log in or register to remove this ad

 

Pathfinder 2E Regarding the complexity of Pathfinder 2

CapnZapp

Legend
Your failure, if there is one, is not in conveying that. Its in convincing me its true.
Hmm.

I don't recognize you from earlier in the thread so I need to ask if you're at all aware of the very many issues i bring up, both in this thread and as standalone threads in the forum?

If your comment is based solely on me saying something is true that's one thing.

If not, well...
 

log in or register to remove this ad

CapnZapp

Legend
I guess you're referring to the AGE engine from the Dragon Age game.

Yes totally. The first box showed great promise. By the second it appeared alarmingly likely that hope was misplaced. By the third it was obvious the system just didn't work past the first 6-7 levels. Never even considered purchasing the final box, or the later Fantasy AGE product.
 

Hmm.

I don't recognize you from earlier in the thread so I need to ask if you're at all aware of the very many issues i bring up, both in this thread and as standalone threads in the forum?

If your comment is based solely on me saying something is true that's one thing.

If not, well...


I didn't participate earlier in the thread, but I read it. I just did not feel like getting into the depth and back and forth necessary to refute the parts I disagreed with. In many cases I consider it based on premises I didn't agree with, and digging down to disagreements in premise is long (and often tedious) work.
 

I guess you're referring to the AGE engine from the Dragon Age game.

Yes totally. The first box showed great promise. By the second it appeared alarmingly likely that hope was misplaced. By the third it was obvious the system just didn't work past the first 6-7 levels. Never even considered purchasing the final box, or the later Fantasy AGE product.

Correct. I ran a middlin' long Dragon Age game, and the problems with the system became progressively obvious over time.
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
I haven't been following up on thread for at least five pages by now, but I can concur: You are assuming that if you were able to put your opnions better, they would be sufficient argument to convince other people that you are right about your opinion. But that isn't how it works, people are just going to disagree when your experience doesn't match their experience.

Like, you keep trying to say that your posts should give other people objective point of view on the system, but umm, that isn't how objective and subjective opinions work. You can't just declare yourself to be inpartial enough that your opinion is objective and not subjective.
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
Anyone got anything positive to say about this system? I was running a homebrew campaign in pf2e and quite enjoying it until lockdown hit, I've been spending what free time I have getting it up and running in foundry vtt, but reading this thread I'm wondering if it's worth the effort and I should try something else.

Well that seems a resounding no, so what system do people recommend that allows varied mechanical character builds, reasonable tactical combat and a nice choice of character options on level up, while still maintaining a semblance of balance?

Not interested in OSE stuff, tried em and we found stepping back too jarring, 13th age was ok but as I DM I hated the icon integration, and shadow of the demon lords setting wasn't our style. Am I heading back to the almost impossible task of 4e ( playing without an electronic character builder is so much fun)
Hey, I always post positive opinions on my favorite system that isn't Cypher System ;p (Psst, try out Cypher System)
 
Last edited:

Porridge

Explorer
Well that seems a resounding no, so what system do people recommend that allows varied mechanical character builds, reasonable tactical combat and a nice choice of character options on level up, while still maintaining a semblance of balance?
Ordinarily I'd recommend PF2, since this sounds like a list of PF2's strongest features: interestingly varied mechanical builds, tactical combat, lots of character options at each level, and possibly the best balanced game I've played. But if you already tried it and didn't get into it, I certainly wouldn't suggest sinking more time into it. Life's too short to play games you don't enjoy!

EDIT:
Anyone got anything positive to say about this system? I was running a homebrew campaign in pf2e and quite enjoying it until lockdown hit, I've been spending what free time I have getting it up and running in foundry vtt, but reading this thread I'm wondering if it's worth the effort and I should try something else.
...wait, what? If you're already playing the system and enjoying it, why do you want to switch?

Reading about other people's experiences and why they didn't enjoy it is interesting, but expected, since different games work for different people. But the fact that some people dislike features of the game I enjoy doesn't make them any less enjoyable...
 
Last edited:

Retreater

Legend
Hey, I always post positive opinions on my favorite system that isn't Cypher System ;p (Psst, try out Cypher System)
Not to start a tangential debate, but I've had an awful time with the Cypher System (Numenera), both in home games and convention games run by MCG staff/volunteers.
Every game devolved into a "you can only do one thing" and "chip away at this beast you can barely affect due to your low damage and its high DR" and "spending metacurrency will kill your character."
I wonder how others have different experiences beyond the 5+ games I've played.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Correct. I ran a middlin' long Dragon Age game, and the problems with the system became progressively obvious over time.
The skeleton of a good system is there, but I think it tries too much to be D&D when really it should have played to its strengths. AGE is still one of the hands-down easiest systems I have run when it comes to "the new player experience." I also would have preferred if magic was more as it is in Blue Rose AGE than in FAGE and MAGE.

