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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For this talk of mundane item bonus, I'm reminded of difficulty inventing one for every skill, or every usage of broader skills. It seems core intent here is simply "low end bonus" which perhaps doesn't need to be restrained to "mundane tool", especially for skills which present problems rationalizing one. But allowing "low end magic bonus" without needing Resonance (or it's future replacement" would seem to satisfy goal and keep all Skills able to follow standard DC track.

About the 1)2)3) Maxed/Trained/Untrained schematic, I think between 1) and 2) there remains a gray zone, because players can decide to prioritize raising more skills above Trained at cost of less fully Maxed skills. Qualifying for higher proficiency requirement Feats/effects in more skills, even if understanding you won't be "keeping up with top end curve" in terms of DCs, plenty of potential skill Feats should be useful vs lower level or flat DCs or even not require a check but just have pre-req of that proficiency in that skill.

EDIT: The topic of skill synergy also seems relevant here. Where higher proficiency in one skill may help checks in another. That could also be way for characters who aren't maxed in one skill, but have invested into it and synergistic skills, to keep up in at least limited sub-set of skill usages.

Liberty's Edge

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Mark Seifter wrote:
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..

This is excellent news! Readily available and affordable mundane skill items (providing a general bonus to the skill and being between +1 and +3 like other mundane items) actually pretty much solve the issue with Medium Difficulty DCs.

Mark Seifter wrote:
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.

Fair enough. Some item adjustments could definitely fiddle with this sort of progression as well, I'll grant. I feel like having a couple of two point ups so close together at 8th and 9th could be smoothed out at the very least, but I can definitely see the issue.

I'm not sure whether catering to the actual specialists is correct or not, but it does seem like having something you're hyper specialized in getting worse feels less pleasant than it does if you're less specialized...

Quandary wrote:
For this talk of mundane item bonus, I'm reminded of difficulty inventing one for every skill, or every usage of broader skills. It seems core intent here is simply "low end bonus" which perhaps doesn't need to be restrained to "mundane tool", especially for skills which present problems rationalizing one. But allowing "low end magic bonus" without needing Resonance (or it's future replacement" would seem to satisfy goal and keep all Skills able to follow standard DC track.

Eh. Masterwork Tools were pretty workable in PF1, and I think the same can be made to work in PF2. That said, I do agree that the bonus is the important thing rather than whether it's magical or not.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
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.

I like the double ups in general, although I think there is one too many in each column and they hit a bit too early (I am ignoring the level 0 to 1 jump, that seems quite reasonable to me).

Not counting Level 0, there are 4 on the Medium chart, 2 of which hit quick at level 5 and 7. I think that extra one at 7 is hurting the concept of this being something a Trained person should feel reasonably good at (in addition to the large increase from Easy hurting that concept) as well as limiting the feeling of a focus character noticeably improving in the middle levels.

The Hard chart has 5 doubles, 3 occur by level 10, two right in a row at levels 7 and 8. I think these double ups should be pushed back a bit and that double double up be removed.

There are 7 on the Incredible chart (one of which is actually a triple up), 5 of which occur by level 10 (including the triple). Again I think this is one too many and front-loaded.

The Ultimate has 10 double ups (but no triples), half occurring by level 10, and a triple double at levels 5, 6, and 7. This seems like a couple too many and three double increases in a row is a bit much in the low levels (and there are 4 in a row at levels 12-15). I would think 3 from 1-10 and 5 from 11-20 is a better spread.

I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),

Paizo Employee Designer

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I feel like having a couple of two point ups so close together at 8th and 9th could be smoothed out at the very least, but I can definitely see the issue.

Yeah, it's supposed to be at levels 7 and 9, and is in internal documents but not the update. I noticed today when typing my posts to you that the update didn't match the other sources. Technically there will be a rise and dip for both the max character and the 14 stat character I mentioned until we fix that, but I've adjusted the update file for the next update.

Quote:
I'm not sure whether catering to the actual specialists is correct or not, but it does seem like having something you're hyper specialized in getting worse feels less pleasant than it does if you're less specialized...

The trouble there is item-based again; item purchases vary. Depending on what level an item shows up and whether the "Max" character buys it right away (or even lucks out and gets it as an early item drop from the GM), the max character is actually varied (the proficiency and stats are more predictable), and whatever you pick, some version of the "Max" is going to have dips at some point, even if it's because we lower a DC turning a flat section into a rise and dip. For instance, the current DCs are monotonic not only for the 14 focus character I described, but also for a version of the max character with items increasing to 2/3/4/5 at precisely 5, 9, 13, and 17 (which as you've indicated, is not always possible right now). If we can execute some shifts on the way we do items, it will likely become easier to model this and avoid dips in even more benchmark characters, though of course in real play, it will happen, such as when someone gets an unusually great item and surges up for a while.

Paizo Employee Designer

StratoNexus wrote:


I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),

Good analysis; if we can get everything to line up with the items, I think it would work hand-in-hand with the sort of drop you suggest, 0 to 2 points at some intervals.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I for one hate all the complications of the various iterations of the dying rules. They go against the stated goal of making things fast and streamlined. I far prefer the PF1 rules, which are intuitive and easy to explain.

Yes, a level 1 wizard might get critted by a greataxe and die, but no one ever said the life of an adventurer would be easy! And yes, high level characters are likely to go from alive to dead and skip the "dying" condition entirely,* but they also have a lot of tools and resources to deal with it (I've seen a *lot* fewer permanent deaths at high level than at mid-levels).

So: negative hp for the win!

*If you really want to deal with this problem, change it to death takes place at negative hit points equal to a character's maximum hit points, but a character loses hit points equal to their level each round if they're not stabilized.


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Honestly I think the *'d suggestion (neg HP = max, -Level bleed/turn) has promise.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
StratoNexus wrote:


I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),
Good analysis; if we can get everything to line up with the items, I think it would work hand-in-hand with the sort of drop you suggest, 0 to 2 points at some intervals.

I might be misreading the intent here, but bear in mind that not all DMs or campaigns allow the purchase of magic items. Indeed, some campaigns are low magic. I hope the final rules provide suggestions on lowering DCs to allow for campaigns of this type where common item bonuses don’t exist.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Strachan Fireblade wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
StratoNexus wrote:


I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),
Good analysis; if we can get everything to line up with the items, I think it would work hand-in-hand with the sort of drop you suggest, 0 to 2 points at some intervals.
I might be misreading the intent here, but bear in mind that not all DMs or campaigns allow the purchase of magic items. Indeed, some campaigns are low magic. I hope the final rules provide suggestions on lowering DCs to allow for campaigns of this type where common item bonuses don’t exist.

