Are You Proficient?

Friday, March 16, 2018

The term "proficiency" has been a part of the Pathfinder rules since the very beginning, but in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we've expanded the concept to cover more than just weapons and armor. In the new proficiency system, your proficiency matters for just about every check you attempt and DC you have. You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow—instead, proficiency covers everything from axes to spells, from Acrobatics to Thievery, and from Perception to Will saves. Your proficiency in Fortitude saves can allow you to shake off virulent poisons in an instant, and your proficiency in Diplomacy might help you stop a fight before it begins. There are five different ranks of proficiency.

Untrained

An untrained character lacks even basic proficiency. He adjusts his checks and DCs by –2 and sometimes flat-out can't attempt certain things. For instance, someone who is untrained in Thievery might be able to try to steal from someone but isn't skilled enough to pick a lock, no matter how high level he is.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Trained

A trained character has put in enough work that she's able to perform effectively. She can even start taking skill feats to achieve new and special effects with her skills. Many skill feats grow more and more powerful as your proficiency rank increases.

Expert

An expert is particularly accomplished in a particular field, adjusting her checks and DCs by +1, and gains access to more powerful features requiring expertise.

Master

A master is extremely skilled in an area, and she can achieve incredible results. In addition to adjusting her checks and DCs by +2, she may unlock powerful perks like master-level skill feats for skills, or the ability to dodge fireballs completely for Reflex saves. Other than a few classes like fighters, with their incredible command of weapons, characters can't become masters until level 7 at the earliest, and sometimes much later.

Legendary

A legendary character is world-class, and in addition to adjusting checks and DCs by +3, can routinely produce results that defy real-world explanation, even if they're not a spellcaster. For instance, a character who is legendary in Survival could learn to survive without food, water, or air in a featureless void, a character legendary in Thievery might be able to steal the armor off a guard, and a character with a legendary Will save might have a mind so strong that no mental intrusion can fully affect him. Most characters can't hope to become legendary until level 15 at the earliest, and even the mightiest fighters reach these heights with their weapons only at level 13. Most characters become legendary in only a few skills and one or two other statistics.

Proficiency Modifier

Your proficiency modifier is based partly on your rank and partly on your level—you add your level to the modifier from your rank to determine your proficiency modifier. For instance, a level 20 rogue who is legendary at Stealth might have a +23 proficiency modifier, while a level 1 paladin who is untrained at Stealth might have a –1 proficiency modifier. But does that mean that your level 20 untrained and magic-hating barbarian knows more about arcane magic than your friend's level 1 bibliophile wizard does? Not really. Your barbarian, with her extensive experience in battle, might be able to identify a dragon's weaknesses much better than the wizard with his ivory-tower book learning, but when it comes to magical theory, identifying the gestures that compose a spell, or other such topics, your barbarian simply doesn't know anything at all.

Gaining Proficiency

For most of your statistics, your starting proficiencies are determined by your class, though for skills, you can assign your ranks as you choose among any of the skills in the game. When it comes to leveling up, all classes gain skill rank increases at every odd-numbered level (or more often for the rogue!). Your other proficiencies increase based on your class and feat choices.

Making the Nonmagical Extraordinary

The best part about proficiencies is the way they push the boundaries for nonmagical characters, particularly those with a legendary rank. If you're legendary in something, you're like a character out of real-world myth and legend, swimming across an entire sea while beating up sea monsters like Beowulf, performing unbelievable tasks like Heracles, or hunting and racing at astounding speeds like Atalanta. While we did perform a bit of research on things like real world Olympic records and average expectations when it came to the lower ranks, masters and especially legends break all those rules. Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!

And that's the basics of how proficiency works! Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

From the way the Proficiency Modifier paragraph is written, it appears that nothing but character level and rank factor into the bonus, as there is no mention of applying an ability score modifier. That isn't true, is it?


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Overall, this seems like a good new design direction for the game. Some may decry the change from putting ranks in skills every level (and for myself, I'll wait till the playtest to pass judgment) but realistically the investment of individual skill ranks into a skill had a comparatively minor impact on your character as a whole. This changes all that, with proficiency increases being immediately impactful for your character.

