What’re the differences between first and second edition?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Crayon wrote:

Most Move actions, Standard action, etc are treated identically under the rules though which is most definitely not true of PF2 where they're still subdivided up into lots of categories that reflect how they function.

In practice it's no better than PF1 and arguably worse since at least in PF1 almost everything was followed the rules for either standard, move, or full-round.

What categories are you referring to?


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I rather like the Flourish tag for tasks that should not take more than one action to perform but that also should not be usable more than once per round.

Grand Lodge

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lordcirth wrote:
Crayon wrote:

Most Move actions, Standard action, etc are treated identically under the rules though which is most definitely not true of PF2 where they're still subdivided up into lots of categories that reflect how they function.

In practice it's no better than PF1 and arguably worse since at least in PF1 almost everything was followed the rules for either standard, move, or full-round.

What categories are you referring to?

Single-action is for moving and doing one-round buffs.

Single-action with Attack trait is for offensive actions
Single-action with the Press trait is for offensive actions that need to be performed at a penalty (not exactly sure why this is)
Single-action with the Flourish trait is for short tasks that shouldn't be spammed.
Double-action is for general spellcasting
Double-action with Attack trait is for offensive actions that can do double damage, that require a feat investment
Triple-action is for casting Some Spells that Need It (but I can't grasp a hard-and-fast rule), and for metamagiced spells.
Reactions are for stuff in opponent's turn, typically something that is situational.
Free actions, combined with triggers are for stuff that triggers off other stuff you do, that seems like something you should do, but only when the trigger goes off.


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I'm not sure it's really correct to call those categories. Those are just different traits and lengths applied to different actions.


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in◆⃟ wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Crayon wrote:

Most Move actions, Standard action, etc are treated identically under the rules though which is most definitely not true of PF2 where they're still subdivided up into lots of categories that reflect how they function.

In practice it's no better than PF1 and arguably worse since at least in PF1 almost everything was followed the rules for either standard, move, or full-round.

What categories are you referring to?

Single-action is for moving and doing one-round buffs.

Single-action with Attack trait is for offensive actions
Single-action with the Press trait is for offensive actions that need to be performed at a penalty (not exactly sure why this is)
Single-action with the Flourish trait is for short tasks that shouldn't be spammed.
Double-action is for general spellcasting
Double-action with Attack trait is for offensive actions that can do double damage, that require a feat investment
Triple-action is for casting Some Spells that Need It (but I can't grasp a hard-and-fast rule), and for metamagiced spells.
Reactions are for stuff in opponent's turn, typically something that is situational.
Free actions, combined with triggers are for stuff that triggers off other stuff you do, that seems like something you should do, but only when the trigger goes off.

That's a pretty odd way to think about the action system. Things take 1,2, or 3 actions. They also have clearly specified traits. Worrying about why a certain spell takes 3 instead of 2 is for the designers.


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You have a resource, ACTIONS, that you get to use on your turn. You have 3 ACTIONS and one REACTION. Now you can use any 3 any way you want, mixing and matching with any of the standard list of actions, plus any special skills you have, but in the end of the day you have 3 ACTIONS. You have one reaction, that is usually triggered by someone else's act. Free actions cost no ACTIONS, therefore you can use it and still use the other 3 ACTIONS. That's it.

Now some abilities have limitations no how they can be used, but that is the specific ability, not a general rule on action economy. If you go back to my original post, none of the rules I mentioned deal with a specific ability, they are all just general action rules.

While it may take a bit to teach someone how to use their specific abilities for that Class and build, the totality of the action rules are right there. 4 sentences.

In P1, some abilities told you how long they take, while others were silent. So you had a rule that said "if it doesn't say it's a standard action." But sometimes the language was ambiguous (like Vital Strike). In P2, you know immediately how many ACTIONS a task requires, because it says it right there.

Sovereign Court

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One of the most mind-blowing moments of the three-action economy was the realization that anyone can move, attack and move, without going three feats deep in to get Spring Attack.

"I'm playing a dwarven paladin and I'm spring attacking and this tactic is working well" was a real surprise.

[Move then do something OR do something then move] was a core piece of the 1E action economy.


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I don't think giving actions or activities traits really complicates anything. I mean, ultimately those just make clear the limit on "when can you do this" which is something that PF1 just did in the feat text.

Only real difference is that because "attack thrice" and "move, attack twice" are a core part of the system for any level we want to have things that are not spammable but nonetheless should be one action.


