Planpanther's page

813 posts. Alias of Pan.


1 to 50 of 813 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Im hoping for the modules they talked about in NEXT to happen in 5.5E.

One of the few games I never felt the need for any mods. Though, Id love to get some clan mechs on my lance. Im holding out for BT2.

Freehold DM wrote:
You have intrigued me to the point that I am going to restart my vanilla battletech game today with a new campaign and see if I encounter any of the issues you are encountering. I have been playing BTA so long I may be missing issues with Vanilla.

I ran one a month or two ago (im back in MW5 now). I remember there is a bit of a curve where you think you are ready to move up a skull, and quickly find out, that you are in fact, not ready. Still love this game and its difficulty is one of the best parts.

One more thing I forgot, not all missions are meant to kill everything either. Recovery missions are a good way to make cash and get pilot experience. Just get the asset and GTFO. Assassination missions sometimes have a convenient bee line to the target. Kill and GTFO. Ambush convoy missions, well you get the idea kill and GTFO.

The heavy metal DLC makes the game a lot easier. In both weaponry and specialized mechs. Though, if you already dislike the base game not sure you want to put any more money towards it.

Couple things I've not seen mentioned, leveling your pilots is huge. They will get better at everything that matters in the game. Defense, offense, heat management, called shots, etc... Any particular mission can go up or down in difficulty, this is on purpose to add some variance to the missions in the game. The difficulty system is based on two factors. First is the skull challenge. This determines the size, + weaponry, and condition of the mechs you will face. The second is payout. The payout is based on what you will be facing in the missions. Pay attention to the comments by the intel officer. He can usually tip you off to suicide missions.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Lot of folks have been developing convoluted systems to allow non-lethal combat and morale systems for fleeing and even fleeing systems themselves. I have come to the idea that the most expedient way to handle this is to just have folks reach a point they simple took too much damage to continue instead of death. Once a character hits that point, no magic can revive them until the encounter is over. This way you can just lay waste as best as your abilities allow and just enjoy...

Even that really just complicates and brings the moral issues to the forefront. Now rather than killing people in the heat of combat while they're trying to kill you, you're explicitly murdering helpless people after the fact. Or letting them go, often in circumstances where they'll just go right back to being a threat to you or to others.

Sometimes they'll just be obstacles that won't ever be a threat again regardless and in some circumstances you'll be able to deliver them to some kind of formal justice, but very often that's not realistic - in a premodern world, often on urgent quests far from any legitimate authority.

I hear you, but often these convoluted systems bring you to the same place and you might as well make it easier on yourself.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Haladir wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Combat in my games so far is usually who gets the upper-hand and forces the other to surrender.
I am playing in a "Shattered Star" game using the PF1e rules. We generally do the same thing when we're fighting intelligent opponents: We fight until one side has the upper hand and then the losing side either flees or surrenders. Even in PF, you don't have to make every fight to the death (even if the rules seem to encourage it.)

Right a few things seem to really drive the murderhobo elements of D&D/PF. First is awarding XP for killing stuff. I know, I know, its supposed to be for engaging and succeeding at the encounter, but its been ingrained in many in the gaming community that success is murder. Video games and their piles and piles of dead bodies help reinforce this. Also, magic stuff is often held by enemies and they are not likely to fork it over, "from my dead cold hands..." As mentioned, the rules cover combat in hundreds of pages and morale, fleeing, and surrender topics are not given much, if any, attention.

Lastly, the rules usually leave moral judgements completely up to the players. There is little discussion about repercussions for rampant murder in game settings and campaigns. Alignment has largely had its teeth removed from the game and is more of a passing notion these days. Maybe for the best since arguing about murder being good or not can get tedious. Especially, with gamers who try and logic puzzle everything into the good box.

