Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
I'm not saying that you couldn't make the distinction, if you really wanted to. I'm saying that, if you do make the distinction, and you include separate modifiers for each, then they are redundant for the task of distinguishing a character's competence within a given level.

A simpler alternative would be to only use the proficiency bonus, say that it represents some combination of natural talent and learned skill, and only use that one bonus (in addition to the level bonus). It would prevent issues where (for example) the cleric is more perceptive than the ranger, when their Wisdom gap is greater than their proficiency gap. It would also solve the annoying old problem where the only way to truly specialize was to have both the maximum ability modifier and the maximum skill bonus.
Ideally I would have ability modifiers not affecting skill bonus by themselves, I would rather high ability bonuses helped you have higher proficiency levels faster.

Edit: An on topic, this isn't necessarily a judgment of value, what I got from the playtest was that PF2 somehow managed to have the bad parts of 4e without the good stuff. I'm still on the fence on whether to give it some of my time of money. I'll have to wait to see what changes we get from the playtest and how it improves before getting invested.
 
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pemerton

Legend
Let's turn around using a theory that claims not to be exclusionary and judgmental, to exclude my perspective from discussion, and instead make it about why I don't want to be judged & excluded?
If your perspective is that playing DitV is the same as playing DL, then I have to ask - have you played DitV, or any system like it?

the purpose of GNS is to divide, excluded, and judge other divisions inferior to your preferred one.


I don't find it uninteresting, I find it false, pernicious, and elitist.

<snip>

a monolithic division of RPGs and the people who play them into exclusive warring camps, it's corrosive.
So now it's corrosive for people to talk about their play experiences, and what they found different in different systems?

This is why I described you upthread as hostile to analysis.

As for the idea that GNS is corrosive - the only anger and hostility I see is people who apparently can't handle the fact that Ron Edwards cares about something that seems not to matter to them. If you don't see any difference in fundamental play experience between playing (say) CoC and playing (say) Apocalypse World then that's how it is. Why is it wrong for others to see the world of RPGing differently from you?
 
If your perspective is that playing DitV is the same as playing DL, then I have to ask - have you played DitV, or any system like it?
Dude, I've never played DL, if I'm even tracking the acronyms. And, it shouldn't matter which specific games someone has played, if the point isn't to be exclusionary.
So now it's corrosive for people to talk about their play experiences, and what they found different in different systems?
No, GNS. I thought that was clear from context.
This is why I described you upthread as hostile to analysis.
I'm maybe a little tired of it, because it's work, to me, and this is my hobby.

But, seriously, taking something as complex as RPGs, and dividing it into three categories - with the clearly-stated premise that they're descriptive and can all be present in a given game, group, individual or experience - treating them as exhaustive, then using them to define exclusive, incompatible, 'agendas?'

That's not analysis, it's politics.

What do people do when presented with It? They pick one. "Oh, I'm simulationist!" "hey, these are games, how can you be anything but gamist" "gaming is my outlet for my creative storytelling talents (until my novels get published) so I'm clearly in the most sophisticated, narrativist, camp"

As for the idea that GNS is corrosive - the only anger and hostility I see is people who apparently can't handle the fact that R*********s cares about something that seems not to matter to them.
Damn, it's like the point is enhancing his name recognition or something.
If you don't see any difference in fundamental play experience between playing (say) CoC and playing (say) Apocalypse World then that's how it is. Why is it wrong for others to see the world of RPGing differently from you?
I'm definitely in the 'system matters' camp (just not when it comes to popularity or commercial success).

But, the "experience" is a couple degrees of freedom removed from the system, which, itself, is removed from design intent. And GNS 'agendas' are yet further removed.

GNS is just a me/you/them refinement of the us/them of Roll v Role.

And, like it, corrosive.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
LOL it was a joke. I was trying to one-up the prior jokes. I think Pathfinder 2 will do fine.
I knew you were joking but some lines shouldn't be crossed. Being compared to Highlander 2 is one of them. I would almost retain your services. You could sue yourself.
 
