What is a "reasonable" post-fight downtime?


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It depends on if you're operating on a "combat as sport" mentality (where enemies are grouped into Encounters who wait in their own rooms and are designed to provide an interesting challenge when you open the door) or a "combat as war" mentality where you have a bunch of potential enemies in an environment, and you try to make them act realistically.

In "combat as war" scenario, the PCs might be better off hanging around outside the dungeon, monitoring it for activity, picking off isolated patrols, and trying to do as much damage as possible before the enemies can even figure out the nature of the threat they're facing.

In a "combat as sport" scenario, the GM isn't trying so hard to create a realistic simulationist threat, so the amount of time for resting can be whatever seems fair given the trouble they've faced. ("So, the PCs have fought two battles with a ten minute rest in between. The first went pretty smoothly, but they had some unlucky dice rolls in the second, so at this point it made sense for them to retreat to the nearby forest and spend a few hours treating their wounds. I don't want to punish them for being sensible, so I'll try to find a reason why the bad guys aren't on full alert yet.")

There might be a standard amount of rest that's fair for PF2, but it will take more experimentation to find the balance (given the unpredictable incompetence of real-world players). And even if we could establish that, say, twenty minutes per encounter is standard, that doesn't mean it will necessarily make sense for a given scenario.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Having the world pause for game mechanics is an issue imo.

That is to say, have npvs react naturally... if npcs would rush in from another room because the players are shouting at the top of their lungs, do so. Having them stand sttic and ready in the next room until triggered sounds way too static to convince any player of a living breathing world.

I think we can all agree with that in theory, but in practice it is sometimes hard to figure out how to make the world feel alive. PF1 had a lot of enemies that explicitly just chill in their respective rooms, regardless of whether or not the alarm is raised. And we don't see a lot of mechanics for wandering patrols within a dungeon, or even just stuff like NPCs wandering from one room to another to pee or whatever.

While we might not have mechanics for it, certainly an adventure path writer could say:

Room B enemies are within ear shot of Room A. If the PCs fight in room A and don't take out the enemy covertly, room B will investigate in X amount of time, while also sending or not sending someone to the BBEG to alert them of something fishy.

Individual encounters/dungeons could be written this way to give a GM an idea of how to run these areas so that PCs aren't overwhelmed, but also tension is built by not allowing them to rest when its not intended.


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Claxon wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Having the world pause for game mechanics is an issue imo.

That is to say, have npvs react naturally... if npcs would rush in from another room because the players are shouting at the top of their lungs, do so. Having them stand sttic and ready in the next room until triggered sounds way too static to convince any player of a living breathing world.

I think we can all agree with that in theory, but in practice it is sometimes hard to figure out how to make the world feel alive. PF1 had a lot of enemies that explicitly just chill in their respective rooms, regardless of whether or not the alarm is raised. And we don't see a lot of mechanics for wandering patrols within a dungeon, or even just stuff like NPCs wandering from one room to another to pee or whatever.

While we might not have mechanics for it, certainly an adventure path writer could say:

Room B enemies are within ear shot of Room A. If the PCs fight in room A and don't take out the enemy covertly, room B will investigate in X amount of time, while also sending or not sending someone to the BBEG to alert them of something fishy.

Individual encounters/dungeons could be written this way to give a GM an idea of how to run these areas so that PCs aren't overwhelmed, but also tension is built by not allowing them to rest when its not intended.

Adventure Paths already use stuff like that with decent frequency. The issue is that usually the time between room B arriving to investigate is measured in rounds, not minutes, as you'd expect of guards who hear the sound of combat happening in the next room. So you wind up with one extended combat instead, which is all the more likely to need to take a break after. And then we are back to how long that break could be.

Now what might work is if an AP has mechanics for regular patrols or hourly reports. If a unit guarding a particular entrance doesn't send a runner to report every hour, then Command will dispatch other units to investigate.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Adventure Paths already use stuff like that with decent frequency. The issue is that usually the time between room B arriving to investigate is measured in rounds, not minutes, as you'd expect of guards who hear the sound of combat happening in the next room. So you wind up with one extended combat instead, which is all the more likely to need to take a break after. And then we are back to how long that break could be.

This is why I assume enemies take the search exploration activity when they come across the scene of a battle. Unless we're dealing with a specific enemy, they should be unable to home in on the party instantly, and most creatures reacting intelligently will be cautious. They won't run towards the entrance of a cave as soon as they spot a dead body.

If they arrive during combat, combat is extended. If they arrive after combat, the party is camped out down the hall in a closed room being quiet. The cleric patches the fighter, the wizard is repairing the fighters shield with mending and the rogue is standing watch. Meanwhile the alerted enemies are searching the battlefield to try and figure out what happened, and where the attackers went. After a few minutes (10min mechanically) they notice the trail of blood splatters leading to the party's refuge and move down the hall towards them.


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Garretmander wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Adventure Paths already use stuff like that with decent frequency. The issue is that usually the time between room B arriving to investigate is measured in rounds, not minutes, as you'd expect of guards who hear the sound of combat happening in the next room. So you wind up with one extended combat instead, which is all the more likely to need to take a break after. And then we are back to how long that break could be.

This is why I assume enemies take the search exploration activity when they come across the scene of a battle. Unless we're dealing with a specific enemy, they should be unable to home in on the party instantly, and most creatures reacting intelligently will be cautious. They won't run towards the entrance of a cave as soon as they spot a dead body.

If they arrive during combat, combat is extended. If they arrive after combat, the party is camped out down the hall in a closed room being quiet. The cleric patches the fighter, the wizard is repairing the fighters shield with mending and the rogue is standing watch. Meanwhile the alerted enemies are searching the battlefield to try and figure out what happened, and where the attackers went. After a few minutes (10min mechanically) they notice the trail of blood splatters leading to the party's refuge and move down the hall towards them.

I agree with the scenario you portray except for the timeline.

Most modern RPG bases have limited floor plans, so the enemies would likely triangulate quickly. They'd send out a scout or two immediately to check viable nesting points because even old RPG sensibilities (or real-world ones) say not to give your opponents time to mend and/or regroup. So you press on a bit faster than in 10 minutes, and you likely already know the only locations the party could have gone.