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What do you guys think wast he biggest jump? I always think it's 2nd ed to third edition D&D but 3 to 4 was pretty drastic as well and because of that 4 to 5. In reality it was probably the wargame (chainmail or something like that right?) to first edition D&D.


dirtypool wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
I don't think so, using the basic d20 system and revolutionary are not mutually exclusive; PF2 feels a bit like a d20 sci-fi game converted to fantasy, to me.
You're missing the point I'm making, which is that your: "cutting off the head to cure the headache" comment is not warranted here.

Not missing the point, at all, the comment is totally warranted, as it has been before. I truly believe they went a bridge too far; you don't agree, fine. That there's what it is.


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Tiene wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:

If you strip out + Level to everything (one of the first variants I expect in the Game Master's thingy), it brings it in line with 5th Ed's Bounded Accuracy:

Sans magic, a PF2 character generally has a proficiency bonus of +2, +4, +6, +8, and a top Ability Score modifier of +6, for a total of +14.

Sans magic, a 5th Ed character generally has a proficiency bonus of +2 to +6, and a top Ability Score modifier of +5, for a total of +11 (+13 with Archery Style).

As for the 3 Action-system, many seem to think this is something entirely new, when it has been a part of PF1 for a few years now (Unchained's Revised Action Economy - just needed some polishing).

Spell and crit effects mess with a simple rip out the level and get bound accuracy approach sadly.

I will be looking into it myself but I already know it will be a lot of rework to get the math right.

It simply opens up the threat range of monsters.

During the playtest I ran some sessions omitting +level, and it was fine, no need to change a thing, you simply omit.

This is something I plan to try sometime too. I'm a fan of bounded accuracy -- though not exclusively. Depending on what I have envisioned for the setting I'll use either the default (If I want the world to be ran by "high level" characters) or the bounded-accuracy version if I want "level -1" or "level 0" kings and queens to still be able to exist and function.

I'll admit that I'm used to DMing 5e rather than GMing Pathfinder (though I did GM a PF campaign for about 4(?) months and 3.5 was the system I first played) and one thing I definitely like is how easily moddable PF2 seems to be in comparison to either..

I find 3rd Ed and 5th Ed more hackable than PF2 (so far). PF2 is rather dense, and a bit byzantine. Though omitting + level is dirt easy, as I said. Looking forward to this Game Master Guide deal.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
What do you guys think wast he biggest jump? I always think it's 2nd ed to third edition D&D but 3 to 4 was pretty drastic as well and because of that 4 to 5.

Yes, though late 2nd Ed (Combat & Tactics, etc) was leading to 3rd Ed. We got a bit of a glimpse of 4th Ed coming down the pike between DDM, SWSE, and ToB/Bo9S, but a lot seemed to be done in isolation by Heinsoo & co.

Liberty's Edge

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Baby Samurai wrote:
I find 3rd Ed and 5th Ed more hackable than PF2 (so far). PF2 is rather dense, and a bit byzantine. Though omitting + level is dirt easy, as I said. Looking forward to this Game Master Guide deal.

You do?!

This statement is pretty alien to me. Hacking 5e is certainly easy, but as a frequent House Rule user in PF1, that system is so much morew byzantine and fiddly than PF2 is on a basic level that I can't even comprehend where you're getting this. I mean, in the very short term I know PF1 better so maybe it's a tad quicker, but that's a super temporary state of affairs.

I mean, PF2's math is so much clearer and the consequences of hacking it are so much more obvious that I really have no words.


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the biggest difference to me, is that it's obvious that Pathfinder 2nd is a very deliberate and well thought out game. which is both a positive and a negative, but I think its great it's so fundamentally different from first edition. Happily there is so much content for first edition, that if you don't like the more "grounded" approach of 2nd edition, there is a near limitless amount of content for first edition.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Two biggest differences to me.

1. PF2 was built to be modular so that you can easily tweak it.

2. The power range between a casual build by a newcomer and an optimized built by a system master are not orders of magnitude apart.
Theoretically a party with both can actually adventure with both players having fun, which was most definitely not the case in PF1.


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Baby Samurai wrote:
Not missing the point, at all, the comment is totally warranted, as it has been before. I truly believe they went a bridge too far; you don't agree, fine. That there's what it is.

Wow.

So this game is "revolution rather than evolution" and it "cut of the head to cure the headache." and it's "a bridge too far" and those are facts that I can choose to disagree with or not.

That's a very nuanced and clearly unbiased reality you've defined for us that is in no way needlessly hyperbolic about what remains a fundamentally similar game.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
What do you guys think wast he biggest jump? I always think it's 2nd ed to third edition D&D but 3 to 4 was pretty drastic as well and because of that 4 to 5. In reality it was probably the wargame (chainmail or something like that right?) to first edition D&D.

