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PF2 PF2e House Rules:

zztong

Explorer
I did point out to him that there are a number of class feats that address iterative attack penalties that would all become useless. They might even turn into a feat tax if those feats acted as a gate to some other still-useful feat.

I hadn't thought about weapon traits, so it didn't occur to me to mention that to him. That should be a factor to him since he largely likes to play games and use rules as written, but house rules for iterative attacks were something he did change in PF1 and there was a significant speed-up in play among the less-rules savvy and less-mathematically inclined players because of it.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
No, no, please; you were onto a good thing before the horrendous input.
What is your suggestion then? If the multi-action penalty is already baked into weapon use and feats (as ways of overcoming) and it is a method to increase movement / limit static combat, what do you suggest to replace it?

Personally I think it is not the best design to create a problem (multi-action penalty) to solve another problem (static combat). But at this point how do we fix it and why would we fix it? I actually don't mind it as a general rule if there are easy ways for fighting adventurer's to overcoming it. What if the number of actions was tied to training, like (just thinking about melee for now):

Untrained: 2 actions to make an attack
Trained: 1 action each with standard penalties for additioanl actions (-5/-10)
Expert: 1 action with reduced penalties for additional actions (-2/-5)
Master: 1 action with no penalties for additional actions
 

zztong

Explorer
Personally I think it is not the best design to create a problem (multi-action penalty) to solve another problem (static combat). But at this point how do we fix it and why would we fix it?
I'm not entirely sure why static combat is bad. Certain kinds of combat are realistically static. But on the assumption that it is bad and that more movement is desired, I'll play along...

I think the heart of the issue is that character (PC, NPC) actions are not more interleaved. Movement is largely adjustment in position to gain an advantage or alleviate a disadvantage. So, wouldn't it make sense for characters to _do less_ per action so that there was more of an opportunity to adjust your position compared to the number of attacks they face? (I'm spit-balling here. Shoot this full of wholes.)

If you only had two actions, there would be more opportunity to make positional adjustments in relation to the number of attacks being conducted. There would be more opportunities to move out of a disadvantage compared to the number of attacks received and then you might see melee better represent a duel or small action where mobility is more prominent.

My observation of the three-action system has been that Rogues become more mobile in pursuit of a flank without having to resort to immersion-breaking acrobatics because there are few AoO's. But once the rogue is in position, they fall into static patterns like everyone else. None of the other classes appear to be played any different than before with the possible exception of Fighters/Rangers no longer needing to have Spring Attack to quickly close with a very large creature, again because there are few AoO's.

Basically I'm positing that if you want more mobility in your game, you want fewer attacks per action, allowing those on the defense to adjust more frequently, which in-turn will lead to more adjustments by those on the offense.

But recognize that terrain makes for better places to defend. Expect defenders to use terrain and that will also make combat more static. You're going to defend a doorway, for instance to limit the number of attackers that will reach you.

Anyways, that's a theory, half-baked as it may be. :)
 

dave2008

Adventurer
Other than completely replacing all of the core races for my homebrew setting, I’ll be tweaking how XP is rewarded. In my 5e game, we pick from a set of goals to complete each session and also write down individual goals. At the end, the players decide by consensus whether and which goals they completed, gaining XP accordingly. In PF2, I’ll be making all group goals always available, and the group will use them to decide their accomplishments (including size) for the session. The except is the goal for “Defeat a notorious monster”, which I will handle as the average of all combat XP from the session because I don’t want combat to reward more than accomplishments.

Really, the big change is how XP is determined. As a GM, I don’t like deciding whether someone should get XP for an accomplishment. I’ve played in my share of games where I thought I completed my goal or obsession, but the GM/ST did not, and that sucks a lot of fun out of things.
That might be something I look at too. To be honest I haven't completely wrapped my head around the PF2e XP system yet. Do we even need it? Currently in my 5e game we don't use XP at all (well sometimes I use it to check my encounter difficulty).
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I did point out to him that there are a number of class feats that address iterative attack penalties that would all become useless.
I think the blunt but honest reply is "don't do it". Don't houserule it, don't do workarounds. Just accept it's an integral feature to the core of the system.
 

tomBitonti

Explorer
Is the slow-down that occurs from iterative attacks the result of players pausing between attacks to decide what to do next? I can imagine having the extra decision points could cause a considerable slow-down. (And, the decision time is stacked on top of any steps to result a successful or fumbled attack.)

Thx!
TomB
 

dave2008

Adventurer
Is the slow-down that occurs from iterative attacks the result of players pausing between attacks to decide what to do next? I can imagine having the extra decision points could cause a considerable slow-down. (And, the decision time is stacked on top of any steps to result a successful or fumbled attack.)

Thx!
TomB
From a previous comment I think the slow down comes from the fact that you have to recalculate your to hit modifier with each attack. The 2nd attack has a -5 penalty and the third attack has a -10 penalty.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
And my guess would be the notion that rolling a lot of dice with a poor chance of success is considered a waste of time.

