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Haffrung wrote:

Does that apply to dungons in PF1 adventure paths as well? Is the 15 or so combat encounters in the Thistletop dungeon in RotRL, for example, a TPK waiting to happen? Do I need to substantially reduce the number of encounters in dungeons when I convert RotRL to PF2?

I would read thru the dungeon and see if there are any logical 10m break locations so you can use moderate encounters leading to a severe boss. Anywhere it does not make sense to break, then add up sequential encounter XP ... if it comes up to severe or extreme and you still do not have logical breaks then step down the encounter difficulty. You do not want every encounter being a multiple critting boss level of difficulty, instead you want to wear them down - which is what low and trivial encounters are for. Port the encounter idea into low/trivials, do not port the exact numbers/creatures. Another option is wait for gamemastery level removal rules, which will widen the +/-4 threat range and reduce boss threat levels (at the cost of increased minion power)

Plaguestone was written with serial dungeons of excessive difficulty. The first one had winding chambers that gave 10m isolation between rooms. Most of the others are written that the subsequent encounter is not going to aggro into the first otherwise they are meant to combine into totaling up to a severe. The NPC are laying in wait for PCs or preoccupied with their tasks and will not cross rooms. The worst part is the orc fort which as designed ends up as a beyond deadly yard fight with a sniper - it requires creative play to solve that (PC snipers)

Play experience so far has been the encounter difficulties are dead on. Unless they find a creative bypass (like feeding the snarling wolves and turning them into friendly puppers) severe does indeed mean go all after resting then need to go back to camp level of difficulty - and if camp is unsafe from randoms then they need to get back to town. If you insist on 10m break only every two moderates - there is very high risk players will not survive the level.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
They are not mutually exclusive: You are expected to start every single battle from full health and you are usually expected to rest for 10mn after each encounter.

Of course they are not exclusive but the question is how realistic is such a scenario?

For example we started our last "adventure day (i.e. after resting)" with a severe encounter and my cleric already is out of combat heals after the very first encounter.

So, do we rest another "night", or do we press on with only 10min of medicine after every encounter, or do we rest like 30min to 40min after each encounter, so I can treat everyone at least once?

Because I can not see my group staying at somewhat near full health when I can "only" treat one guy after every encounter, even if we only have easy encounters for the rest of that day (apart from the fact that entering the fray without combat heals is not ideal to begin with).

The rules are pretty clear - even a moderate encounter will likely need a break. Severe encounters are intended for the level boss, which means it assumed you will be going into downtime afterwards, win or lose.

"
Moderate-threat encounters are a serious challenge to the characters, though unlikely to overpower them completely. Characters usually need to use sound tactics and manage their resources wisely to come out of a moderate-threat encounter ready to continue on and face a harder challenge without resting.

Severe-threat encounters are the hardest encounters most groups of characters can consistently defeat. These encounters are most appropriate for important moments in your story, such as confronting a final boss. Bad luck, poor tactics, or a lack of resources due to prior encounters can easily turn a severe-threat encounter against the characters, and a wise group keeps the option to disengage open.
"

You might be playing Plaguestone which completely disregard encounter balance rules....opens lvl2 with two severe encounters back to back.

Every Medicine trained PC should have healers tools for Treat Wounds, relying on cleric is wasting precious break time. Pretty much any class, background or ancestry with WIS bonuses should be taking it. But even so clerics can take feats to improve ability to heal more faster. You should have lots more healing output than one per break.


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Sure that is OK to make the supposed to run from encounter when you know what you are doing. The encounter design in PF2e is very clear about taking breaks frequently, with specific encounter difficulties saying break or die. If you are aware of those rules and chose to ignore them, and your players have bought into running your death gauntlet - cool! Otherwise - not cool.

My point though was about reading the rules, there are a lot of 5e DMs coming over and their players complaining about TPK on reddit. It is because the DM did not learn how to GM PF2e and just assumed it was the same.

In 5e you are supposed to do many difficult encounters before lunch hour and it is intended that you chain encounters together, but that simply is not a survivable pace in PF2e. Breaking after each combat in 5e makes it pretty boring as there is no threat of dying.

You can also not run an old school dungeon crawl in PF2e, as old school rules the monsters did not have more accurate attacks that multiplied the crit possibilities that do double damage 3x a turn. PF2e is very swingy because they know it makes combat more tactical with more tension about dying, rather than balance that they added hero points and 10m focus heal breaks to compensate.

So it comes back to reading the rules...and learning how the game plays before you decide to break the rules.


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Note I originally was thinking to reset hero points to zero at downtime because hero points should be earned... but then I opened chapter two of Plaguestone which starts with two severe encounters back to back. 240XP beyond deadly!

After the backup party arrived in town and met up with the surviving alchemist, they started with the new rule of reset back to one hero point after downtime. Use up your extras earned on rerolls, but always keep that one point around in case you die.

Everyone eventually has that moment in their life where they say - I could/should have died. That is what hero points are. Takes some kills to realize they put those points in because they did not want to balance crit range out of the game.


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Strill wrote:
My guess is they just wanted a penalty for the sake creating feats to overcome it.

Wild Order druids with Wild Empathy allows making an impression using diplomacy on animals without using language! It is not a somatic or verbal feature so should hold up in animal form.


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This would make for some fun Paizo friday streams BTW


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With proper use of hero points it is actually hard to kill players, so does not bother me that bringing back the dead does not happen until mid tier play.