I wonder how others have different experiences beyond the 5+ games I've played.
If you are curious how others have different experiences, you can always check the old threads where I and others explain to you how and why that might be the case as well as our own experiences.
 

Porridge

Explorer
Anyone got anything positive to say about this system?
I mean, this is obviously subjective. But here are some of the features of the PF2 I like (which is not to say there are features I don't like, but that's a different post!):
  • Encounter difficulty is really well balanced. From a GM perspective, it's easy to construct encounters that will be roughly as challenging as you want. (Contrast this to my experiences with PF1 or (higher level) 5e.)
  • On the GM side, creating interesting new monsters and NPCs is quick and easy.
  • On the GM side, the game is extremely modular, making it easy to implement houserules. (And happily, the couple parts of the rules I find most finicky are also among the easiest to houserule away.)
  • On the GM side, the quality of the APs and modules Paizo produces is really high. (This was true for PF1 too, of course.)
  • It lends itself to dynamic fights with lots of tactical decision-making. And this true for both the PCs and the GM.
  • It lends itself to a lot of variety in combat encounters (especially given the variety of different monster features things get).
  • It puts more emphasis on skills, and provides more in-depth rules regarding them, making it much easier to run a skill-focused game than in most other D&D-adjacent games.
  • Different classes and builds are relatively well-balanced. (There's definitely room for optimization or the lack thereof. But it's much more difficult to build a character that dominates everything or contributes nothing, than it is in (say) PF1.)
  • On the PC side, there are lot of different options and builds you can pursue during character creation.
  • On the PC side, there are lots of interesting options available each time you level up.
  • On the PC side, martial classes are fun and effective to play, even at higher levels.
 

I haven't been following up on thread for at least five pages by now, but I can concur: You are assuming that if you were able to put your opnions better, they would be sufficient argument to convince other people that you are right about your opinion. But that isn't how it works, people are just going to disagree when your experience doesn't match their experience.

Like, you keep trying to say that your posts should give other people objective point of view on the system, but umm, that isn't how objective and subjective opinions work. You can't just declare yourself to be inpartial enough that your opinion is objective and not subjective.

You can make an argument that some numerical discussion is fairly objective, but even there you have to have a set of premises you present before the numbers are meaningful, and at the very least you have to have an answer when someone says "That doesn't seem to have been a problem in practice in my experience" even if the latter is "Fortunate dice rolls happen."
 

Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
Anyone got anything positive to say about this system? I was running a homebrew campaign in pf2e and quite enjoying it until lockdown hit, I've been spending what free time I have getting it up and running in foundry vtt, but reading this thread I'm wondering if it's worth the effort and I should try something else.
I love PF2E. Here's my reasons:
1. As GM I find that the encounter balance mechanics are very fine tuned and work exceedingly well. So well that you can build encounter design for effect and rarely ever be disappointed in the result.
2. PF2E characters are tougher, but not too much tougher than D&D 5E PCs at lower level, and the combat is both less swingy and more tactically engaging without much extra mechanical rigor.
3. Action Point economy as done in PF2E makes all prior D&D derived move/minor/standard/reaction mechanics looks quaint and out of date.
4. The +10/-10 critical hit/fumble mechanic ups the stakes and also makes the CR threat range more meaningful. It's actually part of the predictable element of PF2E in design...encounter building scales around the fact that once you get more than 4 CLs away from party level then the combat is either trivial or genuinely deadly, and that is due to this crit/fumble range. It means a CR+4 monster in PF2E is a genuine existential threat to the PCs.
5. Spells are designed with scaling rules that work. This is how 5E should have done it but waffled out.
6. Initially I disliked the level scaling on items but now I am fully sold on it, and find it's an excellent metric for GMs working on level appropriate loot.
7. Each class feels like it has functional niche protection, and while people complain about feat-itis, the truth is it's just a mechanical descriptor set limited by class/ancestry/skills and makes sense in play.
8. The skill list is refined but mostly not too refined.
9. Combat is deadlier with more stakes. The healing mechanic is oddly forgiving but not in an "in the moment" way for most, and requires some downtime to get the group back up and running.
10. Monster and NPC design is now its own ruleset and works for what the GM needs without having to devote half his or her life to designing according to PC specs.
11. Monsters are more engaging and have more interesting and hard hitting abilities than 5E versions do.
12. Hit point bloat is not a thing in PF2E (it really doesn't, compared to 5E at least)

