Grade the Pathfinder 2E Game System

How do you feel about the Pathfinder 2E System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 30 17.4%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 32 18.6%
  • Meh, it's okay.

    Votes: 37 21.5%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 15 8.7%
  • I hate it.

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

    Votes: 57 33.1%
  • I've never heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

Sure. I'm on Foundry. There are some maps that are available for free, already made with dynamic lighting and all that. The maps go about 75% through the book. I don't know if the fan will finish the series or not - but likely the official module will be out by the time we need them. All the NPCs and monsters are freely available through the compendium, so no issues there. I would expect no issues at all if you want to run it "with the kingdom in the background."
While we haven't gotten to the kingdom portion yet, there are fan-made tools on Foundry. There are sheets for the kingdom, macros for the actions, feats in the compendium, etc. So the party is going to use the free PDF of the player's guide and handle a lot of the stuff just using PDFs. I expect the full module to be out this Fall - so I don't think we'll be stuck with the low-tech option for long. Even so, I don't think it's going to be THAT challenging.
Let me know how it goes when you get to the kingdom stuff. It will be at least a year before I'd get around to running it. My group is on level 4 of Abomination Vaults and we're planning Stolen Fate as a follow-up since both pair nicely to get from 1-20. Some in my group have expressed interest in Kingmaker, so that may end up being what we do after Stolen Fate. We'll see.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
Ooof. Yeah, that's a big problem. Having Fun is pretty much the whole entire point of playing a game.

Note this is far from universal. There are possibly some problems with wizards, and maybe some of the odds and ends, but I've seen people enjoy playing sorcerers, druids and bards certainly.

This is actually a hot topic on EN World right now, with the same handful of people arguing that casters need to be "fixed" (which usually means 'nerfed' in some way or another), against the same handful of people arguing that casters aren't "fun" (which usually means 'needs more spells/spell slots.') I don't have a dog in this fight; I think 5E casters work just fine thank you very much, but it's interesting to watch from the sidelines. Sometimes.

One thing you absolutely need to be aware of about PF2e is that casters and non-casters were pushed together. One of the prices of that is that there's more work involved in dealing with single target opponents, especially those up-rev from you. Some people are seriously bothered by that, which I cynically say is because of people used to having the fighters and such distract such opponents while they popped off takeout spells until one worked. Some people consider the fact casters are still good at condition imposition and group and deletion insufficient.

And that's another hot topic on EN World right now: resource management. And of course these two topics overlap quite a bit: wizards need more spell slots, special abilities need to reset more frequently, spells should/shouldn't be treated like other class features....

PF2e isn't completely resource neutral, but outside of spell slots its pretty minimal.


(record scratch) Huh? I don't think I've heard this one before....I've never played PF2E. What's the deal?

Ancestries are built by giving you a few Ancestry feats starting out, and then scattering some more available as you advance. I'm not sure quite what the Thullgrim's issue here is though; all the usual racial basics are there from the start, the ones you get higher up are things you really wouldn't want a first level character to have (like the option to have wings for a short time for aasimar and tieflings that becomes available at 10th level).

Yep, thanks! I'm really curious about PF2E, but my gaming group has made it abundantly clear that we will not be changing game systems anytime soon ever again. This is all purely academic for me.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
Yikes...there are 42 feats, some of them linked to others, just for the Elf ancestry alone!

It doesn't matter as much as you think, for the reason you just mentioned; those are more or less racial subgroup advancement choices, and many of them choke off pretty early once you decide your first couple.

(This is one of the things that come up about the large number of feats in PF2e: most of them simply don't matter to most characters. They're siloed in various ways so at any given point you're choosing a feat, you only usually have a handful to decide amidst (the exception being skill feat slots)

So Pathfinder2E characters are essentially multiclassed at 1st level, and their ancestry is class? That's an interesting idea (I'm not mad about it...I miss Race-As-Class from the old days) but yeah, I can see how that would be frustrating for the player. "No, I can't climb that tree....I'm not Elf enough yet." Eew.

Its rarely that binary except for the example I gave with the tiefling/aasimar (and that's because they're very conservative about giving out flight too early).
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Whew, that's a relief. So it's more like "choose this feat tree to be a wood elf, and choose this other tree to be a shadow elf"?

