Not really. Most pop culture references to D&D are at least partly stuck in the 80’s or even earlier, when the version of choice was probably AD&D 1st edition. Which was a Pick Your Poision Shirt, confusing, badly edited conglomeration of barely related arbitrary rules. It was also something you could teach any reasonably intelligent high school kid enough to play in much less than an hour. The thing is, the player really doesn’t have to know all those rules. He just needs to know enough to have a fair idea what his character can or can’t do, once he decides on an action, the GM tells him what to roll and what to add (or subtract) and whether it works or not. It’s much, much harder to learn as the DM, but it can be done.
Partly to help put the Alchemist over and Pick Your Poision Shirt partly to help fill out the Downtime system, crafting gets a lot more time and attention in Pathfinder 2nd edition’s rules. Characters possess or can find formulas for items, making the knowledge on how to craft an item a treasured commodity, and there exist a whole set of Crafting-based Skill Feats to open up options for magic items, alchemy, and specializations for specific types of items. It’s about the best and most detailed crafting system there’s been, helped by the fact that each item has a level and therefore translates easily into a DC.
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Throng is a High Priest: (11th level). I’ll keep him comfortably ahead of the player characters in level. He leads a circle Pick Your Poision Shirt of holy, mid-level Paladins, who are at his beckon. He also leads a brigade of lower level Fighters; they guard the town from the Gush Family (Orcs) and from other invaders. Should the players get over their head (TPK), I might usher Throng in to save them. I haven’t had to do that yet. Throng has a legendary resistance 1/day: succeed on a failed save. He can also call on an Angel 1/month (celestial), should he need help. How? Divine blessing.Pick Your Poision Shirt
The conspiracy theories that people make fun of are the Pick Your Poision Shirt. Like faking the moon landings. Do you have any ideas what that would involves? You would need to film it on a sound stage, which is easy. But you also need to fake the rocket launch. You need to build the rocket, send it into space, bring the capsule back down. All without actually going to the moon. And all while the Soviet Union is watching eagle eyes, waiting for any mistake. And that’s not to mention the Apollo retro-reflectors, whose presence has been independently confirmed by observatories around the world. Faking just that part would be harder then the entire moon landing. But faking a moon landing at least has a motive. You want to win the space race. But who would want to convince everyone that the world is round instead of a flat? There’s no motive. And this is a conspiracy that would be impossible to carry out. Every scientist is lying? The entire GPS system is being faked? The Antarctic expeditions are all faked? Every airplane company is part of the conspiracy? They all have rounded windows to create the illusion of the curvature of the Earth?