log in or register to remove this ad

 

PF2E Pathfinder 2e: Actual Play Experience

GrahamWills

Adventurer
It is a shame Paizo overcorrected their wizards. Martials are now lightyears more fun than the casters in PF2.

Speak for yourself, elf-wizard. I quite like my second level orc cleric casting magic weapon, charging into the attack and then raging and casting truestrike for an excellent chance of 2d12+6 damage. I'll heal ppl three times a day with my font, and then I have my 2 focus points to boost athletics with so I can zoom around faster than the monk and kill athletics checks. With seven cantrips I can distract enemies with ghost sound and do all kinds of shenanigans in explore mode, as well as finding and detecting magic.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Speak for yourself, elf-wizard. I quite like my second level orc cleric casting magic weapon, charging into the attack and then raging and casting truestrike for an excellent chance of 2d12+6 damage. I'll heal ppl three times a day with my font, and then I have my 2 focus points to boost athletics with so I can zoom around faster than the monk and kill athletics checks. With seven cantrips I can distract enemies with ghost sound and do all kinds of shenanigans in explore mode, as well as finding and detecting magic.
Bold of you to assume.
The problem here is that your not playing a higher level caster. Merely a low level gutter cleric. And you are playing it as a martial wannabe. So congrats I guess.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
Yes, introducing brand new rpgers to Fate is a breeze, but entrenched D&D players often struggle to get their minds around it.😂

I have seen a few posts elsewhere that have noted brand new players aren't struggling with PF2 at all. But need more examples.
Oh god yes. It took me forever to wrap my head around fate. But it was well worth learning. As an older player it was like learning to walk again.
 


Kaodi

Adventurer
A "martial wannabe" cleric is the best kind of "healbot" imaginable. And you can do some builds that really pump this up too. Like, say, a goblin cleric... You only need Wis if your plan is to use spells that require checks. If you do not, well, might as well dump Wis and thrown everything into other stats.

Agobllo
male charhide goblin farmhand warpriest cleric of Sarenrae 1, lawful good
str 16 dex 14 con 12 int 10 wis 10 cha 16 (str 20 dex 18 con 18 int 12 wis 18 cha 20 at lvl 20)
feats
ancestral - goblin scuttle
background - assurance/athletics
class - shield block (emblazon armament, healing hands, selective energy, channeled succor, replenishment of war, shared replenishment, fast channel, eternal blessing, resurrectionist, maker of miracles)
skills
trained - athletics, crafting, diplomacy, farming lore, medicine, religion
prepared
0 - detect magic, guidance, light, shield, stabilize
1 - heal x 6
gear - hide armour, steel shield, shield boss, scimitar, dagger, javelin x 3
 
Last edited:

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
My experience so far as DM and player. We're on the second module of Age of Ashes. The strangest thing about PF2E is that it reads like crap, but is fun to play. You read the abilities and think this is weak or boring. Then you find yourself using it in combat and finding it useful and interesting to describe.

1. Action System: This is the star of the show. The action system makes the entire game feel more fluid and immersive. It makes it easier to adjudicate actions as a DM because I can decide how many actions something takes to do rather than say you can't do that with a move or free action.

2. Monsters: Monsters are more interesting and challenging. So far up to level 7 they scale better than in PF1. You can put a lot of damage pressure on a group with a group of monsters. You need a decent healer to survive. I'm surprised how dangerous the game can be. I like reaction-based attacks and actions that are effective and dangerous. Makes it seem more immersive when a monster reacts to an attack or player action in a unique fashion.

3. Skills: Skills are more interesting and can be effective. They are easier to adjudicate within the action system. I like that they tightened them up. It takes more work to figure out skills as part of your character concept. But you can at least build an incredible scholar, acrobat, thief, or sneaky guy and have a very effective character that is almost magical with skill.

One thing I am not so sure about right now are casters and magic. Magic is very watered down. So far playing a wizard has been incredibly boring. I had to switch to Bard. Even the bard mostly harmonizes a couple of composition cantrips as his most effective actions supporting the party. Spells as lackluster and too easy to save against. The damage too low unless heightened. Low level spells are fairly useless even if you heighten them. You very much don't feel very powerful or effective.

A few examples. I used a heightened 2 grim tendrils for 4d4 damage. The enemies saved. Did like 7 damage to three creatures. Pretty worthless feeling to blow a 2nd level spell and basically do cantrip damage and less than the martials. I summoned an elemental mephit and that creature couldn't hit the AC of the main enemy and it easily saved against his abilities. It felt incredibly ineffective. Spells seems very underpowered with stacked up limitations like the incapacitate trait and damage being fairly low for receiving a save.

The wizard. The actual wizard powers are extremely underwhelming. The powers are not worth using. For the most part the wizard is a very underwhelming class. Feels like the rogue or fighter in 3E. Maybe that is what the designers wanted to do: make was once the most powerful arcane caster into an also ran and barely needed class that not many would want to play. If that was their goal, mission success. Wizard is pretty lame now. A druid or even sorcerer would be more fun. I couldn't even find an interesting spell strategy for the wizard as they don't really have one in their abilities.

