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 Anyone look at the Pathfinder 2nd Ed ruleset yet
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  13:54:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, I had gone to gen con last year. I bought the playtest packet for PF 2e, and I had glanced through it. I didn't play it. My first thoughts were that they didn't get the concept of reducing the power level gap between 1st and 20th level, but again, that's without even playing it. That being said, I also feel that 5e went too far to the other end of the spectrum in trying to reduce complexity and lower that gap, such that they lost a lot of depth.


So, that being said, I see that they just released the final version of Pathfinder 2nd edition about 2 weeks back. I'm reading someone's article about the new edition (sounds like a person who never played 2nd edition or earlier, and he knows little about the realms), but it makes me interested in at least looking at the ruleset. It seems they may have gotten to some of the issues I saw at the upper levels in 3.5e and PF with infinitely rising numbers (such that everything becomes either infinitely easy or unachievable no matter what). I just ordered the core rulebook, bestiary, and their world guide on amazon. Oh, and here's the link to the review I was reading


https://www.enworld.org/threads/complexity-vs-depth-a-look-inside-pathfinder-2nd-edition.666521/


So, has anyone else actually gotten it already, and what's your view on the rules themselves. I don't care about view on Golarion versus FR, just rules. Bloat? Hard to Follow? Turns level 20 characters into untouchables? Lots of useful options/feats or just options that feel too small and just become infinite small bonuses to add up?

BTW, some of the things I noted that caught my eye was things like instead of race there's now ancestry... and things like half-elves nd half orcs are just an ancestry choice for humans. That's an interesting change in my view that I want to read. I'm also noting that the "magic item" section is called "crafting and treasure", so it goes back to something that I felt I liked from 3e and that was developing crafting of magic and things such that it becomes something that you actually learn to develop or not for your character.

In all, I'm hopeful, but I'm also not holding my breath... but I also think this makes me want to consider again the idea that making anything for the realms should be rules agnostic as much as I can (while at the same time, some products will HAVE to incorporate rulesets to develop new versions of things like... for instance witches of Rashemen in PF 2e, etc....).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4618 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  14:38:17  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm excited to see what new concepts they have, but only so I can steal bits for myself. 5e was very underwhelming, with a lot of arbitrary rules I didn't like that went too far towards ad&d (basically a step backwards).
I'm hoping PF 2 is an evolution of 3e.

I like the sound of ancestries. I already came up with a concept of mixing any race with any other race (or monster) to create a half breed. It will be nice to see what they did.

In particular I'm hoping for more development of skills. Not necessarily the skills themselves but how you can play a skill scenario and still make it as involved and exciting as combat.
Basically I want a game where you don't have to be murder hobos, where you can tall and sneak and think your way through an adventure without killing anyone but not feel like you were punished for doing so.

New magic sounds good but that fails more often than it succeeds, too much freedom can be a bad thing for newbies

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sleyvas
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USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  14:51:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, the magic item crafting section has GOT to be better than the crafting design in 5e. That stuff was thrown together by someone who just didn't want players making things, and while many games don't focus on that.... its basically "any caster can craft it, but anything good will take so long that its unbelievable". Some people like it as an option and it can drive a campaign wherein they have to acquire components to make things (or look at the components they have and say... hey, let me make X since we killed Y). It shouldn't all be DM's arbitrarily deciding what magic is available (while still giving the DM some controls to prevent players just designing ultra items). I'd like to see if they came up with a balanced medium between the two, and also incorporate it into the skill system to make crafting skills also useful.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4618 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  15:41:52  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, magic crafting has to be complex enough to allow almost anything (even 3e would not allow that) but not so complex that it takes a week to figure out what you need, how much it costs, how long it will take, and what skill check is needed to craft it.
In the end the only sensible option is to convert it all to gold pieces, but it's how to represent that conversion so the mystery and magic is not lost

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LordofBones
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909 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  15:55:15  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll be sticking to 1e.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4618 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  18:16:14  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had a look at the play test rules and I'm unimpressed. The ancestry thing is just feats, you pick a half orc for instance and that allows you to pick orc and half orc feats in addition to your original race.

Magic items looks more interesting with tunes and resonance but I need to look more to understand it.

Skills is very much identical to before but with less uses (for now, that will soon expand massively with extra books).

If spells use an arbitrary DC that characters roll a save against then PF 2 is just a reskin

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sleyvas
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USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  19:36:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yeah, but one thing I learned from 5e is don't think that the playtest book they released a year ago resembles the final product. That being said it very well might. I'm literally holding out hope and wanting to hear from someone who has seen and noting things from the actual release though. My copies won't be in for about a week or so. I'll toss them the money for the bestiary, core rules, and their world guide... just to see what they did.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32223 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2019 :  19:40:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm interested in the rules, but since I'm not currently playing, I've not been eager to run out and get the book.

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Brimstone
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USA
3052 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2019 :  02:30:21  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

I'll be sticking to 1e.


Pretty much what I am doing.

1E, S&W, LL, LotFP. I can use all those Old School Systems with my Old Grey Box and FR 1-6 with a little prep.

