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


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

51 to 100 of 671 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
If I was really cynical I might think someone might make a "here's why x is bad" video with a bunch of weak arguments in it, in order to set up the "some really cool people reached out to me, so now I know why x is good actually" video.

Then why is the core rulebook so long? Why even give players those choices?

If you are correct that there are basically no optimization choices in the game then that fully supports his assertion that the book is nothing but a bunch of illusions of choice.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't really disagree with the post you replied to me with, but there's such a thing as choices that matter which also don't affect one form of optimization (usually damage :v ) or another. Y'know, new things to do. Situational answers to a game that can have a large variety of situations. PF2 has a fairly big emphasis on new options and improving side-stuff over improving the base of your class, so of course only caring about the base of your class/the One Good Thing You Do (as PF1 kinda encourages) is going to make you feel like all of the niche maneuvers or situational benefits are worthless illusory choices rather than ways to broaden your character and their capabilities.

Also, I think you might have replied to the wrong person? PossibleCabbage isn't talking about that at all.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I hardly understand how a Druid can end up just turning into a Dinosaur and attack. This is one of the best class in the game in terms of versatility.
I would not be surprised if he just increased Strength but not Wisdom in a pure PF1 mentality of "what is the point in being versatile" and then complains about the lack of versatility of his character.

Dark Archive

24 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm mostly just annoyed when people who like 5e claim other systems are too repetitive <_<


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
I'm mostly just annoyed when people who like 5e claim other systems are too repetitive <_<

Same...

I played a 5e campaign as a warlock. The amount of times I just Eldritch Blast'd something because I didn't have many other options was a bit silly.

I did have fun, though, so to each their own, but it WAS very repetitive to me.

Grand Lodge

11 people marked this as a favorite.

It seems pretty obvious that he has little experience with the system outside of Age of Ashes. It is also pretty clear that they are using the PF1 mindset in approaching game play in PF2 and that is a quick way to get your characters killed. This is not the same game as PF1 or 3.5. It is totally different and I mean that in a very good way.

I've ran over 120 PFS2 sessions and I've watched the minmaxers/optimizing mindset struggle in the sessions. Once they open their minds up that the game is different and requires a different approach, they do quite well and have embraced the edition.

There are a ton of choices in PF2. There is no best way to play a character. Instead, it comes down to personal choice as to what is the best way to play any character. There are many good and viable choices for characters in this edition compared to PF1. Building a character in this edition is about playing a concept compared to a statblock in other games. Anyone who says there is an illusion of choice is just missing out on the best qualities of this game.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:

A lot of criticism of PF2 that I see likes to focus on how some things feel always usable and others are situational, and because they are situational, they should be avoided as options. With some ancestry and class feats, I can understand that inclination, but with things like spells, items, consumables, and actions choices, that line of logic seems like it would lead inevitably to disappointment.

If the game provides you ways to not just succeed but excel in specific kinds of encounters, but rather than figure out how to do so, you always choose to just make the same choices as always, then the game should be presenting you with incredibly difficult encounters, because your approach to solving them is making them difficult. If your approach to solving an encounter will make no difference on its difficulty, then the game you are playing is static and predictable. Enjoyable for some, but not really going to win over a lot of folks who specifically turn to roleplaying games for the opportunity to think outside the box and creatively problem solve.

I think its kind of a maladaption to prior systems where situational benefits competed with non-situational ones, in PF1e you could take feats that were useful in certain situations, but that nearly always meant avoiding something that was going to be much stronger in nearly every situation, and indeed, might make a significant difference in a character's core functionality (so called 'math fixer' feats, and the like.)

So a culture grew out of that where situational = bad, but in Pathfinder 2e, almost everything that gives an always-on, BIG benefit like that is part of the base class progression, and your actual choices are about smaller benefits, or situational benefits and other marginalia. They can be strong, but your base character, sans any of their class or ancestry feats (like at all), has a surprising amount of power still.

There are exceptions of course, Wildshape being the one that comes to mind-- although even then, a druid that preps all their spell slots as combat animal forms can probably make a decent run of it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also on the subject of player choices, I think it actually kind of sums up the issue everyone's taking with the video, the criticisms basically don't apply to the game. We're talking about the idea that your choices are illusions in a game that regularly frustrates some groups because they have no interest in actually improving their play and TPK. Heck, thats even a part of the video itself-- claiming that they're doing the best thing every turn, and then complaining about the combat being too hard for them.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Alfa/Polaris wrote:

I don't really disagree with the post you replied to me with, but there's such a thing as choices that matter which also don't affect one form of optimization (usually damage :v ) or another. Y'know, new things to do. Situational answers to a game that can have a large variety of situations. PF2 has a fairly big emphasis on new options and improving side-stuff over improving the base of your class, so of course only caring about the base of your class/the One Good Thing You Do (as PF1 kinda encourages) is going to make you feel like all of the niche maneuvers or situational benefits are worthless illusory choices rather than ways to broaden your character and their capabilities.

I think there is a matter of which question a minmaxer should ask themselves when making build (and advancement) choices.

In PF1, it was how do I build my character to maximize key stats (such as DPR) ? Because that was a very big part of what helped your character survive and be successful.

In PF2, the right question is how do I build my character so that they always have something efficient to do with their 3 actions and their reaction, no matter what the situation is ?

It is a very different way of looking at what an efficient build means. So, not a matter of illusory choices, but of adopting a different point of view.

I do not know about 5E. What would a 5E minmaxer be looking for ?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
Alfa/Polaris wrote:

I don't really disagree with the post you replied to me with, but there's such a thing as choices that matter which also don't affect one form of optimization (usually damage :v ) or another. Y'know, new things to do. Situational answers to a game that can have a large variety of situations. PF2 has a fairly big emphasis on new options and improving side-stuff over improving the base of your class, so of course only caring about the base of your class/the One Good Thing You Do (as PF1 kinda encourages) is going to make you feel like all of the niche maneuvers or situational benefits are worthless illusory choices rather than ways to broaden your character and their capabilities.

