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Another things to be considered is that individual combats are balanced to be deadlier and more tense in 2nd edition.

A "Moderate" encounter is keyed at one-half the party's strength. A "Severe" encounter is close to the party's strength. These encounters will drain the party's resources and if they're to be tense and exciting they likely will involve knocking a character or two down to zero.

Mundane and repeatable out-of-combat healing being available to all classes is now part of the game balancing. It is a corollary to the combats being more interesting in this edition.

Wheldrake wrote:

It's worth noting that in the Bestiary, the Drow Rogue also has a feat by the same name, Nimble Dodge, which is worded slightly differently:

Bestiary p 137 wrote:

Nimble Dodge [reaction] Requirement A drow rogue can’t use this reaction while encumbered.

Trigger The drow rogue is hit or critically hit by an attack made by a creature the drow rogue can see. Effect The drow rogue gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their Armor Class against the triggering attack.

IMHO, the *intent* of the standard rogue feat Nimble Dodge is for the rogue to be able to declare it *after* a hit or critical has been declared. Admittedly, as things stand, this isn't the case. We can hope for another round of errata at some point to clear up this apparent confusion.

Unless someone wants to argue that the Drow version of Nimble Dodge is *supposed* to be better, because, well, Drow. <g>

RAI vs RAW? Maybe.

I'm a little late to the party, but I just noticed this in the 3rd volume of the current Adventure Path ("Tomorrow Must Burn"), on page 8:

Nimble Dodge [reaction] Requirement A sneak can’t use this reaction while encumbered. Trigger The sneak is hit by an attack made by a creature the sneak can see. Effect The sneak gains a +2 circumstance bonus to their Armor Class against the triggering attack.

This is consistent with the Drow ability, and it also has the same name. The ability appears on a creature who appears to have other Rogue feats. Here also, the trigger is being hit by an attack...

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Yeah, I've been running one of the later PF1 APs converted, and it actually very rarely uses creatures of a higher level than the PCs. Age of Ashes does it significantly more. Those looking for an easier experience might apply the weak template to a lot of the creatures, or not adjust enemy numbers for a larger party.

There's a different design philosophy in this edition, and it's immediately apparent when you see the encounter balancing chart in the Gamemastering chapter. The designers call an encounter that is one-half the party's strength a "Moderate" encounter. In first edition, an encounter that was 1/4 of the party strength was considered appropriate for the party. The idea was explicitly laid out, that your party was to expend about a quarter of its daily resources in a level appropriate encounter.

The assumption in 2nd edition is that the party is going to heal between combats, using the Medicine skill and other healing resources. In this sense, its design philosophy is similar to 4th edition's, where the party would get healing surges between encounters, and individual encounters generally were more challenging and tense. It's a change I quite like.

GMing some young players late this afternoon. We last ended when they defeated Calmont and are about to interrogate him.

His answers talk about notes about Alseta's Ring that were made his boss. Which immediately makes Voz suspect and I think my players will want to search Voz's store for the notes. The notes point the party toward Guardian's Way. My party is still level 1, and Guardian's Way assumes that the party is Level 3!

Meanwhile, the party will have already accomplished the town council's tasks of establishing contact with the Bumblebrashers and bringing back Calmont alive. The main reason to explore the citadel further is to help the goblins reclaim their home, which may or may not motivate my players.

Any suggestions as to how to manage the flow of information better? Thanks in advance.

wraithstrike wrote:

As for attacks of opportunities based on movement is there no way, not even a feat or class feature, to simulate them?

It doesn't make sense to not be able to do something when someone wants to run by you. Being able to protect something or someone in rear should be possible.

It might make sense tactically to Ready a grapple against an enemy after they jump in and strike. If you succeed, they're immobilized and your allies can close in and punish them appropriately.

By making Uncommon options now have a an explicit or implied condition to gain access to it -- such as being from a specific region, finding it in exotic treasure, or accessing someone with special training, etc. -- as a GM I am inclined to make everything available to players if they ask for it, but with the condition met. What is CLEARLY now discouraged is cherry-picking from X books to get options from a universe of diverse and clashing backgrounds, to make an Optimized Build.

I think PF2 strikes a good balance between player freedom and GM control, making a conscious effort to marry crunch with flavor and to discourage metagamey optimization wars. That's what makes character creation so satisfying to me -- I want my character concept to guide my decisions without worrying about whether I nerfed myself by missing some "must have" option in some setting book.

There is the Magic Warrior multiclass archetype, available to all classes, which allows shape shifting after taking 2 feats in it.