Tired of spending money on a game that will have a new edition every 5 to 10 years

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words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Diffan
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USA
3634 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2019 :  14:42:30  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mind you I've only seen and read the Playtest version of the game, so I'm basing my opinions off of that. I'm not sure what's changed significantly with the game in those regards. The last version I got was dated August 12, 2018 - so just over a year ago.

When I first heard they were doing a PF2e I was really excited. I was hoping they'd see how many flaws and broken aspects were rampant with the 3e SRD/PF model and how terrible later levels were - especially to non-casters and maybe address things like LFQW issues. Some ideas I was hoping they'd pilfer from 5e was the removal of piddly nuanced modifiers for everything, a +2 here, -2 there, +1 here...wait that doesn't stack....etc. Basically what Mike Mearls talked about doing away with in 5E (because it's a pain the A** to track turn-in and turn-out).

So when I opened up the PDF for the Playtest, I was mostly unimpressed. Keep in mind, it's dated 08/12/18

Here were some of my basic issues:
The number of actions and the icons that they represent. in the Playtest, in which they get 3 actions plus a reaction. There's icons that represent them......and they're tiny and easy to miss. A lot of parts have these and you have to keep track of which ones you've used and so forth. Not excessively difficult, but enough that it's a small task.

Ability Flaws....*sigh* I thought we'd have moved past ability score penalties....nope. I find this is one of those dumb nods to nostalgia simply because they have to be different from D&D, because D&D decided that these weren't fun anymore and did away with them over a decade ago.

Ancestry feats: Cool concept, but basically they're just turning a ton of racial abilities that every other version you got for free into paying for them at later levels. Want to be harder to move as a Dwarf, gonna be a feat but you won't be good at resisting poison...not til X-level. You're a keen hearing elf, but because you chose that, you're affected by sleep. *yawn*

The number of ability score boosts you get overall. Ancestry boost, class boos, backround boost and that's simply at 1st level....it's super convoluted IMO.

From here on out, it's mostly class issues and general mechanics that seemed to irk me. So most classes get both features and Feats (every class gets specific class feats). Features are basically picked out but you get to select both Skill Feats and Class Feats. Class Feats are basically 4E Powers without the pretty colored-boxes. But here's the problem I have, you can't interchange them at all and that sucks. If you're a Fighter and grab Double Slice but get a cool greatsword later, you can't swap out that feat. They learned nothing from the 3.5 Warblade's Weapon Aptitude ability (swapping feats out for other stuff) or their own 1e stuff. If the Paladin grabs the Steed Ally at level 3, she will always forever have a magical steed, a completely useless feature the moment she enters a dungeon. That's just dumb and bad mechanics.

Also, you have to spend actions doing certain things like raising your shield. Like, if you forget to say "oh, I spend my remaining action to keep my shield up" you lose that bonus for a round. Then your shield takes damage and breaks. Ok, so that's kinda cool because it adds a sense of upkeep with your items....but I'm not the kind of person that really likes keeping track of fiddly bits all day long. That's just not my cup of tea. Then there's the alignment mechanics and restrictions.....like why? Why is that still a thing? Also, no spells for the Paladin or Ranger. That really irked me for some reason. EDIT: They get spells called champion powers that are spells at 1/2 level. Like, a Paladin has to choose between Divine Health and being Courageous? Why?

I think, though, that I could really look past some of these issues - especially the 'locked into specific decision 24/7' spot if the game flowed well. To me, that means less worrying about the plethora of math and abundance of penalties/exception-based design. Unfortunately PF2e is full of it. My one biggest gripe with 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder was the incessant need to penalize every damn thing. Want to grapple, that's a penalty. Want to dual-wield? That's a penalty. Want to disarm a bad-guy? That's a penalty. BUT...BUT you can remove said penalty if you grab this widget. IF you jump through hoops X, Y, and Z. If you grab these 4 feat chains in specific order with specific stats......THEN maybe you can do the thing with some proficiency. Maybe you can use that one skill a few times before you're at a level where the mechanic is pretty pointless because creatures are fighting now easily get out of your grapple or aren't stunned by fear, or don't often wield weapons.

That's my biggest problem. All the -2 penalties to attacks and junk. No, I don't want to have to re-calculate my attack roll because i'm making an Opportunity Attack. No I don't want to recalculate my attacks because I have Bless and I'm wielding two-weapons AND the monster cast grease and I'm wearing a belt of giant strength....etc.

Casters, on the other hand, well they pretty much get cool stuff abound. One of the cool concepts is using additional actions to buff up your spells. And you still get Cantrips all day long (4 per day, 5 if you're specialized) plus what appears to be the same amount of slots from PF1e. While I don't think you add your ability modifier to the number of extra slots, that's still a LOT per day. At 1st level you're getting 4/5 cantrips and 2/3 1st level spells plus Drain Arcane Focus, giving you an extra spell slot (thus 4 if you're specialized).

