Can we start getting some more support for existing classes?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Unicore wrote:

Overspecialization in PF2 is a trap option, and not a style of play to be easily encourage by game choices. Trying to push past the head of the curve established by the basic class choices of the class that is best at something is almost always a recipe for siloing your character into a style of play that will not always work out for you in play.

PF2 is very good at punishing players that try to turn every encounter into a nail to be hit with a hammer.

If we do get further support for core classes, I really hope it maintains the clear and current pattern of pursing different options rather than better options. Whether you like where the game is currently or not, supplemental support is not a good place to fix balance issues.

If the core balance of the game is not where you like it, I suggest considering any number of homebrew changes to the core math of the game, or even making your own and reporting it back here. Perhaps if enough people adopt them, 3rd parties will begin tailoring content to your preferred variant.

Given that nearly every build posted on these and other forums "overspecializes", I think most people disagree with you

I also wouldn't call spending a class feat to have bulwark give +4 to all reflex saves overspecializing. It is exactly the opposite.


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Aaron Shanks wrote:
PrismaticPandaBear wrote:
Aaron Shanks wrote:
So, you are all saying there is demand for more Pathfinder? ;)
Yes :'3 but hopefully with basically no lore and just rules/mechanics/options.
Blech. You get 80/20 lore/rules or 20/80. We gotta add some spices!

I mean I play a home game, I actually find this to be preferable to a 50/50 or whatevs.

In crunch heavy books, I'll definitely want to get them, and the lore is often great for adding flavor. I had already created a lot of lore in my world about the 4 essences, and SoM just added even more of a jumoing off point, for example. I found the beast gunner and star guns especially evocative in G&G, and helped inspire a magus/inventor I'm making for a future game (she's a staff magus who's staff twists and reshaped via an attempt to syntetically recreate the phenomenon that resulted in the rowan gun)

In lore heavy books, even though I dont play in golarion, a book on the mwangi expanse is good for inspiration for an African inspired region, an alkenstar guide is handy for how to approach a higher tech level in fantasy, a numeria book is nice for "lost tech" or alien tech thats more advanced than.the setting, etc. I often buy setting books for regions or themes that align with the stuff I'm doing in my game


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Champions have incredible AC with heavy armor and excellent proficiencies. For 1 level 2 feat, the champion can take divine grace and get a +2 bonus to any saves when they need it. They have other options which are different than the sentinel ability, available much earlier, and some of the other feats are the same. Champions don't really need or benefit from the Sentinel archetype.

I guess I don't see these overspecialized builds in actual play that often because paizo adventures encourage encounters and situations that require being able to do many different things. I would call spending a level 2 feat and a level 10 feat to get a +1 to most reflex saves to be overspecializing for little benefit. Especially when you could have divine grace and Shield of reckoning.


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rnphillips wrote:

Given that nearly every build posted on these and other forums "overspecializes", I think most people disagree with you

I also wouldn't call spending a class feat to have bulwark give +4 to all reflex saves overspecializing. It is exactly the opposite.

I think it's far easier to post an overspecialized build than a balanced one. Also, from my (PFS and AP) experience, overspecialized characters are far from common. And many people are used to PF1 and looking for overspecialization thinking it's "the way to go". So, I don't think we can conclude much from the build "posted in these forums".

As a side note, I've posted a few builds in these forums and they were mostly overspecialized builds even if I'm a great defender of versatility. Because it's easier to post a specialized build.


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SuperBidi wrote:
rnphillips wrote:

Given that nearly every build posted on these and other forums "overspecializes", I think most people disagree with you

I also wouldn't call spending a class feat to have bulwark give +4 to all reflex saves overspecializing. It is exactly the opposite.

I think it's far easier to post an overspecialized build than a balanced one. Also, from my (PFS and AP) experience, overspecialized characters are far from common. And many people are used to PF1 and looking for overspecialization thinking it's "the way to go". So, I don't think we can conclude much from the build "posted in these forums".

As a side note, I've posted a few builds in these forums and they were mostly overspecialized builds even if I'm a great defender of versatility. Because it's easier to post a specialized build.

I would argue that in most non-pfs games the party naturally builds to cover different skills and niches such that specializing in 1 or 2 areas is always the correct choice. In pfs you need to account for the possibility that everyone else you sit down with will be redundant or dead weight either by build or through poor strategy and tactics so you need to cover as many bases as you can.


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gesalt wrote:
I would argue that in most non-pfs games the party naturally builds to cover different skills and niches such that specializing in 1 or 2 areas is always the correct choice. In pfs you need to account for the possibility that everyone else you sit down with will be redundant or dead weight either by build or through poor strategy and tactics so you need to cover as many bases as you can.

I've also played non PFS games, and I haven't seen strong differences in builds. Actually, I've never seen a player coming to a PFS2 game thinking "I can handle everything, the party is just there to lit the way!". As a matter of fact, no such build can exist in PF2.

In most PFS games I've played, there's the equivalent of a session 0 where all players quickly ask about the classes around the table and I've often seen a player switching to another character when the party was lacking an obvious ability (in general healing). I've even seen groups of players trying to find how to handle very imbalanced parties, sometimes switching to a different level if there was no way to get a valid one at the level they first intended to play.

There's some kind of legend about PFS players coming to games with only one character and expecting everything to be fine without any group coordination. But they really are the exception.
As a side note, when you subscribe to a game in PFS, you very often indicate what class and what level is your character. It helps everyone to create balanced parties.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Covering one or two things well, and overspecializing are two separate things. A 20 speed Dwarven Shield Champion is going to cover the roll of Tank pretty well, but they are only "overspecialized" if they have spent every single feat they possibly can on providing melee cover to the rest of the party, choosing to prioritize every possible +1 to their own AC or shield block actions, and haven't prepared at all to handle a flying dragon in the open kiting the party with breath weapon attacks that they cannot use their reaction against. If they have the ability to heal the back line, with focus powers and skill feats invested in the medicine skill, and they can contribute to keeping ranged attackers within the party on their feet, they are still contributing.

