How lethal do you think this edition will be?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Draco18s wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
Real talk though, I was watching the forums pretty closely during the Playtest, especially around HoU, and I didn't see anyone making that kind of claim.
Dude. You were.

See the rest of the quoted post. I'm pretty sure the most I ever said was that it's possible, which it obviously is. I said that I believed certain aspects of preparation and party composition were a greater factor than luck, which I still believe. Even after you spent like a week back then trying to find any little hole in my running the game to try and prove that my group didn't legitimately beat the chapter.

There's a difference between saying it's possible and saying it's easy. It's clear that most groups didn't come out of it so well, be it by a less favorable party comp (2 healing PCs is very useful and Monk with Holy Rune is borderline broken against Fiends) or by bad luck.

Again, I never claimed it was easy.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Rysky wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Once you hit a certain level, I'd expect PCs to be dying every few sessions, then being resurrected/replaced.
That’s not really the norm.

I mean I run "resurrection is not available" style games, so I usually have to alter some things so that death is less likely because it is most probably permanent. I would prefer it if I didn't have to change an enormous amount of stuff.

Making raise dead effects rituals instead of spells helps a lot here since I can just mark those as rare.

In the playtest, all of the Resurrection spells and rituals were uncommon. So while the game is less lethal, it is quite likely death will be more permanent.


From what I read from you guys and the crit rules, I would say that the game is a lot less rocket tag, but not any less lethal.

The increased Health and lowering of damage increases makes it so you aren't one shot by many creatures. And the better healing/hero points/death rules means less knocked out time. But due to the crit rule, it also means characters tend to take more damage per round; there are 3 ways to take damage vs only 1 to take no damage.

I'm not sure how this affects fighting an equal lv group vs higher level solo BBEG: But I feel that the extra action economy of the group might make it into the more dangerous combat due to damage distribution and overall higher HP of a group of creatures.

***********
Good positioning and large access to healing will definetly make things better. But that also worked in PF1e if people actually bothered (see Teamwork feats).


Deadmanwalking wrote:


This is not the common assumption of most player groups. Or at least, not one they see as a positive thing.

Why not? Seems like the logical consequence of adventuring. I'm not saying someone needs to die every session, but if about 10 go by without a single death, that's probably too many.

Not being able to go from up to dead in one shot is just silly. If you're at 1 hp and get shot for 35 damage, you should just be dead (unless your Con is monstrous).

You could also withdraw/run, fight defensively, pop a potion, or feign death if you're low. Quite a few deaths come from ill-advised heroics.


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Because players spend a lot of time on characters and generally don't like it if they are smashed by something they couldn't have predicted and had no real chance against?

Because Tomb of Horrors (the original AD&D version not the weaksauce of 3.5 or 5e) is awesome fun but requires buyin.

I run vicious games, but I get buy in from the players and inform them in advance. When someone spends time crafting relationships between npcs/factions/other players, buying property and developing their place in the world. Well... Frequent deaths can be rather... Final.


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Ill-advised heroics are amazing, and as a GM I do not want to discourage them.

I mean, the core of the fantasy is to be heroes, not pragmatists.


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Isn't the fantasy also filled with many dungeons worth of failed/dead adventurers, who came before the hero?

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Why not? Seems like the logical consequence of adventuring. I'm not saying someone needs to die every session, but if about 10 go by without a single death, that's probably too many.

Logical consequences are not the same as fun consequences. A lot of people invest a lot of time and energy into their characters and do not want to see it wasted, or devalued, by that character dying regularly, but also don't want death to be a complete revolving door.

sherlock1701 wrote:
Not being able to go from up to dead in one shot is just silly. If you're at 1 hp and get shot for 35 damage, you should just be dead (unless your Con is monstrous).

Why? What does 1 HP mean in the fiction that's so different from 15 HP on a 150 HP character? What about an attack that takes you to -1 vs one that takes you to 1, which should a PC prefer to happen? Because in PF1 it's the latter, because the first tends to result in almost immediate death.

sherlock1701 wrote:
You could also withdraw/run, fight defensively, pop a potion, or feign death if you're low. Quite a few deaths come from ill-advised heroics.