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The upcoming Gamemastery Guide I expect will have explicit guidelines for running a low-magic campaign. Not having +1 and +2 runes affects the math. The math is tighter, and so one can't be as fast and loose as in 5E and say "Here's a +2 sword for you." And so hopefully the GMG will give us some concrete advice and data on the effects that magic items (and the lack thereof) have on encounters.

Fortunately, since the systems are unified and modular it appears quite easy to "turn dials" in PF2, to make characters less supernatural (fewer feats, change the per-level XP requirements) and magic items less common (e.g. adjust the expected magic-item distribution tables and starting wealth table in the CRB downward).

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I have to say the presentation isn't grabbing me as a "thing". And it is jarring to find rules elements in the class section - for some reason the Barbarian section suddenly has a break-out box with rules for Flourish/Instinct/Open/Rage. But they aren't all unique to Barbarians. And there is Flourish again under Paladin. Sure, it's handy, but a waste of wordcount. Do they appear again in a discrete rules section? I kinda hope they do...but I'm not there yet.

And again, for presentation, the whole "class goes for pages and pages coz feats" is really like the 4e books. And I liked 4e as a ruleset, so this is no "4e clone you suxxorz"' complaint. One of the very few things I actually didn't like was the "playbook chapter" per class form of presentation.

The CRB is running double duty: it is trying to ease new players into the game (lessen the "barrier to entry") and it is a reference work. The glossdex is excellent and I think addresses your concern.

Had they gone the other route -- have a word's definition in only one place, have all class feats grouped together for conceptual congruity's sake, but still only available to certain classes -- then the complaint would have been "There's too much page flipping." I rather like the route they took with this edition.

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Tender Tendrils wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
BellyBeard wrote:
This seems like a case of the GM treating the enemies identically, and not role-playing them, if it happens every time the enemies outnumber you, as you say. Not all enemies will use optimal tactics, there is a reason a half a page was dedicated to talking about thinking with the creature's mindset, senses, and worldview. An orc warrior darting in and out would probably be seen as cowardly in orc society.

I agree. Those orcish tactics feel like hive-mind behavior. One mind is in total control of the orcs' tactics so that they battle with perfect coordination and don't care about the glory of any one individual. The perfect coordination allows unrealistic tactics.

Alyran wrote:
Why are 8 apparently combat-worthy enemies all moving on the same initiative? That seems built to OTK people. Splitting that into 2 or 3 groups makes it much more fair.
The same initiative for all orcs is for the convenience of the GM. He does not have to remember the individual order of initiative among the orcs. However, this breaks realism and reinforces the hive-mind behaviour

Having one initiative for multiple enemies also recreates some of the balance issues caused by fighting one single enemy - it robs the orcs of tactical flexibility, and gives players a pretty huge advantage if the one initiative rolled for all enemies is a low one.

I eventually switched from rolling one initiative for all enemies, then to doing it in groups, then to every individual enemy with colour coded bases (though the pawns themselves actually have colour indicators on them to differentiate otherwise identical pawns). I tend to be very unlucky when rolling initiative, and encounters became very easy for the players when they could eliminate half of the monsters before any of the monsters got to do anything.

Seperate initiatives makes things fairer and more interesting for both sides, and also keeps players a lot more engaged (as instead of it being them checking out until...

Color-coded bases... never once thought of that! I have a set of blue and yellow and green and red ones sitting around.

A thanks from this beleaguered GM. :)

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All damage (including sneak attack dice) doubles on a critical hit. The exception is damage caused by the critical hit itself (i.e., Deadly damage from a weapon).

You can damage swarms with weapons.

You break initiative ties in favor of the monsters.

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Until I hear of layoffs at Paizo I don't buy that they have a lack of resources to do this.

Meanwhile I'll wait. But as of now, someone considering PF2 will be paying $15 for the PDF. When they open it they will want to jump to a particular chapter and will try to click/tap the chapter names on the right sidebar and nothing will happen. Many people don't know about PDF Bookmarks, or use phones/tablets. And so they will scroll down manually while their phone or tablet renders every page along the way. (Making a "lightweight" version of the PDF would be a godsend btw.)

I have no idea what's a reasonable timeframe for Paizo since I don't know their inner workings. But since this is their newcomer-facing core rules product, making it easier to navigate should be something on their list. As of now, we have no idea and they are not communicating.

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I just came here to post that I LOVE the maps in this volume. Not sure what new toolsets they have for generating interiors, but I very much like this colorful yet clean style.

(The sources of light being very clear will help me as a GM as well)

If a GM were to grant access to a Focus Spell, must it require Focus Points?

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Gorbacz wrote:
If it's so easy, why haven't you done it yourself already? I mean, it's few hours of light work.

I'm assuming no one has done it with this PDF because, unlike the Playtest, this is a commercial product and so making it freely available would be illegal. Paizo has to do it.

