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


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Stangler wrote:


His argument wasn't that he found the perfect optimization of the Ranger at a certain level. You are just arguing the exact outcome of the math as opposed to the general conclusion of the math.

More complicated math doesn't create choice, it just requires more math to see it.

Like I said, I think people quibbling the math don't really understand the conversation.

So your argument is that when his evidence that he uses to prove his point is fallacious in nature, we still have to accept that he has a point and therefore aren’t entitled to discontinuing the argument even though we just established his “points” are built on falsehood?

He’s the one that made the claim you’re pidgeon holed into actions. The fact is there are 100s of different total combinations any character can likely do in a given turn. He needs to prove that it is most optimal to always do one rotation. He cannot do that. He did not do it in his example and has yet to provide any proof of the premise that he “has” to do the actions claimed.

Sorry evidence for arguments doesn’t work that way. He has nothing to back up his claims, he didn’t the first time and his example only demonstrates that he doesn’t even have the knowledge of the system he claims to have mastery over to prove his point.

You seem to think he’s made an argument based on evidence and we are in the position to listen and understand his evidence. I assure you, he has done nothing of the sort. He has provided his personal opinion and perspective based on purely subjective information.


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Gortle wrote:

The algebra does exists. But the variables are very GM and scenario dependant and make a lot of assumptions about play style. Which means it just descends into an argument about how often each scenario occurs. People are just going to disagree.

For example Flurry versus Precision. If you are just standing next to your enemy and going attack attack attack. Flurry is mathematically a better choice the numbers have been crunched for typical ACs. Go look it up on this board. But if you aren't getting all those extra attacks all that often, or if you are getting an occasional reaction based attack (no MAP) then Precision looks better. There are various level break points as well. So which is better? Its not clear, but there is no shortage of opinions out there.

Then there are several more layers of complexity on top of that. Add an animal companion in? Ranged or melee? Only few feats are compulsory for each style.

You have asked a very big question to want a specific answer for. It doesn't seem reasonable given the quality of the original question.

So that type of answer is just ok IMO. It isn't clear to the player what their choice means as it relates to the primary choice they are making which is to be good at the bow.

There are two ways this choice is low information. It is likely low information in the sense that people won't automatically know the math involved. It is also low information because they don't know what scenarios they will be in.

Low value "choice"


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No its not. They play differently. They lead to different tactical choices.
PF2 is not for people who are afraid of simple maths or basic analysis.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Gortle wrote:
PF2 is not for people who are afraid of simple maths or basic analysis.

Of course it is. As long as you can add and subtract bonuses and penalties, you can enjoy Pathfinder.

Perhaps what you are trying to say is "PF2 is not for people who dislike sophisticated probability analysis of complex character options in order to maximize whatever their goals are for their particular playing style."

Liberty's Edge

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Stangler wrote:
PF2 relies on specialization

Wait.

Hold up.

This. This right here.

This is the problem.

It does no such thing.

As soon as you realize that, you'll see why so many people are not agreeing with you.


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.


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The math in PF2 is more like dealing with the clock. Very complicated mechanism, but what you have to deal with in the surface is pretty straightforward. You don't need to know any of this math stuff because it is well demonstrated to not be so significant. A player can and will make a choice they think is cool and it will generally work. If it doesn't, they retrain. And the fact that it is only one of those choices makes it a smaller impact on the overall character.

Strangler, I'm not really sure what you are arguing. Our point is that you don't have to specialize, which means that these choices aren't as critical as PF1. Making a "sup-optimal" choice doesn't make your character useless and often givens them a leg up in another area. Horizontal growth, as I said.


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Shisumo wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 relies on specialization

Wait.

Hold up.

This. This right here.

This is the problem.

It does no such thing.

As soon as you realize that, you'll see why so many people are not agreeing with you.

For what it’s worth I get why people think this after the last 3 third adjacent editions being exactly that, a specialists game.

PF2 characters aren’t just “good sword fighter” or “fire evoker” they are “Reginald Alexander III the Swashbuckler Pirate Vigilante Elf Aasimar who once sailed the inner seas before his cargo ship was raided by pirates”

That’s another thing that chaps me about saying this version of the game doesn’t support RP as well because the character building process is so lateral with skills, skill feats, Ancestry feats, general feats, heritage, background, class feats, and in most cases a class path too, that looking at class alone is already not entirely fair.

You’re not just a character, you’re a HERO. You’re the heroes. Not some one dimensional side character who swings a sword, you’ve got depth that most editions just chalk up to “just pretend you’re those things and hope the gm knows how to reward you”.

The fact that someone can say they were a sailor and take the sailor background establishes where I can start as a gm for who the person is in the world. It’s a level of depth that is different from other characters, and it gives them a place to start interacting in the world purely on what they used to do (Lore).

So as a GM I’ve got three places to reward the PC for their choice and making them feel like a sailor: Lore checks relevant to sailing, in an underwater combat with Underwater Marauder, and with Athletics.

The PC can also explore these options on their own, heck I’ve had someone push an enemy into the water simply because they knew they’d be better at fighting them than the reverse (they were on a dock).

So that one background alone already changes a scenario, there is now a scenario where you would want to fight in water/liquid which is subject to chance and circumstance.

Something something characters have layers something something cake tastes better.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
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.

PF2 is only "super complicated" and only has "huge problems" if you want to play it that way

There is nothing inherent in PF2 that requires you to know about, care about, or understand the elegant mathematical structure behind it.

For most players, it looks simple and IS simple because, unlike PF1, if you choose what looks to you like a "fun character" you actually have a character that's fun to play.

People who build characters using 'simple' criteria are no longer at a disadvantage against system experts who want to understand the behind-the-scenes relationships and dependencies.

For me, the best part of PF2 is that I can have fun playing at tables with both kinds of players. People with lots of 'super complicated' knowledge don't obliterate newbies when they sit down together.

I admire the people who take the time to do the probabilistic and statistical analyses and post them here. It's fun to see them strut their sophisticated professional understanding of the game. I steal ideas; I see new strategies.

