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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    On effects which have a normal failure on the save result in, say, being affected for 1 minute with a new save to end every turn, and the critical failure being actually fully affected by the spell, do the new saves, on a crit fail, result in the full effect of the spell?

    Because that actually would be a cool way to handle making a middle ground between SoD and "recoverability."

    You fail the save, okay, it sucks, but you still have a chance to work out of it...or to succomb completely.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post

    Is it, though? Seems to me that there's a pretty big stigma against banning books.
    I figure it's because it's the same splat book(s) getting banned that players want to use. Some books are more controversial than others.
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Yes, it's called the "attack" action. I really like the idea of being able to spend an action on your shield for extra defense benefits; this makes using a shield an active choice in gameplay (as opposed to a flat AC bonus that you write down and forget about).
    That's more or less where I am as well. Having shield usage be more active is good in principle. It gives characters more ways to spend their actions without requiring special abilities and feats. But in practice it ends up warded with a lot of caveats. Shields are flimsy and now using them to block damage even requires a feat. And other fighting styles don't get any equivalent built-in ways of using actions.

    No comment on this particular execution, though. Having shield usage provoke OAs is ridiculous.
    It does? The Raise a shield action doesn't seem to have the Manipulate keyword, so it shouldn't provoke them.

    As far as spells so, I'm generally in favor of weakening "battlefield control" ones, because they've been a dominant tactics in D&D for years, except for 4E. 5E takes steps to weaken them, but a well-placed Web is still devastating. That being said, it's entirely possible that PF2E went overboard with it. I'd have to dig in and compare them a bit.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    As far as spells so, I'm generally in favor of weakening "battlefield control" ones, because they've been a dominant tactics in D&D for years, except for 4E. 5E takes steps to weaken them, but a well-placed Web is still devastating. That being said, it's entirely possible that PF2E went overboard with it. I'd have to dig in and compare them a bit.
    Battlefield control is a dominant tactic in the real world too, being able to control the circumstances of a fight, divide your enemies, put yourself in a position of power, those are all legitimate tactics, and whether players do it through spells, or have to find some other, more tedious way to do it, theyll still figure out a way. Or they wont, and itll just be a slugfest until one side dies. BFC spells add variety to combat that would otherwise just be “i attack 3 times, my turns done”
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Most of the spells I've seen don't force recurring saves, if you fail the initial save you're affected by the spell for a full minute and if you critically fail the save you get affected by it longer or harsher. Some of them you still get affected for 1 round with a smaller effect even if you succeed but it mostly just means the caster didn't totally waste their action since so many are single target. Biggest exception is Enchantments like Charm and friends.

    Some spells are still very good, though.

    Black Tentacles gives you a spell attack against their Fort DC rather than allowing a save (not quite sure how good or bad that is, yet) and inflicts the Grappled condition (which is Immobilized + Flat-footed) while dealing 3d6 damage, and affects creatures in a 20-ft burst. The tentacles have an AC equal to your Spell DC and 12 HP, but if they spend all their actions breaking the tentacle, another one tries to grab them when they end their turn in the effect. They can also attempt an escape against your Spell DC, of course.

    Resilient Sphere traps creatures in a 10-ft burst for 1 minute or until they break it (AC 5, Hardness 10, 40 HP). If you're an unwilling target you're still trapped even if you succeed at your Reflex save, but the HP of the dome is reduced to 10. At minimum it wastes most of their turn (if you center the globe on them they have to move to the edge then spend another action breaking the globe, and that's assuming they can overcome the globe's hardness).

    Blindness lasts for 1 minute even on a successful save and Blinded is still a pretty strong condition (turns all terrain into difficult terrain, for starters).

    Regardless of your tradition, there are generally one or two powerful combat or crowd control spells at each spell level with effects that are either still strong if they succeed on their save or have good area denial effects (Solid Fog makes the area difficult terrain and creates concealment with no save, Black Tentacles as mentioned, Wall of Stone has no listed save and you can fully enclose non-flying creatures with it, etc.) mixed in with the "casters can bypass/ignore some encounters" utility stuff like Pest Form, Fly, Planeshift, Teleport, and, of course, Knock.

    Speaking of, Knock still obviates the Rogue, just not automatically. It gives you a Thievery check with a +4 bonus to unlock the lock, and if you're untrained you get a bonus to the check equal to your caster level. If you actually have a Rogue you can also just cast it and let the Rogue unlock it with the +4 bonus, but if not, Knock makes you essentially the same as a Rogue with Expert proficiency when opening locks.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    Battlefield control is a dominant tactic in the real world too, being able to control the circumstances of a fight, divide your enemies, put yourself in a position of power, those are all legitimate tactics, and whether players do it through spells, or have to find some other, more tedious way to do it, theyll still figure out a way. Or they wont, and itll just be a slugfest until one side dies. BFC spells add variety to combat that would otherwise just be “i attack 3 times, my turns done”
    There is no problem with battlefield control. To many, the tactical aspect of controlling the battlefield is the only real enjoyment in the combat scenario. As you said, infinitely more enjoyable that "I attack 3 times, my turn's done."