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In HLO I chose the wrong alignment the other day. I couldn't click it to replace it with a different one. I had to click the gear symbol next to my old alignment, click "Delete", respond to a prompt asking me "Are you sure?" by clicking "Delete" again. Then I clicked the new Plus sign which appeared after a full page reload, I clicked the alignment I wanted, then clicked "Add Choice", and still I was stuck staring at a useless list of greyed-out alignment. I had to click the "X" in the corner to close the window, even though the system already prevents me from adding a 2nd alignment.

The whole interface would benefit from dropdown menus or other UI features that I've become to used to. The current interface makes me feel like I'm walking in tar.

Aristophanes wrote:

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Yes, this edition is much more "GM friendly". It is so easy to create encounters, and even adjust based on the party.
I ran a game for my niece, nephews, and my sister, and we all had a blast!!

Yes, and more "player friendly" too I might add!

I can't wait for my copy!

Is there a default way to calculate DCs? What would be the Fortitude DC be of the decapitation effect be, for example?

Darksyde wrote:
Levi wrote:


We definitely are, non of us saw that line anywhere.

That would skew the math to a much better place, he's still going to get tripped 55% of the time currently, but he could in theory get that down to 40% fairly easily.

It is a small line at the very end of the ditty on savings throws. "The DC for a saving throw is 10 + the total modifier for that saving throw."

Yes. And in general DC's start with a base of 10 in this edition

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Nox Aeterna wrote:

Nope, i disagree heavily.

There is only on paper for plenty of spells.

There is no high skill ceiling for unseen servant that lasts "10 minutes", if you actually keep it for 10 minutes, oh boy prepare for consequences.

Duration, was nerfed across the board, with one spell here and there being saved. Save or Die became critically Fail or be mildly/lightly inconvenienced for a short while for plenty of spells... Some buffs dont even make sense to me, like haste, i cant see why in gods name i would ever cast this spell till 7th circle and by then i would likely want something else in such slot anyway...

Due to the new balancing, apparently damage spells kinda work, if you spend enough other spells to support landing them well anyway.

I will give you that, when all yours spells are much weaker, you better be by far the most intelligent and capable person sitting on that table, cause you have a limited number of short duration spells to make count, missing will cost you. So high skill ceiling, if that is what you were going for.

Mages became "The guys who are fancy for a few minutes a day". Which for a fantasy setting kills any and all my interest in playing it. Their utility was reduced to pretty much battle and one offs.

Luckily, I have my main group and we will continue with PF1, in...

"Nerf" has a negative connotation. But if the spell was too powerful to begin with, then I think it's a positive.

As for Haste, it is now not an automatic choice for 3rd-level spells. That extra stride or strike is actually quite useful if you think about it, or if you actually try the new system...

The cleric can now move into a strategic position before doing a 3-action area heal, or an area attack against undead.

The ranger can now Hunt Prey or demoralize his target to lower its AC before doing 3 attacks.

The giant instinct barbarian can stride into the middle of enemies and do a 3-action whirlwind attack against everyone within her reach.

The druid can now cast a magical buff on her animal companion mount, command it to move forward and attack, and make an attack herself.

The spellcaster can Sustain an important spell and still be able to cast more spells while moving around the battlefield or applying metamagic to them. And she can use metamagic to enhance a spell without having to stand still.

The rogue can spend an action Feinting and still have a fair number of Strikes to take advantage of the Feint.

The list goes on and on.

Yes, casters need to be more "intelligent" in 2nd Edition. But I don't join your hyperbole in saying that they have to be "by far the most intelligent and capable person at the table." Because you're underestimating the martials, who now have more options on their turn than they used to especially as they gain more feats, get talismans, etc. To me the fact that players need to be "more intelligent" is a good thing.

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Glad you're liking it! It seems like you played the Playtest some. Care to say more what you found different from your playtest experience?

"We've got feats that no longer exist in the game, we've got spells that are gone, we've got entire races and classes that are no longer around."

As others have said, with time there will be more races and classes.

But I'm curious what some of the disappearing feats and spells are? Because (1) it could just be that PF1 had so much material and options that no edition could fill its shoes upon launch, or (2) there were specific design decisions in PF2 to make combat less fiddly or remove some universe-bending magic.

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Another thing that needs correcting: The opening explanation has the old Playtest rule of a natural 20 being a critical success and a natural 1 being a critical failure.

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I assume this is the best place to make sure the devs see this...

The preview image of the Gamemastery Guide misspells the title of the book! It says "Gamemaster Guide" instead of Gamemastery Guide. (See the upper left corner in this image)

It would suck to have this mistake appear throughout the book!