But you don't have be those people and play that way to have fun.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Stangler wrote:
It isn't clear to the player what their choice means as it relates to the primary choice they are making which is to be good at the bow.

How is it not clear? One ability makes your subsequent attacks more accurate, the other makes your first attack deal additional damage. That's pretty obvious on its face. That's what the abilities do.

The only thing that's not clear is which one is the superior mathematical choice... but if one of them was obviously and clearly superior (rather than just contextually superior), then it wouldn't be a choice at all.

So that's exactly backwards.


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Squiggit wrote:
Stangler wrote:
It isn't clear to the player what their choice means as it relates to the primary choice they are making which is to be good at the bow.

How is it not clear? One ability makes your subsequent attacks more accurate, the other makes your first attack deal additional damage. That's pretty obvious on its face. That's what the abilities do.

The only thing that's not clear is which one is the superior mathematical choice... but if one of them was obviously and clearly superior (rather than just contextually superior), then it wouldn't be a choice at all.

So that's exactly backwards.

And the whole point of the design ethos of PF2 was to make context more important. To prioritize in game tactical choices over character build choices. The build choices still matter, but they're no longer as overwhelming as in 3.x/PF1.

The very premise behind Stangler's argument here is missing the point, since it's focusing on the build game.


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I don't know why so many of the critics or proponents aren't honest about PF2. It's a much harder game than they are used to. PF2 doesn't allow players to game the math like they've been doing for over a decade. Even 5E allows optimized players to trivialize the game in a way PF2 doesn't. It does make for a very different feel that can seem repetitious because you never reach a point as a player where the game is easy in PF2. If the DM is making level appropriate challenges, then you're always going to be in that 40 to 50% success range which in essence comes down to a coin flip. A lot of players don't enjoy this level of difficulty with no real relief up to 20.

I've been interested to see form the start if RPG players after 10 plus years of easy, they'll buy in to a game as difficult as PF2 with no way for a player to game the math to trivialize the game.


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CrystalSeas wrote:
Gortle wrote:
PF2 is not for people who are afraid of simple maths or basic analysis.

Of course it is. As long as you can add and subtract bonuses and penalties, you can enjoy Pathfinder.

Perhaps what you are trying to say is "PF2 is not for people who dislike sophisticated probability analysis of complex character options in order to maximize whatever their goals are for their particular playing style."

Er no. I used the words simple and basic and I meant it.

It's not complex at all.


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I don't know why so many of the critics or proponents aren't honest about PF2. It's a much harder game than they are used to. PF2 doesn't allow players to game the math like they've been doing for over a decade. Even 5E allows optimized players to trivialize the game in a way PF2 doesn't. It does make for a very different feel that can seem repetitious because you never reach a point as a player where the game is easy in PF2. If the DM is making level appropriate challenges, then you're always going to be in that 40 to 50% success range which in essence comes down to a coin flip. A lot of players don't enjoy this level of difficulty with no real relief up to 20.

I've been interested to see form the start if RPG players after 10 plus years of easy, they'll buy in to a game as difficult as PF2 with no way for a player to game the math to trivialize the game.

That's not a problem with the game, but with the GM. A hero that makes it to level 20 should not (under most circumstances) be encountering a 20th-level kobold in Tucker's cavern or having an equal or harder time scaling that same mountain that nearly killed him at level 5.

In any case, I've heard a number of reports that the game DOES get easier at high levels.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
That's not a problem with the game, but with the GM.

Well, yes and no. A GM can tune encounters to make things play better, but it still could point to a systemic issue if on-level encounters that are designed to be typical feel unnecessarily burdensome for a lot of people.

There have been a lot more complaints about PF2 being a difficult game than an easy one and that's not for nothing.


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Ravingdork wrote:

That's not a problem with the game, but with the GM. A hero that makes it to level 20 should not (under most circumstances) be encountering a 20th-level kobold in Tucker's cavern or having an equal or harder time scaling that same mountain that nearly killed him at level 5.

In any case, I've heard a number of reports that the game DOES get easier at high levels.

People were complaining about specialists not getting enough at higher levels during the playtest, when we reach that stage in the game, those that invested everything in their specialization will start feeling their investment. I think the system found a good balance. Highly specialized characters will feel their choices pilling up at the back half of leveling while those that chose to diversify will have their trade-offs across all levels. My only issues is with classes that only reach "expert" in their attack proficiency, since the system seems to be built around Master, which makes the double flaw of lower proficiency plus lower stat a little too prominent (a -3 difference compared to martial characters, assuming the Expert invested everything he could, the -1 from stats would've been enough IMO.).


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

I don't know why so many of the critics or proponents aren't honest about PF2. It's a much harder game than they are used to. PF2 doesn't allow players to game the math like they've been doing for over a decade. Even 5E allows optimized players to trivialize the game in a way PF2 doesn't. It does make for a very different feel that can seem repetitious because you never reach a point as a player where the game is easy in PF2. If the DM is making level appropriate challenges, then you're always going to be in that 40 to 50% success range which in essence comes down to a coin flip. A lot of players don't enjoy this level of difficulty with no real relief up to 20.

I've been interested to see form the start if RPG players after 10 plus years of easy, they'll buy in to a game as difficult as PF2 with no way for a player to game the math to trivialize the game.

Hard in the sense that it is less easy to totally break it. Fine agreed.

But there are still good and bad tactics in play

There are still excellent and useless character build options to choose from. Its just that the difference between those is like 50% not 400%

The GM will still have to adjust the difficulty of encounters based on the coordination and skill of the players.

Liberty's Edge

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
I don't know why so many of the critics or proponents aren't honest about PF2.

It's not dishonesty. It's differences in perspective. Specifically, a recognition that

Deriven Firelion wrote:
It's a much harder game than they are used to.

does not automatically follow from

Deriven Firelion wrote:
PF2 doesn't allow players to game the math like they've been doing for over a decade.

In PF1/3.5, character creation was a task that required intense game knowledge and experience, but once you'd figured out what your encounter-destroying schtick was, actual combats were straightforward. Was it easy, though? Hardly. PF1 was absurdly dangerous for new players to just wander into; it was super easy to accidentally make a character who just simply couldn't compete against reasonable challenges and/or other characters made by players with more depth of rules mastery.

