Are You Proficient?

Friday, March 16, 2018

The term "proficiency" has been a part of the Pathfinder rules since the very beginning, but in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we've expanded the concept to cover more than just weapons and armor. In the new proficiency system, your proficiency matters for just about every check you attempt and DC you have. You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow—instead, proficiency covers everything from axes to spells, from Acrobatics to Thievery, and from Perception to Will saves. Your proficiency in Fortitude saves can allow you to shake off virulent poisons in an instant, and your proficiency in Diplomacy might help you stop a fight before it begins. There are five different ranks of proficiency.

Untrained

An untrained character lacks even basic proficiency. He adjusts his checks and DCs by –2 and sometimes flat-out can't attempt certain things. For instance, someone who is untrained in Thievery might be able to try to steal from someone but isn't skilled enough to pick a lock, no matter how high level he is.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Trained

A trained character has put in enough work that she's able to perform effectively. She can even start taking skill feats to achieve new and special effects with her skills. Many skill feats grow more and more powerful as your proficiency rank increases.

Expert

An expert is particularly accomplished in a particular field, adjusting her checks and DCs by +1, and gains access to more powerful features requiring expertise.

Master

A master is extremely skilled in an area, and she can achieve incredible results. In addition to adjusting her checks and DCs by +2, she may unlock powerful perks like master-level skill feats for skills, or the ability to dodge fireballs completely for Reflex saves. Other than a few classes like fighters, with their incredible command of weapons, characters can't become masters until level 7 at the earliest, and sometimes much later.

Legendary

A legendary character is world-class, and in addition to adjusting checks and DCs by +3, can routinely produce results that defy real-world explanation, even if they're not a spellcaster. For instance, a character who is legendary in Survival could learn to survive without food, water, or air in a featureless void, a character legendary in Thievery might be able to steal the armor off a guard, and a character with a legendary Will save might have a mind so strong that no mental intrusion can fully affect him. Most characters can't hope to become legendary until level 15 at the earliest, and even the mightiest fighters reach these heights with their weapons only at level 13. Most characters become legendary in only a few skills and one or two other statistics.

Proficiency Modifier

Your proficiency modifier is based partly on your rank and partly on your level—you add your level to the modifier from your rank to determine your proficiency modifier. For instance, a level 20 rogue who is legendary at Stealth might have a +23 proficiency modifier, while a level 1 paladin who is untrained at Stealth might have a –1 proficiency modifier. But does that mean that your level 20 untrained and magic-hating barbarian knows more about arcane magic than your friend's level 1 bibliophile wizard does? Not really. Your barbarian, with her extensive experience in battle, might be able to identify a dragon's weaknesses much better than the wizard with his ivory-tower book learning, but when it comes to magical theory, identifying the gestures that compose a spell, or other such topics, your barbarian simply doesn't know anything at all.

Gaining Proficiency

For most of your statistics, your starting proficiencies are determined by your class, though for skills, you can assign your ranks as you choose among any of the skills in the game. When it comes to leveling up, all classes gain skill rank increases at every odd-numbered level (or more often for the rogue!). Your other proficiencies increase based on your class and feat choices.

Making the Nonmagical Extraordinary

The best part about proficiencies is the way they push the boundaries for nonmagical characters, particularly those with a legendary rank. If you're legendary in something, you're like a character out of real-world myth and legend, swimming across an entire sea while beating up sea monsters like Beowulf, performing unbelievable tasks like Heracles, or hunting and racing at astounding speeds like Atalanta. While we did perform a bit of research on things like real world Olympic records and average expectations when it came to the lower ranks, masters and especially legends break all those rules. Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!

And that's the basics of how proficiency works! Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
It is my sincere hope that Paizo devs won't reject any good ideas because they are reminiscent of some other game that some people don't like.

It is valid to say "we won't do X because it deviates too far from what our core rules were in previous edition". It's an iterative design vs burn down the building and start again approach. Pathfinder 1e has a ton of differences to 3.5e (mostly Pathfinder 1e at the end of it's life cycle). However it is still consistent enough to have resemble 3.5e and be seen as a successor system. Even 3.5e has a fair number of similarities between it and AD&D 2e (some NWPs and WPs because feats, other NWPs became skills. They both have the equivalent of BAB with only slight tweaks to how it's handled).

The more of 4th edition that people see in Pathfinder 2e the less it will resemble Pathfinder 1st ed. The less it resembles Pathfinder 1st ed the less it will seem like a new edition and will instead seem like an entirely new game.

Designing new games can be fun. Designing something that helps clean up the previous edition, integrate some optional/later additions into the core and rebalancing the core can be nowhere near as exciting. But it's the difference between a new edition and a different game with the same name plastered on.

Now that isn't me saying I think Paizo are going to create something that doesn't resemble Pathfinder 1st ed. I'm sure when we see the playtest rules we'll see a very close resemblance to the old game. But it is a valid complaint to say "this doesn't seem very Pathfindery. Instead it seems much more <insert name of game that i hated here>."

Taking lessons and ideas from another game is all well and good. Take too much and you end up with a new version of that other game and not a new edition of your old game.


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eddv wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:


Yes, we are missing a lot of things. That is why assuming the worst and running with it is utterly pointless. At this point, I give Paizo the benefit of the doubt and wait patiently for more information, rather that trying to theorycraft with incomplete information.

It's frustrating because so much of this conversation automatically jumps to "what can go wrong" and there seems to be a lot less conversation about "what can go right"

Well I think it comes from 2 place.

1) A lot of people don't want a new edition that's too different from the old edition because they LIKE the old edition, so anything radically different or emulating aspects of different games, on purpose or by accident apparently in the case of spell, is going to cause them to worry. Ultimately, posting on a thread like this is a pretty harmless way to air those worries.

2) We are in the midst of a playtest environment. Sure we don't actually have the ability to play with these and have incomplete data with which to theorycraft but the whole idea of a playtest is to hear feedback and perhaps change things that the playerbase isn't receiving well. So airing out concerns isn't just about alleviating personal worry but about trying to help make the final product better. So going "oh yeah this aspect sounds great" is less urgent to communicate than "this sounds really problematic"

But it's like criticizing a book after reading the blurbs on the back. It's not really helpful as well as incredibly cynical.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Hmm wrote:

Okay, Mark, let’s break it down into a real world example because otherwise all this math without context is going to confuse me.

