Adventure Marches On

Monday, July 15, 2019

Wizard archetype. A dark-skinned man with a thin mustache holds his right hand out, casting an upside down teardrop-shaped glow of blue. In his left hand, he firmly holds a pointed staff upright. It stands taller than him and near the top it has a rectangular, almost hammer shaped section with a sitting green cat on the side. The man is dressed in pleated brown robes with wide complementary stripes, and wears steel shoes. A wide belt carries two buckled pouches on his left side, one smaller than the other. He wears a piece of shoulder armor secured by by a wide dark red sash with a silver disc attached to protect his joints and has a rolled headscarf that is topped by a conic, pointed hat with a green ball near the top of the point. He appears to be wearing a shoulder wrap that is white with pink flowers underneath his headscarf.

Illustration by Giorgio Baroni

You've created your character. You've tasted that first bite of toil and heroics, earned your first thousand Experience Points, and come back to town a hero. Is it time to hang up the sword, sidle into the local tavern, and get free drinks for years in return for spinning yarns of your youthful adventuring day?

Hell no. It's time to level up your character so you can do it all again!

This week we're going to examine how you advance your characters in Pathfinder. We are going to start with your young fighter who resists the urge to retire and sit on his laurels and instead decides that adventuring is his jam. Let's start by advancing the hero of our story—a human (skilled) fighter, with the nomad background. Let's call him Kaliban.

First Steps

Each time you gain a new level, there're a few things you're going to want to do first. First, you're going to increase your level by one and subtract 1,000 Experience Points (XP) for your XP total. Then you're going to increase your Hit Points by the amount determined by class and then add your Constitution modifier.

Kaliban is a fighter, so his Hit Points increase by 10 + his Constitution bonus (let's say he has Con 14) so his total Hit Points at 2nd level become 32.

Lastly, you're going to take a look at your class progression table and apply any class features that aren't feat choices, ability boosts, or skill increases. We'll take a closer look at that later, at 3rd level when Kaliban gains the bravery class feature, but at 2nd level, Kaliban gains a fighter feat and a skill feat as class features, so we are going to move on to the next step.

Table 3-12: FIGHTER ADVANCEMENT. Column 1: Your Level. Column 2: Class Features. 1 | Ancestry and background, initial proficiencies, attack of opportunity, fighter feat, shield block. 2 | Fighter feat, skill feat. 3| Bravery, general feat, skill increase.

Choose Your Feats

In terms of pure role and effectiveness oomph, choosing a new class feat is often the most exciting choice you can make when advancing your character. First off, let's assume that during character creation Kaliban had already taken Power Attack.

Power attack. Two actions. Feat 1. Fighter. Flourish. You unleash a particularly powerful attack that clobbers your foe but leaves you a bit unsteady. Make a melee Strike. This counts as two attacks when calculating your multiple attack penalty. If this Strike hits, you deal an extra die of weapon damage. If you’re at least 10th level, increase this to two extra dice, and if you’re at least 18th level, increase it to three extra dice.

Kaliban likes power. And Power Attack allows Kaliban to deal even more damage with his favorite weapon—a maul. At 2nd level, he could continue on this punishing path by taking the Brutish Shove fighter feat, which allows him to throw his enemies around the battlefield.

Brutish Shove. One action. Feat 2. Fighter. Press. Requirements: You are wielding a two-handed melee weapon.  Description: Throwing your weight behind your attack, you hit your opponent hard enough to make it stumble back. Make a Strike with a two-handed melee weapon. If you have a target that is your size or smaller, that creature is flat-footed until the end of your current turn, and you can automatically Shove it, with the same benefits as the Shove action (including the critical success effect, if your Strike was a critical hit). If you move to follow the target, your movement doesn’t trigger reactions.  This Strike has the following failure effect: The target becomes flat-footed until the end of your current turn.

This seems like the obvious choice, but let's imagine Kaliban is not your typical fighter. He's a particularly smart fellow (Intelligence 14). Let's also imagine that during his first adventure, he came across a frightfully competent gnoll evoker who gave Kaliban and his companions a tough time of it. And during that encounter, while taking the abuse that gnoll was dishing out, Kaliban wondered what it would be like to mix martial prowess with that kind of arcane might. Lucky for Kaliban, once he reaches 2nd level, the fighter has the opportunity to grow in a different direction. He can choose to multiclass.

Wizard Dedication. Feat 2. Archetype. Dedication. Multiclass. Prerequisites: Intelligence 14. Description: You cast spells like a wizard, gaining a spell book with four common arcane cantrips of your choice. You gain the Cast a Spell activity. You can prepare two cantrips each day from your spell book. You’re trained in arcane spell attack rolls and spell DCs.Your key spell casting ability for wizard archetype spells is Int, and they are arcane wizard spells. You become trained in Arcana; if you were already trained in Arcana, you instead become trained in a skill of your choice. Special: You can’t select another dedication feat until you have gained two other feats from the wizard archetype.

