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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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
rooneg wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.

Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story.
But that's part of the problem. If your higher level character somehow becomes "trained" in Sailing they immediately jump from "I know the names of some ships" to "I am better at this than everyone on the boat because I'm a 15th level character". That strains credulity. I'm not sure I like the way that level mixes in to this at all.

To be fair, situations like this can already happen in 1e.

You would run out of fingers trying to count the wizards that bang on about how it takes years of careful study to become a wizard but the truth of it is in game terms a level one rogue could spend a week adventuring, if that, and come back as wizardly as the 1st-level wizard that started his adventure at 60 because he'd been practicing cantrips for the last 30 years.

Or said rogue at level 9 finding herself a landlubber that's in a campaign with some nautical interests. Come level 10 after defeating a sea serpent, she decides to pause up on maxing out other skills for a bit and sinks 10 ranks into Profession (Sailor), which is a class skill. With her minimum +13 bonus (and probably more than that, given that...

Funny story: In Council of Thieves, my summoner who was trying to become a celebrity singer despite being untrained due to super-high Cha got a rod of splendor at high levels. With a sudden opening for a headband, she picked up an Int headband keyed to Perform (sing) and gained 15 ranks instantly. At the end of the campaign, she received an honorary degree from Westcrown's bardic college, they had her give a speech about how to get better at performing, and I told Linda (the GM) "What am I going to say? Don't do any work and put on a headband?"

Grand Lodge

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Bardic Dave wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
eddv wrote:
No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.
I wouldn't call it "the absolute worst", but I share your concern that this kind of thing might become heavily entrenched in PF2 with the proposed skill system. I think this has the potential to be really great, but if implemented incorrectly could lead to the sort of nonsense you're suggesting.

I feel like "anything that anybody can attempt with some idea of how to do it" should be fair game for untrained people to do. Like "telling a plausible lie, when agreeing with it puts minimal onus on the listener" should be in that category, easily. So you could bluff the guard, untrained, in that you are a noble and thus shouldn't be hassled, but you might need some skill unlocks to bluff the guard that you are a noble and thus it's fine to loan you money and their keys, since any noble is going to be good for the loan and won't do anything untoward with the keys.

But "examples" are going to be really important in that chapter I feel.

Yes, codifying this will be very tricky and the result could be extremely convoluted and confusing. I hope Paizo's able to sever this Gordian knot!

Shouldn't that be "Golarian Knot?


I, for one, appreciate the passive scaling with levels. It allows you to have a minor investment in a skill that will always stay useful, unlike PF1 where that +6 in Knowledge: Arcana you got at early levels fades into irrelevance unless you keep pumping resources into it.

I have no idea why people are comparing 1st-level characters with 20th-level ones. That never comes up among player characters, or between players and relevant NPCs. As for comparing high-level PCs with common sheeple from the streets, the PCs should outclass those without breaking a sweat.

I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing how armor works in this system. I'm guessing the differences between light and heavy armor will be greatly reduced compared to PF1?

Does a high rank come with the ability to take 10 or even 15 on mundane tasks?


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Getting even more 4th ed vibes from this post. They had things exactly like what is described above with their skill powers and such.

The +level to class skills isn't as bad as 4th ed (it was +1/2 level to everything). I'm curious as to whether getting proficient in a skill means that you add your character level or if you add your class level. If it's the former, I can see a lot of Rogue 1/Class X coming along effectively making everyone good at everything with only skill ranks and feats having any differentiation (and with a +2 difference the numerical difference isn't going to be big).

Bardic Dave wrote:
The difference between Trained and Legendary is only +2, so how will Legendary enable physics defying superhuman feats?

Well with your skill feats you'll gain a skill power that is either at-will, once per 10 minute rest or once per 8 hour rest and you'll be able to print them off and cut them out so you've got a handy to reference power card that you can flip over. /s although semi serious.