No matter what we do, it seems a good idea for us to provide simple and effective rules for GMs to run common variants like the no-items low-magic games in an early core release (maybe in some sort of GMG-style book?). One of the biggest advantages to standardizing the way we handle things in the system is that it'll be easier than ever to modify the game in all sorts of ways to fit the needs of the particular campaign or one-shot you want to run, and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that by giving you those tools when we can.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Strachan Fireblade wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
StratoNexus wrote:


I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),
Good analysis; if we can get everything to line up with the items, I think it would work hand-in-hand with the sort of drop you suggest, 0 to 2 points at some intervals.
I might be misreading the intent here, but bear in mind that not all DMs or campaigns allow the purchase of magic items. Indeed, some campaigns are low magic. I hope the final rules provide suggestions on lowering DCs to allow for campaigns of this type where common item bonuses don’t exist.
No matter what we do, it seems a good idea for us to provide simple and effective rules for GMs to run common variants like the no-items low-magic games in an early core release (maybe in some sort of GMG-style book?). One of the biggest advantages to standardizing the way we handle things in the system is that it'll be easier than ever to modify the game in all sorts of ways to fit the needs of the particular campaign or one-shot you want to run, and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that by giving you those tools when we can.

Good to hear!


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Tamago wrote:

In response to the 1/day abilities... I wonder if it would help to instead make them once per 10 minutes.

That would effectively make them usable once per encounter, which I think really helps them be more relevant while at the same time still limiting them enough that it's worth picking up the later feat to use them at-will.

That would be better, yes.

But, I think I'd prefer that each one have a different limiter that adds a little flavor than just a blanket solution.
Rage limited by CON mod.
AoO and Retributive Strike limited by a larger penalty to hit.
Hunt Target limited by I don't care, it should be removed from the game and replaced with something that doesn't suck anyway.


Strachan Fireblade wrote:
I might be misreading the intent here, but bear in mind that not all DMs or campaigns allow the purchase of magic items. Indeed, some campaigns are low magic. I hope the final rules provide suggestions on lowering DCs to allow for campaigns of this type where common item bonuses don’t exist.

I believe the intent is for many (most) of these to be mundane tools and gear. Like the Expert Climbing Kit. Master Camping Gear helping Survival checks. Gray’s Guide to the Grim and Gruesome for Occultism.


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N N 959 wrote:
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...

You are most certainly not alone.

This class we got is not a ranger, it's a Hunter.
And not even a very good one either.
#NotMyRanger

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I honestly could not tell you the difference between a ranger and a hunter in popular fiction.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
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...

I thought part of the point of this edition was to avoid mandatory items? So why are you assuming stat and skill boost items in the DCs (which btw stops them feeling powerful)? It should bd having those items feels good, not makes you barely competitive.


Well said, Godfrey.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
No matter what we do, it seems a good idea for us to provide simple and effective rules for GMs to run common variants like the no-items low-magic games in an early core release (maybe in some sort of GMG-style book?). One of the biggest advantages to standardizing the way we handle things in the system is that it'll be easier than ever to modify the game in all sorts of ways to fit the needs of the particular campaign or one-shot you want to run, and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that by giving you those tools when we can.

I'm going to postulate an idea... I have a massive flu though so I don't know how coherent my math is here... I should be in bed, but my nose disagrees...

Wouldn't it make more sense to do a basic linear rather than staggering scale?

IE apply a +1 to each level, without doing +2 stop gaps.

The reason I ask is because it seems as though by adding +2 stop gaps the system is assuming one of three things:

1. The player characters are raising the associated stat.
2. The player is increasing their proficiency.
3. The player is getting increasing items.

What I would like to look at is the issue with a character who is, for example, not raising an associated stat or training level. They seem to become worse and worse at medium or higher difficulty challenges.

So using the new chart medium difficulties and looking at levels 0-20 - Then assuming a trained character with a 12 in the associated Ability Score who does not increase the score, or increase their skill training.

lvl 00: 11 | +01 | 55% success rate
lvl 01: 13 | +02 | 50% success rate
lvl 02: 14 | +03 | 50% success rate
lvl 03: 15 | +04 | 50% success rate
lvl 04: 16 | +05 | 50% success rate
lvl 05: 18 | +06 | 45% success rate
lvl 06: 19 | +07 | 45% success rate
lvl 07: 21 | +08 | 40% success rate
lvl 08: 22 | +09 | 40% success rate
lvl 09: 23 | +10 | 40% success rate
lvl 10: 24 | +11 | 40% success rate
lvl 11: 25 | +12 | 40% success rate
lvl 12: 26 | +13 | 40% success rate
lvl 13: 28 | +14 | 35% success rate
lvl 14: 29 | +15 | 35% success rate
lvl 15: 30 | +16 | 35% success rate
lvl 16: 32 | +17 | 30% success rate
lvl 17: 33 | +18 | 30% success rate
lvl 18: 34 | +19 | 30% success rate
lvl 19: 35 | +20 | 30% success rate
lvl 20: 36 | +21 | 30% success rate

This feels... Odd... To me. This shows that clearly the scaling intent is taking into something at key levels. These key levels are level 1, level 5, level 7, level 13, and level 16.

Looking at these levels we look at what the things given there are:

At level 1 we know. So we will skip that for now and move on to level 2 and above.

At level 5 is an ability boost and a skill increase.

At level 7 is another skill increase.

At level 13 is another skill increase.

At level 16 is none of the ways to raise a skill, save for converting a general skill if that is possible...

Now, these are not the only levels of skill increases as levels 3, 9, 11, 15, 17, and 19 also contain skill increases. So in order to maintain the same percentage to succeed on a medium check throughout their career on equal level difficulty challenges a character must (unless they have items aiding them) raise their relevant stat, increase their skill training, or get an item bonus a total of 5 times. Doing that is the bare minimum needed to maintain a stable bonus.

Technically they could accomplish this by using 3 skill increases (as we are assuming this person starts trained) over the course of their career, one ability boost, and getting a +1 item. That is not an insignificant investment to remain stable. That, to me, feels like a significant investment to literally gain nothing.

That is a magical item, 1/3 of their total skill increases, and a minimum of 1/16 of their ability boosts. If they do not do this, then their failure percentage almost doubles by going from a 45% failure chance to a 70% failure chance.

If this same character wishes to actually advance they need to spend considerably more resources. They have already spent 3 skill increases, they cannot spend any more, so this means assuming the person has already spent one of one of their four ability boost stats they have a 14 now in the skill, they could spend 2 more of them (spending a total of 3 of them, meaning 3/16 or just under 1/5 of their ability boosts) to gain only at maximum +10% they need to then increase their item bonus to a +3 to get an additional +10% suddenly to gain a 20% improvement. That seems like a very heavy investment to me for a very small gain.

If I could postulate... Was it ever considered to have a straight linear scale? One where a person could maintain a static success percentage without investment beyond initial stat and training?

Which would look more like:

lvl 00: 11 | +01 | 55% success rate
lvl 01: 12 | +02 | 55% success rate
lvl 02: 13 | +03 | 55% success rate
lvl 03: 14 | +04 | 55% success rate
lvl 04: 15 | +05 | 55% success rate
lvl 05: 16 | +06 | 55% success rate
lvl 06: 17 | +07 | 55% success rate
lvl 07: 18 | +08 | 55% success rate
lvl 08: 19 | +09 | 55% success rate
lvl 09: 20 | +10 | 55% success rate
lvl 10: 21 | +11 | 55% success rate
lvl 11: 22 | +12 | 55% success rate
lvl 12: 23 | +13 | 55% success rate
lvl 13: 24 | +14 | 55% success rate
lvl 14: 25 | +15 | 55% success rate
lvl 15: 26 | +16 | 55% success rate
lvl 16: 27 | +17 | 55% success rate
lvl 17: 28 | +18 | 55% success rate
lvl 18: 29 | +19 | 55% success rate
lvl 19: 30 | +20 | 55% success rate
lvl 20: 31 | +21 | 55% success rate

I am wondering what the same investment would produce in that situation. Using the above equation to maintain this would eventually create the following, assuming using a skill increase at 3, an ability boost at 5, a skill increase at 7, gaining a +1 item at level 9, and finishing with a final skill increase at level 15.

lvl 00: 11 | +01 | 55% success rate
lvl 01: 12 | +02 | 55% success rate
lvl 02: 13 | +03 | 55% success rate
lvl 03: 14 | +05 | 60% success rate
lvl 04: 15 | +06 | 60% success rate
lvl 05: 16 | +08 | 65% success rate
lvl 06: 17 | +09 | 65% success rate
lvl 07: 18 | +11 | 70% success rate
lvl 08: 19 | +12 | 70% success rate
lvl 09: 20 | +14 | 75% success rate
lvl 10: 21 | +15 | 75% success rate
lvl 11: 22 | +16 | 75% success rate
lvl 12: 23 | +17 | 75% success rate
lvl 13: 24 | +18 | 75% success rate
lvl 14: 25 | +19 | 75% success rate
lvl 15: 26 | +21 | 80% success rate
lvl 16: 27 | +22 | 80% success rate
lvl 17: 28 | +23 | 80% success rate
lvl 18: 29 | +24 | 80% success rate
lvl 19: 30 | +25 | 80% success rate
lvl 20: 31 | +26 | 80% success rate

The only downside I see this this approach (as it absolutely feels like the character is improving) is the possibility for a character to hyper specialize, IE adding +5 more through stacking ability boosts and +3 more through stacking items bonuses. Giving them a 100% chance to succeed at a medium skill challenge as early as level 15-ish (by my math). Gaining up to, at maximum (+7 total from stat, +4 from item, and +3 total from proficiency) Being able to get a maximum total of +8 higher than this projected maximum, if the difficult numbers stayed linear as well, would succeed easily at hard, incredible, and ultimate difficulties.

That, however could be corrected if there was a +4 linear scale between columns. Creating a chart like so, using the standard: Easy, Medium, Hard, Incredible, and Ultimate categories...

lvl 00 | 07 | 11 | 15 | 19 | 23 |
lvl 01 | 08 | 12 | 16 | 20 | 24 |
lvl 02 | 09 | 13 | 17 | 21 | 25 |
lvl 03 | 10 | 14 | 18 | 22 | 26 |
lvl 04 | 11 | 15 | 19 | 23 | 27 |
lvl 05 | 12 | 16 | 20 | 24 | 28 |
lvl 06 | 13 | 17 | 21 | 25 | 29 |
lvl 07 | 14 | 18 | 22 | 26 | 30 |
lvl 08 | 15 | 19 | 23 | 27 | 31 |
lvl 09 | 16 | 20 | 24 | 28 | 32 |
lvl 10 | 17 | 21 | 25 | 29 | 33 |
lvl 11 | 18 | 22 | 26 | 30 | 34 |
lvl 12 | 19 | 23 | 27 | 31 | 35 |
lvl 13 | 20 | 24 | 28 | 32 | 36 |
lvl 14 | 21 | 25 | 29 | 33 | 37 |
lvl 15 | 22 | 26 | 30 | 34 | 38 |
lvl 16 | 23 | 27 | 31 | 35 | 39 |
lvl 17 | 24 | 28 | 32 | 36 | 40 |
lvl 18 | 25 | 29 | 33 | 37 | 41 |
lvl 19 | 26 | 30 | 34 | 38 | 42 |
lvl 20 | 27 | 31 | 35 | 39 | 43 |

With a total maximum of level +14 (unless I am wrong with that: +7 from Stat, +3 from Proficiency, +4 from Item) this would allow for a maximum of +34 at level 20, making even incredible difficulty tasks require a natural roll of 9. Which is still a significant 40% chance of failure for a fully maxed stat, legendary proficientcy character with a +4 magical item bonus.

That seems... Feasible?

Thoughts? Opinions? I think the cough syrup is clouding my brain.

I mean the whole difficulty chart could be scaled to increase overall difficulty. Like if one increased starting level 0 seed the between differential... I dunno... I'm going to bed...


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I honestly could not tell you the difference between a ranger and a hunter in popular fiction.

I prefer to include historical origins as well as those in popular fiction.

However, my baseline is Legolas and Aragorn.
Beyond that, more modern fictions that may have conflated what an actual ranger and hunter are is no reason to continue doing so.
Plus they were most definitely not the same thing 1e.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with Godfrey. Why are you assuming high level magic skill adjustments? If math is so important you have the ability to remove those and keep DCs more concise and manageable.

Bring the power to the hero and the character and not to whatever magic item they are using. This goes for magic weapons as well.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
LordVanya wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I honestly could not tell you the difference between a ranger and a hunter in popular fiction.

