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My Biggest Concern for Pathfinder 2e

CapnZapp

Adventurer
There definitely is a portion of the market that wants a complex, highly tactical game with tons of fiddly bits.
In this case there seems to be a fair bit of difference between two things "portions" might want:

* A game with tons of build choices (including spells and magic items, so "build" here means "everything before combats") that really matter - to the point where the actual game can be trivialized by making the "right" such choices

* A game with a ton of build choices that secretly don't matter that much, and instead open new tactics during play. It is by making tactical choices during play you make the game easier or harder, but only slightly (compared to the first type of game)

If 3E is the first kind of game it can be argued 4E is the second.

If the reports are true PF2 could be much more of the second type of game than the first.

The problem here might be that players might say they love lots of build choices, but actually don't want choices (including buffs cast pre-combat, and magic items you select as gear) that don't have a large impact on their character's power level...

The problem might be if Paizo have created a game for the second audience, despite their existing fans liking the first.

In this case we can end up with a game nobody* likes; PF1 fans for the lack of impactful build choices, 5E fans for the scary levels of fiddly.

*) Except surviving 4E fans maybe
 
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Markh3rd

Explorer
After building my ranger out to level 20 I would have to vote it feels more like option 2 than 1. There were times I felt I had found some nice synergy, but other times it felt like I was just picking something that would have some minor effect and wasn't interesting in itself or just choosing between very situational abilities that may never come into play.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
* A game with tons of build choices (including spells and magic items, so "build" here means "everything before combats") that really matter - to the point where the actual game can be trivialized by making the "right" such choices
What we consider to be "the actual game" is kind of the point here. It's not that we want to build over-powered characters that can stomp all over combat. It's that we want to build characters who have some control over which combats they are able to handle and which ones they should avoid.

I want to build a character with real strengths and weaknesses, so I can participate in "the actual game" of finding a path where my strengths shine and my weaknesses are protected. I want to build a high-AC character, and then try to only fight fighting-type enemies, under full awareness that I can't handle spellcasters; and then I want to avoid fighting spellcasters as much as possible.

The interesting part of the game, to me, is what happens at the table before you roll initiative.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
After building my ranger out to level 20 I would have to vote it feels more like option 2 than 1. There were times I felt I had found some nice synergy, but other times it felt like I was just picking something that would have some minor effect and wasn't interesting in itself or just choosing between very situational abilities that may never come into play.
I only played 4E from launch up until Player's Handbook 2 (so pre-Essentials). The main thing I remember as a Fail with a capital F was the incredibly bland and mediocre magic items, with circumstantial bonus that had little effect.

I ended up combining two items into one and STILL my players simply forgot to use them or plain ignored them.

If PF2 items and feats resemble that (unlike 3E or 5E magic items which are generally great and desirable) it will be Paizo's undoing, mark my word.

But we're still only three sessions in, and 1st level feats aren't normally that bland, so I have nothing definite to say yet..
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
What we consider to be "the actual game" is kind of the point here. It's not that we want to build over-powered characters that can stomp all over combat. It's that we want to build characters who have some control over which combats they are able to handle and which ones they should avoid.

I want to build a character with real strengths and weaknesses, so I can participate in "the actual game" of finding a path where my strengths shine and my weaknesses are protected. I want to build a high-AC character, and then try to only fight fighting-type enemies, under full awareness that I can't handle spellcasters; and then I want to avoid fighting spellcasters as much as possible.

The interesting part of the game, to me, is what happens at the table before you roll initiative.
My only immediate comment is that while I'm not sure this is directly relevant to the discussion at hand, I don't disagree.
 

Parmandur

Legend
My biggest concern is three weeks into sales on Amazon and the PF2 core book has dropped to below #1200 in All Books (#1208). This, despite selling as low as $35.99 on Amazon (retails for $47.99).

For context, we're now in the first week of year SIX for 5e, and the Player's Handbook is still ranked in the top 100 for All Books (#94).

I know both companies make digital sales, and of course store sales as well. But still, these are some shocking numbers to me. The disparity is on a scale that I can't justify based on "it must be digital sales" or "it must be direct sales" or "Amazon numbers are biased".

I also heard they did not sell out at GenCon. Which was planned, but I have never heard of planning to ship a near mountain of extra book inventory back home with you (which is what reports from GenCon were of what was left, and that sales were very light on Sunday with no lines).

Maybe this is unfounded unease on my part. It goes against my bias - I genuinely assumed PF2 sales would be extremely strong out the gate, and do well long term. But I am starting to be (at least mildly) concerned that it's not hitting the expected sales numbers.

This isn't something we'd hear in any official capacity. I think we heard glowing reports from Paizo about the MMO right up until they laid off most of the staff for that project and missed their targets, and I don't think we're going to get any data from Paizo other than "It's doing better than expected". Which I guess I don't blame them for, as that's the job of public relations. But it makes figuring out the real situation kinda difficult for a fan.

I hope I am wrong on this one. Paizo is a good company, they make some great RPG products, their employees are some of the best in the industry, and it's good for the industry to have that competition for WOTC. (And from a personal bias, I use some Pathfinder adventures to convert to 5e).
I'm fairly astounded at the GenCon surplus: I thought that would be ground zero for their core audience.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Try to keep it constructive, folks - and cheesing people off isn't constructive.
My first advice, Mist: stare at sales numbers less, play and enjoy your game more.

That said:

Paizo had the chance to learn from 5E's success. They chose to disregard its improvements over both PF1/3E and (somehow) 4E to create a very involved yet restricted game with open eyes.

Or at least eyes that could have been open if Paizo only lifted their gaze and exited their own bubble.

