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Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 41 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 2 Organized Play characters.


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Darksyde wrote:
I noticed the description of the GM Guide mentioned 'hexploration' which I've found fun in the past. Is this basically a guide to setting up hex/squire crawl type game? What did you guys think of it? Was that section helpful or mostly just full of things most GM's would do anyway? Thanks for any input, it is one of the things I am more interested in but don't have a store to skim through to make a purchase decision and I didn't see that section talked about much in the forums.

It’s a fine system for adding hexcrawling to an adventure, but it’s not really enough on its own to run a full hexcrawl campaign. The intent is sandbox elements are used to allow the players to choose how they go about things, but that’s still within the framework of an adventure with a story.

I’ve written some stuff on using the hexcrawl procedure from the Alexandrian to run a sandbox hexcrawl in PF2. If you’re looking to do something like that instead, it might be helpful.

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Building to a benchmark is almost certainly how the monsters in the Bestiary and other books were created. Having that same information available to GMs is incredibly helpful. It lets them design whatever they want, and all they have to do is reconcile the numbers.

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I really like the VP mechanic. I’ve already got ideas for new ways to us it in my game, which is surely the sign of a cool, new mechanic. We’re also going to be giving a few variants a try this weekend (point buy, skill points, and proficiency without level). I won’t have a good opinion on them until we do, but I’m hoping they all work out. I’m particularly excited about the extra flexibility proficiency without level gives me for encounter building, assuming it works as advertised.

The monster building rules are also pretty solid. Since the preview, I’ve already created a number of new ones for my game. I jumped ahead to the subsystems and variants stuff, so I’m circling back to the earlier chapters now and working through them.

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Azouth wrote:
I like how the new chase rules are party focused rather then individual character focused like in PF1.

The Victory Point stuff in general is pretty nice. I’m looking at adding a VP-based system for clearing hexes (and fortifying their camp) in my sandbox hexcrawl. I’m a little surprised that they didn’t include one in the hexploration subsystem, though I think hexploration targeting a mode of play with different needs. I also think VP would also be perfect for Leadership, which is handled as written through GM fiat (more or less).

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Thanks for the clarification! :D

The point-buy method in PF1 let you adjust the number of ability points depending on the type of campaign. Would it cause issues to allow more flexible ability points at 1st level? It doesn’t seem like it would. It looks like starting with 20 would turn a 16 into a 17 in the maximally split up array and 25 would turn a 16 into an 18, and it shouldn’t allow you to get a 20 or 22 sooner (nor more than two 22s at 20).

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My impression of the VP-based subsystems in the GMG (including the research one discussed here) is PCs have pretty wide latitude regarding which skills they can use. If one of the PCs wants to use an unusual skill that makes sense for the situation, they should be able to do it at a (probably) hard DC.

Given that, my approach when designing or improvising such a challenge would be to set a baseline based on what makes sense for the activity. If (when) the PCs do something unusual, I can use that to help me come up with an appropriate DC.

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They changed how your ABCs interact with it. In PF1, you got your racial modifier on top of your purchased scores. In PF2, they’re effectively just an offset on the cost in ability points.

If my ancestry gives me +2 Strength, that’s just two more points to spend rather than a modifier I add to e.g., bump a 16 to an 18. That helps balance boosts, so you don’t have to pick certain ancestry or background options to build the character you want.

My only issue, having looked at the effect it would have on my PCs, is characters built this way have lower stats across the board. Point-buy characters never catch up, which makes me wonder about the impact on balance.

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I’ll just zap the weasels with my wand! Why is everyone on fire now? XD

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Finally got my copy! Yay!

I’ve read through the variants chapter. I think I’m going to see what my players think of the ability and skill points ones. Those are things they’ve liked in the past or we’ve done before (I used a similar point-buy house rule back in PF1 to replace ability score increases). I feel less excited about the other variant rules, but that’s okay.

I poked around the subsystems. The world building stuff looks great at first glance. I can see the leadership subsystem being useful for e.g., classifying enemy gangs and factions my PCs are encountering. Hexploration isn’t what I want in an exploration subsystem, but that’s not surprising, and there are a few things I’m definitely going to take for my exploration procedure.

I’m looking forward to spending some time with the rest of the book. :D

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Ravingdork wrote:
What are your thoughts on the matter?

Can I view it as both? I want to view it as both.

