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PF2 What Would You Want from PF2?

Jester David

Villager
My recollection is that it was sold on the premise that a lot of gamers want to keep using 3e, so let's keep it in print with a new coat of paint.
That tracks with several of Bulhman’s interviews on Know Direction. They favoured backwards compatibility whenever possible.
The Pathfinder RPG wasn’t published so much to “fix” the rules as provide an in-print game system for their adventures. The APs were initially the priority. (But that kinda faded away as the ruleset took off.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Thank you. Excerpts from your post make for a brilliant illustration of my points!

Unfortunately it appears as if Paizo is designing the complete opposite of that... :-/
Yeah, and an even more accelerated math treadmill, IIRC, compared to 4e. And the treadmill was one of the things about 4e that bothered me. Mostly because the math ended up being wrong, and they had the gall to introduce feats to fix it, instead of just fixing it, but the steady inflation of all the numbers is just...lame?

I wouldn’t go back to playing a dnd that has different BaB tracks, or a hundred different types of bonuses that all stack, etc. I just was a game with simple math, and a lot of abilities. If I had the time and it was OGL so I could share my work with a wider audience, I’d gut the 4e math and replace it with something like 5e’s, replace most bonuses with “reroll but take the second result no matter what” and “reroll and take the better”, with the occasional “reroll any result lower than X until the die is X or higher”, and these benefits would never stack with themselves. The two flat rerolls wouldn’t stack(two sources of the lesser benefit would just give you the greater benefit instead), but the die result floor mechanic would. That would be the entire system of situation bonuses. Any penalty would just be 5e disadvantage. Maybe a “reroll natural 20s, taking the second result” you can impose with some powers.

The goal would be math that is quick and easy to check, with no loss in depth of character building choices. Then I’d see about making powers work more like 5e spell slots, except you can use X Heroic Powers, Y Paragon Powers, and Z Epic powers, in a given encounter or day.

There are other tweaks, but that describes the basic shape of a dnd I want to see. I’m tired of complexity of distinct options and tactical choices always being paired with unecessarily intrusive math.

Speaking of which, I was really stunned by the encounter building guidelines and XP rewards in the PF2 playtest. Essentially, they went back to 3e by having XP rewards depending on the difference between party level and monster level (so a monster one level below the party is worth 30 XP) while still having XP-based encounter budgets. I get why they did it that way (because they wanted a fixed amount of XP to level up), but it still feels like an unnecessary step in encounter building.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Resonance was mostly to stop people dropping 750gp every adventure for a wand of cure light wounds that is applied after every battle. And to stop mid to high level parties from buying a dozen small, low-power but useful magic items.
This is painful to watch from a 5E angle since you know that the obvious solution is to simply not have wands of CLW.

My high-level players obviously have enough money to buy lots of low-level items.

But 5E is so well designed there is few things to abuse. Almost everything you really want as a high-level character is attunement. Potions are examples of exceptions, since obviating Concentration remains useful even for low-level effects.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
That tracks with several of Bulhman’s interviews on Know Direction. They favoured backwards compatibility whenever possible.
Except it still changed a thousand little things.

Just like 3.5 vs 3.0

Compared to how 5E really changes 3E it all feels like uselessly faffing about with the details while completely missing the larger picture...
 

Green Onceler

Villager
The existence of 5E marks a watershed in the hobby. There is a before and an after regarding LFQW and NPCs, and I don't think D&D gamers will stand for a game that doesn't offer the 5E baseline.
You seem pretty sold on the idea of 5e being some kind of gaming panacea that all companies are obliged to mimic going forward. Perhaps you should stay in the D&D forum and begin agitating for 5.5e, rather than insisting other game companies adopt WotC's mechanics?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Man, I can only see about half the posts in this thread. Somebody I’ve blocked must be really invested in it! I won’t guess who.
 

Jason Bulmahn

Villager
Hey there all,

While there are too many, and in some cases contradictory, ideas in here for me to address directly, I felt like it might be useful to point out a few things about where we are at and the process that got us here.

- A couple of folks have brought up issues that arose during the playtest, calling them deal breakers, I think of almost all the ones mentioned, they have been addressed in the final version. After all, we used the playtest to look at some pretty radical departures from 1st ed, and while some of those we kept, others were discarded. That is why we playtest.

- Folks are right to identify the tricky spot we are in as a game in the current market and we went into this with our eyes wide open.

- Too that end, we looked to our core strengths as a game engine when making the final version of 2nd ed, while also trying to smooth out the rough spots. We want to make sure that you can use 2nd to tell the same stories that we told in 1st, but we want a game that is smoother to run and easier to learn. A lot of that comes from finding better ways to manage characters (smoother, intuitive leveling) and lightening the load on GMs (easy monster and NPC design, robust encounter building tools), but we also wanted to make sure that the game has a deep amount of customization. Some of this came to light in the playtest, but it did not get the level of polish I wanted until the final version. I am very happy with where we are right now.

