Pathfinder 2E Getting started with PF2


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Staffan

Legend
The only one I recall our skill medics bothering with as Assurance. If you're used to a lot of encounters in short order, I can see the others, but most of the cases where that was the case the encounters were weak enough we didn't take much damage in the first place.
Note that Assurance is not the same as 3e's/PF1's "Take 10". It is much weaker except in certain specific cases (where you'd have big penalties to the check).

Assurance gives you an automatic roll of 10+your proficiency bonus. No ability bonus, and no item bonus. That means that in order to autosucceed on typical Treat Wounds DCs, you need to be:

DC 15: level 3 with Trained (or 2 with Expert, for Rogues/Investigators/Medics)
DC 20: level 6 with Expert.
DC 30: level 14 with Master.
DC 40: Nope.

So basically, Assurance lets you autosucceed on tasks that are one proficiency tier below where you could be at your level (give or take a level). But the bonuses you give up can be pretty significant. At level 6, a character who wants to be good at Medicine probably has Wis +3 and an item bonus of +1, so they succeed on 6+ anyway... and crit on 16+. Assurance still helps at this level, because it gets you an average of 19 hp per rest period while rolling gets you about 16 (with Wis +3 and item +1), but it takes a while to get going, and I'm not sure it's worth the investment except for doing away with all the rolling.

Edit: Looking at this, I think that if/when I run PF2 again, I'm going to change Treat Wounds to automatically be successful at the appropriate level for the medic's proficiency (so if you're a Master, you'll automatically restore 2d8+30 hp when treating someone for 10 minutes. I mean, that's just a matter of reducing downtime and boring rolling anyway. Or maybe I'll replace the 2d8 with 10 as well to reduce variance even more.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
Note that Assurance is not the same as 3e's/PF1's "Take 10". It is much weaker except in certain specific cases (where you'd have big penalties to the check).

I make no judgments; I'm simply observing that our primary Medicine player chose to take that, but neither of the other feats the prior poster referenced.
 

Kichwas

Half-breed, still living despite WotC racism
I make no judgments; I'm simply observing that our primary Medicine player chose to take that, but neither of the other feats the prior poster referenced.
Ward and Continual let you heal a lot of people quickly, while assurance prevents being locked out for long stretches of time from a bad roll.

My game's medic took risky and none of the others. He misses a roll, and he can't try again for another hour while sitting there at 1 hit point because the risky just injured him.

And it's rare for any of the melee to have more than 2 or 3 hit points left at the end of a fight, if they're even still alive. The typical fight results in about half the party going to 0 at least once per battle after all, and at least one of them will hit that twice.
- so we end up wasting a LOT of time standing in rooms waiting to be able to heal.

Game I was in before this one people were taking continual and ward as well as assurance, and a champion with lay on hands so 10 minutes after a fight we were often mostly full up.

That prior game, and the 'module only' group I did on the side with a third group - had the same level of usually 2+ people hitting 0 hp per fight, and almost always one person hitting 0 more than once a fight. So of late I've become very alert to the need for healers AND/OR a strong desire to get someone who understands gaming tactics to be a martial.
 
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Andvari

Hero
PF2E Severe should be read as "this should kill 1-2 PCs"
PF2E Extreme should be read as "cloudy with a chance of TPK"
I don't know about that. I've done plenty of Severe encounters and no PC has died in one of those yet. I had one die in a situation where the party split up and each group ran into a moderate encounter, and one die on the run from an extreme+ encounter.

Have had some really hairy moderate encounters with a single +2 level enemy, though.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Ward and Continual let you heal a lot of people quickly, while assurance prevents being locked out for long stretches of time from a bad roll.

The difference I expect is that you clearly had a lot more fights with a lot more people taking significant damage more consistently. in our case there was usually one, maybe two characters that took significant damage, and we were rarely in a situation where we were dependent on Medicine between fights (that was for use afterwards when it was unlikely to be in one for many hours or even a day). I'm very clear on this since I was often playing the character who took the heavy hits in the first two campaigns. So not failing could matter, but multiple treatment in a tight time frame--not so much.

My game's medic took risky and none of the others. He misses a roll, and he can't try again for another hour while sitting there at 1 hit point because the risky just injured him.

And it's rare for any of the melee to have more than 2 or 3 hit points left at the end of a fight, if they're even still alive. The typical fight results in about half the party going to 0 at least once per battle after all, and at least one of them will hit that twice.
- so we end up wasting a LOT of time standing in rooms waiting to be able to heal.

Yeah, that's radically different from most of our combats. That's happened maybe once or twice a campaign.

Game I was in before this one people were taking continual and ward as well as assurance, and a champion with lay on hands so 10 minutes after a fight we were often mostly full up.

