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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Question What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    We don't have the sales #s to judge its success, but on this site at least it has zero traction which suggests people here aren't on board. What would you have liked for it to be?

    Personally, the reason I never changed to Pathfinder is how little it actually changed -- claimed to fix balance but only made minor tweaks, so didn't seem worth switching. I'd have loved to see 2e as a more earnest attempt at a "3.75". If you agree, what in particular would you want changed?
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    We don't have the sales #s to judge its success, but on this site at least it has zero traction which suggests people here aren't on board. What would you have liked for it to be?

    Personally, the reason I never changed to Pathfinder is how little it actually changed -- claimed to fix balance but only made minor tweaks, so didn't seem worth switching. I'd have loved to see 2e as a more earnest attempt at a "3.75". If you agree, what in particular would you want changed?
    Similarly, I wanted PF2 to fix more of the problems from PF1 and still staying in the same wheelhouse of 3.5.

    I wanted to see several Feats dropped or squished together to get rid of the stupid Feat-chains which mostly just hurt martials (like making Two-Weapon Fighting a feat that improves with BAB instead of having to pick up Improved and Greater as feats later. Why is Endurance still its own Feat when it can just as easily be rolled into Diehard? Mobility can be baked into Dodge *or* Spring Attack, etc).

    I wanted to see Skills improved upon, such as giving more base Skill Points to classes (one of our Houserules is that only Wizard gains 2 skill points per level, while the others who get 2 get 3 instead. Might be bumped up to 4 since Skills tend to be even-numbered based), or changing around on some Skills (I actually like Persuasion of 5e more than Diplomacy).
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I think Pathfinder 2 is a great system. It's the overhaul that I think the game really needed. At least, my group likes it a lot so far.

    We can't really judge it by how much discussion there is on these boards.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    In no particular order:
    • let skills actually progress to do level appropriate stuff
    • give all classes level appropriate stuff, fighter that only swings sword is not a level 11 concept. Plot levers shouldn’t be limited to casters
    • degrees of success on spells is wonderful, but spellcasting didn’t need to be dumpstered
    emphasize and acknowledge what high levels are for rather than passing them off as a numerically bloated reskin of lower levels .
    • give the damn races their monk-flipping ribbons rather than starting them off as blobs
    • don’t do the nonsense they did with shields, it just does not fit the design pattern
    • don’t rigidly constrain everything such that you’re always stuck in the middle of the d20s range.
    • let abilities be fantastic. The game is supposed to be fun first, not be unable to break modules first.
    By the metric of being wholly dependent on the GM for noncombat interaction Fighter is an NPC class.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I am enjoying pathfinder 2. But I dont get to play 3.5 any more so my options are limited.

    What is clear is whatever they said, PF2 was never for us.

    Im sorry, but it wasnt. PF2 is clearly a call to the 5e players who picked up the game fresh, but have now run through literally all the options the system has to offer. It says "Hey, you like 5e? And you are scared of 3.5e? Thats cool, PF2 is more complex than 5, with more options, but you dont need to worry about the commitment that 3.5e is!"

    And it works for that. My friends, all 5e players, actually enjoy it a lot more, after getting bored with 5e. I cannot, however, even get them to try 3.5e and the one time they tried PF1, they made 5e characters (essentially) and refused to engage with things like Cleric Domains and Rogue talents.

    I think they made mistakes with PF2, especially the play test. But honestly, I dont think its the failure it is commonly toted as on the major, oldschool D&D boards.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    We can't really judge it by how much discussion there is on these boards.
    Yeah, that's fair. This forum has many people who stuck with 3.5 and never liked (or never tried) PF1 either, so of course they wouldn't go for PF2. It appears to get substantially more discussion on, say, Enworld.

    In my view, the degrees-of-success and three-action system are great. But it suffers from poor execution in that almost all of its feats are fiddly and uninteresting; the math is so tight that it's hard to get more than 5% crit rate even on mooks; battlefield control largely doesn't exist; and its high level "legendary" abilities are soooo mundane and uninteresting.