I’m Hmm, a level one bard. I want to know how to be a great filker.

UNTRAINED

If at level one I am silly enough to not put a skill rank in “Filk”, do I still get any proficiency at it from my bard class?

TRAINED or EXPERT

I’m level one. I have put a skill rank in filk. I heard that I can be “expert” at level one in a couple things. Are these free “expert” proficiencies off my class or general character level? Do I have to buy them as skill feats?

MASTER

I spend all my free time filking on the Paizo site. I want to become a master filker. How do I do that? Is it a combination of level, feat investment and skill investment? Can you become a master on level alone once you are trained and an expert?

For feat investment, does any type of skill investment count? So instead of taking “Filk Focus” which gives me a straight up filking bonus, I take “Quick Filk” which lets me filk goblin songs in real time at the gaming table. I also take “Filk Copyright” so I know exactly what I can and can’t parody, and “Filk Humor” which gives me a charisma bonus when being silly. Do all of these add to mastery?

LEGENDARY

Clearly, this is where I want to go... It is my dream. But how do I get there? Can I get there on skills and level alone, or do I need skill feats?

CLASS ROLES

What role does class play in all this? If I choose to do all of this as a bard, is it different then doing this exact same investment as a alchemist?

For skills, you pick your starting trained skills and then increase your skill ranks when leveling up. You can also choose feats that might give you even more trained skills if you like, but you don't have to spend feats on that. Mostly you can use feats to do other cool things like "Quick Filk" and the like.


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Daniel_Clark wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
I mean, since we're talking about one roll, it's like if you and LeBron each made a single free throw, and LeBron missed his (his career average was just under 75%) and you made yours (I have no idea what your average is, but if it's better than 20%, you are more likely to make your single free throw while LeBron misses his than 5%).

That's not how statistics work. You can't apply the long run average to a single instance in that manner.

That's like saying since 25% of eggs have salmonella you can't ever safely make a 4 egg omelette.

This is how statistics work. The long term average gives you the likelihood of success on a single sample (barring any unusual conditions). It holds true for sports pretty well, and I think we can consider the two shots as independent. So 0.25 chance of LeBron missing, times at least 0.2 chance of you succeeding, gives at least 0.05 chance of you succeeding and LeBron missing.


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Quote:

That's not how statistics work. You can't apply the long run average to a single instance in that manner.

That's like saying since 25% of eggs have salmonella you can't ever safely make a 4 egg omelette

That's not what he said, tho.

He said that if LeBron has 75% chance to hit a Free Throw, and I have at least 20%, the chance that I hit mine and he misses his is greater than 5%. And it's actually 0.25(LeBron misses) x0.20 (I hit) = 5%.

That doesn't mean I'll win exactly once every 20 matches. But it means I have a 5% to win, in said circumstance.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Context is going to matter a lot though. Like plausible low-impact lies, climbing a knotted rope, surviving in a forested region in the summer, sneaking in the dark, or sharpening a blade? Sure, those are things people can do untrained.

Implausible lies that get people to do stuff for you, free climbing a frozen waterfall with no tools, surviving in the arctic in the winter, and sneaking through a brightly lit room, or forging masterwork plate are not.

So it's not as simple as "I use stealth", the question is "to do what?" and subsequently "can you do that untrained"?

Right.So all of those things used to be hidden behind pretty high DCs and it all sort of worked itself out, sure you might roll a nat 20 and fluke a survival in the arctic in the winter if you had a decent wisdom score but it was pretty unlikely. One of the worst sentences in roleplaying is "no you can't even try to do that" unless you have a pretty compelling reason so its pretty important what's hiding behind the training levels which is why I am eager to see HMM's question get answered.

For the most part a lot of this stuff was up to GM adjucdication and that's pretty much how it should be - the GM should be able to be the arbiter of what's possible and how hard something is using the examples from the CRB to set DCs.

Skill feats and unlocks MIGHT emulate the current system - like the ranger's Hide in Plain Sight in Favored Terrain being a Legendary sort of thing - and make all of the math cleaner but it does have a lot of potential to back bite and it will almost certainly handcuff the GM a bit more (unless he wants to just houserule it away I suppose).

Grand Lodge

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Albatoonoe wrote:
eddv wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

They have explicitly stated that they have tightened up the math all around and part of that is with the proficiency system. Yeah, it is not a huge spread but without the huge span of DCs, smaller bonuses are more important. This was an explicit design choice.

Come on, guys. They aren't just strapping this to the old system and letting it go free. They want the spread to be lower so there aren't so many situations where "your skill is not as high as mine so you may as well not even try" comes up. Not just among untrained vs. trained but trained vs. specialized.

Those situations were not fun and definitely not helping game design. "Oh, we have to sneak into this fortress, but we only have two people trained in stealth so everyone else should just go relax at the inn or something".

I feel like a lot of you guys are just being willfully obtuse about things.

We lack a LOT of definitions right now is the biggest thing.

What level of power are skill feats? What sorts of things are gated behind Training, Legendary, Master, etc? At what point does the difference between an untrained person with an incidentally good stat stop outstripping a trained person without a good stat (say a sorceror with no training in Handle Animal, but a high charisma score vs a fighter with a low charisma and a horse so therefore training in Handle Animal)?

And frankly there are a lot of ways to really completely botch this proposed system based on the answers to some of those questions, especially regarding things that are locked behind the gates of proficiency and feat. Too strict and you've done all of this game design for no reason because no one can really use skills in most situations unless they happen to be niche specialized. Too loose and you get the verisimilitude problems some people seem to be worried about.

These are some of the big overarching question that makes it nearly impossible to discuss things without plugging in holes with PF1 game design

...

It's not our fault that this is the manner in which they are releasing information. If I want to respond in a negative manner because they are not supplying us with sufficient information i should be free to do so. Nearly everything else I've heard about P2.0 has seemed rather stupid to be frank. I feel this is the appropriate place to share these concerns. It is a public forum after all.