I think it was 2nd to 3rd. After all, it was the first time a second company had worked on the ruleset.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Dirtypool, you are I think taking Baby Samurai's words the wrong way.

While I disagree with them, they are clearly just stating their opinion, and not trying to insist that their opinion is objective fact.


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MaxAstro wrote:

Dirtypool, you are I think taking Baby Samurai's words the wrong way.

While I disagree with them, they are clearly just stating their opinion, and not trying to insist that their opinion is objective fact.

No I’m taking it for exactly what it is: over the top negative carping about an edition change that when challenged is not clarified but repeated more vehemently. It isn’t a productive conversation, it’s just a monotonous declaration of non enjoyment.

So I’m responding to hyperbole with hyperbole and just a dash of sarcasm.


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Ascalaphus wrote:


- The wilderness is more challenging. In PF1 Create Water and a very low DC Survival check made it trivial to survive in the wild. In PF2 Create Water doesn't increase the volume of water with your level, and it's not a cantrip anymore. The Survival DC to gather food while moving is higher too. Also, there is a thing called Exploration Mode, which gives the GM clearer rules to work with when players say things like "we want to travel stealthily" or "we want to move really carefully so we don't step into traps" or "we want to forage for food on the way".

I would expand on this and say the environment is more challenging, and skills retain their relevance into the higher levels. And as a GM, that makes me happy. (My current players were facerolling the "deadly" megadungeon Rappan Athuk when run as written, and I only have been able to get the monsters to catch up to the party, not the environment.)

Some changes I welcome:

* Not all magical traps/hazards are detectable. If a magical trap requires a Trained proficiency to detect, then detect magic does not detect it.
* There is much more emphasis placed on differences in level, when determining whether one spellcaster dispels/counters another spellcaster's spell, or curing an affliction or condition, you have very little chance of ending it if the source was 2+ spell levels (or 4+ levels) higher. A 5th-level cleric can't dispel an ancient, powerful curse with a casting of remove curse.
* Not all skill challenges can be beaten with a high skill modifier. The GM has latitude to gateway off certain accomplishments by training level, and examples are given in the book of typical tasks that can be accomplished at each training level. (In my PF1 campaign, a 10th-level rogue can trivialize most traps in a dungeon with +25 Perception and +28 Disable Device. All the worst traps were magical, and the party automatically found them.) The Complex Hazards also challenge the rogue to use their imagination to do specific tasks beyond just "I roll Disable Device."
* Also, certain spells that change the game are now Uncommon, or even Rare. Also, certain spells no longer trivialize the environment. Private Sanctum (i.e., resting anywhere you want) is now an Uncommon spell and emits a visible fog prone to ambush. Teleport is now an Uncommon spell. Exotic planes must now be endured and explored rather than trivialized with "I cast plane shift; I cast teleport."
* The changes to Afflictions makes Poison and Disease scary again. Stages allow the designers to create ever-worsening effects beyond mere ability damage.
* Death is no longer merely a gold tax at high levels, due to the new costs of Raise Dead. Eyeballing the charts, it looks like being raised from the dead costs 30-70% of the starting wealth of a character of the same level. Plus being clumsy 2, drained 2, and enfeebled for 1 week without any way to lessen those penalties.

I can see some PF1 players cry foul, but as a GM who wants to present challenges consistently to my players into the high levels, I welcome these changes.

So yes another byproduct is that high-level play can remain fun and challenging, and I'm excited to see that all the new APs will go up to 20th level.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
I find 3rd Ed and 5th Ed more hackable than PF2 (so far). PF2 is rather dense, and a bit byzantine. Though omitting + level is dirt easy, as I said. Looking forward to this Game Master Guide deal.
You do?!

I do!

Yeah, look, you've been cheerleading this edition since before we knew anything about it, so...

Liberty's Edge

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Baby Samurai wrote:

I do!

Yeah, look, you've been cheerleading this edition since before we knew anything about it, so...

I have?

I'm not sure my several threads commenting on major mechanical issues during the playtest support that assertion. I've certainly been generally positive, mostly because I think the people at Paizo know what they're doing, but I don't think that's the same thing.

I'm also not sure what this has to do with which edition is easier to hack. I noted 5E as easier to hack and evidence suggests that I'll vastly prefer PF2 to 5E. The two are, in many ways, completely unrelated.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:

I do!

Yeah, look, you've been cheerleading this edition since before we knew anything about it, so...

I have?

A bit, yeah.

Hey, I don't mean to be a neg-head and get off on the wrong foot. I respect your analyses, and opinion; I dig a lot about PF2, I just don't think every decision is indefensible.

