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Goblin Squad Member. Organized Play Member. 87 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 1 Organized Play character.


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On a small scale, I changed Yamasoth to be a Great Old One and the Qlippoth to be his spawn, instead of being proto-demons. I did this because one of my players is uncomfortable with a lot of demons or devils in the game. The occasional fight or reference is fine, but this was going to be a half-an-adventure length dungeon centered around Qlippoth. And the campaign was going to have more about Old Ones stuff anyway so it made sense.

On a larger scale, My friends and I have run about half a dozen APs and have been keeping a persistent world to reflect what has happened in the APs. Most famously, Karzoug won at the end of Rise of the Runelords, and Cheliax annexed the Shackles. We’re playing Shattered Star now as a response to Karzoug winning and one player is an apprentice of my character from the Wrath of the Righteous campaign we played.


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James Jacobs wrote:

With 2nd edition, our Adventure Paths are going to hit 20th level each time as the norm. As such, the concept for a "Continuing the Campaign" article at the end of a volume makes little sense, because at this time, 20th level is the capstone of the game and there's not much else to go on to accumulate for PCs beyond that point.

Currently, the plan is to close out each Adventure Path with information similar to what we've done in prior APs that hit 20th, like Wrath of the Righteous or Return of the Runelords, in the "Beyond the Campaign" articles. These articles would discuss ramifications of the adventure path on the world at large and could present stat blocks for future foes that you could use in your game that we'll be unlikely to follow up on in future publications.

But I'm not sure how useful that would be.

Which brings me to this question—what sort of information would you like to see in the very last volume of an Adventure Path, in place of the "Continuing the Campaign"? I'm about to work on the first one of these for Age of Ashes in a few days and I have my own ideas (as indicated above) but would love to hear some more from you all in the meantime.

The details about how the conclusion of the AP impacts the outside world have always been the most important parts of the "Continuing the Campaign" sections of the APs I have run.

Over the last decade, with the help of different groups of players and GMs, my friends and I have crafted a living world of Golarion based off the conclusions of the APs we have run. We're reaching the conclusion of Shattered Star right now, run as the sequel to our game of Rise of The Runelords where Karzoug won at the end (so the new heroes are assembling the Sihedron to take him down). Also involved are some of the former PCs that were in the Skulls and Shackles game we ran. And one of the my players even turned an NPC that was redeemed in our Wrath of the Righteous game into a full fledged PC for Book 6 of Shattered Star.

The best part of these APs and Golarion/Lost Omens for me, personally, has been weaving these storylines together and showing my players how their actions have impacted this entire world even after the campaign has ended.

So, I'd love for more "how the rest of the Lost Omens setting reacts" at the end of a Book 6 (or even... any book where applicable??). I'd love to read about how the NPCs my players have met and got to know over the AP might influence things in the future. What do these NPCs do after the AP is done? Could they show up again in another AP? Of course, that couldn't be very specific but maybe some ideas for what kind of role they could fill in the future (e.g. "This NPC could show up to encourage the PCs in another campaign when they need to achieve something that relates to Iomedae")

I am so in love with reading about the changes to Golarion and the Lost Omens setting with PF2e since you've assumed all the previous APs have already happened and I'd love to see that philosophy continue forward with each PF2e AP. Even if it's not something that's set in stone... those What If? sections of "Continuing the Campaign" are awesome!


For the record Cevah, the adventure text says the clockwork servant follows whoever winds it, attacking anyone who attacks the person its following, or itself”

So my guess is that this clockwork servant (named Tik-Tok in my and Cevah’s game) was created specifically to follow whoever winds it. Maybe to be some kind of tradeable servant or bodyguard

Also, in case it helps, I have allowedmy player to upgrade the clockwork servant by basically choosing another clockwork (a clockwork soldier in this case) and pay the crafting cost to improve the servant’s stats to the level of a soldier in bits and pieces. Now, at the start of book 5, Tik Tok is a full clockwork soldier with the horicalcum armor from Book 4, an adamantine pick, and the Commando template. He’s pretty cool


This is great! I’m just about to finish Shattered Star with my group and my plan is to run Return of the Runelords for PF2e. Great idea to turn campaign traits into backgrounds.

But shouldn’t Ex-Sczarni be Dex and Cha, not Str and Cha?

Also I’d worry about giving General Feats out. They are more rarely acquired than Skill Feats and usually more powerful. But that’s a minor balance thing that might not be relevant for your group


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SteelGuts wrote:
This is not just a buffet of ability that you pick to build your perfect concept like in PF1.

I actually kind of disagree with this part of the “con” you listed for class builds. I’ve found myself feeling very limited by PF1e classes, especially when you consider feat taxes and such. The actual option of which class to pick is obviously wider in PF1e but the sheer amount of character builds in the PF2e CRB alone is mind blowing. Imagine the terribly limited builds using just the PF1e CRB. The future is bright if this kind of design paradigm expands similarly!


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Lord Fyre wrote:

Would Runelord Alderpash be controlled by a player at that point?

Yes. The player’s former character (an Aether Kineticist) died at the end of Chapter 5. The party tried to use their Scroll of Miracle to bring him back mid-combat. But the player and I had already made plans awhile ago about what he wanted to do if his Kineticist dies. So the Miracle swaps in Alderpash, who had been stripped of some of his power in the process of redemption (so he’s on the same level as the PCs)

Now I wouldn’t expect the PCs to trust an obvious Runelord, deposed, redeemed, or otherwise. But since it was a miracle cast by a cleric of Desna, they have reason to believe it’s in their best interests. Alderpash is the one who will tell them how to reassemble the Sihedron. And considering what comes after, I’m sure he’ll have more revelations and helpful knowledge.


I am about to start this final book, though it technically won’t be the conclusion of the campaign. You see, I’ve run this campaign as a sequel to our Rise of the Runelords campaign in which the PCs failed to stop Karzoug’s return. Karzoug has started his conquest of Varisia and Sheila Heidmarch has sent a new set of PCs on an artifact-assembling quest hoping that with the Sihedron we can stand against Karzoug.

So after hopefully surviving this chapter and laying Xin to rest, they will have to face off against an already-risen Karzoug who is currently attempting to use the Cyphergate in Riddleport to replicate a certain plan of his that failed in the Spires of Xin-Shalast (no spoilers but let’s say it had something to do with time and armies)

Anyone have any fun ideas on how Karzoug and his minions have changed since Rise? Most of his minions and troops were killed in Rise because it was only in the final battle that the heroes were defeated.

Also I should mention that the new set of heroes includes Runelord Alderpash, former Runelord of Wrath, who had been encountered and redeemed in another AP (no spoilers) and brought here via the Scroll of Miracle from Cadrilkasta’s horde for, perhaps, the final step towards redemption. Fun times!


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Going to the first part of Hastur’s post, I think some people might be decrying the GM-Power in 2e because the GM always has the power to override something or make a ruling against what the books says but when the book directly says “determined by the GM” it’s making that ruling a certainty as opposed to a possibility. So I imagine there are some people out there who dislike things being nebulous. They might prefer a hard and fast rule and then may or may not still be ok if it is overridden, depending on how reasonable they are.

Also, one thing I enjoy saying is that Rule 0 might give a GM unlimited power but Rule -1 is that a GM without players, because they all left when he annoyed them with his overuse of Rule 0, isn’t a GM at all :)

I think the bottom line is that what makes this genre of games so amazing is the variety of styles. Hopefully you can find the GM and players with similar and reasonable outlooks!


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I know it’s not exactly relevant to canon storyline, but I wanted to share what happened with my gaming group

For the play test, one of my PCs made a goblin named Tucker for Chapter 1: The Lost Star and he had a background about how he was trying to redeem the goblins in the adventure and his greater goal of integrating the goblins that live in the sewers of Magnimar with the general populace.

He died in the final battle of the adventure but even in his death he saved some of the goblins. So, Tucker became a martyr. An inspiration to all goblins to show that they can be helpful members of society, and an example to nongoblins that his race isn’t irredeemable

Now, those goblins that have risen and become members of civilization refer to themselves as “Tuckers”

And THATS how we “explained” goblins being a core race in 2e


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I love when you read through a class and three different character ideas just spring to mind. The class feats are right there, you don’t have to read the class and then go see what feats would make what build viable.

The general feats are just that: General.

Gone are the days of a long list of feats that include Fleet which is good for any character, and a feat like Extra Hex which is invalid for 95% of characters but REALLY helpful for those who can take it. And you better hope you don’t miss such a good feat in that long list of generic and invalid options!

