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PF2E PF2E like D&D 4e?

Lackofname

Explorer
Hi there. I was loitering on the internets and I saw an interesting post that said this:

I've seen a lot of reminiscing about DnD 4e and I would really encourage you to check out Pathfinder 2e. You'll notice a lot of similarities, but it also didn't forget its ttrpg and not just a tactics game. It feels really good to run and play
Can anyone confirm/deny this? If correct, can folks give some kind of idea how PF2e is like D&D 4e?

No matter what, please no 4e bashing. It's my favorite iteration of D&D and I pretty much left RPGs because of 5e. Even coming back to EN to ask is giving me a bit of anxiety, so I don't want another edition fight.
 

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One major trait of 4e was that everyone got things in the same way at the same pace. You all got 4 powers at 1st level, a utility at 2nd, an encounter at 3rd, etc.

In PF2, everyone gets class and race and skill feats at the same rate as any other PC.

In 4e, everyone's AC, saves, and attack bonuses advanced at the same pace as you leveled. A low level goblin could never hit a high level PC, even if that PC was naked and blind, because the math scaled automatically. It's very similar in PF2. Because the GM never has a reason to let you face a 'normal' goblin at high level, you get this odd situation where anybody you DO face at that level is just as powerful as you, and you never get a chance to actually feel powerful. Your numbers are going up, but the narrative effect of those numbers is minimal.

In 4e, there was a lot of sense of character choices being a bit fiddly and mechanically 'tuned' to be 'balanced' rather than being narratively exciting. Similarly in PF2, you get a lot of feats that are things like, "When you make a Lore check to earn income, you can't have a critical failure."

I love Pathfinder's setting, but the rules to me feel like they were designed by someone who didn't want anyone to do anything outside a narrow band of what they consider fair. The result is, well,

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dave2008

Legend
Hi there. I was loitering on the internets and I saw an interesting post that said this:



Can anyone confirm/deny this? If correct, can folks give some kind of idea how PF2e is like D&D 4e?

No matter what, please no 4e bashing. It's my favorite iteration of D&D and I pretty much left RPGs because of 5e. Even coming back to EN to ask is giving me a bit of anxiety, so I don't want another edition fight.
I'm not the best to answer this, but my understanding is there are similarities but the differences outweigh them.

However, why not continue playing 4e? There is still active 4e conversation here on EnWorld the are several big supporters who post frequently.
 

dave2008

Legend
One major trait of 4e was that everyone got things in the same way at the same pace. You all got 4 powers at 1st level, a utility at 2nd, an encounter at 3rd, etc.

In PF2, everyone gets class and race and skill feats at the same rate as any other PC.

In 4e, everyone's AC, saves, and attack bonuses advanced at the same pace as you leveled. A low level goblin could never hit a high level PC, even if that PC was naked and blind, because the math scaled automatically. It's very similar in PF2. Because the GM never has a reason to let you face a 'normal' goblin at high level, you get this odd situation where anybody you DO face at that level is just as powerful as you, and you never get a chance to actually feel powerful. Your numbers are going up, but the narrative effect of those numbers is minimal.

In 4e, there was a lot of sense of character choices being a bit fiddly and mechanically 'tuned' to be 'balanced' rather than being narratively exciting. Similarly in PF2, you get a lot of feats that are things like, "When you make a Lore check to earn income, you can't have a critical failure."

I love Pathfinder's setting, but the rules to me feel like they were designed by someone who didn't want anyone to do anything outside a narrow band of what they consider fair. The result is, well,

View attachment 122268
@Lackofname to follow up with this post I do know that death is a real and constant threat in PF2e compared to 4e. PF2e monsters by RAW are very dangerous and can wreck PCs. Some other differences:
  • PF2e has a 3 action economy which includes almost all actions except reactions.
  • crits/fumbles are +10/-10 around the to hit / save number
  • no elite or solo monsters
  • Most OAs are removed (except for the fighter)
Some similarities (in addition to what is noted above):
  • Tight math makes designing encounters consistent
  • monsters have levels like PCs
 

Lackofname

Explorer
However, why not continue playing 4e? There is still active 4e conversation here on EnWorld the are several big supporters who post frequently.
Because the only games that exist anywhere I look are 5e D&D or PF. Any ad for in person or online game I put out for anything else gets 0-2 replies.
 


Lackofname

Explorer
This is getting off topic. This thread's about Pathfinder 2e info. So far the answers there have been illuminating.

While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm not open to any other kind of assistance.
 
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There's a recent thread below where we're discussing that. I have a pretty in depth post comparing and contrasting 4e and PF2. I'll post a link to it here. Take a look and see if it answers your questions.

 

Lackofname

Explorer
There's a recent thread below where we're discussing that. I have a pretty in depth post comparing and contrasting 4e and PF2. I'll post a link to it here. Take a look and see if it answers your questions.
That's a great writeup, thanks.

Unfortunately nearly everything in the "Contrasts" section turns me off. One of my biggest attraction to 4e was on the DMing side. Monster statblocks were small, they had unique rules/powers, building encounters/statblocks/etc was formulaic but fast, encounter budgets, etc. This doesn't sound like that. Also more conditions is not what I want to hear.
 

willrali

Explorer
Pathfinder 2 is a lot more uneven and varied than 4e, with greater differences in power across classes. In 4e, everyone got a power that did, say, 1dX +y that moved an opponent n squares. The powers had different names but were essentially the same, which made it very easy to referee and plan for.

Abilities in pathfinder 2 are substantially and essentially different from one another. There are spells like Grease, Creation, Illusory Scene and Suggestion; utilities that can be used in unpredictable ways both in and out of combat.

While p2 is a much cleaner game than p1 (and is currently my game of choice), it won’t give you anything approaching the experience of 4e.
 

Lackofname

Explorer
Abilities in pathfinder 2 are substantially and essentially different from one another. There are spells like Grease, Creation, Illusory Scene and Suggestion; utilities that can be used in unpredictable ways both in and out of combat.
The above was generally one of the issues I had with 4e, that it didn't have enough in the way of non-combat abilities, etc.

Thanks.
 


GreyLord

Adventurer
From what I've experienced it at this point, it is the most like 4e of all the RPGs designed like it, and the most UNLIKE 4e.

On the surface it seems a lot like 4e in the general approach. The ideas seem to be there, but the execution of them seems to bring it to a place that is very different than 4e.

I'd say 13th age feels MORE like 4e than PF2e, though PF2e looks a lot more like 4e.

It's hard to explain.
 






dave2008

Legend
That's a great writeup, thanks.

Unfortunately nearly everything in the "Contrasts" section turns me off. One of my biggest attraction to 4e was on the DMing side. Monster statblocks were small, they had unique rules/powers, building encounters/statblocks/etc was formulaic but fast, encounter budgets, etc. This doesn't sound like that. Also more conditions is not what I want to hear.
In PF2e building encounters is formulaic as well (possibly even more accurate than 4e in this respect).
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Though seriously, Pathfinder 1e, 2e and D&D 5e all have the "rules as written" encounter building to be about xp budget for the level :p They do it differently in practice, but all of them frame it that way
 

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