Leveling Up!

Monday, March 12, 2018

With the Pathfinder Playtest, we're looking to level up the entire Pathfinder game. And that means leveling up... leveling up! Gaining new levels and the toys that come with them is a core part of Pathfinder First Edition, and we want to make it more rewarding in the new edition. So how do you level up?

Well, first you're going to need some Experience Points. You can get those XP by fighting monsters, encountering traps, solving puzzles, and accomplishing goals. Once you hit 1,000 XP, you level up! (That's for every level, so whenever you have 500 XP, you'll always know you're halfway to leveling up again! And if you have any extra Experience Points after leveling up, they count toward the next level.)

Once you have enough Experience Points to level up, you'll increase your proficiencies, then get some more Hit Points (8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric, for example), and then get to make the choices for your new level. What choices? Those are all covered on your class's class advancement table. For instance, at 2nd and 3rd levels, the cleric gets the following:

2Cleric feat, skill feat
32nd-level spells, general feat, skill increase

(Wait... what if I multiclass? We'll cover that in a future blog, but let's just say you'll still be referencing only one advancement table.)

One thing we knew we wanted to include in the new edition was a good number of choices for all characters. In first edition, this could be pretty unequal. Even though over time, the game incorporated more ways to customize any type of character, we wanted to build in more robust customization into the structure of every class. That's why every class gets specific class talents (which include spells for spellcasters) at 1st level and every other level thereafter, increases to skills every other level, and feats at every level!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Feats Feats Feats!

How does gaining feats at every level shake out? Every class has special feats just for them, which you gain every other level. When your cleric hits 2nd level and gets that cleric feat, do you want to become a better healer? Learn another of your deity's domains? Turn undead away from you? Your class feats give you these options, so you're not locked into the same path as every other cleric.

On any level when you don't gain a class feat, you gain a skill feat to change the ways you can use skills, a general feat that's useful to any character regardless of class, or an ancestry feat that reflects the training or advantages of your people. Skill feats are part of the general feat category, too, so if you really want to invest in your skills, you can drop 15 feats on improving them!

Many of your feats—especially class feats—give you new actions, activities, and so on that you can use. They have a special format to tell you how they work with your three actions and one reaction. Formatting them this way means that it's easier to tell whether a feat is something you can always do or a special action you can take. In Pathfinder First Edition terms, this would be like the difference between Weapon Focus and Vital Strike.

One of our goals with feats was to make them easier to choose and to use. Most feats require very few prerequisites, so you won't need to worry about picking a feat you really don't want in order to eventually get one you do. Any prerequisites build off your level, your proficiency, and any previous feats the new feat builds onto.

The Best of Your Ability

You'll also amp up several of your ability scores every 5 levels. The process might be familiar to those of you who've been playing Starfinder for the last several months! There are, of course, a few tweaks, and we made all ability boosts work the same way instead of being different at 1st level. Learn it once, use it in perpetuity.

Second Chances

So you get all these choices. Let's say you make a few bad ones. It happens!

Retraining your abilities is now in the game from the get-go, covered by the downtime system. You can spend your downtime to swap out choices you made for other ones. (Though you can't swap out ones that are a core part of your character, like your ancestry, unless you work out a way to do so with your GM.

Some classes give you ways to retrain your choices automatically. For instance, some spells get less useful as you go up in level, so spontaneous spellcasters get to replace some of the spells they know with other ones when they get new spells.

Leveling in the Playtest

The playtest adventure will have you playing characters at various levels, and tells you when to level them up (or tells you to create new characters for certain chapters). Our goal has been to make your options expansive and satisfying, but not overwhelming. We look forward to you telling us which decisions you're making, trading tips with fellow players, and agonizing over two feats when you really want them both.

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Bruno Mares wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
So every class will now receive the full HP of their Hit Dice at every level? That is, cleric gets 8 HP, fighters gets 10 HP, barbarians get 12 HP, and so on?
Hasn't it always been like that?...
We just roll it or use the average result (rounded up) here. (4,5 to d8, 5,5 to d10, 6,5 to d12, and so on) :D

wait, that's not standard?


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Likely far more complex then I like and this screams "bloat", but it is interesting

Then go play a rules light system? Its this thats going to turn me off of P2E. The oversimplification for an audience they dont need.

I likely will, I have not played PF in years. But, I will look at the playtest stuff and give my input. But over complex just to be complex is not a good thing in my experience costs players.

