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  #1  
Old Jul 4th, 2024, 08:55 PM
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PF2 Help for a D&D Player

I’ve been playing D&D since it was an appendix in a game called Chainmail. Yes, even before the box with the three stapled together books. My favorite version is AD&D but I’m also really liking 5e. I’ve played a few PF1 games and I’d like to try out PF2. So tell me, what’s the difference between PF1and PF2? More importantly, what’s the difference between PF2 and D&D 5e? And for you PF2 people out there, give me a reason or three why I should try a PF2 game and/or some PF2 character choice and building advice.
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Old Jul 9th, 2024, 10:20 PM
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The differences are significant.

PF2 is more rules heavy for those that want the crunch.
While there are many options when creating your characters path, PF2 branches more like a redwood tree (strait with branching offshots) than a banyan like PF1 (strait, then skew, then back then over, then wft)

If you have the right tools, PF2 runs well (pathbuilder, archives of nethys, VTT) but otherwise can be a but much with a lot of traits.

A reason to play PF2...because the tools are there that can help do well.

-me
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 07:29 AM
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So, PF2 is more rules heavy than 5e or than PF1? I'm guessing it's probably both. Also, I've been looking around and I saw there are a lot of rulebooks, like thousands of dollars worth sold in bundles. I'm not going to make that type of commitment...yet. Which books are the minimum I need to create a decent PC with access to a fair number of paths?

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Originally Posted by jj_wolven View Post
The differences are significant.

PF2 is more rules heavy for those that want the crunch.
While there are many options when creating your characters path, PF2 branches more like a redwood tree (strait with branching offshots) than a banyan like PF1 (strait, then skew, then back then over, then wft)

If you have the right tools, PF2 runs well (pathbuilder, archives of nethys, VTT) but otherwise can be a but much with a lot of traits.

A reason to play PF2...because the tools are there that can help do well.

-me
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Old Jul 11th, 2024, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ildrahil View Post
So, PF2 is more rules heavy than 5e or than PF1? I'm guessing it's probably both.
I have no experience with 5e, but PF2 is definitely LESS rules heavy than PF1. It will be more of an effort to transition from PF1 to PF2 than from 3.5e to PF1, but it shouldn’t be a serious issue for someone with your experience gaming.

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Originally Posted by Ildrahil View Post
Also, I've been looking around and I saw there are a lot of rulebooks, like thousands of dollars worth sold in bundles. I'm not going to make that type of commitment...yet. Which books are the minimum I need to create a decent PC with access to a fair number of paths?
You don’t need to purchase any rulebooks. Unlike some money-grubbing corporations, Paizo has made a lot of their stuff free—just go to Archives of Nethys. You can see that there are rules/items/creatures/etc from a bunch of adventure paths and setting books in addition to the basic rulebooks—it’s much like PF1 in that regard.

*Disclaimer: If you play in PFS (Pathfinder Society) I believe you’re supposed to own the books containing the rules for your PC’s class/items/spells/etc, but otherwise there’s no need to buy anything.

Personal reasons for choosing PF2

---If you’re a player, it’s free. All the rules you need are freely available on AONPRD, and tools like Pathbuilder help you build basic PCs for free (more complicated options are gated behind a small fee).

---I’ve played PF1 since about 2012, and have played PF2 for about a year, and I now prefer PF2. Once you’ve figured out the system it plays really smoothly and simply.

---Balance. The classes are actually pretty well balanced. It’s really hard to break the system, and creating a bad character usually requires active effort. Just put 18 (aka +4) in your most important stat, and fill out the rest according to your vision of the character, and you’re good. The gap between ‘top tier’ and ‘bottom tier’ is much less, so that pretty much whatever you build will contribute to the party but won’t outshine it.

---I’ve heard that it’s much easier to GM PF2 but have no experience as a GM myself.


Additional Comments

---Paizo is in the midst of updating PF2 so that it doesn’t rely on the OGL (open gaming license) from Wizards. You’ll see a ‘Remastered’ version (newest) and a ‘Legacy’ version (older). The remastered version is designed to be compatible with the legacy version, so you can mix the two without much issue. I’d advise using the remastered version whenever possible.

---To achieve balance as a game, there’s understandably a reduced emphasis on real-world simulation. There’s also a certain sameness in the chassis for classes that was off-putting to me at first (especially after being spoiled by all the options in PF1) that I don’t mind now, as I can refluff it however I like.
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Last edited by ekidnu; Jul 11th, 2024 at 12:30 PM.
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Old Jul 14th, 2024, 12:46 AM
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As ekidnu said, no books needed.

Archives of Nethys gives it all in web format.
Pathbuilder free version gives a good character creator.

-me
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