(I actually don't mind the 4th ed vibes. As I said before, if you can throw out the bad of 4th ed and keep the good, I'll be happy. Although I'm starting to think I should call the new edition PF 4th ed ;))

Vic Wertz wrote:
They have the same name because they work the same way. Once you understand how proficiency works with weapons, you understand how it works with armor, and with skills, and with saves. And once you understand how ancestry feats work, you understand how skill feats work, and how class feats work.

So does that means Weapon Focus and Specialisation are now baked into the class?

I'm also expecting all classes will be trained in all saves (because +20 difference in saves is just way too high). Although +3 (can it get up to +6 without magic items?) would be similar to the diference between a good save and a bad save in PF2e. The fact spell DCs scale with level also means they'll be keeping up (although I'd be leery of spell DCs getting to add proficiency bonus + spell level. Hopefully it's just one or the other). IF they still add Int Bonus then it looks like DCs will keep scaling beyond the power of saves as well which would be unfortunate.

Paizo Employee Designer

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.
I think that one comes early in the master levels, actually. Don't expect trained or expert (and all characters start with at least something at expert at 1st level, even if certain categories are much harder to reach expert) to be drastically breaking real world records; these are characters at their earliest levels in the game. The world record for even a running high jump is about 8 feet up.

Ok wow I misread.

Somehow I missed the Master Grade. (And assumed Expert was not accessible until at least level 6ish)

I am cautiously optimistic about this. Thanks Mark!

To respond to this while also answering Arachnofiend's question below this: the blog mentions that master usually kicks in at 7+, so that's roughly around the same place as your game.


Why does it say «Morgan Champion» on my last post? That's not me. o_O


I question how this interacts with possible feats.

Example, if I don't put any skill towards throwing stuff but suddenly gain Throw Anything Feat, how good am I at throwing stuff?

Mind you, certain feats will probably be locked behind "You must be X good at it" to do so. I've actually played a game over the last 2 years that did that, was kinda interesting.


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I'll need far more information before I can make a complete opinion but right now I'm not sure I like this. We'll see what comes of it and any examples.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Jim Groves wrote:

Hi Mark,

It looks like you're making some elements which we would traditionally consider to be mythic and essentially hard coding them right into the core rules. For example, swimming across the ocean or fighting sea monsters like Beowulf. Is that a fair assessment? If so, I like it.

Is there anything you can say about how skills will interact with combat and CR? Often it felt like they weren't strictly compatible (or didn't scale in unison).

Since the numbers scale roughly in tandem with each othe, they can be used as equivalencies in far more places than before (aka, roll this skill instead of an attack roll, etc)

This is a great idea.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So, I'm speculating that there are two types of skill feats.
a) Increase your proficiency level (with character level being the prerequisite)
b) gain a skill unlock (with proficiency level in the skill being the prerequisite)
Alternatively, maybe it's some sort of hybrid where the skill feat increases your proficiency and gives you a minor bonus. How's my guesswork?


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
Could you tell us the earliest one could expect to pick up a Master level skill?

It's in the blog, 7th level. (I imagine some of these things might have exceptions for Rogues, similar to Fighter getting Legendary proficiency in weapons two levels early.)


i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Morgan Champion wrote:

I, for one, appreciate the passive scaling with levels. It allows you to have a minor investment in a skill that will always stay useful, unlike PF1 where that +6 in Knowledge: Arcana you got at early levels fades into irrelevance unless you keep pumping resources into it.

I have no idea why people are comparing 1st-level characters with 20th-level ones. That never comes up among player characters, or between players and relevant NPCs. As for comparing high-level PCs with common sheeple from the streets, the PCs should outclass those without breaking a sweat.

I'm having a bit of trouble visualizing how armor works in this system. I'm guessing the differences between light and heavy armor will be greatly reduced compared to PF1?

Does a high rank come with the ability to take 10 or even 15 on mundane tasks?