Many classic modules account for exactly such things, and they often had less text space to deal with so this is quite doable in PF2 (especially since 3.0 managed it too). The 10-minute lulls may mean we need to return to sprawling maps. Maybe even to having multiple factions in a dungeon so enemies aren't too quick to explore in some contested zones.

Reminds me of a Starfinder AP that had several apex predators as well as active enemies all within the area of about a suburban court. Cozy. So if you strayed too far due to tactics, you'd stumble into another. It wasn't even "combat as sport" it was "combat as simulated chess hologram". I definitely prefer "combat as war", especially in professional products. Anybody can toss together singular encounters.


Castilliano wrote:

I agree with the scenario you portray except for the timeline.

Most modern RPG bases have limited floor plans, so the enemies would likely triangulate quickly. They'd send out a scout or two immediately to check viable nesting points because even old RPG sensibilities (or real-world ones) say not to give your opponents time to mend and/or regroup. So you press on a bit faster than in 10 minutes, and you likely already know the only locations the party could have gone.

Many classic modules account for exactly such things, and they often had less text space to deal with so this is quite doable in PF2 (especially since 3.0 managed it too)....

I'd assume several rounds of moving away from the battlefield before stopping, in standard tabletop maps that likely means the PCs pulling back, are pulling all the way out of the dungeon/cave for their 10 min break.

Yes, it's problematic in the case of attacking a fortified area, and yes the designers should be aware, and consider several encounter groups to really be the same encounter. Many level-2 enemies vs. a few level= enemies.

The few moderate and severe encounters should be placed such that they are unlikely to come to their fellows' aid in less than 10 min.


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Would it be a disaster for Paizo to consider having a difficulty rating system or scale and to release modules that are situated at different places on that scale, or to discuss this in a couple of paragraphs at the beginning of an AP or module along with ways to ramp the difficulty up or down in side bars?

It seems like codifying casual adventures vs Strategic adventures would be a great way to help GMs decide which modules or APs to pick up for their groups and then have some specific guidelines that will help GMs understand how decisions like "how much rest time to give Cs?" affect the game play.

Some of the easy modifications would be as simple as having a side bar that says you can ramp up the INT of this NPC by 2 or 4 and then have them adopt this tactic to create a more challenging scenario for the encounter.


Captain Morgan wrote:

Adventure Paths already use stuff like that with decent frequency. The issue is that usually the time between room B arriving to investigate is measured in rounds, not minutes, as you'd expect of guards who hear the sound of combat happening in the next room. So you wind up with one extended combat instead, which is all the more likely to need to take a break after. And then we are back to how long that break could be.

Now what might work is if an AP has mechanics for regular patrols or hourly reports. If a unit guarding a particular entrance doesn't send a runner to report every hour, then...

I consider that to be working as intended. It's the writer saying "No, I don't intend for the PCs to rest. This is hard(er) mode. But also I don't want this to be a TPK, which is why I've accounted for attrition with the fact that all the enemies except the BBEG are CR-2".


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Unicore wrote:

Would it be a disaster for Paizo to consider having a difficulty rating system or scale and to release modules that are situated at different places on that scale, or to discuss this in a couple of paragraphs at the beginning of an AP or module along with ways to ramp the difficulty up or down in side bars?

It seems like codifying casual adventures vs Strategic adventures would be a great way to help GMs decide which modules or APs to pick up for their groups and then have some specific guidelines that will help GMs understand how decisions like "how much rest time to give Cs?" affect the game play.

Some of the easy modifications would be as simple as having a side bar that says you can ramp up the INT of this NPC by 2 or 4 and then have them adopt this tactic to create a more challenging scenario for the encounter.

I think adventures could be strategic, yet have a casual option. Building the other direction would be more difficult.

Similarly, I would really like normal & hard modes. The playtest hit just the right difficulty for me, but many (including two in my group) found it too difficult. For this though, I think the basic outline would be for normal, with tips of where to beef it up if you want it harder.
So you'd have a "normal" difficulty, strategic scenario with options for casual mode (less responsive monsters) and hard mode (beefier or more numerous monsters).
The PFS scenarios manage similarly for player adjustment & different tiers, right?


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Matthew Downie wrote:

It depends on if you're operating on a "combat as sport" mentality (where enemies are grouped into Encounters who wait in their own rooms and are designed to provide an interesting challenge when you open the door) or a "combat as war" mentality where you have a bunch of potential enemies in an environment, and you try to make them act realistically.

In "combat as war" scenario, the PCs might be better off hanging around outside the dungeon, monitoring it for activity, picking off isolated patrols, and trying to do as much damage as possible before the enemies can even figure out the nature of the threat they're facing.

In a "combat as sport" scenario, the GM isn't trying so hard to create a realistic simulationist threat, so the amount of time for resting can be whatever seems fair given the trouble they've faced. ("So, the PCs have fought two battles with a ten minute rest in between. The first went pretty smoothly, but they had some unlucky dice rolls in the second, so at this point it made sense for them to retreat to the nearby forest and spend a few hours treating their wounds. I don't want to punish them for being sensible, so I'll try to find a reason why the bad guys aren't on full alert yet.")

There might be a standard amount of rest that's fair for PF2, but it will take more experimentation to find the balance (given the unpredictable incompetence of real-world players). And even if we could establish that, say, twenty minutes per encounter is standard, that doesn't mean it will necessarily make sense for a given scenario.

I default to combat as war. Except that my players start their war negotiations with diplomacy, so sometime combat is averted.

In the module Fortress of the Stone Giants, the party faced an army of many kinds of giants camped outside a small fortress. They realized that they did not want to fight the entire army at once. Thus, they did, as Matthew Downie suggested, pick off isolated groups of giants--not patrols but hunting parties to feed the army. Then they retreated and started setting up a camp for the night, but the giant rangers in the army tracked them down. If they had not fled, I would have sent half the army after them. Next, they took to attacking isolated groups, but teleporting to a comfortable inn in Magnimar for the night. I let them do that for three days, and then the giant wizard leading the army initiated a scry-and-fry tactic and had a sorceress minion teleport a small commando party to attack them at breakfast. I had drawn out the inn on grid paper beforehand and selected a grappler to neutralize the party wizard and a true neutral giantess mercenary to neutralize the paladin, and it was lots of fun for both me and them.

