Pathfinder 2E biggest issue with PF2 playtest

Starfox

Adventurer
I think most of Paizo's customers are there for the APs - I know I am - and will convert. If not immediately, then after a while. I did not find PF1 overly bloated, but seeing and actually playing PF2, I am exited about it. Its a move in the direction of WHFRP - a gritter, less spectacular game where the heroism of climbing a wall will stay with you beyond just the lowest levels. Yes, there are things in the playtest that are not great, and some of those things will survive the real launch... but as a framework I really like PF2 and am looking forward to abusing it in 3rd party supplements.

What PF2 loses compared to PF1 is mainly a sense of wonder - no longer can a druid frolic with dolphins or birds all day long. The buffs from PF1 are also mostly gone, casters now either buff IN combat, or they do their own thing. The best magic now seems to be debuffs/control, but its too early to really say that. Some of the difference in vulnerability between classes is also gone - monks, wizards, and sorcerers are still goblin-bait, but all the other classes are about as good at defending themselves. And attacks of opportunity are now rare - only fighters have them intrinsically, a few monsters have them, other fighting classes can get them at a price. This should make combat much more mobile, which I like.

Sorry, this is becoming an PF2 apologist post. I'll just sum up by saying I'm enthused about it, and I think a large part of the customer base will too. Yes, there are some 4E-isms, a bit too many even, but its far from being 4E. Or 5E for that manner, even if I know a lot less about 5E as I never went on that bandwagon.
 

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dco

Guest
I don't have a problem if they change the rules, I'm not a fan of 3.x edition, my problem is that I don't like what I'm seeing, the alternative with Pathfinder was D&D 4e and I didn't like it, I find this worse and now I have the 5e or the old Pathfinder with lots of APs to play.
 

Staffan

Legend
The big problem I see with PF2 is that they've gone about it the wrong way if they intend to seek the input of players. Perhaps that's a consequence of a shorter public development cycle than Wizards, but the problem is there nonetheless.

I mean, look at the way Wizards handled 5e's playtest. They started fairly small, with a retread of Caves of Chaos with pregenerated characters. Simple, low-level dungeon with simple characters, in order to see how people reacted to it. Then they gradually iterated on that - extending the classes a bit and adding more customization, adding other classes and seeing how people reacted to those (and occasionally scrapping ideas that didn't pan out, like the sorcerer who morphed from a caster to a warrior the more spells they cast). I believe I've seen one of the designers mention advantage/disadvantage as one of the things that they put into a playtest document seemingly at random, and were surprised at the positive feedback so they kept it.

By comparison, Paizo has given us an almost complete system, and told us "See how this works. Test these particular things via the free adventure." Sure, I can see how the designers can walk back aspects of the system, and fix details ("fireball should do 1d6 more base damage"), but I doubt there's any room for change in the core math of the system (+level to everything, proficiency levels, +/-10 for crit success/failure), or the way classes are built around class feats, and such.

This is a shame, because that seems to be where the majority of the complaints are. Personally, I haven't played it yet, but it does seem like they've painted themselves into a corner regarding calibration of success chances. I looked at the level 8 monsters for a lark, and it seems they mostly have AC 24 to 26 (somewhat weighted toward 26 - my impression was about half had 26, a third had 24, and a sixth had 25). But let's call it 25. And let's say you're an 8th level paladin fighting this monster. You likely have an attack bonus of +15 (level +8, Strength +4, weapon potency +2, proficiency +1), so you hit on a 10 (55% chance). If you make a second attack with a non-agile weapon, that attack hits on a 15 (30% chance). Those chances are pretty low. A fighter is slightly better off, because they are probably Masters of their chosen weapon so they have an additional +1, but that's still only 60% (35% on the second attack).

I would argue that those chances are about 2-3 points too low. 65-70% seems right for the paladin, which would give a fair chance of hitting with the second and possibly even third attack. But if you increase the chance for the paladin to hit to 7+ (70%), the paladin will also crit on a 17+ or 20% chance, and that's pretty darn high. I think it would be hard for Paizo to fix this issue without going deep into the guts of the game.

