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PF2E How is PF2E prep and GMing?

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
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?
Pretty much. Add Barbarians, some Monks, and Rangers to that list as well. You can rage anytime you are not fatigued.

Champions and Monks who take class feats that grant them get focus spells which have a strategic component. With very few exceptions the only limited use abilities come from magic items or are focus spells and spells cast from spell slots.
 

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Reynard

Legend
Pretty much. Add Barbarians, some Monks, and Rangers to that list as well. You can rage anytime you are not fatigued.

Champions and Monks who take class feats that grant them get focus spells which have a strategic component. With very few exceptions the only limited use abilities come from magic items or are focus spells and spells cast from spell slots.
What does that mean from a practical gameplay standpoint as it relates to "traditional" d20 D&D playstyle? FOr example, 5E makes strategic healing pretty easy but you still have to worry about the total expenditure of resources over the course of the "day" between long rests. Combined with the short rest mechanic and lots of at will cantrips etc, 5E extends the 15 minute adventuring day to a solid 45 minutes or so. ;) Does PF2E have a 15 minute adventuring day equivalent?
 

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?
Actions and reactions might be the biggest strategic resource for Fighters and rogues. Rogues especially can have a lot of different reactions to choose from each round and only one to use. But as of now, and this can change as new books come out, they don't have as many strategic resources.
 

What does that mean from a practical gameplay standpoint as it relates to "traditional" d20 D&D playstyle? FOr example, 5E makes strategic healing pretty easy but you still have to worry about the total expenditure of resources over the course of the "day" between long rests. Combined with the short rest mechanic and lots of at will cantrips etc, 5E extends the 15 minute adventuring day to a solid 45 minutes or so. ;) Does PF2E have a 15 minute adventuring day equivalent?
Not really. You obviously can get your casters to the point where they are down to just cantrips left. Even focus spells allow you to regain a focus point with a 10 minute rest.
 

Reynard

Legend
Actions and reactions might be the biggest strategic resource for Fighters and rogues. Rogues especially can have a lot of different reactions to choose from each round and only one to use. But as of now, and this can change as new books come out, they don't have as many strategic resources.
Those aren't strategic -- i.e. long term -- resources. They are immediate tactical choices.
 

Reynard

Legend
Not really. You obviously can get your casters to the point where they are down to just cantrips left. Even focus spells allow you to regain a focus point with a 10 minute rest.
Good to know for adventure planning purposes. Sometimes when designing a dungeon or whatever, you can build natural break points in based on the adventuring day/resource drain in most versions of D&D.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
What does that mean from a practical gameplay standpoint as it relates to "traditional" d20 D&D playstyle? FOr example, 5E makes strategic healing pretty easy but you still have to worry about the total expenditure of resources over the course of the "day" between long rests. Combined with the short rest mechanic and lots of at will cantrips etc, 5E extends the 15 minute adventuring day to a solid 45 minutes or so. ;) Does PF2E have a 15 minute adventuring day equivalent?
On a strategic level I find the bottleneck is pretty much the same as in Pathfinder 1, but for slightly different reasons. In combat healing is highly efficient. It can often be crucial to success. Additionally Pathfinder 2 leans into the bad touch (diseases, poisons, curses and other nasty long lasting conditions). Getting rid of this stuff requires the right spells. It can be quite dangerous to walk around without a Cleric, Druid. Bard, or Sorcerer with access to the right spells. Smart play often means you need less of these crucial spells and the adventuring day can be extended.
 

dave2008

Legend
On a strategic level I find the bottleneck is pretty much the same as in Pathfinder 1, but for slightly different reasons. In combat healing is highly efficient. It can often be crucial to success. Additionally Pathfinder 2 leans into the bad touch (diseases, poisons, curses and other nasty long lasting conditions). Getting rid of this stuff requires the right spells. It can be quite dangerous to walk around without a Cleric, Druid. Bard, or Sorcerer with access to the right spells. Smart play often means you need less of these crucial spells and the adventuring day can be extended.
I think I and my group are going to have learn different methods/styles of play if that is the case. We almost never have any of those classes. The only one I have seen in the last 12 years is a druid. I am interested (as long as I can play a rogue), but not sure I can get my group in (of course I would be DMing then).
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
In my experience, in PF2, after (nearly) every fight the heroes will take 20-60 minutes downtime to heal up completely. If you the GM continuously throw level-appropriate wandering monsters against them, you will not make them retreat, you will kill them.

What it all boils down to is this: PF2 is like if 5th Edition gave you back all your hit points on a short rest. Every short rest, all day long.

