Still Maintaining My TPK Every 3 Sessions Streak


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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I'm not bragging - actually the opposite.
I manage to average out to a TPK every three sessions (or approximately 12 hours of game time). This is across different groups and different Adventure Paths.
So I'm left wondering - is it just me? Am I a Killer GM when it comes to running Pathfinder 2e? Or is it the Adventure Paths that are extremely difficult? (I was running Age of Ashes and then Extinction Curse.)
But in the process, I've managed to sour three different groups (more than a dozen people) on Pathfinder 2e.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Scarab Sages

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No, your situation is unusual. The early adventure paths do have a reputation for high difficulty in the early books, but not to that extent.

You are exceptionally unlucky. I'm surprised you had that many players to be soured.

In the unlikely event you run PF2 again, try a more recent AP, or better yet, PFS scenarios. Although it wouldn't surprise me if you wound up with TPKs there too.


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Are these are low-level games? Are the players new? Are you using any house rules? All of these can contribute to TPKs.


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NECR0G1ANT wrote:

No, your situation is unusual. The early adventure paths do have a reputation for high difficulty in the early books, but not to that extent.

You are exceptionally unlucky. I'm surprised you had that many players to be soured.

In the unlikely event you run PF2 again, try a more recent AP, or better yet, PFS scenarios. Although it wouldn't surprise me if you wound up with TPKs there too.

So there's really nothing I can do to stem the TPK frequency?

Do some GMs just kill a lot of characters with this system?


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Age of Ashes in particular is quite spicy, bot not that spicy.

Is there anything more specific you suspect to be the problem on your end? If you play by the rules and don't focus people too hard - especially when the enemy you are RPing wouldn't - it should generally be fine.

It could also be on the player side, that is easier to identify. Providing more info here would be great as well - stat arrays, AC, attack modifier and party composition would be good. Here is a quick check list:

(1) Do your players have the normal AC for their level? All characters should have the Dex modifier according to what armour they are wearing, ending up with a +5 to AC just from that alone. The only exception are non-armoured casters, but those should be maxing Dex as much as possible as well. Anyone who dumps Dex without heavy armour proficiency is asking to die.

(2) Are your players maxing their main stat? Generally, any character should have 18 in their key ability at level 1 and increase that whenever they can.

(3) What are your party compositions like? Do they have a decent frontline and adequate healing?

Liberty's Edge

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Without more details about what's actually going on in these sessions, it can be hard to give advice. In addition to what Fumarole has said, TPKs can be caused by poor tactics, failing to heal up between fights, triggering multiple encounters (this is a common one I see with my own players), etc.


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That seems... excessive. I mean AoA and Ec both have some spicey encounters but either you are extremely unlucky or your players are doing something wrong.

Are they continuing adventuring while on lower health? Does nobody have treat wounds? Is your party splitting up? Do they run into unexplored rooms while in an encounter, combining multiple encounters? Are you using pathbuilder for character building to make sure your players are adding their stats right?

Even if you are playing the monsters like hyper intelligent highly coordinated hit squads that pick out the squishy chars with one glance and also attack down PCs i cannot imagine doing this repeatedly.


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Harles wrote:

I'm not bragging - actually the opposite.

I manage to average out to a TPK every three sessions (or approximately 12 hours of game time). This is across different groups and different Adventure Paths.
So I'm left wondering - is it just me? Am I a Killer GM when it comes to running Pathfinder 2e? Or is it the Adventure Paths that are extremely difficult? (I was running Age of Ashes and then Extinction Curse.)
But in the process, I've managed to sour three different groups (more than a dozen people) on Pathfinder 2e.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

It's highly unusual.

Maybe you have more information about what killed them, how they got killed and maybe also what kind of characters your players were playing and what kind of players you had (veteran from PF1 or complete beginners?).
A description may allow us to isolate what lead to such issue.


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Fumarole wrote:
Are these are low-level games? Are the players new? Are you using any house rules? All of these can contribute to TPKs.

