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PF2E How is PF2E prep and GMing?

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Absolutely. HP fluctuates wildly in this game and needs to be viewed much more as energy, morale etc than physical injury.

If you need HP to represent injury to a much larger degree I'm not sure I would recommend PF2 at all. Wild damage swings is inherent to the system, and I would not try to mess with this.

Adding attrition therefore would be challenging, since the game already can take you from full to zero hp in a fight that isn't even supposed to be very hard. And that assumes you enter nearly every fight at full hp!

Making the game run on the assumption heroes will still press on at two thirds or half hp basically requires you to throw the encounter guidelines out the window and generally forget about featuring monsters higher level than you. (Which of course is alright. Whether you face the Owlbear at level 3 or level 6 doesn't really matter after all)
I would say the main difference with this viewpoint is it applied in PF1 to around lvl 7 to 9, then reached a point where hit point attrition wasn't a concern. Whereas in PF2 hit point attrition isn't a concern from level 1, though low level parties drop so easily combat healing is easily exhausted and the day ends quite early.

It seems our experience differs in the game. So far we haven't been able to handle more than 5 encounters of moderate to hard difficulty in a day without running out of combat healing and high level spells. We can usually handle 3 to 4 single encounters in an adventuring day from about lvl 1 to 4 depending on time between encounters. A low level party has a very hard time doing a series of encounters.

I don't recall PF1 or 5E allowing fewer or more encounters per day. I know by high level in PF1 the party never had to stop. By about lvl 8 to 11 the party was so powerful, overpowering, and potent they could usually get back into action quite quickly with tons of cheap clw wands, a well-built healer, and cheap pots along with other abilities. And in 5E the party so over-powered their enemies if using feats, multiclassing, and magic items they rarely had to slow down. PF2 uses combat healing and spell attrition from level 1 to 20 it seems.

Suffice it to say I understand what you're saying as far as the rule goes and the potential for limitless play, but in real game play I have not seen unlimited play occur. Sandbox play has almost always been a cake walk unless you're encountering a series of encounters like a fort or something. In my opinion PF2 feels not much different in actual play than PF1 or 5E as far as attrition goes except the method of attrition stays pretty static across nearly all levels.
 

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dave2008

Legend
Precisely.

The question to determine attrition (in the sense discussed here) is very simple:

Does the game semi-regularly reach a point where the only way for heroes to regain hit points is to sleep for the night?

A game like 3rd edition and Pathfinder was theoretically yes but in practice no (because Wands of CLW).

Pathfinder 2, on the other hand, is even theoretically no, since those wands have been replaced by mundane and limitless healing (Medicine) as well as focus powers (Paladin's Lay on Hands).
Again a reminder that it's possible to create a party with no such access. (In the paradigm of PF2, that's a severely hobbled party. It doesn't work as a viable path to attrition since it requires you to make clearly suboptimal charbuild choices. In short: Why wouldn't a party select at least one PC with Medicine?)
But you could just get rid of Medicine or limit its use to once per day or something, correct?
 

dave2008

Legend
Suffice it to say I understand what you're saying as far as the rule goes and the potential for limitless play, but in real game play I have not seen unlimited play occur. Sandbox play has almost always been a cake walk unless you're encountering a series of encounters like a fort or something. In my opinion PF2 feels not much different in actual play than PF1 or 5E as far as attrition goes except the method of attrition stays pretty static across nearly all levels.
Question: In 5e I can, and have, effectively wipe out a party's resources in 1 encounter or 8 encounters. I assume this is still generally possible in PF2e, except for a party with medicine - is that correct?
 

dave2008

Legend
@dave2008
On an aesthetic level hit points are much more meat in Pathfinder Second Edition than they are in either Fourth Edition or fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Treat Wounds is not about resting. It's about being a combat medic, applying salves and bandages, and sometimes even stitching wounds shut. It's a thankless job because that damn Fighter keeps on opening up his stitches.

Fatigue is handled by the Fatigued condition which can be gained from a Barbarian's Rage, spells, pushing too hard while exploring, and general overexertion.

There is nothing like hit dice or healing surges.
Boy, from everything I read about PF2e I get just the opposite impression (in fact it was claimed to be just the opposite here ). If you are going up and down in hit points so easily without the use of magic, that doesn't sound at all like meat points to me. Not how I play at least. Recovering meat points in my game takes a long time.

There is a variant that might be more up your alley in the Game Mastery Guide - Stamina Points. Basically a little over half your hit points are Stamina points. Damage goes to them first. You regain your Stamina points after a full nights rest, but healing magic and the Treat Wounds only heals hit points. Outside of a full night's rest the only way to recover Stamina points are various activities that require Resolve points (Equal to your key ability modifier).

One way to get to where you might feel comfortable might be to use Stamina points and than limit Treat Wounds to either hourly or daily.

It's not really to my tastes, but it might be an option for you.
We use something similar (though it is in addition to HP and much less than half) and we allow magic to work, but non-magic healing is very limited.
 