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Helmic wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Campbell wrote:
One of the fundamental issues with level by level multi-classing from a design perspective is that you cannot grant powerful class defining features at first level. This means you are several levels in before your character really feels like their class.

This is the main issue for me. PF1-style multiclassing would incentivize a whole bunch of one-level dips:

Fighter for expert weapon proficiencies and shield block and attacks of opplrtunity
Ranger for hunter's edge
Rogue for sneak attack and surprise attack and Dex to damage
Champion for shield block and retributive strike
Monk for good saves and flurry of blowz

Avoiding that problem requires removing these abilities at 1st level and making the classes feel less like their respective classes.

I imagine that a homebrew PF1-style MC system would do what 5e did and just not give you literally everything from a class. You don't get all the weapon and armor proficiencies when you MC in 5e, for example. I imagine someone writing homebrew may opt to adjust powerful class feats to be replaced by their weaker archetype feat variants. Classes might be more aggressively readjusted to avoid making dipping worse than it was in earlier editions. Forcing you to take levels a class until it takes up at least 1/3 of your total levels before you may level up another class (existing or new). There's ways to bandage it to sorta work.

I wouldn't use it myself as I think PF2's system is far superior as a framework, but I do see why some would want to continue messing with the older system to see how the different moving parts can be hacked together.

I wouldn't disparage someone trying that, but a lot of those changes do seem like they'd be moving closer and closer to the system PF2 already has.

Campbell wrote:
One of the fundamental issues with level by level multi-classing from a design perspective is that you cannot grant powerful class defining features at first level. This means you are several levels in before your character really feels like their class.

This is the main issue for me. PF1-style multiclassing would incentivize a whole bunch of one-level dips:

Fighter for expert weapon proficiencies and shield block and attacks of opplrtunity
Ranger for hunter's edge
Rogue for sneak attack and surprise attack and Dex to damage
Champion for shield block and retributive strike
Monk for good saves and flurry of blowz

Avoiding that problem requires removing these abilities at 1st level and making the classes feel less like their respective classes.

It will vary. Not all enemies have tactics and defense plans. If I recall correctly the first mini boss in Fall of Plaguestone has an incentive to stay where he is, and if the party retreats he can set up traps or craft or otherwise improve his defenses. In Age of Ashes, a lot of the enemies in the first dungeon will not seek out and investigate noises.

I would just let the chips fall where they may depending on the dungeon, and yes I would have intelligent adversaries who have an incentive to investigate, do so in less than 10 minutes...

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Honestly, I don't know if mythic characters will need a whole new subsystem. The feats system already allows for "plugging in" new abilities. They could release "mythic feats" that can be chosen instead of CRB feats, for example.

Already, the GMG will present options for allowing characters to have more feats. Perhaps opening up Level 20 feats to low-level characters could be a variant?

The new feats system is very flexible and opens up a lot of possibilities!

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Frogliacci wrote:

I'm quite interested in the idea of removing +level from proficiency, as I play and run D&D 5e and I quite like the bounded accuracy for some (but not all) styles of games. It's quite easy to do in theory, as you can subtract monster levels from their bonuses and get some reasonable numbers. In practice, however, it really messes up how critical successes and failures work, as you now have about the same chance to critically succeed or fail against everything whereas it makes far more sense for critical chances to still scale with level.

So would the optional subsystem take that into account as well?

To piggyback on that, will there be guidelines on balancing encounters when you remove level from proficiency?

Will there be options to tinker with the game to get the style of campaign we want -- say, a low-magic campaign? Or removing +X magic items?

Can we have some guidelines on how to customize monsters? "Adding class levels", or adding feats, or adding monster abilities? I want to surprise my players -- a troll is not always a troll is not always a troll...

Tender Tendrils wrote:

So, I am quite fond of PF2s experience system, though I would like my group to take longer to level up as they progress to higher levels, so - do you all think this would work?

Essentially, it would just be a case of switching to slower xp advancements speeds as the party progresses.

Levels 1-5: Fast Advancement (800 xp)
Levels 6-10: Normal Advancement (1000 xp)
Levels 11-15: Slow Advancement (1200 xp)
Levels 16-20: Very Slow Advancement (1400 xp)

Would the 16-20 levels be too slow? The 1-5s too fast? Thoughts?

Sounds like only you know best what you're going for.

I rather liked how AD&D generally doubled the XP needed at each level until you reached 'Name Level'. But it also came with the expectation that you 'leveled out' at a different (and lower) end place. Don't know if my players would tolerate that.

