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  1. #1
    Senior Member Triordinant's Avatar
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    The Case for Turn-Based Pathfinder

    Now that I have the time I'm going to make the case for why the next Pathfinder game (Hell's Rebels, Jade Regent, Skull & Shackles, etc.) should be a turn-based game with a possible OPTION for real-time with pause. 95% of the rules in Pathfinder: Kingmaker were lifted straight from the tabletop pen and paper RPG and implementing those rules using Real-Time with Pause instead of a Turn-Based combat system creates a lot of problems.

    Example 1: the game pauses when my party spots a group of enemies. I command several members of my party to Charge. When I unpause the game only 1 of them charges while the rest do nothing. Reason: the enemies have moved and charging is no longer possible for those party members because there are suddenly obstacles or characters in the way. They end up wasting a whole round.

    Example 2: I have a wizard cast Fireball or Lightning Bolt at a group of enemies. I target it to get as many enemies in the blast but because of RTwP by the time the spell is cast only 1 or 2 are caught in the blast because the others have moved out of the blast area.

    Example 3: I have 3 of my support characters all throw flasks of Alchemist's Fire at a spider swarm but because of RTwP by the time the flasks hit the swarm has moved towards my party and my other characters are in the splash radius and get burned.

    There are many more problems but these 3 are the ones that happen most often. The main reason for these problems is the rules are from a turn-based tabletop RPG and they're not meant to be used in real-time combat. Theoretically you could change the rules of charging or alter how the spells work (instead of Fireball you could shoot bolts of flame that target individual enemies the way Magic Missile does, but then ALL multi-target spells would have to work the same way so there'd be no variety), but if you did then what was the point of using the Pathfinder ruleset? Might as well come up with your own rules and spells that are better suited for a RTwP game.

    The reason Pathfinder: Kingmaker was funded and sold so well is because of the legions of Pathfinder tabletop RPG players who recognized what it was. Using the Pathfinder tabletop RPG meant the Devs didn't have to spend a huge amount of time crafting rules, writing an adventure and creating a world where the adventure could take place because Pathfinder already had all of those as well as several other Adventure Paths that could be used for future Pathfinder computer games BUT to make it work properly with the Pathfinder tabletop rules it should have been Turn-Based instead of RTwP. I sincerely hope the next Pathfinder game will rectify this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Triordinant's Avatar
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    Here's an example of how tweaking the Pathfinder tabletop RPG rules to make them fit a RTwP computer game can have far-reaching consequences. Do you wonder why Vivisectionists are so popular? It's because Sneak Attacks in the Kingmaker CRPG are so much better than the tabletop version.

    In tabletop Pathfinder you can only make a melee Sneak Attack if you have an ally on the opposite side of your victim (Flanking) or your enemy has lost his Dexterity bonus because he's surprised, flat-footed, a victim of a Feint, etc. In the Kingmaker CRPG you simply need an ally melee attacking the same enemy (regardless of from which direction) which is very similar to the Sneak Attack rules in tabletop D&D 5e.

    In tabletop Pathfinder it's very hard to make a ranged Sneak Attack because the target has to be without his Dexterity modifier (surprised, flat-footed, etc.) so you can usually do it only at the very start of the fight. In the Kingmaker CRPG if 2 or more of your allies are Flanking the enemy you can Sneak Attack him at will. This is again very similar to the D&D 5e Sneak Attack.

    The difference is in D&D 5e you can only make ONE Sneak Attack on your Turn, but in Pathfinder there's no limit. A 2nd Level Vivisectionist using the Feral Mutagen can make THREE Sneak Attacks on his Turn (all without the -2 penalty to hit you'd get from Two-Weapon Fighting). That's pretty strong for a 2nd Level character, especially since all he has to do is team up with just one other ally in order to Sneak Attack all the time.

    The same applies to ranged Sneak Attacks. If you have Rapid Shot, are high Level or under the effects of a Haste spell you can make multiple ranged Sneak Attacks in a single Turn right from the very first round since you don't have to move into melee range. As long as 2 of your allies are in melee with the target you can Sneak Attack him multiple times every round from a safe distance.