There is a skill feat that, depending on your current rank, lets you just succeed at tasks with your skill when they are below a certain threshold without even rolling. This is particularly useful if you are under stress, debuffed, or in bad circumstances, as you can just succeed at those tasks despite your penalties. It's not an especially giant threshold; it's mainly to help you auto-succeed at tasks that have become mundane for you by now, like you said.


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"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**."

Please tell me you didn't just make Evasion a feat instead of a Class Feature....


Oops, sorry about that. I swear I read the blog before posting!

Level 7 is probably fair, and reflects the usual opinion that 6th level is the limit you play to if you want your game to stay fairly gritty and mundane.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
The +level to class skills isn't as bad as 4th ed (it was +1/2 level to everything).

This is +level to everything. "Class skill" doesn't show up in there anywhere.


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That is nice, but still -the lack of differentiation of basic skill level between categories grates quite a bit.


Mekkis wrote:

So, where in Pathfinder, there is the trained/untrained divide specifying what your character can't achieve, we now have a "You must be at least Expert in this skill to succeed here" barrier.

So the system is intrinsically limiting a character's abilities. And every time more options with these "skill barriers" are printed, it will continue to limit them.

I feel like it comes out this way in practice anyway, since a lot of times GMs will be skeptical of, say, a rogue's ability to sneak down a well-lit hallway filled with people without being seen. So something explicitly saying "well lit-hallway full of people looking for you? Master level, here's the DC" is only an asset, since most GMs wouldn't let you attempt it otherwise.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Senator_Mailman wrote:
Dragon78 wrote:

So are skill points in the game at all?

Curious to know this as well. But given the way it's written, probably not.

While I, like most of you, also colloquially referred to them as "skill points," as I learned when arriving here, even in PF1, they weren't technically ever referred to as skill points, but rather always as ranks (ranks to assign, ranks per level, etc). There are still skill ranks, there just aren't from 0 to 20 of them.


Dominik D wrote:
i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Especially since CHA is a big thing in this one.

Even discounting that, I fear the coming dipolmanciers


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:

"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**."

Please tell me you didn't just make Evasion a feat instead of a Class Feature....

Proficiency in reflex saves is a class feature. And I don't know that Evasion is locked behind a feat; it might be part and parcel of having Master reflex saves.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Tangent101 wrote:
This is incredibly vague and confusing. Unlike the blog posts on things like Actions or leveling up, this leaves us with no real understanding what is going on. For instance, training in Fortitude or Will saves. It almost sounds like people will have to choose between having a character with a well-rounded series of abilities because they invested their skills in them but who is easily poisoned or mind-controlled, and a character who is able to adventure and survive the world but is dumb as a rock.

I believe you will get skill proficiences as you go up, save proficiences as you go up, weapon proficiences etc. Rates of these can be effected by classes (rogues get more skill, fighters get more weapon etc)

Quote:

This also brings into question what happens when someone learns a new skill set when they are several levels in. If their skill ability is based on level, then does that mean that if you have a level 10 Paladin who finally is tired of being the loud clunky one and gets trained in Stealth that they suddenly have a +10 to their Stealth roll instead of penalties? Did everyone already have that +10 and are basically stealthy in which point there isn't much need to be proficient?

You go from +8 + Dex to +10 +dex, so not as different. However, you get to use stealth in different ways now, and you rouge may well be +13 + Dex, and able to hide in plain sight

Quote:

If I sound confused and like I have no idea what I'm talking about, it's because I'm confused and have no idea what I'm talking about. I've been liking what I've been hearing about 2nd Edition Pathfinder up until now. But without a better knowledge of how proficiencies work... well... I can understand you can't give us too many specifics as you need to save things for the actual playtest. But this just left me confused... and I've been gaming with AD&D, DND, and Pathfinder for some 40 years now.

*sigh* Okay, I suppose I'm being vague as well.

If I could have one thing answered, it is: how do skill proficiencies work, learning new skill proficiencies, and gaining increased experience in them under the new system? Or are skill proficiencies going away entirely for the sake of simplicity?