It's premature to say "I told you* so", so I'll wait.

*) Not any individual, more the forum at large
I gave you a like due to the initial good advice, but then reversed it once I got to the "that said" portion where you fell back on old unsubstantial garbage criticisms.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I gave you a like due to the initial good advice, but then reversed it once I got to the "that said" portion where you fell back on old unsubstantial garbage criticisms.
Feel free to never again explain to people why their posts do not deserve your likes.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Feel free to never again explain to people why their posts do not deserve your likes.
If PF2 fails, on what factual basis can you say "I told you so"? How could you actually substantiate that its failures have anything to do with your speculation? How would it not be riddled with your confirmation bias?
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
If PF2 fails, on what factual basis can you say "I told you so"?
You appear to labour under the delusion this discussion forum only accepts statements of provable facts.

It does not. It accepts opinions. Did you know you don't have to restrict your discussion topics to what could be objectively proven as factually correct? It might come as a shock to you, but it really is great - it means we can discuss many many more topics!

In other words, just stop with your ridiculous crusade against people whose opinions you don't agree with.

Thank you
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Opinions are fine, and you are entitled to yours, but the problem is when those opinions are paraded around as if they were self-evident truths and/or factual statements but only serve to reinforce a preexisting narrative.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
If Pathfinder 2 fails it's probably because of 5E or their class design.
I would want to discuss this in more detail, since "class design" could mean pretty much anything.

If Pathfinder 2 fails, I would point to some or all of the following factors:
1) Pathfinder 2 seemingly ignores that 5E succeeds because it abandons fiddliness
1a) two important factors where the jury is still out are caster-martial balance and ease of monster prep for the GM
1b) Paizo might completely underestimate how much people actually like bounded accuracy
2) Pathfinder 2 seemingly ignores the deep impopularity of the 4E-style design of lots of small options (yes, you could phrase this as "all options are balanced" or "no trap options", but players seem to like the existence of some options being better than others since that makes their decisions matter)

Still want that overhauled and fixed 3.5 type game.
I would argue 5E is the fix to 3E.

I believe there no longer exist a substantial market for a more direct descendant to 3E. The core engine of d20 simply is so broken it can't be fixed, or rather, that 5E proved it could be fixed, only that you had to really reassemble the fundamentals to do it.

Yes, 5E also adds a number of simplifications that has nothing to do with fixing 3E. Some of them are unnecessary or even outright dumb.

I remain impressed over just how thoroughly 5E solves many of the deal-breaking deficiencies that forced me to leave 3E. I honestly don't believe a more direct "create a 3.999 edition" would have had the courage and energy to truly uproot the core problems with the d20 engine, instead creating just another iteration in the 3.0 - 3.5 - PF chain that never came close to any of 5E's true fixes, so I think "that overhauled and fixed 3.5 type game" is mostly a pipe dream that could never have happened.
 
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Opinions are just that, personal opinions. Opinions themselves do not cause problems - how people perceive them is what causes the problem.

Clearly, you have a problem with the idea that someone believes Pathfinder 2e is going to fail. That's your issue to deal with. I also believe Pathfinder 2e is on a rocky road - that's my opinion, it doesn't serve a pre-existing narrative and nobody can say to me my opinion is a problem.

I DM 5th edition because I burnt out running 3.5 due to heavy prep and cognitive overload as a result of rules complexity. For that reason I never ran Pathfinder 1e and, similarly, I'm not going to try Pathfinder 2e.

At this point 5e is the the Heavyweight champ of D&D, not perfect but the game all the newbies recognise. Good luck introducing new players to the overtweaked and constrained P2e let alone new GMs. If you are new to fantasy tabletop RPGs, what game are you going to adopt, the wildly successful brand name 5e which everyone is talking about and has massive social media exposure or the new game Pathfinder 2e which has proved divisive amongst its fanbase and which many people are not trying because of 5e.

I do actually wish Paizo good luck because competition is a good thing and more options for fantasy gaming is always better. However, I don't think the right strategy has been chosen here - at the moment it looks like all eggs are in one basket when it might be a good idea to develop for 5e as well.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Clearly, you have a problem with the idea that someone believes Pathfinder 2e is going to fail. That's your issue to deal with. I also believe Pathfinder 2e is on a rocky road - that's my opinion, it doesn't serve a pre-existing narrative and nobody can say to me my opinion is a problem.
Except that is "clearly" untrue. I take no issue with the opinion "I believe that PF2 will fail," but, rather, with the unsubstaniated narratives that some people construct around why it may or may not fail.
 
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Except that is "clearly" untrue. I take no issue with the opinion "I believe that PF2 will fail," but, rather, with the unsubstaniated narratives that some people construct around why it may or may not fail.
Why is this 'clearly' untrue? By your own arguement you appear to imply that Pathfinder 2e is going to succeed but this is unsubstantiated. I don't take issue with that though as this is your implied viewpoint.

The 'narratives' that people put forward for why PF2e may or may not succeed are also part of their opinions. You might not like them, in which case you should put forward a counter arguement as to why those opinions are incorrect. You can't just keep saying 'I take issue with those opinions' because they rub you up the wrong way.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
I strongly suggest none of you fall into the trap of derailing the discussion.

If you start arguing over whose opinion is more valid, you are no longer discussing why PF2 might or might not fail, and the derailer have won.
 

muppetmuppet

Explorer
I agree the 4e Christmas tree of magic items was silly. I tended to just play in a low magic item setting and use the natural bonuses. This way if they ever found a magic item I could make it something reasonably special and unique and not just +2 to hit gives you +1 damage if you happen to be standing on one leg with your eyes closed while wielding a ranseur.
 

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