Surges are provided as an in-combat healing alternative. When you have five minutes, you heal a surge's worth of hit points but for free; you don't have to spend a surge.
Before Cody of Taking20 made a video about why he was leaving PF2, he made a video comparing the PF2 and the 5e rulesets. After reviewing (I think) 10 criteria, he gave the edge to PF2.I'm not. Put simply, the Pathfinder 2 game expects you to go into each combat at full health. Combat is calibrated with this in mind. Medicine and focus healing is provided to give heroes the ability to heal up fully between encounters. Combats are difficult enough when you start with all your hit points, and there's normally no reason to not do this.
I don’t think CapnZapp runs a style of game where that’s important, so it’s probably a non-goal. However, in my experience, it’s also really hard to create effective time pressure in PF2, so it’s probably not even a big deal even then. I used to be a big advocate for that approach, but it eventually stopped working in my campaign. The PCs got a few levels, and they added a dedicated healer.But doesn't that make the game worse if you do want to care about your plan for healing and how many minutes it takes?
What techniques are you using to create time pressure, or is it just the specific scenario where there’s a chance someone can interrupt the PCs every ten minutes?In my own experience running PF2e, it matters when it matters, most of the time if the players have a procedure established I won't demand to play out how long it takes, so long as we know its possible it happens. If its time sensitive, we track it, just like the difference between encounter mode and exploration mode. Usually that would be if I have enemies who may or may not come into the room at 10 minute intervals.
I believe the Medicine rules were created in a PF1 mindset, where it is not inconceivable to keep pressing on (or at least being attacked) at low health.But doesn't that make the game worse if you do want to care about your plan for healing and how many minutes it takes?
yeah in PF you either end up with a game where everything is always critical and must be done immediately, (turning everything into a crisis which means crises are normal and not really crises to the party), or there's no time pressure. There really seems to be no in between.I don’t think CapnZapp runs a style of game where that’s important, so it’s probably a non-goal. However, in my experience, it’s also really hard to create effective time pressure in PF2, so it’s probably not even a big deal even then. I used to be a big advocate for that approach, but it eventually stopped working in my campaign. The PCs got a few levels, and they added a dedicated healer.
If you want to care about that stuff, and you want to facilitate attrition-based play, my suggestion would be to steal system strain from SWN/WWN. It should slot nicely over the default healing system in PF2. System strain limits how much healing you can take. That will make exploration much more dangerous and time much more precious. To avoid TPKs, you’ll want to have a retreat procedure (like the chase subsystem).
It goes back to the elephant in the room. Medicine rules are there to make sure that Society Games can continue without healers. In my opinion all the things that just don't fit PF2 well are because of that design philosophy. Nothing can prevent any society group from being effective so there has to be a way to bypass any classes specialties. Thus a driver of rules clutter. I do agree with you. They'd have been better making an optional rule set that society GM's (or other DM's) could optionally use in such situations.I believe the Medicine rules were created in a PF1 mindset, where it is not inconceivable to keep pressing on (or at least being attacked) at low health.
But PF2 is simply not designed for that. Sure, a moderately experienced GM can calibrate encounters that work for a wounded party, but if you're running stock Paizo AP encounters, it significantly increases the risk of a random TPK. It's just no fun. The game is so very clearly fine-tuned with fully healed heroes in mind.
(It's not that fully healed heroes don't go down. They very much do. But the action economy can spiral out of control if that happens early. Look at it this way: if you're at half health every monster that hits you gets in a critical, so to speak. You just don't want to give them that handicap.)
So. Since the rest of the game presumes you rest up between encounters (again unless you or the adventure quite specifically sets up something else), the rules for Medicine, focus-based healing and so forth comes across as hopelessly out of sync. Those rules are very complicated indeed.
And I'm asking the naked-emperor question: Who says the rules need to be that complicated? Why do you need to make that many die rolls? Why are you asked to make decisions like going for a DC 25 treat wounds or settling for the DC 15 one? It's just a run-away clutter catastrophe imo.
But that's not the clincher. There are several ttrps with highly detailed rules. The clincher is that while highly simulationist rules might suit some games, it does not suit PF2, a game where you simply heal back up fully everytime you get the chance! Trust me, you don't care if it takes you 20 minutes or 40 minutes or 60 minutes. You do it because it is utter reckless not to! And since the healing is free (other than the time consumption) there just aren't any compelling reasons to rush it. PF2 just isn't anything like old D&D. Everything that matters is different.
This thread is for those of you that sees the wisdom in this line of argument. I'm not forcing anyone to abandon the complicated, time-consuming, analysis-paralysis-prone core rules. I'm just showing a different way, where you shuck all the minutiae without losing anything that's good about Pathfinder 2! I truly believe more people would play Pathfinder 2 if Paizo had had the courage to relegate the official rules for Medicine et al to a variant in the GMG, and instead printed something comparably quick and simple to these rules in the CRB!
The rules in this thread does the same job, only infinitely faster and cleaner shrugMedicine rules are there to make sure that Society Games can continue without healers.
Treat Wounds is crappy alright, but not so much for the characters as for the players.PFS makes it easy to get a wand of cure light wounds, but healing wand spam was pretty common in PF1 regardless (PFS or not). Treat Wounds is obviously meant to replace that, but it’s kind of a crappy replacement. I wish they had made easy healing the default with gritty rules you could layer on top if you wanted attrition or for healing to be less ‘easy’.
I mostly agree, though there is the issue that removing that rule makes the refocusing feats most focus casters get at level 12ish and 18 become much less valuable. This may or may not be a thing you want, but it's definitely a thing.This itself seems like a really poor and finicky rule that'd I'd encourage people to ignore. Focus spells aren't powerful enough that additional limitations are needed.
Given that half of the focus spells aren't worth their word count and the other half are mandatory spells that would cause you to take a long rest if they run entirely dry, I don't see the issue.I mostly agree, though there is the issue that removing that rule makes the refocusing feats most focus casters get at level 12ish and 18 become much less valuable. This may or may not be a thing you want, but it's definitely a thing.