Playing the game versus white-room simulation. The first encounter in the Fall of Plaguestone (No spoilers)


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
The fighter has +9 to hit, so he will hit his 3. attack on 16+ while flanking, which is a nice 25% chance. Rogue has +7 to-hit but will also hit his 3. attack on 16+ because of agile weapons.

Do we get a +1 weapon as early as level 2?

I'm assuming the +9 is from +4 proficiency and +4Str, but the extra +1 is from what source?

Level. To-hit and AC scale with character level.


Fallyna wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
I'm assuming the +9 is from +4 proficiency and +4Str, but the extra +1 is from what source?
IIRC, Proficiency is +5, being +4 from Expert and +1 from level.

Wonder if I'll ever remember that we add level along with proficiency. Does this apply to AC as well or just to hit and skills?

Ubertron_X wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
The fighter has +9 to hit, so he will hit his 3. attack on 16+ while flanking, which is a nice 25% chance. Rogue has +7 to-hit but will also hit his 3. attack on 16+ because of agile weapons.

Do we get a +1 weapon as early as level 2?

I'm assuming the +9 is from +4 proficiency and +4Str, but the extra +1 is from what source?
Level. To-hit and AC scale with character level.

NInjaed the answer, thanks :D


shroudb wrote:

A 25% chance to hit IF you have flank (opponent can just leave, and setup his own flank) is not that great.

It especially isn't something one can call the "usual 6d6+x" if it only happens like 1 in 8 (you need both the 50% to hit the 2nd attack and the 25% to hit the 3rd...)

That's like calculating your "average" damage in PF1 by using your Critical damage as a basis.

I am not saying that we will hit every 3rd attack for the next 1000 attacks, because clearly we won't. Statistics will see for that.

However I just wanted to point out the potential damage that you can do per round, even with average builds, and given a reasonable enemy AC that it is far from (very) improbable to hit two or even all three attacks.

Fighter and Rogue succeeding in two attacks each will statistically kill the Worg in one turn, which they did (no crits), so there was no need for maneuvers.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:

A 25% chance to hit IF you have flank (opponent can just leave, and setup his own flank) is not that great.

It especially isn't something one can call the "usual 6d6+x" if it only happens like 1 in 8 (you need both the 50% to hit the 2nd attack and the 25% to hit the 3rd...)

That's like calculating your "average" damage in PF1 by using your Critical damage as a basis.

I am not saying that we will hit every 3rd attack for the next 1000 attacks, because clearly we won't. Statistics will see for that.

However I just wanted to point out the potential damage that you can do per round, even with average builds, and given a reasonable enemy AC that it is far from (very) improbable to hit two or even all three attacks.

Fighter and Rogue succeeding in two attacks each will statistically kill the Worg in one turn, which they did (no crits), so there was no need for maneuvers.

Well, yeah, but a single level+1 creature isn't supposed to be a threat.

Doing it once is "slightly lucky" for the PCs, doing it twice in a row, without the enemy reacting, is too improbable.

And I'm not saying that maneuvers are the "end all do it immediately" thing.

They are just a very solid action to do in your round.

Like Intimidate being, on average, a much better action to do than a 3rd attack, or raising your shield, or moving, or anything really.

And you have to keep in mind:
That's 1st level. And you already have in your disposal like 5-6 things you can do with your actions (more for Ranger and Monk if you start considering Hunt, Order animal companion, Twin shot,
Stance, Flurry, etc )

When was the last time that a character, on 1st level, be it PF1 or dnd 5th, had so much options at level 1?


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shroudb wrote:
Add an intimidation check, and BAM he's at -3 to AC (and -1 to everything else) which is huge in the tight math paradigm of pf2.
shroudb wrote:
Like Intimidate being, on average, a much better action to do than a 3rd attack, or raising your shield, or moving, or anything really.

Thanks for the info.

By the way without giving this a second thought I would have never ever applied the -1 penalty from the fightened condition to AC, mostly because my old knowledge screamed at me: "AC <> DC you fool!"

However after giving all the governing rules a close read it quickly became apparent that AC is only a special form of DC, which means that the penalty does indeed apply.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Add an intimidation check, and BAM he's at -3 to AC (and -1 to everything else) which is huge in the tight math paradigm of pf2.
shroudb wrote:
Like Intimidate being, on average, a much better action to do than a 3rd attack, or raising your shield, or moving, or anything really.

Thanks for the info.

By the way without giving this a second thought I would have never ever applied the -1 penalty from the fightened condition to AC, mostly because my old knowledge screamed at me: "AC <> DC you fool!"

However after giving all the governing rules a close read it quickly became apparent that AC is only a special form of DC, which means that the penalty does indeed apply.

ya, it's been confirmed as well.

same for sickened (-1 to everything as well), and Clumsy (-1 to dex checks/dc's, but that one tells it directly as well)


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shroudb wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Add an intimidation check, and BAM he's at -3 to AC (and -1 to everything else) which is huge in the tight math paradigm of pf2.
shroudb wrote:
Like Intimidate being, on average, a much better action to do than a 3rd attack, or raising your shield, or moving, or anything really.