Sure. But far from all of them. Limiting the number that result from, say, going to 1 HP from Attack #1 and then getting attack #2 thrown at you (ie: the 'I wish the enemy did two more damage' situation) is a good thing.

Liberty's Edge

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In PF1, the system itself encourages all-out attacks because trying to withdraw is pretty much suicide. At least when attacking you might crit a lot and win.

Fighting defensively was merely delaying the inevitable, potions were not limitless and feign death was not supported by the rules.

I hope PF2 mechanics allow for fleeing when confronted by overwhelming opposition.

Silver Crusade

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Temperans wrote:
Isn't the fantasy also filled with many dungeons worth of failed/dead adventurers, who came before the hero?

NPCs that came before PCs you mean.

Sovereign Court

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The King In Yellow wrote:
I've seen the comment about the buffer being too small stated before, and never really understood it. Your -entire- hit point pool is your buffer. Not just the part below zero.

It works kinda like this.

Say you're a 10th level fighter in PF1, you have something like a 100 HP. You're fighting a CR 9 Greater Earth Elemental who's power attacking you with two 2d10+19 slams every round.

After a couple of rounds you're down to 30 hit points and it's the monster's turn. His first slam hits and deals 31 HP; you go down to -1 and he wanders off to threaten another PC. Okay, you might survive.

But if he does only 30 damage you're at 0HP and he hits you again and drops you to at least -21, quite dead. At this point there was no hit he could have dealt you that knocked you out without killing you as well.

---

Basically, the below-0 buffer where the enemy knocks you out but doesn't kill you, doesn't really scale with the increase in enemy damage as you level up.


(Before you had to actually take feats, traits and abilities to increase that buffer, just to try and mitigate the problem. But that only just makes you weaker and less likely to deal enough damage.)

The system encouraged both Full and standard action attacks, specially for fighters with better access to Vital Strike without loosing valuable feats; They even released more options to encourage moving while attacking throughout the years. The problem was people (specially minmaxers and some theory crafters) only cared for "highest DPS" and "cant lose CL/Spell levels" anything else to them was effectively garbage.

Oh and pathfinder did support feigning being dying, although there are only like 2 official rules for it. It also falls under the Bluff/RP for some benefit (rule of cool/rule 0).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Why not? Seems like the logical consequence of adventuring. I'm not saying someone needs to die every session, but if about 10 go by without a single death, that's probably too many.

Logical consequences are not the same as fun consequences. A lot of people invest a lot of time and energy into their characters and do not want to see it wasted, or devalued, by that character dying regularly, but also don't want death to be a complete revolving door.

sherlock1701 wrote:
Not being able to go from up to dead in one shot is just silly. If you're at 1 hp and get shot for 35 damage, you should just be dead (unless your Con is monstrous).

Why? What does 1 HP mean in the fiction that's so different from 15 HP on a 150 HP character? What about an attack that takes you to -1 vs one that takes you to 1, which should a PC prefer to happen? Because in PF1 it's the latter, because the first tends to result in almost immediate death.

sherlock1701 wrote:
You could also withdraw/run, fight defensively, pop a potion, or feign death if you're low. Quite a few deaths come from ill-advised heroics.
Sure. But far from all of them. Limiting the number that result from, say, going to 1 HP from Attack #1 and then getting attack #2 thrown at you (ie: the 'I wish the enemy did two more damage' situation) is a good thing.

I'll add that you CAN die in one shot, it just occurs less than PF1. Also, the wounded condition is a far better tool for giving players choices to engage in foolish heroics.

It is also really easy to make death more common. You can house rule by lowering the dying condition to 2 or 3, or you can pull a Colette and just have your monsters focus fire on downed PCs. Neither seems especially fun as a best practice to me, but to each their own.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Logical consequences are not the same as fun consequences. A lot of people invest a lot of time and energy into their characters and do not want to see it wasted, or devalued, by that character dying regularly, but also don't want death to be a complete revolving door.

Death is supposed to be a minor nuisance at higher levels. Get raised, get a couple restorations a week apart, and move on. It's how the game is meant to be played, given spellcasting availability and WBL.

I put a lot of time and energy into characters as well. If they die and you can't afford a rez, you get to make a new one, which is one of the more fun parts of the game.

