and treating the devs like people. We can't have that :P

Shadow Lodge

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Everyone knows the devs are just machines that print rules.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I tend to believe them when they say they started PF2 from the ground up and certain aspects parallel evolved into similarity with 4E.

Parallel evolution? Or simply repurposing mechanics they'd already become quite familiar with having designed material for them in the past?

Alas we'll never know ;)

Let's Occam's Razor it (since apparently we can't trust the devs at their word)

Option 1:

A team of devs started building an update to the 3.5E system and took out their 4E and 5E books to cut and paste rules elements from both to make an amalgamation game, making sure each element worked with all others while doing so. This cut and paste work was intentional and deliberate.

Option 2:

A team of devs started building an update to the 3.5E system and made several decisions similar (not identical) to those made by a team that also made an update to the 3.5E system. Some of their decisions may have been subconsciously influenced by other existing systems.

I would argue that option 2 is more likely, if only because adapting prior work to fit into a larger system is often more difficult than creating a new system from the ground up, especially if you want a fluid, internally consistent system. It's not as though attacking someone and shoving them is an example of something that no one could ever independently think up. Pretty much all other examples of PF2's similarity with 4E fall in the same vein.

It's not like, for example, 4E came up with Vancian casting and PF2 just happened to as well.


Kasoh wrote:
The split in magic lists feels reminiscent of the various power sources that powered all 4e characters.

I'll disagree on that. In 4e, power source was mostly a cosmetic thing - the important thing was what role your class had. The spells of a bard would likely be more similar to the prayers of a cleric or the exploits of a warlord than to the spells of a swordmage or a wizard.


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I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful. It was a great board game type game. It had some good concepts that carry over well to other games like rechargeable abilities so that you're not stuck being useless when you run through your spell list at lower levels. I don't think that it's a bad thing that PF2e takes some concepts that worked and brings them over - good design doesn't necessarily mean reinventing the wheel when you make a new car. Sometimes it makes sense to adapt a good mechanic but leave the stuff that didn't work behind. So many games draw inspiration from what came before but put a new twist on those mechanics to make them work in their own internal structure. Don't discount the ideas just because they came from an unpopular game.


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kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5.

Very much so. It had some math troubles, but it also had some great ideas. The main problem I had with it was that it tried to be something that didn't quite feel like D&D, what with some iconic races, classes, and monsters missing in the core rules and new ones replacing them.

But many of the ideas were great, such as healing as a resource inherent to the healee, short-term recharge powers, moving most non-combat magic to rituals, monsters with a small number of cool abilities instead of laundry lists of useless ones, and probably some others I can't quite recall now. Not all of them were well implemented, but the ideas were sound.


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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.

Liberty's Edge

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kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful. It was a great board game type game.

I agree with you. I think that 4th Ed was honestly a product of its time and they were aiming to make an MMO without the O part being required for game play. Your abilities were well defined and had little variation outside of if they hit and/or potentially crit for extra effect. The role you wanted to fulfill was defined as well and while you could be a Tank and do some Damage, your toolkit would primarily be abilities that let you fulfill the role of "Tank".

The downside of 4th Ed was that following the freeform nature of 3.x with something that had such defined structure caused a bunch of pushback. Personally I had issue with it because the "board game" execution eliminated a lot of RP form local play which irritated me too.


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NightTrace wrote:
kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful. It was a great board game type game.

I agree with you. I think that 4th Ed was honestly a product of its time and they were aiming to make an MMO without the O part being required for game play. Your abilities were well defined and had little variation outside of if they hit and/or potentially crit for extra effect. The role you wanted to fulfill was defined as well and while you could be a Tank and do some Damage, your toolkit would primarily be abilities that let you fulfill the role of "Tank".

The downside of 4th Ed was that following the freeform nature of 3.x with something that had such defined structure caused a bunch of pushback. Personally I had issue with it because the "board game" execution eliminated a lot of RP form local play which irritated me too.

I generally agree with this. It felt like world of Warcraft put onto the tabletop. Right down to Dragonborn seemingly being a nod to Tauren as a big imposing race (with an obvious D&D flavour )

I found the use of the MMO terms being codified in the rules a bit jarring as well

You are quite right that in hindsight the biggest problem was it wasn’t a good successor to 3.5 as it was so radically different


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I would argue that one of the 4e failures was that the producers blindly expected players of the previous editions to transition.

Paizo's success stems from the fact that they were wrong.


