Pathfinder 2E PF2: Second Attempt Post Mortem

Retreater

Legend
I don't know what her particular rank is at, but I watch my wife's rogue do that multiple times a fight literally every game. So your characterization of that is clearly incorrect and/or based on some set of assumptions not self-evident.

(And no, she doesn't have hot dice; if anything she runs to the contrary).
Let's look at a lowly, basic goblin. That's a DC 17 Acrobatics check to tumble through its space. So the iconic Merisiel (a 1st-level rogue) has +7 Acrobatics - a 50% chance. If she fails, that's the end of her action. Granted, at 3rd level, she has a +11 to Acrobatics, which is a 70% chance to tumble through the goblin's space. Sure, that's a pretty good chance.

But let's look at her at 5th level (+14 Acrobatics) vs. a grimstalker (5th level creature with a 25 Reflex DC). She has less than a 50% chance of tumbling through. She's just at a 50/50 chance versus a djinn (24 Reflex DC).

And if you're not facing opponents of your level or lower, the chances drop significantly.

(and I don't think invisible is a condition in and of itself).
Sure is, according to Archives of Nethys. :)

Our GM's just given us three up front at the start of a session normally, and I don't recall anything particularly untoward happening. I'm not sure I've ever seen someone need to use one to auto-stabilize.
Well, if you're getting three times the number of Hero Points at the start of every session, that might explain why you think Pathfinder 2E is fairly balanced. ;)
 

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Let's look at a lowly, basic goblin. That's a DC 17 Acrobatics check to tumble through its space. So the iconic Merisiel (a 1st-level rogue) has +7 Acrobatics - a 50% chance. If she fails, that's the end of her action. Granted, at 3rd level, she has a +11 to Acrobatics, which is a 70% chance to tumble through the goblin's space. Sure, that's a pretty good chance.

But let's look at her at 5th level (+14 Acrobatics) vs. a grimstalker (5th level creature with a 25 Reflex DC). She has less than a 50% chance of tumbling through. She's just at a 50/50 chance versus a djinn (24 Reflex DC).

And if you're not facing opponents of your level or lower, the chances drop significantly.

I went and looked; at level 14 she's got a +26; an adult red dragon has a +25 Reflex. So she's got a fifty-fifty there, and can try twice if she needs to and still get in a strike.

Sure is, according to Archives of Nethys. :)

Not in the sense the other four you mentioned are; it makes you undetected.

Well, if you're getting three times the number of Hero Points at the start of every session, that might explain why you think Pathfinder 2E is fairly balanced. ;)

We also don't get any more during the session, so if your games are lasting longer than three hours (ours normally run about six) you're actually giving out more. I also go a lot of sessions without using more than one.
 

Here's one attempt to boil down the problem with PF2:

They assume people need balance so badly they will put up with a shipload of restrictive detailed nonsense.

Ah yes, the restrictive straitjacket of COMBAT CLIMBER~! strikes again! :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

The game is written from the perspective of "if even one thing ends up slightly better than projected everything's a failure"

I don't think everything in the book is absolutely balanced, and I think a lot of the guides out there would say something similar: there are still "ideal" choices if you want to maximize everything, but the classes are balanced in such a way that you don't need to do this to be effective. Instead you're likely to have a fairly effective character unless you are actively trying to make a bad one.

So, any time you veer off the game's expected play style, you end up with a ship load of cruft but not the balance it was so painfully designed to uphold.

I mean, this is demonstrably not true? @kenada has told you this multiple times, but you never seem to listen to him. You can totally play PF2 in other ways and it functions just fine. The GM prep overhead will be different, but it doesn't break at all.
 

Retreater

Legend
We also don't get any more during the session, so if your games are lasting longer than three hours (ours normally run about six) you're actually giving out more. I also go a lot of sessions without using more than one.
Isn't the RAW Hero Points to give 1 per character at the start of the session, then 1 to a specific character (not ALL characters) per hour?
If that's the case, assuming you have a 4 member group, you're getting 12 Hero Points per session. In a 4 hour session you should get the initial 4 (one for each character) and 3 more for a total of 7 for the entire session, among the whole party. So close to twice the number of Hero Points, all available the whole time during a session.
I could've read the rule wrong, so let me know if I did.
 