The whole point of TTRPGs is that they aren't video games. You have much more freedom within the system, but also far more severe penalties when things go wrong.

And about the buffer, that wasn't always a thing at all. 0 used to be dead, and it's not unreasonable for it to mean that either. It's not supposed to be a guaranteed safety net, just something that might save you if you're lucky (take a wound that should have killed you, but hang on by a thread).

Silver Crusade

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Logical consequences are not the same as fun consequences. A lot of people invest a lot of time and energy into their characters and do not want to see it wasted, or devalued, by that character dying regularly, but also don't want death to be a complete revolving door.
Death is supposed to be a minor nuisance at higher levels. Get raised, get a couple restorations a week apart, and move on.
Treating death and resurrection like you do minor damage and happy sticks of CLW is immensely immersion breaking for a lot of people.
Quote:
It's how the game is meant to be played, given spellcasting availability and WBL.
Not really. It can be yes, but "PCs continually die and it's not an issue" is not an assumed norm.
Quote:
The whole point of TTRPGs is that they aren't video games. You have much more freedom within the system, but also far more severe penalties when things go wrong.

This sounds like the opposite of what you were just claiming.


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sherlock1701 wrote:

Death is supposed to be a minor nuisance at higher levels. Get raised, get a couple restorations a week apart, and move on. It's how the game is meant to be played, given spellcasting availability and WBL.

I put a lot of time and energy into characters as well. If they die and you can't afford a rez, you get to make a new one, which is one of the more fun parts of the game.

Yes, it is how PF1 is meant to be played. And many people find it silly. I guess this is where different people have different tastes. Some like the high magic, high fantasy hopping in and out of the afterlife. And some find it weird and making death devoid of all meaning.

I like the direction of PF2, making near death experiences more common (dying and recovering) and reviving magic uncommon so that a true death might be a problem.

Even with PF2 nobody forbids you to roll a new character. I guess you can always voluntary fail rolls. So if you are dying, fail you recovery rolls and get a new character sheet out. And if your party cleric heals you before that you can yell at them.

sherlock1701 wrote:
The whole point of TTRPGs is that they aren't video games. You have much more freedom within the system, but also far more severe penalties when things go wrong.

You should really play a computer game once in a while if you want to dismiss them. Many computer RPG and Action-RGP games now have Iron Man or Hardcore modes or whatever it is called in a game. In this mode you have 1 life. If you die, you have to start with a new character. Why? because it is popular for the audience of hardcore players. It's nothing unique to TTRPGs.


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Kyrone wrote:

So, how much dangerous the world is for PCs now? Some stuff that we know from some leaks to help:

Characters have more HP, even the most fragile caster in the core books will have at least 12 HP at level 1, while the more sturdy one can reach to impressive 25HP.

When you reach to 0HP the character gets the dying condition and when you reach to dying 4 you die, the check to reduce the condition by 1 is an flat DC 10 + the dying condition stage.

If you are cured during dying you are conscious but get the wounded condition, making easier to die.

Spending all Hero Points makes you recover 1 HP from the dying condition without the wounded condition.

Resurrect is an ritual now instead of a spell.

With the new math criticals can happen more often against high level enemies.

It appears PF2 will move from a pretty hardcore dying system to a 5E-like system where frankly you never die unless you actively make mistakes (or, of course, your DM dumps a wildly level-inappropriate encounter in your lap).

While I like a certain level of danger, that evaporates anyway once you're past the first few levels, so I accept that the current crop of gamers want games where you simply don't die, you only face the illusion of a death threat.

What I'm much more worried about is the "whack a mole" effects present in 5th Edition D&D, where you can gain significant healing power if you wait to heal people until they have fallen.

This is because negative hp isn't tracked. If you take 17 damage while you have 1 hp, 16 of the points are just negated. And healing even a single point brings you back into the fight (with the only consequence that you need to stand back up again).

This is bad because it makes any monster that doesn't "finish the job" by continuing to attack a hero even after he's downed look very stupid. You simply must actually kill off downed heroes, or they'll just be brought up with minimal resource drain. Even the cheapest Healing Word is enough.

But I don't like having to make my monsters be that blood-thirsty! It sours the entire atmosphere when monsters appear vindictive. I hate that. I want the game to allow monsters to move on to the next threat once the have "won" without having to spend an action or two to "make sure" the foe stays down.

