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

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

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

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


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Arssanguinus wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
28. Vs, say, 23. That’s it. Unskilled vs legend. That spread is ridiculous.
The spread gets much bigger if the 23 isn't even allowed to try some checks.
It’s ridiculous for that to be the spread on the things they can both try.

All of the things that you can attempt checks for untrained are things that great heroes should be able to do without really trying, which conveniently they are.

A reasonable definition of "a thing one can attempt untrained" would be "a thing that one of the great heroes would never even struggle in doing" like "climb a rope" or "sail on calm seas" or "walk on the ice without falling down" or "know what a dragon looks like."


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
Why do you presume the untrained guy will be also bad at the relevant ability score?

Because there are not a lot of lvl 20 wizards with str 26 trying to climb things, and if there were a lvl 26 wizard trying to climb something basic like, say, a tree, then yes, I think the equivalent of Gandalf on steroids should have roughly the same kind of problems than a lvl 20 Beowulf with STR 26: none at all.

Beowulf should probably be able to climb a sheer surface of polished iron, though, while Gandalf cannot even try. But that's also covered by the system.

That's at legitimate Beowulf levels.

At the level 20 you mention (assuming Legendary Skills) he's able to climb the concept of space itself. (Or at least Air)


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

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

Liberty's Edge

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Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Arssanguinus wrote:
28. Vs, say, 23. That’s it. Unskilled vs legend. That spread is ridiculous.
The point is that there's more to the skill system than the raw numbers now. We don't have any examples of skill feats, but it seems the character with the +28 bonus will be able to do many more things with their skill, or perhaps even gain numerical bonuses in certain tasks from their skill feats.
Again for the folks in the back please

We've been saying it over and over, they aren't listening.


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I'll agree that the rate at which we're getting stuff isn't satisfactory when it comes to actually understanding what is being released.

This is a major part of the game engine, it needs to have more umph.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

People who get to level 20 don't do so by staying home and reading books, they get that way by going out and having adventures. In the course of these adventures at some point the Wizard might have had to climb a rope, might have had to be on a ship, might have had to move quietly, might have had to tell the difference between a dragon and an ooze, might have had to cook a meal, etc. So is this a level 20 character who has retained none of this? A level 20 wizard, who is likely by virtue of their profession someone intelligent, curious, and thoughtful never saw a companion do something and learned anything from it? Someone who has attained level 20 without meaningful personal growth and overall competency?

Is this not something you've noticed in real life? Like I am not a trained auto mechanic by any stretch but over the course of my life I have learned how to change out a tire, how to change my oil and filter, etc. Once upon a time I did not know these things. How did I learn them? I was in a situation where this information was relevant and I retained it.

Except I'm fine with characters learning things here and there as part of their progression and general exposure. I'm not opposed to that at all.

I'm opposed to you being amazing at all those things tonnes better than the people who do that as their profession. I don't think the untrained bonus should be so high.

I'll be having it at level/2. Your still developing all those side-skills, and it'll mean your decent at everything instead of best in the country-tier at everything.


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Milo v3 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

People who get to level 20 don't do so by staying home and reading books, they get that way by going out and having adventures. In the course of these adventures at some point the Wizard might have had to climb a rope, might have had to be on a ship, might have had to move quietly, might have had to tell the difference between a dragon and an ooze, might have had to cook a meal, etc. So is this a level 20 character who has retained none of this? A level 20 wizard, who is likely by virtue of their profession someone intelligent, curious, and thoughtful never saw a companion do something and learned anything from it? Someone who has attained level 20 without meaningful personal growth and overall competency?

Is this not something you've noticed in real life? Like I am not a trained auto mechanic by any stretch but over the course of my life I have learned how to change out a tire, how to change my oil and filter, etc. Once upon a time I did not know these things. How did I learn them? I was in a situation where this information was relevant and I retained it.

Except I'm fine with characters learning things here and there as part of their progression and general exposure. I'm not opposed to that at all.

I'm opposed to you being amazing at all those things tonnes better than the people who do that as their profession. I don't think the untrained bonus should be so high.

I'll be having it at level/2. Your still developing all those side-skills, and it'll mean your decent at everything instead of best in the country-tier at everything.

You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted, and characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.

At least that's how I understand it.


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Milo v3 wrote:
stuff about 1/2 level

The more I think of it the more I like 1/2 level to everyone.