Do know that since Moderate encounters give you 80xp that you are expected to go through 10 to 12 encounters to level up. While this is comparable to the "Fast XP" track in PF1, in reality your party will be going through more tough fights, since the expectation now is that you regain more party resources in between encounters. (A moderate encounter would've counted as a very hard encounter (Average Party Level +2) in PF1 under the old math.)

I rather like how the 1000XP system makes it so easy to adjust the advancement rate! It's nifty.

Captain Morgan wrote:
The Rot Grub wrote:
Zi Mishkal wrote:

So, I'm going to start an AP (converted from 1e) with 3 players. None of them are particularly keen to play a cleric. As it stands now, we will likely have one martial, one caster (could be a bard) and one rogue.

The AP will be Kingmaker (I know.. it's coming out in a year for 2e anyways. we're impatient lol)

What do you all see as some of the challenges to this set-up? What are the things I ought to look for? Suggestions on class choices/builds?

If you're running a solo monster use the Weak Template at the front of the Bestiary to lower its level by 1. I'd honestly be open to adjusting it even a little more or fudging some rolls, since that monster taking 1 PC out of the fight lowers the party strength by 33% (more if someone is now stuck trying to revive them).

Also, since Kingmaker is a sandboxy campaign, consider having an NPC join the party. They might have a personal stake in the current quest they're going on.

And from what I recall from discussions about this AP, druids are powerful and rogues don't have a whole lot to do. Maybe that player should go Ranger for strike damage and save rogue for dedicating into later.

Eh. Even if that was true for the PF1 Rogue, I'm sure the PF2 version can find plenty to do. They are one of the most versatile classes in the game, and a great boon to a 3 man group. They can cover the skills of two party members. And a lack of skills or spell versatility is what I'd be more worried about in a small group. The math adjustments to fights are easy.

Sure you may be right. And a Charisma rogue can be useful when running a kingdom comes into play.

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Ascalaphus wrote:
Make sure they really understand how Medicine works. It actually does a lot to reduce your dependency on someone playing a magical healing class.

Yes. There usually is a LOT of time to use Treat Wounds in Kingmaker.

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Zi Mishkal wrote:

So, I'm going to start an AP (converted from 1e) with 3 players. None of them are particularly keen to play a cleric. As it stands now, we will likely have one martial, one caster (could be a bard) and one rogue.

The AP will be Kingmaker (I know.. it's coming out in a year for 2e anyways. we're impatient lol)

What do you all see as some of the challenges to this set-up? What are the things I ought to look for? Suggestions on class choices/builds?

If you're running a solo monster use the Weak Template at the front of the Bestiary to lower its level by 1. I'd honestly be open to adjusting it even a little more or fudging some rolls, since that monster taking 1 PC out of the fight lowers the party strength by 33% (more if someone is now stuck trying to revive them).

Also, since Kingmaker is a sandboxy campaign, consider having an NPC join the party. They might have a personal stake in the current quest they're going on.

And from what I recall from discussions about this AP, druids are powerful and rogues don't have a whole lot to do. Maybe that player should go Ranger for strike damage and save rogue for dedicating into later.

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Arachnofiend wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
I think a great houserule is adding "per level" to the duration of most spells with an hour or less duration. Shoulda been that way RAW, but here we are.

It's a great houserule if the intent is to make it so that spells that are written to last a single encounter instead last many encounters as you get further up in levels.

By which I mean it's a terrible houserule.

So much this. I'm running a PF1 level 20 campaign and I'm in constant arguments with my players who seek to milk out their buffs by insisting that everything they do is at a breakneck pace. And there have been times when they discuss 10 to 20 minutes IRL how to deal with a problem such as a trap in front of them, and they come up against a battle and they yell:

"Haste is still in effect! It would have taken us Two rounds at the most to dispel that magic trap!"

"What do you mean it would've taken us 3 minutes to look through that desk! It would take us 30 seconds AT MOST!"

I like that it takes 10 minutes to do something in exploration mode in PF2 because, the way durations are calculated, there isn't much reason to rush through things to keep your buffs. And it takes all those arguments OFF THE TABLE.

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I agree with Zwordsman. You'll notice that all the advancement in sheer numbers for a class is now in their base class features. This progress has been separated from class feats. Class feats are for increasing your options. The designers purposely make it so that you can't manipulate those numbers.

Since those base class features don't give you something at every level, there isn't really a way to dip into another class's base features.

You can "dip" into other classes' class feats, however.

I think they also want the design freedom to frontload key abilities at first level that define the class, without it becoming an exploit. (Rogues getting 1d6 sneak attack, for example).

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(For some reason I can't edit my previous post.)


Variant: Subtract level from all proficiency modifiers and DCs for both monsters and PCs. Otherwise keep a creature's hit points, damage and actions and abilities the same.