In 2e you can read what your class does and then immediately see all the cool customizations you can make to it!


Detect magic as a skill feat... now we just need Light as one too to fully get rid of mandatory-feeling cantrips


Wheldrake wrote:

I think you've got it.

The best way to make a semi-spellcaster melee character appears to be to start with a martial class and add a spellcasting multiclass to give just a dash of spellcasting goodness. Which was all that 4-level casters really had anyway.

I've been looking at building an elven fighter-magic-user by taking wizard as main class and tossing in some martial feats and elven weapon training. But if that seems too lackluster, perhaps the otehr way round would be more effective: fighter with wiz or sorc multiclassing.

It seems to me like multiclassing to martial classes for “be good at weapons” doesn’t seem to work very well. You just can’t get a very good proficiency at high levels.

Starting with fighter as your base class is nice because your weapon/armor proficiency scales no matter where you put your feats. And fighters get those bonus “flexible” feats as a baseline class feature eventually, so you’re even getting back some of the class feats you’ve sacrificng by multiclassing! But yes.... your spells won’t be nearly as good


Since Spells per Day tables are class specific, I could definitely see one with less slots per day, but I’m not sure I could see one with slower spell level progression. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t sit right with the paradigm of 2e spells. But Paizo has a tendency to manipulate their own game design in unique ways as the life of a game progresses.

I also like the idea of a focus-based class. Such a class could have an ability to restore focus as an ability measured in Actions. Concentrate for two actions to get a focus point back; for example. That would let you refill easily between combat, and even give you options in long fights. That would change the feel of focus significantly, but, again, totally within Paizo’s possibilities.


Darth PUGS! wrote:
Dragonriderje wrote:

Bards were 6-level spellcasters in 1e and have become 9-level in 2e. Paladins were 4-level in 1e and now don’t get spells at all (but always start out with at least one Focus Spell).

I like the new bard, and I recently converted my 1e warpriest (a 6-level spellcasting class) into a Liberator. I was a little worried about losing true spellcasting but the PCs focus was always on his weapon damage anyway. The spells were just to augment him; or for utility. So I gave him all the domain Focus Spells and Mercy/Liberating Step feats and I’m pretty happy with the result. He can’t cast real spells but he has plenty of flavorful magic options and is great with his weapon.

Anyway, my point is that I’m not losing sleep over not having partial spellcasters in 2e but I’m wondering if we ever will get them. Will it just be 9-level or bust? You’re either a full spellcaster or your only option is to have Focus Spells if you want to be somewhat, but not completely, magical.

What do you guys think?

Did you look at multiclassing cleric and fighter at all to try to get the same feel of warpriest or did it just not work?

I considered Cleric with fighter multi class, but I still couldn’t get good enough weapon proficiency, and would be too spell-focused. Fighter with cleric multiclass would work though. I’d have more spells, but less thematic Focus spells (domain only through cleric feat, instead of Domain, Mercy, and Liberating Step with Champion). maybe the best option would be Champion with a select few cleric multi class feats...


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Fighters are a pretty good base class to start with. They’re great with weapons and good with armor even without their class feats, AND they basically get “extra” feats with their flexibility class feature. So you get back a little bit of what you give up for multiclassing. I had fun making a human fighter who multiclassed sorcerer in levels 2, 4, 6, 8, then took the human ancestry feat to start a second multi class in cleric. By level 20, he was almost as good as a pure fighter with weapons AND had access to level 1-8 arcane and divine spells.


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Bards were 6-level spellcasters in 1e and have become 9-level in 2e. Paladins were 4-level in 1e and now don’t get spells at all (but always start out with at least one Focus Spell).

I like the new bard, and I recently converted my 1e warpriest (a 6-level spellcasting class) into a Liberator. I was a little worried about losing true spellcasting but the PCs focus was always on his weapon damage anyway. The spells were just to augment him; or for utility. So I gave him all the domain Focus Spells and Mercy/Liberating Step feats and I’m pretty happy with the result. He can’t cast real spells but he has plenty of flavorful magic options and is great with his weapon.

Anyway, my point is that I’m not losing sleep over not having partial spellcasters in 2e but I’m wondering if we ever will get them. Will it just be 9-level or bust? You’re either a full spellcaster or your only option is to have Focus Spells if you want to be somewhat, but not completely, magical.

What do you guys think?


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Dasrak wrote:
This one is definitely a huge problem. Access to flight and ranged attacks with greater than 30 ft range is extremely limited in PF2, meaning that a flying creature with ranged attacks are incredibly difficult to handle. These long drawn out fights are also problematic since the fights themselves can easily drag out longer than the fly spell's duration, and it's just not realistic to drop four 4th level spells to get only half the party airborne for one encounter. However, this particular creature also has an at-will spell that can pretty much indefinitely keep one PC out of the picture. Along with its high AC this means that most parties have no realistic way to fight it. On the other hand, its offensive capabilities are kinda pathetic; it had no real ability to hurt a 12th level party despite being a 15th level monster.

Yes.

If I had to choose the straw that broke the camels back; the thing that ultimately led to my group stopping the playtest, I'd choose this fight. Obviously, it was not the entire reason, but it may have served as a tipping point. It was definitely the point where the levels of fun and involvement were the lowest from players and GM. I would've preferred if the creature had just wiped the floor with the PCs, something it probably should have been able to do given the level disparity and the resources already expended by the PCs.

Tezmick wrote:
Voss wrote:
Quote:

1. Members of the group are not having fun. They understand the goals of the playtest and how it makes it different from a normal campaign, but these differences have a negative effect on their playing experience. Here are two examples:

---- Creating many different characters that are only played for a short amount of time lessens immersion and interest
---- Participating in "stress tests" of aspects of the system brings flaws to the forefront

I get that people might not enjoy testing this way, but honestly, this is the best way to actually playtest a game. Campaign play is pretty much the worst, as it yields a lot of anecdotes and hand-waving that obscures mechanics, rather than real data resulting from testing and math.

Really there should be a lot more emphasis on repeatedly running encounters and changing only minor details (spells, feats or opponents) to see how they turn out.

The problem I have with this argument is if it’s not fun to play and I think

“what were they thinking”
The whole time why would I want to bother with the rest, I’m also tired of hearing that homebrew solutions fix a lot of problems, this is a new ruleset it needs to stand on it’s own if the only way to make it enjoyable to my players and myself is to rewrite half of it then why bother there’s already functional games out there.
Also sick of hearing about how it’s new, it’s not an excuse this is meant to be an improvement compared to it predecessor, like it or not this new system has to stand next to the old one and prove it’s worth investing in because like everyone likes to remind me my old books aren’t going anywhere so I don’t need to buy the new edition.

I want the game to be good but I honestly feel like this game was made for different people and is just wearing the pathfinder name tag for brand recognition.

From here on out I will be speaking about my own personal opinions (since I was trying to speak for our whole group in the OP)

I, personally, don't think the system is unfun to play. It's just that, collectively, we were not having fun *playtesting* the system. I understand the goals of the playtest. These things need to be tested.

Personally, I am the kind of person who is willing to run the same encounter 10 times, changing one variable each time, to test whatever certain thing needs tested. (In fact I may still run Chapter 7 by myself, because I'm crazy)

But, I'm not going to subject my gaming group to that! We play RPGs to have fun, and if we're weren't having fun doing this particular task, then we needed to move on.

The game needs to be playtested, and this seems like a great way to collect the kind of feedback and data Paizo is looking for. But, my gaming group doesn't owe Paizo anything. We played along because it was fun to try something new and contribute to the creation of a new edition of Pathfinder. But as soon as the flaws in the system or the frustrations specific with the playtest format outweighed the fun parts (trying a new system, contributing with feedback), it was time to stop.

I don't hold this against Paizo; I don't think they did anything wrong. I see it more as a mutual seperation, and its only fair to be transparent as to the reasons why.


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Cyouni wrote:
Dragonriderje wrote:


2. Combat takes too long. The length of each character's turn seems appropriate but too many rounds are required to resolve a combat.
How many rounds did your combats end up being? I know people have said this quite a few times on the forum, but mine have pretty consistently ended up at 4-5 rounds (with the end fight of Mirrored Moon basically over by round 2 thanks to the blasting sorcerer).

Using Heroes of Undarin as an example (since I tracked combat rounds on a spreadsheet and thus know the answer).