Champions rarely are the problem in this situation as they have a fair bit of utility built into the class chassis. I typically see this being an issue with fighters and barbarians, or casters that only want to cast one specific spell all the time regardless of weaknesses or resistances.

However, the number of times I see players decide that it is not worth carrying any ranged weapon, because their attack roll would be 2 lower and the damage would be half that of their melee weapon, is surprisingly high. Or the number of times I have seen players struggle with concealment and invisiblity, but dismiss a feat like blind fight because it is too situational, it is a little ironic to then see those players complain about the game being too hard because their characters always fail to do what they are built to do.


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Unicore wrote:

Covering one or two things well, and overspecializing are two separate things. A 20 speed Dwarven Shield Champion is going to cover the roll of Tank pretty well, but they are only "overspecialized" if they have spent every single feat they possibly can on providing melee cover to the rest of the party, choosing to prioritize every possible +1 to their own AC or shield block actions, and haven't prepared at all to handle a flying dragon in the open kiting the party with breath weapon attacks that they cannot use their reaction against. If they have the ability to heal the back line, with focus powers and skill feats invested in the medicine skill, and they can contribute to keeping ranged attackers within the party on their feet, they are still contributing.

Champions rarely are the problem in this situation as they have a fair bit of utility built into the class chassis. I typically see this being an issue with fighters and barbarians, or casters that only want to cast one specific spell all the time regardless of weaknesses or resistances.

However, the number of times I see players decide that it is not worth carrying any ranged weapon, because their attack roll would be 2 lower and the damage would be half that of their melee weapon, is surprisingly high. Or the number of times I have seen players struggle with concealment and invisiblity, but dismiss a feat like blind fight because it is too situational, it is a little ironic to then see those players complain about the game being too hard because their characters always fail to do what they are built to do.

Yeah, it took some convincing, ABP, *and* literally dropping weapons and scrolls to get some melee characters in my group willing to carry a ranged sidearms. These aren't dumb players; quite the contrary. It's just that the mechanics can sometimes put blinders on when they push you into a certain path, or even simply appear to do so (read: any thread from the old days complaining about wild shape being too weak while totally ignoring that wild druids still have full casting, or any alchemist bad thread citing the class is weak while ignoring the support abilities in favor of having a stack of bombs)

I've usually found that the best waynto get people to look at feats like blind fight or broaden out their spell choice is to just throw them on enemies and have them give the player a nasty sting due to the effects, or give the players an npc ally for a battle or two who's overall weaker than the PCs, but ends making a notable contribution thanks to the ability. I specifically make them weaker to avoid DMPCing my players, and it makes that one clutch moment where they saved the day stand out (otherwise, they just assume the NPC is generally string overall).


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Not gonna lie, a lot of this later conversation just sounds like blaming/shaming people for playing the concepts they want to play. I don't think that's very helpful. If there's so many people doing certain things and then being frustrated with their characters, maybe it's because the game is not providing something they want. It's not wrong to feel like that.

And I really think "X person is still in the 1e mentality" became the new scapegoat to dismiss any criticism of the game or want that differs a bit. Both me and my group have been acused of being in the 1e mentality when talking about some negative experiences and none of us ever touched 1e. Heck, half the group started playing RPGs in PF2.


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I'd be very glad if some of the full caster classes had a bit more than 3 feats at many levels (yes, I'm talking a bit about wizards and their very low number of feats, especially considering the fact some of them can be gated behind other options, shortening even more the list of available feats, while lacking many options about magical knowledge).


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dmerceless wrote:

Not gonna lie, a lot of this later conversation just sounds like blaming/shaming people for playing the concepts they want to play. I don't think that's very helpful. If there's so many people doing certain things and then being frustrated with their characters, maybe it's because the game is not providing something they want. It's not wrong to feel like that.

And I really think "X person is still in the 1e mentality" became the new scapegoat to dismiss any criticism of the game or want that differs a bit. Both me and my group have been acused of being in the 1e mentality when talking about some negative experiences and none of us ever touched 1e. Heck, half the group started playing RPGs in PF2.

It's not so much "shaming them for playing the concepts they want to play" and more "don't be surprised Pikachu face when you're ABSOLUTE KING OF MELEE gets kited by a harpy". Part of being an adventurer/Pathfiner/Hero is being prepared for wonky BS you might not expect. Purposefully shoehorning yourself with "only fire spells" or "only melee weapons" or whatever might seem cool, might be powerful in most circumstances, but there IS gonna be a circumstance where that's rendered useless, and you have 2 options: Have a backup plan like Batman, or suck it up and sit on the sidelines like a suitless Ironman. THAT'S what most of us are saying. 1e didn't punish "only fire spells sorcerer" like 2e does (and most vidya also don't punish it, which is where a lot of the new player base is coming in from) so people still treat the game like it's viable to not have a plan B if you just lean in to it hard enough, which is what most of the critique is aimed at.


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dmerceless wrote:
Not gonna lie, a lot of this later conversation just sounds like blaming/shaming people for playing the concepts they want to play.

I have definitely noticed that these forums have a minority of posters who have a low tolerance threshold for anything that sounds like criticism of PF2. You can complain a little, but after awhile, the pressure builds and you get far more resistance.

