PF2e - Anyone used UDT 3 ring circle for combat?

Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

I've switched my group over to PF2e and have been enjoying learning the system and Golarion.

I'm thinking to utilize some rules like the variant magic item table to forgo "long shopping" side RP sessions to help keeping to character & adventure stories. Also looking at utilizing a 3 ringed battle grid circle "UDT" board to run most combats except for boss or what we deems as a group "important combat scenes". Or possibly for all combat if it works out.

The theory being, center ring is for melee / second ring for ranged / 3rd ring for out of scene or long range.

Has any one here tested and played that out with PF2e? DungeonCraft channel has a vid explaining it.


Sovereign Court

By variant magic items, do you mean automatic bonus progression? There's a fair group of people who use it, overall I think the opinion is that it works very well for martial characters, but it offers a bit less to spellcasters. They don't care that much for weapon runes but they'd end up with less staves and such.

People have used it for various reasons, but the main ones I think are:
- they feel the game has toooo many magic items and want to narrow that down a bit
- the kind of campaign doesn't really work that well with many magic items, shopping, or crafting them. So using ABP is a way to keep characters on the expected power level without a lot of rebalancing work.

As for long side shopping trips - do the players enjoy them? Sometimes it feels like GMs dislike getting into detail with treasure but players like it.

You could also just say "well, this is a level 10 town so common items up to level 10 can be bought here. Next game session, you should have figured out what you want to buy." It doesn't require you to supervise it all in detail.


The UDT zones idea isn't really new, I've heard variants of it over the last twenty years. It's not a bad idea in itself, but I'm not sure it really is a great fit with Pathfinder. PF2 is built with a lot of focus on tactical movement, flanking, reactions to movement, reach weapons, area spells and so forth. It's quite intricate. It's mainly designed for a square grid, although it'll also work on a hexagonal grid. But the UDT zones would negate a lot of what makes PF2 a tactically clever game, I think. And a lot of class abilities wouldn't really work that well with it.

So I guess the question would be, what problem are you trying to solve with it, and is that more important than the new problems you get by using it?

Yes I meant the Automatic Bonus Progression Variant

Overall I think my objective is to keep a smooth flow in as many aspects as I can.

Run an adventure path so I don't have a much prep time running a complete hombrew

Take out a bit of the shopping and or imbalance in what magic items are found or in the adventure with some players lacking items

Talking about combat & game options just prior to playing in order to help the group remember the Pf2e rules to help speed up the game while we play

Been searching and watching information on how to streamline the game play a bit. I also think I'm being a little tough on myself but as the GM I just want to be happy with the game I'm running.

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Yes. Automatic Bonus Progression is awesome for what it does - which is to remove a lot of the need for shopping or looting.

There are some minor bugs to be aware of.

1) Some spells and consumables that should work, stop working. Notably Mage Armor, Magic Weapon, and Drakeheart Mutagen. Fix - if a temporary effect (lasts some number of minutes) would give an item bonus higher than what the character has in potency bonus/benefit, then the item bonus from the effect applies.

This also fixes and re-enables the option of giving out higher level items as loot if you want. For example, giving out a +1 Striking weapon at level 2.

2) The loot removal aspect benefits martial characters and some spellcasters more than it benefits other spellcasters that still have to spend money learning new spells. Fix - remove the monetary cost of learning a new spell.

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If you're running an AP you might find that using ABP is more work, not less, since even if you just delete all rune drops the party will likely end up with more money than they should have.

Similarly, if you are running an AP you shouldn't need any sort of grid - maps are provided for all (or at least the vast majority of) encounters.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This system reminds me of the Starship rules from the original rules of D20 Star Wars, which I generally liked. I use a similar system for running naval combat in PF2e, with a battle map in case the enemy boards the vessel. I find it breaks down too much for me, though, when the players are not all on a single vessel.

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I had considered the three ring approach before, but Pathfinder 2E is a little bit too granular when it comes to things like movement. This is also the first game I've played on tabletop where movement genuinely matters and is an aspect worth looking at for builds. It's hard to abstract ranges when every five feet of movement can mean the difference in how many actions your enemy gets.

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