Supplemental Rules Compendium


Playing the Game


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I realize that I'm very much late to the better part of the Pathfinder Second Edition Playtest discussion, but I didn't want to let that get in the way of sharing what may yet be useful material for game masters, players, and perhaps even game designers if they happen to stumble on this.

Over the past few months, I have been running various short one-off adventures as well as starting a group on the Doomsday Dawn campaign. While ruling questions, even with the official 1.1 through 1.6 incremental updates and forum discussions that have gone before, continue to emerge in the groups I'm GMing for, I wanted to contribute the mechanics that I have ruled as legal in my games to this point. These rulings encompass mechanical rules that have (1) come up in the course of play more than once, (2) have significant bearing on the adjudication of play, and (3) which are not sufficiently satisfied by rulings I have found from credible online sources. Without further preface, here are the rules I have implemented so far.

This thread will be updated as more rulings are determined.

Arrow Quivers

Quivers are not listed anywhere in the Equipment list, and are only referenced as part of the Ghost Ammunition item on page 392 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.

To rectify this, anyone purchasing a bundle of arrows is automatically granted a quiver of bulk "L", and it must be worn in such a way as to allow bow wielders to readily access it in order to be used in combat. This is the default setup, and any other arrangements must be made with the GM explicitly.

Torch Light

As written torches only cast 20 feet of light, but the language does not specify whether this is entirely bright light or whether some outer ring of the illumination radius casts dim light.

Since a luminous aura of purely bright light is unrealistic for a physical/material (i.e. non-magical) source of illumination such as a torch, I have ruled that torches cast a 20-foot radius of bright light, and cast an additional 10 feet of dim light, for a total luminous radius of 30 feet (the first 20 feet being normal, the final 10 feet being dim).

Low-Light Vision

Low-light vision, as written, suffers from the same ambiguity and unrealisticness as torches do, in that more acute ocular receptors (such as those of creatures with low-light vision) would not merely register dim sources of light as bright and register all areas beyond this area as total darkness. In other words, just as with torch light, low-light vision should not yield bright illumination followed immediately by total darkness.

To calculate the illumination that creatures with low-light vision perceive, follow these steps.

  • For a source of illumination that casts both bright and dim light and determine the total range/radius of all qualities of illumination (e.g. for a torch, 30 feet). This is the low-light vision creature's perceived bright illumination.
  • Divide the above resulting value by 2 and add this as an additional radius of dim light (e.g. for a torch with 30 feet of total light, an additional 15 feet). This portion of illumination is perceived as dim light by the creature with low-light vision.

    AC Value for Stationary, Unattended Objects

    There is no AC given in the rules, as written, for stationary, unattended objects. Intuitively, as an object has a Dexterity score of 0, and thus a Dexterity modifier of -5, this should result in an AC of 5.

    However, spells which produce stationary obstacles which PCs may wish to destroy, such as Wall of Stone (page 270) give an AC of 10, so to stay consistent with this, all stationary, unattended objects should have AC 10.

    Thrown Objects

    All objects which can reasonably be thrown, but do not have a the Thrown trait (and corresponding range increment) are treated as though they have "Thrown 10 ft."

    If a PC otherwise has a proficiency of Trained or higher in the use of that weapon, they may use that proficiency to calculate their Strike to-hit modifier (using Dexterity, as is the rule with thrown objects).

    If the PC is using an object that is unwieldy or otherwise not reasonably intended to be thrown, apply the rules for improvised weapons.

    Also, as outlined in this forum post, alchemical bombs are Simple weapons with a range increment of 20 feet (i.e. Thrown 20 ft.).


  • I saw something somewhere at some point (a stream I think) where Jason said that dim light is dead. To make things like "visibility" easier on the gm. Etc etc.

    But what about low light vision? Exactly.


    Draco18s wrote:

    I saw something somewhere at some point (a stream I think) where Jason said that dim light is dead. To make things like "visibility" easier on the gm. Etc etc.