Are you a simulationist? Are your monsters aggressive and just constantly battering them with 2-3 attacks each per round? Are their CR counts higher than your average party level? Are your players using Battle Medicine or some other form of healing in between?


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Most likely some combination of killer GM, misunderstanding some rules, and players not working together. Can't tell how much weight to apportion to each of those without more details.


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Fumarole wrote:
Are these are low-level games? Are the players new? Are you using any house rules? All of these can contribute to TPKs.

The most recent was level 2. The previous TPKs were slightly higher: level 4, level 5, level 6.

The players are new to PF2 but very experienced in D&D and other RPGs.

My house rule was giving out Hero Points to every player once an hour - so that was even more generous than the standard (I'm told).

Liberty's Edge

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So what happened in the most recent one? I've only had a single TPK in the whole time I've been running 2e games, caused by a combination of the three things I mentioned in my first post, but I pulled the ole "actually you were captured" trick and they definitely learned the appropriate lessons.


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Harles wrote:
The players are new to PF2 but very experienced in D&D and other RPGs.

From my experience on these boards, these are the groups the most often TPKed. D&D habits are detrimental ones in PF2.

But that's not enough to get to so many TPKs.


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SuperBidi wrote:


From my experience on these boards, these are the groups the most often TPKed. D&D habits are detrimental ones in PF2.

For those of us who haven't played since pre-Pathfinder 3.5, what do you think those habits are?


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Its going to be most useful if you gave a description of what happened -- what the party was, what the enemies were, what tactics happened on both sides. We can all ask tons of questions, but without the big picture we're likely to dive down the wrong rabbit hole.

You may want to use the spoiler tag since it sounds like its from something fairly early in an AP.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

This is so far outside the realm of normal that the conclusion is either EXTREME bad luck or user error.

The most likely culprit is a mismatch in player and GM expectations. If the players are looking for a low-optimization, organic experience and the GM is trying to run everything like they would for a seasoned group of optimizers, you're likely to run into issues.

Here are some tips:

1. See if the players want a more lenient game. If they do, consider applying Weak templates to enemies or boosting their level by one.

2. Make sure your monsters make mistakes. Enemies should trigger attacks of opportunity, get distracted by illusions and taunts depending on their intelligence, and fail to target low saves.

3. Give pointers after a tough combat so the players know what they might have done to make it easier, as their characters would know. For instance, flanking, intimidation, or kiting.

4. Reconsider houserules that may be contributing to imbalance, and consider houserules that would help players.

5. Make sure you're giving out and using Hero Points on the regular. I tend to forget, so I usually just give two to each player at the start of a session.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


From my experience on these boards, these are the groups the most often TPKed. D&D habits are detrimental ones in PF2.

For those of us who haven't played since pre-Pathfinder 3.5, what do you think those habits are?

The one most commonly cited is the tendency of PCs to close to melee, strike, strike, then eat the enemy NPCs three strike routine in the face, which can drop and kill PCs depending on NPC's level. The previous edition behavior being invoked is trying to mimic the 'Full Attack' sequence. If the PCs are fighting level 1+ NPCs at low levels, it can get ugly if their dice are cold and the GM's are hot.

I think most of it is a lot of "PF2 is the best" circle jerking, but its hard to argue that a level 1 or 2 PC ending their turn directly adjacent to an enemy is a great idea/optimal play.


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I'll try to add more specifics about party composition and the specific encounter later when I have better access to that information.

But, in general, no I don't play the monsters incredibly smart. I try to follow what's written in the adventure. Creatures that are depicted as very hunger-driven or bestial, I have them attack the nearest opponent. They'll do as many attacks as they have the actions to perform. They will likely use agile attacks for subsequent attacks (usually like Bite/Claw/Claw) to minimize the MAP - but I don't think that's a tactical genius move or anything.

If an opponent is unconscious/dying, such creatures will move to the next nearest character to attack. So I don't just purposefully kill off dying characters. However, spreading out the attacks typically means the whole party is wiped instead of losing just one character.

