Zapp's page

2,659 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


1 to 50 of 782 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Sunderstone wrote:

1) Paizo folks (JJ in particular) stated they are going down a path lighter in tone with second edition.

I don't know what JJ and others mean by "lighter", but personally I like material that is more adult and edgy.

(I'm not calling it mature since to some folks it's immature, and that's fine)

I don't mind culture (books, movies, art, RPGs...) that take risks and might even offend. Much of our great art wouldn't exist if conforming to norms and precedent was the overarching goal.

Since WotC already covers the family-friendlier direction, I lament Paizo's move away from their earlier house style.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
RiverMesa wrote:
This reminds me of the same conversation that was had some time ago surrounding the Quick Sort spell, from Secrets of Magic - that it's 'useless' and "clogs up the item/spell lists and making it harder to get to the useful things".

As I remember it, the only outrage was we got Quick Sort, but not Bubble Sort.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

As for those necromantic energies... they follow the rules of magic (and plot) not scientific logic. If the PCs worry that those energies might animate the worm, that's as spooky as anything else. Maybe when they find it, the worm gives a great but ultimately harmless if spooky undead twitch?

Or maybe a purple worm's mind and soul are just not interesting enough to corrupt into undeath for the forces at play?

Of course, a group that likes logic (even if it's frankensteinian logic) could have it come to life.

Just do it slowly.

If it does nothing but twitch the first round, act Slowed 2 the second round and so on, most groups should get the hint and not stick around to get TPKd.

The decision to make the carcass actually dangerous might bereave the party of a certain piece of loot, but that's all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ron Lundeen wrote:
At which point they'll find...just a vampiric mist chilling up there.

Of course, if they hold off all the way until they're level 8 or 10 or so, you can just confirm their presumptions by having Belcorra be there ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I'm wondering if my party can handle that even with the weak template. That creature looks nasty.

Sure, but "utterly ridiculous" is not what a L+4 fight is.

If your party is weaker than average, you go right ahead and play up the foreshadowing. Maybe the party will avoid it until they're 9th level.

Of general note:

While a L+4 fight can be utterly crushing at low level, 8th level heroes aren't really low level anymore. A L+4 fight at mid level is IMHO totally fine.

There is a noticeable shift in the power balance heroes vs monsters from low to high level in Pathfinder 2 (something the encounter guidelines unfortunately pretends does not exist): At high level (15th and above) the heroes will eat a single L+4 for lunch.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
vagrant-poet wrote:

Belcorra is not a brilliant tactician, she's a ghost who hangs out in a ghost eating temple to enact a mad plan of hopelessly cruel misdirected revenge. She wants to bully and run off the heroes, and only cares more about them if they get a lens.

It also clearly involves ghost/horror stories into the adventure which gives it thematic variety.

I'm quite allergic to the "I'm only toying with you, letting you power up until you're strong enough to defeat me" trope.

So I won't have it.

Belcorra will not voluntarily retreat. If the players do retreat, she will visibly struggle and be unable to pursue them. If they don't, and I think they deserve mercy, I'll have an unknown force yank her away after, say the second round. (I don't have to explain this force any more than the adventure explains why the lighthouse doesn't work)

And, of course, if the players bloodthirstily assault her, I'll mercilessly do my best to TPK them.

After all, she's not exactly strong for a level 12 creature. She's a spellcaster in a game where teeth and swords rule. Apart from the odd high level spell she is eminently defeatable.

I fully know that the first encounter is her only real shot at routing the player characters. Later on, she might just be two or three levels higher. Alone, she won't stand a chance. At that time, it's time to break the instructions and have her attack when the heroes are down, for there to be any uncertainty about the outcome.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't think giving orbs away should be an option. (Or rather you *can* give them away, but the Xulgaths are bound to be looted very soon indeed)

After all, the entire future of Absalom is at stake. Sure the heroes are "first responders", but I imagine if they fail (or voluntarily choose not to "follow the script") other high-level individuals and groups will forcibly take the orbs to place them where they are needed to ensure the food supply for the world's greatest metropolis.

