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What is a feat Worth?


Advanced Race Guide Playtest

Cheliax

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Alot of the abilities (as many have pointed out) are not priced well in relation to eachother.

A simple way to measure some of these things, I think, is the value of a feat. So whatever a single, fixed feat is worth, should determine the price of several things. Note: I'm using the _Good_ feats as a guideline, not the feats that players are likely to avoid if they have the option.

First I looked through what you could get with a feat. And since one feat is worth the favored class bonus of 1hp/level, and favored class bonuses are equivalent, that provides alot of things equivalent to a feat.

One (non-selectable) feat is worth:
+1 to hit with one weapon type
+2 damage with one weapon type
+2 to two skills, +4 if you have 10+ Ranks.
+3 to One skill, +6 if you have 10+ ranks.
+4 To cast defensively, or while grappling
+1 Infinitely stackable AC Bonus
+2 To and against a Combat Maneuver (and you no longer provoke when you do it)
+1 to Spell DCs from a single school.
+2 vs Spell Resistance.
+1 hp/level.
+4 Initiative
+2 to One Save
Add an additional attribute to one type of skill check.
Reach with a -2 AC (toggleable)
Reroll a save of one type, once per day.

And because 1hp/level is an option for what you get for going into your favored class, the following are also equivalent to a feat.
+1 Skill point/level.
+1 Round for barbarian raging/level .
+1 Round for bardic performance/level .
+1 use of a 1st level domain power you have/2 levels.
+1 use of a 1st level bloodline power you have/2 levels.
+1 use of a 1st level arcane school power you have/2 levels.
+1 alchemist bombs/day/2 levels.
+1 cmd versus two combat maneuvers/level.
+1 to Disable Device and Trap Sense for stone traps/2 levels.
+1 to Wild Empathy for underground animals and magic beasts/2 levels.
+1 to Base Speed/level.
+1 hitpoint to your Animal Companion, familiar, mount or eidolon/level.
+1 Oracle level in terms of curse/2 levels.
DR 1/magic on your animal companion, +1/2 levels after the first.
+1 to Disable Device and Use Magic Device related to glyphs, symbols, and other magic writings/level.
+1 Animal Companion/Familiar/Mount/Eidolon Skill Rank/level.
+1 to Bluff to feint, and to Diplomacy to gather info/2 levels.
+1 Eidolon Evolution pool/4 levels.
+1 bonus witch spell (1 level below max, or lower) added to familiar, not losable on death/level.
+1 Alchemist Bomb damage/2 levels.
+2 to Stabilize when dying/2 levels.
+1 to indimidate checks and knowledge checks to ID creatures/2 levels.
+1 to elemental spell damage of one non-selectable element type)/2 levels.

+ The couple I missed, and Whatever the favored class bonuses are for Halflings and Humans...

Getting the bonus up front is likely worth more than spreading it out over 20 levels, but the above is right, for sure.

Any bonus for yourself, has the same value if applied to your Animal Companion, Familiar mount, or Eidolon.

I lost where I wrote it down, but due to the dwarf oracle favored class bonus, its clear a single weapon proficiency is worth 1/5 of a feat.

If someone wants to contribute more info into this, or has a problem with what I've stated, let me know. :)


Is there a reason you're trying to calculate this? What's the goal?

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Blueluck wrote:
Is there a reason you're trying to calculate this? What's the goal?

To provide a standard "worth" value against which abilities can be compared.

Cheliax

Blueluck wrote:
What's the goal?
StabbittyDoom wrote:
To provide a standard "worth" value against which abilities can be compared.

Exactly, StabbityDoom. If we know the value of all these things, and know that they are equivalent to a feat, its useful in gauging the power of many things. Other existing feats for one, but also, it gives you a standard yardstick that you can use when deciding on the prices of racial features.

If any of those things cost significantly less than a feat, then either theyre too cheap, or you made the feats too expensive; and if they are significantly more, then you made the feature in question too expensive, or feats are priced too cheap.

Additionally, anything that has the same value as one of the things above, has no power justification for not being a feat. Thematic reason maybe, but power no.

And it helps puts into perspective which things are drastically over (or under) valued in the current playtest.

A tangental note to theplaytest, but for example, the above proves just how bad the weapon proficiency feats are (and we all knew they were bad). One weapon proficiency for every four character levels you have, is worth one feat. Thats 5 weapons over 20 levels. Up front? Okay, likely worth a bit more, but not five times more. I could *Maybe* see 3 or 4 weapons for a feat.

Cheliax

I haven't looked through them closely enough to say that I *Agree* these things have the same value, but previous Paizo products show these things as being the same value.

As mentioned. I stopped before the halfling, and there's a chance I may have missed one or two before that in the APG. If someone wants to flesh out the list and sort it more, awesome.

Taldor

Darkholme wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
What's the goal?
StabbittyDoom wrote:
To provide a standard "worth" value against which abilities can be compared.

Exactly, StabbityDoom. If we know the value of all these things, and know that they are equivalent to a feat, its useful in gauging the power of many things. Other existing feats for one, but also, it gives you a standard yardstick that you can use when deciding on the prices of racial features.

If any of those things cost significantly less than a feat, then either theyre too cheap, or you made the feats too expensive; and if they are significantly more, then you made the feature in question too expensive, or feats are priced too cheap.

+1

For purposes of precision I'd layer it further by assessing how situational any given bonus is in the game.

Combat is the top priority, followed by values that support combat outcomes (such as perception bonuses) and the further you move away from combat the more it lessens is value in terms of situations that arise.

Another angle of looking at it would be to go on one of the assumptions about how the system is supposed to work. In 3.5 it was intended that players have four encounters a day to drop them 80% in their resources. With an analysis of the PFS modules, it looks like Paizo is wedded to six encounters a day to get to a similar drain.

Since each encounter on average lasts five rounds, you're looking at 20-30 round days. Something like combat feats can often be used in 80% of the rounds in any given day, such as Power Attack or Rapid Shot. If those feats are being used that often, then if you start to look how other feats serve other actions you can get an idea of how useful they are in terms of situationality. If you get a feat that is at best used once a day, then it had better be a pretty potent feat, because Power Attack is just going to make it look lame otherwise.

