PF2 - late-to-the-party impressions


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Fletch wrote:
Look at that, it's also in the SRD. I mean, I obviously don't hate the way it's originally written, but it's interesting that there was that much consideration put into modifying it to create what looks like a pretty different campaign style.

Quite possibly the single best thing about the second edition of Pathfinder is how transparent the mechanics are, so it's very easy to see how one could change things, what that would involve, and what effects that would have.

Things like "dropping level from the proficiency mod" (or scaling it) or "increasing the number of feats you get" are really easy to do and let a GM fine tune the game they want to run.


Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo

That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

Liberty's Edge

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Fletch wrote:
That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

To some degree it depends on whether you're talking about martials or casters.

Martials are probably 'more wuxia/Matrix style' than they were in PF1 while casters are less so, making the game as a whole about equally so, IMO, just distributed more evenly.

Their ability to casually defeat enemies is definitely down from PF1 (which, IMO, is a good thing), but from my experience they don't feel either too much less powerful, or too much more cinematic collectively, just like they're actually fighting meaningful opposition.


Yes play style has a large part of that.

Pathfinder overall is very versatile allowing everything from very weak characters barely surviving to unstobable beings with little weaknesses.

Thing about the difference in the editions is that PF1 didn't care if the super weak characters are in the same party as the unstoppable characters; Its a job of the players and GM to self police. While in PF2 everyone is roughly at the same spot.

Overall the results is that many GMs have an easier time because they can literally place any monster of the same level and have the same level of challenge. Player wise its a half way between the incredibly flat customization of 5e, and the deep ocean that is PF1.


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Fletch wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo
That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

I think it depends on whether you are talking about power level or play style.

PF1 characters could be described as "Neo in Lord of the Rings" in that they are often operating on a completely different power level than their foes expect.

PF2 characters meanwhile are more "Neo in The Matrix" - they are incredibly powerful by human standards but they face foes that are just as powerful and dangerous to them.


Shisumo wrote:
Attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, even AC all use the exact same level-based proficiency system. This is for the most part a strength of the system, in my opinion, but it does have some drawbacks as well. In general, though, I really like that once you grok proficiency for one of those things, you've really figured it out for all of them.

This also allows for combining checks and DCs that normally don't interact, such as:

1. Doing a skills check (Athletics) to try to Grapple against a target's saving throw bonus (Fortitude DC)
2. Having the choice of a skills check (Acrobatics or Athletics) or unarmed attack modifier to escape a Grapple against the grappler's Athletics DC (a skill)

And Spell DCs vs. saving throws, Strikes vs. ACs... they all have the same manner of calculation. This allows there to be balance, and for variants like Proficiency Without Level to be slotted in easily.

And you can do these things, knowing what a Proficiency Level means: "This PC is legendary in Athletics," "That PC is a master in unarmed strikes," since they all use the same math.


gnoams wrote:

I found PF2 to play in a different style/different feel of a game than PF1. First edition was for super heroes smashing their way through ridiculous challenges, an over the top action game, a la Star Wars or some Marvel movie. Second edition is more down to earth, the struggle is real, more like Tolkein level action.

Now you could easily play PF2 in a super hero style, all it would take is to use enemies that are significantly lower level than the PCs. If commenters on these boards are any indication however, nobody plays like that. Its all at level or higher challenges.

There's a great write-up of Level 20 play in this thread. It looks like superheroes to me (and what I hear wuxia is).

I have GMed PF1 up to level 22, and strategies were static and success/failure often came down to 95%/5% chances. You also had single spells that could shot down an enemy entirely.

PF2 is more... tense than that. So for me PF2 is like a superhero story from the past 10 years or so because you don't know who will die. :)


The Rot Grub wrote:
PF2 is more... tense than that. So for me PF2 is like a superhero story from the past 10 years or so because you don't know who will die. :)

And if you're into that it's great for you.

What I learned about myself is I like reading/watching those stories, but I don't like to play them.

I like playing 1950s style Superman.

Liberty's Edge

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Claxon wrote:
I like playing 1950s style Superman.