I also very much look forward to seeing what kind of skill feats are available in the new system. Being able to specialize in one specific aspect of a skill (like jumping for Athletics) makes this system even better, actually, at allowing players to customize their characters.

Lastly, I'm intrigued and excited by the concept of Legendary proficiencies allowing for impressive and impossible abilities outside of the realm of magic. I hope that this will make proficiencies and skillful characters in general more useful as the game progresses, instead of everything getting surpassed by powerful spells as it did in 1st edition.


Sounds nice.

The skill proficiency levels remind me of skill unlocks from PF1 (You got different abilities based on your "proficiency" in a skill).

Are things like call truce and antagonize going to be things you can do using intimidate and diplomacy when you reach certain proficiency levels?


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I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.


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This was one of my largest misgivings when the Proficiency system was announced.

It was actually one of the large turnoffs of 4th Edition.

Giving everyone a +level bonus to all skill checks makes the +level bonus meaningless.


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I just hope that Heal gets to be good at healing... preferably before Legendary Proficiency. Especially if wands are getting gimped, this is the perfect time for the rise of the Mundane Healer.


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Seems kind of like what I was afraid it would be.


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Nice. This all makes sense for skills and saves. I really want to know how it applies to spells, weapons, and armor. Do you have a proficiency with spells or do you have variable proficiency within the 8 schools of magic? Similarly when you are proficient with weapons do you gain proficiency with all of them or a subset like weapon groups? Does your proficiency modifier apply to armor and/or shields?


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This system is almost as flat as 5E, and I don't love that. I'm curious to see what you can and can't do, but the fact remains, my level 5 Legendary Stealther has the same base stealth score as your level 10 Untrained Stealther.

I'd like to see more variance in the bonuses/penalties here, perhaps based on level. I like the notion of these ranks, but I think the bonuses they grant are underwhelming.


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Does Intelligence affect the number of skill proficiency that a character gain? I hoping that it does.

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I personally appreciate the granularity of the ranks per level system. Rules Artificer, I think it does make a difference. A +4 change to a skill because you drop a single rank in something strategically can make a character play different, even though the number does not seem to make that much different.

I will wait and see with the playtest, but this feels like the 5e skills straight jacket.

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David knott 242 wrote:

From the way the Proficiency Modifier paragraph is written, it appears that nothing but character level and rank factor into the bonus, as there is no mention of applying an ability score modifier. That isn't true, is it?

That is what proficiency modifier is, yes. But proficiency modifier is only one modifier you apply to your check. Ability modifier, anything you get from your item, bonuses from your spells, circumstance bonuses, etc are still going to add on.


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Really like the unlock nature of the proficiency levels for skills, but I'm hoping feats like Skill Focus still exist. A check range of 5 between legendary and untrained seems too small for me. I understand that the legendary character will be able to do things the untrained character couldn't, but they should have a larger advantage when attempting basic uses of the skills. Maybe a feat that gives bonuses to uses of the skill unlocked below your current proficiency rating?

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I both intrigued and confused :3


This is all speculation, but here is my guess for something like a dwarf fighter. Fighters get 3 weapon groups at skilled, 1 weapon group at expert. They get all armor and shield proficiencies. They get two skill proficiencies from their class at skilled from a small list. They also get a proficiency at Fortitutde. From Dwarf, they get 2 ancestor proficiencies at skilled from a list, including weapon groups like axes or hammers at skilled. They get a skilled proficiency per level of Int. Finally they get 1 proficiency at skilled from their background, which could be anything.


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@Mark Seifter, this is very interesting, but how will it actually work? The difference between Trained and Legendary is only +2, so how will Legendary enable physics defying superhuman feats? Is there a comprehensive list of things at each level of proficiency that can only be attempted by characters of that rank or higher? If so, that's going to be very tricky for you to get right! One of the biggest complaints about PF1 was skill feats that "gave" you the ability to attempt things most people assumed you should have been able to do already. An oft quoted example is the bird calls feat from Ultimate Wilderness. If implemented incorrectly, the new proficiency system could potentially end up entrenching one of the more hated elements from PF1.

