log in or register to remove this ad

 

PF2E Pace of fighting

Mistborn

Explorer
Actually, I'm only interested in one issue.
The pace of fighting: is it like in PF 1e or rather D&D 5e? The shorter the better.
 

log in or register to remove this ad



kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
Actually, I'm only interested in one issue.
The pace of fighting: is it like in PF 1e or rather D&D 5e? The shorter the better.
I don’t think it’s too bad. Our combats are usually about the same length as other games, but there’s more movement, so it feels less static and boring. Creatures also generally have interesting abilities, which helps too.

Edit: Since it was mentioned upthread, I’ll agree combat definitely feels more lethal than PF1. That’s probably due in part to the 4-degrees of success system where crits happen much more frequently. Combat is much more swingy, but that’s mitigated by hero points and the dying rules.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I've only played up as far as 6th level so far, but it feels fast to me. There's more stuff going on, though.
 



Celtavian

Dragon Lord
Actually, I'm only interested in one issue.
The pace of fighting: is it like in PF 1e or rather D&D 5e? The shorter the better.

It does not run as fast as 5E. It is much faster than PF1. But combats are still long and involved depending on the players and number of enemies.

What you will like is the preparation for combat is much, much faster. No more PF1 hours of buffing prior to the fight and tracking ten different buff spells from casters, potions, wands, scrolls, magic items, and the like. Magic and abilities are much more like 5E with short durations only worth casting or using when the combat starts. Pre-buffing is mostly gone other than some potions and longer lasting alchemical items that are easy to track. No more of the crazy let me cast cat's grace, bull's strength, bear's endurance, invisibility, haste, enlarge, magic weapon, death ward, energy resistance, protection from arrows, summon monster, greater magic fang, and if you've played PF1 you know the long list of pre-buffing insanity that existed in that game. That is gone. Makes starting combat much faster than PF1 or 3E.

The actual fights will often depend on how fast your players make their moves and how fast you can move and take monster actions basically system mastery. It requires more system mastery to run PF2, though not nearly as much as PF1. Though it might take you longer to learn the system, once you and your players do the encounter speed will come down to you and your player speed processing actions.
 

Green Onceler

Explorer
I’ll agree combat definitely feels more lethal than PF1. That’s probably due in part to the 4-degrees of success system where crits happen much more frequently. Combat is much more swingy, but that’s mitigated by hero points and the dying rules.

Really? I'm quite surprised to hear that given how the new iteration of Pathfinder has effectively removed save or die, and even the more punishing save or suck effects, from the game.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
Really? I'm quite surprised to hear that given how the new iteration of Pathfinder has effectively removed save or die, and even the more punishing save or suck effects, from the game.
Like I said, it’s the crits. They’re much more common in PF2 than they were in PF1, and they do comparatively more damage. That’s also what makes higher level creatures so dangerous — they naturally crit lower level characters more often (due to their greater attack bonus versus the PCs’ ACs).

I think I’ve crit the PCs more times in the last few sessions than I have in some PF1 and 5e campaigns I’ve run. Also, zombies with rotting aura are nasty.
 


kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
I see. Then, if combat is actually more deadly, I wonder why they decided to make spellcasting so much less effective offensively?
Well, there’s a whole thread for that. :p

My group has never really pushed the boundaries of what casters can do in previous editions, so I don’t have a good feel for how they changed. My players seem to have fun either way.

However, being aware that there were problems before, my impression is that flattening out the quadratic wizard left casters feeling comparatively weak. You get fewer spells, “breaking” spells are gated behind rarity, and you don’t put out numbers comparable to martials except in situations that are favorable to you (like casting fireball on a crowd).

Is that a bad thing? Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m fine with it. Obviously, others aren’t.
 

Celtavian

Dragon Lord
I see. Then, if combat is actually more deadly, I wonder why they decided to make spellcasting so much less effective offensively?

They did it to balance casting versus martial. Casting is still potent. There are save or suck spells that slow or stun targets. Check out a spell like phantasmal calamity. I dropped that on a group of mooks and they were not happy.

Main thing casting limits do is make sure the BBEGs don't get ended quickly on a bad save. Casters still hammer a lot of things. So far the best casters seem to have changed from wizard to druid and bard. Druid and bard have a lot more to do with their actions. About all they lack is a reaction power they can use on a round by round basis.
 

ronaldsf

Explorer
Really? I'm quite surprised to hear that given how the new iteration of Pathfinder has effectively removed save or die, and even the more punishing save or suck effects, from the game.
The way the math works in PF2, a creature 3 levels higher than the party hits like a truck. You definitely feel like it's dishing out nearly as much damage as your entire party combined, and that each of you can only chip away at it. A crit will take a character from full health down to 0. In PF1, that just didn't happen after the first couple of levels.