I prefer to include historical origins as well as those in popular fiction.

However, my baseline is Legolas and Aragorn.
Beyond that, more modern fictions that may have conflated what an actual ranger and hunter are is no reason to continue doing so.
Plus they were most definitely not the same thing 1e.

Are both Legolas and Aragorn Rangers in your estimation?

Because I think there's a fair argument either could be considered fighters.

A hunter in 1E was a hybrid-class animal companion focused 6-level caster.
A ranger in 1E was a wilderness martial character with very light spell-casting, and an optional companion.

A Ranger in 2E is a wilderness martial character with no spells, and an optional companion.

I think the hairs being split here are so fine as to be nothing at all.


HWalsh wrote:

Wouldn't it make more sense to do a basic linear rather than staggering scale?

IE apply a +1 to each level, without doing +2 stop gaps.

The reason I ask is because it seems as though by adding +2 stop gaps the system is assuming one of three things:

1. The player characters are raising the associated stat.
2. The player is increasing their proficiency.
3. The player is getting increasing items.

On the one hand, that could make some sense, but there is a part of me that likes to think higher level challenges gets noticeably harder than lower level stuff. I especially think that Incredibly difficult things should get definitively harder at higher levels.

I am not talking about things that should have static DCs. Swimming across a modest current should be DC 13 at level 1 and level 10 (and of course the rules guide GMs to just assume the PCs make checks like that after a certain level, rather than roll them at all).

Convincing the small village council of some need might be a Hard level 2 task, whereas convincing a more sophisticated (at least in their own mind) city magistrate could be a Hard level 9 task and it makes sense that it gets harder like that. To me, a simple linear progression after the Easy difficulty does not model that nuance well enough. I do not mind that a Trained person who does nothing else to improve a skill falls a bit behind at higher level tasks, especially if it becomes a bit easier to get tools and techniques to improve said skills.


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Regarding all these complex calculations to figure out what DC to use to get to a specific success chance: Why don't you just cut the Gordic Knot?

If you want the PC to have a an 63% success rate, have the player roll a d100 - and if it is less than 63, the character succeeds.

No need for complex calculations, no mandatory magic items, no figuring out where the attribute bumps are, no pondering exactly when a character has a particular skill raise. You arrive at exactly the desired result without any complexities and no unnecessary and unpredictable variations, the resolution is as detailed as you want it, and the curve is extremely smooth.

And to that, I'd like to add: Smurf. :)


StratoNexus wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Wouldn't it make more sense to do a basic linear rather than staggering scale?

IE apply a +1 to each level, without doing +2 stop gaps.

The reason I ask is because it seems as though by adding +2 stop gaps the system is assuming one of three things:

1. The player characters are raising the associated stat.
2. The player is increasing their proficiency.
3. The player is getting increasing items.

On the one hand, that could make some sense, but there is a part of me that likes to think higher level challenges gets noticeably harder than lower level stuff. I especially think that Incredibly difficult things should get definitively harder at higher levels.

I am not talking about things that should have static DCs. Swimming across a modest current should be DC 13 at level 1 and level 10 (and of course the rules guide GMs to just assume the PCs make checks like that after a certain level, rather than roll them at all).

Convincing the small village council of some need might be a Hard level 2 task, whereas convincing a more sophisticated (at least in their own mind) city magistrate could be a Hard level 9 task and it makes sense that it gets harder like that. To me, a simple linear progression after the Easy difficulty does not model that nuance well enough. I do not mind that a Trained person who does nothing else to improve a skill falls a bit behind at higher level tasks, especially if it becomes a bit easier to get tools and techniques to improve said skills.

Though, I'd hazard that gaining +1 per level does represent the character steadily improving. That +1 per level represents the character growing, learning, and applying new ideas and techniques.


HWalsh wrote:
Though, I'd hazard that gaining +1 per level does represent the character steadily improving. That +1 per level represents the character growing, learning, and applying new ideas and techniques.

Indeed, that is one of the reasons I am OK with the proficiency system granting +1 per level in general.

That said, I feel that other character resources should be spent to keep up with higher level challenges besides the one Skill Increase that got you Trained. I think it will be likely that for most skills a character has even a passing interest in, they will allocate at least 2 of the first 12 stat bumps to the relevant stat.

My hope is that once they finalize the chart, those two bumps will be enough to keep pace with the Medium chart up to 15-16, and the Hard chart at least to 12, while still lagging bit on the higher columns. Then, reasonably priced tools/gear can be purchased to get ahead on Medium and Hard and keep pace in Incredible. That way with minimal investment, you can have some growth.


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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).

Then maybe those items should just go away. As it is, it seems a lot like the Big Six coming back as the Big Sixteen. But having them make a character succeed too much, I think is not nearly so bad as needing them to not get worse as currently seems to be the case.

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
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..
This is excellent news! Readily available and affordable mundane skill items (providing a general bonus to the skill and being between +1 and +3 like other mundane items) actually pretty much solve the issue with Medium Difficulty DCs.

I'm not sure I agree there. Those mundane stat items tend to have pretty hefty bulk. So having more than one or two gets prohibitive. Trying to make a skill monkey out of my alchemist meant I was running into bulk issues early on with all those 1 and 2 bulk kits. 2 for alchemist tools, 1 for healers tools, 1 for repair kit, thieves' tools are thankfully only L. Good thing I've been ignoring snares, 8 bulk for the snare kit is nuts. That's half a piano. The climbing kit is actually a good deal though, because it includes rope which is bulk 1 all by itself, and rope is a pretty universal adventuring tool, and the other stuff like a hammer is useful outside of climbing as well. Also not all skills really lend themselves logically to non-magic skill items. Like acrobatics.


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Mats Öhrman wrote:

Regarding all these complex calculations to figure out what DC to use to get to a specific success chance: Why don't you just cut the Gordic Knot?

If you want the PC to have a an 63% success rate, have the player roll a d100 - and if it is less than 63, the character succeeds.

No need for complex calculations, no mandatory magic items, no figuring out where the attribute bumps are, no pondering exactly when a character has a particular skill raise. You arrive at exactly the desired result without any complexities and no unnecessary and unpredictable variations, the resolution is as detailed as you want it, and the curve is extremely smooth.

And to that, I'd like to add: Smurf. :)

Ohh, ooh, ooh. I have something even better. How often do you really need 1% changes in difficulty? Instead of muddling around with crazy golf balls or multiple dice, why don't you simplify it to increments of 5% and just roll a single die?

