Question: Ease of Play in PF2


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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DataLoreRPG wrote:
It may do folks well to divorce themselves of the notion that wanting ease of play is the same thing as wanting a simplistic game. Games can be deep and rewarding without be baroque and confusing.

One persons "deep and rewarding" can often be another's "baroque and confusing". I also think that often "ease" comes from "simplification": as you pointed out, 5E's conditions are super easy to use, but that's because they are as simple as possible... 'Oh goodie, ANOTHER ability thing that gives disability'. Easy to use and simplicity, deep and confusing: these are linked together and are really in the eye of the beholder and your point of view.


DataLoreRPG wrote:

I am all for deep character customization and meaningful tactical choices. I just am not crazy about staged afflictions, complicated stacking rules or having a litany of conditions. Its a mistake to assume, I think, that one could not be had without the other.

It may do folks well to divorce themselves of the notion that wanting ease of play is the same thing as wanting a simplistic game. Games can be deep and rewarding without be baroque and confusing.

There is truth in this. Though i feel the tedium of condition complexity will be dependent on how intensively it ends up being incorporated into the current adventure. A Rogue and Alchemist combo can stack on conditions if they want to, but they can also be played with minimal use of conditions. The same could be said with enemies; they can stack on multiple conditions, but hopefully most AP’s, or at least the first few, will be sparing with condition stacking while leaving it as an option if the DM feels like using it.

Personally i view the breadth of conditions as potential possibilities rather than extra paperwork, but there is something to be said about the potential of a barrel of conditions getting lobbed about in an intense fight with a dozen different tokens of PC’s, AC’s and NPC’s alike.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What was it Mark said? "Complexity is the currency with which you buy depth"?

That is basically my feeling. The goal of any game system should be to have the minimum required complexity with which the desired depth can be achieved.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:

What was it Mark said? "Complexity is the currency with which you buy depth"?

That is basically my feeling. The goal of any game system should be to have the minimum required complexity with which the desired depth can be achieved.

As a bonus, they also shot for a game system with a customizable level of complexity depending on individual taste.

Skill feats unlocking new, more complicated skill functions.

Class feats buying new types of actions.

Multiclassing letting you pick how far into another class you want to dive (Just want their spellcasting, but don't want to worry about reading all their feats? Can do.)

Backgrounds either letting you shrug and write down blacksmith and have some semi-appropriate decisions made for you, or representing a list of some min-maxer tradeoffs.

Ancestry feats letting you put off character options until later, or allowing you to plan out a build based around what you'll get far down the road.

I just think they did a fairly admirable job retaining the options to be complex without throwing the non-optimizers under the bus.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I hope they have consolidated a little bit, but not overmuch. So long as there is little overlap in what each condition represents I'll be mostly happy.


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Btw, I also come from 5e and want to play PF2. Not only the rules seem satisfyingly crunchier both tactically and in character customization, but Golarion and Paizo's APs are top notch and I find them infinitely more interesting than Forgotten Realms and those few adventures WotC deigns to publish.

So yes, there's definitely a niche for PF2 among 5e groups, it seems.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, no one is saying there's going to be a mass exodus of 5e players for PF2. There are definitely some current 5e players who are among the target audience for PF2, however.

I don't think should be at all controversial at this point.

Paizo Employee

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MaxAstro wrote:
I think you are probably right about active 5e players, kaisc. However, people who tried 5e but found it too simplified - but also find PF1e's barrier to entry too high - are likely to be prime targets for 2e.

Kind of a case in point, I have fully 7 players across three different groups who are currently playing 5E because it's easy, but not because they're satisfied with it. They just find PF1's character customization not to be worth the excessive complexities and learning curve required. A game that offers more options and choice with a more intuitve baseline is exactly what they're looking for, and they're all really excited for PF2. A few of those players were willing to play the PF Playtest until PF2 became available, but the others didn't want to get comfortable with a system and then have to relearn all the ways it changed halfway through the campaign.