    However, there is arguably something wrong with an assortment of spells that turn battlefield control into 'easy' mode. Which so simplify the tactical options to make them no longer a worthwhile part of the game. And there is a long history of such spells in the myriad editions of D&D/PF

    And it can destroy the enjoyment of the "many" players.

    P1: "Okay, let's see. There is a chokepoint here and here. So Randolfo, you put your dwarf here and go full defense which should put your AC out of reach and I'll stand in the square behind you and attack over with my reach weapon.

    p2: "We'll need to keep them from circling behind us so Mikhail go spray down those squares with your caltrops so we can slow them down if they try that.

    p3: "Great, I'll hide here with my bow ready and if they hit those caltrops I'll start peppering them and call out to let you know."

    p4: "Lol, Nah. I spray them with a web spell and go clean my nails. You guys can just walk up and spear them to death now."

    Personally, in my games, there tends to be a lot of joint tactical planning so that the 1 superpower player doesn't end up feeling like they are the only ones that matter, but I've certainly heard from many, many, many players on this board that tend to the "I don't need to work with you, you should've made a wizard if you didn't want to be useless" personality that I thankfully don't actually play with in real life.
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    "The drow cleric smashes you in the skull with an adamantine mace, this jogs your memory, regain all your used spell slots for the day"

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    Most of the spells I've seen don't force recurring saves, if you fail the initial save you're affected by the spell for a full minute and if you critically fail the save you get affected by it longer or harsher.
    See the list above. Spells like web or slow only get their 1E/2E/3E effect on a crit-fail.

    Let's go over your examples, shall we?
    • Black Tentacles got its level increased to 5, takes a full round to cast, doesn't grab creatures entering the area (unless they end their turn there), no longer prevents held creatures from attacking, and you can attempt to escape three times per round (instead of once).
    • Resilient Sphere still traps ONE creature, not creatures; I have no idea why you think a victim has to move to hit the sphere; and of course a 10-hp sphere goes down in one hit (whereas its 1E/2E/3E version is immune to most attacks, because that's the whole point). It also has its duration reduced, and no longer works on huge creatures.
    • Blindness has its level increased to 3, its range severely reduced, and the "+10 to all saves" keyword.
    • Solid Fog takes a full round to cast, has a much shorter duration, and no longer negates missile attacks (although it does give concealment).


    Regardless of how these compare to earlier editions, the only one I'd consider using is Black Tentacles.
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    I remember from the playtest that I liked a 10th-level spell that turned the caster and its buddies into mammoths. That's about all I liked in it, though...

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?

    Because reading through this thread. It seriously feels like to be true.

    Feels like everyone's ignoring all of the upsides to Pathfinder 2.0 to **** on its flaws... even if their actually positives and not negatives.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?

    Because reading through this thread. It seriously feels like to be true.

    Feels like everyone's ignoring all of the upsides to Pathfinder 2.0 to **** on its flaws... even if their actually positives and not negatives.
    While you will likely get pushback, I invite you to discuss these upsides; maybe you'll convince some of us that it's better than we think. I, for one, hope to come to like it; I'd love there to be a D&D-esq system that eventually can replace 3.PF1 the way 3e replaced 2e for me. 5e is great for what it does, but I still go back to 3.PF1 for certain kinds of games; I wouldn't consider doing so for 1e or 2e.

    So, what does PF2 do that we're ignoring? I'd love to hear about it, and find something more than "it will likely improve with more splat books, due to good bones for building off of" to be excited about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?

    Because reading through this thread. It seriously feels like to be true.

    Feels like everyone's ignoring all of the upsides to Pathfinder 2.0 to **** on its flaws... even if their actually positives and not negatives.
    I said that earlier.

    I'm also interested in hearing some positive opinions on PF2 as a counterpoint to the negative opinions (some of which are quite valid). For example, I really like the idea of dividing a turn into three parts and various actions take one, two or three of those parts. Really simple and intuitive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?
    I'm not seeing a lot of enthousiasm for 2E at the Paizo forums, nor at Enworld. So which forums are you referring to, then?

    But let me repeat my earlier statement, that I still really like the ideas of the three-action system, the four success levels, TEML, and feat-based racial abilities (and I wouldn't miss the ribbons); but find the implementation rather lacking. That just means I'll stick with P1 for the foreseeable future
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    I must say I approve of the new ability score generation method. Instead of mucking about with point-buy or rolling, we just start at 10 and apply bonuses from ancestry, background, class and the free pool. Of course this removes the last vestiges of relevancy from the score/modifier split, but so it goes.

    I'm trying to create a human fighter with an elven curve blade, to see if it's worth it to use finesse weapons if you're not a rogue. My ability scores ended up Strength 14, Dexterity 18, Constitution 14, Intelligence 0, Wisdom 12, Charisma 10. That means his attacks hit at 1d8+2. Is it enough? Beats me. The elven curve blade deals more damage the more attacks I make, but honestly the bonus seems really tiny.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?

    Because reading through this thread. It seriously feels like to be true.
    As mentioned, they're not super hot on it over at Paizo either. It has its fans, mind, and MORE of them than here it looks like, but it's by no means a universal love.

