Permanent negative status effects are awful


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Watching a game on Youtube.

Level 12 Barbarian rolls a natural 1 on a Fort save against a Lich, is permanently paralyzed and the player is then left to sit there doing nothing with no chance to shake the negative ability off and nothing their teammates can do to help them, even after the fight is over.

Who is this good for? How does this make the game more fun for anybody?

Why isn't there a new save each round?

The normal failed save is just 1 round, why is the crit fail INFINITELY more than that?


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Those spells and powers that feel like Save or Die have been a source of contention for a long time. It is a harsh outcome, no doubt.

Granted, a simple Remove Paralysis spell (Level 2) will cure even permanent paralysis, as well as the Salve of Antiparalysis, so it's not really permanent.

I think this speaks to how the game is played/narrated. It's probably wise for any GM to at least leave some clues and rumors/hints as to the necessity to prepare for Paralysis because players will want to rage quit when a bad roll completely takes them out of the game.

By the time the party is facing a lich, it should be pretty easy to get their hands on a few Salves (only 15 gp, or 150 gp for the AOE/stone to flesh version) or even have an occult, primal, or Iomedae cleric capable of memorizing that spell.


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So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?


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Well.. there is some onus on the GM to know what players are getting into and if it'll put them in a no-win situation.

But, yes, a novice GM playing a high level campaign without much practical experience... it's tough. Good GMing doesn't come easy or quick.

But researching the Archmage's Tower to learn of rumors of a Lich and then hunting down a scholar (or using skills) to find out it's capabilities and weakness isn't metagaming, it's good Role-Play and should be encouraged.

As a GM, I would consider it a failure on my part if I sent them into a situation where they would be at a severe disadvantage without feeling I offered them enough narrative indicators to prepare for something that deadly. A Lich is a serious foe. A creature of legendary evil and horror.

Probably shouldn't be a wandering monster no one is prepared for.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

Watching a game on Youtube.

Level 12 Barbarian rolls a natural 1 on a Fort save against a Lich, is permanently paralyzed and the player is then left to sit there doing nothing with no chance to shake the negative ability off and nothing their teammates can do to help them, even after the fight is over.

Who is this good for? How does this make the game more fun for anybody?

Why isn't there a new save each round?

The normal failed save is just 1 round, why is the crit fail INFINITELY more than that?

I'm not a huge fan of one bad roll ending a character (especially since I often roll badly), great care needs to be taken with anything like that. At least paralysis is reversible with some fairly common spells and items. So it's not too different from petrifaction from PF1. So I don't think this one is too out of line, but needs to be used with caution. The real problem comes from conditions that require much harder to come by spells to reverse. Things that aren't reversible without a Wish or Miracle for example. And those spells are even harder to come by than in PF1 now that 10th level spells require a feat.

The worst offender I've seen in the playtest is the Darkside Mirror. It doesn't actually use conditions, but it's related. It requires you to identify what happened, kill the duplicate, figure out how to reverse it, have someone with Legendary Thievery to even attempt the fix, have them succeed on a hard roll and you have to do all of this in 10 minutes or the character is gone forever and can never be returned. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. When we encountered this, I, the party's rogue rolled a 1 on the save. Nobody else could even attempt to undo it, and the 10 minute timer meant they couldn't go find someone else who could. We were below 15th level so nobody could have Legendary proficiency, only a rouge who took Trap Finder and had master proficiency (which I did) could even hope to attempt it. So it was a one roll permanent death. Needless to say, I was not amused. I can understand killing a character with a bad save. But making them unrecoverable without extreme effort is just a low blow. There does seem to be one other way around it, getting the duplicate to voluntarily return, which they are specifically said not to want to do. And it takes 10 minutes to do so. So if that 10 minute time limit still applies (there is no reason to believe it doesn't) then it's a moot point anyway.


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I don't see this as any worse then failing a save vs disintegrate and not having that many hp left.

And the effect is permanent only on a critical failure from a touch attack, so its not likely to happen very often.

Not so sure that the effect can be removed by a lvl 2 remove paralysis, or at least, not easily. The way the lich's touch is written I would consider it no different then a Power, which for the lich would make it effectly 6th level. And if there is one thing that table 9-3 on page 320 has taught me, its counter an effect with a lower level spell is nigh impossible.

Personally, I absolutely hate spells that you get to resave against each round. Especially since if you make the save, the spell stop effecting you. If you had to make a save vs each round until the duration ended I wouldn't mind.

Silver Crusade

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We had a similar situation: the groups dwarf druid critfailed her save against warp mind:

Warp mind wrote:

Critical Failure The target is confused permanently.

The effect of warp mind is instantaneous and therefore can’t be
dispelled until it runs its course, though it can be counteracted
by alter reality, miracle, primal phenomenon, restoration,
or wish.

When the stars go dark:
Luck for the player was that she has been granted a wish at the beginning of said chapter and could thus negate the permanent confusion

It would not have been impossible or even hard for the group to get rid of the confused condition, but it was annoying for the player, and it would have taken some time, in game and on the table.

Yet... all those "save or suck"-spells have been reduced to "save or suck, but only if you roll really low" which is good. And you can use hero points to reroll that one save.
For some spells it is two saves even (like phantasmal killer).

So: sometimes one roll can end characters. Most of the time, they can recover from that too, but it takes time and/or ressources.
It's only really bad if the character isn't recoverable, like in the darkside mirror-example.