So I had to houserule away the silliniess. (I simply added track of negative hp down to -10, which fixed the more egregious cases).

My hope is that PF2 does not force me to add a similar houserule.


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Zapp wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

So, how much dangerous the world is for PCs now? Some stuff that we know from some leaks to help:

Characters have more HP, even the most fragile caster in the core books will have at least 12 HP at level 1, while the more sturdy one can reach to impressive 25HP.

When you reach to 0HP the character gets the dying condition and when you reach to dying 4 you die, the check to reduce the condition by 1 is an flat DC 10 + the dying condition stage.

If you are cured during dying you are conscious but get the wounded condition, making easier to die.

Spending all Hero Points makes you recover 1 HP from the dying condition without the wounded condition.

Resurrect is an ritual now instead of a spell.

With the new math criticals can happen more often against high level enemies.

It appears PF2 will move from a pretty hardcore dying system to a 5E-like system where frankly you never die unless you actively make mistakes (or, of course, your DM dumps a wildly level-inappropriate encounter in your lap).

While I like a certain level of danger, that evaporates anyway once you're past the first few levels, so I accept that the current crop of gamers want games where you simply don't die, you only face the illusion of a death threat.

What I'm much more worried about is the "whack a mole" effects present in 5th Edition D&D, where you can gain significant healing power if you wait to heal people until they have fallen.

This is because negative hp isn't tracked. If you take 17 damage while you have 1 hp, 16 of the points are just negated. And healing even a single point brings you back into the fight (with the only consequence that you need to stand back up again).

This is bad because it makes any monster that doesn't "finish the job" by continuing to attack a hero even after he's downed look very stupid. You simply must actually kill off downed heroes, or they'll just be brought up with minimal resource drain. Even the cheapest Healing Word is enough.

But I don't like...

If you go down twice in one fight, you're instantly dead on any following crit.

If you get crit and roll a 1 or 2 on the recovery check, you're dead.
If you're crit while wounded 1 and DOOMED 1, you're dead. No amount of Hero Points are saving you.
If you're DOOMED 4, you're dead.

These are just a few scenarios in which you can die incredibly quickly.


Zapp wrote:


It appears PF2 will move from a pretty hardcore dying system to a 5E-like system where frankly you never die unless you actively make mistakes (or, of course, your DM dumps a wildly level-inappropriate encounter in your lap).

While I like a certain level of danger, that evaporates anyway once you're past the first few levels, so I accept that the current crop of gamers want games where you simply don't die, you only face the illusion of a death threat.

What I'm much more worried about is the "whack a mole" effects present in 5th Edition D&D, where you can gain significant healing power if you wait to heal people until they have fallen.

This is because negative hp isn't tracked. If you take 17 damage while you have 1 hp, 16 of the points are just negated. And healing even a single point brings you back into the fight (with the only consequence that you need to stand back up again).

This is bad because it makes any monster that doesn't "finish the job" by continuing to attack a hero even after he's downed look very stupid. You simply must actually kill off downed heroes, or they'll just be brought up with minimal resource drain. Even the cheapest Healing Word is enough.

But I don't like...

In 5e, there are no consequences to hitting 0 and being healed again. In PF2, you will gain Dying 1, or 2 when being crit, which becomes Wounded 1 when healed. Do that once and you'll probably get away with it, but if you ever hit Dying 4, you're dead.

Also, in 5e standing back up costs half your move, which is often irrelevant. In PF2 it costs an action.


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Zapp wrote:
What I'm much more worried about is the "whack a mole" effects present in 5th Edition D&D, where you can gain significant healing power if you wait to heal people until they have fallen.

PF2 has the Wounded condition. If you come back from dying you gain it and when you are downed again, you are closer to death.

So while whack-a-mole healing works at first, it puts the healed party member at great risk. If they get healed after being downed a second time, a Crit putting them to 0 HP will kill them for good immediately. After the third time even a normal hit will do that.

For added horror, some enemies can Doom(TM) you which will kill you faster once you are dying. Whack-a-mole healing with an enemy that can doom you will probably be a very bad idea.