Then each increase in proficiency class is a significant boost. +3 feels good off the top of my head.

Untrained = 1/2 level
Trained = 1/2 +3
Expert = 1/2 +6
Master = 1/2 +9
Legend = 1/2 +12


xevious573 wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
xevious573 wrote:


I don't know guys.... I feel like... this shows that the numerical difference between two individuals of widely varying degrees of skill can be quite large.
Or, you know, if skill focus is no longer a thing, it's a system where someone with no training and decidedly average attributes, will be better at doing something that someone with godlike attributes and legendary skills 25% of the time...

Um wrong.... So. Very. Wrong.

Okay, more math.

If the fighter rolls a natural 20 (5%), our rogue needs to roll a 4 or lower (20%) to be lower then the fighter. ((.05*.2 = .01)). That means this scenario has a 1% chance of happening.

If the fighter rolls a natural 19 or higher (10%), our rogue needs to roll a 3 (15%) or lower to be lower then the fighter. ((.1*.15= .015)). 1.5% chance of happening.

If the fighter rolls a natural 18 or higher (15%), our rogue needs to roll a 2 (10%) or lower to be lower then the fighter. ((.1*.15= .015)). 1.5% chance of happening.

Finally if the fighter rolls a natural 17 or higher (20%), our rogue needs to roll a nat 1 (5%) to be lower then the fighter. ((.05*.2 = .01)). That means this scenario has a 1% chance of happening.

Add up all the values above (1%+1.5%+1.5%+1%) and you get a total of 5%. The fighter has a 5% chance of beating this rogue in a competition of stealth. If I'm remembering my math correctly. This is the total chance of any of these scenarios playing out because even if the rogue should roll terrible, the fighter would have to roll incredibly well to beat that rogue in a contest of stealth. And that's assuming there is no skill focus.

EDIT: I believe there's something wrong with my math. I think that something wrong pushes things even further in my favor but I think there is something still wrong with it. Get back to you.

Quick maths is bad maths. I concede that I am wrong and that it's 5%. This is still unacceptable.

Grand Lodge

BryonD wrote:

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

You think maybe they aren't using a d20 for skill checks anymore? That's the only way this math works out. D6 + skill score would explain why there is this spread of 5 from untrained to legendary.


Daniel_Clark wrote:


You think maybe they aren't using a d20 for skill checks anymore? That's the only way this math works out. D6 + skill score would explain why there is this spread of 5 from untrained to legendary.

I think if this were true, we'd know from the Glass Cannon Podcast by now.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Keep in mind that +5 is also about one standard deviation on a d20.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted, and characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.

At least that's how I understand it.

Given that not being able to Power Attack without taking a feat to do so is mildly controversial, I can't see this going down that well.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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As I already said here, replacing skill points with a boring scaling bonus is a big turn off for me.

I hated proficiency bonuses in D&D 4th Edition.

I hated proficiency bonuses in D&D 5th Edition.

I will likely hate them in Pathfinder 2nd Edition, based on the info we have so far.

It's not cool to completely take away a player's agency in how their character's skills grow just for the sake of making the math cleaner.


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Ok, so a 5 point spread is small. Apparently some people see that as a a problem. I see that as a solution to a problem. Clearly, we have different thought patterns on how much "realism" we care about in our High Fantasy RPGs. It's not really a matter of either side of this argument "getting it" it's that we care about different things.

I mean, realism is nice and all, but I think most of us play PF for the chance to play an awesome hero. Making it so nobody auto-fails any check they haven't specifically trained for is good for that. It doesn't follow the Rule of Realism, it follows the Rule of Cool. And I am pretty okay with that.

Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something *slightly* better than a master unacceptable? That's the standard margin of error in d20. That's the same chance as a lowly 1hd kobold hitting a 20th level Monk. You're okay with that, but not the idea a Rogue can manage to do everything wrong (or even just coincidentally happen to be in the wrong place) simultaneously as a Fighter somehow manages to accidentally do everything right?


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Having the difference between characters at the same level be a small number avoids situations where "Player A will critically succeed on any roll on which player B barely fails".

In the new game "beating the DC by 10" (or falling short by 10) can have major effects. So you can't have like a 20 point spread between people in the party.


Daniel_Clark wrote:
BryonD wrote:

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

You think maybe they aren't using a d20 for skill checks anymore? That's the only way this math works out. D6 + skill score would explain why there is this spread of 5 from untrained to legendary.