I do give out Hero Points at a very advanced rate - one per character per hour of play. It might be too often because the players spend them on rolls that aren't really important or are unlikely to succeed anyway - such as on a third attack.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Without knowing HOW your players are dealing with each encounter (and how they use the time between), I don't think you're going to get a specific perspective to help you; the best you'll get is general, wide reaching advice. Still helpful, but not as much as an actual post mortem of your encounters.

For example, If your players move into position, then stand there swinging until the monster is dead - since D&D Opportunity Attacks trained us to not move - that leaves your casters open because monsters will just walk around your front line. NOTE: Adventure Paths seem to use Op Attacks more often than advertised, so it looks like it's a tactic that's hard to shake anyway.

Also, an example I've seen before: If your mob of "mindless" skeletons is using advanced military tactics on the party, maybe you're taking things too seriously. A fix for this example would be to add someone "controlling" the skeletons and giving them these tactics. The party can then focus on that NPC and once they're defeated, the skeletons become easier to deal with.


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Spending a hero point on a third attack isn't really a problem, but taking a third attack at all often is a bad sign to begin with. Step back to deny them one action; or some other beneficial third action -- raise a shield, intimidation (better as a first action), etc

Stand and slog is not normally a smart strategy in 2e for characters.

Liberty's Edge

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Is the party healing up between encounters? If they are, are they doing it with the Medicine skill and Treat Wounds, or are they spending spell slots out of combat? Are they working together as a team, or is it more like a group of individuals who happen to all be fighting at the same time? Do they debuff enemies and focus their attacks or spread the damage out?


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Harles wrote:

I do give out Hero Points at a very advanced rate - one per character per hour of play. It might be too often because the players spend them on rolls that aren't really important or are unlikely to succeed anyway - such as on a third attack.

That is an astoundingly large tactical blunder on their part. Third attacks should rarely be used, let alone used with the system designed to keep TPKs from happening.


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Leon Aquilla wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:


From my experience on these boards, these are the groups the most often TPKed. D&D habits are detrimental ones in PF2.

For those of us who haven't played since pre-Pathfinder 3.5, what do you think those habits are?

These habits are often even more heavily built into Pathfinder1 and D&D 3.5 players. Having read this same discussion on these forums about 6 times before, this is my list:

* Pseudo-full-attack: Stand adjacent to as many enemies as possible and use all 3 actions for Strike.
* The only defense is dead enemies: Win initiative, throw caution to the wind and spend as much of your first action on offense against one enemy as you can, then expect it to die or be nearly dead.
* Expecting save-or-suck spells to work: loading up a spellcaster - usually a Wizard - with a bunch of spells with the Incapacitation trait and throwing them in sequence against a level +1 enemy.
* One trick: Picking a single combat tactic and expecting it to work on every enemy that you encounter. Bonus points for double or triple stacking feats and abilities for that particular tactic that end up being redundant.
* Standalone hero: Spending all of your time doing what is best for yourself and not considering how you can help the rest of the team.

How PF2 punishes these habits:

* MAP: 2nd attacks are only moderately good. 3rd attacks are almost always a bad choice.
* Enemy survivability: An enemy will at most be down about 1/3 to 1/2 of their HP after a single character's attack. There are some exceptions, such as Magus - but those are generally unreliable and usually can only be done a limited number of times. So spending no thought on your defensive tactics will leave you horribly weak to counterattack.
* Incapacitation: Level +1 enemies will nearly always roll at least a 'fail' result, and often roll a 'success' result. The Incapacitation trait will increase the degree of success another step. So Incapacitation spells will sometimes have a very minor effect, and often have no effect at all.
* Variety: Enemies have a great many various strengths that the PCs need to avoid. And weaknesses that the PCs can exploit. So if a character can only use one particular tactic, they will only be effective against a small set of enemies.
* Teamwork: PF2 characters nearly always have skill and feat options that will let them assist the other characters in the party by either applying penalties to an enemy, or bonuses to an ally. Ignoring these options means that the entire party is always struggling to hit the unmodified AC and DC values of the enemies.


