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  1. - Top - End - #31

    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    By placing the expected capabilities and damage output of characters within a very clearly bounded range.
    How do the feat progression changes do that? One of the big trends in PF is an absolutely explosion of fiddly little nobs for characters to turn. That's exactly the opposite of what you would want to do if you were trying to keep people stuck in a well-defined power range.

    If you have a look at most of those spells, many have been nerfed to hell, only really being useful if the target crit fails their save. Scrying for example, explicitly says you cannot use what you see to teleport, and the scrying sensor also doesn't move unless the target crit fails, so if they're on the move, you quickly lose your target. Oh, and if they crit succeed, they instead get a glimpse of you and know your rough distance and direction, so while on the surface players appear to have all the former agency that they did, but really they don't.
    Are we talking about PF1 or PF2? My comments were in reference to PF1, which has a version of Scrying that seems broadly pretty similar to the 3e one. That said, the fact that Scrying exists at all as an ability PCs can simply use causes problems for AP design. Yes, it could fail. But it could also succeed, allowing the PCs to get information that lets them sequence-break.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Honestly, in that regard, dnd5e and pf2e are actually more video gamey than 4e.
    4e was never like a video game. The abundance of interrupts means it does not play well without face-to-face communication. 4e was a bunch of things that work better at the table than on a monitor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Fixing 3E starts by realizing that the overwhelming majority of players aren't hardcore forum optimizers. What casual players want from a sequel is vastly different from what hardcore forum optimizers want. PF fixes the former (and rather successfully, too), and therefore doesn't appeal to the latter. Various other systems have attempted the latter, but not really succesfully.
    From a causal player's perspective, PF presents a daunting combinatorial explosion of choices, some of which are bad.

    If you got in early enough, you may have been introduced to these choices gradually enough that you've mastered the system -- but it's not someplace I'd send a new group without a seasoned guide.

    5e actually fixes that, and is where I'd send new casual players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    This stuff, usually considered ribbon abilities, are usually the part of the flavor of being a dwarf, but unlikely to come up in gameplay nearly as much as being tough will. So the player is pushed toward taking the more powerful but often less thematic racial choices. Which makes an optimally player dwarf, not really have much to distinguish them as being particularly dwarven for awhile. Thus -I assume- where Xervous statement of them feeling like blobs of stats rather than distinct races.

    Personally, I kinda agree. I do like the Racial Feats and the ability to tweak your race a bit. But Iíd personally try to find a way to get those flavorful but not particularly effective racial abilities in for free.
    Just to add to this, using the word "ribbon" for this stuff comes from the 5e designers.

    Abilities like a Rogue speaking Thieves' Cant, which is flavorful but not powerful, are described as "ribbons". They're intended to give flavor without adding much power.

    I would definitely agree that a Dwarf should by default get thematic stone and crafting ribbons. It should be possible to trade them out, of course -- character customization is great -- but NOT possible to trade flavor for more raw power. When that choice is possible, it becomes inevitable, and that reduces the game.

    Like, if you wanted to be a Dwarf raised by a pack of wild humans, you might lose your Dwarven cultural ribbons and instead gain some ribbons from the human regional background choices.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Which is pretty much how Pathfinder handles it with Alternate Racial Traits. PF2 is a step BACKWARDS in that regard.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    From a causal player's perspective, PF presents a daunting combinatorial explosion of choices, some of which are bad.
    My point is not that PF is the most approachable system for novice players, but that PF largely fixes what casual players complained about in 3E. And largely does not fix what hardcore forum optimizers complain about in 3E, but that was never its goal in the first place.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Were these justÖcompletely unfamiliar to your players? Or too complex?

    A bit of both. I love them to bits, but all of them want to relax and chill out while playing, half of them greatly dislike character creation, and the other half, while enjoying that part, still dislike "fiddly" mechanics.

    We set up a pathfinder two-shot when we went on one of our boardgame week holidays, and I asked them if they wanted help building characters. They said no. They were all veteran 5e players, with some 4e experience, and experience with a couple of other systems. I wasnt going to push the issue.

