What’re the differences between first and second edition?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Been a while since I’ve been on these boards, and a whole new edition of Pathfinder is upon us. I was wondering what some of the changes are between first and second edition. I remember a friend of mine showing me stuff from the playtest, and tbh, I really didn’t like what I saw. But now that the full version is out (or at least, I think it is), what are the major (and any minor) changes between editions?


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Technically it doesn't come out for a couple more days.

And it would probably be faster to list the stuff that is the same from the previous edition. Such as, 'you and your friends get together and tell a cool story about heroic characters doing cool stuff in a sword and sorcery fantasy setting', and 'you roll dice to determine outcomes so that everyone is entertained and surprised by the outcome of the story'.

Sovereign Court

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Breithauptclan is right, a whole lot has changed. There are still humans, elves and dwarves, and there are still Wizards, Rogues, Clerics, and Fighters, but most of the system is entirely different. How you get skills and feats, how you get hit points, how you improve saves and AC, magic items, spells, and much, MUCH more. Basically, the 1E tried to continue and retain compatibility with 3.5. Because of that lots of people called it D&D 3.75. This is what would happen when the Paizo staff decides to create their own system with the math and features from the ground up but retaining many of the basic elements that they liked, but changing them in new ways. It is a whole new game, not compatible with the math from 3.5 or 1E.


I wouldn't say completely different I would say more like 30-45% different. Then again I don't have my book yet and am just going by play test info and what I can gleam from forums.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Taking a shot at explaining some of the most fundamental differences:

-The action economy is totally different. You get three actions and one reaction per round; there aren't different kinds of actions anymore other then that and free actions.

-Nearly everything scales with your level - accuracy, AC, skills, saves, etc. Nothing scales with a fraction of your level. Classes are different by fixed amounts rather than percentages (i.e., on average Fighters are 4 points more accurate than Wizards with all else being equal).

-Choices matter a lot more - especially race (ancestry) and class. Each class has things that only it can do, and certain niche builds are only possible with certain races. For example, a wizard that wants to be awesome with a longbow needs to be either human or elven.

-Magic now only scales with spell level, not with caster level. In general, the magic paradigm is very different; casters don't tend to win fights outright anymore. Instead, casters are fantastically good at softening fights up for their martial friends to finish. Also, partial or delayed casters are no longer a thing; bards and sorcerers both get new spell levels as fast as wizards do. Bards and druids each have their own unique casting tradition (occult and primal, respectively). Also, sorcerers can cast from ANY spell list, based on their bloodline.

-A lot of things that used to be class features are now class feats instead (think rogue talents). However, at least in my opinion, the effect of this is that archetypes are now sort of "baked in"; instead of needing to find an archetype to trade Trapfinding out for something else, you just don't take Trapfinding and instead pick a different feat.

-The vast majority of feats and abilities that just gave flat numeric bonuses (like weapon focus) are gone. Feat trees are also much less common. Feats that you "have" to take to make your build work aren't really a thing anymore. Everyone gets weapon finesse for free just by using a finesse weapon. Anyone proficient with a bow can pick it up and expect to contribute without needing to spend three feats on bows.


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There are a lot of differences, but a lot of similarities too. A few highlights that are probably worth mentioning to someone contrasting systems:

-Action economy. Standard/Move/Swift and Full Round actions are gone. Instead you get 3 actions per turn and certain abilities will take a specific number of actions. Casting a spell is often too. Moving is 1. Attacking is 1. You can attack as many times as you have spare actions in a round, but you get a cumulative -5 to your attack roll for each successive one.

-Degrees of success. Checks can now crit fail/fail/succeed/crit succeed based on how much you roll compared to the DC. This makes critical hits much more likely against low AC enemies and critical failures risky if you're rolling a check with a low modifier.

-Spells. All spell DCs now scale with your level instead of being fixed base on spell level. Debuffs follow that degree of success system, with moderate effects on success and failure, ostensibly to make them less feast or famine than Save or Suck type mechanics from PF1.
Spells, for the most part, don't automatically scale in effectiveness now either. Instead you can heighten spells by casting them from a higher level spell slot to increase their effectiveness. This mostly replaces having multiple versions of the same spell. Greater invisibility is now a heighten effect. Summon Monster 1-9 is now just a spell level effect, etc. Spontaneous casters have restrictions on what they can heighten, however.