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zean wrote:

So I was reading the Paizo Blog post, Adventure Marches On

And I noticed this

Pathfinder 2nd Edition wrote:


Brutish Shove
Feat 2
Keywords: Fighter, Press
Requirements: You are wielding a two-handed melee weapon.

Effect: Throwing your weight behind your attack, you hit your opponent hard enough to make it stumble back. Make a Strike with a two-handed melee weapon. If you hit a target that is your size or smaller, that creature is flat-footed until the end of your current turn, and you can automatically Shove it, with the same benefits as the Shove action (including the critical success effect, if your Strike was a critical hit). If you move to follow the target, your movement doesn't trigger reactions.

This strike has the following failure effect.
Failure: The target becomes flat-footed until the end of your current turn.

And I was reminded of the D&D 4E Power, Tide of Iron:

Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition wrote:


Tide of Iron
At-Will
Keywords: Martial, Weapon
Standard Action
Requirement: using a shield
Target: one creature
Attack: Strength vs AC
Flavor Text: After each mighty swing, you bring your shield to bear and use it to push your enemy back.
Hit: 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square if it is your size, smaller than you, or one size category larger. You can shift into the space that the target occupied.

Increase damage to 2[W] + Strength modifier at 21st level.

Now obviously the maneuvers are still different. Notably:

  • - Brutish Shove requires a Two-Hander while Tide of Iron requires a Shield
  • - Brutish Shove inflicts the Flat-Footed condition, even on a Failure (but not a Critical Failure).
  • - Brutish Shove has the Press trait, meaning it cannot be the first attack
...

Unknown and probably unknowable.

PF2's mechanics doesn't really seem to have any more in common with D&D 4e than they do with 5e so I don't think there's any direct connection there.

Ultimately though, to what extent, if any, PF2 borrows from 4e is purely an academic matter and the system needs to be evaluated on its own merits.

The only thing it really seems to be actively emulating from 4e is that game's emphasis on tactical movement and combat which, for me, is reason enough to avoid it, but ultimately it will depend on what aspects of 4e you liked or loathed.


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kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful.

Had WOTC marketed the game we know as 4e as a simplified version of D&D with less barrier to entry and allowed two editions to live side by side like TSR did with OD&D and AD&D then I suspect 4e would probably still be in stores today.


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dirtypool wrote:
kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful.
Had WOTC marketed the game we know as 4e as a simplified version of D&D with less barrier to entry and allowed two editions to live side by side like TSR did with OD&D and AD&D then I suspect 4e would probably still be in stores today.

Of course, considering TSR went out of business after offering 2 different versions of D&D side-by-side, WotC or Hasbro may have decided that such a move wouldn't have been viable business-wise.


Ventnor wrote:
dirtypool wrote:
kenhito wrote:
I love how much hatred the concept of 4e has. 4e wasn't a terrible game, it just wasn't a good D&D successor to 3.5. Had they called it D&D Miniature Battles or something along those lines it would have sold like hotcakes and been super successful.
Had WOTC marketed the game we know as 4e as a simplified version of D&D with less barrier to entry and allowed two editions to live side by side like TSR did with OD&D and AD&D then I suspect 4e would probably still be in stores today.
Of course, considering TSR went out of business after offering 2 different versions of D&D side-by-side, WotC or Hasbro may have decided that such a move wouldn't have been viable business-wise.

TSR offered Basic* and Advanced side by something like 20 years, 2 editions of advanced and more of basic before going out of business, so I doubt that was really a factor.

OTOH, those 2 were also much closer in design than 3.5 and 4E, so it would have been harder to share material or to move from the "simple" version to the other. The market was much different and smaller in the 3.5/4E era as well. I agree it likely wouldn't have gone well.

*Basic, not original. And that includes the whole BECMI series and the Cyclopedia.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Ah, 4e. It disappointed me so much, as my first RPG was 3.0, and 3.5 a few months later.

That said, it didn't disappoint me because it was a terrible game. It disappointed me because to me the game they described when hyping it didn't match my expectations.

I remember being told the races would be able to grow more powerful as they leveled. I imagined something along the lines of the paths (or whatever they're called) in Midnight, where you got a bonus every level. We got a few feats that were... lackluster, in my opinion, and had to be taken in the place of other things.

I wanted to do a story with a succubus controlling a king via magic, and I quickly realized that there were no rules on how she could manage that. Similarly, the way poisons were handled caused them to end too soon, for me.