    One person built their character correctly. One. He built a gunslinger, and found the archetype he wanted, and all the right feats to make it do what he intended. The cleric picked well, cleric, got as far as building it up to where a 5e cleric would be complete, and just didnt pick any domains or channel abilities. The uc rogue, my girlfriend as it happens (we were gamers before we were partners - shes not eye candy) basically didnt read the uc rogue sheet beyond sneak attack. Mid way through the first session, she asked if she could throw sand in someones face in combat, I asked if she had that talent, she said "what talent?" and then went "Oh my god, look at all these options!" when I showed her, and practically shut down. I cant even remember what the other 3 players took, but I do remember I had to fix something about every single one of the characters except the gunslinger. And in the total of 12 hours it took to run that 2 shot, never once did they remember flanking, or try to aid another, or correctly add a +2 bonus instead of rolling 2d20 and trying to claim the higher result.

    This was after we all sat down a week before and I talked over the differences between the 2 systems, specifically "there is no advantage".

    I might, MIGHT get SOME of them to agree to a game now that Foundry has a really good 3.5e character sheet. But never an in person game. They all still refuse, even if someone else agrees to run (and they have been fine with me running other systems too). And this is after we all played Starfinder on roll20 (which, while the system suffers from some major AC issues at mid levels, it still has the best damn character sheet I have ever seen!).

    3.P is scary for a LOT of 5e players. This group isnt dumb. 2 STEM PhDs, a STEM MPhil, a pure maths bachelor who is now a sysadmin, an architect, a chemical analyst, a patent clerk, and an accountant. Every single one has a maths mind. I am one of the PhDs and I am the slowest at mental maths. All of us code for fun. But 3.5e, even just core 3.5e (and the same is true of pathfinder) is just this... wall of rules. Many of which dont make sense because they were designed for the table top functionality, not for verisimilitude. Whereas 4e and 5e obfuscate that.

    They are all bored of 5e, but they are moving to PF2 and even back to 4e (which is so much easier on PC now) and staying away from 3.5e. I cant sell them on unique classes. I cant sell them on big numbers. I cant sell them on familiar classes. I cant sell them on customisability. I just cant sell them on anything.

    PF2 is not designed for us. Its designed for them. And they have issues with it, and its not perfect, and I think we all agree it probably could have done with a bit longer in the oven. But it was never the sequel to pathfinder. In the same way that 4e and 5e are not sequels to 3.5e. It was a new edition. A new game. Designed to leach the MASSIVE 5e playerbase who are starting to get frustrated with the slow release of content and the same limited options.
    Last edited by Albions_Angel; 2021-03-05 at 04:01 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I'm not really the target audience here, as I consider 3E D&D/Pathfinder to be the worst system I have ever actually played. But it seems to me like Paizo made enough changes to alienate their famously conservative playbase, without changing enough that people who didn't like their game to begin with would change their minds.

    I know that I tried making a fighter and a rogue to see what they're like and the quality of feats I had available put me off the system entirely. Instead of picking the feats I liked, I would pick the feats I disliked the least. The process does resemble 4E powers a lot, but the 4E spirit of letting martial characters do cool things with them is gone entirely. It didn't help that I tried to create a fighter with a two-handed finesse weapon and a rogue with a crossbow - such characters don't seem to have been in consideration for being viable. Then again this is Pathfinder, so really I have no one but myself to blame for expecting otherwise.

    Of course, this forum really isn't a very representative place, as it's perhaps the strongest bastion of 3.X/PF there is. People elsewhere seem to enjoy PF2E, which confuses me... but probably less so than enjoying PF1E, honestly. It's overshadowed by D&D 5E, but Paizo could release the most sublime, perfect RPG ever designed by human minds and it'd still be a bush next to 5E's sequoia.

    It seems that, as long as you stay in the expected lane (big burly fighter, stabby rogue, dual-wielding or archer ranger), PF2E is "safe" in that it's much harder to mess up your character than in PF1E. Feats are delivered in level-locked packages so you're not faced with a giant list every time you level up. This alone makes it a lot more palatable for new players... even if I still think the feats themselves are as enticing as bland oatmeal.
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-03-05 at 04:24 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Basically, what Pathfinder 2 should have been is Pathfinder...2.
    Instead, it's basically D&D 4.5.
    Since P2 and 4E share some of the same designers, an interesting question is whether P2 solves the issues people commonly had with 4E.

    As far as I can tell the answer is that yes it did, but in doing so it also removed large parts of what attracted people to 4E. So not a good score there
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I would have personally liked to see Paizo adopt and extend the Spheres of Might/Power system for p2. They opted to double down on vancian casting instead, leaving all the same narrative problems with playing a level 1 character who is supposed to be a necromancer or a time mage or a flash stepper, or any of dozens of other concepts you canít really pull off at all until level 5+.