Cheliax

Mok wrote:

+1

For purposes of precision I'd layer it further by assessing how situational any given bonus is in the game.

Combat is the top priority, followed by values that support combat outcomes (such as perception bonuses) and the further you move away from combat the more it lessens is value in terms of situations that arise.

Another angle of looking at it would be to go on one of the assumptions about how the system is supposed to work. In 3.5 it was intended that players have four encounters a day to drop them 80% in their resources. With an analysis of the PFS modules, it looks like Paizo is wedded to six encounters a day to get to a similar drain.

Since each encounter on average lasts five rounds, you're looking at 20-30 round days. Something like combat feats can often be used in 80% of the rounds in any given day, such as Power Attack or Rapid Shot. If those feats are being used that often, then if you start to look how other feats serve other actions you can get an idea of how useful they are in terms of situationality. If you get a feat that is at best used once a day, then it had better be a pretty potent feat, because Power Attack is just going to make it look lame otherwise.

Some decent arguments, but that doesnt relate to what I have up above, because I didnt price those things, I just pulled them out of my Core and APG.

However, those are definitely things that need to be considered when they price the abilities.

Cheliax

But yeah. I didnt come up with these equivalencies, I pulled them out of the Core rulebook and the APG. That was the point. It was an exercise in "what has paizo previously stated has the same value as a feat?"

The first set are literally a bunch of feats... Including Toughness.

The second set are a bunch of favored class abilities, which are equivalent to eachother in power, and therefore equivalent to toughness. (as +1 hp per level is the default option for favored class.)

Which makes them all the power level of a feat, not including any additional cost for being able to pick the feat yourself.

Cheliax

Hard to compare; like a racial trait gets you a feat/4 levels (Half-elf summoner) or a feat every 6 levels (Rogue Trick / Bard performance). Feats can also be worth two feats (net + trident proficiency; human). They should streamline-balance; if rogues/bards/barbarians get a feat equivalent (of a feat people do take) every 6 levels summoners shouldn't get one every 4.


Thalin wrote:
Hard to compare; like a racial trait gets you a feat/4 levels (Half-elf summoner) or a feat every 6 levels (Rogue Trick / Bard performance). Feats can also be worth two feats (net + trident proficiency; human). They should streamline-balance; if rogues/bards/barbarians get a feat equivalent (of a feat people do take) every 6 levels summoners shouldn't get one every 4.

Sure, but going this route jumps the ship of the Race Builder's purpose and leads straight towards PF 2nd Edition.

I like what you're saying, but it's just not the right approach to take for what currently exists in PF's system.

For the Race Builder to be useful and fair, it has to be designed from the current evaluations/metrics/whatever that the current system has that drives PF. It can't be redefining or reevaluating existing relationships (good, bad, or otherwise). It needs to mimic them.

Darkholme is on the right path, but it's a bit of work to get this sort of thing ironed out.

I disagree with some of the assessments, or rather, I think the "This is like so, and this is at this level, so this ability at this level is the same value" that has put you into a position to look at +1 to Domain, etc power uses/day as to equate with a +1 hp/level. Magic is FAR more potent than that simple train of thought leads, and the system actually enforces this (mostly) by delaying magic gains in several ways.

Mostly, though, I'm just not following the train of thought that put you there fully in the first place. +1 Domain power/spell/whatever is not even *close* to +1 hp/level. {which I cite since it was your example up there}

Cheliax

+1 first level Domain use /2 levels is equivalent to +1 hp/level.

Why do I say this? because both are selectable as favored class bonuses.

Its not the powerful domain abilities, its the first level ones. And if theyre not equivalent, then why you shouldn't be allowed to swap one for the other, and in that case, they shouldnt have been made equivalent by Paizo in the APG.

Dwarf Cleric, Elven Wizard, Elven Sorcerer, etc.

Look at the alternate favored class abilities in the APG. thats where I got the ones you're finding hard to believe from.

How did I connect them to feats? +1hp/level is what you get from toughness, and thats the benefit you swap out for thes alternate benefits.

*Are* they actually equivalent? I'd say theyre pretty close, at least for the most part. But thats not my point. My point is that according to paizo ability valuations, these things are equivalent.


Darkholme wrote:

+1 first level Domain use /2 levels is equivalent to +1 hp/level.

Why do I say this? because both are selectable as favored class bonuses.

Its not the powerful domain abilities, its the first level ones. And if theyre not equivalent, then why you shouldn't be allowed to swap one for the other, and in that case, they shouldnt have been made equivalent by Paizo in the APG.

Dwarf Cleric, Elven Wizard, Elven Sorcerer, etc.

Look at the alternate favored class abilities in the APG. thats where I got the ones you're finding hard to believe from.

How did I connect them to feats? +1hp/level is what you get from toughness, and thats the benefit you swap out for thes alternate benefits.

*Are* they actually equivalent? I'd say theyre pretty close, at least for the most part. But thats not my point. My point is that according to paizo ability valuations, these things are equivalent.

Ok, I got ya. Thanks for the breakdown - makes sense in much the same way I've been looking at the system's assumptions on Feats in general.

So ... these things are being suggested as what? 2 rp's then as "fixed feat" sort of thing?

By this measure the magic-stuff *does* end up costing "more" though and is valued more highly from it's built in "every other level" progression. Maybe, then, it would be best to remove those things from your first list (since they actually have a different value by way of the delayed progression by comparison to the other options out there)?

Yeah ... seeing it tied into the "= +1 hp/level = 1 feat (toughness)" is definitely what threw me.

It would probably be more beneficial to make those into a separate grouping that is valued at x2 of the base grouping (1 feat) because that's basically what all of those options are, then, with that "every other level, or 1/2 levels" terminology attached.

It's a per level dedication, but you only get an actual effect after paying for 2 levels worth of dedication (favored class bonus), so it's just a bit off and not all that helpful to even include it in the "= to a feat" list because it's actually a bit more than a feat.

Does that make sense?

Cheliax

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Well, would it be best to start everyone off with 3 feats?

For 1 feat you can have a scaling "Favored Class" bonus, since toughness = favored class
Then all favored class bonuses would become racial feats. For instance, a human sorcerer could spend a feat and get a spell one level lower for every level they attain. Do you make this retro? Can a Summoner use a feat for 3 evolution points at 13.