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I recently re-introduced a friend who last played AD&D 2E to more modern RPGs. I figured that D&D 5E would be a better starting point for her than Pathfinder 1st edition -- but I will definitely invite her to join my Pathfinder 2nd edition campaign when I start it up in about a year and a half.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My BIG disagree with this is that I never found '-2 to your dex is a -1 to your dex related rolls' to be hard.

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

What IS NOT simple is 'oh youre spooked3, sluggish2, accelerated2, exhausted5, annoyed7, but you're also aroused8, soooo... that's a... like a plus... 3.7 on your diplomacy check to attack the DM?'

I really did hate the conditions system in the playtest even more than resonance.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Virellius wrote:

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

But you did remember to recalculate encumbrance, apply relevant penalties if your load suddenly went med/heavy, check if you still could use any weapons, items or feats that required minimum Str of some value, check what actual impact of your damage did it have, because it's -3 for normal weapons, but half of that for light weapons and 1,5 for two-handed ones, oh, do you round that up or down, also, CMB and CMD, skills that go off Str, also check if you aren't under the effect of anything that makes you use your Str bonus instead of whatever else bonus.

See, you've been playing the game wrong all along, that would be 5 bucks, I can do PayPal.

Oh, and heavens have mercy upon you if a super friendly party member/NPC decides to counter that partially by buffing you with bull's strength.

Paizo Employee

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Virellius wrote:

My BIG disagree with this is that I never found '-2 to your dex is a -1 to your dex related rolls' to be hard.

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

Did you also remember to adjust your Climb and Swim bonuses, CMB, and CMD? When you took that Dex penalty did you remember to adjust your initiative, Reflex saves, Armor Class (don't forget how this affects your touch and flat-footed), CMB, and CMD? And don't forget that if you've taken damage to both STR and DEX, you'll need to add those modifiers together for any stat that's affected by both.

Also be sure to remember that if it's drain and not damage it actually reduces the ability score, so you'll need to double-check your carrying capacity and encumbrance limits, and if those have shifted too far down, you'll need to make sure you're applying the appropriate adjustments for being encumbered and potentially reduce your number of spells per day or other effects that determine their total usages based on your ability scores. You may need to reduce your number of skill ranks as well, so you'll want to decide where those are getting shaved off.

Quote:


What IS NOT simple is 'oh youre spooked3, sluggish2, accelerated2, exhausted5, annoyed7, but you're also aroused8, soooo... that's a... like a plus... 3.7 on your diplomacy check to attack the DM?'

I really did hate the conditions system in the playtest even more than resonance.

Since same-type bonuses and penalties don't stack, I, personally, find it a lot easier to quickly determine what someone's actual bonuses and penalties are in the new system, and generally it seems that people are much less likely to overestimate or underestimate their actual numbers. Typically someone is going to end up with a single column of adjustments at most that they can easily track themselves and tick down or up as appropriate. YMMV, but I think the total number of floating bonuses and penalties has actually shrunk, and the fact that penalties are typed down and nothing stacks with a same-type penalty has meant there is much less number shuffling and corrections needed at the table.


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Not only is an Ability Score, such as Strength, the base of too many stats to make a penalty to the Ability Score too multifaceted to calculate, but changing a fundamental score destabilizes the rules.

For an example of how bad it could get, I had one player who designed a spreadsheet to serve as his character sheet. When his Strength temporarily changed, he overwrote the Strength score. Then he forgot what the original score had been, so he could not undo the change (And it was one of those 1d6 penalties, so we could not look up the effect). Fortunately, I had asked for a copy of his character sheet and though I could barely read it, I found his Strength score.

The PF1 system created a basic Ability Score, that was generated at 1st level and maybe advanced by 4th, 8th, etc. level ability score increases. On top of that, a permanently worn magic item could provide an enhancement bonus to create a permanent Ability Score. Next, temporary effects create the Ability Score at the moment. Thus, in the PF1 we had three different levels of each Ability Score. Some things, such as skill ranks, depended on the basic score. Others, such as bonus spells, depended on the permanent score. And still others, such as the ability score bonus, depended on the momentary score.