Combat as war forces both sides to be clever. Sometimes the party is too clever and subdues the enemy too easily, but sometimes they create the truly memorable battles.

After the failed scry-and-fry (the commando party, though carefully selected, was too small. Teleporting giants is tough.), the party got serious about taking out the leaders of the army.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

Having the world pause for game mechanics is an issue imo.

That is to say, have npvs react naturally... if npcs would rush in from another room because the players are shouting at the top of their lungs, do so. Having them stand sttic and ready in the next room until triggered sounds way too static to convince any player of a living breathing world.

I think we can all agree with that in theory, but in practice it is sometimes hard to figure out how to make the world feel alive. PF1 had a lot of enemies that explicitly just chill in their respective rooms, regardless of whether or not the alarm is raised. And we don't see a lot of mechanics for wandering patrols within a dungeon, or even just stuff like NPCs wandering from one room to another to pee or whatever.

While we might not have mechanics for it, certainly an adventure path writer could say:

Room B enemies are within ear shot of Room A. If the PCs fight in room A and don't take out the enemy covertly, room B will investigate in X amount of time, while also sending or not sending someone to the BBEG to alert them of something fishy.

Individual encounters/dungeons could be written this way to give a GM an idea of how to run these areas so that PCs aren't overwhelmed, but also tension is built by not allowing them to rest when its not intended.

Adventure Paths already use stuff like that with decent frequency. The issue is that usually the time between room B arriving to investigate is measured in rounds, not minutes, as you'd expect of guards who hear the sound of combat happening in the next room. So you wind up with one extended combat instead, which is all the more likely to need to take a break after. And then we are back to how long that break could be.

Now what might work is if an AP has mechanics for regular patrols or hourly reports. If a unit guarding a particular entrance doesn't send a runner to report every hour, then Command will dispatch other units to investigate.

Extended combat, where the party starts fighting a small group and then fresh reinforcements arrive, is a useful tool in my games. Suppose I put a new kind of enemy in front of my PCs; for example, the enemy has resistance against normal weapons but not cold iron weapons. The party is at a disadvantage until they discover that. Thus, I don't want them to face the full challenge immediately. Instead, they face a challenge small enough to give them time to learn new tactics, and then once they have tested and proven the tactics, I throw the rest of the challenge at them.


Unicore wrote:
I am a little worried about the codification of the common phrase downtime as a specific rules activity that does overlap into exploration mode type of activities like short rests and recovery of focus points, especially because the phrase "exploration mode" does not really seem to describe the activity of sitting still for 4 hours while characters try to make medicine checks.

We ran into that problem in the thread Is Fatigued the worse condition? No exploration activity, no Treat Wounds, Coerce.... The most literal interpretation of fatigued condition, "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," meant that a fatigued character could not Treat Wounds or take any activity with an Explortation trait besides traveling or resting. And the rulebook gives an activity that takes more than 5 minutes the Exploration trait. It made no sense that a fatigued character has just a –1 status penalty to AC and saving throws in encounter mode but becomes entirely useless in exploration mode.

Finally, Deadmanwalking , BellyBeard, and Ascalaphus figured out that "While exploring" did not mean "During exploration mode," though other parts of the rulebook appeared to use "exploring" that way. It meant while actively traveling and exploring new territory. The short rest and recovery of focus points part of exploration mode did not prevent a fatigued character from performing exploration activities.

Thus, the PF2 Core Rulebook distinguishes between actively-exploring exploration mode and not-exploring exploration mode, but never officially points out the differences.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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Removed a couple of posts. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean you should start lashing out at them. Give OP the advice they asked for, and don't engage with others if they're riling you up.


To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber
Castilliano wrote:
The PFS scenarios manage similarly for player adjustment & different tiers, right?

Just use that 'number of PC' adjustment yourself, this is in the CRB and not specific to PFS. So even if you have the presumed 4 players, do the 3 player adjustment for easy mode, or the 5 player adjustment for hard mode. It usually means adding/subtracting minions or making the boss weak/elite. This does not change the earned XP, this is just a XP balance adjustment. Because the XP/level balance is all relative this is much easier than previous editions with absolute NPC/level XP/CR.

Or even simpler do it without any adjustments! Recruit 5 players and run the 4 PC encounters as-is for easy mode, or recruit 3 players and likewise run the 4 PC encounters as-is for hard mode.

On easy mode ignore how long they are taking healing breaks, in hard mode have that orc guard busting down their door after 5min.


Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

I think the sum of all these answers has answered your question:

1. Context of battles prevents a singular answer.
2. Paizo hasn't provided insight into their development strategy re: lulls either for the rules in general or the published adventures. So we don't know how 10-minute lulls factor into weighing difficulty in general or in those specific narratives.
(And I do prefer to call them lulls.)
3. There are also no official guidelines for adjusting encounters based around party attrition, only the party at full strength.
4. So most of our posts extrapolate what guidelines we'd employ or enjoy, much of that again based on context which still prevents a singular answer.

Maybe there's a teaser out there from the Gamemaster book? That pretty much has to address this. Until then, aim low & dabble. Give allowance for escape too. :)
Cheers


krazmuze wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
The PFS scenarios manage similarly for player adjustment & different tiers, right?

Just use that 'number of PC' adjustment yourself, this is in the CRB and not specific to PFS. So even if you have the presumed 4 players, do the 3 player adjustment for easy mode, or the 5 player adjustment for hard mode. It usually means adding/subtracting minions or making the boss weak/elite. This does not change the earned XP, this is just a XP balance adjustment. Because the XP/level balance is all relative this is much easier than previous editions with absolute NPC/level XP/CR.

Or even simpler do it without any adjustments! Recruit 5 players and run the 4 PC encounters as-is for easy mode, or recruit 3 players and likewise run the 4 PC encounters as-is for hard mode.

