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Pathfinder 2E: "The Time of the O.R.C. has come."

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    CorlisCorlis Registered User regular
    Also, if anyone ever wanted to take down a demon lord, you'll have the chance to fight Treerazer in 2025: https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder2e/comments/1d0i6kc/war_is_coming_to_the_elves_of_kyonin_in_january/

    But I don't mind, as long as there's a bed beneath the stars that shine,
    I'll be fine, just give me a minute, a man's got a limit, I can't get a life if my heart's not in it.
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited May 28
    I played a couple Starfinder games at Paizocon Minnesota.
    y27hutkwtj84.png
    v0wg8rnyw88t.png

    I was playing Dragonbot who now at 10th level (5 shock & awe soldier, 5 armor prototype mechanic) can change up his suit of power armor with 8 hours of work. Thus the clockwork dragon in the pic is his power armored form. It was fun tromping through the enemy stronghold as a huge robot dragon.

    I actually bought the clockwork dragon years ago but it finally left its package for this 7-10 scenario. I wasn't sure it would actually happen since I don't play much society anymore and SFS1E only has one more year of life left in it.

    Dracomicron on
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    ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    Finally got back to running Blood Lords last night after Family Emergency May is now over with, and I've run across an issue with Book 2 that I find really frustrating:
    So there's a night hag, who was a member of the Graveclaw coven, who was murdered by Sahni, the sea hag in the same coven. The night hag's husband asks the PC's to find his wife's ring. In the process of finding it in Sahni's temple, they find evidence that this night hag, Nepenthe, got back up as an undead hag.

    The book makes absolutely no mention of her after this, and no allusion to whether or not her existence is handled in another book.

    So I, as the GM, am forced to basically decide if I'm going to make something of this or not when I have no idea if doing something with it will be me getting in my own way down the road. Dumb!

    Twitch: Thawmus83
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    Kane Red RobeKane Red Robe Master of Magic ArcanusRegistered User regular
    Thawmus wrote: »
    Finally got back to running Blood Lords last night after Family Emergency May is now over with, and I've run across an issue with Book 2 that I find really frustrating:
    So there's a night hag, who was a member of the Graveclaw coven, who was murdered by Sahni, the sea hag in the same coven. The night hag's husband asks the PC's to find his wife's ring. In the process of finding it in Sahni's temple, they find evidence that this night hag, Nepenthe, got back up as an undead hag.

    The book makes absolutely no mention of her after this, and no allusion to whether or not her existence is handled in another book.

    So I, as the GM, am forced to basically decide if I'm going to make something of this or not when I have no idea if doing something with it will be me getting in my own way down the road. Dumb!

    I tried a Google search to see if anyone online talked about this character showing up again and I'm sorry to say all I learned is that Nepenthe is the name of a plant and there is a variant called "Bloody Mary".

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    ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    Thawmus wrote: »
    Finally got back to running Blood Lords last night after Family Emergency May is now over with, and I've run across an issue with Book 2 that I find really frustrating:
    So there's a night hag, who was a member of the Graveclaw coven, who was murdered by Sahni, the sea hag in the same coven. The night hag's husband asks the PC's to find his wife's ring. In the process of finding it in Sahni's temple, they find evidence that this night hag, Nepenthe, got back up as an undead hag.

    The book makes absolutely no mention of her after this, and no allusion to whether or not her existence is handled in another book.

    So I, as the GM, am forced to basically decide if I'm going to make something of this or not when I have no idea if doing something with it will be me getting in my own way down the road. Dumb!

    I tried a Google search to see if anyone online talked about this character showing up again and I'm sorry to say all I learned is that Nepenthe is the name of a plant and there is a variant called "Bloody Mary".

    Yeah that's what I found too.

    There is a solitary comment in the reviews of the book on paizo's website that mention that the bit I've spoilered was disappointing for the same reason.

    Which still doesn't give me a lot of confidence about it.

