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I am still struggling to full grasp how the magic items work, but it seems like skill items getting a +5 bonus is too much, especially if the math is structured around assuming that characters will have that item if they are specialized in the skill. I would rather see skill items get a much smaller bonus, like +1 or +2, and then have the math built around the assumption that characters don't have those items so the bonus actually feels like a bonus. I think most of these items could have a use power that lets a character use the legendary assurance in that skill by spending a resonance point and then things like boots of jumping would still give the ability to use those skill items to do amazing things, but not be required for basic competence.


Vic Ferrari wrote:
Unicore wrote:
PF2 is gunning for the absolutely gonzo high fantasy that you can play from level 1 to 20 and see your characters grow exponentially more powerful as they do so.
Yes, so I would like them to crank up the gonzo while they're at it, some crazy Legendary feats/features.

Me too.


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Zardnaar wrote:


You can still design kewl abilites but something like rerolls or some effect is better than + moar number.

Or example maybe once per day a Rogue can auto pick a lock. Its not that different from one just casting knock or using a wand of knock. Kewl ability, does the same job mostly, no numbers required. 5E advantage/disadvantage is something similar.

The difference is ideally in PF2 you would get more choice as to what kewl ability you get,the math can be simplified IMHO.

Well, luckily PF2 has given us a lot of stuff that is more than bigger bonus = better skill too. So we are still getting specific abilities to help us do the things we used to struggle with better.

But take away + level bonus to proficiency and the problem really becomes an issue for things that target defenses like saves and AC. (Especially with AC which will be 90% established by armor alone. A first level enemy in heavy armor, with a heavy shield is going to be very difficult to hit for a lot of characters, from level 1 to level 20. Saving throws will scale less than 10 points from level 1 to level 20.

For things like saves and AC, it is really difficult to get away from higher bonus = better ability, because "fighter always hits" is not a very good feat ability.

If attacks, skills, saves, AC, / everything is going to queue off of the same proficiency system, it probably has to figure out a way to make + level to proficiency work, or else find an entirely new way to balance player expectations for how skills work (through ha very complex method of feat gating) so that leveling up actually matters.

Personally, I think the +level to proficiency system is the cleanest and simplest way to do that.

The numbers are different and that is taking some adjustment, but higher is not objectively better or worse than lower as long as the outcomes and ranges are consistent and predictable.

As far as a lower level bonus. I don't thing PF2 needs to be trying to replicate 5e numbers. PF2 is gunning for the absolutely gonzo high fantasy that you can play from level 1 to 20 and see your characters grow exponentially more powerful as they do so.


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BryonD wrote:
But in 1E a level meant you had become better at some concept and brought advancement that was primarily reflective of that concept. It had flexibility which allowed customization, but the narrative which informed "you gained a level" carried a lot of weight.

At lower levels this was mostly true, but PF1 falls apart at higher levels exactly because the spread between characters who have been focusing leveling up resources into one specialized category were so much better than characters of the same level who had not been. It turns high level play into a very dangerous game of roulette as far as whether you will be well prepared for what the enemy is going to throw at you.

At least + level to proficiency makes those outcomes a little more predicable for GMs and game designers.


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Hythlodeus wrote:


Now you have my interest. what is the narrative reason for the Barbarian to gain a PhD in every field possible during a long dungeon crawl?

This perspective is a very common but very serious misrepresentation of how proficiency with skills works. Clearly that is an issue that the developers need to address, how to make it clear that having a +20 to an untrained check is not having a PHD. But the text is present in the play test document to understand that the way skills work, especially nuanced skills like knowledge and social skills, are not simply "beat this number and get your desired outcome." Because they are so nuanced, it does require GM arbitration to make it clear to the player why they might be able to roll a higher number than another character but have a more limited effect, but that is the entire point of having proficiency levels for skills, and why different actions are gated.

Lets not try to confuse the issue by making misrepresentative hyperbolic statements, unless you are honestly confused about how the proficiency system is supposed to work, but there are numerous threads here that can help you if you think that, in PF2, bonus = skill ability.


I think the no legendary light armor is a pretty intentional developer desicision. It is unnecessary for high dexterity characters, as it would allow them to have absolute top tier ACs without any of the penalties accrued by heavy armor wearers. It becomes the superior option at Legendary proficiency. And I agree that the general lack of options is a play test reality that doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that there is actually no path for a general armored hulk character that isn't bound by paladin alignment restrictions, IF legendary Armor proficiency is supposed to be limited to only one base character class and that class is alignment restricted.

Dwarven heavy armored defender is not a character concept that should require a specialized archetype to work.

Maybe the long term plan is for there to be a PF1 style archetype for the fighter that lets the fighter switch to the Paladin Armor progression in exchange for toning down their weapon proficiencies, maxing out at master and moving the level it is acquired back...but that frame work does not look like it exists in what we have seen in the play test.


I get that, but shouldn't the paladin's thing be more closely linked to them being divine champions, with powers that make sense to be gated by anathema and alignment?

Best at heavy armor having that gate (or requiring other narratively specific restrictions) is a steep hit to a lot of different character concepts.


Short of being a lawful good paladin, or a grey maiden, there seems no general way to build a Dwarven fighter who is a walking tank of Armor. The fighter maxes out proficiency a Master.

Now I recognize that the play test has a lot of stuff left out and that it doesn't need to be able to cover every concept, but without a base class available to all alignments that get to focus on Armor proficiency, the only way that any characters are getting to be legends in heavy armor look to be through archetypes that tie them to specific narrative elements. I imagine that Hell knights will and probably an order of dwarven defenders so it will open up a little, but the general cavalier archetype doesn't even get armor options, which means that legendary heavy armor proficiency is incredibly gated.

Is this the point? Is heavy armor supposed to be tied to being a part of some organization that provides it? If so, then it seems like Heavy armors should all be uncommon at the very least.

And if the answer is, well fighters can do it well, I can see how that is true, and letting the legendary weapon class get legendary armor for free would over power them as the martial paragons at high levels, but there should be a defensive tank build that does not require an alignment gate.


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There is a glaring issue for the play test that there are only two paths to legendary heavy armor proficiency and one is gated by alignment and the other by gender (gray Maiden), but I suspect that issue will be resolved with the introduction of the Hellknight.

However, this still means that there is no path to getting heavy armor not tied to a specific narrative type that probably includes other restrictions on your character concept. The General Knight in shining armor (not paladin specific) is not looking very well supported, especially since armor is not included in any part of the cavalier archetype.


Arnim Thayer wrote:

Is it a mistake that Fighters gain Heavy Armor Expertise (increasing the proficiency to Expert) at 13th level, but have to wait until 17th level with Armor Mastery to gain the same level of Proficiency with Medium Armor?

