Save... or die!


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How should PF2e handle "save or die" and "save or suck" effects?

Silver Crusade

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Well with how theyre doing the >10< rule for criticals, maybe the effects will be if you fail the save by a certain amount you get different effects, rather than just straight up SoD.

I was always sad when I failed the save just by 1...


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You know, I havent been too crazy about the >10< system, but I gotta say I like the sound of it having impact on SoD.

I hope hero points make it over as a player resource. They make SoD a little easier to live with IMHO.

Scarab Sages

I think scaling effects in general would lead to more fun gameplay - getting turned to stone or straight up killed by one die roll doesn't feel right for high fantasy (or even flintlock fantasy given the alchemist and gunslinger - if they return).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I know these effects are unpopular with some players, but I really want there to be ways of ending fights other than "reduce enemy hp to 0." So I'm okay with SoD/SoL effects. I like the idea above of perhaps tying them to critically failing your save, so for example, flesh to stone could do nothing on a made save, some Dex damage on a failed save, and petrification on a crit fail. That sounds like a good system to keep these effects but not make them automatic "I win!" buttons either, which is also undesirable.


What is the >10< rules for criticals? I must have missed it when I was going over everything.

Sovereign Court

dot

Silver Crusade

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wraithstrike wrote:
What is the >10< rules for criticals? I must have missed it when I was going over everything.

How they’re doing hits (and skills) is that if you get 10 above the AC on the roll it’s a crit and and if you fail by more than 10 something bad happens.

So I think it would be interesting if something similar was applied to saves, a staggered progression on what the effect is if you fail rather than just simply SoD.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oooo that would interesting too if they made the save feats (like Iron Will) increase the ranges on the failure effects, so you failed slightly less worse :3

Scarab Sages

the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Angel Hunter D wrote:
the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

While I get your fear, tying it to -10 and not to natural one means you can eventually overcome it with sufficient skill. I'm assuming that a nat 1 or a nat 20 isn't a crit unless it also meets the +-10 criterion.

I'll need more details to figure out whether it passes my "guards training against practice dummies" test.

Scarab Sages

ryric wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

While I get your fear, tying it to -10 and not to natural one means you can eventually overcome it with sufficient skill. I'm assuming that a nat 1 or a nat 20 isn't a crit unless it also meets the +-10 criterion.

I'll need more details to figure out whether it passes my "guards training against practice dummies" test.

I would think the same thing about sufficient skill, but for 2 things.

1: The levels where you lack the skill are always the most lethal, I'm never more scared of character death than levels 1-2 and that's just because the dice can decide I'm dead and I can't do anything about it.

2: Some of what I'm seeing/hearing makes me think that the bonuses I'm used to seeing might be very rare to non-existant (My main gripe about 5E to boot) so that -10 might be a lot more common than we think. Boss Fights, while smothered by action economy, become even more lethal (and not necessarily in the fun way) if your own roll is about as dangerous to your health as the enemy's.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Angel Hunter D wrote:
ryric wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

While I get your fear, tying it to -10 and not to natural one means you can eventually overcome it with sufficient skill. I'm assuming that a nat 1 or a nat 20 isn't a crit unless it also meets the +-10 criterion.

I'll need more details to figure out whether it passes my "guards training against practice dummies" test.

I would think the same thing about sufficient skill, but for 2 things.

1: The levels where you lack the skill are always the most lethal, I'm never more scared of character death than levels 1-2 and that's just because the dice can decide I'm dead and I can't do anything about it.

2: Some of what I'm seeing/hearing makes me think that the bonuses I'm used to seeing might be very rare to non-existant (My main gripe about 5E to boot) so that -10 might be a lot more common than we think. Boss Fights, while smothered by action economy, become even more lethal (and not necessarily in the fun way) if your own roll is about as dangerous to your health as the enemy's.

It was mentioned elsewhere that taking three attacks, at 0/-5/-10, would often be worth doing because that third attack at -10 is viable. If an attack at -10 is viable, it seems unlikely that your initial attack will fail by 10 very often.

But really we're going to have to see what the playtest looks like before we can have a serious discussion of the pros/cons.


