Treat Wounds OP?


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SuperBidi wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.
I don't think there's a commonly accepted definition of what's fun and what isn't in roleplaying games.

Surprise! Rocks fall and you died. Make a new character.

(Having fun yet?)

Yes, there are different degrees of what people fine fun, but that's not the point here.

thenobledrake wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
I recently had some experience with the Arkham Horror LCG...
If you haven't played it, and like the themes and style of Mythos-related games, I'd suggest Elder Sign. Of all the games in Fantasy Flight's Cthulhu line that I've played it is the one with the best input/output ratio of setup and play and actually achieving things, has decent chances of success, and room to strategize a little bit - plus it hasn't ever unintentionally ran 8 hours long like I've had happen with some other games.

I've played it once, been too long, generally my group favors Eldrich Horror. Still one that doesn't come out often, and it can screw over players, but there's been things that it does that feel awesome (like getting double-blessed) or at least make for great moments (double-cursed!)

Quote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.
This is where the term "telegraphing" comes in. If an extreme threat (or worse) encounter is properly telegraphed the players will be saying "we'll probably die, but let's try it anyways!"

Right, that's what I am getting at. "Surprise! Boss fight!" has no telegraphing. It comes out of no where, there's no preparing for it, its just a slap to the face with the GM (the game, the prewritten adventure, etc) telling you to "git gud." You can't git gud, there was nothing to learn from, it just came out of left field and your only option is to suffer the consequences.

I can think of exactly one scenario where things had awesome results despite being on the "surprise, boss fight" end of the spectrum, but it still had the context that the players are on the final hunt for the big bad red dragon that constitutes the adventure's boss. It was a 2nd ed module, run as 4th ed D&D.

Narrated roughly, the players were wandering through a wreckage of rooms with destroyed walls everywhere and being harried at every turn by kobolds. Fog limiting their vision pervades the area and as they move into a new room, a humongous dragon head looms out of the fog and belches flames in the party's direction. The head itself, IIRC, was listed as being 40 feet long.

Just that description one of the players immediately went, "HOLY #@&%! We run away!" The group was low on resources and already at reduced HP from the constant kobold attacks and knew they couldn't take the boss at that moment. So they rested up and come back "in the morning." Being 4e and stealing the mechanic from one of the other published adventures that your healing surge pool maximum got reduced by 1 every time they rested, there was incentive to push as far as possible.

When they came back, the encounter was over in literally seconds. It wasn't the boss, it was a life-size paper-mache construct manned by the kobolds as the last defense to the dragon's lair. The players blew through its 40 hp in about a round.

Its singular purpose was to surprise and scare off the party and it did its job and proper telegraphing was maintained. If they hadn't run and decided to fight, they would've been fine and still would have had the opportunity to view the final room before engaging the actual boss. And yes, the boss was just that big. Her stat block listed her as being six hundred feet long, IIRC, so the paper mache head being a colossal sized figure was entirely appropriate.


Draco18s wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
"Surprise! Boss fight!" isn't fun.
I don't think there's a commonly accepted definition of what's fun and what isn't in roleplaying games.

Surprise! Rocks fall and you died. Make a new character.

(Having fun yet?)

Yeah, it can be fun.

If the DM is quite clear about it, it's fun. And all the DMs here who insist on not giving hours to rest between encounters are quite clear with their players. If the players know that resting too much can lead to a deadly fight, it will increase tension. Tension can be fun (depends on people, personally, I like it when it's done properly).


Ascalaphus wrote:
One of the biggest very artificial problems here is the tendency to want to put the whole dungeon on one standard flipmat. But that puts the encounters very close together. I think this is bad because you can get a problematic game session because of the shape of your paper.

I think a big part of the problem is that The Dungeon is a specific mode of play, where you do things in excruciating detail. I think it would be interesting to have a dungeon that's nominally large, but that's treated more like a wilderness area or a city with detailed portions separated by more fuzzy areas where you'd have random encounters and stuff like that.

I mean, if you're playing a city adventure, you're rarely detailing how the PCs go down every street, every shop or every inn they pass on their way, and such. They move from point A to point B, and you describe some local color on the way.

