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I've been playing Pathfinder lately, and in the abstract I can sympathize with some of the stated goals of the revamp.  However, the big appeal for me for Pathfinder is that it's largely compatible with the huge glut of d20 material I accumulated back during the "OGL" boom back in the Aughts and somehow never got rid of.  It's kind of nice to have a huge collection of already-written adventures, and the ability (at least theoretical) that even if Pathfinder institutes a few "tweaks," I could still run those same adventures largely as written.

 

If they "overhaul" the system too much, that's going to go away as a selling point.  I don't know if that's what they're going to do.  I guess I might not really know for sure until August.  In the meantime, I'm still playing Pathfinder on Fantasy Grounds, and I don't foresee shelling out lots of $$$ to retool all our Fantasy Grounds mechanisms to account for a slightly-but-significantly-changed system.  Also, a friend of mine is starting up a "Kingmaker" campaign in a few weeks, so I guess I'll get a refresher on what it's like to play at an actual tabletop, too.

 

I can only hypothesize.

 

The stated desire to tackle the complicated tier of action types -- standard, move, full-round, immediate, free, swift, etc. -- and to simplify it ... yeah, I guess I can appreciate that.  It's a little bit of a speed bump if I'm new to the system, or having to bounce between too many game systems on a regular basis to remember what sort of action is what.  However, it really never struck me as a game-breaker in need of an overhaul per se.

 

The desire to tackle the relationship between the need for PCs to accumulate newer and better arms and armor with higher pluses to hit and damage and protection in order to meet the challenge scale of encounters at higher levels?  Okay, I'm all ears about that, but it could be good or bad.  For one thing, for a long time we've made jokes about some player acquiring and getting excited about his shiny new +1 Backscratcher with its long and storied history of heroics ... and then selling it off without a second thought to Ye Olde Magik Pawne Shoppe as soon as he finds one with a *+2* bonus.  Story-wise, it just seems kind of silly how magic items are so monetized and TRIVIAL in the Pathfinder universe -- even though the amounts of cash involved are enough that you could sell your +1 magic sword and BUY A NICE HOUSE, so the economy's really weird, and things get really messy as soon as a PC gets it into his head that maybe he should try raiding merchants for their vast stores of magic items and gold pieces rather than raiding dungeons.  But I digress.

 

On the other hand, we've been playing "Rise of the Runelords" online, and I've really had my face rubbed around in the meta-aspect of how encounter ratings at higher levels are based on the ASSUMPTION that PCs at a certain level will have acquired powerful combat-ready magic items of a certain power level.  Once upon a time, when I was young and naive, when I managed to get some amulet or dagger with a nice shiny bonus to it, I imagined that it would make it all the easier to survive the next encounter with goblins.  What I didn't realize was that we'd never see a goblin again, and instead it's up from there to orcs, bugbears, and so on, in a never-ending arms race -- and if I DON'T get those weapon upgrades, I'm going to fall behind.  (And the GM has been fretting that the GM guidelines tell him, "At this point, the PCs should be at such-and-such level, and have thus-and-such GP worth of combat gear," and yet we aren't, and we don't, and apparently this campaign world offers us absolutely nothing in the way of "side-quests" we can go on to try to address this deficiency, so I'm rather NERVOUS about the next installment, considering how perilously close to TPK we keep getting.)

 

So ... removing the arbitrary acquisition of +X weapons and armor from the combat difficulty equation?  Sounds interesting.  I have no idea how that's supposed to HAPPEN without getting terribly video-gamey about it ("Lo and behold, as a level 5 Warriordude, a +1 magic sword MATERIALIZES in your hand with level-up sparkles and fanfare!") but I'll be curious to find out.

 

...

 

Now, one thing that concerns me a little more is this mention of the idea that Feats are now going to be a function of not merely your class, but also of your race -- er, I mean, "Ancestry."  (Okay, seriously, I don't mind replacing the term "Race" with "Ancestry."  It sounds less scary, and prompts me to be less picky when it's really a matter of SPECIES.)  That sounds a little too much like what I thought was happening in 4th Edition, where, by virtue of being an Orc or Dwarf, you're just going to get these ANCESTRY-specific benefits at level 5 and 10 and 15 or whatever.

