Repetition and 2e / "Taking20"s Break Up Letter


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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fanatic66 wrote:

Strangler, I would highly suggest trying one game of this edition because then things will be much clearer. I’m assuming your background is 5e since you are coming from Cody’s video and he mostly posts about 5e. I’ve been playing 5e for 4 years both as a player and DM. I’ve homebrewed a lot of content in 5e so I feel like I have a decent grasp of the system.

With all that said, where PF2e excels at is giving you more options both at character creation and in social/exploration/combat. Since the discussion here seems focused on combat, I’ll focus on that as well. One of the biggest draws for me to Pathfinder 2E is that martials are fun. Everyone keeps taking about a bow ranger, but why not a melee fighter?

In 5e, a melee fighter just hits things every turn. Maybe some grapple but grappling is rather niche as its main benefit is restricting enemy movement and keeping them prone (giving advantage on attacks against them). The thing is that restricting enemy movement isn’t hard to do via other means (mostly magic) and granting advantage isn’t a huge boon when they are so many ways to grant advantage in the game, and advantage doesn’t stack. In my 4 years of experience, I only ever saw one dedicated grappler and most melee fighters just hit with their weapon. This can create for some repetitive turns that can be boring after many levels of play. You can see this all the time in the 5e subreddit where the occasional post pops up of someone asking for more combat options or others advocating “flavor your attacks” as a possible solution.

Now in PF2E, the fighter class is completely different. You can still attack with your weapon and you’re better at attacking than other martials. However, the multiple attack penalty (each additional attack after your first attack gets an increasing penalty to hit) really encourages all classes to do things besides standing still and attacking, even for highly accurate fighters. What else can a fighter do besides attacking?

  • Movement is one but that’s
...

I appreciate the post because I feel like you are actually trying to provide effective context of the issue.

Can I try and simplify this a bit?

PF2 is built around a 3 action system where the players are presented with a hard choice with regards to their third action, while the first 2 are likely dedicated to attacks but are not limited to attacks. Their primary options are movement, skill check, a third attack at a major penalty, or some additional class/race feature.

Skill checks can produce benefits to the player or the party depending on the skill set chosen.

From a 5e perspective it is like giving players a lot of options for their bonus action.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Stangler wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Strangler, I don't know what you're asking for. We are providing examples of meaningful combat and character creation choices, yet it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. I'm with RD there. Please be clear and succinct.

The primary issue is combat, not character creation.

I have seen one person mention the use of shove.

I have not seen anyone explain with any clarity the decisions a player has in combat. I have seen people explain that understanding the implications of any decision, including the really simple choice of melee vs range is... complicated but I have not seen anyone tell me the clear choices a Ranger is making in combat.

If one choice is to do less damage then there has to be a clear benefit because the lost damage is the opportunity cost.

What is the elevator pitch on Ranger combat choices at level 5 in PF2?

Lets really breakdown the decision tree around shove and why it can be something that GMs need to help their PCs see the value in, and why a GM that sees their players doing the same things over and over again (often focused on trying to eek out every last point of damage, even against foes that they are struggling to hit and devastating them on the exchange of "full attack" rounds).

One of the things that PF2 really makes easy as a GM is making on the fly arbitrations of environmental factors in a way that is going to be balanced and fair to PCs and their enemies. You have really easy to use DC charts for assigning difficulty for things based upon the level of challenge they should present.

WAY TOO MANY people interpreted this right away as meaning always choose the level of challenge based on the PC (even from the playtest) and there actually was a fair bit of development from the playtest to the core rule book to help GMs understand that it will only feel like a treadmill to nowhere if the GM plays it that way. If the GM continues to present an array of challenges to the PCs as they level up, remembering to throw in some of the same challenges, at the same level that they faced earlier, instead of a treadmill, you have a fully dynamic world moving beneath the PCs and when they come to some of the same places they've been before, they will have changed in ways that make those locations feel different.

Ok so shove. At low levels, it is a maneuver using a skill that is likely to be trained with no special item bonuses or anything else, it is going to feel roughly comparable to an attack as far as likelihood of success and in the white room scenarion of one character 30 ft away from another character it is never going to look like an effective action to take.

But as the PCs are fighting their way up a crumbling tower, and they spy a large broken hole in the wall behind the retreating enemy, they might have an oportunity to shove that will radically change the entire encounter, far beyond what a strike is going to do. This next bit is really important so I am going to make it a one sentence paragraph:

Combat encounters get really boring when the objective of all of them is exactly the same (kill the enemy) and they make up the vast majority of the encounters the players spend game time involved in.

This is not a system problem, and pathfinder APs don't actually feed into this either. At least, not nearly as much as GMs and players who think combat is the only part of the game that feels fun, and trying to move too quickly through other kinds of encounters and never investing any character resources into succeeding in encounters without resorting to combat. AND PCs approaching combat encounters with the idea that DEAD is the only condition that matters is only true if the GM goes out of their way to reward players for killing enemies, but not capturing them, or demoralizing them enough to withdraw or any of the many other kinds of conflict resolution that interesting stories use all the time to keep things from getting boring.

But back to the shove.

Let's jump ahead to level 7. Now a character who has "specialized" in shove has done so by spending character building resources on things that are not only focused on shoving, eliminating the need to always be using it in every round of combat but still able to do so to great effect.

The are going to be a master of atheletics (useful for a ton of things in and out of combat), they are going to be increasing the power of a weapon with the shove trait, but is also making the weapon better for simple attacking, and they might have spent 1 of 3 class feats on a special activity that lets them shove as a part of an attack or shove enemies you couldn't otherwise. You are going to be about 10 to 15% better at shoving creatures numerically, but you will also have other abilities that again don't really work out to a math analysis about times where your character will be able to take advantage of the environment in creative ways that other characters wont.

Does that make shove a good action to use in combat? It all depends on the GM and the story and all the players at the table. PF2 makes it really easy to make an action like shove into a really powerful combat action to take, but if the GM doesn't help the players see the tactical advantages of doing so in the way that they describe the environment and have the enemies interact with it, then no one is ever going to waste the action to do it.


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Stangler wrote:

This is wrong on many levels.

Excellent rebuttal. You stating I'm wrong without pointing to anything specific I said in my multiparagraph response is always super helpful in discussion.

Quote:


The evidence is user experience.

You and I have different definitions of "evidence". This is not a court of law, "witness testimony" does not apply here. His experience, as I've pointed out many times, is completely subjective.

A Subjective experience is not evidence, that is why the fallacy "anecdotal evidence" is not considered valid for supporting a bold statement.

Quote:
Optimal gameplay based on a deep dive of the math involved isn't an expectation of game system should be built around.

It isn't and Cody is the one dictating that it is, and he did not prove that.

That's his whole argument, that the game always expects you to be doing the "most optimal thing" and that the "most optimal thing" is always whatever rotation the person selected with their Class Feats.

What everyone here has pointed out, and there's another great video breaking down his example posted yesterday, is that where he makes the decree "I can't do anything else in this situation because my ranger has to use Hunted Shot in this scenario or my party will suffer because I'm being 'suboptimal'" incorrect.

Quote:


Secondly, a mathematical outcome that is slightly different but not materially different to the point of the argument doesn't make the rest of his argument or experience invalid.

You define Tripping and going into melee, which has drastically different outcomes not only to the enemy attacked but to the enemies response to his attack is "slightly different but not materially different"?

Why do you get to make that assumption? I see others saying you haven't tried PF2, so I think it's pretty bold of you to assume that outcomes that ultimately have, well, entirely different outcomes are the same.

You saying that doesn't make it true. In the breakdowns of the example, it's clear that Cody could have done something else but his preconceived notion that Hunted Shot is always the best use of his actions is false.

Quote:
Thirdly, you have not addressed his point.

What point?

The one he made up a scenario to prove and failed? The point where he said "action rotations are locked because I would be suboptimal not to use Hunted Shot" when he is totally wrong?

That 'point'?

He has no point. He can build a foundation for his argument as wide as he wants, but when its sitting on a pile of fallacies, all it's going to do is topple over.

"The clouds are made of ice cream"

"actually no, they are made of water"

"Yeah no, they are ice cream. I saw this ice cream cone looking cloud, and then a drop landed on my head and it was sweet so checkmate guys, the clouds are made of ice cream"

"But they aren't though. The clouds are formed whe-"

"NO NO HE HAS A POINT!"

Sorry, it just doesn't work that way.

If you make the claim, you have to prove your claim. It is not on the community to prove Cody wrong, it is on Cody to prove the game does not allow varied action.

Cody did not do that, not even a little bit. We can't "disprove" what was never based on honest facts and evidence in the first place, and we don't have to treat his subjective experience as if it applies to the entire game or even a majority of the game, because as people here are stating that's not the case.

I'll be honest, if you literally created an account just to come in here and say "yeah cody has a point" while not having ever played the game, that's borderline troll behavior. Just as Cody has no business arguing that "system mastery leads me to using the same actions over and over" because he doesn't have system mastery (clearly), you probably don't have a lot of ground to be defending his arguments since you've never even played the game and only watched Cody's (very biased and borderline slandering) video.