Similarly, when the Fellowship of the Ring is exploring Moria, we don't follow every step they take. Moria, for us, basically consists of four locations: the entrance, the Chamber of Mazarbul, the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm, and the exit. Other than that, it's just "the Halls of Moria".

I recall some of the Dark Sun adventures for AD&D2 having dungeons that were essentially flowcharts, and I thought that was a cool idea (although the particular implementation was a bit too random).


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SuperBidi wrote:
Tension can be fun (depends on people, personally, I like it when it's done properly).

"And your dead" doesn't have tension, its frustrating.

Yes, tension can be fun, but when every move results in failure, the game takes on all the tension of Chutes and Ladders.


Draco18s wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Tension can be fun (depends on people, personally, I like it when it's done properly).

"And your dead" doesn't have tension, its frustrating.

Yes, tension can be fun, but when every move results in failure, the game takes on all the tension of Chutes and Ladders.

Little bit of a strawman though, isn't it?

Again, the original context here was players making bad decisions and misjudging a fight.

Certainly there might be some communication issues, but it's a bit absurd to try to twist that into a malicious GM arbitrarily and unilaterally killing everyone because they find it funny.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
One of the biggest very artificial problems here is the tendency to want to put the whole dungeon on one standard flipmat. But that puts the encounters very close together. I think this is bad because you can get a problematic game session because of the shape of your paper.
I think a big part of the problem is that The Dungeon is a specific mode of play, where you do things in excruciating detail. I think it would be interesting to have a dungeon that's nominally large, but that's treated more like a wilderness area or a city with detailed portions separated by more fuzzy areas where you'd have random encounters and stuff like that.

I've been doing things that way, even when I do map out the entirety of a dungeon level, for years - specifically because I kept running into published adventures that either A) had all these little rooms with a few monsters in them that listed tactics like "2 will fight the party while 2 go to AREA 14 to warn others" that when followed through to their natural conclusion were effectively not half a dozen separate areas with an encounter-worth of monsters in them, but a single multi-wave encounter happening in a larger area, or B) had stuff like an encounter here and an encounter there, separated by nothing but a door or just being across a hall, and heavily implying that the monsters in one room give a hard-ignore to the fact that there's fighting going on by not talking about how the creatures respond to the fighting that they definitely should be aware of right next to their listed room.

So now I use encounter area maps with little hallways off the sides that lead towards other areas, or make sure to put long passageways and/or rooms that aren't occupied with creatures on the map between places where creatures definitely will be.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What someone called "telegraphing" an upcoming danger *is* very important. Like you see dragon scales lying around the cavern... gives you a hint of what to expect.


Squiggit wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Tension can be fun (depends on people, personally, I like it when it's done properly).

"And your dead" doesn't have tension, its frustrating.

Yes, tension can be fun, but when every move results in failure, the game takes on all the tension of Chutes and Ladders.

Little bit of a strawman though, isn't it?

I'll let you look back at the original statement. The relevant phrase was "players need to learn..." to which my analogy to Chutes and Ladders is not a strawman. It might be a simplification that taken out of context is hyperbolic, but it isn't a strawman.


Wheldrake wrote:

What someone called "telegraphing" an upcoming danger *is* very important. Like you see dragon scales lying around the cavern... gives you a hint of what to expect.

Of course, a GM giving out hints of what to expect also has to figure out what kind of hinting will actually register for their players.

For example, some players will hear about dragon scales lying around and they will understand that to mean a dragon was in this location sometime prior to now but will not have it occur to them that the GM might be trying to say it looks like a dragon has been here recently or that the dragon in question is potentially too dangerous to face head-on.

That's why there's that rule of 3 for clues or whatever it's called where basically you think up how many clues you think it should take for people to get the idea you are conveying and then triple that amount because otherwise odds are your players won't get it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I didn't read every post but it seems like people don't know or forgotten about Godless healing. This feat is amazing if you don't have a patron deity. Every hour you can have Battle Medicine to be used on yourself in combat I mean this isn't something you should solely rely on but hey the option is there so if you do have someone looking to TDW this is a great feat to have.

All of my characters that can take this feat will. Because the best part is you can use Battle Medicine on yourself and not rely on anyone else if need be.


