PFS Changes i'd like to see


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Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Funny thing about disarming. I wouldn't mind a rule that if the GM gets a bare-bones statblock, he's allowed to give the NPC a backup dagger, holy symbol and spell component pouch. Because NPCs have a tendency to become really vulnerable to disarm/sunder, not because they're willfully stupid but because of overzealous word count.

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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I remember GMing a module where two NPCs were getting into a fistfight, and their description was to honestly try to kill each other. One knocks the other into negative HP, then wants to coup de grace him with a rapier. The players intervened and disarmed him. I go over their statblocks one more time to see if he can do anything, and I find... a backup dagger. He whips it out, my players freak out and knock him unconscious as well. I've never seen players more frightened as that exact moment. They're still mad at me for having a backup dagger, and one of them still likes to tell that story when we're talking about backup weapons.

But yeah, certain manoevers become very dangerous/lethal when used against the baddies. It's a double-edged sword, of course, but I've seen fights that were supposed to be epic duels reduced to a silly slapfight, simply because the enemy was knocked prone while surrounded by bloodthirsty PCs.

In the same vein, I GMed an adventure last week where enemies did an AoE effect when they died (and the players knew). One of them was knocked prone and on 3 HP left, with 3 PCs around him. I said, "the <redacted> suddenly gets a wicked grin on his face, and attempts to stand up. Do you want to take an attack of opportunity?" One of them tried a Wisdom check, failed, and did the attack. That was a fun moment.

The Exchange ****

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Funny thing about disarming. I wouldn't mind a rule that if the GM gets a bare-bones statblock, he's allowed to give the NPC a backup dagger, holy symbol and spell component pouch. Because NPCs have a tendency to become really vulnerable to disarm/sunder, not because they're willfully stupid but because of overzealous word count.

Actually I am always amazed when someone says they are going to sunder my "spell component pouch"... I guess it is because I learned to run casters back before there were such things. I can remember playing games where us casters would gather our "material components" in the game and they actually mattered. (Yeah, back then for example Druids need Mistletoe, cut with a silver or golden sickle during the full moon - or could fall back to lesser things like Holly leaves, but their spells were less powerful then).

My casters make a point of pulling components for all the spells I prepared today OUT of the "pouch" and tucking them into folds/pockets/headbands/hat/etc. so that I would have them ready to cast with. Then I carry the Pouch out there on my belt hoping someone will waste a turn sundering it. "Oh deary me! You've sundered my POUCH?! Whatever will I DO?" 11 - 2 = 9 Bluff. What's their Sense Motive? 5 foot step back, pull the loadstone and a pick of dust from my watch pocket and shoot him with a disintigrate 12 + 11 = 23 ranged touch to hit...

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Nothing better than disarming the gunslinger.

The Exchange ****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Nothing better than disarming the gunslinger.

Heck, then I'd have to switch off to my Ax. Or the second Pistol.

But I do that anyway, only get one shot per pistol per combat anyway... darn things are hard to reload while totting this here Tower Shield...

Gun-Tank. Heavy armor and Tower Shield.... Dragon Pistol and Battleax. Built to hold the pistol with my tail while I reload... but some judges don't allow that.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

You'd be surprised how many only have one musket.

The Exchange ****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
You'd be surprised how many only have one musket.

Yeap. Or Barbarian with only one weapon - a greatsword.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Two-Gun Sam wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
You'd be surprised how many only have one musket.
Yeap. Or Barbarian with only one weapon - a greatsword.

They tend to learn their lesson after getting grappled a couple of times.

Amiri on the other hand, I've seen her getting swallowed by a moonflower and then she didn't have anything to cut her way out again. Pregens should always be given a checkover to see if they have a light weapon or should buy one with their remaining gold.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

Lau Bannenberg wrote:

Some things that I think could make rules glut just a bit easier to keep up with:

1) Establish firmly that it's the CRB making the basic rules. Other books don't get to create new rules by coming up with a feat or item that solves a problem that doesn't exist. Potion Sponge, I'm looking at you.

Of course other books can still introduce new classes and such but if you're not using anything out of a book, you shouldn't need it to run your game.