I mean this as respectfully as i can... but then why are you interested? Are you just hoping for a radically different system so you can play again? then i dont think the playtest is useful for you or Paizo. If the playtest forums get flooded with a bunch of people who arent as invested in the system and then they want a different game then that will ruin p2e for a bunch of people. I, as well as my group(s) and many many others dont want some super stripped down system. And more and more i see Man i wish they would go classless or they should get rid of xp or get rid of anything remotely requiring math. Its infuriating. Not that you said any of these things.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
In one of our high level playtests, we accidentally had a poison with a DC that was way too high (so we fixed it, of course). But the coolest part was that the dwarf was so dwarfy by that point that despite the fact he couldn't make the save, he just toughed it out to the end and was still pretty much fine afterwards.

You know, one of the things I love about LOTR (of which I am, sadly, about finished with the hundredth-odd re-read) is some of the feats of, say, Legolas, my favorite of the Fellowship. He is, without straining, able to discern differences in heights between the Rohirrim, and the color of their hair, at "but five leagues distant." That's some 15 miles. Similar feats of visual acuity show up elsewhere, and it's something I've always liked. Plus, the descriptions of him sleeping, if it can be called such, while walking, upon the strange paths of Elvish dreams.

Things like that really excite me as a possibility here. One thing I've found missing in a lot of fantasy games is that the ancestry abilities often aren't that spectacular, and usually they're just little things there at the beginning and then never again increase. The idea of being able to strengthen one's Elven heritage (or Dwarven), and have some of that mystique, and power, and "otherness," sounds very exciting to me.


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I love it that all the feats are being called "feats" with an adjective to distinguish what flavor of feat they are.

It's helpful in learning about things to be able to group similar items together and then later differentiate them when you've got the knowledge to understand the finer distinctions.

I'm all for calling things-that-work-like-feats, "feats", and not giving things-that-work-like-feats four different labels that someone eventually has to figure out "oh, those things all work like feats".


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Scias Starset wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Bruno Mares wrote:
So every class will now receive the full HP of their Hit Dice at every level? That is, cleric gets 8 HP, fighters gets 10 HP, barbarians get 12 HP, and so on?
Hasn't it always been like that?...
No? Current PF is half + 1. So 5 for Clerics, 6 for Fighters, 7 for Barbarians etc.

Ohwait, I misread what Bruno said, read "every level" as "first level".

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
the call it a Do (doesn't mean anything, but is short), every two levels you gain a Class Do. With the space you save in that book, you can include all Dune novels in the appendix

I like the term ‘Do’ for multiple reasons.

1) It is not a D&D term. Reusing the same terminilogy for different things is confusing. Let’s break new ground.

2) It screams action! Just do it!

3) Pronounced differently (like ‘Doe’), ‘Do’ is word ‘way’ in Japanese. (Ex, Aikido, the way of harmony.) Do is anything that is a long term practice. It is not just about the destination, but also about the journey and the little things you pick up on the way. So it would be appropriate to call new talents ‘Do’s and celebrate the journey.

4) ‘Do’ is filkable.

Seriously, don’t you want me to filk? Think of all the lovely rhymes that I could make from EITHER pronunciation of ‘Do’.

Do be do be dooooooo

Hmm


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Lady Firebird wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
In one of our high level playtests, we accidentally had a poison with a DC that was way too high (so we fixed it, of course). But the coolest part was that the dwarf was so dwarfy by that point that despite the fact he couldn't make the save, he just toughed it out to the end and was still pretty much fine afterwards.

You know, one of the things I love about LOTR (of which I am, sadly, about finished with the hundredth-odd re-read) is some of the feats of, say, Legolas, my favorite of the Fellowship. He is, without straining, able to discern differences in heights between the Rohirrim, and the color of their hair, at "but five leagues distant." That's some 15 miles. Similar feats of visual acuity show up elsewhere, and it's something I've always liked. Plus, the descriptions of him sleeping, if it can be called such, while walking, upon the strange paths of Elvish dreams.

Things like that really excite me as a possibility here. One thing I've found missing in a lot of fantasy games is that the ancestry abilities often aren't that spectacular, and usually they're just little things there at the beginning and then never again increase. The idea of being able to strengthen one's Elven heritage (or Dwarven), and have some of that mystique, and power, and "otherness," sounds very exciting to me.

A+ post. I love the idea too and can't wait to make the most Elven Elf imaginable. Combined with the fact that class feats are supposed to let martial characters do incredible things that seem supernatural/magical and... Well I am going to do my best to make Glorfindel.


Gallyck wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Gallyck wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Likely far more complex then I like and this screams "bloat", but it is interesting

Then go play a rules light system? Its this thats going to turn me off of P2E. The oversimplification for an audience they dont need.

