Pathfinder 2E Encounter Design in PF2 works.

dave2008

Legend
Well, to be honest, I don't think that works in any game, let alone any incarnation of D&D; if you don't have any idea whether something is too dangerous for the PCs, you can't convey that to them, and if you don't, they're always potentially walking into a deathtrap. I don't really think that's not true with 5e either; I suspect you've just got internalized when its true there rather than doing it by calculation (which is probably a good thing since I gather the 5e encounter building guidelines are kind of junk).
What I want to do works for me in 5e. Perhaps I didn't explain it clearly or well enough, but I would basically want to replicate my DM style from 5e to PF2 as much as possible. In 5e there is a large range (in CR/lvl) that the PCs can handle if not out right defeat. Enough so that I generally don't have to worry to much about telegraphing the scene other than my general description that I develop from a world building perspective. I don't have to think of extra telegraphing that it is a dangerous fight, I can just describe the effects of dragon passing through or whatever. Now that may be enough, but the range generally appears so narrow that my basic assumptions and descriptions from 5e wouldn't cut.

Then of course I have a rather heavy use of random monster tables that complicates things even more. I think I would have to completely rework my existing tables to make it work for PF2. Not the end of the world, but still a fair bit of work.
 

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dave2008

Legend
Also, just as a side comment, if 5e will let a troll be a reasonable encounter for first level characters, its the first incarnation of D&D I know of where it is. I know one would absolutely go through that level group like a grinder in 3e, and I don't recall it being much better in OD&D.
I just checked the "math:"

A single troll (CR 5) in 5e would be 2x deadly encounter for 3-4 PCs. A "deadly" encounter is equivalent to at +1 or maybe a +2 encounter in PF2 I think. Looked at another way, a troll in 5e is an "epic encounter" for 3 lvl-2 PCs or 5 lvl-1 PCs. An epic encounter is equivalent to a +3 or +4 fight in PF2. So maybe they are not that as far off as I thought, at least at low level. However, by 5th level, a 5e group can handle a +10 monster, which basically gives a 20 CR range of appropriate monsters to use.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
What I want to do works for me in 5e. Perhaps I didn't explain it clearly or well enough, but I would basically want to replicate my DM style from 5e to PF2 as much as possible. In 5e there is a large range (in CR/lvl) that the PCs can handle if not out right defeat. Enough so that I generally don't have to worry to much about telegraphing the scene other than my general description that I develop from a world building perspective. I don't have to think of extra telegraphing that it is a dangerous fight, I can just describe the effects of dragon passing through or whatever. Now that may be enough, but the range generally appears so narrow that my basic assumptions and descriptions from 5e wouldn't cut.
If you want a bigger range, the Proficiency without Level variant gives you basically what you want. It takes the range of viable levels and pushes it out to party level±7 from ±4. Once the party gets around 5th level, you have access to most of the bestiary for building encounters (because there aren’t that many creatures at the top end).
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I just checked the "math:"

A single troll (CR 5) in 5e would be 2x deadly encounter for 3-4 PCs. A "deadly" encounter is equivalent to at +1 or maybe a +2 encounter in PF2 I think. Looked at another way, a troll in 5e is an "epic encounter" for 3 lvl-2 PCs or 5 lvl-1 PCs. An epic encounter is equivalent to a +3 or +4 fight in PF2. So maybe they are not that as far off as I thought, at least at low level. However, by 5th level, a 5e group can handle a +10 monster, which basically gives a 20 CR range of appropriate monsters to use.

Well, to some extent you just need to deal with the fact that much higher level monsters in PF2e really are much more dangerous; I don't feel confident to talk about 5e ones, but they're more like PF1e/D&D3e ones in that respect, except the math is actually strong enough that you don't have the 3e era thing of two CR 10 monsters that are actually significantly different in power.
 

dave2008

Legend
If you want a bigger range, the Proficiency without Level variant gives you basically what you want. It takes the range of viable levels and pushes it out to party level±7 from ±4. Once the party gets around 5th level, you have access to most of the bestiary for building encounters (because there aren’t that many creatures at the top end).
Yes, I am aware (I have the GMG), and that just might solve the issue. I just haven't completely wrapped my head around it.
 

dave2008

Legend
I must say all of this PF2 talk is making me thing I need to take another look at trying to play / DM some PF2. I need to get into it at some point and see what I can do to make it more the game I want to play. I really like the tight math and crisp design, but there are other things I don't like. I just have to figure out out to massage it into my ideal game.