    But what about low light vision? Exactly.

    That is disappointing to hear, and given the tweaks the designers have made to the playtest to date, I would not doubt that it is true.

    The single most substantial element that makes Pathfinder unique is its attention to gritty, realistic, and immersive detail like gradations of lighting. To remove it for the sake of simplicity is, for me, to lose the soul of the system for a meager convenience. If people want a system that abstracts away details like that, they would play D&D 5e. If Pathfinder 2e continues to approximate D&D 5e, it will only make a tradeoff it cannot profit from, literally and figuratively--it will never be more D&D 5e than D&D 5e, so players who want that will gravitate toward Wizards, and it will alienate the players who chose Pathfinder because it wasn't D&D 5e.

    I've been watching this slide since the 1.1 through 1.6 Updates came out, and I've been hoping all the while that they will change course, but I'm becoming less and less optimistic of that.


    twilightnocturne wrote:

    I realize that I'm very much late to the better part of the Pathfinder Second Edition Playtest discussion, but I didn't want to let that get in the way of sharing what may yet be useful material for game masters, players, and perhaps even game designers if they happen to stumble on this.

    Over the past few months, I have been running various short one-off adventures as well as starting a group on the Doomsday Dawn campaign. While ruling questions, even with the official 1.1 through 1.6 incremental updates and forum discussions that have gone before, continue to emerge in the groups I'm GMing for, I wanted to contribute the mechanics that I have ruled as legal in my games to this point. These rulings encompass mechanical rules that have (1) come up in the course of play more than once, (2) have significant bearing on the adjudication of play, and (3) which are not sufficiently satisfied by rulings I have found from credible online sources. Without further preface, here are the rules I have implemented so far.

    This thread will be updated as more rulings are determined.

    Arrow Quivers

    Quivers are not listed anywhere in the Equipment list, and are only referenced as part of the Ghost Ammunition item on page 392 of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook.

    To rectify this, anyone purchasing a bundle of arrows is automatically granted a quiver of bulk "L", and it must be worn in such a way as to allow bow wielders to readily access it in order to be used in combat. This is the default setup, and any other arrangements must be made with the GM explicitly.

    Torch Light

    As written torches only cast 20 feet of light, but the language does not specify whether this is entirely bright light or whether some outer ring of the illumination radius casts dim light.

    Since a luminous aura of purely bright light is unrealistic for a physical/material (i.e. non-magical) source of illumination such as a torch, I have ruled that torches cast a 20-foot radius of bright light, and cast an additional 10...

    Creature Morale

    The Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook indicates that creatures in encounters need not necessarily fight to the death against the PCs, and even includes rules for PCs pursuing fleeing creatures. However, it provides no useful threshold or metric for GMs to determine whether creatures will turn and run or stand and fight.

    Thus, a simple rule GMs may use for this purpose is this: If the average HP of all hostile (to the PCs) creatures in an encounter falls to 50% of their maximum HP or less, or if 50% or more of the hostile creatures in an encounter are are reduced to 0 HP, the creature with the lowest Will save score should make a Will save against the highest Class DC among the PCs. On a failure, the creatures immediately use all their actions to flee the PCs. On a success, the creatures stand their ground and continue to fight the PCs.


    Does only one creature ever roll this save? Do they only roll it once, or do on they make a check every so often?


    I don't recall anything about Dim Light being removed from the game, FWIW.


    Captain Morgan wrote:
    I don't recall anything about Dim Light being removed from the game, FWIW.

    Is kind of only half removed. Nothing in the game generates dim light, for instance.

    The "we're removing it" was a stream comment, like week 2, from Jason and it wasn't "its gone" but more "were playing around with removing it because it makes the GM's job easier."

    The result of that is that dim light effectively doesn't exist (except when the adventure says the environment is dim, which DD never did).


    Draco18s wrote:
    Captain Morgan wrote:
    I don't recall anything about Dim Light being removed from the game, FWIW.