On easy mode ignore how long they are taking healing breaks, in hard mode have that orc guard busting down their door after 5min.

Yes, that's what would be in the sidebar; both easier mode through less reactive enemies & hard mode through suggested beefing up.

My comment wasn't looking for such answers (though thanks), it was noting Paizo via PFS already does give such answers.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

That's fair I guess.

As I'm understanding your observation it's basically "At some point you run out of enemies that run at you" and the questions becomes "How long do you have after that?"

And I think the answer has to accommodate the possibility that there is no "after". Either the enemies all come at you, or some leave with the McGuffin. Whatever the answer exact path is, there's no one left and the bad guys got away has to be a possible outcome so the solution needs to include that. Honestly, I think this sort of outcome should be far more common than it probably is. Enemies should probably rarely fight to the last man, unless they just have no sense of overarching goals (or if they have no where else to go).

Against organized groups I think a lot of times you should end up in a situation where you're tracking the enemy between hideouts or on the road. Taking time to rest means the enemy could be moving, preparing traps against you, or resting themselves.

There's never going to be a one size fits all solution, because what I have discussed here is really only one possible path for the encounters to unfold.

Which is why I think we have to put the onus on the AP writers, and for home brew to take the cue from them.


Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

That is what I mean, I would hate to see that codified in mechanical expectations.

Just do what feels natural to the pacing of the story. If there is no reason for the PCs to be stumbled upon then they are never stumbled upon. If the party is camping out in a room after every fight the GM needs to think "how long would it be before someone walks in here".

Codifying it would have a negative impact on the art of GMing imo.


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Kasoh wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.

Under both the PF1 and PF2 experience point rules, defeating a dozen zombies earns the same XP per PC regardless of whether the zombies are encountered isolated one at a time, as a steady stream of zombies one every three rounds, or in a full group all attacking at once.

The difference between the different modes of combat is the risk of overwhelming the party. Defeating a dozen zombies all at once is riskier than defeating one at a time. It also gives a different sense about the enemies. Isolated zombies implies mindless wandering. A stream of zombies implies obedient creatures sent on a mission. A group of zombies, unless forced together by circumstance, implies society.

These different senses should also give a clue whether the party can safely settle down for a 10-minute Treat Wounds. At least, they do with me, because I like my players interpreting clues (and if they misinterpret the clues with a plausible argument, I often go with their interpretation). Mindlessly wandering zombies means that one might wander by after 10 minutes but the party has time for one Treat Wounds. A stream of zombies means that hiding in a side room will be safe. A society of zombies means the zombies might search for the party, so Treating Wounds will be interrupted.

Sadly, intelligent enemies make both Treat Wounds and adventuring with untreated wounds risky.

And yes, my players can affect the time between mobile encounters via their own narration about the reasons why they have time for Treat Wounds. However, one of my players tends to assume the worse from me due to reading about killer GMs online and starts explaining, "The GM could attack us with ...." The other players yell, "Shut up! Don't give the GM ideas." I have plenty of challenging ideas of my own, but if that one paranoid player expects nastiness, then I should sometimes live up to his expectations, right? And if the other players expect forewarning, then I should live up to their expectations sometimes, too. The campaign is their game, I am just the GM who implements the details.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mathmuse wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.
Under both the PF1 and PF2 experience point rules, defeating a dozen zombies earns the same XP per PC regardless of whether the zombies are encountered isolated one at a time, as a steady stream of zombies one every three rounds, or in a full group all attacking at once.

The xp may be the same, but the encounters are drastically different.

In PF1, a zombie is cr 1/2 creature worth 200 xp. Table 12-3 says 12 creatures is equal to CR+7, so 12 zombies is a CR 7 encounter, worth 1400 xp. Or maybe 3200, I don't actually know. I'm a 1400 man myself.

In PF2 a zombie shambler is a -1 level creature, and if fighting a level 1 party is worth 30 xp. Four such zombies is a severe encounter, worth 120 xp. A single encounter of 12 zombie shamblers against a level 1 party is so out of the capacity of PF2's encounter construction mechanics it doesn't even tell me what the encounter level is for 360 xp worth of creatures. And really, you shouldn't be calculating xp for the encounter like that, because you should pick the threat level first to get the xp budget that you pull monsters from.

So, if PF2, if you're going to chain encounters together, they should probably be at least Party Level -3 or -4 or you're probably just going to kill the party.


Kasoh wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.
Under both the PF1 and PF2 experience point rules, defeating a dozen zombies earns the same XP per PC regardless of whether the zombies are encountered isolated one at a time, as a steady stream of zombies one every three rounds, or in a full group all attacking at once.

The xp may be the same, but the encounters are drastically different.

In PF1, a zombie is cr 1/2 creature worth 200 xp. Table 12-3 says 12 creatures is equal to CR+7, so 12 zombies is a CR 7 encounter, worth 1400 xp. Or maybe 3200, I don't actually know. I'm a 1400 man myself.

Except experience as a GM will tell you that despite what the table says, it isn't really a CR+7 challenge. A CR+7 challenge should kill the party.

A group of 12 human zombies isn't much of a threat to level 5 adventurers. They'll take some damage, but the zombies slow movement makes them easy to take out without getting ganged up on.

And that is an example of why CR tables are bad, and experience should be gotten rid of and leveling by plot should be de rigueur.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yeah CR is a terrible tool in extremes but a useful yardstick while you're stumbling to grasp the threat yourself. And the happy-stick of 1E basically means if you're not doing a protracted combined combat them they can normally recover as much as they could without an overnight rest.

I'm currently trying to get that grasp of threat in 2E so I can plan things that are challenging yet fair. I feel like I can toy with an encounter to get it "right" for the party, but I've yet to fully grasp the timing between encounters and I figured if someone had a better feel for it than me maybe it'd help me find it.