A few concrete details and examples of how this actually works in play would greatly help the community grasp how you're going to pull off what sounds like a cool idea with a lot of potential and dodge the obvious but not necessarily easily avoided pitfalls. Thanks Mark!


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That is an unbelievably flat bonus distribution. One would think there might be slightly more difference between someone untrained and a legend.


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tivadar27 wrote:

This system is almost as flat as 5E, and I don't love that. I'm curious to see what you can and can't do, but the fact remains, my level 5 Legendary Stealther has the same base stealth score as your level 10 Untrained Stealther.

I'd like to see more variance in the bonuses/penalties here, perhaps based on level. I like the notion of these ranks, but I think the bonuses they grant are underwhelming.

I think they are shifting the focus from bonuses to deeds. As you increases your proficiency level you will be capable of more extraordinary deeds, and looks like you don't access does level by just having ranks.


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I do think I'll miss the granularity of skill ranks. Do proficiencies automatically scale up, or is it easy to become Trained in a skill, then never worry about it again? What if I just want to represent the fact my character enjoys rock climbing? Can I just make Athletics 'trained' without it influencing any skills I might actually use?

Also, if I might make a suggestion? Perhaps the Untrained modifier could be 1/2 level-2. That way, your 'holier than thou, I shall smite thee, evildoer!' level 20 paladin who never tried the subtle approach in his life wouldn't immediately be better than the level 5 rogue who 'was born in the dark, and by the time he saw the light, it was nothing but blinding!'

Well, I suppose that's what the playtest is for. I do like the idea of some uses for skills, even if they are consolidated (which I have mixed feelings for) simply being blocked off unless they're trained. That said, what if I want to make a master pickpocketer who can't pick a lock for the life of him? What then? Or the other way around- someone who could analyze and pop a lock in seconds, but whose fingers just won't delicately grab something from another person's pocket regardless of how much he tries?

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Dαedαlus wrote:

I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.

Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story.

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Dαedαlus wrote:
I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

A lot of people were saying this about Feats, too, and I don't get it. Everything that acts in a similar way is called the same thing. Proficiencies are things that you can be more or less skilled at than other people, Feats are abilities that you either have or don't have. What's confusing about that?

Quote:
Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

They'll be better at succeeding at certain checks, but remember that they won't even be able to attempt checks that require training. So they might be good at, say, keeping their footing on the deck or climbing the rigging because of their years of adventuring, but they won't even be able to make a check to discern one fancy sailing knot from another. Remember, Profession checks are trained only in PF1, no reason to think they wouldn't still require training.


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Quote:
Your proficiency modifier is based partly on your rank and partly on your level—you add your level to the modifier from your rank to determine your proficiency modifier.

So no bonus from your ability score modifier?

I also like how this reminds me of the skill unlocks from Pathfinder Unchained. Now, it's just more than "how high is my skill to hit that DC", now you have abilities/things you can do depending on your proficiency level.

And I have to say, I am a bit confused on your modifier. From you Leveling Up blog post, you indicated you will still have skill ranks to put into your skills, just not every level. How does that work with your skill going up from level (when trained), as well? Is it level, plus skill rank and proficiency modifier?

Edit: Ok, Mark got my question on the ability score modifier. Thanks!

But my question still stands from the last paragraph.


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Not a fan, I'd rather completely divorce the skill system from the level system altogether. If we keep skill points and ranks but instead of having the skill cap being your level+3, but made it 25 and non-class skills 20 you could make a level one character a world class blacksmith or diplomat. I know this completely throws DC off balance, and I‘m sure many people would hate this, since you could drop all of your points (stupidly I might ad)d into one skill, but I would love the freedom. This system feels too restrictive.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
That is an unbelievably flat bonus distribution. One would think there might be slightly more difference between someone untrained and a legend.

How about the fact that they can take feats that will completely change how they can use those skills? Plus you can't just ignore that ability score bonuses will still make a difference.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I'm kind of leery about this, especially the wizard vs barbarian comparison. If, for some reason, the barbarian decided to up their proficiency level in <relevant skill>, does that expand the nature of what they know about arcane magic? Are there artificial limiters by class on skills? Is there a functional difference between a wizard and a fighter who have the same level of proficiency in axes? Arcane knowledge? How is the GM instructed to arbitrate that? I would anticipate that an expert is an expert is an expert, but the initial read of this could be strangely interpreted.


