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Re: Pathfinder 2e shilling (and a few qualms)

Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:16 am
by Jye Nicolson
I think it's useful to have a good understanding of how the rules actually work in practice, otherwise you may find the traits you chose do not actually match your character concept, even if what it says on the tin seems appropriate.

In heavier games, this (and "rules creep") are probably inevitable, since corebook stuff is often oddly enough not idiomatic examples of the system. The core is designed at the time when the designers have the least practical knowledge of how the system works in play - to the extent playtesting is done it's still probably a relatively shallow exercise of the system and in a multi edition game almost certainly fighting the last war (I am always an enthusiastic adopter of new editions because they do actually solve the problems I've learned to hate about the last edition and nobody has learned the brand new problems yet*).

Whereas later on everyone has a much clearer idea of how to achieve a certain concept within the now-familiar system and the context that concept will be operating in. As a hypothetical example you might need a mulligan on a simple concept like fighter class because in practice the best melee class turns out to be a healer that's ignoring healing and only casting self buffs before going ham. So the Invincible Sword Princess class looks like massive power creep but is actually just playing on what we found out the hard way is the game's effective level.

Systems that allow a-la-carte selection of traits aggravate this (say what you like about 40K but you can't just pick the best units from AdMech, Drukhari and Orks in the same list), and then my whole quasi-rational argument for the evolution of mechanics can be thrown out of whack by TTRPGs traditionally being produced on no money by folks in their spare time, so later supplements might just be whatever was ready to go by the print date :lol:

Anyway 5E is actually pretty low on this scale relative to its longevity and previous editions, I think 2nd Ed was probably much wilder with its swathe of sourcebooks, let alone the 3.x firehose. I'm not a fan of 5E and have my quibbles with its balance but even I'd admit it's stable and usually good enough - and arguably 5E's goal is to be good enough for the widest possible range of people, which is probably a really good strategy in the age of streaming!

* The exception of course, being D&D 5E, since 4E was perfect and there were no problems to be solved, no I will not be accepting further questions at this time.