--------------

Joey Cote wrote:

I don't see this as any worse then failing a save vs disintegrate and not having that many hp left.

And the effect is permanent only on a critical failure from a touch attack, so its not likely to happen very often.

Not so sure that the effect can be removed by a lvl 2 remove paralysis, or at least, not easily. The way the lich's touch is written I would consider it no different then a Power, which for the lich would make it effectly 6th level. And if there is one thing that table 9-3 on page 320 has taught me, its counter an effect with a lower level spell is nigh impossible.

Personally, I absolutely hate spells that you get to resave against each round. Especially since if you make the save, the spell stop effecting you. If you had to make a save vs each round until the duration ended I wouldn't mind.

Well, the level 2 remove paralysis might not counteract the level 6 power, but a remove paralysis heightened to 6th level should, if you rule that it is a power.


People are insisting on harsh rules for death from damage. I don't see this as any different. For gamist play, it make sense that hazards be "real" and therefore punishing, up to and including permanent loss of the character.

Personally, I am a storyteller style GM and don't like any permanent consequences for characters, as I prefer that each character's story be told over playing the tactical minigame of combat. The debate over all the different and patently unrealistic death rules mystify me, I just can't see the point.


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Starfox wrote:

People are insisting on harsh rules for death from damage. I don't see this as any different. For gamist play, it make sense that hazards be "real" and therefore punishing, up to and including permanent loss of the character.

...

It is fairly simple. Death and serious long term penalties are supposed to be punishments. That is to say, they should be a consequence of the PCs screwing up. Those sorts of consequences should not be handed out for simply showing up to a fight and allowing an enemy to get off a single round of actions. That isn't punishment. That is getting randomly blown out through sheer chance with little you can reasonably do to avoid it*. This is why "roll to not be screwed" type abilities are very ungamist.

Similarly, this is why the death and dying rules are a point of contention. From the same gamist point of view, reaching the dying state should be a consequence of either extremely bad luck for a single PC or repeated bad decisions on the part of the PCs. A single PC should be saveable by their companions if it was just straight up bad rolls (since the chances of all the PCs having bad luck is virtually zero under normal circumstances through the magic of iterative probability), or the PC should have a very real chance of dying as a punishment for the PCs' collective failure. However, PF2E screws this up by making combat so swingy. Multiple PCs are going to get downed every now and again due to simple probability, so the dying rules are going to struggle to find a middle ground between making bad luck excessively punitive and failing to make bad decisions sufficiently punitive (hence why we have had several iterations of the dying rules).

*last time I checked, "don't go adventuring" isn't a reasonable option, and "aggressively cheese the encounter so that the opposition doesn't even get a chance to interact with you before getting locked down or dying" is exactly the sort of degenerate gameplay that PF2E was supposed to prevent.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:

We had a similar situation: the groups dwarf druid critfailed her save against warp mind:

Warp mind wrote:

Critical Failure The target is confused permanently.

The effect of warp mind is instantaneous and therefore can’t be
dispelled until it runs its course, though it can be counteracted
by alter reality, miracle, primal phenomenon, restoration,
or wish.

Hrm, Alter Reality (10), Miracle (10), Primal Phenomenon (10), Restoration (2) or Wish (10). One of these things is not like the others. But I supose you'd need to heighten Restoration to at least 7th to even get a roll, but that would be at a -15 penalty, so you'd probably need a natural 20 the way the DCs are currently set. So you'd need to heighten more to have a reasonable chance.

And permanent confusion is just ugly. Confusion requires a die roll every round. And there is no indication that the rolls stop after combat. So every six seconds there is a %25 chance that they'll try to murder the nearest person, and another %25 chance of attempted suicide. That's not just punitive, its absurd and completely unworkable without hand-waving it away. Honestly, I'm really thinking that the entire concept of confusion needs to be thrown away and replaced with something less absurd and dice-heavy to represent insanity. Yeah, it's traditional. But a lot of other traditional concepts from the 70s like class/race restrictions were thrown out long ago, confusion rolls should probably join them. And if confusion does stay with die rolls every round, then nothing should ever apply permanent confusion.


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Like several others have noted, there's nothing new here, and in fact PF2 is designed to make this kind of situation less frequent. In PF1, we have stone to flesh, baleful polymorph, feeblemind, and blindness - a permanent, level 2 spell that ends an adventurer's career until a cure is found.

In PF2 this only happens on a critically failed save. When it happens, it's harsh, but I think such things are necessary for the game to have the required level of risk for the characters. Removing these would make gameplay less exciting and history narratives poorer.


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I kinda prefer them. It helps add a sense of danger to the situation and quests to find a cure can be a source of future adventures for the party


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It seems like permanent negative status effects are awful by design. But maybe it would be smart for something in the players guide or bestiary to talk about how important it is to talk to the table about these kinds of threats in session 0 so that the whole table is on the same page about just how permanent and difficult to get rid of they should be? Maybe having an optional rule here about how nearly any negative effect will be removable for level times X gp that is established up front will help some tables with younger PCs or tables where attachment to character is intentionally prioritized over having a high threat difficulty?

Shadow Lodge

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I also agree with a replacement for permanent confusion. If you replace it with a phobia of divine magic, then they'd have to save against spells the cleric casts on them to remove it.

