Bounded Accuracy Isn't Bad


Playtest

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My favorite part of 3.x/Pathfinder is combat. My group really enjoys tactical, interesting, dynamic combat as much as they enjoy exploring and social interaction. It's for this reason that I hope at least some degree of bounded accuracy makes it's way into PF 2nd Ed for the following reasons:

I've played 3.5 for more than a decade now and one of the most annoying problems in encounter creation is creating encounters that are not completely lopsided one way or the other. Too often it seems that PCs completely blow out, or are themselves blown out, by a single monster. Solo creature encounters have always been very difficult to create as well as encounters that feature larger numbers of monsters. One way to alleviate this problem is for lower level threats to still actually be threats. Bounded accuracy accomplishes this beautifully and it's probably the single best thing about 5e Dungeons and Dragons. While 5e is painfully bland and not very crunchy, this is at least one area where I hope the Pathfinder devs are paying attention.

I'm SO hyped for Pathfinder 2nd Edition - I just hope they've taken a hard look at the way combat shakes out so that it's easier to create engaging, challenging, and most importantly fun encounters for our players.


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Agreed, but I don't wanna get burned at the stake, so.... >.<


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I just hope they do away with multiple attacks that look like this: +13/+8/+3. You should gain momentum over the course of an attack in a heroic game, not lose it. It's one of the few things I never liked about 3e and its clones.


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Bounded accuracy is very likely not going to be in here.
I believe that they said there are two lines of thought, that a mob of low levels are threatening against 1 high level person (more like real life), AND that a high level person is immune to low level mobs (like games and fantasy). And that they said that they were going route 2, that a high level person can mow down mobs of enemies without much worry.


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It might help with their environmental rules as well. One of the things bothering me about Reign of Winter is that after a while cold just isn't a threat, even though it is supposed to be a pervasive menace.

I'm not even talking about magical protection, just simple saving throws.


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lordfeint wrote:
I just hope they do away with multiple attacks that look like this: +13/+8/+3. You should gain momentum over the course of an attack in a heroic game, not lose it. It's one of the few things I never liked about 3e and its clones.

They currently have plans to keep that. Your first attack is full bonus, second in a round -5 and third in a round -10. And something as fundamental as this is likely not changing from the playtest.


Stone Dog wrote:
It might help with their environmental rules as well. One of the things bothering me about Reign of Winter is that after a while cold just isn't a threat

That's a feature, not a bug. Now for Reign of Winter in particular it might make sense for some 'beyond cold' isolated environments to cause surprising impact to players. Just make certain such Beyond Cold either bypasses or at least partially bypasses magical protection


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It is a feature for big heroes to be able to endure the hardship of the elements, sure.

It is a bug for big heroes to cease caring about hostile environments completely.


Sorry OP, but chesspwn is correct. BA will not be making its way into PF2. Its not all bleak though, I think there is a real potential with the new action economy. Either way, get into the playtest and sound off.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
lordfeint wrote:
I just hope they do away with multiple attacks that look like this: +13/+8/+3. You should gain momentum over the course of an attack in a heroic game, not lose it. It's one of the few things I never liked about 3e and its clones.
They currently have plans to keep that. Your first attack is full bonus, second in a round -5 and third in a round -10. And something as fundamental as this is likely not changing from the playtest.

While I don't see them removing it, I actually DO think they might be persuaded to change it, if they get enough playtest feedback, from BAB/-5/-10 to BAB/-5/-5/(...still -5 if you get a fourth attack from Haste or something). This way it would work more like monster attacks, where primary is at full bonus and all secondaries are at full bonus -5.


I would love to see something like this. But I fear we will not


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Personally I don't like 5e's bounded accuracy. It's more realistic but I find it less fun.


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Stone Dog wrote:

It is a feature for big heroes to be able to endure the hardship of the elements, sure.

It is a bug for big heroes to cease caring about hostile environments completely.

If a martial character reaches level 13 (within the 3P paradigm) and is still vulnerable to environmental cold (say no lower than -120 degrees Fahrenheit or so) there's something wrong with that picture.