You gain x skill proficiences at level 1, then 1 at 3, 1 at 5 etc (rogues get more). You chose which skill to put this proficiency into, although for the most powerful skills there's a minimum level, so you can't invest all your ranks into stealth and be invisible at 1st level


Mark Seifter wrote:
There is a skill feat that, depending on your current rank, lets you just succeed at tasks with your skill when they are below a certain threshold without even rolling. This is particularly useful if you are under stress, debuffed, or in bad circumstances, as you can just succeed at those tasks despite your penalties. It's not an especially giant threshold; it's mainly to help you auto-succeed at tasks that have become mundane for you by now, like you said.

Ah, nice. I'm assuming that doesn't work for weapons or armor, though? It would be weird to auto-succeed at hitting enemies...

Seriously, this «Morgan Champion» thing is creeping me out. My Paizo identity is «Catharsis». Something fishy is going on with the accounts.


Overall, this system doesn't sound too bad. I actually like the idea of certain uses of a skill being "gated", so that only someone who has invested in them will have access. The idea that at higher levels, skills will make you "like a character out of real-world myth and legend" is definitely a reward I feel was critically missing.

On the other hand, what's up with those modifiers? Unless DC is getting substantially scaled back, this just feels pointless. I get that the gating system is already going to do most of the work, but when it comes to checks that someone with a higher and lower degree of proficiency can both attempt, a +1-3 modifier isn't going to feel like you're much better at that skill at all. Sure, I get that on a level-by-level basis, the first edition system only sees your bonus go up by +1 at a time, but I think there's two things to consider there. First, with only five levels of proficiency, increasing your rank just to get a +1 on checks isn't going to feel satisfying. Secondly, in first edition you get that +3 right away for investing in a class skill, so having to completely master a skill to get it in second edition feels like taking something away, rather than gaining something.


MerlinCross wrote:
Dominik D wrote:
i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Especially since CHA is a big thing in this one.

Even discounting that, I fear the coming dipolmanciers

I feel like the skills that people valued very little in PF1 are the ones you can go gonzo with for the higher proficiency skill unlocks, while the ones that were valued very highly are ones it's probably better to be conservative with.

Some logic like that might be why perception is no longer a skill.

Paizo Employee Designer

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FedoraFerret wrote:
I'm not entirely sold on adding full level, but I do really like lessening the importance of rank investment in bonuses. In PF1, if I want to keep actively using most important skills, like Diplomacy or Acrobatics, I have no choice but to keep adding ranks every level to keep up with DCs. Here, I can just invest as many ranks as I need to unlock the skill feats I want, or spend them making new skills fully accessible, and I don't just have to commit everything to X+Int skills (where X is my class skills per level) and stick with that, save for some one point drops in important trained only skills.

This is one of several nice benefits. You can put in as much as you want and get something useful if what you want to put in is "not much" or something awesome if what you want is "all in." For instance, in one of our 14th level playtest games, my alchemist was trained in Thievery because it was really easy for him to do with all that Intelligence, and that let me pick locks and disable some types of traps if necessary. The rogue was still way better than I was, but I was a competent if not stellar replacement when we were forced to split up our efforts in different areas and wasn't just useless like someone with 1 rank would be at 14th level in PF1.


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Yeah I'm really not liking this system. It's basically a tighter 5e proficiency system (which means it's even worse than the 5e proficiency system IMO) + skill unlocks which don't even sound like they can accomplish anything better than second level spells.

I really really hope that you don't have to wait until Legendary to get things like running on walls, super jumps, super theft. If "Legendary rank" is how they're trying to fix the martial/caster disparity, then they've already failed because they're still only catching up to level 2 spells at 15th level.

Only good thing I've heard about this system is that you at least get freedom when you're selecting proficiency in your feats.


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MerlinCross wrote:
Dominik D wrote:
i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Especially since CHA is a big thing in this one.

Even discounting that, I fear the coming dipolmanciers

Because of this post, the next big bad I'm going to make for one of my games is going to be an enchanter wizard who calls himself a diplomancer.

