Fuzzy Feet and Voles to Meet

Friday, April 13, 2018

Overlooked and disrespected, halflings and gnomes get by in their own way. Human society's misguided expectations don't mean much when you know who you are and what you're about. Let's take a look at the ancestry entries for these folks!

You might also want to take a gander at the Big Beards and Pointy Ears blog to see how dwarves and elves work if you're a fan of ancestries that are entirely too tall and entirely too stuffy.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Halflings

Living among taller folk gives halflings a good bit of perspective and plenty of opportunities to make new friends—plenty of opportunities of all kinds, really. Keep your eyes open and your heart brave, and you can accomplish anything!

Both halflings and gnomes get 8 Hit Points from their respective ancestries, are Small, and have a speed of 20 feet. A halfling speaks Common and Halfling. Halflings have nimble fingers, giving them an ability boost to Dexterity, and are jovial, getting another ability boost in Charisma. They also get one free ability boost to put in any score. Now, there's nothing wrong with how you're made, but halflings do get an ability flaw to Strength. Seems like a better deal, though. Goblins are a bit stronger, but they're not so wise, and good sense is a good trade. (You can read more about goblins here!)

We've mentioned ability boosts and flaws a few times now, so let's go into more detail about how those work! At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

Now, where was I? Halflings, right!

At 1st level and as they level up, halflings can pick up halfling ancestry feats that take advantage of their size, their gumption, and their fabled luck. Distracting Shadows lets them sneak around by using larger creatures as cover. They might also pick up Plucky to overcome fear and other detriments to their emotions. They can take Titan Slinger to get a bonus to damage when using their slings against Large or larger creatures. This bonus increases on critical hits, even before being doubled! Additionally, the sling is now a more formidable weapon than in Pathfinder First Edition—we've both increased its damage and done away with the difference in damage die size between Small and Medium creatures. A halfling with a sling can be pretty dangerous!

One feat we know will be popular is Lucky Halfling, which lets you reroll one skill check or saving throw you fail or critically fail once each day. Rules in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook list traits that apply to feats, often indicating special rules. This one has the fortune trait, which appears on all sorts of things that involve rerolls and manipulating dice in your favor. You can benefit from fortune only once on a given roll, and misfortune can cancel it out.

As mentioned in the blog post about dwarves and elves, ancestry entries suggest some backgrounds you might choose that are common for those of your ancestry. Halflings are often entertainers, acrobats, or street urchins. Many come from hard lives as criminals or laborers.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Gnomes

What's THAT?!

A gnome's life is a constant barrage of the curious, the compelling, the cacophonous, the colorful, and the chaotic. There's always something new to discover. There... kind of has to be. See, gnomes who don't take in enough novel experiences are stricken by the Bleaching—their colorful hair turns white as their minds fall into despair. So let's not do that. Let's explore!

Now, when you're exploring, it's good to be durable because who knows what you might encounter. It helps that gnomes are tough and charming, with ability boosts to Constitution and Charisma, plus their one free ability boost to any other score. Gnomes have a flaw in Strength. Who needs it? Magic's better. And alchemical bombs. Those look fun. Gnomes can speak Common, Gnome, and Sylvan, but might want to study up on some other languages too. They can also see in low light—all the better for exploring into the dusk.

Gnomes came from the First World, the realm of the fey, long ago. Their ancestry feats can reflect this, like Fey Fellowship, which makes a gnome more charismatic when dealing with fey, or First World Magic, which gives the gnome a cantrip spell chosen from a wide number of options (including dancing lights, prestidigitation, and tanglefoot, to name a few).

Discerning Smell lets a gnome truly appreciate peculiar food and drink, or sniff out that invisible orc who's caked in the clay from a particular mountain pass, hasn't bathed in roughly 8 years, and recently ate a live bird. (A swallow, fittingly.) And, of course, you can choose Animal Speaker so you can talk to all your favorite burrowing animals!

A gnome's younger years will no doubt be weird, so they could have any kind of background—even a path they abandoned early on. A gnome might be an entertainer, a merchant, a nomad, an animal whisperer, a barkeep, or a farmhand.

How do these two ancestries stack up? (About 6 feet high, I'd say.) What sort of halfling or gnome characters do you look forward to playing?

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:

Last thing we need is a 4th Dex ancestry or a 4th Cha ancestry, but a 2nd Intelligence option would be fine.

it could be that the rise in ancestries with a bonus to cha is related to the fact that cha determines resonance...


nohar wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

Last thing we need is a 4th Dex ancestry or a 4th Cha ancestry, but a 2nd Intelligence option would be fine.

it could be that the rise in ancestries with a bonus to cha is related to the fact that cha determines resonance...

I guess we could balance "a ton of ancestries give a bonus to charisma and dexterity, but very few give a bonus to wisdom, strength, or intelligence" by having more backgrounds give Wis, Str, and Int than Dex, Con, and Cha.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Catharsis wrote:


I’d say our grassroots movement definitely counts as passionate feedback. I don’t see anything remotely comparable from the pro-Cha folks.

Well, there's the rub. You can have a situation where either decision will lead to passionate feedback to change it the other way, but you're only going to hear that from the people who don't currently have what they want as the status quo. It's a social truth, from something as small as a decision in a roleplaying game all the way up to much bigger ones.