    Twitch: Thawmus83
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    PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies drinking coffee in the mountain cabinRegistered User regular
    Remove the evidence imo. That keeps your options open

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    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    I've seen reference to Pathfinder 2.5 Edition, or Pathfinder Second Edition: Remastered. What are the major changes and the reason it might be worthwhile picking up the books over just regular Pathfinder 2nd Edition?

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    webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    They stripped out everything relating to the OGL so it's a completely stand alone product now with no commercial ties to D&D. I think there were a few QOL changes too. There's probably a change log somewhere.

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    asofyeunasofyeun Registered User regular
    The books for the remastered stuff is Player Core, GM Core, Monster Core, and the upcoming Player Core 2 and NPC Core (also all books going forward). The old books work fine, and you don't necessarily need the new books - also most of this information is available on Archives of Nethys anyway

    Here's a top 10 most important changes video from The Rules Lawyer, who makes bunches of PF2e videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j2qoWfNNKk

    (he goes through 13 but here's the 10 important general rule changes)
    • Simplified Spellcasting (somatic, verbal, material spellcasting traits gone, you no long need a free hand for spellcasting except in rare cases)
    • Shield Runes (upgrade shield hardness/HP)
    • Disarm Buffed (Disarm now causes -2 circumstance penalty that can only be remedied by an interact action)
    • Easier crafting rules
    • Better Recall Knowledge explanations/rules
    • Aid action is easier
    • Universal Spellcasting Proficiency (no primal, arcane, divine, occult divisions, just 'spellcasting' - but you still must use the ability appropriate to the source, e.g. wisdom for divine spells from a cleric dedication)
    • No more alignment - replaced by edicts and anathemas and sanctification (holy/unholy keywords)
    • No more magic schools (necromancy, evocation, etc. are gone, wizards get more theme-y schools)
    • Refocus buffed (you can now Refocus to get all your points back instead of having to take feats to refill your pool if you have more than 1 focus point)

    Some classes got significant changes, too (more coming in Player Core 2, which releases in July). Here are some big things:
    > Clerics' Healing/Harm fonts no longer scale on Charisma. They get 4 free slots from which to Heal/Harm, which goes up to 5/6 at later levels. Warpriests can now get Master proficiency in their deity's favored weapon at level 19.
    > Witches are now more familiar focused (are generally buffed in my opinion). For example, if you have the patron Silence in Snow, when you cast or sustain a hex, you can choose to have a 5 foot burst of icy difficult terrain to appear centered on your familiar. Witches are definitely the familiar class, now.
    > As mentioned before, Wizards now have different schools than the D&D ones, and they aren't keywords on spells: there's a School of Battle Magic or a School of Civic Wizardry, for example, giving different spell lists and focus spells in place of the previous stuff (previous schools being Necromancy, Divination, etc.)

    A buncha spell changes - getting rid of D&D specific stuff, for example, rebalancing

    Some ancestry changes: Leshies and orcs are now core ancestries. For versatile heratiges, half-orcs are now Dromaar, half-elves are now called Aiuvarin, and tieflings/aasimar are under Nephilim

    That's all mostly Player Core and stuff that stood out to me.

    >> and then in Monster Core, a bunch of OGL D&D monsters have been stripped out - for example, owlbear is gone, and gnolls are now called kholo (and are no longer a 'chaotic evil' people)

    Dragons are now keyed to a source of magic instead of being chromatic/metallic, so you have types tied to Arcane (Fortune, Mirage), Holy Divine (Empyreal), Unholy Divine (Diabolic), Primal (Adamantine, Horned), and Occult (Conspirator, Omen). I like these dragons much more than the color/metal ones.

    A bunch of other changes.

    >> Player Core 2 (coming in July, PDF in August) will have stuff for a bunch of the classes not included in Player Core 1, and if I understand it correctly, Alchemist, Champion, and Oracle are getting big reworks. Half dragons are being introduced as a versatile heritage (dragonblooded).

    >> NPC Core will basically be a giant thing of NPC statblocks for humanoid characters, which I think is very welcome, but it isn't expected this year.

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    AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    Mechanically I think it's mostly the same at the core. The real changes for a lot of people are the wholesale lore ones,that literally don't matter to me but they do if you use Golarion.

