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36 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

Grump has us trained to do 90% of that ahead of time.

 

So it doesn' t come out near that complicated in play. The Bardic Performance would be the only thing not mathed out ahead of time.

 

Calculus doesn't even enter into it, algebraic at worst.::P:

 

14 minutes ago, Mad Jack said:

When I write up my character sheet, I also do a cheat sheet with all the calculations on it, and all the possible bonuses, mitigating factors, etc....

 

So I know ahead of time what my to-hit bonus is on a regular hit, when I'm flanking, etc., and what situations help me or hurt me.

Having my basic numbers already calculated and a list of the bonuses and penalties for possible situational modifiers (flanking, obscured vision, whatever), makes it incredibly easy to remember my numbers - if you read the same thing five times in a ten minute period,  it won't take too long before you have it completely memorized.

Indeed, there are many tips, tricks and tools to easily keep track of all the bonuses. For some, it's second nature. For others, it's a bunch of numbers that just keeps piling on and on and deters from the story. So it's easy to understand the appeal of simpler systems.

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22 minutes ago, Cranky Dog said:

 

Indeed, there are many tips, tricks and tools to easily keep track of all the bonuses. For some, it's second nature. For others, it's a bunch of numbers that just keeps piling on and on and deters from the story. So it's easy to understand the appeal of simpler systems.

Until you want to to something those simple rules don't cover.

 

Early 4e even told DMs not to allow player to do things not in the rules. :angry: So I decided the way I would handle those things not in 4e was to NOT USE 4e!

 

Wizards screwed up 4e SO BAD, I haven't even bothered to look at 5e.

 

I haven't looked hard at Pathfinder 2 either, I'm happy with the current version.

 

Grump seems to like some of what he has read about P2, but why change if you are happy with what you already have?

 

 

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On backgrounds: would I like some mechanical benefit from my background story?  Yes!  Do I want to tailor my background story around somebody else's idea of what makes sense for a particular type of character?  No!  I read the whole ideal/bond/flaw chapter in the 5e handbook, and promptly decided to ignore it.  I suppose it might be helpful for someone who has difficulty inventing backstory.  If PF2 goes the same route -- where you can't really build a character without accepting someone else's preconceived notions -- I will be getting out the homebrew pot.

 

On simplifying the game: Certainly a noble goal.  When playing Pathfinder -- and 3.5 before it -- it's super easy to get bogged down in arithmetic.  Particularly if the party has both a bard (or other buffer) and a witch (or other debuffer).  Pretty soon the players are up to their ears in bonuses:

 

Let's see, that +3 enhancement, +2 morale, +1 insight, -2 fatigued but that variant channelling lets me ignore the fatigue so my final total for this round is ... wait I forgot the strength bonus of +4, so +10!  No wait, BAB, BAB!  It's 21.  Crap, flanking, 23!

 

Meanwhile the GM is trying to keep track of how gimped the opposition has become.

 

So the big bad passed his Will save against the Evil Eye (saves), but he's automatically affected for one round anyway and the witch cackled, so that's -4 to saves for 2 rounds, got to remember that.  Oh look, the other witch just evil-eyed his AC -- fail, that's -4 AC for 8 rounds, no wait, cackle so it's 9 rounds.  Does that apply to all three ACs, normal, flat-footed, and touch?  Yeah, it must, it's untyped.  And the Bard just cast Crushing Despair .... and it's untyped, so, uh, -6 saves, -4 AC on all three types of AC, -2 on basically all d20 rolls.  Oh and the fighter just tripped him so now he's prone.  That's +4 AC vs ranged attacks, but -4 penalty versus melee.  He started at 23/20 flat/13 touch, so after all is said and done, his AC is 15/12F/5T (melee), or 19/16F/9T (ranged).  What?  No, don't sunder his armor.  Please, please just kill me so I can stop doing math!

 

This is one of the things that 5e did very well: reducing the sheer volume of math.  Most of those flat numerical bonuses and penalties went away, with a few exceptions -- Bless, I'm looking at you!  But most of the time, either you have advantage (roll 2d20, take the higher), a straight d20 roll, or disadvantage (roll 2d20, take the lower).  It helps a lot keeping things moving.

 

I'm going to reserve judgement on PF 2.0 until I actually see what it looks like as a whole.  But there is absolutely room to improve it.

 

 

Edited by wdmartin
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19 hours ago, Sophie was taken said:

Referencing unproducts is treason!

 

But seriously, I’ve not played much Pathfinder, but what I did was all combat - one encounter took three hours to resolve. It was not fun. If this is remedied I may be interested.

