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Kasoh wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
I want you to consider a scenario. Your party triggers a trap and it spawns a shadow clone of you with your exact gear/stats. It is a copy of a super accomplished and...
I don't get the question. Its a clone of your character. You just write down the the max HP and have the fighter roll against himself. Heck, make the player play both sheets.

I think the point of the question is something along the lines of "A level 15 enemy is a level 15 enemy, whatever you answer to those subquestions applies to any Equal Level monster, give or take.

Also, I would not personally advise having the same player play both sheets. They're far more likely to hold back and go easy on themselves and the party.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Shinigami02 wrote:
Kasoh wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
I want you to consider a scenario. Your party triggers a trap and it spawns a shadow clone of you with your exact gear/stats. It is a copy of a super accomplished and...
I don't get the question. Its a clone of your character. You just write down the the max HP and have the fighter roll against himself. Heck, make the player play both sheets.

I think the point of the question is something along the lines of "A level 15 enemy is a level 15 enemy, whatever you answer to those subquestions applies to any Equal Level monster, give or take.

Also, I would not personally advise having the same player play both sheets. They're far more likely to hold back and go easy on themselves and the party.

Weird. My players love trying to kill the party while dominated.


Balkoth wrote:

I want you to consider a scenario. Your party triggers a trap and it spawns a shadow clone of you with your exact gear/stats. It is a copy of a super accomplished and amazing level 15 (or whatever high level you want) fighter.

Please tell me what you think is appropriate for the following:

A, your hit chance against it
B, its miss chance against you
C, your miss chance against it
D, its hit chance against you
E, how it's HP compares to your HP (percentage-wise)
F, how it's damage per hit compares to your damage per hit (percentage-wise)

That's easy. PF2's design is such that AC doesn't keep up with to-hit rates.

At level 15...
Fighter to-hit is 30
Fighter AC is 35

Both of those values are in line for what monster stats are at level 15, too. Monster damage scales up faster than player damage, but I don't have ready access to those numbers at the moment. A 15th level fighter should have in the neighborhood of 220 hp, level 15 creatures have 330 (except the demilich, which is a spellcaster).

As for what I think it should be, I think it should be a hard fight. One that's going to tax the party, but not something that is typical.


Shinigami02 wrote:
I think the point of the question is something along the lines of "A level 15 enemy is a level 15 enemy, whatever you answer to those subquestions applies to any Equal Level monster, give or take.

That's part of it.

There was a specific claim of

"If I've attempted to make the best fighter I can and still miss more often than I hit, and still take more hits than are missed against me...well to be honest I feel f!%~ing stupid."

and I'd like to understand the percentages he's hoping for in these regards.

Draco18s wrote:

That's easy. PF2's design is such that AC doesn't keep up with to-hit rates.

At level 15...
Fighter to-hit is 30
Fighter AC is 35

No no no, not talking details like AB/AC or system specific stuff. I want to note the percentage chances he'd expect.

For example, he might say "I want to hit them 65% of the time and have them miss me 65% of the time" and then that gives us something to go off of.


Balkoth wrote:
For example, he might say "I want to hit them 65% of the time and have them miss me 65% of the time" and then that gives us something to go off of.

Ok, well, in that case, I would expect to land a hit on an opponent about 65% of the time.

As a fighter wearing medium or heavy armor, I expect to get hit about half the time.

A champion who's supposed to be that +2 better at armor than a fighter, but not have the +2 to hit stuff (whatever those values mean), I'd expect those numbers to be reversed.


Balkoth wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
I think the point of the question is something along the lines of "A level 15 enemy is a level 15 enemy, whatever you answer to those subquestions applies to any Equal Level monster, give or take.

That's part of it.

There was a specific claim of

"If I've attempted to make the best fighter I can and still miss more often than I hit, and still take more hits than are missed against me...well to be honest I feel f!%~ing stupid."

and I'd like to understand the percentages he's hoping for in these regards.

Draco18s wrote:

That's easy. PF2's design is such that AC doesn't keep up with to-hit rates.

At level 15...
Fighter to-hit is 30
Fighter AC is 35

No no no, not talking details like AB/AC or system specific stuff. I want to note the percentage chances he'd expect.

For example, he might say "I want to hit them 65% of the time and have them miss me 65% of the time" and then that gives us something to go off of.

Ball park numbers?

75% success rate for first attack (giving 2nd attacks a 50% success rate, and 3rd attacks a 25% success rate). For defense I'd like to see about a 50% success rate for monster's primary attack with specialist into armor able to reduce that (currently everyone who isn't using a shield and/or heavy armor has the same AC).


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

I hear people talking about how frustrating it is to miss so much, but I'm surprised that the events at either of my tables never line up with all that. I've got one game just a hair shy of level 9 (Age of Ashes) and the other mostly through Fall of Plaguestone.

