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PF2 and the adventure day

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I think that if 5e has four legacies, they will be:
- the advantage/disadvantage system
- bounded accuracy
- backgrounds
It's funny that those are all derivative.
- And, as you say, the *grand spell correction*. It's *fundamental*
It's just dialing spell brokedness back up, but not as far up as 3e. That is fundamental to the traditional feel of D&D, though.

That last hints at it's true legacy: Consolidating the legacy of TSR era D&D. 5e righted the boat that WotC had started rocking, by unwinding the improvements 3e & 4e had made to the game that were incompatible with the 'soul' of the original.
Thanks to 5e, D&D going forward will be, essentially(npi), and in perpetuity, what D&D was in the 80s.

I can see why someone might draw that conclusion after a cursory look.
The whole Big Tent inclusiveness thing was trumpeted from the beginning of the playtest - "innocuous enough to avoid edition warring" is just my cynical spin on it. ;)

. 5E has pulled off a very impressive feat
It has, the same sort of feat Marvel did, just for a lot less money: it took a 40yo property with a nerdy, even cultish, positively disgruntled fan base, and rebooted it in a way that didn't outrage their peculiar expectations and prejudices, while still being approachable enough to sustain a resurgence in interest from more mainstream customers.

The former required returning to a more traditional feel, including restoring perennial, intractable, structural issues like LFQW & 5MWD, that had only recently been solved, and falling back on the best traditional way of coping with them: the DM.

The latter required toning down the steep learning curve of TSR era baroque heterogenous sub-systems ( which even 3e had managed) and the high bar for system mastery of 3e.

The resulting compromise isn't as evocative of the True D&D Experience as the OSR, nor as approachable and quick/easy for new-to-the-hobby potential players to learn as 4e, but it avoided the kind if controversy from established fans that would keep potential new ones from even trying it, and it was readily accessible to returning fans, while not being too off-putting to new ones.

its magic system looks and feels much like 3E/PF, yet is comprehensively different under the hood.
Looks? At a glance it looks like 3e or 2e or 1e: there are spells/day tables.
But you don't even need to pop the hood to see that those tables are a lot more similar to eachother than in 1e, for instance - and, there are /at-wiil attack cantrips/, unthinkable under The True Way of Vance.

While not accomplishing the same things, and being limited to primary casters, unified progression, viable at-wills for all, and two recovery cycles are clearly retained from 4e.

5e /is/ very much a return to the feel (and failings) of the classic game, but not by re-winding to 3e and fixing it up, but by intentionally breaking 4e.

The combined effect of Concentration, the way buffing is comprehensively changed, bonus stacking,
Are in no way surprising if you were aware of the BA goal. Bonus stacking, thus buff stacking and the systematic (and wasteful) 3e-optimal strategy of pre-casting, were simply off the table, they couldn't be added back the way 9 spell levels and LFQW could be.

. It really does fix 3E, and specifically the area where casters run circles around martials! And all without losing the soul of the game.
If there had never been an intervening edition that /actually/ fixed those issues, the net, non-trivial reduction in their severity could be rhetorically exaggerated as a 'fix,' but, misrepresenting the re-introduction of solved problem as a fix by disingenuously ignoring that they had already been solved is counter productive in any discussion, even this one.

. Then I started to caution y'all that this revelation might have gone past Paizo completely.
At this time I started arguing they're headed for disaster, since I suspect 5E gamers have zero appetite for the things we took for granted back in 3E.
5e gamers - The new/returning ones driving the not-seen-since-the-80s-fad sales of D&D have zero appetite for learning a second RPG.

PF1 leveraged the improbable confluence of the edition war, the OGL, and a database of Dragon/Dungeon subscribers, to, essentially, take up the mantle of D&D with existing 3.x D&Ders.

That opportunity has run its course.
 
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Parmandur

Adventurer
5e gamers - The new/returning ones driving the not-seen-since-the-80s-fad sales of D&D have zero appetite for learning a second RPG.

PF1 leveraged the improbable confluence of the edition war, the OGL, and a database of Dragon/Dungeon subscribers, to, essentially, take up the mantle of D&D with existing 3.x D&Ders.

That opportunity has run its course.
I don't think that there is *no* appetite for more RPGs (see the Adventure Zone embracing the Apocalypse engine "Monster of the Week," the continued success of the funky narrative dice Star Wars game, or the Modephius Star Trek streaming scene).