I think there is a matter of which question a minmaxer should ask themselves when making build (and advancement) choices.

In PF1, it was how do I build my character to maximize key stats (such as DPR) ? Because that was a very big part of what helped your character survive and be successful.

In PF2, the right question is how do I build my character so that they always have something efficient to do with their 3 actions and their reaction, no matter what the situation is ?

It is a very different way of looking at what an efficient build means. So, not a matter of illusory choices, but of adopting a different point of view.

I do not know about 5E. What would a 5E minmaxer be looking for ?

Pretty much the same as PF1, you just have fewer tools to do it and its a lot simpler to do-- generally you pick an AC solution, a damage solution, and so forth. Maybe maximize a single thing to be good at, but it also wasn't hard to make builds that dominate everything.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Stangler wrote:

I think it is important to understand that he has a point even if you don't totally agree with it. Personally I don't think he even really understands the problem. It is not an experience that is unique to pathfinder and is generally tied to the process of learning and figuring out a system with min/max gameplay in mind. In essence I think the problem at his table is an example of the min/max trap. So what is the min/max trap?

[...]

I feel like you know me.

As for mid-combat options, I have to say, even after only a few sessions of play, this depends heavily on the whole team coordinating effectively, which I haven't seen happen yet. II think having to play through a VTT is also huge factor here, in the way it limits communication. That is a whole 'nother topic, though.


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So this self-described "influencer" is switching to a system that neither he nor his players like, mainly because it more efficiently replicates the same things he hates about 2e.

One might wonder why Cody cannot try out a system where optimization/crunch is generally less important (such as PbtA), but I think we all know the answer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Also just watched this response video and I think it's a cogent response to the underlying issues with Taking20's video.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nik Gervae wrote:
Stangler wrote:

I think it is important to understand that he has a point even if you don't totally agree with it. Personally I don't think he even really understands the problem. It is not an experience that is unique to pathfinder and is generally tied to the process of learning and figuring out a system with min/max gameplay in mind. In essence I think the problem at his table is an example of the min/max trap. So what is the min/max trap?

[...]

I feel like you know me.

As for mid-combat options, I have to say, even after only a few sessions of play, this depends heavily on the whole team coordinating effectively, which I haven't seen that happen yet. II think having to play through a VTT is also huge factor here, in the way it limits communication. That is a whole 'nother topic, though.

I love this insight. It provides a missing piece why my players are so good at combat in PF2.

My players played twice as strong as their level in PF1 due to their teamwork. I frequently raised the CR of their adventure-path challenges by 2 in order to challenge them. Thus, I knew that teamwork was more effective than individual optimization. I also knew that teamwork was not nerfed at all in PF2. And I knew that they had mastered the PF2 rules. Yet their tactics are even better than the sum of all those parts.

But if teamwork is a necessary prerequisite to effective use of mid-combat options in order to exploit discovered weakness and strengths of opponents, then I see why such adaptive tactics seem to be overlooked by many players but not overlooked by my players.

This thread has also been reassuring to me to see many other players talk about combat tactics with options.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Doug Hahn wrote:
Also just watched this response video and I think it's a cogent response to the underlying issues with Taking20's video.

I like PF2. I care a little whether others like it, but certainly not "spend the next week watching response-counterresponse video tennis" care.

If there were a hard cap on the number of RPG players, and it were some zero-sum game where everyone who played D&D 5e meant one less person playing PF2e, I would understand the combative mentality.

But that's not the reality. There are 331 million people in the U.S. - there are people who play 5e, people who play 3.5e, people who play 1e, people who play 2e, and another 330.9 million people don't play anything at all. The big question is really how to move people from the "don't play TTRPGs" column to somewhere under the "play TTRPGs" umbrella.

Most people don't really have a choice what they play. I played Red Box for a few years as a kid, then nothing for 25 years because I had nobody to play with. I was re-introduced to D&D 5e because that's what the GM wanted to play, and then when we switched GMs we went to PF(1) because that's what the new GM wanted to play. And we played CRB+APG, because those were the only books the GM had. Now I play mostly 2e, because I'm able to find more 2e games than 1e.

I'm moderately jealous and a little rolleyes-y at all the people who apparently have the luxury of being picky. If I had one of those rare free nights and couldn't find a 2e game to play, hell yeah I'd join a D&D 4e game that I could find ... if they were decent people.

If I had time to expand the PF2 base, I would put effort into making PF(S)2 a group that people want to play with. Find a way to discourage the min-maxers who literally pull their hats over their faces and say, "Wake me up when something needs killing." That's just horrible for the TTRPG community. Find a way to make on-boarding seamless. Help new people get into games even if games are booked solid. And if they take all of that general TTRPG knowledge and head over to DDAL, I'd be a little sad but not super sad. Because there are people who started in D&D and try out PF2, even if Youtube is full of Pathfinder diss tracks with 6-figure views.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Doug Hahn wrote:
Also just watched this response video and I think it's a cogent response to the underlying issues with Taking20's video.

I like PF2. I care a little whether others like it, but certainly not "spend the next week watching response-counterresponse video tennis" care.

If there were a hard cap on the number of RPG players, and it were some zero-sum game where everyone who played D&D 5e meant one less person playing PF2e, I would understand the combative mentality.

But that's not the reality. There are 331 million people in the U.S. - there are people who play 5e, people who play 3.5e, people who play 1e, people who play 2e, and another 330.9 million people don't play anything at all. The big question is really how to move people from the "don't play TTRPGs" column to somewhere under the "play TTRPGs" umbrella.

