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"My Pathfinder Spoiler" Glimpses At Pathfinder 2

Paizocon took place over the weekend. Over the event, dozens of cards with snippets from the final Pathfinder 2 rules were distributed, tagged with "#MyPathfinderSpoiler". There are too many to share here, so here's a few samples and a link to the hashtag on Twitter where you can see them all.

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Ben Burch

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Starfinder Facts

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Squiddish

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Roll For Combat

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MetroBostonOrganizedPlay

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Dustin Campbell

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Dragons and Things​
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Aldarc

Explorer
I'm not saying they can't pull it off, but when your audience isn't asking for it, and given Paizo's record, I remain dubious.
When you're audience doesn't care, then why should Paizo care? Because CapnZapp thinks that it's the crisis of the ages? Look, I don't like LFQW either, but I think you are overblowing the issue, especially in terms of how many peoples (particularly new players) care about the issue. 5e actually rolls back the LFQW balance changes that WotC made. (4E is the edition that fixed it. 5E is the edition that back-tracked on it with concessions.)

It's also important to keep in mind that 5e is far from having "ruthless enforcement of the restrictions." Spell foci circumvent material components. The Sorcerer's Subtle Spell circumvents verbal and somatic spell components. War Caster allows for cirumventing somatic components. Many tables in 5e kinda ignore the whole material, somatic, and verbal components thing with spellcasting anyway. (Again, 5e is far from ruthless: mostly lax in praxis apart from concentration.) Plus, one of the ways that 5e "balanced" things was by basically handing out magical subclasses like candy to martial classes. You can even find plenty of criticism of this approach in this forum.

But I don't think that we should be under the delusion that Concentration is the only way to "fix" d20 spellcasting. In PF2, it seems that the bigger impact on spellcasting will be how spellcasting is tied to the action economy. In PF2, however, you can't really ignore components because they determine how many of your three precious actions you expend in a round.

Not only that, but a wizard will need to prepare those spells in advance. PF2 wizards do not use 5e's pseudo-Vancian magic where they can spontaneously cast anything they prepare. If they want to cast invisibility, flying, and haste, then they will need those spells prepared in advance and once cast, they will be forgotten for the day, assuming they did not prepare more.

You also have not seen how spells will work in PF2, and I suspect that in a number of key cases you may find that they are weaker than their 5e counterparts. Here, for example, is Sleep in the PF2 playtest.

Sleep

Spell 1
Traits Enchantment, Mental

Casting

Actions Somatic Casting, Verbal Casting
Range 30 feet; Area 5-foot burst

Description

Each target in the area becomes drowsy and might fall asleep, depending on its Will save. A creature that falls asleep from this spell doesn’t fall prone or drop what it’s holding. This spell doesn’t prevent creatures from waking up due to a successful Perception check, making it of limited use mid-combat.

Success –1 conditional penalty to Perception checks for 1 round.
Critical Success Unaffected.
Failure It falls asleep. If it’s still asleep after 1 minute, it wakes up automatically.
Critical Failure It falls asleep. If it’s still asleep after 1 hour, it wakes up automatically.

Heightened (3rd) The targets fall into a deep slumber for 1 round on a failure and 1 minute on a critical failure. They fall prone and drop what they’re holding, and they can’t attempt Perception checks to wake up. After the listed amount of time, the creature is in normal sleep.
Sleep is less of a lower level "I win" button in PF2 as it can be in 5e, particularly in the midst of combat.

And we can find others. Shield is a cantrip, but it can't be recast until 10 minutes after it has blocked. And it does not provide a bonus to AC.

Magic Missile can be cast using 1-3 actions, each providing an arcane missile. But unlike 5e, where the wizard can Move-Cast/Cast-Move and get all their magic missiles, the PF2 Wizard will have to decide: Do I fire all three and remain stationary or do I fire two and take a move action?

Keep in mind that this was from the playtest, and things likely have changed in terms of spells. The point is, CapnZapp, that you can't just look at Concentration in isolation as the miracle cure-all for LFQW and ignore the action economy or how spells compare.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
When you're audience doesn't care, then why should Paizo care? Because CapnZapp thinks that it's the crisis of the ages? Look, I don't like LFQW either, but I think you are overblowing the issue, especially in terms of how many peoples (particularly new players) care about the issue.
So LFQW does matter to you? Interesting, because my entire argument is that I believe it matters to every PF2 customer that has experienced 5E.