But yes, rolling a 1 and being unable to do anything is a pain. I know Hero Points becoming Core help mitigate it somewhat, though I'm okay with a sensible operating procedure of buying stuff that can reverse permanent problems as soon as they become available. In a pinch, it can add more tension to a fight, where they have to get the status-ending curative to the paralyzed/petrified/blinded/whatever PC. If the PC is just dead, then (aside from Breath of Life), it's less tense because "We'll just raise 'em if we don't wipe."


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Completely disagree. In order for success to be meaningful in an RPG, the possibility of negative outcomes needs to be possible. Finding a viable solution to a negative outcome can lead to a fun role-playing opportunity. I've seen it time and again in my games. Character is left without anything to do? Have a spare character on hand to play, or take over an NPC/retainer. Or take your lumps, cheer on your mates, and help strategize.

Threats have to truly be threats to be meaningful, and to make overcoming them rewarding.


Desna's Avatar wrote:

Completely disagree. In order for success to be meaningful in an RPG, the possibility of negative outcomes needs to be possible. Finding a viable solution to a negative outcome can lead to a fun role-playing opportunity. I've seen it time and again in my games. Character is left without anything to do? Have a spare character on hand to play, or take over an NPC/retainer. Or take your lumps, cheer on your mates, and help strategize.

Threats have to truly be threats to be meaningful, and to make overcoming them rewarding.

I don't disagree with this personally, but I don't think the game needs to make itself exclusive to this style of play, and for some groups and scenarios, this kind of play may be detrimental to the long term goals of the group or the game. Tucking effects like this into the conditions compendium and not talking about setting the expectations for consequences early in play feels like a mistake to me. If the front of the book is going to take time to talk about what role playing is and what you can expect from the game, it could also talk about how to make sure you are communicating with your GM about the aspects of the game that might sneak up on you. Permanent negative conditions may be one of those things. Adult themes may be another. It would be easy to include this early in the book and not have it be a big deal or a change to the general structure of the game. I personally think that having a side bar to talk to GMs about making sure to be aware of these situations before they arise (like being aware of the monsters who have these powers) and how to keep players involved even if their characters are massively impacted by one is a good idea.


Unicore said wrote:
I don't disagree with this personally, but I don't think the game needs to make itself exclusive to this style of play, and for some groups and scenarios, this kind of play may be detrimental to the long term goals of the group or the game. Tucking effects like this into the conditions compendium and not talking about setting the expectations for consequences early in play feels like a mistake to me. If the front of the book is going to take time to talk about what role playing is and what you can expect from the game, it could also talk about how to make sure you are communicating with your GM about the aspects of the game that might sneak up on you. Permanent negative conditions may be one of those things. Adult themes may be another. It would be easy to include this early in the book and not have it be a big deal or a change to the general structure of the game. I personally think that having a side bar to talk to GMs about making sure to be aware of these situations before they arise (like being aware of the monsters who have these powers) and how to keep players involved even if their characters are massively impacted by one is a good idea.

I kind of put permanent negative effects on the same level as death. I would assume that everyone playing the game are aware the characters can die, and if you have any experience with rpg's you would know of flesh to stone, blindness, insanity etc.

I'm unaware of whether there is a sidebar etc in the playtest discussing what to do about player death, but I would think that would be enough to cover the area, maybe a quick mention of certain "permanent effects" that can feel similar.

However I do agree that it's always a good idea for the players and the GM to discuss these aspects to make sure you want the same thing from the game. There is no fun in a GM killing players left and right if the players aren't interested in a super hardcore game and adult or sensitive themes should always be done in a way that everyone at the table is okay with.


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Joey Cote wrote:

I don't see this as any worse then failing a save vs disintegrate and not having that many hp left.

Which is also awful and should have been removed from the game, but at the very least has to actually reduce your HP to zero to take you out.


perm effects.... its a pain even in vg/crpgs. they happen even in non dnd/pf games that said.

when is perm not fun? when is the game not fun? well as Nettah just said in his/her in the last part of said post. and this is only good for a tabletop.
mmos and crpgs are a different beast and death in the MMO case is jsut a minor inconvenience as you will respawn at the nearest place for your faction to do so( or atleast that is my take from the youtube videos)

Skyrim its vanilla form its the reload when you die, though you can get the mod that has you captured and enslaved by what defeated you. This mod doesnt do anything mature topicwise other than your defeat. Even though with that mod you can still die.

should perm effects be in games oh yes. But so should being able to have a good chance at beating it too or a way to overcome it that doesnt always require game time just to role play a dispell quest for it.

they are awful though and there is no getting around that part and that is only due to the fact they are needed. But death is not always needed at a party defeat as it could be a fun time to continue the game as a slave until you can steal your freedom back...


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?

Yes, if you are unpreparad and without any info of what you are fighting, you should be killed/permanently disabled.

And it is not "permanent" as there is a cure for any condition.

Even death.

Also lvl12 characters, if there is 4 to 6 of them in a group should between themselves have atleast one copy of any antidote available from lvl1 to atleast lvl7 spell levels.

In any game that I played at around that level I had 100 or so potions/scrolls on me.


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If you don't want to fight evil monsters with bad mofo abilities, stay home and blacksmith.
At mid and high levels, monsters can and should be tougher and nastier. And the PCs' defenses and mitigation spells are also tougher and more varied.
Some of my best rpg memories thru the years have been from a character of mine being disintegrated, turned to stone, or the like. As well as GMing a game where a high level character got massacred.
Should it be the norm? No. PCs should be able to stand up to a lot. They're special, after all. The stuff of legends.
But without at least the threat of getting mowed down, there's no excitement.
Save vs. Get Mauled shouldn't be super common, but they should be there. Otherwise I wouldn't even play.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?

