Rate Pathfinder 2E

Rate Pathfinder 2E

  • Excellent *****

    Votes: 20 33.3%
  • Good ****

    Votes: 11 18.3%
  • Average ***

    Votes: 20 33.3%
  • Poor **

    Votes: 8 13.3%
  • Terrible *

    Votes: 1 1.7%

  • Total voters
    60

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It's been out a while. Lots of us have had a chance to try it. So, what do you think? Rate, and (if you want) review!
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I'm still wrapping my brain around it. There are things I like a lot about it - the 3 action economy being foremost. I also like some of the things they've done with saves and critical success, success, failure, critical failures.
I'm not so keen on the game's overall increasing swingy-ness due to frequent critical hits, treadmill math between PC and monster advancements, and levels of proficiencies being applied universally (weapons, skills, and, somewhat egregiously, armor).

So, from my perspective, the things that are good are very good and the things that are bad are very bad. I don't know that I really have an overall rating yet.
 

kenada

Explorer
I rated it “Good”. I really like the system, but a few areas are kind of rough.
  • Massive Damage is broken. PCs become immune to it quickly, so it mostly just punishes low level characters for being unlucky.
  • Higher level monsters are exceptionally dangerous due to higher crit rates. This makes them more dangerous as bosses, but it means you probably shouldn’t ever use that as solos for moderate-treat encounters (see also: one-shotting 1st level PCs because of a lucky crit).
  • The math is tuned around a 40–60% success rate, which my players don’t like because it makes them feel incompetent.
  • Recall Knowledge just sucks. It needs to better handle monster families and categories of knowledge better. The above issue with success rates means it’s a crapshoot whether PCs know anything about a topic appropriate to their level/training.
  • Character creation is too clunky. I’m having to out together a worksheet to guide my players through creation, so it takes less time than it does now (and with less confusion).
With that said, it’s still my fantasy RPG of choice. It’s just a lot of fun to GM and make content for it.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Massive Damage is broken. PCs become immune to it quickly, so it mostly just punishes low level characters for being unlucky.
Someone said this in another thread (maybe even on another board?), and I don't think it's broken at all.

In fact, I believe it's working as intended.

Low-level D&D characters are simple creations, where you haven't yet formed a strong bond, quick to replace. High-level characters are.... the opposite. It takes great effort to quickly create one, and losing one can be devastating for party morale. I think the way massive damage fades into insignificance as you level up is deliberate. And good for the game.

As for its impact at low level... that's another issue. That other poster suggested it would be better to remove it entirely, and in the specific case of PF2 I can't disagree. That is because PF2 is plenty lethal as is. That is, the game doesn't need it the way 5E, say, needs it.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
i rated it average. I really enjoy the class mechanics and flavor, but the number stacking is a real turn off for me. I think PF2 with bounding accuracy would be a dynamite game.
I agree. I remain utterly clueless as to why Paizo completely missed the writing on the wall here (that 5E represents the way most people want to play) and created such a throw-back game to the pre-5E era.
 

Retreater

Adventurer
I agree. I remain utterly clueless as to why Paizo completely missed the writing on the wall here (that 5E represents the way most people want to play) and created such a throw-back game to the pre-5E era.
Without trying to derail the thread too much, I don't think bounded accuracy is the gold standard of game design. It's frankly boring, contributes to the feeling of "sameness" between levels, makes characters hit monsters most of the time, takes teeth out of the enemies, makes the game too easy, removes magic items and gear as a mechanical reward of play, etc.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I rated it “Good”. I really like the system, but a few areas are kind of rough.
  • Feats are noxious. They're set up for precisely the kind of cluttery decision points that change very little that I hated in 4th edition. The feat system's main selling point is for the publisher - since it allows you to shovel out dozens if not hundred new feats as crunch - but 99% of it is empty calories with a miniscule impact.
  • Same with magic items like consumable Talismans. I loathe the considerable effort you need to go through just to get a vanishingly small benefit.
  • Feats are a PITA in another measure. You can kiss the "winging" style of GM:ing goodbye, since the devs have reserved the right to gate almost any ability behind a feat. Be generous and you likely just invalidated someone's feat choice.
  • The lack of humanoid NPC stat blocks in the core Bestiary (guards, bandits, cultists...) was a huge mistake - it hasn't been a session where I didn't want to use predefined cutthroats, acolytes or ragers.
  • Paizo tilted the focus away from build mastery to play mastery too much. I don't mind the new combat system. My players complain their build choices (aka feat combinations) matter too little.
With that said, it’s still my current fantasy RPG of choice. It’s just a lot of fun to GM and experience adventures in it.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
i rated it average. I really enjoy the class mechanics and flavor, but the number stacking is a real turn off for me. I think PF2 with bounding accuracy would be a dynamite game.
And I am in the opposite camp. Bounded Accuracy is a huge turn-off as it implies there's a limit to the stuff you can do, and that limit is typically very low. As Rodney Thompson said, that means that to be more of a threat, monster just have to have more hit points, which for me is a huge negative.

