Pathfinder 2E Getting started with PF2

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The DM of of a 5e game I'm in is considering a move to PF2 once this current campaign wraps up. None of us have any pathfinder experience, but we do have friends who speak well of it plus what I've read here. The group is at the least 5e vets, with the DM and some others going back to D&D 4ed and myself going way back.

First, what book(s) would you recommend to play? To run? Yes, I understand there is a good online SRD as well, but that's likely better as a reference and not as a "learn this game". (Or maybe it is great to learn from.) I know there was a PF2 Humble Bundle just a few months ago, do those type of things happen often?

It may take us a year to wrap up the current campaign, is it worth it to wait for the PF2 Remastered books -- are these rules updates, or just new layout and organization?

Second, reading these forums I've seen information that could be useful to run, but I hadn't made note of it. For instance I saw that there is some optional (free archetype?) rule that seems everyone does. What recommendations do you have?

Lastly, I've seen things that are different expectations from running D&D, such as full healing between encounters is expected. Or that a 3rd action attack is usually worth little compared to setting up an ally. What should we plant in player and the DM's head in order to break out of the D&D rut and get into PF2?

Thanks for your time.
 

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Retreater

Legend
First, what book(s) would you recommend to play? To run? Yes, I understand there is a good online SRD as well, but that's likely better as a reference and not as a "learn this game". (Or maybe it is great to learn from.) I know there was a PF2 Humble Bundle just a few months ago, do those type of things happen often?
The PF2e Beginner Box is pretty solid. It has the main rules and gets you through levels 1-3. Plenty of information for a start. The adventure is straightforward, but isn't going to be winning any awards. Fortunately, you can transition from that short adventure to another pretty easily.

The Humble Bundles seem to happen maybe twice a year. I'm not exactly sure if there's a schedule.

It may take us a year to wrap up the current campaign, is it worth it to wait for the PF2 Remastered books -- are these rules updates, or just new layout and organization?
Yes. There will be some rules updates, but also supposedly better laid out and easier to use.
I think we're 6 months out from getting the first of the Remastered books. I'd consider waiting - unless you are just really feeling the urge to play RIGHT NOW!

Second, reading these forums I've seen information that could be useful to run, but I hadn't made note of it. For instance I saw that there is some optional (free archetype?) rule that seems everyone does. What recommendations do you have?
I don't use Free Archetype with new groups - but I think it would be fine for "more experienced" PF2 players. Really, I'd suggest sticking with the main rules, common ancestries/backgrounds/classes (instead of more complex options) - at least while you're still learning the system.

Lastly, I've seen things that are different expectations from running D&D, such as full healing between encounters is expected. Or that a 3rd action attack is usually worth little compared to setting up an ally. What should we plant in player and the DM's head in order to break out of the D&D rut and get into PF2?
I'll come in with a more lengthy response later. But yes, it plays differently than 5e. Players who can't get out of the 5e assumptions will see their characters TPK pretty often (my groups averaged a TPK every other session) - that is, unless you modify the game to make it more survivable.
There are some GREAT YouTubers who can give strategy tips. Ronald, the Rules Lawyer, has some good strategy videos - for example.
I'll try to get some more resources together for you later this afternoon.
 


The DM of of a 5e game I'm in is considering a move to PF2 once this current campaign wraps up. None of us have any pathfinder experience, but we do have friends who speak well of it plus what I've read here. The group is at the least 5e vets, with the DM and some others going back to D&D 4ed and myself going way back.
My table just switched over to PF2e a few months ago when we wrapped up our last 5e campaign, so we were in a similar situation.

First, what book(s) would you recommend to play? To run? Yes, I understand there is a good online SRD as well, but that's likely better as a reference and not as a "learn this game". (Or maybe it is great to learn from.) I know there was a PF2 Humble Bundle just a few months ago, do those type of things happen often?
The Beginner Box is great for teaching the game and takes you to level 2. The reason the adventure is so good to learn is it presents a wide variety of game mechanics so you can get an idea how to run the system at a basic level before starting something more complicated. The adventure can continue directly into Troubles in Otari, which is also designed to be played with just the material in the Beginner Box. I think that can take you to level 4, it includes what you'd need to know to advance a PC to that level. You don't need to purchase or read anything else beyond these 2 things to get started.