In my humble opinion, it is you that is asking to punish the newbie, by removing consequence from the game. Having a monster or spell that does something non-fatal to a PC that the rest of the party works together to fix is a story-driving thing. Sure, one player has no agency for the fifteen to twenty minutes it takes to roleplay getting the paralyzed character back to town to get fixed, but the up-side is a story hook, and a character-building tale.

As in: "Sure, I'll fix your friend's situation, but when I'm done casting the spell, I want you to do a thing for me."

As in: "Wow, remember that time I got paralyzed and Thag had to carry me 8 miles back to town? Well, he wants to date my sister now and I guess I can't say no. Sheesh, I don't even know how to tell mom I'm responsible for introducing them... I mean, she's fairly liberal for a dwarf, but she's still got hang-ups about goblins so I figure holidays will be awkward. Really wish I didn't owe him my life."

The second is a stretch, but in a couple decades I've seen lots of interesting twists and roleplay discoveries come about because of adversity overcome.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?

By level 12 you shouldn't be a noob anymore. Unpleasant conditions happen and by that point you should have something to fix it. Like the old saying goes, if you fail to prepare then you prepare to fail. Even at level 1, you should prepare for as much as possible. What if you run into a sealed vault and have no one to pick the lock? What if you have to get up a smooth stone wall and no one remembered to bring a grappling hook? What if you contract ghoul fever? The GM shouldn't have to remove challenges from the game because you didn't expect to run into challenging problems.


I don't see what the "metagame" issue is supposed to be. There are substances that cure paralysis. You can buy them in case a situation like this arises. That's not metagame. That's just game.

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It's important that combat can have consequences beyond just taking damage. Especially when now you can heal at-will.

Preparation is a major part of D&D/Pathfinder.


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Permanent negative effects should and always have existed. In many ways I think that PF2 is being too nice because dying is a lot harder in this edition from both hp damage and spell effects. When there is no threat of death people don't play smart. Save or die spells existed in PF1 and D&D before it. As stated from others above baleful polymorph, flesh to stone, paralyze, blind, feeblemind, disintegrate, the prismatic spells and others are staples of the genre and shouldn't be removed. I was honestly kind of sad that most of these now only really wreck someone on a crit fail instead of just a fail like in PF1, so you now have to roll Really badly instead of just badly. It's also worth noting that all of the above spells are available to PCs and are used on enemies. I don't see anyone complaining about the bad guy getting one shotted.

As far as removing these effects not only is there the "mini quest" and item options mentioned above but there is also a cure for every effect on the divine spell list and while the cleric does have significant problems at the moment it does have access to all of them every day. At worst you prepare the required cure the next day and your party member will have to deal for a night. I swear some of you are acting like these effects are worse than death. Is it just me or is something wrong with that...
As an added note, yes you will have to probably prepare your cures at a higher level slot as the difficulty goes up but unless the potential adventure or GM is horribly miscalculating things you should at least have a chance of getting rid of some status effect.

For the record I have never GMed, This is coming from a player.


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Anguish wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?

In my humble opinion, it is you that is asking to punish the newbie, by removing consequence from the game. Having a monster or spell that does something non-fatal to a PC that the rest of the party works together to fix is a story-driving thing. Sure, one player has no agency for the fifteen to twenty minutes it takes to roleplay getting the paralyzed character back to town to get fixed, but the up-side is a story hook, and a character-building tale.

There are forms of consequence that do not force players to do nothing for hours or more in the real world because of one bad die roll that they can do absolutely nothing to mitigate or defend against because all Natural 1s are critical fails regardless of how much you invest in raising your defenses, to the point that they might as well not even bother to be at the game.

"Fifteen to twenty minutes" What game do you think we're talking about? A single round of combat can easily take that long or longer to resolve.

If you get paralyzed in round 1 of a combat due to a single bad roll on a save you're sitting there for an hour or more while the rest of the party chips away against high ACs and the mountains of HP the monsters have.

Crits do double damage. Most crit fails do double damage or advance negative conditions an extra step. These things make sense and hold to a pattern. Then you get situations where a crit fail does, literally, infinitely more of a negative effect than a normal fail. It makes no sense.

It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.


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A few thoughts -- I think I also watched the video in question. (Spoilers follow)

It was from one of the chapters of the playtest. So its a self contained scenario with no strong ability for the PCs to research their opponents ahead of time. However the information you're given would lead me to generally want some high degree of condition removal available.

The characters builds felt a little weak for the adventure setup, but they still did about as well as I've seen most groups (have watched two groups and GM'd one through that scenario).

In a "normal" campaign, the PC probably would have been out the fight, but most likely back in, for the next fight/session given the levels of the charcters, unless it was a TPK.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

There are forms of consequence that do not force players to do nothing for hours or more in the real world because of one bad die roll that they can do absolutely nothing to mitigate or defend against because all Natural 1s are critical fails regardless of how much you invest in raising your defenses, to the point that they might as well not even bother to be at the game.

"Fifteen to twenty minutes" What game do you think we're talking about? A single round of combat can easily take that long or longer to resolve.

