2nd Edition rules - Totally Freeform or Machine Code?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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

Obviously, the rules are neither of those two extremes (the former being essentially no rules and the latter would basically make it a video game).

But I have encountered numerous 2nd Edition roleplayers who have come closer to those viewpoints than I would have thought possible!

Take Exploration Mode, for example. I've had people argue endlessly that the exploration actions are the only actions you can take. That a scout is not actually getting any reconnaissance, just getting a +1 to initiative. That the rules are rigid and set in stone. Others, claim that Exploration Mode is meant to be more freeform, that the scout goes ahead, sees the ogres, reports back valuable Intel, and everyone gets an initiative bonus.

Now, I don't want to discuss Exploration Mode--we have plenty of existing threads for that already. It is merely an easy example. One of many points in the rules being strict or loose is in contention.

What I want to know, and discuss, is whether you feel the P2E rules IN GENERAL are rigid and restrictive, or more freeform and off-the-cuff. I'm also curious to know what you think it SHOULD be.

I'm guessing part of the issue might be people from Pathfinder 1st Edition finding the new rules to be freeing, whereas people coming in with a D&D 5th Edition background might find them more restrictive, with wholly new players wondering what everyone is even fighting about.

What are your thoughts on the matter?


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To be honest, I don't bother with either (near) perfect machine code or obvious freeform, however in my opinion any ruleset should provide clear and non-ambigious rules for all parts that actually have governing rules (especially as many RPGs target non-native speakers which may have additional difficulty in understanding the wording and intent of any rule). This is a wide field that PF2 can certainly improve upon in form of an reliable FAQ or future prints of the CRB (e.g. how many hands for Battle Medicine, how to aquire and accumulate focus points etc).

In addition to this I am of the opinion that any RPG ruleset should actually contain rules for the most common occurances, whereas it is certainly debatable what may be counted as a common occurance and what not (e.g. how to handle collisions with invisible creatures). And here is where my current feeling is that PF2 has a tad too many instances of "GM decides" where my group and I would have wished for more hardcoded rulings.


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On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally open ended and 10 being literal video game level strict, I'd rate 2e as a 4 (by comparison, I give pf 1e a 7).

Pf 2e actually has a strong set of internal mechanics, but they are mostly hidden and behind the scenes. I find 2e allows a pretty wide range of options for DMs willing to make calls on things not explicitly spelled out in the rules, and it gives all the tools you need to make those choices, such as giving charts for level appropriate DCs or various difficulties, a pretty easy to use set of monster creation rules, etc. I've also had a lot of success with homebrewing magic items, changing the number of class feats, non listed uses for skills, and the like thanks to these tools.

That aside, I wouldn't call it totally freeform, either. We still have to take skill feats to do things like train animals, income can only be earned by int and cha based skills, inventor doesn't let you invent uncommon or rarer items, etc. Imo, though, the places where the game is strict is only in niche places, occurs infrequently, and often in ways that can be resolved by just talking with your DM. It's not like it's hard to make a "monster scavenger" skill feat that allows you to earn income with survival by harvesting monster parts or having your gadgeteer invent uncommon items on a case by case basis by having the gm vet what you could reasonably invent (which you'd probably need to do anyways)

Overall, I like it. It's the level of freedom I like, while still having robust mechanics


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think PF2 has been very strict about what can and can't be done in encounters. It wants that nailed down so when you get to the nitty gritty things are nailed down. In other modes of play it is pretty loosey goosey. Note the GM section specifically calls out Exploration mode as being intentionally less rigid. It spends roughly a 1/5 of its page space on advice on how to wing it with new activities. Where Exploration mode gets tighter again is where it intersects with Encounter mode, and thus the things that get you an objective advantage are more rigorously defined, x activity gets you y advantage in combat.

People might consider this a failing of game design. I don't. Just like some people complained that any complex or difficult to understand part of PF2 was a failure of design because the game was meant to be simpler. I think that is silly.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alchemic_Genius wrote:
income can only be earned by int and cha based skills

Just as a note this is false. The CRB states those skills are "typically used" and outside of those uses DCs might be higher.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

For scouting specifically, I think it's misnamed, I explained it to my players as deciding to be "The Lookout" for danger- like, the person searching is distracted, the person investigating is distracted, the person detecting magic is distracted, but this person is specifically focusing their attention on watching for danger. So I do run that one RAW, if someone tells me they want to sneak ahead and scout in a literal sense I just pause the rest of the parties progress, let them avoid notice, and let them continue on until they tell me they return.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
What are your thoughts on the matter?

