Is continuity between editions, in regards to how mechanics and lore interact, important to you?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Eh, Nethys is erratic, so He changed stuff. Heck, magic users were getting pretty lazy (when is the last time a wizard created a new spell?), so weakening magic is a good way to spur innovation.

Also, it is remarkable how little anything martial is mentioned in this thread.

Shadow Lodge

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Well, it's not like fighters take notes of how they used to swing their sword...


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Mechagamera wrote:

Eh, Nethys is erratic, so He changed stuff. Heck, magic users were getting pretty lazy (when is the last time a wizard created a new spell?), so weakening magic is a good way to spur innovation.

Also, it is remarkable how little anything martial is mentioned in this thread.

Martials can still kill things and defend their interests. This hasn't changed. How they did that matters very little if at all. There's no real difference, conceptually, to the characters in the fantasy world if the fighter killed the dragon with power attack, a max damage roll, or a crit. All they perceive is that it was a mighty blow.

Spellcasters, on the other hand, flat out can't do things they could before. Wizards can no longer unpetrify people with stone to flesh, for example.

My favorite character, the quadriplegic witch Hama, can no longer possess her victims in order to steal their mobility (as well as their freedom). Her entire concept was forced to change or be abandoned.

This doesn't bother me as much as I imagine it bothers others, but I can totally understand their position and feelings. And I will miss Hama being able to do things like possess her mammoth and then altering its shape to that of a humanoid so that she was essentially an old woman with sorcerer spellcasting and the strength of a giant.


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I think a lot depends on how you run games and perceive the world as players.

For example, in games that I run, class abilities and spell names are known things in character. People know that a spell is 'cure light wounds' or 'bladed dash'. People know a gunslinger has grit. Spells are codified in books by their level of power.

In my current setting, spell incantations are subroutine calls to a set of goddesses that interface with the world through complex thaumaturgic computers. I've written up a little bit of language for the computers and incantations.

Class abilities changing or disappearing if you run a world like this is of significant note if you have an ongoing campaign. People would understand that teleportation, once freely available to all mages who trained enough, was suddenly restricted. Weapons that used to work one way suddenly function completely differently. Magic items and spells that used to work together in harmony suddenly no longer function the same way, and now the strongest one overrides the others.

I like characters in game having that level of "meta" knowledge. It makes sense to me that they would understand how their world works. It also means that an edition change is virtually impossible unless I write a whole new setting, or majorly time shift the one I have.

Grand Lodge

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I'm one step removed. Characters know of spell circles rather than levels. Paladins are known to smite their foes, but characters don't know if that's Smite Evil, Channel Smite, or something else. They know the difference between Power Attack and Combat Expertise but wouldn't be able to say if someone was using Arcane Strike or an Arcane Pool. So it's pretty easy to shift mechanics behind the scenes without an effect on the world itself.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Book 1? Definitely not. If it was a later part of the path I don't remember it.

There's two instances of that then. In Book 1, the two guys in charge of the ship send you with water barrels to the island to refill them, and if you bring up create water, they scoff because they don't trust magic water. That's also the location where most likely Sandara Quinn, the NPC cleric (and water caster if the PCs don't do it) and ally of the heroes was taken by Grindylowes.

In Book 2, you take your ship inland for...reasons and get stuck by a Chelish Warship and you have to sabotage it and sneak by. It could be for water or it could be for raiding riverside villages or whatever. I don't remember the reason, only the encounter.

Grand Lodge

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Oh right, that one. I'm subbing Plunder and Peril in for Book 2. Much better.


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Ok, for me they do have some importance. I frequently take the opinion that the rules 'reflect' the metaphysical rules of the physics of the fantasy world in general. People are literally harder to kill as they advance in levels and get more HP. They physical laws of our universe are less important the way things are going to work in that fantasy universe that the closest thing we have to describe much of this is the rule-set being used. We are using the rules to cooperatively build/tell a story. The story is the primary product in this respect from the standpoint of the fantasy universe. The primary, and more important real world product, should be the fun had by the players.