I have to date only had one player say they felt like they couldn't succeed enough. And funnily that was the player who necessitated all players at this table switch the Roll20 dice bot because this dude was lying about his dice rolls. He went from never rolling below a 13 to rolling 10 or below half the time, so I guess I can understand how that doesn't feel rewarding? Haha.

But really. Two 5-player tables and no actual complaints about never hitting.

Yeah, they get hit a lot, but both tables have a dedicated cleric by chance, so they see insane healing values in response. No one has really complained about how much damage they take either, though the Plaguestone campaign was warned before they started that some fights might really, really suck.

And all this without particularly effective use of flanking, demoralizing, debuffing spells, maneuvers of any sort... Maybe my tables are just weird. I just think sometimes looking at raw, sad math makes things look really bleak when in practice they actually run pretty well?


Sporkedup wrote:
I just think sometimes looking at raw, sad math makes things look really bleak when in practice they actually run pretty well?

Check out my data visualizer. I still need to go through and add every class at every possible level, but I've got the major milestones.

Skill checks are the one thing that noticably improves as you level, and at low level even a specialist needs to roll a 14+ to succeed (at level 20, its more like 3+).

Weirdly the peak for various class effectiveness is somewhere around 10-15, depending on the exact (non-skill) attribute in question, as by 15th you've picked up Master in whatever and aren't going to see a further improvement (legendary ratings are rare) or the bump you get doesn't keep pace with the difficulty rise. If your stat started at a 16, this is the point where you've applied the last boost you can to an attribute, as well. Your 20th level boost can only get you to an odd number.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Draco18s wrote:
Sporkedup wrote:
I just think sometimes looking at raw, sad math makes things look really bleak when in practice they actually run pretty well?

Check out my data visualizer. I still need to go through and add every class at every possible level, but I've got the major milestones.

Skill checks are the one thing that noticably improves as you level, and at low level even a specialist needs to roll a 14+ to succeed (at level 20, its more like 3+).

Weirdly the peak for various class effectiveness is somewhere around 10-15, depending on the exact (non-skill) attribute in question, as by 15th you've picked up Master in whatever and aren't going to see a further improvement (legendary ratings are rare) or the bump you get doesn't keep pace with the difficulty rise. If your stat started at a 16, this is the point where you've applied the last boost you can to an attribute, as well. Your 20th level boost can only get you to an odd number.

That's not really a response to Sporkeup's point.

Them: "I just think sometimes looking at raw, sad math makes things look really bleak when in practice they actually run pretty well?"

You: "Have more raw, sad math."


Sporkedup wrote:
I just think sometimes looking at raw, sad math makes things look really bleak when in practice they actually run pretty well?

Speaking from my own experience, I and one of my party-mates in Age of Ashes have absolutely felt the lack of accuracy. My party-mate tends to just react poorly to missing in general, so they're a bit of an edge case, so I'll leave them aside for now. In my case though... I had a Giant Instinct Barbarian right up until she died against the big boss of book 1. It actually became a bit of a running joke among us that we weren't entirely sure why she was there, given she could barely hit the broad side of a barn, got hit very easily, and had very few actually useful skills in that part of the adventure. Now admittedly she did start with only 16 Strength (and in fact was straight up 1 stat boost behind the rest of the party, the rule to take 2 flaws for an extra boost tends to do that, but, well...) and in hindsight Elf Barbarian might not have been the wisest move. In addition, my AC was pretty much the worst in the party... as is to be expected as a Giant Instinct Barbarian, that -2 to AC between Oversized Weapon and Rage Penalty hurts. And then add on to that I just have a reputation for being unlucky so I was straight up missing 80-85% of the attacks I made. There were a great many fights where literally the only contribution I successfully made was providing flanking for the other melees (which was 2 of the other 3 players and their Warg companions). But on the other hand, for the attacks I did land, I did hit like a truck, with my 2d12+9 damage once I got my Striking rune (which I, like all of our melee people, did as soon as we could afford one).


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Captain Morgan wrote:
That's not really a response to Sporkeup's point.

Ok, have some vague experiencial unvalidated opinion:

My group did some PF2. We all came away sour because we couldn't hit things, make skill checks, succeed at saving throws, or feel like actual adventurers and more like characters in a survival horror show, where Not Being Dead was itself a major accomplishment.

We've since gone back to PF1.

Also, you missed the point of my post. The math is actually less bleak than my experience. Whole reason I MADE that thing was to try and figure out why my experience was SO BAD.

And what I found was that skills. At low level skills suck donkey turds. You can't actually be "good" at a skill until later in your career. And the math lines up with that.


Draco18s wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
That's not really a response to Sporkeup's point.