2) Focus the instruments you're using to clarify and errata rules. Make the Pathfinder FAQ one long page, not one page per book. So that you can Ctrl-F through the whole thing instead of guessing where something is hiding. Use some layout to make it clear where each book begins and end, but ensure the thing is searchable as a whole.

3) Merge the Campaign Clarifications and PFS FAQ into one document. Again for ease of searching. Split things between the Guild Guide (major principles, character creation) and the Clarifications (specific sources and cases, complex niche topics than 80% of the people don't use). This way the Guild Guide stays short and focused, and there's only one other place to look for the remaining campaign rules.

4) Establish a mailing list for FAQ, Additional Resources and Clarifications updates. Probably opt-in (legal) but all VOs should be on it.

6) Give blogs with permanent effects (like rules things) a clear title, not a Golarion data. Don't put it together with other topics that also get announced on the same day. If a rules change is buried in the middle of an after action report of conventions on a different continent and 5-star promotions of people I don't know, I might not notice the rules change...

7) All rulings made in the forum are added to the Clarifications in the next update. Using the forum is nice and flexible if a sudden crisis pops up or when something needs some back and forth to hash out the ramifications, but a year later it can be hard to reconstruct. Five years later new GMs can't be expected to trawl the...

I agree with everything Lau said, particularly when it comes to searching for rulings.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

Da Wander wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Funny thing about disarming. I wouldn't mind a rule that if the GM gets a bare-bones statblock, he's allowed to give the NPC a backup dagger, holy symbol and spell component pouch. Because NPCs have a tendency to become really vulnerable to disarm/sunder, not because they're willfully stupid but because of overzealous word count.

Actually I am always amazed when someone says they are going to sunder my "spell component pouch"... I guess it is because I learned to run casters back before there were such things. I can remember playing games where us casters would gather our "material components" in the game and they actually mattered. (Yeah, back then for example Druids need Mistletoe, cut with a silver or golden sickle during the full moon - or could fall back to lesser things like Holly leaves, but their spells were less powerful then).

My casters make a point of pulling components for all the spells I prepared today OUT of the "pouch" and tucking them into folds/pockets/headbands/hat/etc. so that I would have them ready to cast with. Then I carry the Pouch out there on my belt hoping someone will waste a turn sundering it. "Oh deary me! You've sundered my POUCH?! Whatever will I DO?" 11 - 2 = 9 Bluff. What's their Sense Motive? 5 foot step back, pull the loadstone and a pick of dust from my watch pocket and shoot him with a disintigrate 12 + 11 = 23 ranged touch to hit...

Sundering spell component pouches or holy symbols seems like bad form, and frankly, it's not too useful against players who can just get a too, or 10 holy symbols/component pouches.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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It's like an exploit because players can protect against it fairly trivially and NPCs cannot.

*** Venture-Agent, Canada—Alberta—Grand Prairie aka DM Livgin

I would like to see more stat belts/headbands on chronicle sheets and more low level boons that let you purchase above your fame score.

Cloaks of resistance, pearls of power, and stat boosting items are low level caster purchases that I am constantly waiting until I have enough fame to buy. (Only on characters that do not need magic arms and armor).

* Starfinder Society Developer

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
You'd be surprised how many only have one musket.

I prefer Greater Shadows. It's amazing how many gunslingers dump Strength and get surprised by an incorporeal touch attack through the floor.

It's also amazing how the nearby dual-cursed paladin didn't have Knowledge (Religion) and didn't know what would happen when they picked up the gunslinger's corpse to take out of the combat area...

*innocent whistle*

Sovereign Court *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

This is why I do the responsible thing and dump Wisdom.

Dark Archive *

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dump stats bad, k? ...says the player who has a barbarian who started with 'Lucky 7's' for Int/Wis/Cha...

Actually, since we're looking at PFS changes I'd like to See...

Homogenize PFS to an SFS standard... ie, you *can* dump your stats below 10 but you don't get any sort of mechanical benefit from it.

Sure, it'd lead to screaming and hollering, but it'd also prevent some stupidity and bring back a level of difficulty that some people have been lamenting the lack of.