Isn't the RAW Hero Points to give 1 per character at the start of the session, then 1 to a specific character (not ALL characters) per hour?
If that's the case, assuming you have a 4 member group, you're getting 12 Hero Points per session. In a 4 hour session you should get the initial 4 (one for each character) and 3 more for a total of 7 for the entire session, among the whole party. So close to twice the number of Hero Points, all available the whole time during a session.
I could've read the rule wrong, so let me know if I did.

I don't know myself, so I won't comment on it, but your math seems wrong. If we were getting 1 each at the start, and another five total amongst us (because six hours of play) we'd have nine, instead of 12, which is not a massive difference. As it turns out, we only start with 10 (because one of the four players only gets 1 for reasons complicated to go into, but suffice he has no issues with it), so we're only one up.

But again, note I've had a number of sessions where I didn't even use one.

(To be up-front, we're an abnormal PC group; because we're dealing with Age of Ashes, which is notorious for having some rough spots, the GM had us each be hybrids. That said, prior to this game we had a more limited run game where we only got up to 8th level where we were playing single-class characters, and most of what I've said in various places was just as true there, barring things specific to the higher levels we now are).

(As an aside, its been instructive seeing when being a hybrid mattered and when it didn't. The group consists of an Investigator/Witch, a Sorcerer/Oracle, a Redeemer/Bard (my character) and a Fighter/Rogue (my wife's character). On the whole, I tend to think its been most beneficial for my wife's character because of being able to take advantage of the steady-state synergies there, though its also true that the group rarely runs dry of magic (Its actually an unusual session where I use most of my bard slots, though that may have to do with my particular approach than anything intrinsic to the combination). The one thing that stands out though is we never lack for buffs, scrying or movement spells).
 

Retreater

Legend
I don't know myself, so I won't comment on it, but your math seems wrong. If we were getting 1 each at the start, and another five total amongst us (because six hours of play) we'd have nine, instead of 12, which is not a massive difference
Didn't know you were doing 6 hour sessions. My math was assuming a 4 hour game.
But now that you're saying "complicated reasons" about why a player gets a different amount of Hero Points and just the length of this tangential conversation illustrates the point of Hero Points being a "mini game" - which was the original point.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
RAW, you should give out one hero point per hour.

I hated dealing with hero points. The example triggers are too narrow. I just gave them out for doing cool things. Massive crit? Have a hero point. Entertained the group? Have a hero point. GM feels like someone ought to have a hero point? Have a hero point. GM forgot to give out hero points? Have a hero point, have a hero point, and everyone have a hero point. Bleh.
 

Didn't know you were doing 6 hour sessions. My math was assuming a 4 hour game.

I'd mentioned it in my post talking about Hero Points.

But now that you're saying "complicated reasons" about why a player gets a different amount of Hero Points and just the length of this tangential conversation illustrates the point of Hero Points being a "mini game" - which was the original point.

But it really isn't. The "complicated reason" is a social-dynamic issue that could have applied to other things, and once you set a process for awarding Hero Points its hardly a "mini-game"--its just a game process like how often you get rests or when spells recover, and I doubt most people would call those a "mini-game". You can make an argument about using that term for stealth the way it's handled, since there's a lot of back and forth, but it seems an odd term for, well, "The GM gives you Hero Points under this circumstance."
 

RAW, you should give out one hero point per hour.

I hated dealing with hero points. The example triggers are too narrow. I just gave them out for doing cool things. Massive crit? Have a hero point. Entertained the group? Have a hero point. GM feels like someone ought to have a hero point? Have a hero point. GM forgot to give out hero points? Have a hero point, have a hero point, and everyone have a hero point. Bleh.

And there's no overwhelming reason to do it in a more complicated way, any more than there is with Savage World Bennies; just set it at a level where your comfort lands and move on. The only reason to do it in a more complicated way is social engineering.
 

RAW, you should give out one hero point per hour.

