Pathfinder 1e or 2e?

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Rogerdee

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As per title, which do you prefer, and why?

How is chargen?
What about classes, 1e or 2e?
Rules, are they better?
What about spells?
How are the settings?
How is the gameplay?

What are your thoughts?
 

James Gillen

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I'd done my own review of PF2 a while back: https://www.jamesgillen3.com/?p=968
I am still ambivalent on the game but am starting to realize why they made some of the decisions they did.
For instance multiclassing in PF2 greatly resembles that in D&D4, in that you never really go into a separate class, you just use feats to add minor abilities from another class to your main one. This was one of the things that most turned me off. But over the last year or so, I was playing a lot of Owlcat Games' Kingmaker (a Baldur's Gate-style version of the 1st Edition Adventure Path) and that was my main experience in designing high-level characters. One thing I discovered is that because multiclassing in 1st Edition creates a difference between "class level" and "character level", if for whatever reason you wanted to multiclass as Cleric and Wizard and split the levels evenly, at 20th level you wouldn't have a 20th level character. You'd have a 10th level Cleric and 10th level Wizard with better hit points and combat tables than either. And this matters because caster level affects your ability to overcome the spell resistance of high level foes, not to mention your upper level of spells.
Whereas in Pathfinder 2, everything is based on the proficiency system, so if you're (say) a Fighter and you qualify for Wizard Dedication feat, you don't start with much but one thing you do get is Trained proficiency with arcane spells, which means caster ability is automatically character level +2. So even if your secondary abilities are that much more secondary than they would be in 1st Edition, they aren't critically far behind.

Otherwise one thing I've noticed in actual play (we're in Extinction Circus and I'm playing an Orc Barbarian/Clown) is that the three-action economy and the greater chances for both critical success and failure make combat A LOT more dangerous. I like it, but others may differ.

In some cases the cookie-cutter nature of character creation means that it's easier to show people how to make characters but that may also turn people off; the character creation system makes it clear that you can't get more than one 18 score at 1st level and if you do it's kind of hard to have any other score above 12. Fortunately they really bump up character stats every five levels, assuming the game goes that long.
The other thing I don't like is how a lot of things that used to be features of either a race/ancestry or class are now feats and you only have so many slots in each category to use and you end up having to drop some things.
For those reasons I don't think I would necessarily run a Pathfinder 2 game, though I don't mind being in one.

JG
 

Rogerdee

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Okay for me, PF 2e, with all the toolkit nature of ancestral, and class feats, skill feats etc very similar in that way to DnD 4e unless I am misremembering but don't think I am, although it has been a long while since I look at any DnD 3e stuff). To some extent that is okay, but I prefer the clear nature of some of the PF 1e class abilities. Sometimes in 1e, like in Palladium, there were simply too many classes - and as someone has said, likely not all of them, despite being published had been subject to Paizo more rigorous play testing standards.

That said there are some great things in my opinion - shortened list of classes, archetypes. The magic, with focuses, and heightened nature allowing you to essentially overcharge a spell (similar to old Runequest, Legend and Mythras with shaping). So that is good. I like the skills, and that Athletics rolls a few other skills under its umbrella such as climbing and swimming. Such that it tends to feel more like M&M 2e (and 3e) in that it is now fantasy supers.

Not sure how easy it would be convert from 1e to 2e is....so it would be interesting to run a 1e setting with 2e and see how it plays. Even with trimmed down rules for online play (I tend to find full rules can really slow it down on PbP stuff - buy YMMV).

EDIT: It is a shame that they kept all the planes the same, and did not mix it up a bit. I prefer the planes from M&M.
 

Templar Stone

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I'd say out of 36 yrs of table topping its by far one of my favorite systems right out of the box Its a very streamlined system compared to PF1, less convoluted rules, as it didn't have to carry over the 3.5 baggage that PF1 did. The rule make sense more so then many other systems, sure there are a few things her and there but even those work. In its streamlined structure, things like character creation is robust. If I remember correct with the Core Rulebook alone there are something like 42,000 combinations that can be made. That number has grown as there have been some major releases like the Advanced Players Guide and Ancestry Guide that have expanded and built on what is already established. It also spreads your choices out over 20 levels and if you're running the premade adventure paths all the 6 book ones go to level 20 now. So every level you are making a choice to define your character more where In 5E DnD has a streamlined system but you basically make a choice at 1st and 4th and then you're done .