Quote:
PF2 is built around a 3 action system where the players are presented with a hard choice with regards to their third action, while the first 2 are likely dedicated to attacks but are not limited to attacks. Their primary options are movement, skill check, a third attack at a major penalty, or some additional class/race feature.

False. This is the exact mentality that is being used by Cody, but it is not contextually true of the game.

It does not always factor that the first two actions = attacks and the last action = something else.

List of scenarios where that's not the case:

- You cannot make an attack with your first actions

- You want to Trip an opponent first, so they can be Flat-footed which gives your follow up attack a better to hit, your allies easier hits, and the enemy a taxed action (its also more likely to succeed as the first actio)

- You demoralize first action since the enemy would have lower AC/Reflex to hit with your follow up actions (and it does not increase MAP so its more optimal)

- You want to Shove your opponent into difficult terrain or AoE spell of an ally for better effect

- You want to Shove an opponent away from a Grappled ally

- You want to Grapple an ally to prevent them from moving, so your allies can get into range

- You are fighting a Quickling, where a Strike is actually not an effective tactic to defeat them

- You are fighting a Giant Slug, which has a "drive by trample" so you need to use an Athletics check to jump over the difficult terrain created by the mucus trail just to get to a place you can attack

- Ad infinitum

The idea that you are put in a box that tiny when any of your actions can vary, not just your last one, is the exact type of false premise arguments that Cody is making.

In order to make that argument, you need to prove that the first two actions going to attacks is the most optimal.

And it is impossible to prove that in a game like PF2 because the variability of environments, enemy actions, enemy abilities, and character abilities are too expansive to be judged that way.

White room scenarios prove nothing. The burden of proof is snuggly in Cody's corner, not on the community.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:


What everyone here has pointed out, and there's another great video breaking down his example posted yesterday, is that where he makes the decree "I can't do anything else in this situation because my ranger has to use Hunted Shot in this scenario or my party will suffer because I'm being 'suboptimal'" incorrect.

Which video are you referencing here, please?


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Fumarole wrote:
Maybe I didn't see it, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the video Cody made back in May comparing 5e and P2 head to head. You know, the video where P2 came out on top.

Oddly I remember watching that video when trying to decide to try PF2 or D&D 5e. Truly if he just argued the PF2 was more complicated/poorly written I don't think many PF2 players would care. It the video you linked he actually goes over what things are better/worse for him.

It is strange though that he just does a complete 180 on his views since that video. He says combat is great and so are the options quite a few months ago. I get the feeling the complicated rules really got to him, which I 100% understand. I have been playing 2e for 6ish months I think and have to look up so many rules while playing it is crazy. Luckily there is PF2 Easy Tools, that is a lifesaver.

Then you look at his new video where he makes up this super subjective illusion of choice using horrible example. Just skips like 90% of the things that make PF2 good... He just goes over the most basic actions a player can do in 2e and skews things towards 5e by giving the exact same basic actions but making the PF2 Ranger horribly built for it.

I got to be honest does he just do this on purpose? He said he has been GMing 2e for a year but I feel there is 100% no way he would not know the most basic things about ranger. Like saying that there is a "ranged" and "melee" edge then stating the "correct" thing to do is just stand there shooting the monster when it gets up to you.

Then when players mention skill actions his rebuttal is that a player can use athletics in both games to trip/grapple... not the 10+ other things you can do in 2e. Also he gives the worst example possible with using both trip+grapple rather than using just trip+attack which would have actually been a great choice. Prone in 5e comparatively bad/useless too, since if a player actual did that the monster would just get up with 0 repercussions. Also prone actually hurts your ranged allies in 5e.

The worse part as we can see in the forum it actually does make some people believe it is true. People who actually haven't played PF2E will think there really aren't choices in combat. They will think there really weren't any good choices even though there clearly are. Especially once the monster gets up to the Ranger, they have crazy amount of choices.


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Thomas Keller wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


What everyone here has pointed out, and there's another great video breaking down his example posted yesterday, is that where he makes the decree "I can't do anything else in this situation because my ranger has to use Hunted Shot in this scenario or my party will suffer because I'm being 'suboptimal'" incorrect.
Which video are you referencing here, please?

Here is the video I mentioned

Breakdown of actual action variation starts in the middle and he even mentions this is not a comprehensive breakdown, but shows that even in the white room scenario presented Cody wasn't correct.

It's also important to note that the allies on your team greatly vary the most optimal action, so reducing it to a single Fighter is an overly eclipsed idea of what an actual combat could do (add two more wights and two more allies and the permutations of "optimal actions" goes up even further).


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Stangler wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:

Strangler, I would highly suggest trying one game of this edition because then things will be much clearer. I’m assuming your background is 5e since you are coming from Cody’s video and he mostly posts about 5e. I’ve been playing 5e for 4 years both as a player and DM. I’ve homebrewed a lot of content in 5e so I feel like I have a decent grasp of the system.

With all that said, where PF2e excels at is giving you more options both at character creation and in social/exploration/combat. Since the discussion here seems focused on combat, I’ll focus on that as well. One of the biggest draws for me to Pathfinder 2E is that martials are fun. Everyone keeps taking about a bow ranger, but why not a melee fighter?

In 5e, a melee fighter just hits things every turn. Maybe some grapple but grappling is rather niche as its main benefit is restricting enemy movement and keeping them prone (giving advantage on attacks against them). The thing is that restricting enemy movement isn’t hard to do via other means (mostly magic) and granting advantage isn’t a huge boon when they are so many ways to grant advantage in the game, and advantage doesn’t stack. In my 4 years of experience, I only ever saw one dedicated grappler and most melee fighters just hit with their weapon. This can create for some repetitive turns that can be boring after many levels of play. You can see this all the time in the 5e subreddit where the occasional post pops up of someone asking for more combat options or others advocating “flavor your attacks” as a possible solution.

Now in PF2E, the fighter class is completely different. You can still attack with your weapon and you’re better at attacking than other martials. However, the multiple attack penalty (each additional attack after your first attack gets an increasing penalty to hit) really encourages all classes to do things besides standing still and attacking, even for highly accurate fighters. What else can a fighter do besides attacking?

...

Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices.

Because of these varied options, just attacking 3 times is not great except for very specific builds (Flurry Ranger). Instead its better to mix tactical options with attacking. For example, let's say you are a raging Barbarian fighting a goblin boss. Its your turn and like in 5E, rage gives you bonus damage. You could just move and attack a goblin boss twice, but you've already seen your other friends miss several times against this heavily armored goblin. So instead, you move up to the goblin boss, trip him as a 2nd action, knocking the goblin prone. Now that the goblin is flat-footed (-2 to AC), you attack with your last action. More importantly, now any allies that go after you can take advantage of the goblin's prone position to hit more accurately. Also, when the goblin finally goes, it has to use an action to stand up, which only leaves it with 2 actions left. That's really nice, as some monsters (and characters!) have some nasty 3 action abilities.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Fumarole wrote:
Maybe I didn't see it, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the video Cody made back in May comparing 5e and P2 head to head. You know, the video where P2 came out on top.

He also made a video recently about how he was burned out on GMing, but that's all Pathfinder's fault, I suppose.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Thomas Keller wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:


What everyone here has pointed out, and there's another great video breaking down his example posted yesterday, is that where he makes the decree "I can't do anything else in this situation because my ranger has to use Hunted Shot in this scenario or my party will suffer because I'm being 'suboptimal'" incorrect.
Which video are you referencing here, please?

Here is the video I mentioned

Breakdown of actual action variation starts in the middle and he even mentions this is not a comprehensive breakdown, but shows that even in the white room scenario presented Cody wasn't correct.

It's also important to note that the allies on your team greatly vary the most optimal action, so reducing it to a single Fighter is an overly eclipsed idea of what an actual combat could do (add two more wights and two more allies and the permutations of "optimal actions" goes up even further).

Thank you.


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Temperans wrote:

The math in PF2 looks simple because its just +1s. But in reality its super complicated when you look the system as a whole.

The math itself is not the problem. Its all the interactions that players might see as tiny but become huge, but look look huge but are actually tiny.

Super-complicated math was my bread and butter before I retired. And the hardest part about such math was explaining it to other people. Cody of Taking20 focusing on one theorycrafted example was necessary to keep the math understandable.

Unfortunately, he left out the roleplaying that effects the math,so his example is incomplete. His fighter Valeros stood, longsword ready to deal 1d8+4 damage and shield ready for Aggressive Block, and did nothing. And Valeros's actions should change the ranger's tactics.

In Roll for Combat's response video, Roll For Combat Responds to Taking 20 Quitting Pathfinder 2e and their "Reasons", at the time mark 10:08 the narrator said, "The math is so tight that you really have to figure out how to play your character, and more importantly--and this is the secret--you have to figure out how to play with a group.

Lead-up skipped for brevity:
"Now we actually encountered this ourselves on this very podcast when we were first playing 2nd Edition. If you listen to the Fall of Plaguestone podcast, I discuss this in detail throughout the podcast. This was the first time we ever played 2nd Edition and we were all taken aback about how hard the game is if you are playing it by yourself. Everyone at 1st and 2nd level of that podcast was pretty much on their own. They were all trying to do their own attacks and their own abilities.

