Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

Parmandur

Legend
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

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.
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

Hero
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

Legend
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

Legend
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...
 
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.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Unfortunately, therese at least one area where PF2 resembles 4E design.

Creating lots of choices that are minor variants of the same theme, and then putting the effort on giving them fanciful names.

For instance, instead of having just one generic feat that lets you use another skill bonus for a given action, each skill-action pair gets its own such feat.

To me, that's nothing short of spam. Yes, it allows you to fill up splatbook after splatbook with endless versions of essentially the same thing, but
1) it is a mechanical focus that doesn't meaningfully assist role-playing and personality characterization
2) it's clutter that is mostly hard to remember.

After all, it doesn't amount to more than a "bounded accuracy" bonus, since you get to use your better skill bonus in place of a worse one (but you can't improve upon your already best bonuses).

(cont'd)
 
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CapnZapp

Hero
The same design idea also shows in some magic items, particularly so-called "talismans".

You gain an incredibly minor and circumstantial bonus, you gain it for a single turn only, AND you must prepare it in advance.

That's just... It means spending time on incredibly minor things.

I mean, a potion of invisibility that lasts a minute, or a potion of water breathing that lasts 10 minutes, that's something you can work with. It's something worthwhile to remember you have on your character sheet. It completely transforms some specific challenge from impossible to possible.

But getting some bonus to jump or extra speed or defense for a single turn?

That's clutter.

If Pathfinder 2 was a computer game, and there was a "equipper" AI that you could tell "please auto-equip my consumables prioritizing offense/defense/mobility" that let me forget about the particulars (whether I got +50% speed this turn or last), then just maybe.

Even then, you would likely just tell the AI to treat it as vendor trash, just auto-selling it all...
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Anyway, in this regard I see pages after pages cluttered up with incredibly small hyper-specific variants of essentially the same thing.

And that right there is the bland fussy design I remember as one of the things I liked the least about 4E.

So please, Paizo, please stop.

There's a reason people like individually powerful - fewer but discrete - items of d20 and 5E!
 

S'mon

Legend
Anyway, in this regard I see pages after pages cluttered up with incredibly small hyper-specific variants of essentially the same thing.
Yeah, going over my friend's PF2 corebook, this was also my impression.
Anyway she's going to make all our PCs for our playtest, so hopefully we can just focus on learning the core mechanics.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Talismans just make no sense to me in general. I hardly understand why they even have gold prices, because you would have to be completely insane to craft or buy one. I think the only way they would make sense is if they were an exception to the rule about Assurance and bonuses, i.e. if you knew what numerical result they would net you.
 

darjr

I crit!
Looking at the Amazon chart of the PF1 core it seems to me that sales were steady until 5e dropped. Then they cratered. So it wasn’t Paizo bloating PF1. Or at least that bloat didn’t hurt the core book sales. And that sales rank at 5es release was about the same when 4e sales dived under Pathfinder sales.

I think 5e was the catalyst. Obvious? Shure.

Also, even out of stock, the new pathfinder setting guide is maintaining a decent sales rank. That to me says that non PF2 folks are buying it? Maybe?

Finally, at least for the last few days, the PF2 core seems to have stabilized at about 2200 in sales rank. I wonder if that’ll sustain there and if it’s enough to have a Paizo. I think so?

What do I know?
 

zztong

Explorer
Creating lots of choices that are minor variants of the same theme, and then putting the effort on giving them fanciful names.
D&D 3/3.5 and PF1 has the same issue. Skill Focus was +3 to one kill (you pick), but all of the variations of "Two Skills are +2" had names and filled up pages in books and player/DM mind-space. (Example: "Stealthy Feat.")
 
Looking at the Amazon chart of the PF1 core it seems to me that sales were steady until 5e dropped. Then they cratered. So it wasn’t Paizo bloating PF1. Or at least that bloat didn’t hurt the core book sales. And that sales rank at 5es release was about the same when 4e sales dived under Pathfinder sales.

I think 5e was the catalyst. Obvious? Shure.

Also, even out of stock, the new pathfinder setting guide is maintaining a decent sales rank. That to me says that non PF2 folks are buying it? Maybe?

Finally, at least for the last few days, the PF2 core seems to have stabilized at about 2200 in sales rank. I wonder if that’ll sustain there and if it’s enough to have a Paizo. I think so?

What do I know?
Yes. I know while i have no interest in P2 rules, i will pick up the setting book to mine for ideas. Settings and adventures are always of interest to me
 

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