@Justice and Rule You got me to rewatch that part of the video. Something that really stuck out to me is the assumption that grappling the tripped wight would make the ranger prone. That’s not how it works in PF2, 5e, or even 3.5e. In PF1, you have a penalty to Dexterity while grappling and are denied your dexterity bonus while pinning someone, but that’s still not being prone.
It’s just picking more nits (like how the ranger doesn’t Hunt Prey when it melees the wight), but it happened to catch my attention because I’d just finished summarizing Grapple in my PF2 cheat sheet. The only way you can end up prone while trying to Grapple is if you critically fail and the target chooses to have you fall prone (versus grabbing you back instead).
There's just a bunch of weird shit he's doing there. Like a PF2 Ranger that has 10 Strength? This is the sort of thing that people who play 5E would just gloss over, but to a PF2 person it's like "What?" Allow me to explain for the benefit of others who don't know PF2:
In PF2, the way you build characters is that you basically get a bunch of "Boosts" to your stats as you go along in character creation, with a boost being a +2 bonus to that characteristic. You typically get at least 9-10 boosts, which are spread over four parts of character creation: Race (2-3, though if you get 3 typically you have a "flaw" which gives you a -2 in one stat), Background (2), Class (1), and Free Boosts (4). You can't put multiple boosts into one stat during any single part of character creation, which means that you have to focus on not spreading out the love. And at level 4 (Correction: Level 5), you get 4 more boosts (again, with the restriction you can't stack them on a stat). I would say it's actively difficult to avoid putting at least one boost into Strength, and kind of absurd given that if you want to do any sort of melee combat at all it's an incredibly valuable stat. Like you want to see the stats of the Paizo-made Iconic Ranger at 5th level?
I would note that he's a Dwarf (hence the Charisma penalty), but Harsk's stats would look insane for a 5th level 5E character: he's stat'd incredibly broadly with two 18s and two 16s, and one stat below 10. Compared this to the 5E ranger pre-gen (Which isn't a human, so it's not a direct comparison to what Cody would have used, but whatever):
As you can see, it's quite a bit different (also have to laugh at the Ranger also having a -1 in Charisma. Seems like everyone thinks Rangers are surly...). And remember, this is an Wood Elf Ranger, so they'd have to spend a boost to get a Feat at 4th. But obviously Cody's idea of a Ranger having 10 Strength makes sense for the 5E Ranger, while it comes off like nonsense when you look at the PF2 Ranger. It's just not how characters are built, but if you are only familiar with 5E and make assumptions built on that, you'd never know why that comes off as weird.
And that's how a lot of this is: he puts no skills down for the PF2 Ranger nor looks at any sort of ancestry, despite using one for the 5E Ranger (Variant Human, because otherwise you wouldn't have access to a Feat without sacrificing a skill boost). And that's where much of the game is: in PF2, you can actually use skills in combat in a way that you really can't in 5E. You can Demoralize with the Intimidate skill to temporarily frighten them (and basically give a universal -1 debuff to everything, including AC), pick up the Bon Mot skill feat and use Diplomacy to hurl witty insults to lower their Will Save and Perception (and if they want to end that, they have to end anything they are concentrating on!) like you're Guybrush Threepwood, or use Deception to Feint and make them flatfooted (a -2 modifier to AC) to your next attack which increases your critical range because crits a DC by 10+. Like, those are all valid things... and we have no clue what that Ranger can do, other than him probably being pretty damn good at them given that he's given nothing to Strength. Hell, Battle Medicine would be something that he could use to keep the fighter fighting.
What's more, there are skill feats like Assurance that allow you to be able to do things competently without having to roll at all: you add your proficiency to 10 and take that automatically, no circumstance bonuses, ability bonuses, or penalties. So with Strength 10 but being just Trained in Athletics (a +2 skill bonus, the lowest level of skill training) at 5th level and using Assurance means you automatically roll a 17 for Trip, Shove, and Grapple. With these wights, they only have a Reflex DC of 16, so even Cody's bad Ranger can Trip them all day, and since it ignores penalties for multiple attacks you could maximize your actions to Stride, Quick Draw (Draw weapon and Attack) and then auto-Trip to maximize everything there.