Bard is a good support class so far. Vastly superior in effectiveness and entertainment than the wizard.

So far the game is fun. We will continue playing to see how it scales. Damage is more modest, but combats equally exciting. You have a lot more tools for telling a story using the mechanics.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
There is so much wizard hate these days. It’s magic should shine above all others because they are should be more focused on it. The cleric is focused on his god. The sorcerer just born with it. The bard concerned with the lore and traditions of his people. The warlock is clueless fool making pacts with entities for power for whatever reason. But the wizard, that is what they spend every waking moment of their life trying to master. Wizards are to magic what fighters should be to combat.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
There is so much wizard hate these days. It’s magic should shine above all others because they are should be more focused on it. The cleric is focused on his god. The sorcerer just born with it. The bard concerned with the lore and traditions of his people. The warlock is clueless fool making pacts with entities for power for whatever reason. But the wizard, that is what they spend every waking moment of their life trying to master. Wizards are to magic what fighters should be to combat.

They can change out their spells far easier than any other class. It's just the magic itself is underwhelming with heightening being necessary. It makes it so your lower level spell slots are fairly useless. They won't even do as much damage as cantrips given cantrips automatically scale. So lower level spell slots as you level basically may be useful for true strike. Low level attack spells in those slots will not outperform cantrips. Low level counteract spells will be mostly useless. Low level incapacitate spells will also be similarly useless. So you suddenly have this issue that you mainly just have effective spell slots for maybe the levels you are currently at.

They went too far limiting magic and made spell slots even more limited than they look. A 12th level wizard may have good spell slots for 4,5, and 6 level spells, but not 4th and lower. So you suddenly you end up with only 9 useful spell slots and your cantrips. The class abilities don't make up for that. The wizard is really only master of spell selection with limited useful slots and nothing else save perhaps intel-based skills.
 


Campbell

Legend
I do not have any higher level experience yet, but shouldn't control effects that do not incapacitate, buffs and debuffs stay good especially because they use your full Spell DC? Given how tight the math is they should stay more relevant as levels rise. Ray of Enfeeblement, Goblin Pox, Fear, and Command should be as useful against at level enemies as they were at first level. A 12th level Wizard can use a 3rd level spell slot to cast Fear against 5 enemies. That seems pretty useful to me. Also it seems like there are some spells like Ant Haul, Alarm, Gust of Wind, and Fleet Step that are not really worth the slot at level, but should see use at higher levels.

There's also been some talk on Paizo forums of using True Strike with powerful spell attacks like Disintegrate.
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
Can you be more specific as to why PF2E is more enjoyable to DM then 3.5? What do you feel makes it easier? Is it NPC prep. (My personal bugbear)? Improvisation?

It may well be a personal thing, I used to really enjoy running 3.5, but as more and more books became available I found it more and more difficult to provide meaningful challenges for the players especially at higher levels. The campaign i'd been running for around a year ended on a bit of a damp squib when the group (14th level at the time) defeated the end boss (an encounter which had taken a good few hours to prep) in two rounds. so yes NPC prep is a big part!
I can't say for certain PF2e won't suffer the same fate (our group is only 2nd level) but so far its been a lot easier to throw together good encounters (not necessarily ones that the group only just beat, but ones they come away having enjoyed) than I found with 3.5

As an extra to this I'm finding the various subsystems within PF2e fit together well at the table, certainly better than they read at the book (I find there is a degree of bread crumbing in the book, having to follow a trail of rules to piece together the one you want), in the instances where we've had to quickly houserule something at the table I've found when we've researched the official ruling in downtime after the game, we've generally been very close to the official ruling.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Funnily enough one of the earliest characters concepts I drew up when PF2 came out was a goblin wizard with a tanked Int, 😅 . The idea being to see what you could accomplish if you never used a single spell that was affected by your key stat. So no attack rolls and no saves.

And I would still totally try a concept like that to "stress test" the wizard, though if I wanted to "optimize" for effectiveness it might be easier to go with a half-elf with elven weapon familiarity and put everything into Dex, Con, Str, and Wis, with your backstory being that your elven parent pushed you into wizardry when you did not really have a talent for it (my goblin idea is that he was a gambler who took a bet on reading a book and it turned out to be a spellbook, so he has high charisma for deception, which is not quite as optimized for combat).

The spellbook at 1st level was:
cantrips - dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, light, mage hand, message, prestidigitation, read aura, shield, sigil
1st - mage armour, magic missile, magic weapon, pest form, summon animal, true strike
 


Phion

Explorer
Background: Been a GM/player for d&D 4E, 5E and 4 sessions of playing pathfinder 2e as war priest cleric.

Some quick reflections on my part. Just things that spring to mind

The Action economy is great, I like having the option to make multiple attacks without it being tied to features. It really helps to make martial classes appealing.

I feel like 2e has the best incarnation of the fighter class and they seem relevant throughout and in fact possibly the strongest class at lower levels. The fighter in our group is having a great time and consistently leaving the group in awe (in a good way, no one feels left behind but the fighter has in fact established himself as our fighter. 5e I always felt I may as well just go a barbarian or paladin if I wanted a tanky heavy hitting martial class).

