I playtested a 7th level party vs a 3rd level group of Ogres and one of my players utilized intimidate (with a critical success) to force one Ogre to run away until the end of it's next turn. On the next turn, it came back and the character did it again, but with no penalty.
1) I'm not sure that a critical success on Intimidate should bestow Frightened 2 AND forced to run away. Seems like double penalty and a skill check can make battlefield control. The Fear spell is 1st level and it only forces an enemy to run away on a critical failure as well, but it is magic, while the other is a skill check that anyone can do. It reduces the specialness of Fear.
2) There are no penalties to intimidating an enemy multiple times. I would think that an enemy would steel himself against the object of his fear and the PC would get a penalty to his roll for every subsequent check. Also, since it's an action, a PC can do the same action over and over until he gets a success on the check.
Because PF2 decided to move all available feats to class feats, it's actually limited character concepts. For instance, no longer can you take Power Attack (which is actually Vital Strike in PF1) unless you are a fighter. I think that they've really made less choices for creating a character concept even though they've made more in-class choices available. Really, they've made the game much more class focused than ever before.
I have a suggestion that could help open up options to all classes that goes away from multiclassing. As a General Feat, let someone take a class feat from any other class at a lower level than your current level. Perhaps 2-4 levels lower. This allows someone who wants to play a blood rager or a warpriest with some arcane abilities without needing to multiclass. Really, you can pick and choose what you really want to be able to do as a character without needing to be restricted to a particular class. Leave multiclassing to get some of the core class abilities that don't come as feats (like sneak attack or channeling energy).
I am very concerned about the math of the game, specifically when it comes to comparison between 2 different characters and the DCs they need to roll to succeed. (Assume all stats increase by 1 every 4 levels)
These examples just don't sit well to me at all. It seems as though each character is too close to each other and thus can all do effectively the same things resulting in all characters being very similar to each other just based on similar levels. And then when the math gets to higher levels, combat takes longer, items and proficiency bonuses become worse comparatively.
I would much rather see level play a role, but a much smaller role. Perhaps reducing the level bonus to 1 every 4 or 5 levels to let proficiencies, items, and ability scores play a larger role in the definition of a character.
I'm considering running an adventure with only 2 players and no NPCs or secondary PCs to act as the 3rd & 4th PCs. Encounters could be a lot more challenging due to numbers of bad guys and spells that could take one or more PCs out of commission, but I think that may be an acceptable risk. In addition, the action economy would be pretty low and would be another challenge that would need to be overcome.
In order to balance the game without adding or subtracting monsters from encounters, I'm considering giving each player a secondary class that levels up at the same rate. Essentially, multiclassing without losing any levels.
Here are my rules:
Let me know what you think! I think it can work, and is not exponentially powerful as they level up. I suppose the goal is to have one character fill multiple roles in the party without becoming overpowered or getting swamped by monsters.
For my next campaign in my own custom setting, I plan to reduce wealth completely. I don't like how the average wealth per level of an adventurer is extraordinarily different than the average wealth of a commoner. Sure the adventurer should be more wealthy, but IMO the economy shouldn't be based on magic item prices.
Magic Items are very rare in this campaign too. I want to make magic items mean something again, not just something to throw around or sell when you get it. Now in order to purchase a magic item, you need to go to the one guy in the whole country that can actually create one and he tells you to go find the material component he needs to make the item. That could be the gall bladder of a Chimera, so you need to go find a chimera and kill it to harvest the gall bladder. So magic items are now fueling story instead of being something that is handwaved when the party gets back to town.
Anyway, the advice I'm looking for is what various pitfalls or benefits you see to this type of campaign? If you have gone through something like this, what have your experiences been?
Below is a list of changes to the system that I see would need to be made in order to pull this off: