Lack of clarity on this issue brought my game to a screeching halt tonight. I have a player with a wizard PC who is very invested in his moth familiar (he added speech). He wanted to send it out to do some scouting nearby and return with information on enemy activity. We read the familiar rules together, and I just had no idea how to respond to his request. There was no guidance in the CRB about anything other than combat. It doesn't even say how intelligent they are. I finally decided to let the familiar scout ahead a bit (GM fiat) but then he started asking me what the familiar saw and how much detail the familiar could understand and convey back to him. Again, there was no guidance in the CRB on this. I was totally winging it (which is usually fine) but it made me uneasy because I knew I was setting a precedent for our campaign and the ability to scout ahead and report back will have a pretty big impact. I have to admit that I got a bit frustrated because I felt that Paizo was leaving me to make these big decisions without any guidelines and without understanding the full impact of what I was trying to rule on the fly.
I really hope there is some additional information and guidelines on how to run familiars (particularly in exploration mode) in the Gamemastery Guide. I don't need a rule for everything, but I do need some idea of what is intended in terms of familiar capability (especially outside of combat) and intelligence. In general, I have been amazed at how much more helpful the PF2 rules have been than the 5e rules in providing clarity and guidance. I just feel like the ball got dropped a bit with the familiar rules. Hope to see some clarifications soon as it really disrupted our game.
What is happening with regards to the availability of this book? I pre-ordered it from Amazon several weeks ago. The estimated release date was September 10th. Yesterday, I got an email from Amazon saying the release would be delayed until October 10th. Now, I am hearing rumors about the need for a reprint. Does anyone know what is going on with this book and why it seems to be so difficult to get a hold from 3rd party sellers compared to other PF2 books? Did Paizo significantly under-print the first printing and ran out on the release date? Has anyone who ordered on Amazon received their copy? Any insights would be appreciated.
On the Paizo Friday stream I asked if the GMG would explain how to better address using these rules in common situations such as ambushes and breaking down doors. Logan Bonner said “yes” and it specifically addresses transitioning from exploration mode to encounter mode. I’m looking forward to more clarity from Paizo on these issues (cuz, dang, this thread is getting long).
Our sneak peek of the Pathfinder 2E Gamemastery Guide is tomorrow at 4 p.m. Pacific! Have any questions?
Will there be additional guidance and examples on how to apply the stealth, perception, detection, ready action, and initiative rules (moving from exploration to encounter mode) in situations such as an ambush, breaking down a door, etc.? These rules are scattered all over the CRB and there aren't many examples on how to apply them to common situations.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
For avoiding notice on the move versus ambush, there is this action:
Good idea. I think there should be a difference when you are not moving and have taken up excellent cover/position.
It is a pretty amazing and flexible system. There is a lot more leeway for GMs to just make a call on how they are going to interpret/handle stuff like this at their table.
This is generally correct based on my understanding. The only thing I question is, if the goblins are in hiding in a fixed position, it doesn't seem like Avoid Notice (which always seems to entail "traveling at half speed" according to p. 479). Avoiding Notice seems more like "hiding on the move" than "fixed ambush." If the goblins can see the PCs and are preparing to imminently jump them but the PCs can't yet see the goblins, I believe you are probably in Encounter Mode at that point.
Agreed, although it is a somewhat unlikely scenario. It means the PCs "act" first (do their current exploration activity first) but, because they are unaware of the hidden enemy, they can't act on that knowledge. That's my understanding of how the rules work whether that seems strange or not.
Most people seem to want to make this some kind of contested roll and that concept has been completely removed from the game, for better or worse. For those who don't believe me, show me any contested skill rolls in the CRB. I don't have a problem with people house ruling this if they don't like the RAW.
See the "Point Out" action (p. 472) for rules on how those who are aware of an ambush (undetected creatures) can help those who are not yet aware to become aware. Once a battle is joined, it won't take the unaware PCs very long to figure out the party has been ambushed (although they still may not know where the hidden attackers are located). The party members may need to use Point Out and/or Seek actions to help everyone understand where the attack is coming from.
The thing you have to remember about PF2 is that there are no "contested skill rolls," which is what you seem to be describing. That concept no longer exists at all. Everything is a skill roll vs. a static DC. This is a big change from PF1. For those in that older mindset, it makes understanding the new rules more challenging.
I am fairly certain I have these rules right, but I am open to correction if someone has a better understanding. Just trying to be helpful.
When two potentially hostile groups encounter each other and one side is hidden, you roll stealth vs. perception DC to see who can see whom (particularly on the unaware side because those waiting in ambush can see everyone on the other side unless they are also trying to use stealth). You also use this same roll for initiative for those who are trying to use stealth to hide (so you are only rolling once).
