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Pathfinder 2E Absolute XP

CapnZapp

Legend
Not to argue, but more of an observation re: the mitflits vs warriors scenario: there will always be cases where the party has exactly the composition that's effective against the monsters.

And there will always be cases where that's not the case.

I wouldn't worry about it and I would not tweak the xp awards for it.

If a group of players playing well had more of the former while another group had more of the latter, well... that's arguably a feature and not a bug!

Thanks,
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
I would also argue that there is one overarching phenomenon the default xp scheme does not take into account at all:

It is considerably easier to level up at high level than at low level. That is, a monster your own level is very hard at first, but nearly trivial at the highest level. Yet it gives you the same xp at every level.

Just saying that this is likely has a much bigger impact than any concerns over fights that came out less (or more) difficult than expected for the level/encounter challenge.

Cheers,

PS. That's true of my scheme as well but at least I cut off at level 12 before the most profound changes can be felt.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I guess all these of my posts harken back to one and the same thing: don't view xp as the kind of mythically pseudoscientific "objective" number that it most assuredly is not.

Ronaldsf is on the right track - just tweak the numbers wherever and whenever you like, since in the end, heroes gain precisely the amount of xp the GM wants them to (or at least that is how it should work, particularly in a game like Pathfinder which just isn't engineered to support the case where you're the wrong level for the adventure)
 

payn

Adventurer
Its true
I guess all these of my posts harken back to one and the same thing: don't view xp as the kind of mythically pseudoscientific "objective" number that it most assuredly is not.

Ronaldsf is on the right track - just tweak the numbers wherever and whenever you like, since in the end, heroes gain precisely the amount of xp the GM wants them to (or at least that is how it should work, particularly in a game like Pathfinder which just isn't engineered to support the case where you're the wrong level for the adventure)
It's true, the PCs can only press their luck so far in PF2 until its suicide. Especially, at the first several levels. I cant see how mixed level parties would even work in PF2 (without the no +1/lvl variant anyways).
 


dave2008

Legend
..., but their ability to contribute may be limited depending on the size of the level gap.
That is a good point. In PF2e, is it assumed everyone gets the same proportion of XP from a challenge even if they don't contribute as much (the double XP conversion not withstanding)?
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
That is a good point. In PF2e, is it assumed everyone gets the same proportion of XP from a challenge even if they don't contribute as much (the double XP conversion not withstanding)?
Correct. Any XP awarded goes to the entire group. The only exceptions are missing characters (the GM decides) and lower-level characters (the award is doubled). By default, it doesn’t try to parse out who did what (even for accomplishment XP).
 

CapnZapp

Legend
It's true, the PCs can only press their luck so far in PF2 until its suicide.
Not sure if you are think of "resource management" but if so: this is not really a thing if you play PF2 RAW.

Parties have access to basically unlimited hit points if only given enough time to recuperate (an hour or so). You can play the game in two ways: in the regular way with access to the Medicine skill, or in the severely crippled way with nobody proficient in this skill. shrug

And the only spell that really makes a difference is Heal. As long as the party Cleric has a couple of emergency heals left, you can keep adventuring as soon as everyone's topped up their hp again.

It's easily possible to mow through an entire level's worth of monsters/xp in a single go assuming you have a sufficiently martial-heavy party. That is, there's seldom any game-mandated need to sleep for the night. That you do when the story says you do.

We did that during Extinction Curse level 5 if you want a practical play reference. Even though I added significantly more monsters, there just wasn't anything stopping the heroes. All they need is hit points, and a Cleric that is content pew-pewing cantrips to save every spell slot for emergency Heals. Whether the Wizard have spell slots or just pew-pews (or to be honest, is there at all) doesn't matter at this level.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
We had a new player start at 1st level. It didn’t take long for his character to get caught up to 5th level.
I sure hope so. You are literally useless when you're that many levels behind the group.

Worse, you're an extreme liability. The rest of the party simply cannot protect you. They're basically better off with you staying so far back you essentially do nothing.

---

Of course, Kenada is a good GM and probably offered this to the new player to feel the joy of starting from level 1, and then went easy on the group, never targeting the L1 as long as the other party members took reasonable precautions. And there of course it works.

Just clarifying that to be honest, the implicit message here, "it's fine to do this" really isn't true unless you can make additional, unstated, assumptions. Maybe you used proficiency without level, and so on...

Right, K?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
That is a good point. In PF2e, is it assumed everyone gets the same proportion of XP from a challenge even if they don't contribute as much (the double XP conversion not withstanding)?
XP is never listed for a group. It's always per character. If you get 30 XP, that means Alice gets 30 XP and Bob gets 30 XP... aaand come think of it, I could do well clarifying that for my top post too! DONE

In a RAW game where the GM plays no favorites I would strongly recommend against having a character more than a single level behind (or ahead) the rest of the group.
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
I sure hope so. You are literally useless when you're that many levels behind the group.

Worse, you're an extreme liability. The rest of the party simply cannot protect you. They're basically better off with you staying so far back you essentially do nothing.

---

Of course, Kenada is a good GM and probably offered this to the new player to feel the joy of starting from level 1, and then went easy on the group, never targeting the L1 as long as the other party members took reasonable precautions. And there of course it works.

Just clarifying that to be honest, the implicit message here, "it's fine to do this" really isn't true unless you can make additional, unstated, assumptions. Maybe you used proficiency without level, and so on...

Right, K?
There are mitigating factors in my campaign (see below). The intent wasn’t to justify it as a good practice so much as to indicate experience with the rule. I agree with your subsequent post that it’s not a good idea in the general case to have a significant gap. My practice historically has been to have new characters start with enough XP to reach the lowest level in the party (so 0 XP in PF2 but at a level higher than 1st), which results in a small gap (a level or so). I didn’t want new characters to leapfrog existing ones (especially since they got to pick their starting treasure).

My sandbox campaign is an exception to my usual practice, and that’s for thematic reasons. The PCs are members of an expedition, so there is a pool of extant characters to pick from when creating a new one, but we don’t create all of those up front. It would be tedious to create 40 characters all at once, and it preclude using options that weren’t available at the time (e.g., the expedition’s majordomo is a summoner). The idea was that players should eventually want to bring other characters along to boost them up (and increase the expedition’s base). While most players had multiple characters, they never mixed the groups. We’ll see how things go in OSE, but that’s probably a failed experiment.

As for that new character, there are a couple of things that allowed her to contribute. The first is we were using Proficiency Without Level. While you’re still fragile, everyone is operating on a similar scale. A higher level creature isn’t impossible to hit, and it doesn’t automatically crit you. That’s one of the things I had in mind when I wrote, “their ability to contribute may be limited depending on the size of the level gap.” She could hit things and make skill checks. If we were doing core proficiency, it would have sucked for her.

The other one is that I don’t run combat as an arena sport. My campaign leans much more towards combat as war, and dungeons are designed naturalistically. This campaign in particular is also exploration-driven rather than story-driven. When the new character joined, the PCs were exploring a megadungeon. There are multiple paths through the dungeon, so the party can avoid fights if it wants (e.g., they always avoided the passage with kruthiks). I also leaned pretty heavily on accomplishment XP when I ran PF2, so the party got rewarded for doing things rather than just fighting monsters (and I was looking to reduce XP from combat further and add XP for finding treasure [excluding magic items]).
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
If you opt for proficiency without level, and still track xp, you need to modify the table or formula you're using.

That's true whether you're using the original relative scheme, or if you're using my absolute system (this thread) or anything else.
 

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