Then of course 2 traits = 1 feat.

Of course, this means a human fighter could start with 5 combat feats if they want.

Ah the mind boggles. I guess the question is.... what's the thread goal?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

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I like where you're going with this, Darkholme.

To add to your list, one feat lets you get two traits. Below are many of the benefits you can gain from traits (excluding campaign traits, which, of course, are campaign specific, not generic).

Trait bonuses involving attack and damage rolls
+1 on rolls to confirm critical hits
+1 on attacks of opportunity with unarmed strikes
+1 on attacks of opportunity with bladed weapons
+1 weapon damage when flanking
+1 weapon damage versus undead
+1 weapon damage when using a divine spell that affects weapons
+2 fire damage on a critical hit with a scimitar
+your crit modifier to damage on a critical hit (after multiplying other damage)

Trait bonuses involving saving throws
+1 on one save
+1 saves against arcane spells
+1 saves against divine spells
+1 saves against fire effects, +4 saves against hot weather conditions
+2 saves against charm and compulsion
+2 saves against fear
+2 saves against illusion
+2 saves against mind-affecting effects within 1 hour of consuming alcohol
+2 saves against death effects and automatically stabilize, both when under the effects of any spell

Trait bonuses involving skills and feats
+1 leadership score
+1 initiative, may draw a weapon as a free action during a surprise round
+2 initiative
+1 initiative, +1 on checks with one skill
+1 on checks with one skill, that skill is a class skill
+1 to Stealth checks, +2 in hills, Stealth is a class skill
+1 on checks with two Knowledge skills, and one of them is a class skill
+1 on Diplomacy checks to gather info and Sense Motive, one of these is a class skill
+1 on Diplomacy checks to gather info and one Knowledge skill, one of these is a class skill
+1 on all skill checks made while escaping/helping a slave escape, Escape Artist is a class skill
+2 Diplomacy against hostile or unfreindly targets, may reroll once if you fail
+2 on Survival checks to find food and water, +1 Knowledge (nature), one of these skills is a class skill
+2 on Knowledge (local) checks involving art or music, +1 on any one Perform skill
+2 on Perception checks related to metals, jewels, and gems
+4 Survival checks to avoid becoming lost
+5 on all Bluff checks to send you secret messages, +5 on your Sense Motive to intercept them
select one Strength- or Dexterity-based skill, use your Wisdom instead, that skill is a class skill
reduce armor check penalty from armor by 1

Trait bonuses involving magical abilities
+1 to your channel energy DC
+1 caster level with one spell of your choice
metamagic costs 1 level less with one spell of your choice
+2 caster level in one class, up to your Hit Dice
+2 on concentration checks
spell-like ability: 1/day - one 0-level spell of your choice
stabilize a dying creature by touch as a standard action
magic items you make cost 5% less

Trait bonuses involving mixed benefits
+2 initiative and +1 damage on critical hits when underground
+1 on one save when a Tiny or larger animal is within 30 feet, Handle Animal is a class skill
+1 on Acrobatics, +1 CMD against one combat maneuver
+2 saves against mind-affecting effect from demons, +3 Knowledge (planes) checks against demons
+1 Bluff, Diplomacy, and language-based spell DCs against creatures that could find you attractive

Several things worth noting:
Traits value conditional bonuses about half as much as blanket bonuses.
Traits value Knowledge and Perform skills about half as much as other skills.

Cheliax

Thalin wrote:
Well, would it be best to start everyone off with 3 feats?

I'd say you can't swap out favored class for a feat, since you only really get the benefit of the whole feat if you single class 1-20. So you could only really swap it out for a feat that scales from 1-20, and the benefits would be based not on your total level, but on your favored class level. But the other way around? absolutely.

Thalin wrote:
Ah the mind boggles. I guess the question is.... what's the thread goal?

Basically to show that whatever they price a fixed feat at, all these other things need to have the same price tag for consistency. So +2 to one skill for two points? That's drastically overpriced, since (because a fixed feat is 2 points) +3 at 1 rank scaling to +6 at 10 ranks is worth 2 points. +1 Skill point per level is also worth 2 points, but it doesnt raise your skill maximum.

However, for the fighter thats complaining that he doesnt have enough skillpoints, if he gave up one feat, that brings him to 3/level, and if he gives up another, thats 4/level.

The Speaker in Dreams wrote:
So ... these things are being suggested as what? 2 rp's then as "fixed feat" sort of thing?

Precisely. and if they think one of these is worth more than 2 rps, then the fixed feat is worth whatever price tag they assign to it.

The Speaker in Dreams wrote:

By this measure the magic-stuff *does* end up costing "more" though and is valued more highly from it's built in "every other level" progression. Maybe, then, it would be best to remove those things from your first list (since they actually have a different value by way of the delayed progression by comparison to the other options out there)?

Yeah ... seeing it tied into the "= +1 hp/level = 1 feat (toughness)" is definitely what threw me.

It's a per level dedication, but you only get an actual effect after paying for 2 levels worth of dedication (favored class bonus), so it's just a bit off and not all that helpful to even include it in the "= to a feat" list because it's actually a bit more than a feat.

Does that make sense?

I understand your logic, but I disagree with it because it doesnt matter which pattern it increases by. Skill focus is at 0 and at 10. Are you suggesting its priced higher because you dont get an increasing benefit every level?

The bonus magic, for the entire effect (+x every so many levels, up to 20) is worth 1 feat. If you look at the rates of increase, not all of them give you something every level. The Dwarven Oracle Weapon Proficiency bonus is for every 4 levels, with decreased penalties in between. All that matters is: This (scaling) bonus setup is worth 1 feat. You want it to increase more than 1 every 2 levels? maybe its a feat that could be allowed multiple times, stacking. maybe not.

Thalin wrote:
For instance, a human sorcerer could spend a feat and get a spell one level lower for every level they attain. Do you make this retro? Can a Summoner use a feat for 3 evolution points at 13.

Exactly this. But yes they'd be retroactive. Except youre making the generalization that a bonus witch spell = a bonus sorcerer spell. The witch is a prepared caster, not spontaneous, so I dont think it carries over at the same price. Its more like giving a wizard bonus spells, that he gets for free in his new spellbook, if the old one gets destroyed/stolen. He wouldnt have to rebuy, or re-scribe them, and he wouldnt have to pay the cost to scribe them the first time either.

