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:
So one thing I'm not clear on is- what role does intelligence play in this?

We do not know exactly, but we do know it plays some kind of a role, and it clearly does not add every level in PF2. My guess would be that it adds a number of extra trained skills at first level.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
To those who are saying +level scaling is god's gift to gaming and is the most innovative feature (at least for 2008) ever

Has anyone actually said that, or are you just doing what you are accusing everyone else of doing (using unhelpful rhetoric)?

FlySkyHigh wrote:

So based on my current understanding: You need to be a Master of Reflex Saves in order to gain "Evasion". Given that you only gain one bonus "proficiency rank" on odd levels, you only get 10 over the course of 20 levels (barring bonus ranks from special class skills or perhaps feats).

As such, you would need to invest 3 into reflex saves to gain evasion. That is 1/3 of ALL of the proficiency ranks you gain. I'd say that's a heavy investment.

You gain a skill rank increase every other level (technically I am not sure we know that it is only one, but that seems likely), plus extras if you are a Rogue. But Reflex is not a skill, it is a save. Save proficiencies (along with weapons and armour) are determined by you class in addition to this.
kyrt-ryder wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Pryllin wrote:
l I don't want to ignore the laws of physics at higher levels with just training.
You have PF1 for this.
Forgive me, I lied. See the lava rules of PF1

I tend to assume that rock just has a much lower melting point in fantasy worlds, hence all the mildly dangerous lava. My homebrew world actually has both fantasy lava and real-ish lava (the latter being considerably more dangerous).

_
glass.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raynulf: The more you lock behind proficiency levels and special rules to stop untrained people from being able to do things, the more you minimize the usefulness of having +level to your checks.

Oh, I agree completely.

That wasn't actually my point. My point was that I am 99% sure that the core skill system that is going to go into playtest has been written (and is unlikely to change), but we just don't know what that actually is yet.

I am keen to see the complete picture - and while my experience with 4th and 5th Ed makes me a little uncertain with a move to +Lvl approach to skills... I think it best to reserve judgement/suggested alterations until they reveal how skills work and I've had a chance to see how they fair at the table.

On the topic of streamlining combat mechanics to be more intuitive (and avoid me being asked "How do I calculate my CMD again?" for the umpteenth million time), I am thrilled by what Paizo have put out so far.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
As for DC 15 being trivial: Sure. The wizard could eventually get up. But not on a roll of 7. Maybe he will have to rely on his friends for help. Or he will have to cast a spell. Either way, the roleplay is very different to "My character takes 10 and does it without blinking."

If a 15th level wizard is alone, impatient, or simply a devoted follower of Nethys, he'll not miss the 2nd level slot for spider climb. Assuming he isn't already under the effect of overland flight. He is a wizard after all. If he has been feebleminded and is unable to use magic... then a friend can simply climb up and lower a rope (DC 5) or knotted rope (DC 0), assuming they don't simply carry him.

But I'll stop belabouring the point.

Admittedly, Climbing is usually a poor example in PF1, because spells and/or teamwork can usually trivialise it... though this tends to apply in varying degrees to most skills unfortunately.

We actually ran two "special ops" style campaigns in 3.5 back to back and unintentionally empirically tested the functional use of skills vs magic. Long story short, smart use of magic trumps skill ranks in almost every scenario - and I am very interested to see whether this is something that PF2 brings under a bit more control.


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Bloodrealm wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I want to take a moment to thank everyone here for the spirited debate on this part of the game. We knew that this one was going to raise some eyebrows. Fundamentally, this system is trying to replace a fundamental part of 1st edition that caused us HUGE problems at the high levels of play, which distorted character choice and severely hampered design. A huge disparity is statistics between characters/adversaries of equal level really warps the play space and it led to stability problems with the entire game engine.

The goal here to find a middle ground that still allows characters to excel in the places that they want, but not in such a way as to dominate the game. To allow monsters to be an appropriate challenge for their level without having an ability that practically auto-cripples some characters.

This blog is a good overview of the system, but there are certainly a number of parts of it that are not at all clear. We will endeavor to get to that information as we come to it through other topics (for example, expect us to talk about how it relates to armor when we get to talking about gear).

We expect there will be corner cases, spots where these rules might leave us with a play condition that does not meet the vision of the game. We are going to be looking at ways to make this work because of just how critical it is for play balance and game sustainability. That is, after all, why we playtest, to tune the game, look for rough spots and smooth them out.