In fairness, you can easily do this in PF2, it's just not the assumed play style. You just need to create encounters as if the PCs were two levels lower than they actually are, and they'll waltz all over things pretty readily.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I like playing 1950s style Superman.
In fairness, you can easily do this in PF2, it's just not the assumed play style. You just need to create encounters as if the PCs were two levels lower than they actually are, and they'll waltz all over things pretty readily.

Yeah, but that isn't how the APs are written and Claxon doesn't want to talk to their group about how they'd enjoy an easier game.

Liberty's Edge

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, but that isn't how the APs are written and Claxon doesn't want to talk to their group about how they'd enjoy an easier game.

The first part is easy enough to work around by just starting at level 3. You eventually hit level 20 early and need to adjust a few things (or homebrew rules for levels 21 and 22, which actually sounds pretty doable), but that's workable.

The second part is much more of an insoluble problem, but one having more to do with group dynamics than what game system you're using.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I like playing 1950s style Superman.
In fairness, you can easily do this in PF2, it's just not the assumed play style. You just need to create encounters as if the PCs were two levels lower than they actually are, and they'll waltz all over things pretty readily.

What's nice is that in PF2 the work is done for you. The math is done to create something that by virtue of it being balanced it's also controllable. You can season as desired.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Not sure it's really accurate to call one game supers or not. In terms of intended power curve both games are pretty much on the same track, PF2 just has tighter math which makes it harder to escape expected bounds than it is in PF1.
This is good, because it creates for a tighter experience, but has some downsides in that it makes it harder to patch up mechanically subpar decisions and some people have expressed frustration less with the overall difficulty but more where Paizo chose to peg those success numbers. There have been criticisms too that this makes PF2 combat overly focused on managing buffs and debuffs.

On the other hand, PF2 characters, especially martials, tend to be more dynamic overall in what they can do. The action economy is a lot more flexible (even spellcasters who are kind of stuck in the past have more they can do with their 'extra' action each round).

PF1 martials rarely got cool new things at higher level. In some respects they actually got worse as their levels went up. PF2 addresses that nicely, imo and is a lot less afraid to give a superhuman warrior superhuman abilities.


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Squiggit wrote:
On the other hand, PF2 characters, especially martials, tend to be more dynamic overall in what they can do. The action economy is a lot more flexible (even spellcasters who are kind of stuck in the past have more they can do with their 'extra' action each round).

No disagreement here, just elaboration. The sorts of things casters have for that extra action -

My Cleric(MC Bard) loves having that third action in addition to being able to cast a spell - allows for some good turns for some truly epic burst healing (2A Heal + Battle Medicine) or being able to drop out Demoralizes other characters are too busy for (when she doesn't need to move of course).

Its also never been easier to splash in a weapon attack for casters, as you've got to improve at least one physical stat as you level and it's not unthinkable to be operating on the "2nd attack" level for a martial characrer with minimal investment.

Metamagic options (and True Strike, which I view as pseudo-metamagic for casters) also provide interesting options for mixing it up for casters.

Also, hilariously, unless they go a really unexpected direction with a ruling on finesse+trip weapons caster with good Athletics proficiency and a whip is hillariously awesome at tripping people (assuming that dex is going to be raised while leveling).


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Fletch wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo
That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

I'd say that PF1 allows PCs to be more ridiculous in terms of power as the system allows stacking bonuses that leave the mathematical assumptions of d20 3.x in the dust. Right now I'm playing a pf1 brawler that has a Grapple bonus against giants of like, +39 at level 12 for example. Pf2 has much tighter math as the number of bonuses you can stack have been pared down to just 4 or so sources, and so the game's guidance on what a level appropriate challenge is will actually lead to the players having a decent chance of failing as intended.

PF2 does give PCs, especially martial PCs way absurd fun toys though. Like if you're legendary in Acrobatics and have the Cat Fall skill feet then you never take falling damage and always land on your feet.

I think PF2 really does nail what a high powered game should be, a lot of fun powers bordering on silly but without allowing bonuses to grow so large the game breaks.


Squiggit wrote:
...(even spellcasters who are kind of stuck in the past have more they can do with their 'extra' action each round)...

This is a very bold statement which is quite contrary to my own observations, respectively even if they may have a greater choice they definitely have less actions a turn.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Fletch wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo
That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

Personal perspective, I very much agree with Captain Morgan's perspective and think that how you interpret it comes down a lot to where you're focusing your attention.

