Sending Your Heroes to the Mirrored Moon

Monday, September 24, 2018

The Pathfinder Playtest is roaring along as we move our focus to Part 4, The Mirrored Moon. This adventure sees the return of your characters from Part 1. In the years that have passed, these heroes have grown to be powerful adventurers in their own right, but the mystery that started all those years ago in Keleri's basement has yet to be solved. In Part 4, you'll rejoin them as they continue the quest in Thicketfell, in the faraway River Kingdoms.

Once you have completed your playthrough of Part 4, please remember to take the following surveys. Your data is critical in helping us make the second edition of Pathfinder be the best game it can be!

Player Survey | Game Master Survey | Open Survey

As a reminder, if you have not completed Parts 1, 2, or 3, you still have plenty of time to finish your sessions and get us your survey feedback. The more data we get, the more certain we are of how various parts of the game are performing. I should also note that as we get further into the playtest, some of the goals of each part of the adventure become a bit more extreme. You might play sessions that seem out of balance or somewhat harder than you're used to as we push the system to its limits and beyond. We've endeavored to make sure each part of Doomsday Dawn provides a fun and engaging adventure, but the goals of the test come first. We want to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we delve deeper and deeper into the system.

All of the Changes in Update 1.3

Today also marks the release of Update 1.3, which promises to deliver a number of substantive changes to your game. Before I launch into the details, why don't you go grab a copy?

So, first and foremost is a revision to the Proficiency and DCs of the game. As of today, if you're untrained in something, your bonus is now equal to your level -4! This change was made to ensure that characters who haven't specialized in a given skill or ability aren't directly competing with those who have made the choice to invest in it. We've also made significant alterations to Table 10-2, Skill DCs by Level and Difficulty. In most cases, we lowered the DC by a point or two (but sometimes by 4 or more at higher levels). We made this change so that players who focus their character choices around a task have a better chance of success and so that this chance of success grows as you do. As a result, we have included errata for all 7 parts of Doomsday Dawn, updating all of the skill DCs across the adventure to reflect this change.

Death and dying receives another revision in this update. After looking at playtest data, we saw a significant change in dying rates and play style due to the way that characters came back from being unconscious. As of this update, we have removed the slowed condition that applied to characters after they were revived, and we've replaced it with a new condition: the wounded condition. This condition doesn't penalize your checks or DCs, but if you fall unconscious again, your dying condition is increased by your wounded condition. This means that while you're not penalized directly for getting up and charging back into the fray, your chance of dying increases the more times you're knocked out in a fight.

To go along with this change, we've also added a new way to use the Medicine skill, allowing you to spend 10 minutes to bandage the wounds of up to six creatures (one of which can be you). Depending on the check, this allows you to heal a significant amount of damage to everyone under your care! The best part is, you don't have to be a cleric to use this ability and it doesn't rely on your magic resources, so you can save those for combat. We made this change so that out-of-combat healing was a bit easier to manage, which allows you to heal up between fights and rely a bit less on the classes that have access to magical healing.

Finally, there are a lot of smaller changes in this update, including revisions to a number of classes, most notably the ranger and the rogue, both of which got some much-needed versatility added to their builds. But there's one other gigantic addition I want to talk about.

Multiclass Archetypes Update

Today we're releasing playtest material for all 12 of the multiclass archetypes, along with some revisions to the existing multiclass archetypes found in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook. These additions expand your range of tools when building new characters. With these changes, you can now play a bard that dabbles in the strange mysteries of the monk, or a barbarian with a sorcerous lineage!

We put all of these archetypes in their own document for ease of reference.

The Future of Resonance

Since the start of the playtest, we have heard a lot of feedback on the resonance system and we have been working hard to come up with a way to make it a better part of the game. Currently, we're looking at ways to use the resonance system just for tracking the items you wear, purely as a replacement for the slot system from Pathfinder First Edition. At the same time, we're looking to add a system that allows you to focus on the magic that your character can utilize to give it a boost in power when you need to, but otherwise allowing you to use it in a simpler way in an emergency. It's a little early to go into too many details, but I will say this: under this new system, you'll always be healed when you drink a healing potion.

While our current plan for the system is still coming together, we know that a change of this size is going to be challenging for us to fully implement before the end of the playtest. But, we do have a way to ensure that you can give it a try before we're done. In the coming weeks we're going to release a special version of the Pathfinder Society Playtest Scenario Raiders of the Shrieking Peak. This adventure is played using pregenerated characters, which allows us to create a conversion to the new system without having to convert the entire game all at once. When this scenario becomes available, we'll be asking everyone to give it a try, and we'll generate a specific survey looking at the new systems to get your feedback.

Well, that's about all for this week! Let us know what you think about these changes in the comments down below. And as always, we thank each and every one of you for participating in the playtest!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

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Tamago wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Tamago wrote:

I'm disappointed that there is no way for a multiclass rogue to get more sneak attack. I think Sneak Attack is the quintessential Rogue ability, and only getting +1d6 really feels watered down.

I'd suggest that the Rogue Dedication feat should grant the +1d4 sneak attack instead of Surprise Attack. Then the Sneak Attacker feat could grant the level-based increases of +1d4 at levels 5, 11, and 17, just like the base rogue.

+4d4 sneak attack is way more satisfying than +1d6 at high level, and I feel like staying at d4s instead of d6s makes you still feel like you get to throw a lot of dice around, while also making full rogues the best at sneak attack.

That would be a 4d4 increase in weapon damage for 2 class feats (in most occasions).

Waaaaaay too powerful.

That's a 4d4 increase in weapon damage for 2 class feats at level 17. By that point, your +4 weapon is going to have 5 damage dice already, so it's a relatively small percentage of your total damage.

It still is only 2 feats.

Also, it's by no means a small increase.

Worst case, a d8 full strength (23 at 17) build.
Average case, a d6 finesse build with a 18 strength

Worst case 5d8+6= 28.5 damage. 4d4 is 10, a 35% increase in damage.
Average case 5d6+4= 21.5 47% increase

So, a 35-47% increase in damage for 2 feats seems a bit excessive.

If it was 2d6 for 3 feats, with the same numbers, we get a 25-33% increase for 3 feats.

Still extremely good, but more reasonable.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

shroudb wrote:
Tamago wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Tamago wrote:

I'm disappointed that there is no way for a multiclass rogue to get more sneak attack. I think Sneak Attack is the quintessential Rogue ability, and only getting +1d6 really feels watered down.

I'd suggest that the Rogue Dedication feat should grant the +1d4 sneak attack instead of Surprise Attack. Then the Sneak Attacker feat could grant the level-based increases of +1d4 at levels 5, 11, and 17, just like the base rogue.

+4d4 sneak attack is way more satisfying than +1d6 at high level, and I feel like staying at d4s instead of d6s makes you still feel like you get to throw a lot of dice around, while also making full rogues the best at sneak attack.

That would be a 4d4 increase in weapon damage for 2 class feats (in most occasions).

Waaaaaay too powerful.

That's a 4d4 increase in weapon damage for 2 class feats at level 17. By that point, your +4 weapon is going to have 5 damage dice already, so it's a relatively small percentage of your total damage.

It still is only 2 feats.

Also, it's by no means a small increase.

Worst case, a d8 full strength (23 at 17) build.
Average case, a d6 finesse build with a 18 strength

Worst case 5d8+6= 28.5 damage. 4d4 is 10, a 35% increase in damage.
Average case 5d6+4= 21.5 47% increase

So, a 35-47% increase in damage for 2 feats seems a bit excessive.

If it was 2d6 for 3 feats, with the same numbers, we get a 25-33% increase for 3 feats.

Still extremely good, but more reasonable.

It's worth noting that the damage increase is still sneak attack damage, so it will only happen when the foe is flat-footed, and not immune to precision damage. So while it's good, it's not going to be applicable all the time.

How about 3d4 instead of 2d6? As a player who likes to play rogues, rolling bunches of sneak attack dice is the exciting part for me. 3d4 is only 0.5 more on average than 2d6, but I'd feel like more of a rogue getting to roll three dice than only two.