 

in the other hand, we may have simply had a terrible DM for that game...

I... lean toward thinking you had a horrible GM in this instance - while I have had combats that lasted that long, they were high level, complex... cluster elves.... (The most recent involving a flying raging barbarian, a flying swashbuckler, a shadow walking rogue, a blinking trickster, a magus, and a bard, against a shadow walking dragon that was perfectly willing to run, heal up, and come back a round or two later.... While in another room a combat with a dwarf, an elf, and the cleric was going on while the dwarf was trying to destroy the magic item that was binding a whole lot of the monsters to the dungeon - at the same time, so we had to switch back and forth between the rooms. (The players freakin' love to split the party... and this time, they weren't wrong - it really was the best way to handle the mess.)

 

And then the dragon had the nerve of surrendering once the item that was chaining it to the dungeon was destroyed. (I'm running away now, feel free to pillage my treasure - two doors down, on the left - you can't miss it. Because I am freakin' leaving this place while I have the chance! Thanks, gotta run!)

 

Oddly, while it was long and complex, it was also the most fun I have had with a long combat in quite a while.

 

****

 

One of the things to bear in mind as to why Paizo is working on a new edition now is that the original Pathfinder was created for those people that did not want to lose what they had already invested in 3.X - preserving the usefulness of those existing mountains of books.

 

So, a lot of people are not looking at a ten year accumulation of books - often it is going to be 15+ years of slowly building their mountain, one book at a time....

 

Now Pathfinder is competing against a game that also allows a certain amount of backwards compatibility - and is a much, much simpler, and less expensive, game to enter.

 

5e did not repeat the same mistakes as 4e - instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater - without opening the window, or taking the water out of the tub - WotC is reaching out to both the new players and to those folks that feel that 3.X/Pathfinder grew too bloated over the course of a decade and a half.

 

5e really is what 4e should have been - and that is what Pathfinder 2 will need to compete with.

 

4e made the competition easy - 5e is going to be a much, much harder battle. ::):

 

For that matter, the battle between Pathfinder and Pathfinder 2... is going to be interesting.

 

The Auld Grump - who is a long winded sort, isn't he?

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1 hour ago, Mad Jack said:

 

 When I write up my character sheet, I also do a cheat sheet with all the calculations on it, and all the possible bonuses, mitigating factors, etc....

So I know ahead of time what my to-hit bonus is on a regular hit, when I'm flanking, etc., and what situations help me or hurt me.

Having my basic numbers already calculated and a list of the bonuses and penalties for possible situational modifiers (flanking, obscured vision, whatever), makes it incredibly easy to remember my numbers - if you read the same thing five times in a ten minute period,  it won't take too long before you have it completely memorized.

 

 In 4E, with nearly a dozen different at-will, encounter, daily and utility powers on a character by 4th level, I never once had any issue with any player taking forever to figure out their numbers for an attack or spell DC when they wrote it all down ahead of time like I told them to.

 

I have heard very much the opposite from other people - and that the freakin' grind that was common to 4e was a huge time eater.

 

Which means... that both games can bog down if the GM does not know how to keep things rolling.

 

Sadly, some of the example encounters by WotC were the grind... The WotC encounter with a green dragon and a mess of kobolds was where I gave up on the game - and also involved multiple hours, as figures were pushed, pulled, and fiddled with by the various powers in use on the field. (It was not the worst combat encounter I have ever seen in an RPG, but was easily in the top 5.)

 

And an awful lot of the character classes seemed to function exactly the same as other classes, to the point of homogeneity.

 

Sadly - I have had a lot more experience with 4e (which I hated) than with 5e (which I don't hate). 4e made me... skittish... about WotC.

 

The Auld Grump - having an option, aside from the BLEEPing BLEEP! that was 4e was a huge relief, I cannot describe bow relieved I was that D&D was not going to end with 4e as its final edition.

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1 hour ago, wdmartin said:

On backgrounds: would I like some mechanical benefit from my background story?  Yes!  Do I want to tailor my background story around somebody else's idea of what makes sense for a particular type of character?  No!  I read the whole ideal/bond/flaw chapter in the 5e handbook, and promptly decided to ignore it.  I suppose it might be helpful for someone who has difficulty inventing backstory.  If PF2 goes the same route -- where you can't really build a character without accepting someone else's preconceived notions -- I will be getting out the homebrew pot.

