Ongoing Feedback - Home Campaign - Not Doomsday Dawn


Running the Game

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Greetings,

I formed a group to begin play testing Pathfinder 2nd Edition under what I consider real world conditions. This is a detailed information thread about the game reported on session by session by myself, and the players giving their own feedback. I encourage my players to post here to give their own accounts.

-----
Player Characters:

Roc - Half-Elf Stormborn Druid - Level 1
Francois DuBois - Human - Fighter - Level 1
Valstryz - Elf Monk - Level 1
Callista Nox - Half-Elf Bard - Level 1
-----

Setup:
So I wrote a full AP that I have converted for use with PF2, there are no house-rules in effect save for banning of evil alignments, chaotic neutral alignments, and goblins.

The campaign will go from level 1 to around level 16.

-----

Legacy of the Serpent King

The PCs are all members of a guild called the Legacy, a small guild that has a strict rule that when one member retires they begin training an apprentice. The Legacy holds secrets which the initiates are not yet privy to. The new PCs are initiates who have been sent to Nybor in Varisia in order to pass the final test and officially become the next generation of the Legacy.

I went very old school.

-----

Character Creation:

All but one of my players had read the book and created their characters before the game time, which was this morning at 11:00am. One of our players didn't realize the game was today and had never read the book. He created Francois Dubois.

He arrived to game with no idea of his character, what he wanted to be, or how PF2 worked. With me, and the PDFs, he completed his character creation in less than 15 minutes.

He created a Human Fighter who uses a Rapier and Shield, primarily dexterity based and named him Francois DuBois.

-----

The player characters gathered in Nybor at an a Cafe I created called the Welcoming Breeze. I rolled 1d20 to determine who arrived when. They were able to find a table marked with the Legacy's sigil. When they had gathered, one of the servers brought them a rolled up scroll that had a letter written on it from the person they were going to meet, a Dwarf named Buenor Sandhammer.

This served to let them describe their characters and introduce themselves to one another in character. This gave them some roleplaying opportunity.

Buenor's letter told them that their first task was to find them. This triggered entry into "Exploration Mode."

I decided that there were 3 ways to locate Buenor.

1. Diplomacy, to gather information.
2. Perception, to just find the smithy shop.
3. Society, to simply know where it is.

The Difficulty was DC 12

It took 1 hour to make a check, after three successes cumulative between the three they would succeed. A critical success netted 2 successes.

They nailed it, each getting a success in their first attempt. This allowed them to reach Buenor Sandhammer very quickly and netted them some extra healing potions for performing so well.

After meeting Buenor they had some brief RP where he told them that their real test would begin in the morning. They crashed in the rooms above his blacksmithing shop for the night. The next morning he told them that adventuring costs money, and sometimes that means that you have to work, so their first task was to earn 15 silver pieces by the end of the day, the only caveats was that they couldn't rely on things they already had (such as selling the healing potions).

This was a chance to use the Downtime rules. At their level though they could only bring in a handful of silver. There was also a job's board, which contained an add looking for adventurers to help remove a dire rat infestation for a businessman. He put a bounty on each head they brought him.

They met with him to accept the job and such. Thus they met with a Halfling named Brewer Clem. Clem explained that he had purchased an old pub named the Drunken Traveler but, when he went to renovate it, a dire rat attacked him. Not being the sort to battle creatures, he has sought out PCs. He was offering 5 silver pieces a head.

One of the player characters, sensing a chance to earn extra coin, tried to convince Brewer Clem that they were well trained adventurers and that if he wanted the best he had to be willing to pay for the best.

I had him make a diplomacy roll, to which he succeeded, but not with a critical success. Brewer Clem did agree to raise the bounty to 6. The PC's agreed and off they went.

-----

Encounter Mode:

This session had 3 fights:

1. A lone Goblin Dog.

When the PCs got into the building they located the sound of scratching via getting a critical success on a perception check. Opening the door leading to it they encountered not a Dire Rat, but a Goblin Dog. A Nature roll revealed this and revealed what they do.

The first combat was a bit wonky.

The players, being very new, were also rolling pretty poorly. So it took 2-3 rounds to kill it. Eventually they got into the swing of things though and confidently moved on. The Fighter, Francois loved the shield block ability, and he managed to take no damage in the entire first fight.

2. A lone Goblin Dog, flanked by 2 more Goblin Dogs who arrived in the second round.

This one was over quickly. In the first round the Goblin Dog went first. Moving up to, and attacking, Val - The Monk - This did not go well for the Goblin Dog. After that, Roc managed to hit it with a Heavy Crossbow and then Val followed up by going into Tiger Stance and lashing out with a Flurry of Blows. A critical hit, followed by a normal hit, was enough to kill the Goblin Dog outright. He managed to save against the first Allergen, but failed against the second to gain the sickened 1 condition.

Then two more G. Dogs appeared, coming around from behind a pair of doors. Francois attacked one, but was unable to hit it, he raised his shield. It managed a heavy hit on Francois, but his Shield was ready and he was able to mitigate 5 of the 7 damage. Taking 2, and suffering a dent to his shield.

In short order they killed the remaining 2, with the Bard's Inspiration really helping them out and putting them over.

3. The final room (we only had time for a short session) in the game saw them get ambushed in the large main room by the remaining 3 Goblin Dogs. It was a surprise attack, but Francois rolled very high on his perception, acting first, despite having a -4 penalty.

None of the PCs took any damage in this fight, though Francois only managed that with a shield block that stopped a 3 damage hit.

The PCs were victorious, claiming 7 Goblin Dog heads, each worth 6 Silver Each, while also finding 5 extra silver in a torn jacket in an old coat rack while exploring. That brought their daily earnings up by 47 Silver Pieces.

We had to stop there, but the players enjoyed it. They experienced exploration mode, downtime, and encounter mode. They made characters that worked, and with little to no fuss, they managed to grasp the mechanics very well and seemed to have a handle on what their characters did very quickly.

-----

There were some complaints, one of my players felt that the lack of everyone being able to AoO made it hard to keep enemies off of casters, and I agree. Though they liked also how much more mobile combat seemed. One player in particular liked the 3 action rule, and felt he had greater player agency.

Francois seemed to love Shield Block.

That is my report. I hope you liked it. We will fill out some surveys as well, but I am linking my players here so they can comment as well. Thank you for your time.

-----


I'm glad you're giving such a fair shot to the 2E Playtest. I know you weren't one of the most excited players to try it out. I've also been considering trying some stuff besides Doomsday Dawn on it.

So we got your player's complaints, but what about you as a GM? What was your experience?

Also, Buenor :p Figured you wouldn't have to improvise a name when you wrote the whole AP.


That was a pretty awesome post, it makes me nostalgic.

Keep us posted!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
ChibiNyan wrote:

I'm glad you're giving such a fair shot to the 2E Playtest. I know you weren't one of the most excited players to try it out. I've also been considering trying some stuff besides Doomsday Dawn on it.

So we got your player's complaints, but what about you as a GM? What was your experience?

Also, Buenor :p Figured you wouldn't have to improvise a name when you wrote the whole AP.

I actually was one of the most excited to try it. I fought for Paladins from moment one. I had always planned on going in-depth.

As a GM I found parts of it a little odd.

I have nearly 30 years of GM'ing experience.

So I followed the instructions in the book for each "Mode" which felt odd and clunky while doing it. The end result however was pretty much what I would have done had I not been told to do it. It is odd and clunky to me because some of it is so "Duh, well obviously" that it was like looking at a math problem, after doing calculus for years, and being told to show your work.

It messes with your head, slows you down, and makes it clunky. I can see the benefit to newer, less experienced, players.

I have some issues with some parts of PF2. My issues though are with certain classes. As a GM, at the moment, I don't have any negative feelings toward it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Note:
What is wrong with the name Buenor Sandhammer?

Second note:
I loved that I got a player to finish their character in 15 minutes. That never happened in PF1 without them being VERY experienced players.