Hero points makes it so your common heroes will likely never experience it, instead they just very nearly died. It makes death and revival more eventful when it is possible to do.

It is a new edition, keep trying out the new characters in all the new books, eventually you will find one that can survive.


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I love it when the dice write the story so jumped on the critical hit/fumble deck soon as it came out. Back in 4e I also used the encounter card packs for the same reasons. (this was back when they was trying turn it into magic the gathering...)

I figure if they draw a death card that is why they have hero points... What combination of critical success/failure and the critical hit/fumble deck just wrote its own story?

This is the hellknight hell first level boss so mild spoilers.

So the goblin dog gets a triple max damage crit hit card on the mud drake leaving it sinking into the muck. The muck itself was more dangerous leaving everyone retching as was the goblin pox...

But this card leaves me thinking if the upcoming boss does that it would drop a player....I doubt this arrest can happen.

They climb up with only the halfling cleric taking the fall (the dwarf monk is the only strong one). Then I read that the boss is written to lose his hostage/dagger at initiative so there goes my idea of surprise attack killing the party leader...

Round 1

Dwarf monk moves in with a flurry of blows that all miss, then desperately trips the boss as he attempts to nimbly dodge. The boss quick draws up his dagger as he stands up, but off balance so he misses the dwarf monk. The goblin bard inspires courage, then telekinesis a stone free from the crenelations which crithits the boss - the card says it dents his armor enough to break off!. The gnome cleric hits the boss with fear then offers guidance to the goblin bard. Halfling druid tanglefoots the boss.

Round 2

Dwarf monk gets a hit with flurry of blows, but then gets overconfident and trips himself. The boss drinks a lesser healing potion as that stone really hurt (missed that some crithit cards are normal not double damage), then critically stabs the prone dwarf monk despite his fear (not a nat20 so no card drawn, but I forgot the sneak attack so not dying but that will happen next turn for sure). The brave goblin bard sings a nasty goblin song, then tries to appeal to the boss to stand down or she will sing some more. The boss is not willing to surrender but decides not to kill the prone dwarf monk as he just wanted to frighten people into staying away, gnome cleric range heals the prone dwarf monk. The Halfling druid morphs claws in case the boss attacks.

Round 3

The dwarf monk is mad, stands up and critically shoves the boss over the crenelation rather than grab him for arrest, but the boss critically grabs an edge preventing the fall. The dwarf monk trys to shove again but instead loses ground to the loose rock and falls prone himself. The boss climbs back up and over on the second try, but loses his dagger in doing so. The goblin bard sings a goblin fight song, then the boss stands down upon further consideration that it is foolish to face the party and a goblin tribe that are now picking up stones themselves, he starts saying wait maybe we can make a deal...

The dwarf monk probably should have used mountain stance, but I think tripping yourself should not apply. Guess we will find out if they take the boss up on his offer.

This was a non-lethal combat by design so rather than just attacks it was made way more fun with tactics, combined with critical success/failures interacting with some critical hits/fumbles draws


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Salamileg wrote:
orphias wrote:
Up until recently I have been a 5E DM - so this whole unlimited mundane Treat Wounds phenomenon was a tad jarring. Still, I am seeing some fairly considerable support for the idea here :)
I mean, how different is it from 5e's short rest system? Sure, it's more healing than short rests, but it also has a skill check attached to it.

5e is very different there is no 10m break, only one hour break for expending your limited hit die pool. Breaks are intended after many encounters not every moderate/severe encounter. The monsters accordingly have weaker attacks designed to wear you down, you usually hit 2/3 the time, but usually only nat 20 crits, only legendary bosses are really trying to kill you.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I mean, "you, as the GM, feel the party is going through an excessive number of 10-minute activity cycles" is a perfect opportunity to use those "random encounter tables."

Since if you spend an hour in the hallway between "one room which used to have monsters" and "the next room, which probably has monsters" at some point something's going to wander out of that room.

But that GM should also read the rules which tells you paired moderate encounters will kill a PC, and paired severe encounters will kill the party.

Encounter design already is considering the focus breaks as part of the difficult encounters. If you actually want to do a survivable dungeon crawl without breaks and not a convention one shot death dungeon, then you need to use lower difficulty encounters so that players only take a few lucky shots that build up over many encounters before they need to take a longer break (much like 5e design)


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Yeah I really dislike this metagame mechanic (hourly rate session reset) because it does not fit the narrative at all. Interesting to watch short youtubes struggle to deal with this rule in 1-2hr sessions where it makes no sense at all.

But you cannot get rid of them because they are the intended counter to swingy critical ranges unbalancing the game. These are my simple changes to make them fit the narrative and not your playtimes.

Hero points are reset only after downtime. Makes sense as you stopped being a hero during downtime. If PCs want to blow their unused one crafting/working that is fine.

Hero points are given out to MVP after noteworthy explorations or social encounters (when you can earn quest XP) and every battle encounter. This is easy to remember as you are handing out loot and XP while taking a break, just put it on your checklist to hand out a hero point then. At severe level bosses maybe two hero points as those tend to be long fights. If someone is maxed they can give their new point to someone else.


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This is only a problem if you think lowering HP is inflicting deadly wounds which has never been the case even in prior editions. PF2e even adds a condition called wounded as a seperate pool for tracking your deadly wounds. If this mundane jealers toosl bothers you just houserule CLW to be more accessible...or make heal a renewable focus spell.