If some new feat merely said Ability Score, then we players were unsure which level of Ability Score mattered. We can generalize from similar feats, but that is a sad way to figure out the rules.

Thus, Paizo was right to remove direct changes to Ability Scores from PF2.

Ability damage and ability drain directly change the Ability Score, so they had to go. In the Playtest (I don't know the final version), Paizo decided to rewrite their effect as conditional penalties.
* Drained condition gave a conditional penalty on Fortitude saves and Constitution-based checks.
* Enfeebled condition gave a conditional penalty on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Strength-based checks.
* Sluggish condition gave a conditional penalty to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves.
* Stupified condition gave a conditional penalty to spell rolls; spell DCs; and Intelligence-, Wisdom-, and Charisma-based checks.
(The developers said that they merged the three mental scores because trying to guess which Ability Score penalty would affect a spellcaster was too hard.)

Those are elegant conditions. Players can check their character sheets to see what Ability Score a check is based on. Maybe "drained" is not a word that suggests Constitution penalty; nevertheless, it is a legacy word.

What I didn't understand about those conditions if why the playtest lacked the matching conditional bonuses. Why didn't we have:
* Strengthened condition for a conditional bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and Strength-based checks.
* Graceful condition for a conditional bonus to AC, attack rolls, Dexterity-based checks, and Reflex saves.
* Endurance condition for a conditional bonus to Fortitude saves and Constitution-based checks.
* Cunning condition for a conditional bonus to Intelligence-based spell rolls, spell DCs, and checks.
* Wise condition for a conditional bonus to Will saves and Wisdom-based spell rolls, spell DCs, and checks.
* Splendid condition to Charisma-based spell rolls, spell DCs, and checks.

The playtest dropped the six Ability-Score-enhancing spells Bear's Endurance, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Fox's Cunning, Eagle's Splendor, and Owl's Wisdom. It lacked a good way to describe them.

I heard that the final version changed the conditions.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Virellius wrote:

My BIG disagree with this is that I never found '-2 to your dex is a -1 to your dex related rolls' to be hard.

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

What IS NOT simple is 'oh youre spooked3, sluggish2, accelerated2, exhausted5, annoyed7, but you're also aroused8, soooo... that's a... like a plus... 3.7 on your diplomacy check to attack the DM?'

I really did hate the conditions system in the playtest even more than resonance.

I love how you compare having ONE condition in PF1 to having multiple (including made up ones) in PF2 to make PF2 seem needlessly complicated.

The comparison is "you take x strength damage which has half x effect on your strength things" in PF1 to "you have Enfeebled x, you take x penalty on your Strength things." The second is very clearly easier, it requires no extra maths and doesn't leave new players with questions like "but what if I take an odd amount of damage, or it isn't enough to reduce my modifier does it do nothing?"


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Special conditions for reduction and buffing of the ability scores is what Pillars of Eternity has. I found it an elegant solution, that was easy and prevented stacking buffs for the same ability.
Every ability had a penalty condition and a bonus condition, each with 3 stages. A penalty and a bonus would substract from one another. Higher bonus and penalty conditions had wider effects apart from adjusting rolls.


Gorbacz wrote:
Virellius wrote:

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

But you did remember to recalculate encumbrance, apply relevant penalties if your load suddenly went med/heavy, check if you still could use any weapons, items or feats that required minimum Str of some value, check what actual impact of your damage did it have, because it's -3 for normal weapons, but half of that for light weapons and 1,5 for two-handed ones, oh, do you round that up or down, also, CMB and CMD, skills that go off Str, also check if you aren't under the effect of anything that makes you use your Str bonus instead of whatever else bonus.

