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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
551 to 600 of 1,441 << first < prev | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | next > last >>

Mark Seifter wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
In PF2, it's still going to be dicey and the group might want to come up with some ways to help Amiri (like thflame's idea of shifting the best gear onto her to help out) because she's still the most likely to land them all in hot water from a critical failure, but the plan also might succeed.

Is something going to be done about what multiple checks effectively do to your odds of success? If everyone in the party needs to roll a disguise check and the guards get a perception check against everyone you're failing unless you've got 15 points on them . That's just math.

We did the math there and suggested some rough guidelines for situations like (in roughly descending order of difficulty):

"Everybody can keep rolling until it works with nothing bad on a failure"

"Everybody can roll once, only one person needs to succeed, and trying and failing doesn't do anything bad"

"Only the best person will roll this, possibly with assistance"

"Everyone has to roll and something bad happens to the people who fail"

"Everyone has to roll and if anyone fails, the whole thing fails"

And what was the final decision of the development team? Which of these options did you pick?


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Just look at the current game and compare level 1 to 10.

Let’s look at a skill like stealth.

18 dex, trained with class skil: +8 bonus
10 dex, no skill taken: +0 bonus

Most DCs at that point for stealth are going to be in the 10-15 range, most likely 10-13. This means the stealthy guy has like a 75% chance of success. The no dex guy has a 35% chance of success. This is fun and reasonable numbers.

Now go to level ten:

The dex guy now has 20 and ten ranks and is at +18.
The no dex guy is still at 0.

At this level the DCs are harder, but the dex guy probably has something like 90% or more to succeed, especially if they have any magic items on it. The other guy is at 0%. This is the problem with PF1 because that progression as the levels go up make the game less fun. Why could the guy contribute at level 1 but can’t contribute at all at level 10? This allows the rest of the party to stay on some sort of pace and maintain the differential that existed at level 1. If you do the method some here propose you’re saying that you can contribute at the start but can’t later and that isn’t really very fun.


The proficiency and skill feats system got me thinking about feat taxes of PF1. Its not a good feeling.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Planpanther wrote:
The proficiency and skill feats system got me thinking about feat taxes of PF1. Its not a good feeling.

Even if it’s really tax-y (I’m betting against that), you get separate feats for skills, so you at least don’t have to give up combat ability to get them like before.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Then just let the master have a skill feat that lets him aid other people in their skill and let the non-expert remain non-expert.
Why? What if the master do not want to spend his skill feat in "group stealth" because he likes "hide in plain sight better"? It's way better just to allow everybody try to sneak past the group of orcs and move on.

Then that particular group finds a different solution. What happens if a particular group doesn’t have a arcane spellcaster. Shouldn’t everybody be able to just cast those spells so no group is ever without them?


Sure, I like that part. The thing im worried about is the "cant even try it until x level proficiency or have taken y skill feat. It feels worse than mother may I. Though ill wait for more details.


Feats giving you the ability to do new things has always been a thing in PF. That’s seperate from feat taxes where you need to take something not cool to get something cool later on. From being discussed here ranks up your proficiency while the skill feats allow you to do extraordinary things with skills. (Although I wouldn’t be surprised if skill feat passives like skill focus exist)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Not liking this. However there is a very big butt in this. The basic idea is fine. We would just need to fiddle around with the numbers, and when the playtest rolls around that is at least in theory what those things are for.

Now naturally we are all working on limited information but this is how I would personally change it.

Double the bonuses from expert to legendary, untrained becomes 0, the latter is mainly just making it feel simpler book keeping wise. This will make difference between ranks bit more pronounced and even with simpler tasks higher skill character being able to smash people even if they are higher level than them.

Now this is the major difference, change untrained to 1/2 level. So you will still stay in the same ballpark so it is not autofail to even attempt a task, but there is a clear difference in a character who spent rerources on a skill and one that didn't invest any. This also allows for professional NPCs without inflating their levels.

One adtional thing I would add in is some general drawback quality in character creation that would give a hefty penalty like half a skill bonus from level again to a skill. So if you want to create a character or NPC for that matter that would be especially ungifted/learned in some capacity you can have the crunch match the fluff. Maybe even another option that the penalty applies outside of spesific circumstances. Like say for a Merfolk character it could be that for survival gets the penalty outside of aquatic regions.

