High AC, High HP, but low damage makes fights longer than needed

Doomsday Dawn Game Master Feedback

I gave this feedback on the survey's but I thought I'd highlight our group experience in this regards for the first part of Doomsday Dawn. In addition, the survey didn't really give me enough room to elaborate on what exactly I meant (from the topic above) and so I thought I'd elaborate in a thread here to be more specific.


Our group was composed of a

Dwarven Cleric
Human Half-Elf Ranger
Goblin Sorcerer
Human Barbarian

In character creation, at least one player got frustrated. I thought the book was well laid out, but they couldn't understand the dynamics and connection between the various levels of mastery and what they were supposed to be listing on their character sheet.

(also, the character sheets in the downloads for the playtest seem overly confusing and jumbled...not sure of what the solution should be, but they are not the easiest to use).

My thought is that some of the stuff that is listed in the chapter...playing the game...should be stuck as a summary right at the front of the book. This tells people the very basic dynamic of what Trained, expert, master, and legendary do and how to apply them right from the start, rather than people fumbling through.

It is a basic and fundamental function of the core of these rules, as such, giving a summary of how they work would help people learning the game. This helps them understand exactly what the terms mean and hwo it applies to them as they create their character.

Another thing players missed was the Half-Orc. One character wanted a STR option for their ancestry, but they only had the Human. I think they wanted something more akin to other races.

Humans seem to get the shaft in some ways. They can select their free additions, but at the penalty of not gaining a third.

Perhaps give them the choice to have a third ability bonus if they also select a penalty to another ability.

A person chose a Goblin. Goblins seem to be even better tailored to be sorcerers than alchemists. Not sure that was supposed to be the plan.

The scenario

Running through the actual adventure felt like other Pathfinder adventures. It was written in a very similar way. There were a few difficulties, and perhaps it's because I and no one in my group has mastery of the Playtest rules to give us better bonuses.

It seemed the highest bonus typically would be around a +5. This meant that DCs that were set at 15 had a 50% chance of failure on any set roll.

As such, the players rolled lower than average and FAILED most of the traps and other things they rolled on. They just were not able to roll over the DCs that were in the adventure. Some of the DCs seem almost outright impossible.


For the most part monsters were easy to beat, overall very easy. However, some of the portions were challenging enough (Giant Centipedes which were a little more trouble than expected) and the traps added another layer of problems.

Then we hit Drakus and a glaring problem jumped out that I have a fear that will be exacerbated as we get higher levels.

Drakus had a higher AC and Higher HP. However, his damage actually is very low. Our characters had trouble hitting him at first and he just didn't do much damage that actually threatened the characters. Overall, it was kind of a standstill type of fight and started to get boring.

This was supposed to be the boss fight, and I even tossed in the extra Dire/Giant Rat and tried to spice it up. However, the fight went on far too long for what it was with very little happening.

This is a bad sign to me that future enemies may have High AC, High HP, but unable to do a ton of damage to characters, and due to the High AC, the characters might not do tons of damage back.

This makes for very boring fights. Hopefully this is not something we'll see in later scenarios, but browsing through the bestiary I noted that many of the monsters seem to have this same dynamic of a High AC, High HP, but not damage commiserate with the AC and HP values.


Anyways, those are my first observations of the PF2e playtest in general without hitting everything in each room and such. Overall, not a ton of challenge for the characters (they have a LOT of HP comparatively to PF1e 1st level characters, while most of the monsters besides Drakus had low HP similar to their PF1e counterparts...but after seeing what happened with Drakus, that probably was a good thing so we didn't hit the slog).

I liked the adventure itself. It was fun overall and the lore and history was fun reading as background information for a GM.

Proficiencies are discussed in full in the basic concepts section on page 7. The pieces fit together pretty well when you read the book right through, honestly.

For the Draskus fight I'm going to remind players about Grapple and Trip. A group of four players should be able to keep a single Draskus down on actions and importantly down on AC. Because they are Attacks, Flat-footed helps you achieve them. A character trained in Athletics can knock Draskus down on an 11+. Or use the harass options. This will eat up Draskus limited actions and make it much easier for everyone else to hit him.


"Humans seem to get the shaft in some ways. They can select their free additions, but at the penalty of not gaining a third."

This would make humans the straight up best race unless there is a specific Ancestry feat synergy, which humans would also win a lot of the time due to being able to swap out Ancestry feats for other feat types.

I think this might be true in general especially when healing gets involved on both sides.

Combat maneuvers (Have not looked to deep into them yet) might become the standard to curb the higher AC levels. I personally was rather satisfied with the fights I simulated so far.

I think if flanked or impeded otherwise Drakus is a relatively easy and quick encounter that immensely profits of a close quarter environment.

But I see some potential that battles will be reduced to resource exhaustion, not by the rules but by current metrics. Which is boring.

For ancestry stat buffs I would recommend having a look at the alternative rules for rolling a character, if you look at that you will see that actually nothing has changed. The free bonus just helps mitigating not ruling dice. Another thing of note 18 is the new 20.

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