By chance, this was also one of the key complaints my players had about 4e - the success chances were too low. Monster defenses were set so that an equal-level PC would hit just over 50% of the time (less at higher level because you lost about 3 points of relative attack bonus over the course of 20 levels), and that sucks when using limited-resource attacks.
 

Arakasius

First Post
That just makes it that the few buffs and flanking are a lot more important than it used to be. PF1 started yes 10-20% higher but then buffs took most physical attackers into auto hit territory, even on iterative attacks. The new system needs situational buffs to get enemies into that 70% range which will come with crits. It also means that a third attack is almost always going to be suboptimal, hence pushing the use of alternate actions.

Now whether this will actually incentivize and reward team play or just piss people off well that’s up to the individual. It’s also possible that the assumption of what are equal encounters is different in PF2 vs PF1. Perhaps a level equivalent monster is supposed to be a bigger threat than they are in PF1. Not quite done enough testing to draw full conclusions on it, but in PF1 my players level 10 party had no issues dealing with a CR15 creature. Looking at what it would be like in PF2 I’m fairly sure that encounter would be fatal.

On the +prof/level I’m hoping they go to 1/2 prof / level. Not because I think the math doesn’t work out but that it will make my job easier as a DM allowing monsters to stay a threat for longer and allowing me to have to customize encounters less. Elite and weak help (and could easily be extended to multiple levels) but it’s a bit annoying to deal with. Planning my groups first level 11 encounter is requiring a lot of usage of both templates. Also think it’s a fairly easy change (mostly just bestiary) that wouldn’t effect anything else and would molify the lvl 20 generalist vs lvl 5 specialist complaints that keep coming up. Basically it’s an easy win for Paizo with out much drawback.
 
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Starfox

Adventurer
I would argue that those chances are about 2-3 points too low. 65-70% seems right for the paladin, which would give a fair chance of hitting with the second and possibly even third attack. But if you increase the chance for the paladin to hit to 7+ (70%), the paladin will also crit on a 17+ or 20% chance, and that's pretty darn high. I think it would be hard for Paizo to fix this issue without going deep into the guts of the game.

This is why there is a playtest. To find this out. I listened to a Bulhman podcast, he seems to actually have a grasp of statistics.
 

Staffan

Legend
This is why there is a playtest. To find this out. I listened to a Bulhman podcast, he seems to actually have a grasp of statistics.

Statistics, sure. I have no doubt that he can tune the game so that an appropriately equipped and optimized paladin will have a 50% chance to hit a target of the appropriate level at any level. But given the tuning done for the playtest, I'm not sure he gets that 50% is way too low to be fun, and given the way crits work I'm not sure the system can really take tuning it significantly higher (because every point above 55% does double duty, both increasing the hit rate and the crit rate). And given the way starship combat works in Starfinder, I'm not sure he and the rest of Paizo would agree that it's a problem.
 

Arakasius

First Post
I don't really think the +hit issue with martials is that big an issue. Circumstance and conditional bonuses become much more important to get you to that auto hit values and I think CRs for enemies will likely be a bit lower than they were in PF1. (in your example CR7 is likely as hard as a CR8 creature used to be)

I think the casters will be affected by this more. PF1 had very clear enemies that had weak saves (usually reflex for big dumb brutes and fort for casters) that a caster could target. Now with +level bonus on all saves even a brute like a Hill Giant has a decent enough reflex save. Casters used to be able to know they could get a spell off pretty much guaranteed on certain enemies and they won't have that anymore.
 

redCartel

First Post
What I'm wondering is if some other publisher will start creating new OGL content compatible with and continuing on Pathfinder. Call it Wayfinder or something like that. You know, for the community of players unhappy with the new edition.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
What I'm wondering is if some other publisher will start creating new OGL content compatible with and continuing on Pathfinder. Call it Wayfinder or something like that. You know, for the community of players unhappy with the new edition.

There have been 3rd party producers in the mix since the beginning - there's quite a bit out there. So, of course there will be someone continuing Pathfinder-compatible stuff. They're already there.
 

DaveMage

Slumbering in Tsar
There is SO MUCH 3pp Pathfinder 1E stuff that even if there is no more content created, it would likely last several lifetimes. Heck, just the Frog God Games stuff could easily provide someone with 20+ years of adventure.
 

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