PF2 A few short thoughts on play of the Absalom Initiation

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
I had the chance to play (not GM!) part of the Absalom Initiation recently, the first of the PFS scenarios.

While I generally enjoyed it - and we didn't get into any big fights so I couldn't really tell you how the combat rules work in detail - there were a couple of irritations.

The first was that I rolled relatively poorly, and so even with skills that I'd invested in, I couldn't succeed. Trying to hit DC 15 is very difficult for tasks you should be good at. (The tasks that were DC 20... huh?) If you were just an average character, you'd be failing those DC 15 checks. And I was feeling that these were things we should be succeeding at.

The second was I got hit by stupefied from one monster. Which meant, for the rest of the session, my Wizard had a 25% chance of failing to cast any spell - and there was no way of removing it. In certain situations, this is the sort of thing that would make me walk out and never bother with the game again. It still bothers me. (It required me to critically fail a save, so my dice luck was amazingly poor for most of the session.)

At least my electric arc cantrip worked - and with a critical hit dealing 2d4+8 damage, I did feel I accomplished at least one thing.

But I'm still rather concerned at the DCs.

Cheers!
 

JeffB

Hero
Hmm..

From the PF2SRD- Did the GM get it right? And there was no way to remove the condition ? What creature? A befuddle spell lasts only one round if it was that.

Stupefied

Your thoughts and instincts are clouded. Stupefied always includes a value. You take a status penalty equal to this value on Intelligence -, Wisdom -, and Charisma-based checks and DCs, including Will saving throws, spell attack rolls, spell DCs, and skill checks that use these ability scores. Any time you attempt to Cast a Spell while stupefied, the spell is disrupted unless you succeed at a flat check with a DC equal to 5 + your stupefied value.
 
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Derren

Adventurer
I had the chance to play (not GM!) part of the Absalom Initiation recently, the first of the PFS scenarios.

While I generally enjoyed it - and we didn't get into any big fights so I couldn't really tell you how the combat rules work in detail - there were a couple of irritations.

The first was that I rolled relatively poorly, and so even with skills that I'd invested in, I couldn't succeed. Trying to hit DC 15 is very difficult for tasks you should be good at. (The tasks that were DC 20... huh?) If you were just an average character, you'd be failing those DC 15 checks. And I was feeling that these were things we should be succeeding at.

The second was I got hit by stupefied from one monster. Which meant, for the rest of the session, my Wizard had a 25% chance of failing to cast any spell - and there was no way of removing it. In certain situations, this is the sort of thing that would make me walk out and never bother with the game again. It still bothers me. (It required me to critically fail a save, so my dice luck was amazingly poor for most of the session.)

At least my electric arc cantrip worked - and with a critical hit dealing 2d4+8 damage, I did feel I accomplished at least one thing.

But I'm still rather concerned at the DCs.

Cheers!
So whats your expectation? That you always succeed despite poor rolls?
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Hmm..

From the PF2SRD- Did the GM get it right? And there was no way to remove the condition ? What creature? A befuddle spell lasts only one round if it was that.

Stupefied

Your thoughts and instincts are clouded. Stupefied always includes a value. You take a status penalty equal to this value on Intelligence -, Wisdom -, and Charisma-based checks and DCs, including Will saving throws, spell attack rolls, spell DCs, and skill checks that use these ability scores. Any time you attempt to Cast a Spell while stupefied, the spell is disrupted unless you succeed at a flat check with a DC equal to 5 + your stupefied value.
Cacodaemon. It’s a disease, I think, (though not described as such by the DM) and various things went badly. Probably could have used a spell to get rid of it, but first level poor adventurers.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Glad you got a chance at testing out Pathfinder 12, Merric!

if a skilled character has a 50% failure chance, and unskilled even more, that’s high.
A PF2 character can easily have a 50% failure rate even skilled against a dangerous threat. And yes, Paizo devs actually do pitch level 1 heroes against DC 20 checks! o_O This would be a problem if the adventure hinges on success. But mostly you just try again.

Cacodaemons may be only level 1 critters, but that doesn't mean they don't pack a punch. You were likely inflicted with stage 2 cacodaemonia, which means stupefied (1 day). One day could mean "the rest of the adventure" or it could mean "once the fight's over, we sleep, and boom - condition gone".

Do note it does mean two failed saves (or one crit fail) - so by PF2's line of thinking you kind of deserved it. Even if making a DC 17 Fortitude save can be a mighty high hill to climb for a level 1 Wizard. (What was your Fort Save? +3? :p)

You sure aren't playing in the 5E kindergarten any more ;)

Edit: stupid mistake
 
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CapnZapp

Hero
Poison and disease can spell certain doom to 1st level heroes. Spells that help are 2nd level (at least). Generous GMs let heroes find help in the form of the local village priest, or somesuch, but this is of course not something you can take for granted.

