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

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I think that's fine to wait then, but I don't think that determines the quality of the edition. There were a number of tables that were still finishing their games of 4e and PF1 past 2014 before switching to 5e (my own table included). It would seem silly to argue that this would represent a valid indictment against 5e.
Oh, sure, using that as an attack against the system as a whole is absolutely a crappy argument. (Just like "But it doesn't have druids or bards" was a crappy argument against 4e.)

But "I don't find a lot of the features of the new system that compelling, especially when my current edition has a lot more options, so I'm not enthused to switch" is valid.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
But "I don't find a lot of the features of the new system that compelling, especially when my current edition has a lot more options, so I'm not enthused to switch" is valid.
Agreed, and that is certainly what a lot of people who were playing 3.X when PF1 came out did.

What gives me some optimism about PF2 in comparison to PF1 on that front, IMHO, is that it looks like a more robust foundation for expanding new character options than what Paizo was previously using. PF1 had alternate class features (i.e., archetypes), prestige classes, multiclassing, and hybrid classes, but if PF2 is able to condense all of that into a singular Archetype system, that's potentially a huge step forward in design space that this opens. It's similar to what 5e achieved with its subclass system. PF2 may partially even achieve what some people had wanted for 5e: cross-class archetypes/subclasses.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Agreed, and that is certainly what a lot of people who were playing 3.X when PF1 came out did.

What gives me some optimism about PF2 in comparison to PF1 on that front, IMHO, is that it looks like a more robust foundation for expanding new character options than what Paizo was previously using. PF1 had alternate class features (i.e., archetypes), prestige classes, multiclassing, and hybrid classes, but if PF2 is able to condense all of that into a singular Archetype system, that's potentially a huge step forward in design space that this opens. It's similar to what 5e achieved with its subclass system. PF2 may partially even achieve what some people had wanted for 5e: cross-class archetypes/subclasses.
Sure; you could certainly argue that all of the multiclass archetypes are already cross-class archetypes, so it should be easy to add more. They'd just be of the type "Replace Class Feat X with options from this different pool of Feats." But the fact that there are fixed class features means that alternate class features that are specific replacements of those fixed features will no doubt be introduced, it's kind of the Pathfinder way.

What'll be interesting is if they can do "Replace your level 3 feature, whatever it is, with this feature instead." as a kind of cross-class alternative feature. I don't think the class design is homogenous enough for that to be feasible. I could see features that replace higher-tier armor or weapon proficiencies with something else for martial classes, or trading in spell slot(s) for a feature for casting classes, as examples of cross-class archetypes.
 
Oh, sure, using that as an attack against the system as a whole is absolutely a crappy argument. (Just like "But it doesn't have druids or bards" was a crappy argument against 4e.).
I want to agree with you here, but I think it's apples and oranges.

Pathfinder is including all the core classes from the Core Rulebook plus alchemist. That means that the same types of characters you could make using just core rules in PF1 are all makeable in PF2. Sure, there is no gunslinger, witch or summoner, but those were add on classes in PF1 as well.

However, it took 4e 3 years and 3 PHBs to reproduce the 11 base classes in the 3e PHB. And thanks to basing class choice on power source, it meant new classes like warden, invoker, warlord, and warlock got prioritized over bard, druid, sorcerer, and monk.

The smartest thing 5e did was attempt to get all the default D&D classes into the PHB. Some of them were subs for other classes, and I'm not getting into the battle master/warlord debate, but at least 5e didn't make us wait to have all the core classes from the previous editions.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
What gives me some optimism about PF2 in comparison to PF1 on that front, IMHO, is that it looks like a more robust foundation for expanding new character options than what Paizo was previously using. PF1 had alternate class features (i.e., archetypes), prestige classes, multiclassing, and hybrid classes, but if PF2 is able to condense all of that into a singular Archetype system, that's potentially a huge step forward in design space that this opens.
Robust maybe, but bigger design space? No, there's no reason unification changes the design space. If anything, having to adhere to one set of parameters instead of three(?) means fewer opportunities, not more.