Though its worth noting, looking ta the witch. Yes it would be retroactive. But it would have to follow a table. A 13th level witch couldn't get 13 6th level spells.
They could get 1 6th, 2 5th, 2 4th, 2 3rd, 2 2nd, 2 1st, and 2 0th, and they could use higher level options for free lower spells, if they wanted.
Epic Meepo wrote:
Traits

Exactly. By definition, the bonuses of all those traits, should be half the cost of the bonus of a fixed feat.

Being able to pick any one of those traits, should be half the cost of a selectable feat.


Ok, I'm going to try and summarize this in bullet points (mostly to see if I'm following correctly):

1) swapping out feats for favored class bonus effects you're in support of (yuck), but not vice versa (ie: forgoing class bonuses for extra feats).

2) +2 to 1 skill for 2 points - from the existing race builder values? This is a "price problem" and needs to be evaluated/corrected accordingly. Correct? {is that what you're saying?} Is this ignoring the fact that it adds to overall skill competence values? Shouldn't that count for something kind of like how choice counts for an "open" feat vs. a "preselected" feat? {not all that much, but isn't this also a factor?}

3) What is "these" when you say "if one is worth more than 2 rp's" referring to? Are you saying that fixed feats should/could have different values, even to each other? {I think that's bad if so, because the system makes no distinction there. That's unlike the "open" vs. "preselected" feat disparity that has at least *some* presence in the system}

4) On the "favored class bonus benefit" progression thing - never mind. I get you fully now. Favored class, over ALL levels (1-infinite) just has the effect of 1 feat. Yes? Got ya! ;-)

5) Thallin's suggestion I would not touch with a 10-foot pole here. Just layering on extra spell capacities!?!?! Yipes! That's just a bad idea, but mechanically it's sound enough. Rules-abuse potential is extreme, but it's sound in theory. Personally, I'd never allow this particular option, but this is less about preference and more about pure mechanics.

Suggested pricing scheme thus far:
1) 1 feat, pre-selected = 2 rp's
2) 1 trait = 1 rp
3) 1 feat, "open" = 4 rp's
4) Favored Class bonus (taken as a whole, not level by level) = 1 feat.

[did I miss anything there?]

Cheliax

@ SID
1. Yes. You may not like it thematically, but mechanically theres no reason it shouldn't work. However, most feats dont scale from 1-20, so the reverse substitution doesn't work. (except in cases that do scale the whole way up, like, coincidentally, toughness.)
2. Yes. its a price problem. This is not ignoring the fact that it adds to overall competence, because so does the feat I could give for the same cost. Right now a race can have +2 to 3 skills, for 6 points, or I can give them +3 to 3 skills, that bumps up to +6 at 10 ranks, for the same number of points.
If you mean that you couldnt take the feat for the same skill multiple times so it lowers your overall stacking potential? thats a small drawback, but not a big enough one to justify 1/3 the benefit at lv 10, and 2/3 the benefit at lv 1.
Right now, I can also always spend another feat for +2 to two skills, +4 at 10 ranks, and make one of them be the first skill I picked.
For 6 points, I can get +5 to 2 skills, bumped up to +10 once you have 10 ranks. Substantially better than +6 to one skill, or +2 to 3 skills once, don't you think?
3. If they think any of these benefits should be priced higher than 2 points (such as the current +2 skill bonus for 2 points), then they have underpriced ALL preselected feats.
4. Yep.
5. I looked into it further. When I commented I hadnt looked at the halfling or the human. What he says is sound in principle. So yeah. That's worth 1 feat. The APG Says so. Personally, I dont have any big problems with it. Its also worth noting, that theres nothing that says it would be a feat you could take more than once. So if youre a 13th level caster of any variety, you could get 13 more spells known (not spells per day) for the cost of a feat, but which levels you get would be based on your spell progression. They couldnt all be level 6 spells, as I pointed out above. Could you take it again and get 26 instead of 13? I'm not going to say for sure about the mechanical balance of that, because I haven't looked into it closely, but it *probably* wouldnt be a problem.

Suggested Pricing Scheme thus far:
1 preselected Feat-Equivalent-Object(Feat, Fav.Class benefit, 2 traits): PFEOc (Whatever they cost it at, currently 2)
1 "open" Feat-Equivalent Object: OFEOc (Whatever they cost it at, currently 4)
1 preselected trait: (PFEOc/2)
1 "open" trait: (OFEOc/2)
Mechanical benefit as good as a good FEO: (PFEOc)
Mechanical benefit as good as a good trait: (PFEOc/2)
Mechanical benefit crappier than a good FEO: (<PFEOc)
Mechanical benefit crappier than good trait: (<(PFEOc/2))
Mechanical benefit 2x as good as a good FEO: 2x PFEOc (double bonuses, etc.)
Mechanical benefit 3x as good as a good FEO: 3x PFEOc (double bonuses, etc.)

I'm not tying the values of stuff to specific numbers, instead, according to whatever they price a preseleced or open feat at, because if they say, raise the cost of a preselected feat to 6, these things need to be raised proportionately. You see what I mean?

I went through what I did before, added the fav. class stuff from APG that I missed in the first post, and put it in an autocalculating Excel Workbook.

If you guys just wanna look at it, or want to expand on the observations, feats, etc, feel free to add to it, document what you added, and reup. Right now it doesnt include any trait benefits, I dont have time to add to it more tonight.
Excel Workbook (xls format)

If you change the cost of a feat, it will adjust everything in the document to match, instantly.