Micheal Smith wrote:

I didn't read every post but it seems like people don't know or forgotten about Godless healing. This feat is amazing if you don't have a patron deity. Every hour you can have Battle Medicine to be used on yourself in combat I mean this isn't something you should solely rely on but hey the option is there so if you do have someone looking to TDW this is a great feat to have.

All of my characters that can take this feat will. Because the best part is you can use Battle Medicine on yourself and not rely on anyone else if need be.

Don't mind me, just scribbling down notes for when PF2 games get rolling.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Put it this way, is it my fault my players are 4 spear chucking traps in the same room bu charging ahead? I dont think so. They found that a learning moment and are now pretty good about attempting the seek action over a -10 attack every now and then.

Now it would have been my fault to turn that into a tpk instead of a capture and enjoyable negotiation scene.


I think there's a difference between letting your players know they won't always be able to take a 10min break if they don't pull back first, and never letting your players take a 10min break unless they go back to town.

I also understand GMs interrupting the player's third and fourth 10min break in a row... it gets a bit silly eventually.


Treat wounds is fine to me.

It is up to a dm to create situations and environements where players are not always allowed to rest for 10 minutes.

This will put the group in a corner.

They could wait or decide to use healing spells.

Eventually they could start not wasting all their focus spell for offensive use only ( ex a champion trading litanies for loh ).

Finally, if the party managed its spells, consumables and focus not in the proper way ( or simply because the fight turned out to be almost a critical defeat ), the party could consider to withdraw from the expedition instead of pushing further.

Ofc If a game master allows them to rest after every single fight, then there would probably not be a great challenge at all.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Ofc If a game master allows them to rest after every single fight, then there would probably not be a great challenge at all.

And this is the exact problem with using this skill as out of combat healing.

Are you - from a meta point of view - expected or required to start every single battle from full health

or

are you, while exploring - from a meta point of view - expected to only rest for approx. 10 min after each encounter.

If the former is the case then any random encounter or tension pool for longer breaks is nonesense. If the later is the case then chances for a random encounter or a tension pool do make sense.

So what was the meta intention of Paizo?

Note that is not about story or detailed scenarios like a chase, where time constraints may be way more prominent. I would just like to know how the supposed X battles a day are to be handled in regards to after combat healing.


As a player I tend to push without full rest, because I find abusing of it not amusing nor realistic.

I also think that paizo provvided the Basic stuff, and that both players and game Masters should do the rest.

On the other hand, imagine a party without medicine. Able to only rely on focus spells, spells and consumables. The progression would be even more challenging.

The point is that it is Normal to proceed in the safest way. That's why it would mostly be up to the GM to set the pace and decide how the whole stuff will work out.


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Ubertron_X wrote:

Are you - from a meta point of view - expected or required to start every single battle from full health

or

are you, while exploring - from a meta point of view - expected to only rest for approx. 10 min after each encounter.

They are not mutually exclusive: You are expected to start every single battle from full health and you are usually expected to rest for 10mn after each encounter.


SuperBidi wrote:
They are not mutually exclusive: You are expected to start every single battle from full health and you are usually expected to rest for 10mn after each encounter.

Of course they are not exclusive but the question is how realistic is such a scenario?

For example we started our last "adventure day (i.e. after resting)" with a severe encounter and my cleric already is out of combat heals after the very first encounter.

So, do we rest another "night", or do we press on with only 10min of medicine after every encounter, or do we rest like 30min to 40min after each encounter, so I can treat everyone at least once?

Because I can not see my group staying at somewhat near full health when I can "only" treat one guy after every encounter, even if we only have easy encounters for the rest of that day (apart from the fact that entering the fray without combat heals is not ideal to begin with).


Ubertron_X wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
They are not mutually exclusive: You are expected to start every single battle from full health and you are usually expected to rest for 10mn after each encounter.

Of course they are not exclusive but the question is how realistic is such a scenario?

For example we started our last "adventure day (i.e. after resting)" with a severe encounter and my cleric already is out of combat heals after the very first encounter.

So, do we rest another "night", or do we press on with only 10min of medicine after every encounter, or do we rest like 30min to 40min after each encounter, so I can treat everyone at least once?