Ok, have some vague experiencial unvalidated opinion:

My group did some PF2. We all came away sour because we couldn't hit things, make skill checks, succeed at saving throws, or feel like actual adventurers and more like characters in a survival horror show, where Not Being Dead was itself a major accomplishment.

We've since gone back to PF1.

Also, you missed the point of my post. The math is actually less bleak than my experience. Whole reason I MADE that thing was to try and figure out why my experience was SO BAD.

And what I found was that skills. At low level skills suck donkey turds. You can't actually be "good" at a skill until later in your career. And the math lines up with that.

This pretty accurately covers how I feel, and I want to go back to PF1. I've already said that when my groups current campaign ends I wont continue to play PF2 games.


I'm not really getting your same experience. Most of my players are very happy with their general abilitys and know that against evin or higher opponents they will only hit maby half to one third of the time base. That's why they use teamwork. Flanks, tripping, intimidate for frightened, grapples and Aid another.

Also they have learned that using a last action to swing for the fences is a bad idea most times it's better to reposition or use recall knowledge or some other thing. Using tactics allows them to thrive even with some less than optimal attributes for the action/skill in question.

Also Also hero points and halfling luck have saved the day so many times it's crazy, but that's why they are there. Be sure to give hero points out regularily. I have even started sessions with everyone having 3 cause I know some big things are going down and sometime I forget to give them out often enough.


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Timeshadow wrote:
Also they have learned that using a last action to swing for the fences is a bad idea most times it's better to reposition or use recall knowledge or some other thing. Using tactics allows them to thrive even with some less than optimal attributes for the action/skill in question.

Every time I see these posts I go "yes, we know that too. Yes, we do that too. Yes, I agree with you. But its not working."


Draco18s wrote:
Timeshadow wrote:
Also they have learned that using a last action to swing for the fences is a bad idea most times it's better to reposition or use recall knowledge or some other thing. Using tactics allows them to thrive even with some less than optimal attributes for the action/skill in question.
Every time I see these posts I go "yes, we know that too. Yes, we do that too. Yes, I agree with you. But its not working."

If it is not working then maby you are making the enemies to difficult?

+1 or +2 encounters are hopefully mostly mooks and one tough enemy if not single overleveled enemies will curbstomp many parites giving the impression that nothing they do matters, which seems to me like what you are discribing. Also fleeing and retooling for an encounter is an option most players don't think of. Many encounters are nigh impossable if you are not prepared for them. You can try to brute your way through only so much and it will often not work but the same encounter when the party has tome to prep or get weapons/spells that proc vulnerabilities becomes almost trivial.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is your GM still using 1E DCs, setting them too high, or something?

Seems odd to me that you could be having a dramatically different experience without something being off there.


People keep thinking my GM is making stuff up on the fly.

I've stated this on multiple occasions.

We were playing Plaguestone.

And yes, Plaguestone is known to be rough, but I've gone and downloaded the module and looked at the numbers and compared to the gamemastery section in chapter 10, compared to the bestiary, and guess what?

Every.
Single.
Number.
Lines.
Up.

Plaguestone isn't overtuned unless the core rules and encounter design rules are overtuned.

My GM didn't even increase the difficulty for the fact that we had six players instead of four.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, PF Special Edition Subscriber

Really? I'm running Plaguestone and Age of Ashes (wrapping up book 2).

Plaguestone is massively more deadly for players, though it's mostly damage numbers and not enemy defenses. It's not even close. Age of Ashes features a +3 enemy a few levels in, famously, and even that fight was not as bad as the first boss fight in Plaguestone. And that's with an extra player in Plaguestone vs. four in Age of Ashes... Might be anecdotal, but it's not even in my experience at all.

Anyways.

I personally prefer this to 5e, where everybody always hits everybody. Enemies missing you feels like Christmas and you missing enemies is a pitiful surprise. I'll take harder fights showing stronger defenses and more evasive enemies. My players keep winning and enjoying themselves, so I don't think it's a "broken system" issue in any capacity.


Sporkedup wrote:
Plaguestone is massively more deadly for players, though it's mostly damage numbers and not enemy defenses. It's not even close.

They might have toned back the damage a bit, those I gave a more cursory look at, but lets see...

Hallod does 1d6+6 with his weapon...
Creatures from the bestiary... 1d4+6, 1d6+8, 1d10+6, 1d8+4...

That seems on-par.

The Sculptor primarily uses alchemical items, the ooze does 1d12+8. That looks high, but if we look at the two oozes in the bestiary that flank it in terms of difficulty, they have "1d6 acid plus paralysis" and "1d8+7 bludgeoning plus 2d4 acid."

Sooo...not sure its that far off. I certainly feel like it was too much for my party at the time, but I chalk that up to the two encounters merging than anything else.

The other end-boss critters also line up reasonably well with what their level says they are.

