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PF2E Regarding the complexity of Pathfinder 2

CapnZapp

Legend
I don’t want to start another digression about the volume of feats, so I’ll just add I think they should have been called different things. If the feats were valued equivalently, and I could MacGyver a class out of e.g., ancestry feats and skill feats, that would almost be okay, but that’s not possible (AFAIK) without its being worse than the others feat-for-feat.
I'm saying they have taken the granularization (is that a word?) of abilities to ridiculous extremes. It's not about the number of feats per se. I'm getting the distinct impression the desire to exploit every little nook and cranny of design space has careened out of control completely.

Noone asked for obscenely specific and conditional feats and items like there are loads and loads of in PF2. In fact, I thought the fate of 4E pretty conclusively indicated the market's appetite for that level of granularity....
 

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BryonD

Hero
My point is that I don't cut Paizo nearly the same slack here. After all Paizo could have learned from 5E, but didn't. I refuse to let Paizo get away with "their game is a massive improvement over PF1". Only if you live in a Paizo bubble does that fly. Most prospective PF2 customers, however, will have come across 5E.

In the year PF2 was released (2019) 5E was and is the obvious comparison point, not 3E/PF1 (and certainly not 4E).
Works for me
 

Campbell

Legend
My point is that I don't cut Paizo nearly the same slack here. After all Paizo could have learned from 5E, but didn't. I refuse to let Paizo get away with "their game is a massive improvement over PF1". Only if you live in a Paizo bubble does that fly. Most prospective PF2 customers, however, will have come across 5E.

In the year PF2 was released (2019) 5E was and is the obvious comparison point, not 3E/PF1 (and certainly not 4E).
You keep saying that as if it were obvious what the lessons learned from 5e should be. It certainly is not obvious to me.

From my perspective it does the hobby demonstrable good for the main alternative to 5e to be demonstrably different from it. I believe there is already way too much homogeneity in the hobby as it stands.

Personally, 5e leaves me somewhat cold. The playstyle engendered by the system is not something I find compelling. Lots of people do and I do not begrudge them that. It's not about complexity from my perspective either. I like games like Electric Bastionland that are way simpler than 5e. It's the lack of meaningful rules interactions, lack of lasting fallback, lack of noncombat mechanics and overall deemphasis of skilled play of the fiction that makes it not very enjoyable to me. It does not really feel like a game to me.

If that's what you mean by the lessons of 5e I'll pass.
 

glass

(he, him)
Things like force affects affect everything except when you use magic missile that only affects living creatures? The game is full of stuff like that. Fey abilities used to be all charm and compulsion spells but now it's just compulsion spells which have be nuetered. You probably not sure because you haven't paid attention to the training wheels that are everywhere. GM'ing pathfinder is like bowling with the kiddie rails up.
I am not sure, because frankly your post is rather hard to follow, but you seem to be insulting me. Is that in fact your intention? And either way, could you clarify?
My point is that I don't cut Paizo nearly the same slack here. After all Paizo could have learned from 5E, but didn't. I refuse to let Paizo get away with "their game is a massive improvement over PF1". Only if you live in a Paizo bubble does that fly. Most prospective PF2 customers, however, will have come across 5E.

In the year PF2 was released (2019) 5E was and is the obvious comparison point, not 3E/PF1 (and certainly not 4E).
You keep saying that as if it were obvious what the lessons learned from 5e should be. It certainly is not obvious to me.
Me either. With the caveat that I have not played either extensively (and not run 5e at all), I consider PF2 to be the superior game. Not perfect by any means, but pretty damn good.

_
glass.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
Well, at the risk of becoming tiresome I feel I still need to quibble.

You have the presentation layer.
You have the actual motions players go through to "execute" the rules
You have the end results (what comes out of the box, whether it's black or not.)

I'm arguing that step 2 is far too fussy, involves far too many decision points, calculations and die rolls.

So I'm not merely trying to say that the words make it seem much more complex than it really is. I'm saying it really is much more complex than it needed to be.

You can achieve roughly the same results with far less mechanics (which in turn means you can achieve them with far less words). No beginner box can explain Crafting or Medicine (to take two examples) in a streamlined way unless the actual CRB rules (step 2) are ignored/simplified.

