Pathfinder 2E Never give up on PF2

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I'm glad you like it - I really am - but it didn't really work out for me. I was really excited to playtest it, and I did quite extensively. I found that my players (a number of groups of them) had the annoying habit of always wanting to do either 2 actions (and then wasting time as everyone waited for them to pick a 3rd) or 4 actions, and then wasting time deciding which action to cut.

The four-degrees of success/failure was another feature that I was excited to try that didn't turn out well in practice. I found that far too often, WHEN it actually occurred (the math is not hard, but you tend to have to at least give it some thought, in particular when you're close to "the line") it wasn't worth the effort. There are places where the difference is significant, but those places aren't necessarily matched to when the rolls actually happen. It just disappointed me.

I think if you have a table full of really on-the-ball types, it could be a good game, sure. But I don't play with those folks - not many of them, at least.

In the end, if anything, I'd like a game with slightly LESS crunch than D&D has (or more precisely, I'd like the crunch in slightly different places) not one with MORE fiddly bits. YMMV, of course, and I'm glad there are games to appeal to folks who feel differently than I do!
 

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payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I love the 3 actions in PF2. I think it works great. A good simplification of the action economy. I’m guessing folks struggling with it are approaching from traditional experiences including PF1. There is a learning curve to PF2 that might be giving folks second thoughts. I saw the same thing in 4E.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
It's true, DD5e has fewer action types than DD3.5 or PF1 did (a ridiculous amount of action types) but the nature of "bonus actions" seems arbitrary at best, at least seen from the outside looking in.
Note that PF2 has a large number of "action compression" feats, things like a monk doing a flurry of blows (two strikes for one action) or a fighter doing sudden charge (2 moves and a strike for 2 actions). This effectively gives you more than 3 actions.
The Haste spell is also a thing, giving you an extra action to stride or strike.
Shield usage is another peculiarity of PF2, and IMHO adds a lot of tactical interest to the choice to use a shield or not. The shield block action is one of the very few ways to get reliable damage reduction against attacks..
I thought the 3 action rule in PF2 was kinda cool, but a large number of “action compression” feats isn’t really a positive example for reducing complexity.
I also really hated the shield raising action. Yeah, it may have offered DR potential, but it now sticks WAY out away from the abstraction of AC in general, it also puts you into the shield damage/equipment upgrade subsystem fiddlyness and I’m so done with that in my gaming life.
 

Ringtail

World Traveller (She/Her)
Love PF2, it solved all the issues I had with 5e and 3.5 so it was a no-brainier for me to pick it up.

I've been playing it in-person for a few months now, both at a gamestore for PFS and in a home game of Agents of Edgewatch. I've found most accusations of being hard to run at the table to be overblown. It works just fine, you don't need every book, or need to dig through 12 tomes. And if you use a digital tool like Pathbuilder (free, or like $5 for a few extra features) its even easier, which doesn't seem like a drawback to me.

It is more complex, but I guess the level of complexity is a personal preference, as is 3-Action economy, so on and so forth. It does have some flaws, but in my experience no D20 game (or RPG in general for that matter) is really gonna be perfect. So far, this has been the best working one for me, who likes tactical combat. I have a few minor gripes, but I have the same with 5e.
 

I love the 3 actions in PF2. I think it works great. A good simplification of the action economy. I’m guessing folks struggling with it are approaching from traditional experiences including PF1. There is a learning curve to PF2 that might be giving folks second thoughts. I saw the same thing in 4E.
What I have seen in my experience is players sometimes being unsure of what exactly is an action and what is a free action. Like dropping a weapon is a free action and stowing it costs an action. At least in the remaster they adjusted it so swapping weapons is only 1 action instead of 1 to put your current weapon away and another to draw a new weapon.

IME it’s similar to players that struggle with what they can do on a bonus action in 5e. I always had players asking if they could use their bonus action for some random action that the 5e rules clearly say is a regular action (drinking a potion comes to mind).
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
What I have seen in my experience is players sometimes being unsure of what exactly is an action and what is a free action. Like dropping a weapon is a free action and stowing it costs an action. At least in the remaster they adjusted it so swapping weapons is only 1 action instead of 1 to put your current weapon away and another to draw a new weapon.