Like I said, I've looked at the numbers, the numbers line up with the guidelines in the core book.


So if all the numbers are correct from plaguestone and there are no errors then the only conclusion is the players are not taking advantage of all their options or are unawair of them.

It has been stated before that Plaguestone is a tough almost too tough for it's lvls adventure. This will leave some players especully ones that are stuck back in the 1st ED mentality of charge in and hack till it's dead in a tough place as what they think should be working will get them killed 8 times out of 10.

I have a brand new to RPG's group playing through AoA and have little to no issues with what you are complaining about. They have bad streaks (our ranger once rolled about 12 shots straight with nothing over a 5 including 4 nat 1's in a row). Sometimes the dice gods are displeased. But they all have had chances to shine and all their skills esp the ones they concentrate on have been useful. All of them are able to be effective in combat. I have only ever had 2 characters get to dieing 3 and I have played through the first 2 AoA modules and am just after starting the third. We have a Divine Sorcerer, a Thief Rogue, a Sword and board fighter and a percision/archer + animal companion ranger as the mainstays. Their first 3-5 fights were near laughable as they learned the system but with helpful suggestions on my part and a little learning on thir part they are a very effective and compitant team.

What are your expectations for the players and what do the players expect to be able to accomplish singly or in a group?


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Timeshadow wrote:
So if all the numbers are correct from plaguestone and there are no errors then the only conclusion is the players are not taking advantage of all their options or are unawair of them.

That, or they are getting the same or similar results, but still FEEL differently about said results.


Timeshadow wrote:

So if all the numbers are correct from plaguestone and there are no errors then the only conclusion is the players are not taking advantage of all their options or are unawair of them.

It has been stated before that Plaguestone is a tough almost too tough for it's lvls adventure.

You literally draw a conclusion and then start your next paragraph directly contradiction that conclusion!?


Draco18s wrote:
Timeshadow wrote:

So if all the numbers are correct from plaguestone and there are no errors then the only conclusion is the players are not taking advantage of all their options or are unawair of them.

It has been stated before that Plaguestone is a tough almost too tough for it's lvls adventure.

You literally draw a conclusion and then start your next paragraph directly contradiction that conclusion!?

I am speaking about all adventures not just plaguestone so no I am not contridictiong myself. I am acknoledgeing that the general concesis about plaguestone is it is "difficult" but not unbeatable especally if you can leave old preconseaved notions from PF1 about how the game runs. You did notice the "almost" in my statement right? I know that many groups have been able to finish plaguestone and most if not all though of it as challangeing.

You seem to be saying that everything in PF2 is too hard and all the players just die and can do nothing about it.

This is planely not true unless like I said before ether the players are not taking advantage of all their options or are unawair of them.

Also you left out where I continued right after I said that:
"This will leave some players especully ones that are stuck back in the 1st ED mentality of charge in and hack till it's dead in a tough place as what they think should be working will get them killed 8 times out of 10."


Quote:

Also you left out where I continued right after I said that:

"This will leave some players especully ones that are stuck back in the 1st ED mentality of charge in and hack till it's dead in a tough place as what they think should be working will get them killed 8 times out of 10."

Oh, so either:

(A) Plaguestone doesn't follow the encounter guidelines
(B) Players are playing wrong

We both agreed that (A) is false.
I have told you that my group made (B) false.

We blinded The Sculptor. We flanked the final boss. We dealt with things at range when possible. We used our third actions on things other than attacking and fishing for 20s. We used recall knowledge. And it is not just combat that we struggle with.

So if (A) is false and (B) is false, then some other thing must be true.

Quote:
You seem to be saying that everything in PF2 is too hard and all the players just die and can do nothing about it.

No, I have not said this.

What I have said is that at low level the encounter building guidelines are overtuned.
What I have said is that at low level the skill DCs are too high.
What I have said is that at low level the game is frustratingly unfun.


Draco18s wrote:

No, I have not said this.

What I have said is that at low level the encounter building guidelines are overtuned.
What I have said is that at low level the skill DCs are too high.
What I have said is that at low level the game is frustratingly unfun.

The worst part is that as you level up you actually get worse at a lot of thing.

There's a sweet spot around level 10 I think where your chances of success are the best, and then they go back down again.


Claxon wrote:
The worst part is that as you level up you actually get worse at a lot of thing.

Not everything, but certainly some things. And which things and when varies a bit by class, but saves (once you get your Master bump) really only ever go downhill from there.

Skills continue to always improve (because skill DCs increase by 1.33 per level, while skill bonuses increase at closer to 1.5 per level, whereas other target DCs increase by 1.5 or even 1.67). By level 20 you should be succeeding on a skill that you're legendary in on a roll of 3+. But you never get better at attacking than 8+ (fighter) or better at saves than 12+ (but if you do, you'll crit succeed*).