5e actually rolls back the LFQW balance changes that WotC made. (4E is the edition that fixed it. 5E is the edition that back-tracked on it with concessions.)
I consider this a bad-faith argument. Who cares about 4th edition? It did a lot of things. None of them matter.

It's also important to keep in mind that 5e is far from having "ruthless enforcement of the restrictions." Spell foci circumvent material components. The Sorcerer's Subtle Spell circumvents verbal and somatic spell components. War Caster allows for cirumventing somatic components. Many tables in 5e kinda ignore the whole material, somatic, and verbal components thing with spellcasting anyway. (Again, 5e is far from ruthless: mostly lax in praxis apart from concentration.) Plus, one of the ways that 5e "balanced" things was by basically handing out magical subclasses like candy to martial classes. You can even find plenty of criticism of this approach in this forum.
Sorry this is not relevant to the issue discussed. LFQW is fixed by 5E. Comprehensively and fundamentally. Nothing about components change this.

But I don't think that we should be under the delusion that Concentration is the only way to "fix" d20 spellcasting. In PF2, it seems that the bigger impact on spellcasting will be how spellcasting is tied to the action economy. In PF2, however, you can't really ignore components because they determine how many of your three precious actions you expend in a round.
Please don't call other people's arguments "deluded". Especially when its just a strawman - I have never said 5E's specific approach is the One True Way or that Paizo can't achieve this by other means.

I'm just saying they better achieve it somehow, or they're in for a very nasty surprise.


Not only that, but a wizard will need to prepare those spells in advance. PF2 wizards do not use 5e's pseudo-Vancian magic where they can spontaneously cast anything they prepare. If they want to cast invisibility, flying, and haste, then they will need those spells prepared in advance and once cast, they will be forgotten for the day, assuming they did not prepare more.
More nonsense I'm afraid. That Wizards revert back to the bad old days is hardly an argument to let them keep their stratospheric tier.

Your other argument, well, I will leave it without comment. It's embarrassing.


You also have not seen how spells will work in PF2, and I suspect that in a number of key cases you may find that they are weaker than their 5e counterparts. Here, for example, is Sleep in the PF2 playtest.
Let me cut you short there, since I'm sure you're not really trying to argue PF2 won't have very powerful spells...

(Who cares a specific first level spell is less powerful. I'm absolutely convinced it will be easy to find PF2 spells that are more powerful than their 5E couterparts. This tells us nothing.)

Keep in mind that this was from the playtest, and things likely have changed in terms of spells. The point is, CapnZapp, that you can't just look at Concentration in isolation as the miracle cure-all for LFQW and ignore the action economy or how spells compare.
If the action economy truly limits each caster to three spells (buff and debuff spells obvs), and then he can't do anything except stand around and maintain those three spells, then you're onto something.

Somehow I doubt Paizo will have the drive and purpose to go all the way. And as I've just argued, even if you stop just a little bit short, your efforts will be chewed up by minmaxers in an instant.


But a bigger issue is this.

In all the time I've argued for Paizo to take LFQW seriously (=treat it like a problem that absolutely must be fixed) I have yet to hear even a single poster make the central argument:

None of you have said Paizo should keep LFQW.

Not even once have anyone lept to the defense of LFQW. To me, that's very telling.

WHat it tells me is that we live in a post-5E world, and that Paizo will be ridiculed if their PF2 game only pays lip service to the notion of curbing LFQW.

The only way to prevent LFQW is to make it impossible for Wizards to do the whole buffing game, and to force them to make hard choices every single step of the way. I'm sure that's a hard sell to the core PF1 aficionados, but that is likely because they haven't experienced 5E. They can't imagine D&D without LFQW.

Let us hope against hope that Paizo can imagine Pathfinder 2 without LFQW. Mark my words.
 

Aldarc

Explorer
So LFQW does matter to you? Interesting, because my entire argument is that I believe it matters to every PF2 customer that has experienced 5E.
LFQW matters to me, but I still don't think that you have a solid argument here. You haven't actually demonstrated or provided any evidence that your assertion in this last clause has any factual basis. I don't think that we can make so puerile of a reductionist argument that people leaving PF1 for 5E is evidence for your claim either. There are many contributing factors for game choice. Laying this at the feet of LFQW is redonkulous.