Thanks for the info.

By the way without giving this a second thought I would have never ever applied the -1 penalty from the fightened condition to AC, mostly because my old knowledge screamed at me: "AC <> DC you fool!"

However after giving all the governing rules a close read it quickly became apparent that AC is only a special form of DC, which means that the penalty does indeed apply.

ya, it's been confirmed as well.

same for sickened (-1 to everything as well), and Clumsy (-1 to dex checks/dc's, but that one tells it directly as well)

The trick to victory is to make your enemy afraid, about to puke and tripping over their own feet.


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AvalonRellen wrote:

We started playing (myself as a monk with Dragon and Mountain stances, the other two as a Crossbow Ace ranger and Animal Companion druid), and I have never had a better start to an RPG ever. The three action system clicked for everybody and we went through the entire encounter smoothly. I guess the best way to describe it is that we played for more rounds than I'm used to (compared to 1e), but the rounds themselves went much faster. This made combat feel quick and exciting and it felt like a lot happened!

Fighting was dynamic, and the frantic battle ended with the ranger at 1 HP, my monk barely standing with 2 HP after a shield block kept me from going down, and the druid in the back having a wellspring of 10 HP. Enemies did what felt like a fair amount of damage, and we had enough health at level 1 to take some hits and keep fighting.

PF2 plays a lot like 4e D&D(my favorite version of the D&D family of games) to me. I do not find that to be bad at all.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
The trick to victory is to make your enemy afraid, about to puke and tripping over their own feet.

Well, as status penalties do not stack I fear this would just be overkill...


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
The trick to victory is to make your enemy afraid, about to puke and tripping over their own feet.
Well, as status penalties do not stack I fear this would just be overkill...

No such thing.


shroudb wrote:


Animal Companion is not automatic, it requires your action to act.

Yeah sorry I meant thought did not so obviously the best action you will automatically take it.

shroudb wrote:


And yes, maneuvers have map, you open with them usually to make the rest attacks benefit from the penalties they impose.

And don't know what I can tell you, but if you're just standing there are striking things, what's stopping the enemies just going around and smacking the cloistered in the head?

MAP on manoeuvres means you are trading an action for the chance of an action (with trip) and either making your attacks worse or using a low probability manoeuvre. This will be great sometimes - grappler grabs the boss for everyone to hit, but is often inconsequential.

The feats that let you combine a manoeuvre with an attack in some way will make this much better. The fighter grab one which is only one action is especially tasty.

Really the set up for the fights was not that interesting apart from the first one (lots of weak things that got obliterated or one tough thing which rarely makes an interesting fight) It looks like the rest of the scenario has more of the best type - several enemies about the same power as the PCs.

shroudb wrote:

What's stopping them from moving and turning the flank on the party instead, maybe even opening with a trip so that the player can at most do 1 attack in his round if he wants to setup flank?

What's stopping them from going to the ranger?

And etc.

The problem probably lies with the GM not having yet adapted to the freedom a 3 action, no AoO system gives.

Well that would be me. My 5e monk & the cleric's 5e rogue hit & run all the time so we know it's worthwhile but only when the situation is right. The tankiness of PF2 monks also means it is less good and pretty anti-social to go & hide behind a fighter.

The set up did not really allow for any manoeuvring by the monsters, once they were engaged & the fighter locked down a couple.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Wonder if I'll ever remember that we add level along with proficiency. Does this apply to AC as well or just to hit and skills?

Technically proficiency (bonus) is level + 2/4/6/8.

I do not know if that will help you remember though


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
AvalonRellen wrote:
As a separate note, playing the monk was awesome. I started off with longspear and shield in hand trying to keep the enemies away, before shifting into dragon stance (while still holding shield and spear) and starting to flurry kicks when I realized I should stop just protecting the cart we were on. I eventually dropped the spear to start tripping and using mountain stance, and the entire time I felt like an awesome monk shifting my strategy with plenty of options, even from level 1.

Never thought I'd see a monk with shield and spear. But I love the aesthetic. Could always throw the spear before following up with the badass kicks as well for maximum cinematic power.

On a separate note, what's the biggest/most unexpected difference for your white room monk vs actual play monk?

Ubertron_X wrote:

It's all fun and games until you realize that your fighter can not shield block and make attacks of opportunity in the same turn...

I really do consider the 1 reaction/round limit a huge factor when it comes to action economy, especially as the list of possible / additional reactions for each character will probably increase over time.

I think that might be intentional, since the fighter can acquire feats that give extra reactions just for shield block, or even a stance that always has your shield raised, essentially giving an extra action each turn.

As for the multiple reaction abilities but limited reactions, I'd like to think it adds depth and makes your choices matter more. Early on that shield block or attack of opportunity has more weight if you can pick one but not the other. If you can do both each turn, they become the cookie cutter, not a choice. Do you reduce damage taken there and then, or eat it to maybe attack someone running past you which might happen or not?

