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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    A.) It's not just one race, and B.) it's pretty indicative of the flaw with the Ancestry system and how it's laid out when one of Pathfinder's strongest races becomes one of the weakest.

    If you want another big example, Half-Orcs also suffer quite a lot, losing two of their best alt. racials, and losing out on most of the things they enjoyed at first level. Getting Darkvision and Orc Ferocity alone back takes 5 levels.
    This does seem like a huge flaw in the ancestry system, but itís not why I dislike it. Like so much of PF2, the point seems to be to give the illusion of options while actually limiting them.

    Letís say I want to play a gnoll in 3.pf. Well, first off I just can. It has an LA, and a sidebar about gnolls as characters in the SRD. I can play practically any creature in 3.5 just by checking the LA threads on this forum. If I want a half dragon centaur Barbarian itís just a matter of crunching numbers. But if I wanted to build a LA 0 gnoll I just determine appropriate stats and the reasonable racial qualities. PF1 has a whole system for it. Itís abusable as hell but itís an attempt. In PF2 I need to write a dozen gnoll, or pseudodragon or kitsune or whatever feats. And then spread out their basic racial qualities over their entire career. Farthest from being a boon to character diversity, it is a locked gate. It adds extra steps to home brewing races. It makes it wildly unlikely that the kind of racial options that exist in 3.5 or PF1 will ever exist. And Iím reasonably sure thatís why they did it.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    I don't think that's why they did it, but it does present a problem I hadn't thought of now you mention it.

    But the reasoning behind doing it is sound, i think, just flawed in execution. Paizo looooooves their "Feat-like Non-Feats" as I inelegantly put it in my homebrew Freeform system for Pathfinder. Talents, Arcana, Discoveries, etc. being so ubiquitous is probably the biggest difference between Pathfinder and D&D, and leaning into that distinct "Pick and mix" design philosophy to every aspect of the game actually makes sense at a top level.

    The issue is they should have implemented more "packages" into both classes and races. The Class Feats (Talents) and Racial Feats should be of smaller number but higher impact than PF1 variants BECAUSE every class has them, and has a dearth of "free" abilities to go with it.

    Sure, make Druids pay for Wild Shape...but don't make them pay separately for every individual KIND of Wild Shape, that's just asinine.

    It's SO CLOSE to being an inherent improvement over the old archetype design, where I find myself going hunting for archetypes that trade out features I don't like (like the Preacher archetype for Inquisitor), but hilariously misses the mark by a huge margin.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Regarding ancestries, keep in mine the state of PF1 races. Major races all have alternate racial option lists longer than my arm, leading to players scoring the lists to swap out weak options to find something worth writing down. Breaking them out into feats makes more sense in light of this. I haven't gone deep enough into the feats to give an opinion on how good a job they have done, but I can see why they did it.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I don't think that's why they did it, but it does present a problem I hadn't thought of now you mention it.
    Oh I absolutely do. The design goal of PF2 is all about AP design. The farther you get from elf wizard, half orc Barbarian, the bigger the chance that someones combo will short circuit your AP. Limit races. Limit items. Limit multiclassing. Rein in outliers wherever possible. Now 5e does that also, but 5eís goal seems to be simplifying the system and making a modern system that plays like older editions. And we have 5e for that. PF2ís goal is to limit perceived munchkinry from the view of the game designers. And given that the only reason most of us switched to PF1 was to continue in the traditions of 3.5, it only feels like a betrayal to me.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Oh I absolutely do. The design goal of PF2 is all about AP design. The farther you get from elf wizard, half orc Barbarian, the bigger the chance that someones combo will short circuit your AP. Limit races. Limit items. Limit multiclassing. Rein in outliers wherever possible. Now 5e does that also, but 5eís goal seems to be simplifying the system and making a modern system that plays like older editions. And we have 5e for that. PF2ís goal is to limit perceived munchkinry from the view of the game designers. And given that the only reason most of us switched to PF1 was to continue in the traditions of 3.5, it only feels like a betrayal to me.
    Considering they stated that they wanted to keep the customization of PF1, it is a betrayal. Ironically, the overall structure of PF2 is great - the concepts, I mean. But the execution... Paizo went into a direction I am uncomfortable with. Creating playtest characters has soured me quite well. For a scout character I checked the backgrounds and the only two fitting had one, which allows to scrounge food from the land - nice, but how often are you broke enough to make this matter - and one which allowed you to determine what kind of animals are running around in that area. Really flavorful for sure, but I can't even think of how to integrate that into an adventure. Why can't that be just a Survival use? All in all, I have to agree that currently there is not much good stuff and the good stuff is basically "I am not excited about it, but it might be useful".
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  6. - Top - End - #126
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    I like ribbon features, provided that they are without cost. However, having ribbon ancestry feats compete with real ancestry feats is a bad move in my opinion. All you have done is created trap options for players who don't possess the system mastery to know better.

    If you are going to make ribbon features as a selectable option, they should only compete with other ribbons.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    I do like that Paizo finally allowed chaotic good paladin equivalents.

