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%

Vael

Legend
It's a Paizo product ... which has always felt overwritten and overdone. When used in adventures, makes them evocative and fun to read, but makes for dire system design. I legit prefer 3.5 to P1, and my experience with P2 was not great. I wouldn't dare to make a character without app support, a lot of the features like the 3 action economy and the +/- 10 for crits felt more like grit gumming up on the table experience.

Admittedly, I know my tastes in RPGs have lightened, I'm not into heavy crunch systems anymore, and so I'm just not the target demographic for Pathfinder.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
It's a Paizo product ... which has always felt overwritten and overdone. When used in adventures, makes them evocative and fun to read, but makes for dire system design. I legit prefer 3.5 to P1, and my experience with P2 was not great. I wouldn't dare to make a character without app support, a lot of the features like the 3 action economy and the +/- 10 for crits felt more like grit gumming up on the table experience.

Admittedly, I know my tastes in RPGs have lightened, I'm not into heavy crunch systems anymore, and so I'm just not the target demographic for Pathfinder.

I suspect, and it looks like you're at least semi-aware of this, that you latter note informs most of the former.
 

Admittedly, I know my tastes in RPGs have lightened, I'm not into heavy crunch systems anymore, and so I'm just not the target demographic for Pathfinder.
What has always been somewhat ironic for me regarding PF2 is I am the target demographic. If you were drawing up a model target consumer for PF2 I'm it. Don't like 5e. Prefers crunchy games. Requires a heavy tactical combat component. Wants more rules, than rulings. Likes Paizo as a company and loved PF1. Likes 4e's teamwork oriented game. Like I am the target audience for this game. After the playtest (which I remember liking more) and 5 attempts to really give the game a try I just can't do it.

I want to like it. I want to support it. I just can't do it anymore.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
What has always been somewhat ironic for me regarding PF2 is I am the target demographic. If you were drawing up a model target consumer for PF2 I'm it. Don't like 5e. Prefers crunchy games. Requires a heavy tactical combat component. Wants more rules, than rulings. Likes Paizo as a company and loved PF1. Likes 4e's teamwork oriented game. Like I am the target audience for this game. After the playtest (which I remember liking more) and 5 attempts to really give the game a try I just can't do it.

I want to like it. I want to support it. I just can't do it anymore.
If you don't mind me asking, what's holding you back? From this post, it sounds like it would be ideal for you and your preferences. What is it about Pathfinder 2E that is keeping you from liking it and supporting it?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
What has always been somewhat ironic for me regarding PF2 is I am the target demographic. If you were drawing up a model target consumer for PF2 I'm it. Don't like 5e. Prefers crunchy games. Requires a heavy tactical combat component. Wants more rules, than rulings. Likes Paizo as a company and loved PF1. Likes 4e's teamwork oriented game. Like I am the target audience for this game. After the playtest (which I remember liking more) and 5 attempts to really give the game a try I just can't do it.

I want to like it. I want to support it. I just can't do it anymore.

Hey, as I commented, I felt that way about D&D4e, which should have been as aimed at me as any D&D-sphere game could be. But after playing in a whole campaign of it, it just didn't work. Sometimes things are just like that.
 

If you don't mind me asking, what's holding you back? From this post, it sounds like it would be ideal for you and your preferences. What is it about Pathfinder 2E that is keeping you from liking it and supporting it?
This post may end up being incoherent. I guess what it all boils down to is how rigid and procedural the game is. The most common example of this I tend to cite is the way PF2 handles Stealth resolution, but it manifests itself in other areas reaching from the foundational math, to actions, to skill feats, and beyond.

Skill Actions, Action Names, the jargon. So much jargon.

I'm a believer that casters needed reigned in, and they succeeded, but none of my players has had fun playing a caster in PF2, which is a problem.