I think the biggest thing honestly had to be that a monk could hold weapons in both hands and still function when using the dragon style attacks. because it doesn't limit you to just one type of strike it means that there is a lot of possibility. honestly one of the other things I was thinking of was having a ranged weapon out and instead of dropping it just being able to kick and fight when someone comes close.


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Pickles Grr wrote:
shroudb wrote:


Animal Companion is not automatic, it requires your action to act.

Yeah sorry I meant thought did not so obviously the best action you will automatically take it.

shroudb wrote:


And yes, maneuvers have map, you open with them usually to make the rest attacks benefit from the penalties they impose.

And don't know what I can tell you, but if you're just standing there are striking things, what's stopping the enemies just going around and smacking the cloistered in the head?

MAP on manoeuvres means you are trading an action for the chance of an action (with trip) and either making your attacks worse or using a low probability manoeuvre. This will be great sometimes - grappler grabs the boss for everyone to hit, but is often inconsequential.

The feats that let you combine a manoeuvre with an attack in some way will make this much better. The fighter grab one which is only one action is especially tasty.

Really the set up for the fights was not that interesting apart from the first one (lots of weak things that got obliterated or one tough thing which rarely makes an interesting fight) It looks like the rest of the scenario has more of the best type - several enemies about the same power as the PCs.

shroudb wrote:

What's stopping them from moving and turning the flank on the party instead, maybe even opening with a trip so that the player can at most do 1 attack in his round if he wants to setup flank?

What's stopping them from going to the ranger?

And etc.

The problem probably lies with the GM not having yet adapted to the freedom a 3 action, no AoO system gives.

Well that would be me. My 5e monk & the cleric's 5e rogue hit & run all the time so we know it's worthwhile but only when the situation is right. The tankiness of PF2 monks also means it is less good and pretty anti-social to go & hide behind a fighter.

The set up did not really allow for any manoeuvring by the monsters, once they were engaged & the fighter locked...

so, if an encounter was setup to be mainly "tank and spank" by design, then what's the issue?

as i said before, you have at your disposal, around 5+ different actions to from level 1, for monk and ranger more than that.

I always remember level 1, in all editions of all pnp rpgs ive played to be more or less "i move and hit", and here you already have a very wide array of options to choose from.

so i really think that not only there is no issue, but so far, combat in pf2 has been a massive, straight upgrade, to all other d20 systems.


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I don't get the remark about a fight against one powerful thing being uninteresting. That's definitely PF1 talking. PF2 actually makes solo bosses a real threat, and some of the best encounters I've run. The fact that the level difference actually means something results in them being very difficult to harm and very dangerous on the attack unless you work to make it otherwise. These fights are where buffs, debuffs, and tactics really come to play as it's very important to turn the math as much in your favor as possible against a level+3 or 4 enemy.

As an aside even weak enemies can be fairly threatening it seems like, assuming numbers advantage, since monsters seem to be built to have pretty good accuracy for their level but often are a touch behind on defense for it (or at least some monsters do this). For example, my level 11 party recently went against a couple of Alchemical Golems, which are level 9 or 10 IIRC. Granted they had some lucky rolls but altogether they put out a LOT of hurt on the party before they went down (ironically party luck contributed here too because they jave an offensive abolity when critted, but they did plenty outside of that). I think their hit chance against most of the party was 50-60% on their first attack despite being a level or two down, and they had interesting abilities and resistances that made them a real challenge. It would have been a real serious fight if there had been more of them.

And a note on combat maneuvers, IME monsters tend to have at least one save DC out of Fort and Ref be lower than their AC, which means a Trip/Grapple/etc. is actually more likely to hit them than a normal attack (also Athletics bonuses can often be higher than accuracy bonuses, amplifying this). Similar dichotomy with Intimidate and Will DC. So not only are the effects quite valuable (particularly against on level/above level foes), but they're also easier to land. You could quite possibly find a second attack maneuver having an equal or near equal chance to land as a first attack Strike, despite the MAP.


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Edge93 wrote:
PF2 actually makes solo bosses a real threat, and some of the best encounters I've run. The fact that the level difference actually means something results in them being very difficult to harm and very dangerous on the attack unless you work to make it otherwise. These fights are where buffs, debuffs, and tactics really come to play as it's very important to turn the math as much in your favor as possible against a level+3 or 4 enemy.

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
PF2 actually makes solo bosses a real threat, and some of the best encounters I've run. The fact that the level difference actually means something results in them being very difficult to harm and very dangerous on the attack unless you work to make it otherwise. These fights are where buffs, debuffs, and tactics really come to play as it's very important to turn the math as much in your favor as possible against a level+3 or 4 enemy.

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...

Cloth caster bosses built using PC rules will generally have lower AC then most creatures their level. APL + 2 gives them +2 AC, but having 16 dex and no armor is -2 from where anyone with armor will be. So they'll be as hard to hit as the PCs, or lower if they don't have 16 dex. But of course they should have pre-cast Mage Armor, False Life, etc in most cases. Then there's more visible spells like Blur or Mirror Image which justify them being hard to hit.

I actually made a wizard boss, at 2nd and 3rd level, and used the 2nd level one because there was only 2 level 1 PCs. That was a mistake. I had multiclassed him into Rogue for studded leather, so he wouldn't be too hard to hit. The PCs won initiative and the monk promptly killed him in one turn. If I'd used the level 3 version with pre-cast False Life, it might have been very different. (The session was still great, though!)


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You actually don't bild "bosses" (or monsters, or NPCs) as PCs for the most part.

But on average, 2 level differance is around 2-4 points in his proficiency. Since armor proficiencies for the most part (exluding Champions, Monks, and Heavy) are the same, then the AC will be around 2-3 higher than yours (maybe a tiny bit more if it brings him into an "item bonus" tier)

Expect to miss often vs bosses, and expect to be hit/crit quite a lot as well.

but if you're facing a "caster boss" he won't have "master/legendary" weapon proficiency, but that's the least of your worries^^

Liberty's Edge

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Ubertron_X wrote:

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...

'Bosses' aren't actually a thing in a mechanical sense. A boss is just a monster enough higher level than the party to be a serious threat to the lot of them. Usually 2 or 3 levels, because 4 levels and they'll just straight up murder the PCs a lot of the time (end of campaign villains probably do get to Level+4).

Whether built as PCs or not (and both are possible) the mere fact of how level works ensures that a higher level foe will be scary in any kind of conflict. But this is more or less symmetrical. If you're 6th level, you'll be just as scary vs. 3rd level minions as a 9th level boss is vs. you.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...

'Bosses' aren't actually a thing in a mechanical sense. A boss is just a monster enough higher level than the party to be a serious threat to the lot of them. Usually 2 or 3 levels, because 4 levels and they'll just straight up murder the PCs a lot of the time (end of campaign villains probably do get to Level+4).

Whether built as PCs or not (and both are possible) the mere fact of how level works ensures that a higher level foe will be scary in any kind of conflict. But this is more or less symmetrical. If you're 6th level, you'll be just as scary vs. 3rd level minions as a 9th level boss is vs. you.

While true, there are monsters that are designed to fight on their own, and others that are designed to fight in groups.

I think the designers gave the Marilith as an example of a monster designed to fight on it's own; it has special actions that improve its action efficiency and allow it to attack multiple PCs at the same time. Where as pack-monsters, like say Goblins, get things like Scurry, which give them benefits from being part of larger groups.

I recall them noting that some monsters were tricky in this regard, because they filled multiple rolls, such as Ogres; in PF1 at low level they tended to appear as solo bosses, and at higher levels they more often appeared as part of hordes.

Liberty's Edge

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That's totally true, but not a direct power level thing per se. The Marilith may have action economy enhancers, but it's not more powerful than other creatures of its level.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
PF2 actually makes solo bosses a real threat, and some of the best encounters I've run. The fact that the level difference actually means something results in them being very difficult to harm and very dangerous on the attack unless you work to make it otherwise. These fights are where buffs, debuffs, and tactics really come to play as it's very important to turn the math as much in your favor as possible against a level+3 or 4 enemy.

A question out of curiosity. How are bosses in PF2?

Are they the same kind of thematically stupid as they were 4e? The bookwormish cloth wearing cult leader that was super hard to hit and apart from being a great caster could still whoop your behind in melee just because he was labelled boss was as a huge turn off in that system...

I don't get why a higher level foe shouldn't have higher AC and to-hit just because he's a caster. He's higher level, he is stronger in a general sense. Call it passive wards and enchantments, call it years of exposure to mana hardening the skin and sharpening the body, call it what you will. There's no reason a higher accuracy and evasion because higher level caster can't work fine thematically aside from just saying casters shouldn't be able to have good accuracy or AC despite their level.

THAT SAID, as DMW says they are likely to be less optimized to their roles unless they're a Gish of some kind, so their proficiency, stats, and maybe equipment will cause them to lag behind a Martial creature of their level, but they may be as good or better at it than the PCs, which only makes sense. Level Matters (tm)


What did your groups do with the fallen foes from the first encounter? Ours has a Thief Rogue ex nurse/medic apprentice, and an Alchemist, so our first instinct was to "cut up, autopsy and research the big one".

I'm glad the game doesn't then throw syntax error at you and GM can just decide it is an Investigation slash Recall Knowledge with Medicine and call it a day.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My group left them where they fell. They really didn't care.

I don't think Bort would have let them bring that clearly weird creature along on his wagons. He's got appointments to keep, and this isn't the PCs show to run. And there's no telling how many more of those things might be out there. I think Bort would want to get moving as soon as possible.


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Edge93 wrote:
I don't get why a higher level foe shouldn't have higher AC and to-hit just because he's a caster. He's higher level, he is stronger in a general sense. Call it passive wards and enchantments, call it years of exposure to mana hardening the skin and sharpening the body, call it what you will. There's no reason a higher accuracy and evasion because higher level caster can't work fine thematically aside from just saying casters shouldn't be able to have good accuracy or AC despite their level.