This post made for an interesting read more for the core mechanics that are being changed than for the classes, so I'll get my thoughts on the classes out of the way briefly:

+CHA for all three is pretty unrealistic. Gnomes have been presented as extremely curious, to the point of excluding other concerns that might cause say an Elf to not push the random button they just found in the trap filled dungeon "just to see what it does". That screams INT unleavened by either Charisma or Wisdom. It definitely isn't charismatic.

Goblins just shouldn't have a mental bonus at all, even though that would be an exception to the general rule. They're tougher than Gnomes and Halflings (why wouldn't they be, they had to grow up in a tribe of other Goblins), so DEX/CON makes perfect sense.

That leaves CHA for the Halflings, who are the only race from PE1 that have been presented as socially charismatic anyway.

As far as those saying Goblin/Halfling are too similar, and it somehow lessens halflings, I'd say this. YES, THEY ARE SIMILAR, as in physiologically they are absolutely similar, so it makes perfect sense for them to be similar statwise. In combat, they would likely both excel in the same general roles, so it makes perfect sense that they would excel in the same roles. Making them different is on US as the players. I can see dozens of situations where it would be radically different to be a goblin or a halfling. Not to mention it has always annoyed me that if your party has an evil campaign, and someone wants to be a rogue, they're playing a viciously evil, conniving, bloodthirsty, heartless....halfling? Really? Evil frodo? This is where a goblin could shine so very brightly. I honestly don't understand why there's this ongoing campaign to get rid of the Goblin. Them being a core race in no way forces you to play them, but it gives your group the option to have an evil party rogue who makes any sense at all.

Long story short, why fight against having more options, if you don't like the option...don't take it? And for GM's, if you hate the idea of one of your players being a Goblin, and you're the type of GM who is going to put your personal preferences ahead of your players fully enjoying your campaign, then caveat that the guards in the first town the party visits kill goblins on sight, no exceptions. That's perfectly believable, and boom, now your player isn't playing a goblin anymore. You win, yay for you.

Now on to the more far-reaching and important information revealed in this post, the elimination of damage differences based on size. This is....insanely impactful, in a myriad number of ways.

First and foremost, are the defensive and stealth benefits for being small being universally removed as well? Because if not, I can see some immediate balance issues with "the halfling is twice as hard to hit or spot as the human barbarian because he's smaller, but he hits for the exact same damage as the barbarian because size doesn't matter!" which breaks verisimilitude and balance.

If, on the other hand, ALL inherent bonuses associated with small vs. medium are being removed....why have it at all? Just remove the "small" size category altogether. If its not as tiny as a fairy, or as big as a giant, its just medium, boom, simpler, without balance or logic issues.

Here's another interesting issue that nobody has pointed out. There's been all this discussion of "well what about wielding oversized weapons" etc. etc. You just had the developers tell you there's no damage difference between small and medium weapons. Why would you ever worry about wielding a "medium" Greatsword as a small character, when you can make a "small" Greatsword that does the exact same damage??? By the logic inherent in this design change, the only thing about the weapon that matters is its size in proportion to it's wielder, not in proportion to the rest of the world. All a halfling needs is a blade long enough to be a greatsword compared to himself, and it should do the exact same damage as a blade that is a greatsword in relation to a Hill Giant, based on RAW. Now logically and mechanically I don't agree with that, but we just got told that's how it is, so at least you can stop worrying about having a halfling wield a Giant's 15 foot long greatsword, when he can just wield his own 3 foot long greatsword and do the exact same damage.

Now, you could try to argue "well there are no small greatswords"...but that doesn't make any sense. If you make a weapon 3 feet long that looks exactly like a 6 foot long greatsword, and you put it in a halfling's hands, to him, it's a greatsword, end of discussion. We just got told that absolute size (at least between medium and large) does not affect damage numbers, so only subjective size matters, and it only matters in terms of determining what a weapon is in the hands of the person wielding it. Heck, if you really want to apply the logical implications of this change, think about the following;

A medium human is holding a bladed sword 4 feet in length, which proportionate to him means its a longsword, and has a base damage of 1d6. When he hands the 4 foot long longsword to the Halfling, you now have a halfling holding what is, in porportion to him, a greatsword. Because a small greatsword and a medium greatsword do the same damage RAW, the Longsword, in the halfling's hands, does 1d10 damage instead of 1d6. When he hands it back to the human, it goes back to doing 1d6 base damage.


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I am fine with Gnomes and Gobs as they are. The gnome strikes me as more creatively intelligent than book smart. Give also seem to be bringing with personality, for better or worse.

Halflings, on the other hand, have never really seemed like a chance race. Even going back as far as Tolkien, they seem like down-to-earth simple folk. I'd say they are Wis appropriate even more so in PF lore.


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I still don't know why we still have Ability Score modifiers. Classes no longer have minimum ability scores as prerequisites so if we're not trying to prevent certain Ancestries from persuing certain design opinions, what purpose do they serve?