I likely will, I have not played PF in years. But, I will look at the playtest stuff and give my input. But over complex just to be complex is not a good thing in my experience costs players.
I mean this as respectfully as i can... but then why are you interested? Are you just hoping for a radically different system so you can play again? then i dont think the playtest is useful for you or Paizo. If the playtest forums get flooded with a bunch of people who arent as invested in the system and then they want a different game then that will ruin p2e for a bunch of people. I, as well as my group(s) and many many others dont want some super stripped down system. And more and more i see Man i wish they would go classless or they should get rid of xp or get rid of anything remotely requiring math. Its infuriating. Not that you said any of these things.

Oh I would love classless, but PF is not the system for classless. I am here because I was here last times and I like systems. I wish to see PF improved, it may end up being a system I like again or it my sty buried it massive flaws and over complex, bloated rules I have zero desire to run.

Time will tell


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Kate Baker wrote:
The change to XP seems very player-friendly! (I use milestone leveling instead in my home games, but I’m interested in seeing if this system tempts me back to XP tracking.) Standardizing how class features are selected also seems very player-friendly. And I love that there was a design goal of fewer prerequisites!
The best part for GMs like you is that you can much more easily give out XP for non-combat milestones without having to delve through math, and we give advice for how to do that in the playtest CRB. For instance, you could decide to give the PCs 100 XP each for a momentous RP social event and know that you've advanced them 1/10 of the way to the next level. This allows for rule-of-thumb numbers you can memorize, without need for a chart even.

Oh, this is good. This is very good. As one of the GMs who not only enjoys but encourages unconventional solutions to encounters (my groups don't tend to play the larcenous psychopaths that seem to abound), as well as awarding XP for discoveries, social encounters and such, this is absolutely a godsend.

The more I hear, the more certain I am that PF2 will be my fantasy game of choice.


so, on the plus side for PF2 so far for me:
- ancestry feats
on the 'has potential to go to the plus side but can go to the opposite direction as well' side so far for me:
- the newaction economy


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Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?

If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)

Paizo Employee Designer

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bookrat wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
poison not working the same way in PF1, but it shouldn't be too hard to get similar functionality.

As a toxicologist, I have to know: more gamey or more realistic?

Gamey is fine, I've gotten used to no game ever having realistic poison rules. :)

Take your pick:

Realism +s and -s for a toxicologist:

+: The word venom is correctly, rather than haphazardly, applied (this was almost true of poison/toxin/venom entirely but got too confusing with the way the word poison has been used in legacy)
+: Some of the poisons that exist in the real world have onsets better based on toxicology to be vaguely in their onset range (for instance, hemlock at 30 minutes)
+: At least a bit of research went into symptoms for real world poisons, so a poison that causes blurred vision and dilated pupils might cause a miss chance.

-: The basic poison rules are streamlined to be easier to use, deadlier to the poisoner's foes, but also less math-intensive and hit-or-miss in their mechanic, which leads to abstractions (perhaps not less unrealistic than before though, you'll have to let us know when you check out the book).


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
How is that really any different? All the PF1 races had the same basic fluff in the CRB as they did in the setting, and any racial option with more than a small modicum of fluff could have the fluff ignored.

Fluff with mechanical representation makes it harder to ignore, for example before Advanced Race Guide it didn't matter about how your setting fluffs dwarves or if you give different regions different cultures, all dwarves magically knew how to use Dwarven Weapons and had some skill when it comes to pricing metals and gems and had bonuses to killing and dodging certain species even if those species never came in contact with that race.

You could reflavour what all those bonuses represent, but that doesn't change the fact that "Dwarves get x" and now I have to explain X even though it makes zero sense with my setting or region.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)

Except none of those are a special kind of feat that can ONLY be picked up at certain class levels but can't be picked up through normal feat progression, such abilities are not feats, but class features.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)

Its not newbie friendly though, which is something that should be taken into account. Someone suggested Talents above, which might be a good term if they are that class only


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I do like the non modular approach to classes, but everything else so far has been off-putting.


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In the spirit of providing meaningful feedback, here's a list of things I love:
* Choices on what you specialise in (want a skill monkey rogue? Go nuts with 15 skill feats. Want a dwarven fighter whose specialised in the ancestral fighting style of the deep mines? Go for it. Want an elven bladesinger whose fuses magic with martial prowess? There's options for you). Now not all ideas will be supported in the CRB (and setting specific options such as the elven bladesinger may never be supported). But you get the general idea. I love the flexibility and look forward to future products expanding on it.
* Starfinderesque ability score advancement: Also very happy.
* Rebuild characters as core: Sure. Pretty happy. GMs I play with (including me) have always been open to rebuilds for genuine mistake choices.

Some things I'm concerned about:
* XP advancement. Not a fan of Starfinder's quick level advancement. Also not a fan of Starfinder's AP's not getting to around 13th-15th level. Very concerned about such fast XP progression for Pathfinder. Do monsters give less XP? Or will we simply have less game to enjoy in each AP?
* Somewhat concerned about HP. Why are we almost doubling HP per level? I suspect it's got to do with HP resource management going from being an encounter resource to a daily resource. But wanted to check before going into further potential issues with that significant of a change.

Overall I'm excited about the changes we've heard about so far. This is the first bit of information that's given me pause on the rules themselves.

Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?

Everytime I hear class feat, ancestry feat or skill feat I hear a little voice replace the word feat with power so: class power, racial power and skill power.


Milo v3 wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
How is that really any different? All the PF1 races had the same basic fluff in the CRB as they did in the setting, and any racial option with more than a small modicum of fluff could have the fluff ignored.

Fluff with mechanical representation makes it harder to ignore, for example before Advanced Race Guide it didn't matter about how your setting fluffs dwarves or if you give different regions different cultures, all dwarves magically knew how to use Dwarven Weapons and had some skill when it comes to pricing metals and gems and had bonuses to killing and dodging certain species even if those species never came in contact with that race.

You could reflavour what all those bonuses represent, but that doesn't change the fact that "Dwarves get x" and now I have to explain X even though it makes zero sense with my setting or region.

And how is that going to be worse/harder to do in PF2?


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Scias Starset wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
In one of our high level playtests, we accidentally had a poison with a DC that was way too high (so we fixed it, of course). But the coolest part was that the dwarf was so dwarfy by that point that despite the fact he couldn't make the save, he just toughed it out to the end and was still pretty much fine afterwards.

You know, one of the things I love about LOTR (of which I am, sadly, about finished with the hundredth-odd re-read) is some of the feats of, say, Legolas, my favorite of the Fellowship. He is, without straining, able to discern differences in heights between the Rohirrim, and the color of their hair, at "but five leagues distant." That's some 15 miles. Similar feats of visual acuity show up elsewhere, and it's something I've always liked. Plus, the descriptions of him sleeping, if it can be called such, while walking, upon the strange paths of Elvish dreams.

Things like that really excite me as a possibility here. One thing I've found missing in a lot of fantasy games is that the ancestry abilities often aren't that spectacular, and usually they're just little things there at the beginning and then never again increase. The idea of being able to strengthen one's Elven heritage (or Dwarven), and have some of that mystique, and power, and "otherness," sounds very exciting to me.

A+ post. I love the idea too and can't wait to make the most Elven Elf imaginable. Combined with the fact that class feats are supposed to let martial characters do incredible things that seem supernatural/magical and... Well I am going to do my best to make Glorfindel.

That's what I like to hear. I'd love the idea of a veritable party where Glorfindel teams up with Beowulf and go adventuring with Chandra Nalaar and everyone gets to have fun.

Shadow Lodge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
bookrat wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
poison not working the same way in PF1, but it shouldn't be too hard to get similar functionality.

As a toxicologist, I have to know: more gamey or more realistic?

Gamey is fine, I've gotten used to no game ever having realistic poison rules. :)

Take your pick:

** spoiler omitted **

That's great!

I accept that poison has to be streamlined to make it even close to usable in a game. But I really appreciate that you guys even looked into it at all and made an attempt to get the nomenclature correct.

I'll definitely check it out when I get my copy in August. :)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I, for one am wholly in favor of everything being called feats. We already had several different categories of feat, and almost all existing sorts of talents effectively let you trade in a feat for one, so to me it simply makes sense to organize all these options in one place.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
Except none of those are a special kind of feat that can ONLY be picked up at certain class levels but can't be picked up through normal feat progression, such abilities are not feats, but class features.

In PF1 fighters got "combat feats" at even levels, so how hard was it to avoid giving your fighter iron will at 2nd level because it doesn't qualify as a combat feat?

Benefit of calling them feats rather than talents is that now you don't need to specify there is a feat called "extra rogue talent".


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Benjamin Medrano wrote:
I will say that the only problem I see with using Talents instead of Feats (from my perspective as an author) is that it's two letters longer. That might not be much at the moment, but when you're talking about a huge book where it's going to be referenced dozens or hundreds of times, that could add up to quite a bit of space.

What about Class Trick?