Because I can not see my group staying at somewhat near full health when I can "only" treat one guy after every encounter, even if we only have easy encounters for the rest of that day (apart from the fact that entering the fray without combat heals is not ideal to begin with).

It's a bit more complicated than that.

One difference between PF1 and PF2 is that martials have no more "X times per day" abilities (like the old Smite Evil, Rage and so on). The result being that they don't care about long rests.
If they can only rely on mundane healing, they can go on without long rests for dozens of fights.
On the other hand, casters have a real need for long rests, and nearly all casters can heal (save from Arcane ones).

If you force your party to use magical healing, at some point, even your martials will need to rest. So, there will be a general rythm inside your party, with encounters, short rests, and occasional long rests.

Now, for your specific question, if the party faces an encounter that deprive your casters of their resources, then you need a long rest. If your first fight deprives your casters of their resources, there's an issue somewhere. Either the fight was too hard, either your casters don't have enough heals, either your casters are casting without caring about sustainability. But the question is not about the need for a long rest.
You say the fight was a Severe encounter. Severe encounters are supposed to be rare. You're not supposed to meet many of them during an adventuring day. I find it perfectly normal to stop the adventuring day after one of them if it went a bit badly.


Here's what I think the meta-expectation is based on how the relevant bit of rules work:

After a combat encounter take the time to attempt treat wounds on each wounded character in the party - and while this is going on, characters are doing things like refocusing, repairing shields, identifying magic items, or whatever else they can benefit from that works on the 10 minute time scale.

Use resource-based healing for bumping up HP totals if these attempts fail (and of course when you need some healing mid-combat).

And when you get higher level and can do so, take the feat that makes treating a whole party take less time because hanging around for 40 minutes like you've been doing is a greater risk of an encounter coming along while you aren't really ready than only needing 10 minutes would be - and I'd be surprised if the GMG doesn't present a suggestion to have a low-chance check for encounters made every 10 minutes or each hour to match to the between encounter healing time-frame.


Draco18s wrote:


I'll let you look back at the original statement. The relevant phrase was "players need to learn..." to which my analogy to Chutes and Ladders is not a strawman. It might be a simplification that taken out of context is hyperbolic, but it isn't a strawman.

I think you're reading a tone into the remark that wasn't intended. I take "players need to learn" in the same tone as:

You got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

It's not badwrongfun for a DM to include encounters that the PCs should not expect to win in a toe-to-toe throw down. That they're meant to trick, ambush, avoid, evade, or talk their way out of.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

Sure that is OK to make the supposed to run from encounter when you know what you are doing. The encounter design in PF2e is very clear about taking breaks frequently, with specific encounter difficulties saying break or die. If you are aware of those rules and chose to ignore them, and your players have bought into running your death gauntlet - cool! Otherwise - not cool.

My point though was about reading the rules, there are a lot of 5e DMs coming over and their players complaining about TPK on reddit. It is because the DM did not learn how to GM PF2e and just assumed it was the same.

In 5e you are supposed to do many difficult encounters before lunch hour and it is intended that you chain encounters together, but that simply is not a survivable pace in PF2e. Breaking after each combat in 5e makes it pretty boring as there is no threat of dying.

You can also not run an old school dungeon crawl in PF2e, as old school rules the monsters did not have more accurate attacks that multiplied the crit possibilities that do double damage 3x a turn. PF2e is very swingy because they know it makes combat more tactical with more tension about dying, rather than balance that they added hero points and 10m focus heal breaks to compensate.

So it comes back to reading the rules...and learning how the game plays before you decide to break the rules.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
Ubertron_X wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
They are not mutually exclusive: You are expected to start every single battle from full health and you are usually expected to rest for 10mn after each encounter.

Of course they are not exclusive but the question is how realistic is such a scenario?

For example we started our last "adventure day (i.e. after resting)" with a severe encounter and my cleric already is out of combat heals after the very first encounter.

So, do we rest another "night", or do we press on with only 10min of medicine after every encounter, or do we rest like 30min to 40min after each encounter, so I can treat everyone at least once?

Because I can not see my group staying at somewhat near full health when I can "only" treat one guy after every encounter, even if we only have easy encounters for the rest of that day (apart from the fact that entering the fray without combat heals is not ideal to begin with).