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

25’ move speed is normal now, so I wouldn’t really call it “at least”.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GentleGiant wrote:

It's rather funny to watch all the opponents of the proposed ability boosts for the 3 small races not being able to agree on what other stats should get boosted instead. Clearly it's not as clear cut as some think it is.

And people can still get a +2 to the other stat they think is more "natural" for said ancestry, by using the floating boost.

It's more that the anti-Goblin crew are realizing Goblins will make it into the Playtest in the very least and are trying hard to get rid of Charisma for their boosted mental stat. The folk who believe Halflings are wiser than charismatic are pushing dropping Charisma for Wisdom, and the Gnome folk are split between Charisma for a feyish race and Intelligence for the gaming-historical aspect of the gnome being an illusionist and trickster type.

If Paizo put up a poll for the three races to see which was preferred, no doubt you'd see Goblins not get a lot of votes because the anti-Goblin folk would hope ignoring that poll would show they're against Goblins being in the game, and the Wisdom-for-Halflings crew would be far more dominant while Intelligence-or-Charisma for Gnomes is far more evenly split.

To be honest, if I were to go with the stats for the various races?

Elf: Int and Dex bonus*, Con penalty
Dwarf: Wis and Con bonus*, Dex penalty
Gnome: Int and Con bonus*, Str penalty
Halfling: Wis and Dex bonus*, Str penalty
Goblin: Cha and Dex bonus*, Wis penalty
Half-elf: Cha bonus*
Half-orc: Str bonus*
Human: two floating bonuses

*Also one floating bonus.

I also think that Half-elves and Half-orcs should be put in a Half-blooded category, and expand that to initially include Tieflings and Aasimar. Later, Elemental half-blooded (Sylphs and crew), Fetchlings, Fey-touched, Changelings, and other part-human races could be included... perhaps even including half-dwarves and half-goblins.

As for why I'd give Dwarves a Dex penalty instead of Charisma? It seems derivative to give them a Charisma penalty, especially as that penalizes their use of magic weapons and armor, and given the myths and stories often have dwarvish craftmanship being used in enchanted weapons and armor... well, it just seems odd to me. Dwarves are sturdy and slower, not as apt to duck out of the way of a blow but far more likely to weather it and return twofold what was given.

Scarab Sages

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Well, there's the rub. You can have a situation where either decision will lead to passionate feedback to change it the other way, but you're only going to hear that from the people who don't currently have what they want as the status quo. It's a social truth, from something as small as a decision in a roleplaying game all the way up to much bigger ones.

Sure, but this is not a «pro Wis» thread where those who live in the same bubble congregate. It's the «Halflings in general» thread, presumably frequented by everyone interested in Halflings, which should include a proportional fraction of the «pro Cha» people. Shouldn't the avalanche of pro-Wis support apparent in this thread endanger the pro-Cha status quo and trigger a response...? We've heard a scant few, and none too passionate at that

In any case, there's only one way to test your hypothesis: Make Halflings Wise for the playtest, and gauge the reactions against the current pro-Wis activism. :)

But really — what's your take on the matter?


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Yeah, for playtest purposes at least it makes sense to shift halflings to Wis, and gauge response. The playtest after all is where you're supposed to be more experimental.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Catharsis wrote:


I’d say our grassroots movement definitely counts as passionate feedback. I don’t see anything remotely comparable from the pro-Cha folks.
Well, there's the rub. You can have a situation where either decision will lead to passionate feedback to change it the other way, but you're only going to hear that from the people who don't currently have what they want as the status quo. It's a social truth, from something as small as a decision in a roleplaying game all the way up to much bigger ones.

First of all, I'd like to thank you again for responding directly. Now, if what you wrote is the case, and you're right that it is, then how do we get something like this changed with our feedback?

Also, I just want to take a moment to say that while there is inevitably some disagreement about which ancestry should get which ability scores, I think it's definitely a minority that would want all three small races to have a Charisma bonus.

Scarab Sages

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Tangent101 wrote:


Elf: Int and Dex bonus*, Con penalty
Dwarf: Wis and Con bonus*, Dex penalty
Gnome: Int and Con bonus*, Str penalty
Halfling: Wis and Dex bonus*, Str penalty
Goblin: Cha and Dex bonus*, Wis penalty
Half-elf: Cha bonus*
Half-orc: Str bonus*
Human: two floating bonuses

*Also one floating bonus.

Amen to that! I'm not sure about –Dex for Dwarves, but it's an interesting take and certainly fits the flavor. Dwarf Paladins and Dwarf Skalds would suddenly be much more within reach than before. They're universally protrayed as gruff and reclusive, though, but not necessarily as awkward or goofy, so I would probably still prefer –Cha.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DerricktheCleric wrote:
Now on to the more far-reaching and important information revealed in this post, the elimination of damage differences based on size. This is....insanely impactful, in a myriad number of ways (snipped)

As a counterpoint: First, we have simplification of the rules. Rather than looking up stats for weapons for halflings and gnomes (and the like) you have them using the same weapons.

Second, you result in a cessation of discrimination against Small-sized creatures in terms of treasure. Weapons do not resize drastically. Nor does armor. Of course, this isn't entirely true as a five-foot-tall female fighter can fit in the full plate armor she pulled off of the seven-foot-tall warlord she just killed, put it on, and go on her merry way. Both are Medium-sized. Oh, and despite having hands a bit smaller than his, she can wield his weapons without a problem.