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An additional thing to consider for death risk is AoEs. Extremely dangerous for downed characters and doesn't require effort by enemies to kill them specifically.

Someone goes down to a hit, Dying 1, and before their next turn an enemy pops of an AoE Reflex attack that includes them. IIRC unconscious means crit fail reflex automatically, so now Dying 3. Nearly gone. This happens while your Wounded 1 or Doomed 1 and the combo kills you outright.

You go down to a crit, Dying 2, then an AoE includes you, auto crit fail, dead.

That is if IIRC that unconscious auto crit fails Reflex and Crit fail acts like getting critted for dying purposes.


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masda_gib wrote:
And if your party cleric heals you before that you can yell at them.

You didn't save my life, you ruined my death!


Regardless of the exact nature of the new rules I assume there will not be a circumstance where a PC hits 0 HP when the enemy has one more attack of its full attack which then kills him outright because of 10 Con (even at level 10)

So from that aspect it will be less deadly

On paper it seems like crits are more likely but I haven’t had practice with it. Also 3X crits are gone but sneak attack crits are worse

So there are lots of variables


Lanathar wrote:

Regardless of the exact nature of the new rules I assume there will not be a circumstance where a PC hits 0 HP when the enemy has one more attack of its full attack which then kills him outright because of 10 Con (even at level 10)

So from that aspect it will be less deadly

On paper it seems like crits are more likely but I haven’t had practice with it. Also 3X crits are gone but sneak attack crits are worse

So there are lots of variables

It's theoretically possible, but really only an enemy extremely dedicated to killing someone (versus staying alive) would do that.


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Edge93 wrote:
masda_gib wrote:
And if your party cleric heals you before that you can yell at them.
You didn't save my life, you ruined my death!

I'm currently playing the Kingmaker PC game and this is something Harrim, the dwarven cleric of Groetus, would say if revived. :D I love him.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Harrim is kinda the best cleric, yeah. :D

I do think 2e strikes a good balance with the dying rules; there's a strong incentive for stable characters to stay down to avoid racking up more levels of Wounded, but if you really need someone back up NOW you can do it.

My hope is that ways to stabilize dying characters will be free enough that people are never punished action-wise for choosing to stabilize someone instead of healing them - otherwise you have the awkward situation where you might need to heal someone to save them from dying, which then brings them back up and likely to get attacked again...

I'm may have some kind of rule to this effect, maybe that you can choose to have a one or three-action heal only stabilize someone instead of bringing them back up (but they still gain that HP back at the end of the fight). Maybe even incentivize it, like say that the HP restored at the end of the fight is maximized if you choose to only stabilize someone.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Death is supposed to be a minor nuisance at higher levels. Get raised, get a couple restorations a week apart, and move on. It's how the game is meant to be played, given spellcasting availability and WBL.

In PF1? Yes, this is true.

It is not, however, a well loved fact by the majority of the player base. It's something they're aware of, but not necessarily happy about. It is considered by many to be a flaw in the game. So PF2 changing it is understandable and considered an improvement by many.

sherlock1701 wrote:
I put a lot of time and energy into characters as well. If they die and you can't afford a rez, you get to make a new one, which is one of the more fun parts of the game.

Character creation is only fun for some people. And losing characters permanently is extremely un-fun for most. But PF2 doesn't actually make permanent death less likely, it just changes some of the assumptions so temporary death is less likely at higher levels.

In a pure system sense, this is just a minor rebalancing, with less resource expenditure on a particular type of condition removal, but the thematic advantages are high.

sherlock1701 wrote:
The whole point of TTRPGs is that they aren't video games.

I agree with this, but your follow up is not the only reason someone might prefer tabletop gaming to video games.

sherlock1701 wrote:
You have much more freedom within the system, but also far more severe penalties when things go wrong.

This part may be the whole point for you, but it is not for many other people. For me, one of the big advantages of a tabletop game is the ability to take the story off in a direction that the GM might not have expected, to come up with solutions that are outside the box (or for my players to do such things when I GM). There's definitely some overlap with your definition's first part there, I grant.

