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Similarities 4E PF2?

Parmandur

Adventurer
Yep, understandable. Storyteller sold a /lot/ of books in the 90s, and they were, especially for rulebooks, pretty good cover-to-cover reads, but good luck finding a specific thing you vaguely remembered reading in one of them. Serious point-build systems, Hero, GURPS, could sometimes go the exact opposite, especially in presenting their core mechanics, very dry stuff.

Both more complex and presented in a less clear way, yes. But the less clear way is /natural language/, which is more comfortable to read, even if, having read it two or three times, you're still not clear on the intent. ;) It was a design decision made up-front and shared from the Next playtest on - and generally well-received.

Which just shows to go you, human nature. ;)

Maybe PF2 will manage /both/ form & function, both comfortable/entertaining presentation /and/ clarity/precision, organization & a good index.

I prefer my rules in clear, concise, efficient presentation that's easy to find & understand the thing I need at the moment, yeah, sounds good.
I'd like the setting information that makes a good cover-to-cover read in an entirely separate book, thanks.

IMX, though, I need entirely separate /games/ to get both. ;(
Lonely fun is a big part of the RPG hobby, and what one finds to be fun alone dictates a lot here: clear, concise technical rules don't give me any lonely fun, hence I'll invest less time or pursue playing a game if that is the primary thing. Narratively flavorful reading gets my motor going, rules are just a background framework.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Mathematical game balance can only be achieved at the encounter level. Because in order to be able to come up with metrics you can "balance" you need to be able to know the resources available to the players when they come into an encounter. The more variable the possible resources they have as they enter the encounter, the harder it is going to be to reliably determine encounter balance.
Doesn't that go back to the old "war vs sport" analogy? The question isn't how to have balanced encounters when you have variable recharge rates. The question is whether balanced encounters are even a desirable goal to begin with.

Pathfinder 2 design shows an unhealthy obsession with controlling numbers, which leads me to believe that they've adopted the "combat as sport" approach, which is never going to appeal to the audience of Pathfinder 1 players who hated 4E for exactly that reason.

Personally, I don't see the appeal in overcoming a challenge which has been carefully contrived in such a way that I should probably be able to beat it as long as I don't make obvious mistakes, but which is also engineered to make it seem like I'll be on the verge of failing at any moment.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
[MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION], that's certainly true, which is one reason why many other RPGs out there are more conscientious about time pressure mechanics. E.g., running out of light/torches in Torchbearer, countdown clocks in Blades in the Dark, and randomized countdown rolls in Index Card RPG.

The countdown clocks in Blades, in particular, is pretty genius. Everytime the PCs go into downtime mode to recover, the countdown clocks for their surrounding factions will continue ticking. Not just one, but all of them. Eventually they will trigger, with or without the PCs addressing it, changing the game states. The world around the players advances regardless of their resting. Ignore these things at your own peril, and the situation will boil.
Sure. However, the D&D community is rather insular and simply uninterested in "other games".

So far all those other games could be printed on the Moon, for all their impact on dndish games (read "no impact whatsoever")

Rephrased: until those mechanics appear in the official Player's Handbook (or maybe a Pathfinder equivalent) they could just as well not exist at all...
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Lonely fun is a big part of the RPG hobby, and what one finds to be fun alone dictates a lot here: clear, concise technical rules don't give me any lonely fun, hence I'll invest less time or pursue playing a game if that is the primary thing. Narratively flavorful reading gets my motor going, rules are just a background framework.
Yes obviously.

I can't believe PF2 is about to redo the same mistake 4E did, by going for a "clear" presentation.

The allure and excitement fundamental to D&D is its class-based approach, where each class is its own special snowflake present for you to unwrap.

Only a programmer would want to "clarify" that by breaking class abilities down into it's basic parts and them present them in a tedious catalog separated from the mystique of the class itself.

On the other hand, programmers routinely utterly underestimate how separated they are from the rest of human nature (I was one myself)...
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Doesn't that go back to the old "war vs sport" analogy? The question isn't how to have balanced encounters when you have variable recharge rates. The question is whether balanced encounters are even a desirable goal to begin with.