Pathfinder 2e reminds me of an Apocalypse Engine game, particularly the moves snowball (“if you do it, you do it; to do it, you have to do it”). I look at it as against the spirit of the game to call for (or allow) a random check and make a ruling. Just saying “I want to make a check” doesn’t really parse. You need to use an action or activity that then has you make that check. At the same time, I see no reason why you can’t do things in the game that don’t involve mechanics but could still potentially set you up in the fiction with an advantage.

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I’ve been trying to be more liberal distributing them. Of course, I give everyone at the start as written. During the session, I give out more when someone does something awesome (usually indicated by their being excited at what just happened) and sometimes for the MVP in a scene or encounter. Generally, everyone ends up getting at least some.

To encourage players to use them more, I’ve added two additional uses:
— You can spend 1 hero point to flash back and retroactively prepare for the current situation (à la Blades in the Dark).
— You can spend 1 hero point to increase someone else’s degree of success. This is not a fortune effect, so everyone can chip in to turn someone’s critical failure into a critical success if they really want.

The first one is meant to address an issue that has cropped up where the PCs were blatantly not prepared for a situation. I’ve offered to let them retcon it, but my players have never taken the offer. My hope is they’ll be more willing if it’s sanctioned (with a hero point cost).

The second one was inspired by a recent article on the Alexandrian. I particularly liked the part on off-turn engagement, so I added another use for hero points to give players something to do when it’s not their turn.

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The biggest difference for me is I have all my books on an iPad Mini. For my recent PF2 campaign, I actually went back to physical notes. I like having everything out and being able to arrange and see multiple things at once. I also like being behind the screen. It’s like my own little GMing space.

Between sessions, I managed most of my campaign digitally. I use Scrivener for planning and holding notes, but I actually lay them out in Affinity Publisher and print them for my campaign binder at the table. I also use Campaign Cartographer to make maps. They’re not great, but they’re getting better, and I like them more than my hand-drawn maps.

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I’m running a sandbox hexcrawl, and I make heavy use of wandering monster and random encounter tables. For wilderness exploration, random encounter tables are content generators (I wrote a ton about what I do here). In dungeons, I use them along with adversary rosters to make my dungeons more dynamic.

I think a key to using wandering monster tables effectively is not just to have a fight as soon as you roll a random monster. Use it to change the dungeon to reflect that monster’s presence. There have been a couple of posts mentioning things with high numbers of monsters (elven wolves, six shocker lizards, etc). I’d look at that and decide that part of the dungeon had come to be inhabited by them, and having to find a way around or through them would become part of the gameplay of exploring the dungeon. Normally, though, I don’t roll a quantity and decide something that makes sense for what’s been happening at the table.

For example, my PCs were exploring an enormous dungeon (based on this map from Dyson’s Dodecahedron). They came around to the southwestern side with the door. I described it to them, and they started trying to bash their way through it, and then they set it on fire. Okay…. While they are taking their exploration turns, I was rolling for wandering monsters. When I did succeed, I rolled giant gecko on my table, and described to them how their activities were drawing the attention of the local gecko population. I also roll for disposition, so it wasn’t hostile, but the monk decided to wrestle it anyway.

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I’ve done it both ways and run other systems with all DCs in the open. I intended to do that in PF2, but after running a one-shot before converting over, I decided to embrace secret rolls. The way things played out in the one-shot, it seemed like knowing the DCs revealed more information than it does in other systems, or my players were having an off-day and just not keeping what they knew (or assumed) separate from what their PCs knew.

The way I handle secret rolls is to ask the modifier before rolling. It doesn’t happen that much, so it hasn’t been burdensome yet (but that will probably change once they’re hexcrawling in earnest, and I need the navigator to Sense Direction). I provide false information on a critical failure for Recall Knowledge, but I’m not too concerned about that’s having a harmful effect on the game because I use the three clue rule.

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It’s also up on Hero Lab Online. The PDFs here are listed as in my downloads but are not actually available in my downloads yet.

Update: Someone on reddit pointed out that it shows up under “Paizo Inc.: Rulebooks”. I see the CRB now! :D

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It’s hard to say without extensive experience running it, but my initial impression is that it will likely be a better game for my group than PF1 or 5e are.

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Franz Lunzer wrote:

One detail I noticed reading through the Playing the Game Chapter:

the maximum range increment for all weapons (thrown and projectile) seems to be 6 (instead of 10 [or 11?] in PF1e).

