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PF2 Pathfinder Second Edition: I hear it's bad - Why Bad, How Bad?

I am curious whether there is a worrisome demographic to this day composed of people who refuse to play D&D 5E because they didn't like the playtest document back in 2014 or whenever it was. I suspect... the playtest document really won't be a thing anybody remembers in a couple of months' time. But hey, I might be wrong. Those 2014 diehard D&D Next playtest doc haters might still be out there harbouring their grudges about a game that never existed!
I'm in that demographic. But most things I read about 5e since then haven't improved my opinion.

They released level 1 monk "how to build a character" article yesterday. Got me excited to try it out. Lots of fun character options. I just hope skill feats don't put me to sleep like they did during the playtest.
Please provide a link.
 
This seems pointless. The product isn't even out yet. Most of us have only the playtest material to go on, which Paizo has suggested was radically different from the final product. Anyone with any real substantial exposure and experience with the finalized product cannot openly discuss it. But let's go ahead and discuss how terrible it is already not knowing anything except how to speculate wildly and form opinions for everyone else so we won't need to come up with our own ideas. Heavens forbid!

Also, I hear a lot of people actually like it. They're just not usually as vocal or emotional about it. Or bound by NDAs.
I think it is more telling than people give it credit for, but not in the ways people are expecting.

Like it or not, there was a fairly vocal group of people on The Internet(tm) that gave the impression the game wasn't good. In full disclosure, I didn't play or read it, but I checked some of the local hangouts (Reddit, Paizo boards, etc) and the initial impression anyone reading them would get was that the system was baaad. Complaints abounded on nearly everything. Now, some of it was pure whinging, and some of it was stuff Paizo took to heart and tried to improve (the final proof of it will come in a month) but it was hard to deny that, if you were someone not in the heart of fandom and was looking in, the appearance was the PF2e was disliked if not hated by the community. That is an initial perception that is hard to get people back from, as there will be people who hear about the game, Google search it up, and get a faceful of the complaining and then say "wow, that look like it sucks" and never look into it further, esp into the finished product.

So while I think its not fair to use the commentary people have given on playtest to make a decision about the final product, unfortunately the massive negative reaction the playtest had is going to color the perception of the game for a while. There will be people like the OP here who heard the game was "bad" and want to know more, not because they are haters but because even a casual search on the topic yields far more negative opinion that positive right now. I don't envy Paizo's task in turning that kind of initial reactions around.
 

Markh3rd

Explorer
There are many people in my gaming circles, including people I've talked with in gaming conventions that are taking a wait and see approach instead of just diving in with abandon. Most either cited wanting to stay with PF1 or they cited initial interest in PF2 until the playtest gave them worries about the future of PF.

Personally I think the biggest challenge Paizo faces is getting lots of new players to jump on board. If they can build up a steady stream of new players while keeping most of their older players it will be successful. I think that is the goal but whether the new system is conducive to that goal we will have to wait and see.

If too many people wait to see, then you get a slow start to your new product and that doesn't look good. And the spiral starts. Hopefully it will work out because I enjoy PFS and they have excellent stories to adventure in.
 

Nebulous

Explorer
I'm the ideal kind of person to check out PF2 - I'm kinda tired of 5e, want to try something new, I've never invested in PF1 so I don't feel like I'm losing anything or upgrading for not very good reasons. I can see why fans of PF1 are very lukewarm, especially if the playtest wasn't so good. I do hope Paizo can pull it off, they're a great company and genuinely want to create good games for the fans.
 

JeffB

Adventurer
The fact that Paizo is selling expensive print copies and deluxe print copies of books and adventures for the 2E playtest probably goes a long way to increasing criticism of the system.

You have a lot of fans/hopeful fans putting a good chunk of change out for something that ended up being very different than the PF1E playtest. At some point afterwards, you (Paizo) talk about how intentionally very different/radical it was from what would be the finished product. Either you are doing some PR Damage Control, or you were not very honest with your playtest group who cracked open their wallets. Unless I am a collector, I would be super pissed off with Paizo if it is the latter.

That said, I will give it another look when it arrives.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
The fact that Paizo is selling expensive print copies and deluxe print copies of books and adventures for the 2E playtest probably goes a long way to increasing criticism of the system.

You have a lot of fans/hopeful fans putting a good chunk of change out for something that ended up being very different than the PF1E playtest. At some point afterwards, you (Paizo) talk about how intentionally very different/radical it was from what would be the finished product. Either you are doing some PR Damage Control, or you were not very honest with your playtest group who cracked open their wallets. Unless I am a collector, I would be super pissed off with Paizo if it is the latter.

That said, I will give it another look when it arrives.
I didn't buy any of the play test stuff for 2e because I was too busy with other things in my life to do much play testing. But I did buy the initial PF play test softcover for my convenience back in 2008. I don't regret it, nor was I super pissed that the final PF product was different. I expected it to be different. That expectation should be the case now.

