Leveling Up!

Monday, March 12, 2018

With the Pathfinder Playtest, we're looking to level up the entire Pathfinder game. And that means leveling up... leveling up! Gaining new levels and the toys that come with them is a core part of Pathfinder First Edition, and we want to make it more rewarding in the new edition. So how do you level up?

Well, first you're going to need some Experience Points. You can get those XP by fighting monsters, encountering traps, solving puzzles, and accomplishing goals. Once you hit 1,000 XP, you level up! (That's for every level, so whenever you have 500 XP, you'll always know you're halfway to leveling up again! And if you have any extra Experience Points after leveling up, they count toward the next level.)

Once you have enough Experience Points to level up, you'll increase your proficiencies, then get some more Hit Points (8 + Constitution modifier for a cleric, for example), and then get to make the choices for your new level. What choices? Those are all covered on your class's class advancement table. For instance, at 2nd and 3rd levels, the cleric gets the following:

2Cleric feat, skill feat
32nd-level spells, general feat, skill increase

(Wait... what if I multiclass? We'll cover that in a future blog, but let's just say you'll still be referencing only one advancement table.)

One thing we knew we wanted to include in the new edition was a good number of choices for all characters. In first edition, this could be pretty unequal. Even though over time, the game incorporated more ways to customize any type of character, we wanted to build in more robust customization into the structure of every class. That's why every class gets specific class talents (which include spells for spellcasters) at 1st level and every other level thereafter, increases to skills every other level, and feats at every level!

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Feats Feats Feats!

How does gaining feats at every level shake out? Every class has special feats just for them, which you gain every other level. When your cleric hits 2nd level and gets that cleric feat, do you want to become a better healer? Learn another of your deity's domains? Turn undead away from you? Your class feats give you these options, so you're not locked into the same path as every other cleric.

On any level when you don't gain a class feat, you gain a skill feat to change the ways you can use skills, a general feat that's useful to any character regardless of class, or an ancestry feat that reflects the training or advantages of your people. Skill feats are part of the general feat category, too, so if you really want to invest in your skills, you can drop 15 feats on improving them!

Many of your feats—especially class feats—give you new actions, activities, and so on that you can use. They have a special format to tell you how they work with your three actions and one reaction. Formatting them this way means that it's easier to tell whether a feat is something you can always do or a special action you can take. In Pathfinder First Edition terms, this would be like the difference between Weapon Focus and Vital Strike.

One of our goals with feats was to make them easier to choose and to use. Most feats require very few prerequisites, so you won't need to worry about picking a feat you really don't want in order to eventually get one you do. Any prerequisites build off your level, your proficiency, and any previous feats the new feat builds onto.

The Best of Your Ability

You'll also amp up several of your ability scores every 5 levels. The process might be familiar to those of you who've been playing Starfinder for the last several months! There are, of course, a few tweaks, and we made all ability boosts work the same way instead of being different at 1st level. Learn it once, use it in perpetuity.

Second Chances

So you get all these choices. Let's say you make a few bad ones. It happens!

Retraining your abilities is now in the game from the get-go, covered by the downtime system. You can spend your downtime to swap out choices you made for other ones. (Though you can't swap out ones that are a core part of your character, like your ancestry, unless you work out a way to do so with your GM.

Some classes give you ways to retrain your choices automatically. For instance, some spells get less useful as you go up in level, so spontaneous spellcasters get to replace some of the spells they know with other ones when they get new spells.

Leveling in the Playtest

The playtest adventure will have you playing characters at various levels, and tells you when to level them up (or tells you to create new characters for certain chapters). Our goal has been to make your options expansive and satisfying, but not overwhelming. We look forward to you telling us which decisions you're making, trading tips with fellow players, and agonizing over two feats when you really want them both.

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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Fuzzypaws wrote:

You guys are making a lot of assumptions that they didn't already account for the VERY OBVIOUS issue of lots of math being a headache, and come up with a simple system for determining and awarding XP. I'd be extremely surprised and disappointed honestly if they somehow missed that this could be a problem. Just wait for the playtest document.

As for XP being weird for players of different levels... if players are at different levels that is usually a problem that was created by house rules and rule 0 to begin with. The default assumption is usually that every character has the same number of XP and levels up together. If your DM forces a player to start their replacement character for their dead PC at a lower level than the rest of the party, that's a house rule. If your DM is giving out roleplaying XP to some players and not others and creating an imbalance, that's a house rule. In implementing those house rules, the DM should be prepared to also deal with and fix the problems they cause.