Many playtesters for 5e, for example, also did not express much care about LFQW balance either, though they did want the exesses of spellcasting from 3.X curbed. 5E also won over many Old School fans, and these are fans who largely don't give a shart's care about LFQW. It also won over many new fans who know jack shart about LFQW. Read ENWorld threads around 2014-2015, and people were still talking about how 5e reintroduced LFQW to D&D. Most people though didn't care about this sort of class balance.

I consider this a bad-faith argument. Who cares about 4th edition? It did a lot of things. None of them matter.
You can consider it whatever you want to, but (1) that doesn't necessarily make it a bad faith argument, and (2) it doesn't change the fact that 5E rolled back on the balance changes that 4E contributed to fixing LFQW. Regardless of however I or you may feel about LFQW, it's not necessarily even in the top 10 preference reasons for some systems over others for most people. Sorry. Hard truth.

Sorry this is not relevant to the issue discussed. LFQW is fixed by 5E. Comprehensively and fundamentally. Nothing about components change this.
I disagree. LFQW is still present in 5E - the utility power of wizards remains astronomical compared to fighters - but the curvature for wizards' power has been somewhat reduced, mainly through the removal of autoscaling, lack of bonus spells, reduced duration for buff spells, and newer concentration rules.

More nonsense I'm afraid. That Wizards revert back to the bad old days is hardly an argument to let them keep their stratospheric tier.

Your other argument, well, I will leave it without comment. It's embarrassing.
5E provides Wizards a greater degree of flexibility and power than PF2 affords them in this regard. I am not using this to justify "[keeping] their stratospheric tier," but, rather, pointing out how wizards in PF2 will suffer limitations that 5e wizards do not experience. Spontaneous prepare-casting was a fairly huge boon for wizards in 5e, and actually mostly a net positive for them between 3e to 5e.

However embarassing you may think that my comment is, you should be more embarassed by the fact that you demonstrate no actual knowledge of the PF2 playtest and its rules despite your boisterous criticisms of the game.

Let me cut you short there, since I'm sure you're not really trying to argue PF2 won't have very powerful spells...

Who cares a specific first level spell is less powerful. I'm absolutely convinced it will be easy to find PF2 spells that are more powerful than their 5E couterparts. This tells us nothing.
It tells us that you can't just judge the power level of spellcasters between systems based on things like concentration alone. We have to look at how spells are written and function within their respective systems. Some spells will requiring being purchased with class feats: you will have to take a wizard feat to gain a single 10th level spell slot. 10th level spells include Wish, Time Stop, and Gate. This means that in 5e a wizard can cast Wish at 17th level, whereas in PF2, the wizard will need to be 20th level and take the appropriate capstone feat to do so. Yes, PF2 has added 10th level spells to the game and divided spells more evenly between these 10 levels. The Fly spell, for example, is now a 4th level spell in PF2 as opposed to being a 3rd level spell in 5e. (Also, worth noting, since you mentioned it that Invisibility is a concentration spell that lasts up to 1 HOUR in 5e. In PF2 playtest, it is not a concentration, but it only lasts for 1 MINUTE. Same is true for Improved Invisibility, which is just Invisibility heightened to 4th level.)

But a bigger issue is this.
I would say a bigger issue is that you haven't put in any actual effort to understand PF2 nor do you demonstrate much of a knowledge-base to factually criticize it any actual form. This wouldn't be a problem if you either (1) showed any honest intent to follow-up on researching PF2, or (2) shut your yapper about it.

None of you have said Paizo should keep LFQW.

Not even once have anyone lept to the defense of LFQW. To me, that's very telling.