I suppose I can only really say "I don't know". But, no, I doubt that is it. The vague replies suggest that there are other *consistent and persistent* modifiers such that the gap is bigger and this system is just a foundation. If that really is true then great. The blog post suggests otherwise. I'm just hoping that the blog post is written from a perspective so deeply in tune with the system that it didn't consider how a peek looks to someone on the outside.


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I would think Pathfinder would avoid anything resembling 4e EVEN IF they could make the mechanics good.

Like this system could be God's gift to RPGs, but the Pathfinder fan-base is about as rabidly anti-4e as any fan-base could be.

Paizo Employee Designer

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BryonD wrote:
Daniel_Clark wrote:
BryonD wrote:

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

You think maybe they aren't using a d20 for skill checks anymore? That's the only way this math works out. D6 + skill score would explain why there is this spread of 5 from untrained to legendary.
I suppose I can only really say "I don't know". But, no, I doubt that is it. The vague replies suggest that there are other *consistent and persistent* modifiers such that the gap is bigger and this system is just a foundation. If that really is true then great. The blog post suggests otherwise. I'm just hoping that the blog post is written from a perspective so deeply in tune with the system that it didn't consider how a peek looks to someone on the outside.

This is only the bonus (well, modifier since it could be negative for untrained) based on proficiency. There are still all the other bonuses and penalties from other factors. It's like saying that in Starfinder, the maximum difference between the base attack bonus of any two characters is at most +5 at level 20 or the maximum difference in base saving throws in a class is 6 in PF1 and Starfinder; while this is true (15 BAB vs 20 BAB, +6 base save vs +12 base save), it's only one piece of the total bonus you would have.


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MR. H wrote:

I would think Pathfinder would avoid anything resembling 4e EVEN IF they could make the mechanics good.

Like this system could be God's gift to RPGs, but the Pathfinder fan-base is about as rabidly anti-4e as any fan-base could be.

I really liked 4e. I just had no earthly idea how to run it, and it wasn't very well supported. Nonetheless, I think it had a lot of good ideas. Edition warring never did anybody any good, and it's foolish to assume there's nothing of value to learn from any game.

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


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A Ninja Errant wrote:


Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something *slightly* better than a master unacceptable? That's the standard margin of error in d20. That's the same chance as a lowly 1hd kobold hitting a 20th level Monk. You're okay with that, but not the idea a Rogue can manage to do everything wrong (or even just coincidentally happen to be in the wrong place) simultaneously as a Fighter somehow manages to accidentally do everything right?

The scenario presented was a person with no training, and no helpful physical attributes, versus someone with the maximum training possible, and the highest stat possible.

Combat is a series of checks that arrive at an end result.

You can run the 1hp kobold vs the level 20 monk fight as many times as you like. The kobold will never win (ignore the monk's DR and it's still statistically improbable)

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


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Michelangelo was a sculptor.
They pope hired him to paint the Sistine Chapel as a joke.

He rolled a 20.

Paizo Employee Designer

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vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something *slightly* better than a master unacceptable? That's the standard margin of error in d20. That's the same chance as a lowly 1hd kobold hitting a 20th level Monk. You're okay with that, but not the idea a Rogue can manage to do everything wrong (or even just coincidentally happen to be in the wrong place) simultaneously as a Fighter somehow manages to accidentally do everything right?

The scenario presented was a person with no training, and no helpful physical attributes, versus someone with the maximum training possible, and the highest stat possible.

Combat is a series of checks that arrive at an end result.

You can run the 1hp kobold vs the level 20 monk fight as many times as you like. The kobold will never win (ignore the monk's DR and it's still statistically improbable)

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

I'm missing the top of this chain of posts, but I believe the idea is that there's a rogue with a roughly 15 higher bonus than a fighter rolling some kind of check against the fighter? PF2 handling these opposed situations a bit differently, so depending on skill feat loadout and the exact numbers, either the rogue doesn't roll and can't lose, or the rogue rolls but her bonus is so much higher than the DC the fighter can put up that she critically succeeds at her check on a mere roll of 5.

Grand Lodge

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

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

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

What you say makes sense since we are talking attacks and saving throws. I think most people view skills differently, which is why using the same math doesn't work. (At least to a layman)

Btw he didn't say they aren't taking away our D20's

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These are some of the big overarching question that makes it nearly impossible to discuss things without plugging in holes with PF1 game design and there is some truly bad game design in PF1 revolving around this concept (skill unlocks are for the most part pretty underwhelming and skill feats only serve to debuff skills for starters).

