Everyone Has a Past

Friday, May 11, 2018

While we all live moment-by-moment, we are also shaped by our past. This is especially true for adventurers. After all, very few elves at the ripe age of 14 think to themselves, "Hey, I think I'm going to become a barbarian." There is a path that leads the character to their class. It might synergize obviously with the class's discipline, or at first blush it might seem a non sequitur, but the path is there.

In the Pathfinder Playtest, your ancestry talks a bit about your past, but it also speaks to your present and the promise of the future, by virtue of the fact that you continue to gain ancestry feats through the course of your adventuring career. But to help you dig deeper into your past, you'll choose a background.

Generally, backgrounds allow you to select a bit of backstory that mechanically affects the current state of your character. The first thing it does is grants you a pair of ability boosts (with some limitations on one of those ability boosts), and then it grants a skill feat tied to the theme of your background and proficiency in a Lore skill that also ties into the background. For instance, here is an old chestnut:

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Blacksmith (Background)

You were a blacksmith or a blacksmith's apprentice, and during countless hours toiling at the forge, you learned how to smith armor and weapons. Perhaps you worked hard each day and dreamed of adventure each night, or perhaps the adventuring life was thrust upon you by a pivotal event.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Specialty Crafting skill feat for blacksmithing, and you're trained in the Smithing Lore skill.

Sure, it's a bit cliche, but it's a fun cliche. Before becoming a fighter, you were a blacksmith's apprentice. Maybe you crafted your sword or suit of armor and decided to protect home and hearth from monsters. But take a closer look at the background. It's more flexible than that. It's also an excellent background for an alchemist or another character who wants to specialize in crafting. Since you can boost Intelligence via this background, and Intelligence is the key ability score for both Crafting skill and the alchemist class, you can refocus this background into that of an intelligent tinkerer who uses innovation rather than toil to create metal objects. And who knows? Maybe later on in your career, you can fuse your background with other skill feats to invent a new form of alchemical armor or some kind of metal construct.

Not all backgrounds have to do with gainful employment; others deal with the circumstances of your upbringing that you can parlay into useful skills. Here is another example of a classic fantasy trope:

Street Urchin (Background)

You eked out a living by picking pockets on the streets of a major city, never knowing where you'd find your next meal. While some folk adventure for the glory, you adventure as a means of survival.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Pickpocket skill feat, and you're trained in the Underworld Lore skill.

While a classic rogue background, this background also has enough flexibility to serve as a perfectly fine background for a wizard or alchemist, and that's only if you dwell on the limited ability boost. Remember, one of the ability boosts if free, so you can play against type and still make a perfectly reasonable character. Imagine a paladin with this background, which isn't so hard if you know anything about a certain iconic paladin...

Not all backgrounds are so all-encompassing, though. After all, your background not only deals with activity but also your personal focus. You may have been an apprentice blacksmith, even for a long while, but retained none of its benefits because you were too busy dreaming about being a Pathfinder.

Pathfinder Hopeful (Background)

You've long wanted to join the adventurous Pathfinder Society, a world-spanning organization of relic hunters. This aspiration has led you to take up the dangerous life of an adventurer eager to make a name for yourself and gain the attention of the Pathfinder Society.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You gain the Additional Lore feat, and you're trained in the Pathfinder Society Lore skill.

While the boosts are similar to that of the blacksmith background, the skill selection is, of course, different. I can easily picture this background as that of a young dreamer, toiling away when she must but finding whatever time she can to read various Pathfinder Chronicles (both real and forged) and honing her body and mind for the chance to join the Pathfinder Society.

Incidentally, this is not a background you will find in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. While that weighty tome provides 19 backgrounds, you'll find six more backgrounds in the Pathfinder Playtest Adventure: Doomsday Dawn. Those six are tailor-made for the adventure, granting the opportunity for small, sometimes incidental perks during play for those who take them and allowing you to tailor your character to the story. This is one of the chief benefits of the background system—it can be used to make very general backgrounds or to tailor specific backgrounds to an adventure or a campaign.