PF2 flips this paradigm entirely around, making character creation really easy (and incompetent characters generally difficult to make without actively trying to), but putting the weight of rules mastery onto the actual gameplay experience. It's not harder than PF1, it's hard in different ways. For some people, who are used to what PF1 felt like to play and who were used to what their rules mastery would earn them in that paradigm, the switch makes it seem like it's harder than it is - because if they're optimizing like PF1 and still having to work for their wins, then PF2 must be nigh impossible! It's not true, but the perspective is understandable.


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I think the thing is that some people just want a higher rate of success than the system is designed for, and wanting that isn't bad, and it's not even that hard for the GM to enable it, but you have to know this is what you want.

Remember probably PF2's biggest strength is how modular it is!


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Midnightoker wrote:
Stangler wrote:


His argument wasn't that he found the perfect optimization of the Ranger at a certain level. You are just arguing the exact outcome of the math as opposed to the general conclusion of the math.

More complicated math doesn't create choice, it just requires more math to see it.

Like I said, I think people quibbling the math don't really understand the conversation.

So your argument is that when his evidence that he uses to prove his point is fallacious in nature, we still have to accept that he has a point and therefore aren’t entitled to discontinuing the argument even though we just established his “points” are built on falsehood?

He’s the one that made the claim you’re pidgeon holed into actions. The fact is there are 100s of different total combinations any character can likely do in a given turn. He needs to prove that it is most optimal to always do one rotation. He cannot do that. He did not do it in his example and has yet to provide any proof of the premise that he “has” to do the actions claimed.

Sorry evidence for arguments doesn’t work that way. He has nothing to back up his claims, he didn’t the first time and his example only demonstrates that he doesn’t even have the knowledge of the system he claims to have mastery over to prove his point.

You seem to think he’s made an argument based on evidence and we are in the position to listen and understand his evidence. I assure you, he has done nothing of the sort. He has provided his personal opinion and perspective based on purely subjective information.

This is wrong on many levels.

The evidence is user experience. Optimal gameplay based on a deep dive of the math involved isn't an expectation of game system should be built around.

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.

Thirdly, you have not addressed his point. You seem to think you are actually more knowledgeable of the issue but you have not really addressed the heart of the matter which is choice in combat. Why not?


thejeff wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Stangler wrote:
It isn't clear to the player what their choice means as it relates to the primary choice they are making which is to be good at the bow.

How is it not clear? One ability makes your subsequent attacks more accurate, the other makes your first attack deal additional damage. That's pretty obvious on its face. That's what the abilities do.

The only thing that's not clear is which one is the superior mathematical choice... but if one of them was obviously and clearly superior (rather than just contextually superior), then it wouldn't be a choice at all.

So that's exactly backwards.

And the whole point of the design ethos of PF2 was to make context more important. To prioritize in game tactical choices over character build choices. The build choices still matter, but they're no longer as overwhelming as in 3.x/PF1.

The very premise behind Stangler's argument here is missing the point, since it's focusing on the build game.

So the choice that Paizo designed about specific encounters is based in character creation? Or is it part of the combat decision matrix?


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Shisumo wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 relies on specialization

Wait.

Hold up.

This. This right here.

This is the problem.

It does no such thing.

As soon as you realize that, you'll see why so many people are not agreeing with you.

Don't say, show. How many choices are made in character creation are built around being good at a bow? How many are about other options?

How many are about layers to the equation during combat?

The discussion at hand is about the number of choices that don't actually mean anything to the game in practice and how at the end of the day less "choices" is better than more "choices" when the result is fundamentally the same.


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Unicore wrote:

Clear mechanics of how tactical choices are as valuable as build choices? I feel like this thread is full of specific examples, but there are even times where a bard might be better moving into flanking with a powerful melee ally in a critical round of combat rather than inspire courage again and not move into flanking, because the +2 to attack might be more important than a +1, especially in later rounds of combat when both the ally and the monster might be one hit away from dying.

Even shove is an impossible action to value in a white room because it does no damage, but pushing a well armed or shield wielding enemy off of even a 10 or 15ft cliff can mean forcing the creature to think about dropping their weapon or falling into a position where they waste multiple actions getting up and then getting back into position. I see these exact kind of situations come up in play often because my party looks for them and asks about how they can interact with the environment. As a GM, I probably encouraged this from the beginning by introducing dynamic map elements of tables and other objects I could move and manipulate on the battle map and had enemies interact with them as well.

Over and over again though, I see parties forget to recall knowledge on creatures they are observing from stealth before moving in (myself included), for example, and that is a big mistake because it means forcing those actions into competition with other actions and often result them in choosing not to recall knowledge even though there is almost always something that can be learned that could be leveraged effectively in combat. Even a fighter might benefit from learning that an enemies Fort save is 3 points lower than their AC and has a action that could be disrupted by being grappled.

What is the clear mechanic here? Seriously.

Is it shove providing a +2 to hit for your allies? Is that really the "clear" choice that PF2 is providing to players? Try to hit target or provide a +2 to hit for allies? That really sounds like a mathematical equation to boredom to me.

But your point isn't clear so I honestly don't know what it is.

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.

That is the hurdle PF2 is being asked to overcome in Cody's arguments and ZERO evidence has been provided to suggest otherwise from what I can tell.

PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something. The onus isn't on Cody to justify or not justify PF2. It is on the game system itself to communicate the value of it. Cody is just another talking head on the internet.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Stangler wrote:


I will also add that steps are not choices. More steps presented as choices to the same outcome are not choices. They are steps. If the choice is that the player wants to be good at shooting a bow then that is one choice even if it takes 5 choices to get them there.

This isn't really true. There are multiple different routes to using a bow, and as those diverge there are choices. Even within the same class there a multiple ways you can go to pursue that end and thus be involved in choice.

