Pathfinder 1E Are people still playing Pathfinder 1e?

Retreater

Legend
I gmed PFS games for years (close to 1000 tables) and you can't do much about broken characters in that environment. Now playing home games I'm finding people generally want to play even more broken stuff once the PFS rails are off. Been a definite turn off.
In my era of running 3.x and PF1, I had a "only core rules" house rule at my table. There was enough for a GM to keep up with in those books only.
 

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payn

Legend
This is exactly what brought me back around to PF2.
Unfortunately, PF2 sent me packing. Stats have been boiled down to 2-3 different working arrays for every character, multi-classing has been shafted into 4E hybrid style, and the level banding is too tight and tactical bog down of combat is boring. Though, that definitely varies by preference. I think PF2 is an outstanding game I just don't happen to like playing.
 

Thrawn007

Reformed grognard
O
In my era of running 3.x and PF1, I had a "only core rules" house rule at my table. There was enough for a GM to keep up with in those books only.
Organized play doesn't let the gm make those decisions, so most of my pf1 gming used all books. PFS did have a core only track too though. I've always been a bit of a completionist anyway which is far easier now that pdf books exist.
 

Thrawn007

Reformed grognard
Unfortunately, PF2 sent me packing. Stats have been boiled down to 2-3 different working arrays for every character, multi-classing has been shafted into 4E hybrid style, and the level banding is too tight and tactical bog down of combat is boring. Though, that definitely varies by preference. I think PF2 is an outstanding game I just don't happen to like playing.
I may find I am in the same boat, but since it will not have the things that frustrate me in pf1 and 5e, I'm willing to embrace a new set of problems.
 

payn

Legend
I may find I am in the same boat, but since it will not have the things that frustrate me in pf1 and 5e, I'm willing to embrace a new set of problems.
Well, I have a few ideas to make the game more suitable, for myself anyways. If I run it again I'd use the proficiency without level and free archetype variants. That might expand the level banding some allowing better sandbox play, and the additional archetype take the suffocation out of multi-classing. Food for thought.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Well, I have a few ideas to make the game more suitable, for myself anyways. If I run it again I'd use the proficiency without level and free archetype variants. That might expand the level banding some allowing better sandbox play, and the additional archetype take the suffocation out of multi-classing. Food for thought.

Free Archetype is one of the better optional rules; it gives a little more variety without impacting character power notably.

(This is primarily a problem with the base rules because class feats are, on the whole, good enough you don't really want to discard them for multiclass or other archetype feats).
 

Retreater

Legend
O

Organized play doesn't let the gm make those decisions, so most of my pf1 gming used all books. PFS did have a core only track too though. I've always been a bit of a completionist anyway which is far easier now that pdf books exist.
I like the idea of being a completionist, but it's not practical to run a game with all of that information. It's better to run a curated experience than to allow everything in a game, I've found.
Also, I don't run PFS.
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
I agree, PF 1e Core rules are enough. (With the caveat that Unchained Monk and Rogue are pretty necessary to make those classes suck less.) For a given campaign I'll maybe allow stuff from other books. Also, and I'm pretty sure I said this last time I posted in this thread, I'm limiting it to E8 style. (level limit of 8, with advancement after that taking the form of feats.)
 

DrunkonDuty

he/him
Addendum: which is well and good for home games. But yeah, organised play is different. Players are allowed, nay encouraged, to have all the latest and greatest in power creep. For a GM it's a lot of work. Hell, for player it can be a lot of work. I think it's why I never warmed to organised play.
 

payn

Legend
I opened the flood gates and had no issues. The only things I banned were the gunslinger and summoner because they were broke ass at creation. I know there are likely other things that are overpowered but they never came up in my games. The advanced players guide was a huge hit and I couldn't imagine playing PF1 without it.
 

Thrawn007

Reformed grognard
I opened the flood gates and had no issues. The only things I banned were the gunslinger and summoner because they were broke ass at creation. I know there are likely other things that are overpowered but they never came up in my games. The advanced players guide was a huge hit and I couldn't imagine playing PF1 without it.
I agree. Many of the non-core classes are the best in the game.
 

So a post appeared on the PF2 subreddit that seems relevant to this discussion. It’s written by Michael Sayre, a Paizo staff member.


Quoting the entire post here for posterity:

So, with a little time having passed since Pathfinder 2E won Best Roleplaying Game of 2022 from Tabletop Gaming, I thought I might talk a bit about how intense some of the challenges faced by this game and the company that makes it have been.

The game was barely out and on shelves when the COVID pandemic forced people to isolate and avoid groups for their own safety.
The Suez Canal was blocked, impacting shipping and storage costs by astronomical degrees.

  • Nearly half the creative staff moved on to more lucrative or higher prestige positions with other companies, most within a very short window (which, to be clear, every one of them richly deserved; their talent is missed but their success is celebrated).
  • While ultimately to the greater good, months of production time were lost when the freelancers went on strike in support of our unionization efforts.
  • More time was lost to people getting sick or losing family members to COVID.
  • Inflation hit record highs.
  • Streamers with subscriber bases more than twice the size of the entire PF1 consumer base at its height made "PF2 dunk videos" to boost their followings at Paizo's expense.

