First part (roughly 1 / 2) run through of Doomsday Dawn


Doomsday Dawn Player Feedback


Party: 1 Dwarf Fighter (me!)
1 gnome druid
1 half-elf ranger
1 half-orc Barbarian

Game Mechanics Stuff We All loved:
1.) Action economy was great! Everybody understood it, just felt natural.

2.) Critical hits are just critical hits! We loved it.

3.) Charge is back baby!

4.) Lack of AOO on most monsters means combat is much more fluid.

5.) More structure around downtime was kind of fun, didn't have much time to delve into it.

Game Mechanics Iffy on

1.) Perception became even _more_ important thanks to init which means god save you if your character has WIS as a dump stat.

2.) Skills are pretty cool! But knowing which lore is which and how it applies to certain situations is complicated.

Game Mechanics Nobody Understood

Death/Dying. It's a half a page, and requires a PHD to understand the save dc. Also 'death tanking' is a legit thing with a druid using a stabilize cantrip to heal you up past 1.. maybe. That seems problematic but it's possible nobody got the rules right because see PHD required to understand the rules ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Please change to static DC modifier for save dc, and make the rules clearer/give some example situations. A freaking flowchart might help.

Adventure Specific

3 successful 20 thievery check to disable a door seems a bit much at level 1

The Poisons that increase are extremely problematic at that low of a level (6 giant caterpillar things in a tiny room = trouble).

Lot of downtime due to inability to recover HP. 2 HP a night isn't good, especially considering the cost of HP potions and all the rest.

Pathfinder adventures consistently have this problem where if a character misses a DC of a lore check they just miss out completely on the story (like the thing in the fountain). It's a general story-writing problem that leaves huge gaps. Perhaps changing it so more information is revealed rather than virtually nothing if the characters - especially low level who are unlikely to have much in the way of skills - roll bad and just don't miss out on large cool parts of the story.

Fighter Specific

Seriously it requires an action to raise my effing shield? Why even bother using it instead of a 2H weapon?

Why does fighter AOO not do anything against spells and why doesn't it stop movement? Seems drastically underpowered compared to other classes level 1 abilities.

Scarab Sages

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Not sure what you mean by «Death tanking», but do take into account that the Dying condition does not just go away when you stabilize them. It is very unhealthy indeed to get dropped again shortly after being stabilized.

Shield: I figure you'll get used to spending the action. The devs said in their playtest that the shield style is almost too good. Did you use the shield block reaction?

AoO does in fact trigger on most spellcasting. It triggers on «Manipulate» actions, and both somatic and material casting actions have the «Manipulate» keyword.

BTW, I'm going to run my first game on Tuesday. How did you guys deal with the scarcity of healing? Sleep for a week after the first fight...? I'm tempted to allow the players to convince Keleri to hand over some of the pay in advance in the form of a healing potion or two... though that might be breaking the playtest conditions. Actually, there seems to be no pay involved, come to read about it. :\


Catharsis wrote:

Not sure what you mean by «Death tanking», but do take into account that the Dying condition does not just go away when you stabilize them. It is very unhealthy indeed to get dropped again shortly after being stabilized.

I think we misread how death works to be honest, it looks like you continue to take damage up to negative your HP and then you die. Not just you are at 0 and have to make stabilization rolls.

Catharsis wrote:


Shield: I figure you'll get used to spending the action. The devs said in their playtest that the shield style is almost too good. Did you use the shield block reaction?

No, I picked up the charge action which is *enormously* fun. Being able to run all over the place and charge into battle with my barbarian counterpart was great fun. It also made the shield reaction sort of redundant.. and the shield reaction would steal opportunity for AoO since, if I remember right, you only get 1 reaction.

Catharsis wrote:


AoO does in fact trigger on most spellcasting. It triggers on «Manipulate» actions, and both somatic and material casting actions have the «Manipulate» keyword.

Ah ok, that makes sense. I figured there was just something I was missing.

Catharsis wrote:


BTW, I'm going to run my first game on Tuesday. How did you guys deal with the scarcity of healing? Sleep for a week after the first fight...? I'm tempted to allow the players to convince Keleri to hand over some of the pay in advance in the form of a healing potion or two... though that might be breaking the playtest conditions. Actually, there seems to be no pay involved, come to read about it. :\

I think we ran 2-3 fight son average in between breaks. First round, we did pretty good until the caterpillar room, as a tank I missed 5 saves (.. a 2.5% chance) and the barbarian got a couple rounds of poison too which depleted all of our reserves of healing. We ended up sleeping/resting for 2 days and using that + druid to bring ourselves back up. We broke for the night needing another 2 day rest and top off period which puts us at risk for solving adventure in time but there just isn't a lot of healing available at level 1.

There's also a healing potion you discover and um

plot spoiler:
we solved the fountain and cleared it of its desecration, so 1d8 once a day is helpful at topping us off.


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I suspect the possible issue with a raise shield action is that it will compete with the gambling instinct.

You play enough games and you come to realize that if a game gives someone the choice between limiting their output to hedge against loss or gambling... a lot of people will simply gamble.

Of course, that might be just fine. Using a shield can be powerful mechanically, and some people's mentality will cause them to simply not care and go for that last swing at -10. It might hit.

I watched one play test game where the fighter was getting the tar beaten out of them and they simply wouldn't use their shield and kept swinging for the fences in search of that 20. I think it is just a player mentality thing, and they do have options to just ditch the shield.


Bill Dinger wrote:
Catharsis wrote:

Not sure what you mean by «Death tanking», but do take into account that the Dying condition does not just go away when you stabilize them. It is very unhealthy indeed to get dropped again shortly after being stabilized.