Goal of this analysis: Finding a way to quantify the strength of creatures to assist in balancing encounters using this variant.


A Level 5 monster is comparable in power to a Level 5 character that has Level 5 appropriate gear. Part of what makes a Level 5 monster a Level 5 monster, is that its level (5) is added to proficiency modifier. This is also true for the Level 5 character.

In the current system, if the Level 5 PC were to fight one-on-one against a Bugbear Tormentor (Level 3). Its +Level is 2 higher than the bugbear's, but that is only one factor accounting for the PC being twice as powerful. There also are:
-numerical bonuses in addition to level (e.g., Expert training, +1 potency weapon and armor, striking runes, etc.)
-more hit points
-more-powerful available actions
-better use of action economy

Similarly, a Level 5 troll is considered twice as powerful as the Level 3 bugbear, for MORE than simply having +2 to its +Level:
-additional numerical bonuses reflecting the base assumptions for Level 5 (notice that high-level spellcasters in the Bestiary are presumed to better than Trained in their spellcasting proficiency, for example)
-harder to quantify abilities that the bugbear lacks, such as regeneration (counteracted by its weakness to fire), attack of opportunity (combined with 10 ft. reach), and its rend ability

This creates difficulty for quantifying exactly the effect that removing level from proficiency would have on encounter balance. How to isolate that effect?

We know from the Elite Template from the Bestiary that adding 2 to all attacks, damage, and DCs and increasing its Hit points some amount (10, 15 or 20), taken together, increases the monster's Level by 1. It should be noted these increases need to overcompensate for the lack of increase in the harder-to-quantify abilities that higher-level creatures have.

All that can be known for sure, then, is increasing a monster's +Level by 2 has the effect of something less than substituting it with a monster that is one level higher.

That Level 5 PC facing the Level 3 bugbear is twice as powerful as the bugbear. Take +Level out of the equation, and you subtract more from the PC than you do from the bugbear. Now the bugbear has a relative increase of its +Level by 2.

This means that the Level 3 bugbear now weighs something more than Level 3 and something less than a Level 4 monster.

So the math only gets me so far, and all we can do is approximate. In the end this whole theory requires some testing. If we assume that "something more" is one-half, then we have this replacement of Table 10-2 on page 489 of the Core Rulebook:

Party level-6: 10xp
Party level-5: 13xp
Party level-4: 16xp
Party level-3: 20xp
Party level-2: 25xp ("something more" than 20, "something less" than 30)
Party level-1: 32xp
Party level: 40xp
Party level+1: 50xp
Party level+2: 65xp
Party level+3: 80xp
Party level+4: 100xp
Party level+5: 125xp
Party Level+6: 160xp

Experiments to try:

Level 5 party vs. eight Level 1 goblin commandos (80xp)

Level 5 party vs. five Level 1 goblin commandos thugs (80xp)
(Are the two encounters similar in challenge? Is this a "moderate" challenge?)

Level 5 party vs. eight Level -1 goblin warriors* (60xp) (Is this a "Moderate" challenge?)

*Treat Level -1 and Level 0 creatures as having +0 as their +Level bonus in the Bestiary. (Since attack bonuses for Level -1 monsters don't seem to be much lower than those of Level 1 creatures and so it's unclear whether their +Level was applied.)

Level 1 party vs. Level 6 young white dragon (Is this a "severe" encounter?)

EDIT: The white dragon absolutely destroys a Level 1 party, because its HP and damage are so much higher than the party's. It looks like the factor of the dragon being +Level is outweighed by other increases, at least for Level 1 parties. Conclusion: simply removing +Level for monsters is only a small part of what distinguishes low and high level monsters!

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Ten10 wrote:
The Raven Black wrote:
swoosh wrote:

One shotting the boss with a sneak attack wouldn't have happened in PF1 or 3.5 either.

Your player thought he could get away with instakilling the boss and when it didn't work he threw a fit. Not sure that's really a condemnation of any system here.

Does kind of make your rogue player look like an ass though.

I prefer a game that does not push players too strongly in the open arms of metagaming.

Knowing that a 4ed boss caster has very strong martial abilities too, just by virtue of being a NPC boss, is metagaming.

What do you call assuming "The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace" wouldn't have melee capabilities?

Isn't that metagaming?

I would say no. That is using information the character sees (he is elderly and wearing plain robes) to make a conclusion that the character in the world is capable of having.

The character in the game world would not be thinking to itself "this guy is a Boss and so has melee capabilities and extra action economy." That would be metagaming.

I actually thought from the title of this post that it would be about my concern that Paizo is putting out options at such a rate that 2 or 3 years from now we will start talking about "bloat" and newcomers being intimidated by the number of options.