Now, some of those things had really brutal knock-on effects. In some instances, the prices for shipping and storage increased by as much as 600%. Products sat in shipping containers for weeks or months, costing us money instead of making us money. Game stores that are traditionally some of our most effective marketers and a vital point of sale for our product had to shut their doors, in some instances forever. Many of us at Paizo spent weeks working an extra 20 or more hours of overtime to try and keep things on track and moving through the pipeline despite the delays. It really felt hopeless, a lot, for a very long time.

But crazily, this game, this second edition of Pathfinder, it saved the company. Communities like this have grown exponentially in the less-than-a-handful of years since the edition released. The core line and design hardcovers have blown away past benchmarks for PF1 and Starfinder in both physical and digital sales. The Lost Omens line sells more copies than the old PF1 Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines combined.

As the cost of doing business kept rising and rising, so too did the tide of people coming out to support PF2. People like the GMs in this community who ran and still run Beginner Box games for anyone interested, and those people they bring into the game who turn around and buy their own Beginner Box, and then their own Core Rulebook, and so on into however many products they desire for their game. People like the content creators cranking out content that helps advertise books and promote the system to people who might not otherwise really know what PF2 is about. The PF2 3pp content creators and reviewers like Infiknight who help promote some of the folks who might just be the next generation of designers and developers working on the game. So on and so forth.

Pathfinder 2e is the best-selling, most successful thing Paizo has ever made. Sadly, anything less might have spelled the end of the company with all the challenges that came into play, and there are undoubtedly still challenges ahead. Fortunately, it is what it is and it was what it was so we don't need to waste too much time speculating on might-have-beens. The point of all this is, "thanks". Thanks for buying and playing this game more than any game we've ever made. Thanks for talking about this game to all your friends. Thanks for continuing to buy our books in record numbers even though all the rules are free online. Thanks for supporting what is, in my humble opinion, the best fantasy tabletop game on the market.

And please, stick around and keep talking about PF2 and bringing in new friends to play it. I have it on good authority that there's some wild stuff coming in 2023 and 2024 that is going to blow your f*cking socks off.

I hadn’t realized there were major streamers “dunking on” PF2, but it’s disappointing to hear. Suffice to say that, according to this post, Paizo is apparently extremely satisfied with the sales for PF2.
 
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DrunkonDuty

he/him
I am also unaware of major streamers dunking on PF2, but in all fairness I'm largely unaware of major streamers. I wonder who and what was said?
 

Jahydin

Adventurer
I am also unaware of major streamers dunking on PF2, but in all fairness I'm largely unaware of major streamers. I wonder who and what was said?
This one comes to mind.

I remember when it came out it caused a ton of discussion on the PF and 5E subreddits/forums. Lots of good points made, but the video certainly did more harm than good for Paizo since most players were not going to go on any deep dives on the matter.
 

Jahydin

Adventurer
Unfortunately, PF2 sent me packing. Stats have been boiled down to 2-3 different working arrays for every character, multi-classing has been shafted into 4E hybrid style, and the level banding is too tight and tactical bog down of combat is boring. Though, that definitely varies by preference. I think PF2 is an outstanding game I just don't happen to like playing.
Spot on and why I like it! :)(y)

I think stats are way too important to be rolled randomly. Also gives complete control over character creation.
Agree on multiclassing, but Free Archetype optional rule fixes that for me.
Level banding makes dialing in challenging encounters easier I think? Been playing for a year now and have never seen the players steamroll over my encounters like they did playing 5E. Maybe PF's combat math is just better?

I'm curious how high levels are going to play though since we haven't hit those yet. It's honestly the only reason I stopped playing 1st. After level 10, prepping encounters was a nightmare for me. Felt like every creatures stat block was 2-3 pages long and required a ton of work to figure out the best "game plan" for them in the few rounds they had to live.
 

payn

Legend
Spot on and why I like it! :)(y)

I think stats are way too important to be rolled randomly. Also gives complete control over character creation.
Agree on multiclassing, but Free Archetype optional rule fixes that for me.
Level banding makes dialing in challenging encounters easier I think? Been playing for a year now and have never seen the players steamroll over my encounters like they did playing 5E. Maybe PF's combat math is just better?

I'm curious how high levels are going to play though since we haven't hit those yet. It's honestly the only reason I stopped playing 1st. After level 10, prepping encounters was a nightmare for me. Felt like every creatures stat block was 2-3 pages long and required a ton of work to figure out the best "game plan" for them in the few rounds they had to live.
I think moderate and below encounters are the bread and butter of PF2. Severe and extreme are really good for solos and bosses. Though, if you face too many severe and/or extreme the PCs feel like chumps and many of their abilities are sidelined. If you know this it works great, but if you go in with 3E/PF1 or 5E expectations its a hard learned lesson for players and GMs. I do agree the CR is very accurate in PF2, perhaps a little too accurate for my tastes. I like fights to have some variety and little guesswork at to run/play. This is what I mean by not doing sandbox play well, the PCs have no way to really punch above their weight like they can in 3E/PF1/5E.