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It still means that skill level is worth not a minuscule part of standard day to say success and on the basics of the skills, there isn’t much difference.

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tivadar27 wrote:
This system is almost as flat as 5E, and I don't love that. I'm curious to see what you can and can't do, but the fact remains, my level 5 Legendary Stealther has the same base stealth score as your level 10 Untrained Stealther.

No, this system is flatter than 5E, and bear in mind that the skill system is the most controversial and widely-disliked part of 5E.

At mid-level, 5E's system goes mod+0 (untrained), mod+4 (trained), mod+8 (expert); meaning that if he's allowed to roll, the untrained guy beats the expert one time out of six.

Compare P2's proposed system, which goes mod-2 (untrained), mod (trained), mod+1 (expert). That means that on any task the rookie is allowed to roll for, he'll beat the expert about one time out of three.

...somebody who loses to a rookie 33% of the time is NOT what I'd call an expert.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

From the way the Proficiency Modifier paragraph is written, it appears that nothing but character level and rank factor into the bonus, as there is no mention of applying an ability score modifier. That isn't true, is it?

That is what proficiency modifier is, yes. But proficiency modifier is only one modifier you apply to your check. Ability modifier, anything you get from your item, bonuses from your spells, circumstance bonuses, etc are still going to add on.

I think this should have been emphasized a little more in the blog. Skills are flatter, but not +/- 2 flat.


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You're forgetting that the rookie is likely not allowed to make checks for expert-level tasks at all.


So there is proficiency for certain skills depending on the class with a bonus of character level + 0/1/2/3 but there are also skill points every second level to distribute on skills the character is untrained in?

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As I've said in another thread, not counting any sort of temporary buff effects or circumstance bonuses or penalties, it is possible to build two level 20 characters in PF2 with an all-day gap between their bonuses in the same skill of around 17-18. Proficiency is one piece of that split, with a potential gap up to 5 (and 5 is a really big advantage; all other modifiers being equal, which is almost certainly an overestimate of the untrained character, and rolling the same number on a d20, half of the untrained character's successes are critical successes for the legendary character, and half of the untrained character's failures are successes for the legendary character).


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Kurald Galain wrote:
tivadar27 wrote:
This system is almost as flat as 5E, and I don't love that. I'm curious to see what you can and can't do, but the fact remains, my level 5 Legendary Stealther has the same base stealth score as your level 10 Untrained Stealther.

No, this system is flatter than 5E, and bear in mind that the skill system is the most controversial and widely-disliked part of 5E.

At mid-level, 5E's system goes mod+0 (untrained), mod+4 (trained), mod+8 (expert); meaning that if he's allowed to roll, the untrained guy beats the expert one time out of six.

Compare P2's proposed system, which goes mod-2 (untrained), mod (trained), mod+1 (expert). That means that on any task the rookie is allowed to roll for, he'll beat the expert about one time out of three.

...somebody who loses to a rookie 33% of the time is NOT what I'd call an expert.

It's true. In the typical case where you're comparing characters of equal level, the math is significantly flatter than 5e. It's less flat when you compare characters of widely disparate levels, but how often does that come up in play?


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edduardco wrote:
I think they are shifting the focus from bonuses to deeds. As you increases your proficiency level you will be capable of more extraordinary deeds, and looks like you don't access does level by just having ranks.

I get this, and obviously I haven't seen this in action in Pathfinder, but I do know this is a serious problem in 5E, so it's something I was on the lookout for given the initial description. I don't have more confidence now that this will be better than I did before, and I don't know if unlocks will compensate for this or not, or if there will be other solutions to widen the gap.

I also *really* don't like the heavy level dependence here. Basically it means that a level 10 is +5 better at everything than a level 5. Yes, they should be significantly better, but a linear scale-up doesn't seem like the way to go. The proficiency bonus in 5E was actually better, I think.

The problem boils down to the fact that lumping these together might have created some problems. I expect my ability to hit an enemy with an attack to scale approximately linearly with level, but not my ability to sneak by them (unless I train that skill in particular).

