Why He’s Quitting Pathfinder 2e

Stumbled onto this video and thought it was interesting for numerous reasons. Having never played this edition before, this internal struggle with running you don’t enjoy might resonate for some.

hmmm. He hits on some points me and my friends brought up just reading through the book…

I wonder if others who have actually played the game have had the same feelings??

I respect Cody and agree, if he is not enjoying it, he shouldn’t be playing it. Don’t force yourself to play something you are not enjoying, great advice.

That said, I have been playing Pathfinder 2E extensively and I completely disagree with his point of view in this regard (and I usually agree with his insights). I have never seen that kind of repetitive play myself. Honestly, I am not sure what went wrong at his table but something definitely went wrong.

Maybe some time away will provide him with some perspective and he can uncover the root cause of the repetition. If not, there are plenty of great games to play and I am sure he will find one he enjoys. That’s something I tell everyone. Not every game is for everyone and there are so many more games to try out. Find one that works for you.

In my experience, PF2E has been the most versatile version of “D&D” I have played to date and I am loving the action economy, the plethora of options I have, and the ever-changing tactics during gameplay. However, that is also just my experience which is also anecdotal.


1 Like

Is this a counter?

I got a similar feeling, but I need to.play it more.

1 Like

It’s become a video debate! Soon it’ll just be videos of people giving thumbs up, down, or holding up a sign that says “+1.”

+50xp to anyone who gets the G+ reference.


Nonat makes some very good points.

1 Like

Why did you have to wound me with memories of G+?


Did everyone catch that bit about “never voicing a character in first-person,” about explaining actions to the GM exclusively in game terms? That is pretty interesting. I feel like this definitely happens in some of my crunchier games, whether or not it’s Pf2.


Ugh. That was painful to hear.

This never comes up in my [home] campaign play, because I train my players away from it from their first session. But, I think I might be a happy/lucky exception - at least based on the complaints/discussions in those videos.

I have encountered a bit (one or two players) of this when I run my high-level one-shots at my FLGS. I just bump the monster HP and roll with it (and note the player for future reference as someone I won’t invite into my home games. :-D) It’s over after 3-4 hours and I get on with my life.

I have been a player in a 5e campaign: Against the Giants (again, at my FLGS) and we had a crossbow optimized crossbow sharpshooter. Very predictable play (and pretty boring to watch). But, that’s the design, and he seemed happy with it. Meanwhile I was a cleric burning higher-than-comfortable spell-slots on Silence to get our party through dozens of giants. Guess who saved the day more often than whom? :slight_smile:

Even if you think D&D 5e suffers from the same effect as described in the original video, I would agree with the final analysis: If “optimal play” is a design/play problem for d20 games, you might as well play the easiest one. :wave:

Not such a fan of the “blame players” or “blame the GM” video though. Sure, make suggestions (like maybe playing a game that resets expectations as Brett did), don’t use words like “blame” and “fault.” They spank of judgment and one-wayism.

That’s distracting from helping us all learn how to enjoy our common experiences.

1 Like

Time stamp 14:03 is where I started to relate to what he’s talking about. It’s in the rule, I can do that and this is what happens. I have it in the book. It’s on my character sheet, this is how it works and this is what should happen if I succeed. Ugh. Something about having none of that stuff makes me think a different game is in order, big time.

ps: and might I add. If you want work for an org in ttrpg industry and want to know how to social media, you do what Paizo did in those comments. Then you can see the fans come to bat for you, and you do it without raising a complete stink. If you do it well enough, you have your fans stick up for you.


Yes, you can do that with PF2E but you don’t have to. I think the same can be said for 5E. That’s not really been a problem in my home group but like OSDM, I’ve seen it in organized play. I’d rather RP the encounter and then roll the dice as needed. Heck, if my players RP is superb and entertaining (or just down-right awful but still entertaining), I will often bypass the die roll and go straight into narrating the response with the players.


I’m generally not a fan of explaining actions in game terms, but nor do I see a need to always talk as the character. Just be descriptive, make the scene evocative and easy to see in the mind’s eye. My current group has a real mix of preferences in terms of speaking in-character, and to be honest I don’t find it that big a chore to accommodate all the styles. And interestingly, a couple of the folks who are keenest on playing in the 3rd person are actually big story gamers… but I think were once big Pathfinder / 3.5 players.



I expect we all have a blend of rules descriptions and narrative descriptions at our tables, and, if we privilege one over the other, it’s interesting to ponder on why. When one thinks of it, what really is the difference between a mechanical description vs a narrative description? In fact, I sometimes find myself just as annoyed with elaborate narration as I sometimes am with rules talk, i.e., you hit already; we don’t need to hear about the graceful arc of your blade and the blood pearling on its edge like drops of carnelian, at least, not in this instance.

I suppose published fiction does this, too. In such pages, not every little thing is described, but description privileges certain elements. The trick, I suppose, is to find this balance in our games, too.

Writing advice often is “show, don’t tell.” In games (as in fiction), we should determine what needs to be shown, through dramatic description, and what can remain procedural, as incidental to the plot.

Is this a counter?

I dont know that it totally is.

It feels like some one “well actually”-ing someone else.

I feel that at this point Cody ( the individual from the 1st video) is an experienced enough GM to have tried the solutions that Nona brings up in the 2nd video. (obviously we dont know though)

And a lot of the issues that Cody brings up in the first video you can see if you just read through the core book for PathF2E. I spent most of July readying through the core book, because i was jobless and bored) and I got this sense that their was a lot of “fluff” options in the book just to pad it full of options that really wouldnt be great later on OR felt like they were trying to overlap the classes in too similar a way.

A few of my players try to get on Discord on Fridays to talk and just touch base with each other and a few of them mentioned that it seems that PathF2E is a mix of D&D 4th ed and 5th ed. with the Paizo stamp on the book. Almost like they tried to make an MMO TTRPG thats rated E for Everyone.

A lot of the character options feel very MMO-like, where you get a feat, or a bonus, or a something every level, and that their are almost Feat Tree like builds to the character that lead you down guided paths.

I’ve yet to play or run it, something my group is talking about after Covid is done, and at that point I feel I will have a more solid opinion of the system. But just reading through the book didnt give me much hope.

1 Like

Two additional thoughts popped into my head…

I realized I was being disingenuous when I said all the folks in my group were RP-oriented because that is not true. Most of them are but we have one gentleman who is on the spectrum and struggles with social interactions. He doesn’t RP at all, merely says what his character would do and rolls dice. That is what he is comfortable with and that is fine with the rest of us.

Maybe I should send a suggestion to Cody to try something like Savage Worlds? You can certainly play the same kinds of games with similar levels of tactics and you definitely get all kinds of actions without feeling suboptimal. At least, in my experience.


Lots going on here. And, shock of shocks… “it depends”.

Like people mentioned, what does everyone want out of a game? I have buddies I love, but we don’t like the same style of play all the time. I’m a lower power guy, some of them want to go straight to level 20 and epic play. I never liked reading Silver Surfer and Superman, more of a Spider-Man and Green Arrow guy. For me, the older I get, the more OSRy I get, just making rulings and going for flow, vs more rule books.