Is Fatigued the worse condition? No exploration activity, no Treat Wounds, Coerce...


Rules Discussion


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For reference:

Exploration Trait:
An activity with this trait takes more than a turn to use, and can usually be used only during exploration mode. (Source Core Rulebook pg. 631).

Fatigued:
You’re tired and can’t summon much energy. You take a –1 status penalty to AC and saving throws. While exploring, you can’t choose an exploration activity. You recover from fatigue after a full night’s rest.

So, if you are Fatigued, there's a lot you can't do:

Things you can not do:
Borrow an Arcane Spell, Coerce, Cover Tracks, Decipher Writing, Identify Alchemy, Impersonate, Learn a Spell, Make an Impression, Refocus, Repair, Sense Direction, Squeeze, Track, Treat Wounds, Affix a Talisman, Avoid Notice, Defend, Detect Magic, Follow the Expert, Hustle, Investigate, Repeat a Spell, Scout, Search, Borrow an Arcane Spell, Coerce, Cover Tracks, Identify Alchemy, Impersonate, Make an Impression, Repair, Sense Direction, Squeeze, Track, Treat Wounds, Decipher Writing, Learn a Spell.

Is it just me, or Fatigued is the worse condition you can apply to a PC?


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I had complained about Fatigue in the playtest. Paizo made the fatigue condition more playable, but did not fix the aspect that I complained about.

In the playtest rulebook, Fatigue was a complicated condition. And it still said, "If you’re fatigued in exploration mode, you can’t choose any tactic other than wandering."

Playtest Rulebook, Playing the Game, Conditions, Page 322 wrote:

Fatigued

You’re tired, and expending energy makes you worse off. You’re hampered 5 (see page 323). You take a –1 conditional penalty to AC and saving throws; each action you use during an encounter increases the penalty by 1 until the start of your next turn. For example, if you use 1 Stride action and 2 Strike actions on your turn, the conditional penalty would increase by 3 to a –4 penalty, which would reset to –1 at the start of your next turn. The penalty increases after each action you spend, so if you triggered an attack as a reaction to the first action you used, you’d take a –2 conditional penalty to AC against that attack.
If you’re fatigued in exploration mode, you can’t choose any tactic other than wandering.
You recover from fatigue with a full night’s rest (8 hours).

However, exploration tactics did not include things like Treat Wounds, which were introduced in Rules Update 1.3 as a ten-minute activity. Yet even by the final rules update, they did not have an "Exploration" trait.

Rules Update 1.6, page 9 wrote:

TREAT WOUNDS

Healing, Manipulate
Requirements You must use healer’s tools (see page 186).
You spend 10 minutes treating up to 6 injured living creatures (targeting yourself as one of them, if you so choose), then
attempt a Medicine check. The DC is usually ...

Nor Repair,

Playtest Rulebook, Skill, Crafting, page 147 wrote:

REPAIR

Manipulate
Requirements You must use a repair kit (see page 187).
You spend an hour attempting to fix a dented or broken item. The GM sets the DC, but typically ...

The exploration tactics from the playtest were improved and renamed Exploration Activities, page 479 in the Playing the Game chapter of the Pathfinder 2nd Edition. And the sidebar on page 480 makes clear that the ten-minute activities such as Treat Wounds and Repair, which now have the Exploration trait, count as exploration activities.

During the playtest I jokingly complained that the fatigue rules were far too familiar to me, I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and passing my activity threshold leaves me fatigued for three days. Regular people recover from fatigue after an ordinary one-hour rest.

As for the restrictions on exploration activities, while fatigued I have been able to Decipher Writing (cryptanalysis and computer programming), Gather Information (meet up with customers to learn about a new project), Learn a Spell (learn a new mathematical technique), Make an Impression (I have a surprisingly high Diplomacy skill), Repair (I lived in a fixer-upper house), and Treat Wounds (family medical care). Avoid Notice comes naturally to me, since I often prop myself in a chair and read a book without noticeable movement. My friend's dogs, very shy about other people due to being rescued from bad conditions, decided that I must be furniture rather than a person and ignored me instead of hiding from me.

And if I wanted to be contrary, I would claim that the Resting activity to gain 8 hours of sleep fits the definition of an Exploration Activity and therefore should be prevented by fatigue. For a less ridiculous restriction, what about setting up a campsite, cooking and eating dinner, and removing armor in order to sleep? Won't fatigue affect those?

