Running the Game

Friday, July 20, 2018

As the Pathfinder Playtest begins, Game Masters will need to quickly get up to speed with the new rules. The Game Mastering chapter of the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook is here to help you out! It covers the responsibilities of a GM, gives advice on running sessions, and teaches you how to adjudicate the rules of the game. Because this is a playtest, there aren't details about creating your own campaign or adventures, but rest assured, this information will appear in the Pathfinder Second Edition rulebook!

Running Modes of Play

A large section of the Game Mastering chapter runs through the special concerns of running the three modes of play: encounters, exploration, and downtime. The specific rules governing those modes appear in the Playing the Game chapter, so this chapter instead talks about how to set the pace of the game as you GM. Exploration and downtime get the most focus here, since most the rules for running encounters are addressed in Playing the Game. The section on exploration goes over exploration tactics characters might adopt, and gives advice on what to do when players want to choose tactics that aren't included in the default options. It also addresses how to begin and end encounters, including some advice on how to use the new initiative rules of the playtest. The section on downtime shows you how to play out a single downtime day at the table, and how to cover long periods of downtime quickly and keep them interesting. It also talks about buying and selling items and retraining abilities.

Difficulty Classes

Setting DCs is one of your major tasks as GM, and the rulebook covers how to create two different types of DCs: those that are appropriate for a certain level and those that are static challenges in the world. This first category is great when you need the DC of an obstacle created by an enemy of a certain level but don't have all their statistics, when you set the DC to Craft an item of a particular level, and so on. Levels and categories of difficulty are given in a table so you can pick a DC quickly. The level is based on your opposition's level, and the category depends on the particular situation. Here's a portion of that table.

LevelTrivialLowHighSevereExtreme
0 910121417
11012141518
21113151619

Static challenges are everything from climbing a tree to identifying a minor noble. These tasks don't really get more difficult if the PCs are higher level, but can still be expressed in terms of level and difficulty category. The guidelines explain how to select a level and category of difficulty. For instance, climbing a rope that's hanging in mid-air is a level 1 task, so it's normally a high DC (14), but it might have a low DC (12) if you can brace yourself against a wall while climbing through a narrow area, and maybe even a trivial DC (10) if you can brace against two walls. Because static DCs don't increase as the PCs advance in levels, eventually low-level static tasks will become nearly automatic for them. We give guidelines here for GMs crafting their own adventures, but it's ultimately up to them what level and DC tasks are. (In published adventures, this information is still provided.)

As you can see, the rules for DCs intentionally put far more choice in your hands as the GM. Rather than having a long list of DCs and modifiers pre-defined, we wanted to let the GM assess the particulars of any given situation and then use some simple tools to set the DC, rather than needing to calculate a DC based on rules that aren't always exactly suitable to the challenge facing the players.

This section also speaks to some particular categories of skill DCs for crafting, gathering Information, performing for an audience, practicing a trade with Lore, recalling knowledge with skills like Arcana or Lore, or training an animal.

Rewards

This section contains some rules not directly related to Doomsday Dawn, but that we want people to take a look at and use if they create their own campaigns during the playtest. One thing that shows up is rules on awarding Experience Points. This includes XP awards for accomplishments, so that you'll have guidance for when the group pulls off important tasks that aren't encounters or hazards. As noted previously, it normally takes 1,000 XP to level up, but there are also options for varying the players' advancement speed by having a new level every 800 XP or 1,200 XP. If you're playtesting your own campaign, you might want to have characters level up every 800 XP so you get a chance to playtest more levels of the game!

Environment and Hazards

The last section of the Game Mastering chapter briefly summarizes environments and the rules for hazards (such as traps, environmental dangers, and haunts). These are covered in more detail in the Pathfinder Playtest Bestiary. They'll be in the final version of Pathfinder Second Edition's core rulebook, but the Playtest Rulebook didn't have quite enough space for the whole thing!

Are you looking forward to GMing playtest games? What changes are you hoping to see? Are you going to run Doomsday Dawn, or try some of your own adventures too? Sound off in the comments!

Logan Bonner
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest
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graystone wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
I think perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft are all things a fighter would realistically get better at over time without even needing to be an adventurer - just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at.

I don't agree with this. Say you have someone that guards the back garden gate of an estate. That entrance rarely gets used so it's mostly a formality. She's happy to sit there alone and read trashy romance novels for her shift.

I don't see why that guard is filled with "lot of experience at" "perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft". Even if you have an active army situation, not every individual is going to participate in every activity. A footman behind the cavalry isn't using any of those skills activity: scouts using perception, stealth, and survival sure. Diplomats using persuasion and intimidate, ok [though both isn't a given]. Logistical units might use survival and craft aall the time.

Even in the very best situation, I can't see every single skill going up at the same exact same rate and it'd take an exceptionally well rounded individual to manage to do so with multiple skills at once: life just doesn't give you the opportunities to gain new experiences in that many areas of interest all the time. I understand the reasoning behind the math, I just don't see it making in game/setting sense. No amount of guarding makes you better at history if you never picked up a history book or talked about the subject with others.

You've just described someone who wouldn't be gaining any experience, therefore levels, therefore the example doesn't apply.


KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
No amount of guarding makes you better at history if you never picked up a history book or talked about the subject with others.
No, but going to the tavern every week with the guys and listening to the bard spin tales over a beer might give someone the broad base of history knowledge that an untrained knowledge check represents. Guarding doesn't make you better at history, but living as a guard does.

I wasn't the person to frame the situation: Tender Tendrils set the situation that guards gain knowledge seemingly by osmosis while guarding. Secondly, I framed it as never reading about the subject OR talking to someone about it. If we're talking about know: local I could understand bar talk coming up but history? I know I can't recall the last time I went to the bar and started up a conversation on aztecs or germanic tribal wars.