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First World Bard wrote:
shalandar wrote:
Does anyone know: Will there be a General Feat that says: Select a class feat for your given class?
Well, Humans can take the Natural Ambition ancestry feat, gaining them a 1st level class feat. Anyone can take Adopted Ancestry (a general feat) to take Ancestry feats from another Ancestry (unless those feats rely on physiology). As a note, you don't need to be backstory adopted by humans, the flavor says that a close friendship is enough.

True, that will work...for non-humans and only one time. I was looking for something like:

Extra Class Feat (General Feat)
Benefit: You gain a class feat for your class.
Special: You may only take this feat once every 5 levels.

Just curious if anyone had heard of something like that in other threads.


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shalandar wrote:
First World Bard wrote:
shalandar wrote:
Does anyone know: Will there be a General Feat that says: Select a class feat for your given class?
Well, Humans can take the Natural Ambition ancestry feat, gaining them a 1st level class feat. Anyone can take Adopted Ancestry (a general feat) to take Ancestry feats from another Ancestry (unless those feats rely on physiology). As a note, you don't need to be backstory adopted by humans, the flavor says that a close friendship is enough.

True, that will work...for non-humans and only one time. I was looking for something like:

Extra Class Feat (General Feat)
Benefit: You gain a class feat for your class.
Special: You may only take this feat once every 5 levels.

Just curious if anyone had heard of something like that in other threads.

Of note, that Special line is almost identical to just saying you can take it multiple times currently, since you only get General Feats every 4th level (levels 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19) so the only slot it would really stop would be level 19.

That said, I've not heard anything like this, and doubt we will hear anything like it, since with few exceptions (Skill Feats counting as General Feats, and a couple of Human Ancestry Feats) they seem to be trying to keep the feat types very securely in their silos.

Dark Archive

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Here are the actual differences between 1.0 DC table and 1.3 DC table (a negative number means the DC got HARDER). It is a pretty big overstatement to say that you dropped DCs when PCs will be rolling against medium/hard for most checks and Incredible/Ultimate are virtually impossible to hit the DC (even with full investment). There isn't a clear decrease in DCs until level 12+. So there is virtually no improvement to the treadmill that PCs have to run. Gimped class features like lingering performance DCs won't improve (especially since you nerfed the virtuosic performer feat) so I fail to see what has changed for the hardest levels early on.

[code]
Level Easy Medium Hard Incredible Ultimate
0 2 -1 -1 0 1
1 2 -1 -1 -1 0
2 2 -1 -1 -1 0
3 2 0 0 -1 1
4 2 1 1 0 2
5 2 0 1 0 2
6 2 0 1 0 1
7 2 -1 1 -2 0
8 2 -1 0 -1 1
9 2 0 0 -2 0
10 2 0 0 -2 0
11 2 0 0 -2 0
12 2 1 1 -1 1
13 2 1 2 0 2
14 2 1 2 0 1
15 2 2 2 0 0
16 2 1 2 1 1
17 2 2 2 0 0
18 2 2 2 0 0
19 2 2 2 0 0
20 2 2 2 1 0
21 4 4 4 2 1
22 5 5 4 2 1
23 6 5 4 2 1
[/code]

I think Paizo absolutely missed the boat here! Your customers were asking for increased reward for specialization and a larger difference between proficiency ranks. What we wanted was a -2/0/2/4/6 proficiency scale, not a -4/0/1/2/3 proficiency scale. You haven't rewarded specialization because there isn't any difference between and expert/master/legend beyond a handful of skill feats (many of which aren't mechanically special). Instead what you have rewarded is generalization and putting skill bumps to getting trained vs. expert/master/legendary because of the MASSIVE gap in trained/untrained now.

You have now manufactured the idea of getting better at things by making PCs even WORSE at achieving level appropriate DCs in levels 1 to 5. This 2e design philosophy of 'dropping the power floor' instead of 'increasing the ceiling' is really detrimental to enjoyment of the game. Not Impressed.


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I like the changes to proficiency bonuses (or penalties, in this case), but I would suggest the following, instead.

Untrained: -3

Trained: 0

Expert: +2

Master: +4

Legendary: +6

The big issue that I found was there there was not enough incentive to Increase a skill beyond expert, as it's only a difference of +2 to Legendary. So there should be a bit more of a spread.

Untrained 'could' be -2, but this is trying to stay in line with the current update.

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
You even get an Order and thus the extra uses per day (though what spell you can use it for will lag sharply behind).

I don't think you get extra uses a day. The final line precludes that

"You don’t gain any other abilities from your choice of order."

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Looking it over, the Medium Skill DCs are even worse than the high ones in some ways,

Let's examine what someone with a 12 stat and is Trained, but uses no Skill ups or Items, and no level-ups, has as odds for Medium Skill Checks. That should certainly meet the text's requirements, which say:

'...a decent chance to succeed for low-skilled characters who don’t have a good proficiency or a high ability score.'

Are you assuming that they do NOT put one of their stat boosts into the relevant stat?

I think that assumption is flawed. If my character cared enough to train in a skill then they'd almost always care enough for that stat to be one of the four that they increase. And, while they'd lag far behind, they'd but SOME of the items to boost the skills.

Under MY assumptions (level stat boosts, cheap items) I think the medium skill DCs are about right

Dark Archive

So a -2/0/2/4/6 Scale is just better spread out, but you could make it -3/0/2/4/6 (it just seems a bit arbitrary to make one increment odd valued instead of just +2 every time which is easier to understand for new players. Ultimately we need a differentiate between each proficiency level so that it is clear to PCs that it worthwhile to invest further in a skill. We don't need to further penalize untrained PCs to make everyone try to get trained proficiency in all skills. Otherwise we're going to have a bunch of 18/18/18/18/18/18 stat PCs who are all 'trained' in everything but are still only 15% off off the guy who is legendary. We definitely don't need to double ding L1-5 PCs by increasing untrained by penalties by 10% AND making medium/hard/incredible DCs 5% harder. Its not fun playing a PC who is incapable of things from L1-5. That was a BIG issue in 1e and they've only made it worse by extending it from L1 to L10 in 2e by severely dropping the power curve. People who play PFS don't want to sit on a lemon character for 10 levels because they have to grind away those early levels quite slowly in real life. Whereas people in campaigns can just start at L5 as a way to miss some of the worst parts of the game. Reward players with carrots, don't beat them with the stick.

In their current system the difference between untrained to "X" is:

[color=red][code]
Untrained Trained Expert Master Legendary
0 4 5 6 7
[/code]
[/color]

With a -2/0/2/4/6 scale it is:

[color=#0000ff][code]
Untrained Trained Expert Master Legendary
0 2 4 6 8
[/code]
[/color]

With a -3/0/2/4/6 scale it is:

[code]
Untrained Trained Expert Master Legendary
0 3 5 7 9
[/code]

Dark Archive

Cantriped wrote:
I'm even more concerned because there's currently no way for a single-classed caster to compete with the sheer number of cantrips and spell slots a triple-classed caster can eventually sport.

But triple-classing spellcasters is incredibly difficult. Your class feats would look something like this:

1: Base feat, maybe a bonus for Humans.
2: X Dedication
4: Basic X Spellcasting
6: Any multiclass feat from Dedication 1.
8: Y Dedication
10: Basic Y Spellcasting
14: Expert X Spellcasting
18: Master X Spellcasting
20: Expert Y Spellcasting / Level 10 spells

Pros:
* Access to two additional spell lists for some versatility.
* Level 1-8 spells on Multiclass 1, Level 1-6 spells on Multiclass 2.
* A few bonus cantrips
* Can use some magic items easier

Cons:
* Casting progression is very delayed thanks to not getting a Level 12 class feat - no Level 4 spells from the first multiclass until Level 14, and none from the second until Level 18 at the earliest (or ever, if you want Level 10 spells from your base class).
* The second multiclass costs 3 feats for 6 spell slots. If you only take 1 multiclass you can get the same slots for the cost of 1 feat.
* Your Spell Rolls and DCs will lag on your second and third class. Going Bard/Sorcerer or Cleric/Druid reduces this a bit, but the third is guaranteed to lag by at least -3 compared to your base class.
* Aside from spellcasting feats, you only ever get a Level 1 class feat and one from your first multiclass that you require to be able to take your second multiclass on time. You miss out on feats like Inspire Heroics, Fast Channel / Selective Energy, Primal Summons, Conceal Spell, Quickened Casting, Spell Penetration, or Effortless Concentration. That's a lot of power to lose out on for just six spells from a third list.

