He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
You can still build bad characters in PF2. Ignoring bad character choices for the moment, you had way more choices in PF1/3E. You could build a dex or str fighter, archetype, and multiclass by level 2. All that has been silo'd in PF2 into a few path choices. Perhaps when the game has some age on it, and more class feat books come along, it wont seem so limited.But you had fewer choices because it was much easier to build a bad character.
Yes, they do. You can increase stats by both leveling and items. You dont have to have maxed stats to be successful as MAD in 3E/PF1. Self buff spells, items, etc.. You are not limited by what you set at level 1 and boost from there. Point is you can choose to invest as you go. The choices are not lock ins.Do they, though? I feel like MAD focuses don't work as much unless you are rolling dice for starting stats.
Dont mistake me, 5E has one of the most dissatisfying skill systems. I prefer 3E/PF1 because you can invest at any point in both stats and skill points. It makes leveling much more flexible in what you choose to invest in. 5E and PF2 are largely locked in at level 1 and you only follow the path from there. I dont see much difference in focusing on a few skills that synergize with your stats, and being good at a few skills because you chose the feats. Yes, I also know there are retraining rules for PF2.It's "samey" because having a skill doesn't really matter if you don't have the stats, or have the stats but don't have the skill. For something like 5E it was something I ran into early on and tried to fix myself because at the end of the day it makes everything homogenized: your skills don't matter because someone with the stats can be better than you for a long period of time. It was unsatisfying for my players and unsatisfying for me, and often drove them to focus on skills that complimented their stats because, well, that's the only way they can differentiate. What I like here is that having the skill is generally a big increase compared to having the stat: having a skill at level 1 is basically like having a 16 in that stat without a boost in it.
I dont see it. Choose the feat and play exactly the same, every time. What is worse is that many of the skill feats are so terrible in comparison with each other that the optimal choices are obvious. A major problem with feats in general in PF1 that was ported into PF2 skill feats. I do think they did a good job on class feats, however, they are too few to allow the differentiation that was available in PF1.I've never really found that a problem because I find that what drives non-samey play are feat options, not stats. But even then, I find that people can develop a tertiary stat that is useful and important, though it's much easier with Gradual Ability Boosts variant.