That’s the maximum number of increments. The maximum penalty is still -10.

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Is that really a problem though? Negative con always felt like more than enough. Once you hit a certain level, I'd expect PCs to be dying every few sessions, then being resurrected/replaced.

You don’t have to be cheesing dying for −Con to cause problems. Here’s a situation I had happen when I ran Kingmaker: At the end of “Stolen Lands”, I effectively two-shot a PC with the Stag Lord. The Stag Lord had gotten the drop on the PC and used Deadly Aim along with sneak attack. The aggregate damage was enough to almost but not quite kill the PC. Since the PC was still up, the Stag Lord attacked again. Even without sneak attack, that one attack was enough to drop the PC and take him below −Con.

If that one hit had done a little more damage, the PC would have probably survived. It’s unintuitive that there are breakpoints where doing more damage on average actually makes an attack less lethal because it knocks PCs down in one hit instead of leaving them vulnerable to a follow-up attack.

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rainzax wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
I definitely do not want to return to days of rolling ability scores, that often resulted in bitterness when one of the guys rolled up an "elven hero" and the rest were playing farmboys with pitchforks.
My players would likely rise in revolt if there is not an option for getting exactly that result, because making characters of that sort of different level of capacity work well together is a large part of the fun for us.

Your players are in luck.

Have them roll 3d6 down the line. This averages to 10.5 for each ability score.

Then apply your ABCs. Cap starting stats at 18. Maybe decide upon a minimum value too.


I am very tempted to try this with my group. I’d devised a way of randomizing boosts that gives results pretty similar to doing your ABCs manually, but this has a nice, old-school feel to it.

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Fumarole wrote:
For those GMs that do tell players DCs, so you also tell players enemy AC? I do not, but of course my players usually figure out the AC after a round or two of combat.

I reveal both. They’ll figure them out anyway, though I started doing it after reading this article. I must admit my players do seem to enjoy their rolls a little more, but I digress.

I have two approaches for handling hidden information:

Knowing that there is a DC communicates information. In this situation, I provide a fake DC. Obviously, there are limits. I don’t have them make saving throws every ten feet to mask the existence of traps, but if they are actively searching for traps, then I’ll give them a DC that makes sense for the area regardless of whether there actually are traps.

Knowing that you failed communicates information. When that happens, the players need to establish some other way that their characters know they failed before they can act on the information they gleaned from that failure.

The second situation comes up frequently in my game when my players fail a navigation check to avoid getting lost. In the hexcrawl procedure I use, getting lost applies a hidden veer, so they never know which direction they are going until they can do something in-character that establishes they’re lost.

For the illusion trap described above, unless they are intentionally trying to overshoot the gap, I’d give them the DC it would take to cross the pit they see, since the DC is for the distance to be crossed and not the distance traveled. As soon as someone fell in, I’d expect the next person to want to jump further, and that’s fine. I’d give that PC the DC of however far they wanted to jump.

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I’ll be running a homebrew setting where barbarian, monk, and druid are uncommon. While the setting touches on the roles all classes play, these three are more heavily prescribed. For example, among the setting’s core races, there are no barbarian tribes, but their militaries do train them as berserkers. Consequently, if you want to be a barbarian, that will factor into your background, and you’ll need to use that to establish narrative permission to be a barbarian.

I plan to keep spell rarity as it was from the playtest, though I will be making raise dead and the resurrection ritual rare. There is no afterlife in my setting, so bringing someone (more or less) back to life requires magic that has been lost for a long time. The cosmology is a bit different from Golarion, so I’ll make changes as needed to support that.

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I was big on it for a while, but then I ran a game (Open Legend) that used it for every roll. It got fatiguing to adjudicate every failure that way. I find myself now leaning more heavily on structural solutions like the Three Clue Rule and saving it for when it’s really needed.

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I’m going to need to do this for my setting too, but I’m not too concerned. PF2 looks like it will be pretty modular. Even having to recreate all of my setting’s races as new ancestries (since no core races are part of the setting) doesn’t seem like it will be too bad. In some ways, it should be easier than other systems because customization is done primarily through feats rather than an ad hoc system of traits.

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Phantasmist wrote:
1. Do you currently like pathfinder 1e? (I know it sounds loaded, but please bare with me.)

I don’t dislike it, but it’s not my first choice of game to run anymore. We played it for about six or seven years as our primary game.

