Remaster: Clarification on Dying rules


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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As it stands now with the new rule it appears to be that "your first one is free" and after that you're incredibly likely to die. Which I like. There is a buffer for game play consideration but it is much more true to life that going down and getting wounded means you're more likely than not to die


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AestheticDialectic wrote:
As it stands now with the new rule it appears to be that "your first one is free" and after that you're incredibly likely to die. Which I like. There is a buffer for game play consideration but it is much more true to life that going down and getting wounded means you're more likely than not to die

I don't think that being true to life is something that this game should be concerned with. This is heroic fantasy after all.

But on another point entirely, I really hate the fact that fast healing, small heals and the like can make the situation worse. In my opinion, getting a small heal should never make a character more likely to die, ever. It really doesn't make sense and feels terrible to experience.

Especially because, as a fundamentally unintuitive mechanic, new players are more likely to get stung by it and be put off the system entirely.

Liberty's Edge

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KalisG wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
As it stands now with the new rule it appears to be that "your first one is free" and after that you're incredibly likely to die. Which I like. There is a buffer for game play consideration but it is much more true to life that going down and getting wounded means you're more likely than not to die

I don't think that being true to life is something that this game should be concerned with. This is heroic fantasy after all.

But on another point entirely, I really hate the fact that fast healing, small heals and the like can make the situation worse. In my opinion, getting a small heal should never make a character more likely to die, ever. It really doesn't make sense and feels terrible to experience.

Especially because, as a fundamentally unintuitive mechanic, new players are more likely to get stung by it and be put off the system entirely.

What makes the character more likely to die is if they keep on fighting.

And I think experienced players will fall for this much more than new players.


KalisG wrote:
AestheticDialectic wrote:
As it stands now with the new rule it appears to be that "your first one is free" and after that you're incredibly likely to die. Which I like. There is a buffer for game play consideration but it is much more true to life that going down and getting wounded means you're more likely than not to die

I don't think that being true to life is something that this game should be concerned with. This is heroic fantasy after all.

But on another point entirely, I really hate the fact that fast healing, small heals and the like can make the situation worse. In my opinion, getting a small heal should never make a character more likely to die, ever. It really doesn't make sense and feels terrible to experience.

Especially because, as a fundamentally unintuitive mechanic, new players are more likely to get stung by it and be put off the system entirely.

To me what makes actions heroic is the stakes, and this raises them. Like, I could run this and decide I don't like it, but I see reason for this existing and I can see an upside here that makes me not write it off on the face of it


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MadamReshi wrote:


While it does me going down once is okay if you get stabilised (and are facing enemies who won't just finish you off and you aren't hit by persistent damage), dying potentially instantly on one failed recovery roll once when you have Wounded 1 is extremely punishing. Essentially, if you get revived, you HAVE to run - which is kind of a problem for Martials in particular, who have to spend an action to get up, *and* an action to grab their weapon, and then have to Stride - or Step, if they're in range of an enemy (because while only 1/4 enemies have Attack of Opportunity, how can you ever truly know unless you've moved out of range before?) You'd need to be heal substantially and protected for that to work.

Oh, it's far too late for stepping to help at that point. Stand is a move action.

Now, kip up can save you, but that doesn't become available until level 7.


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The example is both reasonable and a little facetious, because you're only taking more hits in the situation where you've gotten a small heal and (presumably) remained a threat.

Scenario 1: Unconscious, dying out, not stabilized. You're likely to die without getting stabilized. You're very likely to die if hit, and that hit be critical.

Scenario 2: Unconscious, stabilized. You're not likely to die, either due to recovery or intervention. You're very likely to die if hit, and that hit be critical.

Scenario 3: Conscious, stabilized, alive with few hit points. You're not likely to die, due to intervention. You're very likely to die if hit, but that hit is much less likely to be critical.

Scenario 4: Conscious, stabilized, alive with most of your hit points. You're not likely to die, due to intervention. You're unlikely to die if hit, and that hit is much less likely to be critical.

