PF Pathfinder 2E or Pathfinder 1E?

Zardnaar

Hero
If you're saying that 5E's implementation of Concentration isn't perfect I agree.

But this discussion isn't about the fine-tuning of 5E. Going back to the overall issue, we were discussing the fact that Concentration-or-something is what finally fixed d20. That Paizo is making a mistake if they give us yet another jumble of 3rd edition bits and pieces with far too few constraints on casters.

Then I made the point that adding a Concentration mechanic (again, or something else) isn't enough. You must also ensure almost every spell is bound by that restriction, or it is meaningless. All that would accomplish is allowing a narrow set of spell choices to dominate, and utterly relegate the vast majority of alternatives to irrelevance.

In that light, I would submit that yes, while 5E might not be perfect, they at least took a giant leap towards actually fixing things compared to the useless refaffing that was 3.5 and "3.75".

By that I mean that Pathfinder might have enormous value because it allowed d20 to live on. But coming close to actually fixing LFQW? (Or even fixing the problems they bragged about fixing) Nope. To me, 3.0, 3,5 and PF are same same but different. Sure 3.0 might have even more imbalances than later models (details about monster damage resistance, psychic combat, what else?), but compared to 5E they're all equally outdated.

If nothing else the existence of 5E should mean no publisher will ever publish a D&D:ish game again without its fundamental upgrades to the magic framework. But the PF2 playtest isn't exactly filling me with confidence Paizo have learned the lessons taught by 5E.

Or even that they have tried to learn them...
Concentration isn't the be all and end all of balancing spells. In B/X for example a lot of the problem spells just don't exist, and buff spells in AD&D were rare and mostly a +1 bonus (aid, bless, prayer). Buff spells are even more rare in B/X.


Spell design (even 4E tried that in a way) and the way they work with things like saves and spell resistance are other factors as well.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Concentration isn't the be all and end all of balancing spells. In B/X for example a lot of the problem spells just don't exist, and buff spells in AD&D were rare and mostly a +1 bonus (aid, bless, prayer). Buff spells are even more rare in B/X.


Spell design (even 4E tried that in a way) and the way they work with things like saves and spell resistance are other factors as well.
Yes, I'm not saying Concentration is the only solution.

I am, however, saying that unlike 3.5 and PF, 5E provided a solution that actually worked. Why? My personal guess: it was the first time the sacred cows didn't hold back the design.

Not convinced Paizo is able to repeat that... Concentration or no Concentration.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Sure.

I just made the point that just introducing the mechanic isn't nearly good enough, if it isn't then applied to enough spells.

Heck, if we removed Concentration from as little as nine wizard spells, one per level, that would probably suffice to remove its restrictive influence from the class entirely!
This is very true. The mechanism can either be used to restrain a few powerful spell to be used together (and then the impact is pretty limited) or, as you say, be very ruthless in its application.

The logic seems to be "a caster can only do one "big thing" at a time". And when I think about it, it's an action economy thing. If a control-focused wizard is suppressing a bunch of foes with say, hypnotic pattern, and then in the second round was to use another control spell while still using hypnotic pattern (ie there is no concentration), there are two consequences:

1. it's super powerful. Using a control spell to incapacitate half the foe is a fight winning move - or at least a fight evening move. But if you can just keep layering them on, by round 3 *every foe* is controlled, and that's just too much!

2: The action economy: In round 2, your are getting the action from round 1 "bleed" over to round 2! A fireball chucking wizard, or a fighter swinging her sword, they have to keep spending action to do things. It's not like "ok, the enemy takes 8d6 damage from my fireball, and another 8d6 from the fireball I tossed last round!". So concentration is the "price" you have to pay for having that action from round 1 persist.

I'm all for it because it imposes an important limit on what casters can do, but it also makes spell choice more important and interesting. What will you use your concentration slot on? What non-concentration spell do you have in your backpocket? Do you want to use your concentration on a movement spell, a defensive spell or a control spell?

