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PF2E Pathfinder 2e: Actual Play Experience

CapnZapp

Legend
I think thinking this much about treasure makes it appear much more important than it really is. Making calculations and doing administration mostly serves to validate this outlook, when it simply isn't true.

The only piece of treasure that really needs to happen is fundamental weapon runes. And even that sorts itself out by virtue of the exponential gold amounts: sure, a level 7 fighter without a Striking rune is underequipped, but at that level any item is worth more than enough for the sell value to cover purchasing a +1 striking weapon. So just by playing that character should easily sort out its "equipment deficiency", no GM intervention necessary.

3rd edition and Pathfinder are games where heroes (and NPCs) depend on gear, justifying a GM tinkering with it a lot.

PF2 just ain't such a game. The rulebook might tell you things like "As the GM, it’s your job to distribute treasure to the player characters" in a serious voice, implying that this is a job that must be done, and done well.

In reality, PF2 treasure just isn't powerful or important enough to warrant the concern.
(Both 3E and 5E offer loot that's way more colorful, powerful and character-defining)

I heartily recommend stop worrying and spend your time on coming up with cool storylines, adventures and campaigns instead. Using the cool evocative treasure distribution tables from AD&D or 5E works just fine if ported to Pathfinder 2, no matter what Paizo is trying to tell you! :)
 

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ruemere

Explorer
To clarify, I'm not house-ruling PF2. I'm making a new game that takes some design elements from PF2 I liked (a multi-action turn, tasks that take multiple actions, 4 degrees of success, keywords on abilities to better codify them), and some ideas from Starfinder (Resolve Points to fuel cool powers and healing) and the Legend of the Five Rings FFG card game (having a limited suite of defensive reactions add some more sense of play-counterplay to combat).

Then I'm retooling the way combat plays to feel a bit more like Horizon: Zero Dawn or the PS4 God of War, which reward a mix of different offensive actions, plus an attention to defense. They don't want you to just use the same attack repeatedly. So in this system, the hope is that it still plays fast, but that each round your calculus on what attack is optimal changes.

I could polish it up and share a copy if you're interested.
May I have a look, too?
I prefer 13th Age personally, but I would not mind learning about this.
 

kenada

Adventurer
The only piece of treasure that really needs to happen is fundamental weapon runes. And even that sorts itself out by virtue of the exponential gold amounts: sure, a level 7 fighter without a Striking rune is underequipped, but at that level any item is worth more than enough for the sell value to cover purchasing a +1 striking weapon. So just by playing that character should easily sort out its "equipment deficiency", no GM intervention necessary.
To put it another way, the main exploration party is a mix of 2nd and 3rd level PCs. They have found one magic item and a handful of materials they can use for crafting. There has been other treasure, but they missed it. When I did give them that one item, I just picked something with a potency rune knowing they can transfer it to one of their own weapons. Like you said, that’s really the only thing they need to have, and they weren’t in a position to get it otherwise.

Also, to clarify how they could get to 2nd and 3rd level without finding much treasure, they’ve mostly avoided the dungeons that are out there, and I’m using an adjusted leveling curve. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before, but gaining a new level in my campaign costs the new level times 200 XP. It’s designed to get them to the 3rd and 4th levels fairly quickly, so they have a few more options to play with, and I have more encounter building options. It’s meant to make gaining higher levels impractical (due to the number of real world sessions it would take).

I heartily recommend stop worrying and spend your time on coming up with cool storylines, adventures and campaigns instead. Using the cool evocative treasure distribution tables from AD&D or 5E works just fine if ported to Pathfinder 2, no matter what Paizo is trying to tell you! :)
I know I don’t have to do it, but I like tinkering with these kinds of subsystems. It’s fun figuring how the game is designed to work and building a new one. To your point of just using something else, that sort of what I’m going to do, except it’ll be homebrew with influences. :)

The way I manage my campaign lets me get by with minimal prep. I could do almost nothing before next session and be ready to go. However, there are some things I want to have ready for next session, and I need to homebrew the champion (for a new PC) because of setting differences. Those things come first, so the treasure stuff will be back-burnered for a few weeks.

Though I’ll probably write the Monte Carlo simulation of encounter building today or this weekend because that’s on my mind. Actually looking at the results will need to come later. (I keep telling myself….)
 


Kaodi

Adventurer
Bags of holding do not hurt either as nearly essential items. When we first sold off a bunch of stuff and divvied up the gold in Age of Ashes I bought one of those with my cleric whereas the fighter and barbarian both got striking runes. I will need a striking rune too at some point, but we can wait to find another one for me.