If you get paralyzed in round 1 of a combat due to a single bad roll on a save you're sitting there for an hour or more while the rest of the party chips away against high ACs and the mountains of HP the monsters have.

Crits do double damage. Most crit fails do double damage or advance negative conditions an extra step. These things make sense and hold to a pattern. Then you get situations where a crit fail does, literally, infinitely more of a negative effect than a normal fail. It makes no sense.

It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

Look. This is bogus. The moment you accept that character death is permissible, then anything less is permissible. Argue for removal of character death and we can revisit this then.

A good DM finds ways to keep an incapacitated player occupied. Sure, not every scenario in every encounter in every campaign can work that way, but by and large in a couple decades of playing and DMing this I've never had to sit out - or made a player sit out - a large portion of time. And yes, I've had and inflicted irrevocable character deaths.


NielsenE wrote:

A few thoughts -- I think I also watched the video in question. (Spoilers follow)

It was from one of the chapters of the playtest. So its a self contained scenario with no strong ability for the PCs to research their opponents ahead of time. However the information you're given would lead me to generally want some high degree of condition removal available.

The characters builds felt a little weak for the adventure setup, but they still did about as well as I've seen most groups (have watched two groups and GM'd one through that scenario).

In a "normal" campaign, the PC probably would have been out the fight, but most likely back in, for the next fight/session given the levels of the charcters, unless it was a TPK.

Ya that's definitely one of the DD chapters and that one is testing a very specific thing. What happened to that character was within parameters...


Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Anguish wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
So basically it's there to punish newbie players and/or veterans who don't metagame and make the game less fun for them?

In my humble opinion, it is you that is asking to punish the newbie, by removing consequence from the game. Having a monster or spell that does something non-fatal to a PC that the rest of the party works together to fix is a story-driving thing. Sure, one player has no agency for the fifteen to twenty minutes it takes to roleplay getting the paralyzed character back to town to get fixed, but the up-side is a story hook, and a character-building tale.

There are forms of consequence that do not force players to do nothing for hours or more in the real world because of one bad die roll that they can do absolutely nothing to mitigate or defend against because all Natural 1s are critical fails regardless of how much you invest in raising your defenses, to the point that they might as well not even bother to be at the game.

"Fifteen to twenty minutes" What game do you think we're talking about? A single round of combat can easily take that long or longer to resolve.

If you get paralyzed in round 1 of a combat due to a single bad roll on a save you're sitting there for an hour or more while the rest of the party chips away against high ACs and the mountains of HP the monsters have.

Crits do double damage. Most crit fails do double damage or advance negative conditions an extra step. These things make sense and hold to a pattern. Then you get situations where a crit fail does, literally, infinitely more of a negative effect than a normal fail. It makes no sense.

It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

Actually, a natural 1 even when you have a high enough modifier to save against the effect just makes it a failure, not a critical failure. So yes, having enough of a modifier to negate critical failures (and thereby bypassing a lot of the superbad stuff) is most certainly a way to mitigate it. An unrealistic expectation, perhaps, but saying there's nothing that can be done about it isn't exactly a convincing argument with the above evidence.

While the time between rounds varies from group to group, my group has had much quicker turns come from combat in PF2 in comparison to PF1. I've managed to fit five different encounters, and several RP scenarios in a single night in PF2. We couldn't even fit two different encounters in a single night in PF1 unless they were joke/bogus encounters that didn't do anything to advance the story.

To take this for another perspective, the Demoralize action, on a Critical Success, makes an enemy outright flee for one full round (and they then spend a round returning to combat), taking an enemy out of the fight for 2+ rounds, compared to just incurring -1 to attacks, saves, and skill checks for a round on a standard Success. This is something that anyone and everyone can do, and do reliably if they are invested in it. Are we now going to say Demoralize is badwrongfun because its critical success benefits are "infinitely" stronger than its standard success benefits? I mean, spending an action to make an enemy waste 2 rounds worth of combat doing nothing is magnitudes better than spending an action to slightly inconvenience an enemy on their turn.


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Anguish wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:

There are forms of consequence that do not force players to do nothing for hours or more in the real world because of one bad die roll that they can do absolutely nothing to mitigate or defend against because all Natural 1s are critical fails regardless of how much you invest in raising your defenses, to the point that they might as well not even bother to be at the game.

"Fifteen to twenty minutes" What game do you think we're talking about? A single round of combat can easily take that long or longer to resolve.

If you get paralyzed in round 1 of a combat due to a single bad roll on a save you're sitting there for an hour or more while the rest of the party chips away against high ACs and the mountains of HP the monsters have.

Crits do double damage. Most crit fails do double damage or advance negative conditions an extra step. These things make sense and hold to a pattern. Then you get situations where a crit fail does, literally, infinitely more of a negative effect than a normal fail. It makes no sense.

It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

Look. This is bogus. The moment you accept that character death is permissible, then anything less is permissible. Argue for removal of character death and we can revisit this then.

A good DM finds ways to keep an incapacitated player occupied. Sure, not every scenario in every encounter in every campaign can work that way, but by and large in a couple decades of playing and DMing this I've never had to sit out - or made a player sit out - a large portion of time. And yes, I've had and inflicted irrevocable character deaths.

