Rate Pathfinder 2E

Rate Pathfinder 2E

  • Excellent *****

    Votes: 21 33.3%
  • Good ****

    Votes: 13 20.6%
  • Average ***

    Votes: 20 31.7%
  • Poor **

    Votes: 8 12.7%
  • Terrible *

    Votes: 1 1.6%

  • Total voters
    63

GrahamWills

Adventurer
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".
since I didn’t state what you are quoting, i think you have just made a simple comprehension error. You gave a response to someone else, and then said it applied to my comment, whereas based in your result, it doesn’t. no worries.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
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.
I agree to everything. Except the notion massive damage is "broken". It is clearly working as intended.

Does that mean I think it's necessary or that you're bad for wanting to dismiss it? Not at all. Does that mean I think it is wise to have a level+2 enemy in a quick intro adventure (I believe Paizo released a free 4-hour scenario featuring a L3 Ogre)? No, I think it is a mistake to expose potential customers to random loss like that. As the first stage of an adventure path, sure. As a one-off especially made to lure in newbs? Daft.

The grognard in me made the argument it's needed for level 1 characters to suddenly die at all, but hopefully you saw the smiley. As a PF2 GM I definitely don't need no extra help in killing of my characters :)

As for "it's not clear", I believe it is very clear. It's there because the game has had a massive death rule way back. So, yes, it's a vestigial system.

Instead, I believe it's there because Paizo concluded they would get more flak if they removed it than if they left it there. Remember - if it wasn't there, people would have made complaints based on their own fanciful version of the rule, rather than what Paizo actually ended up putting in the book.

Since you're the only one complaining about having it AFAIK, I think Paizo made the right call ;)

Most people will just shrug, especially since as you say it ceases to be an issue already at level 2-3.
 

kenada

Explorer
I agree to everything. Except the notion massive damage is "broken". It is clearly working as intended.

Does that mean I think it's necessary or that you're bad for wanting to dismiss it? Not at all. Does that mean I think it is wise to have a level+2 enemy in a quick intro adventure (I believe Paizo released a free 4-hour scenario featuring a L3 Ogre)? No, I think it is a mistake to expose potential customers to random loss like that. As the first stage of an adventure path, sure. As a one-off especially made to lure in newbs? Daft.

The grognard in me made the argument it's needed for level 1 characters to suddenly die at all, but hopefully you saw the smiley. As a PF2 GM I definitely don't need no extra help in killing of my characters :)

As for "it's not clear", I believe it is very clear. It's there because the game has had a massive death rule way back. So, yes, it's a vestigial system.

Instead, I believe it's there because Paizo concluded they would get more flak if they removed it than if they left it there. Remember - if it wasn't there, people would have made complaints based on their own fanciful version of the rule, rather than what Paizo actually ended up putting in the book.

Since you're the only one complaining about having it AFAIK, I think Paizo made the right call ;)

Most people will just shrug, especially since as you say it ceases to be an issue already at level 2-3.
Thanks for the clarification. Given the problems the massive damage rules had in PF1, I’m not sure they’d have been missed if Paizo omitted them in PF2. But to your point, if they bother me, I can just ignore them, since they’re effectively vestigial anyway. :)
 

Rhianni32

Explorer
I rated as Excellent (*)

I gave my initial thoughts in the actual GM experience thread after 1 session. The following are my updated thoughts as a GM after 5 sessions and a lot of metagaming and feedback talk with my players.

3 Action Economy: Paradoxically, this system feels more storytelling vs mechanic gaming. Which is crazy because at first look with all the traits it seems like a hassle to learn. but it actually flows very smoothly.
D&D 5ed: I unarmed attack and then I want to shove, wait that's 2 standards ok so I draw my weapon as part of my standard, oh no wait I already used my free interact when I sheathed my bow during my move so I guess this is a bonus action...
PF2: I draw my sword, stride, and strike. I rage and then strike twice.
it took some getting used to but its flowing with the players better than years of 5ed did.

