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

kenada

Legend
Supporter
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.
I like the way B/X does it where you can drop bait to distract the monsters. That at least makes sense for allowing slower groups to (try to) escape.
 

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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.

That could work. What I was trying to do was more of a "narrative damage calculator", but they aren't really fundamentally opposed mechanics. Though my biggest worry there (as with skill challenges) is that I think it's nicer to have a defined number of checks, rather than trying to reach a target. I've mentioned it in the past, but there was a moment on Critical Role where (ironically enough) they were doing an escape from a lizardman temple and Matt busted them into a Skill Challenge. I think it started good, but it just started to drag on and it's always stuck with me after watching it that I want such things to have a defined ending rather than having to linger on.

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.

I'm going to disagree because, overall, combat is a much more defined state and while you can have many more edge cases (i.e. "I'm going to do this cool thing!" sorts of stuff), the process of what is going on is more defined: people are hitting things, and it's easier to come up with unified mechanics around that rather than the variety of things that could come from a retreat, which could entail running, barring doors, hiding, and all sorts of other stuff. There's a lot more narrative stuff at play, in my opinion.

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.

I can't remember an OD&D game where we had to retreat, to be honest, so those rules were foreign to me until recently. And yeah, the idea that if you weren't adversarial you were basically "taking it easy" is one of the most frustrating things to fight in the culture of RPGs.

I like the way B/X does it where you can drop bait to distract the monsters. That at least makes sense for allowing slower groups to (try to) escape.

This was a prime reason for carrying rations, though you might need to open one on the fly for it to work.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
That could work. What I was trying to do was more of a "narrative damage calculator", but they aren't really fundamentally opposed mechanics. Though my biggest worry there (as with skill challenges) is that I think it's nicer to have a defined number of checks, rather than trying to reach a target. I've mentioned it in the past, but there was a moment on Critical Role where (ironically enough) they were doing an escape from a lizardman temple and Matt busted them into a Skill Challenge. I think it started good, but it just started to drag on and it's always stuck with me after watching it that I want such things to have a defined ending rather than having to linger on.
That makes sense. PF2 doesn’t provide a way to “resist” a result, so I can that’s being a valid concern. Your approach is essentially a limited VP system where you have a fixed number of rounds to avoid bad stuff.

Can the PCs opt for consequences as a way to influence the outcome? For example, you have resource consequences (such as losing stuff). Can I opt to throw out my rations or treasure and boost my success? (This is similar to how it’s possible to resist the result of a roll in BitD at the cost of consequences.)
 

That makes sense. PF2 doesn’t provide a way to “resist” a result, so I can that’s being a valid concern. Your approach is essentially a limited VP system where you have a fixed number of rounds to avoid bad stuff.

Can the PCs opt for consequences as a way to influence the outcome? For example, you have resource consequences (such as losing stuff). Can I opt to throw out my rations or treasure and boost my success? (This is similar to how it’s possible to resist the result of a roll in BitD at the cost of consequences.)

I think that's reasonable, depending on what is tossed and what is expected to be gained.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I like the way B/X does it where you can drop bait to distract the monsters. That at least makes sense for allowing slower groups to (try to) escape.

Its one of the factors I'd definitely put in if setting up a dedicated escape system (with the understanding what translates as "bait" is going to vary considerably).
 

Thomas Shey

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.

I'd suggest that's because you're doing a lot of the things I suggest with such a system without thinking about it.

But a lot of people won't. I can promise you its true, because I've heard it come up too often. I'm going to assume you're paying attention to things like line of sight, exterior reasons and so on. Because if all you were factoring is relative speeds, you're going to produce exactly the problem we're talking about given how often D&D monsters are faster than at least some D&D characters. And without guidance its clear that's what at least some people will do.
 



Retreater

Legend
I'm going to assume you're paying attention to things like line of sight, exterior reasons and so on. Because if all you were factoring is relative speeds, you're going to produce exactly the problem we're talking about given how often D&D monsters are faster than at least some D&D characters. And without guidance its clear that's what at least some people will do.
Yes, I consider all those multitudes of factors.

But if anything - if we're being realistic - the enemies have the advantage in most cases. If you're in a dungeon or otherwise the home turf of the opponents, they likely know the layout and can navigate it more quickly than the characters. If the characters decide to run away, they are likely taking a beating by a superior foe - so consider that a wounded party would realistically move slower than enemies who are likely less wounded & had no previous tiring combats that day.

So having the party able to escape by the "skin of their teeth" is like a "close the blast doors" moment from A New Hope. Chewie and Han likely wouldn't have been able to escape the Stormtroopers, if not for good luck. If it happened all the time it would get old and really stretch believability in the film - just like it would in a game.

Fortunately, we can create our own luck in this game. Throwing down oil or caltrops, casting Web or Fog Cloud, summoning monsters to serve as speed bumps. I think it's fair to ask the group what tricks they have up their sleeves before they intend to flee. If they don't have something sufficient, then don't let them.
 

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