WHat it tells me is that we live in a post-5E world, and that Paizo will be ridiculed if their PF2 game only pays lip service to the notion of curbing LFQW.
The idea that not defending LFQW is indicative of us living in a post-5e is essentially a non sequitor. It's a spurious assertion that is unconnected to the actual findings and requires a jump in logic or reasoning. Many of us would not have defended it in 3e either, a decade before there was even a 5e. It tells you that people aren't keen to defend LFQW. Nothing more. It was not exactly a secret that 3.X drastically increased the power level of spellcasters. It was not a secret that Pathfinder 1 inherited the base 3.X system. It was not exactly a secret that 4e fixed LFQW by presenting balanced martial and spellcasting classes. It was not exactly a secret that 5e rollbacked that balance. But it's not as if 5e was the messiah system that came and delivered us from LFQW. Most people are content with LFQW in 5e since it curbed its excesses from 3e while being an easy-to-run system.

The only way to prevent LFQW is to make it impossible for Wizards to do the whole buffing game, and to force them to make hard choices every single step of the way. I'm sure that's a hard sell to the core PF1 aficionados, but that is likely because they haven't experienced 5E. They can't imagine D&D without LFQW.

Let us hope against hope that Paizo can imagine Pathfinder 2 without LFQW. Mark my words.
You are ignoring the BIGGEST change that 5e made to spellcasters that actually helped curb spellcaster power level: removed the autoscaling of spells and bonus spells. As [MENTION=29840]Steffan[/MENTION] already explained, PF2 is making similar changes. I'm not sure why your eyes keep glossing over this fact.

Also I think that your idea that "the core PF1 aficionados" haven't experienced 5e is also unsupported ramblings. Go to the Paizo message boards any? Many of them have played 5e. There are a number who have played 5e and also intend to play PF2. There are a number who have played 5e and intend to play PF1. There are a number who have played 5e and intend to play Starfinder. It's not necessarily because they can't imagine a world without LFQW, but, rather, because they just prefer the system(s) even with its flaws more than what 5e offers. I know that you think that the sun shines eternal out of 5E's arse, but not everyone prefers it (or its "fixes") the way that you do. The sooner that you recognize that fact, the sooner you will be able to enjoy games on their own merits and stop trying to make PF2 into 5e.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
I disagree. LFQW is still present in 5E - the utility power of wizards remains astronomical compared to fighters - but the curvature for wizards' power has been somewhat reduced, mainly through the removal of autoscaling, lack of bonus spells, reduced duration for buff spells, and newer concentration rules.
Okay.

So let's come up with another abbreviation if you don't feel 5E manages to avoid LFQW.

Let's say 5E only manages to avoid WTFBBQ.

Now reread my every post and every time I write "I hope Paizo avoids LFQW" or similar, in your mind replace it with "I hope Paizo avoids WTFBBQ"

In other words, I don't care what you call it. 5E takes great strides toward caster-martial equality that d20 never even came close to.

In 2019, any offering from Paizo better match that achievement.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
LFQW matters to me, but I still don't think that you have a solid argument here. You haven't actually demonstrated or provided any evidence that your assertion in this last clause has any factual basis.
I believe you are misunderstanding me.

I am not attempting to prove anything.

I am positing the following theory, or argument, or opinion even:

"A game published in 2019 needs at least the same level of caster-martial equality as 5th Edition has proven can be done while still keeping the Dungeons & Dragons experience or its reception will consider it out of date".

So far, not a single poster have belied this. Of course, you have responded many many times, but as far as I can see only because you don't like that I have a point - not once have you (or anyone else) actually said anything like "no, Pathfinder 2 will do fine even if martials remain glorified bodyguards to casters, like in every d20 edition from 3.0 to PF1".
 

Aldarc

Explorer
I believe you are misunderstanding me.

I am not attempting to prove anything.

I am positing the following theory, or argument, or opinion even:

"A game published in 2019 needs at least the same level of caster-martial equality as 5th Edition has proven can be done while still keeping the Dungeons & Dragons experience or its reception will consider it out of date".

So far, not a single poster have belied this. Of course, you have responded many many times, but as far as I can see only because you don't like that I have a point - not once have you (or anyone else) actually said anything like "no, Pathfinder 2 will do fine even if martials remain glorified bodyguards to casters, like in every d20 edition from 3.0 to PF1".
Okay, but so far, you haven't actually argued effectively several key points of this thesis: (1) "a game published in 2019 needs at least the same level of caster-martial equality as 5th Edition has proven can be done," and (2) if not, that "its reception will consider it out of date."

In other words, I don't care what you call it. 5E takes great strides toward caster-martial equality that d20 never even came close to.

