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.
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.