In an edition change, rules will change. And in some cases it may invalidate details in a story, that creates a tension. However, history is written by the victors. Details are not always cannon in any stories, so I personally have a good deal of latitude to consider changes a difference of perspective, taking and considering the past story as just that, a story, makes the importance of specific details less of a problem. However, bigger changes could add up to things that would annoy me.

When a new book comes out in the same edition, things 'change' but you don't normally consider it world shattering. When the Witches class came out, you didn't suddenly have Witches that never had existed. [so in reality it was a minor retcon] because, but until then, witches were normally represented by existing spellcasing classes, probably a wizard or sorcerer, with an added flavor and/or an appropriate feat or two. Gunslingers didn't, not-exist prior to their introduction in the rules. It was just that the statistical cross-section of existing stories had not encountered them, or had not represented them as instances of that class.

For me, the change in wands, I generally like the new wands, as I really liked daily items in first edition. I however, feel like the change is major enough that all the stories that exist that have magic missile wands that were used multiple times in a combat, and mostly empty wands that are handed off to adventurers to help them out, create enough of a disconnect, story wise that I'm inclined to try to explain it. [Rare, technically less economically efficient, variant of wands exists with a max total number of charges, that exists but won't be found much. Stories with them, are a statistical anomaly, potentially remembered in part because of how uncommon such a wand is. Alternately, to deal with the stories of adventurers finding wands that could only be used a few times, I came up with fragile wands, as a byproduct of someone failing at creating a 'normal' wand, or an alternate state from a wand getting burnt out from overcharging the wand. Not so much because I dislike the new wand rules, but to help make transition stories make more sense, and enable a more than one charge consumable tier of magic item treasure a GM can hand out.

Temperans wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Order of the Stick is great. I liked how candid they were with the edition change, but it was 3 to 3.5 so it wasn't much difference.

Well technically, the clerics may not have lost their abilities, they may have stayed clerics.

The impact of a deity no longer allowing clerics of a certain alignment can be fixed in several ways for specific individuals. Perhaps the simplest could be that the alignment of the priest can change. The former CG cleric (by P1 standards) of Gorum may be (by P2 standards) categorized as CN instead of CG. They may (using what I believe was an AD&D term, had 'tendencies' towards good for specific aspects of their personality, but they would fall into the CN bucket now in P2 instead of CG. Alternately, someone else mentioned, they may not have been a cleric, and instead were a divine sorcerer. And perhaps there is a 'feat' they could have had that allows a divine sorcerer to utilize spells specifying the deity they 'worship' apply to the deity with which they are tied, rather than worshiped, as long as they don't have an opposing alignment.

As for Rarity items for existing cannon characters, almost obviously would presumably have met their rarity requirements, for some reason for iconic abilities they had acquired. Rarity will only block a pre-existing character's options, if the GM doesn't want the option to exist for the character. If they don't want it to exist, they have a reason.

Honestly, although it was jarring, I didn't have a big issue with DnD when they had their first earth-shattering way of the way things worked, changing. Although jarring, it also worked for the setting in the end. Having it happen again, that felt a bit problematic for me, but I can't say for sure exactly how much was that or potentially other aspects I might have potentially spilled over to my judgment of it?

I think the reality of it is that some people may use continuity as a reason to not like a change to rules they have some reason to not like. Those people may say continuity is a problem, even if they are starting a fresh game with no backstory. They are set in their ways, so the change will be a problem for them.

Others may be starting a new game from scratch with new characters, even maybe in a new stetting, but continuity doesn't really matter since it is a fresh story, that won't interact with the prior stories any way, so it wouldn't matter.

Some are going to have a new story, but which is a direct sequel to an established story. It may be starting fresh with new characters, but they may be expecting to interact with aspects of the past, and if something feels like it _can't_ exist in the new rules, but was pivotal in the old story, this could create a speed bump in telling the story that could be problematic.

