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

CapnZapp

Legend
Nope, I am. Once one side departs, the combat is over. What is gained by continuing to operate at a combat timescale with a combat action economy? Would you run exploration that way? Social challenges?
I don't understand your questions or why they're so antagonistic.

You say "Once one side departs, the combat is over" as if that's a given.

Who gets to declare "this combat is over" and under what circumstances.

Note: I'm not trying to change how you run the game, but you appear to post without even stopping to consider what the other side is even trying to say.

The notion that any hero can just blow a whistle like in sports, and every combatant lowers their weapons "because one side has declared they're leaving" is NOT a given, and in some circles, even absurd.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
If RAI and RAW don’t provide the mechanics, then it’s up to the GM to devise some solution.
But you're giving off the impression you don't allow criticism of the type "that is not in the game", which is a different thing.

Myself, I prefer being able to speak openly about what the game can and cannot do. Whether that then is a trifle or a real headache is up to each reader.

When a game cannot handle retreats using the regular tools, I consider that a regrettable drawback, since it feels "off" to suddenly switch to another ruleset.

I prefer to use the combat engine as far as possible and then basically just wing it when using it leads to preposterous results. I reserve the right to complain when common situations - like chases - can't be handled without preposterous results, however.
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
There is nothing impossible, for example, in using the normal combat movement and initiative rules to determine ability to disengage. Its just not likely to produce a satisfactory result. So you can at least argue that the RAW does, indeed provide the mechanics.
This.

As you say, for most people approaching D&D using the combat rules for fleeing is far from "impossible" - it's what you assume...!
 
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CapnZapp

Legend
Sure, but the problem is that retreating is an insanely varied state compared to just about anything else: it depends on the party's HP, resources, disposition, terrain, motives, and similar considerations for their foes... and I'm sure I'm probably giving the short shrift to other important factors as well. Even more than that, it's generally considered a fail state, which means that the party is likely to be in trouble when it happens. Thus creating rules are difficult because not only is it sensitive to many different factors, but it is going to be in a disadvantageous situation for the players that could result in their deaths.
Exactly.

Or, as I phrased it, "don't bother with rules; either you escape or you don't" ;-)

PS.

Can I ask you to not quote me together with others? Removing the long long quotes directed at others is a real pain on the phone...
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
This is not necessarily a bad way to do things, though I might riff on it a bit and say that you combine it with a 4E skill challenge. Be aware, these are very "Off the top of my head", early conceptualizing of a system, so they almost certainly have a lot of holes. But I'll put it out there.
Skill challenges are basically (crappy IMO) proto-clocks. The VP subsystem in PF2 is clunky compared to Blades in the Dark, but it’s actually clocks (more or less). In Blades in the Dark, you might create a clock appropriate to the escape (e.g., a 4 segment clock for “trying to escape”) and then work your way towards that goal. Complicating factors are handled via the dice mechanic, which is the only gap PF2’s implementation has compared to BitD.

To work around it, you’d probably want to set up competing VP thresholds. You’d have one threshold for “trying to escape” (e.g., maybe 12 points) and another (4 points) that fills up when people roll less than success to represent coming complications. You’d just keep resetting the second clock every time it fills, and you’ve injected an appropriate complication into the escape.

This approach works really well in BitD games, which is why I think Paizo should develop it and use it more in Pathfinder. One could get rid of a lot of the bespoke subsystems and replace them with clocks, which would be an actual innovation in the D&D space.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
This.

As you say, for most people approaching D&D using the combat rules for fleeing is far from "impossible" - it's what you assume...!

Yeah, but its still fundamentally a mistake in almost any normal game. Unless they've specifically got a subset of rules for evasion during escape, or at least have a vigorous enough set of such buried in the combat system, it will produce both undesirable and (at least under some circumstance) unrealistic results.

At least at certain points in a lot of D&D derivatives, there's magical options that can just turn it into "the hell with this, we're out of here". As of last level, every character in my own PF2e group could turn invisible and dimension door, so if we want to get out of a fight, we're going to do so. In less magic-intensive systems the limits of trying to use the round by round process are far more obvious.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Sure, but the problem is that retreating is an insanely varied state compared to just about anything else: it depends on the party's HP, resources, disposition, terrain, motives, and similar considerations for their foes... and I'm sure I'm probably giving the short shrift to other important factors as well. Even more than that, it's generally considered a fail state, which means that the party is likely to be in trouble when it happens. Thus creating rules are difficult because not only is it sensitive to many different factors, but it is going to be in a disadvantageous situation for the players that could result in their deaths.