Because in former editions armour did matter? Cloth like +0 and plate like +8 instead of, well yeah +5 for everything (if you have the appropriate Dex)?

I have absolutely no problem if the enemy caster is playing roughly to the same rules as the player casters, so for PF2 I have no objection for a CR+3 caster to have like +5 AC because AC scales with level and he could also have higher proficiency and/or items (which then however have to appear as loot).

However I have an issue if said caster has like +300% HP or other excessive stats for no reason as they did in 4e. Building enemies the same way as player characters goes a long way regarding a general sense of fairness and pseudo-realism and D&D 3.X and Pathfinder 1 did that very well.

If I manage to jump the enemy mage with my fighter I expect him to be in trouble, even if he might be of higher level and not having my behind handed to me in the field I ought to be the expert in. Ask your own casters how they feel once the enemy Ogre, Troll or else has closed into melee.

Obviously this does only work within certain limits, not if my level one fighter is trying to jump Elminster.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I don't get why a higher level foe shouldn't have higher AC and to-hit just because he's a caster. He's higher level, he is stronger in a general sense. Call it passive wards and enchantments, call it years of exposure to mana hardening the skin and sharpening the body, call it what you will. There's no reason a higher accuracy and evasion because higher level caster can't work fine thematically aside from just saying casters shouldn't be able to have good accuracy or AC despite their level.

Because in former editions armour did matter? Cloth like +0 and plate like +8 instead of, well yeah +5 for everything (if you have the appropriate Dex)?

I have absolutely no problem if the enemy caster is playing roughly to the same rules as the player casters, so for PF2 I have no objection for a CR+3 caster to have like +5 AC because AC scales with level and he could also have higher proficiency and/or items (which then however have to appear as loot).

However I have an issue if said caster has like +300% HP or other excessive stats for no reason as they did in 4e. Building enemies the same way as player characters goes a long way regarding a general sense of fairness and pseudo-realism and D&D 3.X and Pathfinder 1 did that very well.

If I manage to jump the enemy mage with my fighter I expect him to be in trouble, even if he might be of higher level and not having my behind handed to me in the field I ought to be the expert in. Ask your own casters how they feel once the enemy Ogre, Troll or else has closed into melee.

Obviously this does only work within certain limits, not if my level one fighter is trying to jump Elminster.

General sense of fairness and pseudo-realism? But you're a group against one? Now the group has 300% more HP than the Big Baddie, who isn't and now is just Bad Bob.


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Ten10 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Edge93 wrote:
I don't get why a higher level foe shouldn't have higher AC and to-hit just because he's a caster. He's higher level, he is stronger in a general sense. Call it passive wards and enchantments, call it years of exposure to mana hardening the skin and sharpening the body, call it what you will. There's no reason a higher accuracy and evasion because higher level caster can't work fine thematically aside from just saying casters shouldn't be able to have good accuracy or AC despite their level.

Because in former editions armour did matter? Cloth like +0 and plate like +8 instead of, well yeah +5 for everything (if you have the appropriate Dex)?

I have absolutely no problem if the enemy caster is playing roughly to the same rules as the player casters, so for PF2 I have no objection for a CR+3 caster to have like +5 AC because AC scales with level and he could also have higher proficiency and/or items (which then however have to appear as loot).

However I have an issue if said caster has like +300% HP or other excessive stats for no reason as they did in 4e. Building enemies the same way as player characters goes a long way regarding a general sense of fairness and pseudo-realism and D&D 3.X and Pathfinder 1 did that very well.

If I manage to jump the enemy mage with my fighter I expect him to be in trouble, even if he might be of higher level and not having my behind handed to me in the field I ought to be the expert in. Ask your own casters how they feel once the enemy Ogre, Troll or else has closed into melee.

Obviously this does only work within certain limits, not if my level one fighter is trying to jump Elminster.

General sense of fairness and pseudo-realism? But you're a group against one? Now the group has 300% more HP than the Big Baddie, who isn't and now is just Bad Bob.

I believe his point is that the boss should have lots of HP because they are a generally higher-level creature, not have +300% HP because they have the "boss" tag.


Ten10 wrote:
General sense of fairness and pseudo-realism? But you're a group against one? Now the group has 300% more HP than the Big Baddie, who isn't and now is just Bad Bob.

I am not talking about a dragon or other solo "bosses", but about humans (or similar medium sized humanoids) who probably have classes, and who probably will not be encountered solo.

What would you say as a monk player if you managed to tumble accross the room, evade all the meatshields and personal guards that the enemy caster has brought or summoned just to have the enemy caster wipe the floor with you in a fistfight because sorry, he is labelled a boss?

lordcirth got it right. I have no objection to enemies that have better stats because the are higher level, only against artificially boosted, unbelievable enemies.


AvalonRellen wrote:
All the time I spent theory crafting and looking at optimal DPR went out the window when I ACTUALLY started playing Pathfinder. Absolutely tons of fun and I'm so excited to see where it goes from here.