Pathfinder 2 design shows an unhealthy obsession with controlling numbers, which leads me to believe that they've adopted the "combat as sport" approach, which is never going to appeal to the audience of Pathfinder 1 players who hated 4E for exactly that reason.

Personally, I don't see the appeal in overcoming a challenge which has been carefully contrived in such a way that I should probably be able to beat it as long as I don't make obvious mistakes, but which is also engineered to make it seem like I'll be on the verge of failing at any moment.
Sure, when you put it that way.

But let me ask you: which is more fun
a) a combat encounter that might take a long time to resolve but never feels dangerous and never could pose a threat
b) a combat encounter which inadvertently turns out to be impossibly hard; monster AC you can't hit, special attacks you can't defend against
or c) a combat encounter that's challenging but not too challenging, so you actually have a reason to deploy your abilities in smart ways and are encouraged to actually team-work to make the sum of your party greater than its parts

In other words, are we maybe talking about different things?

Giving the DM accurate tools is one thing. Either you control the environment so you can predict the party's status at any given point (control rest and healing), or assume a fully rested party for any given encounter (the encounter-based balancing approach).

But that's separate from setting up frustration by always keeping the heroes on the verge of failing - that's the issue of pacing the challenge.

Indeed, if every encounter tests the heroes to the max, yes you'll get the sensation of "one single mistake and we're done for" (cue the Fantasy F*cking Vietnam role-playing joke).

But if anything, accurate balancing makes it *easier* to vary the challenge, not harder.

Remember all of that takes place behind the DM screen. As a player you shouldn't deny the DM good tools just because you want to live in a bubble of illusion the great game you're in came together just by accident.

All that means is you prefer to play with a master DM who has internalized all the DM know-how.

That does not bring new gamers into the hobby. In fact, it would mark you out as a grumpy old grognard, and their time is... well not now
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
All that means is you prefer to play with a master DM who has internalized all the DM know-how.
That does not bring new gamers into the hobby.
I suppose it doesn't, by itself. A TT gaming renaissance, being able to research the game on-line without the top hits being rants about how wrong and evil and not-D&D it is, the name recognition and rep of the "First RPG," these things bring new folks in to try (or at least, don't keep) D&D for the first time. A master DM who has internalized all the DM know-how, is just waiting for them, he didn't bring them there - but he will surely do a better job /retaining/ them, not letting them leave after a couple hours thinking "wow, that sure was a confusing, boring, stupid, game, I'll never play that again!"


it would mark you out as a grumpy old grognard, and their time is... well not now
Actually, the last 5 or so years have been a great time to be a grognard! OSR has had a big influence on the hobby, D&D has finally recaptured it's 80s popularity by repudiating just about everything grognards hated about 3e and 4e, and training a new generation of fans to appreciate it's take on RPGs as if it were the only one.

Grognards won.
 
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TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Personally, I don't see the appeal in overcoming a challenge which has been carefully contrived in such a way that I should probably be able to beat it as long as I don't make obvious mistakes, but which is also engineered to make it seem like I'll be on the verge of failing at any moment.
So not a fan of Dark Souls, I take it? :)
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Actually, the last 5 or so years have been a great time to be a grognard! OSR has had a big influence on the hobby, D&D has finally recaptured it's 80s popularity by repudiating just about everything grognards hated about 3e and 4e, and training a new generation of fans to appreciate it's take on RPGs as if it were the only one.

Grognards won.
The power of big data at work, finding out what works.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
But let me ask you: which is more fun
a) a combat encounter that might take a long time to resolve but never feels dangerous and never could pose a threat
b) a combat encounter which inadvertently turns out to be impossibly hard; monster AC you can't hit, special attacks you can't defend against
or c) a combat encounter that's challenging but not too challenging, so you actually have a reason to deploy your abilities in smart ways and are encouraged to actually team-work to make the sum of your party greater than its parts
Your first problem is that easy fights, which pose no threat, take a long time to resolve. Your second problem is that the PCs are apparently locked into inescapable death matches, against their will. If you fix those two problems, then contriving the third situation won't seem like the only option.
Remember all of that takes place behind the DM screen. As a player you shouldn't deny the DM good tools just because you want to live in a bubble of illusion the great game you're in came together just by accident.
There's no such thing as a great game, if it's actually contrived behind an illusion. Deception is the worst quality that a GM can have. If you can't trust that your GM is playing honestly, then there's no point in even playing.