Stone Dog wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
Hanlon's Razor is the only thing keeping me from thinking it is a deliberate move to get everyone arguing as much as possible.
I'm assuming that the questions that will wind up in the feedback surveys are going to be coming from these threads.

What's wrong about that math? Him missing and you scoring are both 2 independent events with their own probability (25% and 20%). If these probabilities are accurate. If you each do 1 throw, there is a 5% chance that both of those events happen together and you win the exchange.

It's pretty much the same chance of beating a guy in an opposed check (In Pathfinder) because they crit fail and you got a 2+ if you both only roll once each.


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So, for kicks, let's say there's a level 10 rogue, and a level 10 paladin. They roll stealth checks, and both roll a 10. Assuming the Paladin is untrained and the rogue is a Master. The rogue likely has a high dex, let's call it a 20, and the paladin a low one, say 12.

Rogue=10+2+5+10=27
Paladin=10-2+1+10=23

Sounds close, though if the DC was 20, the rogue definitely is worried less than the paladin, though it still sounds close. But that's knowing little/nothing of skill feats. Let's say a rogue one makes it so if you fail, you get a reflex save to try to dart and hide. Cinematic! Now if they both had rolled a 5, the rogue still gets a chance to hide, while the Paly is busted. I'm not saying necessarily that's how it works. but it might.

Also, they keep saying you adjust your score and the DCs by 1 or 2 or 3. Maybe the Rogue only has to hit a 20, but the Paly needed a 22. Even closer of a call now, but the party isn't screwed on stealth for having a paladin. I like it so far, though need MOAR INFO


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Albatoonoe wrote:
That is why assuming the worst and running with it is utterly pointless.

An equal amount of people are assuming the best and running with it: Do you find that equally pointless? People are extrapolating the best they can from what little info they have so I don't see how we can have any debate/discussion about the new game if we don't "assume" facts we don't have so it either ignore this section of the forum or start assuming.

Albatoonoe wrote:
But it's like criticizing a book after reading the blurbs on the back. It's not really helpful as well as incredibly cynical.

Praising a book with just from the blurb is also unhelpful as feedback as well as overly optimistic. Neither outlook is better than the other until we have actual facts to back up out assumptions.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Daniel_Clark wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something Opposed skill checks are often decided by a single roll. This means that in the case of the demi-god legend, the scruffy idiot will win 5% of time, and not never or 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the time in the case of the outmatched kobold.

You are still missing the point of "the task they are trying".

This is not about two climbers trying to climb the Empire state. This is about two climbers trying to get over a fence. To climb the empire state, the "scruffy idiot" cannot even try, at all.

This is not about you being better than LeBron James at Basketball. It's about you scoring better from the free throw line when shooting a serie of 10. And yes, it can happen. No, it doesn't mean you are going to posterize people, make dunks, catch alleyoops, or do cross court passes better than him. You probably cannot even try an alleyoop (I cann't, certainly). But yes, sometimes, with a lot of luck, you can do something basic well enough.

I mean, since we're talking about one roll, it's like if you and LeBron each made a single free throw, and LeBron missed his (his career average was just under 75%) and you made yours (I have no idea what your average is, but if it's better than 20%, you are more likely to make your single free throw while LeBron misses his than 5%).

That's not how statistics work. You can't apply the long run average to a single instance in that manner.

That's like saying since 25% of eggs have salmonella you can't ever safely make a 4 egg omelette.

It is actually how independent events work in probability. If LeBron has a 1/4 chance of missing and you have a 1/5 chance of making it, the chance that LeBron will miss and you will make it is 1/20. The analogous egg example would be if 1 in 4 eggs have salmonella, the chance of taking two independent randomly selected eggs and both having salmonella is 1 in 16.

Wikipedia has a fairly good explanation of probability for independent events.

EDIT: And ninjaed twice while checking for a good explanation on Wikipedia!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have a question who is that cool dwarf?


Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:

So, for kicks, let's say there's a level 10 rogue, and a level 10 paladin. They roll stealth checks, and both roll a 10. Assuming the Paladin is untrained and the rogue is a Master. The rogue likely has a high dex, let's call it a 20, and the paladin a low one, say 12.

Rogue=10+2+5+10=27
Paladin=10-2+1+10=23

Sounds close, though if the DC was 20, the rogue definitely is worried less than the paladin, though it still sounds close. But that's knowing little/nothing of skill feats. Let's say a rogue one makes it so if you fail, you get a reflex save to try to dart and hide. Cinematic! Now if they both had rolled a 5, the rogue still gets a chance to hide, while the Paly is busted. I'm not saying necessarily that's how it works. but it might.

Also, they keep saying you adjust your score and the DCs by 1 or 2 or 3. Maybe the Rogue only has to hit a 20, but the Paly needed a 22. Even closer of a call now, but the party isn't screwed on stealth for having a paladin. I like it so far, though need MOAR INFO

Actually, the untrained Paladin would roll a 19, not 23. You added 2 instead of substracitng. He would FAIL as expected for his level of mastery.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This is a good opportunity to talk about opportunities for granularity.

Mark let's say I wasn't too concerned with becoming a Master Swimmer.

I took training in it at level one, because well I don't want to drown if I fall in a river, but it doesn't come up that often and I just don't really care about being able to be epic or whatever at it.

But here I am at level 5 and I realize that I am pretty interested in Dungeoneering. I still want to be able to swim, so I don't want to retrain out of swimming. Can I use a rank at that point to pick up training in Knowledge Dungeoneering?


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I have a question who is that cool dwarf?

Since the picture says "Dwarf" and has the Venus symbol, I'd guess that it's one of Wayne Reynolds sketches of members of the different core ancestries. He did a whole bunch of design work, including equipment designed by members of the different ancestries.


eddv wrote:

This is a good opportunity to talk about opportunities for granularity.

Mark let's say I wasn't too concerned with becoming a Master Swimmer.

I took training in it at level one, because well I don't want to drown if I fall in a river, but it doesn't come up that often and I just don't really care about being able to be epic or whatever at it.