Most people don't really have a choice what they play. I played Red Box for a few years as a kid, then nothing for 25 years because I had nobody to play with. I was re-introduced to D&D 5e because that's what the GM wanted to play, and then when we switched GMs we went to PF(1) because that's what the new GM wanted to play. And we played CRB+APG, because those were the only books the GM had. Now I play mostly 2e, because I'm able to find more 2e games than 1e.

I'm moderately jealous and a little rolleyes-y at all the people who apparently have the luxury of being picky. If I had one of those rare free nights and couldn't find a 2e game to play, hell yeah I'd join a D&D 4e game that I could find ... if they were decent people.

If I had time to expand the PF2 base, I would put effort into making PF(S)2 a group that people want to play with. Find a way to discourage the min-maxers who literally pull their hats over their faces and say, "Wake me up when something needs killing." That's just horrible for the TTRPG community. Find a way to make on-boarding seamless. Help...

I mean selfishly, I do wish there were more GMs out there so it didn't feel like I have to run 6 tables (3 games weekly) for every 1 I get to play at(1 game biweekly), so I might be concerned if someone was chasing off GMs, but the real truth is that I can't imagine GMing PF2 and then thinking, "you know what, the elegance and ease of adjusting things on the fly, while still having a hardcore set of rules and massive array of player options just isn't for me." I mean I do get that some people want to GM something even simpler (there are a lot of rules) and some people want to GM PF1 still for some reason that is beyond my comprehension (Il loved playing it, GMing was always a chore though) That is probably why the video rubbed me the wrong way, because it seems dishonest to suggest that 5e was the better play experience for the players who want interesting and tactical challenges but are getting a little overwhelmed by one of the most challenging APs to hit in a long time, but rather than take any of the easy steps to help give them exactly what they want, which is possible in PF2, we better jump back to 5e where they will really be miserable, but at least I, the GM, won't have to put any thought into balancing anything.

Like just admit that you might have chose the wrong introductory AP, and Paizo probably has some culpability in releasing incredibly challenging material with their launch material for PF2, but they were targeting the hard core gamers with their playtest and rules set in the first place, and by now, there are much better introductory options for getting new folks into the game than picking up Age of Ashes or Plaguestone.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Doug Hahn wrote:
Also just watched this response video and I think it's a cogent response to the underlying issues with Taking20's video.
I like PF2. I care a little whether others like it, but certainly not "spend the next week watching response-counterresponse video tennis" care.

I mean… don't watch the video, then? You can enjoy your bubble but you're still participating in the discussion here, too. So I don't really see the point of flagging the fact that you won't watch another video.

Overall, I just wanted to share something making a positive and fair point, instead of giving Taking 20 more views for creating a clickbait video that's there to sell 5e products. (The TL;DW is that it's up to the GM to run a better game and the players to have fun and create an environment where repetitive optimization isn't the only way.)

••

As for the rest, I agree that we don't always have a choice. But Cody does because he's chosen a career path to be an "influencer" who plays games professionally. So when he chooses to discuss switching systems, he is a valid target for public criticism regarding those choices.


Watery Soup wrote:

I'm moderately jealous and a little rolleyes-y at all the people who apparently have the luxury of being picky. If I had one of those rare free nights and couldn't find a 2e game to play, hell yeah I'd join a D&D 4e game that I could find ... if they were decent people.

If I had time to expand the PF2 base, I would put effort into making PF(S)2 a group that people want to play with. Find a way to discourage the min-maxers who literally pull their hats over their faces and say, "Wake me up when something needs killing." That's just horrible for the TTRPG community. Find a way to make on-boarding seamless. Help...

I'd love to have that. Most of my personal aquaintances are either only into D&D—which I find incredibly boring—or I see them once a year at a convention (which just happened this past weekend). Right now I am in one weekly PF2e group that I joined late, with no session 0 or onboarding, and another group that alternates Torg Eternity with Blades in the Dark.

Pathfinder 2e has so much to it that I would love a chance to round-robin different character ideas with the same group of people, discuss party composition, communicate about tactics. But I have no idea how to find that. PFS seems to be about dropping the character you built in isolation into random PUGs, and hope you get lucky. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but it's the impression I got.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

He said his players have been going through AoA for a year. A year is a long time to get to know a system, unless you aren't trying to unlearn the 3.5/5e walk up to it and swing mentality. PF2 might as well be a different language that looks exactly like the one you already know, so you unknowingly get things wrong and don't know how to improve without either a deep desire to figure it out or some help from a native speaker. If no one in his group could catch on that the game Just plays differently, then of course they are likely to not enjoy it.
I do like his "kill your party with" videos, but this one is basically, "I don't get it, I'm not having fun, so I give up", the problem is he doesn't realize it.
Hopefully with some help him and his players can realize their errors, and at worst just think the system is not for them, not because it doesn't give meaningful choices and such.
I hope others will join in leaving positive feedback on his comments, he reaches a large audience and so having people turned away who otherwise might love the system is a real risk.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
OrochiFuror wrote:
He said his players have been going through AoA for a year. A year is a long time to get to know a system, unless you aren't trying to unlearn the 3.5/5e walk up to it and swing mentality.

I mean, that's entirely dependent on how often you play. Once a week, 5-hour sessions, for 260 play hours a year? Yeah, that's a lot of time to be learning a system. Twice a month (if you're lucky) 3-hour sessions for somewhere under 78 hours a year? That can seriously cut down on play time. My Kingmaker group is in the latter category and we're not even up to Level 5 yet after a solid 10.5 months of playing. I wonder how far Taking20's group actually got into the AP?