Lot of folks have been developing convoluted systems to allow non-lethal combat and morale systems for fleeing and even fleeing systems themselves. I have come to the idea that the most expedient way to handle this is to just have folks reach a point they simple took too much damage to continue instead of death. Once a character hits that point, no magic can revive them until the encounter is over. This way you can just lay waste as best as your abilities allow and just enjoy combats as they were intended. You can deal with the unconscious defeated foes however afterwards.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

I don't have a real problem with killing in RPGs - it's a staple of the fantasy genre, which I enjoy in and out of gaming. I do prefer when slaughter isn't the only approach available. I'm always happy when we can talk our way around obstacles or negotiate reasonable solutions.

I've also played various super-hero genre games which were easily as combat focused as D&D/PF, but were almost entirely free of killing, so it is possible to keep the basic gameplay, but not have the death.

It looks like most of the suggestions here for non-combat/killing games are narrative ones, which aren't really my cup of tea. I wonder if there's anything out there that takes a less narrative approach to non-action role-playing. It seems like you should be able to build a mechanical game around other things than combat. Character builds and mechanical manuevers aimed at diplomacy, for example, that don't just boil down to bonuses to a single die roll.

I'm a Traveller fan. It is a skill based game that leads to more exploration based adventures. There is a basic combat system and death and killing are real possibilities. Unlike D&D type games though, most enemies are intelligent and don't "fight to the the death". Combat in my games so far is usually who gets the upper-hand and forces the other to surrender.

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Having visitors for Thanksgiving. I hear they are bringing scotch. Will update on results when I can.

Speaking of the upcoming holidays, folks got any good recommendations?

1 person marked this as a favorite.
feelsbradman wrote:
@keftiu this is off topic per se, but Fiasco (by Bully Pulpit Games) is also a great non-violent game

I dont think this is universal. Our Fiasco games have been like Blood Simple by Cohen Bros. Violent AF!

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Albatoonoe wrote:

For other RPGs, I'll plug Monster of the Week for good combat alternatives.

I'll second monster of the week!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kasoh wrote:

On a lark, I started tracking enemy npc deaths in the games I play in. I try to have fun with it, keeping track of the party's K/D ratio and et al, but mostly I was interested in seeing what creatures the party killed and how long my character could go without killing another living humanoid. This was complicated by it being mummy's mask and the cultists have a tendency to self destruct, but that's not here nor there.

It was interesting to see that list grow and be able to incorporate it into the character's story.

That self destruct bit was so great in MM.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this is cross posted from EN World, but my reply is largely the same. D&D is the John Wick of RPGs. Hundreds of pages to combat its totally expected. I'd branch out to other RPGs and players to see whats out there and set aside the murderhobo tendency of D&D/PF for awhile.

Check out the Systems are a journey, not the destination thread for inspiration!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think it does make sense. I also applaud this effort because you have refrained from making judgements about play styles which is something you have done frequently in the past.

There are some things I think could strengthen this description of your desired system. The concept of skill play vs story now can help describe the desire for characters to experience the world in a less chess board fashion. Sometimes referred to as combat as war (OSR) vs combat as sport (modern). Also, rulings over rules is a common concept that folks understand means the rules are there to facilitate the game, but ultimately the GM is empowered to arbitrate situations when its called for.

These concepts might have more universal understanding and appeal than, "story milieu", "playing the game vs rules".


I dont mind spending tons of time making characters. I try to make an campaign related and effective character. In PF1 that takes time.

SuperBidi wrote:

A few pieces of advice from my experience with an Angelic Sorcerer:
- Try to get access to Electric Arc. At low level, it'll be your bread and butter spell.

This is good advice. This spell has been the only thing consistently effective for my party's Wizard. The rest of the time things have like a 20-30% chance to fail saves and they never do. Wizard has been like nipples on breastplate for our party so far in AV AP.

I was really slow early on, but once I memorized the amount of actions it was to do things, my turns got very quick. So far my experiences have not had more than equal number of players (5) in enemies. Seems to go by fast enough.

Its going to be rough. A lot of the enemies we have faced have incredible saves. Be mobile, do what you can to work together. Good luck.