    I get that the possibility of having someone with nothing but divination talents or whatever presents an issue to module developers who expect dimension door to be common at level 12, but frankly, thatís why we have a GM and not just a computer.

    With the doubling down on false choice through feat chains, I just gave up on paizo completely. Looking forward to seeing what Legendary gives us.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsuneymg View Post
    I would have personally liked to see Paizo adopt and extend the Spheres of Might/Power system for p2. They opted to double down on vancian casting instead, leaving all the same narrative problems with playing a level 1 character who is supposed to be a necromancer or a time mage or a flash stepper, or any of dozens of other concepts you canít really pull off at all until level 5+.

    I get that the possibility of having someone with nothing but divination talents or whatever presents an issue to module developers who expect dimension door to be common at level 12, but frankly, thatís why we have a GM and not just a computer.

    With the doubling down on false choice through feat chains, I just gave up on paizo completely. Looking forward to seeing what Legendary gives us.
    In all fairness, a Spheres-inspired system would require some changes to make it more newbie-friendly. As it is, I can see people being pushed away by having a dense list of talents they can take at every level.

    I also feel as though Spheres of Might have a similar problem to PF2E martial feats, which is to say, it's a lot of unimpressive rider effects mixed with some more interesting ones.
    Last edited by Morty; 2021-03-05 at 06:45 AM.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    One person built their character correctly. One. He built a gunslinger, and found the archetype he wanted, and all the right feats to make it do what he intended. The cleric picked well, cleric, got as far as building it up to where a 5e cleric would be complete, and just didnt pick any domains or channel abilities. The uc rogue, my girlfriend as it happens (we were gamers before we were partners - shes not eye candy) basically didnt read the uc rogue sheet beyond sneak attack. Mid way through the first session, she asked if she could throw sand in someones face in combat, I asked if she had that talent, she said "what talent?" and then went "Oh my god, look at all these options!" when I showed her, and practically shut down.
    It sounds like the added complexity of PF was unhelpful. Compared to pure 3.5 it adds archetypes, backgrounds, favored class bonuses, and the endless lists of variable class abilities. Even if I were a PF player, I wouldn't use PF to introduce players to 3.x. With pure 3.5 it's not that much more complex than 5e in a level 1 newb scenario -- all it adds is feat choice and skill rank allocation.
    Last edited by Elves; 2021-03-05 at 07:18 AM.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    One person built their character correctly. One. He built a gunslinger, and found the archetype he wanted, and all the right feats to make it do what he intended. The cleric picked well, cleric, got as far as building it up to where a 5e cleric would be complete, and just didnt pick any domains or channel abilities. The uc rogue, my girlfriend as it happens (we were gamers before we were partners - shes not eye candy) basically didnt read the uc rogue sheet beyond sneak attack. Mid way through the first session, she asked if she could throw sand in someones face in combat, I asked if she had that talent, she said "what talent?" and then went "Oh my god, look at all these options!" when I showed her, and practically shut down. I cant even remember what the other 3 players took, but I do remember I had to fix something about every single one of the characters except the gunslinger. And in the total of 12 hours it took to run that 2 shot, never once did they remember flanking, or try to aid another, or correctly add a +2 bonus instead of rolling 2d20 and trying to claim the higher result.

    This was after we all sat down a week before and I talked over the differences between the 2 systems, specifically "there is no advantage".
    It sounds to me like specifically focusing on 'there is no advantage' was not the way to approach this with your players.

    I'm not sure what relevance the advantage mechanic has to any of the issues you say cropped up EDIT: except the last 17 words of the entire paragraph.
    Last edited by FrogInATopHat; 2021-03-05 at 07:34 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    Mid way through the first session, she asked if she could throw sand in someones face in combat, I asked if she had that talent, she said "what talent?"
    Throwing sand in someone's face is a Dirty Trick maneuver, so you should simply have asked her to roll CMB. This doesn't need a talent.