In 2019, any offering from Paizo better match that achievement.
Why does it need to match it? Why can't approximate parity suffice?
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Thank you for your reply.

Why does it need to match it? Why can't approximate parity suffice?
Of course it would. (Specifically: as I have said many times over, Paizo is free to accomplish this however they want. I certainly don't expect them to use the exact same mechanisms that WotC used)
 

Aldarc

Explorer
Thank you for your reply.

Of course it would. (Specifically: as I have said many times over, Paizo is free to accomplish this however they want. I certainly don't expect them to use the exact same mechanisms that WotC used)
But what is the metric you are using? How close does the martial-caster balance in PF2 have to be for you to consider it sufficient? What if it is less than 5e but still far more than 3e?
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
But what is the metric you are using? How close does the martial-caster balance in PF2 have to be for you to consider it sufficient? What if it is less than 5e but still far more than 3e?
My concern is that LFQW will basically remain. Thank you for agreeing to the basic premise, by the way - that it has no place in a 2019 game.

It takes a concerted effort to really banish LFQW (to 5E-like levels).

Just reading about the basic rules for magic tell us nothing, unfortunately. All we can glean from that is that LFQW isn't assured.

The important question is if any limitations can be circumvented by canny players. The two hot-spots will be high-level wizard (or equivalent, such as "prestige" class) abilities (look out for anything resembling "you may cast this spell without adhering to [X limitation]") and individual spell descriptions (can this spell be cast without [Y limitation], perhaps using a higher-levelled slot?)

In other words, we need to know the entire system before we can tell whether Paizo pulled it off. Loud cries of "my wizard is underpowered!!" is a good sign. It likely isn't underpowered - it's a frikkin' wizard after all - but that the route to OP is not obvious is good.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
"A game published in 2019 needs at least the same level of caster-martial equality as 5th Edition has proven can be done while still keeping the Dungeons & Dragons experience or its reception will consider it out of date".
That assumes D&D 5E is keeping in the D&D experience, which is not an opinion that's universally held. It also assumes that D&D 5E has casters and non-casters that are roughly comparable in their abilities, which is equally contentious.

Granted, the balance of 5E is much better than the balance of PF1; and 5E feels more like D&D than 4E or PF2 (playtest) does; and it would be a mis-step if PF2 was much worse than 5E in either of those categories. But saying that PF2 needs to match or beat 5E in those categories is setting the bar absurdly low.
 

Aldarc

Explorer
My concern is that LFQW will basically remain. Thank you for agreeing to the basic premise, by the way - that it has no place in a 2019 game.
I haven't agreed with that though. Me saying that I prefer LFQW does not mean that I agree "that it has no place in a 2019 game."

The important question is if any limitations can be circumvented by canny players. The two hot-spots will be high-level wizard (or equivalent, such as "prestige" class) abilities (look out for anything resembling "you may cast this spell without adhering to [X limitation]") and individual spell descriptions (can this spell be cast without [Y limitation], perhaps using a higher-levelled slot?)

In other words, we need to know the entire system before we can tell whether Paizo pulled it off. Loud cries of "my wizard is underpowered!!" is a good sign. It likely isn't underpowered - it's a frikkin' wizard after all - but that the route to OP is not obvious is good.
But as I already showed, 5e also has ways to circumvent some of the restrictions on spellcasting, not all but a fair number.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Granted, the balance of 5E is much better than the balance of PF1; and 5E feels more like D&D than 4E or PF2 (playtest) does; and it would be a mis-step if PF2 was much worse than 5E in either of those categories.
That's exactly my point! :)

But saying that PF2 needs to match or beat 5E in those categories is setting the bar absurdly low.
I take it you don't love 5th Edition...? ;)

But seriously, I'm a bit impressed - I haven't been accused from that particular angle before! :)

So you're saying PF2 should strive to feel much much more like D&D than 5E, and that it should scrub out LFQW much much more thoroughly than 5E does?

Whelp, that certainly makes my position look very plain and vanilla. Reasonable, or dare I say unremarkable, even! Thank you! :)
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
But as I already showed, 5e also has ways to circumvent some of the restrictions on spellcasting, not all but a fair number.
If PF2 were to only allow 5E levels of restriction-circumvention, I will sleep soundly at night.
 

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