My opinions on PF2 after Plaguestone


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I'm playing a 5E game where we're all lizard men.

Weird races are fun sometimes.

I also played in 4E, where because of builds we'd have parties consisting of genasi, githzerai, drow, and vrylokai, and we just ran with it.

Honestly, I kinda wish the Ancestry chapter said, "Pick a race, whose only mechanical effect is to determine your size. Then pick two stat mods, and pick four abilities from this list. Or pick a 'standard package.'"

They'd have samples of what a typical Elf or Goblin has, but if you want to be a small adventurer with a penchant for fire, you don't have to be a Goblin. Don't link mechanical options to flavor choices.


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This has deviated from the original purpose of the thread

And the OP specifically said they didn’t want to start another Goblin war...
Can’t there be another thread for that? I know there was one but perhaps it got shut down ...


SteelGuts wrote:

Glad to see people sharing their impressions too!

And yes we had a Gnome Ranger who picked the Kurkri, and he was a blast to play. Ta combo with his Hunter Quarry and the Agile kurkris made the three Attack viable. And he had an imprecise Scent and was a Bounty Hunter so strong roleplay and flavor too.

And god he tracked a lot. I don’t want to spoil, but he tracked a monster from the first encounter who fled, the boss of the part one, and a few strange creatures at the end. He used Survival a lot to start hunting prey before the fight, gaining some action economy.

Probably the strongest character of the group to be honest. And when he decided to pick animal companion, with the new mechanic that allow monsters to become pet, well I don’t want to spoil but I will just say if you play Plaguestone, have a nice DM and have animal companion, don’t pick one, just the feat, you will have good surprise ;)

First off, thanks for the response.

Perhaps I missed this in one of your posts, but were you the GM or a player?

1. I was actually asking slightly different question, I was wanting to know if it was necessary to track anything during the adventure? Did the scenario contemplate players tracking something? You mentioned tracking the Boss, was that part of the script or just a consequence of how the encounter played out?

Does the adventures say things like "And if someone successfully tracks the creature, then X happens..."?

2. At any time during the adventure, did the AP contemplate someone needing to Cover Tracks? Was there any scripted or obvious benefit in doing so?

Thanks.


N N 959 wrote:
SteelGuts wrote:

Glad to see people sharing their impressions too!

And yes we had a Gnome Ranger who picked the Kurkri, and he was a blast to play. Ta combo with his Hunter Quarry and the Agile kurkris made the three Attack viable. And he had an imprecise Scent and was a Bounty Hunter so strong roleplay and flavor too.

And god he tracked a lot. I don’t want to spoil, but he tracked a monster from the first encounter who fled, the boss of the part one, and a few strange creatures at the end. He used Survival a lot to start hunting prey before the fight, gaining some action economy.

Probably the strongest character of the group to be honest. And when he decided to pick animal companion, with the new mechanic that allow monsters to become pet, well I don’t want to spoil but I will just say if you play Plaguestone, have a nice DM and have animal companion, don’t pick one, just the feat, you will have good surprise ;)

First off, thanks for the response.

Perhaps I missed this in one of your posts, but were you the GM or a player?

1. I was actually asking slightly different question, I was wanting to know if it was necessary to track anything during the adventure? Did the scenario contemplate players tracking something? You mentioned tracking the Boss, was that part of the script or just a consequence of how the encounter played out?

Does the adventures say things like "And if someone successfully tracks the creature, then X happens..."?

2. At any time during the adventure, did the AP contemplate someone needing to Cover Tracks? Was there any scripted or obvious benefit in doing so?

Thanks.

I also have the book

Spoiler:
there's no point where a Tracking exploration activity is called for or covered explicitly, though a few places where a player could try to track and a reasonable GM could go along with it and ask for a check.


Tiene wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Thanks. That's what I expected. Is the same is true for the Cover Tracks mechanic?


N N 959 wrote:
Tiene wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Thanks. That's what I expected. Is the same is true for the Cover Tracks mechanic?

Spoiler:
Basically. Though obviously thinking of places where you’d need to cover tracks is a bit harder. How many modules have a stalker written into them? But if you want to sneak in and out of certain places without making your presence known it’s an activity that has the potential to make some impact depending on how your GM plays the villainous NPCs and how likely they are to let you sneak in effectively in the first place. I wouldn’t count on covering tracks to be a game changer.

Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Right. And if it were 1 race that would be that. But we’re getting 3 more next month and a whole suite next year. How many do you want to ban? And if your players keep asking for them, why not find a way to accommodate them? I have. It’s called Eberron. Fun setting. I’m looking forward to running a game knit.

Yeah, absolutely hear you. I don't see this type of discussion as any different than any other I have when I choose a setting and campaign "feel." So, it starts more with the type/feel of campaign I am thinking of running, and then I decide what (setting, rules, etc.) will support that type/feel. Sounds like you did something similar.