Another thing I am really concerned about is, recreating the problem of "I wanna do X." "Do you have feat Z?" So I hope the devs are very careful in what they limit to only be achievable with higher skill tiers and feats.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Arssanguinus wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Then just let the master have a skill feat that lets him aid other people in their skill and let the non-expert remain non-expert.
Why? What if the master do not want to spend his skill feat in "group stealth" because he likes "hide in plain sight better"? It's way better just to allow everybody try to sneak past the group of orcs and move on.
Then that particular group finds a different solution. What happens if a particular group doesn’t have a arcane spellcaster. Shouldn’t everybody be able to just cast those spells so no group is ever without them?

At level 1-3 that non skilled player could contribute and the expert had a chance of failure. That’s fun. At later levels the non skilled player has no chance of contributing and the expert has auto success. That’s not very fun.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Arakasius wrote:

Just look at the current game and compare level 1 to 10.

Let’s look at a skill like stealth.

18 dex, trained with class skil: +8 bonus
10 dex, no skill taken: +0 bonus

Most DCs at that point for stealth are going to be in the 10-15 range, most likely 10-13. This means the stealthy guy has like a 75% chance of success. The no dex guy has a 35% chance of success. This is fun and reasonable numbers.

Now go to level ten:

The dex guy now has 20 and ten ranks and is at +18.
The no dex guy is still at 0.

At this level the DCs are harder, but the dex guy probably has something like 90% or more to succeed, especially if they have any magic items on it. The other guy is at 0%. This is the problem with PF1 because that progression as the levels go up make the game less fun. Why could the guy contribute at level 1 but can’t contribute at all at level 10? This allows the rest of the party to stay on some sort of pace and maintain the differential that existed at level 1. If you do the method some here propose you’re saying that you can contribute at the start but can’t later and that isn’t really very fun.

The problem, for me, its not that much that the guy with 0 ranks and 0 ability modifier sucks at higher levels. It's that even the guy with max ranks will suck at higher levels. That's a guy who spent a LOT of resources in the skill. He sould at least be minimally competent. He is not, because the total amount of small bonuses the specialist can hunt will make the gap betwen them to be 20+. That's too much.

Let's see these two characters:

Character 1 is a fighter, which uses mid armor, has max ranks in stealth, and a decent DEX score of 16. He has lvl 10, so his Stealth score is 11 (10 ranks, +3 from dex, -2 from armor). Maybe 15 if he has a trait to give +1 and class skill. That's a guy who invested in the skill, both max ranks and a trait.

Character 2 is a rogue, with magical cloak of elvenkind, max ranks in stealth, skill focus, a Dex score of 24, and racial bonus to stealth and being small. He has a total skill of +37.

Not only Character 2 will be better than character 1. He'll be able to autosucceed with 1+ rolls that the other guy cannot even succeed with a 20 in the dice roll. And remember, the other guy is someone who has MAXED RANKS in the skill, and has spent a trait and has non-terrible dexterity to begin with. He is someone who cares about the skill, not a random paladin with DEX 10, no ranks, full plate and tower shield for -13 to stealth.

The spread that Mark suggested, a total of 17-18 points at lvl 20 max, or a total of 11 points at lvl 7, is good enough for me. A spread of +50 points at 20 is way too much. And makes mildly investing in a skill a total waste of points, because the differnece with the top guys is way too much. Your mild invest do not matter


So in simple terms - your skill roll will give you degree of success, while your profiency level guides you on what can be attempted.

I like it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah I agree with that Gustavo. The difference between invested is too high too, but it’s aleays been that PF had better math at low levels and broke down at high levels. Skill discrepancy is a big part of that.

For all those proposing various systems to redo PF1 with different math why don’t you just play PF1? I would guess they talked with a lot of players and found out that being excluded wasn’t very fun. It’s already been mathematically proven here that the given bonuses are going to work out for a large advantage for the specialist. It just won’t be the auto pass/fail here that some want.


Raynulf wrote:

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.

This is a great analysis and makes me look forward to the system.
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...


Planpanther wrote:
Sure, I like that part. The thing im worried about is the "cant even try it until x level proficiency or have taken y skill feat. It feels worse than mother may I. Though ill wait for more details.