Grand Lodge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Subparhiggins wrote:
thflame wrote:
May I request that Feats be sorted in the final book based on what Classes/Ancestries/etc. they apply to as opposed to strictly alphabetical order?
I agree please put them in different sections. At the very least they'll be separated by charts, but having a 1, 2, 3 kind of set up with each type would definitely be easier for players to sort through.
We have some ideas about how to order things. My absolute favorite for ease of building was Jason's idea to put the class feats by level instead of alphabetically (with a sidebar giving them all alphabetically). That way you can directly compare the newest feats at your new level (not that you can't go back and take a lower-level one if you like) and that single change more than tripled the speed at which I can choose my class feats.

That layout worked fine for the 4E and 13th Age Corebook


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:

Some things I'm concerned about:

* XP advancement. Not a fan of Starfinder's quick level advancement. Also not a fan of Starfinder's AP's not getting to around 13th-15th level. Very concerned about such fast XP progression for Pathfinder. Do monsters give less XP? Or will we simply have less game to enjoy in each AP?
* Somewhat concerned about HP. Why are we almost doubling HP per level? I suspect it's got to do with HP resource management going from being an encounter resource to a daily resource. But wanted to check before going into further potential issues with that significant of a change.

Numbers like XP or HP are hard to evaluate in a vacuum. You can't tell much about the XP/level until you know how much XP you're getting from an encounter. I'd presume it's scaled such that you have a similar advancement speed to what you'd see now though, since any more fancy tweaks to it would probably end up wanting different speeds of advancement for different levels (5e does this, for example, there are some levels that do in fact go faster than others).

As for HP, they aren't doubling per level, they're going up by the equivalent of the max die + con mod per level, it's more than you'd expect from PF1, but even going from first->second level it's not doubling, since first level gets HP from your ancestry. Anyway, none of it is terribly meaningful until you see how much damage things typically do.

Grand Lodge

Gloom_The_Wanderer wrote:

So streamlining actions to make 7 different kinds of action down to action and reaction, but making almost everything with about leveling into categories of feats. Not sure if this is really streamlined. Feat choices are one of the things that turns my wife away from playing much.

I think it has potential, but I hope the playtest can refine this.

What I'd hope to see by the community is lists of feats to take to achieve XYZ character, to make it something easy to follow for those who want the crunch without the research. In fact I'm sure builds like this will come out.


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:
And how is that going to be worse/harder to do in PF2?

I'm not saying it necessarily will. I'm saying that it will if characters are forced to take Ancestry feats during their advancement, because then you're forced to take more of these super specific fluff things than before.

So I asked if Ancestry Feats are an innate part of advancement or if they're taken with General Feats.


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Classes that offer me a choice of features are why I will almost always prefer to play an Oracle over a Cleric. I'm in for the new system.

Paizo Employee Designer

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rooneg wrote:
As for HP, they aren't doubling per level, they're going up by the equivalent of the max die + con mod per level, it's more than you'd expect from PF1, but even going from first->second level it's not doubling, since first level gets HP from your ancestry. Anyway, none of it is terribly meaningful until you see how much damage things typically do.

To build on your math here, let's consider a level 11 wizard with 18 Constitution. In PF1, that wizard would have 6 at level 1 + 35 from 10d6 on average (assuming you didn't give half rounded up) + 40 from Con to make 81 HP on average (86 for half rounded up). In PF2, you also get some at level 1 from ancestry, let's say 8 for this example, so you'd have 6 per level (66) + 8 ancestry + 40 from Con 114 HP on average. Double would have been 162 (or 172 if you use half rounded up).

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)
Its not newbie friendly though, which is something that should be taken into account. Someone suggested Talents above, which might be a good term if they are that class only

Anecdotally, I actually GM for quite a few new players, and they tend to really like simplified terminology. It's easier to learn that the things you gain are called "feats" and that there are 4 or whatever different kinds of feats that emphasize different aspects of your character but all work basically the same way (take them at level X, get corresponding benefit, etc.), than to have to learn that there are different words for feats, talents, class features, and widgets, and what the differences between them are, especially when the differences are largely cosmetic and you're mostly making up terms that aren't ultimately necessary.

I think that there might also be a kind of inherent promise in calling everything that acts like a feat a feat; in the current edition of Pathfinder, class features are almost always better than feats, unless you're a fighter, in which case your class features are feats. By calling all things that act like feats "feats", it also seems like they're establishing a baseline expectation for balance that should help avoid disparities that occur in the current system where feats don't have as consistent a baseline for what they do and how valuable they are. For example, once a current edition barbarian has enough rounds of rage that he isn't really worrying about running out, the fact that most rage powers are better than feats means that there's really no feat that's better than "Extra Rage Power", and you end up undermining the idea of what a feat is worth (especially when you look at comparisons to feats that primarily act as prerequisites).