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I keep seeing a lot of "4e" here to describe PF2's seemingly more permissive attitudes towards unorthodox ancestries. Is that supposed to be a bad thing? Pathfinder's set apart by its customization, and having ready access to a wide variety of stuff that isn't some boring human seems right up a lot of folks' allies. It's only made better by PF2's unique chargen system that makes it so these ancestries aren't pigeonholed into particular classes right out the game.

Why shouldn't this edition have a bunch of ancestries? Just use the Uncommon or Rare tags, it's a built-in way to let a player know they need to ask permission first. Between a setting that's as intentionally diverse as Golarion and the abandoning of always-evil sapient ancestries, now's really the time to have fun playing races just because they're cool, not because their stat bonuses align perfectly with your class.

It's certainly a lot better than 5e where it can be torture just trying to justify playing a Half-Orc Wizard.


Related to the OP's post, I'm with a group and we've just begun Plaguestone ourselves. Our session was mostly a combat followed by a fair chunk of roleplay, but we found our experience meshed with the OP's pretty closely. Combat was slightly clunky at first while we tried to get used to the new action system, and the dice kinda hated us and almost nobody rolled above a 11, but it was still pretty smooth and I anticipate it'll only get smoother as we grow more familiar with the system.


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I think the point about "if you came to Pathfinder at any point after the ARG your expectations are going to be something like 'yeah, you can just play an Undine, it's fine'" is a very good one.

I mean, for me Golarion *was* the fantasy setting where a Tengu, a Fetchling, a Samsaran, and a Grippli being an adventuring party wasn't considered that weird. PF2 has much more control over "no, we can't have the party be an Astomoi, a Wyrwood, a Kasatha, and a Leshy... please, someone play something normal" from where I sit.


Thanks for posting SteelGuts. Super interesting read.

Glad to hear it’s easier to GM, I’m used to having system knowledge like a rules lawyer but I don’t have as much time to learn the edition as I used to.

You mention the magic nerfing but I’m curious if you can give anymore specifics about certain interactions without spoiling Plaguestone.

There have been a lot of posts about creative use of magic that sounded like it might have promise. Is there anything else you can tell us about that part of your post?


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Nice to see good talks here.

So to answer a few questions:

- I don't think the module ask for a tracking check, but I'm not sure as I was a player. What I am sure of is that as usual you got to be smart about what your character can do, and how put your abilities on the spot. It was usefull quite a lot during the game, giving us clues, numbers of potential ennemies, and the like. So yeah I found Tracking to be usefull, but it wwas not the most impressive power of our Ranger.

- For the Goblins, I am confortable with exotic Races in Golarion. And OF COURSE Goblins should be playable. But for our table, it make no sense as a Core Common Playable Race. There are depicted multiple time as being responsible for many many crimes and war, are the first ennemy of the AP that made Pathfinder. It is even more disturbing when the AP and the module stat in Isger, the only place where we imagine people killing them on sight. I don't mind Goblins adventurers, but they should be rare, because of their society, the human perception of the race, their tendancy to be sociopathic pyromaniac child eaters and etc... But yeah I am all for exotic race, my favorite one is Tengu for example. Just not as a Common Core Ancestry. In our Golarion, you got more Gnomes and Halflings in the Pathfinder Society than Goblins. But as usual, that is just an opinion. For me I see their presence just like the Drow in Faerun. They are an evil race that was made anti-hero race playable because they sell the setting well. And I don't like that. Fimbus is your everyday fun Drizzt Do'Urden.

- I want to be clear, what are here cons (lacking options, etc...) is our opinion on the CRB only compared to ALL PF1. So yeah we are very hopefull that the cons list will be getting even shorter and shorter over time. Because it was unfair to compare the 2, but we did because that is probably something a lot of other players, most notably those won't don't want to try PF2, will do. And I hope that the list could make them try at least the game. Because it is that good.

- The magic part is really what was in our group the main debate. We agreed on this list for the most part all of us, but not on magic. What I mean by nerf, is that with bonded accuracy and the fact that you can't improve you DCs, you can't use save or suck spell as you could in PF1. For example Hold person, at level 3, you will probably get a Will DC at 20 INT+one feat+maybe one trait or item or other feat= 17/18. Against a monster with like between +1/+6. And you will make a Coup de Grace just after the spell to finish him off in one quick combo. Now, if you try to do that on a boss or difficult monster, he will have his FP/level as a bonus on his roll, and the way bonded acc works, he will have more than 50% to save, or even critical save. But on the other hand, if he only save, he will probably got some sort of short penalty, like a Slowed condition for one round or something. (I'm not a math expert please be nice with me here). So you can never maximize your chances to make your strong combo in PF2 like you did in first edition. But you will also rarely do nothing if your combo does not work,because there will be some kind of penalty. On the pro side, healing in combat can be really strong now.