About the only things a 1st level party can do is use Medicine (the skill) or drink an Elixir of Life. And all that gives you is a +1 bonus. The probability of a low-Con character (such as a Wizard) surviving is still slim. Welcome to the harsh and brutal world of not-5th Edition gaming*.

*) 5th edition has ruined today's gamers, who know nothing of 1d4 hit point Wizards or what a "save or die" roll means. Now get off my lawn! :cool:

By this I mean there's no point in me defending PF2. It is what it is. Personally, I find it refreshing. Then again, I'm the GM, so I can't die... :p
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Yep, stupefied for a whole day. That is harsh.
Yes, especially when you consider how many few spells a first level caster has. It's one thing to lose 25% of two dozen spell slots - you still have 18 spells at your disposal on average. It's quite another to lose 25% of maybe three spell slots - the probability of losing all of them isn't exactly negligible...

The lesson to learn here, I think, is: "don't be a low-level spellcaster" :ROFLMAO:
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Not a bad strategy I guess. Start off in another class and then MC to a wizard.
Paizo, being obsessive about balance, has even closed off that "loophole".

You can't multiclass in the D&D sense in PF2.

What you can do is called a "multiclass dedication archetype".

Perhaps the easiest way to explain it to a D&D5 gamer is:

Imagine there were a whole chain of Magic Initiate feats, letting you gain spell slots of ever-higher levels, not just cantrips and 1st level.

If a Fighter takes these feats, he remains 100% a Fighter as he levels up, albeit perhaps not the very deadliest one (since he doesn't increase his Strength or take the Greatweapon Master feat, etc).

He does gain one spell slot of every level, giving him some spellcasting ability. He has way fewer spells than a Wizard; his Intelligence is probably lower, and gets no special Wizard abilities.

This is exactly how "multiclassing" works in Pathfinder 2.

What this means is that there's no shortcuts to power.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
This is exactly how "multiclassing" works in Pathfinder 2.

What this means is that there's no shortcuts to power.
It's very close to 4E multiclassing, in a lot of ways.

My Wizard was a universalist with the ability to cast FOUR first-level spells! And the feat that allowed me to rededicate my spell slots in ten minutes or so. And he has all but five of the non-Lore skills. It's a pretty interesting build.

I decided half-way through the session that my best chance of being successful was to make the GM do the rolling - thus the critical hit with Lightning Arc, which I didn't have to roll... (more correctly, a critical failure by the GM on behalf of the monster).

Cheers!
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
The second was I got hit by stupefied from one monster. Which meant, for the rest of the session, my Wizard had a 25% chance of failing to cast any spell - and there was no way of removing it. In certain situations, this is the sort of thing that would make me walk out and never bother with the game again. It still bothers me. (It required me to critically fail a save, so my dice luck was amazingly poor for most of the session.)
I can see why it would bother you. It’s not that hard to crit fail a save, particularly when that save DC is 17. You’re not the only one a bit concerned with PF2’s numbers.
 

JeffB

Hero
Paizo, being obsessive about balance, has even closed off that "loophole".

You can't multiclass in the D&D sense in PF2.

What you can do is called a "multiclass dedication archetype".

Perhaps the easiest way to explain it to a D&D5 gamer is:

Imagine there were a whole chain of Magic Initiate feats, letting you gain spell slots of ever-higher levels, not just cantrips and 1st level.

If a Fighter takes these feats, he remains 100% a Fighter as he levels up, albeit perhaps not the very deadliest one (since he doesn't increase his Strength or take the Greatweapon Master feat, etc).

He does gain one spell slot of every level, giving him some spellcasting ability. He has way fewer spells than a Wizard; his Intelligence is probably lower, and gets no special Wizard abilities.

This is exactly how "multiclassing" works in Pathfinder 2.

What this means is that there's no shortcuts to power.
As a dedicated true-hater of traditional D&D multiclassing and as a DM who usually straight out bans the damned rules for it, I actually like PF2s approach. It feels more like T&T's Rogue Class or The Grey Mouser (whom T&T's Rogue was based on). You just don't become something completely different, you dabble in it a bit-which makes more sense from a verisimilitude standpoint.

"Yeah, I've been a wizard for 4 levels, but I'm probably gonna turn into a Barbarian at level 5- I've been feeling kinda ragely, lately." :rolleyes:

I'm glad to see it die in PF- I wish it would die elsewhere too.

Ok. I feel better now having got that off my chest :D
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
*) 5th edition has ruined today's gamers, who know nothing of 1d4 hit point Wizards or what a "save or die" roll means. Now get off my lawn! :cool:
I was running sessions of Original Dungeons & Dragons last year for a 2nd-level magic-user with all of TWO hit points! (She survived to reach 3rd level!) At third level... she had two hit points.

(Seriously! Original D&D MU hit points: 1st level: 1d6. 2nd level: 1d6+1. 3rd level: 2d6. Guess who rolled a one for their second hit dice!)

There are aspects of some 5E DCs that I'm concerned about, but PF maths seems very brutal.

Cheers!
 

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