Love the story, disappointed none of your people wanted to play an arcane caster, but at least everyone had fun! Actually everyone in your party played all the classes I care the least about :( Oh well


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Greetings. I am one of the players myself - Valstryz specifically. Here is my own 2 cents on the game/PF2:

- I do agree with the three-action system quite a lot. It means there is no situations going "What kind of an action is this again?" and combat seems to flow a lot better for now.
- As a monk in particular, i found the lack of any reaction somewhat jarring, especially given how much the monk seems to focus on rapid attacks. The only one a monk gets is level 4 when they get the ability to stop arrows. However, a praise i have to give to the class is that it seems to be a pretty impressive DPS machine, what with the flurry + a normal attack giving 3 attacks in one round - even if that is a bit difficult to pull off. Overall, my impressions are fairly positive - seems like a monk has a lot of options, although i did run into slight MAD issues after taking ki abilities into consideration (although not as much as i thought, since CON seems a lot less important now). I feel like ki pool should be a little higher than just WIS modifier.
- Regarding character creation, i was a little confused on a few things, but that might just be my own lack of reading comprehension. In particular, i have to point out that i like that Con is made less vital to every character ever - i was able to get very comfortable 16 HP even as an 8 - Con elven monk.In fact... i kind of wanted to try a somewhat sub-optimal race/class combination to see how well it holds up in the new system - and i can safely say it seems quite functional, with the ancestry feat being rather helpful, in fact.
- As for complaints, well... I am not sure if i have any significant ones. The lack of AoO is more of a mixed reaction so far - on one hand, it does make it hard to protect casters, but on the other hand, it makes combat feel a LOT more mobile and involved, as one does not have to extremely carefully plot a route around enemies/get blocked in a chokepoint. It might not be bad, just different.
- There is, however, one thing i have to point out, more regarding the book itself. When looking for powers (as i considered dabbling with ki), i found it rather annoying that there is no list for them, and instead powers seem scattered between the spell lists - which just makes it annoying to browse them.
- One thing that did annoy me somewhat is the fact that 5-foot steps are an action rather than a "free" action they were in PF1. Again, might just be something that takes some time to get used to.


NobodyImportant wrote:

Greetings. I am one of the players myself - Valstryz specifically. Here is my own 2 cents on the game/PF2:

- I do agree with the three-action system quite a lot. It means there is no situations going "What kind of an action is this again?" and combat seems to flow a lot better for now.
- As a monk in particular, i found the lack of any reaction somewhat jarring, especially given how much the monk seems to focus on rapid attacks. The only one a monk gets is level 4 when they get the ability to stop arrows. However, a praise i have to give to the class is that it seems to be a pretty impressive DPS machine, what with the flurry + a normal attack giving 3 attacks in one round - even if that is a bit difficult to pull off. Overall, my impressions are fairly positive - seems like a monk has a lot of options, although i did run into slight MAD issues after taking ki abilities into consideration (although not as much as i thought, since CON seems a lot less important now). I feel like ki pool should be a little higher than just WIS modifier.
- Regarding character creation, i was a little confused on a few things, but that might just be my own lack of reading comprehension. In particular, i have to point out that i like that Con is made less vital to every character ever - i was able to get very comfortable 16 HP even as an 8 - Con elven monk.In fact... i kind of wanted to try a somewhat sub-optimal race/class combination to see how well it holds up in the new system - and i can safely say it seems quite functional, with the ancestry feat being rather helpful, in fact.
- As for complaints, well... I am not sure if i have any significant ones. The lack of AoO is more of a mixed reaction so far - on one hand, it does make it hard to protect casters, but on the other hand, it makes combat feel a LOT more mobile and involved, as one does not have to extremely carefully plot a route around enemies/get blocked in a chokepoint. It might not be bad, just different.
- There is, however, one thing i have to point out,...

Thanks for posting man! I always feel like gaming experience reports have a lot more weight to them when the players chime in as opposed to just the GM.

Glad you had fun!

For a little extra background -

NI was a little skittish about PF2 when the subject was broached. He was nervous we wouldn't like it, and that it would be hard to learn a new system. I think PF2 won him over though.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Another player here—I went with Callista the (ever-so-slightly!) snotty Taldan half-elf bard.

I've got a hodgepodge of impressions, so I'll try to sort them into some kind of order and go from there.

The Good Stuff:

1. In general, the action system was smooth and pretty easy to work with. I think there are a couple of fussy things (grip changing comes to mind) that shouldn't count against a character's three in a round, but this may just be because I'm used to that being a quintessential "free" action. Worth noting, though, is that this does have at least some impact on narrative decisions. I had considered having Callista use some of her ancestral arms (elven curve blade specifically) as part of her gear, for the fun and flavor of it, but needing to spend an action to return her hands to proper grip position for that weapon much too inefficient to bother with. Could I pick a different weapon? Of course I could. But I expect this problem will only be exacerbated if there's ever a PF2e magus. As someone who tends to favor gishes like the magus and the eldritch knight, that worries me a little. But still, it's a minor gripe, and I did like the additional strategy in deciding how to spend my actions when, for example, some spells only have two components, and others have three.

2. Character creation was mostly quick, smooth, and fun. In particular, I like the stat assignment system. I think it makes traditionally MAD classes a bit more viable, and I've never much liked min-maxing anyway. Also, I expect the frequency and number of attribute boosts will allow for a lot more variety than the traditional "put everything you can into X, a bit into Y, dump Z" formula that seems to pervade. (Even though I dislike building characters that way myself, it's sometimes necessary to have fun—in many contexts, I've found I can't keep up unless I optimize. Being the dead weight is never a good time.)

3. I was surprised to find that my bard was going to be a full caster—of occult magic at that. I wasn't too sure about that at first, but the better sense I get for the class features, the more I like them.

4. Critical successes and critical failures seem interesting. I'll have to hold off on saying much about this until I've played a bit more, but I was initially quite concerned about the lack of threat ranges on some lower-damage weapons. If this goes well I might not even miss them.

5. Cantrips that actually do something! Telekinetic projectile was fun to use. On the other hand Prestidigitation feels weirdly nerfed or reasons I can't fathom. I feel like Callista should be able to change the color of her dinner jacket if she wants to, but that's not one of the "Occult" uses of the spell, which is... odd. Not likely to make a significant mechanical difference of any kind, but outright bizarre as far as flavor goes.

6. I had fun playing, and that's what I'm here for. Part of this was of course due to Walsh's skill and experience as a GM, as well as his commitment to preparations and investment in his NPCs, but some of the credit belongs to the game system, too.

The Not-As-Good Stuff:

(Note: this includes some more general thoughts as well, about game elements with which I have no actual playing experience, and so please take those parts with the grains of salt they warrant.)

1. The class feat system is, I think, a tad too restrictive. Am I glad to see an end to some of the most ridiculous cheese technically permitted by 1e? Well, sure. But I think there has to be an intermediate ground between locking almost nothing behind class-entry barriers and locking almost everything there. For me, this isn't as much of a mechanical issue as it is a narrative one. In the bard class, at least, it seems like you basically get one of three types, with minor variations on the theme. This is very partially ameliorated by the devotions, but even then it seems like "I'm an X that dabbles in Y," is really only adding to the total options in a small way. Some of the best characters I've ever played could not remotely exist in the system as it is now (excluding the ones whose classes do not exist), and that makes me a little sad.

2. When choosing what kind of character to play, I was initially considering sorcerer, as it's one of my very favorites and I could compare versions fairly well due to lots of experience with the 1e sorc. I found myself intrigued by the option for divine, nature, or occult casting, and largely disappointed by much of the rest, particularly as it stacks up against the wizard. I'm familiar with the vagaries of spontaneous casting classes, and in general I embrace them, but the spell heightening mechanics just felt like being actively punished for playing a sorcerer instead of a wizard. By all means, let the wizard keep her versatility and utility over the more focused sorcerer. But to drive a giant wedge into the heightening mechanic and give the wizard the unquestionably better half? That's just unfortunate. This may be solvable by increasing the number of spells per day the sorc can heighten (perhaps 1/4 class level + CHA modifier?) It's odd that even the bard can heighten more often—but that's not a plea to decrease the number on the bard (please don't).

3. I suspect there might be some oddness with AC compared to average to-hits given the new proficiency system, but I don't yet know enough to say more. I'll keep an eye on this and see if I can pinpoint my unease later.

4. Minor gripe: the book's format is difficult. I'd have appreciated full spell descriptions in level-order for the lists themselves, with ki powers and so on in their own section. It was kind of a pain to choose my spells by hunting around an enormous list of mostly things I can't use, and planning future things will be even more difficult for the same reason. Ultimately not that important, but worth mentioning, maybe.

5. Not having AoOs is very strange. I've yet to decide whether it's good strange or just unnerving strange. The movement of combat without them felt exciting though.


Jaybirdy wrote:
6. I had fun playing, and that's what I'm here for. Part of this was of course due to Walsh's skill and experience as a GM, as well as his commitment to preparations and investment in his NPCs, but some of the credit belongs to the game system, too.

Awww... Thank you!


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I am the player of Roc the stormborn druid.

My first impressions of the game are generally positive, though my perspective is limited as I've not read the whole book nor experimented with the other classes save for helping other players build their characters.

I like the new hit point system. Finally 1st level characters aren't one good hit away from death. Good on you paizo.

The new initiative system is something I also like though I only read about it/got it explained to me. I'm glad that there isn't one stat governing initiative anymore (at least not all the time).