If every feat is a feat as Logan and Mark have described, and those feats are further defined/organized by the level they become available, it's much faster and easier for a new player to grasp how to select and apply them, and it should be easier for designers to ensure that there aren't significant imbalances occurring across classes due to different terminology blurring the lines around how much a given resource should be worth.


1. I know XP is hard to judge in a vavumn, hence the questions seeking further information.
2. Sorry, by doubling I meant almost doubling what PF 1st ed characters get (instead of 7 HP per level clerics get 10 HP per level assuming CON 14 in both cases).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Blog wrote:
"Once you hit 1,000 XP, you level up! (That's for every level, so whenever you have 500 XP, you'll always know you're halfway to leveling up again! And if you have any extra Experience Points after leveling up, they count toward the next level.)"

Interesting, so I'm assuming this will go off APL vs the encounter's CR? For example, 100xp for an APL = CR encounter, then adding 25xp for every CR over APL or subtracting 25xp for every CR under APL.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Biztak wrote:
Benjamin Medrano wrote:
I will say that the only problem I see with using Talents instead of Feats (from my perspective as an author) is that it's two letters longer. That might not be much at the moment, but when you're talking about a huge book where it's going to be referenced dozens or hundreds of times, that could add up to quite a bit of space.
What about Class Trick?

What about Class Feat? It sounds like "Feat" is just another way of saying "thing that lets you do cool stuff". Some come from class, some from ancestry, some from skills, and some just generally cool stuff. I really don't see why we need more than one name for something that serves the same purpose as something else. They should have the same name, and "thing that lets you do cool stuff" is a tad too long.


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Ok... I've been a fair negative nelly about the change but this blog just completely reversed my stance.

The XP is fairly cool, the ability score stuff is fine...

I love the way classes are being handled. Almost all of my house rules for Pathfinder were ways to open up the options for more versitility in class. Owen's RGG Talented line was something I used extensively, and this comes across fairly similar (not quite as flexible, but that is fine). One thing I was worried about was multiclassing - but this structure could make that a breeze.

You have me converted now.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
On the positive side of things, that also means dwarfier dwarves. And I admit, that DOES sound exciting
In one of our high level playtests, we accidentally had a poison with a DC that was way too high (so we fixed it, of course). But the coolest part was that the dwarf was so dwarfy by that point that despite the fact he couldn't make the save, he just toughed it out to the end and was still pretty much fine afterwards.

{pours another shot of Ol' Janx Spirit from the Klein bottle} So... dwarves can take beard familiars*? Or is it a hairy wart familiar*, similar to alchemist tumor familiars? Can dwarves take a feat to gain hair-based cohorts (see Table 5–2: Beardership)?

* A dwarf is still limited to one bonded magical creature/coiffure, including familiars, summoners' beardilons, or the intelligent magical blackbeard gained from the beardbound archetype.


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Ssalarn wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)
Its not newbie friendly though, which is something that should be taken into account. Someone suggested Talents above, which might be a good term if they are that class only

Anecdotally, I actually GM for quite a few new players, and they tend to really like simplified terminology. It's easier to learn that the things you gain are called "feats" and that there are 4 or whatever different kinds of feats that emphasize different aspects of your character but all work basically the same way (take them at level X, get corresponding benefit, etc.), than to have to learn that there are different words for feats, talents, class features, and widgets, and what the differences between them are, especially when the differences are largely cosmetic and you're mostly making up terms that aren't ultimately necessary.

I think that there might also be a kind of inherent promise in calling everything that acts like a feat a feat; in the current edition of Pathfinder, class features are almost always better than feats, unless you're a fighter, in which case your class features are feats. By calling all things that act like feats "feats", it also seems like they're establishing a baseline expectation for balance that should help avoid disparities that occur in the current system where feats don't have as consistent a baseline for what they do and how valuable they are. For example, once a current edition barbarian has enough rounds of rage that he isn't really worrying about running out, the fact that most rage powers are better than feats means that there's really no feat that's better than "Extra Rage Power", and you end up undermining the idea of what a feat is worth, (especially when you look at comparisons to...

This is totally counter to every newbie I recall, vut it might be a fair point. I can only gauge based off my own experiences. At large,you could be correct. I simply do not know.