I look forward to folks getting a chance to take a closer look at the game to see if we lived up to our goals as we get closer to release. Until then, you can watch us play the game and judge for yourself.
 

Jester David

Villager
I’ll probably check out the PDF for review purposes and will cross my fingers that the game is something I want to play.

It would have been doable to tweak the rules between the playtest.

Removing magic items from the math is a big one. Letting magic items be a bonus. As would pulling back the assumed crafting and prevelance of magic item shops, so people have an excuse to keep rate items and non-standard rewards (like keeps and boats). And so the game doesn’t have to invent new currencies and minigames to handle the maintinence of those.

Pulling back the bonuses should be easy. Rather than adding your level to checks it could be 1/2 level, or even 1/4 of your level. Adding 1/4 of your level plus training and ability scores still gives a nice difference between low and high level. But doesn’t quite get to the ridiculousness of 1d20+20 to checks at mid levels. And you don’t get the silliness of a level 5 barbarian being “smarter” than a level 1 wizard.

I’d like to see assumed builds. Basically assumed default paths for characters. So people who dislike character building (aka homework before playing) can just sit down and roll dice. But with options that you can swap out for different options.

But hopefully still less than what Pathfinder 1 could have with archetypes and feats and talents. Because that level of option creep just shatters balance.
Even if each option only alters your character’s balance by +/-0.25%, if there is a choice each level then by level 10 an optimized character is 2% more powerful than the baseline, and 5% more powerful than an inoptimal character.
(I had a player in my PF1 game who could solo encounters. That’s just problematic for everyone. In the final module of that AP I had to have the final three encounters pretty much go off all at the same time to challenge the party.)

Some focus on story manipulation and plot points would be lovely as well. Most modern games with systems created this decade have some roleplaying mechanic. 5e’s inspiration, Star Trek’s Momentum, FATE’s Fate Points, Star Wars’ Force Points, Doctor Who’s plot points, etc. Heck, arguably Resolve in Strafinder could be houserules to work in that capacity. Plus the drama of aspects in 13th Age and Duty/Obligation in Star Wars.
Some way of letting the players tweak the plot or play with the odds. And potentially a reward for roleplaying.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Jason thanks for the reply. I just want to see wands of clw gone that's a big one. As late as 2014 I played in a group that didn't use them, it's not like these a big sign in the PFRPG book saying to use them.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
You seem pretty sold on the idea of 5e being some kind of gaming panacea that all companies are obliged to mimic going forward. Perhaps you should stay in the D&D forum and begin agitating for 5.5e, rather than insisting other game companies adopt WotC's mechanics?
I understand if you're new to the thread it's easy to think I believe 5E is the best thing since slice bread, a holy writ where every letter is sacred.

That's not quiiiite true...

But I am using 5E as shorthand for two main things. (There might be a few more I would agree belongs if mentioned)

LFQW. A very sloppy way of saying that spells and spell combos are comprehensively cleaned up. This includes huge things, not only that Wizard power is generally curtailed, but also pre-combat buffing, items that buff, levels of individual spells, alignment and getting rid of the buff-teleport sequence that made attackers always overwhelm defenders.

NPCs. Again, very broadly: the DM can just plop down a monster or NPC with little or no prep. A HUGE timesaver. Not to mention how looting gear in itself wrecked balance.

Again, I reserve the right to discuss as if everyone is in on the concepts to save time and space.

It does not mean I hate everything Pathfinder and unconditionally love everything 5E.

But it does mean I am strongly of the opinion there are a couple of fundamentals that have changed, that these are unquestionably upgrades, and that no new DnDish game should be released without them.
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
I understand if you're new to the thread it's easy to think I believe 5E is the best thing since slice bread, a holy writ where every letter is sacred.

That's not quiiiite true...

But I am using 5E as shorthand for two main things. (There might be a few more I would agree belongs if mentioned)

LFQW. A very sloppy way of saying that spells and spell combos are comprehensively cleaned up. This includes huge things, not only that Wizard power is generally curtailed, but also pre-combat buffing, items that buff, levels of individual spells, alignment and getting rid of the buff-teleport sequence that made attackers always overwhelm defenders.

NPCs. Again, very broadly: the DM can just plop down a monster or NPC with little or no prep. A HUGE timesaver. Not to mention how looting gear in itself wrecked balance.

Again, I reserve the right to discuss as if everyone is in on the concepts to save time and space.

It does not mean I hate everything Pathfinder and unconditionally love everything 5E.

