A Safe Space for Respectful Criticisms of PF2


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I didn't feel great about the tone of the previous thread's OP, so I've decided to start a new thread to make things a bit clearer. I'm sorry to anyone whom the original post discomforted; the phrasing was my attempt to be tongue-in-cheek and "clear through brevity", but it didn't work for a lot of people and that's entirely on me. I communicated poorly and may have hurt some people. I'll try to do better this time around.

Hi, all! So, I actually really, really like PF2. It's a gorgeous edition that brings so, so much I love to the hobby, and I've been having a blast with it. I am also very much not on-board with adding to forum negativity. That said, I feel like some of us just need a safe, argument-free space to air our grievances and talk them out.

Please refrain from starting arguments on this thread. Start a new thread, if you have to, but I've noticed that the second an argument starts, everyone tends to go on the defensive. Sometimes complaints are just matters of taste or blatant misunderstandings, and in either case, it's okay to share your thoughts if you disagree, but please refrain from trying to "rebut" anyone's issues. Agree to disagree.

On the flip side, when trying to criticize, remember that a human being wrote whatever you're about to say you don't like--a human being who could very well see your post, since they're all on these forums to some extent. This is a thing they worked hard on, through a lot of adversity, and you're here to criticize things about it. That is going to hurt no matter how nice you intend to be. They get a lot of negativity in general on these forums, and by contrast, compliments are tragically uncommon. Consider sandwiching your criticisms in with praise, if you can. In general, be nice.

Everything I say, I say with the utmost affection and respect for the creators. They did a wonderful job for the most part, and a lot of the things I don't like are just matters of taste. The goal of this thread is to reduce the amount of "threads complaining about PF2" floating around, to help people process their issues with the game without needing to start fights about it. The game's not perfect, but no art is.

Worthwhile reading:
This thread's more benevolent counterpart.
A post by James Jacobs on the effects of unchecked negativity on the creators.
And another.


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...oh, the forums did the thing where they move you to the wrong subforum, I think. I'm in the wrong part of town.


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I'm just here for the horniness.


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This is, by far, my favorite piece of kobold art.

Honestly, I don't know that I like the kobold redesign as much as I thought I did. At first I think I loved it--it looked so fun and goofy and creative, and I still think all of those things are true.

But they're not... cute. At least, not cute in the way I like my kobolds.

I liked 3.5 kobolds because 8-year old me thought they were adorable. I'm not sure I feel the same about Pathfinder's takes on them over the years. This is hugely subjective, of course. I just miss kobolds being visually appealing to me. They're easy to stylize into being appealing--sort of like the above art does, by removing the pupils, giving them a smaller, plumper, "Mouse Guard" form, etc. The concept is good, it's just... yeah, I feel mean calling them grotesque, and I'm not saying it as an insult, just, it almost feels like that's what the art is going for. Sort of misshapen and lumpy, like a new counterpart to goblins.

It's fun. But it feels like we lost something that was important to me. I see so much gorgeous stylized art people have drawn to make kobolds look cute (or, yeah, horny), but looking at the Pathfinder art right now, it feels like night and day. It's not what I like. That's very much a "me" problem. But as a really big fan of kobolds, I guess I wish I could look at more official kobold art and think, "omg she's so cute" instead of, "haha, what a goofy-looking monster". The first piece I linked? I totally think she's adorable. But the second? "haha what a dopey-looking lizard"

Cuteness is important in my kobolds. Cuteness is very subjective, of course, but it doesn't feel like it was even much of a consideration with the new ones. Tiny beady eyes, scowling mouths, flat shark-like heads... I'm not saying they're not cute to me, but I think they're ugly cute. It's not very versatile, and when I'm designing a kobold PC, I kind of just ignore it or try to stylize the heck out of it.

The good news is, I think this is totally mendable, both from the player side and, if they ever want to, the artist side. It's just a matter of tweaking the existing design to be a little more... well, you know.

(Or put them in more fluffy coats. Or just let them be fluffy or feathery sometimes!)


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Occasionally I think about how sensitive I am to criticism of my own work, even when it's super-gentle and kind, and then I think about how even my nicest attempts at criticism of the Pathfinder crew's work must come across, and I shrivel up into a small saltine cracker.

Dark Archive

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I do think Pathfinder 2e kobolds have inconsistent art yeah. I think design itself is good, but art of them vary a lot, like some of them have bit too big heads and such.

1e kobolds are cooler according to my taste though, but I do like 2e kobolds.


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I won't bother rephrasing my "go nuts" criticism for the 3rd time, so I shall come up with a new point to comment about!