Angel Hunter D wrote:
the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

Mosters are there for one encounter: they typically only have to worry about one or two saving throws.

A player has to worry about every saving throw, from 1-20. The dice WILL eventually betray the player, resulting in a critical fail.

As for save or suck spells: I see little difference between failing vs. a save or suck and taking a x3 crit from the party barbarian. Either way, the target is out of the fight.


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What I don't like about save or suck is that it either does too much or too little.

I cast Flesh to Stone on the BBEG. If he passes the save nothing happens, my turn has had no effect at all (the spell did too little). If he fails, I've soloed the encounter (the spell did too much).

I'm not comforted by the idea that the spell averages out in some way over time, ten fights where I splatter the opposition and ten fights where I do nothing isn't balance, it's just twenty bad fights.

I'd much rather model the spell as some other type of damage. Suppose Flesh to Stone did dexterity damage and petrified you if you fell to 0 dex. Then, each of my actions is contributing to the combat. I'm helping the rest of the party (maybe the Rogue has dex poison, maybe the Fighter appreciates the lowered AC, etc...), but I'm not either soloing the encounter or wasting my turn and I still get a world where powerful wizards can straight up turn people to stone.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I really like that, Gyges!


ryric wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
ryric wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
the crit fail think is making me nervous, mostly because every crit fail system i've ever seen is just mathematically is worse for the players than the monsters

While I get your fear, tying it to -10 and not to natural one means you can eventually overcome it with sufficient skill. I'm assuming that a nat 1 or a nat 20 isn't a crit unless it also meets the +-10 criterion.

I'll need more details to figure out whether it passes my "guards training against practice dummies" test.

I would think the same thing about sufficient skill, but for 2 things.

1: The levels where you lack the skill are always the most lethal, I'm never more scared of character death than levels 1-2 and that's just because the dice can decide I'm dead and I can't do anything about it.

2: Some of what I'm seeing/hearing makes me think that the bonuses I'm used to seeing might be very rare to non-existant (My main gripe about 5E to boot) so that -10 might be a lot more common than we think. Boss Fights, while smothered by action economy, become even more lethal (and not necessarily in the fun way) if your own roll is about as dangerous to your health as the enemy's.

It was mentioned elsewhere that taking three attacks, at 0/-5/-10, would often be worth doing because that third attack at -10 is viable. If an attack at -10 is viable, it seems unlikely that your initial attack will fail by 10 very often.

But really we're going to have to see what the playtest looks like before we can have a serious discussion of the pros/cons.

I am somewhere between the two of you. I dislike Crit Failure effects (especially on skills), but don't mind the idea of 10+ being a crit. But I worry, being used to P1 numbers, that a level one character would never attempt a DC15 diplomacy out of fear of causing the Guard to murder them. I realise though, if this was the case, the developers would have caught this problem?

So I find myself worrying about the rules, but expecting to be proven wrong. I would say baseless speculation is not worth our times, but really, I know I'm not going to be able to do anything else until spring at this rate!

Back on topic: Critical spells can double the length if they don't do damage maybe? (and most SoD don't). Then a higher level wizard is likely going to daze a peasant for longer on average?


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Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."

Or the reverse? Lose your whole turn, then get a save the next turn to see if you can one action, then two the following turn.


Tarondor wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."
Or the reverse? Lose your whole turn, then get a save the next turn to see if you can one action, then two the following turn.

You don't want to one-shot the bosses, though. I think that's a major, major concern with SoD/SoS spells.


RumpinRufus wrote:
Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."

Nice thinking! Might need some tweaking, though, since I'm spending two actions and a daily resource for this effect. Hmm, tricky…


Rysky wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
What is the >10< rules for criticals? I must have missed it when I was going over everything.

How they’re doing hits (and skills) is that if you get 10 above the AC on the roll it’s a crit and and if you fail by more than 10 something bad happens.

So I think it would be interesting if something similar was applied to saves, a staggered progression on what the effect is if you fail rather than just simply SoD.

I like the idea of this rule.

I think it will mean that weapons will be different from what we're used to in PF1E (crit ranges and multipliers).


I agree with what's being said here. Save-or-Die effects aren't very fun no matter which way they go, they're either anti-climactic or frustrating and sometimes both.