5th Ed is half-baked, to me.

Liberty's Edge

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Baby Samurai wrote:
A bit, yeah.

We may simply be dealing with a difference in definitions here, those happen a fair amount on the internet.

Baby Samurai wrote:
Hey, I don't mean to be a neg-head and get off on the wrong foot. I respect your analyses, and opinion; I dig a lot about PF2, I just don't think every decision is indefensible.

Neither do I. I'm withholding judgment on a few things until I can look at the final rules, but I'm currently under the impression that I actually have a few substantive issues with the final game (it's sounding like out-of-Class Proficiencies are problematic, and Charisma being an auto dump stat remains an issue...I'm sure I'll come up with another issue or three).

I think the ease of hacking PF2 is one of its strengths, though.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
A bit, yeah.

We may simply be dealing with a difference in definitions here, those happen a fair amount on the internet.

Baby Samurai wrote:
Hey, I don't mean to be a neg-head and get off on the wrong foot. I respect your analyses, and opinion; I dig a lot about PF2, I just don't think every decision is indefensible.

Neither do I. I'm withholding judgment on a few things until I can look at the final rules, but I'm currently under the impression that I actually have a few substantive issues with the final game (it's sounding like out-of-Class Proficiencies are problematic, and Charisma being an auto dump stat remains an issue...I'm sure I'll come up with another issue or three).

I think the ease of hacking PF2 is one of its strengths, though.

Total, the more I look at PF2, I can see it's hackability (new word), I have already taken the proficiency deal and made a 5th Ed variant:

Variant: Proficiency Bonus; Low, Medium, High

Proficiency Bonus
Hit Dice/Level Low Medium High
1 +2 +2 +2
2 +2 +2 +2
3 +2 +2 +2
4 +2 +2 +3
5 +2 +3 +3
6 +2 +3 +3
7 +2 +3 +4
8 +3 +3 +4
9 +3 +4 +4
10 +3 +4 +5
11 +3 +4 +5
12 +3 +4 +5
13 +3 +5 +6
14 +3 +5 +6
15 +4 +5 +6
16 +4 +5 +7
17 +4 +6 +7
18 +4 +6 +7
19 +4 +6 +8
20 +4 +6 +8
21 +4 +7 +8
22 +5 +7 +9
23 +5 +7 +9
24 +5 +7 +9
25 +5 +8 +10
26 +5 +8 +10
27 +5 +8 +10
28 +5 +8 +11
29 +6 +9 +11
30 +6 +9 +11

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Baby Samurai wrote:
I can see it's hackability (new word)

Kinda late by about 35 years.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

"Hit Dice" is not even a defined term in Pathfinder Second Edition.


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The thing is, if you hack 2nd edition then you've destroyed the book (or whatever USB device you stored the PDF on).

Plus, it's a big book, so unless you've really sharpened your axe it's gonna take awhile, and then you can't play it anymore (unless you did a half assed job hacking it, then I guess you might be able to use some of it).


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I've skimmed over a bit of the rules and while I like some things, it's far outweighed by things I'm not a fan of. Action Economy and some of the new monster design stuff is cool, but everything else just irks me a bit.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
SoulDragon298 wrote:
...and some of the new monster design stuff is cool...

What monster design stuff? I didn't see any monster creation rules anywhere.

Liberty's Edge

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Ravingdork wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
...and some of the new monster design stuff is cool...
What monster design stuff? I didn't see any monster creation rules anywhere.

I assume they mean the way existing monsters are designed, with individual special abilities to differentiate them. That's certainly a cool thing I enjoy about PF2.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
...and some of the new monster design stuff is cool...
What monster design stuff? I didn't see any monster creation rules anywhere.
I assume they mean the way existing monsters are designed, with individual special abilities to differentiate them. That's certainly a cool thing I enjoy about PF2.

Which is the thing I am absolutely most looking forward to in the GMG.

Starfinder has it's issues with monster design, but you can run a suddenly made up monster/NPC from the appendix in the alien archive.

I hope PF2 has that ability, just with a bit more depth of design for monsters.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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This is going nowhere good somewhat fast. I'm going to go ahead and lock and refer it to moderation to take a look at the tone and attitude of some of the posters in this thread.

Do better...

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

Removed some posts and their replies.

Please avoid resorting into back and forth arguments. The personal attacking language applied to the conversation is not a productive element of the discourse. Avoid using language which escalates disagreements and do not disparage the views of others. Please remember that the elements of each edition that you or another enjoys or dislikes does not delegitimize anyone else's opinion, and you can compare without competing.

Thread is unlocked. Please remain respectful of your fellow community members.

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