I know Paizo's yet to weigh in, but I'm curious what other GM's are finding seems "fair". My current feeling in minimal experience is:
- A Low needs about 10 mins to recover.
- A Medium needs about 30 mins to recover.
- A Severe needs about 2 hrs to recover.
- Failed medicine checks can easily throw an extra hour into the party's recovery time on a Medium/Severe.
- If you throw something at them before that time, it's probably about 40XP harder.
- A Severe will probably kill someone if encountered before the party has the recovery time above.
- Continual recovery likely reduces these timings at higher levels.
(Warning: This is top-of-head and probably wrong - I made this thread cause I'm not sure, not to claim expertise :P )

Part of the thing I was hitting was that people weren't treatable after 1 fight cause it was less than an hour since the last where they got treated. A house-rule I'm considering adding to reduce the time delays needed is to say that the 1 per hour limit on Treat Wounds ends if your wounded condition increases (Mechanically if you go down in a fight you probably need to treat wounds so lets save an hour, thematically there is fresh wounds to treat).


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I was actually reading treat wounds to mean the hour was for that exploration phase. Going into encounter mode resets your exploration timer. The intent is to make healing to full take a lot of exploration time, but doing 10m between every encounter is likely not going to keep up with their dmg so I think it is OK. Not being able to take care of their wounds because they did 3 encounters and it has only been half an hour? Your party is going to start dying with those stacked wounds.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

Except experience as a GM will tell you that despite what the table says, it isn't really a CR+7 challenge. A CR+7 challenge should kill the party.

A group of 12 human zombies isn't much of a threat to level 5 adventurers. They'll take some damage, but the zombies slow movement makes them easy to take out without getting ganged up on.

And that is an example of why CR tables are bad, and experience should be gotten rid of and leveling by plot should be de rigueur.

Granted, I was assuming a APL of 1, as the PF2 example but I didn't specify, so my bad. Zombies aren't terribly dangerous no, but the point was that regardless of how much xp something is worth, if the encounter is balanced or budgeted at X threat level, and you add three times as many, that makes the encounter much more challenging.

If the intention of the adventure is for them to be fought at once, then they should be budgeted appropriately to provide a challenge as 12, not as four, three times.

And if you don't use XP, great. That's not relevant.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
krazmuze wrote:
I was actually reading treat wounds to mean the hour was for that exploration phase. Going into encounter mode resets your exploration timer. The intent is to make healing to full take a lot of exploration time, but doing 10m between every encounter is likely not going to keep up with their dmg so I think it is OK. Not being able to take care of their wounds because they did 3 encounters and it has only been half an hour? Your party is going to start dying with those stacked wounds.

Interesting interpretation. I dont think I'd interpret it that way but it is a house rule I considered. I was worried it opened a messy area around trying to trigger encounter mode to allow healing (Though obviously just saying "lets be fair and I'll rule 0 stupidity" works :p )

But yeah, the other part about rapidly building death was the problem that inspired the thread.


Kasoh wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.
Under both the PF1 and PF2 experience point rules, defeating a dozen zombies earns the same XP per PC regardless of whether the zombies are encountered isolated one at a time, as a steady stream of zombies one every three rounds, or in a full group all attacking at once.

The xp may be the same, but the encounters are drastically different.

In PF1, a zombie is cr 1/2 creature worth 200 xp. Table 12-3 says 12 creatures is equal to CR+7, so 12 zombies is a CR 7 encounter, worth 1400 xp. Or maybe 3200, I don't actually know. I'm a 1400 man myself.

In PF2 a zombie shambler is a -1 level creature, and if fighting a level 1 party is worth 30 xp. Four such zombies is a severe encounter, worth 120 xp. A single encounter of 12 zombie shamblers against a level 1 party is so out of the capacity of PF2's encounter construction mechanics it doesn't even tell me what the encounter level is for 360 xp worth of creatures. And really, you shouldn't be calculating xp for the encounter like that, because you should pick the threat level first to get the xp budget that you pull monsters from.

So, if PF2, if you're going to chain encounters together, they should probably be at least Party Level -3 or -4 or you're probably just going to kill the party.

In PF1 the fractional CRs work differently from the integer CRs. The fractional ones are purely additive, for example, three CR 1/3 creatures combine into a CR 1 challenge. Likewise, two CR 1/2 creatures combine into a CR 1 challenge. The integer CRs are a logarithmic system where doubling the enemy raises the CR by 2 and tripling the enemy raises the CR by 3.17, rounded down to 3. Thus, two CR 1/2 zombies are CR 1. Four CR 1/2 zombies doubles that to CR 3. Twelve CR 1/2 zombies triples the four zombies up to CR 6.

Also, one CR 1/2 zombie is worth 200 xp. Twelve CR 1/2 zombies are worth 12 times the XP, which is 2,400 xp. And 2,400 xp is the value of a CR 6 encounter.

In PF2, with a level -1 zombie shambler, then by Table 10-2, Creature XP and Role, on page 489 against a 1st-level party one zombie shambler would be Party Level - 2 Lackey, so worth 20 xp, not 30 xp. Twelve zombie shamblers would add up to 240 xp which is off the chart. However, against a 3rd-level party, one zombie shambler would be Party Level - 4 Low Lackey worth 10 xp. Twelve zombie shamblers would add up to 120 xp, a Party Level +3 Severe challenge.

Claxon wrote:

Except experience as a GM will tell you that despite what the table says, it isn't really a CR+7 challenge. A CR+7 challenge should kill the party.

A group of 12 human zombies isn't much of a threat to level 5 adventurers. They'll take some damage, but the zombies slow movement makes them easy to take out without getting ganged up on.

And that is an example of why CR tables are bad, and experience should be gotten rid of and leveling by plot should be de rigueur.

A group of 12 human zombies is called a CR 6 challenge, so it ought to be a APL+1 "Challenging" challenge. Really, it is an easy challenge. One reason is that a little battlefield control turns the group of zombies into a much easier encounter against a stream of zombies, only about half as dangerous. Against a party with battlefield control, 12 CR 1/2 zombies are only as dangerous as CR 4.

And this returns us to the original topic of how much time should the party have for Treat Wounds between encounters. A dungeon crawl with no time for rest is like a stream of opponents. It is not as bad as battling the entire dungeon as once, but it is not truly the same as having the encounters one by one. It does not matter if the PCs have a full two minutes between encounters with all enemies dead at their feet if they need 10 minutes to recharge their hit points and focus. That would still count as a stream of opponents.