Can I view it as both? I want to view it as both.

Pathfinder 2e reminds me of an Apocalypse Engine game, particularly the moves snowball (“if you do it, you do it; to do it, you have to do it”). I look at it as against the spirit of the game to call for (or allow) a random check and make a ruling. Just saying “I want to make a check” doesn’t really parse. You need to use an action or activity that then has you make that check. At the same time, I see no reason why you can’t do things in the game that don’t involve mechanics but could still potentially set you up in the fiction with an advantage.


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I think I see it as a bit of both also.

Mini's combat portion of the game is fairly codified and rigid without removing GM fiat to make new challenges and rulings off the cuff. It honestly does a great job at giving you a solid framework as a GM to build on to.

Exploration/downtime mode is relatively free form, giving the GM room to story tell and create new and unique challenges and activities for his players to interact with the world, but there is a loose set of guidelines to give players some control over how they want to interact with said world.

My opinion is that it is more free form than 3.x/PF1 era games and less free form than certain types of theater of the mind style games that I've played before.

I feel like all the rule gaps that currently exist are good for "Ask your GM" type scenarios and hope they don't go out of their way to fill in these situations and instead continue world building and content.

Some people don't enjoy that because GM's are as varied as humans. That means it is impossible to have a truly consistent portrayal of setting or mechanics from table to table. Even as much as PFS style games attempt to have general consistency in rulings, I can tell you that the GM's still have a huge impact on what is going to take place at the table.

All the rules in the world won't mean that people won't break them for good or ill reasons.


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I mean, even if you write the rules as machine code, I'm still gonna run it as freeform.


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What ever PF2 is, I want to dial it up to 11.


Alchemic_Genius wrote:

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally open ended and 10 being literal video game level strict, I'd rate 2e as a 4 (by comparison, I give pf 1e a 7).

Pf 2e actually has a strong set of internal mechanics, but they are mostly hidden and behind the scenes. I find 2e allows a pretty wide range of options for DMs willing to make calls on things not explicitly spelled out in the rules, and it gives all the tools you need to make those choices, such as giving charts for level appropriate DCs or various difficulties, a pretty easy to use set of monster creation rules, etc. I've also had a lot of success with homebrewing magic items, changing the number of class feats, non listed uses for skills, and the like thanks to these tools.

That aside, I wouldn't call it totally freeform, either. We still have to take skill feats to do things like train animals, income can only be earned by int and cha based skills, inventor doesn't let you invent uncommon or rarer items, etc. Imo, though, the places where the game is strict is only in niche places, occurs infrequently, and often in ways that can be resolved by just talking with your DM. It's not like it's hard to make a "monster scavenger" skill feat that allows you to earn income with survival by harvesting monster parts or having your gadgeteer invent uncommon items on a case by case basis by having the gm vet what you could reasonably invent (which you'd probably need to do anyways)

Overall, I like it. It's the level of freedom I like, while still having robust mechanics

I love that Monster Scavenger idea. Mind if I use it? I'm working on a new batch of skill feats.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Alchemic_Genius wrote:

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally open ended and 10 being literal video game level strict, I'd rate 2e as a 4 (by comparison, I give pf 1e a 7).

Pf 2e actually has a strong set of internal mechanics, but they are mostly hidden and behind the scenes. I find 2e allows a pretty wide range of options for DMs willing to make calls on things not explicitly spelled out in the rules, and it gives all the tools you need to make those choices, such as giving charts for level appropriate DCs or various difficulties, a pretty easy to use set of monster creation rules, etc. I've also had a lot of success with homebrewing magic items, changing the number of class feats, non listed uses for skills, and the like thanks to these tools.

That aside, I wouldn't call it totally freeform, either. We still have to take skill feats to do things like train animals, income can only be earned by int and cha based skills, inventor doesn't let you invent uncommon or rarer items, etc. Imo, though, the places where the game is strict is only in niche places, occurs infrequently, and often in ways that can be resolved by just talking with your DM. It's not like it's hard to make a "monster scavenger" skill feat that allows you to earn income with survival by harvesting monster parts or having your gadgeteer invent uncommon items on a case by case basis by having the gm vet what you could reasonably invent (which you'd probably need to do anyways)

Overall, I like it. It's the level of freedom I like, while still having robust mechanics

I love that Monster Scavenger idea. Mind if I use it? I'm working on a new batch of skill feats.