-Every class has class feats, which are essentially equivalent to the talents or powers classes like rogues, vigilantes or barbarians got in 1e. You get one every even level plus level 1 and a significant chunk of your class features now come from here.

-Skills. Instead of investing ranks in skills, you become trained in skills, which gives you a level based modifier to that skill. You can also gain Expert, Master or Legendary proficiency in a skill which gives you a bonus to rolls.

-Saving throws, weapon and armor proficiency and DCs for abilities use that same trained/expert/master/legend (shortened to TEML) proficiency system as well.

-Races (now called ancestries) are now likewise primarily defined by feats, too. Races get very little innate to them, but have a number of ancestry feats you gain as you level up that enhance your character.

-Multiclassing and prestige classes are now done via (class) feats. You'll only ever gain levels in your initial starting class, but you can invest feats to poach certain abilities from another class. If you've ever played 4e you're probably familiar with this system, though unlike 4e you can multiclass multiple times (with the requirement that you take 3 feats from your multiclass before you can grab a new one).

-Attack of Opportunity is no longer a general game rule. Instead specific classes have abilities they can use as a reaction. You only get one of those per turn and there's no Combat Reflexes equivalent right now to expand that.

-As a general design philosophy, feats that focus on number enhancements are largely gone. You're not likely to see an equivalent to weapon focus in PF2.

A lot more but those are some major ones that stick out off the top of my head.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, PF1 is still pretty much D&D 3.5 with additional bells and whistles. PF2 is an entirely different game, as different as D&D 4E and D&D 5E in many ways.

A few major differences are as follows:

1. Unified math. There are a lot fewer different ways to calculate things. In PF2, if you know how to calculate attack bonus, you also know how to calculate Skills or Saves.

2. Unified terminology. All character abilities chosen from a list are called Feats (hence jokes about PF2 being 'Featfinder'). They are subdivided by terms like 'Class Feats' and 'Skill Feats', but they're all Feats.

3. Martial/Caster Disparity. This was a pretty big thing in PF1, with casters being significantly more powerful than martial characters to a rather large degree. It's much less true in PF2, with spells having gotten lowered in power, and significant benefits accruing to martial characters. Casters are probably still more powerful, but the gap is narrower.

4. Different optimization Levels. In PF1 it was pretty easy for someone who didn't know what they were doing to accidentally make an almost completely useless character, while an experienced optimizer could make characters several times more effective than more middle of the road characters. In PF2, the gap between less optimized and more optimized characters is significantly narrower. It obviously still exists, but it's no longer quite as large.

5. Monster Design. PF1 monsters were 'in theory' built like PCs with HD, a BAB, base Saves, and so on. In practice, racial modifiers and the like made this less true, but it at least had the appearance of being what was going on. In PF2 they've abandoned the pretense, with the way PCs and monsters are made being completely different (though the numbers mostly work out the same, allowing you to use the PC rules for NPCs if you desire). Monster design also, IMO, aincludes more cool one-off abilities, like a Fire Giant's ability to attack everyone in a 15 foot line with their gigantic sword.

6. Age, and thus options. PF1 is a game with hundreds of books, while PF2 has maybe 3. There are thus a lot more specific options in PF1 than PF2, for good and ill. This one's temporary, but worth noting.

But there are lots of other differences as well.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ninja'd, but we did talk about different things. :)

Squiggit wrote:
-Attack of Opportunity is no longer a general game rule. Instead specific classes have abilities they can use as a reaction. You only get one of those per turn and there's no Combat Reflexes equivalent right now to expand that.

This, however, is not entirely true - Combat Reflexes is now a Fighter feat. It gives them an extra reaction each turn that can only be used to take an attack of opportunity.


