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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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Quandary wrote:
There can be. P1E is OGL, so anybody can do with P1E what Paizo did with 3.x.

Do you really anticipate this happening? What happened with Pathfinder was a perfect storm. I suspect what will happen with 3.x is it will go off into the sunset with the other old editions (I think everyone except possibly the current PF2 design team* have given up completely on 4th ed)

Quandary wrote:
The "some of us were around" comment reeks of arrogance.

It wasn't meant to be. It's true that Pathfinder's base has grown considerably since it started. So it's a simple fact that Paizo's playerbase has changed in makeup.

It's great that you and Paizo are ready to abadnon the game that is Pathfinder and make a new one with the Pathfinder brand (I don't take it as fact that this is actually true for the Paizo developers. But for this post I'm treating everything you say as fact because it's not actually important). Not all of us are and some of us were excited to hear of a new Pathfinder edition hoping it would bring in a new Pathfinder edition and not a new game with the same name. Expect more disappointment from me and others as/if it becomes more apparent that's what we're getting.

* This was meant as a a light-hearted comment and not a serious one.

To add to this the playtest is going to be a mess if people who liked the first one so much are going to be called arrogant for you know, being heavily invested in a product and wanting to ensure that this new edition will cater to us as well. I think its safe to say our interests matter in this or are people really advocating the community being split in 2?

Grand Lodge

Lady Firebird wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:
As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't.

Wait, a wizard sacrifices martial power and uses MAGIC to become unbound by reality. That's why wizard can do stuff-because they don't do martial stuff and access magic. SMH.

Personally, and in my experience with other groups, "legendary" fighters that jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game and a miserable GM.

Wait, a Fighter sacrifices magical power and uses EPIC PROWESS to become unbound by reality. That's why Fighters can do stuff — because they don't do caster stuff and use their own demigodlike potential. SMH

Personally, and in my experience with all groups, "legendary" Fighters who can't jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game (except for the Wizard) and a miserable GM and players, and a game that quickly fizzles out.

See how easy it is to "justify" with such circular logic? There is no argument to be made that casters can break all the laws of physics and have godlike power and martials can't that isn't pure hypocrisy. If you want everyone to be toned down, that's what E6 is for. Otherwise, high-level martials get to become Beowulf and Sun Wukong and Heracles. It's good the developers recognize the need for non-Wizard players to be relevant in the late game, and are giving us tools to do so.

Thankfully you're type of gameplay isn't what PF 1e is and what most players and GMs like to play.


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nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:
As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't.

Wait, a wizard sacrifices martial power and uses MAGIC to become unbound by reality. That's why wizard can do stuff-because they don't do martial stuff and access magic. SMH.

Personally, and in my experience with other groups, "legendary" fighters that jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game and a miserable GM.

Wait, a Fighter sacrifices magical power and uses EPIC PROWESS to become unbound by reality. That's why Fighters can do stuff — because they don't do caster stuff and use their own demigodlike potential. SMH

Personally, and in my experience with all groups, "legendary" Fighters who can't jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game (except for the Wizard) and a miserable GM and players, and a game that quickly fizzles out.

See how easy it is to "justify" with such circular logic? There is no argument to be made that casters can break all the laws of physics and have godlike power and martials can't that isn't pure hypocrisy. If you want everyone to be toned down, that's what E6 is for. Otherwise, high-level martials get to become Beowulf and Sun Wukong and Heracles. It's good the developers recognize the need for non-Wizard players to be relevant in the late game, and are giving us tools to do so.

Thankfully you're type of gameplay isn't what PF 1e is and what most players and GMs like to play.

If the endless martial/caster disparity threads on this forum have anything to say about that, you're not completely correct. Well, you may be right in that people want Casters to do stuff that violates science while Martials can't... but it seems the general sentiment is that people aren't happy with that.

Grand Lodge

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Lady Firebird wrote:

You mean like it is now for players of martial characters? They don't get to enjoy the high-level games because it's "magic or irrelevance?"

It's easy for you to limit Fighters and such to level 10 in your games if you want to keep them irrelevant at high levels. It's much harder for those of us who don't want to be excluded to make up rules for keeping them in it.

PF2, fortunately, looks poised to fix this issue. The developers being keenly aware of this glaring issue with the aging 3.x/PF engine is great. Them working to fix that is even better. And every single thing they've said about it is encouraging to me. This will be the game that brings me back and most certainly becomes my fantasy game of choice.

This is the typical reply from martial munchkin characters...they cry about how martials don't get to do "magical" stuff or compare with magic, yet I don't believe I've ever read any caster players complaining about the massive amounts of damage a martial can do nor the hogging of combat that some martials are capable of. I know plenty of people who play great martials that do gobs of damage and realize the magic users are actually on the other side of the same coin- both are equal and for those complaining they should build better fighters to combat magic, build up a better group around them (which may be hard if the fighter thinks they should do everything a wizard can and hog the combat), or change tactics.

