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Pathfinder 2E Taking20 -"I'm Quitting Pathfinder 2e Because of This Issue"

Campbell

Legend
Not commenting on PF2 specifically, but in the interest of transparency I am a fan of the game.

I feel these illusion of choice arguments tend to come from people who do not really understand or care about games as games. Like in games you want some choices to be better than other choices in specific circumstances. I mean hopefully those choices are closer to play than character building, but we want this stuff to matter so you can get better at the game over time. I mean making the choices you make not obvious or the best in all circumstances is also good, but there should be a best choice in a given moment of play or there's no real like gameplay.
 

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nevin

Adventurer
People keep talking about his "wierd" choices like the 10 st. Yes it's a bad choice in PF2. It does illustrate though that choosing stats in pathfinder 2e isn't really a choice. You either optimize your stats or you suck. PF2e is a game with tight math and every tiny bit is important which makes the optimizing even more important than in PF1. There are other things as well. Using blasting and direct damage spells is almost always a bad choice. Casters are very much pushed into support roles, battlefield control, buffing etc. To me is seems clear after playing a few games that every single class is expected to play their optimal role and because of the tight math if they don't the consequences are usually painful.
 

People keep talking about his "wierd" choices like the 10 st. Yes it's a bad choice in PF2. It does illustrate though that choosing stats in pathfinder 2e isn't really a choice. You either optimize your stats or you suck. PF2e is a game with tight math and every tiny bit is important which makes the optimizing even more important than in PF1. There are other things as well. Using blasting and direct damage spells is almost always a bad choice. Casters are very much pushed into support roles, battlefield control, buffing etc. To me is seems clear after playing a few games that every single class is expected to play their optimal role and because of the tight math if they don't the consequences are usually painful.

<facepalm>

No, it doesn't. The point is that if you choose to have a 10 Strength, it means you had to boost other secondary stats: Intelligence giving you more skills, Charisma giving you ability to use debuffs like Intimidate, Feint, etc. You are weaker if you want to get into melee combat, but you also have a bunch of other options opened up to you because of it. This sort of cherry-picking misses how Pathfinder 2E is built differently than D&D, because PF2 characters are more broadly competent and have more options from the start, and it's why these arguments come off as so ill-informed.
 

nevin

Adventurer
So you are telling me a melee based character like a ranger doesn't suffer in damage output with a 10 st? Whether or not you like it. The Tight math increases the focus on optimizing your character. in a game where a +1 is a HUGE boost taking a 10 st is shorting yourself 4 pts. There's not enough debuffing and intimidation options to make up for that in combat for a melee class. Thus your melee class sucks, thus it was never a real choice in the first place. Yes his choices were bad for the game. But if I short myself 4 stat points in 1e pathfinder or 5th edition D&D it is a much lower impact on my character. In PF2 it's a major impact at every level.
 

So you are telling me a melee based character like a ranger doesn't suffer in damage output with a 10 st?

If you have Strength 10, melee combat isn't going to be your secondary go-to, though you can if you take certain feats. Again, as said before, Assurance doesn't care about your ability modifier, so if you take that and keep upgrading the skill, it can stand in for all the Athletics Skill Maneuvers instead of raw ability. So you won't cause damage in hand to hand, but you can strategically use Athletics skill maneuvers to help out and make your partners more effective.

Whether or not you like it. The Tight math increases the focus on optimizing your character. in a game where a +1 is a HUGE boost taking a 10 st is shorting yourself 4 pts.

This really isn't true: Feint basically gives you a +2 to hit on your strikes by making the target flatfooted, which puts you in decent territory to hit. And given that the +4 you took away from Strength has to go somewhere, you can be pretty good at Deception if you put it into Charisma.

There's not enough debuffing and intimidation options to make up for that in combat for a melee class. Thus your melee class sucks, thus it was never a real choice in the first place.

This is such a tortured reading of things. First off, the Ranger is not just a melee class: it has a bunch of options beyond just melee. If you want to be effective in melee, yes, you're going to have problems without a high strength... but if you don't have a high strength, you likely have another high secondary stat that can be of use in combat. Your dismissal of debuffing immediately contradicts what you just said: you said a +1 is a "HUGE boost", and with Intimidation everyone in the party gets it for whatever they want to do. Wizard casts a spell with a Will Save? Gets that bonus. Fighter smacks the dude? Gets a bonus. It even increases their own effective ACs, since the monster takes a penalty to hit until the end of their turn. You can't intimidate the same target again, but given the bonus, you probably won't need to.

And hell, Bon Mot can be done over and over again. Buff your wizards with insults that give a -2 Will for a minute!

Yes his choices were bad for the game. But if I short myself 4 stat points in 1e pathfinder or 5th edition D&D it is a much lower impact on my character. In PF2 it's a major impact at every level.