In the same vein, I think Spell Resistance could use an overhaul. It sucks to roll a d20 and have a spell turn into a sad trombone noise.


Rysky wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
What is the >10< rules for criticals? I must have missed it when I was going over everything.

How they’re doing hits (and skills) is that if you get 10 above the AC on the roll it’s a crit and and if you fail by more than 10 something bad happens.

So I think it would be interesting if something similar was applied to saves, a staggered progression on what the effect is if you fail rather than just simply SoD.

Ok. I like this idea.

Edit:I mean for saves. I don't like fumbles.


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I agree with the general trend here. Leave in SoS/SoD effects, but give them some way to have an effect no matter what.

I like the idea of "half dex damage on a save, full on fail, petrified on critical".

Though I do wonder if removing ability score damage/drain might not be a better thing overall. It it just difficult in play to recalculate everything on the fly, and frequently people miss something. Fine when using tools like Herolab but annoying on paper.

Having the spell instead be "-2 on AC and attacks on save, -5 on fail, petrify on crit" might be smoother to play


Effects like Flesh to Stone might operate similarly to Holy Word: More severe effects based on difference in Caster Level vs Target Level. A high level Wizard using it on some commoner would just petrify the poor soul instantly. Against a near-peer opponent however, it would behave as Ring_of_Gyges described. And against a much more powerful opponent it would deal some Dex damage at best.

Also, not a fan of crit failure. I read a funny description of a heavily armored man walking into a goblin village and laughing as they all run up to him and start stabbing themselves.


It's been mentioned in another thread (I think it was Mark but could have been another dev) that crit failures on attack rolls don't have any effect by default but may trigger an enemy's abilities (theoretical example, maybe monks have a reaction where they get a free trip attempt on you if you critically fail your attack). So we don't have to worry about the worst possible iteration of critical failures being the case.


I really like the idea of different levels of failure for SoD/SoS spells. They are definitely the worst part of the game in my opinion. (And I even dislike SoS even more than SoD because the fight is over in reality but then the martials still have to bash the opposing team down over 3 rounds or whatever completely removing any challenge or excitement from the situation.)

The hold person effect was a brilliant solution, it's still a powerful effect but won't be a complete SoS effect anymore, the player will still feel as if they have more control over the situation.

Paizo Employee Designer

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You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!


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As a GM who has repeatedly seen wgat should have been interesting, challenging encounters reduced to "oracle casts hold monster, barbarian pulverises" this really excites me. Binary Save or Die/Save or be helpless then die has always been a problem with 3.5, pathfinder and 5e alike. I genuinely think this will be the feature that will make pf2 for me and my group, if it works as described here


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Mark Seifter wrote:
You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!

Firstly, thank you for all the awesome insight you are spreading across this forum, every answer you give makes me more hopeful for a no brainer decision towards transitioning.

Secondly though, does this mean we are expected to see quite a large disparity between what a player would have as a save, and what a monster would receive? In Pathfinder, if I ever found myself in a position where I was regularly failing a typical encounters DC's by more than 10, I would feel there was a fundamental problem with my character that I needed to address! Or am I just incorrectly assuming that 10 is the boundary here, hence my confusion?

Silver Crusade

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Mark Seifter wrote:
You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!

F$$~IN SWEET!

Paizo Employee Designer

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Lord_Franklin wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!

Firstly, thank you for all the awesome insight you are spreading across this forum, every answer you give makes me more hopeful for a no brainer decision towards transitioning.

Secondly though, does this mean we are expected to see quite a large disparity between what a player would have as a save, and what a monster would receive? In Pathfinder, if I ever found myself in a position where I was regularly failing a typical encounters DC's by more than 10, I would feel there was a fundamental problem with my character that I needed to address! Or am I just incorrectly assuming that 10 is the boundary here, hence my confusion?

Well hopefully you're not "regularly" critically failing, no. But if you're fighting a bunch of weaker foes, they don't have as good of a bonus, so they're more likely to do so. Conversely, you're more likely to see a critical failure against a nasty boss monster than anywhere else.