Question: In 5e I can, and have, effectively wipe out a party's resources in 1 encounter or 8 encounters. I assume this is still generally possible in PF2e, except for a party with medicine - is that correct?
Even in a party with Medicine. Battle Medic is once a day (Treat Wounds in combat). And Treat Wounds is once an hour, technically 70 minutes as you need 10 minutes to treat again in the 2nd hour. So don't let them have over an hour to rest and Medicine isn't helping much. BTW, I am reading Battle Medic as different then an application of Treat Wounds, I am sure someone will read Battle Medic as making it so you can't use Treat Wounds for a day either.
 

Reynard

Legend
Even in a party with Medicine. Battle Medic is once a day (Treat Wounds in combat). And Treat Wounds is once an hour, technically 70 minutes as you need 10 minutes to treat again in the 2nd hour. So don't let them have over an hour to rest and Medicine isn't helping much. BTW, I am reading Battle Medic as different then an application of Treat Wounds, I am sure someone will read Battle Medic as making it so you can't use Treat Wounds for a day either.
I think the rule specifically states the 10 minute action is included so it is "60 minutes not 70."

Question: if you get a critical success and spend an hour healing 4d8, can you then make an immediate check or do you have to wait another hour?
 

I think the rule specifically states the 10 minute action is included so it is "60 minutes not 70."

Question: if you get a critical success and spend an hour healing 4d8, can you then make an immediate check or do you have to wait another hour?
I meant 70 minutes to complete a second Treat Wounds (60 minutes for the first and then 10 minutes to do a second).

If I am reading this right if you get a critical success and spend the whole hour healing wouldn't you heal 8d8? If you are Legendary in Medicine and Critically Succeed on the DC 40 check and treat for an entire hour it would be 8d8+100 hit points recovered. It says if you succeed on the check and spend the entire hour healing it doubles the amount healed.
 

Reynard

Legend
From the SRD:

You spend 10 minutes treating one injured living creature (targeting yourself, if you so choose). The target is then temporarily immune to Treat Wounds actions for 1 hour, but this interval overlaps with the time you spent treating (so a patient can be treated once per hour, not once per 70 minutes).

The Medicine check DC is usually 15, though the GM might adjust it based on the circumstances, such as treating a patient outside in a storm, or treating magically cursed wounds. If you’re an expert in Medicine, you can instead attempt a DC 20 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 10; if you’re a master of Medicine, you can instead attempt a DC 30 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 30; and if you’re legendary, you can instead attempt a DC 40 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 50. The damage dealt on a critical failure remains the same.

If you succeed at your check, you can continue treating the target to grant additional healing. If you treat them for a total of 1 hour, double the Hit Points they regain from Treat Wounds.

The result of your Medicine check determines how many Hit Points the target regains.

Critical Success The target regains 4d8 Hit Points, and its wounded condition is removed.
Success The target regains 2d8 Hit Points, and its wounded condition is removed.
Critical Failure The target takes 1d8 damage.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
It seems our experience differs in the game. So far we haven't been able to handle more than 5 encounters of moderate to hard difficulty in a day without running out of combat healing and high level spells. We can usually handle 3 to 4 single encounters in an adventuring day from about lvl 1 to 4 depending on time between encounters. A low level party has a very hard time doing a series of encounters.
I think we can agree on the probable cause: the trigger-happiness of the battle Cleric. While it is understandable the Cleric will want to pull his weight, if he holds off on healing until it really is necessary, he enables the party as a whole to go on for much longer. Of course, that translates to less fun for every caster in the team, so I absolutely understand why a Cleric wouldn't feel particularly obliged to maintain discipline in this area.[/QUOTE]

Suffice it to say I understand what you're saying as far as the rule goes and the potential for limitless play, but in real game play I have not seen unlimited play occur.
Well I didn't think I would either. Then I got the idea to add more monsters to chapter 5 of Extinction Curse for the express purpose of drawing out the combats over the whole week leading up to the chapter's finale.

I got a rude awakening when the party simply went out, killed half a dozen critters, retreated to their base for a few hours, then went out again. They made a clean sweep of more than a whole level's worth of encounters with only a single night's rest. This was enabled in part by having three strong martials (that probably did 90% of the damage between them) and in part by having two patient caster characters that rationed their spell slots.

Sandbox play has almost always been a cake walk unless you're encountering a series of encounters like a fort or something. In my opinion PF2 feels not much different in actual play than PF1 or 5E as far as attrition goes except the method of attrition stays pretty static across nearly all levels.
Well, you're making it sound like a self-fulfilling prophesy.

You can easily (or "easily" in some cases) take any edition of D&D and make it be about attrition. Yes, the goblins might be a cake walk in themselves, and those bloodseekers too, but if they succeed in taking away a little too many hit points, the combat against the hobgoblins might turn from a third cakewalk into a harrowing fight to the death...

I believe D&D Online was a clean (if extreme, as video games are wont to be) example of this. Each dungeon had a specified number of healing fonts, and there simply were no renewable sources of healing at all! If you didn't play well enough to conserve your energy to the bitter end, you simply didn't make it through that particular dungeon.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
But you could just get rid of Medicine or limit its use to once per day or something, correct?
Absolutely. Restrict Medicine, focus spells and probably a few more game features and you're all set.