While I like the heightening system as a means of keeping low level spell relevant at higher levels, it doesn't stop the treadmill of "new fire spell, but better!" that 1E had. Spell don't build off of each other like feats do, so the little spell you picked up as a 1st level, unless it's something like Enfeebling Ray, just stop being useful at character level 5, even if you heighten it as a 3rd level spell, it's not as good as the native 3rd level spells.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't like that it is so hard for characters to die. Sometimes a fight ends up like a yo-yo of people going down, then being healed, popping back up again to fight some more, and getting knocked unconscious to possibly repeat the cycle. It ends up resulting in some very odd tactics, like players sticking around when they should have run after most of their comrades have been knocked out. That has the unintended consequence of encouraging TPKs because PCs stay in a losing fight longer than is wise.

Also, it's difficult if a player wants you to intentionally kill off their character for a plot point so they can bring in a new PC. It is pretty obvious you are targeting that character due to the multiple opportunities for their comrades to heal them before they bleed out. Yet, the GM keeps throwing damaging effects at them, despite the character clearly not being a threat. Thereby, you strain everyone's suspension of disbelief in ways that were not intended when you focus attacks on that PC.

As one player/GM in my group noted, "it's so hard to die, you need to play every character with style [because that's the focus of the Pathfinder system]." I do like that most of my characters won't die, but that design choice has resulted in some strange game dynamics.

Radiant Oath

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Respectful Criticisms: The APs are too hard. I wish Paizo would aim low rather than high with the difficulty. A too easy encounter is over quickly and forgotten. A too hard encounter ruins games. And it's much easier on the DM to increase the difficulty on the fly than to decrease it. Adding +4 to hit, +50% damage, and +50% Hp is simple. Subtracting -4 to hit and -33% damage, and -33% hp is harder.

Some books are too light in tone, and some books are darker in tone than I like. And that's Fine! I just would like a warning that, say, The Mwangi Expanse is a light tone book. We get warnings that Abomination vaults has themes of suicide, I'd like a warning that things are lighter in tone.

All ancestries should have two Level 17 feats. There's a great selection for class feats, especially when you include archtypes. But some ancestries don't even have one level 17 feats. I like choices.


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steelhead wrote:

I don't like that it is so hard for characters to die. Sometimes a fight ends up like a yo-yo of people going down, then being healed, popping back up again to fight some more, and getting knocked unconscious to possibly repeat the cycle. It ends up resulting in some very odd tactics, like players sticking around when they should have run after most of their comrades have been knocked out. That has the unintended consequence of encouraging TPKs because PCs stay in a losing fight longer than is wise.

Also, it's difficult if a player wants you to intentionally kill off their character for a plot point so they can bring in a new PC. It is pretty obvious you are targeting that character due to the multiple opportunities for their comrades to heal them before they bleed out. Yet, the GM keeps throwing damaging effects at them, despite the character clearly not being a threat. Thereby, you strain everyone's suspension of disbelief in ways that were not intended when you focus attacks on that PC.

As one player/GM in my group noted, "it's so hard to die, you need to play every character with style [because that's the focus of the Pathfinder system]." I do like that most of my characters won't die, but that design choice has resulted in some strange game dynamics.

If it's easy for people to pop back up to fight some more, then they're clearly not no longer a threat and it makes sense to stomp on them until they can't get back up again. Imagine how players would act if monsters didn't stay down once they dropped.


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steelhead wrote:

I don't like that it is so hard for characters to die. Sometimes a fight ends up like a yo-yo of people going down, then being healed, popping back up again to fight some more, and getting knocked unconscious to possibly repeat the cycle. It ends up resulting in some very odd tactics, like players sticking around when they should have run after most of their comrades have been knocked out. That has the unintended consequence of encouraging TPKs because PCs stay in a losing fight longer than is wise.

Also, it's difficult if a player wants you to intentionally kill off their character for a plot point so they can bring in a new PC. It is pretty obvious you are targeting that character due to the multiple opportunities for their comrades to heal them before they bleed out. Yet, the GM keeps throwing damaging effects at them, despite the character clearly not being a threat. Thereby, you strain everyone's suspension of disbelief in ways that were not intended when you focus attacks on that PC.

As one player/GM in my group noted, "it's so hard to die, you need to play every character with style [because that's the focus of the Pathfinder system]." I do like that most of my characters won't die, but that design choice has resulted in some strange game dynamics.

Ooh, an addition--I kind of wish PCs could stay conscious while below 1 hp. It feels like an unnecessary limitation on the kinds of stories and deaths we get to depict. Maybe take a -2 on checks to Stabilize, but you still get to talk? Maybe even take one action, at the expense of an auto-fail or a bigger penalty. Might help increase mortality, too, since it gives monsters more reasons to keep swinging if the PC won't stay down.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kobold Catgirl wrote:
...oh, the forums did the thing where they move you to the wrong subforum, I think. I'm in the wrong part of town.