I used to think my ideal game would be a combo of 4e & 5e & some house-rules. However, I think the math in PF2E is even tighter than in 4e and it might serve as a better foundation to mix with 5e.
 
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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I must say all of this PF2 talk is making me thing I need to take another look at trying to play / DM some PF2. I need to get into at some point and see what I can do to make more the game I want. I really like the tight math and crisp design, but there are other things I don't like. I just have to figure out out to message it into my ideal game.

I used to think my idea game would be a combo of 4e & 5e & some house-rules. However, i think the math in PF2E is even tighter than in 4e and it might serve as a better foundation to mix with 5e.
Thats the spirit.
 

miggyG777

Explorer
I must say all of this PF2 talk is making me thing I need to take another look at trying to play / DM some PF2. I need to get into at some point and see what I can do to make more the game I want. I really like the tight math and crisp design, but there are other things I don't like. I just have to figure out out to message it into my ideal game.

I used to think my idea game would be a combo of 4e & 5e & some house-rules. However, i think the math in PF2E is even tighter than in 4e and it might serve as a better foundation to mix with 5e.
It's a similar gripe I had with the system at first glance, thinking it was too complex and delicate to efficiently add in my own ideas. But once I tried it, I understood that the system, on the contrary, is quite robust.
PF2 is more like a combination of different sub systems that are modularly designed but fit very well together as a big package, therefore making it seem as if it was one huge complex thing that you can't mod.

I.e. I removed all the deities that PF2 comes with. Instead, now I just have God and the absence of it. Usually one would think that the whole deity system is so embedded into the game that you can't just rip it out and replace it. It worked without a problem, even for classes like the Cleric or the Champion. They just have one choice now and all the other parts of the game are still doing what they are supposed to do.

In summary: PF2 is a modular package of all the tools you could possibly need to run your very own TTRPG.
 
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dave2008

Legend
It's a similar gripe I had with the system at first glance, thinking it was too complex and delicate to efficiently add in my own ideas. But once I tried it, I understood that the system, on the contrary, is quite robust.
PF2 is more like a combination of different sub systems that are modularly designed but fit very well together as a big package, therefore making it seem as if it was one huge complex thing that you can't mod.

I.e. I removed all the deities that PF2 comes with. Instead, now I just have God and the absence of it. Usually one would think that the whole deity system is so embedded into the game that you can't just rip it out and replace it. It worked without a problem, even for classes like the Cleric or the Champion. They just have one choice now and all the other parts of the game are still doing what they are supposed to do.

In summary: PF2 is a modular package of all the tools you could possibly need to run your very own TTRPG.
While I am pretty sure you are correct, this is an odd choice for an example. I would never think the deities would be a difficult system to replace in D&D. I've been playing D&D since the 1e/BECMI days in the 80's and I've never had any issue with replacing the entire cosmology of the game. As far as I can tell it has never been difficult to replace the deities in D&D.

I am more looking at things like how to add bloodied hit points and damage reduction to armor, reducing magic and healing, removing damage runes (IIRC), etc.
 

Teemu

Hero
Yes, I am aware (I have the GMG), and that just might solve the issue. I just haven't completely wrapped my head around it.
Both Archives of Nethys and PF2 Easy Tools have a toggle for proficiency without level when looking up creatures, so you don’t need a VTT to have the automated experience with the variant. If you want to just create groups of enemies/creatures without having to worry about encounter balance, that variant is definitely the way to go when playing PF2. Add in a simple house rule for retreats and you’re done.

That said, what I’ve read about prof without level has been a little conflicting. Some people (or GMs specifically I suppose) seem to have loved it, while others have pointed out the weaknesses: very few crits, either successes or fails, and I believe small bonuses become even more important. You no longer get to plow through weak enemies because you don’t crit so easily against their AC (or they don’t crit fail saves against damage spells). It seems to be a mixed bag, and PF2 was not ultimately designed with the variant in mind. It’s a variant.
 

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