But here I am at level 5 and I realize that I am pretty interested in Dungeoneering. I still want to be able to swim, so I don't want to retrain out of swimming. Can I use a rank at that point to pick up training in Knowledge Dungeoneering?

You assign your skill proficiency increases at every odd level (plus more for Rogue), so yeah, you should be good- you get new ones at fifth.


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QuidEst wrote:
eddv wrote:

This is a good opportunity to talk about opportunities for granularity.

Mark let's say I wasn't too concerned with becoming a Master Swimmer.

I took training in it at level one, because well I don't want to drown if I fall in a river, but it doesn't come up that often and I just don't really care about being able to be epic or whatever at it.

But here I am at level 5 and I realize that I am pretty interested in Dungeoneering. I still want to be able to swim, so I don't want to retrain out of swimming. Can I use a rank at that point to pick up training in Knowledge Dungeoneering?

You assign your skill proficiency increases at every odd level (plus more for Rogue), so yeah, you should be good- you get new ones at fifth.

Being able to update your proficiencies later is a big step-up from the 5E rigid system.

Paizo Employee Designer

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eddv wrote:

This is a good opportunity to talk about opportunities for granularity.

Mark let's say I wasn't too concerned with becoming a Master Swimmer.

I took training in it at level one, because well I don't want to drown if I fall in a river, but it doesn't come up that often and I just don't really care about being able to be epic or whatever at it.

But here I am at level 5 and I realize that I am pretty interested in Dungeoneering. I still want to be able to swim, so I don't want to retrain out of swimming. Can I use a rank at that point to pick up training in Knowledge Dungeoneering?

Sure! You can always choose a new trained skill with your rank increase.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok awesome - that was I think single handedly the thing I have hated most about other proficiency systems and I just frankly I find retraining to be a cheesy solution to the problem.


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Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.

Grand Lodge

Mark Seifter wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something Opposed skill checks are often decided by a single roll. This means that in the case of the demi-god legend, the scruffy idiot will win 5% of time, and not never or 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001% of the time in the case of the outmatched kobold.

You are still missing the point of "the task they are trying".

This is not about two climbers trying to climb the Empire state. This is about two climbers trying to get over a fence. To climb the empire state, the "scruffy idiot" cannot even try, at all.

This is not about you being better than LeBron James at Basketball. It's about you scoring better from the free throw line when shooting a serie of 10. And yes, it can happen. No, it doesn't mean you are going to posterize people, make dunks, catch alleyoops, or do cross court passes better than him. You probably cannot even try an alleyoop (I cann't, certainly). But yes, sometimes, with a lot of luck, you can do something basic well enough.

I mean, since we're talking about one roll, it's like if you and LeBron each made a single free throw, and LeBron missed his (his career average was just under 75%) and you made yours (I have no idea what your average is, but if it's better than 20%, you are more likely to make your single free throw while LeBron misses his than 5%).

That's not how statistics work. You can't apply the long run average to a single instance in that manner.

That's like saying since 25% of eggs have salmonella you can't ever safely make a 4 egg omelette.
It is actually how independent events work in probability. If LeBron has a 1/4 chance of missing and you have a 1/5 chance of making it, the chance that LeBron will miss and you will make it is 1/20. The analogous egg example would be if 1 in 4 eggs have salmonella, the chance of taking two...

I guess I read what you said wrong, it sounded like you were stating the probability of my shot was dependant on his.

On reread I see that it was me reading it incorrectly, and hats off for posting the Wiki link. I was trolling a bit there and got excited that I had ya. Thanks for being gracious about it.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
The untrained barbarian is more likely to know that Justice Ironbriar is the harshest judge in Magnimar than the law school student, but she still can't actually practice law effectively at all, let alone superhumanly well.

Wow. So we actually do get +level to untrained skills as well as trained skills? This seems worse than both 4th ed (+5 being trained bonus) and 5th ed (+6 being trained or +12 expertise).

It made some degree of sense being able to know certain things about magic and such simply from being exposed to it for 15 levels. But getting +level good at something seems too much even for me. This seems like a lot more is going to have be gated behind "being trained" which means either looking up what you can do trained or untrained or having to simply remember it all.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it. But this doesn't seem like we're getting to keep the flexibility of PF 1st ed.

Paizo Employee Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.

In this case, the smaller number of overall skills also means you will have a higher percentage of all skills trained even if it didn't increase, but...Let's save the number of base starting skills that, say, the fighter gets for the fighter preview blog! It's soon!


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
The untrained barbarian is more likely to know that Justice Ironbriar is the harshest judge in Magnimar than the law school student, but she still can't actually practice law effectively at all, let alone superhumanly well.

Wow. So we actually do get +level to untrained skills as well as trained skills? This seems worse than both 4th ed (+5 being trained bonus) and 5th ed (+6 being trained or +12 expertise).

It made some degree of sense being able to know certain things about magic and such simply from being exposed to it for 15 levels. But getting +level good at something seems too much even for me. This seems like a lot more is going to have be gated behind "being trained" which means either looking up what you can do trained or untrained or having to simply remember it all.

I'll reserve judgement until I see it. But this doesn't seem like we're getting to keep the flexibility of PF 1st ed.

I don't honestly think PF 1st ed was actually that flexible, because after the first couple levels if you weren't trained in a skill you only really attempted to use it if you didn't mind failing hilariously at it. Untrained skills paying off has never really been a thing in PF 1e in my experience both as a player and a GM.

And it's +level -2 for being untrained, so a trained person has a +3 effective bonus over an untrained person, an expert a +4, and so on. The numerical bonuses aren't as enormous as in 1e, partially because how much you beat or fail a skill check by matters more in 2e, but what the trained, expert, master, and so on can do comprises a number of different things while untrained are basic tasks any idiot could do. Wizards might not be the most spry fellows but I'm gonna assume a wizard who's been adventuring long enough to hit level 10 can manage to climb a frigging tree if he has to.


Mosaic wrote:
What about a Novice proficiency level between Untrained and Trained? At a -1? That might help with the issue of someone

Replace Trained with Novice and Journeyman (or comparable Experienced sub-expert proficiency)?