Wizards can still layer defenses, but these defenses are not incredibly potent. You can have mirror image, mage armor and shield together, but no longer do you have these "haha I'm immune to everything" casters running around... and that's a good thing IMO

ANYWAY

To get back on pathfinder - they are using a concentration mechanism of sort, tied to the action economy (making explicit what 5e did). But, as you said, the real question will be how ruthless they are in applying this mechanism.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm sure this must have been talked about before but I can't find a relevant thread . . . it just occurs to me that given that Pathfinder became a haven for people that didn't want to move from 3.xE D&D to 4E, what will happen if "most" buyers of Pathfinder products stay with 1E rather than moving to 2E?

This isn't really a question about the relative merits of 1E and 2E so much as a query about where the bulk of Paizo's revenue comes from for Pathfinder. If it's the adventure paths rather than the rulebooks, then wouldn't low sales of 2E mean they might continue with 1E adventure paths?

That said, it's seems likely that the new adventure paths will be designed such that you can play them easily with either edition . . . so maybe it's a moot point?
Going back to the original topic...

Yes it's a real risk PF2 will turn off both groups.

PF1 fans because the incompatibility and maybe lack of sacred cows.

5E fans if they find out that PF2 means a return to the old bad days of linear fighters, quadratic wizards. And NPCs that take hours to build (and equip) but mere rounds to kill.

I think there's a real opportunity and a huge market for a game with 5E's sensibilities but a much richer charbuild experience (without drowning the DM in prep work), more complex high-level gameplay, and robust magic item pricing
 

Taliar

Villager
As for the original thread, definitely PF1. However, if Paizo can create an easy conversion system, I'm willing to try. As an adventure path subscriber from the start, I'd rather not change the ruleset unless it is easily adaptable to the next. One of the reasons I never played 4e.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The only conversion system that really works in all cases is this:

1. Look at your old-system character sheet.
2. On a blank paper using basic English only, write down what the character can do. Use no numbers and no game terms. Focus on what the character actually does most of the time, and not the things it can theoretically do but usually doesn't.
3. Burn the old character sheet.
4. Create a brand new character in the new system, using the plain-English description from step 2 to guide you.
5. Done!


Every attempt to map specific game mechanisms and numbers from one system to another is bound to fail eventually, and is likely so cluttery and complex all it accomplishes is giving off a veneer of accuracy while still not giving acceptable results half the time.

Even for relatively close systems, like AD&D to Pathfinder, or d20 to 5E for example.

It's not worth it. Just go with my system instead. It has the benefit of always working, no matter which systems are involved!
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
What's more overrated is scrapping an entire library (and hundreds of $$$) for a new rules system that is not backward compatible...

Just my opinion...
And not just you.

I agree so far as: IF they break compatibility, which they seem firm on, they better make a game that appeals to customers used to 5E sensibilities.

As you yourself illustrate, just appealing to PF1 fans might not be good enough, especially given the lack of backwards compatibility.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
And not just you.

I agree so far as: IF they break compatibility, which they seem firm on, they better make a game that appeals to customers used to 5E sensibilities.

As you yourself illustrate, just appealing to PF1 fans might not be good enough, especially given the lack of backwards compatibility.
PF2 doesn't need to be 5E, but I think they need to take a page from the more simple math of 5E, or even the OSR games. Things like micro feats, prestige classes, and perhaps magic item mart need to stay in but some items need to be trimmed or errated. Wands of CLW either don't exist or are custom items. PFS still a thing (in terms of people actually turn up and play).
 

amethal

Explorer
Wands of CLW either don't exist or are custom items.
Wands of CLW don't bother me in the slightest. If they did, I would ban them.

What would bother me is a design paradigm that:

* required 4 encounters per day,
* every encounter needing to be a life or death struggle (most Paizo adventures have encounters against powerful opponents that won't negotiate, and always attack on sight),
* against enemies capable of dishing out significant amounts of hit point damage in a single round (so characters often take serious damage through no fault of their own),
* with no reliable way of ensuring you are at close to full hit points when the fight starts.

