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PF2E PF2E like D&D 4e?

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Note: this is a theoretical construct created to make an extreme argument.

I would say that in practice, you would very very rarely see more than twenty opponents, and they would easily have 20 hit points each, Speed 25 and a weak ranged attack.

Besides, Fireball isn't the answer to this kind of situation. Spirit Guardians is.
Eh, I take it you haven't seen certain scene in curse of strahd :D
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
What I'm referring is the formula from Dungeon Master's Guide where encounter difficulty is determined by total exp of the encounter, but if there are multiple enemies then the exp amount for sake of difficulty is multiplied. So if there are 15 or more monsters, you multiply total exp of those 15 enemies by 4. So in theory twig blight, a CR 1/8 enemy, would be 25 * 15 * 4 xp so 1500 xp which would be deadly encounter for 3 4th level characters... But in practice though, twig blights are slow and easy to avoid so uh.... Yeah.

Thats what I meant, even if you have hundreds of them, if pcs are high enough level they are really easy to defeat before they ever get in range of attacking pcs.

Same way, Pathfinder 1e and Starfinder has option of "If you want to simple encounter cr without counting exp budget, you can just have multiple of same CR creature and use this table to determine cr". Table where 16 creatures is "creature's cr plus 8" which in case of stuff like... Well 16 level 1 goblins aren't really "moderate" challenge to level 8 party anymore.

Or if you want to use full encouter building rules, then by raw, if you have enough mites to give 2,457,600 xp to each of 4 party members, it would be CR 30 encounter. Even though at high enough levels, no amount of mites is going to kill players even if they get lucky with few nat 20s.

Sorry if that still doesn't make sense? I'm not native speaker, but I really should practice my english grammar. It has kinda gotten rusty since I spend too much time in chats :p But what I'm trying to say "by RAW, the encounter building math in D&D 5e, Pathfinder 1e and Starfinder are kinda nonsensical since they assume that enough large number of trivial difficulty creatures is enough to make CR 8 encounter as if the difficulty was same as single CR 8 creature."
I guess your argument can be boiled down to "a creature a given number of levels lower than the party should yield zero xp, as opposed to some low number than, if multiplied enough, still becomes lots of xp".

Not coincidentally, you gain exactly zero XP from a creature five levels below yourself in PF2.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Paizo asked 4e's lead dev to help design 2nd edition Pathfinder and liked his contributions so much they put him in overall charge of the edition. PF2e is much better about "protecting players from themselves" in much the same way 4th edition D&D did, for example by eliminating complexities like free-form multiclassing and ensuring the choices offered by various classes (say, feat lists) are carefully curated to avoid overwhelming the player. PF2e is NOT by any stretch of the imagination identical to 4th edition D&D but it can meaningfully be described as a 3e/4e hybrid.

My main gaming group left D&D for Pathfinder because we disliked the protecting-players-from-themselves 4e ethos, and ironically ended up returning to 5e when Paizo chose to put its creator in charge of PF2e. But if you're a fan of 4e while still appreciating to some degree the editions that came before it, then PF2e might be a great fit for you.
Yep, that just about sums up every grievance I have with PF2.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
On sidenote, I kinda find idea of multiclassing being changed about "protecting players from bad builds" weird when its obviously more about balancing the game. Because multiclassing is one of things that makes any edition with it kinda impossible to balance because taking synergy and exponential power increase in account in the system is pretty impossible if you keep releasing new content :p It will always eventually lead to stuff like "i have 19 in one class and one level in class that gives me bonus that makes my main build much more powerful!" and other silly stuff.
Remember that the other side of the "impossible to make a bad character" coin is "impossible to make an awesome character".
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Remember that the other side of the "impossible to make a bad character" coin is "impossible to make an awesome character".
Eh, my personal experience with that is replace awesome with "broken or invincible to standard enemies".

