Pathfinder 2E Update: Red Flags and Fatter Fireballs
  • Pathfinder 2E Update: Red Flags and Fatter Fireballs


    Hello Paizo news junkies and welcome to our first rapid-fire update! Man does it feel weird not including an all-caps title. Well, the past is the past, and we, like the Golem, must move on. So onward an upward to our first piece of news: the latest update for the Pathfinder Playtest!


    As with all updates for the Pathfinder Playtest, this one comes with another chapter in the Doomsday Dawn…Adventure Path? I’m sure there’s an official name for these somewhere, but they ain’t using it enough for me to remember. This next part is called Red Flags, and pits your characters against the Esoteric Order to the Shackles in an attempt to stop the Night Heralds! Something that I’m sure is quite thrilling to those of you who actually get to play it.

    What should really perk your ears up is that Red Flags is supposed to test how the Pathfinder Playtest operates at high levels. I know many of you have concerns with how 1E handles past level 10 or so, so this is your opportunity to get in there and make a ridiculous cheese monster and really make your DM work. Do it with gleeful abandon! The more you break it now, the better it’ll run when they release the final product.

    Now, on to the rules updates! Update 1.5 seems primarily focused on revisiting spells and dying. On the spells front, there’s good news for all you mages out there: a fair number of damage-dealing spells are the first to receive a minor increase in power. Base damage values are increasing, but scaling damage is remaining the same. Spells that aren’t direct damage-dealers will see changes after these updates are tested, once the devs get your feedback – so if you want your finger of death to be save-or-death not save-or-damage, let ‘em know now!

    Death and dying gets another revisit in Update 1.5. It seems that still, too many of your characters are dying, so they’re trying out a flat DC for stabilization: 10 + your “dying” value (that is, as I recall, the number of times and the severity with which you’ve been knocked unconscious). This change very much depends on your feedback, so it might get rolled back to the Fortitude save from before.

    Finally, Treat Wounds is getting another pass. Apparently there were some problems with high-level characters having difficulty healing low-level characters. On one hand, I think that’s good for drama; no matter how much you love them, you can’t save your cute and loyal pet! That said, some of you invest in your pets and minions, so the skill DC is now set by the highest-level character being treated, not the ones giving the treatment. It seems a little odd to have a scaling DC for first aid, but hey that’s probably a response to the astronomical skill bonuses from 1E.

    Well that does it for this, the first of our freeform updates! Hopefully sticking to a more immediate turnaround like this will also give us more time to get deeper into depth on each of our subjects. We’ll see when time comes for the next update, but until then, have fun and keep your sorcerers away from flour mills!

    This article was contributed by Ben Reece (LongGoneWriter) as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. zztong's Avatar
      zztong -
      The playtest group in which I play is hopelessly behind, but we'll get to Red Flags eventually.
    1. DMMike's Avatar
      DMMike -
      Thanks for the legwork, Ben. Now on to my armchair ranting...

      Quote Originally Posted by LongGoneWriter View Post
      . . . The more you break it now, the better it’ll run when they release the final product.
      Is that a promise?

      Quote Originally Posted by LongGoneWriter View Post
      Death and dying gets another revisit in Update 1.5. It seems that still, too many of your characters are dying, so they’re trying out a flat DC for stabilization: 10 + your “dying” value (that is, as I recall, the number of times and the severity with which you’ve been knocked unconscious).
      May I suggest that part of the problem here is psychology? Players aren't using their regular PF characters; they're using converted or brand-new characters. They probably have much less attachment to these new characters, so they're willing to take bigger risks than they normally would...and they're dying for it.
    1. zztong's Avatar
      zztong -
      Its interesting to me that if when say the problem is that too many characters are dying, that they focus on the dying rules. They must have more info that shows that's the heart of the problem.

      But in our own local playtest, the damage being done is quite significant, countered by heals being equally significant. If you graphed hit points for the tank, it would show peaks and deep valleys, not a gradual decline. Damage dice scale up fast and combined with more frequent critical hits, characters are getting mauled. The counter appears to be a healer with maximized channels.

      Of course, that's all isolated from the dying mini-game since we don't worry about negative hit points. I suppose with the massive damage they had to do that. But they're not really isolated from each other. When you're brought back up, you're wounded, so when the tank gets plowed in the following round they reenter the mini-game in a deeper dying state each time.

      I don't have any answers, but to me having characters go in and out of a dying state as they get clobbered and healed is an unsatisfying result common to many versions of D&D and PF. For the sake of a story, I'd rather see characters/creatures stay conscious until they're finally killed or completely incapacitated instead of seeing folks fall down, stand up, repeat.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by zztong View Post
      The playtest group in which I play is hopelessly behind, but we'll get to Red Flags eventually.
      Heh - we're still on adventure #2!
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      I think the biggest Red Flag for me is scaling DCs for skills.

      Because high level characters are harder to heal? o_O
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