By the way the group was: Gnome Ranger with Kukris, Dwarf Alchemist Bomber, Half-Elf Divine Sorcerer and Dwarf Fighter. We got a Rogue too but he did not survive the first part of the module. I can not stress enough the fact than an Alchemist or MC Alchemist is very good in the module, and the player will have a blast. But all Classes can shine I think.

The funny part is that a lot of our group switched playstyle when making the group. Our martials fan tried casters, because they liked the fact that spell generaly do something even with a save succeded. And our casters went martials, because they liked the fact that you can try way more things with martials, with skills feats, differences between the action economy of the classes, etc... And our DM really had a blast, from playing the module as intended, but also to be able to make things from the scratch because the rules are easy. He nerfed a few combats on the scratch with a simple -1, and added a reaction to the final boss just like that. And it was flavorfull, elegant and fun!


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My experience with Save and Suck magic so far is that it is the niche of Arcane list, specifically the Wizard, and even more specifically, the Spell Substitutor. This playstyle heavily rewards scouting ahead and having good monster lore and recall knowledge. Instead of pumping your DCs skyhigh, you Scout ahead / Investigate to figure out what type of opponents is likely to be fought soon, and use your incredibly vast arsenal of known spells to find the silver bullets that exploit the weak points of given opponents.
I enjoy this playstyle, but it definitely can be a turn-off for groups that don't want to take the slow and steady scout-ahead approach (or can't afford it due to GM springing ambushes, chaining shirtless husband candidates to goblin railway tracks, and generally punishing for trying to engage the 10 minutes exploration cycles), for casters who don't want to tailor their spell selection around specific encounters they expect to happen, and casters who want to pick their spells according to theme instead of utility. If you want to have a "themed" Wizard who exclusively casts ice spells and necromancy, it is easy to feel that you are behind because opponents are not weak to your element and you are in an environment where Reflex save is the highest.

My feel is that Arcane spell list is largely balanced around the ability to have an insanely wide coverage of damage types, shapes of effect, and targeted Saves, and due to that, individual spells are more specialized and less suited for cookie-cutter use.
Instead of making your character The Ice Death Man Person Girl and dedicating permanent character resources (feats, etc) into that, the Wizard class wants you to pursue the flexibility you are given by potential to have unlimited spells known and ability to change them daily/on the fly. If you expect fire-weak monster, you grab Burning Hands, if you expect Will-weak foes, you sic Phantasmal Killers at them.
Arcane magic is a toolset made of highly specialized problem solving tools, and they don't work that well as a universal one-size-fit all hammer.


N N 959 wrote:
Tiene wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Thanks. That's what I expected.

I'd say it was better (or worse) - my players latched onto one target and successfully tracking them would have short circuited the adventure. So I was a bit heavy handed in foiling this. This is a weakness of the module and my under preparedness rather than the system of course.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
In Pathfinder 1e we got 3 years before alternative races appeared as player options in a hardcover.

You mean there were 3 years between the CRB and Bestiary 1? D: 'Cause Aasimar, Drow, Duergar, Goblins, Kobolds, Merfolk, Svirfneblin and Tengu character options all appear in Bestiary 1, and I think it was more like 2 months.


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This discussion on how the games are going to be less generic fantasy now in PF2 is kinda baffling to me, considering how PF1 in my eyes was all about the crazy weird races and classes that didn't fit anywhere. I mean, goblin alchemist is downright cliche in comparison, not to mention goblins have never been taken too seriously, it's not hard for me to see them as a core race.

Now granted, I'm much more loose-y goose-y with lore than a lot of you it seems, and I value having a fun and interesting game far, far above having an absolute consistent game world, but that's my 2 cents on Gobies and non-core races.

As for experiencing PF2, I'll have my first real session of it this Thursday, cause it can be hard to really people for a new system out of the blue when you're neck deep in a another campaign. Regardless, I've built a few characters and gone through most of the rules with a fine toothed comb, and I've come up pretty please.

Rampant errors aside, most of my issues aren't worth mentioning, or have to do with sloppy work in certain sections, like the Alchemist im general, or how shield stats scale(or don't) at higher levels. I'm excited to play.


Well he’s kinda right. Your statement that there was a big gap between new races being introduced doesn’t really hold. Bestiary was the most common way new races were given to the players in PF1.


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Fennris wrote:
I find martials are more tied to equipment more than ever, sine the number of damage die are tied to it.

I just wanted to respond to this since I've seen this sentiment a few times, but I'm not sure the math actually bears it out.

Let's assume we have a level 20 greatsword fighter in both editions, who either has his normal big 6/3 or just mundane equipment. We'll look at the difference the magic items make.