    That she didn't even read the rogue class beyond the words "sneak attack" is not the system's fault, and it means that either she should have asked for help despite initially saying no to that, or you should have supported them better by checking the characters they'd made. Because yes, 3E/PF is complicated, but it's pretty easy to get new players into it with a bit of support, as they don't need to know most of the complications. Like, instead of pointing to the list of 1000+ feats, just ask them what they want to learn at low level, and suggest something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    all of them want to relax and chill out while playing, half of them greatly dislike character creation, and the other half, while enjoying that part, still dislike "fiddly" mechanics.
    While I can certainly sympathize with players who find 3E/PF too fiddly and having too many choices, I fail to see how P2 would appeal to those people. If anything, P2 is even more fiddly. Building, say, an elf rogue requires me to read elf feats, elf heritages (not the same thing), backgrounds (which largely don't do anything, but I don't know that in advance), a loooong list of "general" feats (which largely don't do anything either), subclasses, and only then do I get to the "class feats", basically watered-down versions of 4E powers. Building a 4E character is more exciting than that, and I don't even like 4E.

    (of course, by P2 logic throwing sand at somebody's eye would require a critical hit to do anything, meaning you get a 5% chance to succeed)
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    When I get a new edition of a game I expect it to be similar to previous editions, maybe slightly streamlined. I expect it to be written for fans of the old game, at least in significant part. So when I get the next edition of GURPS I will expect a point buy system with lots of fiddly advantages and disadvantages. If I buy the next Vampire I would expect a templated system that lets me buy powers, skills and stats with exp based on my template. I was presumably a fan of the old system or I wouldnít be buying the new one.

    This goes triple for pathfinder. Since the only reason most of us bought their stuff to begin with was a fondness for the d20 system. Iím relatively fond of their changes, but really all I cared about ever was more 3.5 style content. At their height the PF design team was maybe very slightly more game savvy than the 3.5 design team (after a decade of experience). They fixed some things ok, and their new classes and archetypes were more often balanced with each other around the T3 level. But they were still making T1s and T5s and pretending they were balanced.

    The very last thing I want a new game edition to do is follow the market leader. I could have just bought the market leader. I probably own the market leader. As it happens, I think 5e meets their design goals of tightened power curve with some character flexibility quite a bit better than PF2. (Because actual multiclassing provides more real flexibility than picking 30 feats most of which do nothing) But even if I thought it was as good I donít need something similar to the industry gorilla. 5e would win solely by virtue of better marketing and support.

    PF2 failed on every front. It did not produce a product recognizable as a successor to the first edition. It did nothing for the fans who only ever supported PF because they liked the 3.5 design philosophy. And it made a strictly worse version of a game everyone had.

    {Scrubbed}

    What should they have done? A ranking of classes by power level would have been nice. Partner with the best of the 3p designers to allow official support for spheres or DSP. Expand and refine useful subsystems like downtime rules and kingdom building. Fix the race builder. Give more support to Starfinder, maybe introduce more genre style spin-offs. Provide unchained versions of the late developed classes that were mostly low quality. Fix problem powers like planar binding similarly to how they fixed polymorph. PF1 has a number of systems I enjoy. Most of which could be improved with more options and development. (Actually I think the starfinder ship system should have borrowed a lot more from the downtime system, with different resources you can spend to build stuff).
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-05 at 10:34 AM.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Oh, I totally accept that I should have guided them more. But I was also getting push back about how they knew their RPGs and could handle it. I also tried to get them on 3.5 instead and... failed. "We have heard too many bad things about it".

    It might not have been sand throwing, I admit. This was some years ago now. I remember it WAS a rouge talent of some kind, as I had read through the class (all the classes) once I knew what people were going as.

    And they dont find PF2 more complex. Im sorry, as a veteran 3.5e player, I dont find PF2 more complex. Its is way, way simpler. Options are smaller, more limited. Feats matter less and are clearly defined. And yes, the 3rd party resource repositories are much better for PF2 than PF1 or 3.5e. Roll20 and other, less reputable, sites lay everything out methodically and easily. The PF1 srd is a nightmare to navigate, and most resources for 3.5e are in book form only. If you want to find out how this interacts with that, its a book diving exercise.

    All together, PF2 feels less complex simply because its a paired down RPG experience built with the internet in mind. And this is them saying it. They found the complexity of PF1, the shear amount of options, bonuses, everything else, even with me suggesting they stick to a few things, overwhelming. I have offered to try again, and to pregen characters. I have offered to run 3.5e, in person, with just the few books I have (PHB1, CAd, CA). But even that is far too much.

