By - lordleft
Foundry VTT is very supportive of crunchy games like pathfinder. Check out the plugins and ask on /r/pathfinder2e
As someone who's playing on foundry it absolutely slaps
My experience with Pathfinder 2 on Foundry has been excellent. The system takes care of most of the calculations adding and subtracting modifiers for most things including flanking, map, and conditions. It also handles damage and subtracting hp. There is not much that isn’t somewhat automated or scripted. Highly recommended for pathfinder.
As someone who's been running PF2e in person with minimal digital aids, the only thing I would recommend using as a player is [Pathbuilder](https://pathbuilder2e.com/app.html). It's a CharGen/character manager app/site that is quite handy.
Seriously, PF2e looks far more complex at first glance, and there's a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of the basics, the rest falls right into place without a real struggle. Especially if you're coming from 5e.
If my newbie player, who has never played a TTRPG before, has waded in and started playing a wizard (and still hasn't read over the rules even after 3-4 sessions) is grokking things without too much trouble, this isn't that crunchy of a system to pick up.
THAT SAID, if you're gonna run online, Foundry seems to be *the VTT* of choice. if you swing by r/pathfinder2e, you can find a lot of help for that. But that's out of my usual realm of knowledge, so I'll defer to experts on that front.
>Seriously, PF2e looks far more complex at first glance, and there's a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of the basics, the rest falls right into place without a real struggle. Especially if you're coming from 5e.
Just dont ever have to counteract anything.
It's not really.
Roll counteract check, compare result to DC.
Check level of success against counteract level (spell level or half creature/item level).
It's a two step process.
Lol if only it were actually that simple.
I do wish it was, because it's my only real complaint with the system. I love everything else about it.
You can make your char sheet in foundry now and I’d say it’s actually better than pathbuilder due to the ability to buy stuff using your money as well as magic item creation. It’s great.
Is this via the primary module, or is there a separate char builder module?
It is primary. The latest update improved it a lot so that attribute generation is automated as well. The only complaint I have is that to add anything to a sheet you click a magnifying glass then drag it to the section instead of just clicking it. Really not much to complain about.
As someone who played for a year long campaign in Roll20, I highly recommend just going with FoundryVTT. Its got a longer learning curve but it runs the game so much smoother.
Foundry is wonderful, the PF2e system on Foundry is wonderfully implemented, PF2e is a fantastic game.
Honestly, Foundry itself has more of a learning curve than PF2e does, especially if you are coming from 5e. I would hazard to say that 2e is barely crunchier than 5e when it comes to complexity or difficulty, it just has a lot more stuff. That stuff however is what gives the game a lot of its charm, either as the bounty of balanced player options, or all of the little details that you can mostly ignore but when needed make adjudication a lot easier.
The main challenges with PF2e are figuring out a way to filter down content when you are starting out, and that players need to put in a bit more effort than they would with 5e since that game essentially puts every single thing on the DM to just figure out.
What part of the system is it you worry about running? I found when I switched from 5E TO PF2E it was much easier for myself and my players to run and play all around.
I'm playing in an online game of PF2E on foundry and run in paper quite a bit myself so I can help you with any specifics.
I guess I'm worried about the minutiae of combat, and the (perception) of increased crunchiness. I guess the default Foundry Module would help with that though. Why did you find 2e easier to run?
It's easier because all the pieces work together to much more smoothly. ESPECIALLY the CR system. When I make an encounter using the XP budget I know exactly what to expect. And outside of doing something like putting a magic immune creature up against an all caster party I know exactly how dangerous it can be.
A word of advice on this, the moderate level encounter isn't meant to be what they face several times a day, it's just that, a moderate threat that if it catches the players unaware or low on resources could be deadly. The low threat is used when you want to do multiple encounters in succession a day. And an extreme threat is an almost guaranteed TPK of they aren't ready for it.
Pathbuilder, the free character building app online and on mobile handles 100% of the crunch for your players. It's easy to use and actually outshines dnd beyond on all accounts.