Point being, triple-caster builds have significant weaknesses and aren't necessarily as potent as even double-caster builds. Even then, double-caster builds don't really come online until Level 14 with the class Expert Spellcasting feat, so for the majority of the campaign they have issues remaining competitive with single-caster builds.

Liberty's Edge

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pauljathome wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
You even get an Order and thus the extra uses per day (though what spell you can use it for will lag sharply behind).

I don't think you get extra uses a day. The final line precludes that

"You don’t gain any other abilities from your choice of order."

I'm pretty sure that refers to the free Feat and Power.

It specifically says you 'count as a member of the order.' and that statement can only mean you count for Feat purposes, since there's no other use to counting as a member of an Order other than the Feat special effects.

In short, it says you count as a member of the order prior to the sentence you quote. That is thus not 'other' and you receive benefits like the extra Wild Shape uses.

Shadow Lodge

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As I do almost exclusively organized play, characters end at 11th level. So saying the DC's get easier at levels 17-20 is pretty pointless to me.

Liberty's Edge

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thistledown wrote:
As I do almost exclusively organized play, characters end at 11th level. So saying the DC's get easier at levels 17-20 is pretty pointless to me.

Yep. The backloading is the major problem with the Hard DCs. Fiddle around a bit with that and they'd be much better, though not perfect.

The Medium DCs just have a huge disconnect between what they say they are and what they actually seem to be and make PCs seem generally incompetent.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
pauljathome wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
You even get an Order and thus the extra uses per day (though what spell you can use it for will lag sharply behind).

I don't think you get extra uses a day. The final line precludes that

"You don’t gain any other abilities from your choice of order."

I'm pretty sure that refers to the free Feat and Power.

It specifically says you 'count as a member of the order.' and that statement can only mean you count for Feat purposes, since there's no other use to counting as a member of an Order other than the Feat special effects.

In short, it says you count as a member of the order prior to the sentence you quote. That is thus not 'other' and you receive benefits like the extra Wild Shape uses.

Paul and DeadManWalking are both pretty insightful posters, so time to agree with each of them once!

First, yep, this is exactly what we meant by count as a member but don't gain other abilities from the order.

pauljathome wrote:
DMW wrote:

Looking it over, the Medium Skill DCs are even worse than the high ones in some ways,

Let's examine what someone with a 12 stat and is Trained, but uses no Skill ups or Items, and no level-ups, has as odds for Medium Skill Checks. That should certainly meet the text's requirements, which say:
'...a decent chance to succeed for low-skilled characters who don’t have a good proficiency or a high ability score.'

Are you assuming that they do NOT put one of their stat boosts into the relevant stat?

I think that assumption is flawed. If my character cared enough to train in a skill then they'd almost always care enough for that stat to be one of the four that they increase. And, while they'd lag far behind, they'd but SOME of the items to boost the skills.

Under MY assumptions (level stat boosts, cheap items) I think the medium skill DCs are about right

We were looking at a situation closer to Paul's; even if you figured your stat boosts are assigned at random, without a bias to raising the ones that help your trained skills like Paul mentioned, a character with a 12 will wind up with an 18 at about a 60% rate for independent random assignment, or 2/3 if you assume that assigning it the first time means you'll probably keep assigning it until you hit 18. This alone is a character that stays roughly close in chance with the Medium DC (stays within 5%). Consider a wizard who starts with 12 Wisdom, raises Wisdom just to raise Will saves and Perception; due to very high Int giving him almost all the skills anyway, he trained in Religion on a lark, but never did anything to improve it further (this is one possible situation, another might be a bard who is not raising Wisdom but is picking up a hand-me-down item every so often for her trained skill).


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shroudb wrote:

So, a 35-47% increase in damage for 2 feats seems a bit excessive.

If it was 2d6 for 3 feats, with the same numbers, we get a 25-33% increase for 3 feats.

Still extremely good, but more reasonable.

The number of feats invested in a thing should not have some kind of proportional relationship with DPR. One or two feats may increase DPR but throwing more feats at something to linearly increase PC DPR seems like a problematic assumption. I would instead ask, "how much should a feat tree/cluster affect DPR?" or maybe "Is the amount of DPR granted by these feats reasonable?"

Right now, I would say that the current investment in Rogue Dedication and Sneak attack is acceptable for 1d6 SA and the boatload of extra skills. But under no circumstances would I be ok with other classes further encroaching on SA by just investing more feats.

I would argue that using feats for greater flexibility is normally fine but as soon as players start poaching the raw power of other classes, thats when you start to smell the cheese.

Thats my two coppers anyways.

Grand Lodge

Zwordsman wrote:

I like it so far.

I still think Administer First Aid should not require a med kit. Those are really expensive.. and classes that would really want to use Medicine.. like alchemist. have basically 0 un assigned coinage to put forward for things like Medkits or theif kits
I love that the DC is flat again though. or at least as near as I can tell.

also still wish that Alch could do med with INT. what with medicine (as opposed to heal) being a science

Though I'm still personally waiting for Alchemist mods. Though I also feel like not many alchemists are chosen % wise. or that is the perception anyway.

Well it should require something, right? Can't just strip off a strip of your cloak, wrap up a wound, and expect to be healed. That's silly and just like a video game, which this game is not.


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thistledown wrote:
As I do almost exclusively organized play, characters end at 11th level. So saying the DC's get easier at levels 17-20 is pretty pointless to me.

That's true for PF1, but I'm hoping won't be the case for the PF2 organized play campaign. The 3.5 backbone of the system really breaks down at higher levels, which is why I suspect the level cap is as is in PFS. With a more balanced system where all classes can contribute and high level combat doesn't just devolve into "which caster won initiative and can cast their 7th+ level spell first", I don't see a reason why the main campaign couldn't go all the way to 20th level.


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Seifter:

Players should probably be told that they are expected to get their ability score up to 18 or so, get thier skill to master and get skill increasing items if they want to keep succeeding more than half the time. I dunno, doesnt seem right to me.

A dude with 12 in a stat and trained in a related skill with no spiffy skill items should still have a 50% shot over his career, imo. He invested meaningful resources to do a thing. That should matter. Right now, even if he continues to dump points in the stat he doesn't get better. He only treads water.

C'mon, let us be heroes, guys.


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Data Lore wrote:

Seifter:

Players should probably be told that they are expected to get their ability score up to 18 or so, get thier skill to master and get skill increasing items if they want to keep succeeding more than half the time. I dunno, doesnt seem right to me.

A dude with 12 in a stat and trained in a related skill with no spiffy skill items should still have a 50% shot over his career, imo. He invested meaningful resources to do a thing. That should matter. Right now, even if he continues to dump points in the stat he doesn't get better. He only treads water.

C'mon, let us be heroes, guys.

Ah, yes, the heroic 12 strength that comes from lifting weights every couple of weeks and the heroic 12 intelligence that assured you entry to East Nowhere State College.


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Still processing all of the changes, but good job guys - this is significant stuff to put together in quick time.

Couple thoughts to be going on with

1) Dying still feels like a complicated process to track. In PF1, you just measure hit point damage and when it goes 'too negative' the character dies. Here, it doesn't matter how much damage the PC took to put them into dying - all that seems to matter is whether it was a crit or not. If that crit would 'only' have taken them to -1 hit point, it still seems to matter more than a non-crit that would have taken them to -17 (enough to kill almost any PF1 character).

Is there some reason for changing the way dying worked in PF1? I admit it wasn't perfect but it worked and was straightforward to track: you're just keeping track of hit point damage.