 

The background stuff in 5e is all suggestions. It's basically there for those people who don't want to put a bunch of time into their character's motivations and backstory. People are perfectly allowed to create their own things for their ideals, flaws, and bonds. It specifically says some variation of "Decide what you did, or you can roll on on the table."

 

For instance, I played a bard who had the charlatan background. But then I wove together or altered basically all of the different suggestions for all the other stuff. He was a forger and counterfeiter who put on new identities everywhere he went, and that was his scam. It was basically two of the things in the book rolled into one. His personality trait was that he was he always put on a brave face, even when he had no chance of succeeding in whatever he was doing, because confidence makes the con man. That wasn't something in the book. His ideal was practically taken from the book in that he wanted to improve himself so that his fakes became indistinguishable from the real things, which is basically the Aspiration ideal listed in the table. His bond was a mix of two in the book - he wanted to atone for getting his wife killed when one of his forgeries wasn't good enough, and he couldn't forgive himself for it. And then his flaw was that, because of his wife's death and his immense guilt over it, he had something of an unconscious death wish. His confidence would put him into dangerous situations, and his self-loathing wouldn't allow him to see just how dangerous they were. So he would do things like try to pass off a forgery of a note from royalty to someone of that same royal family or something like that. Or he'd charge into battle solo against far more powerful foes, confident that he would win.

 

Full background behind the spoiler, which was only developed after looking at the ideas in the book, running with them, and talking with the DM for a few specifics about the setting.

 

 

The game took place in the world of Brandon Sanderson's Stormwall Chronicles books, which I hadn't read at the time, but the backstory I created turned out similar to one of the characters in the books. I was from a minor noble family, but had joined the Ardentia(voluntary monastic order that are basically slaves who give up any title and possessions on joining, but it's the only way men can learn to read and write in that setting) at the urging of my parents since I wasn't cut out to be a soldier and didn't have any other prospects. But while I was an Ardent, I fell in love. Since Ardents are forbidden to marry, but are allowed to leave the order at any time, I left the order so that I could marry. However, being penniless made life hard. Which is why I took up counterfeiting and forgery, using the skills I had learned during my time in the Ardentia. My wife was none the wiser, thinking that our comfortable lifestyle was simply the result of friends and contacts I had made. But one day one of my forgeries was detected, in my wife's hands because a man with a written contract isn't something that happens in that setting, and she was executed for it.

Having nothing left because my wife was my world, I started wandering and throwing myself into my craft, passing myself off as different people everywhere I went. Because of how nobility in that setting is based on eye color, it was easy to pass myself off as some random minor noble that no one had heard of everywhere I went. Which made people more likely to accept forged documents and counterfeit money I had made. But eventually people would catch on, and I'd move on. And that was how I ended up on the caravan at the opening of the campaign.

 

Edited by Unruly
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1 hour ago, wdmartin said:

On backgrounds: would I like some mechanical benefit from my background story?  Yes!  Do I want to tailor my background story around somebody else's idea of what makes sense for a particular type of character?  No!  I read the whole ideal/bond/flaw chapter in the 5e handbook, and promptly decided to ignore it.

Player's handbook, page 123:

Quote

Each background presented later in this chapter
includes suggested characteristics that you can use
to spark your imagination. You’re not bound to those
options, but they’re a good starting point.

 

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6 hours ago, BlazingTornado said:
8 hours ago, wdmartin said:

On backgrounds: would I like some mechanical benefit from my background story?  Yes!  Do I want to tailor my background story around somebody else's idea of what makes sense for a particular type of character?  No!  I read the whole ideal/bond/flaw chapter in the 5e handbook, and promptly decided to ignore it.

Player's handbook, page 123:

Quote

Each background presented later in this chapter
includes suggested characteristics that you can use
to spark your imagination. You’re not bound to those
options, but they’re a good starting point.

 

We handle this by having the player come up with a backstory first. Then we look at the background options and see if anything fits. A lot of times, it really does. Our wizard did visit a magic university from very young (-> cloistered scholar), our fighter is a retired soldier (-> soldier), etc. Okay, those were also the two examples with players really going with the archetype in their background choices :lol:

The monthly game I get to actually play in has a player with a custom background, since nothing offered in the books really fit her character's backstory. 

I do like the whole Traits/Ideals/Bonds/Flaws thing and that it is featured so prominently on the character sheet. I think it really helps you focus your character from "my paladin is kind of a good guy" to "my paladin's highest ideal is ..."

Again, we don't really use those charts, but they help me explain the differences between the four to my friends. None of us is a native English speaker, so the nuance between Ideal and Bond is sometimes hard to pin down.