But more severe penalties? Not exactly a selling point. There need to be consequences to failure, but how severe they are will vary quite a bit by the genre of the game.

sherlock1701 wrote:
And about the buffer, that wasn't always a thing at all. 0 used to be dead, and it's not unreasonable for it to mean that either. It's not supposed to be a guaranteed safety net, just something that might save you if you're lucky (take a wound that should have killed you, but hang on by a thread).

That was not its intent, and more importantly is not what people seem to want out of it. What Paizo wanted was something that didn't get less useful as you rose in level, but also wasn't as certain and deterministic once you were in negatives. In PF1, if you were at -1 HP and had Con 12 you had eleven turns to get saved. In PF2 if you go down with Dying 1, you have as few as two turns, and with Dying 2 (which just requires a crit) or having Wounded 1 you have as little as one turn.

It makes saving the unconscious a real and exciting part of tactical situation. And that's good. Personally, I feel like Hero Points take away from that a bit, but as I've mentioned those are easy to remove for a more lethal game...


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I believe saving yourself with Hero Points is now an all-or-nothing affair, also, which means you can only do it once per session. That's still a lot, but it also makes for scary sessions once you've burned your "emergency out" and can't do it again - and don't even have any Hero Points left for rerolls.

And like you mention, there are lots of ways you can adjust that to tweak lethality. One change I have considered is that it only costs 1 Hero Point to avoid death, but once you avoid death you can't do it again until you gain a level.

Liberty's Edge

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MaxAstro wrote:
One change I have considered is that it only costs 1 Hero Point to avoid death, but once you avoid death you can't do it again until you gain a level.

I REALLY like this idea, a LOT.

The idea that people who just show up to game sessions get 1 free "get out of death" card every game even if they didn't bring pizza or soda really has irked me for some time and I think limiting that to once per level would really add some cranberry to my vodka in terms of the life-saving function of Hero points.

Grand Lodge

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I suspect this edition will be no more or less lethal than the previous. There will just be less random insta death. Reckless players will still get their characters killed.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
I suspect this edition will be no more or less lethal than the previous. There will just be less random insta death.

That's the meaning of "less lethal".

Quote:
Reckless players will still get their characters killed.

Yes, but that does not mean the edition remains equally deadly. Not unless you're willing to argue reckless players die more often in PF2, enough to compensate for the fewer random insta deaths.

Grand Lodge

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Zapp wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I suspect this edition will be no more or less lethal than the previous. There will just be less random insta death.
That's the meaning of "less lethal".

I fully expect those deaths to be replaced with deaths caused by players trying to play it like 1E, resulting in the same amount.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Zapp wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I suspect this edition will be no more or less lethal than the previous. There will just be less random insta death.
That's the meaning of "less lethal".
I fully expect those deaths to be replaced with deaths caused by players trying to play it like 1E, resulting in the same amount.

Knock on wood I only have one player in my games who plays PF2 as full attack simulator 2K, which us nice, and he's playing Flurry Ranger which is probably the best class for that next to Agile Grace Fighter. XD

And he does other stuff occasionally too lol.

Grand Lodge

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I figure the death count will decrease as people get more familiar with the system and break out of 1E meta.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:
Death is supposed to be a minor nuisance at higher levels. Get raised, get a couple restorations a week apart, and move on. It's how the game is meant to be played, given spellcasting availability and WBL.

In PF1? Yes, this is true.

It is not, however, a well loved fact by the majority of the player base. It's something they're aware of, but not necessarily happy about. It is considered by many to be a flaw in the game. So PF2 changing it is understandable and considered an improvement by many.

This was something I thought was cool about PF1. There's plenty of gritty fantasy where magic is scarce and resurrecting is hard.

Pathfinder is a system that is made for high fantasy where advanced magics are everywhere and a resurrection is something any decently large temple can do for a tithe. It's unusual in that sense, and it's part of the charm.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:

This was something I thought was cool about PF1. There's plenty of gritty fantasy where magic is scarce and resurrecting is hard.

Pathfinder is a system that is made for high fantasy where advanced magics are everywhere and a resurrection is something any decently large temple can do for a tithe. It's unusual in that sense, and it's part of the charm.

Nobody is saying PF2 is low magic or that Resurrection isn't still available for a fee, but in-universe it's always been a tad chancy and unreliable. Dying is a big deal in that universe even for the rich...bringing back the dead is possible, but by no means a sure thing.