I mean lets go to the Ranger. I'm assuming the worst case for my point in the Crossbows aren't allowed to count as a divergence choice for a "bow user." That still leaves at level 1, the pretty solid choice between Flurry and Precision, the choice between Gravity Weapon, Hunted Shot, Monster Hunter or even an Animal Companion; all of which can augment or supplement that weapon choice. So thats 8 different Bow builds for 1 class at level 1 before we even take into account the numerous Ancestry choices that could be used to further differentiate it AND with banning crossbows from the consideration.

What is the impact of those choices? Is the impact clear? Is one choice simply better than the others in terms of DPR? If one is inferior why? Is it clear?

If the primary choice of the player is that they want to be good with a bow then how are those choices navigated?

Imagine it like algebra. A good system will reduce the equation to the essence of each choice to reduce the number of variables.

The advantages or each is not always clear no. And while in a white room some options are "superior" in DPS terms, those build options lend themselves to different styles of play and different risk reward weightings. This is depth and choice. Boiling things down to the simplest either or doesn't increase choice, it reduces it.

Precision + Gravity is about getting one very good shot each round, and then getting to use your other...

A solid difference between choice A and choice B is great. A solid difference between choice A and choice B in character creation doesn't mean combat itself has that same choice.

What choices should be made in combat and which ones should be made in character creation? What information is needed to make the choice is a good place to start.

If you are designing a game and want to offer players a choice in character creation where one choice benefits non attack choices and one that benefits attack choices how would you do that? Is it best to bury the min/max potential of various options in feats or do you just make the choice crystal clear for the player where their choices have clear meaning?

Just to repeat the premise, the discussion is about choice in combat. That means in any given round what is the choice? Are those choices clear?


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

Can you more clearly and succinctly state what your goal (or Cody's goal) is here? I'm seeing you say a lot, but I still have no idea what your aim is or what you are getting at.

Silver Crusade

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Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Can you more clearly and succinctly state what your goal (or Cody's goal) is here? I'm seeing you say a lot, but I still have no idea what your aim is or what you are getting at.

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

I have asked multiple times for people to communicate it to me with no success.

The fact is that you can play all sorts of TTRPGs and have fun even if the rules kinda suck. That doesn't mean there are not some fundamental principles of game design that are worth knowing and paying attention to. One of those principles is transparency of choice. Another is real options whenever a choice is being made that have clear benefits and tradeoffs.

Obvious principles that are so obvious they shouldn't be mentioned but seem necessary anyway. More damage vs less damage is a bad choice. Players should feel comfortable enough in any choice that they don't feel the need to open excel, or if they do it is a calculated choice of risk (averages be damned).

Even in a bad system fun can be had and sometimes the quirks of a system that are in every way flawed can create some fun sessions and become beloved. I don't want to act like people should continue loving PF2 if they love it. I am asking people who are listening to Cody's videos to actually listen and take a step back and look at PF2 more objectively.


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Rysky wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.

You didn't demonstrate anything but I will try and help.

OK what are the clear combat choices of a PF2 Ranger focused on bow use at level 5?

How do the choices evolve as they level?

How clear is any of this to players?


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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?


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Stangler wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.

You didn't demonstrate anything but I will try and help.

OK what are the clear combat choices of a PF2 Ranger focused on bow use at level 5?

How do the choices evolve as they level?

How clear is any of this to players?

As I mentioned above, there are several choice you will make in character creation that cannot focus on the bow. You can have identification skills, for instance. Make witty quips. Be a medic. These options will continue to expand because you literally can't spend all of your feats on being good at a bow.

I suppose, however, that I have to give you this on combat choices. If this specific ranger builds his character in a way to only use one thin.g really, I suppose he might limit his choices

Now demonstrate that for other classes. We keep hearing about this now sniper ranger. What about monks, fighters, and sorcerers? You need multiple data points to be worth anything.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Stangler wrote:
My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players

Or they just made a conscious choice to play the game a certain way and ended up not liking it. Won't be the first or last time someone does that.

But it's a conveniently circular argument, to suggest that you're either right or the act of being wrong itself proves you're right, but it presupposes a degree of infallibility that doesn't seem realistic or warranted here.

Albatoonoe wrote:
I suppose, however, that I have to give you this on combat choices. If this specific ranger builds his character in a way to only use one thin.g really, I suppose he might limit his choices

This kind of hits the nail on the head though, doesn't it?

Someone goes into the game with the intention of making a character who only does damage, purposefully eschews build choices that allow for alternative actions and then goes beyond that and refuses to use any other actions in combat itself... and then laments that his character feels one dimensional.

If I made a Wizard who prepared Fireball in all my spell slots (and I guess burning hands in the first and second level ones) and then declared that Wizards suck because they can only do damage and are useless against enemies with fire resistance, would anyone take that position seriously? I mean I guess this thread shows someone would.


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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?

How much clearer does it have to be to demonstrate what good a shovel or a trip is? Trip knocks them to the ground (prone), making them more vulnerable and slowing them down. Shove is more situational, but you can push them off things or into a narrow passage. Disarm has some pretty self-evident benefits or removing an enemies weapon.

Take a look at bon Mot. It tells your right there that it imposes a penalty on them. Every choice pretty clearly laid out and simple to figure out. Sure, they won't be used for every situation and that is the point.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.

You didn't demonstrate anything but I will try and help.

OK what are the clear combat choices of a PF2 Ranger focused on bow use at level 5?

How do the choices evolve as they level?

How clear is any of this to players?

As I mentioned above, there are several choice you will make in character creation that cannot focus on the bow. You can have identification skills, for instance. Make witty quips. Be a medic. These options will continue to expand because you literally can't spend all of your feats on being good at a bow.

I suppose, however, that I have to give you this on combat choices. If this specific ranger builds his character in a way to only use one thin.g really, I suppose he might limit his choices

Now demonstrate that for other classes. We keep hearing about this now sniper ranger. What about monks, fighters, and sorcerers? You need multiple data points to be worth anything.

I would say that this issue is likely concentrated in martial classes but spell casters tend to create different problems.

I didn't come here to demonstrate anything. I came here to see if Cody was wrong and hoping he was but have found little evidence that he was.

