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Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder 2e: is it RAW or RAI to always take 10 minutes and heal between encounters?

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Those are interesting in limiting the short-term, but again I'm more about long-term attrition. With those, you might have trouble with a running fight because you won't be easily able to heal up to full, but a day of downtime and you'll be just like new. I like the idea of having to spend a week or two recovering. I feel like 5E encouraged my players go just break-neck around the place, even with "gritty" healing on.
One could tweak how quickly Resolve is restored. If you slowed it down to one or two points per day, PCs would have to spend time resting and recuperating.

In this case, I like having multiple options to heal. But I also want some limiting factor so that you don't just recover in a single day. Looking over the mechanic, Strain seems like a fantastic way of managing that: typically speaking a PF2 party isn't for lack of healing (especially with Fonts for Clerics), but I want them to have to manage that in some way. Having so much means that long-term healing isn't really something that happens... unless you put in a limit. Strain... that looks like it could do it.
There’s some thing I accidentally left out when I suggested System Strain before (because WWN is way too verbose for its own good*, and I only just realized it recently): WWN requires eight hours of uninterrupted rest to benefit from natural healing (regain HD in hit points, lose 1 System Strain). That makes attrition very real while exploring because you’ll have to double the rest period in order to take watches or risk being interrupted while resting. Depending on what the party needs to do while making and breaking camp, they might only realistically have a few hours of adventuring/exploration. This is meant to encourage you to be careful but also to consider hiring people to guard your camp while you rest (making adventuring more of an expedition).

Well, in theory. We’ve only had one session since that revelation, and the full impact of it hasn’t been felt yet. It will be interesting to see how my players adapt to the rest requirements (especially with the new exploration procedure we’ll be trying this weekend, since the one in WWN and B/X is kind of crappy).

The only situation I'd say that you might be able to heal from without Strain is from 0 hitpoints (which is fine, since the Wounded condition means you're not going to get much out of that edge case). In fact, you could probably do something about having levels of Wounded limiting how much strain you can recover until the condition is gone. Lot of potential in adding in that limit, just like Healing Surges were meant to do in 4E.
The way WWN handles this is you gain the Mortally Wounded quality at 0 hit points. If you’re not stabilized in six rounds, you die. There are two ways to stabilize someone: by making a Dex/Heal or Int/Heal skill check or magical healing (magic or otherwise). If someone stabilizes you, you recover in ten minutes at 1 hp and the Frail quality (but no gain in System Strain). Magical healing works as normal (increases your hit points and causing you to gain System Strain). In Pathfinder parlance, this would be like using Administer First Aid instead of some other healing to stabilize someone, and the former doesn’t increase System Strain while the latter would as normal.

Frail is both nastier than the Wounded condition in Pathfinder 2e and not. If you have it, you die immediately when you reach 0 hp. You also can’t benefit from natural healing while you are Frail. To get rid of it, you need a week of bed rest, treatment by a physician, or magical healing. Magical healing removes the condition, so Frail is a non-issue for a party with a Healer.

Unlike Paizo, Kevin Crawford has stated outright that parties are expected to be at full hit points before an encounter. This is interesting because WWN is not designed around encounter balance, but that’s the expectation. In SWN, you have easy access to healing items and psychics. Because WWN is trying to be swords and sorcery (rather than heroic fantasy), magic items aren’t pervasively available. Instead, it makes healing accessible via first aid after battle (roll 1d6+Heal as many times as the healer wants, each time adding System Strain) and magical healing (via mage partial classes).

If I were adapting this to Pathfinder 2e, I’d look at the Stamina variant first because it already does most of what System Strain does while being designed around the Pathfinder 2e framework. I’d start with the default recovery of Resolve, but I would be open to tweaking it if it didn’t feel right based on how much I wanted rest and recovery to be a thing.