This aspect alone lowers my grade of any given rpg subsystem. Whether the rules are fun, give good results, and so on, doesn't even come into this equation.
Do you have an example of what you mean? You mention Crafting, but I consider that an example of a fairly simple mechanic that’s presented in a way that’s needlessly complicated and confusing.

Compare this to this:

Craft [Downtime, Manipulate]​

Requirements The item you want to craft is your level or lower (treat items with no level as level 0). You must have master proficiency to craft items of 9th level or higher, and you must have legendary proficiency to craft items of 16th level or higher. You have the formula for the item. You have an appropriate set of tools and (in many cases) a workshop. You have the appropriate feat to create alchemical items, magic items, and snares.

You make an item from raw materials. Pay half the cost of the item in materials and spend 4 days working on the item. You can buy most materials you need in a settlement, but the GM may determine that some materials are not readily available (e.g., due to rarity). After the work period has passed, make a Crafting check against a DC determined by the GM.

Success Your attempt is successful. You expend the materials you supplied. Pay the remainder of the cost in materials, and the item is yours.
Failure You fail to complete the item. You can salvage the raw materials you supplied for their full value. If you want to try again, you must start over.
Critical Failure You fail to complete the item. You ruin 10% of the raw materials you supplied, but you can salvage the rest. If you want to try again, you must start over.

Special You can Earn Income using Crafting as a task at your level to pay for some or all of the remaining materials. If your initial crafting check was a critical success, you may instead Earn Income as a task at your level + 1. When you Earn Income this way, you make a check daily at the task level determined by your initial crafting check.
Yeah, it still has a lot of words. However, the original version mixes outcomes and requirements and procedural elements together. That makes it look complicated and confusing. PF2 has a standard format for these things (requirements, flavor, procedure, outcomes, special notes), but Crafting eschews that format — to its detriment. The original version uses “if” five times in the procedural part of the activity while mine uses it none (or one time if we count the special section for that purpose).

Is that complicated? I don’t think so. Ultimately, it comes down to paying a cost and making a check. The requirements are wordy. If some things could be taken safely as assumptions (like the level 0 thing), then they probably be omitted. I almost deferred to the Crafting Requirements section on page 535, but I wasn’t sure how fair that would be. However, I think it still reads more clearly than the original version even as-is.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
I'm saying they have taken the granularization (is that a word?) of abilities to ridiculous extremes. It's not about the number of feats per se. I'm getting the distinct impression the desire to exploit every little nook and cranny of design space has careened out of control completely.

Noone asked for obscenely specific and conditional feats and items like there are loads and loads of in PF2. In fact, I thought the fate of 4E pretty conclusively indicated the market's appetite for that level of granularity....
If they’re going to do customization, I’d rather there be standardized customization points instead of the ad hoc approach they used in PF1. It’s helpful for homebrew, and it sets an expectation that those things will be supported across supplements. I don’t think not having customization or doing only “big” customization was an option since customization is one of the differentiating elements of PF2.

Edit: I should add that providing customization that lets PCs specialize to the point it creates a power disparity is not great either. It’s bad for the system because it would break everything they’re trying to make the math actually work. It’s bad for the social aspect because players of different mastery levels can’t really play in the game. 5e gets away with it because it’s so large that systemic issues like that aren’t a limiter.

I’ve been poking around the 5e Level Up forums here. The discussions about various interactions, the goofy multiclass combinations, and the the optimization nonsense are so off-putting. I don’t miss that at all in PF2. I like that I can do a thing or allow a thing, and it probably won’t break my game just because I’m haven’t yet gained legendary proficiency in system mastery.
 
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nevin

Explorer
I am not sure, because frankly your post is rather hard to follow, but you seem to be insulting me. Is that in fact your intention? And either way, could you clarify?


Me either. With the caveat that I have not played either extensively (and not run 5e at all), I consider PF2 to be the superior game. Not perfect by any means, but pretty damn good.