That seems like a design flaw to me.

This takes into account the scaling of getting attributes at level 10 and level 15. Heavy Armor requires greater proficiency to meet the expected maximum AC values. Light Armor on high dex characters does not. Medium Armor sits a little lower that either extreme because it is accomplishable without over specializing in one or the other, and at levle 17 would become useless if it didn't get a proficiency boost when heavy armor gets its proficiency boost AND gets its major penalties removed. The design is intentional.


Does your assessment take into account that fighters and Paladins get increased proficiency bonus with heavy armors that they don't get with light? I think your analysis is why that is the case.


I think you have effectively identified why Heavy Armor does go to legendary proficiency and light armor does not. Heavy Armor needs the AC boost. My read of the class design is that the fighter probably is waiting until level 11 to make the jump from medium to heavy armor, but they don't have to make the jump to stay at peak effectiveness. By level 17 however, unless the fighter is a Dex based fighter, Heavy Armor is going to be the optimal armor.

They can get these proficiencies earlier if they want with the gray maiden archetype (which the hell knight will probably come around by the CRB so it will be more evenly distributed, or the paladin archetype may allow it as well). But it does take the fighter feat dedication to get it.

This lets the paladin be the literal knight in shining armor and the only character that is going to be most effective in heavy armor but still probably not before level 7.

However, heavy armor took some levels to get into in PF1 as well, so I don't think it has been made completely irrelevant.

For a lot of fighters and paladins, Armors will be a progressive upgrade where they use different equipment at different times in their career depending on whether they choose to boost Dex of spend money on new armors. I like this. It is unfortunate, in my opinion, how much weapon groups make it unlikely for martial characters to switch weapons as they level up.


Thank you for sharing these experiences, they are very insightful.

I have noticed in PF1 my players often want to believe their characters are focused into round-by-round mode all the time for exploration as well, except of course when that means moving tactically through a battle map that is supposed to be the size of a city and a session gets them through 5 to 10 minutes of in game play. Then everyone starts feeling pretty exhausted. Usually, I attributed this to wanting to exploit the duration of minutes long spells, but I think it probably goes deeper to the level of wanting to believe we are always acting carefully and making the best possible decisions in any given situation, even though that gets exhausting.

Maybe a way to get both/and in this situation is to allow characters to attempt to do multi-tasking things in exploration mode with the caveat that it doubly slows them down and that they have to start making increasingly difficult fortitude saves or become fatigued as they hyper focus on moving silently, looking for traps and staying ready for combat?


It seems like the Heavy metal armor component of being a good knight wouldn't jive well with the Druid. The druid may make a better light cavalry or horse archer though. I think if your plan is to ride your horse into the thick of it though, the Heavy Armor proficiencies are going to be pretty critical


RoninJT wrote:


Having rules for capable NPCs makes it more of a video game?

Again for clarity, PF2 does have rules for adding any relevant statistical numbers you need as a GM. In fact it is 100 times easier than in PF 1 becuase all you need to know for 90% of the interactions the PCs will have with NPCs is their level and and whether it will be something that they are good at or not. You then use their level (not the PC level) to find what feels like the right DC on the chart on 337, subtract 10 and you can know what their bonuses are without having to select skills, feats, assign attributes and give them any equipment (since equipment is a huge part of how PCs will have their bonuses, this is a big deal).

Non-protagonist characters in all story telling media are "periphery filler," as in the story should not revolve around them. They bring the story-world to life and move the narrative along upto the point that they hand it off the protagonists/PCs. PF2, because of the +level to proficiency bonus, gives you a really easy method for introducing as much "crunch" as you need for any given NPC without having to do a lot of work as a GM. That is a major advantage of letting level play first chair in determining power level. It is not a problem.

Now the exact numbers on the dials might not be perfectly calibrated yet, but as a GM, designing adventures for PF2 looks like a walk in the park in comparison to PF1. The trick that will come later, with something like a DMG, is helping GMs not fall into repetitive traps of making all challenges = PC level. Hopefully the Playtest adventure avoids this, and if the basic mechanics are there, they can address building your own adventures once the Core rulebook is out.


Just to be clear, the developers have addressed your concern about how NPCs get the ability to do things by completely separating PCs from the rest of the world as far a mechanics go. A lot of folks are not happy about that, but it is pretty clear that if a GMs game needs a NPC who has forged a Legendary blade for the sake of the story, the GM only needs to flesh that character out as much as is necessary to make that happen. In this case, probably assigning a level to give a sense of what the DCs would be for dealing with anything they have created.

PF2 is not setting itself up to be easily converted into a video game.


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TheMonkeyFish wrote:
...

Please understand that calling someone a genetic hiccup is incredibly hurtful. Variation occurs. There is no reason for any of us to tell each other that the person we are is a mistake or not the way it is supposed to work. The games of high fantasy we play certainly have no ground for needing to contribute to anyones painful experiences with being told who they are is wrong.


Lord_Malkov wrote:

GM Fiat is a bad place to have to hide your systems answers in a game that is historically all about crunch.

It always works, I will grant you. You can handwave the players' into a much more believable world at any time.

But if this is the intention of the system.... to determine what a player or NPC can do by virtue of their proficiencies and NOT their numerical bonus to the Skill Check, then lets see THAT system. Because PF2 is currently NOT that system in the way that it is actually written or expressed.

Of course there will always be an aside that establishes that the GM is the ultimate arbiter of what can or cannot be done, but if you have to rely on that, then you are not relying on the system they created and it begs the question: "Why have the system at all?" or "Why not change the system so that it CAN be relied upon to be the arbiter of what a character can and can't do?"

And this is the crux of this particular argument. The systems, as written, describe the way the world functions. All of the athlete-wizard and poet-laureate-barbarian examples are hyperbolic, but point toward a bad system for describing actions and characters in...

When it comes to social challenges and skills, I think GM fiat has been best hardcoded ruleset there has ever been for RPGs. Games that try to codify social interactions down too far into mathmatical formulas of choices between A or B are the domain of video games and restrict player creativity.

Now good systems help train GMs into navigating the nebulous and difficult waters of more freeform encounters, which is what social and skill challenges are at their best, and that can be difficult.

Personally, I don't think the PF2 system is there yet. It is trying to hard to feel the same as PF1 and not taking advantage of the creative space that blowing open the old formula of task = DC vs roll+bonus, with a pass/fail outcome, but it has the potential to as long as it doesn't get derailed by the comparative optics of what characters look like in PF2 vs what they looked like in PF1.