    Essentially, the game has a lot of complexity that doesn't have much of an impact. I prefer games with either low complexity (1E/2E/5E) or where the complexity makes a big difference (3E/PF). $.02.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I play a weekly game of PF2 and am having a passingly enjoyable time of it. Though, it has more to do with the company I play with than the game system.

    The reason PF2 really doesn't appeal to me is the same reason that D&D4e and D&D5e never did. 3.P is my home. It is my game of choice. My first experience with D&D was AD&D2e. I still choose 3.P. When D&D dropped 3.5e and shifted, I pivoted to PF1. Never looked back. Never gave Wizards another cent of my money. Not out of spite but just because I was not interested in their product.

    I'll play just about any system and have fun doing it. Just in the last six months I've played: Pathfinder 1e, Pathfinder 2e, AD&D2e, D&D4e, D&D5e, Starwars Saga, Call of Cthulu, Astonishing Swords and Sorcerers of Hyperboria, Pendragon, Paladin, One Ring, Starfinder, and a few other systems that I can't remember off the top of my head (one was something of the Demon Lord). I enjoy all of them for their own unique takes on mechanics.

    Honestly, I wish that PF2 had never come out. I'd have preferred that Paizo stuck with their PF1 product, but I am not provy to their decision making processes or circumstances. Paizo had my allegiance for keeping 3.x material alive and thriving. Now? Meh. I'm experienced enough to take the reigns from here.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Faily View Post
    Similarly, I wanted PF2 to fix more of the problems from PF1 and still staying in the same wheelhouse of 3.5.

    I wanted to see several Feats dropped or squished together to get rid of the stupid Feat-chains which mostly just hurt martials (like making Two-Weapon Fighting a feat that improves with BAB instead of having to pick up Improved and Greater as feats later. Why is Endurance still its own Feat when it can just as easily be rolled into Diehard? Mobility can be baked into Dodge *or* Spring Attack, etc).

    I wanted to see Skills improved upon, such as giving more base Skill Points to classes (one of our Houserules is that only Wizard gains 2 skill points per level, while the others who get 2 get 3 instead. Might be bumped up to 4 since Skills tend to be even-numbered based), or changing around on some Skills (I actually like Persuasion of 5e more than Diplomacy).
    Mostly this. I know PF2 streamlined a few things here and there, which is a good thing. But in general I think it went too far off the D20/D&D reservation. People went with PF1 over 4e for a reason. Now 5e has come back from the video game dark side, and PF2 has gone wandering off.

    For me it's easier to go into what PF2 should Not have done. One of the biggest criticisms of 3x and PF1 was feat-bloat. Instead of trimming all that up, they did exactly the opposite. Everything is a feat: class abilities, racial abilities. If I'm creating an Elf character, I want some things to not need to be choices. Elves have greater dexterity, are long-lived and are good with bows and swords. I don't think each of these should need to be chosen as feats at separated levels; they're part of being an elf.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    • let abilities be fantastic. The game is supposed to be fun first, not be unable to break modules first.
    This, I think, is my greatest gripe with 2e. The system feels like it was designed entirely with publishing modules in mind, rather than actually making a fun and engaging system. Everything is forced to fit so rigidly into a tight range such that, at any given level, the designers of modules know exactly what a given party should be capable of, and can design accordingly. It feels like the ultimate "on-rails" system design. The 3.5 DMG actually describes two types of campaign/adventure designing on quite literally the first page of adventures: Tailored, or Status Quo. 2e embodies the tailored design philosophy to such an intense degree, while I personally, as a DM and as a player, far prefer status quo designing, and as such, 2e can never really work for me. I hate knowing that, no matter what, there's always a way forward, because the adventure is perfectly tailored for success.

    I also agree that the degrees of success on spells is annoying. Beating/failing a DC by 10 or more practically never happens in an appropriate level range, so it's often left purely up to minuscule chance of whether you'll get a greater success/fail on your spells on those natural 20s/1s, and when most spells are barely functional on anything other than a greater success, that makes spellcasting incredibly underwhelming, which is something I despise, because fantastical spells were one of the major draws of 3.5 for me, and with that completely gone, I have little to no interest in 2e.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Everything is forced to fit so rigidly into a tight range such that, at any given level, the designers of modules know exactly what a given party should be capable of, and can design accordingly.
    That's indeed true. But as far as I know, nobody was complaining about module design in the earlier system. Not the players, not the developers either. So this change to "on-rails" was spectacularly unnecessary.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That's indeed true. But as far as I know, nobody was complaining about module design in the earlier system. Not the players, not the developers either. So this change to "on-rails" was spectacularly unnecessary.
    Well, to be fair, we can't really know what was being talked about internally at paizo, maybe the developers were complaining about it.