Sovereign Court *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm not sure I'm excited for the "if you dump stats, you're being a terrible player and ruining PFS for your fellow players" Discourse. (Though I'll admit, I haven't played much SFS... how bad is the backlash if you dump stats there?)

Grand Lodge ****

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This has already been mentioned before but more unique gear would be fantastic. We've started to see it more but I want to further encourage it things like certain scabbards and cords made for mules or potions with dual effects. Simpler things like higher caster level potions, scrolls, and wands are almost always bought by players in my area.

On a similar vein I'd like to see items that are in the CRB discounted on chronicles or do what some have done where you can use prestige to reduce the cost of an item. It's made some neat items that are a little to costly attainable.

Thing numero 2 I'd like to see is a balancing of faction boons on chronicles and the difficulty to attain them. There have been a couple of instances of the old season 1 and 2 disparity of difficulty show up between faction goals. One requires succeeding on all 4 difficult checks in a row whereas another faction just had to complete the scenario with both success conditions. Only to find out the more difficult one was less rewarding. Further, having more variety for boons would be nice as well. I'm looking at you Silver Crusade and your 3 to 4 free atonement boons

I'd like to disagree with the death needs to be more meaningful. I think it is already. 20 prestige is nothing to scoff at to get the raise dead and the 2 restorations to negate the two negative levels. That means you're part way through 5th level so you don't have the gold cost. If you're not 5th level you're dishing out gold that is needed for gear. I think death is fine where it is. It's *almost* never fun to have a character die that you've invested time and effort in, even if you have the 20 pp cushion.

That's really all I have. Other than the addition of a magical pants slot but that's more a system request than a PFS one.

***

Kalindlara wrote:
I'm not sure I'm excited for the "if you dump stats, you're being a terrible player and ruining PFS for your fellow players" Discourse. (Though I'll admit, I haven't played much SFS... how bad is the backlash if you dump stats there?)

Starfinder is a completely different game and dumping stats has no mechanical benefit only detriment. Though hilariously it doesn't stop you from dumping stats.

Quote:
Sure, it'd lead to screaming and hollering, but it'd also prevent some stupidity and bring back a level of difficulty that some people have been lamenting the lack of.

Dumping a stat on a character isn't going to make them that much weaker or scenarios less difficult. If anything its going to make them that much stronger.

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

...until the Achilles heel is targeted, whether directly or indirectly, via scenario mechanics.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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It's amazing how fast the 5 Cha dwarf fighter can run when creatures with Cha damage show up.

***

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


...until the Achilles heel is targeted, whether directly or indirectly, via scenario mechanics.

Usually outside of one small subset of obnoxious mechanics that will take down someone with the undumped scores as easily you can compensate pretty well.

Grand Lodge ****

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
It's amazing how fast the 5 Cha dwarf fighter can run when creatures with Cha damage show up.

A lot of creatures that do stat damage/drain do so in d4 or more amounts. Two to three hits or even a crit will send anyone with an average score running. Not just people that dump stats.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

These ones had d6s.

Edit: My bad, that was the Con damage. The Cha was 1d4 drain.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I remember when we had to make DC 5 charisma checks not to fall asleep during sermons. Of course the punishment for falling asleep was quite something...


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I would like to see more faction vanities to spend PP on, that add flavour to the factions. Off the top of my head:

Dark archives - may reqiuisition a L1 scroll from the archives, must return if not used
Exchange - Bonus to influencing merchants, by giving them a trade deal
Liberty's Edge - access to a safe house iin which to stash rescued prisoners, unconscious enemies and the like
Sovereign Court - never have to stay in an inn because the local nobility will put you up in their spare room

etc. etc

***

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
I remember when we had to make DC 5 charisma checks not to fall asleep during sermons. Of course the punishment for falling asleep was quite something...

I remember that. Even if I didn't dump charisma on that character I still would have been failing more often than not. I had horrible luck. Also, I failed the check on purpose which....

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Neriathale:

The Dark Archive one isn't too bad, but the Exchange one should emphasize the OTHER side (because Sczarni vanities aren't allowed without a special Boon) rather than just re-emphasizing Qadira Oligarchs über alles.