That said, when you read the write-up on Full Plate, it does state that it has to be fitted to each person. But magic Full Plate and magic swords don't seem to need to be resized... unless you have a halfling or gnome at which point they are plumb out of luck, need to sell it, and buy specially-made armor and weapons. There is a constant recycling of weapons and armor to ensure it fits the people who can use it.

Let's put this on another foot. Let's say Paizo put out a third Chelish Adventure Path for the Bellflower Network where the adventurers are rescuing halflings. And 70% of the magic weapons and magic armor are sized Small. How pissed off would players get after a bit that their half-orc or human or elf needs to constantly buy weapons and armor because halflings have the audacity to be a Small-sized creature rather than a proper Medium? I guarantee you that such an AP would soon have quite a few upset players. Treasure ends up being Vendor Trash rather than something of use by players.

How is that fantasy? I'm sorry, I have troubles envisioning warehouse after warehouse of magic weapons and armor that is just sized wrong for certain folk and being eventually tossed in magic landfills because folk aren't buying it.

Eliminating weapon sizes means that a halfling that finds a magic dagger can use it. Likewise a magic short sword or magic long sword. They use it differently perhaps... and maybe they need to get the pommel adjusted for their hands... but they can still use those items. Hell, even in Lord of the Rings, Frodo and his fellow Hobbits were provided blades used by Strider's kin (or eventually an elvish blade in Frodo's case), rather than blades made just for Hobbits.

Now, I'm old-schooled AD&D. I've played for nearly 40 years. Weapon sizes? They're something that cropped up after 3rd edition (and I've heard it's actually a 3.5 edition creation). And just because Pathfinder 1.0 adopted it doesn't make it a wise idea. Eliminating them doesn't hurt the game at all.

As for Small-sized adventurers getting perks that Medium don't? Well, two of the three Small-sized ancestries also get a Strength penalty. Come to think of it... in Pathfinder 1.0 they had small-sized weapons and a Strength penalty for a double-penalty. So your argument doesn't have as much merit in my eyes.

What Paizo is doing is eliminating obstacles that make playing Small-sized races/ancestries not as much fun as that of Medium-sized races/ancestries. They are also reducing complexity. This is not a bad thing.


We know that (most) small races have a lower movement speed as well, but that's it. There are a variety of pros and cons that could be applied to balance medium and small races against each other, but we don't even have enough information to speculate on that yet.

Scarab Sages

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like the last thing we'd need is for Half-Elves to be the 4th Charisma boosting ancestry in the core rules, though.

Charisma is a perfect fit for the Half-Elves we've seen in Golarion so far (and in fact in all other fantasy realms I'm aware of). I agree that we don't need four +Cha ancestries, but it makes more sense to shift the Halflings off of +Cha than to deny the Half-Elves their universally recognized beauty and charm. :)

I would also find it a bit weird not to have a Medium +Cha ancestry at all. I'd welcome a spread of abilities that allow for all character classes to find a perfect match among both the Medium and Small ancestries. Cleric? Dwarf and Halfling. Wizard? Elf and Gnome. Sorcerer? Half-Elf and Goblin. Fighter? Half-Orc and Goblin. Etc...

Scarab Sages

As for sizeless weapons:

We still don't know whether there's a category of «heavy» weapons like in 4e and 5e that Small ancestries cannot wield effectively. That would preserve the Medium ancestries as the kings of brute-force combat, but would allow Small ancestries to shine in sword-and-board, fencing, or dual wielding with no drawbacks.

I agree that just picking up an enemy's armor and wearing it is unreasonable from a realism point of view. I'd still argue we should handwave that as adjusting a few straps during rest time. Maybe even Mending could be expanded a bit to allow for such adaptations.

BTW, I don't think hand size is a big issue with weapons, though. Unlike full plate, weapons have a long history of being mass-produced for entire armies. Apart from the custom-molded pistol-grips that some modern-day fencing foils have, a weapon's grip is basically just a stick. Anybody can use a stick (within reason). It's not like kitchen knives and hammers have to be fitted to a user's hands, right...?


kaid wrote:
Aldarc wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
If I remember correctly, there was a stage of PF1 beta where Jason had been considering giving halflings +2 Wisdom instead of Charisma to be more different than gnomes but it got changed due to passionate feedback in favor of Charisma, so there's certainly precedent for changing the ability adjustments due to feedback!
I hope so, because having all three small races having bonuses to Charisma is a little too much to bare. I would be on board with giving Halflings a bonus to Wisdom (resist the One Ring!) and Gnomes a bonus to Intelligence (illusionists!). Anything that made the small ancestries feel less "samey" in their stats. While the floating bonus can be placed anywhere, people aren't going to be getting their impression of the ancestries from floating numbers, but from the hardwired bonuses.
Of the three halflings make sense to have the boost to charisma. Goblins are kinda eyebrow raising for + charisma and gnomes are much more known for their intelligence than their charisma.