I'm not going into this too deep as there are plenty of other forums and threads for this, but I'll just say the disparity is a myth perpetrated by those who can't stand to give other players an opportunity and that want to munchkin everything. My favorite comparison is the 1st level Fighter with a greatsword v. a 1st level Wizard with Magic Missile-oh and by the way the fighter can do that all day without class limitations. Disparity much? Sure, but the power curves are different and I, as do many others, understand that and are ok with that. Even most of the devs agree, including 3rd party producers- they aren't limiting casters with the new system and they aren't allowing munchkin fighters, either (I think you're mistaken in reading what they're doing).


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Dαedαlus wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:
As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't.

Wait, a wizard sacrifices martial power and uses MAGIC to become unbound by reality. That's why wizard can do stuff-because they don't do martial stuff and access magic. SMH.

Personally, and in my experience with other groups, "legendary" fighters that jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game and a miserable GM.

Wait, a Fighter sacrifices magical power and uses EPIC PROWESS to become unbound by reality. That's why Fighters can do stuff — because they don't do caster stuff and use their own demigodlike potential. SMH

Personally, and in my experience with all groups, "legendary" Fighters who can't jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game (except for the Wizard) and a miserable GM and players, and a game that quickly fizzles out.

See how easy it is to "justify" with such circular logic? There is no argument to be made that casters can break all the laws of physics and have godlike power and martials can't that isn't pure hypocrisy. If you want everyone to be toned down, that's what E6 is for. Otherwise, high-level martials get to become Beowulf and Sun Wukong and Heracles. It's good the developers recognize the need for non-Wizard players to be relevant in the late game, and are giving us tools to do so.

Thankfully you're type of gameplay isn't what PF 1e is and what most players and GMs like to play.
If the endless martial/caster disparity threads on this forum have anything to say about that, you're not completely correct. Well, you may be right in that people want Casters to do stuff that violates science while Martials can't... but it seems the general sentiment is that people aren't happy with...

I think it's safe to say that most people do want to keep the blatantly reality-bending stuff to magic -- teleportation, summoning, that kind of thing. But what isn't unreasonable is for martials to have superhuman prowess; stuff that doesn't violate physics per se, but human beings are definitely incapable of doing in real life. Jumping several times your body length, for example, or swimming across the entire ocean, doesn't exactly break science. A lot of animals can do it, after all; it's just impossible for earth humans.

That's at least what I personally want out of my legendary abilities. Stuff that's still distinctly martial, not magical; just superhuman in scale.


I mean, yeah. Same. Let Martials bend reality- we have Casters for when we want to break it.


Lady Funnyhat wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:
As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't.

Wait, a wizard sacrifices martial power and uses MAGIC to become unbound by reality. That's why wizard can do stuff-because they don't do martial stuff and access magic. SMH.

Personally, and in my experience with other groups, "legendary" fighters that jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game and a miserable GM.

Wait, a Fighter sacrifices magical power and uses EPIC PROWESS to become unbound by reality. That's why Fighters can do stuff — because they don't do caster stuff and use their own demigodlike potential. SMH

Personally, and in my experience with all groups, "legendary" Fighters who can't jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game (except for the Wizard) and a miserable GM and players, and a game that quickly fizzles out.

See how easy it is to "justify" with such circular logic? There is no argument to be made that casters can break all the laws of physics and have godlike power and martials can't that isn't pure hypocrisy. If you want everyone to be toned down, that's what E6 is for. Otherwise, high-level martials get to become Beowulf and Sun Wukong and Heracles. It's good the developers recognize the need for non-Wizard players to be relevant in the late game, and are giving us tools to do so.

Thankfully you're type of gameplay isn't what PF 1e is and what most players and GMs like to play.
If the endless martial/caster disparity threads on this forum have anything to say about that, you're not completely correct. Well, you may be right in that people want Casters to do stuff that violates science while Martials can't... but it seems the general sentiment is that
...

This I am ok with. It’s the split mountains in half and play tag with the moon stuff that crosses over my line.

As examples, anything in here I would not only want but expect to see, at a minimum.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CharlesAtlasSuperpower

Just to dispel the notion that I am talking ‘strict real world human capabilities’


Arssanguinus wrote:
Lady Funnyhat wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lady Firebird wrote:
nogoodscallywag wrote:
Lindley Court wrote:
As someone who has, for years, been confused and frustrated that a 20th level fighter is bound by the logic of reality while a 1st level wizard isn't.

Wait, a wizard sacrifices martial power and uses MAGIC to become unbound by reality. That's why wizard can do stuff-because they don't do martial stuff and access magic. SMH.