However, there may be limited appeal for a game that has the same setting and general gameplay as D&D, but way more math.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
The whole Big Tent inclusiveness thing was trumpeted from the beginning of the playtest, "innocuous enough to avoid edition warring" is just my cynical spin on it. ;)

It has, the same sort of feat Marvel did, just for a lot less money: it took a 40yo property with a nerdy, even cultish, positively disgruntled fan base, and rebooted it in a way that didn't outrage their peculiar expectations and prejudices, while still being approachable enough to sustain a resurgence in interest from more mainstream customers.

The former required returning to a more traditional feel, including restoring perennial, intractable, structural issues like LFQW & 5MWD, that had only recently been solved, and falling back on the best traditional way of coping with them: the DM.

The latter required toning down the steep learning curve of TSR era baroque heterogenous sub-systems ( which even 3e had managed) and the high bar for system mastery of 3e.

The resulting compromise isn't as evocative of the True D&D Experience as the OSR, nor as approachable and quick/easy for new-to-the-hobby potential players to learn as 4e, but it avoided the kind if controversy from established fans that would keep potential new ones from even trying it, and it was readily accessible to returning fans, while not being too off-putting to new ones.

Looks? At a glance it looks like 3e or 2e or 1e: there are spells/day tables.
But you don't even need to pop the hood to see that those tables are a lot more similar to eachother than in 1e, for instance - and, there are /at-wiil attack cantrips/, unthinkable under The True Way of Vance.

While not accomplishing the same things, and being limited to primary casters, unified progression, viable at-wills for all, and two recovery cycles are clearly retained from 4e.

5e /is/ very much a return to the feel (and failings) of the classic game, but not by re-winding to 3e and fixing it up, but by intentionally breaking 4e.

Are in no way surprising if you were aware of the BA goal. Bonus stacking, thus buff stacking and the systematic (and wasteful) 3e-optimal strategy of pre-casting, were simply off the table, they couldn't be added back the way 9 spell levels and LFQW could be.

If there had never been an intervening edition that /actually/ fixed those issues, the net, non-trivial reduction in their severity could be rhetorically exaggerated as a 'fix,' but, misrepresenting the re-introduction of solved problem as a fix by disingenuously ignoring that they had already been solved is counter productive in any discussion, even this one.

5e gamers - The new/returning ones driving the not-seen-since-the-80s-fad sales of D&D have zero appetite for learning a second RPG.

PF1 leveraged the improbable confluence of the edition war, the OGL, and a database of Dragon/Dungeon subscribers, to, essentially, take up the mantle of D&D with existing 3.x D&Ders.

That opportunity has run its course.
No, what 4E fixed or did not fix is irrelevant since it's representative of neither the edition people are used to (5E) not the edition I fear they won't like (PF2)

Plus, fixing things by throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not particularly interesting.

5E really delivers on the promise of 3E, which is what I find so impressive.

Calling 5E regressive is just bitter and serves you no good. What it really is a valuable step forward from 3E.

Not sideways (like 4E) but actually forward.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
No, what 4E fixed or did not fix is irrelevant since it's representative of neither the edition people are used to (5E) not the edition I fear they won't like (PF2)
I'm guessing you didn't mean to imply that PF2 will be an edition of D&D...

Plus, fixing things by throwing out the baby with the bathwater is not particularly interesting.
Its how 5e 'fixed' complaints about 4e. (Seriously, that metaphor got a lot of use durring the playtest, there were metaphorical wet crying babies littering the streets of Renton.)

5E really delivers on the promise of 3E, which is what I find so impressive.
Actually, 5e delivered on more of its own impossible promises than we had any right to hope.
But it really delivers on the feel of the classic game, and on DM Empowerment, both things the other WotC eds weren't too into.

(And I have to wonder what you consider the promise of 3e was...?)

Calling 5E regressive is just bitter and serves you no good.
I totally cop to being bitter. And don't forget cynical. But 5e being regressive may not be as accurate as derivative ... or reactionary.

What it really is a valuable step forward from 3E.
TBH, the emphasis on DM Empowerment, the "play loop" and less encyclopedic rules with a much slower pace of release all mark 5e as straddling the Mellinium* between 2e & 3.0

Not sideways (like 4E) but actually forward.
4e certainly moved forward from 3e, just only about as far forward as a New Wave Indy game, about 10 or 15 years.