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Some of the things that stand out-

- PF2 is much more modular, for example half of every class is "pick an option from a list΅.
- Action economy is different, no more move, standard, swift- you just get 3 of the same kind of action. So 1st level characters can move and attack twice.
-No more BAB or skill ranks, instead you have a proficiency rating for weapons, skills, spells, saves, etc.. For everything you are trained in you roll your level + your proficiency mod (a number from 2 to 8) + the appropriate stat mod; this includes your armor class as well so you no longer need to juggle a bunch of different bonuses to keep your AC up.
- No more Big Six items, it's now a big 3- Weapon, Armor, and Stat Boosting Item.
- Instead of just Arcane and Divine, there are now 4 kinds of magic- we have Primal (Druids) and Occult (Bards) now.
- Feats are no longer "math enhancers" so much as "here is a new option you have."
- Speaking of which, there are a lot of kinds of feats; the aforementioned "modular class options" are class feats, you get skill feats on even levels, and your odd level feats are divided between "general feats" and "ancestry feats" so choosing the thematic option for being a Dwarf or w/e no longer has an opportunity cost. Also, general feats have a much smaller impact on the identity of your character than did PF1 feats.
-Multiclassing no longer halts progression in your initial class, nor does it allow full access to features in the 2nd class. So dipping is right out, but blends of 2 unrelated classes are more functional than before. In PF2 a fighter who spends half of their class feats multiclassing as a druid is a functional character, in PF1 a fighter 6/druid 6 is a bad character.

I think those are the big ones.

Sovereign Court

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- Less specific chaining between options. For example:

CRB p. 173 wrote:

SNAP SHOT

FEAT 6 RANGER
You’ve learned to react with ranged weapons when a creature
is in close quarters. You can use a reaction that normally allows
you to make a melee weapon Strike to instead make a ranged
weapon Strike. You must be Striking an adjacent target. If
necessary for the reaction’s trigger, you treat your ranged
weapon as if it had a reach of 5 feet. If the reaction has other
requirements, such as wielding a specific kind of weapon, Snap
Shot doesn’t allow you to ignore them; it allows you only to
replace a melee weapon Strike with a ranged weapon Strike.

This works (or should work, probably a typo) with the ranger's own feat to react to people provoking reactions, but it would also work with the fighter's Attack of Opportunity feat, or a future book's feat that gives you a Strike reaction to melee enemies.

This is a general design trend, there's more thought put into opening things up (or intentionally and clearly closing things down) for combos.

- 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".

- Retraining is a core book thing now. I think that's great, if during the campaign your character develops in a different way than expected, you can adapt to that. Also with fewer feat chains, it's now not really necessary to plan your build 10 levels in advance. (You can still drool over the stuff you'll get one day, but you're not screwed if you didn't plan ahead.)


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It seems this edition is more revolutionary than evolutionary.

I would have preferred less cutting off of the head to cure the headache.


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The day I take RPG opinions from a baby is the day I voluntarily pick up a duck in a dungeon.


Vidmaster 1st edition wrote:
The day I take RPG opinions from a baby is the day I voluntarily pick up a duck in a dungeon.

What about ducklings?


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Baby Samurai wrote:
Vidmaster 1st edition wrote:
The day I take RPG opinions from a baby is the day I voluntarily pick up a duck in a dungeon.
What about ducklings?

Now your throwing out the hard decisions.


Vidmaster 1st edition wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:
Vidmaster 1st edition wrote:
The day I take RPG opinions from a baby is the day I voluntarily pick up a duck in a dungeon.
What about ducklings?
Now your throwing out the hard decisions.

Well, you know what they say: "-out of the bill of babes".

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

One detail I noticed reading through the Playing the Game Chapter:

the maximum range increment for all weapons (thrown and projectile) seems to be 6 (instead of 10 [or 11?] in PF1e).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Franz Lunzer wrote:

One detail I noticed reading through the Playing the Game Chapter:

the maximum range increment for all weapons (thrown and projectile) seems to be 6 (instead of 10 [or 11?] in PF1e).

That’s the maximum number of increments. The maximum penalty is still -10.