Thanks for your continued patience on this. We know its tough to only get pieces of the game, as we work to get all of the information out there. There is a lot more to come.

You seem to be basing the entire game around level 15 and higher. Most of the arguments in favour of these new massive overhauls that you guys give involve high level play (especially in regards to skills and death mechanics), and I don't think I've seen any designer even mention a playtest session lower...

Just my take on things. Consider for a moment that most people don't play past 15th for reasons most of us can probably recite by rote.

As Devs you worked really hard to write rules that go from 1 to 20... but people aren't playing with a considerable portion of the content...

So yeah, basically they're trying to deal with something that is a biggish problem. Furthermore, a good quantity of the problem can be traced back to the close ties twixt 1st ed and 3.5. So something new. Will it work... maybe. Are there other ways of dealing with it... definitely, but this is what has made it through vetting so far.

When a good fourth of the written material is rarely played... well, We're not getting our monies worth. I hope part of why they are doing this is because they want me to use what I paid for.

Just IMO.


Lord Mhoram wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
All adventurers are really good everythings. Complete polymaths.
If true, that is completely awesome and a welcome change.

You seem to think so. There is a very substantial number who disagree heavily


Raynulf wrote:

Much of the pessimism is (I think) derived from the legacy of the D&D brand as the conventions of the past decade were repeatedly discarded and the game reinvented - whether the customers wanted it to or not. The 2E-3E overhaul worked out in D&D's favor, dramatically increasing the player base. The 3E-4E overhaul... didn't.

But the tale of D&D Editions is one of complete turnover of design teams. Most editions were new creations by a new group of people, not an iteration on past design. Conversely Pathfinder 2 is a direct iteration on Pathfinder 1, by basically the same people who developed it in the first place. I expect there to be a few growing pains as we get used to new ideas, but I think some faith in the Paizo team is in order to respect their previous work and the love their customers have for it.

** spoiler omitted **...

But it doesn’t seem like an iteration, it feels more like scrapping most of the system and starting over.


Raynulf: Your actually making my point for me. All of those things are extremely different to "I go up with my base climb skill unaided" from a roleplay perspective. PF 1st Ed requires all those things you said. It appears PF 2nd ed won't and doing them would be a waste of time or resources.


Arssanguinus wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

Much of the pessimism is (I think) derived from the legacy of the D&D brand as the conventions of the past decade were repeatedly discarded and the game reinvented - whether the customers wanted it to or not. The 2E-3E overhaul worked out in D&D's favor, dramatically increasing the player base. The 3E-4E overhaul... didn't.

But the tale of D&D Editions is one of complete turnover of design teams. Most editions were new creations by a new group of people, not an iteration on past design. Conversely Pathfinder 2 is a direct iteration on Pathfinder 1, by basically the same people who developed it in the first place. I expect there to be a few growing pains as we get used to new ideas, but I think some faith in the Paizo team is in order to respect their previous work and the love their customers have for it.

** spoiler omitted **...

But it doesn’t seem like an iteration, it feels more like scrapping most of the system and starting over.

IIRC, it was said that this would be an iteration of PF rather than an iteration of 3.5,

By that light this does feel like an iteration to me. One I think I might enjoy based on what I've read and heard.


Yrtalien wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Raynulf wrote:

Much of the pessimism is (I think) derived from the legacy of the D&D brand as the conventions of the past decade were repeatedly discarded and the game reinvented - whether the customers wanted it to or not. The 2E-3E overhaul worked out in D&D's favor, dramatically increasing the player base. The 3E-4E overhaul... didn't.

But the tale of D&D Editions is one of complete turnover of design teams. Most editions were new creations by a new group of people, not an iteration on past design. Conversely Pathfinder 2 is a direct iteration on Pathfinder 1, by basically the same people who developed it in the first place. I expect there to be a few growing pains as we get used to new ideas, but I think some faith in the Paizo team is in order to respect their previous work and the love their customers have for it.

** spoiler omitted **...

But it doesn’t seem like an iteration, it feels more like scrapping most of the system and starting over.

IIRC, it was said that this would be an iteration of PF rather than an iteration of 3.5,

By that light this does feel like an iteration to me. One I think I might enjoy based on what I've read and heard.

Other that rolling d20 and some of the names what does it keep from put that makes it an iteration? It’s not an iteration, it’s a completely new program at the machine code level.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Other that rolling d20 and some of the names what does it keep from put that makes it an iteration? It’s not an iteration, it’s a completely new program at the machine code level.

