Pathfinder 2E Wish me luck: starting a Pathfinder 2 game via Foundry

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I thought I'd update as we are done with everything but the last boss fight, which I'm doing for my group as just a fun time, since it might be a TPK otherwise.

I really like Foundry, but the one thing I would really love is for someone to look at applying all of the different actions consistently in the interface. It took us a while to get Panache working properly, for instance. But with that said: Pathfinder is complicated and Foundry really works better than I could ever have imagined.

The group really saw how variability in monster types made combat much more challenging in some cases. They were wrecking the combats, and then they ran into the Kobold Trapmaster, who got traps in play, and wrecked the poor rogue! They said they were feeling that it was an "easy" system until then.

I'm really liking how the different elements of the Pathfinder system work together. Coming from running 5E last, it's a much heavier system, but I also felt comfortable winging it when I wanted to. It was nice that there were mechanics in place when I needed them.

We will likely be moving on to Abomination Vaults, and I also have the Foundry module for that, so I expect a similar result.

I am going to be starting to play a 5E game in the near future on Roll20 and the combination of the Pathfinder system and Foundry support are going to make that really rough to do.

I'd suggest trying Foundry, picking up the Beginners Box set from Paizo, and going from there. If you're the sort of person who wants more heft than what 5E brings to the table, I don't think you'll go wrong.
 

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SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I am going to need extra luck! I'm running a second group through the Beginner's Box, and it includes a couple of players who are extremely game system challenged. Fortunately this will be the second time through the BB, and I'm just giving them the Iconic pregens to run. I need both coffee and booze to make this work, I think.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
I wanted to write about my experience with running the game for five players, including one who I would call "rpg challenged". I was really surprised, since I'm playing 5E with this same group (Dragon Heist).

The thing was that the player who has the most trouble was able to pick up PF2 almost immediately. Part of this is because we are running in Foundry for PF2 and Roll20 for D&D, but he genuinely just figured out things. The thing that really helped was the three action system. It wasn't "how much can I move and attack?" It was "you can do three things."

The group as a whole had a good time, and we are going to do Abomination Vault as soon as we finish up with Dragon Heist.

I wanted to just let people know who are on the fence for PF2 due to complexity that it really wasn't an issue, in fact it ran better. It was not what I was expecting, so you might get the same results if you try.
 

Staffan

Legend
Here's what "bad character" design can look like in Pathfinder 2:
  • As a cleric, you don't have Medicine to do First Aid checks outside of combat (where most healing takes place). You skimp on Charisma so you don't get as many "free" Heal spells.
I noted this and thought I'd necro it: the cleric does not have to be responsible for out-of-combat healing. It might even be better if the rogue is, because the rogue has the skill increases and skill feats to spare (so you can have both Expert Medicine, Continual Recovery, and Ward Medic by level 3), and generally has a decent Wisdom anyway because of Perception.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
For what its worth, my own feeling is that in practice (and this is an important caveat, because it may not seem so on paper) PF2e is significantly less complex in play than D&D3e or PF1e, and somewhat less complex in character generation and advancement (because things are siloed). As I've noted, the core book can be deceptive in this regard because its easy to forget that large chunks of it are simply irrelevant to playing any given character.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I noted this and thought I'd necro it: the cleric does not have to be responsible for out-of-combat healing. It might even be better if the rogue is, because the rogue has the skill increases and skill feats to spare (so you can have both Expert Medicine, Continual Recovery, and Ward Medic by level 3), and generally has a decent Wisdom anyway because of Perception.

I believe in our Age of Ashes hyrbrids game, it was the Witch/Investigator hybrid who did that duty (rather than what might have seemed the more traditional choice, the Oracle/Sorcerer). My Champion/Bard was the backup (though pretty early on this turned out to be superfluous in practice).
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
This second group is using pregens, and one of the players took Kyra (the cleric for those of you not in the know). We went over spells and Medicine, and the group just jumped into "Kyra spends the 10 minutes the group is searching or refocusing doing Medicine". It worked really well. The group really liked that most of the time they are at full power (Ezren, the wizard, still has to deal with daily powers).

The Medicine part of the game was something they really liked. When they create characters, they all are planning on having this healing part of the party build. When I told them about Battle Medicine, and that there are a whole host of healing feats, that went over quite well.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Honestly, it does one of the best jobs of breaking the "cleric-as-healbot" pattern of anything I've seen; you just have to be okay with how the game is much less about resource management than is historical with D&D-oids.
 

Staffan

Legend
Honestly, it does one of the best jobs of breaking the "cleric-as-healbot" pattern of anything I've seen; you just have to be okay with how the game is much less about resource management than is historical with D&D-oids.
If you're actually playing out the healing mini-game, it can be pretty tedious, particularly at levels where hit points have gotten away from the medic's ability to actually succeed at Medicine rolls. If/when I run PF2 again, I'll do one of two things (or possibly both):
  • Do away with the Treat Injury check. If you're trained, you can spend 10 minutes to heal 2d8 points, no check needed. If you're an Expert, that goes up to 2d8+10, and so on (this would only apply to Treat Injury, not things like Battle Medicine).
  • Use the optional Stamina rules from the GMG. Basically, this splits hit points for PCs (and NPCs/creatures for whom you bother) into two pools: Stamina and Hit points (half the fixed class-based hp goes into each pool; Stamina gets the Con bonus and Hit points gets the ancestral 1st level kicker). Hit points work just the way they normally do, except you don't lose them until you're out of Stamina. Stamina can be fully recovered by taking a 10 minute rest and spending a Resolve point, of which you have a number per day equal to your primary stat bonus (so usually 4 for levels 1-9). This makes it easier to heal between fights, but reduces the amount of in-fight healing you can do (because healing spells heal hit points, not stamina).
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
Finished up the BB with my second group of players. I was worried about the boss at the end of the adventure but it was an incredible beat down. What happened:

The group split up to have two stealthy characters sneak up at the dragon. The stealthy halfling thief does amazing at gets into place. The decently stealthy swashbuckler ... does not and kicks off the combat with the rest of the party at the entrance.

The dragon breathes on the swashbuckler, horribly injuring him! I'm thinking "uh-oh."

Then the swashbuckler gets up to the dragon and ... trips it. Critical success. Now, the thief moves into position and rips the dragon a new one.

Then the bard goes and does an inspire courage and says "oh crap! We were going to use magic weapon. Here you go fighter."

Then the fighter spends all three actions moving right next to the dragon.

So the dragon takes it's next action, and stands up. First attack of opportunity of the game. Another big hit! And then it rips into everyone with their triple attack. The fighter and thief are at single digit hit points.

And then the swashbucker trips again, and ... does it once again.

The bard helped out with a TKP for a little damage but then the thief went ... sneak attack!

And then the fighter rolled a 20, doing 48 damage.

Ouch. There was a dead dragon.
 

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