Quote:
And I really think "X person is still in the 1e mentality" became the new scapegoat to dismiss any criticism of the game or want that differs a bit. Both me and my group have been acused of being in the 1e mentality when talking about some negative experiences and none of us ever touched 1e. Heck, half the group started playing RPGs in PF2.

Yup, there is definitely a mindset that anything that 1e did that 2e doesn't do is badwrongfun if people preferred the 1e approach.

Now, it may seem like I am part of that group, but my approach in this thread is aimed at clearly identifying the design/philosophy that 2e is using (at least as I see it) that directly conflicts with the desires expressed by the OP and others. My point is not that anyone has a 1e mentality, but to discuss how 2e has eschewed that approach. So I'm trying to explain why I think the OP isn't going to get what they want.

Yes, in some cases I think that some of the desired outcomes are part of the 1e and even D&D 5e mindset, and I'm not saying that preferring that is badwrongfun, at all. In fact, there are many things 2e does that I think make me enjoy the game less as compared to earlier versions. What I am trying to do in this thread is identify why Paizo did those things, I'm not trying to pass judgment on them as universally good or bad.

A good analogy is when Apple decided to go to USB-C and remove access ports for HMDI and media cards. Many people hated that change and certainly some people celebrated it. Now, Apple has done an about face and essentially conceded they made the wrong design choice.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
nick1wasd wrote:
which is what most of the critique is aimed at.

How much is that a good thing though?

It's been a repeated refrain in the discourse, particularly with certain classes (which I won't mention here to preserve the thread) to tell people "oh all you need to do is completely throw out your character concept and play the character in this very specific way instead and you'll be fine, you were mistaken in assuming you could just play the chracter you wanted."

It's often presented as a failing on the player for not knowing better but it sort of reads more like a systemic misstep to me.

Liberty's Edge

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Squiggit wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
which is what most of the critique is aimed at.

How much is that a good thing though?

It's been a repeated refrain in the discourse, particularly with certain classes (which I won't mention here to preserve the thread) to tell people "oh all you need to do is completely throw out your character concept and play the character in this very specific way instead and you'll be fine, you were mistaken in assuming you could just play the chracter you wanted."

It's often presented as a failing on the player for not knowing better but it sort of reads more like a systemic misstep to me.

PF2 is not PF1 or any other TTRPG for that matter. So, you cannot build and play a character like in PF1, for example, and assume it will be just as successful in PF2.

You are free to judge it a systemic misstep.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Squiggit wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
which is what most of the critique is aimed at.

How much is that a good thing though?

It's been a repeated refrain in the discourse, particularly with certain classes (which I won't mention here to preserve the thread) to tell people "oh all you need to do is completely throw out your character concept and play the character in this very specific way instead and you'll be fine, you were mistaken in assuming you could just play the chracter you wanted."

It's often presented as a failing on the player for not knowing better but it sort of reads more like a systemic misstep to me.

So looking at the whole post you quoted there, I'm a bit confused how your response ties into it. Refusing to pack a ranged weapon or using non-fire spells are the examples nick listed. We could still use a little love on the pure evocation front (that concept has a kineticts shaped whole in it) but the ranged example doesn't really sound like a issue with how characters are built... It is an issue of the game throwing more than one kind of challenge at you, and I'm pretty hesitant to say that it is a bad thing.

It feels like you might be talking more about stuff like that thread where someone asked for help playing their arcane trickster and a bunch of people suggested playing a Magus instead. And I think there is a distinction between telling someone to play a different class and play a different character. Realizing the character concept is important, but not every class is equally good at every concept.

Liberty's Edge

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True. The class is a bunch of mechanics. If these don't fit the concept, just choose another class.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
The Raven Black wrote:
PF2 is not PF1 or any other TTRPG for that matter. So, you cannot build and play a character like in PF1, for example, and assume it will be just as successful in PF2.

???

Has nothing at all to do with what was just said but sure.


So if you want to play X which typically is associated with Y class, you should actually play class Z.

This is not even a matter of PF1 vs PF2. It's a matter of PF2 not being good at dealing with some concepts, and when asking for a fix people respond with "oh you are just playing wrong".


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PF2 is almost a good tactical board game, but the new classes are all taxing to play for little reward, and it's almost a good TTRPG but it has overly rigid systems in some areas and an almost complete lack of guidance in others which cause it to fail there as well. Even if they fixed all the post-CRB classes (and the alchemist) I still feel like it throws a straightjacket over too many styles of play (blasting, summoning, necromancy) for me to ever find it enjoyable.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was thinking last night that it would be cool (and save page space) if we could just get a bunch of feats that anyone could take, without reprinting multiple times across classes or having to have descriptions of archetypes and stuff. Just a bunch of feats you could take.

And I realized... that's original pathfinder/starfinder. I realized I like it a lot better

Liberty's Edge

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Gaulin wrote:

I was thinking last night that it would be cool (and save page space) if we could just get a bunch of feats that anyone could take, without reprinting multiple times across classes or having to have descriptions of archetypes and stuff. Just a bunch of feats you could take.

And I realized... that's original pathfinder/starfinder. I realized I like it a lot better

The PF1 Multiclassing is horrible though.


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The Raven Black wrote:
Gaulin wrote:

I was thinking last night that it would be cool (and save page space) if we could just get a bunch of feats that anyone could take, without reprinting multiple times across classes or having to have descriptions of archetypes and stuff. Just a bunch of feats you could take.

And I realized... that's original pathfinder/starfinder. I realized I like it a lot better

The PF1 Multiclassing is horrible though.

No reason why PF2 can't have generalized feats and PF2 multiclassing.