HammerJack wrote:
I do like experimenting with different lengths of AP. I think that the 3 book, 10 level format is a pretty good one and should be part of what's produced. I would like to see those levels not always be 1-10 or 11-20, though. I'd like to see some come in at, say, 6-15 with no intention of being compatible to back to back with another 3 book AP.

I wouldnt hold my breath for this anymore than a 3 module level 1-5 setup.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Harles wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
Is there any reason we can't have both 3 book AP and 6 book APs?

Well, they can't publish both at the same time, so if you like six book APs, half a year of getting two 3 book APs is not ideal as a customer.

I prefer the six book APs. The continuous plot is what interests me, as a consumer. The transition from the first half of the AP to the back half is always fascinating to me and some Adventures do it better than others.

The three book APs are...fine, but if I wanted a campaign to continue after Abomination Vaults right now I have to contrive a reason to have the PCs participate in the Ruby Phoenix tournament or start making my own stuff--which is the thing I buy Paizo products to avoid.

This will be less of a problem if the three part APs continue to release in the 1-10, and then 11-20 range so you can have more pick and choose, but I haven't seen that commitment yet.

Or you could find a higher level stand-alone adventure. Or run the second half of another AP.

But really, how many 6-volume APs can you finish in a year?

In practice, I have never completed a single 6-part AP. And where do we stop? Usually just after Book 3. I can't imagine I'm alone in this. It seems to make good financial sense to focus on releasing the stuff more people are playing.

You'd be surprised. Some folks can blast through a 6 part AP in like 90 days. I dont know how they do it, but its not uncommon.

I took me two years with bi-weekly game sessions to complete each of the 3 APs I GM'd.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You know, there is no reason you cant use the APs with a glacial leveling pace on your own. You just need to shave off some numbers to make the challenges fit. Cut a few AC, attack, saves, etc and it shouldn't be straight up suicide anymore.

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I dont care how they did it in the old days (I was there) im not going to be satisfied with three levels in a year at the table. I also dont have a problem with gaining three levels in a week game time if it fits the story.

I do think 3AP wrap ups have a ton of potential. Often, as mentioned, there is a module or two that feels either filler or out of place. I think the concentration on knocking out a good 1-10 level story is perfect.

It will be interesting to see how the high level AP shakes out. My PF1 experience was the APs always dropped off at the end of book 3 or 4. The modules at that point become 500 room dungeons.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ascalaphus wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
I hear you, im trying to make PF2 work for me and I think I can with a handful of variant rules. I got a nice band of players I've been with for a long time, we know what we like.

I think that's where the other part of what thenobledrake was saying comes in. Have a talk with your group about how you all want to play. How do you personally want to play, what do they want to get out of it? When you agree on the kind of rhythm and difficulty, then talk about mechanics. What do your players think is standing in the way of the game being the way you all want it?

It sounds cliche but it was definitely an insight from prior discussions on this topic. Go for open discussion with your players about what everyone likes, and avoid being judgemental ("you want it easy"). You need some open communication because finding the game pace that's perfect for your group really isn't something that obviously and automatically happens.

For me personally for example, I don't actually really need the game to be very hard. It's almost shocking to admit but I'm quite okay with an easy game, although it's also fine if it's hard from time to time. I don't really like constantly hard though. And I prefer interestingly hard over just being hit over the head with inflated numbers hard. If I look back and think "wow we had totally overlooked that sort of enemies before and weren't ready, how can we do better in the future" I like that. If it's just a L+3 monster that never fails a save against anything I'm gonna have sour grapes. We'll maybe bull through but it's most like just slogging through author cheese than an interesting surprising fight.

And what I really want from pacing is that the pacing and the narrative match. In Agents of Edgewatch there's a location that narratively you should be raiding at high speed to capture someone that you would expect to flee when he realizes you're coming. But it's also effectively a rough dungeon with almost a dozen encounters that you're supposed to level up...