Might not be too bad but I rather like the placement of supernatural skill use in Master where they have it.


QuidEst wrote:
Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.

Except Int based full casters (but then int might not be a factor in, not sure atm)


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I strongly dislike this system. It adds more things for the DM to memorize and makes character more similar instead of more customizable and interesting.

Following the example you used a lvl 20 rogue with legendary proficiency would have +23 modifier to Thievery while a lvl 20 paladin untrained on the skill would have +18. The rogue might be able to pick locks, while the paladin won't but when it comes to picking pockets the difference is minimal, since picking pockets does not require training.

I also dislike how adding level to pretty much everything means the values will be through the roof at higher levels. There is a reason why the proficiency system in 5e did not progress each level, it creates a situation where level is the only thing that really matters and everything else is just a minor bonus.

Really hope this changes in the near future because i really like Paizo sincerely want Pathfinder 2e to work for me, but what i'm seeing indicates things are going in another direction. One which i'm sure will not appease neither the fans of Pathfinder, nor the ones that are now playing other games.


Garfaulk Sharpstone wrote:

So, for kicks, let's say there's a level 10 rogue, and a level 10 paladin. They roll stealth checks, and both roll a 10. Assuming the Paladin is untrained and the rogue is a Master. The rogue likely has a high dex, let's call it a 20, and the paladin a low one, say 12.

Rogue=10+2+5+10=27
Paladin=10-2+1+10=23

Sounds close, though if the DC was 20, the rogue definitely is worried less than the paladin, though it still sounds close. But that's knowing little/nothing of skill feats. Let's say a rogue one makes it so if you fail, you get a reflex save to try to dart and hide. Cinematic! Now if they both had rolled a 5, the rogue still gets a chance to hide, while the Paly is busted. I'm not saying necessarily that's how it works. but it might.

Also, they keep saying you adjust your score and the DCs by 1 or 2 or 3. Maybe the Rogue only has to hit a 20, but the Paly needed a 22. Even closer of a call now, but the party isn't screwed on stealth for having a paladin. I like it so far, though need MOAR INFO

Also, i assume that when they say it adds to the DC they mean when somebody makes a test against your DC on a skill, as happened with a Reflex DC save in the playtest podcast.

So imagine a scenario where a lvl 10 rogue which has 16 Dex and is expert at Stealth tries to hide his tracks from a Ranger which is lvl 5, has Wisdom 16 and is Master at Survival.

Ranger would roll 5 (Level) + 2 (Proficiency) + 3 (Wis) for a total of +10 on Survival against the Stealth DC of the rogue which wouldbe 10 (base) + 10 (level) + 1 (Proficiency) + 3 (Dex) for a total of 24. The ranger would need a 14 on his the d20 to spot the tracks left by the rogue.


Please tell me that if you have kept the open-ended Craft, Profession, and Perform skills, you'll be better at codifying which ones will be used in adventures.

It is really annoying in PFS to make a character with no guidelines on which subsets of each of those skills (save Perform for bard types) will ever even DO anything, until you reach the point in the scenario where the GM says "Does anyone have Profession: Barrister? Oh, nobody thought of that one? Okay, never mind."


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
I don't honestly think PF 1st ed was actually that flexible, because after the first couple levels if you weren't trained in a skill you only really attempted to use it if you didn't mind failing hilariously at it.

It's inflexible in concept. I can play a shaman who at level 15 looks at something magical and goes "Nope. Don't know nothing about that. All i know is that aint natural." In PF2e I'll be going back to the 4th ed way of doing things which is "Oh. The wizard whose trained in that skill failed his roll. Let me give it a try. Yup. Here's everything the wizard didn't know. Turns out I'm secretly a savant on the subject of BLAH".

Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Untrained skills paying off has never really been a thing in PF 1e in my experience both as a player and a GM.

Right. Even when you're untrained you've actually got quite a bit of training. How much training? Well that will depend on how much is gated behind skill powers and proficiency levels. I've played a game that was very similar to this. As I said in the post you quoted, it made sense to a certain degree, but it does give me less flexibility in how I express and build my character because whether I want to or not, I'm going to pick up a level of competency that a PF1e character wouldn't get.

I was under the impression that for non-class skills I'd still be able to suck in PF2e. And then it was my choice if I put a rank in something (instantly giving me a bonus equal to my level) or remain untrained in it. I was wrong. This system makes my character more competent which is less flexible then a ruleset that lets me decide how competent my character is.

I'm not saying it's bad. I'm saying it's less flexible. How much I like it will be determined by the details in the rules which I won't know until August. But at first glance, if there's too many rules on trained vs untrained there's going to be a lot of book referencing to try to work out who can do what OR it's going to result in some characters who are very good at skills they have no interest in. Could Paizo hit a sweet spot between those two extremes? Sure. Have they? Dunno until August.


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After skimming through the comments, I have noticed a focus on what was in PF1 the "skills", when the blog post was talking about proficiency with... well... everything. Attacks, skills, spells, saving throws, contests of strength; the lot.

What that means is, once you've learned how proficiency works on one character class, you don't need to learn an entirely new suite of mechanics/mathematics to play a different character class.

In 3.5 and PF1, there was a range of different mechanics to do different things. In PF2, Paizo seemed to be trying to unify them under a common mechanic - to help streamline gameplay by simplifying how many rules people need to remember, without reducing the actions they allow. Skills, attacks, saving throws, combat maneuvers, etc; rather than using different math and different statistics, they use the same basic line of Level + Proficienty + Stat + Items.

Speaking as an engineer, I am impressed.

That being said, I think the original post about proficiency does not represent the complete PF2 skill system. At present, we only know about proficiency ranks, which is at best 50% of the skill system. Paizo have hinted at the existence of skill feats and that they can do amazing things. Depending on how integrally they are tied to the system, trying to judge whether the scaling of the proficiency bonus is appropriate might be a bit like judging how a car handles before the wheels are put on.

