Pathfinder 2 GM Experience

I've been running Pathfinder 2E exclusively since it came out between two groups. One group is hitting level 6 now from weekly play; another group is just hitting level 4, and there is a bi-weekly group which started at level 12 and is about four sessions in. So far, it's been a far easier GM experience than in PF1E, and I have been enjoying it very much; the game feels like it was built with ease of play in mind specifically for GMs.

As an aside, I am definitely in the camp of "easier to make my own modules and content," and never use published modules unless I am desperate. I will grant the caveat that I have been GMing since 1981 so there is that. However, I have over the decades always found it easier to design my own content and run it than to try and memorize someone else's work. That said....I like buying modules and looking for ideas and inspiration.

If I had to identify one critical bit I've noticed as a GM so far: the CR range of -4 to +4 ain't kidding. A monster 5 CRs higher than the party level will kill them dead in most all cases. A challenge more than 4 CRs lower is best resolved as a quick "And then the 12th level PCs murdered the gang of level 1 thugs" type moments....anything else is a waste of time.

I also like that the monsters have more interesting traits on average than in 5E. They are dramatically simplified from PF1E, but not in a manner that detracts from their ability to make a fight more interesting.

I like that a CR+3 challenge in this game is easily a tough boss monster that requires effort, tactics and coordination for the PCs to defeat. I love that the PCs seem to need to think a bit more in PF2E than they did in 5E. It makes my role as GM more interesting and fun to watch them tackle challenges with more thoughtfulness than they put into the same sorts of encounters in 5E.
 
Yes there is a difference to some of us between the every edition's DMG fluff section of "This is a roleplaying game and as the DM you can make up your own rules! Here are some possible ideas that you might or might not want to consider at some point if they feel like it"
vs
"this is the PF2 rules on how recall knowledge is used...".
Yep. As an example: there's like a half-page, one bar section on running encounters in combat in the abstract (theater of the mind) style, with a description of how to do it. That tiny side text section right there is literally all I need to get my more rules-minded players on board with how to do TotM. WIthout it, questions are raised, houserules must be invented and questions of accuracy are raised. But when we have the game itself say, "Here's some rules on how to do it," all those troublesome moments go away and we can rally around the game itself.
 

Kel Ardan

Explorer
So just a quick update, we added another player to our group and he hasn't played any RPG in about 10 years. He was able to pick up 2nd Ed quickly and fully delved into the tactical aspects of the team dynamic and honestly I think he grasped it faster then my other players. I think 5th Ed D&D has everyone in a different kind of mindset for the past few years and it is hard to switch a bit to a more tactical team game. In 5th Ed you can solo and be more care free during encounters while in PF 2nd Ed you have to be more mindful of surroundings and how to use your actions in conjunction with the rest of your team. So far my group is still loving the switch and I've been pretty happy running it.
 

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