Gotcha. What we've got is reassuring for me on that front. I'm cool with trained/untrained distinction, since that's something we have, and especially because they're not restricting monster identification to trained-only. So far the rest sounds all right- either granting new things like a swim speed or a more generous way to calculate how high you jump, or allowing checks for impossible things. I wouldn't expect to be able to roll for a swim speed, or to make a survival check to not breathe for an hour.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Looks great to me!! Can’t wait to see the details as it is obvious we can’t fully understand it without what the actual skill feats are!! Love the little teaser!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Planpanther wrote:
Sure, I like that part. The thing im worried about is the "cant even try it until x level proficiency or have taken y skill feat. It feels worse than mother may I. Though ill wait for more details.

Well, for sure it needs more details. But being optimistic, I feel that:

Untrained characters will be able to do basic stuff.
Trained characters will be able to do mor relevant stuff. Until here, it's pretty close to PF, where a lot of skills had a split between what you can do with and without training. You can't pass DC10 in a knowledged untrained, for example, or follow tracks, or disable a device, etc.

Beyond Trained, characters would get cool NEW stuff, which is not normally covered by the rules, or is covered by the rules but with big penalties. For example: stealth gives you a -10 penalty if you move faster than half speed (or maybe not allow it at all). An Expert in stealth might ignore that -10 (or let you roll). Same goes with -20 while sniping, etc. An expert might also roll for the whole group if he can spend 10 minutes using camouflage as long as the group is not moving. A Master might hide in plain sight, while a Legendary stealth might become invisible, or even ethereal, or inmune to magical detection.

Those new things that are now "behind the firewall" of skill feats, are things that a normal character wasn't able to try anyways. The "normal" things will be hiding under Trained. And that's not much different than current OPF, with many skills being trained only.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alydos wrote:
There are 500+ posts now, did they ever do official followup and tell us that people at different tiers roll on different tables? So it's not just a +3, it's a +3 on a table with different DCs or somesuch?

Sorta. An level 20 wizard untrained in disable device will have a huge modifier, but since they are untrained they cannot even attempt to pick a lock let alone crack a safe. So a level 1 rogue with training in disable device is better at mundane lockpicking than a level 20 wizard.

Similarly, the example Seifter gave above is that an expert trained swimmer might just have a swim speed so a lot of things they will simply not need to roll. A higher level character might have a bigger modifier, but they will need to roll to swim across the river and the expert swimmer will not- the expert swimmer can just do it without rolling. Even the best result the hapless level 20 wizard can manage on the swim check will probably not equal the level 9 fighter with the swim speed.

Sovereign Court

Mark Seifter 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?

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

Will this new rank than be much lower then the others of will the level modifier make you a great swimmer from the start?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Though the “devil is in the details”, I love the broad-strokes I’m reading here. I began role playing decades ago with dreams of playing King Arthur, Zorro, Beowulf, Conan, Grey Mouser, Aragorn, and Doctor Who.

So DND and the “clones” were always a struggle. Sure, you might be cool at a few things at high level (and a wizard was insanely world breaking) but overall you remained pretty focused on the few things you could do well.

Add to this: 3rd editions 4 member party almost ensured that we would be lacking somewhere. Even with the classic choices of Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, Thief didn’t cover all the bases as needed.

So, with enough points, one could create a character like those in Hero or GURPS (and if you squint Savage Worlds at the Legendary level). But most often those games played slowly with so many rules to remember.

So I’ve waundered to more narrative games FATE, Heroquest, Genesys and I’m having a great time but I miss the tactical combat and deeper character creation.

Right now, I am interested in Pathfidner 2 and will be participating in the playtest because this sounds like the type of game I want to play.


So, how does proficiency affect things other than skills?

Is it tied to weapon groups? Can I be legendary with swords and use a legendary weapon to get level +6 to hit?


PossibleCabbage wrote:


Similarly, the example Seifter gave above is that an expert trained swimmer might just have a swim speed so a lot of things they will simply not need to roll. A higher level character might have a bigger modifier, but they will need to roll to swim across the river and the expert swimmer will not- the expert swimmer can just do it without rolling. Even the best result the hapless level 20 wizard can manage on the swim check will probably not equal the level 9 fighter with the swim speed.