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Poor balance and a lack of bounded accuracy aren't necessarily the same thing though. To-hit numbers can get screwy in 5e too, after all.

Stone Dog wrote:

It is a feature for big heroes to be able to endure the hardship of the elements, sure.

It is a bug for big heroes to cease caring about hostile environments completely.

Disagree completely. It's perfectly okay for powerful characters to eventually be able to trivialize lower end problems.

In fact I find it more disruptive to my verisimilitude to have it the other way. Let low level challenges stay behind at low levels.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Bardarok wrote:
Personally I don't like 5e's bounded accuracy. It's more realistic but I find it less fun.

I don't like Bounded accuracy either.

In high level play I'd rather play Conan who slays over 100 enemies in his only novel...than the Conan that gets punk'd by those 8 archers across the way.

In High Level play I'd rather recreate Hercules who slew hundreds, or Achilles who was almost invulnerable and also slew hundreds (but not quite as many as Hercules) as the epitome of heroes rather than the guy no one remembered who got killed on the front lines even though he was high level.

In high Level play I'd rather be Sergeant York who killed a whole troop and captured an entire regiment than...wait...that's real life right there...

Just like in the 7th Crusade they had a series of knights that were peppered (according to the stories) with several dozen arrows and were out still doing battle and were not killed...another real life example...

It depends on the type of fantasy gaming that one wants to do. If one wants to play a game where the difference between a High Level Character and a Low level character is a measly +4 bonus...and they can be hit and killed by goblins who roll over a 10...(okay...that's a slight exaggeration)...more power to them.

But there are others that want their high level play to be more like epic fantasy seen in the Lord of the Rings movie Trilogy or in Greek Myths than the types of battles seen in Platoon or Black Hawk down...

And that's fine. We have different tastes...but not every game has to cater to the non-heroic guy can get killed by the red shirts type game.

Yes...I dislike bounded accuracy with a passion.


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I found that 5e with bounded accuracy felt similar to Pathfinder E6. Which is fun for some things but not my preferred mode of play.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:
Bardarok wrote:
Personally I don't like 5e's bounded accuracy. It's more realistic but I find it less fun.
Just like in the 7th Crusade they had a series of knights that were peppered (according to the stories) with several dozen arrows and were out still doing battle and were not killed...another real life example...

To quote a great film set in the crusades...

Quote:
I once fought for three days with an arrow in my testicle


Hmmmm. I don't like the way 5e does bounded accuracy.

I do like how Savage Worlds does it.

In this case, I'm taking bounded accuracy to mean that creatures can always be a threat not "you can always fail trivially easy things" like how 5e does skills.

I like the idea of lethal combat that can be over in the surprise round. I like the idea that a lucky Halfling could kill a sleeping dragon.

I don't like it when I can fail a stealth check behind a stone wall in total darkness because I rolled low.

Bounded accuracy can be fun, but I recommend not committing to bounded accuracy, let it not be bounded where appropriate.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Agreed, but I don't wanna get burned at the stake, so.... >.<

I really can't stand how so many in our hobby have to use vitriol and attacks rather than simple disagreements. In this case: bounded accuracy isn't something I much enjoy in concept. So far, I'm giving 5E a fair shake, but bounded accuracy and the hard cap of 20 on Abilities are not things I like, compared to 3.x/PF where we had the possibility of infinite scaling. I much prefer that.

I get why bounded accuracy could be helpful, and definitely keeps things grounded for some campaigns (so Isildur and Boromir can still be slain by orc-arrows), but I like it when things are a bit more over-the-top.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:


If a martial character reaches level 13 (within the 3P paradigm) and is still vulnerable to environmental cold (say no lower than -120 degrees Fahrenheit or so) there's something wrong with that picture.

By virtue of their magical defenses? Sure! By 13th level they are walking around in a sort of environmental suit of enchantments.

Tough as nails is great. Everybody effectively immune to metabolic and environmental hazards is dull.


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Chess Pwn wrote:

Bounded accuracy is very likely not going to be in here.