For PF2:
Weapon - +3 to hit, +3 dice of damage (3d12, average 19.5)
Armor - +3 to AC & Saves
Apex Item - +2 strength (+1 to hit and damage)
Total - +4 to hit, +20.5 damage, +3 to AC and Saves

For PF1:
Weapon - +5 to hit and damage
Armor - +5 AC
Belt/Headband - +6 Str/Dex/Con/Wis (+3 hit, damage, saves, AC, init, and +60 HP)
Cloak of Resistance - +5 saves
Amulet of Natural Armor - +5 AC
Ring of Protection - +5 AC
Total - +8 to hit, damage, saves, +18 to AC, +60 HP, +3 init
Also note, to keep up with the magic wielding fighter the no-magic one should probably stop power attacking which changes the magic wielder to +3 hit, +23 damage

Anyway, I can see how in a white room DPR only calculation magic items can seem more necessary in second edition, but I don't think that's actually true if you look at a whole character.

I do agree through, that I would prefer that the math of the system be completely determined by character capabilities rather than what they're carrying, but I think we'll basically get that when we get the Automatic Bonus Progression equivalent for PF2.


DoggieBert wrote:
Fennris wrote:
I find martials are more tied to equipment more than ever, sine the number of damage die are tied to it.

I just wanted to respond to this since I've seen this sentiment a few times, but I'm not sure the math actually bears it out.

Let's assume we have a level 20 greatsword fighter in both editions, who either has his normal big 6/3 or just mundane equipment. We'll look at the difference the magic items make.

For PF2:
Weapon - +3 to hit, +3 dice of damage (3d12, average 19.5)
Armor - +3 to AC & Saves
Apex Item - +2 strength (+1 to hit and damage)
Total - +4 to hit, +20.5 damage, +3 to AC and Saves

For PF1:
Weapon - +5 to hit and damage
Armor - +5 AC
Belt/Headband - +6 Str/Dex/Con/Wis (+3 hit, damage, saves, AC, init, and +60 HP)
Cloak of Resistance - +5 saves
Amulet of Natural Armor - +5 AC
Ring of Protection - +5 AC
Total - +8 to hit, damage, saves, +18 to AC, +60 HP, +3 init
Also note, to keep up with the magic wielding fighter the no-magic one should probably stop power attacking which changes the magic wielder to +3 hit, +23 damage

Anyway, I can see how in a white room DPR only calculation magic items can seem more necessary in second edition, but I don't think that's actually true if you look at a whole character.

I do agree through, that I would prefer that the math of the system be completely determined by character capabilities rather than what they're carrying, but I think we'll basically get that when we get the Automatic Bonus Progression equivalent for PF2.

Fighter is the least reliant on magic items in PF2e so you actually chose a poor class to compare. A 14 strength fighter is technically comparable to a 18 strength rogue. Technically.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Fighter is the least reliant on magic items in PF2e so you actually chose a poor class to compare. A 14 strength fighter is technically comparable to a 18 strength rogue. Technically.

I don't understand why this is a poor comparison.

In PF2 the fighter is best at hitting without magic items, but I'm not doing a DPR comparison here, just looking at raw numerical differences from magic items which should be the same for anyone regardless of stats. The only differences for other martials would be the die size of the weapon they choose and whether they use str or dex for their attack/damage stat. I chose the greatsword fighter since he has the most damage tied up in his magic items, so he's a bit of an extreme scenario. Other martials could have a smaller weapon die size and potentially 1 fewer damage difference from the apex item if they're dex based, but should otherwise have all the same differences.

Casters should be less affected on the offensive side since their spell DCs don't care about equipment, but are equally affected on the defensive side.

Dark Archive

Kelseus wrote:
kaid wrote:
Lanathar wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:


Oh boy is that the truth. 4 sessions in and all the players have been having a streak of bad luck, while the GM has been rolling hot. (Last night, nobody rolled above a 5 for at least an hour, while the GM rolled 3 critical attacks in a row.)

It was so demoralizing we had to stop the session halfway through.

By the book everyone gets a hero point every session, they can use them to break up the bad streaks.

This might depend on how generous a GM is with giving them out in game. Because 1E hero points were often hard to get and everyone clutched onto them tightly for the "cheat death" option

And it sounds like people will want to keep at least one for the very same reason in 2E

Seems almost more likely you would want to hold a hero point in 2e because of how nasty crit hits crit save rolls are.
2 things, 1) you don't keep your Hero Points between sessions so it behooves you to use them each night. 2) They are *supposed* to be easier to get, so you can use them with the expectation you will get another that same night.

Wasn't that how hero points worked in playtest? At least I can't find page on hero point in core rulebook saying they reset each session(there doesn't seem to be cap either since you lose all of them anyway if you stabilize with them)


Picking the class that is designed to work with the least reliance on magic items to draw conclusions about how reliant on magic items all martials are is problematic. No?


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Fighter is the least reliant on magic items in PF2e so you actually chose a poor class to compare. A 14 strength fighter is technically comparable to a 18 strength rogue. Technically.