---

A lot of this boils down to how safe unconscious vs. nearly-unconscious PCs are treated. What if I as a PC get healed but pretend to stay unconscious, or remain down and make evident I'm out of the fight? A lot of our tables have adopted a logic of "enemies don't try to kill downed PCs because they aren't a threat anymore" but never attempted to create more than a binary on what being a threat means. It's simple, and there's value in that simplicity, but it also creates this weird dynamic of being less concerned about dying PCs than nearly-dying PCs at times.

At least for our table, the knowledge that there were many tables already playing with these rules without some gamebreaking issue, the knowledge that a shift of in-combat tactics can help with the frequency of the issue under dispute, and trust that the rest of the system is fairly balanced and tight are collectively enough for us to at least give them a sincere try before homeruling.

There's no right answer here, but wherever your respective tables land, I hope you at least give it a fair bit of consideration.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
MadamReshi wrote:


While it does me going down once is okay if you get stabilised (and are facing enemies who won't just finish you off and you aren't hit by persistent damage), dying potentially instantly on one failed recovery roll once when you have Wounded 1 is extremely punishing. Essentially, if you get revived, you HAVE to run - which is kind of a problem for Martials in particular, who have to spend an action to get up, *and* an action to grab their weapon, and then have to Stride - or Step, if they're in range of an enemy (because while only 1/4 enemies have Attack of Opportunity, how can you ever truly know unless you've moved out of range before?) You'd need to be heal substantially and protected for that to work.

Oh, it's far too late for stepping to help at that point. Stand is a move action.

Now, kip up can save you, but that doesn't become available until level 7.

Alternatively, wait and see if your friends can lure/push the enemy away from you so you can safely stand and retreat, either to safety or just enough to get more healing/participate from range.

Liberty's Edge

Guntermench wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
MadamReshi wrote:


While it does me going down once is okay if you get stabilised (and are facing enemies who won't just finish you off and you aren't hit by persistent damage), dying potentially instantly on one failed recovery roll once when you have Wounded 1 is extremely punishing. Essentially, if you get revived, you HAVE to run - which is kind of a problem for Martials in particular, who have to spend an action to get up, *and* an action to grab their weapon, and then have to Stride - or Step, if they're in range of an enemy (because while only 1/4 enemies have Attack of Opportunity, how can you ever truly know unless you've moved out of range before?) You'd need to be heal substantially and protected for that to work.

Oh, it's far too late for stepping to help at that point. Stand is a move action.

Now, kip up can save you, but that doesn't become available until level 7.

Alternatively, wait and see if your friends can lure/push the enemy away from you so you can safely stand and retreat, either to safety or just enough to get more healing/participate from range.

An excellent point. We have the Reposition maneuver now, after all.


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As a simple question though: Does this actually improve anything? Because all it seems to do is make things more lethal.

And I get that Wounded was added to the game to address a specific mechanical issue with PCs popping up and down from healing. But I assert that it accomplishes its goal solely by increasing the initial dying value - stacking additional increases on recovery saves/damage is unnecessary to avoid the play patterns Wounded is intended to prevent.

At that point, I'm forced to ask whether there is any benefit to this? Because the way I've been playing all these years has certainly never run into the issues Wounded aims to address - there's just too much of a cost to going down even once already (and in fact, I'm wondering if a large part of the original issue is quadratic wizards, which is much less of a problem in 2e, and how martial classes are hurt more by being downed than casters)

Ultimately, lethality is not a virtue. It's a balancing act and part of creating tension in the game and story. However, the way I've been playing all these years has never felt lacking in that tension due to how going down can already snowball, well tuned encounter math, etc. As such, I see no reason to increase lethality - it's pointless, because lethality is a tool, not a goal.

I would like to see Paizo errata this change out (and de facto, this is a rules change for a lot of players), because it provides no benefit to the game as a whole, while at the same time it hurts the game in other areas (such as how Orc Ferocity goes from being a cool risk/reward choice to suicide, or how it makes Fast Healing effects extremely risky)


Dubious Scholar wrote:
And I get that Wounded was added to the game to address a specific mechanical issue with PCs popping up and down from healing. But I assert that it accomplishes its goal solely by increasing the initial dying value - stacking additional increases on recovery saves/damage is unnecessary to avoid the play patterns Wounded is intended to prevent.

Apparently it wasn't doing a good enough job considering the number of very vocal people coming on here to complain that this change cripples their desired gameplay loop.

