Give me a little bit of 4th ed!


Rules Discussion


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Hi everyone,

The more I learn 2nd ed rules and the more I realize they are extremely similar to 4th ed ones. Many changes were already there in 4th ed:
- No more skill points, skills are only based on level + proficiency + attribute.
- Multiclassing rules.
- Powers (Power Attack, Hunted Shot, etc... are all very similar to 4th ed powers).
- Caster's attack/damage rolls made on their main attribute, removing the need for Dexterity/Strength for spellcasting.
- Champion's Reaction is close to 4th ed mark concept.
- Very limited out of combat buffs.

And so on, and so on...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I mean... 4th edition came from the designers of third edition seeing what they though was unnecessary/clunky or could be streamlined about 3rd edition, Pathfinder is based on 3rd edition, pathfinder 2e is based on what they designers thought was unnecessary/clunky or could be streamlined about Pathfinder 1e. They both grew from D&D 3e so... similarities are expected. There is still more massive differences but you can see some similar design considerations that took place in some areas.

As a big 4th edition fan, I can say it's honestly not that similar.


I found the cosmology in the 4th edition to be intriguing. I wouldn't mind Pathfinder adopting it if D&D is done with it.


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Lady Melo wrote:
I mean... 4th edition came from the designers of third edition seeing what they though was unnecessary/clunky or could be streamlined about 3rd edition, Pathfinder is based on 3rd edition, pathfinder 2e is based on what they designers thought was unnecessary/clunky or could be streamlined about Pathfinder 1e. They both grew from D&D 3e so... similarities are expected.

You act like it's simply impossible to solve 3e's problems without using the solutions 4th ed used. However given how much of a 4th ed fan you are, I'm sure you've noticed that there are a few names from the 4th ed team who had prominent positions on the PF2e design team.

So I guess all that PF2e confirms is that when you get the same designers to work on a game that's designed to fix 3e, those designers are going to come to similar solutions no matter how many times you get them to work at the problem.

That said my experience with PF2e (all of 1 game session) does tell me that PF2e plays differently to D&D 4e, which is pretty important for me given I came to PF1e because of dissatisfaction with 4e. Ultimately it's going to take playing a campaign up to high level to know for sure though.

Liberty's Edge

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SuperBidi wrote:

Hi everyone,

The more I learn 2nd ed rules and the more I realize they are extremely similar to 4th ed ones. Many changes were already there in 4th ed:

Well, let's examine this.

SuperBidi wrote:
- No more skill points, skills are only based on level + proficiency + attribute.

Firstly, this is also how 5E does it, so it's hardly unique to 4E, and secondly this isn't quite true. Both 4E and 5E have binary Skills, you either have them or you don't, and basically don't allow the gaining of additional Skills as you level. PF2 both has multiple degrees of Skill, and allows the gaining of new ones. Both are very important and make the dynamic around skills very different from 4E or 5E.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Multiclassing rules.

This one's just true. Not really the problem most people had with 4E, though.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Powers (Power Attack, Hunted Shot, etc... are all very similar to 4th ed powers).

I mean, really only in the same sense that Manyshot or Vital Strike were in PF1. People's issues with Powers were also their homogeneity and the way everyone had Encounter and Daily powers even though that made no sense. Neither of those complaints seem especially valid in regards to PF2.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Caster's attack/damage rolls made on their main attribute, removing the need for Dexterity/Strength for spellcasting.

Also true, but again not most people's problem with 4E.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Champion's Reaction is close to 4th ed mark concept.

It's also similar to every other 'tanking' power in any game, ever. There are only so many ways you can enable a concept like that.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Very limited out of combat buffs.

Here, I just think you're flatly wrong. All buffs provide small numbers, but small numbers matter, and there are quite a few non-combat buffs pretty readily available, from Glibness, to Knock, to Pass Without Trace, to Discern Lies, to Heroism (okay, that last one is also a combat buff).

SuperBidi wrote:
And so on, and so on...

There are certainly some similarities between 4E and PF2, but IMO, they've avoided all the big mistakes 4E made, especially in regards to tone, and that's allowed them to poach some of the good stuff. 4E had many good ideas, they were just outweighed for many of us by some of the issues...having some of the good things from 4E in PF2 while leaving the mistakes behind is sort of a 'best of both worlds' situation.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:

Hi everyone,

The more I learn 2nd ed rules and the more I realize they are extremely similar to 4th ed ones. Many changes were already there in 4th ed:

Well, let's examine this.