While I don't relish your unhappiness, I must counter that iterations can change a fair bit. Windows 8 to Windows 10, for instance. 2E to 3E changed up a ton of stuff while keeping a lot of similar themes, concepts, and terms.

What I'm glad to see is that the devs aren't afraid to take chances and make big changes that are long overdue for this engine.


I don't understand why it is so important to people that a wizard should be able to fail every climb check even at level 15 or higher. It will work during the first few levels where the wizard's climb modifier will most likely be negative (1 -2 (proficiency) -2 (str) = -3 at level 1).

Even climbing with a +10 (probably at level 14) overall modifier won't work everytime against a DC of 15 or 20.


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Arssanguinus wrote:

But it doesn’t seem like an iteration, it feels more like scrapping most of the system and starting over.

Arssanguinus wrote:


Other that rolling d20 and some of the names what does it keep from put that makes it an iteration? It’s not an iteration, it’s a completely new program at the machine code level

It feels to me that you are wanting something more akin to an errata than an edition change.


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The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer


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Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

He shouldn't be better than an Olympic swimmer either, assuming similar levels.


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Arakhor wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer
He shouldn't be better than an Olympic swimmer either, assuming similar levels.

See, it’s that last part that is the problem . ,


Why is there is assumption that npcs work just like pcs? One of the first things they said was that npcs can/will be built differently. Though perhaps in a fight an Olympic swimmer or w/e might be considered a level 5 character, but in the world of swimming they are likely 15+(in the world of pathfinder of course). Its unlikely they are rogues and i suspect the old npc classes wont exist(I mean... what better to get rid of so they can have space for the alchemist), so the assumption they have to fit into the same mold as PCs is a bit suspect. Of course that means there is the issue of NPCs being built in a way PCs cant be, but that seems like a different subject.

Liberty's Edge

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Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

In this system, he's not.

He's able to do very simple climbing tasks without falling on his rear.

...that's about all he's going to be able to achieve, even if his mod is +10 or whatever. I think a legendary wizard should be able to climb a rope, even if he's generally lacking any experience climbing. He'll still struggle at abseiling or anything of the sort.


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And with no training, his mod should not be higher than the career mountaineer even for those things.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

Those don't compare in the way you think, I think.

Yes, numerically their values will be propinquitous, but, for example... Mountain man may have a climb speed. He may have lower DCs to climb. He may be able to climb twice as fast as Magic Man. In short, Mountain man mountains better.

As far as the mentioned numerical propinquity, I justify that by the oft mentioned applied experience

The argument, to my eyes, that has more merit is that you can't choose to be a crappy climber.

That play choice will be essentially hobbled but I see that as a valid option to accommodate a large portion of their core customer. To be truthful we both are trying to speak for large portions of the base... so I'm not certain why that keeps being wheeled out... but there you go.

I hope everyone finds something to love in the new edition, something that wins them over. I am currently intrigued by what I know (not a lot) and eagerly await the playtest.


Yrtalien wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

Those don't compare in the way you think, I think.

Yes, numerically their values will be propinquitous, but, for example... Mountain man may have a climb speed. He may have lower DCs to climb. He may be able to climb twice as fast as Magic Man. In short, Mountain man mountains better.

As far as the mentioned numerical propinquity, I justify that by the oft mentioned applied experience

The argument, to my eyes, that has more merit is that you can't choose to be a crappy climber.

That play choice will be essentially hobbled but I see that as a valid option to accommodate a large portion of their core customer. To be truthful we both are trying to speak for large portions of the base... so I'm not certain why that keeps being wheeled out... but there you go.

I hope everyone finds something to love in the new edition, something that wins them over. I am currently intrigued by what I know (not a lot) and eagerly await the playtest.

The people that want the other option are a large portion of the customer base as well.


As a simple fix for the lack of variance, one could add "at level 8, these bonuses and penalties double, and at level 16, they triple."

I think this would go a long way to solving the underlying issues here (your advantage would scale more as you leveled) without throwing the entire system out of whack (at level 16, it'd be -3, 0, +3, +6, +9, or a spread of 12). This approach is similar to the one they took for Skill Focus in 1e.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
Yrtalien wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

Those don't compare in the way you think, I think.

Yes, numerically their values will be propinquitous, but, for example... Mountain man may have a climb speed. He may have lower DCs to climb. He may be able to climb twice as fast as Magic Man. In short, Mountain man mountains better.