See, you've been playing the game wrong all along, that would be 5 bucks, I can do PayPal.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it seems you're the one who has been playing the game wrong all along. In Pathfinder 1, if you take Strength damage or get a Strength penalty you apply half that damage/penalty to:

* Strength-based skill checks.
* Melee attack rolls.
* Strength-based damage rolls.
* CMB if you're Small or larger.
* CMD.
Also, if the damage is equal to or higher than your actual Strength, you fall unconscious.

You do not recalculate encumbrance, and you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.

Yes, you do.

If your Str is normally 18 you add +4 to main weapon damage and +2 to offhand (or +6 to a twohanded).
If your Str drops to 14 you add +2 to main weapons damage and +1 to offhand (or +3 to a twohanded), rather than +0 to offhand and +4 to twohanded.

(that said, Enfeebled 2 is consistent in giving a -2 penalty to all str-based checks and damage)


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Virellius wrote:

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

But you did remember to recalculate encumbrance, apply relevant penalties if your load suddenly went med/heavy, check if you still could use any weapons, items or feats that required minimum Str of some value, check what actual impact of your damage did it have, because it's -3 for normal weapons, but half of that for light weapons and 1,5 for two-handed ones, oh, do you round that up or down, also, CMB and CMD, skills that go off Str, also check if you aren't under the effect of anything that makes you use your Str bonus instead of whatever else bonus.

See, you've been playing the game wrong all along, that would be 5 bucks, I can do PayPal.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it seems you're the one who has been playing the game wrong all along. In Pathfinder 1, if you take Strength damage or get a Strength penalty you apply half that damage/penalty to:

* Strength-based skill checks.
* Melee attack rolls.
* Strength-based damage rolls.
* CMB if you're Small or larger.
* CMD.
Also, if the damage is equal to or higher than your actual Strength, you fall unconscious.

You do not recalculate encumbrance, and you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.

You are not really making a point for PF1 rules being easier or clearer here. :)

If ability damage/penalty has special rules that differ from the usual effects of having a lower ability then it is basically a special condition... just like in PF2. Only PF2 just gives it a name.


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Ediwir wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.

Yes, you do.

If your Str is normally 18 you add +4 to main weapon damage and +2 to offhand (or +6 to a twohanded).
If your Str drops to 14 you add +2 to main weapons damage and +1 to offhand (or +3 to a twohanded), rather than +0 to offhand and +4 to twohanded.

But Strength damage/penalties do not actually reduce your Strength. This is what the core book has to say on the topic (via AONPRD):

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score.

and

Strength: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

The same applies to Strength bonuses. So when your greataxe-wielding barbarian rages, she gets +2 to damage from the +4 Strength bonus, not +3 on account of having a two-handed weapon.

If you suffer ability drain, you actually reduce the score. But not from ability damage (or penalties, which is functionally the same as damage except it can't cause you to go unconscious or die).


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masda_gib wrote:
You are not really making a point for PF1 rules being easier or clearer here. :)

I know. This is just one of my pet peeves. PF1 actually simplified the rules for ability damage/penalties by not having it affect long-term stuff like feat prerequisites, bonus spells, max spell level, or encumbrance, but pretty much everyone seems to assume that it works like in 3.5e.

My hypothesis is that very few people have actually read the Pathfinder rules engine (as opposed to all the crunch that plugs into the engine - classes, feats, spells, etc.). They either come from 3.5e and assume that everything other than combat maneuvers is the same, or they are taught the game by someone in that position. And I can't really blame them, because the PF1 core book is a mess.

Quote:
If ability damage/penalty has special rules that differ from the usual effects of having a lower ability then it is basically a special condition... just like in PF2. Only PF2 just gives it a name.

Exactly. Well, and PF2 combines all the mental stats into one condition.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
Ediwir wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.

Yes, you do.

If your Str is normally 18 you add +4 to main weapon damage and +2 to offhand (or +6 to a twohanded).
If your Str drops to 14 you add +2 to main weapons damage and +1 to offhand (or +3 to a twohanded), rather than +0 to offhand and +4 to twohanded.

