First impression; "...thanks goodness scaling feats still exist."
And stuff with legendary skill feats mentioned... So falling from orbit unscathed, some sort of a makeshift xenoglossy, effectively regenerating lost eyeballs, or a war-ending speech does look good somewhat, though others will have to wait for evaluation later if it's worth the action.
Anyways, if I get to run a PF2 game ever, I'l always allow legendary feats, because non-magicals must have nice things too to be fair game with spells (and try houseruling them with more skill ranks/feats); an adjusted choice between a lot of "less sure at-will" VS few dozens of "much sure limited-per-day" in-universe functions.
If spell DC + damage scale linear automatically, so must weapon accuracy + damage.
Which did not in PF1, at least to a psychologically respectable level. And don't even mention those totally unfair interative attack penalty, which spellcasters have no equivalent. An old artifact from AD&D 2E's maximum 2.5 weapon swings per turn haphazardly translated to the 3E system, then not fixed later during the 3.5E era just to spite non-magicals.
The one thing that is unforgivable is the humanoid enemies/NPCs. The Knight has some cool abilties that PC cannot get, Goblins and Kobolds have powers that PC goblins or kobolds cannot get. The humanoid NPCs may be built different than PCs, but they should still try to be recognizable as PC classes.
This, this, this. A thousand times this. In a nutshell that is my biggest "berserk button" when regarding the 5E system (the other being number variables mapped to CR, not HD). PF2 should at least aim for this even after some simplification.
Primarily, rules that are (mostly) universal for all creatures (as in 5E, including different but at least similar to PC abilities for humanoid NPCs, but all CR based variables like polymorph choices, turn undead, and enemy proficiency bonus remapped to HD). I moved away from 5E when it seemed more inconsistencies popped up in newer splats (like playable monsters not having features which their NPC brethren had all the time).
Secondarily, the Total Termination of 5 Minutes Work Day. Many a woes are tied to this hideous phenomenon, I sincerely believe.
Generally agree with the OP (apart from minor differences not worth writing here), except that I'd like Legendary proficiency to be even more radical (on the premise that it is thematically appropriate). As non-casters aren't outright casting spells, I believe skill proficiencies with +N bonuses should be able to emulate OR counter thematically right spells of Nth level, AT THE VERY LEAST.
Like Legendary Diplomacy (or whatever name it is in PF2) working like an (Ex) Suggestion, or Legendary Fly (skill) giving you a flying speed then turning into a gliding speed once you've decided you're finished soaring for now, or cracking through Arcane Lock or Hold Portal with Legendary Disable Device, etc.
Then again, I trust Mark's words that Legendary skills will let you do really crazy things that enables non-casters stand up to spellcasters in their niches without crippling overspecialization.
This is my biggest area of interest on this problem, especially when said rac...er, ancestry is readily available to players.Starfinder, and post-core 5E rubbed me the wrong way with this "different NPC racial traits" shenanigans.
Edit: As Rysky, I don't care about the other monsters having arbitrary looking numbers.
From some attempts at deciphering the given stat blocks;
- Monsters in general have very free leeway with master/legendary proficiency.
That's it for now...
Reject My Paladin Compromise, and Then Talk About What Martial Characters Should Be Capable of Please
I think I've heard that the Fighter's 19th level DR 5/- with any armor was actually DR 10/-, but someone or whatever which I suspect to have had a vendetta against them complained as it was OP, so it was cut in half. What a shame, really. I sincerely wish that such kind of cruel sabotages never happen during PF2's playtest...
If I'm not mistaken, the reason why direct damage of any kind (swords, fireballs, etc.) lost value since 3.0 is because everyone's hit points got a significant boost during the edition change, right? Plus the fact that SOD abilities also got much easier to succeed, too.
If they keep the upped HP range since 3.0, another way to buff and encourage using blasting spells is to give them lingering area effects with minor yet useful benefits (like fireball igniting its hit area for X turns, creating updrafts which help with gaining height during flight, etc.).
I'm down for either or. I'm just worried that if arcanist spell-casting becomes the new norm for prepared casters, sorcerers could end up becoming irrelevant for having an inferior spell-casting system, kind of like what happened in 5e
Frankly, the 5E situation could have been fixed IF,
1) Wizards could prepare #(Level/2 + INT) spells per day, AND,
They did exactly the opposite, and came the facepalm situation as of now.
It seems very likely that (somewhat tragically) NPCs would be using different rules from PCs, except the ones with PC class levels.