This one will be relatively easy to make more clear the intention vs the specific wording. They tried to make that clear by pointing out that you have to rest for atleast 6 hours in 24 or you a fatigued. They do need to make it clear that your spells and preparations from a previous cycle end once you have completed your rest.


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RoninJT wrote:

Unicore, unless the system was designed so that only adventurers and monsters are capable of doing anything then it's not doing what it's designed to do. So my examples weren't specific. I was trying to illustrate a fatal flaw in a direct and understandable way. The point of the matter is, in P2 with the rules as written a high level character will be flat out better at not just the things they've trained with and done repeatedly in their adventures but be better at absolutely every task that isn't expressly gated by proficiency tier. A 20th level wizard will be more athletic than a non-adventuring NPC whose spent their entire life working hard day in and day out in some form of manual labor. More agile and acrobatic than an NPC who was raised and performed on the high-wire since they were a little child. The 20th level fighter more knowledgeable about society than the 60 year old noble whose been educated at the highest level since birth. A 20th level adventurer could pick up a lute and perform better than a minstrel NPC whose made his living performing with one for 20 years.

The only way that's not true is if you adjust the DCs for the exact same task for the NPC for their lower level. If you're adjusting DCs for level like that though, what's the point in adding the level to the check to begin with? All it does is add extra numbers and math for the sake of adding extra numbers and math. This design philosophy complete eschews the sense that you are playing in a living breathing world and boils it down to the only things in the entire world that matter are the actions performed by the PCs. That's putting a very hefty emphasis on the 'game' in RPG and ignoring considerably the 'role' aspect of it.

Now, if you don't care about playing in a complete and functional world in your games then that's fine.

I am asking out of honest ignorance here, but have you read through the whole section about skill checks and proficiencies in the play test? Because the rules call for GM arbitration for what any character can accomplish from a skill check based upon their proficiency. This is very different from PF1. Instead of saying it is a X DC to learn this specific fact, with the new system, the GM is perfectly within her right to decide that that untrained society check to learn something could have a higher DC for the untrained fighter vs the local diplomat. She could also decide that the information the fighter wants can't be determined from an untrained check alone. Maybe that untrained check can find them the person who might know, but that check may be much harder because the person who knows is a criminal who is trying to lay low.

The concept of this task = this DC is a very limited system, especially when expressed in a D20 system where your check has such a large range of possible outcomes. There is a reason why setting DCs for things like tying your shoes is a terrible idea, because for a lot of tasks, the bar needs to be so low the chances of failure are negligible (which is impossible if a 1 is always a failure because 5% is pretty high).

I am glad that the developers are trying to get out of the mindset of "set a DC and make a check to succeed or fail" as the basis for determining the outcome of all actions. Proficiency and tiers of success give a lot more room for that.

Now the play tests application of these ideas is incredibly rough at the moment, so it looks choppy. Especially when you try to compare it to 20+ years of the 3.x model of DC vs check = success or failure. That system was a mess at the beginning and is still pretty messy now, with some issues that it just can't fix. I for one am excited to explore and learn this new system, even as I recognize that it is a lot different, might take some getting used to, and in the end may not even work. But I am pretty sure that it plays different then it looks so I hope a lot of people are committing to play testing it as it is and figuring this out in practice so a potentially innovated idea doesn't get tossed before it has time to develop.


Forseti wrote:
Isaac Zephyr wrote:
That out of the way, honestly I think Pathfinder 2 would benefit much better with less raw numbers. Consider rather than level cut out entirely, replace it with Level/4 rounded up. This would mean from level 1-4 you have +1, 5-8 +2, 9-12 +3, 13-16 +4, 17-20 +5. Mathematically that would place max level bonus on par with the total bonus between untrained and legendary, so a legendary individual is twice as good raw as untrained. And additionally you can supplement each stage with new abilities, making the true feeling of power coming from being able to actually do more and not high number pissing contests.

The thing is, if you completely remove level, you're already looking at what you're suggesting here, just on a smaller scale, in the form of proficiencies.

Proficiency increases are gated by level, differently for different classes.

Compare PF1 with PF2 after we strip the level from PF2 and give the characters (in both cases) optimal weapons. In PF1, a 20th level fighter has 10 more attack bonus than a 20th level wizard. In PF2, a 20th level fighter has 3 more attack bonus than a 20th level wizard. And like in PF1, there are classes that fall between the fighter and the wizard.

They just toned down the granularity of the inherent numerical differences between the classes. But imagine they'd tone it down a bit less. If the differences between the proficiency levels were a bit higher, you could safely eliminate level from all calculations, because the numerical differences between the already level-gated proficiency bonuses would be enough to cover the entire level 1-20 encounter span.

Is a part of this that we still haven't figured out what bonuses are worth and we are judging off of assumptions?

For example, what does a fighter get from having a +10 vs a wizard (all other things being equal) in PF1?
yes there is the increased probably of hitting with one attack, but it is also 2 more attacks and, more than likely, the opportunity to trade 2-3 points of that bonus out for +4-6 damage. Critical hit ranges were static, so as long as your lowest critical hit roll was still a hit, the value of a bonus in PF1 was largely dependent upon your ability to flexibly adjust/trade down bonuses to the point where you could get the biggest bang for your buck.

That was pretty cool, but it is also pretty complicated. For a lot of characters, it was very easy to get to a point where your bonuses were essentially too high to be of much value. Once you hit on a 2 or better they are completely useless, for example.

PF1 had a lot of swingy numbers as far as D20 rolls went and sometimes that became really problematic. Lets say you made a Barbarian and really focused on dealing damage and having a high dexterity. It would be really easy to fall 10+ points behind a cleric on will saves. That difference is a big problem at higher levels because you don't want to play a game where your 18-19-20th level character might have greater than 50% chance of dying instantly or becoming a permanent mind slave to the enemy.

PF2 does some neat stuff with balancing your characters numbers against themselves, so you can do stuff like make skill checks in place of combat maneuver attacks, and easily set skills against saves or initiative or other things. That stuff can't happen with greater than +/-10 shifts between skills and target numbers (DCs/Saves/AC).

I am not sure if they got it right yet. I haven't started my playtest yet, just character building, we are waiting until the first Errata comes out (hopefully tomorrow), to clear up some base levels of confusion, but I keep hearing people who have actually played say that a lot of this target number stuff is pretty fun and well balanced in play. Monsters might not be from the Bestiary , and some more so than others, but a lot of that is about dialing numbers in, not throwing the whole system over on its head.

I haven't heard anyone reporting back from play testing levels 15+ so I don't think I have seen any play tested criticism about how legendary legendary feels in actual play.


