How many also play 5e?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
YuriP wrote:
Honestly, this kind of "accessibility" turns out to be very bad in the end. Because ultimately what you're saying is nothing matters, the important thing is that the players are going to win in the end no matter what they do. In the end, this leads to several questions about whether it's really worth continuing to play something that always leads to the same result no matter what you do.

Honestly this is kind of a bizarre sentiment to me on a couple levels.

For one, the notion that you can't have risk or consequences without random TPKs is just fundamentally not true. Random death is arguably probably the most boring form of risk, certainly not the only one.

But even beyond that... really no other form of media people consume operates in this space except for TTRPGs (and even then not many TTRPGs anymore). To say that there's no reason to continue because there's no random chance of complete failure basically discounts every form of entertainment that exists, except for some old, niche tabletops.

Vigilant Seal

Jacob Jett wrote:
Trixleby wrote:
Jacob Jett wrote:
A hot take...if Hasbro execs were savvy, they'd diversify their investment by having WoTC release PF2 versions of some (or even all) of their campaign source books.
What does that mean? How would that work? You mean like Princes of the Apocalypse or that one with Baron Ravendrath the Vampire guy? But in 2E rules?

I mean much like Roll for Battle and many other small publishers, they literally print PF2 versions of things like Spelljammer, Ravenloft, etc.

Because I agree, the market for TTRPGs is more mutually supportive than competitive. Right now I'm converting my 3.5 setting into PF2 while playing in a 5e game. I'm betting there are more than a few folks here that play both depending on who in their group has GM duties. Frankly, there are probably more than a few folks here that play multiple different RPGs depending on how the stars align. Fantasy isn't my only genre and d20 systems aren't my only system.

And as old Chairman Deng used to say, it doesn't matter what color the dog is, only that it eats.

Does that mean there's a chance a PF2E version of Dark Sun exists somewhere? :)


Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
You’ve conflated “relatively easy” with “no challenge at all”.

It's not really that I'm confused. But rather I ended up mixing my own vision in between.

For me, 5e is already a game that doesn't bring me “no challenge at all”.

What happens to me in 5e is a phenomenon very similar to what happens in video games when you beat the game and start replaying it several times.
In the beginning it's interesting and fun, you even discover some glitches, inconsistencies, bugs and exploitable gaps, but as everything is new, everything ends up being part of the fun.
However, as you master the game and the challenges and novelties become more and more trivial, the game starts to lose its grace. Then the player ends up having to make one of basically 3 decisions:

- Or start ignoring the game's flaws as much as you can, and play the game in a way that doesn't exploit them, although in some cases they can end up being "mandatory". In the case of 5e for example, it would be the previously mentioned issue of feats, multiclassing and magic items.
- Either you start modifying or looking for mods of the game that by chance have corrected at least the most serious flaws in the hope of reviving the challenge of the game. In the case of 5e this is represented by the homebrew constant that many tables adopt.
- Or you just give up the game, and look for another one! Which, by the way, is the most adopted option by most people in a video game scenario, but curiously is often ignored in the case of TTRPGs, due to ignorance, fear or laziness.

In my own case I went through the exact 3 situations in order, both as a player and as a GM, first as I found and exploited flaws in the rules after initially having fun with them, I started to do my best to avoid them.
Then I started to suggest (at tables where I wasn't a master) and at my own tables where I was GM, to adopt homebrew rules, whether completely homemade, whether inspired or copied from 3rd parties, players, or even companies (the PF1 this was the case for example).
And in the end, I reached a point where I was already overloaded with homebrews and I started to consider other options, either changing the style of the game to other existing games on the market, like Vampiro, Mago, Call of Cuthulu, until I discovered the PF2, I read it, I liked what I read, I gave it a chance and fell in love with the game and system, especially as a GM.

So for me today, when I try to go back to 5e, what I see is a completely patched up game, which doesn't give me any challenge, nor does it excite me to play. Even with a lot of nostalgia.

Temperans wrote:
As with all stories, what matters is not so much the end goal, but how you got there. This is why Visual Novels, puzzles, idlers, etc are so popular. Everyone knows what the end result will be, and there usually no challenge, but the process of getting to that result is fun.

I understood your logic. But I don't know if you noticed in the examples you used, that things are not usually like that. Quite the contrary, the games you described are full of challenges and risks, and that's what makes most of them fun:

- Visual Novels: Make no mistake, visual novels are among the most bad-ending games out there among game options. Not only do you follow the story, but several wrong decisions lead you to a game-over that is often unexpected, and that often forces you to go back and waste all the work that has been done there. Visual Novels are not just games about passively following stories, but mainly about making the right decisions, and wrong decisions can be extremely tragic in these games.
- Puzzles: Sorry, but if there's one type of game that exemplifies trial and error, it's puzzles. The vast majority of puzzles are designed to challenge players, when not just trying to push you to the limit before the game-over like a simple Tetris game. Apologies, but puzzles, in my opinion, are the worst example of games for gamers who just want to win.
- Idlers: Here things are more complex due to the huge variety of idle games. But apart from P2W, in general idle games are micromanagement games, and therefore games that may not look like it, but that can reach extreme degrees of complexity and challenge. In fact, I know few idles that behave as a pure pastime.

I think the best example of a game you could give would be The Sims, a game where you just take care of characters who live life, without necessarily having to win or lose. And I admit, this type of game is very successful, although even in it there are challenges, because even players of this type get bored just following the stories passively and without risk.

But back to TTRPGs, sorry but D&D style fantasy TTRPG games are not games to play with no or very little risk. Their very concept is contrary to this. The idea is to live epic, grandiose and dangerous journeys around the world and if you take out the dangerous part, it automatically loses everything else. What's great about playing something you know you're going to win no matter what? What kind of fake epic is this, where you and your friends are at little risk of dying? Even in classic fantasy epics like the lord of the rings, people go through a lot of trouble, and characters die, otherwise things would just turn into a piece-of-life (not that this game option can't be played, but that's not what neither PF2 nor D&D 5e is intended to be).

