Pathfinder 2E Confession: I Want to Run PF2 But I Don't Want to Learn It

If it's not difficult for you, help me out. Despite the glaring typo/contradiction:

  • Your action options are listed for you, on the Player Reference Card (PRC). And they're on page 65 of the Hero's Handbook. And they're in your class description.
  • Once you've corralled these options, each one gets special treatment based on its trait, which according to the PRC are Move, Manipulate, Concentrate, Secret, and Attack. Almost as many traits as there are PRC actions.
  • When Restrained, you can't use the attack/manipulate trait-actions. Except to attempt to Escape (which is not a PRC action). So you can use Interact or Strike as long as you're attempting to Escape. Otherwise, no.
  • The condition starts with "you can't move," but doesn't mention the Move Trait. It says that Interact and Strike are okay (as long as you're trying to Escape), so one might assume that other actions involving movement are okay too, as long as you're trying to escape. Which leaves:
  • Drop Prone, Leap, and Stand don't have the attack or manipulate traits, nor do they involve movement (like Step and Stride explicitly do), so they must be viable options while Restrained.

So can I Leap to avoid a Bowling Ball of Doom while I'm restrained? Can I Interact with the Bowling Ball as long as it's part of my Escape attempt? Is there an "everything else" action, since my action list seems pretty restrictive, and can I use it to avoid the BBoD, or does it depend on what traits the Everything Else action has (or doesn't have)?
Restrained Condition
Notes that you have the flat-footed (penalty to AC) and immobilized (no actions with the Move trait) conditions

Escape action
"Escape" is a specific action in PF2e.

It is an action with the "Attack" trait. It is distinct from "Strike" (which shares the Attack trait).

When you are "restrained", you cannot use a generic Strike. Some specific class or other abilities may allow otherwise and would say so in their descriptions.

Interact is a type of action in Pf2e. It has the "manipulate" trait. When you are "restrained" you cannot take generic Interact actions. Some specific class or other abilities may allow otherwise and would say so in their descriptions.
......
So. You cannot Leap the Bowling Ball of Doom while Restrained. And you would need a specific class or other ability to use Interact or Strike as part of an Escape attempt.

Typically your options while restrained are:

  • attempt to Escape using the Escape action or
  • use some other action that does not include the Move, Manipulate, or Attack traits. PF2e Actions

A common option might be something like raising a shield.

Being restrained is bad. It is also, in my experience at least, very uncommon (and often require actions on the part of the restrainor to maintain the condition).
..............
While I, personally, do not think this is particularly difficult to parse, it is a good example of Nested Conditions, which are an aspect of PF2e that I find both useful and frustrating at times.

They are nice once you know them, since descriptions can reference more crunch in fewer words, but they are a pain if you don't, since you may have to work your way down the rabbit trails of condition effects, to understand what all is happening with a given effect or ability.

Getting handy with the Archives of Nethys helps considerably in building familiarity with these, and Foundry does a good job of tracking most of them for you.
 
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They are nice once you know them, since descriptions can reference more crunch in fewer words, but they are a pain if you don't, since you may have to work your way down the rabbit trails of condition effects, to understand what all is happening with a given effect or ability.
That's what I find appealing about PF2e. The rules are written in a way that you may need to read through the related traits and conditions to fully understand what mechanics are in play and how they relate, but I haven't encountered a situation in 14 sessions where the rules didn't clearly tell me how to handle the situation. Maybe I'll find something as we get further into the campaign.

Overall I find PF2e generally supports the GM nicely.
 

Kaodi

Hero
I think its easier than you think. The real key in PF2 is paying attention to CR. If a fight is rated severe/extreme its going to be very challenging for rookies and can sometimes be for pros too. Stick to a healthy does of moderate encounters and you should have a good time with PF2, IME.
Yeah, if you were making your own encounters I would suggest eschewing extreme encounters entirely until you are comfortable with the system and the party. Even playing APs there are sometimes difficult encounters that make me feel like the designers did not know what they were doing (final battle of Strength of Thousands, I looking at you).
 

Kaodi

Hero
What you can and cannot do in any situation in Pathfinder pretty well defined by the actions you can take in most situations. There are still corner cases which can be hard to parse, even for experienced players and DM, but they are not a reason to not play.