SuperBidi wrote:
- No more skill points, skills are only based on level + proficiency + attribute.

Firstly, this is also how 5E does it, so it's hardly unique to 4E, and secondly this isn't quite true. Both 4E and 5E have binary Skills, you either have them or you don't, and basically don't allow the gaining of additional Skills as you level. PF2 both has multiple degrees of Skill, and allows the gaining of new ones. Both are very important and make the dynamic around skills very different from 4E or 5E.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Multiclassing rules.

This one's just true. Not really the problem most people had with 4E, though.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Powers (Power Attack, Hunted Shot, etc... are all very similar to 4th ed powers).

I mean, really only in the same sense that Manyshot or Vital Strike were in PF1. People's issues with Powers were also their homogeneity and the way everyone had Encounter and Daily powers even though that made no sense. Neither of those complaints seem especially valid in regards to PF2.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Caster's attack/damage rolls made on their main attribute, removing the need for Dexterity/Strength for spellcasting.

Also true, but again not most people's problem with 4E.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Champion's Reaction is close to 4th ed mark concept.

It's also similar to every other 'tanking' power in any game, ever. There are only so many ways you can enable a concept like that.

SuperBidi wrote:
- Very limited out of combat buffs.
Here, I just think you're flatly wrong. All buffs provide small numbers, but small numbers matter, and there are quite a few non-combat buffs pretty readily available, from Glibness, to Knock, to Pass Without Trace, to Discern Lies, to Heroism (okay, that last one...

I am intrigued about your comments about what “most people’s” problems with 4E were

I don’t really want to re-tread the edition wars here but I wasn’t really as active online then so i only really know my problems with 4E - the powers part you mentioned being one of the absolute main ones (so we are in agreement there)

Is there somewhere you can point me to that summarises just for my interest ? Or PM me?

I admit during all the build up I spotted a few 4E things and had a nagging concern in the back of my mind but it never got further than that and i am pretty certain won’t . The game seems to have the right “feel” regardless of some 4E similarities

Liberty's Edge

Lanathar wrote:

I am intrigued about your comments about what “most people’s” problems with 4E were

I don’t really want to re-tread the edition wars here but I wasn’t really as active online then so i only really know my problems with 4E - the powers part you mentioned being one of the absolute main ones (so we are in agreement there)

Is there somewhere you can point me to that summarises just for my interest ? Or PM me?

Sadly no, it's just an impression I've gotten over many years seeing people complain about 4E (plus my own issues with it). For what it's worth, I understand that the Powers issue and some of the rest were solved later on in 4E's lifespan. Of course, like many others, I was no longer keeping up with 4E by then.

Lanathar wrote:
I admit during all the build up I spotted a few 4E things and had a nagging concern in the back of my mind but it never got further than that and i am pretty certain won’t . The game seems to have the right “feel” regardless of some 4E similarities

Yeah, a lot of 4E's problem was almost cosmetic. The way it felt rather than the bones of the system. PF2's done a really good job of avoiding that problem, IMO.


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Well the thing that 4E started was "dumbing" down the game (a little provocative here), respectively trying to remove much of 3E complexity, which per se is not a bad thing, depending how it is carried out.

The key word for all editions after 3E and 3.XE is linearisation, which I find rather a good thing and from what I can tell so far PF2 seems to make a good job here.

It is so much easier to balance an adventure path or homebrew adventure when player power is at least somewhat within certain limits.


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I do believe most of the main problems with 4e was class omogenization (all had the exact same AEDU scaling with mostly same amount of nova and normal damage) and the impossibility of specializing in something as much as to be able to "beat the treadmill".
The second tier of problems was the "too much gamist". Ability being fluffed as "powers", autoscaling of AC ecc. In particular every space being counted in squares amd such seemingly small thing made most combat being utmost impossible to fairly adjudicate without battlemap, killing the "theater of mind" school.


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Dekalinder wrote:
autoscaling of AC

You realise PF2e has this. Right?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
autoscaling of AC
You realise PF2e has this. Right?