And so there you have it; that's the skinny on backgrounds. What kind of backgrounds can you imagine?

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Grand Lodge

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Something I want to see is the fighter class get more points or more benefits from their background(Career). That class requires less training so it would have more time to develop skills outside of a weapon's use.

This also would fix the problem of the fighter standing around watching everyone talk or make skill checks. Fighters don't spend years mastering arcane arts, learning to sing, training with monks, and studying a deity so they should have more time to hone other skills.

Just wondering if the new Pathfinder 2.0 will address that. I was going to put that on the fighter post, but I was waiting to see if background would address that. Thanks!

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Balistyc wrote:
That class requires less training

... the Fighter's whole thing is their training.

Grand Lodge

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Rysky wrote:
Balistyc wrote:
That class requires less training
... the Fighter's whole thing is their training.

Lets put this into modern day understanding for my statement. The fighter is the blue collar work horse of the world. He should have more "Other skills" that he does when not fighting. Wizards study, rogues hone their skills to sneak/steal, monks train at a monastery for special skills, bards practice entertaining/magic, and paladins/clerics worship/support their church.

So why do fighters always get less skill options? They just have to go through some weapon training and then they are done. Especially considering that the paladin is just 1 weapon step behind them, so that Training isn't as special as you think. I bet rogues (and rightly so) get weapons training in light weapons. So the best way to push fighters forward from being a random red shirt is to give them more background points. He is a fighter who is also a world renowned blacksmith. A fighter who is also a scholar. Other examples exist.

Otherwise they are storm trooper #452.

Silver Crusade

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

... you're equating Fighters to Blue Collar workers (which also require a lot of f&*!ing training, not less)... while also claiming they do less than other classes by comparing them to other classes and how they get their stuff?

Shadow Lodge

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Criminal is already a separate background from Street Urchin, so you've got at least two there...

Well there's the perspective of a single person who "owns" all the various characters, then there's six distinct players each operating six distinct characters and looking to carve their own creative space. Maybe your table is different, but my players somewhat pride themselves when their characters are quite different, even if the campaign is a "rogues campaign". I can easily see three people all wanting the same background in a vacuum, but then not wanting to have the same background once they sit down together.

All PF2e needs in print as part of the core ruleset is:

Quote:

Choose from one of the following character generation methods:

(a) Background/Ancestry Based
or
(b) Build Your Own/Customized

Players could pick an ancestry and background if they want to go that route, or they could use the old-school customized method and pick a stat array that is 100% decoupled from their ancestry and background, then determine what proficiency their character has with some sort of budget and ultimately select their feat. Thus you could have six players all feel like they are a band of street urchins but there's clearly the muscle, the tongue, the filch, the pickpocket, etc.

It's not as exciting when everyone has the same race+background and when it comes time to pickpocket between the six 1st level characters they all effectively have the same chance. In PF1e, a band of 1st level characters could see a pretty big swing in their skill bonus, so there would be the obvious character to make a Bluff check vs Diplomacy check and who would assist whom. This, to me, helps set a TTRPG apart from a CRPG - that six rogues or six bards can be so mechanically different. Whereas in a game like Warcraft, your rogues are all essentially identical in their first 10 levels. It's balanced but when it comes to roleplaying and verisimilitude if you grab six rogues off the street they aren't all so similar in mechanical capability based on their race+background+class. Two floating discretionary +2s aren't enough (especially when most folks are likely to put them all in the same place).

Grand Lodge

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Rysky wrote:
... you're equating Fighters to Blue Collar workers

Let's stay on point.

The weapon is supposed to make the fighter. We see that weapon specialization isn't as special due to other classes having it. The previous fighter had the least number of skill choices but was built around feats.