The other two are kind of neat, though!

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

I just thought of something else. How about scalable boons? The past few seasons have messed with "if you're in a higher subtier, also gain X effect"-type things, and I'd like to see more of that happening. There are a lot of good situational boons that become obsolete when you reach level 6 or so, so I'd like to give those low-level boons a bit of love.
Also, maybe items you can upgrade? I love finding unique items on your sheet, but again, they eventually get outdated. For example, The Sun Orchid Scheme has an item that's pretty cool at low level, but eventually your own magic will become better. A line of text saying "once you reach level X, you may pay Y amount of gold (similar to how you can upgrade your armour) to buy an upgraded version of the item that does Z instead" would be great. That way, items and boons you acquire at level 3 will still be relevant at level 9.


This was probably discussed at some point, but I'd really like to see an option to start a character at a higher level, up to a maximum of starting level 4. I don't think this would fundamentally break anything but it would make me personally, along with most of the players I know, more motivated to play. Here are the arguments:

-Levels 1-2 especially feel like a formality. It was interesting playing these levels when I was just starting with PFS and PF as a whole, but now it feels like waste of time. If you don't randomly die, you get a 100% of rewards provided you're at least minimally invested.

-In homebrew campaigns, I always have players start as level 4. The feedback is overwhelmingly positive. All the members feel useful, they gain a +1 to an ability so they can plan their character accordingly, but I also give them less gold to make them more motivated to work for it. This never bothered anyone as long as the campaign was well balanced and the rewards were good, which was the case most of the time.

-If you have a group interested in PFS, they usually come to play together. Say all of them reach level 5 and then one of them dies. What now? Do they all start at level 1 again, or does the dead player play pre-con characters until the same happens to the rest of the group? Maybe he or she or the whole group start playing less frequently or not at all. There is really no good solution if this happens, and playing pre-cons is not a solution as the player still needs to play through the lower levels.

To do this, you give the player less gold, prestige and fame than what he would otherwise get on average, and they're good to go. Keep in mind this would also prevent the player from gaining other boons that could be useful at some point, so the players that actually start at level 1 would almost always be better off.

When I just started PFS, I played with a group and a character I really liked. That character is still alive, close to level 7, but the rest of the group died. I stopped playing for a while, the rest of the group gave up on PFS because starting at level 1 bored them. In the meantime, I played a bit with some other characters but quit as lower levels are indeed boring. They waste a lot of time too, because balancing PFS and work can be difficult for me.

So, are we ever going to have an option to start at a higher level? If not, why not exactly?

**** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

Actually, I like this. Maybe not at level 4, but a slight boost might be nice. As you said, levels 1-2 are a bit of a slog and characters rarely have interesting abilities. And especially when you've made several characters already, finding new adventures gets tricky. I'm up to my 22nd character right now, and I only managed to get that many out of the 1-5 range is because I GM a lot and can apply module credit to them. But now, I'm really feeling the pinch. Getting a head start would mean having access to tier 3-7 immediately.
I'm not sure how to implement this, but something like if you have at least 7 characters of at least level 5, you've shown a commitment and the fact that you're capable of understanding how low-levels work. Levels 1 through 3 are important for beginners to see where they went wrong, and even if they can't course-correct anymore, they can start afresh with a new character. But for the people who've been gaming for a while, levels 1-2 are boring and want to get to the exciting part. This serves two purposes: first, low-level scenarios don't run out as much, and people can get to higher-level scenarios faster.

Sovereign Court ****

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well... to each his own.

I actually, personally, have the most fun with my PCs at lower level, and tend to loose interest in them by level 7 or so. I can often "push thru" to get them to level nine or so, but at that point they sort of just begin to gather dust.

I realize a lot of other plays don't have the same view.

I'm kind of used to a player showing up at a table with no idea of the abilities that his PC has - with little or no idea of personality - with a PC that is still sort of "in flux", still in development. "When I get to XX level, he'll be really powerful!" is... sigh. anyway.

