Forging the Heroes of Undarin

Monday, October 8, 2018

Greetings from Playtest HQ! The time has come for us to move on from the River Kingdoms, closing out Part 4 of Doomsday Dawn. Now we turn our attention north, to a land ruined by demonic powers. That's right, we're going to the Worldwound in Part 5, The Heroes of Undarin!

Now, I don't want to give away any spoilers, but for those of you who are playing, make sure to touch base with your GM, as they have very special instructions for you as to how you should make your character for this dangerous mission!

As a reminder to all of you playtesters out there, the surveys for all of the previous parts of Doomsday Dawn are still open. Once you and your group have completed playing Part 5, The Heroes of Undarin, make sure to take the following surveys! Your feedback is vital in making sure we get the game right for its final release!

Player Survey | Game Master Survey | Open Survey

If you have completed the Doomsday Dawn surveys, consider giving us your feedback in the general surveys for Ancestries, Classes, Rules, and the Bestiary. These surveys can be found on the Pathfinder Playtest landing page.

Update 1.4 - All About Ancestry

The past two weeks have been a real whirlwind for us in the design pit. In the two weeks since the release of Update 1.3, which brought some pretty big changes to the game, we've been hard at work on Update 1.4. While this one is much more modest in terms of scope, it nevertheless brings a pretty big change to your game: an overhaul of the ancestries!

The one thing we've heard mentioned over and over (as well as in our Ancestry Survey) is that many of you felt like the ancestries weren't quite giving enough at 1st level. We also saw a number of responses saying that taking a feat to be a half-elf or half-orc was too steep a price to pay. This update makes changes to the way that ancestries work, while also giving you some additional high-level ancestry feats to use in your game!

Starting with this update, when you make a character, you select not only an ancestry, but also a heritage from within that ancestry. Your heritage gives you additional physical characteristics based on your lineage, and your choice of heritage is in addition to the ancestry feat that you gain at 1st level. Half-elf and half-orc are now choices within the human heritage list, which means that you can play a character from one of these heritages, and still take a 1st-level feat from either of your parents as well!

So go grab Update 1.4! Those new feats might just give your characters a shot in the arm for the upcoming challenges they must face in the horrible, demon-infested lands to the north!

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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No no I already fixed that. at a certain level (rank?) proficiency needs to negate the fact that a 1 is a auto fail. Just get rid of assurance all together and have that baked into the proficiency mechanic. It also makes the people that think prof doesn't do enough happy as well.


Just to remember that the book states that trivial checks shouldn't be rolled... I think that make nails is probably a trivial thing for a legendary blacksmith


Grey doesn't believe in not absolute rules she assume they will end in A-hole DMs screwing one over with abusing the wiggle room. (and some probably do I just feed them to my pet owlbear when I met them.)


Dante Doom wrote:
Just to remember that the book states that trivial checks shouldn't be rolled...

It actually DOESN'T. "Some" tasks don't need to be rolled but that totally up to the DM to figure out. The ONLY task listed as not needing a roll is "climbing a ladder in ordinary circumstances": every other task is at the discretion of the DM. It offers a suggestion that "these tasks no longer present even a minor challenge for the characters" but doesn't state that those task aren't rolled for [and in fact the rules show that even trivial tasks ALWAYS have a failure chance].

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Grey doesn't believe in not absolute rules she assume they will end in A-hole DMs screwing one over with abusing the wiggle room. (and some probably do I just feed them to my pet owlbear when I met them.)

It's a numbers game really. You have enough DM's, you'll have one that reads these rules and want a roll for those nails... What's worse is that the game actually allows for a failure in a task so trivial that's it's require a "A-hole DM" to ask for it: that failure chance bothers me more than the possibility of a DM asking for it to be honest. :P

Vidmaster7 wrote:
No no I already fixed that.

*shrug* I can see various ways to fix it and I think they'd work equally well. As long as the end result is getting rid of 1 = auto-failure, I'll not quibble over the how too much.


Just can't say you like that idea eh?
:P :P :P


graystone wrote:
Dante Doom wrote:
Just to remember that the book states that trivial checks shouldn't be rolled...
It actually DOESN'T. "Some" tasks don't need to be rolled but that totally up to the DM to figure out. The ONLY task listed as not needing a roll is "climbing a ladder in ordinary circumstances": every other task is at the discretion of the DM. It offers a suggestion that "these tasks no longer present even a minor challenge for the characters" but doesn't state that those task aren't rolled for [and in fact the rules show that even trivial tasks ALWAYS have a failure chance].

"The Ordinary Tasks tables on page 338 list common tasks that don’t increase in level. You can use them as benchmarks when deciding the levels of similar tasks. Each entry is followed by the task level, examples of factors that could impact difficulty, and the character level at which the task becomes so trivial that you can usually assume a PC succeeds rather than spending time on a roll."


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Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
Cyouni wrote:

"The Ordinary Tasks tables on page 338 list common tasks that don’t increase in level. You can use them as benchmarks when deciding the levels of similar tasks. Each entry is followed by the task level, examples of factors that could impact difficulty, and the character level at which the task becomes so trivial that you can usually assume a PC succeeds rather than spending time on a roll."

That one little "usually" is the point graystone is contesting.


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Franz Lunzer wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

"The Ordinary Tasks tables on page 338 list common tasks that don’t increase in level. You can use them as benchmarks when deciding the levels of similar tasks. Each entry is followed by the task level, examples of factors that could impact difficulty, and the character level at which the task becomes so trivial that you can usually assume a PC succeeds rather than spending time on a roll."