I am suggesting more skill options/background points (if those are possible), due to them requiring less training and commitment.

Also, the fighter would have more out of combat abilities as well with this due to the skills they could acquire.

I don't want to see the generic fighter become the first throw away class. Or the class you dip once into and that's it.

Understand?


Balistyc wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Balistyc wrote:
That class requires less training
... the Fighter's whole thing is their training.

Lets put this into modern day understanding for my statement. The fighter is the blue collar work horse of the world. He should have more "Other skills" that he does when not fighting. Wizards study, rogues hone their skills to sneak/steal, monks train at a monastery for special skills, bards practice entertaining/magic, and paladins/clerics worship/support their church.

So why do fighters always get less skill options? They just have to go through some weapon training and then they are done. Especially considering that the paladin is just 1 weapon step behind them, so that Training isn't as special as you think. I bet rogues (and rightly so) get weapons training in light weapons. So the best way to push fighters forward from being a random red shirt is to give them more background points. He is a fighter who is also a world renowned blacksmith. A fighter who is also a scholar. Other examples exist.

Otherwise they are storm trooper #452.

While I have nothing against the idea of skillful fighters, and think they deserve to get some more skills, this argument doesn't really hold water. Thematically, Fighters, wizards, and monks are probably the top 3 training focused classes.

Clerics and paladins get their powers divinely bestowed. That doesn't necessarily require a huge devotion of time, just a huge devotion of devotion. Storywise, a particularly chivalrous fighter could be granted the powers of a paladin over night. And I've seen plenty of clerics with crap Knowledge Religion.

Rogues CAN be trained, but their mechanics lend themselves more to just being a polymath or someone who had to learn as they go. Rangers could be trained, but their themes speak more to be forged out of pure Darwinian survivalism after setting themselves apart from society.

Barbarians may do some training, but they are mostly just supposed to be tapping into innate power and fury. Druids have to spend time communing with nature, but with that comes a bond with the wild that can be mistaken for skill.

If anyone doesn't need to spend a lot of time to unlock their abilities, it is the sorcerer. Their power just comes from their blood, and theoretically could become more potent just by getting older. Heck, there's nothing really saying their powers need to manifest at level 1. The child unlocking massive potential that let's them surpass trained adults is a pretty established trope. So by this logic, sorcerers should be the most well rounded characters.

In actuality there's a lot of flexibility on how any class spends their time and the concept of XP renders a lot of formal training irrelevant.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Balistyc wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... you're equating Fighters to Blue Collar workers
Let's stay on point.
... you made the weird analogy.
Balistyc wrote:
due to them requiring less training and commitment.

But they do require training and commitment. That's the Fighter's thing, that's always been the Fighter's thing, more so with Pathfinder 1st Edition with the Weapon and Armor Training class features and then later with the Advanced Armor and Weapon Training class features.


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Rysky wrote:
Balistyc wrote:
Rysky wrote:
... you're equating Fighters to Blue Collar workers
Let's stay on point.
... you made the weird analogy.
Balistyc wrote:
due to them requiring less training and commitment.
But they do require training and commitment. That's the Fighter's thing, that's always been the Fighter's thing, more so with Pathfinder 1st Edition with the Weapon and Armor Training class features and then later with the Advanced Armor and Weapon Training class features.

Yeah, the clue is right there in the name. Which isn't to say Fighters shouldn't get more skills! It just has nothing to do with Balistyc's point.


wakedown wrote:
It's not as exciting when everyone has the same race+background and when it comes time to pickpocket between the six 1st level characters they all effectively have the same chance. In PF1e, a band of 1st level characters could see a pretty big swing in their skill bonus, so there would be the obvious character to make a Bluff check vs Diplomacy check and who would assist whom. This, to me, helps set a TTRPG apart from a CRPG - that six rogues or six bards can be so mechanically different. Whereas in a game like Warcraft, your rogues are all essentially identical in their first 10 levels. It's balanced but when it comes to roleplaying and verisimilitude if you grab six rogues...