Yes, I completely agree with you! I really had to search to find this thread to see if there were any responses to my post. I'm not sure what this has to do with APs. I surely wasn't limiting my comments to APs.

Liberty's Edge

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I wish you luck with this thread KC.

TBH I dislike that we cannot have a safe place for respectful rebuttal of criticisms. Not being allowed to express our opinions and the reasons behind them just because we think a criticism is unfounded does smart.

And I think we will never be able to reach an understanding between different opinions this way.

But I salute the goal you have with these threads and I hope all will be well.

It is a Blue Lantern thing.

In fearful day, in raging night,
With strong hearts full, our souls ignite,
When all seems lost in the War of Light,
Look to the stars, for hope shines bright!


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I wish Recall Knowledge was more solidly laid out in how it's supposed to work. I hate that telling what save an NPC is weakest in is an almost mandatory house rule because casters do not function if they target an enemy's strong save (at least, my Witch player chose a bunch of cool, thematic spells that all target Fort, and that is an enemy's highest or second highest save throughout all three Age of Ashes books we've played through so far, so she has huge problems with enemies always succeeding).


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I mean this sincerely, and not sarcastically or sharply at all--start your own thread! I agree that there's nothing wrong with starting a thread for rebuttals and respectful arguments. This just isn't the thread for that. :P <3

steelhead wrote:
Yes, I completely agree with you! I really had to search to find this thread to see if there were any responses to my post. I'm not sure what this has to do with APs. I surely wasn't limiting my comments to APs.

I didn't post it here! I got teleportaled!


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The positive:

--THANK GOD there are much more limited opportunity attacks! The absolute insanity of not being able to move in combat without a whirlwind of steel that cranks the pace down to molasses levels is thankfully abandoned.

--separating culture and species is a great idea I've wanted to see for a long time but see below.

--I like the commitment to diversity and the part where Arcadia is full of powerful countries because there's no reason for it to be in full post-Mississippian warlord chaos but also with pandemics as North America was during the 15th through 18th centuries IRL.

--There doesn't seem to be AS much number-crunching complexity as in PF1e, which became a huge turnoff to some of my friends (see my Hell's Rebels thread).

The less positive:

--I'm having a hard time grokking the system, though since it's very similar to Starfinder I expect as I play both I'll grok them better.

--the heritage and ancestry system quickly becomes byzantine, and I don't think it handles planetouched and the like well.

--Worldbuilding nerd rant time:

Spoiler:
I think that a small but critical problem with how Arcadia functions is that it's trying to be "North America resisting colonization" but it isn't really worldbuilding in a way that makes sense. Like, this isn't anything like the real-life early colonial era North America at all. That place was a MESS. The Cahokian collapse (or revolution, if you listen to the Cherokee, and I'm inclined to personally) led to an extended period of brutal warlordism comparable to the Heptarchy period in medieval England, but worse, which (like the Heptarchy) led to no state having the practical ability to militarily oppose the raiding and colonization of a power with an untouchable logistics base, which led to a death spiral of economic exploitation and economic upheaval fueling more warlordism that led to eventual full-on invasion, which the English made it through with only a few loanwords and bad memories due to Norse internal troubles and English proportionally higher population, but the Native American peoples didn't because they were numerically proportionally screwed and pandemics exacerbated the population collapse, so were never able to build the tech or manufacturing base necessary to compete with the untouchable metropole. It is difficult to describe just how bad the situation was for North American Native polities in the 15th through 18th centuries--they really were dealt a quadruple whammy at their weakest possible point, versus the Triple Alliance and Tawantinsuyu, who were toppled by rebellious vassals with mercs and a spectacularly lucky full-on military invasion, respectively, at the heights of their respective power.

Arcadia OTOH is more comparable to 19th century China or SE Asia on a structural level. You have strong, stable polities with the potential for advanced naval tech (thanks, magic, the great equalizer!) that are fully capable of populating and militarily defending the coasts and maintaining naval forces with no good reason not to do so, so Avistani involvement should be limited to piracy and trade with possible trading enclaves in the native coastal cities. There just isn't any point in having full-on settler colonies in a region that's stable and well-populated without massive military invasion, and nobody's DONE that.

--I don't like the redemption arcs for Sorshen and Nocticula. I can maybe buy one of them, but Sorshen seems too easily accepted for someone who every rational actor in the entire setting should never, EVER trust (I mean, 20th level enchanter with a buttload of mythic ranks? You do not trust a word they say and you buff yourself to the gills with mind blank whenever you're within 1,000 miles of them), and I'm not sure of my feelings on demonic redemption (though I'm coming around to "the more unique an outsider, the easier it is to redeem/fall", with your average dretch or erinyes or succubus needing a goddess's brain-jacking to be redeemed while a demon lord is at least in part choosing to be a jerk)

Also, it kind of feels like Paizo changing/retconning pulpy stuff to seem more progressive, which I find vaguely virtue-signally.