And what about downtime activities (page 500), such as Craft, Create Forgery, Earn Income, Subsist, and Treat Disease? Those are not restricted by fatigue. In fact, if Subsist were prevented by fatigue, then people fatigued from starvation (also on page 500) would lose the primary way of ending starvation. Treat Disease is okay during fatigued downtime, but Treat Wounds isn't? Or does Treat Wounds lose the Exploration trait when used during downtime?

I recommend a house rule. A Short Rest is an Exploration Activity that can be conducted while fatigued and allows the character to conduct other Exploration Activities while fatigued for one hour afterwords. And clarify that the normal Rest can also be conducted while fatigued.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mathmuse wrote:
For a less ridiculous restriction, what about setting up a campsite, cooking and eating dinner, and removing armor in order to sleep? Won't fatigue affect those?

Based on my own experience with fatigue, yes. I suggest requiring a will save in order to summon the willpower to cook dinner and get undressed. If you fail, you just lie down and sleep.


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Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Dying 4 is usually the worst, but you've made a good argument for Fatigued!


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Shadar Aman wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
For a less ridiculous restriction, what about setting up a campsite, cooking and eating dinner, and removing armor in order to sleep? Won't fatigue affect those?
Based on my own experience with fatigue, yes. I suggest requiring a will save in order to summon the willpower to cook dinner and get undressed. If you fail, you just lie down and sleep.

I have had days like that. Thank science for canned foods and microwave ovens. And a Will save is appropriate. When I was that tired and had to make dinner for my children (+5 to Will by PF2 standards), I would do it anyway. And take physical damage from overstraining myself.

But such days are rare for normal people without disabilities or small children. Are they common for adventurers?

The short flavorful descriptions of condition on page 454 under Playing the Game and on page 631 under Glossary and Index describe fatigue as "Fatigued: Your defenses are lower and you can’t focus while exploring." Can't focus? That would be an understatement for drop-in-bed-fully-dressed days. The definition on page 620 under Conditions starts, "You’re tired and can’t summon much energy." Much energy? No, fatigue means that I am robbing energy from my vital organs to keep moving.

Let's look at what causes fatigue in PF2.

Page 89: Furious Finish barbarian feat 2 allows an extra-damage Strike and leaves the barbarian fatigued until he or she rests for 10 minutes.
Page 89: Second Wind barbarian feat 2 allows raging early after a prior rage and leaves the barbarian fatigued until he or she rests for 10 minutes.
Page 240: Failure at Subsist activity leaves the character fatigued until he or she attains sufficient food and shelter.
Page 304: Sustaining a Spell for more than 10 minutes leaves the spellcaster fatigued.
Page 354: A failed save to a Nightmare spell leave the target fatigued.
Page 480: Repeating A Spell exploration activity could cause fatigue of overused. Overused is not defined.
Page 480 and 499: Sleeping in armor leaves a character fatigued.
Page 480 and 499: Going more than 16 hours without resting makes a character fatigued until he or she gets at least 6 hours rest.
Page 498: An improvised exploration activity equivalent to 20 actions per minute or requiring intense concentration might cause fatigue.
Page 500: Typically characters eat and drink enough to survive comfortably. When they can’t, they’re fatigued until they do.
Page 517-518: Overland travel in harsh weather such as rain or freezing cold or sweltering heat can cause fatigue after 4 hours.
Page 534: Sustaining an Activation for more than 10 minutes ends the activation and makes the wielder fatigued.
Page 552: Lich Dust alchemical poison damages and fatigues its subject for 3 minutes.

Not having barbarians nor spells nor activated magic items nor Lich Dust poison in modern USA, I have to use the examples from pages 480 to 518, such as going more than 16 hours without resting.

For example, wake up at 5am, get ready for work, drive to work, work from 8am to 4:30pm with a half-hour lunch break, drive home, eat dinner, travel with the wife and children to an evening church event that she is running, which means the children and I run errands, and return home at 9pm. Nope, that is tiring, but not fatiguing. How about camping? We get up at sunrise, eat breakfast at the picnic table, pack up the tent, drive 400 miles and see the sights, stop at a campsite with enough sunlight to set up the tent, drive to a restaurant for dinner, return at sleep at 10pm. No, my turns as a passenger and sitting at a restaurant are too restful for me to be fatigued.