* though that's a bit of poetic licence, really, since no version of WotC D&D would've seemed out of place had it been published under some other title in the 90s (and only because there were so many D&D derivative fantasy heartbreakers)
(In comparably surprising news, chemists detect high levels of di-hydrogen oxide in water supplies, and peace remains elusive in the middle East. Details at 11.)
 
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Haffrung

Explorer
5e gamers - The new/returning ones driving the not-seen-since-the-80s-fad sales of D&D have zero appetite for learning a second RPG.
The casual newbies and the nostalgia crowd probably don't want to learn a new game. But the 5e market is bigger than just those two groups. It includes people who play multiple RPGs and aren't afraid of new systems. The tabletop gaming boom - of which D&D is just a part - has shown that there's a significant population of gamers out there who are fine with learning new games. The boardgaming hobby would collapse without the 10-20 new games a year crowd.

PF2 doesn't have to rival D&D to be a success. If it can keep 70 per cent of its existing fans, and spark the curiosity of 15 or 20 per cent of the groups playing 5E - gamers who have become disappointed by some of the warts of 5E or who like trying something new - that's enough to be a commercial success. I know three D&D groups among my acquaintances alone who have never played Pathfinder who are buying PF2. The D&D-like market is big enough for multiple commercially viable and professionally produced games.
 
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CapnZapp

Adventurer
If it can keep 70 per cent of its existing fans, and spark the curiosity of 15 or 20 per cent of the groups playing 5E -
If Paizo gains even 10% of 5E gamers I think it will be considered a smashing success.

Paizo doesn't even need any of its existing fans in that case...

(I think the 5E market is massively larger than the PF1 one)
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
I will have more on this later tonight, but I think player skill is going to have a dramatic impact on the length of the adventuring day. This is emphatically a game where you could hand two different players the same fighter and one could get a lot more out of them because of the in play decisions they make. Will have to see how this bears out in play.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
I’ve only DM’d 5e, so excuse my ignorance, :) ... Is the concept of an adventuring day new in that edition? Did PF1 have such a thing?
 

Saelorn

Explorer
I’ve only DM’d 5e, so excuse my ignorance, :) ... Is the concept of an adventuring day new in that edition? Did PF1 have such a thing?
Early editions of D&D didn't really have a concept of balance, as we understand the concept. Prior to 3E, you were expected to avoid fights, and your resources (spells) existed as a buffer in case you messed up.

Third edition was the first time that they spelled out how many fights they assumed you'd get through in the day (IIRC, it was around 4), but due to a combination of factors, that became untenable. It mostly ended up that you'd have one super-deadly encounter per day, and then you'd find a way to rest; that was the same model which PF1 used. If you tried to go for multiple hard combats in a day, then you'd run out of your best spells, which meant the enemy would explode you before you could explode them. Even if you were nominally supposed to have four encounters in a day, weak encounters didn't deplete your resources at all, which meant the super-deadly encounter was the only one that mattered (and thus the only one worth playing out).

Fifth edition, by contrast, really tries to limit how quickly you can spend your resources. With very few exceptions*, you can't cast two spells in a round, and combat is over before you can go through all of your slots. Weaker enemies can still hurt you, and you might still want to use spells to take care of them, which means those fights are worth running. That's what makes the long adventuring day practical in 5E.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
The *real* cause is how utterly trivial it's always been for the players to stop the adventuring day on their own terms.

That is, not having to conserve any more resources than they want to themselves.

Anything from simply leaving the dungeon to casting Teleport to safety.

Countermeasures mostly range in the hilariously inept category: such as the idea that wandering monsters would deter adventurers from depleting themselves ahead of time. Which is trivially easy to avoid (Rope Trick is just one suggestion), at least for veteran players.

As long as D&D doesn't dare to challenge players by strictly controlling the access to rest, the concepts of adventuring day, balance and challenge will remain illusions that does not fool those players that know how to get around the adventure's or DM's pacing.