Heroes of Undarin spoilers:
Event 1: 7 rounds
Event 2: 10 rounds
Event 3: 9 rounds
Event 4: 6 rounds
Event 5: 8 rounds
Event 6: 20 rounds (ended in a draw because the demilich ran out of resonance but the heroes weren't dead, so it just flew away)
Event 7: 17 rounds (it was clear the PCs weren't gonna win this one, but it took 17 rounds to finally finish them all off, mostly because of Heroic Recovery from hero points and lots of healing)

I realize Heroes of Undarin might not be the best example because it was made to be a combat slog, but it goes to point number 1, I think, to show that even though it was intentional it still felt very unfun.

My, personal, ideal length would be: The occasional 3 round stomp, most fights going to 5-6 and the occasional 10 round slog.


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Colette Brunel wrote:

I will not contest that this actually happened, but you do have to realize that this took a wild streak of luck.

Synesthesia, being a mental spell, has a high chance of being critically succeeded against given the weak kraken's high Will +27 against mental spells.

From there, the potion-drinker would have had to Hide, going up against the kraken's Perception +28. Then they would have had to Impersonate, again going up against the kraken's Perception, albeit with a +4 conditional bonus from the potion.

Then, because sinking into the merely 30-foot-deep water (the kraken is Gargantuan) does not exactly deafen or blind the kraken, the party would have had to sneak around to avoid the kraken noticing that someone was trying to open up the vault.

So the scenario is certainly possible, but it is not likely without some serious luck.

Yeah there was some luck involved. The dice definitely favored the PCs for this strategy and I will admit I was a little lenient on the rules because of my own bias (we also started the session 2 hours later than usual because of a prior commitment on my end, so I didn't want things going overly long) But, I never fudged a roll, although I may not have called for every last roll you could think of for the situation. I was definitely in "this is an awesome story moment" mode as opposed to "must simulate perfectly by RAW" mode.


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We just completed Chapter 6: Red Flags last night and will not be moving on to playtest Chapter 7. I'm not going to include any kind of narrative in this thread and I'm going to attempt to avoid any kind of bias. Our group runs the gamut from overly pessimistic to overly optimistic about the fate of Pathfinder 2e. So, I'm going to stick with "just the facts, ma'am" and list the feedback that contributed to the decision to stop playtesting.

1. Members of the group are not having fun. They understand the goals of the playtest and how it makes it different from a normal campaign, but these differences have a negative effect on their playing experience. Here are two examples:
---- Creating many different characters that are only played for a short amount of time lessens immersion and interest
---- Participating in "stress tests" of aspects of the system brings flaws to the forefront

2. Combat takes too long. The length of each character's turn seems appropriate but too many rounds are required to resolve a combat.

3. PCs feel like the deck is stacked against them
---- When a PC and monster tie initiative, the monster automatically goes before the PC
---- Monster AC, saves, attacks, spell DCs are too high, making PC attack, spells, and defenses feel weak (we understand this has been addressed by Paizo, but it is still relevant to this playtest)

4. Few options to reduce complexity. One of the members of our group prefers making straight-forward characters, focusing on passive or constant effects. He does not like the array of combat and noncombat abilities a character ends up with after creation. He either feels bad because he's ignoring all these situational options, or feels bad because he has to focus his attention on what his character can do rather than focusing on the story or situation in front of him. He does not feel that there are enough chances to choose a passive option when faced with a character creation choice. (this is exacerbated by the rate of character creation in the playtest, and lack of character mastery since they are played for a short amount of time)

5. Moving even farther from logic. We understand that this is a fantasy game, but especially when we compare it the PF1e, there are things that stick out to us as illogical or even unfair. One thing that came up many times were touch attacks: "The fire giant in plate armor should be easy to hit with a touch attack!" and the DCs of skill uses at higher levels (swimming, climbing, balancing)

Like I said at the top, this is just a list of the reasons that contributed to our decision to stop playing the playtest. This is not an indictment of the new system. We do not all hate it; we've just decided to move on and feel that it is important to be transparent as to the reasons why.

In an effort of fairness, so that this post is not entirely negative, here is a brief overview of some things we like about the playtest:
1. Action Economy. Intuitive and balanced, simple but allows for complexity
2. Modular class design. Creative and allows for uniqueness among characters of the same class
3. Parallel scaling. AC, attacks, saves, DCs, skills all being derived from the same formula allows for balanced and logical interplay (Roll X against Y DC works for just about any combination of X and Y)
4. New ability score distribution. You don't have to abandon all your other stats in order to keep your primary ability score as high as possible. This creates much more three-dimensional characters, opens up a lot of creative archetype options and character builds, and reduces a lot of the "MAD" issues of the previous game.

Thank you for your time,
Dragonriderje


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A brief preface: I was not looking forward to our session last night for a few reasons I won't get into here, but the Kraken had a lot to do with it. I was dreading the combat-heavy boss-level monster surprising my group of players who are already not enjoying the playtest (the last session, we decided to not play part 7 and were only doing one more to finish this chapter out for completion's sake). I figured it was either going to be a TPK and/or a 2-hour slog of complicated combat and complaining players.

So wasn't I surprised when the sorcerer had the bright idea to pull out a Greater Potion of Disguise.

The group already had Cover from the Kraken because of a Blade Barrier, and it treated everyone as being Concealed from Synesthesia, and the sorcerer rolled darn well on his Impersonate check.

So the Synesthesia fades from the Kraken, and it sees Captain Whark standing in the place that the sorcerer was moments ago, commanding the intruders to lay down their arms and assuring the Kraken that everything was under control.

I would've been justified in not allowing this to work. Nowhere in the book does it specifically say that the Kraken listens to Whark's commands. Kraken aren't stupid beasts; it could have been VERY suspicious about this whole situation.

But, creativity should be rewarded

And, I had very little interest in continuing the fight (I was far more interested in seeing how Necerion fared against the PCs - not well, turns out, thanks to a failed Feeblemind save and a handful of natural 20s on the PCs' part)

So, "Whark" commanded the intruders to drop their weapons, then bound their hands and thanked the Kraken for its service

The Kraken had fulfilled its magical compulsion to guard and sank back down beneath the waves

The group made their way up to the vault, unlocked it easily with good rolls from the Rogue, killed Necerion without much trouble, brought his head back to the REAL Captain Whark and asked for The Last Theorem as their reward.


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In my session tonight, the sorcerer attempted a simple Dancing Lights from the fortress wall to get a better look at the grassy area. Of course, this triggered the green faerie fire and attracted the attention of: the guards, the guests, and Kasbeel.

So something occurred to me... this is exactly the type of distraction Necerion was waiting for!

Why wait for the arbitrarily-timed procession ceremony? This added a sense of urgency for the PCs, and some drama! The sorcerer is in trouble, and the other PCs see their enemy get a head start!

The sorcerer got off with the warning and the PCs tried to follow Necerion, but Whark confronted them. One character distracted Kasbeel while the others told Whark what happened, and about Kasbeel's role. Whark sent Kasbeel away so she could "deal with her later" and asked the PCs to stop Necerion.

I hadn't really thought of the faerie fire effect as a good time for Necerion to sneak away, but it made sense when I thought about it - one of the partygoers instantly glowing green and attracting the devil's attention... sounds pretty distracting to me!


Darth Krzysztof wrote:

Every NPC whose name starts with "K" died in my Skull & Shackles game, so I can't add any red herrings there. XD

I'm planning to include Sandara Quinn as the cleric who's actually consecrating the Besmaran temple. She went to the Holy Isle on Besmara's Throne after the campaign ended, and will probably become the high priest when Laharra Seaspray is gone.

My only Doomsday Dawn player who also played Skull & Shackles became the Hurricane King, so I expect I'll have one of the other PCs there to "pay tribute to Whark" (translation: "keep an eye on things") on the King's behalf. Plus, Cut-Throat Grok would be his +1.

I may have Rosie Cusswell be one of their sources when gathering information before the ball.

And I might mention Fishguts Kroop if the PCs manage to linger in the kitchen.

Nice!

I went for more end-game focused NPCs. I included: Master of Gales, Avimar Sorrinash, Mace Darimar, and Merril Pegsworthy.

They just served as flavor to better flesh out the party. That way I could describe multiple NPCs of interest and not just the ones that were important to the story. It worked pretty well. The PCs spent a small amount of time interacting/observing with these NPCs but it wasn't a huge time-sink. It was still pretty clear to them who the REALLY important NPCs were.


I'm gonna add a few NPCs, just to liven things up I think. Thanks for the feedback, I'll report back how it goes tonight!