For example, my PF2 Age of Ashes group included a barbarian, druid, my monk, and a few other characters who would swap out depending on their player's availability (this included an angelic sorcerer multiclassed champion, a warpriest cleric, and a fighter). In almost every fight of the last two books, the barbarian would rage and turn into a dragon, the druid would lay out some control spells and then wildshape into a phoenix, and my monk would chug a couple mutagens before bouncing off of walls and back-flipping over bannisters like he was trying out for the Avengers. But we struggled a lot and had to develop team tactics and we didn't make it through all six books without losing some PCs along the way.

Conversely, my PF1 group for Tyrant's Grasp had much higher chances of success and far fewer fatalities, but they didn't actually do as much. They quietly blendered their way through obstacles but would often level up without seeing any outward change in their tactics.

So for some people, the PF1 paradigm might feel more heroic because the math can be leveraged to remove the random factor of the dice and provide a consistently "winning" experience. For other people, getting more things to do but still being faced with a realistic chance to miss with attacks or be knocked down by enemies feels more heroic. It kind of comes down to how you define "heroic" and what experience appeals to you most.

I, personally, always felt like PF1 was kind of a weird paradigm, where fighters and the like were emulating Lord of the Rings and spellcasters were emulating anime like Naruto. I see PF2 as kind of a balancing of those scales, where now all the classes are playing the same game, and it's a bit more fantastic than Lord of the Rings but not quite as "anime" as PF1 (at least, not until around level 16 or so, and then everyone is getting the upgrade).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
...(even spellcasters who are kind of stuck in the past have more they can do with their 'extra' action each round)...
This is a very bold statement which is quite contrary to my own observations, respectively even if they may have a greater choice they definitely have less actions a turn.

Than in PF1? A PF1 spellcaster casts a spell and can move afterwards (provided it wasn't a full round or 1 round spell, of which there were quite a few). A PF2 caster has a similar number of things they're doing, but there's a lot more you can do with one PF2 action than one PF1 move action.

Like I said, I wish there was more but that's still definitely a step up.

Michael Sayre wrote:
They quietly blendered their way through obstacles but would often level up without seeing any outward change in their tactics.

In some ways I found tactics diminished as levels went up in PF1.

Playing a fighter in a home game, at level 3 I was darting around the battlefield, repositioning myself to protect my allies and intercept enemies... but as my levels went up an increasingly large amount of my damage came from full round actions.

By level 16 I was loathe to move more than 5 feet in any given round because it would crater my damage output and the enemies we were facing were designed to eat those full attacks, not a regular swing.

In that respect, my level 16 character felt relatively worse at their main shtick than they did at level 3.

That paradigm being gone is one of the best things about PF2 (and one of the things that makes it hardest for me to go back to Starfinder).


Squiggit wrote:
Than in PF1? A PF1 spellcaster casts a spell and can move afterwards (provided it wasn't a full round or 1 round spell, of which there were quite a few). A PF2 caster has a similar number of things they're doing, but there's a lot more you can do with one PF2 action than one PF1 move action. Like I said, I wish there was more but that's still definitely a step up.

While I agree that a PF2 caster may have more meaningful actions than a simple move, he definitely has less actions a turn.

A typical PF1 turn for one of my many clerics or druids was casting a spell (2 actions), move or step (1 action) and use my shield for AC (1 action) and is not possible to reproduce in PF2 without using Haste.

An extreme example would be step (1 action), cast a spell (2 actions), draw a weapon/potion/wand (1 action), use a shield for AC (1 action) and make a knowledge check (1 action) for a total of 6 PF2 actions.

Shadow Lodge

My observation of differing play between editions is not so much about the powers you get. Both games give very similar abilities. If you think you can't leap buildings and shoot fireballs as a "martial" in 1e, then you just haven't spent the time to figure out how to. 2e changed that only in you don't need any system mastery to do such things.

The superhero feeling of PF1 is that you battle an army of giants and send them fleeing in terror from your awesome might. Pf2 you might even take on the same army of giants, but you will have received a thorough whooping in the process, and your victory is only by the skin of your teeth. It makes me feel more like a normal person struggling against overwhelming odds rather than a powerful hero.