    Keep in mind the very idea of a new edition was not at all popular on the Paizo forum, and was like the 3rd most common source of flamewars behind Paladin threads and arguments about how the Martial/Caster disparity is a "myth propagated by people with agendas".

    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    Feels like everyone's ignoring all of the upsides to Pathfinder 2.0 to **** on its flaws... even if their actually positives and not negatives.
    One man's trash is another man's treasure, as they say. I'll echo another poster and ask you to enlighten us on what features you like about the game so much.

    TBH I think the thread has been pretty even keeled with its criticisms, giving credit where it's due more often than not. As I've repeatedly mentioned I like the action system, and the IDEA behind a lot of the changes (Class/Racial/Skill Feats being standard, the degrees of success/failure system), it's the execution I find uninspiring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I must say I approve of the new ability score generation method. Instead of mucking about with point-buy or rolling, we just start at 10 and apply bonuses from ancestry, background, class and the free pool. Of course this removes the last vestiges of relevancy from the score/modifier split, but so it goes.
    Ah, this too. I might actually borrow this for some PF1 games, with the caveat that I think the Background part of it is a stumble. As I said during the playtest, they'd have been better off letting players make their own backgrounds, choosing a pair of stat boosts Lore proficiencies of their choice, much like 5e encourages people to do (and is the standard in every 5e game I've played) to work around the problem of people getting pigeonholed into optimizing their character's backstory for mechanical advantage. It doesn't feel good to have to do that.
    Last edited by Rynjin; 2019-08-09 at 03:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    ... Who was it that said most of the Pathfinder fans would probably be on the Pathfinder forums, rather than places like here?

    Because reading through this thread. It seriously feels like to be true.

    Feels like everyone's ignoring all of the upsides to Pathfinder 2.0 to **** on its flaws... even if their actually positives and not negatives.
    Well... yeah? This is a 3e/3.5e/d20 board. Most of us here like Pathfinder because it stuck to 3.5e's legacy when WotC abandoned it for arguably clumsier systems. I'm not a Paizo fan, I'm a 3.5/PF fan. A game that manages elegance in design while being rules dense, extremely customizable, and exploitable in clever and fun ways. And Pathfinder Second Edition... is not these.
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  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by pabelfly View Post
    I said that earlier.

    I'm also interested in hearing some positive opinions on PF2 as a counterpoint to the negative opinions (some of which are quite valid). For example, I really like the idea of dividing a turn into three parts and various actions take one, two or three of those parts. Really simple and intuitive.
    I mean, that is definitely nice. Reminds me of Dark Heresy in which they have Half Actions or Full Actions. You only get 2 Half Actions obviously, but it was nice and simple and always worked well.

    From what I'm hearing here, the basic chassis of P2E is fine, its most of everything else that is either A) good idea executed terribly or B) a bad idea executed mediocrely. Frankly, I'm not on board for nerfing Spell Per Day and I was annoyed at 5E for doing it too. You already nerfed the spells, that was sufficient.
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    There could be a real chance that we end up getting a Pathfinder 2.5 if this goes poorly. So many almost good ideas in a system.

    The fact that that could happen kinda makes me laugh though.😅

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
    But let me repeat my earlier statement, that I still really like the ideas of the three-action system
    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin
    As I've repeatedly mentioned I like the action system, and the IDEA behind a lot of the changes
    A lot of people are saying they like the three-action system in theory but not in implementation, but I actually find even the idea of it more clunky than the previous system, for several reasons. In no particular order:

    1) Despite its supposed granularity, it doesn't really grant any practical benefit over the standard/move/swift (SMS) system. Things that used to be move actions are mostly 1 action, spells that used to be full-round/standard/swift now mostly take 3/2/1 actions to cast, 1 action = 1 attack except when it doesn't, the multiattack penalty makes multiple Strikes on your turn essentially equivalent to all the "Gain an extra attack but everything takes a -2 penalty" feats, distinguishing the two-action symbol and three-action symbol can actually be harder than distinguishing the phrases "standard action" and "full-round action" at a glance, and so on.

    Sure, you can say that's more of an implementation detail than a theoretical one, but (A) the devs haven't posted any sort of consistent framework for what an action is supposed to "mean" or "be worth" and I doubt the idea ever crossed their minds and (B) when it started off as the "unchained action economy" it was always positioned as "basically the same SMS system, but with some wiggle room" and it hasn't really evolved since then to take it where the idea would actually be substantially different than the implementation.

    And it might theoretically be simpler to explain "you have 3 actions and 1 reaction, use them however" than "you have 1 standard, 1 move, 1 swift, and 1 immediate action, use them in any order," but in practice everything lists what kind of action it is so you'd get the same benefit from making little SMS symbols like they did for 1/2/3 actions.

    2a) All three actions being the same "size" can lead to option paralysis. A standard action is the main thing you do in a round, and you get exactly one of them; a swift action generally augments your standard or move action, with some advanced options letting you compress standards or moves into swifts, and you get exactly one of those too; when considering what you want to do on your turn, that nicely chunks up your options for easier processing. If everything is just "actions," though, you have a lot more possibilities and a lot more to work through, and any option that lets you reduce the number of actions something takes or gives you more actions on a turn makes that even worse.