But Strength damage/penalties do not actually reduce your Strength. This is what the core book has to say on the topic (via AONPRD):

For every 2 points of damage you take to a single ability, apply a –1 penalty to skills and statistics listed with the relevant ability. If the amount of ability damage you have taken equals or exceeds your ability score, you immediately fall unconscious until the damage is less than your ability score.

and

Strength: Damage to your Strength score causes you to take penalties on Strength-based skill checks, melee attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls (if they rely on Strength). The penalty also applies to your Combat Maneuver Bonus (if you are Small or larger) and your Combat Maneuver Defense.

The same applies to Strength bonuses. So when your greataxe-wielding barbarian rages, she gets +2 to damage from the +4 Strength bonus, not +3 on account of having a two-handed weapon.

If you suffer ability drain, you actually reduce the score. But not from ability damage (or penalties, which is functionally the same as damage except it can't cause you to go unconscious or die).

This has to be the most handwaved rule of all pathfinder... why would you even do this...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
Virellius wrote:

'You take a minus 6 to your strength from the symbol of weakness! that's a -3 on attack and damage rolls!' is pretty simple.

But you did remember to recalculate encumbrance, apply relevant penalties if your load suddenly went med/heavy, check if you still could use any weapons, items or feats that required minimum Str of some value, check what actual impact of your damage did it have, because it's -3 for normal weapons, but half of that for light weapons and 1,5 for two-handed ones, oh, do you round that up or down, also, CMB and CMD, skills that go off Str, also check if you aren't under the effect of anything that makes you use your Str bonus instead of whatever else bonus.

See, you've been playing the game wrong all along, that would be 5 bucks, I can do PayPal.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it seems you're the one who has been playing the game wrong all along. In Pathfinder 1, if you take Strength damage or get a Strength penalty you apply half that damage/penalty to:

* Strength-based skill checks.
* Melee attack rolls.
* Strength-based damage rolls.
* CMB if you're Small or larger.
* CMD.
Also, if the damage is equal to or higher than your actual Strength, you fall unconscious.

You do not recalculate encumbrance, and you do not change that damage penalty to account for off- or two-handed weapon use.

You don't change encumbrance for damage, but you do for drain. Admittedly, Symbol of Weakness does the former, but the fact that this remains a point that needs to be clarified is not a thing in PF1's favor.

Also, I don't think anyone has mentioned one of my favorite wrinkles: how an odd/even amount of ability damage/drain interacts with an odd/even ability score. Bleh.

Quote:

What IS NOT simple is 'oh youre spooked3, sluggish2, accelerated2, exhausted5, annoyed7, but you're also aroused8, soooo... that's a... like a plus... 3.7 on your diplomacy check to attack the DM?'

I really did hate the conditions system in the playtest even more than resonance.

Let's use try to translate this into an actual example here.

Frightened 3
Sluggish 2
Accelerated 20
Fatigued 4

As mentioned, same type bonuses don't actually stack. So we really only care about the highest penalty in these cases, and whether that penalty applies to this roll. So the process to double check your penalty is "Start with the highest number, see if that applies to this roll." Saves and AC? All I care about is the Fatigued 4 giving me a -4. I can outright ignore Sluggish until Frightened drops below 2, because Frightened covers everything Sluggish does and more.

The closest thing I see to an issue is Fatigued giving you hampered 5, which you have to subtract from Accelerated 20. But in practice this isn't any more complicated than PF1 if anyone at the table knows these conditions. What you right down on your sheet is almost certainly just gonna be "+15" next to speed either way.

Now let's look at a comparable PF1 example.

Shaken
-5 Dexterity Damage on a 20 Dex score.
Speed increase by 20
Fatigued

Oh boy. Like PF2, I need to know or look up what each of these conditions affects. Unlike PF2, it doesn't list how much most of them are impacted by in the condition. And unlike PF2, these stack.

So we are talking about:
–2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks outside of strength and dexterity.
-3 on strength based attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks.
-5 on Dexterity based attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks
-3 penalty to AC
Speed increased by 20, but can't run or charge.