That said, just due to Organized Play with drop-in drop-out players, it would be nice to have a simple rule for addressing XP for characters of different levels in the same party. And again, it would be really weird if they somehow missed this. So I wouldn't worry too much about it for now. If the playtest document comes out and it's a mathy mess, THEN you should definitely start complaining.

Well, the topic of how leveling works and the new XP system was one of the main points in this update. It's only natural that people discuss this and voice their ideas and concerns. What else do you want us to talk about? Also, Mark and Logan have been very active in replying and providing additional clarification and tidbits (and we really appreciate that! Thanks you!) so there's hope for new info to come out that clears things up. Playtest rules are also over 4 months away, a long time for people to be stewing with incomplete info. The earlier concerns are brought up, the more time is available to address them.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


Snip for sanity.

Well different group size is easily covered by how it is already covered by adding or subtracting the considered APL based on whether you have more or less than standard. This is a calculation you are presumably doing anyway and only have to do when you add or remove a player from your group.

there is less calculation involved in that part from my side as is experience and rule of thumb, at least it was. NOW I actually would have to calculate, because... more complicated
If you were happy with rule of thumb in PF1 why aren't you happy using rule of thumb in PF2? If you wanted things to be precisely planned, you wouldn't be rule of thumbing it in PF1. Seems like you are measuring the games by different standards.
I can rule of thumb it in PF, because I have 18 years of experience in doing so. I can use the same rule of thumb in PF2 (which I'd like to) and THEN would have to sit through calculating the new CR anyway to get to the amount of XP theencounter provides which is one step more per encounter than there was before

See thats fine. You aren't used to it. Not being used to it is a fine [personal] problem to have. Doesn't mean its more complicated. I can single handedly pilot a 50ft yacht, because I have experience with it. I have to look up how to re-pressurize my boiler, because I don't. That doesn't make the boiler task more complicated.


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Malk_Content wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


Snip for sanity.

Well different group size is easily covered by how it is already covered by adding or subtracting the considered APL based on whether you have more or less than standard. This is a calculation you are presumably doing anyway and only have to do when you add or remove a player from your group.

there is less calculation involved in that part from my side as is experience and rule of thumb, at least it was. NOW I actually would have to calculate, because... more complicated
If you were happy with rule of thumb in PF1 why aren't you happy using rule of thumb in PF2? If you wanted things to be precisely planned, you wouldn't be rule of thumbing it in PF1. Seems like you are measuring the games by different standards.
I can rule of thumb it in PF, because I have 18 years of experience in doing so. I can use the same rule of thumb in PF2 (which I'd like to) and THEN would have to sit through calculating the new CR anyway to get to the amount of XP theencounter provides which is one step more per encounter than there was before
See thats fine. You aren't used to it. Not being used to it is a fine [personal] problem to have. Doesn't mean its more complicated. I can single handedly pilot a 50ft yacht, because I have experience with it. I have to look up how to re-pressurize my boiler, because I don't. That doesn't make the boiler task more complicated.

sorry for sounding annoyed right now, but what exactly is so hard to understand in "it is at least one former unnecessary step more to calculate"? the concept of 'complication by simply having to do more' is NOT very difficult and/or strange.


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Hythlodeus wrote:

Me: "Let's see, encounter one today was pretty easy...hmm... *makes notes*, encounter two: Shaman, you dropped below 0 HP and the Wizard had to use a hail mary spell, so, it was challenging, I guess? encounter three, well, you had no troubles with encounter three, right?"

Player One: "What? I lost half my HP!"
Player Two: "The Cleric had to channel two times!"
Player Three: "Which of those encounters was the third one again? The one with the Medusa?"
Me: "Okay, let's call it moderatly challenging then."
Player Two: "We could have died!"
Me: "That's true for all encounters. Death is the usual risk of fighting with pointy weapons."
Player Five: "You just want to give us more XP, even though we earned it!"
Me: "Look, neither of you were in any trouble during that fight. It might have pulled a few resources, but.."
Player One: "I spent most of my Resonance points! I can't even read my scroll of Life Bubble anymore. THIS FIGHT MADE ME FORGET HOW TO READ!!!"
Player Three: "We're still talking about the Medusa fight, right?"
Me: "There wasn't even a Medusa in today's session."
Player One: "I'm basically illiterate at the moment!"
Me: "Okay, F*** it! You level up again... Like every session. 500 XP for the encounters, 200 XP for roleplay, 300 XP to leave my kitchen and not come back until next week!"

Why exactly would you play with players who distrusted your judgement to that extent ? Or without having a good long session 0 to ensure that you are on the same page about what you each think reasonable to count as easy, moderate or hard?