Healing is excessive after encounters because crits are double damage to PCs and way more likely to happen against bosses that are way more accurate than you. Critical damage is much worse than doubled die if nat20. Devs know you can heal more so they countered it with a Bestiary that hits more hard.

The design of encounters is that the way to hurt the players is to kill them, thus any boss can easily take down a player, which makes them wounded, which makes taking them down again that much closer to death, so now crit hit the dying kills them. Even if not proceeding on from that fight into the next one without healing makes things very deadly.

So they do intend you to heal every fight because any boss can take you down every fight. But because 10m is often not enough, you really need 1-2 hours - they counter that healing spam by adding time pressure which the GM can use to put more wounds on them.

It is very different math than D&D 5e where encounters are just scratch attrition and you are not expected to heal until many encounters.

Just add up your encounter XP - two moderates without a break is equivalent to an extreme encounter - which is intended as campaign ending boss fights (very likely to kill a player with high risk of TPK)


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So the point of random ancestry and background is to seed a creative idea and avoid min-maxing, to make viable pregens quickly. After thinking about RP for the dwarf monk I did not see the DEX/CHA slave background fitting when his slavery was breaking rocks and not talking. So I will change it to DEX/STR background, even though I do not think a +4 is mandatory it just fits better.

So far so good, will our luck at a viable party hold out?

A) Wildwood Halfling +DEX/WIS/INT-STR with Halfling Luck
B) Haunting Vision +CON/WIS deja vu dragons/fire skilled in Religion and Dahak Lore
C) Wild Druid +WIS skilled in Nature, Intimidation and of course Medicine and Survival
D) +DEX/CON/INT/WIS dump STR/CHA

additional languages Draconic (background should grant access) and Elven (the other denizens of the woods)

His home wildwood burned in a wildfire and has been scavenging like a wild animal in town


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thejeff wrote:
But the best part is the way low level PCs have a good chance of taking down much higher level enemies and getting all that experience and loot.

You do realize that means the GM has a good chance to take down high level PCs with low level minions and take away all their experience and loot? I am sure your GM thinks that is awesome from their side of the screen. Some want that reality, but others want that fantasy that at level 20 you are nearly a god.


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Optimize your character to work in combat (not just damage go broader on your bonsues), exploration (again broad in bonuses for skills) and downtime. Give them a generic CRB background. You never know what the adventure is going to be so you want to be well rounded.

The ABCD method of PC creation is basically combining point buy and standard array while making the bonuses mechanically viable but as well as give RP potential to the bonuses. Even with a random ancestry and background you can still make a viable character that is fun to play.


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lets roll the bones again

A) Strong-blood Dwarf +WIS/CON/STR -CHA

gives poison resistance, Rock Runner (rubble) fits Background

B) Emancipated +DEX/CHA

former slave for Stealth and Terrain Stalker (rubble)

C) Monk +STR

Born slave forced to brawl in the pits, escaped by digging a tunnel breaking down rubble barehanded for years to earn freedom. Mountain Stance fits perfectly.

D) +WIS/CON/STR/DEX for INT/CHA dump

Athletics/Acrobatic because monk, Survival because escaped, Medicine because brawlers take care of themselves. Alignment became True Neutral as he now realizes killing weaker slaves should never have been considered lawful nor good. In town for a fresh start on life.

(Could also have gone dwarf ranger but that is too close to iconic)


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Lets try another one

A) Wellspring Gnome +CHA/CON/DEX-STR

arcane, divine or occult cantrip, take two with First World Magic.

B) Truth Seeker +STR/WIS

Anything other than STR/INT classes but this feels like a WIS/CHA based spell caster, as you would not want to lie to a religious leader.

C) Cloistered Cleric +WIS

D) +DEX/CON/WIS/CHA

Gnomes are usually neutral good...I see the Pharasmin sample cleric fits. So much for random!

She works at the mortuary preparing bodies and finds something curious in the town records, Pharasmin dagger is actually her scalpel. AC bump with a wooden shield since DEX is modest, and she gets temp HP from death's call reaction since CON is modest.


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Like it - fits perfect the bartender that would have a weapon behind the bar for knocking some heads when the bottles start flying.

In my opinion the optimized 'unoptimal' is more fun to play as they have a more interesting story to tell!

Tanking is just a valid role as DPR.

I had rolled a hafling miner cleric, then I realized that was a perfect chaplain (more service of the people than a religion). What do miners like to do but go to the bar after a long day? What better way to heal than getting drunk! So you need a religion of keeping people free to enjoy booze - sounds like Drunken Hero would work

https://2e.aonprd.com/Deities.aspx?ID=4

Just have to make sure rage does not make her mean.


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seems like some bottle throwing is going to happen!

Every PC I have made this way ends up with a +3 or +4 key bonus so they are viable, but usually leaves you with a choice of which stat to make key. Barbarian is STR key, yet that is your ancestry flaw so might make it not viable unless you use the optional flaws rule to reinforce it. Lowering AC thru feint offsets low STR attack, but isn't that a rogue scoundrel so you can offset low STR damage with sneak attack?

I use the create a concept class chart for finding classes that match the dump/key stat possibilities I get from ancestry/background, if class is random then it can become unviable.