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  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Oh I absolutely do. The design goal of PF2 is all about AP design. The farther you get from elf wizard, half orc Barbarian, the bigger the chance that someones combo will short circuit your AP. Limit races. Limit items. Limit multiclassing. Rein in outliers wherever possible. Now 5e does that also, but 5eís goal seems to be simplifying the system and making a modern system that plays like older editions. And we have 5e for that. PF2ís goal is to limit perceived munchkinry from the view of the game designers. And given that the only reason most of us switched to PF1 was to continue in the traditions of 3.5, it only feels like a betrayal to me.
    And other systems have done this without killing people's options for fun. Savage Worlds comes to mind. Yes the system is immensely more simplistic, but its a good system to look at for keeping options open but making even "meh" mechanical abilities worth taking. The Snake oil Salesman Edge from Deadlands is one of those as it lets you do a Test of Wills with your Persuasion, thus allowing you to play a purely non-combat character, but still help in combat.

    Is it as good as First Strike or Quick? No but its good for that specific character type and I'd be hard pressed to think of an Edge that is actually worthless. Paizo needs to learn this lesson it seems

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    Considering they stated that they wanted to keep the customization of PF1, it is a betrayal. Ironically, the overall structure of PF2 is great - the concepts, I mean. But the execution... Paizo went into a direction I am uncomfortable with. Creating playtest characters has soured me quite well. For a scout character I checked the backgrounds and the only two fitting had one, which allows to scrounge food from the land - nice, but how often are you broke enough to make this matter - and one which allowed you to determine what kind of animals are running around in that area. Really flavorful for sure, but I can't even think of how to integrate that into an adventure. Why can't that be just a Survival use? All in all, I have to agree that currently there is not much good stuff and the good stuff is basically "I am not excited about it, but it might be useful".
    Thats dumb and seems like a continuation of the old joke of Paizo making a 4 feat chain for going to the bathroom. Also, it reminds me of Scion 2e that I saw at Gen Con in which they made a skill called Culture. In the game Culture does several things;

    1. It lets you know about standard cultural practices
    2. it lets you blend in with a culture
    3. This applies to ALL cultures

    Now, ignoring Scions ungodly lazy and overall terrible world-building, the rest of the game is a general improvement over 1e from what I saw, except this skill. This skill just doesn't work on several levels as its A) trying to cover too many things (as it lets you understand Mexican culture as well as Japanese Culture) and B) allows the most Irish Irishman blend in perfectly with Venezuelans, and no Magical BS isn't in effect.

    Basically, this skill doesn't do anything that a Specialty in Academics, Persuasion or Subterfuge would do but it also opens up a host of random issues that don't need to be there. Basiclaly the skill is a waste of space and was just terribly thought out. Paizo seems to have done something similar with several of the Ancestry Feats as well as with turning all Class features into just a feat chain that the class takes.

    It may have seemed like a good idea, but someone needed to sit down and really think of the implications.
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  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post

    Basically, this skill doesn't do anything that a Specialty in Academics, Persuasion or Subterfuge would do but it also opens up a host of random issues that don't need to be there. Basiclaly the skill is a waste of space and was just terribly thought out. Paizo seems to have done something similar with several of the Ancestry Feats as well as with turning all Class features into just a feat chain that the class takes.

    It may have seemed like a good idea, but someone needed to sit down and really think of the implications.
    I think the idea was to let players choose their own class abilities. There's an inherent bias of knowing what the class abilities were, so to go back to an earlier thought it feels unfair to buy what you used to get for free. To use a Pathfinder analogy, instead of archetypes replacing class features with something else players choose the class features they want from the get go. There's nothing to replace, just fill in the slot. Two players playing the same class in the same party could be completely different by each choosing different class features. Maybe not totally different since in some cases there would be uniformity such as spellcasting, i.e. spell list, spell slots, etc., but the intent of differences is there. You can choose the class features that existed before if you want them, but here are other things for those who want some difference.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    I think the idea was to let players choose their own class abilities. There's an inherent bias of knowing what the class abilities were, so to go back to an earlier thought it feels unfair to buy what you used to get for free. To use a Pathfinder analogy, instead of archetypes replacing class features with something else players choose the class features they want from the get go. There's nothing to replace, just fill in the slot. Two players playing the same class in the same party could be completely different by each choosing different class features. Maybe not totally different since in some cases there would be uniformity such as spellcasting, i.e. spell list, spell slots, etc., but the intent of differences is there. You can choose the class features that existed before if you want them, but here are other things for those who want some difference.
    The issue with that is, why do you have so many classes? Fighters and Champions are still the same basic chasis so why not just roll them into one class and have their primary differences be the features? Same with Clerics and Druids. Basically it seems like they kept some things that they really didn't need to keep if they were just doing Build A Class.