Note the text saying "in lieu of the aeon orbs".

Cheers


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
IOW, you don't like it. :-)

*shrug*

If you dismiss every concern like that I don't think there's anything left to discuss

Have a nice day


1 person marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:

There’s a common-enough pattern of Adventure Paths taking a pretty wild turn in their penultimate book: Reign of Winter’s beloved trip to WW1 Earth is probably the most known, while Tyrant’s Grasp’s trip to Arcadia is very dear to my heart. The upcoming fifth volume of Strength of Thousands has me out-of-my-mind excited.

So I wanted to put it out there: please, never stop doing this! My favorite parts of Pathfinder are almost always those that push beyond the norms of traditional Western high fantasy. Keep Pathfinder weird!

If you're saying "keep at least 1/6 of every AP weird" I agree completely.

It's only if you specifically need the weirdness to happen in book 5 I think that would become too predictable.... and predictability != weirdness

Cheers :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
As a side note, maybe I like the Alchemist because it's a class full of dead abilities and crappy options. Building an Alchemist feels a bit like going to an antique shop.

The idea to play the class as a way of playing the game on a harder difficulty setting certainly has merit: "We succeeded, despite Bob playing an Alchemist! Awesome!"

And of course, in more laid-back games where combat challenge is less of a thing, there is obviously no argument against playing one.

It's not like it makes it harder to roleplay an interesting character. It's just subpar in terms of combat effectiveness.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
breithauptclan wrote:
But people who didn't like the Alchemist to begin with still don't like the Alchemist now. Go figure.

Instead of a snarky "go figure" as if these people's complaints were without merit, a more constructive approach would be:

But people who didn't like the Alchemist to begin with still don't like the Alchemist now. The class will probably never be able to compete; Paizo's goal is just to bring it up to minimal effectiveness.

I second those recommending new players to play something else first, and save their idea to play an Alchemist until they better know what they're getting into.

Cheers


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ed Reppert wrote:
IME, "unplayable" usually maps to "I don't like it". :-)

In this case, however, "unplayable" is shorthand for:

If the portals stay open for any longish amount of time, with no way of shutting them on-demand, then you simply stop using them.

Why?

Because delving into higher-leveled territory is incredibly dangerous as it is. Not being able to escape a pursuing monster that follows you through the portal is a complete deal-breaker.

If you can use the portals for semi-safe scouting, there is a point to opening up them to two-way traffic (i.e. dropping the RAW limitation that you need to have visited the destination before using the portal).

If you cannot, that is what I somewhat quickly would characterize as "unplayable".

Cheers


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cordell Kintner wrote:
Could everyone please wait until books officially release before asking questions?

Ehm - no?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:

its very much clearly meant to be like Malfeshnekor in Rise of the Runelord: Optional boss you return later when you are tougher.

Either way I want to reiterate: It is clearly meant to be boss you can't beat right now and need to backtrack later on

The problem with this theory is **the player's (and their characters) don't know this, and have no way of knowing this**

Don't rationalize dungeon design by meta information you just take for granted everyone has.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Page 55: "Volluk takes this lantern on his journeys above ground, where he’s unknowingly spawned the rumors of the lantern-carrying stranger."

What rumors of a lantern-carrying stranger?

(I looked for mentions of any lantern in the module as well as the player's guide, but didn't find anything)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
keftiu wrote:
NECR0G1ANT wrote:
I reckon that the place to go for more experimental adventures are the Standalone Adventure products, not the company-flagship Adventure Paths.

Strength of Thousands has an incredibly specific pitch, gives characters a specific free archetype to help support the fact that it really wants you to be arcane or primal, features years of in-setting time, and goes to space. You’re sure the AP line isn’t experimental?

It’s been less than three years. They’re starting to get weirder.

Sounds promising.

Perhaps I am not the only one having made the observation above that they are essentially producing extremely standardized adventures with a wafer-thin layer of specificity?


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Is it just me or are 2E APs missing something?

Extinction Curse: You're working at a circus... except every character class is welcome and you can have exactly the standard kind of adventures where you do exactly the same thing as in other adventures!

