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Is Pathfinder 2 Paizo's 4E?

CapnZapp

Adventurer
But that’s not the route Paizo choose for PF2. They went with different methods for players vs non players characters
A very wise choice :) after all, a player has one (1) character to worry about, while the DM has a dozen.

Making PC chargen more crunchy than NPC chargen makes a lot of sense.
 
The issue was never that they used the same math. The issue is that they were too complicated to create.
Same difference. For X amount of HD, they had Y feats, Z skill points, and if they had any class levels, Q amount of magical items to equip. All of those elements made monster and NPC creation a huge headache.

On the other hand, monster math also involved the issue of monsters being too strong/weak for their CR, creating imbalance depending on the level of optimization your group entailed. Some creatures could grapple for such bonuses that no creature could escape, while others could not hit a level appropriate PC except on a 20 or posssibly pass a saving throw from a PC.

So, really, it was both. Monster math being based on the same system PCs used makes them hard to create, hard to run, and wildly imbalanced. It was an issue 4e, 5e, and PF2 have all tried to fix in some way or another.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Same difference. For X amount of HD, they had Y feats, Z skill points, and if they had any class levels, Q amount of magical items to equip. All of those elements made monster and NPC creation a huge headache.
It's only the same if the PC math is complicated, as was the case in 3.x/PF1. It was never a problem to use PC math for NPCs when playing AD&D, though.

As for CR balance, well... it certainly would have helped if PCs had been balanced against each other, rather than the optimization mess that ended up as. If PCs had been simple and balanced, then there would have been no issues with NPCs being the same.
 
It's only the same if the PC math is complicated, as was the case in 3.x/PF1. It was never a problem to use PC math for NPCs when playing AD&D, though.
I believe I was referring explicitly to 3.x/PF1.

"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."

So my problems with monster/NPC math came from the idea that they were built using all the same parts as a PC, right down to feats and skill points and magic items arrays, rather than a simpler or more organic method that didn't drown them in fiddly abilities and useless magical gear.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
True, but also a huge nitpick and wildly irrelevant to the discussion.
Not when the topic of discussion is Pathfinder 2E, and whether or not it will do to Paizo what 4E did to WotC.

Using wildly different rules for PCs and monsters is a strong shift away from Simulationism and toward Gamism, and one of the major reasons why 4E died so horribly was that much of their target audience was not on-board with that shift. D&D players, at least in the 3E-era, wanted rules that told us how the world was supposed to work. While you could make an argument that this is no longer true of current D&D players, it should still be true of Pathfinder 1E fans, which means they will remain highly resistant to that sort of change. Ergo, Pathfinder 2E is making exactly the same mistake that D&D 4E made, by mis-judging their audience.
 

Kurviak

Registered User
Not when the topic of discussion is Pathfinder 2E, and whether or not it will do to Paizo what 4E did to WotC.

Using wildly different rules for PCs and monsters is a strong shift away from Simulationism and toward Gamism, and one of the major reasons why 4E died so horribly was that much of their target audience was not on-board with that shift. D&D players, at least in the 3E-era, wanted rules that told us how the world was supposed to work. While you could make an argument that this is no longer true of current D&D players, it should still be true of Pathfinder 1E fans, which means they will remain highly resistant to that sort of change. Ergo, Pathfinder 2E is making exactly the same mistake that D&D 4E made, by mis-judging their audience.
That’s your opinion, I like PF1 a lot, I’ve been a GM for it for a wile and as much as I love the game I dislike a lot of it, and one of the things I dislike most is the futility of the time investment for fighting encounter building, mostly in regards of adversaries creation. At the end I’m mostly forced to use creatures and NPCs taken verbatim from the manuals to be able to prepare for the session and even then is more complex to understand the build stats than it should be to run effectively
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
End of life? Pfft. I think PF's record shows that the 3.5 rules had a lot more life in them.
Precisely my point. 3.5 went out of print ("end of life," maybe I mistakenly mixed a tech term into a publishing discussion, there?), and Paizo kept selling PF1 to 3.5 fans for another 10 years. Because 3.5 had just established that kind of loyalty.


In another sense than product cycles, 3.5 (in the form of open-source d20) is /immortal/. As long as anyone wants to buy it, it can be published.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Precisely my point. 3.5 went out of print ("end of life," maybe I mistakenly mixed a tech term into a publishing discussion, there?), and Paizo kept selling PF1 to 3.5 fans for another 10 years. Because 3.5 had just established that kind of loyalty.


In another sense than product cycles, 3.5 (in the form of open-source d20) is /immortal/. As long as anyone wants to buy it, it can be published.
WotC is, indeed, selling 3.5 via Print on Demand.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
What? Really? All of it?

::imagines who forests vanishing with the click of a mouse::

;)
Actually, just checked, only 21 3.x books are PoD right now: Red Hand of Doom, Ruins of Undermountain, the Draconomican, the Spell Compendium, and a bunch of Realms, Eberron and Ravenloft (from White Wolf!) setting stuff, no core books (those are PDF only).
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Not when the topic of discussion is Pathfinder 2E, and whether or not it will do to Paizo what 4E did to WotC.