The 3 action combat system is perfectly fine in my opinion. It gives the opportunity for some creative shenanigans, like my shoot heavy crossbow, drop, take normal crossbow shoot again tactic. Even if I have horrible luck when it comes to hitting things (in all systems). The movement tweeks I find interesting and have a few ideas why it was done the way it was, I'll have to see how it works in later parts.

There are 3 things that slowed down the game for me during combat:
-Attack of opportunity rules
-Power
-Spell DC

AoO and Power has been talked about already by the others so I'm just mentioning it because I have nothing more to add on that front.

Spell DC however is a bit of a gripe. When I'm playing as a caster. I usually go between the spell descriptions and my class page for my info. I don't want to go to a third page if I can help it. However, in the class section it merely redirects me to the how to calculate DCs on page 291. If I could change one thing that would be it. Just put the formula of save DCs on the respective class page.

I'll probably have more to say once we hit higher levels.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Today the party continued their journey.

This session was stunted, we had a new player join who hadn't read the book, so I had to help him through creation. This was a bit slower than with Francois because this player was a little more mechanically focused. As such there was more hunting and pecking in the rules for mechanically advantageous options.

It took 45 minutes.

Then we were able to start.

After cleaning out the Goblin Dog infestation they returned to Brewer Lem and recieved their payment. 42 silver pieces. They made their way back to Buenor Sandhammer and found him in conversation with a Half-Elf named Adrien. A Ranger who dual wielded short swords.

A member of the initiates Adrian arrived late. Sandhammer introduced everyone, there was some banter and Sandhammer explained the 15 SP was to secure them passage on a Caravan that was passing near the Fogscar Mountains. He then removed a darkwood box and gave each initiate a medallion, each had a symbol for the class to which the initiate belonged and glowed when Sandhammer touched them.

Each one ceased its glow as they were released. Mysterious.

Sandhammer told them that they would travel to a hidden temple at the edge of the Fogscar mountains where they would meet an order of Clerics of Aroden, the Dead God, known as the Sentinels of Aroden, for their trial. They would be tested, and if found worthy, by initiated into the Legacy by being annointed by water from a sacred fountain. They were provided with a map to its location and it was recommended that they get some rest as they would leave early in the morning.

The party went to rest in the room above Sandhammer's shop and slept after some brief interactions. They next morning Sandhammer awoke, greeted them with a boxed breakfast, and wished them luck as he guided them to the Caravan.

After meeting with the Caravan driver, a rotund boisterous human, they were off. Over the plains they went for more than two days until they reached a fork in the road. They parted ways, after a warning about there being Goblins in the area, and the party traveled on foot the rest of the way.

Using their Nature and Survival knowledge the party avoided danger and threats. Eventually they reached the Fogscar Mountains. This was there they encountered the wreckage of a wagon that was burning as a small group consisting of 2 Goblin Warriors, 2 Goblin Dogs, and 1 Goblin Commando were partying, singing, and drinking (the wagon was carrying ale and wine) over the burning corpses of the Wagon's former occupants. (Exploration mode stuff...)

The party used stealth to scout the area, seeking to avoid conflict, before spying signs that at least one living person had been dragged away. They ultimately decided to engage. (Encounter mode began.)

The battle was brutal. The Goblins and Goblin Dogs were very lucky and though the PCs were victorious after a long drawn out and pitched battle (one of the PCs, Francois, was not able to make session so they were down a PC) they did not do so without injury. Using some of their Bard's magic, as well as some Healing Potions they were able to scrounge from the Wagon, they regained some of their HP and investigated the tracks.

They followed the tracks and investigated the area as they went (Exploration Mode stuff) eventually making their way to a cave, identifying this by both the map, as well as the markings as the place they were going anyway. Ominous.

Stealthing up into the cave they crept along the wall until they came to a corner. Peeking around they found a Goblin Warrior tending a refuse pit and a pair of Goblin Dogs that were being kept in a pen. They decided to sneak up to the Goblin and silently dispatch him. (Encounter mode begins.)

Using stealth to get the drop (ie as initiative) the Party managed to out-pace the Goblin and strike first. Adrian moved in and attacked with his blades, but only connected with one. The Goblin was still standing, a key hanging off of his belt that, presumably, opened the Goblin Dogs' pen. Val, the monk, dashed up and finished him before he could act with a swift karate-style chop to the throat.

Seeing no need to kill the penned Goblin Dogs the PCs once more resumed their stealthy exploration into the cave, unaware of what danger awaited them...


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay:

Playtest Issues:

1. A problem with Ancestry.

Half-Elf seems to be the "go-to" optimizer's race. I already noticed this, but the ability to get low-light vision and +5ft movement is too good for people to pass up. This is very true for melee. Triple true for anyone having to contend with Heavy Armor as well.

2. Doubling down on Double Slice.

Double Slice is the most powerful attack option in the game at lower levels. It needs to be depowered to be brought into line with Power Attack.

3. Resonance woes.

The party got busted up bad during the wagon fight, and needed healing potions. After 1 drink though, Val, the monk, was out of resonance. Even getting a heal from the bard he was hurt. A discussion launched about another character using their resonance to activate a potion for Val, since he didn't want to risk a 50% failure and lose a healing potion. Since you can do that for unwilling and unconscious characters I was going to allow it, but Val's player decided to do it RAW and they passed it by. He was hurt still but not critically so. Most members were a little injured going forward.

This feels like a gray area that should be clarified. Can someone give someone a healing potion using their resonance willingly? Yes or no. If so this needs further clarification as it makes no sense to only be able to do this to unwilling or unconscious people.

-----

Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you're enjoying the game reports thus far. I wish there was a better way to report home game feedback more easily than this, but there it is.

If you have any questions, please ask, and, as always I urge my players to drop in and make their own comments.

-----

Encounters:
3 - 1 was avoided

Encounter 1:
2 Goblin Warriors (CR 0)
1 Goblin Commando (CR 1)
2 Goblin Dogs (CR 1)

Encounter 2:
1 Goblin Warrior (CR 0)
2 Goblin Dogs (CR 1) - The stealth resolution prevented them from engaging.

Encounter 3: (Avoided due to player actions in exploration mode)
3 Goblin Warriors (CR 0)

-----

Edit: I had it pointed out that I had misread the portion about who spends resonance when it is given to an unconscious person. As such this is not a gray area at all.


Interesting Point on Resonance sharing. I wasn't even aware that works. Would alleviate some of the pain of resonance, what with Sorcerers and Bards having a ton and barely needing it. Could be an interesting backdoor healer Option, These are the guys that make potions work - similar to the Alchemist but without his potions costing effectively double for no reason at all.


DerNils wrote:
Interesting Point on Resonance sharing. I wasn't even aware that works. Would alleviate some of the pain of resonance, what with Sorcerers and Bards having a ton and barely needing it. Could be an interesting backdoor healer Option, These are the guys that make potions work - similar to the Alchemist but without his potions costing effectively double for no reason at all.

Unfortunately I misread that portion of the book. That doesn't actually work. Sadly. Someone just pointed it out to me.

Oh well, I still hope people are enjoying reading my test AP.


Val here again. Despite my complaints on Resonance, i feel like it is a very good idea in theory - as a DM of PF1 myself, i know the pains of people getting a 50 or more CLW charges cure wand myself. It just needs some tweaks to really shine, as right now it feels a little too punishing, especially to a party with little in the way of a healer.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Update: DragonCon upset our gaming schedule a bit but we are back with the next part of the Playtest Campaign (actually this is a two parter):

We unfortunately lost the Fighter Francois, but gained the Ranger Adrian Whisperwind.

So picking up where we left off:

-----

The PCs managed to slaughter the sleeping Goblins only raising a bit of a fuss which gave the rest of the Goblins to the north a bit of warning to plan their defense. The leader of the Goblins, an Alchemist named Cha'buum, organized the defense.

By organize, I mean he gave two of his lieutenants Acid Flasks and told them to get ready to kill the intruders.

The battle was pitched with the PCs engaging a Goblin Commando forward and then getting pelted by splash weapons from the two lieutenants and Cha'buum himself.

Though some careful planning and pushing our intrepid heroes managed to soldier forward and eventually put the Goblins down.

Claiming some treasure they found the captive from the caravan and rescued him. He gave them some information. He told them that Cha'buum wanted him to open a magically sealed door in the buried temple, but he was unable to do so. When he couldn't they drug him back here so that they could eat him.

Armed with that information the PCs descended into the buried temple. (And gained level 2!)

Making their way through they encountered a few more Goblins, easily dispatching them. Though one such encounter was amusing, they came across three Goblins arguing over a chicken, namely who got to eat it. On seeing the party, they misidentified Adrian's animal companion, a hawk, as a Chicken, and went about trying to omnom it.