Grand Lodge

Another smart and simple fix: leveling up by 1,000. Although in the APs I run I don't bother computing XP, I just use milestone based on what the AP suggests. Dumping prerequisite chains should allow for more flexibility and customization. Only the playtest will tell!

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
sorry for sounding annoyed right now, but what exactly is so hard to understand in "it is at least one former unnecessary step more to calculate"? the concept of 'complication by simply having to do more' is NOT very difficult and/or strange.

That you aren't even considering the simpler paths to the same result. You say you have to add a complicated step, but you could make it easier on yourself by rearranging your steps into a simpler process.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
sorry for sounding annoyed right now, but what exactly is so hard to understand in "it is at least one former unnecessary step more to calculate"? the concept of 'complication by simply having to do more' is NOT very difficult and/or strange.
That you aren't even considering the simpler paths to the same result. You say you have to add a complicated step, but you could make it easier on yourself by rearranging your steps into a simpler process.

I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hythlodeus wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
sorry for sounding annoyed right now, but what exactly is so hard to understand in "it is at least one former unnecessary step more to calculate"? the concept of 'complication by simply having to do more' is NOT very difficult and/or strange.
That you aren't even considering the simpler paths to the same result. You say you have to add a complicated step, but you could make it easier on yourself by rearranging your steps into a simpler process.
I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

1. PF2 AP CR is easily converted to an XP reward for a party of expected level.

2. PF2 XP reward is easily expressed as a fraction of a level.
3. Check your PF1 XP table to determine the equivalent XP reward for your party's level. (6th level PCs need 12,000 XP to level up on Medium track)
4. Total XP reward gives you an approximate CR to aim for when adjusting the challenge to your larger PF1 party.

As I see it, the system helps you when converting PF2 back to PF1 and adjusting for a larger party.


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Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

All that talk of how it'll be harder to calculate CR, and we don't even know how CR will be calculated (or even if the design is finalized yet!!!)...
When you ASSUME, you make an ASS of U and ME.
People can say they have apprehension that it could be done wrong, or that it'll be easy to make mistake there... but don't argue like your fears are the absolute truth. WE all don't know yet. This just create noise that hide away the good morsel of info we get, and create negativity that push some people away. :(


the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

On this I agree, but experience tells me that awarding XP every time the earned it, disrupts the flow of the game. there might be ways to condition the group to just note down the xp they get, without adding it to those they already have, telling everyone the new total and have a quick discussion about how many XP are still left until the next level, but usually after presenting XP to them they are taken 'out of th game' fo at least a handful of minutes. that's why I reward them after the session.

another option would be what I tend to do when I'm too tired to reward them with XP and just want them out of the house as fast as possible: text them the XP the next day


Our group doesn't use XP, we just level when the AP/Module says to do so.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
sorry for sounding annoyed right now, but what exactly is so hard to understand in "it is at least one former unnecessary step more to calculate"? the concept of 'complication by simply having to do more' is NOT very difficult and/or strange.
That you aren't even considering the simpler paths to the same result. You say you have to add a complicated step, but you could make it easier on yourself by rearranging your steps into a simpler process.
I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

1. PF2 AP CR is easily converted to an XP reward for a party of expected level.

2. PF2 XP reward is easily expressed as a fraction of a level.
3. Check your PF1 XP table to determine the equivalent XP reward for your party's level. (6th level PCs need 12,000 XP to level up on Medium track)
4. Total XP reward gives you an approximate CR to aim for when adjusting the challenge to your larger PF1 party.

As I see it, the system helps you when converting PF2 back to PF1 and adjusting for a larger party.

In this case, this is not a converting problem. I'll probably just use the milestones provided by the APs and work from there, or just switch to milestone leveling if I can convince my group of not getting XP (which hasn't worked in the past. whenever we tried to play without them, we ended up rewarding them anyway, because it didn't feel right to end a session without getting at least a random number)

This case is more a distain of overcomplicating things that weren't complicated before


There is always another way to look at XP - it isn't tied to CR or the level of the opposition but the difficuty of the fight.

A fight that used some some resources and was a challenge 75 XP
A walkover fight 25 XP
A really difficult fight (like a boss) 125 XP.

So no direct XP for creatures or CR - and that becomes nothing but a guide to be able to have the right challenge of encounter. This would also help for things like story rewards and other such things. Lots of games have used that kind of approach.


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the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.

I can't get Highlander out of my head now


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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.

Getting EXP increases your LV.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.

I have used that idea explicitly for a horror based one-shot before. It can be quite creepy indeed if you phrase it right.


Hythlodeus wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.
I can't get Highlander out of my head now

Here we are...

Shadow Lodge

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TheAlicornSage wrote:

There is a serious and major disadvantage to the "1000xp for every level" thing. Catching up.