What is the DC for swimming cross-stream in moderate rapids?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Its a tough nut to crack -- there's a lot of factors to consider.

1) Balancing DCs for skills that are typically "at least one person must succeed" with those that "everyone must succeed". Mark already list a progression of "within tier, progression of difficulty" so they're aware of this and are planning to give some guidelines. I also hope that some of skill unlocks/skill feats allow highly proficient individuals to help their less proficient comrades in more interesting ways. Ie in the stealth example people come back to, if the expert stealthier, instead of moving at full speed and other shenanigans, is slowly scouting ahead/waving people from cover to cover, keeping alert to the movement of guards, so the less skilled are purely focused on moving quiently (applying some bonus , maybe just the aid-another we're used to, maybe something else, to the party at large), that seems reasonable to me. The fact that you have an expert/master thief makes it possible for the clumsy, clanky fighter to be stealthy. (similar for a fast talking con-artist, distracting from the fish-out-of-water-barbarian). We're not removing agency from the "bad at a skill" character -- if for RP they want to screw something up, that's still their prerogative. But if they want to try something they're bad it, it should still be within the realm of possible, especially with assistance. This is one of the sections that proficiency alone, (without skill details) is hard to evaluate. I can see it going very well, or very poorly.

2) Range of chance of crit fail/fail/success/crit success for characters within a small level range. Ie how different, within a party, are characters who is made to be "great" at something, and one who is "average" and one who is "bad" at it. Does this range allow for good story-telling, does this range avoid breaking "believably" for most players. This current range generally feels about right to me.

3) Range of ability in a skill between skilled/master non-combat NPCs and leveled PCs. This seems to be one of the axis that causes a fair bit of mental angst. Again, committing the sin of using PF1 to fill in the blanks, we see something like needing a level 10-15 "expert" NPC to have a master blacksmith. (unless "Expert-class npc" get accelerated access to proficiency in crafting/profession type skills... in which case multi-class dips to them might become too enticing). This area matter less to me as an area I'm willing to overlook/hand-wave, but is definitely a spot that I'll need to stare at as more details are released.

4) Range in ability for the same character at level 1 and level 20. People generally want a character to be "better" at their primary thing as time goes on. Some people feel that things not in their characters "niche" shouldn't improve, or at least shouldn't improve dramatically. I've been going back and forth on this one -- does a level of adventuring include "enough" exposure to some much varied experiences/conditioning that all the untrained skills become easier. Not really, to me. Will this break the system, if my items 1-3 feel solid, probably not for me. The 1/2 level progression for untrained feels better to me on this front, but I think it breaks the math for most of the other sections.

Like a one of the other blog posts, this one has a lot of potentially interesting, potentially worrisome changes. I think I've read enough in this thread to have an idea of things to watch for as more connecting blog posts are released, and things to explore in the play test.

To Mark: Thanks for all the posts, definitely like reading your explanations. Even if you did kill my first PFS character in my first scenario and it took me years to try PFS again. :P


2 people marked this as a favorite.
master_marshmallow wrote:

So, how does proficiency affect things other than skills?

Is it tied to weapon groups? Can I be legendary with swords and use a legendary weapon to get level +6 to hit?

Per the blog post, that's how I'm reading it:

Quote:

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...

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...

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....

So weapon proficiencies use the same system, and I would be very surprised if the bonuses don't stack with equipment. I think it was mentioned in the discussion of iterative attack penalties that the math works out such that for the first attack a fighter makes each round, the question is generally whether she crits, whereas for the second or third attack it's a question of whether they hit.

I am curious how it will work with spells. Maybe you have proficiency in certain schools of magic, and spells of particular level are gated behind proficiency levels? That would both lessen the (vertical) gap between wizardy types and martials, and widen the (horizontal) gap between different wizards, both of which would be good. But there are probably other ways they could do it as well.


master_marshmallow wrote:

So, how does proficiency affect things other than skills?

Is it tied to weapon groups? Can I be legendary with swords and use a legendary weapon to get level +6 to hit?

Mark Seifter said something to the effect of "just wait until you see what one can do with proficiency in armor" so I think it's even more dramatic (and a legendary heavy armor user will also get +6 AC).


