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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Mark Seifter wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Just saw Mark had replied on UP while I made my previous post: You got me. It's not quite double. Why is NO increasing by 40%? We've had HP remain fairly consistent from 3.0 to Pathfinder 1st ed (with only slight bumps). 40% is a big bump. Why?
In general it will help you perform awesome feats and avoid rocket tag situations where the bad guys one-shot you with regular attacks (especially if your character couldn't afford to pump Con). I still strongly recommend raising your Con, but the less you do, the more this is going to help you survive and flourish (for instance, at 10 Con, it basically does double your HP, but the higher you go, the less of a percentage more this gives you). Ask anyone about the stats for Reiko, the iconic ninja, and the first thing you usually hear is "I wish she didn't have 10 Con." The way the math worked, those first few points in Con had an outsizedly big impact (raising your HP by nearly ~30% for going from 10 up to 12 on a low HD class). And it was sort of a secret hidden feature that many newbies learned at the end of a killing blow before making their second character (before someone mentions, yes, in PF1 you can focus on various defenses heavily enough to try to avoid taking HP damage in the first place and survive just fine on 10 Con, but you have to be experienced enough to get that up and running).

So, if you're increasing hitpoints by 40%, this raises two questions:


  • Is damage output also increasing by 40%, or will this result in longer combats?
  • I assume the mechanics of dying will also need to be changed in order to keep "getting to -con" more difficult


Isn’t there a ‘return of the runelords’ I see bandied about? One might presume that that would do the incorporating.

Sovereign Court

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I was afraid to much Starfinder would get in my pathfinder.
Static HP increase per level - do not like
Increase 4 abilities every 5 levels - do not like

If I wanted to play Starfinder or 5E these would be fine but I don't because I like everyday characters becoming heroic not every character being a superhero. Downplaying magic and making characters a SUPERHERO with grand natural ability scores pulls the magical fantasy out of the game for me.


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quillblade wrote:

My husband and I have been playing Pathfinder since it first came out, but over these many years it has definitely been brought home that the system could use streamlining. Having played D&D 5E, however, we believe that 5E represents a level of simplicity (and sometimes vagueness) that we weren't comfortable with. A happy middle-ground – something which gives us the crunch to build interesting characters or adventures with, but a smooth ruleset for just playing the game at the table – seems pretty good to me.

I might not necessarily cheer at every design element I've heard of (noooo, skill ranks, what will I do without you?!), but I am keen to follow where it goes and get involved with the playtest. I think seeing the rules as a whole and how they feel as part of the play experience is as or possibly more important than studying and critiquing each aspect of them in isolation.

This hits my stance dead-on. I was optimistic for both 5E and Starfinder, and both didn't quite live up to what I was hoping the systems could be. 5E was overly simplistic and I felt like I had a hard time actually making the character I wanted to make. SF ... I don't know; I just didn't like how the ideas came together, even though I liked the goals that paizo had as guiding stars for its development.

For PF2, I'm cautiously optimistic. I'd kind of moved onto another system for all my gaming (which isn't much lately), but was kind of wondering if I should dust off some PF when the 2E playtest was announced.

I'm looking forward to it — and i'm excited about many of the directions they're moving, including modularity and overall design simplicity without sacrificing options — but I'll wait to see how it all hangs together in the initial full playtest doc before I get too worked up one way or the other.

I think Paizo has at least earned this much from me. ;)

EDIT: OH ... ahem ... we're in a Leveling Up blog? i'm encouraged by pretty much everything I read here. :D


Cautious at first, but I'm optimistic about it now ^^
To be fair, it will be harder to balance. However, I do not work at Paizo, and if they say they'll handle it... I wish you the best luck!
(I'm being sincere here).


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I personally don't terribly mind the SF leveling-up method (it just means you get your +1 to an ability a bit later, and get extra abilities as a bonus), so long as we keep PF-style ability score generation. I don't want an arbitrary cap on my limits- just make higher scores cost more and it works out fine. The 1-1 ability score generation just further encourages min-maxing your important ability scores, rather than spreading points out a bit more.


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It mainly replaces the need for ‘ability score belts/headbands’ ...