    As with the above point, this is mostly an issue for new players, but then I've never seen experienced players get confused about the SMS system because you quickly get an intuitive grasp of what each action is "for."

    2b) The converse of the above point is that all actions being interchangeable can actually reduce tactical choices. Looking at ToB and PoW as an example, boosts are swift actions so if you want to pump up your attack you can use exactly one boost with it. If a boost is just "an action" like any other, that lets you Boost+Boost+Strike (and somewhat encourages you to do so by giving up a chance to move, thereby returning to the old "melee characters are weaker if they move") issue...or, since PF2 devs are seemingly allergic to combos, more likely it discourages them from writing a lot of those augmenting actions.

    3) It seems like the constant size of actions has caused the devs to be much more stingy with the things you can do for free. Raising a shield taking a separate action to get any benefit at all is a common example, but also things like averting your gaze from a gaze attack, dropping prone, taking a 5-foot step, and other formerly-free actions now take up one of your 3 precious slots.



    One thing I haven't seen anyone do yet (unless I missed it in one of the PF2 playtest threads) is compare this action system with SWSE's, where you still have the standard/move/swift/full-round/immediate actions, but importantly (A) you can "trade down" standard -> move -> swift but can't trade back up, (B) tasks requiring multiple swift actions can be split across turns, and (C) immediate actions are now reactions and you have an unlimited number of them. Those small changes give you the flexibility of a multiple-similar-actions system without the pitfalls mentioned above:

    1) The only really confusing thing about 3e's and PF1's action system for new players is how immediate actions are once per round, but take up the next turn's swift, unless you take them on your turn, and they don't interact with AoOs, and you have to track whether you took your immediate action 2 in-game turns and 10 real-time minutes ago between turns. By simplifying immediates to "If you have a reaction ability, you can take it any time, no per-turn limits, no other action costs, period" and folding AoOs into them, that smooths out that complexity.

    2a) Actions still have a hierarchy, so less option paralysis. Even when you're dealing with 2- and 3-swift-action options, you can kind of rank them because "takes a move action" is more restrictive than "takes 2 swift actions" since you can turn a move into a swift but not vice versa, and you can always take part of an action now and the rest later if you can't fit everything in you want to do. And swift and multi-swift action options are generally smaller things that you're not going to be agonizing over in conjunction with your standard actions most of the time.

    2b) SWSE isn't afraid of synergies, so if you want to take 2 swift actions to boost your standard action, it basically shrugs and lets you, no problem there. Granted, part of that is SWSE's blaster-centric combat de-emphasizes melee weapons and no one gets multiple attacks by default, but that's orthogonal to the system's lack of...straitjacketedness, for lack of a better term, relative to PF2.

    3) Where PF2 likes to make things full actions, SWSE likes to make things reactions or at most swift actions. Wanna do this small thing that's useful but not all that impactful? PF says "One action down, two to go!" but SWSE says "Sure, slap it onto this other action, no biggie!"


    TL;DR: I think that a basic N-action system is flawed even in theory for the kinds of things they're using it for, and a tiered action system with trading-down would be a better option in most cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty
    I must say I approve of the new ability score generation method. Instead of mucking about with point-buy or rolling, we just start at 10 and apply bonuses from ancestry, background, class and the free pool. Of course this removes the last vestiges of relevancy from the score/modifier split, but so it goes.
    Maybe my grognard is showing, but I'm honestly a little annoyed that recent systems have basically removed negative ability modifiers as a thing. In 3e people wanted high scores, obviously, but rolling could result in modifiers in the -1 to -4 range and point buy could start you off with -1, and racial penalties could drop that by another -1 to -2. Then PF1 and 4e removed negative ability modifiers 'cause they're not fun or something and 5e handed out more ability boosts across the board, reducing the likelihood of ending up with negative ability modifiers, and now PF2 makes you completely unable to get them.

    Both 5e and PF2 went the bounded accuracy round (the latter much less so than the former, thank Boccob) because people were complaining that bonuses are too high...well, yeah, if you expect everyone's scores to start in the +0 to +4 range instead of -2 to +2 you're going to see higher modifiers at low levels. And then, conversely, they restrict maximum ability scores (5e with a hard cap at 20, PF2 by making it very hard to max out a given score) because they're worried about scores getting too high in later levels, which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't start so high in the first place!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think high ability scores are a bad thing, in fact I generally houserule my games to give out a lot more ability increases than the standard. I just find it kinda hypocritical to be going "Penalties are bad, everyone gets bonuses!" on the one hand and "...but not too many, high bonuses are bad!" on the other.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Maybe my grognard is showing, but I'm honestly a little annoyed that recent systems have basically removed negative ability modifiers as a thing. In 3e people wanted high scores, obviously, but rolling could result in modifiers in the -1 to -4 range and point buy could start you off with -1, and racial penalties could drop that by another -1 to -2. Then PF1 and 4e removed negative ability modifiers 'cause they're not fun or something and 5e handed out more ability boosts across the board, reducing the likelihood of ending up with negative ability modifiers, and now PF2 makes you completely unable to get them.

