How lethal do you think this edition will be?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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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.


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Yes, but from what little we've seen it looks like damage is overall lower to compensate for crits. In hoping the danger is there, but it's not too massacre-y


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Speaking from the PT at least, I throw equal-footing encounters at my parties here and there with plebty of fights only a step or two down and I've almost never had anyone go unconscious. Only death I've had was pre-planned story stuff. But my party is nuts sometimes and has UNCANNY clutch luck.

Also in one of my group's I've had smarter bosses occasionally try to focus down the Divine Sorcerer and it has yet to freaking work because Heal is nuts. I think that'll change though with the CRB since that one action Heal is at about half strength.

But yeah, between that and the dying rules as we know them I don't think accidental or BS deaths are very likely unless you're facing something like Disintegrate or Power Word Kill that can instakill.

Liberty's Edge

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Hope we will get rules in the GMG on adjusting the level of lethality :-)

Liberty's Edge

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I'd say PF2 is about as lethal as PF1 for most of its residents. PCs, however, have Hero Points by default, which makes it less lethal for them specifically.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd say PF2 is about as lethal as PF1 for most of its residents. PCs, however, have Hero Points by default, which makes it less lethal for them specifically.

I've found that my players wind up using their hero points for important skill checks or saving throws over stabilizing. But I suppose if my campaigns felt more dangerous that might change.

I have been using the playtest rules for a year, and haven't lost a PC outside of Doomsday Dawn. Previously, I lost 3 PCs in quick succession in PF1 just before we converted, though that was after like a year of play.

So anecdotally it feels less lethal, and I'd mostly attribute that to moving away from negative hit points.

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Captain Morgan wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'd say PF2 is about as lethal as PF1 for most of its residents. PCs, however, have Hero Points by default, which makes it less lethal for them specifically.

I've found that my players wind up using their hero points for important skill checks or saving throws over stabilizing. But I suppose if my campaigns felt more dangerous that might change.

I have been using the playtest rules for a year, and haven't lost a PC outside of Doomsday Dawn. Previously, I lost 3 PCs in quick succession in PF1 just before we converted, though that was after like a year of play.

So anecdotally it feels less lethal, and I'd mostly attribute that to moving away from negative hit points.

Not mine, the players hoard them for staving off dying. I ended up house ruling a new system called saint points which helps stave off an untimely death. You get 1 per level and can bank as many as you like. It cost 2 to revive a killed PC.

Doing this allowed my players to use Hero points for cool stuff as well. Which was win win. I liked the idea of hero points in 3E/PF because sometimes the players get ambushed or take a weird x4 crit at no fault of their own. Its cool to have that kind of danger and also the ability to hang onto a beloved character. Though that resource has to be managed old school style!

@OP I only playtested PF2 levels 1-5. Nobody ever got close to dying. My PF1 experience was that at least 2 deaths would have occurred. Though take that as anecdotal experience between the systems.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

In comparison to PF1E, it seems extremely non-lethal. Unless the massive damage rules come into effect, you're never going to eat a stray crit and go from half-HP to permadeath. The death and dying rules of PF2E give a huge amount of leeway to fighting at low HP where that would be a death sentence back in PF1E.

Add to that that Save or Dies have been toned down dramatically, monster stats have been rebalanced, and that we have Hero Points baked into the system to allow players to stave off death even more, and I think character deaths will be pretty rare (assuming you're playing APs and not a parade of homebrew APL+3 encounters).

On the other hand, getting crit more often means that at higher levels we'll see more characters taking a temporary dirt nap than we ever did in PF1E. And persistent damage is the big threat when it comes to finishing off downed PCs... so if persistent damage is more common, we'll see more deaths as well.


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Pan wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:


I've found that my players wind up using their hero points for important skill checks or saving throws over stabilizing.
Not mine, the players hoard them for staving off dying.

This is no longer a thing! I'm pretty sure it's now one hero point to reroll, or all your remaining hero points to not die stabilise without the wounded condition. That should stop people from hoarding them, or at least reduce it a bit!


Yeah, I would say it's pretty nonlethal. Think 5e tier? Nobody is gonna die if the party is somewhat competent.

Scarab Sages

I think if the DM hand holds the game is not lethal but that is with all TTRPGs. During the playtest my party didn't have any deaths except for the Demon chapter and the final fight. We are waiting to run 2e RoRL but we have been playing old society games and we've had a few deaths. Again I think we have to see the whole game before any judgment calls can be made.