The respites are necessary otherwise a dungeon crawl will feel like a stream of opponents.

In PF1, parties often heal by wands of Cure Light Wounds and many abilities are used X times per day. One-minute pauses are enough to break the stream of encounters.

The number of 10- and 20-minute respites necessary to break the stream of encounters is unknown until we have more experience with PF2. PF2 creates a new dynamic. The cost of recharing hit points and focus with these rests is the risk of enemies interrupting the respite or reinforcing their defenses out of sight. This cost is more story-oriented cost than the gold-piece price of a wand of Cure Light Woulds. Since my campaigns interact well with the story, this will work for me. For a campaign where the story is arbitary or driven by mysteries beyond the ken of the players, this might not work.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mathmuse wrote:
Better math

Yeah, that sounds more correct. I feel like the point I was trying to make is still fundamentally correct, even if the math wasn't.

But, based on the adventures I've read so far, I think the expectation is that a party should feel 'guaranteed' one short rest of 10 minutes per encounter. Anything else is at the GMs discretion.


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Claxon wrote:
And I think the answer has to accommodate the possibility that there is no "after". Either the enemies all come at you, or some leave with the McGuffin. Whatever the answer exact path is, there's no one left and the bad guys got away has to be a possible outcome so the solution needs to include that. Honestly, I think this sort of outcome should be far more common than it probably is. Enemies should probably rarely fight to the last man, unless they just have no sense of overarching goals (or if they have no where else to go).

This is the solution to all a DM's problems. Enemies should rarely fight to the last man, or to the death. Once they see that they are outmatched or outgunned, they should cut and run.

And they should have their own goals which don't necessarily require a TPK from the party (or from the adversaries) to achieve.

And lesser foes shouldn't akways fight to the death to defend their bosses. Some semblance of morale and the breaking of morale or loyalty lends verisimilitude to our games.

So what's a reasonable post-fight downtime? It depends on the situation, on the intelligence and organizational capacity of the adversaries, on their natural awareness or lack thereof, on the proximity of other foes, on so many things that there can't be a general rule.

But one thing is for sure: there are many situations where the DM is fully justified in interrupting post-fight healing and recharging, even when resources are drained and some PCs are on death's door. If not overused, that can add another level of grit.

Sovereign Court

Kasoh wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
And if it is supposed to be one big fight, it should scored appropriately for xp and number of enemy combatants as a single encounter.
Under both the PF1 and PF2 experience point rules, defeating a dozen zombies earns the same XP per PC regardless of whether the zombies are encountered isolated one at a time, as a steady stream of zombies one every three rounds, or in a full group all attacking at once.

The xp may be the same, but the encounters are drastically different.

(Math abridged)

Basically, the additive approach to CR estimation doesn't work well for 4+ of the same enemy. According to the Rulezz a lot of low-CR enemies are equal to single powerful one, but beyond a certain number of enemies (3-4), their difficulty in hitting PC AC goes over a threshold and their superior numbers don't accomplish so much anymore.

This is particularly prevalent in Starfinder where DR and energy resistance are quite common on PCs, and lower-CR enemies often have trouble both hitting the PCs and damaging them if they hit, so their effectiveness basically decreases at a more-than-linear rate as CR decreases linearly.

Sovereign Court

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krazmuze wrote:
I was actually reading treat wounds to mean the hour was for that exploration phase. Going into encounter mode resets your exploration timer. The intent is to make healing to full take a lot of exploration time, but doing 10m between every encounter is likely not going to keep up with their dmg so I think it is OK. Not being able to take care of their wounds because they did 3 encounters and it has only been half an hour? Your party is going to start dying with those stacked wounds.

I don't think this is the official rule, but it sounds reasonable and practical. "Did you take damage this fight? Then your Treat Wounds counter resets, because you have new wounds that can be treated" is easy to use and makes sense.

Sovereign Court

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Captain Morgan wrote:

To clarify for Mathmuse and Claxon: I'm not saying a new wave of enemies arriving mid combat is a bad thing. It is indeed working as intended and very good to use for any dungeon held by a single organized force.

I'm saying it doesn't really address the topic of the thread: what is a reasonable post fight respite? Because enemies from the adjacent room joining the fight just makes one big fight. Which is all well and good, but eventually the party is going to reach a point where that fight is over and will want to Treat Wounds and such. At which point you gotta figure out how long you let them do it without consequence.

This is more of an art than a science (cliche phrase bingo!). There are no hard rules, and there shouldn't be, because that creates an anti-immersive straitjacket for writers and a gamey situation for players.

But "no hard rules" doesn't mean "no guidelines".

As a GM it's your responsibility not to "schedule" TPKs by forgetting respite. Therefore you need to take respite opportunities into account in adventure design. Discipline yourself to add a "Respite: so and so much opportunity" note to encounter prep.

The heftier the encounter, the more respite needed. Duh. But still no hard rule saying "always X minutes after Y difficulty". Rather, "ballpark X to Y minutes after Z difficulty".

Encounters with no respite between them should be considered more as a single extended encounter and rated for difficulty somewhere in between. Not facing all enemies at once is generally easier than facing them all at once. But back to back encounters are harder than with respite in between. So the aggregated difficulty of a back to back encounter is somewhere between that of what it would be to face them all at once, and the difficulty of the separate encounters.

Respite should be taken into account when designing a dungeon. If you design a dungeon where everything is close together, you're committing yourself to using enemies that won't respond, or to a lot of easy small encounters because there won't plausibly be much respite. If you want bigger encounters (and you probably do) then you need to make your dungeon more spaced-out, or build in respite opportunities.

Amount of respite should not be entirely predictable. Obviously it needs to be somewhat scaled to the difficulty of the encounter, but players shouldn't be taught that "this was a hard fight, we have an hour respite now for sure because that's how it always goes".