Yeah, others have said this, but DPR only really matters (exclusively) if you're able to drop an enemy within 1-2 rounds. In PF1e, this was the case. In PF2e combats are designed to last 4-5 rounds.

That being said, that doesn't mean theory crafting has to go out the window. There are optimals sets of numbers, they just have to take into account more than simply DPR, such as defenses (AC and saves) and to some extent mobility (EDIT: As well as ability to debuff...).


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
General sense of fairness and pseudo-realism? But you're a group against one? Now the group has 300% more HP than the Big Baddie, who isn't and now is just Bad Bob.

I am not talking about a dragon or other solo "bosses", but about humans (or similar medium sized humanoids) who probably have classes, and who probably will not be encountered solo.

What would you say as a monk player if you managed to tumble accross the room, evade all the meatshields and personal guards that the enemy caster has brought or summoned just to have the enemy caster wipe the floor with you in a fistfight because sorry, he is labelled a boss?

lordcirth got it right. I have no objection to enemies that have better stats because the are higher level, only against artificially boosted, unbelievable enemies.

Because the monk isn't by itself? It has a group of people hopefully helping it.

How grand of an gaming experience is it when the monk manages to tumble across the room, evade all the ablative hp and flurry the supposed "boss" down in a round?

W00t? Goku flurried the bad guy down on turn 1 and it turns out to be Mrs. Beatrice Innkeeper.
"Curse you! You meddling adventurers!"

They have more HP and access to other things because.... it's a game. It's about entertainment.
I don't want to be at a table where someone memorized every possible combination and freaks out when something doesn't fall into those parameters.
We are talking about a game that has walking skeletons and ice breathing dragons.


Ubertron_X wrote:


What would you say as a monk player if you managed to tumble accross the room, evade all the meatshields and personal guards that the enemy caster has brought or summoned just to have the enemy caster wipe the floor with you in a fistfight because sorry, he is labelled a boss?

"Oh, we're up against Tenser".

or
"We must be fighting Vilgefortz"
or
"Those Wish spells he used on himself were OP"

My point is, it's not like there is no precedent in fiction and no possible in-world justification for a mage to use magic to augment his body - or to start with a strong body to begin with. These are not mutually exclusive.


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Ten10 wrote:
They have more HP and access to other things because.... it's a game. It's about entertainment. I don't want to be at a table where someone memorized every possible combination and freaks out when something doesn't fall into those parameters. We are talking about a game that has walking skeletons and ice breathing dragons.
CyberMephit wrote:
My point is, it's not like there is no precedent in fiction and no possible in-world justification for a mage to use magic to augment his body - or to start with a strong body to begin with. These are not mutually exclusive.

To each his own.

But please understand that because it is a game there are rules. And if one side is strictly bound by those rules (players) and the other side is allowed to blatantly disregard these rules (GM) the former side can easily feel cheated. This is not about exceptions or bending or occasionally even breaking the rules, because everybody understands that sometimes a GM really needs to do this for everybody to have fun, but about playing fair, at least as fair as it gets.

One example to get my point about "bad" boss design across:

When 4e came out we played our first adventure where the final battle took place versus an evil cult leader. The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace. Our rogue successfully snuck up to the leader and hit him with his strongest attack in an effort to behead the cult in one swift strike (or at least seriously cripple or hamper the cult leader). Unfortunately the cult leader did not only not flinch at the attack, but instead of conducting a tactical retreat, calling for reinforcments or actually using his necromantic powers just fought back in melee, where he hit like a truck and clobbered our rogue to death in just two rounds using to-hit and damage figures not even our strikers could match. The player of the rogue calmly explained that he considered this kind of game design as idiotic and never ever played 4e again. To him - and I hope this is at least somewhat relatable - it did not matter that he died but how.


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One shotting the boss with a sneak attack wouldn't have happened in PF1 or 3.5 either.

Your player thought he could get away with instakilling the boss and when it didn't work he threw a fit. Not sure that's really a condemnation of any system here.

Does kind of make your rogue player look like an ass though.


Ubertron_X wrote:
When 4e came out we played our first adventure where the final battle took place versus an evil cult leader. The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace. Our rogue successfully snuck up to the leader and hit him with his strongest attack in an effort to behead the cult in one swift strike (or at least seriously cripple or hamper the cult leader). Unfortunately the cult leader did not only not flinch at the attack, but instead of conducting a tactical retreat, calling for reinforcments or actually using his necromantic powers just fought back in melee, where he hit like a truck and clobbered our rogue to death in just two rounds using to-hit and damage figures not even our strikers could match. The player of the rogue calmly explained that he considered this kind of game design as idiotic and never...

Why did the rogue player think one attack would be all that was required?

Tall, gaunt, elderly looking human carrying a mace in Fantasy =/= Tall, gaunt, elderly looking human carrying a mace in 2008 Earth

Wasn't the big clue the 'carrying a mace' part of the description?