If you want to keep the last part, then you need to amend at least one of the others e.g. expect the ten minute adventuring day.
 

Erekose

Adventurer
Wands of CLW don't bother me in the slightest. If they did, I would ban them.

What would bother me is a design paradigm that:

* required 4 encounters per day,
* every encounter needing to be a life or death struggle (most Paizo adventures have encounters against powerful opponents that won't negotiate, and always attack on sight),
* against enemies capable of dishing out significant amounts of hit point damage in a single round (so characters often take serious damage through no fault of their own),
* with no reliable way of ensuring you are at close to full hit points when the fight starts.

If you want to keep the last part, then you need to amend at least one of the others e.g. expect the ten minute adventuring day.
This contrasts acutely with when I started role playing with (basic) D&D where my group would stop for the night when the (in game) day was over rather than any sense of resource management. Needless to say I had to do a lot of rescaling encounters to stop a TPK each day. Still prefer that kind of approach to it being a micromanagement tactical game. Not that there aren’t some lessons that need to be learned about preparing appropriately for the day ;)
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
PF2 doesn't need to be 5E, but I think they need to take a page from the more simple math of 5E, or even the OSR games. Things like micro feats, prestige classes, and perhaps magic item mart need to stay in but some items need to be trimmed or errated. Wands of CLW either don't exist or are custom items. PFS still a thing (in terms of people actually turn up and play).
This likely ties into how and why PF2 developed as it did. 3.X had a lot of moving parts and subsystems (e.g., skills, feats, classes/PrCs, alt. racial/class features, etc.). Pathfinder took those and then introduced more (e.g., archetypes, traits, more class features, hybrid classes, etc.). Pathfinder 2 at least seems to be an attempt for Paizo to step back and ask, "Okay, how we do take all these various moving parts we have accumulated that are lying around and synthesize them into a more coherent whole." And the math will likely simplify (somewhat) as a natural result of trying to smoothen out the various moving parts of the d20 system. I suspect that attacks and saves will be the biggest beneficiaries from streamlining the numbers soup.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
This likely ties into how and why PF2 developed as it did. 3.X had a lot of moving parts and subsystems (e.g., skills, feats, classes/PrCs, alt. racial/class features, etc.). Pathfinder took those and then introduced more (e.g., archetypes, traits, more class features, hybrid classes, etc.). Pathfinder 2 at least seems to be an attempt for Paizo to step back and ask, "Okay, how we do take all these various moving parts we have accumulated that are lying around and synthesize them into a more coherent whole." And the math will likely simplify (somewhat) as a natural result of trying to smoothen out the various moving parts of the d20 system. I suspect that attacks and saves will be the biggest beneficiaries from streamlining the numbers soup.
I don't really see myself getting into PF 2 that heavily but I'll buy the PDF and if I like it grab the core books and the new Runelords AP if its good. WAR art drives me nuts though I can't stand it now, to cartoony and anime for my tastes. Didn't think it was good 10 years ago. I don't see anyone locally wantin to play it over 5E though is a bigger problem I could get 2-3 potential players vs a dozen or 2. I'll get the PDF regardless, take a look.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
I don't really see myself getting into PF 2 that heavily but I'll buy the PDF and if I like it grab the core books and the new Runelords AP if its good. WAR art drives me nuts though I can't stand it now, to cartoony and anime for my tastes. Didn't think it was good 10 years ago. I don't see anyone locally wantin to play it over 5E though is a bigger problem I could get 2-3 potential players vs a dozen or 2. I'll get the PDF regardless, take a look.
Having played through a lot of the 3.X system and Pathfinder, I have a soft spot for the system framework. I may dabble in PF2, but I don't see that myself going heavily into PF2 either. Not because of 5E, but because I have other games on my shelves that tickle my fancy more.