Now, this doesn't mean that's not totally acceptable for in-universe verisimilitude, my greatest priority in choosing a favorite RPG ruleset, if done correctly. For instance, even in PF1 and 3.X, non-humanoids usually have a lot of (Ex), (Sp), and (Su) abilities arbitrarily tacked on their stat block, and (usually) no one bat an eye on that, for it could be hand-waved off as some sort of a racial trait for those creatures. Plus, they follow general rules like (in case of PF1) BAB following HD size without exceptions, feats added up every odd HD, etc.
What's totally inacceptable is when the rules turn sort of inconsistent with formula. Like in a certain adventure in a certain edition of the Brand (which even had NPCs' general check bonus scale twice faster than PCs AND their ability bonuses absolutely meaningless in combat, god), in which a NPC paladin's stat block suddenly "transformed" into a monster stat block without the guy in game actually changing, just because he was temporarily an enemy for the duration of the encounter, for balancing reasons. In another awful instance, in Starfinder's Alien Codex, the main text explicitly stated that for the alien species which are playable, there are two different ability adjustments each for NPCs and PCs; no, just no. For me, these instances were accepted as some sort of a highest order of Blasphemy. It's like the gravitational constant(G) working explicitly different for humans and non-humans, a total chaos.
Now, the Brand's 5E is teetering on the line between my personal acceptance for NPC presentation or not. All generic stat blocks for NPCs don't have specific abilities that arbitrarily surpass PC abilities with similar usages in fuctionality, so they all could be hand-waved off as an unseen flexible NPC class statted up for easy usage. Well, except for the horrible fact that their Proficiency bonus does NOT scale with the number of HD, but their CR, a floating, weightless value that should never have had in-game interactions (but unfortunately do, like Turn Undead and polymorphing spells). Plus, The new monster races added on later books often have ability adjustments and racial features arbitrarily "watered down" from the monster versions, further making me lose favor for the 5E ruleset, despite its core rules still being an OGL based one (which usually earns a lot of points when I'm deciding wich book to buy and support for).
So, in conclusion, I'd be still accepting different NPC rules as long as the game's basic formula isn't crushed (like their proficiency bonus hopping up and down for different rolls without explanation, or ability score bonuses not mattering), and PC versions (if any) NEVER get a watered down nor buffed version of NPC racial features but only equal ones. How about you?
Clerics. Now that's surprising, as I thought the next class must be the fan favorite Wizards...
Edit: Some more feelings about this...
- Classes give you stat boosts at 1st level, Confirmed. Now I'm frightened about some players' sixth senses...
- They said "Divine" spell proficiency. Do the Arcane/Divine lists persist, unlike what the forumites had been guessing?
- (Probably) all divine classes' "restrictions" united into Anathema. Hah!
- Bonus spells by high casting stat butchered. Finally, so they did work for balance (at least a leashing from cubic to quadratic progression)!
- Some even levels give you a sort of fixed choice (like Divine spell proficiency updates) instead of choosing your class feat.
- Harm seems to be a 1st circle (or whatever) spell, too. Good bye, Inflict spells...
On the auto-scaling of cantrips; I believe it will work somewhat like the new skill system's proficiency levels. In other words, the cantrips might auto-scale, but their basic effects are simple enough so that in terms of spell outcome complexity they won't ever beat even a measly 1st level spell.
Like a potential Evocation cantrip that deals single target 1d6 bludgeon damage per spell level VS Burning Hands dealing conic fire damage (which means unlike the former the latter is capable of wiping out two kobolds rather than one, ever).
P.S. And, it's quite obvious that Detect Magic will be kicked upstairs in PF2. It was a free, reliable magic trap radar that made rogues so obsolete with magic traps, why keep them as cantrips?
So it is assumed that each classes' spell lists are a duo combination from 4 spell lists (totaling up to 6 possible combos)? Hmm, completely unforseen...
By the way, will there be still only 8 spell schools in existence, or you get to chop up the mega-schools (namely Conjuration and Transmutation) for a better balance + thematic reasons? Will the Universal "school" even persist? That's a lot of questions for me!
P.S. From an offshoot comment, I would never want "minion" rules pop up again; they're extremely anti-verisimilitude for me to gripe (unless it's something like minimum HP for hit dice, which can be simulated without error with a universal ruleset).
This. I have absolutely no idea on what the 5E team were thinking when they crippled their own Sorcerers' only chance to shine in half or lesser...
While I'm hopefully sure that the devs will get the combat parts much better, I'm more concerned of them keeping their "ribbon" wuxia abilities, particularly the ones that have to do with their ascension to pseudo-immortality (Purity of Body, Diamond Body, Diamond Soul, Timeless Body, Perfect Self, etc.). They are the ones I strongly believe to be integral for all monks to properly represent wuxia heroes, so must stay at all costs...
Would most of the complaining party be satisfied if the not-proficient creatures had something like level/2 to all checks instead of level-2?