Pathfinder 2E Things You Love about a Game: Pathfinder 2E edition (+)

Lojaan

Hero
Yes, I can get into that.
The first group I tried it with had a very "let's make sure we're getting the rules completely right - that's the only way we can fairly test it."
So it became a slog, trying to make sure every ruling was correct.
This applied also to running the Age of Ashes adventure path. They wanted it 100% by the book. And without adjusting for player skill and interests, the game became a lifeless bloodbath - like a difficult CRPG.
After that first experience, it wasn't so much about having to get the rules right, but it was following the APs we tried "to the letter." Clearly, this didn't work for the next two groups. APs (especially the earlier ones) are frustratingly difficult for players used to 5e.
I still have a player every week - in almost every combat - get so frustrated by the difficulty that he says things like "I'm dead - I'm going to need a new character" (and we're playing an easier AP, running the characters at one level higher, and I'm mindful to spread out the enemies.)
So here's my suggestion - don't start with an AP. Get the Beginner Box (and you'll do fine). Run some of the PF Society modules for your group. Don't try to jump in with an epic story - this doesn't play like D&D in my experience.
Don't run Severe encounters until your group gets used to the system. And when you do, be sure to telegraph the danger in advance and give them every opportunity to run away. (A Severe encounter with good GM tactics is a TPK waiting to happen.)

This is really useful - thank you for taking the time to share.
 

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Thomas Shey

Legend
I'd also like to say, as someone who's been reading Retreater's saga as its gone along, I don't think he did anything notably wrong at any point in the process other than using a couple of the earlier Adventure Path's that had somewhat distorted encounter balance (they weren't not following the rules for same, but they were using heavy encounters out of proportion, probably out of habit from the way PF1e (and D&D 3e) tended to overstate the value of CR, especially as you level up.

Past that, I think he hit a bunch of different players who wanted to have their cake and eat it too; they wanted the adventures to be run by the book, while insisting on playing the way they were used to in other D&D adjacent games, when doing that in PF2e will, bluntly, get your head handed to you doing that. The game that is closest (though in some ways even more tight) to PF2e is D&D 4e in how it expected you to pay attention and actually at least try to work as a team, and if you don't do that there's a rather good chance you'll get your head handed to you.
 

Lojaan

Hero
I'd also like to say, as someone who's been reading Retreater's saga as its gone along, I don't think he did anything notably wrong at any point in the process other than using a couple of the earlier Adventure Path's that had somewhat distorted encounter balance (they weren't not following the rules for same, but they were using heavy encounters out of proportion, probably out of habit from the way PF1e (and D&D 3e) tended to overstate the value of CR, especially as you level up.

Past that, I think he hit a bunch of different players who wanted to have their cake and eat it too; they wanted the adventures to be run by the book, while insisting on playing the way they were used to in other D&D adjacent games, when doing that in PF2e will, bluntly, get your head handed to you doing that. The game that is closest (though in some ways even more tight) to PF2e is D&D 4e in how it expected you to pay attention and actually at least try to work as a team, and if you don't do that there's a rather good chance you'll get your head handed to you.
I gotta be honest.... as a DM there is something really appealing about watching my players have their butts handed to them if they don't get their crap together and work together as a team :p
 

Retreater

Legend
I gotta be honest.... as a DM there is something really appealing about watching my players have their butts handed to them if they don't get their crap together and work together as a team :p
Kind of ... until you run out of players willing to play with a killer GM and you're regularly unable to get to the second book of an AP.
I think it's a great system that has been burdened by poor adventure design overall. I know that's basically heresy to say that about Paizo (who traditionally receive high marks for their published adventures) - but I think the design of PF2 caught even their writers unawares. I don't think the early APs did a good job balancing the expectations of play, and I think it was a big reason the edition stumbled out of the gate.
My hope is that the potential increased attention in PF2 encourages more 3PP design to give us a greater diversity in the types of adventures for the system. I'm even feeling motivated to convert my big adventure project from 5e to PF2 just to see how it goes.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Age of Ashes is a weird AP; in some respects its interesting and well designed, but its absolutely true its overtuned in spots.

The current AP I'm playing in is a third party (but written by an ex-Paizo guy) AP, and I've found it so far much better balanced (if anything, at times I've found it a little easy and then, all of a sudden, gotten smacked in the face). Its not set in Golarion, but If anyone is interested:

 

Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
I'm more of a collector of PF2, because after D&D 5e I find difficult to return to a version of the game of such complexity.
That said, the lore books in the Lost Omens line are exquisite, in particular the Mwangi Expanse and the other big macro-region ones. Even if I don't like Golarion very much! But these books are beautifully done.
 

Age of Ashes is a weird AP; in some respects its interesting and well designed, but its absolutely true its overtuned in spots.

The current AP I'm playing in is a third party (but written by an ex-Paizo guy) AP, and I've found it so far much better balanced (if anything, at times I've found it a little easy and then, all of a sudden, gotten smacked in the face). Its not set in Golarion, but If anyone is interested:

How is this adventure been? I’m looking to give PF2 another try with some folks who have never played it before. I was leaning towards running Abomination Vaults but I’m open minded.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
How is this adventure been? I’m looking to give PF2 another try with some folks who have never played it before. I was leaning towards running Abomination Vaults but I’m open minded.

I've enjoyed it well enough. Just be aware that its not set in Golarion, so you may have to fill in (or let your players fill in) certain background details here and there. I'm actually in a session of it right now as I'm responding to this.
 

I'll start with a disclaimer: I have not yet played a single session of PF2e. My group is winding down a 5e campaign and should be starting on Menace under Otari in a week or 2 so I'm still in the prep phase of running PF2e. I've also never played PF1e so I'm new in general to Paizo. That having been said..

  • The Beginner Box adventure does a lot to actually teach a GM new to the system how to run it. The encounters are designed to show a range of encounter types so by the time you're done, you'll have seen enough types of gameplay to get an idea of what the game is.
  • I love the 3 action economy. It gives a lot of flexibility to what characters can do and at the same time in some cases cuts down on material. For example, a basic 1st level healing spell can either be single target touch, single target ranged, or area of effort depending on the number of actions used. That's awesome!
  • the critical hit/miss system makes all those otherwise minor modifiers actually matter which opens up a lot of teamwork possibilities.
  • the willingness to make the content needed to run the game as widely available as possible. Archives of Nethys, PDFs, Pocket Editions at lower price points.. they really seem to want to remove barriers to entry for players and focus on selling you adventures once you're in their system.
  • free players guides for adventure paths! While prepping for Abomination Vaults, I was able to give my players the PDF Paizo made available so they can have a general idea what the adventure is about and what types of characters might fit best.
  • different prices for adventures based on what you're actually buying! The 640 page hardcover Kingmaker adventure is $99. The 256 page Abomination Vaults hardcover is $55. Softcover adventures ranged in price from around $10-25 depending on length. The 3 adventures I've bought all seem to actually be fleshed out properly for the price they're asking.

That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure more will pop out once we actually start playing in a couple weeks.
 

the critical hit/miss system makes all those otherwise minor modifiers actually matter which opens up a lot of teamwork possibilities.
Ya, that is what kinda ruined it for us. We don’t like chasing down every last bonus and advantage to play a game. It was too much like work for us. Everyone is different, we just have a Willy nilly freestyle type of play that didn’t mesh with PF2, or at least our attempt at it.
 

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