Orc Ferocity I would agree needs looked at.

Fast Healing works just fine as long as it isn't bouncing you across the 0 HP boundary. It is to keep you healthy, not keep you from dying.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
The number-crunching part of my brain isn't working today. Anyone feel like working out the math with the high-lethality rule but pushing death off a couple notches to dying 6? Normal recovery rules---I'm thinking of a change to the baseline, not of characters with relevant feats.

Two thoughts:

1) The math is way too complicated for me. The probability is: what is the probability of rolling n more failures than successes (with n being either 4 or 6) when the probability of success of an individual roll is approximately 50%, but varies slightly depending on how many more failures have been rolled at the time. And that is not counting things like taking damage while Dying or while both Dying and Wounded.

2) What scenarios are you looking at?

The scenario where a character drops to 0 HP and dying and then stays there trying to stabilize for the remainder of the battle, and the scenario where a character drops to 0 HP and benefits from some method of stabilization (heroic recovery, stabilize cantrip, first aid, ...) - these scenarios aren't affected by the change to Wounded. But they will be minorly affected by the proposed change to maximum Dying value.

The scenario where a character drops to 0 HP, then is healed and rejoins the fight with Wounded 1 condition, and then drops to 0 HP again - that scenario in the Remastered rules will mean that they start at Dying 2 and will go to Dying 4 if they take any additional damage or fail their first recovery check. Increasing that to Dying 6 maximum will mean that after their first failed recovery check they will be at Dying 4 and will have additional chances to recover. However, the Dying condition will only reduce by 1 if they succeed, but will increase by 2 if they fail.

In the scenario where a character is healed up again and rejoins the fight with Wounded 2, then dropping to 0 HP again will put them at Dying 3 and will increase their Dying value by 3 if they fail their next recovery check or take any damage. Which...

KalisG, Teridex, breithauptclan, thanks!

My group has been using the lower-lethality ("old") rule, so we haven't felt the need to muck with it before. I'm just looking forward and speculating if there's a different tweak that would moderate the high-lethality rule. If so, this clearly (see Teridax's math) isn't it!


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Karneios wrote:
The designers have clarified it, the clarification is the remaster with the text that if you fail a recovery check you add dying equal to 1 (2 on a crit fail) plus your wounded, I do not like it and we can all run it however we want but it is pretty unambiguous on the wording of it with a link to an image from the remaster itself here: from the pathfinder memes reddit

Why does this rule even have a Critical Success entry, when rolling a crit success is mathematically impossible, since you can't be "Dying 0", AFAIK?


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magnuskn wrote:
Why does this rule even have a Critical Success entry, when rolling a crit success is mathematically impossible, since you can't be "Dying 0", AFAIK?

I thought that the nat-20 rule would still apply to flat checks.


Karneios wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I think they wanted to clarify the original ruling.

The way some of you are reading it is nutso:

1. Knocked down dying 1.

2. Healed up to wounded 1. Dying condition gone.

3. Knocked down a second time, Dying 2 because regain Dying 1 condition plus wounded condition for Dying 2 when unconscious. Wounded 1.

4. Then you're all saying the designers intended for you to miss a recover check when Dying 2 and suddenly go from Dying 2 to Dying for because increase dying by 1 and add wounded a second time? I don't think they mean this myself.

I think it's the old method.

1. Knocked down Dying 1.

2. Wounded 1 when healed up.

3. Knocked down Dying 1 plus wounded 1 for Dying 2.

4. Miss recovery check dying condtion goes to dying 2 plus Wounded 1 for Dying 3.

You only add your current wounded condition one time. It is clarifying that you add it to your current dying condition. Not each time you increase your dying condition.

I'm not going to change it until I see a designer provide a clear example they intended the dying condition to rise that quickly.

I think some you of are reading more into than is there.

Maybe some designer will clarify and it will be that deadly. I don't know. I know I'm going to keep running it as I was and this seems like the same rule I was using.

The designers have clarified it, the clarification is the remaster with the text that if you fail a recovery check you add dying equal to 1 (2 on a crit fail) plus your wounded, I do not like it and we can all run it however we want but it is pretty unambiguous on the wording of it with a link to an image from the remaster itself here: from the pathfinder memes reddit

It does not say to do this each time. It reinforces you do it the one time.