How about starvation? I sometimes use a semi-starvation diet of 1700 kcal a day to lose weight. That is less than eating comfortably. I can keep it up for about 4 months and then my immune system quits. I lose a lot of stamina and am not as sharp mentally, but I am not fatigued. Under those conditions I would be fatigued for 16 hours of activity without rest.

And a day with combat--pretend I have combat skills--and no rest for 16 hours would have me fatigued. But the PF2 rules don't require combat for fatigue.

What counts as a rest for going 16 hours while sometimes resting? Page 480 under Rest and Daily Preparations says that a character can rest of 8 hours to regain Hit Points and end other conditions. Page 410 under Long-Term rest describes resting all day. Page 499 under Resting also describes the 8-hour rest and the all-day rest. The rules do not define a short rest, such as the 10-minute rest required to remove the fatigue from barbarian feats. I presume that rest means sitting and doing nothing, though sitting isn't defined in the rules either. I myself would allow eating during a rest.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wow this seems like an oversight. You're basically useless unless you take a full rest.


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Sliska Zafir wrote:
Wow this seems like an oversight. You're basically useless unless you take a full rest.

A full rest in comfort armor or less, unless you're a 19th level Ranger. And there doesn't seem to be magic to alleviate fatigue, not even Restoration unless I skimmed too fast.

And the magic for safe respites has moved up in levels, so there's definitely a coordinated effort to make resting risky. (I guess)

I'm not sure I comprehend why so. It also doesn't seem to balance that you still do amazing & heroic deeds while fatigued, even epic, but get cut off from basic ones.
Hmm...


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Shadar Aman wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
For a less ridiculous restriction, what about setting up a campsite, cooking and eating dinner, and removing armor in order to sleep? Won't fatigue affect those?
Based on my own experience with fatigue, yes. I suggest requiring a will save in order to summon the willpower to cook dinner and get undressed. If you fail, you just lie down and sleep.

Based on my own experience with fatigue I can finish the last 10 miles of a forced march.

I can run 3 miles in 23 minutes (3 minutes slower than normal).
I can troubleshoot complex systems, and repair them.
I can stand sentry.


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thorin001 wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
For a less ridiculous restriction, what about setting up a campsite, cooking and eating dinner, and removing armor in order to sleep? Won't fatigue affect those?
Based on my own experience with fatigue, yes. I suggest requiring a will save in order to summon the willpower to cook dinner and get undressed. If you fail, you just lie down and sleep.

Based on my own experience with fatigue I can finish the last 10 miles of a forced march.

I can run 3 miles in 23 minutes (3 minutes slower than normal).
I can troubleshoot complex systems, and repair them.
I can stand sentry.

Your humblebrag is noted, lol.

I too have had to do likewise in I imagine similar circumstances. Having a shouty-man hurl imprecations and threats at you does do a lot to alleviate fatigue.

Sovereign Court

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Right, the merged Fatigued and Exhausted into one and you get the worst...


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Maybe I am missing something here... but what is actually the problem?

Being fatigued meaning your not much use until you get rest seems fine a concept; is the issue that it's "not realistic"? is fatigued a condition thrown around too frequently by the rules? or is it just that a negative condition is so negative you don't want to push on while under its effects?


thenobledrake wrote:

Maybe I am missing something here... but what is actually the problem?

Being fatigued meaning your not much use until you get rest seems fine a concept; is the issue that it's "not realistic"? is fatigued a condition thrown around too frequently by the rules? or is it just that a negative condition is so negative you don't want to push on while under its effects?

I think having it prevent 10 minute or shorter activities does seem a little extreme and sort of immersion breaking. I can get the idea of preventing what were exploration tactics before-- focusing on a task for hours on end is quite difficult when you're tired. I suppose that trying to Treat Wounds or decipher complex writing would also be very hard, but you'd think a penalty of some sort would be more appropriate than a flat "nope can't do it."

Also in general we seem to have lost the ability to remove the condition with magic which seems to have a few minor effects on some published adventures.

I dunno, I can probably live with all this, but I definitely need to get used to the idea.


thenobledrake wrote:

Maybe I am missing something here... but what is actually the problem?

Being fatigued meaning your not much use until you get rest seems fine a concept; is the issue that it's "not realistic"? is fatigued a condition thrown around too frequently by the rules? or is it just that a negative condition is so negative you don't want to push on while under its effects?