Not sure I agree. Fighter has an innately higher chance to hit than other martials, but other martials get innate damage modifiers that the Fighter lacks.

It's like saying Rogues don't need striking runes because they have sneak attack.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Picking the class that is designed to work with the least reliance on magic items to draw conclusions about how reliant on magic items all martials are is problematic. No?

No. I'm not doing a DPR comparison, nor am I comparing 1 class to another, I'm just comparing how much magic items affect a class in each edition. These numbers would be identical if I was comparing a PF2 Barbarian to a PF1 Barbarian, and would be more lopsided towards "PF1 needs magic items more" for pretty much any other class that currently exists in both editions.

Let's look at Monk instead
PF2:
Weapon - +3 to hit, +3 dice of damage (varies, but lets say 3d10, average 16.5)
Armor - +3 to AC & Saves
Apex Item - +2 strength (+1 to hit and damage)
Total - +4 to hit, +17.5 damage, +3 to AC and Saves

PF1:
Weapon - +5 to hit and damage
Armor - +5 AC
Belt/Headband - +6 Str/Dex/Con/Wis (+3 hit, damage, saves, init, +6 AC and +60 HP)
Cloak of Resistance - +5 saves
Amulet of Natural Armor - +5 AC
Ring of Protection - +5 AC
Total - +8 to hit, damage, saves, +21 to AC, +60 HP, +3 init

These are very similar to my earlier post. The PF2 monk suffers a slightly lower damage penalty for not having magic items, while the PF1 monk loses even more AC.

I picked the greatsword fighter in the first scenario because I think that is the martial character that loses the most in PF2, while losing the least in PF1, and therefore has the smallest difference between the two, while still showing the PF1 version is much much worse off than the PF2 version is without magic items.


Ok, fair enough :)


Pickles Grr wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Tiene wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
Thanks. That's what I expected.
I'd say it was better (or worse) - my players latched onto one target and successfully tracking them would have short circuited the adventure. So I was a bit heavy handed in foiling this. This is a weakness of the module and my under preparedness rather than the system of course.

If you're saying that the PCs were going to use the Tracking skill and short cut the scenario, and you had to stop it, then I put the blame squarely on the system. This is one of the challenges with the Ranger class that I was hoping Paizo would fix. Instead of fixing Tracking, they kind of accepted it as broken and unburdened the Ranger. Which is one way to address the problem, I guess. However, instead of learning the lesson, they created Cover Tracks which is equally as problematic, and burdened the Ranger with that.

I wouldn't put any blame on the module. The fact that Tracking of NPCs is almost universally ignored by scenarios is a result of Paizo's presentation. Granted, it's a problem they inherited, but one that they haven't bothered to fix.

Nor would I blame you, had the module contemplated someone being tracked, I'm sure the author/editor would have done the same thing you did and simply found a way to foil it. The same can be said about Cover Tracks. It's not going to stop a NPC scripted to follow the party, from following them.


I’ll disagree that fighters are the least reliant on magic items. I believe that casters are the least reliant on magic items. As for Doggieberts comparison to PF1. I feel that the argument is flawed. Having played PF1 at high levels I never felt that all those items were required to be effective. Those were just power gamers must haves. Unlike in PF2, where 75% of my damage done is attributed to the weapon I’m using.


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Why is covering your tracks, or tracking, problematic? They are basic uses of the Survival skill.


lordcirth wrote:
Why is covering your tracks, or tracking, problematic? They are basic uses of the Survival skill.

Probably better to start a separate thread or PM me.


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Fennris wrote:
As for Doggieberts comparison to PF1. I feel that the argument is flawed. Having played PF1 at high levels I never felt that all those items were required to be effective. Those were just power gamers must haves.

So, in PF1 most full BAB characters can actually get away without magical weapons at high levels and still hit decently, but AC has absolutely no mechanic of climbing on it's own without magic, so high level ACs are laughable without magic items. Maybe your group is just good enough that most enemies aren't meaningfully challenging to you without magic items, in which case I would say this is an argument about re-balancing monster difficulty rather than how much magic items matter.

In general though I don't think this question should be "Can I beat a creature of CR = X without magic items" in PF1 vs. PF2 since monsters have been re-balanced in PF2. The question should be "In a fight that the party has Y% of winning how much worse off are they without magic items?" These are likely much different CRs between editions due to the re-balancing of CR. I think in this case the PF2 party will be better off since pretty much everything except damage scales decently with level, while PF1 was much more reliant on buffs and magic items to get characters to the expected numbers.

Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

Paizo Employee Designer

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DoggieBert wrote:
Fennris wrote:
As for Doggieberts comparison to PF1. I feel that the argument is flawed. Having played PF1 at high levels I never felt that all those items were required to be effective. Those were just power gamers must haves.