It's not a bad deal. A spellbook with four cantrips, the ability to prepare two of them a day, and training in Arcana strikes the fighter as more promising than just pushing around his enemies. Some fighters might scoff at such dalliance, but Kaliban decides to go the fighter/wizard route. Taking a quick look at the arcane cantrips, he chooses to scribble daze, mage hand, shield, and telekinetic projectile in his spellbook. Most adventuring days, he typically leans on shield and telekinetic projectile as his prepared cantrips.

After picking his class feat, Kaliban picks a skill feat. He has training in the following skills: Acrobatics, Arcana, Athletics, Crafting, Desert Lore, Intimidation, Nature, Society, Stealth, and Survival, so he has a lot of choices. But let's say Kaliban has become enamored with his brief magical studies and chooses Arcane Sense.

Arcane Sense. Feat 1. General. Skill. Prerequisites: trained in Arcana. Description: Your study of magic allows you to instinctively sense its presence. You can cast 1st-level *detect magic* at will as an arcane innate spell. If you’re a master in Arcana, the spell is heightened to 3rd level; if you’re legendary, it is heightened to 4th level.

This way Kaliban can always be on the lookout for more magic to supplement his spellbook, equipment, and his split aspirations.

With his skill feat chosen, all he has to do is adjust his various skills, attack rolls, and DCs to reflect his increased level and new bonuses, and he is done. He has everything he needs to continue adventuring with more than a few new tricks up his sleeve.

Each New Level, Repeat

Each time you gain a level, the method by which you increase your level stays the same. Only the details and choices change. To make it easy for you to remember what you need to do each level, there's a bullet-point list on page 31 of the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook. Follow those directions each level, and you'll be set.

Leveling-up Checklist. Every time you gain a level, make sure you do each of the following: 
- Increase your level by 1 and subtract 1,000 XP from your XP total.
- Increase your maximum Hit Points by the amount listed in your class entry in Chapter 3. 
Add class features from your class advancement table, including ability boosts and skill increases.
- Select feats as indicated on your class advancement table. For ancestry feats, see Chapter 2. For class feats, see your class entry in Chapter 3. For general feats and skill feats, see Chapter 5. 
- Add spells and spell slots if your class grants spell casting. See Chapter 7 for spells.
- Increase all of your proficiency bonuses by 1 from your new level, and make other increases to your proficiency bonuses as necessary from skill increases or other class features. 
- Increase any other statistics that changed as a result of ability boots or other abilities.
- Adjust bonuses from feats and other abilities that are based on your level.

When Kaliban reaches 3rd level, even though he's multiclassed into wizard, he is still primarily a fighter, and he is going to advance as a 3rd-level fighter. He'll gain 12 more Hit Points (bringing his total to 44) and get the bravery class feature, along with a general feat and a skill increase. First, let's take a look at bravery.

Bravery. 3rd.
Having faced countless foes and the chaos of battle, you have learned how to stand strong in the face of fear and keep on fighting. Your proficiency rank for Will saves increases to expert. When you roll a success at a Will save against a fear effect, you get a critical success instead.  In addition, any time you gain the frightened condition, reduce its value by 1.

While Kaliban is trained in Will saving throws, during character creation he chose to boost Intelligence instead of Wisdom, so bravery is going to be a big help. At second level his Will saving throw was +4. Thanks to bravery it jumps up to a +7 while granting him some extra protection against fear effects.

The skill increase allows him to either become trained in a new skill or to become an expert in a skill he's already trained in. Kaliban has a pretty robust set of skills, especially for a fighter, so he is going to invest the skill increase in raising one of his skills to expert proficiency. Since he's been focusing many of his build resources into his magical training, this time he'll use his skill training to become an expert in Athletics.

What about that general feat? Well, it just so happens that Magical Crafting pops up at 2nd level, so maybe Kaliban can find a way to increase his power in the magical arts after all.

A female elf in studded dark red armor is shown in active battle in the woods, dark old trees looming in the background and thick vines up to her knees. She has long, flowing white hair and a dark green gem in the middle of her forehead. In her right hand she wields a dagger that looks deadly despite its ornate engraving on the blade, and in her left hand she is pointing a crooked short staff at her attacker and several glowing blue energy knives are bursting out of it from a circle of runes.

Illustration by Matteo Spirito

Only the Beginning

In the end, each level that you attain increases your ability to customize your character. We only completed two levels of Kaliban's advancement, and he has made many exciting and diverse choices, most of which were out of the ordinary. Not only does the fighter have an abundance of choice with just fighter class feats, but by taking dedication feats to multiclass or take on an archetype, the fighter increases the number and variety of choices available to him at each new level. Add to that further customization through skill advancement, general feats (skill and otherwise), and ancestry feats gained after 1st level, and at every level your adventurer becomes a unique legend sure to leave a mark on your campaign's story and the world of Pathfinder.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Senior Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Liberty's Edge

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Elven Rogue/Fighter with an Elven Curve Blade? That's what yells out to me :D


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Secret Wizard wrote:

If Shield Block is now a Fighter-baseline feature (and available as a general feat, but otherwise exclusive), I see no reason to believe the Shield spell will be similar to the playtest version.

It is, the Wizard during the Paizo stream Oblivion Oath used it a few times already, one action to cast and can use the reaction to block.