Thus without further ado,I WOTC present the wonderful new really old D20 System!

You want a 50% success chance? Roll a d20 and compare the result to a DC:11 (ties succeeding). Want a 65% chance? roll a d20 and compare it to the same DC:11, only this time add 3 to the roll.

If you really want to make things interesting, add the same number to both the DC and the roll bonus, and call it a Level Bonus or something.

Edit: I am not even going to question the smurf avatar change.
Edit 2: So that's a thing that happens whenever your post contains the word smurf.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Since you're mentioning looking at factors beyond the item bonus and we don't have the item fix right now,

It would be nice if the item bonus instead came from Trained proficiency and Level.

Something like:

Trained proficiency bonus by Level: Armour Class, Weapon Attacks, Saving Throws, Skills.

Level
2-4: +1
5-8: +2
9-12: +3
13-16: +4
17-20: +5

You could do the same thing for additional weapon damage dice, for Trained proficiency by Level.

Level
2-4: 2 x weapon damage dice
5-8: 3 x weapon damage dice
9-12: 4 x weapon damage dice
13-16: 5 x weapon damage dice
17-20: 6 x weapon damage dice


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Captain Morgan wrote:
The big issue with dying in PF1 is it breaks down at high levels.

True, same with Death from Massive Damage (if you use it as is). 5th Ed went with you die instantly at negative your Hit Point maximum, which is quite nice.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
N N 959 wrote:
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.

It's not the Hunter either, and calling it that would annoy people who liked that Class. The Hunter wasn't about hunting at all, the Ranger had more hunting stuff on it. The Hunter was about buffing themselves and their buddy with Foci, Spells, and Teamwork Feats.

Scarab Sages

Rysky wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
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.
It's not the Hunter either, and calling it that would annoy people who liked that Class. The Hunter wasn't about hunting at all, the Ranger had more hunting stuff on it. The Hunter was about buffing themselves and their buddy with Foci, Spells, and Teamwork Feats.

The hunter was just a pet educator anyway.

Also : Smurf


Mark Seifter wrote:
StratoNexus wrote:


I think even with a better item/tool selection, the above transitions issues ought to be adjusted somehow. If carrying some extra tools to get the job done works well enough, then the numbers might only need a small additional drop or none at all (0 to 2 points at some intervals),
Good analysis; if we can get everything to line up with the items, I think it would work hand-in-hand with the sort of drop you suggest, 0 to 2 points at some intervals.

Whit mundane tools granting skill bonuses - in Encounter Mode, this raises the issue of having to use an interact action to get those tools out, and stowed again.

Liberty's Edge

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Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm not sure I agree there. Those mundane stat items tend to have pretty hefty bulk. So having more than one or two gets prohibitive.

I was thinking most skill items would be generic ala Masterwork Tools and probably have a generic Light Bulk (to match the 1 lb weight Masterwork Tools had in PF1). If they're generally heavier it definitely becomes a problem, I agree, but while I wouldn't expect existing ones to get lighter, I would generally expect new/generic ones to generally be Light.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Doktor Weasel wrote:
I'm not sure I agree there. Those mundane stat items tend to have pretty hefty bulk. So having more than one or two gets prohibitive.
I was thinking most skill items would be generic ala Masterwork Tools and probably have a generic Light Bulk (to match the 1 lb weight Masterwork Tools had in PF1). If they're generally heavier it definitely becomes a problem, I agree, but while I wouldn't expect existing ones to get lighter, I would generally expect new/generic ones to generally be Light.

As Starfox points out above, not all skills are created equally when it comes to use in Encounter mode versus use in Exploration mode (Survival versus Athletics, for example). Having a skill buff as a separate tool that has to be retrieved and stowed rather than something continously worn (like a magic ring) matters a lot more for a skill that is more used in Encounter mode, and this inconvenience does, in my mind, exclude such a tool from being considered in the DC table for encounter-use skills.

I'd rather get rid of item bonuses to skills as such, and allow the characters to increase their skill training with the corresponding amount.

Liberty's Edge

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Mats Öhrman wrote:
As Starfox points out above, not all skills are created equally when it comes to use in Encounter mode versus use in Exploration mode (Survival versus Athletics, for example). Having a skill buff as a separate tool that has to be retrieved and stowed rather than something continously worn (like a magic ring) matters a lot more for a skill that is more used in Encounter mode, and this inconvenience does, in my mind, exclude such a tool from being considered in the DC table for encounter-use skills.

Again, I'm assuming something like Masterwork Tools in PF1. Which could easily be things like a suit of clothing or some good boots (ie: stuff you don't need to pull out). The more restrictive the requirements are to use mundane skill items the less useful they are and the less okay I am with them, but there's no inherent requirement for them to be difficult.

Mats Öhrman wrote:
I'd rather get rid of item bonuses to skills as such, and allow the characters to increase their skill training with the corresponding amount.

I'd be fine with this, too. I'm just willing to accept skill items as a solution as long as they are readily available and usable without onerous requirements (like high Bulk or wasted actions).


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
I'm just willing to accept skill items as a solution as long as they are readily available and usable without onerous requirements (like high Bulk or wasted actions).

Looking at existing items, I'm afraid of bulk, wasted actions, and incompleteness.


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An interesting conversation here on item bonuses, and it has sparked a couple of ideas for me I want to throw out there. Special nod to Quandary who I think got my brain rolling on this. These changes don't all need to be put into effect but I think many of them would work well side by side.

1)Move skill items, skill feats, and other skill boosters to skill chapter. The idea it that if you want to be good at a skill, you need to read just that one part of the book to have 90% of the ways to improve it. Parsing the general feats chapter is a little overwhelming. Moving the skill feats from one big clump of general feats to being next to the associated skill you are interested in might be GREAT for this. (Only issue I can name would be multi-skill feats like Quick Identify, but those can be left in the general skill chapter and you can just cite a page number in the skill list for the relevant skills.)

I don't know that magic skill items need to be moved to the skill chapter per se, but I think what they should absolutely have a table in the skill chapter like page 160 has for skill feats. An issue with magic items is that it isn't easy to realize these magic items exist in the first place. (Or don't exist, as Deadmanwalking has illuminated.) The treasure level tables are pretty helpful for seeing what treasure you can get your hands on, but item names listed don't necessarily tell me "Oh, I should consider this Demon Mask if I want to be good at intimidate."