My bard's T/I/B/F don't have that much to do with her entertainer background (she is a classicaly trained elven poet), but with the fact that she is an elf who lived on elven island without any outside races or influences so far.  Even though she is super interested in other humanoids to fill her new novel, she looks upon them and their cultures like anthropoligsts who first met native Americans/Africans.

I never felt like I had to give her the quirky/extra extroverted characteristics given as examples in the entertainer background.

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14 hours ago, TheAuldGrump said:

I have heard very much the opposite from other people - and that the freakin' grind that was common to 4e was a huge time eater.

 

Which means... that both games can bog down if the GM does not know how to keep things rolling.

 

Sadly, some of the example encounters by WotC were the grind... The WotC encounter with a green dragon and a mess of kobolds was where I gave up on the game - and also involved multiple hours, as figures were pushed, pulled, and fiddled with by the various powers in use on the field. (It was not the worst combat encounter I have ever seen in an RPG, but was easily in the top 5.)

 

And an awful lot of the character classes seemed to function exactly the same as other classes, to the point of homogeneity.

 

Sadly - I have had a lot more experience with 4e (which I hated) than with 5e (which I don't hate). 4e made me... skittish... about WotC.

 

The Auld Grump - having an option, aside from the BLEEPing BLEEP! that was 4e was a huge relief, I cannot describe bow relieved I was that D&D was not going to end with 4e as its final edition.

Combat in 4e could take forever.... but I have to tell you, as a DM, designing combat encounters had never been easier. And after dealing with 3.5 and it's templates and feats, and... Basically designing a good 3.5 combat that would actually challenge the PCs took about as long as 4e combat, while designing 4e combat took as long as playing 3.5 combat. 

 

5e has brought balance to the force game. 

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22 hours ago, Grayfax said:

I've spent more times looking up stuff at the table in Pathfinder games than actually playing... where my recent experiences in 5e have been vastly different.  We play!  We laugh.  We do awesome stuff and we cheer when we get asked, "How do you want to do this?" Granted, the rulesets available in Pathfinder are currently significant.  Where the ruleset used in 5e is much simplified.  

 

And this what makes the game.  The real goal of the game is to have fun!  Whatever ruleset that works to produce this is the one that works.  We don't use all the rules, we do tend to restrict which books and feats are available based on the campaign we are playing. 

 

New rulesets are cool and usually always add something to the game set, we incorporated the creation rules from Traveller into star wars.  We have moved feats from 3.5 to pathfinder and stolen some of the horror elements from Call of Cthulhu.  It all becomes whatever you want it to be. 

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All I know at ReaperCon one year (might have been the last year at the factory), a local gaming club had a "Beat the dragon" challenge. It was a 4e encounter/adventure where the players faced a unbeatable dragon at the end. If you could beat it, you get a buttload of ReaperBucks  (1000+ maybe) for the auction. All weekend long we had to hear this challenge. It wasn't until some group came in with home generated characters that finally put it out of it's misery. I (& many others) was so glad when that ended. It made me dislike 4e even more & I wasn't a 4e hater. I just got tired of hearing about the Mr Unbeatable.

 

 

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On 3/10/2018 at 9:23 AM, Crowley said:

Combat in 4e could take forever.... but I have to tell you, as a DM, designing combat encounters had never been easier. And after dealing with 3.5 and it's templates and feats, and... Basically designing a good 3.5 combat that would actually challenge the PCs took about as long as 4e combat, while designing 4e combat took as long as playing 3.5 combat. 

 

5e has brought balance to the force game. 

 

Not in my experience.

 

But then I had a trio of standard methods for designing the encounter - 1. Start with the  big guy/guys - any templates etc. go on him/them Flesh out with lesser critters that are straight from the book. 2. Mob of lesser critters, all with the same templates. 3. Think in terms of combined arms - a trio of gobbos with spears at the bottom of a talus slope, and a trio of goblin archers on top of the talus slope is a lot more effective than either six archers or six spearmen.

 

But you will notice that I am also one of the folks that is not all that thrilled with Paizo simplifying monsters - I like having that much control over what goes into the encounters.

 

But - the simplicity of encounter design was also the one recurring good thing I heard about 4e, and now about 5e - so it is quite possible that it is my experience that is the outlier.

 

The Auld Grump

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As for having control into what goes into my encounters, I find it far easier with basic D&D. I have at this point created over 100 unique monsters, plus have everything in the Rules Cyclopedia and Creature Catalogue. 

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