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Fumarole wrote:
Temperans wrote:
By comparison, a PF2 character without the mandatory items is pretty much dead.
In my Age of Ashes game the party are level nine. What "mandatory items" would the wizard in my group need to not be "pretty much dead?"

None.

But that doesn't mean the criticism is unfounded.

It just means that there are no must-have items for casters the way there are for martials.

And to be clear: striking runes. It's only striking runes that is unquestionably mandatory.

Sure AC bonuses are more vital than just "nice to have" but the reality is that just one point doesn't qualify as mandatory.

If a level 19 character can't even find +1 AC runes, you might have a point, but that is just not what the hyperbole is about. (And I could argue that at level 19 you're fine even if you lack 3 AC; just use a more cautious approach)

In contrast (sharp sharp contrast) you MUST get a Striking rune, full stop


thenobledrake wrote:
I think some of the property runes do pretty well in that territory.

The property runes do work.

In fact, it would have been great if Striking runes didn't exist, because they kind of constrict the ability to have more varied such runes.

Again it biols down to what's expected and what's a bonus on top.

If the game expects each property slot to be filled with a bonus d6 damage, then +3d6 at high level isn't cool and exceptional - instead NOT having it feels like a penalty.

At least it's a fixed die. Even at low level +1d6 isn't making or breaking the game.

Striking runes should not exist. Instead you should gain maybe +4 per such die (a static number that doesn't balloon the number of dice you need to roll, and a number that doesn't benefit larger weapons much much more than smaller ones).

If we squint let's say +1 damage per every other level to a) keep it simple b) not veer too far off course - you get +10 instead of +12 for a d8 weapon - so monsters need redesigning) c) allow space for cooler weapon upgrades.


Squiggit wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Like, is point that none of items should be required by math wise? Its still kinda weird idea if you could have level 20 character without any high level gear. I don't exactly like 5e style "system is designed to be playable from level 1-20 for characters without any magic items" approach.

That's kind of why I wish there was something in the middle between "magic items hardly matter at all" and "you basically can't function at high levels without your magic weapon."

It feels like there's a lot of room in between those two points, but we only ever see the extremes.

And that something would have been internalizing the weapon die upgrades.

Basically, to hand them out for free as part of your character's own power.

In PF2 math, the +1 part and the various extra effects, still make a marked difference, and so will remain nice to have.

But the Striking dice? Nah. It's utterly must have, and so it was a poor candidate for external loot and/or an item on the purchasing menu.

Z

PS. I realize some of you might be arguing "but even the +1 is must have not nice to have".

In that case I can't help you, because that's a criticism against the very core of PF2: it's (very) tight math. If the game math doesn't even allow a variance of the smallest unit (plus minus one) then the game needs to loosen up, full stop.

Any attempt to create conditional bonuses "it gives +1 but only on Tuesdays" to make the must-have only a nice-have is doomed to futility. In the end, plus minus one is the smallest unit in the game and it can't be that important. Redesign the game so a span of 2-3 points remains playable to provide the necessary space for upgrades that remain optional.

There really can't be another analysis than this.


Lightning Raven wrote:
The point is that they are not upgrades, they're mainly the illusion of one.

Also this.

It just isn't fun to basically realize you will never have much money or feel rich because all your gold needs to go towards not-upgrades.


CorvusMask wrote:

I'm kinda weirded out by idea that "updating your gear needs to be optional!" though.

Like yeah I get idea that "if you need to buy this anyway, then its just something either player or GM has to do or math goes wrong and might as well be included in level up in itself" but umm... I don't get whats wrong with idea of buying stronger items in general.

Like, is point that none of items should be required by math wise? Its still kinda weird idea if you could have level 20 character without any high level gear. I don't exactly like 5e style "system is designed to be playable from level 1-20 for characters without any magic items" approach.

The complaint isn't "I want to be able to never buy a new magic weapon".

The complaint is "I have to get the exact same sequence of upgrades in every single game (where I play someone using weapons)".


thenobledrake wrote:

ABP is a fix for me too, but not a "complete" one because what I actually want is for the game math to work as intended across all levels without me having to choose between A) a specific roll-out of treasures whether found, purchased, or crafted or B) constantly reminding players that because of the variant rule we're using they also need to add stuff mentioned on the ABP table to what they do when leveling up, instead of just doing what's on their character's class table.

And I make a stink about the having asked the wrong question during the play-test thing because I'm wanting Paizo to have the best odds at doing it better if years form now when they go to make PF3 - and then maybe that game will end up with the base game working as intended and the option being actually optional and also giving folks that like items with plusses the feeling of actual plusses rather than the equivalent of the "why not make them go to 10, but make 10 louder?"/"...these one's go to 11" bit from This is Spinal Tap.

I too find "but use the variant" far too lazy and dismissive.

It really doesn't fix the core issue: that magic items are either too powerful (and completely mandatory) or... to be honest, far too weak and/or conditional.

More immediately, it kind of solves the issue by throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The complain wasn't "I don't want a magic item economy", it was "these items are so dominant choosing them is not a true choice". (The variant IS great for those having that issue. But here we're discussing being directed towards the same variant even though the concern is completely different)

The variant basically removes vast swathes of items from the game. That's not a good solution.

Also, the variant is completely silent on the significant economical change: upending the gold balance between martials and casters. Per RAW, most gold looted by fighters have to go towards weapons. Suddenly all that gold is freed up. Meanwhile, casters never had anything even remotely as powerful to purchase.