I'm sure there's plenty of table variance as well, but I feel pf1 lends itself to the former, and pf2 to the latter in how they are designed.


For me, "feeling like a hero" just just as much about how I do it than what I do. In 1E, scaring off that army of giants would often feel very routine, impressive as it was. In 2E I feel like I actually have to stake my path to heroism in each encounter which, to me at least, lends itself to feeling far more impressive.

Shadow Lodge

I think that routine comes from (at least for me) having played the game for the last 20+ years (3e was basically the same thing). PF2 is new, it has that excitness of new thing to it.


Fletch wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo
That's actually the opposite of what I'd heard. I believe you, but maybe it comes down to play style?

I would say it's more of a Bell curve, but if you're comparing level 20 characters, then yes the Captain has a point.

So at level 1, I feel like there's a LOT of grit to the game and it kinda carries that way to me for a while (so far I haven't seen issues with it).

Now, once you get into Legendary Skill territory and 10+ level Class Features, it does start to go from "gritty" to "wuxia" as he mentions.

But I actually don't mind that. Most people in PF1 if they wanted a LOTR style game had to go for the "max out at level 5 and only acquire gear from there" setup (I never tried it but some really liked it).

I think characters feel "rounder" than they did in previous editions by a lot, which does a lot to help the "grit" IMO.


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Michael Sayre wrote:
Paraphrase: Lots of good points.

So...my view with martials in PF2 is that feel depends a lot on how you build your character AND your level.

A PF2 archer ranger might literally just stand in one place and shoot a bunch of arrows, looking a lot like a PF1 archer. Shoot shoot shoot shoot. At low or high levels, it can still be just a bunch of arrows. A PF2 fighter starts out with a very straightforward toolset, but can expand it with lots of options (even building toward making "strike strike strike" a fairly optimal turn). But they don't have to, even though the diminishing math on multiple attacks means it's usually better to find other ways to use your later actions.

A lot of the wackier options for classes start showing up around level 8, when tools for dealing with flying foes start showing up in earnest for many classes. Leaping 30' into the sky to hit with a melee attack? Sure, barbarians and fighters can do that. Druids can take on flying forms if they wild shape.

By the time you hit 12, the options are even greater. You don't have to go that far, though, my level 5 PFS fighter with multiclass druid has a very simple attack routine 95% of the time. The other 5%, he's leaping across a chasm without having to roll a check, or turning into a shark because his bludgeoning melee weapon is nearly useless in water.

Basically, the higher level you go, the more likely you are to take weird options that add to that superpower feeling - and that's the point. Higher levels are big and important and more than just bigger numbers. They're greater sets of options.

They're also bigger numbers, though, and a few people have mentioned options to reduce/remove the impact of level on proficiency. One of the drawbacks of doing that is that you're throwing away one of the tools that's tied into level: Built-in balancing of action value. PF2's "level to proficiency" math means that fighting something 4 levels higher than you is going to be a dang tough fight, because they're harder to hit, harder to crit, and are way more likely to hit and crit you. In return, you don't need legendary actions, lair actions, or any other metagame constructs to offset the party just straight-up having 4 or 5 times the number of actions as the boss monster.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Fletch wrote:


gnoams wrote:
Second edition is more down to earth, the struggle is real, more like Tolkein level action.
And that's the one review point that single handedly got me to even look at Pathfinder 2. If anybody remembers the old Pathfinder Chronicles Podcast, there was a point where everybody chases off after the badguy using a crazy variety of flying abilities/spells/items and thry describe it as feeling like a superhero game. Any fantasy game system that stops shy of 'D&D Avengers' is something I'm interested in.

Well, I hope this doesn't turn you off of PF2 but I actually disagree with gnoams assessment there. PF1 let you build more powerful heroes in the sense that you could mathematically smash the game's difficulty curve. But usually the best way to do that was using incredibly static strategies. 5 foot step, full attack, all day every day. You might get the occasional rage lance pouncer, but then pouncing was all they did. Even more esoteric builds, like grapplers, tended to pretty much just do that.

PF2 caps how powerful a character of X level can be, which makes things like Challenge Rating usable but means sacrificing the same mathematical certainty of outcomes. But in exchange, it gives you a lot more narrative and cinematic options that really enable the super hero style of play.