--As a corollary to that, I am not 100% sold on the move towards a more hugboxy Golarion and away from a grimy messed-up Golarion. But maybe that's because as I get more cynical about this messed-up world I live in I'm becoming more attracted to stories about good people fighting to improve a nasty world (god knows I'm a Stormlight Archive addict, and that's a setting where one main protagonist is a literal slave who has an almost pathological need to protect people, another is a former war criminal trying to make up for his past by being a diplomat and standing up for human rights, and they live in a horribly classist society where lower-caste people can be EXECUTED for saying that a lord did bad things).

--I have not yet seen a campaign book about a warts-and-all (or, child sacrifice and all) depiction of pre-contact South America, and I am disappointed because I am fascinated by the Tawantinsuyu and find their technology, agriculture, and means of imperial rule incredibly interesting. I'd love to play Legally Distinct From Incas and I'm sad that Golarion doesn't provide that opportunity yet.


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My respectful criticism:

I think all the weapon/armor proficiency feats were mishandled.

1. Lumping armor proficiencies into MC Archetypes as icing removes the roleplaying incentive to invite metagaming. Lots of people are Champions just to have quick heavy armor. I think they should have been decoupled.

2. Ancestral weapons are not exciting to pick up for martial classes and the fact that classes that want to dip into them need to go over hoops to be proficient in them seems extremely convoluted.

3. Archetypes being the way to pick up armor proficiency also doesn't sit right to me in general. The armor proficiency feats become extremely lackluster.


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My respectful criticism. I had to rewrite this after fat thumbing the back button, so sorry if it feels a bit off.

1. The 3 action economy is a great idea, but sadly I think it is currently being underused and overly restricted. The new classes and casters are too tied up into using 2-3 action activities/routines just to keep up.

2. Limiting spell effect to the spell level its casted at is a great idea for limiting a lot of the complaints about casters. But the way that most spells just add a bit of damage on heightening makes using that system bad. If heightening worked more like Invisibility for all spells, where you not only change the damage, but other aspects of the spell.

3. Paizo is so good at making cool items. That it came as a shock to me how bland some of the new items are. Preventing name items from being changed just made it worse. One of my favorite things to do in Pathfinder is create cool items and item combinations. Which the ruling explicitly destroys, because casters shouldn't spend money to enhance staff? Idk the logic just seem bad to me.

Dark Archive

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Is this just for critiscisms of mechanics or are parts of the setting allowed in this thread? (Dont worry It's not gonna be about a certain Runelord again)


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One thing I don't like: The up-and-down nature of combat (unconscious, conscious, unconscious again) does not play nice with the action economy.

Say I'm a fighter, and I get KOed by a hungry bear. While I'm unconscious, my teammates draw the wolf away from my body. I am then healed. Now I have to:

1. Spend an action to grab my sword, since I dropped it upon going unconscious.

2. Spend an action to stand up.

3. Spend an action to follow the bear.

And that's my turn.

This is why I'd like to be able to take a penalty to stay conscious when dying. The character could keep their grip on their sword, and avoid dropping it, thus sparing them the extra action. Or, alternatively, just let us grab an item for free when we're prone. Or for free when standing from prone. Or just don't make us drop the item to begin with.


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Kevin Mack wrote:
Is this just for critiscisms of mechanics or are parts of the setting allowed in this thread? (Dont worry It's not gonna be about a certain Runelord again)

Go nuts, sure.

Dark Archive

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Okay well with the expanding of the timeline and adding cannon conclusions to the ap's almost all of them I'm fine with since Paizo cant know what everygroups pc's are so in most cases have went for the most logical outcomes/NPC's in charge save for two one of which I already said I wouldent go into and the second being Ironfang invasion I dont think the cannon ending for that one holds together all that well to break it down

Ironfang invasion ending:
A large number of hobgoblins and there allies survive so they have the numbers to found a country. Fair enough

Enough of the command structure survives so have leaders capable of negotiating a truce and founding a country. Also fair enough

Azaresi surviving to remain the leader of the ironfang. Starting to strain a bit here since pretty sure most parties would end up just killing her (Since finding out she was mind controlled does require certain things and even at that most of the nasty things the legion did she was fine with anyway) but I suppose it's not that big a stretch that one of the surviving officers could be a cleric or they happen to have a scroll or raise dead or better available.

Azaresi surviving and being allowed to keep the superweapon. Even ignoring the whole part where most parties would probably kill her there just gonna let her keep the superweapon? That just strikes me as incredibly foolish, at best they know she is susceptable to mind control so no reason someone couldent do that again and even ignoring that it still allows her away to teleport forces across golarion easily and your just gonna let them keep that? if nothing else I would think the dwarfs would want there stolen property back.