By making it semi-random the fun part is seeing how you can make the random ancestry/background work! It models the reality of adventuring, survival of the fittest - your ancestry and background help you decide what class you want to be. I find constrained min/maxing much more fun than optimal min/maxing. I will post a list of all the concepts I have created this way later.


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I enjoy making semi-random characters and the Ancestry, Background, Class, Details (ABCD) method makes them viable yet still creative.

A) Pick a random Ancestry and Heritage with a random bonus

B) Pick a random Background and take both its bonuses.

C) Pick a Class that does not need your dump stats and whose key bonus matches your max bonus so far.

D) Reinforce your top bonuses and Detail skills and feats that make sense for what you see the character becoming.

Restricting to CRB ancestries with AoA backgrounds, rolled an Enigma Bard Dragon Scholar Snow Goblin resulting in CHA key with INT/WIS dump.

Dragon Scholar trained in Intimidation and Dragon Lore with an Intimidating Glare. Bard trained in Occultism, Performance, Deception, Diplomacy, Acrobatics, Athletics and Bardic lore. Sings Goblin Songs. This is giving me an idea....

What if a Skyrim Reikling was the dragonborn? Uses young white dragon jaw (a megaphone instrument) for mimicking dragon 'shouts' (no INT to learn Draconic...) and goblin songs while being 'very' intimidating flapping arms like wings. The 'scholar' part is learning shouts by observing dragons in the wild when leaving them gifts. Take the occult spells in common with what white dragons typically cast,

A whip formed from a dragon tail, a dagger formed from a dragon claw, a rapier formed from a dragon spike. (it was a baby dragon so it is sized for a goblin) Throw on a noisy chain shirt until can learn medium armor and quest to get some dragon scale.

I have no idea if white dragons are involved in Age of Ashes, but still sounds fun. The enigma mystery is those arcane elements elude them, no cold attack/spells, is there anywhere in the universe that can make arcane compositions? In the meantime telekinetically throw snowballs (maybe house rule they do cold dmg)

Anyone else want to try this? Please post your random creations!

D&D 5e devs did this with D&D Beyond as a short stream every week going full random for some really nonviable sillyness. I like PF2e ABCD character creation for this as it makes things viable - maybe the devs can ripoff that stream idea to promote how creative character creation can be.


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It gives you a +/-4 level range of threat from campaign ending boss down to lacky, which is more realistic that lvl1 cannot even attempt to take on a lvl20 or a lvl10 and barely a lvl5. It allows for critical ranges on both fumbles and hits, which has made combat way more dynamic.

But if you really do not like it the gamemastery guide will explain how it changes encounter building and the nature of the game to remove it.


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I would think they are armed unless it conflicts with their exploration activity.


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Threat range is written in the XP encounter tables, +/-4 levels. That means a yeti will destroy your new party, but halfway thru the campaign it will become a lackey for a big bad.

http://2e.aonprd.com/Rules.aspx?ID=497


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CrystalSeas wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
Did you forget to award hero points? Did they forget to use them? If so you could retroactively do it and have his friends 'rescue' him before his blood gets sucked dry.
It's easy to forget that the module was written with hero points as part of the ruleset.

Hero points is the counterbalance to bosses critically succeeding destroying the party like minions....if you use online or physical trackers you can keep them across sessions rather than resetting them. No point being a hero to earn them when they get flushed at the end of the night. I award them for MVP of the encounter/exploration rather than hourly - just part of recovery and treasure.


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orphias wrote:


We just had our 1st PC death. Our ranger died in the battle with the blood ooze and "the sculpter".

Did you forget to award hero points? Did they forget to use them? If so you could retroactively do it and have his friends 'rescue' him before his blood gets sucked dry.

While the adventure has too high of severity that one was fair as it is the level boss. Did the sculptor try to run away as suggested once he loses control of the mindless creature? Once that happened a tanglefoot on the creature it could barely move (that was after they ran away to kill the sculptor)

If you indeed are overleveled that should be bringing the entire adventure down to more reasonable difficulty.

Consolation prize this is a new edition with lots of PCs they have not made yet just waiting to be explored.

I think the biggest thing is remembering that after every moderate encounter you should be taking a treat wounds break. Need to come up with fiction for such a dungeon crawl why they can retreat to do so, in this case their ranger NPC is written to be waiting for them to come back. The level boss will not come after them, his whole thing is to try his creation out on them so he will wait.

Can you think of a way to make the death impact the character? Maybe a traveling cleric is of his deity and wants some service in return, maybe a champion dip since you are at a milestone. There is a side quest for setting up a shrine that could be repurposed.

Session break have them sketch out backup characters, they might like it so much they will get suicidal!


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Lightning Raven wrote:

Hey! Nice to see you here.

The things you said in the other thread really made me evaluate how I viewed the data people uses here. In fact, I've been noticing for a while now that the guides that I use to help me make some of my chars miss a lot of the marks regarding some abilities and other stuff simply because they're thought in a different environment (PFS, other tables, etc) or are outright pure theorycraft with zero playtest.

Winning the encounter is about not dying, which is not just about doing damage!


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That was me that did the level of encounters battle simulations. I did a new thread that simulated % player kill possibility that considered attribute tradeoffs that nobody commented on if you want to discuss this more (as I think that is way off topic for the OP thread).

Simulated Encounter Risk to Kill Players

But for my own edification I did do a simulation that there was no difference trading off +1 STR for +1 DEX (for finesse melee). While less strength gives you a weaker damage and if considered in isolation you will more likely die ... you cannot consider that change in isolation - you have to ask what did you buff instead.