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Addendum: Expecting that an 'optimized' character can take on a level +4 enemy.


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I wouldn't start new players at level 1 unless they had a strong downtime healer in the party like a champion with lay on hands or a character with continual recovery and something like a +4 medicine(only crit fail on 1s). The challenge level for a party without that downtime healing capacity is through the roof. That, along with maxed out offense stat and AC for level are assumptions that the encounter building section of the rules makes. Once your party meets that bar, the encounter budget should be quite accurate.

Alternatively, award a lot more XP than the encounter building suggests while they don't meet the assumptions above so that your players feel like they can wait the hours needed to heal between combats and still progress at a decent rate. This is mostly a level 1 phenomenon.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Addendum: Expecting that an 'optimized' character can take on a level +4 enemy.

Or assuming they can wade into the fray without consequence against enemies that used to be weaksauce. Example: a player complained on here that they were wrecked by trying to solo 3 goblin dogs as a level 1 character.

PF2 has a much lower bar to clear to be optimized (basically just what Karmagator outlined) but in exchange the balance works and a monster and an optimizer PC are roughly equal threats to each other. Goblin dogs were CR/LV 1 across both editions, but in PF1 you could build to trivally trounce them. Now that's the equivalent of fighting three clones of yourself and expecting to win.

Liberty's Edge

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Well, then without knowing what happened in the encounter (including what they were fighting), it's hard to tell you what went wrong.


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We did have a champion with lay on hands and several characters trained in Medicine - so healing outside of combat has been the norm. The cleric was down some healing spells from a previous combat. Basically, no one was down HP at the start of the encounter.

Party configuration was a Redemption Champion, Cleric, Rogue, and Sorcerer.


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That sounds like a totally viable party.

Assuming the champion & (melee?)rogue are positioning themselves so that the champion can protect the rogue, while also granting flanking. There's no bard for that common buff, so flanking/demoralize other debuffs or party buffs(bless, magic weapon) will be more important.

That's definitely a party that has to work together though.


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Harles wrote:

We did have a champion with lay on hands and several characters trained in Medicine - so healing outside of combat has been the norm. The cleric was down some healing spells from a previous combat. Basically, no one was down HP at the start of the encounter.

Party configuration was a Redemption Champion, Cleric, Rogue, and Sorcerer.

OK. Good start.

Now, what were they fighting against? What creatures and what level?

Any specifics of the relevant numbers for the PCs? PC character level, AC, Attack bonuses, damage values, ...

And what were the player's tactics? What did they do? What spells were cast, what skills and abilities were used, what buffs and debuffs were attempted, what weapons were used, ...


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

They have sheets you could share? And what were they fighting?


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I think we're far off from minute mistakes here and I'm thinking it might definitely be on basic misunderstanding parts here.

My guess would be that the PC's don't heal to full between each encounter, but at the same time that is the GM's duty to remind them.

OP, as a frame of reference, I've ran 2 AP (age of ashes and agents of edgewatch) to completion, I'm doing 2 homebrew adaptations (kingmaker and iron gods) now, and I'm a player in strength of thousands.

We have never TPK'd, once at level 10 in an extreme encounter where the players got extremely unlucky there was a fight that could have been a too but managed to end in a truce on both sides.

So I definitely think something is wrong here. More info would help, as mentionnés.


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Harles wrote:

We did have a champion with lay on hands and several characters trained in Medicine - so healing outside of combat has been the norm. The cleric was down some healing spells from a previous combat. Basically, no one was down HP at the start of the encounter.

Party configuration was a Redemption Champion, Cleric, Rogue, and Sorcerer.

That party should be pretty hard to take down with all that healing. The rogue will likely have a bit of trouble getting sneak attack to happen reliably until they get feat support for it due the how exposed flanking can leave you. Getting the champion to move aggressively to the other side of enemies and the rogue a shield to raise should help with that.