I believe that they said there are two lines of thought, that a mob of low levels are threatening against 1 high level person (more like real life), AND that a high level person is immune to low level mobs (like games and fantasy). And that they said that they were going route 2, that a high level person can mow down mobs of enemies without much worry.

You know, it might be possible to have an (optional) rule where swarms of things get some bonus to attack or HP or whatever. Basically, you start treating them as a single character, with certain additional abilities to represent the mob's overwhelming presence. This could keep mobs dangerous at high levels without reducing heroes' accuracy, and their ability to plow through lesser foes. So a dozen orcs might not mean much to a party of 10th-level heroes. 100 orcs organized into 4 mobs of 25 (and whatever adjustments that bring) swarming into the ruined courtyard might be a little more threatening....


Even in 3P unless a 20th level martial has Damage Resistance, a large enough crowd of level one archers can kill them.

As for Boromir, he's level 4 or less. Maybe a level 5 Warrior rather than PC class.


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Stone Dog wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:


If a martial character reaches level 13 (within the 3P paradigm) and is still vulnerable to environmental cold (say no lower than -120 degrees Fahrenheit or so) there's something wrong with that picture.

By virtue of their magical defenses? Sure! By 13th level they are walking around in a sort of environmental suit of enchantments.

Tough as nails is great. Everybody effectively immune to metabolic and environmental hazards is dull.

You know what I find dull and boring?

"Welcome to Magic Mart! Step right up and browse our wares. I guarantee you'll find all the wondrous widgets and glorious gadgets your heart desires. Perfect dexor for your Magic Item Christmas Tree."

Or

"Hey Chuck, can you prepare some protection spells for me too? My character isn't level appropriate for this adventure because I don't have spells."


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I'm in a couple of 5e games. I've got a 10th level character and a 3rd level character, both played from level 1. The numbers are only off by about 3. And the former's AC has been 14 since day 1.

To me, that's lame. I expect someone who's expected to be dealing with Trexes as a trivial challenge to be more impressive vs the common rabble that would have been a threat during his first days out on adventure.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Lady Firebird wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
Agreed, but I don't wanna get burned at the stake, so.... >.<

I really can't stand how so many in our hobby have to use vitriol and attacks rather than simple disagreements. In this case: bounded accuracy isn't something I much enjoy in concept. So far, I'm giving 5E a fair shake, but bounded accuracy and the hard cap of 20 on Abilities are not things I like, compared to 3.x/PF where we had the possibility of infinite scaling. I much prefer that.

I get why bounded accuracy could be helpful, and definitely keeps things grounded for some campaigns (so Isildur and Boromir can still be slain by orc-arrows), but I like it when things are a bit more over-the-top.

Well, it did take an entire regiment of Orcs to kill Boromir, and several arrows straight to the heart (would that be like 3 or 4 critical hits!).

In the movies it wasn't just any Orc either, it was like a Commanding Orc so probably some Villain with 9 levels of Fighter or some such like that. (Actually, if I remember right, those weren't actually orcs, they were the Uruk-Hai which is what our Half-Orcs are based off of, so that would have been like a Half-Orc 9th level fighter that finally offed Boromir after having his troops soften him up).


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Even in 3P unless a 20th level martial has Damage Resistance, a large enough crowd of level one archers can kill them.

As for Boromir, he's level 4 or less. Maybe a level 5 Warrior rather than PC class.

By the standards of a full-on PF context, yes, because things are less powerful in Middle-earth than in D&D/PF-style fantasy. Boromir is a great warrior who has been trained by the greatest soldiers in the world and spent his youth and adulthood fighting. Indeed, fighting back the apocalypse. I think if it was the equivalent of a more extreme fantasy setting like PF, Boromir would have been closer to level 10 when he died. If that makes sense.

Fun to think about, either way.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm a big fan of bounded accuracy if only because it prevents numbers getting bigger for the sake of getting bigger. I find that once your bonuses get in the teens, everything starts slowing down. When bonuses get to the thirties, math can become more and more unwieldy. Plus, I think you lose perspective.

That 25 Bluff check from level 3? Well you got a 56 at level 18. And that wasn't even a great roll. How do you even compare these numbers?

