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Scythia wrote:Sanmei Long wrote:From what I've heard, it isn't what people do or don't do that kills them, it's the fact that monsters have a relatively high chance of hitting, critting, and sometimes even killing the PC in one blow -- and that's if they're optimized. Battles are very swingy when optimized (apparently the average chance for a fully optimized character to land a blow or a spell against a same level opponent are never better than 55%) and tend to flatten you if you're not.
I agree. While I didn't have a TPK, I did have to use the dying rules in the very first battle I ran. An enemy had gotten an easy first hit on a PC, then crit on the second.Any battle since that lasted beyond the first round has involved a PC falling to five or less HP. Enemies are basically stronger and better than PCs, including free magic bonus damage despite not having magical gear.
I can vouch for it not being PF1 assumptions, I didn't use AoO in PF1.
This was our experience with the Lost Star scenario. We never TPK'ed, but it was close a couple of times. Enemies would regularly knock out at least one of our party every encounter. This was even with retreating from the dungeon and healing up in town several times.
For our party healing we had one Paladin with the improved (d6) Lay on Hands. Which is not nearly enough.
We also weren't poring over the rule book trying to build the most optimized characters either. We like to play characters based on them being cool and interesting characters. So we pick skills and feats based on what interests us.
As a result, Drakus could one-round KO any one of our characters. And did so twice. Two hits in the same round, no crit needed. Once was after being hit with enfeebled(2) by the Paladin. That guy was seriously unable to miss our player characters.
I was part of a group that TPK'd during the Lost Star and a lot of this was similar to our experience. One of our members felt we could have beat Drakus if we had rolled less unlucky, but I don't really know if I'm convinced. We just started In Pale Mountain's Shadow and almost every encounter has been whack-a-mole, with the two martial characters quickly dropping and the other two rushing to spend actions to heal them again (we lost two members, so we're down to 4).
Part of my personal goal in joining this playtest was to see how characters that weren't optimized played. I built my characters similar to breithauptclan's group, something that seemed interesting and fun, and could contribute to the party in a few meaningful ways. I was hoping there would be more flexibility for characters like this in Pathfinder 2e, but now I'm getting worried. I thought TPKs and near-TPKs had been much more common but the stats say otherwise.