If I did want to adapt System Strain, I’d do it because I wanted to use it where WWN also uses it (like for privation). If you don’t have enough food, water, warmth, or shelter, you gain System Strain (particularly if exposed multiple days in a row). It makes planning and logistics much more important for exploration, but I’m running an exploration-based game, so I want those things to be important. Regardless, if I wanted to use System Strain, I’d strongly consider letting the party make multiple Treat Wounds checks as part of the same activity instead of having it require multiple activities.

Even better would be changing the activity to dispense with the check and base it on your Medicine skill some other way. Otherwise, Assurance (Medicine) and Continual Recovery (and maybe Ward Medic) end up being feat taxes, which isn’t in the spirit of PF2.



* WWN may be a bit too Gygaxian for its own good. Rules are buried in paragraphs of text and are sometimes not very well specified. There are a few gaps when it comes to exploration (and other things outside of the core adventure loop), so I ended up hacking OSE into WWN to fill in those gaps.
 

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kenada

Legend
Supporter
I can see the argument, but I think in a number of areas 4e just felt A Bridge Too Far for me, where PF2e stays on the right side of that, but that can't be but a subjective feeling.
4e did a good job of simplifying the core gameplay, but it also took a hatchet to the classes. Even if it gave people what they wanted (“interesting” fighters, balanced classes, etc), it did it in a way that slaughtered too many sacred cows all at once. They would have been better off leading with D&D Essentials, but it was too late by the time that book came out.
 

Retreater

Legend
They would have been better off leading with D&D Essentials, but it was too late by the time that book came out.
We still have D&D Essentials, and could do an "Essentials-only" campaign. But meanwhile there isn't (yet) a similar streamlined experience for PF2.
 

4e did a good job of simplifying the core gameplay, but it also took a hatchet to the classes. Even if it gave people what they wanted (“interesting” fighters, balanced classes, etc), it did it in a way that slaughtered too many sacred cows all at once. They would have been better off leading with D&D Essentials, but it was too late by the time that book came out.

I didn't have a problem with that, per se; as I've noted, I haven't been a primarily D&D person for more than 40 years now.

However, somehow 4e managed to tip over the feeling to me of moving the characters a little too far away from representation into gamist stylization--and that's saying something since I'm a pretty strongly gamist player and GM, PF2e has obviously taken some steps in that direction too, but for me it didn't cross the line.
 

payn

Legend
I didn't have a problem with that, per se; as I've noted, I haven't been a primarily D&D person for more than 40 years now.

However, somehow 4e managed to tip over the feeling to me of moving the characters a little too far away from representation into gamist stylization--and that's saying something since I'm a pretty strongly gamist player and GM, PF2e has obviously taken some steps in that direction too, but for me it didn't cross the line.
I think this is where a lot of my trouble with PF2 comes from. Its one foot in 3E design and another foot in 4E design. The presentation manages to seem familiar to 3E style and feel, but it comes out 4E in the wash. Thats likely a goldilocks area for some folks.
 

payn

Legend
We still have D&D Essentials, and could do an "Essentials-only" campaign. But meanwhile there isn't (yet) a similar streamlined experience for PF2.
The beginner's box is as close as you'll likely get. 5E is the streamlined D&D and Pathfinder's way to differentiate is to be the more complex D&D in the market. What will really be interesting is to see how level up shakes things up? It might give folks that 5E feel with the crunch they want from PF2 without PF2s design choices.
 

Retreater

Legend
I didn't have a problem with that, per se; as I've noted, I haven't been a primarily D&D person for more than 40 years now.

However, somehow 4e managed to tip over the feeling to me of moving the characters a little too far away from representation into gamist stylization--and that's saying something since I'm a pretty strongly gamist player and GM, PF2e has obviously taken some steps in that direction too, but for me it didn't cross the line.
My experience with 4e was largely limited to D&D Encounters and Lair Assault - so very gamist situations - more than a "real D&D campaign." Under those limitations, I think it worked well, but the minute I tried to run it as a campaign, it fell apart. (Appropriately, this is the same experience I've had with PF2 - works fine in PFS, not so much in a longterm campaign).
 