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I hope that the Doomed condition (similar to Wounded from the playtest, I think?) makes the game at least feel deadly, and remove the tactic of "wait until the player goes down, heal them up at that point" that is prevalent in other systems. That said, I'm not sad to see dead at -CON go; it wasn't nearly large enough of a buffer at mid to high levels.

Additionally, the lethality will also depend on if people save their hero points to cheat death or not. If you only use hero points for rerolls if you've got 2+, then you get to cheat death the first time each session. If not, hope you've got a healer...


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Yeah, I would say it's pretty nonlethal. Think 5e tier? Nobody is gonna die if the party is somewhat competent.

In my estimation, the wounded condition is going to make combat significantly more lethal than 5e, especially with crits taking you to dying 2 out the gate. You can't just yo yo from 0 HP all day.


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David knott 242 wrote:

Isn't the new core rulebook bigger than the old one?

On that basis, I would say that PF2 is more lethal than PF1 if you throw the book at someone. ;)

Apologies for the pun -- trying to figure out why this post is invisible.

Liberty's Edge

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Unless there were some last minute tweaks to the NPC rules and the math behind the damage that monsters/baddies do I'd have to say that PF2 is significantly less lethal than 1st Edition and it's not even close by comparison.

That said, it's going to take some adjusting for GMs to really change tactics and really try their best to actively kill a PC but it's still possible, you just won't ever see it happen by accident any longer as the shift in things means that targeting one and ONLY one PC during combat for a group of monsters is totally legitimate tactic that doesn't fall under "foul-play" anymore.

Getting Hero Points for free just for showing up to a game and having a multi-level dying track instead of a target HP number you're shooting for means no character is ever going to go from fighting to dead in the course of a single round.

Not sure how I feel about that really... as others have said, I hope if things are how they seem from the previews and games I played/saw at PaizoCon that there are good options for increased lethality beyond just ratcheting up the Level of the encounters you throw at a party or adding templates to literally everything the party fights.


My DM is of a particularly homicidal bent when it comes to making encounters, an APL+2 (read: Severe in the PT bestiary encounter design section) nearly TPK-ed the party at level 2 (3 amped up zombies and a ghast), so I'd say that if you're not careful when making a homebrew encounter, it's VERY lethal. a single APL+3 monster all alone will EVISCERATE a party if they're not mix-maxing tactics and kiting like an MMO dungeon raid


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nick1wasd wrote:
My DM is of a particularly homicidal bent when it comes to making encounters, an APL+2 (read: Severe in the PT bestiary encounter design section) nearly TPK-ed the party at level 2 (3 amped up zombies and a ghast), so I'd say that if you're not careful when making a homebrew encounter, it's VERY lethal. a single APL+3 monster all alone will EVISCERATE a party if they're not mix-maxing tactics and kiting like an MMO dungeon raid

Doesn't the +1/lvl and <10> mechanics pretty much make APL+3 encounters sure fire suicide for PCs?

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Themetricsystem wrote:
Unless there were some last minute tweaks to the NPC rules and the math behind the damage that monsters/baddies do I'd have to say that PF2 is significantly less lethal than 1st Edition and it's not even close by comparison.

This is the primary reason I want to change over. The Pathfinder Unchained "monster rules" have shown that several encounters are inappropriate for their assigned CR. Sometimes grossly so.

Orville Redenbacher wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
My DM is of a particularly homicidal bent when it comes to making encounters, an APL+2 (read: Severe in the PT bestiary encounter design section) nearly TPK-ed the party at level 2 (3 amped up zombies and a ghast), so I'd say that if you're not careful when making a homebrew encounter, it's VERY lethal. a single APL+3 monster all alone will EVISCERATE a party if they're not mix-maxing tactics and kiting like an MMO dungeon raid
Doesn't the +1/lvl and <10> mechanics pretty much make APL+3 encounters sure fire suicide for PCs?

That will be something to watch for when converting older PF material. :(Look at the older APs) APL+3 encounters showed up fairly frequently (especially at lower levels).


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Themetricsystem wrote:
Unless there were some last minute tweaks to the NPC rules and the math behind the damage that monsters/baddies do I'd have to say that PF2 is significantly less lethal than 1st Edition and it's not even close by comparison.