Getting the cleric and sorcerer a shield as well will help at low levels. Cloth casters in particular have a hard time surviving the early levels; any way to get light armor proficiency on them (general feat or archetype) should really help. Your dex defense characters should be getting that stat to 16 or 18 at creation. The dex 16 characters should be wearing studded leather or a chain shirt even if they don't meet the strength requirement for it to max their AC. Getting the AC of these characters up will allow the Champion and Rogue to flank things more aggressively so that the party gets more damage out.


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Queaux wrote:

I wouldn't start new players at level 1 unless they had a strong downtime healer in the party like a champion with lay on hands or a character with continual recovery and something like a +4 medicine(only crit fail on 1s). The challenge level for a party without that downtime healing capacity is through the roof. That, along with maxed out offense stat and AC for level are assumptions that the encounter building section of the rules makes. Once your party meets that bar, the encounter budget should be quite accurate.

Paradoxically, I feel it's inappropriate for advanced players to start at level 1 but people new to the system SHOULD start at level 1 so they can grok that they can get their *** whipped quickly if things turn south and they aren't being careful. When in doubt, goblins make great redshirts.

That being said, people ought to get to level 2 soonish, preferably by end of first session or shortly into 2nd session


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Pathfinder 2e can be a complicated game, and the earlier APs can be tough... But this ratio is really odd. As others suggested, taking a look at their sheets might give us a clue to what can be wrong. Until then, maybe we can spitball what sort of rules-gotten-wrong could've led to this?

After this new edition launched, me and my group played for a good half of an year before realizing that the current Dying value does not ping pong back to the Wounded condition (i.e Being Dying 3 and getting healed doesn't make you automatically Wounded 3!).

I have seen some newbies messing up their proficiency levels a little too and what not. Some players don't seem to realize that you add your levels to almost every value in your character sheet, or forget to count their proficiency level bonus (trained +2, expert +4, etc).

I'm sure there's other instances that could lead to this... I've played through the entirety of Age of Ashes with an okay group(Alchemist, Wizard, Fighter, Champion and Monk) that really didn't do tactics (i.e Monk rushing ahead through a map full of difficult terrain against the enemies, leaving the rest of the party many feet back) and we only had two deaths.


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SuperBidi wrote:
Harles wrote:
The players are new to PF2 but very experienced in D&D and other RPGs.

From my experience on these boards, these are the groups the most often TPKed. D&D habits are detrimental ones in PF2.

But that's not enough to get to so many TPKs.

I concur highly!

Thinking you know how to play the game (of PF2) because you've played PF1 or variants of D&D are very likely to get you killed (or at least cause a lot of extra difficulty) because what was common or standard in PF1 and D&D 3.5 are extremely bad choices to make in PF2.

If your players spend their actions every turn standing front of the enemy swinging away with 3 attacks that is a recipe for disaster, but a mistake that a lot of experienced PF1 players have made until they're confronted with the math and shown that you have engage with other parts of the system besides just attacking.


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Without knowing more, it sounds like the parties are just too confident and not running away. The three ways to avoid TPK in PF2 are: Outmatch the opponent, insane teamwork, and running away.

It sounds like you are having them fight the right enemies and that they are healing up between combat. So the potential failings then are: Lack of teamwork and failure to access the situation. Both of which are deadly. The first makes it so people are downed one after the other; The second makes it so no one survives even if they try.

This is not even a "Bad things from PF1" thing, but just poor player cooperation and mistmatched GM/Player expectations.

Sovereign Court

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It might be early to say the fault is with the players, we don't know what they're fighting against.

Especially at low level, the encounter design guidelines can be a bit rough, suggesting level +3 bosses are reasonable, when really, they're not.


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I feel like we've had posts like this from the OP for a quite a while, but looking back through the history we never get the details that would let us help. We have tons of hypothesis, but we don't know what happening that the table. We don't hear what's changed between each tpk/bad experience.


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NielsenE wrote:
I feel like we've had posts like this from the OP for a quite a while, but looking back through the history we never get the details that would let us help. We have tons of hypothesis, but we don't know what happening that the table. We don't hear what's changed between each tpk/bad experience.