CyberMephit wrote:
Voss wrote:


I'm puzzled by the new XP system. Having it as a spendable currency suggests there are other uses for it (otherwise I don't see the point in changing it from a running total), but this part of the level process got short shrift. What's going on?
I think you may be reading too much into it... I see it as simply improving support for customised XP tracks. For example you could decide to skip the early levels faster, so maybe you needed 500xp to get to level 2 but 800 xp to level 3. So once your character would beat 13x40 XP encounters, they would be 2nd level with 20 XP on their way to next level. Saying "they have 520 XP" would not mean much on its own without also mentioning the XP track they're on.

I'm not following you. Pf1 has different xp tracks now. It doesn't have anything to do with xp as a currency vs an accumulated total.


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I think the "subtract 1000" clause is to simplify the math. Which may be overkill for base 1000, but would help with alternative XP tracks.

Though, it may have other uses like beyond level 20 characters. (Spend this amount of XP for a feat, a health bonus, etc.)


Gorbacz wrote:
AD&D to 3.0e was a massive, revolutionary change, in case your rose-tinted glasses got a bit foggy.

Depends whether you were a PHB only DM or a "lots of crap from Players Options" DM. But let's not let facts get in the way of course.


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Everyone was a PHB only DM when the edition launched. But even so, mechanically it was a pretty massive change, particularly in regard to saves, feats and class features.

And far fewer sidebars about how the DM can change things to screw over players who think they know how the rules work and expect them to be consistent

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
AD&D to 3.0e was a massive, revolutionary change, in case your rose-tinted glasses got a bit foggy.
Depends whether you were a PHB only DM or a "lots of crap from Players Options" DM. But let's not let facts get in the way of course.

I'm not even talking about those. The massive difference in math (AD&D fireball was a fight-ending spell, in 3e blasting is silly weak), the shift in underlying assumptions of the game from GM-centered AD&D where a whole bunch of things were under strict "You can if GM allows you" paradigm, while 3.0e went for player-centered approach with stuff like crafting magic items and skills in core; the assumed lethality (roll Bob the Fighter nr. IV vs. stabilize at -4 and wait until your mates wrap it up), the power level of midrange+ characters (moderately epic heroes in AD&D vs. king-gods in 3e) etc. etc. etc.

And that's just comparing the core rulebooks. And no matter how many player options books did you bolt on to AD&D, the game never got close to altering those paradigms. And if you bolted equivalent amount of splats on 3.0/3.5, you were entering the Ur-Priest and Bo9s territory.

Just go and state that AD&D to 3.0 was a small evolution at, say The Gaming Den or Dragonsfoot. The people there will kindly and patiently explain to you the difference in much more detail and nuance than I can.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Unless I'm missing something, Brutish Shove is a strictly better option than a strike for your second or third attack, right? You're not forced to make the shove if you don't want to. I would use it often unless I had an even better press feat to make use of, which is fine by my standards (unless some of the feats end up so good, you'll never use any others).
Eh, depends. As a level 2 feat maybe? It depends on what the level 1 options end up being; but this only makes them flat-footed 1) after you hit them with what ends up being your second strike and 2) only until the end of your current turn. From seeing what the Fighter could do at later levels in the PT i’m sure this ends up being a very powerful tool, but as early as level 2? If you aren’t shoving them it’s not that great with what little info we currently have.

Ah jeez, you're right. "End of your current turn." It was "until the start of your next turn" in the playtest. That's pretty much the only downgrade to this version of the feat I've seen. Well, that and it is sized capped, but the PT version was probably supposed to be as well and they just forgot the text. Improved Brutish Shove had some text indicating it was supposed to go up a size category, implying the original feat should have had the size capped in the first place. (I wonder if you can bump this up with Titan Wrestler? Maybe not by RAW...)

I'd say this feat still feels better than its PT version. Inflicting both flatfooted and the shove (plus allowing you to move with the shove) instead of *your opponents choice between the two* still feels better even if it doesn't make them flatfooted for your allies. I bet you can use the shove to push them into a flank anyway. And I'd imagine Improved Brutish shove not only lets you do it to large enemies but could extend the duration of the flatfooted.


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Gorbacz wrote:
And that's just comparing the core rulebooks

Of course you are.

Gorbacz wrote:
And no matter how many player options books did you bolt on to AD&D, the game never got close to altering those paradigms.

Whatever you say.

Asgetrion: Is Gorbacz right? Did your game fundamentally change when you switched from AD&D 2e to 3.0? Or was it recognisable as the same game?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
And that's just comparing the core rulebooks

Of course you are.

If you compare AD&D with splats to 3.0e/3.5e with splats you're suddnely looking at a game where an elven archer can shoot a spell using her bow vs. characters who can do divine metamagic + nightsticks + persistent spell level of cheese.

The fact that you didn't do that or whoever on the forum didn't do that does not mean that it wasn't out there.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Gorbacz wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
And that's just comparing the core rulebooks

Of course you are.

If you compare AD&D with splats to 3.0e/3.5e with splats you're suddnely looking at a game where an elven archer can shoot a spell using her bow vs. characters who can do divine metamagic + nightsticks + persistent spell level of cheese.