I haven't tried it, but I think I'd be a fan of E6 in PF1. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm in the bounded accuracy boat.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
Xethik wrote:

I'm a big fan of bounded accuracy if only because it prevents numbers getting bigger for the sake of getting bigger. I find that once your bonuses get in the teens, everything starts slowing down. When bonuses get to the thirties, math can become more and more unwieldy. Plus, I think you lose perspective.

That 25 Bluff check from level 3? Well you got a 56 at level 18. And that wasn't even a great roll. How do you even compare these numbers?

I haven't tried it, but I think I'd be a fan of E6 in PF1. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm in the bounded accuracy boat.

It's the difference between you trying to do brain surgery on your friends brain (DC 35 with your skill being 0 and your stat bonus being +3) and a Neurosurgeon doing brain surgery on your friends brain (skill level 33, probably will succeed). You'd probably want the guy who can roll low and still succeed to be the brain surgeon rather than any old some off the street, even if they are level 20.

Why, because it's basically impossible to do that stuff when you don't have the training and YEARS of EXPERIENCE.

Not everyone can be an expert at all the incredibly difficult things in life, and in many of those, if you aren't an expert you end up killing someone instead.

Beats being a level 20 Neurosurgeon who trained and has tons of experience and skilled in brain surgery only having a +6 greater chance to succeed when he's operating on your brain and rolling a 5 and thus ends up making a person a vegetable for life instead because he couldn't pass that 27 (originally said DC 17 but that's too low of a DC for brain surgery) DC skill check in 5e.


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Bounded accuracy is atrocious. Your main thing you specialize in the whole game is rendered worthless through will of the dice. Consider this scenario between a level 8 rogue with +3 Int and Dex and expertise in Search and Thief Tools and a level 8 barbarian with -2 to both Int and Dex and no proficiency in either skill.

Rogue: I search the chest for traps. (rolls nat 6) 15!
DM: You don't find any traps.
Barbarian: I want to try! (rolls nat 18) 16!
DM: The lid is sitting on a pressure plate. It will be difficult to remove the trap without setting it off.
Rogue: I try to disarm the trap. My Dexterity(Thief tools) check is 17 (nat 8).
DM: You're trying to jam the plate closed, but it doesn't want to stay.
Barbarian: Let me try that.
Rogue: Sure.
Barbarian: WOO! Nat 20! That's an 18.
DM: You manage to jam the plate. The chest is now safe to open.

This is not a hypothetical scenario, this happens ALL THE TIME in 5e. It's not always the same player, but very often the one player who took an obscure or rarely-used ability is completely upstaged by another player because of a bad roll. It feels awful. 5e is designed to make every class useful in combat, so as a player you feel like your build is useless because the only thing you can contribute is damage, which every other class can do just as well - And if you're having a bad night, you can't roll to hit, and the enemies make all of their saves because level-appropriate enemies rarely have less than a 40% chance to make their save. Heck, a CR 1/4 Zombie has a 15% change of making its CON save against a level 20 Wizard with 20 (i.e., max) INT. Because zombies have a +3 CON mod, they can make a DC21 save by rolling 18. Likewise, a CR 1/4 skeleton can take half damage from Fireball from the same wizard on 19. Since the average damage of 5e Fireball cast at its lowest level is 28, and skeletons have 13 HP, if you roll low on the damage then it's very possible for skeletons to survive being Fireballed by a max level wizard. Out of all of the terrible decisions made in 5e, bounded accuracy is the worst.


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5E bounded accuracy works far better on a d6 than a d20, and I very much dislike it for a 20 level game.


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BA implementation for skills in 5E certainly sucks. Im hoping PF2 is better but it looks like it will be only slightly.


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Kyrt, instead of playing dueling metaphors, I'm just going to say there is a significant difference between successful adventurers having the resources needed to protect themselves and adventurers no longer needing to take precautions once the game math lets them wander around with impunity.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When a group of Commoners is just as likely to take down a dragon as the level appropriate PC, then yes, Bonded Accuracy is that bad.


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If we can have challenging combat encounters that handle groups, as well as solo creatures, that are dynamic and engaging I don't care how we get there - bounced accuracy just seems like the most obvious way.


