Tell me about your experiences with Second Edition so far?

Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Hello, I've been a fan of Paizo for a while now and I bought the Core Rulebook for Second Edition almost exactly when it first came out, but I didn't have the time to play in a game for it and definitely didn't have the time to GM one. However now I have a little more time on my hands.

What I'm curious to hear, and I apologize if this isn't the right place for this topic, is anyone's experience with the game as a player or a GM. What have you liked about it, what have you not liked about it, what houserules do you use, and do you have any advice for potential new players or GMs?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and thank you for in advance if you post anything.

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As a GM, it is incredibly easy to run. Encounter building makes sense and the difficulty of an encounter is accurate. Making monsters is easy. The thing I've had the most trouble keeping track of is treasure by level, but I'll get around to get. Monsters are also very easy to run, the three action system ensures that monsters have interesting things to do but don't have a million things they can do at once.

I also find combat goes by quickly and smoothly. Since everyone just has three actions, I never have to ask if someone is done with their turn, which saves a surprising amount of time.

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The game is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. When I first came into the playtest I was a bit disappointed with the rules set. But as patches came out and we got a bit closer to release time, we were having fun with custom items and such.

Some parts are lackluster (like offensive spellcasting), but some of the small tweaks (more in-table clarifications than anything) and additional auxiliary rules (critical success/failure cards for starters) make for awesome roleplay and a little more dynamic combat without being absolutely devastating. (Though it can be if you want it to!)

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I look forward to playing it as they roll out more material. But my immediate take-away is that it is basically a really interesting framework and won't feel (to me anyway) complete until the equivalent of the advanced race and player guides come out.

Right now, it seems a little thin. Not a lot thin, just not quite enough customization options to get my players to want to run it at present, aside from some short forays into the new rules. In the end, if we didn't like the customization options of PF, we'd play 5E. Even core rules aren't 5E but they are far less than mature 1E :)

So, we're starting another PF 1E campaign and will see how it looks when that ends. Of course, I've been devouring the rule book and plan to do a few trial one-shots. If my players are happy enough with what's there now, we may end or convert the earlier game and go to 2E. We'll see.

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I have been GMing Age of Ashes for my partners (3) two have some RPG experience and one is basically brand new. I have not GMed in many years.

We all find the system sleek and easy to play. None of them had issues creating their characters, of deciding what feats to take on level up. (They are just level 2) there was some confusion between skill feats and skill increases, but that was minor.

We are enjoying having the medecine skill as none of them are casters.

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It's really easy to GM, I really like how easy is to improvise on the spot like monsters, encounters and even rules.

The encounters are specially fun, the difference of how my players started playing and how they play now is astounding, in one battle the Wizard managed to land Slow in the boss and the priority of the martials in the front was to trip it to keep it in even more disadvantage in the action economy to minimize the party damage taken and trigger AoO of the Fighter.

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Our party is in Book 2 of Age of Ashes and it has been a blast. The fights have been quite nice and the system wasn't a big change for us because we were using the alternate action economy since our last two campaigns, Skull and Shackles and a homebrew sandbox campaign that started on Absalom (I still miss my Urban Barbarian so much), so having a new system that has a more elegant math along with feats and abilities that were thought out with the 3-action and the math in mind has been pretty cool as well.

Another interesting thing is the character building itself, every level you get to choose something interesting, specially when you need to choose class feats, the only exception has been the alchemist which is clearly doesn't have the same amount of fun options to do (In fact, our GM accepted our outrage when we learned that powerful alchemy substituted the base splash with Int., that was just beyond absurdly dumb so our GM allowed it to be base+Int splash damage and surprise, surprise? The game didn't broke).

Overall things have been great and aside from some very odd and constrictive design choices paizo has made, playing PF2e has been a good experience. Getting cool items also help a lot, we received the combo of Cloak of Elvenkind+Boots of Elvenking and my Monk is very happy with that, the doubling ring also is an amazing item that our two-weapon Ranger is using quite well. Sadly, even though the ALchemist was the new kid in the block, the books so far have been completely lackluster regarding alchemist-focused items, only generic stuff, but no formulas or new alchemical items.