I am obliged to point out that if they all picked the same background and ability scores, then they're demonstrating with that that they're not as individual from each other as you'd like to think. You'd be hard-pressed to find a "muscle guy" in that, let alone a "con-man" or "book-keeper", simply because with that, they couldn't fulfill their roles.

Liberty's Edge

wakedown wrote:
Well there's the perspective of a single person who "owns" all the various characters, then there's six distinct players each operating six distinct characters and looking to carve their own creative space. Maybe your table is different, but my players somewhat pride themselves when their characters are quite different, even if the campaign is a "rogues campaign". I can easily see three people all wanting the same background in a vacuum, but then not wanting to have the same background once they sit down together.

I actually listed at least 6 that make sense for an 'all Rogues' Campaign (Criminal and Street Urchin, Warrior for a thug or other person trained in violence, Acolyte for a devotee of a God of Thieves, plus Acrobat and Entertainer for other kinds of criminal). Merchant would also be very appropriate for such a campaign (someone has to fence things).

I'm not at all against a custom background mechanic, but not having one is not nearly as limiting as you're implying.


This looks like an interesting development.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
wakedown wrote:
Well there's the perspective of a single person who "owns" all the various characters, then there's six distinct players each operating six distinct characters and looking to carve their own creative space. Maybe your table is different, but my players somewhat pride themselves when their characters are quite different, even if the campaign is a "rogues campaign". I can easily see three people all wanting the same background in a vacuum, but then not wanting to have the same background once they sit down together.

I actually listed at least 6 that make sense for an 'all Rogues' Campaign (Criminal and Street Urchin, Warrior for a thug or other person trained in violence, Acolyte for a devotee of a God of Thieves, plus Acrobat and Entertainer for other kinds of criminal). Merchant would also be very appropriate for such a campaign (someone has to fence things).

I'm not at all against a custom background mechanic, but not having one is not nearly as limiting as you're implying.

I see it like this: To be able to think outside the box, you first need a box. Creativity is not killed by constraints, it's born from it (as long as they are not TOO much and are kept reasonable).

Grand Lodge

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Wow! I was saying "Stay on point" as much to myself as the other poster. Thanks for the education about you 2 hating analogies. I am done posting in these forums again.

So let me make my stance which was agreed with more clear. I think fighters should have more skills and or background bonuses. Rogues usually already get this with their custom skill tree last version on the unchained(huge improvement). Barbarians get all sorts of special abilities and for some reason more skills.

Common problem in Pathfinder as a GM: You train 40 peasants in 1 week to repel a horde coming at the town. What class are they now? Hmmm, I have once set them as (classic) rogues before with weapons they weren't trained in, but really you set them to fighters.
So a player you GM asks: "How is my fighter better/different than the 40 other fighters we just trained?"
GM: "Well, you have 2 more levels."
Player: "Awesome!"(Sarcasm font) Next time they aren't a fighter.

See the problem? Sorry, I still think fighters require less training. Maybe the samurai, gunslinger, or swashbuckler I saw as trained compared to a fighter. It boils down to fighters were discarded in 5 minutes by most players in season 1 until they released 2 supplemental books which you mentioned.

Scarab Sages

Hmm wrote:

It did bug me in PFS how many people took Wayang Spell Hunter without a background that had anything to do with Minata (a set of tian islands known for smuggling and piracy), wayangs, tien language, or even hunting.

Whenever I took a trait, it would become an important part of my character’s backstory and how they presented themselves. So my very first Sorcerer, Zahra Senay, started out with “Affable” for Diplomacy and Knowledge Local, and the Katapeshi regional trait “Savannah Child” for Handle Animal.

So the very first adventure that she did, I (in Zahra mode) began shaking the hands of all the other players and introducing myself in character. “I am Zahra, and this (Bret’s character) is my husband Omar, and our kitty, Pumpkin. Ve are from Kat-a-Pesh! Ve are very friendly!”