    Both 5e and PF2 went the bounded accuracy round (the latter much less so than the former, thank Boccob) because people were complaining that bonuses are too high...well, yeah, if you expect everyone's scores to start in the +0 to +4 range instead of -2 to +2 you're going to see higher modifiers at low levels. And then, conversely, they restrict maximum ability scores (5e with a hard cap at 20, PF2 by making it very hard to max out a given score) because they're worried about scores getting too high in later levels, which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't start so high in the first place!

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think high ability scores are a bad thing, in fact I generally houserule my games to give out a lot more ability increases than the standard. I just find it kinda hypocritical to be going "Penalties are bad, everyone gets bonuses!" on the one hand and "...but not too many, high bonuses are bad!" on the other.
    I honestly don't care much one way or the other, as I consider attribute scores in D&D a formality more than anything. As such, I'm glad that PF2E uses a method that minimizes number-juggling and just lets me put the numbers where I want them. That being said, what do you mean that PF2E makes you unable to have a negative ability modifier? They still show up on the table and ancestries do get attribute flaws. So if you're an elf and you don't spend any boosts on constitution, you'll end up with 8, thus a -1 modifier.

    In other news, as I continue making my finesse human fighter, the 1st level feats for this class are honestly uninspiring. I took Sudden Charge but I don't know if I'll be using the human ability to get another one. If I did, it'd be Power Attack or Exacting Strike.
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    I'll do a bigger rundown of the positives when it's not so late... but I'll try to do a quick bullet point.

    1. 3-Action system. Some people say it's not implemented well enough. I disagree. It's fast, efficient and easy to understand, and with several 1 or 2 action abilities everyone can take, you really need to think about what you do from turn to turn. It also makes combat more mobile to thanks to a lack of full-attack actions.

    2. Simplified numbers. No more big tables with numbers across the board. No more figuring out what your saves and BAB are with your multiclassing. It's Level + Proficiency + Ability Score. Very quick and efficient... but without 5e's bounded accuracy, allowing for greater variation in this number and really helping people excel at certain skill or ability.

    3. Degrees of Success. Crit Success and Crit fails having actual, logical, and not extremely game-breaking results? Fantastic, I love it. Plus it really means the number bonus from higher proficiency really counts.

    4. Exp to level up. A rather small thing honestly. But just needed 1kxp per level, and the XP you gain reflecting the challenge you face makes a lot of sense and saves room and time. Because really, there's little difference between needing 1k exp to level up and getting 100s of exp per encounter. Or 100k exp to level up and getting 10ks of exp per encounter. Plus, you actually have rules for non-combat exp rewards, which is fantastic.

    5. Skills = Initiative. Really rewards player creativity in setting up a combat encounter, and means that Dexterity is much less invaluable than before (even if Wisdom sorta-replaces it as Perception is the defualt)

    6. Sorcerers can pick from any spell list to reflect their bloodline. Fantastic way to really set the Sorcerer apart from the other classes.

    7. Multiclassing. Seriously. The multiclassing in this edition is by far the easiest and less painful. You don't lose any of the core class features of your class as you level up. A wizard/fighter/rogue multiclass is still a full-casting wizard. But trading out some of their spellcasting tricks for some fighting and roguey stuff, which is great.

    8. Rituals = Skills. So non-spellcasters can get in on the narrative changing powers such as resurrection. Which is fantastic. Also makes it unlikely you'll get one single character as the 'Ritualist', or so I hope. We'll have to see how it works out.

    9. Weapon choice is actually meaningful. With all the different tags and abilities. The choice between a longsword and an axe, or a spear and glaive really make a difference. Compared to original Pathfinder where it really didn't matter to much? Unless you were going crit-fishing, and that just meant you were stuck to swords. Really helps martial characters define themselves even more.

    That's all from the top of my head.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Oh, I really like how PF2 handles carrying capacity too. Really quick to deal with in comparison to 3.5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    See the list above. Spells like web or slow only get their 1E/2E/3E effect on a crit-fail.
    The first bit was directed at someone asking how spells with recurring saves worked, not part of the overall point. My fault for being unclear, I should have quoted that post and separated the rest.

    Because yeah, you're absolutely right that most of the spells that used to do battlefield control well like Web have very weak effects unless they critically fail their save.

    Regardless of how these compare to earlier editions, the only one I'd consider using is Black Tentacles.
    I'm not saying they're as good as their 3e/PF 1e counterparts, they've clearly been hit with a fairly large nerf bat. Smaller ranges, shorter durations, weaker effects, increased spell levels, more ways to escape.

    But they're still somewhat effective in their role as battlefield control / area denial spells and most of the caster's core competencies that revolve around trivially solving non-combat encounters are intact.

    I'll admit I missed that Blindness has a trait that adds 10 to its saves (why is that even a thing? Really Paizo?), though it only affects characters whose level is at least twice as much as the effect (so level 6+ for Blindness).

    And yeah I somehow misread Resilient Sphere entirely and thought it was a 10-ft burst. No idea how that happened, my apologies. Although the Sphere does have Hardness 10, still hopefully useful for a few levels once you get it even on a successful save since they need 20 damage in a single attack to break it.