Personally, and in my experience with other groups, "legendary" fighters that jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game and a miserable GM.

Wait, a Fighter sacrifices magical power and uses EPIC PROWESS to become unbound by reality. That's why Fighters can do stuff — because they don't do caster stuff and use their own demigodlike potential. SMH

Personally, and in my experience with all groups, "legendary" Fighters who can't jump 100 feet into the air and cleave an enemy in half with one shot is a recipe for a no-fun game (except for the Wizard) and a miserable GM and players, and a game that quickly fizzles out.

See how easy it is to "justify" with such circular logic? There is no argument to be made that casters can break all the laws of physics and have godlike power and martials can't that isn't pure hypocrisy. If you want everyone to be toned down, that's what E6 is for. Otherwise, high-level martials get to become Beowulf and Sun Wukong and Heracles. It's good the developers recognize the need for non-Wizard players to be relevant in the late game, and are giving us tools to do so.

Thankfully you're type of gameplay isn't what PF 1e is and what most players and GMs like to play.
If the endless martial/caster disparity threads on this forum have anything to say about that, you're not completely correct. Well, you may be right in that people want Casters to do stuff that violates science while Martials can't... but it
...

I can understand that. Maybe splitting mountains at 20th level or something I don't know. If it's not in there I won't care. What about lifting up something massive?

Although I do want to HULK leap around and do a superhero landing or two and maybe cause a small earthquake and split in the ground when I do. :)


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E6 is invented because the most physically powerful human in the world is at most level 6.

What we should be looking for is action movie hero levels of "realism". Clearly not feasible, but visually realistic enough to suspend disbelief. Dodging explosions, backflip trickshots, reloading a gun in the blink of an eye....etc. And most importantly, give martials something that casters can't do (or at least, can't do as well) with just a low level spell.


Again, all of that is fine with me. A-ok on the action hero stuff.


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I, for one, welcome with open arms a system wherein everyone is at least competent at everything.

nogoodscallywag wrote:


This is the typical reply from martial munchkin characters...they cry about how martials don't get to do "magical" stuff or compare with magic, yet I don't believe I've ever read any caster players complaining about the massive amounts of damage a martial can do nor the hogging of combat that some martials are capable of. I know plenty of people who play great martials that do gobs of damage and realize the magic users are actually on the other side of the same coin- both are equal and for those complaining they should build better fighters to combat magic, build up a better group around them (which may be hard if the fighter thinks they should do everything a wizard can and hog the combat), or change tactics.

I'm not going into this too deep as there are plenty of other forums and threads for this, but I'll just say the disparity is a myth perpetrated by those who can't stand to give other players an opportunity and that want to munchkin everything. My favorite comparison is the 1st level Fighter with a greatsword v. a 1st level Wizard with Magic Missile-oh and by the way the fighter can do that all day without class limitations. Disparity much? Sure, but the power curves are different and I, as do many others, understand that and are ok with that. Even most of the devs agree, including 3rd party producers- they aren't limiting casters with the new system and they aren't allowing munchkin fighters, either (I think you're mistaken in reading what they're doing).

You can't argue with any degree of intellectual honesty that something isn't real just because you haven't experienced it. Your experiences don't invalidate anyone else's.


I personally have trouble seeing anyone NOT running into caster/martial disparity at level 15+ at all. I'm starting to see it at level 9-11. You don't even need to be a full caster to do it -- even tier 3, 1-6 casters can come up with plot-derailing tricks if they build for it. I once played a bard who, by level 10, can pump Bluff into the high 50s without even trying.

And if you're trying to compare damage, our Skulls and Shackles game has a druid who can end a boss encounter in one round by summoning 3 augmented cyclopes and have all of them use flash of insight for 9d6+42 each. I'm not going to argue that pure martials do more sustained damage over the day, but given the relative short adventuring days in most APs, high level casters can even surpass martials on total damage if they choose to.


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Sure. But personally I would rather a solution that turns the martial into action heros rather than cartoons.


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Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

So It'll be interesting to see what legendary proficiency provides and how people respond.

I hope to see fighters who can richochet fireballs and redirect lightning bolts with their shield, hold their breath for hours or days, go weeks without sleep, shout mass commands to rally or intimidate an army, generate a frightful presence aura, throw their great sword like a boomerang, Herculean feats of strength, and plenty of similar such stuff.


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Trimalchio wrote:

Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

So It'll be interesting to see what legendary proficiency provides and how people respond.

I hope to see fighters who can richochet fireballs and redirect lightning bolts with their shield, hold their breath for hours or days, go weeks without sleep, shout mass commands to rally or intimidate an army, generate a frightful presence aura, throw their great sword like a boomerang, Herculean feats of strength, and plenty of similar such stuff.

