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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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I may have missed this, but "8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric". Was this a typo? Is it d8 + con, or 8 + con?


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So if I'm reading this correctly I have a question; if spellcasting is, for the purpose of equating class abilities, essentially a specific chain of "class feats" that you're locked in to, does that mean that class archetypes that would give spellcasting grant (effectively) 6th level spellcasting - akin to a P1e Bard or Magus or, in terms of archetypes, the Warlock or Eldritch Scoundrel - in exchange for some class feat progression?

Also, are spontaneous casters effectively able to overcast their lower level spells on the fly while prepared spellcasters determine whether or not they want to overcast their spells during preparation?


SSuser wrote:
I may have missed this, but "8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric". Was this a typo? Is it d8 + con, or 8 + con?

From what I'm gathering, it's the former; you don't have to roll for HP anymore, but I would imagine rolling for HP would be implemented as an optional rule.


SSuser wrote:
I may have missed this, but "8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric". Was this a typo? Is it d8 + con, or 8 + con?

Flat 8 + con


So the question I'm most interested in right now is whether the 3 actions and a reaction is now all she wrote about attacks per round?

Has the fighter and their subclasses lost their extra attacks relative to other classes as they level up?

Also does anyone else think they've gone way too far with making the components of casting a spell each separate actions? There's a lost of interesting stuff in the play test but I thought this was just so bad.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So has this been addressed yet? Are there still class abilities that are "default" for a given class, like smite evil, rage, etc? or is everything bundled into a different type of feat?

Shadow Lodge

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Doc_Alpha wrote:


Also does anyone else think they've gone way too far with making the components of casting a spell each separate actions? There's a lost of interesting stuff in the play test but I thought this was just so bad.

i actually like it...for one thing it forces players to acknowledge that they are actually doing something when a spell is cast...all too often in games i've been in all spellcasting turns into effects just being announced as having happened...for another it gives an actual reason for some spells taking longer to cast than others...it was kind've arbitrary before...this feels more structured


Doc_Alpha wrote:

So the question I'm most interested in right now is whether the 3 actions and a reaction is now all she wrote about attacks per round?

Has the fighter and their subclasses lost their extra attacks relative to other classes as they level up?

Also does anyone else think they've gone way too far with making the components of casting a spell each separate actions? There's a lost of interesting stuff in the play test but I thought this was just so bad.

The full BAB classes haven't lost their extra attacks, they (and all other classes) just get immediate access to them at first level - if the way attack bonuses are calculated in P2e aren't too different than in P1e, fighters, rangers, paladins, and the like will still get the edge on all other classes because their rapidly increasing attack bonuses will still better counteract the penalties for iterative attacks.

As for the spells, I primarily play spell casters and I think it's fine - it helps keep balance so that wizards aren't capable of tossing 3 separate fireballs each round while simultaneously keeping the dynamic not too different from P1e - on average, the Wizard should still be able to move and cast a spell on their turn.


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every time a dice roll is removed from the game, a part of me dies :(


I'm betting there will be a fighter feat that gives them an extra attack. More or less.


MMCJawa wrote:
So has this been addressed yet? Are there still class abilities that are "default" for a given class, like smite evil, rage, etc? or is everything bundled into a different type of feat?
Blog wrote:
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!

Classes still get class features. Spells are class features for spellcasting classes. Class feats, skill feats, and general feats are in addition.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Doc_Alpha wrote:
Has the fighter and their subclasses lost their extra attacks relative to other classes as they level up?

The guy who played a paladin at Garycon said he had a 1st level ability called retributive strike which allowed an extra attack against a foe who had scored a critical on one of his pals (but never got to use it because the condition never came up).

I suspect that fighters will get extra attacks through their class feats, in one form or another, probably with various conditions attached.

We've already seen they get "sudden charge" at a cost of 2 actions, allowing them to move double, attack, and still have an action left over for a second attack or raise shield or whatever, where other classes will need 3 to pull it off (move + move + attack) and have no extra actions left.