I think we misread how death works to be honest, it looks like you continue to take damage up to negative your HP and then you die. Not just you are at 0 and have to make stabilization rolls.

No, there is no more negative HP. Every time you get hit while dying and unconscious, you increase your Dying condition by 1. That's in addition to any results of your recovery saves. Being hit again can also only increase the DC of your recovery saves, if the new hit would have a lower DC, you keep using the older, higher one.

You also retain the Dying condition after you regain consciousness, so going down again immediately is very dangerous.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I had fun with the goblin shuffle (er... scuttle), that was a cool addition.

I had one PC go down with a shortbow crit (2d6+1d10 is ouch!) from one of the goblins, but he spent a hero point to not get the dying condition.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

By the way, at Gen Con, Jason Bulmahn hinted that the death and dying rules might likely get overhauled, possibly even during the playtest.


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that's the first good thing about the playtest. YAY!

Now, drop the skill system, rework the ancestry feats to what it was promised to be, reorganize the rest of the feats, expand options and never speak of resonance again and we have a system that is workable.


Zaister wrote:

I had fun with the goblin shuffle (er... scuttle), that was a cool addition.

I had one PC go down with a shortbow crit (2d6+1d10 is ouch!) from one of the goblins, but he spent a hero point to not get the dying condition.

So this is confusing because there is also a rule that says if you ever take more than double your HP in damage you are dead. Not dying. Dead. So we presumed you had to keep track of it else you could abuse the system.

You can use something like a Druid's stabilize which would bring you back to 1 and depending on how that mucked up you in the initiative order would likely let you get your dying condition reduced by 1 which means the next time you could just take N-1 damage (where N is your HP) , die again, then wait for the druid to stabilize you.

It's just extremely confusing!

Scarab Sages

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As for Massive Damage, given how it worked in 3.5 and PF1, I'm pretty sure it refers to taking 2x max HP from a single attack.

I still don't understand your plan with the Druid. You can't stabilize a dead person, or how «max HP - 1» ever comes into play.

Let's assume your buddy is dropped to 0 HP. He gains the condition Dying 1. If he is hit again, or fails his recovery rolls, that number increases. If he hits Dying 4, he's dead. If the Druid casts Stabilize on him while he's at Dying 3, he goes back to 1 HP but still has the Dying 3 condition. Even if he makes his recovery roll and wakes up, he is still Dying 3 and will instantly die if he's dropped back to 0 HP before he can decrease that condition (1/round).


Bill Dinger wrote:
Zaister wrote:

I had fun with the goblin shuffle (er... scuttle), that was a cool addition.

I had one PC go down with a shortbow crit (2d6+1d10 is ouch!) from one of the goblins, but he spent a hero point to not get the dying condition.

So this is confusing because there is also a rule that says if you ever take more than double your HP in damage you are dead. Not dying. Dead. So we presumed you had to keep track of it else you could abuse the system.

You can use something like a Druid's stabilize which would bring you back to 1 and depending on how that mucked up you in the initiative order would likely let you get your dying condition reduced by 1 which means the next time you could just take N-1 damage (where N is your HP) , die again, then wait for the druid to stabilize you.

It's just extremely confusing!

Going back to 1 HP does not make the character conscious again; they still have to make their dying save to start acting even if they have positive HP.

The dying rules don't seem that complicated; however they are very different from most forms of DnD.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The dying rules are also likely to be changed very soon, as per Jason Bulmahn on the Gen Con playtest panel.


Zaister wrote:
The dying rules are also likely to be changed very soon, as per Jason Bulmahn on the Gen Con playtest panel.

good to read


Catharsis wrote:


BTW, I'm going to run my first game on Tuesday. How did you guys deal with the scarcity of healing? Sleep for a week after the first fight...?

One thing that Bill shockingly left out of his answer was that the Druid of the party is devoted to healing (Heal x2, Stabilize) and rolled a pair of 8s on the third day to Heal the Barbarian who had nearly been killed on the second day before a retreat from the dungeon. That puts us on track to head back to the dungeon on the fourth day at full resources, but is definitely too RNG to rely on as a plan had we known ahead of time what we were facing.

As to the dying rules, we have them sorted out now as they are currently written, and I like them. My druid is still interested in having people "death tank," if the monsters we face show a willingness to switch targets rather than continue after downed members. The limiting factor on the concept of death tanking with rules as currently written is that the player has to make that recovery save at the start of their turn to regain consciousness. Without that, you do not even have the option of absorbing opponent attacks via free Stabilize mechanics...and I have yet to find a way to remove the gamble from that roll.


I kind of wish we had a chance to try the dying rules, but although two characters came close, no one went down during part 1 for our group.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Did anybody try to use the "punch the dying character to stabilize them" trick?


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Rycke wrote:
Did anybody try to use the "punch the dying character to stabilize them" trick?

Clever, and an important feedback for issuing errata (as a point of clarity).

To quote the playtest rulebook: "When you’re reduced to 0 Hit Points, you get knocked out. When this happens, you are subject to the following effects:" followed by, "If the attack was nonlethal, you do not gain the dying condition or increase your dying condition, and you return to 1 Hit Point (though you remain unconscious)."

If you punch a dying character and reduce them to 0 hit points, then they do return to 1. But to have reduced them to 0 by punching them requires that they were already above 0, ergo you have only succeeded in knocking them unconscious unnecessarily or maintaining their unconscious status if they already were.

If the character was at 0 hp when you punched them, then they were not reduced to 0 hit points by your attack and the above therefore does not apply.

While the rules as written cover this, it is something that players will attempt to abuse on confusion, and should thus be clarified.

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