Gaulin wrote:
The reason I post in these sorts of threads isn't just to complain for no reason. I do hope something constructive comes out of it, whether it be devs seeing people's opinions (hey there are a ton of people that love abp, maybe we should make a few feats that give a similar thing, etc) or some other posters having ways around it.

At best, it results in a rules revision where Paizo, in this case, shuffles the variant for the core.

At worst, it provides wisdom for PF3.

So you did nothing wrong, and anyone saying you are complaining for "no reason" should be read as "I don't like that you point out valid concerns; I'd much prefer if my game of choice was unassailable."


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What would be needed to make the teleportation chambers an integral (=useful, purposeful) part of the Vault?

Obviously, you'd drop the requirement to awaken both ends before you can use it.

You probably should then also allow for activating a portal without necessarily using it right away. Make a shimmering portal show you what's at the other side. You should probably allow scrying magic to work through an activated portal.

Example: you activate a portal and you see a small room with a closed door at the other end. If you are able to cast - as an example - Clairvoyance through that door you see, you might be able to cope. (Through the portal and through the door it shows you) After all, you might look at a room two levels lower, where even the "easy" monsters are lethal to your low-level ass...

You need to consider practical things:
a) how long does a portal remain open after you have stepped through?
- can you tell if it is one-way or two-way without having to use it first? (Ideally the room descriptions are consistent: if the portal opens up to a "regular" room, it's one way. If it opens up to a chamber similar to the one you're in now, it's two way)
- can you step back through a two-way portal without having to activate the other end?
- For how long does the portal stay open?
- Is there an emergency shut down (if you're spotted by a dangerous monster it doesn't help if it can follow you back through the portal)

Would it be a good idea (for more daring players)? Or is there a good reason why the AP does not allow you to use the portals to reach places you otherwise haven't visited? (Even if your players aren't newbies, that is. Protecting new players from TPKs is obviously a good call)

Zapp

X-posted from the Book 1 GM thread, since this is a more general topic that applies to all three books.


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Edit: posted this in a thread of its own:
https://paizo.com/threads/rzs43eju?The-teleportation-portals

What would be needed to make the teleportation chambers an integral (=useful, purposeful) part of the Vault?

Obviously, you'd drop the requirement to awaken both ends before you can use it.

You probably should then also allow for activating a portal without necessarily using it right away. Make a shimmering portal show you what's at the other side. You should probably allow scrying magic to work through an activated portal.

Example: you activate a portal and you see a small room with a closed door at the other end. If you are able to cast Clairvoyance through that door you see, you might be able to cope. (Through the portal and through the door it shows you) After all, you might look at a room two levels lower, where even the "easy" monsters are lethal to your low-level ass...

You need to consider practical things:
a) how long does a portal remain open after you have stepped through?
- can you tell if it is one-way or two-way without having to use it first? (Ideally the room descriptions are consistent: if the portal opens up to a "regular" room, it's one way. If it opens up to a chamber similar to the one you're in now, it's two way)
- can you step back through a two-way portal without having to activate the other end?
- For how long does the portal stay open?
- Is there an emergency shut down (if you're spotted by a dangerous monster it doesn't help if it can follow you back through the portal)


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Ed Reppert: not sure you HAVE to map out the connections. I mean, go ahead if you wanna but otherwise I think it's fine to just offload that work on to the players...

Yes, you can make several "jumps" and each "jump" needs to be activated both at the start and the end. The reason for this is that it ensures the teleportation only ever becomes a convenience - you can never jump into territory you haven't already reached.

If we view this as a beginner-friendly restriction it means heroes can never accidentally jump into more danger than they can handle.

Otherwise it ensures teleportation can never be used to bypass AP content, or as I phrased it just before: that is remains a convenience only. (Since players can just say "I go up half a dozen stairs" and boom, it's done, it's not really a convenience for the players, only the characters. If the dungeon restocked with wandering monsters it might have been a different story, but it doesn't*)

In short: it doesn't make much of a difference. If the players never find the ritual or simply never uses it, very little changes. It all boils down to: They can't use teleportation to reach places they're otherwise unable to reach, so there is no actual need for it.

You could change this, however. Let me discuss that in a separate post.

Zapp

*) and wandering monsters work poorly with Pathfinder 2's paradigm anyway - easy fights are mostly just time wasters. The game doesn't care about attrition through many low-level fights, which wandering monsters represents.

PS. not using spoilers since this is the GM reference thread.


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WatersLethe wrote:
The Tage wrote:
Then why are striking runes and the assumption that weapon users have them, baked into the math of the game?
Because the playtesters wanted them.

Offering a public playtest is a delicate affair, and you should not hold one unless you are able to resist its needs and wants - you should not automatically do what the majority (or a vocal minority) tells you to.

In this case, listening to the playtesters was a clear mistake.

The game would have been clearly better if players with martial characters didn't find they need to spend their money on weapon upgrades, every single campaign, like clock work with zero choice or variance.

Really it should have been obvious from the start that a massive upgrade like a second (third...) weapon die is ill-suited to "optional choice".


Hobit of Bree wrote:

I'm planning on playing a goblin archer for my first 2e game. I expect we'll do levels 1 to 10. I'm looking at magic items and starting to suspect being an archer is a bit of a trap.