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While I was prepping Red Flags I felt that there maybe weren’t enough NPCs listed for the PCs to interact with. Kad is mostly just a red herring who can give some info, Necerion doesn’t talk to the PCs, Kasbeel can’t give them useful information. It seems like Whark is the only one that is worth trying to befriend.

I know my PCs are going to run straight to Kad since he’s the only thing worth describing in the area and even if they don’t get any info from him, they’ll then see Necerion talking to an actual devil. I think they’ll be able to figure it out from there. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions because I have all the info and maybe it won’t be that easy for them. Not sure.

But here’s my current plan: our group has run the Skull and Shackles AP almost to completion (the campaign ended early when the PCs were thrown five years into the future [long story]) so I was thinking of adding a few (in)famous NPCs to the gala to populate it. Even if these NPCs can’t tell the PCs anything useful for their mission, it would serve to fill out the gala, make things interesting, and make them have to work a little to figure out what’s going on.

Just off the top of my head, I can come up with a list of people from SnS that my players will probably recognize.

Anyway what do you guys think? How many extra people should I add? Would it slow things down too much? Do you think the intent is that the gala roleplaying is supposed to be quick and gets the PCs to the traps/investigation quickly?


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Three Things I Love:
1)Action Economy
2)Everything uses the same formula (skills, saves, DCs, attacks, AC)
3)Class customization

Three Things I Dislike (hate is such a strong word):
1)Skill feats (how they currently work - not the idea in general)
2)Monster/PC accuracy in combat (only the most optimized character has a chance at having the same accuracy as a monster does against opponents of equal level)
3)Exploration Mode

Three Things I'd Houserule:
1)Initiative ties should go to roll-off (current rule: monsters win)
2)Increase the bonus from Expert/Master/Legendary
3)Backgrounds give something unique (more akin to an ancestry feat than a skill feat)


Try to remember that this is an entirely different game. Other than being d20 based, this playtest operates almost completely differently. Almost all numbers are calculated using different formulas than PF1e. Things have changed! Make no assumptions about balance or game mechanics based on your knowledge of PF1e because there are many things that are simply not the case anymore.

As for the rules updates, I agree that it is a bit of pain to be given a playtest rulebook, and then a 10-page document of edits. But I'm hoping they are doing this because they are receiving so much feedback that they're getting what they want from the playtest fast enough that they want to change things to test new versions. Still annoying, but if they really want to playtest a new game, publish it, and release it for next GenCon, this is the pace they need I suppose.

As to your point about things favoring monsters: There is a bit of a joke in my games. One of my players started saying "Get [censored], PCs" specifically after we looked up the rules for initiative ties and the joke has kind of continued ever since.


Kerobelis wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Kerobelis wrote:

you had

All attack lines:
Paladin: +19, 3d8+4+d6+d6 (+10 or +12 dmg from weakness)
Cleric: +19, 4d8+4
Ranger: +21, 4d8+2 (temporarily had +12 from weakness)
Barbarian: +22, 4d12+5+d6, +10 dmg when raging (+10 or +12 dmg from weakness)

I calculate the to hits as (making a few assumptions about attack stats):

Paladin: +20 (+12 level, +2 Weapon, +5 STR, +1 Proficiency)
Cleric: +19 (+12 level, +3 weapon, +4 STR, +0 proficiency)
Ranger: +21 (+12 level, +3 weapon, +5 DX, +1 proficiency)
Barbarian: +19 (+12 level, +3 weapon, +5 ST, +0 proficiency, -1 due to giant totem).

This doesn't take into account any buffs or feats or other magic items you may have. Perhaps the Barbrian added an extra +3 due to have the +3 handwraps (which do not help him in any way). These new to hits would make a major difference, especially for the Barbarian.

To make your Paladin even better, I would take that +3 weapon instead of +2 flaming. As per what Edge posted, each +1 means a lot.

Those numbers sound about right, though he stated somewhere that the Paladin has 18 Str, hence the 19 instead of 20. Ironically this is the same Str that the Elf Paladin in my current party has.
Hmm, I see that now in the damage modifier. Well, that is another lost bonus to hit. I do feel it sucks how PF2 severely punishes you if you do not max out on your to hit (crit wise, accuracy on secondary attacks, etc.).

Correct. The paladin has 18 strength.

I talked to the barbarian player and we confirmed that he made a math error. He should be at +19 to hit, as this thread has calculated.

-

Another thing, Mark Seifter confirmed how Weakness works in this thread. So I actually was correct in applying both of the Treachery Demon's weaknesses when hit by the Flaming, Holy Sword. Each energy type is an "instance" of damage. The only time you wouldn't apply multiple weaknesses would be for physical damage (e.g. cold iron AND slashing weakness with a cold iron longsword) because the physical damage is one instance. I haven't run into any DnD4e-style damages that say "2d6 damage that counts as both Fire and Good" although there is still a pretty clear ruling for something like that - it's only one "instance" of damage.

So let's say the paladin hits the Treachery Demon. He rolls 3d8+4 for 18 physical damage. He rolls 1d6 for 3 fire damage but the demon takes 15 because of weakness. He rolls 1d6 for 3 good damage, but the demon takes 15 because of weakness. So in total, the Demon takes 48 damage.


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Edge93 wrote:
And I agree that the lack of parity in 1e isn't wrong as well, I can see why people would like it but it's grown old in many ways to me so this Playtest has felt like such a breath of fresh air for me personally. I mean there's plenty of edges to file but the core concepts and base math just feel so good in practices and polished on a conceptual level, at least for me.

Yup. My favorite part of this playtest is the core mechanics chassis. The 3 action system and the formulas for rolls and DCs, specifically. My issues lie more in the character design issues. They just don't seem "cool" enough; they're not utilizing the mechanics in good, fun, unique ways. (like, why are there only 3 spells in the whole game that let you choose # of actions? why are skill feats so incredibly boring?)


Yes, this exactly. It seems that Paizo is aiming for parity with the new system: Saves, skills, attacks, AC, spells all use the same formula so your success/failure chance will be much closer to 50/50 than you might see in the first edition.

Just consider things from 1e like, rolling Acrobatics via CMD, or attacking vs AC. There's no parity there (which I don't think is WRONG, it's just very different from this system). A +1 isn't going to help the high-level fighter much when using a standard action attack against, say, a giant of his level. Nor is it going to help the dwarf cleric use Acrobatics to avoid an AoO. Because the first has such a high success rate and the second has a low success rate.

But when the bonuses and DCs narrow and the difference between their maximum and minimum possible values are reduced, like in this playtest, that +1 can actually matter. (not too mention the new crit rules adding value to "overkill")


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Chess Pwn wrote:
I was thinking the same thing. 12+5+3-1 = 19 is what I clock the barb should be at. Meaning he is now just as accurate as the paladin that had a hard time hitting.

It is entirely possible that the player did not calculate his stats properly. I will ask and report back!

Edge 93 wrote:
The accuracy assumption sounds right on but for his AC ypu forgot the base 10. You had level+armor and Dex+enchantment-sluggish-rage but it should be 10+ all that. So the slavers would hit on 10, crit on 20, Glavrezu hit on 5, crit on 15. Much less harsh but still he could use some protection. Suppose that's what the 12+Con Temp HP every 4 rounds is for.

Yeah he took a pretty good beating. He was the only guy in melee with no shield, and he did the most damage. The demons are no dummy! He was something like at 30% health after the Slaver Demons and 20% after the Treachery Demons (AND he got healed midfight vs the Treachery Dmeons)

N N 959 wrote:
He's got one more trained skill than a Fighter and the same amount of skill feats. How does that make him feel more Ranger-y?

Well, his automatic class features help (wild stride, nature's edge) I suppose. But you're right, I could have taken all the same skill feats on a fighter to make a nature-y fighter. But that wasn't my goal, my goal was to make a fighter-y ranger :)

N N 959 wrote:

The benefit of a Hunt Target (0/+1/+2) has been greatly exaggerated by many on these forums. Warden's Boon is only valuable if the ally actually takes a 2nd and 3rd attack. And then, it's only giving you a hit on 1 more number. That's going to come up 5% of the time you roll a d20, so 1 out of 20 rolls, that +1 will make a difference. On the 3rd attack it's a 10% difference, but then only if you can hit on a 12. If you need a 13 on the 3rd attack then you're not getting any benefit from Hunt Target.

The reason I ask is because I am curious if you actually perceived a benefit versus the feeling you're making smart tactical decisions. Based on your post/response it sounds like like it has more value in hype than substance. You feel like you're making a good decision, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're getting much of any benefit.