The rules are pretty clear - even a moderate encounter will likely need a break. Severe encounters are intended for the level boss, which means it assumed you will be going into downtime afterwards, win or lose.

"
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.

Severe-threat encounters are the hardest encounters most groups of characters can consistently defeat. These encounters are most appropriate for important moments in your story, such as confronting a final boss. Bad luck, poor tactics, or a lack of resources due to prior encounters can easily turn a severe-threat encounter against the characters, and a wise group keeps the option to disengage open.
"

You might be playing Plaguestone which completely disregard encounter balance rules....opens lvl2 with two severe encounters back to back.

Every Medicine trained PC should have healers tools for Treat Wounds, relying on cleric is wasting precious break time. Pretty much any class, background or ancestry with WIS bonuses should be taking it. But even so clerics can take feats to improve ability to heal more faster. You should have lots more healing output than one per break.


People keep saying "swingy' when talking about PF2 and I am very much feeling like Inigo Montoya about it:

"You keep saying that word... I do not think it means what you think it means."


krazmuze wrote:


You can also not run an old school dungeon crawl in PF2e, as old school rules the monsters did not have more accurate attacks that multiplied the crit possibilities that do double damage 3x a turn. PF2e is very swingy because they know it makes combat more tactical with more tension about dying, rather than balance that they added hero points and 10m focus heal breaks to compensate.

Does that apply to dungons in PF1 adventure paths as well? Is the 15 or so combat encounters in the Thistletop dungeon in RotRL, for example, a TPK waiting to happen? Do I need to substantially reduce the number of encounters in dungeons when I convert RotRL to PF2?


Haffrung wrote:
Does that apply to dungons in PF1 adventure paths as well? Is the 15 or so combat encounters in the Thistletop dungeon in RotRL, for example, a TPK waiting to happen? Do I need to substantially reduce the number of encounters in dungeons when I convert RotRL to PF2?

You don't necessarily need to reduce the number of encounters, as you can achieve a non-lethal result by being lenient about random encounters and letting the party take time to patch up between encounters.

Plus, in your conversion work you can tweak the encounters toward the lower end of the threat level scale to facilitate the party being better able to handle them more rapidly overall.

an "old school dungeon crawl" is totally possible with PF2, it just requires deliberate set-up to make it work - rather than just keeping the same number of the same type of creatures but using the new rules version instead of the old.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
Haffrung wrote:

Does that apply to dungons in PF1 adventure paths as well? Is the 15 or so combat encounters in the Thistletop dungeon in RotRL, for example, a TPK waiting to happen? Do I need to substantially reduce the number of encounters in dungeons when I convert RotRL to PF2?

I would read thru the dungeon and see if there are any logical 10m break locations so you can use moderate encounters leading to a severe boss. Anywhere it does not make sense to break, then add up sequential encounter XP ... if it comes up to severe or extreme and you still do not have logical breaks then step down the encounter difficulty. You do not want every encounter being a multiple critting boss level of difficulty, instead you want to wear them down - which is what low and trivial encounters are for. Port the encounter idea into low/trivials, do not port the exact numbers/creatures. Another option is wait for gamemastery level removal rules, which will widen the +/-4 threat range and reduce boss threat levels (at the cost of increased minion power)

Plaguestone was written with serial dungeons of excessive difficulty. The first one had winding chambers that gave 10m isolation between rooms. Most of the others are written that the subsequent encounter is not going to aggro into the first otherwise they are meant to combine into totaling up to a severe. The NPC are laying in wait for PCs or preoccupied with their tasks and will not cross rooms. The worst part is the orc fort which as designed ends up as a beyond deadly yard fight with a sniper - it requires creative play to solve that (PC snipers)

Play experience so far has been the encounter difficulties are dead on. Unless they find a creative bypass (like feeding the snarling wolves and turning them into friendly puppers) severe does indeed mean go all after resting then need to go back to camp level of difficulty - and if camp is unsafe from randoms then they need to get back to town. If you insist on 10m break only every two moderates - there is very high risk players will not survive the level.