After dealing with the threat the PC's explored a bit, finding the temple deserted save for a kitchen to the south that had not seen use in months and a storage room that appeared likewise. As they rounded a long hallway they came to a door that the keen eyes of Roc the Druid spotted as being trapped.

The Party wasn't able to disarm the trap however and set it off, getting slightly injured in the process, but finally found what appeared to be a coffer room. They were overjoyed at their find, but as they were sifting through the Silver and Copper coins a final Goblin Commando snuck up on them and launched a sneak attack.

The battle was surprisingly close though in the end the PCs prevailed. They made their way around until they came to the sealed door that the captured Cleric had told them about. Using detect Magic Roc could see that the door was glowing with mystical power and told the others as such. Trying to force it open had no effect. Their perception though revealed that there were four inlets in the door, round, about the size of the amulets that they each carried.

Inserting the amulets into the door the magical seal was broken and the door slid silently open. The PCs recovered their amulets and continued moving forward.

They came to another room with some small coffers, but this time decided not to loot them. This room had doors moving in every direction. They chose to move to the west and eventually came to two more doors. Opening one to the east they were faced with their first truly difficult encounter.

A pair of glowing eyed Skeletal Champions attacked them! It was a rough fight, that nearly resulted in death for the party.

(They were down one player character, Adrian, who's player was called into work.)

They lacked the proper damage type to deal with this threat, ultimately prevailing but not without significant and severe injury.

Entering into the room they were guarding they found a peculiar well that they felt drawn toward, but managed to resist the call of. The magical trap averted they sealed the doors to the room and decided to rest there for the night on the comfortable benches.

-----


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So basic feedback here:

The PCs managed to make it all the way to this point without having to rest. By this part however their resources were truly exhausted. Their only healing is by means of natural healing from Roc and the healing spells possessed by Callista the bard in the form of Soothe. They burned through all but one of their healing potions as well.

The party was nearly completely out of resonance and spell slots though so they felt that they had to rest rather than push on.

Since they hit level 2 (I let them fill up there) this is artificial a little bit. So from the time of entering the temple they faced the following encounters/threats.

-----

1. 2 Goblins and a 1 Goblin Commando.

Following Charts 4 and 5 on Page 21 of the Bestiary -

This is a "Low Threat" Encounter (and indeed it proved to be.) budgeted at 60 XP according to chart 5.

The enemies, 2 Goblins (CR 0) were considered APL-3 for a Level 2 Party were worth 15 each according to Chart 4. The Goblin Commando (CR 1) was APL -1 or listed as "Any Standard" for 30 XP.

30+15+15=60 we were dead on the target threat.

*****

2. The trap.

This was a reskinned slamming door trap (a portcullis fell) and as such followed the same rules as that does. It was worth 8 experience, but triggering it also drew the attention of the Goblin Commando to the South adding him to the mix. He is APL-1 and as such he was worth 30. So 38 experience, or close enough to a 40 experience trivial encounter.

I found this to be accurate more or less as the PCs easily dispatched it without much fuss.

*****

3. The Skeletal Champions.

This is where things went hard.

This was a High Threat Encounter, worth 80 Experience. The enemies, two Skeletal Champions, were equal APL to the party and worth 40 each. The Party didn't have bludgeoning weapons to deal with them (there were some in the area, but they had missed them) save for the Monk (Val).

This was NASTY bad, until the bard realized that telekinetic projectile would get her bashing damage too. Even so the Party did nearly die here. Val went down. Potions were used. It was not pretty. High Threat indeed.

*****

4. The Well Trap.

This one I had to make up myself, which may or may not invalidate this one for playtest data. This was basically a pit of poisoned water with a compulsion to make someone drink from it. It was a magical complex trap I valued at CR 1. Which was APL-1. The party managed to disarm it/resist it and as such defeated it. This granted them another 30 Experience Points.

*****

It was here that the party rested.

They had faced 1 Trivial Encounter, 2 Low Threat Encounters and 1 High Threat Encounter.

I felt confident that the party had had a significant amount of adventuring before the rest and as such was quite content with letting them seal the doors and get some sleep.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The Remaining Buried Temple:

So the PC's rested, but Roc was still badly busted up and needed extra healing before they could continue on.

The party eventually made their way south, well aware that their limited resources were dwindling. It was there that they encountered, what is believed to be, the remains of the Clerics of Aroden that manned this ancient temple. They had been transformed into zombies.

The Zombie Encounter was scary, but the four Zombie Shamblers stood no chance against the party. With the return of Adrian and between his whirling blades of fury and Val's slashing tiger claw strikes the Zombies were cut down with ease.

This lead them to the sleeping chambers of the clerics where they found a collection of wooden holy symbols, clerical robes, and some heavy maces as well as some Silver and Copper. Taking what they could the party moved on.

Traversing the halls of the Ancient Temple they eventually came to a room where they found a dead monk still clutching a book in his hands. When Callista picked up the book she felt a strong compulsion overcome her but she managed to push it aside. Realizing that something sinister was in that room the party abandoned it. Effectively surviving what was basically what PF1 would have called a Haunt, but PF2 just called a complex magical trap.

They continued to carefully explore the rest of the Temple before finding a room filled with sacramental spirits (that is booze for the uninitiated) and found hidden among the casks a barrel of expensive ale that wasn't doing the dead in this temple any good. They chose to take it with them in hopes of earning some funds later.

The party actually missed an ambush room, but traveled around and came to an odd door to the west. Pushing it open they failed to spot a trap and stepped inside. When they did a massive gust of wind knocked (most of) the party into the room. Separating them from Adrian's animal companion and Roc, as Callista, Val, and Adrian were shoved into the room and the door slammed shut.

When it did so they found themselves in a 3x3 room with hallways to the north and south that featured the moans of the hungry dead. They were swarmed by Shambling Zombies, eight of them, from both directions and the party found themselves in for the fight of their lives.

It was touch and go as they frantically worked to get the door open to escape while they found themselves under attack. Valiantly they struggled and fought, slashing at the undead, using the magic they had and standing their ground. Val got the door open, but feeling threatened, and being very injured, retreated into the hallway leaving Callista and Adrian against the remaining undead in the room. It was a terrifying encounter but, in the end, the player characters prevailed.

Searching the rooms they were able to find a case filled with minor healing potions which they sorely needed.

Traveling back to the hallway they found a pair of double doors to the south and pushed them open. Finding themselves in a room filled with a large fountain and three coffins they approached. When they did a serpent made of shadow erupted up and taunted them as a Skeletal Champion rose to face them and the coffins exploded revealing three zombies.

The battle was fast and furious as blade met bone and withered flesh. It pitched back and forth the zombies going down first but the champion proving to be much tougher. Finally the skeletal champion fell, its shield broken as it fought as hard as any could.

The enraged shadow serpent projection roared and the fountain shattered, spraying the party with the anointing water that was mixed with debris. Drenched by the liquid they had passed the test and their amulets began to glow marking them now as rightful and true members of the Legacy.

Wounded, bloody, and victorious the party now looks toward the future remembering the roar of the shadow projection, that the Serpent King is rising. That the Legacy has failed.

With that the session came to a close.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Encounter feedback:

1. Four Zombie Shamblers

These are CR 0 - So they are APL-3 against a level 2 party. This makes them each worth 15 XP. Thus this was an 60 XP encounter. A low threat Encounter that the party dealt with well.

2. The library trap

Again this was a custom trap, another CR 1 complex trap. 30 Experience.

3. The Missed Encounter

This one the players walked past. It was another 4 Shambler encounter. Would have been worth 60 experience points.

4. The Zombie Deathtrap

This one was a doozy. The PCs were first hit by the trap, basically a wind tunnel. I put this as a CR 1 simple trap (8 XP) but then combined it with the slamming door and triggering the zombie shambler release I raised it to a CR 3 Simple. Making this trap worth 12 XP.

The Zombies were another problem altogether. The Zombies were worth 15 XP each and there were 8 of them. Making this group worth 120 experience points. Nasty. Add to the 12 and that is 132 XP encounter. A severe encounter and it certainly was.

The party burned through the Healing Potions they had found, and burned through a couple spells, but pushed onto what they (correctly) identified as the final room.

5. The Final Room

This room contained 3 Zombie Shamblers and 1 Skeletal Champion.

The Shamblers were worth (as established) 15 XP each while the Champion was worth 40. Making this an 85 XP encounter. A High encounter.

The PCs succeeded but there were serious wounds on the side of the PCs. In the end they prevailed and the session ended there.

-----

The total experience for the buried temple was:

60+32+80+60+30+60+132=454

I also gave the party some bonus experience for completing minor goals and major goals totaling an additional 90 experience.

They still had some Experience left over from the previous area totaling 250. So their experience total was 794.

For testing purposes I decided that was close enough (and since they had just gone through heck and back) to level and told them to move to level 3.