Golarion's fey blooded anime haired gnomes have never struck me as being linked to intelligence. They're more wild and innately magical, hence the CHA boost.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

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I have removed a post and the replies to it. Personal attacks against our staff or our community members are never ok. Trailing off before completing the thought when the implication is very clear is as much an attack as typing it out completely. What happened here was well beyond personal attacks and will absolutely not be tolerated.


Tangent101 wrote:

As for Small-sized adventurers getting perks that Medium don't? Well, two of the three Small-sized ancestries also get a Strength penalty. Come to think of it... in Pathfinder 1.0 they had small-sized weapons and a Strength penalty for a double-penalty. So your argument doesn't have as much merit in my eyes.

What Paizo is doing is eliminating obstacles that make playing Small-sized races/ancestries not as much fun as that of Medium-sized races/ancestries. They are also reducing complexity. This is not a bad thing.

To respond,

The strength penalty is based on race, not size. There's a correlation, but not direct causation, there are medium races that take strength penalties as well, so that's not necessarily connected to size. The inherent dodge bonus and stealth bonuses (that may not even exist in 2e at all so this could be moot) were 100% connected to size, not race. See Enlarge/Reduce Person or even just the base stat rules for Small/Medium/Large creatures in 1e.

You see, my concern is that we could be creating a situation where there are only upsides to being small (aside from -2STR, which with all the other methods of stat boost shown/hinted at in character creation, as well as a Starfinder style stat progression, is likely going to be laughably minor by level 4). If a halfling can stand next to a half-orc barbarian, and hit just as hard with a sword 1/3 the size, while being substantially harder to find and hit....why haven't halflings conquered the known world?

On the other hand, I absolutely agree with them eliminating the damage difference between small and medium creatures. It never made sense to me that an 18 STR gnome fighter somehow couldn't hit as hard with a longsword as a 15 STR human paladin. But their language isn't about eliminating the inherent damage reduction of smaller creatures, just the difference based off weapon sizes, which affects a much wider range of game systems that I'm concerned they haven't considered.

How will enlarge/reduce person work? Will they be limited to only affecting base stats, or is it somehow going to be the case that casting enlarge person on a small character increases their base weapon damage, in contravention to the directly stated rules that there is no damage difference between medium and small weapons? (assuming Enlarge/Reduce person still exist as spells at all). What about Impact? Lead Blades? Gravity Bow?

Its funny that you mentioned one of the plusses here is simplifying things. If they had just said "the distinction between small and medium was foolish, Halflings are close enough in size to Half-Orcs that there shouldn't be one, we're eliminating small-medium. It will now be Tiny/Medium/Large/etc, that would have simplified things, and made perfect sense.

Changing this one aspect without context on the dozens of other things it affects actually substantially further complicates things. If they had said "there is no distinction between small and medium at all" it would have demolished that whole building, leaving us with a clean slate to work with. Changing this one thing is like reaching into a building and ripping out one random weight bearing wall, and then turning to us and saying "look, we made it simpler!"

EDIT: Sorry, I also forgot to address the fact that you are assuming they are going to allow Small humanoids to *use* medium gear. That isn't what they said, and has in no way been insinuated. All they have stated is that small weapons will do the same damage as medium weapons. As far as I can tell, your small party members will still have to resize their found medium gear. Unless of course they change to the much more logically/mechanically sound solution of simply saying "there is no more small and medium, just medium."

Scarab Sages

You can assume that spells like Enlarge Person will no longer use the (non-existent) size mechanic, but rather just give fixed bonuses (e.g., a +2 to Str-based damage or somesuch).

There's no more need to have size rules for non-PC ancestries, since those aren't bound by the PC creation rules. A pixie's arrow or a giant's tree club are just going to do whatever damage seems appropriate to the designer.


Catharsis wrote:

(non-existent) size mechanic

Can you link me to where they said they're removing size mechanics, I haven't seen that post. In fact, the fact that they specifically said "small weapons will do the same damage as medium weapons" instead of saying "there is no such thing as small and medium weapons anymore" seems like pretty solid proof to me that size mechanics will still be very much extant in 2e.


DerricktheCleric wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

As for Small-sized adventurers getting perks that Medium don't? Well, two of the three Small-sized ancestries also get a Strength penalty. Come to think of it... in Pathfinder 1.0 they had small-sized weapons and a Strength penalty for a double-penalty. So your argument doesn't have as much merit in my eyes.

What Paizo is doing is eliminating obstacles that make playing Small-sized races/ancestries not as much fun as that of Medium-sized races/ancestries. They are also reducing complexity. This is not a bad thing.

To respond,

The strength penalty is based on race, not size. There's a correlation, but not direct causation, there are medium races that take strength penalties as well, so that's not necessarily connected to size. The inherent dodge bonus and stealth bonuses (that may not even exist in 2e at all so this could be moot) were 100% connected to size, not race. See Enlarge/Reduce Person or even just the base stat rules for Small/Medium/Large creatures in 1e.

You see, my concern is that we could be creating a situation where there are only upsides to being small (aside from -2STR, which with all the other methods of stat boost shown/hinted at in character creation, as well as a Starfinder style stat progression, is likely going to be laughably minor by level 4). If a halfling can stand next to a half-orc barbarian, and hit just as hard with a sword 1/3 the size, while being substantially harder to find and hit....why haven't halflings conquered the known world?