The fact that you didn't do that or whoever on the forum didn't do that does not mean that it wasn't out there.

There definitely was a fundamental shift from 2 to 3e. (although you can see some of the trends start to really show up in the Player's Options books). AC scaling indefinitely instead of capping at -10, Attack bonus vs THAC0, Skills that advance (NWP were weird for advancement), unlimited Ability score increase, Magic Item creation assumed in the rules, etc. It was definitely a fundamental shift.


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Justin Franklin wrote:
There definitely was a fundamental shift from 2 to 3e. (although you can see some of the trends start to really show up in the Player's Options books). AC scaling indefinitely instead of capping at -10, Attack bonus vs THAC0, Skills that advance (NWP were weird for advancement), unlimited Ability score increase, Magic Item creation assumed in the rules, etc. It was definitely a fundamental shift.

Don't forget that prior to 3rd edition not all races and classes were compatible. Dwarves couldn't be wizards. Also, for demihumans, there were level caps depending on the class you chose. This chart here shows it in detail.


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Fumarole wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
There definitely was a fundamental shift from 2 to 3e. (although you can see some of the trends start to really show up in the Player's Options books). AC scaling indefinitely instead of capping at -10, Attack bonus vs THAC0, Skills that advance (NWP were weird for advancement), unlimited Ability score increase, Magic Item creation assumed in the rules, etc. It was definitely a fundamental shift.
Don't forget that prior to 3rd edition not all races and classes were compatible. Dwarves couldn't be wizards.

And the dual classing/multiclassing split Humans get a bit screwed on that, if you use your old class in this adventure No XP for you!!!


Okay, if you’re going to start talking and comparing previous editions of d&d, please make a seperate thread for it.

EDIT: unless they are related to the post in some way ofcourse.


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Voss wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
Voss wrote:


I'm puzzled by the new XP system. Having it as a spendable currency suggests there are other uses for it (otherwise I don't see the point in changing it from a running total), but this part of the level process got short shrift. What's going on?
I think you may be reading too much into it... I see it as simply improving support for customised XP tracks. For example you could decide to skip the early levels faster, so maybe you needed 500xp to get to level 2 but 800 xp to level 3. So once your character would beat 13x40 XP encounters, they would be 2nd level with 20 XP on their way to next level. Saying "they have 520 XP" would not mean much on its own without also mentioning the XP track they're on.
I'm not following you. Pf1 has different xp tracks now. It doesn't have anything to do with xp as a currency vs an accumulated total.

If you want to put it in a similar context to PF1 you can easily put it on a cumulative chart. So:

1st - 0
2nd - 1000 xp
3rd - 2000 xp
4th - 3000 xp
5th - 4000 xp
It's just important to note at the same time, that at-level encounters will continue to give the same number of xp, while lower level encounters will give continually decreasing number of xp (in order to explain that no, you can't continue doing lvl 1 encounters to reach lvl 20).

The "subtract 1000" is simply an easy way to do the math. When you get to 1040 xp you've gained a level, subtract the 1000 and you now have 40 xp towards the next level. This is the same formula no matter what level you reach.
Cyphermephit's example was just to show that you can change this formula if you want a faster or slower progression.
So a faster could be 800 xp per level:
1st - 0
2nd - 800 xp
3rd - 1600 xp
4th - 2400 xp
5th - 3200 xp
Or, once you've reached e.g. 810 xp you subtract 800 and you now have 10 xp towards the next level.

Dark Archive

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
And that's just comparing the core rulebooks

Of course you are.

Gorbacz wrote:
And no matter how many player options books did you bolt on to AD&D, the game never got close to altering those paradigms.

Whatever you say.

Asgetrion: Is Gorbacz right? Did your game fundamentally change when you switched from AD&D 2e to 3.0? Or was it recognisable as the same game?

Bagsy is right; the game *did* change fundamentally and in so many ways. And I can do a very good comparison as we converted a group of high-level AD&D characters (all between levels 12th to 16th, IIRC) right away into 3E. My 12th level fighter had had decent saving throws (a roll 10+ succeeded) in AD&D, now he suddenly needed to roll natural 20s to succeed against spells of high-level NPCs. AC had been capped out at -10ish, meaning that my fighter with THAC0 2 would hit pretty much anything with a roll of 10-12, but suddenly that it didn't apply anymore. My (meager) bonus of +21 in 3E meant I shouldn't use power attack or [combat] expertise (my two "tricks", so to speak) against most high-level foes. In 3E there was no cap on ANYTHING!

My new war cry (and the first action in combat) became "BUFFS!". And why not? Our wizards and clerics THRIVED in the new game, and we absolutely REQUIRED those buffs to survive the new math. We also learned that there are magic items, too, that you absolutely need, otherwise it was an uphill struggle all the way.

I won't even get into ability scores and how fundamentally THOSE changed, e.g. from +1 to hit and damage to +5 on all STR-related, and whatnot. And while weapon and non-weapon proficiences had been a mess, you were really competent in what you did; in 3.0 warriors didn't actually shine a lot in that regard, often spending those precious points on half-ranks (Perception, Hide, Move Silently, Tumble, etc.) so that they would survive.