    Also I have a feeling that there is going to be a very 'correct' way of playing a Champion or Barbarian if what I recall seeing was anything to go by.
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  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    I think the idea was to let players choose their own class abilities. There's an inherent bias of knowing what the class abilities were, so to go back to an earlier thought it feels unfair to buy what you used to get for free. To use a Pathfinder analogy, instead of archetypes replacing class features with something else players choose the class features they want from the get go. There's nothing to replace, just fill in the slot. Two players playing the same class in the same party could be completely different by each choosing different class features. Maybe not totally different since in some cases there would be uniformity such as spellcasting, i.e. spell list, spell slots, etc., but the intent of differences is there. You can choose the class features that existed before if you want them, but here are other things for those who want some difference.
    The issue with this is that pf1 already had that in things like magus arcana, rogue talents, or alchemist discoveries, IN ADDITION to standard class features and archetypes to play around with. Now sure, pf2 classes have SOME basic class features that you get, but it feels like they merged two forms of choice into one, leaving you feeling like you have less choice overall.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    PF2ís goal is to limit perceived munchkinry from the view of the game designers. And given that the only reason most of us switched to PF1 was to continue in the traditions of 3.5, it only feels like a betrayal to me.
    Having dug into the system and tried to build a few characters, I absolutely agree with this.

    I'll start by saying there are some cool improvements here; exploration having codified actions, bulk instead of encumbrance, the death of x/day abilities other than spells (especially Rage), Skill Feats so you don't need to fit class levels that grant Hide in Plain Sight on your stealth character, the proficiency system being broadly applicable to skills and attacks and spells and such. Cribbing the kinds of things we got in 4e powers and maneuvers from the Tome of Battle and making them martial Feats is a nice touch, too.

    But the multiclassing showcases what makes the system feel viscerally wrong the best, for me.

    There is a huge amount of niche protection built in here so that the Ranger is always different from the Barbarian... not merely because the Ranger is a woodsmen and the Barbarian is strong because RAGE! but in the fundamental fighting style and weapon choices they have available. The Barbarian can never be a competent dual-wielder. The Ranger can never be a competent wielder of two-handed weapons. Not even with multiclassing. Not compared to the classes who actually have support for that weapon style, anyway.

    The multiclassing fails at a fundamental level because it's even worse than original DnD 4e multiclassing, pre-hybrid classes. You're restricted to taking powers Feats as if your level in the multiclass is 1/2 your character level rather than getting access to a limited number of their Feats at your full character level.. And you don't have Paragon Paths or Epic Destinies to give you even more of that class's stuff on top of your original chassis.

    Combine that with the massive overlap in fighting style feats (Fighter and Ranger share most of the lower level two-weapon fighting feats) and you just don't get much out of multiclassing at all. You can splash some low level spells onto your character to recreate the original Ranger casting with the Druid or Bard multiclass feat and a bunch of other feats on top to get spell slots, or get something like the Rage feature by going to Barbarian (but basically never improve it except through feats tied to your Instinct), and that's pretty much it. You can get Sneak Attack by going to Rogue but it caps at 1d6, and the only feat that really improves it just allows you to deal the damage even if the foe isn't flat-footed... which the regular rogue gets at level 8, so you can get it at level 16! There is definitely some cool stuff you can do, but it just reminds me of the other cool stuff I could do if the multiclassing wasn't so restrictive.

    They managed to simultaneously put the training wheels on the spellcasters by forcing them to learn the highest level spells from their base class while dramatically reversing the effectiveness of multiclassing martials together, making it almost universally a bad idea.

    The lone exception I've found is that, if you want your character to be an archer on the side, you can multiclass Fighter and take Double Shot at level 8 and Triple Shot at level 12. The Fighter archer has been doing this since level 6, but it gives you 3 attacks at a -4 multiattack penalty instead of one at your full attack bonus, one at -5, and one at -10... and you can still take another action on top, though if you attack again it's at the full -10 penalty. And even here, the Ranger is just better off taking the Flurry Hunter's Edge and taking their three regular attacks at -0/-3/-6 instead of spending three feats to do that... Especially since they also have a level 1 feat that allows them to attack twice in a single action with a bow, so they can get 4 attacks from level 1 at -0/-3/-6/-6. It's probably best for a Shuriken Rogue of some kind since it gives them a bunch of sneak attacks, but it's probably good for Cleric Archer concepts and such as well.

    My other main complaint is that the action economy is a bit. Unfocused. Spell casters are basically playing with the old 3.5 action economy; you move up to your speed, cast a spell, then end your turn. Martials have to give up an attack if they want to move up to their speed, though. And that's mostly fine since they're losing their lowest bonus attack that rarely hits anyway. Except then there are a bunch of feats that let you move and attack in one action anyway. Just feels like it would've been easier to have the 5e action economy, or at least make Charge a default action to move in a straight line and make an attack at the end so the move+attack Feats aren't basically a Feat Tax. And get rid of the multiattack penalty, it serves basically no purpose except to make it really, really hard for martials to actually deal damage unless their name is Ranger.

    It's a shame, but it seems they've abandoned system designs with the sort of character building exercises that kept me playing Pathfinder in the first place. There is some room for char op here, but the dials you have access to are extremely limited and they've excised basically any synergy between feats/class features you could combine by giving all the good ones the "Flourish" trait or even just by making them distinct actions that can't be combined with other actions, like what happened to Far Shot.

    It's a cool system. Most groups won't have any problems playing and running it. It's even vastly improved in many ways from its predecessors. It just isn't my system.

    More's the pity, because my playgroup is almost certainly going to adopt it and I'll have to suck it up if I want to play with my friends. And really, I'll probably even have fun actually sitting down and playing the game. I'm sure the game runs great at the table, especially since my playgroup has pretty dim view of multiclassing in general and none of them like playing casters so I end up playing the CoDzilla for them.