Kerobelis wrote:

I will answer the question emotionally, which may have been your point. +3 does not FEEL legendary. Just like incredible initiative (+1 to initiative) does not feel incredible.

I realize the bonus may be significant, but it doesn’t FEEL significant.

Did you try playing a character who had incredible initiative and it didn't feel significant? Or does the sight of it make you have no interest in even trying it?


RoninJT wrote:

Criticize bounded accuracy all you like, it does have it's flaws and I firmly believe 5e leaned a little too hard into it. The fact of the matter is it works. On a lot of levels it works much better than every version of the game that came before it.

In my opinion, P2's level to everything approach just flat out doesn't work. Especially when combined with such a narrow proficiency range (-2 to +3). So much so that it almost completely trivializes the di roll. Level becomes more important than any other stat in the game the further along you get. More important than the whatever you roll on your d20. The only way it doesn't is if you continually artificially inflate the dc and ac of everything for no logical reason.

I don't care what level you are and how long you've been adventuring. A level 20 fighter shouldn't be better at crafting than the kingdom's royal blacksmith whose devoted their entire life to mastering their trade. In P2, not only is that level 20 fighter better at it but they can churn out masterpieces ten times faster than said royal blacksmith with relative ease and impunity while the royal blacksmith has to meticulously focus on every item.

To add more example, a level 20 wizard whose never trained his body shouldn't be able to beat the kingdom's best athlete in an obstacle course by parkouring his way up the side of a building in a narrow alley. In P2 however he does exactly that because to do that parkour he only needs to not roll a 1 because of his level while that athlete has to consistently roll above a 12+ even though they've been training their body for a decade.

Level to everything is bad but somewhat manageable for combat (AC/attack, etc). It is disastrously horrible for skills and certain saving throws, however. Bounded accuracy definitely needs some improvement and tweaking but at it's base level it is just an infinitely more functional system with considerably less unnecessary rules bloat.

For folks that want to remove +level to proficiency as a house rule system for your own games, more power to you, but please be careful critiquing the way that +level to proficiency system works, especially when you are not describing it correctly.

As far as craft goes, a level 20 fighter untrained in craft can repair their weapons, shields and armor more reliably than a lower level NPC royal blacksmith for sure. They do use those items day after day in life threatening situations and probably have a better sense of exactly what the balance of their sword should be and whether that hairline fracture on their breastplate is going to be a problem or not.

They can't even make a sword though. And even if they did train the skill, then they can learn to make normal quality swords and probably do it pretty quickly and routinely, but they can't make anything of higher quality than their proficiency.

And for that wizard, how is she or he getting to level 20, fighting monsters, dodging attacks, and never training their body?

Some video games track this and give you increasing skill in the things that your character does over the course of their adventures, but that isn't possible in a table top RPG. Keeping track of every time you attack with x weapon or try x skill is a nightmare. Table Top RPGs simulate that by having leveling up generally accomodate all of that stuff together.

PF1 had a lot of this baked into its level system too.
That wizard still got bonuses to reflex saves as they leveled up on a specific chart, even if they were supposed to be old and frail. a 20th level wizard would often be as nimble against area attacks as a spry young halfling rogue. Why?

Because that 20th level wizard is dead when the dragon shows up with a breath attack otherwise.

Now, what looks a lot different about PF2 than PF1 is that a lot of developer attention has gone into keeping numbers together within ranges that make a D20 meaningful within the same general level group, while making the threat and challenge of different level encounters swing every bit as much as they did in PF1.

Greater demons and ancient dragons are going to be the same unimaginable threats in PF2 just like they were in PF1. However, unlike PF1, Characters that are supposed to be the stuff of legends, are going to be roughly balanced with each other enough to all stand a chance fighting those highest level monsters, instead of potentially having defenses that could swing by as much as 20 points if they got caught off guard, or skills that could swing by even more.

Admitting that you don't like a system designed to accommodate close play at similar power levels and wide gaps in effectiveness between much different levels is ok. Looking for ways to see if that system can accommodate the style of play you think you are looking for is fine too.

But saying "the system doesn't work," because you have a different vision for what it should be doing is not useful analysis for whether the system is working for what it was designed to do.


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I think one of the brilliant potentials for bulk that is not yet fully developed is that it gives a number in the 1-20ish range to make usable for athletic checks.
Instead of trying to assign static number values (whether they are bulk or lbs) to the exact amount a person can carry at a time, we can do things like make carrying a person require an athletics check to see if or how much it slows them down, instead of trying to make those kinds of situations fit into an encumbrance mechanic that is every bit as awkward and gamist as bulk is.


John Lynch 106 wrote:
freduncio wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Also if this kid has CHA 8 he's just outta luck with wanting a potion to work.

Only dwarf infants would have 8 CHA, since now you start with 10 in all Abilities. So by now, people would know that potions do not work very well in dwarves, and be wary of possibly wasting precious resources (if the potion was a communal good in the village) on them. And that's how racism begins :p

That said, yes the potions are expensive as hell for the everyday commoner. Expert healers, as suggested by shroudb, would be the solution?
Do NPC non-classed children start with a 10 in every score? If so the world just became a more boring place.

As far as I know, there is no standard NPC array, at least not yet. That is up to the GM. I wouldn't make it the case though.


The good news is that layout is going to be really easy to fix. It gives me a head ache too, but I try to temper that with the realization, they will get this right with player feedback.


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Also controlling the number scale thing is the most important aspect of making high level play accessible and not overly complicated. At high level, with attributes, proficiency, spells, and magic items, the abilities of specialized vs unspecialized similar level characters can hit a 9 point spread I believe. WIth the +/- 10 scale, that is basically one whole margin of success.

It is really hard to see that though when you are just comparing proficiencies against each other. If proficiency is going to get a larger share of that spread, it is going to have to come out of one of the other categories.


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The "not very pretty" reality of proficiencies in the play test is that Weapon, armor, perception, and save proficiencies above Expert almost exclusively come from class and usually the rider feat is just baked into the class feature instead of appearing as a separate feat. In theory, this allows these benefits (treating successes as critical successes, reduced speed penalties, critical unlocks) to not be feat taxes, but it does disguise their usefulness a little when people are looking at class before actually play testing them. It is also difficult to tell how consistent those riders are for feeling more heroic.


fearcypher wrote:


I should have stated martial clerics are worse off right now. Casting clerics are having a ball, and being half decent with a weapon after they blow through the good stuff isn't necessarily a bad thing.

You could very well be right. I haven't played a cleric at all yet, much less a martial one, much less one that goes to a higher level. My suspicion is that a martial cleric has to take the fighter multi-class archetype very early (as they have very few weapon support feats otherwise) and that probably feels a little straight jacketish for people coming out of PF1, but I will try to play test it before I make any broad statements about how wrong or broken it is.

