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Pathfinder 1E Pathfinder 1.5 rumblings: Corefinder

ZeshinX

Adventurer
No worries. Perhaps you could clarify one of the comments. You mentioned that the design / presentation was one of the better aspects. If didn't notice anything innovative in this regard on a quick pass. How do you feel it does well on that front.

FYI, in general I hate the 3e/PF1e book design / format / presentation and that is one reason I skipped that edition. However, I am not familiar with adventure design from the era either.

For me, it's strongly an appreciation for the aesthetic presentation. I like how it's organized, find it very easy to read and follow, the quality of the materials (since I bought physical copies and not digital ones) used to make it feels good and seems pretty durable (no falling out pages, ink smudging, pages don't easily tear simply leafing through, etc), the quality and contrast of the text on the background (contributes to the easy to read/on the eyes), I enjoy the art...it all just strikes a chord with me.

As far as innovation goes...I don't particularly care if it's innovative or not. I care if it's organized well, easy to follow, easy to read (ease on the eyes and well written), has well developed lore with more than a passing summary of people and places and events that are relevant to whatever story is being offered. It also offered plenty of plot and character ideas and concepts I could easily pluck and drop into my own adventures.

Plus, this was also the first strong look at the OA-styled area of Golarion (or at least a small section thererin with significant detail) which I had been hoping to see for PF at some point (to see if it would offer region-specific player options as well as far as character creation, magic items, etc).

Then you factor in the nostalgia element...it all just coalesced for me. It also suggested to me Paizo really do want to put out the best product they can put out because of those factors I mentioned that I value highly. That's hardly definitive for anyone but myself of course, but that's the impression it left me with (however weakly or strongly others may interpret my own valuations).

I find WotC adventure products, historically, have been bare minimum efforts in the areas I value. Certainly not all I'm sure, since I haven't read them all. I have an enormous soft-spot for the original Ruins of Undermountain boxed set from the AD&D 2e era (first boxed set I ever owned), which is why I had asked for the Mad Mage adventure for 5e (to see if it would stir joyful memories of that original boxed set). It stirred some, but overall I was massively unimpressed. It just seemed so minimal and cheaply made and rushed (not saying that it is, merely that that's how I felt upon reading it).

Obviously massive amounts of work go into any adventure no matter who produces them and I don't criticize the talents of those who contribute to them in whatever fashion. Simply, the completed work for most of the TSR/WotC adventures I've come across have (almost) always disappointed. Mad Mage, for instance, is to my aesthetic tastes, just one ugly-arse book (sloppy organization, hard on the eyes over a short time, minimal world building, NPCs that amount to little more than simple stat blocks, etc).
 

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dave2008

Legend
For me, it's strongly an appreciation for the aesthetic presentation. I like how it's organized, find it very easy to read and follow, the quality of the materials (since I bought physical copies and not digital ones) used to make it feels good and seems pretty durable (no falling out pages, ink smudging, pages don't easily tear simply leafing through, etc), the quality and contrast of the text on the background (contributes to the easy to read/on the eyes), I enjoy the art...it all just strikes a chord with me.

As far as innovation goes...I don't particularly care if it's innovative or not. I care if it's organized well, easy to follow, easy to read (ease on the eyes and well written),
Well organized is the innovation to me. Most adventures are a mess IMO. Did like how 4e adventures put all the relevant info in in the encounter area as opposed to having to look it up in an appendix (like 5e mostly, but not always). I guess I will have to take a look and see if it is well organized to me. That is a subjective thing as well actually.

has well developed lore with more than a passing summary of people and places and events that are relevant to whatever story is being offered. It also offered plenty of plot and character ideas and concepts I could easily pluck and drop into my own adventures.
That sounds good (as long as it is not tied to Golarion). I will have to take a closer look as I didn't get that impression on quick look (at least compared to the 5e adventures I have).

... which is why I had asked for the Mad Mage adventure for 5e (to see if it would stir joyful memories of that original boxed set). It stirred some, but overall I was massively unimpressed. It just seemed so minimal and cheaply made and rushed (not saying that it is, merely that that's how I felt upon reading it).
I don't have that one, but it is one of the worst reviewed of the 5e adventures.

Obviously massive amounts of work go into any adventure no matter who produces them and I don't criticize the talents of those who contribute to them in whatever fashion. Simply, the completed work for most of the TSR/WotC adventures I've come across have (almost) always disappointed.
That has generally been true about all adventures I've looked at (TSR, WotC, Paizo). I just generally find adventures disappointing compared to the stories my group comes up with. However, on thing I've liked about most of the 5e adventures I have purchased are all of the bits of fluff, lore, mechanics, encounters, etc. I can grab and use for my games. Hopefully the Jade Regent will provide that when I get into it more (well except for the mechanics part - don't need that).
 



