A Safe Space for Respectful Criticisms of PF2


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Ravingdork wrote:
I've never had any issues with rituals when I wanted to use them.

I don't even bother looking at new one when they come out as I've found them... well useless outside a rare McGuffin the DM throws at us. They are a cool idea but the execution... It's like they don't actually want you to use them so they make it as frustrating as possible... I've found it very anti-fun. :P


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Ravingdork wrote:
I've never had any issues with rituals when I wanted to use them.

What rituals have you used? Did they work well?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Reincarnate and resurrect have been the most used rituals as far as I've seen, though my players/party-members seem to avoid being clerics pretty thoroughly.

Other than those, heartbond, legend lore, and commune have been used to some effect. Also primal call for a purple worm to ride for awhile was pretty neat.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think rituals work fine-ish for what they are: essentially GM plot devices.

But I also think it's a real missed opportunity to not turn rituals into a real form for magic with real support, because conceptually they're very cool.


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I still resent how tightly they married Mystery to Curse with the 2e Oracle, and I'm normally the loudest defender of evocative, specific design.

They feel more restrictive than any other subclass line in the game, in terms of dictating your character concept to you. Any given Paladin Champion, Thief Rogue, Shadow Sorcerer, or whatever else still has plenty of potential to feel different narratively from others of their same kind... but so much more of Oracle's identity feels built in a way that stifles choice. Why does every Flames Oracle have to suffer vision problems, especially when the Iconic with that combo was removed? Why must every Cosmos Oracle float?

The ability to build your Oracle with Mystery and Curse as separate choices enabled a mountain of awesome, exciting concepts in 1e, while their 2e counterparts got homogenized.

It's a shame, because I want to like the class, but it super doesn't work for me at present with the options provided; I'm hoping the upcoming Time Mystery can break me out of this somewhat.

Between my Oracle gripes, my Champion complaints, and Clerics functionally being pretty plain casters, I'm /really/ struggling with wanting to play what should be my favorite types of character - my frantic Inquisitor begging is in large part because I want a divine class that I actually enjoy playing, and 2e doesn't currently have that for me.


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In my experience rituals work best in terms of "the players want to do something, and that thing is simply defined, but accomplishing it should not be so simple".

So something like "bring so-and-so back from the dead" or "travel to the Akashic Record" or "undo an environmental catastrophe" are things that players want to do, but are inappropriate to just have a spell or an item that solves it.

They could be abstracted with a victory points style subsystem though since they're rarely something that PCs are going to decide to do of their own volition.


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thewastedwalrus wrote:

Reincarnate and resurrect have been the most used rituals as far as I've seen, though my players/party-members seem to avoid being clerics pretty thoroughly.

Other than those, heartbond, legend lore, and commune have been used to some effect. Also primal call for a purple worm to ride for awhile was pretty neat.

I'm interested in how you did the secondary casters. Were you in a large party with diverse skills? Did the other party members act as the secondary casters? Did you use your familiar? Or hirelings? How do you make it work in regular play?


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Squiggit wrote:

I think rituals work fine-ish for what they are: essentially GM plot devices.

But I also think it's a real missed opportunity to not turn rituals into a real form for magic with real support, because conceptually they're very cool.

Animated opbject is realtively cheap. I think it can easily add style to a character. A tent that sets it self up, and collapses itself. A cooking pot that washes itself. A heavy crossbow that reloads in one action (no its not a power combo, its still not great more a curiosity than anything).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deriven Firelion wrote:
thewastedwalrus wrote:

Reincarnate and resurrect have been the most used rituals as far as I've seen, though my players/party-members seem to avoid being clerics pretty thoroughly.

Other than those, heartbond, legend lore, and commune have been used to some effect. Also primal call for a purple worm to ride for awhile was pretty neat.

I'm interested in how you did the secondary casters. Were you in a large party with diverse skills? Did the other party members act as the secondary casters? Did you use your familiar? Or hirelings? How do you make it work in regular play?

Pretty much always had other party members doing the secondary checks, the real issue always seemed to be the primary check with the harder DC. Hero Points and luck seem to have carried them through mostly, or they waited for higher levels to cast them when they could succeed more often with things like legend lore.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

In my experience rituals work best in terms of "the players want to do something, and that thing is simply defined, but accomplishing it should not be so simple".

So something like "bring so-and-so back from the dead" or "travel to the Akashic Record" or "undo an environmental catastrophe" are things that players want to do, but are inappropriate to just have a spell or an item that solves it.

They could be abstracted with a victory points style subsystem though since they're rarely something that PCs are going to decide to do of their own volition.

I like the victory points angle, makes it feel more... like an ACTUAL ritual, that takes massive time investment and not much else. I have not personally seen rituals at play in any of my tables, so my experience of their workability is limited to theory.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I used rituals in Starfinder last week for Horizons of the Vast #2. There's a part where you're required to open a portal that was left half-finished by its creator. So I used the ritual rules in it with fairly amusing consequences over what would've just been a flat pass/fail check.

Dark Archive

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Please don't tell me I'm one of only people who have problem with 2e lockpicking.