Time will tell.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

So then, are all feats gained through class advancement then? Or are there still the independent spots for general feats that P1e has?

General feats are also listed in the class advancement chart for your ease of reference just so you don't have to flip back and forth between two places.

How is that convenient when there are five or six books with classes and feats strewn among them? Even if new class feats are not added to old classes in the new book, new general feats will be added and so each list of new general feats will also have to list what classes can use them. And as the list of classes expands, the list of what classes can use what general feats becomes more and more complicated.


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Albatoonoe wrote:
Gregg Helmberger wrote:
A caution I would throw up about the advancement system is that it would require a much more finely-tuned and accurate system of calculating CR than the current system, which IME provides only a very, very rough (and frequently very misleading) approximation of the actual difficulty of any given encounter. If you're pulling XP out of individual monsters and other encounter elements and putting it all on CR, the means of calculating CR better be *precise.*
I'm not sure it needs to be SO precise. With the simplification of exp, you can easily adjust bonuses if the fight turned out way too easy or hard. If a fight is more difficult than you anticipate, based on cr, you can simply adjust the experience gain accordingly.

Adjusting XP gain doesn't help if the PCs are dead, which is an all-too-frequent result of "going by CR." For example, if you want to have some malicious fun, pit a mosquito swarm against the average first-level party. It's only CR+2, but count the corpses it will leave in its wake! Whee!

Of course an *experienced* GM can adjust encounter difficulty on the fly, but the main point of PF2 (all protestations from Paizo aside) is to attract new customers. If the wacky, imprecise, and unpredictable CR system is used as the basis for encounters, then there will be a lot of player frustration and a lot of newcomers dipping their toes into PF2 and nothing more.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Joe Mucchiello wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

So then, are all feats gained through class advancement then? Or are there still the independent spots for general feats that P1e has?

General feats are also listed in the class advancement chart for your ease of reference just so you don't have to flip back and forth between two places.
How is that convenient when there are five or six books with classes and feats strewn among them? Even if new class feats are not added to old classes in the new book, new general feats will be added and so each list of new general feats will also have to list what classes can use them. And as the list of classes expands, the list of what classes can use what general feats becomes more and more complicated.

I have a suspicion you're misunderstanding what was being discussed. The general feats are listed in the class entry so you know when you get them; this would be like if current edition Pathfinder listed a feat on every class table for all the odd numbered levels to represent the normal feats you get from leveling.

And general feats are, based on the information released so far, available to all classes, so there wouldn't be any complication related to who gets them.


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willuwontu wrote:
SSuser wrote:
I may have missed this, but "8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric". Was this a typo? Is it d8 + con, or 8 + con?
Flat 8 + con

Read it the same - all classes getting flat values (+ CON mod).

Given that most pbp I've ever been part of has run with the 1/2 HD+1 standard for hit point level increases rather than rolling, this is no biggie.

Out of interest has there been any mention of Favoured Class options? Am wondering if they will be wrapped up into class feats (not the generic HP/Skill Point option, but the class specific favoured class options)...

Shadow Lodge

SSuser wrote:
I'm betting there will be a fighter feat that gives them an extra attack. More or less.

i'm guessing more likely what we'll see are things like charge that was mentioned previously...where they can move twice and attack for two actions instead of three...ways to give fighters the ability to combine attacks with other actions so they have the chance to hit with multiple attacks in a round more frequently instead of just piling on more attacks with higher to-hit modifiers...


Black Dow wrote:
Out of interest has there been any mention of Favoured Class options? Am wondering if they will be wrapped up into class feats (not the generic HP/Skill Point option, but the class specific favoured class options)...

There hasn't, but I'm betting they're getting rolled into ancestry feats.


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Hythlodeus wrote:
every time a dice roll is removed from the game, a part of me dies :(

As opposed to having a potentially weak-sauce random roll HP character who could die at any juncture of a game with annoying regularity?

I'll take flat HP values everytime thanks :)

Shadow Lodge

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I really like the starfinder stat increases. Not just the mechanical aspects of it, but the real level up you've done some stuff , you worked on your abilities, trained hard, and learned some stuff along the way. Things that +1 stat every 4 hd just doesn't really encapsulate.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Still just really hoping the skills aren’t losing their granularity. That, to me, would be really unfortunate for my ‘feel’ of the game.

Unfortunately, it's already confirmed that they will be. So far it's looking like everyone will be about the same as far as rolling the skills since it's Ability Score Modifier + Level (with the proficiency levels only giving +1s numerically, as they will primarily be prerequisites for skill unlocks) and improving skills will only give you more ways to use them instead of making you any better at them.


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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.

Not useless, just not used to add bonus to your skills. But still useful to qualify for feats. +1 to DEX might be the difference between being able to buy Step Up and Strike or not.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

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.

THIS.


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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

So do feats have level requirements as well? It'd be great to see something like:

Sudden Charge (Fighter 1, General 5) - meaning a Fighter can take the feat as a class feat at level 1+, and any other character can take it as a general feat at level 5+.

Can't favorite this post enough! It would solve the issue of feats being "locked behind" classes. Some abilities should 100% be class specific, but I think others are fine with just being preferential to a class and avialable later. Also sharing them would eliminate the hard barriers they ended up building betwen classes (In theory bigger ones than in PF1).

Good job!

They have done this at least a little bit in PF1e, for example with style feats. Lots of style feats have prereqs like "Monk level 5 or Character level 9".

It would definitely be welcome if they did it more in PF2e, though. Most style feats are considered niche even for Monks, let alone for everyone else.

The most common explanation I've heard for feat taxes is give Fighters an advantage with their large number of feats. Giving feats alternative level prerequisites would be a better way of accomplishing the same thing, IMO, and getting rid of feat taxes is undeniably a good thing.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cylerist wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"

I'd rather be able to choose an item that I think is cool than be forced to pick an item like Ring of Protection so that I can survive combat. If making characters progress on their own eliminates the need of choosing optimal items and allows for the chance to pick inventive and thematic choices without sacrificing my combat capabilities then, to me, that is a great thing.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also that portrait of Harsk looks great


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Does anyone know how attributes are done at first level?

I know it's something like Starfinder but sorta different?


Biztak wrote:
Also that portrait of Harsk looks great

Where? I haven't found the new Iconic stuff


Look up. :)


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Whups haha, tunnel vision on the text when I read it


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
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.

Argh! Please, no!

Brings back horrific memories of trying to find 4E powers, which were alphabetically separated by class and level, and if you didn't know both class and level good freakin' luck finding them!

Things are bad enough now with things scattered across my 30+ hardbacks which at least are (mostly) in order. Yes, Advanced Class Guide, I am glaring at you.


Biztak wrote:
Cylerist wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"

I'd rather be able to choose an item that I think is cool than be forced to pick an item like Ring of Protection so that I can survive combat. If making characters progress on their own eliminates the need of choosing optimal items and allows for the chance to pick inventive and thematic choices without sacrificing my combat capabilities then, to me, that is a great thing.

Very yes! It's why ABP is such a great system, even if it has some downsides (Players almost never get magic loot and modules/APs dont mesh that great with it).

Having a hard time believing that some people can't imagine a world without Belt of Stats and stuff, or refuse to live in it. To each their own, I guess...


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gbonehead wrote:
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.

Argh! Please, no!

Brings back horrific memories of trying to find 4E powers, which were alphabetically separated by class and level, and if you didn't know both class and level good freakin' luck finding them!

Things are bad enough now with things scattered across my 30+ hardbacks which at least are (mostly) in order. Yes, Advanced Class Guide, I am glaring at you.

At the same time, alphabetical order only provides information if you know the name. Sorting by content might be better than sorting by name.

Liberty's Edge

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gbonehead wrote:
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.

Argh! Please, no!

Brings back horrific memories of trying to find 4E powers, which were alphabetically separated by class and level, and if you didn't know both class and level good freakin' luck finding them!

Things are bad enough now with things scattered across my 30+ hardbacks which at least are (mostly) in order. Yes, Advanced Class Guide, I am glaring at you.

You missed the part where the suggestion included a sidebar listing them all alphabetically


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gbonehead wrote:
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.

Argh! Please, no!

Brings back horrific memories of trying to find 4E powers, which were alphabetically separated by class and level, and if you didn't know both class and level good freakin' luck finding them!

Things are bad enough now with things scattered across my 30+ hardbacks which at least are (mostly) in order. Yes, Advanced Class Guide, I am glaring at you.

Look at this, from the post you quoted:

"(with a sidebar giving them all alphabetically)"
So you look at the sidebar, see the level, then lookup the level table?
[EDIT] Ninja'd!

Lantern Lodge

I've always enjoyed customization, but adding a slew of class options as "feats" to each class makes my eye twitch a little. Sure the customization is great, but its not very friendly for new or casual players. I run a lot of new players of all age groups, and in my experience they often gravitate away from the Oracle or other classes with a smorgasbord of choices, and go for the simpler classes. Its a lot easier to get started when you have a class table that says "at level X you get y" than At level X, select one choice between A and Z". Feat selection for new players is difficult enough, and they currently only get 1 every few levels. Making that an every level task can be quite daunting.

Also will the class feat descriptions be included under the class entries? I personally am not a fan of twenty page entries per class. Perhaps place a table with a list of feat choices per level, then load the feats into their own section like spells? Otherwise I feel flipping through the class section of the book will become quite tedious, as you thumb through 30 pages of feat descriptions to find the class title page your looking for.

((thumbs pages, "cleric feats, cleric feats, cleric feats" Grumbles", 'Druid feats, oops, back up, nope more cleric feats. Oh finally the druid splash page"))

Kassegore


Mnemaxa wrote:
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.

Yup there was some edge case utility for the +1 from theme bonus but I can see some peoples complaints about it. I really do like the attribute raising every 5 levels and the way that's done. It is a lot easier to have a well rounded character while still being able to focus hard on a stat or two.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
the blog wrote:
(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.)

Ahhhhhhhh! Multi-classing is my favorite. Why are you making us wait? Will this blog be coming this week? Next week?

Mark Moreland wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
race (seriously, why?) ancestry feat
One advantage of using the term "ancestry" is that the same rule category can then cover both race/species, as well as ethnicity or subrace. It opens up a huge design space for very specific ancestries (maybe someday we'd have a book about noble lineages) that would have required an additional subsystem in 1E.

Excellent! This is exactly what I imagined was the cause for the rename (rather than "political correctness" or whatever people thought they were upset about). This is a very exciting idea.

Grand Lodge

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.

Hello! I am the product of my player trying to make a Glorfindel type (my player is second-guessing his melee-weapon choices). In many ways, I am a reaction to how few Elven characters my player has encountered in PFS/PF resemble the terrifying Elven warrior that the orcs mistake Samwise for in Mordor.

So excited for how Ancestry feats in PF2 can make this idea even better!


kaid wrote:
Mnemaxa wrote:
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.
Yup there was some edge case utility for the +1 from theme bonus but I can see some peoples complaints about it. I really do like the attribute raising every 5 levels and the way that's done. It is a lot easier to have a well rounded character while still being able to focus hard on a stat or two.

16 + 2 = 18

17 + 1 = 18


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Porridge wrote:
It doesn’t work well with (say) the Technomancer or Mystic who don’t care about 2 of the 6 stats (Str, Cha), and so has no interesting choices to make.

Tell that to my grenade-throwing ysoki technomancer. He'll lob a frag grenade at you if you're lucky. If you're not, he'll demonstrate why he's the best gunner in the party and shoot you with the starship's guns.