    That said, previous publishing was done in the form of splatbooks and supplemental rules. I think practically everyone saw how that turned out in 3.5 with immense system bloat, and so they wanted to avoid repeating that mistake, but then the question becomes: how do you monetize a system if not through splatbooks? Modules. And if your primary moneymaking mechanism is through modules, you best be sure that they are On. Point. What breaks modules more than players falling off the rails? Seems like both dnd 5e and pf2e saw that issue, and thus both systems are so tightly bound to enable dms to keep players easily on rails throughout modules.

    Honestly, in that regard, dnd5e and pf2e are actually more video gamey than 4e.
    Last edited by Crake; 2021-03-04 at 05:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    then the question becomes: how do you monetize a system if not through splatbooks? Modules. And if your primary moneymaking mechanism is through modules, you best be sure that they are On. Point.
    Counterpoint: PF1 modules were already highly popular and making money. In fact, the only reason Paizo could publish PF1 in the first place, is because they were already famous from their modules.

    It's much more likely that Paizo thought "5E is highly popular, 5E has bounded accuracy, therefore we must get bounded acc too".
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xervous View Post
    I think they made mistakes with PF2, especially the play test. But honestly, I dont think its the failure it is commonly toted as on the major, oldschool D&D boards.
    I'm not saying it's a commercial failure. I have no idea. But clearly the regulars on this site didn't find it appealing so I'm interested either what they found lacking or what they'd like to have seen.

    Paizo faced an identity question of whether Pathfinder was "king of the d20 System" [OGL] or "off-brand D&D". I'm not surprised that the second is more profitable considering D&D's market share. But I'm disappointed, since I feel it's ripe time for a more serious rework of 3e. The basics of the d20 System are still robust, IMO, but much of the content and many of the particular rules, from PF as well as 3e, are showing their age.
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I had the same problem with PF 2e that I had with PF 1e: it just moved a bunch of stuff around, rather than really fixing the problems with the system. When Paizo launched PF 1e, I was quite interested, because the idea of a robustly-playtested version of 3e had the potential to fix pretty much all the problems I had with the system. Instead, they produced something that wasn't really any better than "some random guy's 3e houserules", and had substantially more obnoxious fiddly bits, so I never really bothered. I was briefly interested in the prospect of PF 2e, but then the exact same thing happened all over again.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I had the same problem with PF 2e that I had with PF 1e: it just moved a bunch of stuff around, rather than really fixing the problems with the system. When Paizo launched PF 1e, I was quite interested, because the idea of a robustly-playtested version of 3e had the potential to fix pretty much all the problems I had with the system. Instead, they produced something that wasn't really any better than "some random guy's 3e houserules", and had substantially more obnoxious fiddly bits, so I never really bothered. I was briefly interested in the prospect of PF 2e, but then the exact same thing happened all over again.
    The issue with this sentiment is that, apart from a few (almost) universally agreed upon flaws, most people have a different vision of what their ideal 3.5 fixes would be. A change that one person would applaud, another would boo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    The issue with this sentiment is that, apart from a few (almost) universally agreed upon flaws, most people have a different vision of what their ideal 3.5 fixes would be. A change that one person would applaud, another would boo.
    I think that argument proves too much. Yes, if you ask ten people how to fix 3e, you'll get eleven answers. I don't think that means you can't fix 3e, I think it just means that asking random people how to make a game good is a bad approach to game design. People are much better at identifying problems than they are at identifying solutions.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I think that argument proves too much. Yes, if you ask ten people how to fix 3e, you'll get eleven answers. I don't think that means you can't fix 3e, I think it just means that asking random people how to make a game good is a bad approach to game design. People are much better at identifying problems than they are at identifying solutions.
    My point was more that fixing it is subjective, and no matter how you go about it, you're going to alienate some portion of the playerbase.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    Humans are rarely truly irrational, just wrong.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I think that argument proves too much. Yes, if you ask ten people how to fix 3e, you'll get eleven answers. I don't think that means you can't fix 3e,
    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.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    I'm not saying it's a commercial failure. I have no idea. But clearly the regulars on this site didn't find it appealing so I'm interested either what they found lacking or what they'd like to have seen.
    From a pure mechanics standpoint, I've already adopted 'house rules' that have taken large steps towards balancing/making Pathfinder 1E what I want it to be. Some of it is blatantly ripping off some mechanics from Starfinder, Pathfinder 2E, D&D 5e and even some rules from earlier editions. Other parts are actually using variant systems from the Unchained book.

