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Pathfinder Second Edition Playtest

   
So... I read the pdf, and I'm sad to say there's nothing I like. There are things that leave me mostly indifferent, there are things that I dislike, and there are things I hate with a passion.

One thing I've always disliked in Pathfinder is the daily limits. That's one of the reasons I really enjoy DSP's Path of War. One aspect in particular is healing : while in combat, I understand how important HP are, I really hate the idea of the party having to stop and make camp because they're out of healing spells for the day.

Resonance (as mentioned above) and the fact that the Cleric is the only class that gets a decent amount of healing abilities (in term of uses per day) are two of the things I hate, as it 1. forces groups to take a cleric if they want to have more than one or two encounters per day and 2. forces them to set up camp after a few encounters because they're out of hp and of ways to regain them. By the way @TheFred, I see that as adding to the boring bits and preventing you to get on with the action, not the opposite

There are also classes feats. While the idea behind the system is not a bad one, the system itself feels really poorly implemented. In addition, the "Dedication" mechanics makes it
or "merely" very taxing, if you're a high-level character
impossible to dip in more than one archetype, considerably reducing the versatility that I really enjoyed in PF.

But what makes me really hate this system is how many things that were "iconic" for a class are now reserved to high-level characters, nerfed to the ground or just disappear. Stunning Fist for example could now be renamed "mildly annoying fist", as the chance of it actually causing the Stun condition is nihl (you have to critically hit and the target has to critically fail its save) ; the Paladin's Detect Evil moves up to level 8 while Smite Evil disappears entirely (replaced by a very disappointing Holy Smite at level 9) ; Rogues only get Evasion at level 9 now, and so on.

And the final thing I hate, this one with a passion, is the Proficiency system. Your class level is added to pretty much any roll you make, then a proficiency modifier ranging from -2 (untrained) to +3 (legendary) is applied. What this means is that a high-level barbarian who has never even touched a musical instrument will be much better at playing the piano than a low-level but talented bard who spent her youth practicing with the best piano teacher in the country would be, while a high-level mage who has never wielded a sword is a better fencer than the low-level captain of the guard of a small town. How does that make any sense ?

Well, yeah, gritty realism usually doesn't make for great gameplay... but the converse is something like an MMO, or 4th Ed. I can see both sides. I definitely don't like the "glf cleric" thing, though.

I'd mostly glossed over the proficiency system. I guess they thought they hadn't dumbed skills down enough from 3.5? I dunno, there's a lot of this I've not read yet.

What's wrong with 4ed ? I know it's VG like, or so gamers say, but to me, who am not into electronic gaming, those mechanics were a work of art and I regret not finding 4 ed games anymore... I must admit I was dragged screaming into trying that system, but I found out I loved it.

I can't judge the new PF ed, but I guess I won't test it, my groups are happy with 3.xx and 5ed, I haven't even played PF for a couple years at least.

It honestly seems like PF2 is pretty much just 5e, but PF. Right down to the complaints about Proficiency.

And that the conspiracy theorists were possibly right. SF might have been a lowkey field test for PF2.

Yeah, I agree with everything @Maeva said, too. It feels like rather than expanding the level 5-12 sweet spot, they just stretched out most of what you used to get at levels 1-3 until they reached level 9 or so. Considering I find playing at levels 1-3 a frustrating and tedious slog that I occasionally put up with to get to the fun parts, I'm not that interested in playing at that level for longer.

I don't understand why a company that literally built its business on servicing customers who didn't want something too new or different would decide that what they need to do is give them something completely new and different. It's a baffling marketing decision. A cleaned-up, moderately rebalanced 2e that was as backward compatible with 1e
That is, you have to tinker with some things but you can make it work.
as 1e is with 3.5 would have sold great and probably been adopted almost wholesale by the players, like how virtually no one played 3.0 once 3.5 came out.