LuniasM wrote:
OrochiFuror wrote:
He said his players have been going through AoA for a year. A year is a long time to get to know a system, unless you aren't trying to unlearn the 3.5/5e walk up to it and swing mentality.
I mean, that's entirely dependent on how often you play. Once a week, 5-hour sessions, for 260 play hours a year? Yeah, that's a lot of time to be learning a system. Twice a month (if you're lucky) 3-hour sessions for somewhere under 78 hours a year? That can seriously cut down on play time. My Kingmaker group is in the latter category and we're not even up to Level 5 yet after a solid 10.5 months of playing. I wonder how far Taking20's group actually got into the AP?

I think I remember from the video that they got to around 15th level? (I don't want to watch it again to see for sure. Sorry.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Some more response videos:
Response to @Taking20 - Optimizers and the Illusion of Choice by Bill Allan, 7 minutes.
A Response to @Taking20 Regarding Pathfinder 2e by Phil Talking D20, 30 minutes.
Taking20 I'm Quitting Pathfinder 2e Because of This Issue Video Reaction by Master the Game, 49 minutes.
Don't Quit Pathfinder2e For Those "Reasons" by Collective Arcana, 1 hour 6 minutes.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mathmuse wrote:

Some more response videos:

Response to @Taking20 - Optimizers and the Illusion of Choice by Bill Allan, 7 minutes.

This first vid talks—among other things—about how min/maxers (optimizers) get bored, as has been discussed in a couple current topics on the forums. His solution is okay, although it seems those people might be happiest just running their latest new builds in one-shot combat scenarios. :-)

That said, I think that players who just do the same thing over and over, are in fact not optimized, especially if doing so leads to repeated TPKs. What remains a mystery to me is why so, apparently, many who are good at trying new things in terms of character builds can't manage to try something new in at-the-table tactics.


Doug Hahn wrote:
I don't really see the point of flagging the fact that you won't watch another video.

Does Taking20 read this board? If not, then what's the point of debating whether his points are valid or not here? Convince me that this thread - which is, by virtue of being in the PF2 section of the paizo.com website, going to be disproportionately pro-PF2 - is going to do anything except make people here feel better about a choice we've made.

There are a lot of pretty good discussions about various negative aspects of PF2 on these boards already. People bring up some valid criticisms and we have a fine discussion of those points. Paizo employees participate, and they have on occasion allowed popular feedback to affect their decisions. All good things.

In contrast, I see a lot of Taking20-bashing in this thread, some of which is pretty barbed.

If Taking20 wants to rant about PF2, founded or unfounded, the best responses are to ignore him, or to find a forum where he's willing to have an honest, productive discussion.

Youtube is not that forum.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I admit I didn't really watch any of his other videos but looked at this one because of reddit.

I am not sure why he made a video ranting about things that arent really even a problem in PF2 but just games in general. It makes me sad that he probably is going to scare a lot if people away with the video :(

Combat is so much better in 2e IMO if players put effort trying to actually make interesting characters. The amount of things every player can do to impact a battle it is insane.

I dont have any idea how a wild druid just turned into a trex/dragon and just clawed. I feel as the GM you should help the players to see other options.

I have seen players also just mostly attack which is mostly a little bit disappointing. Even worse when they state that is the "optimal turn"

Skill feats allows the player who went first to set up every other play. Anyone who takes diplomacy/demoralize/athletics can set up players easily for success.

I understand some people can get in to a habit with a "rotation" but PF2 has been the best for avoiding this.

My Sorcerer/Champion in PFS has so many options it is crazy.

If I want to cast a spell I can use my 3rd action on demoralize/bon mot/trip/move/aid/lay on hands

If I dont want to cast a spell I can use any combination.

That is at level 4 and none of these rotations are "optimal" but vary on the situations. So no I have not had this experience.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mathmuse wrote:

I think the name of the Taking20 speaker is Cody.

I have been investigating a mystery in the forums for the last year. Many people complain about Total Party Kills in the PF2 adventure paths Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse. Those adventure paths are harder than the average PF1 adventure paths. Yet in contrast, my players regularly overcome 160-xp extreme-threat challenges, so now I throw 188-xp beyond-extreme challenges at them. I realized that my players have mastered PF2 tactics and those tactics are different.

Cody's players are still using the old-fashioned tactics of PF1 and Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 (I have not played D&D 5e, so I don't know its tactics). The repetition is part of the old tactics.

This is a minor flaw in Pathfinder 2nd Edition: it does not telegraph workable tactics. PF2 is less about optimization--the cause of the repetition--and more about situation awareness. The players need to choose and re-choose their tactics based on perceived weaknesses and strengths of the enemy. However, a character could simply hit every monster with his sword every action and never gin a clue that combat could be more interesting.

Cody said at minute 4:40, "There is an optimal set of actions that you need to do over and over and over again to perform well. For my swashbuckler player it's tumble through, panache, sneak attack, competent finisher over and over and over again. For the ranger it's hunt prey, hunted shot, throw in a third shot that usually misses. My druid player just this week, my druid player just this week asked me if they could go back and retcon some of their character abilities because they were getting bored just turning into dinosaurs and dragons to bite and claw things over and over again."

I have not seen a swashbuckler in action, and the 7th-level druid in my campaign turned into a dinosaur for the first time in last week's game session, so let me focus on the ranger. The ranger starts with Hunt Prey, a standard action cost for using ranger abilities. Then Hunted Shot,...

Sounds like you might be onto something. The middle child problem was something I noticed a while ago and it's still alive and strong.

That said, having seen the video, this guy's problem isn't the system. It's his player he doesn't like.
He'll have the same issue regardless of what he plays.


Ediwir wrote:
Sounds like you might be onto something. The middle child problem was something I noticed a while ago and it's still alive and strong.