In 3.5, I joined a group and started at 1st level. The group was level 5. OMG, how sacriligious to not have everyone at the same level! Your gm should be hanged and quarted! [end sarcasism] I had lots of fun and the level difference was never a problem. Probably because we didn't play it like a video game.

Anyways, I was 4 levels behind, well I didn't stay that way. I gained ldvels faster because I was lower. It didn't take long for me to catch jp to the group.

But, if every level is the same cost in xp, then there is no catch up emergent behaviour, and therefore, the result will either never catch up, or will need a tacked on additional rule to explicitly add a catch up effect, probably by giving bonus xp to the lower level characters.

The other option is a table of xp rewards based on the level difference between monster and character. This only feasible if xp is standardized so everyone gets full xp regardless of how many are in the party.

My friend's group has something like 8 people playing in it, although not all at once, due to availability constraints. He only assigns XP to a character when her player is present. The result of this setup is that all of his characters are at different XP values, and thus many are at different levels.

I also want to make sure that the game codifies how to deal with characters of different level in a party. If it's as simple as "characters below the APL receive double XP and characters above the APL receive half XP", then okay, but GMs shouldn't have to figure that out for themselves.


Malk_Content wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

The ability to rule 0 a fix does not change the fact that the problem exists and needs a fix.

Oh where in the rules does it say when a new character joins the group they need to do so at level 1? Citing rule 0 to fix a problem caused by rule 0 is totally fine. If it isn't, then the number of problems in any system approaches infinity. Presumably your GM made adjustments to accommodate the lvl 1 character in the PF1 game you mentioned, or else used their fiat to, say, never target them with something that would otherwise challenge the rest of the group.

A huge amount of your problems with the system are problems that you would have in PF1 by the sounds of it. You also seem to have a bit of a "the way I role play" high ground, despite it being fairly common way for many people to run/play their games.

First, where in the rules does it say a new character must start at the same level as the rest of the party? Unless that rule gets added, starting at a lower level is not rule 0. Therefore, one should not need rule 0.

It should also be noted that even pfs specifically considers parties as possibly including characters of slightly different levels, though xp is not affected in that case for other reasons.

Second, I do not play in a way that is common. I don't intend on sounding high and mighty about, but there is a serious lack of people who play that way, and from what I can tell when I had plenty of people to play ftf with, nearly all those people who don't, never exprienced my way of playing, though they like to say they have, but often after a few sessions with me and my groups back then, they'd comment that they truly had no idea it could be like that. A couple such players had been playing for nearly a decade. Only one of the few dozen players I had didn't like it.

It irritates me cause I can't really run something well on text, and it is even harder to find my style of play on the web. Leaves me very hungry for it.


Milo v3 wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

The ability to rule 0 a fix does not change the fact that the problem exists and needs a fix.

It's not rule zero though. Mark has said about how that was one of the intended benefits of the system.

My quote here is a general one, though the essence of it can be found in an Alexandrian article. But it refers to any occasion of someone saying something is not a problem because they can fix it.

If they have to fix it, then it is a problem, because they have to fix it.


Simple solution to mixed level party is you assign XP not by APL, but individually. This is assuming that the XP awards are from a chart based on the difference between PC levels and CR of threat.
Group fights Troll, CR 5: 4th level PC gets CR+1 XP, 5th level gets CR, & 6th level gets CR-1. This would lead to the PCs gravitating toward the same level over time.

The biggest issue (perhaps too big) with this simple solution is you could have a 4th level at 995 XP easily pass a 5th level at 5 XP.
"Woohoo, I gained 100 more XP than you for being lower level!"
"Wait, you're ahead of me now?! We fought all the same foes since you joined us!"
Back in 3.X I had this happen after a huge event, to where the lowest level guy stormed into 1st place. But then again, weren't they at the greatest risk? And then again again...likely did less...


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Lemartes wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

I love the simplicity and world-building aspect of PF1's exp [even though I don't actually use it, I'm a story-based leveler GM] because the exp has nothing to do with the person killing the enemies.

It's almost more like the killer is assimilating a certain portion of the victim's vital energies by being a participant in its demise.

Nothing personal, but that makes XP sound creepy AF.
I can't get Highlander out of my head now
Here we are...

Born to be kings, we're the princes of the universe...


TheAlicornSage wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
TheAlicornSage wrote:

The ability to rule 0 a fix does not change the fact that the problem exists and needs a fix.

It's not rule zero though. Mark has said about how that was one of the intended benefits of the system.

My quote here is a general one, though the essence of it can be found in an Alexandrian article. But it refers to any occasion of someone saying something is not a problem because they can fix it.