What I'm saying is that in his case, four of the six are important; Str to throw, Dex for grenade DCs and starship role, Con to not get killed while he's close enough to succeed with grendades, and Int because spells. It feels wrong to leave Wis and Cha as dump stats, but I admit they're not essential to the build.


SSuser wrote:
I may have missed this, but "8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric". Was this a typo? Is it d8 + con, or 8 + con?

I believe it is like starfinder so each class has a hp mod that they use every level. So for a cleric it is probably 8 or 10 so they don't roll they just get that much + con bonus every level. And at first level you get some racial HP boost to that as well typically less for smaller races and more for larger or more hardy ones.

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

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Zaister wrote:
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
The Return of the Runelords is not considered world shaking?
I guess it's the PCs job in that campaign to prevent the shaking of the world.

As the FAQ says, it's also an effort to ensure as many of the events that have the potential to reshape the setting's baseline assumptions happen on-screen rather than in between two printings of books the players have no agency in. That doesn't mean every change will be player-facing (after all, we have dozens of heads of state that have been in power for decades; some of them may change due to simple progression of time rather than political upheaval) but as many of the large ones as we can feature in APs, Pathfinder Society, etc., the better.


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Lemartes wrote:
kaid wrote:
Mnemaxa wrote:
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.
Yup there was some edge case utility for the +1 from theme bonus but I can see some peoples complaints about it. I really do like the attribute raising every 5 levels and the way that's done. It is a lot easier to have a well rounded character while still being able to focus hard on a stat or two.

16 + 2 = 18

17 + 1 = 18

Yes this is true. Some of the edge cases I was talking about utilitywise are things like carrying capacity for the plus str can be useful and there are also feat prereqs that it can help you reach at level one but overall the extra +1 theme bonus stat is not super useful. It sounds like they are doing the level one attribute stuff a bit differently in pathfinder 2 so I am curious how they work that. I do like they are doing the as you level attribute boost like starfinder though. Nice to be able to do more than just one or two things at any level of proficiency and have decent save stats without gimping yourself to get them. I am betting they are probably going make it a lot harder to gain a lot of plus attributes via exterior means kinda like what they did in starfinder. Helps for the you were taken prisoner and now you suck because you don't have all your attribute gear that made your character work problem.


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Biztak wrote:
Cylerist wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"

I'd rather be able to choose an item that I think is cool than be forced to pick an item like Ring of Protection so that I can survive combat. If making characters progress on their own eliminates the need of choosing optimal items and allows for the chance to pick inventive and thematic choices without sacrificing my combat capabilities then, to me, that is a great thing.

Am I the only cynic who reckons if you get rid of the need for the big 6 then it won't be long before the replacements are decided upon whatever they may be and we are right back to people complaining about the new 'big 4' that everyone has to have.


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Leveling up: At first I didn't mind this, but the more I think about it the more problems it sounds like it brings up. Is every monster worth the same XP? Are DMs gonna have to do APL calculations and compare that to encounter level like this is 3.0? Is there going to be a simple (10% for each point of CR difference) progressive bonus/penalty for each point of CR that the monster CR differs from the players' character level? All in all, this is looking like the best change from PF1e. I'm cautious towards it, and if it is done well I probably would be neutral towards the change, but it doesn't seem like an absolute disaster like some of the other revelations.

Feats: I still don't like the idea of class feats. Even in PF1e I felt like some feats, like Critical Mastery, were unfairly and unnecessarily locked behind a class requirement. It there were general feats every level instead of the system you proposed, I think that would go a long way towards letting characters feel better about taking weaker feats for flavor/RP purposes, but it would probably require longer feat trees or weakening the general power of the "good" feats, neither of which I would like.

Ability scores: I don't especially like or dislike the Starfinder system. It does kind of fix the "odd problem" of 3.x, but only up to 18 in a stat. If there's anything in D&D 5e at all (I mean it, I really don't like 5e) that Paizo should add to their game, it's the idea of getting two "points" per ability score increase to apply to your stats as you see fit. Still, if the Starfinder system was tweaked a bit, I think it could be a really good system, I just dislike a few of the details.