This line became a tagline of sorts that really nailed the character’s gregarious personality and her love of the region from which she hailed. Being Katapeshi actually made a difference in multiple PFS scenarios, where I met other Keleshites and understood where they came from.

Similarly, when I took ‘adopted’ on Baronness Bobbi and selected a gnome trait, Bret decided that his character — Bobbi’s tutor — was a gnome. That way I could tell fellow players, “I was adopted by a gnome... and THERE he is!”

I think that way too many people in PFS were bullied as children (reactionary), lucky (fate’s favored) or spent time hunting with Wayangs. Someone mentioned how every paladin in PFS came from a fairy hill, and I’ll admit that I could not bypass it either. Lyric was going to be an Oradin, and I needed the extra healing. Still, when I decided to take the ‘Fey Foundling’ feat on Lyric, I made her fey background an essential part of character. Lyric has an innocence about her, and a love of song. She has no idea how old she really is, or where she was born. Her first memories were of the fairy hill, and so I made sure that she spoke sylvan. Her background has her adopted...

Same here. I always tried to tie the traits and even feats I took into the character's background. Even if that meant that the trait or feat I took was not an optimal choice.


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Re the party of rogues: this is what session 0 is for. Players should be making their characters together at the table, so they can discuss things with each other and everyone can carve out their own niche. This is pretty much always true, but it is ESPECIALLY true with a party concept this focused. If people build in a vacuum then just show up for the first game, of course you're going to have overlap.

Re the fighter thing: The specific analogy chosen above was weird, but they definitely should have more skills than in 3.x / PF1. Pretty much ALL of the martial classes should be heavy on skills, followed by hybrid martial-casters like the Paladin or Magus with moderate skills, followed by pure casters with the least skills. This follows from not just a balance perspective but also a general conception in fantasy that magic, regardless of type, requires a huge amount of time to develop the focus to properly control. If you look at a knight or Samurai from the real world, they were expected to develop a variety of skills and talents besides just combat technique. Even citizen militia / serf armies had all the skills they developed in their regular life before being pressed into military service.

Sorcerers can probably be treated as gish classes for this purpose. But even a sorcerer can reasonably be expected to have to devote a lot of time to meditation and practice to actually control, explore and hone their inborn powers, so they shouldn't have martial-level skills.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Balistyc wrote:
Common problem in Pathfinder as a GM: You train 40 peasants in 1 week to repel a horde coming at the town. What class are they now? Hmmm, I have once set them as (classic) rogues before with weapons they weren't trained in, but really you set them to fighters.

One week of training turns a commoner into a warrior, not a fighter.

This may be more of a problem in P2e, where iirc there are no NPC classes.


Joana wrote:
Balistyc wrote:
Common problem in Pathfinder as a GM: You train 40 peasants in 1 week to repel a horde coming at the town. What class are they now? Hmmm, I have once set them as (classic) rogues before with weapons they weren't trained in, but really you set them to fighters.

One week of training turns a commoner into a warrior, not a fighter.

This may be more of a problem in P2e, where iirc there are no NPC classes.

I hope there are not NPC classes, 20th-level commoners is ridiculous to me, NPCs should take classes like any other PC, and/or be built like monsters.

Liberty's Edge

Joana wrote:
This may be more of a problem in P2e, where iirc there are no NPC classes.

No, probably not, but NPCs/Monsters do have levels and tend to be simpler than PCs of the same level. Raising the peasants from Level 0 to Level 1 seems very possible, and a decent equivalent of switching them to Warrior (though, personally, I think that takes more than a week, we're talking a month or two in boot camp at a minimum).


It is weird to me that people always assume Fighters make the simplest NPCs when Warriors exist. Wonder what will replace them now.


Biggest problem with fighter is the name.