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
rooneg wrote:
quillblade wrote:
One of my big questions, however, is actually not about the mechanics of Pathfinder 2, but about Golarion. Will Paizo be incorporating one or more world-shaking events into 2E's Golarion / Inner Sea Region, thus prompting new scenarios and adventures? Will it go through the same dramatic edition-makeovers that the Forgotten Realms campaign setting did every single new edition? I am uncertain how I feel about this prospect right now.
They have said that there will be no world shaking event. The timeline will advance ~10 years (1 year of game time for each year of real world time since the original game came out) and the outcome of some adventure paths will be incorporated into the timeline, but no TSR style Time of Troubles or WotC style Spellplague with the associated enormous time jump.
The Return of the Runelords is not considered world shaking?

Presumably not to the degree that the various world-shaking events have changed things in the Forgotten Realms over the years.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
It mainly replaces the need for ‘ability score belts/headbands’ ...

Ah, right. I forgot about that part. Well, if there are other options to increase ability scores, then it's fine. As it is, it just won't feel like PF if, come level 20, it's all but impossible to have higher than a 22 in any given score.

Scarab Sages

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Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
I agree here. If they are your class only they need named something else

I know their intent is to make things simpler for new players. But ubiquitous terms makes the game more confusing for new players. I've been playing some version of this game since 1984, and so the terminology is so ingrained into my own personal lexicon that I have no trouble parsing the 27 different versions of level. But my wife, who started playing the game for the first time, just 7 years ago, with me, kept getting confused by the rules. I was having a dickens trying to explain to her the differences in level. She's a pretty smart cookie with a great reading vocabulary. It wasn't until she said, "But the English language says X means X!" And it dawned on me. She was reading the rules without a basis for the differentiation between gamer or DnD English and normal English. I'm sure other genres, like computer programming, tech writing for medical devices, law treatises, etc. all have similar problems. So by creating another ubiquitous term, like Feat, I believe it will make the game more difficult to understand to those without at least a casual understanding of gamer or DnD English.

Scarab Sages

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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

I don’t use XP anyway so I’m neutral towards that change.

Or if I do use xp it’s goal based rather than encounter based.

Same. Its awesome that the APs tell you when characters should reach a certain level. So when I run an AP, I don't track XP at all. I just tell the players to level up when they reach a checkpoint.

Grand Lodge

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Tallow wrote:
Demon Lord of Paladins! wrote:
Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?
I agree here. If they are your class only they need named something else
I know their intent is to make things simpler for new players. But ubiquitous terms makes the game more confusing for new players. I've been playing some version of this game since 1984, and so the terminology is so ingrained into my own personal lexicon that I have no trouble parsing the 27 different versions of level. But my wife, who started playing the game for the first time, just 7 years ago, with me, kept getting confused by the rules. I was having a dickens trying to explain to her the differences in level. She's a pretty smart cookie with a great reading vocabulary. It wasn't until she said, "But the English language says X means X!" And it dawned on me. She was reading the rules without a basis for the differentiation between gamer or DnD English and normal English. I'm sure other genres, like computer programming, tech writing for medical devices, law treatises, etc. all have similar problems. So by creating another ubiquitous term, like Feat, I believe it will make the game more difficult to understand to those without at least a casual understanding of gamer or DnD English.

All the levels were very different things... character level is a very different thing than the dungeon's physical level, or a spell level... all were different things that have different mechanics, etc.

If every feat does similar things... you can take it at x level, if you're y class, and it gives you this ability ... if you spend 1 action you get x, 2 you get y, 3 you get z results. If all things that do that are call feats, then it makes sense.


Tallow wrote:


Same. Its awesome that the APs tell you when characters should reach a certain level. So when I run an AP, I don't track XP at all. I just tell the players to level up when they reach a checkpoint.

Helps with the conversion of old APs, too.


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I'm on board with everything except the 1000 XP for every level. The three advancement tracks were great for choosing how fast a GM wanted their group to level up, and I'm sad to see that go. The system could be altered without abandoning it entirely, and I fear this new system could be restrictive for homebrew games that don't have a premade dosage of encounters pre-balanced to have PCs level up after a set number of challenges. It sounds like the Starfinder Society's "1 xp per adventure, 3 xp gives you a level up", but not all gamers like that.


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The True Monk wrote:
I'm on board with everything except the 1000 XP for every level. The three advancement tracks were great for choosing how fast a GM wanted their group to level up, and I'm sad to see that go. The system could be altered without abandoning it entirely, and I fear this new system could be restrictive for homebrew games that don't have a premade dosage of encounters pre-balanced to have PCs level up after a set number of challenges. It sounds like the Starfinder Society's "1 xp per adventure, 3 xp gives you a level up", but not all gamers like that.