SoulDragon298 wrote:
Been a while since I’ve been on these boards, and a whole new edition of Pathfinder is upon us. I was wondering what some of the changes are between first and second edition. I remember a friend of mine showing me stuff from the playtest, and tbh, I really didn’t like what I saw. But now that the full version is out (or at least, I think it is), what are the major (and any minor) changes between editions?

A lot. Probably be easier to list the similarities.

Both use d20 for their core mechanic
Both use Vancian casting (at least in part)
Both have a similar complement of Classes and Races/Ancestries (though some are almost unrecognizable)
The six Ability Scores are unchanged as is Alignment.


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).


One major change between the playtest and the final game is proficiencies. When the playtest started, you always added your level to skill checks even if you were untrained in them. The bonuses were IIRC level-1, level+0, level+1, level+2, and level+3. This was the thing that felt the most wrong to me from the playtest. But now, if you're untrained you don't add your level, and the bonuses are +0, level+2, level+4, level+6, and level+8.


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Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.


Tiene wrote:
One major change between the playtest and the final game is proficiencies. When the playtest started, you always added your level to skill checks even if you were untrained in them. The bonuses were IIRC level-1, level+0, level+1, level+2, and level+3. This was the thing that felt the most wrong to me from the playtest. But now, if you're untrained you don't add your level, and the bonuses are +0, level+2, level+4, level+6, and level+8.

Which can seem a bit odd: going from +0 to +17 or what-have-you.


SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I would actually argue that there is a clear progression from Starfinder to P2.

The idea of
-scaling damage as you level
-having well defined lanes for each class
-AC more clearly scaling with level
-item levels
-reduced action economy
-every class has their version of "rogue talents"

If you like SF, I would suggest at least giving P2 a try, as it is clear that Paizo used what they learned from building SF from scratch and applied those lessons to P2. Really the only thing keeping SF from going full P2 is that they wanted it to be backward compatible.

Another big change from P1 to P2 is Monster design. What I mean by that is instead of Monsters just being walking HP sinks in different skins (one example given by Mark Seifter is the Dire Tiger and Owlbear stat blocks being almost indistinguishable if you remove the name at the top) each monster is given some unique and interesting ability to make it stand out, making combats more dynamic.


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Baby Samurai wrote:

It seems this edition is more revolutionary than evolutionary.

I would have preferred less cutting off of the head to cure the headache.

I mean... not really. There is really well defined niche that is the d20 system writ large. You can change math behind the success threshold, or tweak the number of instances in which the player can use a power, but PF2 still very much lives into that same niche.


dirtypool wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:

It seems this edition is more revolutionary than evolutionary.

I would have preferred less cutting off of the head to cure the headache.

I mean... not really.

For me, really. So, to each his own; I could definitely see a less drastic PF2.


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Baby Samurai wrote:


For me, really. So, to each his own; I could definitely see a less drastic PF2.

I meant more that "revolutionary" is a bit of an overreach given that we're discussing a game that still utilizes the d20 + stat framework that has existed at the core of the industry for lo these many decades.

We're not talking about a quantum leap beyond the game that we knew before, and the game before that and the game before that.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Certainly a less drastic PF2 could have existed, but I'm not sure a less drastic PF2 would have justified its own existence.

The closer to PF1 you make PF2, the more the question becomes "why not just do something like the Unchained books?"


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MaxAstro wrote:

Certainly a less drastic PF2 could have existed, but I'm not sure a less drastic PF2 would have justified its own existence.

The closer to PF1 you make PF2, the more the question becomes "why not just do something like the Unchained books?"

A less drastic PF2 looks like taking the starfinder rules and back porting them to a fantasy setting. I don't think that justifies any sort of print run, maybe a short guide for more in depth fantasy conversions for starfinder, but that doesn't sound like a profitable venture.


SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I submit that there is far too little real information here to make that decision at this point. At least take a look at the actual game when it comes out and make a decision then. From everything I've read I am very excited to start playing PF2.