Alternately, you could have people who are in the middle of a story, and whomever makes the call, decides to jump versions. In these cases, past stories may be even more first-person accounts of the past, which can make the loss of an ability that 'felt' iconic or central to a character, being removed because it doesn't exist in the new version, or cut in power due to the changes of the edition, or having been lost due to it becoming something you had to pick, rather than something you got by default. All of these changes can make a story changing in mid telling very problematic. Since the past story that was cooperatively made, feels like a first-person story to them. Changes to details seem much harder to reconcile if they have a personal attachment.

Honestly, I think acknowledging that, especially when doing one of the last two situations, that a change in the story is a change in the story, would do wonders for people who 'DO' feel a tremor from the continuity change. Saying that wands NEVER had 50 charges, when in the last adventure, your character had one that they got brand new, and were down to 20 charges, and had typically used 3-5 charges per encounter when they had used it is simply disrespectful. On the other hand, stamping your feet saying, I wanted wands to have 50 charges, and not being willing to compromise is a little disrespectful of the developers, who worked on trying to come up with a workable new system. I think the key is compromise. Being able to say, yes, wands with multiple charges can and do exist, but are uncommon. It was a statistical anomaly that the two you bought and used multiple times in encounters were available. Or if you had crafted them yourself in the past, you were lucky enough to have had access to a rare material component necessary for their manufacture. It doesn't seem available at the moment. [or simply, yes, you may make a wand of 50 castings of magic missile. It whoever costs, and behaves in all mechanical ways as a scroll of magic missile now.]

Keep an open mind, and remember that EVEN first person stories are remembered in ways that 'make sense' to the person remembering it, so details aren't always and don't always have to be completely accurate. How many simple things can you do to make anything that seems important enough to cause someone a problem, that it can be fixed by a simple acknowledgement. That acknowledgement might even give you a nice additional flavor to your game and story. Think of it as a contribution, not a problem. The solution isn't always undo a change in the rules, sometimes it is recognizing something else needs to change a small bit.

Anyway, most people I know have some home-brew rules that they handle a little different anyway, so I would think most people, if they have had the opportunity to play with multiple sets of people, would already have the experience of how group-storytelling involves some give and take to make stories integrate. [I do recognize some players may only have played PFS like games, or only with a limited single group so far, so those might not have had to deal with this as specifically yet]

K1 wrote:

I see no problem in converting a homebrew world.

If we consider a party of 4 players in a world of xx milions of people, the fact that one of the main characters could have or not a shield doesn't change your world at all.

Same goes for wands.
If you use first aid instead of low cost wands with 50 charges, all will remain the same.

All of this stuff doesn't really change a thing. If you had talked about adding space robots, then you would have had issues.

Hmmm... they didn't add space robots, since the space robots were already there before second edition.


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Temperans wrote:

Btw I think the Starfinder solution to edition change is great. They acknowledge that something happen to Golarion, and that it's been a long time since the event happened (potentially millions of years for some areas).

So they can/could change mechanics freely and not be bound by "This is how things work on Golarion"; while still being able to use the setting and lore freely.

I agree, it was a perfectly simple way of using established lore and be able to spin off a new game. And being science fiction, it is completely understandable that even if some GM creates an adventure which the players managed to destroy some great evil that was going to be responsible for the GAP, it wouldn't have to impact that GM's Starfinder setting, because, it might of course just been a parallel universe. I think it was an elegant solution, even though it is Drastic, it gives a great Science Fantasy flavor to the universe that is fitting and a decent backdrop to build on.

gwynfrid wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
The example of the Goodberry spell is clear: A low level druid used to be able to feed a large family in times of famine, this is no longer possible.

Uh...yes it is. A 3rd level Druid can get 16 meals in a day with Goodberry by spending about 9 hours. They can probably get up to an easy 27 if that's all they do all day.

The mechanism and how much time/resources it takes certainly differ, but feeding people via goodberry (the important bit in-universe) remains very doable.

OK, but then the druid has to be level 3 for this. More importantly, they can't travel at the same pace as other characters. Bit of a problem if the idea is for the group to cross a desert. OK, maybe they wouldn't find fresh berries in the desert anyway, so this is possibly a moot point. Still, the story definitely changes.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
gwynfrid wrote:
Another example is Wild Shape: The druid used to be able to change into an eagle for hours, and so explore a large expanse of land from the air with ease. This is now out of the question. It doesn't take lab notes to notice these things, they're obvious.