That sounds like it frustrates you but without further information its the most reasonable assumption that can be made and its a legitimate line of questioning.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
vagabond_666 wrote:
xevious573 wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
xevious573 wrote:


I don't know guys.... I feel like... this shows that the numerical difference between two individuals of widely varying degrees of skill can be quite large.
Or, you know, if skill focus is no longer a thing, it's a system where someone with no training and decidedly average attributes, will be better at doing something that someone with godlike attributes and legendary skills 25% of the time...

Um wrong.... So. Very. Wrong.

Okay, more math.

If the fighter rolls a natural 20 (5%), our rogue needs to roll a 4 or lower (20%) to be lower then the fighter. ((.05*.2 = .01)). That means this scenario has a 1% chance of happening.

If the fighter rolls a natural 19 or higher (10%), our rogue needs to roll a 3 (15%) or lower to be lower then the fighter. ((.1*.15= .015)). 1.5% chance of happening.

If the fighter rolls a natural 18 or higher (15%), our rogue needs to roll a 2 (10%) or lower to be lower then the fighter. ((.1*.15= .015)). 1.5% chance of happening.

Finally if the fighter rolls a natural 17 or higher (20%), our rogue needs to roll a nat 1 (5%) to be lower then the fighter. ((.05*.2 = .01)). That means this scenario has a 1% chance of happening.

Add up all the values above (1%+1.5%+1.5%+1%) and you get a total of 5%. The fighter has a 5% chance of beating this rogue in a competition of stealth. If I'm remembering my math correctly. This is the total chance of any of these scenarios playing out because even if the rogue should roll terrible, the fighter would have to roll incredibly well to beat that rogue in a contest of stealth. And that's assuming there is no skill focus.

EDIT: I believe there's something wrong with my math. I think that something wrong pushes things even further in my favor but I think there is something still wrong with it. Get back to you.

Quick maths is bad maths. I concede that I am wrong and that it's 5%. This is still unacceptable.

That's... unacceptable to you?

Huh... Yet we're okay with the natural 1 (5% chance btw) auto fail on saving throws even if your saving throw bonus dwarfs the DC even without the roll?

Is it okay for a 1st level wizard or bard successfully casting charm person on a 20th level cleric even though that cleric would likely need to roll a negative number to actually get lower than the DC of the spell?

Alternative thought experiment... have you considered the mathematics of two characters arm wrestling? One of the characters has a STR of 20 (+5) (1st level max and likely contestant for world's strongest (wo)man) and the other has a STR of 10 (0)(1st level average). Most DMs would say that'd be an opposed STR check.

The point difference between these two characters only a 5pt difference. Compared to my 15pt difference, just think about how big the % chance of the 10 STR character has of beating the 20 STR man... It's a lot higher then the math I shown above for the stealth competition....


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

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

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

OK, So when do we get to see the rest?

Sorry. I realize I'm not being constructive with regard to the actual topic. But i hope you appreciate I'm trying to constructively point out how the asymmetric knowledge between you and me skews the flow of information.

If you are saying that to understand skills in PF2 I should just look at saves in PF1, then PF2 sounds problematic. If that is right, then I am right to be concerned. If that isn't right then I'm right to point out the information disconnect.

Thanks for replying.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Quote:
characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.

I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.


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vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


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

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

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

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


vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


Also, how is a 5% chance of an untrained person doing something *slightly* better than a master unacceptable? That's the standard margin of error in d20. That's the same chance as a lowly 1hd kobold hitting a 20th level Monk. You're okay with that, but not the idea a Rogue can manage to do everything wrong (or even just coincidentally happen to be in the wrong place) simultaneously as a Fighter somehow manages to accidentally do everything right?

The scenario presented was a person with no training, and no helpful physical attributes, versus someone with the maximum training possible, and the highest stat possible.

Combat is a series of checks that arrive at an end result.

You can run the 1hp kobold vs the level 20 monk fight as many times as you like. The kobold will never win (ignore the monk's DR and it's still statistically improbable)

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

Granted, although I think the comparison is still legitimate, in any fiction I can think of, having an incredibly weak enemy hit a martial arts master would be a huge blow to his honor. I had forgotten about the DR, since they only get that at 20th level, and I've never actually played a campaign that got to 20th level.