"But something that Pathfinder 2nd Edition added, whether you realize it or not, is a huge amount of teamwork. There is a lot of teamwork in 2nd Edition. And if you don't take advantage of the teamwork and working together, you will probably die. Once you start to take advantage of the teamwork and the abilities that your class gives you will start to do much better as a party.

"Now this was a specific design decision that the developers at Paizo decided upon. You are stronger as a party than you are by yourself. The casters have a lot of spells that will help out other people but not themselves during combat. The monk can stun monsters and mess them up in all these unique ways, but it doesn't really help out the monk directly on their turn. And so on and so on. There are all these abilities that are built into the classes where you really have to work together and if you don't coordinate you will probably have a bad experience in Pathfinder 2nd Edition.


"If you are all playing solo and you are trying to min-max, you might have an experience similar to what Cody's players experienced. Now I have no idea what happened at that table; I know nothing about that table. But I saw it at my table. And again, you can see this happen and how they fixed it if you listen to that podcast. At level 1 and level 2 they are getting their asses kicked left and right. And then, they slowly figure out, "Wait a second! Let's figure out," and then by 3rd level they're doing really well. They're helping out each other, they're casting spells and using abilities that will make the attacks easier for each other, and it really worked out well. And then at 4th level they were powerhouses. They were doing great. And that is just at 4th level. Because they found the secret to the sauce. And that is the math is very flat if you go solo, but if you help out each other, you can get advantages out the wazoo and suddenly it gets a lot easier to attack monster, it gets a lot easier to damage them, and to incapacitate them. And that is what, at least in my opinion, is the secret of what makes Pathfinder 2nd Edition a lot of fun."

Cody's ranger, if played by one of my players, would have started with Recall Knowledge (Religion) to identify the wights, and immediately thought, "Wights have a Drain Life ability in their claw Strike. We have to defend against it!" A few points of drain can ruin an entire dungeon crawl. The ranger would talk with the fighter and they would reposition themselves at a choke point with the fighter in front with shield raised and the ranger behind him. Or maybe they would retreat even farther and both use archery against the wights.

That is not Hunt Prey, Hunted Shot, Strike. In fact, they have two tactics to consider, choke point or both at range. Later the ranger could settle into Hunted Shot, Strike, Strike but not on the first turn. Teamwork means selecting the best tactic for the team, even when it deals less damage.

Furthermore, my players would not have built that ranger as is. They build for teamwork.

Cody in building his hypothetical ranger chose the feats Hunted Shot ranger feat 1 (the only 1st-level ranger bow-based feat), Quick Draw ranger feat 2 (to draw his bow), Hefty Hauler general feat 3 (for verisimilitude), Far Shot ranger feat 4 (only 4th-level ranger bow-based feat), and Natural Medicine skill feat 1 (to fill the non-existent 5th-level skill feat, but really must have taken it earlier). All three ranger feats were devoted to his bow.

Instead, imagine that the ranger and the fighter teamed up at 1st level. The ranger learned Hunted Shot already, but will he really choose Quick Draw while teamed up with the fighter? Animal Companion would help more, because the animal could flank for the fighter. Then the ranger would use Command Animal as a regular action, breaking up the monotony of Hunted Shot and Strikes, and the animal's actions could vary, too. Or Monster Hunter gives a free Recall Knowledge check during Hunt Prey, useful for information about wights' Drain Life and other unexpected attacks and defenses. Recall Knowledge is more useful in a group.

Cody mentioned that Far Shot was a weak feat, but he chose it anyway because "ranger with a bow" was his only selection criterion. A roleplayed ranger in a party would have more interests. Note that that roleplayed ranger might still mostly use Hunted Shot and Strike, but he would pay more attention to other tactics for the team.

Stangler wrote:
Doing things to help your team isn't unique to PF2. It is basic. What isn't clear to me in the posts in this thread is how these decisions are made clear to players and incorporated effectively into the game system that is PF2.

Right, doing things to help your team is not unique to PF2. My players used teamwork in PF1 and doubled their effectiveness under those rules. Teamwork seems equally effective in PF2, no more or less.

The Pathfinder Core Rulebook does not explain tactics nor teamwork. After the Introduction chapter, it explains rules and merely adds a dash of setting and flavor. A few rules, such as flanking or the Knock spell (+4 status to an Athletics or a Thievery check to open something), imply cooperation. Nevertheless, the rulebook does not specifically call out teamwork until page 489 under Building Encounters, "An extreme-threat encounter might be appropriate for a fully rested
group of characters that can go all-out, for the climactic encounter at the end of an entire campaign, or for a group of veteran players using advanced tactics and teamwork."

For Pathfinder 2nd Edition to be a truly great roleplaying game, everyday use of the rules ought to teach tactics and teamwork. It doesn't, so the task falls to the GM and the experienced players.

Pathfinder 1st Edition had an alternative to teamwork: powergaming. The players with system mastery could design a character who was amazingly good at one necessary role in the party, such as being an outstanding archer. And the everyday use of the rules does teach making a character stronger in one specialization ("I missed by 1; therefore, I ought to add another +1 to my attack roll."). In addition, powergaming made PF1 better at power-fantasy stories, where the hero becomes a superhero in his or her specialty.

However, powergaming can cripple encounter design, so PF2 nerfed it. Powergaming habits can become a trap in PF2. I wonder whether Cody's players fell into that trap.


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fanatic66 wrote:

Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices.

Because of these varied options, just attacking 3 times is not great except for very specific builds (Flurry Ranger). Instead its better to mix tactical options with attacking. For example, let's say you are a raging Barbarian fighting a goblin boss. Its your turn and like in 5E, rage gives you bonus damage. You could just move and attack a goblin boss twice, but you've already seen your other friends miss several times against this heavily armored goblin. So instead, you move up to the goblin boss, trip him as a 2nd action, knocking the goblin prone. Now that the goblin is flat-footed (-2 to AC), you attack with your last action. More importantly, now any allies that go after you can take advantage of the goblin's prone position to hit more accurately. Also, when the goblin finally goes, it has to use an action to stand up, which only leaves it with 2 actions left. That's really nice, as some monsters (and characters!) have some nasty 3 action abilities.

OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation? Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.

Is that option to attack a third time really a choice or is it just an illusion of a choice?

Can we apply this game design to a Ranger?

How does this impact enemy characters? Is everyone just trying to trip each other every round?

Once again the character building decisions would likely need a clear understanding from the player that this is the "game" so to speak.

Conversely one of the biggest problems in 5e is the options to weaponize the bonus action (XBow expert feat and Polearm Expert) totally imbalance the game.


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Stangler wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:

Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices.

Because of these varied options, just attacking 3 times is not great except for very specific builds (Flurry Ranger). Instead its better to mix tactical options with attacking. For example, let's say you are a raging Barbarian fighting a goblin boss. Its your turn and like in 5E, rage gives you bonus damage. You could just move and attack a goblin boss twice, but you've already seen your other friends miss several times against this heavily armored goblin. So instead, you move up to the goblin boss, trip him as a 2nd action, knocking the goblin prone. Now that the goblin is flat-footed (-2 to AC), you attack with your last action. More importantly, now any allies that go after you can take advantage of the goblin's prone position to hit more accurately. Also, when the goblin finally goes, it has to use an action to stand up, which only leaves it with 2 actions left. That's really nice, as some monsters (and characters!) have some nasty 3 action abilities.

OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation? Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.

Is that option to attack a third...

Maybe it is time for you to pick up the rule book and do some investigating yourself? Cause you've asked a lot out of the people here and taken up a lot of thier time for someone who hasn't played the game and doesn't seem super interested in playing it. Honestly, you're not going to understand any tabletop game without at least reading the rules and getting some actual play under your belt.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
FWIW, if every repugnant video were removed from Youtube, it would mostly be music videos and cute animals.

Yes, but I'm sure there would also be negative effects.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Stangler wrote:

This is wrong on many levels.

Excellent rebuttal. You stating I'm wrong without pointing to anything specific I said in my multiparagraph response is always super helpful in discussion.

Quote:


The evidence is user experience.

You and I have different definitions of "evidence". This is not a court of law, "witness testimony" does not apply here. His experience, as I've pointed out many times, is completely subjective.

A Subjective experience is not evidence, that is why the fallacy "anecdotal evidence" is not considered valid for supporting a bold statement.

Quote:
Optimal gameplay based on a deep dive of the math involved isn't an expectation of game system should be built around.

It isn't and Cody is the one dictating that it is, and he did not prove that.

That's his whole argument, that the game always expects you to be doing the "most optimal thing" and that the "most optimal thing" is always whatever rotation the person selected with their Class Feats.

What everyone here has pointed out, and there's another great video breaking down his example posted yesterday, is that where he makes the decree "I can't do anything else in this situation because my ranger has to use Hunted Shot in this scenario or my party will suffer because I'm being 'suboptimal'" incorrect.

Quote:


Secondly, a mathematical outcome that is slightly different but not materially different to the point of the argument doesn't make the rest of his argument or experience invalid.

You define Tripping and going into melee, which has drastically different outcomes not only to the enemy attacked but to the enemies response to his attack is "slightly different but not materially different"?

