Let's Look At Some Monster Stat Blocks For Pathfinder 2

The Monday update to the Pathfinder 2 development blog took a look at building monsters under the new rules. Today, with the Friday update we're getting a look at a couple of stat blocks. They look at an ogre and a redcap (pictured below).

The Monday update to the Pathfinder 2 development blog took a look at building monsters under the new rules. Today, with the Friday update we're getting a look at a couple of stat blocks. They look at an ogre and a redcap (pictured below).


You can see the details of the two monsters at the Paizo website. The stat blocks do look to be more streamlined than the equivalent in Pathfinder first edition, but what is interesting is the differences between a Pathfinder 2 and Starfinder stat block.


Obviously there is a good chance that there will be changes between this sample, the playtest edition of Pathfinder 2 and the final version of the game. What do people think...too much detail, or not enough?
 

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unknowable

Explorer
I guess it works if you're a full-time GM and don't already know how the player stuff works, because it means you only need to learn the monster stuff. For anyone who goes back and forth between playing and GMing, and who already knows all of the player stuff, it's an additional barrier to actually running the game.

The absolute barrier from nothing to GMing is smaller, but the relative barrier going from being a player to being the GM, is much larger.

Although to be fair, it probably would have been prohibitive to try and make monsters as PCs, given the over-all increase in PC complexity between PF1E and PF2E. The monsters-as-characters paradigm really works best when PCs themselves have fewer decision points involved.

I disagree entirely, the core mechanics are the same and everything else is tied to the stat block and allows for more design freedom.

Everything I have seen so far suggests that this edition will be easier to run than 3.x
I have been running it since near 3.0's release and I still find it to be a bloated mess to run properly.
 

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The Human Target

Adventurer
I guess it works if you're a full-time GM and don't already know how the player stuff works, because it means you only need to learn the monster stuff. For anyone who goes back and forth between playing and GMing, and who already knows all of the player stuff, it's an additional barrier to actually running the game.

The absolute barrier from nothing to GMing is smaller, but the relative barrier going from being a player to being the GM, is much larger.

Although to be fair, it probably would have been prohibitive to try and make monsters as PCs, given the over-all increase in PC complexity between PF1E and PF2E. The monsters-as-characters paradigm really works best when PCs themselves have fewer decision points involved.

Running monsters in 4e was easier.

The idea that making them self contained made them extremely hard to use is bonkers.

It certainly isn't any harder to go from player to GM.

You can hate everything about 4e, just don't craft elaborate falsehoods about why.
 

Pandatheist

Villager
Random string of quick impressions:

Wow is that long. Feels like a lot of information that won't be useful at the table.
I like the use of modifiers instead of ability scores(can we finally kill off ability scores?).
The use of "gamey" terminology has increased. Starting to remind me of old wargames, and not in a good way.
I thought I would like new 3 action system, but this is going to add a lot of AP and slow combat to a crawl.
But seriously, that is super long. Trying to check this on a random encounter table is going to waste a lot of player time while I read.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Monster stat block.

I love:
• Referring to the ability modifiers.
• Listing the basic skill bonus (according to level) (for untrained skills)

I would prefer:
• Making Athletics and Acrobatics the same skill, so usually +Str, sometimes +Dex or +Con
• Ok to list skill bonus, skill proficiency, and ability modifier separately for DM to add up in head
• Reducing the named skills to just four, to heighten flavor of what monster can generally do
• Even just lumping acrobatics into athletics reduces number of skills to a manageable, flavorful, five

To me it makes sense:
• listing ability modifiers and skills in first section; things like stealth/persuasion precede combat
• listing special items with skills, as a kind of skillful tool proficiency, that conveys flavor
 

Everything I have seen so far suggests that this edition will be easier to run than 3.x
I have been running it since near 3.0's release and I still find it to be a bloated mess to run properly.
I haven't played 3.5 in over ten years, but I could still run you through a combat against some goblins or orcs right now, without any preparation. I can literally write down all of the relevant stats and abilities from memory, while you're rolling initiative, because it's all derived naturally from ability scores and class levels.

There's no way that I could run you through a similar encounter in 4E, unless I actually brought the book out and looked up their abilities. There's no way for me to guess what any of their powers were, because they were all unique to those specific monsters.

That's the same feeling I get from this stat block. It's not just simple, universal mechanics. It's not even a base level of simple mechanics, with one weird thing to make the monster unique, like regeneration or constriction. It's all new stuff, for every monster.

Running monsters in 4e was easier.

The idea that making them self contained made them extremely hard to use is bonkers.

It certainly isn't any harder to go from player to GM.

You can hate everything about 4e, just don't craft elaborate falsehoods about why.
You can't deny someone else's lived experience. I was there. It was difficult to transition between playing 4E and running 4E, because all of the monsters had all new abilities that I had to learn from scratch. It was like learning my character all over again, for every fight; sometimes multiple times in one fight, because they encouraged you to use mixed groups of monsters.

Fourth Edition had a lot going for it. I'm a big fan of the precise language and AEDU. I'm a huge fan of the multi-classing rules. The unique monster rules were, by a wide margin, the weakest part of the system.
 


Igwilly

First Post
Seriously? This is too hard to run and 3.X/Pathfinder is easy?
Sorry, no. Monster work in 3.X/Pathfinder is a nightmare to deal with, and the number one reason why I left PF1. I just couldn't stand the difficulty of running, modifying and creating monsters.
With this kind of layout, it's all there! So much easier, and probably much easier to tinker with.

The more they show the more this game looks like D&D 4e 2nd editioned.

It just seems that Paizo is giving me the tactical experience WotC seems incapable of providing.

Hallelujah!
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'm not crazy about this use of the word "Irreligious" which means "indifferent or hostile to religion." A creature that is indifferent to religion should not be affected by a holy symbol. Being hostile to religion doesn't give someone else's religion power over you (other than perhaps to annoy you); it's exactly the opposite.

I hope they will find a different term for this.
I’m partial to “Theophobic”
 


Pandatheist

Villager
Seriously? This is too hard to run and 3.X/Pathfinder is easy?
Sorry, no. Monster work in 3.X/Pathfinder is a nightmare to deal with, and the number one reason why I left PF1. I just couldn't stand the difficulty of running, modifying and creating monsters.
With this kind of layout, it's all there! So much easier, and probably much easier to tinker with.



It just seems that Paizo is giving me the tactical experience WotC seems incapable of providing.

Hallelujah!

I’m with you as far as 3.0 combat prep. But I think this is a horizontal segmentation issue. Some people want monsters as player characters, some want unique non universally applicable abilities and rarely shall the twain meet. I’m curious to see if they find a good balance to keep their player base.

And I think you’re right about the tactical gameplay. For me the more I read the less I think PF2 is for me, but I’m really happy someone is going in this direction. I have friends that miss 4e for precisely that reason, and while it was never my cup of tea they’re sol on a currently supported tactical rpg. Theres a hole in the market and I think paizo is very smart to address it. And I have some very happy friends with this.
 

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