I seriously doubt the sale of 2e play test materials, whether in basic or deluxe format, goes a long way to increasing criticism of the system.
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
So, I wasn't incredibly thrilled with the playtest, but it got a few things right - which I'm hoping will make the final product immensely satisfying.

I've been using the 3 Action system for a long time in many different games, so this was nothing new or unsettling - very easy to grasp, though I disagreed with many of their action costs. This is one of the points I hope the finished system rectifies.

I rather enjoy the skill proficiency system, instead of spending points, because that made leveling way too tedious for me in PF1. I like that, unlike D&D 5E, everyone has a chance to improve skill proficiency over time. I hope this stayed in the final product.

I'm still up in the air on choosing class features as 'Class Feats' - not sure how that'll pan out in the final product. It's an interesting way to customize, but at the same time, it's like pulling apart a class and only letting you represent certain aspects of it. I'm hoping this got a pretty big overhaul in the final product.

Overall, I'm looking forward to getting my PDF in August - to see what changed, what stayed the same, and read their hard work and effort over at Paizo. Even if I never run a game due to whatever reasons, I know there'll be information I can glean from the text, like a dozen or so other systems sitting in my documents folder for the exact same reasons.
 

ikos

Villager
A number of posts have already hit the nail on the head - the final product is not yet in the mail. However, stylistically and mechanically, the Playtest (especially those parts that were well received as evidenced by the playtest data) did offer an accurate overview of where the system was headed, which has been confirmed by Jason's streaming game. All signs point to finer polishing, not demolition work. Expecting that the finalized ruleset is a radical departure from last August seems unrealistic. Expecting it to be a better system than what we saw last year is very likely, if not a sure thing.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
You have a lot of fans/hopeful fans putting a good chunk of change out for something that ended up being very different than the PF1E playtest. At some point afterwards, you (Paizo) talk about how intentionally very different/radical it was from what would be the finished product. Either you are doing some PR Damage Control, or you were not very honest with your playtest group who cracked open their wallets. Unless I am a collector, I would be super pissed off with Paizo if it is the latter.
It said "Playtest" on the cover. It was very clear what it was. If you were under the impression you were sneakily getting the finished product a year before everybody else, I think that's on you, not Paizo.
 

Arilyn

Explorer
The fact that Paizo is selling expensive print copies and deluxe print copies of books and adventures for the 2E playtest probably goes a long way to increasing criticism of the system.

You have a lot of fans/hopeful fans putting a good chunk of change out for something that ended up being very different than the PF1E playtest. At some point afterwards, you (Paizo) talk about how intentionally very different/radical it was from what would be the finished product. Either you are doing some PR Damage Control, or you were not very honest with your playtest group who cracked open their wallets. Unless I am a collector, I would be super pissed off with Paizo if it is the latter.

That said, I will give it another look when it arrives.
The pdfs for the playtest were all available for free. The standard printed copy was an economical option for players wanting a physical book, but not wanting to go through the expense and bother of printing it from home. The deluxe edition was there for the collectors. I don't think there are many missed options in that list.

It's very common for subsequent editions of games to be criticized before they are even released, due usually to fears that a beloved game will be ruined, or, unfortunately, to people taking glee in tearing things down. We will have to wait and see how PF2 fares. Gen Con will be it's first big moment in the spot light, and will give plenty of people a chance to try it out. I hope the game does well. It could be a great alternative for players wanting more options. Paizo is also a fantastic company, made up of people who genuinely love the hobby.

I'm feeling pretty excited and optimistic.
 

ParanoydStyle

Peace Among Worlds
I am curious whether there is a worrisome demographic to this day composed of people who refuse to play D&D 5E because they didn't like the playtest document back in 2014 or whenever it was. I suspect... the playtest document really won't be a thing anybody remembers in a couple of months' time. But hey, I might be wrong. Those 2014 diehard D&D Next playtest doc haters might still be out there harbouring their grudges about a game that never existed!
I absolutely and pointedly ignored D&D 5E until last year when I realized it was the only thing anyone in my area was playing. So I actually checked it out and turns out, it's pretty darn good! I mean, I also absolutely and pointedly ignored Pathfinder 1E for the same reason right up until 2017--D&D 3.5 was scratching that itch for me perfectly--then in 2017 I started seriously thinking about developing content for PF for the first time since it was/is so popular, and then later in 2017 my circumstances changed, the only game that any of my friends were running was Pathfinder, so I finally took a good look at Pathfinder 1E and hey, what do you know, this is pretty good? I didn't necessarily assume that D&D 5E was bad, but I was sufficiently "afraid" that was the case to stay away from it for about half a decade. I stayed away from Pathfinder 1E for almost a decade. Again, I didn't necessarily assume it was bad, it just wasn't necessary when I had D&D 3.5 and people to play D&D 3.5 with.