[b]The opportunity for respite should be semi-transparent to players./b] Sometimes more than other times. Making decisions on "can/should we rest here" is a part of the game, and you need something to base the decision on. Skills can be helpful to assess the environment and determine the likelihood of interruptions. Studying tracks, knowledge to understand the behavior of monsters, observing guard patterns, interrogating enemies, spotting a good hiding spot. Improving the opportunity for respite makes for a good skill challenge.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
I don't think this is the official rule, but it sounds reasonable and practical. "Did you take damage this fight? Then your Treat Wounds counter resets, because you have new wounds that can be treated" is easy to use and makes sense.

There are so many classes able to heal: Cleric, Champion, Alchemist, Bard, Sorcerer, Druid. Plus potions, plus Medicine. I really think we should get used to the new rules and be sure we have sufficient healing in between fights, not expect 3-hour downtime in the middle of a dungeon.

Sovereign Court

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SuperBidi wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I don't think this is the official rule, but it sounds reasonable and practical. "Did you take damage this fight? Then your Treat Wounds counter resets, because you have new wounds that can be treated" is easy to use and makes sense.
There are so many classes able to heal: Cleric, Champion, Alchemist, Bard, Sorcerer, Druid. Plus potions, plus Medicine. I really think we should get used to the new rules and be sure we have sufficient healing in between fights, not expect 3-hour downtime in the middle of a dungeon.

I think most class-based healing is intended for in-combat spike healing. Dipping into it for general healing drastically shortens the fuel for your adventuring day. It reduces a lot of classes from awesome spellcaster to dreary healbot.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
I think most class-based healing is intended for in-combat spike healing. Dipping into it for general healing drastically shortens the fuel for your adventuring day. It reduces a lot of classes from awesome spellcaster to dreary healbot.

In fact, I think it's the opposite. Casters have to heal between combats for the game to keep balance.

If you give your players enough time to heal without using resources you allow your party to fight without end. So, your dungeon can have 100 combats, it's doable. It gives a great incentive in going martial instead of caster, as you don't need casters much (utility spells can easily be acquired through multiclassing) and because martials keep their efficiency fights after fights.
If you force your party to use resources to heal, then your casters are a must have, as they are nearly the only ones able to heal. And you limit the number of combats the party can make, so at some point your casters will be able to get their spells back. It maintains the balance between martials and casters.


Ascalaphus wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
I don't think this is the official rule, but it sounds reasonable and practical. "Did you take damage this fight? Then your Treat Wounds counter resets, because you have new wounds that can be treated" is easy to use and makes sense.
There are so many classes able to heal: Cleric, Champion, Alchemist, Bard, Sorcerer, Druid. Plus potions, plus Medicine. I really think we should get used to the new rules and be sure we have sufficient healing in between fights, not expect 3-hour downtime in the middle of a dungeon.
I think most class-based healing is intended for in-combat spike healing. Dipping into it for general healing drastically shortens the fuel for your adventuring day. It reduces a lot of classes from awesome spellcaster to dreary healbot.

I tend to see class based healing as a way to keep going after 10 minutes instead of needing to make multiple medicine checks.


Garretmander wrote:
I tend to see class based healing as a way to keep going after 10 minutes instead of needing to make multiple medicine checks.

I can't agree more.

For me, the 10-minute rest period is a good one. It reminds me of Starfinder where it functions well.

I also think it's important for the players to have a standard duration for a respite. As a player, I would hate to have a discussion about "do we take 10 more minutes before going?" after every fight. The game is far more fluid when you have 3 durations: No rest, 10-minute rest, 8-hour rest. So questions about the duration of the rest rarely rise.


Kasoh wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Except experience as a GM will tell you that despite what the table says, it isn't really a CR+7 challenge. A CR+7 challenge should kill the party.

A group of 12 human zombies isn't much of a threat to level 5 adventurers. They'll take some damage, but the zombies slow movement makes them easy to take out without getting ganged up on.

And that is an example of why CR tables are bad, and experience should be gotten rid of and leveling by plot should be de rigueur.

Granted, I was assuming a APL of 1, as the PF2 example but I didn't specify, so my bad. Zombies aren't terribly dangerous no, but the point was that regardless of how much xp something is worth, if the encounter is balanced or budgeted at X threat level, and you add three times as many, that makes the encounter much more challenging.

If the intention of the adventure is for them to be fought at once, then they should be budgeted appropriately to provide a challenge as 12, not as four, three times.

And if you don't use XP, great. That's not relevant.

I disagree because it's still not that simple.

If we imagine an arbitrary scenario where all 12 zombies are coming down a 5ft hallway through a doorway and we have a party of 4 situated on the other side of the door. The party provides a 1 space opening past the doorway so they can surround that square on 3 sides with people. If they have a cleric to do some healing channels they are probably fine. The funnel the enemy into a spot where they get attacked multiple times and killed.

While that's an arbitrary example, the point it proves is that there aren't hard rules about how to adjust for these sorts of things.

The CR table is a useful tool to guide how challenging something might be for your party, but there's so much more that factors in that experience is far more important.

And the experience points part is relevant because too many people chain encounter difficulty and experience gain together and feel like they can't go do certain things because they don't want the party to gain too much XP or feel they owe the party more XP if they do certain things. Which is just a bad way to look at it, IMO.

I would much rather see XP gotten rid of and AP writers say "You should level at this point" and the core rule book just provide extensive guidance on what is and isn't appropriate encounters for your party, that takes into account things like party composition as well as the battlefield.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Claxon wrote:
The CR table is a useful tool to guide how challenging something might be for your party, but there's so much more that factors in that experience is far more important.

Because pedantry, I will note that the PF1 CR chapter mentioned that favorable terrain for either side can affect the CR of the encounter, but we don't agree and that's fine.

My point was that stacking encounters in a dungeon is more difficult than not, and if that's the intent it should be reflected in the difficulty of individual encounters.

SuperBidi wrote:
If you give your players enough time to heal without using resources you allow your party to fight without end. So, your dungeon can have 100 combats, it's doable. It gives a great incentive in going martial instead of caster, as you don't need casters much (utility spells can easily be acquired through multiclassing) and because martials keep their efficiency fights after fights.

I saw this happen in a Dead Suns Starfinder game I ran that had no casters. They would clear every dungeon in one go, taking short rests to recover stamina.