Theres no need to have an open discussion, we already had it. We dont like the short rest mechanics in PF2. We feel its too tedious to deal with all the time. Also, we feel like its necessary because fights are not something to enter at half HP in PF2. We would like to skip this monotonous "lunch break" process entirely.

We want resource attrition in our games, which I know modern games have been moving away from. It feels like some of this lunch break weirdness is because the designers were too afraid to just call focus abilities encounter powers. Even 4E had healing surges that gave you a good attrition pace mechanic. We are trying to find it in PF2. If the answer is PF2 is desperately trying to do away with that, then we will move on. We just love Paizo and want to give PF2 an honest go. We did that, now we are in tweak it to work mode, because there are many things we do like.

The AP encounters are always a crapshoot. Sometimes the author gets cute and sets up something that seems cool, but doesn't match up well at the table. Thats why I think the AP specific forums are such a great thing to have. Checking for hotspots and cool variants that people come up with is part of my AP prep. It's also not unusual for adventure writers to have some awkwardness in the beginning as they learn to write for a new system. Usually the first adventures out tend to be the worst ones mechanically and narratively on the table.

Lucerious wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
Can y'all point me to the source of the free archetype variant?

That’s secret GM knowledge located in the best supplement book released as of yet...the Gamemastery Guide!

GMG pg.194
Free Archetype

Thanks, I was looking at the achieves and couldn't find it for the life of me!

Can y'all point me to the source of the free archetype variant?

thenobledrake wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
I've been thinking about trying to split the middle. Put some type of limit on short rests per day. You can only do it 4X and every time you just heal up to full. After that, you have to rely on your resources to keep you upright. Not sure if it will work as intended, but I'd love to get back to resource attrition style gaming and bust up the 15 lunch break adventuring day of PF2.

In my experience, the best method of generating a particular style of play is to get players that want that to be how the game works and make sure there aren't any deal-breaker-level disincentives to playing that way.

Every attempt I've ever seen at trying to make the rules force a particular style of play upon players that don't want it just results in ignoring the rule, working around the rule, outright changing the rule, or finding a different game to play. That's where the 5/15 minute workday originates; the game rules set up the expectation you'd push on until your entire party was genuinely spent (and either had prayers that no encounter would interrupt their rest or had just enough resources left to hopefully endure any interruptions while resting), but it delivered that expectation by having encounters be speed-bumps if you have your resources and death marches if you don't, so players figured out how to genuinely avoid the death march.

I believe a house-rule that limits a party to 4x per day healing up to full without spending precious resources, and after that you're left with whatever you've got would just result in parties having exactly 4 encounters and then refusing to press on further that day (5 encounters if their willing to hope for uninterrupted rest for the night), whereas PF2's current rules I've seen (and been in) parties that pressed on for 10+ encounters in a single day because the narrative suggested that was the thing to do, and the game didn't make the difference in difficulty between the first few encounters and the last few encounters significant enough for the players...

I hear you, im trying to make PF2 work for me and I think I can with a handful of variant rules. I got a nice band of players I've been with for a long time, we know what we like.

What seemed like a narrative play for you, has felt like the 15 lunch break adventuring day to us. So naturally, if I go with a 4X short rest per day thats also going to have to calculate into my GM design. If it ends up like a 15 min adventuring day, thats ok, id prefer to how PF2 shakes out now.

Megistone wrote:

You can have attrition when you want: a gauntlet with waves of incoming enemies, a dungeon to clear in a tight time frame, or whatever you can think of.

You can't do that with all severe encounters, of course, but with how monsters are designed, even a trivial/low threat one will probably consume some resources.

I would need to do this all the time every time to get it to play like I'd like. With some type of mechanic, I could have the option of time constraints or waves of enemies along with other types too.

thenobledrake wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
...And a shift away from nova spells to cantrips and focus spells on the other hand also reduces the push for 15 minute adventuring days.

I'm sure some people would disagree with me, but I think trimming down the power of slot-using spells to the point PF2 does is perfect for making it no longer actually feel worth the effort to players to try and skip the "downside" and only ever face encounters with the casters in the party having slots ready to spend.