As for save or suck effects, because of the incapacitation trait on many save-or-suck spells (i.e., a higher level monster treats its saving throw against it as one degree of success better) and because +1/level is baked into saving throws now, those higher level monsters will shake off the worst effects of your casters' best shutdown abilities pretty consistently. So against higher-level monsters, save-or-suck is still there... but mostly against the players.
 

Much faster than 5e in my opinion due to the clear 3 action economy (EDIT: plus the commonality of critical hits, which is much more prevalent in PF2 compared to 5e). It's pretty common to get 3 combats in PF2 done in 4 hours; that would be a miracle in the 5e games I have played and DMed over 3,000 hours since 2014, especially in higher level games with characters with multiple attacks and Action Surge.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The way the math works in PF2, a creature 3 levels higher than the party hits like a truck. You definitely feel like it's dishing out nearly as much damage as your entire party combined, and that each of you can only chip away at it. A crit will take a character from full health down to 0. In PF1, that just didn't happen after the first couple of levels.

As for save or suck effects, because of the incapacitation trait on many save-or-suck spells (i.e., a higher level monster treats its saving throw against it as one degree of success better) and because +1/level is baked into saving throws now, those higher level monsters will shake off the worst effects of your casters' best shutdown abilities pretty consistently. So against higher-level monsters, save-or-suck is still there... but mostly against the players.
Since "those higher level monsters will shake off the worst effects of your casters' best shutdown abilities pretty consistently" rational players simply cease to cast those spells. This leads to fewer choices, a poorer game.

I'm getting the impression Paizo and it's fan base entered collective hysteria. The very notion that a Wizard could ever win a fight by shutting down the big bad seems to fill the Paizo board with outrage and disgust. And this is reflected in the Incapacitation rule.

All this does is drive Wizard players away from using Incapacitation spells, specifically single-target ones, at all.

There's this great mismatch where the game seems to assume you'll still cast those spells even though you could use your high level slots for ... other high level spells? Why would I choose a spell nerfed into oblivion when I can choose another spell, say a damage spell, that isn't?

Inexplicably, Paizo then created a few spells with a decent effect even when the monster does save. This just makes it that much harder to get rid of Incapacitation as the clumsy ugly mechanism it is. Grrr...
 

MaskedGuy

Explorer
I'm getting the impression Paizo and it's fan base entered collective hysteria. The very notion that a Wizard could ever win a fight by shutting down the big bad seems to fill the Paizo board with outrage and disgust. And this is reflected in the Incapacitation rule.

Umm. Can I just point out that 1) every gm in every setting hates big bad being shut down in single round or single character or single round :p Never seen anyone whose first reaction isn't to burst in sad laughter, facepalm hard or look of absolute dread of all their prep and foreshadowing being taken down that fast.

2) Ye are both exaggerating there and was it really called for to call anyone hysteric?

Like I wouldn't be surprised if incapacitation was eventually errata'd into "higher level creature simply gets failure effect for spell on critical failure" or something, but even if you'd argue that having insta kill spells for lower level/equal/slightly stronger foes isn't worth it, I'm still not sure why you are resorting to calling paizo and paizon fan hysterical :p
 

zztong

Explorer
The pace of fighting: is it like in PF 1e or rather D&D 5e?

We were finding PF2 to be closer to PF1.

I think it has been about 9 months since I last played PF2, but I've kind of lost track...

There were factors at the time, and at the table, that likely slowed it. Automation for PF1 was better than the automation available to us for PF2 (Hero Lab vs Hero Lab Online) ... and that was slowing down things like some players making iterative attacks. Also, even though folks had played PF2 all through the playtest, the less-technical folks were still having analysis paralysis when it came to dozens of little feats, various conditions, and the three-action economy.
 

kenada

Adventurer
Supporter
Hero Lab Online recently got dice rolling. When you click on an attack, it has rows for each iterative attack, so you can just click on them to roll the attack and damage. There’s even a toggle to between regular and crit damage (including adding in the bonus dice from deadly, etc). Last session was the first time we tried Hero Lab Online at the table, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it worked.

Umm. Can I just point out that 1) every gm in every setting hates big bad being shut down in single round or single character or single round :p Never seen anyone whose first reaction isn't to burst in sad laughter, facepalm hard or look of absolute dread of all their prep and foreshadowing being taken down that fast.
That’s going to depend quite a bit on the type of game and one’s attitude towards combat. Speaking as a GM who tends to run exploration-based games, I don’t really care if they blow up the “big bad guy”. That’s not really the point of the game. If the PCs can figure out some way to trivialize a fight, that’s even better.

At the same time, it also behooves you not to hold back. I remember running the Nyrissa fight at the end of Kingmaker, and the tactics had her buffing and wasting actions on crap like that. I just spammed the hell out of prismatic spray. By the end of the second round, more than half the party was dead, turned to stone, or on another plane of existence. They won, but the only one still standing was the PC with Briar (the artifact needed to actually defeat her). It was a suitably epic conclusion to the best AP we’ve played (but the actual combat still lasted only three rounds).
 


Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top