Pathfinder 2e

DSumner

Explorer
Okay. I spent a lot of loot on 1e Pathfinder material, and I have to say I enjoy the vast majority of it. Before I go out and drop my hard earned loot on any 2e stuff, I want to know that it's worth it. So, for those of you who have it, how does it compare to 1e, and is it really worth my time and money to get all new stuff?
 

zztong

Explorer
So, for those of you who have it, how does it compare to 1e, and is it really worth my time and money to get all new stuff?
I don't want to be dismissive of your question, but there's already been a lot of discussion about PF2 and there are several established discussions that you could review to see individual opinions. You're going to get a mixed response.

As a person with a partially negative view, my advice is use freely available sources to try out the system and see if you like it. My group has one book that we share.

I'm only a data point. I'm not reporting a trend. Of the two games I participate, one stayed with PF1. The other participated in the PF2 playtest and is playing the Plaguestone adventure. That group is of mixed opinions.
 

Arilyn

Adventurer
I really like how PF2 plays. It's a lot of fun and there are more meaningful decisions in combat. The character creation system works fine, but I do miss the openness of PF1 in this area. I try to approach PF2 as a separate game to avoid constant comparisons. Haven't played it much yet, but am planning on running Fall of Plaguestone next week.

I agree with darjr. Use the SDR and give it a spin.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
My PF group liked character creation well enough.

Right now we're playing a short one shot adventure that I've written to include as many different aspects of the rules as possible.
Session one went well enough. The next 8 or so weeks will tell though.
 

Arilyn

Adventurer
The game is crunchier than D&D 5e, but more streamlined than PF1. It's not as onerous as many critics suggest, and not difficult at all to learn. The keywords seem daunting at first, but are all clearly explained in the excellent index/glossary. It's got a lot of flavour, that I hope doesn't get lost by players assuming more complexity than is actually there.
 

jsaving

Adventurer
PF2 is quite a bit easier on the player than PF1 was, with 4e-style "guard rails" on player choices clearly visible. A lot of the more mathematically complex options in PF1, like 3e-style multiclassing and skill points, were resolved by simply scrapping the options entirely and replacing them with alternatives that are much less flexible but much easier to calculate. Overall the system is pretty similar to what a lot of people initially expected 4e to be, a system that retains a lot of mechanical similarities to 3e while paying greater attention to game balance and hand-holding than 3e did.

Whether that's a good or a bad direction for Pathfinder to take is very much in the eye of the beholder. However there are some aspects of the new ruleset I think will be broadly popular, such as the new occult power source and the fact that you can now be a spontaneous divine or nature caster without having to jump through the sometimes-bizarre idiosyncrasies of the oracle. Other changes were probably needed for game balance even though they can be painful for certain builds, like the nerfs to sneak attack and summons/companions.

Is PF2 "worth it"? I think that depends on what you were hoping to see in a Pathfinder sequel. If you're the kind of player who adopted PF1 while taking a fair amount of inspiration/ideas from 4e, then you'll probably be happy with PF2 as it provides a happy medium between those two rulesets. However if you fled D&D for PF1 because you disliked the forced simplicity of 4e, then you may not be as enthusiastic about the 4e-style guardrails on player choice that PF2 provides and you might be tempted to either stick with PF1 or else move to 5e. But it's important not to be too "over the top" either way" because PF2 is still recognizably a Pathfinder game.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
We've played three sessions plus one that was mostly character generation (which took a while because people weren't used to the system and we only had one book + my PDF). So far I like it a lot. The main issue we've had so far is that the alchemist seems like something of a dud - the bombs do not seem to compare favorably to my primal sorcerer's electric arc dealing 1d4+4 to one or two targets with a save for half.

So far we like it. I'm not sure how well it will hold up at high levels (the DC-by-level table seems a little steep for skills given that about half your skills probably won't go above Trained), but that's what playing is for.