Hopefully some other people add to it and reup. Mediafire is free. :)

Andoran

Darkholme wrote:

@ SID

1. Yes. You may not like it thematically, but mechanically theres no reason it shouldn't work. However, most feats dont scale from 1-20, so the reverse substitution doesn't work. (except in cases that do scale the whole way up, like, coincidentally, toughness.)
2. Yes. its a price problem. This is not ignoring the fact that it adds to overall competence, because so does the feat I could give for the same cost. Right now a race can have +2 to 3 skills, for 6 points, or I can give them +3 to 3 skills, that bumps up to +6 at 10 ranks, for the same number of points.
If you mean that you couldnt take the feat for the same skill multiple times so it lowers your overall stacking potential? thats a small drawback, but not a big enough one to justify 1/3 the benefit at lv 10, and 2/3 the benefit at lv 1.
3. If they think any of these benefits should be priced higher than 2 points (such as the current +2 skill bonus for 2 points), then they have underpriced ALL preselected feats.
4. Yep.
5. I looked into it further. When I commented I hadnt looked at the halfling or the human. What he says is sound in principle. So yeah. That's worth 1 feat. The APG Says so. Personally, I dont have any big problems with it. Its also worth noting, that theres nothing that says it would be a feat you could take more than once. So if youre a 13th level caster of any variety, you could get 13 more spells known (not spells per day) for the cost of a feat, but which levels you get would be based on your spell progression. They couldnt all be level 6 spells, as I pointed out above. Could you take it again and get 26 instead of 13? I'm not going to say for sure about the mechanical balance of that, because I haven't looked into it closely, but it *probably* wouldnt be a problem.

Suggested Pricing Scheme thus far:
1 preselected Feat-Equivalent-Object(Feat, Fav.Class benefit, 2 traits): PFEOc (Whatever they cost it at, currently 2)
1 "open" Feat-Equivalent Object: OFEOc (Whatever they cost it at, currently 4)
1 preselected trait:...

It's actually worse than you say, because you can grant skill focus for 1 point using the Adaptability trait.

Cheliax

StabbittyDoom wrote:
"Adaptability only costs 1 point."

Right. forgot adaptability is priced cheaper than other feats.

So make that 4 points for +5 to two skills, +10 at 10 ranks, versus, 4 points for +4 to one skill, or +2 to two skills.

Clearly a pricing problem.

If a feat is worth 2 points, then +2 to one skill is worth 0.4 points up to level 9, and 0.1 points for levels 10+. That averages out to 0.25 points.

the +2 bonus to a skill is priced at 8x its actual value.

Or if you look at it the other way around, if you think +2 to a skill is worth 2 points, then any pre-selected feat is worth 16 points.*
* This is based on the assumption that they keep adaptability as being worth 1/2 as much as other feats. If they don't, here's how the math works out:
6 pts for +5 to 2 skills, +10 at 10 ranks, vs.
4 pts for +2 to 2 skills.

(6/4)=3/2 we're saving 1/3 the points.
(2/5)=.4 the benefit for skill bonus vs the benefit for 3 feats before lv 10.
(2/10)=.2 the benefit for skill bonus vs the benefit for 3 feats after lv 10.

So: (3/2)* ((.4+.2)/2) = .45
So in this case, the +2 skill bonus is almost worth half a point.

Feel free to correct me if any of my math is wrong.

Andoran

Darkholme wrote:
StabbittyDoom wrote:
"Adaptability only costs 1 point."

Right. forgot adaptability is priced cheaper than other feats.

So make that 4 points for +5 to two skills, +10 at 10 ranks, versus, 4 points for +4 to one skill, or +2 to two skills.

Clearly a pricing problem.

If a feat is worth 2 points, then +2 to one skill is worth 0.4 points up to level 9, and 0.1 points for levels 10+. That averages out to 0.25 points.

the +2 bonus to a skill is priced at 8x its actual value.

Or if you look at it the other way around, if you think +2 to a skill is worth 2 points, then any pre-selected feat is worth 16 points.

I'd say a +2 racial is worth 1RP. Or +2 to two "lesser" skills (Knowledge, Craft and Profession). Sure, that's still more than adaptability, but you're paying for the stacking (and +4 for 1 RP seems a bit much, while charging less than 1RP isn't supported by the system).

Cheliax

I'd say, price adaptability the same as any other feat.
Then give +2 to 2 skills, for 1 point.

Default races dont have to average out to 10. If you can adjust things to be reasonably priced, and it makes all the base races average out at 25, or even some weird number like 36, who cares?

I dont think it matters what the average number of points one race gets is, so long as things are priced accurately according to eachother.

But for the 1RP you suggest? people would buy it, and they'd be paying 3/4 (or 1/2, if the price of adaptability goes up to match other feats) a point simply for the ability to stack it with the feats.

Its still a little high, but its more reasonable than the price given now.

Now, if it was priced at 1, adaptability cost the same as other feats, and the other pre-selected feats were priced at say, 4 (and everything else was adjusted to fit around feats being priced at 4), then the price ratio would be right between them (just a little off for the numbers, plus a little extra for stacking.)

Taldor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Darkholme, life's keeping me busy and I can't dive into this stuff right now, but I just have to say good work!

Gogogo!

Cheliax

Mok wrote:

Darkholme, life's keeping me busy and I can't dive into this stuff right now, but I just have to say good work!

Gogogo!

Thanks!


I'll spend some more time on this when I have a few hours. Meanwhile: dot.

Cheliax

StabbityDoom, and someone in This thread, suggested that racial abilities that stack with feats should cost more than a bonus feat that accomplishes the same thing.

So I have to ask two real questions then:

1. How much is it worth to be able to stack with feats? Is it a flat number? Double? 8x (current benefit diference between skill bonus racial and racial feat bonuses that add to the same skills)?

2. How much is it worth to not have to use up one of your 10 character feats because your race gave you a bonus feat?

If #1 is > #2, I can see paying more for things that stack with feats.
if #2 is < #1, then alot of things are even more overpriced than I thought they were.


Darkholme wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
What's the goal?
StabbittyDoom wrote:
To provide a standard "worth" value against which abilities can be compared.
Exactly, StabbityDoom. If we know the value of all these things, and know that they are equivalent to a feat, its useful in gauging the power of many things. Other existing feats for one, but also, it gives you a standard yardstick that you can use when deciding on the prices of racial features. . .

Doh! I saw this thread via the greater "Pathfinder RPG" forum heading, and didn't realize it was in the ARG sub forum! As soon as I read "prices of racial features" I realized what the context was.

My bad.

Andoran

Darkholme wrote:

StabbityDoom, and someone in This thread, suggested that racial abilities that stack with feats should cost more than a bonus feat that accomplishes the same thing.