If they have to fix it, then it is a problem, because they have to fix it.

Perhaps I should add, that just because a problem exists, does not mean that it is a big problem that must be fixed with a high priority.

How important the problem is is separate issue from the problem's existance.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well presumably in the pages they devote to xp they'll tell you how to deal with your issues. After all the CRB for Pathfinder has roughly 3 pages on how to work out how much xp to give. That is plenty of space to give multiple options.


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Bruno Mares wrote:
McBugman wrote:
Blog wrote:
"Once you hit 1,000 XP, you level up! (That's for every level, so whenever you have 500 XP, you'll always know you're halfway to leveling up again! And if you have any extra Experience Points after leveling up, they count toward the next level.)"
Interesting, so I'm assuming this will go off APL vs the encounter's CR? For example, 100xp for an APL = CR encounter, then adding 25xp for every CR over APL or subtracting 25xp for every CR under APL.
I guess it'd be 50xp for every CR over/under.
vagabond_666 wrote:

Okay, granted I am assuming some things about how XP is going to be handled, like that they want to keep the ~20 encounters per level, and so a CR equal encounter will be worth 50 XP, and CR -2 will be 25 or 12 or something, and CR +2 will be 100, and that this will be consistent across all levels. This means a couple of things:

1) The math is fairly straight forward, because if you're doubling it or halving it you'll do it once for an obvious set of 4 or 5 numbers that will remain static until you decide to alter progression rate again.

2) You are never going to get away from "but an Orc was worth 50 XP when we were level 1, and now trolls are worth 12 XP?"

If this is totally not how it's determined what the XP for a monster is, then sure, my way is harder and you're probably better off ending up losing your nice clean "A level every 1000 XP" in exchange, but if that's the case I'll be pondering why determining XP for encounters is now needlessly complicated instead.

Level advancement of Pathfinder 1st Edition uses an absolute experience-point system, where every monster has a fixed amount of XP it provides. Level advancement of Pathfinder 2nd Edition switches to a relative experience-point system, where the XP earned depends on the level of the party. A relative experience point system can give the same level progression as a absolute experience-point system, if Paizo gets the math right. Let's look at that math.

We start with the medium progression column of experience point total, from Table 3-1: CHARACTER ADVANCEMENT AND LEVEL-DEPENDENT BONUSES on page 30 of the Core Rulebook.
0, 2000, 5000, 9000, 15000, 23000, 35000, 51000, 75000, 105000, 155000, ...

Next chart the XP difference between levels, starting with difference between 1st and 2nd levels.
2000, 3000, 4000, 6000, 8000, 12000, 16000, 24000, 30000, 40000, ...

Compare this to the XP value of CRs, starting with CR 1, from TABLE 12-2: EXPERIENCE POINT AWARDS on page 398 of the Core Rulebook.
400, 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2400, 3200, 4800, 6400, 9600, ...

As we can see by comparing the difference-between-levels values and the CR XP values of CR = APL, which is called an average encounter, the encounter XP is exactly 1/5 of the difference between levels, up to 9th level where rounder numbers mess up the curve to approximately 1/5 rather than exactly 1/5.

Since the XP is split between four party members, an average encounter gives a single PC 1/20 of the XP to level up in Pathfinder 1st edition.

In addition, the ration between APL+1 XP and APL XP is either 3/2 or 4/3. This is an attempt to approximate the square root of two, 1.414213562..., with simple fractions. 3/2 = 1.5 and 4/3 = 1.333... and (3/2)×(4/3) = 2.

When Pathfinder 2nd Edition converts to a fixed 1000 xp difference between levels, it switches to an XP system based on the per mille difference between the CR and the APL. "Per mille" is like percent, but means "out of one thousand." Thus, 1,776 xp in 2nd Edition will mean 2nd level and 776 per mille (77.6%) of the way to 3rd level. Maybe Paizo ought to start 1st-level characters at 1,000 xp so that the thousands digit will give the level of the character rather than one less than the level.

Instead of doing long division to convert absolute XP into relative XP, Pathfinder 2nd Edition should provide a table that gives the relative XP directly. Let me create the table:

APL-Based Relative XP Table
Overcoming CR = APL-4 gives 50 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL-3 gives 75 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL-2 gives 100 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL-1 gives 150 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL gives 200 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL+1 gives 300 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL+2 gives 400 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL+3 gives 600 xp to the party
Overcoming CR = APL+4 gives 800 xp to the party

By the way, to use this system, we would have to dump the fractional CRs and switch to negative CRs. CR 1/2 would become CR -1, CR 1/3 would become CR -2, CR 1/4 would become CR -3, etc. CR 2/3 (300 xp), if it existed, would become CR 0.