Monster Creation: The playtest of the monster creation rules is so refreshing. I really hate monster systems where you have to build the monster from scratch starting with base stats and then using point buy or adding on levels that in the end is way too overpowered or underpowered for a group and you start over. Look I have a group of 3rd level PCs just giving me something close to what would be a challenge and I'll adjust for flavor.

Monster Adjustment and Encounter building: Another problem I had at first was the tight level range of monsters vs PC. +1 was tough, +2 was getting dangerous. I thought this was going to give less utility for monsters. However, again paradoxically, the rules are giving me more storytelling freedom.

In most rules you have your monster manual with baddies to fight and its up to you to figure out how to tone down or improve them to suit your party.
In PF2 though we have "weak" and "elite" levels adjustments. The players will never know or care that they fought a weak orc warchief vs an authentic one. Yet if I did go RAW with its statblock it would have been a tough fight and also a solo fight so the orc horde feel is missed. -1 level isn't giving me a lot to work with encounter building wise but it helps.

Rule support: Possibly unpopular opinion but I liked having splat books in D&D 3.0. In 5ed we have PHB, XGE and that's about it for 5 years now. The 3rd party products on DMGuild have filled in the holes but it can be hard to find good quality that I would want to use.

More than just combat: Almost every edition of D&D is "here is some combat! oh and some skills and things to do while resting for you next combat". 4ed skill challenges tried giving the appearance they care about non combat stuff but then they abandoned it. A lot of other games are like this too so I don't want to just pick on D&D.
I'm happy with how the PF2 exploration and downtime framework is shaping up. In looking at what they did in PF1 there is a lot more coming.

(*) Disclaimer: I've only GMed 1st - 3rd level PCs. I've played enough rulesets to know that sometimes rules fall apart at later levels and this could drop my view of PF2. I don't think that will happen but am open to that possibility that in a month from now I will hate the rules.
/StaresColdlyatMERP
 

neostrider

Villager
I liked the crunch meet fluff system of 3.P. I understand the complaints about the number of options, but the open websites provided me plenty of ways to search for thematic options.

Pf2 followed the same trend that kept my groups away from 5e for such a long time. My decisions as a player mattered so little in actual effect that eventually I remember I'm in a house with a friend telling me the dice do or don't allow me to do a thing.

Recommended DCs based on my level and adjusted by my level is just flatly asking that I roll a good number on my dice. The reduced number of modifiers to rolls only reinforces the players hunger for those tiny +1 bonuses. In all my years of 3.P I never had a player say that it was dumb that a wizard couldn't hit an enemy or the fighter can guarantee a hit.

I like the three action economy in place of full round actions. I disaprove that some actions became a full action on par with an attack or move.

Mostly I don't like core system doesn't have room for player imagination. In pf1 a +1 or +2 bonus for a well described plan or narrative perk was a small deal. In pf2 if I describe a heroic effort and the GM awards a +1 bonus that's a huge mod on par with a whole level or feat, and at the same time is probably useless because even if I was the world's best musician at level 20, an 8 on the die is still supposed to be not good enough.
 
Recommended DCs based on my level and adjusted by my level is just flatly asking that I roll a good number on my dice. The reduced number of modifiers to rolls only reinforces the players hunger for those tiny +1 bonuses. In all my years of 3.P I never had a player say that it was dumb that a wizard couldn't hit an enemy or the fighter can guarantee a hit.
So this part isn't true. DCs are not based on your level they are based on the level of the challenge. So if climbing a cliff is a Level 10 challenge the DC is the same whether you are level 1 or level 20. Now with the way the math works a level 10 cliff is going to take someone Level 6 or up to be able to really climb it, but the DC of the cliff doesn't change because your level does.
 

Rhianni32

Explorer
if I was the world's best musician at level 20, an 8 on the die is still supposed to be not good enough.
At lvl 20 you are going to be peforming for Odin or Zeus so yeah an 8 may not cut it.
If you are sitting in a tavern trying to impress some farmers maybe have the GM let you do a simple check vs level required check?
 