But ease of use, robustness, balance...? Sure.
It's similar to what 5e achieved with its subclass system. PF2 may partially even achieve what some people had wanted for 5e: cross-class archetypes/subclasses.
The subclass concept as implemented in 5E is much restricted compared to the prestige class concept. You must start the subclass at a given point, as opposed to multiclassing into a prestige class pretty much at any time. Only a single class can pick a given subclass, as opposed to (theoretically) any class multiclassing into a given prestige class. You can only subclass once per class, as opposed to (theoretically) picking a new prestige class every level.

Am I saying an unified approach is wrong or bad? No.

Just saying the 5E subclass design was probably an overreaction, much like many concepts in 5E was oversimplified because the devs were terrified their game would come across as "too difficult" and meet the same fate as their previous edition.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I want to agree with you here, but I think it's apples and oranges.

Pathfinder is including all the core classes from the Core Rulebook plus alchemist. That means that the same types of characters you could make using just core rules in PF1 are all makeable in PF2. Sure, there is no gunslinger, witch or summoner, but those were add on classes in PF1 as well.

However, it took 4e 3 years and 3 PHBs to reproduce the 11 base classes in the 3e PHB. And thanks to basing class choice on power source, it meant new classes like warden, invoker, warlord, and warlock got prioritized over bard, druid, sorcerer, and monk.

The smartest thing 5e did was attempt to get all the default D&D classes into the PHB. Some of them were subs for other classes, and I'm not getting into the battle master/warlord debate, but at least 5e didn't make us wait to have all the core classes from the previous editions.
My argument is simply that "what's core" shouldn't matter. "What's available" should be the metric used to make the decision.

If your favorite classes aren't present in PF2 in 2019, and you don't want to switch because they aren't there, that's fine.

If your favorite classes are available in an expansion book in 2020, and you still don't to switch because they didn't make those classes in the core book, that's a crappy argument.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
I assume you're still playing OD&D then?

In other words, no it isn't
Well, I started playing with 2E, so it would be tough for me to still be playing OD&D. :)

But yes, any decision made on preferences like class is a valid argument. It might not be a compelling argument for most people, but it makes sense as an aesthetic preference.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Robust maybe, but bigger design space? No, there's no reason unification changes the design space. If anything, having to adhere to one set of parameters instead of three(?) means fewer opportunities, not more.

But ease of use, robustness, balance...? Sure.
I think what you are saying is true from a technical point. PF1 simply had more decision-making paths, variables, and moving parts flying around: e.g., prestige classes, archetypes, multiclassing, etc. However, this strikes me more as the illusion of greater design space, because a lot of these various components were performing the same functions with redundancy. There may have been a "detective" archetype for the bard, a different one for the fighter, one for the rogue, one for the investigator, one for the ranger, etc., alongside detective PrCs (one oriented towards bard, another fighter,...) and you could mix and match these so you were a detective bard who multiclassed with the detective investigator. But this mostly reflects the fact that Paizo was often re-creating similar ideas over and over. So I'm not sure if this truly reflects greater design space.

We could even, for example, look at actual floor space. You could have a hypothetical room that is 5m x 5m (so 25 square meters) and another that has 1m x 30m (so 30 square meters). While the latter room may have greater floor space from a technical perspective, we would probably regard the former as having a more open floor space in terms of what we could do with that room. I view the changes that Paizo is making in PF2 along the lines of the former: there is more practical open floor space for design purposes than there was previously even if there is less technical floor space.