    The system just doesn't really inspire me to create character concepts and char op the crap out of them, is all, and I really kind of need that in my class-based systems. Paizo was hopefully going to continue to deliver on that niche. Now that they've abandoned it, I'll have to hope another 3rd party picks up where Pathfinder 1e left off, or else try to houserule Pathfinder 2e into something resembling what it could have been.

    Maybe I'll just crib the improvements from 2e, like Bulk and unified proficiencies, and backport them to 1e somehow. It'd be a bit of work, but I'm no stranger to ripping systems apart and I'd be happier with the end result, especially with Dreamscarred Press stuff involved (which I love and always allow when DMing but rarely get to use as a player).

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Things I like,
    • Critical hit effects. Whenever you crit with a bow, and there is a wall or tree behind your target, you pin him to the wall with your arrow. That's pretty cool.
    • The new crit rules mean that you can really go to town on mooks; a mid-level character can take down a squad of enemies with ease. You actually become much stronger after a couple levels.
    • The math also means that a +1 to hit / AC / saves actually does more than in earlier editions, because it affects the chance for a regular hit as well as the chance to crit or fumble. I'm still not a fan of +1 modifiers, but at least they're more meaningful now.
    • The Champion class is a good solution to the perennial paladin debate.
    • You automatically learn more skills as you level up; it has always bothered me that this is the case in neither 4E nor 5E.


    Things I don't like,
    • The class pages use a lot of words to basically say "at level X you get +2 to this, at level Y you get +2 to that". Those aren't class features, and a table could show it more succinctly and clearer.
    • "Legendary" options come online so late that most campaigns will never see them, and most "legendary" feats just aren't that impressive.
    • No gish class, and the list of the next four upcoming classes doesn't have it either.


    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I was going to say that the strength of the Ancestry structure is that the half-orcs might get back their stronger alt-features in later feat releases, but to learn they can't even have DARKVISION before level 5 is...buh?
    At level one, you get one heritage and one ancestry feat. Half-orc is a heritage, darkvision is a feat. So yes, you can get that at level one.

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    one which allowed you to determine what kind of animals are running around in that area. Really flavorful for sure, but I can't even think of how to integrate that into an adventure. Why can't that be just a Survival use?
    That is a survival use. Anything you gain from your background, you can also take as a skill feat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    The farther you get from elf wizard, half orc Barbarian, the bigger the chance that someones combo will short circuit your AP.
    Yeah, I don't buy that. The classes most likely to break any AP are still the full casters from the PHB1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    And get rid of the multiattack penalty, it serves basically no purpose except to make it really, really hard for martials to actually deal damage unless their name is Ranger.
    The designers have done and shown their math on this (shocking, I know!) and turns out martials do fine. For instance, because several options or magic weapons let you double or triple your damage dice. And any crit is automatic double damage.
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    My main issue is that the system makes me feel it's missed opportunities all over the place.

    Take the multiclassing system.
    In theory, it's exactly my jam - I loved 4E multiclassing/hybrid classes. The way it allowed you to blend two classes together to create a very specific character, and you mostly get powers out of it that will stay relevant for your entire career? PF/3.5 could never really accomplish that, very few classes could give you that with a short dip, mostly they just gave you abilities that petered out or powered up your main class, rather than being representative on their own.

    And then PF 2E doesn't really deliver on that because what you can do with Dedication feats is pick class feats that will have lost most if not all of their significance by the time you can pick them. If only they had allowed you to pick same-level feats - they almost had it right!


    Or take the proficiency system.
    They could have done a lot of that, and demarked clear tiers of play with it. Which they do a little bit here and there. But mostly, they really lose out on giving out cool stuff to Master- and Legendary proficiency, especially with Skills and Weapons. Yes, they put some truly supernatural stuff into Legendary Skills - but a lot more could have been done, and every time I look at it I still think "okay, where's that but for weapons?"


    And I could go on like this for so many more things. Yes, a lot of that is probably just change resistance or the system not being what I'd have hoped or wanted. But that shouldn't be the case - I didn't have those problems with 4E or 5E (or with alternate PF systems), I just approached those as new systems, and PF 2E is a new system too. So why would this system induce change resistance when the others didn't?
    And that right there is a major issue that I don't really have an answer for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Oh I absolutely do. The design goal of PF2 is all about AP design. The farther you get from elf wizard, half orc Barbarian, the bigger the chance that someones combo will short circuit your AP. Limit races. Limit items. Limit multiclassing. Rein in outliers wherever possible. Now 5e does that also, but 5eís goal seems to be simplifying the system and making a modern system that plays like older editions. And we have 5e for that. PF2ís goal is to limit perceived munchkinry from the view of the game designers. And given that the only reason most of us switched to PF1 was to continue in the traditions of 3.5, it only feels like a betrayal to me.
    Yeah, I have to say, "limiting perceived munchkinry" on a Pathfinder edition as a primary goal is a little...off. Not because it's a bad idea, inherently, but because that was never Pathfinder's selling point. "A bit more balanced than it's D&D competitor" was fine in 3.5/PF parity, because PF was trying to solve some of the perceived gross imbalances by beefing everything up (while ideally keeping the majority of the buffs to the non-casters), but they still tended to (as somebody else points out with the joke about a 4-feat chain for bathroom usage) be a little over-cautious.