    For example Drow, Beholders, Illithids and other DnD creatures are gone. Some of these were quite deeply integrated into Pathfinder lore. This bothered some people but it was sadly needed due to threat Wizards created.

    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
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    kaidkaid Registered User regular
    edited June 20
    Remaster also saw some significant buffs to the warpriest option for clerics. Better feat support and their weapon proficiency scales better so they are more capable of being useful in melee. Combined with removing the necessity for charisma so they get the full font as well means warpriests are in a really good place compared to what they used to be.

    Witches also saw some pretty big feat revamps and some upgrades.

    kaid on
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    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the explanations, they have been a big help. My group has done a few sessions of 5E but we were running into some friction with the system and since we've just started this campaign are open to switching to another system. We're all regular board game players, so a slightly more consistent and defined rule system should make it easier on all of us.

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    It is definitely a more rules crunchy iteration on the D&D core ideas than 5e is.

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    kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Ironically the new D&D "remaster" or whatever they are calling it seems a LOT more like pathfinder 2e than 5e was so it looks like D&D is going towards more crunch rather than less.

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    The 5e remaster is not that different imo, I think they were lifting ideas from baldur's gate 3 more than pathfinder.

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    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    What we ran into for 5E, is it has pretend crunch but extremely frequently there ends up being nothing behind the curtain, leading to frustration. We would have preferred if they had just said "do an ability check" and had a properly defined "what does an ability check mean" section instead of pretending there is a rule subsystem, but none of the numbers work and it's on the GM and players to figure out things as we go (which is very not friendly to new players without decades of D&D experience).

    We could go in with adjusting things as we go, but as mentioned before we've got a lot of people used to playing board games in the group and something that drives most of us up the wall is poorly defined and confusing rules in board games, so there's little appetite to deal with that in Table Top. The way in which the encounter balance is largely a crapshoot was a big complaint in that area.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    I'm pretty sure P2E having actual rules for everything instead of vague suggestions caused my 5e DM buddy to become sexually aroused when I showed him the book.

    As he said, "This is going to cut down on so many arguments."

    And it did! He was on the verge of quitting DMing until I showed him P2E.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    I liked 5e fine as a player. I hated it as a GM.

    Pathfinder 2 has rules and subsystems for pretty much everything, and it a lot of the systems share concepts. So while it is very crunchy it can also be explained fairly easily.

    It helps that a computer programmer helped with the design.

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    ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    I appreciate the crunch with PF2E most days but there are certain subsystems within the game that feel too computer gamey at times or are just overly complicated.

    As a player I often appreciate complicated shit because everyone else around me does things so fucking slowly and I need something to engage with while they hem and haw over whether they want to power attack vicious swing or not.

    But as a GM, when the rogue starts using the stealth subsystem in PF2E my eyes roll into the back of my head and I black out.

    Twitch: Thawmus83
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I do wonder if people would react differently if numbers were hidden by names, like Sickened 1 being "Uncomfortable", 2 being Barfy, etc.

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    I don't think that would fix the core issue of tracking a bunch of conditions

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Really looking forward to Free RPG Day. Gotta be an interesting scene. I'm very glad to have a Pathfinder game scheduled for it so I can watch the 5E drama from the safety of a much less contentious revision. Plus a toy-themed one shot is a fantastic opportunity for wacky overacting.

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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 22
    Now I'm trying to see if I can recall the stealth system rules off the top of my head having just read them a few days ago...

    First get the Concealed condition from visual interference or darkness, or get in cover from an observing enemy, or otherwise break line of sight somehow, or have someone make a distraction maybe? and use the hide action. You are now Hidden condition to them, they know where you hid but are no longer actively observing you. You can move to a new position with cover or concealment with the sneak action to become... Unnoticed condition? The one where they know you're around but don't know which square you're in. If they don't see you and aren't aware you're around you're... unseen?

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    ThawmusThawmus +Jackface Registered User regular
    Yeah that's a clusterfuck. I understand that if all parties understand these rules and know them by heart that they're the best stealth rules ever but nobody ever will.