_
glass.
i wasn't trying to insult you I was pointing out that the game is full of arbitrary one off rules that aren't part of a holistic whole. Pathfinder is all about preventing roleplaying from getting in the way of the tactical combat game. I apologize if my post came across that way. You can't just read the rules and play the game, you have to read everything that affects your character, because there are unexplained ,limitations everywhere in the game, that have no logical game narrative. They just exist because someone wanted to stop somethin from happening and didn't trust DM's to handle it. Some games have a lot of limitations but create a narrative of why such things are there. Pathfinder just throws in random limitations everywhere. That's part of what causes people to complain about the complexity. All that arbitrary stuff means you can't just understand how the system works and go, you have to understand how all the individual nuts and bolts that apply to your character work.

If pathfinder were a car you'd have an app to approve opening the gas tank so you could add gas. But only the amount of gas you put in the App first, just to make sure you don't spend more money than you should. Or your brakes would only work if you were looking straight ahead , and glancing to the passenger wouldn't be considered straight ahead. Then when you have wreck because the brakes didn't engage the Pathfinder forums would tell you to drive as intended.
 

glass

(he, him)
i wasn't trying to insult you I was pointing out that the game is full of arbitrary one off rules that aren't part of a holistic whole. Pathfinder is all about preventing roleplaying from getting in the way of the tactical combat game. I apologize if my post came across that way. You can't just read the rules and play the game, you have to read everything that affects your character, because there are unexplained ,limitations everywhere in the game, that have no logical game narrative. They just exist because someone wanted to stop somethin from happening and didn't trust DM's to handle it. Some games have a lot of limitations but create a narrative of why such things are there. Pathfinder just throws in random limitations everywhere. That's part of what causes people to complain about the complexity. All that arbitrary stuff means you can't just understand how the system works and go, you have to understand how all the individual nuts and bolts that apply to your character work.

If pathfinder were a car you'd have an app to approve opening the gas tank so you could add gas. But only the amount of gas you put in the App first, just to make sure you don't spend more money than you should. Or your brakes would only work if you were looking straight ahead , and glancing to the passenger wouldn't be considered straight ahead. Then when you have wreck because the brakes didn't engage the Pathfinder forums would tell you to drive as intended.
I am not sure whether you description is supposed to apply to PF1 or PF2, because it really does not resemble either IME. I am also baffled as to what made you think "arbitrary one off rules that aren't part of a holistic whole" is something I would be in favour of. If anything, I was calling for the opposite.

_
glass.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Yeah, it still has a lot of words.
Yes, you have reorganized the existing rules in a more logical and easy to follow order. Unfortunately, that's not enough IMHO.

First off, unless I'm absolutely lost, you still refer to the Earn Income activity in that rule. That's a huge table and associated text.

And it is still just as sensitive to parameters you simply have no control over. Quoting myself:

The RAW rules are incredibly cluttery and byzantine in that the benefit depends on so many factors outside the player's control, and if I (the GM) run an official campaign, even partially outside my control as well!

There's just so many questions: will we always have a settlement of our level available? how much downtime will there be? what sort of formulas will I find? how much of the loot will be in cash (either in gold or in vendor loot)?
Formulas are a half-assed addition in my view. At least in Extinction Curse, there are only a few loot piles that contain formulas, far fewer than what a crafter can expect to need and want. Other than that, the GM is left on his or her own.

Finally, we have still not answered or justified why the rules are so detailed in the first place.
Compare to my lazy-ass attempt at true simplification:
Crafting. This skill lets you make Earn Income tasks at your own level, regardless of the settlement's nature. You can spend these savings on crafting items, and once you've reached half the purchase price of the item, you can spend the other half of the purchase price in gold, and have your item.​

The end.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
If they’re going to do customization, I’d rather there be standardized customization points instead of the ad hoc approach they used in PF1.
There's a big point I have as-of yet not brought myself to add to the discussion. (The original one - is Pathfinder complex?) Just thinking about it is exhausting.

But there are loads of feats with slightly different requirements and mechanics. Just look at Twin Takedown and Double Slice. (Part of why I've dreaded to make this argument is that it is such a rabbit hole to go down into, to find more examples of inconsistences and non-standardized rules concepts)

The mere notion somebody (not you) could be calling PF2 simple or less complex than 3E or PF1 or 4E is mindboggling.