I'm not going to abandon my Princes of the Apocalypse campaign for PF2 (particularly since the campaign is fairly close to done), and I have planned to run an Eberron campaign after that. But I am definitely tempted by the blurbs about the next AP (traveling around Starstone Islands as part of a circus while also stopping threats From Below). We'll see.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
It personally hit a lot of the right notes for me personally. I have played a couple sessions, but have not gotten a chance to run the game although I really want to. Characters are pretty broadly capable and every class can be good at any skill. I really like how uncertain things seem to be, including how secret checks create a fog of war at the table. In exploration mode the game really feels like a more modern iteration of the Moldvay B/X.

I absolutely love how uncertain and perilous combat has felt so far even in moderate encounters. Small decisions can make a big impact. Combat feels fast and furious to me and can be pretty deadly. I have dropped a number of times, but hero points have helped me stay alive. Things have felt tense.

All that being said I do not think the game is for everyone. You get beat up a lot and there is a really big focus on risk. Few things you do will be certain and the game can be really swingy. I love that, but others might not feel the same.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It really is a mixed bag.

Combat and monster design seems good. I would love it if "You get beat up a lot and there is a really big focus on risk." holds true even as you leave the lowest levels. For me fun and excitement has always in D&D been the greatest at levels low enough where you actually risk death. But in 5E this fades real quick, already by 5th level monsters start to struggle against optimized characters in a game with options turned on. If PF2's Bestiary is designed to handle that, it would be a huge bonus.

That it isn't for everybody is true though. The amount of math and things to keep in mind is to me manageable, but to people struggling with 5E it will be an insurmountable obstacle.

The game certainly comes across as having been designed in a vacuum - Paizo has not cared to learn much from the success of 5E, and I see few if any areas where the devs have been inspired by 5E, which really is boggling the mind when you think about it. (Why on Earth would Paizo think they can afford to ignore 5E? How could they not see that their game looks if not feels too much like 4E, a failed edition common sense tells you to distance yourself from? We might never know if it was hubris or ignorance...)

Some areas of rules design seems oddly restricted, like the way you don't get to influence your weapon, armor and save proficiencies - once you choose your class at level 1, these are locked in for you.

And then there's a couple of real howlers. There are feats and talents with such miniscule impact it will make you cry.

You are definitely asked as a player to make build choices that ultimately don't matter much, if at all.

Consumables like Talismans are so fiddly for so little benefit it's like the 4th edition of your nightmares.

(Luckily you can ignore Talismans entirely, at the price of half a dozen rulebook pages being a complete waste.)
 
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S'mon

Legend
I'm having some trouble parsing the SRD text. A lot of terms seem to have been changed for the sake of it, and like 4e there are a lot of keywords (eg "Ability Boost" rather than "+2 to an Attribute") that have to be looked up to find out what they mean.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I'm having some trouble parsing the SRD text. A lot of terms seem to have been changed for the sake of it, and like 4e there are a lot of keywords (eg "Ability Boost" rather than "+2 to an Attribute") that have to be looked up to find out what they mean.
Yeah, that's just the tip of the iceberg. PF2 is definitely not an easy casual game.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I'm having some trouble parsing the SRD text. A lot of terms seem to have been changed for the sake of it, and like 4e there are a lot of keywords (eg "Ability Boost" rather than "+2 to an Attribute") that have to be looked up to find out what they mean.
Yeah, there is a lot of language that needs to be understood. In at least some cases, they're trying to be comprehensive to head off the inevitable message board debates on what some rules mean like the old days of trying to hash out exactly what benefits being stealthy gets you. To that end, there are now some fairly subtle gradations in statuses like the defined difference between undetected and unnoticed.
It's taking some work to really grok.
 
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pcrotteau

Explorer
My son and I are enjoying the game, mainly because of our buy in of the setting and the organized play system. PF1 is his first system, but he enjoys 5e as well (weather I run it or not)

Most of my PF1 group is switching over willingly and eagerly. We saw lots of bloat in the previous system and are looking for the chance to reset.