KingOfAnything wrote:
You've just described someone who wouldn't be gaining any experience, therefore levels, therefore the example doesn't apply.

At guarding? Maybe but there are many ways to gain EXP. I'm disagreeing that guards get ALL those skills by default just by being a guard. It's totally possible to never encountered an opportunity to use a skill or even meet someone that does. No job/profession is going to give you equal and universal exposure to every skill: that's the point.


graystone wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
I think perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft are all things a fighter would realistically get better at over time without even needing to be an adventurer - just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at.

I don't agree with this. Say you have someone that guards the back garden gate of an estate. That entrance rarely gets used so it's mostly a formality. She's happy to sit there alone and read trashy romance novels for her shift.

I don't see why that guard is filled with "lot of experience at" "perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft". Even if you have an active army situation, not every individual is going to participate in every activity. A footman behind the cavalry isn't using any of those skills activity: scouts using perception, stealth, and survival sure. Diplomats using persuasion and intimidate, ok [though both isn't a given]. Logistical units might use survival and craft aall the time.

Even in the very best situation, I can't see every single skill going up at the same exact same rate and it'd take an exceptionally well rounded individual to manage to do so with multiple skills at once: life just doesn't give you the opportunities to gain new experiences in that many areas of interest all the time. I understand the reasoning behind the math, I just don't see it making in game/setting sense. No amount of guarding makes you better at history if you never picked up a history book or talked about the subject with others.

Stealth, Survival, and depending on the personality Persuasion or Intimidate I can see not getting experience. That said...

- The Guard had better be doing at least a modicum of Perception on a regular basis. If they're not, then word's almost certainly gonna get out about how that estate is an easy target because that entrance's guard is sleeping on the job, and they'll be fired right quick. Doesn't have to be a lot of Perception, but enough that you don't have every random homeless person or would-be thief slipping through right under your nose.

- I did say Persuasion and Intimidate based on the personality, but frankly I suspect Persuasion at least is probably going to get experience anyways. Just... not at the day-job of Guarding. No, that's something you get experience in just living. No one goes through life without trying to persuade anyone of anything, unless they are the perfect recluse (which if this theoretical fighter has a job, they are not the perfect recluse.) Intimidate is more hit-or-miss though, but might get plenty of experience depending on what the fighter's like.

- Craft I can easily see this person gaining experience in just in equipment upkeep. Especially if they're guarding an entrance to a high-born's Estate. Rarely used entrance or not, your Guards are as much a statement piece as functional, so your Guard's equipment had better be in top condition and ready for inspection at a moment's notice.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
No amount of guarding makes you better at history if you never picked up a history book or talked about the subject with others.
No, but going to the tavern every week with the guys and listening to the bard spin tales over a beer might give someone the broad base of history knowledge that an untrained knowledge check represents. Guarding doesn't make you better at history, but living as a guard does.
I wasn't the person to frame the situation: Tender Tendrils set the situation that guards gain knowledge seemingly by osmosis while guarding. Secondly, I framed it as never reading about the subject OR talking to someone about it. If we're talking about know: local I could understand bar talk coming up but history? I know I can't recall the last time I went to the bar and started up a conversation on aztecs or germanic tribal wars.

You don't hang out with many bards, do you?

You don't need to strike up a conversation about intricate topics to pick up some major details by osmosis. That the guards have their own conversation going doesn't prevent some facts from the night's entertainment from sticking with them.

And Tender Tendrils' quote was "just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at." Existing in an army or as a guard definitely includes tavern nights.


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Cheburn wrote:
I'm sure that there's a counterexample we could find of a character who got up to level 10 by going into the woods and killing thousands of boars [or whatever other boring method of leveling up we want], but I feel that's really a rarity in Pathfinder.

We don't have to go expreme to find an example. It doesn't seem odd that some of the skill list doesn't come up for every class/character/PC/NPC. I have no problem imagining that someone can gain level and NEVER try performing for instance or thievery. Everyone is forced to be well rounded even if they have no reason to be that way.


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I feel like "interesting people" are going to pick up knowledge and skills unrelated to their vocations just by living their lives as interesting people. So just don't make your characters (PCs and NPCs) uninteresting people and I don't see a disconnect.

Or if your NPCs are uninteresting people, it doesn't matter if they aren't good at things since the PCs shouldn't be spending very long interacting with them anyway.

So I don't know anybody else but I'm interested in the rich inner lives of long-time door-guarding veterans.

Sovereign Court

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graystone wrote:
Cheburn wrote:
I'm sure that there's a counterexample we could find of a character who got up to level 10 by going into the woods and killing thousands of boars [or whatever other boring method of leveling up we want], but I feel that's really a rarity in Pathfinder.
We don't have to go expreme to find an example. It doesn't seem odd that some of the skill list doesn't come up for every class/character/PC/NPC. I have no problem imagining that someone can gain level and NEVER try performing for instance or thievery. Everyone is forced to be well rounded even if they have no reason to be that way.

What are the actual actions represented by Untrained Thievery? Why wouldn't people get better at those actions over time? They don't require specialized knowledge or anything. Just deft hands and a sense of people.

I think Mark had a humorous example in another thread of the high level barbarian untrained in Performance, nevertheless knew some some interesting or exotic song and could sing well enough to pull it off.

Everyone has a reason to be well-rounded if they want themselves to be. Being a dud in an area is a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on everyone. If you want to be especially bad at something rather than just mediocre, feel free to choose to fail.


Shinigami02 wrote:
- The Guard had better be doing at least a modicum of Perception on a regular basis. If they're not, then word's almost certainly gonna get out about how that estate is an easy target because that entrance's guard is sleeping on the job, and they'll be fired right quick. Doesn't have to be a lot of Perception, but enough that you don't have every random homeless person or would-be thief slipping through right under your nose.

You can have bad guards and people are sometimes hired for reasons other than skill. The daughter of a longtime henchman might get put in a easy position even if they aren't qualified for it.

Shinigami02 wrote:
No one goes through life without trying to persuade anyone of anything, unless they are the perfect recluse (which if this theoretical fighter has a job, they are not the perfect recluse.)

There are people that are happy to blend into the background to the extent that other have a hard time recalling their names. It's not enough to use the skill a few times: they have to IMPROVE it.

Shinigami02 wrote:
- Craft I can easily see this person gaining experience in just in equipment upkeep. Especially if they're guarding an entrance to a high-born's Estate. Rarely used entrance or not, your Guards are as much a statement piece as functional, so your Guard's equipment had better be in top condition and ready for inspection at a moment's notice.

In this situation, I'd expect them to have a person that maintains the equipment for the house. If it was up to the individual members, you'd have an inconsistent upkeep.

KingOfAnything wrote:
You don't hang out with many bards, do you?

No one I know is even close. ;)

KingOfAnything wrote:

You don't need to strike up a conversation about intricate topics to pick up some major details by osmosis. That the guards have their own conversation going doesn't prevent some facts from the night's entertainment from sticking with them.

And Tender Tendrils' quote was "just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at." Existing in an army or as a guard definitely includes tavern nights.

I disagree that life requires socialization at the tavern and/or retaining any said there. I think plenty of bars don't have a nightly bard magically showing up to regale the place with historical knowledge.

PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like "interesting people" are going to pick up knowledge and skills unrelated to their vocations just by living their lives as interesting people.

I agree. Where I disagree is that "interesting people" are going to pick up EVERY knowledge and skills unrelated to their vocations...


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Everyone has a reason to be well-rounded if they want themselves to be. Being a dud in an area is a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on everyone. If you want to be especially bad at something rather than just mediocre, feel free to choose to fail.

I see the opposite side. Not everyone goes to the effort to be well rounded and are perfectly happy that way. IMO, I think 'Being well rounded is a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on everyone". I mean you can always just say you made the roll if you want to succeed... :P

Sovereign Court

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

You don't need to strike up a conversation about intricate topics to pick up some major details by osmosis. That the guards have their own conversation going doesn't prevent some facts from the night's entertainment from sticking with them.

And Tender Tendrils' quote was "just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at." Existing in an army or as a guard definitely includes tavern nights.

I disagree that life requires socialization at the tavern and/or retaining any said there. I think plenty of bars don't have a nightly bard magically showing up to regale the place with historical knowledge.

An explanation doesn't require socializing. Your extreme example had the guard sitting around reading romance novels. If you read enough romance novels, you will eventually learn some historical facts. Be they historical romance, or simply details in what can loosely be described as a plot.

Really, any class/skill combination can be plausibly explained by people living their lives and not existing solely as setting dressing for the PCs to interact with.

Sovereign Court

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Everyone has a reason to be well-rounded if they want themselves to be. Being a dud in an area is a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on everyone. If you want to be especially bad at something rather than just mediocre, feel free to choose to fail.
I see the opposite side. Not everyone goes to the effort to be well rounded and are perfectly happy that way. IMO, I think 'Being well rounded is a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on everyone". I mean you can always just say you made the roll if you want to succeed... :P

You can draw the parallel construction, yes. Just because it is parallel, doesn't make it valid. :D

The game works like it does. You can try to succeed or you can choose to fail, and not the reverse.


graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
- The Guard had better be doing at least a modicum of Perception on a regular basis. If they're not, then word's almost certainly gonna get out about how that estate is an easy target because that entrance's guard is sleeping on the job, and they'll be fired right quick. Doesn't have to be a lot of Perception, but enough that you don't have every random homeless person or would-be thief slipping through right under your nose.
You can have bad guards and people are sometimes hired for reasons other than skill. The daughter of a longtime henchman might get put in a easy position even if they aren't qualified for it.

I don't care how long her dad's been my right-hand, after the third thief came through that door and made off with a small fortune, she's off guard duty. It's just too expensive to keep her there.

graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
No one goes through life without trying to persuade anyone of anything, unless they are the perfect recluse (which if this theoretical fighter has a job, they are not the perfect recluse.)
There are people that are happy to blend into the background to the extent that other have a hard time recalling their names. It's not enough to use the skill a few times: they have to IMPROVE it.

Every time you buy something, every time you ask someone for something, every time someone asks *you* for something, you're getting experience with Persuasion. Is it a lot of experience? No. Probably more like a fraction of 1% of an experience point. The same goes for the guard job and (more general) experience, which is why you're probably not getting a lot of levels even stacking them together. But it is experience. If someone kept at it with the lifespan of a Dragon or Outsider, they probably could get levels and get better at it.

graystone wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
- Craft I can easily see this person gaining experience in just in equipment upkeep. Especially if they're guarding an entrance to a high-born's Estate. Rarely used entrance or not, your Guards are as much a statement piece as functional, so your Guard's equipment had better be in top condition and ready for inspection at a moment's notice.
In this situation, I'd expect them to have a person that maintains the equipment for the house. If it was up to the individual members, you'd have an inconsistent upkeep.

This really does depend on the manor in question, but in my experience with fantasy High-born and their employees (as well as fantasy militaries, and what little knowledge I have of IRL militaries) a lot of the onus of upkeep is on the employee themselves. Unless the high-born is really high they generally don't want to spend the money for the upkeep when there's a perfectly capable set of hands you're already paying, with several hours off the clock.

graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
You don't hang out with many bards, do you?
No one I know is even close. ;)

For the record: Not personally a Bard, don't personally know any Bards, but have lot of experience with fantasy bards and their tales. If there's a bard at the local tavern, you're probably picking up at least traces of history, trust me ;)

That said, how likely there is to be a bard at the local tavern really depends on the size of the town, the popularity of the tavern, and how common Bards are in your setting.


graystone wrote:
I agree. Where I disagree is that "interesting people" are going to pick up EVERY knowledge and skills unrelated to their vocations...