The problem is pretty much summed up by Ascalaphus's comment before yours:

Ascalaphus wrote:
Right, they merged Fatigued and Exhausted into one and you get the worst...

We have fatigued sometimes treated as downright exhausted. It prevents any kind of Exploration Activity such as scouting or Treat Wounds. Except for special cases with a stated duration, the only way to remove fatigue is eight hours of comfortable sleep.

Yet fatigue can be induced by 11 minutes of intense concentration, such as repeatedly casting Detect Magic while searching a room. It can come from walking in the rain, while wearing a raincoat, for 4 and a half hours. It can come from sleeping in leather armor rather than pajamas. Its only effect on combat is a -1 status penalty to AC and saving throws, and the barbarian's traditional problem with raging while fatigued. In these cases, fatigue appears to mean simply tired.

And a lot about the way fatigue is handled lets versimitude fall between the cracks. Going 1 day without food makes a character fatigued. Going 20 days without food makes a character fatigued and close to dropping dead. (Okay, this is not that different from hit points, where having 1 out of 100 hp left is no different from having 99 out of 100 hp left.) 11 minutes of spellcasting during exploration mode fatigues, but 11 minutes of spellcasting during combat does not. For that matter, 11 minutes of intense activity in encounter mode does not cause fatigue, but the same activity in exploration mode could cause fatigue.

And technically, any activity during exploration mode besides rest and travel could count as an exploration activity forbidden while fatigued. For example, imagine that the fighter of the party is fatigued at the end of a long day, so he goes to sleep in his underwear (his friends helped him get his armor off) without standing watch. After 4 hours of sleep, the cleric on watch wakes up everyone because he spotted a goblin in the underbrush. The GM declares exploration mode while everyone tries to find more signs of goblins. The fighter wants to put his medium armor back on first, but has to do it himself. Is this an exploration activity? The fighter is still fatigued because he had only 4 hours of sleep.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Equipment, page 274 wrote:

Donning and Removing Armor

Getting in and out of armor is time consuming—so make sure you’re wearing it when you need it! Donning and removing armor are both activities involving many Interact actions. It takes 1 minute to don light armor, 5 minutes to don medium or heavy armor, and 1 minute to remove any armor.

Five minutes of Interactions during exploration mode--I would call that an improvised exploration activity.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Game Mastering, Exploration Activities sidebar, page 498 wrote:

Improvising New Activities

If a player wants to do something not covered by other rules, here are some guidelines. If the activity is similar to an action someone could use in an encounter, such as Avoid Notice, it usually consists of a single action repeated roughly 10 times per minute (such as using the Sneak action 10 times) or an alternation of actions that works out similarly (such as Search, which alternates Stride and Seek). An activity using a quicker pace, corresponding to roughly 20 actions per minute, might
have limited use or cause fatigue, as would one requiring intense concentration.

You might find that a player wants to do something equivalent to spending 3 actions every 6 seconds, just like they would in combat. Characters can exert themselves to this extent in combat only because combat lasts such a short time—such exertion isn’t sustainable over the longer time frame of exploration.

It would be worse if I argued that the fighter cannot remove his armor before sleeping due to fatigue. Then he would have to sleep in his armor and would wake up fatigued, so he is stuck fatigued in his armor forever, bwahaha. Okay, maybe we can make donning and removing armor a special case that is not an exploration activity even though it takes 5 minutes. If so, what other special cases would we need?

PF2 needs the rule about intense activity during exploration, because I had a player in the playtest want to keep casting Guidance continuously during travel. It will be good to say, hey, do that and you will be fatigued. And if the spellcaster is already fatigued, I don't want him to cast Guidance continuously because he already has the penalty. I need a new penalty. But outright forbidding all exploration activities besides travel and rest is too extreme for the new penalty.


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thenobledrake wrote:

Maybe I am missing something here... but what is actually the problem?

Being fatigued meaning your not much use until you get rest seems fine a concept; is the issue that it's "not realistic"? is fatigued a condition thrown around too frequently by the rules? or is it just that a negative condition is so negative you don't want to push on while under its effects?