(I may be in a minority on this issue, in which case I've no doubt I shall quickly be put to rights)

2) Hunted Shot looks slightly overpowered. I'm playing the manticore in the Playtest right now, and the ability to shoot two spikes as one action is a killer.

3) Blade of Justice - nice "minor change"! Does the bonus apply if the enemy attacks you and an ally? E.g. attack 1 vs ally, attack 2 and 3 vs Paladin, the duration still extends?


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Frankly, 'being heroes' is not something I've felt watching the group of people I'm gaming with so far.

Barring, of course, the _ridiculous_ crit streaks of the Druid's Raptor.

I would almost argue, based on my experience, that 'being heroes' is not a high priority for this edition of Pathfinder.


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Depends what you mean by 'heroic' - a level 1 fighter confronting a party of goblins that have as good a BAB than he does* is facing a real risk of being seriously hurt; that looks heroic in my book.

I think PF2 makes it much harder for the PCs to bestride Golarion like a colossus. YMMV, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

It may be that Paizo has gone too far the other way, though - my CR/level/whatever 6 manticore is beating the snot out of my level 4 PCs, and I'm not even trying that hard. (although in fairness I have rolled a ludicrous number of crits)

*level 1 plus +4 Str plus Expert proficiency = 6, same as a goblin.


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NemisCassander wrote:

Frankly, 'being heroes' is not something I've felt watching the group of people I'm gaming with so far.

Barring, of course, the _ridiculous_ crit streaks of the Druid's Raptor.

I would almost argue, based on my experience, that 'being heroes' is not a high priority for this edition of Pathfinder.

that's a matter of personal preference though.

some people feel heroic when they trample over the opposition. You go against a dragon and slap him silly because you are THE man.
others feel more heroic when they overcome odds stacked against them.

my group certainly felt more heroic *surviving* (and clearing in the meantime) the early quests. It felt like they really accomplished something that they should have failed. And this felt heroic to them (and me).

that's not to say that difficulty is right atm imo. Some things, the ones you invested your body and soul to push to the max, should certainly NOT be a coin toss to succeed at.


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Data Lore wrote:
Players should probably be told that they are expected to get their ability score up to 18 or so, get thier skill to master and get skill increasing items if they want to keep succeeding more than half the time. I dunno, doesnt seem right to me.

I think this is very crucial, and speaks to larger need for rules to explain expectations. I think it should be flatly stated your Background is expected to boost your Primary stat (which any can do, if using the Free boost). Skill boosts should discuss how important boosting your "primary" skills to Master is, and Item boosts should be mentioned when discussing treasure allocation. With "tight math" the game depends on this, and I think that's fine and accomplishes it's goals, but all this should be made clear to the player. Same for many Feats & abilitie, if their value is hinged on certain combinations with other action-economy, that should be stated clearly. Sub-expert players should not be thrown into something where they don't even understand the baseline meta-rules of the game.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Ah, yes, the heroic 12 strength that comes from lifting weights every couple of weeks and the heroic 12 intelligence that assured you entry to East Nowhere State College.

I get what you are saying. I guess I am just accustomed to 10 being average. A 12 is above average. Trained means you know how to do a thing.

If you are some adventurer with above average stats who knows how to do a thing, I would expect you to succeed at least about half the time. Sure, he's no expert, master or legend. Sure, he doesn't have demi-human stats.

But, well, he's an adventurer with above average stats who knows how to do a thing. *shrug*

As he levels, his proficiency in said skill increases. So, why exactly is he getting worse?

Now if I am looking at this wrong, thats fine but that should be called out in the rulebook. Let folks know that they will need to constantly increase skills and only level skills that are tied to stats they intend to take to 18 or more. Thats important guidance to impart to a player.

I think the devs have their "dev goggles" on and are looking at stuff from a perspective of mechanical mastery that doesn't necessary jive with the way they have presented character choices.


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Quandary wrote:
I think it should be flatly stated your Background is expected to boost your Primary stat (which any can do, if using the Free boost). Skill boosts should discuss how important boosting your "primary" skills to Master is, and Item boosts should be mentioned when discussing treasure allocation. With "tight math" the game depends on this, and I think that's fine and accomplishes it's goals, but all this should be made clear to the player.

It does, however, make the character progress feel rather... well... railroaded.


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Data Lore wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ah, yes, the heroic 12 strength that comes from lifting weights every couple of weeks and the heroic 12 intelligence that assured you entry to East Nowhere State College.

I get what you are saying. I guess I am just accustomed to 10 being average. A 12 is above average. Trained means you know how to do a thing.

If you are some adventurer with above average stats who knows how to do a thing, I would expect you to succeed at least about half the time. Sure, he's no expert, master or legend. Sure, he doesn't have demi-human stats.

But, well, he's an adventurer with above average stats who knows how to do a thing. *shrug*

As he levels, his proficiency in said skill increases. So, why exactly is he getting worse?

Now if I am looking at this wrong, thats fine but that should be called out in the rulebook. Let folks know that they will need to constantly increase skills and only level skills that are tied to stats they intend to take to 18 or more. Thats important guidance to impart to a player.

I think the devs have their "dev goggles" on and are looking at stuff from a perspective of mechanical mastery that doesn't necessary jive with the way they have presented character choices.

well, according to DC descriptions, adventurers often try things that other wouldn't.

High DC (that most adventuring rolls are) are not suppossed to be what an average, even trained, "commoner" would try.

The way i picture this, is like asking a gymnast to jump from the second floor. He'll probably flat out refuse, his livehood is his legs. But the adventurer will easily jump the same distance while running to escape *something*, fall, get injured, and brush it off "'tis but a scratch!" and continue to live another day.

I have no problem with high DCs being a bit difficult and not auto-success. I DO have an issue that the adventurer that has spend every single of his item, ability mods, skill ranks, skill feats, into something, doesn't clear stuff more easily though.

I guess, this can be alleviated NOT by changing the DCs, but by keeping them where they are, but increasing the impact of "master+/items/something" to show off that the one who overspecialized has something to gain. (something (the higher scaling), that funnily enough, i was against like a month ago)


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Ya, these scaling DCs are seeming more and more awful to me every passing day through this playtest. They are absolutely outstripping proficiency advancement and they probably shouldn't.

If level 1 is: 8, 13, 15, 16, 18.
Then level 10 should be: 17(17), 22(24), 24(27), 25(31), 27(32)
And level 20 should be: 27(27), 32(36), 34(39), 35(43), 37(47)
(actual in parenthesis)

The easy difficulty lines up but everything else is increasingly off. Its like they are thinking, hey, they are gonna spend stat points, lets invalidate that by jacking up the DC. Honestly, I would prefer no stat increases to this. Its a bait and switch.

Paizo, its OK if some level 20 dude with crazy items and buffs succeeds 95% of the time. He's level 20 for chrissakes! Its ok that an optimized PC gets some items and buffs on he starts to succeed on an inordinate amount of checks. He probably should. If you don't let the optimizer succeed, what hope is there for everyone else?

Edit: Also, imagine if they cut proficiency advancement by 1/2 and DCs just went up to 27 (or 30 maybe, nice round number). Wow, we can just have one set of static DCs that go up to 27. No need for this level based DC wierdness where I don't feel like I advance. Food for thought.

Shadow Lodge

First World Bard wrote:
thistledown wrote:
As I do almost exclusively organized play, characters end at 11th level. So saying the DC's get easier at levels 17-20 is pretty pointless to me.
That's true for PF1, but I'm hoping won't be the case for the PF2 organized play campaign. The 3.5 backbone of the system really breaks down at higher levels, which is why I suspect the level cap is as is in PFS. With a more balanced system where all classes can contribute and high level combat doesn't just devolve into "which caster won initiative and can cast their 7th+ level spell first", I don't see a reason why the main campaign couldn't go all the way to 20th level.

Higher level games present more branched options available to characters. This means more that scenario writers have to think of ways to account for, making it very difficult to write for. A home game the GM can adjust the game to match the characters, but organized play does not have as much flexibility, so the scenarios must be written is such.

I don't know if the number will be 11, but I don't expect a lot of high-level play. It's just too hard to keep things on-track.