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I see some of 4e in PF2, but that's because they were both attempts to fix the same inherent problems with 3.5. For nigh unto 20 years, the problems with the 3.x/d20 mechanics have shown themselves again and again. The inherent unevenness of the Bab/Save progression, the dependency the mainline 6 magic items, monsters using PC math for creation. The escalation of bonuses, the bloat of options, LFQW, static combats, etc.

So of course, 4e and PF are attempted to fix the same problems; you fix the uneven math progression by streamlining everything into a single progress line. You reduce magic item dependency to a small (3) sets of static bonuses, and then use some cooldown method for other magic items. You curb the math so that it flows easier. You roll different customization abilities into selectable abilities gained every level from a variety of siloed abilities. You fix the action economy to allow for more fluid movement and lose full-round actions. You give monsters types/roles and use different math to create them. You make most magic and other abilities not scale by character level.

The big difference is that Paizo had a great window to see why 4e failed and what 5e did right, so they avoided some of those pitfalls, like forcing all classes into the ADEU structure rather than some form of spell-slot casting and other resource mechanics. It will be interesting to see if Paizo managed to answer the problems of 3e better than WotC initially did.
 

FatR

Visitor
PF2 cannot be Paizo's 4E, because 4E had actual design goals. Of course those design goals were dubious (make a game that CharOp boards' regulars would like) or unrealistic (we want World of Warcraft audience), and their execution was bungled, but at least 4E tried to do something with the system, besides making all the mechanics different for the sake of selling all the books again.

PF2 absolutely doesn't. The whole project reeks of a cynical attempt to restart the supplement threadmill. As far as I can tell, no one can explain what selling points of PF2 are supposed to be, in what ways it is better than PF1, what actual problems it fixes, or even what made-up problems it fixes better than existing versions of DnD. It is one of the most complicated, rules-hyperheavy RPGs I've ever read, and more of the complexity than before is upfront and unavoidable, rather than being optional (by all accounts the system wasn't reworked entirely since beta, therefore this observation will equally apply to the final product), so it cannot claim to be "streamlining" anyting. Between "are you kidding me?" levels of complexity that a new player must confront before play even starts, and the fact that it is even more self-referential than other versions of DnD, it has zero appeal to anyone who is not a hardcore DnD/PF fan. It tries to cram itself into the same weird niche of "kitchen sink high fantasy with magic galore, but options available to players are straightjacketed to the point that at any level GM will have no problems railroading through the same sort of dungeons they crawled at level 1, only with bigger numbers" that DnD tried to starting with 4E, consequently even if it had been less incestous, it still would have little hope to actually connect with the sort of stories people nowadays may imagine when they thing of high-powered high fantasy.

Oh, and the art so far is not that good either. Given than good art was, IMO one of the two big factors behind PF success, that is a big problem.
 
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Hussar

Legend
PF2 cannot be Paizo's 4E, because 4E had actual design goals. Of course those design goals were dubious (make a game that CharOp boards' regulars would like) or unrealistic (we want World of Warcraft audience), and their execution was bungled, but at least 4E tried to do something with the system, besides making all the mechanics different for the sake of selling all the books again.

PF2 absolutely doesn't. The whole project reeks of a cynical attempt to restart the supplement threadmill. As far as I can tell, no one can explain what selling points of PF2 are supposed to be, in what ways it is better than PF1, what actual problems it fixes, or even what made-up problems it fixes better than existing versions of DnD. It is one of the most complicated, rules-hyperheavy RPGs I've ever read, and more of the complexity than before is upfront and unavoidable, rather than being optional (by all accounts the system wasn't reworked entirely since beta, therefore this observation will equally apply to the final product), so it cannot claim to be "streamlining" anyting. Between "are you kidding me?" levels of complexity that a new player must confront before play even starts, and the fact that it is even more self-referential than other versions of DnD, it has zero appeal to anyone who is not a hardcore DnD/PF fan. It tries to cram itself into the same weird niche of "kitchen sink high fantasy with magic galore, but options available to players are straightjacketed to the point that at any level GM will have no problems railroading through the same sort of dungeons they crawled at level 1, only with bigger numbers" that DnD tried to starting with 4E, consequently even if it had been less incestous, it still would have little hope to actually connect with the sort of stories people nowadays may imagine when they thing of high-powered high fantasy.