His choices aren't bad for the game, they betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how the game works: his build of the character needs more fleshing out, because if you take away 4 points from Strength they have to go somewhere else, and that suddenly changes his options. That's the stupidity here: you can't "half-make" a character, because the whole of what they are tells us what their options are. It's not like 5E, where options are generally so limited in combat that all you have is hitting it. Instead, your other stats actually have a purpose, and Cody just ignores that. That's the dishonesty of it, that he basically limits the field to what 5E can do, rather than letting PF2 actually do what it can do.
 

nevin

Adventurer
Im not disagreeing, his understanding of the game is poor.

yeah +1 for a buff is awesome but not if you gave up +4 to hit to do it. If your melee isn't doing damage buffing isn't going to help the party.
2e is a game that assumes you'll play certain classes in certain ways and build them in certain ways. Yes there are a lot of options but there aren't multiple good options.
 

Im not disagreeing, his understanding of the game is poor.

yeah +1 for a buff is awesome but not if you gave up +4 to hit to do it.

You're losing your +4 to hit, but others are getting a +1. It's a tradeoff: while you're still not getting everything you want, a +1 to the Fighter is more likely to crit, as well as the mage's spells and anyone else acting on that character.

If your melee isn't doing damage buffing isn't going to help the party.

I mean, the assumption was that the Ranger was still good at ranged combat. The thing was that he meant to show they were only good at ranged combat, and thus that was the optimized option. But again, characters are so broadly stat-ed out that it's hard to not have some secondary option. Charisma skills can debuff characters for the rest of the group (or for yourself with Feint), and using Recall Knowledge can help strengthen the group by pointing out weaknesses to exploit: for example, an Ogre's Will Save is +5, which (at 5th level), should be fairly easy for anyone who is Trained in a Charisma skill to abuse.

Also those buffs will help the Party: they only take one action, and a third attack is generally a harder pull than using something that isn't effected by MAP. Giving others in the party better chances to hit on their subsequent actions (as well as possibly increasing their critical chance) is a huge force multiplier.

2e is a game that assumes you'll play certain classes in certain ways and build them in certain ways. Yes there are a lot of options but there aren't multiple good options.

But there are, they are just dependent on the build and situation. That's the problem here: you have to actually build out a character to figure out what they are good at and what options they have.
 

Campbell

Legend
This is what the damage expression of an 11th level Ranger with the Precision Edge with 10 Strength shooting a striking long bow (on their initial attack).

4d8+0

This is what the damage expression of 11th level Ranger with the Precision Edge with 18 Strength shooting a striking long bow (on their initial attack).

4d8+2

This difference is not the result of a single decision. It is the result of several decisions. They passed Strength up for their Ancestry Boost. They again passed Strength up when they chose their Background Boost. Then in 3 separate instances when they got to boost 4 ability scores they decided Strength was less useful than 3 other ability scores. Not counting Dexterity because let's not be silly,

I do not think a high Strength score is mandatory for an effective archer. It's probably better than other options, but it's overall impact is going to be far less than the impact of making smart tactical choices that improve your chance of landing attacks.
 

This is what the damage expression of an 11th level Ranger with the Precision Edge with 10 Strength shooting a striking long bow (on their initial attack).

4d8+0

This is what the damage expression of 11th level Ranger with the Precision Edge with 18 Strength shooting a striking long bow (on their initial attack).

4d8+2

This difference is not the result of a single decision. It is the result of several decisions. They passed Strength up for their Ancestry Boost. They again passed Strength up when they chose their Background Boost. Then in 3 separate instances when they got to boost 4 ability scores they decided Strength was less useful than 3 other ability scores. Not counting Dexterity because let's not be silly,

I do not think a high Strength score is mandatory for an effective archer. It's probably better than other options, but it's overall impact is going to be far less than the impact of making smart tactical choices that improve your chance of landing attacks.

I mean, if they so desired they could also take a finesse weapon, which would allow them to hit in close combat but give them no damage modifier. Finesse weapons typically max out at around d6 (save for a few exceptions), but that's basically like getting a shortbow up close if they desired. So they wouldn't maximize their damage output, but they'd be able to do things up-close roughly as well as they could from a distance.
 

Haffrung

Adventurer
Not commenting on PF2 specifically, but in the interest of transparency I am a fan of the game.

I feel these illusion of choice arguments tend to come from people who do not really understand or care about games as games. Like in games you want some choices to be better than other choices in specific circumstances. I mean hopefully those choices are closer to play than character building, but we want this stuff to matter so you can get better at the game over time. I mean making the choices you make not obvious or the best in all circumstances is also good, but there should be a best choice in a given moment of play or there's no real like gameplay.
Or they care about games as games at the table. The char build game only became a thing in D&D with 3rd edition. To an earlier generation of players, getting through the Tomb of Horrors alive, using a pregen character, was a true test of player skill.

Char op is an element of the game that some players find tremendously engaging, and others care about not at all. I have guys in my group whom have been playing for 40 years and never so much as cracked a PHB away from the table.
 