Because it used to be "these potent effects are balanced because you can only do them a certain number of times per day" in theory, but "these effects are extremely potent and you can do them in every encounter you face, unless your GM attacks your character in their sleep" in practice, and it has now been brought into more of a "these slightly more potent effects are balanced because you might actually do enough stuff before resting to run out of them, and your options other than these are slightly less potent." both in theory and in practice because players don't feel so reliant on the more potent spells.

I've been thinking about trying to split the middle. Put some type of limit on short rests per day. You can only do it 4X and every time you just heal up to full. After that, you have to rely on your resources to keep you upright. Not sure if it will work as intended, but I'd love to get back to resource attrition style gaming and bust up the 15 lunch break adventuring day of PF2.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

TTRPGs always seem to be a crapshoot when it comes to expectations. No two players and/or groups play the same. Some folks think the game is played together, and others think its just a game every one plays individually together. Rulebooks seldom give insight to the design process on how the game plays best. Folks are often left out to sea with no compass.

The best way to manage, IMO, is to discuss this during session zero (or in the case of organized play briefly before a scenario). Tell folks you are not just a wizard, but a blasting wizard. You are not just a ranger, but a bow using ranger. Etc. Also, consider that just because you are a blaster who could end a fight in 2 rounds instead of 5, doesn't mean thats always better. The fighter types might enjoy getting a few hits in. Its a give and take, too much push in a certain direction can feel like everybody is your assistant instead of an equal team member.

I know 5E has an expectations of 6-8 encounters between long rests. Did the designers for PF2 ever mention the expectations along these lines?

Any plans for a PF2 NPC Codex?

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

I think the disconnect people are having with the world is that PCs gain power in specific and predictable ways. NPCs have ways of following rules and formulas to determine power level, but they can also be arbitrarily set as needed for the world.

For example, what is power level in the context of a queen of a nation? Has this queen “won the right” to have enough GP and bonuses to be a level 14 combat challenge? That is a false question. In PF2 the question becomes “what level do the NPCs need to be for the sake of the story?

What if the campaign is a sandbox?

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My list is real similar, but im not that picky about dungeon ecology. From my PF1 AP experience (pretty extensive) I found most of the first to third books fit the bill. The latter books are more like megadungeons which do have extensively written ecologies (so maybe those would be to the OP's liking?) and less fiction, detailed NPC communities, and social encounters. Those, I dont much care for.

I'm just starting to get my feet wet with PF2, so im not sure if the PF1 experience will hold or break.

Wheldrake wrote:

I dunno, I tend to feel that adding level to just about everything is good design. Players want to advance in level every couple of sessions, if only to be able to try out new things, and feel powerful. They want to be able to stand up to stronger and stronger adversaries, and the game lets them do it.

Everything is working as intended.

I disagree. I keep adding level numbers, but they keep giving me the same chances. The only thing making me feel more powerful is additional HP and newly gained abilities. I will say we dont go back and mop the floor with goblins, so I guess yeah if we did that it would feel more powerful; I suppose.

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Verdyn wrote:

... players will never walk away with worse than a draw.

Thats not true, party wiping is way more common in PF2 than 5E, IME.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Captain Morgan wrote:

Eh, the extreme encounters thing has been pretty discussed to death, hear and elsewhere. And I want to throw my 2 cents on the XP thing now. :P

Personally, I normally just use milestones, but have been known to switch over to XP midbook if it feels appropriate. Aside from the sandboxy mega dungeon stuff, some APs just have really cool ways to reward it.
Carrion Crown has a book where you not only get XP for doing research and finding clues but for making successful deductions based on those clues. And you can get even more XP by presenting those clues in court. I rather like stuff like that.

I like those sub-systems alot too, but I also like to keep them under the hood. I had too many players passing on cool things to do in favor of what they assume/know to be better value things for better scores.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:

Leveling up is all about creating a sense of progression for players over the course of a game.