So, in PF1 most full BAB characters can actually get away without magical weapons at high levels and still hit decently, but AC has absolutely no mechanic of climbing on it's own without magic, so high level ACs are laughable without magic items. Maybe your group is just good enough that most enemies aren't meaningfully challenging to you without magic items, in which case I would say this is an argument about re-balancing monster difficulty rather than how much magic items matter.

In general though I don't think this question should be "Can I beat a creature of CR = X without magic items" in PF1 vs. PF2 since monsters have been re-balanced in PF2. The question should be "In a fight that the party has Y% of winning how much worse off are they without magic items?" These are likely much different CRs between editions due to the re-balancing of CR. I think in this case the PF2 party will be better off since pretty much everything except damage scales decently with level, while PF1 was much more reliant on buffs and magic items to get characters to the expected numbers.

Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

The way I like to think of it is this: If a 10th level PF1 fighter steals a 20th level PF1 fighter's gear while the 20th level fighter is bathing, equips the gear, and attacks, the 20th level fighter is toast. Even a 1st level PF1 fighter pulling this trick can get to the point where the 20th level fighter needs a 20 to hit, but the 20th level fighter has enough HP to wait for the 20s to come.

In PF2, the 20th level fighter will annihilate the 10th level fighter who has all the gear, critting often on the first attack, nailing presses with ease, and genuinely a challenge for the level 10 fighter to hit. Sure, the level 20 only hits for 1d4+14 with his fist to the 10th level's 4 dice plus 9 and property runes, but the accuracy disparity and tricky high level feats more than compensate.


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Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

I completely agree with you.

The way I like to think of it is this: If a 10th level PF1 fighter steals a 20th level PF1 fighter's gear while the 20th level fighter is bathing, equips the gear, and attacks, the 20th level fighter is toast. Even a 1st level PF1 fighter pulling this trick can get to the point where the 20th level fighter needs a 20 to hit, but the 20th level fighter has enough HP to wait for the 20s to come.

I...

First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Fennris wrote:


Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

I completely agree with you.

Quote:

The way I like to think of it is this: If a 10th level PF1 fighter steals a 20th level PF1 fighter's gear while the 20th level fighter is bathing, equips the gear, and attacks, the 20th level fighter is toast. Even a 1st level PF1 fighter pulling this trick can get to the point where the 20th level fighter needs a 20 to hit, but the 20th level fighter has enough HP to wait for the 20s to come.

I...

First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Me neither, that's why we changed it! The example you clipped above is for PF1 (Pathfinder First Edition). The one where the 20th level fighter is the hero without any gear that got cut off in your quote is the way it works in PF2 (Pathfinder Second Edition). Plus I'm a big fan of Automatic Bonus Progressions that can replace those magic items; one of the first things I did at Paizo was ask to write one in Pathfinder Unchained (and Logan, Stephen, and Jason are awesome, so they let the new guy put that in even after the book had already been ordered!)


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First of all, love seeing your and other dev responses as they are very insightful. Great work with the game, so many interesting abilities and rules.

Now a question about the PF1 vs PF2 fighter low level user with high level items:
Wait how is the PF1 lv1 Fighter getting +40 AC? +5 full plate, +5 nat armor, +5 deflection, +5 heavy shield is just 31; a lv20 Fighter has +31 to hit.
The lv10 Fighter would definitely stand a chance, but there is no way to beat the lv20 Fighter that's getting 6 hits with an equal to hit and at least double the HP (give or take some 2 Con/level).

As an aside, getting max magic items while extremely useful wasn't really mandatory except for theorycrafting (or extreme encounters). It was perfectly viable to stop at +3 weapon and armor and instead get either other items (high bonus items are very expensive) or some item properties. +5 Saves was definitely needed, but that's because save or suck spells were broken.

I dont want to derail, just very curious as it seems PF1 magic items are being exaggerated (at least a bit). Also I always found the view of "you need +5 weapon/armor" to be a weird DPR concept that at points Paizo devs and some GMs reinforced. (The whole let's increase monster power to challenge players.)


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Mark Seifter wrote:
DoggieBert wrote:
Fennris wrote:
As for Doggieberts comparison to PF1. I feel that the argument is flawed. Having played PF1 at high levels I never felt that all those items were required to be effective. Those were just power gamers must haves.

So, in PF1 most full BAB characters can actually get away without magical weapons at high levels and still hit decently, but AC has absolutely no mechanic of climbing on it's own without magic, so high level ACs are laughable without magic items. Maybe your group is just good enough that most enemies aren't meaningfully challenging to you without magic items, in which case I would say this is an argument about re-balancing monster difficulty rather than how much magic items matter.

In general though I don't think this question should be "Can I beat a creature of CR = X without magic items" in PF1 vs. PF2 since monsters have been re-balanced in PF2. The question should be "In a fight that the party has Y% of winning how much worse off are they without magic items?" These are likely much different CRs between editions due to the re-balancing of CR. I think in this case the PF2 party will be better off since pretty much everything except damage scales decently with level, while PF1 was much more reliant on buffs and magic items to get characters to the expected numbers.

Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

The way I like to think of it is this: If a 10th level PF1 fighter steals a 20th level PF1 fighter's gear while the 20th level fighter is bathing, equips the gear, and attacks, the 20th level fighter is toast. Even a 1st level PF1 fighter pulling this trick can get to the point where the 20th level fighter needs a 20 to hit, but the 20th level fighter has enough HP to wait for the 20s to come.

In PF2,...

Thanks Mark that was exactly my point. Level matter, what you are good at matter, and your class fantasy matter. Magical items are much more icing on the cake. I was a very big fan of Automatic Progression, and I really like the current path of PF2.

I would also like to add that I appreciated you and other Paizo dev taking the time to discuss and explain the choices you made, the maths or the design behind it. It is always good to know how this or that idea came to place, even if we disagree.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fennris wrote:


First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Are you sure you understand because his example of PF2 was exactly an example of a characters ability trumping their items...


Mark Seifter wrote:
Fennris wrote:


Personally I prefer PF1 with Automatic Bonus Progression, and I expect I'll prefer PF2 with the equivalent, since, like you, I want all of my numbers stuff to be built into the character and allow magic items to be mostly cool abilities and flavor things.

I completely agree with you.

Quote:

The way I like to think of it is this: If a 10th level PF1 fighter steals a 20th level PF1 fighter's gear while the 20th level fighter is bathing, equips the gear, and attacks, the 20th level fighter is toast. Even a 1st level PF1 fighter pulling this trick can get to the point where the 20th level fighter needs a 20 to hit, but the 20th level fighter has enough HP to wait for the 20s to come.

I...

First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.
Me neither, that's why we changed it! The example you clipped above is for PF1 (Pathfinder First Edition). The one where the 20th level fighter is the hero without any gear that got cut off in your quote is the way it works in PF2 (Pathfinder Second Edition). Plus I'm a big fan of Automatic Bonus Progressions that can replace those magic items; one of the first things I did at Paizo was ask to write one in Pathfinder Unchained (and Logan, Stephen, and Jason are awesome, so they let the new guy put that in even after the book had already been ordered!)

Just a heads up Mark - it's your own forum software that cuts off quoted text.

Best regards


Vlorax wrote:
Fennris wrote:


First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Are you sure you understand because his example of PF2 was exactly an example of a characters ability trumping their items...

I think they are aware there was confusion. Unfortunately Paizo's forum software only copies parts of longish quotes, silently ending the part that does get quoted with "..."

Since the default setting is for quotes to nest, the cutoff point is easily reached.

Dark Archive

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My problem with automatic bonus progression was mostly that it actually broke the APs and bestiary monsters at high levels :p

RotR for example doesn't expect that everyone at level 17 has +5 resistance cloak +5 deflection and +6 to all stats <_<; Enemy dcs were too low for pcs to not automatically succeed and other shenanigans.

While it was optimal to get all big six items, the math didn't actually handle that very well in 1e...

Paizo Employee Designer

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Temperans wrote:

First of all, love seeing your and other dev responses as they are very insightful. Great work with the game, so many interesting abilities and rules.

** spoiler omitted **

I dont want to derail, just very curious as it seems PF1 magic items are being exaggerated (at least a bit). Also I always found the view of "you need +5 weapon/armor" to be a weird DPR concept that at points Paizo devs and some GMs reinforced. (The whole let's increase monster power to challenge players.)

Spoiler:
The level 20 fighter almost certainly did not pick unarmed for weapon training focus, etc, so has +26 (maybe +27 if starting above 18 Strength) to hit with the punch. Mithral full plate and Dex item, plus ioun stone, put us at 45 at least from the core alone, possibly 47 if we have a tower shield). And that also means no Power Attack, though with such low HP on his foe, level 20 doesn't need it. The level 1 fighter loses anyway; the HP is just too much to overcome. Level 10 fighter? Wins for sure.

Thank you for responding, makes a bit more sense now. After seeing how lv1 character with max AC might be annoying, the lv 10 fighter would definitely pose a severe challenge and has a high chance to win.

(Also this is why investing in Called is generally a good thing)

Anyways, thanks again for responding and sorry for taking up some of your time.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:

My problem with automatic bonus progression was mostly that it actually broke the APs and bestiary monsters at high levels :p

RotR for example doesn't expect that everyone at level 17 has +5 resistance cloak +5 deflection and +6 to all stats <_<; Enemy dcs were too low for pcs to not automatically succeed and other shenanigans.

I agree, especially for the earlier APs; there has been substantial power creep over the life of the edition (just compare Bestiary 1 with Bestiary 6). But even in the later APs (I am running Azlant now) it is easy to get PCs whose numbers just don't work with the book DCs.