*I really really dislike that from a game design standpoint, actually :\ You go from "fail to critical success" instantly. And they tied the evasion effect to having Master ranking. I would much rather have seen the d20 needed value come down and seen the evasion effect handled a little more piece meal. Or maybe treated it as "if you fail, you instead succeed" rather than "if you succeed you instead critically succeed." Or a variety of other things that didn't result in things being so lopsided.


Draco18s wrote:
Every time I see these posts I go "yes, we know that too. Yes, we do that too. Yes, I agree with you. But its not working."

I had a very similar experience with D&D 4th edition, so I understand how frustrating it can be.

In the end, my conclusion was that the core of the issues wasn't anything about how my group and I were running the game or about how the game was written - but about our preferences, expectations, and style not meshing well with the system.

I wish you luck in your endeavors to make it work.


Claxon wrote:

Ball park numbers?

75% success rate for first attack (giving 2nd attacks a 50% success rate, and 3rd attacks a 25% success rate). For defense I'd like to see about a 50% success rate for monster's primary attack with specialist into armor able to reduce that (currently everyone who isn't using a shield and/or heavy armor has the same AC).

Okay. So we can draw several conclusions here:

A, your definition of success hinges on individual actions in combat feeling successful rather than winning overall. You'd rather fight an enemy with 600 HP that you hit 75% of the time than an enemy with 200 HP that you hit 50% of the time, even though the latter is objectively easier.

B, you don't want enemies to use PC building rules, so any enemy NPCs need to use custom rules.

C, you want to hit an equally powerful foe significantly more often than they hit you. This means they need to have additional power elsewhere. Which following options would you prefer to have enemies superior in (multiple answers are fine with each being of a lesser degree in that case)?

1, less damage taken per hit than you, like resistance to physical damage
2, more HP than you
3, more damage per hit than you
4, special moves/action economy to give them a leg up on you
5, something else

Just keep in mind your foe by necessity has to be better than you at SOMETHING since you want to be better at it than at accuracy and you're both of equal power in this scenario.


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Balkoth wrote:
Just keep in mind your foe by necessity has to be better than you at SOMETHING since you want to be better at it than at accuracy and you're both of equal power in this scenario.

For reference, every monster in the bestiary has High attack, High armor, High ability save DCs, and generally one High saving throw (the other two are usually Moderate, but can have a second High and a Low).

And sometimes they go to Extreme. And a couple of beasties even go higher than that (cough, Air Mephit reflex saves and Faerie dragon Perception are the two I remember of the top of my head).

I haven't done a thorough analysis of their damage and HP though.


Balkoth wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Ball park numbers?

75% success rate for first attack (giving 2nd attacks a 50% success rate, and 3rd attacks a 25% success rate). For defense I'd like to see about a 50% success rate for monster's primary attack with specialist into armor able to reduce that (currently everyone who isn't using a shield and/or heavy armor has the same AC).

Okay. So we can draw several conclusions here:

A, your definition of success hinges on individual actions in combat feeling successful rather than winning overall. You'd rather fight an enemy with 600 HP that you hit 75% of the time than an enemy with 200 HP that you hit 50% of the time, even though the latter is objectively easier.

B, you don't want enemies to use PC building rules, so any enemy NPCs need to use custom rules.

C, you want to hit an equally powerful foe significantly more often than they hit you. This means they need to have additional power elsewhere. Which following options would you prefer to have enemies superior in (multiple answers are fine with each being of a lesser degree in that case)?

1, less damage taken per hit than you, like resistance to physical damage
2, more HP than you
3, more damage per hit than you
4, special moves/action economy to give them a leg up on you
5, something else

Just keep in mind your foe by necessity has to be better than you at SOMETHING since you want to be better at it than at accuracy and you're both of equal power in this scenario.

A is an unfair comparison. If you're doing a comparison of 50% hit chance against a 200 HP opponent, and instead my characters would like to have 75% hit chance, the enemy should have 300 hp not 600. Your argument doesn't represent what I said.

B. No, absolutely not. I said I don't mind if NPCs use different rules, not that they have to use different rules. NPCs using different rules is objectively easier though because you don't have to justify why a monster's stats are what they are. You simply set them based on their CR/level and role in combat.

C. 1, 2, 4, & 5 are all fine with me. Though 5 is very vague, so it would really depend on the specifics.

If the enemy does more damage and has more hp and damage reduction than the PCs that just sounds like a recipe for a TPK. I guess I prefer the NPCs to have strong defense and for the PCs to have strong offense. It's an active vs passive thing. The game is a lot more fun (for me) when the PCs get to do things successfully. Even if the level of success is reduced by NPC abilities like damage reduction or that they have high HP.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The lethality of plaguestone is because there is so much persistent damage coming from enemies that are higher level, and thus likely to crit when landing. Persistent damage is a real killer in PF2.