My party fits into the non-trouble groups of your age groups (The Middle Child Problem - conversion troubles?). Five players have been playing fantasy roleplaying games for 25 years or more. One player is new to roleplaying games. Another player came over from The Elder Scrolls Online MMO with no experience in tabletop roleplaying games. His catfolk monk is largely an ESO khajiit converted to PF2, because he likes khajiit.

I have run two separate groups of players in PF1 adventure paths, one in Maryland through Rise of the Runelords and Jade Regent and one in New York through Iron Gods, with only my wife in common. However, my wife teaches teamwork tactics, so both groups relied on teamwork. They optimized for teamwork rather than individual power.

The New York group now playing my PF2 conversion of Ironfang Invasion. Well, my elder daughter had played Rise of the Runelords in the Maryland group and lives in Redmond, WA, so she isn't a New Yorker. Neither is the Oregon player with the catfolk monk. The teamwork that worked well in PF1 works even better in PF2.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
Harles wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
I've stopped watching when he spoke about Magic Missile. 1-action Magic Missile is a massive spell, one of the highest damage dealing spell in the game.

I would like a mechanic in the game where casting a 1-action version took up fewer spell slots. Or maybe you cast Magic Missile and it can be sustained for 3 rounds, sending a single dart each round it's sustained. Same thing with Heal.

I never saw a single Missile cast in my year-long campaign.

1-action Magic Missile is awesome but... First, you need quite some levels as you won't use your highest level slots on 1-action spells as you'd burn through them too quickly. Also, you need Dangerous Sorcery to make it shine. With it, it deals as much expected damage than a martial second attack, which is awesome at range and for a third action.

It's these kind of spells that ask for quite some system mastery to be used. On the hand of a good player, it's awesome. But many players struggle with their spell slots and as such will disregard such spell.

In the campaign i am Gming my wife plays a Sorcerer with Dangerous Sorcery, and she used that one action Magic Missile.

My players at the table love the new Magic Missile and Heal is and the versatility if gives.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RPGnoremac wrote:


Skill feats allows the player who went first to set up every other play. Anyone who takes diplomacy/demoralize/athletics can set up players easily for success.

I understand some people can get in to a habit with a "rotation" but PF2 has been the best for avoiding this.

My Sorcerer/Champion in PFS has so many options it is crazy.

If I want to cast a spell I can use my 3rd action on demoralize/bon mot/trip/move/aid/lay on hands

If I dont want to cast a spell I can use any combination.

That is at level 4 and none of these rotations are "optimal" but vary on the situations. So no I have not had this experience.

While I love PF2, even more than I loved PF1 before, I must admit that I got this feeling of actions in combat becoming repetitive. I got this feeling with both my Champion and my Barbarian and now with my Bard as well.

It is as if in most encounters after the first round of getting into the fray, people (including me obviously) end up doing almost always the same things, with little disparity.

And I do not remember feeling this that acutely in PF1 or 3.5 before it.

I believe this disappears a little once you level up or get an item that really changes your results, and then a new routine appears till next big change.

This can be worrying if people feeling this spend too much time playing without a significant change (such as a level up) happening.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Filthy Lucre wrote:
What is the communities thoughts on Jeremy's hot take here?

I think he should make videos about games he enjoys playing.

Making a video about things you don’t like doing seems like a waste of time, to me.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:
RPGnoremac wrote:


Skill feats allows the player who went first to set up every other play. Anyone who takes diplomacy/demoralize/athletics can set up players easily for success.

I understand some people can get in to a habit with a "rotation" but PF2 has been the best for avoiding this.

My Sorcerer/Champion in PFS has so many options it is crazy.

If I want to cast a spell I can use my 3rd action on demoralize/bon mot/trip/move/aid/lay on hands

If I dont want to cast a spell I can use any combination.

That is at level 4 and none of these rotations are "optimal" but vary on the situations. So no I have not had this experience.

While I love PF2, even more than I loved PF1 before, I must admit that I got this feeling of actions in combat becoming repetitive. I got this feeling with both my Champion and my Barbarian and now with my Bard as well.

It is as if in most encounters after the first round of getting into the fray, people (including me obviously) end up doing almost always the same things, with little disparity.

And I do not remember feeling this that acutely in PF1 or 3.5 before it.

I believe this disappears a little once you level up or get an item that really changes your results, and then a new routine appears till next big change.

This can be worrying if people feeling this spend too much time playing without a significant change (such as a level up) happening.

To be frank, that's just rose-tinted glasses. PF1 was infamous for every round being full attacking or moving into a position where you can full attack. At least PF2 has potent skill actions.

Steve Geddes wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
What is the communities thoughts on Jeremy's hot take here?

I think he should make videos about games he enjoys playing.

Making a video about things you don’t like doing seems like a waste of time, to me.

Hate videos are actually objectively better to do if your priority is making money. The algorithm loves hostile discourse.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
The Raven Black wrote:


While I love PF2, even more than I loved PF1 before, I must admit that I got this feeling of actions in combat becoming repetitive.

This is due to a very simple thing: Length of fights. In PF1/3rd edition, fights were rarely lasting more than 2 rounds. And in general, if they were lasting more it was because the party failed a save against a massive effect and you had something to do: Try to get rid of the effect.

In PF2 and SF, the average combat length has increased. As such, rounds may feel repetitive if the combat lasts for more than 3 rounds of pounding. This problem is especially real in SF where fights last half a dozen rounds in a regular basis.

The difficulty is that combat length is inversely proportional to combat swinginess. And the more swingy the combats the more you need to reduce difficulty if you don't want to end up with a TPK every 3 fights.