We made a custom automatic bonus progression, loosely based on the one in Iron Heroes, and I have been very happy with it. The one thing we did not include was weapon bonuses. My jury is still out on whether we'd add that in a revision. But we give modest amounts of deflection AC, natural AC, some stat bonuses, and save bonuses, spread out across the levels starting at around level 4. And correspondingly we remove rings of protection, stat backing items, etc. from the game. (I missed stat-backing ioun stones, and I regret it.)

My only beef is that Big Six items are a substantial fraction of all treasure in the AP modules, and coming up with substitutions on the fly makes my brain hurt. I resort to cash pretty often, which doesn't seem quite right, but it's easier. I also use a GMing shortcut where I generally do not give pre-generated NPCs the automatic progresson bonuses, but I do allow them to keep any bonus they got from stat backers, rings of protection, etc. even though I delete the items themselves (substituting something else, or cash). This works okay and saves a ton of effort.


Vlorax wrote:
Fennris wrote:


First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Are you sure you understand because his example of PF2 was exactly an example of a characters ability trumping their items...

Yes I understand, but I don’t see that example that way. I see that without my weapon I’m doing 75% less damage. Then a character 1/2 my level has a reasonable chance to kill me.

I don’t want to derail this any further than it has so we can agree to disagree.


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Fennris wrote:
Vlorax wrote:
Fennris wrote:


First, thank you for adding to the conversation. A DEVs input is always appreciated. I do understand what you are saying. Its just a design choice that I really don’t like. I like to feel that my characters ability is due to his competence not my equipment.

Are you sure you understand because his example of PF2 was exactly an example of a characters ability trumping their items...

Yes I understand, but I don’t see that example that way. I see that without my weapon I’m doing 75% less damage. Then a character 1/2 my level has a reasonable chance to kill me.

I don’t want to derail this any further than it has so we can agree to disagree.

I don't think the math bears that out though, which isn't a matter of opinion. A 20th level with his belt on probably packs a +38 for athletics for example. A 10th level fighter only has a maximum of a 31 for their fortitude DC. That means the 20th level guy can reliably restrain the dude coming after him and then take his sweet time with the ground and pound. Similarly, he could also disarm the guy and murder him with his own blade. And that's if he doesn't just scare the dude to death with a word.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
At least I can't find page on hero point in core rulebook saying they reset each session(there doesn't seem to be cap either since you lose all of them anyway if you stabilize with them)

Maximum three and they do go away:

CRB page 467 wrote:
You can have a maximum of 3 Hero Points at a time, and you lose any remaining Hero Points at the end of a session

Dark Archive

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SteelGuts wrote:

Hey guys, a year back I did this post in the Playtest section: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2vbha&page=1?My-opinion-as-a-15-years-game r-after-around

It was a long feedback on the first iteration of the Playtest, and I did not try again before the game real launch. But my post had some sucess from other playtesters, and I know from Mona answer that my feedback reached Paizo.

So as we just finished this weekend Plaguestone, and we are heading next week in the AP, I just felt that it was faire and square of me to post my opinion on the game. I was not really convinced at the begining of the Playtest, and now that the game is out, I thought my experience could convince some people who shared my worries back then to try the game, and it would also be a good place for everyone to share their thoughts on the game.

Of course all this is only the thoughts of our group, and I invit all of you to participate, as long as you can stay civil and polite with each other.

So, Pathfinder 2, after Plaguestone, from an experienced gamer:

THE CONS:

- We only got a few books for now, and of course we can't compare the huge diversity of builds that PF1 allows with Pathfinder 2 for the moment. Which means that if you are looking to do a brawler with a mechanical leg, a Psychic with a monstruous race, or an Oozemorph, the game might not be for you... yet.

- You can't be the BEST of the BEST in ONE thing like you could in PF1. You can't overcharge your Hold Personn DC, you can not Grappple all the creatures as easily that if you built for it in PF1, you can't use natural attacks shenanigans for more sneak attacks, etc... You do what you do, and you can't improve it as much as in first edition.

- As the game is just out, from the build diversity to the short life of the game, some builds are not avaible, or broken due to the lack of an errata. Mutagenist for example, Unarmed proficiencies, bulk... These things WILL get fixed, but it will take some time.

- In a lot of ways, adventurers do less things at...

I agree, for the most part, with your pros/cons assessment, but I respectfully disagree with your conclusion; there is too much value lost in the cons list, and it considerably outweighs the value gained in the pros list. (Further, I'd put some items in your pros list into the cons list.)

I'd go into detail, but that isn't the point of this thread. I only wanted to voice a dissenting opinion -- a reminder, perhaps, that there are a number of us who believe second edition has oversimplified Pathfinder into something akin to 4e/5e.

But again, I dissent respectfully. It's awesome that y'all enjoy this iteration of Pathfinder as much as you do, and I hope the dice roll more often in your favor than not.

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