As far as the mentioned numerical propinquity, I justify that by the oft mentioned applied experience

The argument, to my eyes, that has more merit is that you can't choose to be a crappy climber.

That play choice will be essentially hobbled but I see that as a valid option to accommodate a large portion of their core customer. To be truthful we both are trying to speak for large portions of the base... so I'm not certain why that keeps being wheeled out... but there you go.

I hope everyone finds something to love in the new edition, something that wins them over. I am currently intrigued by what I know (not a lot) and eagerly await the playtest.

The people that want the other option are a large portion of the customer base as well.

Yes, I addressed that. We agree on this if nothing else.


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Let's look at numbers. Reality bending wizard is level 20, untrained, and has 8 Str. He has a +17. The master climber is level 10, master, and has 20 Str. He has a +17 and can do way more with it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And it's not going to be, unless you're assuming a significant difference in their levels, in which case, why not? If level 3 Career Mountaineer hasn't had as long a career as level 15 Wizard McMagicpants why shouldn't his mod be lower? Sure he can probably perform a number of advanced techniques the wizard has no interest in learning, but the wizard has had adventures honing his endurance, ability to leverage whatever strength he possesses, and the knowledge that sometimes there's an angry owlbear at the bottom of the climb so he know how to climb with an intent. In a more complex challenge Career Mountaineer is going to be much better at climbing, but there's only so much technique when it comes to a simple climb up a rope.

Or TLDR, the mods they roll, might not be the most important difference between them and the design goal seems to be making other aspects of skills more important than the mods.


I am curious about a lot of the information missing here - mainly, how different tasks are placed along the DC vs. proficiency minimum axes. Are the axes tightly correlated? How generous are they with trained status, and how much is locked behind it? Will I be able to remember which tasks require mastery vs mere expertise? How will the extraordinary application of skills keep pace with spells? How consistent do all these feel across skills?

I feel like almost all of the concerns raised here could be no big deal at all or crippling depending on how these are implemented. I'd love to see an example chart of, say, Thievery (or whatever they decide to call it) tasks organized by DC and proficiency minima.


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CactusUnicorn wrote:
Let's look at numbers. Reality bending wizard is level 20, untrained, and has 8 Str. He has a +17. The master climber is level 10, master, and has 20 Str. He has a +17 and can do way more with it.

like yodeling to make mountain attack wizard for trouble.


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Lady Firebird wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Other that rolling d20 and some of the names what does it keep from put that makes it an iteration? It’s not an iteration, it’s a completely new program at the machine code level.
While I don't relish your unhappiness, I must counter that iterations can change a fair bit. Windows 8 to Windows 10, for instance.

I’d actually say that Windows 10 made a fair bit of effort to return to the feel of windows 7 after the poor reception of 8 and the metro design.

Windows 8 and 10 are Microsoft’s 4th and 5th Ed D&D.


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vagabond_666 wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Other that rolling d20 and some of the names what does it keep from put that makes it an iteration? It’s not an iteration, it’s a completely new program at the machine code level.
While I don't relish your unhappiness, I must counter that iterations can change a fair bit. Windows 8 to Windows 10, for instance.

I’d actually say that Windows 10 made a fair bit of effort to return to the feel of windows 7 after the poor reception of 8 and the metro design.

Windows 8 and 10 are Microsoft’s 4th and 5th Ed D&D.

I'm not sure how far we wanna carry this, buuuuut I think 10 took what did work with 8 (which wasn't much, in my opinion) and brought back the best of Windows 7, along with its own innovations. And headaches, but forced updates are not a concern here....


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Yrtalien wrote:
That play choice will be essentially hobbled but I see that as a valid option to accommodate a large portion of their core customer. To be truthful we both are trying to speak for large portions of the base... so I'm not certain why that keeps being wheeled out... but there you go.

That is the trick right there.

When a change is fundamental and deeply divisive, it becomes "no win".

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

(second time to say this)

Remember, the characters are heroic characters that start out a bit above the common man.


“They win 100%, you no longer matter in any way’ is not the best strategy.


Wow this topic exploded. I can't follow nearly 850 posts. Could someone kindly post a tl;dr summary? Will PF2 character still have skill ranks or some ability to tailor their skills (e.g., I want my rogue to take a rank or two in every Knowledge skill, even the ones I'm not trained in, and I won't take any ranks in Stealth).


