Pathfinder 2E Discussing a new PF2 healing paradigm

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I find myself being reminded frequently these days about how innovative 4e D&D was. It's like they had already worked out this healing paradigm (with limited healing surges), easy ways to strengthen or weaken opponents, minions, excellent tactical combat, etc. It was arguably better at doing PF2-style play in 2007.
I’d love to see a post mortem of the PF2 development process. I wonder if there were any ideas that couldn’t be considered because they were too much like 4e (or even 5e), and they didn’t want to trigger a negative response from their existing PF1 audience.

The issue I have with using wandering monsters to discourage full heals between combats: a wandering monster is a combat, so after that fight, you are resting and healing again. It can create a feedback loop where little progress is being made in the actual adventure. I think the only way you can do it (without houserules) is to use a timer/narrative reasons to not be able to rest. That creates its own issues, and makes running an adventure like Abomination Vaults (which has no time pressure) very unsatisfying.
It think it’d feel punitive to have them always show up while you’re resting. One could go full old-school with reactions and determining encounter distance, but that just drags out the healing time instead of providing a cost (which would presumably defeat the point of using wandering monsters in this way).
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
Everything about PF2 is designed to create as many annoying niggles as possible, in order for there to be as many feats fixing or negating these niggles as possible.
 

Retreater

Legend
I’d love to see a post mortem of the PF2 development process. I wonder if there were any ideas that couldn’t be considered because they were too much like 4e (or even 5e), and they didn’t want to trigger a negative response from their existing PF1 audience.
Joke's on them, because no matter what they did, they'd end up alienating a good portion of their PF1 audience. I can't imagine that Paizo didn't realize the appeal of Pathfinder was its initial backwards compatibility with 3.x.
Their entire business was built on customers who liked the original formula. Pathfinder 2e is New Coke.
 

Philip Benz

A Dragontooth Grognard
Everything about PF2 is designed to create as many annoying niggles as possible, in order for there to be as many feats fixing or negating these niggles as possible.
Ah, Cap'n, just as negative as usual. It's good to see that some things never change.

Of course, it's natural for there to be limitations on important activities like treating wounds, or intimidation or diplomacy, and for there to be feats which lift some of those limitations and improve those activities beyond their baseline. But there's no reason to look askance at the existence of such feats. That's simply how level-based RPGs work! That's certainly how DD3.x and PF1 worked, small wonder that PF2 follows in those footsteps, to some degree.

I know that our dear Cap'n was on a crusade some while ago against the unecessary complexities of the Treat Wounds activity in PF2. I definitely agree that the Treat Wounds activity is unecessarily complex, and that a lot of headaches would have been averted by a simpler system. I get around it by letting my players handle the healing after a battle while I take a short break, and they tell me how long it took them to complete their healing process. Works fine!

Others complain that it just doesn't feel right for PCs to be able to heal themselves fully between fights. I hear you, but I also think that a lot depends on the environment the PCs are exploring. Sometimes it's easy to explain a few ten-minute periods, or even an hour or two spent after a battle to recover. But sometimes there is a time pressure on the PCs that won't allow them this luxury. Maybe they need to rescue some poor victim before his time runs out. Sometimes they need to stop Bobby McBadguy before he activates the mystic McGuffin. Sometimes they need to quickly inflitrate the enemy base and make off with something before reinforcements close in. Whatever the pretext, a DM can easily impose a time penalty that limits the amount of post-combat healing that can take place.
 

Retreater

Legend
Everything about PF2 is designed to create as many annoying niggles as possible, in order for there to be as many feats fixing or negating these niggles as possible.
My coworker was just telling me about two hours ago about his PF2 barbarian. During his last session, he realized he couldn't intimidate while raging. So he needed to get a feat to do that. And then he needs another feat to make the check if he can't speak the language. Etc.
Good lord. It would be such a simpler design just to let a character be a badass barbarian. Are you telling me that a raging barbarian isn't naturally intimidating? What are they thinking at Paizo?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
What are they thinking at Paizo?
I'll tell you what they were thinking.

They wanted the maximum number of options without actually empowering the player to meaningfully change the strengths and weaknesses of the character. This is the game you will want to use if you are into illusion of choice, as opposed to actual choice.

Every time Paizo spots how they can not give out a power or ability fully, they do so, thus creating "design space" for a slew of feats that does complete the power or ability. And this happens not dozens of times, and not hundreds of times, but thousands of times, over and over, in every area of the game. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find any aspect of character creation where abilities haven't been chopped up in the most minute (and meaningless) chunks imaginable.

The end result? A game with thousand upon thousands upon thousands upon thousands of feats or "choices", nearly none of which make the slightest difference in of themselves. (Hint: getting a +1 is not character defining. Getting a +1 to a particular ability usable only in a special case is a slap in the face. Prepare to get very red in the face if you play PF2!) PF2 is a game where you make a decision to create a character that can do something, and then you just have to figure out the configuration of niggling little design tweaks that enable to pull off that something without tripping up on the myriad of restrictions, limitations and other niggly rulesy things.

Now cue a number of Paizo defenders, who in their eagerness to defend the game will only inadvertently reveal how in their games they overlook or plain old ignore some or all of the game's rules and limitations, thus unwittingly proving my point.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Now cue a number of Paizo defenders, who in their eagerness to defend the game will only inadvertently reveal how in their games they overlook or plain old ignore some or all of the game's rules and limitations, thus unwittingly proving my point.

Mod Note:
If you aren't going to engage respectfully, you won't engage at all. Insulting folks is not okay.

Find a discussion that doesn't make you turn into... this guy.
 

My coworker was just telling me about two hours ago about his PF2 barbarian. During his last session, he realized he couldn't intimidate while raging. So he needed to get a feat to do that. And then he needs another feat to make the check if he can't speak the language. Etc.
Good lord. It would be such a simpler design just to let a character be a badass barbarian. Are you telling me that a raging barbarian isn't naturally intimidating? What are they thinking at Paizo?

Eh, I think the idea is that Intimidate is a verbal action. I get the reasoning, but it's one of the more egregious feat gates out there.
 

Retreater

Legend
Eh, I think the idea is that Intimidate is a verbal action. I get the reasoning, but it's one of the more egregious feat gates out there.
Like most people I would be intimidated by a growling bear. So this is a case for me of feat-gating breaking immersion.
I wouldn't have thought to even look up this rule in the heat of gaming.
 

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