I WAS aware that the opinions I'm soliciting are those formed from the playtest. Having participated in the playtesting of a (smaller) AAA tabletop game (Shadowrun 5E) it's my experience that the final manuscript won't differ DRAMATICALLY from the playtest document. Example: I was one of like 60 people that told Jason Hardy like 60 times that dwarves were missing their thermographic vision which they had always had as a racial ability since the first edition of the game. Shadowrun 5E went to print with dwarves that did not have thermographic vision.

I could be wrong of course. It could be wildly different from the playtest doc in this case. I do know that a) I saw the "playtest document" laid out, bound and for sale in a Barnes & Noble--which I don't like, at all, like, particularly if you are a large company, you can charge for something you've perfected to the best of your ability but it's hella wrong to charge people to help you perfect something-- and b) flipping through it casually, I saw much I did not like and little to nothing I liked, but that was last year and I do forget the specifics. I do know that I was being exposed to PF1E and D&D 5th for the first time and falling in love with both of them around that point and I felt the opposite way about the PF2E playtest document.

Also, forgive me for thinking that the game was already out. For one, to Morrus' point, I have heard a great deal of opining on its quality for a game that's not actually out. In my own defense, to me it seemed to follow that if they had the playtest document laid out, printed, bound, and for sale on store shelves LAST YEAR, they would have the actual game out by now.

I did NOT know that everyone who had bought the playtest document from Barnes & Noble was under NDA. How's that even work?

The fact that Paizo is selling expensive print copies and deluxe print copies of books and adventures for the 2E playtest
Holy :):):):)ing smiley face smiley face smiley face smiley face. I didn't know that. That is utterly REPUGNANT. This should literally be against the law.
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Holy :):):):)ing smiley face smiley face smiley face smiley face. I didn't know that. That is utterly REPUGNANT. This should literally be against the law.
People know exactly what they're buying with these products. There nothing either deceptive or repugnant. Get a grip.
 

Kurviak

Registered User
The playtest PDFs were available for free since day one, and were updated frequently during the playtest period. There were 6 versions/updates as far as I remember not including an experimental take on resonance that was then completely ditched out. So yes the play test was free of charge unless you want to pay for a copy of the first version of it, and the game changed a lot during the play test and last but not least we know from the developers that they keept changing a lot of things the weeks after the play test finished
 
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darjr

I crit!
I do notice a marked difference during the "playtest" period of pf2 vs Next. At least anecdotally and from what I can see from others. I for one was excited for the next playtest and anticipated every drop. There was a TON more traffic, mostly positive or hopeful or constructive in it's criticism. Sure there were a lot of things I didn't like and things I loved that were nixed or modified to far for my taste. I even stopped for a short while, but I downloaded and devoured every update and playtest and by the end of it was very exited along with, what seemed to me, most people I talked to. Things don't seem quite the same with PF2. Actually quite the opposite. Many of the folks that are looking forward to it seem to be holding their breath and are even a bit wary.

I know, that's just me and the folks I talk to. But I was VERY enthusiastic about pathfinder at the time of the Next playtest. And the Next playtest, THE PLAYTEST, won me over. How WotC handled it won me over. Not ot mention I had a LOT of folks asking if i was going to run it, when I was going to start, and when they could get in on one of my tables.

This time I'm enthusiastic about 5e, VERY much so. I HOPE Paizo hits it out of the park with 2e but I don't intend to look at it or buy the PDF unless I have a bunch of folks clamoring for me to run it. And as of now not a single person has asked if I'd even consider doing so.

For whatever it's worth. I know things might be very different for others.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I did NOT know that everyone who had bought the playtest document from Barnes & Noble was under NDA. How's that even work?
They aren't. Anybody who has access to the final book die for release in August is.

Holy :):):):)ing smiley face smiley face smiley face smiley face. I didn't know that. That is utterly REPUGNANT. This should literally be against the law.
Well, that's just silly, isn't it?
 

zztong

Explorer
I am curious whether there is a worrisome demographic to this day composed of people who refuse to play D&D 5E because they didn't like the playtest document back in 2014 or whenever it was. I suspect... the playtest document really won't be a thing anybody remembers in a couple of months' time. But hey, I might be wrong. Those 2014 diehard D&D Next playtest doc haters might still be out there harbouring their grudges about a game that never existed!
I did participate in the D&D 5e playtest, but did not play the final 5e until recently. It was simply a matter that my local games were entrenched in PF1 and didn't see a reason to change. In the after-effects of the PF2 playtest, one of those games decided to try D&D 5e and a number of folks at the table liked it.
 

Jer

Explorer
That is utterly REPUGNANT. This should literally be against the law. [/FONT][/COLOR]
Selling printed copies as a convenience for folks who wanted a printed copy should be against the law? Why?

The playtest documents were available for free on their website as a PDF. If you wanted to print them on your own computer you could. If you wanted a printed copy it would probably be cheaper to just buy one of the printed books Paizo was selling though - once you calculate how much ink and wear on your printer printing them out would cost.
 

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