The new rules make PCs need it less often, not never, which preserves the verisimilitude of it not always working quite a bit better.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
sherlock1701 wrote:

This was something I thought was cool about PF1. There's plenty of gritty fantasy where magic is scarce and resurrecting is hard.

Pathfinder is a system that is made for high fantasy where advanced magics are everywhere and a resurrection is something any decently large temple can do for a tithe. It's unusual in that sense, and it's part of the charm.

Nobody is saying PF2 is low magic or that Resurrection isn't still available for a fee, but in-universe it's always been a tad chancy and unreliable. Dying is a big deal in that universe even for the rich...bringing back the dead is possible, but by no means a sure thing.

The new rules make PCs need it less often, not never, which preserves the verisimilitude of it not always working quite a bit better.

It's only unreliable if the corpse doesn't meet the spell conditions or the spirit doesn't want to go back (unless it was devoured by specific creatures).

I don't know if you can claim verisimilitude when it comes to resurrecting people, and it seems like overall they're moving away from verisimilitude anyway, so it would be weird to do the opposite here.


The unreliable part also came from many death related abilities/effects making it need a check to even work; Ex: Assassins True Death ability. Or people just not having the material ready, getting a 5k gp diamond isnt exactly the easiest thing below a certain level, much less when you dont have connections.


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MaxAstro wrote:
One change I have considered is that it only costs 1 Hero Point to avoid death, but once you avoid death you can't do it again until you gain a level.

I used this system in my last 1E game and it worked beautifully. They weren't used to receiving Hero Points to avoid death, but it occurred on 2 occasions and players became highly risk-averse after their safety net was gone. Will be sticking to this system in future, as it strikes a nice balance between preserving characters and maintaining risk.


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Houserule I'm thinking of for PF2 is:
- While you have any hero points, you can't die (but if you're reduced to 0 HP, you're out of of the fight).
- When reduced to 0 HP, you can spend all of your hero points to get up and get back in the fight (but now you can die.)
- Death is permanent, nothing short of direct divine intervention or a campaign length quest can ever undo it.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Houserule I'm thinking of for PF2 is:

- While you have any hero points, you can't die (but if you're reduced to 0 HP, you're out of of the fight).
- When reduced to 0 HP, you can spend all of your hero points to get up and get back in the fight (but now you can die.)
- Death is permanent, nothing short of direct divine intervention or a campaign length quest can ever undo it.

Someone - I think on this forum and I forget who - had a similar rule set. I think they called it "raising the flag", where you could gain a pile of hero points by declaring you were willing to risk death; only characters who had "raised the flag" could actually die.

I thought it was a super clever idea but I've been on the fence about using it myself.


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Cyouni wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

Regardless of the exact nature of the new rules I assume there will not be a circumstance where a PC hits 0 HP when the enemy has one more attack of its full attack which then kills him outright because of 10 Con (even at level 10)

So from that aspect it will be less deadly

On paper it seems like crits are more likely but I haven’t had practice with it. Also 3X crits are gone but sneak attack crits are worse

So there are lots of variables

It's theoretically possible, but really only an enemy extremely dedicated to killing someone (versus staying alive) would do that.

Well, there are a few monster activities that let them make multiple strikes against the same target, though they are much less common than activities that let you make strikes against a lot of different targets. Then there are monsters that will just try to eat you if you drop, like the zombies in Jason's games trade media demo last year.

And then of course there is persistent damage. Get knocked to 0 while you are taking ongoing fire or poison? Much worse than PF1, IMO. Even hero points won't save you without ally intervention.

Sovereign Court

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In 1E, a monster who dropped you unconscious halfway through a full attack but couldn't get close to any other PCs might as well stab you some more.

In 2E you're not locked into full attacks anymore, so if the monster has actions remaining it could finish the job, but could also move somewhere more advantageous.

In both editions, being unsconcious in the middle of an AoE aimed at still-active PCs is a bad thing.

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Seems like (except for hero points) anyone who gets up after going down is at serious risk of getting killed the next time they go down. That's a risk the player is allowed to take though.

I like the "do you take the risk" approach more than "freak death that came out of nowhere".

I like that revolving door afterlife is not a default setting.

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