I have been allowing gathering raw materials from defeated monsters since 2013: Raw Materials for Crafting Magic Items.

And I just finished adapting those rules in a more rigorous and balanced version to PF2. See the Harvest activity in Mathmuse's Houserules, first post.


Most of my Pathfinder 2nd Edition game sessions have been at the newbie level of rule utilization. My players tell me what their characters want to do, and I told them of a sequence of actions that would accomplish their desired activity. In the first month, sometime I had to page through the rulebook to find a half-remembered action. Nowadays, after a few months of playing PF2, my players can recall the most common actions for themselves.

Nevertheless, they still first think about what their characters want to do, and if they cannot recall an action, then they expect me to find it for them. Fortunately, Jason Bulmahn's emphasis on general-purpose design principle means that a lot of mechanics are adaptable to many uses. I had found that convenient in Pathfinder 1st Edition, where my players would invent a new kind of combat maneuver and I would simply used Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD).

And in running my Iron Gods campaign, I learned to invent custom feats and technology for my players. With the adoption of PF2, I found that I needed to adapt my informal houserules for PF1 to PF2, so these inventive skills have been handy.

My own philosophy about the rules is that roleplaying is about the nature actions of the characters, unbound by rules, but then those actions must be expressed with the rules to make them precisely reflect capabilities.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

2e definitely could be semi-fairly branded as the "ask your GM" edition, so I think that leans it towards freeform. Also I feel like the rules are written to read naturally and follow logical interpretation, unlike PF1e (anyone remember "hands"? :P ).

So I certainly lean that direction when I run.


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I want say, most of what you want to do in a game is in the rules. 'Machine coded', but, over and over the rulebook tells you that the rules are limited, and if you want to do something outside them, you can!, just the GM need to decide how.

The GM is given a lot of tools to make that decision, but for some players and GMs, that can still pose a problem, and they might be tempted to go with the 'no' option. It's something that maybe needs a bit more emphasis in the future.


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Ravingdork wrote:

Now, I don't want to discuss Exploration Mode--we have plenty of existing threads for that already. It is merely an easy example. One of many points in the rules being strict or loose is in contention.

What I want to know, and discuss, is whether you feel the P2E rules IN GENERAL are rigid and restrictive, or more freeform and off-the-cuff. I'm also curious to know what you think it SHOULD be.

I'm guessing part of the issue might be people from Pathfinder 1st Edition finding the new rules to be freeing, whereas people coming in with a D&D 5th Edition background might find them more restrictive, with wholly new players wondering what everyone is even fighting about.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Cool, because you are grossly misrepresenting what people were saying in that thread regarding scout as an exploration tactic.

As someone who has run a huge amount of pf1e and runs a lot of 5e and is currently running pf2e as well.

The rules are a little more set in stone than 5e but not by a drastic amount, i would say about the same as with pf1e however pf1e made it more difficult to do many thinga effectively as a character. So while you could attempt, it was either so restrictive as to make it pointless without investment. Or had big DCs attatched... or both.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Now, I don't want to discuss Exploration Mode--we have plenty of existing threads for that already. It is merely an easy example. One of many points in the rules being strict or loose is in contention.

What I want to know, and discuss, is whether you feel the P2E rules IN GENERAL are rigid and restrictive, or more freeform and off-the-cuff. I'm also curious to know what you think it SHOULD be.

I'm guessing part of the issue might be people from Pathfinder 1st Edition finding the new rules to be freeing, whereas people coming in with a D&D 5th Edition background might find them more restrictive, with wholly new players wondering what everyone is even fighting about.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Cool, because you are grossly misrepresenting what people were saying in that thread regarding scout as an exploration tactic.

As someone who has run a huge amount of pf1e and runs a lot of 5e and is currently running pf2e as well.

The rules are a little more set in stone than 5e but not by a drastic amount, i would say about the same as with pf1e however pf1e made it more difficult to do many thinga effectively as a character. So while you could attempt, it was either so restrictive as to make it pointless without investment. Or had big DCs attatched... or both.