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
One way to alleviate this problem is for lower level threats to still actually be threats.

I couldn't disagree more.

If a serious threat at 1st level isn't a flyspeck on your metaphorical windshield by 10th, you end up with 20 levels of E6, and that's losing the distinct feel of three-quarters of the level progression.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
thaX wrote:
When a group of Commoners is just as likely to take down a dragon as the level appropriate PC, then yes, Bonded Accuracy is that bad.

Since the "unified mechanic" seems to include adding character level to nearly everything, I think Paizo may actually be going in the opposite direction here. A low level mob of any size would seemingly have no chance against a high CR foe.


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
One way to alleviate this problem is for lower level threats to still actually be threats.

I couldn't disagree more.

If a serious threat at 1st level isn't a flyspeck on your metaphorical windshield by 10th, you end up with 20 levels of E6, and that's losing the distinct feel of three-quarters of the level progression.

So, if I want to create an encounter where my group of 5 level 5 characters need to fight a small raiding party of elite orc raiders... how do I create the encounter so that it's balanced and each of the orcs constitutes a threat without making them wildly below or wildly above the parties capabilities?


thaX wrote:
When a group of Commoners is just as likely to take down a dragon as the level appropriate PC, then yes, Bonded Accuracy is that bad.

Pretty sure this is hyperbole. The dragon my group took down last week would have wasted a party of commoners. It almost got our rogue and wizard, even with the GM's crap rolls.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having creatures plug and play is not a feature of Bonded Accuracy, it is only a component. There are other ways to simplify creature stats without having to hamper and hamstring PC's.

4th edition of the brand had some nice ideas in this front, though a part of it was to simple and a result of a choice of design that was not completely finished when released. (Later MM had corrections and better scaling) It also borrowed from some of the new design choices for the PC's that eventually turned off the majority of players from the Brand.

Having monsters not have the same build ups as the Player Character should get them to have simple stats and explanations without having to go through the same block of stats as a player does creating and playing his character.

Encounters and monster interaction can be done with a balanced approach without the need for Bonded Accuracy.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
thaX wrote:
When a group of Commoners is just as likely to take down a dragon as the level appropriate PC, then yes, Bonded Accuracy is that bad.
Pretty sure this is hyperbole. The dragon my group took down last week would have wasted a party of commoners. It almost got our rogue and wizard, even with the GM's crap rolls.

Well, when the chance to hit the Dragon is basically the same as the higher tiered character, a group of 20 commoners do have a chance to take the dragon down before he gets to them as the normal character does. This is not saying that the commoner shouldn't be able to try, but that there should be a difference between a wolf and a Dragon.


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I never had an issue with low level threats not being threats to PCs.

GM - "You see a small band of goblins ahead."

Level 10 Players - "We got this!"

GM - "Roll for initiative....looks like the goblins go first."

Players - "What?"

GM - "The first goblin hits you and since it is the first round, they get to use Sneak Attack....45 damage."

Players - "Oh @#$%."

All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
5E bounded accuracy works far better on a d6

I think it'd work best with a coin toss... :P

Frozen Mustelid wrote:
Bounded accuracy is atrocious.

I disagree... Atrocious just doesn't seem strong enough to articulate just how incredible bad/awful/sucky/ect it is. If the new pathfinder has anything close to it, it'll make it dead to me. ;)


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Stone Dog wrote:


Kyrt, instead of playing dueling metaphors, I'm just going to say there is a significant difference between successful adventurers having the resources needed to protect themselves

If they need to protect themselves from cold, they're definitely not high level.

Heck in my games martials typically have enough control over their own bodies to ignore earthly levels of cold by level 10.


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Filthy Lucre wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Filthy Lucre wrote:
One way to alleviate this problem is for lower level threats to still actually be threats.

I couldn't disagree more.

If a serious threat at 1st level isn't a flyspeck on your metaphorical windshield by 10th, you end up with 20 levels of E6, and that's losing the distinct feel of three-quarters of the level progression.