I think that's fundamentally the argument here. I enjoy the Marvel movies quite a lot, and I'm not against high level martials doing anything Captain America or Black Panther can do. Thor is an odd case because he's gishy (all the lightning channeling stuff) but by level of general strength or resilience, that's acceptable too.

Hulk....Hulk is where I personally draw the line. Hulk is quite literally invincible and immune to pretty much everything. I prefer my superhuman heroes to still be mortal, at least nominally.


I don't. The only thing that should be able to kill a superhuman hero is another superhuman villain (or another superhuman hero. Up to you.).


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Meanwhile I would have the upper half of marvel relegated to something resembling epic games. Or Mythic. You could even go there by simply generating new class feats and another proficiency level called ‘epic’.


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Neurophage wrote:
I don't. The only thing that should be able to kill a superhuman hero is another superhuman villain (or another superhuman hero. Up to you.).

I said "nominally".

What I mean is, in theory, if he gets a fireball jammed into his throat while he's sleeping, or chained to a wall and shot at by a firing squad, he should be at the very least gravely injured. In practice, that's not something that will ever happen in a game, and his reflexes will ensure that no fireball (or bullet storm) ever even comes close to his face, whether by dodging or shield blocking.

I prefer martial heroes to be resilient in combat through technique and training they gained from experience, not transform into something that is by nature invincible to "normal" attacks. Large amount of hit points, high AC, and high saves are good. Flat immunities (especially flat immunities that can only be overcome based on level) to me just feels cheap. 3.5 epic was kind of like that; it felt cheap.


What I don't understand is what paradigm does the fighter fit when his companion, Dan the level 20 wizard, is forming demiplanes, binding devils, and contacting gods? Most players don't want to play the highly competent butler of Dr strange

Maybe fighters should only have ten class levels and at level 11 they can take class 'lord of nightmares' or 'true queen of fairies', then everyone can be happy.

Grand Lodge

Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Turmoil wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
...
I gave the wizard 10 STR 10 DEX 12 CON. Not terribly unusual. No magic items, just his robe and a dagger. The fighters were very unoptimized as well; this was just ballpark figures. I could haven given them 18 STR, greatswords and power attack and needed even less of them. Or made them level 2. It doesn't matter, the point stands.
On the contrary, I'd say that stat spread is EXTREMELY unusual if you're not using basic stat array. Wizards tend to ignore strength, but dexterity and constitution are both stats adventuring wizards prioritize and even NPC wizards tend to have plenty of both.

Anyone who knows how to build a decent wizard (unless they're a touch spell direct melee wizard) knows that INT and DX are your main stats and don't put any into CON unless the FORT save needs upped.


A wizards third stat is usually Con or Cha depending on taste and spell selection.


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Trimalchio wrote:

What I don't understand is what paradigm does the fighter fit when his companion, Dan the level 20 wizard, is forming demiplanes, binding devils, and contacting gods? Most players don't want to play the highly competent butler of Dr strange

Maybe fighters should only have ten class levels and at level 11 they can take class 'lord of nightmares' or 'true queen of fairies', then every can be happy.

I'm actually of the opinion that stuff like building a demiplane or talking to gods shouldn't be easily done by high level casters either. I tend to make those costly rituals that require a quest that involves the whole party. The caster is the key, but he's not the only one doing anything.

In fact, that's something I hope PF2 also takes care to address -- don't let powerful spells make fun exclusive for the caster.


Trimalchio wrote:

What I don't understand is what paradigm does the fighter fit when his companion, Dan the level 20 wizard, is forming demiplanes, binding devils, and contacting gods? Most players don't want to play the highly competent butler of Dr strange

Maybe fighters should only have ten class levels and at level 11 they can take class 'lord of nightmares' or 'true queen of fairies', then everyone can be happy.

Isn't that basically what prestige classes are supposed to be?

I mean, if they worked well in PF beyond niche builds.


Trimalchio wrote:
Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

Yeah, Thor (and Wonder Woman) are excellent examples of peak martials.

Linked for the pre-fight analysis not the animation or results


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I will await judgement on this, but it does seem 4E/5E which is why I and my players went to Pathfinder.


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The repeated references to Martials doing awesome things as "cartoons" or "superheroes" is a rather blatant attempt to poison the idea by linking it to things that in Western culture are generally considered more youth oriented. But other cultures don't have those biases and moreover, characters from mythology did all these things first, and that is what this is about. A character being good at jumping like Cuchulain or any other given culture hero doesn't break my immersion, and is something a wizard can do at level 3 with the Levitate spell.

