Room C27[Level 3: The Library] and a common problem in this AP (and all APs actually)


Abomination Vaults


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There is a REALLY cool monster in there; "Lurker in Light." Small nimble skirmisher fey, that hides/invisible in bright light and summons other fey.

Except, as is a common issue, they put the encounter/fight in a 15'x15' room. Literally 9 squares. Half the party couldn't even get LOS to the monster because they were all standing in the next room and coudln't get in.

PF2 has all this new mobility and feats that allow you to do all these cool tactical things; but they get this trend (it even goes back to Rise of the Runelords) of sticking these encounters in these tiny rooms.

I get that in REAL life; a 15'x15' office would be totally acceptable; and anything larger as "just an office" would be unrealistic. But the interest of the GAME are being sacrificed here for more verisimilitude here and it just never works out.

Instead of a cool dynamic fight; it felt like a bunch of people trying to squeeze into an already crowded elevator.

*womp*womp*


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This is something I also don't really like about a lot of the AP maps. Yeah, a lot of them are pretty realistic in size for real buildings, but 1 tile wide corridors suck, and there's sometimes barely enough room for all combatants to fit anywhere. (Hell, sometimes there are rooms literally too small for what they contain, though that's more of an editing goof than a problem with the map per se.)

I tend to much prefer the maps in adventures that involve a lot of Large+ creatures, and are scaled to allow that.


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I have to admit one thing about APs is sometimes the designers don't think about the maps well enough. I do wish they would do this a little more, especially monsters that are far too big to fight well in a given room.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Sometimes fights in small rooms are intentional, because it switches up tactics. And keep in mind that when a creature can fly, it can lurk in the space above, not on the ground.

I do hear you on the frustrations of tight corners and narrow fighting spaces. Again, it's intentional in many cases (as it is here) to force parties to switch up tactics and deal with terrain, but I do understand that the limitations of the one person per square format of the game rules clashes hard a lot with verisimilitude when it comes to building realistically sized rooms.

The easiest hack to fix this if it's something that's impacting game enjoyment is to change the scale for all maps. Swap them over to one square = 10 feet.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:


The easiest hack to fix this if it's something that's impacting game enjoyment is to change the scale for all maps. Swap them over to one square = 10 feet.

This is definitely the easiest solution (I've been contemplating increasing it to 1 square = 20 feet just to put more room in for maneuverability).

It would be nice though if future maps and combat encounters were geared a little more towards the expanded mobility that PF2 encourages.

Developer

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Deriven Firelion wrote:
I have to admit one thing about APs is sometimes the designers don't think about the maps well enough. I do wish they would do this a little more, especially monsters that are far too big to fight well in a given room.

James already gave the answer I would have for this specific fight, but I absolutely hear you as a general place of improvement.

We're always striving to do better, and it's helpful to know where our fans think we can try harder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have two architects in my game, and they tend to be annoyed by wide, spacious obvious encounter areas. FWIW, we find the more cramped spaces refreshing and an interesting challenge.

The only time we have a problem with them is when two encounters are right next to and in line of sight of each other (like the library and reading room on level 3 of AV, which I just ended up putting a wall and door between).


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I didn't mind the Lurker in the Light encounter. My players had to chase it around a small room it buzzed around using the furniture as cover. I pictured that well and it was still a fun encounter. Zero problem with small creatures in tight rooms. That fits.

My bigger concern is overly large creatures in small rooms. There is more than a few APs where the monsters don't even have room to move and have to squeeze to get out of the door. The PCs can just smash them in the room with no real threat. You're thinking this enemy can't move, can't escape, and is completely at the mercy of a group of players crushing them, thus you can't imagine how whoever placed the overly large monster in the small room thought this would be a good tactical plan.

There are a couple of oozes in a particular encounter I'm about to run that fit in this category. They don't even fit in the room much less are able to fight in it. I have to fix this somehow.


I'm running 6 and even sometimes 7 players through the AVs, and I must admit that sometimes it's very hard for the melee martials to just get next to the monsters. I've seen more Acrobatics checks to Tumble Through in this campaign than in my entire life.

I don't think every room has to be big, but I also think that a slight increase in size of some rooms/corridors would really help.


I mean, it's designed for four players, I'd definitely double the map sizes for 6+ players. I already do that. 4 player dungeons are too cramped otherwise.


how do you double the size? The maps are 1 square= 5 feet and we are using Foundry.


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In Foundry you could change the grid size to half the size which would make the Foundry grid have 4 squares in each of the map squares if the grid is on the map image.


Quote:
The easiest hack to fix this if it's something that's impacting game enjoyment is to change the scale for all maps. Swap them over to one square = 10 feet.