I think a bunch of you are reading too much into this. It does not add the wounded value each time you increase dying. It's a one time addition once you obtain the dying value.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Why does this rule even have a Critical Success entry, when rolling a crit success is mathematically impossible, since you can't be "Dying 0", AFAIK?
I thought that the nat-20 rule would still apply to flat checks.

Ah, totally forgot about this. Yeah, that clears it up.

Gotta say, I also read the "old rules" as the common more lenient version and I think as soon as I start GM'ing PF2E, I'll keep it that way. The new version seems to be too punishing, since in the trial combats I ran, downing characters seemed to happen quite often, even at high levels.


Guntermench wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I doubt they intended for every increase in dying to add the wounded condition each time it increases.

I would bet money that wasn't intended.

I will run this the original way which I believe was intended, rather than jumping from dying 2 to dying 4 because you have wounded 1 and are already unconscious and dying. I will add the wounded condition one time once the target it dying and increasing dying by 1 for a failed recovery check per the original rule. I will not add the wounded condition and increase dying 1 each time dying increases. I do not believe that was intended at all.

I can produce receipts: from 2020 and from a couple weeks ago.

I'm not logging into Discord to see this.


Deriven Firelion wrote:

It does not say to do this each time. It reinforces you do it the one time.

I think a bunch of you are reading too much into this. It does not add the wounded value each time you increase dying. It's a one time addition once you obtain the dying value.

It is part of the Recovery Check result list.

So it happens at least every time you make a Recovery Check while Dying.


Does anyone have an example of Buhlman or any streamed PF2 game running it in this fashion since this is what they intended? From what I understand the designers or PF2 folks have run streamed games or run games on their own, do they run the rule this way?


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The link doesn't seem to work, anyway, for people who haven't already received a channel invite. I couldn't log in and I use Discord in general quite a bit nowadays.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Does anyone have an example of Buhlman or any streamed PF2 game running it in this fashion since this is what they intended? From what I understand the designers or PF2 folks have run streamed games or run games on their own, do they run the rule this way?

I think some of the characters were dropped in the Secrets of Magic playthrough. It has been a while, so I don't remember exactly.

But if they did drop, none of them continued fighting while Wounded, so this particular rule wouldn't show up.


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Here's Combat in Pathfinder 2E | How does it work? | Jason Bulmahn, posted on his personal youtube channel in February. He talks about Death and Dying at 1:04:32 and the wounded condition at 1:08:18. Interestingly, in the dying section, he doesn't mention the fact that on a failure, dying increases by 1 plus your wounded value, and in the wounded section, he only ever says that wounded increases the value of the initial dying.


Deriven Firelion wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I doubt they intended for every increase in dying to add the wounded condition each time it increases.

I would bet money that wasn't intended.

I will run this the original way which I believe was intended, rather than jumping from dying 2 to dying 4 because you have wounded 1 and are already unconscious and dying. I will add the wounded condition one time once the target it dying and increasing dying by 1 for a failed recovery check per the original rule. I will not add the wounded condition and increase dying 1 each time dying increases. I do not believe that was intended at all.

I can produce receipts: from 2020 and from a couple weeks ago.

I'm not logging into Discord to see this.

Alright, here's the second one.

Comment he's replying to wrote:
Wait does anyone actually know who wrote that weird dying rule?
Mark wrote:
It was whoever wrote the Death and Dying section, which I now don't remember because all of us agreed on the rules.It wasn't me in that section, but it might as well have been everyone. We had massive discussions before we found this Death and Dying system because every designer had a priority to cover.


Guntermench wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
Guntermench wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:

I doubt they intended for every increase in dying to add the wounded condition each time it increases.

I would bet money that wasn't intended.

I will run this the original way which I believe was intended, rather than jumping from dying 2 to dying 4 because you have wounded 1 and are already unconscious and dying. I will add the wounded condition one time once the target it dying and increasing dying by 1 for a failed recovery check per the original rule. I will not add the wounded condition and increase dying 1 each time dying increases. I do not believe that was intended at all.