This is just a brief glimpse into how different high-level play felt like in 3.0, and I could probably write a whole essay on the subject if I had time to do so. :)


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Asgetrion wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:
And that's just comparing the core rulebooks

Of course you are.

Gorbacz wrote:
And no matter how many player options books did you bolt on to AD&D, the game never got close to altering those paradigms.

Whatever you say.

Asgetrion: Is Gorbacz right? Did your game fundamentally change when you switched from AD&D 2e to 3.0? Or was it recognisable as the same game?

Bagsy is right; the game *did* change fundamentally and in so many ways. And I can do a very good comparison as we converted a group of high-level AD&D characters (all between levels 12th to 16th, IIRC) right away into 3E. My 12th level fighter had had decent saving throws (a roll 10+ succeeded) in AD&D, now he suddenly needed to roll natural 20s to succeed against spells of high-level NPCs. AC had been capped out at -10ish, meaning that my fighter with THAC0 2 would hit pretty much anything with a roll of 10-12, but suddenly that it didn't apply anymore. My (meager) bonus of +21 in 3E meant I shouldn't use power attack or [combat] expertise (my two "tricks", so to speak) against most high-level foes. In 3E there was no cap on ANYTHING!

My new war cry (and the first action in combat) became "BUFFS!". And why not? Our wizards and clerics THRIVED in the new game, and we absolutely REQUIRED those buffs to survive the new math. We also learned that there are magic items, too, that you absolutely need, otherwise it was an uphill struggle all the way.

I won't even get into ability scores and how fundamentally THOSE changed, e.g. from +1 to hit and damage to +5 on all STR-related, and whatnot. And while weapon and non-weapon proficiences had been a mess, you were really competent in what you did; in 3.0 warriors didn't actually shine a lot in that regard, often spending those precious points on half-ranks (Perception, Hide, Move Silently, Tumble, etc.) so that they would survive.

This is just a brief glimpse into how different high-level play felt like in 3.0, and I could...

Thanks for the insightful post. You should definitely expect an equally high change between PF1e and PF2e (if not an even greater change). Just as you wouldn’t rip out ability boosts in 3e, I definitely wouldn’t recommend halving how much HP PCs getfrom their class at each level or reducing how many ability score boosts PCs get at different levels though.

Dark Archive

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And I want to point out that I'm fine with max. HPs, I just still might want to house-rule them in my games. I definitely do not want to return to days of rolling ability scores, that often resulted in bitterness when one of the guys rolled up an "elven hero" and the rest were playing farmboys with pitchforks. This expression comes from an Undermountain campaign years and years ago; one PC was an elven fighter with vastly superior stats (Str 18/96, Dex 18, Con 17, etcetera), while others had 14s or 15s in their prime attributes. It wasn't really fun to play in that particular campaign.


John Lynch 106 wrote:

Assuming a 60% chance of hitting with his first attack, I just dont see how power attack is better than 2 normal strikes with -5 on the second strike. Given that, I'm confused why Kaliban would like Power Attack so much. He isnt dealing more damage with the same action economy. He's dealing, on average, the same.

Has the crit system fundamentally changed so much to change the calculations making power attack a good choice? Or is it assumed lots of enemies will have resistance 5 or greater with little chance for Kaliban to overcome it?

Brutish Strike is a but nicer. Although I'll be interested to see how well "effect on a miss" plays out with the community. This was one of the most lambasted features of 4th ed martial characters and I'm surprised to see Paizo has brought it back with PF2e.

It's nice to see Bravery actually does something worthwhile in this edition.

I'm thinking they want the damages to be roughly the same, but have a tradeoff for damage to attack roll. To make things equal, easily striking twice for 10 (5 each i.e.) damage or taking one hard strike for 10-11. Make sense to me for balancing.

Silver Crusade

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Pumpkinhead, Grognard, you are right we shouldn't derail the thread.

Still,

Fumarole wrote:
Justin Franklin wrote:
There definitely was a fundamental shift from 2 to 3e. (although you can see some of the trends start to really show up in the Player's Options books). AC scaling indefinitely instead of capping at -10, Attack bonus vs THAC0, Skills that advance (NWP were weird for advancement), unlimited Ability score increase, Magic Item creation assumed in the rules, etc. It was definitely a fundamental shift.
Don't forget that prior to 3rd edition not all races and classes were compatible. Dwarves couldn't be wizards. Also, for demihumans, there were level caps depending on the class you chose. This chart here shows it in detail.

That chart is bizarre. Very happy to discuss it in a different thread. Only Humans and Drow are any good? Mountain Dwarfs have a Fighter limit?

I'm glad in PF2 that our boy Kaliban can become a Fighter 20 and he'll probably be casting 8th level Arcane spells. It does say something about the superhero power levels, Kaliban would astonish Gygax and Arneson but I like the ultra high-fantasy gonzo direction Pathfinder has become.