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Scott Romanowski wrote:
Wow this topic exploded. I can't follow nearly 850 posts. Could someone kindly post a tl;dr summary? Will PF2 character still have skill ranks or some ability to tailor their skills (e.g., I want my rogue to take a rank or two in every Knowledge skill, even the ones I'm not trained in, and I won't take any ranks in Stealth).

here is tl;dr for the thread:

we still waiting skills post. and lot of people jump the tarrasque and decide to math how 20 level wizard must fail to do something while expert succeed the same stuff. or we need steeper penalties for having not proficient in skill.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Please look at the situations they are trying to solve.

Group wants to sneak past the guard. Most of the group isn't trained in sneaking.

Is there a way for stealthy people to help the whole group get past?

In PF1, probably not. The perception of the guards is going to be good enough that the people who have not trained extensively will have no chance.

In PF2, they are saying that a master of stealth has ways that they could help the others sneak past.

Yay!

Swimming untrained is basically a dog-paddle. That high roll allows you to keep your head above water and not get in the way of an expert. No perfect form when diving and your speed is miserable. Dog paddle, not side stroke or other 'advanced' swimming techniques.

Computers untrained, you can turn it on after poking at it a while. You figure out what the keyboard is, but have no idea about the touch pad or mouse. Assuming a modern laptop, it suddenly turns off with no warning and you can't get it restarted regardless of what you do after a limited time. (What is a battery and why should I care?)

Cooking untrained: Pass the salt. Alright, please chop this. No! Make the pieces about 1" long and quartered!

Climbing untrained: Get me a rope or a really rough surface. You aren't ready for rock climbing, repelling down a building.

Untrained is going to be the level where with help someone can guide you through something. It isn't the level where you are actually competent.

Reading through the developer comments, it really sounds to me like the first question in PF2 for skills is "What level are you trained at" rather than "What is your modifier".


Thank you khadgar567.


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Yrtalien wrote:
It feels to me that you are wanting something more akin to an errata than an edition change.

They are replacing one of the most successful games ever. I don't think the word "errata" is fair here. It is time to learn from the past decade+ and enhance the system. But that can be done by building on the existing success or starting over.

The 4E design team was REALLY TALENTED. They implemented a core part of their system that was very similar to the thing here that is not sitting right with a lot of people (+1/2 level rather than +level). We know how that went.

Obviously it is a lot more complex than that. But is "edition change" starting over from scratch and repeating mistakes past? Or is "edition change" building on past success and learning from past mistakes (by self and others)?

The tiers approach has some foundation with unchained and is completely severable from +level.


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BretI wrote:

Please look at the situations they are trying to solve.

Group wants to sneak past the guard. Most of the group isn't trained in sneaking.

Is there a way for stealthy people to help the whole group get past?

In PF1, probably not. The perception of the guards is going to be good enough that the people who have not trained extensively will have no chance.

In PF2, they are saying that a master of stealth has ways that they could help the others sneak past.

Yay!

Swimming untrained is basically a dog-paddle. That high roll allows you to keep your head above water and not get in the way of an expert. No perfect form when diving and your speed is miserable. Dog paddle, not side stroke or other 'advanced' swimming techniques.

Computers untrained, you can turn it on after poking at it a while. You figure out what the keyboard is, but have no idea about the touch pad or mouse. Assuming a modern laptop, it suddenly turns off with no warning and you can't get it restarted regardless of what you do after a limited time. (What is a battery and why should I care?)

Cooking untrained: Pass the salt. Alright, please chop this. No! Make the pieces about 1" long and quartered!

Climbing untrained: Get me a rope or a really rough surface. You aren't ready for rock climbing, repelling down a building.

Untrained is going to be the level where with help someone can guide you through something. It isn't the level where you are actually competent.

Reading through the developer comments, it really sounds to me like the first question in PF2 for skills is "What level are you trained at" rather than "What is your modifier".

Then the master ought to be able to help people have a stealth check - they shouldn’t have it on their own with no training


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BretI wrote:


In PF2, they are saying that a master of stealth has ways that they could help the others sneak past.

Not really. They are saying that even the dwarf cleric in full plate has a big bonus. And for something "routine" like sneaking past a guard they still roll "high enough", whether the rogue master stealth guy is present or not.