However, APL is the wrong value for our base value. Relative XP is relative to the character, not to the party as a whole. We throw out APL and use PCL, the level of the individual PC.

PC-Level-Based Relative XP Table
Overcoming CR = PCL-4 gives (50 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL-3 gives (75 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL-2 gives (100 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL-1 gives (150 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL+0 gives (200 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL+1 gives (300 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL+2 gives (400 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL+3 gives (600 xp)/(party size) to the PC
Overcoming CR = PCL+4 gives (800 xp)/(party size) to the PC

For example, imagine a party of 4 characters, one at 3rd level and the other three at 4th level. They defeat a CR 5 challenge. The 3rd-level character will receive 400/4 = 100 xp. Each 4th-level character will receive 300/4 = 75 xp.

I made a choice in my table above. I took the CR XP values, 400, 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2400, 3200, 4800, 6400, 9600, ..., and divided them by 8 to create the sequence 50, 75, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 600, 800. I could have instead dropped the first term and divided them by 12 to create the sequence 50, 67, 100, 133, 200, 267, 400, 533, 800. The difference between the two sequences is that they use two different approximations for the square root of two, 3/2 and 4/3. But I could use the exact value for the square root of two and round to the nearest integer to get a third, more accurate, sequence 50, 71, 100, 141, 200, 283, 400, 566, 800. Or we could approximate the square root of two as 1.4 for a fourth sequence 50, 70, 100, 140, 200, 280, 400, 560, 800. Using 140 for the PCL-1 value has the advantage that is is evenly divisible by 4, the most common party size.

Relative XP does give a different result from absolute XP in one special case: when a character earns more than enough XP to level up. Imagine that in Pathfinder 1st Edition a 4th-level character had 14,700 total xp, only 300 xp short of 10th level. The party defeats a CR 6 enemy (2,400 xp), so the character receives 600 xp, his total goes up to 15,300 xp, which is 5th level and 3.75% of the way from 5th level to 6th level. Converting that to relative XP means that the 4th-level characters 14,700 absolute xp become 3,950 relative XP. The CR 6 enemy gives him 100 relative xp, his total relative xp goes up to 4,050 relative xp, which is 5th level and 5% of the way from 5th level to 6th level. By earning the xp at a lower level, he gains a bonus.

This bonus for crossing the level threshold can lead to a contradiction. Suppose the 4th-level character at 3,999 relative xp and a 5th-level teammate at exactly 4,000 relative xp are in the same party. When the party defeats a CR 6 enemy, the 3rd-level party member earns 100 relative xp and the 4th-level party member earns 75 xp. The former 3rd-level party member would be at 4,099 relative xp while formerly-more-xp teammate would be at 4,075 xp. We can handwave the contradiction away by claiming it is a bonus for helping defeat the enemy while having the extra risk due to his lower level.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
You guys are making a lot of assumptions that they didn't already account for the VERY OBVIOUS issue of lots of math being a headache, and come up with a simple system for determining and awarding XP. I'd be extremely surprised and disappointed honestly if they somehow missed that this could be a problem. Just wait for the playtest document.

I like math. Creating a simple system in which the mathematical nuts and bolts handle themselves without extra effort by the user is a lot of mathematical fun for me.


Not sure if it's been said much in this thread, but I believe class feats are going to be things more like rage powers and the new lore warden's sword secrets. They are just giving a standardized name so they don't have to come up with fancy names every time.

Liberty's Edge

Chess Pwn wrote:
Not sure if it's been said much in this thread, but I believe class feats are going to be things more like rage powers and the new lore warden's sword secrets. They are just giving a standardized name so they don't have to come up with fancy names every time.

Yes, but they are expanding those and turning a lot of "fixed" non-core class features in optional ones. So a Rage Power would be a Barbarian Feat, but fast movement could be one as well.


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Not sure if it's been said much in this thread, but I believe class feats are going to be things more like rage powers and the new lore warden's sword secrets. They are just giving a standardized name so they don't have to come up with fancy names every time.

Additionally this allows them to replace most instance of "for purposes of feats and class features" with "for purposes of feats" and also to avoid the dreaded "effects" that was vague enough to cause issues (with ascetic style, for example).


Mark Moreland wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
race (seriously, why?) ancestry feat
One advantage of using the term "ancestry" is that the same rule category can then cover both race/species, as well as ethnicity or subrace. It opens up a huge design space for very specific ancestries (maybe someday we'd have a book about noble lineages) that would have required an additional subsystem in 1E.