I feel like the universal, 100% effective and pain-free solution to "there is no conceivable way this person should know this" is for the person piloting the character (who should know more than anyone about what their character does or doesn't know) elects not to roll for that thing they believe the character should not know or be able to do.

I mean, I can see justifying it, since no NPC is going to have to roll for a great assortment of unrelated skills, to just the one random unrelated-to-guarding skill that a veteran guard has to roll to just be one of a few things they do for a hobby. Since I don't have to consider the entire potential space for "things this guard can do", it's fine if they can bake a cake or tell a joke competently in case this comes up.


KingOfAnything wrote:
The game works like it does. You can try to succeed or you can choose to fail, and not the reverse.

Why? Both side involves ignoring the rules to override the actual result with what you want the outcome to be. IMO, it's a perfect parallel.

KingOfAnything wrote:
Really, any class/skill combination can be plausibly explained by people living their lives and not existing solely as setting dressing for the PCs to interact with.

I agree with any. Where I disagree is all. Could a person pick up a bit of history in the bar? Sure. Could pick up occult, history, thievery, perform, survival, athletics and every other skill at the bar? Not IMO. Not every interesting person living their life would or should be a 'jack of all trades' and pick up every skill.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like the universal, 100% effective and pain-free solution to "there is no conceivable way this person should know this" is for the person piloting the character (who should know more than anyone about what their character does or doesn't know) elects not to roll for that thing they believe the character should not know or be able to do.

*shrug* For me it's not a "100% effective and pain-free solution". It the exact same thing as me declaring that my character SHOULD 100% know something so I don't need to roll so I just tell the DM I made the roll.

Anyway, This has clearly become a thing that everyone is dogpiling on so I'm going to wander off for a bit. Clearly some think people should know every skill all the time and/or that it's ok to ignore the printed rules when you want to. I just can't see an in game rationale for either and I don't know what could be said to change my mind.



Every single enemy rolling individual perception checks is always a recipe for a very frustrated rogue. Sneaking through a cave of 40 sleeping goblins becomes a statistical impossibility at that point, even with the huge penalties they take for being asleep (unless your stealth exceeds their perception to the point where they can't detect you even on a nat 20, at which point why are you rolling dice?”

This example is when you make it a DC off the chart instead. An extreme DC challenge for them to sneak past a cave of sleeping goblins, if you are rolling 40 checks then you are a bad GM. The other thing you could do is just have the party roll against the goblins Perception DC, which is their perception mod +10 + any negatives for sleeping, that’s the great thing about the new mod/DC system for skills. Since every goblin will have the same Perception DC the party should only need to make 1 check.


Until we get a much better sense of what can (and probably more importantly, cannot) be done with an untrained skill check, it is probably too early to judge whether +level to skills is going to be a problem.

What we do know is that PF2 characters are going to be fairly heroic and capable of doing things that real human beings cannot, and that learning how to do new things is one of the things that characters are going to do better than most human beings.

One of the things that I am really looking forward to see in the playtest is how they use all these new tools and ideas they have been telling us to do more with challenges beyond combat. For me, the idea that DC alone was the best metric for determining what players could and could not try, as well as determining the likelihood of success was a very flat approach to things. Skill challenges with multiple required successes didn't feel satisfying or correct, but one roll for many things felt like it basically steamrolled a lot of out of combat challenges. Afterall, combats were rarely decided by just one roll, and that is part of why they felt so interesting and tactically nuanced.

Sometimes (not always), I want to be able to make climbing a rock face in the wind feel more dramatic as well, and I have yet to play any system that has done that well. We will see if the options in PF2 provide that.

I am curious (if not hopeful) about how skill feats work in mitigating and allowing for different kinds of out of combat accomplishments without reducing everything to true mastery just equaling having the largest conceivable bonus to all checks made with that skill.

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
The game works like it does. You can try to succeed or you can choose to fail, and not the reverse.
Why? Both side involves ignoring the rules to override the actual result with what you want the outcome to be. IMO, it's a perfect parallel.

Only one is ignoring rules... you could always choose to fail a save in PF1. And the unskilled guard analog in PF1 could choose to fail by taking 10 in most situations. The PF2 version of that option is to choose not to even attempt the check, which was always an option in PF1 as well.

Quote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Really, any class/skill combination can be plausibly explained by people living their lives and not existing solely as setting dressing for the PCs to interact with.
I agree with any. Where I disagree is all. Could a person pick up a bit of history in the bar? Sure. Could pick up occult, history, thievery, perform, survival, athletics and every other skill at the bar? Not IMO. Not every interesting person living their life would or should be a 'jack of all trades' and pick up every skill.

The things that I've seen you can do untrained are pretty limited to things I would expect anyone to have a decent chance to succeed. As I've shown, it doesn't need to all be learned a in bar. There are plenty of other reasonable explanations. None of the skills you list seem out of place on a typical guard. I'd say untrained occult knowledge is more likely than history even. Guards are a superstitious lot.


graystone wrote:
Tender Tendrils wrote:
I think perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft are all things a fighter would realistically get better at over time without even needing to be an adventurer - just existing in an army or as a guard makes those things you would get a lot of experience at.

I don't agree with this. Say you have someone that guards the back garden gate of an estate. That entrance rarely gets used so it's mostly a formality. She's happy to sit there alone and read trashy romance novels for her shift.

I don't see why that guard is filled with "lot of experience at" "perception, stealth, persuasion, intimidate, survival and craft". Even if you have an active army situation, not every individual is going to participate in every activity. A footman behind the cavalry isn't using any of those skills activity: scouts using perception, stealth, and survival sure. Diplomats using persuasion and intimidate, ok [though both isn't a given]. Logistical units might use survival and craft aall the time.