(Absolutely not directed at you Fearcypher, I am climbing on a soapbox here so I can link to this post in other threads where people need to hear it as well.)

People need to start playing the game before making comments about how to change it. Not just make one character of X level, with wealth by level and then pronounce judgement. Nor create one or two hypothetical confrontations specifically designed to exacerbate a particular flaw you see in the system. These concerns may be valid and real, but specific situations might have specific solutions in the rest of everything is working out better than you think it will because of the one flaw you managed to spot.

Again, I am not saying don't find faults and point them out. Have those places where you are concerned and play test into the game with the character that is going to be confronted by those issues.

If your concern is that a 15th level wizard with a STR of 8 is going to feel like they can handle any athletics situation, try playing one that is untrained at athletics and see if it feels like the character plays like an olympic athlete just because of their level.

Or don't play the game if you think it looks terrible and no fun. Don't play games you won't give yourself the opportunity to like (I don't play games all the time, even ones that look like they might be interesting, just because I have no interest in developing them into a new obsession, I mean hobby).

But trust the developers when they say that they are soliciting feedback right now from people who are testing the game in actual play and they are not trying to solicit general feedback right now from people theory crafting a new game that they would rather play.

The moving parts here are complicated. This is somewhat counter to how the proficiency system was originally presented to us in the blog as a unified system works, and it is ok to be confused by the difference in expectation and current product. It is also ok to be skeptical of it. But SO many suggestions on these boards are very clearly coming from a place of, "I haven't played it yet, but..." and those perspectives are obvious because they often make suggestions that are counter to the way the game works in play.

If you want to be an informed critic making valuable contributions to the play test process, or even just actually have your idea considered by the developers, you need to try putting the game into practice and then talking about that experience and how it did or did not live up to your expectations and hopes for the game.


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It is starting to look like PF2's biggest hurdle is going to be its optics rather than its actual game play. The title of this thread implies that the game has been played and in practice it doesn't feel fun, but then the first post is really saying that the game doesn't look fun to play from the outside.

That is a super legitimate critique, but it seems like the developers are asking for people to play it first so they can figure out if the system actually is fun to play or not first, and then they will try to work out the optics once they are certain that the game is fun in play.

I too am a skeptic of this system, but I think telling them how to change it before completing the playtest, at many different levels, is not useful in figuring out whether the game itself feels awesome in play or not.


Grimcleaver wrote:

Eh. "Requirement: +2 Athletics". Literally just a number and the skill name is all you'd need. Seems fine to me.

Regarding the math, I think it's largely what you want the math to model, but the Pathfinder crowd seems to be very averse to power of any kind outside the fairly rigid curve whereas I like a little more oxygen let in, so understandably YMMV.

The real trick here is that your bonuses would go much farther in some areas than others.

The fighter gets expert at level 1, master at level 3 and legendary weapons by 13.

More than half the classes are lucky to get to expert at all, and if they do, it is usually around level 13 at the earliest. Even by your more narrow scale that means fighters (and NPC fighters) might be running around getting critical hits 50%+ more frequently than other characters of the same level. That will be lights out for a lot of PCs.

Having a swingier scale is certainly a possible direction the game could have gone it, but it probably requires giving up the 4 tiers of success, and radically changing the entire structure of the game.


fearcypher wrote:


This paired with the nerf to the buff aspect of cleric spellcasting and the reduction to their overall spells per day has made spells a non reliable buff source.

Clerics are worse in PF2 than in PF1

This is an interesting perspective because most of what I read about the cleric is that they are one of the classes really shining in PF2.

I think it is true that caster's generally will be less objectively powerful than in PF1 but that is a universal condition for casters and not tied to anyone class in particular.

As far as the Cleric's weapon proficiency, the Weapon Proficiency feat only gives trained. you can't increase any weapons or armor to expert with general feats, only archetype feats. General feats also can't raise saves above expert.

Getting Expert with weapon critical unlocks at level 14 without having to take a multi-class feat is probably about right in comparison to being able to get it at level 12 with the multi-class archetype.


ChibiNyan wrote:
A bit rough that Cleric can't improve weapon prof with one of their class things. I realize not all clerics would want to boost weapons, but a lot do.

In the grand scheme of things being stuck at trained is only a -3 penalty overall. That is a much better situation than Clerics were in with 3/4 BAB. Fighters get those proficiencies really fast though. I am curious about how "cool" the fighter feels in play between levels 13 and 20.


Ranged weapons are going to see big advantage in the number of attacks and thus opportunities for critical hits since they wont have to be moving as much. I highly recomend trying a archer fighter if it is a class you generally like, but it currently looks underwhelming. See if it plays that way. Point blank shot is a good feat.


Zman0 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
...

What things are tied to the +level mechanic that need to be considered? If you would pop on over to my original thread and list every single one you can think of it would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, a lot of DCs would need to be recalculated, but most of the time they are very simple to alter. For most skills we have the DC 5/10/15/20/25/30 table I've suggested. Most places where a DC is required are "DM sets the DC." We can use the static DC suggestion for most or even all of those if we need to.

Good catch on the High Jump, I didn't realize it had an arbitrary DC30. Under Bound P2 that would be an "Impossible" task. Changing it to 5x the number of feat making it similar to the Longjump would work. So it'd be DC20 for 4' and DC25 for 5'.

For other checks with questionable DC we can figure out what they need to be ie Crafting. So, we're told its usually a hard check for the level of the item. That makes it as easy as subtracting the level from the suggested DC on table 10-2. So, making a Bound table for crafting DCs would be very easy, its literally taking the existing table and subtracting the level. DCs for Monster identification can use the modified 10-2 table, or could be devised another way as needed.

There are other places where modifiers are listed ie in certain spells especially with battle forms. To get that, subtract double the spell level from the set modifier or DC and whalla. The math stays the same as designed.

The Bestiary is easy to change, just subtract level from the relevant statistics and write a new encounter table. I've already been working on the encounter table, it is looking like just doubling the range of the existing one does the job just fine. Its looking like lvl -8, lvl -6-7, lvl -4-5, lvl -2-3, lvl +/-1 etc. Hazards get the same -lvl treatment.

These are things I've put a ton of thought into already, and I can assure you, this isn't making the devs go back to square one. The +lvl is not part of the core of the system, it is...

I really appreciate your dedication to your own project and your willingness to engage others in thoughtful conversation about it. Since it is not my primary object to change PF2 into a lower tier game, I probably am not interested in trying to find all the ways it could be, but I acknowledge that it is a worthy 3rd party or fan-based project.