Haffrung wrote:
Draco18s wrote:


I'll let you look back at the original statement. The relevant phrase was "players need to learn..." to which my analogy to Chutes and Ladders is not a strawman. It might be a simplification that taken out of context is hyperbolic, but it isn't a strawman.

I think you're reading a tone into the remark that wasn't intended. I take "players need to learn" in the same tone as:

You got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

It's not badwrongfun for a DM to include encounters that the PCs should not expect to win in a toe-to-toe throw down. That they're meant to trick, ambush, avoid, evade, or talk their way out of.

I agree with this with a caveat. The players need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not something they're gonna win if they charge in. There's plenty of ways to go about this thankfully. My favorite is making a redshirt NPC that hurls insults at the party and then showing them how much damage he took.

Yes that is above your max HP, yes that was one attack, and yes I am playing Is That Blood Thine or Thy Enemy's.

Now run

Sovereign Court

Haffrung wrote:

You got to know when to hold 'em

Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

So question, now that it takes actions to make knowledge checks, which makes it harder to combine with doing first round stuff like positioning, raising shields and all that.

Aren't parties having a harder time knowing these things?

Sovereign Court

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Ubertron_X wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Ofc If a game master allows them to rest after every single fight, then there would probably not be a great challenge at all.

And this is the exact problem with using this skill as out of combat healing.

Are you - from a meta point of view - expected or required to start every single battle from full health

or

are you, while exploring - from a meta point of view - expected to only rest for approx. 10 min after each encounter.

If the former is the case then any random encounter or tension pool for longer breaks is nonesense. If the later is the case then chances for a random encounter or a tension pool do make sense.

So what was the meta intention of Paizo?

Note that is not about story or detailed scenarios like a chase, where time constraints may be way more prominent. I would just like to know how the supposed X battles a day are to be handled in regards to after combat healing.

I think Paizo did not have one universal intention. Rather, I think they wanted a system that lets you do a variety of things like:

- A series of small encounters, but quickly leading into each other with no rest.
- Bigger encounters, but with more insulation between them so you can rest up a bit.
- Skill challenges to find safe hiding spots that give you more time to rest.
- The occasional big battle that you know is coming so you can really prepare for it.
- The occasional rude surprise just as you thought you had a chance to rest, but a few more critters show up and now it's pretty scary even though these monsters are not normally a big problem.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
I agree with this with a caveat. The players need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not something they're gonna win if they charge in. There's plenty of ways to go about this thankfully.

Quite. Too often "surprise! bad stuff!" isn't something that I, as a player, could have known or anticipated as being possible when it happens. I went in with a certain expectation and got blindsided by a surprise boss/trap/whatever that instantly wrecks my face with no warning, no ability to mitigate, and once resolved I'm no longer in shape to "run away."

That is not fun, and yes, I'm going to say it, it is bad wrong to do it to players. It is actively hostile and creates a Players vs GM environment that gets very toxic very quickly.


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Ubertron_X wrote:
So what was the meta intention of Paizo?

Probably to make a system vague enough so that different GMs and different players can all enjoy the game.

I play for fun. If I'm GMing a homebrew and my players make a stupid decision, that decision will absolutely turn out to be the more fun one - whether I need to halve the enemy's hit points or scatter a few CCW potions on the battlefield or engineer it that their hasty approach made them catch the BBEG on the latrine. If I'm playing a homebrew, I trust my GM to make all of my ill-advised decisions part of the story.

Some people have more fun if they're not starting every encounter with surprise and full health and full spells. Some people have less fun. The rules should support both approaches.

PFS players have different motivations - which is why PFS encounters are pretty soft. When you have potentially unoptimized characters and potentially useless characters, you can't TPK everyone who do something ill-advised.

If GMs want to punish players for not resting enough or resting too much, that's totally fine, and also within the bounds of the game. But it's going to detract from the fun if players are unexpectedly punished either way.


Draco18s wrote:
HyperMissingno wrote:
I agree with this with a caveat. The players need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is not something they're gonna win if they charge in. There's plenty of ways to go about this thankfully.
Quite. Too often "surprise! bad stuff!" isn't something that I, as a player, could have known or anticipated as being possible when it happens. I went in with a certain expectation and got blindsided by a surprise boss/trap/whatever that instantly wrecks my face with no warning, no ability to mitigate, and once resolved I'm no longer in shape to "run away."