    This is just one problem that arises when you try to tweak rules for a Turn-Based game to fit a RTwP game. The Pathfinder tabletop rules have been balanced and rebalanced over a 10-year period, which is why they're so solid. Tweaking them to suit a RTwP game could have all sorts of unintended consequences. If the Kingmaker CRPG was Turn-Based instead of RTwP it could have used the refined, well-balanced and tested for a whole decade tabletop Pathfinder rules with almost no tweaking. I'm not saying the Kingmaker CRPG should be overhauled, but at the very least a Turn-Based combat system should be considered for the NEXT Pathfinder CRPG.
    Last edited by Triordinant; 06-05-2019 at 04:58 AM.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, no. The game plays excellently as RTwP. The Pathfinder rules translate just fine into RTwP. Even though 90% of current cRPGs are turn-based, I guess for some people it has to be 100% what they want, fans of RTwP be damned.

  4. #4
    Personally I don't care either way, but your examples really are not big issues. It is more a matter of understanding how the game works as it currently is. Generally, timers solve all those issues.

    Give your characters their actions when their timer is just above 0secs. Then they are reacting to the situation as it applies during their "turn". Giving your characters actions at the start of the turn would be the same as having all players declare their actions before their turn in the table top including choosing where to target their spells.

    Your example of sneak attacks is not a RTwP issue it is more of a decision the developers made. Flanking can be calculated in RT the same as in turn based.

    Saying that Pathfinder is well balanced is a bit of a joke, right? I love pathfinder, but it is not known for it's balance even the game designers of Pathfinder has said it is not balanced.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kamigoroshi's Avatar
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    I personally don't mind if PK2 would feature a optional TB mode in the same fashion PoE2 or Arcanum did in its time (albeit more fleshed out and far less buggy). But replacing the base combat just for the heck of it will be more contra productive than otherwise. Sure, such a descision would cater towards TB fans. But it would very much alienate Owlcat Games already aquired RtwP customers just as much. If not more.

    So my take: Yes for including both modes. No for outright replacing RTwP in favour for TB.

  6. #6
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    Yes exactly how I feel. RTwP should remain intrinsic to all of Owlcat's Pathfinder games. But if they are able to add in an alternate TB mode without taking anything away from my RTwP gameplay balance and the like, then I am all for that inclusiveness.

  7. #7
    Senior Member purpleblob's Avatar
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    I prefer RTwP and don't get people's obsession with TB combat...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Triordinant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanisatha View Post
    Yes exactly how I feel. RTwP should remain intrinsic to all of Owlcat's Pathfinder games. But if they are able to add in an alternate TB mode without taking anything away from my RTwP gameplay balance and the like, then I am all for that inclusiveness.
    I agree. If both modes are available then everyone is happy.

  9. #9
    Well having every option available is always better, but the problems you mention are anything but convincing. In PoE, for example, RTwP is atrocious, but it fits the game well here imo, pretty much like how it did with BG.

    1) Charge could be more instant and have a minor simple pathfinding deviation around obstacles to avoid that .
    2 & 3) I even consider this a plus of RTwP. You can simply predict where the enemy will be, according to the time of the casting and speed of the monster. It's an example of the game rewarding player experience, which is a great thing. Unless you already play the game like it's turn-based, which you should not do, I don't see how you would have a problem with this.

    As for the sneak attack example,vivisectionist making multiple sneak attacks per round is a matter of balance that could be easily rectified, I don't see how RTwP is relevant to it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Triordinant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic_Quest View Post
    As for the sneak attack example,vivisectionist making multiple sneak attacks per round is a matter of balance that could be easily rectified, I don't see how RTwP is relevant to it.
    It's relevant because if Kingmaker was a turn-based CRPG instead of RTwP then they could have simply used the normal tabletop Pathfinder sneak attack mechanic that's worked perfectly fine for 10 years instead of the quasi-D&D 5e mechanic that works fine for D&D 5e but not for Pathfinder.

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