Oh, and the art so far is not that good either. Given than good art was, IMO one of the two big factors behind PF success, that is a big problem.
This is your very first post on the boards? Well, welcome aboard bud. I'm sure you'll make friends in no time. :p
 

wakedown

Explorer
I suspect PF2e has some internal design goals that aren't intended to be made public.

Their business model really requires addiction level subscribers to commit to the year-plus subscription model and the predictable revenue of 5000-15,000 gamers parting with $50 a month or ~$600-1000 of annual spend to sustain the business.

So really Paizo's design goal would be to lock down their 5,000 most loyal customers who are heavily vested in the game world and community (particularly VLs/VCs of Organized Play) to commit to at least invest in the new system for 2-3 years out at $1000/year - there's a guarantee of $5M in revenue to cover the administrative expenses and core team expenses. Then hopefully your core 5K can attract an outer ring of another 5K-10K gamers who are good for $300-$600 a piece.

Paizo's hardcore gamer, the ones who are still showing up to game store game days are the ones who like to play with rules "away from the game" for hours per week, building complex characters from an assortment of rules from esoteric sources. They're almost puzzle-solvers to a certain extent, trying to maximize character builds. The whole 3-action round gives another puzzle to solve where theorycrafting away from the game lets folks figure out the right combination of their open, press, flourish, etc. The whole tiered crit systems presents another dimension of theorycrafting where you need to understand conditions and the right pivot point of whether you attack an extra time or attempt a Power Attack. PF2e is meant to be enjoyed in Excel and spreadsheets for the next several years as mix/max theorycrafting can take place and continue to absorb supplement subscriptions.

It's not intended to be an accessible game for the casual gamer. You won't be bringing a casual friend/spouse/date to the game as there's way too much of a learning curve here to get in the way of the story or non-combat aspects of the game. This game is again about character building away from the social group, and then at the table it's about puzzle-solving your combat turns kind of like playing Tetris and trying to fit things into each turn. Whereas modern RPGs became more permissive to get folks to pay more attention to the scene and events going on (i.e. 5e lets you move and interact with things freely outside of an action economy budget then make a quick decision among many equal cost single actions), PF2e is about looking at your character sheet and trying to puzzle out the best way to spend 3 action points every time it gets around to your turn where competence is determined by how well you've memorized all the variable point costs of available actions.

It's actually kind of like Advanced 4E - take 4e and expand it into a variable cost action system and add the -10/+10 math for another dimension of variability in action results and you have PF2e.
 

techno

Visitor
I believe Paizo is trying to create something similar to 5e, in terms of ease of learning and running it, but which also...

1. doesn't have bounded accuracy (becomes more "fantasy supers" at higher levels)
2. is directly tied into their Lost Omens/Golarian setting (which helps sell APs, their bread and butter)
3. has far more character options and choices than 5e (which allows those who really like to customize their characters to do so)
4. assumes more use of magic items than 5e (some people like this, some don't)
5. has more dynamic and interesting monsters (5e monsters can get boring after awhile)
6. has lots of continual support for additional options, adventures, and accessories (5e releases additional rules/class options at a glacial pace)
7. has more engaging tactical combat (the 3 action system is brilliant, simple, and provides lots of meaningful choices in combat)
8. has a heavy focus on exploration and downtime rules, not just combat
9. has more codified rules than 5e (some people love that 5e often just says, "It's up the GM to decide on how to do this," some like more rules consistency/clarity)
10. moves away from a binary pass/fail paradigm and allows 4 levels of success on most rolls
11. weapon choices are more meaningful and they do different things
12. makes skills and skill proficiencies more meaningful (this is one area of 5e that I don't prefer)
13. is built to be easily customizable/configurable based on preferences (they are planning to release a GM guide that tells you how to easily "tweak the dials" on the rules engine to adjust the game how you want it to be if you don't like the default settings)
14. offers all of the rules (not just the basic rules) free online as well as very cheap PDFs

My impression is that they have come up with something pretty cool with PF2. It feels more like "Advanced 5e" to me. It will get tons of continual support, for those who see this as a plus. Our group is going to check out the final version when it releases on August 1. We may switch our group to PF2 if Paizo is able to deliver on the above promises. We also love Paizo's adventures and feel they are often better than 5e's offerings. Personally, I am glad that both options are available. Competition is good for Paizo, WotC, and the consumer.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
Wait, that’s an interesting idea. What ideas or rules unique to PF2 does anyone see a D&D implementing or appropriating?