So I have to ask two real questions then:

1. How much is it worth to be able to stack with feats? Is it a flat number? Double? 8x (current benefit diference between skill bonus racial and racial feat bonuses that add to the same skills)?

2. How much is it worth to not have to use up one of your 10 character feats because your race gave you a bonus feat?

If #1 is > #2, I can see paying more for things that stack with feats.
if #2 is < #1, then alot of things are even more overpriced than I thought they were.

The value is, to me, in the rounding error. It is valueable for certain characters, but not for all, and thus should be valued higher by the smallest amount possible. In this case, any skill focus is already 1RP, and that's +3 or 6, so you're kinda stuck with 1RP for a +2 racial (or 2 for the "lesser" skills). You don't want to go higher because it would be obviously overpriced at 2, but you can't go lower because 1 is the minimum.


The Speaker in Dreams wrote:

Ok, I'm going to try and summarize this in bullet points (mostly to see if I'm following correctly):

1) swapping out feats for favored class bonus effects you're in support of (yuck), but not vice versa (ie: forgoing class bonuses for extra feats).

2) +2 to 1 skill for 2 points - from the existing race builder values? This is a "price problem" and needs to be evaluated/corrected accordingly. Correct? {is that what you're saying?} Is this ignoring the fact that it adds to overall skill competence values? Shouldn't that count for something kind of like how choice counts for an "open" feat vs. a "preselected" feat? {not all that much, but isn't this also a factor?}

3) What is "these" when you say "if one is worth more than 2 rp's" referring to? Are you saying that fixed feats should/could have different values, even to each other? {I think that's bad if so, because the system makes no distinction there. That's unlike the "open" vs. "preselected" feat disparity that has at least *some* presence in the system}

4) On the "favored class bonus benefit" progression thing - never mind. I get you fully now. Favored class, over ALL levels (1-infinite) just has the effect of 1 feat. Yes? Got ya! ;-)

5) Thallin's suggestion I would not touch with a 10-foot pole here. Just layering on extra spell capacities!?!?! Yipes! That's just a bad idea, but mechanically it's sound enough. Rules-abuse potential is extreme, but it's sound in theory. Personally, I'd never allow this particular option, but this is less about preference and more about pure mechanics.

Suggested pricing scheme thus far:
1) 1 feat, pre-selected = 2 rp's
2) 1 trait = 1 rp
3) 1 feat, "open" = 4 rp's
4) Favored Class bonus (taken as a whole, not level by level) = 1 feat.

[did I miss anything there?]

Like the concept and I think this really forms an interesting architecture for racial bonus and their costs. Also will add the whole new spells thing has precedence too via feats with the Expanded Arcana feat in APG, although its limited to those with selective spell lists.


Wow, excellent analyses so far. I've been too busy to play with the ARG yet, but dotting for when I have time.

Cheliax

I am not sure you are ever going to have a perfect number system for analizing all of this. This game is based off of DnD which does not really balance out to math so easily. If you really wanted a truly equal system, you would have to start from the ground up and make a new game.

The biggest varible for most of these abilities is the situation. In a save or suck situation that +2 save trumps +1 to hit by far, in a fight against a very dexerious opponet vice versa.

Cheliax

... Did you... read the posts?

This isn't me coming up with a number system. Me coming up with a number system would likely have priced things rather differently.

This is my pulling a number system out of other paizo products.

Thus:
Feats are priced equally because you choose them "any time you get a feat"
Traits are priced at half-a-feat, because the Trait document says thats what theyre worth.
And Favored Class level bonuses are priced as a feat. Because The default favored level bonus is Toughness, which is a feat.

The assertion I'm making, is that anything you can do with a feat, or a trait, if gained as a racial feature instead of a feat or trait should have the same price as a feat or a trait (or lower, if its on the crappier end of things).

Besides that its just me (and other people) going through feats, traits, and favored class bonuses, to get benchmarks of what things are worth the same thing as a feat, or a trait, according to the equalities Paizo has already spelled out in the system.

Yes I'm aware that some feats suck. And that in some cases Paizo does a "instead of this feat you get these multiple crappier feats". That's why I'm trying to pick the non-crappy feats as benchmarks. We want to know how GOOD something can be to be reasonably priced, not how much something crappy can be taken and overpriced.

Example: Weapon Proficiencies:
Feats say: 1 weapon proficiency is worth 1 feat.
Favored Class says: 1 weapon proficiency every 4 levels is worth one favored class benefit.
Since 1 feat = 1 favored class benefit, that's saying that

1 weapon proficiency, and 1 weapon proficiency every 4 levels, are both worth 1 feat.

Clearly I take the better of the two (I dont know anyone who uses feats on weapon proficiencies (except like an exotic weapon master who does it once.). Its almost always more worth it to dip into fighter. You lose class abilities, but GAIN another feat, as well as the proficiencies you need.)

Therefore:

If a preselected feat is worth 2 points. And an open feat is worth double that, then a preselected trait is worth 1 point, and an open trait is worth 2. Additionally, any benefit that can be gained by a feat, is worth 2 points. and any benefit that can be gained by a trait, is worth 1. And this is drawn from paizo stuff, this isnt me deciding what these things are worth. CORE, & APG. Thats where this is coming from.

Do you disagree with my one assertion that draws all this together?

Therefore: going back to the skill example:

So long as Skill Focus is priced at 1rp, +3 to a skill now, and +6 to a skill at 10 ranks, is worth 1 rp. Any benefit to skills smaller than that, is worth less than one rp.
If they raised it up to 2, with the other feats, Then 2 points would be worth +4 to a skill once (3, +half the bonus gained at 10, averaging out how big a bonus it gives you over the whole 20 levels, and taking into account the +3 up front. Really its 4.5, but I rounded down), or +3 now bumped up to +6 at 10 ranks. 1 point is worth half that (since 1 is half of 2).
So if Skill focus costs 2 points, +2 to one skill would be reasonable at 1 point. If Skill focus is worth half as much as the other feats, and is worth 1 point, then +4 to one skill is also worth one point.

Additionally, since its skill-related, the bonus skillpoints that humans get? Also worth two points, as that's what its worth as a favored class bonus. Its more points overall, but youre not raising your maximum on any one skill, so it takes a bigger benefit to pay off, AND, things that are That spread out, are worth less than things that are less spread out.