Yes, it most definitely has more value when looking at it theoretically. So does something like Bless. Maybe no one hits the exact AC and then the +1 didn't help at all. 0 actual value But I generally evaluate things on potential benefit because dice are random! You never know.

Looking back at the log, I used Boon the round I drew my melee weapon because I was tangled in the melee (which makes some sense, since my melee is worse than my ranged) and I used it once when I did Hunt Target, then Miss, then Boon. My guess is that I just threw up my hands, looked at the barb and said "you kill it" - not sure what my strat was there


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I love the spells like Magic Missile (do more damage with each action), Heal (gain benefits with more actions - even turning it into an almost completely different spell), Cone of Cold (add another action to increase the area).

Its a great use of their new action economy system that I LOVE.

But we need more of that!!!!

Take advantage of the best part of this new edition's mechanical changes!


DM Livgin wrote:

This summary is awesome. You are a hero.

What was the paladin's bonus to hit?

Thanks. Paladin's attack line was +19 3d8+4 slashing +1d6fire +1d6good. (level 12+4(str)+1(expert)+2(magic weapon))

N N 959 wrote:
Cool write up. Would be curious what feats you took for the Ranger besides the one you listed. It seems you went straight combat abilities and didn't pick up any thematic abilities?

Yes, that was on purpose. Here was my rationale:

-For the last 4 chapters of the playtest, I have been playing characters that were either pure support (Bard) or attempts to cover multiple roles (Druid balanced between blasting and shifting with some healing added in, Alchemist/rogue who buffs, bombs, stabs, disables, heals). So I decided this character was going to be my "total combat machine."
-I knew Chapter 6 was an inappropriate time to try that, and Chapter 7 brings me back to my Druid.
-I wanted to see what a completely ranged damage focused character is like in the playtest (because they can be a bit broken in 1e)\
-Ranger, at that point, was the only class no one has run in my playtest yet.

It is convenient that Chapter 5 is the "grueling combat test" chapter but I felt justified enough with my reasoning to call it a coincidence.

It's true that he's not much a Ranger the way they are classically portrayed and he doesn't have any of the more flavorful feats (he can still do tons of Ranger-y things through his skill feats), but that wasn't my goal in building the character.

I wanted a tough-as-nails, hard-to-pin-down, harder-to-kill dwarven ranger.

N N 959 wrote:
Skirmish Strike is a "Step" not a stride.

Oops! I totally misread that feat! Thanks for the correction.

N N 959 wrote:
So how often did this result in one of your allies hitting your Target? Because you're only giving them a +1/+2 on the second and third attack.

In this game of parallel scaling, +1 and +2 to attack can actually matter a great deal. But mostly my strategy was "is this -8 attack that might do 4d8+2 damage worth more than giving the raging giant barbarian a +1/+2 to do 4d12+15+d6(and probably 10+ more dmg because of weakness)?" It certainly was one of the feats I decided on last and wasn't overly confident of, but I wanted to try it out.

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:

Very nice write-up, just one question (and our table had the same discussion) what convinced you to the approach at an attack can trigger multiple weaknesses?

Honestly, I just assumed that was the way it worked. I was not aware of that line (and also didn't know it works a similar way for resistances. You learn something new every day! (And today I learned TWO things)

Kerobelis wrote:

A couple of thoughts...

Paladins are not expected to be as offensive in 2ed, with their focus more on defense. Paladins in 1ed vs. 2ed are very different.

Why does the Paladin only have a +2 weapon while all the others have +3 weapons? The highest plus available is basically mandatory for martial characters.

You also seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on a bad session. you stated he rolled poorly. It may help a bit to list each of the characters to hit and damage for comparative purposes vs using actual hit results.

The primary reason the paladin went for the +2 Flaming weapon instead of a +3 is that the PC is a follower of "Saint Kushiel" who was that same player's paladin from our successful Wrath of the Righteous campaign AND who was famous for wielding a flaming sword.

And yeah, I know the paladin is more defensive in this playtest but I think it's important to report on how that kind of design change "feels" to a player. They could turn around and decide that Rangers can't dual wield anymore, and even if they had a good reason (e.g. it was only established because of a different game's novel's character) it would still be important for them to know their community's reaction to it because those are the people that would be buying their game!

I disagree with the idea that a +3 weapon is mandatory for a martial character, especially at level 12. Even if it IS the case, it is my opinion that it should not be, and is poor design if it is.

All attack lines:
Paladin: +19, 3d8+4+d6+d6 (+10 or +12 dmg from weakness)
Cleric: +19, 4d8+4
Ranger: +21, 4d8+2 (temporarily had +12 from weakness)
Barbarian: +22, 4d12+5+d6, +10 dmg when raging (+10 or +12 dmg from weakness)


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I used this document for my session Sunday and it worked great.

I ended up taking my GMPC’s character sheet (that I made on google sheets anyway) and adding it as a sheet to the document.

There are a lot of sheets on the document that I didn’t really use but that’s ok. I ended up using it more for reference than actually tracking things.

What I think I might do is take the section of the Skills sheet that details the actions you can take with each skill, and combine it with the Encounter Mode section of the Modes of Play sheet. That way, almost all actions someone can take in combat are on one sheet

The other thing I referenced a lot was the Statblocks sheet because it had the Monster traits, abilities, weapon traits, etc. so I’m considering copying that info over (and leaving the actual statblocks that I don’t use) to another sheet to consolidate. Perhaps the Conditions tab, in place of the custom Afflictions, Misc Conditions, and the tracking stuff.

So I’d have one Skills and Actions sheet and one Conditions and Traits sheet. I hope you don’t mind the personalization of your masterpiece! (And it is a masterpiece - I love the format)

I started resenting when I had to look up spells because I had to reference a much less user-friendly document.

Listing just the name of the ability/action/trait and having the info pop up on mouseover is a really compact and convenient design. I’d kill to have spells, feats, class abilities formatted the same way. I might even try doing some of that myself - if I can figure out how to do it!

Thanks again for the great resource.


I have a player in my games that almost always dumps Charisma, so I'm curious how this change will affect him. What will the minimum number of Focus be? 1? 1+Ancestry? 0?


Lyee wrote:

So, something I found.

The map has 5ft squares. And the church has nice, big, square floor tiles.

Each of those tiles is actually a 2x2 grid. The lines dividing up the tiles are really faint, and depending on your screen, pdf reader, print quality, etc, can easily be missed entirely, making the clearly-defined floor tiles look like they're 5ft to a side when they're 10ft.

On the offical Roll20 flip-map pack, this is clear, as the grid is integrated with Roll20 and set to the right scale. Apparently, the other person in my group had DM'd the entire module with only 25% of the grid spaces it should have had.

I had two huge creatures stomping through the church with plenty of room on either side of them.

I must disagree. Yes the church floor is tiled, but to me, it is clear that the tiles are just decorative and that the consistent, mostly-opaque grid lines are meant to show the 5-foot squares. It's more clear if you look at the outside area of the map, the study, or the stable, where the floor design is different. No evidence of additional gridlines, in my opinion.

But, this seems like a good solution to the problem: double the scale of the map.

I've already run my game and had the Treachery Demons Kool-Aid-Man themselves through the temple, using actions to destroy pillars in their way. It worked out ok, but probably reduced the Demons' effectiveness slightly (which is fine, because the PCs have much bigger issues coming)


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Warning: This is a long post with many numbers and opinions

I started running Heroes of Undarin last night and kept a round-by-round combat log. The primary purpose of this log was just to keep track of rounds between waves to help monitor the duration of spells and effects. But… my players and I have been worried for awhile now about combat scaling. We are not terribly happy with the seemingly low accuracy of PCs, especially against higher level monsters (and vice versa - the accuracy of monsters against PCs feels too high). I am the kind of person who needs hard evidence to back up my “feelings” (although, when playing a game for fun, “feelings” are almost MORE important), so I kept a straight up combat log to track hits, misses, damage, healing, spells, etc.

Below I will list the entire log, my narrative battle description, then have a section with some statistics and notes for each character.

This is only for the first two events in the Chapter (Slaver Demonsx4, Treachery Demonsx2). They took 20 rounds, about 3.5 hours of play.