I prefer the class balance and multiclass system of PF2 - easier to create the concept you want without causing yourself to be underpowered. The disparity of Casters and Marshal isn't skewed like previous where in the later levels the marshals are there to just carry things for the Wizard. Yes Casters have been toned down at higher levels but it isn't just a switch of whos on top. Many who thought so were not using all the tools at casters disposal. Staves are a major item for casters and can be compared to importance as one would think of a marshal class not using weapons. so while they upgrade their weapons you upgrade your Staves and have some wands. Id say armor for the marshal but as casters can wear full plate and cast spells with no penalty to their casting that's not really a thing that's just on their side. So if Gm'ng make sure to put in stave's as often as you put in weapons

Also the classes are all really balanced, Lets take one of the more unbalanced classes from pf1: the Gunslinger, it will be released later this year. In PF1 the gun rules made it completely broken in a lot of content . Pf2 version first off the PF1 Bolt Ace (the crossbow using gunslinger) is built into it completely seamlessly so even if you don't want guns you can still have players be a crossbow sharpshooter without having a subset of rules Guns can do bursty crit dmg but are balanced and since there is no touch ac are not auto hitting most things like pf1. The Gunslinger plays like martial debuffer with dmg then a full out dmg character. Just an example of how classes are from pf1 to pf2

Most importantly the system encourages being a team and playing off each others strengths and weaknesses, more tactical thoughts as the system has synergies built into it and more get added with every release. Every party I've ran through an adventure path, one shot, Society scenario , the ones the succeed are the ones who work together instead of just being a group who everyone does their own thing. Encounters can be rough but a few things to remember all premade encounters assume players at full health or close to, so take those 10 min breaks refresh focus spells and do some treat wounds. For example If you have a rogue with the dread striker feat , then use that one remaining action to toss a intimidating glare at an enemy so they are flat footed to the rogue. Things like that can swing a battle in the players favor really fast.

Converting pf1 to pf2 isnt hard. Treasure is usually the sticky point as there are no more stat stick boosters

For PF2 I've GM'd or currently Gm'ng: pf1 converted to pf2 versions of Strange Aeons, Rise of the Ruinlords, Skull n Shackles, Curse of the Crimson Throne, soon Ill be doing a converted Ruins of Azlant

the pf2 APs I've Gm'd are Age of Ashes, Extinction Curse, and many Society scenarios since it started

Currently Playing in the first book of Agents of Edgewatch and played and Gm'd both The Slithering and Plaguestone

Some good resources for help with converting from pf1 to pf2 can be found at https://discord.gg/eEHAyHW We are working converting all the Pf1 Ap's to pf2 and sharing the work done

Also for some good options to add to a game , check out the Gamemasters Guide, lots of good stuff inside including rules to
- Increasing the number of Ancestry feats players get without unbalancing everything

- Give a free archetype (multiclass) one of the most popular options

and a host of other options that you can add if you want or trade out
 
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EmperorNorton

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I'd say out of 36 yrs of table topping its by far one of my favorite systems right out of the box Its a very streamlined system compared to PF1, less convoluted rules, as it didn't have to carry over the 3.5 baggage that PF1 did. The rule make sense more so then many other systems, sure there are a few things her and there but even those work. In its streamlined structure, things like character creation is robust. If I remember correct with the Core Rulebook alone there are something like 42,000 combinations that can be made. That number has grown as there have been some major releases like the Advanced Players Guide and Ancestry Guide that have expanded and built on what is already established. It also spreads your choices out over 20 levels and if you're running the premade adventure paths all the 6 book ones go to level 20 now. So every level you are making a choice to define your character more where In 5E DnD has a streamlined system but you basically make a choice at 1st and 4th and then you're done .