I ended up running the Beginner Box adventure and then went directly into the Abomination Vaults AP since it is set in the same area. I made some tweaks to the first level of the adventure to account for the group being level 2, but I was going to have to make those tweaks anyhow since my group has 6 players and the published material seems to assume 4 players. More on that later.

Do you play online or in-person? Foundry is absolutely fantastic for online play and there's a ton of community support for it.

It may take us a year to wrap up the current campaign, is it worth it to wait for the PF2 Remastered books -- are these rules updates, or just new layout and organization?
If you're going to be the GM, it might not be a bad idea to buy the stuff listed since they don't plan to revise the Beginner Box in the immediate future. Otherwise I would not buy a Core Rulebook now and would wait for the Remastered books since they've said a huge focus of them is improving how approachable they are to new players.

Second, reading these forums I've seen information that could be useful to run, but I hadn't made note of it. For instance I saw that there is some optional (free archetype?) rule that seems everyone does. What recommendations do you have?
I didn't use the free archetype rule since we wanted to stick to as basic of an experience as possible to start.

Lastly, I've seen things that are different expectations from running D&D, such as full healing between encounters is expected. Or that a 3rd action attack is usually worth little compared to setting up an ally. What should we plant in player and the DM's head in order to break out of the D&D rut and get into PF2?

Thanks for your time.

The game's math is pretty tight. When I mentioned having to adjust the AP I'm running to account for 6 2nd level PCs in an area that was meant for 4 1st level PCs, if you follow the game's instructions for encounter balancing you'll generally end up with an encounter that is as challenging as you intended. Because of this, team work is the way PCs will gain an advantage over the enemies. An easy example is flanking a target gives them the flat-footed condition which makes them take to a -2 penalty to it's AC. This -2 could be the difference between a character hitting or even scoring a critical hit. I'm still new to GMing the system, but from what I've seen so far if my players aren't looking for those tactical advantages on encounters measured as severe, we'd probably be looking at a TPK. It takes some getting used to, but you're 100% right that using the 3rd action to either raise a shield for more defense or moving to setup an enemy to be flanked to give them a -2 to their AC is usually a better choice than swinging with the multi-attack penalty. As GM, I make it a point of pointing out when the previous player setup a hit or a crit to help encourage that type of teamwork.

As for resources, @Retreater already mentioned the Rules Lawyer as generally being good at covering PF2e. I've also watched a few videos from the How Its Played Youtube channel. There's a playlist here.
 




Thomas Shey

Legend
Given the time frame you're talking about, I'd also recommend waiting for Remastered. I'm ambivalent about the Beginner's Box--all reviews of it have been good, but there are some class-based things (particularly with wizards and clerics) that are going to change somewhat with Remastered.

Also, and this could end up being very important--what Payn says is true. If you come in from the less-than-useful CR calculations in D&D3/PF1 or D&D5, you may be tempted to boost up the encounters. Gods above, don't do it.
 

Given the time frame you're talking about, I'd also recommend waiting for Remastered. I'm ambivalent about the Beginner's Box--all reviews of it have been good, but there are some class-based things (particularly with wizards and clerics) that are going to change somewhat with Remastered.

Also, and this could end up being very important--what Payn says is true. If you come in from the less-than-useful CR calculations in D&D3/PF1 or D&D5, you may be tempted to boost up the encounters. Gods above, don't do it.
I found this tool pretty handy for making sure you're building an encounter correctly.
 

Catolias

Explorer
The group I play with and GM transitioned to PF2E recently and I agree with everything that has been said here, particularly around encounters.

Another tip is that character generation can be tricky and may take longer than anticipated. After starting on paper we moved to the online pathbuilder 2e platform. This really helps manage the math calculations that can arise from encounters and helps moving the game along more quickly. It’s free, although you can need to pay a one off fee for some features and, imo is useful.
 

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