Nah, I'm pretty much past the phase of uber-hyper customization to the umpteenth level where every single decision MUST have an identical mechanical change/disadvantage/alteration to my character. I'm past wanting to read through Character Build guides because it's pretty much a prerequisite for making a character. I'm past every single character decision needed a previous feat, skill set, or Ability score to take.

So yeah, a lot of that sounded negative. I guess it was. But I feel they wanted to be different yet adhere to a LOT of the same old stuff that people accepted before. I was hoping it would've done a lot of stuff right, taken ideas from their Unchained line of classes (because apparently Dexterity to damage is still a 'no-no' ). I feel they had a great chance to merge a LOT of what made 3e good without falling into the myriad of pit-traps that plagued the system but instead fell into each one deliberately because they felt that some how added the 'old school' vibe.

But whatever you do, take this somewhat lengthy opinion-piece with a bit of salt. Go and play it for yourself. Go and see what it's all about it, read it at length, try to learn the rules and play a few sessions. One thing I learned since 4E is that internet reviews are a dime a dozen and often over-inflated with bias. Yes, I'm bias because I saw wasted potential and I'm coming from a point of view that I don't need every single widget and fiddly-bit to have fun playing D&D.

Maybe it scratches every single itch you have with other Versions of the game. Maybe it does what you want with Skills. I dunno, maybe you'll love it? I certainly felt that way about 4th Edition, it hit all the right chords for me and our group that we're still playing it a decade later - despite heavily written anti-4e reviews and an online smear campaign before the game got published. So go play it and make changes and make it yours. That's the best I can say.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 15 Aug 2019 15:02:53
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

909 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2019 :  14:47:41  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The 9th level arcane necromancy spell made me die a little inside. Who even used massacre back in 1e when wail and mass suffocation were the better spells?
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2019 :  18:08:11  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Mind you I've only seen and read the Playtest version of the game, so I'm basing my opinions off of that. I'm not sure what's changed significantly with the game in those regards. The last version I got was dated August 12, 2018 - so just over a year ago.

When I first heard they were doing a PF2e I was really excited. I was hoping they'd see how many flaws and broken aspects were rampant with the 3e SRD/PF model and how terrible later levels were - especially to non-casters and maybe address things like LFQW issues. Some ideas I was hoping they'd pilfer from 5e was the removal of piddly nuanced modifiers for everything, a +2 here, -2 there, +1 here...wait that doesn't stack....etc. Basically what Mike Mearls talked about doing away with in 5E (because it's a pain the A** to track turn-in and turn-out).

So when I opened up the PDF for the Playtest, I was mostly unimpressed. Keep in mind, it's dated 08/12/18

Here were some of my basic issues:
The number of actions and the icons that they represent. in the Playtest, in which they get 3 actions plus a reaction. There's icons that represent them......and they're tiny and easy to miss. A lot of parts have these and you have to keep track of which ones you've used and so forth. Not excessively difficult, but enough that it's a small task.

Ability Flaws....*sigh* I thought we'd have moved past ability score penalties....nope. I find this is one of those dumb nods to nostalgia simply because they have to be different from D&D, because D&D decided that these weren't fun anymore and did away with them over a decade ago.

Ancestry feats: Cool concept, but basically they're just turning a ton of racial abilities that every other version you got for free into paying for them at later levels. Want to be harder to move as a Dwarf, gonna be a feat but you won't be good at resisting poison...not til X-level. You're a keen hearing elf, but because you chose that, you're affected by sleep. *yawn*

The number of ability score boosts you get overall. Ancestry boost, class boos, backround boost and that's simply at 1st level....it's super convoluted IMO.

From here on out, it's mostly class issues and general mechanics that seemed to irk me. So most classes get both features and Feats (every class gets specific class feats). Features are basically picked out but you get to select both Skill Feats and Class Feats. Class Feats are basically 4E Powers without the pretty colored-boxes. But here's the problem I have, you can't interchange them at all and that sucks. If you're a Fighter and grab Double Slice but get a cool greatsword later, you can't swap out that feat. They learned nothing from the 3.5 Warblade's Weapon Aptitude ability (swapping feats out for other stuff) or their own 1e stuff. If the Paladin grabs the Steed Ally at level 3, she will always forever have a magical steed, a completely useless feature the moment she enters a dungeon. That's just dumb and bad mechanics.

Also, you have to spend actions doing certain things like raising your shield. Like, if you forget to say "oh, I spend my remaining action to keep my shield up" you lose that bonus for a round. Then your shield takes damage and breaks. Ok, so that's kinda cool because it adds a sense of upkeep with your items....but I'm not the kind of person that really likes keeping track of fiddly bits all day long. That's just not my cup of tea. Then there's the alignment mechanics and restrictions.....like why? Why is that still a thing? Also, no spells for the Paladin or Ranger. That really irked me for some reason. EDIT: They get spells called champion powers that are spells at 1/2 level. Like, a Paladin has to choose between Divine Health and being Courageous? Why?