I prefer the class balance and multiclass system of PF2 - easier to create the concept you want without causing yourself to be underpowered. The disparity of Casters and Marshal isn't skewed like previous where in the later levels the marshals are there to just carry things for the Wizard. Yes Casters have been toned down at higher levels but it isn't just a switch of whos on top. Many who thought so were not using all the tools at casters disposal. Staves are a major item for casters and can be compared to importance as one would think of a marshal class not using weapons. so while they upgrade their weapons you upgrade your Staves and have some wands. Id say armor for the marshal but as casters can wear full plate and cast spells with no penalty to their casting that's not really a thing that's just on their side. So if Gm'ng make sure to put in stave's as often as you put in weapons

Also the classes are all really balanced, Lets take one of the more unbalanced classes from pf1: the Gunslinger, it will be released later this year. In PF1 the gun rules made it completely broken in a lot of content . Pf2 version first off the PF1 Bolt Ace (the crossbow using gunslinger) is built into it completely seamlessly so even if you don't want guns you can still have players be a crossbow sharpshooter without having a subset of rules Guns can do bursty crit dmg but are balanced and since there is no touch ac are not auto hitting most things like pf1. The Gunslinger plays like martial debuffer with dmg then a full out dmg character. Just an example of how classes are from pf1 to pf2

Most importantly the system encourages being a team and playing off each others strengths and weaknesses, more tactical thoughts as the system has synergies built into it and more get added with every release. Every party I've ran through an adventure path, one shot, Society scenario , the ones the succeed are the ones who work together instead of just being a group who everyone does their own thing. Encounters can be rough but a few things to remember all premade encounters assume players at full health or close to, so take those 10 min breaks refresh focus spells and do some treat wounds. For example If you have a rogue with the dread striker feat , then use that one remaining action to toss a intimidating glare at an enemy so they are flat footed to the rogue. Things like that can swing a battle in the players favor really fast.

Converting pf1 to pf2 isnt hard. Treasure is usually the sticky point as there are no more stat stick boosters

For PF2 I've GM'd or currently Gm'ng: pf1 converted to pf2 versions of Strange Aeons, Rise of the Ruinlords, Skull n Shackles, Curse of the Crimson Throne, soon Ill be doing a converted Ruins of Azlant

the pf2 APs I've Gm'd are Age of Ashes, Extinction Curse, and many Society scenarios since it started

Currently Playing in the first book of Agents of Edgewatch and played and Gm'd both The Slithering and Plaguestone

Some good resources for help with converting from pf1 to pf2 can be found at https://discord.gg/eEHAyHW We are working converting all the Pf1 Ap's to pf2 and sharing the work done

Also for some good options to add to a game , check out the Gamemasters Guide, lots of good stuff inside including rules to
- Increasing the number of Ancestry feats players get without unbalancing everything

- Give a free archetype (multiclass) one of the most popular options

and a host of other options that you can add if you want or trade out
I agree with most of what is said here. That said, I also think that it is definitely a system (both 1e and 2e) that is best suited for players who actively are going to engage a more crunchy system.

But you know, if you are planning to play either of them, you probably already know that!
 

Templar Stone

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Remembered something. The PF2 Beginner's Box is less of an investment then the Core rulebook to try out. What is nice about is, it contains the full rules just smaller amount of options instead of its own set of rules that once through it wont transfer over. So once you're through it the character you made is 100% compatible with one made from the core rulebook It contains a lite players handbook and a lite Gm's guide , a starter adventure for a party of up to 4 and a Solo adventure teaches you step by step and some other handy stuff.
 

TristramEvans

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Remembered something. The PF2 Beginner's Box is less of an investment then the Core rulebook to try out. What is nice about is, it contains the full rules just smaller amount of options instead of its own set of rules that once through it wont transfer over. So once you're through it the character you made is 100% compatible with one made from the core rulebook It contains a lite players handbook and a lite Gm's guide , a starter adventure for a party of up to 4 and a Solo adventure teaches you step by step and some other handy stuff.