EDIT: Actually, I think one would have to play the game several times (at least) before coming to the decision that "it's not my thing"


dirtypool wrote:
Baby Samurai wrote:


For me, really. So, to each his own; I could definitely see a less drastic PF2.
I meant more that "revolutionary" is a bit of an overreach given that we're discussing a game that still utilizes the d20 + stat framework that has existed at the core of the industry for lo these many decades..

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.


MaxAstro wrote:

Certainly a less drastic PF2 could have existed, but I'm not sure a less drastic PF2 would have justified its own existence.

The closer to PF1 you make PF2, the more the question becomes "why not just do something like the Unchained books?"

This is true; fine line I guess.


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. And bound accuracy like 5e has only works with tight math expectations.


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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.


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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. If PF2 were suddenly using custom pictographic dice or a d10 mechanic then yes it would be a revolution that changed this game beyond recognition.

That's not what PF2 is.

I'm all for expressing distaste with how far astray it is from your preference, but let's not get too histrionic about it.


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. Part of that is due to how clean the math is, another is how lots of the generic rules are done through traits. If you want to change how AoOs work, instead of having to make a new chart of things that provoke AoOs you simply add or remove manipulate traits to actions.


breithauptclan wrote:

Technically it doesn't come out for a couple more days.

And it would probably be faster to list the stuff that is the same from the previous edition. Such as, 'you and your friends get together and tell a cool story about heroic characters doing cool stuff in a sword and sorcery fantasy setting', and 'you roll dice to determine outcomes so that everyone is entertained and surprised by the outcome of the story'.

I fundamentally disagree with this characterization of TTRPGs. Youre not "telling a story", you're playing a game.

I would describe it as a d20-driven open world cooperative/PvE fantasy gaming experience with character building,
(usually) story progression, and roleplay.

It is a game, first and foremost.


Kelseus wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I would actually argue that there is a clear progression from Starfinder to P2.

The idea of
-scaling damage as you level
-having well defined lanes for each class
-AC more clearly scaling with level
-item levels
-reduced action economy
-every class has their version of "rogue talents"

If you like SF, I would suggest at least giving P2 a try, as it is clear that Paizo used what they learned from building SF from scratch and applied those lessons to P2. Really the only thing keeping SF from going full P2 is that they wanted it to be backward compatible.

Another big change from P1 to P2 is Monster design. What I mean by that is instead of Monsters just being walking HP sinks in different skins (one example given by Mark Seifter is the Dire Tiger and Owlbear stat blocks being almost indistinguishable if you remove the name at the top) each monster is given some unique and interesting ability to make it stand out, making combats more dynamic.

That monster design does sound interesting, but I’m still a bit iffy on PF2. I know I should play it before judging, but it’s really not sounding like something I’d like personally. I put story over mechanics of course, but I still wanna be able to enjoy the mechanics.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

Technically it doesn't come out for a couple more days.

And it would probably be faster to list the stuff that is the same from the previous edition. Such as, 'you and your friends get together and tell a cool story about heroic characters doing cool stuff in a sword and sorcery fantasy setting', and 'you roll dice to determine outcomes so that everyone is entertained and surprised by the outcome of the story'.

I fundamentally disagree with this characterization of TTRPGs. Youre not "telling a story", you're playing a game.

Yeah lot's of people are gonna disagree.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Yeah, that. Games tell stories all the time.


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Rysky wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

Technically it doesn't come out for a couple more days.

And it would probably be faster to list the stuff that is the same from the previous edition. Such as, 'you and your friends get together and tell a cool story about heroic characters doing cool stuff in a sword and sorcery fantasy setting', and 'you roll dice to determine outcomes so that everyone is entertained and surprised by the outcome of the story'.

I fundamentally disagree with this characterization of TTRPGs. Youre not "telling a story", you're playing a game.
Yeah lot's of people are gonna disagree.

I think it would be more accurately characterized as "creating a story"

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
mrspaghetti wrote:
Rysky wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:

Technically it doesn't come out for a couple more days.

And it would probably be faster to list the stuff that is the same from the previous edition. Such as, 'you and your friends get together and tell a cool story about heroic characters doing cool stuff in a sword and sorcery fantasy setting', and 'you roll dice to determine outcomes so that everyone is entertained and surprised by the outcome of the story'.