-----

The end result though was that the party absolutely felt threatened. Some moreso than others. This has a different overall feel than Pathfinder 1 though as PF1 rocket tag was not in effect. My players felt that combat was pretty fast though and we never felt bogged down by slog.

Healing resources were pretty low and the party felt that they really needed a healer.

The Ranger (Adrian) felt that he wasn't able to shine as brightly as Val in terms of DPS so he has asked if he can switch to a Paladin. I have granted this for playtesting purposes. The explanation going to be a transformation brought on by the holy water that anointed them.

So far no deaths, but all in all 2 player characters have gone down.

I am still quite pleased with PF2, but there are some cracks starting to show under stress testing.

More feedback will follow.


DataLoreRPG wrote:
Quote:
Double Slice is the most powerful attack option in the game at lower levels. It needs to be depowered to be brought into line with Power Attack.
I agree 100%. Its also problematic with Sneak Attack on Rogues with M/C feats (possible at level 4; problematic at 5 when SA damage increases).

Double Slice and Power Attack are actually pretty neck and neck at lower levels. Power Attack with a d12 Weapon is better than Double Slice with a d8 Weapon and an agile d6 Weapon until you get +2 weapons. Then Double Slice is better until level 10 when Power Attack gains another die. Note that throughout all this, the damage from Power Attack + Strike is always better than Double Slice + Strike.

This is based on expected damage for a PC who normally hits on a 9 and has +4 to damage.

Now, if the Rogue MCs to get Double Slice, then his damage is absolutely better than someone using Power Attack. I don’t see that as a problem though, because the Rogue’s player had to invest 2 feats to get there, and this damage increase doesn’t keep up at higher levels (because the Rogue has 2 fewer attack bonus than than the Fighter, plus he uses smaller damage dice). At low levels, the Rogue will shine, and that’s fine.


Pramxnim wrote:
DataLoreRPG wrote:
Quote:
Double Slice is the most powerful attack option in the game at lower levels. It needs to be depowered to be brought into line with Power Attack.
I agree 100%. Its also problematic with Sneak Attack on Rogues with M/C feats (possible at level 4; problematic at 5 when SA damage increases).

Double Slice and Power Attack are actually pretty neck and neck at lower levels. Power Attack with a d12 Weapon is better than Double Slice with a d8 Weapon and an agile d6 Weapon until you get +2 weapons. Then Double Slice is better until level 10 when Power Attack gains another die. Note that throughout all this, the damage from Power Attack + Strike is always better than Double Slice + Strike.

This is based on expected damage for a PC who normally hits on a 9 and has +4 to damage.

Now, if the Rogue MCs to get Double Slice, then his damage is absolutely better than someone using Power Attack. I don’t see that as a problem though, because the Rogue’s player had to invest 2 feats to get there, and this damage increase doesn’t keep up at higher levels (because the Rogue has 2 fewer attack bonus than than the Fighter, plus he uses smaller damage dice). At low levels, the Rogue will shine, and that’s fine.

Really not fair to say:

A power attack with a d12 weapon...

Because not every power attacker uses a 2 handed d12 weapon.

Compare power attack with a d8 to double slice d6 and you see 2d8+4 vs 2d6+8

Avg 13 power attack vs 15 double slice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The d8 Power Attack comparison is also unfair, because there’s no incentive to use a smaller damage die weapon with Power Attack. It’s the feat for 2H-Weapon users. If we’re reducing damage dice by 2 steps, what about Double Slice with 2 d4 weapons? Would anyone consider using that when trying to maximize damage?

Also, when comparing damage, you need to look at accuracy as well. Power Attack is 1 Attack and Double Slice is 2 attacks. You can’t just look at the damage when both attacks hit without considering the probability of both attacks landing.

When we take into consideration accuracy, you’ll find that the expected damages from both options are very close to each other.


Pramxnim wrote:

The d8 Power Attack comparison is also unfair, because there’s no incentive to use a smaller damage die weapon with Power Attack. It’s the feat for 2H-Weapon users. If we’re reducing damage dice by 2 steps, what about Double Slice with 2 d4 weapons? Would anyone consider using that when trying to maximize damage?

Also, when comparing damage, you need to look at accuracy as well. Power Attack is 1 Attack and Double Slice is 2 attacks. You can’t just look at the damage when both attacks hit without considering the probability of both attacks landing.

When we take into consideration accuracy, you’ll find that the expected damages from both options are very close to each other.

Power Attack is not just for 2 handed weapons.

Oh and 2d4+8 averages 13
Vs 2d8+4 averages 13 also... So... Yeah.

You're not on great ground here.

And it gets nuts once it goes to +1 weapons if the Double Slicer gets a Doubling Ring.

Why?

2d4+8 becomes 4d4+8 or avg 18
2d8+4 becomes 3d8+4 or avg 17

+2 weapons?

4d4+8 becomes 6d4+8 or avg 23
3d8+4 becomes 4d8+4 or avg 22

And that is only if we assume that the Power Attacker is using the average damage of the most common 1 handed weapon vs the least common agile weapon.

AKA stacking the deck to make Double Slice as weak as possible and it still comes out ahead.

So yeah, Double Slice is problematic. It needs to be looked at.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I enjoyed reading this, and hope that you plan on using this data for the general surveys that should be coming out in a couple of weeks.

Does really seem like healing is one of the biggest issues to crop up in the playtest, not matter the personal preference for 2E.


HWalsh wrote:
The battle was surprisingly close though in the end the PCs prevailed. They made their way around until they came to the sealed door that the captured Cleric had told them about. Using detect Magic Roc could see that the door was glowing with mystical power and told the others as such. Trying to force it open had no effect. Their perception though revealed that there were four inlets in the door, round, about the size of the amulets that they each carried.

Just a minor comment here but, Detect Magic doesn't work that way anymore it's more like a sonar pulse that sends back a yes/no to is there magic within 30 feet.

There is a new cantrip, Read Aura, that effectively reveals a single targeted object as being magic or not but, takes 10 minutes to cast.

In this case it isn't really important as they would have found the holes in the wall either way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This may be my favorite thread on the boards now. Thanks for sharing and taking the time in the write up!


Erpa wrote:
This may be my favorite thread on the boards now. Thanks for sharing and taking the time in the write up!

Thank you very much. I plan to keep updating. We play every two weeks on Thursday. The idea is that I run the week before Errata comes out so that the Errata comes out on Monday and we have almost 2 weeks to make necessary adjustments.

GreatCowGuru wrote:

Just a minor comment here but, Detect Magic doesn't work that way anymore it's more like a sonar pulse that sends back a yes/no to is there magic within 30 feet.

There is a new cantrip, Read Aura, that effectively reveals a single targeted object as being magic or not but, takes 10 minutes to cast.

In this case it isn't really important as they would have found the holes in the wall either way.

Good catch. Easy mistake for me to make. I will make a sticky note.


MMCJawa wrote:

I enjoyed reading this, and hope that you plan on using this data for the general surveys that should be coming out in a couple of weeks.

Does really seem like healing is one of the biggest issues to crop up in the playtest, not matter the personal preference for 2E.

Yes, that is the plan. We do indeed plan on updating the general surveys. Also I put this here so people can make comments. Also my players are directed here to post as well if they wish to so you can feel free to ask them questions on this thread. I cannot guarantee they will respond though.

Player Characters:

Valstryx - Elven Monk

Adrian - Half-Elven Ranger (About to be Paladin)

Roc - Elven Druid

Callista - Half-Elven Bard


HWalsh, you're still not considering accuracy when looking at the damage of Power Attack and Double Slice. You need to hit with both attacks to get to the 2d6+8, 4d6+8, 6d6+8 values that you're getting.

I'm not saying that Power Attack is stronger than Double Slice. It's very slightly weaker and needs a buff. However, Double Slice is not a problem and doesn't need to be nerfed.

Anyway, that's outside the scope of this thread, as it's for you to post feedback on your home campaign, not for a debate about the math of abilities.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Quick correction, it is Valstryz. I just have everyone call him Val because it is easier to pronounce.

As for personal feedback - if i can add it - well... I do like the niche that monks have as a DPS machine, though i do feel there are problems.
(warning: A lot of this might be just personal nitpicking of a player that is already very bad at nitpicking)

1.) Ki Strike could use a looking at. Right now, there is absolutely no reason not to take it, even if the monk is dumping wisdom/not planning to touch Ki - it is basically Weapon Focus with fancier wording on it. Given that monk can make 4 attacks a turn fairly consistently, this is quite strong.

2.) Monks could use some other use for Wisdom beyond just Ki. It does become really strong after about 8th level, but before that, it just feels awful to invest stat points into it - especially since a monk does not even use spell points before level 4 (See above for my complaint with Ki Strike). I'm not asking the 1e "Wis to AC" to come back, just... well, make spell points/ki relevant before level 4 where Wholeness of Body comes in, perhaps?