Milestone leveling was a huge benefit for me when I first discovered it for GMing Paizo adventure paths 10 years ago, as the game was on rails anyway, and it relieved a lot of my work as a GM at the time. It worked wonderfully for many years until playing APs essentially became a race to the end. This happened much more frequently in PF1, where magic made it so that by the 3rd or 4th book of an AP, the players where pretty much capable of skipping most of the front end of dungeons and find a way to directly assault end bosses very quickly. They would beat an end boss, and I would award a level up, and the party would spend 5 encounters or less often times at a specific level. Maybe that is not a problem for most groups, but it got annoying to spend hours and hours prepping a dungeon on a VTT that the party was mostly going to bypass, but I stuck with it anyway because I didn't like what I saw happening as the alternative.

A lot of other GMs I would play with would react by essentially forcing those encounters on the PCs instead of letting the players bypass them, thwarting magical information gathering and teleporting in pretty blatant ways and clearly fudging dice on lock picking checks, making it so that you had to have X key to proceed. It was not a lot of fun as a player to be told, there is a fork to the left and the right. The right path glows with the promise of immediate gratification, while the left path is not for you yet.

Since I have gone back to XP leveling in PF2 (for 2 out of the 4 campaigns I GM for), I feel much freer in just letting the players do whatever they want to do and trusting them to decide when it is time to press on with a major story line or investigate a side tangent that might grow into a whole new story line. If anything, I find my players leveling up a little ahead of what I was expecting for them, as they really like feeling like they have the freedom to take some time...

I think some of your AP milestone XP experiences were because of how the APs develop. The earliest books are always the best. They have room to fully develop towns and cities with interesting NPCs and multiple plots. As the PCs level, the AP modules become one or two NPCs with info dumps and 500 room dungeons to challenge the PCs higher level of abilities and resources. The meat is gone and all you are left with are big bones to chew.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:

Milestone and XP levelling boils down to the same thing. I've never seen a GM giving immediately a level because the players managed to find the stairs to the next level right away. And when using XP levelling, GMs are calculating the XP amount so players level at some specific moment. So, not much difference between the 2 levelling methods.

The main difference is that XP levelling asks for more work but gives a sense of progression to the players. So, it's better for the players and worse for the GM.

Agreed, which is why I think there are bigger culprits in making a sandbox work in PF2 than XP awarding method.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
I have had a lot of milestone GMs essentially push the players into encounters that they have actively avoided just because they didn’t want the players leveling up too quickly by following the story. It can be frustrating as a player to feel like you are being railroaded by the GM instead of getting to see for yourself that a monster is too tough, and, at the very least, you need to run away, go research what it is and how to defeat it, (possibly leveling up along the way) before returning to face it again, rather than just leveling up arbitrarily before facing it.

That seems really strange to me. You would assume that milestone allows the PCs to take on as many or as few encounters as they need/want. If I think the PCs are going too fast, I'll just add more exploration and social encounters to balance the pace. Info recovery about the adventure is the driver, not how many things you have killed and in what order. While I haven't had a laser focused party in milestone leveling before, I can imagine what a group like that might look like.

To bring this back to sandboxing, I think adventure writing and pacing is more important than XP awarding. If the players can find a shortcut like in super mario to jump several levels at a time, thats a bug not a feature. In many of the PF1 APs, the players need to uncover clues and story bits to move forward. Combat encounters are definitely part of that process, but they are not the determining factor, the exploration and info discovery is.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
Planpanther wrote:
The problem I ran into with this, is once the GM awards some RP XP or whatever, the players just spam that behavior in hopes of netting more XP. It's the same issue with combat for XP, the players often choose the path more likely to net more XP and it wasnt very fun or organic.

As a GM, you can just react to your table.

It's as simple as saying: "Guys, it looks like I've been a bit too nice on RP XP, I'll dial it down from now on."
I don't see why, as a GM, you can't adapt your rules to how the game is going. Sometimes, admiting you made a mistake, or choosing to change a rule for the better is the thing to do.

