Pathfinder 2E Pathfinder 2e Newbie with questions.

fjw70

Adventurer
Ok, I finally want to start learning PF 2e. I wasn’t a fan of 1e (or the 3/3.5 system in general). I primarily play D&D 5e and still do.

The monster building look pretty straightforward and I hear they work very well. Is that true in your experience? Also, do the rules work well for monster groups of different sizes? For example, is one 80 xp monster the same threat as four 20 xp monsters?

I have the CRB, is the beginner box worth getting to start with?

I hear the system is much more balanced (like D&D 4e) than its predecessor. Do you find this to be true?

I have proposed to my group that we think about running PF2 for our next campaign. We are still discussing it but there is a lot of push back so far.

Thank you.
 

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Bravesteel25

Baronet of Gaming
Welcome aboard! I'm sure other will chime in on this, but I'll give it a go.

monster building look pretty straightforward and I hear they work very well. Is that true in your experience? Also, do the rules work well for monster groups of different sizes? For example, is one 80 xp monster the same threat as four 20 xp monsters?

I would say that whether an 80 xp monster is the same threat as four 20 xp monsters is going to be dependent on circumstances like terrain, group composition, etc. The biggest thing to take into consideration is whether that one monster is going to be outclassed by the group due to economy of actions, with the party having many more actions to use than the 80 xp monster. So, it behooves the GM to be aware of this when building encounters.

I have the CRB, is the beginner box worth getting to start with?

I think the Beginner Box provides excellent value, especially for groups news to Pathfinder 2e. I'd recommend picking it up.
 

Staffan

Legend
Ok, I finally want to start learning PF 2e. I wasn’t a fan of 1e (or the 3/3.5 system in general). I primarily play D&D 5e and still do.

The monster building look pretty straightforward and I hear they work very well. Is that true in your experience? Also, do the rules work well for monster groups of different sizes? For example, is one 80 xp monster the same threat as four 20 xp monsters?
More or less, yes. But one thing to consider is that the reason monster A is as tough as four monsters four levels lower is that monster A has something like +6 to all relevant stats compared to the lower-level monsters. That means that if the four monsters would have a reasonable chance of hitting a PC and be hit back in return, the big guy will hit like a truck and be really hard for the PCs to hit in return. This has a disproportionate effect at lower levels where PCs generally don't have the resources to handle that kind of thing. So I would caution against "boss fights" at low levels. If you want a Severe encounter (120 XP), it's much better to have something like one L+1 creature (60 XP) and three L-2 (20 XP each) than one L+3 creature (120 XP).
I hear the system is much more balanced (like D&D 4e) than its predecessor. Do you find this to be true?
Yes. There is a definite curve to expected PC power. You can dip below it, but you kind of have to make some unorthodox choices to do so, and it's almost impossible to go above it.

Personally, I think the game is slightly "over-tuned" regarding difficulty levels, particularly for skills (where you can easily start with lots of skills at somewhat useful levels, but as you level up you'll only be able to keep up with 2-3 of them unless you're a rogue or investigator). But that's partially because my preferred competence level for PCs is along the lines of the Leverage team.
 

More or less, yes. But one thing to consider is that the reason monster A is as tough as four monsters four levels lower is that monster A has something like +6 to all relevant stats compared to the lower-level monsters. That means that if the four monsters would have a reasonable chance of hitting a PC and be hit back in return, the big guy will hit like a truck and be really hard for the PCs to hit in return. This has a disproportionate effect at lower levels where PCs generally don't have the resources to handle that kind of thing. So I would caution against "boss fights" at low levels. If you want a Severe encounter (120 XP), it's much better to have something like one L+1 creature (60 XP) and three L-2 (20 XP each) than one L+3 creature (120 XP).

Yeah, I think this is big to stress. Big monsters have a disadvantage with the action economy (sometimes), yes. But they make up for it in toughness and strength: they are less-likely to be hit and more likely to critical hit PCs. You really need to use all your tricks to make up for the differences, plus need at least a bit of a cushion when it comes to HP. At low levels you have more HP than D&D, but critical hits are way more likely and can drain you quickly, while you are not going to have the same bag of tricks that a mid-level character might.

But that's partially because my preferred competence level for PCs is along the lines of the Leverage team.

I appreciate this reference, even if I'm not huge into Leverage.
 






Doctor Futurity

Adventurer
Ok, I finally want to start learning PF 2e. I wasn’t a fan of 1e (or the 3/3.5 system in general). I primarily play D&D 5e and still do.

The monster building look pretty straightforward and I hear they work very well. Is that true in your experience? Also, do the rules work well for monster groups of different sizes? For example, is one 80 xp monster the same threat as four 20 xp monsters?

I have the CRB, is the beginner box worth getting to start with?

I hear the system is much more balanced (like D&D 4e) than its predecessor. Do you find this to be true?