A lot of players in our group argue there is more choice in pathfinder 2e compared to d&d 5e; I strongly disagree with this from a RP perspective. I find 2e gives the illusion of lots of choice when in reality due to saturation of weapons and features with stats, some blatantly shine more. An example of this is the weapons, I am more likely to go with a pick than any other weapon as a fighter due to the new crit system and the extra damage it will likely deal, whereas 5e with the lack of stats tied to weapons I am more likely to go with what feels right with a character concept without worrying about how to stay relevant.
 

Phion

Explorer
Oh and on a side note I find the Plague stone adventure to be far too opened ended as a introduction to the system from what I have done so far, it was so open ended I accidentally derailed it (nothing beyond fixing). Just think it would have been wiser to start a bit more streamlined.
 

your_mother

Explorer
So, if you are either a player or DM of PF2E, what are your actual experiences of playing in and/or running the game?

I've been running the "We B4 Goblins" adventures using the 2E rules. My experience is that it's been a challenge doing small one-shot adventures for my wife who has only played two role-playing sessions before. The main challenge is the copious amounts of rules and having to page through and research the systems every time we do something.

It would've been nice to have it explained more clearly at the start, maybe I'm just old and it didn't stick with me but, the system is generally: roll a d20, add your level, your skill rating (e.g. trained = +2), your ability modifier (e.g. 12 strength = +1 athletics), and any bonuses against a DC. It's a lot of math to do on the fly and the character sheet hasn't been much help in locating things on the fly.


What works for you in practice and why? If something isn't working for you in practice why is that?

What has worked is to abandon the character sheets entirely, writing things down as they make sense after several game sessions. And, encouraging my wife to keep her character sheet up to date.

Working with a 1E module has also presented some challenges since we occasionally find things like "roll your Ride skill" and in 2E Ride is a general feat and Nature is a skill.


Also, are you coming to PF2E from PF1E or 5e? If so, what have you noticed are the major differences in actual play between the games? How easy is PF2E to run compared to those other games?

I haven't played an RPG in over ten years and the last version of D&D I played was 3rd edition. The main differences I've been noticing is that the Age of Lost Omens is more baked-in and as a result, it feels like there's a lot more details to keep track of in Pathfinder 2E than in D&D.


This is an important question: are you completely new to D&D style games? If so, are you enjoying your experience of PF2E? PF2E will need to attract new people to the game to thrive in the long term so this perspective is crucial.

I am definitely enjoying my experience with PF2E. After a couple of sessions I've been able to convert and prepare the adventures with minimal effort and have begun working on future adventures to run once my wife exhausts the first Goblin modules.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I was surprised today to see the paladin is still a boss against demons. Smite Evil is not gone, just changed. The extra damage is now programed into the creatures. The Vrock we were fighting today had 10 evil weakness. The paladin smite evil ability allowed him to hit for +14 damage a hit. The paladin is turning out to be far more effective at defending the party than I thought. They truly are very tanky and can really make an enemy pay the price for ignoring them, especially evil creatures.
 

dave2008

Legend
I feel like 2e has the best incarnation of the fighter class and they seem relevant throughout and in fact possibly the strongest class at lower levels. The fighter in our group is having a great time and consistently leaving the group in awe (in a good way, no one feels left behind but the fighter has in fact established himself as our fighter. 5e I always felt I may as well just go a barbarian or paladin if I wanted a tanky heavy hitting martial class).

I agree with the part about the 5e fighter and I haven't played PF2e yet, but I would caution you about everyone being in awe of the fighter. I had a similar experience in 4e (except it was ranger), and I only learned after we transitioned the game to 5e (after playing for 4 years in 4e) that what I had interpreted as a good feelings about the effectiveness of the ranger, was actually masking resentment for not feeling like the contributed as much. My point: don't assume the rest of the group is good with the awe inspiring character / player even if they say they are.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
Bold of you to assume.
The problem here is that your not playing a higher level caster. Merely a low level gutter cleric. And you are playing it as a martial wannabe. So congrats I guess.

I was mostly just assuming for fun -- but there was a bit of a point. What you are saying is that if you want to play a high level caster who does not get involved in non-spell combat, then you do not have as much fun in PF2 than PF1. I'm challenging your assumption that this is the One True Way to play a wizard, and that every other part is sub-par.

I used the archetype of the fragile high elf wizard as a caricature, but you actually double-down on it by insulting other builds! I understand the old-school thought that the Real Game is high-level wizards. It certainly was true, and it is a way to play, but I don't think it's a flaw in a modern game to say that this is no longer regarded as the ultimate goal of gaming.

Or, in other words, I think it's a good thing that "a low level gutter cleric" is fun to play.
 

I'm challenging your assumption that this is the One True Way to play a wizard, and that every other part is sub-par.
And my point was that Paizo overcorrected their wizards. To the point where you are having more fun emulating a martial.
The traditional wizard has been overshadowed by martials and casters trying to be martial lites.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top