Cellion wrote:
- It's more simulationist than 4e, making gameplay feel more natural and less like a fancy boardgame.

This one is probably the only point of fact that I can consider a relevant criticism of PF2 over 5e.

Often the feeling I have is that PF2 ends up being much more of a board war-game than a TTRPG. The tight balancing and difficulty part doesn't really bother me in PF2, in fact I quite like it and the benefits it brings. What bothers me sometimes is how these mechanics sometimes purposely break the game's verisimilitude and end up sacrificing part of the logic and interpretation in the process.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
What's great about playing something you know you're going to win no matter what?

Not knowing how you are going to win, obviously.

Squiggit wrote:
YuriP wrote:
Honestly, this kind of "accessibility" turns out to be very bad in the end. Because ultimately what you're saying is nothing matters, the important thing is that the players are going to win in the end no matter what they do. In the end, this leads to several questions about whether it's really worth continuing to play something that always leads to the same result no matter what you do.

Honestly this is kind of a bizarre sentiment to me on a couple levels.

For one, the notion that you can't have risk or consequences without random TPKs is just fundamentally not true. Random death is arguably probably the most boring form of risk, certainly not the only one.

But even beyond that... really no other form of media people consume operates in this space except for TTRPGs (and even then not many TTRPGs anymore). To say that there's no reason to continue because there's no random chance of complete failure basically discounts every form of entertainment that exists, except for some old, niche tabletops.

Agreed, you can have so many more interesting consequences than just 'everybody dies'.


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Squiggit wrote:
YuriP wrote:
Honestly, this kind of "accessibility" turns out to be very bad in the end. Because ultimately what you're saying is nothing matters, the important thing is that the players are going to win in the end no matter what they do. In the end, this leads to several questions about whether it's really worth continuing to play something that always leads to the same result no matter what you do.

Honestly this is kind of a bizarre sentiment to me on a couple levels.

For one, the notion that you can't have risk or consequences without random TPKs is just fundamentally not true. Random death is arguably probably the most boring form of risk, certainly not the only one.

But even beyond that... really no other form of media people consume operates in this space except for TTRPGs (and even then not many TTRPGs anymore). To say that there's no reason to continue because there's no random chance of complete failure basically discounts every form of entertainment that exists, except for some old, niche tabletops.

I don't talk about random chances of dying that's something I don't agree with either. I think it's stupid that a part suffers TPK just because someone suffered a series of bad rolls in the sequence. So much so that if there is one thing that I am very generous with in my games, it is Hero Points, and I always recommend that my players save them whenever possible to save themselves from bad rolls, such as criticals, or to try to avoid losing scarce resources due to a bad roll. It is even something that I do in my homebrew games is that I even allow players to re-roll opponents' moves, such as saves and attacks against players (in addition this reduces the disadvantage of using hero points by spellcasters, which are practically restricted to use in skills and attacks, when in fact they need it most is to protect themselves from attacks and to use against opponents' saves).

I'm talking about preserving responsibility for actions, letting players take the consequences for mistakes in their decisions is super important to make the game really immersive. Knowing that no matter what you do, you're going to come out alive and victorious isn't something that makes the game interesting and fun, especially in the long run.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Quote:
What's great about playing something you know you're going to win no matter what?

Not knowing how you are going to win, obviously.

Squiggit wrote:
YuriP wrote:
Honestly, this kind of "accessibility" turns out to be very bad in the end. Because ultimately what you're saying is nothing matters, the important thing is that the players are going to win in the end no matter what they do. In the end, this leads to several questions about whether it's really worth continuing to play something that always leads to the same result no matter what you do.

Honestly this is kind of a bizarre sentiment to me on a couple levels.

For one, the notion that you can't have risk or consequences without random TPKs is just fundamentally not true. Random death is arguably probably the most boring form of risk, certainly not the only one.

But even beyond that... really no other form of media people consume operates in this space except for TTRPGs (and even then not many TTRPGs anymore). To say that there's no reason to continue because there's no random chance of complete failure basically discounts every form of entertainment that exists, except for some old, niche tabletops.

Agreed, you can have so many more interesting consequences than just 'everybody dies'.

I agree, everyone dying is not, nor should it be, the only problem in a TTRPG. But in an action game like a medieval fantasy TTRPG like PF2 and 5e, this is always the main risk.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Honestly, the main risk of a TTRPG is failing to stop the bed guy and having to deal with the consequences. If you die, you don't have to deal with how much worse the world is.

As we joke with our fellow GMs, "if I kill your characters I can't torture them anymore".

Vigilant Seal

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Trixleby wrote:
Errenor wrote:
Trixleby wrote:
I can continue with example of homebrewing new systems, reworking entire features, etc, but I'm sure all of you probably don't know a single person who actually plays pure 5e completely RAW no homebrew.
While I very much support what you've wrote, I definitely know a lot of such people: DnD Adventurers League exists, and it uses RAW, just like PFS for PF.
I'll amend my statement to: I'm sure you don't know anyone who plays D&D 5e RAW in a homegame that has not been standardized to public standard like Adventure League :P

I was in a game that wasn't AL that played 5e RAW... or at least did so to the best understanding of the DM, which is about as close as you're going to get.

I'll also say that those of you out there saying that 5e has no virtues are fooling yourselves. 5e is built of a different kind of player than PF2 is, and its virtues are likewise different.