With more dex you are less likely to go down from higher AC which means you still win the encounter, and you are more likely to win the stealth initiative which means you are more likely to focus fire win first.

Trading of STR (damage) for WIS (initiative and heals) was more dangerous, but that is because I did not simulate any in combat treat wounds- I only did after encounter treat wounds.


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You would think it would be there but for Plague it only gets a few, no named monsters, no monsters from within the adventure text. These are only the ones in the adventure toolbox at the end.

That is the only place it could be because any other SRD site lacks the Pathfinder license, OGL does not allow use of named things.

I suspect if you drop them a note, they have been busy at updating the site and probably just need to know not all the adventures are inclusive in their end bestiary and they need to pull them from the adventure text.


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Big fan of Dvinity Original Sin I and II. Instead of being 2.5D it is actually 3D but with the camera restricted to god view. It is also multiplayer and has a GM mode. The devs studio just got the contract to do D&D Baldurs Gate III, and I really hope they stick to their turn based roots but Baldurs Gate was real time with pause.

Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire just did an update to retrofit turn based into it, and it is pretty good at it. But I did not like their attribute system (STR becomes MIGHT so spell casters need it - yet they did not tell the writers who wrote skill challenges as strength check). Even their lead dev said their bolted on turn based ship combat should not have been in the product, but that in general he prefers turn based play over real time with pause.

Turn based allows for much more strategic tactical play and makes the games much closer to feeling like tabletop combat, I hated the Real Time with Pause systems and their fiddly AIs of past CRPG. One person cannot manage an entire party in real time.

I never understand the complaints about turn based being slow, compared to actual table top where one combat takes an entire session and it takes years to finish a campaign.

I hope Kingmaker being ported to 5e and PF2e maybe the CRPG version will support alternate turn based rulesets.


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This has been a good thread on reddit about how there is much more to do than hit/hit/shield

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/dkms0o/what_do_nonshield_use rs_do_with_their_third_action/

I discovered from it that scroundrel can use Deception (CHA) to feint and can often crit getting flat-footed for sneak attacks into the next round rather than just that round to the point that CHA can replace STR.

The flurry ranger can just keep on hitting, the animal ranger gets an extra hit in with their pet. Fighters can do more physical things like trip and shove with selected weapons. And everyone can shield so always nice if you cannot find something to do, but I rarely use it always something better to do.

This is a game changer to both D&D1-5 and PF1 that has this much freedom of action economy - every other edition restricts greatly what action you can do when. So you will find little agreement that PF2 is boring combat.

As far as the lopsidedness? That is a houserule to save the GM time by rolling group or side initiative. The CRB warns to not use it because it makes things lopsided. The game is optimized so a boss can lopsidedly focus fire their attacks and take you down, making it so all the minions can join that dog pile on their turn is not fun and is boring.

If you want some randomness - pick up the crit hit/fumble decks. Something for spells on every card.

Just these above three things (third action, mixed initiative, crit hit/fumble) will change the game from boring.

The game can be about world changing and walking amongst gods and changing geopolitical landscapes, but first you have to kill the rats in the cellar (or just start at lvl 15). There is a reason every CRPG has that trope, it comes from D&D that started this entire genre many decades ago.


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Magic Weapon is written for 'you or a willing ally', yet Magic Fang is written only for 'one willing ally'. You are not your own ally. Can you explain why the difference when they both are just similar utility buffs?


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PDF are not hyperlinked, they only have a table of contents bookmarks. Each page is art heavy so flipping pages to find something is actually slower than using a book. Search finds every instance of a keyword, not the same utility as having a hyperlinked glossary index.

I find the official SRD website much more useful for looking stuff up and gave up on using the free sub PDF.

The main benefit of free PDFs is if you play online both roll20 and fantasygrounds discount the PDF price from their modules

Upgrade to four subs and get the free scenarios those are worth it, if you play online it is not that difficult to copy/paste and make your own modules from them (if they are not yet available online)

Beware because of the lack of backdating, if one of your sub legs has yet to deliver that you will not get the discount and free stuff. You only get the perks once all four subs have delivered something (unless you can get customer service to take pity on you for missing out)

I signed up for the accessories to make four subs (they do not have a sub for the premium books yet), figure the overall discount would pay for it and these are not something I would normally buy unseen. Really been enjoying the crit hit/miss decks, but beware the condition cards are repeated text on both sides, there could have been fun iconic art on the back side or just a card backer so unused conditions could be flipped over.


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Using Matlab I simulated bakers dozen lvl2 moderate encounters over level 2 for 1000 tables for various stat changes

average party lvl2 baseline

four PCs STR+3, WIS+2, HP30, AC18, Attack [7 2], Perception 8, melee d8+STR

average lvl2 enemy (medium humanoid)

two NPCs STR+3, WIS+1, HP30, AC18, Attack [10 5], Perception 7, melee d8+STR

Area charts varied for PC stats show average percentage of encounters with zero to four killed players.

mixed initiative, focus fire only at living, death saves for PC, dead for NPC, post encounter one hour Treat Wound each PC, no combat healing, no hero points.

AC chart can be used to get risk improvement for shielding rather than moving. You want to match your opponents AC

AC.PNG

HP is realistic range for all ancestry/classes

HP.PNG

STR is used for attacks and damage bonus, this is most important because of constant critical damage. Being weaker than your opponent is dangerous.