On the other hand, I absolutely agree with them eliminating the damage difference between small and medium creatures. It never made sense to me that an 18 STR gnome fighter somehow couldn't hit as hard with a longsword as a 15 STR human paladin. But their language isn't about eliminating the inherent damage reduction of smaller creatures, just the difference based off weapon sizes, which affects a much wider range of game systems that I'm concerned they haven't considered.

How will...

This really seem like a "chill out, we will see in August" thing if ever there was one. I think it is safe to say that Paizo put some thought into size categories before removing the damage die difference. None of the things you've cited are unsolvable problems. They are also very slight mathematical changes, not substantial overhauls to the system like Resonance.

Like, we don't know if larger sizes will grant bigger bonuses to combat maneuvers. We also don't REALLY know how combat maneuvers work in the new system. I can't see why it is even worth speculating at this stage.


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Tangent101 wrote:
If Paizo put up a poll for the three races to see which was preferred, no doubt you'd see Goblins not get a lot of votes because the anti-Goblin folk would hope ignoring that poll would show they're against Goblins being in the game

I think you are oversimplifying the 'anti-goblin' side. IMO, a significant number of that side are against 'core' goblins and not any goblin: as such, I'd expect them to be interested in the stats and vote. Anyone that didn't vote most likely wouldn't even play a goblins anyway so it wouldn't really change much because they didn't reply.

Captain Morgan wrote:
This really seem like a "chill out, we will see in August" thing if ever there was one.

LOL Paizo is throwing fresh meat into the forum and people are pouncing in it like it is: It seems odd to worry about people trying to 'chew' on it. I'd be shocked if people DIDN'T...


Quote:

Captain Morgan

This really seem like a "chill out, we will see in August" thing if ever there was one.

Sorry, I thought my tone came across as pretty chill, I didn't mean to seem alarmist. And I don't mean to insinuate that I think anyone at Paizo is throwing darts with a blind fold on by any means, which is why I stated only that I was concerned about whether or not they had considered some of the more far-reaching implications.

That being said, the designers have made it abundantly clear they are reading these posts, they are seeing what the community has to say. These posts and their subsequent comments are part of the play test for all intents and purposes. This is an EXCELLENT time to voice concerns, offer suggestions and feedback, and discuss potential peripheral issues that might not have occurred to everyone.

We are getting to be actively involved in the creation of a whole new edition of a tabletop grounded in a universe that (I at least) LOVE, and I think it is insanely "worth speculating" on every single tidbit we can get our hands on, as well as offering feedback, support, and constructive criticism!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mbertorch wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Catharsis wrote:


I’d say our grassroots movement definitely counts as passionate feedback. I don’t see anything remotely comparable from the pro-Cha folks.
Well, there's the rub. You can have a situation where either decision will lead to passionate feedback to change it the other way, but you're only going to hear that from the people who don't currently have what they want as the status quo. It's a social truth, from something as small as a decision in a roleplaying game all the way up to much bigger ones.

First of all, I'd like to thank you again for responding directly. Now, if what you wrote is the case, and you're right that it is, then how do we get something like this changed with our feedback?

Also, I just want to take a moment to say that while there is inevitably some disagreement about which ancestry should get which ability scores, I think it's definitely a minority that would want all three small races to have a Charisma bonus.

I don't really care which of the Small races gets what mental ability bonus; I just think it's boring and unfun for all three to get the same bonus. Let's diverse it up!


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DerricktheCleric wrote:
Goblins just shouldn't have a mental bonus at all, even though that would be an exception to the general rule.

Just pointing out, there is no reason the exiting "general rule" need be carried over to P2E. I mean, the shift to universal "floating stat bonus" on top of everything fixed really is a serious shift in dynamic, it means any race/class combo can get bonus to primary stat as long as they don't have actual race penalty there. (which they can negate if they wish, and some classes tend to be less 'prime stat' dependent than others) In that shifted dynamic, it seems obvious that the simple lack of mental stat bonus baked is not comparable to how that would be considered in P1E. Neither the potential '2 bonuses in same category' (physical/mental), since any character with 2 bonuses in different categories will a priori need to put their floating bonus in a category which they already have bonus in.

Dark Archive

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Kalindlara wrote:
There is precedent for half-orcs having Strength (orc atavism) and half-elves having Charisma (kindred-raised). Plus, it does kinda match the flavor with which they're presented. I wouldn't mind seeing this, rather than the same bonus humans receive. ^_^

I liked the idea in PF1 Beta of 1/2 Orcs having a +2 bonus that could go into Strength or Wisdom, and 1/2 Elves having a +2 bonus that could go into Dexterity or Charisma, but a +2 that could go anywhere was obviously a more popular choice. :)


Joana wrote:
I don't really care which of the Small races gets what mental ability bonus; I just think it's boring and unfun for all three to get the same bonus. Let's diverse it up!

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have to ruin the fun of those who like their Green Gnomes.


DerricktheCleric wrote:
Quote:

Captain Morgan

This really seem like a "chill out, we will see in August" thing if ever there was one.

