The main reason that the scaling numbers are fun is because not all enemies or challenges scale. My group, for example, frequently encounters enemies of well below their CR. We just skip the encounter and say "we won" with no experience reward. This is not something you can do with a static-numbers system.
Also, the scaling numbers enable characters at level 1 to be as vulnerable as real-world heroes, whereas those at 11+ may be capable of surviving trauma so extreme it begins to stretch credulity (such as surviving a nuclear blast, or swiming through lava).
Another scaling factor is mundane challenges like crafting, climbing walls, or jumping. The existing system allows making 40ft or longer jumps, climbing the underside of an oil-slicked overhang, etc.
Not only does it enable the above outlandish deeds, it enables making some of them routine. Sure, lower level people could, in weird circumstances, do similar things. But higher level PF characters can do some of these things day in and day out and largely take it for granted.
I, personally, would much rather keep the scaling and make it something everyone gets for leveling than abandon the concept of scaling entirely. Though low-power games are fun, there are many other systems better suited to that purpose (e.g. Savage Worlds or World of Darkness).
I'm totally open to better ways to scale it, but the main draw of a direct replacement is that it means you don't have to rewrite any stat blocks :)
Indeed. I love the idea of lower numbers with slower scaling, a la 5th Edition D&D...except I like PF better. But, the point of this thread is a way to replace items that will allow the continued use of published materials, as well as avoiding excessive amounts of WORK for the GM.
I have seen various charts with choice or static progression. I have even toyed with the idea of a straight up "level bonus" to several relevant numbers in the neighborhood of +1 per 4 levels. But spreading the bonuses over the level progression would be smoother and much more satisfying. I would probably reorder which bonuses come when, especially the attributes, but this is solid.