Potential fixes:
Have the -1, +1, +2, +3 be multiplied by something like a proficiency bonus (similar to 5e) that scales with level, or have the bonuses and penalties be some fraction of your level rather than static (nonproficient is -1/4th level, expert +1/4th level, master +1/2 level, legend +3/4 level).

Once again, we'll see how it all plays out... EDIT: Given some of the feedback, if there are other ways to increase your skill bonuses outside of proficiencies, and proficiencies just dictate what skill uses you have access too, that could be fine. It just feels odd, particularly given that we also have Skill FEATS, and you'd figure *those* would determine what you had access to...


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Anyone else sees a resemblance to Skyrim?


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Here, this is what I am referring to from the Leveling Up! blog post:

Quote:
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!

Where do those come into play? The increase in skills (I am guessing you choose similar to PF1?). This doesn't sound like your "level+modifiers", as it's every other level.


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As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't, this makes me very, very happy. Like, facing facts, Muhammad Ali (or your choice of amazing real-life athlete/combatant/warrior/what-have-you) should be comparable to, say, a 4th level brawler.

The focus on what you can do instead of just how good you are at doing what everyone can do? Amazing.

Like, I think the best way I can sum up my feelings on this? We should let fantasy be fantastic, and this DOES.

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Hobbun wrote:

Here, this is what I am referring to from the Leveling Up! blog post:

Quote:
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!
Where do those come into play? The increase in skills (I am guessing you choose similar to PF1?). This doesn't sound like your "level+modifiers", as it's every other level.

That is one of the ways you can increase your ranks in a skill.


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Except someone who is fantastic should also be appreciably better at the mundane things too.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
As I've said in another thread, not counting any sort of temporary buff effects or circumstance bonuses or penalties, it is possible to build two level 20 characters in PF2 with an all-day gap between their bonuses in the same skill of around 17-18. Proficiency is one piece of that split, with a potential gap up to 5 (and 5 is a really big advantage; all other modifiers being equal, which is almost certainly an overestimate of the untrained character, and rolling the same number on a d20, half of the untrained character's successes are critical successes for the legendary character, and half of the untrained character's failures are successes for the legendary character).

And in D&D 5e, you can build 2 level 20 characters with a skill bonus gap of 18, and that's before you factor in equipment. If the Expert character happens to have a magic item that grants +5 or Advantage then the gap grows more still.

Seems like you found roughly the same "sweet spot" for the proficiency math as WOTC.

EDIT: This is isn't a criticism. Just an observation. I happen to think it's the right spread.

EDIT 2: For those of you who are curious, here's how the math works for those two 5E characters:
The untrained character has -1 ability score mod and nothing else. The expert character has +5 from their ability score mod and +12 from expertise, for a total gap of 18. Items that boost skills in 5E typically grant either +5, or Advantage (roll 2d20, drop lowest). If you've got both of those you're looking at an effective bonus of roughly +25, depending on the target DC.


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Bardic Dave wrote:

@Mark Seifter, this is very interesting, but how will it actually work? The difference between Trained and Legendary is only +2, so how will Legendary enable physics defying superhuman feats? Is there a comprehensive list of things at each level of proficiency that can only be attempted by characters of that rank or higher? If so, that's going to be very tricky for you to get right! One of the biggest complaints about PF1 was skill feats that "gave" you the ability to attempt things most people assumed you should have been able to do already. An oft quoted example is the bird calls feat from Ultimate Wilderness. If implemented incorrectly, the new proficiency system could potentially end up entrenching one of the more hated elements from PF1.

A few concrete details and examples of how this actually works in play would greatly help the community grasp how you're going to pull off what sounds like a cool idea with a lot of potential and dodge the obvious but not necessarily easily avoided pitfalls. Thanks Mark!

To be fair, in 1st edition, characters were also giving up 1/10th of their character customization (assuming no bonus feats) just to be able to gain those abilities.

In 2nd edition, skill feats are given to you by your class and can't be used for anything else, so you're not "losing" anything by taking a skill feat giving you new uses for an existing skill.