He's the big bad because he refuses to stop convincing people to give him all of their gold.


I really like the basic concept behind proficiency. I can understand the concern of others here, and its certainly valid to voice them, but we don't have enough context for all the other modifiers (skills, stats, items) to see the full range in skill values. And there clearly are other modifiers that will increase this range so that it won't be simply a 5 difference.

The skill feats is where it will allow characters to shine in ways other than just a higher bonus, which is better if done right. Agree that Paizo need to be careful to not lock tasks anyone trained in a skill should be able to perform behind expert/master tiers.

Scaling proficiency in skills means that tasks untrained/trained characters could reasonably attempt at Level 1 can still be reasonably attempted at Level 10. The expert/master tier characters with more skill points and skill feats invested are still going to be much better in bonuses and additional tricks they can pull off. So I am very happy by what I have heard of the change to date!

Paizo Employee Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:

"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**."

Please tell me you didn't just make Evasion a feat instead of a Class Feature....

Proficiency in reflex saves is a class feature. And I don't know that Evasion is locked behind a feat; it might be part and parcel of having Master reflex saves.

I'll tell you guys just this once, especially since you're close: Evasion is actually the name of the locked-in class feature that makes you a master at Reflex saves, and what I describe in the blog is the ability to treat all your successes on Reflex save as critical successes! ;)


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

You know, I feel like you can get a decent start to homebrew Mythic by giving everybody Legendary in a skill way before they would normally be able to get it.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dominik D wrote:
i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Especially since CHA is a big thing in this one.

Even discounting that, I fear the coming dipolmanciers

I feel like the skills that people valued very little in PF1 are the ones you can go gonzo with for the higher proficiency skill unlocks, while the ones that were valued very highly are ones it's probably better to be conservative with.

Some logic like that might be why perception is no longer a skill.

I missed that. Where's that as I'd like to see how we spot things now.

That or my trap finding rogue suddenly eats every trap now.

Scarab Sages

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Morgan Champion wrote:


Seriously, this «Morgan Champion» thing is creeping me out. My Paizo identity is «Catharsis». Something fishy is going on with the accounts.

Oh good, clicking on «Order History» got me to a login screen where I could reclaim my identity. I still feel like assigning me another user's identity is an exceedingly bad thing for a forum to do. Probably a bug that came with the new website?


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Based on this system a level 15 barbarian completely untrained is going nto walk all over every level 5 highly trained team in every skill.

I guess pf2 is the mmorpg edition.


Mark Seifter wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:

"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**."

Please tell me you didn't just make Evasion a feat instead of a Class Feature....

Proficiency in reflex saves is a class feature. And I don't know that Evasion is locked behind a feat; it might be part and parcel of having Master reflex saves.
I'll tell you guys just this once, especially since you're close: Evasion is actually the name of the locked-in class feature that makes you a master at Reflex saves, and what I describe in the blog is the ability to treat all your successes on Reflex save as critical successes! ;)

Well, Here's hoping Rogues are just as frustrating to AoE mages as they are in 1e


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I don't like the way this works for skills at all. What if I don't want my level 20 character to have a +20 proficiency modifier in any given skill? Wat id I want him to have a +10 proficiency modifier in one skill, +2 in another skill, and +10 in a third skill?

Also, besides better skill feats, why pick up any skill ranks beyond trained? The difference between a +20 modifier and a +23 modifier isn't much.


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:
Dominik D wrote:
i wonder how this will be balanced. isnt this going to favour some skills over others? for example diplomacy will be insanely strong.

Especially since CHA is a big thing in this one.

Even discounting that, I fear the coming dipolmanciers

I feel like the skills that people valued very little in PF1 are the ones you can go gonzo with for the higher proficiency skill unlocks, while the ones that were valued very highly are ones it's probably better to be conservative with.

Some logic like that might be why perception is no longer a skill.

I missed that. Where's that as I'd like to see how we spot things now.

That or my trap finding rogue suddenly eats every trap now.