Even in the very best situation, I can't see every single skill going up at the same exact same rate and it'd take an exceptionally well rounded individual to manage to do so with multiple skills at once: life just doesn't give you the opportunities to gain new experiences in that many areas of interest all the time. I understand the reasoning behind the math, I just don't see it making in game/setting sense. No amount of guarding makes you better at history if you never picked up a history book or talked about the subject with others.

The guards literal job is to watch for trouble (perception) and defuse rowdy behaviour through the threat of violence (intimidation). They have to deal with local politics and various contacts (like acting appropriately around nobility, convincing an informant they can safely give up information, and bribing people) (persuasion).

The soldier deals with those same elements in a different context, on top of having to forage for food (medieval soldiers had to forage a lot to survive) and survive woodland patrols and forced marches through the wilderness (survival) and have to maintain their gear and make repairs/patches to it (most medieval soldiers had to provide their own armour and care for it) as well as knowing how to construct a camp (craft)


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Only one is ignoring rules... you could always choose to fail a save in PF1.

I don't recall the rule that says you can opt to fail a skill check. Even if it did, how do you deal with a situation where you think you might have a chance, just not nearly as great as the game says?

KingOfAnything wrote:
None of the skills you list seem out of place on a typical guard.

Let's assume that true. I find it out of place ALL of them are learned by the typical guard: It's easy to justify any single skill but much less so when it's EVERY skill.

Tender Tendrils wrote:
The guards literal job

(perception): doesn't seem a skill in the new game.

(intimidation): Depending on the job, maybe not. If the guard is there to set off an alarm and warn people, they might not be expected to directly interact with any 'foe'.
deal with local politics: This seems dubious. that seems like something a noble would do on their own and wouldn't have to interact with the local law enforcement directly.

Are you talking about a town guard or an estate guard? A wall guard, a lookout or a night watchman?

Tender Tendrils wrote:
soldier

Depending on how specialized the troops are, they might use those skills or they might not. A logistical section might take care of camps, food, scavenging, repair ect. A scout unit might do the survival and and lookouts. With the addition of magic and other factors, what a medieval soldiers had to do isn't terribly informative. Just having a single person around with mending means that gear maintenance isn't needed. Food can be conjured out of thin air. Areas can be warded with spells.

So could a soldier learn all those skills? Sure, but they also might not have.

Unicore wrote:
Until we get a much better sense of what can (and probably more importantly, cannot) be done with an untrained skill check, it is probably too early to judge whether +level to skills is going to be a problem.

A minor quibble: I'd say it'll determine how much of an issue it is. Even if untrained only lets you do the bare basics, it'll still cause some cognitive dissonance just in less instances.


Alric Rahl wrote:

Every single enemy rolling individual perception checks is always a recipe for a very frustrated rogue. Sneaking through a cave of 40 sleeping goblins becomes a statistical impossibility at that point, even with the huge penalties they take for being asleep (unless your stealth exceeds their perception to the point where they can't detect you even on a nat 20, at which point why are you rolling dice?”

This example is when you make it a DC off the chart instead. An extreme DC challenge for them to sneak past a cave of sleeping goblins, if you are rolling 40 checks then you are a bad GM. The other thing you could do is just have the party roll against the goblins Perception DC, which is their perception mod +10 + any negatives for sleeping, that’s the great thing about the new mod/DC system for skills. Since every goblin will have the same Perception DC the party should only need to make 1 check.

You just articulated back at me the exact point I was making.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:


By the way: Many of the people who are supporting the existence of this table are saying it's existence in 4e was bad because it caused certain behaviour. I am also pointing out it is exactly the same as it was in 4e and that their support of it now is not going to result in the same behaviour they are saying is bad.

It wasn't the table that was the problem, it was in the way the table was used in reference with the rules at hand. PF2 is going by challenge level, and however you believe what happened in previous editions of this fine game by whatever company, it was not like that in 4th. 4th edition went by character level, and used Skill Challenges for everything, so you had to pass a 50/50 chance at least three times to overcome the challenge.

What it became after that, I have no idea, I stopped playing that edition when my friends had my play Pathfinder at Gen Con, and I never looked back. I do know that Essentials killed that edition more than anything else that was wrong or right with it.


thaX wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:


By the way: Many of the people who are supporting the existence of this table are saying it's existence in 4e was bad because it caused certain behaviour. I am also pointing out it is exactly the same as it was in 4e and that their support of it now is not going to result in the same behaviour they are saying is bad.

It wasn't the table that was the problem, it was in the way the table was used in reference with the rules at hand. PF2 is going by challenge level, and however you believe what happened in previous editions of this fine game by whatever company, it was not like that in 4th. 4th edition went by character level, and used Skill Challenges for everything, so you had to pass a 50/50 chance at least three times to overcome the challenge.

What it became after that, I have no idea, I stopped playing that edition when my friends had my play Pathfinder at Gen Con, and I never looked back. I do know that Essentials killed that edition more than anything else that was wrong or right with it.

Yeah, Essentials seemed to drive away the existing 4th Ed fans, and not bring back any that abandoned.

There are some good things in 4th Ed, regardless, 5th Ed has used some ideas, so if PF2 should as well, good; all editions have good things to offer.


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graystone wrote:
A minor quibble: I'd say it'll determine how much of an issue it is. Even if untrained only lets you do the bare basics, it'll still cause some cognitive dissonance just in less instances.

Maybe, but it might be the case that Untrained checks only work on the most basic kinds of things that people really do improve naturally from being in dangerous situations, like perception checks to notice obvious danger, name different kinds of enemies, confidently tell someone you belong where you are, which are things that PF1 did not handle well, especially with how limited so many characters were with their skill points.