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Hobbun wrote:

Here, this is what I am referring to from the Leveling Up! blog post:

Quote:
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!
Where do those come into play? The increase in skills (I am guessing you choose similar to PF1?). This doesn't sound like your "level+modifiers", as it's every other level.
That is one of the ways you can increase your ranks in a skill.

And ranks equal level of proficiency?


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I mean, I'm much more concerned that what skills let you do, the core of the Skill system, is suitably awesome. Remember, this will go through months of playtesting, so I'm sure that by the end of it, bonuses will feel sufficiently distinct, be that with a +5 difference or a +15, it just means a few numbers need to be scaled and DCs to match. I'm far less concerned with that and more with the fact that YOU CAN PICKPOCKET ARMOR RIGHT OFF OF A GUARD.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Hobbun wrote:

Here, this is what I am referring to from the Leveling Up! blog post:

Quote:
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!
Where do those come into play? The increase in skills (I am guessing you choose similar to PF1?). This doesn't sound like your "level+modifiers", as it's every other level.
That is one of the ways you can increase your ranks in a skill.

Thanks Mark!

Ok, so it looks like you can have more disparity or variance with still gaining skill points/ranks. So it won't be as flat as we may all think.

Of course it depends on how many skill points we receive every other level, as well. And not sure I like it is not more often. One of my favorite things from PF1 when leveling is where do I put my skill ranks, so that it is cut in half is a bit disappointing.


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I find this very interesting. I'll have to try it out a lot to get a final read on it, but I have to say I really like the somewhat mythic feel the Legendary proficiency levels seem to have.

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It's nice to hear that the bonuses work out at level 20 but this is not representative of common gameplay. I would be more interested to see how things work at level five because it's way more common to play at that level.


Rules Artificer wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:

@Mark Seifter, this is very interesting, but how will it actually work? The difference between Trained and Legendary is only +2, so how will Legendary enable physics defying superhuman feats? Is there a comprehensive list of things at each level of proficiency that can only be attempted by characters of that rank or higher? If so, that's going to be very tricky for you to get right! One of the biggest complaints about PF1 was skill feats that "gave" you the ability to attempt things most people assumed you should have been able to do already. An oft quoted example is the bird calls feat from Ultimate Wilderness. If implemented incorrectly, the new proficiency system could potentially end up entrenching one of the more hated elements from PF1.

A few concrete details and examples of how this actually works in play would greatly help the community grasp how you're going to pull off what sounds like a cool idea with a lot of potential and dodge the obvious but not necessarily easily avoided pitfalls. Thanks Mark!

To be fair, in 1st edition, characters were also giving up 1/10th of their character customization (assuming no bonus feats) just to be able to gain those abilities.

In 2nd edition, skill feats are given to you by your class and can't be used for anything else, so you're not "losing" anything by taking a skill feat giving you new uses for an existing skill.

Good point!

Liberty's Edge

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Hobbun wrote:

Here, this is what I am referring to from the Leveling Up! blog post:

Quote:
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!
Where do those come into play? The increase in skills (I am guessing you choose similar to PF1?). This doesn't sound like your "level+modifiers", as it's every other level.

This is how you go from, for example, Untrained to Trained, or from Expert to Master.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.

Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story.

But that's part of the problem. If your higher level character somehow becomes "trained" in Sailing they immediately jump from "I know the names of some ships" to "I am better at this than everyone on the boat because I'm a 15th level character". That strains credulity. I'm not sure I like the way that level mixes in to this at all.

I'm also not a fan of the low numerical range between "I know nothing" and "I'm a legend". First it eventually gets dwarfed by level, and second the portion of the range between "trained" and "legend" itself seems super small numerically.

Now maybe all of this is less of an issue when you see the specifics of what types of per-skill stuff you unlock as you go from trained to legend, but if that's the case you really need to provide some actual meaningful examples of what those unlocks look like to help sell people on the system, because as it currently stands it's hard to buy in to it.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kurald Galain wrote:
It's nice to hear that the bonuses work out at level 20 but this is not representative of common gameplay. I would be more interested to see how things work at level five because it's way more common to play at that level.

Agreed.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

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Correct me if I am wrong but I just want to be clear:

This isn't just for skills but other aspects of the game, including weapon proficiency and even saves?

Also, proficiency is required for some skill feats/unlocks?

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