  • Damage is a bit lower (need DEX and STR and only get half STR to damage).

  • You run though a ton of ammo at low levels (ammo isn't recoverable, 50 arrows is, I believe 5 bulk and you are probably shooting 2 or 3 per round as a ranger or monk). If you are going on an expedition and expect to hit 10 encounters, you're gonna run out of arrows fast and then a pure archer is useless.

  • Special materials for bows are very expensive for a long time (4 GP per arrow for cold iron and silver, 140 gold per arrow for Adamantine and they break on use). The blanches do exist and save money but take 2 actions.

  • I'm very confused how magic bows and magic arrows interact. Trying to get that figured out in the rules forum. But it seems that firing a low-grade cold iron arrow from a very magical bow doesn't work?

  • In published APs it kind of is a trap, since "archer" evokes the image of somone staying out of the most brutal fighting.

    But you are a martial. Not a spellcaster. You are too sturdy to waste your hit points and AC at a distance with the wizard.

    And most commply there are no distances to speak of in published APs anyway.

    So I understand why the question "is being an archer a trap?" pops up regularly... because it kind of is, at least in published modules.

    In home campaigns where you much more often get to decide which battles to have and where to have them ranged fire can be quite decent, if not straight up better.

    But in a Paizo AP you are probably better off respeccing into a melee rogue if DPR is important to you and your group (and it should be, since DPR is what stands between success and failure).

    You then ask a number of specific detail questions, but I wouldn't worry about it. That's not what makes archers good or bad.

    Archers are good if EVERYBODY in the team has access to good ranged fire, and that you can engage the enemies at a meaningful range.

    Archers are not so good if your buddy is a Dwarf axe fighter and/or you play a standard Paizo dungeon, where monsters appear just a few feet away when you open the next door. As soon as melee combat happens, your warm flesh is an asset you can't afford to not use (by standing far away plinking arrows). Your warm flesh is needed at the frontline, in order to prevent monsters from focusing their attacks on your fellow frontiners. We're talking your AC and HP here.

    And by "not so good" I meanthat better options exist: do you want to use ranged fire? Play a spellcaster! do you want to be a martial (=a "weapon user"). Create a close-combat weapon user!

    A spellcaster has lousy AC and few HP. And so they get better ranged fire to compensate. A close-combat weapon user gets better damage.

    Min-maxing is about choosing one thing you do really well, and minimizing your disadvantages. Choosing a martial build and then not exposing it to melee combat is what an archer is, and it just isn't optimal.

    For "standard play", that is.

    As soon as you can be confident many fights will take place outdoors in the open, and you might spot monsters half a mile away, the situation changes. Then it is the axe-wielders that need to change their ways.

    But in the overwhelming majority of published Paizo encounters, immediate melee is the order of the day.


    Consider the following an alternative response to Thod's, provided with the intention to illustrate how I would want a reply if it was me posting instead of Thezzarus:

    Thezzaruz wrote:
    I can't see any way that you'd be allowed to get out of the Stunned condition when it comes with a value (the times ones work fine).

    I can't either.

    (Other than to ignore / not follow / break the literal rule, of course)

    Quote:
    Of course any mildly sane DM would fix that quickly but it still seems like they screwed up badly when writing that rule.

    Agreed - the rules language is completely unusable as written.

    (The overall intention is very much usable, but we're discussing the rules as written here. No need to quote examples since we all already agree what the intention is)


    Ascalaphus wrote:

    An exception doesn't prove a rule. It's an emergency path to a rule to prevent it from being disproven altogether because someone just came up with a counterexample.

    "Enemies never heal." "What about this troll?" "Enemies never heal, except through regeneration."

    If a rule has a lot of exceptions then maybe the rule wasn't that well-conceived to begin with.

    "Enemies never heal, except through regeneration, fast healing, life draining, sometimes casting Heal spells that they prepared, or when an author gives them healing potions and tactics that are probably too little, too late, or when the campaign is actually about evil PCs fighting good guys, or when you're fighting enemies that come from some package book with complete teams of NPCs with healers in them, or..."

    No this is disingenious. This attacks my style of argumentation in order to discredit my facts.

    Yes I might say monsters never heal. Is this absolutely true? Don't be ridiculous.

    And yet here we are; you being ridiculous by spending your energy on trying to discuss in absolutes.

    So very uninteresting.

    Quote:


    I think the real reason you don't see quite as much healing on stock monsters is that they don't get written for support roles very much.

    And why do you think that is?

    Quote:
    All that being said, I've had some traumatic fights against enemies that would fly, have high AC, fast healing and enough accuracy to hit the low-level PCs. With a lot of monsters the PCs can bull through even poorly balanced encounters with some desperate kite-and-heal tactic, but that falls apart against enemies that can heal up each round nobody manages to hit them.

    Sure.

    I have had fights with annoying healing monsters too.

    Yet I clearly see that this is the exception and not the rule.


    Velisruna wrote:
    Zapp wrote:
    Onkonk wrote:
    I've seen several enemies with Heal who are evil in Paizo's published adventures. Every Dahak cultist in Age of Ashes have Heal, the Angazhani cultists in The Slithering also all have heal.
    So they're the exceptions that prove the rule.
    "The exception proves the rule" does not mean that finding examples that defy a rule somehow prove it true. In this case it could be used to mean testing (using prove archaically to mean test) the rule through its exceptions but I highly doubt that is what sophistry you were trying for here.