That prior game, and the 'module only' group I did on the side with a third group - had the same level of usually 2+ people hitting 0 hp per fight, and almost always one person hitting 0 more than once a fight. So of late I've become very alert to the need for healers AND/OR a strong desire to get someone who understands gaming tactics to be a martial.

The interesting question is why the big difference in our experiences?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I don't know about that. I've done plenty of Severe encounters and no PC has died in one of those yet. I had one die in a situation where the party split up and each group ran into a moderate encounter, and one die on the run from an extreme+ encounter.

Have had some really hairy moderate encounters with a single +2 level enemy, though.

That sounds a lot more like my experience.
 

Kichwas

Half-breed, still living despite WotC racism
The interesting question is why the big difference in our experiences?
Tactics.

I've been repeatedly stuck on a caster in close quarters combats with GMs that would use organized tactics while our martials would split apart or full stride away from the group. Sometimes they'd do it on entering a room and the encounter would happen after they ran a full 2 strides past hidden enemies. Other times they would pick a target way back there and go for it. Sometimes that's been a single boss, other times I've seen them run past bosses to go play in piles of henchmen (blocking caster ability to drop AoEs on those henchmen).

I'm "going nuts back here" because I do have a long past as an MMO tank, raid lead, or otherwise on a raid leadership council were we would debate fight strats and organize coordinated tactics - even in new 'drop day dungeons' where the content was unknown.

So I sit in these groups and try to tell people to not run off, or to protect the backline, or to give me space to drop an AoE... and then on my turn I drop electric arc again because every other option is locked out from current positioning unless the threats that were ignored have rushed to back where I am, in which case I'm busy rolling death saves because the boss has one shot all of us in the back while the front went strolling around the henchmen. again.
 
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Thomas Shey

Legend
Tactics.

I've been repeatedly stuck on a caster in close quarters combats with GMs that would use organized tactics while our martials would split apart or full stride away from the group. Sometimes they'd do it on entering a room and the encounter would happen after they ran a full 2 strides past hidden enemies. Other times they would pick a target way back there and go for it. Sometimes that's been a single boss, other times I've seen them run past bosses to go play in piles of henchmen (blocking caster ability to drop AoEs on those henchmen).

I'm "going nuts back here" because I do have a long past as an MMO tank, raid lead, or otherwise on a raid leadership council were we would debate fight strats and organize coordinated tactics - even in new 'drop day dungeons' where the content was unknown.

So I sit in these groups and try to tell people to not run off, or to protect the backline, or to give me space to drop an AoE... and then on my turn I drop electric arc again unless the threats that were ignored have rushed to back where I am...

Could be. The four of us have a pretty good concept of what we should and shouldn't be doing in a given fight; we have one player who has a tendency to overextend how far he gets forward with a character who isn't tanky (he did it in the first game with a monk where he got tempted by his amazing mobility, and has a tendency to do it with his arcane thief in the current one), but he always understands what he did wrong and doesn't do it all the time.

(It can sometimes take a little while to get used to when your role changes significantly; in the first two campaigns I played, respectively, a sword-and-board Fighter and a Redeemer/Bard multiclass, so its taken a bit to get used to how to properly play my two-pistol Gunslinger. But i got there).
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Thanks for all of the feedback so far, especially the discussion on healing and how that shapes party creation.

One concern I have is that the group I'd be playing this with the style seems a strong fit for the DM, who likes tactical, crunchy encounters, and some of the players as well. But not all the players are like that.

We have one casual player - bright but doesn't have time to read up between sessions and not a great depth of experience so would be effectively learning PF2 through play and probably will treat it like D&D 5e for a while. That said, can think tactically. She's smart, just doesn't have the years the rest of us have. What classes/roles would you suggest we steer them towards?

And another who gets satisfaction with something directly either hurting or healing. Buff, debuff, action denial aren't really their thing. They want to directly affect HPs. So either some sort of striker role or in-combat healing. It sounds like there's still lots of places they will have fun, right? Any hidden gotchas with that?

But none of that is a barrier to play, just things to keep in mind when we build a party.

Changing gears, I'll have to check out Foundry - we've been using Roll20 and it has it's strengths and it's pain points. But it sounds like there's good tools at Foundry that will be a big help. Are they free, subscription, purchase?

Finally, there was a mention about not being able to try disarming a trap without being an Expert and some warnings about if it's worth it to invest only a little in a skill. Could someone expand on that? Do characters need to be focused specialists like in D&D 3.x, or can you be more casual and still have chances to succeed? Is spreading yourself thin to be a jack of all trades viable? And what are "skill feats" - is that just a category of feats that affects skills or something else?
 

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