Simply put, getting into 5e is really very low-effort for the players. You pick a race, and possibly a subrace. You pick a class. You pick a background. You develop vague plans about your class path. You arrange something resembling a reasonable set of stats, you grab some gear... and you're done. If you're not a caster, you've just done most of the design work that this character will ever need. That's the accessibility gain. I can throw together a brand new 5e character by hand in an hour, tops, plus maybe another hour of backstory work if I want to get fancy with it. By contrast, if I want to actually do a proper job of designing a PF2 character, it involves lots more work than that - more decisions to make, and the decisions interact with one another in more complicated ways.

Now personally? I like the PF2 way of doing things a lot more. I prefer it... but there are people out there for whom character design is "that part that you have to drag yourself through in order to get to the good stuff" rather than itself being an...

Yeah. That's a valid point. I would also venture to express that these same people are the ones I have mentioned previously, who have never read the rules in any form, barely know what their class does, barely understand how the system work, consistently struggle to figure out which dice do what over several months, one might even consider years (this is lived experience, so anecdotal and may be unique to me, but wow I have met a lot of these people. Perhaps I'm just unlucky) who have exclusively appeared to show up only in 5e, and quite honestly, I think would be happy playing *any* other game like an actual board game over D&D. I'm not even convinced they actually like D&D because they have taken 0 effort over an extended period of time to engage with it outside of session times, and rather, I think they just like the social aspect of hanging with friends and we could be playing cards, like real 52 deck cards, or yes even CCG cards like MTG as an example, or a board game like Settlers of Catan or whatever else and it would all be the same. Because lord knows they won't try *any other* TTRPG because "the rules seem hard." kind of attitude.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Honestly, the main risk of a TTRPG is failing to stop the bed guy and having to deal with the consequences.

He steals your bed?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Opens a world wound, drops a star on the planet, causes the volcano your city is built into to reactivate...


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Trixleby wrote:
Yeah. That's a valid point. I would also venture to express that these same people are the ones I have mentioned previously, who have never read the rules in any form, barely know what their class does, barely understand how the system work, consistently struggle to figure out which dice do what over several months, one might even consider years (this is lived experience, so anecdotal and may be unique to me, but wow I have met a lot of these people. Perhaps I'm just unlucky) who have exclusively appeared to show up only in 5e, and quite honestly, I think would be happy playing *any* other game like an actual board game over D&D. I'm not even convinced they actually like D&D because they have taken 0 effort over an extended period of time to engage with it outside of session times, and rather, I think they just like the social aspect of hanging with friends and we could be playing cards, like real 52 deck cards, or yes even CCG cards like MTG as an example, or a board game like Settlers of Catan or whatever else and it would all be the same. Because lord knows they won't try *any other* TTRPG because "the rules seem hard." kind of attitude.

It's not just the social opportunity. Many of them like the chance to roleplay their character, or to Feel Really Powerful, or to mess around with the fantasy of it, or to be part of the story in any of a variety of ways. They like a lot of what 5e has to offer... it's just the mechanics that they have no interest in. Basically, the mechanics are things that they have to fight through to get the bits that they like.

Make no mistake, though. People like that? They're not going to see things like "You get at least one feat pick every level, guaranteed" as an advantage. That's not the stuff they're here for.


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Risk =/= the possibility of loss == negative

Challenge == a difficult task that you can possibly accomplish == positive.

Having risk does not make it a challenge.
It being a challenge does not mean it will have risk.

People like challenges (positive), they dislike risks (negative). A game being easy can still have challenges, but it wont have risk. A game being hard is challenging and it will have risk.

The number 1 advice given to people is to go "yes and" or "no but". Both cases reduce risk.


Challenge implicit the possibility of failure. There is no challenge without risk of failure.

Also many people like risks, they call it as bet.

If you are playing without risk of loose you aren't playing you are being manipulated with an illusion of challenge. If there's no challenge why matter? You just don't need to do anything. Just Strike your opponent until you win without care (a thing that's basically happen in 5e many times). Why do you care to be strong if you will win? Why do you care to prepare yourself if you will certainly win? Just do anything and watch the story that's don't really care about you.


It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.


YuriP wrote:

Challenge implicit the possibility of failure. There is no challenge without risk of failure.

Also many people like risks, they call it as bet.

If you are playing without risk of loose you aren't playing you are being manipulated with an illusion of challenge. If there's no challenge why matter? You just don't need to do anything. Just Strike your opponent until you win without care (a thing that's basically happen in 5e many times). Why do you care to be strong if you will win? Why do you care to prepare yourself if you will certainly win? Just do anything and watch the story that's don't really care about you.

You seem to really care about strict balance and being challenged in your gaming experiences but most people don't care. Super Mario World is a pretty easy game, but the mechanics are fun enough that I'll still play it through every now and again and some people take that even further to speed running or doing other self-imposed challenges to further extend their enjoyment of the game. Most people just want a game that's easy to find, easy enough to play, and fun when they are playing it.

They don't look that closely at the math and might just run a build they saw on some YouTube video. Even more core gamers, like my own group, can play D&D as a chill experience with MtG, board games, and gaming on the Switch serving as our competitive outlets. As the GM I do design custom scenarios to challenge the group when the story calls for it and have done some house-ruling around advantage and being revived multiple times in a battle. Beyond that, I do rule on the fly mixing in PF1 and 3.x rules so as to flesh out areas that aren't well explored in 5e but I think that's the mark of a good GM and a good system.

5e is pretty soft and has some room to bend before it breaks. I feel like PF2 bends less and doesn't break as easily but if it ever were to break it'd be unplayable due to how designed for strictly balanced tactical combat it is.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.

That certainly wasn't our experience

Vigilant Seal

The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.

That certainly wasn't our experience

Which part? Wasn't something you wanted to do on Saturday night? Or never had a TPK and it wasn't challenging?

Or that it actually was super easy?