So let's take the earlier Detective example. You could reinvent the wheel for a handful of classes with archetypes for each or a prestige class or two that covers the idea, or you can provide a singular Detective archetype that is available for every class to take. And if I dislike their detective archetype, and then make my own, that combination is now also open and available for every class and not just a handful.
 

darjr

I crit!
I dunno if this thread covers it, but one of the reasons I liked PF1 was it’s broad compatibility with 3.5 and 3.0. Not only adventures and monsters but even splatbooks and classes. In fact it was MORE important at the time. I looked at other games but it was among the best for backwards compatibility. PF2 in the playtest was far from that kind of ideal, as far as I could tell. And I haven’t really seen anything fixing that.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
My argument is simply that "what's core" shouldn't matter. "What's available" should be the metric used to make the decision.

If your favorite classes aren't present in PF2 in 2019, and you don't want to switch because they aren't there, that's fine.

If your favorite classes are available in an expansion book in 2020, and you still don't to switch because they didn't make those classes in the core book, that's a crappy argument.
It all depends on context, it isn't a clear cut black and white issue. In this particular context doesn't matter that badly. But for example, in 5e what's core and what isn't does matter. I still can't have an aasimar divine soul in AL for example, because neither is core!

Core matters, some DMs play with core-only. Some groups demand core-only. Core classes/races receive more attention from devs. Core shapes in what way the edition will unfold. By the end of 4e sorcerers had barely started to come on their own, but core classes had nowhere else to go, so they never received any serious weapon powers for example, they also got very little weapliment support and got completely ignored for rituals. Another example bards in 4e, they where a bit better, but by not being in core there never was a perform skill, so wizards were better at bard rituals than bards!

I really think that not making Witches core was a mistake. I'm still completely in wait and see mode. I like some of the stuff in PF2, but a lot of stuff rubs me the wrong way, it feels rigid and clinic like 4e, but without core competency to go with it. Nothing I couldn't get used to, but I need to see how they handle my favorite class first to see if it is worth it.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
I dunno if this thread covers it, but one of the reasons I liked PF1 was it’s broad compatibility with 3.5 and 3.0. Not only adventures and monsters but even splatbooks and classes. In fact it was MORE important at the time. I looked at other games but it was among the best for backwards compatibility. PF2 in the playtest was far from that kind of ideal, as far as I could tell. And I haven’t really seen anything fixing that.
That ship has long sailed, and sank. Nobody survived, and there's nothing left of the shipwreck...
 

qstor

Adventurer
I've played it twice. It plays simpler than PF1. Attacks of opportunity are pretty much gone.

I made one PC and I didn't care for the PC creation process. The "class" feat choices seemed similar to 4e powers to me. I'd prefer the PF1 approach of feats which ALL PCs can chose from.

Resonance is going away which most of my friends are happy about.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Playtest was a mess/awful. Played a lot better than it looked.

I think I can see what they were trying to do but I had seen something similar and better with Star Wars Saga.

As far as I could see they were going for unified class progression with alternate class features via options.

So negative playtest experience plus awful outdated art that kind of looked bad in 2008/9 on 4E and PF1 covers.

I'm not big on cartoon like covers. 5E is fairly good in that regard along with the old Easley covers.

I recall WotC doing a lot if peeks leading up to 3.0 and 4E a year out which afaik Paizo hasn't done 2 months out from launch. I remember having a decent idea what the fighter was about pre 3.0 landing. And I remember the 4E elf as well as one of the early 4E reveals.

So yeah that's on Paizo promotion department and whoever thought releasing the playtest in that format was a good idea. One month out from launch what's out there in terms of sneak peeks?
 
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Aldarc

Adventurer
I really think that not making Witches core was a mistake. I'm still completely in wait and see mode. I like some of the stuff in PF2, but a lot of stuff rubs me the wrong way, it feels rigid and clinic like 4e, but without core competency to go with it. Nothing I couldn't get used to, but I need to see how they handle my favorite class first to see if it is worth it.
Not everything would make the cut, and it seems that Paizo wanted to keep it simpler (and reduce the page count) by going Old PHB Classes + 1 New Class. The Witch was a popular class according to Paizo, but the Alchemist gives Paizo the excuse to make alchemy rules less of an afterthought. I am also inclined to regard the Alchemist as being more unique conceptually from the Witch in terms of what it adds to the other PHB classes.