But I am here to talk about the value of "pinned," (or restrained) as I saw last night.

I get that it is not going to be reliably applied, but when you get a crit while grappling, you have probably ruined an enemies entire turn, because they have to try to break free with their first action and then their next action comes with a MAP penalty. There are very few single actions that any player can take with as devastating a critical effect as grappling, and it can be done every round. Even if you only get success it is an incredibly action for a tank character because the escape action is an attack action.

At my table, I had a level 2 rogue put the lockdown on a level 2 boar, by restraining it by grappling 2 actions in a row, while the rest of the party dealt with 2 other monsters. The boar escaped both times, but did no damage. Even if she hadn't got lucky with the athletics checks, she set herself up to get sneak attack against the boar, all by herself, and kept it from being able to get to the bard and the druid with its fearsome charge ability.

Grappling is a strong 1st action for martials to take at the success level, and if you crit, you likely steal the enemy's whole turn.


Anything that is a melee fighter should probably just ignore being grappled and kill you instead.

The grabbed condition inflicts flat-footed and immobilized. Essentially you can't move and you take an AC penalty. And the AC penalty sucks, but if an enemy grapples my character I'm more likely to just try and kill them as quickly as possible.

Caster's are the only ones really hurt since any manipulate actions must pass a DC 5 flat check or lose the action.

I've had my character be grappled in PF2, but I was already flanking the enemy with an ally. Rather than escape I stabbed him twice. And so did my ally, he then promptly died and I feel it was much more effective than trying to escape.


thenobledrake wrote:
I had a very similar experience with D&D 4th edition, so I understand how frustrating it can be.

4th edition ended up publishing feats later on to compensate for the bad math in the core game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

Anything that is a melee fighter should probably just ignore being grappled and kill you instead.

The grabbed condition inflicts flat-footed and immobilized. Essentially you can't move and you take an AC penalty. And the AC penalty sucks, but if an enemy grapples my character I'm more likely to just try and kill them as quickly as possible.

Caster's are the only ones really hurt since any manipulate actions must pass a DC 5 flat check or lose the action.

I've had my character be grappled in PF2, but I was already flanking the enemy with an ally. Rather than escape I stabbed him twice. And so did my ally, he then promptly died and I feel it was much more effective than trying to escape.

If you are a tank, you want the enemy attacking you and no one else. Being grabbed pretty well insures that.


Unicore wrote:
Claxon wrote:

Anything that is a melee fighter should probably just ignore being grappled and kill you instead.

The grabbed condition inflicts flat-footed and immobilized. Essentially you can't move and you take an AC penalty. And the AC penalty sucks, but if an enemy grapples my character I'm more likely to just try and kill them as quickly as possible.

Caster's are the only ones really hurt since any manipulate actions must pass a DC 5 flat check or lose the action.

I've had my character be grappled in PF2, but I was already flanking the enemy with an ally. Rather than escape I stabbed him twice. And so did my ally, he then promptly died and I feel it was much more effective than trying to escape.

If you are a tank, you want the enemy attacking you and no one else. Being grabbed pretty well insures that.

Eh, only if they're not in reach of their target. If your friend is adjacent to them when their turn comes around they're free to ignore you and wail on them. It wont get them to not be grappled, but maybe they really want to kill your friend.

Grappling isn't useless, but it is situational. Unlike PF1 where you could make a build entirely focused on grappling, it's simply not effective enough to attempt to do so in PF2.

When I attempted to convert a character I had from PF1 to PF2 that was grappling focused I came to this realization.


Squiggit wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
I had a very similar experience with D&D 4th edition, so I understand how frustrating it can be.
4th edition ended up publishing feats later on to compensate for the bad math in the core game.

The math issues that feats corrected showed up late-game - it was the 3rd monster manual they put out that tried to fix part of the problems I was running into while playing at the lower level range, but even then it came down to my players and the game not meshing - not math.

Silver Crusade

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Bruno Breakbone, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, agree with Claxon. That why Bruno remain retired from adventuring and teaches gym class to babymuscle wizards at the Acadamae.


thenobledrake wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
I had a very similar experience with D&D 4th edition, so I understand how frustrating it can be.
4th edition ended up publishing feats later on to compensate for the bad math in the core game.
The math issues that feats corrected showed up late-game - it was the 3rd monster manual they put out that tried to fix part of the problems I was running into while playing at the lower level range, but even then it came down to my players and the game not meshing - not math.

I figured. It's just an interesting comparison to make when the issues being talked about here are math-based too. Maybe we'll see some expertise-like options somewhere in Pathfinder's future.

Liberty's Edge

Claxon wrote:
And now, every GM who is used to the relative power balance of Players vs Enemies in PF1 is tryign to play it the same way and is destroying their players.