That is not an advantage, that is a disadvantage. Attaching mechanical significance to human ethnicities is a bad idea. Like horrifically, bad. Paizo has always sold themselves as a progressive, socially-aware company. This is not a progressive, socially-aware move.

_
glass.


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So the fact that, say, Vikings have a cultural naval tradition is a sign of prejudice. Ok. Whatever.


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Arssanguinus wrote:

So the fact that, say, Vikings have a cultural naval tradition is a sign of prejudice. Ok. Whatever.

In a way it is. For one because vikings aren't a culture, but a profession. They were Norse who sailed out to stage overseas raids and trades. Most other Norse people lived the same simple peasant life that people all over Europe did.

But the fact that different cultures have different traditions that could impact their mechanics in different ways remains. That's true. And as long as it doesn't impact base ability scores i think they can be represented without becoming racist.

HOWEVER: These are cultural items and this is exactly why they should be separate from race or ethnicity. A Mwangi child who grew up in cheliax would pick up Chelaxian cultural traditions. They may have a different experience growing up than any other Chelaxian, but they still pick up the culture in some way.


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Threeshades wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:

So the fact that, say, Vikings have a cultural naval tradition is a sign of prejudice. Ok. Whatever.

In a way it is. For one because vikings aren't a culture, but a profession. They were Norse who sailed out to stage overseas raids and trades. Most other Norse people lived the same simple peasant life that people all over Europe did.

But the fact that different cultures have different traditions that could impact their mechanics in different ways remains. That's true. And as long as it doesn't impact base ability scores i think they can be represented without becoming racist.

HOWEVER: These are cultural items and this is exactly why they should be separate from race or ethnicity. A Mwangi child who grew up in cheliax would pick up Chelaxian cultural traditions. They may have a different experience growing up than any other Chelaxian, but they still pick up the culture in some way.

However, if it’s an OPTION from a MENU it’s not pigeonholing.


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Basically, from my understanding, and what was clarified, now you can actually have 'human descended from a long line of sorcerers/sailors/warriors/hunters/kings' as an actual, mechanically distinct Ancestry when compared to the farmboy who picked up a sword. Genetics are a thing. If Ulfen are known to be really, really strong and a little reckless, they might get their own ancestry with +Str and -Wis. Does that mean that every Ulfen has that ancestry? No, but it allows for 'dwarfier dwarfs' and actual, mechanic-based rules for 'strong yet brash' Ulfens. Really, how is that a negative?

Grand Lodge

the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

Mmmmmmm, cake recipe paper...*droool*


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It looks like the real reason they came up with the name "Ancestry" was so that the basic decisions you make about your PF2 character work out to ABC: Ancestry, Background, and Class.


glass wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
race (seriously, why?) ancestry feat
One advantage of using the term "ancestry" is that the same rule category can then cover both race/species, as well as ethnicity or subrace. It opens up a huge design space for very specific ancestries (maybe someday we'd have a book about noble lineages) that would have required an additional subsystem in 1E.

That is not an advantage, that is a disadvantage. Attaching mechanical significance to human ethnicities is a bad idea. Like horrifically, bad. Paizo has always sold themselves as a progressive, socially-aware company. This is not a progressive, socially-aware move.

_
glass.

They already do this with regional/race traits. d20pfsrd is now allowed to talk about the ethnicities and countries, but it already a reality.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
glass wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
race (seriously, why?) ancestry feat
One advantage of using the term "ancestry" is that the same rule category can then cover both race/species, as well as ethnicity or subrace. It opens up a huge design space for very specific ancestries (maybe someday we'd have a book about noble lineages) that would have required an additional subsystem in 1E.

That is not an advantage, that is a disadvantage. Attaching mechanical significance to human ethnicities is a bad idea. Like horrifically, bad. Paizo has always sold themselves as a progressive, socially-aware company. This is not a progressive, socially-aware move.

_
glass.

I hate to break it to you but people from different regions are physically different. It isn't racist to say the Aki are short. They are. To ignore differences between groups isn't being progressive, in fact if anything it can lead to ignore of problems or overlooking solutions for certain groups.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

More to the point I think it’s more about cultural differences, if everyone in Taldor has mandatory military service for 4 years a Taldan might be proficient in swords and shields, while a “chemist noble” ancestry might be particularly adept at identifying and bargaining with devils. While a resistance fighter from Garund might treat their proficiency in stealth as one level higher while in forest or jungle terrain thanks to guerrilla training.

Cultural/training advantages thanks to the player’s chosen Ancestry.