Anyone?
Just about the only thing I found of value in the playtest, was the system for multuclassing, including the equivalent to Prestige Class/Kits. I could see a similar system being built into 5E easily enough, basically locking a character into a Feat chain that replaces all the ASIs with cross-Class abilities.
 
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The whole project reeks of a cynical attempt to restart the supplement threadmill. As far as I can tell, no one can explain what selling points of PF2 are supposed to be, in what ways it is better than PF1, what actual problems it fixes, or even what made-up problems it fixes better than existing versions of DnD. It is one of the most complicated, rules-hyperheavy RPGs I've ever read, and more of the complexity than before is upfront and unavoidable, rather than being optional (by all accounts the system wasn't reworked entirely since beta, therefore this observation will equally apply to the final product), so it cannot claim to be "streamlining" anyting. Between "are you kidding me?" levels of complexity that a new player must confront before play even starts, and the fact that it is even more self-referential than other versions of DnD, it has zero appeal to anyone who is not a hardcore DnD/PF fan. It tries to cram itself into the same weird niche of "kitchen sink high fantasy with magic galore
I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here...

… yeah, it's like it's 2003 and someone's going on about the 'cash grab' …

...which went on to command such loyalty from fans that Paizo has been selling PF1 to that base for an extra decade past it's end of life.


...so, yer say'n PF2 could be Paizo's 3.5!
 

CapnZapp

Hero
The issue was never that they used the same math. The issue is that they were too complicated to create.
People want incompatible things:
1) deep crunchy charbuild options on the player side
2) simple fast monster creation on the DM side
3) PCs and NPCs being governed by the same rules

Sorry, no can do. The only possible way to have 1+3 is what 3.x tried, and it completely killed high-level DMing for me.

Ultimately 2 is paramount, so the real choice is between 1 and 3. And my players clearly want 1. Since I the DM want (nay need) 2, the only sacrifice possible is to give up 3.

Ergo unified rules for PCs and NPCs is a pipe dream that can never happen. What's practical and simple for the DM is shallow and unsatisfying for players. What's deliciously crunchy for players is a nightmare for the DM (me).
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Ultimately 2 is paramount, so the real choice is between 1 and 3. And my players clearly want 1. Since I the DM want (nay need) 2, the only sacrifice possible is to give up 3.
That covers your players at your table, sure, but those aren't the only players or table under discussion. Sacrificing 1 for the benefit of 3 is an equally valid solution.
 

Kurviak

Explorer
That covers your players at your table, sure, but those aren't the only players or table under discussion. Sacrificing 1 for the benefit of 3 is an equally valid solution.
But that’s not the route Paizo choose for PF2. They went with different methods for players vs non players characters
 

FatR

Visitor
I'm getting a sense of deja-vu here...

… yeah, it's like it's 2003 and someone's going on about the 'cash grab' …

...which went on to command such loyalty from fans that Paizo has been selling PF1 to that base for an extra decade past it's end of life.

There is quite a bit of difference between selling your system as a way to keep playing the system people already knew (3.5) with only a smattering of fixes, and selling it as... what? The difference between PF1 and PF2 is in some aspects greater than the difference between 3.5 and 4E. Practically every single mechanic is upturned. And for what? To make stacking +1s on your attack roll and parsing through lists of useless feats to find those that actually do something more important than ever? To see how well making rules without setting any apparent design goals besides "we want a system in which writing adventures in our trademark style would be easier than in PF1" would go? Or to exploit their hardcore fanbase, as wakedown suggested above on this page?
 
There is quite a bit of difference between selling your system as a way to keep playing the system people already knew with only a smattering of fixes, and Practically every single mechanic is upturned.
If every single mechanic is upturned, then it's hardly just a re-boot to re-start the supplement cycle, is it? Sounds more like substantive change.
 

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