    Is kind of only half removed. Nothing in the game generates dim light, for instance.

    The "we're removing it" was a stream comment, like week 2, from Jason and it wasn't "its gone" but more "were playing around with removing it because it makes the GM's job easier."

    The result of that is that dim light effectively doesn't exist (except when the adventure says the environment is dim, which DD never did).

    That's really not the same as "dim light is dead." That's very misleading when Jason has said "Resonance is dead" to inform us that Resonance will not be in the final version of PF2 in anyway. The playtest was designed to try extreme changes out; the fact that they wanted to see how people liked not having things generate dim light when the playtest launched doesn't mean dim light won't exist in PF2.


    Captain Morgan wrote:


    That's really not the same as "dim light is dead." That's very misleading when Jason has said "Resonance is dead" to inform us that Resonance will not be in the final version of PF2 in anyway. The playtest was designed to try extreme changes out; the fact that they wanted to see how people liked not having things generate dim light when the playtest launched doesn't mean dim light won't exist in PF2.

    You're right, I should have phrased things a little better up front. It has been omitted from the play test rules, the only mention of our from Paizo was that one Friday steam where Jason suggested it "might be gone, but maybe not, we'll see."

    Is not dead in the sense that "its dead, Jim, it's never coming back, even resurrection magic can't save it." But it is dead in the sense that no one has been talking about it and there are no rules for it, so I anticipate it not showing up in the final rules. I.e. There hasn't been a huge upwelling in support for (or against) dim light, just a few posts here and there about how the fact that is missing "is odd" (and even then, mostly due to the fact that low light vision still exists, but doesn't functionally DO anything).

    I could be wrong, but you can see how I arrived at my conclusion.


    Indeed. Thank you for being open to the clarification. :)


    twilightnocturne wrote:
    Draco18s wrote:

    I saw something somewhere at some point (a stream I think) where Jason said that dim light is dead. To make things like "visibility" easier on the gm. Etc etc.

    But what about low light vision? Exactly.

    That is disappointing to hear, and given the tweaks the designers have made to the playtest to date, I would not doubt that it is true.

    The single most substantial element that makes Pathfinder unique is its attention to gritty, realistic, and immersive detail like gradations of lighting. To remove it for the sake of simplicity is, for me, to lose the soul of the system for a meager convenience. If people want a system that abstracts away details like that, they would play D&D 5e. If Pathfinder 2e continues to approximate D&D 5e, it will only make a tradeoff it cannot profit from, literally and figuratively--it will never be more D&D 5e than D&D 5e, so players who want that will gravitate toward Wizards, and it will alienate the players who chose Pathfinder because it wasn't D&D 5e.

    I've been watching this slide since the 1.1 through 1.6 Updates came out, and I've been hoping all the while that they will change course, but I'm becoming less and less optimistic of that.

    A counterpoint opinion to this, as someone who kind of enjoys 5e, enjoys PF1 far more, and enjoys PF2 most of all:

    I like multiple things about 5e, I think it has a lot of good ideas, but it has many problems to me that keep me from enjoying it. I overall enjoy PF1 far more but it also has its issues and is harder and harder for me to enjoy, especially as I have less and less free time to deal with such a grindy system.

    But PF2 to me keeps pretty much everything I love about PF while simultaneously doing almost everything I liked about 5e better than 5e does, at least to me. It also removes a lot of what began to frustrate me about PF1. Obviously it still has issues but this is still just the Playtest and they're really doing work to improve it. So for me rather than trying and failing to emulate 5e I find it strikes a wonderful middle ground keeping what I like about PF1, making great improvements, and even incorporating some of the feel of things I liked from 5e.

    Not that your opinion is invalid or anything, just want to present an opposing opinion of the direction PF2 seems to be taking.


    Draco18s wrote:
    Does only one creature ever roll this save? Do they only roll it once, or do on they make a check every so often?