I also want the developers focused on getting the system that uses the +level to proficiency system right, so I'd rather they focus on balancing all of that then getting sidetracked making a game that is not the one they originally set out to make.

No hard feelings, good luck! I made this post primarily for folks who need help understanding why the +level system is there and how deeply I think it is tied to the world building and game design that the developers are setting out to make.


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That is a lot of information, but now anyone can link to it when they see people confused or pushing suggestions that would make the wizard trained in perception (and thus initiative) cringe, when the rogue with legendary proficiency at 13 get some massive bonus that they will never be able to top.

As modular as some aspects of PF2 are, it is not universal and weapon proficiencies, Armor Proficiencies, Saves, Perception, and even skill access (for the rogue) become wildly swingy when you try to make them all do more than they already are.

This isn't to say that some tweaking might not be possible, but I really suggest you try playing through the whole of the play test adventure at all the different levels, against the encounters present there, instead of hypothetical potential ones, before you make suggestions for massive changes to how these systems interact.


Alchemist Proficiencies:
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Expert
Will - Trained

Skills - trained 3+INT

Weapons - trained simple + bombs

Armor - Trained light

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Barbarian
Lvl 1 -
Perception - Expert

Fort - Expert
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 3+Int

Weapons - Trained - simple and martial

Armor - trained in light and medium

Lvl to 20 -
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Fort Master (7th) - Legendary (13)
Weapons - Expert (13)
Will - Master (15)

Bard -
lvl 1
Perception - Expert

Fortitude - Trained
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 7+INT

Weapons - trained simple + 6 weapons

Armor - Trained light, shields

Spells - Trained in occult

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Spells - Occult - Expert (12), Master (16), Legendary (19)

Cleric -
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 5+INT

Weapons - trained simple + favored

Armor - Trained light, medium, + shields

Spells - Trained in divine

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Spells - Divine - Expert (12), Master (16), Legendary (19)

Druid
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 3+INT

Weapons - trained simple + 1 weapon

Armor - Trained light + medium non metal armors, shields

Spells - Trained in Primal

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Spells - Primal - Expert (12), Master (16), Legendary (19)

Fighter
lvl 1
Perception - Expert

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Expert
Will - Trained

Skills - trained 2+INT

Weapons - Expert simple and martial, trained in exotic

Armor - Trained in all

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Weapons - Expert - exotic (13), Master - 1 group (3rd), simple and martial (13), Exotic (19), Legendary - 1 group(13), Simple and martial (19)

Perception - master (7th)

Armor - Expert - heavy and shields (11), Master - heavy and shield, (17), Expert - medium and light (17)

Monk:
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Expert
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 3+INT

Weapons - Trained - Unarmed attacks

Armor - Expert - Unarmored,

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Saving throw - Master - 1 of choice (7), Up to legendary - (15)

Armor - Master - Unarmored (13),Legendary - Unarmored (17)

Paladin
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 4+INT

Weapons - Trained simple and martial,

Armor - Trained in all

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Weapons - Expert - 1 weapon group (5), Master - 1 group (15th), simple and martial (15), Exotic (19), Legendary - 1 group(13), Simple and martial (19)

Armor - Expert - heavy and shields (7), Master - heavy and shield, (13), Medium and light (17), Expert - medium and light (13), Legendary - Heavy and shield (17)

Fort - Master (7th)

Ranger
lvl 1
Perception - Expert

Fortitude - Expert
Reflex - Expert
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 6+INT

Weapons - Trained simple and martial

Armor - Trained in Light and medium

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Weapons - Expert - 1 group (3), simple and martial (13), Master - 1 group (13),

Reflex - master (7th), Legendary (15)

Perception - master (7th), Legendary (15)

Rogue:
lvl 1
Perception - Expert

Fortitude - Trained
Reflex - Expert
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 10+INT

Weapons - Trained - simple + 5 weapons

Armor - Trained in Light

Lvl to 20
5 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
8 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
5 skill increases to Legendary.

Reflex - master (7th), Legendary (13)

Will - Master (17)

Perception - master (7th), Legendary (13)

Weapons - Expert - Simple + 5 (13)

Sorcerer
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Trained
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 5+INT+bloodline

Weapons - trained simple

Armor - trained unarmored

Spells - Trained in any 1

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Spells - any 1 - Expert (12), Master (16), Legendary (19)

Wizard
lvl 1
Perception - Trained

Fortitude - Trained
Reflex - Trained
Will - Expert

Skills - trained 2+INT

Weapons - trained 6 weapons

Armor - Trained - unarmored

Spells - Trained in Arcane

Lvl to 20
2 skill increases to Expert (before level 7)
4 skill increases up to Master (before level 15)
3 skill increases to Legendary.

Spells - Arcane - Expert (12), Master (16), Legendary (19)


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So a lot of people are getting their toes wet with PF2 either by play testing or theory crafting and wanting to see specific changes related to how proficiencies work or what they do in the game. A big part of this is that the blogs were deliberately quiet about how a lot of this worked in a unified system and so people began theory crafting their own systems without seeing the whole thing in action and now they are trying to fit it all together.

Ideas like tying weapon damage to Proficiency, or stretching proficiency numbers might all have been fine ideas if they were the ones built into the system, but they weren't and it creates a lot of problems when you really look at who has access to what proficiencies and what levels they get them.

To help folks get a better sense of this, I have pulled all the base proficiencies each class gets by default into one place so they can be directly compared:


Luceon wrote:

This is an analogy, of someone defending the +1 to EVERYTHING per level mechanic.

"That building shouldn't changed because it perfectly fits that foundation it's built on."

Most of the people who have opposed the +1 to EVERYTHING per level, understand this. We are saying to change the foundation and the building both.

Most or your arguments in this post are a non sequitur.

They are just comparing two different degrees of a scale. PF2 is one scale, D&D 5ed would be an example of a different scale.

So everything you say is meaningless TBH.

"I want the party be able to obliterate low level creatures."
You can do it in both systems. Now reverse that. you are also saying
"I want the party to be obliterated by high level creatures."

"A hired NPC is useful for a longer time"
You forgot to mention.
"A higher level henchman is going to make your party look pitiful, because that NPC will have +1/ level to every skill."

I could go on and on. My main point being, that both systems are valid, in one of them you get to roll x and add x to it targeting a DC 43. In the other you roll a x and add x vs a 23. The question becomes which system has a more elegant mechanic one where you add double digits a lot, or one where you add double digits much less. Which system makes you go change a ton of numbers on your character sheet every time you level? We all agree, that new capability, feats, spells, and occasionally numeric benefits, are good for leveling.