I fundamentally disagree with this characterization of TTRPGs. Youre not "telling a story", you're playing a game.
Yeah lot's of people are gonna disagree.
I think it would be more accurately characterized as "creating a story"

Yep yep


SoulDragon298 wrote:
Kelseus wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I would actually argue that there is a clear progression from Starfinder to P2.

The idea of
-scaling damage as you level
-having well defined lanes for each class
-AC more clearly scaling with level
-item levels
-reduced action economy
-every class has their version of "rogue talents"

If you like SF, I would suggest at least giving P2 a try, as it is clear that Paizo used what they learned from building SF from scratch and applied those lessons to P2. Really the only thing keeping SF from going full P2 is that they wanted it to be backward compatible.

Another big change from P1 to P2 is Monster design. What I mean by that is instead of Monsters just being walking HP sinks in different skins (one example given by Mark Seifter is the Dire Tiger and Owlbear stat blocks being almost indistinguishable if you remove the name at the top) each monster is given some unique and interesting ability to make it stand out, making combats more dynamic.

That monster design does sound interesting, but I’m still a bit iffy on PF2. I know I should play it before judging, but it’s really not sounding like something I’d like personally. I put story over mechanics of course, but I still wanna be able to enjoy the mechanics.

I would also say that many of the changes were for one of two reasons.

First, to make the game easier to learn/play. Just take action economy. In P1 you have Standard, Move, Free, Swift, Immediate, and Full-round actions. But Sometimes not. Also there are actions that are not actions like the 5 ft step, and all of them are conditional. In P2, you have 3 actions, and some "tasks" take more than one, but it's really easy to learn and play. I have 3 (unit) each turn and I can use each (unit) to do (thing).

Second, as was mentioned above, many of the "trap" options have been eliminated. A good example is the Mystic Thurge. It's a really cool idea, but you are complete garbage to the party for about 5 of your 6 levels before you get MT1, and even then it is not great. It also cleans up the unbalanced baseline for several classes. Monk and Rogue were so poorly designed that Paizo completely rewrote both just so that they are even competitive.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Kelseus wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I would actually argue that there is a clear progression from Starfinder to P2.

The idea of
-scaling damage as you level
-having well defined lanes for each class
-AC more clearly scaling with level
-item levels
-reduced action economy
-every class has their version of "rogue talents"

If you like SF, I would suggest at least giving P2 a try, as it is clear that Paizo used what they learned from building SF from scratch and applied those lessons to P2. Really the only thing keeping SF from going full P2 is that they wanted it to be backward compatible.

Another big change from P1 to P2 is Monster design. What I mean by that is instead of Monsters just being walking HP sinks in different skins (one example given by Mark Seifter is the Dire Tiger and Owlbear stat blocks being almost indistinguishable if you remove the name at the top) each monster is given some unique and interesting ability to make it stand out, making combats more dynamic.

That monster design does sound interesting, but I’m still a bit iffy on PF2. I know I should play it before judging, but it’s really not sounding like something I’d like personally. I put story over mechanics of course, but I still wanna be able to enjoy the mechanics.

The rules will be available online for free at Archives of Nethys from the start IIRC.

You can peruse them all you want to get a more complete feel about the game.

And the pdf for the CRB will be low-priced too.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Kelseus wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Kelseus wrote:
SoulDragon298 wrote:
Well, while there are some things said here that sound interesting, they’re far outweighed by things I don’t like the sound of. Seems like second edition is definitely not my thing, which saddens me slightly. But at least I still have Starfinder, and first edition isn’t going anywhere.

I would actually argue that there is a clear progression from Starfinder to P2.

The idea of
-scaling damage as you level
-having well defined lanes for each class
-AC more clearly scaling with level
-item levels
-reduced action economy
-every class has their version of "rogue talents"

If you like SF, I would suggest at least giving P2 a try, as it is clear that Paizo used what they learned from building SF from scratch and applied those lessons to P2. Really the only thing keeping SF from going full P2 is that they wanted it to be backward compatible.