2)Cut back on magical item bonuses and have more special Resonance activated abilities. Drastic I know, but hear me out. Paizo has already been making it so that pretty much every bonus granting magic item also packs an additional Activated effect. Why not lean into this for what items do? It pushes Resonance into something that lets all characters interact with magic more freely and universally, which might let you ditch charges on staffs for example.

Also, while there are some pretty intuitive magic items out there, some feel questionable as a mandatory part of building the optimized character. If I want to be the best swordsman possible, I want an awesome magic sword. Checks out. But if I want to be the scariest person possible, I'm always wearing this demon mask...? Not so much. I don't like the idea that I'm wearing this mask all the time in polite society on the off chance I need to coerce someone. But if I don it when I want to cast a fear spell on someone? Much more reasonable.

Main reason I'm not advocating for removing item bonus to skills entirely is because I LIKE mundane item quality adding bonuses. (I wish we leaned further into it, TBH, and quality was the only thing that added to hit while magic weapons simply increased damage for example.) But I'm not sure every skill can plausibly have a mundane item, at least not for all purposes. So it miiiight be OK to have some very minor item bonuses so that your party face can get an equivalent bonus to the rogue getting expert thieves tools, for example.

But if we ax item bonuses, you say, aren't we drastically altering the game's math engine and making all the character's more samey? Not if we introduce a new bonus type...

3Every skill feat now adds a +1 cumulative "feat bonus" to its skill. This is a biggie. Magic items making the skill DC math run is problematic because it assumes your player will have access to said items, and folks have cited lots of reasons why that might not happen. But everyone gets skill feats, and gets them at predictable intervals. It is incredibly intuitive that the more skill feats you invest, the better you are at a skill. It also further boosts the importance of proficiency indirectly, because those new skill feats you unlock also add to your math.

And I think the basic math might work pretty well. The item skill bonuses seem to cap at around +4. If you assume a +4 item in the 3 legendary skills as the norm, that's a total item bonus of +12. Most characters get 11 skill feats, which adds up pretty nicely. Now, it doesn't account for "hand me down" items that boost skills you wanted to just leave at trained. But I think a much more modest set of item bonuses could help account for that.

Thinking about it a little further, I guess you'd need some way to cap the bonus and keep folks from over-investing into a single skill, especially rogues. Maybe the bonus is capped by the proficiency level to the skill? So having a skill feat in a expert skill gives you an additional +1 feat bonus, two skill feat in a master skill gives you +2, and three skill feats in a legendary skill gives you +3? Leave a +1 magic item bonus in and we are looking pretty good.

You'd have a few narrow areas where an item bonus could take that higher. But does anyone think the game's will be hurt if folks have a Legendary Crowbar that adds +3 to open doors? Most of the mundane item bonuses seem pretty to be too specific to cause real problems, and tend to cover "gate keeping" options that you don't really want the party to fail anyway, like "can we open this door" or "can we find our way with this compass" or "can we disguise ourselves well enough to get into this party."

Finally, there are fringe benefits to creating a "feat bonus." Make class feats that grant conditional or circumstance bonuses into feat bonuses, and you've reduced the odds that someone's build choice is going to lock them out from benefiting from the Inspire Courage their bard buddy just used. Yeah, I know we want to make this a little less Mathfinder, but I think having just Circumstance and Conditional bonuses is making it more confusing because so much overlaps and prevents stacking. Circumstances can grant circumstance bonuses. Conditions can grants condition bonuses. Your specially selected items can grant item bonuses. And your feats grant feat bonuses. Bam.

Anyway, that's a wall of text, and I'm sure smarter people than me can pick apart those ideas. But it seems worth floating for them to do so!

Shadow Lodge

Shaheer-El-Khatib wrote:


The hunter was just a pet educator anyway.

Wait, there's more to the hunter class than 1-level access to lead blades and gravity bow?


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DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I honestly could not tell you the difference between a ranger and a hunter in popular fiction.

That's a great point you bring up and one I've touched on in the Class threads in trying to address the problems with the 2e Ranger. I think this is at the heart of the problem. First off, there is no such thing as the D&D or even Pathfinder Ranger in non-licensed popular fiction. Unlike the Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Sorcerer, Bard, Monk, the Ranger class as originally conceived of in D&D is its own unique creation. Popular non-licensed fiction, does not use the Ranger as a concept. People who write stories with woodland fighters aren't trying to write about AD&D/D&D/PF Rangers. What happens in these discussion, however, is that people want to insist that fictional characters that could be expressed as a Ranger, are actually Rangers. They are not.

Let's look at the definition of a Ranger in the dictionary:

Merriam-Webster wrote:

ranger noun

rang·er | \ ˈrān-jər \
Definition of Ranger
1a : the keeper of a British royal park or forest
b : FOREST RANGER
2 : one that ranges
3a : one of a body of organized armed men who range over a region especially to enforce the law
b : a soldier specially trained in close-range fighting and in raiding tactics

As you can see, none of those definitions mention or identify hunting.

The first use of the term Ranger in relevant fiction, most likely comes from Tolkien's Aragorn. Gary Gygax obviously used Aragorn as the template for the AD&D Ranger, but the mechanics of the AD&D Ranger are beyond what Tolkien ascribed to Aragorn. AD&D created something its own, not simply a copy of Aragorn. And outside of specifically licensed works, fictional writers don't use AD&D/3.5/PF Rangers.

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I honestly could not tell you the difference between a ranger and a hunter in popular fiction.

So if this is true, then it's because you've never actually paid attention to the Ranger or played it. Even in Pathfinder 1e, the Ranger doesn't have any specific "hunting" skills. Mainly because "hunting" is not a means to an end. Anyone with a skill rank in Survival can be considered a hunter. What the Ranger has is tracking skills and survival skills. And while these are complimentary to someone who hunts, they do not make the class a hunter by trade. It may seem a trivial distinction, but you could say the same about the Barbarian and the Fighter. What creates the distinction between classes are the mechanics used to express them. The Pathfinder 1e Ranger was never expressed as "first and foremost a hunter." I don't know anyone who played a 1e Ranger and who thought of the class as being first and foremost a hunter. So why are we here now?

Let's ask ten people what defines a Ranger in PF1 and you'll probably get five to ten different answers. I think it's fair to say that the Ranger in PF1 lacked an obvious and specific cohesion. The class is extremely popular as a dip class and is considered a jack-of-all-trades. Given that reality, what Paizo did in PF2 was actually extremely clever, if not brilliant for their needs (alternatively it was a cop out). Paizo decided to give the class a conceptual focus - hunter i.e. single target effectiveness. That decision allowed Paizo to design the class feats toward that goal and this, undoubtedly, made it easier to design. Without that focus, the Ranger class is extremely difficult to pin down. I get why they did it, it just didn't work for me as someone really enjoyed the class in PF1.