In 3.0, 3.5 and PF1, skills could result in bonuses varying as dramatically from –10 to +80 (or higher). The extreme range meant that some of the party never needed to roll to succeed, and others never attempted to roll as they couldn't succeed. Neither case was especially exciting or fun. The variation of skill bonus also meant that skills couldn't be used as a method of determining many contests in PF1, thus prompting new systems like combat maneuver checks, which represented another variable that players needed to calculate.

PF2 is constraining the numbers, to encourage people who aren't ultra-specialized to still make checks, and to allow the specialists an actual chance of failure.

The other aspect that intriques me are the mentions of critical successes and fumbles, occurring when you succeed or fail by 10 or more. In other words, less of a binary success/failure system. The margin of success matters more than it did, depending on the degree to which a critical success/fumble affects the results. This can mean that comparatively small bonuses mean a lot more than they do in PF1.

Comparison and Differences to 5E:

In 5E, the bounded accuracy is certainly different to prior editions, but not actually a major detractor from the system as much as the presence and exclusivity of exceptions to the bounded accuracy (e.g. belts of giant strength or the Expertise class feature) and retricted options for customizing skills after 1st level. And then there is the training time. If a campaign suddenly takes to the water at 3rd level, there aren't many options available for characters learning how to pilot a ship or use navigation tools within a relatively short period of time, and training an actual skill (rather than a tool) usually requires a feat or GM fiat. The system does not consider gradual character development a significant design consideration.

What Paizo seems to be proposing, however, is five levels of proficiency available to all classes, which advance as you level up and allows you to gain new proficiencies over time. There are no wildly unbalancing bonuses being handed out to certain classes, and players can develop, broaden, or change their character concept over time. And for that, I am optimistic.

With 5E (ignoring Expertise), the difference between trained and untrained was between +2 (at 1st level) and +6 (at 17th), however there was really no means to increase this that didn't involve increasing your base stat. Mark has hinted (but not given full details on) that there are a variety of ways that someone who wants to be amazing at a skill can be so with relatively little investment, especially if characters are getting free skill feats as they level.

Hypothetical Example of PF2 Skills In Play:

Assuming that given check has a DC of 30, and two characters are, through some means, identical except for their proficiency in a skill; one is untrained with a +19 bonus, and the other is legendary at +24.

- The untrained critically fumbles on a 1 (5%); fails on a 2-10 (45%); and succeeds on a 11-20 (50%). They cannot critically succeed.
- The legendary character cannot critically fumble; fails on a 1-5 (25%); succeeds on a 6-15 (50%) and critically succeeds on a 16-20 (25%).

So, say these characters are scaling an icy cliff ahead of the GM's army of 1001 advanced arboreal fiendish yeti. A failure may mean they gain no ground, while a success lets them climb fast enough to keep ahead; a critical fumble sends them plumetting into yeti-swarm-death; a critical success lets them climb twice as far and gain ground ahead of the yeti.

The legendary character should keep ahead of the yeti-death reasonably easily - but it isn't a sure thing and they're still going to be sweating a little when they roll the dice. The odds of moving twice the speed of the yeti is equal to the odds of not moving at all - averaging out to match the yeti's advanced and templated climb speed.

The untrained character is in serious trouble. They can escape yeti-death, but each round has a 5% chance of falling, and they'll on average only move at half the speed of their yeti pursuers. Their initial lead gives them some leeway... but unless they roll well, a very toothy fate awaits.

Can +5 be a big deal? Absolutely.

SUMMARY (TLDR)
It's about reducing complexity and number of redundant mechanics/rules in Pathfinder, and the amount of fiddly math at the table which tends to slow down play. Characters can still develop, grow and change as they gain levels; this is not 5E, though the effect of Trained vs Untrained on raw numbers is not dissimilar.

Most importantly, we haven't been told how the new skill system works yet, or how it interacts with these elusive things called Skill Feats, which purportedly allow your characters to do things no untrained person could achieve. They may do a reveal on this later, or we may have to wait until the playtest comes out.

I'd suggest some patience at this juncture.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Being able to do it untrained does not mean you can do everything, or that the trained guy cannot do special things.

Stealth again is a good example. Can anyone try it? Yes. Anybody can try to move slowly, hide behind something, and hope not being seen.

A character with proper training (ie: expert, master, or legendary at it) will be able to sneak while moving at fast pace, or running, or camouflage others, or hide in plain sight, or hide while in combat, or maybe become invisible. None of that can be tried by the guy who can, at best, hope he is not found while he crouches behind the cart and slowly moves trying not to make noise.

PossibleCabbage wrote:


Context is going to matter a lot though. Like plausible low-impact lies, climbing a knotted rope, surviving in a forested region in the summer, sneaking in the dark, or sharpening a blade? Sure, those are things people can do untrained.

Implausible lies that get people to do stuff for you, free climbing a frozen waterfall with no tools, surviving in the arctic in the winter, and sneaking through a brightly lit room, or forging masterwork plate are not.

So it's not as simple as "I use stealth", the question is "to do what?" and subsequently "can you even do that with your proficiency level?"

Blackwaltzomega wrote:


You can do things untrained, from what I'm seeing of this, but I feel like people are looking at the number next to a d20 and going "this alone determines what being good at a skill is."

The guy who has a big jumping number and the guy who can jump, stand in the air, and piss on the first guy's head are not rivals. The guy who has a chance of sneaking around despite not being trained in it and tell a whopper with a straight face is not a rival to a guy who can hide behind his own shadow and quietly convince a bartender that he is in fact Shelyn to get out of paying for drinks.

Untrained characters can compete with trained characters in tasks that are so absurdly easy for the trained characters that they no longer need to roll the dice at all. I'm not going to go around saying I'm as good at math as Einstein because I too know my multiplication tables, or claim that being able to swim laps in a pool at the gym without drowning makes me a rival to Michael Phelps.

I am aware of (and like that). That isn't my issue. You guys aren't really responding to my actual issue.

My issue is not that the gap between "Untrained High level character" and "Specialized High Level character" is too small or that it doesn't exist. The Rogues of the party probably be the best at sneaking in the group, because of things like higher dex and tonnes of skill feats.