Another big change from P1 to P2 is Monster design. What I mean by that is instead of Monsters just being walking HP sinks in different skins (one example given by Mark Seifter is the Dire Tiger and Owlbear stat blocks being almost indistinguishable if you remove the name at the top) each monster is given some unique and interesting ability to make it stand out, making combats more dynamic.

That monster design does sound interesting, but I’m still a bit iffy on PF2. I know I should play it before judging, but it’s really not sounding like something I’d like personally. I put story over mechanics of course, but I still wanna be able to enjoy the mechanics.

I would also say that many of the changes were for one of two reasons.

First, to make the game easier to learn/play. Just take action economy. In P1 you have Standard, Move, Free, Swift, Immediate, and Full-round actions. But Sometimes not. Also there are actions that are not actions like the 5 ft step, and all of them are conditional. In P2, you have 3 actions, and some "tasks" take more than one, but it's really...

Yeah, no.

You have 3 actions, some activities take multiple actions. Then you may or may not have reactions, each with a unique trigger. Then you have free actions, which you can take on your turn. Except when they have triggers, then they behave like reactions, without using up your reaction.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

...And yet, that's still an order of magnitude simpler than 1e. :)


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P1 you have a Standard action and a move action. And you use a move action to move, but also to draw a weapon, or open a door. Then you can attack as a standard action, but you can also use a standard action to take a move action. Except when you take a full-round action, which you can use to make a full attack action, but only if your BAB is at least 6 or higher, but after your first attack, you can instead change that full round action to just a standard action and then use your remaining move action. And you can take a 5 ft step, but only if you didn't use a move action, but if you did use the move action but not to move then you can use a 5 ft step. Also a 5 ft step isn't an action, even though you're acting. Then there are swift actions which are very fast actions, but the rules are unclear if you can use a standard action or a move action to also use a swift action instead. And then there are immediate actions that let you use your swift action for next round now. Also there are Attacks of Opportunities that are also not actions and you only get one and only if the other guy does one of this 50 item list of actions, but then there are exceptions.

Just look at all the confusion about Vital Strike and what kind of action it takes and tell me P1 action economy isn't confusing. Or all the arguments about if you can use a swift action if you are staggered or nauseated.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kelseus wrote:
P1 you have a Standard action and a move action. And you use a move action to move, but also to draw a weapon, or open a door. Then you can attack as a standard action, but you can also use a standard action to take a move action. Except when you take a full-round action, which you can use to make a full attack action, but only if your BAB is at least 6 or higher, but after your first attack, you can instead change that full round action to just a standard action and then use your remaining move action. And you can take a 5 ft step, but only if you didn't use a move action, but if you did use the move action but not to move then you can use a 5 ft step. Also a 5 ft step isn't an action, even though you're acting. Then there are swift actions which are very fast actions, but the rules are unclear if you can use a standard action or a move action to also use a swift action instead. And then there are immediate actions that let you use your swift action for next round now. Also there are Attacks of Opportunities that are also not actions and you only get one and only if the other guy does one of this 50 item list of actions, but then there are exceptions.

Don't forget that you can draw a weapon as part of a move action if you use it to move but not if you use it to do something else and only if you have BAB +1 or more! :D


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sherlock1701 wrote:

I fundamentally disagree with this characterization of TTRPGs. Youre not "telling a story", you're playing a game.

I would describe it as a d20-driven open world cooperative/PvE fantasy gaming experience with character building,
(usually) story progression, and roleplay.

Is this the role-playing vs. roll-playing thing? Whether the point is the story, or whether the point is to beat the GM by beating up the monsters, disabling the traps and locks, and winning the game?

Really neither role-playing or roll-playing is better than the other. But it is two distinct ways of thinking of the game. I prefer the role-playing mentality. Sorry if it offends you for me to think of the game this way.


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

A major change is that we now have two different types of unarmored divine spellcasters (cloistered clerics and divine sorcerers). In PF1, standard clerics and oracles were usually assumed to be wearing medium armor, and archetypes that gave up armor usually did not seem to get fair compensation for that loss.


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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.

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