Why do you get to make that assumption? I see others saying you haven't tried PF2, so I think it's pretty bold of you to assume that outcomes that ultimately have, well, entirely different outcomes are the same.

You saying that...

I am not going to address everything because you clearly just don't understand the discussion and don't seem inclined to have a discussion in good faith.

How people play the game is relevant in a discussion about game design. The information they have when making decisions is 100% relevant and the assumption of perfect information ignores key aspects of the game experience to players and is unrealistic to boot. One of the more important aspects of game design how information is communicated. Literally design 101 and not worth arguing more.

I will jump ahead to your discussion about actions and the order. Obviously changing the order is an option.

I will also point out that I was already assuming that there are some scenarios where the second or third action could be non attacks based on different scenarios. This is a fairly standard trade in action economy.

These are exceptions to the rule though. The core design is still built the way I said.


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PF2 is a game that you play, not a game that you game. That's why beginners are often doing better than veterans.

When the veteran sees the clumsy and slow giant, he thinks: "The GM told me that trip works fine against slow and clumsy, but I have never used this strategy and the fight seems tough so I gonna attack three times as it's what I know."

When the beginner sees the clumsy and slow giant, he thinks: "The GM told me that trip works fine against slow and clumsy."
Beginner: I trip the giant.
GM: It's super effective!

And the beginner's happy and the veteran still does fine as the game doesn't force you to make the optimal move to be efficient. But then Cody starts thinking that Strike, Strike, Strike is the optimal course of action because he completely missed a very simple thing: You don't have to know how trip works to use trip efficiently, you just need to know when trip is strong.

PF2 is a game that you can play with great efficiency without knowing all the mechanics by heart. Of course, system mastery is a plus, but first and foremost basic logic prevails. That's why there's no notion of optimal course of action, of optimal build or optimal whatever. There's just what you want to do with your character and doing it when it's the right moment.


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Docflem wrote:
Stangler wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:

Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices.

Because of these varied options, just attacking 3 times is not great except for very specific builds (Flurry Ranger). Instead its better to mix tactical options with attacking. For example, let's say you are a raging Barbarian fighting a goblin boss. Its your turn and like in 5E, rage gives you bonus damage. You could just move and attack a goblin boss twice, but you've already seen your other friends miss several times against this heavily armored goblin. So instead, you move up to the goblin boss, trip him as a 2nd action, knocking the goblin prone. Now that the goblin is flat-footed (-2 to AC), you attack with your last action. More importantly, now any allies that go after you can take advantage of the goblin's prone position to hit more accurately. Also, when the goblin finally goes, it has to use an action to stand up, which only leaves it with 2 actions left. That's really nice, as some monsters (and characters!) have some nasty 3 action abilities.

OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation? Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.

Is

...

Who said I don't know anything about PF2? I am certainly not claiming to be an expert and want to hear people's perspective as that is very important.

I am also trying to get people to understand how to analyze a system to see its limitations and better understand how Cody's experience happens due to design decisions made by Paizo.


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Stangler wrote:
...

Have you read the rules? You said before that you haven't played any pathfinder 2nd edition games, so my question for you is how are you supposed to help US understand the problems with the game when it seems like you don't even own the book that were talking about and you have zero personal experience with the game? Like how do you know anything Cody said is accurate at all, other than just taking his word for it?


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PF2s math is very flat so when you get a specialization choice it will not give you much a power boost on doing that thing, whether that is attacking once, attacking multiple times, combat maneuvers, skills, etc. You will be better than the baseline but not that much better that doing it in suboptimal situations is better than superior tactics. So if you run into say an enemy with high DR and your build is based on lots of small attacks there are defaults to fall back to that keep you reasonable effective.

PF2 plays well because the types of challenges will allow flexible solutions. It just won’t be like 5e where the answer to everything my Paladin ran into was to oath it and go to town with great weapon master. Or my Sorlock whose answer to everything is more Eldritch blasts. If you treat your best thing (aka what you specialize in) like a hammer and everything else like a nail well PF2 doesn’t allow your hammer to override everything like PF1 and 5e do. If you keep an open mind and look at the options the rule book has available to you (and most if not all are available to every character) and actually play the encounter and not your character combo you’ll do well.

Is it the games job to tell you when using a skill or aiding another or doing a maneuver is better than doing an attack? I suppose there could be better documentation on it sure (haven’t seen the beginners box yet) but the rules are pretty straight forward. It’s not an illusion of choice on what to do there is a real choice and opportunity costs. It’s up to the player over time to see what works and doesn’t work for them. That is due to a number of factors. How the DM runs things, what campaign they’re playing, what their group is like, if they play cooperatively, and so on. If some feat choice isn’t working for them there is always the option to retrain which is easier in this edition.

But one thing PF2 does not really support is a character who does one thing all the time to the exclusion of all else. If you play that way (and yes pf1 and 5e trained you to do that) you’ll probably come up with suboptimal results and die more often.


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Stangler wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:
Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices...

OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation? Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.

Is that option to attack a third time really a choice or is it just an illusion of a choice?

Can we apply this game design to a Ranger?

How does this impact enemy characters? Is everyone just trying to trip each other every round?

Once again the character building decisions would likely need a clear understanding from the player that this is the "game" so to speak.

Conversely one of the biggest problems in 5e is the options to weaponize the bonus action (XBow expert feat and Polearm Expert) totally imbalance the game.

In my opinion, the design is communicated through the 3 action economy, which honestly is so much simpler and easier to understand than 5E's action economy. Also the existence of the Multiple Attack Penalty (MAP) quickly demonstrates that attacking multiple times isn't always the best option. Its also communicated through skills having codified actions with clearcut mechanics for combat. In 5E, maybe I could intimidate a foe with a very generous DM and an on the spot ruling, but with Pathfinder 2E, its baked right into the rules.

Certain classes and builds let you attack a 3rd time more consistently. For example, the Flurry subclass of Ranger lets you lower penalty for multiple attacks, which is why the Flurry Ranger is the king of making many attacks. Certain weapons have the Agile trait, which makes MAP slightly less punishing, but these are usually small damage weapons like a dagger or shortsword. Fighters are more accurate than other martial classes, so attacking a third time, especially with an agile weapon, is sometimes not a bad option.

There are certain class feats for martials that let you do cool stuff like attack everyone near you while ignoring MAP, but those usually take 2-3 actions. Fighters at 1st level get a feat called Double Slice for two weapons that lets you make two attacks (one with each weapon) and the second weapon attack ignores MAP. I suggest looking through the Fighter class feats to get an idea of what cool abilities you can do. The Fighter can pick up some really cool moves as they level up like spending two actions to attack someone, and if it hits, you frighten the creature. Fighters are just so damn cool in this edition.

In regards to Rangers, Flurry Rangers is what you want if you just want to attack all day since the MAP is lower than other classes. I believe Cody uses Precision on his playtest Ranger, which is better for one big hit a turn. Precision is actually better for hitting once, then using your other actions to do other stuff like skill actions or moving.

For monsters, I suggest looking through some monsters to get a better sense. Monsters can do everything the PCs can like trip or frighten, but they often get their own unique abilities. For example, a dragon can spend two actions to attack 3 times, and if they critically hit, they refresh their breath weapon. I'm kind of tired ATM (new dad), but the monsters in Pathfinder 2E are way more interesting than 5E.

On your last point about CBE and other bonus action damage stuff from 5e upsetting the game's balance. Pathfinder 2E is much better balanced across the board. It's hard to explain without you having played the game, but you'll have to trust me on it. I've dabbled into homebrewing for Pathfinder 2E and find it easier once I learned the rules because Paizo very clearly set up the boundaries of whats too strong and too weak.


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And yes it’s pretty clear you don’t know the game Strangler which really makes this discourse with you difficult. Maybe play a session or campaign and then come back. You’re really coming into this talk with a lot of old d&disms that PF2 has deliberately moved away from. Specialization really means a lot different here in PF2 than it has in previous recent editions.


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Stangler wrote:
I am also trying to get people to understand how to analyze a system to see its limitations and better understand how Cody's experience happens due to design decisions made by Paizo.

I feel everyone gave a lot of example and you are missing the point. We gave lots of examples of why the "illusion of choice" is false. The entire video basically tries to say the BEST option is shoot as much as possible which is 100% not the case all the time. I would probably even say it isnt even a strong choice unless you are a flurry ranger for most circumstances.

Yes PF2 doesnt explain what strategies players should use and that is true in other systems too. Let alone I doubt players would even read them anyways.

Overall the amount of good variable combat options for martials at least is way better in PF2. I enjoy casters more in 2e too.

Even making a super specific character like mentioned in the video you have far more good options than he gives.


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Stangler wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:

Yep, you're on the right track. Imagine the Battlemaster maneuvers being given to every character and not being limited to a handful of times per short rest. Now a Barbarian can trip an enemy or frighten them. A player that wants to play a surgeon that heals allies and attacks with medical precision can play a rogue that uses Medicine to heal allies during combat. A ranger that's studied all sorts of monster lore (aka the Witcher) can use knowledge checks to discover weaknesses of a creature to help the ranger and her friends target the discovered vulnerability. A sly fighter can use cunning trick (deception) to fool opponents into exposing themselves to the fighter's attacks. All of the above is possible starting as early as 1st level depending on your skill choices.