I think, though, that I could really look past some of these issues - especially the 'locked into specific decision 24/7' spot if the game flowed well. To me, that means less worrying about the plethora of math and abundance of penalties/exception-based design. Unfortunately PF2e is full of it. My one biggest gripe with 3.0, 3.5, and Pathfinder was the incessant need to penalize every damn thing. Want to grapple, that's a penalty. Want to dual-wield? That's a penalty. Want to disarm a bad-guy? That's a penalty. BUT...BUT you can remove said penalty if you grab this widget. IF you jump through hoops X, Y, and Z. If you grab these 4 feat chains in specific order with specific stats......THEN maybe you can do the thing with some proficiency. Maybe you can use that one skill a few times before you're at a level where the mechanic is pretty pointless because creatures are fighting now easily get out of your grapple or aren't stunned by fear, or don't often wield weapons.

That's my biggest problem. All the -2 penalties to attacks and junk. No, I don't want to have to re-calculate my attack roll because i'm making an Opportunity Attack. No I don't want to recalculate my attacks because I have Bless and I'm wielding two-weapons AND the monster cast grease and I'm wearing a belt of giant strength....etc.

Casters, on the other hand, well they pretty much get cool stuff abound. One of the cool concepts is using additional actions to buff up your spells. And you still get Cantrips all day long (4 per day, 5 if you're specialized) plus what appears to be the same amount of slots from PF1e. While I don't think you add your ability modifier to the number of extra slots, that's still a LOT per day. At 1st level you're getting 4/5 cantrips and 2/3 1st level spells plus Drain Arcane Focus, giving you an extra spell slot (thus 4 if you're specialized).

Nah, I'm pretty much past the phase of uber-hyper customization to the umpteenth level where every single decision MUST have an identical mechanical change/disadvantage/alteration to my character. I'm past wanting to read through Character Build guides because it's pretty much a prerequisite for making a character. I'm past every single character decision needed a previous feat, skill set, or Ability score to take.

So yeah, a lot of that sounded negative. I guess it was. But I feel they wanted to be different yet adhere to a LOT of the same old stuff that people accepted before. I was hoping it would've done a lot of stuff right, taken ideas from their Unchained line of classes (because apparently Dexterity to damage is still a 'no-no' ). I feel they had a great chance to merge a LOT of what made 3e good without falling into the myriad of pit-traps that plagued the system but instead fell into each one deliberately because they felt that some how added the 'old school' vibe.

But whatever you do, take this somewhat lengthy opinion-piece with a bit of salt. Go and play it for yourself. Go and see what it's all about it, read it at length, try to learn the rules and play a few sessions. One thing I learned since 4E is that internet reviews are a dime a dozen and often over-inflated with bias. Yes, I'm bias because I saw wasted potential and I'm coming from a point of view that I don't need every single widget and fiddly-bit to have fun playing D&D.

Maybe it scratches every single itch you have with other Versions of the game. Maybe it does what you want with Skills. I dunno, maybe you'll love it? I certainly felt that way about 4th Edition, it hit all the right chords for me and our group that we're still playing it a decade later - despite heavily written anti-4e reviews and an online smear campaign before the game got published. So go play it and make changes and make it yours. That's the best I can say.




You pretty much nailed my worries (but went more in depth of your review of their playtest package than me). I do hope they fixed the issues, because I enjoy 5e.... but I find it so lean with options that I find playing a wizard actually kind of boring and unbelievable.

I know we'll disagree on 4e (my views were that it basically broke the wizard concept for me), but I will give it props for some things it did. The idea of rituals was a great addition. I also find some of their planar ideas intriguing.... just not their realmsian REMOVALS (that being said, I've warmed up to their additions). I never did understand the earthmote hatred, given that the concept has been around forever (as long as they aren't everywhere). Some of the storylines were interesting as well.

I will also give 5e some props. Concentration is a great addition, though they also need to introduce ways to bypass it. It basically introduces the concept of making a "different kind of caster". The change of casting to be somewhat less Vancian is also great (though it kind of nerfs the sorcerer, which means they need help). There were some other improvements, but its lunch time.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3634 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2019 :  21:33:02  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You pretty much nailed my worries (but went more in depth of your review of their playtest package than me). I do hope they fixed the issues, because I enjoy 5e.... but I find it so lean with options that I find playing a wizard actually kind of boring and unbelievable.


Well I haven't played the wizard yet in 5e (or PF2e), though I know what you mean. In our Horde of the Dragon Queen adventure, I'm playing a moon elf Eldritch Knight (4th level) and there's many times when I feel very ineffective. Now that could be because we only play once a month or because the adventure is horribly written but at times it doesn't feel like I contribute much in the game. Apparently in a few more levels I will see a lot of other aspects come into play which will make it a lot more fun, but I don't think you should have to wait 7 levels in a clasas before the game starts to become fun. I'm also basing these feelings against what I could do in 4E as a similar concept. Either the Swordmage, Bladesinger, Eldritch Knight, or Hell even a Hybrid Fighter|Wizard can do a lot of really cool things even at low levels, and actually had a purpose like drawing enemies fire and being kind of like a tank. Not so with 5e...And I wouldn't even know where to begin doing this with PF2e?

quote:
I know we'll disagree on 4e (my views were that it basically broke the wizard concept for me), but I will give it props for some things it did. The idea of rituals was a great addition. I also find some of their planar ideas intriguing.... just not their realmsian REMOVALS (that being said, I've warmed up to their additions). I never did understand the earthmote hatred, given that the concept has been around forever (as long as they aren't everywhere). Some of the storylines were interesting as well.