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
None of the skills you list seem out of place on a typical guard.
Let's assume that true. I find it out of place ALL of them are learned by the typical guard: It's easy to justify any single skill but much less so when it's EVERY skill.

To quote another thread, no matter what it says on the sheet, it doesn't matter until it exists in the fiction. You don't need to explain EVERY skill all the time, just the skills you use when you use them.

Dark Archive

I ordered all playtest products as print products, both to support Paizo and so i don't need to print out hundreds of pages and bind them.

With there being a Bestiary coming as pdf, but not as physical product i will still somehow need to do this, which is disappointing.
Why not make this as a print copy too?
How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Why not make this as a print copy too?

ROI.

Marco Massoudi wrote:


How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

Quite a lot.


Marco Massoudi wrote:

I ordered all playtest products as print products, both to support Paizo and so i don't need to print out hundreds of pages and bind them.

With there being a Bestiary coming as pdf, but not as physical product i will still somehow need to do this, which is disappointing.
Why not make this as a print copy too?
How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

You got the answer to the print question back on page 2.


Unicore wrote:
Maybe, but it might be the case that Untrained checks only work on the most basic kinds of things that people really do improve naturally from being in dangerous situations, like perception checks to notice obvious danger, name different kinds of enemies, confidently tell someone you belong where you are, which are things that PF1 did not handle well, especially with how limited so many characters were with their skill points.

That all assumes that the PC in fact is using those skills: If the rogue auto makes the perception checks, the wizard spouts off kinds of info, the bard talks to everyone... How is that improving YOUR skills as the fighter? How does your knowledge engineering improve on your ship adventure that never involved any buildings for instance?

KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
None of the skills you list seem out of place on a typical guard.
Let's assume that true. I find it out of place ALL of them are learned by the typical guard: It's easy to justify any single skill but much less so when it's EVERY skill.
To quote another thread, no matter what it says on the sheet, it doesn't matter until it exists in the fiction. You don't need to explain EVERY skill all the time, just the skills you use when you use them.

This literally makes no sense in the context of the quote. The skills ALL have to be justified as you are improving them: the use is in the improvement. That and I find treating my sheet as a Schrödinger's cat sheet where the info may or may not exist if you aren't using it at the time as unpalatable in game: what works in a book/novel often fails in an interactive game.

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
None of the skills you list seem out of place on a typical guard.
Let's assume that true. I find it out of place ALL of them are learned by the typical guard: It's easy to justify any single skill but much less so when it's EVERY skill.
To quote another thread, no matter what it says on the sheet, it doesn't matter until it exists in the fiction. You don't need to explain EVERY skill all the time, just the skills you use when you use them.
This literally makes no sense in the context of the quote. The skills ALL have to be justified as you are improving them: the use is in the improvement. That and I find treating my sheet as a Schrödinger's cat sheet where the info may or may not exist if you aren't using it at the time as unpalatable in game: what works in a book/novel often fails in an interactive game.

So many of your issues could be resolved if you took agency over how you used your character sheet. If you don't think your character has justification for knowing what a keystone is, don't roll for it. The next check might make more sense and give you a reason to roll.


KingOfAnything wrote:
So many of your issues could be resolved if you took agency over how you used your character sheet. If you don't think your character has justification for knowing what a keystone is, don't roll for it. The next check might make more sense and give you a reason to roll.

You ignored my question/concern on this very subject: What if I think my character might know it, but the chance seem either far too high or low? Does my agency of my sheet extend to altering the actual numbers on the sheet? If not, then just how much agency is there to be had? If all it is is the ability to ignore rolls the game allows, it's isn't anything worth mentioning. It really boils down to either following the rules presented or making them up as I go and I don't buy games because I want to make up my own rules. I'd rather have the rules make actual sense instead of having to ignore ones that do not as you suggest I should do.

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graystone wrote:
You ignored my question/concern on this very subject: What if I think my character might know it, but the chance seem either far too high or low?

I find the premise ridiculous. The rules include circumstance modifiers for this very reason, apply them as appropriate.

Quote:
It really boils down to either following the rules presented or making them up as I go and I don't buy games because I want to make up my own rules. I'd rather have the rules make actual sense instead of having to ignore ones that do not as you suggest I should do.

I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you. You aren't a robot, this isn't a video game, your character isn't forced to succeed at anything you don't want them to.

The rules only exist for us to resolve narrative conflict.


graystone wrote:
What if I think my character might know it, but the chance seem either far too high or low?

Then you should talk it over with your GM. There's no other way to handle it. If I want to play an obsessive expert on dragons, and there's no "Expert on Dragons" ability within the game rules, then I can ask my GM, and my GM might give me an advantage on dragon-related knowledge rolls, and might decide to charge me a trait/feat for it, depending on how useful that's likely to be, or balance it out with a disadvantage in another area.

If I think my character knows nothing about dragons, but roll high on a dragon-knowledge roll, then I could role-play a 'lucky guess'. "That dragon is red, and fire is red, so it's probably a fire-breathing dragon." Or I could have picked up some random information from a campfire story, or learned about it some other way.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Cantriped wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Lesson learned for this time around.
Yet I cannot buy a softcover Playtest Bestiary because? Take my money *bleep* it!

Pure timing prevented this: to give the maximum time to get out the best product, not only did we switch to Canadian printing to allow more design, development, editing, and layout, but we knew we had to plan to have the Playtestiary edited and laid out after the drop dead date for printing a book that comes out at GenCon or we would have broken the editing and art teams.

EDIT: Ninjaed by GentleGiant!

Come to think of it I would not mind being able to buy the playtestiary as a print book even after the pdf is out ;-)

Dark Archive

GentleGiant wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

I ordered all playtest products as print products, both to support Paizo and so i don't need to print out hundreds of pages and bind them.

With there being a Bestiary coming as pdf, but not as physical product i will still somehow need to do this, which is disappointing.
Why not make this as a print copy too?
How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

You got the answer to the print question back on page 2.