STR.PNG

WIS is used for Initiative and Treat Wounds, dumping WIS is just as bad as dumping HP. (33 max dmg vs 30 max hp)

WIS.PNG

Initiative matters even more with side initiative

SIDE.PNG

and with 10m break, side initiative

10m.PNG

and with 10m break, STR4 NPC, side initiative (36 max dmg vs 30 max hp)

10mSTR4.PNG


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You could also start with 1 extra wolf, then see how it is going and have a backup wolf hiding in the woods. Best stick with the theme and not try to find something to fill in the exact gap that might not fit the narrative.


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Cyouni wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:

you can also use it to look at DPR in different situations to see how your character should try to drive the fight. like rogues who's DPR is needed from flatfooted, and so you should look into the easiest way to reliably get flatfooted.

like how is your DPR when chasing someone who's faster? how is your DPR if you go for a 2 move then grab versus 2 move strike, etc.

One example I'm interested in, for example, is Sly Striker. If you have to spend 1 action, 2 actions, to get flat-footed, how does that compare in viability to standing there with Sly Striker? What if you have only 2 actions? What if it's due to you using Feint, with or without the scoundrel racket?

In the other thread I did 2 vs. 3 actions, since these are all MAP-10 there was no difference, but I would expect 2 vs. 4 actions with better MAP matters, otherwise not enough hits in that last attack for modifiers to matter, only luck matters. Now using that last action to shield, or flatfoot, or whatever else? But to get to that point I have to do the base case of all attacks just to makes sure things are working, debugging things when you change all the parameters is not fun!

That is where I think encounter based analysis is very useful to see what the tradeoffs vs. full attacks are - especially if the GM uses the same tactics against me.

But the point of doing the simulator was to recognize when the number of rolls is low that DPR vanishes and you trend towards uniform randomness.

To do it right you would have to write a video game worthy combat engine to deal with all the corners of the math and know all the rules.

So I will probably just check things that pique my interest for rules I am familiar with what I have played - that is why I did what happens if put strength point into initiative instead?. For my flurry twin ranger going first is more important to me because I know the next level is all about the bosses. Not worth dying over and reincarnating as a STR fighter to fix my strength.


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Cyouni wrote:

If you're trying to adjust for encounter value, and doing so by having builds constantly only full attack...

I don't think that analysis will ever be relevant.
...
The analysis that always full attacks will never interact with this philosophy closely enough to be reliable information.

You can see with changing AC of the fight is changing the successful number of attacks, +1 STR means you got a 5% jump at attacking, whereas +1 INIT means you got a 5% jump at going first. Not much by itself but that 5% results in +1 on constant damage (+2 on crits). So yes DPR says exactly that that hit is improved damage without even rolling the d8.

But the fewer hits the fewer damage rolls, the more likely that you will fall out of DPR being observable and drifts back to random chance. This is what is happening when you start winning more against heavily armored when you are heavily armored, the modifier did not matter - luck did.


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For lvl2 STR+4, WIS+3 d8 fighting 4x4 against elites, you can win 30 to 10% of the time from AC0 to AC18, which then improves to 35% of the time by AC28.

For lvl2 STR+3, WIS+4 d8 fighting 4x4 against elites, you can win 10 to 0% of the time from AC0 to AC18, which then improves to 40% of the time by AC28.

If both sides are heavily armored/shielded then prime stat initiative is better than secondary strength, a slog with few if no crits, and more misses than hits. The elite bonuses are not enough to keep you from winning.

If lightly armored then prime strength is better then secondary initiative, mostly because constant damage crits are going to win the battle.

Yes I know those AC0/18/28 are silly extremes it is used to understand the breakpoint trendlines for interpolating realistic results inbetween.

This is mixed initiative for 10k fights, still need to deviations for lower number of fights, and for side initiative. Replace DEX for WIS if doing stealth initiative.

Yes 4 elites is beyond deadly, but the point was to see if where you put the +1 made any difference.

But for 3 fights the only possible results is won 0, 1, 2, or 3 fights so your win records can only be observed in 33% steps - thus is it is not possible for you to observe the lesser difference between these options. If you had said over a level then I would say probably if lightly armored. (25% of the <AC18 the STR+3 did as good as STR+4 in a random sample for each AC),


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1. Tell that to DPR optimizers who have long ignored that the encounter is over before they achieved their average damage with reliability. All I was doing here was adding a deviation to their same average damage number.

2. Actually at low AC that happens all the time, because every roll is a crit. You would be referring to other editions of the game where only natural 20 is a crit.

Which was the point of my post was how much more impact the critical success mechanic has, it is why it is easy for the boss to TPK the party.


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Oops the above posts I only did 4x HP, which led to 4x rounds not 4x actions per rounds, or could be thought of as alternating vs. side initiative. Side initiative is more effective focus fire, alternating initiative is more fair but harder on GM to go back and forth.


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I simulated all ACs of the 4v4 using intiative as the tie beaker, though I lowered to 1000 players so wins are rounded to 5%.

From 0-18 AC wins for +4 vs. +3 wins are 75-80%, then by 28 AC degrades to chance. At lower AC crits are helping the +3 players a bit, at higher AC only nat20 is not hitting enough for modifiers to overcome luck as there is no crits.

2 strikes vs. 3 strikes there is no difference, the MAP-10 is better spent on utility.