    Twitch: Thawmus83
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    I don't know that they'd be the best stealth rules ever, you'd probably want a game where stealth was the core mechanic of the game for that. Pathfinder is trying to be more simulationist than 5e about it but still abstracted enough that you don't need to roll a huge amount to resolve each round.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    The Remaster seems straight forward enough to me.

    Roll to Hide and if you move roll to Sneak. You gain bonuses to either action if behind cover or concealment (more bonus for more gooder cover or concealment).

    Stealth in 5e is something no table runs correctly because if they did Rogues around the world would be rioting. I can't fault no one for not running stealth RAW because the rules are scattered all over God's Creation.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 22
    Looking up the full rules again, it's not quite what I remembered and a bit more complicated than Axen remembered in the rules as written. Fundamentally there are 3 awareness level conditions:

    -Observed, the default condition where you are seen normally.

    -Hidden, where they do not directly see you but know roughly where you should be, and can try to target you directly in that square with an extra flat check to miss like a better version of concealment, and things that you are Hidden from are Off-Guard (formerly Flat-Footed) to you so you get that AC penalty against them and can sneak attack.

    -Undetected, where they do not see you and don't know what square you are in and have to use a Seek action to look for you or guess.


    There are two basic ways to gain the hidden condition:

    -Use the Hide action when in concealment or medium or greater cover (that's required to use hide, not a bonus to the roll in the RAW) and roll your stealth skill vs. the observers' perception DCs

    -Use the Create a Diversion action to trick targets into losing track of you without cover or concealment, rolling your deception skill vs. their perception DCs

    Then you gain the Undetected condition by:

    -Using the Sneak action to move while you're already Hidden. If you roll a success on your stealth skill check vs. perception DCs, you gain the undetected condition. They can try to guess where you moved and Seek you or attack an area, but they can't automatically know what square you're in.
    If you fail the check but don't critically fail, you stay Hidden and move but don't gain the Undetected condition because they detected where roughly you moved to.
    If you critically fail you move but then you are back to Observed.

    You immediately become Observed again if you do anything but Hide, Sneak, or Step, if you end any action outside of cover or concealment including Stepping or Sneaking, or have your cover or concealment removed somehow like by being in darkness that is subsequently lit up. An attack ending your stealth still gets the off-guard effect even though you lost the Hidden condition though.

    Some of this can be modified by feats and such, like the rogue one that lets you end individual sneak movements out of cover/concealment and keep your undetected status as long you finish your turn in cover/concealment. Spells like invisibility functionally just give you the hidden condition without needing to have or maintain cover or concealment.

    Most reliable way to get broad concealment for sneaking might be dim light? Since dim light gives concealment against normal observers who don't have low light vision or darkvision or a non-visual precise sense. I think imprecise senses can only ever bring you to hidden rather than observed, because they only tell you what square something is in. And total darkness makes you automatically hidden or undetected to visual senses other than darkvision.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    Cover is a bonus, at least in the remaster. You get +2 for Standard cover and +4 for Greater cover to your Hide and/or Sneak roll.

    You just need Concealment to hide and/or sneak, but Cover works too and with corresponding bonuses. Concealment being whatever the GM decides qualifies. "The shadows" probably being the most common I'd guess.

    Observed, Hidden and Undetected are really just terms to describe what should be fairly logical.

    When Batman is beating the shit out of a group of thugs he is Observed.

    When Batman swoops down and takes out one of several thugs and returns to the shadows just as fast the remaining thugs all panic and start searching for him because they know he is there, but he is Hidden.

    When Batman is in a room watching as a group of thugs play poker without a care in the world he is Undetected.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited June 23
    oh you're right, I missed that, cover gives a bonus, +2 for normal and +4 for greater, but you still either need concealment or cover to Hide at all, is what I meant.

    I think of hidden more like they know you're behind that bush or pillar or cloud of fog or whatever but not exactly where you are beyond a vague 5x5 foot area, and of undetected as they don't know where you are at all

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    I think my next PFS character should be a sneaky sort. I want to get some experience with these rules.