Silver Crusade

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Stangler wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.

You didn't demonstrate anything but I will try and help.

OK what are the clear combat choices of a PF2 Ranger focused on bow use at level 5?

How do the choices evolve as they level?

How clear is any of this to players?

Ah I see, you're asking for the hyper specializations that were prominent in P1. Those aren't a thing in P2, which is a good thing.

Instead of "I got this one specific trick I use with a bow and can't step outside of it" you're "a Ranger with a bow". The bow doesn't define or restrict you.


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Pathfinder 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?

The issue us, its very divergent based on what that ranger did and didnt pick up-- the game is modular enough that theres a lot of possibilities.

If they invested in it they could easily attempt to recall what kinds of spells the creature has the most trouble resisting. Depending on thrir feats this could mean handing out direct buffs to other characters in addition to the actual knowledge they attempt to recall.

They may have both Hunter's aim and Hunted Shot, and need to decide contextually which they think might be a better way to use their bow that turn, they might reposition for all sorts of reasons (including flanking or soaking damage), or they may take every shot they can. If they have the charisma for it, they could try and inflict frightened, to soften up targets for a big follow up from their friends.

They might also consider raising a shield (in this case a buckler, because free hand for archery) if they suspect they might need the AC. They might have a spell from their ancestry or heritage they might consider employing (im partial to the shield cantrip myself.)

So the options are there, but they depend on drastically on how the character was built, the math makes it so you dont have to take many feats to get decent at something, so you end up with a lot more resources to get better at a bunch of things you can leverage into options on any given turn.


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You’re said a lot but very little of what you’ve said has meant anything. It’s clear you’ve come on with your own view and very little can be done to change it. As for what the choices mean PF2 basically has it that no matter what you do your baseline is reasonably effective. What you choose to specialize in gives you small percentage points difference on what you’re good at and what flavour you do it with.

You can be a bit better at melee or ranged or spells or skills and you can choose how you want to focus on that. Do you want to do smaller but more guaranteed damage? Do you want to try for one big hit? Do you want to be dependent on a pet or do you want to do things on your own? The ranger choices pretty much come down to that. They play differently and are better or worse against specific foes/encounters but no one is hopelessly useful in combat depending on the choices they make at character creation. But no ones character choices made at creation means that your character should act the same in every combat. The baseline being solid means that you can switch hit to something else even if the type of combat doesn’t fit your style.

Considering that 5e is choose one thing and do it over and over again to the end of time it’s a big improvement to me.


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Stangler wrote:

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

So here's a weird thing that I've noticed in several of my own tables and from anecdotes here on the boards. Pathfinder 2e runs into an interesting problem of "piggybacking" (Lesson #4 from Mark Rosewater of MtG fame), in that on its surface it looks and plays like any other fantasy roleplaying game. So if anyone has that prior knowledge, they'll go in with certain expectations. The big one being, "I can solve combat the same as I always have." Whether this is hitting things with your weapon or blasting them apart with your spells, it feels like that shouldn't change. And while you can, you're likely to end up frustrated.

So to bring that around, in my groups of players new to TTRPGs, they within the first combat or two asked questions like, "What else can I do other than attack?" or "I still have an action left, so I'll move away." Conversely, PF2 has been an unlearning experience for my groups coming from PF1 (not so much 5e, surprisingly, in my experience). When I suggest, "Hey, you can Intimidate or set up an Aid reaction," it's usually met with, "Yeah, but that's not really... good." So with one group easily understanding the system (and trust me, in my groups, these people haven't gone through the Core book page by page) and the other not, I want to point to previous knowledge interfering with that understanding.

In D&D and PF1, outside of specific builds that entirely focused on the mechanic, I didn't see players use Intimidate, Aid, Trip, even Readied Actions (occasionally I'd hear a, "If someone tries to open that door, I'm unloading everything I've got."). PF2 has given those actions more use by flattening numbers and expanding the number of actions you get. It's totally cool if that's not an experience you want, but that doesn't mean that using them or not using them equates to optimal turns.

Also, two quick asides:

Why are we using ranger as the target of our examples. I know that Taking20 used them, but it's honestly a very versatile class that you seem to be pigeonholing for the sake of this argument. But also, great news! I'm currently playing an archer-type (shooting star magus), so I think if we want to go whole hog into an "bows and bows alone" ranger, I've got you covered.

Ancestry: Elf (because everyone has had a player make some form of Legolas at their table)
Ancestry Feat: Nimble (sure, why not)

I don't think this is all that uncommon for anyone to pick starting out if they want to be "the bow and arrow guy," but it already informs what sort of playstyle they want. With this one, I want to run around and shoot arrows. I'm not gaming the system, I'm not overthinking, I'm simply making a character that any middle school student would.

We could go a little further and pick our heritage: climbing trees and being a sneaky elf, the "I can see that" elf, or maybe you kept hearing everyone tell you how important darkvision was.

Anyway, ranger level 5, and I want to be THE bow guy. This is my sole focus and I will accept no compromise.

Hunter's Edge: Precision (I just want to hit things with arrows, okay, can do.)
Level 1 (Class Feat): Hunted Shot (it's right there in the name! Shooting arrows!)
Level 2 (Class Feat): Archer Dedication (of course, I'm an archer, let me do more archer stuff!)
Level 2 (Skill Feat): Terrain Stalker (aw, man, a skill feat! I want to shoot bows! But I can use this to sneak around, right?)
Level 3 (General Feat): Fleet (well, it's a general feat, so... let's get faster)
Level 4 (Class Feat): Assisting Shot (let's put that dedication to good use!)
Level 5 (Ancestry Feat): Forest Stealth (alright, I can already use the forest as cover, but now I can hide there as one action! Perfect for our ranger!)

In combat, I have a lot of options! Purely ranged characters have a harder time than melee characters really influencing the battlefield, but that doesn't mean they can't do things on their turn.