Rename the class to Hero, and suddenly it loses a lot of baggage and dead weight

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

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gustavo iglesias wrote:

Biggest problem with fighter is the name.

Rename the class to Hero, and suddenly it loses a lot of baggage and dead weight

I'm very much not a fan of stealing words from future usage. If the class was named hero, it would be confusing when writing adventures or campaign setting material where we'd normally say something like, "After resting and resupplying, the heroes left town and made their way to the Barrow of the Eyeplucker." People would wonder if the entire party was made up of fighters. The Advanced Class Guide stole a few words in this way with the introduction of, for example, the hunter. We had to massage our words a bit when talking about someone who provided game meat so they were not confused with someone who actually had levels in the hunter class.


Adam Daigle wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Biggest problem with fighter is the name.

Rename the class to Hero, and suddenly it loses a lot of baggage and dead weight

I'm very much not a fan of stealing words from future usage. If the class was named hero, it would be confusing when writing adventures or campaign setting material where we'd normally say something like, "After resting and resupplying, the heroes left town and made their way to the Barrow of the Eyeplucker." People would wonder if the entire party was made up of fighters. The Advanced Class Guide stole a few words in this way with the introduction of, for example, the hunter. We had to massage our words a bit when talking about someone who provided game meat so they were not confused with someone who actually had levels in the hunter class.

Yeah, any character class can be a hero (and Ferris Bueler); hero would be a good name for a generic, all-encompassing class, like if D&D went to a 1 base class system.


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Fine, no hero then. Something else. Vanguard for example. Or Martial Awesome Sauce Producer.

Anything that do not equate the incredibly awesome PC martial class, with a random peasant that made spear drills for two weeks, as per suggestions seen in this thread.


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Agreed Hero is poor choice. All the PC classes are heroic.
Or for that matter, villainous. Calling the BBEG a Hero seems bizarre.
Personally, I felt "Warrior" was better name, more heroic sounding than Fighter,
and more specifically martial whereas "Fighter" sounds like it could be professional Boxer.
No need to reach for obscure terms, Warrior is the natural phrase describing the Fighter's essence.
If Paizo is dropping NPC classes that is great opportunity to switch to "Warrior" terminology.
(since no worry over what to name NPC Warrior class)


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I've always been partial to Battlemaster (or Warlord) as a Fighter name replacement if you're looking for a punchier class name that doesn't infringe on general name space and warrior happened to be taken already.


Disagree, nobody is a 'warlord' or 'master' of anything at level 1.
"Punchy" is not necessary, it is for a class meant to cover a fairly wide range of concepts.


And yet we have "(Noun) expert/master" archtypes running around already that you can take at L1 no sweat.


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I think fighter is fine - it's the most specific to the class you can get without creating confusion - soldier is used a lot for npcs and player backgrounds, and a soldier could easily be a fighter, ranger, bard, cleric, magus or paladin depending on their role on the battlefield and what sort of army they belong to.

Warriors could be barbarians, fighters or rangers in an orc warband or any assorted tribe/village/etc.

Fighter isn't a word I have seen used in- universe in fantasy outside of d&d and pathfinder - it always seems awkward and that actually makes it a good term on the sense that it isn't going to be used to describe npcs.


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Adam Daigle wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Biggest problem with fighter is the name.

Rename the class to Hero, and suddenly it loses a lot of baggage and dead weight

I'm very much not a fan of stealing words from future usage. If the class was named hero, it would be confusing when writing adventures or campaign setting material where we'd normally say something like, "After resting and resupplying, the heroes left town and made their way to the Barrow of the Eyeplucker." People would wonder if the entire party was made up of fighters. The Advanced Class Guide stole a few words in this way with the introduction of, for example, the hunter. We had to massage our words a bit when talking about someone who provided game meat so they were not confused with someone who actually had levels in the hunter class.

Damn, now I want an AP that has the Barrow of the Eyeplucker...