The only real negative I can think for having some class being available for anyone is that Paizo had to put more thought into what feats to give archetypes and new classes. Instead of you know... another feats that spend 1 action to get +2 circumstance bonus to AC.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If a person were to try to play the game Mario Brothers without ever choosing to jump, of course they could play the game that way, perhaps even for hours, restarting after getting killed every time, attempting to run back and forth for as long as possible, and maybe they would even have fun exploring the mind space of a Mario Mario trapped in an endless loop of death and rebirth.

But if the player started getting frustrated at the game, and telling everyone that the game is broken and needs to change because they can not just choose to run fast enough to cause enemies the same damage as jumping on them...then it is probably ok to encourage that player to understand that the game was not designed to be an "only run" game and that it presents many different kinds of challenges that players are encouraged to learn how to overcome by utilizing different abilities and features of the game, or acknowledge that it might not be the best game for you to be playing.

Obviously, a 2D platformer is a completely different game structure than a RPG, and there is a lot of flexibility in an RPG that can be explored differently by different groups using the system. PF2 is a very flexible system and there are lots of ways to play it that do facilitate different styles of play. In fact, at this point, with the material being released now, we are only likely to continue to get additional optional material that is not considered essential to the core game experience. So odds are that we will continue to get support for types of adventures that the game currently doesn't support that well.

However, the core design of pathfinder 2nd edition is out there. We know what the intended power levels of PCs are supposed to be in relationship to equal level opposition. We know that there are lots of ways GMs can change the intensity of the challenge and how players experience it, from easily changing monsters, changing monster tactics, or providing additional resources to their party. Those are GM or, more ideally, whole party choices though and are things probably best accomplished by talking to the people you play with, rather than expecting the core assumptions of the game to change at this point in its life cycle.


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Unicore wrote:
If a person were to try to play the game Mario Brothers without ever choosing to jump, of course they could play the game that way, perhaps even for hours, restarting after getting killed every time, attempting to run back and forth for as long as possible, and maybe they would even have fun exploring the mind space of a Mario Mario trapped in an endless loop of death and rebirth.

I think this is a disanalogy. The issue people are voicing is not that they refuse to use some basic mechanic, like Skill checks or using Weapons. I see there are some accusations that there is some contingency of players who "refuse" to use ranged weapons, followed by attempts to link that to some level of failure. That really has nothing to do with the OP's ask.

Paraphrasing the OP and some of the supporting posts, players are simply explaining that the change in paradigm/design is leaving an enjoyment gap which is not fulfilled by the available tools. That's going to be true on many varying levels and facets, depending on the player, when you have the type of paradigm shift that Pf2 employed. Players...customers, will like/idislike the changes to varying degrees. The best place for them to voice that displeasure is on the forums.

Paizo, and Jason Bullman himself, has specifically and repeatedly said they want to hear player feedback. Paizo has repeatedly asked for input from the players and in many cases, even the Ranger, they've changed the game as a result. Yes, most of those changes were made before launch, so certainly timing is a factor in when/if changes might be made. Nevertheless, I find it unfortunate that so frequently player complaints are invariably met with "this is the wrong game for you."

As stated above, my discussion or interest in the discussion is about how/whether/to what extent the requested changes are possible. Is it something Paizo is likely to do and if not, why? Is there a way for Paizo to address this gap? Could Paizo make those changes without undermining other aspects of the game? I think answering these questions is more productive than essentially telling players they don't get it.

Not trying to pick on your response, but it seems to be rather representative of a reoccurring response to people who voice issues with the game.


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N N 959 wrote:
stuff

Honestly, the kind of stuff I'm asking isn't even really unprecedented. An immediate example is how rogue got a new racket to make a foil for the Investigator, and how they got Predictive/Implausible Purchase to allow rogues access a new mechanic that's themeatically appropriate for them.

SoM sorta had this issue, in that we didn't really see much expansion on witch and orcale like we saw on the core casting classes in the APG, but G&G, for as much as I love the book, was peticularly egregious in that we didn't any old classes getting anything that allows them to interact with the new toys in any special way, and thematically approiate options (such as alchemical shot for the alchemist) were not given to any previously existing class.

I know "just take gunslinger dedication" is probably gonna be a response, but gunslinger never gives you above expert guns, making it a poor choice for, say, rogues, who will always be better off using a simple gun or a bow than a martial gun at lower proficiency (making the feat essentially tax), and spending mid-level feats just to get reload action economy enhancers is just... bad. Gunslinger Dedication works great for a caster who would like a gun as a sidearm filler action, but poorly for a martial who would just like a little bit of gun support, but doesn't need the gun proficiency


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I agree with you N N 959, that voicing your experiences and your desires for future options is a great use of these boards.

I also hope that we continue to see additional support for existing classes.

I think that there are certain refrains that keep coming back up though that run pretty counter to the overall design philosophy of the game.

Like the game is going to take a step backwards away from classes and class feats by making more generic class level feats. That is a hard coded choice that was made very early in PF2's life. Class is supposed to mater (this is not a classless game) and class feats, alongside proficiency gates are the primary way the mechanics of PF2 accomplish this.

There is some flexibility in this and there are some things which seem more tightly gated than others, and I think that causes a lot of confusion for players. Why does perception have to be treated like a saving throw instead of a skill? why can we get archetypes that give out scaling proficiency in some weapons, but not others? What mechanically makes a weapon an advanced weapon as opposed to a martial weapon? Especially around ranged weapons and the games expectations for how much damage a character can do, vs potentially do, vs do on average with a ranged weapon, some of these nuances are very delicate, and it is entirely possible that the same disagreements people are having on these boards are disagreements happening in meetings with developers.