Now consider that +4 players can only have a +3 WIS, while the +3 players have a +4 WIS - now by 28 AC degrades to 5% worse than chance.

Suppose the +4 STR dumped WIS to -1? From 0-18 AC wins increased from 65-80%, now by 28 AC wins dropped to 30% so better initiative wins fights.


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OK I simulated a 1v1 4x the HP and actions. This is not the same as a 4v4 party dynamic whittling down each other until it is a 1v1

But it should test if 4x the number of actions on each side is enough to observe the +1 overcomes luck. Winners total dmg reached other sides total HP first.

For a million players +4 vs. +3 players record

AC WIN%:TIE%LOSS%
20 72:07:21
10 68:19:14

With more actions it resolved the ties in favor of the +4 vs +3. That improves the odds toward 3:1 if we assume ties are split.

So do not solo, focus fire for more reliable actions to leverage the modifer to get the kill.

For a million players +4 vs. +2 players record...

AC WIN%:TIE%LOSS%
20 88:07:05
10 92:06:03

Certainly is a good bet and explains why the weak/elite adjustment is +/-2.

Still need to sim the deviation bounds for across a levels

and break ties with initiative.

For a million players +4 vs. +4 players record...just to make sure sim works as expected

AC WIN%:TIE%LOSS%
20 47:07:47
10 36:27:36


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That I agree that you should include the party as the game is won with focus fire, it would increase the number of strikes and thus reliability. But then you need a party builder to truly do it because the game is not optimized for four fighters, it assumes you will run the thief, the magic-user, the cleric and the fighter. I could easily simulate 4v1 fighters and see if it is yet enough to get reliable averages to see the +1 impact but going in reverse 1v4 is a bit too complicated so cannot really do win/loss.

damage accumulation resets because you win the encounter when damage exceeds hit points. The game win/loss is quantized at the encounter level. It matters not that your bad luck corrects itself in the next encounter and you have good luck. All that does is give you a win that is washed out by your loss. The score is now 1 win 1 loss not 57 dmg then 45 dmg for the +1 players tally while the +0 players tally is 1 win 1 loss not 48 dmg then 37 dmg


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The problem with DPR is you do not accumulate damage beyond an encounter in the game, but that is exact what average is - you accumulate damage then divide by N. In the game the accumulation resets every time you start a new encounter, and there is simply not enough rolls in an encounter for you to declare a reliable average within that encounter. In order to achieve a reliable average you have to accumulate the good in with a bad so that they wash each other out, but that is not what happens in the game. Instead what happens is you have a good encounter and a bad encounter - instead of reliably increasing your personal average it so that you are increasingly winning - it just makes your win/loss 50/50.

Now the reason the high AC becomes more of a trend to the +1 is that everybody is badly missing so the fight lasts 50 rounds. So now the fact that +1 has better DPR does get exposed because there IS enough rolls that you are reliably achieving the average. This is because the good rounds wash out the bad rounds and will get you that win. But that is not a realistic simulation of the game to go that long...

Now of course if you was obsessed with tracking your personal DPR you could log all your rounds into a tracker and average them at the end of the campaign. But what I am saying is also record your average in each encounter and you will see that it is the local minima/maxima that cause you to win and lose. More damage in level 7 encounter 2 and that washes out the bad damage I did in level 6 encounter 4 has absolutely no bearing how the game plays. What matters is you lost level 6 encounter 4 because you rolled bad. That is it.


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BellyBeard wrote:


To put it another way, we could say for example, "the +1 affected 10% of the rolls, and of those, only 30% actually resulted in a win where it would have been a loss. Thus the +1 actually only affects 3% of fights and isn't as useful as it looks on the surface." I've just made up simple numbers as illustration, but hopefully that helps my point.

Basically the circumstances of the win is more meaningful than the reliability of the die.

Looking at the raw data I see this a lot with crits - because the crits use double damage they have a wide variance - and did not make any difference in winning the fight because they often look like a regular die roll. Only where AC is low so that you crit a lot so that you have greater chance of hitting that max double damage does it matter, and you are really cooked if min double damage alone is enough to one-shot. This happens a lot where the boss can triple crit you all the time, yet you are just scratching them.

I am going to add initiative simulations now that I realize how badly crit first can change who was winning. It is easier to understand win/loss with a variance than win/tie/loss overlaps.

The more important use of this technique is where do the options start to tilt it so you do rack up more wins. I do not think it can answer anything for the close options regardless of this or that being fractional DPR better.


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For me understanding how critical success makes the system play very different has been worth it, coming from last several D&D which has simpler crits are natural 20. If you want heroic fantasy your GM should just trivial minions against you, if you want gritty danger every minion is instead a boss and they have a boss and they have a boss. In D&D 5e a minion army can TPK, while the boss needs stacked with all kind of legendary actions/resistances and lair actions to not be boring.

It should be noted that I am no longer simulating a levels worth of damage, as I realized that encounters are more prey to short run wide variances. Simulating a levels worth of damage the short run good and bad luck washes out, but in real encounters those turn into wins and losses.

You think you are doing fine at winning the luck game then the boss triple crits you with high constant damage because he won initiative. Does not matter that your good luck in previous rounds enabled to kill the boss on your next turn no matter what.

So I am now doing duel simulations to see who wins the most.


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Well this really shows that duels are a bad idea, you need the action economy of focus fire at high AC to beat even those equal to you, as well as at low AC just to increase the odds the NPC goes last.