The 1000xp rule is so good because your issues can be resolved with one sentence, e.g. "if you want your players to level faster, they gain a level at 800 xp. if you want them to level slower, they gain a level at 1,250xp instead of 1,000xp."

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Interesting. I get a very "Star Wars saga edition" vibe from this advancement snippet, which is fine by me. Honestly I wish 4e had been that - distinct classes with modular talents/class abilities. I'm very interested to see how it looks here.

One of the stated goals in PF2e is to reduce dependency on "the big 6" items, and the Starfinder ability score method can help a lot with that. It's pretty easy to get most of your stats up to 14-16 or so by 10th level. We don't know if there will still be +stat magic items to compliment these increases.

I'm a little concerned about skills. I'm adopting a wait and see approach because we have very little information as of yet. I have a friend who makes rogues who get 13 skill points a level and he complains he doesn't have enough skill points. As long as the skill system can model "completely inept" up to "world class master" with many gradations in between I'll be happy. (One of my issues with 4e was the inability to model "completely inept" - a desert raider who had never seen water he couldn't step across would innately be an expert swimmer just due to level)

1000 XP per level - Suikoden it is then. I use milestone based levelling nowadays so this has little effect for me. I presume it's going to require some sort of table to cross reference XP values like 3.0 had.


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Leyren wrote:
The True Monk wrote:
I'm on board with everything except the 1000 XP for every level. The three advancement tracks were great for choosing how fast a GM wanted their group to level up, and I'm sad to see that go. The system could be altered without abandoning it entirely, and I fear this new system could be restrictive for homebrew games that don't have a premade dosage of encounters pre-balanced to have PCs level up after a set number of challenges. It sounds like the Starfinder Society's "1 xp per adventure, 3 xp gives you a level up", but not all gamers like that.
The 1000xp rule is so good because your issues can be resolved with one sentence, e.g. "if you want your players to level faster, they gain a level at 800 xp. if you want them to level slower, they gain a level at 1,250xp instead of 1,000xp."

i would be very surprised if there wasn't a variable xp track system in the final product, but I would be equally surprised to see it in the playtest.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Isn’t there a ‘return of the runelords’ I see bandied about? One might presume that that would do the incorporating.

That is still a Pathfinder 1st edition module, as is the next (as yet unannounced) adventure path that comes after it.


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The True Monk wrote:
I'm on board with everything except the 1000 XP for every level. The three advancement tracks were great for choosing how fast a GM wanted their group to level up, and I'm sad to see that go. The system could be altered without abandoning it entirely, and I fear this new system could be restrictive for homebrew games that don't have a premade dosage of encounters pre-balanced to have PCs level up after a set number of challenges. It sounds like the Starfinder Society's "1 xp per adventure, 3 xp gives you a level up", but not all gamers like that.

What is XP?

At its root, it is simply a fractional level advancement tool. Back in 1974, different classes needed different xp totals to advance in level, which could become very confusing. Having three advancement tracks, like in PF1.0, also seemed confusing to me at first.

Having each and every level correspond to 1000xp similarly feels conterintuitive at first. We are used to getting only a few xp at a time when we're first level, and getting hundreds or thousands of xp at a shot when we're mid or high level. And when I say "are used to getting", I mean in all versions of D&D up to today.

1000xp per level actually makes things much easier for DMs. When you award xp for a session, you know right away what fraction of a level you are handing out. So you know right away if your players will take 1, 2, 3 or however many sessions to reach the next level. I'm sure PF2.0 will have its own recommendations regarding the amount of xp to award for an adversary of a given challenge level. Since you need a flat amount for each level, the xp award will also have to be flattened, so an APL1 group will get just as much xp from a CR2 foe as an APL8 group gets from a CR9 foe.

That's for those DM who still use xp at all, of course.


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I’m fine with Starfinder-style attribute increases as long as these choices are *interesting*.

In Starfinder, this works well with the Solarian, who generally has a reason to want to boost all 6 stats, and can only choose 4.

It doesn’t work well with (say) the Technomancer or Mystic who don’t care about 2 of the 6 stats (Str, Cha), and so has no interesting choices to make.

So if this is how stat increases are going to work, I hope they set things up so that this will usually involve interesting choices (by, say, making all 6 stats provide something of value for every character).


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Logan Bonner wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
"Okay, so I have 12,500 XP, so I'm halfway to level 13"
Actually, it's "Okay, so I have 500 XP, so I'm halfway to level 13." ;)

What I will likely do for ease of calculating XP (I use a spreadsheet for my players and wouldn't want to redo the calculations every level) is to start everyone at 1,000 XP and just increment every level by 1,000. So in my games, 12,500 XP would be halfway between 12th and 13th level. It works out the same but with less effort by me as the GM.