Which thread is this? I'm interested in reading the discussion on scout as an exploration tactic.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

Now, I don't want to discuss Exploration Mode--we have plenty of existing threads for that already. It is merely an easy example. One of many points in the rules being strict or loose is in contention.

What I want to know, and discuss, is whether you feel the P2E rules IN GENERAL are rigid and restrictive, or more freeform and off-the-cuff. I'm also curious to know what you think it SHOULD be.

I'm guessing part of the issue might be people from Pathfinder 1st Edition finding the new rules to be freeing, whereas people coming in with a D&D 5th Edition background might find them more restrictive, with wholly new players wondering what everyone is even fighting about.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Cool, because you are grossly misrepresenting what people were saying in that thread regarding scout as an exploration tactic.

As someone who has run a huge amount of pf1e and runs a lot of 5e and is currently running pf2e as well.

The rules are a little more set in stone than 5e but not by a drastic amount, i would say about the same as with pf1e however pf1e made it more difficult to do many thinga effectively as a character. So while you could attempt, it was either so restrictive as to make it pointless without investment. Or had big DCs attatched... or both.

Which thread is this? I'm interested in reading the discussion on scout as an exploration tactic.

You can probably skip it. We wound up reaching the same conclusion you did-- that Scout should have been called "Look Out." But Ravingdork made it too, if you really want to Wade through it.


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I can't tell honestly, and I think that's why I have trouble enjoying it. There's a bunch of things that set out to really refine the game play process and ensure everything is explicit and precise, but the game results in nonsense if you run it like that.

I'd say it's machine code in combat and downtime, while exploration mode is super fuzzy.


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Ravingdork wrote:


What are your thoughts on the matter?

I don't mind terribly much, but the rules are actively hostile to the off-the-cuff GMing style where you let heroes pull off improvised stunts.

Nearly every time I've been inclined to say "yes" or at the very least "yes, but" to a player asking if his character can do this or that outside of what's printed on the character sheet...

... it has turned out "there's a feat for that".

In other words, I can't allow any leeway at all, since the game is so very tightly locked down, and that most useful freedoms have been already coded in by the developers.

What I specifically mean: if I let a character do this or that (use one skill for a purpose best suited to another; let one action do a little bit more than written), it often turns out there's a feat that provides exactly that freedom.

That feat could be a level 17 for a completely unrelated class, but still.

It tells me the game is meant to be run exactly as written, with zero deviations, since all that generosity has already been "cashed in" by the developers, who needed to seed the game with thousands of feats.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


What are your thoughts on the matter?

I don't mind terribly much, but the rules are actively hostile to the off-the-cuff GMing style where you let heroes pull off improvised stunts.

Nearly every time I've been inclined to say "yes" or at the very least "yes, but" to a player asking if his character can do this or that outside of what's printed on the character sheet...

... it has turned out "there's a feat for that".

In other words, I can't allow any leeway at all, since the game is so very tightly locked down, and that most useful freedoms have been already coded in by the developers.

What I specifically mean: if I let a character do this or that (use one skill for a purpose best suited to another; let one action do a little bit more than written), it often turns out there's a feat that provides exactly that freedom.

That feat could be a level 17 for a completely unrelated class, but still.

It tells me the game is meant to be run exactly as written, with zero deviations, since all that generosity has already been "cashed in" by the developers, who needed to seed the game with thousands of feats.

Just for the record, I have a house-rule (honestly with the system having as much built-in GM leeway as it does I'm not even sure it counts as a house-rule) for dealing with exactly this situation.

My general rule is that if something seems logically attempt-able, but there is a feat for it you don't have, you can attempt it with a clever stunt and a -4 penalty (which might only be a -2 penalty if I really like your stunt).

This is also how I handle things like "I want to bludgeon him with the handle of my greatsword".


Zapp wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:


What are your thoughts on the matter?

I don't mind terribly much, but the rules are actively hostile to the off-the-cuff GMing style where you let heroes pull off improvised stunts.

Nearly every time I've been inclined to say "yes" or at the very least "yes, but" to a player asking if his character can do this or that outside of what's printed on the character sheet...

... it has turned out "there's a feat for that".

In other words, I can't allow any leeway at all, since the game is so very tightly locked down, and that most useful freedoms have been already coded in by the developers.