Because of these varied options, just attacking 3 times is not great except for very specific builds (Flurry Ranger). Instead its better to mix tactical options with attacking. For example, let's say you are a raging Barbarian fighting a goblin boss. Its your turn and like in 5E, rage gives you bonus damage. You could just move and attack a goblin boss twice, but you've already seen your other friends miss several times against this heavily armored goblin. So instead, you move up to the goblin boss, trip him as a 2nd action, knocking the goblin prone. Now that the goblin is flat-footed (-2 to AC), you attack with your last action. More importantly, now any allies that go after you can take advantage of the goblin's prone position to hit more accurately. Also, when the goblin finally goes, it has to use an action to stand up, which only leaves it with 2 actions left. That's really nice, as some monsters (and characters!) have some nasty 3 action abilities.

OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation? Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.

Is that option to attack a third...

It doesn't take them outright spelling it out for you to realize this, but to identify how it can be used in regards to what we know about the combat system. Or even trying it out in actual play; after all, retraining is a thing hard-built into the game.

In other words, it depends. You might get 3 action attack abilities from feats, but unless you are Hasted or enemies are already in place, it creates an issue of how often you can realistically use that ability without prior set-up either from buffs from allies or anticipating movements from enemies. It provides an option, but an option that requires set-up or buffs to function just means it's a niche option.

There are also ways to mitigate or ignore certain penalties. Rangers with the Flurry Edge (which also works with bow attacks, so it's not a "melee" Edge choice like Cody makes it out to be!) are actually better suited to make 3 strike actions against Hunted Prey, because they took an ability that makes this kind of gameplay more viable. Alternatively, maybe they took Assurance with the Athletics skill, which lets them ignore all penalties (and bonuses, outside of their proficiency) to the skill check. That Trip with your 3rd action after doing two attacks prior will not suffer that -10 penalty. This will set up allies who have Attacks of Opportunity or whom can reasonably damage that enemy on their coming turn at a reasonable rate without the problem of wasting another attack at -10 (or less, if using the Flurry Edge, but still useful against stronger monsters).


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Stangler wrote:


1. OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation?
2. Are there instances where they offer abilities that can undermine this system? For example a 3 action combo that weaponizes that third action.
3. Is that option to attack a third time really a choice or is it just an illusion of a choice?
4. Can we apply this game design to a Ranger?
5. How does this impact enemy characters? Is everyone just trying to trip each other every round?

Let me try to take your flurry of questions as straightforwardly as I can.

1. Not super well, but let me elaborate. The game is created with the assumption of reading the book from the start, rather than just dipping into the character creation bits like I admittedly did when I started 5E a few years ago. The book places repeated emphasis on building in accordance with a character and doing what they'd do (within reason), the example of play only covers one round with three players but does include Recall Knowledge and Raise a Shield being used instead of second attacks, and you pretty much have to run into the list of basic actions and skill actions to learn the game and build a character that way. Still, there's not much in the book that explicitly talks about tactics and how various actions affect it. That lore comes from early developer commentary and more analytical playtesters, passed down to new players and so on. It's also already been noted that the book is not great at this earlier in the conversation, though also noted that new players are more inclined to try "flavorful" actions that turn out to be actually useful and balanced pretty well. Hopefully Paizo can put out more stuff talking about fun/useful ways to play the game to point people at, but just playing and keeping an open mind (and idea of what you can do) has been said to help illuminate that in the past. My brief actual play of a Lv 5 Monk helped make clear how useful all of those situational bonuses can be, for one.

2. To your specific example, very rarely if at all. I can't think of any low-level 3-action activities given to martials, and the ones you can choose to take later on are only occasionally going to be the best thing you can do in encounters — or even usable at all, if it doesn't allow you to move. Spells are also very unlikely to be a full 3-actions, and are never a consistent best thing to do either — Magic Missile is likely the only spell in the entire game which both allows 3 actions and flatly incentivizes using all 3, but that in itself is only one way to use the spell (being an artillery cannon) which denies another (getting a bit more unresisted damage with a 3rd action).

3. It is a choice, subject to context like most others in this game. Monks and Rangers and other classes given access to 2 attacks for 1 action can follow up with 3rd attacks regularly or even try for a 4th when the circumstances limit what they can do or they're close to the wire and a hail mary would end a desperate encounter. Sometimes a 3rd attack is pretty equal with other actions like Demoralize, Step, Grapple, Battle Medicine, or Activate, especially if you specialize in 3rd attacks with the Flurry edge, Agile Grace, Combination Finisher, or similar abilities. By default, they're not a very good option, but they're still an action that can pay off, and one which many players unaware or distrusting of other options often do take to some success.

4. People have spent the whole thread doing so. Flurry incentivizes 3rd attacks, Precision and Outwit don't, and you may incentivize Recall Knowledge, commanding an animal friend, raising a shield, setting up snares, or skirmishing instead. But with the caveat that some possibilities need to be unlocked with feats, you can take all of these actions and others with any edge, and they generally just do what a naive player would expect them to do.

5. The book mentions that enemies usually have knowledge of basic tactics like flanking or focusing, but can be affected by emotional reactions or different priorities compared to players. Most enemies have special actions or abilities which incentivize things like maneuvers, debuffs, or spells, and most can also do things like Trip to add that extra bit of dynamic circumstance to combat. You can and should and will attack a fair amount, but there's plenty else to do for both players and most monsters.


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Stangler wrote:
I am not going to address everything because you clearly just don't understand the discussion and don't seem inclined to have a discussion in good faith.

Ironic.

Quote:
How people play the game is relevant in a discussion about game design. The information they have when making decisions is 100% relevant and the assumption of perfect information ignores key aspects of the game experience to players and is unrealistic to boot. One of the more important aspects of game design how information is communicated. Literally design 101 and not worth arguing more.

What does that have to do with Cody choosing to play a certain way? The only person making Cody play that way is Cody. Cody tries to blame the rules for the decisions he makes, but the reality is that his decisions are because of his personal opinion.

And if Cody's opinion of the how the game gets played is relevant, so is everyone else's here that says that's not the case for them.

Having a youtube channel doesn't give you any more credibility on the game than anything else.

Quote:
I will jump ahead to your discussion about actions and the order. Obviously changing the order is an option.

You act like the order doesn't drastically change the outcomes. In DnD it doesn't, in PF2 it absolutely does.

And you side-stepped the creature specific changes that require adaptation (common in PF2), the party adapted combinations (to provide allies and yourself a total greater benefit than the individual actions themselves), and the various circumstances of the environment than can dictate changes in action.

But you don't seem to want to discuss actual play, only Cody's specific white room example which doesn't even fully scope what he could have done properly (multiple comparable action combinations are mentioned in the video I linked above alone).

Quote:
I will also point out that I was already assuming that there are some scenarios where the second or third action could be non attacks based on different scenarios. This is a fairly standard trade in action economy.

Um what?

Of course the second and third action could be non-attacks. Any of the actions can be non-attacks, attacks, or any other number of actions.

That's the whole point. You can't dictate what actions are the most optimal, because in the context of an actual encounter the answer for "what's optimal?" is "it depends".

But I think it's pretty clear you just want to assume that Cody has a point so it gives you credibility in your position, despite not having experience with the game.

I also find it extremely rude that you discredit everyone here's personal experiences with the game while giving some "golden idol" status to Cody's.

If you want to learn and have an honest discussion, you haven't been acting like it IMO. Many people here have given you slews of feedback, examples, and even offered to run games for you all so you could stick your feet into the mud and hold down on the position that Cody gave you based on his subjective experience.

Why? What reason do you have to treat the people here any differently than Cody? Many of us have been playing DnD for a LONG time, over the course of several editions. Why is Cody some how more valid than the people here or any of the response videos of others?

Go look at our post history's if you care. A lot of us have critiques that are valid about the game. We aren't some blind zealots that defend it for no reason.

The fact that we defend against Cody's fallacious and flimsy argument (and many others who aren't even dedicated PF2 players mind you) is because of how he formed his opinion.

He formed it based on subjectivity and told everyone it was based on objectivity. That's called being disingenuous.

Grand Archive

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Stangler wrote:
OK so how did Paizo communicate this game design to players in character creation?...

They wrote a core rulebook?...It is really hard to argue against a shared experience with different outcomes. I read the book and made this character that is a wizard in full plate, weilds a staff as a weapon, uses 'glimpse of redemption' (which is a champion's ability) and casts heal...a wizard. Whereas the hypothetical player created the hypothetical ranger and made a 1 trick pony that just shoots a bow...and then complains that is all they can do in combat.

See, therein lies the problem with the problem presented by Cody. The ranger Cody created, based on the information provided, does have fewer viable actions in combat. He is right because he created a situation in which he is right. To quote Cody, "..when initiative is rolled..", is his big point. When initiative is rolled, what are your actions? Thing is, that ignores that your possible options in combat are based on the all of the character options you have chosen up to that point.

important side note: Cody was incorrect in that his ranger's edge ability works on his first attack in melee as well.

I harp all over these PF2 boards about look at your options and Cody's complaint about combat boringness (as well as many other issues that peeps have about options) is rooted in this. Look at your options!