If the goblins decide to hold back in hiding and wait until the (unaware) PC group reaches a certain spot, they are essentially repeatedly taking the Ready action. If the unaware group turns around and leaves before reaching that spot (not because they noticed the ambushers) and comes back later on (and the goblins are still waiting in hiding), it would be another (new) initiative roll and stealth vs. perception DC check (use the same stealth roll for both) because it is essentially a new battle. I hope this makes sense. This seems like a really rare and unlikely case.
I pieced this understanding together after reading all the material in the CRB on stealth, hidden, visible, perception, initiative, etc. This info is scattered everywhere. What finally put things into place for me was the PF2 designers explaining how this works during the Paizo Friday Q&A stream on Twitch. They discussed a similar scenario (sorry I don't have the time codes). What is important to remember is that rolling stealth for initiative and comparing this stealth roll against perception DCs are two different things. One is to see who acts first and the other is to see who can see whom when the action begins.
The only exploration activity that seems to affect this type of scenario is scouting. If someone in the party is scouting, all PCs get a +1 to their initiative roll--which could definitely help in an ambush situation. It's actually a fairly simple and elegant system; it's just not explained very clearly in the CRB.
My understanding is that that everyone would roll for initiative when the encounter occurs. Goblins would likely use stealth to roll if they are trying to hide. The goblins would also use their stealth roll vs. the PC's perception DC (not their perception roll for initiative). If a goblin wins initiative and beats a PC's perception DC, he is hidden to that character (and the PC would be flatfooted to him). The PC could use a Seek action to try and find that hidden goblin. If a goblin wins initiative but fails to be beat a PC's perception DC, the goblin goes first but isn't hidden to that character.
I don't think it's that hard once you understand it, but it isn't presented in a simple-to-understand way in the CRB and the information to put it all together is scattered in several sections. Could have been written more clearly and examples (such as this scenario) would have been useful.
I created this quick reference sheet summarizing all of the PF2 weapon and armor traits and thought others may also get some value from it. This information is not on the Paizo GM's Screen but comes up frequently in play.
Many thanks for the explanation!
I am unclear how to apply the following sentence from the Treat Wounds skill action:
If you succeed at your check, you can continue treating the target to grant additional healing. If you treat them for a total of 1 hour, double the Hit Points they regain from Treat Wounds.
Does this mean after 6 successful Treat Wounds checks (10 minutes each = 1 total hour of treatment), additional Treat Wounds checks are twice as effective at restoring HP?
For some reason, this sentence isn't clear to me. Thanks to anyone who can help clarify the intent of this rule.
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:
Me too. Just canceled my 2nd (backup) CRB from Amazon. I will order a future printing with errata.
That was mentioned on Reddit and the guy said he understood and would try to avoid doing anything like that because he wanted to support Paizo. Anyhow, I'm sure they have their reasons but, with the books now arriving in people's hands, they won't be able to contain this kind of information much longer.
Loved: Many cool character options and fun Adventure Paths.
Hated: Complexity of prepping and GMing a game, trap options, optimization and power gaming, rocket tag, and linear fighters/quadratic wizards.
Wanted: Nothing, it already has more options than a person could ever use in a lifetime.
Will Miss: Flexibility. It looks like PF2, while much easier to run, will not quite have the flexibility of PF1 (such as with multiclassing).
+1/level became our group's primary reason for abandoning the PF2 playtest and returning to 5E. It doesn't look like Paizo is willing to change this and is determined to have bloated numbers at higher levels, a steep power curve, and narrow bands of level-appropriate opponents. The effect on skill progression creates strange and unbelievable situations. I will take a look at PF2 if they address this, but also will happily continue to play 5E if not.
I agree that the definition of hit points isn't (and has never been) just physical damage. This is why I really don't like the concept of having to "bandage everyone up" with a healer's kit after a fight. If they are real "injuries" or "wounds," just bandaging them up isn't going to somehow heal them instantly the way magic can. For me, the concept of Stamina and Health make so much more sense. I also like the simple 5e "short rest" approach.
Paizo is in a tough spot because, once they announce (or even hint) that they are working on PF2, it most likely significantly impacts the sale of PF1 products. I have personally stopped buying PF1 products as a result. If they had sent out surveys about what was desired in a new edition 2 years ago, their sales may have been impacted negatively for an unacceptable amount of time in terms of the company's financials. Not an easy problem to solve, but I don't think they were deliberately trying to ignore people's opinions.
I agree that +.5 per level would be greatly preferable. It would keep monsters usable for longer, lower the bloated high-level modifiers, prevent level from being such a huge factor compared to other things (such as armor), and mitigate the current problem of everyone becoming a master of every skill so quickly. +1 per level is just too steep. Those who prefer to rapidly have their characters "become gods" and not be threatened by lower-level foes seem to prefer the steeper power curve. Seems like two very different play-style preferences and Paizo likely won't be able to please both camps. 5E went with a flatter power curve for similar reasons. One could argue that 5E clearly did something right based on its popularity or that we already have 5E and need something steeper to differentiate PF.