I think we can all agree that the changes to the Realms with 4e killed a lot of interests overall in the system because of what it did to the setting. I vehemently disagree with the notion that Mystra needed to be killed to somehow usher in 4e's magic system. That just didn't make sense at all, especially because the novels and overall narrative didn't make use of previous editions magic systems in any great detail that would've made a different with 4e. And since when did the novels ever reflect the game's mechanics greatly?

I do like 4E's separation of Ritual spells and other magics. I actually made a bunch of Feats someone with the Ritual Caster feat can take that makes some rituals faster to cast and use less components. As for the 4e Wizard, I think it's about expectations. For example my Father-in-Law loves his 4e Tiefling Wizard. He grumbles when we switch to 5e because he feels too restricted vs. what his 4E wizard can do, lol. But I digress...

quote:
I will also give 5e some props. Concentration is a great addition, though they also need to introduce ways to bypass it. It basically introduces the concept of making a "different kind of caster". The change of casting to be somewhat less Vancian is also great (though it kind of nerfs the sorcerer, which means they need help). There were some other improvements, but its lunch time.


See, I think having a way to bypass Concentration is a slippery slop to brokenville. The whole reason why it's there is so that casters can't basically be Iron Man, flying around shooting lazers all the time with a ton of self-buff spells. That's what we got in 3.5 and it made non-casters invalid. If there was a feat, then that would be an automatic Requirement for every casters, to the point that you might as well make it a class feature or a systemic-rule.

5e's Sorcerer schtick is the whole Metamagic aspect and buffing the spells they get (or at least I think so, I haven't played one). That really should've been their thing - or at least something other than nothing for 19 levels - in 3rd Edition but the designers really only seemed to have a vague clue about what they were doing when designing 3e.

Going back to PF2e, I haven't read up on what their spellcasters get, just the Wizard for the first couple of levels. I know they can boosts spells and the get LOTS of spells. I do know that they have a LOT more options they're not essentially locked into place for the remainder of their character's career (a la spells) and that's better than what the Fighter or Paladin can say.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8139 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  14:51:12  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

[quote]I will also give 5e some props. Concentration is a great addition, though they also need to introduce ways to bypass it. It basically introduces the concept of making a "different kind of caster". The change of casting to be somewhat less Vancian is also great (though it kind of nerfs the sorcerer, which means they need help). There were some other improvements, but its lunch time.


See, I think having a way to bypass Concentration is a slippery slop to brokenville. The whole reason why it's there is so that casters can't basically be Iron Man, flying around shooting lazers all the time with a ton of self-buff spells. That's what we got in 3.5 and it made non-casters invalid. If there was a feat, then that would be an automatic Requirement for every casters, to the point that you might as well make it a class feature or a systemic-rule.

5e's Sorcerer schtick is the whole Metamagic aspect and buffing the spells they get (or at least I think so, I haven't played one). That really should've been their thing - or at least something other than nothing for 19 levels - in 3rd Edition but the designers really only seemed to have a vague clue about what they were doing when designing 3e.

Going back to PF2e, I haven't read up on what their spellcasters get, just the Wizard for the first couple of levels. I know they can boosts spells and the get LOTS of spells. I do know that they have a LOT more options they're not essentially locked into place for the remainder of their character's career (a la spells) and that's better than what the Fighter or Paladin can say.



Thanks for this discussion. Hopefully the books show up today, and I'm going to delve more.

On the concentration thing, let me explain my perception here in comparison to prior editions (starting with 2e). In 2e there were some GREAT concepts that came out (many from Ed via his spells). The problem was that there was no CONTROL in place to stop any caster getting those spells other than "the DM says no". The same concept was a problem with say the Circle spell in 2e, and I can remember at the time writing up a VERY convoluted concept for how the red wizards tried to keep the circle spell secret. The idea of "mantles" with hung spells that you can target on the fly, or making spells that are contingent and react at any time, or having the ability to counter being silenced by always having an item that can cast a spell that temporarily let's you bypass silence, or having persistent spells up all the time, or some spell effect that let's you release 4 spells at once, etc.... It was amazingly overpowered.

3e/3.5e then came out with the concept of feats. The control here was that you could learn SOME of the concepts (i.e. you maybe can learn to do contingency tricks, but if you do, you're not making persistent spells... and maybe you are hampered by silence... maybe being "held" is a problem because you don't have still spell . maybe you can't change the energy type of your spells...

maybe you can't make a single magic item, etc... So, basically you can become a caster who has a "trick". Maybe you're really good with using wands, maybe you're good at creating "shields" that attack those that melee you, etc....

Still, in all these old editions, there was the ability to put 4 or 5 defensive spells up at once. In 5e, that's gone, but let's face it, it should be possible for someone to have up say stoneskin and maybe globe of invulnerability at the same time IF THEY ARE WILLING TO GIVE UP SOMETHING FOR IT. Other options that I'd like to see in 5e revolve around giving options for contingent effects in some form, hanging spells as defensive wards (i.e. glyphs, spell gems, etc...), being really good at making certain types of magic items (which in 5e should reduce the time and cost... especially time), etc...


In other words, I'd like to see 5e do 2 things

A) put in more of a facility to "buy" specializations of some sort with all classes (i.e. like feats) more often


B) put in MORE options to buy such that you can realistically have different kinds of classes. Granted some of this is done via things like within the wizard class you choose an arcane school, but I don't think that goes near far enough.


In the end, I'm picturing something in which people might have to "research" an enemy to find out what "secret" abilities they may have. Or there may be whisperings that "that wizard over there has been known to cast spells even while paralyzed". While the players may understand what's going on if they hear this, to the rest of the realms, these specializations are relatively unique things.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  15:17:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting stuff about the spells. I decided on a limited for the number of spells for my game for balance reasons and also because I figure that magic interferes with magic, so in a similar way that you cannot wear multiple magic items on the same body part, you cannot have multiple spells cast on the same person.

Then I realised only allowing one spell on a person is mean so revised it to you cannot have multiple spells on the same target from the same caster. Instantaneous spells don't count. So that means you get one defensive spell per person per caster and one curse like spell per enemy per caster.

But I hadn't catered for wards and mantles. You make a good point that you should be able to cast more than just the one spell on a person but it should require more from the caster to do so. Should that cost be health/vitality based (I have spells cost hp like raistlin in dragonlance) or should it require additional spells be wasted to make a single extra spell work.


I do wish someone would come up with a properly thought out system and not put in arbitrary rules or things for nostalgias sake.



Thinking about skills, has anyone ever run skill encounters like combat, ie you roll your skill check against a target DC and then deal "damage" that gradually reduces until the task is successful. If two people were trying to haggle each could take turns trying to deplete the others skill check until one is reduced to zero and loses. Against environment it is just a time thing to complete (with reduction in skill check for failure).

Skills are always the most boring part of a system but if it could be made more combat like it might encourage people to start murder hoboing everything.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  21:00:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Interesting stuff about the spells. I decided on a limited for the number of spells for my game for balance reasons and also because I figure that magic interferes with magic, so in a similar way that you cannot wear multiple magic items on the same body part, you cannot have multiple spells cast on the same person.

Then I realised only allowing one spell on a person is mean so revised it to you cannot have multiple spells on the same target from the same caster. Instantaneous spells don't count. So that means you get one defensive spell per person per caster and one curse like spell per enemy per caster.

But I hadn't catered for wards and mantles. You make a good point that you should be able to cast more than just the one spell on a person but it should require more from the caster to do so. Should that cost be health/vitality based (I have spells cost hp like raistlin in dragonlance) or should it require additional spells be wasted to make a single extra spell work.


I do wish someone would come up with a properly thought out system and not put in arbitrary rules or things for nostalgias sake.



Thinking about skills, has anyone ever run skill encounters like combat, ie you roll your skill check against a target DC and then deal "damage" that gradually reduces until the task is successful. If two people were trying to haggle each could take turns trying to deplete the others skill check until one is reduced to zero and loses. Against environment it is just a time thing to complete (with reduction in skill check for failure).

Skills are always the most boring part of a system but if it could be made more combat like it might encourage people to start murder hoboing everything.



The thing with making it that you just use extra spells to put up a second spell means that its not unique and everyone can do it. So, one week you can be THAT guy, and then another week you can do some other tricks. So, if the idea is to make a unique wizard who can do this instead of say having planned out contingent effects OR decided to focus on item creation to get his protections via crafting OR some other focus like they want to be the multiple release caster and defense be damned OR they want to be the guy that can cast spells even if silenced, stilled, and don't have material components OR they want to be that melee mage with retributed shields up OR... I could go on and on with the "types" of different spellcaster specializations.

That's the idea, make it so that you're picking something that you can do that's different, and very few can do it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  21:35:37  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So feats for very specific additional spells, not a bad idea. I'll steal that one if you dont mind.

I might also put in a mantle or ward spell that allows you to replace it with a lower level spell so you can cast extra defensive spells upon yourself (for me a spell can be of any level so lower level spells does not restrict what spells you can use), that way anyone can still do it even without the feat, but the feat guy can do it without sacrificing a spell (which are always a premium resource for casters)

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Diffan
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Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  21:41:10  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I could see, possibly, allowing a Mage to Concentrate on two spells at once - but doing so would take up their whole turn. Currently they can Concentrate on one spell, while casting others (and reaction spells too). If you have a mechanic or feat that allows Concentration on two, that would eat up your whole action economy (including moving) except reaction spells. I feel it's similar to 4e where you could Persist certain magical effects if you spent the time doing so.