Conflating awesome feats with crazy ones just to disparage the entire package is also intellectually dishonest. I've seen complaining about cutting mountains in half, but Mark even addressed that one specifically, saying if something like that happens it wouldn't be until high level play in an as yet undesigned Mythic supplement. And hey, if that does happen at Mythic tiers when you're around level 18 or above? Sure, why not? The wizard can literally stop time and drop meteors out of the sky, the druid can call up hurricanes and earthquakes, let the mythic martial who is literally a demigod chop mountains like demigods from mythology.

The point is for everyone to be able to have fun. If a martial can have fun now too, that doesn't mean the wizard suddenly gets to have less fun, unless their primary source of fun was lording over the weakling peasants who were just there to support him as best character in the party. And frankly, people like that can get out of my hobby.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.
In this case, the smaller number of overall skills also means you will have a higher percentage of all skills trained even if it didn't increase, but...Let's save the number of base starting skills that, say, the fighter gets for the fighter preview blog! It's soon!

I may have missed it, but I didn't see any mention of base starting skills in the fighter blog. Could you provide that information here?


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

Yeah, Thor (and Wonder Woman) are excellent examples of peak martials.

Linked for the pre-fight analysis not the animation or results

Not sure I could ever imagine a pure martial being Thor, an actual god, with the power to, without his magic items, still control primal parts of the universe. Not to mention, outside of other gods assailing him, he's immortal. There are some questions about whether or not he is vulnerable even then. He's certainly impervious to anything else mundane, to the extent that even planet destroying events do not hurt him. THat's WAY BEYOND just being a 20th level martial class.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, does feel just about right - assuming the lack of deific powers, such as pseudo-immortality.


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It’s also disingenuous to use that line of attack when you know precisely what we mean. Trying to ‘win’ an argument by trying to disallow all terminology to describe it is a bit ... you know ...


TolkienBard wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

Yeah, Thor (and Wonder Woman) are excellent examples of peak martials.

Linked for the pre-fight analysis not the animation or results

Not sure I could ever imagine a pure martial being Thor, an actual god, with the power to, without his magic items, still control primal parts of the universe. Not to mention, outside of other gods assailing him, he's immortal. There are some questions about whether or not he is vulnerable even then. He's certainly impervious to anything else mundane, to the extent that even planet destroying events do not hurt him. THat's WAY BEYOND just being a 20th level martial class.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, does feel just about right - assuming the lack of deific powers, such as pseudo-immortality.

I actually once did a writeup on Thor as a PC for my table on these forums, let me see if I can find it....

Thor PC:

Levels 1-4: Hammer Warrior, carries a Warhammer, a few throwing Hammers and a Lucerne Hammer.

Levels 5-8: Hammer Hero, as above but acquires Mjolnir, a mystical hammer carved entirely from Oak which can shift between Lucerne Hammer and Warhammer form, alters its weight as needed [including prohibiting wielding by others, light weight for parries and great weight for blocks and strikes] and returns instantly after a throw. Furthermore it is during this tier that Thor cultivates his connection to the Oak Trees in faintly druid-like ways.

Levels 9-12: Lightning Legend, as above but Thor's connection to the Oak Tree reaches through the heavens, immersing himself in the power of Lightning [with very minor magnetism]

Levels 13-16: Thunder Demigod, as above but Thor's connection Lightning expands to Thunder, granting him explosive sound based power and tricks. Any worshiper of sufficient dedication [takes a class that grants divine casting] can cast spells of up to 4th level and can take wood, lightning or thunder type domains.

Level 17: Becomes a god of Lightning, Thunder and Oak. Any divine casting worshipers can cast spells of any level.

Now granted, Thor is an example of a very mystical/supernatural martial, but he does not cast spells.


This one was based more on the myth than marvel.


TolkienBard wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:
Everyone seems to have a different line on where martials should be. Personaly, a level 20 fighter should be on par with the upper half of marvel heroes, like silver surfer, hulk, Thor, etc reskinned for fantasy of course.

Yeah, Thor (and Wonder Woman) are excellent examples of peak martials.

Linked for the pre-fight analysis not the animation or results

Not sure I could ever imagine a pure martial being Thor, an actual god, with the power to, without his magic items, still control primal parts of the universe. Not to mention, outside of other gods assailing him, he's immortal. There are some questions about whether or not he is vulnerable even then. He's certainly impervious to anything else mundane, to the extent that even planet destroying events do not hurt him. THat's WAY BEYOND just being a 20th level martial class.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, does feel just about right - assuming the lack of deific powers, such as pseudo-immortality.

Just to clarify -- we mean Marvel Thor. Chris Hemsworth Thor. The Thor who, while indisputably superhuman and superheroic, is not, technically, the Norse God Thor. There's probably some weird stuff in the comics (and everyone's power level fluctuate significantly in comics), but as far as the movies are concerned, both Thor and Wonder Woman are very good examples of what a high level martial should look like.


