Pathfinder 2E Is it fun to play a caster in PF2?

dave2008

Legend
My own feeling is that if you actually want encounter balance, you can either mandate player cooperation or you can not; its hard to see how its going to be significant without impacting that. Its not like you can't lowball encounter setups for PF2e if people are not good at cooperation and synergies, but where the balance of the system is has to be aimed somewhere.
That could be, I found in transition from 4e to 5e that I don't want encounter balance. I didn't really realize it until well into 5e, but I like about not having to think about encounter balance at all. It is one of things that is actually keeping me away from PF2 now (encounter balance).
 

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Scribe

Legend
That could be, I found in transition from 4e to 5e that I don't want encounter balance. I didn't really realize it until well into 5e, but I like about not having to think about encounter balance at all. It is one of things that is actually keeping me away from PF2 now (encounter balance).

Yeah, and I think most people who like 5e are in the same position, which is totally valid.
 

dave2008

Legend
Yeah, and I think most people who like 5e are in the same position, which is totally valid.
We started with 1e when encounter balance really wasn't a thing (at least for us) and I didn't really learn about the concept until 4e. As the DM I didn't realize how constrained I had felt* until I had a few years of 5e under my belt. I think I could do 4e again without worrying about balance, so I could probably do it in PF2 too, but it is so easy in 5e (plus we really enjoy or 5e homebrew).

*About half way through the life of 4e I had abandon the encounter building guidelines and just played by feel. But I really felt like I was fighting the system. In general though I loved 4e.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
That could be, I found in transition from 4e to 5e that I don't want encounter balance. I didn't really realize it until well into 5e, but I like about not having to think about encounter balance at all. It is one of things that is actually keeping me away from PF2 now (encounter balance).

Well, there's not much help for that, then (though to be honest, I have to suspect you were doing so in a rough-and-ready intuitive way the whole way along, because completely ignoring that has been, well, bad in not only any incarnation of D&D, its bad in almost any adventure RPG ever. I mean on a really simple level, completely ignoring encounter balance means you don't care if you're throwing basic goblins or frost giants at a party, and the potential problems there are pretty stark.). That said, PF2e is not a game with a compressed middle; if you throw encounters Level +4 at people they're going to probably die, and if you throw level -4 everyone is going to wonder why they wasted their time. If you can't at least get an intuitive sense of what will work and what won't, its not going to go well for you.
 

dave2008

Legend
Well, there's not much help for that, then (though to be honest, I have to suspect you were doing so in a rough-and-ready intuitive way the whole way along, because completely ignoring that has been, well, bad in not only any incarnation of D&D, its bad in almost any adventure RPG ever. I mean on a really simple level, completely ignoring encounter balance means you don't care if you're throwing basic goblins or frost giants at a party, and the potential problems there are pretty stark.).
The thing is, 5e is very forgiving. You can throw goblins or frost giants and the PCs can handle it (generally speaking). Now, what it means is that my group has maintained their 1e mentality of caution and investigation prior to charging into battle, so surprises don't happen to often. They "randomly" ran into an ancient black dragon when they were about 5th lvl (IIRC) and had to run for their lives, but they survived to fight another day.

That said, PF2e is not a game with a compressed middle; if you throw encounters Level +4 at people they're going to probably die, and if you throw level -4 everyone is going to wonder why they wasted their time. If you can't at least get an intuitive sense of what will work and what won't, its not going to go well for you.
That is my thought. I imagine if I had decades of experience in a system like PF2 I would be pretty intuitive with it. That beings said, the rapid pace of advancement (the +4 lvl thing) is not to my liking and the big obstacle to our playstyle. I think we would have to remove the +1/lvl first and foremost.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
The thing is, 5e is very forgiving. You can throw goblins or frost giants and the PCs can handle it (generally speaking). Now, what it means is that my group has maintained their 1e mentality of caution and investigation prior to charging into battle, so surprises don't happen to often. They "randomly" ran into an ancient black dragon when they were about 5th lvl (IIRC) and had to run for their lives, but they survived to fight another day.

Don't take this wrong, but I'm having trouble picturing first level characters hitting frost giants and making it work out for them even in 5e (I mean, I know about bounded accuracy and all that, but just the hit point/damage equation seems pretty dubious there).

That is my thought. I imagine if I had decades of experience in a system like PF2 I would be pretty intuitive with it. That beings said, the rapid pace of advancement (the +4 lvl thing) is not to my liking and the big obstacle to our playstyle. I think we would have to remove the +1/lvl first and foremost.

Like I say, it might help, but even if you wiped out the ac/hit differences, hard to see how those damage numbers weren't going to be an issue.
 

dave2008

Legend
Don't take this wrong, but I'm having trouble picturing first level characters hitting frost giants and making it work out for them even in 5e (I mean, I know about bounded accuracy and all that, but just the hit point/damage equation seems pretty dubious there).
First, unless I missed it, we were never talking about 1st level PCs. Second, I was talking more generically about being able to take on creatures of a huge range of CRs. In 5e, a 5th level group can have an interesting encounter with creatures from CR 1/8 up to CR 15 or more. That is a huge range, and it includes goblins and frost giants. ;)
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
First, unless I missed it, we were never talking about 1st level PCs. Second, I was talking more generically about being able to take on creatures of a huge range of CRs. In 5e, a 5th level group can have an interesting encounter with creatures from CR 1/8 up to CR 15 or more. That is a huge range, and it includes goblins and frost giants. ;)

I'll take your word about that part certainly, since my understanding of 5e is limited (though I've got to wonder about the damage yield and hit points on things of CR15--but then, I haven't exactly gotten the impression the D&D5e CR system is any better than the D&D3e one, so perhaps so); my just point was that historically you still needed to pay some attention to power balance, or Things Can Happen. At that point its not a case of not paying attention to encounter balance; its just how broad the balance is.
 

Condiments

Explorer
First, unless I missed it, we were never talking about 1st level PCs. Second, I was talking more generically about being able to take on creatures of a huge range of CRs. In 5e, a 5th level group can have an interesting encounter with creatures from CR 1/8 up to CR 15 or more. That is a huge range, and it includes goblins and frost giants. ;)

It is interesting hearing people's different DMing styles. One of my friends has a similar laissez-faire style to encounter balancing, and kinda just enjoys throwing stuff at us 5e.

Whereas I like to be more precise. I was pretty consistently underwhelmed in my first 5e campaign DMing. By the time I got to high level and had to stack encounters so my casters couldn't banish/hypnotic pattern/wall of force things for an entire adventure, I was pretty upset. I've since learned that 5e works better when you're not trying to curate things as much. But it's too much of headache for me to DM. 5e is fun as a player though.

2e is more my style. Encounter balancing is stupid easy of simply adding monster exp based on level. It's been consistently easy over the past 6 months of giving my players tough encounters.

I will say pathfinder 2e is a fair bit more challenging and deadly compared to 5e. We've had some close calls already. But I like things to be on the harder side myself.
 


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