I can produce receipts: from 2020 and from a couple weeks ago.

I'm not logging into Discord to see this.

Alright, here's the second one.

Comment he's replying to wrote:
Wait does anyone actually know who wrote that weird dying rule?
Mark wrote:
It was whoever wrote the Death and Dying section, which I now don't remember because all of us agreed on the rules.It wasn't me in that section, but it might as well have been everyone. We had massive discussions before we found this Death and Dying system because every designer had a priority to cover.

That statement isn't any clearer.

I read it differently than most of you I guess. To me it looks like the same rule with the clear clarification to add the wounded condition to your dying value when you get it, not each time it increases for a failed recovery check.

Until I hear from a designer with absolute certainty that is what they intend as in a clearly spelled out example, then I'm running it as I was before.

When a character falls and has the dying condition, then you add the wounded condition to the dying condition. You do this because the method PF2 uses to track death is tied to wounded.

So wounded increases each time you get healed above zero increasing the wounded condition, then you add the wounded condition one time to your dying condition when you fall to zero again increasing the starting dying condition. But you don't do this each time you fail a Recovery check. It's applied once along with the increased dying condition by 1.

So if you have wounded 2 and you fall, you end up with dying 3. then if you fail a recovery check, you going to dying Dying 4 while still keeping your wounded 2 condition which will not increase until you are healed to above zero which increases to wounded 3.

But nowhere does it say add the wounded condition each time your dying condition increases. It's in parentheses as a reminder to always added the wounded condition to the dying condition because dying always starts Dying 1 if you don't add the wounded condition as part of the equation.

That was how I read the clarification and how I intend to run it unless I see a designer confirm that each failed recovery check increases dying by 1 plus your wounded condition each time. So your wounded condition instead of adding to your dying condition one time acts as doubling effect which would be excessive.


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This rule would have killed at least two characters in my campaign, and very possibly more. Which isn't really a value judgement, but I prefer less lethal games.

I see this heavily encouraging not healing downed characters - or at least if you go down, you're doing nothing for the rest of combat to avoid drawing aggro. That just sucks as a player, especially in a system where I've had some intense combats last two full hours. I... don't understand the utility of mechanics that tell you you can't play the game.

I'll be sticking with the way I currently run the dying rules.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
Until I hear from a designer with absolute certainty that is what they intend as in a clearly spelled out example, then I'm running it as I was before.

Well, you don't need to change how you run the game at your tables even then.

Unless you are playing PFS - at which point you should follow the PFS ruling guidelines.

Deriven Firelion wrote:
But nowhere does it say add the wounded condition each time your dying condition increases. It's in parentheses as a reminder to always added the wounded condition to the dying condition because dying always starts Dying 1 if you don't add the wounded condition as part of the equation.

You don't make Recovery Checks as part of being dropped to 0 HP and gaining the Dying condition.

Recovery Checks are made at the start of each of your turns while you have the Dying condition.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

"Continuing combat whilst seriously injured dramatically increases the likelihood of dying? You don't say!"

^ My GM who seems all too eager for this (non) change.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I strongly encouraged people to remember to use the rules that make the most sense for your whole table, and that should involve a conversation, not the GM just strong arming players one way or another.

That said, I think the meta narrative that used to exist about 2 handed melee weapons + lots of healing being “the best” party build, could have seriously been underestimating how bad an idea ending turns next to enemies can be for you. This is one of the things I like about the more lethal rules.

I also wonder if Sayre knew that many players playtesting the animist were using less lethal dying rules, because everyone talking about how powerful the forest focus spell healing was, but using that spell in combat is going to be brutally difficult without killing your allies. A fair bit of kineticist healing is also not as outstanding as the initial reviews had assumed, at least not with the RAW dying rules.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Unicore wrote:
I also wonder if Sayre knew that many players playtesting the animist were using less lethal dying rules, because everyone talking about how powerful the forest focus spell healing was, but using that spell in combat is going to be brutally difficult without killing your allies. A fair bit of kineticist healing is also not as outstanding as the initial reviews had assumed, at least not with the RAW dying rules.