Sorry, I thought my tone came across as pretty chill, I didn't mean to seem alarmist. And I don't mean to insinuate that I think anyone at Paizo is throwing darts with a blind fold on by any means, which is why I stated only that I was concerned about whether or not they had considered some of the more far-reaching implications.

That being said, the designers have made it abundantly clear they are reading these posts, they are seeing what the community has to say. These posts and their subsequent comments are part of the play test for all intents and purposes. This is an EXCELLENT time to voice concerns, offer suggestions and feedback, and discuss potential peripheral issues that might not have occurred to everyone.

We are getting to be actively involved in the creation of a whole new edition of a tabletop grounded in a universe that (I at least) LOVE, and I think it is insanely "worth speculating" on every single tidbit we can get our hands on, as well as offering feedback, support, and constructive criticism!

Fair enough! I am sorry I accused you of Chicken Little'ing. I think it is cool you are feeling involved in the creation of the game we love.

For me, size mechanics are just one very small part of the math engine driving the game. I'm very curious about how it will turn out, but it feels hard to offer substantial input without seeing that engine in its entirety. That's part of why I REALLY want to see a character sheet.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crayon wrote:
I still don't know why we still have Ability Score modifiers.

After reading through all these posts over the past week, I've come to a similar conclusion. All this chatter about a +2 here or a +2 there makes almost no noticeable difference in gameplay, and it doesn't really reflect anything about ancestries in the setting because there are more exceptions to the rule than anything else. It might be better to leave this mostly an RP choice (with Ancestry feats still allowing for customization).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

I have to say, this is a real turn-off for me. I don't think I like the sound of all the things being based on one baseline array, instead of rolling to represent how individuals are very different from each other, etc. This sounds like a departure from "roll or buy your unique self, then apply modifiers from race" into "here's a pile of +2 bonuses to put on a mono-ten chassis".

I'm missing stuff, of course, but the direction seems poor to me.


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Diego Valdez wrote:
I have removed a post and the replies to it. Personal attacks against our staff or our community members are never ok. Trailing off before completing the thought when the implication is very clear is as much an attack as typing it out completely. What happened here was well beyond personal attacks and will absolutely not be tolerated.

Without bringing up the original comment, if I might add a note to any who might still be concerned: the inclusion of a thing or lack thereof in this particular game is not going to suddenly enable bad people to do bad things with it they otherwise couldn't, or encourage otherwise good people to do bad things they otherwise wouldn't. Bad people would still do bad things, regardless of whether one minor rule says so or not, and the vast majority of gamers are just going to use it as they ever would.


cfalcon wrote:
Quote:
At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

I have to say, this is a real turn-off for me. I don't think I like the sound of all the things being based on one baseline array, instead of rolling to represent how individuals are very different from each other, etc. This sounds like a departure from "roll or buy your unique self, then apply modifiers from race" into "here's a pile of +2 bonuses to put on a mono-ten chassis".

I'm missing stuff, of course, but the direction seems poor to me.

My feeling, too. I'm starting to come around a little, but can't entirely shake the feeling that the entirely over-hyped concern for min/maxing is pushing us towards bland cookie-cutter attributes with the promise of lots of options for backgrounds and stuff. Why not make point buy interesting AND give lost of options for backgrounds and stuff?

Even a slight nod in the direction of attribute customization, like give everyone a floating +2 AND a floating -2, would help. It seems like the builds are all going to end up with 18s in the primary attribute anyway (min/maxing?), so it doesn't make much difference if there is some capability to dip below average without it being a lame "freedom to be worse without any benefit" thing; you're just going to get a bonus to a secondary attribute anyway. Obviously, I'd rather point buy be more interesting than even that, but at least it's a slight nod.


Catharsis wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Well, there's the rub. You can have a situation where either decision will lead to passionate feedback to change it the other way, but you're only going to hear that from the people who don't currently have what they want as the status quo. It's a social truth, from something as small as a decision in a roleplaying game all the way up to much bigger ones.

Sure, but this is not a «pro Wis» thread where those who live in the same bubble congregate. It's the «Halflings in general» thread, presumably frequented by everyone interested in Halflings, which should include a proportional fraction of the «pro Cha» people. Shouldn't the avalanche of pro-Wis support apparent in this thread endanger the pro-Cha status quo and trigger a response...? We've heard a scant few, and none too passionate at that

In any case, there's only one way to test your hypothesis: Make Halflings Wise for the playtest, and gauge the reactions against the current pro-Wis activism. :)

Nope, you'll still end up with the ones who are dissatisfied being the "loudest" on the forums. You can't really accurately gauge numbers of pro or con people by only looking at the people writing here.


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DerricktheCleric wrote:
Catharsis wrote:

(non-existent) size mechanic

Can you link me to where they said they're removing size mechanics, I haven't seen that post. In fact, the fact that they specifically said "small weapons will do the same damage as medium weapons" instead of saying "there is no such thing as small and medium weapons anymore" seems like pretty solid proof to me that size mechanics will still be very much extant in 2e.

What would be great is that weapons always do the same base damage so you don't have to dice conversion for size, but then size simply applies a flat modifier to damage. Maybe -1 or -2 at small, then being multiplied or doubled for each size category below that; likewise +1 or +2 at large and being multiplied or doubling from there.