Phantasmist wrote:
Is it just me or is naming everything feats confusing anybody else?

well goes right along with using level to mean multiple things.

Sovereign Court

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Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"


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CraziFuzzy wrote:

So do feats have level requirements as well? It'd be great to see something like:

Sudden Charge (Fighter 1, General 5) - meaning a Fighter can take the feat as a class feat at level 1+, and any other character can take it as a general feat at level 5+.

Can't favorite this post enough! It would solve the issue of feats being "locked behind" classes. Some abilities should 100% be class specific, but I think others are fine with just being preferential to a class and avialable later. Also sharing them would eliminate the hard barriers they ended up building betwen classes (In theory bigger ones than in PF1).

Good job!


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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Speaking of levels and naming. Can we get spell levels renamed? As it is a 9th level wizard casts 5th level spells. Intuitively you might think they'd be able to cast 9th level spells because they're 9th level. Wouldn't it avoid some confusion to simply call them something else? 5th order spells, 5th tier, 5th magnitude, 5th aardvark or whatever. Not a huge deal, but it always has been a minor annoyance.

There's always Monte Cook's Book of Experimental Might, if you want 3.x-compatible spells split up over 20 levels of spell and to get one spell level per character level.

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Pedantic math note: 12500 XP would be halfway between 13 and 14 in this system. If 1000 XP is level 2, 12000 XP is level 13.


Cylerist wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
I like Starfinder's ability increase system and I am glad it is being brought into Pathfinder.

I am on the opposite side of the fence. I like the ability score boosting items makes pc's think of what magic items to wear.

I like magic enchanting mostly normal people - I don't want people to be so OP they don't need magic to raise above the norm.

Just my view of "magical fantasy"

I know it's video-gamey, but people are pretty used to level ups being the bulk of your attribute increases... Like in any other RPG ever.

The big 6 are beloved, but I think it's only cause their insanely good. If you want to make your game not rely on them on every single character and every single build, what else could you do? It was just too centralizing. Hopefully we can get the items back with different effects! (Like boosting specific skills/actions, or that only activate sparingly).

If you got an idea of what to do with them, do share.


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Volkard Abendroth wrote:
The Return of the Runelords is not considered world shaking?

I guess it's the PCs job in that campaign to prevent the shaking of the world.


David knott 242 wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Is rolling for hit points an option? (Or is it easy to just introduce - like do classes all have the same hit die?)

I think hit dice may finally be gone from the game. As best I can tell from the playtest info released so far, the hit points per level equal the old hit die maximums.

If that is the case you can just use the Dice represented to roll HP.. not a hard thing to do at all.


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Wheldrake wrote:
I'm sure PF2.0 will have its own recommendations regarding the amount of xp to award for an adversary of a given challenge level. Since you need a flat amount for each level, the xp award will also have to be flattened, so an APL1 group will get just as much xp from a CR2 foe as an APL8 group gets from a CR9 foe.

I took it a different way but obviously don't know for sure. If they are trying to simplify the math for the DMs, having foes be worth a variable amount seems counter-intuitive to that goal. Instead of having an xp per foe, as they do now, they are going to have to go back to the ECL v EL chart to figure out xp.

I took it that this is going to allow them to look a monster and decide how many of them should be a level, based on their own goals for the game. If they think it's worthy of gaining a level defeating a monster, they make that monster worth 1000 xp. (I never remember if you divide or not, so I guess up to 4k xp for the standard four character party?)

Yes, CR is also an indicator of when it should be fought and how tough it will be but now xp will do that as well at a glance.

The secondary effect of that, which I also surmised but could be wrong, is that monsters will be a challenge at all levels. A party can't ignore the group of orcs with the giants anymore. This also allows better "team ups" in my opinion because it does allow orcs to be with a giant, instead of some lesser giant progression. (i.e. orcs with ogre with ettin with hill giant with fire giant.) Now you can put orc servitors with any giant type. Further, if the DM wants, now it's an option for the orcs to rise up against the giants if they don't like the giants anymore, whereas in current rules, the orcs wouldn't stand a chance against giants.

I could be completely wrong; it's just how I took it.


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I know this may come accross as paranoia but I am a little concerned about the mention of special formatting to describe how the feats work.