Zaukrie

Adventurer
At lvl 20 you are going to be peforming for Odin or Zeus so yeah an 8 may not cut it.
If you are sitting in a tavern trying to impress some farmers maybe have the GM let you do a simple check vs level required check?
Pretty sure most GMs would let a lvl 20 bard auto succeed in trying to impress a small village. That's story, not something that needs a roll.
 

kenada

Explorer
So this part isn't true. DCs are not based on your level they are based on the level of the challenge. So if climbing a cliff is a Level 10 challenge the DC is the same whether you are level 1 or level 20. Now with the way the math works a level 10 cliff is going to take someone Level 6 or up to be able to really climb it, but the DC of the cliff doesn't change because your level does.
That’s how things worked in the playtest. In the final release, the GM would typically use the simple DC table, which is based on proficiency. Such a cliff might be a hard DC for an expert, which is a DC 22. It’s still independent of PC level, but it’s easier to use than the task-level system in the playtest.
 
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Saelorn

Adventurer
So this part isn't true. DCs are not based on your level they are based on the level of the challenge. So if climbing a cliff is a Level 10 challenge the DC is the same whether you are level 1 or level 20. Now with the way the math works a level 10 cliff is going to take someone Level 6 or up to be able to really climb it, but the DC of the cliff doesn't change because your level does.
If 4E is any indication, the book would need to go to extreme efforts to remind everyone that high-level heroes should be encountering low-level obstacles. Because 4E didn't spend enough effort in conveying that idea, and everyone ended up running as though the DCs scaled automatically.
 
That’s how things worked in the playtest. In the final release, the GM would typically use the simple DC table, which is based on proficiency. Such a cliff might be a hard DC for an expert, which is a DC 22. It’s still independent of PC level, but it’s easier to use than the task-level system in the playtest.
But there is still a DC by Level chart that can be used as described see pg 503. Either way the difficulty of the wall is what matters not the level of the character trying to climb it.
 
I gave it an "Average." The stacking modifiers were my biggest gripe with 3.X and PF, and it was a bummer to see that they had been carried forward. I've always liked the campaign setting and the flavor, though.
 

BryonD

Adventurer
If 4E is any indication, the book would need to go to extreme efforts to remind everyone that high-level heroes should be encountering low-level obstacles. Because 4E didn't spend enough effort in conveying that idea, and everyone ended up running as though the DCs scaled automatically.
The 4E DMG, page 42 provides an example. The example involves a rogue; an ogre; a chandelier; and a brazier. It then shows how to determine the DC. That procedure ignores: being a rogue; the ogre; the chandelier; and the brazier. The example asks "what level is the character?". That is the start and end of how to do it per the example.

The phrase "didn't spend enough effort in conveying that idea" should be preempted by the statement "4E should have first not said to do exactly that and THEN it should have spent more effort conveying the opposite".

PF2E has nothing which compares to this. It hasn't set itself as one thing and thus has no need to go to any extremes to counter that starting position.
 
I ranked it excellent, though I have some caveats to that.

Pros:
1. 3 action economy grows on you and feels very natural
2. Combat works great with TotM play
3. it is super GM friendly
4. I like the DM mechanic and the easy way things scale
5. Lots and lots of minor revisions and tweaks in design that make it a more unified experience
6. the 10 over/under crit success/fumble mechanic is almost as much a game changer as 5E's advantage/disadvantage, and it is a great new rule
7. the game plays and feels deadlier and more high stakes overall (with a couple issues)
8. Skill mechanics are easier to adjudicate
9. the proficiency mechanic is an excellent unifying system
10. I have grown to like how ancestries work

Cons:
1. Ancestries are still overly complex, so you can't get quick PC writeups for new races in the Bestiaries like they used to
2. The rules for designing NPCs and monsters should have been in the Bestiary
3. Lots of typos and errata
4. Many things I as GM LOVE my players gripe about; they still seem obsessed with playing it, which is great, but describe the game as "GM friendly, player neutral," which I believe means "The game makes your life easier and more interesting, but seems to shackle us a lot in ways that chafe."
5. Skill feats are annoying levels of granularity that should be rolled into skills and frankly serve nothing other than to clutter up the game.
6. There are lots of interesting little mechanics which you have to check five spots in the rulebook to get the full picture on...things which look subtle but can have a big impact. Examples: "uncommon" designations for items and spells and how they interact with class advancement; what a PC can learn about magic items and how; functions of many skills that it turns out only work a certain way with specific feats; sticking runes on things, etc. etc.
7. The game's tendency to be high stakes and deadly is offset by ridiculously permissive treat wounds skill checks.