Perception is like saves or weapons- your class grants proficiency in it. That way you aren't obligated to spend all your skill ranks advancing it. (There are feats to improve it if you want, though.)

Grand Lodge

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What is the rationale behind using a minus to skill as opposed to a zero and increase from there? It should not change the relative probabilities of the system and it seems cleaner.

I should explain further. If I'm untrained in more skills than I am trained I have to subtract -2 from bunch of skills that I'm not likely to use. This means the system make you do a bunch of extra calculations for parts of your character your not excited about.

I like the game design idea that a rule or a task should always serve to make the game more fun. This does not seem to follow that dogma.


Trimalchio wrote:

Based on this system a level 15 barbarian completely untrained is going nto walk all over every level 5 highly trained team in every skill.

I guess pf2 is the mmorpg edition.

I mean, a level 15 character should eat a level 5 party for lunch in combat (as it should be) so why not everywhere else too?


Milo v3 wrote:

Yeah I'm really not liking this system. It's basically a tighter 5e proficiency system (which means it's even worse than the 5e proficiency system IMO) + skill unlocks which don't even sound like they can accomplish anything better than second level spells.

I really really hope that you don't have to wait until Legendary to get things like running on walls, super jumps, super theft. If "Legendary rank" is how they're trying to fix the martial/caster disparity, then they've already failed because they're still only catching up to level 2 spells at 15th level.

Considering being able to jump 20 feet into the air is a Master skill, I'd say that being able to wall run would probably be a Master (if not even Expert) Acrobatics skill.

Paizo Employee Designer

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QuidEst wrote:
You know, I feel like you can get a decent start to homebrew Mythic by giving everybody Legendary in a skill way before they would normally be able to get it.

This is similar to one of the "where would mythic go" (and also "what about reskinning for superpowered stuff at low levels like in mythic") conversations we had a while back. In theory, mythic could be a new rank above legendary that gives +4 and unlocks better benefits for all the rank-based abilities, plus even more ridiculously awesome new mythic-only abilities, and then if you wanted low level mythic (or legendary) play, you just do as you say and give some mythic (or legendary) ranks way earlier than normal. It's much easier to make this change than it would be in PF1. So many exciting possibilities for tweaks and modifications and further customization for players and GMs with some of the new rules; I'm pretty excited about how cool of a book we can make with those kinds of topics!


Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:

I don't like the way this works for skills at all. What if I don't want my level 20 character to have a +20 proficiency modifier in any given skill? Wat id I want him to have a +10 proficiency modifier in one skill, +2 in another skill, and +10 in a third skill?

Also, besides better skill feats, why pick up any skill ranks beyond trained? The difference between a +20 modifier and a +23 modifier isn't much.

I think the point is that if you don't want those unlocks, there isn't a huge pressure to keep investing in a skill. A token investment remains as effective as a token investment. You don't have to keep dedicating resources to being just okay at something. You only need more investment if you want access to the really cool toys a skill has to offer (or if you want a better chance of crit success / fumble avoidance).


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Trimalchio wrote:

Based on this system a level 15 barbarian completely untrained is going nto walk all over every level 5 highly trained team in every skill.

I guess pf2 is the mmorpg edition.

They addressed that. The level 15 Barbarian will be better than the Wizard at identifying creatures- field experience counts for a lot. But the Wizard will be able to ID spells being cast, and other things that the Barbarian won't be any good at. That seems right to me- an extra 10 levels should give you a broader base, but won't teach you specialized fields of study.


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So our AC is going to get our proficiency bonus added to it isn't it?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:

Based on this system a level 15 barbarian completely untrained is going nto walk all over every level 5 highly trained team in every skill.

I guess pf2 is the mmorpg edition.

I mean, a level 15 character should eat a level 5 party for lunch in combat (as it should be) so why not everywhere else too?

The idea that my Rogue has put all their efforts into finding and disarming traps.

As opposed to the Barbarian that put everything into HP and hitting things.