This is the primary reason I want to change over. The Pathfinder Unchained "monster rules" have shown that several encounters are inappropriate for their assigned CR. Sometimes grossly so.

Orville Redenbacher wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
My DM is of a particularly homicidal bent when it comes to making encounters, an APL+2 (read: Severe in the PT bestiary encounter design section) nearly TPK-ed the party at level 2 (3 amped up zombies and a ghast), so I'd say that if you're not careful when making a homebrew encounter, it's VERY lethal. a single APL+3 monster all alone will EVISCERATE a party if they're not mix-maxing tactics and kiting like an MMO dungeon raid
Doesn't the +1/lvl and <10> mechanics pretty much make APL+3 encounters sure fire suicide for PCs?
That will be something to watch for when converting older PF material. :(Look at the older APs) APL+3 encounters showed up fairly frequently (especially at lower levels).

It isnt really. Even APL+4 is just an even-footing fight for a 4-player party, and I've seen more than one of those go down hard in my games. APL+3 definitely hasn't been suicide and anything lower DEFINITELY gets wrecked hard.


I don't know how lethal this game is but I hope it doesn't put too much on me to keep that aspect reasonable for my players. I like for all decisions, especially whether or not to engage in combat, to be meaningful and carry weighty consequences. But I also want to be careful about accidentally conning my players into unfair situations. Insta-TPK is always anticlimactic and never fun, and removes player agency if players never see it coming.

As a DM building encounters, I used to have a policy that balancing every single encounter is pointless, that doing that break immersion, and that "encounters shousld be as safe or as deadly as they need to be for the circumstances the party finds themselves in." As in, not every boss fight has to be against a super villain and his dozens of minions, but if the party decides they want to pick a fight that they can't win then that's on them, not the DM.

But then I re-read some of the monsters in the bestiary, and I'm thinking that I might have to rethink that stance. There are a few creatures that are inexplicably hard to deal with. It's easy for me to say, "Oh hey, rumor has it that trolls are prowling the woods. You should be careful."
But I can't stop players from thinking, "Oh hey, sounds like a fun side quest. Let's go hunt a few and collect a reward."
And I have no idea how to balance an encounter with trolls, other than to make them dumber/smarter and to vary their quantity, and I refuse to alter their stat blocks on principle. So if the party doesn't have fire attacks, doesn't have a woodsman, and is not very sturdy/strong, it's almost certain to be a deadly encounter unless I directly intervene.

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Aiden2018 wrote:
But then I re-read some of the monsters in the bestiary, and I'm thinking that I might have to rethink that stance. There are a few creatures that are inexplicably hard to deal with.

Check out the Juju-Zombie or the Iron Cobra for monsters that are significantly overpowered.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think 2E is less lethal than 1E by a lot.

However, removing Hero Points could be an option for making things more deadly, and is what my group will be doing.


Do hero points really make that big a difference? I thought they just stopped you from bleeding out. Does it also revive you?

Paizo Employee Designer

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In PF1, where any fight that challenges the PCs has a good chance of killing them due to -Con being too small a buffer, I routinely had death counts in the low double digits in an AP, though much much higher if you count it as a death even after someone uses a breath of life or two.

In PF2 with the same group, we nearly had our first death last session, and they haven't even really used that many hero points to stave off death. The difference comes in the ability to knock someone out at mid to high levels without a massive chance of killing them unless they fall into a tiny HP band.

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We probably won't know til the rules come out, but is it possible for a character to kill a monster of equal CR in 1 hit?
Because in PF1 that could happen quite a bit (usually x3 and x4 crits),
the impression I get is that this version of the game will be less lethal in this regard.

Liberty's Edge

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I'm thinking we might see more deaths at first as people get used to the system.


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Grumpus wrote:

We probably won't know til the rules come out, but is it possible for a character to kill a monster of equal CR in 1 hit?

Because in PF1 that could happen quite a bit (usually x3 and x4 crits),
the impression I get is that this version of the game will be less lethal in this regard.

We know for a fact that a lvl 1 character can 1 shot a lvl 2 monster with a good roll. This likely stops being the case pretty quick though as HP scales faster than damage.

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NightTrace wrote:
I'm thinking we might see more deaths at first as people get used to the system.

That is a good thing to keep in mind as we get the early reports of PF2 games.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
NightTrace wrote:
I'm thinking we might see more deaths at first as people get used to the system.
That is a good thing to keep in mind as we get the early reports of PF2 games.