    But my point isn't really "look at all these strong spells!", sorry if it came across that way. I was just giving examples of spells that still look okay for save-or-suck and area denial purposes.

    I do think casters are probably fine in the context of the system. Even if they aren't as good at battlefield control as they used to be (which, to be clear, they used to basically end encounters on their own with one or two spells) they still have some strong effects and utility spells that can bypass encounters and puzzles... particularly at higher levels.

    I think their goal was to make this more of a team oriented game. It feels very much like what some 4e proponents have been saying; that more people would have liked the system if it hadn't been packaged the way it was. I agree, and PF 2e seems to be the test; it just is 4e in so, so many ways, just repackaged to look more familiar. The spell nerfs, the traits system vs 4e's keywords, stuff like Rage caring about ten minute intervals (it's literally an encounter power), it's all evidence in favor. They even have rituals! Though the rituals system is a bit different, of course. They have the same feat-based multiclassing as 4e (though clearly even worse than that was at launch, and it was pretty bad at launch), and use an extremely similar proficiency system under the hood. They even have Non AC Defenses in the form of spell attacks targeting creature's Fort, Ref, and Will DCs.

    And, well, if that was the goal they've certainly succeeded at it, and it would also explain why they wouldn't talk about the actual principles behind their design in any detail during the playtest.

    But as far as I'm concerned, if it isn't high power at high level with traditional multiclassing, it isn't for me. I've said it before, but the game probably plays fine. It is almost certainly a great game along the same lines as DnD 4e was a great game, and it at least appears to meet their design goals well.

    But I don't share their design goals for class based RPGs. At all. d20 Modern, which basically forces you into multiclassing and prestige classing, sketches a rough outline of my ideal class system.

    Certainly the base classes could be improved so that taking a base class to level 10 isn't "strictly" worse than prestiging or dipping, like in 5e, because I know some people want the simple 1-20 build where they don't have to make a lot of choices. But generally speaking, I want a class system with a heavy emphasis on multiclassing, stapled to PF 2e's mechanical chassis of bulk, conditions, traits, proficiencies, exploration/downtime activities, etc. I want a system where players have to think about -- actively consider -- what class they'll add when they level up, just as much as they agonize over which feat to take or class option to select, and to be class dipping like mad trying to most closely match their vision of their character or eke out that last +1 bonus.

    The system Paizo has created and intends to move forward with, even once they start expanding options with splats, is literally incapable of giving me that.

    But I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that I think a lot (not all, just a lot) of the people here who are down on it are down on it for the same reasons they don't like 4e and are having trouble articulating that because they appear superficially dissimilar. Like 4e, PF 2e is probably a fine game and lots of people are going to make the jump and play their single classed characters with splashes of low level multiclass powers (except multiclass spellcasters who can get 8th level spells, whyyyy?), and these same people would probably have liked 4e if they had given it a chance. The games are just so similarly designed, all the way down to the bones.

    And yeah, maybe I should just play a classless system, it's certainly easier to get the character I want there. But I firmly believe that some restriction breeds creativity, and I like that prestige classes can give your character a theme without coloring in all the details. It just feels like PF 2e swings the pendulum too far towards restrictions where something like Savage Worlds or Fate has too few. Maybe I'm really just lamenting the death of a really cool idea in tabletop RPGs, the prestige class, because now there are zero mainstream systems containing them. I dunno.

    Anyway I'm really not sure how I rambled my way to this point from battlefield control spells, I guess because as I was reading more spells I was struck by how similarly to 4e powers they were formatted? But, well, here we are. I'm gonna cut myself off because the post is long enough as it is and I can tell I'm becoming incoherent.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder 2 Release

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    That being said, what do you mean that PF2E makes you unable to have a negative ability modifier? They still show up on the table and ancestries do get attribute flaws. So if you're an elf and you don't spend any boosts on constitution, you'll end up with 8, thus a -1 modifier.
    That's my fault for not checking for the right thing. When you said "start at 10 and apply bonuses from..." I assumed you meant PF2 had removed ability penalties, went "Huh, I didn't think they did that," opened up the Dwarf ancestry on the SRD, Ctrl-F'd for "-2," didn't see anything, and thought that was actually the case. Silly me for forgetting they're called "Ability Flaws" now.


    On that note, can I just say that PF2 in general (and the SRD in particular) is quite possibly the most clunkily-worded, poorly-laid-out RPG product I've seen to date? Things that need explanation or definitions are generally one or two levels of indirection away from where it would make sense for them to be, things that don't need to be repeated constantly are (especially in the cluttered tables), and the wording doesn't really flow at all. It basically combines the worst of 4e's "natural language ist verboten, everything is its own special rules module" approach, 5e's "everything has to be explained every single time under its own fancy header" approach, and PF1's "everything is a function call to some other list somewhere else" approach. And of course the SRD barely links anything together so you have to open a dozen tabs and search for everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Storyteller_Arc View Post
    1. 3-Action system. Some people say it's not implemented well enough. I disagree. It's fast, efficient and easy to understand, and with several 1 or 2 action abilities everyone can take, you really need to think about what you do from turn to turn. It also makes combat more mobile to thanks to a lack of full-attack actions.
    I already laid out my general issues with the 3-action system above, but that last part isn't really true. There may not be literal "take a full turn to make multiple iteratives" full attacks, but now everyone can make multiple attacks and they don't even have to take a feat or wait until BAB +6 to do that. At low levels it can be worth it to stand in place and swing three times even if you're attacking at -0/-5/-10, 'cause you have a 1d8 weapon and that orc brute has 15 HP and crit-fishing is actually your best option if you don't want to get stabbed in the face next round.