This can even happen on fights you're meant to fight. I was forced to sit out of a the final fight of a book in an AP because of a trap that came out of nowhere. The worst part is the book went from "If you can deal with the premise it's amazing!" to "It's mostly good but your DM NEEDS to adjust the last fight or it's for sure to be a buzzkill on multiple levels."


HyperMissingno wrote:
This can even happen on fights you're meant to fight. I was forced to sit out of a the final fight of a book in an AP because of a trap that came out of nowhere. The worst part is the book went from "If you can deal with the premise it's amazing!" to "It's mostly good but your DM NEEDS to adjust the last fight or it's for sure to be a buzzkill on multiple levels."

I got forced out of a boss fight at the end of...chapter 2? of Mummy's Mask because I failed my will save against Fear (to be fair, my will save was my worst, but there was no ability for the rest of the party to do anything about it).


Just a note, interrupting a rest should probably be done with low threat encounters, not moderate or severe.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think without a shadow of a doubt is a good thing for any element of storytelling. The only way to make things like that is to basically railroad.

Sovereign Court

Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think without a shadow of a doubt is a good thing for any element of storytelling. The only way to make things like that is to basically railroad.

Well it becomes necessary if you plot things where the players absolutely must do a thing, like flee from a monster that they can't handle.

I mean, you were basically already railroading when you decided to put down a monster that must be fled from. So I guess it's a symptom of a problem with your plotting?


I don't see where it's more railroading to put a monster the PCs must flee than a monster the PCs must fight...


I do a lot of playing in sandbox environments. Players know up-front that some of the stuff they can run into is way out of their league. And no, I'm not obliged to telegraph the specific cases where it is out of their league.

Basically, my campaigns do not operate on the assumption of a carefully calibrated sequences of encounters that the PCs can expect to be fair and balanced fights. Scouting, evasion, and retreat are crucial skills, and will be required often.

That approach to the game isn't for everybody, but it works for us.


Draco18s wrote:


That is not fun, and yes, I'm going to say it, it is bad wrong to do it to players. It is actively hostile and creates a Players vs GM environment that gets very toxic very quickly.

A superficially hostile DM vs player attitude can be a lot of fun. Ever listen to the Glass Cannon Podcast? Troy isn't the only DM who spices up the play at his table with a villainous, goading attitude. YMMV of course.


SuperBidi wrote:
I don't see where it's more railroading to put a monster the PCs must flee than a monster the PCs must fight...

Railroading is only a problem when the players feel like they're being forced to do something they don't want to. No-one worries that the players are being railroaded into exploring a dungeon if they want to explore the dungeon.

Usually players make characters who want to challenge dangerous foes, because cowardly or pacifistic characters wouldn't be motivated to go on the adventure in the first place. Any time they're expected to run away, you're making them act against their nature. That's what feels like railroading.

(Plus, unless you can teleport the party, it's unusual that the characters will have a good opportunity to escape - most dangerous foes are fast, and by the time you've spotted that someone is too strong for you, at least one party member is usually bleeding to death on the floor. So if this suddenly changes at the exact same time you run into the one enemy who turns out not to be within 3 of your level, it feels pretty contrived.)


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think without a shadow of a doubt is a good thing for any element of storytelling. The only way to make things like that is to basically railroad.

Well it becomes necessary if you plot things where the players absolutely must do a thing, like flee from a monster that they can't handle.

I mean, you were basically already railroading when you decided to put down a monster that must be fled from. So I guess it's a symptom of a problem with your plotting?

My point is the only way to do "you should run here" without a shadow of a doubt is to say to the players "hey this guy is levels above you, run." Which strips them of their agency. Setting the scene as is and letting the players make the choice, come what may, encourages their agency. For there to be a choice, there must not be 100% knowledge of the best option.


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Malk_Content wrote:
For there to be a choice, there must not be 100% knowledge of the best option.

That's not something I can agree with. It's like saying that in order for someone to be in charge of what they are going to eat, they can't know their own dietary needs and restrictions and the ingredients of the food options they have before them.