    If you are here to debate debating techniques, feel free to continue without me.

    If you are here to either agree or disagree with my specific theory your input is welcomed.


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    Paradozen wrote:
    The "game" fundamentally needs the lore to be properly understood, the lore informs quite a bit of the decisions about the game. Especially with regards to what creatures are used in published adventures, the lore informs authors about what creatures it makes sense to use when building encounters in the context of the adventure. Pretending it is just fluff and can be easily dismissed when analyzing what creatures have been used in print is short-sighted, not clear-sighted.

    I am honestly not sure what this means, and if you are agreeing with me or arguing with me.

    I think we agree that restrictions based on superficial characteristics (such as skin color or alignment or whether you wear pants) is fluff and not crunch...?

    Crunch is raw data. Statistics.

    A monster becomes slower to defeat if it has ready access to healing. Which in turn necessitates its damage output must be moderated. Otherwise it expected damage output would rise (since it is in the game for longer), which would in the end mean a higher monster level.

    But since this doesn't generally increase the fun and excitement (since short sharp fights > long slug-fests) monsters generally don't get access to anything more than token healing.

    (With exceptions, of course, so this isn't so readily apparent to the players)

    Cheers


    SuperBidi wrote:
    Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
    Zapp wrote:

    You can be sure that if the game would have been better off by enemies casting heal, companies such as Wizards of the Coast and Paizo would be quick to change the description of Heal to not refer to alignment. Or there would have been a "neutral heal" available to everybody.

    Making Heal "good" so it just "happens" to be out of reach for 99% of monsters is not an accident.

    Um Heal makes no mention of alignment in its write-up, Heal. So what are you exactly saying here?

    EDIT: Just checked, Cure Wounds (you know, the spell from Wizards of the Coast) also makes no mention of alignment in its write-up. So really, what are you exactly saying here?

    It's a lore alignment.

    For example, all good deities give access to Healing Font and very few of them give access to both fonts. All evil deities, on the other hand, give access to Harming Font and only a few of them give access to both fonts.
    So, even if Heal is not aligned per se, it is strongly associated with good (and Harm with evil).

    This is correct.

    But as I said, do not let alignment fool you.

    (If alignment didn't keep healing out of the hands of monsters, Paizo sure would have come up with something else)


    SuperBidi wrote:
    Zapp wrote:
    If somehow our culture were different and healing were not associated with good, according to your logic monsters would have had strong healing, since we've removed the main obstacle according to you.

    Let's find an AP where healing is associated to the antagonists and check the amount of healing.

    So, I open Hell's Vengeance and look for the word cure (we are talking Pathfinder 1). 14 potions, wands, scrolls and memorized spells in the first volume, 14 in the second volume, 12 in the third volume. You have an enemy with healing abilities in nearly half the fights.

    Zapp wrote:
    SuperBidi wrote:
    In the past, there was no point debating with you but you reached another level: now you give us the counter arguments to your points so you can debate with yourself.
    No.
    Yes, you are giving me the counter arguments to your thesis, again. Your whole point is based on blatantly false data that I just have to check to prove you wrong.

    Shrug. How much of that is potent enough for monsters to be expected to actually use it effectively in a fight (comparable to a PC Cleric), and how much of that is most likely to end up as vendor loot after the PCs have won the fight?

    Your inability to differentiate between data and information tires me.

    Not to mention I'd prefer to discuss second edition if you please.


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    Tristan d'Ambrosius wrote:
    Zapp wrote:

    You can be sure that if the game would have been better off by enemies casting heal, companies such as Wizards of the Coast and Paizo would be quick to change the description of Heal to not refer to alignment. Or there would have been a "neutral heal" available to everybody.

    Making Heal "good" so it just "happens" to be out of reach for 99% of monsters is not an accident.

    Um Heal makes no mention of alignment in its write-up, Heal. So what are you exactly saying here?

    EDIT: Just checked, Cure Wounds (you know, the spell from Wizards of the Coast) also makes no mention of alignment in its write-up. So really, what are you exactly saying here?

    You're talking to the wrong guy. I'm not the one with the theory healing is withheld from evil monsters because they're not good.

    In fact, I'm the one calling that a superficial coincidence. The real reason healing is withheld from monsters is because that makes for a better game.

    Have a nice day


    Thod wrote:

    Sorry - what do you mean?

    I was citing the Rulebook and you say it breaks the rule?

    So the rule breaks the rule or what does your post mean?

    That was exactly my point - specific trumps general

    But there is a chance we miscommunicate

    No, I was reacting to your comment "Why do people not read the whole rule / just ignore part of it".

    I found it unnecessarily snide. The poster clearly began by agreeing how we SHOULD run the rule and that, yes, this is what Paizo intended.

    Nevertheless, as a fellow rules lawyer, I'm confirming that is not what a literal interpretation of the rules would lead to. He is correct.

    Therefore, you suggesting he left out the example to make a point... misses the point! You quoting the example only argues for... what we already agree on: how the rule SHOULD be run.

    It does not change the fact the rule remains broken as written, or provide meaningful commentary on this observation.

    Have a nice day


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    The reason the circus performance is "it's own reward" (i.e. there's nothing in it for the characters) is because it frees the developers from having to ensure the circus rules are balanced.

    Otherwise the circus would have to be treated (and balanced) as, say a magical item or a feat.