An 8th level monk, without any spells or magic items, can run up a wall, bounce off it, and Flying Kick an enemy of the sky. A NG champion can literally make an enemy rethink their life choices every round. Spell casters have taken some nerfs, but they've also gained the ability to deal reliable at will damage which means they can always feel like a spell caster and not a bad crossbowman.

And honestly, PF1 feels more like Lord of the Rings to me. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas (at least in the book) are good enough carve their way through armies but they aren't leaping 30 feet straight up or suplexing elephants to do it. They aren't pulling flashy stunts but they are just...

PF2 is more Wuxia at higher level.

But I love how you avoided bringing casters into the comparison. Because PF1 was John Wick for Fighters and Rogues.

It was was full on Avengers for most other classes.

Wizard was The Beyonder or Silver Surfer. Virtually no limits on power.

Barbarian was The Hulk. Rage powers that made him nearly invulnerable, 400 plus hit points, and the ability to pounce and full attack every round. Then toss on Superstition so you barely miss saves.

Monk was the Flash. He moved crazy fast, was immune to many attacks. and could swing way more times than almost any other class. I think the average well built monk could swing 9 times a round.

Sorcerer was like the wizard, but maybe more focused on damage. So he ended up being like a Cyclops or Human Torch.

Magus was Black Knight or some other power sword anime user with huge damage spell strike hits and the ability to turn invisible and use great magic defense spells.

Witch was Mr. Sleep turning everything into snooze time for enemies easily coup de grased.

Summoner: You were usually Iron Man (Synthesist) or some One Man Army type summoning huge numbers of creatures into the battle.

Cleric and Druid: Much like the wizard, but in a slightly different way. Maybe you were a Shapechanging hero or Uber Righteous Might guy becoming Thor a few times a day. Lots of strategies for a cleric. I made a cleric one time that could obliterate armies of people by jacking Holy Word to my level +9 casting.

So sure, you were John Wick in PF1 if you were a fighter or rogue and fighting creatures with no magical powers. You only got to be a super-hero if you picked one of the other classes. Though a 2-hander fighter specialist could chop through stone walls and make short work of anything he was able to hit. The Ninja was at least at some point the Invisible Man.


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So the thing about PF1 was that you could build for doing crazy stunts, but the system rarely rewarded it. Until we got Flying Kick on the Unchained Monk, all their mobility hardly mattered in combat. You could build a martial who leaps 30 feet in the air, but usually it was easier to get a caster to use Fly on you or just buy a Broom of Flying. Which is technically more effective, but way less cool.

Also, the barbarian is one of the best examples of a classes getting to do more crazy things. Look at the Dragon totem. PF1 gave you situational bonuses, energy resistance, and wings. PF2 gave you an elemental weapon, a breath weapon, wings, and the ability to turn into a dragon. Titan Maulers went from being to Enlarge at 14th level to 6th level.

And the other thing about PF2, as mentioned, is you CAN play it on easy mode. The difference is that doing so is a conscious decision a GM makes when they design an adventure, rather than just an unforeseen result of the players optimizing more than predicted.


Captain Morgan wrote:

So the thing about PF1 was that you could build for doing crazy stunts, but the system rarely rewarded it. Until we got Flying Kick on the Unchained Monk, all their mobility hardly mattered in combat. You could build a martial who leaps 30 feet in the air, but usually it was easier to get a caster to use Fly on you or just buy a Broom of Flying. Which is technically more effective, but way less cool.

Also, the barbarian is one of the best examples of a classes getting to do more crazy things. Look at the Dragon totem. PF1 gave you situational bonuses, energy resistance, and wings. PF2 gave you an elemental weapon, a breath weapon, wings, and the ability to turn into a dragon. Titan Maulers went from being to Enlarge at 14th level to 6th level.

And the other thing about PF2, as mentioned, is you CAN play it on easy mode. The difference is that doing so is a conscious decision a GM makes when they design an adventure, rather than just an unforeseen result of the players optimizing more than predicted.

Why would you need crazy stunts when you had such powerful magic and casters that was nothing like John Wick or Lord of the Rings?

The only classes with that gritty John Wick feel were the rogue and the fighter, maybe the Cavalier for those few that played them.

Magic users in PF1 were like superheroes. Nothing like Gandalf. The PF2 wizard is far easier to make into a Gandalf like figure.


