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Pathfinder 2E Advice for a 5E DM moving to PF2E

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
Yeah, if it was about 5e my sort of instinct is if they mostly feel that way because smites feel like big damage, so even them hitting a lot less is fine because they see themselves getting these big hits. Either that or the rest of the party makes the Paladin seem strong by comparison, I've definetly had people who would be less effective than an unoptimized Paladin trying their best, lookin-at-you-cantrip-spamming-full-casters.
 

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willrali

Explorer
Again, I'm not asking for customization in generating stats, but flexibility in using them. A STR 16 or even 14 fighter in 5e is completely acceptable. From what I am hearing here, that is a death wish in PF2.

Really this gets to a lot of differences between the systems and not stat generation. It was just this discussion that made it home a bit more.

It’s a death wish if the GM plays hard against the PCs. I’ve been in three PF2 groups and know multiple players. This is anecdotal of course, but I’ve never encountered the structured hard assery I see in these threads on enworld. It’s kind of baffling.

I actually prefer Pf2 and switched to it because the PCs feel more powerful and effective than their 5e counterparts, and the game is better at power fantasy wish fulfillment. There’s nothing quite like a group of PCs scything through a dozen enemies who just insulted them and who would be a big challenge for a lesser party.

I can see how if you just throw challenges equal to their level, all the time, it could get wearing. I prefer a less gamey approach.
 

willrali

Explorer
These comments about expectations of the maths are really depressing. One of the things I loved about pathfinder 1 was how you could basically build any character type you wanted because of the flexibility and forgiveness of the system.

You didn’t need to fight for every + because there were so many floating around that if you did you’d be unnecessarily overpowered it gave the freedom to indulge yourself a little. It sounds like PF2 is less forgiving in this regard and has more expectations due to difficulty of encounter design and the impact of levels of success/failure.

I wonder how much of this is the law of unintended consequences at play.

Try it yourself and see. I’ve never encountered play like I see here in these enworld threads.
 

The-Magic-Sword

Adventurer
This is true actually, a game that preferred enemies of your level or lower to like one higher for the most part would by definition make the primary stat less necessary (since hitting the target's AC isn't as hard) I know my players would still want to be prepared for the day they do fight a dragon or something 3 levels above, and higher hit/crit just translates to a better ability to take on encounters in general, but honestly the encounter guidelines and math work well enough that if you avoid severe and extreme encounters, or pop the level up by one vs. the encounters, you could make actually make it work quite well.

Heck if your optimizing players are on board to make the game work, you could pop just the low-end players up a level, so they don't hold the group back, and play as normal.
 

dave2008

Legend
It’s a death wish if the GM plays hard against the PCs. I’ve been in three PF2 groups and know multiple players. This is anecdotal of course, but I’ve never encountered the structured hard assery I see in these threads on enworld. It’s kind of baffling.

I actually prefer Pf2 and switched to it because the PCs feel more powerful and effective than their 5e counterparts, and the game is better at power fantasy wish fulfillment. There’s nothing quite like a group of PCs scything through a dozen enemies who just insulted them and who would be a big challenge for a lesser party.

I can see how if you just throw challenges equal to their level, all the time, it could get wearing. I prefer a less gamey approach.
I get what your saying, but those kind of uber heroes (where once you reach a certain level our untouchable by lowly orcs and such) do not appeal to me or my group for our D&D fix.
 


Reynard

Legend
We started Plaguestone tonight. I fiddled with the setup a little because I don't want to spend precious session time chasing red herrings in Etran's Folly. But because people needed to finish characters and we played slowly, checking rules as we went, we only got through the wolf attack anyway.

It went well. It was tense but not overwhelming. It seems pretty swingy (we had a number of crits) but no one died. We ran into a couple rules we weren't sure of, mostly based on assumptions from other D&D/PF games: is there a penalty for firing into melee, and assuming they have the actions can a caster do multiple spells per round.

Next week we will be able to do a more proper adventure and test the non combat game elements.
 

JmanTheDM

Explorer
Pretty consistent with my experience with Plaguestone as well - including your progressing only past the 1st encounter and rules referencing.

Cheers,

J.
 