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Asgetrion wrote:
And I want to point out that I'm fine with max. HPs, I just still might want to house-rule them in my games. I definitely do not want to return to days of rolling ability scores, that often resulted in bitterness when one of the guys rolled up an "elven hero" and the rest were playing farmboys with pitchforks. This expression comes from an Undermountain campaign years and years ago; one PC was an elven fighter with vastly superior stats (Str 18/96, Dex 18, Con 17, etcetera), while others had 14s or 15s in their prime attributes. It wasn't really fun to play in that particular campaign.

I remember those days, as well. I started GMing at the tender age of...ten? With AD&D 2E, I think. I do remember the days of rolling my character's attributes, and HP, and I definitely don't miss it. I very much like the way that PF2E does it, myself. Rolling a 1 sucked. I know we were often allowed by one GM to reroll 1s, but then I would get a 2 or 3, and it just wasn't very fun. The rolls I want to matter are the ones taken for in-game actions, rather than vital character attributes.

Even so, I do hope they have an option for you. The default assumption they're running with is much more to my taste, but it wouldn't take much word count to give you an optional rule you're looking for, I think.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
And I want to point out that I'm fine with max. HPs, I just still might want to house-rule them in my games. I definitely do not want to return to days of rolling ability scores, that often resulted in bitterness when one of the guys rolled up an "elven hero" and the rest were playing farmboys with pitchforks. This expression comes from an Undermountain campaign years and years ago; one PC was an elven fighter with vastly superior stats (Str 18/96, Dex 18, Con 17, etcetera), while others had 14s or 15s in their prime attributes. It wasn't really fun to play in that particular campaign.

I remember those days, as well. I started GMing at the tender age of...ten? With AD&D 2E, I think. I do remember the days of rolling my character's attributes, and HP, and I definitely don't miss it. I very much like the way that PF2E does it, myself. Rolling a 1 sucked. I know we were often allowed by one GM to reroll 1s, but then I would get a 2 or 3, and it just wasn't very fun. The rolls I want to matter are the ones taken for in-game actions, rather than vital character attributes.

Even so, I do hope they have an option for you. The default assumption they're running with is much more to my taste, but it wouldn't take much word count to give you an optional rule you're looking for, I think.

For the most part I agree with you, but think it was a mixed bag. The thrill of getting high enough rolls to play a Paladin or Bard... On the other hand, if you wanted to play a certain class and your rolls where just to low it sucked!

From what we have seen I am really liking the way 2E is looking for character creation and leveling.


Leotamer wrote:
I think the "subtract 1000" clause is to simplify the math.

IMO, it's to keep the numbers as low as possible, much like bulk lowers the numbers I guess the idea is lower is simpler/easier for new people to learn/use.


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I never play human characters, either, and the idea of being limited in what classes I can take, and to what levels I can advance them, in comparison to the humans was frustrating. Or yeah, not being able to roll well enough to play a certain class is, while when I was a kid it was thrilling, now just an exercise in frustration and false exclusiveness.

Of the many overarching assumptions 3E changed, more freedom and flexibility was one of the best.


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Voss wrote:
I'm not following you. Pf1 has different xp tracks now. It doesn't have anything to do with xp as a currency vs an accumulated total.

I actually forgot and was now reminded by the rest of the discussion that earlier D&D versions had different XP tracks for different classes which I suppose was a way of balancing their power (I didn't actually play anything before 3e). So from that perspective back then it made sense to measure a character's progress and power by the total XP rather than level alone and I guess that's why it carried over to 3e.

Also I recall 3e still had XP as an actual spendable currency in some spell components and such - though I am not sure if it could ever bring a character down a level, thus the value of tracking the total was questionable even then.

These days seem to be past us though, and I just don't think that the XP total serves any purpose in PF2 beyond what the "level + progress" can offer, so it was likely just de-emphasized to simplify the presentation, including keeping track of XP on the charsheet.


ChibiNyan wrote:

Is it me or Brutish shove is awesome? Yeah, it is Press but you get a full strike + 2 riders on it for no cost. Even on a Failure it causes flat-footed? Will be spamming this every turn!

Also, can the guy from this blog cast Shield while holding his 2h Maul? Are "free hands" not needed for somatic components again?

Making an opponent flat-footed is always great, but I've never found it useful to be able to move an opponent...but this is due to my mainly liking casting classes and not having much strategy on movement around a combat encounter.

Can someone tell me examples of how moving your enemy on the board would be advantageous, especially when not everyone gets attacks of opportunity anymore? Can this be done similarly to PF1's Push CMB off a cliff? I can see that being beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.


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I like the "reset to zero XP when leveling" paradigm. It appears in a number of other games (Dungeon World comes to mind, but I"m sure there are MANY more), and just seems to make things like varying advancement and story awards so much more convenient. It does require xp awards be relative, but I'm fine with that.


no good scallywag wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Is it me or Brutish shove is awesome? Yeah, it is Press but you get a full strike + 2 riders on it for no cost. Even on a Failure it causes flat-footed? Will be spamming this every turn!

Also, can the guy from this blog cast Shield while holding his 2h Maul? Are "free hands" not needed for somatic components again?

Making an opponent flat-footed is always great, but I've never found it useful to be able to move an opponent...but this is due to my mainly liking casting classes and not having much strategy on movement around a combat encounter.

