Let's talk about Doomsday Dawn
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  1. #1
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    Let's talk about Doomsday Dawn

    Despite all the excitement/furor over PF2e in general, I haven't seen much comment on the Doomsday Dawn playtest adventure.

    Of course I have not had a chance to run it yet, but I did spend much of the day reading through it. First of all, it is an interesting choice for them to basically build an abridged AP as a playtest tool. Even more interesting is how some chapters use "core" PCs while others demand specific styles of PCs intended to exist only for that chapter. I think it should make for a unique and fun experience.

    What are your thoughts on Doomsday Dawn? Are you planning to run it? Have you started or at least have a start date? For my part I will probably start one PF2e is supported on FG.

  2. #2
    I've started to play it and the DM asked me to read it to help keep an eye on playtest matters.

    I'm aware that it picks up on some lore that two earlier adventures established...

    J1 - Entombed with the Pharaohs
    J4 - The Pact Stone Pyramid

    ... but other than that bit of trivia I'm not sure I can provide much insight. Honestly, I'm not paying that much attention to the plot, so I can't really express much of an opinion about its qualities.
    Last edited by zztong; Friday, 10th August, 2018 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Typo

  3. #3
    Unfortunately, Doomsday Dawn is the reason I made the call not to run the playtest for my home group. I think the format of jumping around between different groups of characters to focus-test specific parts of the game is an interesting idea, but having to make new characters every few sessions is not going to go over very well with my players. Especially because thereís so little time dedicated to any one group before jumping to another. I understand that they want feedback on a wide variety of different characters across all levels of play in a pretty short span of time. But for people who will be brand new to the system, itís a big ask to have them make characters at 1st, 4th, 12th, 14th, and 18th level, each after only having played a couple sessions at the previous tier, not even for long enough to level any of them up naturally.

    Now, Iím a crunch gal. I pick up new rulesets very quickly, so I have no problem making characters at any level in this system. But most of my players donít have that kind of intuitive system mastery. Itís a shame, because upon reading the playtest rules, I felt that one of their strengths was that despite being very crunchy, they didnít look too hard to grasp. The player-facing rules give you just enough complexity so that itís rich but manageable, and slowly adds more as you level up. I think if we could play an organic 1st-20th campaign with a single set of characters, only replacing ones that die, my players would love this system. But if I tell them to make 1st level characters, give them just enough time to start getting a feel for those characters, and then tell them to set those characters aside and make 4th level characters (and then shortly thereafter to make 12th level, etc. etc.), theyíre going to hate it. PF2 looks great game to me so far, but Doomsday Dawn just doesnít give you enough time to enjoy the game between all the rigorous testing.

    All I can hope is that the folks who are able to give the adventure a thorough test can provide Paizo with great feedback so they can really polish these rules and make them shine for the final release. Itís just too bad that the way they are going about testing it would be too alienating to my players for me to be able to contribute to that feedback.

  4. #4
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    I have just prepped the first adventure so far and it is looking good so far. I like the fact that my players will be learning a bit about Golarion as we go as we have not played there before.

    I also like that we will be swapping characters around as it seems like a nice way to both test the new rules and to get a taste of the different options. One of my players had about four character concepts that he was trying to decide between and I am not a hundred percent sure that he will actually go with the Paladin that he decided on.

  5. #5
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    Looking at the first adventure, and comparing the encounter to what is recommended in the bestiary, the first adventure is INSANELY DEADLY. No less than 3 encounters are of the Extraordinary difficulty, the one where a TPK is a risk and the players are likely to limp back to town afterwards. Sure, 2 of these are skippable, but how are the players to know that?

    Strongly considering running this with level 3 characters.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Starfox View Post
    Looking at the first adventure, and comparing the encounter to what is recommended in the bestiary, the first adventure is INSANELY DEADLY. No less than 3 encounters are of the Extraordinary difficulty, the one where a TPK is a risk and the players are likely to limp back to town afterwards. Sure, 2 of these are skippable, but how are the players to know that?

    Strongly considering running this with level 3 characters.
    Playing through it as written however is going to provide the most benefit, because in truth something may play very differently than written. For instance, I played the first chapter, and our group made it through with flying colors using five 1st-level PCs. If your same group is butchered on actual play through, this is something Paizo needs to know.

    BTW, for those interested, there is quite a lot of feedback from the playtesters so far on the forums, both in the GM and player sections. If someone has already played through it and is interested in more feedback, there's quite a bit already there on Paizo's site (though their site is having technical difficulties at the moment, I would expect it to be back up soon.)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlaquin View Post
    ...I think the format of jumping around between different groups of characters to focus-test specific parts of the game is an interesting idea, but having to make new characters every few sessions is not going to go over very well with my players. Especially because thereís so little time dedicated to any one group before jumping to another. I understand that they want feedback on a wide variety of different characters across all levels of play in a pretty short span of time. But for people who will be brand new to the system, itís a big ask to have them make characters at 1st, 4th, 12th, 14th, and 18th level, each after only having played a couple sessions at the previous tier, not even for long enough to level any of them up naturally.
    I can completely understand that for a new group not used to Pathfinder, however. Building enthusiasm for the game is more important that the playtest goals in that case.

    For our group (we've been playing PF for quite a while) D.D. was a big draw because we were enthused about the system, and looking forward to trying many different classes.
    XP Charlaquin, Starfox gave XP for this post

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    I can completely understand that for a new group not used to Pathfinder, however. Building enthusiasm for the game is more important that the playtest goals in that case.

    For our group (we've been playing PF for quite a while) D.D. was a big draw because we were enthused about the system, and looking forward to trying many different classes.
    Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. For folks familiar with Pathfinder, Iím sure the opportunity to make lots of different characters and get a feel for lots of levels of play is perfect. Sadly, Iím the only one in my group who has played anything outside of 5e, so we would need a much more gradual introduction to the new system than D.D. provides. Ahh, well. Hopefully the game will be even better once itís out and then I can ease them into it at a pace that works better for them. Assuming it still looks like something they and I would enjoy when it comes out.

  9. #9
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    Played through the first adventure and my four players did just fine. Three people dropped, no one was in danger of dying though. They took one long rest (or whatever its called). It felt pretty bang on. Although I will say that some fights may feel very different if initiative rolls went very different. My sense is that low level play, as in 1st through 4th may be a bit swingy but as characters rise in levels the extra HPs makes this concern go away.

    I've read the second adventure and I am looking forward to this one. It looks like it will be a lot of fun. There has been quite a bit of negative feedback on Exploration mode, and I have yet to really use it as the focus on those rules is in the second adventure, but I personally think it will work just fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Playing through it as written however is going to provide the most benefit...
    Perhaps for Paizo. I'm concerned mainly with my gaming group and their opinions. If the introduction to the system is overly deadly, it will color everyone's impression. Several posts on the Paizo forum express this has happened in other groups.

    What I will do is express my concerns to the group and let them choose. I might also make my own character to support the group - likely a divine sorcerer just to see if they work at all. The other three character is an elven bard, a half-elven rogue, and a gnome barbarian. Not exactly the pinnacle of optimization.

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