Actually, this is still completely doable. It does require being a much higher level Druid at the moment (11th level, to be specific), but it remains an option for Druids in-universe. Specifically, Form Control allows you to Wild Shape for an hour, and effectively stay in that form pretty much indefinitely (or, at the very least, only need to come out of it for a few seconds every hour), and can use Pest Form to have a Fly Speed while doing so. Soaring Shape also helps with this, improving the fly speed dramatically.

Now, that's certainly much higher level, but how often in the world lore (as opposed to 'how often do PCs do this') have we heard about low level Druids doing this?

I'm not actually thinking of a single example of a low level Druid doing this in any Golarion content.

Well, there's an important NPC ally of my group in...

Well at the end there, you have the right idea, it sounds like you are narrowing down what things impact you down to the things that are changes that really cause a problem with the story that has been told that they have had direct contact with. And rather than just saying you can't change that, it affects 'this'. You are thinking about how you can give them something that makes it no longer an issue.

gwynfrid wrote:
Temperans wrote:

Btw I always found it weird that:

** spoiler omitted **

Not saying it's bad, just kind of weird human behavior.

Well, this is a specific solution to this specific issue with the transition to PF2 in the context of my game. I don't need to see it in a splatbook, nor do I need to make it available to my players in this or another campaign. Not only that, but PF2 even provides a nifty rule that makes it 100% legit: I can label it as rare.

And there you have it... I agree with this absolutely. You make a feat, ritual, or other option, and make it rare. Make it something they may not be able to teach, and you give it to the NPC, allowing them to continue doing something that is iconic for them. Wow, that is longer than most druids seem to be able to do it. The answer is, yeah, but its easier for me for some reason.

Meta-reasoning... yes the feat exists simply to avoid making what seems like a complicated retcon of established character story so far. That can be justification enough for the game. And just because an old NPC got to have the feat/ritual doesn't mean it needs to be available to a new PC. [although if the GM decides to allow it, that is their call]


TOZ wrote:
Well, it's not like fighters take notes of how they used to swing their sword...

Is that the nice way of saying it doesn't really matter what happens to martials?

Grand Lodge

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No, it was a joke riffing on the wizard's notes. I absolutely believe there are fighters that track their swings like a body builder counting weekly reps.


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I was actually really excited to revamp my homebrew world when we switched over, the pathfinder ruleset will do much btter than 5e for capturing my world.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

I think a lot depends on how you run games and perceive the world as players.

For example, in games that I run, class abilities and spell names are known things in character. People know that a spell is 'cure light wounds' or 'bladed dash'. People know a gunslinger has grit. Spells are codified in books by their level of power.

In my current setting, spell incantations are subroutine calls to a set of goddesses that interface with the world through complex thaumaturgic computers. I've written up a little bit of language for the computers and incantations.

Class abilities changing or disappearing if you run a world like this is of significant note if you have an ongoing campaign. People would understand that teleportation, once freely available to all mages who trained enough, was suddenly restricted. Weapons that used to work one way suddenly function completely differently. Magic items and spells that used to work together in harmony suddenly no longer function the same way, and now the strongest one overrides the others.

I like characters in game having that level of "meta" knowledge. It makes sense to me that they would understand how their world works. It also means that an edition change is virtually impossible unless I write a whole new setting, or majorly time shift the one I have.

Did you have the same aversion to incorporating errata that was issued for PF1? Or using material from a book like PFUnchained?

Out of curiosity, if gunslingers know they have quantifiable grit and so on, do characters know the names of their feats? Is it in character for them to think or say “Ah yes, I got toughness last level, so I’ve gained lots of hit points”?

I’m curious where the line is for your group (presumably there is one). Do the PCs know what CR means? If they know about and use the term level is the same true of experience points?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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Gorbacz wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I'm not bothered by stuff like "this spell now takes 10 minute longer to cast" or such, but I'm little bothered by big visual design changes like "gelugons are now quadruped". Mostly because old design was super cool to me, but also because it means retroactively all gelugon npcs in 1e aps actually were quadruped instead of bipeds.