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm an almost pure homebrew gm (I started with plaguestone just to get a couple of sessions of real play before homebrewing) and pf2 has been my best experience for that so far. When my group went off the rails and it became clear the idea of a chemical beasties intrigued them it took less than 30 minutes to develop really interesting enemies with different play styles within that theme.

The player balance side is also really nice, I haven't felt like I've needed to be a heavy guiding hand in making sure all characters are playing the same game. Here are the books, have fun, has been liberating for me and them.

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As a GM, I've found exactly as many others playing PF1 APs have mentioned--the work of converting (and in many cases, creating new monsters wholecloth) and prepping an AP rather easier, or at least no more difficult, than just prepping the AP was in PF1. So many things about the mechanics are just so much clearer what change will cause what effect. I've made a few mistakes in conversion (Werewolf Champion is a perfect storm of exactly what the monster builder warns you not to do, especially if your party forgot to buy more silversheen at the last town) but even when something goes wrong usually it's obvious in hindsight where it went wrong.

Speaking as somebody who loved Pathfinder 1e, 2e couldn't have come out at a better time. As much as I loved it, 1e was showing its age and most of my friends were telling me very good things of this shiny new D&D 5e model that was so much sleeker than the one I was using, and I had to admit I did see the appeal of the simplicity, but I had problems with the lack of depth it seemed to show. No sooner that than I learn that 2e is announced and I eagerly followed every update. Most of my players were very pleased. I'm afraid one of my players specifically has hang-ups about various monster abilities which happen 'for free' (read, cost an action but take no roll, like grab or push) even though I have explained how the action cost of using these abilities more than makes up for it.

The harshest complaints about the system so far seem to be that certain movements cost a whole action and there's no free movement between actions (particular pain point recently being needing to spend one action to move up to a wall and then another to climb it) which I am considering houseruling a little flexibility into (i.e. the likes of 'if you want to use a form of movement that requires you to be somewhere specific, such as climbing, and you're within 5' of that place, you can cover that distance for free/part of the movement) and that on some levels there are not enough interesting class feats (which, you know, problem solved as they game approaches its first full year of release).

I feel like I'm not yet where I was with 1e in terms of being confident about making a ruling off the top of my head when the mechanics don't explicitly cover a situation, but I am swiftly approaching that point after only a year (began my current game during the playtest) of play, and I find myself much less likely to run in search of a 'how is this intended to work in play' when encountering a skill or unusual ability.

I'm running two PF1 APs using PF2 rules. It's not hard at all to run as a GM. The players love it. They feel challenged. It's dangerous. It's gritty.

I don't have tons of house rules. But one I do have is for the bless spell. As written, no one ever took it. The whole 5 foot aura, then increase by 5 feet every round with concentration...
So I just house ruled it's a targeted effect with a 50 foot range. Lasts 1 minute. Give the party their +1 bonus and move on with the combat. You can only get a few bonuses anyway. So this doesn't change anything except to make the cleric happier.

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Running "The Fall of Plaguestone" as a first time GM and I'm having a really good time. Hope to transition to the AP's next!

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Been really great so far. I've introduced six players to P2e, three of whom have never played a TTRPG before. The entirely new players picked up P2e extremely quickly.

One thing I've appreciated is how most things logically fit together once you explain the ground rules. No more feeling like I'm in a sitcom montage saying things like "Well so you can take a standard action and a move action but if you take two move actions you can't take a standard but you always have a swift action but only one swift action and all of this is on top of a free five-foot step..."

Puna'chong Sr. and I also just ran another group (younger members of the Puna'chong clan) through a PFS module yesterday over Roll20 and it was super easy for him to pick up the rules and run with them. And I enjoyed playing my cleric of Irori; very fun.

So far so good!