 

I suppose that the INTENT is because they think, "Gee, isn't it terrible that your Ancestry is so important at character creation, but then it becomes less and less important as you increase in level as a hero?"  But to that, I think ... WHY NOT?  I mean, to me it seems entirely appropriate that when you start as a novice, factors beyond your character's control (such as the matter of his birth) are going to have a large impact on his starting connections, wealth, etc.  However, as he distinguishes himself as a hero, it only makes sense that his choices in career and his personal accomplishments will come to be more prominent in defining him as a character.  If anything, I think it's GREAT that as you increase in level, any two Dwarf Clerics or Half-Orc Fighters or Human Rogues will be less likely to be mirror-reflections of each other.

But ... ah ... I've only heard some very, very vague things.  I don't know where they're going with it.

 

Just please, PLEASE, please, whatever happens ... let me still use the same minis!  :D

 

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I read the announcement yesterday. Sure seems like they're taking ideas from D&D 5th edition, with backgrounds that provide mechanical benefits and the use of reactions during rounds and defining monster challenge by more than just hit dice...

Hmmmm.

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D&D has ALWAYS had ever increasing magical weapons.

 

Earlier editions, and the ones when I learned the game, didn't even TRY to balance things.

 

3e made things more mechanical, but also gave guidelines, so +3 swords weren't in first level treasures.

3 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

I read the announcement yesterday. Sure seems like they're taking ideas from D&D 5th edition, with backgrounds that provide mechanical benefits and the use of reactions during rounds and defining monster challenge by more than just hit dice...

Hmmmm.

I thought 5e got those from Pathfinder.

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11 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

I thought 5e got those from Pathfinder.

If these were things Pathfinder already had, then why are they being boasted as new additions to Pathfinder 2nd Edition?

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkl9?First-Look-at-the-Pathfinder-Playtest

Quote

Next you decide on your background, representing how you were raised and what you did before taking up the life of an adventurer.

Quote

Between turns, each character also has one reaction they can take to interrupt other actions.

Quote

First off, monsters are a lot easier to design. We've moved away from strict monster construction formulas based off type and Hit Dice. Instead, we start by deciding on the creature's rough level and role in the game, then select statistics that make it a balanced and appropriate part of the game. Two 7th-level creatures might have different statistics, allowing them to play differently at the table, despite both being appropriate challenges for characters of that level.

 

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1 hour ago, Dr. Wyrm said:

I believe it's the immersion-breaking of game mechanics with setting-based names.

That's a big part of it. I won't lie. As stated before, I am not fond of Golarion, so that affects my feelings on this.

 

However, I think what Werkrobotwerk is trying to get to in a nice way, is whether laziness or unfamiliarity with the system are a factor in why somebody would reject infusing the fluff with the crunch.

In my case, no, I have been gaming the 3.X system since its inception, and by "gaming," I mean tweaking, converting, bending, breaking, smashing, etc., to fit my needs and tastes. I am a mechanics monkey.

 

Getting back to my pithy comment that one does not go out of one's way to intentionally buy a chocolate chip cookie full of raisins just so one can have the "privilege" of picking them out one by one... To put that another way, do we make our buying decisions based on how much irritating crap we can put up with in one product versus another? Or do we go with what we don't find irritating at all?

 

More importantly in general, I think highly creative people like to feel some sense of "ownership" in what they create. The more derivative a thing is forced to be, the less ownership we feel, and that lessens the sense of accomplishment and lessens investment (read: love) in the thing.

 

Additionally, other IPs act as roadblocks to the creative process. Writing around them becomes cumbersome and depending on depth of IP/crunch infusion, can require unhappy rules changes.

 

I think some of the latter might be unavoidable when you are publishing third party material that is very genre specific, but doing that comes with a different set of rewards. Somebody else should not have to do that sort of extensive writing just to play his home campaign on his own table.

 

Rules as vanilla as Pathfinder currently is, avoid this issue naturally. Infusing fluff into the crunch creates this issue without exception, in my experience.

 

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32 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

D&D has ALWAYS had ever increasing magical weapons.

 

Earlier editions, and the ones when I learned the game, didn't even TRY to balance things.

 

 

Yeah, I figured that much, and wasn't meaning to imply otherwise.  When I was "young" -- well, there definitely wasn't any Pathfinder around then, and jokes about the +1 Backscratcher predated it as well.  The notion of "balance" seemed to entirely be, "Well, EVERYONE gets a chance to roll ridiculously high on the dice."  And, oh, how amazing it is when you tell the players to roll up their characters at home, that it JUST SO HAPPENS that fully half the party consists of characters who rolled 00 on d100 and thus have psionic powers.  And the Fighter of COURSE has 18/## Strength.  Now, once the rolling was in the hands of the GM for things like treasure tables, such Amazing Coinkadinks to the great enrichment of the PCs tended to be less frequent.  I have absolutely no idea how one determined what a "fair" encounter size was.  Based on my limited experience, I have a feeling it really wasn't much of a consideration.