Nobody will admit to that publicly, but my lawyer-sense tells me that somebody in the business got a letter from WotC saying "look, we know OGL and blah blah, but if you keep making things that look the same as our things and keep aggressively building your business around IP, we'll sue. Sure, we might lose. But you won't survive financially long enough to see it. So, let's meet and see how we can work this out, preferably with you drifting a bit away from our IP."

Between that and Paizo wanting to actually use the stuff beyond pen and paper RPGs where it's safe under OGL, I would rather prepare for more disappointments along these lines.

We've never had any such contact from WotC. It's just that after more than a decade of developing our setting, it has a feel that is more distinct from D&D than the 1E Bestiary (for example) might suggest. We've been gradually shifting our own direction for years, but 2E is giving us an opportunity to draw even more distinction where we think it's appropriate.


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I have few issues with this as long as the world still attunes with my Gygaxian sensibilities. :) (Which thanks to Jacobs & Mona, it does.)

That aside, one could look at this issue similar to the way one adapts to having so many AP adventure arcs achieved by so many different parties of PCs. The APs were resolved by whomever Paizo says resolved them...unless you have run the AP and have suitable heroes to replace them. Or until you run the APs, in which case events hadn't even happened yet even if it had been historical before you decided to run it.

So there's sort of a quantum mechanics to it, with light being both a wave & a particle, there's Golarion being both PF1 & PF2 depending on how one measures it. Or one can go with the many-worlds interpretation of having multiple Golarions.

A similar issue comes up in PFS, where hordes of PCs play out all the same scenarios, often running into other PCs they don't recall being there or who carry the same unique item one found on their adventure. How many times has the Pseudodragon Riddywhimple (right?) met himself due to multiple PCs picking him up as a familiar?
(I heard of one session that had 3, and being the eccentric chatter he is, it made for a nutty session.)

And when a poster asserted that there must be 10,000+ adventurers in Golarion's Pathfinder Society (due to real world PFS membership) one of the Paizo staff pointed out that's untrue, giving a smaller estimate (which I forget). Essentially all these 10,000+ PCs (though more like 500,000+ nowadays, right?) both do & don't adventure together, know/don't know each other, and so forth. All of the convoluted combinations of events occurred and haven't, yet might. It's as needed to reflect the current batch of PCs running today's storyline. So Grandmaster Torch might assign a task to somebody who killed him, etc., etc.

Golarion has always been PF1, and will continue to be, just as it will continue on as PF2, as it always has done. (Not to mention that it started as 3.x!)

Cheers


Vic Wertz wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I'm not bothered by stuff like "this spell now takes 10 minute longer to cast" or such, but I'm little bothered by big visual design changes like "gelugons are now quadruped". Mostly because old design was super cool to me, but also because it means retroactively all gelugon npcs in 1e aps actually were quadruped instead of bipeds.

Nobody will admit to that publicly, but my lawyer-sense tells me that somebody in the business got a letter from WotC saying "look, we know OGL and blah blah, but if you keep making things that look the same as our things and keep aggressively building your business around IP, we'll sue. Sure, we might lose. But you won't survive financially long enough to see it. So, let's meet and see how we can work this out, preferably with you drifting a bit away from our IP."

Between that and Paizo wanting to actually use the stuff beyond pen and paper RPGs where it's safe under OGL, I would rather prepare for more disappointments along these lines.

We've never has any such contact from WotC. It's just that after more than a decade of developing our setting, it has a feel that is more distinct from D&D than the 1E Bestiary (for example) might suggest. We've been gradually shifting our own direction for years, but 2E is giving us an opportunity to draw even more distinction where we think it's appropriate.

I think adding legs to the insect-like Gelugon made sense. I don't like all of the changes, but I comprehend the purposes behind them. So they're fine with me, as long as scrawny, scraggly Bugbears are exceptions and not the norm!