Remember, the GM has three jobs: 1) Describe the world; 2) Play the NPCs; 3) Adjudicate uncertainty in action resolution.

This is an RPG. It's not fight club.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Your first problem is that easy fights, which pose no threat, take a long time to resolve. Your second problem is that the PCs are apparently locked into inescapable death matches, against their will.
Now I don't know what game you're talking about, or how that relates to NPC build rules...

The only game I know where "easy fights still take too long" is 4E, and I'm not defending that edition.

There's no such thing as a great game, if it's actually contrived behind an illusion. Deception is the worst quality that a GM can have. If you can't trust that your GM is playing honestly, then there's no point in even playing.
If you truly believe that, or it's inverse
a) that you "lie" just because your monsters don't follow PC build rules...
b) that following PC build rules somehow prevents a DM from "cheating" if they really want to...

I really have nothing to say to you...
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
Edit: This is not a troll thread. For the purposes of this thread, assume I am neutral towards 4th edition and that any similarities are neither bad not good. Thank you.

I've heard the sentiment "PF2 will be good because it's like D&D 4E" enough times now that I gotta ask:

What are the similarities between 4E and PF2? What could be the specific PF2 mechanics (and/or design assumptions) that makes anyone say this? And are these people the same ones that see similarities between 5E and 4E? (That is, are the alleged similarities between PF2 and 4E stronger or weaker than the ones between 5E and 4E?)

What (other than personal wish lists) could suggest PF2 will play like 4E and not like PF1 (and therefore 3.x?)

I am genuinely curious. Too many people here and at Reddit and elsewhere say this. No edition-bashing intended.
The final product isn't out yet, obviously, but from the playtest I found practically nothing to resemble 4E. I found it just a different version of 3.5 in all comparisons, with 5E proficiency matrix in mind. Speaking that I very rarely play anything with a level-based system, I found the proficiency system being a modifier of level an appealing way to perhaps trying such a thing again.

So if untrained is Level-X, and trained is Level, and everything else is an increase - it reminds me more of base attack bonuses from 3.5 than the 4E's half level to everything approach. The abilities may have action costs written in with them, but they don't have that cut and dry 4E feeling at all. The 'powers' aren't clean at all - they are written very much like 3.5 feat entries; "You can take a -2 penalty to whack at something different."

I think they have the chance to make something pretty nifty with PF2, and I'm waiting (im)patiently to see the final product, and hope a few aspects from the playtest, change. Picking your class based on a selection of 'Feats' just seems like a naming issue. I don't feel like they are feats so much as just class options, akin to 5E's subclasses, only without being adherent to a specific path once you start picking. I dunno - I just don't see the 4E comparison at all.

- my 2 cents.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
Now I don't know what game you're talking about, or how that relates to NPC build rules...

The only game I know where "easy fights still take too long" is 4E, and I'm not defending that edition.
In that case, you have (a2) easy fights that resolve quickly and the players get to show off how awesome they are, and you have (b2) impossible fights that the players avoid in order to show off how wise they are. The choice between your given options, (a) (b) or (c), was disingenuous. In reality, the choice between (a2) and (b2), or (c), is a lot less one-sided.

If you truly believe that, or it's inverse
a) that you "lie" just because your monsters don't follow PC build rules...
b) that following PC build rules somehow prevents a DM from "cheating" if they really want to...

I really have nothing to say to you...
I'm not talking about that. Those are honest choices, which a system can use or not, and players can accept (or reject) at face value.