LegendaryGames

Adventurer
It says there’s room for innovation on the players’ side, but does that mean it won’t be compatible with existing PF1 character options? This feels like a recipe for disappointment.

Corefinder is intended to be backwards compatible with PF1, though there will be a certain amount of new rules and options and a lot of condensing and streamlining of redundant and/or kludgy rules that have piled up over the decade of PF1's lifespan.
 


LegendaryGames

Adventurer
"it fixes the broken"

Yeah, right.

Hey, that's the eternal challenge of any kind of game design, since "broken" is often very much in the eye of the beholder, but with a team of very experienced Pathfinder designers and newer folks as well we've got a pretty good handle on the rough parts of the system that need refinement. No system will ever be perfect for everyone, but we'll be doing our darndest to make it as perfect as it can be!
 

LegendaryGames

Adventurer
Makes sense that people who broke away from 3e because of 4e would consider breaking away from Pathfinder now that PF2e incorporates elements of 4e. My question is whether those who are dissatisfied with PF2e would be better-served just moving to 5e (not sure of the answer, just asking the question).

That's the open question: Is there enough of a market for this kind of project to make it worth the effort? It's something we thought about opening up a year and a half ago but decided to hold off and see how things played out with the overall Pathfinder marketplace with 1st and 2nd Edition, and we think we've hit upon some ideas to hit a sweet spot in between. We will see how it all plays out.
 

LegendaryGames

Adventurer
Genre-free? Does this mean it's possible for different genres: sci-fi, gothic horror, Lovecraftian pulp, superheroes, second world war..?

Yes.

The plan is to create a core version of the essential mechanics of the system, with then modules added on to suit the various genres. Heroic Fantasy will be the first of those modules, as sales trends suggest that's the biggest market for TTRPGs, but there's so much room beyond for additional genre modules.
 

LegendaryGames

Adventurer
Interesting, and hard to say at the moment. I'm in a D&D 5e game that bailed on PF2. I suspect they might just stick with 5e. I'm also in a PF1 game that didn't go to PF2. They might be interested in taking a look at CoreFinder.

EDIT: I also suspect that unless CoreFinder ends up with Hero Lab (native version) support, we probably wouldn't use it.

I hope you do check it out, though given the difficulties in getting things processed through the HeroLab system (especially on the Pathfinder 1st Ed side now), I doubt that is going to be likely. It'd be great if we could, but... let's just say there are challenges.
 


LegendaryGames

Adventurer
I see no reason,really. Sticking with PF original is easy enough, and I convert 5e or PF2 campaigns on the fly,as always.

5e to me is for one shots.

I've run 5E some but Pathfinder more, and it's definitely possible to stick with PF1 (and we are still continuing to produce products for it).
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Hey, that's the eternal challenge of any kind of game design, since "broken" is often very much in the eye of the beholder, but with a team of very experienced Pathfinder designers and newer folks as well we've got a pretty good handle on the rough parts of the system that need refinement. No system will ever be perfect for everyone, but we'll be doing our darndest to make it as perfect as it can be!
Since you made a serious reply, I'll ask a serious question: do you have a public list of identified issues or goals? (Maybe a set of designer blogs etc) If you were to comment the fact that both PF2 and 5E took pretty drastic steps in several areas (I will simply assume you have studied these games) - if you don't consider these areas to be problems needing solvin', it would simultanously help calibrating our expectations while at the same time making the task you have set yourself that much easier.

Regards
 

LegendaryGames

Adventurer
There's a case to be made that there's not enough pay-off for the complexity. For many people it takes a spreadsheet or super-expensive third party product to accurately keep track of all the modifiers flying around in PF1 (see HeroLab reference above). That Champions-Level amount of detail was almost a revelation back in 2000 but mainstream RPG thought is way, way past that now. A system that can streamline gameplay and still include robust character generation options would definitely have a niche. PF2 doesn't quite hit that sweet spot (it's close, IMO!)

I really don't see the market for this, but hey, I'm wrong lots.

We've gotten enough feedback about folks interested in a streamlined and refined PF1 (reducing some of the Mathfinder-ness of it, amongst other things) that we think it should be a viable branch from the old 3.x tree. One never knows for sure with a new venture, but our research looks promising enough that we're willing to add it to our schedule. You still will have plenty of cool and we think innovative character generation options (with the caveat that, obviously, first book of ANY new release will not be able to match the total panoply of options in a decade-old system) while making gameplay less of a chore, especially at higher levels.

We shall see!
 

LegendaryGames

Adventurer
Since you made a serious reply, I'll ask a serious question: do you have a public list of identified issues or goals? (Maybe a set of designer blogs etc) If you were to comment the fact that both PF2 and 5E took pretty drastic steps in several areas (I will simply assume you have studied these games) - if you don't consider these areas to be problems needing solvin', it would simultanously help calibrating our expectations while at the same time making the task you have set yourself that much easier.

Regards

Thanks for the reply!