Unfortunately i did not.

I falsely assumed that there would be a print edition Bestiary which i hadn't read about, but there will only be a pdf version, like i wrote above.

The thing is, i don't use pdf's, i use real books and it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to put out the rules & adventure as both pdf & print version, but not to do so for the creatures.

It's fine for all the creatures which's stats are printed in "Doomsday Dawn", but if there are a lot of creatures beyond that, i don't understand why there isn't a print version compiling all of the creatures for ease of reference, even if there isn't any art to go with them.

The thing is, it's much less of a bother for me personally to put money on the table in my FLG store (and into Paizo's pockets), than to download a pdf and print out dozens or hundreds of pages in black and white. ;-)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You don't need to print. You could just use your phone, tablet, laptop or any other device. It's the XXI century. Electronic books are as real as paper.

During one gaming session you need like 5-10 monsters from the bestiary and printing them is not a problem.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

I ordered all playtest products as print products, both to support Paizo and so i don't need to print out hundreds of pages and bind them.

With there being a Bestiary coming as pdf, but not as physical product i will still somehow need to do this, which is disappointing.
Why not make this as a print copy too?
How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

You got the answer to the print question back on page 2.

Unfortunately i did not.

I falsely assumed that there would be a print edition Bestiary which i hadn't read about, but there will only be a pdf version, like i wrote above.

The thing is, i don't use pdf's, i use real books and it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to put out the rules & adventure as both pdf & print version, but not to do so for the creatures.

It's fine for all the creatures which's stats are printed in "Doomsday Dawn", but if there are a lot of creatures beyond that, i don't understand why there isn't a print version compiling all of the creatures for ease of reference, even if there isn't any art to go with them.

The thing is, it's much less of a bother for me personally to put money on the table in my FLG store (and into Paizo's pockets), than to download a pdf and print out dozens or hundreds of pages in black and white. ;-)

It makes absolute sense when you take timing into it. There was a hard deadline on when everything had to be ready: Gencon. Because of that hard deadline there was another deadline of when the books had to be ready, which was a few weeks ago so that the printers would have time to print and bind them, and shipping takes time too. And of course they'd have had to announce the bestiary a few weeks before that to give stores and customers time to pre-order so they'd know how many needed to be printed. By not having to worry about all these deadlines it gives them that much more time to actually focus on getting all of the creatures properly built and the book itself edited properly, and even lets them do some of this after they've already sent out the Playtest rulebook itself so that they don't have to divide their focus and labor quite as much.


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I'm looking forward to the Bestiary (in any form) as much, if not more so, than the CRB.


thaX wrote:

It wasn't the table that was the problem, it was in the way the table was used in reference with the rules at hand. PF2 is going by challenge level, and however you believe what happened in previous editions of this fine game by whatever company, it was not like that in 4th. 4th edition went by character level, and used Skill Challenges for everything, so you had to pass a 50/50 chance at least three times to overcome the challenge.

What it became after that, I have no idea, I stopped playing that edition when my friends had my play Pathfinder at Gen Con, and I never looked back. I do know that Essentials killed that edition more than anything else that was wrong or right with it.

Why do people still have to keep spreading misinformation about 4e? It hasn't even been in print for years.

The text acompanying the table is not as clear as it might be that the DCs relate to the level of the challenge, which might or might not be the same as the level of the PCs. But the text for Skill Challenges (which is not all uses of skills, just an extra subsystem you can use when its helpful) is absolutely clear that the DC is set by the levels of the skill challenge. Checks to ID monsters are explicitly also based on the level of the monster.

_
glass.

Dark Archive

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Gorbacz wrote:

You don't need to print. You could just use your phone, tablet, laptop or any other device. It's the XXI century. Electronic books are as real as paper.

During one gaming session you need like 5-10 monsters from the bestiary and printing them is not a problem.

I don't have a tablet or laptop, i have a smartphone and a computer.

I don't have a pdf reader on my phone nor do i want to install one for various reasons.
Since using a smartphone my eyes have grown considerably short-sighted which wasn't the case before.
Staring at electronic content for hours is straining and bad for everyones health.
Books are easy on the eyes, much faster to navigate and still sell much better than pdfs.
Books will never run out of power and real pictures have a definition you can't reach with even the best graphic engine.
Paizo thrives by selling books, not pdfs.
Nuff said.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

You don't need to print. You could just use your phone, tablet, laptop or any other device. It's the XXI century. Electronic books are as real as paper.

During one gaming session you need like 5-10 monsters from the bestiary and printing them is not a problem.

I don't have a tablet or laptop, i have a smartphone and a computer.

I don't have a pdf reader on my phone nor do i want to install one for various reasons.
Since using a smartphone my eyes have grown considerably short-sighted which wasn't the case before.
Staring at electronic content for hours is straining and bad for everyones health.
Books are easy on the eyes, much faster to navigate and still sell much better than pdfs.
Books will never run out of power and real pictures have a definition you can't reach with even the best graphic engine.
Paizo thrives by selling books, not pdfs.
Nuff said.

Yeah, well, it says that you're stuck in the XX century, it doesn't say why Paizo should cater to your wishes above other priorities.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Marco Massoudi wrote:


Paizo thrives by selling books, not pdfs.
Nuff said.

I'd be careful making assumptions here. It could easily be argued that offering PDF content and adapting to the new technological norm was a big part of Paizo's growing success a decade ago, whilst WotC was continuing to stagnate in these areas.

Dark Archive

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Shinigami02 wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:

I ordered all playtest products as print products, both to support Paizo and so i don't need to print out hundreds of pages and bind them.

With there being a Bestiary coming as pdf, but not as physical product i will still somehow need to do this, which is disappointing.
Why not make this as a print copy too?
How many creatures are there roughly in the pdf which don't appear in Doomsday Dawn?