There are a lot more feats, and different types of feats, than I remember. How many feats does a typical PF2E character end up getting by, say, 10th level? Does it vary by ancestry and class, like it did back in PF1E?

Sorry if my questions are getting annoying; I'm genuinely interested.
Not annoying at all. Pretty much covered already by posters in that the feats are silo'd into buckets so the lists are pared way down. So level 2 class feat, level 3 skill feat, level 4 ancestry feat, etc.. I don't think you need a character builder at all, however, I do prefer using Archive's of Nethys site over the rulebook itself.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Not annoying at all. Pretty much covered already by posters in that the feats are silo'd into buckets so the lists are pared way down. So level 2 class feat, level 3 skill feat, level 4 ancestry feat, etc.. I don't think you need a character builder at all, however, I do prefer using Archive's of Nethys site over the rulebook itself.

Well, the Archives also has the advantage you can reference all the stuff from additional books at the same time, too.
 

BigZebra

Adventurer
Tried it. Played Quest of the Frozen Flame (or what it is called). Wasn't impressed.

Class abilities was disappointing and not very interesting. I remember reading something like as a Barbarian I could get a class feat that allowed to be intimidating when raging. Whaaaat? Isn't a raging barbarian intimidating by default? PF2 is a game where I feel like I have to get a feat to go to the toilet. Skill feats are even worse and feel like at huge waste of time.

The whole after-combat-medicine-minigame is boring. If the idea is to always heal up, just admit it and use healing surges or something (like 4e).

The action economy - loved by many - didn't do it for us. In 5e I can drop weapon - move - attack - move - attack - and still use shield. In PF2 that would not be possible in a round. Also as casters the economy just plain feels bad. I'm quite baffled that people love this action economy. I don't like the idea that all actions are equal in value. I don't like this simplification.

Then there's the whole caster issue. One of my players played Warpriest and didn't like it at all. They just felt bad and underwhelming.

So, we tried it and passed on it. I really really wanted to love it. I'm so ready for a 5e replacement (just to note: I really like 5e, but after several campaigns I'm ready for something different), so now were playing PF1, and I'm looking forward to MCDM's RPG and also how ToV ends up. I'm don't hold too much hope for the coming D&D version, as it seems to be nothing more than a 5.1. Man I would have loved a whole new take on D&D, but I also understand that that would make zero business sense.
 



Tried it. Played Quest of the Frozen Flame (or what it is called). Wasn't impressed.

Class abilities was disappointing and not very interesting. I remember reading something like as a Barbarian I could get a class feat that allowed to be intimidating when raging. Whaaaat? Isn't a raging barbarian intimidating by default? PF2 is a game where I feel like I have to get a feat to go to the toilet. Skill feats are even worse and feel like at huge waste of time.

Oh God, I hate the argument of "Isn't it intimidating by default" for two reasons:

1) You're not describing intimidation as much as a morale failure. Barbarians are supposed to be scary because of the damage they can cause... but then again, plenty of different kinds of adventurers cause tons of damage as well. If anything mages should get free intimidation checks given what they can actually do.

2) It's enforced roleplaying: you're not sitting back trying to debuff someone, you're rushing in and hitting them. You're so enraged that it's not about screaming at a guy to get him to flail in fear, you're only concerned with whacking him with an axe. Raging Intimidation is getting back that one braincell that says "Wait, maybe we can scare him first".

Really, the whole "you can't do anything without feats" misses that you largely can, Feats just make you better at certain things or give you definite ways to do things.

The action economy - loved by many - didn't do it for us. In 5e I can drop weapon - move - attack - move - attack - and still use shield. In PF2 that would not be possible in a round. Also as casters the economy just plain feels bad. I'm quite baffled that people love this action economy. I don't like the idea that all actions are equal in value. I don't like this simplification.

Well, you really can't do "move-attack-move-attack" outside of certain circumstances in 5E, and if you don't have two weapons (or a monk) you can't do it unless you are at 5th Level in certain classes. In fact, you definitely can't do it until 5th level if you have a shield. 5E isn't really more fluid as much as it decides to limit you in different ways: PF2 limits your action economy through cost-benefit, while 5E tends to lock that stuff behind specific class choices.