Using wildly different rules for PCs and monsters is a strong shift away from Simulationism and toward Gamism, and one of the major reasons why 4E died so horribly was that much of their target audience was not on-board with that shift. D&D players, at least in the 3E-era, wanted rules that told us how the world was supposed to work. While you could make an argument that this is no longer true of current D&D players, it should still be true of Pathfinder 1E fans, which means they will remain highly resistant to that sort of change. Ergo, Pathfinder 2E is making exactly the same mistake that D&D 4E made, by mis-judging their audience.
4E made a lot of unpalatable design choices, and yes, some of them involved characters and monsters, but no, 4E didn't fail because monsters used separate rules from characters. We now have 5E which is wildly successful despite having that.

Your conclusion seems unlikely. Sure there was *something* about stat gen people didn't like, but probably not the mere separation between PCs and NPCs. A far more likely explanation is how the gamism of 4E is in your face, love it or leave it.

As I said, the only two acceptable solutions are
1) make monster creation easy and since they "must" be the same for PCs, have easy (non-complex, non-cruncy, shallow) rules too

and what you just rejected
2) monsters easy; characters complex: they're not the same, or "gamist" or whatever

The solution that leaves most players without a DM (at higher levels) is:
3) chargen is delightfully crunchy; monsters use the same horribly complicated rules

The fact 3.x chose option 3 is what drove me away from the game. I suspect I am definitely not alone.

So take your pick. If you are the DM, Saelorn, and you still pick #3, I can respect that.

But any *player* who wants his or her DM to slave and toil under nightmarishly cruddy NPC rules just to uphold "simulationism", even when it takes them *seconds* to kill off foes that took *hours* to craft, can f* right off...
 
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Zardnaar

Explorer
4E the main problem IMHO was the class/role design or the 4E playstyle it enabled.
A lot if 4E stuff would work fine in other D&D games.
 

zztong

Explorer
That’s your opinion, I like PF1 a lot, I’ve been a GM for it for a wile and as much as I love the game I dislike a lot of it, and one of the things I dislike most is the futility of the time investment for fighting encounter building, mostly in regards of adversaries creation. At the end I’m mostly forced to use creatures and NPCs taken verbatim from the manuals to be able to prepare for the session and even then is more complex to understand the build stats than it should be to run effectively
We're all certainly discussing things in the realm of opinion. Which is cool.

I've run D&D3.x and PF1 for a long time now and never felt like I had to use the system to make opponents. I routinely redefine stock monsters in my own terms. If you look at my adventure prep you'll see things like...

Ghoul: BAB +5, 2xClaws 1d8+2, AC 18, HP 50, Saves +3/+1, Vuln to Holy Water, Move 30.

... which I just whipped up for this post as an example. The actual stats I use would depend on the characters and the number of creatures I think fit the story. Also, if the players made a bunch of heavy roleplay concepts I'd probably have to drop the AC.

The point is at no time did I whip out a book or Hero Lab and bother to make this thing.

That said, I do like that I *could* have used the rules, but as the DM I don't feel bound by them. The story matters more to me.
 

Tony Vargas

Villager
4E made a lot of unpalatable design choices, and yes, some of them involved characters and monsters, but no, 4E didn't fail because monsters used separate rules from characters. We now have 5E which is wildly successful despite having that.
Most of the things people complained loudly about in 4e, 5e retains in at least some measure. Fighters casting spells, wizards being 'nerfed' (relative to 3e), martial healing, overnight 'natural healing,' dissociated mechanics, etc, etc...

...nor was it "presentation" - PF2 need have no worries on that score - Essentials desperately scrambled to give a mussed, fluff-heavy presentation, sand-box adventure, etc, to no avail.

No, 5e returned to meeting longtime D&D expectations. Random lethality at 1st level segueing into a 'sweet spot' followed by increasingly wildly powerful magic (LFQW), beating the game using 'smart play' (CaW) because it gives you the tool to recharge your resources at will (5MWD), magic items making you 'just better' if the DM gives you any, etc... all curated by the Empowered DM (be he Monty Haul or Killer or Good).


Your conclusion seems unlikely. Sure there was *something* about stat gen people didn't like, but probably not the mere separation between PCs and NPCs.
Again, 5e uses virtually the same options: 4d6, point buy, standard array.

The solution that leaves most players without a DM (at higher levels) is:
3) chargen is delightfully crunchy; monsters use the same horribly complicated rules
Heh. It didn't stop 3.x/PF. ;)

The fact 3.x chose option 3 is what drove me away from the game. I suspect I am definitely not alone.
You're not alone, but you're clearly not everyone, either, as 3.x was successful for 8 years with WotC, then another 10 as PF with Paizo.


...and, you'd think, if they wanted to keep rolling with those same PF fans, they wouldn't want to radically reverse direction, no?
 
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Kurviak

Registered User
We're all certainly discussing things in the realm of opinion. Which is cool.

I've run D&D3.x and PF1 for a long time now and never felt like I had to use the system to make opponents. I routinely redefine stock monsters in my own terms. If you look at my adventure prep you'll see things like...

Ghoul: BAB +5, 2xClaws 1d8+2, AC 18, HP 50, Saves +3/+1, Vuln to Holy Water, Move 30.

... which I just whipped up for this post as an example. The actual stats I use would depend on the characters and the number of creatures I think fit the story. Also, if the players made a bunch of heavy roleplay concepts I'd probably have to drop the AC.

The point is at no time did I whip out a book or Hero Lab and bother to make this thing.

That said, I do like that I *could* have used the rules, but as the DM I don't feel bound by them. The story matters more to me.
But then you are basically doing an ad hoc npc asymmetrical building ....
 

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