    In general, any system that lets you trade out moving for more attack power (whether that's 3e/PF1 full attack, PF2 one-attack-per-action, various aiming feats/class features that let you aim as a move action, etc.) is going to result in less mobile combat unless you compensate somehow, like 4e's panoply of forced-movement powers, the late-3e explosion of swift-action moves, and similar.

    3. Degrees of Success. Crit Success and Crit fails having actual, logical, and not extremely game-breaking results? Fantastic, I love it. Plus it really means the number bonus from higher proficiency really counts.
    I'd say making critical success and failure dependent on margin of success just makes things more swingy and exacerbates dumpster diving. By turning a crit from "You roll a natural 20 and no amount of bonuses will help with that" to "You beat the target number by +10" you (A) make grabbing every last +1 even more important because they increase your crit chance as well as your hit chance (like if 3e Weapon Focus also increased your critical threat range by 1 or the like) and (B) tilt things against the PCs every time they go up against something with more HD than they have levels, because giving the boss an extra +3 or so means a +15% crit chance on every single attack it makes and a -15% chance for every attack PCs make against it, which adds up.

    5. Skills = Initiative. Really rewards player creativity in setting up a combat encounter, and means that Dexterity is much less invaluable than before (even if Wisdom sorta-replaces it as Perception is the defualt)
    Also known as the "convince the DM to let me use my highest modifier through contortions of logic" rule.

    But seriously, having played a lot of Fate, where any skill can be used with any action depending on how you describe it and any Aspect can be applied to any circumstance if the GM agrees it applies, I've seen a lot of this kind of "flavor lawyering" take place there (not even in a "I'm munchkining the rules" kind of way, just in a "Of course Batman can logically apply Stealth to practically everything" kind of way) and adding that to PF2 seems like it just adds pointless epicycles to the initiative roll.

    6. Sorcerers can pick from any spell list to reflect their bloodline. Fantastic way to really set the Sorcerer apart from the other classes.
    In general, the consolidation of all class-based spell lists into four generic ones does reduce variety and uniqueness there, so while the sorcerer benefits everyone else suffers.

    And you've basically been able to make a divine sorcerer for a while, as long as you don't mind writing "Favored Soul" or "Oracle" on your character sheet.

    8. Rituals = Skills. So non-spellcasters can get in on the narrative changing powers such as resurrection. Which is fantastic. Also makes it unlikely you'll get one single character as the 'Ritualist', or so I hope. We'll have to see how it works out.
    4e said exactly the same thing, and we saw how that worked out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silvercrys View Post
    But I guess what I'm really trying to get at is that I think a lot (not all, just a lot) of the people here who are down on it are down on it for the same reasons they don't like 4e and are having trouble articulating that because they appear superficially dissimilar. Like 4e, PF 2e is probably a fine game and lots of people are going to make the jump and play their single classed characters with splashes of low level multiclass powers (except multiclass spellcasters who can get 8th level spells, whyyyy?), and these same people would probably have liked 4e if they had given it a chance. The games are just so similarly designed, all the way down to the bones.
    Oh, I think it's quite obvious that PF2 pulls from the worst parts of 4e and 5e in many respects. I just haven't been making many such direct comparisons because it also has its own unique flaws to talk about first.

    But since you mention it, it is pretty darn strange that an RPG whose raison d'etre is "We hate 4e, let's not do that" decided to go to the 4e well for its next edition. I bet if WotC hadn't nuked most of the 4e playtest stuff in the Gleemax debacle, you could go back and match 4e playtest feedback to equivalent PF2 playtest feedback--from "Your new 'weapon, armor, cloak, done' magic item system is terrible" to "Locking every single class into the same 'd20+level mod+small class/feat bonus' framework is boring" to "Why is [basic obvious martial thing] now suddenly restricted to only some martial classes?" and on and on--up to and including the part where the designers take out one or two inflammatory things and leave the rest in despite all protestations to the contrary and we end up with...well, 4e or PF2.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exelsisxax View Post
    I wonder if anyone tried to pitch a "pathfinder, but based on Unchained and streamlined with the chaff thrown out" in any of the early brainstorming meetings. That's literally the kind of thinking that brought their company into existence, just coming from 3.5 rather than their own game. I wonder what kind of nonsense had to happen to get them to completely abandon their foundational strategy in favor of getting somehow creative enough to make 200 ****ty feats without coming up with anything new or interesting for the game as a whole.
    Been thinking about this. Honestly, what I would have pitched in the meeting is a bridge between PF1 and Starfinder. Caster classes with 6 spell levels modeled on mystic and technomancer. New archetypes for space alchemists and Druids. Muggle classes adapted to starfinder’s one big hit rather than the multiple attacks model. Then they are supporting their own new system, and by making them backwards compatible they would be essentially printing unchained versions of the tier 1 classes at basically T3, so people who object to wizard or Druid could use the new space Druid instead. Instead they went with abandoning their own nearly new system and their 3.5 roots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    On that note, can I just say that PF2 in general (and the SRD in particular) is quite possibly the most clunkily-worded, poorly-laid-out RPG product I've seen to date? Things that need explanation or definitions are generally one or two levels of indirection away from where it would make sense for them to be, things that don't need to be repeated constantly are (especially in the cluttered tables), and the wording doesn't really flow at all. It basically combines the worst of 4e's "natural language ist verboten, everything is its own special rules module" approach, 5e's "everything has to be explained every single time under its own fancy header" approach, and PF1's "everything is a function call to some other list somewhere else" approach. And of course the SRD barely links anything together so you have to open a dozen tabs and search for everything.
    You clearly haven't had alot of experience with the Burning Wheel RPG; it is a fun system, but by the gods, they don't know how to format or layout an RPG book to save their life, the least they could've done was add a proper and complete index or glossary. *shudders*