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swoosh wrote:

One shotting the boss with a sneak attack wouldn't have happened in PF1 or 3.5 either.

Your player thought he could get away with instakilling the boss and when it didn't work he threw a fit. Not sure that's really a condemnation of any system here.

Does kind of make your rogue player look like an ass though.

Well if the "boss" would have been build according to character rules a surprise round full of successful sneak attacks would have at least leave him very impressed.

However this is not the point. And this player was not at all throwing a fit. He even took some days for his decision.

The point was that for him it was not acceptable that the boss description was not at all matching the bosses capabilities just because "boss".


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Ten10 wrote:
They have more HP and access to other things because.... it's a game. It's about entertainment. I don't want to be at a table where someone memorized every possible combination and freaks out when something doesn't fall into those parameters. We are talking about a game that has walking skeletons and ice breathing dragons.
CyberMephit wrote:
My point is, it's not like there is no precedent in fiction and no possible in-world justification for a mage to use magic to augment his body - or to start with a strong body to begin with. These are not mutually exclusive.

To each his own.

But please understand that because it is a game there are rules. And if one side is strictly bound by those rules (players) and the other side is allowed to blatantly disregard these rules (GM) the former side can easily feel cheated. This is not about exceptions or bending or occasionally even breaking the rules, because everybody understands that sometimes a GM really needs to do this for everybody to have fun, but about playing fair, at least as fair as it gets.

One example to get my point about "bad" boss design across:

When 4e came out we played our first adventure where the final battle took place versus an evil cult leader. The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace. Our rogue successfully snuck up to the leader and hit him with his strongest attack in an effort to behead the cult in one swift strike (or at least seriously cripple or hamper the cult leader). Unfortunately the cult leader did not only not flinch at the attack, but instead of conducting a tactical retreat, calling for reinforcments or actually using his necromantic powers just fought back in melee, where he hit like a truck and clobbered our rogue to death in just two rounds using to-hit and damage figures not even our strikers could match. The player of the rogue calmly explained that he considered this kind of game design as idiotic and never...

Sounds more like either the GM or adventure/monster designer (if it was a module or whatever) didn't do a good job of providing a physical description that could reasonably inform the players of that NPC's capabilities.


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Ten10 wrote:

Why did the rogue player think one attack would be all that was required?

Tall, gaunt, elderly looking human carrying a mace in Fantasy =/= Tall, gaunt, elderly looking human carrying a mace in 2008 Earth

Wasn't the big clue the 'carrying a mace' part of the description?

Because all cultists carried such a mace, from minion to boss?

However when we play next I will just ask our wizard why he is still using magic missile and fireball instead of replacing our fighter as the melee powerhouse.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Well if the "boss" would have been build according to character rules a surprise round full of successful sneak attacks would have at least leave him very impressed.

If the boss had less HP or inferior defenses, yeah maybe the damage would have been more relevant. I'm not sure how that really matters at all though.

In 3.5 he wouldn't be a 'boss' monster, but he'd probably have templates and buffs and extra levels inflating his stats and the end result would have been similar. I guess that's... somehow better? This is an incredibly arbitrary distinction you're making.

Quote:
And this player was not at all throwing a fit.

Dude literally swore off a system forever because he couldn't cheese his way through a fight. Sorry, but this statement isn't consistent with his behavior as you're describing it.


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swoosh wrote:
In 3.5 he wouldn't be a 'boss' monster, but he'd probably have templates and buffs and extra levels inflating his stats and the end result would have been similar. I guess that's... somehow better? This is an incredibly arbitrary distinction you're making.

Everybody is bound by their own experiences and in mine fighting a caster type enemy in in 3.5 felt more related to how your own characters worked than it did in 4e.

swoosh wrote:
And this player was not at all throwing a fit. Dude literally swore off a system forever because he couldn't cheese his way through a fight. Sorry, but this statement isn't consistent with his behavior as you're describing it.

He played 3.5 for years and started PF1 as easily and early as the rest of us did. It may be that he was not entirely confident in the whole 4e powers concept but that bossfight was the literal nail in the coffin.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
And if one side is strictly bound by those rules (players) and the other side is allowed to blatantly disregard these rules (GM) the former side can easily feel cheated. This is not about exceptions or bending or occasionally even breaking the rules, because everybody understands that sometimes a GM really needs to do this for everybody to have fun, but about playing fair, at least as fair as it gets.

The problem I see here is believing the players and the GM are on different "sides."


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Monsters in Pathfinder 2 are built to be roughly equivalent of a PC of the same level. What we have seen so far from caster types in the Bestiary is they have defenses and hit points that are pretty similar to what one would expect from a Wizard or Cloistered Cleric of that level.


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swoosh wrote:
Dude literally swore off a system forever because he couldn't cheese his way through a fight. Sorry, but this statement isn't consistent with his behavior as you're describing it.

A rogue being a rogue isn't "cheese". Sneaking and assassination is what the character does.


lordcirth wrote:
swoosh wrote:
Dude literally swore off a system forever because he couldn't cheese his way through a fight. Sorry, but this statement isn't consistent with his behavior as you're describing it.
A rogue being a rogue isn't "cheese". Sneaking and assassination is what the character does.