    In retrospect, since the circus rules are horribly busted (they don't come even close to the balance and "tightness" of the Paizo rules design we've come to expect; except at the very start of the campaign, getting successes is trivially easy - the mechanisms are just thrown together and there is no challenge or balance) this was probably for the best.


    CorvusMask wrote:
    I would assume it means "as long creature takes more bleed damage from haunt, enfeebled continues"

    Yes obviously.

    The reason it wasn't obvious to the OP is because he didn't automatically read bleed damage as persistent.

    If "bleed damage" was more like "bludgeoning damage" or "cold damage" you'd understand the confusion. Which I can understand is a newbie mistake you can easily make.

    (But no, "bleed damage" can only be interpreted as persistent bleed damage, making the hazard non-confusing to run)


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    Grankless wrote:
    I just treated it as a single burst of damage. Actually making it persistent is horrifically deadly.

    I just treated it as bleed damage that is persistent.

    Actually making a single burst of damage is comically trivial.

    (Remember to hint to your players "the fen is more dangerous at night" and your group will likely be level 2 before they encounter this thing. And if they die to it already at level 1, well - losing a character is never less costly than at level 1 ;-)


    Razcar wrote:
    For the Routine action, the haunt does "bleed damage", from none to 2d10+6 depending on how the save goes. It doesn't say its persistent bleed damage, however.

    Bleed damage IS persistent.


    thenobledrake wrote:

    [

    So yes, "stunned 1 for 1 round" is distinct from "stunned 1" because the former isn't actually a thing and at best is a misstated "slowed 1 for 1 round" while the latter is correct phrasing for a stun effect that only takes one action from the stunned creature.

    Just to point out that another reason this would be to "misstate": from you become slowed 1 until you get rid of it, you can take reactions

    From the moment you become stunned 1 you can't take reactions.

    Right?


    Thod wrote:

    Why do people not read the whole rule / just ignore part of it:

    CRB p.622 wrote:

    Each time you regain actions (such as at the start of your turn), reduce the number you regain by your stunned value, then reduce your stunned value by the number of actions you lost. For example, if you were stunned 4, you would lose all 3 of your actions on your turn, reducing you to stunned 1; on your next turn, you would lose 1 more action, and then be able to use your remaining 2 actions normally. Stunned might also have a duration instead of a value, such as “stunned for 1 minute.” In this case, you lose all your actions for the listed duration.

    Because that example breaks the rule just presented above, which was the entire gist of the post you replied to?

    Whoosh.


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    Aaron Shanks wrote:
    InsaneFrosty wrote:
    Why is this listed in the new releases if it is being delayed again to July. Also could we get some sort of response from the Devs as to the nature of the delay of all this months Pathfinder products?
    Hello. Sorry for the delays. They come from extreme shipping delays and are addressed in the Customer Service threads posted above. (The Devs have nothing to do with the delays). All three volumes of Fists of the Ruby Phoenix are now targeted for July 7. Customer service is available to assist you via email and our forums. Thanks for your patience as we ship to our distributors, subscribers and individual customers.

    I looked at those threads, but they say nothing about what is discussed here: why and how (and why not) the products are delayed. Those threads are terse listings only - your post is literally 100% more informative, since it explains that the cause is due to "extreme shipping delays".

    So I don't really understand why you continuously ask people to take the discussion over there. There is nothing there except the dates. You could just as well keep tabs on Paizo's Release Schedule.

    When people express "what did I miss" it is because they expect an active news item "product X is delayed, find new shipping date inside" rather than just a quiet update of a listing.

    But perhaps I am missing something?

    Best regards


    SuperBidi wrote:
    In the past, there was no point debating with you but you reached another level: now you give us the counter arguments to your points so you can debate with yourself.

    No.

    You chose to focus on obscure counterexamples rather than to agree with my overall point.

    The point remains and it is valid: the reason most (=practically all) monsters will have to do with the hit points they have at the start of the fight is gamist - healing prolongs fights and introduces the videogame concept of "kill the healer first".

    The piddly amounts of regeneration, special healing abilities et al does not change this. Don't lose sight of the wood for the trees.

    That healing is "good" and thus not available to evil monsters is just a justification. My point was to point out that your argument does not hold up. If somehow our culture were different and healing were not associated with good, according to your logic monsters would have had strong healing, since we've removed the main obstacle according to you.

    But that would not happen since the underlying demands of the game would require us to come up with a different justification to withhold "full" healing from monsters.

    Ergo my clear-sighted analysis: skip the in-game fluff and focus on the fundamental needs of the game and you will find the true answer.


    Paradozen wrote:
    Zapp wrote:
    The intention is for this to be sufficient, and *not* to add custom-made "healing monsters" with full-strength healing abilities (such as the Heal spell).
    Eh, depends on what we mean by full-strength. The gamemastery guide gives advice on making creatures that heal themselves, and it boils down to not letting them heal from 2+ attacks every round for free or letting them cast max-level heal spells at-will.
    Gamemastery Guide wrote:

    Your creature might have regeneration, fast healing, or some other ability to heal itself. These healing abilities can greatly affect the flow of a fight. Regeneration or fast healing heals some number of hits each round—usually one to one and a half hits. To determine the number of Hit Points it should restore, look at the high damage value on Table 2–10: Strike Damage (page 65) and multiply that value by the number of hits healed. For instance, if the high damage is 20, regeneration between 20 to 30 makes sense. The value should be higher if the regeneration is easy to overcome—and remember that most regeneration gets easier to overcome at higher levels. Also, you might want to decrease the creature’s total HP by double its regeneration value. Fast healing follows the same rules, but because it can’t prevent a creature’s death and there isn’t always have a way to deactivate it, you might want to give the creature more HP instead of fast healing to keep things simple.