I agree this complaint is hardly valid with P2. They have softened so many things (instead of on a single normal fail, now you frequently have to critically fail, one or even more checks) compared to the first edition, and DnD from before it, that it is hard to accept that it can't be there, because, as mentioned, death is presumed a potential result. (which even it, has an in-game resolution)

If a player is having to completely sit out due to one of these situations, my view is that it is not the Game System's fault. As Anguish mentions there are plenty of ways to invest the player in the game, even if their character is out of the action for the moment. Quite often games I've played in there was frequently an NPC along with the party, if someone was temporarily side-lined, they would frequently take up responsibility for rolls for that character, often taking responsibility for their decisions as well. I'm pretty sure I've taken over responsibility for someone's animal companion before. And to be completely honest, and really more fun, in many cases, people have taken over one or more of the monsters that the party was fighting, having fun trying to stop their own party. That one helps reduce some of the load/responsibility on the GM, and can be a quite fun change of pace every once in a while.

I remember signing up to play in a convention game. The party was abnormally large due to some issues with some communication breakdown, but it made for an interesting game. However, I recall my character was frequently one of those who while the rest of the party seemed stuck in committee trying to decide what to do with minimal information found, I managed to ask questions that seemed to get me in trouble, or fine out useful tidbits of information to help us. I'm pretty sure I wend down below zero HP the most of everyone in the party, having triggered several traps, or rushing to engage monsters coming to attack us. I'm sure I missed several rounds of acting for my character, but I was still engaged in the progress of the group, and people came to my aid as soon as they could. And it was playing with only one or two other people I knew, most were people I'd never met before in my life. (and probably never met any of them again, that I know of)

I'm not trying to say Bad Fun... but there is a degree to which if the only way you can have fun, is to be making a certain set of decisions for your character, and anything else beyond that isn't fun for you. You really are missing out on a lot of real potential fun. It is fundamentally your responsibly to insure you have fun, and the best way to insure it is to be committed to having that fun, no matter what transpires.
The unexpected, is what I have always gotten the most reward from in games, and firmly believe others find this generally true for them as well. I'm not saying, to not have fun looking forward to having your character doing the things you planned for your character. Sure, you should look forward to that, but be ready to have your character doing things you absolutely never expected. (sheathing your rapier so you can wield a magic flaming two-handed sword, since your party is going to be facing a creature that needs magic to be struck, and its your party's only magic weapon, and you are the only one proficient in martial weapons like it, even though you are a finesse striker by preference, and would have personally chosen the rapier you carried. If events transpire so as to extend to you rolling dice for the monsters attacking your party members for a few rounds, have fun with it. You can even cheer for the party as you roll the monsters dice. Or you can cheer for the monsters. What ever you do, have fun doing it, and don't presume your fun has to be from only one expected source.

So, I really don't think the conditions really have to be nerfed any further than they are already in P2. Certainly, most, as they already are, have means of resolving them in the end. As pointed out, hero points can frequently be used to avoid may of them.

I guess I'd agree with the message to not over-use them in adventures, but they certainly have a place in these stories as a result of failures, here and there. I think it was generally accepted that Monster DC and bonuses and such were scaled a bit high, so by lowering them a bit, it should impact how often critical failures would occur. So I would support the correction of those over-high numbers, because of their general truth of appearing to be too high. I don't consider that a needed Nerf as opposed to an already presumed correction.

Anyway, I really don't think anyone in a TRPG should ever be sitting out the game for any length of time unless there is some otherwise, rather important distraction that takes them away from the game, which a condition taking their character out of the game for a bit would have to act as a convenient excuse for them to recuse themselves from the game, rather than pickup some other responsibility in the game for the meantime.


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Anguish wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:

There are forms of consequence that do not force players to do nothing for hours or more in the real world because of one bad die roll that they can do absolutely nothing to mitigate or defend against because all Natural 1s are critical fails regardless of how much you invest in raising your defenses, to the point that they might as well not even bother to be at the game.

"Fifteen to twenty minutes" What game do you think we're talking about? A single round of combat can easily take that long or longer to resolve.

If you get paralyzed in round 1 of a combat due to a single bad roll on a save you're sitting there for an hour or more while the rest of the party chips away against high ACs and the mountains of HP the monsters have.

Crits do double damage. Most crit fails do double damage or advance negative conditions an extra step. These things make sense and hold to a pattern. Then you get situations where a crit fail does, literally, infinitely more of a negative effect than a normal fail. It makes no sense.

It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

Look. This is bogus.

...

Quote:
The moment you accept that character death is permissible, then anything less is permissible. Argue for removal of character death and we can revisit this then.

Okay.

Characters should not go from 100% health/statuses to dead on a single Critical success or failure.

A character dying because their health was depleted over several rounds or several combats is fine.

A character being paralyzed because they failed a series of saves over a round, rounds, or combats is acceptable.

A character being paralyzed forever because they rolled low on a single save is not.

If weapons with the Deadly property instantly killed on a Natural 20, I'd argue that the Deadly property was bad design even if cheap Phoenix Downs were part of the game.


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Ah, the time when every kind of giant spider had a: "save versus poison or die"...


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Life of an adventurer is cheap and seldom long.

Have 2 or 3 back-up character sheets.

DM should be the one that imports new character as soon as possible.

Later on, if reversal of condition is possible, player can return(if he wishes) to old character.


Megistone wrote:
Ah, the time when every kind of giant spider had a: "save versus poison or die"...