    Instead, having run through the entirety of 5e, they essentially want that, but a little bit more. PF2 is marketed as that. Not a replacement for PF1. An alternative to 5e.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    Instead, having run through the entirety of 5e, they essentially want that, but a little bit more. PF2 is marketed as that. Not a replacement for PF1. An alternative to 5e.
    That's a fair point. And even if posters like Gnaeus don't want a game that's comparable to the market leader, it makes commercial sense to do that anyway. Let's face it, PF1 players are just gonna PF1; and 3.5 players are just gonna 3.5.

    So how does P2 compare to 5E? The main differences I'm seeing are
    • In 5E, low-level monsters remain a threat to a high-level party (by design); this is not the case in P2. That's a matter of taste.
    • P2 seems to have more diversity in character building, but due to buffet-style multiclassing, 5E actually has more.
    • 5E has functional and effective buff/debuff/crowdcontrol magic, and P2 largely does not.
    • 5E largely leaves skill and out-of-combat rules to the GM; P2 has extensive rules for both, but I haven't checked how useful they are (other than P2's "legendary" rules being decidedly bland and mundane).


    Is that fair? Am I missing something?
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2021-03-05 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's a fair point. And even if posters like Gnaeus don't want a game that's comparable to the market leader, it makes commercial sense to do that anyway. Let's face it, PF1 players are just gonna PF1; and 3.5 players are just gonna 3.5.
    Does it though? If they had made a game with significantly different design philosophy I know I would have been more likely to buy both. As it stands, yes, Iím going to PF1, or 3.5 if I canít PF1. But I certainly would have bought the heck out of some 3.75. And if they went off in a more different direction, say a class/level system with limited point buy like Hackmaster, I would likely have bought it if I liked the design. It seems to me that finding a different niche from the market leader makes a ton more sense. My FB account is deluged daily by 3pp games that use the 5e system, with everything from ponies to anthros to ninjas. Some of them look decent and all look better than pf2. Making yourself one more competitor for the $ pot of people who like 5e seems like a super bad commercial idea to me. And bear in mind I paid for 5e and wonít pay for pf2. When I want dungeon crawl for low op players I have that game.

    And again, they had a player base that was buying their product. Most of whom now arenít. They would have been better off selling the PF name to DSP, then marketing their new, totally different game to the different market under a different name. How many people care about the PF brand other than gamers, who mostly have established feelings about it? If the folks who hate Paizo arenít more likely to buy your game, and the folks who love PF1 are angry, what does making PF 2nd edition get you?

    I understand that gaming companies have to reprint their core books every so often to keep the revenue stream alive. But you generally donít do that by dumping on your previous fans. And unfortunately one of the things Paizo always was bad about was taking fan feedback constructively. I donít think they even understood how infuriating their game design would be to a large % of their player base. Because when people told them so they were generally called munchkins and blocked from forums.
    Last edited by Gnaeus; 2021-03-05 at 10:17 AM.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Originally Posted by Gnaeus
    {Scrub the post, scrub the quote}
    This seems like an overreaction, to say the least, and doesnít really help anyone.

    A lot of people have lost their homes through no fault of their own, or are facing the real possibility of losing them, and I donít see how wishing this on certain individuals is beneficial. Thereís justÖno good reason for saying this.
    Last edited by truemane; 2021-03-05 at 10:35 AM.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Does it though? If they had made a game with significantly different design philosophy I know I would have been more likely to buy both. As it stands, yes, Iím going to PF1, or 3.5 if I canít PF1. But I certainly would have bought the heck out of some 3.75. And if they went off in a more different direction, say a class/level system with limited point buy like Hackmaster, I would likely have bought it if I liked the design. It seems to me that finding a different niche from the market leader makes a ton more sense. My FB account is deluged daily by 3pp games that use the 5e system, with everything from ponies to anthros to ninjas. Some of them look decent and all look better than pf2. Making yourself one more competitor for the $ pot of people who like 5e seems like a super bad commercial idea to me. And bear in mind I paid for 5e and wonít pay for pf2. When I want dungeon crawl for low op players I have that game.
    Whether or not it worked in this particular case, following the leader is certainly common enough to be an understandable market strategy. Just look at all the shared movie universes after the success of the MCU or all the crafting games after the success of Minecraft or all the superhero comics after the success of Superman. Obviously it doesn't always work, whether financially or critically, but it could certainly qualify as making commercial sense.
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  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Much like Pathfinder 1E, PF2E is also stuck in a trap of trying to provide "build diversity" while operating in a framework that severely curtails it. There's only so much diversity you can get with classes and levels - if they were willing to alter the class list even a little, maybe, but they're not. So any diversity has to come at the cost of piling up more and more feats and archetypes and generally trying to sidestep the system's core conceit (race + class + level). Insistence on some tried and true D&D traditions (finesse weapons must be terrible, rogues need to sneak attack and find traps, rangers need dual-wielding support) doesn't exactly help.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I haven't played any Pathfinder 2e. I started looking at it, and noticed there seemed to be a lot of mucking around with feats. My main complaint about Pathfinder 1e was that there was too much mucking around with feats.

