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Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

Parmandur

Adventurer
Pathfinder also defines levels of precision for senses. By default, vision is a precise sense; hearing is an imprecise sense; and everything else is a vague sense. These levels of precision correspond to how well you can sense a creature (precise = observed, imprecise = hidden, vague = undetected). Of course, this can change from creature to creature. For example, scent could be an imprecise sense for dogs or hearing a precise sense for bats.
PF2 is occupying a weird space for me: that seems like an awful lot of detail, while still being fairly abstract. I could pick up a game like HURPS, Rolemaster or HERO that offers Fuller detail, or a less detailed system that exists in a more fluid space. This seems too mixed, neither fish nor fowl.
 

kenada

Explorer
PF2 is occupying a weird space for me: that seems like an awful lot of detail, while still being fairly abstract. I could pick up a game like HURPS, Rolemaster or HERO that offers Fuller detail, or a less detailed system that exists in a more fluid space. This seems too mixed, neither fish nor fowl.
I think the dissonance between detail and abstraction you’re seeing is due to a shift in rule intent. The rules in PF1 are a sort of crappy simulation. Historically, when people improve those rules, they try to improve the simulation (e.g., through more/better detail). PF2 seems to be going in a different direction. There’s still an element of verisimilitude, but instead of honing the simulation, the rules seem positioned now more as a framework for making rulings (via uniform core mechanics that create rich results when combined with the trait system).

Viewed through that lens, the Stealth rules can be seen as providing an intuitive framework for managing the various states of visibility. During the playtest, Paizo even made tweaks to improve flow (renaming the sensed condition to hidden). I also think they wanted to make sure scenarios like this one could be handled by the rules as written, since that wasn’t the case in PF1. Stealth as written in PF1 (before it was errata’d) had a lot of problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one ran it as written. I certainly didn’t.
 

miggyG777

Villager
PF2 is occupying a weird space for me: that seems like an awful lot of detail, while still being fairly abstract. I could pick up a game like HURPS, Rolemaster or HERO that offers Fuller detail, or a less detailed system that exists in a more fluid space. This seems too mixed, neither fish nor fowl.
Most of what I am reading from you seems to be guesswork. Yet you seem to be interested in PF2. Therefore, I would highly encourage you to just play the game, so you get actual data about how the game runs, to base your opinions on facts rather than speculation.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
Most of what I am reading from you seems to be guesswork. Yet you seem to be interested in PF2. Therefore, I would highly encourage you to just play the game, so you get actual data about how the game runs, to base your opinions on facts rather than speculation.
The game has been out less than three days. Please adjust your expectations on what level of discourse you will find on these forums accordingly.
 

Mycroft

Explorer
The rules in PF1 are a sort of crappy simulation. Historically, when people improve those rules, they try to improve the simulation (e.g., through more/better detail). PF2 seems to be going in a different direction. There’s still an element of verisimilitude, but instead of honing the simulation, the rules seem positioned now more as a framework for making rulings (via uniform core mechanics that create rich results when combined with the trait system).
I don't see it that way, at all; it's a clinical, dense, byzantine system.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Most of what I am reading from you seems to be guesswork. Yet you seem to be interested in PF2. Therefore, I would highly encourage you to just play the game, so you get actual data about how the game runs, to base your opinions on facts rather than speculation.
My interest is fairly abstract: I'm not going to be in the position to play PF2 anytime soon, probably ever. I already have D&D 5E and DCC for the fantasy genre and if I wanted to try something different I'd go with Dungeon World, The One Ring, Dungeon Fantasy, W.O.I.N, Burning Wheel, or Fantasy Hero at this time. I've been looking at this game out if general hobby interest, in terms of design and business.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
I think the dissonance between detail and abstraction you’re seeing is due to a shift in rule intent. The rules in PF1 are a sort of crappy simulation. Historically, when people improve those rules, they try to improve the simulation (e.g., through more/better detail). PF2 seems to be going in a different direction. There’s still an element of verisimilitude, but instead of honing the simulation, the rules seem positioned now more as a framework for making rulings (via uniform core mechanics that create rich results when combined with the trait system).

Viewed through that lens, the Stealth rules can be seen as providing an intuitive framework for managing the various states of visibility. During the playtest, Paizo even made tweaks to improve flow (renaming the sensed condition to hidden). I also think they wanted to make sure scenarios like this one could be handled by the rules as written, since that wasn’t the case in PF1. Stealth as written in PF1 (before it was errata’d) had a lot of problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one ran it as written. I certainly didn’t.
I am not trying to be dismissive, but that first paragraph sounds more like a description of D&D 5E than anything I've seen out if PF2 so far.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It's easy to mistake 5E's approach as a "simplified" one. At first, I made that mistake too.

But 5E's approach isn't simple. I mean, yes it is, but more importantly it's the correct approach.