Now what WOULD be cool would be to let the rogue master stealth guy unlock a power that lets him create diversion and let the -3 stealth dwarf cleric sneak by despite his -3. That would be way more cool than "dwarf tank has +12 for no narrative reason but everybody wants him to get by".

I know I want the party to solve problems within the narrative constraints of their characters. The dwarf tank is packed in heavy armor for a reason. It brings advantages and disadvantages and overcoming the disadvantages and challenges that are outside of the sweet spot is a big part of the fun. When the player of that dwarf is in a fight later that session and basking in the glory of all the mook shots that are plinking off his armor, I want that player to get even more fun out of it by know that they got that armor past the guards by overcoming the challenge. Not because the rules handwaved that narrative element away.


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Arssanguinus wrote:
The untrained wizard shouldn’t be a better climber than the career mountaineer

Should the 20th lvl wizard be able to withstand poison and bear attacks better than than the career lvl 4 mountaineer?

Because currently, he does.


Scott Romanowski wrote:
Thank you khadgar567.

no problem mate. as one of the only sane sorcerer around here its my job to help others.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Raynulf: The more you lock behind proficiency levels and special rules to stop untrained people from being able to do things, the more you minimize the usefulness of having +level to your checks. You gate enough uses for skills behind proficiency levels you end up with the PF 1st Ed situation with an unnecessary amount of complexity added on top.

This is actually a very good point.

Finding the balance in the middle could be tricky. Let's see what we got in August 2, but this is a very legitimate point.


If they go hard that direction it could be one of the few saving graces of this skill system.


Arssanguinus wrote:
BretI wrote:

Please look at the situations they are trying to solve.

Group wants to sneak past the guard. Most of the group isn't trained in sneaking.

Is there a way for stealthy people to help the whole group get past?

In PF1, probably not. The perception of the guards is going to be good enough that the people who have not trained extensively will have no chance.

In PF2, they are saying that a master of stealth has ways that they could help the others sneak past.

Yay!

Swimming untrained is basically a dog-paddle. That high roll allows you to keep your head above water and not get in the way of an expert. No perfect form when diving and your speed is miserable. Dog paddle, not side stroke or other 'advanced' swimming techniques.

Computers untrained, you can turn it on after poking at it a while. You figure out what the keyboard is, but have no idea about the touch pad or mouse. Assuming a modern laptop, it suddenly turns off with no warning and you can't get it restarted regardless of what you do after a limited time. (What is a battery and why should I care?)

Cooking untrained: Pass the salt. Alright, please chop this. No! Make the pieces about 1" long and quartered!

Climbing untrained: Get me a rope or a really rough surface. You aren't ready for rock climbing, repelling down a building.

Untrained is going to be the level where with help someone can guide you through something. It isn't the level where you are actually competent.

Reading through the developer comments, it really sounds to me like the first question in PF2 for skills is "What level are you trained at" rather than "What is your modifier".

Then the master ought to be able to help people have a stealth check - they shouldn’t have it on their own with no training

Problem with that is:

1) if "Master" is something you get at, let's say, lvl 12, you are still unable to tell the story of how the merry men past the guards to save Marien from lvl 1-11.
2) if at lvl 12 the "Master" has that as an option, he then might select something different.
3) it still does not solve the issue of mid-to-high level adventurers not being able to do basic adventuring things. The stuff we see Gandalf doing in the movies.

I acknowledge this issue is a tricky problem. Much like the Paladin issue, there's two ways to see at it, and honestly I see merits in both sides. I'm not sure if Paizo might find a middle ground here. Let's see what we get in the skills' blog post, and then in August 2.


Seems apparent that they only see merit in one side unfortunately.

Dark Archive

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God I wish I was like the rest of you, able to form a fully nuanced, complete understanding of a system without having played it, or read it, or even seeing a preview of like 90% of it, or knowing how the system works at all yet.

What we know: There are 5 skill levels ranging from -2 to +3
You get skill stuff at least every other level
Some things you can't attempt without a minimum training level BUT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE OR THE GUIDELINES FOR DECIDING THAT YET.

But I mean by all means go off on your absolute lack of knowledge "OMG teh game iz ruined b-cauz untrained lvl 18 barbarian can UMD to cast miracle 18 times a day"

Let's stop and think.
If a roll is (as we've been told) Stat Mod + Skill(Level + Training) + Equiptment bonuses + Other, than, PROBABLY, just probably, They are building difficulties to consider that, and probably, JUST PROBABLY, the ENTIRE POINT of the "You can't do that untrained, you need at least expert to attempt that, etc" is to allow for differentiation between similar skill total numbers with different training levels.