Agents of Edgewatch: You're working as members of the city watch... except every character class is welcome and you can have exactly the standard kind of adventures where you do exactly the same thing as in other adventures!

Fists of the Ruby Phoenix: You have signed up for a martial arts tournament... except every character class is welcome and you can have exactly the standard kind of adventures where you do exactly the same thing as in other adventures!

See any similarities...?

Do people really fall for this advertising, where different APs are made out to be... different when in reality they are very much alike.

If every AP were advertised as a semi-railroaded collection of dungeons where every bog-standard hero (from druid to monk, from wizard to barbarian) battles monsters to be neatly awarded one level per dungeon, it would be much closer to the truth.

Do people really like these (very) thinly skinned takes on the same thing over and over? Why do people need to pretend these dungeon collections are more than they are?

For instance, a martial arts tournament that *actually is a martial arts tournament* where a) you are a martial artist that b) participate in a tournament (akak you can win AND lose). Or a circus adventure where it actually matters that you are a circus performer? Or a law enforcement campaign where you actually act like a law enforcement officer and have law enforcey scenarios?

Sorry not sorry for asking.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Basically: all your answers should be what results in the most fun.

I was inspired by it (it's one of the extra monsters in Extinction Curse) to place essentially a playful gnome girl (in grafitti form) in a church tower in the adventure.

A combat encounter that hopefully leads to a social encounter. Which it did - they recruited "her" to their circus :)

About my initial answer: this monster is so outside of the baseline you are much better off NOT going down the rabbit hole of trying to establish clear boundaries.

SO I was dead serious when I gave the above answer. There really is no alternative.

If you can't use monsters fast and loose I HIGHLY recommend you drop it and use something else. It's just not worth it to try to pin down exact limits to this monster, trust me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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".


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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 ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
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).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

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).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
I do it all the time.

So in other words, "once you are as experienced as I am you can ignore Zapp's recommendations".

Yep, that checks out.

But you are likely underestimating exactly how far removed you have become from a new PF2 GM or one only with, say, 5th Edition experience.

so my summary holds: if you (you the audience needing advice, not you Deriven) approach PF2 like you did your last game, you will get your heroes slaughtered. To avoid this, never smush encounters together, full stop.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Exocist wrote:
I’ve just handwaved healing by now provided at least one person has some spammable out of combat healing (continual recovery, focus powers, everyone has white spindle aeon stones, etc.)

Yes, in other words, ignoring the nitty gritty of the various healing rules is what you, a good GM, decided to do.

The observation I am making is that rules that good GMing best ignores are probably not well designed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thenobledrake wrote:
Zapp wrote:

Sure, but don't forget that the encounter math pretty much prevents the burgeoning GM from doing what works in other games - smushing together encounters.

The math simply doesn't allow that in PF2. If you add a Low encounter to a Moderate encounter you don't end up with a "moderately hard" encounter the way you might in another iteration of D&D.

Other games not having accurate enough estimations as to how difficult an encounter will be, thus allowing multiple encounters that on their face are supposed to be individually challenging to group together and produce an encounter that is actually also just a pretty standard challenge is not a feature; it's proof that other games may as well not even have the encounter-building guidelines they have because they don't even do anything.

Pathfinder 2e's encounter guidelines, on the other hand, are at least accurate enough that if you put together an XP budget that goes off the high end of the chart the game says it's probably going to be ridiculously tough and it plays out as ridiculously tough (especially when not just filling the budget with the lowest-level creatures that you can) - rather than there being room like there is in D&D 5e for every encounter in an adventure to be off the chart past the "deadly" rating, and then the party just ploughs through 5 or so of those a day.

Yes and no.

Yes as in "this is true".

No as in "you can't just ignore how other games have shaped expectations. Your comments makes sense only in a void where Pathfinder 2s accuracy is the default. In the real world, however, D&D is the default, and so we need to phrase this to be useful and instructive in practice. Dismissing the experience of just about everyone coming to PF2 just because you might have internalized the workings of PF2 a long time ago is just not useful. When Pathfinder 2 really means a deadly encounter is deadly that is the outlier (by far) and not the norm."