Judge: "what do you have for 0 level spell?"
5th Sorcerer Player: "I didn't bother picking any last game - they aren't very useful..."
Judge: "Last game?"
Sorcerer: "Gallows of Madness - we ran the three parts last Saturday so we'd have we could play in the 4-5 Tier today."
Judge: "Oh... Is that why everyone doesn't know what race their PC is?"

yeah... been there many times.

Me: "Hay! I got a great character idea! Can we play low tier next week?"
High Level Gamer: "Lower level? Sure, I guess. I've got a 9th level I guy I need to get another level on... Which Emerald Spire parts can I run a 9th level guy in?"

" ...It was interesting playing these levels when I was just starting with PFS and PF as a whole, but now it feels like waste of time..."
"... for the people who've been gaming for a while, levels 1-2 are boring and want to get to the exciting part..."
...yeah. I could cry. I've "been gaming" for 40+ years. Does that count as "a while"? Been in PFS sense before there was PFS... I enjoy my PCs from the moment I start to form them at the game table. Heck, from the moment they hatch in my imagination. The wonder of that first spell cast in (or out of) combat, the first trap defeated (without Thieves tool even! wow!), that first magic item recovered (a wand of disguise self), that first VC briefing with ol' mutton chops himself. Yeah. I guess I'm playing this game wrong or something - but I think I may be to old to change now...
You know, on second thought, I'm ok with some option to let "experienced gamers" start at higher level. Leave me back with the beginners... I think I'll have lots of fun with them as they discover the magic of the game. And I'm all for everyone having fun at the table.

Silver Crusade *

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You're not alone nosig. I like the low levels of play as well as the higher levels. I find that the first couple of levels help to establish a character's personality.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

The think for many of us the reason we do not enjoy levels 1-2 is:

--the difference between characters at first level is often small. A fighter, paladin, barbarian, ranger, etc can tend to all be the same. They have not gained the abilities that differentiate them from each other. Hopefully, 2E with its class feat system will improve on that and we'll be more inclined to play 1st level PCs.

--there is also the issue of "oops, you're dead." Sure, character death is possible at any level, but as you gain levels, it either becomes less likely or something you can better deal with. At first level, all it takes is a failed reflex save or an untimely crit in the surprise round and you're dead before you can even act. That's not fun for anyone, especially if the dead PC is a special race boon of which you only have one copy. If 2E uses the Starfinder-like HP system as described in the playtest, that could go a long way to avoiding PC deaths that are unavoidable at level one.

Grand Lodge ****

Bob Jonquet wrote:
--there is also the issue of "oops, you're dead." Sure, character death is possible at any level, but as you gain levels, it either becomes less likely or something you can better deal with.

There's possibly a safe region around 4th level, but I've found both unexpected one-round kills and unwinnable situations are distinctly possible in mid-level, high-level and (out of PFS) epic level play. I'll agree that a 1st or 2nd level character is highly unlikely to come back from such an event.

I try to take the attitude that "unique" boons (Eyes of the Ten, Emerald Spire - on the same character) come around regularly enough with continuing play in the campaign.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

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Bob Jonquet wrote:

The think for many of us the reason we do not enjoy levels 1-2 is:

--the difference between characters at first level is often small. A fighter, paladin, barbarian, ranger, etc can tend to all be the same. They have not gained the abilities that differentiate them from each other. Hopefully, 2E with its class feat system will improve on that and we'll be more inclined to play 1st level PCs.

--there is also the issue of "oops, you're dead." Sure, character death is possible at any level, but as you gain levels, it either becomes less likely or something you can better deal with. At first level, all it takes is a failed reflex save or an untimely crit in the surprise round and you're dead before you can even act. That's not fun for anyone, especially if the dead PC is a special race boon of which you only have one copy. If 2E uses the Starfinder-like HP system as described in the playtest, that could go a long way to avoiding PC deaths that are unavoidable at level one.

I agree with these, and add:

- You haven't had enough skill points yet to unlock all your relevant class skills and trained only skills.

I can get behind the class skills. But I would really like to see trained only skills just go. Usually the DC makes sure that without training it's difficult anyway.

One of my gripes with the Starfinder pregens is that until level 8, only one out of seven has Culture trained yet every mission has info gated behind Culture checks.

.