I understand the intention, and maybe it's just me reading this statement backwards, but wouldn't 10 feet squares reduce the number of "spots" to place heroes and monsters?

I would have assumed making the game run on smaller squares would be the solution. Just as a crude quick example: using 3 feet squares. This way, our "crowded elevator" fifteen foot room could hold 5x5 medium-sized creatures instead of just 3x3.


Zapp wrote:
Quote:
The easiest hack to fix this if it's something that's impacting game enjoyment is to change the scale for all maps. Swap them over to one square = 10 feet.

I understand the intention, and maybe it's just me reading this statement backwards, but wouldn't 10 feet squares reduce the number of "spots" to place heroes and monsters?

I would have assumed making the game run on smaller squares would be the solution. Just as a crude quick example: using 3 feet squares. This way, our "crowded elevator" fifteen foot room could hold 5x5 medium-sized creatures instead of just 3x3.

I think the theory is take the existing maps, assume the squares on the maps are 10' instead of 5 and then put more creatures in each square.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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thejeff wrote:
Zapp wrote:
Quote:
The easiest hack to fix this if it's something that's impacting game enjoyment is to change the scale for all maps. Swap them over to one square = 10 feet.

I understand the intention, and maybe it's just me reading this statement backwards, but wouldn't 10 feet squares reduce the number of "spots" to place heroes and monsters?

I would have assumed making the game run on smaller squares would be the solution. Just as a crude quick example: using 3 feet squares. This way, our "crowded elevator" fifteen foot room could hold 5x5 medium-sized creatures instead of just 3x3.

I think the theory is take the existing maps, assume the squares on the maps are 10' instead of 5 and then put more creatures in each square.

Yes.

Change the "5" in "One square = 5 feet" on a map to a "10" so it says "One square = 10 feet" and presto, you've doubled the size of the dungeon and thus doubled the number of spaces a character can stand in.

How you explain the beds and tables that are now sized for ogres is a different story. :P

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
and presto, you've doubled the size of the dungeon and thus doubled the number of spaces a character can stand in.

Quadrupled...10'x10' is 4 5'x5' squares.

Some of the mansions in some adventures then of course become ridiculously enormous. Should be used sparingly.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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YogoZuno wrote:
Quote:
and presto, you've doubled the size of the dungeon and thus doubled the number of spaces a character can stand in.

Quadrupled...10'x10' is 4 5'x5' squares.

Some of the mansions in some adventures then of course become ridiculously enormous. Should be used sparingly.

Math is hard, I guess.

And that's kind of my point, on the second half. Making a typical room large enough for a group of four characters and their enemies be able to move around with a lot in many cases results in ridiculous looking rooms.

My personal preference is to err on the side of realistic rooms, hence why I drew the dungeon like I did, and why I prefer that as the norm.

If you're a GM who wants more room in the thing to run the fights, you need to be at peace with the fact that the rooms in your adventures might strain credulity or wreck verisimilitude for some of your players.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

GMs can also offer more outdoor “random encounters on bigger maps to help boost up party XP and to vary up encounter conditions from time to time


I gotta ask: why is it that everybody just takes for granted the 5 ft square as a god-given standard that is inconceivable to change?

Why not simply say three people can fight in the same line where previously only two could? Fit 3x3 squares in that 10 ft room or whatever. Now the room isn't the crowded elevator, and the beds stayed the same size.

If you're playing online, you can set whatever grid you like.


Makes me think it might be fun to run a group of Small or tiny PCs that have a 'Honey I Shrunk the PCs' vibe. :)

Seems it could be a great Free-RPG day adventure!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This is why we should get rid of the minimum 5ft measured distance. 0.5m is where it is at! You can make nicely sized rooms, and jumping can be made more satisfactory!


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Even going from 1 square = 5ft down to 1 square = 1 yard makes things really nice. That 10ft by 10ft room goes from 2x2 squares to 3x3 squares and 3yards is practically the same size as 10ft.

Additionally, converting to metric from yards can be done 1:1, as the difference is, (for a game,) negligible.

I understand that a US company likely won't start using metric for a game that most of their customers are going to play in the US, using imperial. But it'd be nice to use such imperial units that are close to metric ones, like yard and meter (1:0.91), or quart and liter (1:0,95)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The country I live in has used the metric system since before I was born. However, thanks to D&D, I can only picture largish distances and people's height and weight in imperial units.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As meter person... Well before I say that aloud, I do agree I wouldn't particularly mind just having "character can move 6 squares" though I can understand why that would be less immersive for players who know what 5 feet is.

Like to me "5 feet = 1 square" makes perfect sense since from my perspective feets and inches are fantastical measurement I have no clue how it translates to real life x'D

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