Campbell

Legend
Or they care about games as games at the table. The char build game only became a thing in D&D with 3rd edition. To an earlier generation of players, getting through the Tomb of Horrors alive, using a pregen character, was a true test of player skill.

Char op is an element of the game that some players find tremendously engaging, and others care about not at all. I have guys in my group whom have been playing for 40 years and never so much as cracked a PHB away from the table.

Are you speaking in terms of your build determining success or in terms of there being mechanics to engage with at all?

If the former PF2 has done an excellent job of making the decisions that matter the most the ones you make at the table and would love to have that discussion. I would argue that it is a game that does not require a significant amount of time away from the table to play well.

If the latter I think some level of tuning your critique to your subject is necessary. Like I love B/X and even simpler OSR games like Mork Borg and Into The Odd, but it is obvious PF2 is not trying to be that type of game. Not even close.
 

teitan

Hero
I always thought 3e and PF1 had that illusion of choice because of people worried about AoO and remaining immobile in combats resulting in combats where it is just a bunch of PC's clumped around 1 or two enemies hacking away and not moving so they don't draw that AoO.
 

tetrasodium

Hero
Supporter
I always thought 3e and PF1 had that illusion of choice because of people worried about AoO and remaining immobile in combats resulting in combats where it is just a bunch of PC's clumped around 1 or two enemies hacking away and not moving so they don't draw that AoO.
5 foot step did not provoke an AoO so people would move just not all at once and because of the -5/-10/etc penalty on second/third/etc attack there was a big payoff for getting into flanking positions.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
I always thought 3e and PF1 had that illusion of choice because of people worried about AoO and remaining immobile in combats resulting in combats where it is just a bunch of PC's clumped around 1 or two enemies hacking away and not moving so they don't draw that AoO.
The by far biggest reason is because you only get a single attack if you move (more than a single step).
 

CapnZapp

Legend
And notably, a whole lot less opponents have AoOs in PF2e.
The d20 system was a great game for it's time. Remember that it had AD&D as its predecessor.

But its dichotomy between standard and full attacks just weren't a good solution. It heavily encouraged heroes and monsters to stand still and just duke it out. Static fights look and feel boring, predictable.

It's actually the one thing 4E did right. The way many powers gave you both an attack AND movement meant that players went "since I get to move for free why not move, can't waste a freebie". Which is good for the game - dynamic fights look and feel exciting, unpredictable.

I'm not really slagging d20 here. It assumed movement would be considered just as valuable as attacks. This didn't pan out but at least they tried. (WFRP2 lifted its fundamental combat framework straight from d20 and suffers from the exact same issue)

5E solve this issue, by not asking players to choose between movement and damage output. You get both. (Important: you can't convert the movement into bonus damage, which would only have brought us back to square one. The movement must be absolutely free, no strings attached!)

PF2 kinda gets a pass even though it still asks you to spend an action you could have used on attacking, in order to move. The attack is penalized, many monsters sport impressive ACs, and moving feels more valuable in a game where being outnumbered or flanked gets you killed. (Meaning that if every combat were easy you wouldn't feel compelled to use movement; it's the difficulty that saves PF2). Wisely the game doesn't pile onto the already-high cost of movement by giving attacks of opportunity to every monster (to finally get back to the topic discussed...)

Above opinions based on extensive play experience with every game mentioned. Yes, I've really played AD&D, 3E, WFRP2, 4E, 5E, and PF2.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Or they care about games as games at the table. The char build game only became a thing in D&D with 3rd edition. To an earlier generation of players, getting through the Tomb of Horrors alive, using a pregen character, was a true test of player skill.

Char op is an element of the game that some players find tremendously engaging, and others care about not at all. I have guys in my group whom have been playing for 40 years and never so much as cracked a PHB away from the table.

One of my players in a campaign that reached level 8 (it's on hold, maybe we'll return to it) played a monk, and admitted to me they never read the class once.
 

Thomas Shey

Adventurer
PF2 kinda gets a pass even though it still asks you to spend an action you could have used on attacking, in order to move. The attack is penalized, many monsters sport impressive ACs, and moving feels more valuable in a game where being outnumbered or flanked gets you killed. (Meaning that if every combat were easy you wouldn't feel compelled to use movement; it's the difficulty that saves PF2). Wisely the game doesn't pile onto the already-high cost of movement by giving attacks of opportunity to every monster (to finally get back to the topic discussed...)

Above opinions based on extensive play experience with every game mentioned. Yes, I've really played AD&D, 3E, WFRP2, 4E, 5E, and PF2.

Yeah, honestly, movement in PF2e is in a trade-off with other actions like raising a shield and the like more than it is with a third attack for most people because the third attack is often a Hail Mary anyway.
 

One nice thing is that the turn dynamic changes radically by build as well-- for most builds using a third action to attack is a hail mary, and you have way better things to be doing, but some characters can be built for it (flurry rangers come to mind) or for even weirder turn dynamics that include increasing defenses, debuffing, buffing, differing numbers of attacks, spells, and so forth.
 

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