Yeah, we saw this in the playtest with lots of complaints of lethality in the first scenario. Largely from people who played by old assumptions "I stood there and hit it."


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Malk_Content wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
NightTrace wrote:
I'm thinking we might see more deaths at first as people get used to the system.
That is a good thing to keep in mind as we get the early reports of PF2 games.
Yeah, we saw this in the playtest with lots of complaints of lethality in the first scenario. Largely from people who played by old assumptions "I stood there and hit it."

That was also fueled by the outlier of Colette Brunelle's game.

Liberty's Edge

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

Haha, but yeah, I figure PFS2 is going to have a lot of this right in the beginning. I am *super* looking forward to the Pregen Special and how people handle that one hehe.


Kyrone wrote:
So, how much dangerous the world is for PCs now?

If our local Playtest experience is a gauge, we didn't find PF2 to be very deadly, but I cannot account for DM fudging.

Folks at the table appeared to hoard Hero Points to use only with the dying rules and then rarely needed to Spend Hero Points. It seemed like we went through 6 revisions of the dying rules and they were all really forgiving.

I recall one of the Playtest adventures included a test to see how long the characters would last through a number of waves. We ran out of waves and still had resources left.

I also recall an early adventure where there was a risk of a total party wipe. Part of that was our inexperience with the system, but part of it relates to damage being applied widely across many characters and if those responsible for healing are downed.

I assume the final PF2 includes some tweaks.


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Paizocon seminar talked about the Playtest. The tpk test had only 2% of tables survive it all.


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Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Kyrone wrote:
So, how much dangerous the world is for PCs now?

...but I cannot account for DM fudging.

...

I recall one of the Playtest adventures included a test to see how long the characters would last through a number of waves. We ran out of waves and still had resources left.

Either your dice were absolutely on fire and you had very appropriate builds for the adventure, or there was definitely some fudging going on there :P


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Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
I recall one of the Playtest adventures included a test to see how long the characters would last through a number of waves. We ran out of waves and still had resources left

That means you were one of 2% of games. Your experience is by no means representative.

http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/2019/06/paizocon-2019-moving-on-from-the-pl aytest/

Its about a half hour in that they talk about it. Most people died on wave 5 (with the litch), but there were a large number of deaths at 2 and 9 as well.

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Ngodrup wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Kyrone wrote:
So, how much dangerous the world is for PCs now?

...but I cannot account for DM fudging.

...

I recall one of the Playtest adventures included a test to see how long the characters would last through a number of waves. We ran out of waves and still had resources left.

Either your dice were absolutely on fire and you had very appropriate builds for the adventure, or there was definitely some fudging going on there :P

The GM's dice sucking also helps. My players survived that one with no fudging by me...but luck and appropriate builds were both very much in play there.

I can definitely believe the '2%' figure for how many people survived that one.


Draco18s wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
I recall one of the Playtest adventures included a test to see how long the characters would last through a number of waves. We ran out of waves and still had resources left

That means you were one of 2% of games. Your experience is by no means representative.

http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/2019/06/paizocon-2019-moving-on-from-the-pl aytest/

Its about a half hour in that they talk about it. Most people died on wave 5 (with the litch), but there were a large number of deaths at 2 and 9 as well.

Is that the level 9 one with the church of Desna and the waves of demons and undead? Our party survived that without any deaths, including the demilich. But we had a good party composition and lots of heals.


I have no reason to dispute the 2% observation. I was only in one playtest and no single game could ever be representative of the whole. Alas, I personally have only my observations/anecdote on which to use.

I suspect we happened to have a good class mix, plus the change to reduce the availability of Clerical healing came after we had played that adventure.

The death rules combined with Hero Points, to me, look like good indicators of how lethal it will be. That is, both systems allow players plenty of opportunities to avoid death.

That's neither good nor bad. It may, or may not, be what the DM wants for their story, but fortunately all of that is easily changed with house rules.


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lordcirth wrote:
Is that the level 9 one with the church of Desna and the waves of demons and undead? Our party survived that without any deaths, including the demilich. But we had a good party composition and lots of heals.

Yep, that one.

Party composition, (un)lucky dice rolls, and other factors all played a part in the results, but there are folks around here who use the fact that "my group beat it all" to say "the adventure wasn't that hard and the system isn't deadly" despite the fact that there's only correlation, not causation.