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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Let me put it this way: a single decent sized combat encounter could take our group as much as six hours in 1st edition. That's a whole session!

Now, in 2nd edition, we can get through as many as eight similarly sized encounters in the same span of time. And every one of them is more harrowing and memorable too.

Volvos can be nice, but it's hard to look back once you've driven a Ferrari.

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The game feels really good to play. Between the new action economy and changes in monster design fights feel a lot more interesting than they did in PF1.

A few players have had trouble with exploration mode but we've found it works okay as long as you run it kind of fast and loose.

If there was one major complaint from me, it's that sometimes more esoteric build ideas have trouble coming together, feats can feel like a bottleneck if you want to accomplish more than a couple things with your character and there are some places where the rules will make it very onerous or sometimes impossible to enable certain things, often without feeling like there's a real mechanical reason to make those things hard.

My only problem is that besides GMing the PF2e game, I play in a Pathfinder game, a D&D 3.5 game, an occasional Star Wars (Saga Edition) game, an occasional DC Adventures game, and I watch Critical Role, so I 'know' 5E rules! My brain can't hold all these different systems!

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A LOT better than the Play test for my groups and I

At the moment I am GMing groups for

1. Main group / Plaguestone run & finished, then now on Age of Ashes, 5 sessions in Hellknight Hill

2. 2nd group / Plaguestone but TPKed to Blood Ooze sadly, then onto Age of Ashes, 9 sessions in

3. 3rd group / PF I Rise of the Runelords Ann Ed, on Module 1 done and 7 sessions into Mod 2

4. 4th group / Starfinder Attack of the Swarm 5 sessions in


1. Age of Ashes module 1 complete and 2 sessions into Mod 2

I'd agree with the above poster that rules are a bit harder as 3 systems are on my mind, LOL But a good experience all around as a GM and player of PF 2nd Ed so far. Still getting the hang of the reduced skills and running the new monsters with their new stuff going on, getting the conditions that effect players and monsters still spotty for me and the players, and lack of spells (specific ones) and equipment seem to be the main gripe I get from my players, and waiting for the APG to come out from all of us Ha Ha.

Once RotRL is done probably not going to run any more PF 1 stuff but hope more PF I AP's get converted, and hope Roll20 gets its act together and really start supporting the new system, as in getting an actual AP out, there could be 4 by the time we at Roll20 see anything by then :(



Scarab Sages

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I'll say what I always say: the core gameplay loop is very fun. So fun that some things that really bother me were missed. I hate how often they didn't write a rule and just said "ask your GM" and I hate how item pricing is still quadratic, and how consumables are horrifically overpriced. I hate how persistent damage was written. But I'll still show up for every PFS2 game we run around here, because for 3/4 of the game I'm having a pretty good time (unless the scaling in that scenario is awful).

Now that some AR is up for society I can actually make another character that interests me, and I'm excited to give it a go. As we get more options the game will get more intersting, and maybe in the next year or two my 3 characters I wanted to play will all be possible/viable.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've been having a blast running Age of Ashes and I can echo most of the sentiments expressed here - GM workload is massively reduced, things run faster, I can fit four encounters into a four hour session which is insane.

I'm running a 1e game also and man, it's just night and day difference.

MaxAstro wrote:
I've been having a blast running Age of Ashes and I can echo most of the sentiments expressed here - GM workload is massively reduced, things run faster, I can fit four encounters into a four hour session which is insane.

I gotta say this is REALLY good to hear, as I will be starting up Age of Ashes in a few weeks.

I'm a player in a Fall of Plaguestone game and have been loving it. The action economy is so easy to use, and we all feel like we contribute something.

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My group and I are currently playing Age of Ashes and nobody (including the GM) did familiarize themselves with the rules before we actually got the CRB and even while being near the end of the first adventure I'd say we are still not accustomed to the limits and possibilities of the new action economy (current character level is 4 already).