Not if you're picking them up off the floor. If you delay their face planting in advance though, it's not so bad (or so I hear).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I also wonder if Sayre knew that many players playtesting the animist were using less lethal dying rules, because everyone talking about how powerful the forest focus spell healing was, but using that spell in combat is going to be brutally difficult without killing your allies. A fair bit of kineticist healing is also not as outstanding as the initial reviews had assumed, at least not with the RAW dying rules.
Not if you're picking them up off the floor. If you delay their face planting in advance though, it's not so bad (or so I hear).

The thing is, animist focus spells is all about sustaining it. Having to stop it as soon as an ally drops is a much bigger limit than I think most players realized.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
How are you interpreting it this way?

and this is the problem. You thought you were playing it strictly but no you weren't. The recovery rules were always broken. I've always ignored them as in effect you are double adding the wounded condition - which just seems wrong to me.

Dying rules are already deadly enough. Especially when you consider that you are unconcious on the ground with a –4 status penalty to AC, and Reflex saves. Your chances of taking a critical are very high if you are deliberately or accidentally targeted, and you are likely to be hit even with a MAP modifier. Then there is the problem of persistant damage.

I don't kill many PCs, but that is because I don't target unconcious PCs often - only a few specific creatures will. But if I did they would die very quickly.

For a run down on the rules check out the latest rules laywer video. Last section.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unless you are playing every creature to play by dying rules, why would any NPC assume that a character that feel wasn’t already dead?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Fireball and other damaging area effects are now save or die variant of death knell it would seem.


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Unicore wrote:
Unless you are playing every creature to play by dying rules, why would any NPC assume that a character that feel wasn’t already dead?

You sort of have to do that for some things, unfortunately. Otherwise monsters with healing don't work that well, and more importantly... monster regeneration doesn't work, since it's based on dying level.

Though it's definitely possible to ignore it for monsters other than those.


Ravingdork wrote:

"Continuing combat whilst seriously injured dramatically increases the likelihood of dying? You don't say!"

^ My GM who seems all too eager for this (non) change.

I mean, this is my take away as well. I am contemplating things like increasing player HP before reverting the dying rules because I think it's so thematic


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I will say that Fast Healing is now also a trap, because the former is forced healing that does nothing about the Wounded condition, and still functions while Unconscious.

I don't know about a trap.

But it is livin' dangerously!

It is, because it basically auto-stacks you with Wounded conditions, which is exacerbated with persistent damage, and now, having Wounded condition in combat is a death sentence.

Yes, also considering that Fast Healing is almost always a pittance while persistent damage could be quite solid. I think it's fair to say that persistent damage scaling strongly overcomes fast healing scaling.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Fireball and other damaging area effects are now save or die variant of death knell it would seem.

Anymore so than before? Nothing at all is different until the character is healed and gains the wounded condition. At the point you drop while wounded 1, area effect damage already was a serious risk of killing you outright on a crit anyway. It just changes from death on a crit, to death on a fail.

There is a certain wasp swarm in an early AP that will collect more bodies. But maybe this will make players less inclined to see a giant swarm of creatures with poison and think, “I’m sure running up and attacking this thing as much as possible is my best course of action!”


Errenor wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I will say that Fast Healing is now also a trap, because the former is forced healing that does nothing about the Wounded condition, and still functions while Unconscious.

I don't know about a trap.

But it is livin' dangerously!

It is, because it basically auto-stacks you with Wounded conditions, which is exacerbated with persistent damage, and now, having Wounded condition in combat is a death sentence.
Yes, also considering that Fast Healing is almost always a pittance while persistent damage could be quite solid. I think it's fair to say that persistent damage scaling strongly overcomes fast healing scaling.

Oh right fast healing technically works at 0 hp.

We used to think that was overpowered. Now I know why it's not.


Unicore wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Fireball and other damaging area effects are now save or die variant of death knell it would seem.

Anymore so than before? Nothing at all is different until the character is healed and gains the wounded condition. At the point you drop while wounded 1, area effect damage already was a serious risk of killing you outright on a crit anyway. It just changes from death on a crit, to death on a fail.

There is a certain wasp swarm in an early AP that will collect more bodies. But maybe this will make players less inclined to see a giant swarm of creatures with poison and think, “I’m sure running up and attacking this thing as much as possible is my best course of action!”