But it does mean I am strongly of the opinion there are a couple of fundamentals that have changed, that these are unquestionably upgrades, and that no new DnDish game should be released without them.
Theres other ways of fixing buff, teleport. That wasn't so much a thing in AD&D, the truly nutty buff spells didn't exist. Stoneskin was your best option but easy enough to get around by throwing dart, daggers etc at it.
 

Green Onceler

Villager
Yes, of course I've heard this acronym many times. It has just never really bothered me or the people I played with. If it bothers you and you feel 5e has solved the issue - great. Play that.

I am strongly of the opinion that these are unquestionably upgrades, and that no new DnDish game should be released without them.
I love it when people tell me their opinions are unquestionable. I know I'm in for a good conversation.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Theres other ways of fixing buff, teleport. That wasn't so much a thing in AD&D, the truly nutty buff spells didn't exist. Stoneskin was your best option but easy enough to get around by throwing dart, daggers etc at it.
There absolutely is.

Other ways than the exact solution chosen by 5E, that is. Yes indeed.

But the point is:
* SOME solution is needed and expected
* so far nothing suggests Paizo has even understood that 5E represents a sea change in the way people look at DnD

So when I talk as if the best way is to simply use 5E as your starting position and build from there... It is because at the very least I have reason to believe the devs won't be able to drag PF2 back into 3e/PF1 territory

But absolutely: I am open to other implementations with equally far-reaching consequences.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Yes, of course I've heard this acronym many times. It has just never really bothered me or the people I played with. If it bothers you and you feel 5e has solved the issue - great. Play that.
I fear my point flew right over your head, so let me have one more go at explaining.

This isn't about me.

This is me being convinced that after playing 5E most people will not accept playing a linear fighter together with quadratic casters anymore.

If Paizo wants to tap into the huge numbers of gamers created by 5E they better understand what makes that game truly different from previous efforts.

And it's not about simplicity. I easily believe there's lots of 5E gamers ready to bite into something more substantial.

However, I don't think many of them will accept LFQW and cluttery NPC building.

I honestly think that's not just me, but a fundamental aspect. Once you've experienced a party where the barbarian feels nearly as useful as the wizard, AD&D and 3rd edition and Pathfinder will seem awfully antiquated.

I believe it is a fatal mistake by Paizo to publish a new game that does not feature certain upgrades to the DnD experience brought by 5E.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Not everything from 5E is an upgrade lol.
Verily.

There are many many things about 5E that frustrate me, and at least one gaping hole where magic item support used to be.

Does this mean I'm considering switching back to 3E/PF? Absolutely not! (For the very reasons discussed right here)
 

Zardnaar

Adventurer
Well you have written it off before its even released. The playtest was a mess sure. Even if they used AD&D type numbers its an improvement they don't need to dump everything that would make 3.X appealing over say 5E.

There is still a decent amount of people online playing 3.X, catering to them might make better sense than being one among many for 5E.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
Well you have written it off before its even released. The playtest was a mess sure. Even if they used AD&D type numbers its an improvement they don't need to dump everything that would make 3.X appealing over say 5E.

There is still a decent amount of people online playing 3.X, catering to them might make better sense than being one among many for 5E.
I loved 3.x

I just couldn't stand creating another high-level NPC caster that lived for seconds but took hours to build.

I guess my point is that there is a lot of things that you can do to "cater" to people playing Pathfinder (d20).

And if one of those things were "backwards compatibility", I would absolutely had shut up, since if Paizo had gone ahead and made a "Pathfinder 1.5" all the power to them. It wouldn't be something I personally would have looked into, but congrats to everyone up for another decade of "d20 catering".

But since that's not the case, I'm here to speak my two cents. And that is to hope against hope Paizo will tap into the probably significant market share that's ready for some lovely player crunch (which d20/PF does splendidly) with classes, feats, subsystems, magic items and so on... just as long as the DM isn't buried in the same amount of crunch, and that the lesson of finally getting rid of LFQW isn't un-learned. (How this is accomplished is not nearly as important than that it is accomplished, and I'm certainly not married to specific 5E implementations)

Have a nice day!
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Some of this came to light in the playtest, but it did not get the level of polish I wanted until the final version. I am very happy with where we are right now.
Thank you for the rundown. I have confidence in you guys, but I just wanted to highlight this point and say that it kind of reminds me of that big Kotaku article on the failure of "BioWare Magic" in regards to Anthem and ME: Andromeda. "BioWare Magic" (and really any video game developer magic) referring to the crunch time before release where things would somehow manage to come together to make a great game despite a chaotic or unsatisfactory development cycle up until that point. Obviously this is a much more sustainable practice for an RPG company because you only tend to develop a system every five to ten years rather than every one or two, but it still feels a bit risky in some ways. I really hope it worked out for you guys though, because we need you guys to keep making the best adventures, :) .
 

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