As a result all fights so far have usually been huge bloodbaths (mostly do to usage of old-school tactics aka hit, hit, hit by the GM) that we only do win because we usually manage to outheal our opponents. Casting does not seem fun either as in spamming electric arc (wizard) or using/wasting 2 actions on spells that impose a -1 to some stats for one round on a successful save (cleric). Movement feels wonky sometimes as you can not combine individual movement types, e.g. when you are starting your turn 5 foot in front of a stepladder and need to waste 1 action to cover the distance before you can actually climb using your next action.

Note that we mostly do enjoy our sessions, the above examples are just to illuminate that you (or your GM) probably need at least some experience in order to fully grasp the conceptual changes and new possibilities in PF2.

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Ubertron_X wrote:
Movement feels wonky sometimes as you can not combine individual movement types, e.g. when you are starting your turn 5 foot in front of a stepladder and need to waste 1 action to cover the distance before you can actually climb using your next action.

Eh. I'd let that one slide. As long as you didn't go more than your move speed, who cares if 5 feet of it was overland and 15 feet of it was going up a ladder.

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So begins the stepladder saga.

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Just finished 2nd session of "Age of Ashes Hellknight Hill" with 4 new to TTRPG players. It has been a blast. Players are having a great time and running the game is smooth. They just lvled to 2 and are all very excited to try out all the new things they can do.

We have:
Namaste Human Animal Wisperer Tiger Claw Monk
Rogar Human adopted by Dwarves Two Handed Maul Fighter
Alanon Ancient elf Ranger MCF to Rogue Archer (With Bumble the Bear)
Trig Umbral Gnome Divine Sorcerer (with Flik the Camaleion Familiar)

Everyone is just realising that point and shoot isn't the only answer to many problems and teamwork is starting to get important.

I love how the game offers noncombat solutions to most incounters and even incourages them.

Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Movement feels wonky sometimes as you can not combine individual movement types, e.g. when you are starting your turn 5 foot in front of a stepladder and need to waste 1 action to cover the distance before you can actually climb using your next action.
Eh. I'd let that one slide. As long as you didn't go more than your move speed, who cares if 5 feet of it was overland and 15 feet of it was going up a ladder.

Wait a minute, does the rules force a character to spend one extra action in such a situation? Because this has never happened in our sections whatsoever. It's always been as smooth as always, the only difference is that sometimes you need to roll a climb check depending on the surface you're going through during your ascent.

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Puna'chong wrote:
So begins the stepladder saga.

"We fell, through fire and water. darkness took us, and we strayed out of topic and theme. Rules wheeled overhead, and every debate about movement in the action economy was as long as the life age of the edition"

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Loving it so far. It has rejuvenated by love of RPG's and Paizo in general.

Really enjoying the depth of the new system. I love how easy it is to GM, and how alot of things are given up to the GM to decide, it speeds things up and avoids (unnecessary) rule-lawyering and moves the pace of things along wonderfully.

So far I have GM and played PFS at a handful of conventions and some Online games. The general conscious I am getting is that PFS players and GMs are enjoying the the changes to the system as well.

I have also started running Fall of my Plaguestone, for my family (Including my 11 year old Nephew, and late 60s year old father, both of which of have never played RPGS) and everyone has picked up the game quickly and having a blast.

I plan on running Age of Ashes online soon, and booked my first ticket for Paizocon.

Loving all the content that has come out so far, the Lost Omen line has been incredible, and the adventures through the APs, and PFS have been varied and interesting. Can't wait for the GameMastery guide and all the awesome stuff in the pipeline :)

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Timeshadow wrote:
Just finished 2nd session of "Age of Ashes Hellknight Hill" with 4 new to TTRPG players. It has been a blast.

Actually... I think it is in fact easier to pick up PF2 if you have never played anything like it before...

Old knowledge and tactics seem to weigh you down a good amount...

Puna'chong wrote:
So begins the stepladder saga.

We actually had this issue with a certain fight in AoA and what have been a good and exciting fight turned into a static ranged shoot-out because of the realisation on both sides that any major movement would result in major action and damage loss.