I have proposed to my group that we think about running PF2 for our next campaign. We are still discussing it but there is a lot of push back so far.

Thank you.
Hi....and welcome to the PF2E club!

Monster building is a strong point in PF2E. To get a better idea of how to balance it out, follow the encounter design rules in the CRB closely, as its not kidding. Keep in mind that a balanced encounter in PF2E is actually going to be a distinct fair fight for the PCs. Use a medley of lower difficulty encounters (seriously) to offset the occasional even match encounter, and use higher CR encounters only sparingly or if you group looks like they have a good synergy and like the challenge...a CR +1 or +2 encounter can be lethal in PF2E at any level, and CR+3 encounter should be reserved for major endgame events. CR+4 encounters have proven frustratingly difficult (and lethal) to my group. And ss the book advises, anything higher the group is doomed. Conversely, CR -4 or less I usually just ask the players how they wipe out or chase away the opposition.

Beginner Box is nice as it has a map and pawns you can use. The Player's Book can be handed to players who may be intimidated with the big CRB. Otherwise its purely optional if you already have the CRB.

PF2E is insanely balanced. Almost too much so. I vacillate between seeing this as a perk and a detriment. Ultimately it mainly means that you will see some monsters "level out" of the player's range of expertise, and you need to resist the temptation to throw in too many higher level monsters than the group to avoid never-ending lethal fights. Using the weaker and stronger templates for monsters helps, or just take time to level scale them, which isn't hard.

If you plan to start with an Adventure Path, use the later ones. Avoid Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse as I think they were written with the assumption of veteran players with tactical mindsets and are not ideal for new players. I have heard the same about Abomination Forge but not 100% sure on that one. I never use published adventures myself, but my experience so far with running a game from level 1 to 20 and a handful of mid level campaigns is that I can't stress enough that using mostly CR -1 and -2 encounters, a mix of CR 0 and an occasional CR +1 is the sweet spot for fights that don't cause the group to rage quit. PF2E characters are a lot more fragile than D&D 5E PCs.
 

Staffan

Legend
If you plan to start with an Adventure Path, use the later ones. Avoid Age of Ashes and Extinction Curse as I think they were written with the assumption of veteran players with tactical mindsets and are not ideal for new players.
Part of the issue is the principle that veterans are always re-fighting the last war.

In 3e/PF1, Challenge Rating and Encounter Level were jokes, particularly given the synergies possible with ten years of dubiously balanced options. So one of the selling points of PF1 adventure paths was that they were written by people who knew the system and could provide an appropriate challenge anyway.

In the early PF2 APs, this "hardcore" mentality bleeds through, but PF2 is balanced enough that this leads to an overcorrection. In addition, at least some of the APs have fairly big dungeons where you're supposed to do it all in one go, and even though PF2 is fairly generous with recovering hit points once you get the Treat Wounds engine going, you still don't have enough spells and such to handle that.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
Thanks everyone, but it doesn’t look like the PF 2e thing is happening with my group. They don’t seem to be interested in it. Right now only 5e and PF 1e are the only systems they are interested in. I was hoping to take a break from 5e (been playing 90%+ of the time over the last almost decade) and I have no interest in running PF 1e. We meet Friday so I will see where they are at.

I may pick up the beginner box to try out with the kids though.
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
Thanks everyone, but it doesn’t look like the PF 2e thing is happening with my group. They don’t seem to be interested in it. Right now only 5e and PF 1e are the only systems they are interested in. I was hoping to take a break from 5e (been playing 90%+ of the time over the last almost decade) and I have no interest in running PF 1e. We meet Friday so I will see where they are at.

I may pick up the beginner box to try out with the kids though.
Just out of interest, why didn't they want to go with PF2?

I'm trying to transition my group across too.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
Just out of interest, why didn't they want to go with PF2?

I'm trying to transition my group across too.

I'm obviously not the poster, but as noted there are a number of things you need to get used to that if you were "comfortable" with PF1e or D&D5e will take some adjustment. I'm suspecting his player just didn't wanna. Which is, of course, their right.

Its liable to be the biggest problem with getting people elsewhere in the D&D-sphere to play PF2e. It has, from my POV, real virtues both in character creation and in play, but it also has actively and deliberately killed at least some things people may like from other versions, and if those things are things they're attached to (or, frankly, they're just the sort of player who doesn't want to put in too much effort just to play an RPG) its going to put them off.
 

fjw70

Adventurer
Just out of interest, why didn't they want to go with PF2?

I'm trying to transition my group across too.
None of them has played it and they don’t seem interested in learning a new system. I don’t think it had anything to do with the system itself. but to be fair what I have seen if PF2 it will take quite a learning curve to get up to speed on it. It is quite crunchy.

At least one of the players doesn’t want to move away from DND Beyond.

I could probably get them to switch if I pushed hard enough but then I would be responsible for teaching them the game while trying to learn it myself and I don‘t want to take on that burden.
 





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