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Mats Öhrman wrote:
It does, however, make the character progress feel rather... well... railroaded.

Yeah, but any conscientious GM or group of experienced players will hold the hand of a newbie getting to grips with the system. I don't see the harm of the CRB making clear those basic dynamics in the appropriate location when explaining these things. If this is the game's real meta, there's no point in leaving a newbies a chance to unknowingly sabotage themselves.


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NemisCassander wrote:

Frankly, 'being heroes' is not something I've felt watching the group of people I'm gaming with so far.

Barring, of course, the _ridiculous_ crit streaks of the Druid's Raptor.

I would almost argue, based on my experience, that 'being heroes' is not a high priority for this edition of Pathfinder.

IMO, it's more 'being sidekicks': IE BMX Bandit's. More... Hero adjacent...


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Mark Seifter wrote:
shroudb wrote:

i like how Blade of justice is classified as "minor change" when it actually changes a pretty subpar damage ability to a wonderful alternative "tanking" and "damage" ability.

that "minor change" changes an ability that was at best a 2/5 to a solid 4/5 for me.

Sometimes all it takes is a small tweak to radically adjust the power and usefulness of an ability, and sometimes doing that to just one ability can radically adjust an entire character build. It sure does make game design tricky sometimes, but when we get it right, it's also very satisfying.

And sometimes, the framework on which something rests needs to be torn out and rebuilt instead of endlessly patched up and plastered.

To wit, the Ranger needs to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. You've taken a class that was the iconic intuitive/skilled fighter and transformed it into a single-minded mauler. Update 1.3 certainly strong arms the rules to make sure that Hunt Target is at least getting applied. Yes, you can certainly do things to make sure that Hunt Target adds damage. But that doesn't fix the class. It isn't about DPS, it's about concept. Doubling down on Hunt Target makes the Ranger more undesirable. Now, the class is even more penalized for not focusing on the single target every round. That's far more fitting for a Barbarian. I can't speak for min/maxers, but for me, that isn't fun. That isn't why I play the Ranger. I suspect I'm not alone.

Also, making Hunt Target trigger Recall Knowledge via Monster Hunter doesn't fix the problem. It doesn't make sense for a Ranger to invest in the monster ID skills since at lvl 10 Master Monster Hunter allows you to just use Nature. I don't get what you guys are doing, unless you expect no one to take this and then retrain into it at level 10.

Finally, you're forcing the class to opt-in on theme at the expense of combat viability. Why do that? Do you think Monster Hunter is comparable to Animal Companion or Hunted Shot?

Upping Ranger damage doesn't fix the fundamental problem with the Ranger. Honestly, Paizo, if you want to create the Hunter, create it. Hunt Target, Monster Hunter, Hunted Shot, Hunting Companion, Master Monster Hunter, Shadow Hunter....just create the Hunter. You don't want to let go of this concept, fine, but at least acknowledge that it's not a Ranger that you've created.

Sovereign Court

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
How do you multiclass into Ranger and use its class feats when you can only Hunt Target once per day?
I guess you could always take the other Ranger dedication feat that lets you hunt target as often as you want.

So, you take the Dedication at level 2, and it does... once per day giving you a bonus on perception against a guy.

At level 4, you take a ranger feat, but you can only use it once per day, and without the MAP reduction that the feat is now engineered to need.

At level 6, you take another feat just so you can use that feat you took at level 4 more than once per day.

Yaaay.

Paizo Employee Designer

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Let's do a by-level breakdown (ignoring Virtuosic Performer, since the equivalent is only available for two skills):

At 1st, a completely optimized character succeeds at High DC checks on a 10. 55% chance.

At 5th, a completely optimized character still succeeds at High DC checks on a 10 (assuming a +1 Item). Still only a 55% chance.

At 9th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on a 9 (assuming a +2 Item). Now a 60% chance.

At 13th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on a 7 (assuming a +3 Item). Now a 70% chance.

At 17th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on an 6 (assuming a +4 Item). Now a 75% chance.

I've noticed some mentions of the fact that there seems to be a bigger gain between 9 and 13 than in other places based on this analysis, but there's some things to think about:

If we take apart the High DC column, it raises by 2 at 5, 8, 9, 15, and 17, and nowhere else. By choosing your benchmarks at 4 levels above 1st level which include 3 of those 5 increase levels (the one that wasn't 13th, is the one that comes out looking like it makes a bigger jump for this reason), it makes the numbers look lower than they generally would be (you might ask "Shouldn't there be no effect if the bumps to DCs always correspond to the increases to skills?" There are a few reason that these DC bump levels are not exactly the same levels as when the max person raises their skills centered around the fact that the Hard DC is not focused on catering to the Max possible character).

Let's consider a character with 14 in the stat for a skill, not maxed out. He starts with a 45% chance on the skill. He's not in a class with a prime stat for this skill, but he considers it his second skill priority, picking up Expert at 5th, Master at 9th, Legendary at 17th (second chance to do so each time) and grabbing a new item on the other odd levels for math convenience (so 3rd level before getting an expert tool/+1 item, then 7th, and so on through 19th level). Thanks to starting with a 14, he starts with a 45% chance at a Hard, basically a coin flip. Over the course of advancement, he raises his chances to a significantly better 75%, better than halving the chance of failing, which is a major improvement. Most of these increases in his chances don't happen at the high levels; 4 of the 6 increases happen between levels 1 and 11.

But how can that jive with the numbers in the post I quoted? They seem like they can't both be right. The differences come in three ways. Much of it is the levels chosen; choose 1, 4, 8, 12, 16 with DMW's benchmark character (same items and proficiencies) and you see the chances at 55%, 65%, 65%, 70%, 80%. One other difference is that the optimized character actually advances ever-so-slightly more slowly than the focused character with a lower stat at level 5 due to being able to pick up a +2 stat increase (they both increase at 10, and the optimized character regains its original lead with a stat item eventually at high levels). The last difference is that I believe DMW made a minor math error that only affects level 5 and doesn't propagate to higher levels, such that the chance should improve to 60% in the quoted post (it's only off by 1, but when we're doing something like this where we're looking at a gradual steady increase, every 1 adds up).


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shroudb wrote:

well, according to DC descriptions, adventurers often try things that other wouldn't.

High DC (that most adventuring rolls are) are not suppossed to be what an average, even trained, "commoner" would try.

The way i picture this, is like asking a gymnast to jump from the second floor. He'll probably flat out refuse, his livehood is his legs. But the adventurer will easily jump the same distance while running to escape *something*, fall, get injured, and brush it off "'tis but a scratch!" and continue to live another day.

I have no problem with high DCs being a bit difficult and not auto-success. I DO have an issue that the adventurer that has spend every single of his item, ability mods, skill ranks, skill feats, into something, doesn't clear stuff more easily though.

I agree Hard should be throwing challenge at 12 Stat Trained characters.

Considering an Average level 10 could be Level (10) + Trained (0) + Stat (1) + Item (2) = 13
That is 85% vs Easy, 50% vs Medium, 35% vs Hard, 15% vs Incredible, 10% vs Ultimate
Fully Optimized at level 10 should be Level (10) + Master (2) + Stat (5) + Item (2) = 19
That is Guaranteed vs Easy, 80% vs Medium, 65% vs Hard, 45% vs Incredible, 40% vs Ultimate

Hard is a challenge for the Optimized character (expecting to fail 35% of the time is challenging) and just plain out of the Average character’s league. Even Medium is rough for the Average guy. Medium seems like something an Average guy should succeed more often than fail, maybe a challenge but not a coin flip.

My opinion is those numbers should be:
For the Average character: 85% vs Easy, 65% vs Medium, 55% vs Hard, 40% vs Incredible, 25% vs Ultimate
Fully Optimized character: Guaranteed vs Easy, 95% vs Medium, 85% vs Hard, 70% vs Incredible, 55% vs Ultimate

One other thing I know I do not like about the current chart is how many spots Ultimate is only 1 harder than Incredible.

shroudb wrote:
I guess, this can be alleviated NOT by changing the DCs, but by keeping them where they are, but increasing the impact of "master+/items/something" to show off that the one who overspecialized has something to gain. (something (the higher scaling), that funnily enough, i was against like a month ago)

This is true and it could work for skills, but it might throw off the combat math a bit.