Negatives so far:
1. After over a year I still find item identification a bit confusing.
2. Medicine is too good in my opinion as GM
3. The downside of clever and consistent encounter balance is that if you as GM want to throw a very powerful NPC or monster into the mix, you should be obliged to give the PCs fair warning that they should just flee.
4. Significantly lower level encounters become speed bumps for the PCs. It is better to just state, "And then your party of level 12 PCs mowed down the goblin army and broke for tea" then to play it out in combat.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Anyone got anything positive to say about this system?
It features very fun exciting combat encounters at every level.

It's just a shame it comes with So. Much. Deitrus.

Finicky and super-detailed rules where the biggest disappointment is the feeling none of it needed to be there.
 

xoth.publishing

Swords against tentacles!
It features very fun exciting combat encounters at every level.

Just curious (and slightly off-topic, so feel free to answer in a separate thread if you'd like). I've noted that you have stated multiple times that combat in PF2 is good, and this is (IIRC) because the monsters have cool and unique abilities.

Also, 5E is sometimes criticized because many of the monsters are just "bags of hit points" with no special abilities.

I have no experience with PF2 but I just took a look at some iconic monsters in the SRD.
  • Orc: PF2 has the Orc Brute (with the Ferocity special ability), Orc Warrior (again with Ferocity), and the Orc Warchief (Ferocity and War Cry). 5E has the Orc (with the Aggressive ability), Orog (also Aggresive), and Orc War Chief (Aggressive, Gruumsh's Fury, Battle Cry). Seems about equal to me in terms of special abilities?
  • Ghoul: PF2 has the Ghoul (paralyzing attack, and Swift Leap, and also Ghoul Fever and Consume Flesh). 5E has the Ghoul (paralyzing attack). Slightly more options in PF2 here.
  • Vampire: PF2 has the Vampire Count (Children of the Night, Change Shape, Create Spawn, Dominate, Drink Blood, Turn to Mist/Mist Escape). 5E has the Vampire (Children of the Night, Shapechanger, Bite/Create Spawn, Charm, Legendary Resistance, Regeneration, Spider Climb, Vampire Weaknesses, Misty Escape). More or less the same, with slighty more in 5E.
  • I could go on... are there better examples that illustrate the diffences?

Some questions to ponder:
  • Is it true (and does it matter?) that monsters in 5E have less special abilities?
  • Can there be too many special abilities and options, slowing down the game?
  • Can GMs who feel that 5E monsters are just "bags of hit points" take a look at the corresponding PF2 monster for inspiration and add a cool ability or two to the 5E monster?
  • Do monsters in later 5E books (Volo's, Mordenkainen's, etc) have more special abilities than the MM ones?
  • What about using books such as Monster Manual Expanded (by "Dragonix") which feature many variations on base monsters?
I realize most of these questions have to do with 5E and not PF2 (I already said the question was slightly off-topic!). I guess the question most relevant to PF2 is why, given that you feel that PF2 has all this other baggage of complexity, would you not just play 5E with some beefed-up monsters?
 

dave2008

Legend
Just curious (and slightly off-topic, so feel free to answer in a separate thread if you'd like). I've noted that you have stated multiple times that combat in PF2 is good, and this is (IIRC) because the monsters have cool and unique abilities.

Also, 5E is sometimes criticized because many of the monsters are just "bags of hit points" with no special abilities.

I have no experience with PF2 but I just took a look at some iconic monsters in the SRD.
  • Orc: PF2 has the Orc Brute (with the Ferocity special ability), Orc Warrior (again with Ferocity), and the Orc Warchief (Ferocity and War Cry). 5E has the Orc (with the Aggressive ability), Orog (also Aggresive), and Orc War Chief (Aggressive, Gruumsh's Fury, Battle Cry). Seems about equal to me in terms of special abilities?
  • Ghoul: PF2 has the Ghoul (paralyzing attack, and Swift Leap, and also Ghoul Fever and Consume Flesh). 5E has the Ghoul (paralyzing attack). Slightly more options in PF2 here.
  • Vampire: PF2 has the Vampire Count (Children of the Night, Change Shape, Create Spawn, Dominate, Drink Blood, Turn to Mist/Mist Escape). 5E has the Vampire (Children of the Night, Shapechanger, Bite/Create Spawn, Charm, Legendary Resistance, Regeneration, Spider Climb, Vampire Weaknesses, Misty Escape). More or less the same, with slighty more in 5E.
  • I could go on... are there better examples that illustrate the diffences?