That'd be a great, clean way to handle it, and would solve all the issues of 1d8 to 2d6 to 2d8 etc.


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Personally, I think Paizo should scrap either halflings' or gnomes' Charisma bonus. It's always been a bit weird and off-balance to have both the small races be charismatic, and it's even worse now with three.

Maybe you could emphasize halflings' common sense, or gnomes' ingenuity. But some people already have some trouble distinguishing these two—don't give them an excuse!

And hot take time: It sticks out a little that the little people are expected to be accommodating and easy-going for the big folks' sake. Is this a universal trait of small races in Pathfinder, or what?

Liberty's Edge

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I'll repeat my preference for Dex/Wis Halflings. Gnomes have very vivid personalities and ties to the fey, giving them an excellent excuse for high Cha. Goblins have less need, but are still vivid and forceful personalities.

Halflings, meanwhile, are often overlooked. Quiet, sensible sorts, but very brave and resistant to harmful effects. That sounds like Wis rather than Cha to me.

Also, it makes it so all three of the small Ancestries each have only one stat mod in common (Halflings and Goblins both get +Dex, Gnomes and Halflings both get -Str, Gnomes and Goblins both get +Cha).


cfalcon wrote:
Quote:
At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

I have to say, this is a real turn-off for me. I don't think I like the sound of all the things being based on one baseline array, instead of rolling to represent how individuals are very different from each other, etc. This sounds like a departure from "roll or buy your unique self, then apply modifiers from race" into "here's a pile of +2 bonuses to put on a mono-ten chassis".

I'm missing stuff, of course, but the direction seems poor to me.

They already said rolling for stats is still one of the option, and they will EVEN be in the playtest books, but they ask us to use the basic generation rules so all the characters have the same "power level" (if you roll, you could be very unlucky with your dices and be considerably weaker than another player that was lucky, do data on these games would mean nothing, and you introduced a VERY unbalancing variable into the equation).


Elfteiroh wrote:
cfalcon wrote:
Quote:
At 1st level, your ability scores all start at 10. Your ancestry then gives you ability boosts, each of which increases the score by 2. Most ancestries get three ability boosts, two of which have to go into specific scores. The remaining free ability boost can go into any score except the two set ones. Most ancestries also get a flaw, which decreases a designated score by 2. You can put your free ability boost in the same score as your flaw if you want to get back to 10. In later parts of character creation, you'll get more ability boosts, which we'll cover in later blogs! (And if you want to roll your ability scores randomly, we have an option for that in the playtest so you can see how that might work, though we prefer for characters used in the playtest to be generated in the standard way.)

I have to say, this is a real turn-off for me. I don't think I like the sound of all the things being based on one baseline array, instead of rolling to represent how individuals are very different from each other, etc. This sounds like a departure from "roll or buy your unique self, then apply modifiers from race" into "here's a pile of +2 bonuses to put on a mono-ten chassis".

I'm missing stuff, of course, but the direction seems poor to me.

They already said rolling for stats is still one of the option, and they will EVEN be in the playtest books, but they ask us to use the basic generation rules so all the characters have the same "power level" (if you roll, you could be very unlucky with your dices and be considerably weaker than another player that was lucky, do data on these games would mean nothing, and you introduced a VERY unbalancing variable into the equation).

I had a dice rolling option I rather liked. You pick a good and bad attribute and roll d4-d4. You apply the big modifier to the good score and the negative of that in the bad score (e.g., if you roll a 4-1, you get +3 in the attribute you picked as good and -3 in the attribute you picked as bad). Do that twice more. Then +1 to all of the modifiers. If you have a +4, that's an 18; if you have a +3, that's a 16; .... I don't like d4s, though. I'm not sure exactly why.


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As mentioned above, Gnomes could be +Con +Cha -Str in most cases, but +Con +Int -Str for Bleachlings. Why not apply the same thing to other Races Ancestries?

Halflings could be +Dex +Wis -Str in most cases, but +Dex +Cha -Str for Ingratiating Halflings (this corresponds to a Pathfinder 1st Edition Halfling alternate racial trait).

Goblins could be +Dex +Con -Wis in most cases, but +Dex +Int -Wis for Crafty Goblins (this would correspond to an as-yet-unreleased 1st Edition Goblin alternate racial trait).

Dwarves could be +Con +Wis -Cha in most cases, but +Con +Wis -Dex for Cosmopolitan Dwarves (this would correspond to an as-yet-unreleased 1st Edition Dwarf alternate racial trait).

And so on . . . .


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Yeah WIS makes a lot more sense for halflings, they aren't in any shape really especially charismatic race. Mental fortitude on the other hand is a lot more prelevant.

Gnomes should totally have INT, you try out a lot of different things and you will learn how things works and can use that to predict how things you haven't tried will go. That same habbit also makes you extremely frustrating and annoying so if anything they should have cha penalty.

Well Golarion goblins should have -6(at minium) to all mental stats to match the lore. But that race should have never been called goblins cause they got nothing in common outside of green skin. But if you are hellbent on having them and be viable and can't kill the sacred cow of one mental and one physical, charisma is the least out of place.

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