I think what confuses me the most is that they completely failed to address some of the biggest concerns their actual fans had. Not the concerns of the kind of folks who called it "Pathfailure" and refused to play it, but things that the people who actually invested their time and money in the game complained about.
The biggest and most annoying one was the proliferation of completely trivial or even outright useless abilities. You have to go three or four levels deep into a feat chain to actually get anything more interesting than a situational +1 or the ability to do something that all characters ought to be able to do anyhow. And that doesn't seem to have changed at all. Sad!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veradux View Post
It honestly seems like PF2 is pretty much just 5e, but PF. Right down to the complaints about Proficiency.
I'm really coming around to 5e, and PF2.0 doesn't seem to really offer anything I want from PF1.0 and the stuff it offers from 5e is already in 5e... So why would I switch to PF2.0 instead of 5e?

That's really the sense I'm getting from it, and I think a lot of other people are feeling the same way too.

I think they're likely thinking that they can do what they did with 3.5. IE, inviting a market hungry for stuff over to their table during a time when the stuff they're familiar with is being actively given the bird by the company that made it in favor of the new version (reaaaaal smart marketing there, WotC).

Problem with that theory is that 5e is still active.

The other theory is that they're banking on brand loyalty, which, if the forums are anything to go by, is a decent bet.

Anyways, with the actual mechanics...
The shield mechanics and feats really bummed me out. Shields in most games bum me out, though. So I kinda expected it. But typing this right after doing a bunch of practice with the shield-using characters in For Honor makes me really mad that most games have shields be static bricks that just give +whatever and sometimes be used to hit things. And PF2 may try to step it up, but they kinda just end up eating away at all your actions for minor bonuses and/or the possibility of doing something neat.

I think the system overall relies way too much on Criticals and "If you do X on your turn and your opponent critically fails Y on their turn, roll to see if you do Z".

Especially in a d20 system. I don't want to be so beholden to the dice. As I level up, I want to gain power over the dice, not pray that they favor me so that my feat slot(s, because feat chains) didn't go to waste.

A system that relies on criticals and other, by definition rare, similar events has serious design issues and is definitely not ready to be published... back to the workdesk Paizo.

I was kind of joking about 4th Ed - I looked at it (and tried to make characters for it) once, it's just that it's kind of different. Some people love it, but it's taking a totally different approach which a lot of us don't really fancy.

The whole "PF2 is just trying to capitalise on 5e" cynicism thing is something I've heard before and hardly seems unlikely, but I don't know whether I blame them for it. They're out to make money so if they believe it will work, good for them. Part of me dislikes Paizo generally for marketing well a product which IMO isn't that good, because it feels a bit like a con, but that's just business I guess (plus, in fairness, the actual rules are all available for free, so you only have to pay for the actually decent bits which are the APs). So I didn't want to get too much into that. Plus I've hardly even looked at 5e, myself, so whilst they do look superficially similar I for one can't really make any judgement on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leons1701 View Post
I think what confuses me the most is that they completely failed to address some of the biggest concerns their actual fans had.
...
You have to go three or four levels deep into a feat chain to actually get anything more interesting than a situational +1 or the ability to do something that all characters ought to be able to do anyhow.
Wait, Paizo ignored the advice of fans who actually knew what they were talking about and published sucky mechanics anyway? This could never happen!

But seriously, that is extra disappointing given that one of their stated design goals is to make feats more interesting and feat trees flatter. Actually, they've sort-of done that - hardly any of the general feats have prereqs - but they seem to have done it mostly by getting rid of all of the interesting feats - hardly any of the general feats require actions to activate; some let you do more interesting things as part of other actions but many are just boring +s or whatever. They seem to have made most combat feats into Fighter-specific feats (because clearly no other class can learn to fight... also no multiclassing). The feat chains themselves don't actually look too bad, at least compared with PF1 (which actively made things worse from 3.5) but a lot are more limited by level (Whirlwind Attack now has no feat prereqs, except that you need to be a L14 Fighter, etc).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
A system that relies on criticals and other, by definition rare, similar events has serious design issues and is definitely not ready to be published... back to the workdesk Paizo.
Actually, critical successes and failures happen when you get a very good or very bad score, as well as on nat 1s and 20s. If your bonus is way higher than the DC, you'll be able to get reliable crits pretty much all the time.







 

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