2. Did you once like pathfinder 1e but now find it troublesome? (feel free to give details.)

Yes. I stopped running it because the volume of options made building things tedious and practically necessitated using Hero Lab.

3. Do you like 4th or 5th edition D&D? (Also sounds loaded but again no judgments)

My group likes 5e more than 4e, which it really did not like. I don’t think they are bad systems, but 5e suffers from a lack of options and oversimplification. If I had to rank them, I’d say 4e is a better system mechanically while 5e probably hews closer to the feel of D&D.

4. Which are you looking for class balance, smoother high level play, more options, or even all of those things? (Small edit: these weren't meant to be mutually excursive, I just want the gist of what you're looking for, feel free to add additional thoughts/desires as well.)

None of those things, specifically. PF2 makes core optional rules I was using (e.g., the unchained action economy) or implements things I had long house-ruled (such as how I positioned modifiers versus DCs for determining skill checks). I’m looking for more consistency with fewer pointless special cases and also accessibility, because my players aren’t builders, and having an overload of feats makes picking the right one too time-consuming. I also like the new dying rules, since they were designed specifically to address a situation that happened in my game (PC took a hit that didn’t drop him below zero then took another that dropped him below −Constitution).

5. How do you feel about making the game more accessible in general?

It’s generally a good thing.

6. Are you willing to give up on accessibility if you can still gain all of the benefits listed in question 4?


7. Would you be willing to play an alternative rules system then what we have been presented? (A different version of pathfinder 2nd edition if you will).

Since we’re currently playing a different system now (Open Legend), and this is a playtest, I’d be willing to try something else. However, I generally like what I have seen so far (although there are a few things I’m not sure about yet and won’t be until I run it for my group in a few weeks).

8. And if you said yes to the above question what would you like to see in that theoretical game? (Most of you will see what I'm doing here, I'm finding common ground)

I’d like to see a more intentioned hero point economy. Otherwise, I’d be willing to try something new for the sake of testing, though I’d prefer it not err on the side of being too much like 5e if it went that direction.

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I used to ask for backstories, but I don’t anymore. We dedicate our first session to game and character creation, deciding on the themes we want to explore as well as the setting, so all I ask is that they have a concept (or concepts) in mind. As we work through the session, I ask questions and use the answers. There’s a strong element of shared world building, which I picked up from running Fate Core and Dungeon World.

As a player, I don’t bother anymore. I’ve played with enough GMs who asked for them and then never used them to know it’s not worth my time. I might jot down a note or two about personality or motivations, especially if that is a systemic element, but that’s about it. Of course, if the GM is engaging the players, I’ll gladly contribute, but I’d still rather play to find out than spend a lot of time on something up front.

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Gilfalas wrote:
Lord Pendragon wrote:

So, there are plenty of threads talking about 3/4 BAB classes and skyrocketing ACs as PF campaigns rise in levels, which got me to thinking...

The current campaign I am playing (just started, we're level 1) has the following classes:

2 clerics
1 magus (me)
1 monk
1 rogue
1 bard
1 alchemist

That's right folks, ZERO full BAB classes. Though at the very least, we do have a bard.

Are we going to run into trouble actually hitting anything as time goes on? >.>

At higher levels your cleric become full BAB classes (+more) when needed with Righteous Might.

On any full/flurry attack your Monk is a full BAB class.

I think you’re thinking of divine power, which gave clerics a full BAB in 3.5e. It was changed in Pathfinder to provide a luck bonus to attack and damage rolls, a luck bonus to Strength checks, and an additional attack during a full attack action that does not stack with haste and other similiar effects.

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p. 120 - Table 3-4: Shield Special Abilities

The +3 shield special ability table lacks entries for rolls of 99 and 100.

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I’m starting a new campaign soon, and my players will be rolling their stats. They may discard and reroll up to twelve times.

This method was inspired by a several comments (#1,#2) made by Gary Gygax in a Q&A on EN World where he noted that they kept rolling until they got the stats they needed for their characters.

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Apple released 10.7.3 today. It seems to have fixed the issues with Preview.app, but I only tested a couple of PDFs (APG and GMG). I’ll know for sure when I start prepping later today or tomorrow.

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AutoREALM is free.

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This is awesome. I look forward to being able to buy the Mac port in the future. :D

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BobChuck wrote:

Looking in from the outside, this is a Crazy Loner Girl who's so completely bonkers that she can make her "Imaginary Friend" become real. That's not what she is, but it's how she appears to others who don't know better.