Like personally I am not entirely sure whether a sorcerer with the 12th level feat blood component substitution would be able to cast dimension door to small-e escape from being restrained given that the spell would then be all concentrate and no manipulate. The spell says, "Opening a door that bypasses normal space, you instantly transport yourself and any items you're wearing and holding from your current space to a clear space within range you can see. If this would bring another creature with you—even if you're carrying it in an extradimensional container—the spell is lost." Like, the "If this would bring another creature with you," seems a bit poorly defined. But those sort of things are not too common.
 

That's what I find appealing about PF2e. The rules are written in a way that you may need to read through the related traits and conditions to fully understand what mechanics are in play and how they relate, but I haven't encountered a situation in 14 sessions where the rules didn't clearly tell me how to handle the situation. Maybe I'll find something as we get further into the campaign.

Overall I find PF2e generally supports the GM nicely.
I'd mostly agree with this, and with tools like AoN and Foundry, it's not cripplingly hard to figure things out.

It can be rather frustrating in play though to start looking up the specifics of an ability and have multiple "your princess is in another castle" moments before you can get it squared away. Likely moreso if you are having to flip through the book rather than clicking on links.

In my experience, it's the kind of thing that tends to iron itself out after a few sessions as folks just learn the stuff they had to look up previously, but if the GM/players aren't as crunch-absorbent, it likely remains something of an irritant.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
So. You cannot Leap the Bowling Ball of Doom while Restrained. And you would need a specific class or other ability to use Interact or Strike as part of an Escape attempt. . .
See that's not my reading of it, and hence, why I say I don't have the brain plasticity for it. Yours was a great response, however.

The spell says, "Opening a door that bypasses normal space, you instantly transport yourself and any items you're wearing and holding from your current space to a clear space within range you can see. If this would bring another creature with you—even if you're carrying it in an extradimensional container—the spell is lost." Like, the "If this would bring another creature with you," seems a bit poorly defined. But those sort of things are not too common.
Yikes. You'd better shampoo and scrub your nails and eyelids if you want this spell to work!
 

dave2008

Legend
Restrained Condition
Notes that you have the flat-footed (penalty to AC) and immobilized (no actions with the Move trait) conditions

Escape action
"Escape" is a specific action in PF2e.

It is an action with the "Attack" trait. It is distinct from "Strike" (which shares the Attack trait).

When you are "restrained", you cannot use a generic Strike. Some specific class or other abilities may allow otherwise and would say so in their descriptions.

Interact is a type of action in Pf2e. It has the "manipulate" trait. When you are "restrained" you cannot take generic Interact actions. Some specific class or other abilities may allow otherwise and would say so in their descriptions.
......
So. You cannot Leap the Bowling Ball of Doom while Restrained. And you would need a specific class or other ability to use Interact or Strike as part of an Escape attempt.

Typically your options while restrained are:

  • attempt to Escape using the Escape action or
  • use some other action that does not include the Move, Manipulate, or Attack traits. PF2e Actions

A common option might be something like raising a shield.

Being restrained is bad. It is also, in my experience at least, very uncommon (and often require actions on the part of the restrainor to maintain the condition).
..............
While I, personally, do not think this is particularly difficult to parse, it is a good example of Nested Conditions, which are an aspect of PF2e that I find both useful and frustrating at times.

They are nice once you know them, since descriptions can reference more crunch in fewer words, but they are a pain if you don't, since you may have to work your way down the rabbit trails of condition effects, to understand what all is happening with a given effect or ability.

Getting handy with the Archives of Nethys helps considerably in building familiarity with these, and Foundry does a good job of tracking most of them for you.
I am still not sure if I can leap or not. Is leap a move action or not. Seems like it should be

Note: it has been a long time since I have looked at PF2 rules
 

Staffan

Legend
I am still not sure if I can leap or not. Is leap a move action or not. Seems like it should be
It is:
1690067387112.png
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
It really does tend to spell out the vast majority of that stuff, and most of it lands in a very few categories.

If there's anything sometimes hard to keep track of, its conditions, and that's true with any system that makes any distinctions there at all.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
It really does tend to spell out the vast majority of that stuff, and most of it lands in a very few categories.

If there's anything sometimes hard to keep track of, its conditions, and that's true with any system that makes any distinctions there at all.
One thing is the +x nature of the system makes managing conditions pretty easy even if there are many of them. For example, in 3E/PF1 there are many subsystems with their own unique process and tracking ability score drain was a PITA. In PF2 you usually just subtract X from whatever condition and go.
 

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