How do ability scores work at character creation? Thanks. :)


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Ssalarn wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
If we can figure out the difference between "teamwork feats" and "style feats" and "combat feats" we should be fine.:)
Its not newbie friendly though, which is something that should be taken into account. Someone suggested Talents above, which might be a good term if they are that class only

Anecdotally, I actually GM for quite a few new players, and they tend to really like simplified terminology. It's easier to learn that the things you gain are called "feats" and that there are 4 or whatever different kinds of feats that emphasize different aspects of your character but all work basically the same way (take them at level X, get corresponding benefit, etc.), than to have to learn that there are different words for feats, talents, class features, and widgets, and what the differences between them are, especially when the differences are largely cosmetic and you're mostly making up terms that aren't ultimately necessary.

I think that there might also be a kind of inherent promise in calling everything that acts like a feat a feat; in the current edition of Pathfinder, class features are almost always better than feats, unless you're a fighter, in which case your class features are feats. By calling all things that act like feats "feats", it also seems like they're establishing a baseline expectation for balance that should help avoid disparities that occur in the current system where feats don't have as consistent a baseline for what they do and how valuable they are. For example, once a current edition barbarian has enough rounds of rage that he isn't really worrying about running out, the fact that most rage powers are better than feats means that there's really no feat that's better than "Extra Rage Power", and you end up undermining the idea of what a feat is worth, (especially when you look at comparisons to...

Yes, I completely agree. The terminology works. It's not cumbersome. It doesn't require different terms for things that are basically the same thing. It's easier to learn and use quickly, and for other game rules to reference. In all ways I see this being better.

Everything I've seen for the game so far really seems encouraging. Simplified does not mean "dumbed down," and in fact often that kind of streamlining provides a more robust foundation upon which to build rules. It makes expansion easier. "Here are new Cleric Class Feats" is easier to manage than "Here are some new feats that Clerics can take, and here are some features that replace default class features, and...."

This is all very exciting.


Just saw Mark had replied on UP while I made my previous post: You got me. It's not quite double. Why is NO increasing by 40%? We've had HP remain fairly consistent from 3.0 to Pathfinder 1st ed (with only slight bumps). 40% is a big bump. Why?


Asurie wrote:

So, Starfinder has an interesting quirk in their ability score buying math that the +1 stat bonus from Themes ends up being functionally useless. This is the result of the fact that bonuses come in groups of +2 (except for going from 19->20 which only gets you a +1) and the fact that ability score pre-reqs are mostly gone (except for Dex 15 if I recall).

Will this be the case if we are now taking their ability score system and porting it to Pathfinder, or will changes be made to address this?

Remember, in Starfinder you gain only a +1 to any ability score higher than 17, so that +1 can be useful at 5th level.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Formatted class "feats", skill "feats", and ancestry "feats" received every level in a standardized format for all classes sounds a lot like class powers, racial powers, and skill/utility powers from D&D 4th edition. In addition, the standardized automatic progression system (level + ability)for all training and proficiencies sounds a lot like 4th edition's unified automatic progression system (half level + ability). Further, stat increases in 4e assumed increasing a number of different stats at certain levels. 4th edition also introduced assumed retraining. All this - coupled with a revised action economy, modernized and standardized formatting, and many other small details like hero points (read: action points) and magic item limitations inherent to the character (see: milestone recharging) - lead me to believe that Paizo is not so much as going after 5e players (which I am sure they are), but trying to attract 4e players that wished that 5e had been closer to 4e. This would not be unprecedented, as it mirrors their original successful strategy to attract 3.5 players that did not want to move to 4th.


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As to the people having a problem calling everything feats: remember that they said characters of every class would be able to pick up stuff like Attack of Opportunity, which seems to be a fighter schtick this time. What I feel like this likely means is that you can spend your General feat on /any/ kind of feat you qualify for, including feats from other classes that don't depend on ability chains you don't possess. So you could use your General feat as an Elf Wizard for the AoO "Fighter feat", another "Wizard feat" from your own class, another Elven "Ancestry feat," a bonus "Skill feat", or one of the (probably much smaller) selection of truly universal feats.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hmm wrote:


3) Pronounced differently (like ‘Doe’), ‘Do’ is word ‘way’ in Japanese. (Ex, Aikido, the way of harmony.) Do is anything that is a long term practice. It is not just about the destination, but also about the journey and the little things you pick up on the way. So it would be appropriate to call new talents ‘Do’s and celebrate the journey.

Or the other possibility would be a Simpson D’oh!