3-Body Problem wrote:
You seem to really care about strict balance and being challenged in your gaming experiences but most people don't care. Super Mario World is a pretty easy game, but the mechanics are fun enough that I'll still play it through every now and again and some people take that even further to speed running or doing other self-imposed challenges to further extend their enjoyment of the game. Most people just want a game that's easy to find, easy enough to play, and fun when they are playing it.

I like the Super Mario World example.

Like 5e, I don't think Super Mario World isn't a particularly easy game. In fact the first experiences include a good number of deaths caused by their own mistakes. But over time you master the game, to the point where it becomes trivial for you.

At this point you either start to self-impose limits and challenges, which in the case of 5e would be the banning of appealing mechanics and varying degrees of homebrew, or you change to another system. Which would be the case if it comes to PF2 for example, or to any other system we have out there.

OK, someone might say "but I think PF2 is too hard" or "I think in PF2 you die too easy", I really don't agree, almost always that's players used to how easy 5e is compared to PF2 and having the initial shock of difference between games. Something that is lost as you master the game. The difficulty of a PF2 doesn't even compare to things like CoC, and the risk of death is nowhere near the 1-hit kills possible on ultra-realistic systems like G.U.R.P.S.

3-Body Problem wrote:
They don't look that closely at the math and might just run a build they saw on some YouTube video. Even more core gamers, like my own group, can play D&D as a chill experience with MtG, board games, and gaming on the Switch serving as our competitive outlets.

So MtG is a very exotic example. It's a game that works well in 2 scenarios. In the completely casual scenario where each person basically plays with the deck they bought, without worrying about optimizing it and the other is in the case of T3 and T4 tournaments, where 90% of the game was banned!

This happens precisely because Wizards knows that players start to dominate the game very quickly and that's why they are constantly rebalancing the game.

In 5e we have something relatively similar to Unearthed Arcana, only less imposing but it is something that puts a lot of pressure on the GM and even the players with time and questionable effectiveness. In the end, it serves more to cheer players up with news.

In addition, just like the aforementioned board games and even the Switch games, you now have a competitive scenario, where the challenge becomes PvP, which leads to a whole range of unrelated issues.

3-Body Problem wrote:
5e is pretty soft and has some room to bend before it breaks. I feel like PF2 bends less and doesn't break as easily but if it ever were to break it'd be unplayable due to how designed for strictly balanced tactical combat it is.

At first sight it seems to be so. But in practice no.

In practice the 5e breaks very easily and you have little north to know how flexible you can be without breaking the game even more easily and losing control.

PF2, on the other hand, seems to be very rigid, but in practice its modular design and the normally clear and simple rules make it easy for you to flex it quite safely. Even when something broken appears, as is the case with Inner Radiance Torrent, you can solve it simply by banning only the broken part, or you can easily understand and fix the problem.


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YuriP wrote:

Challenge implicit the possibility of failure. There is no challenge without risk of failure.

It's not my intention to move on another topic but, that's one interesting one.

From what I happened to see, it's not rare that parties just play without having in mind failures.

This may be anything:

1) a gm who fumbles, cheating on results to make things easier, to make the story proceed the way they want or not to kill a character.

2) players expecting to always be able to push forward ( random party, not caring about rules or builds, while knowing for sure there will always a way for their character to be brought back).

3) no challenge at all ( what comes out putting together the first 2 points is obviously a fake scenario which might seem challenging, but that in reality it isn't, as the result is always a win).

2e brought us a boardgame like system, which indeed involves a higher chance of failure ( especially if characters are deliberately, or maybe because of inexperienced players, create in a bad, eventually just flavor oriented, way), but I have the feel the majority of groups simply do not consider characters as characters, but the whole game as some sort of dungeon crawler with no chance of failure.

I do agree on what you wrote after ( "why would you worry if you chose to play a rigged game? Just keep pushing forward"), but it's also true that sometimes people like to just be entertained.

Shifting the brain on off and enjoy both story and fight, without thinking whether they did it in a legit way or not.

After all, nobody has the right to tell another person how to have fun.


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The main risk of a TTRPG is boredom or burnout with the current campaign, either the players or the DM or both. As long as all parties are still having fun, progress should be inevitable. It's the making it fun all the way 20 for all parties involved where the real work happens for both the players and the DM. A system that facilitates that is what we all look for along with a DM that can make a campaign sing well enough we all enjoy the song until the finale.


YuriP wrote:
OK, someone might say "but I think PF2 is too hard" or "I think in PF2 you die too easy", I really don't agree, almost always that's players used to how easy 5e is compared to PF2 and having the initial shock of difference between games. Something that is lost as you master the game. The difficulty of a PF2 doesn't even compare to things like CoC, and the risk of death is nowhere near the 1-hit kills possible on ultra-realistic systems like G.U.R.P.S.

I don't feel like the issue with PF2 is that it doesn't get its difficulty right. It's completely acceptable in those terms even if it's probably a little hard than a new and/or very casual group might enjoy.

The issue I have is that it seems all too often to give the illusion of choice without actually allowing for much of what you build for to really matter. Too many classes have obvious trap feats and feat taxes and you can't build out of that box to recreate fictional characters all that well. It feels very boardgamey in ways that make me think I'd rather play something else for an RPG and a boardgame for balanced consistently challenging combat.

Quote:
So MtG is a very exotic example. It's a game that works well in 2 scenarios. In the completely casual scenario where each person basically plays with the deck they bought, without worrying about optimizing it and the other is in the case of T3 and T4 tournaments, where 90% of the game was banned!

You seem to be forgetting Commander played with a solid pod of players. We proxy our decks and maintain a strong list of house bans so we can go as hard as we find enjoyable without too much worry.

Quote:
In addition, just like the aforementioned board games and even the Switch games, you now have a competitive scenario, where the challenge becomes PvP, which leads to a whole range of unrelated issues.

There are co-op board games. We play a fair bit of Gloomhaven and used to play Pandemic Legacy.