That was one of three things listed as well as an “etc” implying more. I’ll add one - formalisation of party roll terms “leader” , “striker” etc - targeting the WOW market that was never going to move over

Perhaps the scaling of AC was a poor thing to pick but I am not sure that is “gamist” really. You should get better at defending yourself as you increase just like you get better at saves and skills and attacks. AC not doing that was a weird outlier

If it was called “defense skill” or something rather than AC then nothing would be said about it scaling

It not scaling in some way leads to nonsense shenanigans like the gunslinger murdering every giant and dragon it seems with very little trouble

It also makes the armour as DR rules completely non functional past a certain level - and I always though that was a fun variant . I am pleased it is partially in with shields


The biggest thing PF2 has done better than 4e IMO is in presentation. 4e leaned very heavily into its overtly gamey terminology and that scared a lot of people off.

PF2 manages to pull off many of the same ideas, but describes them to the reader in such a way that produces a less viscerally negative reaction.


Wish they would have copied 4e's Familiar rules, PF2 really dropped the ball with its Familiars.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:

Hi everyone,

The more I learn 2nd ed rules and the more I realize they are extremely similar to 4th ed ones.

The biggest - object oriented keywords defining behavior in a modular way, in place of verbose rules.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whenever these types of post show up theres 2 extreme sides to them that I find hilarious.

One group strongly cast down any resemblance to 4e. More times than not in a confrontational kind of way. I get it though, 4e is the reason why PF exists in the first place. Would it be betrayal if PF took from 4e?

The second group is excited by the fact that PF2e shares similarities with 4e. After all this group probably loved 4e and was sad that it was no longer supported. 5e certainly didnt resemble 4e. This group probably finally feels like they have a game they can get behind and supports their style of play.

I dunno its interesting to see the two sides. You see comments defending that PF2e plays anything like 4e while the other timidly suggests the more they play the more they see 4e.


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Forgember wrote:
Wish they would have copied 4e's Familiar rules, PF2 really dropped the ball with its Familiars.

Dunno how 4e did familiars but I think I prefer PF2 familiars over PF1. I'm glad that I can have basically whatever pet I want and get consistent value out of it rather than the "you either pick a +Initiative familiar or you're a moron" meta of PF1.

Boles.r wrote:
I dunno its interesting to see the two sides. You see comments defending that PF2e plays anything like 4e while the other timidly suggests the more they play the more they see 4e.

Oh man somebody doesn't know what the word "timid" means


Forgember wrote:
Wish they would have copied 4e's Familiar rules, PF2 really dropped the ball with its Familiars.

What did it get wrong with familiars?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Dekalinder wrote:
autoscaling of AC
You realise PF2e has this. Right?

Yes, so?

Mine was a mostly neutered list of things I know have been widely criticized about the 4 ed. I'll leave everyone to infer whatever they wish from that.
About the AC thing being gamist, it was not as much as the concept per se, but the actuality of how it plays. You get a 10 level wizard wading unscathed into a 500 volley of arrows and cannonbals fired by lv1-2 guardsmans.


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I mean, my big problems with 4e were:
- The release schedule was spotty.
- It was overly combat focused.
- It was especially challenging to GM.
- It did not work at all without a grid.
- The various class feats/powers were as dry as a saltine in the Sahara and were a chore to read.

PF2 seems to avoid most if not all of these. There were a lot of really good ideas in 4e.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Well the thing that 4E started was "dumbing" down the game (a little provocative here), respectively trying to remove much of 3E complexity, which per se is not a bad thing, depending how it is carried out.

5e did that far more to the point it is now very slick. The "complexity" I came to hate in 3.0 - 3.5 - pf1 was the oodles of arithmetic from layers of buffs and situational modifiers, or laborious ways of doing inconsequential things. 4e and PF2 reduced this but not a lot

Ubertron_X wrote:


The key word for all editions after 3E and 3.XE is linearisation, which I find rather a good thing and from what I can tell so far PF2 seems to make a good job here.

It is so much easier to balance an adventure path or homebrew adventure when player power is at least somewhat within certain limits.

Nah it's still geometric it's just that the variance in power at any given level is far lower. Like you say far easier to balance.


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Dekalinder wrote:
About the AC thing being gamist, it was not as much as the concept per se, but the actuality of how it plays. You get a 10 level wizard wading unscathed into a 500 volley of arrows and cannonbals fired by lv1-2 guardsmans.

That's very much the same in PF2. It's the opposite "problem" in 5e - who needs heroes when 50 archers will take out a dragon and there are thousands of archers.