98% of groups died. The take away should be, "most parties can only get to wave 5" not "my group made it all the way, I don't see what the problem is."

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Mark Seifter wrote:

In PF1, where any fight that challenges the PCs has a good chance of killing them due to -Con being too small a buffer, I routinely had death counts in the low double digits in an AP, though much much higher if you count it as a death even after someone uses a breath of life or two.

In PF2 with the same group, we nearly had our first death last session, and they haven't even really used that many hero points to stave off death. The difference comes in the ability to knock someone out at mid to high levels without a massive chance of killing them unless they fall into a tiny HP band.

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. Now, not everyone plays the same way, but we play on a grid for -tactical- purposes. If you are getting low in HPs, back off, withdraw, fight defensively... while you get some healing. A lot of people comment about healing not keeping up with damage, but that is only partially true. It doesn't keep up with damage if the players just try to zerg everything. If the table wants to play that way, it's perfectly fine. But the system has those defensive abilities, and spells, and feats for a reason.

As for healing, I've played with many a long term group since I started. And every time, someone at the table has wanted to play the healer. Including groups where people played the actual 'healer' class from 3.5, which has almost zero offense.

It's not a problem with the buffer. It's a choice made by some tables to play the game in a certain way, ignoring all those nifty defensive abilities that are also invented by the game designers, like yourself!

It's not wrong, no. But it's also not right. It's just a playstyle choice. (And, in my opinion, a consequence of the rise of MMOs.)

Paizo Employee Designer

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The King In Yellow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

In PF1, where any fight that challenges the PCs has a good chance of killing them due to -Con being too small a buffer, I routinely had death counts in the low double digits in an AP, though much much higher if you count it as a death even after someone uses a breath of life or two.

In PF2 with the same group, we nearly had our first death last session, and they haven't even really used that many hero points to stave off death. The difference comes in the ability to knock someone out at mid to high levels without a massive chance of killing them unless they fall into a tiny HP band.

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. Now, not everyone plays the same way, but we play on a grid for -tactical- purposes. If you are getting low in HPs, back off, withdraw, fight defensively... while you get some healing. A lot of people comment about healing not keeping up with damage, but that is only partially true. It doesn't keep up with damage if the players just try to zerg everything. If the table wants to play that way, it's perfectly fine. But the system has those defensive abilities, and spells, and feats for a reason.

As for healing, I've played with many a long term group since I started. And every time, someone at the table has wanted to play the healer. Including groups where people played the actual 'healer' class from 3.5, which has almost zero offense.

It's not a problem with the buffer. It's a choice made by some tables to play the game in a certain way, ignoring all those nifty defensive abilities that are also invented by the game designers, like yourself!

It's not wrong, no. But it's also not right. It's just a playstyle choice. (And, in my opinion, a consequence of the rise of MMOs.)

I'm not going to disagree with you that the general meta online is to vastly underestimate defensive abilities. You are right about that. Some of it comes from playing roflstomp games against opposition that folds like wet cardboard if you have enough offense, which is a valid way to play and in which case death and dying rules don't really matter.

But if you have encounters with tension and significant threats, the buffer is too small, defensive abilities or not. It is worse the larger your group is. Why? Suppose you are fighting a boss encounter. In order for it to be vaguely a threat to the party, it probably should have a credible opportunity to put out an OK percentage of a party's total HP, let's say 33-50%, before the PCs win. Pretty much no way you're going to win if the PCs are ending the fight 2-3x as quickly as your boss fight would have needed, but it still will probably be a memorable encounter. The problem is, in fights like those, probably someone gets knocked out (with a larger group, that much damage could knock more than one PC out). Well, I say problem, but that shouldn't be a problem. In a fight with few vs many, the few need to be able to take out some of the many on any path towards what even appears to be victory. But in PF1, if you got knocked out from damage past a certain level, you had an enormously high percent chance to just die.

So if having some PCs KOs every once in a while is a common occurrence, in PF1, deaths will be nearly as common past the low levels.


Draco18s wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Is that the level 9 one with the church of Desna and the waves of demons and undead? Our party survived that without any deaths, including the demilich. But we had a good party composition and lots of heals.

Yep, that one.

Party composition, (un)lucky dice rolls, and other factors all played a part in the results, but there are folks around here who use the fact that "my group beat it all" to say "the adventure wasn't that hard and the system isn't deadly" despite the fact that there's only correlation, not causation.