What I specifically mean: if I let a character do this or that (use one skill for a purpose best suited to another; let one action do a little bit more than written), it often turns out there's a feat that provides exactly that freedom.

That feat could be a level 17 for a completely unrelated class, but still.

It tells me the game is meant to be run exactly as written, with zero deviations, since all that generosity has already been "cashed in" by the developers, who needed to seed the game with thousands of feats.

I'm not sure about this. For example Most situations where a feat unlocks an ability I'd as a GM allow a player to try it but at a significant penalty. There is almost nothing I won't at least allow my players to "try" to do and that Nat 20 allows an auto fail to become a success and if it's totally screened (IE auto crit fail) I'd inform my players b4 the roll for sure that it's gonna turn out badly...though even then the nat 20 turning a crit fail to a fail can possibly save the day as well.

Edit: just as Maxastro says :-)


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

I noted a lot of that in 1E too.


And it got worse as time went on, "there's a feat for that now.". In Pf1 I ended up giving out tons of free feats to cover the things players expected to be able to do without them, though I don't think my players know I do it.

I think it's an inherent trait of iterative release ttrpgs, I can't figure out a solution to it at any rate. Maybe including free feats on a scene by scene basis dependent on the character's various choices. Something like "This city has a long history of keeping halfling slaves, all halflings get the innocuous feat while within the city but can't rely on basic rights."

It would be complicated, but it could also make writing adventures a bit more entertaining. You introduce a new feat in your adventure, then give it out to some characters for free during some scenes in order for them to try it out.


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MaxAstro wrote:
2e definitely could be semi-fairly branded as the "ask your GM" edition
Asurasan wrote:
Some people don't enjoy that because GM's are as varied as humans. That means it is impossible to have a truly consistent portrayal of setting or mechanics from table to table. Even as much as PFS style games attempt to have general consistency in rulings, I can tell you that the GM's still have a huge impact on what is going to take place at the table.

Combine these two and you pretty much have my view on the system. And it would be one thing if it was consistently that but it ends up being a bit bipolar: on one hand you have an elaborate keyword systems in place and unarmed attacks that totally aren't weapons but work just like them and on the other you have 'let your DM figure it out' suggestions instead of rules. Often you run into both kinds of 'rules' while looking for something making planning murky at best.

So "on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being totally open ended and 10 being literal video game level strict"... I don't know what to give it as it wildly fluctuates to both extremes. I just know it FEELS more freeform than not.


Captain Morgan wrote:


I love that Monster Scavenger idea. Mind if I use it? I'm working on a new batch of skill feats.

Heck yeah, go ahead! I plan to write up a codex of house rules I'm using at my home games anyways and see if I can get Zenith to put it on the guide to guides.


ErichAD wrote:
I think it's an inherent trait of iterative release ttrpgs, I can't figure out a solution to it at any rate.

How about the rules not controlling the characters' actions to such a minute degree?

I mean, other games don't suffer from this. Just Paizo.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
I think it's an inherent trait of iterative release ttrpgs, I can't figure out a solution to it at any rate.

How about the rules not controlling the characters' actions to such a minute degree?

I mean, other games don't suffer from this. Just Paizo.

WotC suffered this for a long time too. Still do insofar as I'm aware.


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Yeah 5e doesn't have a ton of customization, but what it has does still run into this problem. Someone tried to use Mage Hand to pick a lock the other night and I was like ah, sorry, you got to be an arcane trickster for that. Meanwhile, I'm still not sure how intimidation in combat is supposed to work. (I've only been a player, so maybe that is in the DMG.)

Sovereign Court

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

To be honest I really don't get this "Ask Your GM Edition / GM Has too much power" stance.

If you don't respect and/or trust your GM is the game even worth playing?

And if you are having multiple games where a GM is "having a huge (negative) impact" or you have built a character that manipulates the rules in such a way where you need the GM to rule in a certain way in order for your concept to work, perhaps some self reflection (of why you keep having these experiences) may be a better place to start...


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

That's it attack the player for wanting to implement a cool concept.

Thing is, it's on both the players and the GMs to make a good game. If the two can't work things out like civilized adults, then yeah, gaming together happily is pretty much a lost cause.

Sovereign Court

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

I did not mean it to be an attack on players for wanting to implement a cool concept, more of if it is a recurring problem maybe its something to think about. I could of worded that better.