The numerical penalty is light (perhaps generously so) and makes little difference in Encounter Mode. So everyone's of great use; leaping over pits, wrestling bears, sprinting in armor, shooting bows w/ unhindered precision, picking complex locks, and analyzing enemy weakness on the fly of creatures they've never studied. About the only common thing you can't do in Encounter Mode is Rage. And that's low-level stuff, so maybe I should've added Dragons, lava, & astral anomalies as well as bending the laws of nature w/ one's mind.

Offense: Normal, Defense: Minor penalty, Utility: Normal

This is fine to me, as it's a heroic staple to fight through fatigue to save the day. But switch out of fight mode...

The disconnect comes when you shift into Exploration Mode and can't do mundane things that mirror the Olympic/heroic/godly deeds you still can do. That guy who could rope a Roper can't tie a tourniquet. Tasks you and I could do in our normal lives (while fatigued as some have pointed out!) are beyond these (still) heroic entities. The doctors of M*A*S*H wouldn't be able to apply band-aids fatigued, much less perform surgery, though most of their conscious patients could fight with little penalty.

Mechanically, the party may have to slip into Encounter Mode to do tasks that are off-limits in Exploration Mode. Wuh? I guess that's what Drill Sergeants do to keep trainees going, slap them into Encounter Mode!
Heck, a fatigued Wizard can't work until all hours in the night decoding ancient texts, despite that being the iconic path to becoming a Wizard!
Or Master Smith hammering into the night or most any elite position doing their shtick actually.

So it's that wonky exclusion of typical tasks & activities that makes fatigue so severe. Actions it should penalize are outright banned. I understand it might be hard to choose a number, but maybe something like "Reduce result by one rank so that a critical success becomes a success, (etc.)"

-------

Also, fatigue breaks the normal pattern of 10-minute recharges.
Only Sorcerers can get Focus Points back (because it passively recharges). I suspect this may be intentional to draw a line where attrition can begin, I don't know. As somebody noted, Paizo perhaps blended fatigue & exhaustion, making fatigue both a minor and major setback.

Veterans asking Cleric:
"Can you purge this demonic plague that's eating my soul?" Sure.
"Anybody seen my arm, I need to reattach it?" Got it.
"Could you guys take these Minotaur spears out?" All fixed.
Rookie:
"I think I'm a bit tired, could you help?"
What do you think I am, a miracle worker?!
Veterans laugh. "Newbs! Amirite?"

So yeah, I think cutting parties off from 10-minute rejuvenation may have been party of the intent. I completely understand how some stories and crises need that! Except baby/bathwater/big mess.
Decode the ancient code on this portal or the world perishes!!!
Nope, too tired. Maybe in the morning.

Hopefully I'm misunderstanding something, or maybe they'll add a Trait to distinguish what's doable (though that'd likely lead to argument too!).

Liberty's Edge

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I think the clear intent is that Fatigue's restriction only applies to the Exploration Activities explicitly called out as such on p. 479, rather than all activities that have the Trait. That the intent is that you cannot both travel and perform such an activity simultaneously, Which seems a totally reasonable restriction.

Basically, it looks like they had two categories of action (the 'things you do while traveling' and 'things you do while in exploration mode') that got merged at some later design step, and Fatigue is only intended to apply to the former, which is reasonable and how I'll play it.

That said, the rules are not clear on this distinction at all and are in desperate need of errata. You can do it by changing the word 'exploring' to 'traveling' under the Fatigue condition, too, so it's an easy fix.


Dante Doom wrote:


So, if you are Fatigued, there's a lot you can't do:

** spoiler omitted **

I think you doubled up on some items, there.


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To add to DMW's post:

I think there's an important distinction between "While exploring, you can't choose an exploration activity." (emphasis mine) and "you can't use any exploration activity." The first one calls out that you have to be exploring, and also uses the verb choose instead of use. This all implies (as DMW interprets it) that it restricts those "active at the start of combat" exploration activities, not any old activity that takes 10 minutes. Though this wording definitely needs some clarification, and possibly a different trait for those exploration activities which are not in this category.

Sovereign Court

Deadmanwalking wrote:

I think the clear intent is that Fatigue's restriction only applies to the Exploration Activities explicitly called out as such on p. 479, rather than all activities that have the Trait. That the intent is that you cannot both travel and perform such an activity simultaneously, Which seems a totally reasonable restriction.