 

Anyway, "easier monster design" could be nice.  I tried running a 3rd edition World of Warcraft campaign (3rd party add-on material) for a bunch of players familiar with the online WoW game, and they wanted to go on a world tour.  In the online game, when there's a particular monster type, you're going to keep encountering it all over the world, regardless of your level.  Murlocks aren't just some petty thing that only bothers you at level 1 -- no, when you're level 50 or whatever, they're still popping up in the area you finally accessed (ARgleblargleblargle!) except that they're called "Firechucker Murlocks" and they're color-shifted orange, and now they breathe FIRE at you ... or whatever.  So here I am, trying to level up a basic monster profile with hit dice AND slap on a fire attack, and I've got a player complaining that, "If it's a 10 HD monster, and the 2 HD version has a Reflex save of N, then this one's Reflex save should be X!"  And I have to resist the urge to throw dice at him.  Razzlefrazzlecomplicatedmonsterlevelingrules!  But then, I suppose the simple solution would just be not to have any rules lawyers / card-counters / mathematical wizzes at the table.  ;)

 

 

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1 minute ago, Bruunwald said:

More importantly in general, I think highly creative people like to feel some sense of "ownership" in what they create. The more derivative a thing is forced to be, the less ownership we feel, and that lessens the sense of accomplishment and lessens investment (read: love) in the thing.

 

Additionally, other IPs act as roadblocks to the creative process. Writing around them becomes cumbersome and depending on depth of IP/crunch infusion, can require unhappy rules changes.

 

I can relate to this in some senses, I think. I always loved how my earliest D&D experiences were framed in a very specific but also blank space. We even played in the Greyhawk setting while simultaneously knowing nothing about it because the game mechanics and the fluff were totally separate entities. We had the PHB and the poster map, a scant bit of here-and-there knowledge. It was neat.

 

These days got freakin' Drizzt in the PHB grumble grumble rabble rabble.

 

And I mean, they werent that bad or anything, but still. The flavor's all over the place, seems like. I actually don't understand why the D&D powers didn't do an entirely straight, clean PHB for 5e and then release a kickin' guidebook for pertinent settings. I understand wanting to avoid the overload of previous editions, but I'd've been all-in on such a setup.

 

Anyway. It's one of the things I thought Pathfinder did very well, on the whole. Golarion, even, ad a world, is big enough with enough blank space that a body can operate. As much as I love Dragonlance, and the Realms to a lesser degree, they always feel like other people's stories. It's nice having that license to create without having to erase something first, at any rate.

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36 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

If these were things Pathfinder already had, then why are they being boasted as new additions to Pathfinder 2nd Edition?

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkl9?First-Look-at-the-Pathfinder-Playtest

 

I was talking about Background, which IS in the current Pathfinder, and which 5e DID borrow from Pathfinder.

 

Pick a race, modify it with archetypes, add traits. Same song.

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29 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

I thought 5e got those from Pathfinder.

 

15 minutes ago, BlazingTornado said:

If these were things Pathfinder already had, then why are they being boasted as new additions to Pathfinder 2nd Edition?

http://paizo.com/community/blog/v5748dyo5lkl9?First-Look-at-the-Pathfinder-Playtest

 

Evolution - which actually began, to my mind at least, with Unearthed Arcana(3.5) adding in a means to modify the base characteristics of both classes and races, and in Savage Species (3e) - adding in the concept of building a racial archetype over multiple levels.

 

Claiming that something is new and innovative does not make something new and innovative - whether it is WotC or Paizo.

 

Paizo borrowed from WotC for Pathfinder, WotC borrowed from Paizo for 5e, and now Paizo is borrowing from WotC for P2.

 

With each step revising the mechanics to some degree.

 

And before I get too far about innovation - I much prefer evolution to innovation - an engineer will tell you that innovation fails nine times out of ten. A biologist will tell you that engineers are optimists. (4e was innovative, Pathfinder was an evolution.)

 

By the what I just read, the Ancestry mechanic is built from the racial archetypes in Advanced Player's Guide on and Racial Traits, just consolidating them further.

 

And, yes, I do feel that 5e borrowed that from Pathfinder and built on it, and that Pathfinder is borrowing from 5e and building on that in turn.

 

I... am not actually convinced in regards to the simplified monster creation - I prefer a mechanistic, structured approach, and am afraid that this may be borrowing too much from 5e. I like having the same mechanics between creatures and PCs.