This won't matter much more than likely but if I wanted to introduce an NPC to be their 'lawyer' or 'builder' for a plot, this seems to shoot it in the foot unless they are the same level as the PCs. And if they aren't why aren't they saving the world and aaaaaaagh there's that rabbit hole of insanity again noooooo.


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Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:

I don't like the way this works for skills at all. What if I don't want my level 20 character to have a +20 proficiency modifier in any given skill? Wat id I want him to have a +10 proficiency modifier in one skill, +2 in another skill, and +10 in a third skill?

Also, besides better skill feats, why pick up any skill ranks beyond trained? The difference between a +20 modifier and a +23 modifier isn't much.

The mechanics do imply you could have a much larger difference due to non-proficiency and ability scores, but I agree it removes player agency without guaranteeing everyone a fair chance to succeed due to them needing a feat to do some things like jumping 20 feet straight up. It feels like the worst of both worlds, why not let a 1st level barbarian quote Shakespeare, or a 4th level wizard be super stealthy.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Okay. I'm more confused now than I was before.

In the old rules, there were skills such as Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Stealth, Heal, Perception, and other skills. Players could assign ranks to them and with a skill where it was a Class Skill, gain a bonus to that skill.

How does the old Skill Rank system fit with the new Proficiency system? Could you provide us with an example of how skills work in the new system in regards to gaining new skills (and how that works with the leveling system)?

The blog entry is incredibly vague. So I'm trying to understand what's going on and how this works within the system compared to the old Pathfinder system. (I'm not even concerned with the saving throws now. Just the old skill rank system and how it works in the new system.)


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Several tiers of proficiency where there is very negligible difference between skill bonuses for the tiers at similar levels but you can buy feats only available to certain tiers of proficiency.


Tangent101 wrote:

Okay. I'm more confused now than I was before.

In the old rules, there were skills such as Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Stealth, Heal, Perception, and other skills. Players could assign ranks to them and with a skill where it was a Class Skill, gain a bonus to that skill.

How does the old Skill Rank system fit with the new Proficiency system? Could you provide us with an example of how skills work in the new system in regards to gaining new skills (and how that works with the leveling system)?

The blog entry is incredibly vague. So I'm trying to understand what's going on and how this works within the system compared to the old Pathfinder system. (I'm not even concerned with the saving throws now. Just the old skill rank system and how it works in the new system.)

Ranks and Proficiency are the same thing now, as far as I can tell. 1 Rank = Increase 1 Proficiency by 1 Step.

Paizo Employee Designer

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MerlinCross wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Trimalchio wrote:

Based on this system a level 15 barbarian completely untrained is going nto walk all over every level 5 highly trained team in every skill.

I guess pf2 is the mmorpg edition.

I mean, a level 15 character should eat a level 5 party for lunch in combat (as it should be) so why not everywhere else too?

The idea that my Rogue has put all their efforts into finding and disarming traps.

As opposed to the Barbarian that put everything into HP and hitting things.

This won't matter much more than likely but if I wanted to introduce an NPC to be their 'lawyer' or 'builder' for a plot, this seems to shoot it in the foot unless they are the same level as the PCs. And if they aren't why aren't they saving the world and aaaaaaagh there's that rabbit hole of insanity again noooooo.

Disabling traps, performing the profession of a lawyer, and constructing and building a complex building would all be trained uses of the skill, so the untrained barbarian can't do any of those. The level 15 barbarian who actually trained at being a lawyer throughout those 15 levels (reminds me of the monk/rogue lawyer PC in one of my 3.5 games) would have a higher bonus than a 5th-level NPC expert lawyer would have (probably 4 or 5 higher assuming the lawyer had better Intelligence), though the expert lawyer might have some skill feats (to make some up off the top of my head, perhaps a skill feat to help read potential jurors and select a more sympathetic jury, to coax extra info out of a witness, etc). Then again, at that point the barbarian decided that being a lawyer is a significant enough part of her superhuman 15th level character that she spent resources to make it so.

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