Now, it also greatly depends on the character you are playing (martials are obviously more repetitive than casters) and the way the DM is handling the fights. If you always fight the same type of enemies or if the DM doesn't adapt the monster actions to their specific abilities, it feels way more repetitive. But if the DM goes from melee brutes to range strikers and from hit and runners to spellcasters, you shouldn't feel the game is that repetitive.

Also, in PF2, fights are balanced around 2 rounds of pounding for Moderate encounters and 3 rounds for Severe ones. But that's only true if the whole party is offensively participating to the fight. If you have characters who focus mostly/solely on defense (healing caster, Redeemer Champion) or are just not efficient enough, the length of fights increases and it can get to the point where they are completely boring.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Watery Soup wrote:
Does Taking20 read this board? If not, then what's the point of debating whether his points are valid or not here?

If it's such a waste of time why are you participating? No one is forcing you to do so. There is also a takeaway here; one that people here are discussing. It involves AP design, coupled with GM/player habits & incentives that are baked into the system.

Watery Soup wrote:
If Taking20 wants to rant about PF2, founded or unfounded, the best responses are to ignore him, or to find a forum where he's willing to have an honest, productive discussion.

He's not some random gamer with 20 subscribers whose getting amplified by a public thrashing. Taking20 has 260K subscribers. 80,000 people have watched the video so far. His channel out-scopes these boards by a long shot. He's probably in the top-ten percentile of youtubers for TTRPG games.

This is why Paizo marketing responded to the video too; have to.

It's better to debunk something with this kind of reach than to ignore it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Is it possible that Age of Ashes (which Cody's group played and also got my players to rage quit) might be a problem AP? It was the first one released, so perhaps the encounter math wasn't quite right. And maybe the design paradigms that make PF2 "work" weren't yet put in place?
Neither of the other two APs appealed to my group specifically, so we haven't tried those, but I can say the sample encounters I created were overall better fits for my group than ones in AoA.
As I brought up before (on here and elsewhere), AoA missed an opportunity to be a great "first PF2 AP" to teach players and GMs how to play the system.
PF1 was building on a revision to a successful and widely popular system many were familiar with. PF2, as many have pointed out in this thread, plays widely different from PF1. We've seen where the assumptions of similar play and adventure design lead: TPKs, disillusionment, abandoning the system.
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Harles wrote:
Is it possible that Age of Ashes (which Cody's group played and also got my players to rage quit) might be a problem AP? It was the first one released, so perhaps the encounter math wasn't quite right. And maybe the design paradigms that make PF2 "work" weren't yet put in place?

I think that AoA has problem areas that make it a rough AP for first time players or first time GMs. In particular...

Age of Ashes Books 1 to 3 Spoilers:
...the barghest fight in Book 1, which is an Extreme encounter for a low-level party that should have presumably exhausted a lot of resources on their way to it.

Book 2, itself, is... tough. It seems to me like it suffers from PF1 design sensibilities. The latter half of the book is hexploration entirely made of nova encounters. Used occasionally, these are fine, but going through intense encounters one after the other (even if the PCs get to rest completely between each one), gets tiring.

And while I didn't run into this problem, Book 3 has a potential problem spot when it comes to timing. PCs are encouraged to chase down Scarlet Triad movements throughout Kintargo and potentially into a very dangerous mini-dungeon crawl with no time to rest and recover.

Harles wrote:
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.

If you haven't seen it yet, the Beginners Box and the follow up "Troubles in Otari" (especially this module) is very helpful about explaining tactics and presenting the best of PF2 throughout. I'm not 100% in love with Chapter 1 of "Troubles" but the rest of the module is super solid and I think the entire book is great for any player, new or experienced.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Harles wrote:

Is it possible that Age of Ashes (which Cody's group played and also got my players to rage quit) might be a problem AP? It was the first one released, so perhaps the encounter math wasn't quite right. And maybe the design paradigms that make PF2 "work" weren't yet put in place?

Neither of the other two APs appealed to my group specifically, so we haven't tried those, but I can say the sample encounters I created were overall better fits for my group than ones in AoA.
As I brought up before (on here and elsewhere), AoA missed an opportunity to be a great "first PF2 AP" to teach players and GMs how to play the system.
PF1 was building on a revision to a successful and widely popular system many were familiar with. PF2, as many have pointed out in this thread, plays widely different from PF1. We've seen where the assumptions of similar play and adventure design lead: TPKs, disillusionment, abandoning the system.
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.

It is harder to remember in retrospect, but with Age of Ashes, paizo wasn't just marketing to new players checking out a new system, it was especially marketed at all the people who had been participating in the Playtest and was trying to build inroads with experienced gamers (players and GMs) looking for a system that could be dialed up to challenge experienced players as well. The difficulty of Age of Ashes was an appealing element to my gaming table, who consist of a lot of players who also tend to run games for other people as well. I do think PF2 was first targeted at GMs in the hope that you get people wanting to run the system and then you will have players coming over just because of how enthusastic their GMs are.

I wish I saw more GM centered PF2 youtube videos about how easy it is to utilize game mechanics on the fly to dial up or down the difficult to meet your players where they are at, rather than placing all of that expectation on the game designers who can't account for how much table variation is possible. Compared to doing this in PF1 (which required 10x as much work on the part of the GM to challenge experienced players working together), PF2 probably saved me from giving up on table top role playing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ruzza wrote:
Harles wrote:
Is it possible that Age of Ashes (which Cody's group played and also got my players to rage quit) might be a problem AP? It was the first one released, so perhaps the encounter math wasn't quite right. And maybe the design paradigms that make PF2 "work" weren't yet put in place?

I think that AoA has problem areas that make it a rough AP for first time players or first time GMs. In particular...