PF2 is insanely complex.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
i wasn't trying to insult you I was pointing out that the game is full of arbitrary one off rules that aren't part of a holistic whole.
Hmm... another post that reminds me I haven't even started making the biggest argument why Pathfinder 2 is crazily complicated...
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
Yes, you have reorganized the existing rules in a more logical and easy to follow order. Unfortunately, that's not enough IMHO.
If they’re logical and easy to follow, then people can internalize and understand them. Organized the way I did, you can just ignore the parts you know (who needs to read the requirements every single time?) or don’t care about (the benefit to using Earn Income). When you distill them down, the rules are basically: pay a cost (time and money), make a check, get an item.

I think they could probably be pared down further if there were elements I could trust as references. If it’s a given that items without level are always treated as level 0, then there’s no reason to point that out. The same goes for other things.

As an aside, I bounced both the original and my rewrite off the crafter in my group. His feedback? He lost interest about halfway through the official one and skim/skipped to the end. Presentation is important I guess. 😅

First off, unless I'm absolutely lost, you still refer to the Earn Income activity in that rule. That's a huge table and associated text.
To be fair, so does your lazy-ass attempt at true simplification. 😉

And it is still just as sensitive to parameters you simply have no control over. Quoting myself:


Formulas are a half-assed addition in my view. At least in Extinction Curse, there are only a few loot piles that contain formulas, far fewer than what a crafter can expect to need and want. Other than that, the GM is left on his or her own.

Finally, we have still not answered or justified why the rules are so detailed in the first place.
Compare to my lazy-ass attempt at true simplification:
The goal wasn’t to change the underlying mechanics. It was just to show how it could be rewritten for clarity. With that said, if you don’t like formulas, just strike that requirement. If you don’t like the Earn Income stuff, then drop the special text. If you want people to make money off crafting, add a critical success option that gives you back 20% of the materials you spent. Because Craft is now written in the proper structure and with clarity, it’s easier to understand and modify.

With all that said, I like formulas (for verisimilitude). I do my own thing, so I can make sure they’re included in treasure and available for purchase in town. If you’re doing an AP, swapping treasure for stuff that’s useful to the PCs should be a pretty reasonable tweak. Just swap out the talismans and potions for more formulas.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
But there are loads of feats with slightly different requirements and mechanics. Just look at Twin Takedown and Double Slice. (Part of why I've dreaded to make this argument is that it is such a rabbit hole to go down into, to find more examples of inconsistences and non-standardized rules concepts)
That stuff is compartmentalized. Unless you’re looking at dedications, it’s just not something one has to worry about. The player is always evaluating a subset of all the options. Admittedly, this gets a bit messier when you’re looking at dedications, but that’s going to be less often than just picking feats for the new level you gained.

As for these two things: Twin Takedown only works on your hunted prey. If you Hunt Prey every turn, it has the same effective cost as Double Slice. It’s written the way it is to reinforce the theme of the ranger as someone who hunts a chosen target. The [Flourish] trait prevents it from being spammed 3× a round (which it totally would be). Double Slice doesn’t need the [Flourish] trait because its two-action cost prevents it from being used more than one per round (the action granted by the quickened condition only allows you to Strike or Stride).

However, since you didn’t, I’ll mention skill feats. They are the fly in the ointment. I like the idea of feats that improve non-combat stuff, but skill feats create the perception that you can’t do anything with skill checks that hasn’t been enumerated. I didn’t like skill unlocks in Pathfinder Unchained for the same reason.

I try to strike a balance when dealing with skill checks. “To do it you have to do it” is how I handle actions and activities, so you can’t make a check if you can’t use the action or activity to do what you want to do, but I’m also amenable to taking things outside of the regular action economy. For example, you Make an Impression then a Request of help to a group if you don’t have Group Impression, but we can do an influence event where you get the same outcome. The benefit of Group Impression is it lets you compress all that down.

The mere notion somebody (not you) could be calling PF2 simple or less complex than 3E or PF1 or 4E is mindboggling.

PF2 is insanely complex.
PF1 has a ton of options, the rules have a lot of special cases (e.g., AoO), and crazy amounts of modifiers with little consistency between what affected the roll and what affected the DC. The options also varied in quality quite a bit, so characters could vary wildly in capability. If your group had characters of mixed power, encounter balancing was just not a thing you could do by the book. Stealth was also broken as written. Swift actions got used as a crutch to work around the limits of the PF1 action economy. It’s was clunky at first (but both familiar to and compatible with 3.5e), but it turned into a bloated mess once you started layering customization on top of it. Whatever clarity PF2 lacks doesn’t compare to the problems PF1 developed.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
If they’re logical and easy to follow, then people can internalize and understand them.
My point is that - and please don't take this personally - you're polishing a turd.