Can someone tell me examples of how moving your enemy on the board would be advantageous, especially when not everyone gets attacks of opportunity anymore? Can this be done similarly to PF1's Push CMB off a cliff? I can see that being beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.

There was a post by Malk_Content on either the first or second page that outlines a really great way to use this in tandem with other party members.

On another note:

For the FF piece of Brutish Shove, it's til the end of your current turn which I really feel like people are missing was changed from the Playtest. Obviously that does nothing to help other members of your party and is basically just a reduction of MAP penalty on your next attack.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
no good scallywag wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Is it me or Brutish shove is awesome? Yeah, it is Press but you get a full strike + 2 riders on it for no cost. Even on a Failure it causes flat-footed? Will be spamming this every turn!

Also, can the guy from this blog cast Shield while holding his 2h Maul? Are "free hands" not needed for somatic components again?

Making an opponent flat-footed is always great, but I've never found it useful to be able to move an opponent...but this is due to my mainly liking casting classes and not having much strategy on movement around a combat encounter.

Can someone tell me examples of how moving your enemy on the board would be advantageous, especially when not everyone gets attacks of opportunity anymore? Can this be done similarly to PF1's Push CMB off a cliff? I can see that being beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.

Moving an opponent means they'd have to spend one of their 3 actions to approach you, and would only have 2 remaining actions to use against you with a melee attack. If you kove with your opponent, there's also the potential to move them into a flanking position with another ally so that your ally doesn't need to spend an action moving into position.

If there are hazards on the map, moving an opponent can put them in the hazard. You might also be able to push an enemy so they're just out of movement range of approaching an ally in the backline.

In 1e, I pretty much never bull rushed because I had to give up making an attack to do so. That's no longer a concern with Brutish Shove.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
bugleyman wrote:
I like the "reset to zero XP when leveling" paradigm. It appears in a number of other games (Dungeon World comes to mind, but I"m sure there are MANY more), and just seems to make things like varying advancement and story awards so much more convenient. It does require xp awards be relative, but I'm fine with that.

It's not quite reset to zero as it is unlikely a character is going to end up at exactly 1000XP at the end of a session, hence the -1000XP when leveling. Personally, I wouldn't bother with the -1000XP on leveling up. Instead, I would start level 1 characters at 1000XP and have them level up each time they reach a new 1k increment (2k for level 2, 3k for level 3, etc.). Of course, this would only work with the normal advancement track, and having party members of differing levels would still mean giving out different amounts of XP, depending on their level.


GentleGiant wrote:
Voss wrote:
CyberMephit wrote:
Voss wrote:


I'm puzzled by the new XP system. Having it as a spendable currency suggests there are other uses for it (otherwise I don't see the point in changing it from a running total), but this part of the level process got short shrift. What's going on?
I think you may be reading too much into it... I see it as simply improving support for customised XP tracks. For example you could decide to skip the early levels faster, so maybe you needed 500xp to get to level 2 but 800 xp to level 3. So once your character would beat 13x40 XP encounters, they would be 2nd level with 20 XP on their way to next level. Saying "they have 520 XP" would not mean much on its own without also mentioning the XP track they're on.
I'm not following you. Pf1 has different xp tracks now. It doesn't have anything to do with xp as a currency vs an accumulated total.

If you want to put it in a similar context to PF1 you can easily put it on a cumulative chart. So:

1st - 0
2nd - 1000 xp
3rd - 2000 xp
4th - 3000 xp
5th - 4000 xp
It's just important to note at the same time, that at-level encounters will continue to give the same number of xp, while lower level encounters will give continually decreasing number of xp (in order to explain that no, you can't continue doing lvl 1 encounters to reach lvl 20).

The "subtract 1000" is simply an easy way to do the math. When you get to 1040 xp you've gained a level, subtract the 1000 and you now have 40 xp towards the next level. This is the same formula no matter what level you reach.
Cyphermephit's example was just to show that you can change this formula if you want a faster or slower progression.
So a faster could be 800 xp per level:
1st - 0
2nd - 800 xp
3rd - 1600 xp
4th - 2400 xp
5th - 3200 xp
Or, once you've reached e.g. 810 xp you subtract 800 and you now have 10 xp towards the next level.

Yes, I understand what Cybermephit was referring to. I understood it the first time. It just isn't relevant to my confusion over the change- xp tracks are functionally the same either way.

Which is- now that its a currency, are there other things to spend XP on? Or plans for such things in the future?


no good scallywag wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:

Is it me or Brutish shove is awesome? Yeah, it is Press but you get a full strike + 2 riders on it for no cost. Even on a Failure it causes flat-footed? Will be spamming this every turn!

Also, can the guy from this blog cast Shield while holding his 2h Maul? Are "free hands" not needed for somatic components again?

Making an opponent flat-footed is always great, but I've never found it useful to be able to move an opponent...but this is due to my mainly liking casting classes and not having much strategy on movement around a combat encounter.

Can someone tell me examples of how moving your enemy on the board would be advantageous, especially when not everyone gets attacks of opportunity anymore? Can this be done similarly to PF1's Push CMB off a cliff? I can see that being beneficial, but that doesn't happen often.

- Make the target lose a action by having to move back to you.