Campbell

Legend
@Reynard

There is no penalty for firing into melee, but if there are any creatures (friendly or foe) between you and the target they provide Lesser Cover to the target (+1 AC). See p. 477 of the CRB.

No limit on spells beyond the resource cost and action cost.
 


Reynard

Legend
Our "Fall of Plaguestone" test run ended with a TPK last night -- Harrod is pretty terrifying versus level 1 PCs.

Overall, the consensus was that while the players really enjoyed the depth of character generation and everyone really liked the tactical complexity, everything else was a burden. It felt like every time we did something we had to flip to multiple places in the rulebook to get all the details, and that the "MtG" style tags and definitions slowed things down inexorably. We all agreed that if we learned the game, it would probably run more smoothly and be more fun, but we just don't have the time, interest or bandwidth to spend months and months learning to play a game we already all know.

Plus, frankly, the players prefer the "easy mode" inherent to 5E to the "hard mode" of PF2.

It was well worth testing out and there are some systems I might incorporate into 5E but we don't think PF2 is the game for our group.
 

kenada

Hero
Supporter
Having not run the official adventures, I can’t speak to their difficulty. However, I can sympathize with your experience on learning the system. Not feeling like I had mastery after running for over a year is one of the things that burnt me out.
 

Reynard

Legend
Having not run the official adventures, I can’t speak to their difficulty. However, I can sympathize with your experience on learning the system. Not feeling like I had mastery after running for over a year is one of the things that burnt me out.
For what is essentially the goal of "playing D&D" it is just too great a learning curve to bother with, in our group's opinion (as a bunch of 30 year-ish vets).
 

willrali

Explorer
Our "Fall of Plaguestone" test run ended with a TPK last night -- Harrod is pretty terrifying versus level 1 PCs.

Overall, the consensus was that while the players really enjoyed the depth of character generation and everyone really liked the tactical complexity, everything else was a burden. It felt like every time we did something we had to flip to multiple places in the rulebook to get all the details, and that the "MtG" style tags and definitions slowed things down inexorably. We all agreed that if we learned the game, it would probably run more smoothly and be more fun, but we just don't have the time, interest or bandwidth to spend months and months learning to play a game we already all know.

Plus, frankly, the players prefer the "easy mode" inherent to 5E to the "hard mode" of PF2.

It was well worth testing out and there are some systems I might incorporate into 5E but we don't think PF2 is the game for our group.

More than understandable. Glad you gave it a shot.
 

Justice and Rule

Adventurer
Our "Fall of Plaguestone" test run ended with a TPK last night -- Harrod is pretty terrifying versus level 1 PCs.

Overall, the consensus was that while the players really enjoyed the depth of character generation and everyone really liked the tactical complexity, everything else was a burden. It felt like every time we did something we had to flip to multiple places in the rulebook to get all the details, and that the "MtG" style tags and definitions slowed things down inexorably. We all agreed that if we learned the game, it would probably run more smoothly and be more fun, but we just don't have the time, interest or bandwidth to spend months and months learning to play a game we already all know.

Plus, frankly, the players prefer the "easy mode" inherent to 5E to the "hard mode" of PF2.

It was well worth testing out and there are some systems I might incorporate into 5E but we don't think PF2 is the game for our group.

You might be interested Spheres of Might and Power for 5E. Check it out.
 

dave2008

Legend
Our "Fall of Plaguestone" test run ended with a TPK last night -- Harrod is pretty terrifying versus level 1 PCs.

Overall, the consensus was that while the players really enjoyed the depth of character generation and everyone really liked the tactical complexity, everything else was a burden. It felt like every time we did something we had to flip to multiple places in the rulebook to get all the details, and that the "MtG" style tags and definitions slowed things down inexorably. We all agreed that if we learned the game, it would probably run more smoothly and be more fun, but we just don't have the time, interest or bandwidth to spend months and months learning to play a game we already all know.

Plus, frankly, the players prefer the "easy mode" inherent to 5E to the "hard mode" of PF2.

It was well worth testing out and there are some systems I might incorporate into 5E but we don't think PF2 is the game for our group.
Thank you for sharing!
 

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