Everyone knows that I can Hunt Prey, Strike, Stride away. Sure. But also, we're really good at hiding! Of course, I made these choices, but you certainly have to choose something. I can always run to Take Cover and fire from behind it or even Hide for some free flat-footed action. From there I can Sneak to a new position if need be. This all gets better if I'm in my favored terrain - the forest! I can Take Cover and Hide as a single action! Okay, but you wanted to hear about my bow, right? Well, I have that Assisting Shot to lend my heavy hitters a hand, since I only need to land one good hit for my Hunter's Edge anyway. Oh! And I have my Hunted Shot for getting in damage when the enemies aren't so difficult. Also, as a ranger, I can do fun things if I've decided to stay up with my Nature, like figure out just what those plant things attacking us are. Don't forget that we're also fast! Super fast! With enough space, we could Stride away twice and Strike our enemies when they can't even reach us! And don't get me started on the edge cases of what I could do if the enemies have me surrounded or have broken my bow!

Which brings me to my second point: I made a character "specialized," but you really can't do that. Skill feats alone force you to think about who your character is and what other things they can do in combat or out. But at no point to any of this feel awkward or something out of the ordinary. I don't even think this is a particularly "optimized" build or one that interests me all that much. But it also is something that I could easily see someone making (almost like my ranger player made it sans-archetype during the Playtest).

Also, did you make an account just for this thread? Who does that.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
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?

How much clearer does it have to be to demonstrate what good a shovel or a trip is? Trip knocks them to the ground (prone), making them more vulnerable and slowing them down. Shove is more situational, but you can push them off things or into a narrow passage. Disarm has some pretty self-evident benefits or removing an enemies weapon.

Take a look at bon Mot. It tells your right there that it imposes a penalty on them. Every choice pretty clearly laid out and simple to figure out. Sure, they won't be used for every situation and that is the point.

I am sold on the trip having some value but you have not told me a clear value or cost of that trip. This seems like something that people should be able to do.

In comparison a Battle Master Fighter in 5e can spend a superiority dice (limited resource) to attempt to trip a target on a hit(DC set based on Dex).

Relatively clear cost, benefit of the trip is nebulous and situational but the opportunity cost is also nebulous and situational. The trip is part of an attack so they are not spending an action to get the trip benefit.

Easy to explain and understand.


Wait, Strangler have you not played the game?


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TBH I'm not sure how much credit I'd give "experienced DND players" on noticing tactical nuance. 5e goes without saying, but for all of its complexity in the build game once you got on the grid PF1's tactical considerations never got much more complex than moving into flanking. You'd get an overwhelmingly powerful routine on your character sheet and just... do it. And the fact that "experienced DND players" seem to think striking at a -10 is the best use of their third action kinda proves the point.

That kind of mindset is gonna lose you a lot of games if you try to play skirmish wargames or strategy RPG's.


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The-Magic-Sword wrote:
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?

The issue us, its very divergent based on what that ranger did and didnt pick up-- the game is modular enough that theres a lot of possibilities.

If they invested in it they could easily attempt to recall what kinds of spells the creature has the most trouble resisting. Depending on thrir feats this could mean handing out direct buffs to other characters in addition to the actual knowledge they attempt to recall.

They may have both Hunter's aim and Hunted Shot, and need to decide contextually which they think might be a better way to use their bow that turn, they might reposition for all sorts of reasons (including flanking or soaking damage), or they may take every shot they can. If they have the charisma for it, they could try and inflict frightened, to soften up targets for a big follow up from their friends.

They might also consider raising a shield (in this case a buckler, because free hand for archery) if they suspect they might need the AC. They might have a spell from their ancestry or heritage they might consider employing (im partial to the shield cantrip myself.)

So the options...

For the most part these are presented as character creation options, not combat options. Seemingly to increase the appearance of combat options but just talking about character creation options.

Pick a build and talk options. What is the cost benefit analysis of the decision? Was anything given up to increase combat options in the build?

Being able to move tactically isn't really a feature bothering to point out.


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Ruzza wrote:
Stangler wrote:

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

So here's a weird thing that I've noticed in several of my own tables and from anecdotes here on the boards. Pathfinder 2e runs into an interesting problem of "piggybacking" (Lesson #4 from Mark Rosewater of MtG fame), in that on its surface it looks and plays like any other fantasy roleplaying game. So if anyone has that prior knowledge, they'll go in with certain expectations. The big one being, "I can solve combat the same as I always have." Whether this is hitting things with your weapon or blasting them apart with your spells, it feels like that shouldn't change. And while you can, you're likely to end up frustrated.

So to bring that around, in my groups of players new to TTRPGs, they within the first combat or two asked questions like, "What else can I do other than attack?" or "I still have an action left, so I'll move away." Conversely, PF2 has been an unlearning experience for my groups coming from PF1 (not so much 5e, surprisingly, in my experience). When I suggest, "Hey, you can Intimidate or set up an Aid reaction," it's usually met with, "Yeah, but that's not really... good." So with one group easily understanding the system (and trust me, in...

Pretty much any system will allow players to move around and hide if they have a hide feature in the game. Costs and effectiveness changing based on specialization.

You can also use assisting shot... what is the cost?

I am commenting mostly from a pov of not knowing anything about PF2 but that doesn't mean I don't know anything about PF2. My point in doing this is to try and make people take their head out of their own headspace and put it into the basics. How does the system actually look to a new player?


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The issue is, you never at any point noted that you don't know anything about the game. We're speaking to you as though you do.

Costs in this game are actions. While that may not seem like a lot, the opportunity cost of using an action is quite high, actually. It leaves a player to weigh the pros and cons of "Should I be attempting to attack from range first before moving? Or should I move in closer to Demoralize before attacking? This creature has resistance to piercing weapons, but drawing my mace is going to cost me an action, leaving me only able to move up and Strike which leaves me open to getting hit in return."

You can change the action cost of certain abilities through feats (you can note them up thread in my "ranger build," which gives you two attacks for the price of one action - provided they are ranged, a free Hide action so long as you use the Take Cover action - provided I'm in a forested environment, and even take a singular shot that buffs an ally with one action - Assisting Shot.

