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Pathfinder 2E Is It Time for PF2 "Essentials"?

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I do think the Lost Omen World Guide should have been entitled Lost Omens Players Guide Or LO Gazetteer. But it wasn’t, and is directed at GMs alongside players (as per the preface). That’s why people compare it to the Inner World Guide, which was likewise directed at GMs and players.

Whether the comparison is fair or not, I don’t know. I know it’s a comparison people draw and one reason why many don’t buy the LO series.

Spreading out the hardcovers in 130 page books just looks like dividing up content in a more expensive manner. Paizo is hardly alone in this, The Dark Eye (Ulisses, licensee of Paizo) is much worse, or some of FFG and GMT’s Expansion lines in boardgaming.

It’s an established sales model: You spread out the content extra wide and only cater to the well pocketed brandline loyalist with strong completionist impulses.
That’s a valid sales model (I’m serious) but
A) let’s not marvel at a smaller market share, and
B) let’s not invalidate the market segment that justifiably feels left behind by that pricing model.

Again, coming from someone who’s onboard with PF2 (and has bought special editions PF2 hardcovers where available).

I do wonder what Paizo’s subscription numbers are before and after the PF2 makeover. Do we have numbers for that? Because they would help to prove or invalidate my hypothesis as to the new sales model.
I understand that people are going to make the comparison, but things were worse in PF1. The old books were released monthly. If you subscribed to both the PF1 and the PF2 lines, you ended up paying more per annum in PF1 for lower quality material. Player Companion books almost never got errata, and the quality was highly variable. One of the advantages of less frequent (but bigger) releases is supposed to be that the quality should be better, and they might actually get errata if they sell well enough.

I agree the way the line has been framed is problematic. I didn’t use Golarion when I ran PF2, so the Lost Omens line was a hard nope for me. I like the 5e approach more because it alternates between option books and setting material instead of mixing the two. If I could pick and choose, then I would have probably bought some books instead of no books. (The rulebooks line kind of fills that non-setting niche, but the LO line has stuff the rulebooks line will never get.)
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
The whole hidden/sneak/stealth/visibility system is a huge headache, and one of the things that tipped me over the edge into I'll never actually get this to the table with my group territory. When customers post flowcharts to explain one of your sub-systems, you can find multipart Youtube videos trying to explain it, and people still have trouble working it out in play, maybe you need to rethink it and go back to the drawing board.

PF2 is a game that creates a mechanic or value for every single thing players could choose to do in a game, to quantify and tie everything together in an airtight manner. It's the sort of system that reads well to a certain type of system-first gamer. But it became clear to me that it would be a headache to play at the table without at least two people in the group who knew the system backwards and forwards by heart.
It’s like they were trying to solve the Jack B. Nimble stealing a chicken problem, but they did it in the clumsiest way possible. The stuff about senses is not bad, but the vision state machine is too clunky.
 

Porridge

Explorer
The whole hidden/sneak/stealth/visibility system is a huge headache, and one of the things that tipped me over the edge into I'll never actually get this to the table with my group territory.

This is one of the places where I agree the rules seem more complicated than they need to be.

My reaction to this was “Meh, this is easy to house rule. If we’re not running a Stealth-focused campaign, I’ll just wing it and call for Stealth/Perception checks with whatever modifiers seem appropriate”. And since the game is so modular, it’s easy to swap out one self-contained part of the rules with something else.

But I can see how this could be an issue for groups that are both (1) less laid-back about house ruling things to make them simpler, and (2) complexity-averse enough to not want to work out the details of rules as written.
 

Is PF2 really any more modular than other RPGs?

Personally, I find it much easier to house rule simple systems like B/X than more complex ones like PF2. With all of the feats, character options, and monster actions hooked into the mechanics, I don’t have confidence I could simply strip out the stealth and hiding rules without causing unforeseen headaches. I would need to have the whole PF2 system memorized and internalized in order to do that. And I don’t.
 

Aldarc

Legend
My biggest problem with 5e, now that I think about it, is that its so much more complex than say PBTA or other rules lite systems... but its not especially deeper than them, while managing to be a little simpler than other d20 games of its ilk, but losing out massively in the depth that arguably makes them attractive in the first place.
There are definitely simpler d20 games of the same ilk than 5e: e.g., Shadow of the Demon Lord, Index Card RPG, and a lot of various OSR. If I wanted a d20 system, but simpler, then I would be more likely to pick up these games than 5e D&D.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Is PF2 really any more modular than other RPGs?