The issue remains that having mantles, hanging spells, and all these wards up AND casting spells just makes casters super-heroes when it comes to going up against larger threats. It puts a hyper-focus on going 'nova' that other non-casters simply can't compete with in terms of Agency.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Aug 2019 :  22:16:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even without mantles the casters still steal the show by going nova which is in fact their primary purpose and has been since day one of dnd.

I was never a fan of needing, nor do I think warriors and rogues should be boosted to equal power levels, everyone has a different role to play but in most rulesets those roles are lost in favour of pew pew your dead.

I'm thinking that perhaps casting the more powerful spells should be more risky and costly, after all higher levels spells are more difficult to cast but a wizard never fails to cast it, he only fails to overcome his opponents defences, and raistlin was almost killed casting his big spells.

What I wouldn't give for a decent system that ironed out all these kinks.

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Diffan
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Posted - 17 Aug 2019 :  05:02:32  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Even without mantles the casters still steal the show by going nova which is in fact their primary purpose and has been since day one of dnd.


This is why an usually stick to 4e or Epic 6th for 3.5 so that going nova isn't a complete encounter-ending experience.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I was never a fan of needing, nor do I think warriors and rogues should be boosted to equal power levels, everyone has a different role to play but in most rulesets those roles are lost in favour of pew pew your dead.


As someone who enjoys playing warrior and rogue types, being overshadowed entirely by casters not even 1/2 way through your character progression makes me really just not want to play (hence the editions and house rules I use). In older editions (pre-3e) this was balanced by a lot of other factors such as monsters having more magic resistance, multiple rounds to cast a spell, not having tons of spell slots, and losing a spell if you're hit. Basically all of these were removed with 3e and it made it ridiculous. 4e made it better (IMO) by spells not completely breaking the game and giving parity to martials and putting a greater focus on working together as a team.

5e is a weird mix because while spells are pretty strong, it seems monsters HP makes up for it and their still really limited in later slots of spells. Not just that but a spell like Hold Person allows saves every round instead of insta-dead. I haven't played enough mid- to high level 5e yet but I'm sure it's better than mid- to high-level 3.5 in that regard.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

I'm thinking that perhaps casting the more powerful spells should be more risky and costly, after all higher levels spells are more difficult to cast but a wizard never fails to cast it, he only fails to overcome his opponents defences, and raistlin was almost killed casting his big spells.

What I wouldn't give for a decent system that ironed out all these kinks.



Eh, how much fun is that tho? What threshold is there between making the spell worth it to cast vs. dire chances of it fails? I think penalizing players for using their resources is a good way to have players stop the game before that happens.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 17 Aug 2019 :  11:07:49  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given that a fighter or rogue can fail to perform any of their tasks I don't see why casters should be any different, if anything it levels the playing field. And if everyone incurred some cost for the actions they perform then perhaps casters wouldn't mind incurring a greater cost to do the awesome things if they can also do the every round things like fighters.

I've long thought that Harry Potter version of wand combat was a missed opportunity. They clearly don't use spells like vancian casters so perhaps a wand allows a caster to do unlimited attacks (like cantrips but without spell casting) so they can join in combat and only do the big pew pew when needed instead of doing big pew pew because they can and have nothing else.

Just a thought or two. I'll definitely be looking at pf2 to see what they did to make wizards more versatile and whether it over powers them or not.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 17 Aug 2019 :  17:46:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Given that a fighter or rogue can fail to perform any of their tasks I don't see why casters should be any different, if anything it levels the playing field.


It's not any different. Fighters and rogues can miss, or their attacks can fail to get thru their opponent's protections.

And the same applies to spells.

If we adopted your system, the only way to "level the playing field" would then be to make it so that a fighter might somehow fail to swing his sword, or a rogue might suddenly be unable to hold his dagger.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's a good idea to penalize someone for using their class features.

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Cards77
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Posted - 18 Aug 2019 :  16:31:21  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Given that a fighter or rogue can fail to perform any of their tasks I don't see why casters should be any different, if anything it levels the playing field.


It's not any different. Fighters and rogues can miss, or their attacks can fail to get thru their opponent's protections.

And the same applies to spells.

If we adopted your system, the only way to "level the playing field" would then be to make it so that a fighter might somehow fail to swing his sword, or a rogue might suddenly be unable to hold his dagger.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's a good idea to penalize someone for using their class features.



Agreed, did people forget about concentration checks? Action economy? Spell resistance and spell immunity?

Having just fought a massive construct and a lich, I can tell you who was LEAST effective...the mage.

The archer is OP if anything is.

Many creatures are IMMUNE to MAGIC...ALL MAGIC.

Spell resistance and immunity are the balance for physical classes that deal with Damage Reduction
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Diffan
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Posted - 18 Aug 2019 :  22:07:22  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Given that a fighter or rogue can fail to perform any of their tasks I don't see why casters should be any different, if anything it levels the playing field.


It's not any different. Fighters and rogues can miss, or their attacks can fail to get thru their opponent's protections.

And the same applies to spells.

If we adopted your system, the only way to "level the playing field" would then be to make it so that a fighter might somehow fail to swing his sword, or a rogue might suddenly be unable to hold his dagger.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's a good idea to penalize someone for using their class features.