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthias W wrote:
So weapon proficiencies use the same system, and I would be very surprised if the bonuses don't stack with equipment.

Just wild swag with no basis here but....

Maybe they do stack, but only a legendary axemaster can get the full potential out of a legendary axe.

Could be interesting.

Could also have problems I haven't thought of. Shooting from the hip can be bad. But it sounds kinda cool for narrative.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It’s very unlikely untrained becomes level/2, because it seems pretty clear this level + prof is for everything from skills to attacks to saves to DCs. And I’m pretty sure they don’t want the spread in attack bonuses to be that large again.


So we are pretty much stuck with the skill silliness for untrained individuals, it seems.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's interesting that people critical of the new system have highlighted how good a high level wizard with no training is at skills compared to someone who is a master of them, and missed how a high level wizard with no training now has nearly as good a modifier to "attacking with a greatsword" as does the fighter who is a master of the blade.

Big difference though, the fighter will have invested a lot of feats into things that let them be generally better and take new actions while fighting with a greatsword and the wizard will not have. So presumably high level martials will have fun things to do beyond "attack to do damage".

Arssanguinus wrote:
So we are pretty much stuck with the skill silliness for untrained individuals, it seems.

I mean, "you can't attempt that untrained" was a thing in PF1, so we're going to be fine.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

Liberty's Edge

Does this mean Armor Class = 10 + Dex mod. + proficiency mod.?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthias W wrote:

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

At least to me, the logic is that Awkwardson has simply been around the block more and thus draws on his pool of experience to recognize when the shopkeeper is doing a snake oil pitch or that nothing cheers a sad dwarf up more than a pint of ale. Basically it's unrefined talent vs a grizzled veteran. That young whippersnapper may be stronger than you, but he doesn't know to lift with his knees like you do, and similar.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Fortunately, yes. We can only hope it makes it into the final product, right next with resonance and non-LG paladins.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would think the CHA 18 fighter who has not invested at all in social skills is the sort of person who is so confident in their own personal magnetism, they haven't really had any reason to consider deeply the personhood of people other than themselves, and is bad at empathy.

Whereas the CHA 8 fighter who has invested heavily in social skills is someone who is a bit insecure, but has worked at understanding and getting along with people in order to combat this perceived shortcoming.

So that works. Cha 18 fighter is great fun at parties but is liable to insult people by accident in a formal diplomatic situation, whereas the Cha 8 master of social skills will know just what to say in each situation- their delivery might not be as impressive, but they know how to avoid insulting people by accident and can navigate a social minefield.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Fortunately, yes. We can only hope it makes it into the final product, right next with resonance and non-LG paladins.

Hopefully it can be mitigated because there is a pretty sizable group of players that find it rather distasteful, however disdainful you might act of their opinion.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthias W wrote:

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

I think they're optimizing more for actual play situations- it's rare to have a large level spread in the party. But I would say that the less charismatic fighter has more experience interacting with people, and is able to make up for his lack of personal charm. He's got more knowledge of how to persuade merchants, has more stories to tell, and has a better sense for what somebody really needs when they're down. His confidence is borne out of experience rather than simply being a confident person.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
PossibleCabbage wrote:
So that works. Cha 18 fighter is great fun at parties but is liable to insult people by accident in a formal diplomatic situation, whereas the Cha 8 master of social skills will know just what to say in each situation- their delivery might not be as impressive, but they know how to avoid insulting people by accident and can navigate a social minefield.

I agree with that. The Cha 8/high skill person could know enough to grab the Cha 18/low skill person by the shoulder and warn them about their impending mistakes.

"Look, kid. You're the flashiest git down at the pub, but you're about to get us all thrown in jail if you keep hitting on the royal like th... at all."


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Arssanguinus wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Fortunately, yes. We can only hope it makes it into the final product, right next with resonance and non-LG paladins.
Hopefully it can be mitigated because there is a pretty sizable group of players that find it rather distasteful, however disdainful you might act of their opinion.

Eh. I feel like "I want my character to be more incompetent at stuff" is more easily patched with a houserule than making that the baseline and forcing players who LIKE broad basic competence from seasoned adventurers to talk the GM around to allowing that.