If the fighter name was to be changed, Vanguard as proposed above wouldn't be a bad option.


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I did not have enough time to read this whole thread, but I recall another thread on the boards not long ago that talked about 0 level characters and we speculated about how that could be done in PF. After reading through the quick character gen formula, it can be done easily in PF2 by just not taking a class yet for a 0 level adventure at the end of which you earn your class level.

I am still not a fan of the roll-less stat generation though...


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Thedmstrikes wrote:
I am still not a fan of the roll-less stat generation though...

They’ll have a rolled stats option in the final version. It would be difficult to get good playtest feedback from groups with rolled stats, though. Random stats mean a lot of noise in the data.

Liberty's Edge

QuidEst wrote:
Thedmstrikes wrote:
I am still not a fan of the roll-less stat generation though...
They’ll have a rolled stats option in the final version. It would be difficult to get good playtest feedback from groups with rolled stats, though. Random stats mean a lot of noise in the data.

I believe they've even stated that the rolling method will be shown in the playtest book.

You're supposed to use the non-rolled method for actual playtesting, though. For precisely this reason.


Thedmstrikes wrote:

I did not have enough time to read this whole thread, but I recall another thread on the boards not long ago that talked about 0 level characters and we speculated about how that could be done in PF. After reading through the quick character gen formula, it can be done easily in PF2 by just not taking a class yet for a 0 level adventure at the end of which you earn your class level.

I am still not a fan of the roll-less stat generation though...

Honestly, the new level 1 in PF2 appears to be a level 0.


Planpanther wrote:
Thedmstrikes wrote:

I did not have enough time to read this whole thread, but I recall another thread on the boards not long ago that talked about 0 level characters and we speculated about how that could be done in PF. After reading through the quick character gen formula, it can be done easily in PF2 by just not taking a class yet for a 0 level adventure at the end of which you earn your class level.

I am still not a fan of the roll-less stat generation though...

Honestly, the new level 1 in PF2 appears to be a level 0.

Seems to be more like CR 1/2 and less monsters. Looks like characters will not have anything to do with level 0.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Thedmstrikes wrote:

I did not have enough time to read this whole thread, but I recall another thread on the boards not long ago that talked about 0 level characters and we speculated about how that could be done in PF. After reading through the quick character gen formula, it can be done easily in PF2 by just not taking a class yet for a 0 level adventure at the end of which you earn your class level.

Its one of the things I like about every ancestry having racial HP. It was always a weird thing that you kinda had to give a class to things without racial hp or they would just be unconscious all the time (barring Con bonuses)


Malk_Content wrote:
Thedmstrikes wrote:

I did not have enough time to read this whole thread, but I recall another thread on the boards not long ago that talked about 0 level characters and we speculated about how that could be done in PF. After reading through the quick character gen formula, it can be done easily in PF2 by just not taking a class yet for a 0 level adventure at the end of which you earn your class level.

Its one of the things I like about every ancestry having racial HP. It was always a weird thing that you kinda had to give a class to things without racial hp or they would just be unconscious all the time (barring Con bonuses)

Ha, that reminds me of another egregious 5th Ed design mistake, there is no minimum HP value for gaining a level, so if you are a Wizard with a 3 Con, starting with 2 hit points, upon reaching 2nd level, you could roll a 1 for hit points, and end up dead at -1 HP.


Malk_Content wrote:
Its one of the things I like about every ancestry having racial HP. It was always a weird thing that you kinda had to give a class to things without racial hp or they would just be unconscious all the time (barring Con bonuses)

No, those are just people with humanoid Hit Dice.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Its one of the things I like about every ancestry having racial HP. It was always a weird thing that you kinda had to give a class to things without racial hp or they would just be unconscious all the time (barring Con bonuses)
No, those are just people with humanoid Hit Dice.

Ah that fantastic moment when I lose hp because I learned a spell.