Some questions to ponder:
  • Is it true (and does it matter?) that monsters in 5E have less special abilities?
  • Can there be too many special abilities and options, slowing down the game?
  • Can GMs who feel that 5E monsters are just "bags of hit points" take a look at the corresponding PF2 monster for inspiration and add a cool ability or two to the 5E monster?
  • Do monsters in later 5E books (Volo's, Mordenkainen's, etc) have more special abilities than the MM ones?
  • What about using books such as Monster Manual Expanded (by "Dragonix") which feature many variations on base monsters?
I realize most of these questions have to do with 5E and not PF2 (I already said the question was slightly off-topic!). I guess the question most relevant to PF2 is why, given that you feel that PF2 has all this other baggage of complexity, would you not just play 5E with some beefed-up monsters?
I will jump in here as I have already had this discussion with CZ. I even compared PF2 orcs to 5e orcs too!

First, I agree completely that just looking at it on paper there is not much difference between PF2 and 5e monsters. In fact, a lot of 5e monsters, specifically those with legendary actions or post MM, look more interesting than their PF2 counter parts.

To understand why people say this you really have to play the game as it comes down mostly to the system and less about the special or interesting abilities that people claim. The major difference (but not only) is the boost every monster gets from simply being +3 or +4 levels above the PCs. A monster 4 levels higher than the PCs is significantly harder to hit, hits more often, does a lot more damage (because of the critical hit rules), and makes saves much more easily. This allows pretty much any monster that is 3-4 levels above a party to be a significant threat. Also, 5e players can be more powerful than their PF2 counterparts, therefore they have more ways to trivialize a 5e fight.

Now, personally I find it very easy to adjust 5e monsters to create a similar challenge - if I even need to. With my current group, 5e monsters are plenty interesting and challenging.
 

xoth.publishing

Swords against tentacles!
A monster 4 levels higher than the PCs is significantly harder to hit, hits more often, does a lot more damage (because of the critical hit rules), and makes saves much more easily. This allows pretty much any monster that is 3-4 levels above a party to be a significant threat..

But isn't the opposite also true; that any monster more than 3-4 levels below the PCs will not be able to threaten the PCs at all?

I think I've read that this creates a very narrow band of "appropriate" monsters the PCs can encounter at any given time in their PF2 careers. Whereas 5E's Bounded Accuracy means flatter math and monsters that can be used over a bigger range of levels?
 

Campbell

Legend
Not just any special ability will do. Monsters in PF2 have unique mechanics that players need to either deal with or can exploit.

Sea Devil Scouts have a persistent bleed they inflict when they attack flat footed enemies. Landing that bleed allows them to go into a frenzy substantially increasing the damage they deal.

Redcaps get a bonus when they kill an enemy. They also are frightened by brandishing the holy symbol of a good aligned god.

This sort of puzzle box monster design means that you get better at fighting monsters as you improve as a player. I really like that.
 

kenada

Hero
Supporter
But isn't the opposite also true; that any monster more than 3-4 levels below the PCs will not be able to threaten the PCs at all?
Yes. That’s by design. Paizo wants PF2 characters to be super heroes. If a wandering swordsman encounters a band of low-level bandits, the swordsman should defeat everyone without breaking a sweat.

I think I've read that this creates a very narrow band of "appropriate" monsters the PCs can encounter at any given time in their PF2 careers. Whereas 5E's Bounded Accuracy means flatter math and monsters that can be used over a bigger range of levels?
That’s pretty much true. You can expand the band using Proficiency Without Level (it goes from ±4 to ±7), but it’s not the default. I doubt many people use it.
 

dave2008

Legend
But isn't the opposite also true; that any monster more than 3-4 levels below the PCs will not be able to threaten the PCs at all?

I think I've read that this creates a very narrow band of "appropriate" monsters the PCs can encounter at any given time in their PF2 careers. Whereas 5E's Bounded Accuracy means flatter math and monsters that can be used over a bigger range of levels?
Yes that is true, and I think it something I don't care for personally. However, PF2, similar to 4e, provides multiple versions of the same monster to appropriate a longer level range.
 

dave2008

Legend
This sort of puzzle box monster design means that you get better at fighting monsters as you improve as a player. I really like that.
One of the things I don't like actually. I don't like relying on player skill to solve monsters. It is cool in some cases, but not as a general design principle IMO (and for my groups). Though I don't recall this being an overly used trope in PF2 monsters, but I only have the 1st bestiary.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top