Hell, if it bothers people so much they can take another leaf out of 3.5's book and reintroduce Flaws in this system where you can go ahead and make your character incompetent at things for a payoff elsewhere without dragging everyone else down with you, which seems preferable to me to forcing incompetence at basic tasks on everybody so low-level NPCs can pretend they're playing the same game as high-level PCs.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
QuidEst wrote:
Matthias W wrote:

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

I think they're optimizing more for actual play situations- it's rare to have a large level spread in the party. But I would say that the less charismatic fighter has more experience interacting with people, and is able to make up for his lack of personal charm. He's got more knowledge of how to persuade merchants, has more stories to tell, and has a better sense for what somebody really needs when they're down. His confidence is borne out of experience rather than simply being a confident person.

I feel like this is fairly accurate. Am I naturally charismatic? No, not at all. Have I put much effort into improving my social skills? Some, but not really. Am I way better than I was/better than someone younger than me (even if they're naturally more charismatic than I am) at cheering someone up or convincing someone of something? You bet I am. Simply because I've made the mistakes the younger person hasn't had time to make, and I can remember not to do that again.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthias W wrote:

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

I think this is similar to the idea that a lvl 18 fighter with CON 10 has more toughness (ie: hp and FOR save) than a lvl 4 fighter with CON 18.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:


Why? Why should the lumbering guy who charges around from place to place being loud NOT be that much worse than the rogue who spends all of his time practicing how to breathe silently?

My first option was to say "Because it's more fun if the group can try things".

But then I decided to give a deeper answer.

Let's say they are both lvl 15. First guy might have 13 ranks (untrained is -2), dex +0, and probably let's say -2 from heavy armor(?). So 11. The other guy has 18 ranks, DEX +5, and let's say just a +0 from gear (we don't know if +5 cloaks and such are still there, but light armor with no penalties to stealth will probably be a thing). So he has +23. Let's say the DC is 25.
The first guy can try to sneak past the guards, moving at half speed, as long as he has cover or darkness, and need to roll 14+. If he rolls 1-4, he'll fumble the check, maybe granting a surprise round to the guards.

The second guy can hide in plain sight, sneak while running, will succeed with 2+, will crit 12+ (with crit meaning that maybe he grants +4 stealth to all the party, for example).

What makes you think the first guy is "NOT that much worse" than the second guy?

The key difference here with OPF, is that in OPF the first guy will not have +11. He'll have a grand total of -2. Making it IMPOSSIBLE for him to try to sneak past guards, at all.

This is the post that sold it for me.

There is actually a hell of a lot of depth and granuality to this system, it's just not the insane all-or-nothing swing we have at the moment.

People are getting hung up on the idea of getting better at skills their characters aren't focused on (which is not [i]that[i] unrealistic, and the difference from investment being smaller than before).

What we actually end up with is lots of smaller bonuses, but those bonuses still add up and make enormous differences with the d20 range. This actually keeps most dice rolls within the ability of getting things on a d20, while still having a huge gap between the worst and best. This skill system actually sounds thought out, unlike 3.5's.

Will have to see it in practise, of course, but the maths aren't lying, and at a glance it still seems comparable to 1e's numbers at low levels, where the system actually worked.

...untrained to trained is like comparing the attack mods from core rogues to barbarians, if I think about it.


Cylerist wrote:
Will this new rank than be much lower then the others of will the level modifier make you a great swimmer from the start?

If you are coming from untrained, then your new rank will be trained. So it will be equal to other skills that are trained (except that you probably won't have any skill feats for it yet, and you might for your other trained skills), and worse than your skills with higher ranks.

_
glass.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I love skills, and I enjoy getting fiddley with assigning one point here and one point there, so I am leery of any system where the spread between someone who has invested in a particular skill and built a character around a certain concept can get beat by someone else who is just high level, or where - just by adding "trained," a high level character can jump from miserable at a skill to great at it.

BUT, as a player in a high-level campaign right now, I can see the value in all characters rising in skills. Right now, some of us keep adding points to Survival or Stealth or Perception... and some don't. While I think that those who do should be better at those skills, as a matter of gameplay as a party, it would be nice if the others could at least stay in the same ballpark. My cleric hasn't put anything into Stealth, so the party is either faced with a) never trying to sneak in anywhere because old Mr. Creaky-Pants, b) leaving me behind, or c) using magic to muffle me. All of those are fine and good RP choices/problems to solve, but running into the same problems over and over again also gets old and also limits gameplay styles., i.e., we NEVER try to infiltrate anything.