    If a creature can use an ability that heals it, that ability typically restores more HP since it costs actions. An at‑will healing ability should be based on a heal spell 2 levels lower than the highest-level spell a creature of that level could ordinarily cast (for example, an 11th-level creature can typically cast up to 6th-level spells, so you would base its healing ability on a 4th-level heal spell). If the ability both deals damage and heals, use that same baseline scale from above but with vampiric touch instead of heal.

    Seems like the published intent is to give creatures that can heal themselves some limits rather than don't make creatures capable of healing. Especially because the advice for building NPCs tells us that cleric NPCs should get divine font which means several full-strength healing powers, just not at-will full-strength healing.

    Yes, as I said: some token restorative powers are not unheard of, but anything even close to what a PC Cleric can do is very rare.

    But don't the specifics and exceptions cloud the overall picture: the reason NPC enemies very rarely have a character that casts Heal spells is for good and specific reasons.


    Onkonk wrote:
    I've seen several enemies with Heal who are evil in Paizo's published adventures. Every Dahak cultist in Age of Ashes have Heal, the Angazhani cultists in The Slithering also all have heal.

    So they're the exceptions that prove the rule.


    SuperBidi wrote:
    Zapp wrote:


    tl;dr: if Paizo wanted monsters to be able to cast the Heal spell, they would have access to it already. It is not a mistake they don't have healing, it is an intentional design choice. (I believe you Gortle already agree to this, so I'm talking to everyone here)

    That's not true. There are a few NPCs with access to Heal.

    That does not make my statement less valid. Please do not waste time trying to find exceptions and please do not suggest those are important.

    Quote:
    So I disagree about the "game" choice, in my opinion it's a "lore" choice.

    No it is a deliberate choice to make the combat run faster and provide for a more enjoyable playing experience.

    You can be sure that if the game would have been better off by enemies casting heal, companies such as Wizards of the Coast and Paizo would be quick to change the description of Heal to not refer to alignment. Or there would have been a "neutral heal" available to everybody.

    Making Heal "good" so it just "happens" to be out of reach for 99% of monsters is not an accident.


    Andreww: SuperBidi has already answered this. The answer was

    Spoiler:
    Flee.

    The point of mentioning Slowed 2 is that as long as you can move more than 25 feet in an entire round, you will leave them behind, since that's as far as the Hydras can get with a single action.


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    Gortle wrote:
    But it is a factor in the game world. So it should show up. Just not that often, as it drags out the game for very little benefit.

    This is exactly how it works already. You will find a (very small) subset of monsters with (very modest) healing abilities in the Bestiaries.

    The intention is for this to be sufficient, and *not* to add custom-made "healing monsters" with full-strength healing abilities (such as the Heal spell).

    You'll notice Paizo avoids placing Healing Potions as loot *on* monsters. Instead you'll find them in chests, secret compartments and so on. If the monsters carry the healing potions many GMs would (naturally) assume they're there for the monster to use, when in actual fact, they're there as loot for the players to find. Placing them close by but not on monsters clarify this distinction :)

    tl;dr: if Paizo wanted monsters to be able to cast the Heal spell, they would have access to it already. It is not a mistake they don't have healing, it is an intentional design choice. (I believe you Gortle already agree to this, so I'm talking to everyone here)

    Regards,
    Zapp


    Themetricsystem wrote:

    If they have the Domain Tradition that isn't sourced from Innate Spellcasting (or in other words are actual "Trained" Divine Spellcasters) then the creatures should absolutely have and USE Heal in combat if the situation warrants it, at worst it will likely help keep the combat going another round or two if the party is unlucky.

    From my perspective narratively justifying this type of opponent to have ACCESS to one of the best spells in the entire game but not prepare/know or USE it is tenuous at best, enemies are supposed to have a life and motivation all their own and eschewing Heal (or Sooth/other healing spells) is pretty much antithetical to that.

    As long as you understand why Paizo nearly never give monsters strong healing abilities....

    In other words, your rant is beside the issue. Monsters should definitely not have things just because it might make sense "logically". The game is first and foremost a game, and it contains a million things that doesn't make sense unless you understand this very fundamental fact.

    Have a nice day :)


    breithauptclan wrote:

    Putting together another idea for a character build, but I am not sure how useful it would be in general. The idea is a Witch of divine or primal tradition that uses Counterspell Heal in order to hamper the enemy's ability to heal in combat rather than providing healing directly.

    But it isn't going to be very useful if none of the enemies ever actually cast Heal.

    Very rarely.

    Think about it - monsters are more powerful than PCs but with few to no backup options.

    By giving monsters the resilience and bag of tricks available to PCs, not only would you need to scale back their power considerably. You would also have fights that drag out.

    Basically the side that manages to knock out the enemy healer wins. Or make the other side run out of healing.

    So the game doesn't allow monsters to heal (except for a small number of token abilities).

    The point, after all, of the game is to present the players with fearsome monsters that still get killed relatively fast, so that the story can continue.