PF1 Fighters were only as John Wick as the player made them. It also doesn't help when the GM limits things to only the first book (maybe 1st and second), which has the worse Fighter and Rogue.

A PF1 Fighter with full access to all books had access to a lot of crazy feats that most other character could not even imagine to taking. Things like Item Mastery (magic for mundane characters), feats with weird effects, feats that change how you play, etc. Want lots of damage and move? Its literally 1-3 feats, when the fighters has at least 21.

In other words, too me the best PF1 Fighters ends up being something like Captain America, Black Panther, Green Arrow, etc. Super heroes that don't have weird powers, but are still broken.


Temperans wrote:

PF1 Fighters were only as John Wick as the player made them. It also doesn't help when the GM limits things to only the first book (maybe 1st and second), which has the worse Fighter and Rogue.

A PF1 Fighter with full access to all books had access to a lot of crazy feats that most other character could not even imagine to taking. Things like Item Mastery (magic for mundane characters), feats with weird effects, feats that change how you play, etc. Want lots of damage and move? Its literally 1-3 feats, when the fighters has at least 21.

In other words, too me the best PF1 Fighters ends up being something like Captain America, Black Panther, Green Arrow, etc. Super heroes that don't have weird powers, but are still broken.

Never used those books. I heard about them though. I could see it.

I know the weird material rules in PF1 made it so a PF1 2-hander fighter could cut through almost any material like paper. He could cut his way through a mountain if the DM let him. Castle gates and the like were nothing to a PF1 2hander fighter. Castle walls even weren't much. It got kind of goofy. As a DM,I had to say that is stupid to stop it. Or he would have cut his way around the dungeon.


Deriven Firelion wrote:


I know the weird material rules in PF1 made it so a PF1 2-hander fighter could cut through almost any material like paper. He could cut his way through a mountain if the DM let him. Castle gates and the like were nothing to a PF1 2hander fighter. Castle walls even weren't much. It got kind of goofy. As a DM,I had to say that is stupid to stop it. Or he would have cut his way around the dungeon.

Most weapons can't cut through walls or doors. See the Ineffective Weapons section in the damaging objects category.

That adamantine greatsword is no good at chopping walls. A commonly overlooked rule.


Captain Morgan wrote:

And honestly, PF1 feels more like Lord of the Rings to me. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas (at least in the book) are good enough carve their way through armies but they aren't leaping 30 feet straight up or suplexing elephants to do it. They aren't pulling flashy stunts but they are just consistently better than the enemies they face.

PF2 is more like a wuxia movie. The hero isn't fighting armies usually, but a duel with a skilled rival is actually a challenge. But they're also running on water and balancing on tree tops.

Or for a more contemporary example, PF1 heroes are John Wick, and PF2 heroes are Neo. John's fighting is more down to Earth, but he fights hundreds of enemies and never loses because he rolled badly. Neo's power level relative to his opposition varies much more than John's, but Neo can frigging fly.

A "mundane yet reliable" VS "swingy but super" situation, am I understanding the words right?


But still it proves my point.

The game had ways for fighters to be awesome.

But many GMs banned those things, so Fighters could only be on the lower end of things. Given the very common perception that Fighters are bad.

In a PF2 comparison. Its like if Paizo released a book after the APG that fixed the problems with Alchemist, and most GMs banned all books after the APG. For all those players, the Alchemist is the worst class, but for everyone else its great.

*****************************

@Lucas Yew

Yes that is more or less how PF1 is balanced. Fancy/Fantastic things have limited uses that may or may not scale with level. Mundane things become more and more reliable.


Pirate Rob wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:


I know the weird material rules in PF1 made it so a PF1 2-hander fighter could cut through almost any material like paper. He could cut his way through a mountain if the DM let him. Castle gates and the like were nothing to a PF1 2hander fighter. Castle walls even weren't much. It got kind of goofy. As a DM,I had to say that is stupid to stop it. Or he would have cut his way around the dungeon.

Most weapons can't cut through walls or doors. See the Ineffective Weapons section in the damaging objects category.

That adamantine greatsword is no good at chopping walls. A commonly overlooked rule.