My issue is comparing the "Untrained High Level character" to the NPCs who are in the low-levels of 2-4. That all characters become masters when it comes to sneaking compared to the average NPC cat-burglar (though they wont be able to pick locks). They will be able to do jumps and climb tonnes better than the average NPC acrobat.

Also, I have issue with the fact that you can't have a character who isn't good at all these things. It makes no sense for my current 15th level wizard PC for example to be really really good at athletics, since he teleports and flies everywhere. Sure he wont be as good as a PC who specialized in it, and he wont have a climb speed or be able to jump so good it gives you an effective fly speed, but he will be insane good with his athletics rolls despite it not making any real sense for the character.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Well You really don't have the resources to state that, and there are more sources that refute that statement.

+13 proficiency bonus is a really big number for a level 3 character to beat with their +4 proficiency bonus.

Quote:

It seems you are over reacting, over postulating, or looking for a reason to be negative and are creating one.

I doubt you will ever be satisfied with anything we say or that Paizo publishes.

... because I dislike one system of 2e, apparently I dislike everything Paizo does? That's an odd position. Even if I dislike the proficiency system, there is no reason I might not like 2e, especially since it seems like it'll be easy for me to houserule it.


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My biggest issue (and yes, I'm not the first to say this) is that with this system, you seem to lose the ability to be really bad at something. Both as a player and a DM, I find that characters are defined both at what they're really good at and what they're really bad at. I mean, I've had high level characters who still had -1 in certain skills.
What if I want to make a clumsy spellcaster who sucks in acrobatics no matter how strong his spells become? Or someone who just can't swim at all and would drown in 8 feet of still water? Or someone who couldn't distinguish north from south even with a compass in hand? Adding level to checks gives you a certain level of capability in everything, meaning you would lose this part of the game. And in my opinion, being bad at things is equally wonderful as being good at things. It's what makes the game real, and makes you appriciate whatever your character is good at.


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eddv wrote:
Ok awesome - that was I think single handedly the thing I have hated most about other proficiency systems and I just frankly I find retraining to be a cheesy solution to the problem.

Yeah I'm definitely very happy about how Paizo is actually letting us choose our skills with this proficiency system. I ended up so frustrated with 5e just deciding my skills for me.


Tabris_ wrote:

I strongly dislike this system. It adds more things for the DM to memorize and makes character more similar instead of more customizable and interesting.

Following the example you used a lvl 20 rogue with legendary proficiency would have +23 modifier to Thievery while a lvl 20 paladin untrained on the skill would have +18. The rogue might be able to pick locks, while the paladin won't but when it comes to picking pockets the difference is minimal, since picking pockets does not require training.

Whose pocket is getting picked?

From the sound of it, DCs are 10 + Modifier. Assuming the PCs are trying to steal from someone on-level, the Perception DC is going to be something like 30, and the Legendary Rogue can take 10 on his check, while the Paladin has to roll.

Rogue = 100% chance to pick the pocket.

Paladin = 45% chance of success.

That's a big deal.

Not to mention that the Rogue has access to Skill Feats that will allow him to perform godly feats of thievery, while the Paladin is limited to snatching coin purses. By the time you are trying to compare these characters picking pockets, the Rogue is probably too busy robbing magically warded and sealed bank vaults in broad daylight single handedly to be even mildly worried about picking pockets.


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Fenwick Threefixer wrote:
What if I want to make a clumsy spellcaster who sucks in acrobatics no matter how strong his spells become? Or someone who just can't swim at all and would drown in 8 feet of still water? Or someone who couldn't distinguish north from south even with a compass in hand?

As a house/optional rule off the top of my head, I'd take a cue from GURPS where you can select an "Incompetent" disadvantage.

Off the cuff nonsense wrote:
With your GMs permission, choose a task that your character is inept at such as Tumble, Swim, or Navigate. For this task you count as Untrained for all purposes except for your proficiency bonus, which you do not receive. If you spend a skill rank on the skill that governs the task, the task remains one level below the governing skill. You may spend a skill rank to remove your incompetence with that particular task without increasing the governing skill.


I wonder how Backgrounds play into this? If you have a background as a jester, can you Tumble but only to caper comically? If you were a hedge wizard, can you say "I used to entertain the village children" and do vanishing coin tricks? Could a soldier who otherwise is only untrained at Diplomacy be allowed to use it specifically when dealing with the chain of command?

I'd like to think so.


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I will be honest...when I read about skills becoming proficiency based it was the one thing that made me...nervous about this Edition change...

But reading this has made me curious about it...it might be interesting.

Also for those who want their characters to suck at things there are three things you can do...

1) Dump the stat associated with the skill...want to play the out of shape wizard...dump strength.

2) Of your own free will assign a negative to the skill roll...you want to play that barbarian who knows very little of magic...give yourself a negative 10 to that Lore:Magic roll.

3) Finally you can just say my character fails at x roll for Role-Playing reasons...you playing that dwarf that is afraid of heights...just say nope he fails the climb check. It is called a ROLE-playing game.

All though...I am wondering if there will be a system to specialize...like apparently thievery is now a skill...can I specialize say in pick pockets to receive a bigger bonus to Pick Pockets at the expense of Open Locks...which could make sense for certain character concepts.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I personally really like the looks of this, so far at least. I think the critical success/fail system plays into the numbers A LOT from the looks of it. I think what the DCs are will be a big deciding factor though. Seems like exactly the sort of thing to fine tune with a Playtest.

Also, regarding how well the Big Damn Hero (TM) outclasses the regular NPC schmuck seems more like a concern that fits in other games better than in Pathfinder. Rulings that really bork the skill system math for high level play seem like a bad idea...


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So in order to play a character we currently can in the new edition, we have to put mechanical limitations on ourselves for nothing but "role play purposes". Sure. I could do that. Or I could play a system that supports my character. Wonder which I'll do?

Note: This is not me saying I won't play of 2nd ed. This is me pointing out how asinine of a suggestion it was.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:

So in order to play a character we currently can in the new edition, we have to put mechanical limitations on ourselves for nothing but "role play purposes". Sure. I could do that. Or I could play a system that supports my character. Wonder which I'll do?