 

But I might well be in the minority on that one.

 

The Actions... I like the sound of it, but would need to see it in action to make up my mind. It seems workable. (And might help keep Jon's Barbarian alive longer.) The Reactions seems more borrowed from Magic the Gathering than from 5e - but seems a good idea.

 

The Auld Grump

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17 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

However, I think what Werkrobotwerk is trying to get to in a nice way, is whether laziness or unfamiliarity with the system are a factor in why somebody would reject infusing the fluff with the crunch.

 

No. This is not what I am getting at.

 

what I am getting at is an attempt to understand what the specific complaint is. Dr. wyrm's statement about setting names within the rules gets toward what I am trying to understand. I do not agree with it, but convincing people of it or being convinced is not my goal. I want to get to what factors cause this to be an issue for some people so I can better understand what causes people to choose one ruleset over another for specific uses, and to that end what use do people put pathfinder to that doesn't match their new rules changes.

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28 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

That's a big part of it. I won't lie. As stated before, I am not fond of Golarion, so that affects my feelings on this.

 

However, I think what Werkrobotwerk is trying to get to in a nice way, is whether laziness or unfamiliarity with the system are a factor in why somebody would reject infusing the fluff with the crunch.

In my case, no, I have been gaming the 3.X system since its inception, and by "gaming," I mean tweaking, converting, bending, breaking, smashing, etc., to fit my needs and tastes. I am a mechanics monkey.

 

Getting back to my pithy comment that one does not go out of one's way to intentionally buy a chocolate chip cookie full of raisins just so one can have the "privilege" of picking them out one by one... To put that another way, do we make our buying decisions based on how much irritating crap we can put up with in one product versus another? Or do we go with what we don't find irritating at all?

 

More importantly in general, I think highly creative people like to feel some sense of "ownership" in what they create. The more derivative a thing is forced to be, the less ownership we feel, and that lessens the sense of accomplishment and lessens investment (read: love) in the thing.

 

Additionally, other IPs act as roadblocks to the creative process. Writing around them becomes cumbersome and depending on depth of IP/crunch infusion, can require unhappy rules changes.

 

I think some of the latter might be unavoidable when you are publishing third party material that is very genre specific, but doing that comes with a different set of rewards. Somebody else should not have to do that sort of extensive writing just to play his home campaign on his own table.

 

Rules as vanilla as Pathfinder currently is, avoid this issue naturally. Infusing fluff into the crunch creates this issue without exception, in my experience.

 

 

I pretty much agree - I much prefer a toolbox for the game itself, and letting the setting define the fluff - and to a degree, define rules modifications to fine tune the system to fit the setting. (Spycraft 2.0 is excellent in that regard.)

 

The Auld Grump

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7 minutes ago, TheAuldGrump said:

I... am not actually convinced in regards to the simplified monster creation - I prefer a mechanistic, structured approach, and am afraid that this may be borrowing too much from 5e. I like having the same mechanics between creatures and PCs.

 

Same here. I don't get the appeal of changing that up at all.

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2 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

I was talking about Background, which IS in the current Pathfinder, and which 5e DID borrow from Pathfinder.

 

Pick a race, modify it with archetypes, add traits. Same song.

I've rolled up two Pathfinder characters for two different DMs and there was never a background involved. Definitely not anything identifying what my character did before adventuring on the character sheet. Picked race, picked class, got skill ranks, got feats, one game added "traits" from a splatbook.

Nothing like "what were you before adventuring? A soldier? Well then that'd make you decent at being athletic and intimidating, and also it'll make members of the army defer to your rank if need be. A noble? Well that means you know your history, and you're probably the persuasive type, and also it means you'd have an easier time meeting the upper crust and rulers of locales than a common folk. A criminal? You'd be sneaky and good at swiping things, and you'd have a contact in the underworld."

 

35 minutes ago, Bruunwald said:

Infusing fluff into the crunch creates this issue without exception, in my experience.

I'm with you on that, this is one of my current worries with D&D 5E...

The creative team looks like they are currently rocking a massive love of the "Raven Queen" and seek to codify her into all the settings.... They even did an Unearthed Arcana were she was a patron (unlike other pacts which were vaguer things like "archfiend", "archfey", "great old one" or "celestial"), which thankfully did not make it to a finalized book yet.