Like I admit, I like mooks actually being good at their intended role in 2e :D Its kinda hard to feel awesome when you wash the floor with all enemies in every room.
 

dave2008

Legend
Sooo yeah, I was right about that previous post being "Oh, there were couple person working on same project, so let's shame them because I didn't like the other project despite not having context of what exactly they did in the other project or for how long they had been working at paizo before the 2e"?
Not sure what circles you travel in, but no one has been shaming them on these forums that I know of.
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Not sure what circles you travel in, but no one has been shaming them on these forums that I know of.
Hmm, I do admit that I could have been projecting my foul mood(having better mood now, but few hours ago I just woke up and I'm groggy in mornings) there since its easy to misunderstand the tone in Internet. Still though, I've seen people here in Enworld being like "That designer worked in 4e, so they are trash" in the past.
 

dave2008

Legend
I've seen people here in Enworld being like "That designer worked in 4e, so they are trash" in the past.
There are still some people who despise 4e, though I haven't really heard that travel with the designers (but maybe I've missed it). Also, with time there seems to be a lot more acceptance of 4e on these forums, IMO. You still have some haters, but there is more praise and acceptance than hate now.
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Thats true yeah, since 4e isn't anymore the "current" D&D edition, its been actually been gaining some fans. Like in one chat I saw one gm switch to 4e from 5e because they though tactical combat was better in 4e.
 

jsaving

Adventurer
I don't care for 4e all that much and apologize if that came through a bit. But I would say its devs did a great job implementing their vision for a simpler, less history-dependent, more battlemat-oriented, and more-friendly-to-new-players edition of the game. I can easily see people who like 4e's tactical approach going back to that edition of the game.
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
I do kinda wonder whether 4e fans would like PFS 2e or not, but probably more when compared to 5e yeah. 5e does still allow for battlemats and such, though I do get feeling that the books kinda treat theater of the mind as default even though campaigns still have maps
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
4E’s biggest strength is tactical combat that strongly encourages players to cooperate. Having played in (and currently playing) multiple 4E and non-4E campaigns, no other system really comes come close to it. Players will regularly discuss their planned feats and powers at next levels to make sure the group will work together. Conversations like “I’m planning to train out of the dazing bursts power — will that be ok for you?” / “uh, ok, I can look at picking up the rapier feat to get CA when necessary. Not quite as good though” are normal. People wait in combat for a friend to set up attacks, choose items to synerigize (stones, tattoos!), and there are even builds who just empower others (lazylords).

You don’t get that in other D&D games. You get it a little (I am playing in PF2 and 13A campaigns also), but it’s not a core feature. For me, this is why I think 4E is a great system — it does something well that no other system does. However, if you don’t like detailed tactics, combat, it’s a huge bust for you!

PF2 is not going to give you the same core 4E experience, but it leans in that direction. 5E is a ‘universal’ D&D — it does nothing particularly well, but also does nothing badly and is an excellent system for the average player who isn’t big into tactical combat, story-modifying narrative, or simulation. If you take 5E as the midpoint — the system that will just plain work for most people, PF2 is a step in the direction of more interesting tactical combat. if you like that sort of thing, it’ll be good for you. If you instead want more story and narrative mechanisms, I’d step towards 13th Age. If you want a more detailed simulationist system, I’m not sure what to recommend — not many new games are stressing that. Probably home-brewing is your best bet?

so, in summary, PF2 does not feel like 4E, either in play or in character building. But it does lean towards the fun of tactical combat, so it at least has similar goals, just not as taken to the extreme!
 

FrozenNorth

Adventurer
I also enjoyed 4e, so to make the comparison meaningful, what is it you enjoyed about 4e, and I and the other posters can respond how well Pathfinder 2 addresses that itch.

For instance, one thing I loved about 4e was how transparent the math was. This made it extremely easy to mod or re-fluff classes.

If a player came to me saying he wanted to play a sentient ball of flame, I could makeup a custom class pretty quickly simply by borrowing or reflavouring existing powers.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The math of PF2 is much stricter and tighter than any other version of D&D (AD&D, d20, 5E) with the possible exception of 4E.

4E and PF2 does not play at all the same. Most importantly, PF2 combat feels much more like d20 or 5E combat than 4E combat.