That gives me flashbacks to Warhammer Fantasy RP. "Your ratcatcher trips a Skaven dart trap. Roll Toughness to not die. Enjoy the 1 in 3 chance there, hope you saved some of Shalya's Mercy,"


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In Monopoly, every player but the winner has to eventually sit out while everyone else continues to play.
If your character gets killed you still have to sit out (unless there's a PF2 version of Breath of Life. Not sure).
If you're out with paralysis, go to the kitchen and get another slice of pizza. Go on a beer run. Or just sit and be entertained by watching the combat play out, even if you're not in it. But expecting the devs to take out all the possibilities of anything bad happening to your character in case you ever have to sit out is unreasonable to me.


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I would like to make an addendum to my 1st post. I spent the night mulling over the DD chapters and how they are structured And if they are an indication of how future adventure paths will work particularly in regards to chapter boss fights. Currently a single significantly higher level boss is more viable than in PF1 and is the route the DD chapters went.
With this in mind a boss’ power or spell may be to high level to counteract easily, if it is the Cap stone fight at the end of a chapter, the writers or GM may want to include some way to counteract some of the worst negative statuses if they are feeling nice. A hidden cure item or mini quest could fit here. If it’s the cap stone fight to an entire campaign It should be deadly, too bad so sad. You can’t save princess Peach every time.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
In Monopoly, every player but the winner has to eventually sit out while everyone else continues to play.

There's a reason why Monopoly isn't the game of choice for most of us here.

Personally, it's a big pet peeve of mine when I get taken out in an RPG, either by death or by some kind of "save or lose your turns" effect. If my character gets killed, petrified, or even stunned for 1 minute, then I'm going to have to sit out for the next hour or two until the combat is over and the Party can fix the problem. That's not fun.

Heck, I *vastly* prefer getting Dominated and ordered to kill my party than getting stunned or paralyzed, because then I at least still get to play!


Raylyeh wrote:

I would like to make an addendum to my 1st post. I spent the night mulling over the DD chapters and how they are structured And if they are an indication of how future adventure paths will work particularly in regards to chapter boss fights. Currently a single significantly higher level boss is more viable than in PF1 and is the route the DD chapters went.

With this in mind a boss’ power or spell may be to high level to counteract easily, if it is the Cap stone fight at the end of a chapter, the writers or GM may want to include some way to counteract some of the worst negative statuses if they are feeling nice. A hidden cure item or mini quest could fit here. If it’s the cap stone fight to an entire campaign It should be deadly, too bad so sad. You can’t save princess Peach every time.

Or adventure really careful till you face the boss and then go all heroic when you face him. It also makes sense narrative wise.

Hero points are part of the base game now, and allow rerolling of saving throws, or hell, even more story driven (GM discretion) solutions to such problems.


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I am confused why some people think that the game can't have these kind of effects, and have them used in most Adventure Paths, and not also include options for tables that don't want to play with them. As many people have pointed out, the effects of permanent conditions are mitigable, but for ill prepared parties and large groups, they can be fun killers too. Having information about them in a section of the book that would be seen before they come up, would be good for GMs writing their own adventures and for those that might throw a monster into a random encounter without realizing the monster has a major game changing ability.


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This came up when prepping characters for When Stars Go Dark. I think some effects, like Scare to Death and Phantasmal Killer, should reduce a PC to dying, not dead. That it reduces monsters to dead is an effect of not tracking monsters' dying status.


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Starfox wrote:
This came up when prepping characters for When Stars Go Dark. I think some effects, like Scare to Death and Phantasmal Killer, should reduce a PC to dying, not dead. That it reduces monsters to dead is an effect of not tracking monsters' dying status.

I'm perfectly fine with some death effects doing this, dropping them to dying rather than necessarily completing it. I however, don't exclude the option of some of them going all the way to dead. But options and variety are generally good things.


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Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
In Monopoly, every player but the winner has to eventually sit out while everyone else continues to play.

And, as we all remember, if you roll a natural 1 in Monopoly you are automatically bankrupt and out of the game, no matter how much money or property you have left at the time!

Quote:
But expecting the devs to take out all the possibilities of anything bad happening to your character in case you ever have to sit out is unreasonable to me.

Good thing that I'm not suggesting that or anything at all close to it, but keep fighting that straw golem.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
In Monopoly, every player but the winner has to eventually sit out while everyone else continues to play.

And, as we all remember, if you roll a natural 1 in Monopoly you are automatically bankrupt and out of the game, no matter how much money or property you have left at the time!

To be fair, if you manage to roll a 1 on 2d6 you frankly deserve to be immediately kicked out of the game and sent to the nearest priest/physicist for study/exorcism.


Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Barnabas Eckleworth III wrote:
In Monopoly, every player but the winner has to eventually sit out while everyone else continues to play.

And, as we all remember, if you roll a natural 1 in Monopoly you are automatically bankrupt and out of the game, no matter how much money or property you have left at the time!

To be fair, if you manage to roll a 1 on 2d6 you frankly deserve to be immediately kicked out of the game and sent to the nearest priest/physicist for study/exorcism.

Don't forget about how in that version of Monopoly the other players are going to un-bankrupt you as quickly as possible.


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Quote:
But expecting the devs to take out all the possibilities of anything bad happening to your character in case you ever have to sit out is unreasonable to me.
Good thing that I'm not suggesting that or anything at all close to it, but keep fighting that straw golem.