I don't think there is anything wrong with discussing these issues. But it is also ok for people to be vocal about not wanting certain styles of play to be made accessible in PF2 if that is going to run counter to and invalidate core elements of the game that feel pretty essential to the games design.

Casters that can just blast all the time, with the same spells, doing the same damage type are going to wreck PF2 encounter design. It happened all over PF1 and the developers clearly went to great lengths to limit the ability of casters to bypass resistances (limiting it with the feats that we already see).

Being too focused on using only one weapon all the time is another stumbling block that PF2 has not entirely been as successful in discouraging. When is it worth taking a -1 or -2 or even a -3 to an attack roll to hit an enemy with a weapon they have a weakness to instead of a resistance? Because this is not a video game, players don't have as many opportunities to try out the same encounter over and over again to see if tactical choices they made in the moment were the best ones or not, and because of that, I think it is important for tables to have tactical discussions more often, so they are more prepared to handle that PF2's core mechanics are built around assumptions of tactical flexibility and not overwhelming the game with specific build choices.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber

here is some thoughts I have for further support for existing classes

Alchemist: more items
Barbarian: Devine instinct-alignment damage and becoming more like an avenging angel/demon as for feats.
Champion: neutral law bringer (lawful neutral) balance/yin yang (true neutral) fortune/luck (chaotic neutral)
cleric: add elemental lords. not very satisfying but I had to find something
druid: death/decay/fungus, poison/toxin, urban jungle(anti-druid)
fighter: stances/guards sacrifice +to hit for extra defense or damage.
monk: attacks/grapple/throw that allow you to reposition your character or the enemy as part of the movement
ranger: planer ranger (some movement spell like abilities)
rogue: snare/trap rouge
Sor/wizard more spells and a rune/item that is a counter to resistance runes.


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Unicore in my case when I said adding more class feats anyone can take. I am not saying that your class should not matter.

I am saying that some feats really should just be available to anyone who meets the conditions. There is no reason why most metamagic should be restricted by class. Why would the Wizard be better at stealth with spells than other classes for example? Why would there be 6 different versions of Sudden Charge style feats when you could just have 1? Et cetera.

This isn't even asking for Paizo to make it so you only need 1 weapon or 1 spell. This is asking Paizo to make more cool feats for all classes so that they can do more cool stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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The Bard does not have Widen spell as a class feat. I just don't know why.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber
Temperans wrote:

Unicore in my case when I said adding more class feats anyone can take. I am not saying that your class should not matter.

I am saying that some feats really should just be available to anyone who meets the conditions. There is no reason why most metamagic should be restricted by class. Why would the Wizard be better at stealth with spells than other classes for example? Why would there be 6 different versions of Sudden Charge style feats when you could just have 1? Et cetera.

This isn't even asking for Paizo to make it so you only need 1 weapon or 1 spell. This is asking Paizo to make more cool feats for all classes so that they can do more cool stuff.

are you talking about general feats like shield block or a new category class feats that any class can take given prerequisites like level, attribute, and/or previous feat?


I mean general class feats, yes. Also yes with proper prerequisites, none of us want a character to get stuff they shouldn't.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:

I think that there are certain refrains that keep coming back up though that run pretty counter to the overall design philosophy of the game.

Like the game is going to take a step backwards away from classes and class feats by making more generic class level feats. That is a hard coded choice that was made very early in PF2's life. Class is supposed to mater (this is not a classless game) and class feats, alongside proficiency gates are the primary way the mechanics of PF2 accomplish this.

I mean you say that, but outside of what new classes get in their books, a big chunk of the feats Paizo's been printing, maybe even most of them, have been classless.

Quote:
Casters that can just blast all the time, with the same spells, doing the same damage type are going to wreck PF2 encounter design. It happened all over PF1

How is blasting ruining the game? ... It wasn't really 'all over' PF1 either. It kind of sucked out of the box and while there were some really bad builds, they were mostly combining a bunch of niche options... not especially just normal stuff. Much more common were debuffs and battlefield control to trivialize fights, which is pretty much how PF2 works too. In that respect the paradigm hasn't changed (although the raw power has been toned back a bit).


Unicore wrote:
Casters that can just blast all the time, with the same spells, doing the same damage type are going to wreck PF2 encounter design. It happened all over PF1 and the developers clearly went to great lengths to limit the ability of casters to bypass resistances...

Blasters were the problem in your game... I'll have to take your word for it but the thing that most people had issues with tended to be stacking buffs, heavy battlefield control, and casters generally having an answer to anything. As iconic as Magic Missiles and Fireball are they were easily outshone by Color Spray, Glitterdust, Sleep, Hold Person, Haste, and even something like Blade Barrier that your bruisers can constantly shove people into.

Blasting could deal damage but it was just a hammer and any dumb fighter can deal damage.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I will apologize for saying blasters, I really meant casters blasting away with the same spell (or 2) over and over again, memorizing it in 10 different slots.

As far as why not all metamagic feats are available to all classes, I do believe that feats like silent spell were intentionally restricted to wizards, and the additional support I would like to see for wizards would be more metamagic feats that deal with the manipulating spells in ways that are unique to wizards. The decision to restrict some feats to specific classes definitely feels like an intentional choice to me and not an oversight error.

Liberty's Edge

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Temperans wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
Gaulin wrote:

I was thinking last night that it would be cool (and save page space) if we could just get a bunch of feats that anyone could take, without reprinting multiple times across classes or having to have descriptions of archetypes and stuff. Just a bunch of feats you could take.

And I realized... that's original pathfinder/starfinder. I realized I like it a lot better

The PF1 Multiclassing is horrible though.

No reason why PF2 can't have generalized feats and PF2 multiclassing.