In the end, I abandoned 4e D&D because I couldn't run the games that I wanted to run in it, not because the system was bad (this was when there were only the core books). Encounter powers, daily powers... meh, those were meaningless to me.

It seems like PF2 will allow me to run the sort of games I want to play. If there are similarities to 4e, I don't care. What I care about are the stories that I can tell with the system, and I'm curious to see how it turns out. 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.

It's the same thing I did with 4e D&D, after all.


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However, 4e did make a ton of money *and* also led to the even more successful 5e. I suspect if WotC could do it all over again the only major deviation they would make would be to apply some sort of sunset to the OGL (or alternate protections against giving rise to a direct competitor).


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Insight wrote:
However, 4e did make a ton of money *and* also led to the even more successful 5e. I suspect if WotC could do it all over again the only major deviation they would make would be to apply some sort of sunset to the OGL (or alternate protections against giving rise to a direct competitor).

Probably the "cant be a standalone game" clause paizo use in their PFRPG compatible license would have made it in, if they got a do-over.

Im glad it's as open as it is.


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I had such a negative emotional reaction to 4e that if elements of it are in P2 (such that it *looks* like 4E in any significant way), P2 is a non-starter for me. Having multiple 4E designers (talented though they may be) work on P2 is concerning for me, and seeing evidence of 4E-like mechanics in the playtest documents (on an admittedly brief glance), was a huge turn-off.

If the text comparison of 4E to P2 upthread is accurate, I won't be able to stomach P2.

Liberty's Edge

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4E's fundamental problems were threefold:

#1: Presentation.

One need look no further than the two abilities compared in the initial post of this thread 'Brutish Shove' describes exactly what it does, while 'Tide of Iron' is more poetic...but much less clear. Due to that, it also sounds like an in-world term and named techniques have some thematic baggage. There was a fair amount of this in martial powers, and it was not wanted by large percentages of the fan base.

But that's only one aspect of the presentation problem. The color scheme and organizational style were also a problem for a lot of people, as were the aforementioned changes in what Races and even Classes were front and center. Really, lots of elements of the presentation were just very much not what large numbers of people were looking for. Nor were terms from MMOs like 'Leader' 'Striker' and 'Controller'.

#2: Homogeneity.

In 4E, at least as initially presented, everyone and everything felt the same. Everyone had At-Will, Encounter, and Daily Powers regardless of whether that made sense in-universe or not. This really upset a lot of people.

#3: Being overly focused on combat.

This one is debatable, I suppose, but the removal of many utility spells and any degree of skill variance beyond the binary (you have a skill or you don't) made the game much more focused specifically on combat. This extended to most monsters lacking non-combat abilities, another notable issue.

Again, not something everyone was super pleased about.
.
.
.
PF2 seems to have largely avoided these three pitfalls, as well as done a much better job of having the new system support a world that functions the same as the old one. Which means, from my perspective, it can steal as many other things from 4E as it wants (and there are certainly some underlying similarities on a 'bare bones' mechanical level, if only in terms of both unifying a lot of math).

DaveMage, I'd like to take a moment and note that I, too, really didn't enjoy 4E much. But it was largely stuff in the above three categories that was a real problem, and I think PF2 is avoiding them very well.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
At least one person on these forums is convinced that 2e is a sneaky attempt by the designers of 4e to spring their terrible ideas upon us all again even if it means financial ruin for Paizo.
Please tell us who this person is! They’re even more extreme then me!

All I will say is that said person owes me an apology if PF2e is successful two years from now (and, to be fair, I owe them one if it is not).

As far as the rest of this thread... *taps keyboard macro* I agree with everything Deadmanwalking said.

:P


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4e had a lot of good ideas in it. Game designers should feel free to borrow, adapt, steal, appropriate, etc. good ideas wherever they can find them.

Games succeed or fail not because they have/lack certain good/bad features, they succeed or not on the interplay of these things. So you could literally implement a mechanic from a different game without drastically changing how your game plays. But more good ideas never hurts.

Sovereign Court

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The customization bottle neck in PF2 reminds me of what turned me off to 4E. Not a fan of hybrid/feat classing...


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
DaveMage wrote:

I had such a negative emotional reaction to 4e that if elements of it are in P2 (such that it *looks* like 4E in any significant way), P2 is a non-starter for me. Having multiple 4E designers (talented though they may be) work on P2 is concerning for me, and seeing evidence of 4E-like mechanics in the playtest documents (on an admittedly brief glance), was a huge turn-off.

If the text comparison of 4E to P2 upthread is accurate, I won't be able to stomach P2.