Quote:
In practice the 5e breaks very easily and you have little north to know how flexible you can be without breaking the game even more easily and losing control.

It hasn't broken for me yet and if it does I'll rule zero whatever breaks it and move on.

Quote:
PF2, on the other hand, seems to be very rigid, but in practice its modular design and the normally clear and simple rules make it easy for you to flex it quite safely. Even when something broken appears, as is the case with Inner Radiance Torrent, you can solve it simply by banning only the broken part, or you can easily understand and fix the problem.

The issue would be if any class or archetype(s) starts to power creep things. With how tight the math is that could invalidate a lot of current content. You could ban it but given how balance-focused the PF2 player base is that could be terrible for Paizo and the game as a whole.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Trixleby wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.

That certainly wasn't our experience

Which part? Wasn't something you wanted to do on Saturday night? Or never had a TPK and it wasn't challenging?

Or that it actually was super easy?

It was so easy that the GMs were tripling HP on monsters that should have already been beyond deadly, but also having done it on a Saturday night, I can testify that it made the experience less present than better games.


3-Body Problem wrote:
The issue I have is that it seems all too often to give the illusion of choice without actually allowing for much of what you build for to really matter. Too many classes have obvious trap feats and feat taxes and you can't build out of that box to recreate fictional characters all that well. It feels very boardgamey in ways that make me think I'd rather play something else for an RPG and a boardgame for balanced consistently challenging combat.

I've seen a lot of people complaining about this problem of the illusion of choice in PF2, even though it is verifiable in theory. In practice I don't see it happening.

As much as it can be said that in the end characters of the same type have more or less the same chances, average damage, AC and etc. In practice, form matters.
I have a group that has a barbarian and a fighter and as much as we know that their offensive capabilities are very close, the experience of their players is very different in practice.

As for the question of recreating fictional characters. I'm sorry, but this is often an invalid comparison between games. It's not like 5th edition classes, subclasses, and feats are any better. OK that not all character concepts aren't met exactly as people would like even with diverse class options, races, archetypes and feats. But this is far more flexible than what we have in 5e.

What I usually see people getting frustrated is people trying to port a character from 5e to PF2 and many times it doesn't work out (something I always recommend when changing systems, which is, make a new character based on the available options on PF2, don't try to port, it can be a very frustrating experience). But have you tried the opposite? Ever considered how difficult if not impossible it is to port a character from PF2 to 5e?

Comparisons between systems often make very little sense, as they not only have different solutions for different problems, but many times people compare systems with completely different battens. A lot of times it's the guy complaining about PF2 not working the way he wanted it to work, but in 5e it did, forgetting all the variants, homebrews and third party stuff he used to make it work, ignoring his own frustrations and mechanics of bad classes that he just abstracted and doesn't even remember them anymore.

So I agree that yes, there are some bad or taxable feats in PF2, but it would be strange that in a game that already has 3936 feats there were no bad feats. The strange thing is people forget that 5e also has bad feats, and even classes and subclasses full of bad mechanics.

It's like the guy who complained to some posts behind the Ranger from PF2, comparing it to some Ranger alternative from Unearthed Arcana! That makes it difficult! Compare with that disgrace you have in the PHB of the 5e and not with a test material.

If we're going to compare different systems using homebrew and 3rd party then let's do it decently. Also include material made for Pathfinder Compatibility. There you'll find all kinds of material and solutions to do many things that you wouldn't even consider possible in PF2, or even that solve problems that the official system didn't solve.

I see a lot of people here saying how wonderful 5e is and how disappointing PF2 is. But for some reason they are still here, and many are not even here to give constructive criticism, it's just to complain, as if they were forced to play PF2. Something that I have no doubt that maybe they really are, that for some reason maybe they are a minority at a TTRPG table that was forced to abandon their beloved 5e to play a PF2 that the majority of the table or the GM preferred to use instead.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Re: 5e warlocks - I don't think I'll ever understand the mentality that leads someone to always play the same class, no matter what. When I play RPGs I want different experiences. I try to play a different ancestry and class every time I create a character. In the last five years of 5e I have played a dwarven cleric, tiefling wizard, halfling monk and human barbarian. I will keep switching as long as I have new options to try. To each their own, I suppose, but if one of my players did this in my game I would have a talk with them and challenge them to try something new, if only so that the game doesn't get stale, if not for them then for everyone else at the table, including me. This is a game of make-believe, why limit yourself?


The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Trixleby wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.

That certainly wasn't our experience

Which part? Wasn't something you wanted to do on Saturday night? Or never had a TPK and it wasn't challenging?

Or that it actually was super easy?

It was so easy that the GMs were tripling HP on monsters that should have already been beyond deadly, but also having done it on a Saturday night, I can testify that it made the experience less present than better games.

Well shockingly, your experience isn’t universal.

Perhaps your group has a higher level of system mastery than the average group that enjoys 5e more.

The fact remains, people can and have experienced TPKs in 5e. Not that I think “can have a tpk” is a particularly interesting selling point of any system.


Same for PF2 I have a table where after 10 levels they didn't experienced a TPK in PF2.
OK I give them 3 hero points per session (except when someone arrives late where I penalty him removing a hero point) and allow players to use them to reroll opponents critical (this helps a lot to prevent unexpected take downs).

Usually experienced TTRPG players are more cautious with their actions anyway.

Now, to be honest, to TPK 5e players have to play very recklessly. To get to the point where no one in the round heals a fallen player, or an event occurs that kills all players at the same time.


YuriP wrote:

Same for PF2 I have a table where after 10 levels they didn't experienced a TPK in PF2.

OK I give them 3 hero points per session (except when someone arrives late where I penalty him removing a hero point) and allow players to use them to reroll opponents critical (this helps a lot to prevent unexpected take downs).