    Salamileg wrote:
    I'll still suggest Battle Medicine to the rogue or party as a whole.

    You'll need two heroes that invest wholly or mostly in Medicine and its feats when you have no Cleric.


    thenobledrake wrote:
    All martial parties work just as well, if not better, in this version of the game than they have in prior versions.

    This.

    And it's easy to pick up a multiclass dedication for a couple of cantrips, so it's not that it's hard to cover some of the things spellcasters used to be needed for.

    It's not exactly that PF2 is weak on "niche protection". That would suggest any hero could do any job. Some heroes can, some heroes can't. Those that can use weapons, those that can't use spells. So a better term would be "martial supremacy".

    Other than the 2-action Heal spell, no other magic comes close to providing the oomph you remember from other versions of D&D games.

    Sure casters have fun during the second half of the game, but it's not that they're needed even there. Few things can shake a 15th level hero, and not having easy area spells might just make things more interesting for the fighters...


    xNellynelx wrote:
    Where casters allow you to go around a wall, this team bulldozed through the wall.

    SInce PF2 is perhaps the edition of D&D where this effect is the least impactful, I wouldn't worry about it. Sure there is the rare obstacle damage won't defeat, but APs usually provide ludicrously clear clues on how to react.


    Salamileg wrote:

    So I've started planning a campaign set in Ustalav, and all four of the character concepts brought to me by my players are martial. We have a swashbuckler (braggart), alchemist (bomber or chirurgeon, will switch to investigator if she ends up not liking the class), ranger (strength based precision), and a sprite rogue (ruffian). The rogue is taking a spellcasting archetype and the swashbuckler might, but starting at 5th level that only means the party has 1 or 2 1st level spell slots total.

    Is there anything I should know running for this group? What sorts of things do you think will be more challenging for them? What sorts of things will be less challenging for them?

    Actually you'll be fine. While D&D traditionally becomes much easier with spellcasters, at low level, PF2 spellcasters don't contribute much. (They contribute at higher levels, but there the game generally is easier for everybody regardless)

    You will miss the Heal spell (=in-combat healing) so make sure at least two of your heroes invest in the Medicine skill and its skill feats. Make sure everybody has an emergency healing potion on their person for their friends to use on them when they lie unconscious.

    But that's really the only spell an adventuring party ever "needs". Everything else is just nice to have, not must have.

    Since you are low on area effects you won't charge right into a group of foes. Not only do I not need to tell you this - APs actually feature very few such combats (that aren't easily winnable anyway).

    Alchemists and Investigators are two of the weakest classes, so keep an eye out for dissatisfaction on that front.

    Good luck


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    Mantriel wrote:
    Rysky wrote:
    K

    Care to elaborate a bit more?

    You like Pathfinder, have been a long time fan, you like the direction where the game is headed etc.

    Something like that would be nice.

    You won't get it in a thread that starts with "I won't buy anymore Paizo Products ever". People will think you just want visibility for your anti-Paizo message.


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    Mathmuse wrote:

    Pathfinder 2nd Edition threw away that paradigm, too. The 10-minute Treat Wounds activity was invented during the playtest and proved popular. It fit well with the 10-minute Refocus activity. And it greatly reduced a problem known as the "15 Minute Workday" in which the spellcasters would use up their spells and other characters would use up their once-a-day abilities thriftlessly and then leave the dungeon for the day.

    While I agree the 15 minute workday isn't a thing in PF2, I have several issues with this statement:

    The 15 minute workday isn't caused by lack of healing and thus isn't solved by free healing. The 15 minute workday is instead a manifestation of "once spellcasters run out of spells there seldom is any good reason to keep adventuring." Sure, casting healing spells is part of running out of spell slots, but far from the only cause. Getting free healing doesn't help a Wizard last longer, for instance.

    The main reason the 15 minute workday isn't a thing in PF2 is instead unfortunately due to something that in itself is more of a problem than a solution: the very fact slotted spells are relatively low-powered (with the two-action Heal spell as the sole exception). Basically speaking, you could retire your party Wizard and replace her with a second Fighter, and your party's ability to adventure would go up, not down. Not just in the sense that you could go on for longer each day, but more in general: weapons just are plain better at dealing with the by far most common obstacle to successful adventuring (i.e. monsters) than low-level spells.

    That Treat Wounds fits well with Refocus is definitely an intended outcome of how those exploration rules were written. It just doesn't work out in practical play. Why? Because Medicine the skill just isn't fast enough. You nearly never heal enough in just 10 minutes, or 20 or 30 for that matter. You very often need 40, 50 or even 70 or 80 minutes to heal back up fully using Treat Wounds (and I'm obviously assuming someone in the party has Continual Recovery). What's the problem? The problem is that if you routinely rest for 40 or 70 minutes, you have enough time to make the question of which exploration activity to take and in which order entirely moot since you simply go "I'll take all of them". Thus, I would say Treat Wounds do not fit well with Refocus. I would say the entire exploration menu choice falls apart: good and interesting on paper but not so much in practical play. (Just ditch all the rules and say "during a short rest you heal back up fully, recovering any and all points you can recover, and now what do you do?" In one sentence I reduced loads and loads of rules clutter and pointless administration to a single five-second sentence. You're welcome.)