Basically, it looks like they had two categories of action (the 'things you do while traveling' and 'things you do while in exploration mode') that got merged at some later design step, and Fatigue is only intended to apply to the former, which is reasonable and how I'll play it.

That said, the rules are not clear on this distinction at all and are in desperate need of errata. You can do it by changing the word 'exploring' to 'traveling' under the Fatigue condition, too, so it's an easy fix.

i think you have the right of it, as intent goes. The whole Exploration Tactics smacks to me of trying to put an end to endless bickering about what people are doing while moving from place to place. PF2 simply lays down the law that you can be doing one meaningful thing at a time, whether that's looking for magic, traps, or being really ready for combat. Doing more than one thing at a time is too hard. Doing even one thing is too hard if you're fatigued. You go from duo-tasking (walking and doing a thing) to mono-tasking.

But the "you will only do this for 10 minutes, and not do anything else at that time" activities weren't really meant to be blocked by that. Fatigue prevents you from moving and doing another thing at the same time; it's not intended to stop you from only doing that thing while remaining stationary.

But yeah, this needs FAQing.


BellyBeard wrote:

To add to DMW's post:

I think there's an important distinction between "While exploring, you can't choose an exploration activity." (emphasis mine) and "you can't use any exploration activity." The first one calls out that you have to be exploring, and also uses the verb choose instead of use. This all implies (as DMW interprets it) that it restricts those "active at the start of combat" exploration activities, not any old activity that takes 10 minutes. Though this wording definitely needs some clarification, and possibly a different trait for those exploration activities which are not in this category.

Yes, that is a very important distinction!

Being in Exploration Mode (status) and exploring (action) are two different qualifiers. Seems Paizo's error was communication given the overlapping context, not mechanics/intent/narrative. Cool.


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I think that BellyBeard's and Ascalaphus's idea that "While exploring" is the only time that fatigue restricts Exploration Activities is our best option for resolving this rules imbalance with the rules as written. The shortened description of fatigue, "Fatigued: Your defenses are lower and you can’t focus while exploring," also uses the same phrase "while exploring."

Deadmanwalking's idea that fatigue's restriction applies only to the Exploration Activities described on pages 479 and 480 under Exploration, rather than to the skill-based activities that have the Exploration trait is a different idea.

Let me examine how "exploring" is used in the Core Rulebook.

"While exploring" does seem to mean exploration mode in the Playing the Game summary of the Introduction chapter:

Pf2 Core Rulebook, Introduction chapter, Playing the Game, page 10 wrote:

Exploration

Most of the time, your character will explore the world, interact with characters, travel from place to place, and overcome challenges. This is called exploration. Game play is relatively free-form during exploration, with players responding to the narrative whenever they have an idea of what to do next. Leaving town via horseback, following the trail of a marauding orc tribe, avoiding the tribe’s scouts, and convincing a local hunter to help in an upcoming fight are all examples of things that might occur during exploration.
Throughout this mode of play, the GM asks the players what their characters are doing as they explore. This is important in case a conflict arises. If combat breaks out, the tasks the PCs undertook while exploring might give them an edge or otherwise inform how the combat begins.

That is a flavorful summary paragraph, designed to give an impression rather than a mechanical rule. We also have the "While Exploring ..." descriptions at the beginning of each class. For example, the Alchemist class says,

PF2 Core Rulebook, Classes, Alchemist, page 71 wrote:

While exploring...

You keep an eye out for trouble with your bombs at the ready, while giving advice on all things alchemical and mysterious.

These descriptions are about activities under dangerous conditions, though some of those activities are Recall Knowledge checks.

The Exploration Activities section of the Playing the Game chapter, pages 479-480, opens with, "While you’re traveling and exploring, tell the GM what you’d generally like to do along the way. If you to do nothing more than make steady progress toward your goal, you move at the full travel speeds given in Table 9–2. When you want to do something other than simply
travel, you describe what you are attempting to do. ..." That suggests that the Exploration Activities listed a simple descriptions of what the party wants to do are intended for while the party is traveling and exploring. For further insight:
• Avoid Notice says. "while traveling at half speed"
• Defend says, "You move at half your travel speed"
• Detect Magic says, "You move at half your travel speed or slower."
• Follow the Expert says, "Choose an ally attempting a recurring skill check while exploring,"
• Hustle says, "You strain yourself to move at double your travel speed."
• Investigate says, "while traveling at half speed."
• Repeat a Spell says, "while moving at half speed."
• Scout says, "moving at half speed."
• Search says, "move at half speed," and suggests moving more slowly allows a better search.
They are all about movement or exploration.