I'm talking about the illusion of objectivity, where the GM pretends that they're running the world as a living place, while they're actually contriving the party into level-appropriate scenarios. When a great game comes together, it shouldn't be because the player was oblivious to what the GM was doing behind the screen (as you put it). If a game experience would be ruined for the player, if they ever found out how the GM was doing things, then it was never a good game to begin with.
 

Aldarc

Adventurer
Picking your class based on a selection of 'Feats' just seems like a naming issue. I don't feel like they are feats so much as just class options, akin to 5E's subclasses, only without being adherent to a specific path once you start picking. I dunno - I just don't see the 4E comparison at all.
Yeah, this actually reminded me much more of the 5e Warlock, where you can pick Invocations related to one of your paths (e.g., Blade, Chain, Tome), but most are essentially class features of your choice. Part of the popularity of the warlock, IMHO, is in how it provides players with greater build and customization points.
 

payn

Villager
The focus spells and replenishment of focus points to use them after a short rest, are pretty much encounter powers. The swap a class feat for another class feat hybrid-classing is pretty similar to 4E.
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
Yeah, this actually reminded me much more of the 5e Warlock, where you can pick Invocations related to one of your paths (e.g., Blade, Chain, Tome), but most are essentially class features of your choice. Part of the popularity of the warlock, IMHO, is in how it provides players with greater build and customization points.
That's a great point - I hadn't honestly thought of that, but Warlock is considerably popular in our 5E games - could be just that reason.

The focus spells and replenishment of focus points to use them after a short rest, are pretty much encounter powers. The swap a class feat for another class feat hybrid-classing is pretty similar to 4E.
I didn't do any Multi-classing in the playtest, so I hadn't really checked that section out - the watered-down feats from 4E multiclassing, before the PHB3, were terrible. As far as encounter resources, 5E uses several of those too (Warlocks, Martial Maneuvers, Monk Ki...) - so it made me think more of 5E's Monk than 4E's A/E/D approach, or the Nine Swords book from 3.5. It seems Encounter-based resource is becoming pretty popular (which I approve of whole-heartedly).
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
As far as encounter resources, 5E uses several of those too (Warlocks, Martial Maneuvers, Monk Ki...) - so it made me think more of 5E's Monk than 4E's A/E/D approach, or the Nine Swords book from 3.5. It seems Encounter-based resource is becoming pretty popular (which I approve of whole-heartedly).
I think it's important to keep in mind that 5e short rests resources are pretty pointedly /not/ encounter-based, the intended theoretical balance-point for encounters:short:long is 6-8:2-3:1, or about /two/ encounters between rests. And, that's in theory, in practice, it depends on how much time you have between encounters and whether you use a variant, like the 'gritty' variant that makes short rests 8 hrs and long rests a week. An hour or 8 between every encounter?

Literal "Encounter-based Resources" would recharge when you rolled initiative (or began an other-pillar 'encounter' in some formal way), and be unavailable for systematic use outside of encounters (during downtime, for instance).
 
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Xaelvaen

Explorer
I think it's important to keep in mind that 5e short rests resources are pretty pointedly /not/ encounter-based, the intended theoretical balance-point for encounters:short:long is 6-8:2-3:1, or about /two/ encounters between rests. And, that's in theory, in practice, it depends on how much time you have between encounters and whether you use a variant, like the 'gritty' variant that makes short rests 8 hrs and long rests a week. An hour or 8 between encounters?

Literal "Encounter-based Resources" would recharge when you rolled initiative (or began an other-pillar 'encounter' in some formal way), and be unavailable for systematic use outside of encounters (during downtime, for instance).
Yes, very true - I often forget the 1 hour short rest requirement of 5E due to the fact that when we play it, we use the 5 minute short rest alternate in the DMG - good catch though. We found that without a healer in the party, which is quite often since I'm the only one that really likes cleric all that much, the characters would find a way to get in that 1 hour rest regardless of circumstance (saving dungeons of course) to get to spend Hit Dice to heal. We decided to just get rid of the finagling and make it closer to 'encounter' resources.

Added bonus for me as the GM - getting to really push my players constantly, which they love, being old grognards like myself.
 

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