    So yes, the game definitely threw out the resource management mini-game (what you call the paradigm of little encounters) except nobody told the writers of several subsystems that remain written as if that paradigm was still in place. It most definitely isn't - it is exceedingly clear the combat engine assumes heroes enter fights fully healed up, and it is equally clear adventures are designed to make it outright stupid to press on before you have healed back up (the risk of getting a TPK is massively increased, much more so than in any comparable game I know of, since every new encounter can easily be a Severe one without warning, and at low level it is sheer lunacy to give this handicap to the monsters when healing costs nothing but perhaps another half hour).


    Except PF2 has a profoundly-not-same problem than PF1.

    This entire thread is about not reducing PF2 to "just about the same problems as in other games".


    Ravingdork wrote:

    How are they not getting sued?

    That's like starting a company called Advanced Toyota. Toyota is going to bury you.

    Had the product been called Dungeons something Dragons it might have been a Toyota situation.

    But "5th edition"? Nah.

    Instead it's as if Toyota had a truck called "Advanced 2000", and this other company selling a "Truck 2000".

    2000, like "5th", is just generic. Anyone can use it.

    Which is why you never see auto models with generic numbers, by the way. It's always "Toyota Madeupname this or that" and rest assured, they wouldn't use "Madeupname" unless they were able to trade mark it first.


    Squiggit wrote:
    Probably why playtest guns had a lot of the same fundamental problems crossbows do.

    :-)


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    I had my NPC suggest the PC worked off the cost of the second casting instead of playing cash up-front.

    (Earning income X weeks until you would have earned 18 gold)

    Man, I wish the rules clearly stated you're paying for the spell slot and not a service accomplished (or vice versa).


    Let's illustrate this point with an example or two:

    Let's have the heroes face an Ogre with four Goblins serving him. All "warriors".

    https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=317
    https://2e.aonprd.com/Monsters.aspx?ID=232

    So this is an encounter with one level 3 creature and four level -1 creatures.

    At party level 1, this is an Extreme encounter (160 XP). The Ogre is worth 80 XP and the goblins 20 XP each: 80+(20x4)=160

    At party level 2, this is a Severe encounter (120 XP). The Ogre is worth 60 XP and the goblins 15 XP each: 60+(15x4)=120

    At party level 3, this is an Moderate encounter (80 XP). The Ogre is worth 40 XP and the goblins 10 XP each: 40+(10x4)=80

    In this case, the math supports the notion "difficulty goes up or down one step for each level" exactly.

    ---

    Now let's feature a trio of Efreeti; a Janni (level 4), a Djinni (level 5) and a Shaitan (level 7) that for some reason are forced to work together.

    At party level 5, this is almost an Extreme encounter (150 XP). The Efreeti are worth 30, 40 and 80 XP.

    At party level 6, this is almost an Severe encounter (110 XP). The Efreeti are worth 20, 30 and 60 XP.

    At party level 7, this is almost a Moderate encounter (75 XP). The Efreeti are worth 15, 20 and 40 XP.

    As you can see, while we can't claim the math is exact down to the last digit, for all practical purposes the claim holds up.


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    WatersLethe wrote:
    I make sure my players have realistic expectations about time. If they're going to attack a heavily guarded building or castle, they're not going to have 10 minutes between each fight. Same with any dungeon that has lots of moving enemies.

    This is obviously entirely reasonable and natural and logical.

    Except it isn't supported by the PF2 combat model or its encounter creation guidelines.


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    Megistone wrote:
    If other games allow the GM to put two or more encounters together and have the party come on top, it's because those encounters are not challenging by themselves. You can easily do the same in PF2.

    This is technically true but in practice false.


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    Ascalaphus wrote:

    I'm currently playing Agents of Edgewatch and Age of Ashes. Both of them feature dungeons with LOTS of encounters in them, often close to each other. So close that it's hard to believe they don't overflow, but if they did, they'd be too hard.

    I think for Edgewatch this is more of an issue. It makes more sense for that campaign to conduct some dungeon crawls as SWAT style raids - at high speed, so that perps don't get a chance to escape. Narratively speaking, you want encounters to come quite quickly after another, the PCs busting into room after room to arrest folks before they can reinforce, destroy evidence/hostages or flee.

    If you really played like that with a Paizo adventure it'd go horribly wrong. Way too many level-appropriate encounters. Just plain too hard.

    I fully recognize this from my own campaigns. Several dungeons in Extinction Curse are also like that. In fact, it would be appropriate to say that nearly every low- to mid game experience penned by Paizo is like this. So it's not unreasonable to conclude the game was intended to feature game play like this.

    So I totally understand Unicore (the OP). The game works best when you nearly always just allow the party to heal up between encounters, and nearly never make the downtime an issue.

    You could follow the rules, and find out whether this downtime took 70 minutes or maybe only 30. But you could also throw all those finicky little rules out the window, together with all the die rolling, decisions, arithmetic etc since their sole impact on game play I have found is to force players to burn brain capacity and take time away from the adventure.

    After all, if the game needs your heroes to heal back up, which we concluded is the case, why not simply have the rule say "you heal back up"...? :-)

    (Then, there could be a optional variant, in the GMG perhaps, containing what now is in the CRB, though ideally still simpler and easier than what Paizo now have saddled every game with)


    Ascalaphus wrote:
    This is a very interesting thread. It strikes me as a bit of a return to earlier debates with Zapp

    I guess I should be flattered, but no, I will remind you this is not one of my threads :)

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