Except you have suggested that, in this very thread.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Quote:
I don't see this as any worse then failing a save vs disintegrate and not having that many hp left.
Which is also awful and should have been removed from the game, but at the very least has to actually reduce your HP to zero to take you out.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

You are against permanent negative effects such as Lich Paralysis or Disintegrate/Finger of Death, these are spells or abilities that exist within the game and whose effects are only suffered under the most extreme of circumstances. Compared to PF1, this is a much more sensible design than the Save or Dies in the previous edition, and I would trade the PF1 paradigm for this in a heartbeat simply because I am more likely to preserve my character fidelity under this system than the previous one. A 5% chance to critically fail in most situations (which, with certain character choices, can be even further mitigated,) are odds I'd rather take than the 45-50% chance I have of just simply failing, which is all PF1 would take (and those chances would either be for me or against me based on my optimization choices).

Furthermore, adventuring isn't always meant to be some gradual transition from casual dungeon crawling to serious combat situation. Sometimes a GM needs to make the urgency of the player actions important, whether through crucial dialogue, plotline advancement, or by demonstrating to the players to not mess around with creatures possessing such deadly abilities. Liches aren't just some run-of-the-mill monster, especially in PF1 and the prior editions of D&D. Those creatures are iconic high-powered foes most likely a BBEG of an adventure path or campaign; expecting them to be pushovers who will pull punches or don't possess powerful, career-ending abilities is precisely what the Lich is counting on you, as an adventurer, to do, falling right into their well-calculated traps and plans and become defeated by its superior being.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Quote:
But expecting the devs to take out all the possibilities of anything bad happening to your character in case you ever have to sit out is unreasonable to me.
Good thing that I'm not suggesting that or anything at all close to it, but keep fighting that straw golem.

Except you have suggested that, in this very thread.

Ninja in the Rye wrote:
Quote:
I don't see this as any worse then failing a save vs disintegrate and not having that many hp left.
Which is also awful and should have been removed from the game, but at the very least has to actually reduce your HP to zero to take you out.
Ninja in the Rye wrote:
It's horrible, illogical design that does nothing to enhance the game.

Are you intentionally trying to misrepresent what I'm saying or did you just not read what you're quoting?

Saying a save or die effect should be removed from the game is nowhere near the same as "expecting the devs to take out all the possibilities of anything bad happening to your character in case you ever have to sit out".

There is a world of difference between a game where you nothing bad can happen to you and a game where it takes more than 1 bad saving throw roll for your character to be completely removed.

Trying to characterize my position as if I'm saying that nothing bad should ever happen to characters is ridiculous.


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It's certainly very similar, no matter which way you look at it. Your complaint is Disintegrate and similar effects should not be in the game because players getting screwed on a bad roll or bad circumstances should not be in the game, and I disagree 100%, because that has been the design of the game for decades. Don't like that? Roll 5D4 instead of 1D20, and see how much more fun your table would be. I can assure you bad guys not critically failing their saving throws (and by this token having a more likely chance of making their saving throws, and a less likely chance of critically making their saving throws) will make the game that much more bland. But hey, you won't get screwed over by that 1, right?

The question is, where do we draw the line between what is and isn't acceptable for a player to suffer consequences? And that line varies from table to table. Quite frankly, your expectations are the outlier compared to most of the posters here, meaning anecdotally, your experience and expectations are atypical, and the math would certainly suggest that based on the odds of an appropriate level PC critically failing an appropriate level Save DC or Skill Check.

If players at my table decide to ransack a shop in town, there are going to be consequences of them doing that, up to and including execution of their PCs depending on what they do for their crime. A simple burglary? Probably a fine or some jail time. Murder (spree) on top of it? Here comes the guillotine/noose. As a GM, I'm responsible for acting upon what my players do, as well as being representative of the world and dangers that inhabit it. Those dangers should be realistic and also powerful as the game requires it to be, especially if those dangers help engage my players into the game. A PC being paralyzed on round 1? The fellow PCs better go save him before the bad guys go next or that PC is probably gonna die a swift and painful death. The PC being paralyzed is still engaged because he has a stake in the outcome of the encounter, and if the other PCs decide to ignore that or fail to save him, those consequences will come back at those PCs, as appropriately determined by the dice. That's the whole point of these kinds of effects.

A Lich not having an ability like a paralyzing touch is no more threatening than some high level skeleton wizard, and if I wanted to throw that at the party, I would have just took a basic Skeleton and applied X Wizard levels and called it good. However, I want this NPC to be noteworthy, have powers that most other creatures do not, and make them a truly memorable nemesis that the PCs must confront. What better way than to make them a fairly unique monster with abilities that the PCs had better be prepared to face, otherwise they will fail in their quest.


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It's also interesting to have discussions based solely on ideas posted, when none of us knows the others' backgrounds in RPGs.
I have been playing some version of D&D since 1985. I played 1st edition AD&D. There were adventures in that game that were downright deadly (Ravenloft, anyone?).
And we liked it. We liked it just fine.
I come from a background of classic, deadly, epic villains in RPGs. I have played in a group that defeated Karzoug the Claimer. I have also GM'd a group that did not defeat him. They lost. They lost so hard.
My point to this being that it's just interesting the different viewpoints of different gamers and different generations of gamers. Maybe or maybe not gamers who have been influenced by MMOs (that were themselves influenced by the original tabletop RPGs. Circle of life).
Myself? I don't want a game where my character can't have his soul sucked into a gem by an evil demilich. Who would want to live in a world like that?

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