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To be a voice of concern from the other side of the isle:

So nothing feels worse than having your turn be utterly wasted because your spell failed to land.
Alternatively, it feels anti-climatic for a single spell to end an entire encounter, and it really deflates the sails of your fellow party members.
But if a move is made where all spells have a "nickel and dime" effect, that's *also* going to feel really really bad unless the entire chassis of casting changes (Vancian casting just doesn't support it). You'd need to move into something else that doesn't run out of slots/charges/mana points/whatever.

If combat for everyone is "whittle them down until we win" then the casters need to be able to cast just as much as the fighters can swing/fire their weapons.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Neo2151 wrote:

To be a voice of concern from the other side of the isle:

So nothing feels worse than having your turn be utterly wasted because your spell failed to land.
Alternatively, it feels anti-climatic for a single spell to end an entire encounter, and it really deflates the sails of your fellow party members.
But if a move is made where all spells have a "nickel and dime" effect, that's *also* going to feel really really bad unless the entire chassis of casting changes (Vancian casting just doesn't support it). You'd need to move into something else that doesn't run out of slots/charges/mana points/whatever.

If combat for everyone is "whittle them down until we win" then the casters need to be able to cast just as much as the fighters can swing/fire their weapons.

I would reread, SoD's weren't removed, the failure conditions were just expanded so that you're character isn't completely f~%+ed because they got a result of 18 vs a DC of 19.

If you build for it you'll probably still be bale to make a SoD caster.


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If a SoS caster can, say, instantly turn multiple weak enemies into stone, but, with the same spell, can usually only impose a 'Slow' effect on a powerful boss enemy (except maybe on a natural 1 saving roll), that sounds good to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

*nods*


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I love this mechanic tied to the dreaded save or suck. Sounds really dynamic


It looks like instead of “save or suck” there are a rang.e of options. Say nothing, bad hair day, stuck in traffic, run out of gas, car crash”


RumpinRufus wrote:
Tarondor wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."
Or the reverse? Lose your whole turn, then get a save the next turn to see if you can one action, then two the following turn.
You don't want to one-shot the bosses, though. I think that's a major, major concern with SoD/SoS spells.

If you don't want to one-shot the bosses, you should also include rules that prevent martials with two-handed weapons from getting x3 and x4 crits.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Tarondor wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:
Spitballin' some ideas: what if Hold Person were like "The target loses one action on its next turn (no save.) On its second turn, it gets a saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails then it loses two actions that turn. On its third turn it gets another saving throw - if it succeeds then the spell ends, if it fails it loses all three of its actions and becomes paralyzed."
Or the reverse? Lose your whole turn, then get a save the next turn to see if you can one action, then two the following turn.
You don't want to one-shot the bosses, though. I think that's a major, major concern with SoD/SoS spells.
If you don't want to one-shot the bosses, you should also include rules that prevent martials with two-handed weapons from getting x3 and x4 crits.

They might not be including x3 and x4 weapons, we shall see.

Granted getting (and confirming) crits happened less often then SoD.


Mark Seifter wrote:
You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the insight!

My worry about the degrees of success is that it could slow down the game. I've detailed those concerns in this thread, and apparently at least 10 people share that same concern. I am not saying that we absolutely must never use the "degrees of success" system - I do think it has its niches - but please take into account the cost that you're incurring in terms of game time while you design these abilities.

That's why I suggested the "Hold Person" version above that has a binary pass/fail each round, but allows no save on the initial effect. I believe that would be a version of the spell that would be MUCH faster to resolve than a "degrees of success" version.

Liberty's Edge

RumpinRufus wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
You guys have figured it out. I will admit: Figuring out a way to handle save or lose effects that was more fun to play with than "Your monster/PC either wastes the turn or instantly wins" is what initially led me to formulate the design doc for the four degrees of success in the first place. That way, you can do something that's still somewhat useful even if they make the save (though not if they critically succeed) and then something powerful but not instawin if they fail and something more extreme on a critical fail. This also has the added benefit of dealing double damage from spells like fireball when the enemies get a critical failure!

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the insight!

My worry about the degrees of success is that it could slow down the game. I've detailed those concerns in this thread, and apparently at least 10 people share that same concern. I am not saying that we absolutely must never use the "degrees of success" system - I do think it has its niches - but please take into account the cost that you're incurring in terms of game time while you design these abilities.