Also, to speak to an earlier point, due to the fact that my cleric uses a bow and the GM lets me basically uses infinite arrows - action wise I do end up just shooting three times if there is no point in casting shield. When moving does not confer an advantage you might as well take that 1 in 20 or better chance that you hit.
 
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Gandalf970

First Post
I have been mostly DMing games for 40 years. My favorites have been Rolemaster, D&D and Gurps. My group of long time players (average experience 30+ years) decided to take a trip down the crunchy world of Pathfinder 2.

We went all in and each bought the book, studied it for a month and then decided to make characters and play. We played for two months and then one night at the gaming table looked at each other and said "This isn't fun at all"!

We played the adventure path Age of Ashes!

Our group just didn't like the way the game flowed. The players never felt like they were heroes as encounters were always with the same level as they are. It was a constant struggle and really wasn't enjoyable to run or play from their perspective.

The game is well researched and deep. We liked the 3 actions per round, the heightened spell idea and other aspects of the game. There were good takeaways, but for us the bad out did the good and we set it down to move on to something more enjoyable to our liking.

Just my perspective not something we will play again and will probably sell what I have to reinvest in something else.
 

dave2008

Legend
I have been mostly DMing games for 40 years. My favorites have been Rolemaster, D&D and Gurps. My group of long time players (average experience 30+ years) decided to take a trip down the crunchy world of Pathfinder 2.

We went all in and each bought the book, studied it for a month and then decided to make characters and play. We played for two months and then one night at the gaming table looked at each other and said "This isn't fun at all"!

We played the adventure path Age of Ashes!

Our group just didn't like the way the game flowed. The players never felt like they were heroes as encounters were always with the same level as they are. It was a constant struggle and really wasn't enjoyable to run or play from their perspective.

The game is well researched and deep. We liked the 3 actions per round, the heightened spell idea and other aspects of the game. There were good takeaways, but for us the bad out did the good and we set it down to move on to something more enjoyable to our liking.

Just my perspective not something we will play again and will probably sell what I have to reinvest in something else.
Thanks for the insight. Not every game is for everyone. I'm still interested in giving it a try, but it is good to here different viewpoints.
 

I have been mostly DMing games for 40 years. My favorites have been Rolemaster, D&D and Gurps. My group of long time players (average experience 30+ years) decided to take a trip down the crunchy world of Pathfinder 2.

We went all in and each bought the book, studied it for a month and then decided to make characters and play. We played for two months and then one night at the gaming table looked at each other and said "This isn't fun at all"!

We played the adventure path Age of Ashes!

Our group just didn't like the way the game flowed. The players never felt like they were heroes as encounters were always with the same level as they are. It was a constant struggle and really wasn't enjoyable to run or play from their perspective.

The game is well researched and deep. We liked the 3 actions per round, the heightened spell idea and other aspects of the game. There were good takeaways, but for us the bad out did the good and we set it down to move on to something more enjoyable to our liking.

Just my perspective not something we will play again and will probably sell what I have to reinvest in something else.
Very interesting....my group has has the opposite experience, although I will concede that it probably has to do with the fact that my group gets a lot of whatit needs out of Pathfinder 2E, and the perks of 2E (which include the action economy, more fully realized heightened spell mechanic, and grittier game elements with a distinct sense of risk and reward) make the game an easy sell to my gang. The game play feels challenging and fun, and does not (as happened with 5E) start to feel more like performative mechanics and superheroes who can't be beat. It is practically the only game we've played since it released in August, and we have no plans to stop.
 

Well the pandemic has effectively killed our already struggling PF2 "Age of Ashes" campaign. It's too great of a hassle to try to put it online, the tactical depth just won't translate well. If the players were already invested, knew their characters inside and out, maybe there would be a chance.
I've tried to put it on Roll20, where none of the adventure path modules are available. (Big fail there, Paizo.) There are zero free resources to port your game, no compendium or anything. To get the basics on there, you're dropping over $100 for rules and monsters. Again, not even having access to all the original content from the Campaign.
Maybe Fantasy Grounds has more content, but I'm not buying it again after already investing in Roll20, and the FG UI isn't for me.
(Edited to remove the blame from Paizo. Thanks for the info.)
 
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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I've tried to put it on Roll20, where none of the adventure path modules are available. (Big fail there, Paizo.)
Is it the game publisher's responsibility to put their materials on Roll20 or is it Roll20's responsibility? I don't know enough about Roll20 to know but I'm not sure I understand how it's a fail for Paizo.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Obviously a publisher wants all the major VTT to support their game.

Whether Paizo can influence Roll20 directly or not isn't really relevant - of course it's a fail not to be there, even if it's only an indirect consequence of Roll20 deeming the PF2 market too small to support.
 