The sidebar on page 480 labeled, "Skill Exploration Activities," begins, "Chapter 4: Skills includes numerous additional exploration activities, which are summarized here." That literally says that these skill-based activities with the Exploration trait are exploration activities. As for their movement potential, Borrow an Arcane Spell, Coerce, Decipher Writing, Identify Alchemy, Identify Magic. Impersonate, Learn a Spell, Make an Impression, Repair, Treat Wounds,
Repair even requires a stable surface; Identify Alchemy and Identify Magic require starting over if interrupted; and Coerce, Learn a Spell, and Make an Impression require conversation though talking while walking might be possible. In contrast, five of the skill-based activities with Exploration trait give a sense of movement:
• Cover Tracks says, "moving up to half your travel Speed" and has the Move trait, too.
• Gather Information says, "You canvass local markets, taverns, and gathering places"
• Sense Direction says, "navigate" and gives the impression of continually knowing direction while traveling.
• Squeeze is about movement through exceptionally tight spaces and has the Move trait, too.
• Track says, "moving at up to half your travel Speed," and has the Move trait, too.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Basically, it looks like they had two categories of action (the 'things you do while traveling' and 'things you do while in exploration mode') that got merged at some later design step, and Fatigue is only intended to apply to the former, which is reasonable and how I'll play it.

The paragraph on Exploration and Downtime Activities in the Skills chapter supports this theory.

PF2 Core Rulebook, Skills, page 234" wrote:

Exploration and Downtime Activities

Some skill activities have the exploration or downtime trait. Exploration activities usually take a minute or more, while downtime activities may take a day or more. They usually can’t be used during an encounter, though the GM might bend this restriction. If you’re not sure whether you have the time to use one of these activities, ask your GM.

That chapter also describes that the downtime activity Subsist can be used in exploration mode, "Unlike most downtime activities, you can Subsist after 8 hours or less of exploration, but if you do, you take a –5 penalty," and the exploration activity Track can be used in encounter mode, "In some cases, you might Track in an encounter. In this case, Track is a single action and doesn’t have the exploration trait, but you might need to roll more often because you’re in a tense situation." In this Skill chapter, the three modes are a matter of timing, not of exploration and travel.

Mathmuse's Conclusion
I think that the fatigued restriction on Exploration Activities was intended by some developers to apply only during an active exploration while the party is pushing themselves to cover new ground and on their toes for sudden dangers. However, if we accept that "While exploring" means such a situation, it is, nevertheless, not clear and not accurate. It is not clear because parts of the rulebook treat all exploration-mode activities as exploring. It is not accurate because some restful, sitdown activities are part of a real exploration. For example, Deciphering Writing on an ancient ruin is part of exploring that ruin.

Replacing the phrase, "While exploring," with "While traveling and exploring," would be more clear and accurate. An fatigued archeologist sitting down to decipher ancient writing in a ruin can do so, because it is exploring but not traveling. A fatigued wizard learning a new spell in his cabin on a sailing ship can do so, because it is traveling but not exploring. A fatigued sailor in the crow's nest of a ship cannot scout with a telescope, because that is both traveling and exploring. A fatigued bard in a new town cannot Gather Information, because that is traveling from building to building while exploring the town, but a fatigued bard in her familiar hometown can Gather Information, because she would not be exploring.

And the FAQ clarification on fatigue could explain that fatigue causes a loss of focus so that the character cannot focus on two things at once, except during the adrenaline-fueled rush of an encounter. If traveling requires attention, such as walking or guiding a mount, then the fatigued character lacks the ability to focus on a second activity, such as scouting or covering tracks. If the fatigued character does not have to pay attention to traveling, such as staying in one room or sitting in the back of a moving wagon, then he or she can focus on a single non-travel activity, such as treating wounds.

Sovereign Court

I like Mathmuse's analysis.


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I also like that this was codified in the rules:

Playing the Game: Ambiguous Rules wrote:
Sometimes a rule could be interpreted multiple ways. If one version is too good to be true, it probably is. If a rule seems to have wording with problematic repercussions or doesn’t work as intended, work with your group to find a good solution, rather than just playing with the rule as printed.

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