This is the PF2e version of my similar question on D&D 5e's Starter Set.
For a lot of players, the Pathfinder Beginner Box was their first 2e adventure. The first encounter from the included adventure is rather straightforward, though a lucky crit or two can quickly turn the tide.
Terminally bad luck?
Let's assume you were really unlucky, though. Really, really unlucky. What is the lowest level character that could unfailingly beat the encounter, despite all the dice being against them?
Assume that whatever can go wrong for the PC, will go wrong. In general, this means that they will roll a 1 on all dice rolls (attacks, saving throws, skill checks, damage, etc.) If a low roll is beneficial to them, then that roll may be a higher roll.
Assume that whatever can go right for the enemies, will go right. In general, this means that they will roll the maximum value on all dice rolls. If a high roll is harmful to them, then that roll may be a lower roll.
- The PC will face:
Four giant rats.
- The enemies start in their normal location. The PC starts 20 feet west of the line of enemies, as shown by the red dot:
- Any PC-controlled creatures start as close to the PC as possible. All participants start on the ground.
- The enemies move in (possibly using Tumble Through) and attempt to flank if practical, but otherwise Strike with all three actions. They may also use sensible basic actions in response to conditions if needed, like Stand or Escape.
- Spells/abilities you use before combat may only target you or creatures you control. Only spells/abilities whose effects last 10 minutes or longer will still be active when combat starts.
- Exploration activities may be used, and weapons/shields/etc. may already be drawn.
- You may use Avoid Notice to roll Stealth for initiative, but your starting position cannot change (despite the usual rules that would permit you to move to a more logical position). You still benefit from features like Surprise Attack, but start Observed, unless some other effect (like invisibility) changes how detected you are.
- For the sake of this question, nothing can make you Unnoticed. If you become Undetected (by defeating vision and scent, for example), the enemies always choose the correct square when attacking you.
- The PC has beat the encounter if they are alive when combat ends and all of the enemies are dead.
- May be any level (1-20), though I'm interested in the lowest level character than can pull this off.
- Only Common character options from official sources (unless a Common option grants access to an Uncommon one, as with focus spells).
- No variant/optional rules (like Free Archetype).
- Starts with the lump sum gold for their level. They can use this to buy any Common, non-Consumable items of their level or lower.
A 17th level wizard with 20 Wisdom has a +26 to initiative rolls. Even if the enemies all roll a natural 20 and the wizard rolls a 1, the wizard still goes first. They can then cast fireball at 9th level, rolling all ones for a total of 18 damage. The enemies all roll a natural 20 on their Reflex saves, but a 27 is still a failure (bumped to a success for the natural 20). They all take half damage and die.