    At this point, it is no longer me trying to find a game system that fits what I want to do. It is about adapting the system that I love, that I know intimately, and that I find to be the best suited to the game styles I like to play, to be what I want it to be. I am simply NOT interested in a new edition.
    Last edited by Eldonauran; 2021-03-04 at 07:02 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    My point was more that fixing it is subjective, and no matter how you go about it, you're going to alienate some portion of the playerbase.
    Which is why the "WoWkiller" type mantras never bear fruit. PF1's success was wholly due to filling a niche that was abandoned by WotC. WotC left many of their playerbase floating in the middle of nowhere sea and Paizo threw a life line to these players. PF2e did the same thing WotC did, but this time it feels as if no one thinks it's worth throwing a lifeline anymore.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    My point was more that fixing it is subjective, and no matter how you go about it, you're going to alienate some portion of the playerbase.
    Well, sure, but I think that's largely vacuous. Anything is going to alienate some people and attract others. Unless you're willing to argue that 3e was at some kind of maxima, I don't think it means very much that changes might piss some people off. Pf had the opportunity to do robust, goal-driven playtesting and design and did not do that. It's not even that they didn't have the exact goals I wanted, it's that they did not have coherent and measurable goals to any meaningful degree.

    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.
    The difference of opinion between the average player and the average forum poster is much smaller than you seem to think. PF didn't particularly do anything to address the concerns of "casual players", because A) the concerns of "casual players" are articulated even less coherently than the concerns of forum posters and B) PF didn't make changes with the kind of focused agenda you'd need to advance the goals of some particular group. The reasons for PF's success basically come down to "Paizo had good name recognition", "4e was monumentally bad", and "art". Like, do you really think that what the vast majority of players desperately wanted was for the Barbarian to get a bunch of fiddly powers to pick from and for characters to get marginally more feats?

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    Well, sure, but I think that's largely vacuous. Anything is going to alienate some people and attract others. Unless you're willing to argue that 3e was at some kind of maxima, I don't think it means very much that changes might piss some people off. Pf had the opportunity to do robust, goal-driven playtesting and design and did not do that. It's not even that they didn't have the exact goals I wanted, it's that they did not have coherent and measurable goals to any meaningful degree.
    I mean, I personally believe they did, but that their goals were so alien and distant to what we as a community wanted that it just seems to us like they didn't. Paizo designed a system that allowed them to publish as many adventure paths as they wanted and to make it incredibly simple for DMs to operate said adventure paths, in an attempt to scoop up as much of a market share in the beer and pretzels casual tabletop rpg community as they could.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Playing a wizard the way GitP says wizards should be played requires the equivalent time and effort investment of a university minor. Do you really want to go down this rabbit hole, or are you comfortable with just throwing a souped-up Orb of Fire at the thing?
    Quote Originally Posted by atemu1234 View Post
    Humans are rarely truly irrational, just wrong.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    but this time it feels as if no one thinks it's worth throwing a lifeline anymore.
    Are there any heartbreakers being worked on right now?
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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I mean, I personally believe they did, but that their goals were so alien and distant to what we as a community wanted that it just seems to us like they didn't. Paizo designed a system that allowed them to publish as many adventure paths as they wanted and to make it incredibly simple for DMs to operate said adventure paths, in an attempt to scoop up as much of a market share in the beer and pretzels casual tabletop rpg community as they could.
    I think there are two pretty good arguments against that theory.