3.) Why does a feat called Stunning Fist need both a critical hit from the monk AND a critical failure from the target to actually... well, stun the target? (Perhaps just calling it Debilitating Fist or such could be more appropriate?)

4.) (This is a very personal gripe.) I think that Monks of all classes should really have access to Legendary Unarmed Strike, somehow. Perhaps letting them choose between that and Legendary Unarmored Defense on the relevant level? Dunno, it just seems very fitting fluff-wise.

5.) Monastic Weaponry being a feat just feels really weird. Previously, Monks could do monk weapons innately, and... well, now it seems kind of mandatory to spend a feat on them, both to actually get a ranged option at all, as well as any access to Piercing damage.

6.) Being unable to ready a stance outside of combat (say, if you are sneaking up on an enemy) is infuriating, as it means you are down an action for something that... well, one really should be able to do beforehand. I can understand that this is probably for balancing reasons, but it still does not feel very good to have to contend with.


NobodyImportant wrote:
6.) Being unable to ready a stance outside of combat (say, if you are sneaking up on an enemy) is infuriating, as it...

The Devs have commented on this one Val.

Basically the thing with a stance is, it isn't just how you stand. This is true from a realism standpoint as well. Taking a stance requires you to know things in advance. Things like enemy positioning, what weapons they have, how they move, etc.

So it is impossible to prepare a stance before combat starts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Going to elaborate on that last part a little...

I took Bok Hak Pai for seven years before I was crippled. For those wondering that is White Crane Style Kung Fu.

So, this is a style that actually has something called a Crane Stance.

No, this is not Karate Kid heh not standing with arms up and out.

What it is, however, is turning your body to the side so the opponent is looking at your side profile. Then you reach your arms out high, palms facing down, with your knees partially bent.

This stance requires you to back away from opponents when they close to allow for blocking and parrying.

There is another stance where you don't turn your body to the side profile, and instead partially bend your knees then take your right arm and bend it at the elbow bringing it up in front of you (similar to a snake or bird's head) while crossing your left arm underneath it to rest your left wrist at a point near your right elbow. This creates a very tight body defense.

If I don't know where you are standing, what you are using, and how you are moving I can't employ either of these stances with any degree of effect.

That is why a stance cannot be pre-set before battle.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

And in 8 hours the next part in the Legacy of the Serpent King begins.

Today we'll be stress testing some monsters as our heroes travel back to Nybor to meet with Buenor Sandhammer following their annointment...


Looking forward to it.


NobodyImportant wrote:


1.) Ki Strike could use a looking at. Right now, there is absolutely no reason not to take it, even if the monk is dumping wisdom/not planning to touch Ki - it is basically Weapon Focus with fancier wording on it. Given that monk can make 4 attacks a turn fairly consistently, this is quite strong.

No, no you've got it wrong, Ki strike requires you to spend... hold on.

*checks book thoroughly*

...You're kidding me.

Yeah, Ki Strike is Weapon Focus(Unarmed Strike) but convoluted.

I can't believe how insane that is.

Not just how powerful it is compared to pretty much every other class feat (especially at first level), but how unclear it is that it's just always on.

Guess when this becomes common knowledge the only monks who pick anything else at lvl 1 are gonna be humans who also get to pick this.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ki Strike applies only to 1 attack per Ki Point spent, so it's not exactly super strong. You'll use it for an important attack roll, but it's not free to use, so you can't spam it willy nilly.

EDIT: If you just look at the rulebook, then you might think it doesn't cost anything, but one of the errata updates explicitly state that it costs 1 Ki Point.


Ya, Ki Strike is fairly weak. Its basically a feat tax for Wholeness of Body.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The latest session was very short:

The player characters finished searching the ancient temple, finding nothing further, and battered and bruised, made their way out. They were wearing and bloody and were planning to rest.

That is when they encountered the true leader of the Goblins who had returned while they were inside...

A Barghest!

Not just a Barghest, but a Barghest, a 1st level Goblin Bard, and 2 Goblin Dogs!

The Players pooped themselves!

The fight was intense, the Ranger's animal companion took a crit (there were a LOT of crits, my dice were VERY hot) from a Goblin Dog and then the Barghest made his way in!

Closing on the Ranger he laid into him, drawing a huge amount of damage!

The Ranger directed his Animal Companion to move and flank, unaware that the Barghest could Attack of Opportunity! The Barghest swiped with his claws and Critted! The Animal Companion slammed into the ground at Dying 2!

Dismayed at the shape of his companion the Ranger unleashed his blades on the Barghest! Slash! Slash! He drew blood, overcoming the Barghest's damage reduction, but not dropping the foul creature!

The Monk entered Tiger Stance and closed with the Barghest! Unleashing a flurry of blows! One critter! One missed! The Barghest was damaged and bleeding!

The Goblin Bard began cheering on the Barghest! ("I support and love you my dark master! Now get in there and kill them faster!") Before drawing his shortbow and taking an ill-fated shot at the player's bard!

The Druid replied by summoning a Flaming Sphere which burned the Barghest! Its resistances reduced the damage, but some got through!

The remaining Goblin Dog lunged forward toward the Monk and managed to get a bite in, but it was low damage and no allergic reaction occured!

Finally the allied Bard cheered her own team on and saved the Animal Companion with a casting of Soothe!

The first round ended!

The first Goblin dog struck at the Ranger! Natural 20! He took a small bit of flesh due to a poor roll, but otherwise was ineffective! He then moved to get in the middle of the PCs and released a cloud of dander into the air! Oh no! Fortunately only the Bard succumbed.

The Barghest, bleeding and wounded, retreated then cast Confusion on the Druid! The Druid resisted, but was babbling and slowed!

The Ranger ordered his companion to get up and move to flank the Barghest! Then he closed himself! He drew more blood from the beast!

The Monk charged in risking the AoO to flank! He took a Critical Hit and was nearly felled! Standing his ground he unleashed a series of powerful blows, but missed all of them! Oh no!

The Goblin Bard drew a wand and rushed forward to aid his master! He drew a wand and cast a heightened soothe from it! The Barghest was healed for 25 damage!

Seeing the fact that the Bard was a healer the Druid moved and directed his flaming sphere to strike it! The Goblin Bard critically failed its save and was incinerated on the spot! ("I've been burned to a crisp on this spot! That Druid's sphere is really hot!")

The second Goblin Dog went for the Druid but had next to no effect!

The allied Bard rushed to the Ranger and dropped another Soothe! Her last one!

The second round concluded!

The first Goblin Dog went for the bard! It drew blood and its dander irritated her eyes but it was minor damage!

The Barghest unleashed its fury! Dealing serious damage to the Ranger, but missing the Monk as it thrashed around desperately!

The Ranger returned in kind by slashing at the creature with the hell of his animal companion! This caused damage and drew blood on the Barghest that started to spill out!

The Monk pressed his attack! Also dealing damage to the creature! The Barghest started to sway, but did not fall!

The Druid then joined in! He sent his flaming sphere at the monster! Then he turned and used a shocking grasp to eliminate the Goblin Dog that had been attacking him!

The Bard used her song to aid her allies and rushed to the Monk's side, grabbing the Soothe wand that had fallen when the Goblin Bard was incinerated!

The third round ended!

The remaining Goblin dog tore into the bard! Ripping her flesh and irritating her allergies!

The Barghest turned and unleashed a final desperate strike on the Monk! A critical hit! The Monk went down! It then turned to the Ranger and unleashed its final two attacks, they missed, the party was terrified, but then the Barghest fell! The monster had bled out!

The Ranger, exhausted, turned and finished off the last Goblin dog and the fight ended. With the soothe wand the Bard got the Monk back up and the party assessed its wounds.

The Druid used his nature and medicine skills to heal what he could for the party, but with their magic exhausted they felt they had to rest. So they withdrew from the Goblin Lair and made camp in the near woods.

They gathered food and prepared watches. As they did so, they noticed something off in the sky. A new constilation was residing in the heavens. A winged serpentine shape.

The Bard shared with the other characters the legend of the Serpent King. Then they finally slept. Their plan was to return to Nybor and inform Buenor Sandhammer of what had happened.

When morning came they noticed an eerie silence had fallen over the woods and the Druid noticed that the air had a chill to it that was unusual for this locations and at this time of year...

Then we had to end early. Tune in next time! Same bat-time, same bat-channel!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Chiming in, I am playing Adrian the Ranger in this campaign.

My two cents: (So far)

I have encountered the greatest issues with the layout of the book when it comes to how the non-class or race specific feats are organized. They should be separated into general feats, then skill feats by skill. As it is, it's just a total mess to do any sort of planning, because you need higher proficiency ranks to qualify for later skill feats. The current alphabetic organization is very hard to work with in a practical sense.