The only real negative I can think for having some class being available for anyone is that Paizo had to put more thought into what feats to give archetypes and new classes. Instead of you know... another feats that spend 1 action to get +2 circumstance bonus to AC.

I do think you're missing something, if that's the only negative you can see - it's pretty clear that the intent in PF2 is to have some degree of niche protection present. Anyone can easily get a +2 circumstance bonus to AC if they're willing to invest what's required to break through niche protection - a Dedication feat. The Duelist archetype gives you access to Duelling Parry at 4th level, as would the Fighter archetype, and likely other ways to do it as well. The reason why you have to multiclass into Rogue/Investigator to get Skill Mastery, or you need to become a Blessed One or Champion to get Lay on Hands, etc, is because each class has a set of tasks it's meant to be good at. Getting out of that list costs you by locking you into the new niche as your only secondary niche for a few feats. Anyone can multiclass into rogue to get Trapfinding if that's what you want, but you can't get Trapfinding at level 2, heavy armour at level 4, and spellcasting at level 6. I think it tends to make each character feel like they've got their areas of expertise, which I enjoy. I'd also imagine that if most of these options were available without dedications, you'd have optimized characters be a lot more homogenous - why not pick up Lay on Hands for a 2nd level feat, it's so helpful? Why not pick up Mighty Bulwark for a 10th level feat if you've got heavy armour?

If the intent is instead to have a smaller pool of feats that are available to all classes, I think the overlap between the ideas that'd go there and General feats should theoretically be pretty high. That being said, I do think that there are a few times that we've had very similar options published with different names/wording for different classes - having shared feats between classes that share a niche related to the feat would be nice. It happens with casters - we don't rewrite Reach Spell every time, but it seems there are a few options for martials that have been rewritten a couple of times.


I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

Liberty's Edge

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Verdyn wrote:
I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

I agree that a class system, or a niche protected class system, isn't the only way to have a fun game - but it very clearly is the story of game PF2 is going for. The advantage of classes are that:

1: You can bundle interesting mechanics together without having to worry about whether or not they'll all be taken. If you were removing classes from PF2 (without trying to change everything else about the game at the same time), you've got lots of mechanics that'd cause issues on this front, I think. A barbarian's rage without an instinct doesn't have much going for it, but if you also need to take the instinct then you've functionally just locked people into the Barbarian class if they want rage and you're getting nothing out of being classless. You can afford to be more generous with these powers the less focused on balance the system is, and the more narratively focused (instead of numerically) the game is. Classless systems (or class systems with absolutely no niche protection, functioning more as a general guide) work well for games like PBTA/Forged in the Dark because of this.
2: Given you're not picking large chunks at a time, the options you're picking have to be scaled down in impact. To continue the example, you couldn't give out a giant Barbarian's rage without that being your sole defining feature - it's a huge damage boost, and being able to pick that and anything else would be absurd. Given that, you'd end up with less feeling of differentiation between characters - or long chains of abilities that take longer for you to get through, and functionally lock you into a pseudo-class anyway.
3: You end up with more homogenous characters if your players are focused on making good characters. It's fine in a game that's less of a tactical battle game, and it's fine in a game that isn't particularly well balanced in the first place, but it's nigh-on-impossible to balance every possible option from a huge list with each other, and some will be better than others. That's true in any tRPG like this, but lacking niche protection/classes is just going to make you able to pick the best options. If you were trying to play a swashbuckler-like character, you might pick fighter proficiency, Opportune Parry and Riposte, and Precision Ranger's damage boosts to make the best version of that you could. With classes/niche protection, you could play a Swashbuckler, a Fighter, or a Ranger for a similar narrative and get different results - if you really enjoy the narrative of a swashbuckler, you might even play all three. There's still going to be a difference in power, nothing is perfectly balanced, but it's a lot easier to go "well, I feel like using a diverse third action is what I want to be doing, so I'll go with Precision ranger for the character" at character creation and accept it might not be as powerful as a fighter, instead of having to consistently pick the weaker option in a direct comparison when you could blend your preferred playstyles together.

I'm not the most experienced with tactical-battle focused classless tRPGs, with most of my classless experience being more narrative games, so I'm sure there are excellent tRPGs that have addressed some of these problems - but there's always going to be a tradeoff in addressing them. I think any direction they'd have gone with a classless PF2 would have led to issues on at least one of the three fronts - less interesting (complex) abilities, less impactful abilities, or more homogenous characters.


Arcaian wrote:
1: You can bundle interesting mechanics together without having to worry about whether or not they'll all be taken. If you were removing classes from PF2 (without trying to change everything else about the game at the same time), you've got lots of mechanics that'd cause issues on this front, I think. A barbarian's rage without an instinct doesn't have much going for it, but if you also need to take the instinct then you've functionally just locked people into the Barbarian class if they want rage and you're getting nothing out of being classless. You can afford to be more generous with these powers the less focused on balance the system is, and the more narratively focused (instead of numerically) the game is. Classless systems (or class systems with absolutely no niche protection, functioning more as a general guide) work well for games like PBTA/Forged in the Dark because of this.

You can still do this, just make larger abilities cost more. You could also sell them to characters level by level. Even a basic PF2 Barbarian has a lot of little things that could be tweaked, much less something similar designed to be bought part by part and level by level.

Quote:
2: Given you're not picking large chunks at a time, the options you're picking have to be scaled down in impact. To continue the example, you couldn't give out a giant Barbarian's rage without that being your sole defining feature - it's a huge damage boost, and being able to pick that and anything else would be absurd. Given that, you'd end up with less feeling of differentiation between characters - or long chains of abilities that take longer for you to get through, and functionally lock you into a pseudo-class anyway.