Usually experienced TTRPG players are more cautious with their actions anyway.

Now, to be honest, to TPK 5e players have to play very recklessly. To get to the point where no one in the round heals a fallen player, or an event occurs that kills all players at the same time.

Big bad with a 3 attack multi attack could solve that pretty easily

Move to a weakened character
Attack one drops to 0
Attack two auto crits for 2 failed death saves
Attack three slain.

The same can be achieved without the multi attack by simply having more than one enemy with back to back in the initiative before another character goes that can heal.

A TPK would be pretty reckless, but the above scenario is relatively easy to see happen, it would just need bad positioning from a player, which is one of the areas a lot of players, even experienced ones, struggle with.


Fumarole wrote:
Re: 5e warlocks - I don't think I'll ever understand the mentality that leads someone to always play the same class, no matter what. When I play RPGs I want different experiences. I try to play a different ancestry and class every time I create a character. In the last five years of 5e I have played a dwarven cleric, tiefling wizard, halfling monk and human barbarian. I will keep switching as long as I have new options to try. To each their own, I suppose, but if one of my players did this in my game I would have a talk with them and challenge them to try something new, if only so that the game doesn't get stale, if not for them then for everyone else at the table, including me. This is a game of make-believe, why limit yourself?

The reason I see get thrown around a lot is because Warlock with its invocations offers more choice than the other classes so it ends up feeling more fun


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Trixleby wrote:
The-Magic-Sword wrote:
Chromantic Durgon <3 wrote:

It won’t though

You’re overstating how easy it is in 5e to make your point.

You can have a TPK in 5e, it’s an easier game but it isn’t completely without challenge and a low level challenge is still a challenge

For a lot of people it’s exactly what they’re looking for on a Saturday night with their friends.

That certainly wasn't our experience

Which part? Wasn't something you wanted to do on Saturday night? Or never had a TPK and it wasn't challenging?

Or that it actually was super easy?

It was so easy that the GMs were tripling HP on monsters that should have already been beyond deadly, but also having done it on a Saturday night, I can testify that it made the experience less present than better games.

Well shockingly, your experience isn’t universal.

Perhaps your group has a higher level of system mastery than the average group that enjoys 5e more.

The fact remains, people can and have experienced TPKs in 5e. Not that I think “can have a tpk” is a particularly interesting selling point of any system.

I mean sure, the world is a big place, you can find an example of anything. What about this statement is supposed to be valuable? Most groups who play 5e have never tried another system, we have virtually no way of knowing what the retention rate of people who try both is, and the degree of system mastery of the average 5e group is also unknowable-- but it takes vanishingly little system mastery to break 5e, truthfully it takes more system mastery not to break 5e.

Short of like, people who think the height of roleplaying is to paraphrase 'I do nothing' when their turn comes up, or who think the only way to not be a munchkin is to unironically play strength wizards, or a GM who left the encounter building guidelines behind long ago in favor of pumping the encounter and praying, I'm not sure how you would experience meaningful failure states in 5e.

Literally, "I'm gonna play an elf who shoots a bow good" where the player 'that sounds right' themselves into taking elven accuracy and sharpshooter is an optimal build. Wizard with high intelligence who says "I cast fireball" is also an optimal build.

Is your purpose to police the lack of fun others have with 5e or something?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Pieces-Kai wrote:
Fumarole wrote:
Re: 5e warlocks - I don't think I'll ever understand the mentality that leads someone to always play the same class, no matter what. When I play RPGs I want different experiences. I try to play a different ancestry and class every time I create a character. In the last five years of 5e I have played a dwarven cleric, tiefling wizard, halfling monk and human barbarian. I will keep switching as long as I have new options to try. To each their own, I suppose, but if one of my players did this in my game I would have a talk with them and challenge them to try something new, if only so that the game doesn't get stale, if not for them then for everyone else at the table, including me. This is a game of make-believe, why limit yourself?
The reason I see get thrown around a lot is because Warlock with its invocations offers more choice than the other classes so it ends up feeling more fun

I definitely think that's one component. It's a bit less intimidating than a wizard, but still offers a lot of internal flexibility and a good gradient of playstyles between different invocations, patrons, and pacts.

Contrast with, say, Barbarian which has fairly static combat routines regardless of specialization and is the class I see people fall off the hardest in 5e.


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YuriP wrote:

Same for PF2 I have a table where after 10 levels they didn't experienced a TPK in PF2.

OK I give them 3 hero points per session (except when someone arrives late where I penalty him removing a hero point) and allow players to use them to reroll opponents critical (this helps a lot to prevent unexpected take downs).

Usually experienced TTRPG players are more cautious with their actions anyway.

Now, to be honest, to TPK 5e players have to play very recklessly. To get to the point where no one in the round heals a fallen player, or an event occurs that kills all players at the same time.

In 5E you're either ranged or you're dead if the DM is mean. The biggest issue I saw in 5E is the ability to kite. If a monster didn't have ranged ability and decent mobility, you could kite it and kill it, even a tarrasque if you had the room.

If a monster had a lot of ranged firepower along with mobility, you had to be very nice as a DM or you would wipe a party out.

If you allow the Sharpshooter feat, game becomes trivial. Bless and Sharpshooter should crush almost anything you fight on top of kiting. You could make a whole party of warlocks or ranged combatants with Sharpshooter and maybe a bard or bless caster and you've won 5E.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
In 5E you're either ranged or you're dead if the DM is mean. The biggest issue I saw in 5E is the ability to kite. If a monster didn't have ranged ability and decent mobility, you could kite it and kill it, even a tarrasque if you had the room.

That's just false. You get a move action and attack action. If you stop to shoot, a creature can double move and have you in melee. If you attempt to move away, they get an attack of opportunity. If you Disengage, you don't get an Attack action.