As for stats, I agree, I don't like randomly rolling them either. However, I also like variety and you don't get any with the way PF2 math works. Everyone takes the same 2-3 different arrays and sets them up to support their class.

I have only played PF2 up to level 10. What I hear is the game gets easier in upper levels. The PCs have a lot more options available and sidelining drops off a bit. Which, I would much rather the game be easier at early levels and get tougher at higher levels. Also, yes the stat blocks are cleaner and easier to make than 3E/PF1 so higher level play is much less of a chore for the GM.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I think moderate and below encounters are the bread and butter of PF2. Severe and extreme are really good for solos and bosses. Though, if you face too many severe and/or extreme the PCs feel like chumps and many of their abilities are sidelined. If you know this it works great, but if you go in with 3E/PF1 or 5E expectations its a hard learned lesson for players and GMs. I do agree the CR is very accurate in PF2, perhaps a little too accurate for my tastes. I like fights to have some variety and little guesswork at to run/play. This is what I mean by not doing sandbox play well, the PCs have no way to really punch above their weight like they can in 3E/PF1/5E.

The problem here is there's no middle ground you can have; if you have away to punch above your weight, after a while its the standard approach and then what does the CR really do?

As for stats, I agree, I don't like randomly rolling them either. However, I also like variety and you don't get any with the way PF2 math works. Everyone takes the same 2-3 different arrays and sets them up to support their class.

I think this is a self-inflicted wound though; I've done some variety amongst my limited characters here and didn't suffer noticeably. I'm not going to say that you don't want to aim at your most important attributes, but that was true all the way back to 3e at least. The worst you can say is that there's always a few attributes you're never going to care about as much.

I have only played PF2 up to level 10. What I hear is the game gets easier in upper levels. The PCs have a lot more options available and sidelining drops off a bit. Which, I would much rather the game be easier at early levels and get tougher at higher levels. Also, yes the stat blocks are cleaner and easier to make than 3E/PF1 so higher level play is much less of a chore for the GM.

I can see the argument here.
 

payn

Legend
The problem here is there's no middle ground you can have; if you have away to punch above your weight, after a while its the standard approach and then what does the CR really do?
I like a higher band, I just think PF2 is too tight. I am curious what proficiency without level does tot he banding. I might enjoy it more.

Also, enemies were very different in 3E. There where reasons (not always good ones) that something was at X CR. Some of those fights could be tackled by good strategy because of that variety. In PF2 the math is all the same so your hard hitting abilities are sidelined and chances of scoring critical hits vastly reduced. It just simply becomes impossible to face anything in the Extreme+ range.
I think this is a self-inflicted wound though; I've done some variety amongst my limited characters here and didn't suffer noticeably. I'm not going to say that you don't want to aim at your most important attributes, but that was true all the way back to 3e at least. The worst you can say is that there's always a few attributes you're never going to care about as much.
That's precisely the issue. You can go 16 in your primary stat and swap a few others around, but anything else is suicide. You end up with 2-3 viable stat arrays that every class takes and doles out the same.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Also, enemies were very different in 3E. There where reasons (not always good ones) that something was at X CR. Some of those fights could be tackled by good strategy because of that variety. In PF2 the math is all the same so your hard hitting abilities are sidelined and chances of scoring critical hits vastly reduced. It just simply becomes impossible to face anything in the Extreme+ range.

I think "impossible" overstates it, though I agree it'd be quite risky (I literally just got done with being part of a fight that was either a Severe or Extreme boss encounter a few moments ago; it could have gone badly, but our tactics did matter. And once you get outside of spells, I haven't seen the best abilities sidelines just because you were fighting uphill.

That's precisely the issue. You can go 16 in your primary stat and swap a few others around, but anything else is suicide. You end up with 2-3 viable stat arrays that every class takes and doles out the same.

Well, honestly, I can't say I found having primary attributes lower than 16 was a good idea in D&D3, either. I just think the latter half of your statement here overstates it once you get around that.
 

payn

Legend
I think "impossible" overstates it, though I agree it'd be quite risky (I literally just got done with being part of a fight that was either a Severe or Extreme boss encounter a few moments ago; it could have gone badly, but our tactics did matter. And once you get outside of spells, I haven't seen the best abilities sidelines just because you were fighting uphill.
We routinely faced enemies that had a 75-80% chance of saving against spells and debuff abilities. The enemies also had a 75-80% chance of not just hitting, but critting the PCs. I could see a rope a dope papercut the enemy to death, but it would have very low chances of success.
Well, honestly, I can't say I found having primary attributes lower than 16 was a good idea in D&D3, either. I just think the latter half of your statement here overstates it once you get around that.
There where spells and magic item boosting in 3E that allowed you to do something outside of chargen and leveling to improve your scores. That option is absent in PF2. Even the stats bumps in PF2 just make sure the PCs keep up with the +1/lvl game math. They dont really let you get better at things. PF2 has deceptive bounded accuracy, it changes with level, but always is essentially the same math.
 

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