The thing is, you keep asking about specialization, but there really isn't. Everyone has a tool box of tricks. Your class feats, skill feats, ancestry feats - they all help you to access those tools easier or use them in different ways than others.

EDIT: If you are interested in trying out a game, I'm planning on running a quick one shot for some forum-goers post holidays!

Liberty's Edge

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Ruzza wrote:
Stangler wrote:

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

So here's a weird thing that I've noticed in several of my own tables and from anecdotes here on the boards. Pathfinder 2e runs into an interesting problem of "piggybacking" (Lesson #4 from Mark Rosewater of MtG fame), in that on its surface it looks and plays like any other fantasy roleplaying game. So if anyone has that prior knowledge, they'll go in with certain expectations. The big one being, "I can solve combat the same as I always have." Whether this is hitting things with your weapon or blasting them apart with your spells, it feels like that shouldn't change. And while you can, you're likely to end up frustrated.

So to bring that around, in my groups of players new to TTRPGs, they within the first combat or two asked questions like, "What else can I do other than attack?" or "I still have an action left, so I'll move away." Conversely, PF2 has been an unlearning experience for my groups coming from PF1 (not so much 5e, surprisingly, in my experience). When I suggest, "Hey, you can Intimidate or set up an Aid reaction," it's usually met with, "Yeah, but that's not really... good." So with one group easily understanding the system (and trust me, in...

Also, did you make an account just for this thread? Who does that.

Too many people. And usually to create a thread or intervene in an existing one in a way that will make other people angry.

Liberty's Edge

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Stangler wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Can you more clearly and succinctly state what your goal (or Cody's goal) is here? I'm seeing you say a lot, but I still have no idea what your aim is or what you are getting at.

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

I have asked multiple times for people to communicate it to me with no success.

The fact is that you can play all sorts of TTRPGs and have fun even if the rules kinda suck. That doesn't mean there are not some fundamental principles of game design that are worth knowing and paying attention to. One of those principles is transparency of choice. Another is real options whenever a choice is being made that have clear benefits and tradeoffs.

Obvious principles that are so obvious they shouldn't be mentioned but seem necessary anyway. More damage vs less damage is a bad choice. Players should feel comfortable enough in any choice that they don't feel the need to open excel, or if they do it is a calculated choice of risk (averages be damned).

Even in a bad system fun can be had and sometimes the quirks of a system that are in every way flawed can create some fun sessions and become beloved. I don't want to act like people should continue loving PF2 if they love it. I am asking people who are listening to Cody's videos to actually listen and take a...

TBH, your points, which give no concrete examples and use complicated concepts (to me at least), are really hard to follow and thus to admit or counter.

Also you use too many absolutes. It is not "people are not seeing it". It is "some people are not seeing it".

And the real point here is why do so many groups of players both experienced and inexperienced enjoy PF2 for the diversity of choices it opens in both build and actions whereas others, such as Cody's group apparently, do not see it ?

And yes, these happy players and GMs' opinions have value and should not be discounted as some kind of starry-eyed love for Paizo and PF2.


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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 not too different from our 5e fighter, except movement is more strategic in PF2e. Depending on where you move, you can flank an enemy with an ally to lower the enemy’s AC, or you might want to escape two enemies flanking you.
  • Aid action to assist another party member.
  • use your skills in combat, which is super rare in 5e. That means using athletics to trip or disarm someone, medicine to heal an ally or yourself, intimidation to frighten someone, deception to lower an enemy’s AC, arcana/nature/religion/etc to learn about a monster’s strengths and weaknesses, acrobatics to safely move through an enemy’s space, stealth to hide (useful for archers), and even diplomacy (persuasion) can debuff after getting one skill feat at 2nd level.

As you can see, this is a big list and I didn’t even include class features! Now on skills, this fighter will likely specialize in just a few of those choices. So one fighter might focus on intimidation and athletics to debuff enemies. Another fighter might focus on medicine to support the party via healing. Another fighter might want to be a book smart type and focus on knowledge skills to learn weaknesses about enemies mid-fight! Plenty of different options here depending on your character concept. Notice all of these options don’t include attacking, which is 95% of the time the only thing the 5e fighter is doing.

A typical 5e fighter’s turn is just attack as often as possible. A PF2e fighter’s turn can be much more varied due all the extra possible actions I listed above. The great thing too about PF2e is that you can do these cool extra moves and still attack! Each turn you get 3 actions and most things outside of most spells and special class abilities only take 1 action. So you can still attack and do cool stuff as they all take 1 action.

Lets go back to our athletics/intimidation fighter. On a typical turn, the player has a few good options: move to flank or get in range, attack (duh), use athletics to trip/shove/disarm/grab a foe to debuff them, use intimidation to frighten a foe to debuff them, use air to help an ally, or use one of your special moves you get from your class features. There are possibly more options depending on your build (raise a shield if you use a shield) or situation (drink a potion if low) but those main actions I mentioned are your go to’s. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of options! Way more than the 5e fighter!

If you’re still with me, then first off thanks for reading the whole thing. I appreciate your interest in learning about the game. I hope I helped clear some stuff up. I really do suggest reading through the rules or better yet playing a session or two of the game. I had heavy doubts when my group wanted to switch over to Pathfinder 2E, but now I’m hooked. I don’t think I can ever go back to playing a non-caster martial in 5e ever again after expecting the variety of tactical choices Pathfinder 2E gives you.


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Stangler wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Stangler wrote:
PF2 has to clearly demonstrate a capacity for something.

It's more streamlined than previous editions/versions of the game while also allowing for more customization than 5e. The pacing also gives an allowance to be faster and more tactics and techniques can be applied in combat.

That's a "something" I find fun.

You didn't demonstrate anything but I will try and help.

OK what are the clear combat choices of a PF2 Ranger focused on bow use at level 5?

How do the choices evolve as they level?

How clear is any of this to players?

As I mentioned above, there are several choice you will make in character creation that cannot focus on the bow. You can have identification skills, for instance. Make witty quips. Be a medic. These options will continue to expand because you literally can't spend all of your feats on being good at a bow.