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've been loving it!

Word-splat inbound!

I have three "groups" I play 2E in:

1) Pathfinder Society - only once a year at a con, but I really enjoyed the PF2 games I was involved in. As a player it's smooth as butter, and I like working with the 3 actions and keeping in mind the nifty abilities both me and my party has and how they can work together. Previously that was the sole domain of the spellcaster - now many classes have neat tricks that are reasonable to try (trip, demoralize, etc.)

2) A group of newer roleplayers who are almost done with Fall of Plaguestone. They have picked up the game real quickly and seem to really enjoy it. Plaguestone especially.. but the game generally.. tends to favor combats with epic moments. The players respond favorably to the interesting monster abilities. I mean.. I remember my first days in this hobby, and I loved it, but it was D&D 3.5 and the monsters basically just walked up to you and stabbed you. It's so cool to have monsters that have these incredible thematic abilities!

3) My "main" group which has been together for over 10 years has just completed the 5 year long campaign we were running using PF1, so we're stepping into 2E. I wanted to stress test things with them - a group of 6 1st level characters, moderate encounter, required a monster at level +3, so I threw an owlbear at them. What a fight! Right out of the gate it screeched and they all gained fear (one even ran!), then it ran in and crit the tank and KOed him! What an epic start to a fight! It put somebody on the floor each turn from there on out. As a GM I so enjoyed seeing the players scramble to manage something that powerful. I KOed 3 PCs and an animal companion, the druid, a sorcerer and the cleric all got to use healing spells to rescue people who were bleeding out, the wizard had the abjuration AC aura up and the cleric got Bless going, and they managed to pour it on and take the beastie down. I feel like in 1e the Druid probably wouldn't have prepared Cure, the sorcerer would never have had the opportunity to pick a spell list that could heal, and as the cleric was the tank, the fight would have ended in a TPK after the "move and attack only" monster just whackamoled each PC in turn while they did a "just move and attack" routine but failed to catch up. With 3 actions we had people casting and stabbing (oh, in melee range of course, couldn't do that in PF1), we had turns where rogue stabbed, then took cover behind a tree to gain enough defense to avoid the owlbear's crits... it was all glorious!

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Thanks everyone for posting about your experiences. I’m glad to hear that everyone had mostly good things to say.

So I've been GMing two games and recently joined a PbP game. All of my players are new to Pathfinder/Golarion, and most are brand new to TRPGs.

The only hurdle I've had is with players who know the rules, but don't quite internalize them. While running Age of Ashes, they get into knockdown drag-out fights and barely scrape by even after taking some sillier actions. The number of times I've heard my table shout, "Crit fish" as the barbarian goes for a -10 MAP Strike against an enemy with Resistance to physical damage anyway is astounding.

The rules encourage a lot more tactical thinking and if your group is going to ignore that, it will prolong combat and make encounters more deadly.

My players may have spent several rounds in melee combat with a golem that continually slammed their faces in, with a group that consists of two sorcerers and a cloistered cleric... So maybe the wounds are fresh.

We lasted four game sessions before giving up on the system. The guy who ran the game wants to work with me to shape the game up so we can use it, so I still poke around here from time to time. I think the game is still in a honey moon period, as most discussion of houserules seems to be met with hostility.

The main issues were a DM who didn't understand the difficulty system, which isn't an issue with the game itself. A rule set that promotes odd ball tactics, and whether or not characters should adopt tactics that work, or those that make narrative sense. Uncertainty on how to employ exploration mode, which we stopped using after the first two sessions. And issues where difficulty is high enough that you spend a bunch of real world time with nothing happening.

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Loving it. Played every week since we got our Age of Ashes campaign going and one week when I was going through some things my players let me distract myself by running a second session on the next day.

Haven't liked a system this much for a while. I'm a huge fan of adventure games like PF, but PF1 was so tilted towards the players that it was impossible to even slightly threaten them. Now that the difficult doesn't lean towards "auto-win" I'm really enjoying myself so far-- to the point where I'm 65,000 words into my own adventure in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings for my PCs to tackle when we finish up AoA this spring.