As for the suggestion of "assigning numbers to these things doesnt work, you'd need to make a whole new game", well, paizo is assigning numbers to these things, that's what the playtest is all about. I'm not necessarily saying these prices are perfectly balanced, but they dont look too bad, and MOST importantly, they're consistent with the value Paizo has put on the options elsewhere.

And obviously, all these things are subject to change, if they change the price of a feat, or if they say that one feat in particular is worth less than the others (such as skill focus at 1).

Cheliax

Something else occurs to me: Benefits on an Eidolon are equivalent to benefits on a player.(fav class)

It would take a little more work, but I think you could tie the value of evolution points to feats, and figure out the conversion rate. Off the top of my head, it looks like 1 EP is worth 2 feats, which would put the evolutions on a 4-16 scale.

But I could be wrong. Its a weaker connection, and maybe the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced (thats where I'm connecting it right now.), and its possible that the eidolon pricing scheme wont connect at all. Maybe there will be a drastic difference in value, maybe they will be priced wonky. So far its an idea I haven't looked into much.


Darkholme wrote:

Something else occurs to me: Benefits on an Eidolon are equivalent to benefits on a player.(fav class)

It would take a little more work, but I think you could tie the value of evolution points to feats, and figure out the conversion rate. Off the top of my head, it looks like 1 EP is worth 2 feats, which would put the evolutions on a 4-16 scale.

But I could be wrong. Its a weaker connection, and maybe the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced (thats where I'm connecting it right now.), and its possible that the eidolon pricing scheme wont connect at all. Maybe there will be a drastic difference in value, maybe they will be priced wonky. So far its an idea I haven't looked into much.

And some animal companion stuff too, which raises some interesting racial options. Could we do a pet based on race? Say, a race of humanoid that store their spiritual essence inside animals, or bond with them at birth or something.

Cheliax

Don't see why not. Though I'm not sure exactly what you could do with it.

"Acquire Familiar" was a feat in 3.5, and I never thought it was overpowered. Animal Companion would be, but not a familiar. I could easily see a Familiar as a Racial Feature. That would actually be pretty cool.

Call it "Obtain Familiar" if Acquire isn't OGC. :P

So 2 points for the beastie thing. Then layer on some benefits, and you have a race with synergies to a pet.


Darkholme wrote:

Something else occurs to me: Benefits on an Eidolon are equivalent to benefits on a player.(fav class)

It would take a little more work, but I think you could tie the value of evolution points to feats, and figure out the conversion rate. Off the top of my head, it looks like 1 EP is worth 2 feats, which would put the evolutions on a 4-16 scale.

But I could be wrong. Its a weaker connection, and maybe the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced (thats where I'm connecting it right now.), and its possible that the eidolon pricing scheme wont connect at all. Maybe there will be a drastic difference in value, maybe they will be priced wonky. So far its an idea I haven't looked into much.

Hm. Isn't there a feat that grants 1 evolution point (to the eidolon or to a familiar)? And there's a favored class benefit that grants multiple evolution points over 20 levels - that might make a decent basis for a race that improves as you level (for example, a winged race that can't fly very well / at all at level 1, but gets better at it.)

I think the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced - for things that aren't an eidolon. (For the eidolon itself, with its fixed stats and limits on magic items and such, it's at least somewhat more reasonable.)

Cheliax

Emerald Wyvern wrote:
I think the skill bonus for eidolons is underpriced - for things that aren't an eidolon. (For the eidolon itself, with its fixed stats and limits on magic items and such, it's at least somewhat more reasonable.)

Perhaps. I wasn't suggesting 1 EP=1RP. I was suggesting 1EP=4RP. and 4EP=16RP. But if skills are priced that way due to a weakness in the eidolon, then perhaps it doesnet need to be so steep.

Shadow Lodge

Just a bit of confusion to add to the mix.

Scent is an advanced ability that Half-orcs can buy as a feat. It costs 4RP

Fast is an advanced ability that costs 1 RP and adds 10ft to speed. Fleet is a feat that adds 5ft to speed. Its also a level 1 class feature for barbarians and a class feature for monks.

I think some feats are just better than others, but I like the thread. I hope that it helps realise that you don't need all races and abilities to be even for the game to work.

Cheliax

Svipdag wrote:
Just a bit of confusion to add to the mix.

Thanks for the examples.

Svipdag wrote:
Scent is an advanced ability that Half-orcs can buy as a feat. It costs 4RP

I could have sworn scent was also a regular feat for monsters. I'd have to double check, but if it is, then 4RP for scent is quite overpriced.

Svipdag wrote:
Fast is an advanced ability that costs 1 RP and adds 10ft to speed. Fleet is a feat that adds 5ft to speed. Its also a level 1 class feature for barbarians and a class feature for monks.

There's also the Favored class ability that adds 5 ft. of speed every 5 levels, which is equivalent to a feat. Fleet simply isn't very good. Fleet should grant the same benefits as fast. Fast is underpriced, especially if it gives double the benefit for half the cost.

Svipdag wrote:
I think some feats are just better than others, but I like the thread. I hope that it helps realize that you don't need all races and abilities to be even for the game to work.

Some feats are just better than others, and in my opinion, the net result is that the crappier feats effectively don't exist, as they get avoided by anyone who doesn't "Need" to have them. for those that need them, they are an unpleasant tax.

You're right, the game functions with imbalanced abilities, but I am suggesting A) that it would function better if the abilities were better balanced, and B) that those who understand the game avoid taking the crappy options, and that C) balancing against the good options reduces the likelihood of an inexperienced player accidentally taking one of the options that is a trap.

For Group 1: the trap options represent an illusion of choice. It looks like there are lots of feats, but once you remove the ones so bad that anyone who knows what they are doing will cringe at the thought of taking them, there are substantially less of them. For this group, those options are not really options at all.

For Group 2: the trap options are there to make the inexperienced character even weaker.

you shouldnt have to cripple your character to go for the character concept you came up with.

Monte Cook said when they were designing 3.0, they intentionally threw in the bad options, to reward players who understand the system, and he said it was done to add something similar to the deck building aspect of Magic: The Gathering. He also said in hindsight, that it was a bad idea for an RPG. I agree with him. So thats one of the lead designers of 3e, saying that they included terrible godawful options on purpose, to reward the players with a good understanding of the system, who have learned to weed them out, and acknowledging that it was a crappy Idea.