I was a huge PF1 fan, and so far I love PF2, but I've said several times that my years of experience as both a player and GM of PF1 have probably been more of a hindrance to me than they've been a help as I've dived into PF2.

But I'm not sure that's actually a problem with the system, just a speed bump that I have to navigate past.


Bruno Breakbone wrote:
Bruno Breakbone, a handsome and beautiful tetori monk, agree with Claxon. That why Bruno remain retired from adventuring and teaches gym class to babymuscle wizards at the Acadamae.

The legend has spoken, we can wrap things up here now. *Wanders off*


Claxon wrote:
A is an unfair comparison.

Yes, that's the point. You're judging success by individual actions vs overall outcome, so what is technically a harder fight will feel easier if you have a higher chance on individual actions throughout it.

Claxon wrote:
B. No, absolutely not.

If the enemy fighter was using PC rules then your chance to hit him and his chance to hit you would be equal (or close to it).

You want a substantial advantage over him in that regard.

Ergo you can't build him with PC rules.

Claxon wrote:
I guess I prefer the NPCs to have strong defense and for the PCs to have strong offense. It's an active vs passive thing. The game is a lot more fun (for me) when the PCs get to do things successfully.

...you've literally been complaining about NPCs having strong defense (in terms of AC and saving throws).

Basically you want to be able to have NPCs tripped/grabbed a lot while also failing a lot of failing throws but still have the NPCs be able to put up a fight. And also hit/crit the NPCs a lot more than they do you. I think.

Claxon wrote:
Unlike PF1 where you could make a build entirely focused on grappling

Which would end combats in one round and were very disruptive. Good riddance to that.

There's no more "I win" against equally powerful or more powerful enemies.


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Balkoth wrote:
Claxon wrote:
A is an unfair comparison.

Yes, that's the point. You're judging success by individual actions vs overall outcome, so what is technically a harder fight will feel easier if you have a higher chance on individual actions throughout it.

Claxon wrote:
B. No, absolutely not.

If the enemy fighter was using PC rules then your chance to hit him and his chance to hit you would be equal (or close to it).

You want a substantial advantage over him in that regard.

Ergo you can't build him with PC rules.

Claxon wrote:
I guess I prefer the NPCs to have strong defense and for the PCs to have strong offense. It's an active vs passive thing. The game is a lot more fun (for me) when the PCs get to do things successfully.

...you've literally been complaining about NPCs having strong defense (in terms of AC and saving throws).

Basically you want to be able to have NPCs tripped/grabbed a lot while also failing a lot of failing throws but still have the NPCs be able to put up a fight. And also hit/crit the NPCs a lot more than they do you. I think.

Claxon wrote:
Unlike PF1 where you could make a build entirely focused on grappling

Which would end combats in one round and were very disruptive. Good riddance to that.

There's no more "I win" against equally powerful or more powerful enemies.

A) Yes, because as a player I judge my fun by the success and failure of my character as well as the success and failure of the party.

If my character does nothing effectively I'm not having fun regardless of how the party does. If the party fails but my character lives and felt effective I might still have fun, and just feel in a difficult situation. SO 100% I'm always going to judge my fun by my how my character is doing in the game. Frankly, it matters more to me than anything else in the game.

B) I just don't understand your point here. I feel like you think you're making one and I don't see it. I don't care what rules NPCs are built on, as long as they ultimately foster fun game play (but exactly what that means is up for debate). I've always thought the rules of PF1 that would try to build monsters and NPC humanoid enemies under the same set of rules was always bad for the game. I actually quite like that Starfinder and Pathfinder 2 just said "Hey, we're going to give them stats based on their level and role" and not try to adhere to rules like "their dex is +5 so they have that to AC, but that means there AC is too low so lets give them 20 natural armor".

C) Did you know you can have strong defense without having high AC? You can have high HP and damage reduction or defensive abilities that enhance the fun for players, rather than making them difficult to hit. Missing simply isn't fun. I basically always feel my character is completely at the whim of the dice and that the decision I make are mostly meaningless.

I will say the the current crit rules put the rules for hitting into the difficult position they are. Every increase to your chance to hit directly translate to an increased chance to crit. Honestly this is a big part of the system I don't like whatsoever. I like how it works on spells, to confine the worst and best outcomes to extraordinary rolls. But spells have problems too, I think, but I don't play caster much. The problem I have with martials is I want to hit more often, but I recognize in the current system that would mean critting more often, which would be a problem. I guess perhaps I liked Starfinders method better. You crit on a 20, with very minimal exceptions.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
I basically always feel my character is completely at the whim of the dice and that the decision I make are mostly meaningless.