I did react to the table, I got rid of XP and it solved everything. Perhaps a bit extreme for some folks, but constantly adjusting my rewards just seemed like a chore I didnt need to add to my GM duties.

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Unicore wrote:
While I think this is true, and I use both do and milestones for different campaigns as a GM, it is important to remember that you can counter the idea that only fighting earns xp by being freely giving with do for story building as well as for accomplishing a goal with an encounter that doesn’t involve fighting. The more freely you give out do to your players for playing the game in the way that is most fun for everyone, the more you encourage that style of play.

The problem I ran into with this, is once the GM awards some RP XP or whatever, the players just spam that behavior in hopes of netting more XP. It's the same issue with combat for XP, the players often choose the path more likely to net more XP and it wasnt very fun or organic.

Unicore wrote:
With milestone leveling, some players will just want to push on always as quickly as possible and never slow down and have fun with an RP encounter because they don’t think they need it to level up.

That hasnt been my experience, but even if it was, its up to the players to decide how they want to proceed. If getting bogged down in exploration isnt appealing, then by all means bypass it.

Unicore wrote:
For me as a GM I went from XP leveling to milestone leveling, back to XP leveling as my preferred preference, with the caveat that some, very linear adventures are much smoother with milestones.

Each table will be different for sure. I have never experienced a table that was better for having XP awards, but I am sure there are tables out there that work that way.

TY for the write up The Magic Sword. This goes a long ways towards making PF2 seem more enjoyable from someone who has a CaW preference. I dont necessarily see structures as natural but I can see how they help produce a more CaW like experience. It still seems like a sportification of the past TTRPG experience, which feels more like an evolution of combat as sport to me, al beit one thats more palatable than I've experienced before.

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There is a metgamey aspect to experience points that affected my table. As in, the players do what they think will net the XP and not what is actually interesting or organic. After ditching xp, the players got more creative and chose more interesting paths forward. It just feels so much better. Leveling a character and advancing the story are their own rewards and we don't need incentive to do it.

On the topic of sandbox gaming, I still dont see how experience point awards help. You still need to know what your challenge is. I mean how can you tell the level 3 bog from the level 5 forest? How does xp awards work as signposting?

Captain Morgan wrote:

To be fair, PF2 tactics can totally let you punch above your weight... If you get a chance to employ them. The best examples of this are snares, which are very tricky to set up but can really do tremendous damage when they work. Seriously, try laying 4 snares in the path of a large+ boss monster and then lure it to you with ranged attacks. Watch the hit points on that thing melt.

But snares are something you will never, ever use if you don't get some sign posting for encounters.

Yeah we have not had any opportunity to set up any kind of advanced trap. All the encounters have just happened upon us.

Also, im pretty sure the GM threw something at us they shouldn't have. The numbers were so out of our favor that we avoided TPK because the GM chose to take a dive. It was a very unsatisfying experience.

The-Magic-Sword wrote:


I'm going to probably write a guide on how to perform this kind of game content in the system.

I'd be happy to read that when you are done.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
The-Magic-Sword wrote:

I'm sort of in the head space where I noticed that intentionally or not, Paizo has managed to create a system that does a really great job threading the needle on the old 'combat as war' vs. 'combat as sport' debate.

Good play and character optimization means that Severe and Extreme Encounters are *very* beatable, but engaging them without a choice can feel kind of desperate-- the way the encounter math breaks down is begging for encounters that are Severe and Extreme on their lonesome but that good play outside of combat can be rewarded with breaking them into more digestible chunks (moderate/low/trivial.)

Abomination Vaults is especially interesting as a sandbox mega dungeon, where this sort of thinking is more common-- the sandbox means both being able to get in over your head, and manipulate the play space to make things easier, and the entire space of a dungeon is a 'challenging' play area. One possible consideration in the future, is to emphasize means of the players effecting the difficulty of the encounter, even in simple ways.