I'm not convinced its more varied than combat itself, or even as much. Honestly, the biggest issues are line-of-sight, cover and the mobility of those evading and pursuers. I think you could come up with a process using those that would be as satisfactory as everything else in games. The biggest thing you'd want to do is decide where you want to set how easy its going to be as a default, and how you want to express the failure states.

OD&D is so much closer to the proper wargaming roots than even 4E, so it makes sense to have retreat/fallback rules within the text themselves. As noted, though, they largely deal with being in a dungeon, so outdoor encounters don't really have the option. I suspect this was part of the start of such problems, along with the idea of the adversarial GM developing early in the D&D lifecycle.

It absolutely was in both cases. Fortunately, I never saw too many cases where retreat was necessary, but I thought about it a bit at the time, and it was obvious there were going to be problems just using the schematic rules in the OD&D combat system (most fighters were just too slow relative to the majority of monsters once you got past the lowest levels for flight outdoors to be likely to work unless some die rolls were factored in or the opponents just didn't care). And there was a kind of dynamic where the adversarial GM was presented as a virtuous approach in a lot of places.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
I don't understand your questions or why they're so antagonistic.
The questions are meant to tease out the boundaries of your position. For example, if a side surrenders, does the negotiation happen in combat time? If the party is exploring a dungeon, should one go turn by turn in case combat breaks out (particularly pertinent given the way surprise works in PF2)? If the answer is no, or maybe not, then I’d want to ask what makes those situations different from escape.

Note: I'm not trying to change how you run the game, but you appear to post without even stopping to consider what the other side is even trying to say.
You seemed incredulous that I held the position I did. 🤷🏻‍♂️

The notion that any hero can just blow a whistle like in sports, and every combatant lowers their weapons "because one side has declared they're leaving" is NOT a given, and in some circles, even absurd.
The situation hasn’t deescalated, but it’s changed. The relationship between the opposing sides is different. Instead of both sides trying to defeat each other, one is trying to remove itself from the conflict. In this changed situation, I don’t think the combat rules are the right tool to adjudicate the outcome (almost categorically so).

If some groups insist on using the combat procedure no matter what, or they must have a solution blessed by the developers, then that’s their choice. That they choose to play that way isn’t an argument against my position (it’s just an argument ad populum). It’s likely I wouldn’t like playing in my game, and they might not like playing in mine. That’s completely fine.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
But you're giving off the impression you don't allow criticism of the type "that is not in the game", which is a different thing.
It’s a vacuous criticism. If the game doesn’t provide what we want, then we can either do something about it or do nothing. Is the latter case very interesting? Regardless of whether some groups prefer that, it not likely to make for a very interesting discussion.

Myself, I prefer being able to speak openly about what the game can and cannot do. Whether that then is a trifle or a real headache is up to each reader.
I agree it’s helpful to understand what a game can and cannot do, but then I want to figure out how to make it do what I want using that knowledge.

When a game cannot handle retreats using the regular tools, I consider that a regrettable drawback, since it feels "off" to suddenly switch to another ruleset.
I suspect it’s an unavoidable consequence of codifying the action economy and time scale. In games where you can (e.g., BitD), the game is flexible about that and doesn’t even provide a separate combat procedure. When we have had to escape in our Scum and Villainy game, it was handled via the usual action resolution process. If someone gave chase, the GM would create a clock for it, but creating clocks is also something the GM does normally.

I prefer to use the combat engine as far as possible and then basically just wing it when using it leads to preposterous results. I reserve the right to complain when common situations - like chases - can't be handled without preposterous results, however.
That’s fine, and I’m going to occasionally opine with my views on things. However, I seem to have misunderstood the nature of the conversation you wanted to have, and I apologize for how I engaged.
 

Retreater

Legend
There are too many factors for ending a combat that I don't want explicit rules for them. I can figure out pursuit by comparing monster speed vs. character speed and make a judgment. I've been able to do this since I started DMing, so I don't think it's a rare or advanced skill.
For my tastes, there are just too many specific (and non-optional) rules to PF2 to feel like I have enough freedom as GM without encroaching on the detailed character builds of my players.
A comparison: I like supreme pizza. PF2 is like that supreme pizza with even more toppings and so many layers of cheese that sometimes the dough doesn't seem fully cooked. When I try to serve a slice to my friends, it is a soggy mess on a plate that has to be eaten (carefully) with a fork. I'm not even sure if it's pizza anymore. And maybe it tastes great, but the experience of sharing a pizza with friends isn't the same.
 

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