    What I would have liked for it to have been? I'd have liked it to be 5e, but with casting scaled back up to the levels of 3.5/PF1. No special limits on spells above 6th level. Plenty of spells per day. Human Sorcerers getting 60 spells know at 20th level. That sort of thing.

    And then I would have liked Dreamscarred Press to come in and do a Psionics book. Wouldn't have minded whoever doing a Tome of Battle/Path of War book for it too.

    Oh, and I'd like a return to classes like Beguiler and Dread Necromancer. Classes that are "tier 3" in the sense that picking your class determines what you're good at. (I specify because not everyone has the same notion of what tiers mean.) Simple, training-wheels spellcasting classes for people who just want to stick to a theme and don't want to look through a boatload of options.

    But keep classes like Sorcerer, that are "tier 2" in the sense that you can still kind of turn yourself into whatever, even after picking your class. Essentially, a sort of generic "roll your own" class for things that don't fit neatly into the premade molds. Just make sure that trying to use the custom class to duplicate the concept of a pre-built class turns out worse, so the pre-built ones are actually viable choices. E.g., like how a Sorcerer built to focus on Enchantment and Illusion isn't as good at those things as a Beguiler.

    And absolutely no classes that can change their capabilities from day to day. Ö Well, okay, maybe one. But not like Cleric, Druid, and Wizard. More like the Chameleon PrC.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    It is my understanding that PF2 has actually sold well, though I don't have numbers to cite.

    I haven't gotten to play with it much; I am told that it plays better than it reads, but can't confirm from personal experience.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    What I would have liked for it to have been? I'd have liked it to be 5e, but with casting scaled back up to the levels of 3.5/PF1. No special limits on spells above 6th level. Plenty of spells per day. Human Sorcerers getting 60 spells know at 20th level. That sort of thing.
    Interesting.

    I'd have gone the other way, probably: 5e but with Spheres of Power and Path of War instead of D&D-ish spellcasting, so you're building on more equitable footing between muggles & magicians.

    Maybe allow D&D-ish spells as special PrC features. Maybe.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's a fair point. And even if posters like Gnaeus don't want a game that's comparable to the market leader, it makes commercial sense to do that anyway. Let's face it, PF1 players are just gonna PF1; and 3.5 players are just gonna 3.5.

    So how does P2 compare to 5E? The main differences I'm seeing are
    • In 5E, low-level monsters remain a threat to a high-level party (by design); this is not the case in P2. That's a matter of taste.
    • P2 seems to have more diversity in character building, but due to buffet-style multiclassing, 5E actually has more.
    • 5E has functional and effective buff/debuff/crowdcontrol magic, and P2 largely does not.
    • 5E largely leaves skill and out-of-combat rules to the GM; P2 has extensive rules for both, but I haven't checked how useful they are (other than P2's "legendary" rules being decidedly bland and mundane).


    Is that fair? Am I missing something?
    I am afraid you are still misunderstanding a little.

    They dont want a system with more variety than 5e. They just want more variety than 5e has currently. WotC are insanely slow with their content updates. My friends between then have played EVERY variation. A few of them are also feeling a little limited by the in game mechanics. PF2 DOES increase the play complexity, while also providing NEW classes, races, etc. Honestly, if PF2 has just pulled a PF1 and stuck with 5e mechanics, they STILL would have changed because its not another of the same class.

    5e has done insanely well. But its slow, and the more experienced players of it are getting bored. PF2 is bouncing around at the sidelines going "Hey, look at me! I am close enough you will still like me, but far enough for you to give me a shot!"