This functionally doesn't happen. GURPs exists and it doesn't tend to lock you into a pseudo-class, and when it does it doesn't do it for long before you're adding something else to your kit.

Quote:
3: You end up with more homogenous characters if your players are focused on making good characters. It's fine in a game that's less of a tactical battle game, and it's fine in a game that isn't particularly well balanced in the first place, but it's nigh-on-impossible to balance every possible option from a huge list with each other, and some will be better than others. That's true in any tRPG like this, but lacking niche protection/classes is just going to make you able to pick the best options. If you were trying to play a swashbuckler-like character, you might pick fighter proficiency, Opportune Parry and Riposte, and Precision Ranger's damage boosts to make the best version of that you could. With classes/niche protection, you could play a Swashbuckler, a Fighter, or a Ranger for a similar narrative and get different results - if you really enjoy the narrative of a swashbuckler, you might even play all three. There's still going to be a difference in power, nothing is perfectly balanced, but it's a lot easier to go "well, I feel like using a diverse third action is what I want to be doing, so I'll go with Precision ranger for the character" at character creation and accept it might not be as powerful as a fighter, instead of having to consistently pick the weaker option in a direct comparison when you could blend your preferred playstyles together.

There are certain things that people would want to prioritize and some stuff that people just wouldn't touch. So you'd test for that and up the cost on must takes or make it so you can't start with, for example, no class skills but attacks, saves, and perception all starting at expert. Though it might be possible that you could have this if you also sacrifice the equivalent of a level 1 feat. You could also give resources that can only be used to take the bits of the game that aren't worth a full customization point much like what PF2 does with skill feats. These could easily give much-needed color to a character while still allowing for crunch-focused players to optimize.

This of course assumes you build such a limited system that you can max 'everything worth maxing' at level 1, which I doubt this sort of system would allow for.


Meanwhile here I am thinking that Attack of Opporrunity and Raise Shield should be feats anyone can take freely. Not gated behind classes. Or that it would be nice if a Witch could cast spells covertly so as to not reveal her abilities without needing to become a Wizard.

Or the fact that there are certain feats that almost every character can already pick. Ex: Sudden Charge and Effortless Concentration.

Not to mention that I would love it if Paizo were able to use the space from duplicated feats/spells for other things. Why do we need a feat to tell us to go to another part of the book for a focus spell when the feats could just tell us what it does? You would be surprised how many more items we could right with that saved space.


Temperans wrote:

Meanwhile here I am thinking that Attack of Opporrunity and Raise Shield should be feats anyone can take freely. Not gated behind classes. Or that it would be nice if a Witch could cast spells covertly so as to not reveal her abilities without needing to become a Wizard.

Or the fact that there are certain feats that almost every character can already pick. Ex: Sudden Charge and Effortless Concentration.

Not to mention that I would love it if Paizo were able to use the space from duplicated feats/spells for other things. Why do we need a feat to tell us to go to another part of the book for a focus spell when the feats could just tell us what it does? You would be surprised how many more items we could right with that saved space.

Your points are absolutely valid (though I'll admit I'm glad not everyone has AoO, because I think it would basically become a mandatory feat and hurt other really cool reactions, as well as make fights more static again, though not as much as PF1 fights). I'm just really confused by the shield part, considering Raise a Shield is an action anyone can do so long as they have a shield, and Shield Block is a level 1 general feat anyone can take, that some classes just get as part of their basic kit.


JackieLane wrote:
Your points are absolutely valid (though I'll admit I'm glad not everyone has AoO, because I think it would basically become a mandatory feat and hurt other really cool reactions, as well as make fights more static again, though not as much as PF1 fights). I'm just really confused by the shield part, considering Raise a Shield is an action anyone can do so long as they have a shield, and Shield Block is a level 1 general feat anyone can take, that some classes just get as part of their basic kit.

Oh for the raise shield thing I just generalized for all the "this is basically just raise a shield, but its X item instead".

As for AoO, I think that people over value it. Specially when it costs you a feat to even get it. Do you have a feat and reaction to spare (most classes don't) then maybe AoO would be good. But otherwise? I highly doubt it.


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Temperans wrote:
Do you have a feat and reaction to spare (most classes don't) then maybe AoO would be good. But otherwise? I highly doubt it.

I don't know if your "most classes don't" was refering to reactions to spare only, but if it's the case, there are only 3 classes with built-in reactions (Champion, Swashbuckler and Fighter). Rogue have a strong reaction available for the cost of one feat, but otherwise, everyone has to pay a feat to get a reaction that is most of the time worse than AoO (like the "poor AoOs" of the Monk and Ranger).

And having a strong reaction is paramount to PF2 optimization.

So, giving AoOs to every classes is a very strong change (I don't have a point of view if it's good or bad).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Verdyn wrote:
I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

niche protection was a very intentional decision, very early in the game development process. The developers themselves have talked about it at pretty great length on various live streams and convention talks. PF2 was never going to be a classless system or a system that moved in that direction.

There was a concentrated effort to have some flexibility in class design, and that is why we have class feats, archetypes and some ability to adjust trained, some expert and very rarely master proficiencies through means other than class feats, but those are tightly controlled.

It was established that way in the core rulebook. Some people held out hope that additional content was going to really free that up, but over and over again the decision has been made not to do that, and when something that does break those limits does pop up in an AP or other supplement, we are told quickly that it is a mistake and will be quickly changed.

The framework of PF2 is open source. You are welcome to invest as much time designing a classless PF2 as you wish. The development team at Paizo has no interest in doing so for you.

Casting spells silently in PF2 requires spending time studying the underlying structures of arcane magic. It is a narrative decision that establishes what wizards uniquely do in the world of Golarion. They also do things with illusions that no one else can do.