One month out from launch what's out there in terms of sneak peeks?
There was a scavenger hunt from PaizoCon where every attendant received a snippet of information about the final form of PF2. YouTube videos from PaizoCon and their Obsidian Oath campaign run by Jason Bulmahn. There are several articles on Paizo.com where they are making reveals.

Upcoming discussions on Twitch streams

Article: Mark Seifter makes a PF2 character based on one of his PF1 characters

Article: Talking about Game Modes, Treasure, XP and Leveling

Most of this stuff is not entirely new or surprising. I think that Paizo is revealing information about PF2 as if people have not experienced the playtest or seen those previews. So there are changes, but someone from the playtest may also find a lot of the information old hat.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It all depends on context, it isn't a clear cut black and white issue. In this particular context doesn't matter that badly. But for example, in 5e what's core and what isn't does matter. I still can't have an aasimar divine soul in AL for example, because neither is core!

Core matters, some DMs play with core-only. Some groups demand core-only. Core classes/races receive more attention from devs. Core shapes in what way the edition will unfold. By the end of 4e sorcerers had barely started to come on their own, but core classes had nowhere else to go, so they never received any serious weapon powers for example, they also got very little weapliment support and got completely ignored for rituals. Another example bards in 4e, they where a bit better, but by not being in core there never was a perform skill, so wizards were better at bard rituals than bards!

I really think that not making Witches core was a mistake. I'm still completely in wait and see mode. I like some of the stuff in PF2, but a lot of stuff rubs me the wrong way, it feels rigid and clinic like 4e, but without core competency to go with it. Nothing I couldn't get used to, but I need to see how they handle my favorite class first to see if it is worth it.
I an slightly amused at this sentiment. Recent "core" rulebooks offer well over ten classes, like twelve or fourteen.

Historically, D&D has had four, maybe seven, core classes.

I still feel both 5E and PF2 are downright generous with their core offerings!
 
I an slightly amused at this sentiment. Recent "core" rulebooks offer well over ten classes, like twelve or fourteen.

Historically, D&D has had four, maybe seven, core classes.

I still feel both 5E and PF2 are downright generous with their core offerings!
Going by the "first book only" model.

OD&D: 3 (fighting-man, magic-user, cleric)
Basic: 7 (fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user, elf, dwarf, halfling). The Rules Cyclopedia reprinted all the above and added mystic (monk)
Ad&d 1e: 10 (plus bard)
2e: 9 (counting all specialist wizards as one and not counting specialty priests)
3e/Pathfinder: 11
4e: 8
5e: 12
PF2e: 12
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Going by the "first book only" model.

OD&D: 3 (fighting-man, magic-user, cleric)
Basic: 7 (fighter, cleric, thief, magic-user, elf, dwarf, halfling). The Rules Cyclopedia reprinted all the above and added mystic (monk)
Ad&d 1e: 10 (plus bard)
2e: 9 (counting all specialist wizards as one and not counting specialty priests)
3e/Pathfinder: 11
4e: 8
5e: 12
PF2e: 12
Yep. Thanks.

(Of course, if you multiply the 5E races by its classes by its Backgrounds, you'll get a number that blows 1E and 2E out the water )
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
Not everything would make the cut, and it seems that Paizo wanted to keep it simpler (and reduce the page count) by going Old PHB Classes + 1 New Class. The Witch was a popular class according to Paizo, but the Alchemist gives Paizo the excuse to make alchemy rules less of an afterthought. I am also inclined to regard the Alchemist as being more unique conceptually from the Witch in terms of what it adds to the other PHB classes.
I think it is a glaring omission because: a) The witch is important in Golarion (the most common non-divine caster) and b) the witch is an obvious primary occult caster, by not having it the bard was square pegged into the tradition and as a primary caster at the expense of other stuff. (IMO primal or arcane fitted better for the bard)
 

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