I vaguely remember a couple of them that did actually post some details. And those ones were the ones that were resolved the best.

One I think was that the players were calculating their AC without adding their character level to it.

And of course there have been plenty where people just came on here to complain, but aren't really interested in hearing that they may have actually been doing something wrong.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

When I clicked on this thread I was genuinely surprised to see the author wasn't Colette...

Anyways, nostalgia aside, I concur with other people here that it's very unusual. I ran all of Age of Ages and although we had a lot of close calls I never had a single party death (well, not one that wasn't negated by a hero point, anyway).

I have had some close calls, though - one or two encounters that I tweaked the HP or AC during the encounter because the encounter was much more deadly than I expected it to be. So I could see a TPK happening to a GM that isn't willing to do that.

Not one every three sessions, though, that seems crazy.


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Harles wrote:

I'm not bragging - actually the opposite.

I manage to average out to a TPK every three sessions (or approximately 12 hours of game time). This is across different groups and different Adventure Paths.
So I'm left wondering - is it just me? Am I a Killer GM when it comes to running Pathfinder 2e? Or is it the Adventure Paths that are extremely difficult? (I was running Age of Ashes and then Extinction Curse.)
But in the process, I've managed to sour three different groups (more than a dozen people) on Pathfinder 2e.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

As a GM who has had more TPKs running PF2e in the last two years versus the 20 years of GMing prior to it, I will say that, yeah a TPK every three sessions is very high.

Age of Ashes is known for being brutal at times (and yup, I had another TPK of a 15th level party that I adjusted on the fly to avoid). Yet even with all of its brutality, entire parties should not be dying every third session. If you are able to give some specifics, it would help maybe pinpoint some areas for improvement.


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Nope. This is highly unusual. Not sure what your players are doing to die so much. My players adapted to the game quickly and learned how to min-max in PF2 as much as possible to win battles.


For me I haven't had no TPK at moment.

Usually my history of TPK as master or as normal player come back to 3.5/PF1 where the GM sometimes make a mistake trying to balance the encounters against players with too OP builds. But in PF2 my party never was closer to a TPK.

I think that usually TPKs come from some of these conditions:
1. Players are saving hero points too much. You said that you are giving 1 Hero Point per session yet they are using it with too much care and allowing the opponents to survive and act for more time. You can remember them that any critical failure with side effects or fail action that consumes something usually worth a Hero Point usage.
Obs.: Alternately you can allow the usage o Hero Points to give Misfortune to a opponent roll making them to re-roll an attack or saves. This also helps to balance the hero points to casters too.
2. Players aren't playing well tactically. This happen with players used to only attacking wasting the 3º action to try an attack that probably won't hit due MAP. Sometimes when you are seeing the players trying 3 attacks per round (and aren't a ranger) you can remember to them that this action probably can be better used to intimidate or to rise a shield or even to step in order to prevent the opponent to use a 3-actions attack.
3. Players are speed-running. PF2 was balanced thinking that players usually are full HP and have some their abilities refreshed. If your players are running battle after battle without stop to refocus or to heal they probably will face big problems due lack of HP or other resources. Most encounters don't require that players constantly run into a dungeon rooms without a break they can probably stop for 10 minutes and while someone investigate the room, other is using medicine to recover HP and conditions, other is refocusing and so on. Sequential encounters had to be rare usually coming from a tense situation like an escape or a pursue. Mostly dungeon crawling requires that players go slowly investigating every room and stoping to re-prepare themselves after each tense situation.

Yet if they still having too much difficult you can help them improving their levels, giving free archetypes and Ancestry Paragon to improve their power or even using Stamina rules to allow them to recover more easily.


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Again, highly unusual. I myself have run Extinction Curse for nearly 30 players (a mix of new and experienced) and their characters over the course of three campaigns. So far, the groups are as far as the end of the third module and only two of those thirty-odd characters have died.

The only times we got anywhere near the possibility of a TPK was when they drew multiple encounters together at the same time.