** spoiler omitted **

Harles wrote:
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.
If you haven't seen it yet, the Beginners Box and the follow up "Troubles in Otari" (especially this module) is very helpful about explaining tactics and presenting the best of PF2 throughout. I'm not 100% in love with Chapter 1 of "Troubles" but the rest of the module is super solid and I think the entire book is great for any player, new or experienced.

Yes, you hit the nail on the head about a few of our TPKs we had with Age of Ashes. I think we went through 3 parties in the first two books. Absolutely the most brutal modern TTRPG I've played.

I believe that the Beginners Box is probably a good starting point. I'm afraid that the ship has sailed for PF2 for my current groups - the experience has been so soured by Age of Ashes that I don't know if anyone will try it again. But for a new group, down the road, if I get an opportunity to GM again, I'll keep it in mind.

I just don't understand why they didn't lead with something like that out of the gate? Instead we got a brutally difficult AP with an unavoidable almost guaranteed TPK encounter in the first volume.

With how bad the playtest experience went with the group and two volumes of Age of Ashes, I'm frankly astonished they lasted as long as they did.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think age of ashes was exactly the right difficulty level for the first AP. After all, a new one would start coming out in 6 months, and the people wanting to leap right into a 1-20 AP coming out of the playtest are likely more veteran players. I do kinda wish that the beginner box could have launched with the game though, or at least plaguestone could have swapped places with the beginner box, as having an incredibly challenging module and AP be the first 2 adventure content probably has permanently resulted in some folks think the game itself is dialed in at too difficult a setting rather than it being so flexible and easy to control.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:


While I love PF2, even more than I loved PF1 before, I must admit that I got this feeling of actions in combat becoming repetitive.
This is due to a very simple thing: Length of fights. In PF1/3rd edition, fights were rarely lasting more than 2 rounds.

I was actually about to say the same thing. We have a Fighter/Warpriest who aren't min/maxed at all in PF1 and once they get into full attack range the battles are over in a flash. Even the most recent big boss got two attacks off before he was dead, the only reason he got those attacks off was because the monster was magic immune. I personally would rather have 1 interesting fights than 2 short fights but I feel in PF2 the APs don't account for this and there are just too many encounters which can feel tedious imo.

So yes PF1 imo has more "boring" turns but since they are so quick you probably didn't notice them at all. Only times battles last a long time is if the enemies hit multiple people with crowd control in PF1 and you don't have an answer to it.

Harles wrote:

Is it possible that Age of Ashes (which Cody's group played and also got my players to rage quit) might be a problem AP? It was the first one released, so perhaps the encounter math wasn't quite right. And maybe the design paradigms that make PF2 "work" weren't yet put in place?

Neither of the other two APs appealed to my group specifically, so we haven't tried those, but I can say the sample encounters I created were overall better fits for my group than ones in AoA.
As I brought up before (on here and elsewhere), AoA missed an opportunity to be a great "first PF2 AP" to teach players and GMs how to play the system.
PF1 was building on a revision to a successful and widely popular system many were familiar with. PF2, as many have pointed out in this thread, plays widely different from PF1. We've seen where the assumptions of similar play and adventure design lead: TPKs, disillusionment, abandoning the system.
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.

I am not sure this is 100% an Age of Ashes problem. I think sadly APs for 2e are just not the best in general for teaching/learning the game for players who want to run the adventure as written. We pretty much ran into the same issues in Extinction Curse. So for new groups it is up to the GM to tailor the game by changing encounters.

If your group hasn't given up maybe you should try adding the "weak adjustment" to every creature. That way they can have an easier game while still enjoying the storyline.

I have no idea if they did it on purpose but the encounters seems to be for the most part are quite challenging in APs and good tactics are kind of a must.

You can think about it this way though, at least once the players start "mastering" the systems the next adventure they play won't be super easy. PF1/5e I am pretty sure by someone's second AP it would be super easy to succeed in those games without the GM making it harder.

Overall maybe you can try the Beginner Box with your group sometime? I hear it is a great way to teach the mechanics.

I also read your previous comment but that is sad to hear. Yes they did make some mistakes trying to introduce a new system. They made the Beginner Box almost 1.5 years after the game came out.

I am surprised because I would think the first priority for a new system would be an amazing starter adventure to get people hooked. It looks like their main priority was getting rules and character options so groups could actually make their own adventures easy and have tons of character options.

The fact is Pathfinder 2 is a lot better if players want to use teamwork otherwise is players want to mostly just play their own way PF2 won't feel much different than other systems.

Liberty's Edge

I guess the first priority was to not lose too much of the PF1 still extant playerbase. Getting 5e players eager for a more complex system to come aboard came second.

And they had to develop the APs and modules while still tuning the system.

The Beginner Box adventure feels almost too easy for the moment (compared to PFS scenarios). Second part will be tomorrow for our group.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cody is a sensationalist. He's done it a number of times before with his clickbait titles and Roll20 exit letter. Best to take anything he says with a grain of salt.

SuperBidi wrote:
Harles wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
I've stopped watching when he spoke about Magic Missile. 1-action Magic Missile is a massive spell, one of the highest damage dealing spell in the game.

I would like a mechanic in the game where casting a 1-action version took up fewer spell slots. Or maybe you cast Magic Missile and it can be sustained for 3 rounds, sending a single dart each round it's sustained. Same thing with Heal.

I never saw a single Missile cast in my year-long campaign.

1-action Magic Missile is awesome but... First, you need quite some levels as you won't use your highest level slots on 1-action spells as you'd burn through them too quickly. Also, you need Dangerous Sorcery to make it shine. With it, it deals as much expected damage than a martial second attack, which is awesome at range and for a third action.

It's these kind of spells that ask for quite some system mastery to be used. On the hand of a good player, it's awesome. But many players struggle with their spell slots and as such will disregard such spell.