What people like about the action economy is that it's easier to understand and makes more internal sense: it's not that Martials are the only ones who can attack multiple times a round, but they're the ones who can do it better. You don't need to try and figure out if you can do a Bonus action spell with a cantrip or a full action spell; if you have the action economy, you can just do it. You can't split your attacks like you could in 5E, but then again attacks matter more and can hit harder by comparison: you're not always benefiting from maxing out attacks, making it a choice rather than a class feature. Sometimes you're better off using a shield, intimidating a foe, etc.

Also I was a convert on the whole "Raise Shield" thing: I thought it nerfed shields, but in play it doesn't and it honestly makes the choice feel significantly different compared to shieldless martials fight.

Then there's the whole caster issue. One of my players played Warpriest and didn't like it at all. They just felt bad and underwhelming.

Well, probably a bad choice if you wanted to be a caster given that they give up some of their expertise to be better with a weapon and armor. They are getting an update, but it's going to be at making them better in martial combat more than casting, which is the Cloistered Cleric's area of expertise.
 
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BigZebra

Adventurer
Oh God, I hate the argument of "Isn't it intimidating by default" for two reasons:

1) You're not describing intimidation as much as a morale failure. Barbarians are supposed to be scary because of the damage they can cause... but then again, plenty of different kinds of adventurers cause tons of damage as well. If anything mages should get free intimidation checks given what they can actually do.

2) It's enforced roleplaying: you're not sitting back trying to debuff someone, you're rushing in and hitting them. You're so enraged that it's not about screaming at a guy to get him to flail in fear, you're only concerned with whacking him with an axe. Raging Intimidation is getting back that one braincell that says "Wait, maybe we can scare him first".
😆 This is what PF2 players keep telling me. And you might be right. The thing is though, reading through class feat often feels underwhelming. It's the same thing with the "every +1 counts"-paradigm in PF2. It just didn't fired us up.
Now it's totally a "us" thing, I'm not saying PF2 is a bad game by any means because of this. Just saying it wasn't for us. (Also let me note: I feel that this got better over time, it's as if their class design improved through the years. Although I can't be sure who designed what class, I think I'm more of a Logan Bonner guy than a Mark Seifert guy).

Really, the whole "you can't do anything without feats" misses that you largely can, Feats just make you better at certain things or give you definite ways to do things.
Well, I think one of the things I disliked the most, were all the meaningless skill feats. Paizo could throw 90% of these out, and I doubt the play at many tables would be much different. When I GM'ing it's annoying thinking "hmmm can Jim Bigteeth do this, or can't he do it before he gets this 7th level skill feat?"

Well, you really can't do "move-attack-move-attack" outside of certain circumstances in 5E, and if you don't have two weapons (or a monk) you can't do it unless you are at 5th Level in certain classes. In fact, you definitely can't do it until 5th level if you have a shield. 5E isn't really more fluid as much as it decides to limit you in different ways: PF2 limits your action economy through cost-benefit, while 5E tends to lock that stuff behind specific class choices.
I definitely like the 3.5/PF1/5e action economy more. But it's purely a matter of taste (obviously). I don't like this idea that all three actions are of the same value. For us it meant that the players really really have to be pushed into not using it for what they thought was the most important thing they cold do: Attack - Warrrgh! And you can argue and explain about intimidate, bon mot etc. etc. But I kind of feel that it's a design error in the game. And after reading soooo many posts of Paizo boards and Reddit I'm not the only one.
Also I was a convert on the whole "Raise Shield" thing: I thought it nerfed shields, but in play it doesn't and it honestly makes the choice feel significantly different compared to shieldless martials fight.
I'm almost inclined to agree on this one. I do think a shield is too valuable with too few drawbacks in 5e. But going from 5e to PF2 it felt punishing. I'm not decided on this, but I'm getting there.....
Well, probably a bad choice if you wanted to be a caster given that they give up some of their expertise to be better with a weapon and armor. They are getting an update, but it's going to be at making them better in martial combat more than casting, which is the Cloistered Cleric's area of expertise.
Yeah I'm interested in seeing what the update is going to be.
I'll probably get Player Core 1 to see how much they fixed. They probably aren't fixing as much as I'd like, but let's see. As mentioned I'm in the market for a 5e++ and I hoped PF2 would be the one. Currently it's not 🤷 But I like that Paizo seems to be having some success with it. Perhaps it'll fire up WotC a bit.
 

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