The PCs:
Paladin (+2 holy flaming longsword [Holy added through Blade Ally class ability], +3 half-plate, Heavy Adamantine Sturdy Shield)
Cleric of Iomedae(Zeal) (+3 longsword, +3 Full Plate, Heavy Adamantine Sturdy Shield)
Barbarin(Giant Totem) (+3 Holy Greataxe[Holy rune from the communal magic item pool], +3 Hide Armor, +3 handwraps)
Ranger(+3 Comp Longbow, +3 Chain Shirt, +2 Frost Dwarven Waraxe)

-

Combat Log:
(Damage listed includes the target’s weaknesses)
SLAVER DEMONS TELEPORT IN
Round 1:
• Paladin: Readied a Strike (eventually hits for 36 dmg), raises shield
• Slaver Demons: All 4 use their Enslave ability against PCs, but every PC succeeds on their save, 5 moves, 3 first attacks (hit for 30 dmg, hit for 19 dmg, miss)
• Cleric: First attack miss (gets disarmed by SD), picks up weapon, raises shield
• Ranger: Move(provoked, hit, took 24 dmg), Hunt Target, first attack hit for 16
• Barbarian: Rage, first attack missed, second attack missed
Round 2:
• P: Miss, Miss, Raise Shield
• SD: All 4 cast Haste, 1 move, 6 misses, 1 hit for 26(reduced by 18 from shield)
• C: Move, Move, Raise Shield
• R: Stow Bow, Draw Waraxe, Warden’s Boon
• B: Hit for 55, Hit for 50, Miss
Round 3:
• P: Miss, Miss, Shield
• SD: 11 Misses, 1 move, 4 hits (17, 29, 26, 30[-18 from Shield])
• C: Weapon Surge(Provoked, crit for 51, interrupted), Step, Shield
• R: Stow Waraxe, Draw Bow, Hit for 22
• B: Hit for 50(kills enemy), Miss, Miss
Round 4:
• P: Step, Miss, Shield
• SD: 7 Misses, 3 moves, 2 hits for 21(-18 from Shield), 23
• C: First attack Miss, second attack Hit for 18, Shield
• R: Hunt Target, Skirmish Shot Hit for 22, Hunted Shot 2 misses
• B: Hit for 44 (Fatigued so he declines other actions)
Round 5:
• P: Hit for 34, Miss, Shield
• SD: 12 misses
• C: Crit for 36, Miss, Shield
• R: Hunted Shot 2 misses, Favored Aim miss
• B: Rage, Crit for 138 between 2 targets, Miss
Round 6:
• P: Miss, Miss, Shield
• SD: 11 misses, 1 hit for 16
• C: Miss, Miss, Shield
• R: Favored Aim Crit for 52, hit for 22
• B: Hit for 53, Miss, Miss
Round 7:
• P: Crit for 67, Hit for 27(kills enemy), Shield
• SD: 5 misses, Crit for 36, 2 hits for 18, 29(-18 shield)
• C: Hit for 15(kills enemy), Shield
• R: Hunted Shot 1 hit for 18/1 miss, Third Attack Hit for 15, Fourth Attack Hit for 15
• B: Hit for 56, Hit for 66 (kills last enemy)
Rounds 8 and 9 Intermission:
• P: 3 Lay on Hands for 44, 42, 37, Raise Shield, Ready Attack (does not trigger)
• C: 2 Heals for 56, 60, Raise Shield
• R: 2 Moves, Draw Blessed Oil, Ready to Apply Blessed Oil (triggered - BOW IS NOW HOLY)
• B: Nothing
Round 10:
• Treachery Demons: Teleport in, spend actions to destroy a pillar so they can actually move in the map
• P: Move, Shield
• C: Cast Circle of Protection (Heightening, lasts 1 hour)
• R: Hunt Target, Hunted Shot 2 hits for 70 dmg, Miss
• B: Rage, Move, Miss
Round 11:
• TD: Mirror Image, Hit for 34 (reduced by 4 by Barbarian resistance)//Move, Confusion on Ranger (Crit fails save, uses Desnan altar to reroll, gets another crit fail, uses 2 Hero Points to reroll again, gets a regular failure - yes, I forgot that you can’t use multiple rerolling abilities)
• P: Move, Hit an Image, Shield
• C: Move, Cast Bless
• R: Crits ally for 32 in his confusion, Miss, Miss
• B: Hits an Image, Miss, Miss
Round 12:
• TD: Hit for 27, Grab, Rake 2 Misses//Cast Reverse Gravity
• P: (grabbed) Miss, Miss, Shield
• C: Concentrate, Ranged Heal for 48
• R: Hit Ally for 20, Hit Ally for 21, Miss (makes save at end of round)
• B: Move, Move, hit for 52
Round 13:
• TD: Hit for 22, Rake miss/crit for 37(-18 shield)//Move, Mirror Image
• P: (grabbed) Hit for 45(note: TD weak to fire AND good), Miss, Shield
• C: Concentrate, Cast Searing Light Hits an Image
• R: Move, Hunted Shot Miss/Hit for 40, Miss
• B:Hit for 47, Miss, Crit on Third Attack for 100 (kills enemy)
Round 14:
• TD: Move, Hit for 25, grab
• P: Move, Miss, Shield
• C: Concentrate, Miss, Shield
• R: Escape fail x3
• B:Rage, Move, Hit for 51
Round 15:
• TD:Hit for 24(-4 resist), Triggers the First Retributive Strike of the game (Miss), Grab, Rake Miss/Hit for 15
• P: Miss, Miss, Shield
• C: Concentrate, heal for 63, MIss
• R: Escape success, Move, Hit an Image
• B: Miss, Second attack Hit an Image, Miss
Round 16:
• TD: Miss, Rake Miss/hit for 22
• P: Hit and Image, Miss, Shield
• C: Cast Searing Light (hit for 51 [fire and good]), Shield (Bless ends)
• R: Hunt Target, Miss, Warden’s Boon
• B: Miss, Miss, Miss
Round 17:
• TD: Miss, Cast Mirror Image
• P: Miss, Miss, Shield
• C: Miss, Miss, Shield
• R: Hunted Shot Hit an Image/Miss, Miss, Miss
• B: Rage, Hit for 63, Miss
Round 18:
• TD: Crit for 86 (provokes Paladin reaction, Miss), Grab, Rake miss/miss
• P: Step, Miss, Shield
• C: heal for 53, Move, Shield
• R: Hunted Shot Miss/Miss, Third Attack Hit and Image, Fourth Attack Hit for 33
• B: Rage, Hit for 63, Miss
Round 19:
• TD: Hit for 41 (-4 resist), grab, rake Miss/miss
• P: Weapon Surge, Miss, Miss (NOTE: Did not Raise Shield)
• C: Hit for 21 (kills last enemy)
• R: Moves around
• B: Moves around
Round 20:
• P: Lay on Hands for 51, draw and drink potion for 35
• C: Battle Medic twice for 25 and crit 40
• R: Move, Seek, Draw Explosive Ammunition
• B: Draw, Drink Potion for 38
Blood Demons will attack in Round 21 - Session End.

Battle Narrative::
The Slaver Demons teleport into the Temple, and the Paladin reacts quickly, raising his shield and preparing to strike when the demons close in. The Demons attempt to Enslave the PCs, but fail, and just move in to attack with some success. The Barbarian rampages through the Demons rather easily while the Ranger provides some damage and assistance to the group. The Paladin remains engaged the entire fight but never gets a chance to use Retributive Strike and only lands a few good blows. The Cleric does the same, hitting more often but dealing less damage since his weapon does not have the Holy effect. The Cleric provoked an AoO when trying to Weapon Surge in melee and gets critically hit for his effort. The player is enraged that such a melee-focused ability would provoke. The Demons deal more damage than expected before they are all dispatched. Their 4 attacks per round with Haste were effective, but boring.

2 rounds of healing and preparation pass, although the Barbarian finds himself with nothing to do. The Treachery Demons teleport in and destroy the pillars in their way because Huge sized creatures don’t really fit in the Temple as mapped. One Treachery Demon casts Mirror Image and moves directly to meet the PCs as they charge in and the other stays back slightly, casting spells and he slowly moves up. It’s first spell was Confusion which landed on the Ranger, causes the Ranger to shoot the Barbarian in the back a few times, and it’s second spell was Reverse Gravity in an attempt to disrupt the PCs battle plans. Unfortunately for it, the PCs manage to embrace the wonky gravity and it’s not terribly effective. The Treachery Demon that closed into melee first gets a few good hits landed, but he spent his other actions Grabbing (which the PCs mostly ignored) and Raking (which almost never hit).