Not only that, but the level of these creatures is not the same: both are CR3 for their system, but those dudes are not the same sort of threat for the PF2 guys as they are for the 5E characters. A wight in PF2 has 50 HP and one in 5E has 45 HP; these are superficially close, but there are huge differences that need to be recognized. For starters, the 5E wight has resistance to all non-silvered attacks, which means their HP is effectively doubled unless you have some specialized equipment (notable in that the 5E elf builds for Fighter and Ranger do have silvered weapons, but the human fighter does not). The other half is relative hit points: the 5E human fighter and elf ranger have 44 and 39 HP, respectively. Valeros and Harsk? 78 and 75 HP. The PF2 characters have way more hit points, which changes the nature of the fight: they can outlast the wights fairly easily, while in 5E you're going to need to maximize way more because the wights have effectively way more hit points if you don't have anything magical...
... Which leads into equipment. Cody gets another thing wrong in choosing a longbow without remembering it has the "Volley" trait, which means it's at a -1 at close ranges (Correction: -2), which is going to lower the numbers a bit. That might seem fiddly, but that's part of the design differences in 5E versus PF2: 5E was deliberate in largely keeping weapons mostly homogenized so that it didn't matter what weapon you took, you could largely use it on everything. PF2 is much more having the right tools for the job, where having different weapons gives you different build advantages. Again, there are more rules differences that, if you don't know PF2, are easy to gloss over: for example, Cody needs to make the Ranger Strength 10 because Ranged weapons don't add the character's Dexterity bonus and thus output less damage than melee. Same with Finesse, where it can be used to hit, but not for damage, meaning that you really need at least a little Strength to get good return on melee (which is not terribly hard given the amount of stat boosts you get to build your character). But a dude like Harsk with a +4 Strength and a d12 Dwarven Axe will possibly get more in 1 hit than a ranged Ranger in two, depending on their weapon choice.
Further, there are differences in assumptions on magical weapons as well: the PF2 Iconics at least a set of decent magical weapons on them for their level, while the 5E characters don't. They aren't amazing, but runes of striking (which give extra damage dice to weapons) are important and the increased damage output are huge, especially in this sort of scenario. 5E... doesn't have that. It's built without it and it's not really built with the same ideas in mind that makes something like striking runes a good idea. But it also makes this scenario very difficult to properly play out and make observations on: the wights are going to get melted by the PF2 Iconics, while the 5E characters are in for an incredibly deadly fight, which would probably necessitate the most optimized of tactics and ruthlessly punish that stupid shove/grapple combo because they desperately need to outrun the DPS train in that scenario.
... Man, finally got a bunch of that out there. Real Festivus moment.
Again, I'd be fine if he said "There's a lot of complexity here, and my players just don't engage with it in a way that makes the game better." But instead he's trying to do all this ILLUSION OF CHOICE stuff to hide it, and when you break things down it starts to come off as wildly dishonest if he actually does know the rules, and irresponsible if he doesn't.
Battle mats don't cover 600 ft. Modules rarely use that scale, especially when the companies sell tiles, flip mats, etc. If you're playing a standard adventure on a tactical grid, you're likely in a 30-40 ft room in a dungeon. And it's probably a square or rectangle. Unless you get freaky and it's a circle or an easily drawn polygon. This is the industry standard of design for the RPG business, and it has been for 40 years.
If you're outside you might be on a road on an ambush or in a forest with a handful of trees.
People who suggest they regularly use multi-levelled battlefields with complex terrain, hazardous zones, and rich tactical depth are either being disingenuous or are exceptions to every game I've played in, published adventure I've read, and printed battle map I've seen.
Cody's setup was fine. It was a little simple for demonstration purposes, but if we're all honest, it's a standard sample fight in any d20 system. And for most players most of the time, it's accurate.
If people want to get on here and pretend every battle in their game is like the opening of Bayonetta, I find it hard to believe.
For a whitebox, the setup itself (ignoring other factors) isn't bad. You can certainly do more with VTTs, where I've set up absolutely huge maps before for dungeon crawls, but the setup itself isn't all that problematic. The problem is just not understanding the mechanics and instead running things based on assumptions in one system without recognizing how they are not the same in the other.