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    My point is not that PF is the most approachable system for novice players, but that PF largely fixes what casual players complained about in 3E. And largely does not fix what hardcore forum optimizers complain about in 3E, but that was never its goal in the first place.
    Can you expound on that? Because at a glance you don't really seem to have explained why you think this, at least in this thread. What were the problems casual players had, and how did PF fix them?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitsuneymg View Post
    They opted to double down on vancian casting instead, leaving all the same narrative problems with playing a level 1 character who is supposed to be a necromancer or a time mage or a flash stepper, or any of dozens of other concepts you canít really pull off at all until level 5+.
    I really wish people would stop blaming Vancian Magic for problems that have absolutely nothing to do with Vancian Magic. Nothing about it stops you from playing a Time Mage or Necromancer at 1st level. The Dread Necromancer is a Vancian class (arguably, but I think you'd be hard-pressed to argue that the class stops working if it has to prepare spells) that is a Necromancer from 1st level. The reason you can't play Time Mage at 1st level is because there isn't 1st level Time Magic, not because "make choices ahead of time that influence your options later" is somehow off-theme for a Time Mage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    And unfortunately one of the things Paizo always was bad about was taking fan feedback constructively. I donít think they even understood how infuriating their game design would be to a large % of their player base. Because when people told them so they were generally called munchkins and blocked from forums.
    I mean, is that really a surprise? That's what they did in the playtest for PF 1e too. The reality is that making a robust system is hard, and you don't actually need to do it to make money, because the TTRPG market is not very competitive (and is not very profitable, meaning companies can't afford top talent). So lots of designers prefer to just yell at the people who point out problems to them, instead of solving the problems they point out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    And absolutely no classes that can change their capabilities from day to day. Ö Well, okay, maybe one. But not like Cleric, Druid, and Wizard. More like the Chameleon PrC.
    I really don't understand the deep hatred people have for the idea of classes that can change their loadout from day to day. You know what class can do that? The Incarnate. I defy you to find me one person who thinks the Incarnate is broken. The problems with the Wizard really have basically nothing to do with the fact that they can cast Cone of Cold today and Cloudkill tomorrow, and everything to do with the fact that they can cast Planar Binding at all. The ability to adapt your character to the challenges you expect each day is a very reasonable thing to want and not anywhere near as hard to balance as people seem to think.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Gonna echo the crowd here that PF2 failed at delivering something I have a reason to care about. Instead of an evolution of 3.5/PF1, it instead feels like it took the worst parts of 5e and 4e and smushed them into a blender. The end result just isn't appealing to me. I hope they found a strong enough player base to keep them afloat, but I am on the lookout for the next 3.5/PF1 successor personally.


    I have seen several people calling for something similar to Spheres of Power as the successor, and my group has been diving deep into that system the last year or so, and do really enjoy it. But if it is going to hit mainstream success it needs to be made easier to understand. Many of the spheres (particularly the casting spheres) were written in such a way that is particularly obtuse, and I will regularly find myself rereading the same paragraph a half dozen times to make sure I understand how it works. And then you have stuff like the Tech Sphere which is basically its own whole new subsystem complete with multiple different resource mechanics that is trying to do 5 different things all consolidated into one sphere, when it really could have been its own book with a half dozen spheres or more by itself. I wanted to build myself a lightsaber for a character, and while it is possible, it took literal hours of research trying to figure out exactly what talents I would need, how they interact with each other, what my energy requirements are, etc etc, and I am still not 100% that character was running on RAW but the DM said good enough.

    I really don't understand the deep hatred people have for the idea of classes that can change their loadout from day to day. You know what class can do that? The Incarnate. I defy you to find me one person who thinks the Incarnate is broken. The problems with the Wizard really have basically nothing to do with the fact that they can cast Cone of Cold today and Cloudkill tomorrow, and everything to do with the fact that they can cast Planar Binding at all. The ability to adapt your character to the challenges you expect each day is a very reasonable thing to want and not anywhere near as hard to balance as people seem to think.
    For me personally, it's less about balance and more about character identity. The powers you use are one of the main defining features of your character. A Wizard who can swap between every spell every written from day to day ends up feeling less like a character and more like any other wizard. By comparison what spells your Sorcerer chooses to pick tells you a lot about that character, what they value, and how they interact with the world. At least to me. I do have similar problems with Incarnates and Binders who are much lower power but can just swap to anything their class has available from day to day because those characters feel defined more by their class than by their selections of abilities. For what it's worth though I have similar issues with Dread Necro/Beguiler in that they all feel the same. So it is very likely that my personal preferences are a pretty specific subset and you don't want to design a whole game around that. I am willing to recognize that. On the bright side that sort of "Pick your Powerset" mentality is front and center in Spheres, so I have a ruleset already that covers what I want and enough design space in it to keep me entertained for several more years while I wait for the next big thing.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    In all fairness, a Spheres-inspired system would require some changes to make it more newbie-friendly. As it is, I can see people being pushed away by having a dense list of talents they can take at every level.