EDIT: And the humanoid HD is explicitly not meant to be used to represent classless base races. You either have a class or you use multiple Humanoid HD. You aren't meant to have 1HD Humanoids, your baby is just a lvl 1 commoner.


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Which is a shame, because the commoner class is strictly weaker than humanoid racial HD.


I never thought I would say this but I think we're getting too many ability score boosts. If I roll an 18 and put five different boosts into that ability score at level 1, it's going to get crazy fast.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
MidsouthGuy wrote:
I never thought I would say this but I think we're getting too many ability score boosts. If I roll an 18 and put five different boosts into that ability score at level 1, it's going to get crazy fast.

1) You're getting at most 4 boost to single stat, not 5

2) You're either rolling stats OR getting those boosts, not both.


Leedwashere wrote:
MidsouthGuy wrote:
I never thought I would say this but I think we're getting too many ability score boosts. If I roll an 18 and put five different boosts into that ability score at level 1, it's going to get crazy fast.

1) You're getting at most 4 boost to single stat, not 5

2) You're either rolling stats OR getting those boosts, not both.

So if I decide to roll for my stats, I don't get any bonuses to my ability scores? That sucks. You should get the same bonuses and penalties no matter how you decide to generate stats. I hate how rolling for ability scores is essentially being pushed to the background or completely out of the game.


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
So if I decide to roll for my stats, I don't get any bonuses to my ability scores? That sucks. You should get the same bonuses and penalties no matter how you decide to generate stats. I hate how rolling for ability scores is essentially being pushed to the background or completely out of the game.

"If I decide to use a different method to determine my stats, I don't use the method I don't choose in addition to the method I choose?"

If you choose to roll to determine your stats, you choose to roll. If you choose to do it by point buy, you choose to do it by point buy. If you choose to do it by the default system of all 10s then bonuses from various choices, then you do it by the default system of all 10s then bonuses from various choices.

If you're not doing the default method, I imagine your going to get ancestry ability score modifiers at most.


Milo v3 wrote:
MidsouthGuy wrote:
So if I decide to roll for my stats, I don't get any bonuses to my ability scores? That sucks. You should get the same bonuses and penalties no matter how you decide to generate stats. I hate how rolling for ability scores is essentially being pushed to the background or completely out of the game.

"If I decide to use a different method to determine my stats, I don't use the method I don't choose in addition to the method I choose?"

If you choose to roll to determine your stats, you choose to roll. If you choose to do it by point buy, you choose to do it by point buy. If you choose to do it by the default system of all 10s then bonuses from various choices, then you do it by the default system of all 10s then bonuses from various choices.

If you're not doing the default method, I imagine your going to get ancestry ability score modifiers at most.

As long as I get at least the ancestry bonuses, that's fine. I've been playing with that kind of character generation since I first got into the game, and honestly would prefer that method instead of just applying bonuses and penalties to a standard set. But getting NO bonuses at all just because I decided to roll for stats is just way too harsh. People prefer different methods for generating ability scores, and they should all be given equal support in order to make a character generated that way viable. Basically what I'm getting at is that players shouldn't be penalized for using one stat generation method instead of another.


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
As long as I get at least the ancestry bonuses, that's fine.

I don't see how you'd still get ancestry bonuses as that would allow you to get 20's in stats, something you can't do with the standard method. Well, I guess you could do it if you modified the dice, like 2d6+1d4 or 2d6+4 or something like that so the unmodified totals equal 16.


All I'm going to say is that people who decide to roll for their stats need to get some kind of modifiers so we can stand alongside those who choose to use the standard method or point buy. Rolling for stats has been part of the game since the beginning. Would it really be so bad to put in a paragraph or two about what bonuses and penalties you get when rolling for ability scores?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Whatever you want I suppose. You're firmly into houserule territory at that point.

Edit: Actually, you might be right. Giving rolled characters ancestry boosts is not much different than racial adjustments now.

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