So, if I want to create an encounter where my group of 5 level 5 characters need to fight a small raiding party of elite orc raiders... how do I create the encounter so that it's balanced and each of the orcs constitutes a threat without making them wildly below or wildly above the parties capabilities?

Someone has probably already said this, but give the elite orcs levels.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GreyWolfLord wrote:
Xethik wrote:

I'm a big fan of bounded accuracy if only because it prevents numbers getting bigger for the sake of getting bigger. I find that once your bonuses get in the teens, everything starts slowing down. When bonuses get to the thirties, math can become more and more unwieldy. Plus, I think you lose perspective.

That 25 Bluff check from level 3? Well you got a 56 at level 18. And that wasn't even a great roll. How do you even compare these numbers?

I haven't tried it, but I think I'd be a fan of E6 in PF1. So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm in the bounded accuracy boat.

It's the difference between you trying to do brain surgery on your friends brain (DC 35 with your skill being 0 and your stat bonus being +3) and a Neurosurgeon doing brain surgery on your friends brain (skill level 33, probably will succeed). You'd probably want the guy who can roll low and still succeed to be the brain surgeon rather than any old some off the street, even if they are level 20.

Why, because it's basically impossible to do that stuff when you don't have the training and YEARS of EXPERIENCE.

Not everyone can be an expert at all the incredibly difficult things in life, and in many of those, if you aren't an expert you end up killing someone instead.

Beats being a level 20 Neurosurgeon who trained and has tons of experience and skilled in brain surgery only having a +6 greater chance to succeed when he's operating on your brain and rolling a 5 and thus ends up making a person a vegetable for life instead because he couldn't pass that 27 (originally said DC 17 but that's too low of a DC for brain surgery) DC skill check in 5e.

I didn't mean to apply that bounded accuracy was well implemented in 5e. I think it works for the most part with ACs and attack rolls, personally, but skill checks I find have issues. Most prevalent is the fact that you essentially need expertise for the difference between untrained, proficient, and expert to show up, and those are gated behind certain classes and class dips. Additionally, there are no ways to really build specialties into subsets of skills (an example: I'm a trained battlefield neurosurgeon so I can take 10 on those skill checks even when distracted). But again, not a core problem with bounded accuracy, to me. That's a 5e problem.

I think bounded accuracy can help when a brain surgery check is a DC 35 check, but I have a +48 bonus. What does that enormous number even imply? I don't think I need an incremental 5% increased chance of hitting that high skill check every level, on top of whatever non-skill ranks I invest into improving that skill. Plus, I think dealing with contested skill checks (Stealth vs Perception) works out better in a bounded system, where an expert may even have a guaranteed chance of success in a normal scenario (take 10), but a trained yet low level guard still has a slim chance to spot them if the thief is not at their element.

But, I admit my philosophy isn't for everyone. I just wanted to dispel the notion that 5e customization fully explores the idea of bounded accuracy.


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thflame wrote:


All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.

One ponders where all these high level goblins have been and why they have not taken out villages.


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
thflame wrote:


All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.
One ponders where all these high level goblins have been and why they have not taken out villages.

They were out adventuring.

Shadow Lodge

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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
thflame wrote:


All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.
One ponders where all these high level goblins have been and why they have not taken out villages.

Like the level 20 goblin in Starfinder? He's out conquering entire planets.


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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
thflame wrote:


All you have to do is give "low level" enemies some class levels and stuff works out.
One ponders where all these high level goblins have been and why they have not taken out villages.

Maybe they have?

Also, one could wonder why Humans, Elves, Dwarves, etc. have commonly achieved heroic levels of skill, while Orcs, Goblins, Drow, etc. haven't?


thflame wrote:


Also, one could wonder why Humans, Elves, Dwarves, etc. have commonly achieved heroic levels of skill, while Orcs, Goblins, Drow, etc. haven't?

In any given campaign's iteration of Golarion, I thought the general intent was that very very few people of any ancestry had; that your total number of PCs who have completed an adventure path is unlikely to greatly exceed the number of established high-level NPCs in Golarion lore (which as well as AP BBEGs includes characters like Alicavniss Vonnarc, the first very high-level drow to come to mind.)

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