That is, I have come to the conclusion the approach where move is "just extra" is the correct one:

§1 Liberal use of move means dynamic exciting cinematic battles.
§1b Not moving around means static boring battles.

§2 Move needs to be free to be used liberally.

§3 The only way for movement to stay free is if there is zero ways to "cash it in" for something more minmaxed (like even a single extra point of damage, or healing, or attack or defense).

Ergo, it is not merely "simple" to offer no ways to spend your move on other things than positioning. It is good game design.
Interesting I was thinking of an action where one gains the lay of the land ie analyzing the battlefield and it required movement not trading your move for benefit but gaining a well defined benefit tbd via it.
 

kenada

Explorer
I am not trying to be dismissive, but that first paragraph sounds more like a description of D&D 5E than anything I've seen out if PF2 so far.
No, I don’t think you’re being unfair. Let me expand on that a bit.

The actual core mechanics of PF2 are pretty simple. There are really only a handful: making checks (and rolling damage), the action economy, and traits. All kinds of checks resolve the same way. PF2 doesn’t have exceptions for attacks or saving throws or skills like PF1 or 5e have. The action economy also doesn’t either. The situations PF1 and 5e special case just fall out naturally because of of the way the action economy works. The complicating factor is the traits system, but I think it’s also the traits system that helps facilitate rulings. How I think it does that is by isolating the GM from the rest of the rules when making rulings.

As a GM, when the players do something that doesn’t fall under the game’s existing actions, I have to decide how that interacts with the rest of the system. Maybe I don’t decide everything right away, but I’ll have to make another ruling if it comes up later. Suppose the fighter does something that requires focus, and the barbarian wants to do it too, but he also wants to do it while raging. Without traits (e.g., PF1 or 5e), I have to make a ruling based on what I think the intent of the system is — or just whatever I think makes sense. With traits, I still have to make a ruling, but I now have the concentrate trait to help me with that. If I do decide the activity has the concentrate trait, then not only do we know whether the barbarian can do it while raging (no), but we also know other things like whether it can be done constantly while exploring (not without gaining fatigue). Being able to adjudicate once and letting the system take care of the rest strikes me as a helpful simplification for the GM when running the game.
 

kenada

Explorer
I don't see it that way, at all; it's a clinical, dense, byzantine system.
In what ways? The core mechanics are pretty simple and straightforward (having few exceptions). See my response to Parmandur for my thoughts on the traits system. Note that I’m not considering customization, since that’s outside the GM’s purview.
 
Strangely enough, it makes sense how Pathfinder define the stealth concepts. This one is just codifying what (basically) existed in 3E before it.

Unnoticed - you don't even know the monster is there. You're flat-footed against it, and some abilities it has work against you (assassination, I guess).
Undetected - you know the monster is there, but not which square it's in. You have to choose the right square to attack, and there's a 50% miss chance, and you're flat-footed against it.
Hidden - you know the monster is there and where it's standing, but you can't see it. There's a 50% miss chance, and you're flat-footed against it.
Observed - you can see the monster. Normal rules!

Meanwhile there's
Invisible - You're undetected until someone notices you (with Seek), then you become Hidden.
Concealed - You can't see the monster clearly. 20% miss chance.

Because Pathfinder like pinning down stuff, you also have Hostile, Unfriendly, Indifferent, Friendly and Helpful for NPC attitudes.

Cheers!
It seems like a lot of keywording for keywording's sake. Unnoticed, Invisible and Undetected are basically variants of Hidden with a minor adjustment to exactly how you try to find them. In specific, there is no difference in Undetected and Hidden except the guesswork of choosing a square to attack (either you have an educated guess and they are Hidden or you don't and they're Undetected). It appears a correct guess on an Undetected foe just makes them Hidden, and a fireball where you think they are ignores the difference completely. That is some fine-hairs to split, especially for something so corner-case that they 90% of the time play out the same.

More importantly, I suspect there will be plenty of Unnoticed/Undetected mixups due to their similar names and very minor difference in effect; and I totally suspect some would-be assassin is going to think he gets death attack because his cloak of hiding gives them the undetected status (while death attack requires the unnoticed status) as an example. Hell, I played 3x for 10+ years and I can't tell you the mechanical differences in shaken, frightened, and panicked without the SRD open.

I just feel that level of precision is maybe better suited to some sort of computerized play (either in the form of an hyperlinked SRD, a virtual TT, or a video game) because I couldn't fathom trying to keep those states straight using just my memory and a hardback book...
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
So I've finally had a chance to look at a number of pathfinder 2e rules. Many active feats have a d&d 4e at-will power style feel. Many give you the ability to attack + do something slightly extra.

That said I don't think the game evokes the same 4e feel as hp scaling and vanician casting are still intact.
 

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