Pathfinder has lots of interesting modules, cool art, and incredible support. It is not something I would usually play, but there are good reasons to take a look at this - specially if you liked my last post. Mainly, because there is a SRD and you can check this stuff online without spending $60 (!!!) on a 640-page (!!!!) rulebook.
(TBH, I think the investment in time is worse than the money spent... But that is the subject for another day).
At a first glance, PF 2 looks a lot like PF 1: endless rules, heavy character customization, lots of addition (say, you could get a +23 bonus to do something if you're level 16 - no "bounded accuracy" here!), many feats, +1 bonuses are still a thing, etc. These are things I do not like.
However, I noticed that they adopted some of my favorite solutions (some I used for my own Dark Fantasy Basic):
- Criticals and fumbles based on DC (or AC!) plus or minus 10...
- ...But there are usually no fumbles when you attack with your sword (also, the irritating rule of "confirming crits" I mentioned in this post is gone).
- It uses diminishing returns for abilities over 18!
- Everybody adds their level to saving throws.
Somethings they seem to have adopted from 5e, which is good if you like both PF and 5e: the way backgrounds and "proficiency" works, more powerful feats, a similar action economy, etc.
There is also stuff I dislike:
- Everybody adds their level to EVERYTHING, so you basically got your 15th level wizard with Strength 10 and +17 to athletics...*
- The number of options you get at first level is, well, insanely big (which, I admit, might be a plus for some).
- Needless complication is still a thing, small bonuses, etc.
- The basic "ancestries" are Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Human... Nothing wrong with the horizontally challenged, but should 80% of the non-humans be short folks, with half of them having a strength penalty?
[*BUT only if he's trained in athletics, otherwise it's +0. This creates a different problem. If the fighter has +21 athletics and the wizard +0, they simply cannot face the same challenges, like climbing the same mountain. I don't mind it - it is more "realistic" this way - but I see why some would prefer 5e's bounded accuracy, and I prefer a solution that is between these two extremes]
|Medium Armor||Price||AC Bonus||Dex Cap||Check Penalty||Speed Penalty||Strength||Bulk||Group||Armor Traits|
|Hide||2 gp||+3||+2||–2||–5 ft.||14||2||Leather||—|
|Scale mail||4 gp||+3||+2||–2||–5 ft.||14||2||Composite||—|
|Chain mail||6 gp||+4||+1||–2||–5 ft.||16||2||Chain||Flexible, noisy|
|Breastplate||8 gp||+4||+1||–2||–5 ft.||16||2||Plate||—|
There are some things that seem to be actual improvements to D&D as a whole. I like "ancestries" better than "races", and the whole ancestry feats, lineages, etc., is both sensible and cool. Legendary skills make "mundane" classes a lot cooler (a thief could steal the armor you're wearing, or something of the sort - these come only at very high levels).
Other things I would call "good D&D practices". Monster stats are a lot shorter and more interesting than PF 1 (I love how big weapons are more useful against some constructs, for example) . Encumbrance is simpler. Equipment is a lot cooler. Initiative is interesting. These things could be easily adapted to any version of &D - including 5e!
Overall, the game is a lot closer to my tastes than PF 1, but still too complex for me. I mean, take a look at the character sheet:
In short, get this game if:
- You're into heavy character customization.
- You like many bonuses and dislike "bounded accuracy".
- Like lots of details (in skills, weapons, etc.).
- Prefer to have specific rules over vague rulings.
- You're looking for truly "epic" heroes.
- Appreciate having a very complete SRD online.
- Like Pathfinder 1 and would like to see a modernized and improved (IMO) version.
Do not get this game if you prefer simple systems, "realistic" heroes, short books, small numbers, rulings, etc.
Why I'm talking about this game, if it is not for me?
Well, Pathfinder 2 has pretty detailed D&D combat, including weapons and armor!
Take a look.
The weapon list looks a lot more detailed (and interesting) than 5e, and some of the weapon traits could be used in 5e directly. For example:
Propulsive: You add half your Strength modifier (if Positive) to damage rolls with a propulsive ranged weapon. If you have a negative Strength modifier, you add your full Strength modifier instead.
Sweep: This weapon makes wide sweeping or spinning attacks, making it easier to attack multiple enemies. When you attack with this weapon, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your attack roll if you already attempted to attack a different target this turn using this weapon.
Versatile: A versatile weapon can be used to deal a different type of damage than that listed in the Damage entry. This trait indicates the alternate damage type. For instance, a piercing weapon that is versatile S can be used to deal piercing or slashing damage. You choose the damage type each time you make an attack.
Others could be easily adapted, like I mentioned.
It inspired me to, once again, go back to 5e combat and see where it could be improved.
If you're into that sort of thing, it might inspire you too.