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steelhead wrote:

I don't like that it is so hard for characters to die. Sometimes a fight ends up like a yo-yo of people going down, then being healed, popping back up again to fight some more, and getting knocked unconscious to possibly repeat the cycle. It ends up resulting in some very odd tactics, like players sticking around when they should have run after most of their comrades have been knocked out. That has the unintended consequence of encouraging TPKs because PCs stay in a losing fight longer than is wise.

Also, it's difficult if a player wants you to intentionally kill off their character for a plot point so they can bring in a new PC. It is pretty obvious you are targeting that character due to the multiple opportunities for their comrades to heal them before they bleed out. Yet, the GM keeps throwing damaging effects at them, despite the character clearly not being a threat. Thereby, you strain everyone's suspension of disbelief in ways that were not intended when you focus attacks on that PC.

As one player/GM in my group noted, "it's so hard to die, you need to play every character with style [because that's the focus of the Pathfinder system]." I do like that most of my characters won't die, but that design choice has resulted in some strange game dynamics.

My wizard died yesterday. My rogue died a little bit ago too. It's pretty easy to kill a PC in PF2 if they have no hero points and your DM is ruthless.

As long as you have one hero point, it is hard to die.


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Ok, I got my one pet peeve:

I hate that Monks don't have an incentive to avoid Shields.

I always go out of my way to find a way to avoid needing a shield for Monks I build - a parry weapon, archetypes to get a Rogue's Nimble Dodge or Acrobat's Dodge Away.

I'd love an in-class solution for that?

Kobold Catgirl wrote:
One thing I don't like: The up-and-down nature of combat (unconscious, conscious, unconscious again) does not play nice with the action economy.

I think it all does play well – it doesn't play well for your own benefit, but it makes sense. You should very much avoid dying! Having attached weapons gives you a benefit! Kip Up is a good feat! Etc.

Having a low floor is how you get things to have more value later on.

Temperans wrote:


1. The 3 action economy is a great idea, but sadly I think it is currently being underused and overly restricted. The new classes and casters are too tied up into using 2-3 action activities/routines just to keep up.

Same idea here – restricting casters is what makes martials be more powerful in 2E.

I believe there's certainly more room for feats to use actions for casters, but having martials get an economy edge vs. casters having a versatility edge is what makes the game so balanced.


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I am pretty clear about my purpose here. Why did you click the thread if you object to its content? There are many wonderful threads here that are chock-full of debate and bickering. You might enjoy one of those better than mine. :)


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(At the risk of coming across as snarky, I am genuinely amazed at how many people flock here specifically because they're offended that I do not wish to debate with them.)


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Secret Wizard wrote:

My respectful criticism:

I think all the weapon/armor proficiency feats were mishandled.

1. Lumping armor proficiencies into MC Archetypes as icing removes the roleplaying incentive to invite metagaming. Lots of people are Champions just to have quick heavy armor. I think they should have been decoupled.

2. Ancestral weapons are not exciting to pick up for martial classes and the fact that classes that want to dip into them need to go over hoops to be proficient in them seems extremely convoluted.

3. Archetypes being the way to pick up armor proficiency also doesn't sit right to me in general. The armor proficiency feats become extremely lackluster.

Yeah, scaling proficiencies are in a weird place. I'd say that weapons are more awkward than armor with only ancestry feats giving proper proficiency usage for classes. Plus the only archetypes that work towards that are for bows, 2 handed weapons, and unarmed attacks. It's a head scratcher.


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I think my #1 complaint mechanically is that Champions care infinitely more about Alignment than their god; it frustrates me to see Alignment not only not go the way of the dodo, but form the very restrictive heart of a class that’s normally my favorite in d20 fantasy games.

That, combined with more restrictive Alignment for deity-followers, not only bugs the heck out of me, but also means some concepts I’d love to play (Liberator of Casandalee, for instance) aren’t possible by RAW.

Which is part of a wider snarl I have: I LOVE divine characters, but the above + Oracle Mysteries and Curses being bundled together + not really enjoying playing full casters = I just don’t get to enjoy playing my favorite kind of PC in this game. It bums me out! The reason I make so much noise about 2e Inquisitors is because I’m /desperate/ to play a character of faith whose mechanics I actually like.


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Honestly, I'm the opposite--I wish champions were distanced more from the gods, and got to focus entirely on being as good and kind as possible. If I wanted to play some sky wizard's loyal cop, I'd play a warpriest or inquisitor or whatever exists now.


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Kobold Catgirl wrote:
Honestly, I'm the opposite--I wish champions were distanced more from the gods, and got to focus entirely on being as good and kind as possible. If I wanted to play some sky wizard's loyal cop, I'd play a warpriest or inquisitor or whatever exists now.