This is so much freaking harder.


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Ediwir wrote:
This has to be the most handwaved rule of all pathfinder... why would you even do this...

Because "But you did remember to recalculate encumbrance, apply relevant penalties if your load suddenly went med/heavy, check if you still could use any weapons, items or feats that required minimum Str of some value, check what actual impact of your damage did it have, because it's -3 for normal weapons, but half of that for light weapons and 1,5 for two-handed ones, oh, do you round that up or down, also, CMB and CMD, skills that go off Str, also check if you aren't under the effect of anything that makes you use your Str bonus instead of whatever else bonus."

Much easier to remember "6 points of Strength damage = -3 to melee attacks and damage, CMB, CMD, and any Strength-based skill check."


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Captain Morgan wrote:
You don't change encumbrance for damage, but you do for drain. Admittedly, Symbol of Weakness does the former, but the fact that this remains a point that needs to be clarified is not a thing in PF1's favor.

On the other hand, ability drain is really rare.

Quote:
Also, I don't think anyone has mentioned one of my favorite wrinkles: how an odd/even amount of ability damage/drain interacts with an odd/even ability score. Bleh.

Well, for ability damage the answer is easy. Odd numbers don't matter. You get -1 per 2 full points of damage/penalty, regardless of whether your actual stat is even or odd.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
You don't change encumbrance for damage, but you do for drain. Admittedly, Symbol of Weakness does the former, but the fact that this remains a point that needs to be clarified is not a thing in PF1's favor.

On the other hand, ability drain is really rare.

Quote:
Also, I don't think anyone has mentioned one of my favorite wrinkles: how an odd/even amount of ability damage/drain interacts with an odd/even ability score. Bleh.

Well, for ability damage the answer is easy. Odd numbers don't matter. You get -1 per 2 full points of damage/penalty, regardless of whether your actual stat is even or odd.

Which is a simple answer, but not an intuitive one. And while drain might be rare, the fact that it exists at all just means that many (most?) players need to look all this up again to confirm they aren't getting the two mixed up.

None of this is unsolvable, but it IS more complicated than PF1.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
You don't change encumbrance for damage, but you do for drain. Admittedly, Symbol of Weakness does the former, but the fact that this remains a point that needs to be clarified is not a thing in PF1's favor.
On the other hand, ability drain is really rare.

Tell that to my tier 14-16 party. I think we ran into it five times over the course of PaizoCon. And our 8-10 tier party just got Wisdom drain from a monster.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

Drain is much more common at high levels, you know where character math become exceedingly complex and the game mechanics break down. i.e. it comes on line just in time to be even more confusing.

Again, in P1, you have Strength drain, so you have to look up what strength drain does and how it effects your PC, also it may stack with other conditions. Or maybe not.

In P2 you have encumbered 1. You go to the glossary and it says encumbered does X, so you apply the penalty to X equal to your encumbered value (in this example 1).

Another thing that P2 does is that it eliminated the "different names for the same effect at different levels of severity" issue. There is no longer frightened shaken and Panicked, the frightened. now I only have to look up one rule instead of 3.

Also it allows for scaling bonuses/penalties. Take sickened. It does -2 at level 1 and level 20. While -2 at level 1 can be debilitating, at level 20 it may not be noticeable. In P2 we have one condition that scales up, so a weak spell gives encumbered 1, and a strong spell gives encumbered 3, and a devastating spell give encumbered 5.

It ALSO allows for a minor effect on a successful save vs. all or nothing. In P1 it's either -2 to attacks/skills/saves or nothing. P2 has encumbered 2 on a failed save, encumbered 1 on success and encumbered 3 on a crit fail and no penalty on crit success.

Every example I give uses just one rule: encumbered, as opposed to half a dozen different rules that may or may not interact with each other and are set in stone no matter what level of ability we are talking about.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

First off, did this dude say shaken gives you a bonus +20 to move speed? Because... where is that written?