Good to know my that is stupid rule was an actual rule. The amount of damage the 2-hander fighter did annihilated walls and the like.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Pirate Rob wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:


I know the weird material rules in PF1 made it so a PF1 2-hander fighter could cut through almost any material like paper. He could cut his way through a mountain if the DM let him. Castle gates and the like were nothing to a PF1 2hander fighter. Castle walls even weren't much. It got kind of goofy. As a DM,I had to say that is stupid to stop it. Or he would have cut his way around the dungeon.

Most weapons can't cut through walls or doors. See the Ineffective Weapons section in the damaging objects category.

That adamantine greatsword is no good at chopping walls. A commonly overlooked rule.

Good to know my that is stupid rule was an actual rule. The amount of damage the 2-hander fighter did annihilated walls and the like.

Eh, it's not that simple because the two-handed fighter just need a pick or hammer to knock down that wall. And they could easily have a backup wall destroying hammer in their bag of holding. Heck, they could have even made it adamantine for shiggles.


For some, it is an adamatine pick.

For others, it is a 'Wand of Bane to Lithic Deposits'*.

*May require multiple applications. Apply as required.


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Lycar wrote:

For some, it is an adamatine pick.

For others, it is a 'Wand of Bane to Lithic Deposits'*.

*May require multiple applications. Apply as required.

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Shipping and handling not included. If problems persist, try hitting them more.


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yeah i think one of the biggest myths to me of PF1 were that fighters were "weak".

maybe outside of combat they werent versatile, but a system mastered fighter could literally become the sword equivalent of one punch man, with damage outputs that would put an adult dragon or archmage to shame.

more than class balance or imbalance the thing that i disliked the most was that p1e became rocket tag at level 12 or so, and just got progressively worst. and just how unbalanced it could get between party members. I always have to check myself, because 1/2 - 2/3 of my gaming group are habitual un-optimizers. So it's nice that i can go wild in P2e and they can do interesting route, and the GM wont have to kill himself to make it work.


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ikarinokami wrote:

yeah i think one of the biggest myths to me of PF1 were that fighters were "weak".

maybe outside of combat they werent versatile, but a system mastered fighter could literally become the sword equivalent of one punch man, with damage outputs that would put an adult dragon or archmage to shame.

more than class balance or imbalance the thing that i disliked the most was that p1e became rocket tag at level 12 or so, and just got progressively worst. and just how unbalanced it could get between party members. I always have to check myself, because 1/2 - 2/3 of my gaming group are habitual un-optimizers. So it's nice that i can go wild in P2e and they can do interesting route, and the GM wont have to kill himself to make it work.

My friend hated playing fighters due to the weak will save which became more and more of a problem as you leveled. He liked the damage and the fighter theme, but that will save kept making his life as a fighter miserable.

Shadow Lodge

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Again, that poor will save was solvable via system mastery. Pf2 has a more balanced base line. System mastery only gives a small performance boost. Some people see this as really good, way better, why would anyone play pf1 anymore. Others see this as awful, worst part of the system, why would anyone play pf2.


Gnoams that is exactly right.

At the very least for the very extremes.


gnoams wrote:
Again, that poor will save was solvable via system mastery. Pf2 has a more balanced base line. System mastery only gives a small performance boost. Some people see this as really good, way better, why would anyone play pf1 anymore. Others see this as awful, worst part of the system, why would anyone play pf2.

My friend had a lot of system mastery. He wanted to play a straight fighter two-hander style. It wasn't fixable using that base template unless you're talking about higher level when you can obtain some nice magic items. About the only way I've seen fighters fix that weak will save without magic items is multi-classing. A weak will save is really hard to deal with as you level up until you can get ideal magic items and even then quite a few spells bypass it. He was very reliant on caster help. Weak will save is worse than a weak Fort or Reflex. After one bad sequence of missed will saves, he quit the fighter and never went back to save to multiclass on occasion for weapon spec. The best use of the fighter class.

Liberty's Edge

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
My friend had a lot of system mastery. He wanted to play a straight fighter two-hander style. It wasn't fixable using that base template. About the only way I've seen fighters fix that weak will save is multi-classing. A weak will save is really hard to deal with as you level up until you can get ideal magic items and even then quite a few spells bypass it. He was very reliant on caster help. Weak will save is worse than a weak Fort or Reflex.