Given the choice between a tough PF2 monster, where you rarely hit him unless you think up clever ways to do so, and the tough 5E monster, which is pretty much as easy to hit as anything else, but just requires you to grind away more hits, I'd definitely go with PF2.

PF2 models Bard shooting Smaug and countless similar legendary encounters. In 5E Bard needs to keep shooting arrows for a while, doing about as well as 2-3 generic archers could do as Smaug gets slowly whittled down. To me that is double-plus-unfun. If you want bounded accuracy, just play 5E. PF2 is for those of us who find bounded accuracy unrealistic (not a huge issue), not in genre (somewhat of an issue) and boring (a big issue).
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Without trying to derail the thread too much, I don't think bounded accuracy is the gold standard of game design. It's frankly boring, contributes to the feeling of "sameness" between levels, makes characters hit monsters most of the time, takes teeth out of the enemies, makes the game too easy, removes magic items and gear as a mechanical reward of play, etc.
You're free to dislike bounded accuracy but please don't ascribe design choices that has nothing to do it.

That is, the fact 5E characters hit more often than they miss is completely independent of the decision to implement bounded accuracy. That Monster Manual critters lack "teeth" especially at higher levels is completely unrelated to bounded accuracy. The decision to not require or even assume magic items also has nothing to do with bounded accuracy.

I can't help your boredom, but I can state that a game could definitely offer bounded accuracy and yet feature PF2-style attack rates (i.e. a baseline of ~50% instead of 75%), dangerous monsters with sleeves filled with tricks, and a greater assumption of magic items.

As proof, I give you... PF2 with level taken out of proficiency.

(Edit: The above answer goes for GrahamWills too)
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
You're free to dislike bounded accuracy but please don't ascribe design choices that has nothing to do it.
... I can state that a game could definitely offer bounded accuracy and yet feature PF2-style attack rates (i.e. a baseline of ~50% instead of 75%), dangerous monsters with sleeves filled with tricks, and a greater assumption of magic items.
Actually, you need to disagree with Rodney Thompson, not me. I'll quote him in full:

The basic premise behind the bounded accuracy system is simple: we make no assumptions on the DM's side of the game that the player's attack and spell accuracy, or their defenses, increase as a result of gaining levels. Instead, we represent the difference in characters of various levels primarily through their hit points, the amount of damage they deal, and the various new abilities they have gained. Characters can fight tougher monsters not because they can finally hit them, but because their damage is sufficient to take a significant chunk out of the monster's hit points; likewise, the character can now stand up to a few hits from that monster without being killed easily, thanks to the character's increased hit points.

PF2 attacks against a significantly stronger opponent are not ~50%, they are close to 0%. That's the difference that bounded accuracy makes. Bounded accuracy says that 10 goons are more use than a single hero. That's not the sort of hero I want to play.

Gandalf told the others to run away from the Balrog because they couldn't hurt it. That's the sort of world I want to play in -- one where only heroes can do heroic things. Not one where a hero is about the same as 2-10 regular guys.
 

kenada

Explorer
Low-level D&D characters are simple creations, where you haven't yet formed a strong bond, quick to replace. High-level characters are.... the opposite. It takes great effort to quickly create one, and losing one can be devastating for party morale. I think the way massive damage fades into insignificance as you level up is deliberate. And good for the game.
They become immune to it very quickly. Most PCs won’t have to worry by 3rd level (assuming a level+4 creature that does extreme damage).

The reason I call it broken is a level 3 creature like an ogre can one-shot 1st level PCs. According to the encounter building guidelines, that should be a moderate-threat encounter. Poor play or bad luck can force the party to pull back and rest after a moderate-threat encounter, but it shouldn’t result in PC deaths. That’s more of a severe-threat; hence why I say Massive Damage is broken (it breaks my tool for assessing encounter difficulty).
 

zztong

Explorer
I can agree with the sentiment that the system was working as intended and likely comes close to the balance the designers wanted. But of my two regular games: one didn't find it to be fun and the other didn't even want to try it. I rated it as "poor" because at those two tables it failed to capture the imagination of six different game masters, all of which have/had games set in Golarion.