I agree. Players should trust their GMs and to that extent, GMs should trust their players as well , and it is a lost cause if you cannot work things out.


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Jib916 wrote:
To be honest I really don't get this "Ask Your GM Edition / GM Has too much power" stance.

It's not about trust but having the same rules no matter what table you sit down at. If I want to fireball a table, the dm may or may not allow it as it's a 'ask your dm question'. With the HUGE pile of such question left up in the air, it's almost impossible to get on the same page with a DM on everything unless you're playing exclusively with a single dm/group. So i have NO issue with dm's rulings, I'd just like to know about them ahead of time: A DM can't even make it a list of houserules as there are no base rules to change. It makes my gaming experience quite difficult. SO it's not a "a GM is "having a huge (negative) impact"" but an unstable/loose rules framework is "having a huge (negative) impact".


Jib916 wrote:

To be honest I really don't get this "Ask Your GM Edition / GM Has too much power" stance.

If you don't respect and/or trust your GM is the game even worth playing?

.

1st rule of roleplaying 101: Never ever trust your GM. He will lie and cheat just to tell his side of the story.

2nd rule of roleplaying 101: If possible remove the roll. Chances? Not taking any!

;) :P


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Why would a GM disallow you from casting Fireball? GM disallowing things should just be for Uncommon, and invariably that answer is probably going to be yes...


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Graystone is talking about casting Fireball on a table to destroy it/light it on fire/etc. Not the simple act of casting the spell itself.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Grankless wrote:
Why would a GM disallow you from casting Fireball? GM disallowing things should just be for Uncommon, and invariably that answer is probably going to be yes...

In that the rules are vague on what happens to objects struck by fireball because object damage is poorly defined, as I understand.


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I feel like the only reason "throwing a fireball at a wooden coffee table" would not destroy the table is in case the GM has a more interesting idea about that table than "it is ordinary wood and fire will destroy it."

Enabling the GM to make those calls in the moment is just a good thing. If you don't have something more interesting to do with the table, it's a pile of ash and charcoal.

But I mean "your exploding ball of fire has destroyed the sofa, the chairs, the rug, the pillows, cushions, and drapes but the coffee table is oddly undamaged" is a more interesting outcome than "you have burned everything."


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Enabling the GM to make those calls in the moment is just a good thing. If you don't have something more interesting to do with the table, it's a pile of ash and charcoal.

Whats the point to have the GM being able to make a call when you have rules known to everybody that govern that very incident? When both players and GM know that the chair has hardness 5 and 10 hit points then it is clear that he will probably not withstand even a 6d6 fireball. The difference being that in one case I have to wait for the GM to make up his mind versus already knowing what probably will happen upfront and greatly speeding up any decision making process.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Whats the point to have the GM being able to make a call when you have rules known to everybody that govern that very incident? When both players and GM know that the chair has hardness 5 and 10 hit points then it is clear that he will probably not withstand even a 6d6 fireball.

In PF1 I wouldn't have any idea what to expect a chair to have in terms of hardness or HP and the rules also said, "Energy attacks deal half damage to most objects. Divide the damage by 2 before applying the object’s hardness. Some energy types might be particularly effective against certain objects, subject to GM discretion."

So having no rules for it would not be much of a downgrade.


Ubertron_X wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Enabling the GM to make those calls in the moment is just a good thing. If you don't have something more interesting to do with the table, it's a pile of ash and charcoal.
Whats the point to have the GM being able to make a call when you have rules known to everybody that govern that very incident? When both players and GM know that the chair has hardness 5 and 10 hit points then it is clear that he will probably not withstand even a 6d6 fireball. The difference being that in one case I have to wait for the GM to make up his mind versus already knowing what probably will happen upfront and greatly speeding up any decision making process.

Typically speaking it's generally not faster because it involves rooting around the rulebook for the right chart, consulting said chart to find the closest approximation to the chair in question, apply modifiers (Uh is this a masterwork chair? It's a noble estate I guess), and then resolving that vs "eh, wooden chair loses to fireball"

I'll go ahead and say most gms aren't going to just memorize ye olde common object hardness/HP charts and have it ready off the cuff.


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Rules for "item damage" and tables for the durability of different tables are just a waste of page space that could be put to better use and are additional mental overhead that doesn't benefit the game, IMO.