For example aforementioned ranger could have chosen these other options:

Fighter dedication at 2
point blank shot at 4
(These options focus on increasing the static damage of each shot)

Assurance (athletics)
(this option allows the ranger to use their 3rd action (which would normally be at a MAP) to Trip or shove or grapple. The assurance ignores the MAP making the option quite viable.)
Thus, in Cody's white room example, the ranger could have 1st turn set up hunted prey and shot, 2nd turn shot followed by move and trip or vice versa. For the edge that the ranger had chosen, the first attack for the turn is the damage packed one. Any others are perks.

Caster dedication at 2
basic spellcasting at 4
(this is to build to picking up eldrich archer at 6 to be able to deliver spells with shots every so often. After a turn in which the ranger sets up hunted prey, a spell arrow would recieve the extra damage as well, going for more of a single shot damage nuke option.)

In summary, if you want your character to be able to do different things in combat, then build them that way. Your character will always work the way you have built them to. The blame for boring lies in a reflective surface.

That said Stangler, more than anything, if you want to learn the truth about this check out the core rulebook. I'll even buy the pdf as a gift for you, just shoot me a message with a yes or no.

Liberty's Edge

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Midnightoker wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Optimal gameplay based on a deep dive of the math involved isn't an expectation of game system should be built around.
It isn't and Cody is the one dictating that it is, and he did not prove that.

If anything, his experience seems to suggest the opposite. Apparently following this DPR-driven play style resulted in a TPK, which seems... incongruent... with "optimal gameplay."


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Shisumo wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Optimal gameplay based on a deep dive of the math involved isn't an expectation of game system should be built around.
It isn't and Cody is the one dictating that it is, and he did not prove that.
If anything, his experience seems to suggest the opposite. Apparently following this DPR-driven play style resulted in a TPK, which seems... incongruent... with "optimal gameplay."

I mean that's the thing that baffles me.

Not only is he wrong in the scenario he made up, but his parties are also getting walloped in actual play to the point where they have multiple TPKs and instead of saying "hey maybe we can't play this game exactly like PF1 or 5E" instead they blame the system.

I mean honestly it reminds me of low-level League of Legends players that spam "lucker!" in chat and whine and complain the only reason they lost lane was because Renekton is OP! The reality is they could have won lane if they played differently.


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Okay, I accidentally posted too early and then the forum software ate my edit not once, but twice. Thankfully I copied what I added the second time. If you were wondering why my post cut off suddenly, it's complete now.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Alfa/Polaris wrote:
Okay, I accidentally posted too early and then the forum software ate my edit not once, but twice. Thankfully I copied what I added the second time. If you were wondering why my post cut off suddenly, it's complete now.

Ha, I really liked it the first time.

"Okay, I'll address your points one at a time. One:" (runs away)


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Sporkedup wrote:
Alfa/Polaris wrote:
Okay, I accidentally posted too early and then the forum software ate my edit not once, but twice. Thankfully I copied what I added the second time. If you were wondering why my post cut off suddenly, it's complete now.

Ha, I really liked it the first time.

"Okay, I'll address your points one at a time. One:" (runs away)

Hey, I at least got to the end of the second point before fat-fingering it ¥o¥


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Alfa/Polaris wrote:
Okay, I accidentally posted too early and then the forum software ate my edit not once, but twice. Thankfully I copied what I added the second time. If you were wondering why my post cut off suddenly, it's complete now.

You know what, I was wondering what happened there, well you got a good post out eventually and thats what really matters.


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The beginner's box is probably a better tool for "learning Pathfinder 2" than the CRB, to be honest. This is partly a failing on Paizo's part (mostly that the beginner's box was so late in coming) but the CRB is not a fantastic pedagogical tool. But this is one of those things where "complexity is the currency with which you buy depth" and Pathfinder is never going to be a rules light game. The actual system, particularly in how modular and versatile it happens to be, is fantastic in my opinion.

But compared to a lot of games in this family (I know nothing about 5e, so I won't comment on it), PF2 is not a game you can win at character generation or on paper. Which is sort of jarring since PF1 was absolutely a game where you can dream up characters that will absolutely faceroll anything once the build "comes on line."

I think a lot of that follows from one of the design goals being "high level play is fun, challenging, and efficient" requiring "what you choose to do" mattering more than "what tools you have at your disposal."


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The idea that you can imagine exactly what it will be like to play your character in game is a very common assumption that all of us occasionally fall into. This is a big part of why I don't recommend people jump right into PF2 at higher levels, even though, on the surface, it looks a lot easier to do so than PF1, for example.

This was especially apparent with casters, right from the start, but it is clear that it applies to martials too, just in a different way than many of us were paying attention to, and that is largely because characters are sub-optimal in PF2 if they focus all of their resources into doing just one thing. While every +1 in PF2 does feel important and carry a lot of mathematical weight, how you get those +1s, and what you give up to get them matters.

Not all +1s in PF2 are of equal worth, because of the +/-10 success system, and the four tiers of success, sometimes using a feat or your wealth to be able to have a useful and functional attack that targets will, for example, is much more valuable than seeking out another +1 to your attack roll, that you might be able to get through other cheaper means a level later or through team work.

Why is the bard so incredible? Because the +1 status bonus to attack can come from one character spending 1 action to give it to all characters in the round that it is needed. Heroism can be significantly better, especially at higher levels, but the resources cost, action cost and inflexibility of being to apply it over and over again exactly when needed means that it is a choice that a lot of parties will rightfully skip on.

Instead of trying to create white room situations for testing out the math of PF2, I strongly recommend creating actual encounters with interesting objectives and then testing out different systems.

For example, what happens when the party approaches 50ft deep canyon over a river. There is a loose 5ft wide rope bridge that spans the 60ft gap, with two armed guards on the far side of the bridge. You are in tree cover 25ft from the edge of the bridge, and you are sure that if you emerge from cover, they will spot you. You see that these guards are expecting trouble and have rigged the bridge to be severable from their end with relative ease, maybe as little as a single action or a single action on each anchor of the rope bridge.

An archer ranger has numerous options in PF2 about how to approach this situation. They see the enemy and the enemy doesn't see them so they can make them the hunted prey before combat. They can try to fire and bring down one of the enemies, (hopefully they spend some actions observing the guards and getting a sense of how powerful they are, what their goals are, and possibly even social information about whom they fear crossing the bridge, and why they haven't severed it already) but it will probably result in the other surviving and bringing down the bridge on their turn. Maybe the whole party is set up with features for targeting enemies from far away and so the party decides to attempt the ambush, perhaps they have invested so heavily in stealth options that getting someone across the bridge without noticing is an option, or disguising themselves to get across is an option? PF2 interacts very well with all of these different options and has very meaningful ways to invest in being able to pull them off, but they also all have their own risks, and thinking that you are trained in stealth so you should be fine to try to sneak across, at level 4, should raise red flags for the rest of the party as maybe combining decent stealth with an invisibility spell or negate aroma spell or item usage is what is going to make the stealth plan functional.

Way too often I see people undervalue elixirs, potions and other consumables, insisting that all wealth should be miserly held on to until you can spend it to by an extra +1 to a primary attack, perhaps a level earlier than those items will start to drop as treasure. The result of this kind of behavior is shutting down how effectively an average dedication to a specific set of skills or abilities can be turned into the level equivalent of specialized, often in ways that won't really stack with the more specialized character. (having a permanent +1 item bonus to a skill is expensive, Having temporary ones is really cheap for most skills).

This is where some people look at PF2 and say "specialization is impossible!" when what they mean is that specializing in one thing and then using that one thing as your default tool is usually less effective in PF2 than approaching an encounter from its weakness with average abilities supported with temporary or situational bonuses. Making sure you have adequate abilities and access to a variety of situational bonuses is very, very effective play in PF2, but if you guess the weakness of the encounter wrong, you are still going to be in a whole lot of trouble.


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Arakasius wrote:


Is it the games job to tell you when using a skill or aiding another or doing a maneuver is better than doing an attack? I suppose there could be better documentation on it sure (haven’t seen the beginners box yet) but the rules are pretty straight forward. It’s not an illusion of choice on what to do there is a real choice and opportunity costs. It’s up to the player over time to see what works and doesn’t work for them. That is due to a number of factors. How the DM runs things, what campaign they’re playing, what their group is like, if they play cooperatively, and so on. If some feat choice isn’t working for them there is always the option to retrain which is easier in this edition.

But one thing PF2 does not really support is a character who does one thing all the time to the exclusion of all else. If you play that way (and yes...

Actually opportunity costs are often the reason how choices become illusions. The cost of every action can be measured in the benefit of the other options available. If the opportunity cost is always greater than the benefit then it is not really a choice.

Another lesson is that all decisions are based on perception of value as opposed to actual value. Some games are better or worse at communicating this value to players. Some players like the challenge, others hate it.

One of the problems with the PF2 system IMO is that it isn't committing to what it is in text or the ruleset. It wants to present itself as a very free form system with a host of options but the reality of the math is still supporting a certain playstyle. This is not a new issue with RPGs by the way. It has existed in games since forever.