Like yesterday in session I instantly break borrowed infiltrator's picks and then take 10 checks to get three successes to open what appears to be dc 15 lock :'D

You can just hear other party's blank expressions even over course of discord chat :P Its really boring to watch someone roll million checks to open up single lock.

(it REALLY should be that in combat it works like it currently does, but that out of combat its abstracted to single check. Like one minute and one success to open lock and crit success to do it fast :P)


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CorvusMask wrote:
Please don't tell me I'm one of only people who have problem with 2e lockpicking.

I remove the multiple successes rule when I GM, it serves no purpose.

Shadow Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I only use this when I need to add tension to a situation. Otherwise it seems a little unnecessary.


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I was hopeful for a bit, but 2e Lockpicking mechanics feel like a memo about modernizing certain mechanics with the 'fail-forward' ideology got lost under a stack of papers. In some ways it's a microcosm of where I take issue with rituals. Unless you have a very specific time-crunch, like a combat or guard patterns measured in Encounter mode, the only tension is whether you waste time and resources or the pace keeps moving. With rituals the cost of failure is so high that a failure grinds things to a halt, while with lockpicking, the cost of failure is so low that you may as well have succeeded.

I would say there was the thought that the difficulty of opening locks would interact with the levels of success so that master thieves can break a lock in less time, while failure yields a classic 'fail forward' tactic that the players either a) succeed at the cost of losing a valuable resource (time) or b) find themselves met with a new problem (guards) that move the story forward. Unfortunately these hypothetical guidelines how to handle lockpicking never made it into the final rules, and the Infiltration system of the GMG doesn't really advertise itself as guidance for handling lockpicking.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah, if it’s not a time-sensitive situation and the person attempting is at least trained in Thievery, I pretty much always have it be a single check.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
fanatic66 wrote:
Alignment damage...

....

Lots of good points
....

I agree having good damage and evil damage causing damage to neutrals is one of the things that seems to do the best to eliminate the divine lance method of quick and easy alignment checking. If you would do damage to an otherwise innocent (not benevolent perhaps, but still clearly innocent) it really throws a very real wrench in the argument it only hurts the 'guilty'.

As you mentioned, it makes neutral seem a bit overly susceptible to both good/evil damage leaving you to wonder if you should make it half damage, which seems like a reasonable option.

Another option might be to have Alignment damage have a special rider/rule that alignment damage done to neutrals never gets doubled/boosted on a critical. In such a case, you never double the damage from good/evil typed damage when getting a critical, leaving base-line damage the same, but allowing the neutrals to be more vulnerable from more angles, but less extreme in their vulnerability.

Another optional rule to consider with respect to alignment damage. Some would/could argue that certain creatures, such as baseline animals are not moral/ethical creatures. Creatures that don't have an awareness of morality and ability to make moral/ethical decisions and aren't otherwise tied to potential powers that have their own moral ethical intrinsic values. Those are frequently listed as being 'neutral' with respect to alignment. One might consider making these creatures either immune to alignment damage, or was considering giving them 1/2 damage from alignment damages (however, in retrospect, it might be more P2 way to simply grant them Resistance 5 (or 1/2 level or something like that ) to Good/Evil damage for those types of non-moral creatures.

Certain things like mindless undead, might still be vulnerable to good damage, not because they are specifically capable of moral choice, but because their power source is sort of inherently evil, thus tying the mindless nature to an alignment.

Liberty's Edge

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Evil is not the same as guilty.

And Good damage hurting Neutral creatures has a long history of being problematic because babies.


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I … have no criticism about the design of PF2e. I love it. And I hope they keep making more of it.

If I have any “complaint” it would be to advocate for more tools to support home-brew campaigns, such as world-building guides, city-building guides, monster building, ancestry building, etc. But hey - we are 2 years in. I can be patient.


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Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:

I … have no criticism about the design of PF2e. I love it. And I hope they keep making more of it.

If I have any “complaint” it would be to advocate for more tools to support home-brew campaigns, such as world-building guides, city-building guides, monster building, ancestry building, etc. But hey - we are 2 years in. I can be patient.

I can't speak for everyone here, but most folk including the OP explicitly love 2e and many of these criticisms also come from a place of love... Even if the language some choose to express their criticisms leave one wondering at times. 2e is by far my favourite edition of a d20 game that I've played to date. What little criticism I reserve for it are because it's so good in so many places that I wish the weaker areas were also perfected to the same degree, even as I recognise that nothing perfect survives the need to be published sooner or later.


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Even I for all my criticism, which I bet some think I hate 2e, only voice them because I think many of the ideas behind 2e are great. If I hated this game I wouldn't be around still.


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I wish it were broadly easier to build around ancestral unarmed attacks (ex: bite). I think this is as easy as just treating them mechanically the same as weapons but still. Why.

Brought to you by "trying to build a non-magical frontliner using the claws from Slag May Changeling."


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:

I … have no criticism about the design of PF2e. I love it. And I hope they keep making more of it.