Part of the reason I say this is because Exploration mode provides a formal system for adjudicating and finding such means of doing so, so if they're built into the adventure, exploration activities like search can provide a means of finding and using them.

I do feel PF2 leans heavily into Combat as Sport right out of the box. There are tools to give a more combat as war experience, but they are not intuitive. I'm just a player though and haven't seen the GM materials and what instruction they give. Maybe its easier than I think, but PF2 feels like a very modern TTRPG to me. Not saying thats bad, but it makes old school style modules and APs rather tricky to pull off as one would expect for an old school experience.

4 people marked this as a favorite.
nephandys wrote:

For what it's worth, I GM for a group that's only been playing since last summer and we've run Fall of Plaguestone and we're finishing up book 1 of AoA. All the discussion here had me terrified that certain encounters were going to TPK my players but so far that's never happened despite some close calls. I didn't need to fudge any rolls or change anything about the encounters my players played tactfully and came out on top.

Im new to PF2 APs, but I ran many of the PF1 series. One of the best features of Paizos adventure paths is the forums. As a GM I found them indispensable in improving the experience at the table. When an encounter is perhaps overtuned, you can hear from the gaming community about their experiences. It helps you avoid the pitfalls and help decide if you want to actually change an encounter yourself.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I maintain that sign posting extreme encounters is important and kind of lacking right now, at least in Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse. It helps to make those fights memorable and important to the plot, and also sets player expectations accordingly. It is one thing to hear stories of how horrifically powerful the black dragon is before you enter the lair. If is another when you are flying kites on a hill and a APL+3 devil pops in out of nowhere.

I think this is the source of my issue at the moment. I am playing with a new GM (he has been running TTRPGs for 20-30 years) and I dont think the GM puts much effort into reading and running adventures. It seems like the GM just runs whatever is in the book and letting the cards fall where they may. He just doesnt understand that PF2 isnt a system where tactics are going to let you punch above your weight. So, we get no signposts and when things go bad, "thats just PF2".

Reminds me of stingy gold/magic item GMs in 3E not understanding wealth by level and its impact on player ability. I guess add my experience to the past gaming assumption pile posted here in this thread so far. I'm a little surprised by my recent experience because the GM has played so many systems for many years. Though, I guess that doesnt mean flexibility, it just means they have a comfort zone they apply to everything. When it doesnt work, its the systems fault...

1 person marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
Orville Redenbacher wrote:
We are paying in the same AP and almost TPK in every session. Welcome to PF2 I guess.

The first book at least is extremely over tuned.

My character essentially died 3 times in a single session (twice it was basically a TPK, saved by GM fiat, the other time I ran into Vampiric touch at level 1).

We ended up playing most of book 1 at 1 level higher than recommended. And still had plenty of tough fights.

I just hope no beginner groups play this. If this was anything close to my first adventure in PF2 (not at all unlikely since it is a low tier AP set in the same location as the beginner box) it would almost certainly have been my last.

Yeap, its over tuned in my player experience for sure. My GM is using roll20 so I am seeing his foes numbers. My PC has little ability to do much against them. Sure, we could run, but everything is faster than use with debilitating range attacks to boot.

Could be my GM isnt running this well, I do get the impression the GM is a very busy person. Though, every week its like a few rolls go our way and thats all thats keeping us alive. Tactics have nothing to do with it, its all in the math; we are simply way outclassed.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am reluctant to say im playing in Abomination Vaults right now because the group is zero RP. I have no idea if a story is even involved or not here. The good news is, I joined up to give PF2 another shot and kick the tires on the system. Im getting that experience expeditiously with this new group. Games up again tonight!

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Verdyn wrote:

The trend has started with board games but I've been in TTRPG groups that use VTT elements to smooth moment to moment gameplay. Why wuldn't we expect this to become more common over time?

You are probably right, but still a decade or two away from moving into using tech more heavily in gaming. Paizo would jettison a good amount of their customers today if they did that.

1 to 50 of 813 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>