You're focusing on presentation when the question you really should ask yourself: "why are the rules this complicated and full of clutter?"

We all know you can have too simple rules, where extra detail add real value to the experience of playing. This is not that.

To be fair, so does your lazy-ass attempt at true simplification. 😉
That is correct. I would love to just nuke that intimidating table on CRB page 236.

It has a lot of detail but none of it matter in practical play. The entire table can be summarized by "you can make a pittance relative to what adventuring on your level would net you". Downtime on the level where the difference between making 7 silver or 9 silver a day should have been relegated to a later supplement or even just to fan works. Nothing about the rest of the game makes this puny difference interesting or important. This table comes across as if it accidentally was imported blindly from "Farmers & Hogs, the Role-Playing Game". It should have nothing to do with epic heroes crafting magical swords.

Again, presenting a simpler alternative can do wonders for people opening their eyes and go "OMG - this makes me realize how shite and cluttery the core rule is". Just say
Each week spent in downtime allows you to earn a quarter of the purchase price of a permanent item of your level.

I actually can't be arsed to calculate how long you actually need, so feel free to require 8 weeks or 12 weeks instead of four weeks. Important note of sanity: nothing breaks if you make Earn Income yield twice as much money, or half as much, or... even remove access to the activity entirely!

Actually, make that part of the rule - empowering the GM:
The GM and settlement level determines how high a task level you can find for the particular skill you attempt to earn income from. Each week spent in downtime normally allows you to earn 1/8th of the purchase price of a permanent item of the task's level in gold.

Your GM may speed this up to 1/4th or slow it down to 1/12th.
Now someone's bound to point out that outlier level 11 item that doesn't cost more than a level 10 item and go "your rule sucks!". Know what, it's not the rule that's broken, it's the item that makes me unable to write simple rules. Just make that level 11 item into a level 10 item so we can make the rules easier! [I actually don't have a specific item in mind. I just know someone will find an outlier in the Treasure table.]

Point here is - all that complication and confusion regarding Crafting could just vanish and be replaced with a rule that is crystal clear, easy and fast:

Earn Income. The GM and settlement level determines how high a task level you can find for the particular skill you attempt to earn income from. Each week spent in downtime normally allows you to earn 1/8th of the purchase price of a permanent item of the task's level in gold.​

Crafting. This skill lets you make Earn Income tasks at your own level, regardless of the settlement's nature. You can spend these savings on crafting items, and once you've reached half the purchase price of the item, you can spend the other half of the purchase price in gold, and have your item.​
 

nevin

Explorer
This is dismissive of everyone that has attended a convention and walked away with a bad GM experience.
no it's just a statement of what I believe the design goals of the games were. And con games are generally so limited they barely qualify as role playing. they are generally just figure puzzle out and award the prizes. You can't get rid of bad GMs you can try to give them advice and help them get better if they want that. 3rd edition mindset was throw it all out there and let the GM pick the pieces he likes. Pathfinder at some point just gave up and started Making arbitrary rules to force everything to be Equal. Thus we got 2e. Thing is everyone likes equal till they realize that includes them. Equal isn't
necessarily fun it's generally boring in my experience.
 

nevin

Explorer
My point is that - and please don't take this personally - you're polishing a turd.

You're focusing on presentation when the question you really should ask yourself: "why are the rules this complicated and full of clutter?"

We all know you can have too simple rules, where extra detail add real value to the experience of playing. This is not that.


That is correct. I would love to just nuke that intimidating table on CRB page 236.

It has a lot of detail but none of it matter in practical play. The entire table can be summarized by "you can make a pittance relative to what adventuring on your level would net you". Downtime on the level where the difference between making 7 silver or 9 silver a day should have been relegated to a later supplement or even just to fan works. Nothing about the rest of the game makes this puny difference interesting or important. This table comes across as if it accidentally was imported blindly from "Farmers & Hogs, the Role-Playing Game". It should have nothing to do with epic heroes crafting magical swords.