I can see here looking at some poor bloke, smiling all creepy, and saying "would you like to play with me?" Cue panicked screaming from the entire party.

I suppose it depends on how much weight one puts on the first paragraph given the way the second one starts. I’d mostly ignored it, treating it as how people viewed her growing up rather than reflecting who she actually was.

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I agree with CourtFool. Your background is good at setting up yourself as a Summoner, but I have a hard time gauging how your character will act and what motivates her.

BobChuck wrote:
You do have Intimidate, right? This character screams intimidate to me.

I don’t know. The eidolon is concealing its identity and trying to pass inconspicuously. It’s hard to say without more information on her personality and motivations.

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I would too, but I enjoy reconciling randomly generated character backgrounds as well.

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jlord wrote:
So, I'm sure that this has been asked a lot, but what do you do when a character dies and they make a new character? Do you have them come back in at the same level or at a lower level?

The new character has just enough XP to reach the same level as the lowest level member of the party.

What do you do with the dead characters wealth?

I would leave it up to the players to RP what to do with it.

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Wolfsnap wrote:

Another idea that I've had to even out the curve when rolling for HP is to either average two dice or to roll two dice who's total adds up to the hit die.

So instead of rolling 1d6 you roll 2d3
instead of 1d8 you roll 2d4
instead of 1d10 you average 2d10 (round up)
instead of 1d12 you roll 2d6

Haven't tried it yet, but I think the players would like it and it should result in HP gain that was only slightly above average.

I have my players roll twice and take the average, though I have them round down. I think there’s only been one particularly bad roll (two 1s). Everyone’s pretty close to the expected average of their hit dice, but now rolling max HP when one levels is a bit more special.

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I use a hybrid point buy where players roll an initial array and then buy up to a 15 point buy. One thing I've been experimenting with in my current Kingmaker game is giving the PCs an additional point buy point every level (and a bonus one at 4/8/12/etc) instead of the traditional ability score increases. I’ve not rigorously analyzed it, but what math I’ve done suggests that someone trying to focus on increasing a high primary score should only going to get four increases while someone increasing multiple scores should tend to get six or seven by the time they reach level 20. I also like that it allows players to diversify their characters post-creation (e.g., a Fighter with a starting Int of 10 can easily go down the Combat Expertise tree by spending three point buy points to increase his Int to 13).

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In my game, characters (and creatures) with PC class levels receive max HP at 1st level and the average of two rolls for each additional level. Monster hit dice and NPC class levels are just straight rolls (no average).

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If you don’t want that kind of behavior at your table, make it clear that it’s unacceptable. Since you never told him that he was unwelcome, you should probably allow him to come back, but be prepared to deal decisively with any problems he may cause in the future.

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hogarth wrote:
Skylancer4 wrote:
BobChuck wrote:
Example: 15 point buy, rolling 2d4+6 in order results in str 13, dex 9, con 11, int 8, wis 13, cha 12. These are not the final stats, but the minimum value - they can only be raised, not lowered. These are good base for a warrior or cleric, and can be made to work for a paladin, druid, or monk, so let's try a monk. bump str to 14, dex to 10, con to 12, int to 10, and wis to 14, leaving cha alone; this results in 14, 10, 12, 10, 14, 12, which is 14 points, so take con to 13 and we're done.
I'm starting to feel "inadequate" with my 4d6, re roll 1's and drop the lowest...
Uh...4d6-reroll-ones-drop-lowest is quite a bit better than the above-mentioned system, on average. The method BobChuck described is worth about a 21.375 point buy, on average, and the one you describe is worth about 29.8 points (according to the distributions from this site).

BobChuck helped me devise this sytem, so I thought I’d clarify. It’s a 15-point buy by definition. After you generate the initial array by rolling, stats are increased until the total value is 15 points. The character created in BobChuck’s example would have a initial array valued at 6 points, leaving him with 9 more to spend on increasing stats.

To address the issue of lower point buys favoring SAD classes over MAD classes, I’m experimenting in my current game with giving additional point buy points every level (and two at 4th, 8th, 12th, etc). Over 20 levels, someone who focuses exclusively on one stat should get ~4 increases while someone who spreads his points around will get closer to 7 or 8.

Skylancer4 wrote:
My reply was more because of all the "mechanics" and length of explanation involved... lol.

I think the explanation on my Kingmaker game’s house rules wiki is a bit more direct.