If you're referencing the EC one I'll need to pour one out for the dwarven animal barbarian I played who got locked in with them when the party freaked out and ran. Dubu Moyo, gone but not forgotten


WWHsmackdown wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Fireball and other damaging area effects are now save or die variant of death knell it would seem.

Anymore so than before? Nothing at all is different until the character is healed and gains the wounded condition. At the point you drop while wounded 1, area effect damage already was a serious risk of killing you outright on a crit anyway. It just changes from death on a crit, to death on a fail.

There is a certain wasp swarm in an early AP that will collect more bodies. But maybe this will make players less inclined to see a giant swarm of creatures with poison and think, “I’m sure running up and attacking this thing as much as possible is my best course of action!”

If you're referencing the EC one I'll need to pour one out for the dwarven animal barbarian I played who got locked in with them when the party freaked out and ran. Dubu Moyo, gone but not forgotten

Oh that one was awful.

The party ran away the first time and had to smoke it out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

See, I love the monster that is too strong but can be cleverly dealt with. When we encountered it, it got lured out and almost killed everyone in the party while my rogue closed the door and took care of the hive, then had to go hide in a closet for several hours until the wasps went away.


Unicore wrote:
See, I love the monster that is too strong but can be cleverly dealt with. When we encountered it, it got lured out and almost killed everyone in the party while my rogue closed the door and took care of the hive, then had to go hide in a closet for several hours until the wasps went away.

Yup same.

These were new players, which made it dicey since they weren't sure if they should run and almost tpk'd because of it.


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I’m having trouble reconciling this “change” with a game where “you should expect to go down, it’s part of the game” is a wisdom often provided to people complaining about the base difficulty. One of my players is a giant instinct barbarian and is regularly dropped on the first round of combat by an enemy casually walking up and critting him in the face two or three times. Then the cleric gets him up so he can do his job of tearing the foe to shreds. I don’t think he’d find it very fun if I told him he should either sit out for the combat or have an 80% chance of rolling a new character. And my healer-maxed cleric would probably quit if my tactically-minded players told them not to heal the guy bleeding out on the ground.

If you’re expected to retreat or die in the Moderate-Severe range of encounters pretty regularly I’m not sure how you’re supposed to get anything done.


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BooleanBear wrote:
I’m having trouble reconciling this “change” with a game where “you should expect to go down, it’s part of the game” is a wisdom often provided to people complaining about the base difficulty.

Well, I'm not sure who you are talking to about it. I haven't heard that you should expect to be dropped. You should expect to be hit, yes. You can't build an exceptionally high AC to prevent you from getting more than scratches like you could in PF1. You will take damage from enemies.

But being dropped is a different matter entirely. If your characters are getting dropped in the first round of combat, then something is amiss.

-----

Which doesn't mean that something isn't amiss.

I have been in a combat where our characters were getting 1-round KO'd. A level+3 enemy tearing through people on one side, and 6 level+0 enemies ganging up on individual party members on the other side.

I calculated out the XP of the enemies after the battle was concluded. It was over 200 XP worth of creatures.

Yes, this was from an AP. One of the early ones that are known to be problematic.


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Another issue - lethality enforces minmaxing for survival. Do we want to just mandate everyone build their characters to maximize their AC/saves? How risky should it be to not max your AC? Because higher lethality increases that risk and punishes suboptimal defenses.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Unicore wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Fireball and other damaging area effects are now save or die variant of death knell it would seem.
Anymore so than before? Nothing at all is different until the character is healed and gains the wounded condition. At the point you drop while wounded 1, area effect damage already was a serious risk of killing you outright on a crit anyway. It just changes from death on a crit, to death on a fail.

No, it changes it to death on a *success*. You need to crit succeed on your save to avoid dying, because if you take any damage at all you will go straight to Dying 4.


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breithauptclan wrote:
BooleanBear wrote:
I’m having trouble reconciling this “change” with a game where “you should expect to go down, it’s part of the game” is a wisdom often provided to people complaining about the base difficulty.

Well, I'm not sure who you are talking to about it. I haven't heard that you should expect to be dropped. You should expect to be hit, yes. You can't build an exceptionally high AC to prevent you from getting more than scratches like you could in PF1. You will take damage from enemies.