Strong emotional reactions are fine, it's a part of being human and every one bases their actions on them. But surely once you have recognised something as an emotional response its generally wise to mindfully let that pass and then examine the situation with fresh eyes. Afterall as someone noted, that ability also existed in pf1 with no problems.


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DaveMage wrote:

I had such a negative emotional reaction to 4e that if elements of it are in P2 (such that it *looks* like 4E in any significant way), P2 is a non-starter for me. Having multiple 4E designers (talented though they may be) work on P2 is concerning for me, and seeing evidence of 4E-like mechanics in the playtest documents (on an admittedly brief glance), was a huge turn-off.

If the text comparison of 4E to P2 upthread is accurate, I won't be able to stomach P2.

I suspect this is a fairly common reaction. Dislike of 4e is one of the major reasons for Pathfinder's success. And Paizo is smart enough to know that. Which is why I find the idea that PF2 is deliberately copying 4e rather far fetched. It would be a very stupid move to try to emulate the system that their fans rejected in favor of PF1 as a successor to PF1. And they're not stupid. It was probably an influence, in the way that everything we experience influences us in some way. But I don't think it was decided "Hey, lets copy 4th ed!"


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Malk_Content wrote:

To be fair most of those things are just "modern game design" rather than 4e specific. Random HP was just a terrible idea (I think every game I ever played in 3.5 we all just took average HP.) Certain playstyles (magic) not just being outright the best choice (and saying nerfed to the ground is just wrong, in many respects magic got buffed to be more reliable.) The power sources I don't really see as anything other than cosmetic, really its just a way to not have to print spell lists everytime you make a new caster (and then forever more remember to update all those lists whenever a new spell comes out.)

It might seem new if you've not ventured far outsideof Pathfinder, but design has improved drastically over the 20 year old 3.0 engine.

Improved is a subjective term.


I always hate when people say How dare this company try to make money!?! We live in a capitalist society people that's how it works. If it bothers you that much do something to change it! At least they aren't polluting the oceans using child labor or semi-accidentally killing people.

But yeah I'm sure and would also hope that every later editions takes the lessons that have been presented by previous editions and learns from them.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

To be fair most of those things are just "modern game design" rather than 4e specific. Random HP was just a terrible idea (I think every game I ever played in 3.5 we all just took average HP.) Certain playstyles (magic) not just being outright the best choice (and saying nerfed to the ground is just wrong, in many respects magic got buffed to be more reliable.) The power sources I don't really see as anything other than cosmetic, really its just a way to not have to print spell lists everytime you make a new caster (and then forever more remember to update all those lists whenever a new spell comes out.)

It might seem new if you've not ventured far outsideof Pathfinder, but design has improved drastically over the 20 year old 3.0 engine.

Improved is a subjective term.

Decreasing sales and shrinking customer base are not.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I feel that 4e original sin was not listening to its customers base and force-feeding them what the devs decided was best for the game.

Basically the opposite of the playtest approach of Paizo.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Insight wrote:
However, 4e did make a ton of money *and* also led to the even more successful 5e. I suspect if WotC could do it all over again the only major deviation they would make would be to apply some sort of sunset to the OGL (or alternate protections against giving rise to a direct competitor).

You say that 4e led to 5e as if it was all carefully planned, when we can be pretty sure that wasn’t the case. 5e is WotC’s response to 4e’s failure to maintain their 800 lb gorilla position in the industry and I think one of the reasons for its success is the veering away from the carefully structured and complex dance that is 4e into something simpler and more flexible.

And if WotC were able to do it all again, maybe they’d have a sunset clause in the OGL (though we’d all be the poorer for it), but I’m pretty sure they’d also jump right over 4e in order to land on 5e.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

To be fair most of those things are just "modern game design" rather than 4e specific. Random HP was just a terrible idea (I think every game I ever played in 3.5 we all just took average HP.) Certain playstyles (magic) not just being outright the best choice (and saying nerfed to the ground is just wrong, in many respects magic got buffed to be more reliable.) The power sources I don't really see as anything other than cosmetic, really its just a way to not have to print spell lists everytime you make a new caster (and then forever more remember to update all those lists whenever a new spell comes out.)

It might seem new if you've not ventured far outsideof Pathfinder, but design has improved drastically over the 20 year old 3.0 engine.

Improved is a subjective term.

True, but how subjective it is can be narrowed down by massive amounts of customer data, and it seems that data largely aligns with my view.

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