Secondly, I would never understand someone who said 'this gives you a -2 on all related rolls because your muscle mass has been magically atrophied' is MORE CONFUSING than balancing several stacking numbered things.

Having a full party of PCs with varying levels of NUMBERED CONDITIONS is going to be HELL to run. Can you imagine? Instead of 'oh you are shaken, you're fatigued, you're all suffering from sickened from the creatures nasty stank, okay' it's gonna be 'Barbarian is Sickened 2, Shaken 3, but he made his save on the encumbered so is that a 3 or 2... but the bard failed his so its a 3, right? and the bard also has sickened 3, shaken 1... the wizard has …. these others...'

I will never understand how ANYONE could, in ACTUAL PLAY, think the former is HARDER to track than the latter. My party got themselves SO confused from ONE centipede in the playtest, with only 3 PCs. As a DM now, I can just hand someone a condition card, or make my own if I don't wanna pay and my table is confused (they aren't, because having separate names makes them EASIER to understand. Shaken, Frightened, and Panicked are words of increasing severity, and are easy to understand. The same way that sickened implies you feel sick, where as nauseated is an easy to understand feeling of being about to throw up. It's basic language, and a lot easier than remembering 'What does each tier of each same-named condition do, and who is at what level'.

In a game system about simplicity, it adds in MORE bookkeeping for DMs and players alike, and that's not just speculation. We played the playtest, and it was annoying as hell.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Virellius wrote:
Having a full party of PCs with varying levels of NUMBERED CONDITIONS is going to be HELL to run.

What, like having a party that is sickened, weakened, poisoned to three ability scores, and also under a negative level isn't?

You're going to gain the new conditions one by one the same as before, and if you actually learn what they mean it won't be any different than 1E.

Also, 2E Condition Cards are a thing.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think you are just used to the old words. You say sickened and nauseated are intuitive words, but neither actually hints at all to what mechanics they apply. And even if its obvious that Frightened is worse than Shakened, how much worse is a complete unnknown.

Learning new terms is of course harder than not. But numbered terms actually tells you half the answer to any condition whereas PF1 ones don't. The answer to "what is the mod" is the same across ALL conditions "it is the number!" In PF1 you have to know what the different mod is for each of the scaling conditions.

New cons also allow for expanded design space. If you wantto make something worse than Panicked you've got to either make yet another named condition, or write out the full text just to change the number. In PF2 the effect can just give a greater Frightened #.

There our also less localization issues. You say Panicked is obviously worse than Frightened, but for me thats not the case. I'm Panicked fairly often in real life whenever I lose my keys. Frightened would be worse for me as so rarely experience it. In other languages the distinction might be even less clear.


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Virellius wrote:

First off, did this dude say shaken gives you a bonus +20 to move speed? Because... where is that written?

Secondly, I would never understand someone who said 'this gives you a -2 on all related rolls because your muscle mass has been magically atrophied' is MORE CONFUSING than balancing several stacking numbered things.

Having a full party of PCs with varying levels of NUMBERED CONDITIONS is going to be HELL to run. Can you imagine? Instead of 'oh you are shaken, you're fatigued, you're all suffering from sickened from the creatures nasty stank, okay' it's gonna be 'Barbarian is Sickened 2, Shaken 3, but he made his save on the encumbered so is that a 3 or 2... but the bard failed his so its a 3, right? and the bard also has sickened 3, shaken 1... the wizard has …. these others...'

I will never understand how ANYONE could, in ACTUAL PLAY, think the former is HARDER to track than the latter. My party got themselves SO confused from ONE centipede in the playtest, with only 3 PCs. As a DM now, I can just hand someone a condition card, or make my own if I don't wanna pay and my table is confused (they aren't, because having separate names makes them EASIER to understand. Shaken, Frightened, and Panicked are words of increasing severity, and are easy to understand. The same way that sickened implies you feel sick, where as nauseated is an easy to understand feeling of being about to throw up. It's basic language, and a lot easier than remembering 'What does each tier of each same-named condition do, and who is at what level'.