You got the answer to the print question back on page 2.

Unfortunately i did not.

I falsely assumed that there would be a print edition Bestiary which i hadn't read about, but there will only be a pdf version, like i wrote above.

The thing is, i don't use pdf's, i use real books and it makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE to put out the rules & adventure as both pdf & print version, but not to do so for the creatures.

It's fine for all the creatures which's stats are printed in "Doomsday Dawn", but if there are a lot of creatures beyond that, i don't understand why there isn't a print version compiling all of the creatures for ease of reference, even if there isn't any art to go with them.

The thing is, it's much less of a bother for me personally to put money on the table in my FLG store (and into Paizo's pockets), than to download a pdf and print out dozens or hundreds of pages in black and white. ;-)

It makes absolute sense when you take timing into it. There was a hard deadline on when everything had to be ready: Gencon. Because of that hard deadline there was another deadline of when the books had to be ready, which was a few weeks ago so that the printers would have time to print and bind them, and shipping takes time too. And of course they'd have had to announce the bestiary a few weeks before that to give stores and customers time to pre-order so they'd know how many needed to be printed. By not having to worry about all these deadlines it gives them that much more time to actually focus on getting all...

Lack of time is the only plausible exlanation, but that can't be the entire reason, i suspect.

Bestiaries normally have lots of art, which this one very probably not having may have been one of the reasons for not making a print edition.

The rules would have been the first thing to be developed, the creatures the second thing (but only a limited number i guess), the adventure(s) the third and the flip-mats the fourth.

So it makes sense when you say the developers have more time to build additional creatures and fine-tune them.

Still the rules & the creatures are the thing most needed and it would have been nice having both in print.


KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you.

As this is a playtest, I'd much rather advocate for a system that I don't have to step outside the rules to have my character function as i think it should. I'd rather not start a game knowing I'm going to have to houserule parts of it before I even pick up the book/pdf. [and I count having to step in to override rolls houseruling]

Matthew Downie wrote:
Then you should talk it over with your GM. There's no other way to handle it.

Sure there is: I can advocate for a skill system that allows for the differentiation needed for this kind of thing and doesn't allow for learning by osmosis/without effort. In the system as is, I don't get any say in the base numbers used for skills: I just get to pick what modifier that skill has.

Remember guys, the devs have said nothing is set in stone for the game after the playtest and as such, I'm not willing to throw in the towel before the playtest has even started.

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you.
As this is a playtest, I'd much rather advocate for a system that I don't have to step outside the rules to have my character function as i think it should. I'd rather not start a game knowing I'm going to have to houserule parts of it before I even pick up the book/pdf. [and I count having to step in to override rolls houseruling]

*whispers*

If you don't roll, there is nothing you need to override...


KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you.
As this is a playtest, I'd much rather advocate for a system that I don't have to step outside the rules to have my character function as i think it should. I'd rather not start a game knowing I'm going to have to houserule parts of it before I even pick up the book/pdf. [and I count having to step in to override rolls houseruling]

*whispers*

If you don't roll, there is nothing you need to override...

*whispers*

If the DM asks for a roll and I don't do that, I had to override something...


graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you.
As this is a playtest, I'd much rather advocate for a system that I don't have to step outside the rules to have my character function as i think it should. I'd rather not start a game knowing I'm going to have to houserule parts of it before I even pick up the book/pdf. [and I count having to step in to override rolls houseruling]

*whispers*

If you don't roll, there is nothing you need to override...

*whispers*

If the DM asks for a roll and I don't do that, I had to override something...

Honest question: how does this tend to play out? Because in my games if it's a matter of knowing something or anything like that, it usually comes down to the GM only asking for a roll if the player asks what their character would know about a thing. For example, if the party stumbled on occult symbols, the players wouldn't be asked to make a roll until they examined them and asked if they would recognize anything. If your character wouldn't know, then, you wouldn't make a roll because you probably wouldn't ask whether the character recognized the symbols.


Tholomyes wrote:
Honest question: how does this tend to play out? Because in my games if it's a matter of knowing something or anything like that, it usually comes down to the GM only asking for a roll if the player asks what their character would know about a thing.

MOST times, I see 'ok, everyone roll for [fill in the blank skill]' after we walk in and see a mural on the wall. No one has to ASK if we see something we know, it's a result of what we do. Generally, a player asks for a roll ONLY if it isn't obvious, like looking for a clue hidden in a book.

Tholomyes wrote:
For example, if the party stumbled on occult symbols, the players wouldn't be asked to make a roll until they examined them and asked if they would recognize anything.

Generally, I see DM's ask for the rolls as soon as they get a good look at the symbols. Of course, some players might back off in case those are magic runes so those people don't roll because they never got a good look.

Tholomyes wrote:
If your character wouldn't know, then, you wouldn't make a roll because you probably wouldn't ask whether the character recognized the symbols.

Asking for a roll is very foreign to me unless it's something subtle, hidden or concealed. If everyone walks in and sees a statue, the DM just asks for a religion roll to see if they ID the god it shows. It seem... odd to only every use knowledge actively. and never passively.

EDIT: I have seen requests for alternate skills to roll, like 'I don't have know: religion. Any chance Know local or history might work?'.

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graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
graystone wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I'm not telling you to ignore rules, I'm telling you to play using the rules, and not let the rules play your character for you.
As this is a playtest, I'd much rather advocate for a system that I don't have to step outside the rules to have my character function as i think it should. I'd rather not start a game knowing I'm going to have to houserule parts of it before I even pick up the book/pdf. [and I count having to step in to override rolls houseruling]

*whispers*

If you don't roll, there is nothing you need to override...

*whispers*

If the DM asks for a roll and I don't do that, I had to override something...

It’s okay to say “No, thank you”. It’s your character, not the GM’s.

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