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    kaidkaid Registered User regular
    I got the starfinder 2 creature booklet for the free RPG day. Nice to see some 2nd edition pathfinder compatible versions of some starfinder critters. One of the interesting thing is it has a few spells/cantrip one of which is pretty neat for technomages/casters. It allows you to use a cantrip to recharge a gun that is empty so you can shoot once with it. So very handy ability in a pinch if you are out of clips and want to use your gun.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Finished reading the bloody huge Tian Xia guide, and I do strongly recommend it. There is clearly a lot of research invested in it, with lots of very specific cultural details. They also make sure to add adventure hooks left and right, with a good amount of variation.

    You can also see Paizo's focus on representation on full display, with like a quarter or third of listed NPCs falling outside of the cishet binary gender norms, such as the kitsune who proudly bears their top surgery scars alongside having a split human/fox face.

    A good amount of focus goes to non-humans, even if they remain the focus, so there opportunities for many PC backgrounds. Lots of good opportunities for kitsune and tengu, obviously, but also your various lizard, frog, and fish folk.

    Kaiju and the angry/confused undead, dragons, and haunted clockwork are a tremendous presence. (Elementals are too, but mostly in a vague historical threat sense.)

    They slip in some anachronism here and there, with extra-magical places creating things like fighting games and neon signs, but they make sure to keep it local and contextual. There's also basically a wuxia nation if you want to have an adventure where literally everyone knows crazy martial arts and uses them for everything including cooking and farming.

    Monster entries are kind of a grab bag with some interesting gimicks for stories but nothing that is especially important for the day to day like a new class of creatures or something.

    All in all, a good read with lots to chew on. Got a lot of inspiration out of it.

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    kaidkaid Registered User regular
    Their major regional books have all been real good for PF2e The mwangi expanse, impossible lands and now Tian xia have all ben really chonky and good books fully of interesting settings. Like in Tian Xia one regions government is basically run by a kraken.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Played in a PFS game last night. We had a challenge to impress some bored immortals.

    I said I would flex my shiny pecs at them, armstrong style.

    Rolled a crit.

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    OwenashiOwenashi Registered User regular
    The Player's Guide for Curtain Call is up. Interestingly, it suggests that those who played the Hell's Rebels AP (which takes place in the same city) DO NOT reuse their characters from that AP into this one. The back of the book also has a who's who of Kintargo NPCs for those that want to know what the NPCs from Hell's Rebels have been up to more or less since the end of that AP.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Owenashi wrote: »
    The Player's Guide for Curtain Call is up. Interestingly, it suggests that those who played the Hell's Rebels AP (which takes place in the same city) DO NOT reuse their characters from that AP into this one. The back of the book also has a who's who of Kintargo NPCs for those that want to know what the NPCs from Hell's Rebels have been up to more or less since the end of that AP.

    It amuses me how frequently Paizo's adventures are about entertainment. Such a huge portion of their PFS adventures have a section where you entertain people to make friends, get info, or distract.

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    OwenashiOwenashi Registered User regular
    Anyone check out the blog-posts on the new Starfinder Iconics Dae (Solarian) and Chk Chk (Mystic)? They're both neat reads into the pair as well as other things in the 2E era. Like how one of Zon-Shelyn's first places of worship was a small cafe Chk Chk was working at.
    Chk Chk broke his social isolation to join a group of artists he met at a nonstop café in Takoris. At first, Chk Chk got a job as a barista so he could attend the meetings without attracting attention. As he improved his skills at writing dark poetry and brewing dark roast (both topped with colorful sprinkles), Chk Chk gradually became the spiritual glue holding the group of misfit artists together. One night during a midnight jam, the group had a religious experience, feeling a surge of bliss as Zon-Shelyn Embraced them and their work. Zon-Shelyn called on Chk Chk to become their minister by nurturing creativity and creating a safe space for artists to gather. The tiny cafe was consecrated as one of Zon-Shelyn’s first temples (they still serve coffee), but Chk Chk was inspired by the idea of ministering in a new place, feeling the same wanderlust as his father before him.

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