    As PF1 advanced, the archetypes instead of PrCs and the proliferation of Talents/Discoveries/Arcana/etc. to general class design was pretty good. A better simplifier would have been to make Talents a slightly more generic not-quite-feat set, and have them get written up the way spells do, with lists of what classes can take them at what minimum level. It would allow for more simplification of lists where there's similarity without having to print "and you can take this list of rogue talents as one of your nottarogue techniques" in every rogue-ish class. PF2 could even have used the labels they like a lot in the system as printed to provide more mechanical hooks on them.

    Maybe you can argue that "class feats" are exactly this! But the flaw I'm seeing here is that they're too bland. They don't do enough to be exciting, whereas picking a Focus Power, or an Investigator Talent, or an Arcanist Exploit, or a Magus Arcana... those were hard choices because they were all interesting, flavorful, and felt very worth having.

    It's not like Paizo didn't know how to make interesting powers!

    Quote Originally Posted by EldritchWeaver View Post
    Considering they stated that they wanted to keep the customization of PF1, it is a betrayal. Ironically, the overall structure of PF2 is great - the concepts, I mean. But the execution... Paizo went into a direction I am uncomfortable with. Creating playtest characters has soured me quite well. For a scout character I checked the backgrounds and the only two fitting had one, which allows to scrounge food from the land - nice, but how often are you broke enough to make this matter - and one which allowed you to determine what kind of animals are running around in that area. Really flavorful for sure, but I can't even think of how to integrate that into an adventure. Why can't that be just a Survival use? All in all, I have to agree that currently there is not much good stuff and the good stuff is basically "I am not excited about it, but it might be useful".
    Yeah. I'm hopeful that they'll get more comfortable and power creep their way into interesting feats. Sure, it'll make the core stuff garbage in comparison, but it already is unexciting.

    There's an irony to the core concepts being good but the execution being flawed: this was exactly my problem with 4e D&D. Well, half of my problem with it. The other half is that the WAY they botched execution made all the classes feel like martial adepts; PF2 seems to have kept the concept of different subsystems for different classes that do different things on a conceptual level. So there's more room for PF2 to recover, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehangel View Post
    I like ribbon features, provided that they are without cost. However, having ribbon ancestry feats compete with real ancestry feats is a bad move in my opinion. All you have done is created trap options for players who don't possess the system mastery to know better.

    If you are going to make ribbon features as a selectable option, they should only compete with other ribbons.
    Or just be handed out freely, even, if they're as weak as some are.

    Though if you want to make them appreciated, you can make them STRONGER, then let them compete with each other and "real" powers because they've become real powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    My main issue is that the system makes me feel it's missed opportunities all over the place.

    Take the multiclassing system.
    In theory, it's exactly my jam - I loved 4E multiclassing/hybrid classes. The way it allowed you to blend two classes together to create a very specific character, and you mostly get powers out of it that will stay relevant for your entire career? PF/3.5 could never really accomplish that, very few classes could give you that with a short dip, mostly they just gave you abilities that petered out or powered up your main class, rather than being representative on their own.

    And then PF 2E doesn't really deliver on that because what you can do with Dedication feats is pick class feats that will have lost most if not all of their significance by the time you can pick them. If only they had allowed you to pick same-level feats - they almost had it right!


    Or take the proficiency system.
    They could have done a lot of that, and demarked clear tiers of play with it. Which they do a little bit here and there. But mostly, they really lose out on giving out cool stuff to Master- and Legendary proficiency, especially with Skills and Weapons. Yes, they put some truly supernatural stuff into Legendary Skills - but a lot more could have been done, and every time I look at it I still think "okay, where's that but for weapons?"


    And I could go on like this for so many more things. Yes, a lot of that is probably just change resistance or the system not being what I'd have hoped or wanted. But that shouldn't be the case - I didn't have those problems with 4E or 5E (or with alternate PF systems), I just approached those as new systems, and PF 2E is a new system too. So why would this system induce change resistance when the others didn't?
    And that right there is a major issue that I don't really have an answer for.
    I did not like anything about 4e's class system, but I am with you on the rest of this.

    A while back, I started, but never completed, a homebrew project to make weapon proficiency levels (proficiency, weapon focus, weapon specialization, greater etc.) open up "slots" to learn techniques with weapons, and the higher-tier things were pretty spectacular and often supernatural. The idea was to make every weapon different by having a number of ways to customize how YOUR character's mastery of the weapon manifested. It was a LOT of work; I got maybe 2/3 done before the fact that I was straining for ideas and liking what I was coming up with less and less made me lose interest in completing it. (It was designed for compatibility with PF or 3.5, though by the end I was leaning more towards PF.)

    Something that made every weapon uniquely upgradable based on mastery would solve a lot of the "man, weapons are indistinguishable, or some are just weaker than others all around" problems, and would have opened doors for non-casters to do some pretty spectacular things with greater flexibility just by mastering different weapons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    *SNIP*

    Things I don't like,
    • No gish class, and the list of the next four upcoming classes doesn't have it either.