Even if they were to increase the optimizer’s benefits, the Medium column on the chart is just too much of a step up from the Easy. An extra 25% chance of failure at level 1, 35% at level 10, 40% at level 15, and 45% at level 20. That seems a reasonable drop off for Easy to Hard, not Easy to Medium.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

Let's do a by-level breakdown (ignoring Virtuosic Performer, since the equivalent is only available for two skills):

At 1st, a completely optimized character succeeds at High DC checks on a 10. 55% chance.

At 5th, a completely optimized character still succeeds at High DC checks on a 10 (assuming a +1 Item). Still only a 55% chance.

At 9th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on a 9 (assuming a +2 Item). Now a 60% chance.

At 13th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on a 7 (assuming a +3 Item). Now a 70% chance.

At 17th, a completely optimized character now succeeds at High DC checks on an 6 (assuming a +4 Item). Now a 75% chance.

I've noticed some mentions of the fact that there seems to be a bigger gain between 9 and 13 than in other places based on this analysis, but there's some things to think about:

If we take apart the High DC column, it raises by 2 at 5, 8, 9, 15, and 17, and nowhere else. By choosing your benchmarks at 4 levels above 1st level which include 3 of those 5 increase levels (the one that wasn't 13th, is the one that comes out looking like it makes a bigger jump for this reason), it makes the numbers look lower than they generally would be (you might ask "Shouldn't there be no effect if the bumps to DCs always correspond to the increases to skills?" There are a few reason that these DC bump levels are not exactly the same levels as when the max person raises their skills centered around the fact that the Hard DC is not focused on catering to the Max possible character).

Let's consider a character with 14 in the stat for a skill, not maxed out. He starts with a 45% chance on the skill. He's not in a class with a prime stat for this skill, but he considers it his second skill priority, picking up Expert at 5th, Master at 9th, Legendary at 17th (second chance to do so each time) and grabbing a new item on the other odd levels for math convenience (so 3rd level before getting an...

Mark, you guys should seriously consider stop using "item bonuses" on any of your calculations:

a)you seem to disregard the RP invested cost

b)and much more importantly, not every skill has a level appropriate skill bonus item. In fact, a lot of the skill bonuses either come with other baggages or are missing, or are in other levels because they are paired with other stuff altogether.

c)i thought the whole RP thing was to stop making us christmas trees. If for every single skill we want to use we need a specific item, that's way worse of a christmas tree than pf1

d)you guys do remember that we get like 5-12 trained skills and that in our whole 20 levels we will raise only 3 of them. Are the 3+ (9+ for Int classes!) just decoration skills for levels 1-5 and then they are obsolete? What's the point of saying "here guys, get trained in those skills, but keep in mind that after level 5 trained is equally useless as untrained"

Long story short. Trained, if it's supposed to be a thing, needs to actually, mechanically, mean something substantial for your WHOLE career.

Or, if it's mechanically impossible to keep up with 10+ trained skills (currently it is) then reconsider Intelligence as a stat. As it is right now, it literally does absolutely nothing (since trained is useless after a certain level but you keep getting only trained skills even at levels 10-15-20).

Else, just have each character pick 3 skills, and autoscale them to what numbers you guys feel are fair and be done with the whole skill system.

Paizo Employee Designer

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shroudb wrote:
Mark, you guys should seriously consider stop using "item bonuses" on any of your calculations:

I am hoping we can do a bit of an item bonus reckoning that will assist in that endeavor, for the reasons you mention and some other ones. I don't want to get too in-depth about what it would involve in case it's not feasible, but it would lessen the impact of inclusion/exclusion of items

(Right now, simply lowering all the numbers would just mean we have a system that retains all the same meta pressure to still get the items that you've identified, just with a phase shift changing the results from items taking you from Too Low->Great to items taking you from Great->Too High. With the right changes in place, we can hopefully help fix the issues you've recognized without introducing any new ones).


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Mark Seifter wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Mark, you guys should seriously consider stop using "item bonuses" on any of your calculations:

I am hoping we can do a bit of an item bonus reckoning that will assist in that endeavor, for the reasons you mention and some other ones. I don't want to get too in-depth about what it would involve in case it's not feasible, but it would lessen the impact of inclusion/exclusion of items

(Right now, simply lowering all the numbers would just mean we have a system that retains all the same meta pressure to still get the items that you've identified, just with a phase shift changing the results from items taking you from Too Low->Great to items taking you from Great->Too High. With the right changes in place, we can hopefully help fix the issues you've recognized without introducing any new ones).

but again, it's not ONLY the item bonuses.

i mean.

a simple Int based character's "bonus" is that he has a lot more "trained skills" to a total amount of 12 by level 20.

if all those trained skills , that are currently mechanically impossible to be anything other than simply "trained" (i mean, we can only raise 3 of them whatever we do), are useless after a certain level. Then, is it really a bonus?

It's like having strength give +x to attack and damage but only with non-magical weapons. When the game math starts assuming magical weapons, your strength score is irrelevant for hit and damage.

Again:

the end point, the thing that really cannot be dropped at all is:

Trained Rank needs to provide substantial bonuses and success rates, at least for up to medium difficulty DCs up until level 20, without any other investment.

Or else it has 0 reasons to exist.

edit:
to use tiers. Each and every character (except rogue) really has 3 tiers of skills:

1)THREE skills that he advances. Those skills that he raises in ranks, invests items, and etc.

2)TWO+INT skills that he's trained

3)Untrained in rest skills.

Game mechanics disregard a whole tier of skills and lumps 2+3 together as "garbage tier".

Imo:

drop the unecessery 5 different degrees of DCs:

mae it simply easy/medium/hard

Hard DCs are for the 3 skills you're invested
Medium DCs are for the skills you're trained
Easy DCs are for the "garbage tier"

Silver Crusade

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Deadmanwalking wrote:


In short, it says you count as a member of the order prior to the sentence you quote. That is thus not 'other' and you receive benefits like the extra Wild Shape uses.

I was going to disagree with you until I saw Marks post :-) :-).

Now, I think that I'll concede the point :-) :-)

Mark - I suspect that I won't be the only person confused by the language. Perhaps this could go onto your list of things to be clarified in the final rules.


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Mark Seifter wrote:

Let's consider a character with 14 in the stat for a skill, not maxed out. He starts with a 45% chance on the skill. He's not in a class with a prime stat for this skill, but he considers it his second skill priority, picking up Expert at 5th, Master at 9th, Legendary at 17th (second chance to do so each time) and grabbing a new item on the other odd levels for math convenience (so 3rd level before getting an expert tool/+1 item, then 7th, and so on through 19th level). Thanks to starting with a 14, he starts with a 45% chance at a Hard, basically a coin flip. Over the course of advancement, he raises his chances to a significantly better 75%, better than halving the chance of failing, which is a major improvement. Most of these increases in his chances don't happen at the high levels; 4 of the 6 increases happen between levels 1 and 11.

But how can that jive with the numbers in the post I quoted? They seem like they can't both be right. The differences come in three ways. Much of it is the levels chosen; choose 1, 4, 8, 12, 16

Level 1 Character would be Level (1) + Trained (0) + Stat (2) + Item (0) = 3; 45% vs Hard DC 15

Level 4 Character would be Level (4) + Trained (0) + Stat (2) + Item (1) = 7; 50% vs Hard DC 18
Level 8 Character would be Level (8) + Expert (1) + Stat (3) + Item (2) = 14; 55% vs Hard DC 24
Level 12 Character would be Level (12) + Master (2) + Stat (4) + Item (2) = 20; 60% vs Hard DC 29
Level 16 Character would be Level (16) + Master (2) + Stat (4) + Item (3) = 25 ; 60% vs Hard DC 34
Level 20 Character would be Level (20) + Legendary (3) + Stat (5) + Item (4) = 32; 70% vs Hard DC 39

I am getting 45, 50, 55, 60, 60, 70 after throwing everything I have at improving this skill (which seems like I am optimizing this skill, despite not starting at an 18 in the stat). I am sure I am missing something small, but I am not sure how you got to a 75% chance of success vs Hard. I also am not sure how the difference between an optimizer and a non-optimizer is simply not starting with a max stat and delaying max progression by 2 levels.
If I throw everything I can at a skill (even if it is the 2nd skill I do that to, rather than the first), I expect that skill to be considered optimized and I would consider it a signature part of my character and I would want a better success rate.