Additional feats and abilities for existing classes that build up the classes as unique and interesting are something that feels perfectly reasonable to ask for and expect in future supplements. Those are requests that align themselves to the design principles of the game. Asking for major design principles to change in supplemental material is not only an exercise in futility, it is destructive to the cohesion and purpose of the game, which is why you have people who are so cautious about seeing the fan base of the game make requests that go against those design philosophies. It feels important to make sure that people asking for changes to the game understand the intention behind the choices that have built the game thus far. Discussing them is fine, but a lot of the answers to these questions are out there, and people get frustrated when others don't listen and keep asking the same questions over and over again.


Unicore wrote:


Casting spells silently in PF2 requires spending time studying the underlying structures of arcane magic. It is a narrative decision that establishes what wizards uniquely do in the world of Golarion. They also do things with illusions that no one else can do.

No. I can not agree and you can not give any valid reasons to call this 'major design principle', 'design philosophy' or maintaining of 'cohesion and purpose of the game'. It's obviously completely absurd. You are just covering a mostly random decision by baseless grandiose justification.

Even in general making spells flashy and noisy Hollywood/Video-game-style does not add to fun in any way. But forbidding helping and expensive metamagic to almost anyone is just nonsense.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Errenor wrote:
Unicore wrote:


Casting spells silently in PF2 requires spending time studying the underlying structures of arcane magic. It is a narrative decision that establishes what wizards uniquely do in the world of Golarion. They also do things with illusions that no one else can do.

No. I can not agree and you can not give any valid reasons to call this 'major design principle', 'design philosophy' or maintaining of 'cohesion and purpose of the game'. It's obviously completely absurd. You are just covering a mostly random decision by baseless grandiose justification.

Even in general making spells flashy and noisy Hollywood/Video-game-style does not add to fun in any way. But forbidding helping and expensive metamagic to almost anyone is just nonsense.

The bases of this specific decision on the part of the developers pretty clearly speak for themselves. It was not an accident or thoughtlessness that led to silent spell being a wizard only feat.

It is perfectly fine to not agree with the decision, and it is even better to adjust class feat lists to fit the narrative of the game that you are personally trying to run, but it was definitely an intentional decision on the art of the developers related to setting up a world where the writers for paizo can tell the stories that they want to tell.

Calling those decisions "nonsense" or "a random decision" is a pretty hostile to debate or to trying to understand the choice, even if you want to make a different one in your own games.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
niche protection was a very intentional decision, very early in the game development process.

Not really? Explicit niches are almost completely gone from PF2. Certain classes are inherently better than others at certain things because of the way they're structured, but there's almost no bespoke niche protection.

The only real exception here is Perception proficiency.


SuperBidi wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Do you have a feat and reaction to spare (most classes don't) then maybe AoO would be good. But otherwise? I highly doubt it.

I don't know if your "most classes don't" was refering to reactions to spare only, but if it's the case, there are only 3 classes with built-in reactions (Champion, Swashbuckler and Fighter). Rogue have a strong reaction available for the cost of one feat, but otherwise, everyone has to pay a feat to get a reaction that is most of the time worse than AoO (like the "poor AoOs" of the Monk and Ranger).

And having a strong reaction is paramount to PF2 optimization.

So, giving AoOs to every classes is a very strong change (I don't have a point of view if it's good or bad).

And that is a problem with the design.

There is no real balance reason why those other reactions should be worse than AoO. But Paizo got away with it because of the "no generic class feat pool".

Liberty's Edge

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Many class features will never be available outside the class.

And the specific mix of features and proficiencies define the identity of the class.

A very strong class identity is clearly a defining characteristic of PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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Verdyn wrote:
I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

That could be an interesting system, that you could maybe design and share.

But it is not what PF2 is.


Unicore wrote:
Verdyn wrote:
I don't get the desire for niche protection. What do you gain by making sure that another class can't attempt to do your thing? Heck, what does a class system, in general, bring to the table these days? It would have been far more interesting if Paizo let you assemble a class the way they let you assemble the rest of your character.

niche protection was a very intentional decision, very early in the game development process. The developers themselves have talked about it at pretty great length on various live streams and convention talks. PF2 was never going to be a classless system or a system that moved in that direction.

There was a concentrated effort to have some flexibility in class design, and that is why we have class feats, archetypes and some ability to adjust trained, some expert and very rarely master proficiencies through means other than class feats, but those are tightly controlled.

It was established that way in the core rulebook. Some people held out hope that additional content was going to really free that up, but over and over again the decision has been made not to do that, and when something that does break those limits does pop up in an AP or other supplement, we are told quickly that it is a mistake and will be quickly changed.

The framework of PF2 is open source. You are welcome to invest as much time designing a classless PF2 as you wish. The development team at Paizo has no interest in doing so for you.

Casting spells silently in PF2 requires spending time studying the underlying structures of arcane magic. It is a narrative decision that establishes what wizards uniquely do in the world of Golarion. They also do things with illusions that no one else can do.

Additional feats and abilities for existing classes that build up the classes as unique and interesting are something that feels perfectly reasonable to ask for and expect in future supplements. Those are requests that align themselves to the design principles of the game. Asking for...

Is there some reason why, besides Paizo's lack of desire to do so, that we couldn't get an unearthed arcana style tome that deconstructs system staples and adds options that dramatically change the game. 3.5's version of this book gave us spell points, gestalt classes, generic classes, ways to replace a d20 with 3d6, alternatives to hit points, and more. I don't see why this is outright impossible for Paizo to do for PF2, and thus I will keep pushing for it.

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