Skill systems are often the most guilty of this problem. I would consider PF2 a hybrid skill/class system where the skill system is built within a class system. 5e is a class system within a class system with a couple of overpowered skills sprinkled in just to mess with the benefits of their class system.

The irony of many of the rebuttals to Cody's examples is that people are arguing that the choice being made is actually an illusory trap choice that his players shouldn't be making thus proving his thesis about illusion and my thesis concerning poor communication.

One of the most obvious illusory choices is that third attack. The system clearly doesn't want you to attack 3 times but it presents it as an option even giving you ways to try and make it work. This is different from a system that just doesn't allow it. In one case the math is steering towards a choice while in another the game just makes it for you. The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice.

So at the end of the day when looking at a game's design you can consider what hurdles the game has made or not made. The choices real or imaginary. The choices provided and the information your many players have when making the choice. Each choice combining with others potentially hiding the nature of the choice further.

Interesting choices in combat are actually a relatively universal positive for players. Hiding those decisions behind a skill system or a opportunity cost valuation that isn't clear undermines and hides that system. Especially compared to a system that more clearly knows what it wants to be and tells the player.

Grand Archive

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Stangler wrote:
One of the problems with the PF2 system IMO is that it isn't committing to what it is in text or the ruleset. It wants to present itself as a very free form system with a host of options but the reality of the math is still supporting a certain playstyle...

What playstyle is being supported?


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Stangler wrote:


The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice

First of all, people have repeatedly shown examples of times when a third attack is a good choice, and proved it with math in some cases, so it's not an "if." Second, are you legitimately saying that its a "flaw" that pathfinder 2nd edition requires players to weigh the benifits of different actions againts thier costs in order to make a decision? Cause that's not an illusion of choice, that is the litteral definition of making a choice.

Additionally, you haven't answered my question, one that many others have also asked you, do you own the book that you are talking about?

Stangler wrote:


Actually opportunity costs are often the reason how choices become illusions. The cost of every action can be measured in the benefit of the other options available. If the opportunity cost is always greater than the benefit then it is not really a choice.

The post you are replaying to litterally just said that the opportunity cost changes all the time, so your reply makes no sense. No one here has ever said that in pf2 the opportunity cost of any choice is always greater, in fact they, like I said above, have repeatedly given you examples of times when one choice is the "best" one and then gave a counter example of when that choice is no longer the "best" one. Thats litterally how choices work.

Grand Archive

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Stangler wrote:
The irony of many of the rebuttals to Cody's examples is that people are arguing that the choice being made is actually an illusory trap choice that his players shouldn't be making thus proving his thesis about illusion and my thesis concerning poor communication.

A fair point, but it ends up being amusing in that the illusion is that there is an 'illusion of choice'...meaning that there is choice, just that some people convince themselves that they are pigeonholed. Which as I stated before is hard to argue against because I read the same rules and books and options they did and realized that I have many choices.

Now this may lead you to your other point of poor communication by the system itself of the options. And again I would say/ask "Did you read a different book than I did?". How is it that I found the options and others did not? What points can I make at that point?

I think that in the end it all gets to a good point that Cody made in that the PF2 system is very rules heavy. With that comes many of the things we are debating on. Clearly some people don't like that in a system, and some people do. To me, it is enjoyable to craft a character in a rules heavy system, taking the benefits and drawbacks of it all. But it does require a mind toward the enjoyment of complexity.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you read the book, you would knew about all the options (If its clear or not, its subjective
If you play the game, you would know about how effective are all the multiple choices you have, if those are up to your standard, its subjective

Everyone is giving you examples of equally effective ways of using all your options the game gives your character. All depend on the situation you are in (WHILE IN PLAY), if any of those is a "illusion" its subjective

The third attack is discouraged SOME of the time. Against most enemies is useless, or risky, depends on your view of chance. But is great against Oozes, again, you would know this, if you would play the game.

Cody's Analyzes is really superficial, as demonstrated by everyone here. He doesn't have any mastery of the system to speak in any terms more than a simple opinion, which he has all the right in the world to have...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A very fair critism of PF2, in regards to rules communication, is that, despite its modularity and overall elegance in design. You really have to read the rules carefully for many different subsystems if you want to really utilize the rules as written for them. It is so many rules that many GMs and players will just revert to common ways of handling them in past systems or adopting a general "make a roll and the GM will arbitrate a fair enough outcome."

Stealth and perception, climbing and jumping, swimming and when rolls are necessary are all areas of the game that can bog down quickly if there is very little at stake for each individual roll, when the game is designed around assuming you are making one to three rolls per encounter round when doing these actions, even though most of these kind of skill challenge encounters happen in an exploration mode that doesn't integrate smoothy with activities designed for encounter mode. Very few games handle that transition well and I am guessing that it will be a few more decades before we get systems that work really well in both situations (encounter and exploration) but PF2 is starting to take some valuable preliminary steps in that direction. It just depends heavily of GMs recognizing when to follow the close encounter level of time frame and then being good at winging it through exploration mode. I have spent a lot of time trying to develop a system that handles both well and can transition from one to the other smoothly and I can promise that it is a real challenge to arbitrate into rules and not run as a GM by instinct.

This issue of incredibly detailed rules that only really work in very specific situations is not limited to just these encounter vs exploration mode activities. Spells are inconsistent in many different areas: from spells like flaming sphere calling out that it uses a basic save, but then explicitly saying in the spell description that it does not work like a basic save (no 1/2 damage on a success) to trying to understand when you are supposed to make a save for a spell like stinking cloud, it is very common for the language of spells to be inconsistent in how to apply common rules elements to them. On the plus side, this makes the spells all feel very different from each other and it creates a lot of interesting fringe ways to exploit certain spells as opposed to others, but it makes spell casting generally into an act of legal interpretation in PF2 that can be really overwhelming to new players.

However, the core frame work of PF2 makes it just fine for most tables to be getting about 75% of the rules right in play and for everyone to have a great time, with the GM making arbitrary decisions that might completely contradict the rules, but make the system work in the moment to let everyone play on. It is a game where strict rules adherence can be developed or not developed over time and either way, as long as the whole table keeps communicating about it and making adjustments to their own game, it doesn't break or ruin the game. I have barely dabbled with 5e but I play PF2 with a lot of folks that do play and enjoy 5e and it seems like 5e just leans into being vague about all of that stuff from the get go, rather than try to provide specific rules for the most common situations where those skills and spells get used tense encounter time frame situations, while letting you use your GM improvisation skills to smooth out the rest. The outcome being that it can have some incredibly situational skill feats and items that let some tables really explore deep specialization in specific kinds of campaigns, while letting everyone else not really spend the time to learn those subsystems. If you actually read the Game Master Guide, it goes over all of this and gives you multiple tools for helping to develop exactly enough rules crunch to make a whole lot of different kinds of play have the same feel as the rest of the game, but I don't think a lot of GMs like Cody are considering how to integrate that into the APs they run.

Which is understandable, but if the response to realizing that you have a problem with the way you have been running a game for a year and want to keep playing is to place an arbitrary line in the sand that it has to meet you where you are at instead of feeling invited in to explore the options for addressing the problems that you have had with the game, you are going to miss out on a lot the game has to offer. This is not communicating with the people at your table and figuring out how to make sure everyone is having more fun. It is assuming there is a flaw in the game itself and that is what is upsetting to many of us that recognize that it is a flaw in table communication.

Grand Archive

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I want to be clear here. Myself, and probably several others, are not offended that the game that we enjoy is being criticized. We are offended with the inaccurate criticisms.

Cody was very right when he critiqued that he had to go to a few different pages and refer to something like two charts to understand how an action work/resolved. That is true.

It was fair for him to point out the rigidness of the success degrees for diplomacy and how it easily could stifle roleplay.

These are accurate criticisms and reasonable complaints about the system. We are not blind to the downsides of this system.


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It’s not that hidden and you have shown no understanding of the system or desire to argue in good faith. Despite tons of people making posts on circumstances where options are legimately changed based on circumstances. Anyway you’re going to have to actually give some concrete examples of pf2 promoting a certain play style. Despite your repeating it verbatim it’s no more true than the first time you said it. It’s a game with very tight math where changes in group/feats/enemies/encounters can change what the optimal choice is. At one point third attacking is worse but with the right buffs/etc it becomes the best option you have.

Edit: I do agree with others that there are a lot of valid criticisms of the game. My main one is they didn’t go simple enough for rules. Sometimes simplicity should just beat correctness. I think they do exceptions in rules far too much (see flaming sphere or some feat options not working in certain circumstances). Sometimes I feel they have gotten overly concerned with balance and that has made things more clunky then they should be. But because they’ve been so in on being fair it also has led to a game where there really is very few false choices or trap options. Anything with the right investment/teamwork can be viable in a reasonable number of situations. What is optimal changes based on a host of factors because of how tightly everything is tuned.


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Docflem wrote:
Stangler wrote:


The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice

First of all, people have repeatedly shown examples of times when a third attack is a good choice, and proved it with math in some cases, so it's not an "if." Second, are you legitimately saying that its a "flaw" that pathfinder 2nd edition requires players to weigh the benifits of different actions againts thier costs in order to make a decision? Cause that's not an illusion of choice, that is the litteral definition of making a choice.

How does a player know when it is the "good" choice?