    *SNIP*
    At the very least, we're likely to get a gish archetype before then, because one of the new companions in the updated Kingmaker is a Magus and it would be really weird to have him be a Sorcerer/Fighter (Edit: He's an Eldritch Scion, apparently) with a sign around his neck that says "eh, good enough"

    Honestly, I don't expect to see a Magus class again ever with how later classes took that same base and used it as well. I wouldn't be surprised if we simply get one Archetype that covers the base and before they move on to other things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The designers have done and shown their math on this (shocking, I know!) and turns out martials do fine. For instance, because several options or magic weapons let you double or triple your damage dice. And any crit is automatic double damage.
    I think we're talking about two different things here.

    I would certainly hope they did accuracy/average damage math and determined that Fighters, Barbarians, Rangers without the Flurry feature, Monks, Rogues, and Champions deal the expected amount of damage with the multiattack penalty included.

    And I can't say for sure that this is what happened, as I haven't seen the designer math you're talking about, but obviously if you balance enemy ACs around being hit 50% of the time with the -5 penalty attack, your first attack hits 75% of the time and your third attack hits 25% of the time, and it's perfectly possible to balance the enemies around this... but this is the minimum we should expect from a modern game, that the combat math was actually done by the designers and doesn't need to be houseruled out of the gate.

    I'm not saying martials are too weak because they have a multiattack penalty and that they need to be rebalanced or have the penalty removed for combat to work.

    I'm saying that the game should have been designed without the multiattack penalty in the first place, and if they needed to increase monster ACs or decrease proficiency bonuses or something to make the math work they should have done that. Because it affects martials very lopsidedly, and they let one of them (the Ranger) basically ignore it anyway with the Flurry Hunter's Edge.

    There just isn't any real reason for it to exist. It's extra fiddly modifiers with no clear design purpose for existing other than "multiple attacks get penalties, see, it's just like Pathfinder 1e/DnD 3.5 iterative attacks!"

    It might have incentivized moving with one of your actions but there are so many feats (like the Barbarian's No Escape) that allow you to move with your opponent to keep you "sticky" or to move+attack with one action that there isn't much incentive to actually do that over spending the feats to keep making that third attack... Particularly due to the critical rules you mentioned since getting an additional chance to get a critical effect is pretty strong.

    Like I said, I'm sure it's a solid game that plays and runs well at the table. But between the multiattack penalty, the seemingly pointless multiclass restrictions, and the direction they've decided to take design with these super clearly defined classes that have minimal conceptual overlap and don't have "real multiclassing"... I don't know. It isn't in the same spirit as DnD 3.5 and Pathfinder 1e, and that's a real shame to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    The issue with that is, why do you have so many classes? Fighters and Champions are still the same basic chasis so why not just roll them into one class and have their primary differences be the features? Same with Clerics and Druids. Basically it seems like they kept some things that they really didn't need to keep if they were just doing Build A Class.

    Also I have a feeling that there is going to be a very 'correct' way of playing a Champion or Barbarian if what I recall seeing was anything to go by.
    Yeah, it really feels like weirdly straddling the fence. All features are optional... but within level-specific pre-packaged lists of feats divided among the traditional set of classes. The goal to be customizable is a little self-defeating if you're going to stick with a class/level system that considerably narrows a player's choices. Especially if you reduce the variety that existed in the previous edition by axing every possible sub-system except spells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    I'm saying that the game should have been designed without the multiattack penalty in the first place, and if they needed to increase monster ACs or decrease proficiency bonuses or something to make the math work they should have done that. Because it affects martials very lopsidedly, and they let one of them (the Ranger) basically ignore it anyway with the Flurry Hunter's Edge. There just isn't any real reason for it to exist.
    Personally I like that classes are affected differently; this makes classes feel more diverse (and insufficient diversity was a common complaint about 4E, after all).

    And they do have a reason to exist: you don't want the best option for martials to be triple-attacking every single turn. Indeed, that is a common complaint about 3E and P1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Maybe you can argue that "class feats" are exactly this! But the flaw I'm seeing here is that they're too bland. They don't do enough to be exciting, whereas picking a Focus Power, or an Investigator Talent, or an Arcanist Exploit, or a Magus Arcana... those were hard choices because they were all interesting, flavorful, and felt very worth having.
    I strongly disagree that all talents, exploits, arcana and so forth are interesting. For instance, my PF1 Magus guide ranks 40% of all arcana as trap options to avoid (yes, 40%; they are that bad); and my experience with PF1 rogue talents is that most of them are decent at level 2, but there's barely any worthwhile picks for level 6 or 8, compared to what other classes get at that level. And at level 2 it's most of them, far from all.

    That strikes me as part of the problem: Paizo does not have a good track record when it comes to making interesting powers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ilorin Lorati View Post
    Honestly, I don't expect to see a Magus class again ever with how later classes took that same base and used it as well. I wouldn't be surprised if we simply get one Archetype that covers the base and before they move on to other things.
    The main thing a Magus needs are one-action spells, and a couple feats to enchant his weapon and channel spells through it. It could conceivably be an archetype; but frankly "gish" is so different in concept that it deserves a full class more than the oracle or swashbuckler (which are confirmed for next year's book). I'm just disappointed because gish classes have been undersupported in every edition of D&D except P1.
    Last edited by Kurald Galain; 2019-08-06 at 11:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I strongly disagree that all talents, exploits, arcana and so forth are interesting. For instance, my PF1 Magus guide ranks 40% of all arcana as trap options to avoid; and my experience with PF1 rogue talents is that most of them are decent at level 2, but there's barely any worthwhile picks for level 6 or 8, compared to what other classes get at that level.