I hated dealing with hero points. The example triggers are too narrow. I just gave them out for doing cool things. Massive crit? Have a hero point. Entertained the group? Have a hero point. GM feels like someone ought to have a hero point? Have a hero point. GM forgot to give out hero points? Have a hero point, have a hero point, and everyone have a hero point. Bleh.

Yeah, this is how I generally deal with any sort of party currency based on roleplaying. Doing cool naughty word gets you benefits because that's what we're here to do. I loved handing out Inspiration in the same way because why not?

Though I do like the new L5R giving Void Points when you fail something because of a character flaw. It's an interesting consolation prize.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Or, in some of our cases, don't consider it a problem. Having actual systems to deal with regularly done tasks is not a flaw from where I sit.
I am not criticizing Pathfinder 2 for providing "actual systems" to deal with regularly done task.

I am however repeatedly asking myself "did it really need to be this complicated and detailed?"

(And before you try saying "yes", no. Absolutely not. It definitely did not need to be this cluttery and fiddly.)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
RAW, you should give out one hero point per hour.

I hated dealing with hero points. The example triggers are too narrow. I just gave them out for doing cool things. Massive crit? Have a hero point. Entertained the group? Have a hero point. GM feels like someone ought to have a hero point? Have a hero point. GM forgot to give out hero points? Have a hero point, have a hero point, and everyone have a hero point. Bleh.
Yes, it is a good illustrative point of PF2s severely overengineered nature.

Can you ignore it? Yes. Simply give everyone more hero points at session's start and you're done. But why was it allowed to become so cludgey and overbearing in the first place?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Though I do like the new L5R giving Void Points when you fail something because of a character flaw. It's an interesting consolation prize.
That is absolutely the right idea. You definitely need to suffer your drawbacks to be given whatever metapoints you need to activate your strengths.

Western IV is another game that implements this correctly.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I don't think everything in the book is absolutely balanced, and I think a lot of the guides out there would say something similar: there are still "ideal" choices if you want to maximize everything, but the classes are balanced in such a way that you don't need to do this to be effective. Instead you're likely to have a fairly effective character unless you are actively trying to make a bad one.
I don't want to talk about individual trees. I want to talk about the forest.

I have never seen a game this heavy-footed. In nearly every single case, it chooses the most byzantine and complicated solution imaginable. Solutions that doesn't give better outcomes. They mostly just add a greater load to each player's burden of mental capacity required to play the game.

The game is severely overengineered with millions of fidgy little special rules. So why discuss or defend each one, when the truth is that very little of it is actually needed to achieve the (admirable) aim of balance.

It all mostly comes across as a way to fool people into discussing individual trees, and as a misdirection to avoid people realizing they are lost in a forest that didn't need to be there.
 

I don't want to talk about individual trees. I want to talk about the forest.

Uh, I am talking about the forest, you just don't seem to want to go any deeper than broad-brush generalizations because it doesn't help your argument. If we both are having a discussion about the forest and what kind of forest it is, eventually we are going to have to look at some trees.

I have never seen a game this heavy-footed. In nearly every single case, it chooses the most byzantine and complicated solution imaginable. Solutions that doesn't give better outcomes. They mostly just add a greater load to each player's burden of mental capacity required to play the game.

Uh, weren't you the guy who wanted to have many of the feats become skill checks? Because that's way more byzantine and heavy-footed; not only are you increasing the complexity of the system by giving players access to so much more, but adding in more rolls to it. The current system is fine; the amount of feats is balanced by the fact that you don't have to worry about most of them. You take what you want, and that ends up focusing you on something rather than being able to do everything. If you don't like crunch, I respect that, but it's a style preference rather than a systemic issue.

The game is severely overengineered with millions of fidgy little special rules. So why discuss or defend each one, when the truth is that very little of it is actually needed to achieve the (admirable) aim of balance.

I mean, not all of it is balance. I brought up specific examples that you brought up before because your argument was not one about overengineering, but more an argument against rules in general. I remember when you asked "Why can I only crawl 5 feet?" or "Why do I land prone if I take any damage on a fall?" These aren't in the name of balance, these are effects to give color to different tactics or situations.