The rules are not the physics of the diagesis- the rules are a rough simulation of the most common situations that will come up in a "heroic adventure story". In the case of things your character would know (e.g. how common objects react to burning) but the player does not (because there aren't rules for them) the best course is just to ask the GM "how does this work."


It also doesn't help that "Object Damage" and "Collateral Damage" serve two very different purposes within the actual game. Collateral damage is very often fairly inconsequential (in the moment at least), whereas actually damaging an object (especially a piece of equipment) carries a lot more tactical importance.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rules for "item damage" and tables for the durability of different tables are just a waste of page space that could be put to better use and are additional mental overhead that doesn't benefit the game, IMO.

But not having any idea what AC or saves an object has makes it so you can't even figure out what damage the item actually took even if it HAD hardness and hp listed. It's literal guesswork.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like the only reason "throwing a fireball at a wooden coffee table" would not destroy the table is in case the GM has a more interesting idea about that table than "it is ordinary wood and fire will destroy it."

For me, it's more about that unattended wand, scroll or other item that's on the desk next to that chair [on on that dead creature you just killed]. Collateral Damage rulings impact more than a random chair. It makes no sense if the only reason the wand stays and the chair burns is Dm fiat because the DM thought it interesting... It's be nice if I knew if the building/forest/ect I'm in is in danger of catching on fire before I find out how interesting that is to the DM...


Some quick and dirty debris clearing rules couldn't hurt. Something like a bulk-X-material chart that produced a dice pool size, spell DC, or something similar. You could use the same chart to produce a required athletics DC to push through it unimpeded.

You should leave the description of how the items no longer impeded movement up to the DM, but a rough idea of how clear an ability leaves a room could be useful. It would also allow granularity in the effectiveness of wall spells, and give an additional attribute to tweak for all abilities from attacks to movement.


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I'm not sure I want to go back to having specific DCs for "walking up a 30 degree angle, on a 6" wide beam, in a snowstorm, uphill both ways" and having that be a very different check if the beam were 7" wide instead.


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Cyouni wrote:
I'm not sure I want to go back to having specific DCs for "walking up a 30 degree angle, on a 6" wide beam, in a snowstorm, uphill both ways" and having that be a very different check if the beam were 7" wide instead.

They are there still: A tightrope is DC30, a beam is dc15, ect and there are modifiers for Incredibly easy to Incredibly hard. They didn't get rid of the DC charts but simplified them. I don't see how making examples for basic things like they do in skills is a huge burden on anyone to find and use as it's already done elsewhere. You're quibbling over the complexity of the old charts and I'm just looking for any basic chart to give a baseline if nothing else.

For instance, the rules tell me I can attack an unattended object but in no way explain how that is accomplished: even if it's something super simple like a single flat roll 10 for AC/saves using the DC Adjustments and default hp based on size, it'd be something. I don't think wanting basic rules equates to wanting complicated rules.


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MaxAstro wrote:

2e definitely could be semi-fairly branded as the "ask your GM" edition, so I think that leans it towards freeform. Also I feel like the rules are written to read naturally and follow logical interpretation, unlike PF1e (anyone remember "hands"? :P ).

So I certainly lean that direction when I run.

Semi-fairly? You can't go 2 pages in the CRB without finding a rule that is "Ask your GM."


Cyouni wrote:
I'm not sure I want to go back to having specific DCs for "walking up a 30 degree angle, on a 6" wide beam, in a snowstorm, uphill both ways" and having that be a very different check if the beam were 7" wide instead.

You prefer roll d20, if you get above a 15 you make it; I don't care what your modifier is?


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thorin001 wrote:
Cyouni wrote:
I'm not sure I want to go back to having specific DCs for "walking up a 30 degree angle, on a 6" wide beam, in a snowstorm, uphill both ways" and having that be a very different check if the beam were 7" wide instead.
You prefer roll d20, if you get above a 15 you make it; I don't care what your modifier is?

Even though that's a complete and utter misrepresentation of PF2's rules, I'd still prefer that to, for example, the ridiculous number of modifiers of PF1's Perception system that aren't really usable. For example, the +20 to the Perception DC for being invisible, even if it's a purely auditory check - the DC for an invisible bow being drawn on the other side of a door 40 feet away is 49, and one of those modifiers makes absolutely no sense.

And if you choose to ignore that, then funnily enough, you're in "ask the GM" territory.

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