Retreater

Legend
The beginner's box is as close as you'll likely get. 5E is the streamlined D&D and Pathfinder's way to differentiate is to be the more complex D&D in the market. What will really be interesting is to see how level up shakes things up? It might give folks that 5E feel with the crunch they want from PF2 without PF2s design choices.
Yes, but the Beginner Box is only levels 1-3 (I think). You couldn't run an entire 1-20 level game with it, unlike D&D Essentials.
But I am excited to see what Level Up offers, though I'm hesitant to think (based on the previews I've seen) it's going to offer enough tactical depth, character customization, or interesting monster/encounter design.
Maybe Level Up will be more like 2E's Skills and Powers supplements?
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I’ve run a few 4e campaigns. I thought it worked fine. We had no more problems with it than we did PF2. I even mostly ran official adventures with 4e. The big issue for us was my players just didn’t like it.

I actually tried pitching my group on switching my Kingmaker campaign back to 4e, but the response from test session (using a PF1 adventure converted to 4e as a one-shot) was that it felt like playing Diablo. We didn’t even finish the adventure people were so put off. 😐
 
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I’ve run a few 4e campaigns. I thought it worked fine. We had no more problems with it than we did PF2. I even mostly ran official adventures with 4e. The big issue for us was my players just didn’t like it.

I played in a reasonably long 4e campaign, and there were things I both liked and even more I respected about the design.

But somehow the overall effect left a bad taste in my mouth, and I write it off to the degree of stylization. I don't think I can post at anything in particular or specific though, it was just the overall feeling.
 

I think this is where a lot of my trouble with PF2 comes from. Its one foot in 3E design and another foot in 4E design. The presentation manages to seem familiar to 3E style and feel, but it comes out 4E in the wash. Thats likely a goldilocks area for some folks.

That seems fair, and to some extent that's how it feels for me--assuming I want a D&D style experience at all (which I occasionally can though its not been generically my cuppa for many years now).
 

The beginner's box is as close as you'll likely get. 5E is the streamlined D&D and Pathfinder's way to differentiate is to be the more complex D&D in the market. What will really be interesting is to see how level up shakes things up? It might give folks that 5E feel with the crunch they want from PF2 without PF2s design choices.

The problem is some of us at least dislike a couple of 5e's core design ideas (the way Advantage and Disadvantage works in particularly, though I'm not a massive fan of bounded accuracy either) so I'd assume Level Up is still going to be stuck with that.
 

payn

Legend
The problem is some of us at least dislike a couple of 5e's core design ideas (the way Advantage and Disadvantage works in particularly, though I'm not a massive fan of bounded accuracy either) so I'd assume Level Up is still going to be stuck with that.
I hear you on Advantage/disadvantage its an over simplification and too common. Though, bounded accuracy was a breath of fresh air. I hope it never leaves D&D.
 

Nilbog

Snotling Herder
I feel healing (and crafting) are the fly's in the ointment for PF2E (stealth took me a while to get used to, but now I have I think it works). Luckily both systems I find are fairly easily house ruled and neither have impacted on our enjoyment of the game.
Like a few others have mentioned I just tend to allow the group to fully heal between encounters unless circumstances would prevent it
 

I feel healing (and crafting) are the fly's in the ointment for PF2E (stealth took me a while to get used to, but now I have I think it works). Luckily both systems I find are fairly easily house ruled and neither have impacted on our enjoyment of the game.
Like a few others have mentioned I just tend to allow the group to fully heal between encounters unless circumstances would prevent it

One of the biggest problems for Stealth is that there are 4 states which are fairly good, distinct, and useful... but we just don't have good one-word terms that convey the differences between each instantly. "Unnoticed", "Undetected" and "Hidden" can all mean the same thing colloquially, which makes it easy to confuse all the terms. If I were to switch them around, I would do Observed-Detected-Hidden-Unnoticed, but even then it's still really difficult to get that instant recognition of the differences.