Well the pandemic has effectively killed our already struggling PF2 "Age of Ashes" campaign. It's too great of a hassle to try to put it online, the tactical depth just won't translate well. If the players were already invested, knew their characters inside and out, maybe there would be a chance.
I've tried to put it on Roll20, where none of the adventure path modules are available. (Big fail there, Paizo.) There are zero free resources to port your game, no compendium or anything. To get the basics on there, you're dropping over $100 for rules and monsters. Again, not even having access to all the original content from the Campaign.
Maybe Fantasy Grounds has more content, but I'm not buying it again after already investing in Roll20, and the FG UI isn't for me.
Paizo not including more adventure paths on Roll20 is a shame. I think you're off the mark on the support level, though....I've been using Roll20 and am 8 sessions in with our ongoing pathfinder 2E game, and for the first time we are using maps and tokens thanks to how easy it is with Roll20. The Roll20 mechanic is to put lots of useful content/macros/rolls in the character sheet, and you can add the books (I only sprung for the Bestiary eventually so far) but I ran it for seven sessions just fine using only physical books/PDFs and the PF2E character sheet embedded in Roll20. But....big but here....I only run homebrew games. If I was running modules I would be unable to get any further with Roll20 for that reason alone.
 

Porridge

Explorer
Paizo not including more adventure paths on Roll20 is a shame.
Paizo has allowed Roll20 to do all of its APs, it’s just that Roll20 has fallen way behind schedule in making them available. (By contrast, Fantasy Grounds has kept up with each leg of Paizo’s APs as they’ve been released.) Apparently staff shortages at Roll20 and other delays have something to do with it, though Roll20 keeps promising to support more PF2 content.

Here's a thread on the Roll20 site about this, with comments here and here from members of the Roll20 Team.
 

Paizo has allowed Roll20 to do all of its APs, it’s just that Roll20 has fallen way behind schedule in making them available. (By contrast, Fantasy Grounds has kept up with each leg of Paizo’s APs as they’ve been released.) Apparently staff shortages at Roll20 and other delays have something to do with it, though Roll20 keeps promising to support more PF2 content.

Here's a thread on the Roll20 site about this, with comments here and here from members of the Roll20 Team.
I stand corrected. I was under the impression that it was the publishers themselves who designed content for Roll20. I'll edit my post.
Still, it stinks that the Adventure Path that was released back in August 2019 isn't available.
 

zztong

Explorer
Is it the game publisher's responsibility to put their materials on Roll20 or is it Roll20's responsibility? I don't know enough about Roll20 to know but I'm not sure I understand how it's a fail for Paizo.
I'd be tempted to lay the blame on them jointly, though I'm not sure "blame" is the correct word. It takes two to tango. Paizo owns the material, Roll20 controls the VTT features. They either work together, or not.

I will note that in the local D&D 5 game (formerly PF), we transitioned to Roll20 pretty seamlessly and are using a really cool browser extensions called "Beyond 20" which integrates D&D Beyond with Roll20. It had me wondering if Hero Lab classic might be able to pick on a similar Roll20-side interface for my PF1 game in which we use Roll20 because we have one remote player.

EDIT - (Catching up with posts...) Oh, interesting. So they count on Roll20 folks to convert the material, but at least as of four months ago, Roll20 had greater demand for other products? Am I reading those Roll20 forums correctly?
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping Roll20 is market share.

PF2 just isn't a big game. If it was, Roll20 would have offered full support already.
 

I'm pretty sure the only thing keeping Roll20 is market share.

PF2 just isn't a big game. If it was, Roll20 would have offered full support already.
It's strange. You've got Call of Cthulhu (which I know has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years), but there's also City of Mist and Kids on Bikes. Then you have 5e adventures from 3PP including Kobold Press, one from Frog God Games, and even EN World. So you're telling me that Paizo doesn't have the pull that any of these publishers do?
I think PF2e has a Core Rulebook, the intro adventure (Plaguestone), the free demo adventure with one encounter, Bestiary, and Gamemastery Guide (which, come on, is that one a priority over more adventure content?) Then, according to what I'm following on there, the character sheet isn't working correctly (can't accept items from the compendium), there is no free content in the compendium despite a robust and free SRD.
I don't want to lay down the $100 to get access to the basic rules because I'm afraid they won't even work.
 


At the risk of stating the obvious, I'm not telling you anything. I have no insight in the business decisions of Roll20.

Cheers
Rhetorical question, but thanks for the clarification. :)

I did download the sample demo adventure ("Torment and Legacy?") to see how it ran on Roll20. The lack of a multi-action penalty button was pretty disappointing, but the rest of it worked decently.
 

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