98% of groups died. The take away should be, "most parties can only get to wave 5" not "my group made it all the way, I don't see what the problem is."

r/salt

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.

And this is as someone who did a massive write-up on the blooming thing. But in that I made sure to highlight all the different factors that contributed.

It's just that I don't believe luck was the greatest factor and possibly not even a primary one. There was plenty else going along besides luck.

But that's a far cry of the accusation you're making of the groups that made it.

Again, I don't know what group you're talking about but I'm just saying I didn't see anyone bragging like that and frankly I've known you to exaggerate badly.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
The King In Yellow wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

In PF1, where any fight that challenges the PCs has a good chance of killing them due to -Con being too small a buffer, I routinely had death counts in the low double digits in an AP, though much much higher if you count it as a death even after someone uses a breath of life or two.

In PF2 with the same group, we nearly had our first death last session, and they haven't even really used that many hero points to stave off death. The difference comes in the ability to knock someone out at mid to high levels without a massive chance of killing them unless they fall into a tiny HP band.

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. Now, not everyone plays the same way, but we play on a grid for -tactical- purposes. If you are getting low in HPs, back off, withdraw, fight defensively... while you get some healing. A lot of people comment about healing not keeping up with damage, but that is only partially true. It doesn't keep up with damage if the players just try to zerg everything. If the table wants to play that way, it's perfectly fine. But the system has those defensive abilities, and spells, and feats for a reason.

As for healing, I've played with many a long term group since I started. And every time, someone at the table has wanted to play the healer. Including groups where people played the actual 'healer' class from 3.5, which has almost zero offense.

It's not a problem with the buffer. It's a choice made by some tables to play the game in a certain way, ignoring all those nifty defensive abilities that are also invented by the game designers, like yourself!

It's not wrong, no. But it's also not right. It's just a playstyle choice. (And, in my opinion, a consequence of the rise of MMOs.)

I'm not going to disagree with you that the general meta online is to vastly...

Is that really a problem though? Negative con always felt like more than enough. Once you hit a certain level, I'd expect PCs to be dying every few sessions, then being resurrected/replaced.

Too big of a buffer against death takes a lot of the tension out of games, because it comes down to either nobody dies or you have a TPK, which many GMs will shy away from.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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.


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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.

IMO this is better for low-level PCs. IN PF 1 and 3e, PCs go from "rocket tag" (very low survivability) to being survivable and then back to rocket tag over the course of the game as they gain levels.

I didn't participate in the playtest, so I don't know if hit points will be inflated at high levels.

Liberty's Edge

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sherlock1701 wrote:
Is that really a problem though? Negative con always felt like more than enough. Once you hit a certain level, I'd expect PCs to be dying every few sessions, then being resurrected/replaced.

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

sherlock1701 wrote:
Too big of a buffer against death takes a lot of the tension out of games, because it comes down to either nobody dies or you have a TPK, which many GMs will shy away from.

The buffer isn't that big. Without Hero Points, it's very possible to roll badly and die the turn after you go down (if you go down to a crit). It usually takes several turns, but the fact that you never know how many makes every one feel like a gamble.

Hero Points make the whole thing feel a lot safer, but that's always been true and you can do the game without Hero Points really easily (my group did this by accident throughout most of Doomsday Dawn...we kept forgetting they existed).


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
sherlock1701 wrote:
Is that really a problem though? Negative con always felt like more than enough. Once you hit a certain level, I'd expect PCs to be dying every few sessions, then being resurrected/replaced.

You don’t have to be cheesing dying for −Con to cause problems. Here’s a situation I had happen when I ran Kingmaker: At the end of “Stolen Lands”, I effectively two-shot a PC with the Stag Lord. The Stag Lord had gotten the drop on the PC and used Deadly Aim along with sneak attack. The aggregate damage was enough to almost but not quite kill the PC. Since the PC was still up, the Stag Lord attacked again. Even without sneak attack, that one attack was enough to drop the PC and take him below −Con.

If that one hit had done a little more damage, the PC would have probably survived. It’s unintuitive that there are breakpoints where doing more damage on average actually makes an attack less lethal because it knocks PCs down in one hit instead of leaving them vulnerable to a follow-up attack.


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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.

The sub-zero portion of your hit points is the buffer between being temporarily defeated/taken out, and being permanently* dead.

* Well, for D&D values of "permanently" at least.


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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.


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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.

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