As might have been mentioned, after a couple sessions of Ranger I talked to HWalsh about switching over to try Paladin. I felt redundant as a melee ranger with the Monk in the party, as he had faster movement, comparable AC, another D10 character, and filled the same Dex-based melee role. However, the changes to Ranger's early feats and their interaction with the Hunt Target, as well as allowing Ranger's to focus on Strength or Dexterity, made Ranger much more satisfying to play, so I decided to stick with it. Being a strength based melee Ranger instead of a Dex-based one has been fun thus far.

Gripes:

On Animal Companions

All animal companions getting the same starting stats is not very satisfying. It is a bit frustrating for a nimble hawk companion to have the same unarmored AC as a bear, but 4 less HP. There are understandable tradoffs between the options, and I wouldn't expect a hawk to be as tough as a bear for obvious reasons, but it's not like the bear is stronger and the hawk is more nimble; they all have the same ability modifiers.

If you acquire your Animal Companion after 1st level, while adventuring, their terrible AC can be pretty punishing, unless you had a somewhat meta-gamey foresight to purchase barding in preparation.

In general, Animal Companions are much, much too squishy. They can't really do anything from a distance, have much lower AC and HP than PCs, and thus trying to have them contribute to combat is a somewhat risky proposition. I would understand this if animal companions operated with their own actions, however, they do not. It is definitely a good choice to have them operate using the PC's actions, but when they add so little offensively having their defensive capabilities in the form of HP, AC, and saves be so weak pretty much makes them a liability, absorbing healing resources when they take crits and hits that would have been hits or misses for a melee character with a decent AC.

This one-size-fits-all approach to the animal companion types is disheartening and unsatisfying. I think each animal companion type should have their own distribution of ability modifiers and saving throw proficiencies that should be more comparable to player character's. I understand bringing down the offensive potential of animal companions from their capabilities in PF1, but having their defense also be weaker than comparable front-line PCs makes them a liability in combat.

On Resonance

Charisma absolutely needs to have a purpose. However, I don't think this is the right way to do it. Charisma matters at 1st level, and quickly stops mattering as characters gain more resonance from levels. I think some sort of "kicker" instead of having it be a flat level-based calculation would be more enjoyable. For example, a formula that looked like 5+cha mod*2 would both make charisma more important, and make resonance not quite so scarce at low levels but abundant at high levels. With the ability score increases as a character levels, this would still allow a character that wanted additional magic item activation capability to acquire it by investing in Charisma. As it stands, having a +1 cha at level 1 gives you double the resonance of a character with a +0, but by later levels it seems unlikely that your resonance pool would be strained, even with a low cha.

As a note, I did start my Ranger off with 12 Charisma, mostly because I felt it would be fitting for Adrian. However, I sympathized with the Monk's struggle to heal at level 1, and felt that the problem would quickly go away at higher levels and render my choice to put some small investment into Charisma quickly moot.

On weapons, hands, and actions

I share Jay's opinions on needing actions to glue or unglue one's hand to a weapon. It does punish gish character concepts, and in-play it's fairly clunky. There may be balance reasons for this choice that I don't understand fully right now, but I can't help but think that there must be a better way of addressing whatever issue allowing people to stick and unstick their hands freely would cause. Perhaps a middle ground would be giving the character an option to re-attach their sticky, sweaty palms to their weapon at any point before the end of their turn if they took the action to detach it? (Rather than paying 2 actions, 1 to unglue and 1 to re-glue). Really, I'd just prefer it if characters didn't have glue on their hands, or maybe the availability of a glue-removal feat. Regardless, it seems absolutely absurd that it takes as long to remove ones hand from a bowstring as it does to draw said bowstring and fire.

On attacks of opportunity

The restrictiveness of AOOs seems a bit questionable. AOOs serve the mechanical function of making melee sticky. It's not impossible to extract oneself, but usually there is either an action cost or a risk factor. With monsters having an (in general) higher attack bonus than players, it appears that players are in a higher risk position. Add to that the incredibly restricted access to AOOs for players. As far as I am aware, there are 3 ways to do it. Fighter dedication (costing 2 feats, achievable at a minimum of 6th level), being a 1st level fighter, or taking it as a feat as a 6th level paladin. By comparison, every melee enemy tougher than a goblin dog has had AOO, at least in this game. Fortunately, HWalsh hasn't had enemy characters bypass the group's ranger and the monk and go straight for the casters always, but there is nothing we would actually have to prevent them or even make it risky to do that.

The short of it is, I think AOO should be more available to a wider range of classes, perhaps as a general feat instead of being behind class-based or dedication walls. Maybe Fighter should be adapted to have a different "thing".

On Half-Elves

There seems to be no real downsides to being half an elf as opposed to an all-elf, and straight human is pretty undesirable by comparison as well. The extra movement granted by the half-elf ancestry is quite nice, and getting access to the full pool of human, half-elf, AND Elf ancestry feats just seems broken.

It might be a better solution to have half elves and half orcs just be their own races.

The good stuff:

Character creation was more straightforward than PF1. I admit I like to know what I'm getting into and have a plan for everything all the way high levels when I first create a character at level 1. I think the design of PF2 allows for a less-planned character to be satisfying to play.

Other than the aforementioned glue-hands issue, combat flows well and the three-action system is pretty clean. I like how the multiple attack penalties work, and I feel it encourages players to think outside the box and use other combinations of actions than trying to just output as many attacks per round as possible. It makes non-resourced based characters (AKA non-spellcasters) make more decisions and makes them more interesting to play.

The proficiency system is pretty solid and enjoyable.

Stuff I'm not sold on:

I like how multiclassing works conceptually but it appears too taxing in practice. It would be nice if the introductory dedication feat had some optional components. Feat tax is one of the things about PF1 I really didn't like. Seeing it crop up here is disheartening. That said, the core idea of having a character take a dedication rather than levels in some other class makes a lot more narrative sense and has more roleplaying potential. I just wish the mechanics were more rewarding.

I like the design of abilities that each class gets as they level in addition to class-specific feats, as it is less overwhelming approach, especially for new players, in comparison to classic Pathfinder. However, a lot of aspects of class design feel like a step in the wrong direction. For example, if I wanted to play a fighter who uses a bow, the ability I get at 1st level for being a fighter (AOO) would be somewhat wasted. It would be better if all the "core" class abilities were more open in their application, whereas things with a more specific application to a certain play-style were feats.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Re: weapon glue

Removing your hand from a weapon is not an action; only increasing your grip is an action.

So... wish granted, I suppose? :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for Chiming in Adrian - I make it a point not to speak for my players.

And, yes, I've not been having enemies bypass you unless they have a good reason. The Goblin dogs actually did. Their tactics were to flank and pincer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Ryvin wrote:

...

By comparison, every melee enemy tougher than a goblin dog has had AOO, at least in this game.
...

This caught my eye, so I thought I would go check the bestiary and see how true that is.

I couldn't be bothered counting the number of creatures in the bestiary, so I did a quick estimate - the left column of the first page of the creature list is 53 creatures, so going off that the book has about 250 creature total. Of those 250, 44 creatures had attack of opportunity. Some of those were only a subset of that particular creature (Orc Warrior, for example). Creatures with attack of opportunity tended to be one of the following:
1. Monster equivalents of the PC Fighter class
2. Scary boss fight type monsters that are dangerous in melee (hydra, dragon etc)
3. Horrible things that are martially capable and intelligent e.g. a lot of outsiders

That would mean that Attacks of Opportunity are common enough that you have to assume they are a risk on anything that really wants to get into melee and is capable of eating your face.

I hear this is called progress, apparently?


To be fair the different kinds of enemies my players have faced so far are:

Barghest
Goblin Alchemist
Goblin Bard
Goblin Warrior
Goblin Commando
Goblin Dog
Skeletal Champion
Zombie Shambler


So...Barghest and Skeletal Champion have Attack of Opportunity. Goblin Warriors are the Goblin's fighter equivalent, and those often have Attack of Opportunity, but not always (in this case they don't). The only way to find out that they don't is to take an action that triggers it and see if they try to stab you, which is may or may not be something a PC is willing to risk in the middle of a pitched battle.

Yeah, that is only slightly on the high side given the bestiary numbers. Two actual AoO users and one reasonably suspected AoO user out of 8 creature types. Your group's campaign seems pretty typical. Heck, if your players were fighting Gnolls or Orcs or something instead of Goblins, they would be even more paranoid about AoOs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Snowblind wrote:

So...Barghest and Skeletal Champion have Attack of Opportunity. Goblin Warriors are the Goblin's fighter equivalent, and those often have Attack of Opportunity, but not always (in this case they don't). The only way to find out that they don't is to take an action that triggers it and see if they try to stab you, which is may or may not be something a PC is willing to risk in the middle of a pitched battle.