The problem is that single-target killing is not what the class is about. Paizo tried to take Favored Enemy, and make that the pivot for the entire class. Favored Enemy is but ONE ability in PF1, and NONE of it the Ranger's other abilities are dependent on a Ranger attacking a Favored Enemy. So this PF2 Ranger is dramatically different than the PF1 Ranger in feel and approach. For those of us who played and loved the class, it's like the difference between a Fighter and a Barbarian.

It's entirely possible that people who had no attachment/familiarity/history with the Rangers may enjoy a single-target focused class. Paizo clearly wants the PF2 Ranger to function as the PF1 Slayer as well. But I was never interested the Slayer. I found it too limiting in scope and concept. But if Paizo wants to keep me interested in PF2, then I need the Ranger. Paizo improved the Rogue, by many accounts, why can't they improve the Ranger?

Look, if Paizo boosts the damage of any class, it will increase in popularity, but that isn't fixing the class, that's bribing the players. I think it's safe to say that those who played and enjoyed the Ranger as a class, were not focused on DPS. That Ranger was never the king of anything in combat. If Paizo loves what they call the Ranger, then I'm all for them making that a separate class and call it something else [whisper]Hunter[/whisper]. But they are missing an opportunity to actually do the Ranger a solid.


Rysky wrote:
N N 959 wrote:
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.
It's not the Hunter either, and calling it that would annoy people who liked that Class. The Hunter wasn't about hunting at all, the Ranger had more hunting stuff on it. The Hunter was about buffing themselves and their buddy with Foci, Spells, and Teamwork Feats.

Apologies for the confusion. When I say Hunter, I'm talking about a hunter, not the PF1 Hunter. The PF1 Hunter was not a hunter, either.


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Most of the rangers I saw in PF1 were simply trying to skip prerequisites for two-weapon fighting, or shield master, or improved precise shot and so chose that class because it's the one that made their build work.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Most of the rangers I saw in PF1 were simply trying to skip prerequisites for two-weapon fighting, or shield master, or improved precise shot and so chose that class because it's the one that made their build work.

I would submit that the same argument could be made for any class: it's chosen because it makes the player's build work.

But your point is well taken. For a min/maxers, the Ranger class was not a destination. The only people who stayed with the class, did so because they loved the concept, not the mechanics. it's my experience, however, that the min/maxers are overrepresented on the forums. I don't think the vast majority of players care about non-linearity in the DC table, but on the forums, things like this seem to get the most designer attention.

The Ranger in PF2 does not make me feel like I'm playing a Ranger. If feels like a different class. If Paizo can improve the Rogue, the Fighter, the Cleric without fundamentally changing them, then they can improve the Ranger. It's a just a question of whether they want to.


HWalsh wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
No matter what we do, it seems a good idea for us to provide simple and effective rules for GMs to run common variants like the no-items low-magic games in an early core release (maybe in some sort of GMG-style book?). One of the biggest advantages to standardizing the way we handle things in the system is that it'll be easier than ever to modify the game in all sorts of ways to fit the needs of the particular campaign or one-shot you want to run, and we'd be silly not to take advantage of that by giving you those tools when we can.

I'm going to postulate an idea... I have a massive flu though so I don't know how coherent my math is here... I should be in bed, but my nose disagrees...

Wouldn't it make more sense to do a basic linear rather than staggering scale?

IE apply a +1 to each level, without doing +2 stop gaps.

The reason I ask is because it seems as though by adding +2 stop gaps the system is assuming one of three things:

1. The player characters are raising the associated stat.
2. The player is increasing their proficiency.
3. The player is getting increasing items.

What I would like to look at is the issue with a character who is, for example, not raising an associated stat or training level. They seem to become worse and worse at medium or higher difficulty challenges.

So using the new chart medium difficulties and looking at levels 0-20 - Then assuming a trained character with a 12 in the associated Ability Score who does not increase the score, or increase their skill training.

lvl 00: 11 | +01 | 55% success rate
lvl 01: 13 | +02 | 50% success rate
lvl 02: 14 | +03 | 50% success rate
lvl 03: 15 | +04 | 50% success rate
lvl 04: 16 | +05 | 50% success rate
lvl 05: 18 | +06 | 45% success rate
lvl 06: 19 | +07 | 45% success rate
lvl 07: 21 | +08 | 40% success rate
lvl 08: 22 | +09 | 40% success rate
lvl 09: 23 | +10 | 40% success rate
lvl 10: 24 | +11 | 40% success rate
lvl 11: 25 | +12 | 40% success rate
lvl 12: 26 | +13 | 40%...

I sort of agree with your points, but I can also see the designers' reason for the current scaling, I just think they missed the mark. To me, I think it's reasonable for the top end of the difficulty scale to assume (some) ability score increases, proficiency increases and item bonuses. Probably not the full +10 that the chart assumes for 'ultimate', but maybe assuming a +5, which can be achieved with just stat boosts and proficiency boosts. Then 'Incredible' could be assuming maybe a +3, and 'Hard' maybe a +1, with medium and easy assuming no increases. Because on some level, I like that harder tasks get tougher for non specialized people, but I don't like the fact that the chart assumes a greater ability to specialize than the game allows. I can see it as reasonable to assume that a character will raise a stat by +1 over 20 levels, so with my adjustments only the columns harder than Hard require specific investment not to fall behind, and even just raising those skills to Legendary (and raising the stat for Ultimate) will let you keep up with those, with any items being gravy.


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N N 959 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Most of the rangers I saw in PF1 were simply trying to skip prerequisites for two-weapon fighting, or shield master, or improved precise shot and so chose that class because it's the one that made their build work.

I would submit that the same argument could be made for any class: it's chosen because it makes the player's build work.

But your point is well taken. For a min/maxers, the Ranger class was not a destination. The only people who stayed with the class, did so because they loved the concept, not the mechanics. it's my experience, however, that the min/maxers are overrepresented on the forums. I don't think the vast majority of players care about non-linearity in the DC table, but on the forums, things like this seem to get the most designer attention.

The Ranger in PF2 does not make me feel like I'm playing a Ranger. If feels like a different class. If Paizo can improve the Rogue, the Fighter, the Cleric without fundamentally changing them, then they can improve the Ranger. It's a just a question of whether they want to.