    That strikes me as part of the problem: Paizo does not have a good track record when it comes to making interesting powers.
    I'd argue that they do. Quantity is not the most important factor here, I don't see the value in saying "40% of the powers for a given class are situational or traps therefore Paizo don't know how to design interesting powers" (which would be an attempt at refuting what Segev actually said.) Rather, I think they do know how, but then due to Sturgeon's Law and publishing realities (testing time, pagecount etc) and NPC design and other factors a bunch of subpar ones make it into the final book, and there isn't much value in going through the labyrinthine process to buff any of them so they all stay more or less where they're at.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Except, like I said, full attacking is still the best option and the ability to move with your opponent and full attack is built into the "strikers" (Barbarians, Fighters, Rogues, Rangers) anyway, and if it wasn't then ranged combat just becomes clearly superior for dealing damage.

    If the final attack has any chance to hit, even if it's only the 5% chance to crit, taking it is always the superior option when available. And if it cannot hit, then it's a trap. Increasing the attack bonus on the final attacks makes them more important to the overall damage calculation, but it gives fewer fiddly bonuses to track on the fly and, more importantly, makes martials feel actually competent because they aren't missing half of their attacks. And it doesn't put the Ranger head and shoulders above everyone else at high level damage dealing because they can attack six times without missing while everyone else is stuck at four attacks at most and taking massive to hit penalties.

    You can differentiate the classes in ways other than how they are affected by the multiattack penalty... Especially since you have to take a specific Ranger option so it isn't even core to the Ranger's identity. They could have changed Flurry to a +1/+2 to hit bonus when you make more than one attack as part of an activity or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The main thing a Magus needs are one-action spells, and a couple feats to enchant his weapon and channel spells through it. It could conceivably be an archetype; but frankly "gish" is so different in concept that it deserves a full class more than the oracle or swashbuckler (which are confirmed for next year's book). I'm just disappointed because gish classes have been undersupported in every edition of D&D except P1.
    As a general fan of gishes, I don't disagree with any of this. Unfortunately, we're not likely to see a full gish class any time in the next few years so we can only hope for something usable in the time being.

    As far as what's likely to happen, the way combining actions seems to work in 2e suggests any version of spell combat we might get will be a variable action ability that both Strikes and Casts a Spell (using the spell's action cost), then counts twice for the Multi Attack Penalty. That covers the basic combination, then you can add different additions on top like 2e's versions of Spellstrike or Fervor.
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    I decided to stay out of this discussion I had read up on as much of the rules to feel confident I've gained a clear enough picture of how things actually play out. And now that I'm done:

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    My main issue is that the system makes me feel it's missed opportunities all over the place.

    Excellent examples and points cut for brevity.
    So much this.

    So much that I've started to view the PF2 CRB as having the subtitle: "A Compilation of Great TTRPG Rules Design Concepts Poorly Implemented".

    Another related thing which has kept bugging me when reading up on a lot of options is their low relative mechanical impact. For example, the fighter feats are mostly a huge pile of stuff with an impact comparable to that of 3.5/PF1's feat taxes/traps inherited from 3.0 (Dodge, Combat Expertise, Mobility, Weapon Focus etc). Meaning they suffer from one or more of the following issues:
    • Provide a too small numerical bonus relative the result span of a d20 roll. While the critical success/failure rules help mitigate this issue, it's also exacerbated by PF2's general lack of stacking bonus types.
    • Overly circumstantial/situational benefit.
    • Too great action cost in relation to the benefit.

    On top of this, on the whole the fighter feats - just as the martial combat feats in general - suffer just as much as those in the playtest rules from an insufficient number of output parameters. Most notably an overwhelmingly large majority of them ultimately only affect the hp damage output or input of weapon attacks, while the few which don't still only affect a small number of existing combat parameters and then only in relatively minor ways (like basic positioning, Reflex saves, fear and prone conditions).

    And I don't think the fighter feats category stands out as collection of build options particularly rife with these problems, as for example a few other feat categories are significantly worse IMO.

    To me, it appears the main underlying reason for the many issues is a poorly defined and/or split purpose for the system as a whole. For example, I see many posters here have made comparisons to 5e, a system which has considerably fewer and less complex player options and rules mechanics than PF2, and is very much in line with the overall intended purpose of providing easier access and a greater focus on game elements other than mechanics (in comparison to previous editions). At least from a player perspective, PF2 on the other hand seems to have a purpose of combining "mechanics-heavy with lots of options" and "mechanics-light with few options", but ends up with a system straddling the fence in a very awkward way instead of providing the best of both worlds.

    So ultimately, from a player perspective PF2 feels like an attempt to answer the question:

    "Just how many mechanically different player options and situational rules elements can be made with a minimal impact on a system's preset core mechanics and assumed balance?"