Just to clarify, I see Cinematic Wonderwoman and Thor as around level 12-13ish (to say they roughly belong in a party slinging 6th or 7th level spells.)


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I think the issue with "make martials less superheroic" I have is that at very high levels the PCs are people who can beat up demigods, demon lords, avatars of gods, great old ones, runelords, and some other really bad news.

It is genuinely difficult to imagine a grounded, realistically mundane person who can do those things. So if we're going to entertain the idea that "a guy with a sword" stands some kind of chance against some kind of cosmic horror, it might as well not be a fluke, let him be broadly capable of the sorts of things one would need to do to survive that fight.


When Shoggoths qualify as a multi-foe, multiple time daily encounter for your party...I'm pretty okay with your fighter jumping 25 feet in the air to avoid their appendages of gibbering madness.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Mistwalker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.
In this case, the smaller number of overall skills also means you will have a higher percentage of all skills trained even if it didn't increase, but...Let's save the number of base starting skills that, say, the fighter gets for the fighter preview blog! It's soon!
I may have missed it, but I didn't see any mention of base starting skills in the fighter blog. Could you provide that information here?

That hasn't been revealed yet. It will definitely be more than 2 trained skills at 1st level for pretty much any fighter you build, potentially quite a few more, and we have fewer overall skills (with Athletics covering Climb, Swim, Jumping, combat maneuvers, and more, for example) so that's worth even more than it seems.


This makes me wonder what the break down of all the skills and their associate ability modifiers are.

Athletics covers combat maneuvers?


Wouldn't thievery cover the steal combat maneuver?


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Just to clarify, I see Cinematic Wonderwoman and Thor as around level 12-13ish (to say they roughly belong in a party slinging 6th or 7th level spells.)

THat is one severely STEEP power curve. I mean, these are characters already defying the will of gods and sometimes surviving going toe-to-toe with them.

LEt me be clear, I don't find anything at all wrong with that. This is a matter of to each their own.

I guess my biggest question at that point though would be, how does one ever find their way beyond level 13-15 or so without being born to it?

However, this is a thread about skill proficiency. My take on that is, I need WAY more information on how this is going to work. With just the basics out there right now, it sure seems that a great many issues are bound to creep in almost immediately, especially when we start comparing untrained or trained with experts.


Here is an idea for making martial characters seem more powerful at high levels: At level 15+, martial characters could have a "power attack" style ability that they can activate that increases their melee damage, but also creates a powerful shockwave that damages things (whether they like it or not) beyond their melee attack range.

This would allow you to roleplay the idea that your high level fighter is usually holding back, because if he used his full strength he could unintentionally collapse a building or part of a dungeon. It would be something you only use in emergencies against a truly strong opponent. Something like this would probably have to be built right into legendary level proficiency so all high level martials get this sort of flavor.

Yes, I have been watching too much Dragon Ball Super lately, but this sort of trope also applies to a lot of superheroes and legends.


Fuzzypaws wrote:
characters from mythology did all these things first, and that is what this is about.

Not all of us want to play Mythic characters. In 3.5e that was reserved for level 21+. In Pathfinder it was an optional subsystem that could be bolted on as a choice. Baking it into the core, and worse baking into the core below level 20, means those of us who don't want to explore mythic characters will have to ban a portion of the game or simply stop playing it at a lower level, not due to the inherent mathematical breakdown of the game, but because for tonal reasons instead.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
And hey, if that does happen at Mythic tiers when you're around level 18 or above? Sure, why not? The wizard can literally stop time and drop meteors out of the sky, the druid can call up hurricanes and earthquakes, let the mythic martial who is literally a demigod chop mountains like demigods from mythology.

Being able to cast <insert magical effect here> with your weapon because you're fighting skills are so great is something I particularly don't want outside of Mythic. Saying "who cares?" misses the point. Just because the wizard can do magical things doesn't mean we have to give the fighter magical abilities as well.

I could totally see Wonder Woman or Thor as an epic destiny (semi-immortal), which would kick in at level 21 or mythic 1. Trying to bake in at a sub-level 20 level is not what I want from a Pathfinder game (I believe 13th Age scratches that itch if you want that sort of thing, and it's 3.5-esque with a whole bunch of 4th-edisms thrown in).

PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the issue with "make martials less superheroic" I have is that at very high levels the PCs are people who can beat up demigods, demon lords, avatars of gods, great old ones, runelords, and some other really bad news.

It is genuinely difficult to imagine a grounded, realistically mundane person who can do those things. So if we're going to entertain the idea that "a guy with a sword" stands some kind of chance against some kind of cosmic horror, it might as well not be a fluke, let him be broadly capable of the sorts of things one would need to do to survive that fight.