That having been said, Rogue and some classes can get a Disengage as a Bonus action and they could move away and attack, but then you just move up to them and attack.

You can only kite if you can Dash as a Bonus action. Guess who gets to do that? An 8th level Revised Ranger. And even then, the Ranger is going to be subject to AoO's.

Quote:
If a monster had a lot of ranged firepower along with mobility, you had to be very nice as a DM or you would wipe a party out.

And no, monster with ranged fire power is still subject to the same constraints. Attacking and moving you cannot move as far as moving twice. So eventually you're going to get caught and atacked.

Quote:
If you allow the Sharpshooter feat, game becomes trivial. Bless and Sharpshooter should crush almost anything you fight on top of kiting. You could make a whole party of warlocks or ranged combatants with Sharpshooter and maybe a bard or bless caster and you've won 5E.

I'm not an expert on 5e, but Sharpshooter only works on "weapons." Last I checked, Warlkocks can only make "melee" weapons. So unless there's a variant that allows them to make Ranged weapons (and there very well could be), Sharpshooter won't help a Warlock.

Also bless is a 1d4. It' won't erase the -5 you take on Sharpshooter. And the likelihood that you're going to get a party that is all Ranged weapon dealers with Sharpsooter is so low, the game shoudln't bother trying to address that. It's easy enough for GM to counter that with tactics or envronment. Finally, Bless is a concentration spell which the GM can easily disable by just attacking your bard until they fail their Concentration check..

By 8th level, we've had a ton of brutal battles and frequently felt we were on the verge of a TPK. We've had to flat out run away from at least one fight. Our group has a couple of players who frequently make bad tactical decisions and we get punished for it. Having played 5e for the last two years, anyone who says 5e isn't challenging has a GM who has literally no clue what they are doing. Of course, I'm playing homebrew, so I can't speak to the published content, but unless you're in some fort of League play, a GM can easily modify published content to adjust difficulty.

I'll also add one aspect of PF2 difficulty comes from Bosses' +to hit bonuses and their propensity to crit for massive damage. IMO, that isn't the "fun" type of difficulty. It makes a boss combat feel more like just straight up roulette/gambling. Fear of the RNG isn't a compelling aspect of Pf2, IMO.

A GM can kill players and stress parties in any version of these games if they want to. The problem with PF1 and to some extent 5e is that if you have a part with some min/maxers, they set the bar so high that anyone who isn't at that level is likely to get killed in order for you challenge the best party.


Most Monsters in 5E get a single move like the players. You keep moving away from the monster if you have room starting the fight far enough away they can't close the distance easily. You hit them with ranged attacks while doing so.

I watched this done with a huge demonic creature where the creature was unable to attack the PCs along a huge, miles long cavern tunnel where they kept moving back and hitting the monster with ranged attacks.

I don't have a group that makes bad tactical decisions very often. They did stuff like cast bless then have the bard hide just to maintain the bless. They built multiple archers with Sharpshooter and hybrid paladin/warlock/sorcerers with ranged firepower because they figured out very early on smashing things from range while moving away from them made the game very easy.

They also learned pop up healing was quite effective with the bonus action heal of the cleric or any other that can pick up healing word can keep a party up a sufficient amount to kill almost anything.

Our hardest fights were dragons because they were highly mobile, could nuke multiple group members with breath, and if in their lair use fairly harsh lair actions.

Even they became easier because we started to use the ritual to set up that hut you can move in and out of that blocks exterior attacks and can be set up for a low resource cost in tunnels or entrances. You can move in and out of the hut every other turn or every turn if a rogue. You need 2 to 4 levels of rogue to pick up the dash ability if you allow multiclassing.

5E broke with items, multiclassing, and feats allowed.


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N N 959 wrote:
I'm not an expert on 5e, but Sharpshooter only works on "weapons." Last I checked, Warlkocks can only make "melee" weapons. So unless there's a variant that allows them to make Ranged weapons (and there very well could be), Sharpshooter won't help a Warlock.

There's an invocation for blade warlocks that lets them make bows and crossbows, so there's a potential build for it there. Sharpshooter definitely won't apply to Eldritch Blast, though.

N N 959 wrote:
Also bless is a 1d4. It won't erase the -5 you take on Sharpshooter.

Typically Sharpshooter builds finagle archery fighting style somehow, so between that and Bless they're at +1d4-3, often with advantage.

Don't have anything else to say about what you've said. There are still weaknesses in the strategy, and the floor to be considered effective in 5e is low enough that it's been rare to see parties built entirely around it, in my experience. I think reliably building encounters against high-op parties is still more difficult than in 2e, at least for encounters that are supposed to be challenging.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
Most Monsters in 5E get a single move like the players. You keep moving away from the monster if you have room starting the fight far enough away they can't close the distance easily. You hit them with ranged attacks while doing so.

The issue NN959 is describing is that the monster can use its action to Dash, and if the PCs want to maintain the same distance from the monster, they'll usually have to Dash as well, which is mutually exclusive with using their action to Attack, by default. Features like Cunning Action help with that, although Haste is also pretty generous with movement speed and extra actions.

If a PC starts 30ft away from the enemy and kites by moving and Attacking, it ends its turn 60ft away - at which point the enemy can Dash 60ft and end adjacent to them (assuming everyone has 30ft speed). The PC can move away and Attack again, but will take an AoO, and then on its turn the enemy can close the gap by moving once and use its Multiattack.