And both Crafting and Healing feel like they were designed with PFS in mind. Now all players have access to healing without needing a bunch of wands, and crafting is no longer the gold mine it once was. I do agree that it's fairly easy to houserule these to get to wherever you want to be for a game.
 

Those are interesting in limiting the short-term, but again I'm more about long-term attrition. With those, you might have trouble with a running fight because you won't be easily able to heal up to full, but a day of downtime and you'll be just like new. I like the idea of having to spend a week or two recovering. I feel like 5E encouraged my players go just break-neck around the place, even with "gritty" healing on.

In this case, I like having multiple options to heal. But I also want some limiting factor so that you don't just recover in a single day. Looking over the mechanic, Strain seems like a fantastic way of managing that: typically speaking a PF2 party isn't for lack of healing (especially with Fonts for Clerics), but I want them to have to manage that in some way. Having so much means that long-term healing isn't really something that happens... unless you put in a limit. Strain... that looks like it could do it.

The only situation I'd say that you might be able to heal from without Strain is from 0 hitpoints (which is fine, since the Wounded condition means you're not going to get much out of that edge case). In fact, you could probably do something about having levels of Wounded limiting how much strain you can recover until the condition is gone. Lot of potential in adding in that limit, just like Healing Surges were meant to do in 4E.
I kinda like the idea of injuries taking longer than a day to heal, too, so in my 4E inpsired Star Wars game, I created the concept of wounds. When you get reduced to Bloodied or 0 hit points, you suffer a wound, that will have longer lasting penalties (some only "active" when you're bloodied). To recover wounds like that, you need someone treating your wounds and it can take a few days for them to resolve.

In practice we're not really a group that puts much effort into long-term resource management, we were more focused on other things, so it never has been a big deal in the campaign. (And it's Star Wars anyway, where you have advanced medical technology and Bacta and stuff like that). But I can see such a system working in most hit point based systems.
 

One of the biggest problems for Stealth is that there are 4 states which are fairly good, distinct, and useful... but we just don't have good one-word terms that convey the differences between each instantly. "Unnoticed", "Undetected" and "Hidden" can all mean the same thing colloquially, which makes it easy to confuse all the terms. If I were to switch them around, I would do Observed-Detected-Hidden-Unnoticed, but even then it's still really difficult to get that instant recognition of the differences.

And both Crafting and Healing feel like they were designed with PFS in mind. Now all players have access to healing without needing a bunch of wands, and crafting is no longer the gold mine it once was. I do agree that it's fairly easy to houserule these to get to wherever you want to be for a game.

I don't have much of an opinion on crafting, but I suspect strongly that they wanted to remove the mandatory healbot role even more than D&D4e did, but didn't want to make hit points completely irrelevant, so making the non-tactical healing more gated by the Medicine skill (which a number of different classes can do as a side-gig--heck, the party Rogue could cover that one without much impacting their main operation) rather than spells did that. That, of course, doesn't address the issue of people who want hit point ablation to be a strategic concern, but that ship had sailed by D&D3e, let alone PF1e, so its probably no surprise they didn't give it any attention in PF2e.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Crafting feels like a John Wick esque design where you don't want to include rules for something, but fans love it too much for you not to include rules so you purposefully include rules that suck. Thinking of ronin and shinobi in Legend of the Five Rings (before the current glorious edition) here.
 

We hadn't had any trouble with the crafting we've done, but that's mostly just been moving runes around and repairing shields, so it doesn't get very deep into the system.
 

Teemu

Adventurer
I played in a reasonably long 4e campaign, and there were things I both liked and even more I respected about the design.

But somehow the overall effect left a bad taste in my mouth, and I write it off to the degree of stylization. I don't think I can post at anything in particular or specific though, it was just the overall feeling.
Maybe the game language oriented and uniform presentation of powers, plus the uniform recovery and acquisition rate of powers.
 

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