Beyond that.....my groups have been playing Pathfinder non-stop weekly since it came out and it looks like we're all in it for the long haul.
 
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.
It is possible they realize they can't compete with 5E in that market, and are trying for the slightly smaller market of people like me who want a system with a bit more teeth to it, but which still is designed for ease of access. I'm loving Pathfinder precisely because it's closer to my preferred playstyle than 5E is, though with the caveat that the main differences between the systems are (to me) really small, and mostly about "threat and risk" level. 5E is, to paraphrase my players, more about epic superheroes, and Pathfinder is a tiny bit more old school where dying is still a realistic possibility and resource management is important.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
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.
We know. You've made that abundantly clear, over and over again, in so very many threads. You wanted them to made Advanced 5E. They made Pathfinder 2E. We know.
 
Pretty sure most GMs would let a lvl 20 bard auto succeed in trying to impress a small village. That's story, not something that needs a roll.
This here is pretty key. In PF2E it's pretty clear that most threats which are above or below 4 CRs from the PCs will either be trivial or deadly. If trivial....let the players tell you how they solve the issue. If deadly, let the players know they are about to die and should consider plan B.
 

Markh3rd

Explorer
I gave it Average.

Likes:
The lore and the world.
Their adventures.
The action economy.
The inclusion of backgrounds.
The exploration and downtime elements.

Dislikes:
The small bonus tracking, including one and done magic items.
Inflation of math. "Let's see, 23+18-2 but +1 is....." (This slows down the game.)
Ancestry features being gated.
Feats feeling like small incremental changes.
Classes feeling like some path choices are narrow.
The fact that there exists the potential for a natural 1 to still succeed or a natural 20 to still fail.

Overall I'm not as excited for the game as I wanted to be. I will revisit it later maybe after some additional material comes out.
 

neostrider

Villager
That’s how things worked in the playtest. In the final release, the GM would typically use the simple DC table, which is based on proficiency. Such a cliff might be a hard DC for an expert, which is a DC 22. It’s still independent of PC level, but it’s easier to use than the task-level system in the playtest.
The book has a simple method where a gm thinks a level of training is recommended to succeed (table 10-4) or a DC by level of challenge (10-5), which I suspect 95% of GMs will follow flatly and present a level X party with Level X skill challenges. My society Gm did.

I prefer a system where a flat brick wall has DC Z and always will be. The GM/ adventure wouldn't even need to think about training, character level, or adventure level. If a character improvised and decides to climb a nearby tree, the complexity of the tree shouldn't be based on the level of the adventure imo.

This also rewards characters who make decisions that increase their numbers above and beyond what they get for free. Skill Focus was for players who wanted to be the best there ever was. Skill feats feel like a soft way of doing that, by locking possible outcomes behind powers. Boots of Amazing Athletics +100 doesn't let you "climb swiftly": it helps you succeed on any check; Quick Climb is the skill feat of increased climb distance on a success.
 
I rated it "excellent" based on player feedback. We've come from 5e and my players like the feats, a lot. Someone else in the thread said that they don't amount to much of anything, and that may be true, but players really, really, dig even the tiniest skill feat, let alone class feats that outright spells out new combat maneuvers. I guess if, balance wise, feats don't make that much of an impact, so much the better. In D&D everyone rolled variant human for the same set of feats everyone else took, so it's nice that Pathfinder throws so many at you as a player.

In contrast, it's all a pain to keep track of for a DM, especially when building NPCs. Players tend to rely on me to remember rules so there is a lot of page flipping. I've considered printing out "feat cards" for each class in order to try and avoid the constant book usage.
 

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