Just about the only trick in the book that even works a little is the good old time pressure: "please hurry, the dragon will eat the kidnapped princess in three days". To this I say three things:

1) relying on the same old storytelling move gets old fast.
2) in 9 cases out of 10, it's a bluff, plain and simple. Most official modules featuring time pressure don't even bother detailing what happens if the heroes isn't on time - because the secret is they can never be late. The final encounter always finds the heroes arriving "just in time"...
3) this makes players jaded. What if they simply refuse to go on adventuring low on resources. There are, after all, always more adventure and more princesses. Not to mention the fact the dragon and it's loot stays put. And that in D&D you can always raise the princess back to life after killing the dragon easily (because you held off attacking until you were fully rested)

D&D is not only lax in upholding the game challenge, it is actively hostile to the idea - player characters are given loads and loads of abilities that allow them to evade having to keep adventuring when resources are low.

There needs to be real change before I'll take the concept of the adventuring day seriously.

Likely not 6th edition but maybe 7th... *sigh*
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
It's not just the adventuring day. A lot of anticlimactic roleplaying comes down to GM sentiment and unwillingness to pull the trigger. Player decisions should be consequential. If you make a threat you should be willing to make good on it. Countdown clocks can be helpful here. So can wandering monster checks in dungeons.
 

muppetmuppet

Explorer
People always go on about this resting problem. I tend to find it is ok in practice but maybe I run weird games.

Take my current campaign. I started with OOTA. While travelling through the under dark the one big encounter per day was pretty much the norm. When stopping off at one of the mini dungeons the whole dungeon was generally needed to be done at once so 3-5 encounters. And in other towns larger dungeons were found in some cases where more than one day might be needed to clear the whole.

So this made the adventuring day pretty varied which I felt made different characters more or less powerful in each case but on the whole it was pretty balanced and worked out fine.

Currently I am running an assault on Myth Nantir. Here the players could choose how many missions to attempt having been told that there was no long rest available (there was an army assaulting the place). They could use the mythal itself to heal between missions but that would drain the mythal.
We are now at the climatic battle with a demon lord attempting to use a portal to enter Myth Nantir now that the mythal has collapsed and the defenders almost overwhelmed.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I’ve only DM’d 5e, so excuse my ignorance, :) ... Is the concept of an adventuring day new in that edition? Did PF1 have such a thing?
It's as old as D&D, in a practical or de-facto sense. It's been explicit since, at the very least, 3e (of which PF1 is a clone, so yes, totally needs a prescribed 'adventuring day' to resource-balance classes vs eachother and encounters).

Any game with significant 'daily' resources (and that can be daily or just about any other time-based recharge limit) has introduced a factor that makes the quantity and difficulty of challenges faced in-between those recharges a significant factor to balancing said challenges against the capabilities of the PCs (that is, making them actually challenging). If the game also has classes and gives classes different mixes/versatility/power of such resources, then class balance also becomes dependent on that same prescribed pacing.


People always go on about this resting problem. I tend to find it is ok in practice but maybe I run weird games.
Nothing about the below sounds weird...
Take my current campaign. I started with OOTA. While travelling through the under dark the one big encounter per day was pretty much the norm. When stopping off at one of the mini dungeons the whole dungeon was generally needed to be done at once so 3-5 encounters. And in other towns larger dungeons were found in some cases where more than one day might be needed to clear the whole.
IIRC, the prescribed day-length in 3.x (and, I assume PF is no different) was to average around 4 encounters/day. So your campaign has some single-encounter days that favor daily-resource-heavy classes, and some 3-5 encounter days that are more or less balanced. In theory, longer days could favor at-will-heavy classes. So, that averages, overall, below the prescribed length. I don't think that's at all unusual.

If you were running 5e, which expects 6-8 encounter days, and 2-3 short rests, you'd be falling well short.
 

Jer

Explorer
If you were running 5e, which expects 6-8 encounter days, and 2-3 short rests, you'd be falling well short.
But - to be fair - what mostly seems to happen in practice after about 3rd level or so is that your daily players feel like their characters are awesome and your fighter players wonder why they're bothering to play something that isn't a caster. Which is why 5e sometimes feels so much like how we used to play D&D back when I was a kid, despite the loss of THAC0 and named saving throws and various other changes :)
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
But - to be fair - what mostly seems to happen in practice after about 3rd level or so is that your daily players feel like their characters are awesome and your fighter players wonder why they're bothering to play something that isn't a caster. Which is why 5e sometimes feels so much like how we used to play D&D back when I was a kid, despite the loss of THAC0 and named saving throws and various other changes :)
If players are feeling that, the casters are not being pushed hard enough: if they don't fear using spell slots, they need more challenge from the DM.
 

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