I obviously don't know exactly how your demogorgon encounter played out, but between the longbow's max range of 600ft, the demogorgon's 50ft speed (for 100 with a Dash), 22 AC, 400-odd HP, 120ft-range Gaze ability, and Legendary Actions allowing it to attack or use its Gaze when it's not its turn, I'm having trouble squaring the circle as far as kiting went. Was Haste involved? Were multiple party members built to use Dash as a bonus action? How many rounds did it take to whittle its health down?

quick line break

More to the point of the original thread topic, I haven't played 5e in at least 3 years, but I wouldn't mind doing so again. Within my group (which I run 2e for), one player GMs 5e for her housemates and another is in one or two online 5e games he got into through LFG sites. The group's got a couple optimizers (including me) but on average leans more casual, and doesn't generally have a problem with 5e. One player was added recently and is a more headstrong 5e-to-2e convert who has no desire to play 5e again. We've played lighter systems in the past and had a good enough time with them, and probably will continue to try different systems out from time to time.

I agree with previous sentiments voiced that it's "good enough" for a lot of people as far as casual Saturday night games, or for groups that cleave more to roleplay than tactics or character building. And that people often start and stick with 5e because of name recognition and popularity and inertia, provided they don't come to a breaking point in how they feel about its design.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:

In 5E you're either ranged or you're dead if the DM is mean. The biggest issue I saw in 5E is the ability to kite. If a monster didn't have ranged ability and decent mobility, you could kite it and kill it, even a tarrasque if you had the room.

In D&D5 you can survive Ok in melee as you can push your armour class to unhitable levels. But D&D5 ranged attacks as as strong as melee.

PF2 has an action cost to move, which ranged characters can often avoid. So ranged attacks have to be a bit weaker here to compensate for this.

In D&D5 it is the spell saves that get you. There are enough incapacitating saves versus Int or Cha that very few people cover that GMs can take down characters if they want. PCs then gravitate towards the Bless spell and Paladin auras. But that cuts down character choice. Being all in a small radius is also bad for your health.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
I watched this done with a huge demonic creature where the creature was unable to attack the PCs along a huge, miles long cavern tunnel where they kept moving back and hitting the monster with ranged attacks.

lol. So the GM put a monster in a "miles long cavern" with a party that was built for ranged kiting and you're blaming the system?


N N 959 wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I watched this done with a huge demonic creature where the creature was unable to attack the PCs along a huge, miles long cavern tunnel where they kept moving back and hitting the monster with ranged attacks.

lol. So the GM put a monster in a "miles long cavern" with a party that was built for ranged kiting and you're blaming the system?

Yes. The monster was a powerful demon. In PF2 such powerful demons have vastly superior mobility and ranged spellcasting powers to counter such simple tactics like kiting.

I was running Out of the Abyss. Weakest demons I've ever seen in any edition of D&D. Completely pathetic.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I watched this done with a huge demonic creature where the creature was unable to attack the PCs along a huge, miles long cavern tunnel where they kept moving back and hitting the monster with ranged attacks.

lol. So the GM put a monster in a "miles long cavern" with a party that was built for ranged kiting and you're blaming the system?

Yes. The monster was a powerful demon. In PF2 such powerful demons have vastly superior mobility and ranged spellcasting powers to counter such simple tactics like kiting.

I was running Out of the Abyss. Weakest demons I've ever seen in any edition of D&D. Completely pathetic.

Our GM stopped that campaign after we started taking down the demons we were supposed to be running away from. He said the plot didn't make any sense anymore.


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These moments are where I miss this forum the most not having some kind of smiley or meme style reaction. lol


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Gortle wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I watched this done with a huge demonic creature where the creature was unable to attack the PCs along a huge, miles long cavern tunnel where they kept moving back and hitting the monster with ranged attacks.

lol. So the GM put a monster in a "miles long cavern" with a party that was built for ranged kiting and you're blaming the system?

Yes. The monster was a powerful demon. In PF2 such powerful demons have vastly superior mobility and ranged spellcasting powers to counter such simple tactics like kiting.

I was running Out of the Abyss. Weakest demons I've ever seen in any edition of D&D. Completely pathetic.

Our GM stopped that campaign after we started taking down the demons we were supposed to be running away from. He said the plot didn't make any sense anymore.

Glad I'm not the only one. It was ridiculous. 5E has very limited design parameters which limit what they can do without breaking the game.

Works well enough for new players or those who want a fast casual game. To make that system do well, you have to put a lot of work in like Mercer does on Critical Role. PF2 is much better to DM out of the box and offers a moderate level of tactical complexity for players with moderate to advanced experience.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
YuriP wrote:
Now, to be honest, to TPK 5e players have to play very recklessly. To get to the point where no one in the round heals a fallen player, or an event occurs that kills all players at the same time.

I think this is largely accurate based on my experiences. I have not experienced a single TPK in any game of 5e I have played in or ran. In fact, I've never even seen a character death in games I've participated in.

My wife has played in one game where she saw a TPK, but it was literally the first game session in a homebrew game and the DM put them up against something like a 4th level Bugbear (who also had a bunch of gobbo friends), which (predictably) wiped the floor with the entire party, one-shotting players left and right. That one was just a pure DM flub - the encounter was far, far beyond a group of 1st level PCs.

With a competent party and DM, I think TPKs will be few and far between with most groups, especially if you exclude outliers caused by PCs involved in encounters they have no place being near.

That said, I've yet to see a TPK in PF2e either, although there have been some VERY close calls. Most notably was Extinction Curse with the flipping lion encounter...ouch. We were down to 1 PC, the wizard, with 3 hp left when the last enemy was downed. We legitimately thought we were going to see a TPK and the cheers when we somehow pulled it off were something else.


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I love 5e, but once my real-life group separated it’s been hard to enjoy. I’ve tried running 5e online, but I just don’t have a fun time playing it with strangers. I think a part of that is because 5e is a far more loose and relaxed system with no really good focus. Every time I’ve played with strangers I just seem to lose the “game” side of role playing game.

I haven’t played Pathfinder yet, I have read some of the books though, but I hope Pathfinder’s focus on the actual game system (and it’s really cool adventure paths) will give something a bunch of strangers can unite behind.

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