David vs Goliath. Martials can do amazing things without making them spellcasters by a different name. (Queue calls of how goliath was only a CR 5 and thus missing the point).


TolkienBard wrote:

I guess my biggest question at that point though would be, how does one ever find their way beyond level 13-15 or so without being born to it?

Well, they live in a world where they are surrounded by magic, so there are two main possible answers. One is that over time, their body absorbs some of the magic around them and becomes superhuman, like those superheroes who got their powers from radiation exposure. The other possibility is that the existence of magic in their world has changed the laws of physics in such a way that anyone who lives there has a higher potential than anyone in a non-magical world.


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On the other hand, I think it's really stupid to try and pretend anything is or should be grounded at level 15+.

Casters at that level do not look out of place in series like Dragonball Z, where planet-destroying energy blasts are more the medium of violence than blades, and yet they're travelling with a high-level fighter who is still trying to pretend he lives in Game of Thrones despite the fact you could fire off weapons meant to sink battleships in his face and mildly injure him.

At level 8, a brawler can punch out the spine of a Triceratops with relative ease, but him jumping more than four feet off the ground at level 12 to pursue a cowardly mage trying to strafe him from the air is somehow going too far.


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TolkienBard wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Just to clarify, I see Cinematic Wonderwoman and Thor as around level 12-13ish (to say they roughly belong in a party slinging 6th or 7th level spells.)

THat is one severely STEEP power curve. I mean, these are characters already defying the will of gods and sometimes surviving going toe-to-toe with them.

LEt me be clear, I don't find anything at all wrong with that. This is a matter of to each their own.

I guess my biggest question at that point though would be, how does one ever find their way beyond level 13-15 or so without being born to it?

How does a wizard cast 9th level spells without having a sorcerer bloodline?

Is it that hard to imagine that, in a world where PEOPLE COULD LEARN TO CREATE DEMIPLANES, they can also potentially learn to jump 30 feet?


TolkienBard wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

Just to clarify, I see Cinematic Wonderwoman and Thor as around level 12-13ish (to say they roughly belong in a party slinging 6th or 7th level spells.)

THat is one severely STEEP power curve. I mean, these are characters already defying the will of gods and sometimes surviving going toe-to-toe with them.

To give an example using WotC material, Demogorgon and Pazuzu are CR 24. They're appropriate desperate battles for a level 20 party of four.

3.P has always had such a steep power curve, for the classes that get to keep playing as levels rise.

Quote:
I guess my biggest question at that point though would be, how does one ever find their way beyond level 13-15 or so without being born to it?

The same way they found their way fron level one to two. By accumulating sufficient experience, comprehension and power to transcend their previous state of being and become something greater.

Shadow Lodge

GreyWolfLord wrote:
It wasn't until AD&D 2e that we first start seeing a rift, and even then, it wasn't as big as some think it was. AD&D 2e was HUGELY compatible with AD&D 1e

Confirmed. We ran a mix of both for years. Ran 1e modules with 2e characters without batting an eye.

Sure the 2e characters had some extra advantages and mechanics (Non-Weapon Proficiencies) but it was extremely compatible numbers-wise.

Please excuse me while I reminisce over my Bowyer/Fletcher skill...


John Lynch 106 wrote:
I could totally see Wonder Woman or Thor as an epic destiny (semi-immortal), which would kick in at level 21 or mythic 1. Trying to bake in at a sub-level 20 level is not what I want from a Pathfinder game (I believe 13th Age scratches that itch if you want that sort of thing, and it's 3.5-esque with a whole bunch of 4th-edisms thrown in).

Can I ask you how you'll handle the playtest then? I appreciate your posts as pretty balanced, even if I don't often agree with the tonal ideas behind them. When it comes to the playtest for you, if you find the rules themselves solid, but the tone of the game not along the lines you'd like, how will you handle that? If a well-designed game is showcased, but not a tone of game that you agree with, does that make it a bad game in need of fixing? If the mechanics work for you, but the tone doesn't, then is your feedback to rip it all apart and start over?

That's truly not meant as an attempt to troll or call you out. I'm just curious how you (and others that may share your tonal core concepts) will handle that situation. For myself, I don't have a great deal of interest in 13th Age, but I do in PF2 (that I've seen so far). It's easy for me to flippantly say the reverse ("Well, you already have PF1, so that's there for you"). But that's not what I'm intending with that question. I'm just curious what path you see for yourself at that point.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Fuzzypaws wrote:
characters from mythology did all these things first, and that is what this is about.