That isn't to say that I don't adjust the adventure difficulty, but it's no longer "Hmmm, let's put 895 hp onto this 650hp monster's total just so it can survive the first round and maybe get a second"

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Big fan, big fan. Between a move towards "GM eyeballs the DC" and away from "read tables 1-22, 3-52 and 6-66 to find out the DC", far more exciting and streamlined monster design and some quality of life improvements ("make a Strike" vs "make an attack/attack action/standard action that is an attack"), it's far more easier to run and fun to play.

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Ruzza wrote:
The only hurdle I've had is with players who know the rules, but don't quite internalize them. While running Age of Ashes, they get into knockdown drag-out fights and barely scrape by even after taking some sillier actions. The number of times I've heard my table shout, "Crit fish" as the barbarian goes for a -10 MAP Strike against an enemy with Resistance to physical damage anyway is astounding.

This might pose a problem for other rounds too. If both GM and players are starting from scratch and do not know anything about the action system you may very well end up with a little subpar character choices. One of the most meaningful examples is the strong recommendation about having a "viable" 3rd action that is not a move or MAP strike.

Some examples from my current group:

Player who agrees to play the tank goes for a pretty vanilla dwarven fighter. Dumps Cha and respective skills because Dwarf heritage, so Demoralize is not an option. Uses shield in addition to weapon, so no free hand for any athletics related stuff. Chooses battle axe as main weapon because dwarves and axes, so no special maneuvres like trip or shove either.

The thing is that he is a pretty good tank that hits hard and often using AoO whenever possible (sometimes collides with shield block), however he will never ever do a "fancy" 3rd action like debuffing an enemy or messing with its action economy, apart from moving, raising his shield or making a -10 MAP strike.

Another example would be our gnome wizard who usually just uses the shield spell as his one and only 3rd action if he does not have to move, whereas e.g. he could easily be using a crossbow at full attack bonus after casting electric arc.

Note that none of the above is overly critical or long-term unchangeable (e.g. different weapon selection for the fighter etc) however I always chuckle internally when people are telling me how easy PF2 fights are because their monk is always grappling so their rogue always sneak attacks, and all the enemies are always maximum debuffed by the groups casters, and how they always manage to out-action monsters by being faster than the enemies and moving away or tripping them, whereas in reality I see nothing of this happening at our table. And it is not that we deliberately chose to not utilize these actions but that we have not been aware of the importance of these actions when we build our very first characters.

So I recommend to have at least one person at your table with at least some gameplay experience in order to build "sound" characters as well as having a look at party composition and potential synergies, at least when you start from scratch.

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The biggest issue I had with PF1 was that the game broke down by around 11th level and the Adventure Paths, which is what brought me to Paizo in the first place, had to be completely re-written starting in the third book, or else they were a cake walk for my party.

Magic got way too out of control for any encounter not to be "solved" by figuring out who got to go first AND got to cast spells before the combat. Yes I could make villains capable of countering the obtuse power of scry/teleport/fry, but at that point I might as well be designing my own campaigns, which again, is not what I signed up for when I came to pathfinder. I wanted great story driven campaigns that tied to a larger more interesting world, and didn't take me years to write. But for Paizo to design campaigns that played well with my table of experienced RPG folks that love exploring the esoteric limits of a games magic system, High level PF1 broke faster than the Tesla truck window, right when we had invested enough time in the story to all feel disappointed that the whole campaign was basically solved, or going to have to be re-written (Council of Thieves, Legacy of Fire, Wrath of the Righteous, Carrion Crown, Giant Slayer, were all tried).