I can live with, maybe even embrace, a new system where everyone gradually gets better at everything, just because they are higher level (my high-level cleric may not have ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), but after a while I've seen a lot of oozes and might be able to pull of a Knowledge check based on experience and level alone), but it has to give "experts" and those who invest in a certain skill a way to shine above the crowd, and ideally, skill levels should have more of an impact on the outcome and success/failure than the randomness of the die roll.

The new system needs to allow everyone to be able to hold their own as DCs increase (think Swim, Climb, Stealth, Survival, Acrobatics or anything where the challenges get harder and harder at higher levels) without making expertise and mastery irrelevant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My first impression was " It's 4th edition you gain your level or half your level to everything, bleh not for me"
Marks posts though made it clear that the trained-legendary distinctions easily fix this and more than that, solve the fighters don't get nice things "problem" that has plagued 3rd edition from its inception.
This is the first time since hearing about Pathfinder 2.0 my intrigued/excited meters are spiking.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthias W wrote:

Another area where the numbers "feel off" to me: the ability score vs. level contribution to bonuses, between different untrained characters, even at nondramatic level differences.

Say there's a level 6, Charisma 18 fighter and a level 12, Charisma 8 fighter. How would you roleplay these characters? All else being equal, I'd play the 18 Cha fighter as a lot more socially confident, with better intuitions, better at producing the reactions she wants to get out of people, and overall someone you want the approval of. The first fighter would be one of the most popular people you knew, while the second would tend to be very socially awkward. But if they go out to haggle over the price of goods, or to the tavern to pick up dates, or try to cheer up a friend - all of which are just normal activities that can benefit from specific skills, but don't require them - then the math says Ugly McAwkwardson is better.

Well, let's see, if they're both Untrained, the level 6 fighter with 18 Charisma has 6+4-2=+8, while the level 12 with 8 Charisma has 12-1-2=+9--a one point advantage in favor of the guy with the much broader base of experience and much cooler stories to tell. The Gap widens a bit more as they both step up their proficiency levels, but that's also OK, I'd say. The higher level character has worked hard for longer to overcome a natural disadvantage, and the experience pays off. That happens all the time in real life. Consider, for example, thatmany noted performers, not least David Bowie, have/had considerable stage fright, but have learned how to power through it and project commanding stage presence in spite of that.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for the replies to my 8 cha vs 18 cha fighter question, I think many of them are reasonable. I guess I'm less bothered by any particular example than by the idea that a higher-level character (and not just 1 vs. 20, but any n vs. n+5) is better at every raw task than any lower-level character is areas where neither has specialized. Like, I think if you took people who were extremely good at some things, say Master level in the terms above, for each of those people there would be plenty of high schoolers who could beat them in unrelated tasks.

I guess I don't have a deeply principled objection beyond "the aggregate numbers seem off to me," because I'm totally on board with 1) practice beating talent, and 2) adventuring experience conferring broadly-based practice even in things you're not consciously investing in. It just seems like generalized experience accumulates so quickly and universally. Since I don't have any principled reason to prefer something like 1/2 automatic progression over 1:1 other than my intuition, maybe I should just accept that the math worked out better for the latter in internal playtesting, and I should wait and see until I get to see the actual full rules and play them. (Though this of course applies to everything.)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Matthias W wrote:

Thanks for the replies to my 8 cha vs 18 cha fighter question, I think they're all reasonable. I guess I'm less bothered by any particular example than by the idea that a higher-level character (and not just 1 vs. 20, but any n vs. n+5) is better at every raw task than any lower-level character is areas where neither has specialized. Like, I think if you took people who were extremely good at some things, say Master level in the terms above, for each of those people there would be plenty of high schoolers who could beat them in unrelated tasks.