Not all of us want to play Mythic characters. In 3.5e that was reserved for level 21+. In Pathfinder it was an optional subsystem that could be bolted on as a choice. Baking it into the core, and worse baking into the core below level 20, means those of us who don't want to explore mythic characters will have to ban a portion of the game or simply stop playing it at a lower level, not due to the inherent mathematical breakdown of the game, but because for tonal reasons instead.

Fuzzypaws wrote:
And hey, if that does happen at Mythic tiers when you're around level 18 or above? Sure, why not? The wizard can literally stop time and drop meteors out of the sky, the druid can call up hurricanes and earthquakes, let the mythic martial who is literally a demigod chop mountains like demigods from mythology.

Being able to cast <insert magical effect here> with your weapon because you're fighting skills are so great is something I particularly don't want outside of Mythic. Saying "who cares?" misses the point. Just because the wizard can do magical things doesn't mean we have to give the fighter magical abilities as well.

I could totally see Wonder Woman or Thor as an epic destiny (semi-immortal), which would kick in at level 21 or mythic 1. Trying to bake in at a sub-level 20 level is not what I want from a Pathfinder game (I believe 13th Age scratches that itch if you want that sort of thing, and it's 3.5-esque with a whole bunch of 4th-edisms thrown in).

Well again, a high level spellcaster in 3.x / PF is more powerful than most deities in most mythologies. Just by including such players in your game, you are already playing a mythic game, whether or not you are actually using "mythic" rules. A culture hero or wuxia monk jumping to the top of a moderate tree in a single bound, or Beowulf swimming across the sea, is /not/ out of place in such a setting. A person who demonstrates extraordinary physical talent as a direct expression of their ability to throw down with an archdemon and survive is something that should really be /expected/.

So let's turn it around. If you don't like this approach, then would YOU do to make martial characters more interesting and fun so they stack up in some meaningful way against walking Gods who can stop time and call down the heavens?

Because sure, you could houserule out Legendary skills. But if you do, you'd better have something ready to replace them, or I hope you're prepared to also take away all spells after 5th or 6th level as well.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Mistwalker wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Well, I know we're getting a skills blog later, but I'm hoping PF2 is a little kinder to former 2+Int classes in the same way that more hp from your class means a given Con bonus doesn't make up as large a percentage of overall health.
In this case, the smaller number of overall skills also means you will have a higher percentage of all skills trained even if it didn't increase, but...Let's save the number of base starting skills that, say, the fighter gets for the fighter preview blog! It's soon!
I may have missed it, but I didn't see any mention of base starting skills in the fighter blog. Could you provide that information here?
That hasn't been revealed yet. It will definitely be more than 2 trained skills at 1st level for pretty much any fighter you build, potentially quite a few more, and we have fewer overall skills (with Athletics covering Climb, Swim, Jumping, combat maneuvers, and more, for example) so that's worth even more than it seems.

Excellent.

Thank you.


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Lemartes wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
It's funny when that comes up to bite them in the ass. :)

It just seems to me like it's unnecessarily antagonistic when a GM starts throwing a lot of challenges at a player simply because that player has elected to be deathly afraid of water and horses, for example. Like sure the player might have been min-maxing because the campaign takes place in the mountains, but I don't want to come across like a jerk.

Better to just avoid the situation where "being completely incapable of riding a horse" conveys mechanical advantages.

I'm not talking about the GM being a jerk.

Sometimes things come up your character isn't built for.

That's fun. You have to think of a way to handle it that might not be mechanically covered by your character. Or be inventive and do something new. :)

Mutants and Masterminds had a nice rule for that. When you pick a flaw for your character, you select how often do you want it to affect you. So if you are Superman, you tell the GM if you want Krypton it to appear every game, once in a while, or hardly ever. If it never affects you, it is worth no points. The more often it hampers you, the more points you get.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
It's funny when that comes up to bite them in the ass. :)

It just seems to me like it's unnecessarily antagonistic when a GM starts throwing a lot of challenges at a player simply because that player has elected to be deathly afraid of water and horses, for example. Like sure the player might have been min-maxing because the campaign takes place in the mountains, but I don't want to come across like a jerk.

Better to just avoid the situation where "being completely incapable of riding a horse" conveys mechanical advantages.

I'm not talking about the GM being a jerk.

Sometimes things come up your character isn't built for.

That's fun. You have to think of a way to handle it that might not be mechanically covered by your character. Or be inventive and do something new. :)

Mutants and Masterminds had a nice rule for that. When you pick a flaw for your character, you select how often do you want it to affect you. So if you are Superman, you tell the GM if you want Krypton it to appear every game, once in a while, or hardly ever. If it never affects you, it is worth no points. The more often it hampers you, the more points you get.

While I only ever got to play M&M a few times, it definitely had a lot of nice ideas. Especially their flaw system as you mention, and replacing ability scores with the ability modifiers since that's the only part anyone actually cares about in practice.

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