    This isn't terribly surprising if the actual primary purpose of the system is to provide stable predictable mechanics for adventure design. But if so, the multitude of player options feel even more like window-dressing, an illusion to obfuscate the lack build choices with any real mechanical impact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    If the final attack has any chance to hit, even if it's only the 5% chance to crit, taking it is always the superior option when available.
    Superior to moving. Not superior to the plethora of other things you could do with your action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Yeah, it really feels like weirdly straddling the fence. All features are optional... but within level-specific pre-packaged lists of feats divided among the traditional set of classes. The goal to be customizable is a little self-defeating if you're going to stick with a class/level system that considerably narrows a player's choices. Especially if you reduce the variety that existed in the previous edition by axing every possible sub-system except spells.
    It really does. When I looked it over at Gen Con I just kept thinking of the 3 Generic classes from UA and wondered why they didn't just add a 4th, call it Priest and be done with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    The issue with that is, why do you have so many classes? Fighters and Champions are still the same basic chasis so why not just roll them into one class and have their primary differences be the features? Same with Clerics and Druids. Basically it seems like they kept some things that they really didn't need to keep if they were just doing Build A Class.

    Also I have a feeling that there is going to be a very 'correct' way of playing a Champion or Barbarian if what I recall seeing was anything to go by.
    Legacy

    They've been separate classes for so long now people expect them. They each have a distinct theme, and the abilities given reflect that. Complex as the game is, there still needs to be some organization of class abilities. It's easier to group thematic similarities within classes rather than have one warrior class or one spellcaster class and provide every possible Thing to do. The game is still a class based system, not a generic point buy, but they're allowing for more customization.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    The issue with this is that pf1 already had that in things like magus arcana, rogue talents, or alchemist discoveries, IN ADDITION to standard class features and archetypes to play around with. Now sure, pf2 classes have SOME basic class features that you get, but it feels like they merged two forms of choice into one, leaving you feeling like you have less choice overall.
    They made the choice to have less standard class features and go with letting the player choose among a list. That's the point. It only feels a less of choice because you have to buy the standard class features you are familiar with leaving subjective little room for other things if you want those features. The idea is to have fun in the act of making a choice, but for some players familiarity doesn't lead to new discovery so it's boring having to choose what you already know.
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    Psyren addressed the "40% were trap options" point pretty well, but I will also point out that PF1 seemed to have even the trap options at least seem interesting. No, not always, but more than one might expect. From a mechanical standpoint, that's a problem, because trap options ARE traps and making them more alluring is bad. But in a given home game, it's likely that they're still more FUN than trap options that are also boring (e.g. feat-tax-level +1s to niche circumstances).

    On the up side, as I feel I need to keep saying because I worry it gets lost in the (valid) complaints about the current state, this is a system that is imminently moddable by bite-sized additions. New feats can and will come out, and they'll probably eventually be worth taking.

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    It's a little cleaner than before but still not very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    Psyren addressed the "40% were trap options" point pretty well, but I will also point out that PF1 seemed to have even the trap options at least seem interesting. No, not always, but more than one might expect. From a mechanical standpoint, that's a problem, because trap options ARE traps and making them more alluring is bad. But in a given home game, it's likely that they're still more FUN than trap options that are also boring (e.g. feat-tax-level +1s to niche circumstances).
    Most Talent-likes aren't traps in the traditional sense in any case, barring Rogue Talents (which ARE almost universally trash...there's a reason it's a class they printed a straight upgraded version of).

    Many Talent-likes are SITUATIONAL, certainly, but do have a niche where they're very strong in some kinds of campaigns.

    Defoliant Bomb is generally trash, for example, but is the kind of Discovery that would be a legitimate pick in some published adventures (like Kingmaker or Serpent's Skull) and similar styles of homebrew game.

    That is not the same as a true trap option, which is at best trash in almost all situations (like Vital Strike), or even actively makes your character worse (like the whole chain of Feats coming off of Vital Strike).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    That is a survival use. Anything you gain from your background, you can also take as a skill feat.
    You misunderstand. I'm not complaining why compiling wildlife statistics is dependent on Survival, I'm complaining why this is a skill feat and not just part of Survival? I managed to think up one scenario for that feat: Help out a druid doing a survey. But that is one scenario. And I don't think there is another one different enough to be not a boring repeat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serafina View Post
    And I could go on like this for so many more things. Yes, a lot of that is probably just change resistance or the system not being what I'd have hoped or wanted. But that shouldn't be the case - I didn't have those problems with 4E or 5E (or with alternate PF systems), I just approached those as new systems, and PF 2E is a new system too. So why would this system induce change resistance when the others didn't?
    And that right there is a major issue that I don't really have an answer for.
    Maybe the marketing induced "streamlined PF1, but customizable". Maybe you are a poweruser and run immediately into walls, where there where none before. Maybe the execution of the alluring concepts is simply poor.

    I for one feel, for me apply all three.

    In other news, I made a thread on Paizo to ask the devs about their design goals: https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42ol4?PF-2-design-goals#1 In case you don't know, they didn't want to part with their list, for us knowing it would influence the feedback. Of course it would influence it. Then we would have known if what you do is actually what you want and not just waver about the things, not knowing if a certain change is good or bad. But what my primary interest is - because I doubt the devs will answer - how long the thread survives their moderation.
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