The Paladin has a pretty bad time in this fight; he only manages to land one solid hit the entire fight because of poor rolls, high Monster AC, and Mirror Image. The biggest tragedy is that the Paladin had a weapon that dealt both fire AND good, two damage types the Treachery Demons are weak too. He could’ve done serious damage if he could have landed more than one hit.The Cleric spent the first few rounds buffing the party with Circle of Protection and Bless and spent the rest of the fight cycling between Searing Light (fire AND good), healing people, and missing with his sword. The Ranger applied Blessed Oil to his bow, giving him extra damage against the Demons. He managed to hit and deal at least some damage every round (although sometimes that was to his ally because of his Confusion) until one Demon grabbed and he failed to escape despite the fact that it should not have been a difficult for him. After his escape, almost every single one of his hits were negated by Mirror Image. The Barbarian again showed his combat prowess, even despite the Mirror Image, hitting the real Demon more often than an image. When the second Demon made it to the melee, it did slightly better than the first, grabbing a few people and actually hitting with his rake attacks before he was taken done.

The PCs heal up and prepare as they see the Blood Demons approach.

-

Statistics and Notes

Monsters:

Slaver Demons:
Total Damage Done: 320
First Attack Accuracy: 63% (12 of 19)
All Attacks Accuracy: 19% (13 of 70)
Damage per hit: 27
Notes: Despite the fact that they had Haste for most of the fight, getting more attacks, they only ever hit ONE attack that wasn’t their first attack of the round. 63% accuracy for monsters 2 levels below the PCs seems a little high, but when you consider how badly they did for anything OTHER than their first attack, I suppose its ok.

There was only one round when they did 0 damage, and their highest damage in one round was 102 (for reference, PCs had 150-200 hp)

Treachery Demons:
Total Damage Done: 333
First Attack Accuracy: 89% (8 of 9)
All Hits Accuracy: 48% (10/21)
Damage per hit: 33
Notes: Confusion was quite effective, but Reverse Gravity felt like a waste of the actions.

Mirror Image at will is PAINFUL. It made things quite unfun. You should’ve heard the uproar when I mentioned “It casts Mirror Image again because it can do it at-will.” Mirror Image negated 2 hits from the Paladin (could’ve been an avg of 97 dmg), 1 searing light hit from the Cleric (52 avg dmg), 3 hits from the Ranger (112 avg dmg), and 2 hits from the Barbarian (109 avg dmg). In total, Mirror Image negated an average of 370 damage between 2 demons. Almost like them having half again as much health.

Grab wasn’t nearly as scary a condition as I expected. It cost the monster an action, but allowed it to do its double Rake attack, which balances out. The melee just ignored being grabbed, and honestly I probably rolled lower than usual for the rake attacks.

89% accuracy for a monster only one level higher than the PCs seems just a tad high, although again, those second and third attack didn’t seem terribly dangerous. Never got a triple hit. It technically never had an attack at Third MAP because of how rake works.

There was one round when they did no damage (miss + mirror image), and their max was only 86 (one crit, two misses).

Paladin(Rant incoming):

Total Damage Done: 209
First Attack Accuracy: 37.5% (6/16)
All Attacks Accuracy: 29% (7/24)
Dmg per hit: 30
Total Healing Done: 209
Notes: This poor man. He made 16 First Attacks over the course of the battle. One of them was a crit, 3 of them hit and did damage, 2 of them hit a Mirror Image, and TEN of them missed. All his Second Attacks missed, save 1. This guy got to roll damage only FIVE times in a 20 round combat. Honestly, if this wasn’t a playtest, I’m pretty sure he’d be done with this system. Yes, he did roll badly. Theoretically, he SHOULD have a 65% accuracy on the Slaver Demons and 45% on the Treachery Demons.

But, let's take a look at that. This is a PALADIN. A warrior that is supposed to be on par with a Fighter or Ranger in terms of combat prowess. AND he was fighting DEMONS. And he’s a PALADIN. 45% chance to hit something one level higher than you feels pretty bad. In my opinion it should definitely be higher than that. A level 12 paladin in PF1e has a 70-95% accuracy against a 1e Glabrezu (again, one level higher) and chances are he can bypass their resistance AND do extra damage from Smite on top of that.

Look, I get it, balance is important but not at the expense of fun. THIS IS A PALADIN! Yes, I know the class is redesigned to be more of a protector. But this is a paladin fighting demons with a Flaming, Holy sword! Even if he had rolled his expected accuracy of 45% on First Attacks against the Treachery Demon, he still would’ve been a disgrace to Paladinhood. Is the goal really for characters to miss more of their FIRST attacks than they hit against creatures one level higher than them? How do you think that makes them feel about their SECOND attack? This PC was not the shining beacon of hope. This PC was not the ultimate front line combat protector (He missed ALL of his Retributive Strikes!!) This PC was not obliterating evil with the powers of Light and combat expertise. Something has got to give here. The Paladin needs some work.

And this isn’t even getting anywhere near my rant about PC accuracy vs monsters. Treachery Demons are 3 levels higher than Slaver Demons and have FIVE higher AC. This poor man had SIX rounds of where he had to say “Attack - Miss, Attack - Miss, Raise Shield, done”. Just look at the Combat Log above for rounds 14-19. NINE Misses with one Hit on an Image. We fought TWO Treachery Demons and he damaged only ONE of them, and only ONCE.

Cleric:

Total Damage Done: 141
First Attack Accuracy: 54.55% (6/11)
All Attack Accuracy: 40% (6/15)
Dmg per hit: 23.5
Total Healing Done: 345
Notes: This is a Cleric built by a player who prefers front line fighters. So, of course, he is Iomedaen. I think his contribution to the fight was reasonable, although I still think his accuracy was slightly too low. He never hit a single Second Attack, although to be fair, he only made 4 of them.

Being able to Heal and attack and/or raise shield is a fun dance of combat actions.

The biggest complaint from the player is that his Weapon Surge power provokes an AoO even though it only lasts that one turn and takes an action. Compare that to Shield, which does not provoke, and lasts the whole round.

Circle of Protection negated a couple hits, and Bless helped with a few hits. Helpful spells even though it doesn’t sound like they might be at first because they’re “just a +1”

Ranger:

Total Damage Done: 398
First Attack Accuracy: 71% (10/14)
All Attack Accuracy: 53% (18/34)
Dmg per hit: 22
Notes: This is my GMPC. This is the most fun I’ve had playing PF2e. It’s not necessarily the most powerful, but that’s ok. My Ranger has Hunt Target (1 action: gain bonuses when attacking multiple times), Hunted Shot (1 action: 2 attacks), Favored Aim (2 actions: 1 attack with bonus), Skirmish Strike (1 action: Stride plus Strike), Warden’s Boon (grant Ally the benefit of your Hunt Target). It feels like I have a class ability for every situation and that feels REALLY good.

Do I have to reposition but don’t want to lose my hit? Skirmish Strike. Am I using a special ammo or think I can take something out in one last hit? Favored Aim. Do I want to get three attacks off with the least penalties? Hunted Shot plus Favored Aim (0/-4/-6) Do I want to get as many attacks as possible? Hunted Shot, Strike, Strike (0/-4/-8/-8). Is attacking not the best idea for me? Warden’s Boon.

I feel like I have a loadout of cool abilities that I can combine to figure out the best option for each round. It’s almost like playing a card game with my suite of abilities being my hand, and I can choose to play whatever will work best.

This attack accuracy is almost exactly perfectly. Half of all attacks hit, 70% of all First Attacks hit. It gives you hope, but not surety, about your First Attack, and it makes the other attacks feel worthwhile. I had one round where I missed EVERYTHING… one round. Go look at the Paladin section above to see why that is important.

Barbarian:

Total Damage Done: 875
First Attack Accuracy: 75% (12/16)
All Attacks Accuracy: 48% (16/33)
Dmg per hit: 55
Notes: A Barbarian built entirely for damage, with a +3 two-hander, given the Holy rune, and he does a ridiculous amount of damage in a fight against Demons? Perfect! If only the Paladin didn’t watch him rampage his way through evil and feel so inferior….

Accuracy seems perfect, damage is really high. Maybe just a touch too high, but I think it’s fine. I like the rage cycling, but the player did mention it was a little hard to track (if I hadn’t been keeping a combat log, it probably would’ve caused some issues.)

For those interested, his attack line was +22, 4d12+15+d6good while raging

TL;DR: Monsters seem a little too accurate, and a little too hard to hit for their level. Combats were a bit too long and grindy. Paladin was a complete joke, couldn’t hit and had no useful utility or anti-evil abilities. Cleric was fine, but even though made to be a melee front-liner, still had accuracy issues. Ranger was a ton of fun even if low damage. Barbarian was the MVP; insane damage.


