Is Pathfinder meant to be "boutique D&D?"


I'm just concerned that Paizo will start cranking out the supplements so quickly that before you know it the game is back to being bloated and not easy for new players to jump in. Sort of a flash in the pan instead of going for the long term.

DM Howard

Although I stated in another thread that my group will be leaving 5E for PF2, I think that we will end up taking thing we like and bringing them back to 5E. Who knows though, we might end of totally loving PF2, but I would not have been upset if Paizo has chosen to create more advanced and in depth options for 5E because PF2 feels a little much like a 5E+ to us so far. These thoughts are all prior to us playing yet, just reading the rules.
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Relaxed Intensity
It is just a hypothesis at this moment, but Pathfinder 2e reminds me of a film technique often called dramatic realism or stylistic realism. The basic conceit is that it is highly concerned with a detailed look at the fiction and is often concerned with seemingly mundane things, but not with an eye towards realistic depiction. The intent is to highlight the drama and risk of the moment in a highly stylized way to capture the emotion of the moment. The point is generally to get to the essential nature of the characters and or situation.

In this light the critical hit and failure rules make a lot of sense to me. So does much of the way the melee character types are built. So does embracing alignment and anathema. In a very real way the action economy is built to highlight those moment to moment decisions the characters make and put the characters personalities on display. This why many things that were free actions before now cost an action. To highlight those decisions. Look at the way things like the way shields and encumbrance work. The intent is not really to depict those things realistically, but to bring the drama of those things to life for the player. This is why we have things like separating out regaining focus and treat wounds from medicine instead of a short rest mechanism so we can focus on the details and risks of recovering from combat.

I mean look at the way spell durations and action costs are generally divided up in terms of actions/rounds, then one minute, then 10 minutes, then 1 hour, then 1 day, then days. It's pretty much dramatic zoom. It allows us to really focus on the drama of the moment.That focus on the moment to moment is also nice because it allows us to focus on strategic play as well as tactical play in a way that feels more dramatically compelling.

This is in many ways the exact opposite of the type of narrative that 4th Edition excelled at when utilized well which was all about the big moments, grand confrontations, and shining moments. Eventually I will get around to a review where I approach Pathfinder from the perspective of a film geek and drama nerd, but I want to see it in actual play first.