Are the players not adding their level to their rolls? Did they overlook ability boosts? Something seems way off.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think with a TPK every 3 sessions across different groups we can rule out player tactics tbh. This has to be a rules mistake somewhere and OP isn't really giving us enough details to figure that out.

Unless OP gives specific details like character sheets or a turn by turn combat summary, it's going to be really hard to fix what's happening.


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There is a frustrating drip feed of information from the OP. Including only cherry picking what they respond to. This is combined with them apparently making similar posts in the past

I appreciate that a full turn by turn summary is probably not reasonable as they probably don’t remember. But I am suspicious of the motives

For example early on someone suggested PFS scenarios as the encounters are written weaker than in other adventures. And very soon after came an OP reply of “so there is nothing I can do?”

There is not detail on what has been run or what the encounters are.

A simple solution would be judicious use of the weak template. If there are still TPKs then I would be staggered.


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Lanathar wrote:

There is a frustrating drip feed of information from the OP. Including only cherry picking what they respond to. This is combined with them apparently making similar posts in the past

I appreciate that a full turn by turn summary is probably not reasonable as they probably don’t remember. But I am suspicious of the motives

For example early on someone suggested PFS scenarios as the encounters are written weaker than in other adventures. And very soon after came an OP reply of “so there is nothing I can do?”

There is not detail on what has been run or what the encounters are.

A simple solution would be judicious use of the weak template. If there are still TPKs then I would be staggered.

Hey, sorry about that. I will be posting more information soon (hopefully this morning). I gotta figure out how to get the information off the VTT and in a readable format - while also not posting spoilers for the AP in question.

The ulterior motive I have is - why am I a killer GM and how do I keep from doing it?

This being said, I played through the same encounter twice on Foundry just to test it out. One play through was with the iconics, levelled up to 2nd level (but without magic gear) and the other was a carbon copy of the same party. I handedly defeated the combat both times with minimal damage to the characters.

So there's either something very off in their tactics that I'm missing, or it all comes down to bad luck with the die rolls.

Anyways, I'm posting these character details shortly. Then I'll try to set up the encounter and tell you what happened (as best as I can remember).


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I'm posting abbreviated character details. Let me know if you need more information. (Encounter set-up will follow shortly.)

2nd level gnome sorcerer. 24 hp. AC 15. Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +8.
Str 8, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 18
Spells:
(Cantrips) - Disrupt Undead, Spout, Guidance, Scatter Scree, Detect Magic, Wash Your Luck
(1st) - Mending, Pummeling Rubble, Burning Hands, Horizon Thunder Sphere
(Focus) - Rejuvenating Flames
[At the start of the encounter the sorcerer had full HP, Hero Point, Focus Point, and one 1st level spell slot remaining.]

2nd level lizardfolk cleric. 28 hp. AC 18. Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +9.
Str 14, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 16, Cha 14
Attack: Glaive +6
Spells:
(Cantrips) - Guidance, Prestidigitation, Light, Shield, Stabilize
(1st) - Bless, Magic Weapon, Command
(Healing Font) - 3 heals
(Primal Innate Spells) - Puff of Poison
[At the start of the encounter, the cleric had full HP, Hero Point, 1 healing font use of heal, and 2 1st level spell slots - magic weapon and command - remaining.]

2nd level elf rogue. 24 hp. AC 19. Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +6.
Str 14, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 12
Attack: Rapier +8, Shortbow +8
[At the start of the encounter, the rogue had full HP, Hero Point.]

2nd level half elf redemption champion. 34 hp. AC 19 (21 with shield raised). Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +6.
Str 16, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 14.
Attack: Primary attack is Shield Boss +8 [regularly uses Everstand Stance]
(Focus spell): Lay on Hands
[At the start of the encounter the champion had full HP, full hp on shield, 1 Hero Point, 1 focus point for lay on hands]

Anyways, that's the party - hopefully it's enough to look over until I get the encounter and the play-by-play posted.


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What was the enemy that they faced, or at least what level was it?

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