I have to say, it felt pretty great. I didn't have high opinions on the difficulty of Starfinder in general afterwards, but as a play experience, the party was thrilled.


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Kasoh wrote:

I saw this happen in a Dead Suns Starfinder game I ran that had no casters. They would clear every dungeon in one go, taking short rests to recover stamina.

I have to say, it felt pretty great. I didn't have high opinions on the difficulty of Starfinder in general afterwards, but as a play experience, the party was thrilled.

I play Dead Suns with my Mystic, I'm currently at part 6, in a party of martials. I had to spend half of my money in spell gems to keep up with the party pace. If I wasn't able to supplement my spellcasting, I would have stopped the campaign half way, out of boredom. Spell starving is no fun at all.

If Paizo wants casters to be interesting to play, there must be long rests. To force long rests, there must be a resource consumption for martials. Currently, the only resource martials have is hp.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
I don't think this is the official rule, but it sounds reasonable and practical. "Did you take damage this fight? Then your Treat Wounds counter resets, because you have new wounds that can be treated" is easy to use and makes sense.

I wonder if it is RAI rather than RAW. It clearly does say you are blocked from Treat Wounds for an hour. But is there somewhere else in the rules that says encounter timers reset? It seems to me the intent is adventures are assuming a 10m break between fights.

Moderate is taking on a pair of standard creatures or a moderate boss. If you are stupid or very unlucky you might die, if you play smart you can skip a break after.

"Moderate-threat encounters are a serious challenge to the characters, though unlikely to overpower them completely. Characters usually need to use sound tactics and manage their resources wisely to come out of a moderate-threat encounter ready to continue on and face a harder challenge without resting."

string two moderates together for a quartet of standard creatures or two moderate bosses, you will have to start fully rested otherwise someone is going to die.

"Extreme-threat encounters are so dangerous that they are likely to be an even match for the characters, particularly if the characters are low on resources. This makes them too challenging for most uses. An extreme threat encounter might be appropriate for a fully rested group of characters that can go all-out, for the climactic encounter at the end of an entire campaign, or for a group of veteran players using advanced tactics and teamwork."

So lets take 160XP as that is the limit to the encounters table, beyond that is guaranteed deadly. That means the six encounter limit before healing occurs means they are each no more than low-threat lvl-4 trios or each lvl-2 lacky solos.

Which means the roomful of lackys would have to decide to send out another unlucky scout to meet its demise at no less than 10m intervals - anything more those minions are going to win the dungeon.

I think it is way more fun to let everyone take that 10m to heal regardless of what happened after last fight - because you can now stream more interesting encounters than the six-pack of lackys.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

After considering what everyone has had to say I will be allowing a 10 minute rest as a freebie in most cases but using the Tension Pool method for any rests longer than 10 minutes. That seems fair especially since by the rules of the Tension Pool, you are only adding more dice and not always rolling them right at that time.

Sovereign Court

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And the above is subject to exceptional circumstances. They can’t have been noticed by other nearby enemies of course.


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I think the proposed tension pool mechanic being a pool of die is complicated.

Instead how about borrowing the dying/wounded DC adjustment idea as a lull/healed random encounter DC adjustment.

[EDIT better idea to use d20 lull die as the DC].

Use a d20 countdown die for DC itself to track the lulls. The first time they take an hour break, put it on the table at 20.

Let everyone heal on 10m breaks (RAI over RAW), but for each player that takes longer than 10m break to heal, that pushes the lull counter down. Succeed at DC indicated on the lull die and GM does not roll the random encounter after the longer break. If they push on reward them by rolling back the lull die.

You want hard mode - change that die to a d12 or worse.

Sovereign Court

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krazmuze wrote:

I think the proposed tension pool mechanic being a pool of die is complicated.

Instead how about borrowing the dying/wounded DC adjustment mechanic as a lull/healed random encounter DC adjustment.

Let everyone heal on 10m breaks, but everytime players take longer than 10m break to heal, that pushes the lull counter up. Everytime they skip a break and push on, that pushes the lull encounter down. If they have 0 lulls then you are never rolling the random encounter table. Succeed on 10+lull flat DC then you do not roll on the random encounter table for those longer rests.

Get a fancy large magic counter die to remind them for the lulls.

I may just try that, if only for the Lulz!

But I like it and it fits with pF2 thematically. I would be tempted to reduce the likelihood maybe just to 0 + lull though or 5 plus lull.


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I edited my post to refine the idea so it is a countdown d20 which reduces the odds rather than 10+lull - please requote so it does not confuse!

You could call it the LulZ die, but lulls is less on the nose. Someone early in the thread coined it, I just stole the name for my idea!

The same lull die idea works for camping overnite in the dungeon. Figure 8-12 hours (camp, eat, sleep, prepare, eat) - and that lull dies gets rolled roughly halfway down. They got around a 50% chance to have the orc guards pounding on the door in the morning.

Of course rolling the random encounter does not mean a fight. Run the NPCs in their own exploration mode to see if they succeed at seeking out the party. Stumbling onto them in an open room with a fire will be a fight, hiding in a side branch of the sewers with high stealth probably not.

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But based on your new system it would appear it starts harder and gets easier? Shouldn’t the opposite be true?


Kasoh wrote:
Claxon wrote:
The CR table is a useful tool to guide how challenging something might be for your party, but there's so much more that factors in that experience is far more important.

Because pedantry, I will note that the PF1 CR chapter mentioned that favorable terrain for either side can affect the CR of the encounter, but we don't agree and that's fine.

My point was that stacking encounters in a dungeon is more difficult than not, and if that's the intent it should be reflected in the difficulty of individual encounters.

I'm well aware that the chapter included very very minimal guidance about favorable terrain. My point is that its insufficient guidance.

And I absolutely agree that having encounter(s) without being able to heal in between them is more challenging, and produces greater risk to the party for failure. But how much it changes XP shouldn't matter IMO, that's a separate problem. The thing we should be concerned about is if the party can survive the whole scenario that will be sent against them, because the goal is to challenge but not kill the party. If you have a TPK, I consider that a failure as a GM.

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