Personally, I find it much easier to house rule simple systems like B/X than more complex ones like PF2. With all of the feats, character options, and monster actions hooked into the mechanics, I don’t have confidence I could simply strip out the stealth and hiding rules without causing unforeseen headaches. I would need to have the whole PF2 system memorized and internalized in order to do that. And I don’t.
It depends on what one means by “modular”. Mechanics in PF2 are generally isolated, but stuff builds on top of them. If you wanted to change something like stealth, you’d still need to keep an eye out for the signposts indicating where other things built on top of it.

For example, the Proficiency Without Level variant changes some core assumptions in the math. To make it work, you can’t just make the changes described in GMG. You also have keep in mind how original math works, so you can recognize and make changes when you encounter stuff that assumes the original approach.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
The Stealth isn't terribly bad, but there are two things I wish they had done something with. The first is that "Unnoticed" and "Undetected" are not things that are immediately distinguishable from saying them. I'm reminded of a wargame I play called Field of Glory, which had two different states called Disrupted and Disordered, which were similar but different and things would change if you mixed up the two.

Second is to try and avoid the "1000 stealth roll challenge", which is something I would want to be more explicit in the rules and isn't there. Those sorts of things where you need to roll a dozen times just invite failure and makes things unnecessarily difficult.
 

teitan

Hero
No, that's a different question. One with a premise you've assumed and a question that you want to ask. It's not the question the OP was asking.
The OP seemed to be looking for validation for his feelings about Pathfinder, much like the people who did similar things about 4e in spite of it actually selling well but not meeting Hasbro's extraordinarily high expectations. Pathfinder 2e is not failing, or flailing.
 

teitan

Hero
Is it not also similar to Savage Worlds getting a license to do a limited run of Palladium's Rifts? Palladium continues to produce Rifts material, the stuff that Pinnacle is putting out is material that's long been in-print and available for Rifts, so the fans of Savage Worlds (or others who didn't want to learn the Palladium Megaverse system) can play it in a different system while still perhaps buying novels, setting books, and other system neutral products?
But if we're talking about WotC's licenses, does Goodman Games' line "Original Adventures Reincarnated" mean 5e is doing badly, WotC is going down the tubes, etc.? They are allowing another publisher to take a dormant adventure that WotC has no plans to update to their current system, allowing it to be reprinted and put in a new system.
I don't think it's that bizarre. Wizards of the Coast has done it, and Pinnacle has done it with other systems.

GURPS had supplements for Vampire, Werewolf and Traveller!
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The OP seemed to be looking for validation for his feelings about Pathfinder, much like the people who did similar things about 4e in spite of it actually selling well but not meeting Hasbro's extraordinarily high expectations. Pathfinder 2e is not failing, or flailing.
Then let me offer thanks to Hasbro for having those expectations.

And while I don't wish bad financial health on Paizo, if Pathfinder 2e isn't at least experiencing softer sales than expected, it will delay the realization and acceptance of the need for improvement I feel is urgently needed.
 


I do think people kinda forget that paizo is small company, so they don't really need to do well in same numbers as D&D to do "well" <_<

A lot of it comes down to how many people they hired when PF1 was at its peak, and whether or not they're maintaining a level of revenue high enough to not make cuts at the company. I can't find any news about Paizo layoffs beyond canceling PF online, so I'm guessing they're doing okay.
 


kenada

Legend
Supporter
A lot of it comes down to how many people they hired when PF1 was at its peak, and whether or not they're maintaining a level of revenue high enough to not make cuts at the company. I can't find any news about Paizo layoffs beyond canceling PF online, so I'm guessing they're doing okay.
It must be very tiny at this point, but Pathfinder Online is actually still going and receiving updates.
 



Stereofm

Adventurer
There is one thing I love on PF2E over all other editions : you do not need to build one trick ponies to be effective.
I have built a fire evoker wizardess. Yet she is much more deadly with Diplomacy / Deception than with her (quite) deadly fireballs.

I have built a Rage Barbarian. Yet his enemies shit themselves when he talks before he even draws his greatsword.

I have built a mercenary / knight, yet I make more money taking bribes and commissions than actually fighting (which is absolutley not a problem either, my muscles speak for me)

In short, for the first time in a long time, I can play a number of nuanced character, who is more than a one-tricked pony, without having to try hard at all.

I find this refreshing, and really enjoyable.
 


Campbell

Legend
Yeah. Speaking as someone who came up on World of Darkness, Exalted, and Legend of the Five Rings my favorite part about PF2 as a player is being able to play broadly capable characters who feel like pulp heroes rather than the hyperspecialized concepts you usually find in most D&D type games.
 

darjr

I crit!
I said this about PF1 when they announced PF2, but I think it’s the same with PF2.
Double down on it. The PFS is a powerful resource, recruit and reward them heavily in promoting and running the game. Do so lavishly. Shower them in treasures for doing so. Also make them kinda famous for doing so.
 

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