Eberron, as always, handles this very well - in this case, both by allowing divine characters to be a half-step away from their gods /and/ by allowing divine characters dedicated to an ideal or domain, rather than a god.

PF2 attempts to straddle “powerful shield of your god” and “Alignment warrior,” but the end result is a kind of incoherent combo: a devout warrior who cares about one of six preset philosophies more than anything actually tied to their god or church.


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Synesthesia and flickmaces. The game's balanced really well, which makes these two stick out all the more.


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I do really like Eberron paladins. They are, ironically, the closest thing to "true" servants of their divine ideals... because the gods may not exist, but paladins are still the Goodest of the Good.

I don't think clerics even have alignment restrictions, do they? Can't you be a LE cleric of the Silver Flame? I found that to be a lot of fun. It encourages some very grim political intrigue and creates inherent tension between paladins and clerics. Because clerics still outrank paladins, by default.

Sorry, Eberron tangent.


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The Bane weapon property is the first time I've read something in an rpg book that states not even GMs can change it. This doedntbsit right with me at all.


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I think not giving casters a 1st level feat like martials is not an effective balance mechanism and only works to incentivize playing as a human if going the caster route.

I also think the game needs some more quality skill and general feats that unlock outright new abilities rather than just improving proficiency. There's a world of difference between stuff like Scare to Death (combat action which defies the stated purpose of separate skill/class feats), Trick Magic Item (has use in and outside of combat, but debatably could have been a default part of the skill, with the feat instead reducing the action tax), and Improvise Tool (does nothing new and only comes up if you lose your incredibly cheap crafting and repair kits). With general feats, there's a clear issue with how the feats that grant proficiency don't really scale with your level, so they become fodder for retraining as soon as you jump a proficiency tier.

Finally, I think the separation of simple vs martial vs advanced weapons ultimately does less for the game than a singular, internally balanced weapon pool would. Everyone that particularly wants to use a weapon generally has access to martial weapons, an ability that upgrades a simple weapon to martial quality, or already has another limit on what weapons they can use (such as only being able to use Precise Strike with finesse/agile weapons). Advanced Weapons are also awkward because they have the same issues as Exotic Weapons in 1e, but accessing them requires more specific setups, leading to a weirdly high number of humans raised in gnomish orphanages.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Echoing the comment on character death. In general I'm not a fan of the way that unconsciousness is basically something a character is expected to deal with reasonably often. Personally I'd rather see characters that are harder to bring down, but actually going down is more consequential.

This is one of several factors that's led a couple of my players to complain that PF2 characters feel 'unheroic': they're too helpless without magic items, they get taken down very frequently even in encounters that aren't narratively significant, and that playing PF2 'the right way' (their words) encourages tactics that they say make their characters feel particularly ignoble.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thirding or fourthing the criticism about character unconsciousness. As soon as fights get a little bit harder, characters seem to get dropped on the regular. Even though they don't usually die, its frequent enough - and the ways back up from unconscious easy enough - that there's not a whole lot of tension around it. Now give them even 1 point of persistent damage, and its a different story... which is its own criticism.


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I don't like the fact that I accidentally hit refresh and lost the entire page of gripes that I just wrote... *Sobs*

I don't understand barbarians having anathema. Do Giant barbarians worship Giants, and the Giants give them the power to rage in return? If not then what's enforcing the anathema? If so then how are Giants and dragons and animals giving out power like gods.

I don't like the ancestries being so bare bones.

I didn't like material components for spells the way they were presented in pf1e and I'd prefer 5e arcane foci than a bag of random garbage powering your spells. I also don't like that wizards need to spend a feat just to avoid using said bag of random garbage.

I don't like how weak player characters are without magic items at higher levels. "Oh you're a level 5 fighter? You got stronger, but not stronger enough. Time to go buy/steal someone else's power. Or learn to craft magic weapons yourself I guess..."

As someone said above, I don't like that casters don't get a level one feat because it discourages playing non human casters.

I don't like how weak low levels are in general. I don't like how hard it is in PFS to start at a higher level than level one. I've done the level one song and dance so many times at this point. I'm sick and tired of having to take characters up through the rat slaughtering levels.


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My main gripe is that there's no info about the length of the average adventuring day. A lot of APs are featuring extremely long series of fight forcing casters and Alchemists to play half of the time without their fancy tools.
I really think the concept of resource-limited classes should be reviewed. I far prefer 4e ways of doing where most of your resources were usable during every fights and only a handful of them were having a per day limit.

I also find magic items to be uninspiring. It's quite crazy to realize that when you remove the number increasing ones, the remnant items feel just boring.
There should be more items giving you special moves or always useful spell casting.