Sounds ike a good beginner box. I really started to resent beginner boxes in the 90s/early aughts because so many of them were crippleware
 

Ralph Dula

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I played Pathfinder 2 for a little over a year, and it left me not wanting to play it anymore. Character generation and adventure experience were the reason for my displeasure. My experiences were as follows:



  1. Since I usually get stuck playing the Rogue I created one as my first character. It actually went very well, with the minor complaint of certain abilities I used to take as feats were now rogue or fighter specific, meaning I couldn’t do my full mobile fighting machine character like I usually do. No big deal, really, just a touch disappointing.
  2. One TPK later I decided to create a sorcerer, using a bloodline descended from evil beings. It was something I’d always wanted to do in Pathfinder 1E, but never got the chance. In 2E’s rules, however, a lot of the bloodline’s abilities were now Evil things, so they’d be an alignment violation for a good character to use. I planned on playing a good character, and I imagine Pathfinder Society still leans towards good. It felt like a real loss of role-playing opportunity to me that they did that, and I wasn’t going to shift my character concept to Evil Mc Evilson
  3. I decided to play a fighter, only to find my character concept of a speedy melee fighter wasn’t able to be done as it could be in 1E. I was somewhat mollified when I saw someone on another forum write a lengthy criticism, and somewhat sad when someone said a swashbuckler class was in the works, as I imagine it’ll have separate abilities from the rogue and fighter in 2E have, rather than mashing them together as I’d hope.


Adventure-wise we played the first published adventure (Something-something Plaguestone, I think) where we had a TPK, but overall it wasn’t bad. One RP incident was a little offensive to me, but that was just due to real-life experiences, and one character whose physical disability and her skill with a bow broke the group’s suspension of disbelief.



Then we tried an Adventure Path, one where you are members of a carnival. I hesitate in going into a detailed review of any scenario without having read it myself, but I believe it had a lot of problems that couldn’t just be attributed to the DM. From an initial buy-in that would have been fine without an obnoxious NPC trying to lead things along to major plot holes and more, it was just a disaster. Toward the end of my playing I started asking the DM very detailed, pointed questions about what we were being told and encountering, and if he was being honest I’m astonished some of the plot holes got through. I tapped out of the campaign for non-game reasons shortly after the last big battle, and I don’t feel I’m missing anything by not going back.
I’ve no plans to ever play 2E again, but I’d go back to first edition.
 

James Gillen

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I don't know if being from an evil bloodline necessarily makes your abilities evil, unless you picked the Sorcerer spell that gives people Ghoul Fever and turns them Undead or something.

JG
 

Ralph Dula

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I don't know if being from an evil bloodline necessarily makes your abilities evil, unless you picked the Sorcerer spell that gives people Ghoul Fever and turns them Undead or something.

JG
For the diabolic bloodline two of your three bloodline spells, brace the Pit and Hellfire Plume, are labeled as evil in their descriptions. So my would-be good character would have to violate her alignment or be weaker than other characters by not using those spells. As other sorcerers use theirs.
 

Raleel

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I like crunchy systems and I’m trying to convince our “I fucking love high fantasy like d&d” GM to consider pathfinder 2e. What does it have on the GM side? What good “good guys save the world” sorts of adventures are there? Bear in mind, I like what I’ve heard about the 3 action economy, and I like what little I’ve read about the puzzle piece classes.
 

Ralph Dula

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What good “good guys save the world” sorts of adventures are there? Bear in mind,
Not the circus-based one I mentioned, tgat’s for sure. When I commented about asking the DM direct questions about what he was saying and if it was really written the way he described it, it was with regards to the introduction of the plot that spans the Adventure Path.

it really cane across as the NPC saying “There is this horrible thing coming that could doom the islands at some point in the future! You circus folk should go save everyone from this horrid fate! What? Tell authority figures and present my evidence? Go with you? Offer up my gold to fund you instead of doing things that won’t matter if we’re all going to die? Shut up and get on the train for this plot railroad!”
 

UnplayedRanger

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All Adventure Paths have a certain amount of buy in from the players needed. Why play at all if going to the authorities is an option?
 

James Gillen

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All Adventure Paths have a certain amount of buy in from the players needed. Why play at all if going to the authorities is an option?
In Golarion, monster crimes are especially heinous. The city of Absolom has an elite squad dedicated to investigating adventurer cases. These are their stories.
 

Ralph Dula

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All Adventure Paths have a certain amount of buy in from the players needed. Why play at all if going to the authorities is an option?

This was my fourth time as a player in an Adventure Path, and I’ve read the first book of three other Paths. This was the first time I’ve ever felt the PCs weren’t personally engaged in the set-up and would have reason not to think they should have to handle things.

James Gillen James Gillen I’d be interested to compare noted once you play through, to see how many of my issues cane from the module and how much from how the GM ran/interpreted things.
 
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