I'm actually okay with the current rate of new classes and archetypes, since there is some need to "catch up" to approximate some of the concepts that were possible in PF1. But I hope it slows down after the APG. At the current rate we will have 32 classes, 56 ancestries and over 300 archetypes. I hope that Paizo is planning for a rollout that makes the release of new splat books feel "fresh" longer than 5 years from now. For me PF1 started to feel like it was digging up for new content about 5 years into its run. I hope that they're planning for a longer lifespan than PF1 had.

I think the GMG will say it is just -Level to all characters and monsters (not only from their proficiencies but also their damage as explained below), and I think that's fine. The fact that the system is designed for this modularity and it's easy to customize is a strength of the system.

The challenge for the GM, though, is how to balance encounters once you do this, since +Level is baked into the Level calculations of monsters. I think that is what the GMG will have to go into.

I have been wondering what we can do in the meantime while waiting for the GMG -- I am interested in setting up a sandbox setting where monsters of a wide variety of Levels are distributed in the area. Removing level proficiency means that, while that blue dragon will still kill some members of the party, not all rolls are completely foregone conclusions. And wandering highway bandits still provide some challenge to high-level characters (or at least depletion of resources).

It looks like the one clue we have is the Elite and Weak templates at the beginning of the Bestiary:
- Weak Template: Subtract 2 from all attack bonuses, damage, and DCs. Double that for abilities that can't be used every round (such as dragon's breath weapon)
- Elite Template: Add 2 to all attack bonuses, damage, and DCs. Double that for abilities that can't be used every round

So what we have here is an adjustment to the numbers that is modifying the exact same numbers that a "remove Level from proficiencies and damage" variant would modify.

So what can we deduce from this?
- We know from the Core Rulebook that increasing the Level of a creature doubles its strength, for encounter-balancing purposes.
- Therefore, increasing the Level of a creature by 1 results in approximately a 1.4x power increase, for encounter-balancing purposes.
- That monster that is 1 Level higher already has +1 baked into its proficiency modifiers.
- The Elite Template adds 2 to all attacks, damage, and DCs.
- Therefore, the increase in Level accounts for about one-half the increase in power from Level to Level. The rest of that increase is accounted for by other things accounting for the monster's threat level -- more powerful actions, new effects, and (sometimes) better action economy.

So, instead of creatures doubling in power every 2 levels, if we subtract level from proficiency and damage then creatures double in power approximately every 4 levels.

So Table 10-2 on page 489 of the Core Rulebook changes to:
Party level-4: 20xp
Party level-3: 25xp
Party level-2: 30xp
Party level-1: 35xp
Party level: 40xp
Party level+1: 50xp
Party level+2: 60xp
Party level+3: 70xp
Party level+4: 80xp
Party level+5: 100xp
Party level+6: 120xp
Party level+7: 140xp
Party level+8: 160xp

Right now, a Level 5 party under Raw has a moderate encounter (80xp), by encountering four Level 3 Bugbear Tormentors.

If you remove Level from proficiency, you will get a moderate encounter by encountering four Level 3 Bugbear Tormentors, with 3 subtracted from all their proficiencies and damage.

I have yet to do some test runs of this, but I think the math behind the system will bear out.

(And yes, this means that a Level 1 party will have a "Severe" challenge encountering a Level 7 Young Black Dragon! Subtract 7 from all attacks, DCs, and damage, and 14 from its breath weapon.)

EDIT: This did not take into account the Strong and Weak template modifying the creature's hit points. I need to guess at the math behind that. But I need to leave the computer now and will update this post when I can.

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First off, thanks to the developers for an awesomely designed Core Rulebook. The combined glossary/index is a godsend!

A few things that I hope can be implemented in a future printing or PDF update:

1. The "table of contents" in the righthand margin is a great way to flip to a chapter quickly. However, it would be great to add a way to jump to parts WITHIN a chapter. It does not have to disturb the Chapters sidebar -- it can be a separate list underneath that divides the current chapter into sections. This would be especially helpful for the Classes chapter, to be able to quickly jump to a particular class, and for the Crafting & Treasure chapter, to be able to jump to Alchemical Items or Worn Items quickly, for example.

2. More references to specific page numbers in the book. For examples, the spread of Ancestries and Classes on page 22-23 is a great starting place for making characters. It would be great to add page references so that people can jump to each Ancestry or Class quickly. Under Backgrounds, each Background refers to a Skill Feat. It would be very helpful to have a page reference for each Skill Feat.

3. Hyperlinks in the PDF. Especially since the PDF is being sold as a separate product and there is an online free SRD that has a somewhat different organization from the rulebook, it would be great if hyperlinks can be added to the PDF.