I am nevertheless hoping that PF2 does well because I loathe the hegemony that 5E is increasingly exerting on the TTRPG market. More people are playing TTRPGs, but D&D 5E is stifling a lot of creativity and brain drain in the market. It feels like we are living in the 3.X days when everyone was converting their games, whether an appropriate fit or not, to the d20 system. And some of the best innovations to the TTRPG world (IMHO) came outside of these leading giants.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
I don't really see myself getting into PF 2 that heavily but I'll buy the PDF and if I like it grab the core books and the new Runelords AP if its good.
Point of order: Return of the Runelords is the penultimate PF1 adventure path and has already been released. The first PF2 adventure path will be Age of Ashes, which will apparently have a dragon as the BBEG.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
PF2 doesn't need to be 5E, but I think they need to take a page from the more simple math of 5E, or even the OSR games. Things like micro feats, prestige classes, and perhaps magic item mart need to stay in but some items need to be trimmed or errated. Wands of CLW either don't exist or are custom items. PFS still a thing (in terms of people actually turn up and play).
Actually, my players would love non-simple math.

The math simplicity should first and foremost apply to the DM's side of the table. As a DM I have plenty on my plate as it is. I don't need PC-levels of complexity for my NPCs. I don't need monster stat blocks that are incomplete and need to be supplemented with choices for magical gear and buff spells.

The main thing my players feel is lacking in 5E is charbuild crunch. Let's give that to them without giving me, the DM, any corresponding crunch. :)
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Actually, my players would love non-simple math.

The math simplicity should first and foremost apply to the DM's side of the table. As a DM I have plenty on my plate as it is. I don't need PC-levels of complexity for my NPCs. I don't need monster stat blocks that are incomplete and need to be supplemented with choices for magical gear and buff spells.

The main thing my players feel is lacking in 5E is charbuild crunch. Let's give that to them without giving me, the DM, any corresponding crunch. :)
Sounds like the best thing you can do is design your own D&D using the 5E engine. Microfeats, prestige classes etc are not part of 5E, whining here won't change that. As I have said my personal D&D has been an on/off thing going back 5 years or even 10 years when I looked at fixing 3.X. 3.X can be fixed but you need to rebuild it form the ground up and using 5E/OSR with microfeats was about the best idea I could come up with for my personal D&D. I have a small Bestiary (30 odd monsters), 50 odd feats, 5 classes out of 8 planned in various states of tweaking (just gonna focus on level 1-10).

We all know you won't do that though as you expect everyone else to do the work for you. Problem is the world doesn't work like that, you don't seem genuinely interested in PF2 either. You're doing the equivalent of complaining about 5E based on early playtest documents.

I'm not following PF2 that much but even I know the playtest was bad, they have indicated some things like resonance are gone burger. Just have to wait and see how it turns out, Paizo tends to sell cheap PDFs (around $10 IIRC) so there you have it. If you can't or won't pay $10 for a PDF of a core book (even $20 $10 was 2009 IIRC) you may be in the wrong hobby.
 
Sounds like the best thing you can do is design your own D&D using the 5E engine. Microfeats, prestige classes etc are not part of 5E, whining here won't change that....You're doing the equivalent of complaining about 5E based on early playtest documents.
Have I waxed cynical about the way people meet complaints early in a playtest with "it's too soon, don't worry, it'll be fine" and then, at some point, a switch flips, and it's "well it's too late, now! you should have said something earlier," but it's never, ever the right time to be complain?
I'm sure I have.

I'm not following PF2 that much but even I know the playtest was bad, they have indicated some things like resonance are gone burger.
One of the things I liked, of course (I also liked Attunement in 5e, but they miraculously kept it, anyway).

The way I see it, 5e has gone all old-school TSR, DM-centric.
PF(2) doesn't need to change focus from player to DM because 5e did, let alone try to be 'rules lite' because 5e pretended too.
 

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