This is a profound difference, and it severely messes with attrition-based play.
My experience differs.

Players have been, after an encounter, have been using a basic procedure of using focus pool-based healing options, then refocusing while Treat Wounds is done, and then debating if the time cost of another round of Treat Wounds is worth the risk - and usually deciding either to spend resource-based healing instead of additional time, or retreating to safety for actual rest, because those two options provide them better chance of not being confronted by an encounter while not prepared and ending up dead as a result.

So it's not at all like if full HP were restored by a short rest all day long.

Because while they can't know when a wandering encounter will interrupt their rest, they can (and do) know that it's possible and can factor it into their decision making appropriately.

Aside from that, I guess I'm working with a different meaning for the word "attrition" than others are.
 

CapnZapp

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.
Easier said than done. The game expects (nearly) fully healed heroes, or even a moderate encounter can easily turn sideways. (Of course, you might think of how this forces the party Cleric to emergency-heal people back up, and if so, mission accomplished, I guess, since that hastens the end of the adventuring day no matter what).

I run an official AP and the idea of just making up extra encounters that are sufficiently weak to serve this purpose seems... how shall I put it? nonstandard? That is, I want to run the AP as intended, and several sandboxy tips and tricks just doesn't feel right.
 

Reynard

Legend
What aspects of PF2E rules have an impact on "traditional" dungeon exploration? Is it fun and viable to run a dungeon similar in size and complexity to the Sunless Citadel in PF2E?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
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?
Bingo :)

(Actually that's not the whole picture since even a fighter can get hold of a thingamagog that says "once a day")
 

CapnZapp

Legend
What does that mean from a practical gameplay standpoint as it relates to "traditional" d20 D&D playstyle?
Actually I'd say the only thing that's worth mentioning is the rulebook's complete lack of awareness this might be an issue.

If adventure pacing had been properly discussed (or even discussed at all) this thread didn't have to exist.

FOr example, 5E makes strategic healing pretty easy but you still have to worry about the total expenditure of resources over the course of the "day" between long rests. Combined with the short rest mechanic and lots of at will cantrips etc, 5E extends the 15 minute adventuring day to a solid 45 minutes or so. ;) Does PF2E have a 15 minute adventuring day equivalent?
Yes and no.

No, because it isn't 15 minutes. More likely a couple of hours: you would rest for 10, 20 or 60 minutes or whatever after every encounter (unless prevented), and you can obviously handle several encounters in a day.

Yes, because whatever the exact number of minutes is, is conceptually far closer to minutes than days. That is, the importance on days wane when only casters care. (As heroes level up I expect this importance to increase)
 


CapnZapp

Legend
I think I and my group are going to have learn different methods/styles of play if that is the case. We almost never have any of those classes. The only one I have seen in the last 12 years is a druid. I am interested (as long as I can play a rogue), but not sure I can get my group in (of course I would be DMing then).
PF2 is unapologetically classical in the sense that a combat healer is very very valuable.

5E, as you all know, deliberately nerfed healing precisely to make a combat healer much more optional.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
My experience differs.

Players have been, after an encounter, have been using a basic procedure of using focus pool-based healing options, then refocusing while Treat Wounds is done, and then debating if the time cost of another round of Treat Wounds is worth the risk - and usually deciding either to spend resource-based healing instead of additional time, or retreating to safety for actual rest, because those two options provide them better chance of not being confronted by an encounter while not prepared and ending up dead as a result.
I should say that's how we started out too.

But we're running an official AP that's at times brutally hard. At these times, more than half of the party has ended encounters at less than half hit points. Since the next encounter might be just as hard, the only way they would go deeper into the dungeon was if allowed to heal up fully, which (after much clutter, choice anxiety and calculations) translates to "half an hour to two hours later".

The sandbox option to throw in a couple of low-level wandering critters to make the party get a move on never felt appropriate - I couldn't in my heart punish them for getting smashed up by brutally hard encounters, could I?

Point here though, was the idea "if they end up fully healed anyway, why not just cut out the admin and say BAM short rest means full health no clutter needed".
 



Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
@Reynard

I find PF2 to be a really solid dungeon crawler. It stands out amongst modern versions of the game.

Exploration mode is basically a modern take on the 10 minute turn. This makes it compatible with wandering monster checks and other old school techniques built on turns.

Hazards are well detailed and the guidance on building them in the GMG.

Monster designs are more classical compared to other versions of D&D. Many feel like puzzles or traps.

There are some pretty decent hexcrawl mechanics in the GMG.

One of my short runs was an adaptation of Tower of the Black Pearl (Dungeon Crawl Classics).
 


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