A lot of terms seem to have been changed for the sake of it, and like 4e there are a lot of keywords (eg "Ability Boost" rather than "+2 to an Attribute") that have to be looked up to find out what they mean.
Keywords have exploded in this edition, in part to standardize terms and definitions. As we play they make more sense.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The problem is that, for my group, we never got to the point of giving it a chance. We've been playing Pathfinder 1E for so long that the investment of time, money, and energy to learn the new game, all under the vague promise of "the same experience you've been getting, but better!" wasn't really enough to entice anyone...especially since everyone was skeptical about how much better it would really be, as opposed to "better in some areas but not as good in others."

Also, we all like the "bloat" of PF 1E, since everyone sees options as being part of the customization process. It's going to take PF 2E some time to work up to that same level of available options.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
The game certainly comes across as having been designed in a vacuum - Paizo has not cared to learn much from the success of 5E, and I see few if any areas where the devs have been inspired by 5E, which really is boggling the mind when you think about it. (Why on Earth would Paizo think they can afford to ignore 5E? How could they not see that their game looks if not feels too much like 4E, a failed edition common sense tells you to distance yourself from? We might never know if it was hubris or ignorance...)
My view is that Paizo is good at story and module writing, not so much on creating balanced rules. PF1 was pretty much a copy/paste of the 3.x SRD with very little design work being done. Over the years, imbalanced rules, power creep, and bloat made the game virtually unplayable from my perspective. This started as early as the Advanced Players Guide.

So my answer is that Paizo didn't create a good rules system, because that's out of their wheel house. They got lucky with Pathfinder by standing on the shoulders of giants.
 

Arilyn

Adventurer
My view is that Paizo is good at story and module writing, not so much on creating balanced rules. PF1 was pretty much a copy/paste of the 3.x SRD with very little design work being done. Over the years, imbalanced rules, power creep, and bloat made the game virtually unplayable from my perspective. This started as early as the Advanced Players Guide.

So my answer is that Paizo didn't create a good rules system, because that's out of their wheel house. They got lucky with Pathfinder by standing on the shoulders of giants.
This is a very harsh assessment. Most people say PF came into its own with the Advanced Player's Guide, because the designers put put their own stamp on the system.

It's insulting to Paizo game designers to claim that they merely stood on the shoulders of giants, and got lucky. All game designers draw from what came before.

Not liking a system is fine, but there is nothing in either PF or PF2 that scream too broken to play. This is a hyperbolic response, as there is no genuine critique here, just dislike. PF2 is not perfect but has some very tight game design. It's perfectly playable.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
If you are looking for a game with tight math, tight encounter design, meaningful narrative uncertainty, embedded lore and modular design the actual execution here is excellent.

If that is not what you are looking for then the execution does not particularly matter.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
This is a very harsh assessment. Most people say PF came into its own with the Advanced Player's Guide, because the designers put put their own stamp on the system.

It's insulting to Paizo game designers to claim that they merely stood on the shoulders of giants, and got lucky. All game designers draw from what came before.

Not liking a system is fine, but there is nothing in either PF or PF2 that scream too broken to play. This is a hyperbolic response, as there is no genuine critique here, just dislike. PF2 is not perfect but has some very tight game design. It's perfectly playable.
PF1 is as broken as 3.x. Paizo did nothing to tone down LFQW or CoDZilla fx. And it's not about being lucky. They took an existing "giant's" system and made it their own, for writing great adventures and lore. But great rules design when it comes to PF1... Not so much.

The point here is that whether or not PF2 is broken or not, it's hard to determine who exactly is the audience when looking at the market today. And even though it might be tightly designed, the point of the micro management is not clear. At all.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
PF1 is as broken as 3.x. Paizo did nothing to tone down LFQW or CoDZilla
That's a bit of an exaggeration. Paizo actually did quite a bit to tone down the power of spellcasters, but it was small and obvious stuff. Clerics lost their proficiency in heavy armor. Druid wildshape worked by adjusting your own stats, rather than replacing them entirely. Save-or-Die effects were replaced with Save-or-Damage. Save-or-Hold spells started offering a new save every turn.

There's no doubt in my mind that PF1 has a better balance than D&D 3.5 did, but I still wouldn't qualify anyone at Paizo as being especially insightful based on those changes.
 

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