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Pathfinder 2E Essential PF2ER Elements


I'm not hung up on the wording, I simply don't think an action needs to be spent for it, and I provided a reason.

You may disagree, but there is no need for a condescending tone.
Tone is hard to convey in text. I only meant that people see "Raise Shield" and then argue it shouldn't take a whole action to "just raise a shield." But it isn't just raising a shield -- it is using your shield for active defense throughout the round.

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I play the "regular" 2E remastered, but one thing I'd like to change/simplify is the shield mechanic.

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that anyone holding a shield wouldn't raise it automatically at the start of combat.

That is, a player shouldn't have to specify that they are raising their shield, and shouldn't have to spend an action to do so.
Considering how the game's action economy is setup and the very limited amount of things that are free actions, having to use an action to raise your shield makes sense to me. Want to put away your weapon, draw a different one, and strike with it? That's your turn.

Holding your shield in a meaningful way to attempt to block an attack while not getting in the way of you swinging your weapon makes sense to me. That having been said, the champion in my group routinely tells me "as I round the corner, I'm going to raise my shield" and I let him start combat with it up. I don't really see that as being a big deal to allow if the player says they're doing it.

Do note that the remaster introduced using Interact as a single action to swap one weapon you're holding for another. But otherwise agreed.
Fair, the thread was specifically about Remaster so that's valid. My group hasn't made the swap yet so I frequently forget about some of the changes. I'll be rereading the Player Core book again in the next few weeks to get ready to switch over after AoN updates in a couple weeks.

But closer to the topic, I think a lot of those things ("Drawing takes an action", etc) are key to the system and forcing the players to make choices, as well as making things simpler on the GM (No need to hash whether something is a Full Action or a Bonus Action, etc, since you can just say most things are "One Action" unless it's truly a free one) and also means that you have to think a bit more. For example, drawing a potion is one action and using it is another. Now you can still attack once in there, but it also means you lose your move. To me, I like those decisions and risks, but it might not be for others. But that sort of thing, where you have a lot of options but they all have cost is a big part of what makes PF2 interesting and different.

Of course, if you want to simplify it a bit, you can give sort of "Quick-Draw" feats that fit a class along with a sort of "Kit of Feats" like I suggested before. So a Duelist might get "Quick-Draw" while a Sword & Board might get "Reactive Shield" as part of the package. You'd be taking away some of the customizability, but you could easily put together some solid archetypes in that way with all the classes.


Off the top of my head:

1. Remove skill feats. Bake essential feats into the skill itself (Medicine mainly relevant here).
2. Remove backgrounds as a rules mechanism.
3. Identify main "builds" for each class, perhaps using the "build examples" from each class. Remove the main class and instead make a new class for each of these, with the feats baked into them. Ie. your choice of class determines which feats you get - instead of choosing at each level.
4. Do similar process as 3, but for ancestries.
5. Each of the new classes have a skill selection baked into it instead a separate skill selection process. Classes should have 1 extra skill to make up for the missing (actually useful) background skill.
6. You gain +1 extra to your class modifier to compensate for the lost background.

This should reduce character creation to.
  • Choose Ancestry
  • Choose Class
  • Determine ability scores.

I agree that combat should probably stay mostly as is. If you start simplifying combat away from manually controlling your limbs to raise a shield and such, I'm not sure why you'd still be using Pathfinder.

Thomas Shey

I won't go into this in detail since it borders on what you've said you're uninterested in, but I'll say that while I think you can peel off some character build elements given the more narrow focus you're aiming for, I don't think you're going to strip down monster statblocks much below what they while avoiding the bag-of-hit-points issue; at most you might be able to simplify some of the spellcasting monsters a bit, but the rest add up to "the basic necessary mechanical traits and a few special attacks" and its hard to see how that can be buffed down usefully while maintaining the functions they serve.


Some things I'm already doing for monsters is to make sure they have a simple action to get rid of 1 AP (like Raise Shield) or ensure they have a 2 AP action they can nearly always use (some of the warrior feats are a good inspiration for brutes). I also simplify poison and disease. For monsters with Shield Block, I remove Shield Block and give them +1 AC instead. This way they're still simulated as good with shields, but I don't have to track two HP bars for the same creature. Most monster abilities I leave as is, though.
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