Also I believe the example given was of 2 characters of roughly equal levels. So you're not comparing "some random slob off the street" to a legendary Rogue, you're comparing "A skilled warrior with roughly the same amount of actual life experience as the Rogue" to the Rogue.
That also assumes the rogue doesn't have some ability from the unlock or skill feat system that allows him to take 10 on basic checks, in which case it's now impossible for the fighter to do better than him.

Paizo Employee Designer

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gustavo iglesias wrote:
vagabond_666 wrote:
A Ninja Errant wrote:


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

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

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

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

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


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Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted
For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

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

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

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


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Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Quote:
characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.
I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.

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

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

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


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BryonD wrote:
OK, So when do we get to see the rest?

August.

Well, probably sooner.

From what has been said as far as I can tell PF2e was announced when it was because of book publishing and distribution chain reasons and/or the timing of some game conventions.

Given it's a play test and not a full on 2nd Edition release, 5 odd months aren't required to build hype, and it's certainly too long a timespan to release the new rules via weekly blog posts without doing so in the most infuriating and alarming manner possible

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well if we're moving discussion to the new mega-nat 1 penalties and crit failure/success system then we've really moved on to a completely different kettle of fish.

Peoples love/hate for that is going to get borne out by the play test one way or another. The new dying rules mitigate things somewhat, but I can't think of anyone who actively enjoys fumble penalties.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

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

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

UNTRAINED

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

TRAINED or EXPERT

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

MASTER

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

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

Does equipment and magical items change these rankings???

LEGENDARY

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

CLASS ROLES

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


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Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Quote:
characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.
I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.

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

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

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


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eddv wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Lodge

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

So this sounds truly horrible.

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

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

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

Great point!

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
vagabond_666 wrote:
BryonD wrote:
OK, So when do we get to see the rest?
it's certainly too long a timespan to release the new rules via weekly blog posts without doing so in the most infuriating and alarming manner possible

Haha, I was just thinking this. It's the method of release like methodically designed to make people simultaneously less and more nervous and less and more divided into camps based on personality and optimism/pessimism before any of can even really talk about the system with any level of confidence.


Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Quote:
characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.
I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.

Though it's a change I'm not thrilled about, they have mentioned that monsters, and by extension, possibly NPCs as well, may not follow all the same rules (for creation purposes) as PCs do. Which, would potentially allow relatively "low level" NPCs to have access to skill levels and proficiency in limited fields that can compete with mid-high level PCS. Bear in mind though, most of this is conjecture on my part.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
You aren't, the different tiers of proficiency gate what tasks can even be attempted

For some reason I think things like lying, climbing, jumping, surviving in the wild, and sneaking will all be things that you can do untrained.

Quote:
characters already at those higher tiers of proficiency don't even need to roll.
I'm not comparing it to the higher level characters, I'm comparing it to the NPCs who will be low level and unable to keep up with heroes who are outclassing them at their jobs despite that hero never actually spending any time doing that skill.

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

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

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

This is another good example. The 8th level swim-focused master in Athletics might just flat-out have a swim Speed, for instance, and not even be rolling while moving let's say 30 feet per action, while the 20th level untrained Athletics character does have a really high bonus to Athletics, so will usually critically succeed at the DC to Swim in running water and move, say, 15 feet (using the PF1 success by 5 or more on Swim checks to go half speed here as an example for a critical success).


vagabond_666 wrote:
BryonD wrote:
OK, So when do we get to see the rest?

August.

Well, probably sooner.

From what has been said as far as I can tell PF2e was announced when it was because of book publishing and distribution chain reasons and/or the timing of some game conventions.

Given it's a play test and not a full on 2nd Edition release, 5 odd months aren't required to build hype, and it's certainly too long a timespan to release the new rules via weekly blog posts without doing so in the most infuriating and alarming manner possible

I believe the 5 months are to give enough time to fill preorders and ship to vendors and customers.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

What about a Novice proficiency level between Untrained and Trained? At a -1? That might help with the issue of someone going from not knowing anything to being good at it (or really good at it if Training occurs at a higher level)in a single level. You could even say no more that one proficiency level increase per level gain, except maybe at character creation. [If I remember correctly, Call of Cthulhu has a rule where you have to use a skill at least once during play before you try to increase it.]


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

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

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

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

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Albatoonoe wrote:


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

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

Well I think it comes from 2 place.

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

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

Grand Lodge

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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