IME it’s similar to players that struggle with what they can do on a bonus action in 5e. I always had players asking if they could use their bonus action for some random action that the 5e rules clearly say is a regular action (drinking a potion comes to mind).
You could reduce it to one action per turn and some folks will still struggle. Folks often focus on the number of actions and not how the system functions. That takes time and growing pains are included.
 

Pedantic

Legend
I love the 3 actions in PF2. I think it works great. A good simplification of the action economy. I’m guessing folks struggling with it are approaching from traditional experiences including PF1. There is a learning curve to PF2 that might be giving folks second thoughts. I saw the same thing in 4E.
I find the three action system really interesting, and applauded the game for committing to significantly different class/resource systems....but it committed immediately to generic scaling DCs, which just makes me so sad, because there's nothing left in the D&Dalike space with an objective skill system anymore.

If I already have to put up with made up DCs, I don't see any reason to jam in extra progression.
 

Staffan

Legend
I find the three action system really interesting, and applauded the game for committing to significantly different class/resource systems....but it committed immediately to generic scaling DCs, which just makes me so sad, because there's nothing left in the D&Dalike space with an objective skill system anymore.

If I already have to put up with made up DCs, I don't see any reason to jam in extra progression.
Technically, PF2 does have fuzzy objective skill DCs. Each skill and/or skill use has a short list of the kind of things that correspond to Untrained (DC 10), Trained (DC 15), Expert (DC 20), Master (DC 30), and Legendary (DC 40) use. For example, Acrobatics has this list for Balancing on narrow things or uneven ground:

Untrained tangled roots, uneven cobblestones
Trained wooden beam
Expert deep, loose gravel
Master tightrope, smooth sheet of ice
Legendary razor’s edge, chunks of floor falling in midair

And trying to Subsist using Survival (in the wilderness) or Society (in civilization) has these listed:

Untrained lush forest with calm weather or large city with plentiful resources
Trained typical hillside or village
Expert typical mountains or insular hamlet
Master typical desert or city under siege
Legendary barren wasteland or city of undead

In practice, however, it's more common to run into level-based DCs because a lot of the rolls you make are things like Recall Knowledge about a creature or spell, Identifying an item, Demoralizing or Persuading someone, and so on.
 

Pedantic

Legend
Technically, PF2 does have fuzzy objective skill DCs. Each skill and/or skill use has a short list of the kind of things that correspond to Untrained (DC 10), Trained (DC 15), Expert (DC 20), Master (DC 30), and Legendary (DC 40) use.
That's just offering examples for your generic table, albeit it is an improvement to do it per skill. My test for an objective skill system is whether skills exist a player could resolve an action involving a check for without consulting the GM past the initial description of the situation.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Technically, PF2 does have fuzzy objective skill DCs. Each skill and/or skill use has a short list of the kind of things that correspond to Untrained (DC 10), Trained (DC 15), Expert (DC 20), Master (DC 30), and Legendary (DC 40) use. For example, Acrobatics has this list for Balancing on narrow things or uneven ground:

Untrained tangled roots, uneven cobblestones
Trained wooden beam
Expert deep, loose gravel
Master tightrope, smooth sheet of ice
Legendary razor’s edge, chunks of floor falling in midair

And trying to Subsist using Survival (in the wilderness) or Society (in civilization) has these listed:

Untrained lush forest with calm weather or large city with plentiful resources
Trained typical hillside or village
Expert typical mountains or insular hamlet
Master typical desert or city under siege
Legendary barren wasteland or city of undead

In practice, however, it's more common to run into level-based DCs because a lot of the rolls you make are things like Recall Knowledge about a creature or spell, Identifying an item, Demoralizing or Persuading someone, and so on.
Yep. It's generally not interesting to roll for something easy. Rolling to see if you can find candy in the candy store at level 20 just isn't worth it.
 

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