The best advantage that I have found for +1 to EVERYTHING per level, I discovered by re-visiting D&D 4ed design(although it was +1/2 levels and went to max Char lvl 30). Here is what I discovered, they were able to publish way more monsters, because they could take one monster and make several different levels of them. Compare that to D&D 5e where you only really need a few monster books. So, it comes down to economics, and selling more page count. Those of you who support the current system have been duped, your character may appear to be gods to...

I appreciate you engaging my thread. I also want you to know that I never said that a different system couldn't work. I was saying that +level to proficiency is baked into the foundation of this system and a lot of the people calling for it to be removed, and for the difference between proficiencies to be stretched further, are asking for a different foundation to the game, not a simple little tag on.

I have repeatedly stated that power gaming massive numbers is not my favorite kind of RPG system and that I like lower tier grittier games, but the developers have chosen a path very different from that and it has a lot more moving pieces than just a +1 per level to everything. Unfortunately for people that want to take it out, I think that there are more things tied to that mechanic than will first meet the eye.
A whole lot of static DC modifiers are going to have to be scaled down and that is going to result in a lot higher level challenges not looking so heroic.

as just one more example: jumping 3 ft vertical is an action any character can take. Jumping 5 ft vertical is a DC 30 check that no one will be able to make without it.

Telling me that most of the people arguing against a +level to proficiency understand this and are calling for a complete redesign of the system from the ground up is countered by peoples arguments within this very thread and is prevalent across the board.

It is perfectly ok not to like this system and want to play something else. I am sticking around for the play test for sure because I want to really learn the system developed before I decide that its not for me based off of assumptions based off of initial reactions (Of which many of mine were frustration and skepticism).

But as far as this system goes, and not a hypothetical other system, trying to remove +level to proficiency is asking the developers to go back to square one and develop a game where training matters more and experience matters less, which is the opposite of their stated design goal.

Pathfinder's 1st edition was a game of adding X to X vs DC 23 for 5 to 8 levels tops. It was laughing in the face of DCs in the 35-40 range by level 15 and if you ever played mythic it was DC100? hah!

A lot of hardcore Pathfinder fans never played games past level 12. I get how this new system feels jarring compared to a 12 level game. You get many less options in 12 levels, while getting vastly more powerful in a directly comparative sense.

PF2 is about taking heroic folk of common origins and watching them become the stuff of canonical legends. They are the ones that are have closed the worldwound, led revolutions and killed monsters that believed themselves to be gods.

I am not off base or missing the point by admitting that they have put a lot more years of thought to this than someone reading a single blog post or glancing over one classes progression chart and thinking that it would be easy to just cut all that + level stuff out, or make proficiencies stretch an 8 to 15 to 20 point scale (as some proposals have).


Secret Wizard wrote:


This is the type of malarkey that made PF1 a bad game and makes 5E so painful in the first place.

Just make those features modular.

No class should have dead features. Looking at you, Trackless Step.

I think that this "dead feature" concern is an inevitable part of having a class based system. Some of these features are only necessary because those options are sub-optimal without extra training (i.e. Heavy Armor Proficiency). The class has those features to make those options viable, not intrinsically optimal. At the point where every class needs a light armor, medium armor, heavy armor track, as well as a "every weapon style" track, we might as well just have one martial class or no classes at all.

Personally, I am a fan of games like that, but it is not what PF2 is building towards. Within a year or two of game release, they probably will have archetypes that hide those features your character doesn't use from your class, but the exchange rate can't be one to one. There probably will be a fighter archetype that gives up the heavy armor proficiency, but the trade off is probably Expert light armor proficiency earlier and some kind of situational defensive feat or class feature.

I know we were promised a more modular system with PF2, and it is in a lot of ways, but it doesn't look like non-skill proficiencies higher than Expert come without a lot of sacrifice--looking at how a fighter can get Legendary Armor Proficiency with Gray maiden is pretty much 4 feats and still gated to level 18. Expert at 8 is a few levels early, as is master at 14, but feat cost is steep. Is this worth it in play? Would it be worth it for legendary light armor proficiency? Probably, but that makes me think it will cost an extra feat or have higher entry levels.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Asuet wrote:
The point is that in this edition you don't need to dump anything to be good at something else. Even dex builds don't need to dump str. You get easily at lvl 10 to 16 str and 20 dex without dumping anything. And having +5 damage instead of +3 is not a big advantage when you roll 4 or 5 damage dice with a weapon +3/+4.

Yep, the only big problem right now is class budget forcing classes into melee Heavy Armor.

AoO in Fighters and Retributive Strike for Paladins punishes archers.

Heavy Armor preferences punishes DEX users.

Those features should be more optional.

I haven't looked at all at the options for a paladin, but the High Dex fighter is in good shape, either going Melee or Ranged. The Armor proficiency thing is not a big deal.

The proficiency thing doesn't kick in until 11th and 17th level. By 11th level, the High Dex fighter has a +5 Dex mod and so is going to maybe be one AC point behind the Heavy Armor fighter, but the heavy armor fighter is still moving at -10. By level 17, it might shift 1 more point and the speed penalty is reduced, but a melee Dex fighter focused on defense is going to be dualing dance and parry to get a +2 to defense without having to spend an action to raise a shield.

The ranged fighter's might slip a little, but they could always decide to pick up heavy armor at that point and just eat a -5 to speed if the bonus feels worth it. They don't lose the Dex bonus to attacks or reflex in the right armor. And the ranged fighter gets AoOs back at level 8.


Has anyone tried using a longbow in the playtest yet to test this out?


As a feat, this could be really cool. It would need some testing though. It is possible that Fighters could get ridiculous with their extra wealth if they can save 10s of thousands of gold.


This proposal requires a major shift in class design because most classes don't get legendary weapon proficiency or legendary armor proficiency.

Barbarians are in trouble all around.
Rogues are in trouble.
MC casters into fighters are in big trouble.


The Narration wrote:

I don't see any reason why the proficiency can't increase for all the armors at the same rate. It's not like people are going to switch between different armors the way they do for weapons, so it's not like it's a huge advantage.

In terms of Armor Class, every armor comes out with an Armor + Dex = 7. What armor best suits you depends on your Dex. If they think they need to offer extra bonuses to make heavy armor worth wearing, then maybe they shouldn't make the penalties for wearing it so brutal?

If the point of armor class is for every class to get Armor + Dex to equal 7, then there really would be no point to having different armors at all. They might as well let you just describe your character any way you want and make all characters have static ACs that increase with level.