I was surprised how quickly you can lose because of initiative or crits, as well as how long it drags on at high AC. I was getting ties at high AC and had to increase from 10 rounds to 100 round before calling it a draw.

Basically it exposes the gamblers fallacy, the extent of an encounter being short runs of die makes them highly variable luck. It does not matter that your later die rolls will balance out your luck when you already lost a bunch of encounters. Just like gambling the best you can do in that case is stem your losses. The short runs of bad luck WILL worsen your win/loss on an individual basis.

The trend of the +1 hit giving you an edge at high AC, but initiative winning at low AC is only observable across many players. Again gamblers fallacy - the only one that wins in Vegas is the house because they play all the players. You cannot play the odds, they can.

So I need to figure out how to do deviation analysis so I can better represent the individual.

I wonder what modifier it takes to tilt the odds. I would suspect a d4+4/3 the modifier carries more weight, and it is very unlikely to overkill in one round - so should be less ties. I would suspect ATK/d8+4/0 would really tilt the odds - simply because the +0 has no constant damage on crits. With a +4 as long as all three crits it does not matter what the damage dice does, the constant damage alone killed your opponent.

A dex ranger may not make sense, needs to be dex and str.


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Here is a new simulation method of a duel between a STR +4 vs. +3 longsword (for both ATK and DMG bonus, standard lvl2 MAP no feats). Why a duel? The game is a contest, it is you vs. the GM. What matters is does the +1 improve your odds of winning, or is it buried in the noise of the randomness of uniform die.

I am doing a 'your turn my turn' simulation of three strike turns fight to the death (within 100 rounds)

Previously I had looked at 52 rounds worth of total damage, without regard to rounds being exit conditions for encounters - now encounter length is variable to the death.

The STR+4 win:tie:loss record over a million encounters. The tie would go to whoever went first.

AC WIN% TIE% LOSS%
25 62 04 34
20 59 10 31
15 53 23 24
10 41 42 16
5 37 47 15

So very high AC the +1 approaches 2:1 odds to win, at moderate and low AC it depends on initiative - it comes down to who crit first.

This is highly variable on an individual basis, if instead I sample a bakers dozen encounters to level the trend is obscured.

AC WIN% TIE% LOSS%
25 54 0 46
20 54 0 46
15 54 23 23
10 38 31 31
5 54 23 23

that is barely over a coin flip for the individual result unless it is low AC and you won initiative.

AC WIN% TIE% LOSS%
25 77 0 23
20 69 15 15
15 23 62 15
10 61 38 0
5 23 77 0

Well I have no idea who will win in this random sample.

So the variation of a million levels needs to be calculated but random sampling seems to show it is really high.


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And how do you know which dice option is consistent over the short term of the fight? The thing to know that is over the fights few rounds each of few actions, is that your d20 varies and your d6 varies in average results. It is not about calculating the theoretical minimum or medium or maximum damage of your d6 vs d6+1 or 3d2. It is not about how the average settles in over hundreds of rolls.

Variance considers the fact that it is nearly impossible to consistently hit all strikes,then roll all ones for damage. That is an outlier that is unlikely to occur in your lifetime. It is also impossible to always hit the DPR.

But variance can tell you that +1 on the strike and +1 on your dmg for those few rolls, is likely to have half the people making those rolls not see the benefit of the modifier for an encounter unless it is easy AC. It can tell you should go for a +3 if you want to always win.

Your encounter results WILL vary so simulating over the level across many players gives you an expectation that your build is always better, sometimes better, or rarely better at winning encounters - but even that varies depending on the DC especially because of critical success.

The only way to guarantee performance is to use average dmg for fights and never roll attacks. That is why double dmg on crits is so brutal - the d20 math says they will always crit low AC, and you doubled the dmg bonus modifer which makes results less variable.


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Strill wrote:
I think if you made this same argument, but used it to argue that people overvalue the "Deadly" weapon trait, you'd get a lot more people agreeing with you.

Umm in my other thread that I broke off from this thread in the attempt to let the OP have his discussion of utlity vs. DPR - I did that very thing using histogram analysis.

The conclusion is your GM loves deadly because you cannot do anything with it to them as they slice you in half because of deadly. It is a very lopsided feature, only of use to PC for heroic fantasy games where you just beat up endless waves of minions - otherwise you are the minions that your GM can have their way with. Rely on DPR you would never predict this because in all cases deadly has better DPR.


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Bandw2 wrote:


look and i keep telling you you can't plan for that, and thus it shouldn't be a concern when building your character.

But it most certainly is when someone is telling me I have to rebuild away from my flavor I liked over a +1, that my character is bad because I have 16 STR rather than 18 STR. When I very well know that the stats will tell me I can leave that table, the charop can build the new PC to replace me and run it themselves - yet is likely to do just as poorly as I was.

You can plan for this in charop by finding those better options that improve the variation such that luck no longer matters.

What I am doing is math that quantizes your odds into encounters because that is the win/loss breakpoint. It does not matter that you roll the d20 a thousand times and can achieve a stable d20 average in the campaign. What matters is that you rolled it ten times per encounter, thus each encounter cannot achieve a stable average hit/dmg. So what we are doing is saying OK how bad is that unreliability. Is there an option that can demonstrate it is more reliable than my bad luck is only as good as someone else good luck. Find the option where your bad luck will always win regardless.

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