But being dropped is a different matter entirely. If your characters are getting dropped in the first round of combat, then something is amiss

A couple recent threads where this is suggested by several people. It’s certainly more of a low-level issue but in my opinion dying rules should be balanced around low levels more than high levels, since that’s usually players’ introduction to the system and where they spend most of their time.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It was a common talking point when the game was new too (ironically from both ends, people complaining about dropping too fast and people talking about how pcs were relatively insulated from actual death).

It was generally agreed upon that the dynamic of being relatively quick to drop but death being somewhat harder to reach (except maybe via persistent) was central to PF2's dynamic.

I guess not anymore but eh.


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-musing-

Maybe this is a part of why people seem to struggle so much with TPKs in PF2e. People are used to playing with a forgiving system that let's them pop back up from dying 2-3 times reliably and not feels like they are seriously at risk. So they never develop defensive play strategies or value healing before they drop as much because it feels closer to other systems where dropping and getting up isn't as dangerous.

So a bad streak of luck can spiral and people pushing their luck can result in dead PCs while my group would have been spending resources well before PCs went down and have actively taken defensive positions and are comfortable repositioning or outright fleeing before things get too hairy.

I am starting a new group tonight, new to pf2e, one brand new to rpgs in general. It will be interesting to see if they struggle with character deaths caused by dying (the only healer is an investigator).

Dubious Scholar wrote:
Another issue - lethality enforces minmaxing for survival. Do we want to just mandate everyone build their characters to maximize their AC/saves? How risky should it be to not max your AC? Because higher lethality increases that risk and punishes suboptimal defenses.

First time I ran AV I had a player choose to run a cloistered cleric with 10 dex because "he is an old man". Player is VERY RP focused, he just stayed out of combat as much as possible and when he did get hit yeah there was a disgustingly huge chance of crit. But he did well despite my expectations. He did use cover a lot and lean around corners though which is essentially a +4 to ac and dex when dealing with ranged attacks.


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The Gleeful Grognard wrote:

-musing-

Maybe this is a part of why people seem to struggle so much with TPKs in PF2e. People are used to playing with a forgiving system that let's them pop back up from dying 2-3 times reliably and not feels like they are seriously at risk.

But the PF2 rules have never done that. It has always been very easy to kill characters, even with the generous way I interpret the wounded condition. If the players heal a downed PC and that PC retreats they have a reasonable chance of survival. But if the enemy follows up an attack, or is using area or persistant damage, or the player reengages then PCs die very quickly.

This is not D&D5 with repeated Healing Word yoyos, and players who never bother to heal anyone till they actually drop.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

"The Rules Lawyer" put out a video today - a list of things he doesn't like in the Remaster or feels need further clarification.

This change made the list.

But...

the TL:DR on "The Rules Lawyer" seems to be that there are designers who are for this new dying condition - it was around during the early PF2E playtest. And there are those who are against it. It was pulled out of the game during the playtest, and the 4th printing errata further clarified that wounded only stacked on when "gaining" dying.

And the Remaster ALSO slightly conflicts itself.

The Wounded condition still says only that it is applied when you GAIN dying. And the added lethal piece that hasn't been seen since the 2018 playtest is in parenthesis in a different part of the rules (on recovery checks).

He notes how the game is already lethal enough to sometimes discourage new players from sticking with it, and this would make that worse.

It also discourages teamwork - the teamwork strat of helping allies actually now becomes a way to kill them under this change.

(An aside is that a month or so ago in a poll, 75% of people voted against this new way of doing things - finding it a bad idea. But at the time it was just being discussed as an idea because it had shown up on the GM screen.)

Given those thoughts, I left this comment on his video and his reddit thread:

On the dying condition change:

I think this is a typo that got in there from too many hands in the kitchen and someone pulling from the playtest docs.

It seems to both discourage new players and work to be anti-teamwork.

In a game where every other rules teaches that working together and helping allies improves success; here we have a change that results in increasing player deaths if you "dare" to help downed allies.

Healing your team-mates actually now works to increase their odds of getting killed, which seems opposite of what should logically follow.

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