- Using a weapon of reach like Glaive, if the enemy don't have reach too and you had shove it then the enemy will have to move and will trigger fighter Attack of Opportunity.

- Shove the creature on spells, cliffs and traps in the field like wall of fire.

- Put the creature in one ally reach so the ally don't have to spend one action moving there.


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@Voss - Where are you getting that it’s a ‘currency’ from?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@Voss - Where are you getting that it’s a ‘currency’ from?

I think because of conceptualising "spending" 1000 XP to level up, and then extending that to ask if you can "spend" XP on other things. It's a bit of a stretch but I can kinda see how they got there


graystone wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Eh, depends. As a level 2 feat maybe? It depends on what the level 1 options end up being; but this only makes them flat-footed 1) after you hit them with what ends up being your second strike and 2) only until the end of your current turn. From seeing what the Fighter could do at later levels in the PT i’m sure this ends up being a very powerful tool, but as early as level 2? If you aren’t shoving them it’s not that great with what little info we currently have.
Since they are flatfooted even if you miss, just missing can set up flatfooted for others that ready an action triggered by you using Brutish Shove: a rogue for instance, could attack with a ranged weapon, ready and then sneak attack the newly flatfooted foe [or reload, ready and sneak attack for a reload 1 weapon].

Due to the still applying flat footed even on a miss if you wind up opening up with something like power attack first maybe due to conditions making your hit chance not great so you just want to start with your big shot using shove is still a useful last attack of the round if you don't intend to move as it still makes the target flat footed even if there is no legit chance of it hitting.

Sure there probably are other ways to apply flat footed but its a decent option for a warrior to do it so others can use different abilities.


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PF1 left spending xp for crafting and high level spells back in DnD 3.5e so I doubt it will come back in an official way.

Easy enough to do something for an E8 (or wherever the good breakpoint is) game.

Ex:
1000 xp for a class feat
500 xp for a general feat or skill boost

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Just an FYI on the blog post..
'Then you're going to increase your Hit Points *buy* the amount'
I believe you meant *by*, not *buy*


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Voss wrote:

Yes, I understand what Cybermephit was referring to. I understood it the first time. It just isn't relevant to my confusion over the change- xp tracks are functionally the same either way.

Which is- now that its a currency, are there other things to spend XP on? Or plans for such things in the future?

Like others have said, you've seemingly come up with the "currency" and "spend" thing on your own. In the description above it simply says "subtract 1000 xp" - nothing about paying 1000 xp to gain a level or similar wording.

Also, having xp as a "currency" is generally a problematic concept, as you'll have some characters who might do whatever would require xp to be "spent", while others don't, thus probably creating a level disparity that might not be balanced with the whatever it is the xp are used for.


Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
@Voss - Where are you getting that it’s a ‘currency’ from?

Because you spend 1000 to go up a level.

It just strikes me as a meaningless change if it doesn't have other uses. You could just as easily go from 0 to 20,000 XP as you level to 20.
---

@GG yes, it is a problematic concept (karma in early shadowrun comes to mind, saving it for rerolls rather than advancement was great for a short campaign but terrible for a long one). That's why I am asking.

But it's not out of nowhere- its a deliberate change to how XP functions, and if it was done without purpose, its just baffling.


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Optionally spending XP on stuff seems fraught with peril since it can lead to mixed level parties.

I think it's better to think of the XP track just being modulo 1000, than "XP is a currency."

Silver Crusade

In regards to the XP as currency commentary, it's always been currency. They are "experience points", and have been for as long as I have played (probably longer). Taken from Paizo's PF1 description; "As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power." The change, now, is just that they are subtracted from a total rather than added on to that total ad infinitum.

I'm all for discussing XP as currency as a side-conversation, though, perhaps as a houserule or alternate system, but I would think that'd be something to move to another thread.


I'd rather not move it to another thread. I'd rather get clarification on the blog in the blog thread.


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Voss wrote:
I'd rather not move it to another thread. I'd rather get clarification on the blog in the blog thread.

So you're just looking for someone from the design team to pop into the thread and tell you what everyone else has been telling you for several posts now?


If you don't want to discuss it, then don't. Feel free not to trivialize things others want to discuss.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
blog wrote:
Each time you gain a new level, there're a few things you're going to want to do first. First, you're going to increase your level by one and subtract 1,000 Experience Points (XP) for your XP total.
Playtest wrote:

Each time your character reaches 1,000 Experience

Points (see page 339), she advances by 1 level. On your
character sheet, indicate her new level beside the name
of her class, and deduct 1,000 XP from her XP total. If
you have any Experience Points left after this, record
them—they count toward your next level, so your
character is already on her way to advancing yet again!

It seems to work exactly like it did in the Playtest. I would imagine the purpose is that you no longer need an XP chart to see when you level up. It makes the game slightly simpler, with one less chart to refer to.


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Voss wrote:
If you don't want to discuss it, then don't. Feel free not to trivialize things others want to discuss.

But that's just the thing, there's nothing do discuss. You've read something into it that isn't there. If anything, you're the one trivializing the answers you've gotten already, just because they're not from anyone on the design team.

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