Claxton, Are you exclusively a player or do you GM as well? And if you are even just primarily a player, does your GM run an AP or homebrew adventures?

I think you would like PF2 a lot better if your GM geared encounters around less higher level enemies and more armies of mooks. If you told them you really don't enjoy encounters against higher level enemies and that they make you feel like playing a different game if it is going to be a recurring situation, your GM might be willing to listen and make sure that more of your fights give you the feel that you are looking for. The GM can add enough lower level enemies or even environmental hazards to keep the encounters just as challenging but not force you to have to rely as much on the success of the team.

At the same time, a lot of players, myself included, much prefer playing as a team and working together to beat challenging threats. The current rules allow both of our play styles to coexist (just not probably in the same party, no offense). I get that it might be frustrating that the adventure writers of the first two APs wrote more to my play style than yours, but even if your GM doesn't want to completely rewrite everything, they can throw the occasional weak template on a boss and give it a couple of interesting lackeys pretty easily.


For PF2 I've been exclusively a player. I've GM'd for Starfinder and PF1, but it's been a while.

Currently my group is actually running Zeitgeist Gears of Revolution, so the GM is having to substitute "equivalent" enemies but is basically relying on the CR of enemies called out to find an equivalent, or to generate an equivalent enemy based on the tables for stats.

I agree that lowering the effective enemy level by around 2 but adding in additional creatures to maintain overall CR would probably provide a more satisfying experience for me.


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Claxon wrote:
I basically always feel my character is completely at the whim of the dice and that the decision I make are mostly meaningless.

I have to admit that at least our party can pretty much relate to what Claxon is feeling. Though we usually like tough challenges in other co-op games something seems off in PF2, perhaps it really is the extreme dice dependancy. During our last severe encounter (PL+3) we even were at a breaking point as our barbarian player missed 13 of 14 attacks (1st, 2nd and AoO) and really seemed about to quit the session. Admittedly he did not roll good, nor is our debuffing / flanking / flat-footed game very strong, however as a player PF2 can be really frustrating. When it is the bosses turn you don't ask if he hits, but for how much, respectively if it is a crit and for how much. When it is your turn you need to roll well above average for even your 1st attack to connect.

Note that I understand that if you ruthlessly "hive-mind" all player actions (or if you have already maximized natural teamplay) and use everything available in your arsenal (e.g. hideous laughter, demoralize, trip, grab, fear etc.) numbers will eventually swing back in your direction but I have yet to see this happening at the table. Mostly simply because players often act on what they think is the right thing to do from a character point of view not what is the right thing to do from a game mechanics point of view.


Yeah, PF2 forces you to play as a party with good tactics, or die.

And I really don't care for that.

In PF1 using smart tactics was a reward, you eviscerated the enemy with nary a scratch. In PF2 using smart tactics is required, else your party is likely to have at least one character each fight knocked unconscious.

At least that has been my experience.

If we don't all focus on one enemy and work to debuff them fights drag on and everyone takes a lot of damage, and usually one player gets down to about 10-20% health and then runs out of combat. We don't have a cleric, but we do have someone with all the medicine feats, so out of combat healing is easy but don't really have strong in combat healing options aside from potions.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

In PF2 using smart tactics is required, else your party is likely to have at least one character each fight knocked unconscious.

At least that has been my experience.

Ours as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well I do think that there is an expectation that some of the party will go unconscious in fights against higher level enemies in PF2. A solo monster against 4 PCs that doesn't drop one of them within the first 4 rounds is in big trouble and never really had a shot of winning. If they didn't have the ability to do that, they wouldn't actually be a threat. This is a big part of why higher level solo monsters are so much more fun for me and my tables than in PF1, 3.5, 4e or anything after D&D 2nd edition.

Clearly for some tables having one party member drop feels like losing, while for others it feels expected. The dying rules are pretty forgiving after all, as long as you are not stuck taking persistent damage.

It is too late for something to be printed in the GMG, but either for a future GMG or for a fan mod, maybe some people could put together suggestions for this different style of play that focuses on less higher level enemies, but not decreasing the difficulty. Being vocal about it could probably result in some third party folks designing adventures and perhaps even full APs around it.


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Unicore wrote:
Clearly for some tables having one party member drop feels like losing, while for others it feels expected. The dying rules are pretty forgiving after all, as long as you are not stuck taking persistent damage.

"Oh boy! I sure am having fun!"

What are you doing?

"Being unconscious and making death saving throws! If I regain consciousness I get to spend a whole round picking up my stuff and standing up again! Its great! I love being a melee fighter!"


Draco18s wrote:

"Oh boy! I sure am having fun!"

What are you doing?

"Being unconscious and making death saving throws! If I regain consciousness I get to spend a whole round picking up my stuff and standing up again."

You even missed the part of being AoO'ed by the boss while trying to stand up... :P

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