Starfinder made a step forward by making starting credits (1000) higher than the payoff for a L1-2 adventure (750), as opposed to PFS where there's a massive jump in equipment after the first session (500gp and 2PP).

However, it then fell flat on its face by making the jump in combat effectiveness from 2 to 3 so massive (weapon specialization, soldier gear boost). A L3 soldier playing down in Starfinder is not a pretty sight.

.

I think the design goal should be to make L1 fun to play, not to come up with boons that let people skip over the boring levels. All levels should be fun.


Kwinten Koëter wrote:
I'm not sure how to implement this, but something like if you have at least 7 characters of at least level 5, you've shown a commitment and the fact that you're capable of understanding how low-levels work.

I was thinking about something like this when I was writing the first post, and yeah - this is a good idea and something I would be totally ok with. Even though my current state of characters wouldn't trigger the reward yet, it would be something I'd gladly work towards over time.

Muse. wrote:
I actually, personally, have the most fun with my PCs at lower level, and tend to loose interest in them by level 7 or so. I can often "push thru" to get them to level nine or so, but at that point they sort of just begin to gather dust.

Yeah, it's different for me. I'm usually really invested, both in gameplay and roleplay, whenever I'm discovering something new. If I feel I'm not getting much out of the experience, I take really long breaks or don't repeat the experience at all. This is why I'm very interested to see what is going on at the higher levels as I've never been there before, yet I've seen the lower levels many times. I do understand someone could consistently have fun at lower levels, too. This is why it would be great if we can have an option that could satisfy both parties. Also, I find it really cool you've been gaming longer than I've been alive :)

Bob Jonquet wrote:
--there is also the issue of "oops, you're dead." Sure, character death is possible at any level, but as you gain levels, it either becomes less likely or something you can better deal with.
Starglim wrote:
There's possibly a safe region around 4th level, but I've found both unexpected one-round kills and unwinnable situations are distinctly possible in mid-level, high-level and (out of PFS) epic level play. I'll agree that a 1st or 2nd level character is highly unlikely to come back from such an event.

This is a real problem at lower levels, but I feel higher levels have the capacity to prepare for it more easily. My main, for example, had two near-death situations where potions I've bought beforehand saved his life, something a lower level character couldn't have afforded to do yet.

Anyway, the general idea of this is in the interest of time more than anything else. More options at character creation means more power to the player, and this is something I can see a lot of people could be interested in (at least in my play group). One can always start at level 1 to trigger all the rewards, but an option to start slightly worse off at a higher level would be really nice.

The Exchange ****

Bob Jonquet wrote:

The think for many of us the reason we do not enjoy levels 1-2 is:

--the difference between characters at first level is often small. A fighter, paladin, barbarian, ranger, etc can tend to all be the same. They have not gained the abilities that differentiate them from each other. Hopefully, 2E with its class feat system will improve on that and we'll be more inclined to play 1st level PCs.

--there is also the issue of "oops, you're dead." Sure, character death is possible at any level, but as you gain levels, it either becomes less likely or something you can better deal with. At first level, all it takes is a failed reflex save or an untimely crit in the surprise round and you're dead before you can even act. That's not fun for anyone, especially if the dead PC is a special race boon of which you only have one copy. If 2E uses the Starfinder-like HP system as described in the playtest, that could go a long way to avoiding PC deaths that are unavoidable at level one.

I... actually do not have the same experiences as you seem to be detailing above.

I find MORE differences at lower levels... or at least as many. I have a number of alchemists - many of them the same archetypes. Yet they are each very different Characters, each unique and fun to play in their own way. At higher level it often seems the characters are more about WHAT they are (and what they can DO) and less about WHO they are... or maybe that's just a reflection of the people I play with. I don't know...

and the issue of "oops, you're dead." has only actually hit my PCs in High Level Play (my 14th level Cleric for example). And I tend to see it just as much (if not more) in other peoples play above 6th level - but then I also have noticed some players have a much more... passive? response to dying at higher levels. Often the most emotional response is from the dude who is upset about how much dying will cut into their treasure rewards for the game.

but... never mind. Different players play the game different and get different things from it. I should have learned that by now (I do seem to keep forgetting it though).

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