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    Honestly it seems like all a lot of the spells need is a rule like "if a character would be affected by a given effect of a spell twice, instead increase the effect of the spell as if their save was one tier of success lower". So success + success = failure, failure + failure = critical failure. It would give a way to still have those juicy spell effects, but make them more reactable and fair

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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    But since you mention it, it is pretty darn strange that an RPG whose raison d'etre is "We hate 4e, let's not do that" decided to go to the 4e well for its next edition. I bet if WotC hadn't nuked most of the 4e playtest stuff in the Gleemax debacle, you could go back and match 4e playtest feedback to equivalent PF2 playtest feedback--from "Your new 'weapon, armor, cloak, done' magic item system is terrible" to "Locking every single class into the same 'd20+level mod+small class/feat bonus' framework is boring" to "Why is [basic obvious martial thing] now suddenly restricted to only some martial classes?" and on and on--up to and including the part where the designers take out one or two inflammatory things and leave the rest in despite all protestations to the contrary and we end up with...well, 4e or PF2.
    +1 for all of this. A lot of what PF2 came up with as a response for perceived issues of the 3.X framework is eerily similar to 4e. Disparities in bonuses to rolls? Put everyone on a tight number schedule. Classes being able to step on each other's toes? Silo off abilities as much as you can. Mundane challenges not keeping up with character abilities? Scale challenges directly with level. The biggest difference was the responses to martial/caster disparity. 4e went down the road of just putting all classes on a single framework of abilities with its at-will/encounter/daily scheme. PF2 instead just nerfed casters on every axis - spells per day, the magnitude of the spell effects, the chance of them sticking, buff duration.

    The solutions were unpopular last time, and are this time, for the same reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    One thing I haven't seen anyone do yet (unless I missed it in one of the PF2 playtest threads) is compare this action system with SWSE's, where you still have the standard/move/swift/full-round/immediate actions, but importantly (A) you can "trade down" standard -> move -> swift but can't trade back up, (B) tasks requiring multiple swift actions can be split across turns, and (C) immediate actions are now reactions and you have an unlimited number of them.
    I'm like, 90% sure that in neither 3.5 nor pathfinder can you trade move for a swift. You're limited to 1, and there's no option to trade down, unless you've read a rule somewhere that I've missed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    A lot of people are saying they like the three-action system in theory but not in implementation, but I actually find even the idea of it more clunky than the previous system, for several reasons. In no particular order:
    That's pretty insightful. I do agree that what a purported three-action system does not need is a ton of exceptional activities that arbitrarily count as two or three (or zero) actions instead.

    For instance, giving spells two actions because they have a vocal and somatic component sounds cute in theory; but in practice 3E/PF players don't remember which spells have which components anyway. And it means that in P2, most spells are one action-that-does-not-provoke and another action-that-does. Smooth gameplay, it ain't. Since they've massively reworked spells anyway, they could have rebalanced them for being one action each.

    Aside from that, the "flourish" keyword is a kludge. It means that this particular action can only be done once per turn, for arbitrary reasons that appear to mimic the "swift" action (was was 1/turn in 3E/PF).

    Maybe I should check out SWSE, but I'm not a fan of the setting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I'm like, 90% sure that in neither 3.5 nor pathfinder can you trade move for a swift. You're limited to 1, and there's no option to trade down, unless you've read a rule somewhere that I've missed?
    It looks like SWSE refers to the Star Wars Saga Edition RPG (someone correct me if I'm wrong about that). However, for a D&D related example, in 4e you could trade down for your actions (standard>move>bonus), letting you trade a move action for a bonus (essentially swift) action.

    On that note, while I adore 4e, I do so because of its highly tactical and varied combat (largely due to its movement, forced movement, and opponent marking options), as well as powers and flavor that lend themselves very well to cinematic, larger-than-life action. How's Pathfinder 2E hold up on those fronts?
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