Yet, I see clear similarities in design approach, especially in the areas I like the least about PF2:

* both games swim in an ocean of "feats" (or powers or whatever you want to call them). This locks down both games, since you are not encouraged to improvise or "say yes", you're encouraged to "take 16 levels of Barbarian" (or whatever prerequisite). It also represents a huge opportunity for the publisher to veritably SPAM the marketplace with gazillions of little tiny variations of essentially the same thing.
This does NOT mean I see any resemblance to the AEDU structure. Character abilities work much more like "normal" (where 4E is the odd duck out)

* PF2 offers much less character customization power than d20 or 5E. (Note I'm speaking about the actual power, or impact, of your build choices!) That might surprise those blinded by the sheer deluge of choices at every level. But I consider the wealth of choices here to be a smokescreen. That is, you're given a lot of choices, but each one ultimately doesn't change much. Worse, they don't matter much even taken as a whole. Essentially, you're given a very limited freedom to change the smallest things at the end, but nothing fundamental. Example: as a fighter you can pick a feat that lets you make a strike against both the monster in front of you and the monster behind you. But when you realize the other feats let you strike two characters standing beside each other, or give you a reduced power attack against a single monster, and so on, and so forth, you realize the devs all along wanted to give you an extra attack. But you don't just get the extra attack! You get it doled out as incrementally as anyone possibly could. The choice you get isn't to get the extra attack or to become awesome in some other respect - you only get to choose which specific configuration your extra attack can be used for. This is what I mean by "the smallest thing at the end", as opposed to "can I get better AC or higher Saves instead of Extra Attack" or something (that both d20 and 5E easily offers). Meanwhile, juicy stuff such as a second damage die comes "free" as soon as you loot a given monster (either for the Striking weapon or enough gold to buy one). The GMG allows you to make that bonus built in, but not as a choice where you could instead gain a significantly larger defense or many more hit points or whatever. And it's not that you could pick up a different magic item with your 100 gold that granted you those things. Nope - once you select your class at first level, your abilities are pretty much locked in, all the way up to level 20. You will get an extra attack exactly at this level. You will get Evasion or similar at that level. Your AC increases in exact lockstep, and so does each of your saves, with zero customization. You will get bonus damage dice at these levels (all you can do is change it up as minimally as possible, if you use the default system where damage dice - for some inexplicable reason, most likely because playtesters cried out like babies - are external to your character; perhaps getting it a level early or a level late). While I do appreciate balance, this is going way WAY too far for my liking.

* both games feature as restricted and narrowed-down magic items as the publisher possibly can. You don't get anything more than what the devs consider the minimum. Items are restricted in multiple ways - only specific character builds can use them, you need to remember specific restrictions unique to each item, and you can't simply use them at will, you must nearly always keep track of daily uses or similar. And then there's Talismans, who fill me with unholy rage.
(reposted from other thread)
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I did not like 4E. PF2 feels nothing like 4E to me. I was here for the edition wars of 4E. I left for PF when those wars happened. I tried 4E and I tried to like it. I hated it. I don't see the comparison to 4E myself. Tight math didn't do much to make 4E challenging at all levels. My players housed that game by level 5 or so. There were clearly better at will, encounter, and daily powers in 4E that allowed players to shift the game heavily in their favor. My players found those powers and class combinations fairly quickly and did what they do: make the most powerful character they can. AoE at will powers destroyed 1 hit point minions. Minions were to terrible. Baloon monsters like someone blew up a baloon and animated it as a monster only to be popped by a pin. If PF2 had baloon monsters, I wouldn't be playing it. So many terrible ideas in 4E.
 


Celtavian

Dragon Lord
So many great ones too.
What did you like in 4E? I think one of the few things I thought wasn't too bad was skill challenges. They tried to make skills more interesting than 3E or previous editions. It wasn't terrible.

But powers didn't feel like fighting styles. I much prefer feats or abilities that make something feel like a fighting style or maneuver than like a power.
 


dave2008

Legend
What did you like in 4E? I think one of the few things I thought wasn't too bad was skill challenges. They tried to make skills more interesting than 3E or previous editions. It wasn't terrible.

But powers didn't feel like fighting styles. I much prefer feats or abilities that make something feel like a fighting style or maneuver than like a power.
What I liked about 4e:
  • swarms, minion, standard, elite, & solo monsters: giving monsters depth of challenge at each level.
  • monster roles
  • easy to make killer encounters and not worry if the players could take it.
  • powers in general (exploits, tricks, spells, prayer, etc.) and "basic" attacks (we are looking at adding them to our 5e game)
  • AEDU structure and then the options to not use that structure too (Essentials line)
  • spells by character level
  • stances
  • healing surges (which we expanded and called heroic surges - great concept, just need to be pushed further, we use these in our 5e game)
  • skill challenges (I like the concept, but the explanation & execution needed work, we still use these)
  • action economy (though I prefer some aspects of 5e & PF2e now)
  • character paths (epic destinies, etc.)
 

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