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Aristophanes wrote:
the nerve-eater of Zur-en-Aarh wrote:
Hythlodeus wrote:


I guess I could always pull random XP numbers out of my ass, which, frankly, sounds like the only solution to this mess

It feels to me like all the debate about calculating CR being complex is a bit tangential to the desired point here. CR is a measure of how challenging an encounter should be, and I certainly see the point of it for adventure design, but given how players are infinitely surprising, I am far more inclined to calculate XP based on how challenging an encounter actually is, and I don't think it's that hard to come up with metrics for that - though another quibble I'd have with your example above is that doing this is a sight easier if you do it immediately after any given encounter rather than trying to keep a whole evening in your head.

Basing XP solely on CR rather than how the encounter goes in play is like getting a delicious cake recipe and eating the piece of paper it is written on.

Mmmmmmm, cake recipe paper...*droool*

And here is the recipe for basing XP on how challenging the encounter was, rather than the CR:

Relative XP Table based on observed difficulty
Effortless challenge gives (50 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Cakewalk challenge gives (75 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Trivial challenge gives (100 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Easy challenge gives (150 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Average challenge gives (200 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Challenging challenge gives (300 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Hard challenge gives (400 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Epic challenge gives (600 xp)/(party size) to each PC
Mirror-match challenge gives (800 xp)/(party size) to each PC

To clarify the adjectives I picked, effortless means a combat where the party spent no resources beyond time and no-one in the party was injured. Cakewalk means it was as simple and as dangerous to the players as a dance number. Trivial means the party could win with their eyes closed (that is a metaphor, not a reference to finding a medusa). Easy means that the party had overwhelming force but was at some risk. Average means the party had to work for their win and bad tactics could result in an unconscious PC. Challenging means they needed to spend more resources to gain a solid advantage. Hard means they had to struggle for victory and were always at risk. Epic means that a serious misstep or a few bad dice rolls could have defeated the party. Mirror match means they fought a group just as good as they were, so the outcome had 50-50 odds who would win.

The party in my game likes using information gathering and planning to reduce the difficulty of an encounter. I still give them full XP for the difficulty that the encounter would have been without the preparation, because they earned that XP for the preparation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I read "spontaneous spellcasters" and sighed. I really want to see a better spellcaster system than prepared, known, and spontaneous.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder of some of the bloodlines will be part of ancestry.

Will the Dragon Disciple do it by choosing Draconic ancestry and use feats to bring out more of that ancestry? How about Djinn/elemental ancestry?

I come from a long line of...” sounds like a lead in to explaining ancestries.


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This earth-oriented muscle wizard branch has been in the Armstrong Family for generations!

flexes and sparkles


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:

This earth-oriented muscle wizard branch has been in the Armstrong Family for generations!

flexes and sparkles

What I like of what we currently know of Ancestry is that it sounds easy to create new ones. :3

I would 100% be ok if a player wanted to do this.

The Exchange

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Threeshades wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:

So the fact that, say, Vikings have a cultural naval tradition is a sign of prejudice. Ok. Whatever.

In a way it is. For one because vikings aren't a culture....

Obviously, you have never been to Minnesota.


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Forgive me if it has already been aswered before (I haven't read all 548 previous post :P )

From what I've read will class progression look like how talent tree worked in D20 Modern, as when you pick a class, at a given level, you have the option to pick a talent (or feat in the case of PF2e) and as you level, you have the option to specialize more into that talent tree, or pick a new one to diversify your options? The same could be said for ancestry, skill and general feats?

If so I think it may be quite interesting, as long as you try to avoid trap options just because you want to get the feat next in the talent tree.
Or would you go with broader feat like 5e that have more than a single bonus, and at least one can be use in a wider range of conditions?


Mordo wrote:

Forgive me if it has already been aswered before (I haven't read all 548 previous post :P )

From what I've read will class progression look like how talent tree worked in D20 Modern, as when you pick a class, at a given level, you have the option to pick a talent (or feat in the case of PF2e) and as you level, you have the option to specialize more into that talent tree, or pick a new one to diversify your options? The same could be said for ancestry, skill and general feats?

If so I think it may be quite interesting, as long as you try to avoid trap options just because you want to get the feat next in the talent tree.
Or would you go with broader feat like 5e that have more than a single bonus, and at least one can be use in a wider range of conditions?

PF2 is looking to get rid of feat taxes, and make it so feats have the following as prerequisites (pardon me if I've forgotten something, and don't take this as certain): proficiencies, class/ancestry for those feats, level, and feats that the feat builds on. So, assuming I've understood what they've said correctly, if there were a chain of feats to improve your ability to trip opponents, that chain might require you to be of a certain level or something, and it would require earlier feats that improve your ability to trip opponents (hence a feat chain), but it wouldn't require something like Combat Expertise, because it doesn't build on that.

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