Agreed, did people forget about concentration checks? Action economy? Spell resistance and spell immunity?


Really depends on the edition though. I mean, if we're talking about 3e/3.5/PF1e then Concentration becomes pointless after a certain level when you simply cast defensively and you can make the check on a natural 1 (since skill checks don't automatically fail on nat 1's). Action economy is another aspect some mages get around via Quicken Spell shenanigans. I mean, clerics have Divine Meta-Magic for a reason and one of those is to dump 5 turn checks to cast any spell they have as a free action (at least in 3.5). 3.5 also has LOTS of ways around the +4 level bump for Quicken Spell to reduce the price almost to nothing.

As for Spell Immunity/Spell Resistance, I wish monsters were given more of it. You mostly find these things on Undead, Constructs, and creatures of different planes. Drow have it and a few other humanoids can get it, but it's not build-in and - again - there's things PCs can grab that circumvent the obstacle. What's the point of SR 25 if the 14th level Mage has Greater Spell Penetration and simply needs to roll a 7 or better to beat it?

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

Having just fought a massive construct and a lich, I can tell you who was LEAST effective...the mage.

The archer is OP if anything is.

Many creatures are IMMUNE to MAGIC...ALL MAGIC.


Curious, is there anyway to get a comprehensive list of monsters with SR and immunity? I think that'd be a pretty cool thing to have right at hand just to throw into some encounters.

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77


Spell resistance and immunity are the balance for physical classes that deal with Damage Reduction



100% agree, just need to add more of it and remove things like Spell Penetration/Greater SP to keep the balance.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 19 Aug 2019 :  12:37:13  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's a good way to handicap blaster casters, who are rarely the problem.

On the other hand, it does little to handicap the Big Two: Conjurers and Transmuters. Equipment and spells already give ways to get around SR (assay resistance, spell vulnerability, robes of the archmagi, otherworldly kimonos, Piercing Spell, the orb line, most <ray> spells), so this just hampers the typical fireball/lightning bolt caster, not minionmancers, conjurers, battlefield control casters, etc.
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Diffan
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Posted - 19 Aug 2019 :  13:10:41  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

That's a good way to handicap blaster casters, who are rarely the problem.

On the other hand, it does little to handicap the Big Two: Conjurers and Transmuters. Equipment and spells already give ways to get around SR (assay resistance, spell vulnerability, robes of the archmagi, otherworldly kimonos, Piercing Spell, the orb line, most <ray> spells), so this just hampers the typical fireball/lightning bolt caster, not minionmancers, conjurers, battlefield control casters, etc.



Lots of spells besides blasting is hampered by SR and Immunity. Minion-mancers generally need a lot of excessive feat/option support. For example, the Tranmuter variant that lets them give up their Scribe Scroll and Familiar for Augment Summoning and allows them to cast summon spells as standard actions. Simply DON'T allow these broken options. They're bad, lol.

I'm currently working on a varied system for a Gritty-styled game with 3.5 as the bare-bones of the system and working my way up. How I plan to deal with the excessiveness of casters:

Spell restriction. PHB/PH2 spells are allowed. Virtually everything else requires research AND a tutor by someone who knows the spell and is willing to teach you.

5-ft step is not a thing anymore. Anytime you leave a threatened reach, it provokes an AoO. So if the caster is put into a melee threat, they'll need to use their turn to disengage.

Metamagic feats can only be applied to one spell per casting. No Silent quickened still Magic Missiles for example.

Casting Defensively takes 1 round. So a wizard who decides to be extra careful on casting their fireball can do so, with the usual DC Concentration checks to cast defensively but the spell won't actually go off until the beginning of their next turn.

Meticulous component indexing. Basically anything over 1gp for Focuses and components needs to be tracked. It sucks, sure, but so does challenging wizards casting 5 uses of Stoneskin without the 1,000 of Diamond Dust.

Spells cast with target: Personal are subjected to Concentration checks after the first spell. The DC is 10 + spell level (of the highest personal spell cast) + 1/extra spell. Thus a 4th level Wizard who cast Shield and Mirror Image must succeed, at the beginning of their turn, a DC 13 Concentration check (10 + 2 + 1) each round the spells are active. Failure means the spell ends automatically at the beginning of their next turn. It's sort harsh BUT it's supposed to keep wizards and other casters from going SUPERMAN with a ton of low level personal spells AND if they fail it, they still get a whole turn where it's active. Failure means the highest spell fades first. Then you continue with Concentration checks for the next spell down (until only 1 is left, which they use for free).

Oh, Level Drain - either by a SLA from a monster like a Vampire or the spell, simply drops the creature's attacks/saves/etc. but never actually effects their actual level. A 10th level Fighter that drops 7 levels will still have Feats of a 10th level Fighter, as an example.


For an On-Topic note, I really like how Pathfinder 2e allows warriors to use Shield Block, basically a Reaction when you're hit to have the shield absorb the damage. This might dent the shield, if it bypasses it's Hardness. Two dents "breaks" the item and denting a broken item destroys it. I thought this was a cool concept.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

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