Have a nice day.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sure, but don't forget that the encounter math pretty much prevents the burgeoning GM from doing what works in other games - smushing together encounters.

The math simply doesn't allow that in PF2. If you add a Low encounter to a Moderate encounter you don't end up with a "moderately hard" encounter the way you might in another iteration of D&D.

You end up with a severe-plus encounter.

This is not just my opinion: it's hard numbers. 60 + 80 = 140 which is more than 120.

So basically the introductory advice must be: don't make the dungeon "living" if you by that mean the fairly natural development that monsters band together for safety, reinforce their patrols and so on.

Sure once you have mastered the intriciacies of PF2 encounters, you can do whatever you want.

But my sincere advice to newish GMs is: run the encounters as written. Do not have the dungeon respond to what the characters are doing, unless that is scripted by the module.

Yes, PF2 is very different than most other D&D-style games in this regard.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Temperans wrote:

I am sorry what?

You saw that things are different and then said you don't see a difference. Its like the meme with the lady who says two very different things are the same.

Also the way to describe the guideline is as thus:

Facing a threat that is 2-3 levels higher is a serious encounter. As players level up, get more tools, and become better at teamwork they might be able to face even higher level opponents. In general you can increase the level of what is considered a severe encounter at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20.

This.

It's phrased differently, but I agree fully.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Schreckstoff wrote:

I'm in favour of people being able to heal up to full if they have the means to do so between encounters but also to instill in players that there are possible ramifications to that.

I tend to move encounters around or prepare enemies for a fight in those cases.

The thing is, some (many) GMs will assume one important tool in the toolbox is to sometimes punish players for being too timid or cautious - to add more enemies since they rest for long periods, etc.

But PF2 doesn't support this logic. You need to rest for however long it takes to regain all your hit points. Not doing so exposes you to significant risk with zero upside, and it's not that you save on costs or anything.

It's not that the logic is flawed. In some games it is entirely reasonable to make the adventure more difficult for players averse to taking risk. It's just that PF2 isn't a traditional D&D game in this regard.

So the GM should realize that PF2 is a completely different game, and assume the dungeon will meet the heroes as written after they have had to heal back up - whether that takes 30 minutes or 60 (or 90).

It's not that the players are too slow. It's the game engine who gives one obviously best choice, and makes every other choice feature a very very steep price indeed.

Regards


2 people marked this as a favorite.
thenobledrake wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Certain parts of the game, including the Medicine rules, assume that it will be exciting to track each ten minute period, and that "should we rest more?" is an interesting question, i.e. one where both answers are valid choices. This is the simulationist or world-building way of playing.

This highlights why trying to label parts of games with things like "simulationist" or it's contemporaries doesn't help the conversation much:

Having to choose 10 minutes at a time what your character is doing, especially whether to rest more here, heal more while on the move, get back to exploring, or retreat to safety is a game-play choice, meaning it could be called a "gamist" mechanic.

Just like weighing the pros and cons between this action or that action during an encounter (i.e. Raise a Shield vs. Strike, or Stride vs. ready an item for next turn), weighing the pros and cons between these options in exploration mode of play is the game-play loop - it being used to simulate anything, or as a means of world-building, is entirely incidental.

Without it there wouldn't be any "buttons to push" (choices to make, illusory or otherwise).

My point is that the dev writing the rules for Medicine clearly thought it would be an interesting choice how to spend your next 10-minute period.

In actual fact, however, the correct way to write the rules, that fully supports the demands of other parts of the rules (combat and encounters), would be "nah, let's tear out all these little fiddly details and just say you heal back up fully after one hour".

No die rolls. No checks. No decision points. No analysis paralysis. No unpredictability and thus unreliable planning. Just "since the rules assume each encounter starts at full hp, we'll make that happen".

In a different game, the PF2 Medicine rules could have served a useful purpose. But that would have meant a game where pressing on at low health would have been a reasonable ask.

Thanks

1 to 50 of 782 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | next > last >>