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Wandering Wastrel wrote:

Still processing all of the changes, but good job guys - this is significant stuff to put together in quick time.

Couple thoughts to be going on with

1) Dying still feels like a complicated process to track. In PF1, you just measure hit point damage and when it goes 'too negative' the character dies. Here, it doesn't matter how much damage the PC took to put them into dying - all that seems to matter is whether it was a crit or not. If that crit would 'only' have taken them to -1 hit point, it still seems to matter more than a non-crit that would have taken them to -17 (enough to kill almost any PF1 character).

Is there some reason for changing the way dying worked in PF1? I admit it wasn't perfect but it worked and was straightforward to track: you're just keeping track of hit point damage.

(I may be in a minority on this issue, in which case I've no doubt I shall quickly be put to rights)

2) Hunted Shot looks slightly overpowered. I'm playing the manticore in the Playtest right now, and the ability to shoot two spikes as one action is a killer.

3) Blade of Justice - nice "minor change"! Does the bonus apply if the enemy attacks you and an ally? E.g. attack 1 vs ally, attack 2 and 3 vs Paladin, the duration still extends?

I'm

The big issue with dying in PF1 is it breaks down at high levels. As the damage of an individual hit shoots past the average pc constitution score (which tended to be the same at level 1 as level 15) then it became really easy to die. In fact, you'd be in less danger of dying if you happened to get knocked into negative than if you were at single digit positive, which is counterintuitive.

Edit: this contributed to "death spirals" and basically mandated resurrection magic being available, which many fund jarring.

Tweaking the negative hit point threshold might have helped fix this, but I'm not sure if there is a simple, easy to calculate rule for it.

They're current dying rules don't need to have intense calculations for expected DPR. You stay about as likely to die when knocked below 0 at all levels.


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shroudb wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
shroudb wrote:
Mark, you guys should seriously consider stop using "item bonuses" on any of your calculations:

I am hoping we can do a bit of an item bonus reckoning that will assist in that endeavor, for the reasons you mention and some other ones. I don't want to get too in-depth about what it would involve in case it's not feasible, but it would lessen the impact of inclusion/exclusion of items

(Right now, simply lowering all the numbers would just mean we have a system that retains all the same meta pressure to still get the items that you've identified, just with a phase shift changing the results from items taking you from Too Low->Great to items taking you from Great->Too High. With the right changes in place, we can hopefully help fix the issues you've recognized without introducing any new ones).

but again, it's not ONLY the item bonuses.

i mean.

a simple Int based character's "bonus" is that he has a lot more "trained skills" to a total amount of 12 by level 20.

if all those trained skills , that are currently mechanically impossible to be anything other than simply "trained" (i mean, we can only raise 3 of them whatever we do), are useless after a certain level. Then, is it really a bonus?

It's like having strength give +x to attack and damage but only with non-magical weapons. When the game math starts assuming magical weapons, your strength score is irrelevant for hit and damage.

Again:

the end point, the thing that really cannot be dropped at all is:

Trained Rank needs to provide substantial bonuses and success rates, at least for up to medium difficulty DCs up until level 20, without any other investment.

Or else it has 0 reasons to exist.

edit:
to use tiers. Each and every character (except rogue) really has 3 tiers of skills:

1)THREE skills that he advances. Those skills that he raises in ranks, invests items, and etc.

2)TWO+INT skills that he's trained

3)Untrained in rest skills.

Game...

I'll have to agreed with this reply. In practical terms a character will indeed have 3 good skills and 2 trained skills. As the character levels, his 3 good skills will improve at the rate you modeled, meanwhile every other skill is worsening at roughly 2x that same rate.

Please use real, normal characters to make table 10-2, figure out how many items he's supposed to have, how many skills he's keeping up and such, and you can quickly see it still has the same issue in practice despite the super math going on that always just focuses on 1 single skill in a vaccuum and not the complete characters.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
We were looking at a situation closer to Paul's; even if you figured your stat boosts are assigned at random, without a bias to raising the ones that help your trained skills like Paul mentioned, a character with a 12 will wind up with an 18 at about a 60% rate for independent random assignment, or 2/3 if you assume that assigning it the first time means you'll probably keep assigning it until you hit 18. This alone is a character that stays roughly close in chance with the Medium DC (stays within 5%). Consider a wizard who starts with 12 Wisdom, raises Wisdom just to raise Will saves and Perception; due to very high Int giving him almost all the skills anyway, he trained in Religion on a lark, but never did anything to improve it further (this is one possible situation, another might be a bard who is not raising Wisdom but is picking up a hand-me-down item every so often for her trained skill).

Even with raising by +2 at 5th, 10th, and 15th you drop in chances from 50% to 45%. And you literally can't get that bonus in all your stats meaning that some will definitionally wind up worse than this, meaining general competence still goes down rather than up.

Only going to 16 is possible for all stats makes for only a 40% chance. That's still a full 10% drop in most cases, and likely more than thatin some (just putting all three +s into one stat means that one other stat does worse than this).

I mean, assuming that everything would get at least one +2 by 10th would be one thing, but that results in a 10% drop even if true.

Magic Items are sort of a factor, but hand me down items for most skills are impossible due to Resonance and thus don't seem to me like they should be a super relevant factor. I mean, unless everyone is expected to carry around magic items for half a dozen or more skills (ie: everything that you have Trained) they really shouldn't be counted.

Now, if mundane skill items were actually available, that's be a different calculation entirely, but that's a very different situation in many ways, and would improve quite a few Skill DC problems all on its own.

Mark Seifter wrote:

I've noticed some mentions of the fact that there seems to be a bigger gain between 9 and 13 than in other places based on this analysis, but there's some things to think about:

If we take apart the High DC column, it raises by 2 at 5, 8, 9, 15, and 17, and nowhere else. By choosing your benchmarks at 4 levels above 1st level which include 3 of those 5 increase levels (the one that wasn't 13th, is the one that comes out looking like it makes a bigger jump for this reason), it makes the numbers look lower than they generally would be (you might ask "Shouldn't there be no effect if the bumps to DCs always correspond to the increases to skills?" There are a few reason that these DC bump levels are not exactly the same levels as when the max person raises their skills centered around the fact that the Hard DC is not focused on catering to the Max possible character).

Fair enough, I suppose. I started out looking at 9th because that's the chapter that we're on looking forward, and did increments above and below that to round things out. If I hit the worst progression possible, I suppose that's consistent with my luck on these things historically...

Mark Seifter wrote:
Let's consider a character with 14 in the stat for a skill, not maxed out. He starts with a 45% chance on the skill. He's not in a class with a prime stat for this skill, but he considers it his second skill priority, picking up Expert at 5th, Master at 9th, Legendary at 17th (second chance to do so each time) and grabbing a new item on the other odd levels for math convenience (so 3rd level before getting an expert tool/+1 item, then 7th, and so on through 19th level). Thanks to starting with a 14, he starts with a 45% chance at a Hard, basically a coin flip. Over the course of advancement, he raises his chances to a significantly better 75%, better than halving the chance of failing, which is a major improvement. Most of these increases don't happen at the high levels; 4 of the 6 increases happen between levels 1 and 11.

Interesting. That starting 45% still seems a tad low to me, though.

This also assumes a Skill Item. So is everyone expected to have at least two of those maxed? Because the current magic item math seems to argue against one's ability to do that and have things like the 'hand me down' items noted above.

Really, a lot of these issues seem like they'd be solved by making skill items something that can actually be acquired and equipped more readily than they seem able to be at the moment.