That said, I remain convinced the DM in question needs to look closer at the system before making such a deep-reaching house-rule.

For example, a Ranger can lower these penalties to -2 and -4 already at *first level*.

So there's a considerable chance the DM is trying to solve a problem that simply isn't there. The characters that face a hopeless -10 penalty to their third attack are exactly those that have better things to do with that third action.

I *really* think this sub-discussion is *way* premature.
 

kenada

Explorer
That might be something I look at too. To be honest I haven't completely wrapped my head around the PF2e XP system yet. Do we even need it? Currently in my 5e game we don't use XP at all (well sometimes I use it to check my encounter difficulty).
My players like XP for the sense of progression. I like it for its ability to provide feedback loops and a canary for the campaign. But we tend to do sandbox games. How necessary it is will depend on what you’re running and what your group wants, though I think the idea of rewarding accomplishments (systematizing quest rewards, bonus XP, etc) is a move in the right direction.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
For example, a Ranger can lower these penalties to -2 and -4 already at *first level*.
However, the lower chance of hitting wasn't the reason they removed it, it was the fact that not doing the math sped up play (if a I am recalling a previous comment correctly). So the feats and weapons that reduce the penalty don't solve the issue for them. Only ones that get rid of it all together would
 

dave2008

Adventurer
My players like XP for the sense of progression. I like it for its ability to provide feedback loops and a canary for the campaign. But we tend to do sandbox games. How necessary it is will depend on what you’re running and what your group wants, though I think the idea of rewarding accomplishments (systematizing quest rewards, bonus XP, etc) is a move in the right direction.
What I meant by "Do we even need it," was are there elements on PF2e like XP drain (which was a thing in older versions of D&D). Basically, in PF2e is XP used for anything other than advancement?
 
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Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
This is what the Core Rulesbook says:

Story-Based Leveling said:
If you don’t want to deal with managing and handing out XP, or if you want to have progression based solely on events in the story, you can ignore the XP process entirely and instead simply decide when the characters level up. Generally, the characters should gain a level every three to four game sessions, just after the most appropriate big event that happens during that time, such as defeating a significant villain or achieving a major goal.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
However, the lower chance of hitting wasn't the reason they removed it, it was the fact that not doing the math sped up play (if a I am recalling a previous comment correctly). So the feats and weapons that reduce the penalty don't solve the issue for them. Only ones that get rid of it all together would
Sorry to have to break it to you, but Pathfinder 2 involves massive amounts of +1's and -1's. All over the place, all the time.

Each time you make an attack, each time you're hit with a condition, each time you're buffed by a spell, use up a consumable, or activate a permanent item... your relevant value will change - very slightly (likely by only 1 step). This game contains 40+ conditions, you can have 10 worn permanent items plus whatever you're wielding, plus elixirs, potions, scrolls, mutagens, poisons, ... all of which likely postulates a subtle change every round (of usage). Forgot runes, talismans, precious materials, hero points, oils, ammunition... Not to speak of the various actions you can take, most of which are activated through feats (which there are hundreds of), all potentially tweaking the action's parameters...

Even then, we haven't discussed the fundamental engine of the system - the three action system, massively increasing the decision space from "I charge the enemy and hit him" to loads and loads of possible combinations (only a small amount of which is apparent before you absorb the multitudes of feats available to the twelve classes in various combinations), leading to a massive potential for analysis paralysis if your players are susceptible to situations demanding decisions without full information.

If simple addition is "math" to these people, I do not think PF2 will work out for them...

PS. Practical example: a first level Ranger, straight out of the hero-making factory. In each round he can choose to do one of the following:

  • three attacks (strike + strike + strike) which in a Ranger's case becomes four attacks since one of them is a "flurry", making you attack at +0, +0, -4, -8 or more likely +0, +0, -3, -6 because the off-hand weapon is "agile" (or even +0, +0, -2, -4 from some combo I'm not sure about)
  • command his pet (one attack) and then do other stuff with two attacks, giving the pet two actions of its own
  • use weapon to parry (analogous to raising a shield) granting +1 AC at expense of one action/attack

All of this can be combined with moving. Since you can't split a move like in 5E, you need to spend two Move actions if you want to move in, attack, and then move out again. Each situation can therefore be approached in a dozen ways.

All of this is straight out the gate at level 1. This is the easiest and least complicated level.

Now multiply this by four, assuming four heroes, taking each class' special abilities (=feats) into account, and you likely have the -1's and the +1's flying all over the place at a rapid rate.

Then consider how every monster also get three actions. At first level, there isn't much they can do but charge you and bite you, but already the conditions and various states (and the -1's) start pouring in: poisoned, wounded, dying, "immune to first aid by X", dazed, ...
 
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