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15 minutes ago, Jordan Peacock said:

 

Yeah, I figured that much, and wasn't meaning to imply otherwise.  When I was "young" -- well, there definitely wasn't any Pathfinder around then, and jokes about the +1 Backscratcher predated it as well.  The notion of "balance" seemed to entirely be, "Well, EVERYONE gets a chance to roll ridiculously high on the dice."  And, oh, how amazing it is when you tell the players to roll up their characters at home, that it JUST SO HAPPENS that fully half the party consists of characters who rolled 00 on d100 and thus have psionic powers.  And the Fighter of COURSE has 18/## Strength.  Now, once the rolling was in the hands of the GM for things like treasure tables, such Amazing Coinkadinks to the great enrichment of the PCs tended to be less frequent.  I have absolutely no idea how one determined what a "fair" encounter size was.  Based on my limited experience, I have a feeling it really wasn't much of a consideration.

 

Anyway, "easier monster design" could be nice.  I tried running a 3rd edition World of Warcraft campaign (3rd party add-on material) for a bunch of players familiar with the online WoW game, and they wanted to go on a world tour.  In the online game, when there's a particular monster type, you're going to keep encountering it all over the world, regardless of your level.  Murlocks aren't just some petty thing that only bothers you at level 1 -- no, when you're level 50 or whatever, they're still popping up in the area you finally accessed (ARgleblargleblargle!) except that they're called "Firechucker Murlocks" and they're color-shifted orange, and now they breathe FIRE at you ... or whatever.  So here I am, trying to level up a basic monster profile with hit dice AND slap on a fire attack, and I've got a player complaining that, "If it's a 10 HD monster, and the 2 HD version has a Reflex save of N, then this one's Reflex save should be X!"  And I have to resist the urge to throw dice at him.  Razzlefrazzlecomplicatedmonsterlevelingrules!  But then, I suppose the simple solution would just be not to have any rules lawyers / card-counters / mathematical wizzes at the table.  ;)

 

 

 

 

You... never actually looked at those old treasure tables, did you?

 

Believe it or not, 3e actually curbed that tendency, not increased it.

 

Those tables were very random. (To the point that I never knew any GMs that bothered using them.)

 

3e added a hard(ish) rule on how much treasure, and what treasures, a character would have at X level, meaning that characters suffered less from both stingy bastich GMs (hi!) and Monty Haul GMs.

 

I... was notoriously cheap - and, yes, even in earlier editions of D&D, there was an assumption that PCs would be equipped to handle the creatures they were facing at their current level - facing a wraith without magic weapons could, and did, end in TPK. (Even in published adventures. Go the wrong direction in Bone Hill and the only hope you have is that the Magic User hasn't used up all his combat spells.)

 

But no real guidelines were given for when the treasures needed should be showing up - plenty of published TSR adventures had the PCs discovering that +1 sword at first level.

And the only way to get the magic items was to find them.

 

Balance... was not even a suggestion - PCs with better stats got an experience bonus, so got even better, faster, while psionics needed a character with great ability scores - rewarding them with even more power.

 

3.X made games more compatible across GMs. I would be less likely to mess up the characters by having them find a wad of pocket lint when they really needed that +1 Backscratcher. They set a standard.

 

Sadly, in AD&D 2e, when TSR finally got around to nail down making magic items, the creators got experience for making them....

 

Blech.

 

3e and 3.5 balanced magic items by expending XP, while Pathfinder balances things by adding risk to magic item creation. (You can fumble it.)

 

As for the +1 Backscratcher, look up why RuneQuest was first created. ::P:

 

The Auld Grump

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On fluff - I've known several people who complained about Pathfinder because there wasn't enough fluff. A number of people I know up like to read the handbooks cover-to-cover like books and appreciate the fluff. Then again, I mostly know gamers who started in the last 10 years, due to my age. 

 

I don't care either way, personally. I just figured I should interject the other side of the fluff argument, since this conversation seemed a bit...one-sided.

 

Pros on Fluff:

- Makes the game much more approachable to new players and GMs. Trying to figure out the mechanics, and then apply them to a new setting is difficult for new GMs (such as myself - I'm using Forgotten Realms because I was overwhelmed by the overhead for my own games to start with). 

- Makes it a lot easier to get through reading all of the rules, not just the ones pertinent at the moment

 

Cons:

- Can be difficult to get players to look around the fluff (looking at you, paranoia)

- Can make it difficult to create own world, and likely biases world creation a bit. 

 

Y'all have mentioned most of the cons I know off other than those...

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    • By Veegis
      Hi all!
      Recently began painting miniatures. I got Crowe, Iconic Bloodrager. I made him a beard and colored it. How will you evaluate the work?


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