Question: In 5e I can, and have, effectively wipe out a party's resources in 1 encounter or 8 encounters. I assume this is still generally possible in PF2e, except for a party with medicine - is that correct?
If by "resources" you mean spells and such, that's up to the players. If they don't use 'em, you can't wipe 'em :)

If you mean "hit points" then yes. It's not just Medicine, but that's the general idea.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Even in a party with Medicine. Battle Medic is once a day (Treat Wounds in combat). And Treat Wounds is once an hour, technically 70 minutes as you need 10 minutes to treat again in the 2nd hour. So don't let them have over an hour to rest and Medicine isn't helping much. BTW, I am reading Battle Medic as different then an application of Treat Wounds, I am sure someone will read Battle Medic as making it so you can't use Treat Wounds for a day either.
Well, that might be technically true, but very far from practical reality in any minmaxing group...

Translation: there are feats to remove almost every restriction mentioned. The safe bet is instead that 20-80 minutes after a fight, everybody is back at max hp (not counting diseases and curses etc now) at zero cost in resources.
 

Reynard

Legend
Just to note: it isn't actually especially helpful for people to go on and on about corner cases and alternate rules or playstyles in this thread since I am interested in how the game runs out of the box.
 

Well, that might be technically true, but very far from practical reality in any minmaxing group...

Translation: there are feats to remove almost every restriction mentioned. The safe bet is instead that 20-80 minutes after a fight, everybody is back at max hp (not counting diseases and curses etc now) at zero cost in resources.
Definitely, but that does still require that you give them 20 to 80 minutes to heal. I have no issue with players being fully healed for combat as Crits definitely make combat difficult enough. But if you find you need to give your party more of a challenge don't let them rest like that.
 

From the SRD:

You spend 10 minutes treating one injured living creature (targeting yourself, if you so choose). The target is then temporarily immune to Treat Wounds actions for 1 hour, but this interval overlaps with the time you spent treating (so a patient can be treated once per hour, not once per 70 minutes).

The Medicine check DC is usually 15, though the GM might adjust it based on the circumstances, such as treating a patient outside in a storm, or treating magically cursed wounds. If you’re an expert in Medicine, you can instead attempt a DC 20 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 10; if you’re a master of Medicine, you can instead attempt a DC 30 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 30; and if you’re legendary, you can instead attempt a DC 40 check to increase the Hit Points regained by 50. The damage dealt on a critical failure remains the same.

If you succeed at your check, you can continue treating the target to grant additional healing. If you treat them for a total of 1 hour, double the Hit Points they regain from Treat Wounds.

The result of your Medicine check determines how many Hit Points the target regains.

Critical Success The target regains 4d8 Hit Points, and its wounded condition is removed.
Success The target regains 2d8 Hit Points, and its wounded condition is removed.
Critical Failure The target takes 1d8 damage.
Yep so after an hour of treatment with that legendary check and critical success you heal 8d8+100. Or regularly 1 hour of treatment heals 4d8 or 8d8 on a critical. That is good to know.
 

Reynard

Legend
Yep so after an hour of treatment with that legendary check and critical success you heal 8d8+100. Or regularly 1 hour of treatment heals 4d8 or 8d8 on a critical. That is good to know.
What level do characters have the ability to succeed at the Legendary check?
 

Reynard

Legend
Definitely, but that does still require that you give them 20 to 80 minutes to heal. I have no issue with players being fully healed for combat as Crits definitely make combat difficult enough. But if you find you need to give your party more of a challenge don't let them rest like that.
I don't understand the "20 to 80 minutes" bit. Isn't it either 10 or 60?

So, if I'm an Expert in Medicine and I roll a 20 I heal either 2d8+10 in 10 minutes or 4d8+20 in an hour (is it doubled before or after the roll?). If I succeed with a critical success (DC 30) that goes to 4d8+10 or 8d8+20?
 



I don't understand the "20 to 80 minutes" bit. Isn't it either 10 or 60?

So, if I'm an Expert in Medicine and I roll a 20 I heal either 2d8+10 in 10 minutes or 4d8+20 in an hour (is it doubled before or after the roll?). If I succeed with a critical success (DC 30) that goes to 4d8+10 or 8d8+20?
@CapnZapp is referring to things like the Skill feat Continual Recovery which reduces the immunity to 10 minutes. So you can Treat Wounds more often.
 

Reynard

Legend
@CapnZapp is referring to things like the Skill feat Continual Recovery which reduces the immunity to 10 minutes. So you can Treat Wounds more often.
It looks like Continual recovery is only a 2nd level feat so I presume it is pretty common to have. I mean, it is an interesting choice: it appears hit points are a tactical resource rather than a strategic resource in PF2E, and spells per day, rage, etc are more strategic resources. Does that mean classes like fighters and rogues don't have to deal with strategic resource management at all?
 

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