1. We have studied both games (and designed many products for each of them) as well as others, both relatively new games and going back to the early 1980s.
2. We do not currently have a public list of identified issues or goals, other than those described in the OP for this thread. Our Discord channel is a great place to keep up with discussion with people from the design team in the public areas, and we have a lot of discussion going with the design team in the back channels there and on our Basecamp, but we'll be releasing more public information as we go along.
3. I do think PF2 and 5E both have strong points as games while both being pretty substantial steps away from the 3.x design tree. Whether that's a good or bad thing depends on your taste in gaming, but I think it's undeniable that both are substantially different.
4. Corefinder is not an entirely new game. It is intended as our vision of an ideal refinement of the existing Pathfinder RPG engine and system. It is intended to be backwards-compatible, especially on the GM side, with the caveat that any system with statistically measurable changes can never be perfectly seamless. If you're fixing some things, then by definition stuff from the base PFRPG game that's in those "fix" areas will need connective tissue if you're going to use existing PFRPG monsters or adventures. On the player side, you could run PFRPG characters, but the intention of a system like this is that the players are going to be operating with updated versions of the classes (rather like Unchained Rogues and Summoners), but that the GM still can plug in their existing piles of bestiaries and such things with a minimum of fuss.
5. We are also looking at options for an entirely new game system to try out ideas that are just too wahoo in one way or another to fit with a realistic vision of "refined and compatible version of PFRPG"
6. We also are producing ongoing source material that is specifically and explicitly for PFRPG, especially completed, revised, and compiled compendiums of our Legendary Classes books. Those will be coming later this summer.

There are a lot of branches along the way (and we're still producing stuff for 5E, Starfinder, and more as well), but we hope as things continue to move along you'll check it out and see what you think.
 

Yes.

The plan is to create a core version of the essential mechanics of the system, with then modules added on to suit the various genres. Heroic Fantasy will be the first of those modules, as sales trends suggest that's the biggest market for TTRPGs, but there's so much room beyond for additional genre modules.

Could my dream of a commoner campaign finally be made real???
 


I thank the asnwer but my question about an universal d20 for all genres is my serious doubts about power balance with the firearms and modern technology. How should be the challenging rating of an enemy with using powerful weapons? For example a sniper from the top of a tree or a building. A lovecraftian monster could be very powerful for investigators without firearms in the pulp age, but only fresh meat for PCs soldiers in a bug-hunter campaign as Starship Troopers. And if we talk about superheroes with levels then...
 

ZeshinX

Adventurer
Can I ask you - solely out of curiosity - if you have looked at Curse of Strahd?

I have, yep. A while back a colleague at work had brought her copy to read during her lunch hour and I was able to leaf through it briefly while she was busy (with her permission of course). Seemed generally well organized and easy enough to follow. Certainly one of the better WotC adventures I've looked through.

The unfortunate bit (unfortunate for me) is that Ravenloft does not interest me all that much. I was quite familiar with it during the 2e run and played in several games and owned a few products (Van Richten's Guide to Vampires I got a lot of use from, just for vampire lore if not much of the setting-specific elements). I was curious enough to leaf through it (CoS), seeing if anything jumped out at me, but it was never enough to suggest it was something I wanted to spend money on.

CoS seemed a fine product, certainly seemed one of the better ones, but I have to be honest that my lack of interest in the setting certainly played a significant part in my thoughts of the product as a whole.

My interests tend to steer closer to settings that are more...I suppose 'meat & potatoes' is the best way I can describe it. Forgotten Realms or Golarion are my settings of choice (Greyhawk too, but I find it bland). The "weirder" the setting, the less interest I tend to have. Settings like Dark Sun, Planescape, and Spelljammer I actively avoid. Just too weird for me. Ravenloft occupies a strange middle with me...I find I enjoy the style and trappings of that kind of setting as something to watch (a sort of pseudo-late Victorian, early Industrial London gothic horror ambiance)...but not so much as something to play in.
 
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Can I ask you - solely out of curiosity - if you have looked at Curse of Strahd?
Funnily enough, though Curse of Strahd is very well reviewed, I found it hit or miss.

I didn’t like the choice of “once again, your background is pointless because you are immediately separated from the world you are from”. I didn’t like the large number of strong NPCs that could travel with the party (or inexplicably don’t travel with the party). I also didn’t like the aesthetic of “diabolous ex machina” that runs through the adventure.

From Paizo, I like “Legacy of Fire”. In the 1st chapter, there is one bit that is excessively railroady (but can be easily changed), but the rest is a very competently done low level adventure:
  • NPCs that are interesting but don’t overshadow the party (and have no reason to adventure with the characters);
  • low level adventure where you are not fighting goblins, orcs or giant rats for the upteenth time;
  • cool Arabian nights setting;
  • hook that works well both for standard “Western” adventurers or for local Arabian nights adventures;
 

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