Again, presenting a simpler alternative can do wonders for people opening their eyes and go "OMG - this makes me realize how shite and cluttery the core rule is". Just say


I actually can't be arsed to calculate how long you actually need, so feel free to require 8 weeks or 12 weeks instead of four weeks. Important note of sanity: nothing breaks if you make Earn Income yield twice as much money, or half as much, or... even remove access to the activity entirely!

Actually, make that part of the rule - empowering the GM:

Now someone's bound to point out that outlier level 11 item that doesn't cost more than a level 10 item and go "your rule sucks!". Know what, it's not the rule that's broken, it's the item that makes me unable to write simple rules. Just make that level 11 item into a level 10 item so we can make the rules easier! [I actually don't have a specific item in mind. I just know someone will find an outlier in the Treasure table.]

Point here is - all that complication and confusion regarding Crafting could just vanish and be replaced with a rule that is crystal clear, easy and fast:

Earn Income. The GM and settlement level determines how high a task level you can find for the particular skill you attempt to earn income from. Each week spent in downtime normally allows you to earn 1/8th of the purchase price of a permanent item of the task's level in gold.​

Crafting. This skill lets you make Earn Income tasks at your own level, regardless of the settlement's nature. You can spend these savings on crafting items, and once you've reached half the purchase price of the item, you can spend the other half of the purchase price in gold, and have your item.​
definitely better and easy for Dm to adjust to their games. Just adjust fraction to what fits your games availability of magic.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
My point is that - and please don't take this personally - you're polishing a turd.

You're focusing on presentation when the question you really should ask yourself: "why are the rules this complicated and full of clutter?"
When I look at the mechanics of the Craft activity, it’s just paying a cost and making a roll. The only thing I have to look up every time is the cost of the item to determine the price. I don’t consider that complex or complicated or full of clutter.

The point of the exercise was to show that Craft is actually pretty simple. You pay a cost (varies with item), you spend some time (always 4 days), you roll, and then you get your item if you succeed.

Yeah, the requirements list is gross. Most of it is obvious, but I don’t think it’s something people will need to reference more than once or twice. Because of the way I have structured the activity, you can just skip past that part if you want to look up something else (like the special benefit or the results of making the check).

Point here is - all that complication and confusion regarding Crafting could just vanish and be replaced with a rule that is crystal clear, easy and fast:

Earn Income. The GM and settlement level determines how high a task level you can find for the particular skill you attempt to earn income from. Each week spent in downtime normally allows you to earn 1/8th of the purchase price of a permanent item of the task's level in gold.​

Crafting. This skill lets you make Earn Income tasks at your own level, regardless of the settlement's nature. You can spend these savings on crafting items, and once you've reached half the purchase price of the item, you can spend the other half of the purchase price in gold, and have your item.​
Is the issue the structure? Having requirements, procedure, outcomes, and special cases almost always enumerated? Making a check? Is multiple degrees of success necessarily complex (or complicated or intrinsically clutter or whatever)?

It’s easy in this case to write something short, but that style doesn’t scale. One might point to 5e as an exemplar of this style, but I don’t particularly like the way it moved away from having clear stat blocks. It forces you to dig through text (sometimes paragraphs) every time you just want to look something up or figure out how to resolve a mechanic.

That’s not saying I think the PF2 style is great. If you take advantage of it well, it can really get right to the point and explain things more clearly than a whole bunch of text. It’s also compartmentalized, so if you remember 90% of the action or activity, it’s easy to look up the part you need. Admittedly, and Craft is an example of this, some of the stuff in the CRB isn’t as good as it could be.

As for degrees of success, ehh. They were one of the things that pushed me away from the system in the beginning. They’re specifically crunchy enough that it’s hard to remember the spread of effects for every single different thing. I still look things up pretty regularly. That’s probably not something I should be doing 20+ session into a campaign.

There are ways you can hide the lag of looking up. With a good GM screen (i.e., a custom one not the official one), you can have all the common activities at your fingertips. I’m pretty quick about hitting my PDFs while using roll20. It’s still not great, and we can bog down at times.