That's why I suggested the "Hold Person" version above that has a binary pass/fail each round, but allows no save on the initial effect. I believe that would be a version of the spell that would be MUCH faster to resolve than a "degrees of success" version.

I'm not sure what your issue is with the math here, though. +10 or -10 is incredibly easy to do. Just say what was rolled, and the target can say if it hits, is a crit, or is a fumble. Your AC is 18? Your critical failure threshold is 8, your critical success threshold is 28. That's super easy. You can even write that on the sheet if you need to.


JRutterbush, here's what I said in the other thread:

RumpinRufus wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:


Most people have all of their modifiers pre-calculated, so getting an actual total shouldn't be hard. I would assume that part of the streamlining effort going into PF2 would be cutting down on the minute modifier details.

Adding/subtracting 10 is just moving the 10's place digit up or down by one. Not really enough to consider actual "math".

The math I'm worried about isn't adding or subtracting 10... it's all the +2s and -1s that I need to account for when the check total is in the ballpark of DC-10 or DC+10.

For example, I know the mook's listed attack bonus is +4, and he's flanking and receiving a +1 from Bardic Performance. I know the PC's AC is in the 15-18 range. So ordinarily, if I roll a nat 11 or better, I just say "it's a hit" and move on. It's only if I roll a 8, 9, or 10 that I actually have to ask the player "What is your AC?" BUT, now with >10< rules, if I roll a nat 1 I need to check against AC-10, and if I roll a nat 18-20, I need to check against AC+10. So the range of rolls for which I need to ask AC has gone from {8, 9, 10} to {1, 8, 9, 10, 18, 19, 20}. The "active shield" rules are only going to make this worse, since AC will often be varying round-to-round in PF2e, so you can't just memorize everyone's AC.

I formulated that in terms of AC, but the same concerns equally apply to saving throws, and skill DCs.

Liberty's Edge

RumpinRufus wrote:


The math I'm worried about isn't adding or subtracting 10... it's all the +2s and -1s that I need to account for when the check total is in the ballpark of DC-10 or DC+10.

It's already been stated that those countless tiny bonuses and penalties aren't sticking around.


JRutterbush wrote:
RumpinRufus wrote:


The math I'm worried about isn't adding or subtracting 10... it's all the +2s and -1s that I need to account for when the check total is in the ballpark of DC-10 or DC+10.
It's already been stated that those countless tiny bonuses and penalties aren't sticking around.

The podcast already has not only shields which must be activated on a round-by-round basis, but also a shield cantrip which gives you +2 AC for one round. So even based off the 3 hours of play time we've witnessed thus far, these types of +1/+2s definitely seem to be here to stay.


And regardless of the fiddly +1/+2s, "degrees of success" will still slow down the game, even if your bonuses never change. Because not doing math is always quicker than doing math, even if your Will save is always a +3, when you roll a nat 4, it's quicker just to assume "nat 4 is a fail" rather than "I look at my character sheet, see my bonus is +3, add 3 to 4, that's 7, now tell the GM my result is 7, now the GM tells me whether 7 is a critical fail or not."

You may not consciously notice it, but I bet if you added up the amount of time people spend during combat just looking up modifiers on their character sheets and adding those modifiers to their rolls, it's a significant chunk of game time. And it's boring.


One downside is that it could make spells more complicated. I can remember what Hold Person does: Save or be paralyzed. If it has multiple levels of effects, I'm going to have to note them all down next to the spell before casting it.


Matthew Downie wrote:
One downside is that it could make spells more complicated. I can remember what Hold Person does: Save or be paralyzed. If it has multiple levels of effects, I'm going to have to note them all down next to the spell before casting it.

That's why I like the version I suggested above - you cast Hold Person, on their next turn they lose one action. That's it. No save. Simple, easy. Then on their next turn, they save or lose two actions. Then on their third turn, save or lose all their actions.


Some sort of modification regarding saves makes sense...

There is surely a difference in effect between someone who is caught in the middle of a fireball vs someone on the fringes but still inside its radius??

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