In a game system about simplicity, it adds in MORE bookkeeping for DMs and players alike, and that's not just speculation. We played the playtest, and it was annoying as hell.

He said ‘Accelerated 20’ gives you +20 to move speed. I have no idea how you came to Shaken = +20 move speed.

Most of what you wrote, and i stress this, is completely suggestive. Numbered conditions work very simply; higher number tends to be bad, lower number tends to be good; very few exceptions, like with Accelerated. Using different adjectives for severity means absolutely nothing to someone like me. Sickened and Nausiated; Shakened, Frightened and Panicked. Potato Potato.

I also can’t imagine a DM that would want to try and juggle all of their Players’ conditions in their head while trying to run anything. The Players should be keeping track. After that it’s just remembering how the new conditions work.

Lastly, if it’s easier and works for your table that’s great. The new conditions are now built with overlap in mind rather than dealing with the overlap when it happens haphazardly. As well as being easier to understand and implement. Sorry to hear your group had issues using it.


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I honestly thought you were complaining about pf1 when you ranted about stacking numbers.
Because in p2, they don’t stack.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Why are numbers so scary again? Especially when the alternative is words which have coded numbers attached to them, or numbers that you have to run through extra steps or divide in half like ability penalties?

Maybe take about 20 percent off there, Squirrelly Dan.


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Slightly tangential, but having played 5E for a couple years I found the system to be really elegant and simple, with one major flaw that has me looking at PF2 with excitement: the monsters. 5E is easy To DM and the classes are cool & balanced, but I found the monsters really mostly ... boring. Almost everything is a bag of HP that does x HP damage, like even poison does HP damage etc., with only a few exceptions. When everything goes through HP ablation combat gets predictable as the Barbarian slowly sees his health bar melt and paces himself accordingly etc. I found myself missing those surprises and wonky effects that can force the party to switch tactics in a scramble or even flee despite being at decent HP levels.

The conditions under debate in this thread are a part of that and what I’ve seen of the monsters so far in PF2 looks promising indeed. I still feel like I have to go page by page in the 5E MM and add spells/abilities, especially to demons and the like - totally doable but a bit of a chore.


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mcintma wrote:

Slightly tangential, but having played 5E for a couple years I found the system to be really elegant and simple, with one major flaw that has me looking at PF2 with excitement: the monsters. 5E is easy To DM and the classes are cool & balanced, but I found the monsters really mostly ... boring. Almost everything is a bag of HP that does x HP damage, like even poison does HP damage etc., with only a few exceptions. When everything goes through HP ablation combat gets predictable as the Barbarian slowly sees his health bar melt and paces himself accordingly etc. I found myself missing those surprises and wonky effects that can force the party to switch tactics in a scramble or even flee despite being at decent HP levels.

The conditions under debate in this thread are a part of that and what I’ve seen of the monsters so far in PF2 looks promising indeed. I still feel like I have to go page by page in the 5E MM and add spells/abilities, especially to demons and the like - totally doable but a bit of a chore.

The monsters most certainly seem like a strong point of PF2. I mean, it's got skeletons who can thrown their skulls at you as weapons and then are blind and def until it rolls back. And ogre-zombies that throw other zombies at you as weapons. And things that aren't undead throwing weird stuff. I remember even hyenas being kind of interesting in the playtest, because of their ability to trip on a hit. I'm still not entirely sure I like that it happens without a saving throw, but it's certainly something to keep you on your toes. And the stat blocks seem easier to use than PF1, where you'll have to look up a whole bunch of feats to see what the critters can do.

Liberty's Edge

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The monster design is indeed really excellent and one of the huge improvements over D&D 5E.

Doktor Weasel wrote:
I remember even hyenas being kind of interesting in the playtest, because of their ability to trip on a hit. I'm still not entirely sure I like that it happens without a saving throw, but it's certainly something to keep you on your toes.

There's no Save, but they do have to both hit you and spend an action on top of the attack.

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