One of the areas where I felt Pathfinder was better than its competitors was that descriptions added flavour to the abilities which tended to inspire and place the ability in the contect of the pathfinder setting.

As I said, probably paranoia on my part and the text will be flavour as well as rules, but it would be a shame if we went from inspiring descriptive text to just cold, hard rules.


As probably more than one people have already said, there are parts of PF2, such as how skills are dependent on relevant ability score modifier plus character level, that are vaguely or not so vaguely reminiscent of Star Wars Saga Edition. Which is not necessarily a bad thing mind you.

Grand Lodge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
Speaking of levels and naming. Can we get spell levels renamed? As it is a 9th level wizard casts 5th level spells. Intuitively you might think they'd be able to cast 9th level spells because they're 9th level. Wouldn't it avoid some confusion to simply call them something else? 5th order spells, 5th tier, 5th magnitude, 5th aardvark or whatever. Not a huge deal, but it always has been a minor annoyance.

My group has called spell levels "circles" for years. "Magic missile is a 1st circle Wizard spell," for example.

I hate that we call so many things "level."

-Skeld


Chaotic_Blues wrote:
Please tell me there are multiple exp track options. I never was a fan of the fast xp progression track.

THIS. So, so this.

Reaching demigod status shouldn't happen within the span of days, a few weeks, or even a couple of months.


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ryric wrote:
Pedantic math note: 12500 XP would be halfway between 13 and 14 in this system. If 1000 XP is level 2, 12000 XP is level 13.

In case this was a reply to my post - That's why I said I'll start my players with 1,000 XP at level 1 when they make their characters, to keep the first number (or two numbers at higher levels) the same as their level. So 12,500 XP would be halfway between 12th and 13th level. If this somehow confuses them when I tell them their XP I'll just drop the relevant integer(s).

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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There's a whole rant in the AD&D 1e DMG where Gygax goes on about the multiple uses of the word "level." It's worth reading if you can find it. It's been a known issue with D&D and its clones since the 70s.

So one thing I'm now pondering - with the revision of XP, can we actually tune advancement such that the average AP actually goes to level 20? I know the main reason they don't get there now is page count limitations. If we assume the 13 encounters/level for PF 1e, an AP that hits level 17 has ~208 encounters to hit the "top" level. If they recalibrate the XP such that it takes 11 encounters to level, 209 encounters would get PCs to level 20, allowing players to use all the nifty high level toys without really affecting AP page count. It would be a little bit faster paced but those of us that enjoy high level play would get to see it more often.

The Exchange

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So Logan, on the Leveling up, are you saying every 1000 XP you go up a level? To me as a GM, that is confusing. You are either simplifying the XP for the monsters (ie a Lich may be 575 XP where a Kobold would be 10XP vs the larger values) or it is dumming it down wayyyy to much in my view.

I do like some simplification. That can come with spell casting, a turn, and other ways. However, some of the more complicated concepts aren't a bad thing. I know there are those that want to do away with XP all together. Some don't. So, a technique that allows for 1 pt for a session and 3 points for a level would work, regardless of difficulty of the creatures.

I hope you keep the XP in. You can take out the concept of CR if you want. Most of us as GM's can figure that out.


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I think the problem inherent in level is that all the various senses of "level" have nothing to do with each other.

But all the various things we're gonna call "feat" have essentially "they are a thing which you select on level up that either gives you a new option or a passive bonus to something you can already do."

Saying "oh, you can't take x at 2nd level since it's a general feat, not a fighter feat" is pretty much exactly the same as saying "oh, you can't take x at 2nd level, since your bonus feat has to be a combat feat."

It's not likely to be as confusing as "Oh, no you can't take 3rd level wild talents until 6th level."


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've tried out the SF method of leveling up ability scores. It's an interesting way of doing it. Logan, Mark, will you be able to provide guidelines if we want to change the rate of ability score increases (like every 3 or 4 levels instead of 5). One niggling point in the SF system I had is that the increased amount changes if your score was 16 and lower, or 17 and higher, so it adds an extra complication when trying to backwards engineer a character.

(In my home campaign, because I removed all magical gear that boosts ability score, I implemented a house rule that at 1st-level and every level after, you can choose two different ability scores and increase them by 1 each.)