As a long range spell, magic missile was my sorcerer's bread and butter at low levels. It allowed me to safely target enemies that were well out of range of my other spells. In the 20+ times I've cast it so far (now level 4), I can only recall using the single action version twice, once when an enemy was known to be on death's door, and again when I was attempting to nullify an enemy's abilities (in this case a dispel magic vs. their flaming sphere and a single magic missile against their shield spell. It worked. My dispel magic stripped away much of his offensive capability and he blocked with his shield effectively debuffing him for my allies, who quickly surrounded and brought the beat down.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wonder if starting a new launch with a Beginner Box style product rather than the full game would be a better approach?

Liberty's Edge

Thank you Superbidi and RPGnoremac for your explanations. It makes a lot of sense.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
I wonder if starting a new launch with a Beginner Box style product rather than the full game would be a better approach?

I guess it worked for 5e?


12 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
This can be worrying if people feeling this spend too much time playing without a significant change (such as a level up) happening.

I suspect there's some truth to this. I've got at least one party that has become increasingly upset with my games lately, I think in large part due to this phenomenon. They were in chapter 3 of Extinction Curse: The Show Must Go On when the whole party TPK'd. That was about 3 games into that chapter. Now they're another three games into THE SAME chapter 3 with their new characters, and it quickly became clear to me that they'd been getting increasingly disgruntled with each new game.

After talking to them about it, it seemed that a lot of it had to do with the feeling of there being no forward movement. They have been stuck in the same dungeon for at least 6 games, with no significant treasure or a level up to show for it during that time. Part of this is because of the TPK forcing them to repeat a couple encounters that the original party failed to overcome, and part of it is because I use milestone leveling. That means they don't get to level up until they clear chapter 3, which will very likely be at the end of our next game. It also didn't help that we switched from 8 hour live sessions every two weeks to 3 hour online sessions nearly every week. Though things are actually moving along much more quickly, it doesn't FEEL that way to anyone because in their minds they haven't spent half the normal number of hours in this one dungeon than is normal, they've spent twice as many game sessions as is normal!

Like others who claim to be having trouble, they're all 20+ year veterans who are accustomed to playing a certain way, and are struggling finding the new strategies that work.

It's not a problem caused by 2E, which really is better than past systems in nearly every conceivable way, it's a problem caused by all of the previous d20 systems operating on a very different ideology (that of winning with character creation before the game--which is the real illusion of choice--rather than winning DURING the game with VERY REAL choices that DO matter).

Liberty's Edge

Thanks to this discussion, I was considering what would be good ways (in addition to the very good clues provided by Superbidi) to offset the feeling of boring routine. I think a partway advancement, for example gaining the Skill feat of even levels when at approximately half level, might help with this. And same with the skill increase of odd levels.

However, this is exactly the kind of variant that Milestone leveling does not support in a simple way. You basically need to assess when your PCs are halfway on their progression to the next level.

But maybe the key should be when the players are not having fun anymore.

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:
It's not a problem caused by 2E, which really is better than past systems in nearly every conceivable way, it's a problem caused by all of the previous d20 systems operating on a very different ideology (that of winning with character creation before the game--which is the real illusion of choice--rather than winning DURING the game with VERY REAL choices that DO matter).

I actually think it is a thing that might be improved in 2E. 2E has solved many big problems / pain points of previous editions with innovative design. It is only natural that some of these innovations created new issues that can be improved and solved in the future.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
I wish I saw more GM centered PF2 youtube videos about how easy it is to utilize game mechanics on the fly to dial up or down the difficult to meet your...

I've been enjoying the Agents of Edgewatch podcast on 'roll for combat' youtube channel. It has the GM doing an intro to each episode going over things from the previous and some that come up in that game and the whys and where fors of some decisions and house rules. It is an interesting insite in to that side of the game.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

When someone has a problem with a game, it usually means there really is a problem, but often the problem is not what they think it is.

If PF2 seems like a game where you do the same thing every round and it's too hard to survive, the real problem might be that it doesn't teach you how to be good at the tactics required to do well. It just expects you to figure out for yourself when it's a good idea to attack / debuff an enemy / heal an ally / turn into a dinosaur. RPGs are not a very forgiving environment for experimentation, unlike videogames where you can just try something out and reload if it doesn't work out for you. Or you might try something once, the GM says the enemy passed their save, and you decide not to risk it again.

PF1 had its own version of this problem, in that the game doesn't teach you how to make a decent character. It just throws you in at the deep end, gives you a thousand options, and then you might end up making a multiclass Rogue/Sorcerer who misses with every attack and is still casting level 2 spells when everyone else is casting level 6 spells.

I wonder if one of the reasons for 5e's popularity is that the default difficulty is low. Even someone who is terrible at strategy can do pretty well.


Ruzza wrote:
Harles wrote:
I would love an AP that walked GMs and players through tactics, had a simple plot, etc. Because PF2 is starting from the beginning as something completely new. The AP design should reflect that.
If you haven't seen it yet, the Beginners Box and the follow up "Troubles in Otari" (especially this module) is very helpful about explaining tactics and presenting the best of PF2 throughout. I'm not 100% in love with Chapter 1 of "Troubles" but the rest of the module is super solid and I think the entire book is great for any player, new or experienced.

This is good to hear! I wish they had put such material in the core rulebook to begin with—I was pretty daunted by the giant page count and tiny text when I started reading—but better late than never.

Wondering if I should propose to my current (sole) group that we run through the beginner's box if it's that helpful. Not sure the GM's budgets (of money & time) allow, but it can't hurt to mention it. :).

51 to 100 of 671 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Repetition and 2e / "Taking20"s Break Up Letter All Messageboards