That one little "usually" is the point graystone is contesting.

Damn it, that word, again - the scourge of our times!


That's because you can't make a simple, general rule without having corner cases where it becomes absurd.
A thinking human is necessary to adjudicate the rules, unless you stick to very typical, straightforward situations.

About the 5% chances of failure, I hate them too. It's too high of a number when you beat the DC by far, but that's the best we can have with a d20 unless we use confirmation rolls or exploding dice, which have negative consequences: they slow down play, the rules become more complicated, and you have a strange probability distribution unless you complicate the rules even more (and at that point you are better off playing with 2d10 or 3d6).


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graystone wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:

Concerning the nails and legendary blacksmiths...

You'd not make a skill check for every. individual. nail. You would make them for a group of nails.

My point would be if that blacksmith wanted to make only ONE nail, they have a 5% failure rate... You aren't forced to use batch rules after all.

Tangent101 wrote:
And given that I've had screws, which are manufactured using automation so humans don't actually get involved at all and the chance of error should be 0%, actually end up being broken or otherwise defective... yes. Even a legendary blacksmith should occasionally screw up on making a nail. You could consider it as "I'm so good at this task that I'm not paying any attention at all and let an error slip in as a result."

All I've agreed with: failure is a possibility, but not 5%. IMO, that legendary blacksmith should fail when the conditions are bad that produce penalties large enough to produce an actual failure chance by the dice.

For instance, if you're using inferior materials, you're sick, in the rain, during a earthquake and cursed... Sure, THEN maybe you've got a 5% failure chance.

I wholly disagree and find your argument unreasonable. 5% is completely and totally realistic for people in a medieval society.

Think it through:

Assume a sword takes 3 days to make and the blacksmith takes 2 days off per week. That means he's working 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year. He's working 260 days a year.

86 swords per year.

He makes 4 mistakes per year.

To be blunt - I don't want the days of PF1 "I don't ever fail because my bonuses are twinked through the roof" to come back and it's the main reason I stopped frequently playing 1e.

Yes. There are dice. Yes. You can fail. Get used to it.

If you don't want to fail making nails, like your legendary Smith, take assurance. Automatic 30. Bssic nails aren't a problem.


Seriously, there’s so much worrying over failing trivial tasks, and yet in the same breath, Assurance is called useless. It is literally designed to solve this problem.

A character gets 10 skill feats over the course of a 20 level career, and can raise up to 3 skills to Legendary proficiency. Spend 3 feats on Assurance for the 3 maxed skills and they will never fail at the trivial tasks for the skills the character is good at. And they still have 7 skill feats left to spend on whatever else they would like.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

Just can't say you like that idea eh?

:P :P :P

LOL It's a fine idea: I'm just focused on the destination, not how we get there. Sorry if that bummed you out. :)

Megistone wrote:

That's because you can't make a simple, general rule without having corner cases where it becomes absurd.

A thinking human is necessary to adjudicate the rules, unless you stick to very typical, straightforward situations.

Well you can make that simple, general rule by turning it around 'you don't roll except for corner cases where the dm thinks it's required.' That way, it's only called for if the DM goes out of his way to do so.

Megistone wrote:
About the 5% chances of failure, I hate them too. It's too high of a number when you beat the DC by far, but that's the best we can have with a d20

As I said to Vidmaster7, 0 is lower than 5. ;) Trivial tasks shouldn't be one that fail 5% of the time: if the implication is that you shouldn't have to roll for them, that in essence is treating them as if they had a 100% success rate and since that's the case why not take out the middleman and remove the auto fail on a 1 instead of handwave-um...?

HWalsh wrote:
I wholly disagree and find your argument unreasonable. 5% is completely and totally realistic for people in a medieval society.

I couldn't disagree more, both in conclusion or that pathfinder is "a medieval society".

HWalsh wrote:
To be blunt - I don't want the days of PF1 "I don't ever fail because my bonuses are twinked through the roof" to come back and it's the main reason I stopped frequently playing 1e.

To be blunt, I don't want people that specialize in a task to fail 50-30% of the time on skills of their level and have the ability to fail at the simplest tasks.

HWalsh wrote:
assurance

Yeah, no. I'm not paying for something that should be part of the skill system itself,. That and the ONLY use it has is that, to patch the system to allow you to not fail tasks SO far below your level that they are 'trivial'. That's not a feat IMO.


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Cyouni wrote:

"The Ordinary Tasks tables on page 338 list common tasks that don’t increase in level. You can use them as benchmarks when deciding the levels of similar tasks. Each entry is followed by the task level, examples of factors that could impact difficulty, and the character level at which the task becomes so trivial that you can usually assume a PC succeeds rather than spending time on a roll."

That one little "usually" is the point graystone is contesting.

The problem is, you can NEVER eliminate Jerk DMs through "sufficiently tight rules." There is no such thing. The DM who will "ask the Legendary smith to roll for ha'penny nails" won't be stopped by lawyer-tight rules - the only thing to stop jerk DMs is grown-up conversations at the table about social expectations and fun, and players who are all on the same (or at least a similar) page.


ENHenry wrote:
The problem is, you can NEVER eliminate Jerk DMs through "sufficiently tight rules." There is no such thing.

There are varying degrees of 'jerk', bad or inexperienced that might be helped by a rewording.

There is a separate issue that the handwave-um is treating the roll as unfailable when the actual one still fails even if you exceed the minimum roll by +9...

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