The design is centered around the best possible item bonus + Dexterity modifier = 7 but the equation for AC also includes proficiency. If all armors got the same proficiency bonus, then dexterity builds become champions because medium and heavy armor have innate penalties.

Some people are advocating for the solution to be to drop those penalties, but if you do that, then the value of dexterity drops again and what you essentially have is every character having the same AC and movement and you might as well go back to not having different armors and having AC be static because it would all be the same anyway.

This proficiency system is a lot more subtle and nuanced than it appears when you first look at it, and in that regard, it was kind of misrepresented in the early blogs. Not all proficiencies work the same.

With Armor, you don't need legendary proficiency in your armor to have a good AC. You do to have the Best AC, but not every character is going to have the best AC. The Paladin is designed to be the best AC character, and that doesn't happen if anyone can get legendary proficiency in light armor. It also becomes silly not to wear light armor if you can get absolute best AC with it, and have no speed penalty what so ever.

But, short of maximum dedication to highest defense, Light Armor and Dex is the much easier way to have really good AC, meaning that most characters that are going to be on the front lines of combat want at least a 14 in STR and a 14 in DEX, no matter what their build is going for otherwise. It is a very different system than PF1 and and even more different system that 5e.

Mobility has a very slight cost in PF2 as far as losing some Defense. Is it worth it? Is it balanced? These are questions that really need to be resolved in play, because they are too subtle to theory craft around.


Joshua James Jordan wrote:
Unicore wrote:
Joshua James Jordan wrote:
For a PF1 game, I'm having the players roll defensively. Basically, they take 10 off of their AC and roll against the Attack DC (10 + the attack modifier). We'll be giving it a shot here in the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck.

Your players might need more than luck. With Critical hits universally being good, and Critical misses not mattering very much, the swingy-ness of Defenses means your character is in deep trouble when you roll badly on defense, but you don't really get anything from rolling well on defense. You might need to introduce a critical failure element that affects monsters and players equally or else the party is going to have more instances where they get the snot beat out of them and have to rest more often.

Your system will massively incentivize ranged combat and playing as defensively as possible, so as to reduce the number of defensive rolls you need to make.

The math is basically the same, just reversed (standard 10 going to attack instead of AC). What matters is if it's more fun for them to roll more often or not. I probably didn't explain it very well.

Maybe so. I can say from experience that players and monsters playing by the same rules isn't always as fair as it seems like it should be. Although it doesn't feel this way in story, the reality is that most monsters make far less active rolls in their (often short) life time than players. Getting more critical hits against scrub monsters is ok, but not really in the same ball park as scrub monsters getting more critical hits against PCs. Your system also increases the amount of critical fumbles for both categories, but those don't really affect much, so the net effective result of your system will be more critical hits for monsters and players.

I am curious if, after 10 defensive rolls, if your players will not be asking for a take 10 option on defense that they can use when fighting anyone who's bonus to attack is less then their AC bonus.


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shade2077 wrote:


Please please please remove this 'higher level beats everything' rubbish!

If you really hate the idea that experience trumps training, then PF2 is probably not the game for you. PF1 past level 10 is probably not the game for you either because magic trumps both experience and training and everything else starting right about then as well.

It is really hard to represent the breath of "training" that lived experience yields in a game. It doesn't work at all in a game that only gives you 1 point to increase proficiencies and one feat per level, without getting that general +1 to everything. It also fails spectacularly in games designed to allow you to do things like fight dragons and demi-gods because balancing numbers around 20+ point swings in ability is really really difficult/impossible (ie. see mythic pathfinder).

PF2 has decided to really let Experience shine and that actually gives it a fairly unique place in the game industry. I have my own reservations as well, but I have been impressed enough to see it in play before deciding whether it is the system for me.


Joshua James Jordan wrote:
For a PF1 game, I'm having the players roll defensively. Basically, they take 10 off of their AC and roll against the Attack DC (10 + the attack modifier). We'll be giving it a shot here in the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck.

Your players might need more than luck. With Critical hits universally being good, and Critical misses not mattering very much, the swingy-ness of Defenses means your character is in deep trouble when you roll badly on defense, but you don't really get anything from rolling well on defense. You might need to introduce a critical failure element that affects monsters and players equally or else the party is going to have more instances where they get the snot beat out of them and have to rest more often.

Your system will massively incentivize ranged combat and playing as defensively as possible, so as to reduce the number of defensive rolls you need to make.


Igor Horvat wrote:

some solutions.

As mentioned in various posts it can be:

+1 per level
+1/2 per level(4E)
+1/4 per level(5e)
+1/5 per level(to match PF2 ability boosts)
+0 per level(using just training bonuses and abilities, plus also magic stuff).

I would go with +0 or +1/5.

Increase proficiency from -2/0/1/2/3 to 0/2/4/5/6

Add for weapons and spells +1 damage per level.

+damage is nice way to see little progress and does not break expected hit/AC probability.

Try this out in your own DD campaign and see what happens. You have balanced a lot, so it might feel solid, but I think your level 20 fighter is going to be a murder machine and Legendary Armor proficiency is going to be one hot ticket that makes heavy armor much better than light armor (because more classes get access to boosting heavy armor proficiency). Getting hit critically by that legendary fighter with an extra +20 to damage, wielding a +5 weapon is going to be lights out for a lot of characters and monsters, and the fighter will crit more because Legendary weapon proficiency has been stretched up.


I am guessing the developer thinking here is that if medium armor can get knocked down to no movement penalty, then it it makes medium armor better for a whole lot of builds than light armor. Light Armor's training is pretty specifically limited to trained or expert for almost all of the classes, because it becomes much better than heavy armor for high Dex builds (which the fighter and the ranger can pull off).

The developers have really made the math tight on armor and AC. Figuring out the maximum AC to maneuverability ratio is something that I think they tried to make difficult to mess up, but that means having it pretty rigidly prescribed. Until the fighter gets Armor Master, heavy armor is probably the worst choice for a fighter unless they have completely tanked Dexterity. For fighters at least, I think medium armor is supposed to be the default armor for low levels if you only have a 14 or 12 Dex and then at higher levels, it fills a very narrow niche between high Dex builds and builds that completely tank Dex. If you had a 16 Dex, your ACin a breast plate is the same as if you had a 20 Dex in a chain shirt and your TAC is only one behind. In exchange for 3-4 attribute increases that could go elsewhere. Even maxed out fighters are not going to have 20 Dex that until level 10.

The current rules do seem like push fighters into either maximizing Dex or never letting it get higher than 14, but I have found that a lot of what seems true about builds in theory don't actually work out that way in practice, so I would recomend building a medium armor fighter with a Dex of 14-16 with an 18 STR and seeing how it compares in actual play.

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