This is why I've been suggesting that the items here should be priced relative to the good options, and not relative to the godawful options.

For example, if fast is worth 1 RP, and the typical feat is worth 2RP, then that's power creep. If a player understands the system and points it out to me, its pretty hard to justify the +5 speed for a feat (considering it sucks to begin with), when pretty much everywhere else he is seeing that +10 move speed (favored class), or +20 move speed(ARG), are worth as much as a feat. If I believed that +10 speed is worth 1RP, it'd make a pretty compelling argument that I should give him +20 speed for a feat. It would be a strong argument for me that I should increase the speed of fleet to match its equivalently priced benefits elsewhere.

So I think Especially for a point-buy system, it's important to take the balance of abilities against eachother into consideration, and not hand us anything where we can get double the benefit for half the cost. I think the current document needs a serious price overhaul, if its going to be usable.

Cheliax

I'm dotting this thread, it is very interesting way analyzing feats Darkholme, which could also add to balancing some broken feats that need tweaks that most people house rule or create their own.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Darkholme wrote:
Monte Cook said when they were designing 3.0, they intentionally threw in the bad options, to reward players who understand the system, and he said it was done to add something similar to the deck building aspect of Magic: The Gathering. He also said in hindsight, that it was a bad idea for an RPG. I agree with him. So thats one of the lead designers of 3e, saying that they included terrible godawful options on purpose, to reward the players with a good understanding of the system, who have learned to weed them out, and acknowledging that it was a crappy Idea.

Monte didn't say he thought the bad options were a bad idea. In the actual article, the bad options were listed as one of three things they borrowed from M:tG. The third one, "Ivory Tower Game design" is what Monte comes out against in that article. The ivory tower design is the deliberate absence of a lot of explanatory information to help players make decisions. Toughness, for instance, doesn't have text explaining that it's meant for low level Wizards (in 3.0 anyway), since it can probably come close to doubling their hit points at first level. Two-Weapon Fighting doesn't explain that you should have good sources of extra damage to make up for your otherwise lower damage per hit.

Monte's Ivory Tower article gets misconstrued a *lot* and it's a pet peeve of mine. For all we know, he might consider the bad options thing bad, but he hasn't come out and said it anywhere that I'm aware of.

Shadow Lodge

I think feats are kind of "tiered". There are some that you just wouldn't pick unless you really had a good reason. For example, as pointed out above, Martial Weapon Proficiency. If you have a super magic long sword and you can only use simple weapons then perhaps you might take it, otherwise you would take an Exotic Weapon. That however is generally underpowered compaired to other feats such as Power Attack, which is almost a pre-requisite for dealing damage in melee...

However some feats value changes considerably depending upon character. Weapon Finess, generally a weaker feat, becomes very powerful for a low Strength Wizard or Cleric who specialises in Melee Touch attacks. Do you price the feat at its most useful (a wizard who has dumped strength to 7 and with a 16 dex could gain +5 to hit)or its more common application (a rogue who has 14 str and 18 dex so an extra +2 to hit). Either way it is still likely to be better for those characters than Weapon Focus, which is a +1 bonus to hit.

So how do you tier the feats? Pick out those bad choices? What if they are a starter feat for a chain?

It's interesting to see what balances out with the current ruleset. Its true I have never seen a character with "Fleet".

I definately agree the current price cost requires a serious overhaul. Pricing abilities is a potential mine field though, especially when considering combinations. Tiny Alchemists, with fire arms and extra bombs, with an total Dex bonus of +6... (shudder)

Cheliax

Honestly? I'd say, don't take into account specific builds when pricing feats. Not for the ARG. If we were going an overhaul of the entire system it might be worth it.

Ignore if it starts a chain. You're looking at what each step in the chain provides. If I just take the starter feat, it should be a viable feat on its own. Otherwise the feat is too weak.

I think its interesting that they allow switching which stat you use to be worth the same as a +1 to hit, as they do the same thing with regard to CMB.

To the average player (who has like, a 13 average across the board), that benefit is a +1, which I imagine is what they take as their pricing point.

I made changes to my home games regarding skill points (Int + Wis skill pts each level, Cha to Will Saves, and reduced skill points from classes), and what I found from the players is that on average the extra points they gained were +1, which was much less than the 50% off class skill points I had been shaving off (so I raised it to Book Value *3/4, Minimum 2).

So my gut instinct says that for the "average" character, +1 is a reasonable price for that. sort of thing. In this case youre only going to take it if your dex is higher than your str. Luckily, this project isn't about coming up with prices for stuff and justifying it in terms of mechanics, its about citing precedence! Much Simpler!

As for Tiering the feats for these purposes, yeah. Weed them out. Just ignore them, and dont use them as a pricing point. Personallty I'd say make a note of them so you remember to replace them with feats the players will actually consider taking. :P

But yeah.

My "Iconic" feats, are Power Attack, and Toughness.

50% the value of a feat is a trait. I'd say the cutoff point for being too low is like 75%. Of course thats hard to measure. An easy test is to put it next to another feat, and say: "If I had to pick one of these two feats, without any specific build in mind, which would I pick." If you'd never even consider one of them, its too weak.

Alternately, find a precedent where it's supposedly equal in value, and compare the numbers.

Cheliax

Kevin Morris wrote:
You Misconstrued what Monte Said...

You're right. My bad. I won't cite Monte Cook as Agreeing with me that Bad feats were a bad Idea anymore. It had been a while since I read it, and I clearly remembered it wrong.

I stand by the fact that I believe Trap options are both a waste of paper andpoor design. Obviously some will be better than others, but none should be near useless.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For those wondering, here's a link to the article on Ivory Tower Game Design.

I must say, I agree. How many threads devolve into arguments over the RAI vs RAW?
Why not just tell the reader what you intend?

Cheliax

Snorter wrote:
Why not just tell the reader what you intend?

That increases page count.

And bigger book means higher printing cost.

Companies that sell hard copies of their books will definitely take that into consideration.

For the guy who just makes PDFs? He doesn't care if it increases page count. lol.

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