Retraining: I've never liked retraining in TTRPGs. Every time I've played in a campaign that the DM allowed it, it's always taken so long it's hard to fit it into an adventurer's schedule (usually something like 2 months) or it's been so short it's practically at will (about a week). Personally, I prefer the too long method, since it does penalize players who make bad choices or pick up a feat that they know will be of use only for a single level or two. When it's on a short time scale, it always feels really gamey. If you can completely forget a skill you learned over the last two levels and pick up a completely different one in a week, why can't you grab more feats by spending a slightly longer amount of time to just learn the new skill without forgetting the other? In fact, why do you forget the other, besides the mechanics say so? My character isn't a Pokemon! Will a message pop up and say, "GEODUDE forgot TACKLE and learned MAGNITUDE!"?

Yes, I have had a character that required retraining.


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Cylerist wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"

One of the things 4E actually got right was making certain item classes automatically incorporate "Big 6" things just from their item slot. So it wasn't a matter of choosing between a cloak of boosting saves vs a cloak of flavorful abilities; ALL cloaks would boost saves, so they could ALL have flavorful abilities. And so on.

I'd love to see this come to PF2E, and more besides. Honestly, 4E had a lot of good individual ideas in a vacuum. It's just the system as a whole and meta decisions like "every class is a spellcaster with the same progression" that caused it to fail to gel and become unfun.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Milo v3 wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
In the Know Direction podcast they said that Warpriest would be doable fairly easily, but Investigator would be more work.
Which I find odd, since the main thing about investigator is that it's an alchemist but with a high focus on skills. I'd have thought that'd mean Alchemist + many Skill feats would suffice for that.

Depending on what you're looking for from investigator, you might be able to pull it off just fine with the playtest book, honestly, choosing the right feats. It would work as a starter as you describe. But warpriest style is even easier than that, so it might be that warpriest is easy and investigator is medium, rather than saying investigator is super hard.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Dαedαlus wrote:
I personally don't terribly mind the SF leveling-up method (it just means you get your +1 to an ability a bit later, and get extra abilities as a bonus), so long as we keep PF-style ability score generation. I don't want an arbitrary cap on my limits- just make higher scores cost more and it works out fine. The 1-1 ability score generation just further encourages min-maxing your important ability scores, rather than spreading points out a bit more.

We are not using that generation method. As Logan hinted in the blog itself, the stat generation is more organically tied to your character concept and helps you spread around your ability scores if you like. As it so happens, you also wind up with slightly higher overall starting stats, than in Starfinder mainly in your less important ability scores that you're fleshing out for RP purposes, though I'm considering using the PF2 statgen system the next time I run a Starfinder home game as it's more generous to multi-stat classes at low levels, like solarians.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Leyren wrote:
The True Monk wrote:
I'm on board with everything except the 1000 XP for every level. The three advancement tracks were great for choosing how fast a GM wanted their group to level up, and I'm sad to see that go. The system could be altered without abandoning it entirely, and I fear this new system could be restrictive for homebrew games that don't have a premade dosage of encounters pre-balanced to have PCs level up after a set number of challenges. It sounds like the Starfinder Society's "1 xp per adventure, 3 xp gives you a level up", but not all gamers like that.
The 1000xp rule is so good because your issues can be resolved with one sentence, e.g. "if you want your players to level faster, they gain a level at 800 xp. if you want them to level slower, they gain a level at 1,250xp instead of 1,000xp."

This is a good insight. I'm going to tell you an exciting way you can expand that concept even further, also in one sentence that would fit right after your sentence: "You can even vary the XP level by level to change the rate of advancement." So if your group wants to accelerate into the level 7-11 range, stay there for a good long time, and then accelerate up to a level 20 finale, you could require fewer XP to level for each level up to 7, then more XP to level from 7-11, then fewer again up to 20. And it's easy to tweak those knobs because 1000 is an easy number. Want 50% more content in a level? OK, 1500 XP it is!

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