I suppose, however, that I have to give you this on combat choices. If this specific ranger builds his character in a way to only use one thin.g really, I suppose he might limit his choices

Now demonstrate that for other classes. We keep hearing about this now sniper ranger. What about monks, fighters, and sorcerers? You need multiple data points to be worth anything.

I would say that this issue is likely concentrated in martial classes but spell casters tend to create different problems.

I didn't come here to demonstrate anything. I came here to see if Cody was wrong and hoping he was but have found little evidence that he was.

Then read my posts because me and my party played the same adventure path and with our playstyle taking into account PF2e's design paradigms and we weren't TPK. You're asking everyone here to give you several examples while you don't give anything, when we give you ample example of how different actions have a purpose in the game and can net you benefits, you keep disregarding them or glossing over.

Quote:
I didn't come here to demonstrate anything. I came here to see if Cody was wrong and hoping he was but have found little evidence that he was.

It's quite easy to claim you didn't find any evidence when you disregard, don't read or even understand them. This is arguing in bad faith just so you can defend a random youtuber that played a game in a particular way, didn't help his players to make the game more fun and made a video creating a bad impression of PF2e when he has a platform that has an impact in that niche of the internet.


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Stangler wrote:

I am sold on the trip having some value but you have not told me a clear value or cost of that trip. This seems like something that people should be able to do.

In comparison a Battle Master Fighter in 5e can spend a superiority dice (limited resource) to attempt to trip a target on a hit(DC set based on Dex).

Relatively clear cost, benefit of the trip is nebulous and situational but the opportunity cost is also nebulous and situational. The trip is part of an attack so they are not spending an action to get the...

Since you want it ELI5 to you, then I will.

My Monk will try to trip stronger targets (Party level+2 or more) targets because one action of my character is worth less than theirs because my party have the action economy advantage, thus, tripping the creature leaves my side of the battle with 11 actions to do stuff while the creature will have 2 to work with. This is important because it can break their routine or simply prevent them from targeting our backline with would be awful because in this edition, these monsters will crit on a 13~15 against a Spellcaster.

Now, for the benefit against lower level enemies. With My monk I'll use Flurry of Blows the majority of the combats and move around if necessary, but then as my last action and ignoring my incurred penalties (Multiple attack penalty), I'll use my skill feat assurance (Athletics) to make a guaranteed Trip against the lower level enemy because assurance lets me make an "attempt" without a roll and with a defined value, which is very likely to hit the Reflex DC of the enemies (part of the level advantage incurred in PF2e), this means that not only the enemy will have to get up (same action economy bonus), but it will also trigger my Stand Still reaction and sometimes my Ranger (Hey! There's a ranger in this example too!) friend will trigger his reaction as well, which means two extra attacks (likely crits as well because of the -2 penalty) and possibly setting up my friend's sneak attack as well because he took a Rogue multiclass. This last penalty/reaction/sneak attack section is also valid against bosses.

This is clear enough? No? Okay. Let's assume that we're fighting a juggernaut-type enemy, with high damage (minimum damage being 20, like I encountered) and normal mobility, so with my Monk I'll trip him and then use Winding Flow (a class feature that offers no direct benefit, doesn't engage with numbers, it only allows my monk to Step 5ft and a move action, 2 actions for 1 action cost), avoiding that creatures AoO (because the bastards always have one) and putting myself at a whooping 50ft distance (My Step is 10ft because I'm a Tiger Style Monk, so I get a boost for that). This means that the Juggernaut dude with 25ft normal move speed will spend one action getting up, one action getting at 25ft from me and then another action getting close to me. Only to be tripped again and getting a flurry of blows while it's down and seeing me fleeing again. Do you get what I'm saying? The best case scenario for this guy is when I don't trip him and he has the chance to try one attack. No clear benefit granted by winding flow or Trip, yet I made this guy deal zero damage by dancing around it.

This is one of the reasons why in this edition, DPR calculations got even less reliable than before. Because combat revolves a lot more than just standing still and using a full action to hit as many time as you can and as hard as you can. Sorry if this is not evidence enough for you, but there's only so much that one can explain to someone that never played the game and thus have absolutely zero context and experience in play (if there's one thing I've learned in this edition is that some things don't look good on paper, but in play are much better).


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The Raven Black wrote:
Stangler wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Can you more clearly and succinctly state what your goal (or Cody's goal) is here? I'm seeing you say a lot, but I still have no idea what your aim is or what you are getting at.

The very clear premise of Cody's argument is that choices are limited in PF2 with regards to combat while simultaneously being overly complicated when navigating the rules. That any advantage PF2 may have in developing a more complicated decision matrix for players, that complexity isn't really present IN COMBAT and the complexity of the rules acts as a detriment with no real payoff.

My take is that even if it is present then it is so buried in the rules it wasn't apparent to a group of experienced TTRPG players who played the game for a good year and that is probably a bigger problem than it not existing in the first place. That means Paizo bothered to build in a level of choice that was so poorly communicated that people are not seeing it.

I have asked multiple times for people to communicate it to me with no success.

The fact is that you can play all sorts of TTRPGs and have fun even if the rules kinda suck. That doesn't mean there are not some fundamental principles of game design that are worth knowing and paying attention to. One of those principles is transparency of choice. Another is real options whenever a choice is being made that have clear benefits and tradeoffs.

Obvious principles that are so obvious they shouldn't be mentioned but seem necessary anyway. More damage vs less damage is a bad choice. Players should feel comfortable enough in any choice that they don't feel the need to open excel, or if they do it is a calculated choice of risk (averages be damned).

Even in a bad system fun can be had and sometimes the quirks of a system that are in every way flawed can create some fun sessions and become beloved. I don't want to act like people should continue loving PF2 if they love it. I am asking people who are listening to Cody's videos to

...

Because it's like 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons. There question answered. That's why people hate it.

Edit:
I don't mean it to be derisive either. For as much as strangler is trying to imply 5e is easy to understand it's not. The system is horrendously imbalanced making it hard to evaluate options. In fact I think core rulebook still has something considered unplayable.


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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.

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