    Sorry to wait so long before responding, though I'm happy to see a discussion blossoming on the merits of the direction PF2 is going in.

    Thinking about it now I would say that it depends on how smart the creatures are. If they are unintelligent, then each creature really worries about its own condition, and the foe it is individually fighting. On the other hand, if the creatures are intelligent, they should work as a unit and take the whole situation into account. So, here's how I would tweak the rule.

    Creature Morale: Unintelligent Creatures

    If the HP of a hostile (to the PCs) creature in an encounter falls to 50% of their maximum HP or less, or if 50% or more of the hostile creatures in an encounter are are no longer actively engaged in the combat (either from being reduced to 0 HP or from having fled), the creature should make a Will save against the highest Class DC from among the PCs it is directly engaged with. On a failure, the creature immediately uses all its actions to flee the PCs. On a success, the creature stands its ground and continues to fight the PCs. This check should be made every round on the creature's turn as long as these conditions are met.

    Creature Morale: Intelligent Creatures

    If the average HP of all hostile (to the PCs) creatures in an encounter falls to 50% of their maximum HP or less, or if 50% or more of the hostile creatures in an encounter are are no longer actively engaged in the combat (either from being reduced to 0 HP or from having fled), the creature with the highest Will save score should make a Will save against the highest Class DC among the PCs. On a failure, the creatures immediately use all their actions to flee the PCs. On a success, the creatures stand their ground and continue to fight the PCs. This check should be made every round on the creatures' turn as long as these conditions are met.


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    Draco18s wrote:
    Captain Morgan wrote:
    I don't recall anything about Dim Light being removed from the game, FWIW.

    Is kind of only half removed. Nothing in the game generates dim light, for instance.

    The "we're removing it" was a stream comment, like week 2, from Jason and it wasn't "its gone" but more "were playing around with removing it because it makes the GM's job easier."

    The result of that is that dim light effectively doesn't exist (except when the adventure says the environment is dim, which DD never did).

    Also, just to offer a slight correction, there are parts of Doomsday Dawn where the only light generated by the environment is dim light (see p. 62 of Doomsday Dawn).

    It could be as Captain Morgan said, and that the dim light only for this portion of the adventure was one of the "extreme changes" they tried but don't intend to commit to. But, although my players haven't gotten that far yet, from my prep work on that section, it doesn't seem like the kind of "extreme" mechanic that merited testing: It just seemed like the realistic thing to do for the game environment at that time and place.

    And, finally, as you said, eliminating dim light would obviate low-light vision, so unless they are planning to do away with that as well--leaving only normal vision and darkvision--it wouldn't make any sense to strip out dim light completely.


    twilightnocturne wrote:
    Draco18s wrote:
    Captain Morgan wrote:
    I don't recall anything about Dim Light being removed from the game, FWIW.

    Is kind of only half removed. Nothing in the game generates dim light, for instance.

    The "we're removing it" was a stream comment, like week 2, from Jason and it wasn't "its gone" but more "were playing around with removing it because it makes the GM's job easier."

    The result of that is that dim light effectively doesn't exist (except when the adventure says the environment is dim, which DD never did).

    Also, just to offer a slight correction, there are parts of Doomsday Dawn where the only light generated by the environment is dim light (see p. 62 of Doomsday Dawn).

    Goes along with what I said, that it only existed if the environment said so. I was just wrong that DD didn't have any (I was a player, not a GM, so I never remembered it coming up).


    Character Weight in Bulks

    The Playtest rules make no indication of what characters of various sizes or ancestries weigh, in units of Bulks, for reference in the event that their bodies are being dragged, lifted, thrown, moved, etc.

    To remedy this, use the following formula: A character's weight in Bulks is equal to the sum of their Strength and Constitution scores divided by 4 if they are of size Medium, or this same sum divided by 5 if they are of size Small, rounded flat to the nearest whole Bulk (i.e. ignore all decimal points).

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