But overall, I like this edition very much.


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Kobold Catgirl wrote:


(...)
This thread's more benevolent counterpart.

Friend, hi! I just wanted to point out that I think that your (and your last) thread is completely valid and very important and I really didn't start that other thread because of yours or anything like that!

As for criticism, hmmm... I'd really love if they had a way to errata a little faster. And caster class feats! I wish they came off as more fun. They're good! Effective. But I don't know, they're not... That fun, to me.

I also wished that there was a way for lore skills to advance independently from other skills. Maybe a level 10 General Feat that increases one lore skill to expert?


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Additional Lore might help. It grants a new Lore skill rather than upgrading an existing one, but the new skill is automatically increased to Expert, Master or Legendary as soon as the character hits the minimum level for those increases. As a Skill Feat, Additional Lore can be taken in place of a General feat.


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I am nostalgic for the old-school Paladin and think that it should've been expanded upon with CG equivalents and the like with different paladin oaths.

Not a great fan of the genericization of "Champion", and I think that class features should be even more centered around oath and alignment, but I'm not going to complain too loudly because it's not my biggest fault with the setting.

You can kind of crib from the Stormlight Archive for new paladin oaths--for example, a CG paladin order might have oaths like:

Spoiler:
"I will remember those who have been forgotten."

"I will listen to those who have been ignored."

"I will aid the small and the weak in the moment no matter the risk."

That kinda thing.

Things a CG paladin order modeled on the Stormlight Archive's Edgedancers might do:
--Give a morally complicated Big Bad with lots of baggage a hug.
--Turn back while running for their lives because they think they heard a civilian hiding behind them and want to get them out before a gigantic evil monster destroys the entire vicinity.
--Flex their privilege and threaten to start a civil war while blowing off a key strategy meeting to get a prostitute home safe because a low-ranking soldier working for their dad's political rival beat up the prostitute and refused to pay.
--When told by said political rival that he has absolutely no intention of ever ceasing to be the biggest backstabbing jerk ever, kill the political rival to stop him from backstabbing the forces of good in the middle of the apocalypse.
--Drop everything while escaping a heist and an implacable serial killer to give medical attention to a dying child.


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Aw, thanks, friend! <3 I appreciate you clarifying. I'm a big fan of your thread, anyways--we need more compliment threads for the creators!

Also, on the "unconsciousness" thing, I... find I completely agree. Death only really happens after going unconscious, and "killed in one hit" only happens after going unconscious at least once before. Now, this has pros and cons.

Pros: PCs can "opt out" of dying a lot of the time simply by staying unconscious after stabilizing, thus avoiding the risk of getting downed for good.

Cons: This means any truly exciting, dangerous fight relies on PCs getting knocked down and getting up again. Not super cinematic, though it might be exciting gameplay, sort of, except that, again, standing and retrieving your weapon is tedious as heck.

I think a mechanic that allows for people to remain conscious while Dying might help a lot. I dunno. It's tricky. I do like the change for certain purposes.


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AceofMoxen wrote:

Respectful Criticisms: The APs are too hard. I wish Paizo would aim low rather than high with the difficulty. A too easy encounter is over quickly and forgotten. A too hard encounter ruins games. And it's much easier on the DM to increase the difficulty on the fly than to decrease it. Adding +4 to hit, +50% damage, and +50% Hp is simple. Subtracting -4 to hit and -33% damage, and -33% hp is harder.

I'd say challenging rather than hard, but I can also pretty understand your point of view.

I want to add that for larger parties, it is better not to create elites, but rather add an extra low lvl pawn.

Not being able to hit a creature could easily lead to a tpk, and it's not satisfying either ( why I usually avoid using elites rather than an extra low level enemy).

Finally, unfortunately, some AP might have some really hard encounters which could annihilate the party ( I'll never forget the aoa book 3 hill) if properly played.

While I do understand that it's not the DM role to kill the party, I also understand that given the system it is great to properly play the 2 parts for either DM and players.

Having to random play ( wrong attacks, deliberately trigger reactions, waste actions, etc... ) because of way too hard encounters is something I really don't like as DM ( be kind with my players because reasons) and as a player ( seeing an enemy do stupid stuff, knowing it's not to kill us).


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:


1. The 3 action economy is a great idea, but sadly I think it is currently being underused and overly restricted. The new classes and casters are too tied up into using 2-3 action activities/routines just to keep up.

Same idea here – restricting casters is what makes martials be more powerful in 2E.

I believe there's certainly more room for feats to use actions for casters, but having martials get an economy edge vs. casters having a versatility edge is what makes the game so balanced.

* This is not me trying to start a debate but another point of criticism I have.

I think that the whole martials have better action economy thing makes the game worse.