The "worst" choices of PF2, that get the most heated complaints on these boards (for reasons I can understand), all feel pointed toward fixing high level play and making it much simpler to present challenging monsters to players and keep the game feeling challenging and dangerous for much longer than PF1. I haven't organically got to high level play yet in a campaign, but I am much more confident leaping into Age of Ashes, that the game system is going to hold up mechanically to what players throw at it. So while I will be looking for something that works better for grittier, low magic fantasy when that is the itch I am looking to scratch, I think PF2 is the perfect system for paizo's Adventure Path publication schedule.

I am not much of a circus fan, so Extinction Curse doesn't look thrilling, but It will take my party long enough to get through age of ashes that Agents of Edge watch will be out, and I am confident that by the time I finish those two campaigns, there will probably be 4 or 5 more out, with 2 or three that fit my table's play style. I am bummed that Iron Fang was developed for PF1 though, because we are just way too burned out on PF1 to ever go back, but that looks like the kind of AP that is right up our alley. Here's hopping others do all the work of converting PF1 APs eventually so the rest of us can benefit from their hard work.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I'm currently in one PF2 game at the office, one PF2 game at home, a PF1 game online, and we're just now swapping from playing Return of the Runelords using PF1 in my other office game and converting to PF2.

From a "speed and flow of play" perspective, I love PF2. It's faster, quicker to adjudicate, and IMHO just feels better to play, especially at low levels. The clown cloistered cleric of Cayden Cailean I'm playing for Extinction Curse has been the most fun I've had playing a cleric in years at least, possibly ever. I also love that the game promotes mobility and dynamic combat; I was not a fan of the "stand in one place or lose 70% of your offensive power" dynamic that most martials had in PF1.

There are certain things I still really love about PF1, the biggest being "it has tons of options". I have a collection of 3pp materials that rivals/exceeds my collection of Paizo products, so there was pretty literally no concept I couldn't play in PF1. My Tyrant's Grasp character (formerly my Rise of the Drow character) is a koala with dragonfly wings who summons constellations to act as his weapons, armor, and mount, and he's in a party that includes a bipedal cactus healer with a companion we call the "laser angel", a darkness-wielding quadrupedal winged lizard, a murderous plant person with an eidetic memory, and a new recruit who's really unclear what brought this group together, other than regional mass destruction.

Having reached the last book of Age of Ashes, I'm really in love with PF2's high level play over high level play in pretty much any other version of D&D or PF. Combat feels epic and everyone has big signature abilities (our druid spends most combats transformed into a phoenix and the barbarian rages into the form of a dragon as two examples), but turn time has stayed pretty constant since about 5th level. At 16th level we regularly complete two combats a night plus some roleplay and exploration, which never happened in PF1 where a single turn could take 30+ minutes. Being able to have everyone do cool things and naturally have pretty equal spotlight time is nice.

From a GM/professional perspective, I really wouldn't want to go back to PF1. PF2 has a much more natural and intuitive rules framework, IMO, and designing adventures and monsters is much smoother and quicker. I can whip up an on-the-spot monster of any level in 15 minutes or less, and a completely new custom monster in an hour or two. That beats the crap out of trying to make higher CR PF1 monsters, which could eat an hour just with assigning Hit Dice and skill points (and then reassigning and juggling numbers because half the creature types in the Bestiary didn't naturally have enough hit points for their level, then reviewing HD-based DCs to see if artificially inflating hit points that way had broken anything, then going back and readjusting with special abilities for anything that needed to use a different scaling mechanism to remain balanced, so on and so forth).

From a player perspective, I like both PF1 and PF2 a lot but have an easier time these days recruiting and retaining players for PF2. I suspect that as PF2 picks up more material and starts seeing more 3pp support, it will completely supplant PF1 in my gaming circles, but for now I'm happy to play both.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm really excited to get into the higher-level stuff in Age of Ashes and see for myself how that turned out.

PF1 high level play always had the issue of being both slow and devoid of challenge; you'd go into every fight knowing the party was going to steamroll it, but that it would take two hours to resolve that steamroll. Got to the point I started skipping fights and just declaring the PCs win for less important encounters, to save session time.

It seems like PF2 won't have either of those issues.

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