To play the devil's advocate, sneaking up on the big bad leader and having no escape plan isn't the most optimal. At least have the warrior setup to keep you safe. We don't have the full story so can't say for sure, but it kind of sounded like he was the one opening the encounter and therefor was prioritized perhaps?


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I am in all of this a bit confused as to why the GM was having the caster melee. If he wasn't a melee-focused foe it seems an odd decision. If he was so strong in physical combat shouldn't his spells have been even stronger?

As an aside, I'm not averse to the "boss" and "minion" tag ideas as I think they can be used in very cool ways. This scenario just seems like a bit of bad GMing and perhaps an unreasonable reaction by a player potentially, but that's arguable.

That said I think PF2 is better off because it allows for powerful "bosses" and weak "minions" without even needing specific tags, merely appropriate use of challenge building.


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Edge93 wrote:

I am in all of this a bit confused as to why the GM was having the caster melee. If he wasn't a melee-focused foe it seems an odd decision. If he was so strong in physical combat shouldn't his spells have been even stronger?

As an aside, I'm not averse to the "boss" and "minion" tag ideas as I think they can be used in very cool ways. This scenario just seems like a bit of bad GMing and perhaps an unreasonable reaction by a player potentially, but that's arguable.

That said I think PF2 is better off because it allows for powerful "bosses" and weak "minions" without even needing specific tags, merely appropriate use of challenge building.

"The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace." could be just me but robes =/= caster 100% of the time. Especially if he carries a mace.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Edge93 wrote:

I am in all of this a bit confused as to why the GM was having the caster melee. If he wasn't a melee-focused foe it seems an odd decision. If he was so strong in physical combat shouldn't his spells have been even stronger?

As an aside, I'm not averse to the "boss" and "minion" tag ideas as I think they can be used in very cool ways. This scenario just seems like a bit of bad GMing and perhaps an unreasonable reaction by a player potentially, but that's arguable.

That said I think PF2 is better off because it allows for powerful "bosses" and weak "minions" without even needing specific tags, merely appropriate use of challenge building.

"The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace." could be just me but robes =/= caster 100% of the time. Especially if he carries a mace.

Well, 4e wasn't so much for spells, but about powers, and even if the description said spell or melee, mechanically there was no big difference in between a spell that does x and a melee attack that does x.

Please keep in mind that this was our very first 4e adventure (also for the GM) so we were not at all accustomed to all the major changes from 3.5. Our rogue played like he would have had in the old editions (e.g. close in on the casters in order to possibly prevent them getting off potentially devastating spells) which however horribly failed because of the much emphasized boss, regular enemy & minion concept that 4e introduced.

Would have probably been less of a problem if the cult leader was a vampire or something or had fooled us with some illusion spells, however even the GM admitted that he was a little surprised when he read the statblock of what was descripted as the wizardy leader of a necromantic cult.

Having said so I prefer bosses that have a couple of definite weaknesses to complement all their strengths, at least for the more "realistic" type of bosses (with the exeption being clear solo bosses like dragons, that can have fewer or even no weaknesses). If a "normal humanoid" can hit you like Conan the destroyer and cast spells like Gandalf the white thats a little too much for my liking if no good explaination is given (like the chieftain of a barbarian tribe who is posessed by a super demon).


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4th ed definitely had a situation where the flavour had no impact on mechanics. It will be left to see how much PF2e shares with that.

Initial reports seem to say no.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
Well, 4e wasn't so much for spells, but about powers, and even if the description said spell or melee, mechanically there was no big difference in between a spell that does x and a melee attack that does x.

Um, hate to say this but there never has been. It's dice. Dice do not become 'different' when a magic user rolls them for damage compared to a ranger rolling them for damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
swoosh wrote:

One shotting the boss with a sneak attack wouldn't have happened in PF1 or 3.5 either.

Your player thought he could get away with instakilling the boss and when it didn't work he threw a fit. Not sure that's really a condemnation of any system here.

Does kind of make your rogue player look like an ass though.

I prefer a game that does not push players too strongly in the open arms of metagaming.

Knowing that a 4ed boss caster has very strong martial abilities too, just by virtue of being a NPC boss, is metagaming.


The Raven Black wrote:
swoosh wrote:

One shotting the boss with a sneak attack wouldn't have happened in PF1 or 3.5 either.

Your player thought he could get away with instakilling the boss and when it didn't work he threw a fit. Not sure that's really a condemnation of any system here.

Does kind of make your rogue player look like an ass though.

I prefer a game that does not push players too strongly in the open arms of metagaming.

Knowing that a 4ed boss caster has very strong martial abilities too, just by virtue of being a NPC boss, is metagaming.

What do you call assuming "The cult leader was described as an elderly looking, tall and gaunt human, wearing plain robes and carrying a mace" wouldn't have melee capabilities?

Isn't that metagaming?

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