I've never seen the characters have the opportunity to show they are bad asses. Everything feels like a life or death struggle. I'm not opposed to that kind of gameplay. I run WHFRP 4e and GURPS as well, but it's not what I'm looking for in ostensibly Heroic Fantasy. I've run a combination of AP modules and converted/homebrew materials.

I've not seen the game at any level beyond 6th so I may be off base here, but I don't think the gameplay will change appreciably as the characters gain levels. They are still always going to be subject to the MATH. This is good, in that the MATH allows for a CR system that works. The two most common fixes I've seen for this are to play published material a level up, or push the encounters down. Both solutions cause their own problems.

There are some inexplicable decisions to me. A game that realistically wants you to begin most fights at or near full health with weird timing issues and cooldown timers.

The Three-Action-Economy. Meh..it's just another action point system. I guess it's' new to D&D but not or revolutionary, and again I like action points.

I hate the way Ancestries are built. It feels like you have to be 10th level before you get to be a real elf or dwarf.

It's combat isn't much more dynamic, from a movement standpoint, than 3.x games were. At least in my experience. I really think the game needs larger encounter spaces and additional voluntary and forced movement options. Actually, I think the game needs a re-think in encounter design in general. It feels like they want to build adventures in same way 3.x does, as an attrition based model, but I think the game would actually work better with fewer bigger, more dynamic encounters.

There's more but at the end of the day it just isn't for me. I have other games that do what PF2 wants to do better, in my opinion. I can play 4e for a hyper tactical game, or GURPS, or even Savage Worlds. I run a lot of Savage Worlds and Savage Pathfinder; I still like 3.5/PF1 and would definitely consider running that again for the content available.

I'm not sure if that answered your question or not.
 

Vael

Legend
What has always been somewhat ironic for me regarding PF2 is I am the target demographic. If you were drawing up a model target consumer for PF2 I'm it. Don't like 5e. Prefers crunchy games. Requires a heavy tactical combat component. Wants more rules, than rulings. Likes Paizo as a company and loved PF1. Likes 4e's teamwork oriented game. Like I am the target audience for this game. After the playtest (which I remember liking more) and 5 attempts to really give the game a try I just can't do it.

I want to like it. I want to support it. I just can't do it anymore.
I know my shift to wanting lighter systems is new, I still love 4e.

But as others have mentioned, the difference between 4e and P2 seems to be ... generosity to the players? P2 nickel and dimes you to death with feats and an overly prescriptive action economy. 4e PCs feel like they're good to go right at 1st level, never felt that with my P2 experience.
 

I know my shift to wanting lighter systems is new, I still love 4e.

But as others have mentioned, the difference between 4e and P2 seems to be ... generosity to the players? P2 nickel and dimes you to death with feats and an overly prescriptive action economy. 4e PCs feel like they're good to go right at 1st level, never felt that with my P2 experience.
This is a great take.
 

Retreater

Legend
@thullgrim , I hear ya.
PF2 is also losing its luster with me. (That's why I changed by answer from an "A" to a "B.")
I'd prefer if it went more gamist and simplified all the simulationist stuff from the past - if you're going to make it a tactical miniatures game, make it a tactical minis game.
The only cost as a GM you can do is to kill characters (which usually amounts to TPKing the party.) You can't really drain resources and there's little to connect one encounter to a previous one. So you have a bunch of disconnected skirmishes that push the characters to their ultimate limit.
It gets tedious.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I'm a believer that casters needed reigned in, and they succeeded, but none of my players has had fun playing a caster in PF2, which is a problem.
Ooof. Yeah, that's a big problem. Having Fun is pretty much the whole entire point of playing a game.

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.

There are some inexplicable decisions to me. A game that realistically wants you to begin most fights at or near full health with weird timing issues and cooldown timers.
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....

I hate the way Ancestries are built. It feels like you have to be 10th level before you get to be a real elf or dwarf.
(record scratch) Huh? I don't think I've heard this one before....I've never played PF2E. What's the deal?

I'm not sure if that answered your question or not.
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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