Not only does it encourage bad game design from the devs, as seen with non-core classes all being very clunky. But it also creates an unneeded shackle that prevents more interesting feats from being created. Not to mention that as far as the new classes are concerned (including the new martials) they all have worse action economy than the core.

Overall, the whole thing just feels bad as a player when you want to do something cool but the action economy actively stops you. It feels bad as a theory crafter when your cool idea doesn't work because of the action limit. It feels bad as a game dev when the cool feat/spell/ability is impossible because its action economy is "too good" compared to current feats.


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Temperans wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:


1. The 3 action economy is a great idea, but sadly I think it is currently being underused and overly restricted. The new classes and casters are too tied up into using 2-3 action activities/routines just to keep up.

Same idea here – restricting casters is what makes martials be more powerful in 2E.

I believe there's certainly more room for feats to use actions for casters, but having martials get an economy edge vs. casters having a versatility edge is what makes the game so balanced.

* This is not me trying to start a debate but another point of criticism I have.

I think that the whole martials have better action economy thing makes the game worse.

Not only does it encourage bad game design from the devs, as seen with non-core classes all being very clunky. But it also creates an unneeded shackle that prevents more interesting feats from being created. Not to mention that as far as the new classes are concerned (including the new martials) they all have worse action economy than the core.

Overall, the whole thing just feels bad as a player when you want to do something cool but the action economy actively stops you. It feels bad as a theory crafter when your cool idea doesn't work because of the action limit. It feels bad as a game dev when the cool feat/spell/ability is impossible because its action economy is "too good" compared to current feats.

There's obviously tension, but isn't that inherent to all game design? And wouldn't it be applicable to all economies (even non-game ones), not just the 3 action economies?

And we've seen the Design team play with the economy to make unique classes, like the Summoner having effective 4 actions, Magus clumping actions into Spellstrikes, and both of them are non-Core.

Sometimes it feels bad (Thaumaturge coff coff), sometimes it just clicks (Monk <3)


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Fixed DC items are just plain bad for the game since they loose relevancy very soon turning into junk loot. Materials are way to expensive for what they provide. I also do not like that recall knowledge is ruled very loosely and would appreciate some clarity. There are quite a lot of skill feats that are pretty useless while others are so good you cannot possibly skip them.
I think that is it, i mostly love everything else.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
Temperans wrote:


1. The 3 action economy is a great idea, but sadly I think it is currently being underused and overly restricted. The new classes and casters are too tied up into using 2-3 action activities/routines just to keep up.

Same idea here – restricting casters is what makes martials be more powerful in 2E.

I believe there's certainly more room for feats to use actions for casters, but having martials get an economy edge vs. casters having a versatility edge is what makes the game so balanced.

* This is not me trying to start a debate but another point of criticism I have.

I think that the whole martials have better action economy thing makes the game worse.

Not only does it encourage bad game design from the devs, as seen with non-core classes all being very clunky. But it also creates an unneeded shackle that prevents more interesting feats from being created. Not to mention that as far as the new classes are concerned (including the new martials) they all have worse action economy than the core.

Overall, the whole thing just feels bad as a player when you want to do something cool but the action economy actively stops you. It feels bad as a theory crafter when your cool idea doesn't work because of the action limit. It feels bad as a game dev when the cool feat/spell/ability is impossible because its action economy is "too good" compared to current feats.

There's obviously tension, but isn't that inherent to all game design? And wouldn't it be applicable to all economies (even non-game ones), not just the 3 action economies?

And we've seen the Design team play with the economy to make unique classes, like the Summoner having effective 4 actions, Magus clumping actions into Spellstrikes, and both of them are non-Core.

Sometimes it feels bad (Thaumaturge coff coff), sometimes it just clicks (Monk <3)

Sometimes the action economy feels more like a straightjacket than something that contributes to the game. Like the Barbarian's Rage. There's very few times where you *wouldn't* want to Rage as a Barbarian, but it shaves off a third of your turn.

Other times, it's actively obstructive, like with a melee Investigator, who, to do their main thing, always has to commit to a single action in particular in addition to striding up and striking to "work as intended." Contrast to the Swashbuckler, who can get it's panache for Finisher in multiple ways, allowing for more freedom off of a similar mechanic.

Or the Magus, who always needs two actions to do their main thing, but also has to spend another action to recharge it, and then has this class-specific stance that uses an action *and* can only be used after another action or two.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

As a DM, it seems like you have to put in a lot more work to make your own system-compatible setting, compared to 1E. In particular, creating new races and deities. New deities require a codified anathema, a skill, and three spells of varying levels; new races require roughly TWELVE unique (and hopefully balanced) feats. Kind of feels like Paizo saying "If you're going to play our game, *you're going to use our setting*"

Which would line up with some other complaints I've seen.

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