Regarding the new XP progression, I think it could be interesting. I like the idea that if I want to change the progression speed, I only need to change one number to do so. However, I didn't see any additional clarification how encounter XP will be calculated. One thing I really didn't like back in 3E was that as a GM, I had to constantly look up a chart to see how much XP to my PCs. I *really* appreciated PF's change to a simple flat XP number based on CR. I don't really want to go back to looking up charts again. (In my home campaign, I keep XP progress hidden from the players. I mainly use XP to keep track how fast or slow the PCs are gaining power throughout the progress of the campaign so I can plan out appropriate periods of time to allow them to level up.)

Class feats, general feats, and the others are what I imagined would be. Seems like one more step to making PF a classless, which I would be completely fine with. I really like the flexibility throughout the growth of the character. I really like the concept of progressing your ancestry! It's about time the race-side of your character gets some development.

How are skills increased? I saw mention of skill feats, but I was thinking that those are more akin to skill tricks or unlocks. What mechanic is used to simple want to be better at a skill (unless I was mistaken earlier)?

Will hp increase remain a flat number when leveling up like SF? I'm guessing most people nowadays just take die average instead of rolling, so I guess that would be a natural change.

Overall, I'm withholding judgement, but I'm very interested in building a character with these changes.


I like what i'm seeing so far.


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ryric wrote:
So one thing I'm now pondering - with the revision of XP, can we actually tune advancement such that the average AP actually goes to level 20? I know the main reason they don't get there now is page count limitations. If we assume the 13 encounters/level for PF 1e, an AP that hits level 17 has ~208 encounters to hit the "top" level. If they recalibrate the XP such that it takes 11 encounters to level, 209 encounters would get PCs to level 20, allowing players to use all the nifty high level toys without really affecting AP page count. It would be a little bit faster paced but those of us that enjoy high level play would get to see it more often.

I'm hoping that PF2 APs go all the way up to level 20 too


Mark Seifter wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Are those skill increases going to be the only ways to increase my skill mod other than to modify their ability scores? Will I really only be able to do that 15 times?
I believe that a character who was hellbent on increasing their skills as many times as possible and sunk all possible resources into it could increase their skills a hypothetical ~50 times (aside from the fact that you might run out of useful skills to raise with some of the options before then, so more realistically more like 40 times). That is a lot of times.

That's still about 1/4 as many times as a rogue would get from skill ranks alone, not counting all of the feets and stuff they could take.

(This is me assuming a hypothetical Rogue gets 10 skill ranks per level.)

That's true; a PF1 rogue with the hypothetical 10 skill ranks per level gets 200 ranks over 20 levels, but each of those individual ranks is going to be far less meaningful to your character in terms of maxing out your skill and gaining special benefits than each rank is in PF2 (stay tuned for Friday's blog).

Is Rogue still at least THE defacto Skill Monkey? I remember we got kinda overtaken by the likes of Bard and Investigator, and that was only KINDA fixed with Unchained. Are we the most skilled Class, or are we now just a bag of d6s the party clubs badguys with?


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A caution I would throw up about the advancement system is that it would require a much more finely-tuned and accurate system of calculating CR than the current system, which IME provides only a very, very rough (and frequently very misleading) approximation of the actual difficulty of any given encounter. If you're pulling XP out of individual monsters and other encounter elements and putting it all on CR, the means of calculating CR better be *precise.*


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Gregg Helmberger wrote:
A caution I would throw up about the advancement system is that it would require a much more finely-tuned and accurate system of calculating CR than the current system, which IME provides only a very, very rough (and frequently very misleading) approximation of the actual difficulty of any given encounter. If you're pulling XP out of individual monsters and other encounter elements and putting it all on CR, the means of calculating CR better be *precise.*

I'm not sure it needs to be SO precise. With the simplification of exp, you can easily adjust bonuses if the fight turned out way too easy or hard. If a fight is more difficult than you anticipate, based on cr, you can simply adjust the experience gain accordingly.


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What's the penalty reduction for Agile or Finesse weapons? I hear -2/-4 and -4/-8 thrown around. Which is it?


This availability of choices right here will be what brings people to check out PF2 over D&D 5e. Sounds good to me.


Here's hoping the feats have the 5e level of power to them and not the piddly little stepping stones that it felt like 90% of the PF1e feats were...


Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
What's the penalty reduction for Agile or Finesse weapons? I hear -2/-4 and -4/-8 thrown around. Which is it?

It’s the latter. I was mistaken when I said the former.

It’s-4/-8.


QuidEst wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
What's the penalty reduction for Agile or Finesse weapons? I hear -2/-4 and -4/-8 thrown around. Which is it?

It’s the latter. I was mistaken when I said the former.

It’s-4/-8.

Damn it.

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