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Ravingdork wrote:
No more rounds per day rage limitations! :D

By extension, there is SO MUCH LESS to track than in PF1.

I am running a Level 20 party through PF1 right now, and here are one typical character's abilities/items that we no longer have to track in PF2:
smite evil 7/day
ring of spell turning 3/day
boots of speed 10/day
lay on hands 19/day
summon mount 4/day
wand of magic missile 32 charges

There is MUCH less bookkeeping in PF2. Also, PF2 discourages 15 minute adventuring days because you can't just nova one battle and then retreat to replenish your daily resources.


Okay, so it looks like the general rule is that the reaction occurs after the triggering condition, with the exception of situations when the reaction has the ability to disrupt the triggering action. In which case, it would be explicitly spelled out anyway.

(As a reference guide, I would have preferred it if the CRB had included the above quote under "Reactions" instead of only under the section on "Movement in Encounters.")

Do they? Specifically, a situation came up in our game last night where the Fighter had tripped a monster. The monster stood up on its turn, which as an action with the Move trait triggered an Attack of Opportunity.

So: Was the monster flat-footed against the attack due to being prone? Or did it stand up first, and THEN the fighter reacted?

I didn't find a clarification in the CRB about the timing of reactions. I just applied the logic of the language and reasoned that, since something needs a trigger to happen, that it takes place AFTER the trigger. Thus, the monster stood up and THEN the fighter had his Attack of Opportunity.

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MaxAstro wrote:

The monster design. OMG the monster design is so good. I love that some monsters can just totally mess with the action economy to make them viable solo encounters. Like there is a monster that can grapple one person, then cart them around the battlefield while making free attacks on the whole rest of the party. And then run away (with victim still in mouth) if anyone approaches it. All in one turn.

Even "boring" animals do cool things. Hyenas trip you and drag you away from the pack. Bears chase you down and maul you.

It's really easy to look at a monster's abilities and immediately understand how to run that monster in combat and what makes it stand out from other monsters, and I love that.

This is one of the best parts of the system. I would LOVE if Paizo eventually came up with ways to spice up monsters with "surprises." You know how zombies have those extra optional abilities that a GM can throw in at their leisure? I think it would be great if a future book had similar options for all their monsters. A bear should not always bear should always a bear!

I want players to look at monsters and not be like, "Oh, it's X. It will do Y if we get close to it." Although the abilities in PF2 are so much better and surprising than in previous editions, I think even those can get samey after a while. Players should be on their toes!

PF2 is doing great things with its monsters and has me looking forward to the future!

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I respect DMW's opinion from his contributions to the playtest and so I'm happy to see that his criticisms of final PF2 look "fixable" and are not rooted in the base design. I'm really liking PF2.

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This Reddit post is a great resource

Let's say a 7th-level divine sorcerer wants to heal her friend using Neutralize Poison (which is in her spell repertoire). She has no more 3rd-level spell slots left, but has 4th-level spell slots available.

Can she cast Neutralize Poison?

I don't see this explicitly called out in the rulebook, but it makes sense to me that a spontaneous caster could. I view their slots as "spell energy" that they can use to produce a less-powerful effect.

It seems like you can, which seems counter-intuitive. They are attacking creatures at random, and when a party member slaps him, he now will not attack the party anymore?

Here is the relevant language from the Confused condition (page 618):
"Each time you take damage from an attack or spell, you can attempt a DC 11 flat check to recover from your confusion and end the condition."

I see the logic of it and will run it as written. But I wonder if the designers were aware that it could be used as a way for the party to "snap" the person out of it?

Page 618 under the Broken condition:
"An object is broken when damage has reduced its Hit Points below its Broken Threshold....
If an effect makes an item broken automatically... that effect also reduces the item's current HP to the Broken Threshold."

Not sure which forum to include it in. It is a rules inconsistency but it also may be a typo.

OmegaSonic0 wrote:
I don't have my Playtest book on me to actually compare the two, but I'm curious what the differences are. Do I effectively have two copies of the 2e core rulebook now? Are there just a few names that need to be changed? Or are there significant mechanical differences in the versions of the game?

Significant mechanical differences. Many changes, big and small. Here's just a few:

- No more Resonance. New systems to limit alchemists and magic items.
- More healing during exploration mode.
- Proficiency is Untrained 0, Trained L+2, Expert L+4, Master L+6, Legendary L+8. (No more adding Level if you're Untrained.)
- Death and Dying recovery checks are easier
- More class feats, more spells. Higher-level ancestry feats added
- 10th-level spells gained automatically
- No quality levels on items. Weapons and armor get their pluses purely from runes. The math, pricing and levels of magic items have been reworked.

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