It makes Antidotes more attractive, I suppose...


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I ran into this as well. A PC tried to Enervate a mummy. We looked all over to try and figure out what would happen. We read the Undead trait and it does mention being "healed by negative energy" but Enervation isn't a spell that does negative damage, like Harm. We also missed the fact that Enervation has the Negative trait, but still... What exactly would happen?

I ruled it that since the Enervated condition describes the target being less powerful, that the spell removes some of the mummy's power and works normally. In retrospect, I would've made the mummy immune to the spell or have it give him a bonus if I had noticed the Negative trait on the spell. But there still isn't a real answer that I can find.


A Neutralize Poison heightened to a 6th level spell has a counteract level of 6.

Rulebook pg.319 wrote:
A spell’s counteract level is equal to its spell level

And you were right about the monster's counteract level. There's a table on pg 320 for that as well.

The DC for the counteract should be the DC of the poison

Quote:
If your ability’s counteract level is the same as the effect’s counteract level or lower, you must succeed at a check using the relevant skill or ability against the DC of the target effect.

So I assume it uses the DC listed to resist the poison or would use the DC to save against the spell. If you don't have any of those numbers, and need a DC for a monster, you use the Hard/High DC for that monster's level.

So it'd be a spell roll vs the monster's DC.

Your point still stands though about how it seems like to even have a CHANCE to counteract, you have to use half of your spell slots for your most powerful spell level, which feels really bad. Especially since a boss monster is probably 2+ levels above the party.


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I was just prepping Chapter 5 this morning and it occurred to me:

In both Events 2 and 7, the PCs will face demons of Huge size, but other than the central area of the temple there is almost no way for Huge creatures to move around (not too mention if anyone makes it to Event 9 and faces a Gargantuan Mutilation Demon!)

Even in Event 2, it says the Treachery Demons teleport into spaces that don't seem to be able to contain them.

I can't find any rules for how monsters can squeeze into smaller places or through smaller openings. There are rules for squeezing in the Rulebook, but it is a use of the Acrobatics skill that is not usable in Encounter Mode unless you have the Quick Squeeze skill feat.

My current idea is to have monsters treat openings narrower than their space as difficult terrain to move through, and have them be flat-footed while in such a space.

Its either that or I can just have them Kool-Aid-Man themselves through the walls and pillars! Since it's a crumbling temple, that seems reasonable - and it would add some fun interaction with the map as it evolves. But such a solution certainly can't set the precedent for how to deal with the situation in the future.


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I feel like this is a great sounding change! It’s a step in the right direction but it’s not perfect. My biggest gripe is still tracking charges/uses on items.

Instead of a magic item having a 1/day free activation you have to track, and then you spend Focus to activate any additional time, why not just increase the Focus pool size slightly and make all activations require 1 Focus? Less tracking! No more if/then statements!

And you can drop the “Extra 1 Focus” on a staff. Just invest in the staff and bam, you can use it to cast those spells with a focus or slots your choice. Simple and powerful!

Because I still feel like a player could feel like he has to find 10 1/day magic items to get the most free magic abilities they can.

But all that said I think this system sounds like a huge improvement and I look forward to trying it out.


Gonna give this a shot Sunday for Heroes of Undarin. Currently I use two monitors and an iPad to keep track of everything. One monitor has roll20 full screen and the other is split between my pdf viewer and browser. And the iPad is my scratchpad for HP/conditions etc

My biggest pain is switching between PDFs for rules, monster stats, and adventure text and then on my browser switching between character sheets and tracking sheets. Hopefully this will help consolidate things and reduce the switching required!

Thanks!


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I have assumed that you don’t count as your own ally because there is nowhere that states that you do. If it’s not in the rulebook, it’s best to assume it is not the case. They have stated that if it’s something that was a rule in PF1e but is not in the playtest, it’s best to assume it was intentionally excluded.

There are so many instances of things targeting ”an ally” as opposed to “you or an ally” or “a willing target” that I assume if they wanted you to count as your own ally they would say it in the book. Unless they meant to and forgot or something. But for purposes of a playtest it makes more sense to me to play things RAW


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I feel like a lot of this debate would be solved by reworking Assurance and having it be actually useful and worth taking


David knott 242 wrote:

One option that Paizo has in their collective back pockets for any game mechanic is to revert to what PF1 did -- but there is no reason to revert to that mechanic during the playtest or test it out because that mechanic may have already seen years of use. As a result, the fate of any new mechanic that they are thinking of completely abandoning is not something that we will find out until next spring at the earliest, when the playtest is concluded and they have decided on the final state of the rules.

This is a good point! It also goes well with something they mentioned at GenCon: That for some things in this playtest, they went with the most "out there" mechanic they could, to see what would stick, and knowing they had a more reliable alternative in their back pocket.


Here's a crazy idea:

What if you did away with Skill Feats completely, and rolled some of the abilities you gain through them into that actual skills themselves? They'd only be usable at Expert/Master/Legendary, depending. And then increase the number of skill trainings you get.

For example, roll the benefits of Quick Jump into the descriptions of High Jump and Long Jump, with a line like "If you are Expert in Athletics, you can Long Jump as one action". So you're still choosing what cool, new things you get to do with your skills, but it consolidates things a bit.

One thing I found while making higher level characters was that I would cherry pick what Skill Feats I wanted and then determine my skill trainings retroactively. Or conversely, I would train up whatever skills I wanted to have the highest bonus and then only focus on choosing Skill Feats for those skills. This I think shows that there is some overlap between these two "silos" when determining my character's design. So perhaps overlapping silos can be combined?!

EDIT:
OR maybe vice versa!
Roll skill trainings into the Skill Feats.
When you choose Quick Jump, you become an Expert in Athletics.


I just watched one of the recent streams where the question was asked “Do magic weapons automatically bypass certain damage resistances depending on their plus like they did in PF1e, because it doesn’t say either way in the rulebook for 2e”

And the answer was no, they do not. They said if there’s a rule from 1e that is not included in the playtest rulebook, it was excluded because that rule is not in 2e and it isn’t feasible to include a “This Isn’t a Rule Anymore” list. So it’s best to assume that if the book doesn’t come out and say it, then it isn’t the case anymore

So, yeah, applying that same situation to the bow/composite bow proficiency issue I’d say no, you don’t get proficiency with composite versions just by getting proficiency with the regular version. Unless: A) We missed something, and it does say it somewhere in the playtest rulebook OR B) They made a mistake and intended to include it


I decided that the PCs could scout as much as they want but I had the Research Points from each source overlap instead of stack. So they could get up to 3 from scouting and 1 from the corpses. And I kept the point decay.

I felt like that was the best way to represent the benefit from scouting without letting them go overboard by doing the same thing over and over again to get silly numbers of RP.

I think it worked well. The PCs found the tower pretty early, scouted it, and went back to base. But then they decided to continue exploring the sandbox, so they lost their 2 RP. I didn’t want it to be a waste.

The reasoning behind the point decay was that the defenses and situation changes overtime. That makes perfect sense but it also make sense that you can scout again, to get newer info. So I wanted scouting multiple times to be an option but I didn’t want them to be able to “spam” scouting.

So when it was time for the real assault, they got there 3 days before their allies and spent 3 days scouting. No one got a crit in those three days so they started the assault with 2 RP. Seemed fair and reasonable to me (they never found the corpses)


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My group is just BARELY keeping up. We finished Mirrored Moon the night that Update 1.4 was released and the playtest for Heroes of Undarin started.

The pace has been pretty grueling. We play every week but we usually need 3 sessions to finish a chapter. The last session is usually just an hour or two for the last big fight of the chapter. We’ve been scheduling that on a weeknight just to get it done so we can keep up with the playtest schedule!

I know we don’t have to stay with the schedule but it’s a good motivator and honestly we may have stopped playing if we didn’t have that extra feeling of contributing on-schedule and following the updates as they come out too.

We’re not having as much *fun* actually playing the playtest as I’d hoped. But giving timely feedback and the feeling of being involved gives a certain level of enjoyment.

I’m GMing (and playing a PC in order for the group to have the magic number of 4 PCs) so between prepping 3 sessions and creating a PC every two weeks, I haven’t found myself with the time to type up all the game feedback posts as I’d like.

Like I said, it’s a grueling pace but one we’ve chosen

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