If I have any “complaint” it would be to advocate for more tools to support home-brew campaigns, such as world-building guides, city-building guides, monster building, ancestry building, etc. But hey - we are 2 years in. I can be patient.

I can't speak for everyone here, but most folk including the OP explicitly love 2e and many of these criticisms also come from a place of love... Even if the language some choose to express their criticisms leave one wondering at times. 2e is by far my favourite edition of a d20 game that I've played to date. What little criticism I reserve for it are because it's so good in so many places that I wish the weaker areas were also perfected to the same degree, even as I recognise that nothing perfect survives the need to be published sooner or later.

Haha Sibelius! Don’t misconstrue my lack of criticism as criticism of criticism. (Did that make sense?) Everybody is entitled to their fair take, especially if it is offered in good faith. No judgment here - just adding my thoughts to the conversation.

For myself (again), I do wish that some of the rules could be more intuitive and easier to learn. But the more I’ve dug into the design philosophy, the more I see how brilliantly it works together. When I think about ways to “fix this” or “fix that”, I always come back to the solution being worse then the original problem. So my opinion is to stick with the rules as is, and keep coming with the creative content!


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Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:
Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
Vardoc Bloodstone wrote:

I … have no criticism about the design of PF2e. I love it. And I hope they keep making more of it.

If I have any “complaint” it would be to advocate for more tools to support home-brew campaigns, such as world-building guides, city-building guides, monster building, ancestry building, etc. But hey - we are 2 years in. I can be patient.

I can't speak for everyone here, but most folk including the OP explicitly love 2e and many of these criticisms also come from a place of love... Even if the language some choose to express their criticisms leave one wondering at times. 2e is by far my favourite edition of a d20 game that I've played to date. What little criticism I reserve for it are because it's so good in so many places that I wish the weaker areas were also perfected to the same degree, even as I recognise that nothing perfect survives the need to be published sooner or later.

Haha Sibelius! Don’t misconstrue my lack of criticism as criticism of criticism. (Did that make sense?) Everybody is entitled to their fair take, especially if it is offered in good faith. No judgment here - just adding my thoughts to the conversation.

For myself (again), I do wish that some of the rules could be more intuitive and easier to learn. But the more I’ve dug into the design philosophy, the more I see how brilliantly it works together. When I think about ways to “fix this” or “fix that”, I always come back to the solution being worse then the original problem. So my opinion is to stick with the rules as is, and keep coming with the creative content!

I get what you mean! And also I can relate about wanting to make sure the solution is actually better than the problem. I'm a big proponent of understanding why the rule you want to change us the way it us before making a change that might gave unintended consequences. A classic example is the Monopoly house rule that gives money when you land in free parking directly leading to the problem many people have with the fame taking so long.


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That's why I like the sidebars that explain the rationale behind rules. We got a fair few of them in Guns & Gears and I really super appreciated them. It's nice to know why something was decided, even if you disagree with it, perhaps especially if you disagree.


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My current gripe is that they gave Gunslingers a Feat that makes them just as good as Alchemists at doing Perpetual damage... and they made it a Level Four compared to Level Eight. Very annoying.


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Perpdepog wrote:
That's why I like the sidebars that explain the rationale behind rules. We got a fair few of them in Guns & Gears and I really super appreciated them. It's nice to know why something was decided, even if you disagree with it, perhaps especially if you disagree.

Pelgrane Press fills their books with these; 13th Age is absolutely littered with them, including some I love where the designers talk about where they disagreed and how their home tables break from RAW. It's a delight.


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keftiu wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
That's why I like the sidebars that explain the rationale behind rules. We got a fair few of them in Guns & Gears and I really super appreciated them. It's nice to know why something was decided, even if you disagree with it, perhaps especially if you disagree.
Pelgrane Press fills their books with these; 13th Age is absolutely littered with them, including some I love where the designers talk about where they disagreed and how their home tables break from RAW. It's a delight.

That's really cool.


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Oh, it seems like things sort of calmed down here. Thank you, everyone!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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keftiu wrote:
Perpdepog wrote:
That's why I like the sidebars that explain the rationale behind rules. We got a fair few of them in Guns & Gears and I really super appreciated them. It's nice to know why something was decided, even if you disagree with it, perhaps especially if you disagree.
Pelgrane Press fills their books with these; 13th Age is absolutely littered with them, including some I love where the designers talk about where they disagreed and how their home tables break from RAW. It's a delight.

We did these little sidebars all the time in the earlier days for the first few adventure paths and the module line—called them "Designer's Notes" or something like that. They went away after a while due to a combination of some authors just not really having much to say, developers getting tired of writing them, and a perception that the customers felt those notes were taking up "valuable adventure space." I've always loved them too—included a page of them in "Malevolence," in fact, so it's good to know that folks like them!


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The post-playtest blog posts are one of my favorite things to read; I'd love seeing some glimpse into the designer's thought process and intent when dealing with a big bundle of mechanics, like a class or new subsystem!

Liberty's Edge

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I would have loved a book describing the making of PF2, including before, during and after the playtest. I think it would have clarified so many ambiguities in the rules that still plague us and create friction even now.

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