I do appreciate what the extra spread of outcomes can do. It’s obviously a very important part of making encounter scaling work. I appreciate some of the affects its had on how I organize information in my notes (e.g., to make adjudicating Investigate, I’ve expanded my use of information hierarchies to knowledge). Was the view worth the climb? Not sure.
 

Aldarc

Legend
You keep saying that as if it were obvious what the lessons learned from 5e should be. It certainly is not obvious to me.

From my perspective it does the hobby demonstrable good for the main alternative to 5e to be demonstrably different from it. I believe there is already way too much homogeneity in the hobby as it stands.

Personally, 5e leaves me somewhat cold. The playstyle engendered by the system is not something I find compelling. Lots of people do and I do not begrudge them that. It's not about complexity from my perspective either. I like games like Electric Bastionland that are way simpler than 5e. It's the lack of meaningful rules interactions, lack of lasting fallback, lack of noncombat mechanics and overall deemphasis of skilled play of the fiction that makes it not very enjoyable to me. It does not really feel like a game to me.

If that's what you mean by the lessons of 5e I'll pass.
I suspect that the "obvious" lesson to be learned from 5e is that the game should not be unnecessarily complex in regards to its subsystems. However, I'm not sure why 5e should be the primary teacher of this idea when - much as you say here - there are so many other games out there, before and after 5e, that do a FAR BETTER job than 5e at designing more streamlined, less complex, and more robust systems than 5e. 5e arguably preserves a lot of needless complexity itself while also handwaving its complexity with its "rulings not rules" mumbo jumbo.

I tend to agree with your sentiment too that the system and mechanics of 5e do not exactly do a good job at cultivating a particularly meaningful playstyle or game experience.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
That is correct. I would love to just nuke that intimidating table on CRB page 236.

It has a lot of detail but none of it matter in practical play. The entire table can be summarized by "you can make a pittance relative to what adventuring on your level would net you". Downtime on the level where the difference between making 7 silver or 9 silver a day should have been relegated to a later supplement or even just to fan works. Nothing about the rest of the game makes this puny difference interesting or important. This table comes across as if it accidentally was imported blindly from "Farmers & Hogs, the Role-Playing Game". It should have nothing to do with epic heroes crafting magical swords.
  • Earn Income. The GM and settlement level determines how high a task level you can find for the particular skill you attempt to earn income from. Each week spent in downtime normally allows you to earn 1/8th of the purchase price of a permanent item of the task's level in gold.
I wanted to respond to this separately. This is another artifact from PFS. PF1 had one way of earning income, and PFS had another. PF2 takes the table from PFS and makes it more complicated. No, it’s not particularly great or even good. Failure is almost always 20% of the Trained result. Why does it need to be on the table? Does every level of proficiency need its own result?

You try to simplify it by tying the result to the price of a permanent item of your level, but I think that also has some issues. It removes the affect of skill on the result. There are economic consequences to tying the result to the price of a permanent item. Conceivably, Smith (treated as a 6th level character for crafting stuff) can earn up to 36 gp in a week if they can find a 6th level task to perform. And why not? That’s really good money.

If I wanted to improve Earn Income, I’d look at putting together a simplified table. It might be possible to derive the result, but I don’t want to involve a bunch of math for that. Having players try to do math at the table just slows things down. I’d just have Failure give you 20% of the table’s result. Being trained at a higher level of proficiency would give you a modifier (125% for expert performing tasks ≥4th level, 250% for master performing tasks ≥8th level, 500% for legendary performing tasks ≥16th level).
 

I suspect that the "obvious" lesson to be learned from 5e is that the game should not be unnecessarily complex in regards to its subsystems. However, I'm not sure why 5e should be the primary teacher of this idea when - much as you say here - there are so many other games out there, before and after 5e, that do a FAR BETTER job than 5e at designing more streamlined, less complex, and more robust systems than 5e. 5e arguably preserves a lot of needless complexity itself while also handwaving its complexity with its "rulings not rules" mumbo jumbo.

I tend to agree with your sentiment too that the system and mechanics of 5e do not exactly do a good job at cultivating a particularly meaningful playstyle or game experience.

I thought NOT cultivating a particularly meaningful playstyle or game experience was the point of 5E. Trying to cultivating one would just "disempower" the GM somehow...
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

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