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Look, compared to the seismic upheaval from the AD&D 2E rules I started on (with some AD&D 1E mixed in in the form of old campaign setting books) to 3E (Level caps are gone! Dwarves can be wizards! In fact, no matter what your genetic makeup, you can be a member of any character class! Sorcerers are now a thing! Bards no longer have the option of just loading up on the arcane spells of their choice! Specialty priests are just plain GONE! Rangers no longer have to be Good-aligned! Druids can be alignments other than True Neutral! Prestige Classes are now a thing! Halflings are now slim, shod, and conventionally sexy! AND SO MUCH MORE!) this is fairly tiny adjustment.

But, knowing how strong my own terrified nerdrage was back in 2000, I can merely offer my sympathies to those who have difficulties here.


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Cole Deschain wrote:
But, knowing how strong my own terrified nerdrage was back in 2000, I can merely offer my sympathies to those who have difficulties here.

This is my view too. I can totally understand people being upset (my group swore off D&D when 2E came out and the differences there were negligible).

Arguing over the magnitude of the changes seems silly to me. We each have our own line as to what bothers us in shifting from one ruleset to another - it's not going to be the same for everyone and it's pretty hard to challenge anyone on where they draw their own line without coming off as a bit of a douche, in my opinion.


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Don't get me started on 2000. They took an ideal gaming system and turned it into a dumbed down casual thing for video game kids with short attention spans. Selecting "feats" and assigning "skill ranks"? That's something out of Final Fantasy. Base Attack Bonus? Well if you can't handle THAC0 kid, your parents should have a word with your math teacher. Crafting magic items? Hah, congrats, you teenagers wrote so many letters to TSR complaining that your Dungeons Master doesn't hand you out candy that it worked.

Sadly, millions of true gamers were abandoned and betrayed by this. Luckily I had enough AD&D to last me a lifetime and I could just sit back and watch as this whole edition change thing blew up in publisher's face and they came back crawling to producing AD&D few years laters.


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Nerdrage Ooze wrote:

Don't get me started on 2000. They took an ideal gaming system and turned it into a dumbed down casual thing for video game kids with short attention spans. Selecting "feats" and assigning "skill ranks"? That's something out of Final Fantasy. Base Attack Bonus? Well if you can't handle THAC0 kid, your parents should have a word with your math teacher. Crafting magic items? Hah, congrats, you teenagers wrote so many letters to TSR complaining that your Dungeons Master doesn't hand you out candy that it worked.

Sadly, millions of true gamers were abandoned and betrayed by this. Luckily I had enough AD&D to last me a lifetime and I could just sit back and watch as this whole edition change thing blew up in publisher's face and they came back crawling to producing AD&D few years laters.

*has aneurysm while simultaneously gaining super powers* That... was... tooo far.....


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Vlorax wrote:
Corrik wrote:
K1 wrote:

I see no problem in converting a homebrew world.

If we consider a party of 4 players in a world of xx milions of people, the fact that one of the main characters could have or not a shield doesn't change your world at all.

Same goes for wands.
If you use first aid instead of low cost wands with 50 charges, all will remain the same.

All of this stuff doesn't really change a thing. If you had talked about adding space robots, then you would have had issues.

Yes, but the issue isn't whether a party as access to XYZ amount of healing. The issue is that wands used to be sticks with a set 50 charges and are now once per day items(plus a limited overcharge) that last forever. This is a directly observable and measurable in universe change that has no explanation.

Doesn't that only matter if you're converting an existing PF1 game over to PF2 or play every game in the same exact world as the last?

With my table when we start a new campaign we don't really consider anything that happened in the previous one. We're playing Age of Ashes now so what we did in the random PF1 games we played before has no bearing.

If I had been playing a PF1 game when the switch hit, I'd have advocated doing exactly this. Because it would bug me that my specific character couldn't do exactly what they could do in PF1 (an unreasonable expectation with an edition switch, but here we are), enough to detract from my enjoyment. But the solution to that is to just make a successor character, and I am back to being happy.

The changes to the world wouldn't bother me a bit. I actually embrace the changes. While it bothers me that my old character can't do what he did before, but I eagerly look forward to the stories my NEW character is able to tell.

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