I am not saying it is bad to have players weigh the costs and benefits. I am saying that the information they have when making that decision matters. The nature of that decision matters. The types of things they are weighing against one another matters. The hurdles the player needs to overcome to make an educated decision matter.

These are all decisions made by Paizo with regards to how this works. Paizo designed the math involved. They designed the cost and benefit analysis.

Cody's video is ultimately about a group of experienced players getting run down by this system Paizo designed and quitting.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Stangler wrote:
Docflem wrote:
Stangler wrote:


The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice

First of all, people have repeatedly shown examples of times when a third attack is a good choice, and proved it with math in some cases, so it's not an "if." Second, are you legitimately saying that its a "flaw" that pathfinder 2nd edition requires players to weigh the benifits of different actions againts thier costs in order to make a decision? Cause that's not an illusion of choice, that is the litteral definition of making a choice.

How does a player know when it is the "good" choice?

I am not saying it is bad to have players weigh the costs and benefits. I am saying that the information they have when making that decision matters. The nature of that decision matters. The types of things they are weighing against one another matters. The hurdles the player needs to overcome to make an educated decision matter.

These are all decisions made by Paizo with regards to how this works. Paizo designed the math involved. They designed the cost and benefit analysis.

Cody's video is ultimately about a group of experienced players getting run down by this system Paizo designed and quitting.

Are you saying that the opacity in terms of "best choices" in any given circumstance for the players is a bad thing? Not being sure what would be the best thing to do is exactly how choice can exist...


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Stangler wrote:
Docflem wrote:
Stangler wrote:


The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice

First of all, people have repeatedly shown examples of times when a third attack is a good choice, and proved it with math in some cases, so it's not an "if." Second, are you legitimately saying that its a "flaw" that pathfinder 2nd edition requires players to weigh the benifits of different actions againts thier costs in order to make a decision? Cause that's not an illusion of choice, that is the litteral definition of making a choice.

How does a player know when it is the "good" choice?

I am not saying it is bad to have players weigh the costs and benefits. I am saying that the information they have when making that decision matters. The nature of that decision matters. The types of things they are weighing against one another matters. The hurdles the player needs to overcome to make an educated decision matter.

These are all decisions made by Paizo with regards to how this works. Paizo designed the math involved. They designed the cost and benefit analysis.

Cody's video is ultimately about a group of experienced players getting run down by this system Paizo designed and quitting.

They read the book, that's how they learn the rules. the rules tell you how different actions work and then you as the player are responsible for applying those rules in the situation within the game, just like every table top RPG that has ever existed. Now, if you had actually read the rules, you might be able to argue that the rules are arbitrary or dumb. or you could argue that the rules are too unclear and hard to understand. But, I think we all know that you have not read the rules have you?

How do YOU decide to make any choice any any game?

I think this has gone on long enough and I'm comfortable with agreeing with the others that pointed out that you are not arguing in good faith. You are purposefully avoiding the fact that you don't own the book, nor do you understand the rules you are discussing. Beyond that, I'm very confident that if Cody's video was simply about how the system wasn't for him and his players just didn't like it this thread wouldn't even exist.

That isn't what his video is about though. The very poignant context is that Cody is being paid by his supporters to play the game and that he can't just decide not to play anymore. It's clear that he needed a scape goat, and he decided to instead blame the system. If you're ok with ignoring that context, and have decided to not question the fact that his "experienced players" and him could not even get the basic math and rules involved with the game right in the video in which he "proves" that the game is broken, that's alright, but that doesn't make it a fact.

In addition, it is pretty wild that you have joined a forum filled with "experienced players and GMs" to "educate" us on a product you don't even own. Seriously, why do you think you understand the problems of a game system you have never played and do not own?


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Yes because the math is tight changing variables changes what is optimal. Some of it is pretty clear (like if you get to hit buffs from the bard than MAP stuff becomes more useful) and some is less clear. But due to how tight the math is what is important is that things are still viable. So if you’re not doing the optimal thing you’ll likely still be reasonably successful.

But if you’re looking for a clear guidance on “this turn what should I do is the best” then yeah this might not be the game for you. But since every other game in the D&D genre has no options at all other than do your combo (unless you’re a god wizard perhaps) I don’t feel that is a negative. There was never any battle with my paladin where oath plus great weapon master wasn’t the best option.


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Stangler wrote:
Docflem wrote:
Stangler wrote:


The third attack choice still requires some work on the player to determine if it is or isn't a good choice. The game may even offer scenarios where it is a good choice

First of all, people have repeatedly shown examples of times when a third attack is a good choice, and proved it with math in some cases, so it's not an "if." Second, are you legitimately saying that its a "flaw" that pathfinder 2nd edition requires players to weigh the benifits of different actions againts thier costs in order to make a decision? Cause that's not an illusion of choice, that is the litteral definition of making a choice.

How does a player know when it is the "good" choice?

I am not saying it is bad to have players weigh the costs and benefits. I am saying that the information they have when making that decision matters. The nature of that decision matters. The types of things they are weighing against one another matters. The hurdles the player needs to overcome to make an educated decision matter.

These are all decisions made by Paizo with regards to how this works. Paizo designed the math involved. They designed the cost and benefit analysis.

Cody's video is ultimately about a group of experienced players getting run down by this system Paizo designed and quitting.

If you have a working understanding of how PF2 operates, how to resolve any given action is fairly clear (every d20 roll in the game runs on exactly the same system, there is needing to remember that the formula for one action is 1/2 HD + wisdom + 10 while another is something else.) The results of actions are also standardized within the four degrees terminology.

If you have the fundamentals of the game system down, enough to run your own character sheet without asking questions, the pro's of a successful action are plain to see. The relative odds of success aren't always known, but that comes from not knowing an enemies statistics, rather than anything arcane with the maths.

It seems like you are asking us to explain the best moves in chess, regardless of board state or relative player experience, all the while you refuse to tell us if you've played chess or even read its rules. All the while taking the word of someone complaining about constantly loosing at chess with his unbeatable set of moves.

There are people in the world who can be bad at something. That doesn't make that something bad, or even the person bad. I have friends who are fantastic to play Vampire or Mage with but would never suggest a DnD variant to and vice versa. PF2 does not fit Cody's group playstyle of getting into a single groove and going with it. It is a fine play-style to have, but ultimately not one the PF2 assumed base line (and unless you want them to increase the cost of adventures considerably by printing multiple "difficulties" of encounters, kinda unavoidable) supports. You can still use PF2 to do that, its in fact as simple as giving your PCs the equivalent of the Elite template or giving all enemies the weak template.


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


How does a player know when it is the "good" choice?

I am not saying it is bad to have players weigh the costs and benefits. I am saying that the information they have when making that decision matters. The nature of that decision matters. The types of things they are weighing against one another matters. The hurdles the player needs to overcome to make an educated decision matter.

These are all decisions made by Paizo with regards to how this works. Paizo designed the math involved. They designed the cost and benefit analysis.

Cody's video is ultimately about a group of experienced players getting run down by this system Paizo designed and quitting.

You are not listening to the people who are repeatedly answering this question.

It is not paizo's responsibility nor is it even their ability to tell the players what is a good choice in any given situation.

It is the GM's responsibility to describe the situation, the environment and the circumstances of the situation in enough detail to help the players think about what their options might be, and it is up to the players and the GM together to communicate about how to make those options feel more open and vibrant, rather than constricted to a simple flow chart.

Some GMs and players have been overwhelmed by how different PF2 plays than some past versions of the game, or feel like they have to know everything to do it right, but if you are going to take the time to make a video about how you feel overwhelmed by the options and ways to run the system, and not take the time to actually listen to people who have advice about how to see the flexibility and depth of PF2 as assets instead of limits, then you should be prepared for people to want to counter your claims.

Liberty's Edge

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I feel this video and Taking20.
As someone who was also a *huge* Paizo fanboy and PF1 proponent who happily adopted that system over 4e for many years. But bounced hard off of PF2.

I really wanted to love the game and keep throwing money at Paizo, but just couldn't work up the interest.


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Jester David wrote:

I feel this video and Taking20.

As someone who was also a *huge* Paizo fanboy and PF1 proponent who happily adopted that system over 4e for many years. But bounced hard off of PF2.

I really wanted to love the game and keep throwing money at Paizo, but just couldn't work up the interest.

And thats all good, you might want to try it again down the line, but it's totally ok to just not like something.


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Sporkedup wrote:


Are you saying that the opacity in terms of "best choices" in any given circumstance for the players is a bad thing? Not being sure what would be the best thing to do is exactly how choice can exist...

I am saying this will impact how players play the game and potentially enjoy or not enjoy the game. It is actually pretty clear that there is some enjoyment for some people to overcome that opacity while others don't care to even try.

Not all opacity is the same either.

Choosing to use a limited resource for example can be a hard decision because it is impossible to know what the future holds.

Most of the problems revolve around math. When one choice is simply mathematically superior to another. For example if the player has a choice between trying to kill something as quickly as possible or helping their team defend against the attack. The player may decide to try and kill the enemy as fast as possible but then have two more choices to make where they don't know what choice will kill the enemy more quickly. This is intentionally simplistic to demonstrate the point.

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