Mark Seifter wrote:
But how can that jive with the numbers in the post I quoted? They seem like they can't both be right. The differences come in three ways. Much of it is the levels chosen; choose 1, 4, 8, 12, 16 with DMW's benchmark character (same items and proficiencies) and you see the chances at 55%, 65%, 65%, 70%, 80%. One other difference is that the optimized character actually advances ever-so-slightly more slowly than the focused character with a lower stat at level 5 due to being able to pick up a +2 stat increase (they both increase at 10, and the optimized character regains its original lead with a stat item eventually at high levels).

I feel like those numbers definitely do look a lot better, but the fact that your chances actually go down at many levels (apparently 5th, 9th, and 17th at the least) is disheartening and unfortunate and should probably be fixed. This would improve everyone's chances on Hard Skill Checks, but I'm not sure that's a bad thing...

Mark Seifter wrote:
The last difference is that I believe DMW made a minor math error that only affects level 5 and doesn't propagate to higher levels, such that the chance should improve to 60% in the quoted post (it's only off by 1, but when we're doing something like this where we're looking at a gradual steady increase, every 1 adds up).

This is sort of true on a technical level, but not on a practical one. It's due to getting a +2 Item (which does indeed result in a 60% chance) but +2 Items are 5th level items, which makes having one at 5th quite dubious, and literally only 4 Skills even have a +2 Item at 5th level (indeed, one of them you need two items to cover all its stuff), so assuming a +2 Item at this level is incorrect in practice in most cases. This is much less true of the other levels I analyzed.

Paizo Employee Designer

shroudb wrote:


But again, it's not ONLY the item bonuses.

to use tiers. Each and every character (except rogue) really has 3 tiers of skills:

1)THREE skills that he advances. Those skills that he raises in ranks, invests items, and etc.

2)TWO+INT skills that he's trained

3)Untrained in rest skills.

Hard DCs are for the 3 skills you're invested
Medium DCs are for the skills you're trained
Easy DCs are for the "garbage tier"

That is a smart breakdown and is roughly what is going on right now, with the caveat of the item thing we were discussing above. More info on hard in some of my earlier posts, let's go into Medium here:

Since you're mentioning looking at factors beyond the item bonus and we don't have the item fix right now, let's concede that the items are what they are for the moment and consider a character who just kind of wants to coast a bit on her 2+Int trained skills without prioritizing. Not going to jump through hoops to get expert or champ at the bit for new items, but generally has chosen skills such that they mostly line up with her 4th stat out of 6th or better (this will almost always start as 12, except for one non-human build of 18, 16, 14, 10, 10, 10) and is going to pick up items as hand-me-downs from the other PCs or when they are very cheap for her level, essentially waiting on an expert +1 item until level 7, and getting a new hand-me-down upgrade every 4 levels thereafter. The top item buyer usually has an item with a +1 better, sometimes +2 better. This character slowly increases against the medium DC over time (Starts at 50%, then slowly rises to 55%, fluctuates between 55 and 60%, and tops off at 65%). For trained skills based on her worst possible ability score, a 10 that is never rising? She starts and ends at 50%. Now this does involve using items, but assuming we did some design jutsu around the items as discussed above, we could theoretically have similar effects without worrying about the items, and in any case, we were discussing factors beyond items here.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Deadmanwalking wrote:
This is sort of true on a technical level, but not on a practical one. It's due to getting a +2 Item (which does indeed result in a 60% chance) but +2 Items are 5th level items, which makes having one at 5th quite dubious, and literally only 4 Skills even have a +2 Item at 5th level (indeed, one of them you need two items to cover all its stuff), so assuming a +2 Item at this level is incorrect in practice in most cases. This is much less true of the other levels I analyzed.

It's not about item assumptions. The DC rises by 5 between level 1 and level 5 (15 to 20). 4 of that is covered by level. So even without a +2 item, raising to expert and buying a +1 item will raise your bonus by 6, resulting in an increased chance of success. More later, figured I'd mention the easy thing first.


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Also keep in mind most of the Skill complaints that come from actual playtesting apply to the level 1-9 range of characters because of the chapters people have played. I've never gotten a campaign to level 12 in my life, either... So it's a bit odd that it is the level that difficulty starts to decrease notably.

Think the DC issue is a thing that should be looked at all the way from level 1, where you can't start getting ahead of the curve yet. It is as the document says, 50% for the most common (Hard) check if you're optimized so this is intentionally left like this. Maybe the baseline should be a bit higher than 50%, though, and grow to the "almost guaranteed" tier, which you shouldn't be too scared of becoming 80%+.

Liberty's Edge

Mark Seifter wrote:
It's not about item assumptions. The DC rises by 5 between level 1 and level 5 (15 to 20). 4 of that is covered by level. So even without a +2 item, raising to expert and buying a +1 item will raise your bonus by 6, resulting in an increased chance of success. More later, figured I'd mention the easy thing first.

Damn. You're totally right. That'll teach me to post when I just woke up...

Paizo Employee Designer

DMW wrote:


Now, if mundane skill items were actually available, that's be a different calculation entirely, but that's a very different situation in many ways, and would improve quite a few Skill DC problems all on its own.

Agreed!

DMW wrote:

Fair enough, I suppose. I started out looking at 9th because that's the chapter that we're on looking forward, and did increments above and below that to round things out. If I hit the worst progression possible, I suppose that's consistent with my luck on these things historically...

I know, right? You didn't quite hit worst possible, but you did hit worst possible for doing 4 level gaps with your exact profile of character (either assuming the not-always-present item for the max character [+2 at 5th, etc] or using the non-max start at 14 focus character I described above would both result in a monotonic increase across all levels of play). I have followed and respected your posts for a long time, so don't fear that I believe anything other than coincidence is behind this though. It's actually useful for finding the edges to have that sort of luck, I guess?

Quote:
Really, a lot of these issues seem like they'd be solved by making skill items something that can actually be acquired and equipped more readily than they seem able to be at the moment.

Again agreed. We're looking into this (based on some great suggestions you guys have given us on the boards and some other ideas), and it will I think help with everything skill-related.

DMW wrote:


I feel like those numbers definitely do look a lot better, but the fact that your chances actually go down at many levels (apparently 5th, 9th, and 17th at the least) is disheartening and unfortunate and should probably be fixed.

If you are looking for a monotonic increasing function for the Max character, it would mean moving the double ups to levels when you model the Max character as buying new items. The trouble is, it then won't be monotonically increasing for the characters for which it currently is doing so (it might not seem this way without playing around, but this is true even if you entirely do this by lowering the lower-level DCs and moving the double increase to a higher level because it makes areas that are currently flat go up and then down). Because the system is flexible in allowing the player more options on when to increase their character, there are always going to be levels when some character builds have a 5% dip, and while we've been avoiding them for certain benchmark characters, it isn't clear that doing so is the only way to handle it (in fact, in this thread and others, people have suggested intentionally creating some of those moments where the success rate spikes a bit and drops back down, rather than monotonically increasing). Now this is once again all tied into the items, and if we get a good handle for those, once again we can actually help this as well.

Paizo Employee Designer

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
It's not about item assumptions. The DC rises by 5 between level 1 and level 5 (15 to 20). 4 of that is covered by level. So even without a +2 item, raising to expert and buying a +1 item will raise your bonus by 6, resulting in an increased chance of success. More later, figured I'd mention the easy thing first.
Damn. You're totally right. That'll teach me to post when I just woke up...

No worries. I wouldn't do that to you, saying it was a math error if I disagreed with your clearly stated (thank you for doing so, by the way!) item assumption. I'd make it clear that I was talking about the item assumption. And it didn't propagate upward at least!

Paizo Employee Designer

pauljathome wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


In short, it says you count as a member of the order prior to the sentence you quote. That is thus not 'other' and you receive benefits like the extra Wild Shape uses.

I was going to disagree with you until I saw Marks post :-) :-).

Now, I think that I'll concede the point :-) :-)

Mark - I suspect that I won't be the only person confused by the language. Perhaps this could go onto your list of things to be clarified in the final rules.

Noted, thanks!

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