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All I know is that a Do's a deer, a female deer


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Insight wrote:
Formatted class "feats", skill "feats", and ancestry "feats" received every level in a standardized format for all classes sounds a lot like class powers, racial powers, and skill/utility powers from D&D 4th edition. In addition, the standardized automatic progression system (level + ability)for all training and proficiencies sounds a lot like 4th edition's unified automatic progression system (half level + ability). Further, stat increases in 4e assumed increasing a number of different stats at certain levels. 4th edition also introduced assumed retraining. All this - coupled with a revised action economy, modernized and standardized formatting, and many other small details like hero points (read: action points) and magic item limitations inherent to the character (see: milestone recharging) - lead me to believe that Paizo is not so much as going after 5e players (which I am sure they are), but trying to attract 4e players that wished that 5e had been closer to 4e. This would not be unprecedented, as it mirrors their original successful strategy to attract 3.5 players that did not want to move to 4th.

At least to me it doesn't seem so, while there is common ground enough sounds different and unique. I just wish it had more common ground with pathfinder 1e, nothing so far indicates an easy conversion.


Insight wrote:
but trying to attract 4e players that wished that 5e had been closer to 4e. This would not be unprecedented, as it mirrors their original successful strategy to attract 3.5 players that did not want to move to 4th.

I'll be honest: If they managed to create a non-homogenized version of 4th ed that didn't have the ridiculously long combats 4th ed is renowned for and manage to convert a whole sleuth of 3.5e players to the new 4th ed I'd probably be right there.

Alas rapid non-magical healing is a cornerstone of 4th ed and that doesn't seem to be present in the new Pathfinder.

Paizo Employee Designer

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Just saw Mark had replied on UP while I made my previous post: You got me. It's not quite double. Why is NO increasing by 40%? We've had HP remain fairly consistent from 3.0 to Pathfinder 1st ed (with only slight bumps). 40% is a big bump. Why?

In general it will help you perform awesome feats and avoid rocket tag situations where the bad guys one-shot you with regular attacks (especially if your character couldn't afford to pump Con). I still strongly recommend raising your Con, but the less you do, the more this is going to help you survive and flourish (for instance, at 10 Con, it basically does double your HP, but the higher you go, the less of a percentage more this gives you). Ask anyone about the stats for Reiko, the iconic ninja, and the first thing you usually hear is "I wish she didn't have 10 Con." The way the math worked, those first few points in Con had an outsizedly big impact (raising your HP by nearly ~30% for going from 10 up to 12 on a low HD class). And it was sort of a secret hidden feature that many newbies learned at the end of a killing blow before making their second character (before someone mentions, yes, in PF1 you can focus on various defenses heavily enough to try to avoid taking HP damage in the first place and survive just fine on 10 Con, but you have to be experienced enough to get that up and running).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Alas rapid non-magical healing is a cornerstone of 4th ed and that doesn't seem to be present in the new Pathfinder.

True, but it's not like they haven't thought about it. See Stamina Points, Resolve Points, and Short Rests in Starfinder. Also, the envoy kind of mirrors the warlord with limited non-magical healing.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
BretI wrote:
Hmm wrote:


3) Pronounced differently (like ‘Doe’), ‘Do’ is word ‘way’ in Japanese. (Ex, Aikido, the way of harmony.) Do is anything that is a long term practice. It is not just about the destination, but also about the journey and the little things you pick up on the way. So it would be appropriate to call new talents ‘Do’s and celebrate the journey.
Or the other possibility would be a Simpson D’oh!

That’s why they have retraining in the CRB! So your Do’s don’t make you “D’oh!”

Hythlodeus wrote:
All I know is that a Do's a deer, a female deer

♫ Do, a feat that’s really neat

Ancestry, like races only fun
XP a way to raise yourself
(A thousand for each level won)
Let’s filk through the thread —
La, the lyrics I like to show —
These blogs tease my head
And this brings us back to Do
Do, do, do, do! ♫


I usually handwave experience or use bespoke systems - next time I run something nonlinear I'll probably steal Into the Deph's system - but if I'm awarding XP murderhobo-style, the net effect of this is that I have to check a chart for XP once an encounter rather than once a level. Am I wrong?

John Lynch 106 wrote:

I'll be honest: If they managed to create a non-homogenized version of 4th ed that didn't have the ridiculously long combats 4th ed is renowned for and manage to convert a whole sleuth of 3.5e players to the new 4th ed I'd probably be right there.

Alas rapid non-magical healing is a cornerstone of 4th ed and that doesn't seem to be present in the new Pathfinder.

Essentials makes classes more differentiated, and later bestiaries - I believe MM3 and Monster Vault - fixed the math so fights were quicker, so you may be in luck.

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