I could go more in depth, but that's been recorded on this site already. PF2 is in our rear-view mirror.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
PF2 attacks against a significantly stronger opponent are not ~50%, they are close to 0%. That's the difference that bounded accuracy makes. Bounded accuracy says that 10 goons are more use than a single hero. That's not the sort of hero I want to play.

Gandalf told the others to run away from the Balrog because they couldn't hurt it. That's the sort of world I want to play in -- one where only heroes can do heroic things. Not one where a hero is about the same as 2-10 regular guys.
I understand some people, yourself included, like that style. In my experience, too high a rate of ineffectiveness is really frustrating, and not just with fantasy RPGs either. This is an area in which 5e really shines, in my opinion, particularly in contrast to 4e and, to a lesser extent, 3e. PF2 going a bit more 4e in this respect is definitely going to be a barrier in my really liking it.
 

dave2008

Hero
Without trying to derail the thread too much, I don't think bounded accuracy is the gold standard of game design. It's frankly boring, contributes to the feeling of "sameness" between levels, makes characters hit monsters most of the time, takes teeth out of the enemies, makes the game too easy, removes magic items and gear as a mechanical reward of play, etc.
Actually, I don't think any of that is necessarily the cause of bounded accuracy itself, it is more how it is implemented in D&D 5e that is the issue.
 

ikos

Villager
It is really a tough nut to crack. Hewing closer to the original would have retained some of PF1’s anachronistic charm. Yet, understandably, the exploitative nature of that first iterative just feels raunchy. Going further in the direction of 5e would have, for me, raised question relating to its need to exist. As is, I suspect the material is a bit “overproduced,” everything within its proper box, leaving it a bit sterile. It does not feel much like D&D or PF1. Even so, in one of my groups, at least, we will keep playing it, just to make certain there are no goodies we are just missing and in hopes further releases help.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Actually, you need to disagree with Rodney Thompson, not me.
Nonsense.

I was specifically refuting the claim that it was bounded accuracy, not design decision specific to 5E, that "makes characters hit monsters most of the time".

Take the MM. Now raise the AC of every monster by +5 across the board. Voilà - you've gone from 5E to PF2, at least for monsters your level.

You've gone from a game that "makes characters hit monsters most of the time" to a game that... doesn't. Which game offers bounded accuracy and which don't is separate. It is Rodney's design decisions that make you hit "most of the time". It is not an inherent quality of the bounded accuracy concept.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
The reason I call it broken is a level 3 creature like an ogre can one-shot 1st level PCs.
Even without Massive Damage level 1 heroes has always been at Death's door, even when fully healthy.



Besides, PF2 gives starting characters more hit points than ever before. A Wizard used to start out with 1d4 hp. Now a barbarian can start out with over 20! And it's not that you die at zero hp. You just go to Dying 1 (or 2). And Paizo hands out Hero Points like candy.

If anything, Massive Damage is needed to make level 1 characters fear the Stray Dogs and Giant Rats like they're supposed to!

Now get off my lawn. :)
 

kenada

Explorer
Even without Massive Damage level 1 heroes has always been at Death's door, even when fully healthy.



Besides, PF2 gives starting characters more hit points than ever before. A Wizard used to start out with 1d4 hp. Now a barbarian can start out with over 20! And it's not that you die at zero hp. You just go to Dying 1 (or 2). And Paizo hands out Hero Points like candy.

If anything, Massive Damage is needed to make level 1 characters fear the Stray Dogs and Giant Rats like they're supposed to!

Now get off my lawn. :)
I have no idea whether we agree or disagree. It’s fine that lower level PCs can die. I’m not arguing that. Death from Massive Damage happens when you take damage equal to or greater than twice your maximum hit points. When that happens, you just die. You don’t gain the dying condition. You don’t get to spend a hero point. You just die. It also affects mostly only 1st level characters.

It’s not clear why 1st level characters should be singled out for random death, especially since Pathfinder 2e is already a pretty dangerous system. Aside from the problem it causes for GMs (mentioned above), players (at least mine anyway) feel pretty deflated when they have literally no chance to do anything about it or to try to save their companion.
 

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