I guess I don't have a deeply principled objection beyond "the aggregate numbers seem off to me," because I'm totally on board with 1) practice beating talent, and 2) adventuring experience conferring broadly-based practice even in things you're not consciously investing in. It just seems like generalized experience accumulates so quickly and universally. Since I don't have any principled reason to prefer something like 1/2 automatic progression over 1:1 other than my intuition, maybe I should just accept that the math worked out better for the latter in internal playtesting, and I should wait and see until I get to see the actual full rules and play them. (Though this of course applies to everything.)

I think they're planning to have the majority of NPCs built off of a different ruleset than PCs are. They've already said as much for how monster statblocks are created, so it wouldn't be a major step to include NPCs that way. So an NPC Legendary chef, for example, might only be 5 HD, but has an equivalent skill proficiency and bonus to a level 13 PC, but only in his specialty field. Your example High School kids would totally have a decent chance of beating him in say, lacrosse. A PC Legendary chef on the other hand, would need to be level 13-ish, and so would probably school the high schoolers at literally everything, because he is exceptional, and even if he hasn't done X Y or Z thing, he's able to apply other past experiences and still do pretty well at them.

As to why it takes him til lvl 13 to do it when the NPC can do it at the equivalent of level 5? Simple, it's just a side thing for the PC, but for the NPC it's his livelihood.

I think the math works out better at the 1:1 rate because they're trying to keep ALL a character's numbers in the same ballpark. That allows them to more easily integrate skill checks into combat much more than they are in PF1. They've already said that grappling will be an Athletics skill check. So keeping those numbers roughly in the same area as attack bonuses and saves makes perfect sense if you want combat maneuvers to be fun and interesting, but also not super OP.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As I understand it:

NPC swordsman who is bodyguard to the queen: built with PC rules.
NPC baker who asks the PCs to investigate the noises in his basement - not built with PC rules.

Basically the rule of thumb is if there's no reason for the PCs to fight someone, and if they decide to they wouldn't actually have a chance, they don't need a full stat block. All you need is their modifiers for a few checks they might make. So this probably is the majority of NPCs- the butcher, the baker, and the guy who makes candlesticks all don't need full stat blocks. No GM is going to make the baker roll for how good the cake is, as though it matters for the story anyway. If "producing a sufficiently amazing cake" is actually a matter of dramatic tension, a PC should be rolling for it.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
quillblade wrote:

I'll have to look at the actual rules again and make comment on them later, I just have to bring up a pet peeve. It's about words.

Please don't call the skill Thievery. They did that in 4E: it condensed a variety of skills that could conceivably be used for non-criminal actions into a single term that's synonymous with crime. A magician has to use Thievery (instead of Sleight of Hand) to pull a rabbit out of a hat or perform other tricks, for example.

Calling it 'Thievery' seems to me like it will limit builds based on the negative preconceptions rather than open up the skill list. It did with my experiences in 4E anyhow.

If 'Thievery' is literally JUST the skill for 'stealing things', that's one thing, but I fear it will once again be the lump skill for Sleight of Hand and Disable Device... and maybe not everyone who wants to do magic tricks or disable traps wants to have to roll the Thievery skill and be pigeon-holed as the thief of the party.

Ooh, ooh, call it "legerdemain." It sounds cool and has a meaning which covers basically everything you want it to do.

It's been one of my favorite words since the first time I watched Star Trek VI. "What we need now is a feat of linguistic legerdemain and a degree of intrepidity."


Leedwashere wrote:

Ooh, ooh, call it "legerdemain." It sounds cool and has a meaning which covers basically everything you want it to do.

It's been one of my favorite words since the first time I watched Star Trek VI. "What we need now is a feat of linguistic legerdemain and a degree of intrepidity."

I was thinking the same thing, except my source for the word was looking up vocabulary for a stage magician character!


One solution to these problems without breaking the underlying universal system of Level + Rank + Stat for everything would be to add DC caps to checks you can make depending on rank. Kind of how you couldn't make knowledge checks higher than DC10 while untrained before, maybe now the hypothetical lvl20 char with over +20 on the skill wont even have a chance at passing like a DC20 skill even if can automatically exceed the difficulty. Then a lower level expert has A chance, while this guy has NO chance.

Of course, it would be better if it's only difficult stuff that they shouldn't have any business attempting in the first place without training.

551 to 600 of 1,441 << first < prev | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest Prerelease Discussion / Paizo Blog: Are You Proficient? All Messageboards