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Grade the Pathfinder 2E Game System

How do you feel about the Pathfinder 2E System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 30 17.2%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 32 18.4%
  • Meh, it's okay.

    Votes: 38 21.8%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 15 8.6%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 58 33.3%
  • I've never heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Have you used Pathfinder 2E's updated d20 System? What did you think of it?

I've never played it myself, but I recently picked up the digital books and I've been reading through them. I think the Wikipedia article introduces it better than I could:
Among key changes in the second edition is a streamlined action economy. Each round, each character can perform up to three actions on their turn as well as one reaction on their own turn or another character's turn. Most basic moves, such as moving across the ground, drawing a weapon, or making an attack cost a single action, while more complicated maneuvers may require two or three actions. The rules around magic items have been changed to discourage players from hoarding too many items and instead encouraging them to seek out more powerful equipment. Critical hits have also been changed – a critical success now occurs any time a combatant rolls 10 more than the target's armor class. Combatants can also critically succeed when defending which usually results in no effect rather than the reduced effect a save would usually bring. Finally there has been a broad change to all number scaling of skills, armor class, attack rolls, saves, and difficulty classes. All these numbers now scale 1-to-1 with a character's level plus a stat plus a bonus between two and eight depending on their proficiency. This results in extremely bounded values when compared to the first edition. Stats have also had their range lowered when compared to the first edition.
Now the D20 System is the undeniable favorite for tabletop RPGs nowadays, but it comes in a lot of different flavors. I think that most of us are familiar with the 5E D&D version, but it certainly not the only game in town.

So! If you've played the Pathfinder 2E version of the D20 System, please let us know what you think of it, what you love or hate about it, and the kinds of games you run with it. And if you've never played it, what's keeping you from giving it a spin? Inquiring moogles want to know! I'll collect everyone's votes and give the system a "grade" from A+ to F.

Grade: B-
All voters have heard of it (100%), 68% have played it.
Of those who have played it: 26% love it, 28% like it, 32% are lukewarm, 13% dislike it, and 1% hate it.

The "grade" is calculated as follows:
  • Votes from people who have not played will not affect the grade.
  • "Love" votes are worth 4 points. The highest score, comparable to an "A" vote.
  • "Like" votes are worth 3 points. The equivalent of a "B" vote.
  • "Meh" votes are worth 2 points. This is your basic "C" vote.
  • "Dislike" votes are worth 1 point. This is considered a "D" vote.
  • "Hate" votes are worth 0 points. The lowest score, considered an "F" vote.

The grading formula:
GPA = Σ(PiVi)

GPA = "grade-point average," the grading score used in the Key below.​
Vi = percentage of votes in each category (Love, Like, Meh, Dislike, or Hate)​
Pi = corresponding score for that category (4, 3, 2, 1, or 0)​

Over 3.75 = A+
3.51 to 3.75 = A
3.26 to 3.50 = A-
3.01 to 3.25 = B+
2.76 to 3.00 = B
2.51 to 2.75 = B-
2.01 to 2.50 = C+
1.76 to 2.00 = C
1.51 to 1.75 = C-
1.26 to 1.50 = D+
1.01 to 1.25 = D
0.75 to 1.00 = D-
Under 0.75 = F
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Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Like I said in the first post, I've not had a chance to play it yet, so I voted accordingly.

And I'm not really making it a priority to try it out...this system seems a lot more complicated compared to the games I usually run (Call of Cthulhu, D&D 5E, and D&D Basic). Certainly more complicated than what I'm looking for, anyway. I think the learning curve would be immense for me and my group because even just reading the rules, I struggle to keep the different kinds of feats and the different kinds of actions all straight in my head.


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
It tries to be D&D 4E only it’s not designed as well as D&D 4E.
I'm not super-familiar with 4E...I participated in the playtest until all of the infighting and Internet outrage soured me on it, and then once it was released I played a single game before we switched to Pathfinder (1E). What are some of the ways that it "tried to be D&D 4E"?

It tries to be D&D 4E only it’s not designed as well as D&D 4E.
I think it succeeds in being something that kinda is like 4E without looking like it has anything to do with 4E at all. A stealth 4E if you wish.

I firmly believe that the problem with 4E was presentation rather than mechanics. They "antagonised" more traditionally inclined people by doing a whole bunch of things like getting rid of the true evil alignment (LE) and true good alignment (CG), screwing over the cosmology, changing Forgotten Realms etc. etc. I'll stop the rant here.

My major annoyance with PF2 is that it tends to be, at times, very fiddly. It's much less messy than PF1 or 3.0/3.5, but there's still a lot to keep track of. Thankfully it's easier to GM.

If I had designed PF2 I would have gotten rid of the feat exchange stuff: Things like taking a feat that allows you to take another feat of a different type. It is needlessly convoluted.

My verdict: It's pretty good. I prefer it over PF1 and D&D 5E.


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
I think it's well written and well balanced, but it's more complicated than I like.
That's the impression I'm getting too.

I didn't expect all of the 4E D&D comparisons, though. It seems like Pathfinder 2E's popularity is being judged more by what it's not, instead of what it is. I admit I wasn't paying much attention to its development...was it marketed as The Return of 4E or something, like the way Pathfinder 1E was branded with "3.5E Survives Thrives!" on their website?
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Thomas Shey

Its distinctly a post-D&D3 era game, and I can see why some people wouldn't like it, but its one of the few D&D-zone games I have any respect for (in large part because its got a lot of meaningful decision making in combat and a relatively (for a D&D style game) varied set of player options; I'd also probably appreciate the fact the opponent balancing system seems to actually work most of the time).

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