Yeah, that is only slightly on the high side given the bestiary numbers. Two actual AoO users and one reasonably suspected AoO user out of 8 creature types. Your group's campaign seems pretty typical. Heck, if your players were fighting Gnolls or Orcs or something instead of Goblins, they would be even more paranoid about AoOs.

At risk of spoilers -

My players stay out:
They'll be encountering Gnolls, Kobolds, and a custom Drake.

Snowblind wrote:

So...Barghest and Skeletal Champion have Attack of Opportunity. Goblin Warriors are the Goblin's fighter equivalent, and those often have Attack of Opportunity, but not always (in this case they don't). The only way to find out that they don't is to take an action that triggers it and see if they try to stab you, which is may or may not be something a PC is willing to risk in the middle of a pitched battle.

Yeah, that is only slightly on the high side given the bestiary numbers. Two actual AoO users and one reasonably suspected AoO user out of 8 creature types. Your group's campaign seems pretty typical. Heck, if your players were fighting Gnolls or Orcs or something instead of Goblins, they would be even more paranoid about AoOs.

I think that looking at the bestiary and how many monsters have AOO doesn't really capture the full picture. I think you have to account for APL. Considering we were, y'know, levels 2 and 3 at the time, it seemed like a high proportion of what we were fighting had the ability, compared to what would be attainable for the players.

Really, I'm not trying to argue that it's bad that the NPCs have AOO, just that the ability is too difficult for players to access, especially at low levels. I don't think it should be the ability that Fighters get at 1st level, as making it more available would detract from its uniqueness for the Fighter (Fighters should get something else that hopefully is broader in application), but perhaps they should be the ones with access to the ability as a feat at 1st level, with other Fighterish types, say, Paladin, Ranger, and Barbarian (monk maybe?), getting the opportunity to pick it up somewhere around 2nd or 4th, depending on the class, rather than 6th at the earliest, requiring a fighter dedication for most. There isn't really a way for non-fighters to maintain a threatening front line if the enemy decides to use flanking tactics until 6th level at the earliest, and for most classes that's going to cost the initial dedication feat tax, and a 2nd feat, just to gain the ability to AOO.

In short, I didn't mean to say that the enemies had too much AOO, it felt entirely appropriate that what had it did have it, just that it doesn't feel appropriate that unless I picked Fighter I can't access it for some time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Today's Update:

Today I tested an "extreme" difficulty encounter while introducing a new character/player while expanding the lore.

-----

The encounter:
This is a "Nova" Encounter - The PCs are fully tested and only will face one encounter in the adventuring day.

The enemy:
6 CR 2 Gnolls - The Party - 5 level 3 PCs

One of the PCs (Maria - Rogue) was needing to be rescued - I may have overestimated this one. Though the players had fun so...

The 6 CR 2s were valued at 180 which is close enough to Extreme when adjusted for 5 players.

-----

Maria was a new member of the legacy who was anointed at the temple to Aroden when it was attacked. She was captured by the Gnolls who extracted, over months, the location of Buenor Sandhammer.

-----

The game started with the PCs finishing their camping and continuing their path to Nybor. Through some skill usage they found that the absence of animals as no insects was due to a powerful burst of negative energy. It didn't do much damage but it seemed to extend for six miles from the temple where they had encountered the Shadow Creature.

Eventually, following some more camping and the avoidance of needing rations due to Roc's superior wilderness skills he PCs had found tracks at the wreckage of a Caravan and followed them, their keen eyes revealing the Ambush in advance. This let the pre-buff and get into position before springing the attack.

----

Without going into details (as they aren't as important here) this created a very much pitched battle that seemed to swing twice...

At first the PCs were ahead... They dropped 2 of the Gnolls during the furst two rounds...

Then things got pitched... It became an even fight as the Rogue pickpocketed one of the guard Gnolls and stole the key to escape.

Valstrys became locked in a 1 on 1 Fist vs Axe battle - While Callista provided support in the form of Yelekinetic Projectile (managing to kill one of them eventually) and Inspire - Roc engaged in a ranged combat with an archer while Adrian was death on legs with his swords (one was enchanted by Callista)...

The tide of battle swung for the Gnolls for a short time. Valstrys was badly wounded and a pair of crits nearly finished Adrian.

Adrian retreated where Callista healed him, but the Gnolls, smelling blood, seeing him as the murderer of their friends, persued.

There was another heavy hit leaving Adrian at single digits barely standing when the tide swung again...

Valstrys felled his single opponent while Adrian managed to down one of the two on him, then a Flaming Sphere from Roc dealt damage to the other backing away a sneaky arrow from Maria the Rogue, who had escaped during the carnage ended the discussion.

-----

The PCs were wounded but some heightened Soothes fixed them right up. They managed to loot the Gnolls and their camp and were introduced to Maria.

Maria shared her story and revealed that she had given up Sandhammer's location. The party knew they had to hurry. Dashing southeast they headed toward Nybor.

-----

Along the way they encountered a traveling Mercent on the road and a bevy of refugees. The party traded the loot they had gathered for some needed supplies. They also learned that a large army of Gnolls, Goblins, and Kobolds were gathering in the Marshfens and were raiding small towns and villages.

The PCs had no doubt the army was heading for Nybor.

Risking it the forced March toward Nybor.

-----

Reaching Sandhammer they gave him the news of the Serpent King and he revealed that the Legacy was formed after Aroden's death to fight the Serpent King should he ever rise again.

To that end he brought the party to a secret chamber below his shop and entrusted the PCs with weapons (+1!) And higher quality armor (non-magical) and told that they had to seek an Oracle in Magnamar. The Oracle would guide them.

-----

They returned and the keen-eyed Roc and Maria spotted signal fires. The army had reached the city and Nybor was soon to be under seige.

----

That was the end of this week's session. Hope you're all entertained.

My players will probably share their comments below and as always I can answer questions.


Bard player back again with some updates/thoughts.

I initially planned to have Callista take the rogue dedication. As someone who generally likes multiclassing more than most, I'm really interested in seeing how it works here. Given the party's need for healing, however, and some story events going on in the background, I decided that the (angelic) sorcerer dedication would be both more thematically-appropriate and mechanically useful. Always nice when those things align.

So at level 3, I took the dedication feat. Two cantrips is unspectacular, but the dedication is a feat tax, and I get the need to make multiclassing actually cost something so that there are benefits to just keeping a single class, too. Looking down the line, though, I have to say the fact that I only ever get e.g. one first level spell (and a single slot, for that matter!) is pretty restrictive. That's only one first-level spell per day from multiclassing, even at level 20, if I'm reading that right. The ability scales in that the feat grants a second- and third- level spell known/single slot to cast from, but it would be nice if it scaled at least a little bit more in respect to spells/day as well. I'm not asking for full progression, mind you, but as it is, that's an awfully steep feat tax for a very limited number of things to add to my daily options. Maybe each time the multiclass sorcerer takes the next feat in the chain, they get one more use per day of each lower spell level? Not necessarily a new spell known, just a new slot. Then by the end of the three feat "Sorcerer Spellcasting" chain, (at minimum level 18), I'd have three level 1-2-3 slots, two level 4-5-6, etc. Still considerably less than the base sorc, but not 1.

Looking at the existing tables, that almost seems like too much by comparison, but then I think casters really don't have enough spells per day in general? I'll be honest, I'm struggling not to spend them all in one encounter sometimes, and as someone who's played plenty of casters in PF1, this is not just an issue of not knowing how to budget actions. I'm used to limited resources. But this is really limited. Especially since my spell slots are the most reliable source of healing for the party in a situation where healing is scarce. It leaves me feeling like Callista is not getting to do actual bard things like enjoying the benefits of occult casting. (Though in fairness she does spend a lot of time performing—I'm sure I'll have thoughts on the new mechanic for increasing the benefits of Inspire Courage, but I'm not there yet.)

On the plus side though, in actual encounters she does a fair amount of proxy damage with performance and things. The trouble is even with a very decent dex score, she doesn't often hit with her bow, and her one spammable damage spell (Telekinetic Throw) is very underwhelming, being the cantrip that it is. If I were playing a PF1 bard I'd be worried about shooting or dealing damage with spells almost never, but again, limited spell slots, long combats, sometimes multiple a day, need to save resources for healing. So I'm kinda forced to try doing damage in the ways available to me for lack of anything else to do.

I suppose this sounds like a lot of complaining, which is unfair, as I'm mostly enjoying things regardless. It's just kind of a weird situation when my (one of two casters) turns are routinely the shortest in the party, because I'm rarely casting.

1 to 50 of 54 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Game Master Rules / Running the Game / Ongoing Feedback - Home Campaign - Not Doomsday Dawn All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.