    First, lots of the changes PF makes don't really contribute to that goal. How does adding favored class bonuses, or changing feat progression, or altering skill math, or changing the mechanics of Sneak Attack further the goal of making it easy to write and run APs?

    Second, there are lots of things that make writing or running APs harder that are still in the game. Notably, spells that exist almost exclusively to take players off the rails (e.g. Scrying, Teleport) are still in the game. If their goal really was to pump out adventures above all else, you'd expect them to move as much plot magic as possible into DM handwave territory, because that makes it way easier to write plots that can span an entire campaign without going off the rails.

    And I think you can apply arguments in that form against pretty much any proposed goal for PF that is simpler than "make PF". The changes made to the game are simply too much like "some guy's houserules" to be anything other than "some guy's houserules", and even well-written houserules usually don't have any kind of goal or vision behind them.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Originally Posted by Xervous
    …give the damn races their monk-flipping ribbons rather than starting them off as blobs….
    What does this mean? Ribbons, blobs, races, what now?

    Originally Posted by Albions_Angel
    …and refused to engage with things like Cleric Domains and Rogue talents.
    Were these just…completely unfamiliar to your players? Or too complex?

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elves View Post
    Are there any heartbreakers being worked on right now?
    Legendary Games is working on something. We'll see if that works out.
    There was something here and in the avatar box, and there will eventually be again. I just need to figure out what I want...

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    I am curious to see what happens with Legendary games too.

    Does anyone remember the game SpyCraft from say 2004-2006? That was a D20 splinter cell, the Driver, James bond style game. But something they did in that game was make feat trees worth it. There were trees that were 5 or 6 steps deep and they were amazing. Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Mighty Cleave, the Greater Mighty cleave or something like that. By the end you could move your entire movement as a free action when you downed an opponent and then cleave the next guy. Your whole movement FOR FREE. Skill feats applied to 3 or 4 skills and gave bonuses, but made it so failures were very hard from the GM to "activate". You could become amazing even if you rolled a 1 or 2 on the die. There was MASSIVE feat bloat but so many of the feats were worth taking.

    What am I saying? 5e took away our choices. PF2 gave us more feats but those feats aren't worth it. They affect very little. When I make a character, having the ability to choose something is very important. 5e toons level 1 and 2 are stock characters. Why bother writing a name down?

    PF2 got the racial building via feats right though. I wish it went a bit farther.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Basically, what Pathfinder 2 should have been is Pathfinder...2.

    Instead, it's basically D&D 4.5.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    What does this mean? Ribbons, blobs, races, what now?
    PF2 races are essentially stat boosts, stat penalty, speed, vision, and size. And that’s about it at first. But then at level 1 you get a racial feat to show what type of your race you are.

    Not a bad idea in concept. Showing not every member of a race is part of a homogeneous group and all that. Except, a lot of the things they split off into these racial feats were the parts that make the race distinctive and you can only get one initially. So your dwarf, for example. Do you want them to be tough, something actually useful for adventuring that will come up often, or do you want them to know about crafting or stonework, not even both you have to pick between knowing about rocks or metalwork.

    This stuff, often called 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 played 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 I’d personally try to find a way to get those flavorful but not particularly effective racial abilities in for free.
    Last edited by Dienekes; 2021-03-05 at 09:24 AM.

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    Default Re: What should Pathfinder 2 have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    I think there are two pretty good arguments against that theory.

    First, lots of the changes PF makes don't really contribute to that goal. How does adding favored class bonuses, or changing feat progression, or altering skill math, or changing the mechanics of Sneak Attack further the goal of making it easy to write and run APs?
    By placing the expected capabilities and damage output of characters within a very clearly bounded range.

    Quote Originally Posted by NigelWalmsley View Post
    Second, there are lots of things that make writing or running APs harder that are still in the game. Notably, spells that exist almost exclusively to take players off the rails (e.g. Scrying, Teleport) are still in the game. If their goal really was to pump out adventures above all else, you'd expect them to move as much plot magic as possible into DM handwave territory, because that makes it way easier to write plots that can span an entire campaign without going off the rails.
    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.
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