Given the suspension of disbelief I have to engage in as soon as there are levels and HP this is not really a problem for me. In practice PCs fight what they fight & the rules of the game do not necessarily define the rules of the world (very much not simulationist)


Boles.r wrote:

Whenever these types of post show up theres 2 extreme sides to them that I find hilarious.

One group strongly cast down any resemblance to 4e. More times than not in a confrontational kind of way. I get it though, 4e is the reason why PF exists in the first place. Would it be betrayal if PF took from 4e?

The second group is excited by the fact that PF2e shares similarities with 4e. After all this group probably loved 4e and was sad that it was no longer supported. 5e certainly didnt resemble 4e. This group probably finally feels like they have a game they can get behind and supports their style of play.

I straddle both groups, but fit into neither. I love (not past tense) 4e, and run a fortnightly game. I have played the playtest and a little of the finished 2e, and look forward to playing more and to running it. But so far I see very little resemblance. Or perhaps I should say, I see superficial resemblance, but very little that goes beyond that.

The skill system sounds the same at the 1-sentance-description level, but diverges rapidly and wildly as you soon as you start to add more sentances. Unlike Deadmanwalking, I would say the same applies to the multiclassing system. They are feat based, but the massive differences in the underlying feat system imply a significant difference to start with, an then you get to things like how multiclassing interacts with slot-based classing (which 4e does not have) and paragon path multiclassing (which PF2 does not have, because it does not have paragon paths or any direct equivalent).

On the subject of the feat system, PF2's feat system does overlap with 4e's power system, but a lot of what would be powers in 4e would be focus powers or slot-based spells in PF2, and conversely they obviously cover feats, whereas 4e's feat and power progressions were separate.

There actually seem to be two different discussions going on in this thread. How much resemblance PF2 bears to the D&D 4e as actually published, and how much resamblamce it bears to the 4e that exists in the collective imagine of the Internet (and in edition-warrior talking points). Although those two things bear very little resemblance to each other, neither of them are particularly close to PF2 IMNSHO.

EDIT: I will admit from what I have seen the stat blocks look a little 4e-esque, and when I get to run it it might feel more like 4e from the GM side. As I said at the top of the post, I have not run PF2 yet so I was mostly speaking from the players' side of the fence.

_
glass.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So most games are an evolution of prior games. As most things in life are, they build on the successes of the past. Personally I have run a bunch of 4th ed(2 campaigns), a bunch of pf1 (200+ tables of pfs), a few 5e sessions and a session or two of Pathfinder 2e so far (starting Ironfang Invasion this week) and they all play much differently for me. All the games had good points and bad. I loved the 4e skill challenge concept and still use it in my games today.

I actually find that Pathfinder 2e is easier to use "theater of the mind" for combat then 4th edition or even Pf 1 (5th ed does this well also). Not every encounter needs to drop to table and to minis and maps if you do not want. It can if you want but not required. To be fair all of those systems could do that also but it did not flow very well for me.

I find it simpler and easier to understand, teach and play so far. It feels more intuitive to me at least. Maybe it is my computer science background, Mark S seems to injected a ton of that thinking into pf2.

Pf2 does not seem as formulaic as 4th ed, not as complicated as pf 1, and has more depth then 5e for me. It feels some where in between those games, finding a nice little niche of its own :). Just my opinion


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Boles.r wrote:

Whenever these types of post show up theres 2 extreme sides to them that I find hilarious.

One group strongly cast down any resemblance to 4e. More times than not in a confrontational kind of way. I get it though, 4e is the reason why PF exists in the first place. Would it be betrayal if PF took from 4e?

The second group is excited by the fact that PF2e shares similarities with 4e. After all this group probably loved 4e and was sad that it was no longer supported. 5e certainly didnt resemble 4e. This group probably finally feels like they have a game they can get behind and supports their style of play.

I dunno its interesting to see the two sides. You see comments defending that PF2e plays anything like 4e while the other timidly suggests the more they play the more they see 4e.

People see similarities between all systems. (There are plenty in the 5E community who disagree with your view that it doesn’t resemble 4E, for example).

I find it odd how invested people get in making the case that “game X is a lot like game Y”. I can see that identifying similarities might be useful in teaching a game to someone, but I don’t understand why it seems to matter so much to many to establish the similarity or dissimilarity of one game to another.

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