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Pathfinder 2E Gamemastery Guide: What are your thoughts?

CapnZapp

Legend
  • a healing variant with no dice rolling and no wild variation in recovery times - in effect removing the obnoxious minigame that steals attention and brain power between encounters without denying Medicine feats their upgrades
What I mean by this is that some groups may find the Medicine skill and assorted feats to be incredibly slow and cumbersome to use in play.

You need to check up a lot of rules, roll a lot of dice, and make constant decisions so much so that the healing between encounters can almost be considered a minigame all of itself. Healing can be quick but it can also be very slow, all dependent on your luck in making skill checks. For one feat you need to track who supplied the healing; for another you need to track who was the target of the healing. Various durations ("cooldowns") last for 10 minutes, 1 hour or even a day.

It would be nice to have a variant for groups who find this to be an entirely unwelcome intrusion in storytelling, immersion and focus on where to go next. When every other encounter ends with maybe ten minutes of decision making (should we rest? how long do we need? what should I do during that downtime? etc etc etc) that is made harder by the sheer variability of how much healing you get.

Edit: To put all the malarkey and the number of hoops Paizo makes us jump through between encounters, how about this for comparison...:
Treat Wounds makes the target regain a number of hit points equal to your skill bonus in Medicine.

So if your Medicine bonus is +7, the target gets 7 hp.
If there isn't anything unexpectedly wrong about this (and the number is way off target), I feel confident in concluding there is zero excuses for not including this variant in the GMG, since it is literally only a single sentence and impossibly easy to remember!

A very crude example of what I mean to provide contrast:

"You heal 1 point of damage per level and minute, provided you can take an uninterrupted ten minute break"

That is, after ten minutes a level 3 hero regains 30 hit points, for example.

Now this example would make skills and feats obsolete, so it might be considered unsatisfactory. But it can't be beat for easing decision making and doing away with administration!

The GMG could have provided a variant where the speed of healing depends on your proficiency level in Medicine and which of the myriad of related feats you have taken, but still expressed in a number per 10 minutes that is automatic. "No rolls required" means reliable and with a minimum of fuss. :)
 
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kenada

Legend
Supporter
They touch a little on session pacing, and they also have some suggestions for adventure recipes, but that’s it. I think the intent is you cannot reliably plan for an expected adventuring day, so they give you higher level suggestions instead. Unfortunately, they don’t (but should) address resting and how it interacts with your adventure. If I’m using e.g., their dungeon crawl recipe, and my PCs rest, then there should be a consequence for that (even if it’s just a sensible reaction to the PCs’ first foray into the dungeon).

We had our session this weekend. It was underwhelming, but we got to try a few of the variants.
  • Point Buy: Determining ability scores seemed to be easier, but character creation is still slow. It mostly seems to come down to whether one prefers the top-down (point buy) or bottom up approach (boosts).
  • Proficiency Without Level: We had a couple of combats (but nothing too dangerous). One of the PCs created a wizard with a familiar, which needed adjusted. I have a feeling we will be needing to keep an eye out for things that are implicitly tied to level to make sure things stay in line.
We’ll be continuing with the variants with our main party. My players don’t feel strongly about it, so they are fine either way, though they are a bit fatigued by the constant changes (but that has nothing to do with the GMG per se). At this point, I’m hoping most should be additive going forward. Anyway, I guess saying “they’re fine” is an okay endorsement. The game wasn’t radically different, so I guess that is a thing.

We’re also using skill points, but that won’t come into play really until after 1st level….
 


kenada

Legend
Supporter
@kenadaIf you're first level I can't imagine proficiency without level changing a thing, or having to adjust anything.
Everything will be one lower, so there’s some difference. Anyway, the point is more things need adjustment than what Paizo enumerated in the GMG. That’s not a big deal (or very surprising), but it felt worth calling out.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Everything will be one lower, so there’s some difference. Anyway, the point is more things need adjustment than what Paizo enumerated in the GMG. That’s not a big deal (or very surprising), but it felt worth calling out.
Well, my point was that at first level nothing really needs "adjustment" at all, so... You certainly won't feel any change in gameplay even if you forget to change anything, if I can put it that way :)

As for what to change... if you deduct level from any d20 roll and DC you're there already. No need to make it seem like the change is profound or complex :)
 

pcrotteau

Explorer
CapnZapp, looking at your ideas, I think that you would be a perfect candidate to publish on your own.

You have a clear idea of what you want, some good ideas of how to implement, and it seems that you can articulate your point.

I would seriously consider buying it.
 


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