Iron Will and Armed Bravery (the latter under Advanced Weapon Training, available from 5th level as a Feat) really do more or less fix this. The problem is that the latter was a well hidden ability and one they were basically required to buy, not that it didn't exist.


It wasn't even hidden, its both on PFSRD and AON. The problem usually stems from either the GM only allowing the first 2 books, or the players willing choosing not to get it.

(There was a lot of prioritizing damage)


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My friend had a lot of system mastery. He wanted to play a straight fighter two-hander style. It wasn't fixable using that base template. About the only way I've seen fighters fix that weak will save is multi-classing. A weak will save is really hard to deal with as you level up until you can get ideal magic items and even then quite a few spells bypass it. He was very reliant on caster help. Weak will save is worse than a weak Fort or Reflex.
Iron Will and Armed Bravery (the latter under Advanced Weapon Training, available from 5th level as a Feat) really do more or less fix this. The problem is that the latter was a well hidden ability and one they were basically required to buy, not that it didn't exist.

Add in half orc with sacred tattoo and fate’s favoured trait for another +2 to all saves on top of what DMW said

Liberty's Edge

Lanathar wrote:
Add in half orc with sacred tattoo and fate’s favoured trait for another +2 to all saves on top of what DMW said

This one works for everyone. :)

It's also a pretty specific concept that not everyone wants to play, so I wouldn't tout it as a general solution. The Armed Bravery thing really does work for basically all Fighters, though.

Shadow Lodge

I'm currently playing a sylph fighter (no multiclassing) in ruins of azlant, level 14. Her saves are fort+18, ref+21, Will+20.

There's so much material for pf1 that given enough time spent pouring through books (aka looking at the archives of nethys) you'll probably find a way around whatever downside/flaw/problem you're looking for. For some, like me, that is a source of entertainment. One that is lacking from pf2. For others, that was a source of frustration, one that is lacking in pf2.

The positive side for this for me is that I'm fine with writing up a new character the day before starting a new pf2 campaign. For pf1, I want a couple weeks to a month to mull over endless possibilities.


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Thats going to be a thing in PF2 sooner rather than later. Heck I bet with the 40 archetypes in the APG we are going to hit customization levels in PF2 one year in that PF1 didn't have for five.

Liberty's Edge

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The difference between super optimized characters and those thrown together quickly is very likely to remain much lower in PF2 than it was even in the corebook in PF1, though.

The tight math basically ensures that unless they start violating it, which seems very unlikely.


Lanathar wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My friend had a lot of system mastery. He wanted to play a straight fighter two-hander style. It wasn't fixable using that base template. About the only way I've seen fighters fix that weak will save is multi-classing. A weak will save is really hard to deal with as you level up until you can get ideal magic items and even then quite a few spells bypass it. He was very reliant on caster help. Weak will save is worse than a weak Fort or Reflex.
Iron Will and Armed Bravery (the latter under Advanced Weapon Training, available from 5th level as a Feat) really do more or less fix this. The problem is that the latter was a well hidden ability and one they were basically required to buy, not that it didn't exist.
Add in half orc with sacred tattoo and fate’s favoured trait for another +2 to all saves on top of what DMW said

i prefer android with nanite surge and iron will. I dont think i fail a single save in my 1-17 curse of crimson throne adventure. add a cap of free thinker to add insult to injury


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My friend had a lot of system mastery. He wanted to play a straight fighter two-hander style. It wasn't fixable using that base template. About the only way I've seen fighters fix that weak will save is multi-classing. A weak will save is really hard to deal with as you level up until you can get ideal magic items and even then quite a few spells bypass it. He was very reliant on caster help. Weak will save is worse than a weak Fort or Reflex.
Iron Will and Armed Bravery (the latter under Advanced Weapon Training, available from 5th level as a Feat) really do more or less fix this. The problem is that the latter was a well hidden ability and one they were basically required to buy, not that it didn't exist.

Don't know about Armed Bravery. He bought Iron Will. Caster DCs with feats and special abilities could get DCs high enough to challenge good will save PCs. So a minor +2 bump wasn't much of a fix. Not sure how much Armed Bravery helped. With auras, spells, special abilities, gazes, and the like, it was rough having a low will save.

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