I guess the issue is that for me the ranger has never felt like a thematically consistent class (from really 1st ed onwards), just a grab bag of mechanics with post hoc justifications.

Like save for favored enemy and favored terrain (abilities I actively dislike because it requires you to predict who and where you will be fighting for the rest of the game) and quarry (the inspiration for "hunt target" most likely) everything the ranger got was pretty much a weaker or later version of things other people got: Combat Feats (Fighter), Animal Companion & Woodland Stride (Druid), Spells, Evasion (rogue), etc.

I kind of appreciate the ranger having a tighter thematic identity in this version, even if it still needs some work.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I guess the issue is that for me the ranger has never felt like a thematically consistent class (from really 1st ed onwards), just a grab bag of mechanics with post hoc justifications.

Yes, I think a lot of people who didn't play the class felt that way when looking at it. It's hard to put one's finger on what actually defines the class. But that was what made the class a lot of fun for people who actually played it: You aren't pigeon-holed into a "thing."

Quote:
Like save for favored enemy and favored terrain (abilities I actively dislike because it requires you to predict who and where you will be fighting for the rest of the game)

And my perspective is that this didn't require that at all, it allowed you to decide where your Ranger was from and where your Ranger felt at home. The class' viability did not require you to use Favored Enemy or Favored Terrain. Those things were like icing on a cake.

Quote:
and quarry (the inspiration for "hunt target" most likely)

Paizo openly stated that Hunt Target was borrowed from the Slayer mechanic. Despite the fact that the Ranger doesn't have any PF2 feat called Quarry and Quarry was useable at most, once an hour, there are some parallels with Hunt Target. The problem isn't that the Ranger can hunt a single target with skill, the problem is that now the Ranger is entirely focused on hunting single targets in all combats, until level 12, when it's now two.

Quote:
eEverything the ranger got was pretty much a weaker or later version of things other people got: Combat Feats (Fighter), Animal Companion & Woodland Stride (Druid), Spells, Evasion (rogue), etc.

That's not entirely accurate. Combat Styles allowed the Ranger to skip prereqs and get feats earlier than the fighter. One feat, allowed a Ranger to have a companion the same level as a Druid (thought the Ranger gets a more limited selection). Nevertheless, it was the way these things converged, not necessarily the timing or raw strength, that made the class enjoyable.

Quote:
I kind of appreciate the ranger having a tighter thematic identity in this version, even if it still needs some work.

Sure, because you didn't like the PF1 Ranger. And honestly, I don't think you're going to like the PF2 Ranger either. The Ranger still doesn't have the best of anything and doesn't even get spells. A tighter focus doesn't mean the class is more fun. It's just easier to design for and more limiting to play


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Like save for favored enemy and favored terrain (abilities I actively dislike because it requires you to predict who and where you will be fighting for the rest of the game)

I agree with your post and favored enemy/terrain: I 99.9% of the time played the class with an archetype and was always keen to find a way to trade out those 2 'skills'. For me, the class was fine as a base to be modified but in it's original form didn't have much to offer IMO.


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Captain Morgan wrote:

1)Move skill items, skill feats, and other skill boosters to skill chapter.

I think [skill items] should absolutely have a table in the skill chapter like page 160 has for skill feats.
An issue with magic items is that it isn't easy to realize these magic items exist in the first place. (Or don't exist, as DMW has illuminated.)

I've been mulling this idea as well (part of multiple book organization issues). This also goes along with the discussion on Objective DCs... In that looking at Skills chapter should be able to give players concrete understanding of what skills are... which needs to understand success rate vs variety of things, and how they can improve their chances. (In playtesters posting their results here, I actually see little feedback on Skill Feats that negate Crit Fails etc, but I digress...)

Quote:

[2)Cut back on magical item bonuses and have more special Resonance activated abilities.

Also, while there are some pretty intuitive magic items out there, some feel questionable as a mandatory part of building the optimized character. If I want to be the best swordsman possible, I want an awesome magic sword. Checks out. But if I want to be the scariest person possible, I'm always wearing this demon mask...? Not so much. I don't like the idea that I'm wearing this mask all the time in polite society on the off chance I need to coerce someone. But if I don it when I want to cast a fear spell on someone? Much more reasonable.

Agreed. Resonance system seems to be in surgery so it's hard to say what it will look like, but I agree with over-all sentiment and specifically re: niche items like Demon mask. (I don't know why Demons would be Intimidated by some fool wearing mask of them, more like it would be penalty)

An idea that occured to me, in regards REDUCING skill items while not erasing them completely, is shifting some of the bonus expectations onto a kind of training auxiliary to the normal skill proficiency system. And basically, you have to pay for this training so within game it is like item, but doesn't have physical presence. This can even be day job to teach lower tier characters (at normal rate of dayjobs). So MW Tools can just stay +1 forever, but higher proficiencies qualify you take 'advanced training' for further +X's. That feels organically engaged in game world, and adds more nuance to 'training' then basic "+2 proficiencies".


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So something which comes to mind about the multiclass archetypes-

If one wants to upgrade expert reflex saves to master, the rogue archetype has an option.
If one wants to upgrade expert fortitude saves to master, the barbarian archetype has an option.
If one wants to upgrade expert will saves to master, there is no option.

It feels like there should be a class with a will analogue to Evasiveness or Juggernaut's Fortitude.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

So something which comes to mind about the multiclass archetypes-

If one wants to upgrade expert reflex saves to master, the rogue archetype has an option.
If one wants to upgrade expert fortitude saves to master, the barbarian archetype has an option.
If one wants to upgrade expert will saves to master, there is no option.

It feels like there should be a class with a will analogue to Evasiveness or Juggernaut's Fortitude.

Technically, you can upgrade Will saves, as Both bards and clerics get it as a feat at 8th level (and Paladins at 10), but that means waiting 4 more levels (or for the Paladin case, spending your 20th level feat). I think a reasonable solution would be Cleric MC feat at 12 for that, for the symmetry


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Is it too much to ask for a fourth Rogue's Technique focused on ranged weapons?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ranger in 2e:

Good at nature stuff.
Can two-weapon fight.
Can choose an animal companion.

If Hunt Target feels not very good it's mostly because it reduces a penalty rather than produces a bonus. I wonder how well the class would have been taken if the Hunt target had been worded:

"A ranger gains a +1 bonus to hit their hunted target."

Instead of reducing the penalty for the iterative attacks. It's not a massive change (means that the primary attack more likely to crit against a single target).

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