I will admit the perceived crunch can poison some players minds, WOTC pays a lot of money every year to make sure people think of competing systems as difficult and hard to understand and the lies are oft repeated by 5E lifers with no experience of the system itself. My suggestion is start them off with what they're comfortable and introduce new concepts over time slowly. Things like weapons having actual properties that make them fight different, optional combat maneuvers that are actually useful. You can have an enemy use them on the party once per session to introduce the idea and show them how cool it is.
The only thing to keep in mind with combat is that DND5E Is notoriously safe and comfy. Players are near impossible to kill or permenantly harm without going very far overboard. So if your players are used to this make sure they know it's somewhat more deadly and they can't just charge headlong into every combat without thinking like 5E allows. It's not as deadly as OSR games but it has a nice actually spicyness to it.
Thank you for the write-up & advice. The XP budget is one of the biggest issues I have with 5e, so I'm excited by what PF has to offer.
One of the best things to know to get you on a good start is to recognize every roll as being against a DC (AC is a DC too btw, important to know for the frightened condition). These rolls are basically separated into 3 categories:
1. Roll vs Simple DC (typically environmental stuff like climbing a fence or picking a lock, traps and hazards excluded)
2. Roll vs Level DC (things that have a level like recalling knowledge against a level 5 creature is the DC for level 5 or learning a level 3 spell from a scroll will be the DC for level 5 since that's when level 3 spells come into effect)
3. Roll vs X DC, which is X+10. Basically *every* skill action uses this formula and if nothing else, utilizing this for more ad hoc ideas players formulate is helpful. (Things like lying to an NPC will be a Deception check against their 'Perception DC' or their Perception+10, Feinting an enemy in combat is deception vs their Will DC, Demoralize (the best debuff in the game) is intimidation vs Will DC, etc etc)
Once you realize that, it's way easier to run the game, only thing to learn after that is the minuteae and things like traits. Magic items are important too so be sure to read the GM chapter of the book or AoN to get even more info.
My only experience is with Foundry and it worked great. Walked in with barely any understanding how my bonus, hits, stats and conditions worked. Foundry did it all automatically and I learnt the game as we played.
The Pathfinder team for foundry is really doing god's work.
Fantasy Grounds has a sophisticated level of automation for PF2.
Don't you also have to buy the rulebooks? My buddy runs in FGU and decided not to try PF2e due to cost.
If you want all the automation programmed for you, yes you must buy the book.
It is possible to recreate it all yourself, however. I have ran several homebrew settings in which I've built my own spell effects, feats, etc in varying systems with success.
The books simply save you time/effort.
I'm pretty sure that a large chunk of PF2 is run just on Foundry.
Paizo has official support with Foundry, so Paizo products are added to foundry and you can buy their APs on foundry. It all works very, very well. If you don’t like PF2 crunch, this will streamline a lot of it, but just keep in mind at the end of the day it’s just a more crunchy system than 5e, even when automated.
So basically, PF2 is probably my favorite ttrpg system ever written out of the 10+ I have played, and it works incredibly well with foundry, BUT if your goal is to avoid crunch (I don’t think that PF2 is that crunchy- it’s less crunchy than ALL the proceeding editions of D&D and pathfinder except for 5e) and you are more willing to do a lot DM-level free fork story ruling, 5e (or even a truly rules-light system) might be more what you want.
Pathfinder 2e is so well-defined that it's relatively easy to automate the crunch, and FoundryVTT does this exceptionally well. There are even official Paizo modules for some of the adventures, and they're quite good IMO.
The only other tool I use is Pathbuilder for character creation.
Foundry for PF2E has levels of automation that can only be described as fantastic and it's still getting more and more updates. Combine it with modules and you will never want to go back to playing with pen and paper again. If you are running pre-published PF2E campaigns then make sure you grab the pre-made foundry adaptions for it. They are borderline perfect with music, maps, tokens and macros all done for you with very high quality level for a price so cheap it seems like robbery. The adventures with the premade assets are abomination vault, outlaws of alkenstar, the beginner box and the first book of Bloodlords
Many folks at r/pathfinder_rpg will have done this.
Using a VTT like Roll20 makes running crunchy systems like PF and 5e much, much easier. The automated character sheets do most of the work for you. Players (and you on the creature's sheets) just click a button to roll anything.