    I also feel as though Spheres of Might have a similar problem to PF2E martial feats, which is to say, it's a lot of unimpressive rider effects mixed with some more interesting ones.
    Iíve got a party of 5. 2 have pathfinder experience. Three have only Sunless Citadel followed by Rise of the Runelords that Iím running for them as previous experience. Theyíre all doing pretty well with sop.

    I agree that SoM needs another look. Too many bland abilities. But the core of the system (talent based, auto scale abilities) is solid. My other groups agree that SoM was too afraid to let martials do many wizardly things. The teleport talents nice though.

    That fact that there is only one save DC (except for the wizard who has her speciality higher) to remember is helping a lot of the newer players. Weíve hit level 15 so they are not ďnewĒ anymore.

    The wizard especially is enjoying only getting extensions to her spells, not a new list of completely unrelated abilities every level. At best sheíll get two tablets at a level, and since usually sheís adding a new feature to an existing ability, itís a lot less to mentally work around. Kinda like sorcerer vs wizard.

    Theyíve all had more fun and an easier time building the Character they want with SoM than they did in SC when using paizo only. So I guess I have one data point that disagrees with you.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    Can you expound on that? Because at a glance you don't really seem to have explained why you think this, at least in this thread. What were the problems casual players had, and how did PF fix them?
    Oh we've had plenty of threads like that. Casual problems are things like "rogues suck because undead are immune to sneak attack", or "blasting magic deals much less damage than melee", or "I need more skill points", or "prestige classes must be planned five levels in advance", or even "monks need pounce". PF has a straightforward fix for all of those (whereas the 3E solutions tend to require multiple splatbooks and/or pretty high level and/or high system knowledge).

    By contrast, hardcore forum optimizer complaints tend to be about 8th- or 9th-level spells, or obscure combos involving multiple splatbooks; and there's just not enough of a market in fixing that.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Exciting martial abilities. As is, the feats are just little bits of 'meh'. And still no high-level non-combat features for martials.

    Spells can make spellcasters very exciting in any situation. Though I fear PF2 fared poorly there with some (many?) spells requiring a critical failure to actually do what the spell advertises?

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albions_Angel View Post
    They dont want a system with more variety than 5e. They just want more variety than 5e has currently.
    My point is that P2 has long, long lists of options; but these options are so weak and bland that it doesn't really matter what you pick. So while it seems to have a lot of variety, in practice doesn't.

    Basically,
    • 3E/PF: many options, high impact
    • 5E: few options, high impact
    • P2: many options, low impact


    Quote Originally Posted by Sneak Dog View Post
    I fear PF2 fared poorly there with some (many?) spells requiring a critical failure to actually do what the spell advertises?
    Most of them, yes. Did you think a Web spell would immobilize its targets (like it has ever since BECMI)? In P2 it gives them a small penalty to speed instead! Exciting!
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2021-03-06 at 06:41 AM.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I really don't understand the deep hatred people have for the idea of classes that can change their loadout from day to day. You know what class can do that? The Incarnate. I defy you to find me one person who thinks the Incarnate is broken. The problems with the Wizard really have basically nothing to do with the fact that they can cast Cone of Cold today and Cloudkill tomorrow, and everything to do with the fact that they can cast Planar Binding at all. The ability to adapt your character to the challenges you expect each day is a very reasonable thing to want and not anywhere near as hard to balance as people seem to think.
    Classes that change their loadout from day to day can take up a lot of IRL time to actually change that loadout. The reason I eventually banned prepared casting in my games was because my party's Wizard was taking up thirty minutes at the beginning of each session just picking her spells for the day, and the rest of the party had to wait on her to finish before we could even start playing.

    Prepared casting is also much harder for GMs to balance for. If a Sorcerer learns overpowered spells, you can plan around those spells and amp up the power level. But if you have a (non-spontaneous) Cleric in your party, you have to be prepared for every single overpowered Cleric spell, and for the possibility that the player picks a poor loadout that contains none of them.

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