"This is almost definitely not going to go well, but I'm doing it anyway" is a choice.

Ignorance doesn't enhance agency.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
thenobledrake wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
For there to be a choice, there must not be 100% knowledge of the best option.

That's not something I can agree with. It's like saying that in order for someone to be in charge of what they are going to eat, they can't know their own dietary needs and restrictions and the ingredients of the food options they have before them.

"This is almost definitely not going to go well, but I'm doing it anyway" is a choice.

Ignorance doesn't enhance agency.

I mean if most people who actually knew 100% what they ingested did to them, would probably make different choices.

Call it a matter of personal preference, but I've played in games where its been 100% obvious what is an is not meant to be the path for the PCs and they've all been railroady games I've dropped in a few sessions. Sure there are occasional moments when you know it is suicide but go for it anyway but those are (in my experience) almost always the heroic last hurrah at the end of a campaign.

Now I'm not saying that pcs shouldn't be informed, I'm also a fan of investing heavily into good descriptions. Just I believe there is a (not so clear) line where perfect knowledge doesn't increase player options.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think without a shadow of a doubt is a good thing for any element of storytelling. The only way to make things like that is to basically railroad.

Well it becomes necessary if you plot things where the players absolutely must do a thing, like flee from a monster that they can't handle.

I mean, you were basically already railroading when you decided to put down a monster that must be fled from. So I guess it's a symptom of a problem with your plotting?

My point is the only way to do "you should run here" without a shadow of a doubt is to say to the players "hey this guy is levels above you, run." Which strips them of their agency. Setting the scene as is and letting the players make the choice, come what may, encourages their agency. For there to be a choice, there must not be 100% knowledge of the best option.

Gonna disagree, sometimes you want your players to interact with the bbeg. They can attack him, but if they do they'll need to run.


Perfect knowledge doesn't increase player options, but it doesn't decrease them either - it is entirely irrelevant as to what options can be taken, despite how it might impact the way a player feels about the options on hand.

A scenario can exist in which the players are fully informed as to what their choices mean, and one of those choices is to face a combat encounter well outside what the game presents as "for" them, and the players choose that option over all the others available.

And if that scenario has been crafted delicately (I can't think of a better word - but I mean pushing the boundary a noticeable amount rather than deliberately going overboard, such as using a monster 6 levels higher than the party but not one 15 levels higher or what have you) maybe the players even managed to win despite it being clearly a bad choice to try.

In my experience players generally don't mind the outlandish odds of survival - they mind not being the ones deliberately choosing those odds.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Call it agree to disagree then. For my group we prefer to only really know what our characters know. When it comes to brass tactics some knowledge of the game behind the scenes is inevitable and even desired but we've never enjoyed knowing more than we have to.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

Actually in PF2e a +6 lvl is surely TPK...just as bad as the +15. The players do not need to understand the system math, but the GM surely should not jump them with a +6 thinking it would be tough but should work if the cooperate tactically...if they do that out of ignorance then that is bad. If they did it knowing the math that this is the suicide or run preview of the upcoming boss fight in a few levels, then it is OK as long as session 0 covered that this is the type of game you will be playing.


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Just read up on Stamina & Hit Points from Starfinder. That's a cool idea. Hadn't come across that before. I like how Stamina represents your endurance, whilst HPs are you taking actual damage. Shame they didn't go with something similar for P2e.


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"prefer to only really know what our characters know" and knowing, as an example, there is a fully-grown dragon that lives in that abandoned mine are not actually two different things though.

People are, in my experience at least, not trying to avoid knowing things that their character doesn't know when they talk about knowing game information - because a character knows things which are communicated to the player most clearly and accurately through game information (example: "this monster is 3 levels higher than you are are" is game information that the character doesn't know, but does communicate to the player information that the character does know such as "this monster looks significantly more dangerous than I am") - they are trying to avoid a particular method of learning the information their character knows.

They want to have just the part where the NPCs keep warning them of danger, and the DM describes claw marks in stone, many carcasses and discarded bits of weapons and armor, the foul stench of rot, the cloying feeling of doom on the air... and act like the other bits aren't just that same information in a different language.

"It's sweltering out today" vs. "It is currently 35 Celsius"

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