Note: This is not me saying I won't play of 2nd ed. This is me pointing out how asinine of a suggestion it was.

One man's asinine is another's completely reasonable. Especially considering that this is a game we're talking about, and your argument is "I want to be bad at things, but not just me - everybody else, too."


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Something else I was going to mention regarding this system.

I think it very likely there's going to be something for skills that fills the gap in the math that gets filled by weapon qualities. So I expect a gap of something like -3 to +6 to be the real case. And if not, that looks like an astonishingly easy house rule.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

From the way the Proficiency Modifier paragraph is written, it appears that nothing but character level and rank factor into the bonus, as there is no mention of applying an ability score modifier. That isn't true, is it?

That is what proficiency modifier is, yes. But proficiency modifier is only one modifier you apply to your check. Ability modifier, anything you get from your item, bonuses from your spells, circumstance bonuses, etc are still going to add on.

I think this info needs to be added to the blog. Otherwise people will just keep asking about it.


I'm happy for PF2e to support the "you get good at everything" setup. Introduce a skill feat where you get to gain 1 rank in X skills provided you currently have no ranks in those skills. Take that a couple of times and you have the current setup at the cost of a couple of skill feats (Paizo could even hand out an extra skill feat or two if they reply felt it nwxessary). That way there is an opportunity cost and you get to play the character you wanted and I get to do the same.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:

So in order to play a character we currently can in the new edition, we have to put mechanical limitations on ourselves for nothing but "role play purposes". Sure. I could do that. Or I could play a system that supports my character. Wonder which I'll do?

Note: This is not me saying I won't play of 2nd ed. This is me pointing out how asinine of a suggestion it was.

If you want to represent a character being bad at something, like say lying, why not just represent that by not lying?

Guard: "So you're all here as caterers of Lord McEvilface's cotillion then."

Rogue: "Absolutely"

Fighter: "Sure, just like he said." -Points at Rogue

Barbarian: "Huh, no that's silly, I'm not even wearing a chef's hat, I'm here to punch him in the face."


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
I'm happy for PF2e to support the "you get good at everything" setup. Introduce a skill feat where you get to gain 1 rank in X skills provided you currently have no ranks in those skills. Take that a couple of times and you have the current setup at the cost of a couple of skill feats (Paizo could even hand out an extra skill feat or two if they reply felt it nwxessary). That way there is an opportunity cost and you get to play the character you wanted and I get to do the same.

Really it's just down to personal taste. The difference in my mind is this - choosing to simply be bad at certain things uses no resources whatsoever to get the character you want. Having to spend feats makes it so that other people have to give up something else that they could have had.

Why is it that your personal taste trumps others personal taste to such a degree that it should be punished? You call it 'asinine' to suggest you could simply choose not to gain things you could have had, costing you literally nothing to get what you want. That seems like a very entitled attitude from my perspective.


One thing I have seen mentioned several times is that the level bonus adds too much on top of minimal investment in a skill. To mitigate this, you could have a cap to the level-based depending upon the size of your proficiency investment. Something like:

Maximum_level_bonus = (Level_advancement_coefficient * Level) + Proficiency_constant

To compensate for the need for continued investment to get good, I would say go back to awarding skill ranks every level, but set Level_advancement_coefficient to 1/2 (unless boosted by a class ability such as Trapfinding or its equivalent).

So if a Barbarian invests a bit in proficciency at practicing law at level 2 (actually sounds like this would have to be level 1 or 3), but not thereafter, further experience in other things that give accidental insights can confer some improvement with future leveling for a short time, but only to a certain point, and further improvements require further investment.

On a separate but conceptually related note, I'd like to see something similar for spells: When you first get access to them, you aren't yet able to use them as efficiently as possible, so as you gain more levels, you gain some more effect, but only to a certain point, until you increase the casting level of the spell. Pathfinder 1st Edition does this to some extent, but it isn't consistent, and Intensified Spell is a feat you have to invest in separately, and only supports 1 rank of increase (corresponding to 5 additional caster levels worth of improvement).

Also, a couple of people mentioned D&D 3.5 skill points and ranks -- in D&D 3.5, these actually DID have a distinction and not a simple 1:1 correspondence. In class skills, 1 skill point gave you 1 rank, and then you got a bonus of +3 additional ranks on top of that (yes, reading the linked text literally, the +3 counted as actual ranks, and not just a bonus). In cross-class skills, 2 skill points gave you 1 rank, with no bonus.


Mark Seifter wrote:
BryonD wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:
BryonD wrote:

So this sounds truly horrible.

But the replies from Mark strongly suggest that it isn't nearly as truly horrible as it sounds. Then I read the blog post again and it still sounds truly horrible.
So I am concluding that there is more context to be heard and it doesn't really make sense without that context.
I'm ok with that. I've seen plenty of goodness to just be mildly nervous and wait.
But please, if context is critical to really understanding how something works and you don't want to share the context yet, please just don't jump ahead with sharing stuff that needs the context.

Sorry if that sounds petty. But that's my take on this update.
I went from excited to really turned off. Then I went from really turned off to just ambivalent while I wait to actually see some context.

You think maybe they aren't using a d20 for skill checks anymore? That's the only way this math works out. D6 + skill score would explain why there is this spread of 5 from untrained to legendary.
I suppose I can only really say "I don't know". But, no, I doubt that is it. The vague replies suggest that there are other *consistent and persistent* modifiers such that the gap is bigger and this system is just a foundation. If that really is true then great. The blog post suggests otherwise. I'm just hoping that the blog post is written from a perspective so deeply in tune with the system that it didn't consider how a peek looks to someone on the outside.
This is only the bonus (well, modifier since it could be negative for untrained) based on proficiency. There are still all the other bonuses and penalties from other factors. It's like saying that in Starfinder, the maximum difference between the base attack bonus of any two characters is at most +5 at level 20 or the maximum difference in base saving throws in a class is 6 in PF1 and Starfinder; while this is true (15 BAB vs 20 BAB, +6 base save vs +12 base save), it's...

I wouldn’t count bonuses that don’t come form the character themselves - a magic pair of running shoes, for example.

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