The bigger problem with this argument is that the "balance" isn't really in the feats, it's in the overall class design. The structure of the classes are strong enough that the feats won't completely overpower anything, reducing the need for system mastery to create a viable character (or avoid falling into a trap build). The feats act to define how you focus that structure, whether with small differences (most general or ancestry feats) or larger differences (class feats).

It all mostly comes across as a way to fool people into discussing individual trees, and as a misdirection to avoid people realizing they are lost in a forest that didn't need to be there.

At a certain point, if you are going to discuss a topic you need to actually get into some level of specifics. You can't just vaguely gesture around at things forever; you need to start putting out evidence to support an argument. Again, we've had that discussion before and most of your complaints come off as frivolous, which is why I suspect you don't like getting into specifics.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I mean, this is demonstrably not true? @kenada has told you this multiple times, but you never seem to listen to him. You can totally play PF2 in other ways and it functions just fine. The GM prep overhead will be different, but it doesn't break at all.
Let's be honest here, the game was declared "broken" the moment that Paizo decided not to cater their design of PF2 around the Capn, which was way back in the playtest but somehow manages to infect nearly every PF2 thread on this forum.
 


Retreater

Legend
Let's be honest here, the game was declared "broken" the moment that Paizo decided not to cater their design of PF2 around the Capn, which was way back in the playtest but somehow manages to infect nearly every PF2 thread on this forum.
To be fair, it's not hard to keep up with every PF2 thread on this forum. There's only a handful, with probably 75% of them started by me. Haha.
Those posters who like discussing PF2 come into most of the threads as well (@Justice and Rule , @kenada to name a couple).
I do value his feedback as well as the rest of you, even if we have disagreements. I think it is demonstrative that we can all have different experiences with the game, because we're all in the hobby for different reasons. Yes, to certain perspectives it's overly complicated. That's fine for those of you who like that kind of game and can understand the little bits. For the rest of us, it's seeming like a "baby with the bathwater" moment.
Maybe it's time to give up on getting a system that can support the fiction of D&D and classic fantasy gaming with a more robust tactical element than 5e. Maybe Level Up will suit us better? Maybe we should look at going back to PF1?
But seems pretty clear that for some of us there's just no getting PF2 to where we want. And after some substantial time and financial investment (at least on my part), that's a shame. There's also the baked-in disappointment that it's from a company I used to support and now my interest in their products will be waning.
I'm some ways it feels like a breakup from a relationship where two partners want different things. Maybe that's why we see so much passion in these threads?
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
And there's no overwhelming reason to do it in a more complicated way, any more than there is with Savage World Bennies; just set it at a level where your comfort lands and move on. The only reason to do it in a more complicated way is social engineering.
The social engineering is what I miss. I prefer having a reward economy that nudges players towards the game’s themes and creative agenda. I want it to work like the fate point economy in Fate or the XP reward cycle in games like Blades in the Dark or Dungeon World. The way hero points in PF2 (and inspiration in 5e) work feels like rewarding players for doing something they were going to do anyway.
 

To be fair, it's not hard to keep up with every PF2 thread on this forum. There's only a handful, with probably 75% of them started by me. Haha.
Those posters who like discussing PF2 come into most of the threads as well (@Justice and Rule , @kenada to name a couple).

I can't comment on how it was previously, but too often do I feel like something I might post here I just don't because the traffic is generally lower. I feel like the game is similar enough that it probably should just combine with the D&D forum for a general d20 forum. But I'm not a mod and I'm not the guy who would have to do the work, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Maybe it's time to give up on getting a system that can support the fiction of D&D and classic fantasy gaming with a more robust tactical element than 5e. Maybe Level Up will suit us better? Maybe we should look at going back to PF1?

But seems pretty clear that for some of us there's just no getting PF2 to where we want. And after some substantial time and financial investment (at least on my part), that's a shame. There's also the baked-in disappointment that it's from a company I used to support and now my interest in their products will be waning.
I'm some ways it feels like a breakup from a relationship where two partners want different things. Maybe that's why we see so much passion in these threads?

Did I suggest to you Spheres of Power and Might? You might want to look into it.
 

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