Also, if you're playing a game where one character is a Level 1 Rogue Expert in a skill and another player is a Level 18 Barbarian Untrained in that skill, WHY ARE YOU IN A GAME WITH A LEVEL 1 AND A LEVEL 18 AT THE SAME TIME?!

Is this WoW? Are you power leveling your friend so he can join your raiding guild? [Seinfeld voice] What's the Deal? [/Seinfeld voice]

TLDR - Let's reserve judgement until we have the playtest document in hand so we HAVE SOME ACTUAL IDEA of how these things work.


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BryonD wrote:
The 4E design team was REALLY TALENTED. They implemented a core part of their system that was very similar to the thing here that is not sitting right with a lot of people (+1/2 level rather than +level). We know how that went.

Actually most people do not seem to know how well that went. D&D 4e went fantastically well by the standards of anybody except Hasbro. In 4e's heyday, half a million dollars a month just from DDi* subscriptions, before they had sold a single book. I believe that was more than Paizo's entire turnover at the time. All 4e failed to do was make $50M a year with a clear growth path to $100M, by which metric every RPG system ever released has also been a failure.

If PF2 makes anywhere close to D&D 4e money, Paizo will be really happy!

BryonD wrote:
But is "edition change" starting over from scratch and repeating mistakes past? Or is "edition change" building on past success and learning from past mistakes (by self and others)?

PF1 had an issue whereby it was possible (and in fact highly likely) for two characters of the same (highish) level in the same group to have skills that differed by more than the range of a d20, making it impossible to set a DC that was not either an auto pass for one or an auto fail for the other. The new skill system is obviously (and explicitly) designed to avoid that situation. Whether you happen to agree that the former situation was a mistake, the designers clearly do**, and this is clearly their learning from that mistake.

_
glass.

* DDi = character builder, monster builder, and online rules compendium, plus the online Dragon and Dungeon magazines.
** I for one agree with them. Unlike some on here, I would not presume to speak for the majority of gamers, but I suspect I am not alone.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Something that no one seems to mention is Vic Wertz comments. If you understand how proficiencies worth with weapons, then you understand how they work with armor.

To me this implies that your AC is first determined by the type of armor worn, then adjusted by rank, then adjusted by level, then adjusted by ability modifier.

Assuming everything is the same between two rogues other than level, I would surmise a 10th level rogue’s AC would be 9 points higher than one that is first level.


@Strachan, good point, that is interesting. And I think you're right, it does imply some rapidly escalating ACs in this edition.

I wonder how it will work in practice, since presumably the armour itself will still provide some kind of bonus. If full plate still provides +9 and masterwork weapons provide +1 (with everything else being largely the same), then that implies a lot of missing! EDIT: So presumably, either armour will provide much smaller bonuses to AC, or weapons will provide much bigger bonuses to attacks. I look forward to the gear blog with interest.

Since the blog also says your proficiencies generate both an check value and a DC, I wonder if that means you sometimes people roll against your armour (as now) and at other times you roll an armour check? I wonder what circumstances (if any) would call for the latter?

Similarly (the other way around) with Fort, Ref, and Will?

_
glass.


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One of the things I do really like about this notion of "the whole party can sneak into a place, could dress up in stolen uniforms to get past a checkpoint, and can pass off forged paperwork as official even though the entire party is not skilled in stealth, disguise, and bluff" is that in practice, when the party figures out this is not going to work without leaving half the party behind (which isn't fun) is that the critical path then becomes "barge in and kill everyone" and if there's one thing Pathfinder needs it's less encouragement to be murderhobos.

I mean, the thing about these games is that they are about teams of people working together, not "one hero saves the day" so if for some reason the party needs to climb on top of something, in practice they have the best climber climb to the top and then fix a rope that the less experienced climbers can use to climb up. I figure now this is a situation where the fantasy and the game mechanics line up.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
One of the things I do really like about this notion of "the whole party can sneak into a place, could dress up in stolen uniforms to get past a checkpoint, and can pass off forged paperwork as official even though the entire party is not skilled in stealth, disguise, and bluff" is that in practice, when the party figures out this is not going to work without leaving half the party behind (which isn't fun) is that the critical path then becomes "barge in and kill everyone" and if there's one thing Pathfinder needs it's less encouragement to be murderhobos.

This. A thousand times this!

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